Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Today is the first day of Lent.  It’s a Wednesday, the day we have worship here in the morning.  Travis read a devotional that talked about Christ and His time in the desert.   I don’t remember if he read this or if it’s something that occurred to me, but either way it struck me that Christ went through the desert before He fulfilled God’s purpose for His life.  God was preparing Him.

There are several people who went through their “desert” times, sometimes literally – Moses and Joshua immediately come to mind.  And, on a side not, there is something about the number 40, but I don’t know what it is.  Moses spent 40 years as a pampered prince, the next 40 years in a literal desert before God called him.  Joshua spent 40 years wandering the desert with the children of Israel before leading them into the Promised Land.

The point is that they all went through this harsh time before beginning the ministry of God, and God was with them the entire time, though there were times when He was quiet.

This is my desert time.  God has a purpose for me, but right now is the time for preparation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Our chaplain has asked all of us in her life group to journal. Well, it’s not a request, actually, she’s made it a requirement. The two questions are:

1) What new thing have I learned about God this week?
2) What new thing have I learned about myself?


The easy one is what new thing have I learned about God. Travis Vice, the pastor of a church plant I've become involved in called Roots Community Church (which is very involved as a community with The Program here), preached an interesting message this last Sunday. The text was Mark 6, and he was talking about a) how Christ was rejected by His own family, and b) how a person’s faith directly relates to the power of God in his or her life. The “a” part is at the very beginning of Mark 6, and it talks in verse 3 about how they scoffed and refused to believe in Him because He was “just a carpenter, the son of Mary.” They probably also remembered the questionable circumstances of His birth – Jews have long memories. It continues in v. 4 where Jesus replies by saying, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in His own hometown, and among His relatives and family.” (NLT). Here’s what gets me, though: verse 5, “And because of their unbelief, He couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place His hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And He was amazed at their unbelief.” (NLT). He couldn’t perform any miracles because they didn’t believe! Their unbelief made Him powerless.

So what does that say about me? For years I struggled with believing that God was there for me. I didn’t see Him moving in my life. Well, duh! It’s because I didn’t believe.
“Believe” is an action word. Having faith is an action. It’s as simple as doing. There’s a saying that God helps those who help themselves. While I have a problem with how that can lead us to a works-oriented religion, it is still true that in a sense. We can help ourselves by simply believing.