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God has blessed me with the desire and health to ride a bicycle. Cycling is not only a great way to stay healthy; it is also a fantastic way to meet with God. Exercise, being outdoors and communing with the Creator – what better way to spend a couple of hours?

Cycling is a joy to me. So, when I get the chance, I like to share that joy with others – helping them learn to ride. In the process, I have learned that learning to ride is a transformative experience.

  1. You must get over your fear of riding. Whether you are just learning, or venturing out on more trafficked roadways, fear will take the fun out of cycling. In fact, fear is a distraction that can make your ride less safe.
  2. You must learn, not only how the bike works, but how it works for you. Get caught in the wrong gear while climbing a steep hill will leave you walking. Shifting in anticipation of a change in terrain will become natural over time – but only with practice.
  3. You must trust your bike to get you home. A bicycle is meant to take you places – new places. Time spent on the bike builds trust in its dependability.
  4. Going with others is more fun; and it is safer. Finding a good riding partner – or better yet, a group – simply makes cycling a more enjoyable experience. As it is with most activities, there is safety in numbers.
  5. The more you ride, the stronger you will be; and the farther you will be able to venture out. The only way to get cycling strong is to cycle. The reward is an expansion of adventure possibilities.

I think it is fair to say that the kingdom of God is like learning to ride a bicycle. When God calls us to a new assignment (and He does so more often than we realize), the Holy Spirit commits Himself to our transformation. He becomes our cycling coach.

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Here we are: Already into the eighth article of this series. Some of you are itching to get on with the plan. Am I right? I know how you feel – fighting the urge to get something done.

So, step back from the edge and take a deep breath. You don’t want to go there. You really don’t. Be encouraged: God has it all under control. It’s more about the journey than the destination.

We are making progress. In fact, we are about to move on to the next phase – from positioning ourselves before God, to discovering His purpose.

Remember, patience is a virtue. It is also a necessity – assuming we are determined to find the center of God’s will in the good works He has created us to walk in.

Are You Ready to Move On?

God’s greatest intention, in calling us to more, is to better position us to hear, believe and obey His voice. Now is the time – in these relatively quiet beginnings – to establish that foundation. Doing so will protect us when the chaos of adventure arrives.

Therefore, we are going to take a pause here to check ourselves. Just how are we doing with our preparation? Important note: These are intended to be conversation starters… with God.
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A Storm is ComingStorms tend to inflict pain; emotional, physical and mental pain. The pain of loss due to poor foundation (or poor anchor), or damage from a poorly built structure. The pain of watching a loved one suffer from poor decisions. The pain that comes with having something removed that doesn’t belong. This will be our pain; pain we will be blessed to share with someone in our spheres of influence.

Whatever the cause and nature of the pain, God has promised two things:

  1. He will be in it with us.
  2. He will work it to our good.

Or course, this is only true for those that are prepared to face the pain with faith and courage. I recently learned this lesson while riding my bicycle.

At fifty-five, riding regularly ends with a lot of pain in the legs (no pain, no gain).  This time, the pain began less than one mile into the ride.  I had sensations in my left leg unlike any I have experienced.  It started in my knee and moved from there to my thigh and calf; almost like a double cramp.  It was weird. Read the rest of this entry »

Bible with Cross ShadowOne of the coolest things about searching the Scriptures is finding passages that expand and/or connect some bit of truth that has been previously discovered. For your encouragement, I offer two examples. First, we have two very familiar passages:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2Corinthians 3:18

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 2:12

Most of you know that one of my favorite Greek words is metamorphoō; translated in these verses as “transformed”. The fact that metamorphoō is only used three times in the New Testament is enough to suggest that these passages are connected in their meaning. For example, transformation includes the renewal of our minds, and the Holy Spirit plays a part in that transformation. (BTW: The third use will blow your mind. I will let you search it out on your own.)

For now, take a look at this connecting passage:

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him… Colossians 3:10

Beholding the image of Him (His glory) we are renewed in knowledge (in our minds). How cool is that? Renewal of our minds and our transformation; both connected by our beholding Him. It begs the question, “How do we behold Him?” Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingA storm has come to a dear friend of mine and his family. He has been diagnosed with cancer – one of the most challenging and threatening storms a person can face. The peace he has in the midst of his storm is noticeable and encouraging. It is the mark of someone who trusts in his God.

There are other storms, and most in the body of Christ have faced them. There are personal storms, storms that affect families, and storms that impact an entire fellowship community. The way we live through these storms says much about our faith – the depth of our trust in God.

The next storm you face may be personal, familial or broader in its impact. Your trust in God will be evidenced by the peace you experience, and the peace others see in you. Inexplicable peace will be one of the strongest characteristics in those whose houses are standing in the storm. It will draw others to Him.

