Category Archives: Faith

My God, My Savior, Jesus the Christ

I am a believer in Jesus the Christ of Nazareth.  He is the only begotten son of the one true God and is God in the flesh. I write this with deep conviction.  I cannot deny the lover of my soul, the one who has given me hope, power, and joy.

I need him.  I cannot do life on my own and hope to succeed eternally. When I try to live like I don’t need him the worst of human qualities takes over. I become prideful.  Pride manifests itself in many ways:  self promotion, selfishness, arrogance, cruelty, and many more.  Pride manifests itself in such ways because the victim of pride begins to think that they are the master of their destiny and that they are more important than anyone else.  The result of pride is a great fall with extraordinarily destructive results.

Paul the apostle of Jesus wrote, “You have been saved through faith {in Jesus}, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast {in their own ability}.” Mankind has foolishly been deceived into thinking that they can save themselves.  This was the lie in the Garden of Eden.  This was the lie told to and taught by Buddha.  I came across this quote of the Buddha, “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” The divergence in viewpoints is huge. One is dependent on God’s power and grace and the other is dependent on one’s own limited powerless humanity.  One takes away our sin from us while the other tries to master and conquer sin resulting in the pride of accomplishment leading to… sin.

Buddha sought enlightenment which is a true and noble goal.  True enlightenment is when we come to the end of ourselves and realize that God is calling us to Himself through Jesus in a small still voice.  And when we listen to that call it will say, “I am the Road{path}, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me.” Yes, Jesus is talking to you, inviting you to walk with Him through life to the gates of Heaven. And on that journey….

…May you be covered in the dust of the Rabbi Jesus

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Sunday Sermon: In God We Trust pt. 2

Pastor Rick continued his sermon series “In God We Trust.”  It has been a good series.  It isn’t the typical, “give more” sermons. It is about developing a biblical attitude toward money and the other resources that God has given to us.  It has been really good.  I thought I’d share the sermon notes, my notes on them, and my answers to the growth questions.

Here we go…

1. I can be generous in my: finances, time, possessions, knowledge, strength, prayer, love, forgiveness, and joy.

2. In some areas I am and in others I am not.  It has been an issue in the past that I wouldn’t say no. I have set up some boundaries to protect myself and my family.  In doing so my generosity in some areas has diminished considerably.  I guess the wife and I will need to discuss this.  How can we hold onto some good safe boundaries and be godly generous givers?

3. God is a giver.  John 3:16.  The other verses underscore this reality.  It is very important to Him.

4. This means that you can give your tithe out of obligation rather than out of joy and security in God’s provision.  Obligation giving calculates the exact amount and probably rounds down…. to the dollar.

5. Pray.  I will pray that God will give me opportunities to be generous and the Holy Spirit prompting to be generous.

May You Be Covered In The Dust Of Your Rabbi

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Saturday Summary

Here it is, Saturday, June 28, 2006 and I need to update, review, and summarize.  Sounds like a class assignment that I would give for a reading section.  What to cover?

Faith wise, I am trying to figure out how to entice uninvolved pew sitters into small groups and calling to some men to come alongside to create a men’s ministry team.  The first rule is that you can’t make anyone do anything. My answer to this is to pray. The second rule is the 80/20 rule.  Isn’t it obvious to people that when you become a christian that you are to get involved both in ministering to others and in growing in your faith.  Okay, thats enough gripping on that issue.  The point is that I’d ask you, reader, to stop now and pray with me that I can effectively serve Him in the areas of small groups and men’s ministry.

Health wise, I am seriously trying to get the weight off, the health better, and learn about nutrition and exercise.  I really hate that Emeril is right, “Fat is flavor.” Apparently so are carbohydrates!  The good news is that in the last month I’ve dropped 15, count ’em, 15 pounds. I am officially 312lbs.  But the awesome thing is that I tried on some size 46 shorts at Wally’s and they fit.  To skinny healthy people they may be grossed out by the thought of size 46, but to me and many others who have lived in 50’s for a long time, 46 is awesome!!! ToTaLlY FrEaKiNg AwEsOmE!!  Along with this I’ve been riding my bike alot. Yesterday the wife, kids, and I rode the Bizz Johnson Trail from Devil’s Corrall to Hobo Camp. A 6 mile ride, down hill at 3% grade which is easier than flat, but ya still need to pedal to get anywhere.  With breaks for kids and water, it took us about 45 min.  But this isn’t my only exercise, I’ve been brisk walking, H.I.I.T.-ing with jump rope or sprints, and lifting weights.  Starting Monday, I’m going to be weighing in and measuring and posting it. Yep, nothing like public ridicule to get one motivated!!

