Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 142

amos The longer I am a Christian the more I come to realize that Christianity is not a “Shock and Awe” campaign; It is a war of attrition. Our enemy will not be completely defeated until the Lord remakes the Heavens and Earth. So we have to be vigilant. We cannot afford to let our guard down on this side of glory. Our chapters today have something to say about that.

Here’s what I see in today’s chapters:

II Samuel chapter 10 sermon topics/ titles:

1. Don’t Let Insecurity Ruin Your Relationships: II Sam. 10: 1-5

2. Making War Instead Of Amends: II Sam. 10: 6-8

3. Warring In the Anointing: II Sam. 10:9-19

II Samuel chapter 11 sermon topics/ titles:

1. What Happens When We Rest On Past Victories: II Sam. 11: 1-27

2. Playing the Cover-up Game: II Sam. 11: 11-27

3. Letting the Heart Lead : II Sam. 2-27

Now tell me what you see. 🙂

A 21 Day Spiritual Journey: Day 13

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” ― Søren Kierkegaard

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
― Søren Kierkegaard

I lost my new boots! Just before what may be the coldest snowiest week in winter 2013 I have put my boots somewhere and I cannot, for the life of me, find them. To top it off they were a Christmas gift from my mother and now she is obsessing over the fact I’ve lost them.

It is truly amazing how little things can side track a whole day. Our momentary frustrations can easily dominate the psychological landscape, blotting out our view of God’s plans. I know if I am not careful I could lose valuable dream- reaching- time to what God calls the “little foxes”:

[Young Women of Jerusalem] Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming! Songs 2:5

When I get frustrated over something my knee-jerk reaction is to get angry and get- a- fixin’.  My emotions tend to blot out the logical side of me which would ask the questions: Is this immediately important? Do I need to be taking care of this? Is this something that needs to be dealt with now?

I am learning to catch the little foxes and stop them from stealing my time and energy. I’m accomplishing this  by stopping…breathing…asking the questions above…and planning from the answers to those questions rather than from my initial emotions.

Today’s quotes:

“To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.” 
― T.F. Hodge

“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” 
― Steve Maraboli

“At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door and say,—’Come out unto us.’ But keep thy state; come not into their confusion. The power men possess to annoy me I give them by a weak curiosity. No man can come near me but through my act.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

What are the little foxes that are trying to distract you from your dreams?

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 141

amos When God releases a blessing our responsibility is to step into it. I wrote a quote a a few days ago from Owen Carr that speaks to the situation David found himself in II Samuel chapters 8 and 9.

“God first gives a man a BURDEN to see what must be done. Then He gives a VISION to show what can be done. Then He gives a FAITH to believe that it can be done. The one thing God doesn’t give is the DARING to do what must be done. You have to provide that yourself.” Owen Carr

Here’s what I see in today’s chapters:

II Samuel chapter 8 sermon topics/ titles:

1.When God’s Blessing Means War: II Sam. 8 : 1-3

2. Shutting Down the Enemy: II Sam. 8 :4

3. When God Fills the Coffers: II Sam. 8: 7-18

II Samuel chapter 9 sermon topics/ title:

1. Fulfilling Your Vows: II Sam. 9:1-13

2. When Getting Rid Of Idols Seems To Leave You With No Blessing: II SAm. 9:1-6

3. The Restoration of Blessing: II Sam. 9:7-13

Now tell me what you see. 🙂

Heaven Pt. 89

“Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. 20 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that” I Kings 22:19,20

As the story of Ahab continues to unfold through the Scripture we come to this little gem where it is mentioned that God on the throne of Heaven conspired with all of His holy angels to bring Ahab down to his death.

The frightening thing about all this is it did not lead Ahab to repent in any way shape or form.

I wonder if we could have a glimpse into the throne-room of Heaven today what would God be saying about us behind closed doors? This is not a question of our salvation. If we have trusted Jesus for forgiveness of sins that issue is settled. It is however a question about our blessing. And you know the answer to this question in your heart. Is God speaking about the blessing your life is releasing or the curse your life is releasing?

Maybe a more important question to ask is what are you doing to bring God’s conspired blessing on your life?

A 21 Day Spiritual Journey: Day 9

Today God has been speaking to me about opportunities and closed doors. More specifically that every opportunity opens one door and closes another.

A friend of mine teaches in many of his courses “Everything you say yes to means saying no to something else.”

Since I cannot be omnipresent this just makes sense. I can’t do everything. But again, walking through one door means I have to  leave behind a lot of what I had in the last place I found myself. The hoarder inside of me says this is bad, but God tells me “everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life.” MA 19:29

So I am changing, giving up what I must in order to attain the promises God has put deep inside of my heart. I know any pain I may experience in the closing of doors will be swallowed up in the great joy of knowing Christ.

What doors must you close to pursue the burning yes God has given you?

Heaven Pt. 88

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for [there is] a sound of abundance of rain. …And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel.” I Kings 18: 41, 45

Elijah’s prophecy about an abundance of rain comes on the heels of a three-year drought followed by a major confrontation with the spiritual force behind that drought. The people’s failure to follow God and their success at following Baal had brought the drought. Elijah’s showdown with the prophets of Baal and subsequent slaying of more than 400 of them brought the end of the drought, but not all at once. Elijah had to wait a bit after killing the false prophets before the  heavens turned black.

