How is God Working in Your Life?

13 06 2008

We want to hear your stories. What is God up to in your life?

Do you have an encouraging story of how God has helped you overcome an obstacle?

Or perhaps you are in the midst of a current challenge and want to share your story so that we can encourage and pray for you.

Remember, by sharing your story you allow God to use it to help someone else who may be struggling with the same issue you have faced.

Comment Here.

Poem/Prayer | “I See You…”

13 06 2008

Below is a short poem/prayer that I hope will bring a little extra encouragement to your day…

“I See You”

I feel you in the breeze as it glides across my face.
I see you in the morning sun, rising into place.
I know that you are there in everything I see,
I come before you humbled, bowing on my knee.

Your love is so astounding,
Your mysteries amaze,
Your grace, it comforts me,
Each and ever day.

I am just a man,
Who hopes to do your will.
I seek your direction,
For my unique role to fill.

Sometimes I get confused,
And can even go astray,
But you are there every time,
Helping me find my way.

You are the God of wonder,
And even though I can’t see your face,
I see you all around me,
From the oceans to outer space.

I’m thankful you’re my God,
And I just pray,
That I never lose sight,
Of the blessings you bring each day.

The Golden Rule

1 02 2008

This week has had me thinking of kindness and the “Golden Rule,” to treat others as you would like to be treated. This thought really is the foundation that kindness is built upon. Kindness is putting the Golden Rule into practice in our daily lives through our thoughts, our words and our actions.

It is a way of life that we all agree we should aspire to live… but if we’re really honest, it can sometimes be tough and easy to forget as we go about our busy lives. I doubt many of us overlook it intentionally but it happens. We get busy, we are in a hurry and if we are not careful we can completely overlook an opportunity to put our kindness and our faith into action. There’s actually a great story, told by Jesus, that comes to mind that really examples what I’ve been thinking. You can read it here.

You see, in the story a man is robbed on a roadside, beaten up and left half-dead.Two men, who knew the Golden Rule and who supposedly professed to live by it, came upon the beaten man but avoided him. They even kinda looked around to make sure no one else was watching and conveniently bypassed the hurt man altogether.

Has that ever happened to you? You saw something you knew you should help with but because you were in a hurry, or didn’t want to get involved… you overlooked or bypassed it altogether, almost pretending you didn’t see a thing?

So these guys are coming down the road and the see the man who is beaten and robbed and they avoid him, leaving him laying there to suffer and quite possibly die.

A third man, who for example sake, was the last person in the world you’d expect to help someone in need… well, he came upon the beaten man and felt compassion in his heart for him. He stopped and took care of him. He cleaned his wounds, bandaged him and even took him to a nearby motel where he went the extra mile and purchased a room for the hurt man to rest and recover in.

The first two men knew better. They knew they should have stopped and helped but they didn’t. I’m not sure why but perhaps they were in a hurry to get to their next meeting. Maybe they felt incapable of being able to help. Rather than at least try…. they opted to just leave him, thinking surely the next person to pass by would help.

But what if no one else passed by? Worse yet…. what if someone did come along but acted just like these first two men and kept on going?

The third man, he was different. He practiced the Golden Rule by treating the beaten man with kindness. He saw this hurt man’s needs and put them ahead of his own. He stopped. He helped. He probably got his shirt dirty. He went that extra mile to think of himself in this mans position and decided in an instant to come to his aid.

As Jesus was telling this story he asked those listening which of the three men acted correctly, someone said, “The one who had mercy on him” - referring to the one who had practiced kindness to the hurt man… Jesus then replied, “Now go and do the same.”

The moral of the story is this… if you say your’re going to live by the Golden Rule then your actions must match the words you profess. Don’t look the other way thinking someone else is going to come along behind you, instead YOU be that someone else.

Pass the Salt

1 01 2008

I heard a story the other day about a minister who was making a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away, he noticed that a little boy was watching him. The youngster didn’t say a word, so the preacher kept on working, thinking the young man would leave. But he didn’t. Pleased at the thought that his work was being admired, the pastor finally said, “Well, son, trying to pick up some pointers on gardening?” “No,” he replied. “I’m just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer.”

While you may not be building a wooden trellis, your life and your actions are most certainly being observed by others. Many are looking to you for guidance and direction, even though you may not even realize it. Your words and your actions have a powerful influence on those around you. But what do they see as they look upon your life? Does your anger get the best of you when things get tough? Do your actions align with the moral and ethical claims you make about your life? If a story were published about you in tomorrow’s newspaper, exposing every area of your life, would you be proud or quickly calling the closest airline to get a one way ticket out of town? If your life were a mirror, would the reflection be of integrity and conviction or the buckling of principal to “fit in?”

Would you say that you are living a salty life?

