Archives For Simple Thoughts

This morning I was listening to a new podcast from David Platt entitled “Pray The Word” with David Platt. (I highly recommend!!!) He was explaining & then praying through the verse from Philippians 4:9 where Paul is writing to the Christians in the Roman colony of Philippi.

Philippians 4:9 say:

What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Did you catch those words? Paul is not only saying that they were to learn & receive what had been taught to them, but he is also saying that they were to look at him (Paul) and do what they have seen in him.

Paul was showing them by his own actions and the way he lived that he not only learned the Word, receive it, heard it but then also did it. What Paul was saying is that we must not only be taught the scriptures but we must live it out. James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only”.

Warren Wiersbe has this to say,

“Paul balances four activities: “learned and received” & “heard and seen”. It is one thing to learn a truth, but quite another to receive it inwardly and make it a part of our inner man. Facts in the head are not enough; we must also have truths in the heard.

In Paul’s ministry, he not only taught the Word but also lived it so that his listeners could see the truth in his life.

Paul walked so closely with Jesus that anything that God asked him to do or told him to do he did it. It was that simple. Paul was a “doer” and not just a “hearer”.

So here are the questions: Are we living a life each and every day that points people to Jesus or are we pointing them to the world? Are we truly living out the truths of God’s Word or are we just listening to them as suggestions? And can the people that we are around every day see these truths being put into practice?

It has been said that you are the only Bible that some people will ever read. What are the people around you learning and seeing from you today?

These are some great rules and reminders for men! Many of these were passed down from my grandfather to my father and then down to me and my brother.

Aaron Conrad

A few favorites from the book Rules for My Unborn Son.

1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.

2. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs ain’t one.

3. The man at the grill is the closest thing we have to a king.

4. In a negotiation, never make the first offer.

5. Act like you’ve been there before. Especially in the end zone.

6. Request the late check-out.

7. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.

8. Hold your heroes to a higher standard.

9. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.

10. Don’t fill up on bread.

11. When shaking hands, grip firmly and look him in the eye.

12. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.

13. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.

14. Carry two handkerchiefs. The one in…

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Worship Wednesdays Banner

Today’s Worship Wednesday song comes to us from Bethel Music & singer Kristen Dimarco. The song is entitled “It Is Well”.

You may or may not have ever heard the story behind the great hymn “It Is Well With My Soul”. If you have then hang on; if you haven’t then here is the short version.

Horatio Spafford lost most of his entire fortune during the great Chicago fire in 1871. Shortly thereafter,  his four-year-old son died from scarlet fever. In 1873, he decided to take his family to Europe to visit D. L. Moody & Ira Sankey. When an urgent matter detained Horatio in New York, he decided to send his wife and four daughters on ahead and he would join them soon.

The French ship Ville du Havre traveled across the Atlantic Ocean heading for Europe. During the night, the ship collided with an iron sailing vessel. Water began to pour into the ship and soon it sank below the waters. There were a total of 226 fatalities that evening, which included Horatio’s four daughters. His wife was saved and escorted to the country of Wales. Upon arrival, she contacted her husband by cable and said “Saved Alone”.

Horatio quickly boarded another ship heading to meet his wife. As the vessel was passing over the site of the downed Ville De Havre, the captain of the ship contacted him to let him know. Horatio said the following words “It is well. The will of God be done.”

Upon reaching his wife, he quickly penned the words to this incredible hymn:

When peace like a river attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

Bethel Music has written “It Is Well” that talks about the same subject – when things get tough and the storms of life seem to be beating us down. Even in the middle of the storm, if we know Jesus, we can say … it is well!

The first verse & chorus of “It Is Well” says this:

Verse 1
Grander earth has quaked before moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred can be calmed and broken for my regard

And through it all, through it all my eyes are on You
And through it all, through it all it is well
And through it all, through it all my eyes are on You
It is well with me

I don’t know what storms you are going through right now in your life but know this, Jesus Christ is the answer!

