Few Battles Are Won Alone

What quotes do you often hear that people claim are scripture yet you know otherwise? One that I can’t stand is, “God helps those who help themselves.” Many are surprised to learn that nowhere in the Bible does that appear. In fact, God doesn’t want you to be a solely independent spirit. God often sends others into our lives to help- and… us to he…read more

Sonshine

Our sun gives off more energy in one second than all mankind has produced since creation began. With a diameter of approximately 860,000 miles, the sun could hold one million planets the size of the Earth. The rate at which its energy is emitted is equivalent to the energy coming from a furnace at a temperature of about 10,340 degrees Fahrenheit. This is one magnificent creation that truly, points to an all-powerful Creator God! And friends, His incomparably great power is at work in you! So know this today: if you have the Son spelled with an ‘O,’ you have far more power than the sun that spelled with a ‘U!’

Straining Forward

In the Bible, we find these words written by the Apostle Paul, “…Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.” Too often the Christian life is seen as a passive existence, but these words show that it’s quite the opposite. Our faith should lead us to not just believe but “do”. How is your community better because you’re in it? The old saying that “you may be the only Bible some people read” is still so true. So, let this be an encouragement to find opportunities around you to volunteer, to help your neighbor and be the hands and feet of our Savior as we strain to reach the end of the race.

The Best Sound Possible

When Bose introduced their Acoustic Wave Music System in 1984, Sound & Vision Magazine said that it delivered “possibly the best reproduced sound many people have ever heard.” Since then, we now have companies like Sonos, Denon, and of course Apple, who are constantly striving for the best possible audio. Sound has a tremendous effect on people. This is why in the Bible, in 1st Corinthians 14:7, the Apostle Paul says that we who are Christians are like musical instruments. If we don’t make the right sounds no one will understand what they mean. If you’re a Christian today, you’re announcers, instruments, and sound systems for the Kingdom. Is God happy with the quality of your sound?

I Haven’t Learned That Yet

I was at my friend’s house this weekend for dinner. They now have a very cute, 6-month-old puppy named Lucy and they were showing off her tricks. My friend would say sit- and she sat. Lay, and she laid. My friend turned to me and said, “we’ve been working on this one”. He turned back to Lucy and said “roll over!”. But Lucy just gave him a blank stare. He shrugged and said, “Well. I guess she hasn’t learned that one yet”. My friend wasn’t upset with her for not rolling over. He just accepted that there’s still more to learn. Just like Lucy- we’re constantly in the process of growing up in Christ. We don’t know it all yet and that’s ok. Mistakes are likely but we have a God of grace and love who will be patient with us. The next time you’re going through a confusing and hard time, remember that you’re a work in progress. Maybe God is in the middle of teaching you something you have yet to learn.

Solar

Solar Star is the largest solar farm in the US and one of the largest in the world. This plant has 1.7 million solar panels spread across Los Angeles and Kern Counties in California. Each of these panels can take the energy from a glowing ball 92 million miles away whose surface temperature reaches 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit and turn it into usable energy for over 250,000 homes. In the Bible, 2nd Corinthians 3:18 tells us that our faces are to reflect God’s glory. It says, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” So, my friends, shine on!

You are what you think

James Allen, author of the book “As A Man Thinketh”, says: “All that you accomplish or fail to accomplish with your life is the direct result of your thoughts. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” Likewise, in the Bible, King Solomon said, in Proverbs 4:23, “Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” He also said, in Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Do you constantly think negatively of yourself or your circumstances? Our thoughts are so powerful. Our internal dialog has a profound impact on the person we live outwardly. Scripture makes it clear: you ARE what you THINK. And what you THINK, you ARE. So guard your thoughts; they determine your destiny!

Must be nice

How often do you find yourself in the comparison trap? Do you ever see someone with a nicer car, bigger house, fancier clothes and think, “must be nice”. But the truth is, we’ve never walked a mile in their shoes- we don’t know the circumstances that brought them to where they are and there will always be someone else looking to you with the same thought- “must be nice to be you too”. How do we release ourselves from these trappings? The Apostle Paul says in Philippians chapter 4, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Rather than the constant stress of keeping up with everyone else- breathe in the peace that Paul describes. Learn to be content.

Filters

If you’re a homeowner, when was the last time you replaced your air conditioning filter? AC filters remove harsh chemicals and allergens- making the air safer to breathe. Water filters remove nitrates, bacteria, sodium and heavy metals. We use all kinds of filters in our homes and cars to make them safer for our families. Like these filters, self-examination and repentance help us remove habits and things in our lives that would otherwise cause us harm. Regular, honest and open conversations with God can highlight areas in our lives that are in need of improvement- and sometimes filtering. So, it might be time to replace that air filter- and it might be time for some repentance.

Keep moving

I went hiking with a group of friends recently on a mountain I hadn’t been to before. The trail wasn’t steep at all- but the hike was long. After about an hour or so we turned around a bend and the trees opened up to show us an incredible view. We were at the top! It was such a mild slope that I hadn’t realized how high we had climbed. That feels like life sometimes huh? Maybe you’re in a difficult season of life. You feel like you’re getting nowhere no matter how long you’ve been on this journey. But maybe you aren’t as far from the summit as you think. This is the part of your journey God is using for a purpose. Trust that God has a plan for your life and keep moving.

Coram Deo

Someone wisely once said, “Dream like you’ll live forever. Live like you’ll die today.” That might sound intense but it’s great advice; The question is- HOW do you live each day with that degree of meaning, focus and purpose? Have you ever heard or read the Latin phrase, “Coram Deo?” Coram Deo refers to something that takes place in the presence of God, or before the face of God. The theologian, R.C. Sproul says, “To live Coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.” I like that! To live before the face of God. To live like that definitely sounds like a way to dream like you’ll live forever, and live like you’ll die today. So, go and make the most of today!

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