Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Christmas Miracles in June

Painting originally by George Roberts remixed by me.
He has a lot of great paintings to check out here

Christmas only comes once a year for most of us, but for some it comes a few times a year. This is God’s blessing.

Recently I was in a meeting with several other pastors. It was mentioned that God gets a lot of glory out of people without money. I’m in no way poor mouthing, but I don’t think it’s a secret if I say, most pastors don’t earn a lot. Experience has taught me God does get a lot of glory through those without.

When people are in need it gives God the opportunity to provide. Thank the Lord for those whom He has financially blessed! He uses those people to meet the needs of those without. I’ve seen it over and over again in my life.

Wednesday was the deadline for camp money. Many of our students came to me asking for help. Their families didn’t have the ability to pay for camp (either completely or partially). I was crunching numbers, trying to pinch pennies, and figuring out ways for everyone to go to camp. I was not having much success.

Then suddenly my phone vibrated and jingled with a dance tune I often let ring for too long (Man, I love to dance to that tune!). When I picked up the phone, I figured it was another student asking for mercy. On the contrary, a person told me they wanted to sponsor two full scholarships! It was seriously a Christmas miracle in June. That amount put us over the top and allowed everyone to go to camp, even those in need.

Whether you have a lot or not, there is always someone who has less. There is always someone that you can be a miracle to. I encourage you to look for those people. When we have little God gives great.

Philippians 4:19-20
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

In Closing:
1) I thought we had a great week at the Waterworks building! There are some things to get used to, but it was MUCH better than being at the Ministry Center’s sweat box. Great attendance too. Keep inviting.
2) We leave for Camp Fusion this Sunday after church at 2PM. Thank you to all who have helped pay our students ways to camp. You are a blessing to them and me.
3) If there is one thing Oceanside knows how to do it’s eat and throw a party. I’m really excited about the block party we’ll be having at Seagull Apartments on July 17.
4) Vacation Bible School is my second favorite time during the summer (The first being youth camp. I’m a little partial). We’ll be rockin’ and rollin’ this year on July 22-24.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I DOUBT IT!!! What To Do When You Doubt Your Salvation.

I had the privilege of speaking at Oceanside this past Sunday while Pastor Trey was out. You can head over to his blog to read about his time preaching at Common Ground Church.

This week we took a test. How did you do? I hope you passed. The test was on your salvation. Some people in the church, if you asked them would say, "Oh yeah, no doubt." Others would reply with a simple, "I don't know." And I'm sure some would say, "Nope."

There is no reason to doubt your salvation. Doubt is the absence of knowing. So if you know you're not a Christian you don't doubt. If you know you are a Christian you don't doubt. It's to those in the middle that I'm writing today.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Wander What To Do... (This week it is a play on words)

The family and I went on an epic journey this past Sunday after church. I'm a bit of an explorer at heart, and I saw a bridge. It wasn't just any bridge, but a bridge to nowhere. This was a big bridge the kind that  could be driven over. When I looked it up on Google it led to a little island that was completely uninhabited. The explorer in me wanted to see what was on this small island and why there was a bridge leading to it.

The "Bridge to Nowhere"

So we packed some water, grabbed the stroller, and commenced the journey in ninety degree weather. Along the way we made some stops and a few wrong turns. What I had told Allie was going to be a one and a half mile trip turned into a five mile trek. Two hours in and we had not made it to the elusive bridge to nowhere. We could see it but we couldn't figure out how to get there. Creeks and miles still separated us. Quentin was getting grumpy, Maggie was getting loopy, and Allie was losing the italian explorer within. We decided to turn back and try again another day. Hopefully a little more experienced and a lot more prepared.

While walking miles in that heat I could not help but think of the Israelites wandering in the desert for forty years! I was losing hope after only two hours. I never lost faith in God in those two hours, but I was able to glimpse how quickly you could. You start to feel like you're never going to make it to the promised land.

We had the choice to turn around and head home, but imagine being Moses and having to convince the people that wandering the desert was God's plan. It's difficult for me to comprehend following for only one year, but can you imagine forty years of wandering?! It took a huge amount of faith for Moses to continue. Hebrews 11 pummels us with the words "By faith Moses..." I encourage you to head over to Hebrews and read the whole chapter on faith. It will encourage you that our God is faithful.

Lego Moses... I thought that was really cool.

My walk illustrated two things to me. 1) I have far too little faith. Moses' faith was beyond what I'll probably ever achieve. 2) I'm not thankful enough for what God has provided. We look down on those Israelites as they complained and questioned, but I guarantee most of us would join them.

Let's learn to be thankful for what we have. Let's learn to trust God in the tough times, and not forget Him on the good days. Let's learn to, by faith, follow God even if it's into the fire. Let's back up what we say by actually living it out.

Please share this post with someone that needs it and hit the +1 below. THANKS!