Friday, January 25, 2008

Beware of the Big Head

In Chapter 3 of David Mains book: Never Too Late to Dream, he suggests that it is a win-win relationship when we allow God's dreams to be our dreams. He speaks of Judas who had money on his mind, not God. He sold out Jesus for money! I immediately recalled how my beloved Dad has always warned me, "Not to get the Big Head." He has said it so much that it almost got on my nerves. I asked my Dad why he always says this to me. He said that he has seen so many folks hit the bottom after rising to the top because they always get the big head. What he meant is that somehow the stop following God's plan and they begin crafting their own. The more I work in ministry, the more I see what my Dad sees. I am praying that God keep me humble and grateful. Right now, I am so grateful that I only want to do what God wants. So I need to know what God's dreams are for me and for Faith UMC, Fort Wayne. So, time off and renewal has become more important. I need to stay in the presence of God.

At the end of the chapter there is a question that asks if we have ever known anyone who once followed God, but is no longer. I do know such a person. Without this person, I would never have made it out of the darkness. This person pointed the way. I followed Jesus. It is hearbreaking to look back now and know that the one who pointed the way to me is now off the path. It is because somehow, my guide back to sanity got the big head. I remember watching it happen. I remember issuing the warning. I didn't feel qualified. I felt I was being disrespectful. Today, I wish I had screamed louder.

What do we do about those we see getting the big head or straying from the path?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart for They Shall See God

The LORD is all over me today. I was studying the Beatitudes today, and paused with a profound realization. As we look for God sightings, we may also be on a journey towards perfecting a pure heart. I found myself asking the question, "What is the difference between our lives before we saw God in everything and after we began to purposely hunt for God sightings?" Could it be that our hearts were corroded with impurities? Is there a cleansing process going on in order for us to see God in everything? Maybe it's similar to a dirty windshield--gotta clean of that thang before you can see clearly! What do you think? Do you sense a cleansing? a clearing of your windshield?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Make the Best of Today!

This week I have been caring for a dear friend. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She is undergoing chemotherapy and is currently staying at my house. During this time, she has shared her concerns about dreams that she had that may or may not come true. I have anguished with her and have drawn one conclusion: No day is promised. So, let's make the best of today, and let tomorrow have its own worry. Today, I have my friend with me. Tomorrow, I may not. I love today because she is part of it!

Monday, January 21, 2008

All the Way Live!

God is all the way live! I have been having a great time chillin,' living, and reflecting. What a difference a day makes in our lives! When I pause for a moment to listen to what I might not ordinarily hear or see and feel deeper, I find myself discovering what is really important to me. And today, I have been arranging music! I have heard sounds that I have never heard, and wondered how much more there is to this music thing. God has granted me such a gift to have the ability to see, hear, feel, touch, and create music.
Today, I am thanking God for his blessings. I am enjoying life. I am everything but bored! My thoughts are filled with all kinds of fresh ideas and new insights. Because I have paused to take in and do a little less putting out, I am impressed that my God is all the way live! There is nothing dead about God! So, I am going to respond by sharing the God life with everyone! Have you shared the God life with everyone?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Reaching for the Goal

Today, I saw God sighting after God sighting! I spent time with a couple that I matched when I was a match maker back in the day. ;o) Now, they both are married to each other and brought to me 16 month old Thalia Grace! She was a bundle of joy. All of a sudden, I was filled with more reasons to press on. Not only the love that I have for her parents, but because making a difference requires that I keep working at it. How sad it would be for Sean, Gina, and Thalia if I gave up! They would be heart broken. This is not to say I was thinking of giving up. I am not thinking any such thing. I just want to retire in Aruba any day now! LOL

Really, friends....I am memorizing my verse! Are you?

Philippians 3:12-14 New Century Version

3:12 I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal, but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason he made me his. 13 Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead,
14I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ to the life above.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Discover God's Present Involvement in Your Life

Oh Yeah! I got on the road again today! It seems like it has been a while since I last took a trip for leisure! I am currently in Louisville, KY and the first God sighting was of course the hotel since I found it! Going to a new city is always a challenge when you are following Google directions and have never set foot on the land to which you are entering. Well, I am here! KEWL! The next wonderful God sighting was eating at J Gumbo. After bowing for prayer, I looked up and the waiter was praying too! I thanked him for joining in and he replied, "Oh, I pray everyday--all day!" Well praise God in all things! I prayed before I left Fort Wayne that God would reveal himself in everything. And, WOW! Have you met anyone new today with whom you shared the goodness of God?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bless the LORD...ALL That is Within Me!

