“Longing To See You”

Absorbing God’s Word

“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong; that is; that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:11-12

Applying God’s Word

Over the last forty years, thousands of men and women have attended “The Challenge Weekend” through a ministry Louise and I are involved in. Previously called “Christians in Commerce”, the ministry is now known as “WorkLight”.  

WorkLight is presenting “The Challenge Weekend” as the format for their upcoming National Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, October 14th – 16th. It will be attended by people from many different Christian backgrounds who are searching for a more meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.

Louise and I would love to see you there to be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. Ask God if this is something He would like you to be a part of.

WorkLight is charging $150 per ticket with a buy one gets one free offer if purchased prior to 9-15-22. I am attaching a link on all the information and details.

https://worklightncwe.eventbrite.com/

Accounting of God’s Word

Will I accept the challenge?

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“Two Goals”

Absorbing God’s Word

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

Applying God’s Word

I happened to be at a birthday celebration this week for a good friend turning fifty. Towards the end of the party, Michael told the story about how he and I met. He was 18 and I was 43.

Michael was a physical fitness instructor and assigned to be my personal trainer. He said that his goal was to get me in shape. He also shared that it seemed my goal was to encourage him to have a closer walk with Jesus. We both achieved our goals. He got me in great shape and I took him on a Christians in Commerce men’s retreat weekend with me. We’ve remained close friends ever since.

There’s quite an age gap between Michael and I, but we are as close as brothers. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to iron sharpening iron. Both friends must be open to sharpening.

Accounting of God’s Word

Do I allow myself to be sharpened by my friends? Do they allow themselves to be sharpened by me?

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“Lost Sheep”

Absorbing God’s Word

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4

Applying God’s Word

Louise and I pray each day for numerous folks who have already professed their loyalty to Jesus and God the Father. We also pray for those who haven’t. It’s tough because some of them are bad individuals.

Interesting, that I never see myself as being that bad. I know that I was one of the lost sheep, though. I wandered away from the flock because I felt rejected and I trusted no one. Doing life alone seemed to work for me, but I was extremely unhappy.

Jesus never stopped looking for me. He never stopped pursuing me. He never stopped using others to try and reach me. He never stopped loving me.

Jesus loves all who are lost and has deputized believers to not only find them, but to also bring them home.

Accounting of God’s Word

Do I appreciate that Jesus never stopped pursuing me? Am I allowing Him to use me to pursue the lost?

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“A Standing Ovation”

Absorbing God’s Word

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Acts 7:55

Applying God’s Word

In most of the scriptures that refer to Jesus in heaven, Jesus is sitting next to the right hand of the Father. In the scripture above, Stephen sees Jesus standing. Some think that Jesus is giving Stephen a standing ovation for a life well lived.

I went to a funeral today for the fifty-one-year-old daughter of my good friends, Diane and Kevin. Their daughter, Christine, lived an amazing life and is survived by her husband, three children, and numerous relatives.

Christine’s entire family was very much involved with all the different parts of the service. They greeted everyone with great love, demonstrated incredible hospitality, assisted the minister, sang, read different scriptures, and hosted a beautiful reception afterwards.

One of Christine’s brothers delivered her eulogy, which outlined the magnificent impact her life had on everyone who knew her. There was a short pause and then her brother asked us all to give Christine A STANDING OVATION. It was so powerful.

Accounting of God’s Word

Do I recognize and appreciate the impact others have on my life? Have I given them a standing ovation?

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“Our Choices”

Absorbing God’s Word

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

Applying God’s Word

Have you ever looked at your motivation for choosing certain friends? I have. It’s not a pretty picture.

I was somewhat of a loner in my early years and found myself smoking a pipe as a junior in high school. Most of the juniors and seniors at the Franciscan seminary in Santa Barbara were allowed to smoke. When I joined the Navy, I continued smoking and added drinking and partying to the list. My poor self-esteem and hunger for acceptance made me an easy target for Satan. 

God stepped in and introduced me to my late wife, Joanne, just in time. I had literally been selling my soul to gain the world and suffering much harm for being a fool. My marriage to Joanne opened my eyes to walking with the wise.

I see so many young folks making the same mistakes I made. The way of the world is even more enticing today, but the harm suffered by living that lie is immeasurable. Walking with the wise is even less popular these days.

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I ignoring God’s invitation to walk with the wise or have I become a companion of fools?

