Posted by: alexhimaya | October 15, 2008

Toubled Times…Call to Action…

I was sent this article by a church member…

Don’t Worry About It — God is in Control
by Jay Stephens

Many of us are watching the events unfold on Wall Street, Iraq, Afghanistan, Washington, D.C., Korea, and other places and feeling very troubled about them.   Over and over again, I’ve heard friends and acquaintances say, “How could this happen to us?” with regards to huge turmoil on Wall Street, escalating national debt, and continued wars on two fronts in the Middle East.   It is almost as if we feel that because we are a “Christian” nation, we should be immune to these kinds of problems…

Yet, with the panic that has ensued in the stock market and the news that many Americans had lost significant portions of their savings, retirement and college funds, one gets the feeling that whatever the final outcomes from these numerous events, nothing will ever be the same again.   Clearly, we are NOT immune to problems — either as individuals or as a nation.  

Economists are saying that a deep recession — perhaps even a depression is in the works.  Despite the bailout package that has been approved and other “bailouts” still being discussed – many financial analysts are quick to point out that while these were important tools to try to help a struggling economy, they are simply postponing the inevitable.  The damage will be a matter of degree, not a matter of “if”.

Can you imagine the poor soul who may have:  i) lost a loved one in the Middle East;  ii)  lost a job due to lay-offs;  iii) lost or in the process of losing their home; and, iv) seen their 401k shrink to a small percentage of what it was, thus erasing hopes of retiring?

Makes you wonder where God is in all this?

The nation of Israel had similar catastrophes in their history.   In reading the Old Testament, it doesn’t take one long to realize that the fortunes of the nation of Israel rose with their dedication to the God of heaven and fell with their neglect and rebellion.   After their rise to the zenith of power and wealth under King Solomon (Solomon’s Temple is the single most expensive building ever constructed.  No other building — even to this time — comes close.  Estimates are that it would cost $195,000 / sq foot to build it today), the nation began a decline to become little more than a 3rd world country as they were wracked with their self-imposed division and idol worship.  Their rejection of the true and living God and His commands eventually led to their deportation into slavery.   Though part of the nation was eventually restored, and God’s plan of bringing the Messiah into the world was brought to fruition, things were never the same. 

Not only does history show that the nation of Israel experienced a downfall coincident with their rejection of God, but many other nations have experienced similar fates.   England, France, Spain, Italy — all were colonial powers  over the last 800 years, but eventually fell from their lofty heights.  All were deeply religious at one point in time, but began to trust in their own wisdom, power and wealth instead of God.  

Clearly, there is a precedence for the turmoil that the United States is experiencing.   

Would anyone argue that America has lost its way spiritually?  Would anyone debate that our moral compass has been broken and pointing in the wrong direction for years?  Is it any wonder that — having driven God out of our lives, our institutions, and our public places, He has chosen to let us “reap what we have sown”? (Gal. 6:7).

Yet, God is right where He always has been:   presiding over the affairs of the Universe.  He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.

This is the God that SPOKE the universe into existence and continues to hold it together with the “word of His power” (Gen. 1; Heb. 1:3)

This is the God that KNOWS everything; “His eyes are in every place” (Prov. 15:3); “there is nothing concealed [from Him]” (Ecc. 12:2); He even numbers the hairs on our heads! (Luke 12:7).

This is the God who is EVERYWHERE.  Read Psalm 139 — there is nowhere we can go to flee from Him.



This being the case, we should focus on how we can align ourselves with Him, rather than arrogantly thinking that we can call God down to our rescue as if He were a butler at our beck and call.  Clearly, as individuals and as a nation, we need to engage in repentance and rededication.  Can anyone argue this?  It will involve hard choices and it will involve hardship, because there will be consequences to our national and personal rebellion: “the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son” (Heb. 12:6).  This is the normal and natural order of things.

Above all, we need to put our trust in God, and NOT in our wealth (which can be short-lived – Job 1:21); NOT in our nationality (if God could make children of Abraham from stones  – Matt. 3:9 – we ought not to brag about our nationality); NOT in our military might (God destroyed armies in a single day, i.e., Pharoah – Ex. 15:4 and Sennacherib – 2 Kings 19:35).  If we continue to reject God and attempt to rely on our own wisdom, our downfall is assured.

Let’s take the advice of Jesus — “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and material things.” (Matt. 6:19-24).

