A Repainted Faith

Chaising God

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Reaching Up, Reaching Out, Reaching In

Reaching up is synonymous with “knowing”, this means knowing God and seeking after him first and foremost as stated in Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

That means if we seek God first and foremost above all things everything else will fall into its place. The Bible gives us a concrete example of what happens when we “Reach Up” and seek to know God in 2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
This is a promise that God is making to those who seek Him, He is saying “Expect Things to Happen!” How does this fit into everything we do? The answer is simple; in everything we do we should first humble ourselves and seek the creator of the universe and not just for the blessings but to bless Him and then “all these things will be given to you as well.” This Idea naturally leads itself into Reaching In.

Reaching In is something very few people really like to do. The reason is because it involves their” junk”! It involves taking a good long look. It is taking an inventory so to speak, of the things that they have stuffed away and locked up in their hearts. The reason that people have such issue with Reaching In is because it is painful. Do you remember growing up as a child? Those times you had those pains in your arms and legs. They call them “growing pains” and out of that you became an adolescent, a teen and eventually and adult. In growing you are also becoming something, so Reaching In is all about growing and becoming who God has created you to be. Scripture states in Genesis 1:27 that God created man in his own image. You are mirror designed to reflect the very image of the creator of the universe.
Have you ever seen a dirty mirror? You can’t see much reflected back from it can you? Reaching In is about allowing God to search the most secretive rooms of our heart and saying “God clean the mirror” so I can reflect your glory and become the person you created me to be. Once you Reach In, you can Reach Out to others.

Reaching Out is a result of Reaching Up and Reaching In. Reaching Out is about the harvest. The harvest is a lost and dying world as a result of sin. Jesus said “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Matthew 9:37 The natural progression of Reaching up – Reaching In – is Reaching out to others so that they may know the same love that is evident in our lives. It is finally summed up in a simple command given by Jesus to the disciples. “Go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” And that is exactly what we are commanded to do “Make disciples!”

Monday, October 23, 2006

Psalm 51:17

a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.

I have been thinking a lot about this scripture lately. Our music pastor took the choir on a retreat and this was the theme of the retreat. What got me thinking about this was a question that arose from with in me. "do I have a broken heart before God?" or am I lifting myself up?
We Had our first service at a new facility last sunday and there was a lot of tension in the air, everybody running around to make sure things were working and going correctly, but in the midst of it all something stood out to me. Our Children's service was going on and our drama team was ministering and most of the 67 kids that were there were kind of sitting there watching politely but one little girl wasn't.
This little girl was standing up with both eyes shut tight and with one hand lifted up. She was praising God with all her heart and soul. She was Oblivious to what was taking place around her and who was around her. At that moment the above scripture jumped into my heart. This little girl is 6 years old and she gets it.

my prayer today is this
"I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." Luke 10:21
thank you Jesus for making things clear to me.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Isaiah 43:19

19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

1 Samuel 3:11

11The LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, (A)I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Be still and know.

The noise is deafening

I cannot hear

Things around me are happening

Whom Should I fear?

Your voice is absent from this place

But still I continue

I seek your face

Oh God, dear God your lamb is thirsty

But this loud place is very dry

I seek your presence in the darkness

As tears roll from my eyes

I will push through

I will break through the turmoil and the noise

I will press on, I’ll seek your face

I need to hear your voice.

Then comes silence, the noise has stopped

You spirit rushes in

My heart is ablaze

My speech is stopped

My prayer has become your praise

You say to me Be still, and be never afraid

You say again Be still, for I am God of this day

Again you say be still and know the price that I’ve paid

Be still, be still my thirsty lamb

Be still, be still and know

Be still, and know that I am God.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

we had our churches first anual Kids Fest this past Friday and it was awesome. God is really at work in our children we had 5 Kids accept Jesus into thier heart. This was the message that was Given.

He’s After Your Heart Kids Fest 2006


So has everyone had a good time so far? I’m Glad; lets thank all the parents and volunteers that made this possible and especially Mrs. Sharon for letting us have kids fest at quite possibly the most fun place on earth. What to talk about. What to talk about. When I was preparing for tonight I was wandering what did God want me to say. I knew we were going to have some boys and girls here that had never heard about Jesus before and much less the Bible, and I thought what am I going to say? I was being real quite and I heard my heart beating. Now have you ever been so quite at night you can hear your own heat beat? that’s what my answer was. It was the beating of a heart. I thought God what are you saying to me? And in my spirit he said this is my heart and it beats for them. So let’s talk a little bit about what that means.

Your heart
Now we all have felt our own heart beat right? I mean our heart is in our chest just beating away. You can feel it if you put your hand over your chest like this. And if it didn’t do that thing it does it would be a bad thing for us. Now have you ever been in an exciting situation. Like riding a ride at Six Flags or American Adventures or just jumping here at jumping party. Your heart beats crazy fast right? But it feels great and that’s why we keep jumping and why we want to ride the rides again. So our hearts beat fast because we like doing that stuff. Now what about your spiritual heart? Yes I said spiritual heart; we have one of those to. Have you ever felt it beat? You can really feel it when you are praying and getting close to God. So we have two hearts: 1. A heart that beats in your chest and 2. A spiritual heart we can’t see but we can feel. Now what about Gods heart? What about the heart of Jesus?

