Wednesday, May 29, 2013

10 Things to Say to Your Kids

    three boys
  1. "I believe in you."
  2. "It’s a blessing to be your mom/dad (grandma, aunt)."
  3. "I love you." Then be specific: "I love your smile (energy, caring heart, etc.)."
  4. "I noticed ... (you got your homework done, you have a new friend). That’s what I call responsibility (kindness, other character quality)."
  5. "Keep up the good work. You’re making progress!"
  6. "If more kids were like you, this world would be a better place."
  7. "There is a bright future ahead for you."
  8. "Thanks for what you did (helping, doing chores, doing homework, etc.)."
  9. "If all the 8-year-old girls (use child’s age) were lined up from all over the world and I could only pick one, I’d pick you."
  10. "I admire or am proud of you for (name a specific quality or trait)."

10 Negative Phrases Not to Say Because They Tear Kids Down:
  1. "You’re no good; you’ll never amount to anything."
  2. "If you don’t stop doing that, I’m going to leave you here (or go home without you)."
  3. "Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?"
  4. "I can’t stand you."
  5. "You are so much trouble."
  6. "I can’t wait until you’re grown up and out of here."
  7. "Don’t you ever listen? Where are your brains?"
  8. "What’s wrong with you?"
  9. "You are stupid."
  10. "You’re giving me a headache (or stressing me out)."

Cheri Fuller

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PS: I would two more sentences after I have read this.  1) I am sorry 2) Will you forgive me.
   

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top 5 Most Misused Verses in the Bible


