Solo – God’s Track Record With Me

30 12 2008

2 Samuel 7: 18,20 -23,28-29

This was such a great devotion. David is at the end of his life and his dialogue with God is awesome. In the message, some of the lines that stand out are:
“Who am I, my Master God, and what is my family that you have brought me to this place in life?”
“You have done all this not because of who I am but because of who you are.”
“There is none like you…nothing to compare with what we’ve heard with our won ears.
“oh, may your blessing be on my family permanently.”

There is such a humility as I read this words. David is arguable one of the most prominent characters in the Bible. Yet, he is truly putting God in the place of honor he deserves. And isn’t it “unamazing” to see that at the end of such a tumultuous life, the one priority on David’s list, is his family. The things that seem so “big” during the daily routine are reduced to lesser roles in the light of eternal things.

One final thought. I love the title of today’s devotion. God has a long track record with me. To some, you might have a hard time believing that God’s track record with me is blemished, challenged and scarred. Those were the times when God didn’t meet my expectations. When it comes to God accomplishing His will, He is sterling in his delivery and communication. This actually excites me for a basis reason. I believe the whole premise of the Bible is for God to have a relationship with you and I. Like any intensive relationship, there is communication, expectations and follow through. There are times when they don’t line up with people and the relationship is challenged. A spouse, good friend or trusted confidant would testify this to be true. There lies the excitement. I got saved in seventh grade. I am now 41 and still look to Jesus as my Lord and Savior, and to God as my Heavenly Father. Our relationship has gone through challenges and highs. But our track record is this – I want to know Him better and do his will each day. My expectations will be met and unmet ~ as does God’s of me. But, I have figured it out – we are both in this for the long haul and the finish line is eternal.


“It was the Best Year of My Life”

15 12 2008

I recently had the opportunity to sit with one of my life mentors. On December 10, 2007, I was skiing in Colorado when I got a text saying that his house had burned down. Once finding out he was ok, it was numbing to find out that his whole house was gone – burned down to the foundation. Fast forward to December 5, 2008. I am talking with him in my office and he tells me the one year anniversary is coming up. Then he says, “It was the best year of my life.”

This is a shocking statement to me. He lost everything you would hold dear from a possession realm. The house was spectacular. Very meticulously built and the craftmanship was excellent. It was off a quiet lake and he enjoyed a coy pond instead of a swimming pool. It was a very relaxing place. So to hear that statement, my first reaction was to object with “how can you say that.” His response was so typical of the responses I have heard from him over the years. It was one I didn’t expect. He said, “I got to live what I have been saying all these years.” Now, let that soak in for a moment. I say a lot of things and live them. But when the situation is this severe, I wonder how much of survival mode would overtake the ideals I talk about? And what would my attitude and questions to God be? His challenge was not light, nor veiled for that matter. Mainly because his challenge was directed back at himself. He was asking me to evaluate me but laying his life out transparently so I could ride on his coattails for a while.

Inevitably, the arrow did point at me. What was going to make this the best year of my life? I know I don’t need any more “tragedies” in my life. This year has been tough enough. Maybe the challenge is to identify what I really have been saying are the pillars in my life. Maybe the greater challenge is to live them to the fullest each day? I am ready for the best year of my life – aren’t you?

Solo – Honoring and Valuing Others

15 12 2008

I Samuel 26:7 – 11 David and Abishai secretly enter the camp of Saul while everyone sleeps. Instead of killing Saul, who relentlessly pursued him, David takes his spear and water jug.

This story in the Bible has always fascinated me. In the devotion, it says, “Think of the people you consider your enemies.” I can’t really think of a person that I consider my “enemy.” Terrorists are an enemy. They directly threaten the safety and welfare of my family and all Americans. In this story, David’s safety is constantly under seige as Saul continues to try to kill him. When it comes time for David to return the favor, he choose to honor Saul. Even when Saul finds out, he continues to hunt David down. I am not sure if I can be that constrained. But David chose honor and that is a fascinating principle.

Gary Smalley taught the principle in a very simple way. He talked about honor being the “Ahh” factor. Much like seeing a celebrity for the first time – your eyes light up, your catch your breath and you smile. Honor is being that taken by the individual that you give then a high regard. I like that. Every now and then I do it as a joke with my family and they roll their eyes. What would it look like if I did it regularly with them, with God and my daily relationships – and really meant it? What would it do to the relationship? What would it say to that person? Most importantly, what would it say to me?

Solo – Is God Enough

3 12 2008

Even just reading today’s title, I could feel a sense of “gravity” as I read it. I anticipated it would go right to the heart and it did. Read I Sam. 8:1-22. The Message reads verse 7 as “God answered Samuel, ‘Go ahead and do what they are asking. They are not rejecting you. They’re rejecting me as their King…'”

How can God be so close and real that He is having a personal conversation with Samuel and the people reject Him? How can the God who has led them into the Promised Land be rejected? A God who is so big that everything, and I mean everything, bows its knee at His presence be rejected?

We do it every day. Personally, I do it every day. I once heard Louie Giglio do a sermon called “I am not.” And his catch phrase was “He is God and I am not.” I say that phrase so many times because I want to be on the throne, calling the shots, making my will happen. I want people to agree with my thinking and feel that my ways are best. I want to be the judge and jury on whether I or someone else is right or wrong. Admittedly, there are days I want to control the weather and cure the common cold. Seriously, there are days I want to stop the hurt in people because it is so real and so now.

So…now that I am feeling “human” size again and mighty humble, let me ask the question again.

Is God Enough……Yes Lord, more than enough.

Solo – Particles are Swirling

1 12 2008

Read the story of Ruth this morning and it is permeating me. You know the story lost her husband, stays with mother in law, foreigner in different country and marries an older relative. Oh, becomes part of the lineage of the savior to the world. Yep, that story. The part of the story that is seeping into me isn’t those huge nuggets but the little particles that seem to stick where I am now.

* How do you survive losing a spouse? ( I have close friends who have lost spouses and they continue to move forward with their lives and with God. I am humbled by their strength and love.)

* When you did nothing wrong, how do you not shake your fist at God? (Learning to live on God’s heart not his actions.)

* God is closer than you think when he appears so far. (Car mirror effect)

* You cannot lose when you honor those who have gone before you. (Lost in today’s generation)

* If a mother or grandmother are praying for you, surrender! (God listens to the prayers of moms – check out the Bible)

* You might be a foreigner but everyone has a heart for something. (People all want to be loved no matter where they are from)

* God will provide – in his timing. (Amazed that in all these years, still trying to nail this one down. Impatience and self will are such enemies to God’s timing.)

* Finally, your actions today affect the future generations to come. (How could Ruth know that her marriage to Boaz would be part of the lineage of Christ? God, let me set the foundation for you to bring forth even more amazing people to reach the world with your love.)

Like I said, particles are swirling…