Sunday, October 31, 2010

On A Mission – Day Six

“Slept in” till 5am today. Had a nice breakfast and headed back to Paul’s house. I finished the kitchen cabinets and then Peter taught me how to install door frame moldings, while the ladies installed door stops and finished the painting.

It’s amazing to see how a group of women who admitted no knowledge of carpentry just a few days ago were now installing trim and such like they were all pros. Just shows what the Holy Spirit can do when we let Him.

Ryan went with the other work crew to the other job site today. His presence was missed on our team and the light he shone in our group was noticeably absent. Funny how you can grow accustomed to someone so quickly. I wish he was with us, but I’m sure he’s doing good things at the other site.

At breakfast, Peter, Ken D and I talked about how the WWII generation had so much to share with the younger generations and as they moved on to Heaven a lot of it was getting lost. That’s such a shame. At the job site, Joseph shared the same sentiment with Peter and I, without knowing we’d just talked about it, which reinforces the way God wired men: to learn from and teach one another. It’s good to have this opportunity to learn from Joseph and Peter. Thank you, Father.

Headed back to the camp after work and Ken W was cooking some BBQ chicken, which smelled yummy. It turned out to taste just as good as it smelled; best meal we’d had yet.

After dinner we had some good fellowship and devotional time. Tom & Deb V had a neat devotional that began with a little saying:

In Happy Moments, Praise God (Psalms 9:12)
In Difficult Moments, Seek God (Matthew 7:8)
In Quiet Moments, Worship God (Psalms 95:6-7)
In Painful Moments, Trust God (John 14:1-4)
Every Moment, Thank God (Psalms 136)

It’s been a great experience to learn from so many Christians. I know some on this team allows the evil one to trick them into thinking they don’t have much to share from time to time, but that’s anything but true. Each one of these people has a heart for God that’s inspiring and God has gifted each of them uniquely to do His work, which they’re all doing each day. That portion of the experience alone has made the trip worth it. I just wish there was a way to fully convey everything I’m feeling and learning to Angie.

God is good, all the time. I don’t think I fully grasped what that means until this week. Life may not always go my way, but it does always go God’s way. I think a lot of the times when I don’t think it goes my way, it’s simply that my priorities don’t align with God’s, which is my issue, not His. A lot of the things I thought were important before coming down here don’t seem so anymore. Conversely, I already knew how blessed I was to have a wonderful wife and son, but I appreciate them even more now. Thank you, Father, for blessing me far beyond anything a broken soul like me ever deserved.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

On A Mission – Day Five


Woke up early again today to read my bible and the What In The World… book. We’re heading out earlier today as we have a short work day so we can go to church tonight.

I prayed that God would get me past the frustrations of the previous days and while He put many opportunities for frustration in my path, He also empowered me to get past them with patience and love. Peter sent me into the kitchen to install cabinet doors, knobs and handles. He taught me how to make a template for drilling the holes properly and before long I had something tangible to look at and realize I was finally making a physical impact for this family. The rest of the crew did some awesome work, as usual, and we headed back to the camp around 3pm.

After speaking with Ken Wetzell last night I really felt led to get a Christian mentor. I spoke with a few of the other men in the group about this and they all agreed that it’s a good idea. Now to find one. Tom Voight offered to let me join his men’s group, which I just might do, but I think I need something more one on one.

After an early dinner we headed down to Victory Temple to experience their worship and listen to a special service prepared for us by the Bishop Benny Holland. Many years ago, Bishop Holland was in a horrible car accident and left for dead. The EMT’s declared him dead on the scene, but resuscitated him after noting he was an organ donor. At the hospital his mother was told he’d be a vegetable if he lived through the night. She told the DR. to do his job and she would do hers. She went into the waiting room and prayed fervently that God would restore him and guess what, God did.

It took several years, several surgeries and millions of prayers, but Bishop Holland, now crippled for life and missing 1/3 of his brain, went before us and delivered one of the best services I’ve ever seen. He assured us that if a man like him could still do great things for God, then as long as we’re still breathing, we can too.

