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Setting Out

There is a part of the project that is always the toughest for most of us. It’s usually not the rain and mud, the heat of the summer or the snow sitting on top of that cold steel. It’s packing up at the house, saying goodbye and heading out to the job. Leaving the comfort and love of our family and friends to a place that is cut throat, mean and only the strongest, hardest working guys survive (unless your somebody’s brother or uncle but just keep reading).

1 Peter tells us of a similar story as writes to Christians who are going into foreign sinful, pagan lands.  He first reminds us of the incredible Savior we have in Jesus the “living hope” and he is with us every step of the way.  Going it alone is never even an option; if you’re going he’s going. He then reminds us that we are born again, saved from the bondage of sin and don’t have to live like the rest of them, reckless and troubled. We are totally free!

And if that wasn’t enough he goes on to tell us all of the blessings we receive for just having to deal with all the nonsense. Every time we get passed up for a raise or have to deal with someone’s idiot brother in law God puts something away for us. And this inheritance isn’t a Christmas present that we just put in our tool bag and let get dusty or breaks after the first use. 1 Peter 1:4 “An inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading” Perfect. The inheritance we have will be unblemished like a 32’ Ford roadster that is the brightest red the world has never seen, never runs out of gas and you can drive it as fast as you want forever. All of the things that have been stripped from you by this world are in YOUR house in heaven. That’s good news because we are going to be stepped over, passed up and pushed back no matter what so I like knowing that I’m getting the last laugh!

-Jeff

After The Storm

Being from Louisiana I have experienced the destruction and loss created by hurricanes.  There is no arguing that these unforgiving storms show us how vulnerable and small we actually are. When you’re standing in your living room waist deep in brown water watching your pumpkins float down the hallway you figure out what powerless means.

Throughout history God has used these situations to bring unity and a dependence on Him to help his people make it through. I know when I first pleaded for the Lord to save me it wasn’t a joyful occasion; I hadn’t won the lottery or just received a great promotion in fact I was at the lowest point of my life. Everything that I had surrounded myself with meant nothing compared to the hurt and shame I was living in. Desperate broken and alone I asked Jesus for help and was changed forever.  I was as Paul spoke in Philippians 3:8 “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.”

When you take on the task of rebuilding a flooded out home the first thing you do is tear out all of the rotten, damaged materials. Once you get down to the bare wood, or foundation then you can start the process of turning the structure back into a home. It’s not easy but always remember that even if you have absolutely nothing left and just by simply looking up to Jesus your holding your head up high!

Kingdoms Built with Weapons

I had this dream a few days ago, where I was walking alongside a king while balancing a dozen weapons like someone who takes coats from their guests draping them over their arm. As we walked through his kingdom there were bodies floating in his fountains and on the side of the path like road kill. It was a semi-invasion but no one wanted to harm the king. He feared me even though, I wasn’t looking to fight. As the king walked nervously, I lagged behind to pay attention to his daughter, the princess and put my free arm around her to give her a kiss. I wasn’t entirely sure whose side I was on but I did know I was more preoccupied with the princess than the king and his kingdom. Ha!

My Father knows me too well. From watching me play video games He knew I collected weapons from fallen warriors and then sold them to the town blacksmith, but He had me pinpointed on the issues of the heart too. I don’t particularly enjoy being responsible for the masses, and I am typically more interested in the pursuit of romance than serving an insecure and suspicious leader. I can also put romance before the King of all kings. It took a giant taunting David’s God and His people with the promise of receiving the king’s daughter to stand just tall enough to kill Goliath. Then he served the suspicious insane king for years, the same king who gave his promised daughter to another man who David eventually captured back. Yet David, unlike myself or most was able to honor the king every way imaginable even when King Saul sent out parties to kill him.

More astounding is how David uses his imagination. He thinks up an idea to build a house/temple for God and sets out to accomplish it. But in building the temple, God tells David essentially this, “I love your idea to build me a home even though I don’t need a house made by human hands but my house cannot be built by one who sheds blood.” In other words you can’t build with weapons. David was a fighter whereas his son Solomon was not. Solomon’s reign was characterized by years of peace and was permitted to build the temple that was created in the heart of his father.

I’ve wielded weapons specifically with my words and have tried to use God’s word, but when the motive was wrong it never built up, it tore down. People are accustomed to being torn down. Look at the tactics of our political campaigns. But that’s not how kingdoms are built nor are the built by being proeccupied. Honor and vision are the tools and plowshares that God uses in place of swords and axes. Those are the things I hope to have on my coat rack of an arm. On the other arm why not a beautiful bride too, He doesn’t seem to think its a bad idea.

-We’d love to hear about what you think builds a kingdom, Sorry this site is still in construction.