A Mother's Day Challenge


One of the most emotionally distressing things in my memory is the feeling of walking into our empty childhood house, not empty of furniture, but empty of Mom’s presence——no aroma of pies baking or one of Mom’s always-delicious suppers wafting through the air.  The wood stove oven was empty and cold, and the noise of canning jars clinking as Mom was “putting up” jams and vegetables for the long Upper Michigan winters was strangely silent.    My steps took me into the living room where all nine of us children were born.  Memories of her presence flooded my mind.  

The next steps led me to a path in the woods where as children we played and hunted.  Putting my hand on an old stump, I knelt and wept, wishing that the years that slipped by so swiftly could be recalled.  If only once again my arms could hug mom, or she would hear me say “I love you.”  Those opportunities were gone forever.

Dad worked hard in the copper mines to provide money to support the family, but Mother took care of the home.  With ten people at home in those early years there was much hard work to do.  There was no running water, so Mom drew water from the well with a rope and bucket; then poured it into a copper tub to be heated on the wood stove to do our laundry and Dad’s dirty mining clothes.   She would then pour the hot water into an agitator washing machine where she would put the wet clothes through a hand-cranked ringer to later be hung to dry outside on the clothes line.   Keeping clothes clean was just one of the many tasks made difficult by the lack of modern  homemaking conveniences.

As a son looking back with gratitude and regret, I realize what could have been done differently to spend more focused time and be more loving to a mother who gave so sacrificially and served so much.    It is easy to think that mothers do not die or we assume they will always be there.  Realism is that mothers do die.    If your mother is still living, you are blessed with the opportunity to spend time and speak often, enjoying every minute that God gives her to you.  Don’t wait to fill a funeral parlor with flowers that should be given now.  Hug her while she is still with you and say “I love you” while it can still be heard.  Take advantage of this Mother’s Day to express thanks to let her know how special she is to you.

Our daughter Tami, who is the poet in our family, expressed her feelings about her mom in this Mother’s Day poem she wrote to her many years ago.


                                                 MOTHER’S FRIENDSHIP

As I sit looking back on times now past,
Though they are gone, the memories last.
My mother cradling me in her arms
With that special kind of mother’s charm.
Only mother could kiss away
The scrapes and bumps that came my way.
There began our friendship growing
That always managed to keep on going.

I reflect back now to my elementary days ~~
Learning the ABCs and lines for school plays.
Mother helped me along till the task was done;
Then after the work, we’d have our fun.
We’d go out for ice cream or play a game~,
But we’d have a good time just the same.
And thus continued our friendship growing
That still was driven to keep on going.

Next, I reminisce upon my teenage years,
When most important were the guys and mirrors.
Mother always gave the best advice
And she’d give of herself at any price.
We would often take refreshing walks
During which we had some special talks.
There remained our friendship growing
That still would last and keep on going.

Now, I’m married and gone today;
My heart is with mom though I’m away,
Now that I have a family of my own,
I realize how easy I had it at home~.
My mother makes sure to keep in touch,
And though I miss her very much,
Still we have our friendship growing
That, though I’m away, still keeps on going.

I LOVE YOU, MOM!

~~Tami 


A LIVING IS MADE BY WHAT IS GAINED; A LIFE IS MADE BY WHAT IS GIVEN.  THANK GOD FOR THE SACRIFICIAL GIVING OF MOTHERS!




  



                             MINING  THE RICHES OF THE WORD OF GOD
                                            A Project for the Easter Season

Scripture memorization is one of the best investments of time that a child of God can make.  Mining and meditating on the riches of the word is rewarded with spiritual stability and prosperity  for the Christian life.  One of the most settling commitments I made early in my full time ministry was to claim the promise of Psalms 1:2-3.   “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall belike a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;  his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”  

Memorizing chapters that met needs most quickly became a permanent part of my thinking.  Another approach was to memorize lists such as things God hates, the Beatitudes, the Fruit of the Spirit,  and the fifteen characteristics of love in I Cor. 13, etc.

