ENCOURAGEMENT

3-29-21

Original FULL Serenity Prayer

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.        

3-29-21

STATEMENT OF FAITH

Daniel 3:17-18

Schadrach – Meschach – Abednego  Kind of Faith!  

 

17“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

 

My Personal Statement of Faith:

 

God, I Believe You CAN.

I Believe You WILL.

Even If You Don’t, I Still Believe,

Because

My Faith is Not in ME. 

My Faith is Not in FAITH itself.

My Faith isn’t even in MY DESIRED OUTCOME.

MY FAITH IS IN THE LOVING FAITHFULNESS OF

GOD’S TRUTH AND HIS PURPOSES. 

3-29-21

NAMES OF GOD

 

EL, ELOAH:  God "Mighty, Strong, Prominent" (Genesis 7:1; Isaiah 9:6) – etymologically, El appears to mean “Power,” as in “I have the power to harm you” (Genesis 31:29). El is associated with other qualities, such as integrity (Numbers 23:19), jealousy (Deuteronomy 5:9), and compassion

(Nehemiah 9:31), but the root idea of might remains.

ELOHIM:  God “Creator, Mighty and Strong” (Genesis 17:7; Jeremiah 31:33) – the plural form of Eloah, which accommodates the doctrine of the Trinity. From the Bible’s first sentence, the superlative nature of God’s power is evident as God (Elohim) speaks the world into existence (Genesis 1:1).

EL SHADDAI:  “God Almighty,” “The Mighty One of Jacob” (Genesis 49:24; Psalm 132:2,5) – speaks to God’s ultimate power over all.

ADONAI:  “Lord” (Genesis 15:2; Judges 6:15) – used in place of YHWH, which was thought by the Jews to be too sacred to be uttered by sinful men. In the Old Testament, YHWH is more often used in God’s dealings with His people, while Adonai is used more when He deals with the Gentiles.

YHWH / YAHWEH / JEHOVAH:   “LORD” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Daniel 9:14) – strictly speaking, the only proper name for God. Translated in English Bibles “LORD” (all capitals) to distinguish it from Adonai, “Lord.” The revelation of the name is first given to Moses “I Am who I Am(Exodus 3:14). This name specifies an immediacy, a presence. Yahweh is present, accessible, near to those who call on Him for deliverance (Psalm 107:13), forgiveness (Psalm 25:11) and guidance (Psalm 31:3).

YAHWEH-JIREH: "The Lord Will Provide" (Genesis 22:14) – the name memorialized by Abraham when God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

 YAHWEH-RAPHA: "The Lord Who Heals" (Exodus 15:26) – “I am Jehovah who heals you” both in body and soul. In body, by preserving from and curing diseases, and in soul, by pardoning iniquities.

YAHWEH-NISSI:    "The Lord Our Banner" (Exodus 17:15), where banner is understood to be a rallying place. This name commemorates the desert victory over the Amalekites in Exodus 17.

YAHWEH-M'KADDESH:    "The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy" (Leviticus 20:8; Ezekiel 37:28) God makes it clear that He alone, not the law, can cleanse His people and make them holy.

YAHWEH-SHALOM:   "The Lord Our Peace" (Judges 6:24) – the name given by Gideon to the altar he built after the Angel of the Lord assured him he would not die as he thought he would after seeing Him.

YAHWEH-ELOHIM:    "LORD God"    (Genesis 2:4; Psalm 59:5) – a combination of God’s unique name YHWH and the generic “Lord,” signifying that He is the Lord of Lords.

  YAHWEH-TSIDKENU:  "The Lord Our Righteousness”  (Jeremiah 33:16) – As with YHWH-M’Kaddesh, it is God alone who provides righteousness to man, ultimately in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ,

   who became sin for us “that we might become the Righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

YAHWEH-ROHI:   "The Lord Our Shepherd"  (Psalm 23:1) – After David pondered his relationship as a shepherd to his sheep, he realized that was exactly the relationship God had with him, and so he declares, Yahweh-Rohi is my Shepherd. I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).

