one of the basic laws of life that God created is that what you sow is what you reap. What you give away is what you receive back. How you treat others is how you will be treated. One of the most important of these “sowing and reaping” laws is, ” How much we honor God is how much we will be honored by others”, especially those closest to us. We honor God by giving Him time. Time reading His Word to us. Time praying to, about our life and for others in our life. We honor God by thanking Him and worshiping Him well. It is so easy to ignore God, take Him for granted, give him very little time and what we do give Him being left over and convienant. And we treat almighty, holy God this way because we are busy and entangled in the world seeking our joy. When we dishonor God we will be dis honored by others. Husbands crave being respected and honored by their wives, the glory of a man is his wife. But if a man neglects God he will be very unhappy with the way his wife treats him. He will fuss and rant and complain, but he is reaping what he is showing. God can change our wives in a heart beat, and He will for the man who loves Him, seeks Him, and serves Him. Every time I feel slighted by my wife I pray and confess to my Heavenly Father that I have been rude to Him because of my business, and I repent and commit to Him that I will do better at keeping Him first place in my life. It is amazing how wonderful my wife makes me feel by her words and actions after that.
One of my characteristics is that I have a very strong “Wanter”. If I have a desire to do something, to accomplish something, to acquire something I am generally very passionate about it to the point of being obsessed. Most of the things I do I am pretty mechanical, routine, systematic, and duty driven about, almost boring. But then there are the those few things that fill me with an intense longing to the point that it consumes much of my thinking. A major good thing is at this point in my life I can choose what those things are. I am not a victim of sales people or slick advertisements. I have also learned that I can overload my “Wanter” and become irresponsible and out of balance in my life if I am not careful. The tool that I use very effectively to choose what I obsess about and how much I obsess are the goals that I write for myself each year. I write them carefully having thought and prayed about them for months, and once written I read them everyday which is what really cranks up the passion level. It is fun to live life motivated and excited about some things that I want with a white hot desire. This time of year a hot fire in the stove in our living room is very nice, and a hot fire inside of me feels so good.
I watched football most of the afternoon as the Seahawks beat the Rams and I am anticipating watching football much of the day on New Years hoping that The Oregon Ducks will beat Florida State in the Rose Bowl in the first ever College Football playoffs.
The Apostle Paul as he wrote much of the New Testament in the Bible used Sports as an illustration of living life numerous times. I think that football is a great illustration or picture of the constant battle that life is. On one side of the line of scrimmage is the devil and his demons and on the other side is the church. The kingdom of darkness has schemes and plans that they attempt to run to beat us. Paul’s admonition is to stand strong against the schemes of the evil one. The unity of the church is it’s greatest strength, and the involvement of all those on the team.
I am to old to play real football, but I really like being on God’s team and I really like the idea of stomping the devil and his team.
My own sermons always impact me usually convicting me more than anybody else who listens to them. Most of the impact happens when I am studying and writing during the week. Tonight as I preached I was also an active listener, and I was greatly motivated by the words that God through the Holy Spirit was giving me. At one point I thought, boy, I hope others that are listening are as stirred up by these words as I am. I so much want to be a man of great faith, and that desire was ratcheted up several notches tonight. I wonder what will happen in my heart tomorrow after preaching two more times. Whooooeeeee!!
Went to the movie “Unbroken” tonight. I had read the book last year and it was an amazingly good book. It is a true story about an American who was a Olympic star as a long distance runner, who went into the Second World War as a bombardier, crashed at sea, was in a rubber raft for 47 days, rescued and captured by the Japanese and then was tortured and treated very inhumanly for over 3 years as a prisoner of war in Japan. It is a very good movie about a man who is incredibly strong in heart and will. In the book, but not in the movie, he comes home from the war and becomes an alcoholic and is close to ruining his life and marriage when he goes to a Biily Graham revival and trusts Jesus as his savior. He goes home and pours all his liquor down the drain and becomes a completely new person. He goes back to Japan and forgives all those who tortured him. I highly recommend the movie. It will make you feel really good. Louis Zampareni died a few months ago at 97 years of age. A true tough guy.
Nice time today celebrating Christmas with a bunch of family here. Ate a lot and then ate some more. Opened presents and that is so much fun watching the grandkids get all excited. The boys all got Leggo’s, that was easy. The kids got together and bought me a present. A fish cleaning table to put in my greenhouse where I will be raising my Tilapia as part of my aquaponics system. I was planning on cleaning them in Patty’s kitchen on the counter top next to the sink where I have always cleaned fish. I think maybe my present was really Patty’s present, she seemed very happy with it😄 . Being a pastor we have never made very much money, and with this Parkinson’s thing and other issues my health is a constant nuisance, but I consider myself incredibly blessed by the Lord because of my family. I would never trade wealth or good health or anything else for my experience today for half a day with my family.
We had a wonderful Christmas Eve service tonight at JBC. Short and simple, worship, special music, reading of Christmas Story from Isaiah and Luke, and communion. It was nice for me to have Pastor Mike running the service tonight so I got to sit with everyone else and enjoy the evening. It was easy to reflect during the service about what Jesus did for me in leaving heaven, becoming a person like me, dying for my sins and giving me eternal life with Him. He must love me a lot. Certain truths need to be thought about over and over a over again to move it from mere intellectual ascent to a deeply felt conviction that is very real in the deepest part of our heart. The birth, life, and death of Jesus is one of those truths that has potential to create a great sense of self worth, security, and confidence as we live life if it is truly grasped and grafted into our heart.
I think that my Dad’s greatest influence in my life is teaching me to work hard and to enjoy accomplishing something significant from that work. I am always thinking about how to get more done in the same amount of time than I did yesterday. Working energetically and strategically with a clear goal in mind is about the most enjoyable thing there is in life for me. Today I got the priviledge of having my 9 year old grandson Isaac work with me. We dug a ditch across our driveway in order to lay a water line in it to get water to my new greenhouse and aquaponics set up. It was packed gravel and was a very difficult job. I wanted him to work hard and not goof off, but still have a good time. He kept right up with me. The main difference was that I panted and groaned a lot and he talked a lot asking lots of questions about everything we did. I am not sure if he had a lot of fun, but I sure did.
Went to the new Hobit movie with grandkids, son, and son in law, and wife this afternoon. I think that the ugly Orky guys are a picture of the devil and demons and the general message of the movie is that we do much better fighting against them when we fight together against the enemy rather than against each other. Lots of other character messages in the movie as well. I ate a whole barrel of pop corn I got so energized and into all the sword fights.
It has rained so much in the last couple of days! I wouldn’t say that I love the rain, but I don’t mind it. It is a mind set sort of thing. It is winter and rain is what happens in winter. It won’t be that long and we will be back to 80 degree days. Life is a series of cycles, and if you don’t like one cycle just wait and the next cycle will be here, and it is best if you do something worthwhile while you wait. I am waiting for Jesus to come and to usher in His Kingdom which will be incomprehensibly wonderful, and I will get a brand new glorified body. I don’t know how long it will be, I might die first and enter through that door, doesn’t really matter much. I am waiting with great eagerness, and while I wait I will make the most of present opportunities, and I won’t fuss about the rain.