Timely Reminder of God’s Holy Spirit

This recent sermon by Jim Cymbala about discerning the will of God’s Holy Spirit is very timely for me today as I prepare for a job interview. These words from Romans were mentioned by Jim:

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:14-16 NIV)

We are called on a DAILY basis to be sensitive to the directions of God’s Holy Spirit.

Jim reminds us that we have to WANT to follow God’s will first. We can’t want our agenda first. God provides PEACE for us in our spirit when we act according to His will. Some people do (unfortunately) try to use God to support THEIR plans rather than HIS plans. Surrender to God is the start of wisdom, and the ability to listen to His whisperings.

Today I seek your guidance and your peace which surpasses my own understanding, God. Help me to not lean on my own understanding, but instead on your Word, your Spirit, and your will.


I want to fish with Jesus

These were some of the verses we read and discussed this morning at our Friday morning men’s group:

When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.” Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch. (Luke 5:4-7 MSG)

One of the thoughts I have reading and reflecting on this is how I need to keep pursuing opportunities to help people use social media to share about how they/we have seen and are seeing Jesus act in our lives. A couple Sundays ago, I met Chad from the city rescue Mission and talked to him about this. Over the last several years I have shared a few presentations for different groups about sharing our testimonies with social media, and telling the stories of mission work in our churches online. Today’s Bible study and conversations inspire me to take the next step and contact Chad about sharing more presentations and workshops for people like this through the City Rescue Mission.

Stay in the Light

Jim Cymbala reminded us at our men’s group a few weeks ago in our video series that we must “stay in the light even as God is in the light.”

Have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness, for they surround us in our fallen world. Focus your eyes on Christ, the author and perfector of our faith. Through Christ we have the strength to withstand temptation, and through God’s power we can avoid many dark valleys filled with temptation and sin.

Check out Jim’s sermons on the website of The Brooklyn Tabernacle.

Video Link Published by the Layman Online

The Layman Online, a publication of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, posted an article about our church’s departure from the PC USA denomination on February 6, 2013, titled, “Presbytery dismisses church in Edmond, Okla., to ECO (updated with video).” Our pastor told me about this on Wednesday night. The website authors found the YouTube link I’d posted to our gracious dismissal vote, and included that link along with the article. I’m glad to be able to make this kind of “citizen journalism” contribution to readers of The Layman Online!

The Layman Online: Presbytery dismisses church in Edmond, Okla., to ECO (updated with video)

Lessons from David Dancing Before The Lord

These are my sermon notes from Mateen Elass‘s message on August 26, 2012’ based on these verses in 2 Samuel 6:12-23 NIV:

Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes. When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

and 2 Samuel 7:1-3 NIV:

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.” Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”

It’s easy for us as Christians to try and live on “reflected glory,” we stop seeking God’s will for our lives because we want to seek our own will. We seek God’s blessing and sanctification of our own plans.

God’s presence should not be treated lightly
– Philistines learned this when they took the ark as documented in 2 Samuel

Love gives itself fully to what it cherishes

Sometimes when we look at others, we are not too please with how we see them worshipping. Our disdain about how others worship may reveal a problem within our own hearts toward God.
– it is hard for us to grapple with this as Presbyterians sometimes… Need to focus, however, on WHO we are trying to please
– God is the one who should be our focus in worship
– let’s not show disdain for others as they seek to open their hearts fully to God

Make God Holy in Your Life

When you read a passage in the Bible and the author refers to God as, “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies,” you know you are in the Old Testament. This passage from Isaiah reminds us to make God holy in our lives.


Of course God is holy by His nature and our actions don’t change that. However, we can and should do things regularly in our lives which reflect our understanding of God as holy or “set apart.”


How are you making God holy in your life this week?

Isaiah 8:13 NLT

“Make the Lord of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble.”

See it at YouVersion.com:


God’s Plans Prevail

We all need to walk the line between setting goals to achieve our own dreams, and seeking God’s will for our lives. We are truly and completely fulfilled when we align our dreams with God’s perfect plans. I’m still very much seeking to find and follow that path. I think I am closer to it today than ever before in my life, but it is truly a journey which never ends.

My goal is to join God in the work He has prepared for me to do. That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.


Proverbs 19:21 NLT

“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.”

See it at YouVersion.com:


Good Medicine

Do you have a dear friend who can always make you laugh, no matter how tough or challenging your shared circumstances? I do, but unfortunately I don’t get to hang out often with them these days. Their cheerful spirit IS good medicine, as Solomon noted many centuries ago.

Proverbs 17:22 NLT

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

See it at YouVersion.com:


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