Thursday, March 1, 2012

In All Fairness

As some know I am trying to memorize Psalm 18, it's only 50 verses... hahaha only.... anyway in verse 20 is says that the Lord rewards according to our righteousness, according to the cleaness of our hands...  This can either be a huge comfort or cause a great fear.  How clean are our hands? What is our righteousness compared to God's? After all His standards are usually higher than ours right? On occation our standards match His, but are never higher. How can you get higher than perfect?

Our righteousness is like a filthy garment in the sight of God. But He gave us a solution - Jesus. So it's not by our own effort that God rewards us, but by the grace of God thru Jesus that we receive our rewards. Does this mean we get to do "what ever" we want? Certainly not, but it is a great comfort that when we are in right standing with Jesus we receive a righteous man's reward. 

The fear comes when we truely look at ourselves and ask, are my hands clean?  Have I sinned against my friend, neighbor, or God? What reward are we giving up?

Looking further into this reward, just in this passage, we find peace and protection, strength and victory!

Oh Lord You are my Rock. Forgive me and help me to be blameless before You.  Amen.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Why Work Hard?

I have been trying to memorize Psalm 18. It's only 50 verses... (only??) and each time I read through it I find little nuggets to help me through out my day. This is a psalm of victory and praise. Of realizing who God is and who I am. Today my study led me down a different path.

I feel I work hard.  Of course I always wonder could I have worked better? What more could I have done? Then I start to get all prideful and tell myself that I don't need to work like I do. Especially when the wife tells me that I am a work-a-holic

and I feel like a lazy wanna be couch potato.

I'm so grateful that whether I am struggling or not, God has already provided answers and help for me in his word.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says -- Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

WOW! Simple and true.  We are all going to die, unless rapture happens first. I'm not one for pulling scripture out of context. When we read vs 9 we find that our work is our portion from God. (You can read it and draw your own conclusions.) So how does this tie in with Psalm 18? 

In Psalm 18:2 David gives a few word pictures of who God is to him (and us). My rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my strength in whom I trust, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. So if God is all that, say ONLY all that, then why wouldn't we work to the best of our ability? If He is going to do that for us... So why not give all we can for His honor? Working hard and receiving the blessing of that is a principal that applies whether you believe in God or not. It's a spiritual law that has been put in place and God will not deny it. No, working with all your might will not get you into heaven, that's not the way. What it will do is meant and promises for this life.  It is important to know who God is, to us individually. So Charles Stanley asks (and I echo) who is God to you?  When ever I am asked this question I come to the same conclusion. He is a mighty warrior, dressed for battle, victorious and undefeated.

Yesterday in church I was asked to define My Redemer.  He is the one who looked past the mess and garbage that I laid for myself, pulled me out of the distruction I created and willing walked into, saw something more that what I had become, and put value into my life.

Gave me a work to do and support to get it done. From turning to sorcery to try and find some control in my life, some way to defeat death... from huddling under stairs with a baby and girlfriend to try and stay dry, to being able to work and earn my way, from home and hopeless to a 3 bedroom house and so much to live for... No I have not arrived, but I can see where God has fought for me, even when I was fighting against Him.  It feels good to be on the winning team. Winning is fun!  That doesn't mean there isn't struggle or adversity, these things only make winning sweeter...

So, who is God to you? Are you really working with all your might?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

First Friday

Ok I know today is only Thursday but....

Tomorrow is the first Friday of the year and I don't know about you, but I feel like I haven't had much of a chance to breath. Between end of year production, 4th quarter at a retail box, and kids home for vacation... I start to feel...

Unfortunately I still have much to do. There are tests to take, bills to pay, meetings to go to... and what I want to do is...

You may catch me playing chess...

... or playing pool. I'm not because I'm behind the 8-ball...

I'm just trying to relax. Grab a cue and pour a coke or a pepsi...


and thank GOD it's Friday!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Year of Blessing or Doom?

Here we are at the cusp of a new year. Everyone is looking back and looking ahead. Some will make choices but few will stick to them. I've been doing alot of listening and have been dumbfounded by what I hear. A couple of ladies at the bullseye were talking about how this will probably be their best year since it was the end of the world. How they would probably hit the lottery and all that jazz... How can we base the end of the world on a calendar written by a lost civilization? I mean really? Guy was probably a calendar maker and died. Then the chief of the tribe was like, well I won't be around in 2012 so, who cares, we don't need him any more.

Something that was said to me by the big cheese at the office was, Whatever happened in 2011, you have to accept. It's in the history of your life - the good, the bad, the ugly, the fantasic - it's over said and done.

