Legacy

I am reading through the one year Bible.  I am finishing up 2nd Chronicles.  So I have read the story of David multiple times.  The last time I was reading through rather quickly, thinking I have read this so many times.  Then reading it for the last time something hit me.  David was the first Israelite to kill a giant or do anything great from a military standpoint since Samson.  David was a teenager who kills a military champion.  What it unleashed thought I think was even greater than killing Goliath… David raised up 30 men who need an entire chapter dedicated to their superhuman military feats.  Many people after David killed giants or would kill like 800 people in a single battle.

One of my favorite men in the Bible is Beniah.  Here is a snap shot of his story…

2 Samuel 23:20 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. 21 Once, armed only with a club, he killed an imposing Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it.

Beniah is a champion killing, lion chasing man’s man.  I want to be like Beniah!  I want to raise up my son and other men to chase lions and kill champions.  Men of great faith and virtue.  I wonder where he finds courage to chase lions and go one on one with champions.  I think it is David.  His leader inspired and called more out of him than he saw in himself.

Unitl 1954, doctors said a 4 minute mile was not possible.  They said a man’s heart would burst before he could break that barrier.  Roger Bannister thought he could do it and he did.  No one before him broke this record, but within 12 months 24 other people broke the 4 minute mark.  He showed people that it could be done and that inspired people to do the same.

I think David had the same effect on the men around him.  David walked in crazy faith.  He would charge an entire army by himself.  Men around him would do the same.

What effect do you have on other people?  If you died today what would your legacy be?  Did you make other people great?  Did you do something great?  What do you want it to be?  If you don’t like it what will you do today to change it?

Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus

Brandon Sereg

Always Choose the Real Thing

It’s been a long time since I’ve been a soda drinker. I’ve cut it out for two reasons: to save money (especially when eating out) and to save calories. Here in Nicaragua, however, I’ve started drinking more and more Coke. At most restaurants water is not free, so it’s the same price to get a Coke. Also, you know that Coke is always going to be safe to drink, whereas water quality can vary widely. As far as calories go, I still try to avoid them as much as possible. Here we have Coke Light (equivalent to Diet Coke) and Coke Cero (equivalent to Coke Zero). Interestingly, Coke is not called Coke regular or Coke classic (the words for each are basically the same in Spanish). Instead, they call it Coke normal. So, you have three Coke choices: normal, light, and zero. 

My friend Henry recently told me that he thinks many of us choose how to act out our faith much like we choose a Coke. Sometimes we choose normal faith, sometimes the light version, and sometimes we choose not to act out our faith at all. I want us to think a bit about each of those choices. 

A lot of us tend to grab for normal faith. This is the type of faith that is “just like everyone else.” We go to church, say some prayers, and speak the Christian lingo. We could certainly do more for God, but hey, at least we are doing more than many people! Good old normal faith is perfectly fine for most of us. 

Sometimes we want to take it a little easier. Perhaps we want to indulge in worldly behaviors such as foul language, pornography, excess drinking, pride, or mocking others. We figure that we have plenty of normal faith days, so we can have a light day every once and awhile. 

Sadly, most of us probably have experienced some zero faith days (I know I have). These are times where our sinful nature takes over, or perhaps times when grief and stress completely overwhelm us. These can be some of the most scary and difficult moments in our lives. 

The thing is, God does not call us to normal, light, or zero faith. He calls us to put our faith ENTIRELY in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 puts it like this:

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Today, are you going to reach for normal, light, or zero faith? Or, are you going to truly trust God with your entire life, and live in total and real faith? Lets choose to not not partially live out our faith but, to steal another Coke phrase, always choose “the real thing:” complete faith and reliance on Christ. 

The Fanner

2 Timothy 1:6New International Version (NIV)

Appeal for Loyalty to Paul and the Gospel

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

Timothy had a charge on his life to fan the flame. He was being commissioned to be the fire of the Gospel and allow the Holy Spirit to be the fan.

I have a friend who I met while my wife and I were vacationing in Colorado this summer. We had one of the Jesus moments with a man named, Felix Little Axe Bustamante. He is a Native American from the Jicavilla Apache Tribe. He is a wonderful man of God.

