Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year! Entering the New Year In Prayer


The Word:

Read: Jeremiah 29:12-13
Additional Reading: Mark 11:17, James 4:2, Matthew 7:7, Hebrews 4:16

It’s that time of year again as we draw to the end of one year, and reflect on all that has taken place in the past. We look forward with the hopes of better things to come in the New Year. It’s been an especially challenging year for many of us for sure and for some it’s been a year of blessings upon blessing. Regardless of what end of the spectrum you’ve experienced, it’s still a perfect time to reflect on all the Lord has done in your life and to take a perspective, or “pulse” check to see where you are in your walk and life with the Lord.

He calls each of us to seek Him with all of our heart and promises that we will find Him and He will listen. Enter the New Year focusing on building and enhancing your prayer life. Based on His Holy Word we know that He wants our churches, the Body of Christ as whole, and ourselves to be “Houses of Prayer” or in sum, focus ourselves on prayer as He emphasizes that prayer should be a priority. If the Lord wants us to pray, and it’s a true priority to Him, then why don’t we in turn really pray! In Fact, the Lord is the best role model of this for us as He constantly went to pray to the Father and He called His Disciples to pray many times. Each of us should be a house of prayer as we are His temples. (See 1 Corinthians 3:16) Not only this but He just plainly deserves our prayers and everything we are. Not to sound somewhat cliché but we should really become true “Prayer Warriors”, as this life is a real battlefield, spiritually and physically.

In Jim Cymbala’s book "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire", he has this to say about the apostles priority of prayer,

“The apostles had this instinct: When in trouble, pray. When intimidated, pray. When challenged, pray. When persecuted, pray.”

What a great observation! What a truly awesome challenge for us- Can we like the apostles, make prayer our priority in every circumstance, even when we’re not facing troubling times? Just making prayer so much a part of us that we pray throughout the day or set a special portion of the day a side to, intercede, cry out, praise, thank, communicate, etc., with Him through prayer! He wants to hear from us. It pleases Him so much when we focus our attention on Him through prayer.

Why not forget the New Year resolutions this year and consider instead, seeking God’s will for your life and telling Him the desires of your heart. Pour yourself out to Him through your fervent prayers. Renew or begin making prayer a vital part of your life- every day! This can begin with you and I then maybe, just maybe, our example of a prayerful (and prayer full) life will spread to the Body of Christ as a whole, then on into every Christian Church locally where ever we live around the world. We can then be the houses of prayer, as the Lord would desire us to be. Why not make this year an even more special New Year, by entering it in prayer. Seek Him today with all of your heart and be encouraged that He desires this and is ready and waiting to hear from you.

Ring in the New Year with Prayer!

Questions To Get Started With:

-Will you make prayer a priority in your life this New Year?
-Will you “pray in” the New Year this New Year’s Eve?
-What kind of changes do you need to make in order for prayer to be a priority?
-If prayer is already a priority for you, what can you do to encourage others to pray?
-Do you know someone that can help you be accountable to your commitment to the Lord in your walk with Him?
-Consider keeping a prayer journal chronicling / highlighting your prayer times with Him, answers to prayer, the revealing of His will for you over time, etc. This is a great exercise for us to make a habit to see Him at work in our lives.

Blessings, 

rlk

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Have a wonderful day everyone!
Here's a little Christmas Fireplace for your enjoyment:

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Beginning of Wisdom

Wanted to share this devotional with you that I received earlier this week.

God Bless,

rlk

The Beginning of Wisdom



"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." (Psalm 111:10)

This age has rightly been called the "age of information." With multitudes of books and periodicals in every field of study and practice, with billions of dollars devoted to all kinds of research, and now even the "information superhighway" of the Internet. It seems everyone and every organization is posting information of some sort on its own website and email. The world is almost drowning in information.

"But where shall wisdom be found and where is the place of understanding?" (Job 28:12). Job's urgent question can never be answered "online," but only in an ancient book. "Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding" (Job 28:28).

This spiritual truism is found often in that Book. King Solomon, to whom God had granted special wisdom (1 Kings 3:11-12), penned divinely inspired words when he wrote: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge," and then "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding" (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10).

If anything is missing in our information age, it is surely the fear of God, at least among most people--even most religious people. But, as our text says: "A good understanding have all they that do his commandments."

