Monday, October 16, 2017

Tithing where you are

Tithing where you are
S-Malachi 3
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. 11 Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts. 12 “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts.
13 “Your words have been arrogant against Me,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge, and that we have walked in mourning before the Lord of hosts? 15 So now we call the arrogant blessed; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape.’”

O- Malachi writes that God has spoken to him that his people needed to quit robbing him of the simple offering of a tithe. Malachi comes as the priest after the exiles return from Babylon, rebuild the walls of Jerusalem under Nehemiah, and begin restoring the nation of Israel. Malachi‘s words here indicate the need to get back to the basics, and one of the Basics is putting your trust in Him through the simple offering of 10 percent of the provision God has already blessed you with. This principle comes with a promise, when you put your trust in the Lord, acknowledge him in all that you have and all that you do, he will open up his treasures in heaven for you.

A- The application for me today is to  get my tithes and offerings realigned to our new home church here in Bremerton. I have likely waited too long to do so as we seek to make sure this church is our home church. I have kept my tithes and offerings going to New Hope in a Oahu because I know our hearts are still there. But God is showing me that we are to make this our home church and leave down this offering at his church his feet and trusting his ways.

P-Dear heavenly father, thank you for today’s lesson may it be forever sealed it to my heart. Lord thank you for growing me in this trust and obedience of your love and your provision. The lesson of tithing I have learned before, the lesson to trust you with this tithe. I look forward to the blessings you pour out on this church and my family here in Bremerton, not for my glory but for yours.  I pray all this in Jesus Christ name, amen.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The source of my strength

The source of my strength
s-Nehemiah 6
15 So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 When all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surrounding us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God. 

O- The Scripture comes right after Nehemiah gather a team to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. Now there was much going against what he was trying to accomplish, many people did not wish to see the wall built, but Nehemiah persevered. What is most interesting and relevant is that the people who were against him in this endeavor lost their confidence because they recognize the work I’ve been accomplished with the help of God, and who are they to go against God. This was likely due to Nehemiah letting everyone know where his strength came from Kerry of the mission

A- The application for me is to first recognize where my strength comes from, the Lord. In all that I do if I do it for the lord then it needs to also be obvious to those I am serving and to those around me who may oppose me. Because in my life there will be adversaries and foes who do not support what I am trying to accomplish in the name of the Lord. I must let them know not so that they are scared but so that when God helps me accomplish the task at hand I can easily give God all the glory, and their hearts can be changed

P- dear heavenly father thank you for today’s devotion, may it be sealed to my heart. Lord I pray that you give me a heart of Nehemiah as a leader, who is passionate about the mission, who knows how to lead, and puts his trust in you. Help me to ensure I give you all the glory to those around me at work at home and in the community, so that they will know where my strength comes from.  I pray this in Jesus Christ name amen.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Leading Change

S -Nehemiah 2

Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls
11 So I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 And I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. I did not tell anyone what my God was putting into my mind to do for Jerusalem and there was no animal with me except the animal on which I was riding. 13 So I went out at night by the Valley Gate in the direction of the Dragon’s Well and on to the Refuse Gate, inspecting the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were consumed by fire. 14 Then I passed on to the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was no place for my mount to pass. 15 So I went up at night by the ravine and inspected the wall. Then I entered the Valley Gate again and returned. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I had done; nor had I as yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials or the rest who did the work.
17 Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation we are in, that Jerusalem is desolate and its gates burned by fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem so that we will no longer be a reproach.” 18 I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard it, they mocked us and despised us and said, “What is this thing you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 20 So I answered them and said to them, “The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build, but you have no portion, right or memorial in Jerusalem.

O- The book of Nehemiah is a reflection on what a leader needs to do when he goes to rebuild. In this case Nehemiah has been given permission by Nebuchadnezzar to restore Jerusalem. Once Nehemiah arrives the first thing he does is takes a few good men with him to inspect the wall. He did so somewhat in secrecy so as not to arouse suspicion in fear in those in and outside of Jerusalem. Once complete with his inspection he knew what he needed to, to carefully recruit people to rebuild the wall while being politically sensitive to those in leadership in and around Jerusalem.

