Encouraging others (I wish I could say this was mine. I read this today and thought it could lift you up the way it lifted me!)

Encouraging Others 
This devotional was written by Jim Burns

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.—Romans 12:9-16

..START DEVOTIONAL TEXTY–>If you are a teenager, you may not even remember Cary Grant. Cary Grant was an actor and superstar in every sense of the word. In his later years he made occasional appearances in theaters around the United States billed simply as “A Conversation with Cary Grant.” He didn’t need much advertising; one small ad would appear in the local newspaper and the theater would be immediately sold out. Everywhere he appeared, he received a standing ovation simply for walking out on stage.

At the end of his performances he always read a piece he called A Meditation, saying he didn’t know who wrote it but that this meditation also expressed his own feelings of life. I like it very much and offer it to you today:

“Now Lord, you’ve known me a long time. You know me better than I know myself. You know that each day I am growing older and someday may even be very old, so meanwhile please keep me from the habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from trying to straighten out everyone’s affairs. Make me thoughtful, but not moody, helpful but not overbearing. I’ve a certain amount of knowledge to share, still it would be very nice to have a few friends who, at the end, recognized and forgave the knowledge I lacked.

Please give me the ability to see good in unlikely places and talents in unexpected people. And give me the grace to tell them so, dear Lord.”

Breakthrough – By Francis Frangipane

 

 

Jul 24, 2007

Breakthrough

 

Current mood:contemplative

BREAKTHROUGH

And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom?”  (Acts 1:6, NAS)

When I first came to Christ, the Lord gave me a dream about my future.  I thought that everything the Lord said was supposed to occur immediately.  I didn’t know of the work of preparation and dying to self, of learning patience and maintaining vision through testing that would occur before God’s promise would find fulfillment.  Consequently, I was filled with ambition.  Ambition is the first motive that arises in the spiritually immature.  I was like the disciples who, a few days after Jesus’ resurrection, were already asking, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom” (Acts 1:6)?

Ambition is very deceptive. It can seem just like obedience, yet because we don’t truly know the Lord, the voice we find ourselves obeying is not God’s, but our own.  Our vision can actually be from God, but our motive be self.  Consequently, where there is ambition, James tells us there will soon emerge “disorder and every evil thing” (James 3:16).  Why? Because we begin thinking we can accomplish the will of God through the strength of man.  We are seeking a breakthrough; God wants to give us brokenness.

The spiritually immature do not recognize their immaturity because they are immature.  Thus, they become impatient, fearful and demanding.  Because pride blinds the ambitious, we presume we are ready for greater assignments in God.  In fact, we become a harder assignment for those who work with us, for our actions continually generate strife.

Ambition seeks to put to death what stands between it and spiritual fulfillment.  Yet, it is ambition itself which must die to reach fulfillment.  Webster’s tells us that ambition is “an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as wealth or fame, and the willingness to strive for it.”  The word translated “ambition” in the NAS is rendered “strife” in the King James.  Truly, ambition is a major cause for strife, church splits and conflicts within the church.

I thought having a promise from God was the same thing as receiving a command from God.  I did not understand what I personally lacked in character nor what I needed to attain concerning faithfulness and thankfulness.  These things needed to be worked in me before God would fulfill His promises, miracles and opportunities.  What I became for God was more important than what I did for Him.

Today, I am living in the spiritual substance of what was just a dream thirty years ago.  My ambitions have suffered greatly, yet my dreams are being fulfilled.  While I have not yet arrived at the greatest aspects of my calling, I understand the difference between ambition and true leadership and it is this: Ministry is not a call to lead, but to die.

Every advance that I have made spiritually was preceded by an opportunity to die to self.  The power in my life comes from where I have died to self and now live unto Christ.

Do you want to advance spiritually?  God will arrange opportunities for you to die to self.  You must discern them.  Dying to self and its ambition is the means of reaching true spiritual fulfillment.  If you react to the opportunity to die with anger or resentment, you will fail to reach fulfillment.  However, if you can maintain your vision even while your ambition dies, you will succeed.  Death precedes life.  Truly, we must die to go to heaven.

Francis Frangipane

My journey/transistion 2006-2007

My journey/transistion – 2006-2007

Current mood:hopeful

How can all of this have happened in one year?  Lord, what is it that you are dong?

Don’t question your will, just don’t want to miss it…or you!

One year ago we owned a thriving business, now nothing.

One year ago, never broken a bone. now broken.

One year ago I had a Daddy, now gone.

One year ago, could you have paid me to take a group of high school students to LA to camp out, and hang out with the homeless? Don’t know. Yet,did it, loved it, didn’t get paid, and wouldn’t want to get paid.  Fell in love with each and every student, and with their heart for others, one another and the God they serve.

What else does God have for the future?  Don’t know, but can’t wait to see.

God is so good.

First trip to Serve LA – 2007

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  • Aug 2, 2007

    Serve LA

    Current mood:pleased

     

    Sisters High School Students Give Back inLos Angeles

    Twenty-one students from Sisters High School were in Los Angeles July 16-19 giving their time to help others in need.  Dan Keels, youth pastor at Sisters Community Church, headed up this trip along with seven other adults.  Each day in Los Angeles they supported and worked with different agencies.

    • LA Missions – students served in a mission helping the homeless with meals and shelter.
    • Habitat for Humanity – they helped put together prefab houses for those who cannot buy a home.
    • Central City Outreach – students broke up into small groups and took a homeless person from skid row to breakfast.
    • PATHS – a hands-on educational tour that combines resources for the homeless who struggle with drug addiction and mental illness.

     

    Below are two quotes from students when asked what has been the most surprising thing they experienced after two days on the project:

     

    Nicole said, “So far, working with the homeless has opened my eyes to something much bigger than Sisters.  It has given me a lot of perspective.  Most of the homeless appreciate what they have been given, and it has helped me to see them as equals.”

     

    Nate said, “Kids from a local church that we hung out with at a park; we then walked them home and they live in ‘homes’ smaller than a living room.  You can’t even open the doors all the way because there is not enough room.  And they cost $2,000 a month.”

Mentors – From Aug 4, 2007

Mentoring

Current mood:thankful

One the greatest teachers I ever had the priviledge of sitting under went home to eternity this week.     Maj. W. Ian Thomas was a saint.  I don’t say that lightly. His influence in my life was great.  I am so thankful to have had time to visit with him this year.  That was a gift.

God has been faithful to give me gifts of time with three special mentors who have entered eternity this year. I am truly blessed.

I used to feel sorry for myself when people would say to me that they had a mentor who had spent time feeding into their lives.  Then I remembered how many people that God had blessed me with who have loved me, filled me with wisdom, shared with me, and deeply impacted my life.

If you have never read any of Maj. Thomas’ books, do it.  Your Christian walk will be different as a result.

I am forever thankful!

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