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Archive for November, 2006

Milestone

I can’t believe it. It actually happened! I lost my first five pounds. I know some of you are thinking; whats the big deal in losing five pounds? Well over the past year I have struggled to lose weight. I have hovered at above 360 lbs, and have struggled to get under that amount. And even when I started working out this month, my weight began to fluxuate but never below 360. So this morning, prepared for no change, I got on the scale and looked down. I thought the needle was off, so I readjusted it and got back on. Then I called my wife to confirm what my eyes were telling me; 355. For me this is a huge milestone. Hopefully it won’t stop here!

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Quencying your thirst

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

As a college student studying to become a minister, one of my professors told me that “…we are only as deep as the well we dig.” I always understood that to be the life experiences we had to draw from and the books that we may have read. But as I focused on some much needed personal time with God this morning the phrase began to take on a different meaning.

I’m currently reading a book called A Way through the Wilderness by Jamie Buckingham. Its an older book (copyright 1983) but I have found it to be interesting. Over the past few weeks I have been digesting this book a chapter at a time as a way to get closer to God. The main premise of the book is that God sometimes leads us through the deserts of life to teach and prepare us for the life he intends for us to live. The author uses the trek of the Israelites through the desert as his main thrust. He also uses visible illustrations straight from the desert to describe what the Israelites must have been experiencing and describes his own desert experiences to hammer the lessons home.

Today, I read the chapter on Living waters and how in the desert no one can go long without water. A person can go without food for 14-21 days before the body starts shutting down. A person can only survive 3-5 days without water. And in the desert this is considerably less. So people, animals, and vegetation have had to adapt to the harsh living conditions of the desert. So in the desert there are three basic sources of water: cisterns, wells, and springs.

What caught my attention was the comparison the author made between wells, cisterns, and springs. He brought to the forefront that wells and cisterns are man made systems of providing water. We have to dig deep to find the water but neither a cistern nor a well are a sure source of water. Eventually the water can run out. A spring on the other hand is a source of certain water. It can be trusted upon. Though storms come and cover the oasis that may be there, the spring will eventually make it back to the surface for someone to drink from.

As Christians we need to be leery of wells and cisterns. We can look at Religion and forget about the source of our strength; Jesus Christ. We can get caught up in doing good or living a “holy life” that we forget to Love God and Love one another. We need to remember that God is the source of our living water. He should be the spring welling up in each of us. What about you? Are you relying on the Spiritual well or cistern you dug or does your source of Spiritual water come from the Spring of God? Dig your well close to the Spring and you won’t run dry!

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Courtesy Vs. Connection

Psalm 118: 28,29

You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; His love endures forever.

What are YOU thankful for? Often when we are asked this question we think of our family, our friends, a good job, a roof over our heads. But what about God? Are you thankful for God? If so do you show Him the honor and respect which He alone deserves? Has giving thanks to God become more of an afterthought than a lifestyle.

So how do we change? How can our thanksgiving become more than a Courtesy? It starts with examining our heart. When our heart is being Ruled by the Peace of Christ and the very Word of God is Dwelling inside our heart then our attitude turns to gratitude (Colossians 3:15-17). We start looking at the world with new eyes; the eyes of our Heart. They begin to look UPWARD- Giving God the glory and worship he deserves. They begin to look AROUND- We see the things and people whom God has placed in our lives and the blessing they have become to us. They begin to look OUTWARD- We see people and their needs and desire to be a blessing to them. They begin to look INWARD- Showing God gratitude for the change that has happened in our lives due to the sacrifice of Jesus dying on the Cross for our sins. And finally they look BEYOND- Looking to the Future with antisipation of what God is going to do and where God is going to Lead in the future.

This Thanksgiving, when you are sitting down with friends and family and giving thanks for the bounty you have been given, take some time and remember the One who gave it to you. Give him the respect and honor he deserves and Give thanks to the Lord!

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Day 2

Last Week I joined a Gym. Now if you know me I’m not the typical person you would see around the Gym. I mean as a teenager I spent time lifting weights, in the pool, and even doing quite a bit of biking. But as soon as I got my self a car, everything changed. I found that I had little to no time for exercise in my life.

Then in college I tried to work out from time to time. But instead of creating a good habit of exercise, I was a bit intimidated by the other athletes who weren’t nearly as round as I am. So needless to say being physically fit hasn’t been too important in my view of life. I have come to accept that God loves me whether I weight 150lbs over what the doctor says is normal for my age and height. I mean who came up with the standard of normalcy. But I digress.

As I mentioned, last week I joined our local health club. I got tired of being out of shape and out of breath when it came to being physical. Notice I didn’t say I was tired of being “Fat”. I have always been Fat and I always will. God gave me broad shoulders and as a Pastor I have found many uses for them; so I’m not willing to give them back. Instead I simply want to be able to teach my sons about sports or play games with the youth group. I crave the energy health brings. And as I sat, pedaling the stationary cycle this afternoon I started to wonder about my Spiritual Health.

Am I Spiritually healthy? Does my life reflect a healthiness that when the hard times come, I find myself out of shape, struggling to catch my breath? I mean we often neglect our Spiritual health as much if not more than our Physical health. The question is, What are we willing to do about it? Are we complacent with being Spiritually out of shape or do we desire change in our lives.

I can tell you that after two days of working out Physically I am exhausted. But from past experience, I know that the exhaustion will fade, my muscles will grow, I will have caught my breath, and I will overall be a better man for the sacrifice. Lord, allow me to have the same fervour towards being near to you!

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