Family wise, they are awesome!  Ben is a psycopathic Jedi freak.  Becca is potty trained (YEAH!). Stacy is incredible as always.  I love Ben and his sense of adventure and his love of worshipping. I love Becca and her princess posturing, as well as her affectionate hugs and kisses. I love Stacy because she is a wonderful conversationalist and an excellent encourager along my journey.

Does this by anymeans summarize life since my last post, no. But it is the important stuff. And as always,

May You Be Covered In The Dust Of Your Rabbi

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Jesus washing the feet…

My Power of 4 devotional today is…

John 13:1-20

1. What do you learn about Jesus as He washes His disciples’ feet?

He expresses true humility.  The sheer power that he holds in his hands is immeasurable, yet he uses them to do menial work to bless his disciples.  He cares about the details.  I understand that foot washing was a common practice to be done to travelers, yet no one thought to do it, except Jesus.  I see also that he is looking for every opportunity to teach, to make application to effective living in the kingdom of God. 

2. What does Jesus teach you about being a servant? How are you following His example today?

He teaches me that service requires love and humility. He teaches me that service does not have to be big and flashy, it needs to be real and practical.  He said to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit the prisoners, take care of the sick, and house the homeless.  He said that a blessing will be bestowed for offering a cup of cold water to the saints in His name.  Look around us and see the base physical needs of others and meet them.

Am I following his example? Yes.  This last weekend I was told about a family who has had a severe ice block form in their drive way.  The husband is disabled, the wife is away at school, the kids… well, if they were my kids they would have taken care of the issue before there was an issue… any way, the ice was a danger.  Several men and I rallied to attack the ice. Over the course of an hour we shoveled, picked, and scraped away the ice. Why? because it needed to be done.  This family, the mom and dad, had faithfully served in the church until the disability and the need for employment hindered their ability to serve. It was time to bestow on them the blessing they had given to me and the rest of the Body.  Each week, I know I am doing something practical and necessary for someone.  Taking care of another’s child in an emergency, helping the college kid change his tire in the snow storm, praying with someone who is hurting and etc… Oh Lord, though I wish I did more for your glory.

May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi.

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Seeking to grow…

jesus_90days.jpgThe wife and I have been talking about what we can do to spur growth in our spiritual lives.  We are challenging each other to do the Beth Moore Jesus study.  We listen to one or two sermons from  Marc Driscoll at Mars Hill Seattle.  I really like him but struggled with his sermon on predestination. 

Back to the Bible with Woodrow Kroll has a neat program. They call it the Power of 4.  The idea is to engage in scripture teaching at least 4 times a week but more if you can.  They email you the scripture and some questions for thought.  I thought that to help creat some accountability, I’m going to blog/journal my Power of 4.

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008

Read: John 12:37-501. What do you learn from the authorities who believed in Jesus but remained silent?

I learn from the authorities that I must desire, be desparate for, the praise of God rather than the praise of men. It is a question of perspective. Do I see the BIG PICTURE? Or am I short-sighted worrying about the present? Let me explain, the praise of God will come both in blessings, which I often won’t attribute to His praising of me, and at the Great White Throne, which I do not know when that will be. The praises of men are immediate, feel good, and are addictive. I think Napoleon was quoted as saying, “a man will march a hundred miles for a little piece of ribbon.” How silly we are!

But question arise in my mind. Is the belief of the authorities saving belief? And then how does this fit into Matthew 10:32-33 where Christ says that to deny Him is to be denied before the Father or James 4:4 that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Did these men really believe? Will I meet them in Heaven? What was their role in the trial and sentencing of Jesus? We know Nicodemus and Joseph (of Arimethea) eventually put feet to their faith after Christ’s crucifixion. I don’t know the answer. I don’t want to be legalistic and say no, they denied Jesus by cowering away from pharisee leadership. But I don’t want to be loose with grace saying that they believed and they are in becuase I know the Word says we not only must believe but confess as well.

