Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stock Market Down 777

During this time of great economic unrest I wanted to post a simple note of encouragement to you to remember WHO is in control. You and I need to be active in our finances and be sure that we are conservative in our saving, spending, and investments - especially right now.

In relation to this I also wanted to share something in response to a friend’s great question regarding the significance of the stock market losing 777 points yesterday in relations to the number 7 in prophecy, especially in relation to the prophecy about the break down of nations.

I thought you might have the same question or something similar so here are my brief thoughts on this.

Please note, I’m no expert on prophecy so this is again only my opinion but I hope that you’ll be encouraged in some way.


“You are correct, the number 7 is significant and is used many times especially with significance in The Book of Revelation.”

“In a nut shell: My opinion would be that on one hand, yes, A. it could be a prophesy coming to pass before us or it could be, B. God is reminding us that He’s in control and to keep our eyes on Him during these tumultuous times and at all times.”

“I lean more toward B. but will not discount A. either because God is God and I am not!”

“His economy is bigger than ours and on one hand, it’s no wonder our country, who no longer makes honoring God like our founding fathers did, a priority anymore, is having economic woes. Yet, we still know WHO’s in control.”

“Take courage, stand firm, and be/stay ready.”

Friend,

God is in control and rest assured that He will make a way through this and in fact He already has a solution in mind and has had one long before these recent events!

Congress is not going to solve the problems our economy has but we all will inevitably bear this burden but again, we are not alone. God most High knows what is going on and will make a way whether this country likes it or not.

Don't forget to pray and don't stop praying for the United States of America, especially during this time.

Don’t forget to get into the Word and study it for yourself.

Continue to actively pray on the Full Armor Of God each day.

Do not be afraid because He alone is with you always.

God Bless,

RLK

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Music Creativity RE: David Harsh

I've posted an entry or two in the past about a friend and gifted minister of music, David Harsh, and I've been looking for a few videos to share/showcase a glimpse of his gifting and creativity through guitar, vocals, etc.

As I've share before, David is a servant/ singer/songwriter/ musician. He does concerts, workshops, speaking, leads worship, and more! After checking out the following links for videos and other information, as well as the embedded video below, let me encourage you to share this information with your church or camp. He'd be a great servant to bring to your church / community to share the Love of Christ through song!! He also has a great sense of humor!

Here are the links:

Videos:
http://www.davidharsh.com/videos.html

More audio:
http://www.myspace.com/davidharsh

Here's the video: (You'll probably want to pause the music that plays in the background so you can hear the audio in this video properly. Just scroll down to right side of the screen and see the "Tunes" area where you can click on the pause button. Then you can play the video embedded below.)




God Bless,

rlk

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Balancing Life – Thoughts on the “Balancing Act” of Life

Let me ask you, is your life balanced well? If you sat down and took an inventory of the activities you’re involved with, does it seem like you’re involved in too much, not enough, or things are just great and everything is balanced with your home, work, ministry, relationships, etc? Are you feeling exhausted or invigorated by your activities? We all have multiple areas and activities in life that we all have to manage and balance and seek the Holy Spirit’s help to spotlight areas that are out of balance because each area needs to have proper priority so you can live your life to the fullest for Him as a blessing to all those He’s places in your life.

The above questions are important questions to ask yourself from time to time and seek God about.

Personally I’ve been seeking God on many things related to this as I’ve sense for some time now that, (without going into too many personal details here) my life isn’t as balanced as it should be. Some weeks I spend close to as much time serving in ministry as I do through work and then my relationships suffer because of it because I’m not home or available and physically and spiritually I’ve become exhausted at times.


I’m someone who tends to give more than 110% to almost everything God places before me and I started asking myself some tough questions as things were brought to my attention by The Lord as I was seeking Him. During this effort I was blessed to go to a weekend retreat just a few weeks ago now. Over that weekend I sought God on these things and heard from Him clearly regarding some changes I need to make in my life – changes that He wanted and wants me to change. Changes that will ultimately allow me to by His grace, de-stress, unburden, and balance my life better so I can serve Him more effectively and I can care for and build up my wife, children and other relationships more! He also showed me that I’ll also be able to focus and do even better in the ministries He has me involved with if I do things His way and He also reminded me of the equally important area of life which is investing more into the lives of my wife, kids and other relationships!

One of the tough things he showed me is that I needed to resign from one of the ministries and teams at church that I’m very passionate about. God showed me that I’ve done all He wants me to do with it and just that one ministry will free up more time as some weeks I was spending upward toward 15+ hours a week, (which included meetings and tasks that needed to be accomplished) on top of everything else. It was very tough to resign but once I did, I was at peace about it because I knew God directed my path and I wasn’t feeling regret or over analyzing things like I always do!