The heart of God
Jesus has a heart. He had a heart that beat in his chest just like you and me. And I am certain that if Jesus rode on a rollercoaster and was able to jump here at jumping party his heart would just race in his chest just like ours does. Now Jesus has a spiritual heart too. Do you ever think that he felt his spiritual heart beat? I think so. The bible says so. The bible talks about Jesus praying intently on a lot of occasions. What would it be like to have the heart of Jesus, just for one day even? Think about that. Put your hand on your chest again and lets be quite one more time. What if the heart you felt beating was that of Gods. And what if when our spiritual heart beat it was beating for God? Would we act different? I am quite certain that we would.
The beating of our hearts and His . . .
What makes Gods heart flutter? Because we know what makes ours flutter. Its things like jumping and seeing our friends and for some of you it’s seeing a Spiderman or batman movie. But what makes Gods heart go (thump, thump, thump)? Do you know what it is? God’s heart beats for you. Not just because he is happy to see you or you told him a good story but, because he loves you. He loves you more than the whole sky and all that is in it. Have you ever been outside at night and looked up and tried to count the stars? We can never quite count them all can we? I mean there are so many stars and God created every single one. All of them are different and shine bright for him but he loves them the same. Is anyone’s heart beating a little bit quicker now, I know mine is. Wow God loves us more than the stars. More than the moon, more than the clouds and more than the sun. His heart beats for us.

Lets all stand. Everybody put your hand over your heart and let’s close our eyes. Let’s be really quite now. God speaks to us when were quiet. If you feel Gods love right now I want you to whisper his name to him. Just say Jesus. Just keep whispering it to him quietly. If you are here tonight and maybe you don’t know Jesus. It’s ok because he has known you for a long time. If you are one of those people I just talked to and you feel him tugging on your heart, just whisper his name Jesus, and say here I am. Heads bowed and eyes closed If you want to give your heart to Jesus tonight I want you to raise your hand and some of the volunteer staff will come and pray with you

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I have been thinking alot about Truth lately. And let me prefece this by the original audience for this message are children, so while reading this it may seem a little simple for all my friendly nieghborhood Theologians out there. I also want to say that I HaVe Terrible SpeLlinG so I pre Apologize.

At what cost are we willing to take to tell the truth? And further how can God in the person of Jesus be truth? These are questions that floated around in my head this past week as I was Preparing a message for the childrens church at my church. To answer these questions I started with why do we lie? And I couldn't really come up with a good excuse. (and I stress the word excuse) We lie about a whole number of things be they important and unimportant. From a reason for not wanting to hang out with someone to things such as where we were last night. And none of it really makes sense or jives shall I say. What does a lie do for us? It covers up something that we are shameful of. And might I say we are mostly ok with a lie as long as we are not caught, because the minute we are caught we tell another. WHATS WRONG WITH THE TRUTH?
The answer is nothing, but it does cost us something. ( we will come back to that thought) So truth, what is it? Truth is just "what Happened". It's telling what happened. It just is. Those three statements set off a whirlwind in my head. In John 14:1-6 Jesus tells Thomas " I am the way the truth and the life" now that statement is so loaded that we could stay there all day, but the Truth thing jumped at me. Now in context Jesus was telling Thomas that he was the way to the father, but the Truth statment speaks much more. He says "I am" which is a form of to be, which describes God ...... the TRUTH........ here we have the living embodiment of Truth. The Statement I made earlier "Truth just is" holds here. Another scripture that jumped at me was


14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[d] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

So God who "just is" spoke and we have Truth, in full form walking on this earth, ministering to people and sacrificing himself to show the way out of the lie. Now for a brief moment I would like to revist the subject of the "lie".

A lie is something that is fabricated and the dictionary definition is "a statement that deviates from or perverts the truth". I think it is a safe statement to make that lies hurt people. "during Kids Church I used two swords to llustrate this." (one sword was black and grey and had a snake theme going on, while the other was gold and White.) The sword looks scary and sharp but is just really a cheesey perversion of the real sword(gold and white). The sword of deception is a sword that we give all the power to, while the sword of truth stands on its own. The funny thing about the sword of deception is that in the presence of truth it cannot stand, and the same holds for us if we lie. In III John 4 it says " I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth" and even though John is the speaker and is talking to someone else I believe this virtue to be true of God. Earlier I said the truth does cost us something. The truth costs us ourselves. With that said , I strongly believe that this generation has been sold a bill of goods that is a Perversion of the truth. We look for truth in things that are meerly smoke and mirrors when it comes to the real truth. When we obtain what it is that we think is the truth we find we are still lacking and that the lie does not stand. "truth" be told we are all searching for truth and we can find that truth in the person of Jesus. The question is will you tell the truth to others once you have found it?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The un-lovely.

