Wednesday, March 23, 2016



What if our physical health was connected in some way to our spiritual well-being?  

What would happen to the diet industry, the workout equipment and training business if the key was spiritual and not physical?  

Jesus is remembered this week for His wounds and His death on the cross.  Scripture says there is healing in His wounds.  This is a spiritual healing, but it does have a physical impact. 

What affect might having a right relationship with God have on our inner selves that reaches to our bones?  Could this be beneficial in dealing with diseases of the bones?

A calm and peaceful and tranquil heart is life and health to the body,
But passion and envy are like rottenness to the bones. Proverbs 14:30 AMP

Or what about this from Proverbs 17:22?

It could be that God has a way of life that is more helpful to our day to day health than the pharmaceutical companies.  A joyful heart sounds nice.  How does that work?

Paul wrote long ago from his prison cell with some really good advice.  

Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! 

Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 

Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9 (NLT) 

1.       Full of joy in the Lord.  That requires knowing the Lord experientially and trusting Him truly.

2.       Pray instead of worrying.  Connected and communicating with God with reliance on His ability to handle whatever comes.

3.       Point thoughts God’s way and not on the dark ways.  Retuning the mind by filling it with the good God has all around will free the heart to be filled with joy.  

4.       Continuing to practice is important to experiencing God’s presence and peace. 
Jesus suffered and died to bring us life.  Embrace Him.  Embrace life.  Embrace the good He desires to bring into your life.  

Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18 (NLT) 

May you experience good health God’s way. 

Monday, March 21, 2016


God Stories

Sharing what God has done in our lives.  A testimony of coming to Christ is an example.  So is an answered prayer.  It may be a growing moment in learning something about ourselves and getting in line with God’s truth.  There may be a big life changing event or a quiet moment of an awareness of God.  Each has its place and each honors God in its telling. 

Standing Stones Relate to a God Story

There is a story behind each of these markers.  This is borrowed from Ray VanderLaan and the That the World May Know series:  

The Hebrew word translated "standing stones" is massebah and means "to set up." The Israelites followed ancient customs by setting up standing stones as a reminder of God's covenant and supernatural acts on their behalf. The story of the stone was passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition.

Biblical Examples
On several occasions, the Bible mentions significant events that were commemorated with standing stones:

Jacob set up stone pillars at Bethel in order to remember his powerful dream, in which God reaffirmed his covenant with him (Genesis 28:18-21, 35:14-15).

Moses built twelve standing stones at the foot of Mount Sinai after receiving the Ten Commandments and other laws (Exodus 24:2-4).

The Israelites erected standing stones to remember their miraculous crossing of the Jordan River (Joshua 4:2-3, 8-9).

Joshua built a standing stone when the covenant was renewed at Shechem (Joshua 24:27).

Psalms Remind Us to Remember Our God Stories

God was at work in the lives of individuals and in the whole of Israel.  Their stories make up the Old Testament, but there were many more stories that we will have to wait until heaven to hear.  But God appreciated the remembering and the sharing of these stories of His relationship with His people.  
The Psalms below reflect the idea.  

·         But then I recall all you have done, O LORD; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.
Psalm 77:11 (NLT)

·         Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.  Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the LORD.  Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him. Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
Psalm 105:1-5 (NLT)

·         Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Psalm 103:2-5 (NLT)

Has God done good things for you?  Has God forgiven your sins?  Has God healed you?  Has God kept you from death?  How has God crowned you with love and tender mercies?  What good things do you have in your life?  Tell the story.  What has God done? 

New Testament Stories

Mary from Nazareth has an amazing story of an angel’s visit and the birthing of the Messiah.  How do we know what happened to Mary?  She was the only one there.  She told her God story.  Her words are wonderful: 
  How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!  For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed. Luke 1:47-48 (NLT)

There are stories from one end to the other of the New Testament, but here is one you may find interesting.  This is from Paul’s letter to the Colossian church.  Paul didn’t start the church.  He has heard stories about what God is doing there in the lives of people.  God stories.  Take a look:

For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News. This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace. You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. Colossians 1:4-7 (NLT)

Paul says that he and the mission team have heard about the people of Colossae’s faith in Christ and love for God’s people.  God stories.  Look what this great God story we refer to as the Good News is doing.  It is bearing fruit by changing lives.  Changed lives is fruit.  Do you know anyone whose life has been changed as a result of embracing the Good News?  Do you have a story from your own life about a shift in thinking, different attitudes, altered beliefs, or new ways of behaving as a result of what God has done?  

The people in the church at Colossae learned about the Good News through God stories told by Epaphras.  Who told you the Good News?  How did that make a difference?  What areas of your life are different?  Have you told others?  What God stories might you have?  

The hymn says it well: I love to tell the story; 'Tis pleasant to repeat; What seems, each time I tell it, More wonderfully sweet.

On what we call Palm Sunday the Lord Jesus was on His way into the city of Jerusalem. There were those who had seen what He had done or heard the stories and they were shouting and praising God as Jesus rode in.  Religious leaders were bothered by the praise and the behavior so they wanted to shut it all down. 
“But Jesus answered, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!" Luke 19:40 (NASB) 

Let us not be silent. 

God Stories You Might Consider

If you know Jesus, there is a story.  How you came to know Him is the story of God working in your life.  You may have had an experience of being in a biker gang and on drugs when a bright light came blazing from heaven and you heard God’s voice telling you to get right with Jesus.  That could be it, but probably not.  It may be that you can’t remember not knowing about Jesus.  Then you have the privilege of telling a God story about a family of faith that raised you in an atmosphere of God’s truth and love.  So your testimony whatever it may be is your God story of faith.  You might want to have that one down.  

You may have encountered God in ways that shot you forward in faith over the years.  By the way, no one moves in a steady straight line from the point of salvation to heaven there are always bends in the road.  What did you learn that helped you grow in the Lord or trust Him more?  

Think back at how you learned to feed yourself on God’s Word.  Did that happen automatically or did you happen to always know the Word?  There was someone God brought into your life that helped.  As you gained a knowledge of the Word and how to get into it on your own you grew in your faith.  That is a God story don’t you think?

Did you ever take a fork in the road of your faith that took you away from God in some way?  How did you come to recognize you were on the wrong road?  What brought you around?  What have you found meaningful in your relationship with God that you didn’t have?  There is a great story there. 
What do you know about God?  Are you close?  How did you get there?  Can you think of a time when God revealed Himself in such a way that you were changed?  Have you experienced the working of the Holy Spirit in such a way that you have been forever altered?  How intimate are you with the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit?  How did you get there?  Did you find Him in the Bible, prayer, a meeting, retreat, conferences?  Your experience is a God story.  

Have you prayed and seen God answer?  If so, tell about it.  What was the situation?  What did you ask God for?  What did God do?  How did God help?  

Have you struggled with being immoral, short tempered, prideful, mouthy, abusive, mean, self-absorbed and now God has changed you?  There is God at work.  Take joy in telling His story. 
In impossible life situations where there looked to be no way out have you seen God make a way?  You have a story.  

There you go.  Ask God to help you recall places in your life where He has shown up.  Write down your story.  Share it as you have opportunity, and give God the glory.