“For Real”

Posted October 30, 2014 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” – I John 1:7-8

Tomorrow is Halloween.  Hold on! This is NOT a message about how dangerous it is to dress your kids up and take them out trick-or-treating.

It is a comparison of what so many do every day of the year. The whole Halloween costume thing is to dress up as something other than who you really are.

Sadly, many Christians do that every day. They act like they are perfect (and we are not). They act like they have it all together (and we don’t). They act like nothing ever goes wrong in their life (and it does).

John’s words quoted above are directed at believers – not pagans. They are told not to deceive themselves – and certainly not to try to deceive others about how good they are, or that they have it altogether.

Sounds pretty hopeless if we leave it there, doesn’t it? But, John didn’t stop there, so we shouldn’t either.

The verses immediately after those above tell us “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

My prayer for us this week is that each of us who name the name of Christ would be authentic every day in order to show the power of forgiveness, love, and grace God has poured out on us.

“Danger!”

Posted September 18, 2014 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” – Philippians 4:8

While out on a walk the other evening, Murphy found a copperhead. Murph was stretched out to what appeared to be about 8 feet long as he leaned toward the snake, yet he kept some distance between them (not far enough for my taste though!)

The snake was about the biggest copperhead I’ve ever seen. To my knowledge it was the ONLY copperhead Murphy has ever seen, or any poisonous snake for that matter. Yet, he seemed to know there was danger there.

I can only surmise this ability to detect danger is a God given trait given to protect critters. I know God has given us that ability.

There are things which will slither into our lives to tempt us, to harm us and our family, and our reputation. God has given us the ability to detect those things and the sense to stay away from them – if only we will heed His warning.

If you feel you must lie about something, hide it or cover it up  – that’s a sign you need to stay clear of it!

The verse above gives us the alternative list – the things we should pursue. I’m pretty sure if we devote our time to the things on that list, we won’t have time for the things we should stay away from.

My prayer for us this week is we will heed those warnings to stay clear of those things which may harm us, our families, and our character – and go after those things which will strengthen us in all those areas.

“Don’t Get Over It!”

Posted September 7, 2014 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”– Psalm 51:12

I just returned home from a couple days away on business. Every time I awoke last night my dog Murphy was right up next to my face. A couple of times I woke up because he was licking my face.

No, I didn’t have bacon grease on me and while he often gives me “kisses,” it usually isn’t during the middle of the night. (Some of you may have seen him in the “kiss a pit challenge” video).

He often likes to sit on my lap with a paw on each of my shoulders.

Someone asked me the other day why he does that.

I said the only thing I can think of is that he just hasn’t gotten over being rescued.

At one point, he was on his way to certain death, and I think somehow in his little doggy mind he knows his life is much different than it would have been – and he is grateful, and isn’t afraid/ashamed to show it.

Those of us who have experienced God’s grace ought to be as grateful. We should be as devoted, but sadly, we often seem to have gotten over being “rescued.”

My prayer for us this week is that the joy of our salvation would be renewed and we would never get over it!

“Leadership Lessons – Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul” by Ralph Hawkins and Richard Leslie Parrott

Posted September 2, 2014 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

I recently read “Leadership Lessons – Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul” by Ralph Hawkins and Richard Leslie Parrott, and as one who studies and teaches leadership, I was pleasantly surprised.

This book is not light reading. There are some very thought provoking points based on the mistakes, missteps, and missed opportunities from the failed leadership of King Saul.

A sampling of chapter titles:

  • Saul Failed to Handle Authority Humbly
  • Saul Failed to Think Before He Spoke (ouch!)
  • Saul Failed to Act When the Time Was Right
  • Saul Failed to Promote or Make Necessary Changes
  • Saul Failed to Consult God

These lessons are applied in a variety of stings and are not limited to the church.

Each chapter is followed by discussion notes and questions – some for personal reflection and some for group study.

I plan to incorporate some of this material in my leadership training.

