Just a Thought

My mission in this life is reaching the lost and edifying the body of Christ. My gifts are preaching and teaching the word of God. My goal in everything I do is that you hear God in my words and you see God in my actions. I am not perfect but I am being perfected as God has called me to pick up my cross and follow after Him. I pray this blog will challenge you for the cause of Christ.

What are you asking the Lord to do?

Lord, that I may receive my sight. —
What is the thing that not only disturbs you but makes you a disturbance? It is always something you cannot deal with yourself. “They rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more.” Persist in the disturbance until you yet get face to face with the Lord Himself; do not deify common sense. When Jesus asks us what we want Him to do for us in regard to the incredible thing with which we are faced, remember that He does not work in commonsense ways, but in supernatural ways.

Watch how we limit the Lord by remembering what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past: “I always failed there, and I always shall”; consequently we do not ask for what we want, “It is ridiculous to ask God to do this.” If it is an impossibility, it is the thing we have to ask. If it is not an impossible thing, it is not a real disturbance. God will do the absolutely impossible.

This man received his sight. The most impossible thing to you is that you should be so identified with the Lord that there is nothing of the old life left. He will do it if you ask Him. But you have to come to the place where you believe Him to be Almighty. Faith is not in what Jesus says but in Himself; if we only look at what He says we shall never believe. When once we see Jesus, He does the impossible thing as naturally as breathing. Our agony comes through the wilful stupidity of our own heart. We
won’t believe, we won’t cut the shore line, we prefer to worry on
The Christian Church should not be a secret society of specialists, but a public manifestation of believers in Jesus.  Facing Reality, 34 R

The Challenger Disaster Reminds us of our Mortality

In the wake of the thirtieth anniversary of the Challenger disaster Consider; recognizing our mortality leads us to focus on immortality.
We know that we will stand before God one day (2 Corinthians 5:10). But it’s easy to think about that fact later. We’re busy people facing challenging times. Why is our accountability in heaven relevant to us on earth?
Because the God of heaven is also the God of earth. He is both omnipresent and omniscient. He is where you are right now, a fact Jacob learned at Bethel: “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it” (Genesis 28:16).
He is reading your thoughts this moment: “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. . . . Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Psalm 139:1–2, 4).
Think of the person whose opinion means the most to you. Imagine going through your day with that person at your side, hearing everything you say and watching everything you do. Imagine that this person has been granted omniscience and can read your thoughts. How will your day be different?
An essential leadership principle is that people do not do what you expect—they do what you inspect. God knows that this is so. That’s why his word so clearly teaches that he is present in all we think, say, and do.
Now add this fact: The Lord who inspects us also empowers us. If you’ll ask God’s Spirit to guide and strengthen you for God’s purposes (Ephesians 5:18), he will answer your prayer.
So stay conscious of God’s presence today, and you will impact your culture and glorify your Father. Your mortal life will produce immortal good.
Is there a better way to live?

THIS WEEK 12-27-15

Praise The Lord,
What an incredible week and such a wonderful word from God yesterday! Thank you Steve Kinka for your heart to serve! Listen to this powerful message again www,famharvestchurch.org or in you FHC app from the app store.

This Week:
Wednesday 6:30p Dinner and “MONEY MATTERS” the final Session in this series.
Thursday:New Years Eve: “A Time For Prayer” 7p (very informal time to be reverent in prayer as a church family)
Later some will stay and ring in the new year
Sunday:VISION 2016


Pray for the Family:
Sharyn Hughes is having surgery today.Please prayer for her and her immediate family. God speed in recovery.
We appreciate your prayers for Terri in her recovery from hip surgery.
Please lift those up who are struggling with substance abuse. Unfortunately Drugs and alcohol abuse are a plague in our community For some they are a substitute for the power of the Holy Spirit.Only God can fill the void in our lives!
Please remember those who have lost someone this year.

As this year comes to a close, it’s vital that we take time to both reflect on what God has done and allow him to prepare us for what’s to come. A new year marks a fresh opportunity to center our lives around the goodness of God. I pray that as you begin looking toward what is to come you will make space to gain God’s perspective, ground your hopes and pursuits on his grace and celebrate all that God has done and is doing. May your time with God this week be filled with the loving presence of your heavenly Father.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Lord Bless you as you GO and DO the great things HE has called you to.

Longing for a Break in this World

Chapter 31: Longing for a Break in this World

Some days are hard.  Some days are so full of stress and anxiety and fear and heartache that you long to get away. 

