"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands." - Psalm 143:5

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

One of Daddy's Girls

 

sarahhorse

I was going to post something very wise and insightful...but I think I let my oldest daughter Sarah do that for me today. Her post will speak to you I guarantee it...I know it did to me. It's called "God Says So" and it's found here.

I was also hoping that not only would my post be wise and insightful (Sarah has that covered now) that it would be humorous as well. So I thought I let the Bad Boys of Wool handled that one today. Maybe some of you don't know that Bad Sheep has a new home and their latest strip, "Pastoral Care" is found here.

So go enjoy both and leave lots of comment please...bless you all!

 

del.icio.us Tags: ,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What I Like About You

 

klingonme copy

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

Had a walk and talk with God today, ever do that? Anyways, here's a small snippet of the conversation.

God: "Know what I like about you?"

Me: "Ummm, no...what?

God: "I like the way you think."

Me: "Really? Even when I'm thinking about Klingons? (because I was, maybe I'll explain later)

God: "Yes, even when you're thinking about Klingons."

What does that small sampling say about my relationship with Father God?

It says...we're close. He knows how to get to my heart and encourage me, even through crazy thoughts about the Klingon Empire. You know what? I like how He thinks and how His thoughts show up in my life.

The other night I talked to one of God's heroes, a tired father of three (all adopted) young children. He's working hard, fighting the good fight and was wondering if he's doing enough...wondering if he has what it takes.

Ever been there? I know I have, so I shared a God thought with him.

Everything you need to be the dad these kids need, is in you...God the Father put it there. Before the universe was created, before the world began, God knew you would be the father of these children. He planned it...it was no accident, Also think about this...God loves them more than you...He wants the best for them right?

He answered yes.

Then look at who He chose to be their dad! He picked you to love these kids...you are a chosen man...and very much loved!

It was a great moment for him...it was a "Know what I like about you?" one.

So, when God puts you on top of his leader board and asks...Know what I like about you?

What do you hear?

del.icio.us Tags: ,,,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Landscape

 

 

landscape-photo2 copy

I believe that a man’s landscape is the sum of the many tracts of land that intersect his life. The social, emotional and physical features of our territory are deep and varied. Parts of our terrain may have scars cause by many years of drought and neglect. Perhaps, failure to plant and cultivate wisely has left our soil fallow and dry. It is a hard place to see ourselves correctly.

A landscape by definition is an expanse of scenery that can be seen in a single view. However, a single view is incomplete and inadequate when it comes to a man’s landscape, that’s why we need the Father’s view. Seeing our landscape like the Father empowers and recalibrates our surveying skills. The horizon, once lost in the haze of pain and loss, is brought to focus and we see who we really are. We are valuable real estate, bought at a great price. This is the way the Father views the landscape of our lives.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us (even when we were dead in sins) has made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved)” Ephesians 2:4-5

He makes us alive! Think about that for a moment. Maybe this Father focus moment is about discovering for the first time, just how much He loves you. He wants you alive so that your life makes a difference is this world. Father God wants to rock your world with the fact that you matter to Him! Not only that, you matter to the world, your life is a powerful statement of who God is. As God restores the human heart we can move in our world as He desires. Our works, the way we live help bring the change and bring glory to the Father

When every part of your life is soaked with that knowledge, you cannot stay the same. I know the power of this love transfusion; it changed my orphan status forever. My passion for loving my wife, for fathering, and all that I am, is powered by the fact that I am God’s son. That zeal is also fuel by personal experience and the memories of an abusive father, I know the pain of being abandoned by my father, even though he was still at home. That abuse should have left me scarred and stunted and my landscape barren. Except for this truth I discovered years ago…I really wasn’t abandoned.

