Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a significant book entitled Necessary Endings. Cloud wrote, “When we fail to end things well, we are destined to repeat the mistakes that keep us from moving on.” He shares observations why pruning may be essential for an organization to move forward; why many leaders struggle to understand that endings are a natural season in life; the difference between pain with a purpose and pain for no good reason; hoping versus wishing; three kinds of people; creating urgency and motivation for change; how to handle resistance; and, many other excellent insights that best position leaders to succeed in the future.
Addicere has serious problems. She is obsessed with pornography and she dares not take even a sip of alcohol or she will soon be drunk. This young woman is amazingly talented and comes from a home with loving parents who raised her with strong moral values. Yet despite their good example, their daughter is on a road that will end in tragedy if she does not come to a crucial spiritual understanding.
I want to know You. Let Your Spirit overwhelm me. Let Your presence take over my heart. Repeatedly the worship leader led us in singing those seventeen words that if analyzed meant far more than we could imagine.
Kathleen and I are trying to find the right company to help us refinance our home. Each of the four brokers we spoke with gave us compelling reasons to refinance with his or her particular company. We were uncertain as to who was really giving us the best option. Finally, we sat down with a broker in his office and listened as he explained why his option was the best for us. Before he went into his pitch he told us about his family and about a solar energy project he was working to help people bring their energy costs down. At some point in the meeting, I distinctly in my heart “heard” the Lord tell me that this was the man who would help us refinance. It was sort of a surreal moment. Yet, I instantly had peace about our choice and course of action.
In 1931, a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place in Rwanda. Believers in several nations prayed for God to transform Rwandan lives. Consequently, men and women became deeply convicted of their wrongdoing and in true repentance humbled themselves confessing their sins. Those who had wronged others apologized and made restitution. At the center of Rwandan revival, new believers were called Abaka, which meant “those on fire.” As A.C. Stanley Smith wrote in his book, Road to Revival, joy constantly reflected in the faces of these believers and everywhere they went they modeled powerful testimony.
Perhaps one of our most unstated worries is that we might not get into heaven. Does this thought trouble you? I suspect the reason many Christians hesitate to talk about this is for fear of being thought less spiritual or identified as a doubting Thomas. Yet, before Christ came to earth, during His life in Israel and following His resurrection, people’s apprehension towards the afterlife has always been a real and meaningful dread. Read what Paul wrote to the Galatians in the verses of meditation below:
My college class motto is “Strength As One.” I believe it is more profound than we realized when we selected it. What makes our class special is a collective sense that our ability exponentially increases through our unity. Implied in our unity is an understanding that we are accountable to one another.
Guatemala is a beautiful land, vibrantly green, abundant with fruit trees with types of fruit I had never heard of, let alone eaten. The people in Independencia (the village where we ministered) are gracious and loving. Even the February climate was balmy, punctuated by occasional rain showers that cleared the humidity. Each day, we sensed the Lord’s blessing in specific, clear ways. For example, day one: we need a translator! On the way to the village, we met a Cuban pastor from North Carolina who graciously volunteered to help us all day! Incredible! Day two: we purchased land from Arturo, a 79 year-old patriarch who loves the Lord. As we got to know him, he showed us his Bible. Inside was a picture of him standing next to my father. Then he told us his son lived in Japan. It turned out that Fernando and his wife, Makiko, were part of a Japanese church that heard about our ministry and months earlier, gave money to help us purchase property. Incredible!
I’ve always thought it amazing how our society glorifies the quarterback but completely misses the water boy. The hero has no heroics without a supporting cast. If a team achieves victory it is the result of teamwork. In this context we should understand the value, function and place of spiritual gifts.
Some day I look forward to talking to Obed-edom the Gittite. After God killed Uzzah for touching His ark, (he grabbed it when the oxen transporting it stumbled), King David was afraid to bring it to Jerusalem. Instead he left it at Obed’s house.
I’m in the process of moving my family from Tigard to Newberg. The last time I moved was fourteen years ago which more than triples the longest time I have ever lived in the same place! Moving is a painful adventure. The pleasure in meeting new people and making new friends is offset by the sadness of leaving old friends and familiar haunts. The excitement of moving is tempered by the reality of transporting stuff, cleaning, repairing, putting the Tigard home on the market and trying to figure out how to use furniture that is not designed to fit in the new home.
Acts 1:8--But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the endsof the earth.
In the fourth century AD, a bishop by the name of Athanasius gained fame for defending the Christian faith against a heresy quickly spreading under the teaching of Arius, a bishop in Alexandria. Arius contended that Jesus was created by God and was not eternal or omnipotent like His Father. The Athanasian Creed was probably not composed until several decades after Athanasius’ death in AD 373. It was never recognized by an ecumenical council as an official creed of the Church yet it remains an excellent summation of the doctrine of the Trinity. Even today Lutherans quote this creed in their liturgy.
Luke 4:36--Amazement came over them all, and they kept saying to one another, “What is this message? For He commands the unclean spirits with authority and power, and they come out!”
a·nointtr.v.a·noint·ed,a·noint·ing,a·noints.1.To apply oil, ointment, or a similar substance to.2.To put oil on during a religious ceremony as a sign of sanctification or consecration.3.To choose by or as if by divine intervention. (American Heritage Dictionary)
Joel 2:28,32a--After this I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions . . . Then everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved . . .
The 301 complex overlooks a valley framed by gently rolling California hills. When the round red ball of heat sinks the view is amazing. Several nights ago after the sun had vanished, I stopped walking and stood transfixed by the beauty of a mature oak tree in front of an expansive sky wearing a bluish hue I don’t ever remember seeing before. I wished the moment would last as I thanked God for His painting.
Ephesians 5:1,2--Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.
Years ago, when we bought bicycles for our children they came unassembled. I did not pull the parts out of the box and say, “Kids look at the picture. Now build it!” Nor did they say, “We don’t need your help we can do this our own way.” We worked together. They followed my directions, while I explained the instructions inside the box. Much of the work I did because they didn’t have the abilities necessary for many of the tasks.