Monthly Archives: April 2012

Greater Lengths

God went to the greatest lengths possible to design The Way in which we could spend eternity with Him.
He gloriously fulfilled for every one of us, what no-one on earth was capable of doing.

We were guilty, filthy, stained, and continually falling short of the standards God had for His people.
But then something terribly wonderful happened.

He took His only son Jesus, (with whom He was well pleased) and sent Him to earth with a powerful agenda.
Jesus came not to abolish the law, but fulfill it. (Matt 5:17)

He came to be the perfect example of a blameless life, He was tempted in every way, as we are, but He didn’t sin. (Heb 4:15)

He also taught it is crucial that we are deliberate in deciding what to plug our lives into.
In John 15:5 Jesus Himself says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing..” Branches don’t look to external forces to sustain them, they draw from the plant they are part of. We are designed to bear the fruit of the Spirit, and this brings God glory! (Jn 15:8)

We then become part of something bigger than just you and I.
We become a part of something with Jesus, he makes up for all our insufficiencies, insecurities, and inadequacies.

When we choose to think with the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16), we begin to see things from His perspective instead of our meager viewpoints where doubts and obstacles are prevalent.

We need to do this every day in order to fully see what we are meant to do on this side of heaven.

So speak it out today and take on this new perspective, “I have the mind of Christ!”

You will see things from a perspective you never have before!

 

 

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Church – the Hub of our Lives

I was sitting in church on Sunday when I heard Pastor Frank Harms make a statement that hit me square between the eyes.

I had heard him say it a few times before, but it never affected me the way it did on Sunday.

The statement he made was that the local church is designed to be the hub of our lives.

My mind took this statement and ran with it. I started thinking from a mechanical perspective…

A hub is the center of a wheel, it is the meeting place for the power and the appendage. A joining point.

The power is transferred down the axle, and the hub is where the transfer from the drive-line to the wheel occurs.

The same goes for a networking hub. In my limited knowledge of current computer systems I crafted this definition;

“A hub is used to connect Ethernet cables from a number of devices together. The hub allows each device to talk to the others.”

This is exactly what the church was designed to be!

A place where God’s people can congregate, fellowship, relate and interact with each other, and a connection point where God’s power is transferred from Him into us!

Our lives should be totally centered on our church and involvement within it.

We shouldn’t simply try to fit church into a busy schedule, tossing it the scraps of time we have left after we have done all that we want to.

Instead, we need to totally strip everything else away and start with that as the framework.

This hub is one of strength, it has the capacity to carry the load of life, and a true hub is perfectly balanced.

If you faithfully attend church with the desire to experience God, you will draw closer to Him, and He will draw closer to you. As a result, your marriage will flourish, your relationships with your kids will increase, you will have more joy and peace than you ever had before.

I once heard someone teach on what our priorities as Christians should be. They brought up the familiar mindset that it should be God, Wife, Family, Ministry, Job, etc… and put a new spin on it.

Their take was that in everything we do, we do it to the glory of God, we put Christ in the center of our relationship with our wife. We put Christ in the center of our family. It’s all about a change in focus.

It’s about being Christ focused in all that we do.

For me this means that I won’t be camping every weekend this summer that I’m not on the worship schedule, I want to spend time in God’s house.

I want to live a balanced life.

What does this mean for you?

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What are we talking about?

I’m a words guy. When someone tells me I did a great job, I take it to heart.

When someone encourages me, it fills me up, it energizes me, I want to try it again, I want to keep going, I want to never quit.

I am discovering more and more that words are the building blocks of our lives. What we fill our heads and hearts with is going to come out eventually, whether we want it to or not. I use the iPhone app Evernote to jot down thoughts throughout my day and within it I have a notebook called “Quotes.”

Here are a handful of the quotes that I have written down that have impacted, inspired, and changed me.

First, I have the immeasurable privilege of learning from Pastor Frank Harms every week. His teaching and preaching is packed with the kind of truth only the Bible is capable of producing and it is always for real life application.

I am honored to be a student of his; these are my favorite quotes that I have heard him say in the last while.

I’m too busy not to pray.

You cannot force a person to treat you with respect, but you can refuse to be disrespected.

Thoughts that do not qualify for meditation, do not qualify for conversation.

Stop going where you are merely tolerated, and start going to places where you are celebrated!

Here are some more noteworthy quotes I hope you will enjoy.

Disclaimer**I don’t necessarily endorse the entire views of the remainder of the people I am quoting here, but what I have posted here has provoked me to think greatly!

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

-John Wooden

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Imagine what you could accomplish if you jumped into action as quickly as you jump to conclusions.

