Monday, August 30, 2010

Do you have God's phone number?

Jeremiah 33:3 - Call to me, and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (NIV)

God has the answers that you seek. 

Let that sink in for a minute. 

God HAS the answers that you seek!!!

What a glorious thought!!  The difficulty that we often face is that we simply do not ask.  Think about it.  How many times have you been faced with a dilemma in which you did not know what to do, how to proceed, how to achieve a good ending?

Has anyone asked you: Have you prayed about it?

How many times have you actually done it?

Our God is an awesome God.  He can do anything.  He can accomplish everything.  Look around you.  This morning I witnessed one of God's most beautiful creations.  The sunrise.  I can not describe the beauty, the color, the vibrancy, the awe inspiring view that just led me to say "Thank You for sharing this with me" to the Lord.

God could walk right in and answer any question you have, fix any problem you have, end any suffering you have.  And someday, when Jesus returns to earth, He will.

But right now, it is our role to ask.  It is our role to seek God's face in a world that has turned away.  Right now we live in a world filled with pride, arrogance, and doubt.  We are our own worst enemy.

We need to humble ourselves before the Lord God almighty and ask for his help.  It is not our will, but God's will be done.

My challenge to everyone is as follows:

  • When you want to make a new purchase,
  • When you read the Word,
  • When you want to go on a date with a new person,
  • When you want to find a new job,
  • When you want to accept a job offer,
  • When he/she asks you to marry,
  • When you want to name your child,
  • When you want to write a sermon,
  • When you want to criticize someone,
  • When you want to help someone,
  • When you want to try something new,
  • When you want to do something old (and you know it is no good for you),
  • When you feel yourself sliding into old habits,
  • When you feel yourself forming new habits,
  • When you feel so lost, ashamed, sinful,
  • When you feel so blessed
I want to ask you one question:

Have you prayed about it?

You have God's direct dial number...all you have to do is use it.

Blessings upon each of you this day.  I love you.

Pastor Jim

Saturday, August 28, 2010

To Forgive or Not To Forgive?

What a question!  Most Christians will say "What a ridiculous question" of course you must forgive.  Yet how often in life do we walk around with bitterness in our hearts over things that are in the past?  How often do we bear false witness against others because of trivial situation that is long forgotten by the other person?  How often do we bear the shame of our pasts because we can not wrap our heads around the concept that God has forgiven us of our transgressions?  How often do we wallow in fear, self-loathing, and unhappiness because even though we want to believe, we don't?

Romans 12:17-21

17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge: I will repay," Says the Lord.  20 On the contrary:

"If you enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NIV)

What does this say to you?  How difficult is it to forgive?  How much easier is revenge?  The challenging thing about both is that neither is yours to give or conduct.  Vengence is the Lord's.  Just like forgiveness is granted unto you through the grace of God by his gift of salvation through the death of Jesus Christ.

Often we struggle with the matters of forgiveness of others as a way to avoid facing the matter of forgiving ourselves.  This is a tool of the evil one.  Matthew 7:3 (NIV) "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye, yet pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" This is Jesus warning about criticizing others.  And I believe that we use this criticism of others to avoid taking a strong hard look at ourselves.

Why did Jesus come in flesh form?  He came to save the world (John 3:17).  Yet we resist.  Yet we fight.  Yet we criticize.  Yet we continue to hurt others.  Yet we continue to hurt ourselves.

I want you to watch the following video.  I warn you it is graphic in nature.  Listen to the words and watch as the images play across the screen.