You see, I don’t easily stop serving as God has passionately wired me to serve and shepherd wherever He’s placed me. So, If it was up to me, I'd still be continuing to knock myself out trying to do everything and serve all but this is a season for me to take a step back and seek more direction and concentrate on all the aspects of the life He's blessed me with, again, I'm seeking His guidance to balance things out better.

I'm not sure if everyone understands but When God "hits you over the head with a hammer" to get your attention, you/I need to be obedient to listen. :-)

One side note, in the above example I was somewhat surprised that only two people even wondered or asked, “is everything alright?”, (not that I was trying to make a statement by stepping down) since I was a part of this team since the beginning. You just never know what people are thinking or what assumptions people make but the one thing I’ve learn in observation over the years is that if you’re concerned about someone, you just need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and simply ask them. :=) I digress I suppose…

I’m sure in the coming week/months; He will reveal more work He wants me to do in order to balance life out so I can more effectively live for and serve Him! I’m also sure that as I continue to seek Him He’ll give me even more clarity regarding the areas where He wants to serve where I’ll grow and serve Him more effectively!

I share all this as a practical example of something we as believer’s need to consider and seek the Lord on. We cannot keep going at 100 mph all the time because the more we do so, the more out of balance our lives become and the less we'll tend to hear and see His direction for our lives! Why? Because our vision tends to become foggy sometimes as we're too busy serving Him to step back and hear and see Him! Or another way to put it is that we become too busy in the activities of serving Him and living life that we aren't stepping back and being nourished by Him which is very important for obvious reasons.

If you’re reading this and you happen to not be a Christian, in a practical sense you should also consider balancing your life out as well. Let me also encourage you to investigate for yourself what a relationship with God is all about - What does it mean to be a Christian? For more information to help you in your investigation - you might find this entry titled “Journey of Grace” helpful. At the bottom of the article you’ll find some useful resource links as well.

As I bring this entry to a close, (I might write more on this topic at a later date) I wanted to share an article that provide additional thoughts and tips on this topic of Balancing the Christian life which has some helpful tips and will encourage you to start seeking the Lord on the state of your life, whether it’s balanced or not.

Please scroll down to read the article.

For Additional Thoughts and Reflection please also see the below resources on your way to the article:

I found a good blog entry recently that has additional thoughts on balancing life by a director at Dallas Theological Seminary the entry is title, “Balancing Life & the Christian Life.”

Also for a great book on Balancing the Christian life check out “Balancing The Christian Life” by Charles Ryrie. Some versions come with a study guide as well which will help you dig a little deeper through each chapter. This is a text that I had to read and study in Bible College.

_____________________________________________________________

Balance Your Life Well

Whitney Hopler
Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer

Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Bill Butterworth's book, On the Fly Guide to Balancing Work and Life, (Waterbrook Press, 2006).

Stress, frustration, exhaustion, and guilt are the symptoms of a life out of balance. You’ll feel them if your work eclipses your relationships. You want to be successful at everything in your life, but too often, you run out of time and energy trying to do it all.

The key is realizing that life isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon. If you balance your life at the right steady pace, you can achieve long-term fulfillment.

Here’s how you can balance your life well:

Pursue endurance. Stop rushing through life as if it were a sprint instead of a marathon. Don’t burn yourself out. Pray for the patience you need to approach situations with endurance. Ask God to give you His eternal perspective on the various aspects of your life.

Get rid of the “hazies.” Don’t let hazy thinking cause you to lose sight of your long-term goals. Think and pray about what’s most important, and establish priorities. Then make all your decisions with those priorities in mind. Remember that you only have so much time and energy; use it well. Focus just on what choices are best for you to avoid being distracted by the many other good choices you have available. Regularly remind yourself of your priorities, and build your schedule around activities that will most help you fulfill those priorities. Study how you usually spend your time, and notice how you’re currently balancing your attention between tasks and relationships. Frequently stop to consider whether or not you’re living your life in a way that would cause you no regrets if you were to die unexpectedly.

Ask yourself these questions to check your priorities: “What is my mission in life?”, “Why do I do this kind of work?”, “Where is my focus these days?”, “What are my long-term goals?”, “What are the important things in life to me?”, “Who are the three people to whom I am closest?”, “Are my relationships characterized more by giving or by getting?”, “Are my relationships characterized by love?”, “Who would I like to get to know better in the next six months?”, “To whom am I accountable?”, “Do I set aside a regular time and place for reflection?”, “What does quietness look like in my life?”, “What is the most common roadblock that keeps me from a regular time of quietness?”, “How might keeping a journal help me to achieve more balance?” and “What qualities would I most like to possess?”.

