Showing posts from December, 2014

New Year's Eve and K-State Basketball

Today, I am headed to the K-State/Georgia basketball game in Manhattan.   This was a present for Mitchell from my parents.  I am looking forward to watching some good basketball and time with my son. Check out some pictures from our trip today.  Remember, he is a teenager and pictures are few and far between.

Happy New Year's Eve!  Stay safe and enjoy your time with friends and family.

Here is smile for grandma!

More Promises of God from Jeremiah

“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety.This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness” (23:5-6).

“My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land.I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them.I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord.They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart” (24:6-7).

“‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’” (29:11-13).

“‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after t…

You Are Forgiven

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darknessand brought us into the kingdomof the Son he loves,14 in whom we have redemption,the forgiveness of sins.”
(Colossians 1:13-14)

Thunder Trip with Mitchell

Today, Steve (Bethany's dad), myself, and Mitchell are on a day trip to Dallas, TX. We were up bright and early to catch a flight from Wichita to Dallas.  Then stopped by Steve's church in Dallas, lunch at In & Out Burger, and then headed to American Airlines Center to watch the OKC Thunder play the Dallas Mavericks.  Below are some pictures from the trip:

All is Well

What a powerful song by Carrie Underwood and Michael W. Smith.  Be reminded about what Jesus has done for you!

Tilted Halos

Here are some great thoughts from Brennan Manning from The Ragamuffin Gospel:
The blood of the Lamb points to the truth of grace: what we cannot do for ourselves, God has done for us. He knows repentance is not what we do in order to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven. It serves as an expression of gratitude rather than an effort to earn forgiveness. Thus the sequence of forgiveness and then repentance, rather than repentance and then forgiveness, is crucial for understanding the gospel of grace. The foremost characteristic of living by grace is trust in the redeeming work of Christ.  The Father is not justice and the Son love. The Father is justice and love; the Son is love and justice. Jesus brings good news about the Father, not bad news. the poor is spirit perceive that religion experience and mystical highs are not the goal of authentic prayer, rather the goal is communion with God. It is only through grace that any of us could dare to hope that we c…

Merry Christmas from the Martins

We want to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This was taken during our family vacation this past summer and was the kids first time at the ocean.

Here is one of Bethany and I at ICRS 2014 in Atlanta, GA this summer.

Blessings to you and your family on this Christmas day.

Prayer for Christmas Eve by Scotty Smith

What a great prayer for Christmas Eve from Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith.  It was too good not to post in its entirety.

Jesus, it’s the beloved day we call Christmas Eve, the date we’ve set aside to remember and reflect upon your nativity. Luke took so much care to fix your birthday in the context of real history and a real world, but whether or not you were born anywhere close to December 25 is not important at all. That you were born—that you actually came from eternity into time and space—that’s what’s important, Jesus.

I sing to you today with all the passion and delight I can possibly muster, “Born that man (including me) no more may die, born to raise the sons of earth (including me), born to give them (including me) second birth.” For the certainty of your birth, and therefore my rebirth, I give you great praise.

But for all the care Luke took to detail the circumstances of your birthday, it’s the quietness of your birth that astounds me. Any other king would’ve come with …

Promises of God from Jeremiah

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (1:5).
“Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people.Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you” (7:23).
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth, for in these I delight” (9:23-24). “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord.But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him” (17:5, 7).

You Are Redeemed

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the lawby becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”   (Galatians 3:13-14)

Hark the Herald Angels Sing by Pentatonix

We are loving this new Christmas CD at our house this year.  What a fun rendition of "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing".  Enjoy!

It Is Finished

The song below are from a new song by Zac Hicks and Julie Vargas.  I look forward to singing this song in February at Liberate.  I love the lyrics.  Be reminded as you read what Jesus finished work on the cross means for you.1. I am weary, worn out
Who will deliver me?
I am heavy, burdened
Who will deliver me?  Though I sink in guilt and shame: grace flows deeper
Though I run against your will: grace runs faster
Though I hide away from You: grace comes nearer
Spirit help me know:  It is finished, It is finishedNo more running, no more hidingNow my weary soul can restIt is finished, It is finishedNo more striving, no more takingAll in Christ I now possessIt is finished 2. I am failing, unable,
Who will deliver me?
I am fearful, faithless
Who will deliver me?  Bridge:
No condemnation
No guilty shame
No past to haunt me
None in Christ, None in Christ  Gone is my record
Gone my regrets
Gone is my failure
Gone in Christ, Gone in Christ  Found is my meaning
Found is my name
Found is my purpose
Found in Christ, Foun…

Prayer by Scotty Smith

As I have written before, I love the book Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith.  Here is a portion of his prayer for today:

“When the time had fully come” you came, not a day early and not a day late. As humbling as it was to be born under the ceiling of a stable, being born under the weight of the law was a far greater burden. Yet that’s exactly why you came into the world—to be born under God’s law to redeem us—to redeem me from my sin and my rebellion, to rescue me from my unwillingness and inability to love God as he deserves. There’s no way in the world I could’ve ever fulfilled the demands of God’s righteous, perfect, and holy law. Only you could and only you did. I worship, praise, and adore you, Lord Jesus.

Because you lived in my place and died in my place, I’m no longer a slave but a son of the living and loving God, with the full rights thereof. Abba, Father has robed this prodigal with your righteousness and has sent his Spirit to live in my heart. My future looks amazing, as …

More Promises of God from Isaiah

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (26:3).

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (30:15).

“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.For the Lord is a God of justice.Blessed are all who wait for him!” (30:18).

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (40:31).

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (41:10).

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go” (48:17).

