Eagle’s Nest

Isaiah 40:31 (NASB) Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength;They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

As you read this, I’m sitting at about 13000 feet, gazing across an alpine basin.  I assure you I am sitting here in awe, reverence and appreciation of God’s gift of creation, this veritable playground He gave to us.  

Every year this trip serves to be my reset.  It’s physically and mentally demanding, but it is the trip that resets my defaults, helps me clear my head, draw ever closer to God and allows for personal introspection.  I cannot believe how blessed I am in life, that God repeated blesses me with the opportunity to go on these adventures and pursue what I enjoy above all other past times. 

This year, ironically, we are hunting the “Eagle Nest”. It will push my limits.  My mental and physical toughness will see great improvement, and I will be refreshed.  I will be closer to my Father and I will return a better representative of Him to the world around me.

Where’s your “Eagle’s Nest”?  Where do you go to reset, draw closer to God?  These places need to be a part of our daily life, on a small scale, and an annual adventure of a grander one.  God wants to see His children happy, restored and desiring to draw near to Him.  Find your nest.  Have a blessed weekend.

In full pursuit of the greatest Trophy,

Scott Pace 

Reminder

If I just had to go from my memory alone, I would be very inefficient, miss appointments, and not be able to do my job very well.  My calendar and my daily routine usually help keep me on task and get done what I need to do.  Yet each day, there are things that I don’t get done that I wanted to accomplish.  There are also things that I spend time on, in hindsight, that were a waste of time and did not benefit me or anyone else.  Even though I keep lists and try to put things on my calendar, I don’t always remember to do so.  At times, I even remember to get done things that I forget to write down.  So, is it even possible to get through a day perfectly, without wasting time and getting done exactly what you need to do?  Maybe not, but what would help you move closer to using your time more wisely?  What is on your list of things to do today? 

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;  yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  Psalm 77:11

What would it take to make a dramatic change to your life and/or your personality?  Often it needs to be something dramatic, like a wake-up call in the form of a near death experience or the death of a loved one.  Otherwise, we often just fall back into the same habits and routines we follow most every day.  What does it even take to add or eliminate a small thing from your daily routine?  To start a new habit, like regular walking, substituting water for less healthy beverages, engaging in things that stimulate your mind instead of numbing it, etc, you have to be consistently aware of what you are doing and aware of the change you are seeking.  As creatures of habit, we often fall back into how we have always done things, what is comfortable.  Believe me, there are often times each day, where 70 percent of my body and mind just wants to find a quiet spot and take a nap, but it is often not an option.  How many excuses do you make each day for not getting done what was most important? 

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.  Isaiah 40:8

There are times when I don’t read a verse from certain books of the Bible for months or years at a time.  When I am able to revisit, it often feels like visiting an old friend.  There is a familiarity, yet there are so many new things to learn as well.  You can spend hours catching up and it rarely gets boring.  I’ve said it before, and it still holds true, that daily time in the Word and prayer often makes the difference between a good day and a bad day.  It doesn’t even need to be a set amount of time, but just consistently doing it.  How would you describe your relationship to God and His Word?  Like any worthwhile relationship, it is good to check in as often as possible.  May you be blessed in doing so. 

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 11:18-20

Yours in Christ,
Clark

Celebrate

I went to a birthday party for a friend whose daughter had just turned 1.  I had not spent time with this precious girl, but went because I value my friend.  When it got time for the cake, the immediate family got really excited and everyone else was watching, but did not share the same enthusiasm.  The kids had fun and the adults talk about normal life.  I have 4 kids and we have had first birthdays and I realized this must be how everyone else felt at my kids 1st birthday party. 

I was reading about King Josiah this week in my 1 year Bible.  He became king at 8 years old and followed the Lord in an unusual way.  He destroy all the other places of worship to other gods.  What stood out to me what this. 

2 Chronicles 35:16 The entire ceremony for the Lord’s Passover was completed that day. All the burnt offerings were sacrificed on the altar of the Lord, as King Josiah had commanded. 17 All the Israelites present in Jerusalem celebrated Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 Never since the time of the prophet Samuel had there been such a Passover. None of the kings of Israel had ever kept a Passover as Josiah did, involving all the priests and Levites, all the people of Jerusalem, and people from all over Judah and Israel.

