0 Being Content & Loving Our Neighbors

It’s amazing how siblings and little kids will always compare how much food or toys they receive compared to the child next to them. As adults we understand that life is not fair, and that we should be thankful and grateful for the blessings we do have as there are so many who go without. We often try to reason with such childish selfishness and help teach the child to be thankful, but do we really listen to our own advice? How often do we notice the bigger house across the street or the nicer new car parked in the driveway and covet those things for ourselves?

I saw this quote today posted on a meme and it struck me as such a good truth that I had to share it.

The only time you look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them.
—Louis C.K.

This lines up so closely with Jesus’ words in Matthew when he said:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
—Matthew 22:37-40

Truly we need to have a focus that is on others more than ourselves. God has promised us that he will provide for our needs:

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
—Matthew 6:25-33

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
—Philippians 4:11-13

Instead of dwelling on what we don’t have and coveting our neighbor’s possessions, we should be more worried about our neighbor who is in need and make sure that we are God’s hands and feet to help them when required. We should learn to—like Paul—be content in all things; both in plenty and in want—when we have enough and when we are in need.

This is part of the message in my song “Jehovah Jireh” that speaks to God knowing our needs before we even speak, and being our Provider!

0 Camp Runamuck 2014

Silver Falls, OR

Camp Runamuck
Silver Falls Conference Center
20022 Silver Falls Hwy SE
Sublimity, Oregon 97385
Time: 6pm – 8pm

I will be driving out to lead worship and share some songs for the Lake Grove Presbyterian Church youth at their summer camp. It’s been awhile since I’ve shared at a youth camp so hopefully they’ve all been prescreened for tomatoes and other projectiles. Looking forward to worshiping our Creator in such a fantastic outdoor setting!

0 Live at Camp Runamuck – Silverton, OR – June 18, 2014

I was invited by an old friend, Kathleen Fast, from my Oregon State University college days to come and lead worship and share some songs for the Lake Grove Presbyterian Church youth at their summer camp. Their camp was out at the beautiful Silver Falls Conference Center and we started off the night with worship around the campfire but it started to get a little too cold out so we moved indoors for the acoustic concert portion of the evening. Some of the worship songs are included in these videos but not all, and then there are some stories behind the songs and some live songs inside the lodge later. Thanks for having me come and share with you guys it was a blast!
… Continue Reading

0 Take Deeper Root

Storms make trees take deeper roots.
—Claude McDonald

We should let the storms in our lives drive our roots deeper into the strength of our Rock—Jesus! Instead of throwing our fist in the air against God we need to rely and lean on his strength when the hurricanes threaten to rip us out of the soil.

Trust in God and flourish as a tree!
—Proverbs 11:28b

0 Just Say No

Like the famous Nike slogan that tells us to “Just Do It!”, the Word of God points in a different direction. Instead of giving into whatever our lusts and desires want we need to learn self-control and how to “Just Say No!”

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age
—Titus 2:11-12

For as it says in James those things that tug and pull at us inside, trying to entice and lead us astray will ultimately lead to death.

but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
—James 1:14-15

Sin might be pleasant for a season and promise fulfillment and satisfaction, but it is short lived and comes with shame and consequences that lead to emptiness and separation from God. Instead let’s learn to live lives of holiness as we are called to do and “Just Say No!”

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
—2 Peter 3:11-12a, 14