master of life in earth, sky and sea

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Archive for the tag “Sunday”

“I will be like a guard…”

i will be your guardNothing gives me more comfort than knowing that God is guarding me – looking after me.

I think that from that perspective I can see how upset He gets when we trust our inanimate objects like other man-made idols and our money.  Even when it comes to putting ourselves, our jobs or whatever else we feel makes us successful in front of our affections for Him.

It takes the heart of God and we tell Him that He does not matter and that pain must crush Him incredibly.

I see God watching us closely, watching our every move and keeping harm away from us, keeping others who curse us from being successful in doing so and making sure that no one overruns us.

That is why we can rejoice in song on Sunday morning with other followers of Christ!  That is why we can shout for joy! Our King is here, the Righteous One, the Victor!  He came at first lowly, riding on a donkey’s colt and He did that to disarm us and bring us peace.  He did that to deliver us from death in a waterless pit so that He could create a new covenant with us, sealed with blood.

Can you here Him calling?  Come to a place of safety, all you prisoners, for there is yet hope!  For every one of your woes, I will give you two mercies!

Even when I need to take up arms, the Lord leads me as I fight.  It is His arrows that fly straight, it is His trumpet that makes the call.  You will defend me, You will subdue those who are against me and because they are under your feet, I shout with triumph!

It’s like a shepherd caring for their sheep – how wonderful and beautiful is that.  Such peace and such protection ensures an abundance of wealth and young people grow strong and everyone is radiant with health and happiness.

Being moved by the Spirit

 

As leaders we sometimes want to stay away from the emotional – and on a good day this is sound advice.  My pastor wants to stay away from emotion so much that we only sing three songs on Sunday morning and only one can be semi-fast that might endear a few to clap their hands.  The Sunday service is timed and filled to capacity to ensure that there are no emotional periods where time it wasted.

As leaders when we are so wrapped up against something we miss the greatest spiritual connections of all time and we fail to sense the power of God‘s presence around us and miss the testimony of expressing what it felt like to touch the hem of His garment.

When it comes to leadership decisions, do I allow the Spirit of God to move me, to allow me to see the unseen, to hear the unheard?  You and I know that unless the Spirit of God opens our eyes, allows us to hear with understanding and see with clarity, we are just another normal leader who is trying to figure out how to do their job the best way possible.

Is it possible for God to take you in the Spirit and show you things?  Things that are not possible to see unless He shows you?

I think so.  If these things happened in the OT, I am sure they still happen today.  In our pursuit of being masters of life in earth, sky and sea, I actually think its impossible unless we do allow God to lead us first, we follow, and then we share those things He has caused us to see, hear and experience.  I am not looking for the experience, but trusting God that if this is the best way for me to lead, He will open me to it.

Looking forward to the adventure of the day.

 

 

 

 

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Asked to do, and you did it successfully

Do you see your life like this – the Lord blessing you and guiding you so that when you are asked to do something, you are very successful at it?  Enough that you find yourself given more responsibility or a promotion or more pay etc.?

I think this does happen.  I can still remember my first real employment opportunity at an insurance company.  I started as mail clerk, then three months later promoted to microfiche clerk, three months later promoted to property management assistant and then three months later to junior buyer.  Still remember my first annual review.  My supervisor did not give me a raise, my manager gave my 3% increase.  HR saw the review and gave me 6% and the VP of Finance saw it and gave me 12%.

However, it also doesn’t happen.  I know that God called into ministry very early in life and so left the insurance company to become the Christian Education Coordinator in a church.  Looked after 40 volunteer groups, all the youth groups and weekday children’s programs as well as supporting Sunday School program and handled the counseling and hospital visitations for a church of 600.  There was myself and the senior pastor.  The senior pastor was never to be disturbed, so this all fell on me.  I remember our first baptismal service – forgot to tell the maintenance person to fill the tank a few days before so that it would be warm.  The Sunday morning, pastor happened to look into the tank and saw it empty!  Well, that ended the service program for the evening.  Needed to order material for small groups – forgot to plan ahead for shipping – had to have it couriered in and a cost that got me into a bit of trouble.  Volunteer programs started complaining that I did not attend their groups or that I was favouring one above another – but working 80 hours a week kept me from visiting them all – the senior pastor thought I was supporting the groups I had established and avoiding the ones he had started – ouch.  Almost lost my marriage in this one – the gentleman that followed me in this employment had an ulcer in nine months and had to resign.  The couple coming in after him had a broken marriage in less than a year.  Regardless – no success, so it seemed.

Then for the next 20 years, whatever task I put my hand to I was successful in and God blessed me with incredible wisdom and discernment both in my employment in ministry and my volunteering in ministry.

It seems that there are things we are called to do – when called God sustains, gives favour and blesses.  When not, maybe it’s not the place for us to be.  However, I will say it seems because I do not necessarily believe it to be true.  God uses everything for a purpose even though we might not see it or even understand it.  But I only believe so if we know that God has called us to do that very thing we are doing.

I find comfort in the life of David.  In one setting, whatever task he does he is successful.  In another setting, whatever he does isn’t working.  He even had to leave his throne and Jerusalem at one point – yet he was called and anointed and knew it – that is what sustained him.  So what looked like failures were opportunities to trust God to carry through – our expression is, “let go, let God.”

Be encouraged today – listen to God’s call, follow through, be blessed and successful in doing it and I pray that a testimony will be born through it for you to share God’s faithfulness to others.

 

 

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Remember to Celebrate

The biggest obstacle in celebrating is just remembering to do it – setting aside time to prepare for a celebration, a good celebration, takes time, and for time to work, we have to remember to do it.

No celebration really takes place unless there is some kind of food involved.

In our family, we celebrate birthdays for a week – mostly because we have to fit our food into it – Friday’s a special pizza, Saturday is the birthday cake, Sunday is a special restaurant, Wednesday is a special homemade dinner with the birthday boy/girl asking for their favorite meal and deciding who will make it (I have had the privilege to do this a few times).

My wife’s family have great celebrations in the backyard and everyone comes to attend.  Those times call for a roasted goat on a spit over an open fire – and throw in a soccer game – just so this Dutch guy can teach a few tricks to his Italian in-laws.

Those are celebrations that people have taken the time and effort to make them happen.

I like celebrating spiritual occasions too.  When our children made decisions to be water baptized, we made a big deal of it.  Our niece just made a decision to follow Jesus and we are taking time each Sunday to celebrate with her when she joins us at church on Sundays.

That is what makes friendships so amazing.  If we do not take the time to celebrate friends, we seem at a loss, even unconnected.  Thoughts come into our mind that are not healthy and we find ourselves a bit alone.  So taking time with friends, just for the sake of friendship is an amazing celebration to remember.

The same could be said when going home to visit parents.  We rarely go without something to bring that enables some sort of celebration to take place – of course, food plays a big part in that too as well as little trinkets that amazing in their own right.

I read a posting from a friend who was taking three days to be alone with God.  I can tell you that I was instantly jealous.  I love celebrating my relationship with God, and His love language is time.  What a blessed celebration that is unique and inspiring – life changing!

One thing for sure – there needs to be an abstinence from work for everyone – so one cooks, another cleans, another sets up and another takes down, another one sets up games for the kids, and yet another one sets up games for the adults.   Everyone participating in celebration means that everyone remembers it’s a celebration.

 

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