Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Great Commission and Linebacker Evangelism

We're all called to share our faith and specifically in Matthew 28:16-20, (The Great Commission) Jesus Himself commissions us to go into the entire world and make disciples.

According to the Bible there are many methods and styles of evangelism and each of us according to our gifts will find that one style works best for us as we seek to share our faith.

Let us also never forget that how we live our lives is one of the biggest evangelism "tools" we have because our lives will either show forth a transformed life because of what Christ has done for us or in contrast, our lives will not show this transformation.

The following link is a humorous illustration of one person using his linebacker skills to remind believers that we are again, called to share our faith.


I pray that it gets you and I thinking more about our calling to serve and share Christ to a world in need. I hope it doesn't take a linebacker to get us to do what God has called us to do. :-)

Click on one of the Play Arrows/Icons in the following window:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our Greatest Need



Merry Christmas!

It’s been a little bit since I’ve written but I wanted to share this wonderful poem by Roy Lessin that provides profound insight into our greatest need that God met through His Son Jesus Christ.

OUR GREATEST NEED - by Roy Lessin

If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.

If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.

If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.

If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.

But our greatest need was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Savior.

Click on the following link to see a great
online presentation of this:
http://www.dayspring.com/movies/view.asp?moviename=ourneed.swf

We need Jesus more than any present we may receive!

I pray that your Christmas is centered on the matchless Gift, Jesus Christ.

Thanks for stopping by!

In Christ,

Randolph Koch

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Submit, Resist, and he will Flee (Some thoughts on spiritual warfare)


Submit, Resist, and he will Flee

A couple weeks ago I began going through a Spiritual Warfare 101 Bible study with my small group/community group that meets every other week and I wanted to share something briefly about this.

One of the keys in the spiritual battle is having tools to combat the evil one - tools that God has already provided for us like the Full Armor of God and His Word where we can memorize and have in our hearts when the battle comes at us each day.

With this in mind, I wanted to share one verse with you and encourage you to memorize it yourself as an added tool to your spiritual tool belt.

Memorize the following (feel free to memorize this in whatever version you’d like):

“Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.”

-James 4:7 (NASB and ESV referenced - they are identical on this passage)

Note that everything comes back to submitting yourself to God. You can try to resist the evil one on your own but unless you submit to God you will not be successful in doing so. If you abide in Christ, submit yourself to Him, the evil one will have no ground to stand on and he and his demonic influences will not be able influence you because you will be in close fellowship with God. This also assumes that through abiding in Him you’re in His Word regularly, you’re praying, and in fellowship with other believers. This isn’t some “magic formula” rather; it’s a practical and Biblical way to abide in Him. Now, can you do this and not truly be abiding in Him because you’re essentially “going through the motions”, yes, of course this can be the case, however if you’re intentions are pure, and you’re really seeking Him, then this won’t be the case. Also, It’s important to note that in this battle that according to the scriptures is not of flesh and blood but of the spiritual realm, (See Eph. 6) we are not fighting for victory, rather, we’re fighting from Victory as Jesus has already won the battle for us!

In sum, Submit to God, Resist the evil one and he will flee, because Jesus is the key.

Have a great week!

Your Brother and Servant,

rlk

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Spiritual Gifts and Dodgeball?

I ran across this humorous video on a site named God Tube, (it’s like YouTube but for Christian videos.) and it’s simply meant to get you thinking about and using your spiritual gifts. The guy in the video thinks his gift is dodgeball! No, dodgeball isn’t a Biblical Spiritual gift but I wonder what would happen if we exercised the gifts God has given us as diligently and tenaciously as the guy in the video?

Check the video out then go out and discover and use the Spiritual gifts God has given you! :-)

God Bless, rlk

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Excuses

The following post is what I'd call humor with truth that I received years ago and decided to post it for your benefit.

It will make you laugh if you think about each item for a moment and I'm sure you've experienced somebody who makes excuses for not attending church on a regular basis or those who choose only to make a holiday visit to Church. Maybe that person used to be you? Hope you see the humor and the truth and that you earnestly seek to spend time with other believers and learn about and worship God each week through your local Bible centered, Christ Centered Church.

Here’s part of what God’s Word has to say about the importance of His Church and your part in it:


“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

~Hebrews 23-25 (NASB) (Bold Emphasis mine)

People even in the early church had become casual or had outright forsaken coming together as The Church and God tells them and us simply - don't be like those people rather, you be an active part of the Body! You come together in Jesus name and quit making it optional because it's for your good and God wants you there!

