Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolution for Men

The Resolution is a bold declaration stating that from this point on, you are choosing to live for what matters most. It's established in your heart and then spoken from your lips, committing yourself to fulfill your God-given responsibilities and live your life with faith and integrity. It expresses who you desire to be as a man and reminds you of your priceless influence on to the next generation.

The Resolution statements are based upon the highest priorities for men in God's Word. Each statement describes a commitment you resolve to live by as the leader of your home.

They represent a call to action, and living by them will ultimately help you stand before God one day and hear Him say, "Well done!"

From the book "The Resolution for Men".

Regardless of the mistakes we have made in the past. I pledge to love God with all that I am and to teach my children to do the same.
I hope and pray that you will commit with me to sign the Resolution for Men.

Resolution for Men

I DO solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.

I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.

I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.

I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.

I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.

I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.

I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.

I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.

I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.

I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.

I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.

I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.

As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Joshua 24:15

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Making Mary's Praise Our Praise

Soon after Mary received the angel from God, telling her that she would give birth to Christ, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Mary greeted Elizabeth with the following praise:

"My soul exalts the LORD, and my spirit has begun to rejoice in God my Savior, because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant. From now on, all generations will call me blessed, because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name; from generation to generation he is merciful to those who fear him." Luke 1:46-50

Today is Christmas Eve. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, let's share in the joy that Mary experienced in anticipation of Christ coming. Let our souls give glory to God for his gift to mankind. Let us rejoice in the mercy that God has shown each of us, for none are worthy. Let us praise God for his holiness.

As we approach the birthday of Christ, make us joyful. May we share our joy with others. Let us reflect Christ's love in all that we say and do. You are holy and worthy of our praise. We pray in the name of Christ. Amen

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Significance of the Shepherds in the Birth of Christ

Though we think that we are already familiar with the Christmas story, in re-reading it with care, God will aways reveal to us new and fresh insights.

The Christmas story is found in Luke, the second chapter.

What was the role of the shepherds and how should we respond to their example?

According to Luke, the shepherds where going about the business of caring for their flock. It was night and they were on guard for predators that could take advantage of the darkness to attack their flock. They were alert to what was going on around them.

As they were keeping watch, suddenly, without warning an angel appeared to them.

The angel was not a sign of danger, but a messenger from God. The angel came bearing good news, not only to the shepherds, but to all mankind.

The angel then revealed to the shepherds the good news that God had sent his son, Jesus as the savior of the world. He was born that night not as an earthly king would have experienced, but as a lowly servant might have experienced.

The shepherds listened as the angel of God spoke to them. And as they listened the heavens echoed the message of the angel.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom He is pleased" Luke 2:14

And when the shepherds heard the message given to them by heaven, they took action. They traveled to see the Christ child for themselves.

In Bethlehem they found the baby, with Mary and Joseph, lying in a manger. They spoke to each other about this wonderful experience that God had brought about in their lives.

After seeing the mother and child, they departed.

And as they met other people, they told them of the blessing that they had experienced, spreading the good news that Christ the Savior had been born to all that they met.

God wants each of us to be shepherds. As we live our lives, He wants us to be vigilant. He wants us to listen when He speaks to us. He wants us to take action as He directs us. He wants us to experience the peace that our Savior brings to us. He wants us to tell others this good news that Christ has been born.


We thank you for the birth of our Savior. We thank you for the hope that He brings. Open our ears to your voice. Guide and direct our actions, making us willing to follow. Grant us courage to tell others of the good news that Christ brings to our lives. We pray in Christ's name.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Maturing as Christians through Trials

"My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect annd complete, not deficient in anything." James 1:2-4

You might be wondering what James means when he writes about trials and why would God want us to experience trials in our lives.

Trials are a part of everyday life. Trials would include staying up all night with a sick child. Trials would include problems that we are having at work. Trials would be running out of money. Trials would be living with the loss of a loved one.

During trials, our faith is tested by the temptation to stop trusting and obeying God. We are tempted to question God. These responses to trials should not be followed.

"When we fall into all sorts of trials," we are commanded to "consider it nothing but joy." We need to have the right attitude about trials. Trials can be opportunities for growth. With joy in our hearts, we can have no room for bitterness.

Trials are a way that God uses to make His followers into the kind of people who bring honor to His name. Having endured trials, with Christ's strength, we reach the desired effect. God's plan is for us to mature from baby Christians to adult Christians.

"The true nature of gold become evident when the refiner heats gold ore over a fire. Similarly the character of God within a Christian that is there because of the Holy Spirit's presence becomes apparent through trials, if responded to properly." Dr. Thomas Constable

Teach us to rejoice in our trials, not to rebel against them. Give us the strength to walk with you, rather than run away from the trials of life. Let us see trials as your instrument for perfecting us. Grant us maturity as we persevere. In Christ's name we pray.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In everything give thanks

Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

God commands us to do many things. Many times these things can seem to be very hard or even impossible. Sometimes God does not even give us instructions in how His command should be accomplished. Verse 18 of Thessalonians 5 commands that we "in everything give thanks." Notice that God is not asking that we should be thankful on Thanksgiving Day, when we get an A on a test, or when we win the lottery. He commands that we should be thankful even when we experience loss, or we experience trials, or when we are in pain.