In our year of GROWTH at LPC, here is a good article from ChurchLeaders.com .  It is important that we grow in our use of "pet" scriptures.  I agree that these are most often used wrongly. PLEASE feel free to comment.
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Top 5 Most Misused Verses in the Bible
The Bible is a sharp, double-edged sword — able to pierce the heart. However, when portions of the Bible are used in the wrong context, it’s like trying to fight with the butt of the weapon instead of the blade. It’s just not effective.
Over my years in ministry and as an ongoing student of the Bible, I’ve come across many biblical misquotes, misunderstandings and flat-out misuses.
However, if I’m honest, many of these have come from my own lips. I confess: I’ve been guilty of abusing passages, ignoring context and, even at times, stretching the meaning for my own teaching needs, but I’m seeking to reform my loose ways in favor of something much more beneficial — the original interpretation.
Here are the top five Scriptures, in my opinion, that get misused in the church today — with a brief description of the original context.
I invite you to comment on each one or to provide additional passages you think should appear in the top five. Also, just to be clear, I don't think referencing these passages in a slighlty different context is a biblical felony — if it was, I'd probably be doing hard time — but it's always good to know the heart of the original meaning. 
1. I Can Do All Things.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
This short verse is often quoted by sports teams, bumper stickers and taglines as a rally cry to accomplish great things like running a marathon, climbing a mountain, winning the championship, finishing the remodel on the kitchen, etc.
However, this short — and powerful — passage gets its meaning amidst the context of contentment. Paul is writing this letter to the church in Philippi to let them know that God has taught him to be content in times of plenty and in times of desperation (he’s writing this letter in prison).
So, in its proper meaning, this verse is a tribute to a man who learned to follow God in any circumstance. Whatever came Paul's way, he handled with faith. It could be stoning, prison, shipwreck, beatings, etc. This passage is not a clarion call to go out and accomplish great feats of strength, but a beautiful reminder to pursue faith and trust God in the midst of the ups and downs of a life given fully to the cause of Christ.
So, if you get put in prison for preaching Christ, beaten, and learn to live with little food or possessions, and you find yourself content because you have Christ, well, this verse should definitely be quoted.
2. Plans to Prosper.
“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." — Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
This verse is often quoted during a trial to encourage or inspire — pointing us to the promise that God has specific plans to help us prosper so don’t worry!
However, in context, this verse is dealing with a particular promise given to Israel from God; the promise points to the end of their Babylonian exile in specific terms — 70 years (verse 10). So, the word prosper doesn't refer to money or material blessings, but physical and spiritual salvation.
But, someone might say, God still wants us to prosper, right? Well, in terms of salvation, yes. In fact, this passage is a great reminder of the fulfilled prophecy and the perfect Word of God. This is an amazing story that points us to a greater release and redemption for all of God’s people.
So, taking away our specific, individually focused application doesn’t subtract the awesomeness from this passage. In fact, it enhances it and reminds us of the collective salvation of God’s people in history and in the future, still to come.
3. Where Two or Three Are Gathered.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” — Matthew 18:20 (NIV) 
This verse is often used as an encouragement that God is with us in tough circumstances — all we need are two to three people in a prayer group and we’re set. In fact, you don’t even have to say the full verse, just start it out: “Where two or three are gathered … ” and other church members will shake their heads in agreement.
However, this passage really deals with building a testimony in the context of church discipline. A proper, and reliable, testimony was extremely critical in the Jewish context. This passage was an encouragement to the church leaders during difficult times of confrontation and church discipline — that God would be present with the witnesses as they sought to make matters right and restore a fallen member.
So, it’s pretty safe to say that unless you’re in the midst of church discipline, you’re taking this verse out of its original context.
Is God still with us when two or three are gathered? Yes, of course. He's also with us when it's just one or one thousand.
4. All Things Work for Good.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28 (NIV)
This passage is often used to encourage another believer who’s going through a tough time — reminding them that it will eventually work out for something good in their life. In other words, don’t worry about getting fired — God has something better in store for you … all things work out for good, remember?
There are two major issues in this passage to deal with to keep it in context.
First, the passage deals with those who love him. That’s an important distinction. It’s not for everyone, but specifically for believers.
Second, the “good” that’s described in context is our ultimate conformity to Christ, not our comfort. So, the good here leads us to sanctification and our ultimate glorification and not the turnaround of our circumstances from bad to good. Things might get better after the job loss, they might not. Ultimately, we have redemption to hope for — and that's the ultimate good. 
5. Where There’s No Vision.
Where there is no vision the people perish, but happy is he who keeps the law. — Proverbs 29:18 (KJV) 
Your church will not perish without a vision statement. I think vision statements are fantastic — and helpful, but this passage isn’t a divine reminder for pastors to build a better brand direction.
This verse is often used to remind leaders that if they don’t have a compelling vision, and dream big, their people will be lost. The key word in this passage, “vision,” is actually the word revelation and it points to the Word of God or the revelation of God.
In other words, a more accurate interpretation could be: Where there is no revealed Word of God the people perish, but happy is he who obeys God’s Word.
This verse is a great picture of what happened in Nehemiah. The people rediscovered the Word of God and read it for everyone to hear and understand. The result: revival. It had nothing to do with Nehemiah’s catchy core values or the Venn diagram of his mission statement — it was the Word of God that brought life to the people.
So, this passage isn’t necessarily apropo for the building project or the five-year plan for your life center, but it is a fitting reminder that God’s Word gives us life — especially when we obey it.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Day 1 of "10 Days of Waiting" Devotional

videoWe have been responding to the words of Jesus in Acts 1 as he told his disciples to "wait" for the promise of father all those years ago.  Tomorrow we will gather and celebrate Pentecost Sunday with churches all over the world.  The Spirit has come!
This morning as I was preparing for the final devotional on "waiting" I came accross this video "out of the depths" based upon Psalm 130.

It was a blessing to me.  Listen to it here.
Wait on the Lord today.  He has something for you today.


130 Lord,I am in great trouble,
    so I call out to you.
Lord, hear my voice;
    listen to my prayer for help.
Lord, if you punished people for all their sins,
    no one would be left, Lord.
But you forgive us,
    so you are respected.
I wait for the Lord to help me,
    and I trust his word.
I wait for the Lord to help me
    more than night watchmen wait for the dawn,
    more than night watchmen wait for the dawn.

