poor, needy, homeless, fatherless….

4/26/2005 7:04 AM
Title: TAKING CARE OF THE POOR
——————————-

S: ?I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the
afflicted, and justice for the poor, surely the righteous
shall give thanks to Your name; The upright shall dwell in
Your presence.? Psalm 140:12, 13

O: David is writing here talking about how God always
watches over the struggles of people. He?s saying that he
watches over the poor and takes care of them.

A: It reminds me that of other scriptures that talk about a
religion that is faultless is watching over the homeless,
the poor the neglected, the fatherless, widows, etc. I
think of Isaiah 58.

But I also think of this last weekend. A guy calls me on
Friday afternoon and wants to get together with me on
Saturday before or after church. I know what he?s going to
ask me ? he needed money. I don?t warm up to that very
well. And I know he?s putting me off because he thinks he
can make a better case for it in person than he can over
the phone. But I don?t have time on Sabbath to meet with
nearly anyone. He?s clear over in Ft. Collins, and won?t
call the Ft. Collins church. So, what do I do? I told him
I couldn?t do anything on Saturday. I calls me several
times anyway and leaves me two messages during the 2nd
campus services.

I didn?t call him back. Sunday wasn?t much better and he
didn?t call on Sunday or on Monday. I suppose the issue is
past. I suppose that I?ve not helped and he?s turned
somewhere else. I think he mentioned something about a bus
ticket. But that could have been the guy that I helped the
week before.

So, my question is, how do I take care of these situations?
How do I handle them? Do I help everyone that asks, just
because the Bible says to take care of the poor? Do I take
care of some of them? Do I continue to handle it out of my
own pocket? Do I do it with joy in my heart? Do I try to
discern in the short time I?m given whether the need is
good or not? Did Jesus really tell us to help no matter
what and just to help the least of these is enough? In
other words, they wouldn?t ask if they weren?t already one
of the least of these. Therefore do I just help because
I?m helping the least of these and by doing so, I?m helping
Jesus?

P: Lord, I would like some wisdom on this. I would like to
know just what to do on this. I would like to know how to
handle these situations. I frankly, do not know what to do
and I?d like some help and some guidance. Please open my
heart and open my mind here, Lord.

I pray for the Holy Spirit. I love you, Lord.

Advertisements

change of heart

4/22/2005 5:09 AM
Title: THE HARVEST
——————-

S: ?The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are
few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out
laborers into His harvest.? Matthew 9:37

O: Jesus watches people. He listens to people. He truly
sees something that most people do not see. People are
ready for His message. They are ready to follow someone.
They have no shepherd. They have no leader. They want to
be followers and they want to follow someone who is good.
He sees that. He says to pray for harvesters.

A: Do I see the same thing in the world today? Do I see
the same thing in the way things have gone? Do I see the
same in people? Usually I see a bunch of spoiled brats
that aren?t willing to follow. Perhaps it?s me. Perhaps
it?s that I am not listening and watching well enough.
Perhaps it?s that I am not leading well.

P: Lord, I pray for harvesters amongst my church. But I
also pray for harvesters from outside the church ? people
who will find you and then pick up their sickle and begin
to help harvest alongside us. Please, Lord, lead us.
Please direct us. Please focus us. Please make us like
you.

I pray you will give me a listening ear. I pray you will
give me a willing heart. Give me eyes to see the potential
in people and not the bumbles that they currently have.
Forgive me for being judgmental. Forgive me for not
listening to you. Let me listen and let me follow your
pathway. Please direct us and please fill us. Please make
me more and more like you.

I love you.

Trials are Good!

4/17/2005 6:40 AM
Title: PRAISE IN THE MIDST OF TRIAL!
—S=Scripture, O=Observation, A=Application, P=Prayer—-

S: ?Not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD. They
run and prepare themselves through no fault of mind.? ?But
I will sing of your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your
mercy in the morning. For You have been my defense And
refuge in the day of my trouble, To You, O my Strength, I
will sing praises For God is my defense, My God of mercy.?
Psalm 59:3, 4, 16, 17

O: Fascinating that David sees the bigger picture. People
are waiting outside his door to capture and kill him. He
knows it. And he takes the time to write this stuff down.
He writes it down because he sees the bigger picture. He
writes it down because he sees that things are NOT always
going to be like they are right now.

His words, ?In the morning?.? express that things will get
better. Life goes up. Life goes down. David understands
this bigger picture and in the midst of the trials, he
stops to praise God. Great!