The prayers of Paul are probably the richest truths on which to meditate, especially his two prayers in the book of Ephesians.  The prayer in Ephesians 1:15-23 reveals Paul’s passion for the believers in Ephesus.  The faithful in Christ were living in a culture of wealth, wantonness,  and extravagance of every sort; and it would have been tempting to become enamored by what that way of life had to offer.  Paul longed for those who were called to be saints to see the poverty of that system and to see with their spiritual eyes what they possessed in Christ.  Paul prayed without ceasing for the converts in the churches he planted.  Remember that Paul walked hundreds of miles on his journeys and spent much time in various prisons, so he had a lot of time for focused praying.

The prayer in Ephesians chapter one contains one of the great descriptions of what the resurrection means for believers.  The Easter season would be a good time to think deeply on what is packed in these few verses.  Paul prayed that they would know the person of Christ,     Eph. 1:17.  Remember, Paul’s own purpose was expressed in Phil. 3:10,  “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection; and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death.”

    That I May Know Him

Yes, I know Him as my Savior,
For my sins are washed away:
And I’ll never cease to praise Him
For this truth through endless day.

But I wonder, do I know Him
In His resurrection power?
Does some brightness of His glory
Fill me every day and hour?

Is there power for each moment
As I tread life’s little day?
Do the friends I meet each morning
Know Him by the things I say?

Do I know the power and blessing
As I read His precious Word?
Do I rest upon His promise?
Have I really, truly heard?

When I come before His presence
In the secret place of prayer,
Do I know the wondrous greatness
Of his power to meet me there?

Stir me now —I long to know Thee.
Know the fullness of Thy power.
Help me, Lord, to yield completely  
Day by day, and hour by hour.

Harvest days will soon be ended,
For we see the twilight dim;
Yes, our heart’s cry is to fill us
’til we see no one but Him.

    Philippians 3:10

——Anonymous—

He also prayed that they would have their understanding enlightened so they would comprehend the position that they have in Christ and the possessions they have in Christ,   Eph. 1:18.   Then, he prayed that they would understand the greatness of Christ’s power available to them because of the resurrection.  God the Father raised him from the dead, set him at his own right hand, put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head of the church which is his body.  Eph. 1:19-23

While these verses have many deep truths to enrich the believer, my purpose is to simply highlight the key thoughts to create a thirst to dig deeper into the treasure that is there.

See what treasures you can mine out of this prayer of Paul’s during the Easter season; and thank God for the power that is ours because he conquered death.  As you meditate on these things, work also on the prayer in chapter three.

You are rich if you have what money cannot buy and death cannot take away.



 

 

The Value of the Secret Place
 

  Psa.. 91:1
     " He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in Him will I trust."
     
Early in my life, God in His sovereign way allowed my life to be influenced by a godly man who was the founder of Gitche Gumee Bible Camp, located in the very tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Rev. John Rader, also known as Big Chief, had a vision to see a Bible conference grounds established.  He found the spot that he felt would be ideal, located near the shores of Lake Superior, or as the Indians called it, gitche gumee.  The poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem, Hiawatha, popularized the name.

John Rader located a spot that became his secret place where he met with God and prayed for God to show Himself mighty to establish a conference center where God's Word would be preached and His great name glorified.

As young men, my brother Earl and I would be picked up by "Big Chief " to help shovel snow from the roofs of the buildings at Gitche Gumee.  The snow would be as deep as three feet on the roofs and would damage the buildings.  After the snow-clearing project would be completed, Rev. John Rader would take us to his beautiful little cabin and feed us with his "special formula" chili.  How delicious it was as we enjoyed the cozy warmth of that little cabin! The special part of the day was when we would go rabbit hunting on snow shoes.

One time Big Chief took us to his "secret place" hidden among the snow-laden pines, balsam and cedar trees where he met with his God.  It was there that he longed to return time and time again to pour out his heart for God's blessing on the vision for a preaching center in the far north.  I have never forgotten how special it was to enter what seemed to be "holy ground", and that was well before I ever became a believer.

