Archive for December, 2005

Yesterday…

Yesterday
You shall not go out with haste, . . . for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard —Isaiah 52:12
Security from Yesterday. “. . . God requires an account of what is past” ( Ecclesiastes 3:15 ). At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise when we remember our yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace tends to be lessened by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual growth for our future. God reminds us of the past to protect us from a very shallow security in the present.
Security for Tomorrow. “. . . the Lord will go before you . . . .” This is a gracious revelation— that God will send His forces out where we have failed to do so. He will keep watch so that we will not be tripped up again by the same failures, as would undoubtedly happen if He were not our “rear guard.” And God’s hand reaches back to the past, settling all the claims against our conscience.
Security for Today. “You shall not go out with haste . . . .” As we go forth into the coming year, let it not be in the haste of impetuous, forgetful delight, nor with the quickness of impulsive thoughtlessness. But let us go out with the patient power of knowing that the God of Israel will go before us. Our yesterdays hold broken and irreversible things for us. It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.
Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.

Oswald Chambers was born in Scotland and spent much of his boyhood there. His ministry of teaching and preaching took him for a time to the United States and Japan. The last six years of his life were spent as principal of the Bible Training College in London, and as a chaplain to the British Commonwealth troops in Egypt during World War I. After his death, the books which bear his name were compiled by his wife from her own verbatim shorthand notes of his talks.
For more information on the life of Oswald Chambers, click here.For a list of more books by or about Oswald Chambers, click here.

Merry Christmas!!


Put another one down in the Book… Justin emerges from his imersion as he puts on Jesus in baptism on Christmas Day 2005!

The Sixth Big Lie..

Welcome back!! Welcome to part 6 of a 10 part series on healing is a choice based on Steve Arterburn book “Healing is a Choice”. I have been working through some anger issues and seem to have finally been able to release them. Although I have worked through many things and during this recent journey gone back through some memories that occurred 32, 41 and 43 years ago, I am going to try and continue through the 10 lies that we are confronted with. Yes, they are all lies. Time does not heal all wounds, no you do not need just God and you to heal, and no you cannot do this all by yourself!!! I have told some of you this already, I have bought some of you the book and have promised to buy it for others. There is a workbook associated with the book that I have purchased and this material can be gone though in a small group. I am also thinking of doing the material in a small group setting as we all need healing from one thing or another.

In any event, the SIXTH BIG LIE is “if we act as if there is no problem, it will finally go away”. I used to live my life with this lie as my motto. It is the very essence of being “Queen of De Nile”. In fact a little over three years ago I was so deep in denile I actually refused to look inward or back in any way. I was afraid. I was afraid of what I would find if I did an introspective. Since then I have had at two chances to look inward and to look back and it is really okay. I really did not have too many skeletons (no not Red Skeleton) in the closet and I was able to get them out, sit down with them, have a little tea with them and bury them. Bury them dead this time, and not alive. If you bury them dead you do not have to continue to feed them nor do they grow. But I digress.

Nope, you have to face your problems and your fears. The good thing about this is that they are yours and not any one elses. God will give you the grace you need to deal with your own past. They will never go away. Your memory will not be erased. History will not be changed. You must face your life and then embrace it. Make it your own. Quit running from it. Admit it.

I often refer back to Patrick Morely book, “The Man in the Mirror.” This book discusses the 24 issues that can come into a man’s life. I have often said yes I can relate to the book, I just did not realize I have to face 22 of the 24 issues!! (For those who have read the book I will leave it up to your imagination which two issues have not been a major problem for me). I have pretty much faced them all at one time or another. Some say we face these issues so we may be able to help others work through their problems. I feel well equipped!! Face it we are all screwed up!!! We have gotten ourselves into financial messes, made bad choices of spouses, developed bad habits with alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, spending and eating. We have ruined relationships, lost loved ones, burned bridges and let our anger and pride boil over and over and over. Most of these wounds are self inflicted but many of our wounds we are not responsible for. We could have been wounded by an abusive family member, being a child of divorce, had a loved one die or only God know what else that might have happened to us that was NOT a result of our own choice. To summarize, we are all screwed up!!!