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“God’s Handiwork”

Absorbing God’s Word

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  Ephesians 2:10

Applying God’s Word

God has prepared more work for me to do while I’m here than I’ve done. The issue isn’t hearing God. The issue is listening and then obeying Him.

Recently, I took a one-hour golf lesson across town. On my return, I had to drive by a golf course closer to home. I heard the Lord say, “Stop here and hit another bucket of golf balls.” I did what I was told, even though no one else was there.

As I put my golf clubs back in the car to leave, a man pulled up next to me and got out. We said hello and talked briefly about golf. When Don shared that he had lost his wife, the conversation shifted into a God moment. I asked, “Are you okay?” I think he was too emotional to answer. “Can I pray with you?” He nodded, yes. After we prayed, I told him that I had lost a wife, also. I gave him my contact information and told him that I was available if he needed someone to talk with.

It was one of those good works that God had prepared in advance for me to grab hold of for Him.

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I God’s handiwork? Am I doing the good works which God prepared in advance for me to do?

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“Covid? Not If, But When”

Absorbing God’s Word

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Applying God’s Word

On June 18th, while visiting family in Palm Desert California, Louise and I came down with Covid. We knew that eventually we would get Covid…it wasn’t a matter of if, but when. As precautions over the last two years we’ve traveled with test kits, a nebulizer, prescriptions for Azithromycin and our doctor’s contact information. 

Our first indications were runny noses, scratchy throats, and congestion. We both tested positive and immediately contacted our doctor in the Bay Area. He called in a prescription of Paxlovid for each of us, which we began taking the next day.

We hunkered down at a Marriott resort for the next seven days. Our symptoms never progressed further; however, we were extremely fatigued. Everything we ate tasted like metal, but we forced ourselves to eat and stay hydrated. We slept a lot and we prayed. We returned home on Saturday the 25th and both of us tested negative eleven days after our first symptoms.

We never experienced fear or discouragement. We developed a heightened awareness of God’s strength, love, and mercy. Blessed!

Accounting of God’s Word

When have I allowed God to be my strength and help recently?

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“Fan or Follower”?

Absorbing God’s Word

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4

Applying God’s Word

Roe vs Wade being overturned will be a victory for some and a defeat for others.

Where is God in all of this? He’s right where we would expect Him to be.

God has His arms around every aborted child and each mother as well.

God dreads the loss of any soul. It doesn’t matter who it is or what they have done. He pursues each of us relentlessly. He’s not looking for more fans. He’s looking for followers.

Here’s a seven-minute bonus video by Alan Hunt.

https://www.dynamiccatholic.com/sunday-gospel/06262022-reflection.html

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I a fan or a follower?

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“The Victor’s Crown”

Absorbing God’s Word

“Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.” 2 Timothy 2:5

Applying God’s Word

Every Sport has its own set of rules. I happen to like watching golf and playing it as well. Maybe because it’s a non-contact sport that enforces very strict rules for both fans and competitors alike.

The game is played out in an arena of accountability. Eyes are watching every move you make to let you know immediately when you break the rules. That’s how the Christian life should play out also, in an arena of accountability.

Initially, accountability was the one thing that kept me from joining the Christian team. I wanted to be able to break the rules when no one was watching. Following Jesus is the most challenging journey I’ve ever entertained, and I want to be part of His team, a team that competes according to the rules for the victor’s crown.

Accounting of God’s Word

Am I keeping the rules? Who’s holding me accountable?

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“Prepared Not Scared” 

Absorbing God’s Word

“The foolish ones said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.” “No, they replied, there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.” Mathew 25:8-9

Applying God’s Word

The word “Fool” is defined as someone who acts unwisely or imprudently. I sense God is asking me to be the fool in this writing and yet only time will tell who the real fools are.

I prepared for Y2k, and nothing happened. I lost about 35% in my IRA during the 2008 crash, because I didn’t see it coming. I’ve been the fool on both sides and here I am again. 

I do believe we are presently in a recession and that conditions are getting worse by the day. Louise and I are not scared, because we trust God and are thankful that He has given us the insight to prepare for possible food and supply shortages. We are making sure that we have at least 3-9 months of medications, food items that are not perishable, toiletries and some extra cash on hand.

If this downturn lasts longer than expected, folks will realize they don’t have enough oil for their own lamps let alone enough oil for the lamps of others. Therefore, we are encouraging our family, friends, neighbors, and all of you not to be scared but to be prepared. 

Accounting of God’s Word

Is it foolish to prepare or foolish not to? What kind of fool am I?

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