No Matter What

God loves you, no matter what.

God sees you with gifts and with much value, no matter what.

You are His child, no matter what.

He will equip you to do His work, no matter what.

You need to lead out of a spirit of power, love and of a sound mind… No matter what.

FEAR HAS NO PLACE. No matter what.

You need to be consistent in your beliefs, no matter who or what is pressing down on you.

You need to love, no matter what.

God IS in control and seated ON His throne, no matter what!

He is our very present help in a time of trouble. He is the rock we cling to!

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Hebrews 13:20-21, “Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

God of Grace & Glory

This is an honest blog. The readers who don’t know me probably don’t need this tidbit– but for those who do: I never want to come across as though I don’t mess up, or admit that I do.

As a leader, one of the worst things you can do is do everything yourself. You place undue stress on yourself, entering high-risk for burnout; and in the process you take joy from others that could’ve done the task. Plus you’re not practicing Biblical discipleship.

Sometimes hardships cause you to re-evaluate and also bring you to a place of desperation for God to guide you.
I’m learning this in my life now. And you know what? When you assume the best in people and assign them a task- it creates buy-in from those very workers. Their confidence flies through the roof, and it ends up saving you (me) time in the long-term.

Because an army is better than one! We’re all workers in the church.

The opening hymn spoke to my heart (again) today in our Blended service:

“God of Grace and God of Glory” (Sung to the Tune of “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah”.)

God of grace and God of glory,
On Thy people pour Thy power.
Crown Thine ancient church’s story,
Bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the facing of this hour,
For the facing of this hour.

Set our feet on lofty places,
Gird our lives that they may be,
Armored with all Christ-like graces,
In the fight to set men free.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
That we fail not man nor Thee,
That we fail not man nor Thee.

There are dark days… but armored with The Holy Spirit’s power, and hand in hand with our brothers and sisters … We can accomplish much!

Valley of the Shadow 

 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me. (‭Psalms‬ ‭23‬:‭4‬ NASB)

When we go through hardship- God doesn’t help us from his seat up in Heaven; He helps us by entering the dark times with us. 

He is right beside us – protecting us in the crossfire.

What other god stands with you and fights for you? 

He’s not distant.

I’m so glad He’s in the valley of the shadow of death with us. 

That’s all for tonight. Trying to get some rest!

Why is a church service called a “service”?

I used to be ambivalent about the church “service”, preferring a less “religious” word, such as “meeting” or “gathering”. But now I think “service” is spot on. However, the meaning of “service” can be completely misunderstood. “Service” is related to the word “serve” (I had to look that up). Christians…

via Why is a church service called a “service”?.

Millennials, Faith, Hard Work, + a Dash of Whimsy 

Writers have a lot to say about the age bracket known as “Millennials” in the blogosphere recently. Unfortunately not much of it is good.

Millennials are accused of things like wanting to change the world, but not wanting to put in the hard work to get there; or laziness; entitlement; or being completely “out of touch with reality”.

I see articles circulating that say things like “millennials tend to think that they are special, but if we’re all special, then who is left to do all this hard work?”

Somehow, I think any age bracket BUT millennials are the ones that are writing these articles. Anyone with me?

So let’s add a positive article on this topic to the blogs.

I remember being taught by many sweet Sunday school teachers as a child that “all things are possible with God”, or, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed: and you say to this mountain, move! then it will be moved Jesus’ name.”

***Let me add that my Sunday school teachers were probably a mixture of traditionalists, generation X-ers, and baby-boomers!*** 🙂

We should all think we are “special”- and be ready to change the world- just together. I’m talking young or old, people. If the church rose up and acted as ONE to feed the hungry, heal the sick, protect the weak… then I daresay the world would change.

I think some of the millennials may be on to something. BIG, huge, whimsical faith. Don’t let a mindset after Christ appear naive or immature!

Can I tell you a secret? Age had nothing to do with any of the miracles that happened in the past! {Tweet!}

Don’t lose your whimsy! Jesus had something to say about this: “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:3

Bob Goff- bestselling author and non profit lawyer has a LOT to say about faith, whimsy, and radical love. And he is NOT a millennial!

Gideon was terrified, Noah’s big miracle happened at age 500, Joshua was in mourning, David appeared mouthy and young, Josiah was King at 8 (EIGHT, people!), and Samuel was a prophet before he hit puberty!

I think a teaspoon of Faith, a pinch of Hard Work, + a Dash of Whimsy if the perfect recipe (regardless of age) to follow!

~B

With Your Love

Verse
Oh the Love that casts out fear
Stooped low enough to hear our plight
You lived a sinless life
Yet died a criminal to save us, Lord

PreChorus1
Oh God hear us
Your people crying,
“Please use us;
To spread Your Kingdom’s gates open wide.”

Chorus
We are Your church,
we are Your bride
Much has been given
And much is required
You’re sending us out
with Your Power inside
It’s all for You, Jesus
oh let us reach out with Your love

Verse 2
You agonized upon that tree
In selfless love You thought of me
You stretched out Your arms that day
You took all our guilt away
And although You breathed Your last
The grave could not contain You, Lord
The love that You freely gave
Had the final word that day

PreChorus 2
Place Your power in us
To be the Church that You desire
To spread Your kingdom’s gates open wide

Bridge
It’s in Your power
That strongholds are broken
In power You rose up from the grave
And You live on forever in us
Your Kingdom come,
Your Kingdom come on the earth

God Is For You (Just ask Samuel)

Samuel

I always identified with Samuel as a child. Not that my mom dropped me off to live in a temple… or that I was a boy… or that my name was Sam… but just the “called by God” part.

I loved his boldness! He didn’t CHOOSE grow up literally in the church– God and his mother had an amazing relationship and that’s just how he ended up there.

But as I said a while back, I have been reading through the Bible this year, yesterday was the book of 1 Samuel.

I love how God brings out new things each time we seek Him through His word. God speaks in the book of Deuteronomy that prophets’ words had to come true, or else they were considered a false prophet.

If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed. Deuteronomy 18:22

God also said that not many people heard directly from God after Moses and Joshua, unless the Spirit of the Lord came upon them. Pretty cool stuff.

In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 1 Samuel 3:1

So I’ve always wondered why God allowed Samuel to get up three times before Eli realized God was asking him to converse with him.

To me, if Eli hadn’t witnessed Samuel directly hearing from God… then he wouldn’t have taken the upcoming bad news as God’s words. He would’ve probably been angry with Samuel and called him a false prophet (poor kid… right?!).

So God has a conversation with Samuel that night. He tells Samuel that Eli’s sons’ sin was noticed and since Eli turned a blind eye, they would all pay the price.

The next morning, Samuel was afraid (rightfully so) to tell Eli. But because Eli witnessed that it was the Lord speaking the night before, he is eager to hear what the word from God was.

But God protects his righteous. Eli urges Samuel not to lie to him.. to tell him everything God said. So Samuel delivers Eli the terrible news, and Eli says, “Well… He IS God.” (pretty much.)

I love verse 19 and on.

The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word. 1 Samuel 3:19-21

All we need to do in tough situations is do exactly what God tells us to do… no more, no less. He will take care of the details!