After Bishop Holland’s accident, the Victory Temple body died as well. Nevertheless, God brought it back, too. Now both are returning to the life they once had through the power of the Holy Spirit. God is good. All the time.

The love for God the people in the Victory Temple have is inspiring and something that should infect every church, everywhere. Bishop Holland is crippled for life, missing 1/3 of his brain, yet he shines God’s love like no other. The least among us is the first.

Really illustrates how we tend to focus too much on material shortfalls and not enough on spiritual blessings. God loves us, not our stuff. God wants us, not our stuff. God cares about our souls, not our jobs, cars, houses.

We headed back to camp, completely on fire for God. It seems the inferno in the hearts of this team ignited tonight and hopefully that fire will never burn out.

Carl told me tonight after devotional time he thinks I’m a really gifted prayer warrior and that I should join EBC’s prayer team. Since I’m already serving in K-Rock, teaching in K-Rock, on the Yes Team and leading a small group, I think I’ll have to pray on that. ;)

Tidbits of wisdom I’ve picked up since coming here:

- If you’re doing something that isn’t worth praising God for, you shouldn’t be doing it. No one praises God for vices or addictions.

- Never focus on what the evil one does, instead focus on what God has done and is doing, every moment of every day.

- Every sunrise is God saying good morning by shining glorious light into your day.

- John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

- Psalms 23:6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Friday, October 29, 2010

On A Mission – Day Four

Servant of the Day

Woke up early again today to read my bible and “What In the World…” Ryan, Stefani and I were on Servant of the Day duty, so we helped prepare breakfast (although Sharon did most of the work) then we cleared the tables and did the dishes.

We arrived at the job site and immediately found out that Joseph wanted us to remove the window sills I’d installed yesterday, which started me off in the hole. Ryan stepped up and fixed them per Joseph’s direction. I was feeling very worthless when Peter pulled me over and had me work with him for a bit. He taught me some neat things, which lifted my spirits and made me feel like I was finally contributing something. I’d really wanted to do a lot for this family and so far I’d felt like I’d done nothing.

Thanks to Peter’s intercession, that was the last time I’d feel that way this week.

The ladies did a lot of painting and really overachieved, as did Ryan, which was great to see. No one complained about the heat & humidity, and everyone worked diligently, as if they were working on their own house. They really were “loving their neighbors as themselves” and it was awesome to witness.

We headed back to Biloxi Christian for dinner and devotional time. Ryan, Stefani and I, as part of our Servant of the Day duties had to share a devotional with everyone.

My Devotional

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hope. Joy. Peace.

God brought us here to answer prayers these people had sent heavenward. They were afflicted not only by a natural disaster, but by evil men who prayed on them after the fact. Men who would steal their hope, their joy, their peace. They have so little left, yet they still loved, laughed and praised God. The evil one can steal their homes, their livelihoods and their physical security, but it’s obvious he hasn’t stolen their trust in the Father.

If my family was in a similar predicament I pray that we’d hold on to our hope in Christ as these people have. When we lost our house in 2009, God was the rock that we stood on, hoped on and prayed on. And, while we’re standing here as a group, far from home, we all have the hope, joy and peace of the Holy Spirit. We laugh joyfully as we do God’s work, we have peace while trusting in God and He gives us hope that all things will work for His glory. God is good, all the time.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

On A Mission – Day Three

Woke up at 4am today and headed into the dining hall to read my bible and “What In The World Is Going On?” by Dr. David Jeremiah. Feeling somewhat lonely without Angie & Zach around, even though I’m surrounded by good people. Had a good breakfast of scrambled eggs & sausage, then a good prayer time that set a nice tone for the day.

I was assigned to Peter’s work crew, along with Ryan, Stefani, Shelley, Deb and Naomi. We headed over to Paul’s house, where his grandfather, Joseph filled us in on what he wanted us to achieve this week. Joseph was a career ship builder, a WWII veteran and one of those guys that made America great in the middle of the 20th century. It’s too bad this country is so lacking in people like Joseph these days.