"Continually give God space to captivate your heart. God promises success to the person who takes time to meditate on His Word day and night (Josh. 1:8; Ps. 1). The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul (Matt. 22:37-40). When this is our first priority, then our love for God will be so strong we will not be as prone to desire to sin against Him. Jesus made it as clear when He told His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41)."Joseph Mattera
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 2 of "10 Days of Waiting"

GUEST POST by Andrew Murray ( taken from his book (Waiting on God

Waiting on God: Its Certainty of Blessing

O Thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. Isaiah 49:23 

Blessed are all they that wait for him. Isaiah 30:18

What promises! How God seeks to draw us to waiting on Him by the most positive assurance that it never can be in vain; "they shall not be ashamed that wait for me." How strange that, though we should so often have experienced it, we are yet so slow to learn that this blessed waiting must and can be the very breath of our life, a continuous resting in God’s presence and His love, an unceasing yielding of ourselves for Him to perfect His work in us. Let us once again listen and meditate, until our heart says with new conviction, ”Blessed are all they that wait for him.”

We found in the prayer of Psalm 25: ”Let none that wait on thee be ashamed”(v. 3). The very prayer shows how we fear that it might be true. Let us listen to God’s answer, until every fear is banished, and we send back to heaven the words God speaks, Yes, Lord, we believe what You say: ”All they who wait for Me will not be ashamed.” ”Blessed are all they that wait for him.”

The context of each of these two passages points us to times when God’s church was in great straits, and to human eyes there were no possibilities of deliverance. But, God interposes with His word of promise, and pledges His almighty power for the deliverance of His people. And it is as the God who has Himself undertaken the work of their redemption that He invites them to wait on Him, and assures them that disappointment is impossible.

We, too, are living in days in which there is much in the state of the church, with its profession and its formalism, that is indescribably sad. Amid all we praise God for, there is, alas, much to mourn over! Were it not for God’s promises, we might well despair. But, in His promises the living God has given and bound Himself to us. He calls us to wait on Him. He assures us we will not be put to shame. Oh, that our hearts might learn to wait before Him, until He Himself reveals to us what His promises mean. In the promises, He reveals Himself in His hidden glory! We will be irresistibly drawn to wait on Him alone. May God increase the company of those who say: ”Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield” (Ps. 33:20).

It is as we know how blessed the waiting on God has become to our own souls, that we will confidently hope in the blessing to come on the church around us. The keyword of all our expectations will be, He has said: ”All they who wait on Me will not be ashamed.” From what He has done in us, we will trust Him to do mighty things around us. ”Blessed are all they that wait for him.” Yes, blessed even now in the waiting. The promised blessings for ourselves, or for others, may tarry. The unutterable blessedness of knowing and having Him who has promised, the divine Blesser, the living Fountain of the coming blessings, is even now ours. Do let this truth acquire full possession of your souls, that waiting on God is itself the highest privilege of man, the highest blessedness of His redeemed child.

Do believe that in waiting on God, His greatness and your littleness suit and meet each other most wonderfully. Just bow in emptiness and poverty and utter weakness, in humility and meekness, and surrender to His will before His great glory, and be still. As you wait on Him, God draws near. He will reveal Himself’ as the God who will mightily fulfill His every promise. And, let your heart continually take up the song: ”Blessed are all they that wait for him.”

My soul, wait thou only upon God!
 Andrew Murray (taken from his book Waiting on God, edited here

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 3 of "10 Days of Waiting"

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. 
Psalm 130:5
 
Waiting and the word of God is a powerful combination in the kingdom of God.  His word is His main tool of communication to people. God by His Spirit "illuminates" the word in us. I like that word.  Blogger,follower of Jesus Christ and  Pastor Tim Challies writes "Revelation, inspiration and illumination are three critical concepts for Christians to understand. While most believers are at least vaguely familiar with the concepts surrounding revelation and inspiration, it seems far fewer understand illumination. It is important that we keep these concepts apart in our minds. We must not confuse them, for they are in no way synonymous."
 
"Illumination"  he writes "refers to God's work in the lives of believers to make us able to believe and understand the words of the Bible.  Many Christians confuse these (terms). When they suddenly come to understand a deep truth in Scripture, they may believe that God has spoken to them, seemingly indicating a type of revelation. What has happened, though, is that God has illumined their hearts to understand a truth from His word."Today we continue to experience the privilege of having the Holy Spirit work through us to bring light to the Scriptures."  Read the whole article HERE.
 