We met each other for a brief moment in Winter Park, Colorado on an early Tuesday morning. He was playing music on a wooden flute that sounded incredible. I went up to him and started talking with him and immediately we became brothers in Christ.

He was sharing with me how he made tomahawks and walking sticks. He shared how he uses downed trees, limbs, and rocks from what he called mother earth.

As he was sharing, we soon ran out of time, so I asked if I could pray for him. After I finished, he wanted to pray for my wife and I and our marriage. But before he did, he got his feather fanner from his car. This fan was made of beautiful feathers and held together with colorful string. As he was praying for us, he used his feather made fanner to symbolize how the Holy Spirit is like the wind, and the fan pressed the wind to us. What a moment!

I had chills going up and down on my back sensing the Holy Spirit through the fanning of the wind to draw fire on my wife and I. The draft of the wind represented the Holy Spirit, and my wife and I welcomed the Holy Spirit in this moment.

The ‘Fanner’ is in fact the Holy Spirit. He fans the coal inside us to spark a flame. It is calling on the name of Jesus that is the true fire of our souls. Allow the Holy Spirit to be the ‘Fanner’ of the flames in your life.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

Vital Ministries News

Teaching Series on KBOE 104.9 FM, 8:30-9:00 am on Sundays

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The first week of the teaching was about the good in our lives. Last Sunday we looked into what is the bad that I we walk in each day. Now finally this Sunday, we will look at the ugly things in our lives that we need to confess before the Lord. Do not miss out on this final teaching from the last three weeks. Tune into KBOE 104.9 FM each Sunday morning from 8:30-9:00.

 

Let Grace Abound

Ephesians 4:29 (ESV) Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Forgiveness is a very difficult thing to ask for, and often even more difficult to extend.

Just recently, a high school classmate contacted me.  Let me preface this conversation with, I was everything but nice to her.  Over the years, with pure shame and disgust, I have looked back at that time in my life with full realization of the cruelty I wreaked upon her.  Fearfully, but resolutely, I had hoped she would be at our 10 year class reunion, so that I could apologize to her face to face and ask for her forgiveness.  She didn’t come, and I took no further action. God has prompted me on many occasions to reach out to her, apologize and ask for her forgiveness, but shamefully I never have.  

I must suppose that God, with extreme disappointment, grew tired of waiting for me to resolve this matter, to offer to make amends and at least try to repair the damage that I had caused.  So, He took a different approach.  Without the slightest doubt, I believe He prompted her to contact me in order to begin the process of healing and closure for us both.  

She was perfectly candid in expressing the hurt that I caused. I never fully comprehended the depth of my action’s impact, I do now.  She expressed to me a degree of confusion that I don’t think either of us could ever fully decipher.  My behavior toward her took an emotional toll on her to the point it was affecting her physically, as well.  I ruined her high school years.  I can never take that back, and she will never have what she should’ve had.  

Over the years, I have carried with me a tremendous amount of shame and guilt over my treatment of her.  When I think on it, I can hardly recognize the young man capable of the careless disregard I showed her.  Nonetheless, it was I, and I alone.  

Through one courageous act of grace, with dignity, she extended the greatest gift one can bestow on another, pure unwavering forgiveness.  She concluded her message with, “now I would like to think that you did not understand what your actions were doing.  I forgive that child for those actions and hope you have a wonderful life.”

Psalms 103:10-13 (ESV) 

He does not deal with us according to our sins,

nor repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,

so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

13 As a father shows compassion to his children,

so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

The power in sincere forgiveness is immeasurable.  Whether it is granted or received, asked for or shunned, its effect is boundless.  The peace and liberty available with that simple act is felt by both.  Healing can never fully be accomplished without it.  I certainly didn’t deserve her gift, and would have never held anything against her had she refused to extend it. Just as Jesus freely and lovingly extends His boundless gift of grace, so has she.  Her courage to do so humbles me, but I am grateful.  I cannot undue the things that were done, but because of her strength of heart, perhaps we both can be free from now on.  Have a blessed weekend

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

Every Sunday at 8:30 AM

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