“Leadership Lessons – Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul” by Ralph Hawkins and Richard Leslie Parrott is well worth the time it takes to read it, but don’t plan on going through it in one sitting.

It needs to be digested in manageable potions in order to reap the greatest benefit. In short, I recommend it.

(I will be posting a few of these book reviews as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger Program – they provide the book at no cost in return for a review – I am not required to post a positive review, just a review. J )

“Watch Your Step”

Posted August 24, 2014 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.”– Psalm 37:23

I listened as my friend described the pain in his back, from having “stepped wrong” off of the curb.

I once broke my foot as I took a “misstep.”

We have probably all done it, and it hurts – sometimes physically, as in the cases above. At other times, it hurts our pride, as our misstep may cause us to fall, or at least stumble in front of a group of people (hopefully strangers we will never see again!)

Those are bad – but arguably worse are the times we “step wrong” in life choices. Those painfully poor choices we often make. Just like the physical missteps, these can be private (still painful) and they can be public. They are embarrassing and can leave emotional scars, painful memories, and cause self-doubt in future decisions.

This is when we need to remember the verse above. When we follow God’s ordered steps, through obedience to His word, seeking wise counsel, and learning from past mistakes (ours and those of others).

“A Purpose-Full Life”

Posted August 16, 2014 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”– Philippians 1:6
In Max Lucado’s book, “When God Whispers Your Name,” he uses (in my opinion) a great illustration about our plans for our lives.
He says, “Pick up a high school yearbook and read the “What I want to do” sentence under each picture. You’ll get dizzy breathing the thin air of mountaintop visions.”
Do you remember yours? Those of your friends? Maybe it consisted of going to an ivy league school. Maybe it was to live on a Swiss mountain and write books. Possibly it was to live in the White House (that was mine thanks to a joke by a “friend” on the yearbook staff). Others may be to bring about world peace, find a cure for cancer, teach children in the inner city.
And then, take those some yearbooks to those same people gathering for their twenty-year reunion and discover the “rest of the story.” Some of those lofty dreams may have come true, but many haven’t.
Changing direction in life is not altogether a bad thing. Losing passion in, and for, life is a tragedy. Fulfilling life’s commitments doesn’t have to lead to drudgery.
As Lucado says, “Convictions to change the world downgrade to commitments to pay the bills. Rather than make a difference, we make a salary. Rather than look outward, we look inward. And we don’t like what we see.”
In the verse above, we are reminded if we belong to God, He has a plan for our life and THAT should bring joy to our day and life to our steps. No matter who or where you are, God isn’t finished with you yet!
My prayer for us this week is that you will pursue God’s plan with passion and joy.

“Things Aren’t Always As They Seem”

Posted July 18, 2014 by rebrev
Categories: Uncategorized

“For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all he does.”–Psalm 33:4

This is supposedly a true story.

A flight from Melbourne to Brisbane, was unexpectedly diverted to Sydney.

The flight attendant explained there would be a delay of almost an hour, and if the passengers wanted to get off the aircraft the plane, they could re-board at the appointed time.

Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was blind. She sat quietly while her Seeing Eye Dog continued to lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her- as he had throughout the entire flight.

The pilot approached her, and said, ‘Ma’am, we are in Sydney for almost an hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?’

The blind lady replied, ‘No thanks, but maybe my dog Max would like to stretch his legs.’ And the pilot obliged.

The people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a Seeing Eye dog!

The pilot was even wearing sunglasses.
People scattered.
They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!

This is a good reminder that things aren’t always as they seem. Our efforts may have appeared to fail. Our worth may seem small. Some people may seem to be winning when, in fact, they are losing.

We judge by what we see on the outside. Too often, we use the world’s standard of measure for success or failure.  God judges by the eternal, He sees what we cannot.

So, don’t lose heart and don’t grow weary.

My prayer for us this week is for a greater ability to trust God in those things we cannot see.


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