Don’t ask to make it easier, ask to be made stronger!


When it hurts too much try cry, lean on Jesus and He will comfort you.

God’s not somewhere out there, He is a personal God who desires to have an intimate relationship with you. Take time today to hear from God’s heart. He loves you and desires the best for You. God’s got a plan…

In Jeremiah – through the Old Testament we read:

11I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. 12Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. 13 You will seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart. 14Yes, I say, you will find me, and I will restore you to your land. I will gather you from every country and from every place to which I have scattered you, and I will bring you back to the land from which I had sent you away into exile. I, the Lord, have spoken.’

— Jeremiah 29:11-14

So don’t give up and don’t give in! Seek God and build up your relationship with Him!

Some may think that God wants to judge and condemn us, but that is shown to be wrong when He sent Jesus. In the end we will be judged, however, before that we are given freewill to choose who we will follow and how we will live. The New Testament speaks to it this way:

14 As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.

18Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God’s only Son. 19This is how the judgment works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil. 20Those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up. 21But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.
— John 3:14-21

So today, not matter what you are facing, don’t turn in fear, don’t run away. Put on the full armor of God and stand firm. Ask God to make you stronger. Ask God to fill you up with the Holy Spirit that you may have wisdom and courage to take on the lies and the attacks of the enemy.

10Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. 11Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil’s evil tricks. 12For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. 13So put on God’s armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy’s attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.

14 So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, 15 and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. 16At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. 17 And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. 18Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people. 19And pray also for me, that God will give me a message when I am ready to speak, so that I may speak boldly and make known the gospel’s secret. 20For the sake of this gospel I am an ambassador, though now I am in prison. Pray that I may be bold in speaking about the gospel as I should.
— Ephesians 6:10-20 (GNT)

God brought you to it, He can and will get you through it!

Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming

1There is no need to write you, friends, about the times and occasions when these things will happen. 2For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. 3When people say, “Everything is quiet and safe,” then suddenly destruction will hit them! It will come as suddenly as the pains that come upon a woman in labor, and people will not escape. 4But you, friends, are not in the darkness, and the Day should not take you by surprise like a thief. 5All of you are people who belong to the light, who belong to the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, we should not be sleeping like the others; we should be awake and sober. 7It is at night when people sleep; it is at night when they get drunk. 8But we belong to the day, and we should be sober. We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. 9God did not choose us to suffer his anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10who died for us in order that we might live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes. 11And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.

Final Instructions and Greetings

12We beg you, our friends, to pay proper respect to those who work among you, who guide and instruct you in the Christian life. 13Treat them with the greatest respect and love because of the work they do. Be at peace among yourselves.
14We urge you, our friends, to warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but at all times make it your aim to do good to one another and to all people.
16Be joyful always, 17pray at all times, 18be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.
19Do not restrain the Holy Spirit; 20do not despise inspired messages. 21Put all things to the test: keep what is good 22and avoid every kind of evil.
23May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you will do it, because he is faithful.
25Pray also for us, friends.
26Greet all the believers with the kiss of peace.
27I urge you by the authority of the Lord to read this letter to all the believers.
28The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
— 1 Thessalonians 5

So this is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Let’s not give up nor turn away, but let’s hold onto the hand of God and press forward for He will get us through it! Let’s complete the work that God is calling us to that He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Clearing the stage…


What all do you have clogging up or cluttering up the stage of your life? What do you have up there that is competing for your time? What is your focus?

Last night there was the start of a conference where Scott Wilson was preaching. Throughout the night I posted many tweets with hashtag #2014inspire. A few of the nuggets and there were many included:

  • Will you get out of the way and letting God raise the ceiling in your life?
  • Will you show who you are or will you get exposed?
  • Partial obedience isn’t obedience at all.
  • Isn’t obedience better than sacrifice?
  • He is at the door. He has a catered dinner for you. What are you going to do? http://bible.us/Rev3.20.amp
  • Rev 3:14 – it needs to be done in you before you can do it in the lives of others. Don’t be lukewarm.
  • Take this serious and change. Quit telling yourself it’s ok.
  • Don’t put other gods beside God. Get rid of the idols, clear the stage

It isn’t God+, it’s all God. What else do you have in the way? What else do you have being idolized that needs to get out of the way? Pastor Scott mentioned something that made me ponder, it wasn’t that the people didn’t know God it was that they added to Him a bunch of other “gods”. Consider life and what is in it. What’s in the way from being all in or following fully after God? Clear the stage of the other stuff and do what God calls you to do. We don’t need to compare ourselves or be concerned with what other people need to or should be or could be. Consider when Peter was asked if he loved Jesus and how on the third time his response was more: Jesus you know me inside and out, you know my heart, I think I love you.

