Thursday, September 20, 2007

Research Character

This got me to researching about what is taught at the military academy's of America…

After some evaluations it came down to what came from the cadets.

Three things stood out…

#1 Physical Training (PT) Above all else keep physically fit as depression, malice and vices surfaced from faulty PT.

#2 Read as this provides the background for disciplines. Maxwell is quoted as saying "leaders are readers!"

#3 Take care of subordinates… Be nice as maintain a positive attitude and charismic persona that subordinates can aspire to become.

Wow this is the stuff coming out of the AF Academy, West Point and Annapolis. All these points lead to one thing… Character. I think God is still interested in our character above all else. He lovingly brings opportunities into our life to develop our character no matter what stage of life we are in, we are his children and he cares for us deeper than we will ever realize till we get to heaven.

Jesus worked for 3.5 years on 12 guys to develop their character. He knew they would be battle tested and he wanted to ensure victory in their lives. I love this stuff… but developing character is hard work. We are His workmanship created for good works!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Leviticus 23:27-28 'You must observe it as an official day for holy assembly, a day to deny yourselves and present special gifts to the Lord. Do no work during the entire day because it is the Day of Atonement when offerings of purification are made for you making you right with the Lord your God.'

A long time as a believer I had not experienced the blessing of Yom Kippur. My good friend Perry Stone really opened my eyes to this special day a few years ago and the significance of aligning my personal life with this special day. I have always loved the types and shadows of the Old Testament but man when I started to experience in my own life the blessing of the Day of Atonement! As always this is a special day for Israel and again Sandy and I are looking forward to taking part in this special day.

A great friend of mine told me a story about his Jewish business partner. He asked him, what was the secret to all the wealth and blessing in your life? The Jewish businessman specially pointed out Yom Kippur – The Day of Atonement as one of three significant days to present a special sacrificial offering to the Lord. The Jewish man said on the Day of Atonement he and his family made special provision to attend the synagogue to bring a special sacrificial financial offering to the house of the Lord. The other 2 days being Passover and Pentecost… I love getting the revelation of Jesus' blessing to allow us as Gentiles to be grafted into the vine of the blessings of Abraham.

The concern for financial blessing is the problem with the barn Jesus talked about… we tend to build bigger barns and not obey to use these resources for its main objective… Reach people for Christ. The young rich ruler couldn't give up all he had even though he was a good man and lived a good life. I too understand folk's opinion of the "rich"… more than I use too. We get this perception that others have more than we have… Jesus just asks us to work out our own salvation, our own giving… Trying to keep our own lives lining up with his heart. Jesus is the greatest giver of all! For God so loved the world that he GAVE… his only begotten son…

Jesus wants us to have the BEST life! Living a life of giving sacrificially… I am still working on this in my own life. I tend to be too concerned with future provision. I understand wise planning but I just detest lack… I take comfort today in the Word of God that Jesus paid the price for our lack and atoned for our sins giving us the right to please him by not focusing on the blessing but keeping our focus on the one who blesses, Jesus our King!

So I encourage you to mark your calendar and take a special look at September 22nd… the blessings of the Lord are ALL ours because of Jesus.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I went to meet with Andy's doctor over his knee injury from football and got to spend some quality time in the World Prayer Center @ New Life Church in Colorado Springs. The view out the windows of the front range of the Rocky Mountains and Pike's Peak is breath taking for sure. Anyway it was sweet time seeking the Lord… Real sweet. So I headed to Phoenix on our itineration schedule and through an interesting arrangement of timing I met this old man name Michael. I actually could not find my hotel and stopped in another hotel seeking directions. As I walked in this old man smiles as he brushed past me on his way out the door… the attendant @ this hotel said the old man was a hitchhiker from Palm Springs headed to Cleveland. I got my directions and went outside and saw the old man trying to get through the fence to get back to the interstate highway. I could not help myself as I thought, what could this little old man be doing out here hitchhiking? So I backed up, got him in the car and took him to my hotel room. He had been to this hotel earlier and they had kicked him out I found out… then I told them his story. I could see the sense of guilt wash over their faces but I too understand the resistance to help. If not for Jesus where we find compassion on the broken people in this world? Will we be a good Samaritan or pass them on by?

