Showing posts from September, 2014

Prayer Power-Day 28-repeat


Hallelujah, What A Savior!

I have been sharing songs about our great God on this blog. Today, I share an older hymn that is full of meaning.  Take time today to think about your Savior, Jesus.

Promises of God from 1 Chronicles

Listen to the many ways God has proved faithful and is worthy of praise as you read these promises from 1 Chronicles:

“Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’And God granted his request” (4:10).
“Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced” (16:10-12).
“For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place” (16:25-27).
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (16:34).
“I declare to you that the Lord will build a house for you.When your days are over and you go to be with your fathers, I will ra…

Fear and Anxiety

Yesterday on the blog, I shared quotes about guilt and shame from Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler.  Today, I am sharing from the same book on the topic of fear and anxiety.  This is a great book. Go and pick it up at Faith and Life Bookstore in Newton, KS.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is still the one reassuring answer to your antsy heart.

Eden was, by contrast, a place of peace and prosperity.

And so, beginning from that tragic point in time, fear and anxiety began aggravating the human heart, so that even His redeemed children through the ages, down to this very day, would know the cruel feeling of being robbed, of living without the peace and prosperity He'd intended for us to enjoy.

For while "Abba" does connote a level of family intimacy, it sends up more of the idea that "my dad can beat up your dad," that our Father is not caught off guard or pushed around by anything that seems too big or oversized for us, no matter what it is. The bottom line unde…

Guilt and Shame

Do you struggle with either of these?  I know I do.  I appreciated the thoughts from Matt Chandler in Recovering Redemption on these real life issues all of us face. I encourage you to read the quotes and then pick up the book at your local Christian bookstore.
While both of them (guilt, shame) do indicate the falling short of some kind of standard, the one that guilt fails to meet is more often a clear moral code, a legality. The standard that shame fails to meet on the other hand, goes much deeper to the core of who we really are. Our identity. Guilt is more about what we do; shame is more about who we are. It's important to see this distinction. Guilt (robbing us of innocence) and shame (robbing us of honor) are the double helix that creates the DNA of our worst behavior. Shame is deeply rooted in identity. And the "self-ideal" we create for ourselves can often incorporate a lot of expectations that simply aren't included in God's ideal for us. Guilt and shame…

Deep and Wide

As a pastoral staff, we are currently reading through Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley.  Here are a few thoughts on discipleship from Stanley:
We don't believe classes create mature believers. Classes create smart believers. So we have never approached spiritual formation as a cognitive exercise. We have a much more holistic approach. we determined that faith is what grows in a growing relationship. Specifically, a person's confidence in God. Confidence that God is who he says he is and that he will do what he has promised to do. . .As a person's confidence in God grows, he or she matures. It's unfortunate that someone can grow up hearing sermons and Sunday school lessons, yet never be captivated by the Scriptures. But, unfortunately, that seems to be the rule rather than the exception. There is a direct correlation between a person's private devotional life and his or her personal faith. If you capture someone's heart, you will eventually get his hands and feet a…

You Can Do It

Do you think that you are unable to study God's Word?  Are parts of the Bible difficult to understand?  Do you look forward to Bible Study or Sunday so you can learn more from the Bible? What if you did not have to wait until someone taught you the Bible, but you could do it on your own?  You can do it!  The same Holy Spirit who guides me into all truth is dwelling inside of you as well as a believer.  If you still have doubts, a great book to help you become more comfortable with studying the Bible on your own is The New How to Study Your Bible by Kay Arthur.  It goes through the inductive Bible study method that I learned at Sterling College from Erma Prutow and I also teach in the Go Deeper Hour. I would encourage you today to start in John or Ephesians and begin studying His Word throughout the week so you can grow in your relationship with Jesus and be empowered to make decisions throughout your day.

Promises of God from 2 Kings

Here are selected promises of God from 2 Kings which are compiled by Kenneth Boa:

There is no God in all the world except in Israel (5:15).
Those who are with us are more than those who are with them (6:16).
“For the sake of his servant David, the Lord was not willing to destroy Judah.He had promised to maintain a lamp for David and his descendants forever” (8:19).
“But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion and showed concern for them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.To this day he has been unwilling to destroy them or banish them from his presence” (13:23).
“Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods.Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies” (17:39).
“Have you not heard?Long ago I ordained it.In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass” (19:25).
“Once more a remnant of the house of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above” (19:30).