There's more I could say but let me close by asking you to encourage yourself and others to make God and His Church a priority and allow yourself to be accountable to others in this vital area of your life and walk in Him.

Now, read the below. :=)

God Bless,
rlk


*************************************************************
Excuses
by Unknown

Everybody has a good excuse for not attending church. If you take those excuses and apply them to other things we do (or don't do), like eating, they might look like this list:

1. I was forced to eat as a child.
2. People who eat all the time are hypocrites; they aren't really hungry.
3. There are so many different kinds of food, I can't decide what to eat.
4. I used to eat, but I got bored and stopped.
5. I only eat on special occasions, like Christmas and Easter.
6. None of my friends will eat with me.
7. I'll start eating when I get older.
8. I don't really have time to eat.
9. I don't believe that eating does anybody any good. It's just a crutch.
10. Restaurants and grocery stores are only after your money.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Be Still and Wait



Be Still and Wait

Being still before God is a hard thing to do for most Christians, especially in the fast paced high expectation world and environment we live and work in each day.

Then, couple this with the trials we go through from time to time or, as I like to affectionately refer to them as the “Here we Grow again times!” (Although it doesn’t feel like it’s for our good when we're going through it sometimes does it?)

Take time to read the below scripture, pray, and ponder how you can apply the principles of this scripture in your life. Then encourage others that God has placed around you to do the same.

Have a blessed day as you seek Him!

rlk


"Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock
and my salvation, my fortress
where I will not be shaken."
Psalm 62:5-6 (NLT)



Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Discouragement – Peace – Hope



Have you ever been discouraged before? Have you received news that was very disappointing and you felt just broken before the Lord?

I’ve been there and tonight was such a night for me – a night of disappointment, discouragement, brokenness.

Then I turn to the Word and the following verses come to mind to minister to me.

If you’ve been there, or maybe you're there now, I pray that these same verses will be of encouragement to you as well.


"Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God."

~Psalm 43:5 (NIV)

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
~Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the
Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
~Romans 5:2b-5 (NIV)


God Bless you – keep pressing on, keep clinging to Him and I’ll do the same.

Your Bro, rlk

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pause and See the Glory of God through His Creation



Came out of service yesterday with the following passage in mind:

Psalm 19:1-5 (NIV)

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.”


In response to what God was instilling in my heart and mind I wanted to piggyback on a few of the ideas I remember being presented in the service by asking you and I to consider, “what do the Heaven’s Declare about the Lord?”

The book of Romans reminds us that just by creation itself mankind is without excuse for not knowing God. (See Romans 1:20)

His creation shows gloriously His loving handwork and we ought to never grow callous and ignore the simple beauty that proclaims He Is present at all times and He desires that you have and grow in a personal relationship with Him. We should see Him in everything around us and thank Him for Who He is!

Let me encourage you today to pause for a moment, look around you, maybe even step outside, and ask yourself, “What is God revealing to me about Himself?”

The next time you see a beautiful sunrise or sunset, you’ll see Him there.

The next time you survey a majestic mountain or the expanse of a great canyon or valley, you’ll see His handy work there. Stand in awe of His power and majesty.

He loves you and if you know Him, you can rejoice even more in your relationship with the Creator and can remain in awe because with everything He’s created; He still makes time for you every moment of the day!

You can also enjoy His creation even more because He created everything; He put everything into existence for a purpose. Pause and ask yourself, “What is God revealing about Himself through His Creation?” “What is He revealing about Himself through the Heavens and the Earth?” “What is He revealing to me?”

Now if you don’t know Him, let me encourage you to come to Him and if you would like to know how to do that, e-mail me and I’ll send you some material via e-mail to help you know how to personally know Him for yourself.

To all who may read this entry, take time away from the busyness of each day, even just for a moment to seek Him and praise Him for Who He is. Take time to read His Word and listen to what He is telling you and don’t forget to also take time to pray so you’ll continue to have a two way communication going with Him.

Lastly, don’t forget how much He loves you and that you were created for His Glory, Purpose and Plan.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Welcome to Drama Church

Over at least the past decade the trends would indicate that the use of drama is becoming an ever more popular feature in worship services.