YAHWEH-SHAMMAH:  "The Lord Is There”  (Ezekiel 48:35) – the name ascribed to Jerusalem and the Temple there, indicating that the once-departed glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 8—11) had returned

(Ezekiel 44:1-4).

YAHWEH-SABAOTH:   "The Lord of Hosts"  (Isaiah 1:24; Psalm 46:7) – Hosts means “hordes,” both of angels and of men. He is Lord of the host of heaven and of the inhabitants of the earth, of Jews and Gentiles, of rich and poor, master and slave. The name is expressive of the majesty, power, and authority of God and shows that He is able to accomplish what He determines to do.

 EL ELYON: “Most High" (Deuteronomy 26:19) – derived from the Hebrew root for “go up” or “ascend,” so the implication is of that which is the very highest. El Elyon denotes exaltation and speaks of absolute right to lordship.

EL ROI: "God of Seeing" (Genesis 16:13) – the name ascribed to God by Hagar, alone and desperate in the wilderness after being driven out by Sarah (Genesis 16:1-14). When Hagar met the Angel of the Lord, she realized she had seen God Himself in a theophany. She also realized that El Roi saw her in her distress and testified that He is a God who lives and sees all.

EL-OLAM:   "Everlasting God"   (Psalm 90:1-3) – God’s nature is without beginning or end, free from all constraints of time, and He contains within Himself the very cause of time itself. “From everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

EL-GIBHOR:        “Mighty God”     (Isaiah 9:6) – the name describing the Messiah, Christ Jesus,   in this prophetic portion of Isaiah. As a powerful and mighty warrior, the Messiah, the Mighty God, will accomplish the destruction of God’s enemies and rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15).


Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/names-of-God.html#ixzz3GyJZ8MRL

12-25-20

HE CAME & HE'S COMING AGAIN!

Revelation 21:5-7 

“BEHOLD, I AM MAKING ALL THINGS NEW.” 

AND HE SAID TO ME, “IT IS DONE.  I AM THE ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END. 

I WILL GIVE TO THE ONE WHO THIRSTS FROM THE SPRING OF THE WATER OF LIFE WITHOUT COST. 

HE WHO OVERCOMES SHALL INHERIT THESE THINGS,

AND I WILL BE HIS GOD AND HE WILL BE MY SON.”

2-26-21

4 WORDS IN 1 SECOND CHANGED MY PRAYER LIFE!

I was standing behind the starting line at the NHRA National Drag Race in Baytown, TX, covered from head to toe with dots of rubber from the tires of multiple burnouts.  The deafening sound of two Top Fuel Dragsters was ringing in my ears; each revving their 10,000 horsepower engines to the max, each team member’s heart pounding in anticipation of the best run of their lives, two drivers just itching to release their brake and go full throttle for 3+ seconds of adrenaline rush at 300+ mph down a 1,000 foot track…and I heard God whisper…

“I LIKE RACING, TOO!”

 

As only God can do, those four words unleashed a mountain load of awareness of His LOVE in so many ways:

  • He’s here

  • He’s aware of what’s going on

  • He cares more than I do (and that’s a lot!)

  • He loves being a part of what we do

  • He’s with us and loves us whether we succeed or not

  • He’s the One who created the “creativity” in the mind of the engineers who know how to get the most out of those monster engines

  • He desires we keep looking up and acknowledging Him

  • He desires our TRUST IN HIM

  • – BECAUSE HE LOVES US!

 

One of Larry’s and my many jobs as race Chaplains for over 20 years was and is to pray for many people and many things.  Safety is way up there on the priority list and we take it seriously.  You see, the more you know about racing, the more you realize what CAN happen.  I know my way to too many hospitals across the country to deny that statement.  That moment behind the starting line, I was doing my job; fervently praying for this and that when in the midst of all the noise, I heard Him whisper, “I LIKE RACING, TOO.”

 

The results of that “whisper” are too many to unfold, but one thing for sure, it changed the way I prayed at the starting line from then on.   Previous to that  “Ah-Ha!” moment, I went to God in prayer, dropping a mile long list of what I wanted Him to do for the safety of each pass down the track.   It was exhausting!  I can only imagine how exhausting it was for God to watch as I unloaded my “well-intentioned prayer list” on Him!  He knew it was going to wear me out if He didn’t get my attention…and am I ever glad He did!