A-The application for me is one of learning to lead change. Almost all organizational change comes with great risk organizationally, but promises great potential. What Nehemiah does skillfully is ensures he Follows a couple of principles in leading this change. 
1.First he takes and builds a coalition trusted advisors.
  1. He does a gap analysis of what is to what should be.
  2. Then he announces his plan for change, and the source of his authority. In this case it came from both Nebuchadnezzar, and from God, two very credible sources.

P-dear heavenly father thank you for this morning‘s devotion may it be sealed to my heart.  Lord I pray that you would help me to apply this lesson to my own leadership of people that you have placed before me in the organizations that you have called me to lead. I pray that you give me the homeowners of heart in the words of wisdom to lead this kind of change, that you had Nehemiah lead. I pray this in Jesus Christ name, amen.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The humble will be exalted

The humble will be exalted
S Luke 18
9 And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

O - Holy Spirit thank you for today's message. I prayed for guidance for a situation at work I am facing and at first read of this passage I didn't get it and now I do. This parable is about me. Who at times places too much trust in myself that I am righteous and at times views those who report to me with contempt because they are not acting in a disciplined manner or like I am ( I.e. Arrogant). Jesus is delivering the parable to his disciples so they understand their role is not to judge but to repent, to lead humbly and help others come to repentance. The picture he gives is of the Pharisee praying a long prayer how good he is versus the sinner who in few words repents.  God wants us to know those who humble themselves will be exalted in those who exalt themselves will be humbled.

A-The application is definitely for me is to be wary of my own self righteousness.   Throughout my life I have gone through many challenges where I felt incompetent and unworthy to do the job I was in. But God found a way to help me through those times despite my incompetency. my humble spirit is what allowed him to lead me and allowed me to hear him.  What I have to understand now is those I lead at times are feeling equally incompetent and I must do for them as Jesus has done for me. I must listen and wait for a humble spirit willing to listen. If I bulldoze my way in to give direction, it was not well received. Even the humble in spirit feel an offense when they are not ready to receive help.  I must remember to give each individual that the choice to choose to seek help.  Well that doesn't mean the passive and watch someone go to their destruction,  but it does mean that like Jesus has done for me, I wait watch and protect those he has given me to shepherd.  When someone is in harms way and unable to protect themselves I am obligated to be a good shepherd and Step in.

P- dear heavenly father, thank you for this message this morning. I pray that you would help me to be a good leader and wise counselor, and a good shepherd like Jesus. I pray this in Jesus Christ name, amen.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Forgiving like christ

Forgiving like Christ does
S Luke 17
1 He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

O-This  passage in Luke reminds me of a conversation I had with my own kids just yesterday. Jesus here is saying to the disciples there is innocence in men still, and in its purest form we have the children.  Children have not yet been worn down by the worlds ways and are in many cases closer to God's original intention for his creation, than us world torn adults. It is because of our evil ways, and in the influence of the devil in this world that our children become like us eventually separated from God because of sin.  God gives a warning that the person who is a stumbling block to repentance and reconnecting with God is much worse off than a simple sinner them selves. But then Jesus goes on to describe gods grace.   He says if a brother comes to you and repents we are to forgive them.   Because Jesus knows our cynical heart, he describes what we are to do if that same person sins against you seven times a day, he explains we are to forgive him even then. You see we think Grace is earned, God thinks Grace is his to give.  God would like us to be more and more like his son Jesus each and every day therefore we must learn to forgive with the grace that God does.

A - The application for me is actually very simple because of how Jesus has set the words and example to me what God's grace is. I need to forgive and show grace like Jesus does. Oh that doesn't mean I have to be soft on sin.  It means I have to hate the sin and not hate the sinner. It means that I can hold my brothers accountable but when in repentance comes I must be willing to freely give forgiveness. The second part of forgiveness is forgetfulness, in becoming more like Christ. No longer can I go back and hold onto the previous in on that person's account, I must move forward as if it never occurred. This could be a big challenge but I am confident through Christ all things are possible even in me a sinner who judges and holds grudges.

