Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Making Awesome Progress


I am posting a picture I took some time ago of an office in our new facility. Much, much progress continues to be made but a lot of it (most of it) has been "hidden" work. It is much like our Christian lives, most of the work doesn't show at first. We pray and study the Word and the Lord begins to change the outward things in us after the adjustment has been made inside. So it has been with the facility. At first there was a lot of visual change. Then came the time that things underneath had to be done like the electricity, the plumbing, the tile laid, bathroom re-done into a handicap accessible one, and on and on. I will have some really good pictures up soon, because soon, and very soon, most will be finished and the inspections completed. We still plan to have our Friday Fellowship here on February 8. Stay tuned for our progress reports.

It has been a joy to see the outpouring of love, support (both financial and personal) we have received as we have progressed. Many, many have come and helped. Many, many have supplied expertise and wisdom from the Lord. The facility has been covered in prayer, love and Holy Spirit presence. When those working, work in love for their Lord Jesus, instilling His love in every coat of paint, every floor tile, every ceiling tile, the hanging behind the platform created by gifted hands in love for Him -- more and more and more -- all in love for the Savior, so much that my soul is literally engulfed with His love and care. I know you join us in praise and thanksgiving for such generosity of God's people. He continues to pour and we are so grateful.

More is needed, more will come. It is just His way. When the Lord told Abram to leave Ur and go to a land that He would show him, Abram was not told where the land was or what to take for his journey. The Lord wanted to show Himself strong so He led Abram in a new way.

So He has with all of us in Psalm 19. We have not been this way before, and we are watching as our Lord unfolds what is next in this journey of renting our office and meeting place. It may sound like a small matter, and we may have thought it was, but it has unfolded as an awesome journey of much love and labor. The facility is developing into a thing of comfort and beauty for our meetings and classes. If you live in our area, we pray you will come soon and be a part of a function -- and enjoy with us.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Plenty of Faith

"The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.'
'If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, the Lord said, you can say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea," and it will obey you.'"
Luke 7: 5-6 HCSB

It seems to me we continue to make the same mistake when it comes to understanding "faith." I think in the Scripture above we have an instance where the Lord actually rebuked the apostles for not recognizing that it was not the size of their faith that counted, it was instead its life.

The mustard seed is very small, yet because its life is in its seed, it will when planted, respond to the elements and produce more mustard seeds. Its nature is life. It's size is determined by the seed's DNA. Its effectiveness has nothing to do with how big it is.


"For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one." Romans 12:3 HCSB


Since Greek does not have an indefinite article the "a" measure of faith probably should be "the" measure of faith. When we accepted our Lord as our Savior the Father place the "seed" of His life in us -- He calls it faith. It is His life and His DNA. It is the ability to trust Him in all aspects of our lives and to follow His leading as He instructions. It contains all the "God Life" one needs to be obedient to and in all that is asked. Our faith is not lacking.

However, we do not know this, so instead of reading the Word, we read everything else. Instead of trusting our Lord, we trust our family,friends, etc.... Instead of spending time with Him in communication, we watch TV or surf the net, or.... you fill in the blank. Then we think our "faith" is weak.
No there is nothing weak about the life in the seed. However, we must trust the seed and choose to be the good soil for that seed.

"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6 HCSB
There is so little done in faith -- that is because we choose another life source. That other source always disappoints. Yet we keep at it and pray for an increase in faith. How our Father must weep and feel helpless to help us. He has already told us. Yet we do not hear and we do not know.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Rest in God Alone!


Let me introduce you to "Peanut." She officially belongs to Patty, the administrative assistant in Psalm 19. However, most of us who know her claim her as our own in one way or another. She is a very sweet 5 year old puppy and weighs 9 pounds. As you can see, she enjoys sleeping. In this picture I caught her napping on the shoulder of Patty's husband, Tim.

Rest in God alone, my soul
for my hope comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation my stronghold;
I will not be shaken.
Trust in Him at all times, ou people;
Pour out your heart before Him.
God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:5-8 HCSB


I used this text to encourage our on-line Intercessors this morning, and thought I would write about the passage a bit here. As Peanut is perfect content to "rest" on Tim's shoulder, so our lives are supposed to be spent, not in stress, not in anxiousness, not in busy rush-rush, but in rest.

The fact that Jesus is resident within us seals this fact. He said, "Come unto Me and I will give you rest." The act of coming to Him is in itself rest. However, if in His presence all we do is act like "beggar children," very fearful He will not do what we deem is necessary, then in our very pouring out we reveal we do not trust Him. There is no rest in that.

To rest in Jesus is to keep or observe "Sabbath." In Genesis 2 where we read that Elohim rested on the seventh day, it was a prophetic statement of what the Messiah would be when He came -- total rest for His own.

I believe (and have found that for my body it is essential) a day of rest is necessary for our bodies to work at optimum. However, I find when we observe our weeks, our modern life does not help us with this concept. In revealing the Sabbath to us, the Scriptures are very clear that the day set aside was intended for rest. Many of us have turned that into a day of corporate worship. I do not have a problem with that, unless our corporate worship + family meal + teaching children + preaching etc... ends up being more work than any other day. We really need to return to a day of rest. I do not think our New Covenant Lord cares which one, but the principle of rest is still a part of the creation.

A true Sabbath is described in Matthew 6 -- the entire chapter. Read it and list the ways of "being" described there and you will find what and how rest is described. This is in line with the Law and the prophets. Jesus is the Sabbath -- our Sabbath. This is trusting in God alone.

This photo of peanut was made in the middle of a loud and fun filled Christmas party. But all the excitement and food was just set aside in her little heart as she "rested" on Daddy and just let the party happen. If we would only rest on Daddy's shoulder and let our world go on in its swirl, we could really rest. Oh, how we need that heart.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Love Works Like Paint

1 Peter 4:8 "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
(NIV)

Paint, paint, paint! I have been covered in paint! Those who have been working to get this facility ready have all looked the same -- all our clothes smeared with paint. As I have worked and painted and worked and painted, it occurred to me that paint works like love. It covers "stuff."

You see the outside interior walls of this place are old. I mean old. They have been gnashed, pounded, filled, and scraped. They had been painted, but the paint, like the wall board, was old and looked it. Before we painted those walls, we filled the places that needed it and wall board was patched when the holes were large. This was done several times to make certain it was filled. Then the sanding, then more filling, then more sanding, and more filling, eventually all the wall was even with itself (or almost), and then the walls were wiped down so no dust remained. Then it was time for paint.

Now those of you who regularly re-decorate somewhere know the process better than I do. I was following instructions. As we began to put the primer on, an amazing thing happened. All the walls (new and old) took on a new look. It was hard to tell them apart. Then when we put the paint on top of the prime -- they are beautiful -- they are spotless -- they are level -- they are even -- they are covered and they are absolutely beautiful in their clean new look.

Now our Lord Jesus does all this to us and for us in one fell swoop -- His blood -- His love. (Of course He makes the inside of us new too -- but that is another post sometime). BAM! It is a completed work. Then He tells us to treat others as He has treated us. That means we use love like paint. We fill in the holes others have (make up for their lack--hummm its called "grace" I believe) and then cover them with the love the Lord has given us for them.

WOW! I just think that is wonderful. So I encourage you to do some painting in the lives of others. Our love covers a multitude of wrongs, if we will paint with it.