March 4, 2019

I heard someone say yesterday, “Well, at least its not hot because when you are hot there is nothing you can do about it.” As painful as the 20 degree morning was today and how cold it was yesterday in the auditorium (sorry about that) we can be thankful and we all know soon enough we will be complaining about how hot it is. This is why people live in California and Hawaii. Then they have to find lots of other things to complain about besides the weather. Here’s an idea . . . let’s be positive today and thank God for His blessings in our lives instead of looking for something to gripe about. Have a blessed Monday!!

Yesterday we looked at the third language God uses to communicate with us . . . DOORS. Open doors and closed doors and sometimes even the idea of “not yet.” One thing I wanted to remind everyone was that the key to understanding doors is being able to properly discern them. I could say well I received this generous offer to move to Florida so it must be an open door and I need to be obedient and step through it. Maybe. Maybe not. We have to be able to discern God’s leading in those times. The same is true for closed doors. We might sense God leading us to do something but then we look at our bank account and we say well I guess God closed that door when in reality He simply is asking for us to trust Him. Doors can never be seen by themselves. They must be evaluated in light of scripture and they must be viewed through proper discernment. “Discerning His will is about knowing His heart, and that happens only when you get close enough to hear Him whisper.” But too many times we sit back and we are so afraid of going through the wrong door that we never attempt anything great for God. OR, more likely, we are so comfortable that we don’t want to rock the boat or cause any potential discomfort in our lives so we do nothing. We get set in our ways and we get comfortable and we have stopped listening to God’s voice. “Jesus is in the business of opening impossible doors and leading us to impossible places. It's one of the ways He whispers.”

I really like the 5 tests that Mark Batterson gives in his book “Whisper.” I hope you wrote them down. You can always go back and check out the video on Facebook if you missed something (I’m not suggesting that you watch me twice as I’m pretty sure once is enough). I think where we often miss God’s will is when it comes to the Crazy Test. “By definition, a God-sized dream is always beyond our abilities, beyond our logic, and beyond our resources. In other words, we can't do it without God's help. God ideas often seem like crazy ideas.” Some of us are just too logical or too set in our ways. We think if it sounds crazy then we need to run from it. If you read the stories from God’s word you have to admit some of them, ok, maybe even a lot of them, sound pretty crazy. So the next time you hear a crazy idea don’t just dismiss it out of hand. It might be God speaking and He wants to see if you’re listening. In reality what most of us are missing is Faith. “Faith is taking the first step before God reveals the second step.” Are you willing to trust God? That one is tough for me as well. I don’t need to see all the steps but I usually want to see further than God is willing to reveal to me. And just to mention one more test here: the goose-bump test. If doing God’s will and following His dream for your life doesn’t get you excited then either your dream is too small (it’s a you-dream rather than a God-dream) or you are not really hearing His voice speaking into your life. I found it almost funny yesterday when I said “The will of God is not drudgery” and I said “Amen?” and I didn’t hear a single one. Now I will admit a number of things are possible. Maybe everyone was so cold (again, sorry, we are working to make sure that doesn’t happen again) they couldn’t speak or maybe you drifted off (my bad) or maybe you didn’t fully understand the word “drudgery.” But I think for many on a subconscious level we do see church/God/Faith as drudgery. It has become something we have to do rather than get to do. Given a real choice would you be in church or out on the golf course? I had someone recently say that I was making a particular choice because I didn’t have any better options. I wonder how many people come to church because they don’t have better options or in most cases people are NOT coming to church because for them it IS drudgery and so they DO have better options and they exercise them. When you are walking in communion with Him it is anything but drudgery. It should be exciting and . . . AWESOME!!

There is a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment. Please be in prayer for our Music Search Committee and our new Children’s Search Committee. We also have a group I am calling our “Church Council” who are meeting regularly as we seek God’s direction for our church. Your prayers are so important in that whole process!

This Sunday we will have a very Hispanic flavor to our service. It will be in English but our Hispanic worship team will be leading and Pastor Ernesto will be preaching. We will also have special music and a testimony from our brother Nelson. So it is going to be an exciting Sunday. Pastor Ernesto will continue our theme by preaching on Prayer. I will pick back up the next week with our fourth love language from God!!

Last Word: As most of you know we are now up to NINE grandchildren and we love each of them more than we thought possible. On Saturday we had two come over for a visit and it was so great to spend a little time with them even if one of them cried when I looked at her. Ha. I also wanted to say “thank you” to Mackie Lou for her special video she sent me yesterday. I’m not sure I have ever received something more precious and I’ll be happy to show it to any of you who want to go “Awwwwww.” Thanks to her mom, Olivia Katherine, for doing that. It made my day!! Grandkids are pretty great. Am I right? I bet I could get an Amen to that one!!

I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?