 

Years later after Big Chief's vision became a reality, some of us young boys would often help to "button down" the camp for the winter.  One by one the buildings would be put to sleep for the long winter.  There was one exception.  The Tabernacle, which was the preaching center, securely shrouded with a deep blanket of snow was kept awake with the echo of a shout that Rev. Rader would give.  As he was getting ready to lock the door of the place where the Word was preached all summer, he would shout victoriously, "HALLELUJAH", and the quickly shut the door.  He would say with a gleeful look, "that hallelujah will echo all winter till this facility will once again be unwrapped for another summer of God-exalting preaching!"   Those memories are forever etched in my mind and I review them with deep gratitude.
 

One of Big Chief's grand daughters was going through boxes of old records and correspondence in an upstairs "nook" of the little cabin and discovered something that her granddad had written years ago but was never shared with others.  She sent us a copy which we framed and keep in a prominent spot in our family room downstairs.
 

Charlene and  I desire to share this with you and our hope is that you will be touched, as we are, when you understand the value of having a SECRET PLACE where you meet with your God.
The following is a copy of his thoughts that he called the "afterglow of Gitche Gumee" typed on an old manual typewriter:

 
Always in my heart there stirs this longing to go back to "Gitche Gumee,"  smoldering sometimes--like that evening camp fire on a waved-lapped shore, where we told of our joy in Him--then at sight of a picture or note of a bird--my heart grows warm with happy memories of a hallowed place where God was near, and "Gitche Gumee" seemed like the very gate of Heaven!

At the hardest task -  'mid the dream moments of the day -  when the first lone stars are lit  -  faint perhaps, as a far-flung echo in the tumult of daily strife, yet never silent, always insistent, compelling, seek out this utter-most recesses of memory's treasure vaults  -  comes the vibrant call of a deep toned bell -  the summons from restful sleep and the invitation to praise an prayer under the trees.  Once again I hear the whisper of the wind in the leaves overhead and catch the fragrance of  pine and balsam and cedar. In that sacred sheltered prayer nook I sense he presence of Him who said..."there am I."

I remember the music of the little falls under the bridge, and the faint forgotten forest trails in the woods beyond the Tabernacle.  I long for the solitude that breathes a benediction in the forest cathedral where God used pine trees for pillars and the sunset sky for a roof.  Once again I hear the rustle of fallen leaves under foot, and the stirring of woods life around me.  I inhale with deep delight the fragrance of rare flowers in God's quiet, out-of-the-way gardens  -  I taste the exquisite sweetness of dew on wild berries.  In Nature's book I try to read the story of the broken twig in the trail, and the foot print in the damp sand on the shore of the pond where lily pads grow.  And then, though I have stepped ever so softly, my heart turns over in sudden tumult at the muffled thunder of a partridge startled from his drumming log.  From my hard won vantage point on the highest crag of the grim cliffs I watch with silent awe the grandeur of a new-born day  -  unfolding like the quivering petals of a flushed pink rose dropped from the garden of Eternity -  the God opens the gates of the morning.

Ah!  -  that my feet might once more walk the open road toward those peace enshrouded hills  -  blue in the distance - and in that hallowed spot find again the familiar faces of others who know His Name and love Him even as I.  To live over those happy blessed hours and to hear the tender voice of my Savior bidding me rest awhile in His beloved presence  -  'til my feeble faith grows strong again and my wayward feet feel the solid Rock once more.

How I long to slip away from  world going mad with fear, and in that quiet sacred spot know the sweet and abiding peace that comes to those who find in Him their "all in all."

Please God!....leet me go back again.....to "Gitche Gumee."
                      
                                                                   "BIG CHIEF"
NOTE:  This was copied just as it was sent to us.