When you wait upon the LORD... do so with your Bible open.  It helps to have a consistant Bible reading plan and  maybe a notebook to write down the verses that Holy Spirit illuminates and speaks to you about.  It is amazing and it happen often as we WAIT on the LORD.  

So looking forward to Pentecost Sunday May 19th.  The disciples spent each day waiting for the promise of the father all those years ago.  Today book off some time and wait!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Day 4 of "10 Days of Waiting"

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
"How are you today?"  I was asked the other day ." I am tired" was my reply.
  I noticed lately that it is one of my more common replies to the "how are you" question.  Maybe it is because I am working too hard or that I have too much on my mind.  It could be because of the schedule our family keeps with everyone in our family having lots to do (school, sports, church, chores, jobs and just trying to keep up to date with the everything life stuff).  It also could be because of our desire to be people "on mission" for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  There are many people who do not know Jesus as yet and we want to be busy with that the Lord has given us. This includes worship, prayer and fasting to keep moving ahead in the LORD.  These are the tools of our warfare! "So how am I doing? "I am tired!"  There must be another option than sleeping and sleeping and the scripture says there is! WAITING on the Lord is one of God's secrets for abundant living.  As you take time to wait upon the LORD something unexplainable happens to you... you get renewed strength.  How?  God supernaturally imparts His provision to you!  Amazing but true.  I have personal experience with this.  There have been days I have went to pray and not to sleep and God sustained me with joy and energy.
So RUN... WALK... FLY... God has energy food better for you than any REDBULL you could ever drink!  Just wait on HIM!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 5 of "10 Days of Waiting"

 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord

Lamentations 3 :25 -26

We looked at the first "Lord is good to those who wait for him" part of this verse yesterday.  Today I want to look at how we should wait.  The writer says that it is good to wait with "hope" and "quietly".  This may not sound earth shaking until you understand the situation that the writer finds himself in. Who wrote it? Jeremiah the prophet, also known as the "weeping" prophet as he cries so much due to his heartache over his people and their actions and their disregard for the LORD.  Lamentations is a record of his lamenting (a passionate expression of grief, like one does when someone close to them dies) over their actions and indifference. He is SO profoundly sad and this is evidenced by verses like these;

 "For these things I weep;
my eyes flow with tears;
for a comforter is far from me,
one to revive my courage;
my children are desolate,
for the enemy has prevailed." (Lamentations 1:16 RSV).

He is very low in his emotions to the place that we would be concerned for his mental health. Yet he has great reason to be concerned as the days he lived in were filled with evil indifference to God's ways and judgement was upon the Land.  For a righteous man, it was more than he could bear.  

 How meaningful these words are now in light of his situation  "It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord"

)Waiting on God brings hope and a quiet to your soul in the midst of anything you can find yourself in.  Why? God can and will SAVE you in His time. Jeremiah knew that as he poured his heart out before God, God had the power and the ability to bring salvation to his situation.  Waiting helps you to really know this down deep in your heart.  He is the God who saves!  May that bring you hope and quiet no matter what you are facing today.  


 

Day 6 of "10 Days of Waiting"

 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord

Lamentations 3 :25 -26

We used to sing a song growing up at supper time:

 "Oh, the Lord's been good to me.
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need:
The sun, the rain and the appleseed;
Oh, the Lord's been good to me."

Johnny Appleseed... AMEN! 

Do you doubt God goodness to you?  I know people can take away your trust and hurt you and at time it feels like God does the same.... but it is not true.  God is Good towards you!  Even more as we wait upon Him.  Every day we are drawing nearing to Pentecost Sunday (May 19th).  Will you let him reveal His goodness to you?  Even now as you seek the Lord, stop and list all the ways the Lord has been good to you.  I would guess your list, like mine, is long.  He has much more for you as you wait in His presence.  He is not in a rush to give it you but as you do the work of seeking and you will discover that His goodness only increases all the more. "O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Ps 34:8  

Johnny Appleseed AMEN!

