Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thirsting for God,

This last week I searched through the bible for a bood to read and happened across Malachi and just felt like it was the right one. It is a short book which allowed me to read the enire book on every lunch break this week so needless to say I read it 6-7 times this week. A side note, even when reading alone I found that when i read it out loud I found more meaning than reading quietly had shown me, give it a try.

Malachi is full of the word of God: answering questions, making statements, giving guideance.

3:10 Gring all the thithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the Lord of Heaven's Armeis, "I will open the windos of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Tryit! Put me to the test!

Malachi shouted at me that doing what God wants us to do and wanting to do it is key. Let me explain: If your wife asks you to do the dishes and you get up and do them sit down without any complaints and wait for your reward. Other option, your wife asks you to do the dishes, you complain, slowly go over to the sink, wash the dishes but bang them around making lots of noise so everyone sees and hears you doing the dishes, then you finish and go up to your wife and say, "the dishes are done, where is the reward you promised me?"

God has asked us to do things in life and he expects us to do them not because he tells us to but because we know he wants us to do them and it makes him happy for us to do them. That is where I have stumbled and I feel many have as well. We know God wants us to tithe, he tells us to test him in this and that if we do he will reward us. But we can't tithe next sunday, then go to the AM/PM buy a lottery ticket and say, "God, I tithed just like you asked now I expect to win a jackpot." When we give because we want to he will reward us in the way he sees fit to reward us.

Last Sunday, I was at the shop with Weston and another kid came in while Weston was eating a bag of Doritos. Without me saying a thing, Weston runs up to me and says, "Daddy, I'm going to share my chips, ok" and then he ran over to the boy and asked him if he wanted chips. I didn't ask him to share but he knows that I expect him to share and he was happy to do it all on his own. I could tell that it made Weston happy to be sharing too and I believe that is how God views us. He has asked us to do things and He expects us to do them because we want to.

Other key things that jumped out at me while reading:

2:6 ... They did not lie or cheat; they walked with me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from sin. The key here is walking with God, as only while we are with Him can we hear his voice and do what he wishes us to do.

3:5 ... "I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adluterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me," says the Lord of Heavens Armies. I love how God says he is eager to witness against those who sin, that should strike fear into those who don't have a healthy fear of God and the power he has.

3:17-18 ... "On the day when I act in judgment, they will be my own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not." Again, its not all about being good people, it is about serving God... being with God like a child to his parent.

Questions I am working on answering that have been developed from this reading and previous reading this month:

Do you have a heathly fear of God?
Do you show God contempt through your offerings and empty promises?
Do you walk with God.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thirsting for God.

Ecclesiastes. Wow, so much there. I read it 5-6 times this week and kept finding little things that were huge. But, for the blog I want to keep it simple, share the biggest lessons I took from it.

As I have pointed out in my previous blogs, this life is full of meaningless activities... the goal is to find God and develop a relationship with him. That leads to my first main lesson:
- Don't focus on earthly things, they are all meaningless compared to the relationship we are to develop with God. 1:8 ... No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. Also, this focus on earthly things leads to sin. 4:4 Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless - like chasing the wind.

- Solomon makes a point to compare wise men to fools but that we all end up with the same result, death. You can not escape it, no matter how smart you are or how many good deed you do, you will die some day. 2:14 For the wise can see where they are going but fools walk in the dark. Yet I saw that the wise and the foolish share the same fate.

- Enjoy life as if it a gift from God... because it is. He has given us the gift of life, to make choices, be with friends, raise families... but we also have to know that with the good does come the bad. Bad things can not be avoided. 9:12 People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy. So, enjoy the good while you have it. 5:18 ... it is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. Enjoy the good that you have. 6:9 Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have, just dreaming about nice this is meaningless - like chasing the wind.

- Fear God! Fear Him out of respect that he has given life to you and that one day you will have to answer to Him for you actions. Make choices out of the fear that He will notice your actions and hold you accountable for them. 8:13 The wicked will not prosper for they do not fear God. 11:9 ... Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.

