Posts made in February, 2014

When You Are Walled In, Look for the Way Out – Chapter 4

Posted by on Feb 24, 2014 in The Story | 0 comments

There’s a wall in front of you. Behind you is a past you are running from. Beyond the wall awaits the
promise of a new life. But you’re not moving because there is this “wall.” You feel trapped. No way out.
This is just the sort of situation in which God does some of his finest work.
You need only ask the Israelites. Behind them was a life of back-breaking work and slavery. Ahead of
them was a life in the land of Promise. Behind them was the fierce army of a fanatical Pharaoh coming
towards them. Ahead of them was a wall. Their obstruction was made of water.
Your “wall” may be a fear of failure. Or maybe it’s a lack of confidence that has grinded your progress to a
halt. Or it could merely be too many problems that have piled up in front of you at the same time. And
you have no clue which one to tackle first.
So you stopped. And you aren’t sure if there is a way over, around, or under this imposing impediment.
At this point many people panic. Anxiety courses its way through the body, atrophies the movement
muscles, and rigor mortis overtakes their resolve. Eyes which once had clear focus now only focus on the
wall just inches away.
But some look elsewhere. The Israelites looked to Moses. They began belting him with blame. Have you
done the same? Blame the boss. Blame a co-worker. Blame your dog. Blame God. Maybe even blame
yourself? Blame all you want but the wall remains.
While the Israelites were body punching Moses, he opted to look elsewhere. His options? He could have
looked at the enemy’s army. He could have looked at the ungrateful people he led. He could have looked
at the wall of water spread out before him, sat down, and given up.
Instead he looked to God. And God opened an unlikely route through the wall of water. Safely on the
other side, the very wall that had halted their steps closed in on and covered the sources of their fears.
The very name of the book where we find this story serves as a reminder when we face our “walls.”
“Exodus” is a compound Greek word meaning “the way out.” And in case you might have missed it,
the way out was not a better job, a different spouse, or a victim mentality.
No, the way out is God. Next time you find yourself up against a wall try looking to him.

Read The story.  Experience The Story.  Used by permission © Zondervan 2010

Read More

Trading in Your Dreams for Another’s – Chapter 3

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in The Story | 0 comments

People nearing mid-life often crash into some startling and unexpected observations. For instance, we all
dreamed big dreams when we were younger. But as we move at a break-neck pace through our twenties,
thirties, and forties, we eventually slam head on into the realization that some of our dreams will never
be realized.
That observation throws some people into a mid-life crisis. Some don’t make it that far with their aspirations,
having already given them up somewhere along the way. Some run into conflict that makes them
weary and they settle for less. Still others make bold decisions to trade one dream in for another.
That’s what Joseph did. Talk about dreams! He had some big ones. At seventeen he dreamed his ten
older brothers would bow down to him. It’s enough he dreamed that dream. What makes it worse is that
he told his brothers about it.
The older brothers already had issues with the younger son. Their father favored Joseph. He had even
given him a valuable, multi-colored coat. That’s the modern-day equivalent of a parent of four teenagers
giving one an iPhone and the other three a stack of quarters each for a pay phone (assuming they could
find one on their travels). The brothers banded together and tossed the dreamer in a ditch, eventually
selling him into slavery at the first opportunity. The next thing Joseph knew he was waking up in Egypt.
From there his life was a rollercoaster thrill ride. One minute a slave. The next in charge of an Egyptian
official’s house. The next in prison. The next in charge of the prison. Then he found himself in front of
Pharaoh, called upon to interpret the leader’s dreams. With God’s help he was able to warn Pharaoh he
would have seven years of abundant crops that he should be put in storehouses in anticipation of seven
years of famine. Recognizing his wisdom, Pharaoh put Joseph second in command of all of Egypt.
And because of God’s personal involvement in his life, he was was able to save his family. The same family
that God was building into a nation. Joseph was in position to bring his family to Egypt and give them
the most fertile land to work. And it was definitely fertile. In the time they were there they were “fruitful
and increased greatly” (Exodus 1:7).
Joseph could have lost his life getting caught up in the details of his life, chasing his dreams and desires.
Instead, he chose a better story. God’s story.
You can do the same. If your life’s dream has stalled, look to God. If your dream now realized is not all
you thought it would be, look to God. He can give you another dream. A better one, not according to
the world’s standard but God’s criterion. Just like Joseph’s. Then you’ll have a story to tell.

Read The Story. Experience The Story. Used with permission © Zondervan 2010

Read More

Welcome to Intentional Living

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Welcome to my blog.  Each week as I preach, I will be posting a post sermon blog on my morning message.  I will also be posting resources that are related to our ministry here at Bethel and will help you be intentional in your Christian life.  It is my prayer that it will be a helpful ressource that will be a blessing to you.


Worshipping Him,


Read More

More to The Story Chapter two

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in The Story | 0 comments

When the Last in Line Gets Chosen for the Team
The casting agent enters the room with her top picks for the show’s leading man and lady. The new series
will follow the spellbinding story of a clan that builds a powerful, world-impacting family tree. This is
the pilot, and it is crucial to make the right call on the individuals who will fall in love and launch this
Kennedy-like family of influence and fame.
Producers and writers alike have waited breathlessly for this moment, the moment when who they have
envisioned as the leading characters will be finally realized in an actor and actress. But when they turn
to see who has been tapped for these most special of roles, the thud of their collective jaws hitting the
majestic mahogany conference table muffles their mutual groans.
There before their wide eyes, instead of the expected vibrant, young couple with gleaming white teeth
and tanned and toned bodies, stand a 75-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman. Not what they had
pictured for their production.
And yet, this is what God has chosen. His screenplay called for a couple to launch a new nation, one
that would impact the entire world. As he would say, a nation through whom “all the nations of the
earth would be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Abram and Sarai stand there, adorned perhaps by dusty old robes and crowned with wispy white hair and
loosely fitting skin and as befuddled as anyone else. God chose them to begin a nation. An unlikely pair,
especially after factoring in the fact that Sarai was barren. How could God expect to start a nation with a
woman who could not bear children?
To complicate the story line, it will be 25 more years before they actually have their child of promise. By
that time Abram and Sarai will be 100 years old and 90 years old, respectively (and their names will be
changed to Abraham and Sarah). Perhaps Social Security checks will help this special couple decorate
the baby’s tent and they’ll be able take naps when the baby does. And the rest, as they say, is history. His
God picks people you and I wouldn’t necessarily select to take part in his story. In fact sometimes we are
shocked who plays the starring roles in his stories. Unlike the way we do business, he taps people, not
merely because of their abilities, but for their availability. God searches for people who are open to be
used by him. Since he uses only those who are willing to be used for his purposes, there is no doubt that
it is he who is doing the the wonder- working. Let there be no doubt, throughout history he is the one
making things happen.
That’s good news, isn’t it? In the business world, you may not have a great pedigree. In academics, you
may not be a Rhodes Scholar. You may not have a lot of money and you may have average looks. But you
may be sitting in a pretty good position to be a top pick for God’s work.

Read The Story. Experience The Story. Used with permission © Zondervan 2010

Read More