From that moment on, my prayers at the starting line became more like this, “Thank You Lord!  You’re here!  You’re aware!  And You care!  Thank You for keeping these drivers safe, in Jesus’ Holy name.” 

 

I thank God for bringing back the memory of that “Ah-ha!” moment.  We all need it now, more than ever as we navigate through the exhausting “Pandemic Journey” with all its chaos and noisy distractions.  We (and I’m pointing at me) need to remember:

  • He’s still here 

  • He’s very aware of what sin has brought us to

  • He still cares

  • His LOVE PLAN has never changed.

 

God's desire is Relationship, not Religion:  TO TRUST HIM and BELIEVE IN THE SON – JESUS CHRIST who laid down His life that we might have life in Him and with Him forever.  This “forever” thing not only includes our purpose on this earth, but goes beyond this tired, worn out earth to the heavenlies.  Even “if” and even “when” things don’t go the way we hoped here on earth, our only PEACE is in trusting in the PRINCE OF PEACE.  In Him and Him alone is HOPE beyond what we see with our eyes right here and right now.

 

Just as in racing, the Church (with a capital “C”- all believers in Christ) is a TEAM.  Each member has unique gifts.  When those “gifts” are submitted and used together as the Crew Chief says, GREAT THINGS HAPPEN! 

 

Every race team knows there will be a lot of testing and a lot of tuning.  Many times the team will “feel like” their work is in vain, BUT all it takes is that one pass – that one career best – that one win – and they press on, working harder, sacrificing comfort to work together for their common goal; to be in the WINNER’S CIRCLE at the end of the race!   I love watching the crazy excitement of the winning team jumping up and down, shouting for joy when they see that win-light come on at the end of the track!  It’s the best chaos the world of racing knows and we love being a part of it!

 

There is a WINNER’S CIRCLE at the end of our race for those who believe, for those who persevere in Jesus’ name.

We were meant to work together as TEAM CHRIST; to encourage one another even more as the days grow more difficult to discern truth from empty noise and distractions.  One day THE win-light will appear in the sky, a TRUMPET WILL BLAST and THE THRILL OF VICTORY will be greater than any our human minds can conceive!

 

4 WORDS whispered from God’s heart to mine in 1 second, in the midst of noise and chaos of racing changed the way I pray.      Today I purpose to:

  • THANK HIM for who HE is

  • THANK HIM for what HE’s done

  • THANK HIM for what HE’s doing that we can’t see with our earthly eyes, and

  • THANK HIM for what HE has prepared for us who believe.

 

HE is coming back!   Jesus is Christ – Messiah – the Perfect Lamb of God who took my sin and gave me eternal life with Him is coming back!

“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel has said, ‘In repentance and rest you shall be saved.  In quietness and trust is your strength.’”     -  Isaiah 30:15

 

EVEN WHEN I STUMBLE, HIS ARM IS NOT TOO SHORT TO PICK ME UP AND SET MY FEET ON SOLID ROCK.

 

“…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.  So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him…”     

Deuteronomy 30:19-20

 

ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM THE WORD:

 

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)  “That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

 

Colossians 3:23-24  (NASB) “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”   

 

Galatians 6:10 (NASB)  “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

 

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB)  “Therefore, encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you are doing.”

 

1 Samuel 30:6-8 (summarized)  “…David encouraged himself in the Lord his God…and David inquired of the Lord what he should do.”

 

Ephesians 4:29  (NASB)  “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

 

Philippians 4:8 (NASB) “Finally, brethren, whatever is true – honorable – right – pure – lovely – of good repute – of excellence – worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things."

 

Revelation 2:11b (NASB)  “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” [the fires of hell]

 

Revelation 12:11 (NIV)  “And they triumphed over him [Satan – the accuser] because of the blood of the Lamb [Jesus] and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

 

Revelation 22:17 (NASB) “And the Spirit and the bride [of Christ] say, ‘Come.’  And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”