January 2007 - Posts
“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8
It’s a control thing, really! I just have to know! When I set out on a trip, I always want to know the way. It doesn’t matter if I’m driving or just riding along as a passenger. It just feels so much better to know a little bit about where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. A few years ago, I helped my Dad out by going to the airport and picking up our special guest speaker for a mid-winter bible conference we always had. It was a crazy experience. We were waiting to get his bag from the terminal and he asked me a funny question. So, where are you going? Is that a question anyone has ever asked you? Did you have an answer? I’m amazed at how many people really don’t know where they’re going. I’m not talking about heaven or hell, most people have a least a decent idea of that. But I’m talking about your life. Where is it going? Nowhere? God promises that before He works, moves, makes something happen, that He will share that with His servants. If you are a child of God – THAT’S YOU!!! So what is God telling you? Nothing? Really? Just Listen! God has an incredible plan for your life. He’s just waiting for you to live it. But He reveals it to you through a relationship. If you can’t hear Him, move in closer! That’s better, a little closer. Now spend some time worshipping Him and telling Him how great He is.
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
I don't think about a splinter, until my hand slidesdown a wood rail and a sliver pierces my finger, then I can't think of anything else. A small seed means nothing, until my mother plants it, and a flower blooms, then its aroma reaches my nose and makes me feel good, or causes me to sneeze. A simple word, like love, means nothing, until I hear it spoken and see it lived out by someone who matters most to me, then I feel more alive than ever. Small things, they don't mean much at all, until they somehow find their way into my life, by a splinter, by a flower, by a word, like love.
Probably ten thousand times in my life people have asked me "How are you doing?" I usually reply, "Fine." Lots of times I am lying! My dad always seems to have some witty reply when asked the same question, like "any better and I'd be dangerous," or the ever famous Dr. Richard Holden response "Better than I deserve." I think you get the picture. In II Kings 4:23 the faithful woman from Shunem replied when asked, "It is well." Yeah...riiiight. Folks, things were horrible- her son was dead. This one was not one of many either, in fact, it was her only child, born of an aged husband. This boy was fulfillment of a prophecy of the man of God(vs.16). He was the promised son to a barren mother. He was a miracle child, and now he was dead. Things were not fine, or even good, IT WAS A CATASTROPHE! I think for the past two days I have tried to believe "it is well," but I just haven't been able to. God knows our history, our present circumstances and the future outcome of every situation we face in life. Things have looked rough for the past few weeks. But I am assured as a dear child of God, "It shall be well," remember..."weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning," Psalms 30:5b
Psalm 119:45- "And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts."
Random thoughts from Uncle Jesse. Have you ever thought about what life would be like if you weren't human? I drive past cows and think, how boring must if be to just stand around and stare at stuff day in and day out. Then, to break the monotony, take some time to snack on some grass! I wouldn't be a fish either! I can't imagine never being able to blink and getting excited about a worm for supper. I think it would be especially hard to be a pet dog. If you were like many K-9's you would constantly be trying to be "man's best friend." What does that get you? Your ears pulled by toddlers, and your supper is the same thing every day, with the exception of those special occasions where everybody dumps their half-eaten suppers in your bowl and pats your head as if to say, "I must love you a lot to do this." Especially bad is the idea of having to wear a leash. Nice, a peice of leather tightly around your neck that gives you freedom for about eight feet.
Today many young people voluntarily allow a leash to be put around their necks spiritually. They think that "experiencing life" will bring them freedom, but they are soon entrapped by the very thing that was supposed to bring them freedom in the first place. Only obedience to God will bring that freedom you're searching for. Only abiding in the love of Christ will give the joy that sin promises but never fulfills. If you think that life lived your way is the way to "take life by the tail", remember Fido and think again!
A few stupid things people say and do that really annoy the mess out of me...
1.) People who point at their wrist while asking for the time. Thanks, I know where my watch is...where's yours?
2.) People who get off the couch to search the entire room for the remote that refuse to walk to the TV and change it manually.
3.) People who say,"You just want to have your cake and eat it to." You're dad-gum right, what good is cake if you can't eat it.
4.) People who say when you have found something you were looking for..."It's always the last place you look." No kidding, why in the world would I keep looking after I've found it. Do you say this? Who are you and where do you live?
5.) When you're at the movies and someone says "Did you see that?" No, I pay $8 to come and stare at the floor.
6.) This is a common one, when people ask "Can I ask you a question?" Didn't really give a choice there, did ya sunshine?
7.) When something is "new and improved", which is it? If it's new, there hasn't been anything before it, if it's improved there was something before it, right?
8.) If you rode the bus in school and someone came up to you and said "Has the bus come yet?" If the bus had already come, would I be standing here?
9.) When people ask, "Did you get a haircut?" No, it fell out at the ends, just like I like it.