Needless to say, Big Chief and Gitche Gumee have had an enduring impact on the life of this grateful person.  Rev. Rader was the father-in-law of Pastor Charles Hart who began to drive his old Plymouth station wagon to our little town to transport us to First Baptist Church in Calumet, Michigan.  It was Pastor Hart's passion to reach young people and by God's grace we were recipients of his love. Consequently, my brother Earl and I were exposed to the gospel and began our Christian walk.    
Both Rader and Hart lived for what mattered eternally and modeled  what would later become a pattern for our ministry.  Many were trained and are still serving God world-wide, both as lay and occupational ministers as a result of their godly influence.

 

Each of you who have a hunger for God's Word and a desire to meet daily with Him in your special spot are refreshed as you transfer the burdens and the responsibilities of the new day to claim the promise to cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  
 

When the normal pressures of living and added responsibilities press, your heart longs for the place where His presence is real and promises are settling.  Storms may rage but the Rock is sure.  In the midst of all the meaningless noise caused by our giant-sized egos and decayed hearts, let us focus on what really matters,  our intimacy with the One who redeemed us.
 

Will our lives make a difference this year because of our love for God and our love for others?



     

 

 

 A TRIBUTE TO TIM COREY                               

One more link in the chain that is binding us to this world has been dissolved.  Building Great Leaders has lost a founder and a friend.  On Saturday morning, April 23, at 9:30 a.m. Tim Corey awoke in the presence of his Lord who he loved with all his heart.

Tim showed great grace and courage as he faced the reality of a three-year battle with cancer.  He modeled complete trust in God’s sovereign control in all circumstances of life, including the painful ones of which there were many.  His wife, Barb, has been  a rock by his side and has lived the “for better or for worse” part of her marriage vows spoken over 52 years ago.   Barb’s total trust in God’s love and control has been evident to all who know her.

Charlene and I are thankful that our schedule allowed us to be near enough to the Greenville area to  have spots of time with Tim and Barb before  he went to heaven to be with his Savior.  We witnessed first-hand Tim’s confidence in his loving God and observed his rest in the truth that God is always good and knows what is best.

How thankful we were for one last time to express to Tim and Barb our deep gratitude for the support and encouragement that they have given to so many in ministry, including us.   The spiritual fruit of Tim’s service will reap eternal dividends  and will only be fully revealed in eternity.

Building Great leaders owes much credit to Tim for its founding, since it was he and Craig Sikkelee who encouraged  us to continue our burden to lift the hands of leaders both in the ministry and business world.  A simple “thank you” seems so inadequate to reflect our true feeling of gratitude for Tim Corey.

We include here our address at Tim’s funeral from a friend in ministry entitled “A TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND."


                                                    

 

 

 

                                                  A TRIBUTE TO A FRIEND
                                                             April 26, 2016
                                                  Hampton Park Baptist Church

 

 

How does one properly express in a tiny window of time what a 53 -year 

friendship means to Charlene and me?  I speak for many.

We met Tim in 1963 and Charlene and I married in the summer of 1964,

a month before Tim and Barb’s wedding. An acquaintance began that grew

into a deep friendship which took us down several paths of service together. 

Though Tim was an accountant by avocation, his full time vocation was to

glorify God and to serve Him with his whole heart.  I have never known Tim Corey to be inconsistent or hypocritical in his Christian life. What you saw is what he was, inside and out.

Paul’s expression of gratitude in Romans 16 to those with whom he served reminds me of so many qualities reflected in Tim Corey’s service to the body of Christ. In that passage of Romans Paul said:

    of Phoebe, a SERVANT of the church and a HELPER of many.                           that’s Tim
    of  Aquilla and Priscilla, my FELLOW WORKERS IN CHRIST,                          that’s Tim
    of Mary, (a worker in Rome), she LABORED MUCH,                                         that’s Tim
    of Amplias (a converted slave in Rome), MY BELOVED IN THE LORD,              that’s Tim
    of Apelles, a household servant, APPROVED IN CHRIST                                     that’s Tim
    of Tryphaena & Tryphosa, twins, who HAVE LABORED MUCH in the Lord        that’s Tim


How fortunate to have labored together with him in God’s vineyard at Calvary Baptist of Roseville, Michigan, revival in Connersville, Indiana, and at Northland Baptist Bible College in Dunbar, Wisconsin.

