We need that New Covenant Experience

S: “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after
that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write
it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No
longer will a man teach his neighbor or a man his brother, saying ‘Know the
LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the
greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will
remember their sins no more.” Jeremiah 31:33, 34

My friend Todd told me last Saturday night (9.21.2004) that when they were
in Mexico in June and working at the mission they went to help an
interesting story. He said that a guy came up to him and told him that the
mission they were working with wasn’t a good one and they should come and
work with this other mission down the street. He said that the mission Todd
was working with talked too much about God and Jesus and they had it all
wrong. The mission he worked with, got it right. They talked about the
Devil – that the devil is the one that really takes care of you. He said
that the devil gives you want you need, and is truly in charge. He didn’t
understand why so many people had it all wrong.

Hmmmm….

In today’s world, we truly need to know that God is not only in charge, but
that he’s in charge of our lives. We need to know that the devil is real
and that we need the LORD in our life and in our walk. We need that new
covenant experience each and every day.

We need each other’s prayers. We need each other’s accountability. We need
each other’s lives mixing with ours.

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Praise and Blessings

8/20/2004 6:39 AM
Title: PRAISES BRING BLESSINGS OF GOD

S: “May the peoples praise you, O God, may all the people praise you.
Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. God
will bless us, and all the ends of the earth will fear him.” Psalm 67:5-7

O: The writer of this Psalm wants everyone to know God and show God.
He wants people to sing and he wants people to tell the wonders of God. I
don’t think that he’s saying if we praise God, that God will then finally
bless us. It appears that he’s saying – if we praise God loud and always,
then people will hear and more people will follow and that obedience will
bring about God’s wonderful blessing. That appears to be what I hear in
this passage.

A: I know that I need to spend the time focusing on God. I know that
I need to spend the time listening to God. I know that I need to ALSO
praise God in front of all the people I meet. In other words, I can’t be
afraid to tell others what I’ve found, what a difference it makes in my
life, and how it’s affecting my day to day living. When people stand up and
praise God – others hear. I think God is telling me to get out more and
more and spend time with God and letting him help me do my work.

P: Lord, I think you are calling us at The Adventure to GO!
I think you are calling us to do something significant. Please come in and
push us out the door to sing your praises before people who don’t know. I
know I need to lead that charge, but I pray we will all do it!

New Baby

Yesterday we had a baby! We didn’t even know we were pregnant. Well, for
those of you that know Gail and I – we knew she was pregnant, but this was a
baby goat!

I think it was in May, we bought a couple of pygmy goats and thought they
would eat up our weeds around the creek – although they haven’t done that
very well, the kids have greatly enjoyed the goats. But BOY were they both
getting fat (they are both female).

Yesterday one of them gave birth to a beautiful little baby goat. Wow! The
miracle of birth is a great thing. We think the other one may be carrying
twins because she is SO much fatter.

It makes me think of the NEW BIRTH experience. Birth makes you smile, makes
you happy and babies make you laugh. Bu the NEW BIRTH experience makes a
party get thrown in heaven! Yea God!

I pray for that new birth experience every day.

rog

Stubbornness

8/15/2004 8:34 AM
Title: STUBBORNNESS

S: “But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own
plans; each of us will follow the stubbornness of his evil heart.'”
Jeremiah 18:12

O: It’s always interesting how Jeremiah writes. In one section he’ll
talk about God’s plans, the people responding and then add his own thoughts.
This is the people’s response in this section. God has just said that he
will do with the people what a potter does to clay – if it doesn’t turn out,
I’ll remake you into something else. This section like almost no other
shows very clearly the nature of conditional prophecy. God is trying to say
that if I wanted to make Israel great, but they didn’t respond, he’ll turn
them into something else, and if he wanted to destroy another nation, but
they sought his forgiveness, he would remake his plans for them.

Now this section comes along, and after prophesying to the people, God tells
Jeremiah what they will say. No matter what you say, God, we’re going to
follow our own plans. We’re stubborn. We like what we’re doing. And we’re
going to do what we want no matter what.

A: It sounds like today. So many of us are trying to do what we want
to do, without listening to what else needs to be done. Lord, I pray for
the Holy Spirit to guide. Last night my friend _____ and his wife were
here. This verse could easily be spoken about them. They have their minds
pretty much made up about a situation and they don’t really understand what
is happening around them. They said they wanted to hear what you were
saying. But I wonder if they are listening.

Lord, sometimes I know that questions could be asked of me. Am I just doing
what I want, or is it what God wants? The next question is maybe even
harder – do I really care what God wants? I’d like to think I do care. I’d
like to think I’m not very stubborn with God, but I don’t think that would
be fair to who I am and how I am being shaped by God. It’s about going
God’s way – without fighting – something I rarely do.

P: Lord, I pray for the Holy Spirit. I pray you will come into my
life and continue to change me. I pray you will come in and make me like
you. I pray you will fill me with the Holy Spirit. I pray you will guide
me and make me like you. I want to walk with you, Lord. I want to be
guided by you, Lord. I don’t want to live out MY plans, by I want to live
out YOUR plans. Please come in and make me into the man you desire to shape
me into. I will serve you, Lord.

