Archives For Life

The Christian Life is about more than avoiding sin. It is about living an abundant life in Christ. But how can one do this?

In today’s message, Paul is going to tell the Ephesians how to live a wise life in Christ. Continue Reading…

Have you ever been deceived?

In today’s message, we will look at Paul’s instruction to the Ephesians warning them of the dangers of being deceived. Continue Reading…

20150423_PaintedChurches_019

As I stated in the first blog post of this series (located here), we recently took a church bus trip and visited the painted churches of Schulenburg, Texas. These small town, Texas churches are made up of Czech and German Catholic communities who have meeting for over one hundred years.

As I was touring these church buildings, I was brought into a time of reflection on my upbringing. Because I too am Czech and I was raised in the Catholic church, I was rushed back to the times when my family met for family reunions at a small church just like the ones we were visiting. It was really cool and it brought back some things that I had not noticed as I was growing up.

For one thing I began to notice the BBQ pits. At every church we visited there were BBQ pits built out behind the church with an awning for picnic tables to accommodate meals on the grounds.

I loved this because it expressed to me the need for community and family within the church. Let’s face it, many of us do not know the people who live next door because we are in such a rush. But for church, this should not be the case. We are a family and we should act like a family and share a meal together every so often.

I loved this because it showed me the desire to meet as a church family. Think about it. There were church members who desired to meet as a church family enough to set aside the plans and the finances to build the space, and there are members currently who still desire to use the facility today. I see so often that people have lost the desire to spend time with those they go to church with and it saddens me. I also think it saddens our Lord. How it must frustrate Him when His children don’t get along or don’t get together.

As I think about this, I want to encourage you to set aside some time to fellowship with the people of your church. Seek to understand who they are. Share life with them. Love on them. Be a part of God’s family.

GradApp

Today brought and unexpected blessing! I turned in my graduation application to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

This is truly bitter-sweet.

I am so happy to be finished with the arduous work that comes with seminary life. The late nights of Hebrew home work and paper writing will finally come to an end. 😀

However I am truly going to miss this season of life. I have seen God do some unexplainable things in ministry and I have experienced God change me in all sorts of ways over these past three years. 🙁

Please be in prayer for me as we see what God would have for us in the next season of life.

 

Zoe in the Dog Days of Summer

As I was reading this past week, I was thinking on the periods in life when we go through periods of extreme productivity and then we slow down to crawl. Being a student and working, I always have a ton of stuff on my to do list and some days I feel as if I conquered the world by all the things I accomplished and then the next day I wind up feeling like the world conquered me. As I am sure you know, this is extremely frustrating. Just as you think you are getting ahead, your momentum just stops.

The great theologian Charles Spurgeon even comments on this problem with humanity when he says

“My days of sloth have ruinously destroyed all that I had achieved in times of zealous industry; my seasons of coldness have frozen all the genial glow of my periods of fervency and enthusiasm; and my fits of worldliness have thrown me back from my advances in the divine life.” (Morning & Evening, July 3rd)

When I was thinking about this and getting frustrated with myself, I honestly wasn’t thinking of my spiritual life. But once I read the words of Spurgeon, I immediately thought through all that I do that sets me back in my relationship with God and all the times that I have been spiritually zealous for the Lord.

It was a good reminder to think about how we must be fervent in seeking God through prayer and study and how we should be ready and on watch for the idle times in our spiritual lives to push through them. I can only imagine the spiritual growth God would grant if we would stay consistent in seeking him proactively and consistently.

Lord, let us not be apathetic in our passion for you. But ignite our hearts to be zealous for you and your ways. Do not let us get to the point where we get so distant from you that we no longer hear you. But give us the ears to hear and the eyes to see what you would have for us.

We are all faced with making hard decisions in life. And sometimes, it is not the easiest thing to discern what the best route to take is. Well, as I was reading a devotional this morning (connecting the testaments) this jumped out at me & I thought I would share.

1 John 5:6-12 ESV

6 This is he who came by water and blood-Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
7 For there are three that testify:
8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son.
10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.
11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Connecting the Testaments Devotional (6-24)

John leads the doubting recipients of his letter back to the truth, he shows them the simplicity of the solution: Through the Son, God has provided a way out of sin. This simple truth requires a simple response: belief in the Son.

Where in your life do you complicate an obedient response to God?

