"He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youth will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:29-31 (NLT)
Isaiah kicks off this chapter prophesying comfort to God's people. He packages comfort with encouragement to a discouraged 'crew'. Ever been there? (Are you kidding' me Frank?!!!...um...YEA!) Well, then let's latch on to our great God who 'gets it' and desires to help us carry our 'loads'.
"Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls." The words of Jesus Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)
The Voice paraphrase says it this way at the end of Verse 28 "...When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest..." Yoke means joined, coupled, linked and united. To whom? Our King! Get yoked now, embrace the trust factor and gain new strength in the journey.
Life's issues can drive us to weariness and discouragement; however, we have a Savior who employs us to unite with him and trust him to walk with us and infuse us with new strength. Let's lock arms and plow on!
"It is God who saved us and chose us for his holy work, not because we deserved it but because that was his plan." - 2 Timothy 1:9 (The Living Bible)
I hope we get it. We were created to serve God. We all have a purpose that includes God given assignments from our Creator.
"God has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do." - Ephesians 2:10 (TEV)
What makes this 'serve-thing' so complicated is...well...us! We complicate the simplicity of the Gospel with the infectious teachings or philosophies of the world. Have you heard this before? Love God-Love People-Pass it on! Bada Bing! Bada Boom! It's not rocket science.
Paul packaged it this way in Romans 12:1 (TEV) "Because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you: Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him."
We were created and saved to serve. So, let's put on our aprons and get busy. The opportunities are everywhere and there are unfinished assignments to be conquered.
"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT
As a former catcher, our equipment was called 'The Tools of Ignorance.' Well, today we're talking about the tools of success, brilliance and/or excellence and more. We are discussing God's game plan for life - His love letter and instruction manual. For saints and sinners, it is The Book to be read, applied and lived.
Someone has said this about God's Word: 'It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet." As we have read, study, memorize and meditate in His word, that still small voice, called the Holy Spirit, will direct us back to verses and principles that work throughout the day, the week, the month, the decisions, and the challenges.
I'm ready re-open and re-visit the Book of all books along with all its equipping tools. How about you? I refuse to travel backwards and put on the old 'Tools of Ignorance'.
"God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is his business." - Proverbs 16:11 The MSG
A wise guys' response to, "what's going on pal?" is, "none-ya". What? None of your business! That response certainly is a little insensitive and cutting. (Ya think!!). I certainly hope none of us try that attitude with God. I certainly would not. I'm pretty afraid of lightening! Our workplaces are platforms to be mastered for the Master. We have opportunities to showcase Christ to observing eyes and listening ears.
"Well-done work has its own reward." - Proverbs 12:14 The MSG
There is a 'work' to be done by each of us in our respective work places that feeds the Kingdom Work in which the Lord desires to partner with us. Let's get after it with new purpose and passion! We will leave a positive 'dent' in today's culture by mastering the task before us.
Paul said it this way in Philippians 1:22, "As long as I'm alive in this body, there is a good work for me to do." There is a great work for each of us to do for the King. Whether it's on the shop floor, in the cubicle, or behind a cushy desk, we are doing all for Him.
No "None-ya" here, agreed?
Please share this video and help us get the word out about our upcoming Open House, Jan. 23rd at 7pm. If you are a prospective family, we can't wait to meet you next Monday night!
Check out Mr. C's Christmas video message for cfa Academy! We hope you have a wonderful holiday celebrating with your loved ones. As we close up the first semester, here are some important dates coming up in January:
January 4 - Second Semester Begins
January 17 - Re-Enrollment Opens
January 23 - Open House
January 24 - Open Enrollment Begins
"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:14-15 NIV
A second generation Christian, Timothy, is being reminded of his rich heritage of faith by his Faith Father, Paul. Our job as dads, granddads, and beyond is to help those we influence to take steps toward our King.
In elementary chapel at the Academy this week I challenged the students to take a giant step toward Jesus this Christmas season by committing to stay "True 2 Him"!
Our families are getting mixed "vibes" and "message" from today's culture. (Ya think?!!!)
So, let's remind them of the one and only reason for the season...Jesus!
Let's take that giant step toward Him first and challenge our "crews" to follow the leader.
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3
Do our thoughts turn often to the Lord? That's the Living Bible's paraphrase that leads to a great question. We all must answer.
The distractions we all face that drive peace out come in different formats. Chaos, turmoil, strife, and worry, to state a few, knock at all our mind's doors and have the potential to drive us to a dark place.
I love how Paul addresses moving to the mindset of prayer.
"Don't fret or worry, instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries in to prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Philippians 4:7-8 (The Message)
When our mind is set on our King, we gain new perspectives that lead to an increased trust in the One that replaces our worries with true peace. Let's purpose to get there and rest there.
