Thursday, April 29, 2010

Map of Life

There is a new book out written by David Murrow called The Map which is the greatest and simplest discipling tool for men ever written. You can order the book at . The book uses a map to show men the way of all great men. I encourage all guys to order this book, read it, and then discuss the contents with a group of men.

Most men don’t have any map to guide them and they often get lost on the mountain of life. The book uses the Gospel of Matthew and it will make reading this ancient writing come alive. I will never read Matthew again and not see the map for me.

I’m so excited about this book that I have already written out a teaching guide for it. Now if I can sweet talk my wife to put it in power point, I will be ready to reveal this hidden map to men so they can be the man God intended them to be. If I promise to take her bear hunting she will do anything for me.

Between reading this book and going to Iron Sharpens Irons on Saturday I will be one pumped up guy by Sunday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Prayer For Times Like These

A federal judge recently ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional. It doesn’t matter to me what a judge rules because my God is greater than all the judges in this country. If I want to pray in public I will even if it means going to jail. This nation is sliding into the abyss at the hands of fools.

In 2 Chronicles Jehoshaphat appointed judges for the country and told them this warning, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice, or partiality, or bribery.” Our judges today would be wise to read and remember this warning.

May 6 is National Day of Prayer and Christians will gather in towns across this nation to pray for our government, the military, media, business, education, church, and family. In Sandpoint we will gather at a small park in the heart of downtown. We expect a record number of people to turn out. I’m looking forward to see what God will do, because the first year a man just walking by stopped to ask what was going on and ended up accepting Jesus as his savoir. Last year as Pamela Fay Houston was singing If My People, God sent two eagles flying over at tree top level doing aerial acrobats. Our God is an awesome God!

Franklin Graham was scheduled to speak at the Pentagon on May 6 but was told that because he said something after the 9-11 attacks about Muslims he isn’t welcome. Franklin, you are welcome in Sandpoint, Idaho to pray anytime. We just attended a service Wednesday evening where several people were healed. God hears our prayers.

Don’t let a judge discourage you from praying in public. Pray for the judge to recognize the Providence of God rules above all powers and people.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Working The Soil

As Ardella and I were working in the garden last Friday, I remembered that last year the snow was just leaving. Ardella repaired the garden fence to prevent Spud from getting in to feast on veggies and I carried manure with my tractor and spread it. Then I tilled it under using the tractor tiller and the garden looked ready to plant. We did put in some carrots, spinach, lettuce, beets, and potatoes but it is too early for many plants as it can frost until late May.

It is always nice to get out and work in the soil. Last year a virus hit most of the tomatoes and peppers but the corn, cabbage and other vegetables did great. We are hoping the virus ran its course and will not come back. Only time will tell. At the present time Ardella has tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and squash coming up in the house. We will keep these under lights until they are put in the garden.

Our lives are similar to a garden. If we don’t let God work in our lives, not much fruit is produced. We too can let the virus of sin destroy us and only our Savoir Jesus Christ can cleanse us. The Holy Spirit will fertilize and water us so we are useful Christians. At times we need a little pruning.

We have times of growth when we get into the Word especially when it is shared with other people. Prayer is necessary to communicate and hear from the Father. When we surround ourselves with prayer warriors, our growth can be huge. The Holy Spirit stirring in us will produce a bountiful crop for God. Get ready to be pruned, fertilized, and watered so you can grow for the Kingdom.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Get Out of the Boat

Jesus called Peter out of the boat three times in the Bible. The first was when he called Peter to follow him. Jesus asked Peter to use his boat so he could teach the people by being just off shore. After Jesus was done he told Peter to drop his nets which Peter did even though they had fished all night and came up empty. When Peter followed Jesus command the nets came up full. At this, Peter declared “Go away from me for I am a sinful man.” Jesus told Peter from now on he would catch men.

The second time was when the Disciples put out to meet Jesus on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus came walking on the water to them and Peter jumped out and started to walk toward Jesus. He was doing well at first then fear set in and Jesus had to rescue Peter.

The third time was after the resurrection when Peter and the disciples had been fishing all night without catching any fish. Jesus told them to put the nets down and when they came up full Peter remembered three years earlier and knew it was Jesus. This time Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore to meet his Savoir.