P-Dear heavenly father thank you for today's devotion. May it be sealed to my heart. Lord I pray that you would help me to respond to sin like Jesus did, and help me to give grace and forgiveness like you have exampled through your son.I pray this all in Jesus Christ name, amen.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Unrighteous leadership corrected

S - Luke 16

1 Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions.2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ 5 And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He *said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. 9 And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

O -  Wow, I hope I get this observation right, I am sensing I have a new understanding of this parable that Jesus is telling his disciples. He is telling of a manager who is not doing such a great job. The master is about to discipline and take away all his authority, when the manager decides to act very shrewdly and forgive debts of those fellow managers which will bring him favor with them even if he gets fired. In the end the master gives praise to the unrighteous manager because he acted shrewdly. Then comes the warning that Israels leaders in that age Jesus was in would not act shrewdly in their case. I believe that Jesus was telling this to his disciples so they would not be like the Pharisees who had not been acting as unrighteous managers of God's people when Jesus came down to correct them. He will be replacing the leadership of God's people with his disciples, and the Pharisees didn't see it coming, and those who did didn't act as shrewdly as the unrighteous manager did.  

A- The application for me is not to be arrogant that I am on the sides of the disciples and Jesus, but that I am more likely to act like Pharisees if I don't guard my heart seek Jesus, and follow the Holy Spirit. For me this does happen periodically I can think of times when I became confident in myself, or confident in my position, and have allowed my extreme discipline and high standards to take me too far in my leadership of my people. I recognize that it is good to have high standards, or understand the standards of God, but I must recognize all fall short and God's grace and love is sufficient to bridge the gap. For me my leadership I must also understand the high standard on which I desire us to operate, but so there is sufficient grace and love to bridge the gap between where we long to be and where we are.

P-dear heavenly father, thank you Lord for this morning's devotion and your revealing of this parable of the unrighteous servant. I believe Lord you were speaking directly to my heart as a follower of Jesus, and a leader of men. Lord help transform my mind and heart in this leadership role you have placed me in here at Puget Sound Naval shipyard, help me to lead like Jesus. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The source of our strength and peace

The source of our strength and peace
S- Psalm 147
10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.
12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your sons within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders; He satisfies you with the finest of the wheat.

O- this song is for those like me who at times and allow pride to get in our way. God's people because they follow him often times find themselves in favorable situations.  This can leave them falsely to the conclusion that your hard work and their talents have gotten them to this place of peace and abundance. And that's the cycle that men and women of God begin to delight in their own strengths and lose their reverence for what the Lord is doing in their lives. This song is an exhortation and a warning.

A-The application for me is to be both encouraged by this song, and cautious of myself righteousness. I am to be encouraged because God is with me he favors me because I fear him and wait on him. He allows me to be disciplined when I rely on my own strength he allows me to be bound by this world when I begin to feel free from him.  God is faithful to me either way, but I know the way in which I desire to live is one in which I fear the Lord and trust in him.

P- dear heavily father thank you for today's devotion,  for its simplicity and for its depth.  Lord I pray that you help me to walk this walk that you have described here in which I am to genuinely fear and have reverence of you and never forget you are in my life and in this world.  Lord thank you for the many many blessings you've already given in lord if I haven't done it enough I want to give you praise glory and honor for the piece you brighten to my family and my life in the strength knowledge and skills you have blessed me with. I pray all of this in Jesus name, amen.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Leading with humility

Leading with humility
S Luke 14
7 And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 10 But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

O  This parable was given to Jesus'  disciples so would understand the lesson in leadership that we are to lead with humility. In the traditions of the times, when invited to someone's house for dinner there was a order of precedence at which people sat at the table. The guest of honor and the host at the head, and then the more distinguished guest closer to the head of the table. What Jesus teaches his disciples here is that to leading with humbleness first ensures that you are not humiliated, but come as a humble servant.  This insurers your heart is in the right place to serve, and that you are not exalting yourself above the one who sent you, or called for you.

