Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The God Who Sees Me

This morning during my devotional time, I read Genesis 16. This is the story of when Sarai, unable to have children, gives Hagar, her maidservant, to Abram. Then when Hagar conceives a child, Sarai begins to take her hurt, insecurity, jealousy and anger out on Hagar.

Talk about dysfunctional!

Hagar must have felt so betrayed. So unloved. So used. So alone. 

After the angel appears to her, “she gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me.’” Genesis 16:13

When I hurt. . .

When I cry . . .

When I feel all alone. . .

You are the God who sees me. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why Do I Serve?

"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord and not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does." Ephesians 6:7-8 

Too often I look for my reward to come from men, not from the Lord. I want the recognition, I want the encouragement, I want the honor. Isn't this what the hypocrites were desiring too? 

"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 6:1 

Ouch. I want to live for a reward that comes from God.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Heart at Rest

"My soul finds rest in God alone..." Psalm 62:1

It's easy to "seek rest" in things other than God, isn't it? A job, financial stability, good health. But when chaos and uncertainty swirl around us, how often are our souls truly at rest? 

David was surrounded by people that wanted to dethrone him. Through the years, he had learned to trust God and find rest in Him. May that be said of us as well. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Is Anything too Hard for the Lord?

As I was reading in Jeremiah this morning, I came to chapter 32 where Judah is being taken over by Babylon. War is raging and the people are being carried into exile. In the midst of all of the uncertainty, fear and turmoil, God tells Jeremiah to buy a field.

Seems like a silly request, doesn’t it? How irrational must this seem to Jeremiah? How foolish must Jeremiah look to the Israelites. Why would anyone invest in land when their future in that place looks so bleak and hopeless?

It was through this request to Jeremiah that God illustrated to the Israelites that He can be trusted and that His promises are true, regardless of the circumstances surrounding them.

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah was, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Jeremiah 32:27. In the midst of the darkness and uncertainty, God wants us to trust Him and actively depend on Him even when things don’t look the way we’d hoped or expected.

God assures Jeremiah and the people of Israel that they can trust Him to do what He promised. “I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul…so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them.” Jeremiah 32:41-42

You can trust Him. If there’s a dream that He has placed in your heart, don’t let go. He will fulfill it in His way, in His time. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

It Came from Within!

If a monster was freely roaming, destroying and terrorizing our city streets, you’d probably want the city to do everything in their power to stop it, right? This morning, Gregg introduced us to some real-life monsters that we’re not always so aggressive in eradicating from our life. These are monsters that seek to invade our hearts.

While we learn from an early age how to monitor our behavior and filter our words and our actions in order to make life work, it’s not enough to monitor our behavior; we have to learn the art of monitoring our heart.

That’s why Solomon, the wisest man to ever walk the earth, said this:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

Above all else…before you do anything, do this one thing because everything in life emanates from your heart—your words, your thoughts, your actions and your relationships.

You guard your heart by watching what goes in and keeping an eye on what comes out. How’s your heart? Don’t be afraid of the monsters. God has given you specific weapons to fight and defeat them.

It’s going to be a great series. You won’t want to miss it. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Three C's-Connection

At the beginning of the year, Gregg took some time to expound on three of Grace Honolulu’s core values— we’re calling them the three C’s. Since I’ve been lagging in my blogs, it looks like I kept you hanging for over a month to reveal the third “C”.

Well, here is it: connection. Connection is experienced when we’re devoted to loving God’s people and growing through relationship with others. Two of the main ways we do this in the church is through participating in a small group and serving on a ministry team.

How are your relationships in the body of Christ? Are you getting connected with other believers by sharing your life with them in a small group? Are you a part of something bigger than yourself and your own schedule through serving on a ministry team?

As Christ-followers, these are three important groups of relationships for us to have in our life if we’re going to partner with God in becoming all that He’s created and called us to do.

Christ—being devoted to loving Jesus and experiencing relationship with a living God.

Community—being devoted to loving people and influencing our culture by following Jesus into the places where we live, work and do life.

Connection—being devoted to loving God's people and growing through relationship with others in small groups and serving with a team.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Adventure

Finally, we are home safe and sound. After watching the news from Japan about the earthquake and tsunami they experienced, we’re so thankful and grateful to God for watching over and protecting Hawaii. Please continue to pray for the people of Japan. What a devastating series of events and long road to recovery they have ahead of them.

My minivan conveniently broke down Wednesday evening and was still in the repair shop when the tsunami warnings went off last night. Having no other alternative, we crammed all seven of us—and the dog—into Gregg’s tiny car. It was already past 10pm, when we left our home in search of higher ground.

After stopping at Wal-Mart for emergency supplies (Oreos, beef jerky, Cheezits, Spaghetti O’s and a toothbrush), we pulled up to our friend’s house around midnight. 

Thanks to our dear friends, Darrin and Jo, for opening up their home to seven stranded people, their dog and all of the stuff each person brought because they were determined they could never live without it.