Our worry about the events of our day — things we largely cannot do anything about — is misplaced: It won’t add a single hour to our lifespan nor an inch to our stature (Matt. 6:25).  But, if we place our trust in the living God, the lessons we learn over the next few years will be profitable and lasting – in a spiritual and eternal sense.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)

God is in control.  He is at work.  He is attempting to bring us to our senses.  These events are evidence that He cares.  This is our wake-up call.
Advertisements
Posted by: alexhimaya | October 13, 2008

Nationwide 40/40 Prayer Vigil…It is not too late to Pray…

Nationwide 40/40 Prayer Vigil…It is not too late to Pray…

I encourage you to participate in the Nationwide 40/40 Prayer Vigil. Let me explain it. There is a simple prayer guide (one item a day with two or three supporting scriptures) that is a countdown to the election. The first 40 in the 40/40 is 40 days of prayer. This ends on October 30. The second 40 in the 40/40 is the 40-hour prayer vigil that takes place just before the election.

The major topics covered during these weeks are the following:

  • Personal revival
  • Church revival
  • Revival among church leadership
  • National revival
  • National renewal
  • Wisdom for public officials
  • Wisdom to elect the best officials

Under each of these weekly emphases, are specific days and their requests.

Please participate with believers nationwide in this prayer emphasis. 

Click here if you want to go to the daily guide.

Posted by: alexhimaya | October 13, 2008

The Economy, Election, and Sports…

What crazy times we live in…

From a stock market that is in it’s greatest turmoil since The Great Depression to a election that is reciveing unprecedented coverage and press…it seems out of control.  In addition, OU lost to Texas and the Razorbacks somehow pulled out a victory against Auburn this weekend.

In days like this, our confidence in the Jesus, the Word of God and His Kingdom are so vitally important.  Pray with me that during these uncertain times that faith in Jesus in the global church will take root and grow substantially.  I believe we as the Church also have a uniuqe opportunity to share hope with those who are hopeless; faith with those who are faithless; and security with those who lack it.  During times like these many people will realize all they have placed their hope in will not hold.  We must be ready to share the reason for the hope we have!

Posted by: alexhimaya | October 2, 2008

Words from a friend on Adoption

Our friend Melissa Cole sent us these words…please pray for and with us concerning Alejandra.

We have no more information since my last entry about her.

Thanks!

“When Tom Petty wrote ‘the waiting is the hardest part’ he knew what he was talking about.  As we have waited in the process of this adoption I have looked at other people who were waiting in scripture.  Noah is waiting on the flood, Moses on the Promised Land, Simeon and Anna on the baby Jesus and those of us who belong to Christ on his return.  It seems like every character in scripture is waiting on something…therefore there must be some treasure God has for us in the wait.  Scripture is full of promises that have not yet come to fruition so it is good for us who cling to those promises to learn to wait well. “
Posted by: alexhimaya | September 22, 2008

Rubber bands

Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands

Excerpts from Nancy Ortberg’s new book

Rubber Bands
One day I was in a meeting of senior leaders at Willow Creek Church, and a co-worker named Greg Hawkins was talking very excitedly. He was talking about this topic of development and he pulled a thick rubber band out of his pocket. He stretched it between his two hands and said, “Very simply”-Greg is a genius when it comes to making complex issues simple, and therefore, doable-“this is development.”

He showed what happened when he moved his hands too far away from each other: The rubber band became taut and clearly in danger of breaking. Stretched too far for too long, the rubber band is ruined.

Then he moved his hand closer together until the rubber band became slack, not at all capable of doing what we hire rubber bands to do-completely incapable of acting like a decent rubber band.

Inherent in the leadership relationship is the expectation that over time, the direction you give will result in progress toward maturity, growth in skills and character, and even an increase in your own leadership competencies. I think it is a helpful and good discipline to write out a simple development plan for the people you lead. And once that plan is written, the best way to implement it is to think of those people as rubber bands.”
The Core of Leadership
The core of leadership is hope. Leadership is the hope that we can change the things that need to be changed, and create what we cannot now imagine. Hope gives us the courage to move forward, the power to forgive, and the grace to keep the promises we have made. Hope dispels fears. Hope readies us for round two…Hope redeems mistakes and prompts the optimism and resilience of a leader.

To lead well, we must possess the strong belief that our best days are ahead of us, always ahead of us. Yes, Hope and leadership are inexorably linked.
The Hardest Person to Lead
It doesn’t take long to realize that leadership is hard. You should be able to conjure up the names of at least five people who make that a true statement. All kinds of things make leadership difficult, but certain people are one of those things.

As the picture of those certain people comes to mind, take a minute to let that picture fade. Because of all the difficult people you will lead, the hardest person to lead will be yourself. Call it whatever you want-the discipline of a leader, self-leadership, managing yourself-you’ve got your work cut out for you.

The journey of leadership is as much inward as it is outward. Leadership, done well, will continually be a force that drives you back into the center of yourself to find out what you are really made of. Great leadership occurs when you understand your own motives, your ‘dark side,’ what you want to misrepresent in order to look better than you really are.