Personally, I sob uncontrollably everytime I watch this portion of the Passion of the Christ.  Say whatever you will about Hollywood's interpretation of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, but it is my belief that this movie really only shows a small percentage of what he ACTUALLY suffered in order that you and I might have redemption.  When you emotionally respond, it is only a very small percentage of what God must have endured so that you and I might have redemption.
One of the greatest prophesies in the old Testament comes from Isaiah 53:5.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought up peace was upon him,
Many years before the birth of Jesus Christ, and by the grace of God, Isaiah was able to glimpse into the future.
It is because of God's sacrifice of his one and only son, Jesus Christ that we have forgiveness.
Ephesians 1:7-8 “7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our sins, according to the riches of God's grace, 8that he lavished upon us with all wisdom and understanding” (NIV).
Yet even with these wonderful passages, we still can't let go.
Numerous times (Hebrews 10:15-17, Psalm 32:2, Col 2:14, plus many more) the Bible reminds us of God's love and how HIS forgiveness blots out our sins.  That we are free.  We will always be sinners.  No man can be perfect.  But when we fall, God will be there with us, wrapping us in His embrace and His love.
I want to leave you today with three things.
1. A blessing of scripture.  Use this in your daily walk.  Use this in your interactions with others.  When that person cuts in front of you in traffic.  When that little kid kicks you in the shins.  When your boss yells at you.  When you feel low and unworthy.  When you feel unloved.
Romans 4:7-8
7"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven,
      whose sins are covered.
8Blessed is the man
      whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
2.  A blessing of forgiveness.  If you have not asked Jesus to be your personal savior, do so.  It is not difficult to start the conversation with Him.  Say a prayer to him.  Here is an example:
Dear Lord Jesus,
     I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness.  I believe that You died for my sins.  I want to turn from my sins.  I now invite You to come into my heart and life.  I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior.
                                           In Jesus' name.
When you do this, share the good news with someone who will stand in the gap with you, to pray with you, to go with you on your journey.
3.  A blessing of rememberance.  When you feel the struggles of life coming on, when you feel like someone really deserves their due, when you feel low; I want you to find this post.  Watch the embedded video.  Read the scriptures.  Challenge yourself to remember that Christ died for you and anyone else that you are having issues with.  Pray to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit for wisdom and understanding and pray forgiveness for your situation.  And TRUST that the Lord wil answer and provide.
Blessings to each of you.  I love you and God does too.
Pastor Jim

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Good morning all,

In the upcoming days, Get Out of the Boat's blog page will be undergoing a transformation.  As a child grows, the needs of the child change.  The same is true of ministry.  In future days, you will be able to see different pages associated with the home page where the sermons are located.

My vision currently is to have the following pages:
  1. Inspirational music - this area will hold songs gathered from various sources to  provide a musical channel to support our faith.  As of yet, I have not learned how (or even if) I can add more than one video at a time.  But these videos will change often, and if anyone has suggestions of particular ones, I would love to hear from you.
  2. Library - currently on the home page there is a list of recommended readings.  My hope is to create a listing and brief description of reading materials to help us in our spiritual walk.  As with the music section, if you have suggested readings, please share.
  3. Daily scripture - a page dedicated to having a scripture for reflection.  In the long run, through comments, this could turn into a discussion of what each passage means to the reader that can in turn help support others.
  4. Bible study - earlier we discussed that to know God and know what he has in store for your life, we must spend time in his word.  These studies may take place in individual lesson form, or an entire study dependent upon the time.  Time and prayer will tell what the Lord has in store for us here.
I leave you this morning with a verse from Romans.

I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong - that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith (Rom 1:11, NIV).

Our role here is not just to mutually encourage each other, but to create an ability to reach others as well.  How will we do that?  How will we obey the words of Jesus when he said:

18 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age" (Matt 28:18-20) NIV

Jesus is talking about you.  You are the lights that bring others to Jesus.  You are the beacons of his salvation.  You are proof of his never-ending, unwavering, mind-blowing love.  You are the teachers. 

If your belief is that you have to be behind a pulpit to save souls, release it.  You save souls every day, you may not know it. 

You plant seeds. 

You give hope. 

You give love.

You do these things because Jesus is teaching you how.  You save people from a life of suffering and damnation.  You show them the way through your love and kindness.

Jesus saved me and gave me eternal life in his kingdom.  He taught my dear friend Abby to love and care for me in a time where I was destroying myself.  Because of that love, I can stand before everyone today a changed man.  A man who loves Jesus.  A man who loves much more deeply than I ever knew was imaginable. And every day, I give thanks for that.

My challenge to you today is to be the beacon in the dark.  Live, Love, Laugh.  Let God SHINE through you!!

Have a blessed day.  I love you all.

Pastor Jim

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What ARE you doing?

Earlier this week, we challenged each other with the phrase "What would you do for the glory of God?"  The challenge being what WOULD you do?  Today I want to focus more on what ARE you doing?