Ryan and I were charged with fixing part of the roof line, where water had damaged the joists. Ryan ended up doing most of the work and had the plan to fix the roof, so I spent a lot of time standing around feeling useless. It was hot, muggy and very uncomfortable. I missed a lot of Joseph’s walk-thru information and felt like I was a step behind the overall plan all morning, which led to some frustration on my part. This opened the door for the evil one to start planting doubts and by lunch time I was wishing I hadn’t come on the trip. I finally decided to stop being down and just trust in God and at the very moment I made that decision, a cool breeze blew over the property and cooled me off a bit. That sent shivers down my spine, like God just blew some cool air in to show me He was there.

After lunch I was able to put some window sills into the girls bedrooms, but wasn’t sure about them since we didn’t have enough wood to make them exactly like the sills in the front room. But, I’d finally accomplished something, which was enough for me to hold onto and trust that God had me here for a reason.

The evil one kept trying to drag me under though. As the day went on I missed Angie and Zach more and more and really just wanted the week to be over. Honestly, if I could have snapped my fingers and been home, I probably would have done just that.

During our devotional time after dinner I felt like I was the only one to speak negatively about the day, which added even more to my second-guessing. I didn’t want to drag the group down, but felt like I was. However, God is good, all the time. It’s His will for me to be here, so I’m going to do my best to do my best for Him. Tomorrow is a new day and no one ever said Monday's were great. ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On A Mission – Day Two

Woke up around 4:00 am and headed down to the hotel lobby. Three teenage girls were hanging out in the lobby, cussing, talking about having sex and basically illustrating how totally lost they were. I prayed God would help them, and considered talking to them, but figured they wouldn’t listen to a old guy like me. It was pretty obvious they needed a good female role model in their lives and God willing, they’ll get one before they cause too much damage to themselves.

We left around 6:00am and had a good drive the rest of the way to Biloxi. Got to ride with Tom, Sue, Carl and Ryan at various points and learned more about them. What great people God has put on this team! We drove through Hattiesburg, home of Brett Favre. Stopped at a gas station in Hattiesburg and Carl struck up a conversation with a fellow whose wife had just been baptized. That was pretty neat to see the gleam in his eyes as he talked about it. Love how Carl can just walk up to anyone and start talking about God in a way that’s not offensive, weird or off-putting. He really has a gift for evangelism and it was great to see it in action. God is good, all the time.

We pulled into the volunteer camp at Biloxi Christian around 5:15pm. Ken Wetzell and Sharon from S.T.E.M. were there to greet us. We had a quick orientation in the sanctuary, a great room with a very awesome feel to it. You can tell lots of prayers have gone heavenward from this sanctuary.

Ken shared some stories and really made us feel like we were part of something much bigger than I’d imagined. They prayed, God whispered, we came. How awesome that the God of all creation would want us to do something for Him!

We unloaded the vehicles into the cabins which were old storage trailers converted for use as voluteer cabins.

Afterward, we went out for dinner at a local Italian buffet. Never seen an Italian buffet before, but it was very good. Lots of laughs and good food. Breaking bread with this group is an honor, as God handpicked each one of them for this trip, which reminds me that he handpicked me too. I miss Angie and Zach greatly, but I’m trying to focus on the task at hand, on my teammates and most importantly on God.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On a Mission – Day One

We gathered at White Bear Lake at 5:30am. I missed Angie & Zach before I ever even left the house and was homesick before we pulled out of the church parking lot. I was excited to go on the one hand, but anxious to get back home on the other. Dave & Trish Baker were there waiting to send us off. Lynn pulled in a few minutes later, along with several other people I didn’t know who were there for other team members. It was nice to get a glimpse at the people who were remaining here to pray for us.

