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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sticks and Stones

Proverbs 11:1-13:25
Those who control their tongue will have long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. Proverbs 13:3
Truer words have never been spoken (pun intended).
You may not realize it but you create with the words you speak. As a matter of fact, if you read Genesis 1 you will see that it was the words God spoke that created everything!!
Then God said, Let there be light…
Then God said, Let there be space between the waters…
Then God said, Let the waters beneath the sky flow together in one place…
Then God said, Let the land sprout with vegetation…
Then God said, Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night…
The God said, Let the waters swarm with fish and other life…
The God said, Let the earth produce every sort of animal…
When I was growing up there was a saying we always said when we didn’t want another kid to know they were hurting us with their words.  We would look at them and say, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
The first part of that saying is true, the second part is not because words can hurt worse than broken bones.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of our tongue.
Words can heal, and words can kill.
The tongue is such a small part of the body, but with it you can encourage, uplift, guide, show love and restore.
But with it you can also discourage, break hearts, show evil and destroy.
So, what words will you use today? Because they have to power to destroy a relationship, your future and your present.  But they also have the power to heal relationships, create a future and allow you to enjoy the present.
But it is up to us whether or not we are going to speak life or death.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Props to Solomon

1 Kings 7:1-51
2 Chronicles 3:15-14:22
Did you notice that it took only a little over 7 years to build the Temple but 13 for Solomon to build his own house?
Some commentaries I read insinuated that this revealed Solomon’s divided heart suggesting that he cared more about his palace than his place of worship.
But one commentary suggested that the reason it took only 7 years to build the temple was because there were numerous years of preparation and planning for it. I personally like this idea better and feel at this point in Solomon’s life this is probably a more accurate account of why the temple was built so quickly.
The other reason I think it is a more accurate account is because it is true.  Solomon’s dad, King David, began preparing for the temple years before the first stone was ever put in place (1 Chronicles 22).
Planning and preparing ahead made building the temple easier for Solomon.
When we plan ahead it makes our life so much easier too.  We may not be building a temple but we are building a life. When you plan for retirement, plan out a vacation, plan out a meeting, plan out how you intend to teach and train our kids, then you have set yourself up for success.
I believe Solomon had quick success building the temple because of the years of prepping for it.
If Solomon’s heart was so divided at this time then I believe he would have built his home first. And props to him for waiting 13 years before moving into his home. I definitely would not want to do the same.
So, what will you begin planning for today?  It will allow you to have greater success tomorrow!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Prayer & Expectancy

1 Kings 2:1-12, 2 Samuel 23:1-7, 2 Chronicles 29:26-30, Psalms 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 &11
David, the man after God’s own heart, left us today.  But, one day we will stand in the halls of heaven and get to hear him recount his stories in person.  That’s something that’s hard for us to wrap our minds around, but it is true, and I can’t wait to hear him tell about Goliath & one stone, the lion & the bear he killed with his bare hands, and his incredible faith in God whom he knew would never fail him.
Today, we read one of David’s psalms that said, Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3
David was a man of war, but he was also a man of prayer.
There have been numerous prayers over CCA in the past 5 years.  In fact, this is a picture of the very first prayer Mark prayed over us.
CCA 2008
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3
We had no idea what to expect God would do through this group of people who were gathered that day.
At times, it has been hard. But it is the hard times that teach us to pray hard. 
So we prayed, hard.
And waited, expectantly.
God has directed our steps, every step of the way.
God has made ways, where there were no ways.
God has changed the lives of people who were desperate for change.
Today, are you needing your steps directed?  Do you need a way made for you?  Is there a loved one that you are crying out for God to intersect their lives?
Pray, then expect.
Expectancy is the breeding ground for miracles.
Do you need a miracle today?
Pray, then expect.
If you are seeking answers today you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you.
Sometimes it will be exactly what you prayed for, sometimes it won’t.
But I promise, it is always better than expected!!
CCA Yesterday
If you are looking to learn more about prayer, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson is a great book to read.  I began 2013 by reading this book. And God has answered 3 HUGE prayers I have been praying, some for years.
God loves you and He wants great things for you.
Pray, then expect!!