Archive for August, 2006

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Magnify

August 25, 2006

             Magnifying_glass   

magnify

Growing up with my little brother Josh was such an adventure.   Our day’s were filled with Lego’s,  Walkie Talkie’s, bike jumps, tadpoles,  fishing, basketball, frisbee, hide and seek, video games, forts and more.  There were also the occasional meaningless fights.  I still remember the look on Josh’s face when as a 9 year old he got so mad at me that he picked up a chair and swung it around like a discus champion and proceeded to watch it crash through the glass top on our coffee table.  Priceless.

One of our favorite past times was playing with magnifying glasses. We’d burn holes in things, see how hot we could stand it in our hands, start fires with pine cones or pine needles on the side walk,  or occasionally zap a carpenter ant.  We were absolutely fascinated by how that instrument could harness the sun and focus its energy like that.   But you had to hold it perfectly, the angle had to catch and magnify the energy put out by the sun.  Hold it at the wrong angle, or if the sun would go behind a cloud and the image weakened, the magnifying glass lost its ability to magnify the sun’s energy.

What’s our perfect angle?  When are we best glorifying, magnifying, representing Christ in our lives?  When is His image bright, clear and focused, radiating power from us like a beam whose heat cannot be ignored?

I believe with all my heart that when we see Him most accurately and clearly that is when He is most magnified. 

How do we see Him accurately and clearly?  By reading His Word.

Psalm 119:105
    Your word is a lamp for my feet
       and a light for my path.

Jeremiah 15:16
Your words are what sustain me. They bring me great joy and are my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.

Colossians 3:16
Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

2 Timothy 2:9 
But the word of God cannot be chained.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.

h1

Magnify

August 25, 2006

             Magnifying_glass   

magnify

Growing up with my little brother Josh was such an adventure.   Our day’s were filled with Lego’s,  Walkie Talkie’s, bike jumps, tadpoles,  fishing, basketball, frisbee, hide and seek, video games, forts and more.  There were also the occasional meaningless fights.  I still remember the look on Josh’s face when as a 9 year old he got so mad at me that he picked up a chair and swung it around like a discus champion and proceeded to watch it crash through the glass top on our coffee table.  Priceless.

One of our favorite past times was playing with magnifying glasses. We’d burn holes in things, see how hot we could stand it in our hands, start fires with pine cones or pine needles on the side walk,  or occasionally zap a carpenter ant.  We were absolutely fascinated by how that instrument could harness the sun and focus its energy like that.   But you had to hold it perfectly, the angle had to catch and magnify the energy put out by the sun.  Hold it at the wrong angle, or if the sun would go behind a cloud and the image weakened, the magnifying glass lost its ability to magnify the sun’s energy.

What’s our perfect angle?  When are we best glorifying, magnifying, representing Christ in our lives?  When is His image bright, clear and focused, radiating power from us like a beam whose heat cannot be ignored?

I believe with all my heart that when we see Him most accurately and clearly that is when He is most magnified. 

How do we see Him accurately and clearly?  By reading His Word.

Psalm 119:105
    Your word is a lamp for my feet
       and a light for my path.

Jeremiah 15:16
Your words are what sustain me. They bring me great joy and are my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty.

Colossians 3:16
Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.

2 Timothy 2:9 
But the word of God cannot be chained.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.

h1

Your most powerful weapon

August 18, 2006

When it comes to guns I’m all boy.  Toy_gun I’ve always loved them, for as long as I can remember.  I don’t own a real gun today, but I have friends who do, and who carry them concealed, and I’m still in awe and full of respect for the power that a loaded gun represents. 

Most of us have not been shot.  And most of us don’t carry loaded pistols under our shirts just in case.  But all of us have been wounded by what I consider our most powerful weapons that we carry, our tongues.   Think back over your life and wounds you received that you remember.  More often than not they have come from someone’s words, spoken with the force of a bullet to your heart.

Such power you hold with your tongue.  Power to cut down, discourage, destroy, belittle, embarrass, ruin.  Even withholding speech, suppressing your tongue can be a form of pain in someone’s life who needs your speech to show them love. 

I’m 32 and have been out of my parent’s house almost as long as I was in.  The other day my dad spoke to me words of affirmation, words of blessing, words of encouragement to me.  My soul drank them in. 

If you recorded everything you said today, what would it reveal about how you are using your most powerful weapon?

