Archives For Christianity

Faith is a Muscle

October 1, 2014 — 2 Comments

Cross at Fire Pit - Wind River RanchLast year, Angela and I attended a conference at Wind River Ranch in Estes Park, CO.

The flood stopped the conference short, but what a wonderful time to witness the power and presence of God – in the earth that moved and in the people that served. The testimonies of the event were and are numerous. The transformation of grounds at Wind River continue.

At this year’s conference, we saw new faces AND new places. Simultaneously, my jaw dropped and my cheeks smiled wide at seeing the beauty of what took place in just a year.

I shared the testimony of the event and God’s work often at this year’s conference. Someone mentioned that it must have been a scary time. I smiled and shook my head. Scary? Perhaps. But that’s where faith comes in. Faith is a muscle.

Faith is a Muscle

We exercise our bodies. We exercise our minds. We know about these muscles. Is faith a muscle? Is gossip or worry a muscle?

What’s in better shape? With a strong faith muscle, peace is always present (Psalm 119:165) and you’re less likely to stumble. For me, I sometimes put too much emphasis on my doings and neglect to consider God in the matter. And that’s the starting point of my fear (Matt 8:26).

I don’t think it’s that I don’t trust God, it’s that I don’t trust myself. Focusing on my faith rather than myself is where I gain strength. not by my own doing, but simply by relying on God, abiding in the Vine (John 15:4).

My faith is a muscle. The more I work it out, the stronger it gets. No fear. Faith. No worry. Faith. No confusion. Faith.

It’s a good workout.

 

Bread and BibleMost folks are familiar with the verse from “The Lord’s Prayer”, requesting

“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt 6:11)

But is that really enough? And is it only about food?

One focus of the book Enough by Will Davis, Jr. is a powerful section of Proverbs, Proverbs 30:7-9. The writer (Agur) asks God for two simple things:

  1. Keep lies away from his own lips
  2. Supply him with just enough. Not more. Not less. Enough.

Our nature – my nature – is too often to be so focused on the concerns of tomorrow, I miss out on how God answers my prayers today. God is faithful to provide my daily needs (Matt 6:25-34).

Why do I have so little faith, that rather than rest in His promise, I worry about tomorrow.

Enough.

*A Proverbs a day, keeps the enemy at bay.

 

Never Falter, Never Fail

September 29, 2014 — Leave a comment

Mountain Train

Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer that’s brave …

Our lives may have lots of turns and dips, peaks and valleys. But have courage my friend, for we have as an Engineer, the One who designs and directs our paths.

We must make the run successful, from the cradle to the grave …

When we think of a cradle, we think of birth. But it’s not only birth, but re-birth and even the dawn of each new day.

Watch the curves, the hills, the tunnels; Never falter, never fail …

If you seek Him in all your journey, short or long, you will find His faithfulness and love endures no matter what – in our successes and in our failures (learning experiences).

Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail …

Stay contagious and courageous in your forward movement. A friend recently said, See Present Future, Rather Than Present Past. Remember Lot’s Wife (Luke 17:32).

Incline Your Ear

November 9, 2013 — Leave a comment

The “Fear” of the Lord

Often a topic of debate among folks. Fear means different things to different people in changed times. Let’s let the Bible help define things:

Prov 9:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Prov 3:13 – Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

So, the fearing of the LORD will make one happy as he gains understanding of such holy matter. Check out Prov 2:2 -2:5 and compare – and pray as you incline your ear and apply your heart to what God has to say.

Small dog tilting head to listen and understand

Photo on Flickr by Yestertale

I hate losing an argument, don’t you?  Maybe it’s the competitor in me. Maybe it’s the winner in me. Frankly — it’s the pride in me.

As I begin to check my pride at the door, then having to argue and fight is no more.

Proverbs 13:10 teaches us that only by pride comes contention. Lose your pride – you won’t have to worry about battling.

Two people arguing on a bench

Photo on Flickr by yourdon

Feeling stuck? Often, I’ve found that being stuck begins with being stubborn – with God.

God’s Word in Isaiah 64:8 tells us the mindset and heart’s cry we should have:

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

If we become hardened to change, are we still pliable clay in God’s masterful hands?

A potter works with clay

Photo on Flickr by Sarah R

A great man of faith, George Mueller once said,

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”

Show God you have confidence in Him (Prov 3:26) and you’ll be able to rest that He’s got it covered. As my friend Tony says, “God’s Got This”.

Anxiety Ends Faith Begins

Is Your Heart Merry?

November 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

I wonder as I wander, about the grumpy, zombie-like faces I see. What’s going on in their heart? In Artie Davis’ Craveable, he reminds us that our face reveals what’s in our heart. And you could look it up, for the Bible tells me so (Prov 15:13).

Even with this time of trial, can I find joy? Amidst the persecution, is there a blessing? Yes. Jesus.

Your face reveals what's in your heart.

Thanks for the reminder, Artie. Stay contagious and courageous!

Photo on Flickr by NYCArthur

Jesus gives us such great examples with how to deal with the problems and troubles that life serves up daily. He relies upon the Word of God,

An often overlooked part of God’s armour, the sword of the Spirit – which is the word of God (Eph 6:17). Whether to defend or to volley back – always be at the ready with an answer (1 Pe 3:15) by clothing yourself daily with Christ (Rom 13:14).

Young Man Prepares to Return Serve

Read your Bible – daily.

Photo on Flickr by iandavidmuir

Don’t Let Gossip In

October 31, 2013 — Leave a comment

We often read and hear about how wrong it is to gossip. In Prov 20:19, we also find that it is not a healthy thing to listen to gossip and talebearing. In fact, if we sit and listen to gossip, our listening ears are as a stumbling block to the gossiper. Take your ears away from the equation.

Don't Listen to Gossip

A great resource for more on this topic is Matt Mitchell’s book, Resisting Gossip. Gossip is a most subtle poison.

As Pastor Matt writes: “Gossip is like a fired bullet. Once you hear the sound, you can’t take it back.”  

Like I used to tell the guys at the rescue mission, your response to gossip is simple, “LaLaLaLaLaLa” as you walk away.

Audience of One fellas. Audience of One.

Photo on Flickr by hebedesign