“For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me up.” Psalm 27:10

“You have seen it; for You behold mischief and vexation, to repay it with Your hand. The poor commits himself to You; You are the Helper of the fatherless.” Psalm 10:14

“In His holy dwelling God is the father of the fatherless, and the judge of the widows.” Psalm 68:5

When God becomes your Father, it changes everything. It changes your “upbringing”; your landscape! I can give testimony to that fact. I have a wonderful marriage and seven terrific kids, my life is blessed. There was pain and hardship but God was with me through it all. What the enemy meant for evil, God worked it out for good.

How’s your “landscape” today? How can I pray for you?

del.icio.us Tags: ,,

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fatherhood Fusion - Father's Day Post

 

 

bannerFH copy

My brothers, you’re a generational being. In your God ordained genetic code, in your make up, and the person you are, is the power to affect the future. You have reach, sway, and influence for future events. You are an impacting, imparting force to be reckoned with. The way you live your life today produces a chain reaction that affects the generational landscape of your family.

“You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, (6) but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Exodus 20:5-6 (ESV)

That’s generational significance – making our “now” matter for the future. Intentionally living out the call on our lives as Dads every single moment we carry breath in out lungs.

When the Father imparts His character into us, we can feel the power and purpose released in our lives. His nature impacts the everyday service of fathers, which indeed is generation in scope, making our fathering a powerful force in shaping lives.

I remind you, I encourage you…you are the man for the job, you have what it takes because you have Him…and He has you.

I have a small nation of seven that I am ultimately responsible for, and they are my greatest challenge to father but they are not the only ones. I take my role of Daddy very seriously and know that I must succeed at home before all else. Josh, Sarah, Matt, Mike, Daniel, Isaac and Becky deserve the best dad that God can make of me. However, my influence as “Father” goes beyond that arena, not in importance but in need.

I have seen God “father” grown men through me, men older than me. Not because I have it all together but because the Father of all wants to impart His great love to human hearts and Fathering is the best vehicle. The need is great; people of all ages need the release, the redemption, and the redirection a father can give.

This is a call that goes beyond biological and generational boundaries; it is a focused, purposeful call to demonstrate the Father’s love. It’s a call of releasing, of an apostolic building up of people, and a visionary expression of His own heart. It’s not just about raising children but lifting the eyes of sons and daughters to see all God has for them.

That’s Father Fusion…that’s generational

Happy Father’s Day everybody!

 

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pressing On – Moving on Mojo

 

PO1 color

 

 

You have (more than likely) heard of the old saying…

When the going gets tough…the tough get going

I hate that saying…of course the tough get going…because they’re …TOUGH!

 

They’re like hard-core Navy Seals or genetically engineered ninjas…tough, tough, tough. Of course THEY get going…whose going to stop them? So, I’m going to change this saying to something closer to home…how do these sound?

When the Going Gets Tough, Let’s Go Get Coffee!

Or

When the Going Gets Tough, trip the weak and run like crazy!

Or maybe it’s a lot closer (but not as catchy) to this…

When the Going Gets Tough, the weak rely on God to find the strength and the courage to move on.

That probably won’t catch on but I don’t think I have any trained Navy Seal, ninja-like folk reading my blog today. (If I do, I beg you, please don’t hurt me) The truth is that most of us haven’t been trained to be tough…but we all know what tough times are.

We need to press on

Pressing on means (according to the dictionary) to continue moving forward, plough on, push on, to advance…make progress. I tend to think of pressing on as grit your teeth, struggle to maintain balance, type of forward motion thing, but I think Paul has a better handle on what it means.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Philippians 3:12

The Greek meaning is…to pursue…to move quickly toward an objective, hasten, run, or "to chase." It’s strange but this word can also be translated this way…"to persecute.” The same zeal that Paul used to persecute the church he now uses to pursue Christ.

Paul is not saying…I have it all together…I got it made. No, what he’s saying is because of this relational pursuit of Christ towards me, I’m pressing on. Paul is talking about a pursuit that is greater than him. He was able to press on because he knows Christ…His story. How Christ set His face like flint, how He pressed on and fulfilled His mission. This is something deeply personal and real.