Whether you agree or disagree with this practice, in reality it’s not necessarily a new issue because preachers like A.W. Tozer were speaking against what was then a new trend via the use of drama or the “religious movie.” In other words, we’re just witnessing a resurgence of an old form of what is considered a method of communication within the “Christian Context.”

I’ve personally been involved with the arts for a large portion of my life including vocal music, leading worship for Sunday schools and retreats, musical drama, Easter programs, and even an Opera in one act to name some of my involvement.

I’m not completely apposed to the use of drama if it’s used responsibly and in good taste. In fact, I’ve been in several Easter productions where the scripts and the drama itself beautifully communicated the Gospel. Furthermore, I’m also for (for the most part) the use of creative ways to present and communicate as long as it’s not in conflict with the Word of God.

On the other side, I’ve also been in the audience many times during various services or other special events where I’ve felt very uncomfortable by what was communicated.

Some would say, “Lighten up man! It’s just a drama!”

In response, I’d say, no it’s not just a “drama” that’s at stake here - it’s the message that is being communicated that is at stake. This is especially true as we’re charged to uphold and proclaim the Word of truth and we should speak the truth in love and at the same time not water it down or have an anything goes attitude!

As I ponder past episodes where drama was used in services, I can’t emphasize enough that it’s really important that the dramas do not detract from the preaching of the Word of God nor should they negatively impact the atmosphere of worship. It should also be used to communicate the Gospel and not just be a form of entertainment not that I’m saying we Christians cannot have fun or be entertaining. Again, I’m speaking directly to the use of drama in the context of weekly worship services.

To take it one step further, dare I say that it should only be used during regular services to directly tie into the sermon to help illustrate or communicate a Biblical truth or principle!? Or, it can also be used responsibly during Easter or maybe Christmas where it may reach those who are seasonal church goers. Or, it may be used for a creative announcement of an upcoming church event. In either of these situations, let me stress again the importance of using it responsibly.

Through my first hand experience, I’ve come away from various services with much frustration because the dramas that were used didn’t seem to connect completely with the sermon or in some cased they didn’t connect at all. It’s as if there were two separate or competing messages.

There have also been times where I’ve seen questionable content written into the scripts to seemingly “push the envelope” which has been very offensive and contrary to The Word of God in my opinion.

Regarding the dramas not connecting to the messages, The Holy Spirit does not interrupt Himself nor should we interrupt the message, the worship of God and the edification of the body by misuse of this form of communication.

I keep asking, “Where is the accountability” and “at what point are filters applied by the local pastoral staff and elders who are our shepherds?”

It seems at times like anything goes and nothing needs to be filtered out because by all means it’s for the “seeker” that matters and the believer’s just need to deal with the approach that is being taken.

Where’s the reality that we’re all accountable to God and that we’ll account for what we did or did not do properly for the Lord. This is especially true of Pastors and Elders.

With further thought here are some important questions I believe drama teams and pastors should ask before a drama / skit is considered or standards by which I believe Drama’s should be used or filtered:

-Do the scripts/drama/skits magnify the Lord?
-Do the scripts/drama/skits proclaim the Word of God?
-Do the scripts/drama/skits have a redemptive message to them?
-Do the scripts/drama/skits have a message that is part of the edification of the Body?
-Do the scripts/drama/skits contain a clear illustration used to help illustrate a point and directly tie into the message somehow?
-Do the scripts/drama/skits need to be in alignment with the church’s mission/purpose statement which seems to be a part of the suggested test/filter for everything we do at our churches?

Whatever you’re opinion is let me state that we all need to grow in Christ and glorify Him more and guard what is sacred, good, right, and perfect.

We cannot and should not settle for a watered down Christianity nor can we or should we settle for watered down sermons, services or maybe what some deem as “Edutainment” if it muddies the message! If it muddies the message, then we’ve failed because we’re called and accountable to clearly communicate the living hope found in a salvatory relationship with Jesus Christ!

If we’re not about the Lord’s business, purpose and will, if God’s Word and the Lord Jesus Christ are not in the center of what we do in our churches then what business are we in?

Prayerfully we’ll take a serious look in the mirror at our churches and our hearts and ask the Lord through His Holy Spirit to spotlight what we need to change right now.

Some of what I share here is due to the fact that some churches across America it seems that the drama has replaced or taken a more prominent place than the preaching of the Word.