Matthew 8:23-27 says

And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Let me encourage you today and let’s worship Him because He is the one that the wind and seas obey! I pray that we all can say in the middle of storms – “It is well. The will of God be done.”


Points To Ponder

Disclaimer: These are articles or blog post that I have found interesting over the past few weeks. This does not mean that I agree with each and every point.

Does Jeremiah 29:11 Apply to You?

Russell Moore

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

These words are the John 3:16 of American cultural Christianity. Watch how often they show up on the Bible verse plaques sold in Bible Belt mall kiosks or posted on Facebook walls, even on tattoos. Whether as home decor or on social media posts, I see this passage claimed fervently by people I know haven’t been in a church service since the first Bush Administration. Naturally, this love for this verse has often led to more theologically-oriented Christians lamenting the out-of-context use of Jeremiah 29:11. So much so that a young Christian asked me recently, “Does Jeremiah 29:11 apply to me, or not?”

Read Full Article…

The Necessary First Step In Making Disciples

Dylan Blaine

In college, three good friends of mine were Indian nationals. They lived together––a Hindu, a Sikh, and a Muslim. I would visit their home and we would eat together, often bringing up spiritual topics. One day, I asked them what they thought about Jesus’ words in John 14:6:

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Their reaction was incredulous disbelief that Jesus would say this. As a young Christian, I wasn’t aware of the traditional existence of these three religious beliefs in India, including the Islamic idea of Jesus as a mere prophet.  I confess that I found myself at a loss, unsure of how to answer their objections. Instead of an open Bible and a patient spirit, I said no more of the gospel, afraid that my apparent lack of understanding would somehow defame Christ. They had questions. I gave them silence.


Why We Don’t  Commit To The Church

David Platt

I am increasingly convinced that the “me-centeredness” that is so prevalent in our church culture is in large part due to a deficient understanding of the church, its nature and essence.

Listen or Read Full Article…

Disciplining Your Children Without Losing Your Cool

Ginger Plowman – Family Life

I can relate to the frustrations of parenting little ones all day. Been there, done that! I also know how easy it is for mom to lose her cool. I was really struggling one day in particular when my children were younger. Feeling guilty for the harsh words and not-so-sweet tone of voice I had used all day, I decided to write down some guidelines that would enable me to keep myself in check.

Read Full Article…

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”. – James 1:2-4

The book of James is a very practical book that helps us to live out our faith and actually do it – not just read it or hear it!

James starts chapter one by telling us who it is he is talking to – “…the twelve tribes in the Dispersion”. He is talking to fellow christians. These were the people who were scattered throughout the world by the Assyrians and Babylonians.

count-it-all-joyJames jumps right into verse two by saying, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…”. Joy in trials…really? I have been through my share of trials and it is very difficult to be joyful. But this is what God is telling us we should do – count it all joy!

WHY? Why are we to count the trials as joy?

Answer: Because the testing of our faith produces steadfastness – and steadfastness, when it is finished, helps us to be made perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James is telling us that the trials we are going through are not wasted times in our lives. They are not coincidence.  This “testing of your faith” is something that God wants to use in your life, my life, to make us more like Him.

That phrase “testing of your faith” is awesome when you break it down. “Testing” is a phrase that silversmiths would use when they wanted to purify silver. They would fill a pot with silver and then heat it up. At a certain temperature, all of the impurities would rise to the top and the silversmith would scoop the top layer off and discard it.

The silversmith would then look into the pot of silver. If he did not see his own reflection then he would repeat the process. This process, or the testing of the silver, was done until the silversmith was able to see his own reflection in the silver.

That is what God is doing with us! He is telling us that the trials or test that we are going through are there to challenge our faith and to make our faith more genuine. The tests are there to burn the impurities out of our lives, so that we will look more and more like Jesus. Each trial is there for a purpose – for God to look down and see more and more of himself in our lives.

So, how do you look at “trials of various kinds”? As nothing more than bumps in the road of life or something that will make you look more and more like Jesus?