Then he said to his servant, “Go and look out toward the sea.” The servant went and looked, then returned to Elijah and said, “I didn’t see anything.” Seven times Elijah told him to go and look. Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.” Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!'” I Kings 18: 43, 44

Here’s what I see:

We get the part about having to wait for God to move; But many of us are waiting,  expecting God to move before we’ve killed our prophets of Baal. This chapter gives us a divine order: disobedience brings drought; drought should bring repentance (getting rid of the false prophets…evil things in our lives); repentance brings waiting; waiting in repentance brings the miracle. 

What has to be removed from your life in order for your waiting to produce fruit?

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt. 140

amosWhat does it take for a man to lose his stubborn pride and to worship God without worrying what others think about him? Are we willing to become undignified in the eyes of others in order to display our love for God? It was a process for David to get there and the price was steep.

Where are you in the process? Is there anything in the way?

Here is a bit of what I see in today’s chapters. They contain a lot of truth so see if you can help me dig some more nuggets out of them.

II Samuel chapter 6 sermon topics/ titles:

1. Numbers don’t matter when the heart’s not right: II Sam. 6:1-11

2. Being Afraid Of God Follows Being Mad At God: II Sam. 6: 8-10

3. God’s Way Won’t Please the World: II Sam. 6:14-23

II Samuel chapter 7 sermon topics/ titles:

1. Does God Want What You Want: II Sam. 7: 1-7

2. A Name, A Place, and a Planting: II Sam. 7: 9-11

3. The Davidic Covenant: II Sam. 7: 12-17

Have fun finding 3 of your own truths from each chapter. 🙂 Tell me what you learned!

Pastor Wrinkles: Chapter Charts Pt.139

amosIt is always the Lord who gives the victory sometimes we get to be involved in the battle. David understood that even when others didn’t. II Samuel 4 and 5 show David exhibiting this humble attitude yet again.

Here is what I see in our chapters today:

II Samuel chapter 4 sermon topics/titles:

1. Despair Brings Certain Defeat: II Sam. 4:1-7

2. Asleep At Her Post: II Sam. 4: 5,6

3.  The Danger Of Assumptions: II Sam. 4: 7-12

 II Samuel chapter 5 sermon topics/ titles:

1. The Blind and Lame May Not Enter the House: II Sam. 5:1-8

2. Waking Up To Blessing: II Sam. 5: 1-11

3. Blessings Bring the Trouble: II Sam. 5: 17-25

Now what do you see in these chapters? 🙂

Heaven Pt. 87

“When Solomon finished making these prayers and petitions to the LORD, he stood up in front of the altar of the LORD, where he had been kneeling with his hands raised toward heaven. He stood and in a loud voice blessed the entire congregation of Israel:” I Kings 8:54,55

solomon-dedicating-the-templeIn our last “Heaven” post we left Solomon on his knees with his hands stretched out to Heaven asking for God’s blessing. We’ve left him there for a long time and its high time we got back to these Heaven posts on a more regular basis. 🙂

The take away from today’s verse for me is that there must come a time when we finish with our praying and we get up and do something, even if that is only to get out-of-the-way.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in praying through. In most cases we don’t pray enough. Then in other situations we fall to our knees when the time for praying has come and gone and it’s time to act.

The truth is we ought to be praying the blessing of our God upon our days before they even begin. Then as our days happen we can act in cooperation with the Holy Spirit confident of the fact that God is going to move on our behalf.

There’s a time for everything. There is a time to pray. There is a time to finish our praying and a time to get up and move in the faith we have prayed forth.

How do you know when your praying is complete and it’s time to act?

A 21 Day Spiritual Journey: Day 2

The Christ, By Thomas Eakins

The Christ, By Thomas Eakins

What is your Jericho? What walls do you need God to knock down?

That question has been raging in my head all day. I awoke at 1 A.M. out of a sound sleep with it pounding in my brain; That is  not because I am having trouble finding a Jericho for God to knock down. Maybe a better question would be,  What’s not a Jericho?  

And there it is. As I meditated on the question in this morning’s devotion I suddenly realized I was viewing all my situations as Jerichos. I was viewing all my situations as overwhelming, not because they were but because I viewed them that way.

I need God to transform my mind in this area. The tapes that play over and over in my head are “You are too busy.” “This is too hard.” “You need to hurry up and finish!” “You can’t do this!”

Instead I should be hearing my quote of the day:

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ,  who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:12, 13

This morning in prayer I was led to pray for our national budget deficit and for our congress to be able to come to an agreement about the spending cuts and the tax hikes that are a certain part of our future. I do not look forward to these cuts or these hikes but there is no benefit in holding back the inevitable. We can never heal if we keep refusing to operate on the cancer because we’re afraid the surgery will be too painful.

I was also led to pray for Holy Ghost fire in our local pulpits and pastors.

These are the days when we will all be called to rise up not in fear but in faith.

What has to happen for you to face your Jerichos…your life circumstances with greater boldness?