Proverbs 12:18:

    18 Reckless words pierce like a sword,
       but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

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O.K. I get it

August 14, 2006

Yesterday I was overwhelmed.  My job, which I love, was consuming me.  I was feeling perpetually behind.  I expressed to a friend how it felt like slowly but surely, I was getting swallowed up by quick sand.  In ministry, there is ALWAYS way more to do than time in a day to do it.  So yesterday I was almost to the point of despair.  There was a conference going on in our church that I felt I didn’t have any time for.  My good friend Kurt instant messaged me to come to the 2oclock session with him.  I gave a quick retort that expressed to him my time constraint and how I wish I had an hour to give to all kinds of things let alone whatever was happening in the sanctuary at the moment. (sorry Kurt, I was a jerk.)

So I went.

And then I’m sure God got a good laugh as He watched my face when I heard Andy Stanley talk about the smartest ministry decision he has ever made. He decided many years ago that in the balance of ministry and family, he would choose family.  Andy talked directly about my situation and how I was feeling.  And I mean directly. I was trying not to squirm in my seat and be obvious that I was guilty of everything that was being shared from the platform.  Guilty of forgetting that I don’t build the church, God does.  Guilty of thinking that if I don’t…fill in the blank, then it, whatever it is won’t get done.  Guilty of leaning my priorities stronger toward church then my unique roles of husband and father. 

God will build His church, he has done it just fine without me for a couple of thousand years, He knows what He is doing.  And so today, I’m thankful for the change of perspective and the freedom it brings this morning.  God’s in charge, He’s building His church, and the gates of hell won’t prevail against it.  And even when I feel behind in 2006, at Sunset Presbyterian, in

Portland

Oregon

, I’m pretty sure God can fill in the gaps for my shortcomings!!

h1

O.K. I get it

August 14, 2006

Yesterday I was overwhelmed.  My job, which I love, was consuming me.  I was feeling perpetually behind.  I expressed to a friend how it felt like slowly but surely, I was getting swallowed up by quick sand.  In ministry, there is ALWAYS way more to do than time in a day to do it.  So yesterday I was almost to the point of despair.  There was a conference going on in our church that I felt I didn’t have any time for.  My good friend Kurt instant messaged me to come to the 2oclock session with him.  I gave a quick retort that expressed to him my time constraint and how I wish I had an hour to give to all kinds of things let alone whatever was happening in the sanctuary at the moment. (sorry Kurt, I was a jerk.)

So I went.

And then I’m sure God got a good laugh as He watched my face when I heard Andy Stanley talk about the smartest ministry decision he has ever made. He decided many years ago that in the balance of ministry and family, he would choose family.  Andy talked directly about my situation and how I was feeling.  And I mean directly. I was trying not to squirm in my seat and be obvious that I was guilty of everything that was being shared from the platform.  Guilty of forgetting that I don’t build the church, God does.  Guilty of thinking that if I don’t…fill in the blank, then it, whatever it is won’t get done.  Guilty of leaning my priorities stronger toward church then my unique roles of husband and father. 

God will build His church, he has done it just fine without me for a couple of thousand years, He knows what He is doing.  And so today, I’m thankful for the change of perspective and the freedom it brings this morning.  God’s in charge, He’s building His church, and the gates of hell won’t prevail against it.  And even when I feel behind in 2006, at Sunset Presbyterian, in

Portland

Oregon

, I’m pretty sure God can fill in the gaps for my shortcomings!!

h1

Re-do

August 4, 2006

I just spent an hour writing.  I had my wife Allison come and read what I wrote for her input.  I do that often, as she has a great sense for what works and what doesn’t with what I write.  30 seconds ago I deleted a heartfelt but lengthy and choppy devotional.  You can thank her for sparing you. 

I will share with you one verse I read this morning from Psalms that spoke to me.     

“I do not trust my bow, I do not count on my sword to save me. It is You who gives us victory over our enemies;”

David, a powerful king and skilled fighter with a vast army, recognized that real power comes from God and not man. 

Are you or I trusting in our own skill, our own abilities today?  Or will we acknowledge the Source like David did?

PS- I’m not letting Allison read this one before I send it!

h1

Re-do

August 4, 2006

I just spent an hour writing.  I had my wife Allison come and read what I wrote for her input.  I do that often, as she has a great sense for what works and what doesn’t with what I write.  30 seconds ago I deleted a heartfelt but lengthy and choppy devotional.  You can thank her for sparing you. 

I will share with you one verse I read this morning from Psalms that spoke to me.     

“I do not trust my bow, I do not count on my sword to save me. It is You who gives us victory over our enemies;”

David, a powerful king and skilled fighter with a vast army, recognized that real power comes from God and not man. 

Are you or I trusting in our own skill, our own abilities today?  Or will we acknowledge the Source like David did?

PS- I’m not letting Allison read this one before I send it!