With that in mind, I would like to share the promise, provision and way of peace for every child of God. It starts with the prophecy of His coming.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

This much quoted verse contains something I had not noticed until recently. Not only was the Messiah to be wounded, bruised and scourged, but he was also promised to be chastised for our peace. He took on our chastisement (correction, reproof, rebuke) of the Father; that we might have peace with Him. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingAs the storm clouds gather and your urgency for preparation ramps up, you may discover that you are having a harder time maintaining focus on the spiritual side of your preparation. While it is important to be physically prepared (as much as the Lord and His wisdom have directed you), we must not allow those concerns to supersede the spiritual preparation required for the days ahead. This is critical for you, for those in your spheres of influence, and (most importantly) for the kingdom of God

We must keep, at the forefront, God’s desires to make us His instruments of refuge, truth and freedom to those He has gather around us. The coming season will provide incredible opportunity for ministry to the lost and wandering children of God. I hope and pray that the following reminders will encourage, edify and equip you in your spiritual preparation.

Let me share two additional thoughts before you consider this list. First, there is nothing here that we should not be doing anyway. Second, God knows you cannot do all this at once. He will direct you, by His Spirit, to the one(s) that will be most profitable to His kingdom. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingFor most Christians, the Day of Pentecost was/is the day the Holy Spirit “came in power” upon those who were obediently waiting. This is true, but not the whole story. For many Christians today, Pentecost is about what we have been given. Again true, but limited… and a bit self-centered.

What if Pentecost is about something else; not something different, but something else important to the kingdom of God? Have you ever wondered why God chose the Festival of Weeks for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit? Have you ever considered His perspective of Pentecost? Have you ever considered what was in it for Him?

The Festival of Weeks was one of the three great celebrations of the Jewish year; given by God for “a new grain offering to the LORD” (Leviticus 23:15-21), “the firstfruits of wheat harvest” (Exodus 34:22). It was (is?) about the harvest. Is it possible that Pentecost is as much about the harvest of souls for God’s kingdom as it is about what we have been given (as great as that gift is)?

The Festival of Weeks was also the time of commemoration for the giving of the Law to Moses. In Jeremiah 31:33, we learn that God intends to write His law on our hearts. We know from John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit is our teacher. Is it possible that Pentecost, from God’s perspective, is as much about our “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded” (Matthew 28:20) as what we personally receive from the Holy Spirit?

Many in the church are crying out for revival in America; for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Why? I can’t help but wonder if our subconscious hope is for the return of “the good old days”; a day when Christians were respected, protected and comfortable. Could it be that God is waiting for us to align our purpose with His perspective?

Just something to think about.

Humbly yours and forever His,

A Storm is ComingThe way we think about the United States of America and the church that resides here is becoming ever more important. Only when we come to understand the relationship and separation of the kingdom of God and America, can we rightly assess the value and danger of our patriotism. An important question is coming to the foreground: In this day, can we give our hearts’ allegiance to both America and the kingdom of God?

Many of America’s values and beliefs have become contrary to those in the kingdom of God. Two of the most damaging are the spirit of independence and the belief that man has the right to establish his own rule. Without God, the tensions between the two become unmanageable. The United State of America is swiftly becoming an example and object lesson in this regard. Read the rest of this entry »

A Storm is ComingIt has been a little over a week since I sent out a request for help in hearing from God about the issue of investing in His kingdom before the storm. I am very grateful for the five responses I received. I include them here for your edification; and to encourage you to join us in the conversation.

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A Storm is ComingDear Sisters and Brothers,

Let me begin by emphasizing that spiritual preparation is more important that physical preparation. That means that we should be spending more time and energy ensuring we are spiritually prepared for the storm. We should be spending more time with the LORD; to learn what He wants – what He has given us faith for. We should be spending more time studying Scripture; for the truth will make us free from fear and deception.

We should be spending more time mending relationships; for a house divided will not stand. For me, I should be spending more time getting to know my neighbors. They will need my help and the opportunity to love my neighbors as myself will be increased in the storm. So will the opportunity to disciple.

It is hard to say that we should be spending more money on the spiritual preparation, because the physical seems so expensive. Oh my, dear Lord, it just occurred to me: Perhaps we should be investing more in other people’s preparation than in our own. Each will have to hear about that for themselves.

In any case, whatever money we invest must be invested as stewards of the Most High God. This is not a trivial matter. One thing we are doing to help keep our physical preparation in line with the spiritual is to ensure that whatever we do, we do it not just for us and our own, but for anyone God would have us bless.

Now for the immediate topic: I spent most of the day looking into long term food stores. My search led me in a number of other areas (e.g., bug out bags). I have included a number of sites that I found useful. WARNING: Some of the sites recommend things I would not do (e.g., buying Kool-aid Drink Mix). You are going to have to decide what of this is for you and your family. In my opinion, it all depends on three very important things: Read the rest of this entry »

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