Watch Your Step… Pay attention to His peace

watchyourstep

 

 

The Holy Spirit will guide us so we should watch our steps.  Pay attention to the presence or absence of peace because it is the Holy Spirit Guiding your life.

The absence of peace is not God leaving you.  It is His Spirit trying to get your full attention and trying to guide or redirect you.  Pay attention.

To help you think about your situation, answer these questions related to a decision you are facing:

1. As I think through my options, is there one in particular I really have peace about?

2. Is there one option that looks good on the surface, but as I think about myself following through with it, something just doesn’t seem right?

3. Do any of my options conflict with the Word of God?

4. Is there an option that scares me, but wen I pray about it, I really have peace?

5. Is there an option that disturbs me but my wise friends are encouraging me to follow it?

6. Do I have a feeling I know what God would have me do but I really don’t want to face it?

 

See you next Sunday!!


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The Best You…Now: Give it up… It’s An Inside Job

BestYouNow-logo-small

 

1 Cor. 6:19     Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,  for God bought you with a high price.

The truth… I can’t change myself… for long.  I can create change for a period of time but eventually I get tired and I revert back to the real me.

The truth… Because I am a Christ-follower, God’s Holy Spirit makes His home in my soul.

I don’t have to change.  I don’t have to work on it.  He does all the changing for me… from the inside out… IF (and this is a BIG IF) I will simply submit to the Holy Spirit within me and live in a relationship with Him moment by moment.  After all… I’m His house and He will clean out what needs to be cleaned out IF I will only allow Him.

My Prayer:

Holy Spirit, I admit that I can’t change myself.  I have tried and the results have been disappointing.  I can’t do it.  But I know you live within me.  I know you will change me if I will simply daily live with you and daily walk with you moment by moment.  I am going to talk with you today.  I am going to ask you to lead me today.  I am going to listen.  I am going to follow.  I am going to Your Words of life in scripture and I will listen to you today.

(If you don’t know where to start… maybe start with one chapter of Proverbs a day)

 


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A God That Makes Sense to Me

old gods

 

Why do I think that my mind should be able to make sense of God and his mind?  Why do I insist?

I’m not talking about the advance of our understanding in science.  Everything we learn is simply another step to understanding this amazing creation of God and like a proud parent, God probably celebrates every scientific step we make in understanding this creation of His.  Our growth in scientific understanding is not what this is about because creation itself screams there is a creator God.

The problem, I guess, is we stop our journey short.  Rather than seeing our journey toward God, we stop at each step and create for us a new god.  2000 years ago they did the same thing we do today with the only difference being the shape these gods take.

Some of our gods take the shape of human relationships but most do not.  Our gods take the form of virtual experience.  Our gods are technological wonders (to us).  Most of our gods today require electricity from batteries (a few still plug in by ac only and a few are powered by fuel).  We crave time with our gods and are anxious when our gods are not in our hands or in our pockets (unless it is a god we can drive, we don’t have pocket space for that god).

All of our technology gods have been created using God’s laws of science and physics (and any other laws I’m not smart enough to know about).  These steps make sense to us.  We can understand them.  We created them (using God’s creatively designed universe and universal laws).  We discovered something.  We created something.  Rather than being steps toward our creator, we stop after a step, after an advancement in our understanding, and create a new, little god we can understand.  It is a god that makes sense to us.

Within my reach (without having to move from my chair) I have several of those gods in front of me.  Some still hold prominent places in my life… some have been pushed a little lower to make room for new, faster, more powerful, more spectacular gods.

I have hundreds and hundreds of books within my reach.

I have vcr sitting under a vcr/dvd player.

I have great digital sound system.

I have a wireless keyboard and mouse (pretty cool when these came out)

I have a powerhouse desktop pc.

I have gigs of storage sitting by terabytes of storage.

I have a wireless router.

I have two huge monitors for super desktop productivity.

I have a high resolution scanner and a digital drawing pad plugged into my cpu via usb.

I have a bizhub professional copy machine.

My list can go on… and on… and on…    One more technology step, one more god after god after god.

I give them my time.  I give them my attention.  I give them my devotion.  I study them, learn about them and read everything about them I can so I can improve my life.  I give them my confidence…. which all together means I give them my worship.

Paul describes this process as it happened around him and as it still happens today (just with newer steps) in Romans chapter 1.

