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Consecration by Jonathan Edwards

jonathan edwardsI claim no right to myself—no right to this understanding, this will, these affections that are in me; neither do I have any right to this body or its members—no right to this tongue, to these hands, feet, ears, or eyes.

I have given myself clear away and not retained anything of my own. I have been to God this morning and told Him I have given myself wholly to Him. I have given every power, so that for the future I claim no right to myself in any respect. I have expressly promised Him, for by His grace I will not fail. I take Him as my whole portion and felicity, looking upon nothing else as any part of my happiness. His law is the constant rule of my obedience.

I will fight with all my might against the world, the flesh, and the devil to the end of my life. I will adhere to the faith of the Gospel, however hazardous and difficult the profession and practice of it may be.

I receive the blessed Spirit as my Teacher, Sanctifier, and only Comforter, and cherish all admonitions to enlighten, purify, confirm, comfort, and assist me. This I have done.

I pray God, for the sake of others, to look upon this as a self-dedication, and receive me as His own. Henceforth, I am not to act in any respect as my own. I shall act as my own if I ever make use of any of my powers to do anything that is not to the glory of God, or to fail to make the glorifying of Him my whole and entire business.

If I murmur in the least at afflictions; if I am in any way uncharitable; if I revenge my own case; if I do anything purely to please myself, or omit anything because it is a great denial; if I trust to myself; if I take any praise for any good which Christ does by me; or if I am in any way proud, I shall act as my own and not God’s. I purpose to be absolutely His.

—Jonathan Edwards

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The Bible Epic Series

Absolutely looking forward to this series, not only on TV, but teaching right along side the subject matter at church!

The Bible is an epic five-part miniseries premiering March 3, 2013 on the History Channel. Each episode of The Bible brings Scripture to life with powerful performances and dazzling visual effects to present tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation.

United on Purpose

Pulling together is much more than general agreement. When unity is from the heart many blessings follow. Read these words from Paul, who incidentally has his share of credibility.

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Philippians 2:1-2 (NLT)

Wow!

So agreement and unity come from an overflow of knowing Jesus loves us and having Christ Followers for friends. Oh, and along the way put a check on your hearts to see if they are still soft toward one another.

Paul then says — kind of like a father would — MAKE MY DAY!

If you want to make a difference and to make him proud, do this Christian life (lifestyle) TOGETHER in love. And work very hard — like it’s your very own special project. What kind of “work”? LOVE and UNITY and MOTIVATED. Don’t be lazy (idle, inactive, remiss, negligent) about these things!

Shuttle and the Stars

One of my favorite photographers is Trey Ratcliff. You can find more of his work at http://stuckincustoms.com . This is a shuttle launch he took of the Endeavor.

When I think of the new Mars Rover mission and the heavens, it inspires me. Here’s a Bible verse that might help you think about our creator, too.

Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.

YouVersion’s Top 10 Bookmarked Verses of 2011

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I’m not really sure if you have used YouVersion — but if you are into apps for your Smartphone, you probably have the “Bible” app. Actually that app IS YouVersion. It is AWESOME both on the phone and online. Here is a release they put out in January. I think it SPEAKS VOLUMES about the encouragement God’s Word brings us. It would make a great 10-week study, too!

2011 was a big year for Bible engagement in the YouVersion community. One of the ways we did that was by creating tens of millions of bookmarks. A bookmark is a great way to keep track of a verse you want to return to again and again, whether it’s because you want to memorize it, you want to share it with a friend, or simply because it’s one of your favorites. Here are the top 10 bookmarks that the YouVersion community saved during 2011*:

1. Philippians 4:6 – 123,035
2. Jeremiah 29:11 – 100,044
3. Proverbs 3:5 – 97,758
4. Romans 12:2 – 95,804
5. Philippians 4:13 – 87,120
6. Philippians 4:7 – 83,193
7. Romans 8:28 – 78,491
8. Proverbs 3:6 – 74,770
9. Matthew 6:33 – 73,544
10. 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 71,923

Encouragement – What “hope and promise” has God given you?

Pay special attention to the “for God” part in verse 23.

Got a promise God has given to you?

Hebrews 10:19-25

19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death,t Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

 

Reading Leads to Knowing

Have you ever wanted to know God? I mean, really KNOW Him? If you do, it will take a lot of time. Knowing God is much more than a simple hike in the mountains, soaking in a sunset, or running in the rain. All those things are romantic, emotional, and refreshing. But there is so much more to it, isn’t there.

