I am trying to decide what my next big project will be. I pretty much have my aquaponics system running fairly smoothly. Feed the fish 3 or 4 times a day and watch everything grow. It will be a couple of months before I start eating anything from my greenhouse, fish or vegetable.
i think I am going to start on my 3 wheeled car. It is basically a three wheeled motorcycle with a two passenger cab with car seats. You basically build the whole thing out of plywood, foam, and fiberglass and then build a front axle and steering mechanism and an engine box out of steel tubing . It would get 40 to 80 mpg depending on the engine I use. I bought the plans already and it is one of the goals I wrote for myself this year.
I wonder if the urge to build things, create things, comes from being created in God’s image? I also have the goal to teach myself taxidermy from video classes I bought and mount my bear and then the mountain lion I killed this year. That will be fun, for sure! Maybe I can do both!!
I also have the goal to rebuild a 1986 Ford pickup with a 300 inline 6 engine. I have it in my garage mostly torn apart so I should do that so it doesn’t sit in my shop blocking all kinds of other projects. I have bought the Manuel and joined a Ford inline 6 forum in order to ask questions from the experts! I guess I could do all three!!??!! Build the 3 wheeled car, do a full body mount of my bear and mountain lion, and rebuild my Ford pickup! I could work on one project for 2 days and then switch. That way I wouldn’t get bored. And
once in a while I will do something kind for another person totally motivated by a deep sense of compassion for them. But most of the time I will do something kind, something that meets a real need and is timely, because it is the right thing to do. I will do it because it is my duty. I will do it because I am very sure it is what God wants me to do. But I don’t really want to do it, I don’t feel like doing it, and it wouldn’t take much of a lapse in self control to just ignore the situation and forget it. So if I do a kind deed for someone out of a sense of duty is it as “good” as a deed done from a strong inner sense of compassion or even love? What if I make a commitment in my mind to tell Patty my wife 5 times a day that I love her because I know she likes it, not because I have any strong sense of romantic love towards her. I would define my use of the word love as a strong commitment to faithfulness and to do whatever I could to make her happy, as her husband that would be my duty.
I was mulling this over in my mind the other day as I was thinking about a discussion with a lady who was at our recent seminar. She asked me a question about my motivation to do the seminar. I told her that I had identified 4 major motivators in my life, 1st level is fear of loss, 2nd level is hope of reward, 3rd level is love of person, and the highest or most Nobel of motivators was duty. Her response was that she thought duty should be just above fear of loss. I didn’t argue with her.
It didn’t really matter to me if she thought I was right, but as I was mulling this over in my mind, I thought, “it is important that I think I am right”! As I reflected about this I came to this conclusion, “a man who does what he does because it is right, because it is his duty, because it is what God wants will be faithful day in and day out, good days and bad days, because duty rises above circumstances and emotions.
This nasty cold has gotten me to thinking about stuff I don’t like. Why do I have a cold? If I prayed and really had faith would God take it away? Could it be that this cold is God’s plan for my life in a small way. Doesn’t God care that this head ache and runny nose and fever is making me miserable?
The theology called “prosperity gospel” says that if God really is a God of love that He will take trials and pain out of my life. God is judged by the comfort level of ones life. He is trusted and declared good when circumstances are pleasant. The content of prayers is “fix my life”! One person’s comment was, “God owes me a break”, really?
The truth is, ” life is hard, and will get harder by God’s design”. Why?? God’s plan is to mold and shape our character to be like His own, and an easy, comfortable life does not do that. But we forget! This life is short and then we will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus experiencing the perfect life, if we have trusted Him as our saviour. As we live this tough life He will give strength to whoever asks, He will give joy in spite of trials to whoever asks, when there is great anxiety He will give peace to whoever asks. Life is hard and will get harder and harder but I trust God totally and look forward to stepping into eternity and getting a new body and living in a place of perfect joy forever. In the mean time I will trust God that He loves me and will cause the best to happen to make me like Himself so that when I get to heaven I will be like Him and He can enjoy me and I can enjoy HIm forever. I am resolved to not complain or grumble about a cold or anything else that I don’t like. It will pass and soon I will be with Him.
i haven’t had a cold in several years but I got a doozy now. Wasn’t feeling to good yesterday, but I could function fine, just a sore throat and runny nose. My alarm went off this morning at 4:30 so I could get to prayer at the church by 5 and I felt awefull. Fever, head ached, muscles ached, coughing and wheezing, sinuses packed. I decided that I better not go to the church and infect everybody so I took some cold medication and went back to bed. I have been sitting around the house all day whining to Patty getting very little sympathy. I consider myself a tough guy, but a little cold has turned me into a wimp. I guess the best thing to do is load up on cold medicine that makes me sleepy, go to sleep and hope when I wake up I am all better.
