Mini Study: Replacing Faith with Trust?

Is there a difference between faith and trust? I viewed them both differently growing up. Faith was always somewhat mysterious and trust was connected to something. Do I have faith in God or do I trust him? Yes!

As I was reading through the New Testament I decided to read a couple versions at a time. My Bible App has the ability to see them both simultaneously. A friend suggested the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB). As it turns out, I was able to download it for my Bible App for free.

The CJB has a lot of names that I did not recognize. Matthew 1:2 starts with, “Avraham was the father of Yitz’chak.” I knew I needed a little help. I had my other translation open to either the New Century Version (NCV) or New International Version (NIV) depending on the night. Continue reading “Mini Study: Replacing Faith with Trust?”

Defining Moments: Asking my wife out and rejection!

I asked my wife Cayla to be my girlfriend about 10 years ago. She didn’t say yes, at least not immediately. God used the situation to heal rejection in my life.

After talking with her mother and getting the go ahead, I went for a walk with Cayla and her best friend. During the walk I asked her out. She didn’t give me an answer, although she thought she had. Our communication has progressed a lot since then!

The next 24 hours were a bit rough for me, but God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God. Continue reading “Defining Moments: Asking my wife out and rejection!”

Do not repay evil with evil: Is my first response love?

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:8-9

As I read this scripture last night I felt like God was speaking to me through it but wasn’t sure what it was. I thought through my life and the people who I felt have wronged me. I have forgiven each of them and have spoken blessing over them to the best of my knowledge. Regardless of my thoughts, the feeling that God wanted to communicate something to me through the verse wouldn’t go away.

After working I went to bed without a thought in my mind. I had one dream I remember and it was weird (like most). In the dream I had been staying in a home with a friend. I had some keepsakes from my kids in the home. A greedy land baron was trying to take the land from me. Continue reading “Do not repay evil with evil: Is my first response love?”

Mini Study: What is Daily Bread and does God really speak to people daily?

In the middle of Jesus “Sermon on the Mount” He explains prayer and then gives an example of how to pray. Many people refer to the prayer as “The Lord’s Prayer.” In verse 7, which is before the prayer, Jesus says to not babble on but to get to the point when praying. Verse 8 then explains that the reason is because Father God already knows what we need before we ask. He wants us to ask because He wants to answer our prayer!  The prayer starts at verse 9 and goes through verse 13. There is an interesting portion about daily bread in the middle of the prayer:

Give us today our daily bread – Matthew 6:11

If Father God knows what we need, then Jesus prayer example that follows must be us asking Him for what we need. That would mean that daily bread is something we need, daily. But does God always speak to people daily? Continue reading “Mini Study: What is Daily Bread and does God really speak to people daily?”

Is God my single focus or are my circumstances?

I found myself encouraging a friend and I didn’t even know why. I wasn’t even sure they needed to hear it. After it happened I felt like I had been externally processing information that had been inside of me, which is not like me.

What I shared was how we can have righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit regardless of circumstances:

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. – Romans 14:17

I then explained how it is not conditional. Peace doesn’t come once my enemies are defeated. It isn’t based on getting to a destination.  It is a destination in the midst of everything. Continue reading “Is God my single focus or are my circumstances?”

Strengthened by Hope!

This week seemed busier than my normal week. Today I found myself in a funk and didn’t know why. I was short with my kids and lacking patience. I didn’t think I needed hope, but I was wrong.

Often when I find myself getting emotional or in a mood, rather than turning to a specific feeling like anger, I let the feeling sit there. I try and figure out what I am feeling. Most of the time I am able to figure it out.

My list of things to get done this summer is long. It feels like I keep getting caught up with my weekly tasks and can’t make much of a dent in my list. This week I received a couple unexpected bills in the mail and tried to push through on my list. The last two days I didn’t take my quiet time with God.

The two things I was missing were love and hope. When I became task oriented love went out the door. When I stopped hoping Continue reading “Strengthened by Hope!”

Mini Study: I’m supposed to let my light shine? What does that actually mean?

I was singing a song about letting my light shine — specifically “I Have a Light” by Don Potter. The thought came to me, what does it mean to let my light shine?  I decided I should look up the verse that it is most likely referring to:

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

That led me to asking what works are they supposed to see? Here are a sampling of verses I looked up:

…this is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. – John 6:28

…I showed you many good works from the Father… – John 10: 32

Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. – John 14:11

…he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. – John 14:12

From the text I can only assume the works Jesus is primarily referring to are the miraculous signs and wonders He showed. As I read more Continue reading “Mini Study: I’m supposed to let my light shine? What does that actually mean?”

Moving Forward One Step At A Time

I felt like God was speaking to me about taking one step at a time. A friend and mentor of mine mentioned it in a meeting about taking the step God has directed you to take, waiting for Him, and then taking the next step He directs you to take. It wasn’t something new to me.  I had heard it before and believed it to be true. The difference for me this week is that it was God’s word for me in the moment. Moving forward one step at a time. Continue reading “Moving Forward One Step At A Time”

Defining Moments: Holy Spirit Do You Love Me?

When I was 18 years old I spent a year in a discipleship program. We had worship time every morning during the week Tuesday through Friday.  One morning during this time one of the pastors told us that if we asked the Holy Spirit if He loved us, He would always answer us.  The pastor encouraged all of us to close our eyes and ask the Holy Spirit if He loved us.  I think everyone said it out loud.  We then waited.  There was worship music playing in the background and about 35 students and staff present.

One by one many of the others in the room began to have emotional responses.  Some were filled with joy and others began to cry.  I stood there.  I felt all alone in the middle of the room that seated around 200 people.  My thoughts were a mess and it felt like an argument in my head. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was hoping to hear God.

Continue reading “Defining Moments: Holy Spirit Do You Love Me?”

Choosing to press through and strengthening myself in the Lord

Lots of great stuff happening including me choosing to press through my feelings!

I just finished a book called Prophetic Evangelism by Sean Smith and as a result may do a book review in the future.

I was able to share testimonies of God’s goodness in my life with several different people including co-workers yesterday.  Some friends shared testimonies of what God has been doing in their life and I was encouraged.  The easiest way I have found to witness is to tell others about what God is doing in my life.

After a great day I was getting ready for work and was feeling depressed.  As I began driving to work I felt like I needed encouragement.  I then remembered that I can strengthen myself in the Lord.  I put a smile on my face and said out loud, “I chose to be part of the kingdom of God which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Continue reading “Choosing to press through and strengthening myself in the Lord”