Do not get me wrong.  I still want us to ask ourselves what we would do for the glory of God.  But that in and of itself only focuses towards the future and waiting in expectation of the potential situations and plans that God has for us.  While it is necessary for us to be willing to accept the challenges and gifts that God wants to grant us, that does not mean that we sit around and do nothing in the meantime.  God has plans for you (Jeremiah 29:11).

But what about what ARE you doing?

The world is a challenging place.  There are so many things that are vying for our attention: family, friends, church, work, and entertainment are just a few.  Beyond those things then we find the forces that plot against us.  The traps of the enemy are ever present, ever hidden, and ever easily entangling. 

When we discussed what would you do, we discussed spending time with the word, being in prayer, being thankful as skills to be honed to open God's plans for us, to make us more spiritually attuned when he speaks, to set ourselves right.

The same should be true in our daily walk.  What is your hugest weakness?  Think about it for a few seconds, a few minutes, a few hours if you need to.  Be honest with yourself.  Where is it easiest for you to falter?

For many of us, it is with our mouths.  The bible mentions many things about this, but I want to just focus on a few of them for the next few moments.

Proverbs 12:18 - Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (NIV)

Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (NIV)

Proverbs 15:2 - The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of a fool gushes folly. (NIV)

Proverbs 10:19 - When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. (NIV)

James 1:19, 20 - 19 My dear brothers, take not of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

How often do we engage our mouths without allowing God to command our voice?  How often do we discourage instead of encourage, doubt instead of trust, blame others versus accepting our part?

What CAN you do for the glory of God each day? 

Walk upright in God.  Speak of the glorious nature and love of our King.

In every endeavor that you engage in, you can be a shining beacon for Christ.  You do not have to bulldoze anyone with your beliefs.  But you do have to walk as you believe.

The moment that you asked Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior, you became a lighthouse in a storm.  The storm is all around and it threatens to drown all.

You light the way to the path of Christ by your actions, by your words.  You may not be the person that actually walks them hand in hand to introduce them to Jesus, but you have the ability to show others what Christ is doing in you.  You can do this in everything you do:
  1. How you talk to others
  2. How you talk about others
  3. How you work
  4. How you play
  5. How you love

This is what you CAN do each and every day for the glory of God. 

The question now is are you willing to ask God to help you do this each and every day? 

Are you willing to turn your back on the things of the world to head towards Jesus? 

Are you willing to get out of the boat and do something different than others around you? 

Are you willing to bring them with you by your love and the love of Jesus that shows through you?

Are you willing to live a life that is pleasing to God?

I encourage you to speak with God right now about how to do this.  God wants to have this conversation with you.  Remember the most important part of communication is to listen with an open mind and an open heart.  God gave you two ears and only one mouth for a reason.

I love each and every one of you.  Many, many, many blessings upon you this day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dave Barnes - God Gave Me You (Official Video)

What would you doooooo?

Recently my daughter placed the title of today's post as her status on Facebook.  Of course she was reiterating the phrase for the Klondike bar.  But today, I would rather focus on:

What would you do for the glory of God?

Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (NIV).

Think about it for a moment.
  • God knows the plans he has for you.  Notice that this is a strong statement of fact.  HE knows the plans he has for you.  He laid those plans out before you were born.  His plan is perfect and unyeilding.  His plan is masterful.  His plan is unique.  Unique to you.  Think about the different people you encounter in the bible: Moses, , Benaiah, David, Jonah, Elijah, Peter, Mary, Sarah, Ruth...the list goes on.  Plans of God in action.

  • He plans to prosper you. What do you think this means?  Does this mean that God wants to make you wealthy?  Give you riches beyond your wildest imagination?  YES - it just may not be in the materialistic ways of the society that you live in.  Keeping up with the Jones' is not being prosperous.  For example, God granted me favor when I accepted him.  He pulled me out of my dispair.  He gave me a wonderful life, with wonderful friends, with a wonderful family.  He gave me health.  He gave me a heart.  I have prospered, but only through God.

