Wednesday, December 2, 2009

in the fire

There is an Old Testament story of three Hebrew men who were key leaders in the Babylonian empire where the king built a gold statue of himself and demanding everyone bow done and worship his statue. Of course they refused and were brought in to the king to answer for their choices. The king even gave them one more chance to bow down. Again they refused. The king then ordered that a furnace be heated up 7 times hotter than normal, and these leaders be tied up and put into the furnace. The statement these leaders made was incredible, “…we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3) The furnace was so hot it killed the guards who threw them into it.

As the king looked at the furnace, he saw not only the three men but also a fourth he said looked like a son of the gods. He noticed the three were unbound, unharmed and walking around in the furnace. The end of the story is they came out of the furnace and that “…the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.” And the king ordered the nation to worship their God and not his statue anymore. Wow!

One intriguing fact of this story is that the three men and the fourth, whom scholars often believe was Christ himself, were “walking” around in the fire. I can only surmise that these men had read what the prophet Isaiah had written some 100+ years earlier: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:1-3) These men no doubt recalled this passage and as they were thrown into the furnace, started “walking”.

You might feel like you are being thrown into the furnace, maybe even a 7 times hotter fire. Well my friend, start walking and repeating this verse…when I walk through the fire, I will not be burned, the flames will not set me ablaze. For Lord, you are my God, the Holy One, my Savior! Keep walking, you might just see Christ show up in your in your fire too!

Monday, November 16, 2009

mondays w/ mike: yesterdays, todays & future days...

yesterdays are not today. they have influenced our today but do not have to control our today. yesterdays are good and yesterdays may be bad; one thing for certian, they are yesterday. yesterday has come and yesterday has gone and yesterday will not be back again. yesterday is what was, it does not have to be what is. we can be thankful for all our yesterdays because they taught us and rewarded us.

but today is another story. today is uncharted territory. we have never been here before. today is unblemished, no mistakes are already here. today is upon us. today can be good and today can be bad, we will not know until today is done. we should choose to make the most of today, for we will learn from it and be rewarded by it. we should live today with a "no regrets" theme, because it will influence our future days. if we offer our todays to God, they will become awesome yesterdays that we will reflect upon as the moments that made our future days really incredible.

our future days have the greatest potential. our yesterdays and todays can help to make our future days better than all the others combined. our future days when in the hand of God, will be more than we could ever make them.

Or we could just make the most of every opportunity! (Ephesians 5:16)

mondays w/ mike

It's time for a blog... Wow, my intent for blogging is to encourage and maybe challenge my friends on a regular basis . With the struggle to be consistent, I will attempt to post each Monday for your enjoyment. Maybe a Monday post will help you face your week with great energy and encouragement. This is simply a notification the "monday w/ mike" post is coming soon... have a blessed week!

Friday, September 4, 2009

friday night lights...

tonight begins a new era in football history. my oldest son starts as a quarterback for his high school varsity football team. he is only a sophomore and is in a new school. no one knows the outcome of the game, season or his high school career. the only thing we can be certain of is how much we can give of our self to the success of our moment.

God calls us to "make the most of every opportunity" and to do whatever we do to honor Him! He will guide and guard us. He will direct and develop us. He will equip and empower us. We just need to give Him our best, our very best!

it's often the small moments in our life when we offer our best, even when no one else notices, that history is made. it starts a process that produces more than we ever realized would happen when we just offer our best. the moment may move a mountain. let's just try it and see what happens!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mountains all around you...

the mountians melt like wax before the Lord...Ps.97:5...Get in His Presence people...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Can "U" c it?

God can see things we cannot see. He can teach us to see things through faith in Him that we cannot normally see. Let me give you some examples.
In the story of those who were sent to spy out the promised land, ten of the spies saw a land too large to conquer, but Caleb and Joshua saw a God too good to allow for failure. (Numbers 13)
In the story of David taking on the fight with Goliath, the Israelite army (including David's brothers and King Saul) saw a giant too big to fight, and David saw a giant too big to miss. (I Samuel 17)
In Jesus' encounter with Pharisees after healing a crippled woman, the religious leaders saw their traditions being trampled (with this healing on the Sabbath) and their influence being minimized. Jesus saw an opportunity to give mercy and healing. (Luke 13:14)
In the story of the the crippled beggar being healed at the gate to the temple, the beggar saw only status quo for his day, but Peter and John saw a new beginning for his life. (Acts 3:4-5)

These are just a few of the incredible examples God gives us in the Word to help us to see things differently. He wants us to see through eyes of faith in Him! By the way, He sees things in you that you don't see yet either!

Romans 9:20-26
"Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn’t that all right? Either or both happens to Jews, but it also happens to the other people. Hosea put it well:
I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies;
I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.
In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!”
they’re calling you “God’s living children.
Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language.

Ask Him to let you see something He sees today!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the summertime delight challenge…

Join us as we experience the promise of God in our lives...

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law (word) he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers…” Psalm One

*Read one chapter in the morning and one chapter in the evening for each month.

June challenge…
Morning chapters: Psalms chapters 1-30
Evening chapters: Psalms chapters 31-61

July challenge…
Morning chapters: Psalms chapters 62-93
Evening chapters: Proverbs chapters 1-31

August challenge…
Morning chapters: Psalms chapters 94-119
Evening chapters: Psalms chapters 120-150

Saturday, January 31, 2009

1+1=1, the relationship equation

during february, we will uncover this new math at bethel church. join us on Sundays @ 10:30am.

Monday, January 26, 2009

the delight challenge

I want to encourage you to take a personal challenge with me. Over the next four months, beginning in February, take "the delight challenge" to read one chapter in the morning and one chapter in the evening from the Bible (New Testament) for each month. I have listed a schedule below to follow. I will be speaking in series of messages that will reinforce what you are reading over the next four months at Bethel Church if you are interested. By the way at the end of the four months you will have read all of the New Testament except for one book, Revelation. We can throw this in too and have it all read - and according to Psalm One, we will be blessed!

the delight challenge…

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law (word) he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers…” Psalm One

*Read one chapter in the morning and one chapter in the evening for each month.

February challenge…
Morning chapters: John (21 chapters), 1 John (5 chapters), 2 John, 3 John
Evening chapters: 1 Corinthians (16 chapters), 2 Corinthians (13 chapters)

March challenge…
Morning chapters: Luke (24 chapters), Philemon, James (5 chapters)
Evening chapters: Romans (16 chapters), Hebrews (13 chapters), Jude

April challenge…
Morning chapters: Matthew (28 chapters), 1 Peter (1, 2)
Evening chapters: Galatians (6), Ephesians (6), Philippians (4), Colossians (4),
1 & 2 Thessalonians (8), 1 Peter (3, 4, 5)

May challenge…
Morning chapters: Acts (28 chapters), 2 Peter (3 chapters)
Evening chapters: Mark (16 chapters), 1 & 2 Timothy (10), Titus (3)