Dear Church, Be Thankful

I find myself seeking God in a multitude of areas of my life, if not every area. He will answer one of my prayers and I spend to little time in thankfulness. The next thing of urgency or importance automatically moves to the top. There will always be prayers that are not yet answered and it is easy to move on to them when the most important one preceding it is answered. Or, we might have a prayer answered that was not the most urgent/important and we miss the answer. Our mind is go focused on the next task at hand that we fail, or at least I do, to take time for thanksgiving and or celebration.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,

to which indeed you were called in one body.

And be thankful. (Col 3:15)

Life, Wonder and the Gospel

Have you ever wondered if God even noticed you? Those times when the valley seems so deep that you feel like the Psalmist in part when he wrote “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” but you don’t feel the second part, “I will fear no evil for you are with me” (Psalm 23:4). Those times when life seems to be unraveling. Well, 2014 felt like of year of that for me.

I will not bore you with the detail, for many of you know them in part but not the whole and for now part is enough. Just to put it plainly, I was confused on LIFE and God or God and LIFE or me and LIFE. Life was moving fast, uncontrollable events were happening and somewhere deep within me I knew God was with me but thought I might be included in the last part of Hebrews 11 (Heb 11:36-40).

Today, I stand in WONDER of what God was doing in so many areas in tough times. I still have many areas of uncertainty but the wonder of God has been in high display as I see answers to many prayers that He was working in before I even prayed or saw the need. I am reminded of Job (though I am no Job in either godliness or loss) when God said, “Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:14).

The GOSPEL has been revealed to me as something bigger than salvation; however, it is salvation. In the Gospel, God draws me to come to Jesus. He draws me to eternal salvation, but more. I dare not add to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but now I see it in it whole form. The Gospel is my salvation. The Gospel is my deliverance. The Gospel is my restoration. The Gospel is my healing. The Gospel is my freedom. The Gospel is my life. All areas must come to Jesus and come under Jesus. I have been saved eternally. I am being saved in the midst of life. I will be saved to eternal glory.

LIFE – I don’t know what your life holds right now, but I know it is real. Probably no one knows your life in whole but only in part except for Jesus. He knows the whole – past, present and future. It’s real and He knows.

WONDER – God is the God of wonder. He is so much bigger than LIFE and sees it beginning, middle and end. Sometimes you will have to look at creation to remember this, for there will be times when He don’t feel close or caring or concerned. He is able and He cares.

GOSPEL – God continues to draw everything in your life to the Gospel – to the Good New of Jesus. Jesus is the deliver, restorer, redeemer and fulfillment and He is ready. I believe Jesus shared his mission statement in a clear and concise form in Luke.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives

and recovering of sight to the blind,

to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:18-19

LIFE, WONDER, GOSPEL

Will you change?

Babies become toddlers. Toddlers become walkers. Walkers become talkers. It’s exciting to watch a child go through the changes of life so quickly. They don’t resist the change they embrace it. They embrace it with a great many failures, bruises and sometimes even a trip to the ER. Parents, grandparents, friends and family encourage these changes. It is an exciting time when a child rolls over, crawls, walks and talks for the first time. As they change we celebrate. Our grandbabies can’t talk yet but they know celebration. They know when they receive great approval. Gray (14 months) will clap her hands and repeat celebrated behavior. Grady (6 months) just shakes all over.

When do we get to the point that we do not want to make progressive change in our lives? Why not seek to advance? Why not try something new? Why not change the routine? Why not do it differently? School aged children are each pushed into the same mold and if they don’t fit something is wrong with them. Why? Scripture teaches that God crafted us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139). Scripture also teaches that we are to be moldable in the Father’s hand (Jeremiah 18).

What if God called you to something different? A different expression of Christianity? A different expression of church? A different expression of life?

Jesus provided a worthy sacrifice for the salvation of all humanity and He wants us to be involved. He is the gatekeeper not us.

Are you willing to change? Change the way you do life? Change the way you express Jesus through the Church?

Let us celebrate change as Christ Jesus changes everything.

What are we going to do with the rest of our life?

“What are we going to do with the rest of our life?” That is the question that seems to be popping up in my mind most these days. In the days we (Mary Anne & I) have left, we don’t know and have never known how many that will be, what are we to do? If it is a week or 30 years, what are we to do? I think God has given me an answer that really seems pretty simple. It is not a Christian motto that never really seems true or the slogan that would make sense on a bumper sticker. It is really just two things. 

  1. We must accept God loves us unconditionally, that is without any conditions. This results in joy, freedom and celebration. 
  2. We need to respond to God’s love faithfully. God demonstrates His love in many ways and circumstances. In each of those our greatest act of love is to join Him. 

So simply put if each of us will accept God’s unconditional love and respond to God’s love faithfully we will walk in the fullness of the Spirit and make an impact in the world in which we live. 

Tolerance and Excess – 50 @ 50 – Quote #4

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“What one generation tolerates the next will do in excess.” 

John Wesley said it like this, “What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” So the quote that I have heard and used must find its source in Wesley. This is a principle not a truth. A truth never changes while a principle generally applies. The only way this does not become a truth is for someone to break the chain. I am only 50 years old but this world has drastically changed over the past 50 years. It is extremely clear our nation has succumbed to this principle. However, our nation is only a reflection of our homes.

Parents Please Wake Up

It is within your power to be the exception, to break the chain. Don’t pass on a weaker faith, weaker home, weaker marriage, weaker leadership, weaker authority, weaker belief, weaker work ethic, weaker example to the next generation. The next generation is at stake.

Do you have the courage to make the Word

of God your basis for life and family?

Also read 50 @ 50

Life Lessons

Lesson #1     Lesson #2     Lesson #3     Lesson #4     Lesson #5

Quotes

Quote #1     Quote #2     Quote #3 

50 Things I Have Learned In 50 Years – #1

ImageI plan over the next several days to write about 50 things I have learned in 50 years. Not sure what all this is going to include or the order in which I will present them, so welcome to my randomness. Those who know me know I am a little weird and somethings think a little differently, so laugh with me, cry with me, but don’t always try to understand me. These 50 days are dedicated to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, my wonderful wife, Mary Anne, my amazing children, Blake (Kristine), Luke, Hannah, my mother who I miss every day Anne Reynolds Williams and my dad who taught me so much W. Jack Williams (Pat), my crazy brother Stan Williams (Tamara). Also to the churches I have served and the great friendships I have enjoyed. Beware your names might be mentioned. This is not going to be a theological debate and everything is not going to be “spiritual” in nature; however, my spiritual journey has been the defining element of my life. I hope this list helps someone.

#1 – Jesus Is A Big Deal

I would say this is the real #1 of the 5o. Jesus really is a big deal. I remember through the years, as my parents had me in church, learning about Jesus but mostly I remember learning songs as a kid. As many of you know the musical ability has stayed with me through the years. I remember singing, “Jesus Love Me” and many others of the old favorites.

Jesus Is A Big Deal Because…. Continue reading

Have You Been To This Place

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There is one place I go when I need to find peace. It’s a place where I can get my mind off the matters of this world. It’s a place I can go where where I can focus, learn and grow. It is a place that puts peace back into my soul. It is a place where everything seem right. It is a place where I can look deep into life and come away satisfied. It is a place I don’t totally understand but I understand it enough to know I need to go there often. It is a place where all opinions are irrelevant. It is a place that undoes me then puts me back together. It is a place that hurts me in order to heal me. It is a place that reminds me I am not God and who is God. It is a place that takes away fear. It is a place I should go to more often but find myself walking past it too often. Do you have such a place? Everyone needs to find this place! I think if you go there you will find what I have found.  Continue reading