Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Romans 1:12

Good morning, dear one. I'm so glad you came by to see if I'd posted today!

I know I've shared my struggle about what I want this blog to be. Today, God gave me another clue that I'd like to follow with you. :) Romans 1:12 says, "That is, that we may be mutually strengthened and encouraged and comforted by each other's faith, both yours and mine." (Amplified)

THAT is what I want! I'm not strong on my own. I need to be encouraged, too - that's why I treasure your comments. :) And when we pray for each other, we're not only strengthening each other, but comforting one another, too. And when I get encouragement from a sermon or lesson or book, and share with you - THAT is ALL what I see this blog for.

Now, I know that we're a small group. But I believe that God has helped us find each other for this reason!!! PLEASE, continue to put your prayer requests in - you can either email them to me, or leave them in the comments area. And be sure to read and pray for each other when you get a chance. If there's something REALLY important, I'll post it in the blog. Update us when you get an answer, so we can ALL be encouraged and comforted. You don't have to give lots of details, if you don't want. Let us know praise reports! Blessings shared are AWESOME things - they encourage us to remember that God is working on our behalf, even if we can't SEE it!

I saw a church sign a few days ago that REALLY impacted me: "God adds and multiplies. Satan subtracts and divides." Let's share how God is adding and multiplying in our lives, dear friend!

I cannot WAIT to pray for you - and I know there are others that feel the same. I cannot WAIT to hear how God is blessing you! And I can't WAIT to continue to share what God is doing in my own heart and life. :)

Toward that purpose, I have put the video below. You don't have to use MY verse to meditate on when you watch this approximately two-and-one-half-minutes of the ocean, but fix your mind on whatever verse is yours for the day, and just bathe in God's creation. This is the Gulf Coast at Fort Walton Beach, where we were two weeks ago. Expect a little from Oregon, too. :D

Be BLESSED, dear one. God has a plan for you, a purpose for your life. Expect to see Him move today. Keep your eyes open for all the little blessings He's sending you; they're gifts, letting you know how much you're loved, and how much He delights in YOU.

Psalm 148:7-8:
Praise the LORD from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all ocean depths,

lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
stormy winds that do his bidding,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rick Warren

I received this this morning in my in-box from a dear friend - Hi, Allison! :D - and wanted to pass it on to you.

I hope you will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having 'wealth' from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren, 'Purpose Driven Life ' author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California .
In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:
People ask me, What is the purpose of life?
And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.
I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity..
We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.
I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life..
No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for.
You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:
If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.
It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.
So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.
First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?
Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.
That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What a weekend!

Work and play, and getting to be on a beach that Kenn and I could share as our first time visiting. Fort Walton Beach was a lot of fun - and I've got future posts brewing from what He showed me. For now, I'll just share this photo I took yesterday morning just before a rainstorm came and chased me off the beach for the last time. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The indominatable Maya Angelou!

Don't break the elastic!

In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday.. Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older.

And, there on television, she said it was 'exciting.'

Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first.

The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!

Maya Angelou said this:

'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'

'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'

'I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'

'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'

'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.'

'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back..'

'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'

'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'

'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.'

'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.'

'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'