15After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”
Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”
17-19Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I’m telling you the very truth now: When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wished, but when you get old you’ll have to stretch out your hands while someone else dresses you and takes you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to hint at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. And then he commanded, “Follow me.” — John 21

Consider when Peter asked about John and the response he received from Jesus:

20-21Turning his head, Peter noticed the disciple Jesus loved following right behind. When Peter noticed him, he asked Jesus, “Master, what’s going to happen to him?”
22-23Jesus said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you? You—follow me.” That is how the rumor got out among the brothers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that is not what Jesus said. He simply said, “If I want him to live until I come again, what’s that to you?” — John 21

God doesn’t want us to be wasting our time, our efforts, our lives worrying about His plans for other believers. He wants us to focus on the calling He has put into our lives. He wants us to be obedient to His Word and His calling. He wants us to be on fire for Him, not lukewarm. So let’s follow Him. Let’s make everything we do, everything we say, every thought we have be about what can we do for Jesus. Are we glorifying Him with our efforts? Are we removing the illusion and being transparent to others so they can see Jesus? Have we cleared off the stage of those other idols that get in the way? that distract? that distort? and keep us from everything God desires?

I am not sure if you know, but the messages I post daily are God’s Word to me. It is from my time alone in the morning preparing for my day and seeking God’s wisdom. People know if they see me before this time, because this is my fill up. This is making sure that my taking is filled to overflowing before I start my day. Without God, it’s hard to get the day started. With God, the possibilities are endless. I hope my notes, my blog, my testimonies help to encourage you. God spoke to me that I was supposed to have this public blog, not for my glory but for His. Not as my note taking place, but some reason that is bigger than me.

This morning’s reading comes from 1 Chronicles 25-28, Psalm74 and kicks off speaking the leader selection for worship. Everyone has a place and a purpose. When we focus on our piece, our purpose, our plan, God is able to take it, bless it, multiply, and make it an incredible moment for so many others. Don’t be looking for special treatment, God’s selected you for a purpose, for such a day and such a time as this. Everyone has a purpose, everyone has a role. They are all important and when we focus on it and do what God tells us to do, it is more powerful than if we tried to do it alone and in our own power. You aren’t all that so be willing to let God’s will direct you and guide you. You don’t have all the answers, but He does.

Jesus, have your way in me today. You are prompting my heart and I want to be fully obedient to You. Grant me wisdom and courage to step up and step out to be all that You desire of me. Help me not to sway to the left or the right. Help me to keep my eyes on You and focus on what you desire of me. I stepped out of the boat and don’t want to miss the opportunities, the miracles, the plans You have for me by losing focus. Lord, thank You for Your Word. Lord, thank You for this time. Thank You for my life. Thank You for my family. Thank You for my friends. Thank You for everyone who is brought to this site and is encouraged and directed to You. Lord, help me today as I prepare for it, go before me I pray to prepare in advance the good works You have for me. Grant me the wisdom and the courage to get it done. Help me Lord with full obedience. Help me Lord with Your Spirit so that I am not lukewarm. May this day be a day that will bring the Father, the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

(3+me)

(calling)

Words of wisdom from a father to a son:

9-10“And you, Solomon my son, get to know well your father’s God; serve him with a whole heart and eager mind, for God examines every heart and sees through every motive. If you seek him, he’ll make sure you find him, but if you abandon him, he’ll leave you for good. Look sharp now! God has chosen you to build his holy house. Be brave, determined! And do it!” — 1 Chronicles 28

Plans…God’s prepared in advance, He got things setup for you to get it done

20-21David continued to address Solomon: “Take charge! Take heart! Don’t be anxious or get discouraged. God, my God, is with you in this; he won’t walk off and leave you in the lurch. He’s at your side until every last detail is completed for conducting the worship of God. You have all the priests and Levites standing ready to pitch in, and skillful craftsmen and artisans of every kind ready to go to work. Both leaders and people are ready. Just say the word.” — 1 Chronicles 28

 

Have you reserved space for Him?


In your heart, in your life, in your time, in your day, in your routine, have you reserved space for God? Have you set aside space that is just for Him? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? Have you asked Him to be the Lord of ALL your life? Have you made time in your day for Him? We are to be praying without ceasing, so we should be talking to him all the time. Have you set aside time with Him in the morning to get your day started? Have you set time aside throughout the day to praise Him, thank Him, talk to Him?

Are you doing your share?

We each have a role and a responsibility. We each have a purpose. We each have a calling on our lives for what we are supposed to be doing. Are you focused on you or on what you can do to help others? Are you focused on you or what you can do to serve God? Are you focused inward towards self or outward towards others? Selfish vs Selfless.

Put Him at the center!

God isn’t somewhere out there, He is right here with us. He is Emanuel. So keep your focus on Him and allow Him to direct your path.

As a new year dawns…


As I start this new day and consider the last year, all I can say is “Wow!”. There were so many different experiences and feelings. There were so many different responses and changes. There were big changes, happy changes, experiences to share and be open rather than to fear and clam up. There were times to learn and times to prepare. There were times to listen and times to take action. So many changes and God was in them all. He calmed any doubts or fears. He spoke into every question or doubt. He answered when I had questions. He encouraged as I waited.

It started with bad news, but God told me He had my back. He rewarded my behavior and actions better than the company that seemed to turn its back on me. From a previous experience, I knew I had to start it with forgiveness. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.