How would I summarize the 53 years of knowing Tim Corey? What outstanding characteristics describe him?  I WILL SHARE FIVE.

1.   LOVE:  He was a living demonstration of the 15 verbal descriptions of agape love in I Corinthians 13.  His love was          CONSISTENT and REAL.  He loved in knowledge and judgment. (Phil. 1:9)

2.   LEADERSHIP:  He modeled Phil. 2 kenosis mentality by his serving attitude and stedfast conviction. What a model for me to emulate!

3.  LIBERALITY:  Tim Corey acknowledged that what he possessed was a stewardship     given by God and he exercised that stewardship with conviction, wisdom, and selflessness. Jesus in the parable of the unjust steward said that the children of     this generation are wiser than the children of light because they used their master’s  unrighteous mammon to prepare themselves to be received when they are put out of their stewardship.  Jesus taught that the children of light did not have the foresight to use God’s resources to prepare for their welcoming into the everlasting kingdom. Those welcoming them will have been reached by the proper use of God’s provision.

    Jesus taught in that parable in Luke 16:
        Be Spiritual with your FINANCES.  It all belongs to the Master.
        Be Stedfast in your FAITHFULNESS In little things and big things.
        Be Single in your FOCUS.  You cannot serve God and mammon.   

Tim Corey modeled the proper use of God’s resources.  Can you imagine the welcome home by those reached worldwide by Tim and Barb’s giving?  Tim and Barb were in mutual agreement as to their commitment to give and serve to God’s glory.

 

Another outstanding characteristic of Tim’s life would be that of

4.  LAUGHTER:  How could I speak of Tim Corey and not mention his laughter. We who were in church services with him were drawn into laughter either with him or at him. What joy he brought to our lives by his jovial spirit!

5.  HIS WISE COUNSEL:  God used Tim to help many in the ministry to live frugally and wisely regarding finances.  His counsel to me about Social Security has helped Charlene and me greatly in our later years.  He insisted on being completely         conscience clear when it came to the I.R.S.  Sometimes I thought he loved the I.R.S. more than he loved me!  Complete honesty was his counsel. Many of us have been helped by his wise counsel.

 

In Summary:  There is a good reminder in Revelation 14:13 that highlights the blessing of death for the believer:

“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:  Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.”
    There is RESTRICTION  in death’s blessing—“in the Lord.”
    There is REST in death’s blessing—“they rest from their labors.”
    There is REWARD in death’s blessing —“their works do follow them.”


THANK YOU TIM COREY!   WE LOVE YOU, WE WILL GREATLY MISS YOU AND WE WILL BE A CONSTANT FRIEND TO BARB  AND YOUR FAMILY AS LONG AS GOD GIVES US STRENGTH!    GOOD BYE, FRIEND, SEE YA LATER!!

 

 

How to Stay Encouraged


        During our years of local church ministry there were certain times of the year when I experienced doubt and discouragement.  January was the time of the year when the nights were long, days were short, and the weather was cold.
       The intense schedule that included Thanksgiving celebrations followed by preparations for Christmas plays and programs kept the "adrenaline rush" going.  New Year's Eve service quieted the heart as prayer was made to welcome the new year.  Then the rented sheep and camels used for the live nativity scenes were returned.  There was was a sigh of relief that no one tumbled out of the Living Christmas Tree, and things slowly returned to "normal."  Reality of a new year of responsibility settles in and often a leader wonders if he is where God want him to be.

     How does one stay encouraged in the midst of a ringing telephone, a full calendar, a demanding schedule, and more demands than hours?  What is the answer?   There are three important areas to keep in proper perspective.
 

Passion:
     Have and keep a fervent passion for Christ.  The first failing in the Christian life is to lose the freshness of one's love for his Savior and Lord.  Paul's heart cry is expressed in  Phil. 3:10, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings."
     It is easy with so many schedule demands and daily distractions, to have the calendar filled with enough things to excuse ourselves from maintaining a passion for our primary focus--God Himself. The struggle we face is clearly expressed in Donald S. Whitney's book, Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life.


