Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rain. It Makes Things Grow.

Have you noticed how everything is so luscious green, flowers are blooming, trees are sprouting? This is all because of rain. So, rain is a good thing, right? Sometimes a little rain in the midst of our lives can be a good thing too. As long as we have a teachable Spirit and we grow from it.

The neighborhood I live in has lots of trees. And where there's trees, there's birds. This morning they started singing at 4 am. I have always been fascinated by their different voices blending together as if they were serenading me: a cardinal whistles, a robin chirps, a crow caws, a woodpecker jackhammers.

I distinctly remember one of those loud thunderous summer storms we had on a Saturday morning last year.It had everything: rain, hail, high winds, booming thunder.And as I laid there in bed, amidst all the mixed sounds of commotion flowing through the clouds, I heard the singing of all these same birds that I am hearing today. What God had revealed to me was exactly what I was hearing. Know matter what storms may pass through your life, just keep singing My praises and don't worry.

"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?" Mth.6:26

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lassie Come Home

When my mom and her sister were kids, their family dog named Lassie(yes, she looked exactly like the t.v. dog!)had disappeared from the yard one day.The dog was so well trained it never would've left on it's own, so they were convinced it was stolen. It was an expensive, popular breed at the time,due to the television show and hence the dog looking like the real Lassie.
The family began their search through the neighborhood, putting up posters on telephone poles, going door to door, all the things you would normally do when looking for a lost pet. In the evenings, during regular family prayer time, they would pray for Lassie's safe return. A few days would pass, then a few weeks, still no sign of their beloved dog. They continued to pray without giving up hope. And when the kids faith did begin to disappear, my grandfather was persistent with them to not give up on God.
Then one day it happened, just like so many episodes of the television show and the movies. The family was sitting at the kitchen table eating dinner, when they heard some scratching noises upon the back screendoor. Sure enough, it was Lassie! The pads of her paws were so scarred the vet claimed she must have traveled for miles for a great length of time to get home.

One of my favorite Bible stories is that of the paralytic man, where we see a demonstration of faith in action. The building Jesus was teaching in was so crowded it was nearly impossible to enter through the doors.There were 4 men so determined to get their friend in there to be healed, they went to the extreme and lowered him through the roof of the building. Their determination to place him at the feet of Jesus was evidence of their faith that he would be healed.

God not only wants to see us put our faith in action, but to see a sheer determination of that faith.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hold My Hand

it's a two for one day!

I remember when I took some leadership training courses for missions with Teen Mania.
One of our play along activities was linking hand by hand your group as you walked alongside a cliff.(like that was ever really going to happen) What we were learning was how to trust the others in the group you were leading.

When you see rock climbers scaling those gigantic mountains, you never see anyone climbing by themselves, they always have a partner. I have always been intrigued by their set mentality: they need to have complete trust with each other, and if one is in complete danger, they need to be willing to risk it all to save the other. I have seen and read countless numbers of stories where one had to cut the rope in order to save the other. They literally gave their life to save their climbing buddy!

The most important piece to the "Footprints in the Sand" is:

Where you saw only one set of footprints,it was then that I carried you.

God is the most important link we have for scaling those mountains that get in our way. It takes a rock climbers strength of complete trust.

When my brother's one daughter was four, she was falling asleep in her bed one night, holding hands with her big sister, before dozing off she asked,

"If we both fall asleep holding hands, will we have the same dream?"

When we are holding hands with God, our dreams become His dreams. And His deepest desire is to fulfill those dreams that we have. All He ask's of us is to walk a holy life, trusting in Him.

Say So!

A woman in church yesterday passed this one along:

She went in to have cataract surgery for one eye. The doctor told her afterwards to take it easy, you probably won't be able to really see clearly in that eye for a few days. Ha! What do doctors know! As her husband drove her home, she was reading stop signs, speed limit signs, no turn on red signs. She went back for a precautionary checkup a couple days later..the doctor tested her vision for that eye.. it was way more than 20/20!! Isn't God good?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Leaving on a High Note

No, not the George Costanza showmanship scheme of leaving: Make a funny comment in an office meeting, if everyone laughs, exit quickly, then your assured of going out on a high note.This is more about leaving for that great mansion in the sky.

A couple of weeks ago Hall of Fame baseball announcer Harry Kallas passed away. He had been calling games for over 45 years. Harry died in the broadcast booth just a half hour before calling the Phillies game. Harry was 73 years old, loved the game, didn't want to retire. But, I think he went out the way he probably would've wanted to;in the booth, at the ballpark.Unfortunately, we don't have a choice of how or when we leave, only where we leave to.

