26 March, 2007

What's In Your Fruit Basket?

I have been teaching through the book of Philippians at a small mens Bible study close to my home. We recently looked at the passage that contains chapter 1, verse 11 which says:

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:11

Looking at this idea that we are supposed to bear fruit to God's glory, I have been thinking a lot about the process that takes place in a tree in order for it to bear fruit. Take an apple tree for example. In order for an apple to be created, the pollen from the male part of an apple blossom has to reach the female part of another apple blossom. The blossom is then pollenated and that flower will result in an apple soon after.

So that is fine for apple trees, but how to we produce fruit as Christians to the glory of God? Just like the apple tree, there must be a coming together of two parts. The two parts for us are simply the Christian and God. But just knowing about God or crying out to him only when we have a problem is not the fruit producing union that is required. In order to produce fruit in our lives as Christians, we need to have an intimate relationship with our Lord. Intimacy requires desire and time. An intimate, right relationship with God will naturally produce the fruit that brings glory to our Lord.

So what is in your fruit basket?

Another interesting question to answer is, "What exactly is the fruit that brings God glory?". I'll save that one for a different post.

23 March, 2007

Thanks For the Hail God!

On February 28th, we had a thunderstorm come through Raytown where we live and dropped nickel size or bigger hail.  At the time of the storm, I can remember thinking how cool it was to watch it and how glad I was that our minivan was inside the garage of our borrowed house.
Little did I know at the time, but the roof of our house that we are selling before we leave for Costa Rica was taking a beating from the hail.
About a week after the storm I had a friend from church who is a roofer look at our roof to give us a bid on fixing some leaks.  He checked out the roof and found the significant hail damage.  At his suggestion I called my insurance company and had then check it out.
The claims adjuster found there was enough damage to warrant a total roof replacement!  Wooo hoooo!!!  Praise God!!!  He cut us a check that same day that will pay for the entire roof to be replaced.
So instead of just getting the leaking valleys replaced for a significant out-of-pocket amount, we are getting our entire roof replaced for nothing out of pocket.  My God is a great God.

19 March, 2007

Movie Review - Facing the Giants

Just watched a great movie on Saturday night, Facing the Giants.

This is a great movie with biblical values and a good story line. The actors aren't polished Hollywood types, and it shows sometimes, but it is much better that most of the "Christian" movies we have been exposed to over the years.

Good movie to watch if you like football. Good movie to watch even if you don't like football. It is available to rent from most major rental chains.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars. (I've always wanted to say that....)

Here is an description from Christiancinema.com

FACING THE GIANTS is the heart-warming story of a downtrodden Christian high school football coach who turns to God when everything seems to be going against him. Trusting God to do the impossible, Coach Grant Taylor and his Shiloh Christian Eagles soon discover how faith plays out on the field … and off.

This new, action-packed drama from the award-winning producers of FLYWHEEL has had theater audiences laughing, crying, and cheering. The best family-friendly film of the year is now available on DVD!

14 March, 2007

Spring has Sprung

Spring is finally here!! Woooo Hoooo!!!

I love Spring. Nice moderate temperatures. All the plants coming back to life. Wonderful....

Every year the coming of Spring always reminds me of how God is able to take what has died and to breath new life into it.

We have a beautiful Magnolia tree in our front yard. Every Spring it pops out with wonderful blooms that look and smell awesome. During the Winter, this tree looks as dead as could be, but when the weather starts to turn warmer, little buds begin to form on the branches. Soon after that the buds turn into the beautiful flowers I have come to appreciate each year.

It is a blessing to watch this same process occur in the life of a person. They start off cold and dead without Christ or a relationship with God. Then when they come to Christ or get their life right with God, the warmth of His love causes buds to form on branches that were once lifeless. The process of growth and maturity continues and before you know it, beautiful blooms start to appear in their life.

We all go through "Winters" in our walks with God, but may our Winters be short ones. There are many climates in the world where blooming takes place all year. May our lives be of the spiritual climate that we bloom and bear fruit for our Lord all year as well.

12 March, 2007

Good Morning by Phone

In various jobs I have had over the years I would hear co-workers receive calls from their children. I would hear them talk in "kid voice" to their children on the other end that were excited to talk to their mom or dad. I can remember thinking to myself, "Isn't that cute.....". As a single young man, it is safe to say that I did not appreciate the value of those calls.

Now that I am a father of two wonderful girls, my appreciation of these calls is alot different.

This morning (which is the first Monday after the change to Daylight Savings Time so my body is in rebellion) our girls were not awake when I left for work since their bodies still thought it was time to sleep too. After I had been at work for a while I received a call from my wife. She had the two girls on speaker phone and they wanted to tell me good morning. What a blessing. Now that is an awesome call.

08 March, 2007

C-E-D Obedience

I am reading a great book called Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Ted Tripp. One of the concepts he talks about the book is the definition of obedience. The 3 words he uses for his definition of obedience are really good.

Obedience should be without:

C-E-D. In my desire for my two girls to learn to obey their parents so they can learn to obey God, we have implemented this definition of obedience. It has really caused me to examine my obedience to God and of what type it is. Do I obey God without challenge, excuse, or delay? Too often the answer to that question is no. I am good at trying to rationalize with God and "discuss" with him what he has told me to do instead of just obeying. Sure God, I'll do that, just not right now....

I want my girls to learn to obey in a biblical way. I want to be an example to them of what that kind of obedience to God looks like.

07 March, 2007

It's Official!!

Our house is officially up for sale now. The for sale sign went in the yard yesterday around 11:00 am. Now we are praying that the right buyer comes to look at the house and loves it.

Click Here to see the listing

03 March, 2007

Blessed with a new (borrowed) house

A couple of weeks ago we had the blessing of moving into a new house to live in. As we prepare to move to Costa Rica in August of this year, selling our house is high on the list of things to do. Of course selling the place where we live before we actually leave for Cost Rica presents some obvious problems.

There is a wonderful couple in our church that was going to be house-sitting for his mother while she was visiting family out of state for 8 months or so. God directed this couple to let us stay in their empty house rent-free until we move to Costa Rica in August. What a blessing. The house happens to be almost on the corner of our church's parking lot too.

It is so cool to see God parting the waters and make a way for us to cross into His plan on dry ground. How Great is our God.
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