Lord, I know that I’ve been stubborn about my own way. I’ve done it with my
denominational overseers, I’ve done it with my wife and kids, and I’ve done
it with my church. I’ve done it with Shane and Jim and I’ve done it with
you, Lord. I pray you will forgive me for being stubborn and opinionated.
I pray you will cleanse me from my opinions and having to do things MY way.
I pray you will change me into a man that wants to follow you and be guided
by you. I pray you will change my heart.

I love you, Lord and I want to follow you. I want to be man that says,
“Yes, Lord, Yes Lord, Yes! Yes! Yes!” Please fill me with the Holy Spirit
and guide me close to you. Please lead me and shape me to listen to you.

God’s Fun!

8/13/2004 7:20 AM
Title: GOD’S WORD IS A JOY!

S: “When your words came I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s
delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.” Jeremiah 15:16

O: Jeremiah is describing in chapter 13-15 all the stupid things
Israel and Judah did. He’s doing it in an allegory, but then he get near
the end of 15 and he says this. I believe he’s speaking for himself. He’s
been declaring all the judgments against Israel and Judah and now he’s
expressing his own needs. He simply says that God’s word is what gives him
joy. It’s his delight! He loves God. He loves to follow him. He loves to
read his word. He loves to make God first and foremost in his life.

A: What would it be like if I was always like that? What would it be
like if our whole church was always like that? It is my desire to see us
grow in the joy of God’s word – the Bible. Wouldn’t it be cool if the Bible
was our delight, our joy, our heart’s desire. God has some amazing
blessings in store for me, for us, if we would only put him first and stop
making the TV, the newspaper, the weather, the movies, the music, the
relationships, the good things and turn to the great thing first – HIM.

P: Lord, I ask for myself. Please turn my heart towards you. In
this journaling and in this Life Journal, I have once again found my joy in
the Word of God. I’ve fallen in love with the Bible again, and it’s been
fun. But I must say I have a long ways to go again, Lord. I must say that
I am not perfect. But I pray for me, my family and my church. Please fill
us with a love for the Word. Please fill us with a love for the Bible.
Please fill us with a love for putting you first. Please help us to make
that our joy. Please help us to make that our fun. Please help us to put
you first, Lord.

I submit my life to you. I want to put you first and foremost in all that I
have to do. Thank you, Lord, for being here and wanting to get ready for
me, and wanting to lead me and wanting make me like you. I love you. I
want to follow you all the way today.

Thirsty for the Spirit

8/5/2004 3:44 AM
Title: THIRSTY FOR THE SPIRIT</i?

S: “…’If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever
believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow
from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those believe in him
were later to receive….” John 7:37-39

O: Jesus comes back to the same theme that he did in John 4, talking
to the woman at the well. He’s saying that we all have a spiritual hole
that needs to be filled and He is the only one capable of actually filling
it. It’s that God-shaped hole inside of us and no one is able to fill it.

A: I have tried many things to quench my spiritual thirst. I have
tried many things that weren’t Jesus. I’ve tried playing and fun, I’ve
tried sports, I’ve tried food, I’ve tried books and learning, I’ve tried
friends, and I’ve tried many other inappropriate things. But nothing has
filled me the way Jesus has filled me. He’s taken that God-shaped hole and
filled it completely with no gaps, not holes left over, everything fits
completely and well.

Jesus is here calling me to not forget that. He’s reminding me to turn to
him in my stress. He’s reminding me to turn to him in the stress of my
parent’s health, in the stress of the growing church, in the stress of
evangelism, and in the stress of life. He’s calling me to remind me to turn
to him and be addicted to Him, and to nothing else.

I believe this is what so much of our addictions are all about. That’s why
we get into drugs, alcohol, sex, food addictions, etc. I believe we were
designed to be addicted. But we were designed to be addicted to Jesus and
filled with the Holy Spirit. That’s what Jesus is telling me here – be
addicted and filled with me. Everything else will be extremely
unsatisfying.

P: Lord, I ask you into my heart. I ask you to fill my heart and
make me like you. I have learned a lot over the years to turn to you
instead of my other addictive behaviors. I’ve failed at times, and turned
to the wrong things, but I’m coming to you, a merciful and mighty savior.
I’m coming to you, Lord, because you are in charge and I want you to stay in
charge.

I don’t want to be attracted to the things of this world, Lord. I want to
be attracted to you. I want to be attracted to your power, your love, your
might, your will and I want to become a man like you. I pray, Lord, for the
Holy Spirit to guide me. I pray for the Holy Spirit to lead me.

I know that more stress is on the way. As we get into the final month
before Russell’s meetings, I know that things will continue to move in the
way of stress. I’ve never been involved with a series this big, Lord. I’ve
never been involved with something so great. But it’s pretty disorganized
right now and I realize that we have a lot to do. I don’t want to get
caught in a pattern where my work is overtaking and infringing upon my time
with you. I want to be totally focused on you through these meetings, Lord.
I want to be totally focused on you and understand that you are in charge,
Lord. I pray for the Holy Spirit. I pray for your power and your will.
Please come in and continue to reach me.

As I seek to put myself into the Bible each day, Lord, it is because I am
seeking to find you, follow you, and be filled by you. I ask forgiveness
for being a sinner. I ask forgiveness for not listening to you. I pray for
the Holy Spirit to guide me and to fill me and to change me.

I love you, Lord.