Howard C.C. Homecoming 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's Your Purpose?

Purpose is the reason for which something exists. Purpose is an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal. Purpose is the determination and resolute attitude the Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. .

Living a life of passion and significance requires knowing what your definite purpose in life is. Defining and living your life purpose gives you an overwhelming sense of fulfillment and meaning to your existence because it provides a way for you to use your values and passions and directs them towards a meaningful objective. Your life purpose is the essence of who you are as a person. Once you know what your purpose in life is, you will be able to wake up each morning knowing that every action that you take that day will move you one step closer towards your ultimate purpose in life.

Paul told the Christian in Colossi in Colossians 3:12-14, 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 one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Our purpose is to put on Christ and whatever we are faced with will be accomplished through His purpose. Which is to shine the light of hope in every aspect of life.

You might be thinking, “Don, I can not do all things…” the reality is that God has created you to all the things he has gifted you to do. Which is much, much more than you allow yourself to do.

Look at the above graphic... If I were to draw two circles… in the first circle I would write, “Find your gift” and in the second circle write “share your gift” – where these to circles over-lap is your purpose. What do you feel gifted in doing and how are you sharing it? This is the purpose God has intended for you!

You know I love ya, Don 

Monday, September 15, 2014

I Can!

So much of the world is convinced that I … you … we can’t.  Paul says is Phil 4:13 “I Can.”

Runner’s World (8/91), told the story of Beth Anne DeCiantis’s attempt to qualify for the 1992 Olympic Trials Marathon. A female runner must complete the 27-mile, 385-yard race in less than two hours, forty-five minutes to compete at the Olympic Trials. Beth started strong but began having trouble around mile 23. She reached the final straightaway at 243, with just two minutes left to qualify. Two hundred yards from the finish, she stumbled and fell. Dazed, she stayed down for twenty seconds. The clock was ticking-2: 44, less than a minute to go. Beth Anne staggered to her feet and began walking. Five yards short of the finish, with ten seconds to go, she fell again. She began to crawl, the crowd cheering her on, and crossed the finish line on her hands and knees. Her time? Two hours, 44 minutes, 57 seconds.

Many of us are down and scraping our knees to just qualify for the race…Paul reminds us to not give up… don’t quit! Have the attitude that I can, I can!

1 Cor 15:58 states;  “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

“I Can” is a declaration of persistence… I can do. You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Book of Ephesians Overview - Introduction!

On Wednesday Night, September 10th, 2014 I will begin an 8 week class / bible study on Paul's letter to the Ephesian Church. How many of us truly believe in the Holiness of God?

God sees the church as a wonderful possession. For Jesus the church is a beautiful bride, for whom he gladly gave up his life. But how do we see the church?

Do we see the church as a community or those who joyfully share every spiritual blessing? Do we see God’s poetry, a people saved by grace and united in love? Do we see the saints of the long-hidden secret, now strengthen by the Spirit, indwelt by Christ, growing to be like Jesus and renewed daily into the image of God? Do we see the love, light, and wisdom that make God’s people so special? Do we see a marching army, fully equipped and competent to stand against any foe?

If God’s people can just view ourselves with heaven’s vision, we can begin to live the heaven-bound life. This 8 week study opens opportunities for living each day in more complete awareness of who we really are in Jesus. The goal is to live in holiness and in eager anticipation of the dawn of heaven in our current life; living a consummation of everything God has created us to be.

I find it amazing how God has truly blessed us beyond words. My prayer is that through this class we might discover His blessing and apply it in our daily journey toward heaven. I will be sharing some of the insights on this blog.

You know I love ya, Don

If you are in the area of Central PA - Howard Christian Church, Wednesday Nights, Sanctuary Annex – 7:00-8:00 PM 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Nothing but a little light in the darkness!

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.” God reached into our darkness and made it his joy to see the stars.

So we can conquer in God. The base word for “conquer” means “a means of success.” Not only that but it’s a “super” success. We vanquish our foes – the enemy has nothing on us, we are valiant warriors – not on our own but “through Him who loved us.” Sin no longer has mastery, trials no longer hold terror, life is no longer something to be dreaded because we ARE more than conquerors. It doesn’t mean we are free from suffering, but we are always connected to the One who works for our benefit – no matter what. As if that weren’t enough, Paul puts the cap on this wonderful chapter of promises with this:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
What more could we ask for? - nothing can separate us from God’s love.

Paul lists four areas here:
·      “death nor life” meaning that nothing in our human existence can separate us from God’s love
·      “angels or demons” meaning nothing in the spiritual realm can separate us from God’s love.
·      “the present or the future” – and “height nor depth” perhaps suggesting that you can’t go anywhere where God’s love can’t go with you.

What great confidence we have, then. There is no one, no thing, no event, and at no time that you can be torn from God’s love in Jesus. There is no reason to fear. No reason to say “Oh, God can’t love me anymore after what I’ve done.” Oh yes He can and does. Far from separating from you He wants to forgive and cleanse you.

You know I love ya, Don 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Intentional Focus on Listening

There will be times when listening to God will be inconvenient. 1 Samuel 3 reveals: "The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, ’Here I am; you called me.’ Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, ’Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place."

Sometimes we are so busy serving … we are distracted from hearing

God often calls us to things that
            1. don’t fit our schedule
            2. don’t fit our agenda
            3. don’t fit our ideas of what should be done

I don’t like to think about doing that… it’s "inconvenient." But, if I’m going to grow up to be like my Father in heaven - I better learn to be inconvenienced.

Proverb 2:1-5 – “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,
            turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—
                        indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
And if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,
            then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God."

The art of listening is intentional focus on what is being said ... you know I love ya, Don

Monday, August 11, 2014

Proximity Matters!!!

In 1 Samuel 3 we read; "The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, ’Here I am.’"

Where was Samuel when God 1st called his name? He was lying down in the Temple of the Lord where the Ark was.

Now, I believe that every word of Scripture is there for a reason. For example, in this passage, God could simply have said: “Samuel was sleeping” BUT God goes into detail. It’s as if God is saying: "I want you to know WHERE Samuel was sleeping."

This might be a Donism…but why would God give us these details? I believe it was because God wanted us to see that when Samuel heard God’s voice he was sleeping NEXT to God. In Other Words: Physical, emotional, logical, and spiritual Proximity is critical: If you’re gonna hear – you’ve gotta be near.

I have a terrible habit of talking to Karen when she is in the other room. She can’t hear what I am saying. She can hear me, but the distance muddles the message and the message doesn’t get received. When we are out in the world, living in the world’s sins, and embracing what the world is throwing our way…the message God is saying is muffled, distorted, and not within proximity for it to be heard.

James 4:8 "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you."

Jesus said in John 8:47, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God” – in other words, Jesus is saying those who belong to God…listen to God and in order to listen to have to be in proximity of God.

If you want to hear God speak, you must be close to God. If you’re going to hear God’s voice; if you’re going to know His will - you’ve got to be in the same room as He is. That’s why Church attendance is critical. That’s why Bible Study is essential. Jesus said: "Wherever two or more are gathered in my name - there I am in the midst of you."

Another, but no less critical activity that places you "in the same room, is prayer. I’m not just talking arrow prayers or emergency prayers… but a "sit down and spend time with God" type prayers.

Draw close to Him ... You know I love ya, Don