Please join us this weekend on campus or online as we continue the series – “…EVERY DAY”. Practical, every day disciplines to build into your life that will have important and positive effects. Wayne Alguire continues with Part 3 – “GIVE JOYFULLY”. Saturday evening at 5:30 PM, Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Bring your Bible!
“Repair its ruins.”
Ezra 9:9 – “Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.”
‘Glorious Ruins’ was the theme of a Hillsong Conference in Sydney Australia that we attended in July 2013. I will never forget this experience and the impact it had on my soul and my spiritual journey.
Anticipation in the air grew like a thick holy burning incense as thousands began to fill the massive stadium. The opening session began with a moving video followed immediately by great music and the people, almost as One, leapt to their feet without any prompting from the stage.
The praise that followed in that moment, and continued throughout the entire week, was beyond description and gave me a glimpse of what the throngs of heaven gathered around the Lamb must sound like. To say that I was deeply moved would be an understatement. God reached within me and healed my soul.
The tired and dusty ruins of my own heart were revived. The joy of my salvation that had become cold was restored. The hope of the Kingdom being near was renewed. The call beckoning me to repair and rebuild any broken walls in the name of our awesome God was heard once again. The faith to believe that the King is in the land and is moving was rekindled.
Father in Heaven,
Grant me new life and use me in whatever way You desire to restore and rebuild the ancient walls of ‘Jerusalem’. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.
Not For Pay
One of my mentors defines character as, “who you are when no one’s looking.” Another mentor says “what you think about in your free time is a huge indicator of who you are.” I have a slight variation to their thoughts. I believe that what you do for free reveals much about you.
Our culture evaluates almost every action by how much it pays. It’s a lousy system.
One of the most favorite people from my past is a young man named George. George was both physically and mentally challenged. I met him while a University student working part-time in a grocery store. Against all union, company and government policies, George’s parents and our store manager had an under the table arrangement that resulted in George coming to work almost every day for two or three hours. The boss gave him a buck or two an hour, out of his own pocket.
We all loved George and on those few occasions when his challenges got him in trouble, we defended him fiercely. He’d show up at work smiling, hair slicked back, face scrubbed, wearing a starched white shirt and black bow-tie. His job was to push shopping buggies from the lot into the store. He did it meticulously, one buggy at a time. I never, ever saw him push two, just one at a time. Whenever we could we’d get George to work in our departments. I’d have him stack apples and just like the buggies, he’d stack them one at a time, using both hands. It would take him a whole hour to empty one box. Read More
Earlier this month our family went out for dinner to celebrate a few “big events”. Included were my wife, myself, our son who turned 30, our daughter-in-law who recently passed her nursing registration and our young grandson who is now walking. These are all significant events we wanted to acknowledge. While we were enjoying our dinner, our 15 month old grandson caught the eye of another restaurant patron who responded to his wave and smile. Next, our son and his wife got involved in conversation. All of a sudden my wife cried out in surprise: “Trish?” Well it was Trish, a former nurse colleague whom we had not seen for several years since her retirement. The years had been difficult for her as she had struggled through cancer, major surgery and some family tragedies. Before you knew it we were on our feet reconnecting and hugging in the middle of the restaurant …much to the delight of the other patrons. Upon completion of our meal and more “chit chat” we prepared to leave with our little guy. The smile on Trish’s face was wonderful and I will never forget her parting words: ”You have made my day.” Who ever thought that a simple smile and wave from a small child could awaken us all to a wonderful time of sharing and celebrating. I believe that God puts these opportunities along our path and if we wish to respond, we can absolutely make someone’s day. So…wherever you go and whatever you do…pay attention… and share the Light of Christ. You and others will be glad that you did.
Pastor Brian Carlson for TRINITY CARE.
Please join us this weekend on campus or online as we continue the series – “…EVERY DAY”. Practical, every day disciplines to build into your life that will have important and positive effects. Tim Schroeder continues with Part 2 – “EMBRACE MARGIN”. Saturday evening at 5:30 PM, Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM. Bring your Bible!
“Put on the Full Armour.”
Ephesians 6:11 – “Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Three massive truths hit me as I consider this brief yet powerful text. Taking them in reverse order:
First, there is an enemy who is ever scheming to take me out. He is the father of lies, the one who seeks to destroy, discourage and distract the faithful. He is crouching at every door I enter waiting to attack. He would take great delight in seeing me quit or fail. He wants me to doubt and betray my King.
Second, there is a clear expectation that I am to take a stand against this evil one. In the name that is above every name, Jesus, and in the power and presence of the helper, the Holy Spirit, I am to enter the battle and fight. I am not to cower in fear or shrink back from the great Kingdom work to be advanced. No, I am to stand on solid ground and fulfill the will of the Father.
Third, in order to take this stand and fight this evil enemy I am to suit up in the full armour of God. I am not to enter the fray naked and unprotected. I am to be aware, alert and fully dressed. Every piece of gear is essential and required. Like an NHL goalie preparing for a game there isn’t a single piece of equipment left behind. Six items are mentioned; belt, breastplate, footwear, shield, helmet and sword.
Father in Heaven,
I praise Your name and acknowledge that the enemy has already been sentenced and defeated. Christ has attained victory over death and greater is He who lives in me than the one who slithers around on the ground. Yet, he contests his defeat and continues to fight. Help me to imagine entering a huge room filled with battle gear and to dress fully in Your armour so that I might take my stand this day.
Don’t Just Do Good – Do It Well!
It is possible to do good poorly!
Last weekend I had the privilege to be in Spokane. It was their famous Bloomsday Run. Some 50,000 runners participate annually in a celebration of health and wellness. Like all events of this nature there are a few elite runners who run for the prize but the vast majority run for the joy and health of it.
Later in the afternoon I found myself cycling part of the race course and came across three neighbors who were picking up the mess left behind at one of the water stations. You can imagine the mess 50,000 runners can make even if most of it is cleaned up. I paused briefly on my bike to say thank you to those cleaning the mess. What a mistake! Within seconds I received quite the earful. They may have been out there doing good but they certainly were not happy about it. It caused me to wonder, “Why would someone with such a bad attitude bother to do good?” The answer was self-evident. They lived there, it was their neighborhood and they were cleaning up the mess for themselves, not to help Bloomsday.
Returning home I was met by quite a different story. While we were away the melting snowpack accompanied by a torrential downpour created serious flooding. Yet the flooding was not the whole story. I heard about not only neighbors but total strangers joyfully filling sandbags, cooking hot dogs and generally pitching in to help each other tackle the rising water levels. A bad situation was somehow made better by many who chose to not only do good but to do it well.
The contrast in those two experiences is palpable. Not only actions but motives make a mark.
All public speakers have heard the adage that people rarely remember what you say and they rarely forget how you make them feel.
The same can be said about our good deeds. It is possible to do good in a way that demeans, belittles or begrudges others. It is possible to do good in a manner that draws attention to myself and makes it “all about me.” Conversely, it is possible to do good in a way that breathes life, encouragement and joy into the recipients of our efforts. Read More