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”

Salt is a powerful influencer on taste, just as your words and actions are a powerful influence in the lives of those you interact with each day. If your salt retains its saltiness then you have the ability to add flavor and value to the lives of others but if you loose your saltiness, you have nothing to share. Your contribution may end up leaving society bland and tasteless, or worse… bitter.

Be encouraged to “Pass the Salt.” Live your life as if you were adding flavor to those around you, those who you may not even realize are watching you. It’s in every action and interaction that we have the ability to be help someone else experience the full flavor of life through the grains of salt we leave behind.

The Greatest Gift - A Poem

23 12 2007

This gift I share isn’t found under a tree.
It was born in a manger, under a star for all to see.

It’s the true gift of Christmas that fills our hearts with joy.
It’s the gift that is available to every girl and boy.

It’s a gift that relieves our pains, insecurities and fears.
This gift comforts our soul and wipes away our tears.

It’s the gift that gives us hope, despite the trouble we may face.
It brings peace, joy and life to a world in need of grace.

I tell you of this gift, because I want you to know…
…the greatest lesson you can learn in life is how God loves you so.

The true gift of Christmas shines bright on Christmas Day,
as a reminder of His love, born in Christ that day.

Living A “Dammed” Life

4 11 2007

I was watching a show the other day that was exploring the extreme structures known as “dams” and what happens when they break apart and collapse. Wikipedia defines a dam as a barrier across flowing water that obstructs, directs or slows down the flow, often creating a reservoir, lake or impoundments.

It was a really amazing show but it made me think about how close life can sometimes be compared to a dam. At first a dam slows down the flow but over time the dam builds up so much resistance and pressure that it can begin to crack. One crack leads to another and, if left unattended, can result in the entire structure collapsing… with often devastating results. When the dam breaks, it doesn’t just affect the dam but all those downstream in its path.

Sound familiar?

Are you living a “dammed” life? Have you built up barriers or walls to “slow down” or “retain” the hurt, anxiety or fear you’ve encountered? Has this barrier created a reservoir of these hurts and hang ups that are now building more and more pressure in your life?

Are you starting to crack?

Unlike a dam that takes millions of dollars and concrete to fix, you can be repaired with just a simple word. It’s called “forgiveness.” Forgiveness allows us to let go of the hurts that are building up in our lives. Forgiveness releases the pressure. Forgiveness lets life flow again and stops it from building behind a wall.

Forgiveness offers hope. Hope in the grace that can restore even the deepest of cracks or wounds.

But what does practicing forgiveness really look like? How do you forgive when you can’t seem to forget?

Share your thoughts by leaving a comment here and we’ll explore practical forgiveness more next week.

When One Door Closes…

26 10 2007

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase… “When one door closes, another one opens.”

It’s a phrase many of us have used to comfort a friend in their time of challenge or change. It’s a phrase many of us have been told in our own lives as we’ve encountered uncertainty or a new direction. Its offers a gentle reminder of all things working for a greater good and that, even though we may be blinded by our current circumstances, we will rise above if we have trust and faith.

But it’s not so simple is it?

I mean, if it were then we would not find ourselves stressed out, panicking, or depressed in times of challenge? If we truly lived by the belief that “when one door closes, another one opens,” we’d have no reservations against adversity or struggle. We’d embrace them and accept them as a necessary part of us growing and moving from one stage in our lives to another.

As I have looked back on my life I see there are times when I knew the right words to say but my actions didn’t support what I said I believed.

I DIDN’T WANT TO LET THE DOOR CLOSE – Too often we are so afraid of an existing door closing that we fight and fight to keep it open. Our eyes become so focused on the door that is closing that we don’t stop to look around for the new one that is opening up. The fear of losing what we’ve had often blocks us from the opportunity to accept all the great things that are coming.

I WAS AFFRIAD OF BEING BETWEEN THE DOORS – Sometimes a new door doesn’t open at the exact same time as an old door is closing. I believe this is a common cause of confusion. Many expect that when one door closes, another one is opening simultaneously in its place. I’ve not found that to always be the case. There may be a brief time between the doors when you are meant to reflect or learn from your old door before you can be ready to step into the opening of a new one. This is a time of preparation and peace. Not a time of frantic disbelief.

So what about you?

“When one door closes, another door opens.”

Are you holding on too tight? Are you afraid of what is next?

Join me as we embrace the change together, as we move from knowing the right things to say to actually believing and putting them into practice through our words and actions. Let go of that old door and get ready to step into the one that God is opening for you today.

The Farmer’s Perspective

21 09 2007

Have you ever had one of those days (weeks, months or years) when everything seems to be stacked up against you? Nothing appears to be going right despite your prayers, good intentions, hard work, and determination.

It can be a very disheartening time.

A time when doubt and insecurity can slowly creep in and make you feel as if you are stuck in a hole with no way out.