"And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house. Acts 20:20
Today I was praying for and thanking God for my pastor, Dr. Hollie Miller, and my former pastor, my dad, Dr. Richard Holden. These men preach the word of God with boldness and proclaim the truth, weither you like it or not. We are living in a day when people want a preacher who will tickle their ears, cater to their vanity, and be a good mixer. Not very many Sunday morning congregations are hearing "Thus saith the LORD." Isn't it strange how inconsistent some of the saints of God can be? I know church members who seeks the services of a doctor about some ailment and come away bragging on how rough the doctor treated them in the examination before perscribing them something. Then, I see the same people get mad, show resentment, and threaten to leave the church because the preacher dealt with them in a honest way from God's word. The best friend any born again christian can have is a faithful pastor who will deal honestly with your soul. Sometimes we need to get our "spiritual toes" stepped on. When this happens we should thank God for the truth, congratulate our pastor for having the courage to tell us about or condition, help pay his salary, and try to get every lost person we know out to hear him preach the unsearchable riches of Christ!
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he heard therefore that [Lazarus] was sick, He stayed two days still in the same place where He was. John 11:5-6
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. Geneses 2:1-2
Are you in the midst of trouble, waiting on a move from God? Has his delay caused you to doubt or grow frustrated? Remember that God takes his time. When Lazarus was sick, did Jesus go immediately to heal him? Did he speak a word from where he was, as he could’ve doubtlessly done, and heal Lazarus from a distance? But no, he delayed his response by two days, and the bible says he delayed not out of apathy, but his hesitance was because he loved Mary and Martha and Lazarus. By his delay he worked an even greater miracle for them, thereby displaying his love.
Look back to the creation of the world. God could’ve spoken everything into existence with one word, in one instant. Instead, he chose to speak several different times over six days, finally perfecting his work and resting on the seventh day. The bible says that at the end of each day, God saw that his work was “good.” But on the sixth day, God saw his work was “very good.” Though he could’ve created perfection in an instant, he spread his work out over time to make it even more thoroughly excellent. So we see that God doesn’t only delay his work in our affairs; he takes his time even when it comes to his own interests. It is simply part of his character to do everything in such a way that the utmost perfection will be had from it. When we don’t get what we want, when the answers don’t come quickly, or things are not perfectly as we would have them, we have to remember that God did not even satisfy his own desires (in creating the earth) all at once. Are you in a desperate situation? Do you feel helpless to change yourself or your afflictions? God’s delay in righting your problems is only so that when his answer does come, it will work even more to your good. If you believe that He is God, you must believe that He can fix all of your problems with one word. But if you believe that He is good, you must trust that his delay only means He loves you, and He is taking His time in order to do an even greater work in your life.
I requesting the creativity of my very smart, very funny friends here at Steeple. So here's the deal. There is a running joke that when you leave a group of friends you can say, I'm out like a...then something funny. For example...I'm out! Like a fat kid in dodgeball. Get it, he's out because he's not very good at dodgeball because he's not very mobile because of his weight issue, so therefore he can't move to get out of the way of the ball being hurled at him. I need some new matieral. I want to see what you guys can come up with. Submit your joke here in the comment area. Here's a few new one's I have so far.
I'm out....like life insurance in Iraq!
I'm out....like a Krispy Kreme employee on Weight Watcher's day off!
I'm out....like Green Tea(with Citrus) in my Fridge
"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for bretheren to dwell together in unity!" Psalm 133:1
One of the most interesting things about this verse is the exclamation point at the end. God wants us to live in unity. He wants His children to get along, question is, how do we do it? I personaly believe a christian should strive to be unoffendable. In the longest chapter in Psalms(119:165), God stresses to us that if we love His law, nothing will offend us. A major flaw in christian brothers is getting irritated at other brothers who don't do what we do or think like we think and then we get offended. Ego is sometimes a source of our offence, we think to much of ourselves. Yes, we must learn to live in unity, with our brothers without compromise and love people in spite of their personality or offensive ways. We must desire to bury our differences, not to bury our brothers. I know this might be hard for some of us to believe and even more difficult to accept, but you just might not be right all the time! The day I learned it was alright to be wrong was a liberating hour. I thank God every day for B.J., Shaun, Justin, and Matt. These are my small group of men who I can rally around and who can rally around me. Men of God striving to live in Unity.
I have said it once and I will say it again, if you put Michigan, USC, Ohio State, Boise State, Louisville, whoever in the SEC next year playing SEC teams on a weekly basis, they will NOT have many winning records and will NOT be talked about as much. Speed kills. Whoever said that we don't play smash mouth football in the SEC didn't watch Florida's defensive line last night, Troy Smith couldn't breathe. Florida wanted it! OSU thought they had it. Florida's Linebakers were everywhere and they were relentless all night long. They played and tackled people without their helmets! It was crazy! As much as I don't like Florida, the SEC are champions once again! Go Ga.........SEC!
