Category Archives: Immersion Into Colossians

Affirmation

My oldest son Elliott and I are currently reading Bob Goff’s book, Love Does. Yeah, there are three links in my last sentence, and you should check them all out! Every chapter in this book grabs me, stomps on my toes, and/or has me standing and cheering “YESSSSSSSSS!”

satan does not deserve the respect or the credit of having his name capitalized, even at the beginning of a sentence. Now, I understand that many folks want to give him more credit than he deserves, but satan is a wimp. He is a liar, a braggart, a self-deceived and self-deceiving cast out from heaven.  Now, I understand satan can be stronger than we humans can be, and I understand folks fear satan for what he can do in their lives. However, those people are allowing satan to hold that power over them. I refuse to do so.

I am not claiming that satan does not wage war against me every day.  He does.  I am simply saying that I call him out for what he is: a spineless, wimp of a wannabe god. I recognize that satan does indeed have power to wield, but I will battle that power with the superior power of God’s Word and God’s people in my life.

I have spent much of this week drawing closer to God, while expressing my pure hatred for death.  Death was not part of God’s original design, but satan helped facilitate death’s entrance into the world when he enticed Adam and Eve to sin. God is the Father of Life, while satan is death’s daddy. I long for the day of Christ’s return when those who are in His Kingdom, those who are His Bride, go to be in His presence forever, and when death is told to “go to hell.”

Meanwhile, I want to encourage those who are doing their best to follow Christ daily to resist satan and to draw closer to Jesus. I want to remind us that satan holds no power over us unless we give him that power. Instead, let us draw from the mighty power of our Heavenly Father by spending quality and quantity time in the Bible, in prayer, and in doing life together with fellow believers.

Time in the Bible

Use the reading plan that best fits you.  I have, for the past couple of decades, read the One Year Bible plan. You get a does of Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs every day. Last year, as readers of this blog know, I added an immersion into Colossians in my daily reading.  This year, Peggy and I are immersing ourselves in 1 Peter as our couples devotion. I personally love the Bible App from YouVersion. Others prefer to use a Bible from their bookshelf. Whatever. I just cannot over emphasize the importance of daily immersing yourself in God’s Word.

Time in prayer.

I use desconsos to help remind me of prayer matters. My wedding ring reminds me to pray for Peggy. Grinding Juan Valdez Café reminds me to pray for Dale and Jeanie Meade and the Colombian Christian Mission, a glasses-wearing flower sticker reminds me to pray for Francesca Rodriguez. I have desconsos reminding me to pray for my kids, my grandkids, the folks at Vero Christian Church, the lost in our community, etc. I have dedicated times of intensive prayer, and I have an attitude of prayer through the day.  I am not a master of prayer by any means. I consider myself a novice but I work to make prayer a discipline in my life every day.

Time doing life together with fellow believers.

I disciple a couple of different men right now. I am in a Life Group. I lead two different praise teams at our church. I LOVE the time I get to hang out with Peggy. Well, you get the picture. There is no such thing as a “Lone Ranger Christian,” and it is important to surround yourself with believers for encouragement and accountability.

I pray that this post is an affirmation for you. Don’t give satan credit he doesn’t deserve, but don’t think that you can overcome his schemes on your own. He knows you weaknesses, and will attack in those areas.  What are some ways you counter those attacks? I would love to continue the conversation in the comment section below.

Be God’s.

Always? Always!

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What are three things that you ALWAYS do?  I recently asked that question of both my Life Group members and our praise team members at Vero Christian Church. I got a variety of pretty decent answers: breathe, eat, drink coffee, sleep, and others I won’t mention in this post.  But in his letter to the church at Colosse, Paul says he ALWAYS prays for “you” (his brothers and sisters in Christ) and that he ALWAYS gives thanks to God.  Remember, Paul is in a Roman prison when he wrote this letter.

So, this has me thinking (I know that IS a dangerous thing): what can I do to be better at ALWAYS praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ, and at giving thanks for God? Let me suggest one way to help n both of these goals.