Now imagine what it must be like to be a seed.

One day Mr. Seed is just minding his own business, hanging out with the other seeds, dreaming about how they can’t wait to become mighty fruit trees one day.

Then all the sudden the Farmer reaches his hand into the bag and pulls out Mr. Seed, shoves him into a hole, covers him in manure, almost drowns him in water and then walks away to do the same thing to the next seed.

Can you imagine what Mr. Seed must be thinking? His nice little life, dreaming of becoming a mighty fruit tree has been ruined. “Why Farmer, Why,” he shouts! He’s lost in the dark, feeling scared, defeated, unsure of what is next, wondering why the Farmer would just leave him there and worst of all… he’s covered in MANURE!

All his life he wanted to become a mighty fruit tree but now he’s just stuck in this hole with no way out.

Sound familiar?

You see, Mr. Seed only was able to see things from his limited perspective. He didn’t know what the Farmer knew. The Farmer knew than in order for Mr. Seed to grow and become that mighty fruit tree that he’d need to start out in the soil. Every day when Mr. Seed thought he was being drowned, it was really the Farmer pouring down the water that would give him life. Ever day when Mr. Seed thought he was being covered in more and more manure, it was really the Farmer helping him grow.

The moral of the story is this…

When you are stuck, when it seems like everything is against you and there’s no way out of the hole you are in… remember the Farmer’s Perspective. It’s in the hole, often covered in manure, that we experience the growth we need to reach our dreams and bear fruit.

The Butterfly Principle

13 09 2007

Loved this article. Had to share…

The Butterfly Principle
by Os Hillman, September 13, 2007

The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. - Exodus 14:8

Overprotective parents do their children a great injustice. The caterpillar that lies inside the cocoon will never become the beautiful butterfly if someone cuts open the cocoon prematurely. It is the struggle itself that allows the butterfly to emerge as a strong, new creature of nature.

God understands how necessary this process is. That is why we are allowed to experience difficult, often life-changing events. He even orchestrates them-all for our benefit. What the Israelites thought was a cruel joke when Pharaoh sent troops to pursue them after they had been freed and penned against the shore of the Red Sea became the stage for the most publicized miracle of all time-the parting of the Red Sea. Generation after generation has heard this incredible story of deliverance. God puts us against the “Red Seas” in order to show His power in and through us. If we do not know God can deliver, then we can never learn to trust Him. Circumstances that go beyond our capabilities of solving them place us at God’s complete mercy. This is how He likes it.

Do not fear the calamity that comes your way. If you are faithful to Him in the test, you will see God’s power manifested like never before. Just as the Israelites were able to sing a song of deliverance, you too will have your own testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness; and you will be able to recall it for others to build your faith and theirs.

Sign up for Os Hillman’s TGIF (Today God IS First) daily workplace devotional at

How Does the Disciple Live?

9 09 2007

[ an article by Dallas Willlard - ]

How the disciple lives naturally comes out of who the disciple is.

As Jesus’ disciple, I am his apprentice in kingdom living. I am learning from him how to lead my life in the Kingdom of the Heavens as he would lead my life if he were I. It is my faith in him that led me to become his disciple. My confidence in him simply means that I believe that he is right about everything: that all that he is and says shows what life is at its best, what it was intended by God to be. “In him was life and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4 NAS)

Being his apprentice is, therefore, not a matter of special “religious” activities, but an orientation and quality of my entire existence. This is what is meant by Jesus when he says that those who do not forsake all cannot be his disciple. (Luke 14:26 & 33) The emphasis is upon the all. There must be nothing held of greater value than Jesus and his kingdom. He must be clearly seen as the most important thing in human life, and being his apprentice as the greatest opportunity any human being ever has.

When this orientation of the whole life has come upon us and been accepted, then the grace that brought it can begin to move throughout every aspect of what we are and do. Grace is God acting in our lives to bring about what we do not deserve and cannot accomplish on our own. But we are not passive in this process. We are commanded to put off the old person and put on the new. (Col. 3:9-10; Eph. 4:22-24) We are told to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 3:18) This is something for us to do, and , although we cannot do it on our own, it will not be done for us. Being alive in Christ means that we can do whatever it is we need to do to increasingly take on his character and live in his power.

The ultimate outcome of this process is expressed by Paul the Apostle: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Col. 3:17) And again: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Cor. 10:31) My entire life is to be caught up in the life that Jesus Christ himself is now living on earth and will continue throughout eternity. And that is why being his apprentice is the greatest opportunity any human being ever has. That is how grace possesses our whole life. That is how those “saved by grace through faith…are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)

Living as Jesus’ disciple, I am learning from him how to lead my life in the Kingdom of the Heavens everywhere I am, in every activity I engage in. There are three dimensions of this learning… Read the rest of this entry »

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