His story was the same as the hotel clerk said but what I found was a life of brokenness. He had wasted his life savings gambling and @ 83 years old he had nothing. Strangely he was clean and seemed mentally tough… he was a WWII veteran and a prisoner of war in Germany. His wife had passed away a few years ago and he had been alone at his home in CA. He found out his sister of 97 was dying in Cleveland and he wanted to see her before she passed away. So I gathered him up and found a bus station and got him on his way. He cried as I paid his bus fare and said he had never met anyone like me… like me I thought and started to weep too. I pointed him to the one that can change lives and take broken messes and fix them like brand new. We talked awhile and he started to sense that his time on this earth was very short too so I prayed with him and led him to Jesus, then sent him on his way.

Each day the Lord seems to give us something to confront us with a problem that we can fix, that we can minister too. May he continue to keep our hearts tender so we will know what he has for us to do each day… As I write again I weep with joy knowing God had me in the right place @ the right time to help an old man named Michael.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Good report… his mercy sustains us!

"Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?" Isaiah 53:1NLT

Labor Day weekend we were in Colorado Springs with our son Andy @ the Air Force Academy Prep School's annual Parent weekend. We were excited to see Andy as he had been gone from home for six weeks and to watch his mama hug her baby boy, LOL! We went to class with him and toured the incredible facility @ the Prep School. The Prep School is exactly what the name implies… Preparation! Prepare the kids to enter the rigors of the Air Force Academy and its military lifestyle. The precision excellence was inspiring as we saw the development of our kids into the BEST. We never dreamed Andy would be in this school and he has been challenged in every aspect of his life. Football has been his ticket to enter the academy and then the unthinkable happened the 1st afternoon we were with him watching him play in his 2nd college football game… Injury. I saw the big tackle perform as us old mean offensive lineman would say "we got him"… a cut block. Andy's knee buckled from the impact and the roll of the #300 pounder over his leg. Andy's leg was flopping as he hobbled off the field and I knew he was in for the first time in his life a trial of pain and endurance. He tried to get back on the field as the trainer had to hide his helmet… he is tough but now the challenge of mental toughness like he has never experienced is facing him. Now he is having to walk alone with God to be his strength and source… growing up is tough at times but necessary for God to develop character in us for his service. Nothing develops character faster than pain and suffering both physically and mentally. When we are laying flat on our backs the blessing is that it makes it a lot easier to look up! Jesus never fails us… whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!

We spent the remainder of the weekend with him feeding him and getting him a few supplies and a computer monitor for his Xbox (I split the cost with him… this was a 1st). The greatest thing we did all weekend was attend church @ New Life Church (NLC) in Colorado Springs. NLC has been under such a horrible mess with Bro. Ted Haggard's situation. This is the 2nd time we have attended the church and our report is God has broken his people in this local church. We cried in worship with our brothers and sisters' bearing their burdens… it was incredible as the presence of the Lord filled the house. Our report is this body of believers has weathered the storm and the Prince of Peace has accepted the offering of thanksgiving. We listened to the message by Asso. Pastor Rob on 'Maintaining Faith'. This guy is some kind of sharp but I listened to a comment that reflected something I have experienced in my own life. He said… "God has sustained us because we have kept our focus on the mission field in supporting missions and those on the front lines for God." I sat in awe as it took such brokenness to get this revelation. God has sustained us in America by his grace and mercy for one reason… to reach the LOST, those who have never heard the good news of the story of Christ Jesus. Today is 9/11 and I remember where I was on this day… doing a Jesus film campaign in a village in Sri Lanka. America does more to send the gospel to the unreached that any other "Christian" nation in the world. God's hand is still on our lives and our country… Psalms 33:12 says 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord'!

We trust the Lord for a good report on Andy's knee and for NLC. They sat in their new pastor this past weekend… God's grace is more than we can think or imagine. Weeping endures for the night but joy comes in the morning… Jesus we love you and thank you for continuing to pour out your grace and mercy upon us for your name to be glorified in the whole earth!