Growing like Peter

Following God will always be one of the greatest acts any person could ever do. Too often when one tries to follow God in obedience others ridicule and tear down… judge whether this or that is a “wise” thing or not. The sad part is that more often than not it comes from “brothers and/ sisters” in Christ. Jesus experienced this himself from Peter. Jesus’ response to Peter was, “Get behind me Satan.”

One of the pressures a believer in Christ will face is the “approval” of those watching. The approval each Christian is to seek is that of God… and that approval can only be found in His Son – Jesus. Unfortunately, as humans we desire that nudge from others who affirm God’s working in our lives. Sometimes to the point of not moving unless all around agree or approve. Sometimes God just says, “Do this thing.” Our only response should be to obey.

Sometimes when we set out in following God’s dream for our lives we discover that the decision we’ve decided to make is not the right one (or the best one). In light of eternity, that’s alright. God’s grace is more than any of us could ever dream. It’s through making mistakes we get to know God… after-all that’s what He desires… for us to know Him. Think about the exchange between Jesus and Peter referenced above. Peter got to know God, His purposes, and His plans through his speaking out against His plan. We get to know Him when we do the right thing too… but for some reason it’s through those trials in life that the knowledge gained sticks with us all the more.

I’ve made some decisions in life (I’m sure have appeared to others as dumb… not well thought out moves.) But that’s ok… even though I’ve had to learn some tough lessons… I think I have come to know God in a much richer and deeper way. I’m still learning and growing in following Him. Even today as I pray through things on my heart… I’m getting to know Him

We should never think as though we have messed up God’s plan in anyway for having made a decision that may seem rather ridiculous to others. It just may be that those things that seem foolish to everyone else was indeed what God wanted all along.

Peter expresses what he came to know of God in 1 Peter 4:12-13, 19,

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad – because these trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world… So if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you.

 

 

Perspective from the porch

The view from the porch today has been great!  I was greeted this morning by one of the deer that I like to watch.  It’s been very relaxing…

…and frustrating time this morning.  Frustrating as I have looked back over this past week.  I’m very tired.  In need of some good quiet time.

I’m at a place where I need to stay more focused on God than ever.  I realize during this very tiring time in life I need to look to Him.  I need to look to God for His provision, help, and counsel.  I need to resist the temptation to look for help from sources other than God.   

Since Wednesday, my focus in the Scripture has been on 2 Chronicles 14 – 16.  These are some strong chapters looking at the life of King Asa. 

It’s been hard to mine the nuggets from this week.  For several years now I have been desiring a time to get away by myself… in the mountains, on the beach, at a conference.  Some place… any place… just so I can think… be still… be refreshed… and take some time to vision cast for my life.  I need a plan.  God’s still small voice is hard to hear right now with all the extra noise.

  1. It’s real easy to let yourself get run down. 
  2. Take moments to be still and quiet. 
  3. I need vision… Without a vision God’s people perish.
  4. Look to God only.

American Solutions

Newt Gingrich has a web site called American Solutions.  I encourage you to go there read the information and sign the petition if you want our country to be energy independent. 

Drill here.  Drill now.  Pay Less.  Sign the petition!  A real change campaign to lower your gas prices.

According the web site 81% of Americans support greater use of domestic energy resources. 

It’s time to get involved. It’s time for REAL CHANGE.

“What say you?”

The Army Chaplain Corp post has got me thinking about a question I haven’t heard in a while. I worked at a church one time – When someone in our church decided they wanted to get involved and volunteer but were unsure as to where – one of the guys on staff would ask “If you could do anything you wanted and knew you wouldn’t fail – what would it be?”

Today, I would change the question to something like this: “At this time in your life, if there was one thing you could be doing – what would it be?” As I drove back to work from lunch today, I thought about this question. I started going through my mind with the various people I would ask this question of. I have wondered what the responses would be… Some I imagined would give me some other career choice that had some sort of meaning or purpose and then there are others I thought would say, “No changes at all – I’m doing it.”

In the words of Bill O’Reilly, “What say you?” How would you answer the question?

I would answer the question this way:  I’m not content with what I’m doing. I’d rather be a Chaplain in the Army. This question is much greater and wider than me. I am reminded again of Job 42:10, “When Job prayed for his friends… As well as the words of Oswald Chambers, “Then don’t worry anymore about yourself, but begin to do as Jesus Christ has said, in essence, “Pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight…”

We need to carry each other’s burdens. We must move forward in faith together. Forget about ourselves and elevate the needs of others before those of our own. “When Job prayed for his friends…” 

I think if you begin to ask this question of people you are close to or are around everyday you will be surprised at the responses you will get.

What say you?”

Army Chaplain Corp

I know I have mentioned this before in military, prayer, chaplaincy… I would love to have been a Chaplain in the U.S. Army Chaplain Corp.  I still think about it… dream about it… and pray about it.  I still have time since the age limit has been moved to 47.  I can’t tell you how many times I think about this each week.

While at work yesterday, I stopped by the front desk and started sifting through the days newspaper.  On the bottom was Section A of the AJC.  On the front page was part 2 of an 8 part series entitled “Chaplain Turner’s War“.  It’s a great story.  I hope you will take a few moments to stay up with this story.  I hope it will encourage you to pray for our Chaplain’s serving in all branches of our military.  They have a tough job with many things they face everyday… literally in the trenches of war. 

If you are so moved to begin praying, I ask you to pray for Maj. Steve Cantrell, Chaplain in the US Army.  I great friend who loves serving God by serving our men and women in the Army. 

For further reading, I highly recommend A Table in the Presence, by Lt Cary Cash.  I was at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth with him.  This book tells his story as a Chaplain in the early days of the War in Iraq.