Jesus loves me this I know. Debra Wants me this I know. My kids appreciate me this I know. My church encourages me this I know. My Life Group cares for me this I know. Everything else I know, I will share with you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Deep Cries Out

There is something very special about a Christian who Loves God. Not one who claims to love Him, but one that leaves no doubt. 

They Love Him ~ and it Shows
They Live for Him ~ and it Shows
They Long for Him ~ and it Shows

In the way they Love what He Loves
In the way that they Live as He Lived
In the way of their Longing, wanting what He wants

I was speaking to one of those this morning who was at the church before work to worship.
I spoke to another yesterday who was at the church on her day off to make sure her ministry was prepared.
I spoke to another last week who heard what God said to her and repented.
I spoke to another whose heart is broken over selfishness

They are so different who Long to Love the Lord

Psalm 42:1-11 (ESV)
1 As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation
6 and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.
8 By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Work is Work

Talking with a young man last night I noticed that He, like many others, struggles with discontentedness. He has a great wife, a good Church, and a decent life to which he is not denying. But he’s looking for happiness through an avenue that will never happen. That avenue is his job. Work is a result of Gods curse upon man for rebellion against Him.

Genesis 3:17-19 (ESV)
17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
“in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life”
“thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you”
“By the sweat of your face you shall eat”

Contentment was not part of the “job”. But notice the solution to the curse? The Cross.

Galatians 3:13-14 (ESV) 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
Contentment then would come not through what we do but what He did. He took on the penalty of sin for us. The hardness of life was taken for us by Him and so our contentedness is always found in Him. Our Happiness is not found in what we do (work is still a curse) but what He did.

Yet for many that is not enough. We want our Jobs, something God cursed, to make us content. And it makes me wonder, If a man is content with His job that God cursed, will he need the Cross?

1 Timothy 6:6-11 (ESV)
6 Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,
7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.
8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.
9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.
Discontentedness is a disease that will seep into every aspect of your life. A man who has everything and is discontent with anything can soon be overwhelmed by sadness.

Seek a life of happiness in the Cross and contentedness will come no matter what you do for a living.

Monday, August 18, 2014

I wouldn't have it any other way

Today is my 30th wedding anniversary.  Instead of sitting on the Sands of Hawaii,  I'm sitting in the sadness of a critical care unit. Instead of presents Debra and I will give prayers. Instead of a party we will be pained to watch Debra's mom cling to life and her step father wrestle with his fears.

But I am with the one I love, and that's all that matters.

Thank you Jesus for my DJ. She is another sign of how much you love me.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Woman to Look Up To

It is my hope that all of the Gracie's of newLife are able to grow up seeing their true value to the Kingdom of God. And I am excited because they do not have to look far to find a woman to look up to.

And there is one I want to write about. She is so much the proverbs 31 woman. I know this because of what I see in her husband Proverbs 31:11 (ESV) The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 

But some might see her as unsubmissive and her husband as a kept man.
Some might see her as too strong and her husband as too weak.

Which is strange because in all of the years I have been her Pastor, I have never once seen her be unsubmissive to her husband, nor have I seen her husband be weak. What I see is a woman who holds her head up high and who holds her husband in high esteem by being the strong woman he was attracted to when he met her.

In fact she is harder on herself than you could ever be and it has taken years to help her see that her strength is not a weakness to the kingdom of God but a gift.

When I see her, I see a woman who Loves and serves God with all of her heart.
When I see her, I see a woman who Loves and serves her husband with all of her heart.
When I see her, I see a woman who Loves and serves her children with all of her heart.
When I see her, I see a woman who Loves and serves newLife with all of her heart.

She is a woman to look up to and its only those intimated and insecure who might look down. How sad that they cannot see that they could be so much more if they would just lift up their eyes and see her as the godly woman she is.

Proverbs 31:30-31 (ESV)
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Gracie, Keep Looking Up

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Beautiful Poem Written by a Beautiful Lady

Last Sunday after service an amazing young woman was given this poem by God. Something that I want to share with you

I am beautiful
I am strong
I have value
I belong

In God's Kingdom
I now live
forgiveness and love
I will give

Peace and laughter
dancing and singing
life's a journey
my God is leading

This is the type of Christian who will be leading newLife into the future.....we are so blessed

Monday, August 11, 2014

Strong Woman Alert

Yesterday I made the mistake of asking one of our preschoolers what she thought of her new classroom. (her old room was taken by another larger class)
Her response was wonderful and with all of the Seriousness she could muster she said to me.....
"I don't like it".