From our New Testament perspective, we now know that "in |Christ| are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment" (1 John 3:23). Herein is true knowledge and understanding and wisdom. HMM

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Keeping Christmas


Wanted to share a link to a great post that will help you keep Christmas and have a very, very, practical perspective on Christmas. 

Check out the following link.

http://gunnarspeaks.com/2008/12/25/keeping-christmas/

Blessings in Christ,

rlk

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 24

 
Thanksgiving: Day 24 - I'm thankful for the heritage we have here in the USA and it's because of the heritage of the first Thanksgiving that we have the holiday each year! Our country has come so far since that first Thanksgiving but yet we still have far to go in remembering to be thankful and grateful for everything we have been given and for everything we so easily take for granted including our health, our family, our friends, our jobs, our homes, anything and everything! I'm also thankful again as I remember all of my family and friends (here and abroad) for your love, encouragement and for being a part of my life! Life would be dull for sure without you! For my family abroad, I love and will miss not being able to celebrate thanksgiving with you in person! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Don't forget to be thankful for each day you are given as it's truly a gift from God!
What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to encourage others!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 23


Thanksgiving: Day 23 - I'm thankful again to have a roof over my head especially when it's stormy (windy and rainy) outside! I'm mindful of the fact that others aren't as fortunate to have a home and my heart and prayers goes out to them this Thanksgiving. I pray that the opportunity to permanently find a path off the streets will come to them soon!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to encourage others!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 22

Thanksgiving: Day 22 - I'm thankful today for the opportunity to serve this week while I'm off on PTO with the Koch Entourage at the Sonrise Church Food Pantry! I'm thankful for the entire crew there that tirelessly serves each week to feed so many in our community!
What are you thankful for? Leave a comment on this blog to encourage others!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 21


Day 21: I am thankful for having this Thanksgiving week off to enjoy some relaxation, hopefully help at the food pantry at Sonrise Church, get a few things done around the house, and most of all to enjoy spending time with my family and maybe a few friends as well!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 20

 
Day 20: Today I'm thankful for my two kids who took a step of faith to be baptized and for the love and support shown for them today with a great group of family and friends who came to witness this special time!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 19

Day 19: I'm thankful on days like today when I'm feeling cruddy due to a cold that I can still be thankful that I have my health as I know this will pass and I know I really have no room to complain. In place of complaining I'm moved to pray for others who I do or don't know that are truly suffering and in some cases hanging on to life. It all comes down to perspective.

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment here to share with and encourage others!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 18

Day 18: I’m thankful for the past 13 years employment in Global Logistics and thankful for the adventures that lay ahead with the North America Supply Chain team. Trusting God for great things ahead and thankful for the skills I'll bring with me and the many new ones I'll learn along the way!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 17


DAY 17: I’m thankful for the trials of life because- as hard as they are - they bring about perseverance, character and hope! (Romans 5:3-5)

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment here to share with and encourage others!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 16

Day 16: I'm thankful for the simple pleasures of life like a cup of hot coffee on a cold day and the laughter and humor of family & friends!
What are you thankful for? Leave a comment here to share with others!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 15

Day 15:  I am thankful that each day is a new day full of hope, new opportunities and potential to try and make a difference in this world and that each “yesterday” is behind me!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share this with others!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 14

Day 14: I'm thankful for the people in my life who care enough to see past "1st impressions" or "perceptions" to discover who I really am!

What are you thankful for? Share a comment on this blog to encourage others!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 13

Day 13: Thankful for God's provision. Very blessed today in more ways than one!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 12

Day 12: I'm thankful for the encouragement and faithful prayers of my friends and extended family who continually bless my family and I!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Challenge: DAY 11

Day 11: I’m thankful for the tremendous sacrifice, integrity, and service of the men and women of the armed forces! Thank you for protecting our freedom!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 10

Day 10: I’m thankful that each day, (whether bad or good) is truly a gift from God – a gift that I'm striving to use wisely!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 8

 
DAY 8: I am thankful that when I am broke - I'm still richer than most of the world's population!


Monday, November 07, 2011

Thanksgiving: Day 7

DAY 7: I am thankful that when I sometimes (or is it often?) feel like a loser, an idiot, unworthy, unloved, unimportant and more that I know those feelings are all a pack of lies because I know who I really am to my family, my friends, and most of all who I am from God’s perspective!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 6

DAY 6: I am thankful for our church home and church family. It's a blessing to be somewhere we can worship, serve, grow, be encouraged, challenged and build new friendships!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 5

DAY 5: I'm thankful for the love of God and the Love of my family!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 4

DAY 4: I'm thankful to still have a job in an economy where many unfortunately do not!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Reference Books for Sale: Hillsboro/Portland Metro Area


Hate to part with these but really need sell these great references as I look to better support my family budget. 
Please let me know if you're interested in purchasing any of these resources. 
I will add more to this listing as I purge my current resources.