Napoleon just wants to go home early. He's had a rough day at school already, dealing with Don's mockery and Randy's outright bullying. He just had his head banged against a locker, and he wants out.
So he calls Kip and starts trying to talk Kip into getting him out of there. Kip is obviously very busy right that second with, and this is an educated guess, making the biggest plate of nachos ever. We all know Kip refuses to come pick him up, so Napoleon makes a desperate last-ditch attempt to get Kip to the school, presumably to talk him into taking him home.
He has chapped lips. And they hurt real bad.
Napoleon is grasping at straws, hoping his complaining will be enough to get Kip out there.
Kip is having none of it, though, and leaves Napoleon hanging out to dry, forcing him to finish his school day.
How do you think Napoleon feels about himself here? He's been openly mocked, bullied in front everybody and rejected by his own brother. We're guessing the self-esteem meter isn't really maxed out at the moment.
Turns out it was the best thing Kip could have done for him.
Napoleon hangs up the phone and immediately stumbles on Principal Svadean trying to direct Pedro to his locker. Napoleon strikes up a conversation, shows Pedro where his locker is located and soon finds himself at Pedro's house taking the Sledgehammer on some sweet jumps.
Imagine the self-esteem boost Napoleon got when he extended a hand of friendship to Pedro and saw that hand welcomed. It's tempting to complain, and there's nothing wrong with a little venting. But those complaints will do nothing to change the situation; action will. Ask God what action you should take, if any, and then trust that He will turn the situation around for you.
"But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me." Matthew 14:30
What if...? There are a lot of "What ifs...?" in the christian life. Flocks, herds, coveys, and gaggles of "What ifs...?" are ever present along the trail that leads to Heaven. Peter was walking on water, another unprecedented day in the archives of human achievement! He observed the conditions, became frightened and began to sink. My contention has always been that the moment Peter experienced a "sinking feeling" he cried out for the assistance of Jesus. According to verse 31, "immediately" Jesus rescued sinking Simon. What I'm trying to say is, is that I'm trying to learn how to take care of mole hills before they become mountain ranges. Resolve petty issues before they turn into wounded spirits. Reconcile small problems before they evolve into major difficulties. At the first glimpse of spiritual decline or cold-heartedness cry out to Jesus, "Lord, save me" and find safety in the in the ship and the stilling of the waves and worship, "...they that were in the ship...worshipped him..."(vs.33)
This may seem like a rather silly subject to some because they could not imagine how important it is. I don't know who said the following, but I like it. "The best thing for gray hair is a sensible head." Gray hair is not always a sign of wisdom, as wisdom is usually connected with God and righteousness. Proverbs 20:29- "The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head." Most young men don't put any worth in a head of hair, it is just something to help them attract attention, but God says that it will tell something about the owner. Think about this the next time you find a new gray hair.
"For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him." Genesis 18:19
God took Abraham for granted! God said, "I know Abraham. He will raise his family right. He's going to do right. I can count on him." Sometimes as a Christian, as a faithful church member, gets taken for granted. Your pastor takes you for granted. Your class leader takes you for granted. The usher takes you for granted. What a compliment! When someone takes you for granted that is one of the highest commendations of faithfulness you could ever receive. They are not taking advantage of you, they are declaring that you can be counted on; you can be trusted. Being taken for granted is a declarative statement that you can be entrusted to do what you say, be where you are supposed to be and faithfully carry out your assignments, no matter how mundane they might be. The next time someone negatively says, "You are being taken for granted," smile and say, "Thanks for the compliment." In this day of shirking saints, lazy loafers, and spiritual 'ride alongs,' it must be very comforting to your pastor and others in leadership, that at least they know YOU will be there come sun or rain, heat or cold, good days and bad. Be blessed-be taken for granted!
Colossians 3:16- "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
I love to sing. Although talent and skill, have I? None. Singing is a source of inner strengh to walk with Jesus. It is associated with the early church praising God for their Saviour. In the first century, they sang psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Baptists claim to be the closest thing to the New Testament Church. That is why we still sing the old hymns! Singing the hymns with your local church encourages you to practice the faith, faith from God's word. Although they may be boring and old, they are the most theologically sound ways to worship Jesus. Singing in your heart is a key to experiencing the Bible's richness as you walk with the Lord. In Ezekial 32:22, Ezekial tells us what music is displeasing to God. He talks about lyrics that drives the sin to flesh, promotes worldliness, and has some suggestive tones. Just as in Salvation, the song in your heart will come out through your mouth. When you meditate on God's word, it takes root in your heart. As it stregthens its grip on your soul, it will sprout into a heart of song. So it is important what songs you meditate on in the stillness of your soul. The right song in your heart will help you yeild your soul to God's will. Singing encourages you to stay in tune with the Saviour. Have a song in your heart. Let that song sing forth in your home. When you fellowship with God's people, sing forth with the joy of your Lord.