A The application for me seems clear, that I am called by God the father, to serve and to lead. When I allow my arrogance to take over, I am exulting myself above him who sent me. This particularly resonates in me as I experience my taking the role as the operations officer at Puget Sound Naval shipyard. God has set me to serve, and when I see the gaps in what I believe good looks like, I have at times attacked the people have not the process.  I have not started at the end of the table I have a mediately exulted myself to the top. This is especially true when leading the project superintendent's in my shipyard. I need to begin my approach with them by sitting at the end of the table and waiting for the project superintendent to invite me in.

P. Lord this is my prayer that you grow me to be a humble servant leader. That you would help me to example what Christ has done for all of us.  Help me to do this at home and lead my wife and children, at work with those I work for, and those who work for me and finally the peers in which I lead along side. I pray this in Jesus name amen.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

How to pray

How to pray
S Luke 11
Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come.
3 ‘Give us each day our daily bread.
4 ‘And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.’”

I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anythingbecause he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. 11 Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? 12 Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

O - In this chapter of Luke, the disciples ask Jesus how to pray, or teach them how to pray like he taught John's disciples. It is here he gives the well known lords prayer and follows it with a story of being persistent in asking. The parable speaks of a neighbor or friend who comes and asks and at first is refused but is persistent, and has given all he needs.  It goes on to say that how can even a sinful father give good gifts to his children and how much more so well heavenly father give us yes , including the ultimate gift, his Holy Spirit.

A - The application for me is to rejoice and remember the importance of prayer in my own life. I know at times I lean to prayer in times of trouble because I feel desperate and alone. Hopeless. But the Lord is telling me be persistent in your prayers allow your conversations with God to be shaped by the Holy Spirit in dialogue so that your prayers will be holy spirit formed and the father will rejoice and gladly give abundantly.

P - dear heavenly father, thank you for today's devotion, may it be sealed to my heart. Lord I pray that your Holy Spirit would guide my each and every prayer, and that you would reminds me today's lesson when I forget, I am prompted me to pray persistently and frequently. I pray all this in Jesus Christ name, amen.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Leading change

Leading change
S Luke 10
1 Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. 2 And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. 3 Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6 If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. 8 Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; 9 and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

O -  Jesus' leadership style is one to be modeled. Here at this point in his ministry he has, chosen his disciples, the 12, spent many many days with them teaching both to his large group of followers and specifically to the 12 called apostles.  Here we find in Luke chapter 10 Jesus sends 70 and he sends them in pairs to begin expanding his ministry beyond his own direct influence.  It is noteworthy to know how Jesus began in active a change that God had sent him to do. He needed more than even himself to reach the entire world and knew it was through God's people that the world will be reached. So he sent the 70, 2x2 and gave them these words of wisdom: Carrie no money belt I.e. don't bring anything with you, all you need is what you have learned and the the Holy Spirit, go to house to house saying peace be with you,  stay with those who welcome you and have peace upon them, do not keep moving house to house. Whatever city accepts you stay with them,  follow their customs and help them where they are broken.but whatever city doesn't welcome you wipe off your feet and move on.

A -Application for me is this is exactly how I need to lead, at work, at home, and in my ministry of the Lord. The principles are proven Jesus Christ is the best leader I know and I need to example my leadership style after his. To summarizethese are the things when leading Great change you need to do as a leader.

  1. Get your mission from your commander. Jesus got his mission from God the father.
  2. Build a sense of urgency for why change is necessary now. Jesus knew because God told him the mission and sent him at the precise time the crop had been growing and now is the time to harvest gods people who would serve and save the world through this new testament covenant.
  3. Build a guiding coalition. What this means is you need to pick your apostles and your disciples training a quick them help them understand your perspective and then send them.
  4. Focus on those areas in your circle of concern which are ready to receive the message of change. Do not focus on those Who from the beginning oppose you. Instead go where there is peace and bring change.

P- dear heavenly father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart. Lord I would ask that you help me apply this rich leadership lesson that you have examples  through Christ. Specifically here in Puget sound Naval shipyard, and in the leadership of my family. Lord I am overwhelmed with the amount of time and effort you are investing in me and I am grateful. I pray all of this in Jesus Christ name, amen.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Prosperity Comes from the Lord.

