While it’s not quite her birthday yet, today we celebrate my niece, Isabella’s 3rd birthday. What a joyous time of it will be. She is one of the many reminders to me of how faithful and GOOD our God is. She is a beautiful reminder to me! From the anticipation of her birth to her days in intensive care to the day she came home and everyday since. I cannot help think of the goodness of God when I see her dance, hear her laugh, watch her play, and receive those tender kisses and strong hugs. Whatever is beautiful, that is what I will think of today, and today I will think of Isabella!
Uncle Nick loves you!
God is good to us. I was reminded last night about His authority over all the things. I was reminded of the story of Jesus calming the storm while in the boat with His disciples. We live in a box while on earth. The punishment for sin is death. Our bodies are fragile and held captive to aging, disease, and decay. Nature, similarily has weather patterns and cannot change itself, so we have earthquakes and changing of seasons, periods of drought, heavy rains, intense heat/coldness.
I cannot change that which this world bounds me to just like nature cannot control itself. The stories of Jesus calming the storm and raising Himself from the dead, however, shows us that He can! He is the creator of life, nature, and the universe. He is not held by the laws we have come to accept. He has authority over all that. God can make life out of the ashes. He brings calm to the storm.
The question is whether or not I am living with the power of that truth. Do I believe that Jesus has authority over all things? Does He have authority over my body, over nature, over the “laws” of man? If so, if I truly believed this about my God, how does that change how I engage life. When faced with illness or disease, do I ask the author of life who has authority or do I first seek men’s solutions? When the weather man tells us no rain or heavy rain, do accept his authority, or do I go to the creator of weather and ask for his intervention to change it? God is greater. God has authority.
I am so thankful for His authority in my life! I am so thankful for His authority over my life!
Friends, our God is amazing…He is faithful and great! So many things over the past 3 days to be thankful for. So many excellent and praiseworthy moments, please allow me to share one of them.
I am blown away by a God who continues to surprise the world with His ways. It is no secret, Jesus told us how His Father operates, how he uses the weak of the world to shame the strong. How He uses that which the world disregards for His purposes…mainly bringing glory and honor to His name. This past weekend my wife, who is a youth pastor, took a group of students to Rochester, MN for an annual Youth Convention. Every year students from across the state gather in Rochester during the Education Minnesota break. And it looks like what you expect a youth gathering to look like. There are ridiculous videos, unbelievable music, and challenging speakers, not too mention late night activities in hotels and around the city. However, what you wouldn’t expect would be what the young people in our faith family were doing. These young people took advantage of their opportunities. They introduced themselves to their peers and persuaded many of them to start campus groups. They flooded the altars in excitement and brokenness. A few of them even took time out of their free time to pray for a friend of ours who had a stroke and was just out of neurosurgery. Friends, did you hear me? Teenagers, 17/18 years old! They forsook a trip to the mall to pray life into a body that was broken, lying in the hospital! Praiseworthy…Excellent…yep that is how I would describe these kids!
The theme of Youth Convention this year was “Finish.” Please, friends, hold these dear friends of mine up, asking our great God to grant them boldness and strength to endure and to finish their race. They have set a short term goal of raising over $5,000 for Speed the Light (missions). But more that finishing that goal, please hold these dear friends up, that they finish the race of faith…strong and closer to Jesus than ever!
Praise God for this excellent example of Christ-Like behavior.
This summer, the faith family that I am a part of, Heights Church, has been walking together through the New Testament. Each week we engage in New Testament writings and then come together as a faith family, together, engaging in the text and moving closer to Christ.
One way in which I have been challenged this summer, is to submit my mind further to the lordship of Jesus. In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he encourages them, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
It is not difficult at all, to be exposed to anger, injustice, violence, gossip, and other evils. The culture strives to draw our attention to such things as these and our sinful nature desires them. But, Jesus has redeemed our lives. Let our new selves be drawn to Him. This blog is my attempt to share thoughts and my journey on the pursuit of Him, on “whatever is…”