Pressing on is not about being ninja tough…it’s about relationship. It’s about making the (His) mission your own.

Pressing on, is easier when you recognize the mission, realizing you are part of His larger plan and purposes. The joy comes from giving ourselves (pressing on, pursuing) to something larger than us. Some of our greatest victories come from just “showing up” by being available to the calling of God, by the willingness to go on mission.

By pressing on…towards Him

“Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth." Hosea 6:3

How’s your pressing/ moving on mojo today?

del.icio.us Tags: ,,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Accessing Infinite Creativity - Guest Post

 

Creation of Man copy

jspic Today's guest post is from my friend from Alaska, Jason Stasyszen. Jason is a guy who loves Jesus, his wife, and his kids. He's also the pastor of Breakthrough Church in Juneau, AK. You can check out his blog at EndlessImpact.com where the goal is to connect with others in a conversation about life, service, and faith while connecting to God who is true Impact.

If you polled a random group of people, I'm sure some would say they were highly creative, some would say they were not creative at all, and some would probably say they fall in the middle.

If we rely on our own feelings or past experiences about the subject, we may find ourselves frustrated. As with anything, we are meant to define ourselves by God's word and character not by our perception of our abilities, skills, and creativity or by what others have told us all our lives. If He is creative, I must be creative because I was reborn into His life and Kingdom.

The Christian in even its earliest use and meaning was to be a “little Christ.” Jesus was not a go-with-the-flow kind of person. He was a reformer. He was a radical. He was passionate and compassionate. Lives changed as they came in contact with Him with His compassion and all the creativity of heaven. Why should it be any different for us?

We are all made in the image of God, the Creator. Everything about God is infinite—His power, love, wisdom, presence, and even creativity. To say we are not creative denies our Creator. The full potential of life, purpose, and creativity is unlocked by seeking Him and responding to His word.

So why do we see the disparity between those who claim to be creative and others?

I believe it's because some are more open to creativity than others and they know how to exercise it.

Pablo Picasso said, “All human beings are born with the same creative potential. Most people squander theirs away on a million superfluous things. I expend mine on one thing and one thing only: my art.” Maybe you have been as guilty as I have, and you have sometimes squandered your creativity or put it on the shelf for selfish or simply meaningless things. Imagine if we aligned our lives and the flow of His creativity completely with eternal values and His Kingdom being brought into the earth.

Whether its pastoring a church, building a business, staying home with the kids, teaching in a high school, working in a retail store, writing songs, having people over for dinner, whatever—we need to ask God for creativity in expressing His heart and purposes wherever we are. Instead of narrowing the focus of our creativity to just what we do, what if we really sought creativity to express who He has made us to be.

His Kingdom is bigger than a church building or a ministry; we are to express Kingdom creativity in every area and facet of our lives.

Have you considered yourself creative? Why or why not? What do you need divine creativity for in your life today?

 

LiveJournal Tags: ,,

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm a Has Been

 

 

hasbeen copy

The typical definition is this; a has been is one that is no longer famous, popular, successful, or useful or effective. It got me thinking...

I am one who has been on the short end of the stick.

I am one who has been on the outside looking in.

I am one who has been between a rock and a hard place.

BUT...more importantly...

I am one who has been given much.

"Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't he also give us everything else?" Romans 8:32 NLT

I am one who has been asked in.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 ESV

I am one who has been hidden.

"For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:3 NLT

I think God has a powerful love for has beens...don't you? After all...He has been faithful.

 

 

del.icio.us Tags: ,,

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Word Against His


word-1 copy

My word says I am defeated, a loser.

His Word says:
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

My word says it's impossible.

His Word says:
“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

My word says I am alone.

His Word says:
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

My word says I am not important.

His Word says:
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

My word has a lot to say about me...mostly negative. Sometimes my word snuffs the life right out of me. Each syllable reminding me of mistakes, each a drop of remorse or guilt...or worse.