Because of God’s love and provision, I was openly sharing how I knew that God was working on something and either things would be fixed and improved or He had something else planned for me. I used it as a testimony of how we don’t have to worry or fear what man can do to us, but rather that we can trust in God and allow the joy that surpasses all understanding to help us get through it all.

I had times of doubt, not in God, but if there was really anyone who cared  or could be trusted. God made it clear that there was by setting divine appointments where people would come in and speak truth, speak care, speak love into the situations.

Then the message about Peter shows up in one of my morning devotionals when get walks on water. As I drive to work I ask God if the company I was working for was the boat and if it was and if I was to get out, that He would grant me wisdom to know which side. I was just about to turn onto the highway after driving over the hill and my phone made it’s texting message that ended up being “get out of the boat“. I knew what that meant. I knew that no matter how things changed at work, my time there was limited and that God was preparing me for the next phase of my career. Since I included the clarity of “which side”, I knew that wasn’t the day, but that night I had to start to prepare. I updated my resume, I updated my LinkedIn profile, and I started to reach out to people who worked at companies where I found jobs of interest and the process began. I went to work each day with the joy of knowing God was with me and that He would never leave me nor forsake me. I knew He was working out a plan for my future and so I did my job the best I could for His Word tells me “work as unto the Lord“, He is the real boss of it all.

Interviews were happening. Preparation was taking place. And then right when I thought I knew which side of the boat, God opened the door with the clear message that He had a different idea. He provided me with every sign, every notice, every encouragement I needed so that I knew which side to get out on. Be it rainbows. Be it songs on the radio. Be it my morning Bible reading. Be it the offer. He knew what He has planned and started so many months earlier and this has been an incredible year and one I wouldn’t want to give up. The valley may be deep and it may not be easy, but when you come out the other side and look back, the things you learn are things you wouldn’t want to give up or give back. What an incredible time it has been in my new role. What an incredible group of people I have been blessed to meet. What an incredible opportunity and challenge faces us. And with God directing my path, I know that even greater things are yet to come.

So today as a new year begins, what do I think? what do I want? what do I think? what do I need? what do I plan? Theses are incredible and powerful questions.

What do I think?

I am blessed by God!

What do I want?

To help share the love of God with my family and friends and those who God will bring across my path.

What do I think?

God, what is it you have for me to do today. No need to worry about tomorrow, today has enough things to keep me busy.

What do I need?

God’s wisdom for every action, every activity, every decision, every moment of every day.

What do I plan?

To have another great year spent with my wife, my kids, and my friends and family trying to love them better and share God’s love with them to a new level. To help those I work with to accomplish even greater things that we could have ever asked for or imagined by the grace of God!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!

Thank You Jesus!

Love,

Phil


365 Fear Nots: Verse of the Day

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

1 Peter 2:17 (KJV)

Be of good character and live your life with integrity, treating everyone the same, with dignity. Love your brothers and sisters in Christ and be respectful of authority. Honor and revere the Lord God!

Spurgeon’s Morning Devotional – Day 59 – My Expectation is from God!

5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

Psalm 62:5

Leadership Recruiting strategy. What’s your like?


Does it usually start with learning how much they can handle? Does it shake them to their core? Does it test to see where their heart and minds are? Is it to prepare them and set them up for greater things to come? If you were looking for new leaders for your area how would you be able to know if they were the right fit? How do you know how they will do if they aren’t someone you have seen in the specific role you are considering? What is their comfort zone and how would they operate outside of it? How deep do they go? How will they respond in the good and the tough times? Where will they turn for wisdom, for guidance, for strength, for courage?

When I consider life, there have been many trials and challenges. Each one had driven me closer to God and trusting in Him for grace and strength and courage and wisdom. Each one has prepared me and built in me more trust and more hope for the future because I know that He has a plan for me that is good, a plan to give me a hope and a future. When I face trials of great size, I know where to turn. When I face trials of great importance, I know who to trust. He has built faith roots in my life that run to the fount of living water. It may not be easy, but it is always worth it. Through it I have learned that it isn’t all by my strength, but that in my weakness His strength is revealed. I have learned that forgiveness is the key to freedom. I have learned that truth will set you free. I have learned that when we make God’s priorities our priorities, He will take care of the rest (seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness). Don’t give up! Don’t give in! Be confident in the Lord and He will renew your strength.

So what ever you do or however you do it, press forward and persevere so that you can win the prize.

32-39Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way. – Hebrews 10:32-39

 

6-7He said, “Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now—on your way. Tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You’ll see him there, exactly as he said.” – Mark 16:6-7

Don’t get stuck in the past. Don’t get stuck in a pity party. Trust in God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your strength. Rejoice in what is ahead. God is going before you to prepare in advance the things He has for you to complete.

 

References:

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I praise You Lord for my wife and family. I lift up my co-workers and friends. I look to You Lord as I start this day and ask for wisdom and discernment to help me to accomplish all that You have planned for me today. Grant me the courage to step out and do what You grant me the wisdom to do. As You prepare me to become a leader, a better leader, a leader for Your purpose and plan, grant me the perseverance to not give up but to press on and complete all that You have for me to do. I ask Lord that with every thought, word, and action You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.