John MacArthur Study Bible (NASB) - SOLD!

C.H. Spurgeon's Complete Sermon - 10 Volume Set - Mint Condition: $100 (Retails for $190-$200)

 Matthew Henry Commentary - 7 Volume Set - Mint Condition: $75 (Retails for over $100)

Exhaustive Concordance for the New American Standard Bible - Mint Condition: $50 (Retails for $80+)

Thanksgiving: DAY 3


DAY 3: I am thankful for my wife who does so many things for our family and I including but not limited to getting up earlier to drive me no matter the weather to the MAX Station so I can get to work each day!

What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Thanksgiving: DAY 2

DAY 2: I am thankful to have a roof over my head and a furnace to keep us warm!
What are you thankful for? Leave a comment to share and encourage others!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Thanksgiving Challenge: DAY 1

It’s November 1st and there are 23 days until Thanksgiving and I wanted to put out a challenge to you.

I’d like to challenge you from today until at least Thanksgiving to think about, write down, and share with others what you’re thankful for! 


These could be things about God, your family and other relationships, or whatever you’re thankful for!

We all need to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and thanksgiving and this challenge isn’t just an exercise but it’s truly an opportunity to get your minds on things above and around you.

It’s an opportunity to be encouraged and encourage others as you share what you’re thankful for and hear what they’re thankful for! It's an opportunity to focus on the positive and get away from dwelling on the negative!


Just think about how many things you'll have listed and be able to look back on as you've written down what you're thankful for!

Are you up for the challenge?

I sure hope so and hope to hear some great things from you if you share them with me!

To kick it off - Here’s what I’m thankful for:

Day One: I’m thankful for my family and friends whom I’m blessed to know!

Check back here in the days ahead as I’m going to start posting what I’m thankful for here and hope to hear from you here as well regarding what you're thankful for!


Blessings,

rlk

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Clergy Appreciation Month: Pastor, God has chosen you!

It's Clergy Appreciation Month and Here's a little something I put together for all my pastor friends as a thank you for all you do!
Let's not wait to thank our pastors one month out of the year! Let's thank them and show our appreciation all year long!
You'll want to turn off the music that plays on this site by scrolling down to the right and pausing the player under the Tunes section so you can hear the audio that goes with this simple video.  
Blessings in Christ,
rlk


(Duration: Less than 3 Minutes long.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Well


Scripture:
Read: John 4:7-14


The Well  
by Randolph Koch
 

Each day we draw from one well or another and just like the woman at the well we seek to quench our physical, intellectual, and spiritual thirst from one source or another - whether the right or wrong wells.
 
Jesus reminds us through His conversation with the Samaritan woman that our thirst cannot ultimately be quenched or satisfied apart from Him. 


The world would have us believe otherwise like the commercials that say "stay thirsty my friend" as they use that to try to get you to purchase more of their beverage - a beverage that wouldn't even quench ones physical thirst really! :-)  All other sources or a cheap substitute to the real "Source" The Well that truly satisfies.

We all need reminders of where we draw our strength from and we need to assess each day - "what well or wells am I drawing from today? 

 
I heard this great song appropriately named "The Well" by Casting Crowns and you can hear it via this Spotify link or another online source. I encourage you listen to this song, read John 4:7-14 and then assess where you are. 

 
Song Link: http://open.spotify.com/track/17vJ8PfHJ0hcqqO4nJ9ES3 

 
You're either going to stay "thirsty" or you're going to find the right well and have your thirst quenched and we need to daily draw from the right well, the well that Jesus offers you and I!

 
Questions to Get Started with:

1. Are you thirsty? Is your day-to-day life seemingly dry?
2. Whose well are you drawing from each day? 
3. Who or Whose well should you be drawing from each day?
4. Do you think you can do life on your own without help from God and others?
5. What changes do you need to make today to drink from the right well? 

 
Blessings,
rlk

Monday, October 17, 2011

I'm Still Here...

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I can't believe it's been over two months since I last posted! 