-Ralph Marston

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God has not called you to please everyone. He has called you to be obedient to your call; regardless of the sacrifice. Even in the midst of betrayal, we are called to love mercy, act justly, and walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8)

-Ron Edmondson

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Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.

-Michael Jordan

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Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.

-Tim Ferriss

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Ride low, aim high!

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If what you have to say can be said in 10 minutes, don’t use 20.

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Last but not least, a quote that will hopefully leave you smiling;

I don’t want bagels, I like muffins! Don’t you know it’s just cake disguised as something healthy?

-Angela Marois

What is one of your favorite quotes? Please share!

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No More Excuses

This week I am sharing what my beautiful wife Angela posted on her blog last week, it is a great reminder that what is important to us in life will get our focus, time and energy. It’s written from her point of view as a wife and mother, but we can all relate to the concept. Enjoy!

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People these days are busy.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether they have kids or not, whether they stay at home or work full time, married or single.  Let’s face it; we always seem to have something that demands our immediate attention.

How many of you have ever caught yourself saying “I was too busy to read my Bible today” or “I’m just too busy to pray”?

This is a dilemma many of us are facing in today’s culture.  If you have a job, and you want to get ahead in this job, society tells us that we have to work countless hours to rise above the rest of the employees. Or if we have kids, society tells us that in order for us to give our children all the benefits they deserve, they should be involved in every activity their little heart’s desire.  It used to be that you could be a soccer mom OR a hockey mom.  Your daughter did dance OR gymnastics. A child took piano OR voice lessons.  Now days it wouldn’t be unusual for one child to play soccer, hockey, take dance lessons and gymnastics, play the piano, take voice lessons and even have a part-time job on the side. This is of course after they have completed all their homework.

Now factor in Mom’s busy schedule. Not only is she driving them around to all these activities – May the Lord help her if she has more than one kid! – but she also has responsibilities of her own.  Grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, paying bills, perhaps a part-time or even full-time job, and let’s not forget scheduling time in with the hubby, who is equally as busy.

Looking at that schedule, I can see why so many of us justify ourselves as too busy to read our Bibles or too busy to pray.  We hit the ground running in the morning, and from my experience, we often don’t get to crawl back into bed until it’s near time to wake up again!

So I am going to offer a simple solution as to how a busy woman (or man) can incorporate some time with God into her daily routine.  Trust me, this is simple, but the best answer I have found.  If you follow these steps, it will work for you!

Step 1: Stop making excuses.           Step 2: Just do it!

Let’s face it.  All the reasons we have for not taking time to spend one-on-one time with God are nothing but excuses.

Yes, we are busy. Yes, we have a lot to get done in one day. Yes, we are tired and worn out.  No, we cannot by any means afford NOT to spend time with God!

Nate often says to me (usually not when I want to hear it!) if something is important enough to someone, they will find a way to do it.

When we decide that we are too busy for God-time, we are deciding that all the other things in life are more important. Is it really more important that the dishes get washed? Is it really more important that we vacuum the floors or dust the furniture? Can you honestly say that God-time is less important than folding laundry? (Blah!)

Another thing we are stating is that we believe we can do this thing called life without God.  Can we though? If anything, the more tasks we have, the more help we need!

1 Corinthians 9:27 – I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.

Take a step back and evaluate your priorities.  What is it that everything in your world is revolving around? What do you want to teach your children? Where do you want God to end up in their priorities? Do you want them to spend time with Him on a daily basis? I can almost guarantee that if you don’t, they won’t.  If you’re too busy, they’re too busy.  Do you want your children to grow up believing that the things the world tells them they should be doing – sports, music or working – are to be placed higher than God? Even if you don’t have children, is this the example you want to be as a Christian in this world?

I’ve often thought about how I will handle it when all four of my munchkins are involved in activities outside of church and school. How can I possibly manage to get all four kids to four different places all at the same time?! Then I realized something.  I don’t “have” to! Maybe Talina would enjoy gymnastics, maybe the boys would really like to play hockey.  Never has God told me that these things are a must in my children’s lives though.

Proverbs 22:6 says: Train a child up in the way he [she] should go and when he is older, he will not depart from it.

I want to train my kids that at all times, in all situations, and no matter what they see the world doing, God comes first! I want to train them to always, always, always make time for God. I want to teach them Matthew 6:33 – to seek the kingdom of God first.  I want them to learn this not only by what I say, but especially by the example Nate and I set for them.

Why not be an example to the world? Show them that all those things they are hoping to acquire by keeping so busy are being “added unto you” simply because you have changed your main focus. Let’s choose today to stop making excuses. Let’s discipline ourselves to place spending time with our Abba Father as top priority. At this day in age, we are far too busy not to do this!

**Angela’s blog can be found at http://aimingforexcellence.wordpress.com/