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The Day My Life Changed . . . Again March 21, 2009

Posted by Kevin in Uncategorized.
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There have been many days in my life that have been “life changing.” March 19th was the most recent and one of the most dramatic.

On March 19th at 12:01 PM my daughter and her husband gave birth to their first child and my first grandchild. It was an extraordinary day and one that I know I will never forget. Just a glimpse of that baby through the glass and I knew that I had lost what little of my heart I had left. He already owned part of it from the time I knew that he was being formed in his mother’s womb.

But to see his face . . . That was special.

And then to hold him in my arms . . . That was unbelievable.

I am incredibly blessed. God has given me a family that loves me and that family is growing.

Does it get any better than this?

The Last Word on Life August 23, 2008

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We all live with some kind of hope. We hope it won‘t be too hot today. We hope we will get a raise. We hope our candidate will win the election this fall. We hope to shoot par on at least one hole. But what is hope? The Bible tells us that it is more than just wishful thinking. It is “he assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen“ according to Hebrews 11:1. When the Bible talks about the “hope of heaven,” it isn’t talking about hoping we get into heaven, but rather the hope that comes for the reality of heaven.

Do you live with calm assurance that God will do what He says He will do? Maybe you feel that God has let you down in the past. Maybe you have been hurt by folks in your relationships or in business. Everyone that you thought you could count on has let you down. That is the way it seems sometimes. And in fact that may be your experience.

At a time of such uncertainty in the world, people are looking for something or someone to believe in. They want to feel secure, but then the stock market plummets and gas goes to more than $4.00 per gallon. People just want to be happy, but happiness seems so dependent upon our circumstances. They want to be independent, but then they realize that they do not have the resources for today and tomorrow. They want to trust, but their own feelings betray them. Self-help books and prosperity teachers are a dime a dozen.

Why did God make it possible for us to spend eternity in heaven? Was it because of our goodness? Or was it because of His mercy and His grace?

Well, if it is because of His mercy and grace, and He is never changing and never failing, then we can have hope for today and for tomorrow.

“Living hope“ means that it isn‘t something that we store away for the future. It is alive. The hope that we have empowers us to live today the way that God intended us to live it — in holiness. What we hope for won‘t fade away, rust, or shrink in significance because it is “incorruptible and undefiled.”

The Apostle Peter went on to explain further that our faith is secured not by us, but by almighty God. When we experience true salvation and turn to Christ in repentance, we have a place prepared for us in heaven. John 14: 2 and 3 are fairly clear. No one, not even Satan himself, can take it away from us.

Now this doesn’t mean that life will be easy or without trials. Peter acknowledged this but still assured his readers that the opportunity to spend eternity in heaven is worth whatever the struggles are here on earth.

Have you ever camped outside a store in order to be there when the doors opened in order to get the big sale item? Have you ever stood in line for the chance to buy concert or playoff tickets? I remember getting up before dawn once to be in line to get one of the first Teddy Ruxpin animated talking bears. (Some of you are too old to have had one and too young to remember buying them for your children!)

We get so mixed up in our priorities. We make important the things that are so fleeting. And we minimize the things that have eternal implications. We go to a lot of trouble for what pleases us for a moment. But we ignore the things that will provide peace for today and a hope for tomorrow. We live in the present and yet we are created for eternity.

Jesus has been to Bethlehem, wearing barn rags and hearing sheep bleating and cows chewing. He took His first sips of milk shivering at the feet of animals. God had come to earth in the form of a helpless baby. Countless who face the chill of empty pockets, face the fear of uncertainty or face the tragedies of everyday life turn to Jesus Christ. Why?

Because He has been there.

He has been to Nazareth where he toiled in the hot sun of Palestine; to Galilee where He recruited some who would turn and run when He needed them most; to Jerusalem where He was assaulted by the religious leaders of the day and was ultimately put to death on a cruel Roman cross.

You and I have our Nazareth, Galilee, and Jerusalem. So why turn to Jesus? Because He‘s been there!

And He‘s been somewhere you and I have not been yet. He has been to the grave. Not as a visitor. He was a resident for a time. But death and the grave could not hold Him.

So, in this walk of faith, in whom do you put your faith and in whom do hope? Why not place your trust in the One who has been there before you and who has gone before you to prepare a place for you in heaven?

Just a thought . . .

Fallout from the “Rule of Life” December 16, 2007

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How is it that I get a homework assignment when I am not even taking the class?

My best friend Dave is taking a Masters of Ministry class at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. As part of his Spiritual Formation Class he was given an assignments to write a paper entitled, Rule of Life. In that paper he was to outline some rules of life that will aid him in cultivating various Spiritual disciplines.

One of the disciplines that he will be cultivating is Spiritual journaling. That’s great. He needs to do that. He’s a pastor and we all know pastor’s need to be doing all kinds of that religious stuff.

So how do I figure in to all of this? Well, part of the discipline is to have someone hold you accountable. That’s where I come in. Which is great, because I am really good at holding people accountable for stuff. It’s kind of like bossing people around. (Yet another thing I am good at!)

But then the Holy Spirit began to minister to me and speak to me about my level of Spiritual Discipline. He sort of asked me how I would hold someone accountable for something that is so valuable to your Spiritual growth and yet have no real experience with that activity myself? That was a very good question wasn’t it? (I guess the Holy Spirit is pretty good at this sort of thing too!)

So, this morning I began a journal. I sat down before we left for church and began to write some things that I felt led to write at that particular point in time. I am not sure if I did it
right or not. But I know I made a start. My goal is to spend some time each day journaling. I don’t know where that activity will lead. But I know that something positive will come out of spending more time in a new Spiritual discipline.

I am open to any suggestions or comments about journaling. Feel free to share them with me. Email me or comment on my blog. Certainly it will become more fresh as I am spending more time in the pursuit of Spiritual growth.

Oh yeah, and it will most certainly help me to help Dave as he lives out his newly written rules of life. Dave is my closest friend. We are very heavily invested in each others lives and families. We are brothers in nearly every sense of that word.

Pray for him.

Pray for me.