Stand up comedian Gary Owens. Hilarious!
I 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.
The amazing song, “How Great Thou Art” seems so appropriate right now during Easter season. I have always LOVED verse three written in 1949 by Stuart K. Hine.
And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
As you may know, our church has a Christian school. Today is the annual Jog-a-thon Fundraiser. This is where kids have gathered pledges for participation and/or laps run. Investment in this day is not only expected, but fun for all the participants and volunteers who help.
There’s something about running.
Running not only wears you out, but it makes you stronger — how does THAT work, right?
In the spiritual lifestyle, we MUST run! We MUST get stronger in order to make it to the end. And the big thing about running the spiritual life for God’s Kingdom is to keep Jesus in FOCUS. And to RUN!! And to NOT GIVE UP!
If you’ve been around this faith life, this is a FUNDAMENTAL — you already know this. But do you actually DO this? Do you actually have a dietary spiritual theme in YOUR life that includes this? It is truly a challenge for EVERY BELIEVER.
Prepare to RUN — get those special shoes on, get up early, discipline yourself, and by all means – DON’T BE LAZY — “Just Do It!”
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)
Carman influenced my “real” Christian walk right after I got out of high school. In fact, the discovery of some Christian music to replace all of the distracting “other” music was a key to my intense hunger after God’s heart.
The very first song that I loved was one called, “Lazarus” — to me it was amazing!
You can keep up on his recent diagnosis with Multiple Myeloma on his Facebook site.
The following is a post that I keep reading over and over from Seth Godin. I wanted to post this list on my blog so I could continue to refer to it often. Do you have something to add? If so, just leave it in the comment section.
The simple power of one a day (by Seth Godin)
There are at least 200 working days a year. If you commit to doing a simple marketing item just once each day, at the end of the year you’ve built a mountain. Here are some things you might try (don’t do them all, just one of these once a day would change things for you):
- Send a handwritten and personal thank you note to a customer
- Write a blog post about how someone is using your product or service
- Research and post a short article about how something in your industry works
- Introduce one colleague to another in a significant way that benefits both of them
- Read the first three chapters of a business or other how-to book
- Record a video that teaches your customers how to do something
- Teach at least one of your employees a new skill
- Go for a ten minute walk and come back with at least five written ideas on how to improve what you offer the world
- Change something on your website and record how it changes interactions
- Help a non-profit in a signficant way (make a fundraising call, do outreach)
- Write or substiantially edit a Wikipedia article
- Find out something you didn’t know about one of your employees or customers or co-workers
GREAT TRUTHS THAT CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:
~ No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats.
~ When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
~ If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second
~ Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
~ You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.
~ Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
~ Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
~ You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
~ Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
~ The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandpa’s lap.
GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:
~ Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
~ Wrinkles don’t hurt.
~ Families are like fudge…mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
~ Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.
~ Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside.
~ Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.
GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD
~ Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
~ Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
~ When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you’re down
~ You get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a
~ It’s frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask
you the questions.
~ Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
~ Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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.
You often stress attendance at worship as being very important for a Christian, but I think a person has a right to miss now and then. I think every person ought to be excused for the following reasons and the number of times indicated.
Christmas Holidays (the Sunday before & after) 2
New Years (the party lasted too long) 1
Easter (get away for the holidays) 2
July 4th (national holidays) 1
Labor Day (need to get away) 2
Memorial Day (visit hometown folk) 1
School closing (kids need a break) 1
School reopens (one last fling) 1
Family reunions (mine & wife’s) 3
Sleep late (stayed up too long Saturday night) 9
Deaths in family 2
Anniversary (second honeymoon) 1
Sickness (one per family member) 5
Business trip (a must) 1
Vacation (three to four weeks) 6
Bad weather (ice, snow, rain, clouds) 2
Ball games 2
Unexpected company (can’t walk out) 2
Time changes (spring & fall) 2
Special on TV (superbowl, etc) 3
Pastor, that leaves two Sundays per year. So, you can count on us to be in church on the 4th Sunday in February and the 3rd Sunday in August unless we are providentially hindered.
