Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A thought for the season!

A friend of mine posted this and was moved by it. The truth of the text is so very true and so glad that the same Lord is constant through all things!

Make sure to reach out to someone that may be hurting during this time of the year.

Christ reached out to us...we can reach out to them!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What is my next move?

So many times in our lives we find that it is difficult to determine what the next move is. When we come to a time that we need to make a decision, we sometimes waffle and not know what to do.

Have you ever played chess? The whole purpose of the game is to make sure you loose the least amount of pieces and dominate the game by placing the opponent into checkmate. Sounds easy and yet, it is not so easy.

You and I don’t always know what move the other player in chess is going to make. Possibly they sacrifice a piece in order to setup for a more deliberate and authoritative move. Maybe in their strategy, they don’t take your pawn in order for you to move your bishop to a location that they can take your bishop and place you in check. Then you counter their move with your move to be out of check only to place yourself in checkmate.

What choices you make definitely can have a lasting impact.

Often times, like in the game of chess, we find ourselves at a crossroad and unable to know what our next move should be. We stand, sit or wander looking for the answer for the next move. We may even flip a coin or play rock – paper – scissiors in order to make a move. These two methods may work and one is definitely a fun way to do it, I believe that we need to make our next move with insight and leading from God.

We see in Psalms 119:25-32 that the writer tells us that understanding His teaching is critical. Knowing who God is, is very paramount. To know the truth of Him and His ways is vital to decisions.

We also see that when we get in the way, our deceitful ways can mess things up. When we chose the way of truth, hold on to His ways and teachings, He is faithful to guide us into His way and plan.

We have looked in our first series titled Transition to Transformation(see link below) that God is in the business of changing us and making us who He wants us to be. It is not our doing but our allowing Him to do the work in us. He controls us. He leads and directs us. He will never lead us in the wrong way. His way will not only be right, it will lead to His ultimate glory.

Allowing Him to guide us as we make the next move, will bring glory to Him. It may be difficult for us in the moment or through the process, but, He will always be faithful. He will lead us as we seek Him.

What is your next move? Start by seeking Him. You will find Him.

This link goes to the website where the sermon series I taught at Grace Baptist in St. Helens, Oregon can be heard while serving as Interim Lead Pastor. Transition to Transformation Series

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Gentle Nudge

Following the elders meeting on Tuesday night, I was driving home and began to pray through the prayer list that I keep on my phone. Now, before you think I was looking at my phone, I wasn’t! I have a number of these requests that are on going so recall to memory was what I was using.

As I drove, I asked the Holy Spirit to begin prompting me when I need to be more sensitive and responsive to those around me that I may or may not see. As I drove home I stopped at the McDonalds for a quick meal and ran inside. Usually I would use the drive through but I was nudged internally to go inside.

Once inside, the sitting area was empty and greeted by a member of the staff.

I made my way to the counter and in front of me was a man that had ordered a McChicken and a hot fudge sundae. Hearing the order and watching him dig through all his pockets in his worn out jeans and jacket, I was nudged again to pay for his meal.

I reached forward and gave the cashier the money while he wasn’t looking and mouthed to her to pay for his meal and give him the change. Her response was encouraging as she said, “Kenny, the gentleman behind you has paid for your meal!”

Kenny although standing with a slumped posterior attempted to straighten up and turned with a smile and a tear on his cheek said, “Thank you! I didn’t have enough tonight to by my dinner. My name is Kenny and may God bless you sir!”

Extending his hand to me, we shook hands and then he turned around and told the cashier how blessed he was by my act of kindness.

Now, it was my turn to order and as I placed my order and the cashier thanked me for paying for Kenny’s meal, she said it blessed her heart that someone would do that.

I told her that I was blessed and thankful that I listened to the Holy Spirit when He prompted me.

As they were preparing my dinner I felt another nudge inside.

This time nudged or prompted to buy a gift card for Kenny and bless him with it for another meal or two at a later time.

As I paid for the gift card, the cashier asked me why was I doing this. I explained to her what I was just praying and that I felt that I needed to be more aware of the needs of people around me. This was why I was doing this.

With a huge smile on her face she said that was amazing that God answers prayers that quickly. She then asked if I believed that what God says in the Bible is real. I responded, “It is not only real, it is alive and living! It is His love letter to those that believe in Him and follow Him.”

Shocked by my response she said, “Good for you!”

My heart now is nudged to ask her, Chrissy, if she knew Jesus. Her response was, “No it isn’t really for me but maybe something that I should think about.”

As I took my food and started to leave, I told Chrissy that every time I drive by this McDonald’s I will pray for her. She smiled and said thank you.

In reflecting over this the past few days, I know that the Holy Spirit does nudge us to respond as He is prompting and that we need to respond according to His nudges and direction.

Would you join me in asking the Holy Spirit to nudge and prompt us as He sees and knows best? Would you also be willing to respond to Him when He nudges and prompts you?

Doing this, will change us, our circumstances and outlook when we follow Jesus!   

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Realizing it has been a while since I posted on our blog I had a cute little meme to share that fits well with our ministry direction. Ministry to the the military and coffee! A great combination!!

We are so excited about the way that the Lord is opening the doors for us to return to setup an international church! We now have the organization that will sponsor us for our Visa and is providing additional members to our pray and pay teams! God is so good!

Keep praying and we will keep you updated as to His plans.

Shack and Julie