In the midst of all that, he also stops to analyze himself.
David understands that he has done nothing wrong for Saul
to be chasing him like he is. David did the soul-searching
that so often needs to be done and he comes up clean. He
was honest and not fooling himself.

John Maxwell, in today?s reading of Matthew 4, expresses
this about Jesus? wilderness experience. ?During this time
[wilderness, trials, problems], our motives get purified,
our backbone solidifies, and our calling gets clarified.?

A: Maxwell is right. When the Salem Project was shut down,
and it affected me so hard, I had to become bitter or
better. In that whole process, I became less Roger-focused
and more God-focused.

I came to the realization that this was not caused by my
fault, rather it was something I could do nothing about.
And in the midst of that, in one of the lowest times of my
life, I learned to praise God through those low times. It
was VERY hard to do, and not something easy to learn.

But it also purified my motives for church planting,
clarified my vision, and made me a stronger person and a
stronger leader.

So, what am I being challenged with today. Probably the
biggest issue I?m dealing with right now, is the process of
alignment. It?s a struggle for me in the leadership aspect
and the organizational aspect of it all. BUT I know that
this is going to stretch me. I must keep my life clean, my
motives pure, I must strengthen myself ? physically,
emotionally, spiritually and mentally, and I need to
continue to clarify the calling God has placed upon my
heart.

P: Lord, I know that you are moving me into a new realm.
The stretch from a small church into a medium-sized church
is huge for me. All of college and seminary were about
teaching us to do church according the small-size church
model. I pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit to guide me. I
pray for the Holy Spirit to focus me. I pray for the Holy
Spirit to teach me.

Please send me to good mentors for this kind of thing,
Lord. Please send me to good mentors for learning. Please
don?t let me get distracted and don?t let me get off track.
I pray for clarity. I believe you are leading me. I know
you are directing me to walk with you.

I want to focus my relationship with you and I want you to
teach me leadership and guide me into the amazing things
you have planned for me. Please continue to lead. Please
continue to guide. Please continue to make me like you. I
pray for your heart, Lord. I love you.

No Fear!

4/15/2005 6:49 AM
Title: WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FOR THE FUTURE
—————————–

S: ?Moreover David said, ?The LORD, who delivered me from
the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will
deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.??

O: Ellen White says the same thing ? We have no fear of the
future unless we forget God?s past leadings?.

David is simply expressing the ? age-old theory and truth
that we get courage from the past. We are all people of
the past. There?s no reason why we should fear the future.

But David?s experience is a little unlike the norm.
Because each step into the future usually pushes us a
little farther than we?ve been pushed before. What David
and Ellen are stating is that the past helps us know that
this next step is just a little step ? if we had to step
there 10 years ago, it would be a big step, but because of
all the other steps we?ve taken, this one now is simply a
little bigger?.

A: I know God has led me. Here?s the way he has led me in
the past.
1. He brought me up in a home that was open to the gospel
2. He changed my family away from where we could have gone
? towards alcoholism, drugs, divorce, etc.
3. He helped me through college and graduate school
4. He gave me a wonderful, beautiful, and Godly wife.
5. He gave me 5 wonderful kids.
6. He led me to grow my previous churches ? doubled in size
from the time I took over
7. He led me to start The Adventure
8. It has doubled in the last 2.5 years.
9. He brought Jim and Shane on board to help
10. He has continued to change my heart towards the things
that He loves and not the things I love
11. Good health
12. Good mind (some might argue with that?.)
13. Good family

Here?s where he?s leading me into the future:
1. God is leading The Adventure to grow and I am becoming
more of an architect than a shepherd.
2. God is leading our family to train our kids into
usefulness, not idleness
3. God is moving us away from the ways of the world to the
ways of Godliness
4. God is stretching me on the idea of children and when to
limit them.
5. God is moving me to become a man not built on my
history, but built on my future.
6. God is changing me into a planner, not always running by
the seat of my pants.

Thos are not huge milestones ? they aren?t the largest ones
I?ve ever tackled. But they challenge me. Remembering the
past makes me assured of the fact that I am going to go
through these things in the future.

P: Lord, I pray for the Holy Spirit. I can?t move forward
without him. I didn?t list the Holy Spirit as one thing
that has been there in the past, but He has been. And
that?s likely the number one thing that keeps me from being
fearful of the future. Please keep me listening. Please
give me wisdom. Please empower me to do your will. Please
strengthen my desire to follow you. Please change my heart
to be like you.

I love you, Lord.