A Faithful Member
For the past couple of years, YouVersion has published the top verses being read by millions of people using their app and Web site. The Bible is so powerful and we have favorite passages or life-verses that mean a little more to us personally than others. What is YOUR favorite verse?
YouVersion community’s top 10 most bookmarked verses of 2012:
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)
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!
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9
I love to plan, dream, and imagine what God can and will do through my gifts and influence in ministry. And He actually designed me to do this. I am prompted and sometimes mandated in scripture to “flow in my gifts.”
When I think back to the lives that have been changed as a result of being obedient to my gifts and callings, it is so humbling. TO GOD BE THE GLORY, right?
Note this: In EVERY CASE where I have helped someone see God more clearly — there is ALWAYS a point where HE DETERMINES what happens next. It’s a personal decision to move forward in faith — or not — and when one does move forward, it is GOD, not ME that thrusts them into the strong direction of HIS ULTIMATE PLAN.
Our responsibility, dreams, organization, and gifts — turn into GOD DIRECTED STEPS. Pray right now to get out of the way and listen to the Holy Spirit’s ultimate — and sometimes last minute (re)direction and then watch GOD astound — YOU.
We were in Portland, Oregon this past weekend. It was 20 years ago that we left the Houston, Texas area for our “Great Adventure“! How nice to see long-time friends and colleagues and to make new ones as well.
Congratulations, Werner and Gabriele — and to Life Church!
Proverbs 17:22 says that when you are cheerful — an attitude of the heart — it is a “good medicine”. I really like this phrase. Generally, I am a very cheerful person. I am optimistic and happy, with a love for laughter.
When my son was young, I would have my “sidekick” right beside me. My wife, Ginger, and I would ask him silly questions that invoked silly responses. We would use him to pull harmless pranks and would have both fun real-life activities, and adventures filled with imagination.
So, want to spice up your day? Here’s a quick list to empower you to add some smiles.
1. Ask children some great questions.
Stop for a moment and have fun with this. Start with “How was your day” and then move to some more creative stuff.
Perhaps ask things like:
- “Is there anything we can do together today?”
- “How do you think peanut butter is made?”
- “What does daddy do at work?”
- “Why does the Tooth Fairy take your teeth when you lose them?”
2. Run a race
Set some goal point, give them a head-start and RUN! Remember, it’s about building memories and self-esteem – and not about YOU winning!
3. Read a story
You can make a great connection with our kids when you read to them. Pick something fun and entertaining. The put some emotion into it. Do funny voices, or have them do some.
4. Look up famous places or places you have lived on Google Earth, or Google Maps.
I know this sounds geeky, but it can be a great adventure for kids who are the right age-group. Don’t wear out your time with this one, just make some connections. Suggestions would be places like the Grand Canyon, Empire State Building, or perhaps a camp ground your family has visited.
5. Play a game
Get out of the routine by playing cards, ping pong, or croquet. You may even want to invent your own board game or card game.
HAVE FUN! Enjoy the gift of your family!
The inconsistency of the NFL Referees has once again become the conversations of this week. (Pittsburg Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers) And though I’m those who are on the fields are trying to do their best, something is surely lacking.
We know what this feels like, right? If you have a chance, check out the first chapter of the Book of James in the Bible.
Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. ~ James 1:8
It is well documented that 20 years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon that on of the first things done by Buzz Aldrin was to participate in a private and personal communion service.
And is was extremely controversial. A famous atheist at the time, Madeline Murray O’hare was suing NASA over Bible reading from Apollo 8. So the radio went silent around the world while Mr. Aldrin had his sacred moments.
The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements –bread and the fruit of the vine– is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:4 [KJV/NIV]), a memorial of his suffering and death (1 Corinthians 11:26 [KJV/NIV]), and a prophecy of His second coming (1 Corinthians 11:26 [KJV/NIV]), and is enjoined on all believers “till He come!”