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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ISIS Terrorism and the Holy Spirit

There is no secret about the radical Islamic State, ISIS, that has made its way to the forefront of US and World media this past year.  They have swept across the countries of Iraq and Syria, casting a shadow of fear, inflicting brutality upon all who stand in their way or in their path.  It is quickly becoming the threat of this generation.  

Each generation faces threats of differing kinds, but the face of evil has always existed.  While evil manifests itself different (i.e., ISIS, Taliban, Nazi's, Slavery, the Sex Trade Industry, etc...), the root cause and battle is actually a spiritual one.  The apostle Paul reminded the early church and us today, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12).  

Our battle is a spiritual battle.  As Jesus was getting ready to return to the Father in Heaven, He instructed His followers not to enter the battler or continue in building His Kingdom, spreading His message,.... but He instructed them to go to Jerusalem to WAIT.  
"On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit... you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.” (Acts 1:4-5, 8a)
The role of the Holy Spirit is not an addition on the menu of Christ followers.  The evils that we face and the struggles we encounter will not be overcome by human strategy, political persuasions, military might, or by education itself.  None of these are bad in and of themselves, but victory is only assured by the Power of the Holy Spirit actively at work in the lives of Believers, Families, the Church as a whole, and the Nation at large.  

I invite you to learn more about the role of the Holy Spirit in a 7 week study on Wednesday Nights at 7:00pm at Shrewsbury Assembly of God.  It was written by Jim Cymbala and titled, "When God's Spirit Moves."  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Being Light vs. Needing Light

Perhaps you're like me.  Not only do I get the chance to teach my kids, but often times find myself learning from them.  Their imagination, creativity, and innocence constantly amaze me.

A few weeks ago, I had a "dad-week" with my two younger kids, both daughters.  Of course, the rules were a bit different when dad is alone in the house (sorry babe).  As the evening rolled around, and our night-time cuddle around that night's movie came to a close, my youngest asked about a Night Light.  It was a rather strange request at 7 years old, for she had never asked for one before.  (I smelled an agenda brewing, but thought I'd play this one out.)

I informed her that we didn't have a Night Light, but I could leave the hallway light on.  Then she made her request, while trying not to grin to big... "Could we get our own Night Light by putting some lightning bugs in a jar tonight."  While it was already past her bed time, she smiled at me with her big beautiful eyes and I agreed to her request.

Later, as I was tucking them in bed with their lightning bugs flickering in their glass jars, one of them dreamed aloud... "wouldn't it be great if we could make light, just like these fire-flies.  Then, no matter where we are, we could have light."  I have to admit, pretty cool concept.

In Jesus' most famous sermon (the Sermon on the Mount), he actually says we are that light.

 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let youlight shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)

While the fire-flies lit up my daughter's life, we are told we are to be that light by what we do, so others can see our Heavenly Faith and praise Him.  

SO....... the Simple Challenge for the day... BE LIGHT!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dreams & Visions

God moves and works through our lives, and in a major way He activate His will through Dreams & Visions.  They are "God Thoughts" placed in your heart. So what has God placed in your heart?  What dreams and plans lay dormant inside you longing to be released. 


These visions are God's pictures of a preferable future.  They answer questions, solve problems, and bring God's grace and healing. Don't let them die or be drowned by the mundane.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

5 Ideas to End the Summer Well

You don't have to spend lots of money in order to make lots of memories.  The summer is designed to be enjoyed with and around your family.  To maximize the last few weeks before school, here are 5 ideas we've enjoyed:

1. BBQ with the Kids Help:  kids love to help with chores they're normally not allowed to assist.  As you you prep the food this year, let your kids put their hands in the ground beef and mix it.  If they're old enough, let them do the actual grill work with your oversight.  
2. BonFire:  What kid (as well as adult) doesn't like playing with fire.  Get some marsh-mellows and cook them on the open flame.  There is a pyromaniac in all of us :)
3. Ride Your Bike Together:  Especially if you ride it someplace else rather than your house.  Take them to a trail and you'll have a blast.
4. Date Your Kids:  If you have multiple kids like we do, they absolutely love to have one on one time.  It could be for breakfast/lunch or just out to Starbucks or Sweet Frog frozen yogurt.
5. Stay Up Late One Night:  Something that never changes from generation to generation is kids love to stay up late. Depending on your kid(s) interest... you could watch the starts, watch a movie series (Rocky, Star Wars, Black Stallion, or Toy Story.

As parents, we have a lot to teach our kids.  One thing our kids can teach us is how to enjoy and laugh at life.  Having Summer fun together does both.  ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Getting UNSTUCK

This summer we have been studying the life of Moses and his relationship to the God of Israel.  This week we begin to see a turning point in chapter 7 & 8.  So you think care of Moses begin to grow to a point where God can use it.  For the 80 years prior Moses had remain stuck and frustrated wanting to fulfill God's will but never see me to make progress.

It is only as Moses ego, aspirations, self will, castle-building building, and pride in his miracles fall & Die that God is able to use him as the deliverer is Israel.  

It is hardly possible to over estimate the value of simple, unquestioning obedience in the growth of character and God's operation through our lives.  

Are you weary of a wavering, halfhearted walk with Christ? Are you willing to bring your life to his powerful searchlight? Are you willing to trust him without reservation, no matter what? Are you finally determined to do God's will, God's way?

If that's your decision, I must warn you: the path for you will be costly – more than you can ever imagine right now. But shunning that path will be more costly still.