So, don't know who regularly follows-my little blog but I wanted to make a brief entry to let you know that #1 I'm still here and #2 I'm making some efforts behind the scenes to begin regularly posting again.

I'll be posting some devotions, some articles by myself and others, possibly a quick update from a short vacation my family and I took last month, and sharing videos of music that has been really inspiring me lately. 

Hope all is well for you and that you're resting in God's grace and love for you. 

Keep your eyes peeled, hope to post something new very soon. 

Blessings,

rlk


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Today I Will Make a Difference


So often we can get our minds “stuck in a rut” by unhealthy thought patterns that lead us down “Self-Doubt BLVD. or Depression Lane”.  This in turn give the evil one opportunity to attack us right where we’re feeling the weakest. We need to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, put His armor on and set our minds on eternity.

Be encouraged knowing that you are making a difference for Him and that you are so important to your loved ones, friends, and Christian Family as well! We’re in this together! Let’s lift each other up!

I wanted to share a brief bit o’ inspiration from Max Lucado that I think really simply speaks about changing our perspective and purposing to make a difference each day!  
 
I hope you find some encouragement from this brief article. Check it out below!

Be encouraged in Him today!
In Him,

rlk


Today I Will Make a Difference
By Max Lucado

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. 

Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… . I will get up. It’s OK to fail… . I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening.

Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

From Shaped by God (original title: On the Anvil)
Copyright (Tyndale House, 1985, 2002) Max Lucado

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Keep Asking, Seeking, and Knocking!

Here's a new creation I made to encourage you with this important scripture:

What are you doing daily to continue to seek Him? Are you continually knocking on His door through studying His Word and through prayer?

Leave a comment here to encourage others.

All the best,

rlk

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Choosing to Change

In a day where there are so many people with a lack of taking ownership for their own actions and a lot of "blame storming" going on - the Bible provides lasting solutions for standing on your own two feet, owning up to your actions, then avoiding the same mistakes and sins in the future. 

Sin no longer needs to rule your life!

Check out this entry from Pastor MacDonald.
 

In His Steps,

Randy

Choosing to Change
via Vertical Church by James MacDonald on 7/12/11

Look at Romans 6:10, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all. But the life that He lives, He lives to God.” Some Bible teachers argue that change is all about God and not about us at all. All we really need to do in order to experience the transforming power of the Gospel, they say, is lean back in our recliners, put our feet up, and let God do it all. Now hear this: That is not what the Bible teaches! Of course we need God’s help, but we cannot be changed without making the choice to change ourselves. Notice Paul’s command in Romans 6:12: “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” What’s that if it’s not a choice?! Do not let sin reign in you! Make a choice.

“Well, sin has been ruling my life,” you say. Listen; it doesn’t have to. Don’t let it; make a choice. The power of sin is unplugged—don’t plug it in. Don’t let it rule you.

The next time temptation steps up to you and says, “Do it! Go ahead, do it! Go ahead,” just answer: “Get off me! You are not in charge! Shut up! Stop bossing me around. Don’t tell me what to do! I’m not that person anymore! I’m a new creation in Christ!” That’s what Paul meant when he said, “Don’t let sin reign.”

Get involved! Choose to change! With your commitment and God’s help, you can.

Maybe you’re saying “Well, how do I choose? Teach me how to choose. I want to choose.” Here’s a neat little story my mom gave to me, called “Choosing to Change in Five Days.” I don’t know the source, but it’s helped me out of a few “holes” in my life.

Day 1: I went for a walk down a street. I fell into a hole. I didn’t see it. It took me a long time to get out. It’s not my fault.
Day 2: I went for a walk down the same street. I fell in the same hole. It took me a long time to get out. Why did I do that?
Day 3: I went for a walk down the same street. I fell in the same hole. I got out quickly. It is my fault.
Day 4: I went for a walk down the same street. I saw the hole. I walked around it.
Day 5: I went for a walk down a different street. I can’t handle it when I go down that street. Every time I go down that street, I feel something sucking me down that hole! I’m not going down that street anymore! I don’t like what happens on that street. And when I get there, I can’t handle it. I don’t want sin to reign in my body so I’m not going down that street anymore.

Living for God is day by day. Choose it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!
















Happy Father's Day! 

To all Dads: We’re being watched. Whether we realize it or not! Make your example something worthy to emulate...something to live up to for your kids! Happy Father's Day!

Check out this short video. Good food for thought!



Happy Father's Day!

rlk