A twenty-something generosity story

In this inspiring, creative video story from Flood Church, Tom O’Hara recounts his journey of generosity. The young videographer talks about his step of faith and God’s amazing provision.

via A twenty-something generosity story.

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A Strategy for Giving

Christmas is all about what God gave us. I thought this was a great video that’s discusses our roll in giving what God has already given us. So what is your plan for giving in 2012?

http://www.stewardshipministries.org/blog/2011/12/02/giving-or-leaving/

Maturity Matters

 Maturity can be summed up in Habakkuk’s powerful words that “I will be joyful in God my Saviour”. These were very lean times for God’s people, yet we see true joy found in the creator and not his creation.

  “A personal passionate following to the person of Jesus Christ” (Utmost for His Highest) is a perfect definition for someone who is spiritually mature.

 A look at Psalm 22 gives us another great example to challenge us about spiritual maturity.  Three things stand out to me as David writes this song:

  1) He know’s  God

 Psalm 22:3-4,9,11 (NIV)

Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. [4] In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.

David and his ancestors have a great history with God. There is a deep knowledge of the Holy One of Israel. Winston Churchill once said that the farther you can look back, the farther you will be able to see on the future.

Do you have a history with God?  Are we daily seeking to know Christ?

 2) He want’s  God

  Psalm 22:1-2,4 (NIV)

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? [2] My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. [4] In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them.

David is praying and pleading for God. Not for comfort, food, or anything else. He is a man who’s heart desires God.  Matthew Henry sums up this verse with great insight:

          Spiritual desertions are the saints’ sorest afflictions; but even their complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and spiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick? why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness. But, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” is the language of a heart binding up its happiness in God’s favour.

 3) He needs God

 Psalm 22:11,19-20 (NIV)

Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. [19] But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me.

Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs..

 

 I can’t express enough the words, “there is no one to help.” There is no one who can help! Except God.  There is no where to turn for help in your distress! Except God. You can’t save yourself! But by Gods great love and mercy, we can be set free. Mature believers put their trust, faith, and hope in Jesus Christ.  He is their exit strategy for all turmoil.  He is their joy.

 What would your friends say about you?  Are you maturing in your faith? Spiritual maturity is not easy!  Make sure you are walking through life with others who can encourage and keep you accountable.

 


Time is flying by

Psalm 90:12 (NIV)
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

For someone who  had the flu all week, I can’t say my last few days were spent well. Without the excuse of sickness, it’s been the healthy days, months, and years that this verse constantly challenges and convicts me. Here are a couple of thoughts I have been thinking through lately. 

– start with the end in mind
– life is so brief, don’t waste it 
– approach each day with humility
– walk closely with Jesus
– no time for myself, engage and love others
– don’t wait for others, lead!
– journal, journal, journal
– there is nothing like the present (= gift)
– pray diligently for guidance and wisdom
– precious are the days the Lord gives us
– remember those talents in Matthew 25?
– my long term investments: God and my family

My dad turned 65 this weekend and the whole family got together to celebrate his life. One of the highlights was my dad getting to record on his phone the singing of happy birthday by 5 of his young  grandchildren on a log in the woods.  What a memory!  I recall my dad saying he can’t believe how fast time has gone by. I could tell he was a little saddened to think about all those years of life that have gone by. Yet, they have been good days.  My father will travel to Hickory this weekend for his annual retreat with 12 guys he mentored some 30 years ago as the Navigator director for Clemson University. It will be a weekend of sharing, praying and encouraging one another. Days invested well many many years ago that are still bearing fruit today.
Thank you dad for being a great father, leader, and wise user of the time God has given you.  I’m proud of you! Keep investing well. 

Just in case you forgot…

1 Corinthians 1:28-31 (New International Version)

28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”[a]

Would you be missed?

I met a man today with a contagious smile.  You could sense that Jesus was all over him.  His name was Manny and he is the founder of Samaritan’s Feet.

He told us in sunday school class that he almost didn’t make it today to speak.  His reason..a good friend of his had just died.  A friend and also a  spiritual mentor to Manny.  Manny told us about the thousands of people this man had impacted for Christ and how much he would be missed. 

His question to us… would anyone miss your spiritual wisdom and insight if you died today?  Would a void be left in people’s lives by the spiritual impact you had on them?

This I will ponder for some time…

Speechless

John 8

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11“No one, sir,” she said.       “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

With one sentence…darkness is exposed, all is found guilty, the woman is forgiven, the trap escaped, and God is glorified!

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