Pulled out a few minutes after 6am with Ken, Pete and Stefani in the Expedition. We drove off into the darkness to spread God’s light. Stefani and Pete snoozed for the first hour or so, but once they woke up we had some really great conversation, grew closer together and had some great laughs. On the first day the evil one tried to trip us up repeatedly with wrong turns, missed exits, a mysterious coolant leak in the Suburban that never got worse and a lost purse, but God minimized them all, keeping His arms of protection around us. Each of those things could have turned into big trouble, but we were on a mission from God.

Listened to Stefani and Pete’s stories in the AM; they both have great hearts for the Lord. Pete seemed a little quiet and stand-offish, but Stefani is extroverted like Angie and I, so there was no lack of good conversation and laughter. It was neat to see Pete open up slowly as the day went on, he has a great sense of humor.

We stopped at McDonald’s for breakfast and Wendy’s for lunch. Sue lost her purse at McDonald’s and didn’t realize until we were at Wendy’s, hundreds of miles away. At first she thought her medication was in it, which would have been a disaster, but once again, God protected a member of the team and she found her medication in another of her bags. God is good, all the time.

We pulled into Pevely, Missouri around 5:15pm. I was amazed at how fast the day went, especially since I dislike sitting in a car for long periods of time. However, the day seemed to fly by. We set up our room arrangements, dropped our stuff off and headed over to Bobby Tom’s BBQ for good food and good laughs. I roomed with Ken, Pete, Carl and Tom K. Wished I was rooming with Angie, and the fact that it would be more than a week before I’d see her and Zach again weighed on me, but I knew God was sending me down for a reason, so I put the homesickness aside and trusted in Him. I could tell God was going to bless this group and the people we’d encounter along the way, it was obvious after watching Him deflect the attacks of the evil one all day. It was also obvious this group was full of His servants, eager to do great things and He was blessing that. God is faithful, all the time.

Father God,
Your plan is always perfect, always amazing. Thank you for protecting us today. Thank you for using me to bless others & growing me in the process. Please help me to speak encouraging words to those I meet, never harming, but always helping as I get to know those you’ve placed me with this week.
Thank you, Father. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Monday, October 25, 2010

More from Max Lucado

Pray First, Pray Most
by Max Lucado

One of our Brazilian church leaders taught me something about earnest prayer. He met Christ during a yearlong stay in a drug-rehab center. His therapy included three one-hour sessions of prayer a day. Patients weren't required to pray, but they were required to attend the prayer meeting. Dozens of recovering drug addicts spent sixty uninterrupted minutes on their knees.

I expressed amazement and confessed that my prayers were short and formal. He invited (dared?) me to meet him for prayer. I did the next day. We knelt on the concrete floor of our small church auditorium and began to talk to God. Change that. I talked; he cried, wailed, begged, cajoled, and pleaded. He pounded his fists on the floor, shook a fist toward heaven, confessed, and reconfessed every sin. He recited every promise in the Bible as if God needed a reminder. He prayed like Moses.

When God determined to destroy the Israelites for their golden calf stunt, "Moses begged the Lord his God and said, 'Lord, don't let your anger destroy your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with your great power and strength. Don't let the people of Egypt say, "The Lord brought the Israelites out of Egypt for an evil purpose." . . . Remember the men who served you—Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. You promised with an oath to them'" (Ex. 32:11-13 NCV).

Moses on Mount Sinai is not calm and quiet, with folded hands and a serene expression. He's on his face one minute, in God's the next. He's on his knees, pointing his finger, lifting his hands. Shedding tears. Shredding his cloak. Wrestling like Jacob at Jabbok for the lives of his people. And God heard him! "So the Lord changed his mind and did not destroy the people as he had said he might" (v.14 NCV).

Our passionate prayers move the heart of God. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16). Prayer does not change God's nature; who he is will never be altered. Prayer does, however, impact the flow of history. God has wired his world for power, but he calls on us to flip the switch.

Most of us struggle with prayer. We forget to pray, and when we remember, we hurry through prayers with hollow words. Our minds drift; our thoughts scatter like a covey of quail. Why is this? Prayer requires minimal effort. No location is prescribed. No particular clothing is required. No title or office is stipulated. Yet you'd think we were wrestling a greased pig.