Utilize descansos. In his book Devoted, Arron Chambers tells us what a descanso is:

The word descanso is Spanish for “to rest” and now also refers to a memorial, most often a cross, placed on the side of the road where a person died suddenly or was fatally injured away from home.

I use many different objects as descansos to help remind me to pray for specific people. For example:

  • Coke Reward Points – those numbers on Coca Cola products, I take a picture of them and message them to my buddy Jeff Sagstetter (who is a big Coca Cola fan and collects the points). Jeff knows that every time I send those to him, I am praying for him right then.

  • The flower sticker that Franchesca gave me in Colombia – it is in my glasses case, so every time I open that case, I am reminded to pray for her.

  • My wedding band – yeah, I am constantly in prayer for Peggy, and she needs it…she did marry me, after all!

  • A caricature drawn by a former youth group “kid” of mine – Greg Nunley is battling lymphoma.  He is a husband, father (of seven kids), and minister of the Gospel of Christ. Please join with me in prayer for Greg and his wife Stacy and their kids. Here’s the caricature to remind you to pray for the Nunely family:

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This hangs on my office wall and reminds me to pray for Greg and his family. It also reminds me to pray for my spiritual mentor Don Boswell, who is the other guy depicted here!

The point is that we can take ordinary, everyday objects and attach a spiritual significance to them by using them to remind us to pray specifically for our brothers and sisters in Christ. As I pray for folks, I ALWAYS give thanks to God for them, and to Him for putting those people in my life.  I then praise God because He is the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The point is, that we can indeed ALWAYS be in prayer and ALWAYS give thanks.  What do you use to help you in this regard?  I am ALWAYS interested in learning more “tricks of the trade” when it comes to prayer and thanksgiving.  Comment below and we can continue the conversation.

Be God’s.

 

So Much to Process

While my social media sabbatical ended a couple of weeks ago, I have hesitated to start blogging again just yet because I have so much to process.

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A major ongoing life event for me is my Immersion Into Colossians. I am reading this four chapter book every single day, and just soaking in what God has to say to me.  At the same time, I am watching/listening to the sermon series from The Creek Christian Church in Indy, as Dr. Gary Johnson and crew take that congregation through Colossians this year in a verse-by-verse pace that it very exciting to me. I have much to discuss regarding this study, and will save it for a future blog post.

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A summer event that has literally turned my house upside down was a washing machine-induced flood. Let’s just say that the end result is and extreme makeover that is taking place in our house.  Flooring throughout the house is being replaced, as are all bathroom vanities, all cabinets in the kitchen and laundry room, all baseboards, new toilets, as well as new kitchen appliances. When all is said and done, we will have invested around $31,000 including the part paid for by insurance.  The flood took place on June 11th, and the contractor is supposed to start work in the house this week.

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My mission trip to Colombia was indeed life changing in many ways. It was my first foreign mission trip (having done lots of domestic mission work throughout my years in ministry). My eyes were not only more appropriately opened to the church around the world, but to idolatrous teachings in the name of “Christianity” and the devastating impact those teachings have on entire cultures of people.  I also got to sit at the feet of a humble servant of God, who truly lives out his dedication to the Great Commission. I have MUCH more to talk about regarding this trip in future blog posts.

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Getting to travel to Arkansas to spend time with Ian, McKayla, and Landon was a highlight of the summer as well. I have spent many hours in prayer and in tears for our middle child and his family, and it is so gratifying to see how well they are thriving in Arkansas.

Ministry challenges and opportunities continue to abound, and again I come back to my time in the book of Colossians each day. The heart of the book is found in Col. 3:12-15, and as I process all that I have mentioned above, let me make sure to couch it all in that passage:

Colossians 3:12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

As promised/threatened, there is plenty more to discuss as I come off of my blog sabbatical.  Thanks for putting up with me as I am putting it Blountly.

Be God’s.