Monday, March 29, 2010

A Servant's Heart

What makes a servant heart?  I have often wondered this very thing.  There are people I know who exemplify this very thing.  A servant...not because they have to be, but because they want to be.  A servant’s heart has more to do with your relationship with God than it has to do with your desire to be recognized for your good deeds. Having a servant’s heart is one the most beautiful expressions of love I know. It’s showing your love to another human being by simply being who God intended you to be. It’s about seeing a need and fulfilling it without any strings attached. It’s about making yourself uncomfortable so that someone else could be comfortable. It’s about showing Christ’s love through your actions and words. And finally, it’s about touching the lives of those around you with such a gentle kindness that your act will be remembered for years to come. 
Pay attention when God calls you to serve others. Listen with your heart, not your mind. Hear what God wants you to do...not what you think should be done. You might think a check to pay a bill will solve someone’s problem, but that might not be what God wants you to do. God may want you to teach that person how to budget his income so that he’s not in the same boat next month. You might think a prayer is all that is needed, but God might want you spend quality time with that person. Taking the time to listen to what God wants you to do, humbling yourself to do what He has called you to do, and then faithfully following Him regardless of how uncomfortable it makes you is truly what a servant’s heart is all about. It’s selfless love at its best and God couldn’t ask for a better gift or testimony of your relationship with Him.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Psalm 107:1

It is now about 10:30 on Tuesday evening and I'm sitting at the kitchen table pondering over many different things to write about. So much has happened over the past few days that my mind is racing in many different ways. I thought about the church's mission statement. I thought about sharing thoughts on unity in the church. I thought about the song "Open Arms" by Michael W. Smith. I wanted to share something that people could ponder and take to heart. But then...but then came Psalm 107:1. It reads, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." A simple prayer...a simple statement, but powerful are those words.
What a great reminder of what we need to be doing. It is so easy to dwell on all the bad times, on all the hardships in life...on all the things that we feel have been unfair to us or others. But Psalm 107 reminds us that in all things, we should, "Give thanks to the Lord". Look around you. There is so much to be thankful for. Loved ones...give thanks to the Lord. For our church and opportunity to worship...give thanks to the Lord. For the people around us...give thanks to the Lord. For life, food, clothing, gifts, talents...give thanks to the Lord. We should be giving thanks for everything, even during hard times in life. Why...because the Lord is good! He is good. Through all things, His love has never left. His love is always with us...His love endures forever. When we struggle...His love endures. When we lose focus...His love endures. Hard times, good times, all times...His love endures. Step back...take a deep breath. God has blessed each one of us. He has blessed the church. He has blessed our ministry. "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever".

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Truly Touched

I have had one of the greatest honors this past weekend. It was the end of Lutheran Schools Week. Many schools and churches were celebrating what Lutheran Schools have to offer. Many had choirs children were involved in worship...celebrating Lutheran Schools. Back in 2009, I had the opportunity to work on a piece for Redeemer Lutheran School in Ontario, CA, based on Exodus 15:2. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2). And as I pondered on this school theme verse...I came up with the song title, "And I Will Praise Him".

So now I had one of the greatest honors...this song was sung in California at Redeemer Lutheran Church and School. It was sung with excitement. It was sung with heart. It was sung as praise to God. Not only did I know it was one I had written, it was one that was lifted up to God in honor and praise to His glory! Thank you, Redeemer Lutheran Church and School for allowing me to be part of Lutheran Schools Week with you. Thank you for singing this song with excitement and pride. Thank you for uplifting my heart with this powerful bible verse. He has become my salvation and I will praise Him!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Am...

I want to start this out by asking a simple question. Who are you? I want you to start to list all the things that you are...So to demonstrate, I will give you a few "I am" statements about myself. I am a father. I am a husband. I am a music leader. I am a good cook. I am good at golf (ok -- I am ok at golf). Now it is your turn. Take a few moments before reading on to think of some "I am" statements about you. I'll wait.

Now that you have listed a few, which on came first? Was the first one I am a Christian or I am a child of God or some form of this? Did you look at all the things you are on this earth? I am a father, husband, music leader, cook, and sometimes a good golfer, but first and foremost, I am God's child. All the other things that "I am" are opportunities of ministry that God has blessed me with. I'm blessed with a wife and children. It is a ministry to treat them right and help lead them in the faith of God. I am a music leader. It is a ministry to lead songs of praise and worship. I need to use all these things God gave me as a ministry. We have a church with wonderful ministries. We have a school ministry, music ministry, prayer ministry, stitching ministry, youth ministry, bible many different ministries. Each ministry is important. Each ministry makes us who we are and whose we are. God blessed each of us and this church with ways to share ministry. None is less important than others...but together, each builds up His kingdom.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Representing and Proud

The Olympics are now over. For two weeks, we watched and cheered on our country and its athletes. For two weeks, athletes competed in their sports, not only for pride in themselves but also pride in their country. For two weeks we listened to the news share the countries medal counts and talked about the tremendous stories of the athletes. It was fun to listen to the athletes take pride in who they represented. They were proud to be known as an American, Canadian, Russian, or wherever they were from.

Can the same be said of us? Can people see us and say that we represent the One who created us? Can people hear us say that we are proud to represent our God? We come to church and worship. We read the Bible and pray. We take the sacrament of Holy Communion and we sing songs. All these things are wonderful and can help us build up our faith walk, but...when you are out in the world, can people see who you represent? Do your words and actions reflect Him? For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10). You and I are God's workmanship. We are His -- created by Him to do His work! Share it, show it, live it! You are representing God...Are you proud of this?