Speaking of pigs, Satan seeks to interrupt our prayers. Our battle with prayer is not entirely our fault. The devil knows the stories; he witnessed the angel in Peter's cell and the revival in Jerusalem. He knows what happens when we pray. "Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy's strong places" (2 Cor. 10:4 NCV).

Satan is not troubled when Max writes books or prepares sermons, but his knobby knees tremble when Max prays. Satan does not stutter or stumble when you walk through church doors or attend committee meetings. Demons aren't flustered when you read this book. But the walls of hell shake when one person with an honest heart and faithful confession says, "Oh, God, how great thou art."

Satan keeps you and me from prayer. He tries to position himself between us and God. But he scampers like a spooked dog when we move forward. So let's do.

Let's pray, first. Traveling to help the hungry? Be sure to bathe your mission in prayer. Working to disentangle the knots of injustice? Pray. Weary with a world of racism and division? So is God. And he would love to talk to you about it.

Let's pray, most. Did God call us to preach without ceasing? Or teach without ceasing? Or have committee meetings without ceasing? Or sing without ceasing? No, but he did call us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17).

Did Jesus declare: My house shall be called a house of study? Fellowship? Music? A house of exposition? A house of activities? No, but he did say, "My house will be called a house of prayer" (Mark 11:17 NIV).

No other spiritual activity is guaranteed such results. "When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action" (Matt. 18:19 MSG). He is moved by the humble, prayerful heart.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ.
(Colossians 4:2-3 NLT)

Outlive Your Life book

God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, you created all that exists, and you keep it running through your infinite wisdom and boundless power. Yet you invite me to come to you in prayer, boldly and with the expectation that you will hear me and answer me. Teach me, Lord, to take full advantage of this amazing privilege, especially in regard to reaching others with your love. Give me a heart for those who have yet to experience the fullness of your grace, and prompt me to pray for them and for their welfare, both in this world and in eternity. Lord, bring me to the front lines of this battle. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

On A Mission From God

We pulled into the parking lot at Eagle Brook Church’s White Bear Lake campus about 4:45pm yesterday and the physical portion of our Mission Trip to Biloxi, MS came to an end. While we were down there, we not only served several families, we served one another and most importantly, we served God.

On the surface the trip seems like nothing more than going down and rebuilding some houses for good people who need some prayers answered.

Underneath that surface, however, the trip was about growth, patience, prayer, faith, evangelism, servitude, living as God intended and weeding the garden of our hearts.

Take a moment this morning and say a prayer for the families we served in Biloxi, the family that served us by providing a place to call home for a week and also say a prayer for us that the fire God started in our hearts will never burn out as long as we walk this earth.

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for loving us.

You know my heart Father. You know I considered backing out of this trip at the last moment and you know you commanded me to go in spite of it. Please forgive me for even considering disobedience.

Thank you so much for commanding me to leave my comfort zone, leave my beautiful wife and wonderful son and head down to Biloxi so that you might use the time, talents and treasures you blessed me with to bless those we encountered.

Father, I beg you this day to protect the hearts and minds of all of us who went on this trip, so that the fire you ignited over the past week will not only continue to burn, but spread like a raging inferno over our lives back home. Fan the flames, Father, so that we ignite the hearts and minds of everyone we come in contact with to be “Born again, again”. Please show us how to live the lives you want us to live and unsettle our hearts if we try to slide back into the “same old, same old”, Father.

You command us to be in this world but not of this world, instead, remaining rooted in Your love. Please remind us of that every moment of every day, Father. Please use us at all times to funnel Your Spirit over everyone we encounter, not diluting it one iota with sins of the flesh, but instead keeping it pure, as You intended it to be. And, make sure we always remember how honoring it is that You chose us to do these things, so that we do them with a joyful and loving heart.

I ask these things of you in your Son’s precious and holy name, amen.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who Am I?