As sarcastic as this may sound, for these churches that have gone mainly to drama and some worship and very little Scripture at all, they may come to a point where they may just need to rename there meeting place from church to a performing arts center. A performing arts center that just happens to have paid pastoral staff on hand or maybe they’d rather change their titles to “chaplains” so that so called seekers will feel comfortable if the chaplain wouldn’t be seen as offensive to them?

The Word of God was good enough for Peter, just look at the books of Acts. Peter preached the Word and over 3000 people came to faith that day. Some would argue, well, “the culture has changed.” Yes, it has changed but the Word of God has not changed. It’s still as powerful today as it was then! If it was strong enough then, it’s strong enough now and we need to keep the Word of God the focus of our services. The Word of God alone stands supreme and the Word of God is powerful!

Again, I’m not saying that we cannot use creative methods to communicate the Gospel, but I am saying that the Word has to be central to how we communicate and we need to communicate in an appropriate way. I hope you can see this important distinction.

Again I ask His Church:

If the Word of God is not present then what is the point?
What is the church doing if the Word of God and Jesus Christ are not in the center of what we do?

May Jesus Christ and the Word of God be in the center of all we do because if this is not the case then how can we effectively communicate His message and furthermore - how can we call ourselves Christians, followers of Christ?

I’m committed to praying for the Body of Christ, including the leaders asking the Lord to help us come back to our first love, The Lord Jesus and the Word of God. How about you?

Friday, May 25, 2007

C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R. (Part 3 of 8) – Accountability and Responsibility


The Word:
Read: 2 Corinthians 5:10
Additional Reading: Matthew 5:13, Romans 12

“Accountability and Responsibility” By Randolph Koch

In a world where individuality is “king” the term accountability is seen as an assault to our ego-centric ways. It tends to be a word that we shy away from, even in Christian circles. I recall attending a retreat where we were defining what Biblical Discipleship is and one of the key truths that were brought out was none other than accountability in that we need others to keep us accountable. This was somewhat “controversial” because many in the group did not like the term or it made them uncomfortable to say the least. I would submit that it all goes back to our cultures and how we perceive the “outlandish” idea that we’re responsible for or actions and accountable to others!

It would seem that no one in the natural man really likes to be held to a standard but as you grow as a believer you begin to see that the Bible, God’s Word, teaches that accountability is important. Furthermore, the character qualities of accountability and responsibility really go hand in hand.

Whether we like it or not we are held accountable for our actions even though sometimes we might question this as we witness other people not being held accountable and essentially getting away with ridiculous actions. Regardless of other people’s actions, we should always seek to do what is right in God’s sight.

Let’s say you’re going 55 MPH in a speed zone where the posted speed limit is 25 MPH? If a police officer sees you, (of course you’ve broken the law no matter if they see you or not) and with lights flashing and siren blaring they pull you over, you will surely be given a ticket. Now the culture might say, “You can’t tell me how to drive!”, “you don’t have a right!” The reality is that there is a standard no matter how the culture tries to deny it or place blame on someone else for their own individual actions.

Now, you may think this is ridiculous but our society seemingly has devalued personal responsibility as it’s hardly emphasized anymore. You needn’t look any further for evidence of this than the news with reports of lawsuits over outrages things. More often than not, the person suing a company or individual is really the one at fault but they don’t want to be accountable for their actions. Of course in the before mentioned example - the right thing to do would have been to not speed in the first place, but in the “off chance” that you were the one speeding or have ever been in a situation like this, you should own up to it because you are responsible for your actions.

God’s standards are higher than ours and fight it as you may - His way is better than ours and allows you to really have a more successful life for Him especially when you live by His standards and reflect His character qualities.

As previously mentioned, a key to discipleship is accountability with other believer’s. If you don’t have accountability then you become like an island, you stand alone and you don’t have anyone to act like a jetty or barrier reef to protect you from the waves that come crashing upon you. No one was designed to travel this journey alone and God brings others into our lives to make us better people to make us more useful to Him and more mature.

Accountability and responsibility is important in all areas of your life not only for spiritual reason but also for very practical reasons as well.