If you want to strengthen your faith, a formula exists. It has been proven over much time and by the millions. You gain faith by READING the BIBLE. Yes, reading it a lot!

Many people KNOW a ton about Harry Potter, the Twilight series, even Star Wars or Jaws. I’ve “put in my time” with the Rocky movies and can talk about him with the best of them.

When it comes to IDENTIFYING with CHRIST, we must absorb and then practice. Study – to SHOW yourself approved and then realize that you were created to do great things for the cause of Jesus.

Ummm…. it LOOKS like something. A changed life lives it’s values OUT LOUD. I challenge you to allow God to change YOU!

“One of the marks of our modern time is the fact that many are guilty of merely “nibbling” at the truth of the Christian gospel. If the cross of Jesus Christ means what it should to us and we know that we must carry it and die on it and then rise and live above it, we will have a constant desire to advance and gain spiritual ground.”

- A.W. Tozer, Day By Day

Honor

THE MEDAL OF HONOR! One of the greatest awards that our nation gives has incredible history.

Honor is empowering inspiring. There are people in my life who I often take for granted. If you ask me straight up, I would be quick to tell you how much I appreciate not only what these ones I love DO, but WHO THEY ARE. Unfortunately, I get caught up in my own little world way too often.

My wife, Ginger, is just one of these people. She is my best friend and confidant. In fact, she OFTEN will encourage me with scripture, words, wisdom, and honor.

I will miss her this weekend. She is once more spreading her wings in ministry. It seems that not only being a singer-song writer is natural, but so is speaking. She will be the featured guest speaker — 3 messages — at a retreat at Lake Tahoe. Under that beautiful backdrop — and disconnection from technology — God will challenge nearly 100 women.

So, THANK YOU, Ginger for being MY inspiration! Today, I would like to honor YOU! I am praying for changed lives and stories of spiritual victories as a result of your inspiration.

Message of Hope

Wow! Love this from “The Message” version of the Bible.
It’s a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God

19-21I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

22-24God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left.

25-27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It’s a good thing when you’re young
to stick it out through the hard times.

28-30When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The “worst” is never the worst.

31-33Why? Because the Master won’t ever
walk out and fail to return.

U-Turns and Self-Imposed Roadblocks

roadblockGod has really called out the independent — er, DEPENDENT spirit here in Isaiah’s heart. This isn’t necessarily a moral or ethical viewpoint that he has gathered together just because he WANTS to do right. This is a MANDATE to do the “God Thing.”

The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. … Isaiah 8:11 (NLT)

For me, personally, this is what God wants as well. my world is pretty polluted with wanting to be both accepted and to be acceptable. The clear implication here is to think with our full HEART and MIND, but to ALLOW some kind of Holy Spirit filter to always be present. The words STRONG WARNING must be pretty serious considering their source.

Pick Me!

isaiah send meRemember the first Shrek movie? The donkey says the famous line, “Pick Me! Pick Me! Pick Me!” hilarious and yet it shows a sense of passion.

I’m sure it was the same way when King David in the Bible was chosen. His brothers were surely thinking, if not expressing the same kind of passion. If chosen — things would be different forever for any one of the that would be selected by Samuel the prophet to replace Saul.

When you look at Isaiah 6, it is a little different. As you know, the previous chapters laid out a vivid picture that was not easy for one trusting God to gaze upon. The need was great, if not incomprehensible. King Uzziah died, the corruptible and leprous, and a new day was now at hand.

Looking upward, Isaiah knew his request would be timely:

Isaiah 6:5 Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Some lessons from prayer time and meditation:

  • My words can be sinful
  • My words can hurt God
  • My words can hurt others
  • My words can mirror or echo my friends who disappoint God

After Isaiah had allowed God to purge this sin from him, he cried out, “GOD — PICK ME!”

And God not only PICKED him, but SENT him to GO and TELL others a holiness they had thus far ignored.

Everything Removed

Awakening Day 3

As I am praying today, I am looking at things I trust that should be shaken and/or removed from my life. I am going to take some time with this. I know this can become highly personal, so I will not be specific in this public forum. It’s kind of like another “Let Go and Let God” time for me.

In Isaiah 3, it starts out with a promise. Everything Israel had learned and come to trust would be taken removed. This was a big deal. It is “Job-like” — the Job in the Bible. But there is a HUGE difference. With Job, he was being TESTED and was BLAMELESS before God.