” 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.  21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.”

Pause today… consider with me where you have placed your confidence.

 

 


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Addiction. Defeat. Destruction.

an addiction

Of all the tortures of hurt and pain available to the evil one, addiction must be among his mightiest.  The soul who carries the pain of addiction carries many lifetimes of hurt. The precious wounded journeyer is romanced by promises of better times and pain left behind.  Addiction seductively kisses the lips of the addict with the hope of freedom from the torment of life and comfort if one simply takes addiction by the hand and gives oneself away.  Addiction is a liar who walks the addict to a secluded place and watches like a voyeur as anger, violence and self hate perpetrate their evil upon the addicted soul.

The journey through addiction brings some of life’s biggest promises as one desires to change.  The same journey brings some of life’s greatest discouragements as one then fails.   Looking around, the addict can see those who have obtained genuine freedom from addiction which leaves one wondering why not me too?  Why won’t God free me? Self-hate can even be reinforced by the victory of others.  Sadly, many are left feeling they must simply accept their struggle as too great and only hope for better in our life after death.

No matter if your addiction is a substance or a behavior, God can and is willing to set you free.  Beth Moore reminds us that God requires of you time, trust and cooperation.  While He can free you instantly, most slowly, daily, walk toward their freedom allowing God to teach them and grow them exponentially compared to the growth that comes with instant success.  It takes trust to heal slowly because we can’t see the distance traveled while looking at one step at a time.  But the journey is only taken one step at a time so we must trust.  And to make the journey of God’s freedom we must cooperate.  To cooperate means to jointly work toward the same end.  That means God has His parts and the journeyer has his parts… all working together toward the same freeing result.  I believe the addict’s parts (no matter the addiction) can best be summarized in the twelve steps.  The twelve steps help you define your parts and help you understand God’s parts.  The twelve steps help you cooperate with God.

Now add one more thing (for now).  Massive quantities of God’s Word.  Take it in every morning, every break time, every lunch time, every afternoon and every evening.  In it you will find life.  In it you will be infused with power from God Himself as His Spirit moves within you.  Don’t stop.  Force yourself when you don’t feel like it.  Make yourself when you think you are full.  Don’ stop. Don’t quit.  Don’t set it aside.  Become so full your life overflows with the Words of God.  It is the bread of life which can never make you too full because when you get full… you simply overflow and encourage those around you.

Now rename this post.  Time. Trust. Cooperation.

Go and walk with God to freedom.

a freedom


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Hurting now, Healing now

Crochet lovely hearts

Weekly Insight for Intimacy (re-posted from National Institute of Marriage)
“One of the most difficult and humbling things to do is to admit wrong, apologize and ask forgiveness. However, it can serve as a wonderful way to make possible reconciliation, healing and growth in relationships. In fact, scripture suggests that if someone holds anything against us, we should seek to restore the relationship ahead of laying our gift at the altar (Matthew 5:23-24). It seems significant that we would try to right a horizontal relationship ahead of worshiping our Lord. Is there anything for which you need to seek forgiveness from your spouse? If so, what would prevent you from doing so ASAP?”

At Stuttgart Harvest Church we know having trouble is normal. Not doing the right and wise things to make a relationship better is, we  unfortunately know, normal as well. Explore the National Institute of Marriage today and find some help. Your future is worth it.

And after all… we are all works in progress so keep doing the next wise thing.


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A Day With God

A Day With God… a Stuttgart Harvest Church Challenge
Read the verse, say something to God, listen to Him as you go.

8:00 a.m. Psalms 63:1 (NLT) O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

9:00 a.m. Psalms 63:2 (NLT) I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.

10:00 a.m. Psalms 63:3 (NLT) Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!

11:00 a.m. Psalms 84:2 (NLT) I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.

12:00 p.m. Psalms 84:4 What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises.

1:00 p.m. Psalms 141:3 (NLT) Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips.

2:00 p.m. Psalms 119:1 (NLT) Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the LORD.

3:00 p.m. Psalms 119:9 (NLT) How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word.

4:00 p.m. Psalms 119:11 (NLT) I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

5:00 p.m. Psalms 119:27 (NLT) Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.

6:00 p.m. Psalms 84:10 (NLT) A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

7:00 p.m. Psalms 84:11 (NLT) For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

8:00 p.m. Psalms 84:12 (NLT) O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.


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