Get rid of the “lazies.” Ask God to help you develop the self-discipline you need to bring your life into the right balance. Realize that you will have to make some sacrifices to achieve a healthy balance in your life; be willing to do so. Know that you should eliminate one activity from your schedule for every new activity to which you commit. Be creative about how you can cut down on your work hours to free up more time for your relationships. Consider shifting your work hours to times that conflict less with your family’s schedule, eliminating distractions that decrease your productivity during work hours, delegating certain tasks to others, and other solutions that will free up time for you. Be patient while working to achieve your career goals; acknowledge that it will take some time to earn a promotion, start a business, etc., and don’t burn yourself out while you work toward those goals. Don’t let your job become the dominant influence in your life, crowding out everything else that’s also important. Instead, be proactive and intentional about planning your life well.

Ask yourself these questions: “Will the thing that is causing imbalance in my life really matter 10 years from now?”, “Is it possible for me to do fewer unimportant things at work and outside the office?”, “Can I accomplish my goals and be flexible at the same time?”, “Can I replace ‘either/or’ thinking with ‘both/and’ solutions?”, “Can I work smarter as opposed to harder?” , “Can I pencil in time to reflect on my life on a regular basis?” , “What issues in life and on the job should I plan for so I can stick to my priorities?”, “How can I become more flexible?”, “How can planning help me understand what is really important?”, “How can I include time-sensitive matters in my planning?”, “Do I have a strategy to deal with urgent matters without forgetting about the important things?”, “Can planning help me anticipate problems before they arise?”, “How can focusing help me cut down my time spent doing things that don’t matter?”, “Can I commit to the practice of not adding anything more to my schedule without first taking something else away?”, “Can I begin to think in terms of what must be done versus what might need doing?”, “How good am I at delegating tasks instead of postponing them?”, “How can I avoid traps like excess paperwork or the interruptions of the phone, fax, or pager?”, “Do I need to plan fun in my life, or does it just happen for me?”, “What are the methods I have used in the past for recharging my physical and emotional batteries?” and “How can I overlap the concept of fun with the concept of connecting to other people?”.

Get rid of the “crazies.” Don’t allow your life to run out of control. Learn to say “no” or “not right now” to requests for your time and energy that don’t reflect your current priorities. Think of the people (your spouse, each of your kids, each of your friends, etc.) and things (your job, your volunteer activities, your church, your gym, etc.) that demand your time in terms of laps you run around a track. Then prioritize those laps into levels of importance, and consider what changes you should make to how you spend your time. Pace yourself so you include significant time in your life for both learning and leisure, as well as labor.

As you consider learning in your life, ask yourself: “What class would be enjoyable and enriching for me to take?”, “What is the last book I read, and when did I read it?”, “What book would I enjoy reading?”, “What is the biggest hurdle to overcome regarding learning, and how can I get over it?”, “What form of learning do I only dream about, and how can I make that dream a reality?”. As you consider leisure in your life, ask yourself: “What is my favorite form of leisure?”, “How can I incorporate leisure into my routine?”, “How can my fun activities even benefit me at work?”, “Am I getting enough exercise?”, “Am I eating healthy?”, “Am I getting enough sleep?” and “How can I better mix business and pleasure?”. As you consider labor in your life, ask yourself: “How can I be more efficient at work?”, “What would make my work more significant?”, “How can I refocus my job so that it helps me achieve my life’s goals?”, “How do I prioritize?” and “How can I learn to focus on the most important clients and customers I have, while still getting all my work done?”.

Stay on track. Remember that balancing your life isn’t just a one-time event; it’s a process that needs your constant attention. Stay connected to God through prayer each day and rely on His strength to help you keep your life in the right balance as your circumstances change.

Adapted from On the Fly Guide to Balancing Work and Life, copyright 2006 by Bill Butterworth. Published by WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc., Colorado Springs, Co., www.randomhouse.com/waterbrook/.

Bill Butterworth blends humor, storytelling, wisdom, and practical advice, which has made him a popular speaker throughout North America. Bill speaks frequently for corporate clients that include American Express, Ford, Disney, Bank of America, and Chrysler. A highly regarded author, Bill has written books on topics ranging from sports to psychology and self-help issues. He has been a columnist, editor, and scriptwriter. Bill lives with his wife, Kathi, in Newport Beach, California.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

FIREPROOF

Hello,

I've taken a few weeks off from writing as life has been crazy busy but I wanted to get back to it by sharing info about an important movie that is coming out this month called FIREPROOF.

It's from the creators of Facing the Giants and I've inserted a widget below so you can view the movie trailer and other information and help spread the word!

For those who are married - whether your marriage is going very well or you're going through a tough season, I want to encourage you to see this movie and encourage others to do the same.

Check out the information and you'll see what I mean and then help spread the word and get as many people, especially married couples, even those who have started the divorce process, to go see this movie!!

I'll be praying that God will use this movie as a tool to strengthen and rebuild marriages and ultimately bring Glory to Him.

If you have problems hearing the audio through the widget, you may need to pause the audio on the playlist Tunes which is on the right side of your screen toward the bottom of the side bar.

All the best!

Your Brother and Servant,

rlk