With the Israel people? They were being SHAKEN! And if you go down the list of what they were “trusting in” it seems horrendous to us. Some versions say EVERYTHING that SUPPLIES and
SUSTAINS. In fact we would NEVER become that way, right?

  • Every bit of bread
  • Every drop of water,
  • All their heroes
  • All their soldiers
  • All their judges
  • All their prophets
  • Fortune tellers
  • Elders
  • Army officers
  • High officials
  • Advisers
  • Skilled craftsmen
  • Astrologers

Let’s think about each one of these things in our lives that COMPETE with God. Wouldn’t it be better to SURRENDER them than to have them REMOVED? An act of surrender is an act of the HEART.

Hostile

Hostile is the focus in my prayer and Bible study time today. As I begin reading in Isaiah, it is obvious that things — actually PEOPLE– just aren’t right with God. And we know the challenge that Isaiah has before him, don’t we? Here are my “first thoughts” in bullet point form.

First, recognize the spiritual destruction all around you.
Second, be sure you understand your own spiritual condition, checking yours against the complacency and corruption.
Third, examine the rewards of choosing God over idols, complacency, culture that is contrary to His teachings, selfishness, and just plain pride.
Fourth, get ready to speak forth the Word of the Lord with confidence and boldness.

Ok, let’s START there. It IS only day ONE of this prayer season, after all!!

Positioning for Prayer

When it comes to seeking the Lord, what do YOU do? I am in that season right now. I need wisdom, understanding, direction, and inspiration. Actually, I am calling all of our church to do just that, too.

We will begin with a 21 day fast. A time of sincere “setting-aside-a-time-and-place” to all God to speak in to our lives. We need to hear our loving Father through His Scripture and through the Holy Spirit.

Right now I just want to change to be more like Christ, to see new things, to embrace those precious people He created to work beside me. His WORKMANSHIP. Tell me, if you had a time that was a springboard to something spiritually new … what was it for you? Share you story in the comments, ok?

Crying Out

We may walk by them all the time. People that have a blank expression and are not communicating their hurts and pains. When we read about the “Good Samaritan” in the Bible, the obvious moral of the story is to help others when they are in need. And to notice them. And to invest in them. And to come back and check on them later. Not many actually cry out or sound like they need you — but they do. They are all around you! It may surprise you who they are — but look into their eyes — just slow down a little and use your God-given gifts to minister the LOVE of JESUS. Do it TODAY.

Preparation

worship handsI have been reading in the Old Testament of Exodus and Leviticus. One word that keeps popping out of the text is the word “prepare“. It is amazing not only how detailed the preparation was to get everything right, but the consequences of not taking this type of worship seriously. I’m absolutely convinced that during those first days and years of temple-worship experiences were entirely inspirational as people were actually following IN DETAIL what God had asked them to carry out. Unfortunately humanity began to ignore — take for granted — became bored — and actually lost the passion of preparation.

John the Baptist also did this: He prepared the way for Jesus — a way to live in God’s favor. THAT kind of favor is a a not a preparation of works, but of mercy! Now each day we can PREPARE for and follow through in worship to this King of Kings and Lord of Lords! So what are you waiting for?

Wild Goose Chase Series Begins January 18

Mark Batterson who wrote “Wild Goose Chase” sent this message to me about the upcoming series that will begin January 18, 2009. More details at Central Assembly’s website.

2008 Thanksgiving Year of the “Social”

I have to agree with a lot of the favorite tech things that Greg Atkinson wrote about on his blog post. In 2008 there are three services in particular that bounced to the top for me.

Facebook

Twitter

Ustream.tv

The reason is this — making the connection — with a LOT of other people I haven’t talked to or communicated with in a long time. And you know what? I still like them!! ;-)

God created us to love Him and to love others. One small way to BEGIN to love someone is to connect, interact, communicate, pray, and have conversations. In MY conversations, I want to bring hope and inspiration and to be transparent.

But when it’s all said and done

Hostage! Lies

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does .The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4

WHAT LIES HOLD US HOSTAGE?