Our scripture for today in "Daring to Dream" is Psalm 103 where David cries out, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me... I recall singing those words when I was growing up and not really fully understanding what it meant. Today, after experiences and many God sightings, I am so overwhelmed with the grace, love, and mercy of God that I truly give my all to the LORD. I have made the choice to read the Bible, sing praises, be involved in service, and share with others the good news of Jesus Christ. This takes a lot of time! I learned that I have to prioritize God in my life in order to make the decision to do whatever it takes. Literally, in the beginning I had to get up much earlier. UGGGGHHH! But later, early wasn't so bad because the benefits I felt on the inside were better! I felt Good!

What about you? Are you blessing God with all that is within you? If so, how?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Daring to Dream Again! Daring to Dream Again! Can't you feel the excitement in the congregation of Faith Church, as together and as individual followers of our living Lord, we ARE daring to dream again? During the time that Pastor Rebecca has been with us she has challenged us to recognize our spiritual gifts, to use them for the building of God's kingdom. And she has offered us educational materials that have been like spiritual roadmaps to get us moving. In everything we do, she has challenged, we should offer an opportunity for persons to come to know Christ.

In the study, "Chasing Daylight" by Erwin McManus, we were reminded that the choices we make each determine what our lives will be. Daily we can make those choices to live our lives to the fullest and for God's purpose. Once we take the initiative, just do something, it is often then that Godmakes himself known. Do something. Do something for His kingdom. That decision to move seems so right, but then we are beset with uncertainty and recognition that there is much to know that we don't know. It's like deciding to jump into the water, determined to swim the distance, but there is the moment of almost panic when we first come up to the surface of the water and before we start to move. We've made a decision to get going, but then we recognize what the decision really means. We have to get swimming if we are going to make the goal. In life we do have areas where we do have influence and can influence situations and others for God's good if we are willing to commit to the work. The writer of Chasing Dayling, Ed McMannus then challenged us to dare to risk, to live before we die. If each day we seek to advance instead of standing still, if even when we our standing we choose to lean always forward, then we tend to be people on the move; people who can accomplish things for his kingdom. Our God goes with us and we are able to impact the world for good. We are on the move, and beginning to get a spiritual spark going. Through the Chasing Daylight study we were called to our awakening.

Our present study is called Daring to Dream Again by Mainstay Ministries. We have only had two sessions, but the excitement is strong. We were challenged first of all to let go of the barriers that hold us back; to let go of those things that are painful in our past and to move on to SEEING God's involvement in our daily lives. New faces are showing up at our study groups. Those voices are exciting to hear. Those new persons bring gifts that are needed for the journey. There is room for everyone. God is calling us to dream together; to look to Him and to live up to the powerful dreams he has for us as individuals and as His people together. Be a part of a study group. Come dare to dream together! Come Dare to Dream Again.

written by: Roberta Agnew

Lay Speaker at Faith United Methodist Church of Fort Wayne, IN

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

NO HALF STEPPING Philippians 3:12-14

On last week, the Weds night Bible study chose the New Century version of the bible to memorize our Spiritual Adventure memory verse: Philippians 3:12-14. Have you begun to work on this verse? I started working on it, and it has been a little hard since I memorized long ago in a different version. So, now I have to spend a little more time with the verse. And, as our youth pointed out on last night--there is very little extra time. Yet, I have to make the choice. So, pastor--No HALF STEPPING: strain forward!

Whenever I have a goal that seems hard to reach, I take a deep breath, cry out to God for wisdom, and today I am asking for good time management. We have deadlines, needs, programs, newsletters and whatever else due today: Jan 15! Oh my! How will I find the time to memorize, blog, etc. Well, I will live verse 14 today: I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God has called me through Christ Jesus to the life above.

