Saturday, October 16, 2010

Growing Your Seeds with God!

Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

-1 Corinthians 3:7 (NRSV)

We think we're so smart.  We think if we do exactly this then that will happen.  Well that's not necessarily untrue but no matter what God is in charge.  I come from a long line of sturdy, God fearing Iowa farmers.  Grandpa Elmer's dad Grandpa Soren would plan a crop of corn for the year.  So he'd plow the ground, buy the seed, plant it, etc.  If he didn't start there certainly there would be no corn.  But just because he put the seeds in the ground and tend to them would it guarantee Grandpa Soren a bumper crop let alone enough for one serving of corn on the cob.  Nope, that's up to God.  Maybe one year God would want the crop destroyed by bugs or a tornado or a drought.  Bad news for sure but it's God plan!

If we want to live good Christian lives we have to do the work.  Can't do it just by wishing or planning.  Still it doesn't mean you'll get rich, have the beautiful family with 2.3 kids and a family truckster in the driveway.  Nope.  God may have other plans for you.

But the  beauty is that God does love us and gives us EXACTLY what he knows we need.  We plant and water and God makes US grow!

Thank you Jesus for the opportunity to grow in GOD and to share your word with our brothers and sisters around us!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This is a good one

Ephesians 4:22-24 (New International Version)

22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

I have nothing insightful or even pithy to offer here.  I ran across this scripture this evening and thought I would share it with you. As a newly committed Christian its relevant to me.  And I am sure I will read it again and again.  If you have a thought to share please feel free to put it in the comments section! Thank you!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Onward Christian Soliders!

I get several devotions by email as well as Miss Erin's great daily text message.  As a newly re-committed Christian the following scripture caught my eye:

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
—2 Timothy 2:3

Does this mean that our Lord requires us to constantly suffer in order to follow him? No not at all I think. But what we do know is that Christians have always been persecuted.  And in that persecution we find strength.  

Fortunately for most of us we will never endure stoning nor being thrown to the lions as in olden days.  Even today many Christians in a number of nations find it illegal to practice their faith and can be thrown in jail or worse.  But for many of us here at least in the US we're more likely to face the criticism and derision of those we know who think that we're stupid or wacko and that's why we were Christians.

If walking with Jesus does however mean I'm stupid or wacko then bring it on baby.  If its worth living for God then it's worth dying in order to live this life - as many Christians have given their lives for their beliefs - and it is certainly worth some poor misguided soul calling me names.

Call me names if you must - because I will be soldiering on to glorify His.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Parable of the Lost Son

Luke 15: 11-31

Author's Note: Erin your humble blog owner here at Fish Out of Water was gracious enough to invite me to blog here with her.  I can say that I am more than honored and humbled as Erin, despite her youth, has decades of following our Savior and studying his word.  Myself I am so new in my relationship with Jesus I know I can't even come close to her level of knowledge and expertise.  That being said I hope I can share with you my experience as I begin this journey.  And I trust more than anything God will give me the words to share.

I grew up as a Christian.  Baptized as a baby.  Sunday School every week.  Vacation Bible School.  As a teen I sampled evangelical Christianity (even was baptized again at 14 this time through immersion), studied Seventh Day Adventism.  Went to some Jehovah Witness services.  Became an atheist.  Thought about converting to Judaism to win a girl named Rebecca.  And at 21 came back to God when I was slightly desperate in my life.

For a time I returned to my childhood church until it slid into oblivion for lack of willingness to do God's work.  But I still called out to God.  I prayed. I prayed for others.  I told others there was hope by following and trusting God.  But was I living a Christian life, really turning everything over to God and following the word? Not at all.

It came to me through the inspiration of three angels who had been placed in my life in different ways.  Each of these women however had a deep and inspired relationship with God, going back years and gently shared the word with me and modeled behavior as a Christian that proved to be an inspirational example.  One of them in particular challenged me and challenged hard as to my commitment to Christ.  Sure I believe in God. Sure I pray.  Of course I was saved.  But was I studying the word? Well, uh, I do have some bible verses on my cell phone.  Had I really surrendered everything to God? Sure, well, oh, no.

The only thing I knew to do was to jump into the Bible and go to church.  I signed up for devotional emails and text messages.  I've bought as many Christian books I can.  And Sunday evening, not even a week ago, when the Pastor called me the author I lept out of my seat and walked to the front of the room to give myself once again to Christ, made a public confession of my faith and join the Church.  I found a loving and sweet Christian family and felt home.

