Monthly Archives: May 2015

Morning prayer of commitment

This morning I prayed the same prayer that I have prayed every morning for the last 20 years. “Dear Lord, today I present my life to You as a living sacrifice. It is the only reasonable thing I can do in light of all that You have done for me. You are Lord of my life. I will obey You and serve You and do whatever You ask me to do no matter how hard or difficult it might be. Today, I will love my wife the way You love the church, I will be the kind of father to my children and grandchildren that You are to me, I will do my part to build your church at JBC and around the world as You provide opportunity, I will love any person You Sovereignly bring into my life no matter how difficult they might be to love. Today I will take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus, I will speak only words that give grace to those who hear, I will not get angry at anybody, not even a little bit irritated no matter what they do. Today I will look for opportunities to be a witness for you, I will read Your Word, and I will be devoted to prayer. I can’t keep these commitments apart from You. Please give me Your strenghth today. I trust You. I
love You.

Frustration

Went golfing today with a group of guys that are part of the group that I am here teaching, a men’s retreat at Cannon Beach Conference Center. The weather was amazing as we golfed, and I got a little bit of a sunburn on my face. Golf can be a very frustrating game as you try and do everything just right so you can beat the other guys you are golfing with. On one par 5 hole I got on the green in three hits and was all excited only to hit the ball back and forth across the green missing the hole by an inch each time finishing with a double par, 10 strokes. Aaaaarrrrggggg It makes you mad enough to throw your putter in the lake to join the half dozen balls You hit in there earlier. Frustration is a sort of slow burn anger that builds caused by the failed attempts at a personal desire or goal, in this case hitting a little white ball into a hole with a fewer number of attempts then those you are playing with. Afterwards thinking about saying “crap” with great emotion and the feelings of frustration over the inability to do what I was trying to do, I felt a bit silly. But in real life off of the golf course that same feeling is felt over and over again as I fail to accomplish what I want to do. Managing that frustration and patiently persuing my goals, refining the skills needed, getting a little smarter, and growing in character is what life is about. golf and life.

Fun Life

Driving over to Cannon Beach today to speak at a men’s retreat, and as I was driving I was thinking about my past and the future how much God has blessed me. In a couple of weeks I get to fly to Halifax, Nova Scotia to do a three day seminar for a group of churches. The week before that I get to fly to Minnosota for a week of fishing for Northern Pike and Walleye. The day before I leave for Halifax I am going with our staff to a Mariner Game. After I get back from Nova Scotia a bunch of our kids and grandkids are going over to the Brownlee Resevoir with the 20 foot pontoon boat that was recently given to us for a family camping and fishing trip. In between all that I get to preach the Bible to the best church ever. In the evenings I get to feed my fish, and work on my 1949 Ford pickup and pet my dog and sleep with my wonderful wife. Whoooeeeeee I think I could still fit in some more things if I worked at it. God is good, and then to top it all off it won’t be that long until I go to heaven.

Anticipation

I am going to Soldotna,Alaska to go Salmon fishing in the Kenai River the 13 to 23rd of July. I am going to be taking my grandson Josiah with me this Year. I have been thinking about the trip non stop for the last couple of weeks. When we get just a month from the trip I will be worthless for much of anything else. A strong anticipation of a future event is the definition of hope. I am confident of heaven and think about the glory of being there more and more. I am pretty sure heaven is going to be better than Soldotna. The stronger hope is the less the trials in the present bother you, and in fact the trials of the present make the object of our hope that much more desirable.

Problems

Problems are part of life. God created the world and life to be full of problems. Problems need to be solved,conquered, and overcome. You never let problems get to you, whip you, and you for sure never whine about them. With the $130,000 that came in this weekend in our special offering for the completion of our new education building we were all ready to wrap up this building stuff and get a bunch done this week, but the State of Oregon decided to get involved and created some major problems as we worked to get our water system switched over to this new building. It was so tempting to bad mouth the government, that is the National pastime after all, but our builder/maintenance staff guy Chris went to work on the problem, and solved it. It is sort of like a boxing match, or a football game, or a playoff basketball game, you can whine about the refing but a better choice is to play hard and win. Not much makes life more fun than some great competition from a tough opponent.

Unity

One of the coolest things about our “Special Offering” taken this weekend resulting in $122,000 to complete our new “Discipleship Center” was that the Jefferson Evangelical Church under the leadership of Pastor Rob Nelke took an offering and gave it to us as part of our offering. Pastor Rob knew this was important that we get enough to finish before June 23rd so they decided to help us. What a great expression of unity in the body of Christ. Thank you brother Rob and those at the Evangelical Church. You are wonderful!!

God is good

All day long I kept thinking about yesterday’s “Special offering” and the $122,000 that was given. I must have said “Thank You Lord” out loud and in my thoughts 10,000 times. I have to admit that I was pretty nervous about the special offering. We had just done our Missions Offering in February and it was really good so I wasn’t sure there was much extra money left to give. Our building permit runs out June 23rd and I wasn’t sure what we were going to do if we didn’t get enough money in the offering to finish. I refused to think about it thinking that I would solve that problem if I had to, but I wasn’t going spend time and mental energy trying to solve a problem we might not have, and praise the Lord, we don’t!!! God is do good, and I am so happy!thank You, Thank You, Thank You…………….

$122,000

Today Jefferson Baptist Church had a “Special Offering” to raise money to finish our new education building that we are calling the “Discipleship Center”. People have been praying asking God for miracles and extra funds and He has been providing in a variety of ways. It has been fun hearing the various stories about how extra money has come in and the joy of giving it to God’s work at JBC. $122,000 came in this weekend which will be more than enough to complete the building project. Since 1977 JBC has had a “Special Offering” every year and it is so fun to see God work and people sacrifice and give cheerfully. The Bible teaches that it is more blessed to give than recieve and that has certainly proved to be true. It was a very good day and I am very thankful to be part of what God is doing in our church.

Time management

Time management is simple. Work twice as fast and you will get twice as much done in the same amount of time thereby managing your time well. Many people when they take time management courses or seminars and read books on the topic are looking for an easy and comfortable way to get a lot done, there is none. One book I read said it this way, “time management is not really about time, it is about energy”. For me time management is all about discovering those practices and disciplines that God promises to bless with his strength and energy. When I have His strength I can then work hard and get much more done with my life. One of those is in 1 Timothy 1:12 where Paul said, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful”. Be a faithful man and God will give His supernatural strength to you. There are a dozen other promises like that with different conditions set as the requirement for God’s power to be given. I know them all well and I review, remind, and meditate on them almost daily to be sure I am faithfully practicing them.

The power of words

The book of Provers has over 50 warnings about being careless and undisciplined in our speech. A major message in many of the warnings is that we do what we speak out of our mouth, our words are self fulfilling prophecy. I work hard at only speaking words that I want to be true or reality in my life, and not saying words that I don’t want to be true of me. That should eliminate most grumbling from my life. An example is I made a personal commitment to not say I am tired though one of the consequences of Parkinsons is “tiredness that is in every cell of the body” most of the time. If I say I am tired I will become more tired, but if I say “it is so fulfilling to be given so much to do by God that I am in need of a good nights sleep so I can do a bunch of work again tomorrow for Him.” The positivenessess of that statement makes me feel good, and I then hardly notice the tiredness. People often do themselves in with their own careless whiny speech.