Let’s consider for a moment a real life example. Let’s say that your employer gives you a task to complete and you blow it off or maybe you respond with a very negative attitude? How do you think your employer will respond? Well, you will be held accountable because you were responsible for completing this task and if you could not complete it you’d be expected to communicate this and work with the stakeholders to adjust the due date. If you’re reading this and you’re self employed, you likewise are accountable but in your case it’s directly to your customers as you’re responsible for fulfilling your agreement with them. Likewise if you’re a student and reading this, you’re accountable to your teachers or professors as you’re responsible to complete your assignment or projects and you’re responsible to be engaged and attentive in class. If you choose to not do these things, you’re grades will reflect this. There numerous examples we could discuss here but I’m sure you see the point here.

Ultimately we’re responsible to live our lives in a way that will bring honor and glory to God. You are and will be accountable to God and when you enter into eternity with Him He will assess what you did or didn’t do with your life. Hopefully this doesn’t make your fearful rather, hopefully this truth with help you understand how you should be living your life and allowing the Holy Spirit to help you make necessary changes.

We are accountable to God and other Christians and we need to embrace that and allow God to work this in our lives for our good and for His glory. Make your life matter for something more than your own personal - temporal gratification. Be a living example of God’s character. Live your life being accountable to God and others and actively be responsible for your actions whether exemplarily or when you stumble because it’s not only the here-and-now but it’s also eternity that matters.
Questions to Get Started With:-What do you think God’s assessment of you will be on your way into heaven?
-Who are accountable to and who are you or what are you responsible for?
-What changes do you need to make to be more accountable and responsible?
-Do you have an addiction you need to be accountable to someone else about?
-Do you have an important goal you’ve set but you’ve yet to achieve? Do you think having someone check on your progress once in a while might help you?
-Do you purpose to stand up and be accountable and responsible for your actions – no matter the consequences?
-Have you been running from something you did possibly years ago? Don’t you think it’s finally time to confess it to God and be responsible for what you did? Again, no matter the consequences?
-What about how you’re living now? Anything you need to confess or be accountable for?
-According to Romans 12, how should we be living our lives and interact with others, especially other believer’s?
-In addition, what does Matthew 5:13 say about how we should live or be characterized?
-What or who are you living for?
For Further Study:1-Do a Bible study on accountability / responsibility.
2-From your Bible study, select a few verses about accountability / responsibility and memorize them. (Then review them on at least a monthly basis as a great personal tool and reminder of the importance of Accountability / Responsibility)
3-Pray and ask God to help you be accountable and also help you build at least one relationship (If you’re man, with another man or if you’re a woman, with another woman) to the point where you can be accountable to each other so you can speak into each others lives because you’ve come to trust each other.
 

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ministry Need!

I'm in need of a Good Used or possibly Refurbished or New (1-3 year old) Laptop or Tablet PC to be used for writing, communication, resource development, web site maintenance, etc.

I could use one with at least 512MB memory, Windows XP, a DVD/CD reader/writer, Wifi Card or Adaptor and probably 60-80gig of Hard Drive space Minimum.

We’ve been informed that we could find a refurbished Dell Brand Laptop for $300-$400. Please contact rlk@rlkministries.org if you know of one or would like to help meet this need.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

RLK Ministries Update: 10 Year Anniversary!











Although this is more of my personal / ministry Blog, I wanted to share the following message with you that I sent to my ministry partners.

God Bless, Randolph Koch

*******************************************************

Dear Partners in Ministry,

In April of 1997 God started a work that you've come to know as RLK Ministries. This month we celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary! It's exciting times and we plan on continuing to build upon the foundation the Lord has built as He leads!

In celebration of our anniversary we'll be making some new additions to our web site in the weeks to come.

Here are a few items that are in the works:

Support Page:

In order to keep you abreast of what ministry services/projects we're currently working on, as well as resources and financial needs we have, this page will simply list these items. We'll eventually have information on this page so those who are led can give online. In sum, this page will keep you up to date regarding specific short term and ongoing ministry needs so you're aware of them and can pray and contribute as God leads.

Living Stones Page:

In the Old Testament, each time God did something significant He had the people build an altar, made of stones/rocks, or sometimes it was simply a large pile of rocks, to commemorate what He had done and this memorial was for their sake and for future generations to see.

We likewise can build a memorial of God's goodness, deliverance, and grace "one stone or rock at a time". This will be a place (possibly connected with a BLOG of the same name) where people can share their story, share a special blessing or encouragement from the Lord and, be encouraged, built up, and blessed by what God has done!

In sum, anything that points to and gives glory to God will be considered for posting as each item is significant and should be another rock of remembrance for all to see.

