Monday, March 28, 2011

Lift Up Your Face

Good Evening! Well, I promise not to make it too much of a pattern, but music is in me lately.... Christian Music... and I'm going to open with some lyrics from one of Third Day's new songs "Lift Up Your Face":

Lift up your face, lift up your face

Salvation is calling, salvation is calling

You have fallen so far now

You don’t even know how, you are going to survive

(But) Just above the horizon

A new light is shining, breaking through the darkest night

Love is coming and it’s calling out your name

Lift up your face, lift up your face

Salvation is calling, salvation is calling

Lift up your face, lift up your face

Salvation is calling, salvation is calling your name

Now for the verse tonight: John 1:12 "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God"

Anyone being bold lately for Christ? Do you believe you are FREE? Do you believe you are a Child of God? DO YOU BELIEVE SALVATION IS CALLING IF YOU ONLY LIFT UP YOUR FACE AND SEE HIM?!

My prayer tonight for each and everyone of us is that we can some how take a moment out of busy schedules to see that God not only gave his Only Son for our sins, but that Christ is a Risen Lord and in him we have Salvation. There is nothing that anyone or anything can do or say to take that away from you. Next time someone tells you how bad you are, next time they put you down, next time they try to make you feel worthless... Remember we are not perfect, we are redeemed! The price is paid... Lift up your face and see how good you are. Se how much love you bring to this world. See how much of a difference you can make if you only believe that God saved you for a purpose.

We are not meant to take this gift and keep it to ourselves. We are meant to share it, shout it, witness to it, and live it! Take some time this week to tell at least one person in your life that you are a Christian and take 5 minutes to tell them what that means to you. Yes, you can take the safe route with a spouse or a family member or maybe walk a little on the wild side and share with a stranger. Never know when that stranger might actually be Jesus looking for you. I'm choosing to lift up my face, share my faith, live it as if I've nothing to lose... hope you'll join me!

Love in Christ,


P.S. If you ever have the chance to see Third Day, Trevor Morgan, or Tenth Avenue North in Concert... Go for it! You will not be disappointed!

Monday, March 21, 2011

You're Beautiful

Good Evening! Sometimes I start these little testimonies with a Bible verse or an experience. Tonight I want to start with a portion of the lyrics to a song by Mercy Me "Beautiful"

Days will come when you don't have the strength
And all you hear is you're not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart
They'd see too much

You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His
You're beautiful

And now for the verse... Jeremiah 1:5 (The Message)

5"Before I shaped you in the womb,
I knew all about you.
Before you saw the light of day,
I had holy plans for you:
A prophet to the nations—
that's what I had in mind for you."

Tonight I'm going to ask a tough question of all of you. What do you see when you look in the mirror? Do you see the beauty God has placed inside you or do you see what the world has done to you. How many times have you told yourself I wish I was a better person, wish I did more, wish I gave more, wish I witnessed more, wish I lived my life more like Christ. Well, I think the answer is we all do that quite often, if not daily. I know that I do. Part of this is conviction and self challenge and that part is good. But, the devil has a way of altering this conviction into guilt and pain. It is then we should remember words like what are written above be that in song or scripture.

We need to remind ourselves of how God sees us. Yes, he sees as as sinners, but he also loves us with his pure and perfect love. We are his Children! When was the last time you called yourself a Child of God? There's power in those words. Just like there is power in knowing you are beautiful in God's eyes no matter how much others try to degrade you or make you feel less than you are.

I want to issue a personal challenge to each and everyone of you. The next time you look in the mirror I want you to say "I am a Child of God and I am Beautiful to him. All of me. My heart, my body, and my soul." Let it ring true. Let it carry you. Because I can tell you that each and everyone one of you is not only Beautiful to Our Living God. You are Beautiful to me! Thank you for being such amazing Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Each one of you has made a positive difference in my life and I see the Beauty inside you!

Have a Blessed Week! Love and Peace to you in Christ,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Rescue

Good Evening! Hope this Sunday finds all of you well and in good spirits. I hope you have been blessed with a weekend of refreshment, restoration, and renewal. Tonight I'm going to start with a verse that very dear friend sent to me:
Psalm 18: 16-19
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

What does this say to you? Does it mean anything? Have you ever needed rescue? For whom did you cry out?
Tonight I will admit that there are times when I can't live what I tell others to do. I can't always have the unshakable faith that I know God would want me to have. It doesn't happen often, but it scares me when it does. This is because in those kinds of times I don't cry for rescue... I tend to just want to let myself sink. Any guesses on who leads that charge? You got it... Satan. That snake loves to whisper in your ear and tell you to stop swimming, stop fighting, give up because you are not worth Grace. The good news is that God is there, all along, knowing we will turn back to him. And, if we don't he sends Angels to remind us. These Angels usually take the face of our Christian Brothers and Sisters. It are at the darkest times that God shows his face through those that love us. We carry each other on the darkest of days.

I write this tonight as a reminder that God needs us to do his good work. Sure, he could take care of it in other ways, but how awesome it is to be one of his messengers! I ask you to keep your hearts open to this. Simple request on the surface, but not a simple request. What I ask of you is to not run from those that are being shunned by everyone. Don't run from those with whom cause you to be judged in their presence. Rather, run toward them, take hold of them, and love them the way God intends you to. Help him use you to draw them from deep waters. Help him use you to be their on their day of disaster. In turn, you will delight the pure and perfect God. You will be a good and faithful servant. Thanks to a very special person for reminding me that Grace is free. God's love is endless. And, when two pray together, Christ is there as well.

Love and Peace to all of you,

Monday, March 7, 2011

Time for a Mini-Renewal?

What's your worst? Yes... I'm asking... What is the worst thing you've ever done in your life? Who did you hurt? When did it happen? Why did you do it? What did it profit you?

Some introduction tonight, huh? I write this introduction not to convict you this evening. My guess is by visiting the questions above, you've already done that to yourself sometime a long time ago. Tonight I ask those questions because I want to focus on one of the most powerful things we experience as Christians, but sadly one of the hardest for many of us to accept. Any Guesses? A couple of you probably nailed it. The gift I'm talking about tonight is the gift of GRACE! You can't buy it, can't earn it, can't fathom it, but it is freely given by our Risen Savior and the sacrifice he made for us on the cross.

Grace has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Mostly because I'm one of those beat yourself up Christians ... the kind of Christian that persecutes himself for hours, days, and weeks over his failures. How weak that is of me when all I really have to do is freely receive the Grace that comes from Christ. What about you? Do you dwell on your failures like me or are you truly faithful and allow Grace to cover you like a blanket on a cold winter's morning? If you are like me, I want you to step out with me a little in the coming weeks as we enter this Lenten Season. I want you to turn to your Concordance in your Bible and look up Grace and Forgiveness. I ask that you and I pray together about the verses that lie there and allow them to truly penetrate our hearts. Its time for a mini-Renewal if you will for me. Its time for me to elevate my game and be a better witness for Christ.

Let's make this year a year of miracles. Don't be afraid to let Christ live through you. I'm opening my heart, trying to let go of guilt and feel the Healing Waters of Christ. Will you do the same? This year as you make you Lenten pledge. Make it count. One of mine is to faithfully read my Bible every day and get on my knees and pray... everyday. Hope to see you there!

Love and Peace to All of You My Brothers and Sisters,