“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishm…

You Are Loved

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved usand sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
(1 John 4:9-10)

Grace Greater Than All Our Sin

Yesterday, I preached on the topic of "Give More" from Romans 5:12-21.  As I studied and prepared, this hymn kept coming to mind.  Enjoy and be reminded that no matter what you face today, what your past includes, or sin you struggle with, God's grace is greater!

Children's Christmas Program at HMBC

Today was our kid's Christmas Program at Hesston MB. The kids singing & actors did great! Thanks to all who made it possible. It was titled "Free Gift" & below are pictures:

Give More Message from Hesston MB

Give More-12/14/14-Romans 5:12-17
Introduction: Last week, Chris focus “spend less” and encouraged us to think about our money, energy, and time. The previous week, Jared talked about “worship fully.” My theme is Give More. I want you to give more this Christmas, but instead of telling you to work hard to change your attitude and give till it hurts, I am going to challenge you with one point (unusual for preachers) to give more grace. You will discover that as we understand grace (head), and let those truths from God’s Word sink into our (hearts), we want to give more (hands).
Give More Grace Has grace become too familiar? What is grace?

oGrace = One Way Love title of Tullian’s book, definition of grace by Paul Zahl
o The entire Christian life is lived under the reign of God’s grace. (Jerry Bridges)
Vs. 12-14-Sin (Bad News)

oVs. 12-entered world through one man, Adam, brought death, all people
oVs. 13-before the law, helps understand
Vs. 15-17-The Gift (Good News)

oVs. 15-Note the “much more”…

The Ragamuffin Gospel

I have often wanted to read a book by Brennan Manning.  I have had the book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, for many years but it has not made it to my "reading list."  This past week, I started reading it. It offers a good perspective on the gospel.  Here are some quotes from the first three chapters of the book:

The institutional church has become a wounder of the healers rather than a healer of the wounded. All that is good is ours not by right but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God. Grace is the active expression of his love. Our experience of God's unconditional love must be shaped by the Scriptures. Love is a far better stimulus than threat or pressure. . .In terms of spiritual growth the faith-conviction that God accepts me as I am is a tremendous help to become better. For experiencing God's love in Jesus Christ means experiencing that one has been unreservedly accepted, approved, and infinitely loved, that one can and should accept oneself and one's neighbor.…

Promises of God from Isaiah

“Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord.‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’” (1:18).

“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (2:4).

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (7:14).

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever” (9:6-7).

“A shoot will come up…

fuzion Service Project at Harvey County Homeless Shelter

Last night, fuzion participated in a service project at Harvey County Homeless Shelter in Newton. Here are a few pictures:

You Are Blameless

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, souland body be kept blamelessat the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.24 The one who callsyou is faithful,and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Introduction to Jesus Continued

I was home with a sick kid on Monday and all of my books were at my office.  So, I picked up a new book I received for my birthday.  It is called Jesus Continued by J.D. Greear.

Here are a few quotes from the introduction: He starts by sharing this paragraph about how he understood God.  He writes, "It seemed that everything God had done, he had done in the past: he created the world, died on a cross, and then inspired a Bible to tell us about it. Then he gave us a mission and left through the clouds. God seemed like a busy teacher who had given an assignment and then stepped out of the room, leaving his students to get it done on their own." I want to show you how you can have a deep, satisfying relationship with God through the Holy Spirit, on the basis of the finished work of Christ. The Spirit's presence inside them, he said, would be better than himself beside them. From the very beginning, he has passionately expressed a profound desire for a close, growing relatio…

God With Us

I have posted this song before, but we sang it at church Sunday and I love the words.  Be reminded of Emmanuel during this Christmas season. It is not just words to sing, but truth to understand and be reminded. Disclaimer: This is great to use at Christmas but can also be sung throughout the year.

Journey through the Psalms

For my morning devotions over the last few months, I have been reading one Psalm each morning and listing the character or attributes of God.  It has been a blessing to me.  I specifically look for words related to God not the person.

This has reinforced a few thoughts for me:
God is good!  So often, we make God out to be a grumpy mean deity in the Old Testament. The Psalms are a reminder of God being loving, good, and gracious.God is for us!  I am currently in Psalm 69 and I am reminded how God is for us as his people.  Many times the author of the Psalm asks for deliverance or help from God.  We see a God who is interested in the lives of His people.God is powerful!  Listen to these words from Psalm 68: "O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies. Awesome is God from …

New books for birthday

Today, I turn 39 or as my mother-in-law says the age that Jack Benny always was.
I am looking forward to a good day of celebrating life.
Below are some new books that I received from my aunt. I love books! Now which one do I start with?

Promises of God from Ecclesiastes

Here are a few promises of God from the book of Ecclesiastes:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (3:11). “I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.God does it, so men will revere him” (3:14).

You Are Holy

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselveswith compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)

Grace and Giving

Here is a selection from Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith:

Heavenly Father, we come before you today challenged by this picture of radical grace. This one story alone underscores why we can never emphasize your grace too much. Grace is never to be counterbalanced with law, only multiplied with more grace. Indeed, through Jesus you continue to give us grace upon grace (John 1:16).

What an amazing story—the severely afflicted and extremely poor Christians of Macedonia became a model of radical generosity to the much wealthier believers in Corinth. And according to you, their motivation wasn’t fear and guilt; it was multiplied grace. For you love cheerful giving, not reluctant giving compelled by pressure from without (2 Cor. 9:7). 
Father, only your grace is powerful enough to give us abundant joy in the absence of affluence, coupled with hearts that beg to give sacrificially beyond our means for the benefit of strangers! The law cannot produce that kind of people—not even grace plus la…

Post at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Today

I am posting today at 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting today on great resources for Advent or Christmas.  Stop over there to see my suggestions.