What about you? Are you working on this verse?

Click here to read it and memorize it in the New Century Version: Philippians 3:12-14

Monday, January 14, 2008

God Hunt Sightings

In our 50 Day Spiritual Adventure entitled, "Daring to Dream: Overcoming Barriers That Hold You Back" by Mainstay Ministries, we are working on opening our eyes to see the many ways God is there for us everyday, every hour, every minute. So, I wanted to report my sightings on this blog.

Day 8: Log 1Today I learned that one of our beloved Faith members who is hospitalized with heart blockage experienced a miraculous event. The blockage bi-passed itself! Most have to undergo surgery....but God. Thank-you to all who prayed for her!

Day 8: Log 2 I received a note from one of our youth. This youth thanked me for being present at youth events, meetings, and for the humor in my sermons. The youth encouraged me to keep on doing what I do because I was making a difference. I was in tears because I had been discouraged by something and had been wrestling with it for a couple of days. I had chosen to wait for God to speak to me. God spoke. Thanks to my youth--I heard from God. And, I will keep on doing what I do: Loving God & People. A special shout out to FUMY: I LOVE YOU ALL!

Day 8: Log 3 Today, Faith UMC of Fort Wayne aired at 8AM on 100.5 FM. We made history! What most people don't know is that this is prophecy fulfilled for your pastor. It was prophesied over my life in 1997, when I was licensed to preach at First Baptist Church in Gary, In that I would eventually reach many people through preaching on radio, television, and through writing books. Oh my...I was scared a little....and then God.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

God is Always There

Today we heard the prayers of David in Psalm 57 as he cried out to God, "Have Mercy..." Many times, we are truly stunned as a crises arises and we enter into fix it mode. We miss the presence of God and thereby miss the grace and blessing of God in the storm. As we look for God in every situation in our lives, we begin to learn to wait for God's plan to unfold. Often the waiting is hard. But, it's a God thing! How are you witnessing God's presence in your life? Are you testifying to God's goodness.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Life Mo' Better

I am extremely proud of our youth group better known as FUMY! If you haven't visited their blog, you really should. For having our first blogs, our kids are responding big time! I am praying that each one learns about this LIFE MORE BETTER WITH JESUS! FUMY: YOU ROCK!

Click here to check out the youth blog

A Healthy New Identity

On yesterday, I read the passages Isaiah 61:1-3 & Luke 4:16-21 where those familiar words ring out, "The Spirit of the LORD is on me..." Every time I read that whether it is the prophet Isaiah or Jesus, I get goose bumps. It is even more goosy when I read it out loud. I often sense God speaking to me when I read it. In Isaiah and in Luke when Jesus is speaking, the mission was to bring good news to the poor and all kinds of other good stuff! I just feel it in my toes when I realize that I am part of that plan.

I wonder what it would be like if we said that phrase each day: "The Spirit of the LORD is on me to.... I wonder how we would finish the sentence. How do you finish the sentence today? Is the Spirit of the LORD on you? Has the Spirit of the LORD anointed you? Are you bringing good news to the poor? What about encouraging those with broken hearts? mmmmmm

Friday, January 11, 2008

Get Up Off That Thang!

We are full force into the new series Daring to Dream: Overcoming the Barriers that Hold You Back. On this week, we have studied the relationship between God and Gideon. I preached a message entitled, "Get Up Off That Thang!" We saw that God wants us to see ourselves as God sees us. We learned that the past can often hang us up and prevent us from moving forward. In our series this week, we are looking for ways that we can allow God to heal our painful past. We are also seeking ways in which we can personally improve in many areas of our lives by attempting to be who God wants us to be. We are taking on healthy new identities. Let us be cautious as we allow God to work in us. Sometimes it is hard to see ourselves as persons who need to change. Sometimes we feel, we have arrived. It is not so. We are far from perfect. We have not arrived. Yet we do press on toward that mark. Don't we? Are you pressing on? If so, on to where?

On With the New!

It is a pleasure to begin this blog. This is an answer to prayer! May the LORD receive the highest honor! I pray that this space is used to glorify God and to edify each other. In Jesus Name, AMEN!