The story of God is filled with unlovely people and God is big on loving the unlovely. My favorite story of an unlovely person is the story of Paul. Now Paul didn’t start off as “Paul, the great man of God” no Paul started out as Saul. Saul was the one of the unloveliest people around in the early days of the church. The story starts with Stephen. In Acts 7 Stephen is giving a defense to a group of people that “where unable to cope with the wisdom and the spirit with which he was speaking”.1 Question after question Stephen answered with even more grace and more control. I can imagine these moments full of tension and expectancy and in the back of the room was a young man named Saul. Now Saul was probably a handsome man, a young man up on the rise in the community. I know none of this describes a person that we would consider to be unlovable, but what we see as lovable isn’t always lovely. So Stephen is at this point preaching to his persecutors and with every word that comes from his mouth their anger grows until the point were they were “gnashing” their teeth. Now gnashing teeth is like grinding your teeth but to an extreme. Stephen remained calm and full of the spirit. Now it gets so intense that Stephen is driven out of town and they began to stone Him. All this time Saul followed, As Stephen was being Stoned Saul was holding the robes of the stoners. I can imagine Saul’s grimace at Stephen as he passionately cried out to God, but what thoughts must have coursed through his mind as Stephen said “Lord, Jesus receive my spirit”2. I think it was something like a mixture of satisfaction in Stephens’s death and fear and confusion that this man was willing to die for what he believed. As Stephen Lie lifeless on the ground I think that Saul stood there and questioned himself a little.
I was talking to Collin the other day while we were running at the park and I said, “Do you know why people give up on exercise so quickly, because the results are not immediate.” The results aren’t immediately visible but there are results. When people exercise most of us want to lose that little bit of weight we think we have, that little bit of fat that seems to always be there. We all give up pretty quickly, but do you know where the change takes place first? The change takes place first around the heart. The heart has a layer of fat around it to cushion it from damage. So when we start exercising we loose dangerous fat around our heart before we loose weight anywhere else. The change is an internal job before the external gets involved.
So here is Saul sometime later is on the road to Damascus. Saul by this time had become one of the leaders in the persecution movement of the early church. He was on the move after the disciples with every thing he had. Pretty unlovely at this point wouldn’t you say. Then the most amazing thing happens the unlovely becomes lovely. Saul underwent a change on the road to Damascus. He encountered the one, which he sought to persecute.

Acts 9 (New International Version)

Saul's Conversion
1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
5"Who are you, Lord?" Saul asked.
"I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting," he replied. 6"Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do."
7The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.
10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, "Ananias!" "Yes, Lord," he answered.
11The Lord told him, "Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight."
13"Lord," Ananias answered, "I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name."
15But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name."
17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

So Saul had an interaction that changed him. He went from Saul the persecutor to Paul the servant in a matter of moments. For most of us the conversion isn’t so drastic it’s more of a process. Paul was an amazing character. He wrote the vast majority of the New Testament and endured so many hardships due to his beliefs that if most of us were in his shoes we would have probably bailed. The point to this is that God took the unloveliest and made him lovely.
I can remember (looking back) before I became a true Christian that I was pretty rough around the edges and I can remember sitting in church Sunday to Sunday and seeing people walk in that looked like they had been out in the woods for weeks. They smelled bad and I didn’t want anything to do with them. I thought I was Lovely and had it all together. But I remember the day that I gave in to the feeling in my heart and the sudden realization that followed of how just un-lovely I truly was. The point I am getting at here is that God can make the most wretched thing into the most beautiful thing. He did it with Paul. He used Paul to speak the good news to the gentiles. (Gentiles being you and I) Just imagine what he can do with us. There is a trap we can fall into when God starts using us to accomplish his will.
The trap that so many of us fall into is the “me trap”. The “me trap” occurs when we start to think and act like it is all about us. Lets talk about the loveliest people that God ever made, Adam and Eve. They were the first man and woman created, and what were they created for? They were created to reflect Gods glorious image. So you can image that they were pretty darn near perfect, lovely in every way. They had it made; they got to be with God on a physical basis, they were the first to see all of his creation. They were caretakers of his splendid creation, and were like know other creation around; they were made in the image of the creator. Adam and Eve reflected Gods image. Can you imagine, all is going well one day until eve falls into the “me trap”

Genesis 3:1-6 (New International Version)

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

The thing that always troubled me was that Adam and Eve took the fruit. Why? I use to think to myself while my Sunday school teacher told the story. You guys had it made and blew it for the rest of us. It wasn’t till recently that it clicked. The “me trap”. If you will notice Adam and Eve didn’t just suddenly stop believing in God, they just basically said, “wow you are awesome, but I think I am too”. Here you have Gods prize creation that was designed to reflect the light of his glory, trying to be there own source of glory. The creation wanted to be like the creator. A reflecting surface can’t do anything unless the light is already present. The mirror was trying to be the light, but the only thing a mirror can reflect without external light is darkness…
Two of the world’s first people, the loveliest creation around suddenly became the unlovely people around. So what does God do about this? He doesn’t write them off like so many of us would, were we in his position. He loves them and says I will use these now unlovely creations to proclaim my glory. I will use what the serpent intended for evil for good, because I alone AM.