Friday, July 24, 2009

Week 4...day 2

S: "Jesus name had become well known. Some were saying..."

O: As Jesus grew in popularity his first year in ministry, people began speculating who Jesus was. Some said he was John the Baptiser that raised from the dead. Others claimed that it was Elijah. And still others thought he was a prophet from the Old Testament.

A: Deep down in me...the core of who I am, I can testify that Jesus is the Messiah, God, Creator! But who do I say Jesus is today? I must declare Jesus as Lord every day...as often as I can. I must live everyday, everywhere as if....because he is....my Lord, God, Creator.

P: Father, May I recognize Jesus as my Lord? will you give me the faith, trust, energy, effort to live for my Lord....Jesus?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Week 4...day 1

S: "And he was amazed at their lack of faith." Mark 6:6

O: Jesus comes into his hometown of Nazareth with his disciples as a rabbi and teacher...not just to visit his family...and is rejected! The towns lack of faith provided an environment where miracles could not be done...although Jesus did heal a few people.

A: No one can be healed if they don't want to be healed. Nor can you grow in our relationship with GOd if we don't have the faith that he will change us. Have I gotten to familiar with Jesus that I have a laid back version of faith that is causing my experience of Jesus to hit a plateau?

P: Lord, give me faith!! I'd like to think that i want as much of you as I can get...although at times I know I'm settling for less...Jesus, may your Spirit not let me sell out for less that you...Jesus!

Week 3...day 3

S: "And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years...[Jesus] said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has healed you.'" Mark 5:25 & 34

O: Faith is the antidote to fear, worry, and stress. Jesus is on his way to heal a dead girl while this unclean lady-->despite the law is pushing through the crowd to get to Jesus. When she touched his clothes she found physical and spiritual healing.

A: I can't give up on my friends who are going through a rough patch...I need to keep praying and have complete faith...as This woman had suffering for 12 years...my friends can find true and deep healing cuz God doesn't give up!

P: Father, help me to do what it takes to not give up...and to keep pursuing them...lead them to complete healing!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Week 3...day 2

S: "Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?'"

O: Jesus directed his twelve buddies to hop in the boat and head on over to the other side of the lake. On there sailing journey, a huge storm arose that freaked out the disciples causing them to panic and call (beg, yell, blame) on Jesus. Jesus woke up to their cries and calmed the storm. Then he turned his attention to his followers, "why are you so scared...don't you know who i am?"

A: I picked this verse because I'm afraid I don't know where I am not trusting Jesus. I know there are areas in my life that are fully handed over to him, yet I can't pin-point them quickly. I write this blog entry so late in the day because i've been thinking about it throughout my day. So as i continue to think and pray about this verse and these areas in my life...the biggest lesson of my day...or possibly that the Lord has for me in this verse is that: It doesn't always matter what the verse is saying...or even if we get it...as long as we are attempting to seek him and figure out what it is saying to us. There is so much value in just thinking about scripture that we don't even realize. One of the verses that I'm memorizing comes from Psalm 1...Blessed is the man...[whose]...delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law he meditates day and night." I/we need to be thinking deeply about scripture so that it rubs up against our lives...rubs up against our flesh and begins to change us. So often, I read it...think about it for a sec...then go about my day...May I/we think deeply about scripture at least a few times throughout my/our day?

P: Jesus, Send your Spirit to remind us to meditate (to think about something deeply for a while). And our hope in that is that you would change us to be more like you in our character and mission (or attitudes and actions). We don't want your word to be a part of our lives or day...but we want it to define us. I love you Jesus...may we begin to step up in this area...myself, my wife, our ministry team, and the students we love and would die for!!!

Week 3...day 1

S: 18Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.20Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."

O: The sower plants the word, therefore are four different responses to the Word/Jesus' Gospel. 1) no response at all 2) accepting it until hard times or the emotions run out 3) accept...then get distracted 4) accept...grow spiritually/mature...and multiply (tell their friends about Jesus and help them grow spiritually.