Prosperity Comes from the Lord.
S Psalm 127

A Song of Ascents, of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

O-This Psalm by Solomon is a good reminder of a true principal, namely that unless the house is built by the Lord it will not stand. Many attempt to build their own kingdoms without the Lord, but they are building these castles on the sand and they have moments of victory followed by the inevitable collapse due to a soft foundation. The second part of this song is a reminder of the gift of children, That we are to see them as the Lord's gift to us for us to steward well and prepare for the service of God. None of this is to say that we should all build churches and all become pastors, but rather we are all children of God and we  serve  his kingdom through our lives. Our children are to grow into God loving God and serving servants you go forth and continue the work of God even after us.

A-The application for me is to be thankful for the house that the Lord has built for me, and thankful for his grace when I begin to add additions that weren't from him. In looking back I see what is from the Lord and what is from my flesh. The things that were from me have died off and faded away and the things that were from the Lord have endured and were built on to produce where the Lord has me and what he is having me do. The application then becomes to recognize what the Lord has been doing, Do you evaluate what is from him and build upon that, and to temper my own good thoughts and ideas with is this from the Lord or is this for me. The very recent example that Abby and I discussed was our children's education and how thankful we are that the Lord cares about our kids and has provided exactly the education and experiences that they need to grow to be children who are after his heart and serving his people. As we begin to think of the future about colleges and what not how do you reminded me once again it's good to think about that, but we must not forget to put that decision before the Lord.

P- Dear heavenly father I thank you so much for your pursuing me in my journey that you've given me here on earth. Because I am not any better than those who come before me and I wander,  I thank you for both your grace and your provision that despite the things that were nor from you , you've allowed them to die way, and ensured the  build up the things that are from you. I pray that you would just help me to recognize those situations earlier and that through your Holy Spirit you would guide me and give me ears to hear and hands to serve this I pray in Jesus Christ name, amen.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Roots that run deep

Roots that run deep
S Luke 8

Parable of the Sower
4 When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: 5 “The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. 8 Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.” As He said these things, He would call out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
9 His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant. 10 And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.
11 “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12 Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

O - my observation of this parable has been changing over time. In my last season I was focused on if I was the person who was the rocky soil or the person who receive God's word and the thorns choke it out. In this new season I am excited and encouraged to know that God's word was planted in good soil in my heart and that I understand now that once it is in good soil the roots run deep even when the topsoil seems dry. And like the tumbleweed Who is able to survive the desert seasons the route that has gone deep is sufficient to keep you surviving even through the driest of seasons.

A- most of today's devotion is application for me ,  it's the running deeper of the meaning of the parable of the sower of seeds.  I have began to discover that my fear through the season Of dryness was that I would be like The seed planted in Rocky soil or the seed choked out by the worries of this world. Instead I now stand on faith that God's truth is revealed in my life in that as I passed through that desert season my roots are deep enough to keep me connected to him the source of my salvation and connection to the living water through Christ. The application for me is really to recognize that I can with Christ in me go through the seasons ahead and I can walk more confidently even in  dry seasons because the Lord is with me.

P-dear heavenly father thank you for today's devotion may it be sealed to my heart. I pray Lord that you would just continue to reveal you're living water that it is running through me and that you would run your roots of your word deep inside of me so that I may handle any season that you have planned for in front of me in that so the world may not overcome me and my family. I pray all this in Jesus Christ name amen.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Freedom in Christ alone

Freedom in Christ Alone
S - Luke 2 
 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

O- My observation is one of joy to just observe the birth of Jesus and all it's glory. And I try to put myself in the place of the shepherd's who are receiving this news that a Savior was born, the Christ. It must have been hard to understand and believe, but at the same time a blessing to receive the message from the angel which made it also clear and undeniable what was happening.

