God Is...

I’m thankful for the opportunity to share as we are praying about the attributes of God.  One of the verses that have impacted me the most this month was from June 12th:  God is Merciful – from Deuteronomy 4:29 – 31.

These verses say:  “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.  When you are in distress and all of these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him.  For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”

God Is...

The Name of God that spoke to me during the past weeks devotional God Is… study was Jehovah Sabaoth, The Lord of Hosts; traditionally translated Jehovah Tsabaoth from old Hebrew. This special name for our Lord can be found in Isaiah 6:1 - In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 - Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 - And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”

God Is...

Lately my struggle has been doing things on my own will. In a month or so I will be giving birth to my son. Because of this I feel I have very little time left to get things together. Matt and I just did a big move to a new apartment and things are still not all in order. There are many worries that I struggle with throughout the week. I worry about if I’m going to have enough strength to finish unpacking and organizing my house. I worry about if I’m going to have a healthy labor and have my newborn son stay safe. I get in these stages where I am strong and stable one minute and then one event can happen to me and I’m unraveled and in a state of panic. 

Breakthrough's in Brokeness

This past Sunday, Pastor Dan spoke on the Song of Breakthrough. Looking at Acts 16:16-28, we read through the well-known story of Paul and Silas being thrown into prison and the prison gates being miraculously opened. The turning point to this story is in verse 25: “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and signing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” It was through their praying and worship that allowed them to step out of the way and for God to bring freedom.

Worship an Implement of Destruction

All week I have considered portions of my pastor’s sermon from last Sunday. For some reason, my thoughts about that sermon rolled through my thinking like stratocumulus clouds. Some white in various forms, not necessarily connected, but most assuredly passing through to some distant mountain range to deposit their moisture. One thought finally came to rest like the wheel on Wheel of Fortune. The pointer was directed towards an experience that I recently endured.

Sing the Song that God gave You!!

When we think of the idea of birth several pictures may instantly come to mind.  A little baby taking its first breath, likely in the form of a loud cry.  An expectant mother in the final stages of labor, both exhausted and in full anticipation of the expected joy at the end of what has been an arduous nine-month journey.  A nervous father, wondering what lies on the other side of this life changing event.  Regardless of what images the word birth may evoke, they are all the signs leading up to a tremendous change.  Cries will cease, pains will diminish, and nerves will settle.  And the family will have expanded by one.

When Worship feels like a Junior High Dance

Most people can remember attending a dance in Junior High School.  For some they are great memories, but for others the memories consist of standing along the wall, watching others have all the fun.  I can remember all of the extroverts trying to get us introverts out on the dance floor.  The pressure was unbearable.  They simply couldn’t understand that we were introverts, we were completely satisfied with our place on the wall.  We didn’t care if they danced and had a good time, why did they care so much if we chose not to? 

Building a House of Worship where you Live!!

The rich legacy of the Book of Psalms applies to our worship today, just as it did to that of the early Church. David’s exhortation to his people to praise and worship the Lord and to rejoice before Him is also punctuated by his heartfelt testimony of human trial and passion. David’s anger, sorrow, broken-heartedness, grief, confession and repentance before the Lord are the milestones he left behind, and by which, we can trace our own walk of faith. As the psalmist so vividly testifies from his own life, worship brings not only our praise and adoration to the altar of the Lord, but also our problems and limitations. The humbling of our will, joined to our worship of God at the altar, will produce a power encounter with Him of majestic proportions.

How to do Christmas "Right"

As a kid, Christmas in our home was always a special time.  My family didn’t have a lot of money, but my parents always made sure that our Christmas was done “just right”.  They were excellent at building our anticipation for Santa’s arrival.  We sent letters to the North Pole, stayed up late on Christmas Eve watching classic Christmas movies and then woke up early Christmas morning to find that Santa had enjoyed his cookies and milk and left gifts for each of us under the tree.  

Are you shining your Light this Christmas?

Many years ago, I took my family camping to a place called “Twin Lakes” just outside Bridgeport, Ca. As many of you know, camping without the proper equipment can be uncomfortable, dirty, gritty, and chaotic. But most of us also know that all those encumbrances and how we respond to them (good or bad) creates a bonding with our family members that becomes deeply engrained in our family memories.

A NEW way to celebrate 4th of July!!

        July 4th is a national holiday that I have always enjoyed. It helps me to remember the birthing of our great nation and experience something I have always enjoyed…fireworks! Loud fireworks! Big beautiful blue, green, red, and white fireworks! In years gone by, my Father would take me and the rest of my family to see fireworks set off at the end of Santa Monica Pier. I loved it!  As I grew older I also had a pretty good seat at Westchester Park near the Los Angeles International Airport. Then in 1976, when I moved my family here to the Santa Clarita Valley, I was able to sit on the hood of my car near Placerita Jr. High and watch the fireworks set off from Hart park.