Passover was a celebration that the angel of death passed over them and killed the first born of Egypt.  The next day they were released from their slavery and their bondage.  This was not only about what they have been saved from but what the have been saved to.  In King Josiah’s rule, Israel had again been made slave and Judah was on the brink of capture.  

It was easy for them to forget what had happened over 1,000 year before.  I wander how often we gather in church, celebrate Christmas or Easter, and forget why we are gathered and why we should celebrate.  Think about this… God gave clear expectations for our lives that we intentionally rebelled against.  That sin requires death.  God sends His own Son to die as payment for that sin.  We receive that forgiveness that we did NOTHING to get. Then we forget to remember and celebrate the forgiveness we have received and the priced paid for it.  Or we go to church out of duty because that is what we are supposed to do and not out of remembering, worshiping, and celebration. 

So today… Remember the freedom you have and the price paid for it.  Remember God owes you nothing, and you owe Him everything.  Celebrate Him in the way you worship, the way you work, and the way you love.  Tell others about the freedom you possess.  Jesus is worthy of our remembering, our worship, our celebration!

Helping People Live a Better Story

Brandon Sereg
www.thevibrant.church
@brandonsereg

Being “The Man”

In 14 years of marriage my wife has uttered the following phrase, usually preceded by a groan, a head shake, and an eye-roll: “you are such a man.” This is normally because I’ve refused to admit I’m lost, refused to admit I’m wrong, or she is picking up my sweat drenched clothes from whatever spot of the floor I decided to toss them. So yeah, basically when I’m stubborn or smelly! Conversely, I’ve uttered the phrase “grrrr, you are such a woman” more than once. This is typically precipitated by luggage (for example, our last trip to the States included six suitcases, one shared between our kids, 1/2 of one for me, and the rest for her. And she has zero shame about it!). The other major cause of my frustration is the sheer volume of beauty supplies she feels the need to keep in our bathroom (come to think of it, if it’s 95% occupied by one person’s stuff is it still really “our bathroom?” But I digress).

Now, these are admittedly silly examples. But, it brings up a point I want us to think about. Men and women are different! We were purposefully and carefully created that way by God. The fact that men and women are different has become so controversial in this age of gender neutrality, gender choice, and the like that I hesitate to write this post. Look, some of that I totally understand. I think many of our so called gender norms are silly human constructs that we can easily jettison. Women don’t need to be confined to the kitchen, and men don’t need an iron grip on the family finances (I cook 90% of the meals in our home and I don’t have a clue how much we have in our bank account). I have an incredibly empowered wife, and I am greatly blessed by it. But, I also accept that God does indeed form us differently:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27

Instead of ignoring our differences we need to embrace them, because that’s exactly why God made us different in the first place! Men, we need to embrace our role as husbands, loving our wives, supporting them in every way, praying for them, and making them better. We need to be father’s to our children, showing them love, rearing them in the faith, and preparing them to be disciples. We need to use our strengths, our leadership, our passions, and all that God has given us to be a blessing to God and others. We should never be ashamed of being a man, nor should we think that makes us inherently better than a woman (the same goes to any women who have snuck onto this site today). Instead, lets embrace who God has made it to be, and use every ounce of our gifts, talents, and personalities for God’s glory. 

Ignoring God’s Voice

2 Chronicles 33:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.

King Manassah was considered to be evil in the Lord’s sight. He practiced pagan worship, built shrines, set up Asherah poles, and bowed to the powers of darkness in this world.

In my mind how could a son of a king by the name of Hezekiah turn his heart from God when his father was recorded as being a king who served God whole heartedly. What went wrong from one generation to the next?

There had to be some failure in the up bringin of Manassah. It says in the Bible that he became king when he was 12 years old. His father, King Hezekiah, died, so where did his up bringing come from? Who dropped the ball for him to be so skewed in his thinking?

In Jeremiah 17:9 is says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” I think this is the answer to why King Manassah failed in his leadership.

It can happen to you and me, as well. If you do not have a consistent devotional and prayer life, you will soon spiral into having a deceitful heart that is desperately sick. That is when I go back to the foot of the cross and cast down my pride and sin before Jesus. I ask for forgiveness with a whole hearted plea. 

Maybe you are there today? Maybe you are ignoring God’s voice? Choose that, today, you will call on Jesus name and restore your salvation in Christ.

Strength and Courage

Michael

 

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