A. -  The application for me is to understand that I need to rejoice in the truth that is Jesus. His birth , death and resurrection were a gift of God to me and to all of us. Therefore my attitude must be aligned with the knowledge of who Jesus is and what he has done in my life. At times I get down and discouraged because of circumstances around me, but I need to remember who Jesus is and what he has done. It is because of this that I have  hope and not in myself but hope in  the finished work of Jesus Christ.

P - dear heavenly father thank you Lord for today's Scripture and for your spirits presence in my life. Or I pray that you will help find me daily of you you are and what you've already done and lord you would help me with the battle in my mind to remember who's help I need to look to when facing challenging circumstances. Help me to remember that you're yoke is lighter than when I try to carry the burdens myself. I pray all this in Jesus name amen.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

God grace and living water
S Rev 22
1 Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.

O - The observation here in the last chapter of revelations is that God has always had a plan, he is on the throne and in heaven he has the river full of the water of life. Out of that water of life comes our healing and restoration. We have no other more important job then to stay connected to the source through who is Jesus Christ so that we might be like the 12 churches to Bare like-minded fruit from the tree of life. In this day of revelations it will be much easier to follow God because the enemy will have been defeated and we know that all that remains are men and women of God.

A. -  Application for me is to recognize that I live in an Inperfect world view in my own relationship with God through Jesus is in perfect that's what I want to beat up myself just point out that I may wish for perfection but in this world Anymore need the grace of God.

P-do you have any father thank you for this morning's devotions or maybe sealed to my heart. I understand now better than yesterday that the challenges of this world will continue and I must continue to except your grace and look to your future

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Breathing life into my dry bones

S-Ezekiel 37
Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones
1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, You know.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life. 6 I will put sinews on you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you that you may come alive; and you will know that I am the Lord.’”

The Vision Explained
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’”

O- this prophecy by Ezekiel is specifically about the mission of Israel and they've been set off to Babylon in exile, and therefore we can look specifically at the case where God was saying the people who are in XL or a light dry bones. Gods sovereignty and provision for them have been lifted as they had been sent off because of their disobedience. However God is very consistent in his persistent and love of his people. And just like those that were in Egypt under 500 years of slavery The Lord did not intend to leave them there. He has always have a plan for our salvation and reconciliation. Even as he sent his real light off to Babylon on your captivity he knew his plan to restore those dry bones. And so he prophesies of his intention to breathe life back into the nation of Israel.

A-  The application for me is just my own journey and relationship with God. He did save me I was in the world and I did not understand who he was and how much he loved me. Then one day a friend introduced me to him in my relationship with him has grown ever cents. The journey though has been through mountain tops and valleys as described here where my bones were dry and it was me who had wandered from the Lord and felt very far. So now I see God's great love for me in his pursuit of me and patience with me and that he has restored my hope, He has restored my dry  bones.  I may be still learning this lesson years to come but today I think I understand even in my drive bones season the Lord will not abandon me he will always come back to restore me. And like the people of Israel it is for my good that he sends me through these experiences to draw me closer and more dependent on him and less dependent on the world.

P -do you have any father thank you for today's devotion in for restoring my dry bones come I knew I was starting to head into a season where of busyness and distraction and I can feel my bones starting to dry out and then with this devotions Lord you have breathe new life into me and I'd be that new life every day Lord. Lord I ask that you continue to restore even refreshment daily more that you would give me wisdom today as I speak with your people who are who are you giving me to lead help me Lord to love them into transmit a message of your love through my words and so Lord I ask that your Holy Spirit would come find me fill me restore me what your words be my words, in Jesus name Amen.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Staying true and humble

S - Daniel 3
13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. 14 Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

O- I love this passage in the book of Daniel where we see Shadrach, Meshach, Abednago response to Nebuchadner demand that they worship false gods. They didn't indignantly approach the king and say there is no way were going to do that.  Instead of the responded humbly letting the King know that there is likely no way they would ever follow his order because they're God can both deliver them from the furnace or, even if he doesn't we we don't intend to worship other gods. This response is humble in that it doesn't completely poke the king in the eye but lets them know what their faith in there God truly is.