"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family." Matthew 5:9 (The Message)
"Why can we all just get along?" or "Play nice!" ...Sound familiar?!?
When our "rug rats" are quiet and serene during one of their "pit stops" to Pop and Nina's, one of a few things are happening: they're either swimming in the toilet, plotting a takeover, or simply "getting along". (Somebody PTL!!!!)
When we facilitate or demonstrate a cooperative spirit, even the church world celebrates.
There are enough things to truly fight for in life. Our faith, our families, righteousness, and "right living" are a few. Why fight one another when we're on the same team, with the same goals and the same destination (Heaven)?
"How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along!" Psalm 133:1 (The Message)
Let's "play nice" for the Kingdom's sake!
"For the word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword..." Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
The Message paraphrases this verse uniquely:
"...His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey."
What a Book! What a "game plan for life"! What an amazing lifeline manual! The Book reveals who we are and who we are not. It sheds light on the good, the bad and the ugly in all of our lives. If we let it, it will reshape and re-order our lives daily.
Are you plugged in? Do you have a steady diet of the Book of all books? Carve out time. Designate a place. Go a little deeper, and purpose to come up richer after each session.
Get ready to get your toes stepped on! (Oh me?! Or Amen?! LOL) But also get ready to be refreshed, renewed and restored.
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye." Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)
May the good Lord bless you...Big Time...as you dig in a little deeper into His wonderful word.
"Let the spirit change your way of thinking." Ephesians 4:23 (CEV)
What we think determines what we do, which gives definition to who we are, along with whose we are! Now that's a "mouthful". It may be even a run on sentence, but it is reality! The connection to our old ways of living are linked by many components with one thread being "thinking". Paul says in Ephesians 4:22, "Everything - and I do mean everything - connected with [your] old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it!" (The Message) So let's shake it off! Let's be diligent and intentional about this "stinkin' thinkin' " dilemma we all have and...
"...Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:24 (NIV).
Norman Vincent Peale said it this way, "Change your thoughts and you change your world!"
Let's "roll" agents of change!
We started off the school year with a bang this year thanks to our Upper School Breakaway days! Each class took a different day to spend some time outside of the classroom getting to know each other better and focusing in with Mr. C on this year's theme "Walk It Out". A great time was had by all! Feel free to check out some photos from the day by clicking on the images below. In the mean time check out what senior Heather Morgan had to say about the Senior Breakaway Day:
"In one word, Senior Bonding Day felt significant. The pictures, people, the place- I’ll probably be inclined to remember that day, and many others, from this year. We rode paddle boats, which was fun, and the team bonding exercises were surprisingly really interesting and engaging. I liked being forced to work with people I normally wouldn’t talk to- mostly because I thought that it was funny to listen to the more outgoing people try to figure things out… great minds, battling it out… We should’ve agreed to listen to everyone’s ideas- even the more outspoken people. But it was still good. By the end of the day, I think we were all a little more comfortable with one another. Now, I see faces in the hallway, and I’m like, “Hey, they were on my team; I worked with them! They’re cool!” And I normally would’ve never thought that Senior Bonding Day would be so fun or that it would actually cause us to “bond”… but it did. That’s just cool. I was really happy at the end of the day.”
Come meet with Mr. C every Tuesday morning at 7am for men's prayer and devo.
"Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status." Romans 15:1 (The Message)
Paul understood the qualities of being strong and able. He never flaunted it but simply lived it. No matter his circumstances (how about a "thorn in the flesh"?!) or his environment (prison!!), this guy discovered the secret of strength and influence.
This master encourager and helper unpacked it in all of his epistles. His foundation and rock was the Rock of Ages, Jesus.
So, as fellow believers and even strugglers in the Kingdom of God, we have a unique privilege. The honor of stepping into the lives of the "limping" and "struggling" and assisting them in getting up to speed in their walks with the Lord.
What an honor! So, as fellow servants, strong and able, let's get at it and bring glory to our King. Live with your eyes and hearts wide open and respond!
For the sake of Kingdom Work,
"My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:1-6 (NKJV)
The words, 'wisdom', 'wise', and 'understanding' occur more than 140 times in Proverbs. A life of wisdom brings life, blessings, and the favor of God! Everything I want and everything I need. These verses paint an amazing picture to be digested and personalized by all. Bottom line: we need to get 'after it' and pull out all the 'stops' to get wisdom and understanding.
Receive...treasure...incline...apply...cry out...lift up...SEARCH and find!
Unpack those words in the verse and you'll find a 'life work' that happens one day at a time for the earnest man of God. It can't be bought, but must be sought! Are you in? By the grace of God, let's recalibrate our search efforts, focus and target WISDOM!