Why then should I believe my word? After all...it's my word against His.

“By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:4

Whose word do you believe?

 

del.icio.us Tags: ,,

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Unbelief – Guest Post

 

Today’s guest is from my friend Bill Grandi, Bill is the Lead Pastor of Owen Valley Christian Fellowship and fellow blogger at Cycleguy’s Spin. Bill is one passionate about God brother and I believe you will be bless by visiting his blog often. Enjoy his thoughts here today and please leave feedback for Bill.
Bless ya! – Jay

toughprayer

UNBELIEF

When Jay asked me to guest post, he left it open-ended. My first thought was “Sure. I can do that, but on what?” Well, I cannot tell a lie. This post was inspired by another I read recently at http://eileenknowles.com/90-trust/

It got me thinking about one of my favorite “Jesus-encounters” in the Bible. It happened after the mountain top event of the Transfiguration. Jesus and the three (Peter, James & John) come down from the mountain only to be greeted by a man distraught over the disciples’ inability to cast the demon out of his son. (You can find the story in Mark 9:14-29). The part that intrigues me is the conversation Jesus has with the father. After a question from Jesus on the duration of this problem, the father says, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus then tells the father, “If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” The father then states some words that have intrigued me for quite some time: “I believe; help my unbelief!” Then, of course, Jesus does His thing and casts the demon out of the son.

I have no trouble with Jesus’ words. In fact, I cling to them more than I can say. It is the father’s words that I have stewed over. “I believe; help my unbelief!” How can he say he believes when at the same time he asks Jesus to help his unbelief? I may be wrong in this, but here is how I have come to understand it. Let’s say we use a ruler to measure our faith; and let’s say that faith measures 5 out of 10. Could it be the father was saying, “I have faith that would put me at five. But I want a complete faith (a 10). Help my five-faith become a ten-faith.” He brings what little faith he has and gives it to Jesus, admitting an incomplete faith. Jesus takes what little faith he offers and makes it greater.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have come to God with a Number 5 faith (sometimes even lower or higher), and watched God “grow” my faith into a more complete one. He has graciously taken what little I have to offer and honored His promise.

Have you ever had that experience? How have you understood that Scripture? I would like to hear your thoughts.

del.icio.us Tags: ,,

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Face of Love

 

jc-polaroid-frame 23 copy

The noisy buzz of the crowd quieted quickly and a hush fell on the room. Music, once softly playing in the background, changed its intensity and directed everybody’s attention towards the wide antique doors opening in the back of the church. The beat of my heart rose dramatically when everybody stood to their feet. Their heads straining to see what I could easily see…beauty was coming
to me.

There she was, pausing—as to drink in the moment—then taking the arm of her father, she started down the aisle. The young bride kept pace with the music but there was an urgency and purpose in her steps. A slight sideward glance their way, is all she would gamble as she passed each row of smiling family and friends. All her attention…all her focus…was on me.

As we joined hands and spoke vows, basking in the beauty of covenant expressions of commitment…I realized something.

I was staring deeply into the face of love.

Thirty years later and I still am. Her beauty, the way she lights up when she sees me, covers her face with love…and she drives me crazy (in a good way) whenever she looks my way. Thirty years of looking and staring into each other’s face is a long time…and it’s not enough. I sneak peeks of my wife when she sleeps; I try to catch her attention at gatherings and parties, just to see her face…the face of love. I love her face, the gentleness I see there, the absolute grace and beauty I see in her eyes, changes the man I am. I need the way she sees me, the man she sees is much more than I dreamt I could be.

That’s the face of love

Tomorrow June 5th is our 30th anniversary. Our plans for celebration are simple ones but I know I get the best part of the deal…I get to look into that wonderful, sweet and beautiful face of Christine Marie Cookingham.

The face of love is mine

“Whosoever findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.”  Proverbs 18:22

del.icio.us Tags: ,,,,,