As followers of Christ, "we know that all things work together of good for those who love God" Romans 8:28. Even the things that we are at a loss to explain their purpose, God uses to work together for good.

Some events in life are so tragic and horrible that we find it difficult to know how God could possibly use such an event to work together with others for good. But goodness is in God's nature. "For every creation of God is good" Titus 4:4.

For followers of Christ, God works with the evil that exists in the world to work His will in our lives. Many times it is difficult for us to see God's purposes. Remembering Psalms 103:19 can be very important to you. "The LORD has established his throne in heaven; his kingdom extends over everything." Aways know that God is sovereign. He is God. We are His creations. As His creatures, trust Him for He is good and in everything give thanks.

Father, we don't always understand the things that happen to us in this life. We question you and ask why. Forgive us when we forget your sovereignty, when we forget that we are Your creation and that You love us. Strengthen us to endure the trials of life, for Your purposes are good and Your love for us endures. In the name of Christ Jesus, amen.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Prayer for Your Marriage

This Thanksgiving week I wrote a prayer for our marriage. Jaime and I will continue to pray this each day.

Prayer for Our Marriage

Father, we pray that Christ would be our first love, that through His love He would fill our marriage with His love and empower us to love each other more each day.

Teach us to look to You for security and self-esteem and not to our spouse.

Make our marriage a safe relationship, filling it with openness, honesty, and truth.

Unify each of us with You and with each other.

We pray that the two of us will constantly seek Your presence and power in our marriage.

We pray that You will protect our marriage from evil influences and temptations that can pull us away from each other and from You.

We pray that you use our marriage to touch the lives of others in a positive way, contributing to Your kingdom on earth.

Father, we ask this prayer in the name of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Making good choices

Every day you are faced with choices. Some of the choices you make will be bad. How do we make good choices? Do we listen to our friends? Do we count on others around us to influence our decisions? Or, do we depend on Christ and the Holy Spirit?

The term "spiritual discernment" means the skill of separating divine truth from error. We gain this skill through God's grace and reading His word.

"And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God." (Philippians 1:9–11)

In this passage from Philippians, Paul is praying for the church at Philippi. The central theme in the prayer is that the readers will exercise the virtue of spiritual discernment. Paul wants them to be able to make good choices, to “determine what is best.”

In doing so, Paul gives us the anatomy of this virtue. He points to three necessary building blocks for discernment: love, knowledge, and insight. And he describes the desired result of exercising this gift: the harvest of righteousness that will contribute to the glory and praise of God.

In the next passage, Paul is speaking to the church at Corinth. He points out that he and the other apostles spoke the truth from "the spirit that is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God."

"For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God. And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The one who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is understood by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:11-16)

Here, Paul contrasts the ability of the believer to that of the unbeliever to receive "the things of the Spirit of God."

Read and listen to Proverbs:

My child, if you receive my words,
and store up my commands within you,
by making your ear attentive to wisdom,
and by turning your heart to understanding,
indeed, if you call out for discernment –
raise your voice for understanding –
if you seek it like silver,
and search for it like hidden treasure,
then you will understand how to fear the Lord,
and you will discover knowledge about God. (Proverbs 2:1-5)

Obtaining spiritual discernment is not something that you can do once a week. It can only be gained by digging deeply into God's word.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Be imitators of God

"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
Ephesians 5:1-2

These are Paul's words to the church at Ephesus. He instructs that, in our walk with God, we should take care to be imitators of God and His son Jesus Christ. Christ, in His love for us, became a sacrifice for our sins. He gave up His life for us, providing atonement for and forgiveness of our sins. We are also urged to live in love, following in the example set for us by Christ.

Children learn by imitating their parents. As God is our heavenly father, we must learn to imitate Him. We must learn to imitate His gracious attitude and love toward us. We can do this through loving our fellow man in the same way that He has loved us.

Put the words of Paul on our hearts. Make us imitators of Christ. Let us love others as Christ has loved us. We pray this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What is Prayer?

I awoke this morning with your great-great-grandmother's poem "What is Prayer" running through my mind. If you haven't read or heard it lately, here it is:

What Is Prayer?

Pray'r is sitting at the Master's feet,
Pray'r is basking in His presence sweet.
Pray'r is communion of friend with Friend,
Blessed communion that has no end.
Pray'r is worship, adoration, praise,
Pouring forth the soul in joyful lays.

Claiming all God's promises given,
Drawing drafts on the bank of heaven.
Pray'r is the attitude of the soul.
As plants to sun, so to God the soul.
Pray'r is victory, pray'r is power;
Prayer is strength in temptation's hour.