As I was reading this I immediately thought of how easy it is for me to think through a decision over and over. And how it seems every time I do, I get a different solution to the problem I am faced with. It honestly drives me nuts. I am a person who likes order and I don’t think anyone would necessarily call me a wishy washy person or a person who can’t make a decision. However I want to be diligent to put in the thought process to make sure I am making a good decision.

The reason I believe this stuck out to me was because of the simplicity of it.
I love the fact that in a relationship with Christ, you do not have to wonder about salvation, you do not have to travel on a spiritual journey or visit a guru to know the Lord’s will. You just have to seek Him in prayer and His Word (Bible).

Therefore, decisions do not have to be so complicated. We must simply trust Him and do as His word commands.

Ruin My Life…..

January 16, 2012 — Leave a comment

This weekend at church, my pastor made a statement that spurred a million other thoughts in my spaghetti brain. He said, “no one can ruin your life without your permission.”

Now, in context, he was definitely talking about taking responsibility for your own choices and not playing the victim. In my context, however, my brain immediately clicked on this thought….

God cannot “ruin” my life unless I let Him.

I also thought immediately of the Jeff Johnson that I came to love deeply at a Falls Creek youth camp week years ago. You probably know the one, it goes like this:

Ruin my life, the plans that I’ve made.
Ruin desires for my own selfish gain.
Destroy the idols that have taken your place
Until its you alone I live for. You alone I live for!

What an amazing, exhilarating, scary, humbling, oh-my-goodness thought!
What if I am the only person truly standing in the way of God having his way with me. Of totally wrecking the plans I have made for myself in my limited, finite ability and knowledge. Instead He is so patient to await me realizing that my plans are okay, but His plans are exceedingly, abundantly, beyond,beyond what I could ever hope for or imagine. his plans are perfect.

So, like the prophet Isaiah, I hear you Lord asking “who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8). And my answer is, “here I am Lord! Send me.”

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3R2rRAnsRM&feature=related’]

Well it is official. As of this afternoon, I will have been married to my best friend for 6 years.

Looking back on our relationship, it doesn’t seem that long ago that when we met and I am not sure I would change much. I am so blessed to have the wife that I do, I truly believe that God made her specifically for me and I don’t know what I would do without her.

For those of you that do not know how we met, we actually met when we were very young. Kristen was in the 5th grade (I was in the 7th grade.) and she was one of my little sisters annoying friends that would frequent at our house. Obviously I didn’t see her then as I do now.

It wasn’t until I was just out of high school that we started to date. The way we started to date wasn’t anything incredibly romantic or anything but it was us. Our dating started one Friday night while I was hanging out with my friends, Kristen called me out of the blue and so I went to pick her up. And she hasn’t left my side since. (She is so faithful.) We dated for four and a half years. She always give me a hard time about it but we started dating when she was 16 and I was 18. We both didn’t have a clue about how the world worked at that time. But I knew by the second date that she would be my wife. I am not sure I was ready to admit it at that time but I knew. I can remember telling one of my friends Frank that “there is something different about that girl.”

Right around year four we were engaged on a cruise ship with my family and Kristen was totally surprised. (It was Awesome!) In the following December (the 18th of 2005) we tied the knot at Diamond Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth. I can still remember how beautiful she looked on that day. Although, she really hasn’t changed much.

Since life has changed around us. Careers have changed, houses have changed, relationships have changed, we have changed. But one thing is still the same,I love my wife.

In the spirit of today’s celebration. I would like to leave you with a few things that I have learned in my time of being married.

  1. It all boils down to being intentional. So get intentional about your marriage.
  2. Invest in your marriage. Go to couple conferences, read books on marriage and Invest in alone time together.
  3. Always remember, you are a team. Never focus on the problem. Always work as a team to fix the problem.
  4. Be quick to forgive. You can never change the past. So why dwell on it? After all, bearing grudges is for 3 year olds.
  5. Men- Pursue Your Wife! You are the leader of the house. Show her how important she is to you. If you don’t, she will find her value from something or someone else.
  6. Women- Allow your husband to lead. (Even when he doesn’t.) Trust me. Men don’t need another person giving demands or nagging. They need your support no matter what. (See Number 1 – You are not the coach but a team-mate.)
  7. Never Ever forget to base your marriage in Christ. If you are both pursuing Him, He will bring you together. This includes praying together, discussing what God is teaching you and/or memorizing scripture together.

What tips would you give me on marriage?