 

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 7 of "10 Days of Waiting"


Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Psalm 37:7
 As we wait for Pentecost Sunday (May 19th) and the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit as God had promised did you know that waiting brings REST to our souls.  Life can be unfair at times as you know.  Sometimes our biggest challenges are not what happen to us but what happens to other people. Their success, their triumphs and the spoils that can come their way can be a sore spot to us.  Waiting on God helps to remind us of our real treasure, that is found in Christ alone.  God's treasure can not be received by schemes or trickery. It is God's work in us the quiet place as we wait upon Him.  In that place God realigns our values and our perspectives,  He can even challenge our wants and desires so that the person who "prospers in his way" no longer bother us as it did.  We can celebrate the place we find ourselves in as we see God as our supply and He is a good God.  So wait upon the LORD and rest in Him today.

Day 8 of "10 Days of Waiting" Devotional

Job 30:26
But when I looked for good, evil came to me; And when I waited for light, then came darkness.

We often have a view of waiting on the Lord that is hopeful and positive and know things always end that way, even in death we win.  But in the process of life at times things can get worse during our waiting on the Lord than better.  I know this to be true.

In Job's final defense of his position and opinion of the reason for the events of his life (see chapters 1 and 2 if you are unsure of what happened) he give insight into a spiritual truth.  God is not a "rub the lamp, get a wish fulled" God.  Sometimes when we waiting on God for something to get better it can get worse "I waited for light, then came darkness".  DO NOT give up in moments like these.  Press in... press on.  Keep your eyes on Jesus!  He is working even in the darkness.  He is perfect in all his ways and you can trust Him as everything seems to be getting worse.

For Job at the end of the book, God reveals not His plans to Job but who He is... GOD in powerful control of all things.  Job says "“I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,"  (Job 42: vs 2&3.)     

God has a purpose in that what you are facing.  You may never know it.  But trust God to be God in your situation.  Keep waiting! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 9 of "10 days of Waiting" (count down to Pentecost Sunday) devotion

In Genesis Chapter 8, Noah, and all those on the boat had been on the water for forty days.  The scriptures writes "Then he sent out a dove from him, to see if the water was abated from the face of the land; but the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark, for the water was on the [surface of all the earth. Then he put out his hand and took her, and brought her into the ark to himself. 10 So he waited yet another seven days; and again he sent out the dove from the ark. 11 The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. 12 Then he waited yet another seven days, and sent out the dove; but she did not return to him again."


In the Lord's good timing and also through the natural process of this life there are times we have no other option but to  wait for a change in the situations that we find ourselves in.  Yet waiting does not have to mean we do nothing.  Noah had a plan to test if conditions outside the situation he was in made it possible for him to move ahead to what was next for them all.  So he sent out a Dove (note the Biblical symbolism of the Holy Spirit) then after the Dove returned made a decision to wait some more for the Lord to change his situation.  There is no record of complaining or anger but again after 7 days another Dove was sent out… this time returning with a sign that the conditions were changing for them.  TODAY as we are symbolically “waiting” for  Pentecost Sunday, as the disciples were told to do so many years ago, let us draw encouragement from Noah that in our waiting the LORD is changing the conditions around us. He is preparing the ground for you to move to the next thing he HAS for you.   So wait… patiently and with expectation upon the LORD.  He is working on your behalf.  MORE TOMORROW...   

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

10 days of WAITING



The Book of  Acts 1 reads “and being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to WAIT FOR THE PROMISE of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

On May 9th (Thursday) , all those years ago, Jesus spoke these words then rose to heaven where He is today until his return to this earth.  We now know that 10 days later the Holy Spirit, the “PROMISE of the Father”, came unto those who were waiting as they were told.

I invite you to take some special time EACH DAY from now until NEXT SUNDAY (Pentecost Sunday May 19th) to fast and pray and “wait” upon the LORD.  We will be having some special times of worship and waiting at LPC so stay tuned….

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope.

With love and respect…
Pastor Kevin
“Spiritual results require spiritual work”