One of the things I believe deeply is this: Leaders ought to be the most self-aware people in the room. Sure, who doesn’t agree with that? Especially if I clarify that I am not talking about a narcissistic self-awareness. You know the kind: The people who know only two pronouns: I and me-no, not that kind of self-awareness.

I’m talking about the kind of self-awareness that makes you comfortable in your own skin. You know who you are and who you aren’t. You lean into and lead out of your strengths. You have words for your brokenness, and while you may wish you had none, you know that you do, and you know what they are. And you know that other people know. You wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

Nancy Ortberg served eight years as a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. During that time she led the Network ministry, helping people identify their spiritual gifts and find a place of service in the church. She also led Axis for the 18- to 20-something generation. Nancy is also the author of two books: Looking for God, and the forthcoming Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands

Posted by: alexhimaya | September 16, 2008

Church of England to apologize to Charles Darwin . . . . . . .

Church of England to apologize to Charles Darwin . . . . . . .

The UK Telegraph reported on September 14 that the Church of England will offer an apology to Charles Darwin for their rejection of Darwinian Evolution. Of course this is not too surprising given that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has stated that Christian doctrine, specifically the doctrine of the Trinity, is offensive to Muslims, Islamic Sharia Law should be instituted in England, Creationism should not be taught in schools and that homosexuality is comparable to marriage. Given the compromise shown by the leadership of the church it is not surprising that there is a rift in the denomination.

According to the Telegraph, the statement from the Church of England will read,

“Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still. We try to practise the old virtues of ‘faith seeking understanding’ and hope that makes some amends.”

In addition to the apology to Darwin, the Church of England launched a website to promote Darwin’s views.

Evidently the leadership of the Church of England values political correctness more than doctrinal fidelity.
Taken from my friend Preston’s blog.
Posted by: alexhimaya | September 11, 2008

9-11 and Isaiah

This cool, rainy September 11th moring my one-year bible took me to Isaiah 8 and 9.

7 years ago our nation and world were rocked by the terror planned and schemed behind closed doors.  In a year of political turmoil and election scheming it would be easy to become very uneasy.

Listen, to the words spoken by the prophet of God long ago…Isaiah 8:12 and following…

 A Call to Trust the Lord

11 The Lord has said to me in the strongest terms:  “Do not think like everyone else does. 
12 Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you.
13      Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life.
He is the one you should fear.
He is the one who should make you tremble.
14      He will keep you safe.
But to Israel and Judah
he will be a stone that makes people stumble,
a rock that makes them fall.
And for the people of Jerusalem
he will be a trap and a snare.
15      Many will stumble and fall,
never to rise again.
They will be snared and captured.”
16      Preserve the teaching of God;
entrust his instructions to those who follow me.
17      I will wait for the Lord,
who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob.
I will put my hope in him.

What enabled this prophecy?  Look at chapter 9 verse 6…
 

     For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
     His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!

The answer is Jesus!!!!
Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation.“Text edition”–Spine. (2nd ed.) (Is 8:11-17). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.
Posted by: alexhimaya | September 10, 2008

Been a little while…routine is my friend!

Wow have we been busy!  The kids back in school and transferred back to Cedar Ridge after 2 weeks at another.  Flag Football, Cheer-leading, and the grand opening of our new worship center have played a little part in our schedules.  Our best friends the Nassers were here for a week, we did a minor remodel to 3 bathrooms…man we have been busy.

But, last night, as a family, we all put on the flags and played a little yard ball, ate dinner out on the patio, and did a great family devotion before bed time…

I am such a creature of habit, I love it once we settle into a routine and I can run on the track laid before me.

May God richly, bless you as your family gets back into a Fall routine.

Posted by: alexhimaya | September 4, 2008

TU Football

Alex with Ross the associate A.D.

Alex with Ross the associate A.D.

This past weekend I traveled to Birmingham, AL with the football team of the University of Tulsa.

Not, only did I enjoy my time with Coaches Todd Graham, Malzhon, Blankenship, Hand, Brent Graham, Randolph and the others, I also enjoyed my time with the team.  I loved watching the team win and David Johnson throw for over 300 yards (making that the 15thgame in a row for TU with over 300 yards passing).

But I loved having the privilege of leading 4 of the students a life-saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Posted by: alexhimaya | August 21, 2008

5 year Birthday—TCABC

Here is a slide show of photos taken on Aug 17, 2008 at our church’s 5 year birthday!  How exciting!

Ashley and Chris put together this little slide show of pictures from the church’s 5 year birthday. http://www.ashleyannphotography.com

David Richardson wrote and performed this song as well!  http://www.davidlon.com/bio.html

Great talent the Lord has brought us!

http://www.ashleyannphotography.com/Slideshows/8.17.08TCABC/

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

Categories