I would like to share some of my best council with you.
- Read the whole Bible again, cover to cover.
- I have been doing this for many years, and look forward to reading it again.
- Get an alarm clock and a coffee pot. You have to leave for work at 5:00 a.m.? No problem. Put God and His word first, and you will see good changes in your life.
- Get a new Bible translated in a style you can understand. This is an investment where you will spend many hours in this coming year. I read the New Living Translation (NLT) in 2010 and plan to read it again. If you get a study Bible it will take more time to read but you get the advantage of having a mentor walk with you.
- I have a plan that includes the Old Testament, the New Testament and a portion of Psalms and Proverbs each day. I like the variety of texts each morning.
- Learn to be grateful.
- I bought a journal that had five lines per day. Each day I had to write down five things I was grateful for. I did this as a discipline for one year. Now I do it as a lifestyle.
- God despises excessive grumbling, complaining and murmuring. It gets on His nerves. Always having insight into what is wrong is not God’s gift to you.
- Honest, overflowing, spoken and written gratefulness helps God want to do even more with you and through you.
- Keep a journal with your Bible. Write in it every day.
- Purchase an expensive journal. Get a pen that is a real treat to use. It might cost a few dollars more that you would usually pay but this is another important investment.
- Here are some suggestions to write on one page or less per day.
- What Happened – WH? – a few highlights of the previous day.
- Gave / Took – Two lines. What gave you life? What drained you of life?
- Thankfulness – 3 or 5 bullet points per day.
- Me to God – M2G – What are your prayer requests? Make them known to God.
- God to Me – G2M – I usually try to end my devotional time with 5 minutes of quiet listening. Who likes one-way conversations? Not God. What is He showing you through the Bible reading? Any dreams or visions? Any unusual thoughts or friends keep coming to mind? Do you hear God encouraging you? If you listen you will hear this more here than anywhere else in your day. Write it down.
- Find a mentor.
- Think about a godly person you respect.
- Ask them if they will meet with you once a week, or once a month.
- At these meetings ask them about how they would handle the various situations that you find yourself in.
These disciplines change my life.
I look forward to every new morning.
This is my prayer and hope for you.
Do you think the author started out having a good day or a bad day when he wrote Psalm 148?
On a good day I might try to think about God in this way. It feels like our language is incapable of really saying how great God is.
On a glum day, I might remind myself of God’s greatness in this way. It could just turn a bad day into a good day.
Many times, (but not always), we let our feelings lead us when we should be submitting them to God in order to let Him lead us. He has promised to trade us beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning. Our choice. A Father who offers trades like this loves His children.
Psalm 148 New Living Translation
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens!
Praise him from the skies!
2 Praise him, all his angels!
Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
3 Praise him, sun and moon!
Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
4 Praise him, skies above!
Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
5 Let every created thing give praise to the Lord,
for he issued his command, and they came into being.
6 He set them in place forever and ever.
His decree will never be revoked.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you creatures of the ocean depths,
8 fire and hail, snow and clouds,
wind and weather that obey him,
9 mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars,
10 wild animals and all livestock,
small scurrying animals and birds,
11 kings of the earth and all people,
rulers and judges of the earth,
12 young men and young women,
old men and children.
13 Let them all praise the name of the Lord.
For his name is very great;
his glory towers over the earth and heaven!
14 He has made his people strong,
honoring his faithful ones—
the people of Israel who are close to him.
Praise the Lord!
Have you planned a birthday celebration, but almost no one showed up?
1. We live in a culture that celebrates birthdays.
2. Christmas is God’s birthday.
3. God loves celebrations.
Show up. Celebrate.
We are so grateful to God. What a great life he is giving us.
I am so grateful for His presents. And I am so grateful for His presence.
“The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of man. Rather, the Lord’s delight is in those who honor him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.”
Ivanildo organized a Father / Son soccer game for Christmas day in the afternoon.
Well over 100 people showed up, including many dads who do not come to church.
The score at the end of the game was 3 – 3.
We have a new deadline. New Years Eve we hope to hold our first service in our new building.
Here is a photo of one of the welders the guys use. You can see their protective sandals. We have been blessed with no accidents, although one kid fell out of the goiaba tree right beside the project and broke his arm on Thursday. The contractor took him to the hospital. The doctors are all on holidays until next week so the kid got a sling and a temporary fix until then.
All the tiles are pulled up to the roof by hand. This is a 7 meter to 10 meter pull for each one. (We have a 23 feet to 33 feet high roof.
Deanna bought most of the groceries. Ivanildo and his crew barbequed the meat. Monica and the girls cooked the rice. The church people brought what they could.
I would love to hear what God is telling you about the following video clip.
How do these trends affect world missions?
Here are a few of my first thoughts:
1. God wants to prosper people.
2. Poverty is often a result of this broken world, or a corrective measure from God.
3. There is more wealth than ever in the world.
4. World Missions is a more expensive and more accessible project than ever before.
5. The gospel flows the easiest among the poor.
6. Wealth often chokes out the gospel.
7. God is in control of world events.
As you watch this “big picture” video ask God, “What part do I play in all this?” We get this big picture because all the people who play their part. In Revelation 13:8 we are reminded that Jesus was slain before the foundation of this world. He had a part to play. So do I. So do you. A fatalistic approach to life says, “God will do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, so I do not need to do anything. I will just wait it out, see what happens and pray that my needs will be met.” The Bible teaches us that God puts tremendous weight on human choice, and on human obedience. He wants friendship with us. He wants to work with us. He wants to work in this world through us.
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8 NKJV