We often are content to go through life staying in the boat. That is where life is secure and safe. Too many Christians are satisfied with staying in the comfort of the pews for their Christian walk. They never get to experience a dynamic life changing relationship with God. When we let God lead, our lives are transformed into productive Christians. Yes we have to jump out and get our feet wet. We may even slip on the rocks but at least we are moving forward.

Did you notice that Jesus blessed Peter each time he jumped out. Don’t you think he will bless you when you get out of your comfort zone? The past three years God has called me where I didn’t intend to go and each time I have been blessed. If we keep our eyes on Him and let God lead we will walk on water.

What have you been putting off in ministry?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Empty Tomb

Caiaphas, the high priest watched the sun rise in the east on this peaceful Sunday morning, glad calm had come to the city. He was about to go to the temple to get a work crew to repair the earthquake damage when the soldiers guarding the tomb of Jesus came running to say another earthquake struck the tomb and the sealed rock rolled away. Besides that. an angel appeared and drove them off. How could this be happening? He told the soldiers to get back to the tomb but they refused even though they could be killed for abandoning their guard. Caiaphas instructed the soldiers to keep still about this and paid them to say the disciples stole the body. After three days in a tomb they wouldn’t carry it too far. After all, it wasn’t like Jesus came back to life and was walking around town.

Mary Magdalene and a group of women went to the tomb early in the morning and found the stone rolled away and the tomb empty. Two angels appeared to them and announced that Jesus had risen to fulfill the scriptures just like he had told them. The women quickly ran back to tell the disciples but they didn’t believe what they had heard. Peter took off running and was the first one to the tomb, only to find it empty with the burial cloth folded up neatly. Peter went back into the city but couldn’t quite figure out where Jesus could be. Could He really be alive? So many crazy things had happened the last three days that Peter wasn’t sure what to believe. He was afraid the authorities would put the blame on the disciples and arrest everyone. They decided to lock themselves in the room and not answer the door for anyone.

Later that day two of the disciples pounded on the door asking to be let in as they had seen Jesus. Peter and the others were trying to figure this out when Jesus appeared to them. They didn’t know whether to run out of the room or faint. Jesus calmed them down and they finally understood what he had taught them. Wow! He lives!

Even today, many of us have a hard time believing Jesus really lives. He told them the Holy Spirit would come and transform their lives and that same Spirit can change us too if we let Him. Is something missing in your life? Are you like the disciples still hiding in your room? It is time to get out and proclaim the good news. Jesus lives and wants a relationship with you!

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's Friday But Sunday's Coming

The streets of Jerusalem went from wild angry crowds to nearly deserted by evening. The Jewish leaders and the Romans crucified Jesus of Nazareth today after flogging him beyond recognition. He was forced to carry his cross along with two thieves but couldn’t do it, so they grabbed a guy from the crowd to drag it to the hill. Once there huge rusty spikes were driven through his hands and feet and then Jesus was hoisted up for all to see. The pain was unbearable for him yet he asked that they be forgiven. Can you believe that? Only one of his disciples watched; it is rumored the others are hiding in the city. Jesus’ mother had to endure the horrible scene as soldiers and some of the Jewish authorities mocked him.

The mockers grew slowly silent as the sky turned dark and lightning flashed viciously close to everyone. The earth shook as if it would swallow the whole city. A Roman officer fell to his knees and declared that Jesus must have been the Son of God as he had proclaimed. The Chief Priests backed off the hill and watched from a distance as a man named Joseph and Nicodemus from the ruling council; took down the body and buried it in Joseph’s tomb before sundown.

Just when everyone thought it was over, a courier came running from the temple to say the earthquake had damaged the building and somehow the heavy curtain guarding the Holy of Holies had been torn from top to bottom. Fear overtook some of the Chief Priests when they were told some graves had been thrown open and the people came to life and were walking around the city. How were they going to explain these things? A thick dust hung over the city from the earthquake and most people went indoors to ponder the day’s events. Pilate put his troops on alert just in case someone tried to cause trouble. Pilate looked out from his balcony wondering why he had to deal with these rebellious Jews. Oh, to be in Rome again.

Both Pilate and the Chief Priests were looking forward to Sunday when many people would be leaving Jerusalem to journey back home. Jesus’ tomb was being guarded by soldiers and his disciples hiding in fear for their lives. Things would be back to normal by Sunday. After all, what could go wrong?