I appreciated her honesty but more importantly that she felt she could say that to me. In some circles they would have said that she was being rebellious. Little girls shouldn't have such strong opinions and yet this is how she felt. She didn't say, I don't like it and I'm leaving, nor did she say "I DON"T LIKE IT" in anger. She also did not blame me for changing her room. She also stayed submissive to the decision by staying in the room. She just doesn't like the new room.

and it made me think. Why do we teach little girls to have no opinion? I am not talking about the opinionated, whiny, complaining type that the bible speaks so much about. The ones that the Apostle Paul said to keep silent in the church. 1 Corinthians 14:33-35. By the way you know your this kind of woman if you get mad at what Paul said. But I am talking about the wise, faithful, strong, and beautiful creations of God.

Strong women face an amazing paradox in the church.

If they feel something strongly and desire to promote that thought, they are perceived as aggressive, uncooperative, and selfish.

But if they say nothing, they become frustrated, angry or even surrender to the point of being as if they are dead which I believe is a greater sin. Some even become manipulative to get their way. Again, I know your the kind of woman who needs 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 if right now your thinking of how you  can leverage this thought to your advantage.

But to the Gracie's of the world, especially the newLife world, I want to encourage your strength by leveraging your God given gifts. Your potential has been undervalued for far too long. Again, if your thinking that this gives you Power or Permission to do what ever you want, go back to 1 Corinthians 14:33-35. But if your thinking that this might allow you to finally be the person God created you to be I will do all I can to help you gain access to the opportunities God has for you.

(and for the men who think that I have overstepped my bounds, the Church is seen as the Bride and Jesus said that she was so strong that the gates of hell would not prevail against her)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Don't let it be Said of us

While having breakfast this morning I overheard a prominent citizen say, "I would never have anything done at Columbia Memorial". A statement I have heard my whole life. and while I have no desire to defend the stator or the stateee, I will say this...................

I hope that this is never said about newLife. 

Not that all people will like us, Jesus said some would not. Its more than that. Its not being trustworthy with others lives. I never want to be seen by people in emergency situations or even simple sicknesses not believe that newLife is a viable place to come and find healing.

I don't want newLife to be seen as Arrogant and only concerned with building a bigger empire.
I don't want newLife to be seen as Obstinate to change to meet the needs of the people of Clatsop County.
I don't want newLife to be seen as Independent to the point of being exclusionary.

The message of the Gospel brings NEW LIFE
The message of the Gospel brings NEW HOPE
The message of the Gospel brings NEW HEALING

The Church, the vehicle God chose to share that message, deserves to be Honored by our Humility, Honesty, and Helpfulness in a world of hurting people.

Lets watch our testimony newLife. People need Jesus.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Erin Says

Hey if you want to follow a new blogger go visit Erin Says at Erin is an up and coming leader at newlife and a wonderful writer with a very distinct style. I promise she will encourage your heart.

Monday, August 4, 2014

What Makes YOU Different?

There is a very sad trend that I am noticing in Christianity that I am struggling with. Its not something that you could say was Cultural or even distinctly American but in fact its very human. What makes this trend so dangerous is that I believe that its core is what makes the difference between being Human and being Christian. Its what truly separates us from non believers in Jesus.

For years I was taught that separation was from certain places, people, and activities. You have to listen to a specific type of music, wear an extremely modest type of clothing, act in a righteous type of way. Yet, I found that most of those who separated this way were not different but weird and given enough time most of them went back to being worldly.

The Trend? Selfishness. People are very selfish. This is what separates the believer from the none believer. A Believer is Selfless, Giving, Sacrificial. He would never want to be seen as self serving. I know non believers who listen to "Godly Music", wear "Modest Clothing", and act "Righteously". But I know only a few believers who are Selfless.

Many Believers choose the best CHURCH for THEM
Many Believers desire the best MINISTRIES for THEM
Many Believers give the best of their MONIES to THEM
Many Believers take the most TIME for THEM.

Choices, Honor, Money, and Time are what those who are not followers of Jesus worship. But on a Sunday Morning its not hard to find believers acting selfish even though..............

God is a Giver ~ John 3:16
Jesus is a Giver ~ Luke 9:42
The Holy Spirit is a Giver ~ John 14-16

and they expect those who claim to be followers to be like them

Matthew 16:24-25 (ESV) Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

and so the question becomes, if the Trinity showed up on Sunday, what would they find you doing? Separating yourself by being selfless and serving Him, or being no different than those who are not followers and serving You?