Colossians 3

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

I used to carry a lot of bitterness and anger, malice and rage. I cussed as if I was rewarded for doing so and spewed bitter sarcasm as if it was my native tongue. These things walked hand in hand with immorality, lust, evil desires and drunkenness. All the things mentioned in the above verses that bring the wrath of God. I had no intention of angering our Lord, but I’m sure I angered Him mightily. While my intention wasn’t to do so, I can look back now and see how I did, by harboring that anger, which opens the door to all things dark and ungodly.

The anger came from wrongs I’d felt I’d endured. And, honestly, I did endure a lot of wrongs, but at no point did that ever justify my behavior. Never did it give me a free pass to act like a jerk. But I was fooled into believing it did. And, I left a lot of damage in my wake. I hurt myself and other people, time and again, physically, emotionally and spiritually until it seemed as if my only impact on this Earth was a negative one. And I have all too many scars on my fists to serve as landmarks from my road to ruin.

Then, thankfully, God softened my heart and I heard His voice. It was a whisper at first, a small tug that slowly grew until I could ignore it no longer. My anger roiled inside, but was put on hold as I came to grips with the notion that giving in to it was wrong and I needed help and hope.

Then, the whisper turned into a full-blown chorus and I gave my life to Him. I clearly remember the day after I was baptized, when I thought to myself over and over again “Today really is the first day of the rest of my life. I’m a new man, with a new life and new hope.” And thus began the transformation from anger to peace, bitterness to love, lost to saved.

Now I strive to clothe myself in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. I wish it was as easy to do as it is to type out, but I’d be lying if I told you it was. But, with a life filled with the Word, surrounded by people such as yourself, living in hope and love in Christ, I can overcome a past I’d rather forget, knowing full well I shouldn’t forget it as it led me to this moment, this day, where God is using my old life to build the new one; using the experiences wrought in a broken life to do His work in the new one. It’s funny how He can do that. Just more proof that God is good, all the time.

So, if you notice me acting in a way that bears any resemblance to the old me, please speak the truth in love and help me know who I am and whose I am so that I don’t look over my shoulder and focus on the life I left behind.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Quote for the week

From a great friend:

"When you hit the sweet spot where your spiritual gifts intersect with your passions on a road God has placed before you, that's when you shine."

I was able to teach two elementary services yesterday at our church's Spring Lake Park campus and I'm teaching two more today. Talk about shine! :)

Father God,
Your plan is perfect even if we only see a piece of the puzzle at a time.
Thank you so much for placing me in a position to use my gifts and passions to teach these children Your Word. Please continue to pour wisdom into them through me today as I head back for two more services.
Please keep your hand of protection on these kids, so they can have sanctuary from the pressures of their lives, at least for the time they're with us in K-Rock. And continue to use me to bring them the Word and a few smiles and laughs along the way.

In your Son's precious name I pray, amen.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Go Big! but Don't Go Home

Philippians 3:3b rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

“Have no confidence in the flesh.” How utterly unlike everything our world and culture teaches us. You can’t go anywhere or read much of anything that is of this world without the message that your confidence should lie in your own abilities and nothing else.

What a message to send to the lost. Have confidence in yourself, even though you’re broken, beaten, hopeless and overwhelmingly infested with sin. Never mind all that, because you should look out for #1 and trust in your own means to get by.

Think for a minute of the hundreds of millions of people in this world who hear and buy into that message all the time.

No wonder over 200 million Americans are lost and fully believe they don’t need anything but themselves for complete fulfillment, certainly not Jesus.

“Rejoice in Jesus Christ” We should never trust in anything other than Jesus. What a fool’s errand to think we could somehow, through our broken, lost capabilities, save our own souls. Jesus saves us each instant of each day. We cannot earn that salvation, we cannot grasp it through “110% effort” we can’t “bring our A game” and land it, there’s no way we can “go big” enough to overcome the chasm that separates us from our Father. We can only have it through rejoicing in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

So, meditate on Philippians 3:3b today and rejoice in our Lord, having no confidence in our own flesh or the flesh of any other, holding fast to the truth that only through the Son can we spend eternity with our Father.