Like we did recently.  We went to an all-inclusive resort in a paradise called the Dominican.  It seemed as if we had been put down right in the middle of the Garden of Eden.  Beautiful beach.  Endless buffet of food.  Abundant produce. 

And nothing but fun.  One day my friend Steve and I were assigned the task of reserving some jet skis for the next day.  Through a bit of a language barrier we tried to tell our Dominican friend that we needed two Wave Runners for the four of us.  He had a hard time understanding since he only saw the two of us.

So Steve kept saying, “We have two ‘chicas.’”  Finally he smiled and pointed towards the village and said he could get us two “chicas.”  We didn’t even try to schedule a massage. 

It was a week—and you’ve had them—where stress was left behind.  Despite some translation issues.  No bills to pay.  No deadlines to meet.  Only an opportunity to commune with God, nature and each other.

But then the week ended.  And as soon as we arrived back home you could feel it again.  The things that needed to be done.  The concern about projects.  The relational tensions.  Back to a world where it seemed as if Satan might be winning.  But for a moment we had a tiny taste of what could be.

The Book of Revelation is an authentic taste of what will be.  It is the promise that in the end God wins.  Life may be hard now.  Life may be unfair now.  There may be challenges now.  But in the end, God will demonstrate he is the Victor.

And he will give us a life in Paradise.  And there won’t be language issues.  The Apostle John was given a vision of the New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven.  It is an immense place.  Some get caught up in the dimensions outlined in Scripture.  But I believe the purpose we are told of the size of heaven is to give us the assurance that there is room for everyone. 

“All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).  The end will be much like the beginning.  The God who shaped Eden out of chaos will take the chaos of our world and shape it into something new.  A New Heaven and a New Earth.

So call on his name and make your reservation.  It’s all inclusive. 

When You are Holding on for Dear Life

The Story Continues: Your Story, Gods Story….

Chapter 30 / When You are Holding on for Dear Life

One day in the late Spring they came to his cell in the Mamertine Prison in Rome and opened the door.  His executioners led him out of the city on the Ostian Road.

As they were walking out, other travelers would have been walking into Rome.  They would have paid him little attention.  No one would have recognized his face.  No one would have known his crime.  He was just another prisoner, just another “dead man walking.”

After traveling a few miles out, the executioners would have stopped.  A block would be laid down.  His head would be placed upon it.  A sword would be raised.  And in an instant the head of the most influential writer of all times would roll upon the ground.

Paul had known his share of suffering, but he did not shrink back from his calling.  If we could look closer, we would see how scars spread across his back like a windshield crack and how wounds stiffened his joints.  His own account of his hardships included floggings, lashings, beatings with rods, pelting with stones, shipwrecks, dangers from rivers and bandits and Jews and Gentiles, danger in the city and in the country, danger at sea and from false believers.  He knew hard labor, lack of sleep, hunger, thirst, cold and nakedness (2 Cor. 11:23-29).

It’s a wonder that he could move at all, but move he did.  From Corinth to Ephesus, from Thessalonica to Colossae, he left his footprints all over the known world of his day.  His visits to these cities were not for sightseeing.  He worked.  Long days of preaching and establishing churches.

When he wasn’t walking he was writing.  He wrote letters to the church in Rome and Corinth and Galatia and Ephesus.  He wrote to Titus and he wrote to Timothy.  Letters that continue to bless. God’s grace turned his world upside down and his life was spent telling others about it.  Until that day on the Ostian Road, when he drew his last breath.

When you face struggles because of your faith, remember Paul.  He anchored himself to a purpose that was higher and greater than his life.   There are many fights you can fight, but Paul trained himself for the “good fight” (2 Timothy 4:6-8). 

His fight did not end at death.  His writings have encouraged, exhorted, and educated followers of Christ till today and for all the tomorrows to come.  He gave himself totally to eternal things. 

So can you.  Fight the good fight.  And like Paul, finish the race well.

Chapter 29 / God Chooses Unlikely Candidates to be His Messengers

If you saw her backstage you never would have imagined what fame was soon to come her way. She walked out on the stage in a frumpy dress. Slightly mussed up hair. Bushy eyebrows. Seemingly a bit old and odd for the competition. But the moment she began to sing on Britain’s Got Talent she took the world by storm. By the final note she was receiving a standing ovation from the crowd and a broad smile from Simon Cowell. The video of her performance immediately hit YouTube and within a week had been viewed 66 million times.
She eventually won second place in the competition but that did not stop her. An album was released in November of 2009 and by the end of the year she had the top selling record world wide of any releases, selling a total of 8.3 million copies.