Prayer Power-Day 27-repeat


He Knows My Name

I met Francesca Battistelli at ICRS a few years ago.  She is one of my daughters favorites.  I love her message in this song for me and for you too.  He knows your name!  I'm famous in my Father's eyes.  Be reminded of what God thinks of you.

Take A Break

Are you tired, weary or exhausted today?  Do you look around the house or dorm room or office and see long to-do lists?

I know for many it is difficult to stop and rest.  God created the world in six days and then rested.  He did this not because He was tired, but because He was showing us the importance of rest. 

2 And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.3 So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:2-3)

Stop what you are doing!  The dishes, laundry, yard work, etc. will still be there tomorrow.  Take a break.  Enjoy God's creation by going to the park with your kids, taking a walk with your spouse, read a book, or take a nap.  Whatever you do, just relax.  It's OK!

School Bells are Ringing

This post originally appeared at on 8/7/14
It is hard to believe that school will be starting for my kids in about two weeks. This is a time of anticipation and excitement for kids and teens alike. This provides a great opportunity for parents to get involved.

Dads, in what ways can you volunteer at your child’s school?

I have thoroughly enjoyed opportunities at my kids’ schools. Several reasons to consider volunteering: your kids love seeing you there, getting to know the teachers/staff better, knowing classmates and friends of your son/daughter, help is needed with students because of budget cutbacks, and the joy you receive when serving. Ways that you can serve at your local schools:
Mentoring For the past 5 years, I have emailed the teachers in the grade my child is in and asked if they need any help with reading or math.  They have not turned me down. I give 30 minutes each week helping a classroom teacher. Our teachers are doing a grea…

Prayer Power-Day 26-repeat


Speak Life

This post written by me was originally published at

The Power of Our Words, Speak Life We all know the power of our words. Our lives have been shaped by words that hurt us. Labels define who we are rather than believing what God says about us. In contrast, all of us can also remember that person in our lives who shared encouraging words with us. As we begin this school year, I am praying for my children (and myself) to use words in a positive way. This is easier said than done. When things are going well, I can easily share positive words with my children. However, when my children are hurtful to me or to others, the temptation is to let their behavior influence my words.
Proverbs 18:21 is the basis for prayer for my kids this year. It says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
As a dad, I want to encourage my family to speak life, not death. There are many ways to speak life, not death. H…

Never Once

I am loving this song by Matt Redman.  What a great reminder of who God is and who we are.  Never once were you alone. God is faithful! 

Promsies of God from 1 Kings

Here are some more promises of God by Kenneth Boa.  Today, we are looking at 1 Kings:

“So be strong, show yourself a man, and observe what the Lord your Godrequires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go” (2:2-3).
“O Lord, God if Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way” (8:23).
“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised.Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave or forsake us.May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers” (8:56-58).

Struggles, belief and change

I am continuing to read through Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler.  I highly recommend this book and will be leading a group of adults through it in 2015.  Here are some quotes related to struggles, belief, and changing:
repentance growing up out of our hearts is a leading indicator of genuine belief on the inside. It shows us we're His from the roots up. But sin can't be trained; sin must be killed. In the end, godly grief produces within us such a hatred of our sin, we then receive from God the renewed motivation to actually turn from our sin. The secret, of course--the mystery--is that the Judge has rendered His decision based not on what we've done, on our innocence, but on the sacrifice and willing substitution of the innocent, crucified Christ.  His resurrection provides all the objective evidence we need that proves His promises are true, that His ability to conquer death is real, and that His atonement for our sin is actively in force.  God has not just given …

Prayer Power-Day 25-repeat


God is good even in the Old Testament

God gets a bad rap.  We like to play this comparison game of the God of the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament.  We are a little scared and skeptical with all of the wars and wrath we see in the Old Testament.  So we are thankful when Jesus enters the scene with a new covenant and what He did on our behalf in the New Testament.  Jesus is the One who saves us, forgives us, takes the wrath we deserve. 

Preston Sprinkle in Charis is trying to change this perception.  Below are some quotes of how God in the Old Testament was very loving and gracious.
If there ever was clear evidence that God saved people based on who He is and not on what we have done, it's the exodus from Egypt. God's power is released on account of His compassion, not Israel's righteousness. This is where the tent comes in. God cannot dwell with sinful people, but God desires to dwell with sinful people. So He comes up with a plan to have build a tent, or tabernacle, so that He can dwell with His …

Holley Gerth at Faith and Life today from 3-4 p.m.