A: Out of the four responses...I am likely to be either the 3rd or 4th type of seed. I must identify my distractions so that i can prepare myself to evaluate how I'm doing as a follower of Jesu and continue to grow spiritually and help others grow.
As I looked at my possible distractions...all were pleasurable experiences...and good. But if used improperly and out of balance I could fall out of sink with the Lord. Therefore...I must use them properly (according to the Bible) and be thankful for them, but not seek them before i seek Jesus.

P: Father, May your Holy Spirit me to reel these things in to biblical use and thankfulness. May these good things not become God things. Lord, my spirit wants you above all...may my flesh not win over. Jesus...may you hold me close so the use of these things become useful in my walk with you and relationships with others. I love you....thanks for the gift of these good things!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Week 2...day 3

S: "I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin. He said this because they were saying 'He has an evil spirit." (Mark 3:28-30)

O: Lot's going on in this passage, but before we get there, i would like to take a stab at defining blasphemy. Blasphemy-is denying God and his work. The people in the passage were denying Jesus work and then giving credit to Satan. Other things going on in this passage...his family thinks he's crazy, people were saying that he was healing and doing miracles because of evil power, Jesus confronts them by telling them a story...then saying that thier sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was unforgivable. Finally, at the end of today's passage, he shares confirms the idea that those who love and obey God are family!

A: As I was studying up on this idea I was encouraged because if we are worried about being guilty of this sin...we are showing evidence that our heart is soft to acknowledging the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. I guess the thing I need to do, is to continue to repent, and pray that the Lord would keep my heart soft to the things of him...even if they seem wierd.

P: Lord, may your Spirit keep me attentive to the things of You? If it is of you...I want to think I want it. Jesus, you are my savior and King...may I humbly and honorably serve you as you give me different experiences of you. I love you...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Week 2...day 2

S: "Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, 'You are the Son of God.' But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was." (Mark 3:11-12)

O: Jesus and his buddies tried to get away from the crowds...yet the crowds followed him to get healed of thier sicknesses and exorcized of evil spirits. As those possessed by evil spirits came close to the Son of God, they dropped to the floor and professed the identity of Jesus. calling him the "Son of God." Then with authority Jesus tells them to shut up!

A: This is an interesting idea because this passage reveals that evil spirits...and the Devil believe in Jesus and God. They recognize Jesus identity. What this also reveals is that it takes more than a belief in God or an understanding of who Jesus is...in order to get into heaven. One of the things I know I often fall short on is the idea of Jesus being my Lord. The one who calls the shots and the one I obey. Is that a common happening throughout the Church? "I accept Jesus' friendship and grace but not his Lordship. These evil spirits are missing something...and it wasn't the belief or recognition of Jesus and or God...what if one of the issues is Lordship. Is Jesus my Lord...is he your Lord?

P: Jesus, often I make decisions without you. Often I choose to go against your will even in I clearly see the right thing to do. I try and give my flesh comfort for even a second...but where my real need is, and my true desire is to follow you and obey you as my Lord. Jesus help me love you better by way of obedience. I love you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Week 2...day 1

S: "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does. the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins." (Mark 2:21-22)

O: Some people were wondering why Jesus was doing and teaching the things that he was..."why don't you fast, Jesus?" The religious leaders in the days of Jesus did religious things like fasting (not eat any food for a period of time) to make God happy and to show others that they were super spiritual. But Jesus shares with these guys, "If you don't have a soft heart and an open mind (new wineskins) you will be very frustrated trying to apply my teaching with your hard heart and your set ways. You can't earn God's love...he already loves you...so trust in him, and relate with him or else your life is going to be frustrating and be worse off than it was (the old garment and unshrunk cloth)."

A: I need to identify the areas in my life and beliefs that are not consistent with the bible...then pray my guts out that my heart and mind would be softened so that I become the person the Holy Spirit is trying to mold me to be.

