Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Expectantly Strong and Courageous

Have you ever waited anxiously to find out important news?  Have you ever stressed about something because it really matters to you but you're just not sure what the outcome is going to be?  Today is one of those days ... but I am not stressed or anxious.

My oldest brother is currently having surgery to remove a growth in his head.  This is second surgery in the past two weeks to remove this growth which was originally measured at 6cm.  That is huge when you break out the ruler and think about it.  I'm not sure how long the surgery is going to last, but last time they went in through his nose, but this time they are cutting down through his skull to get the remainder of the mass.  As you can well imagine, his wife and our parents are quite concerned at this moment for his well-being.

There are always times in our life when we are not going to be sure of the outcome, but God reminds us in his word that he will never leave us or forsake us. (Deut 31:6)  The verse even begins with "be strong and courageous"!  That is how confident we should be in our God!  We should be strong and courageous in the times of adversity in our life.  But it is a choice that we have to make to be this way.  It is a direct order from God to be strong.  It is a direct order from God to have courage.  We have to dig deep within us and have faith that God is going to be with us.

(SIDE NOTE: I just burnt two new shirts on my lamp in my room while writing this ... DOH!)

Back to my brother.  I have concern for his well-being as he is my brother, but I have faith that our God will bring him through this operation and that God will be glorified in all of this.  I have faith that our God is with us during this adversity in our lives.  He is a big God!  He is a great God!  He is a faithful God!  So today, I choose to be strong and I choose to have courage!  If you're going through a tough spot in your life, choose to have faith by being strong and having courage in a God that is able to provide for you!

Waiting With Anticipation

Monday, December 28, 2009

Decades of Time

Today I am at home doing laundry and catching up after a busy Christmas.  I'm celebrating my Boxing Day vacation day and I must say it is nice to just sit back and relax.  I've been working through my ideas for 2010, but so far the only thing I want to really do is crawl back into my nice bed which is warm and cozy just because I can!  But the reality of getting some things accomplished at home is just to overwhelming and I really don't feel like putting off anything more until tomorrow.  Well ... I guess I am procrastinating a bit by jotting down my thoughts.  Oh well!

In a few days, we will be celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another decade.  It amazes me how fast time flies when you are having so much fun (despite the few road bumps along the way) and how old I really am.  It seems like yesterday that I was riding my Big Wheel down the street with my next door neighbour or even learning to drive.  The truth be told, that Big Wheel would collaspe under my weight currently and I've been driving for over 18 years.  THAT'S INSANE!!!

Still, the older I get, the more I discover that I just don't know it all!  Maybe that is the true sign of age!  The more you experience, the less you have learned!  Or is it that we have learned so much through our experiences that we don't even comprehend how much more there is to learn?  Either way, I am thankful that the more I learn the more God shows me I need to rely on Him and not on my own "knowledge".  I need to let Him be "the light unto my path" and show me which way to go as we face this new year and decade together.  He hasn't brought me this far just to say, "alright ... you're on your own now."  He wants me to follow the words of Proverbs 3:6-7 which state, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths straight."

As you look to 2010 with wonder and anxiousness, remember that God wants you to have a straight path that leads you to Him.  Acknowledge Him this year and watch in awe as He does amazing things in your life!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

101 to 1 Odds

Well, I am at the churches office on a Sunday night where we normally hold MERGE, our young adult group.  It is rainy, cold and windy out and as you can probably guess, if I am on here, that means the people that I should be ministering to never showed.

I often wonder sometimes if our efforts are like the weather.  When it is sunny and warm, do we feel like giving it our all or do we have a cold and rainy day when we just want to stay in and hide from the elements.  My feeling is that we need to give it our all and let our heart shine no matter what we feel like doing.  It goes back to the whole idea of Colossians 3:23 which says, "Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as though you were working for your real master and not merely for humans"(GWT).  That said there are times when you just have a hard time kicking your butt into gear, but when push comes to shove, if you remember who you're doing it for, then it makes it worthwhile.

As I said in my Friday blog, I preached on Rahab and her faith and how it was credited to her as righteousness. (James 2:25)  She put her faith into action.  She knew that faith without works wasn't faith.  It was just a thought!  I know that for me personally, that I want to put my faith into action.  I want to do the things that please God because that is who I am living for.  I don't always get it right, but at least I try and give it my best.  That's all God requires of us, that we give our best.

Back to the empty room ... My desire is that this room is filled with a plethora of young adults that have a desire to seek God in all they do.  Whether there is a 101 or only one, I will give my best effort because I know that I don't do the things I do to please the one, but I do it to please the One who has called me to serve the one.  I guess that means that I will speak to myself tonight, but every change has to start somewhere.

Let's be the one ... hoping for 101.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Faith in Dispair

I'm sitting in William's Pub right now trying to write a sermon and I have to admit that I am a little distracted. In my spirit, I am just feeling the need to write and express myself in this medium.

The reason that I am in a coffee shop and not comfortably sitting at my desk surrounded by resources other than the internet, is because my car is in the garage needing serious medical attention. I made the mistake of taking it to the doctor to have a physical done for a safety and to my dismay found out in order to pass the test it is going to cost me over $1600. To some people, that may not be a big deal, but to me, it definitely is a kick in the pants. The worst part is, that the car NEEDS $550 bare minimum to make her worthy of even walking again. I realize that my vehicle is not an investment, but I didn't think that it would walk in to my bank account and take it hostage. Where are the SWAT Team when you need them?

All this month at our church (www.thelifecentre.ca) we have been encouraging our congregation to put God to the test (Malachi 3:10). It is the only place in the entire bible where God tells us *best Clint Eastwood accent* "Go ahead ... Make my day!". Now that might be my own paraphrase of that verse, but the bottom line is that I have been faithfully tithing (as should everyone) and as a Maverick of the Gospel, I guess God is putting my faith to the test in this manner. I don't know where the funds are going to come from, but I know that my God is faithful to supply all my needs (Phil 4:19), even when I don't know where they are coming from. I'm not preaching a name it and claim it mentality, but I am suggesting that God will provide my needs because His word says it to be true.

Back to my sermon ... I am preparing a message on Rahab who is a woman of faith according to Hebrews 11:31. She trusted God to make provision for her and her family in what would seem a hopeless situation. I guess what it comes down to is this; If God will reach down to a woman who has faith that the God of Israel will rescue her, then I need to have faith that the God of Israel will rescue me in my moment of dispair.

Let the walls come down ... I'll keep you posted!