LIE: GOD CAN’T CHANGE ME

TRUTH: …we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation ; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17-18

THE STRATEGY of THOUGHTS AND OVERCOMING LIES

1. CAPTURE WRONG THOUGHTS.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

…whatever is true…noble…right…pure…lovely…admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8

2. SPEAK TRUTH.
The tongue has the power of life and death… Proverbs 18:21

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14 NLT

3. DON’T GIVE UP.
To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Colossians 1:29-2:1

…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

Inspired by Lifechurch.tv

Bible Study Resources

study

Online Bible Search

  1. eBible
    Search the Bible as part of the social network. Ability to tag and personalize your Bible is an amazing tool for study groups.
  2. Bible Gateway
    Search the NIV plus many other versions.
  3. Bible Server
    Search many versions of the Bible including the NIV.

Audio Bibles

  1. Bible Gateway Audio Bible
    Ready by Max McLean of Listeners Bible
  2. Listeners Bible
    Buy Bible mp3s by Max McLean
  3. Audio Bible
    Free but ugly site. Requires Real Player.
  4. Audio Treasure
    Buy Bible on audio
  5. The Audio Bible
    Read by George Sarris

RSS and Podcast Feeds

  1. Bible Gateway’s Verse of the Day
  2. Fighter Verses Podcast Feed
  3. The Daily Audio Bible Podcast

Memorization

  1. Fighter Verses
    Fighter Verses are short passages of Scripture which Bethlehem Baptist have chosen to memorize each week. Based on the ESV Bible.
  2. Bible Memory
    Get your verses to memory free via email

Bible Resources

  1. Open Bible Topical Bible
    Mashup up of Yahoo! web services and a Topical Bible
  2. Open Google Map of Passion of Christ
    Follow Jesus in Jerusalem
  3. Open Bible Geocoding
    Amazing use of Google Earth
  4. Bible in 90 Days
    Journal about your experience of reading the Bible in 90 days
  5. Minor Prophet Bible Blogs
    A blog tool focused on blogging about the Bible.

Bible Web Services (for web developers)

  1. ebibleicious WordPress plugin from eBible
  2. Bible Gateway Verse of the Day Flash widget

From Plaid Blog

Quick Thought I Heard Today

In my devotional time today I heard this statement:

“We are not philosophers living on man’s explainations;
We are Pilgrims living on God’s PROMISES!

His promises never fail.

RevTim

Hostage! Addiction Notes

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?  But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you… Genesis 4:7

“…but you must master it.”   Genesis 4:7

HOW TO MASTER YOUR ADDICTIONS

1)    TURN TO GOD.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires…but rather offer yourselves to God…For sin shall not be your master…  Romans 6:12-14

WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR LORD?

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19

2)    SHARE THE FINAL 10 Percent — in order to become fully accountable. Don’t just give 90 percent.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed… James 5:16

•    FIND ACCOUNTABILITY.
•    CREATE A CLIMATE OF ACCEPTANCE.
•    KEEP IT IN THE ROOM.

3)    FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-4

WEAPONS FOR FREEDOM:

•    IRRATIONAL OBEDIENCE
•    CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S WORD
•    MILITANT PRAYER

“No temptation has seized you except that which is common to man.  And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”  1 Corinthians 10:13

Nicodemus and John 3

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made with http://wordle.net

Need Wisdom?

It makes sense that you can gain wisdom through research. That research becomes overwhelming and seeming infinite when it comes to the World Wide Web. We have Wikipedia, Google, Yahoo! search, and many ways to find information.

This is what millions of people do on an hourly basis throughout the world.

Economy in trouble? I’m sure you can find a lot of opinions and answers. What about grilling a steak? Yes, you can find that too. Philosophy? Psychology? Scientific research? Sociology? It’s all out there.

What about how to discipline or raise a child? You can find that, too. How to survive a divorce? 5,890,000 results on Google today.

But what about the wisdom that comes from God?

First, no matter what, if you want your faith to increase and to get solid foundational answers about God, you should read the Bible. Wisdom and information pours out of it. Although it is historical, the Bible is not a “History” book, per se. (I think that’s the first time I ever wrote out the phrase per se ;-)  )

The intent of the Bible was to point to Jesus, the one way to be made right with God. See Romans 10 and Hebrews for more clarity about that. Anyhow, we can gain wisdom by spending time in God’s Word, the Bible.

Second, we can ask God for wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  – James 1:5 (NIV)

Don’t be afraid to pray and ask God to help you … and us as a nation. We could all use a little more wisdom. So take a little time and invest your life in learning — and — asking!

HOSTAGE! ADDICTION

On September 28, 2008 learn how to BREAK FREE! Or help someone else BREAK FREE from addictions. More information at RestoringHope.com, the Central Assembly in El Sobrante, California website.

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