Ecclesiastes ends with this and it is how I will end my thoughts on this. 12:13-14... Fear God and obey his commands, for this is every ones's duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.

So those are the main concepts are developed from this weeks reading, stop chasing the wind... I am still working on applying it to my life as it is hard to conduct yourself as though God is ALWAYS watching and knowing... but He is and one day He will call me on my actions here on earth and call me on my relationship with Him.

I'm not sure what book I will read next but if you have any suggestions on books that jump out at you let me know and we can read it together. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thirsty Thursday: Quinching my thirst for God

This blog is being used by me to get out what I feel I am learning and being called to share with others... to help others grow and to encourage others to post comments so that I too may grow as we all become closer to God.

My last blog mentioned that I had just started 1 Corinthians, since then I have read it twice and feel that there is much to be shared, last night I started to ramble to Tricia about this book and found it hard to translate my thoughts and feelings into words, she had patience with me and I hope that any taking the time to read this have that same patience and share any thoughts they are called to share.

So... all quotes are from 1 Corinthians (so I am only listing chapter and versus) and here is what I have to share:

My life as I have known it was being lived for the wrong reason. I have spent my entire life focusing on me: who I should date/marry, where I should work, what I should major in at college, what type of car I should buy, what to name my children. This life isn't about my relationship with "earthly possessions" it is supposed to be about God and how we can glorify Him and grow closer to Him. Paul goes as far as to say that single people should stay single as marriage and family distract us from our real purpose, focusing on God. And I agree, to the point he states that if we feel we are living our life to serve God and happen across someone we feel compelled to marry, then get married. Where certain people go wrong, I believe, is searching for a spouse while they are searching for God and that is a problem because you can't devote your heart to two things, you can't have two masters.

Paul also hits hard on the topic of love. He states in 13:13 Three things will last forever - faith, hope and love - and the greatest is love. We need to truly love each other and to great eachother with Christian love (16:20). For if we love each other we won't due harm to each other. When Paul speaks on lawsuits he states in 6:7 that we should just accept the injustice and leave it at that... let yourselves be cheated. Again, he is focusing on the point that this life is meant to be lived for God and that our battles over earthly possesions do nothing more than distract us from our primary purpose. God will judge those that wish to take you to court as well as you. Be in fear of that!

It is humbling to know that God will make the wisdom of this world look foolish and that he also uses those who are weak to make a stand or those who are foolish to shame the wise. 1:27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

So, I had this post all laid out on what I wanted to say until I went to work and a coworker referred to me as a deep well of sarcasm (which is completely true). However, it made me realize that no one (to my knowledge) has referred to me as a light shining bright for God. It made me realize that what I truly got from reading 1 Corinthians was that we all need to be living our life for God and a good test for us is the response in how Christians and non-Christians refer to us. We can say we are Christians and tell others we are Christians but the true test is when a person knows you are a Christian without you having to tell them.

Everyone knew where Paul stood on his relationship with God and that is how he was able to change so many lives and bring people to Christ. How are we supposed to bring people to God if they don't know where we stand on the issue? They can only know through our actions and relationships with those around us. Will we great and treat each other with Christian love? I intend to.

So, what has 1 Corinthians taught me? Paul defineately hit home on the fact that the most important thing we can do in this world is love God, live our life for God, search for a relationship with God... everything else is secondary but by doing that we will live a life that glorifies God and continues to spread the Good News. God will one day show how the rich are poor and the poor are rich.

I will end with this, as I have found that the rambling I did with Tricia has returned and I feel that if I put all my thoughts onto this blog it will be much longer than anyone would read, love God and enjoy the role that He has give you as we are all part of one body and just like a body we are made up of different parts that play different roles. Find the role He has given you, listen to what the Spirit is whispering in your ears calling you to do and act on it... don't be ashamed to stand up and do what you are being called to do. Be the lamp lighting a room for all to see.