P: Lord, would you show me where i have been set in my ways that are not consistent with the Bible? would you make me more like your son Jesus. Lord, cause me to see my sin...and your grace that removes that sin. i love you....make me into new wineskins.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Knowing vs. Believing


Do i really believe Jesus did it...completely? or do I just talk a decent game? Do I just think i believe it? I think if I fully believed that Jesus, in its completeness, erased my sins, rescued me from hopelessness and depression, has given me a regenerate heart and filled me with the Holy Spirit, then I would  be a whole lot more thankful toward Him and quick to give him his due worship and live a life of full surrender.

I know i have a regenerate heart and am full of God's Spirit. I know Jesus willingly gave his life on the Cross, and rose to life. I know, I know, I know...that's the problem, but how does this bleed into my heart in a way that belief results in a different more appreciative and appropriate attitude of praise, love, surrender toward the One who gave up everything for me?

Holy Spirit...I want to be changed...obviously i want to live differently, but more than that...I want to be in love with you!!! You've done all the work up to this point...may I not try to take control or rely on my self to change any longer...Help me love you!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Scripture-"...stay away from any christian who lives in idleness and doesn't follow the tradition of hard work we gave you." (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

Observation-Paul writes this letter and is asking for prayer that the Gospel would spread rapidly and honor Jesus. He prays for the Thessalonian church to gain increasingly in their understanding and experience of God's love...then says to stay away from idle Christian who are pursuing Jesus and not doing their part in the community of believers. At first this doesn't sound like love...but continues to say not to look at them as your enemy, but look on them and treat them with love, pray for them and hope that they come to repentance and fall back in love with Jesus and become a functioning part of the body. I make the assumption too, that if we are around these idlers, we might become lazy and idle as well.

Application-I must make a hard run at a couple of my friends who are not on fire...but are just existing in life right now. My prayer and hope is that they would find satisfaction in the Lord and remain in him. Also...I must pursue a guy about my age who is deeply following Jesus and stay close to him, and challenge each other.

Prayer-Lord, keep me close to you...may the Gospel truly spread rapidly in this city. May you bring those I have in mind back to you in deep hunger of you. Build up on my relationship with ________ and grus us together. May me and Aimee also stay close to you and follow the example of those before us.

Friday, May 15, 2009

S.O.A.P.-May 15 "Biblical relationships?...scary!"

Scripture-"...Christ will make our hearts strong, blameless, and holy when you stand before God our Father on the day when our Lord Jesus comes with all those who belong to him." (1 Thessalonians 3:13)

Observation-Jesus...through Paul is explains that our heart finds strength, righteousness, and holiness by way outside ourselves...but through the overflowing love, caused by Jesus, back and forth between Christian brothers and sisters (friends, family, small group, leaders, spouse, etc...), just as Paul's life exemplified.

Application-I must seek real and deep friendships within my home group, life, and wife. Relationships that allows me to expose my soul, thoughts, and sinful motives...but also my victories...visa versa!

Prayer-Lord Jesus, May you lead my heart to be soft, repentant, proactive and discerning in my journey toward biblical relationships. It's not easy...Holy Spirit...help me love and obey you.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some fun pics from the last couple of months




I know it's been a long time...me and aimee are blogging again...I'll be posting my SOAP's for our students to visit as we walk with Jesus together. Glad to be back!!! here's a new video video

S.O.A.P.-May 14 "what am i wearing?"

Scripture-"Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts." (Colossians 3:1-2a)

Observation-Paul is reminding the church to continually change our spiritual outfit. We need to get rid of the earthly attitudes and behaviors...dawn Christ-like attitudes and behaviors...but it begins with where we are putting our mind and the thoughts we think.

Application-When I get bored of God, or feel far away from God, or even find myself in repeating sin...my mind might be set on earthly things. I must begin thinking of heavenly things more...or just plain remind me of this scripture.

Prayer-Jesus...sir in me the reminder of my new identity in you. Help me think about you and things that you're about throughout my day. I need your help loving you.