Was 2011 your year? Was it the best year you ever had? If you had to do it all again, all 365 days, would you do exactly the same? Probably not. You can look back and think, I would have done this or that differently... So the question comes, if 2011 was not your best year, what are you going to do differently in 2012? Where are you going to grow; Spiritually, family, financially? You can make 2012 a year of blessing, or a year of doom. I honestly don't think that just because some ancient guy didn't write in a 2013, doesn't mean the world is going to end. God has other things to say about how that happens.  Be a blessing, make your life a blessing. THIS is the year for growth. THIS is the year to let the greatness begin.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Changing Jobs

It's always an ego boost to be able to choose which company you are going to work for. It's also a bit of fun dropping hints to your boss that you WILL be leaving your current job. So tired of going from job to job and still being Just Over Broke. So as I make this transition to my new position I am aiming at Jan 15th as my very last day at my current job.  Sooner if the new position works half as good as they say, and I believe it will or I would not have accepted the job. I cannot descibe how it feels being head hunted. I posted my resume online for my convience, easier to share with prospective employers when I apply at their company. I have never before been called and asked to come in for an interview for a company that I didn't apply at. From what I'm told, they saw something in my resume that piqued their interest and wanted to talk to me.  Since then I've had 3 interviews, then accepted the position. I am currently studying for my license, which is soooo much fun... and I have now spoke to two of my bosses telling them that I have a second job. Oh how I wanted to say "that's right, you didn't want to help me in my career here sooooo ta-ta loosers!" It's only a matter of time. 5 weeks and I'm gone, less if I'm right. I looked at the last schedule they put out and noticed it goes upto Christmas Eve. How I wanted to put in my 2 weeks. Alas that will have to wait.  So for now let me say thank you, as I smile and nod. That's right, no working past my scheduled shift, not coming in early or on my days off... I don't want to be here any more... good times... and yet I still do my job with excellence, at least for now.  LOL  cheers!

Friday, October 28, 2011

This is where we get our the song Better is One Day. I love the way Ray plays the drums for this song. Very driving.

How lovely is your dwelling place, Oh Lord almighty
for my soul longs and even faints for You
For here my heart is satisfied, within your presence
I'll sleep beneath the shadow of your wings

Better is one day in Your courts,
Better is one day in Your House
Better is one day in Your courts
Than thousands elsewhere....

But what is really florring me right now is are verses 5-7!

In order for us to be strong, we must be weak and recognize our weakness. Then we can rely on God for strength, which brings us to this verse. Blessed is the man whose strength is in the Lord, which comes from "the pilgramage"! This is not my home. Pilgrams Progress comes to mind. Let's continue. The Valley of Baca was where David traveled when he was fleeing from Saul. It is concidered a place of mourning. But our very passing through it creates springs, a place of feeding and life. A place where the rain gathers. In the valley, we need to remember that we are just passing through. It's ok to mourn, but it is also a place of refreshing, taking us from strength to strength, relying on God.

Oh God, let us be strong!


Psalm 84

To the Chief Musician. On an instrument of Gath.[a] A Psalm of the sons of Korah.
1 How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
My King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. Selah

5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion.[b]

8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah
9 O God, behold our shield,
And look upon the face of Your anointed.

10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD will give grace and glory;
No good thing will He withhold
From those who walk uprightly.

12 O LORD of hosts,
Blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Psalm 63

It never ceases to amaze me how sometimes a scripture can jump out at you and start to change your world. Of course scripture is life changing, if you live by it. If you don't then maybe you're life wont change, and just maybe you're living a godly life, however unlikely. So I've been chewing on Psalm 63 for some time because I believe God told me to read it.

Psalm 63

1 O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

6 When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek my life, to destroy it,
Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

11 But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

This declaration shouts loud and clear. This is the declaration we all need to make. Oh God, You are my God! I get up by 3 almost every morning. That's pretty early. Nice and quiet. Early will I seek You.When will we realize that our soul has a longing and nothing else we do, no matter how well or poorly we do it, will satisfy that longing? We find ourselves in "desert" areas of our life. A dry and thirsty land, where there is no water. So what did David do? He gave us the example in vs. 2. Get to Church! Why? To witness God's power and glory! Now this may mean different things to different people. For me, I know God moves in my church. It's there the "bon-fire" for our soul can be ignited. I go to church expecting to witness His power and His glory.

Verses 3-5 remind us that we may as well be dead than to live a life without God. Once God is truely in your life, you can't stop prasing him and this is something that causes a blessed chain reaction. We find our soul is full. Like after eating the best parts of a huge meal. Reminds me of the Thanksgiving feasts I used to take part of as a young child.

Verses 6-8 -- When we find we can't sleep, remember what God has done for us. Some would say don't count sheep, count your blessings. Rejoice in those times when God may have kept you from doing your will. God doesn't up hold us with His right hand by grabbing the front of our shirt as we tag along, but rather He wraps his arm around us and helps us to walk, carrying us as we become stronger following Him.

Verse 9 and 10 can be taken 2 ways as I see it. 1) That it is a prayer. One of those "God get them" moments. Or perhaps 2) It is a realization that God stands against those who stand against His people.  I'm not going to lie, both appeal to me. The battle belongs to the Lord.

Verse 11 closes this short song with another declaration, the king (little k) will rejoice in God, and those who love God will rejoice in the Glory of God. Those other people mentioned in verse 10 wont be able to say anything. Maybe they will be stunned. Maybe they will get saved. What happens when we rejoice in God's glory?  The Glory of God is redemption. Salvation and healing. And his power is revealed.

I praise you my Lord, oh my God. You never let go, thru the calm and thru the storm. How easily You bring me to my knees in repentance and thanksgiving. Thank you for loving me so, for being my father and my friend. Forgive my stubborness and help me to make right choices, in every area of my life.