     "Without exception, the men and women I have known who make the most rapid, consistent, and evident growth in Christlikeness have been those who develop a daily time of being alone with God.  This time of outward silence is the time daily Bible intake and prayer.  In this solitude is the occasion for private worship.
     This daily devotional habit is not easy to develop because we lead busy lives and have an Enemy aware of the stakes involved. Missionary martyr Jim Elliot knew of the battle:  "I think the devil has made it his business to monopolize on three elements:  noise, hurry, crowds. . .Satan is quite aware of the power of silence"    Our days are usually filled with more than enough noise, plenty of hurry, and demanding people.  Unless we plan for daily times of solitary silence before God, these other thing will rush in to fill our time like water into the Titanic."
 1

     When God was withdrawing His blessing from His people Israel, He reminded them that their love for Him was replaced with idols and a love for the world system.  The Magna Carta of the Nation of Israel was given in Deut. 6:4-15:    Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: .....vs. 12, Then beware lest thou forget the Lord, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

     Jesus repeats the instruction in Matthew 22:35-40:  "Then one of them  which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment."
 

Focus:
     To help focus on God's priorities, regular feeding on the Word directs the mind to things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. Meditation in the Word aids to direct the thinking from the 6 major causes of depression,  ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX NEWS, and TALK RADIO.  It helps our spirit greatly to get God's perspective on world conditions.
     Also, keeping a biography of our God leads our hearts to worship  as we magnify His attributes.  Record each name and attribute that you discover in your reading, and praise Him as you repeat those attributes to Him in prayer.
     Another practice Charlene and I have found of great value for our encouragement is to keep a record of the works of God in our lives.  When we "hit the wall" it is refreshing to remember how God has worked in the past and know that He will keep His promises in the days ahead.

 

Mission:   

    Keep your gaze on your goal.  A proper adoration of God will be expressed in our obedience to Him and practical function.  A clear mission statement is not optional if a Christian intends to live as Paul exhorted in Philippians 3:10-14.  Pressing forward demands being free of distractions.  
      The winds of opposition or convenience cannot cause uncertainty or drift in a ministry or life that knows God's compass reading on plans.  Many things can distract if the goal is not clear.  Problems such as people, projects, or compromising philosophies must be seen as expected, not as things that should change your focus.
     A basketball player must realize that the purpose of the game is to put the ball in the basket.  If he is dribbling down the court, and a fan call him something less than complimentary, it would do him or the team no good to go into the stands to confront the individual.  The name of the game is to "put the ball in the hoop."   Let the heathen rage and go on to your task.

 

Relationship:
     Keep your relationships real and growing.  The Word of God has many exhortations for believers to maintain right relationships with fellow believers.  The most concise passage for effective communication s in Paul's letter to the Ephesians 4:24-32, "And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of another  Be ye angry, and sin not;  let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  Neither give place to the devil.  Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away fro you with all malice: And be ye kind one to another tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
   Satan knows that a Christian committed to sound doctrine is not going to become ineffective because he drifts from a commitment to inspiration, but he knows that a Christian can be rendered powerless by a broken relationship with another believer.
     In Galatians 5:14-21, Paul discusses the sins that mar ministry.  There are several categories of sins listed here in these scriptures.  The rank sins are listed as adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, drunkenness.  The religious sins are: idolatry and witchcraft.  The first two categories are easy to deal with because they are so obvious and guideline are easily followed for church discipline.  The third category that Paul addresses is the relationship sins.  I call these the "cholesterol" sins or the "high blood pressure" sins because they often go undetected but can bring about a seizure.   Hatred, variance, emulations wrath tribe, seditions, heresies, envying, and murders are sins that see to go undetected or to confronted but do devastation to a Christian's usability.
     In the January 11, 1999 "Daily Bread," an illustration of a prayer was recorded in a church bulletin to which we can relate:  "So for today, Lord, I've done all right.  I haven't gossiped;  I haven't lost my temper;  I haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over-indulgent.  I'm very thankful for that.  But in  a few moments, Lord, I'm going to get out of bed and from then on I'm going to need a lot of help."   Sound familiar?  We need God's power to live the Christian life
     The Fruit of the Spirit is the key to all of our relationships.   Love, joy, and peace have to do with our relationship to God, longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness, control our relationship to others., faithfulness, meekness, and temperance control our relationship to ourselves.  Use these fruits as a checklist to see where we are weak.
     How do we stay encouraged?  We must keep that fervent passion for Christ.  Our days must be started with His Word  and a seeking of that Holy Spirit power to enable us to do the tasks of the day.  Secondly, our gaze must stay on our mission.   What is your mission?   Lastly, our relationship must be kept real and growing. We must work on friendship and fellowship lest complacency set in and we accept powerless living as normal.  We must stay encouraged.
 

