Monday, June 29, 2009


I attended the Ignite Men's Conference this weekend in Layton and was overjoyed at the outcome of the conference and the level of speakers that were brought to the event. I thought I would share a few tokens that I received while attending.

The most relevant issue that was discussed caught me off guard. I've been on a journey with Jesus for quite some time but have constantly struggled with the act of surrender, giving every portion of my life to the direction of God. The question was asked, "Did you accept Jesus as your Savior AND as the Lord of your life?" There's a huge difference there. You've accepted Jesus and have solidified your eternal life but we don't give the reigns to Jesus and let Him have complete control of our lives. We believe in the miraculous story of Jesus dying for our sins but we don't put our complete faith in His guidance of our lives. I don't believe that we will ever understand true peace and contentment in our live until we do this.

Simply put, untended fires will soon become a pile of ashes. Stay on fire for God and let go of your life. You, my friend, are not in control and when we assume that we are we are putting faith in ourselves and not in God, solidifying a true form of idolatry in ourselves. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord" Jeremiah 17:7. Too often we see God through the lens of our circumstances, putting our circumstances and issues directly in front of our face and responding to God's word by dealing with these issues first. Put God first, in front of your circumstances. See your problems through God's eyes, then, in turn, your problems and circumstances have to go through God first.

What will it take to keep your focus on God? A simple question to ask is...would I rather deal with the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Following Jesus is not always going to be easy, but the pain of discipline leads to a life of rewards. You will reap the benefits.

So what do we do to encourage this life of complete and utter faith in Jesus Christ? Here are a couple ways to continue your life of surrender:

1. Read the word --> We have an owners manual called the BIBLE that will lead you through anything in your life. Dive into it...or cannonball into it, making a huge splash on all of those around you.
2. Pray --> Schedule it in your life and come to the Lord in prayer. Like anything in your life, it's not going to come easy until you make it a habit. Talk to God continually, but also fall to your knees and bow down to the King.
3. Praise & Worship --> Pour yourself out to God. If you're a parent, think of how good it feels when your child comes to you and sits on your lap because they know that you take care of them or when they whisper, "I love you", out of nowhere. The feelings you feel from that do not even compare to what God feels when we praise and worship Him.
4. Community --> Don't go it alone. Community is where we find strength. We are to bare each others burdens. Find friends who are rooted in the Word of God and ask them to ask you the "tough questions".

We CAN do this. We can put Jesus at the center of our lives. Let's not build shrines to appease those around us. Let's not draw closer to ourselves and further from God. Let's surrender our lives, today!

God is saying, "I love you. My plans are good. Stay close to me."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Will You Lay Down Your Life?

I read a very interesting devotional today from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers. I thought I would share it with all today, I'll paraphrase where I can:

Jesus does not ask me to die for Him, but to lay down my life for Him. Peter said to the Lord, "I will lay down my life for Your sake," and he meant it (John 13:37)....Has the Lord ever asked you, "Will you lay down your life for My sake?" (John 13:38). It is much easier to die than to lay down your life day in and day out with the sense of the high calling of God. We are not made for the bright-shining moments of life, but we have to walk in the light of them in our everyday ways...For thirty-three years Jesus laid down His life to do the will of His Father. "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 John 3:16). Yet it is contrary to our human nature to do so.

If I am a friend of Jesus, I must deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him. It is a difficult thing to do, and thank God that it is. Salvation is easy for us, because it cost God so much. But the exhibiting of salvation in my life is difficult. God saves a person, fills him with the Holy Spirit, and then says, in effect, "Now you work it out in your life, and be faithful to Me, even though the nature of everything around you is to cause you to be unfaithful." And Jesus says to us, "...I have called you friends...." Remain faithful to your Friend, and remember that His honor is at stake in your bodily life.

- The Utmost For His Highest ~Oswald Chambers~

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where Did the Dads Go?

I look around this world and am amazed at how many dad's have removed themselves from the structuring and raising of our children these days. Many dads feel that if they provide for their families that that is good enough. Many miss the fact that children need their dads just as much as they need a mother. It saddens me when I see young children whose fathers are more consumed with work, golf, yard work, etc...anything that gets them out of having a relationship with their children. Men...your children are not a burden. They are an image of you and deserve more than a few minutes at bathtime and bedtime. They need molding, shaping, direction and love and they need it constantly. Our society as a whole is diminishing because of this. Step up and be A MAN. A real man sacrifices every avenue of his life so that his family may prosper. That means pushing off the fifth golf outing of this month so that you can take your son to the zoo or so you can play a game with your daughter. That means going to bed early on a Friday night so that you can spend your entire Saturday catching bugs outside or just sitting and talking. Your life will be so full of reward if you take the time to get to know your children and to foster the growth in their lives. Once you have reconnected with your children you can then start applying practical Christian living to their lives. I say that you need to connect with them first because a child's view of you is how they will view God. Take the time because God takes the time for you. Don't miss another day!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Journey Worth Taking

In the simplest words, the journey to find Jesus Christ and grow in our Christian faith is a journey worth taking. If a person can imagine the most beautiful vacation spot that they have ever laid their eyes on and then multiplied that by thousands (millions)...that's what the journey will be like. But one must know that the journey isn't always going to be clear sailing. Remember that we are all still human and carnal in nature. Our dream vacation of the Garden of Eden was ruined long ago when the fall of man happened. Now our world is corrupted by evil in every aspect of our lives. You can't even get out the front door without some form of evil trying to manipulate our ways and our attitudes. But Jesus Christ will fight for us and will battle with us so that we can be drawn closer to Him. That's the journey. The journey to find truth, to find peace, to find love, to find ourselves, and to find Jesus Christ. Patience will be a key ingredient to your journey. The Lord works on all of us in very different ways. Your ways may not be mine and we need to remember this and be cautious in how we react to each others trials, tribulations and triumphs. The journey will have ups and downs, times when we feel the Holy Spirit active in every aspect of our lives and times when we will feel that our soul and our spiritual walk has gone dormant. Persist, my friend, and know that the Lord won't always respond in a moments notice...but He will respond. Finally, on any journey it's much safer to enlist a group of friends to go along than go on the trek alone. Everyone needs support and there's none better than the Christian kind. Find anybody that can support your Christian walk because the enemy will do all that it can to make sure you are isolated and are left to figure everything out on your own...and belive me, your mind will play tricks on you and convince you of things that you don't always agree with.

The journey is worth taking and will lead to an everlasting life. I'm excited for that journey and the challenge that may come with it because Jesus Christ will be with me every step I take.

May the Lord bless you and strengthen you in the journey you are willing to take. May the Lord light your path and protect you and lead you to His throne.