hope

Yolanda Adams Performs How Great Thou Art at the White House

The amazing song, “How Great Thou Art” seems so appropriate right now during Easter season. I have always LOVED verse three written in 1949 by Stuart K. Hine.

Verse 3:

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Jog-a-thons and Running

jogathon_childrenAs you may know, our church has a Christian school. Today is the annual Jog-a-thon Fundraiser. This is where kids  have gathered pledges for participation and/or laps run. Investment in this day is not only expected, but fun for all the participants and volunteers who help.

There’s something about running.

Running not only wears you out, but it makes you stronger — how does THAT work, right?

In the spiritual lifestyle, we MUST run! We MUST get stronger in order to make it to the end. And the big thing about running the spiritual life for God’s Kingdom is to keep Jesus in FOCUS. And to RUN!! And to NOT GIVE UP!

If you’ve been around this faith life, this is a FUNDAMENTAL — you already know this. But do you actually DO this? Do you actually have a dietary spiritual theme in YOUR life that includes this? It is truly a challenge for EVERY BELIEVER.

Prepare to RUN — get those special shoes on, get up early, discipline yourself, and by all means — DON’T BE LAZY — “Just Do It!”

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)

 

Heart Transplant Update

It’s been nearly 3 years since Chris’ heart transplant. Chris is doing well and even though there are still challenges, he is stronger everyday.

I love this “spiritual heart transplant” verse, too!

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)

Focus on Hope

Presidents promise hope. But so do school teachers, great explorers, and great speeches.

In 1980 Bruce Springsteen released “Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart” and it was a huge hit.

John F. Kennedy brought hope by inspiring man to fly to the moon, which they actually accomplished.

Throughout humanity, people bring us hope through their words. But hope without purpose is somewhat empty. You can accomplish many goals in life and it can still be meaningless. That’s why God gave us HIS WORD!

We can desire to win a race, raise good children, or move into our dream home. Ultimately TRUE HOPE in life can still be missed.

The most powerful message is out there. It is found in the SON OF GOD! Jesus came to RESTORE us to our heavenly Father — and that message comes very clear when you begin to explore the words found in the Bible.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus addressed this issue of the heart to a the woman at the well who had many questions about life, too.

John 4:13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I encourage any reader to find out what it means to pursue a “relationship” with Jesus.

I have personally found that living my life with these Bible teachings in place has changed my life’s goals. Hope is now woven into every day of my life!

2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremonies

2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony
2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony

So many stories, so many athletes. Victory and defeat. Highs and Lows. But it all ends tonight. Now it’s 4 more years before some of these great people can try again — and for others, it truly is OVER.

We’ll have new stories and new heroes that will emerge, just like they have for centuries.

Fortunately, for someone who is following Christ — we do not have a 2 week time limit to finish strong. It’s interesting — NO TIME LIMIT — but there should be is a sense of URGENCY. And although we should be constantly moving forward with DETERMINATION, we can methodically train and consistently fulfill the planned “race” for our lives.

So STRIVE for GREATNESS. Don’t wait for 4 years to move FORWARD, but MARCH AHEAD for the greatest cause that transcends any nation!

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Phil. 3:14 (NLT)

YouVersion’s Top 10 Bookmarked Verses of 2011

wpid-il3sb-2012-01-12-10-45.png

I’m not really sure if you have used YouVersion — but if you are into apps for your Smartphone, you probably have the “Bible” app. Actually that app IS YouVersion. It is AWESOME both on the phone and online. Here is a release they put out in January. I think it SPEAKS VOLUMES about the encouragement God’s Word brings us. It would make a great 10-week study, too!

2011 was a big year for Bible engagement in the YouVersion community. One of the ways we did that was by creating tens of millions of bookmarks. A bookmark is a great way to keep track of a verse you want to return to again and again, whether it’s because you want to memorize it, you want to share it with a friend, or simply because it’s one of your favorites. Here are the top 10 bookmarks that the YouVersion community saved during 2011*:

1. Philippians 4:6 – 123,035
2. Jeremiah 29:11 – 100,044
3. Proverbs 3:5 – 97,758
4. Romans 12:2 – 95,804
5. Philippians 4:13 – 87,120
6. Philippians 4:7 – 83,193
7. Romans 8:28 – 78,491
8. Proverbs 3:6 – 74,770
9. Matthew 6:33 – 73,544
10. 1 Corinthians 13:4 – 71,923

Encouragement – What “hope and promise” has God given you?

Pay special attention to the “for God” part in verse 23.

Got a promise God has given to you?

Hebrews 10:19-25

19 And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 By his death,t Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. 21 And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

 

Haiti Trip Postponed

Convoy-of-hope

With about 72 hours notice, our trip to Haiti has been postponed. Facing hurricanes, mudslides, people being even more displaced, and uncertainty has made this trip too unsafe for now. 

It looks like it may be rescheduled for January, but I won’t know much more until next week (hopefully by Wednesday). I’m bummed because Convoy of Hope wanted to do this tour for about a dozen pastors. Please pray for the people of Haiti — they are pretty forgotten and times are really difficult there.