If you have something to share please submit your story for thoughtful review and consideration via e-mail to
livingstones@rlkministries.org . You'll be notified if your submission has been selected to post on the page.

Audio and Downloadable resources:

We plan on adding more audio resources in the future and we also plan on adding more presentations, training material, and other useful resources for study as well as other practical items.

Links:

We'll be adding more links to the site to a variety of Christian and other resources. We'll be adding links for kids as well and plan on including some of our kid's favorite online places.

In addition to the web updates, I'm looking forward to restarting the Devotional Starters after a several month hiatus. I'm also seeking various other ministry/pastoral service opportunities wherever God wills.

Many of you have been with us since the beginning of this ministry and I want to express what a blessing it has been to serve you and the Lord!

No matter what direction God takes us, I/We want to be found faithful to His call.

Thank you for partnering with us through your prayers, encouragement and support!

We look forward to another 10 plus years of serving you and the Lord through this ministry!

In Christ Alone and For His Glory,

Your Brother and Servant,

Randolph L. Koch

Address: RLK Ministries C/O Randolph Koch - 6796 SE Sweet Meadow Lane, Hillsboro, Oregon 97123

Web: www.rlkministries.org

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A New Creation





Dear Family In Christ,

I hope this message finds you well. If you've been on regular distribution of past messages from this ministry, you may have noticed that I haven't shared/written, (especially any Devotional Starters) in quite some time.

I've wanted to write but it seems that it has had to take the back seat for a while because of life, work, and various other ministry activity which at times has me feeling like I've spread myself too thin. Through much prayer, I'm working with the Lord's help to begin changing things so I can get back the fundamental things that He wants me to focus on when He set me on this journey which we know as "RLK Ministries" almost 10 years ago now.

Like any believer we want our lives to be filled with God's best for our lives and that doesn't always include what we may think is best for our lives. :-) He is God, we are not, and His ways are better than ours.


A New Creation-

Over the past few days, the following passage came to mind again and I wanted to share briefly on this in lieu of a regular Devotional Starter:

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." ~2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)

Have you ever stopped to ponder how much has changed in your life since you came to Christ? Although it's not always apparent to us or sometimes by the example of how we live, however, you and I have become brand new in Christ! Our old life has passed away and He's given us a new life, a new future in Him! It's a beautiful thing to be in Christ!

I was also reminded that life doesn't always seem beautiful or new does it? Sometimes life and our walk with Christ seems to be a little less shiny and new because we've placed other things in the way like our feelings, emotions, or other things and because life is just too busy at times.

What I long fore more of and what I pray we all long for, is more of Christ. More of the newness that we once had but the years have taken from us, or rather, we've allowed them to take from us.

We need to pray each day for God's glory that the shiny newness of life in Him will be there not just emotions but the burning passion for the life He has for us and a deeper desire to know and live out His will. I don't know about you but I want to wake up more often with the same excitement and zeal I had when I first began to walk with Him.

Don't get me wrong, I have excitement and zeal but I want it to be more like a huge bonfire rather than a birthday candle! Hopefully you see my meaning. :-)

Let's pray for one another that we'd continue to walk in the newness he's given us in Him and encourage each other to do the same. How can we do this, well, lets simply begin by getting back to the basics with the discipleship tools He's given us and to name a few:

The Word of God - Spend adequate time reading, studying, memorizing it so you'll hear from Him and find further direction for your life.
Prayer - Approach the throne of Grace more often - get into your prayer closet and communicate with the One who knows and loves you the most so you can hear from Him.
Worship - worship Him with your life and worship Him through song as He's worthy of our praise and your life should be evidence of this!
Church- God has called us to not forsake meeting together to be instructed in His Word and operate as part of the body of Christ. We need the fellowship of other believer's centered around Jesus Christ and The Word of God. We aren't created to go it alone. If you're not currently a part of a Bible centered / Christ Centered Church, get out of bed or off your easy chair this Sunday and begin seeking the local church body He wants to be a part of.
Ministry- Find out how God wants you to serve Him, how He wants to use you according to the gifts and talent He's given you. Again, God and the Body of Christ need you so be engaged in God's plan which you're a part of. Don't cheat yourself, God, or the Body of Christ by not using your gifts and talents to minister to and serve Christ.