My next post, next Thursday, shall be on Ecclesiastes... I hope that you will join me in reading it, let me know if you want to get together to discuss what you feel you are learning too.

Thanks for reading, God bless.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Becoming a sponge

I have decided that I need a venue to share my thoughts on God, facebook isn't enough as I feel that I have to shorten my thoughts too much and can't really comment on them so I am bringing back my blog.

In the last two weeks I have read Acts and Romans and had very little opportunities to share ideas with others. I am now reading 1 Corinthians and would appreciate any ones thoughts, feelings, or prayers on this book or any of my post.

All I want to do is grow spiritually closer to God as that is what this life is really about. It will require the help of friends, family, and strangers to make this happen as my bible education is very limited and I know I overlook many obvious things that those who know more history could point out to help tie in more of what is being said in the bible. Small groups help with this but unfortunately with a wife, two kids, and two jobs the time for continuous small group attendance is difficult.

Long story short, this blog will now be my post for the books I am reading through and I would greatly appreciate any ones thoughts and comments on anything posted so that I may continue to grow.

Looking back on what I have learned in the last two books has been:

- Focus on God and that relationship as opposed to the sins in my life as once I am living a life for God the sin in my life will reduce. Focusing on sin first distracts one from focusing on God.

- God never promised this life would be free of harm/bad things/danger. We are all children of God and if Jesus was stoned, betrayed, and murdered why would we think that our life would be "perfect".

Anyways, that is what I have for now and I shall expect to be called to write more on 1 Corinthians soon. Thanks for listening.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Given the Choice

I love the phrase "given the choice what will you choose?"... I feel we are constantly asked this question on things in life... will you eat the last doughnut, will you go run today, will you spend time with your family.

The big picture is will we choose Jesus? If so, then it seems all the other choices are his choice. I try to remind myself that I have chosen and need to chose Jesus and everything else is His will or His choice for me.

Given the choice I will become part of the CHP... I will run a marathon with Josh... I will expand and depen my relationships with those around me...

But all my choices don't really matter because when I am close to Jesus and doing things/making choices with Him in mind then it is He that chooses for me. Because of Him I will get into CHP. Because of Him I will complete a marathon. Because of Him I will grow my relationships with others so that I can share how wonderful Jesus is and has been to me (if that is his choice).

I know we have choices but it seems that if the choices are made with Jesus in mind and prayer then do we really have choices or is it all his plan.

This thought hit me on my way home from softball as I wondered to myself about the CHP (if I will get in and when?) and then I remembered how I felt compelled to apply for CHP as if it wasn't the choice I made but the path He had for me.

So I guess I will continue down the path that Jesus has for me and just try to enjoy my walk with Him as we get to our destination.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fun Run?

So, I completed my first fun run about an hour ago. My legs are still jello and my lungs still sting as I breathe. Not my definition of fun but it does feel good to get out and push the body physically like that. The really bad part is that Jamie (13 weeks pregnant) didn't finish much behind Mike and me.

I do hope that next Saturday we are able to get more people out there as it is a good way to stay in shape.

Well, it is time for my nap so I will see everybody soon. To all the mother that I won't see tomorrow... "Happy Mothers Day" and enjoy your time with your family.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Muscle May

Many offices in the CHP participate in something called Mustache March which requires officers to grow mustaches. I really wanted to participate in this with Wes but Tricia threatened me with what she would call Armpit April (where she wouldn't shave). So... neither one of us got what we wanted but it did get me thinking.

In an effort to stop slacking off on my workout I am starting Muscle May. This shall include at least 6 workouts a week, sometimes 2 a day. This won't include tons of running as running burns fat more than adding muscle. So if this works I can use Jogging June to burn off the fat to show off the muscle.

That is my proposal for anyone interested working out for 4 weeks and wanting some accountability (I know I will need some).

I would like to see this continue so if you have any other ideas for future months:

Jogging June/July
Abstinence April/August (for those not interested in more babies)
Massaging May (use to pamper a spouse)

That is all I have for now, enjoy your weekend.