  • He does not have plans to harm you.  God is a God of love.  His love is so infinite and so much greater than our love for him. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (NIV).  How many of us could or would do that?  I can not even imagine the love for us that God has.  To give his one and only to save a man like me.  Have you ever tried to wrap your head around the pain and suffering that God endured as Jesus hung on that cross?  Have you ever imagined the tears shed?  My wife and I cry every time we watch a video about soldiers returning home.  Why are we crying, our son is only 3.  We cry because we can picture our son following in his fathers footsteps in a world that is much more dangerous than when I did it.  We cry because we know that someone else's family is sacrificing now. 

  • His plans give you hope. Although John 3:16 is perhaps one of the most quoted verses in the Bible, it is John 3:17 that gives the world hope.  John 3:17 "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (NIV)  Oh what a great and glorious gift given to us by our Abba Father. 

  • His plans give you a future.  How many times do we think of the future?  When you think of it, what do you envision?  Is it your vision or is it God's?    Are the things you want to do, the things the enemy wants you to do, getting in the way of the future that God's plans have for you?  How do you know the difference?
There are some simple steps you can take to make sure that you are living the life that God has planned for you.

  1. Immerse yourself in God's word.  Reading God's word really is the only way that you can begin to understand what God has in store for you.  Find a place to start.  Anywhere, it does not matter.  You can start with "In the beginning" (Gen 1:1), you can start with the book of Matthew.  You can start anywhere.  Just start.  Mark Hall, lead singer for Casting Crowns, quips at concerts that he started with the book of James because he has ADHD and it was short.  (James was recommended to me as well by a dear friend).  WHATEVER...JUST START.  The Holy Spirit will guide you.
  2. Spend time in prayer.  How many times have you heard that one?  Pray.  Start a conversation with God.  He wants to talk to you.  He desires to be your sounding board, your advisor, your healer, your everything.  God is not an ATM of your desires.  He desires more.  He deserves more.  Set time aside every day to spend with him.  It does not matter how eloquent you are.  I listen to people flower up their language every day and actually say nothing.  Have a real conversation with God.  He can take whatever situation you are going through.
  3. Wait for God to respond.  Often we jump the gun.  We work ahead.  We cheat.  We go on the path that we believe that God has for us.  And then when we get what we think we want, we forget about God.  We end up back at the beginning asking for God's help for a situation that we should not have walked into to begin with.  It is imperative to do it God's way and in God's time.  Listen to the Garth Brooks song "I thank God for unanswered prayers" and you will get a snapshot of what happens when you pray and you do not wait for God to respond.
  4. Go for it when God does respond or command.  Too often in life, we get opportunities and we let them pass us by.  Either we are afraid or we are not truly paying attention in that moment.  We may be asleep.  (Reference point:  the other apostles except for Peter).  When God calls, we have to be ready.  If we have spent our time building a relationship with God, we will be aware of the command or sign that directs us to do more.
  5. Give Thanks.  God blesses us each and every day.  Every breath we take, every sunrise and sunset.  The new things your kids say, the new phrases.  The twinkle in your spouses eyes when she or he looks at you.  God's blessings are all around.

I leave you all with this quote from Mark Batterson: "Our destiny is determined by whether or not we seize the God-ordained opportunities presented to us."  I believe that many of you are faced with different opportunities each day to do something for the glory of God.

Will you seize the opportunity when it arises?  Will you follow God's command?

What WILL you do?

Blessings to each of you!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

24 "The Lord bless you
            and keep you;
25  the Lord make his face shine upon you
            and be gracious to you
26  the Lord turn his face toward you
            and give you peace."

Have you ever sat down to think about what is a blessing?  It is a recurrent theme that the Holy Spirit has been whispering in my ear this week.  Remember the blessings.  Remember the blessings.  As the past two weeks have gone on, one would possibly believe that this would be easy.  But it has not been.  If anything, since starting this ministry, the rememberance of blessings has become more difficult.  Thus our adventure today.

In Robert Stroud's book, "The B Word", one of the first highlights is that it is the nature of God to bless.  It is not as if this is some right we have earned, some prize won at a carnival game, or something that we took from God.  It is the Nature of God to bless.  It is an enjoyment of the Lord to bless his people.  Even though, WE have done NOTHING to earn it.