Here are some thoughts that came to mind and you may consider:

1. When was the last time you thanked God for your new life in Christ?
2. Have you prayed that God would help you live in that newness, for His glory?
3. How regularly are you spending time with God in studying His Word and through prayer?
4. Do you desire to live out your new life in Christ?
5. What is the new life? What does the scripture say about this?
6. Are you regularly seeking to worship God with your life as well as through song?
7. Are you seeking to memorize portions of scripture?
8. Are you serving God in some way in each area of your life? (Work, Church, Home, out in your community)
9. What can you do now to further live out your new life in Christ and maybe recapture the passion for God and the things of the Lord you once had?


May God bless you much. Please see the attached wallpaper image I created last week and wanted to share with you. I hope it will be an encouraging reminder that God has made you new and given you a new life to live for Him!

Finally, Please pray for me as I prayerfully seek God and assess what He wants me to focus on and what He wants me to cut back on all together. Thanks!

Your Servant and Brother,

rlk

 

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bibles for the PDA and Blackberry



Thought I’d pass on some useful information in regard to a few of the available Bibles for PDA’s (Like the Palm Pilot) and Blackberry devices. Some of the sites also include versions for the Pocket PC as well.

If you’re on a limited budget, you and I probably would like to find things at no cost or low cost if possible so the following selections offer free and other low cost alternatives in a variety of Bible Versions.

Bibles for the PDA:

Bible+ Application:
http://palmbibleplus.sourceforge.net/ You’ll have to download and install/sync the Bible Plus software first of course and then you can install/sync the Bible version of your choice.

Bibles for Bible+:
http://palmbibleplus.sourceforge.net/bibles.htm

Since the translation I typically utilize wasn't available for free (Mainly NASB) I ended up downloading the ESV which is another great translation and very similar in reading and accuracy.

There are also numerous other versions available including the KJV.

The program so far is working very well for me and with the version I downloaded, it's feature rich with search functions, book marking, and if you have more than one version loaded, you can split the screen to study/compare them side by side.

It’s a very well done program and Free unless you choose to purchase a not for free Bible version to go with it.

Bible for the Blackberry Device:

If you have a Blackberry there a Bible versions for the Blackberry out there from what I understand. I did a search and most of the software companies that offer Bibles for the Palm Pilot also offer them for the Blackberry. (I.E. OliveTree and Laridian)

I don't have a blackberry myself but I learned that if you point your Blackberry to the following link:
http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/mobile/ you can read the entire Bible without having to download software.

Check it out if you have a moment sometime and let me know how it works as it would be great to share with all those Blackberry users out there.

Also I found the following for Blackberry users: http:pda.mobible.org or
http://pda.mobible.org/ this has 4 different versions of the Bible. (NIV, KJV, ASV, and WEB I believe)

For the PDA and Blackberry there are other offerings out there, just do a Google search to see what they are.

Now if anyone hears of a Free Bible on CD or MP3 let me know as I’d like to upgrade from a cassette version. I’d like to get the NASB or ESV on CD or MP3.


Take care and I hope one of the above helps you if you have a PDA or Blackberry!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Snow

Hope you’re doing well.

Recently it’s been snowy where I live.

On one particular day I had a fun afternoon with my kids as well as the rest of the neighborhood kids playing in the snow. I seem to always be the target for some reason, probably because I was the only “adult” out there playing and of course my kids enjoy pounding me with snow. :-) It was a blast!

I wanted to share this great thought a friend sent to my wife and others as it provides something wonderful for us to ponder again or maybe for the first time.

Here it is:

(Quote)

"Snow" thought for the day: Have you ever driven through a town or neighborhood and noticed the places that are old and run down? Unkept and really trashed? Those places that I'm sure lower the values of the properties or businesses around them? You know what I am talking about.

Well, try driving by them today...even in your mind...I bet they look different...even beautiful! The snow has a way of making everything look beautiful.

Isn't that true of us? There are places in each one of us...worn down, unkept, trashed...places that may even appear to decrease our value, but the precious blood of Jesus covers those places and makes us beautiful. “Whiter than snow” in fact!

(Unquote)

I so appreciate the reminders that God so lovingly provides us! With the snow here and now for many of us, let us remember that His love, His blood covers us and is sufficient and completely covers our sin.


"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD."
"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…”
~ Isaiah 1:18a-c


"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." ~1 Peter 4:8

His Love is amazing!

Have a blessed day!