A-The application for me is when I faced situations where people are challenging me to follow their ways, and I know I need to follow God's ways that I can respond or both humbly and with great clarity that I do not intend to violate my own values, or or direction that I've given that I've been given from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is this integrity that will both go our fear and respect. Fear of the guy that I follow and respect for me as an individualWho lives according to his values.

P-dear heavenly father thank you for the devotional this morning, helping me learn both to humbly respond to people who are challenging me, and staying true to the one true God. Help me Lord to be patient to hear their words through you so I can understand their hearts and speak to the core issue if you were calling me to do so. But in all cases Lord help strengthen my knowledge and relationship with you so that I one might know you more and draw closer to you, and represent you well in front of those who don't especially those who are challenging personalities in my life.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Seeing our circumstances through gods eyes

S - revelations 11
7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. 10And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
11 But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.

O - this chapter in revelations is about 2 profits in Jerusalem who are testifying to the nations of things to come. Then the beast who is in the Abyss, i.e. Satan, comes back and challenges to profits appears to have defeated them.   It is then that those few who have not choosen to follow God rejoice because they're tired of being tormented are these two profits. And that is it seals their fate.  The last part though won't surprise a Christian believer but to those in in time that it will come to us as surprise as the Lord raises up the two profits again and restores them to heaven while all those who doubted them watch and then the Lords cast his judgment on those people .

A.  I think the action for me out of this is just to understand how truly consistent God is and how he operates and what he lays down as truth. So all of the things that are written and told in the Bible God considers solid ground on which his promises will come true. As believers there are times of doubt when circumstance  surrounding us don't appear to match God's promises. But I'm reminded even in the case of these two profits that though the circumstances look perilous, God is still in control and his promises are true. So it is up to me not to see the world through the world colored glasses,  but to continue to see the world through God or scripture inspired glasses. 

P- dear heavenly father thank you so much for helping me get back to my daily devotions Lord I know you don't condemn me for not doing them on any given day but you do you assess my heart and know that and maybe I just confess that the busyness of work and sometimes begin to overtake my thoughts. Thank you Lord for this reminder and really inspiration to continue to dig into your word and start seeing  A renewed view of the world through your eyes and not my own. Lord I ask that you would give me in the very toughest of circumstances that I face ahead of you of the situation from your perspective, Lord and help help my heart and mind nowhere to pour my energy which really comes from you Lord. I pray all of this in Jesus Christ name amen.Seeing our circumstances through gods eyes

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Turning back to God

S-Ezekial 18
14 “But suppose that sinful son, in turn, has a son who sees his father’s wickedness and decides against that kind of life. 15 This son refuses to worship idols on the mountains and does not commit adultery. 16 He does not exploit the poor, but instead is fair to debtors and does not rob them. He gives food to the hungry and provides clothes for the needy. 17 He helps the poor does not lend money at interest, and obeys all my regulations and decrees. Such a person will not die because of his father’s sins; he will surely live. 18 But the father will die for his many sins—for being cruel, robbing people, and doing what was clearly wrong among his people.

19 “‘What?’ you ask. ‘Doesn’t the child pay for the parent’s sins?’ No! For if the child does what is just and right and keeps my decrees, that child will surely live. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. 21 But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. 22 All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done.

O- Ezekiel is speaking to the Israelites who have been exiled and are facing the consequences of their sin. But he is also speaking to the Next Generation who will be brought back from exile. He speaks of the child of the parent who sins. Do they pay the price? we know that answer , though we sometimes suspect that the children will pay the price, however even Jesus when he healed the blind man did not say he was blind from the parents sins but so that God may be glorified. So it is here also that the generation that follows the Exile will be blessed and provided for by God the Father. But the same warning is still there that the child who rejects the parents ways and follows God's ways will be blessed, but should they fall back into Old patterns and behaviors there still will be consequences for what they're doing.

A-.  The application for me is to understand that I do go through Seasons where I fall away from God and need to be corrected back. God's Grace has always received me in my seasons of of wandering as long as repentance and correction is my heart and mind. So the application for me is simply to know that in a season where I feel in God's will, following God's ways I must be mindful of the small slow fade away from his ways that occurs as life's busyness worries and fears can drive us from God's best in our lives.