But this is what I am. I am in recovery. I just don’t have enough time to list all the wounds. We are all in recovery for one thing or another. If you need help, seek it. I needed it and I got it. I am getting better. I had to seek help on several fronts. Most importantly I needed Jesus. We all do and He died for all. The Bible tells me so. You can’t do it on your own. You need Jesus, you need the Body of Christ around you, and you may need a trained professionial!! But to move forward I had to accept my life “as if” this is the way God intended to be. God does not intend for bad things to happen, but He can and often does bring good things from the bad.

You may have to make some radical changes in your life. Look at Don Ossenhiemer. Don has had a serious setback with his health. He is looking at months of rehab and physical therapy. Don seems to have accepted things as they are and is making some radical changes. Things will change radically in your life at one point or another. Personally I will never be a recovered alcoholic (I will always be recovering) or never not be married to my second wife (I pray). Seems like this would be a good place for the Serenity Prayer.

Finally you may have to embrace the abrasive. I remember from the 40 Days of Purpose small group material Rick Warren inviting us to look and around the room. He said if you don’t see an “extra grace required or egr person”, guess what, you are it!!! Face it, God puts these people in your life. They have been called “grace growers” or “character builders”. God allows these struggles, and in permitting them He uses them to to advance His purposes and His kingdom.

Alter your expectations and embrace the life you have, it is the only one you have. If you do you can live far beyond the expectations you had before. They just won’t be the same ones…

I cant wait for the 7th big lie. And it is a big one…

Speak or act a blessing into someones life today. IDYBT. I must be off..

Decisions and Choices…

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood,
and I–I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

How do you determine the value of your choices? What makes some choices more important than others?

How many choices do you make in a day that positively impact your life?

Do you have a process or strategy when you make decisions?

Think of your past decisions or choices. Was it a good decision or a mistake? Have you declined to make a great choice to choose something better?

A great thinker and man of wisdom once said; “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. ”

Jesus says to choose the narrow gate. What choices are you having to make? Can you figure this out by yourself?

Dear Father in Heaven, Lord God please help me get the truth and balance back in my life. Please send Your Holy Spirit to do a deep and inner work in my soul. Please give me the courage to choose the right path. Please stay close to me as I take these healing steps down the less traveled path. Increase my confidence in You. Increase my faith. I give you my life, mind, soul, and spirit. Through Jesus Christ, my Healer, Amen.

Don’t fall in love with a dreamer…

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go.
To right the unrightable wrong,
To love pure and chaste from afar,
To try when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star.
This is my quest,To follow that star —
No matter how hopeless,No matter how far.
To fight for the right
Without question or pause,
To be willing to march
Into hell for a heavenly cause.
And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will be peaceful and calm
when I’m laid to my rest.
And the world will be better for this,
that one man scorned and covered with scars
still strove with his last ounce of courage.

What were your dreams growing up? I never dreamed of being an engineer. I dreamed of footballs (still do!). I guess some of my later dreams involved being a good father and husband. My Dad’s dream for me was to get a good education so I would not have to work the way he did in a factory. His dream came true. My mother never dreamed of college for me. She just wanted me to settle down after high school, get a good job, get married, raise a family and be happy. Some times dreams take a little longer than we expect. Some times dreams are cut short, stolen from us in a flash. Some people spend their lives grieving a lost dream. What are you grieving?

Jesus came to us in human from so He could identify with us in every aspect of our lives. “He was despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquinated with bitterest grief” (Isa. 53:3 NLT).

God has a dream for you too. Not only does He have dreams, but He has a plan for you. Jer. 29:11 states: For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

He understands your sorrow. Jesus wept. He has experienced life as we have, and we can call on Him for help. And Because He Lives, we can always face tomorrow!!!

What are your dreams today?

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