Jesus tells the story of the man with two sons, one of whom left the family for many years.  The other son stayed and remained devoted working the family farm.  When the missing son returned he was ashamed he had left and felt that he would not be worthy of his father's love.  His brother was resentful that he was getting any points for being the loyal son.  But the father was joyous and forgiving of the lost son. The father said his son "was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."  Of course everyone should celebrate.

Many of us were lost and are found once again in Jesus Christ.  God our father forgives us for going away and is overjoyed when we return.  He will love us no matter what.  He will celebrate and be glad! Thank you God, I'm home!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

You're Too Cool for School!

May 6, 2010
GM - 1 Cor. 9:13, 31; Col. 3:14-17 - YOU have every tool you need to conquer the world. What can you say about yer bad self? Shoot - You're a winner, baybee!!!

Run to Win

May 5, 2010
GM - 1 Cor. 9:24-27; Psalms 18:28-37 - This life is a fight. This life is a race - but God is always in control, so Run to WIN.

The Real Deal

May 4, 2010
GM - Hab. 2:18-20, 3:1, 2; 1 John 4:4-6; Psalms 103 (all) - The world will come against you for they have no hope. Their gods are false. You have the only true God on your side so pray for the them - but wholly lean on God. He will deliver you.

Know God

May 3, 2010
GM - Isaiah 26:3, 4; Psalms 40:4; John 14: 25-27 - No God, no peace. Know God, know peace. WE have access to PERFECT peace. Aren't we special? ;)

He Loooves You!

May 1, 2010
GM - Psalms 8 - "When I consider they heavens, the works of thy fingers, the moon and stars which thou hast ordained..." Yet He knows every little thing about YOU.


April 30, 2010
GM - 1 Cor. 4:20; Psalms 68 (all) - The kingdom of God is in power. All of that power is in YOU.


April 29, 2010
GM - 1 Cor. 3:16, 17 YOU are God's temple. Psalms 51 (all); John 16:33 - He is with you and He has conquered the WORLD!


April 28, 2010
GM - 1 Cor. 2:8-10; Psalms 136 (all) - Try to imagine all the things God has given you. There is so much more to come! :)

You, You, You!

April 27, 2010
GM - 1 Cor. 1:20-31; Isaiah 55:8-13; Psalms 33 (all!) - God chose YOU for His purpose, regardless of anyone else's opinion. Do His work, today.

Are You Ready?

April 26, 2010
GM - Hos. 6:1-3; Psalm 85 (all); 2 Cor. 5:16-21 - Revival - Are you ready for it? Ask for it so that God can MOVE in your life.

God's Got Your Back

April 24, 2010
GM - Prov. 24:15, 16; Col. 3:25 - God will deal with those who come against you. Just focus on Him - and don't worry! :)

God Never Fails!

April 23, 2010
GM - Jer. 17:5-10; Psalms 56:10-13; John 12:44-50 - Who do you put your trust in? God NEVER fails.

What, Me? Worry?

April 22, 2010
GM - Gen 46:3 - Don't fear change when GOD is in control. Psalms 146 (all); Col. 1:9-23

Our God!

April 21, 2010
GM - Gen. 45:4-10; Prov. 21:22, 31; James 1:12-17 - Joseph endured much temptation and trial, as did his family (with different actions/different results!) but God was with them always - with a purpose and a plan. Their God? He's OUR GOD.

Darkest Before the Dawn

April 20, 2010
GM - Gen 44 - We know the end of this story but the brothers did NOT. It is always, always darkest before the dawn. Prov. 20:24; Rom. 15:13


April 19, 2010
GM - Gen. 43 - Regardless... As chaotic as it seemed, God was in complete control. How bout that? :) Prov. 19:23; Col. 1:9-13

Going Through It...

April 18, 2010
GM - Gen. 42 - The brothers went through a harrowing experience and are humbled but God will continue to greatly bless this family!

Prov. 18:12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, And before honor is humility.

1 Pet. 5:5-7 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “ God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Focus, People - Focus!

April 17, 2010
GM - Gen. 41: - If you focus on God and trust Him, He will use you - no matter where you are in your life. He can change everything for you. Nothing is too hard for Him.
Prov. 17:2,3 A wise servant will rule over a son who causes shame, And will share an inheritance among the brothers.The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, But the LORD tests the hearts.
1 Tim. 1:12 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry..


April 16
GM - Gen. 40:8 And they said to him, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.”
So Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.”
Don't interpretations belong to God? What seems impossibly confusing to us is simple to God Trust Him fully. He never fails.
Prov. 16:3 Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”