You probably would never have picked him either. One first century writing describes him this way: “Bald-headed, bowlegged, strongly built, a man small in size, with meeting eyebrows, and a rather large nose.”

Appearances aside, he had been spending his days with a singular purpose: persecuting Christians. Pulling them from their houses. Throwing them in prison. Even having some killed.

And yet God chose him to take his story to the Gentiles. Jesus arranged a face-to-face meeting with Saul while he was on his way to Damascus to persecute his followers (Acts 9). Jesus slammed on the stadium lights and Saul began to see the light. And by the end of the encounter his name is changed from Saul to Paul as he is given a new purpose and a new lease on life.

The rest is history. Paul, a Jew, took the gospel message to the Gentiles. Paul, the “chief of sinners” spoke as a gracious firsthand recipient of God’s mercy. Paul, the well-schooled expert on the Law, became the most outspoken voice for the principle of grace.

And aren’t you glad he did? Most of us would not know Christ had Paul not traveled the world telling others about him. And most of us would not know Christ if some modern-day “Paul” not walked across the cul-de-sac or the cubicle or the classroom to introduce him to us.

Susan’s look changed. So did Paul’s. The description of Paul ends by saying he was “. . . full of grace, for sometimes he looked like a man and sometimes he had the face of an angel.”

An “angel.” The word means “messenger.” God wants to use you to take his message to your world. Your street. Your workplace. Your school. You might not think he’d choose you either. But you might just need to think again, no matter your appearance.

The Story Chapter 28: God’s Search and Rescue Plan Involves You

William Pilkenton was one month away from turning eight years old.  His family had traveled from Bellingham, Washington, to Tofino, British Columbia for a vacation.  He and his father were walking up from the beach when his father turned to look for him and realized he was gone.

 When children go missing, fathers start looking.  And so did this one.  Before long, the entire community was helping him search for this missing child.  Search and rescue crews scoured the area.  Search coordinator Garth Cameron said, “I don’t think there’s a square foot in this town that doesn’t have footprints.”[1]

 When children go missing, parents go looking.  And that’s what God has done.  There’s not a square foot on earth that doesn’t have his footprints.  He began searching for them the moment Adam and Eve made a choice and lost their way.  He sent the nation of Israel looking.  He sent his Son to “seek and save what was lost” (Luke 19:10). 

 Today he sends his church.  In Acts 1:8 we find his search and rescue plan: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

 Jesus sent the disciples into the middle of Jerusalem and told them to wait.  While they were waiting a crowd gathered for Pentecost.  Some estimate Jerusalem swelled to over one million people during this time.  The Holy Spirit came on them, Peter preached, and the church swelled from 120 to over three thousand.

It didn’t stop there.  The devoted themselves to “the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).  That first church in Jerusalem grounded its people in the Word, in deep community, to sharing meals and sharing Christ, and to prayer.  They had to.  The task at hand was too big for them to accomplish on their own.  They needed each other.  Mostly they needed God.

That hasn’t changed, has it?  We still have the same commission to be witnesses for Jesus in our Jerusalems and in our world.  We are still called to the Word, to love each other, to share life, and to prayer.  And we are still searching for those who have lost their way.

We are still searching because the Father still has children who are missing.  So go to your Jerusalem and wait.  God will bring you power as you serve him there.  Let’s not leave a square foot without our footprints.
GO and DO Great Things

Chapter 27 / Finding the Door to an Eternity of Sundays

In the spring of 2010 archaeologists unearthed a 3,500-year-old door to the afterlife from the tomb of a high-ranking Egyptian official near Karnak temple in Luxor.  This door was meant to take the official from death to the afterworld.

Jack found another door to the afterlife.  He taught English literature at Oxford and spent many evenings walking the gardens of Magdalene College.  And it was one evening while walking with his friend John that Jack discovered his way. 

His door seems to have found a way into his writings as a wardrobe through which his characters could enter Narnia, a kind of medieval version of Paradise.  Jack, or C.S. Lewis as we know him today, went on to become one of the great apologists for the Christian faith in the 20th century. He wrote of death in this way:  “If we really think that home is elsewhere and that this life is a ‘wandering to find home,’ why should we not look forward to the arrival?

How would you write about that time you take your last breath and the moment right after?  Will you look forward to it?  Or will it be a terrifying moment for you?  And would you want to be able to face your death unafraid?

Jesus enables us to do that, you know.  He moves us from a Friday and Saturday of death and disillusionment to a Sunday of victory.   Your way into that victory is through a door.  Jesus Christ. 