Today, you have a great opportunity to meet Holley Gerth at Faith and Life Bookstore in Newton.  Holley is an author of many books written for women.  I admit that I enjoy reading her thoughts on my wife's perpetual calendar in the bathroom.  Truth is truth-whether it is written for men or women.  Below you will find two days that I recently posted on social media because of their great truth. 

Don't miss out on this great chance to meet, Holley Gerth today at Faith and Life from 3-4 p.m.!

You Make Me Brave

Here is a new song from a new group I discovered. It is by Bethel Music. Be reminded of God's love for you and that He is for you, not against you today!

Promises of God from 2 Samuel

Be reminded of who God is today as you read these promises from 2 Samuel:
“How great you are, O Sovereign Lord!There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears” (7:22).  “O Sovereign Lord, you are God!Your words are trustworthy, and you have given this good promise to your servant” (7:28).  “I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies” (22:4).“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.For who is God besides the Lord?And who is the Rock except our God?It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (22:31-33).

Charis by Preston Sprinkle

I shared briefly about the book, Charis by Preston Sprinkle in a previous post.  I have a few quotes I would like to share from Chapters 2-3:
"God is the main subject of the entire Bible" "If Genesis 1 emphasizes the transcendence of God, then Genesis 2 highlights the intimacy of God. Transcendence and intimacy. We need both. Elohim simply refers to a deity and emphasizes his (or her) power. . . But Yahweh is God's personal name. . .God creates and God relates. Both are essential to God's character. We can't sacrifice either of these truths for the sake of the other." "When you look into the mirror and see scars and zits and fat and abuse and loneliness and pain, Yahweh sees glory and honor."  "God gives them (Adam and Eve) a billion things they can do and one thing they can't do." "Of all the ways that God could have saved us, He chose to work through the womb of women to raise up an image bearer who would crush the head of…

Prayer Power-Day 24-repeat


Say Amen

Amen means "so be it." This is not just an ending to a prayer, but a belief that God will do what we ask. Be reminded of who God is as you listen to this song today.

Selected Promises of God from 1 Samuel

I am continuing to share the promises of God from every book of the Bible.  These were compiled by Kenneth Boa.  Here are selected promises from 1 Samuel:
“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God” (2:2).  It is God alone who saves us out of all our calamities and distresses (10:19).“Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few” (14:6).
“He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind” (15:29).
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (16:7).
It is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (17:47).“The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness” (26:23)

A gospel reminder today

Below is a painting that I recently purchased from The Passion Painter who was at our church.  Be reminded of what Jesus accomplished on your behalf on the cross.

Prayer Power-Day 23-repeat


Attempts and Recovery

I am continuing to read Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer.  It is a great read and I am only through three chapters.  Here are a few thoughts from Chandler and Snetzer from C
hapters 2-3:
Are you trying to tip the scales in your favor?  Are you hoping and working so that your good outweighs your bad?  Chandler says this, "Those scales don't exist. There are no scales. You're either completely justified by the blood of Jesus Christ, or you're not justified at all." "And if you're trying to treat the "one thing" in your life by (1) trying harder, (2) using others, (3) escaping, or (4) upping your religious quotient--or any combination of these--all you're really doing is just mowing over the weeds."  "The beauty of Christ's gospel is the great "unless" of life." "So if you struggle with being able to run hard after the Lord because you feel so unworthy, so unclean, so unsteady, listen…

Strong Dads Article from Newton Kansan

This article was written by Chad Frey and appeared in the Newton Kansas on August 27, 2014 Jerry Hager has eight children — one a step child, one adopted and some who he says he hasn't always been there for. By his own admission, he's been in trouble. Tuesday, however, was one of those concrete steps to show he wants to walk a different path with his children. "I am here now, and that is all that counts," Hager said. With two of his youngest children, Hager was at the kick-off of "Strong Dads" at cooper elementary school. "My dad wasn't there, and I am on my own," Hager said. "(Being a father) is not as easy as I thought." He's not alone in seeking out some help. More than 30 father figures showed up for a barbecue meal and the first night of Strong Dads. Each either received or will receive a duffel bag with books and toys of for their children and a book for themselves. The program stresses playing with, reading to, caring for …

Break Every Chain

This song was originally sang by Tasha Cobbs and we saw her when we attended the International Christian Retail Show in Atlanta this summer. However, this video is by Jesus Culture.   Be reminded today of the power of the name of Jesus.