Archives For Phil Joel

I listen to a variety of music & artists, but am kind of hooked on Phil Joel right now – especially his “The delibertatePeople. Album” (his other stuff is good also).  It’s the lyrics.  They draw me in – challenging and encouraging me each time I listen!  Check out his site…his story is pretty cool.

Every time I hear the song Awe – it reminds me of what my posture should be when I pray, read, think about/to GOD – flat…out…AWE. To be completely honest, it isn’t always that way (forgive me Lord).  I think sometimes it is easy to get too comfortable with Him being my friend or my “Abba, Father” that I forget He is at the same time Holy, Sovereign, and unlike any other person with whom I have a relationship. It is the challenge of balancing intimacy with reverence – something that, in most of our lives, is unique to God.  We can respect, even fear people; but, when you boil it down, no man or woman is holy, sovereign, or worthy of awe when compared with God.

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How easily we allow the “STUFF” in life to impact our assurance (and sometimes our confidence) in our Heavenly Father. The fact is that while our situation, circumstance, whatever may change:

HE NEVER CHANGES! HE IS THE SAME
YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND FOREVER!

While I can’t recall a specific example right now, I’m sure there were times growing up when I was afraid to do something, but my dad said “Dennis, trust me.” When I remained afraid, I’m sure he was frustrated, but he still assured me that it was OK – “Dennis, trust ME.” I’m sure in my heart I knew that he had my safety and security in mind, but still…“Dad, I’m afraid!”

So, after much prodding, I probably begrudgingly did it and I’m sure I got hurt or it didn’t “go right” a time or two – but my dad’s love and care never ceased…even when I may have thought, “Wait a second!”

How much more is our Heavenly Father
trustworthy, caring, and constantly on our side!

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surrender

Longer post today, but it’s on my heart…

Our pastor’s message on Easter was titled, “What Does it Take to Believe? Finding Real Faith in the Risen Jesus” – from John 20:1-9. He spoke about how it takes Hearing, Seeing and Action to believe. GREAT MESSAGE!  Just thought I would share some of my take-aways/scribbles on my message notes page/random thoughts as I pondered the message and wrote this post:

Hearing: True belief in Jesus is not faith in faith…it is faith in the truth of God’s word! Knowing that our beliefs are based on actual events and people who God used (both perfect (Jesus) and imperfect (everyone else)) is key to real faith. Our Youth Pastor Pat calls it “Owning your faith.” I know some would say that the word “doctrine” is scary or too “heady” for “today’s believers”, but one must have some understanding of the truth of God’s word.  It’s the blocking and tackling of being a Christ follower.  Check this out.

Seeing: True belief in Jesus is more than basic, visual sight of God’s awesome power in His creation or of the changed lives and answered prayer of His followers. We must truly SEE or understand those things with God’s vision (through the lens of His Word) and illumination of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26 & 16:13.)  It’s the difference between the Greek words used for “saw” in John 20:5 and 20:8 – in English, they appear the same, but they are not. In 20:5, John saw Jesus’ empty burial clothes only with his physical sight (Greek word: blepo). In 20:8, John truly understood and perceived what the scene meant: HE IS RISEN – just as He said (Greek word: horao). Basically, a biblical “ah, ha” moment – I can just see three years of dots connecting for John in an instant!

[Ok, I’m no Greek geek, but I was challenged/intrigued enough to spend some time on the differing “saws” in John 20…it was fun! Check this out (clicking on the different words will let you see the various and different uses).  There are contrasting “saws” with Mary, Peter, and the Disciples in the same chapter.]

Action: Hearing and Seeing are only part of the equation for real faith in Jesus – without action, it’s just head knowledge or a warm and fuzzy feeling. Sadly, many miss (or even avoid) this step – its the “rubber meets the road” or surrendered heart & life part. The basic action in finding real faith is through submitting ourselves – our lives to Christ. That is the base action for belief – we must confess our sin and receive God’s forgiveness (actions). Without that part of the equation…well, it’s not Real Faith in Jesus (just as belief is not real faith if you have action but hearing and/or seeing are missing.) It the complimentary passages of Ephesians 2:8-10 and James 2:14-26!

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