1. Donald S Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life,  Colorado Springs, CO, 1991, p. 195-196  
 

 

 

 

Where is Your Confidence?

 

When I first contemplated serving in ministry, doubts about my ability to speak flooded my soul.  “I’m not going,” I told Charlene. “I want to serve God, but I want to do it physically. I don’t think I have the tools it takes.” How can I serve? I wondered. I certainly couldn’t speak; I became tongue-tied and had a lisp and an Upper Peninsula brogue. If I served, perhaps I could learn some Bible and have Bible studies with the loggers.  “I’ve heard your opinion,” Charlene said. “Let’s see what God says.” She held up the promise box, and I pulled out Jeremiah 33:3. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Les, if you’re going to be usable at all, I thought, it’s not up to you.

 

When I ask the question “Where is your confidence?” I stand before you as a man who knows what fears and insecurities are all about. By God’s working in my life, however, I learned to transfer my confidence from self to God.  Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” All things refers to the apostolic responsibilities God had given to Paul. This verse means we can do everything God has given us to do within the realm of our ministry responsibilities. We can become more

usable in God’s hands when we learn the fact, fullness, foundation, and focus
of our confidence.

 

The Fact of My Confidence, “I can do”

 

The words “I can do” reveal the fact of my confidence. When God called Moses, Moses said, “I can’t,” but God said, “I am” the eternal God, the existing God, the covenant-keeping God. Paul understood this truth well when he noted five surprising things that God chooses in the accomplishment of His work: “foolish,” “weak,”  “base” orthings that lack importance, “despised,” and “nothings” (1 Cor 1:26-28).  God uses foolish things, weak things, base things, despised things, and nothings—all so that He might be glorified.

 

The Fullness of Our Confidence,“I can do all things”

 

 All things means everything God wants for you in your ministry. In other words, you can prosper in every circumstance in which God has placed you. His moving may not be what
mankind considers success, but it will be the way God considers success. 

 

The Foundation of Our Confidence, “I can do all things through
Christ”

 

What is the foundation of our confidence? After Paul lists the five things God chooses in 1 Corinthians 1, he says, “That no flesh should glory in [God’s] presence.” We may think we’re somebody until we see Christ for who He is. In Revelation 5:2, an angel cried out, “Who is worthy to open the book?” Nobody was worthy but Jesus Christ. 

 

The Force of Our Confidence, “I can do all things through
Christ which strengtheneth me”

 

As a believer, I’m infused with the indwelling, dynamic power of the Holy Spirit. You may say, “I can’t minister. I don’t have enough strength.” Maybe you have too much strength. Paul consistently argues that weakness brings glory to God because it demonstrates the power of God’s grace (2 Cor 12:6-9). What was Paul’s goal? It was having God’s power in his life. Paul said that if God’s power came when he was weak, then he wanted to be weak. We, too, will be weak if we see God for who He really is and if, as a result, we see who we really are. This revelation of our true identity—of our weakness apart from Christ—will occur only when we make God’s truth a daily part of our lives. 

 

Where is your confidence today?

 

 

The bottom is where you learn your most important lessons 
                          -Les Ollila

Building Great Leaders

© Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Building Great Leaders

© Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.