Monday, April 29, 2013

Cupbearer to the King...

Nehemiah1:11 "O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant. Now I was the cupbearer to the king."

Simple challenge this week. What does your position allow you to do for the Lord? Think seriously about where you are and what resources are at your disposal. 

Nehemiah was a cupbearer and a trusted (think tasting the potentially poisoned drinks for King-Dude), he was a likable guy. He probably had to do some things in the Babylonian captivity that he didn't agree with in a secular environment, but the Lord still used him because he was willing. 

Serve the Lord where you work. Be willing to serve your boss as you serve the Lord. Be strong in your ethics. Know that people are watching you as you serve in these venues. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Until He Became Strong...

Muhammad Ali has been called the Louisville Lip, and was always known for his pre-fight smack talk. Urban legend tells of his arrogance while flying on an airline to another venues. Before take off he had not fastened his seat belt. The flight attendant requested that he do so and Ali responded, "Superman don't need no seat belt." 
The flight attendant quipped right back "Superman don't need no airplane either." 

Arrogance is funny thing - it falsely insulates the bearer from perception. Perception of how the person is perceived by others, personal perception of personality flaws and can even insulate someone falsely from the dangers of harm. It also opens the door to poor behavior. 
I am reading through the Old Testament and came across this passage about Uzziah, one of the kings of Judah, in the southern dynasty after Israel divided. 2 Chronicles 26 lists many of the accomplishments of King Uzziah, then in verse 15 and 16 there is a shift. The Bible says, "Hence his fame spread afar, for he was marvelously helped until he was strong."
There are some fascinating insights in that short verse. The king's dependance was on the Lord much of his reign and then when his resolve upon God slackened he thought his strength was more in himself. Arrogance and pride comes before the fall. 2 Chronicles 26:16 continues, "But when he became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God...."  Those verses should easily lead one to prayer, that we should want to be strong in the Lord and not ourselves. Arrogance is a common hindrance because people have abilities and begin to serve in the flesh. 

Pray with me, "Father, help me to remain dependent on you and not to become arrogant in the things you've led me to do. Protect me from false insulation of pride so that you are glorified and my strength is in You."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Listening Skills...

I love my wife for so many reasons, but one of the many reasons is because she thinks differently than me. This is by The Creator's design for balance within marriage. For example, just this past week i asked her about using an illustration and she helpfully pointed out that it would fit better in a different place and format. I listened and decided she was right. It is not always that smooth, so when this cartoon came to my inbox - I thought...Uh, Yep! I mean, Nope! That is clearly an exaggeration. HA!

Yep!
 Okay, I'm guilty of engaging on too little of the conversation. For an extended laugh session on the differences in men's and women's brains watch this funny Mark Gungor Marriage Video.

video


Have a great Monday! Jesus loves you! Ephesians 2:10

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Friday Morning Off

This is a 4 lbs 11 oz Mama Bucketmouth. She is still swimming, but the others stayed for dinner! MmmmHmmm.


Caught on the "Sunday Mornin' Special" Jig.



Lipless Crankbait Spring fishing

Monday, April 8, 2013

Freedom!

National Wallace Monument, Scotland
Occasionally, it helps to view the our spiritual lives from a different angle. That's what pastor blogs are for, haha! Above is a picture of The Wallace Monument overlooking the Battle of Stirling Bridge. If I lost you, this is where William Wallace,  yelled "FREEDOM!" and cut people with a large sword to helped win the freedom of the Scots. For more information on the Wallace story and the tower monument, go here.
 ** see footnote

I've been preaching about freedom in Christ recently and we are coming up on Galatians 5:1, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free." Christians have a monument too, but not to a dead man, to Jesus who is alive and reigning. He died to FREE US from guilt and sin, two things that our enemy, the liar and accuser uses against us all the time.
When we live in dependence on His victory we more truly recognize the all encompassing grace AND mercy that The Lord gave on the Cross, we realize that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ and o, the relief it brings from the pressure of guilt and sin. Let's be honest, we still must deal with sin, it is part of us till heaven - and we need as little as possible holding us back from wholeheartedly serving Jesus - so guess who now puts on the armor and picks up the sword and fights for freedom? You do. 
Christ died to give us that freedom and now wants us to march into enemy territory and proclaim "FREEDOM In CHRIST!" How ironic that we must surrender Self to stand with Him in His victory. 





** There was a movie made about this story, but we should be honest and realize the movie had lots of issues and we all need to be more persistent in guarding the media gates to our minds, hmm? (but that's another blog).