I was recently on an airplane for the first time in awhile. As the stewardess went through all the precautionary safety procedures,I, like probably so many others, didn't really pay much attention. I was aware of the drill, but didn't care.
There was a time in my life when I was afraid of dying, sure I knew I was going to heaven, but somehow I still had that fear of exiting. Since my extended growth in the Lord,that fear has completely disappeared!

If I had a choice of how I would like to go out, my high note would be just leaving knowing that I exemplified Jesus the best way possible.

One of my favorite days is Memorial Day, where we honor those who served our country in the military. All those men and women, who were lost at battle, they all left on a high note, doing what they were called to do.

I fondly remember a woman who would come into the store every Friday to buy soundracks to sing to in church. She loved to sing about Jesus. Then all of a sudden she stopped coming in. Through a mutual acquaintance I discovered she stopped singing.Why? At a Good Friday service she sang a duet with the music director. After the first verse of the song, the gentleman she was singing with fell over and died right there in front of the whole church. The music director exited for heaven doing what he loved best and was called to do. As for the woman who stopped singing,after a few months and much prayer from many people, she came back into the store and continued on with her passion of singing unto the Lord. My guess is she would probably want to go out the same way her music director did, singing unto the Lord.

So..what's your exit strategy?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From Seeing is Believing to Trusting (part two)

Yes!! Homer and Wilma do get married.Another movie with a happy ending lives on.

We all have that tendency to govern our lives by what we see. That's our nature.
In the Book of John, the disciples have just seen the risen King, but Thomas does not believe them unless he sees Him for himself. And sure enough, Jesus shows up and says to Thomas, "Do not be unbelieving, but believing!"
In other words, Jesus was telling him to stop doubting. Jesus affirms this by saying,
"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

In the story of the Nobleman's son, Jesus returns to Cana of Galilee, where he had previously turned water into wine. The nobleman implores Jesus to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. But Jesus said unto him,"Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe."
The nobleman still pleads with Him,"Sir, please come down before my son dies!"
And Jesus answers,"Go your way, your son lives."
So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and went his way. And sure enough, his son was healed.

Now, if it weren't for that first miracle in Cana, the water being turned into wine, might the Nobleman have argued first with Jesus to actually come to his home to heal his son, instead of taking His word on it? Probably so. This is why Jesus had commented,"Unless you see signs and wonders, you won't believe."

So what stops us from believing? The Apostle Paul says,"For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope." The miracles Jesus performed over 2,ooo years ago, were for our benefit, so that we might learn to trust Him.

Within our walk in the Lord unexpected situations will arise, and we will naturally freak out or have a momentary lapse of faith. But that's okay. As long it is just that, a momentary lapse of our faith. And we quickly find our alone space with God to get that comfort, peace, and courage that we need.

Written on the side of a box of Reynolds Wrap it says,"strong enough for your toughest situations." This should be our goal in our relationship with the Lord. To grow strong enough in the Lord so we can handle any situation that comes our way.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

From Seeing is Believing to Trusting (part one)

In the 1947 Oscar winning film The Best Years of Our Lives, three soldiers are returning home from the war for the first time and find difficulty in readjusting to civilian life. One of the soldiers, a sailor named Homer, has lost both of his arms.He has learned to adapt with his handicap, able to use his hooks for everything from signing his name to lighting his own cigarette.Before he had left for war, Homer had made plans to marry his high school sweetheart,Wilma, once his tour of duty was finished.
And even though his family is well aware of his fatal injuries, Wilma, who lives next door, has not been told yet.Homer is scared of meeting her and wonders what her reaction will be when she finally sees him: will she still love me or reject me?
As the cab drops him off in front of his house, his sister and parents run outside to greet him. Their joy quickly vanishes once they see his disability for the very first time. While greeting one another with hugs and kisses, Wilma comes running out of her home, excited about seeing the soldier she loves. She stands across the lawn for a moment, smiles, then runs up to him and hugs him. Homer is unreceptive to her embrace, standing at attention with fear racing through his mind. Wilma exclaims to him all the right things a woman would tell her soldier coming home from war, "I love you and I missed you, Homer!"
As they all retreat inside the house, Wilma finally notices his missing arms, a look of shear disappointment unravels and then sympathy comes across her face. Once inside, they all have a seat in the living room to get reacquanted. They all seem to ignore his disability, maybe out of respect, as Homer proudly displays his skill of lighting his own cigarette. Their quiet, odd behavior of trying to ignore his limitations, especially Wilma's, brings an unsettled nervousness upon Homer. He rushes out of the house in fear and travels into town to get a drink at his favorite old watering hole.
His first evening in his own bed would be a sleepless night, as his mind would fill up with all kinds of negative thoughts and fears.
During the next few days he would keep his distance from his family and Wilma. Wilma, in return, staying quiet and respectful of his wishes to be left alone.
Then one evening, with his parents in bed, Homer and Wilma finally sit down and talk in the kitchen. She says she still loves him and still wants to get married, but Homer contends with reasons not to, saying she could do better than him. He then gets angry and wants to show her what she would have to go through every night. So he takes her upstairs to his bedroom and shows her his nightly routine. He wiggles off his bathrobe. Each of his hooks are individually strapped to his shoulders, as he wiggles out of each harness. She helps him put on his pajama top and buttons it up for him. Through the whole scene Wilma shows no emotion, totally unfazed by the whole ordeal. She actually comes across as pretty comfortable with the whole routine and declares, "I still love you, Homer!"
For the many times Wilma had said I love you, Homer refused to believe it. He needed to see it to believe it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Safe Place