today was the start of the “Five Days of Prayer” corporate prayer event at JBC for our missions ministry around the world. We pray from 5 to10 am and 5 to 10 pm each day this week, Monday through Friday. I prayed 8 of the 10 hours today not because I was expected to as the pastor but because our prayer times like this are some of the most spiritually renewing times for me. I have a very strong sense of God’s presence during these times that very few other events in my life can equal. Sitting in my chair at home writing this after today I feel an incredible sense of peace and security in God’s love for me. Our prayer times are fairly bland in terms of energy and programming. Any where from 10 to 30 people are sitting in our prayer chapel together. Pastor Mike shares a bit about some missions ministry or missionaries that we support and then we pray one at a time as people feel comfortable and led for about 30 minutes and then we take a 15 minute break for snacks and coffee and chit chat, and then we do it again. People come and go through out the entire 5 hours in the morning and evening as their schedules dictate. We have 20 plus churches that we have started in Sierra Leone, West Africa and that many schools as well plus a number of other ministries to help people in this poorest of countries. As you can imagine the Ebola sickness was a major focus of our praying as we interceded for this country asking God to work and bless. It is almost 11 pm and I will make it to bed about midnight and then up at 4:30 to make it down to the prayer chapel by 5 am. This will be a very exhausting week as I do my normal pastor stuff and fit in 40 hours of praying as well, but Friday evening when it is over I will feel sad that it is over and I will also have this very strong sense that we have moved the hand of almighty God, and lives around the world will be impacted in incredible ways that we probably won’t know about until we get to heaven and get to meet them. I am most blessed to be a part of this great work.
i remember back when all eight kids were home and all were in school. Seems like so many years ago. It was a very busy, hectic, and pressure packed time. Sometimes when reading to them, watching them play volleyball or basketball, paying the bill for the cloths,food, and tuition I would wonder what each of them would amount to, hoping and praying that they would be champions for Jesus someday. I took the weekend off from preaching, and Patty and I went to one of our “daughter church’s” that JBC has started. Patty and I went to Grace Community church in Stayton which started three and a half years ago and where are son Sam is the Pastor. It was a great service and Sam preached an anointed sermon that was an experience of hearing from God. He is doing very well as a young pastor and his church is doing well. When I was his age pastoring I was a colossal failure. I think that I was probably in year 20 of pastoring before I had even close to what he has now in wisdom, skill, anointing, and understanding. It was incredibly rewarding and satisfying to see and hear Sam this morning and remember the wondering years ago about wheather he would amount to anything.
So nice tonight to go to church at JBC and sit in the audience and listen to a good sermon by Mike Dedera our associate pastor. I sat next to Patty and worshiped God and then was blessed by the power of God’s Word. It was a very enjoyable evening for me.
So many people are critical of the Church, indifferent to the Church, and even very hostil to the Church. The Church has lots of problems, but any organization with people in it has problems. It is still the “Family of God”, the “Body of Christ” and the “Bride of Jesus”, the eternal companion of Jesus Christ. Someday God the Father will present the Church to His Son, holy and blameless, without spot or wrinkle, but in the meantime it struggles.
If you told me that I was wonderful and that you loved me very much, and then turned around and called my wife, Patty, ugly, I wouldn’t like you much regardless of the nice things you said about me. Jesus loves the Church and died for the Church. My personal love for my church and my commitment to doing all I can to help her become beautiful is very pleasing to God.
The average person sees the church as a glorified Fred Meyer store. It exists to serve them and meet their needs and as long as it does They will support it, but if service wanes and someone hurts their feelings They are out of there. Someday when Jesus comes back all will be as it should be, but until then I am committed to doing my part to build His Church around the world and at JBC.
I write a “to do” list every day for that day. I also write a “to do” list for the week every Sunday afternoon. I also write a plan for the next month about a week before the current month is over. It is time for the February plan. I start with the travel plans that are committed to, and this month there is the four day Pastor’s Prayer Summit at Cannon Beach at the start of the month and then the super important “Sportman’s Show” on February 6th all day in Portland!!! I am planning on a three day jack rabbit hunting trip February 9, 10, and 11 with 3 or 4 buddies that should be an absolute blast!! I then add all of the ministry events that occur each week. Weekend worship services, classes I teach, accountability groups, scheduled counseling times, corporate prayer meetings, staff meetings, etc I don’t have any fishing trips planned in February, not even one day trip, so sad😢 One of my goals is to take Patty on a date at least twice a month so I pick a date, place, and time for those so I don’t forget and then ask her if that works for her. I then block in office time for studying, email, phone calls, etc and I then schedule my exercise times making sure to put in at least 10 hours per week. I commit to an hour a day of praying for the people at JBC, reading my Bible for an hour each day as well, and reading good books for 30 minutes 5 days each week. I ask Patty what family events are scheduled like birthday parties for the grandkids, dinners, movies etc and get those down in ink. February has 672 hours in it and I have just about spent all of them not designated for sleep, eating, and personal hygiene chores. I like to go hard all day, and a full schedule and great goals motivate me to run fast. Few things are as fulfilling as knowing that you are using your time wisely for Jesus.
Patty and I went out to breakfast with Gary and Lynda Brown this morning and I had a big omelet with hash browns and lots of good coffee. Then we drove to Lincoln City to their Condo on Devil’s Lake and had lunch and slept most of the afternoon. Then we went to a movie “Take 3” and then out to dinner and I had the Seafood Platter. Now Patty and I are sitting together on the couch watching the Trail Blazers. She is sleeping 😄 I am going to read a bunch this evening and sleep in until 9 am tomorrow morning. My oh my, I am feeling very lazy!
Our “Impact Prayer” seminar got over today at noon. Great group of people here this year and it looked like our largest attendance. I taught for 15 hours and was running on empty in my emotional gas tank. Went home shortly after it was over and sat in my recliner and took a nap and then went out and worked in my shop on a furniture project for a couple of hours, then shot my bow for awhile, went back to my office and answered emails, then went home and fed my fish and dog, ran on my treadmill and peddled my stationary bike for an hour, and now it is Midnight and I am sitting in my recliner next to the fire reading and thanking the Lord for a great life. Tomorrow we are headed for the coast for a couple days of R&R. Can’t wait. I love my wife and family, I love my church, I love the Lord, and I love my life.