What is the blessing?  What does the above passage mean?  What are we asking God to do?  The blessing basically breaks down into five parts.
  1. bless and keep you - That God will show favor and protect
  2. make His face shine upon them - That God will be pleased
  3. be gracious - That God will be merciful and compassionate
  4. turn His face toward them - That God will give his approval
  5. give peace
Notice that no where in the blessing does scripture convey that God will give you what you want at least not in the way that you may want it.

Isaiah 55:8 (NIV) says
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways" declares the Lord.

When we ask for a blessing from God, a gift of something we have done nothing to earn, it amazes me when God answers.  Believe this...God ANSWERS.  It may or may not be in exactly the way you are asking, but it will ALWAYS be in the way GOD intends.

Isaiah 55:11 (NIV) says
"so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and will achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

I have some friends who recently lost a daughter after a lengthy illness.  They are one of the inspirations for this ministry.  This family touched so many lives with their story.  People they never met, people they never will meet.  They started a blog to share how life was going.  This tool could reach alot of people and save them from having to repeat the information over and over (although that still happened as well).

They prayed and prayed.
Their friends prayed and prayed.
Friends of friends prayed and prayed.
Old friends, forgotten friends, people who never even met the family prayed and prayed.
Their church congregation and the congregations of other churches prayed and prayed.

Their daughter went to be with Jesus on July 5, 2010.

Many may read this and go, "Well, that didn't work very well."  And yet they would be so wrong on so many levels.

God blessed this family.  And this family blessed THOUSANDS of others and so did God.

At the time of passing, the family blog had over 17,000 views.  Over 17, 000 attempts for those who may or may not have known this family to gain an understanding that God was working here.  God was preparing this family and anyone who came into contact with them for great things. 

While there is sadness for the family and all who have come to know them, there is peace.  There is a knowledge that God now cradles this child.

This is a child and a family in which two scriptures are present. 
1. Matt 25:21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness" (NIV)


2.  2 Timothy 4:7   "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (KJV)

My point is that the blessing did not come in the way that anyone here on earth wanted it to happen.  The blessing was about so much more.  The ability to reach more people than could have ever been imagined was truly a God thing.

My challenge to everyone is to look beyond the end of yourself.  Look beyond the troubles that appear to be nipping at you.  Look beyond the poor outlook you may have.  Clearly view the world around you and seek the blessings that God has granted to you. 

Can you find them?

Will you thank God for them?

I leave you today the same way I greeted you.  My prayer for you is that you will study the word given here today and that you will use it to impact your live and the lives around you for the glory of God.

Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)

24 "The Lord bless you
           and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine upon you
           and be gracious to you
26 the Lord turn his face toward you
           and give you peace."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

All Things ARE Possible!!!

Mark 10:27 (NIV)

27 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."

Today, I was humbly reminded that through God, all things are possible.  The key is that it is THROUGH or WITH GOD.  Many times I witness my friends, family, and me go through the struggles of life.  We cry, complain, and whine.  We get frustrated and angry.  We lash out or we isolate or we do both.  We damage the things that mean the most: our relationships, our morals, our families, ourselves.

Today I witnessed approximately 40 brave individuals from another ministry, MN Teen Challenge, step up on stage in front of a congregation. 

They sang. They sang songs of praise and worship and of thanksgiving.  They sang of deliverance and of hope.

They testified.  They testified to their addictions, to their fears, to their helplessness.  They testified to their losses, to their crimes, to their redemption.

They gave glory to the most high, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords.  They gave thanks that THROUGH God, they have a second, third, fourth, fortieth chance at life. 

Another chance to make a positive impact on the world WITH GOD.  Another chance to present God's word out into a world that has most likely discarded them after their many failures.  An opportunity to minister to others the good news of redemption and salvation to others that have lost their way, even if they may not know it yet.

This brings me to the point of today.

These individuals are symbolic of the prayer that I have for everyone including myself.  It is a prayer that I must repeat minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. 

Lord, through you I know that all things are possible.
Use me in whatever way you will to reach those who need to be reached,
To light a path for those in darkness who seek Your face,
To love those who need loving.
Lord, let me not forget the different blessings that YOU have bestowed on me.
Let me always give thanks and glory and honor to You, all the days of my life.  AMEN.