On Palm Sunday weekend I participated in my church's Easter production called The Easter Song (give a listen at, I playing one of the disciples. The musical was so powerful, that a Friday evening rehearsal impacted a local newspaper reporter who just "happened" to stumble in for a glance. He was on his knees crying at the end!

I for one, have been dramatically moved all week to where I am relentlessly wanting to spend time alone embracing Him and worshipping Him. I have found some great Keith Green worship songs on YouTube (one good thing about the internet, reaching people with the gospel), so I have spent some evening time all week alone with God. Keith Green once said that:

"If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or talking to friends,rather than just sitting alone with God, embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence..? You'd be bored to tears in heaven, if you're not ecstatic about God now!"

Within the four walls and windows of our courtyard at church is a nesting duck. She comes back every spring to that same location. Why? Because it is a safe place.

In the presence of God is where we should want to be, it is our safe place from the worldly distractions we face everyday. All we need to do is find the time and the desire.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord,
"He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cab driver Joe

The following story happened before I worked at Intervarsity Press, as I owned and operated a Christian music bookstore coffeehouse:

There was this cab driver named Joe who used to come into the store and visit once or twice a week. He loved to swap stories with me about God.

One day Joe came in looking very discouraged. He asked me to agree in prayer with him for $400 he needed to pay a medical bill for his wife, the bill was due at month's end. We prayed together and then I agreed to continuously pray for him until the need was met.

The next couple of weeks Joe would come in boasting with praise and confidence, an attitude God would want to see in all of His people.Then one day it happened. Joe came in with tears in his eyes, as he explained what had transpired:

He was dropping off a lady in front of the airport terminal. After helping her out with her luggage, he proceeded back to his cab. As he glanced down at the curb, there he would find a plain white, bulky envelope, nothing written on either side of it. He picked it up, looked at it without glancing at the contents inside, and took it with him. Once inside his cab, he threw it on the seat next to him and drove off.

Once Joe got to the first stoplight, he opened the envelope and saw a large bundle of dollar bills. The light turned green so he drove off without ever counting them. He only drove about half a mile when his curiosity got the best of him. He pulled off into a fast food parking lot, opened the envelope, and began counting. The tears from his eyes became a waterfall as he continued to count. There were seventy 100 dollar bills in the envelope! He sat in the parking lot for half an hour crying and thanking God for what he had done. It was more than what he had asked for. Before going home to tell his wife, he would go shopping for the most beautiful and expensive dress he could find for his wife.

When we stand in faith and trust (not believe) that God is going to come through for us, He always comes through in a big way. Far more than we could ever hope for.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. (Eph.3:20)


Welcome to my first blog, where you won't find stories such as:
1. what I ate for lunch
2.why my dog ate my shoes
3.dishwasher broke, need a new one

I think you know where I am headed with this. Within our computer savvy sites like facebook, myspace, twitter, and blogs, we are inundated with meaningless info: everything from what kind of toothpaste people use, what they had for breakfast, and why their kids won't do their homework.

Here, I have created a blog specifically for building up one's faith in the Lord. You'll be reading true stories of individuals who's lives have changed, miracles happened, or received just a simple touch from God, as well as scripture based teachings.

My goal is to bring people from being sheep to being soldiers. I am surprised at how many of us are still stuck in the believe stage and have yet to reach the trust stage after so many years of studying the Word.

There is a vast difference between the two. The definition for believe is accept as truth and for trust the definition is having a full assurance.

If we are stuck in the just believing stage, we need to concentrate on our relationship with Him.
Which means spending less time with the ipod, the television, the computer, and more time worshipping, talking to, and listening to our Father.

Hopefully in the days, weeks, and months to come, I can be of an assistance to you or especially someone you know in your walk with the Lord. And able to take you on an adventure from seeing is believing to fully relying on our great God.

Mr. Dave