P- dear heavenly father thank you Lord for today's scripture, thank you for the reminder Lord of your promises through prophets like Ezekiel through examples like the Exiles experience in Babylon. I pray Lord that you would help me to be a discerning person who understands when I am wandering away from your ways, and when my mind and I can't see it please Lord send the Holy Spirit to prompt my heart change my ways and bring me to repentance. I pray all this in Jesus Christ name amen.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A high priest in heaven, a fleet of priests her on earth

S - rev 5
And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song with these words:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
    and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 And you have caused them to become
    a Kingdom of priests for our God.
    And they will reign on the earth.”

O- my observation today is may be shallow but I know Revelations is deep in meaning.  In this setting we see Jesus the Lamb of God in heaven opening up the scroll and I'm thinking that scroll is list of those who are saved. And those who are saved ie who give themselves to Christ to become children of God they will now represent the high priesthood on Earth,  answer the high priest in heaven Jesus. You see in the Old Testament times the high priest for out of the family of Aaron or the Levites and were chosen because of they were born into it. Their leadership and intercession for the people of Israel at times was good but always seem to find a way to deteriorate. God's Eternal plan was to have Jesus be our high priest hand those who serve under him on Earth R Us who have been born again into this priesthood. What that means is we are given the responsibility than as Christians who are saved to go forth and do the work of the savior. That work is that of a priest who intercedes for those people who are separated from God. We as Christians are to attempts to close that Gap by letting people know who God is what Jesus Christ has done for our life and walking them towards God the Father and Jesus the son.

A - the application for me is just understand my role here on Earth. I have a Colleen based on my being saved and now Jesus Christ is my Lord. My Lord desires that I serve him here on Earth as his representative and therefore in my daily activities I must keep that perspective in the Forefront then dealing with people when correcting people when loving people.

P- dear heavenly father I asked that you would just help me Lord in this season I'm in to stay focused to stay aligned with you and to fulfill the calling you were calling me to be as a Christian here on Earth as a leader here in the Navy in the shipyard in this town in Bremerton and Lord I would just ask that you would just grant me peace and wisdom to lead your people both those that know you and those that don't. In Jesus Christ name I pray amen.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Worship in heaven

S - Revelations 4

Song -Crystal Lewis

Worship in Heaven

4 Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” 2 And instantly I was in the Spirit, position: relative; vertical-align: top;a] and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it. 3 The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—like jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow. 4 Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven torches with burning flames. This is the sevenfold Spirit position: relative; xof God. 6 In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.

In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back. 7 The first of these living beings was like a lion; the second was like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. 8 Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered all over with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
    the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”

9 Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), 10 the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,

11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God,
    to receive glory and honor and power.
For you created all things,
    and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

O - my only observations here which isn't really insignificant  but it is simple and significant. All of my adult Christian Life I have in seeking for great worship to participate in, and here we have John's revelation of those who are in God's presence in heaven worshipping him. It is not surprising this description is somewhat foreign to us because the truth is we can't imagine with our own mind what it means to be in the presence of God. What we can do is take John's word recognize it is revelation of what is to come for us and sit in all and wonder of our God who sits on his throne in heaven.

A- the application for me is to understand that God is with me today in my heart through his Holy Spirit and I can participate in worship with them here on Earth. That is sufficient for now but there is something more great to come. My soul longs to be a part of this Worship in heaven with all the great Saints and all the heavenly Creatures that bow down before him calling him King of Kings Lord of lords. The best I can hope for here on Earth is that I would experience moments of worship similar to that seen here in Revelations.

P- dear heavenly father thank you for your Revelation this morning through your word and through your spirit I feel uplifted understanding what it must be to Worship in your presence. Lord I pray that you help me to grow in this understanding and knowledge so that I might be filled with the joy that comes from being in your presence here on Earth Lord so that I might step out in faith and strength in who you are in me, so I might serve your purpose here on Earth as it is in heaven. I pray all of this in Jesus Christ name amen.