Jesus said of himself, “I am the door; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).  And all of the Easter stories tell this.

In another garden, another Magdalene—Mary—was looking for Jesus’ dead body to anoint, but it was missing from the tomb (John 20).  Two angels speak to her but she is so upset she misses them.  She keeps talking about her “Lord” and that he had been taken away.  It took Jesus coming to her and calling her by name before she recognized what had happened.

You’ll have your Fridays and Saturdays.  Days that are dark and days that are lost.  In those days when you can’t find the door out, do as Mary did.  Keep calling Jesus “Lord.”  Keep calling and keep looking for him.

Because if you keep calling him Lord, he’ll call you by name.  And when he does, you will turn and find the door to an eternity of Sundays.

Adopt a Revolutionary Motto for Your Life

Chapter 16 / Adopt a Revolutionary Motto for Your Life

In the early formation of our nation George Washington had the opportunity to become king of the burgeoning nation. But given the young nation’s experience with England and because he had a robust prayer life he knew there was only one King, so he declined the offer.

The people of the land apparently knew the same. “In a 1774 report to King George, the Governor of Boston noted: ”If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ.” The pre-war Colonial Committees of Correspondence soon made this the American motto: “No King but King Jesus” **

The story of God’s chosen people might have gone very differently had they chanted the same motto. Instead, they wanted a king. Over the period of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah there were thirty-eight kings. Only five of them were good. Of the others a refrain heard throughout the Old Testament goes like this: “They did evil in the eyes of the Lord.”

Prophets appeared exhorting the people to turn back to God. God spoke through one prophet—Isaiah—to tell the people of Judah that they would be captured and deported to Babylon but afterward he would bring them back home. The purpose? “Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in me will not be disappointed. Then the whole human race will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (Isaiah 49:23).

In Isaiah 53 the prophet depicts the coming Messiah. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain” (Isaiah 53: 2, 3). God did not want the people to miss him. But they did. And still do.

Our nation would have gone a much different route had Washington agreed to be king. But he seemed to know what many others didn’t. When we displace God on the throne of our lives, the outcome will go horribly wrong. But when we put God on the throne in our lives, we put ourselves in the best possible position for godly success.

Maybe our American ancestors knew the best way to start a revolution. Adopt the motto “No King but King Jesus” in your life. See what changes that ignites in your life.

** Refernces made from “Is America a Christian Nation?” CARL PEARLSTON

Pay Attention To The Ripple Effect

Pay Attention to the Ripple Effect

The decisions you make and the actions you take affect those around you.

Rehoboam learned that lesson the hard way. Rehoboam followed his father Solomon to the throne of Israel. Solomon had exacted harsh labor on the people. A delegation, led by Jeroboam, went to the new king and asked him to take away the harshness.

In private, Rehoboam asked his elder council what he should do. They advised that he become a servant to the people, lighten their load, and the people would always be faithful servants to the king.

His circle of younger friends gave him just the opposite advice. They told him to work the people harder. He liked that idea, told the delegation his plans, and wound up with a divided kingdom.

At one time or another all of us are impacted by someone else’s decisions or actions. When we suffer the negative consequences of another’s wrongheaded decision, God can redeem the situation. Although Rehoboam wound up ruling only two tribes—Judah and Benjamin (as opposed to Jeroboam’s rule over ten tribes)—it was through Judah that Jesus came to us. God can work, and often does what seems to us as his best work, in situations that seem the most difficult.

We should always consider how our decisions and actions affect those around us. In “systems thinking” it is said that “you are the highest leverage point in any system you are in.” More simply stated, you can make a difference. You are more “powerful” than you think you are––no matter your station in life.

Clint Eastwood’s film Invictus tells the story of Nelson Mandela’s use of the South African rugby team to help heal a nation divided by apartheid. In one scene of the movie he explains to a team member, “Reconciliation starts here. Forgiveness starts here.” He knew his actions would have a ripple effect on those around him. Eventually the blessing of that “ripple” washed across the nation.

Rehoboam made a bad decision, but it was really his father Solomon’s actions that divided the kingdom. He forsook the one true God and chased after other “gods,” he neglected to serve the people and instead forced them to work harder, and he was focused on himself, as reflected in his accumulation of wives, gold, and horses in direct disobedience to God’s counsel. His son Rehoboam was merely living out consequence of those decisions and actions.

Learn from Solomon’s mistake. Love God first. Love others second. And serve those that do not yet know God. You will be surprised to see how far your ripple will travel.