The real lesson lies in my first paragraph. Or as Jesus summed it up best, “Do not fiear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.”

2. What do you learn about Jesus’ purpose? What’s the penalty for rejecting Him?

Jesus’ purpose was to show God and speak the Father’s will to mankind. He was not here to judge, rather he was here to save. Sadly, the penalty for rejecting Jesus is to face God and explain why they rejected Him. It isn’t a question if they were good or bad, did they accept or reject Jesus. That is the only sin that will send a person to hell.

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But for the grace of God…

I have new duties at work.  I was a teacher, then a testing coordinator (I oversaw the standardized testing), and now I am an Assessment Instructor.  The title is misleading.  I spend my days reviewing the central files of inmates and interviewing them.  What I do has little to do with education.  As I read these files I am exposed to the horrific depravity that man is capable of.

I was reflecting on this fact the other day.  I felt led to pray.  I praised the Father for His great forgiveness.  I thanked Him for Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross for me, for these men, for everyone on this planet.  I was struck with the verse, “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  God is truly gracious, merciful, and patient.

While I would probably prefer to see many of these individuals meet a grisly end for their crimes, God wishes to see them become His children and experience His forgiveness and grace.  Be glad that I am not God! 

Then it struck me.  One choice separates me from these men.  I could have easily fallen into bad company, made poor choices, and become a skallywag felon.  But for the grace of God there go I…

May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi.

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Giving thanks for my family

Here we are on Thanksgiving Eve getting ready for the feast that will be perpetrated on our intestinal tracks tomorrow.  Tonight has been fun.  It has been focused on family. 

We chose to get sandwiches to save ourselves the labor of cooking.  We engaged in our meal time ritual and asked what was everyone’s favorite thing of the day.  Ben said his was going out with Daddy.  Becca said her’s was playing with Daddy and Baba (brother).  Stacy declared that cuddling with me during nap was hers.  I agreed that mine was being with Mommy too.

After dinner the kids helped me with putting away the dishes.  I asked Ben and Becca to put away the silverware.  Ben told Becca what the dish was and showed her where it went.  She would put it away.  Ben and I would cheer her success.  Becca would giggle.

Wwalter-and-kids-charlie-brown-special.jpge DVR’d the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special.  We sat down to watch it tonight.  Becca decided that I was an easy chair and nestled in.  Ben sat beside me.  Mom was off to the side in the easy chair.  Stacy and I took great joy in listening to Becca’s and Ben’s deep belly laughs as Snoopy fought the chair.  It was great to watch this classic.  I asked Ben questions during the show.  Is Peppermint Patty being thankful? No.  What should she do?  Tell Charlie Brown sorry.  Stacy and I are doing something right.

Stacy and I were getting things ready through out the evening.  I prepared my Turkey Brine.  After C.B. The kids watched a little bit of The Santa Clause 2.  Stacy prepped some stuff for the Super Duper Yummy Claim Jumper Sour Cream Pumpkin Cheesecake Dessert. If you have not had this delightful delectable dessert, do so before you die.  Stacy found a recipe on the Net that approximates it’s goodness.  We got the kids into bed and worked well together to mix and make the desert. 

And that brings me to the title.  My kids are wonderful.  I know that Stacy and I are not the perfect parents, but we are blessed with good kids.  I love how they want to help out with chores.  I am pleased that they love a good laugh.  I am happy to know that the apple does not fall far from the tree (Ben is becoming a sci-fi/fantasy fanatic like his dad).  I am incredibly blessed to have Stacy for my wife.  She tells me that she loves me.  She gives me hugs and kisses.  She forgives my quirks.  We work well together as evidenced by tonights cooking episode. 

Father God,  you are so very good to me.  Thank you for Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection.  Thank you for the grace and forgiveness that is supplied abundantly to me through Jesus.  Thank you for my wife.  She has helped me be more real, grow in my faith, and gave me a security of love that models your love.  Thank you for my kids.  They are helping me to learn about your love for us, your children.  I know that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them.  I know that there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do for us.  Thank you for our home. Thank you for good jobs.  Thank you for good friends (Barb, Al, Jackson, Michelle, Kristin, Rick & Dana). Thank you God. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi

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