Prayer is yieldedness to God's will,
A list'ning ear, His will to fulfill;
Becoming a cup of strength indeed
To souls in anguish and depths of need.
Prayer is drawing supplies of grace
Day by day as we gaze on His face.

Did you notice how many things that prayer is? This is a long list! What might you be missing in your prayer life? Have you limited your prayers to a tired repetition of requests of God? I hope that you will spend some time with this poem today. Ask yourself if you are taking full advantage of all the things that prayer can be in your life.

Father, reveal to us the value of a rich prayer-life with You. Move us to spend more time each day in prayer and meditation on Your holy name. Inspire us to pray early and often. Make us yielded in every way to Your will. We ask this prayer in Christ's name. Amen.

Friday, October 21, 2011

" clay in this potter's hand."

"I, the LORD, say 'O nation of Israel, can I not deal with you as this potter deals with the clay? In my hands, you O nation of Israel, are just like the clay in the potter's hand.'" Jeremiah 18:6 (NET)

Do any of you remember visiting the potter's shop at Westville. Stephen Hawks, the potter would be at work creating all shapes and sizes of pottery. Each one was made for a special purpose by the potter. Each one was shaped and formed a little differently from all the rest. If desired, the potter could completely reshape the clay into a new creation.

Is this not the same as the way God works with His children. Each one of us is made with God's special purpose for our lives. Each one of us looks, acts, and is different from all the rest. In God's sovereignty, and through His grace, He sometimes chooses to reshape us into new creations.

It is our desire to become the vessel that you have in mind for us. You have a plan for our lives that is a good and excellent plan. Have your way with us, Father. We are the clay and you are the potter. Form us into the new creation that You would have us become. We pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Prayer for You

My little children, Id like share with you a very special prayer that was prayed by Jesus' apostle, Paul. Even though Paul was being held prisoner in Rome, suffering punishment for preaching God's word, he was able to find time to write the church at Colosse. Here is his prayer:

1:9 For this reason we also, from the day we heard about you, have not ceased praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 1:10 so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects – bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, 1:11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. 1:13 He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, 1:14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Paul's prayer is an example of the way that we should pray for both ourselves and for others. We should not be asking God to fulfill every need that we think we might have, but rather asking God that he might fill us with knowledge of His will for us in all things spiritual.

God want us to live lives that make Him proud of us and we should pray that our every action honor Him.

By fully understanding the will God we are able to live in a manner that pleases God.

And that in understanding God's will we might:
1. bear fruit in every good deed,
2. grow in the knowledge of God, through reading His word,
3. gain strength that is manifested in endurance and patience,
4. and express our gratitude to God consistently.

We are also thankful that through God's grace (God's Riches At Christ's Expense) that:
1. He made us heirs of an inheritance in which we were qualified when we became Christians,
2. He delivered us from the realm of Satan,
3. He transfered us to the Kingdom of God.

Through Jesus' blood, we became freed from sin, receiving forgiveness from the Father.

Prayer adapted from Colossians 1:9-14
Father, I ask that You fill my loved ones with the knowledge of Your will, with all the wisdom and understanding that Your Spirit gives. Then they will be able to live as You want and will always do what pleases You. I pray that their lives will produce all kinds of good deeds, and that they will grow in knowledge of You. May they be made strong with all the strength which comes from Your glorious power, so that they may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy I give thanks to You, who have made them fit to have their share of what You have reserved for Your people in the kingdom of light. You rescued them from the power of darkness and brought them safe into the kingdom of Your dear Son, by whom they are set free, that is, their sins are forgiven.

Who should pray this prayer and to whom should it be prayed for?

I will pray it each day for you, my little children. I hope that you will pray it for me.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My little children…

My little children…

I chose this domain name because I want to speak to you my little children the words which God has put on my heart. When I say "my little children" I'm referring not only to my children, but to my grandchildren and one day, their children and their grandchildren. I want them to know me their father and also their heavenly father.

"My little children" is quoted from 1John 2:1-2. It reads:

(My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.) But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One, 2:2 and he himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world. (NET)

John's words tell us so much about his master Jesus and about sin.

The reason that John writes us is that we "may not sin". Sin is resistance to or rebellion against God. Sin is inevitable. Even though we love God and try to be good, we sin.

The result of sin is that we become separated from God. God loves us and desires a relationship with each of us, not separation.

Though His wish is that we never sin, He has provided for us through Christ, an "atoning sacrifice" should we choose to accept it, results in forgiveness for ours sins.

What is "atoning sacrifice"? This phrase refers to Christ's death on the cross. Its purpose was to fully pay the price for our sin and thereby placate God's wrath against sin.

What is necessary on our part for our sins to be forgiven? We must repent -- that is we reject sin and accept Christ work on the cross as payment for our sin.

The result is that we are restored to a right relationship with God.


Father, we admit that we are sinners. We have not obeyed you. We believe that Christ has satisfied the debt of our sin through his death on the cross. We repent and turn away from our sin and disobedience. We desire a relationship with you where you are the master of our lives. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.