Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 07/22/2012

A simple one is all I have for today, and do not forget Proverbial Thought!. Today’s poem is a message of hope and encouragement from our Lord and God.

Do not be deceived, my child.

All that happens in this world
That is bad is not of my will.

I can make it all work for my plan,
And I do, but it is not of me.

Turn to me and I will help you.

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 104.

Destroyed and Renewed

During the trip to Colorado Springs for the Desperation Youth Conference we had daily devotionals with our kiddos. It was a blast. Here is the second one we did with them (with a few modifications for the blog!):

God’s Fire

There are two parts to fire: Destruction and Renewal. We throw a piece of paper into a fire to get rid of it, but crews will go into a forest and purposely burn swaths of land to create a barrier to stop a forest fire from spreading. God has one fire, but it can both purify and destroy. Trusting in God tempers us so that we endure and are refined. Without trust in God, all one can expect is destruction.

1. The recent wildfires destroyed tens of thousands of acres (hundreds of square miles) of forest and several hundred homes. Overall, though, that destruction provides nutrients to and restores the soil, and this can help forests grow stronger in the long run.

2. Do you know how a silversmith knows when he has removed most impurities from silver?

This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.
Zechariah 13:9

God will put us in the refining fire to work out impurities. This can be through circumstances and conviction by the Holy Spirit. There will be pain involved, but it is to make us better (like a forest being burned to create more and sustaining life).

3. Many people lost everything: homes, mementoes, belongings. Most will realize they still have their lives. Like the forest, they may rebuild and even become stronger. With insurance they may even get new and better things. As we go through life we will endure many trials and suffer many losses, but we shall be rewarded for our faithfulness.

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”

Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”
Zechariah 3:1-4

How does the silversmith know when the impurities have been removed from the silver?

After putting the silver in the fire, all of the impurities float to the top and are scraped off. This is done until the silversmith can look at the silver and see his (or her!) reflection shining back.

John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Luke 3:16

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatians 3:26-27

Jesus baptizes us with fire to purify us. The Holy Spirit both pushes us through that fire and strengthens and encourages us as we pass through. When we come out on the other side, the Father can look at us and see His Son Jesus Christ shining back!

I think this is pretty cool. You should, too!

300 words a day

(This post was first published May 9, 2009.)

Lots of people are wondering what God is calling them to do. And that is a good question. But on the way to the answer, we fill in many answers. So let me suggest some of the things that God did not call you to.

You are not called to be me.
You are not called to be your mother.
You are not called to be your pastor.
You are not called to be happy all the time.
You are not called to be rich.
You are not called to be as organized as the neighbor on the right.
You are not called to be as disorganized as the neighbor on the left.
You are not called to be as ___ as your uncle dave.
You are not called to be your sister.
You are not called to be the guy…

View original post 180 more words

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 07/15/2012

Do not forget Proverbial Thought!

In May of 2007, a friend and I had a ministry we dubbed “Drunk Bus”. We would drive around our little college town on weekend nights from 11:00 pm until 2:00-3:00 am picking up partiers and club-goers, pub-crawlers and night-on-the-towners, and general drinkers and drunks. All we offered was a ride home. Only if people asked would we share that we did it because God first loved us, so we love them enough to give them rides (1 John 4:19).

We saw some lives cleaned up and others turned to our Lord!

I also wrote this poem on one of those nights.

Drunk’s poem

Nightly selling their souls.
Don’t they have anywhere else to go?
Drowning their emotions away
Thinking they are truly happy.
Why can they not see the truth?
Why do they waste away their youth?
Moving around from place to place
Not realizing how off base
Their actions really are.
Salvation cannot be found in a bar.
Don’t they know there’s more to life than this?
Don’t they know their wanderings are pointless?
God, open their eyes up to real life.
Help them see Your glorious light.
Show them life can mean so much more.
Move them into a better future.

Taken from deeper words for God from a simple man of God by daniel m  klem, page 101.

Imagine There’s No Heaven – It’s Easy If You Try

First, I ask that you please pray this week, as we are with our youth in Colorado Springs, CO, for the Desperation Youth Conference!

Second, make sure to read David’s thoughts today and the rest of ours every day over at Proverbial Thought!

John Lennon offered this atheistic approach to life in the song “Imagine” that there is no Heaven … nor Hell, for that matter.

I am going to argue why he was right and wrong!

For starters, I must put this disclaimer: no one living on Earth truly understands Heaven and Hell.

I would even argue that most people on this planet are almost completely wrong on their beliefs on Heaven and Hell, including pastors, priests, and other clergy.

I am not going to get into a long list that dives deep into all of the theology of Heaven and Hell.

Why John was wrong

For starters, there indeed is a spiritual realm. For anyone who believes as an atheist, at the very least you have to acknowledge that there is a realm of reality which we cannot see and we know has an effect on our universe. We just argue that the spiritual realm is such a place.

Again, this is not where I dive into the deeply theological parts of this. Though, here are a few places in which we know something else exists:

Why John was right

We hear many Christians talking about spending eternity in Heaven or Hell.

Quite honestly, as they seem to be understood in at least our Western culture, I do not think so.

If you go with the definition of Heaven as “with God” and Hell as “not with God,” then I concede and concur with you.

However, many Christians see Heaven as the place we go to be with God when we die if we believed in Him, and Hell is the place we go to not be with God when we die if we did not or refused to believe in Him. Most Christians agree that eventually God will ultimately judge all the people, the living and the dead, at some point in what we call the future.

(Disclaimer: I hold to the Revelation of John being a prophecy that, while some things may have come true, has largely yet to take place. If you disagree, we can have that conversation later!)

Here is the thing: God will one day make His home among His people on a renewed Earth, and all those who reject Him will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20).

As it stands, nothing as it is will exist:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:1-5

Perhaps you can understand now why I say John Lennon can be right.

I am not an Universalist, and I am not claiming to be an Annihilationist, but I do not believe everyone will be in “Hell” for eternity. Again, what this really means is for another discussion. However, the places we tend to call Heaven and Hell, as evidenced in the Scripture above, will no longer be.

Are there any thoughts on this?

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 07/08/2012

Do not forget to check out Proverbial Thought everyday!

Monsoon season for Arizona started a few weeks ago (while my lovely wife and I were in Illinois), but there has been very little rain to date. We even have been hearing about many wildfires that have destroyed thousands of acres of land, hundreds of homes, and made life all around miserable for many people.

We are also taking our youth group to Colorado Springs for the Desperation Youth Conference.

We all can desperately stand to have more of God and His blessings.

Therefore, the poem for today is also a prayer for the Southwest region of the United States (and other places). It is a prayer for our youth. It is a prayer for all people.

Let it rain
Let it rain
Let Your power come
Let Your will be done
Let Your love flow on
Manifest Your Kingdom

Let it rain
Let it rain
Let Your glory fall
Let our souls stand tall
Make all Your people
Something beautiful

Let it rain
Let it rain
Let Your Spirit move
Let the earth see You
Let people come to
The King of the Jews

Let it rain
Let it rain
Let me see Your face
Let me offer praise
Let my spirit say
Jesus is the Way

Taken fromdeeper words for God from a simple man of Godby daniel m  klem, page 97.

My wonderful Catholic brother makes some great points. It does not matter your political affiliation (if any), because we need to understand our nations history and heritage and, more importantly, to pray and seek God’s wisdom before we vote (or even listen to the candidates)!