On August 9, 2010, I was ordained as a Pastor. 

I felt a calling from God to share his will to the lost and to the found.  Many who know me in my life before Jesus will not believe (at least yet) that the man they knew then is the the man they see now.  I too have difficulty believing this very same thing.

God has placed a joy in my heart that I never felt before.  A love that I never knew existed.  A love for God, a love for my family, and a love for those around me. 

I ask that each of you pray for me as I get out of the boat on this journey.  I pray that you will find enlightenment, love, peace and joy through the messages that God gives to me.  And I pray that you share these with others who are looking to find God, who are looking to find Jesus, who are looking for peace, joy and love.

Remember, nothing can change in and of itself.  The goal of faith is NOT the elimination of risk.  The goal of faith is something else entirely. 

Faith is the belief in something so big, so great, so unimaginable and the willingness to take the risk to achieve it.  It is getting out of a boat to walk on water, becoming a pastor, going half-way around the world or next door to do missionary work, or whatever God is calling you to do.
What risk will you take today for His glory?

Blessings upon each of you!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Scripture of the Day

Psalm 121: 1-2 (NLT)

1 I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth!

In spite of what you may be going through on this day, KNOW this, you can look everywhere for an answer to your situation.  You can believe that you can control your destiny.  You can believe that you can do it on your own.  You can believe the lie perpetuated by the Deceiver that says "The Lord helps those who help themselves" which is the most misquoted non-scripture in the Bible.

The Truth is that your help comes from the Lord.  The Lord will grant you peace, wisdom, understanding, grace, acceptance, blessings, and hope.  They may not be in the form that you wish, but He WILL do these things.  But first you must humble yourself to Him.  You must accept Him not just in your time of troubles, but also in your times of joy.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) says " 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths"

The Lord is not only a rock to grab on to when hurts come, He is the best friend who wants to share in your joys as well.  It is often said that we can not fathom the depth of God's love for us.  I would say that we also can not fathom the pain that God goes through with us in our times of struggle, indecision, and pain.  God loves you and desires a relationship with you.  Will you join him?

Keep these things in your heart as you move forward today.  Blessings upon you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The First Thoughts

Matthew 14:25-33(NIV)

25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them : "Take courage! It is I.  Don't be afraid." 28 "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you out on the water." 29 "Come," he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith, " he said, "why did you doubt?" 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

This is one of the main motivators for the interactions we will have together in the future.  Ortberg (2001) wrote a book entitled "If you want to walk on water, you've got to GET OUT OF THE BOAT".  This should sound familiar in our brief time together.

Imagine the courage, even if he faltered at times and sometimes significantly, of Peter.  Even though he became afraid and doubted.  Peter did something no one else did.  He took a risk.  He got out of the boat. 

Imagine the faith.  Even though he faltered and began to sink.  Rather than swim back to the boat where he could have huddled with the other disciples, Peter reached out to Jesus.  "Lord, save me!"

The challenge before us is this:
  1. Read, decipher, and pray about God's word.
  2. GET OUT OF THE BOAT (Take a risk for God, even if it seems so far from your comfort zone that it must be ridiculous)
  3. When struggles come, AND THEY WILL COME, reach towards Jesus.  Lean on His wisdom, His understanding, and His grace.
  4. Be willing to stay the course.
The reason you ask?

You can sit on the sidelines.  You can be safe.  You can be lukewarm.


You can lead a life of challenges.  You can live a life of excitement.  You can make a difference for God.  You can reach those who haven't been reached.  You can love those who haven't been loved.  You can fulfill the plan that God has for you.

But before you can do any of have to.........  


In the beginning

The beginning is often difficult to discern...but the beginning of this blog is a little less foggy.  Over the past few years, I have felt the calling to ministry.  Not in the traditional sense of leading a congregation, but rather in the manner of reaching those that are lost, much like I spent most of my life being lost.  I felt that most did not understand where I had been and what I had been through.

I have spent most of my life being afraid and unworthy.  Recently I had an epiphany...who actually is not afraid and is worthy?  That is the basis of my ministry.  Feel free to follow and share this blog.  Feel free to respond.  Feel free of fear and uncertainty.  The Lord is with you.  God Bless.