Aaron Summers

Posts Tagged ‘christ jesus’

3 Actions That Save Your Family

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2015 at 7:39 am

family

The family is the pivot point of culture.  When the family is strong our culture is strong.  When the family breaks down so does our culture.  From the moment God breathed the words, “It is not good for man to be alone”, the family has been at the center of a strong culture.  Families have always been under attack and today is no different.  In the just the first 12 chapters of the FIRST book of the Bible we see

  • Murder
  • Estrangement
  • Deception
  • Abandonment
  • Affairs
  • Idolatry

The family faces those and many more struggles today.  What’s a family to do?  How can we save our family?  3 actions can can put you on the offensive.

Pin-point your prayers as a family

These prayers have clarity, direction, and focus.  These prayers honor God and are the kind we need to be praying.  Pinpoint prayers are deeply rooted in God’s Word. They have authority because they flow right out of what God has already told us he is willing to do. There’s no guesswork in pinpoint praying. As a parent, you just take the world’s greatest prayer script (the Bible) and use it as your guide for what and how you pray for your kids.  There’s nothing vague about pinpoint prayers. They’re typically short, direct, and to the point. Consider Jesus’s petitions in the Lord’s Prayer. His requests for God’s name to be glorified and for God’s provision, protection, and forgiveness are all very specific and focused. There’s nothing broad or uncertain about them. Pinpoint praying requires you to think through what you want God to do, build the case for it biblically, and then say it in the most precise and deliberate way possible to God. No flowery language, no King James English, and no long or theologically loaded phrases are required with pinpoint prayers. Part of their power lies in their directness.  Pinpoint prayers don’t mess around. They don’t dance around an issue, hoping that God will get the hint and come through with a miracle without us really having to ask for one. Pinpoint prayers walk right up to God’s throne and plead for his best, for his kingdom, and for his favor in our lives and the lives of our children. This is not weak-willed praying. Can you think of any area where boldness, courage, and faith are more appropriate than in prayers for your family?

Prioritize your needs as a family

Our calendars can be our dictator.  We run from event to event and are exhausted by the end of the week.  One reason families are not making it to church is exhaustion.  There is a sense of need for being together, having a slower morning, or just sleeping!  Of course, that is not to mention the event schedule that happens later!  In an tempt to provide for our families, especially the kids, opportunities we never had, we are going to extremes.  Focus on what is truly important more than the urgent screams of your calendar.  Items like shelter, nutrition and protection rank at the top and are hardly worth mentioning.  Did you know that the amount of sleep of child needs actually increases as they hit adolescence?  Your JH or HS child actually needs close to the same amount of sleep that a toddler needs.  Unfortunately, during these years we are too busy to worry about sleep!  Yet one thing looms but goes unnoticed.  The spiritual development of the family is crucial to tackling the issues of our day.  If we are not grounded in solid Bible study, spiritual challenge, and accountability families run an extreme risk of breakage during the trying times.

Present the Gospel through your family

We have been called to be salt and light.  This works as a family also!  You may have distinct concern for your kids to know God and trust in Jesus.  Did you know that there is more to do?  Salvation comes by faith alone.  But our mission to reach others too.  We have been crafted by God for good works.  Living out your mission as a person and as a family unit makes the difference.  God, who is already at work, invites your family to join in this work to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  God’s love and grace propels us to such destiny.

 

May we leverage our lives and families for God’s glory through prayer, priorities, and presentation.  Live on mission where you are right now.  Intersect the culture with the Gospel!

12 Ways to Pray

In Chrisian Life on January 7, 2015 at 9:52 am

Prayer-Warrior-620x335

1.  To Love God is to Get to Know Him—by Studying His Word and Praying to Him

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced

of because you know those from whom you have learned it, and how from infancy you

have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation

through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15

“Be joyful always, pray continually,give thanks in all circumstances, for this is

God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

2.  To Love God is to Put Your Trust in Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in

all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

3.  To Love God is to Choose to Obey Him.

“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will

love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’” John 14:23

4.  To Love God is to Thank Him In Everything.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with

thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

5.  To Love Each Other is to Serve Each Other.

“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge

in sinful behavior, rather, serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13

6.  To Love Each Other is to Encourage Each Other.

“But encourage each other daily, a long as it is called Today, so that none of you

may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13

7.  To Love Each Other is to Submit to One Another.

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21

8.  To Love Each Other is to Share One Another’s Burdens.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

9.  Our Love for Others is Demonstrated When We Show them Compassion.

“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because

they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.” Mark

10.  Our Love for Others is Demonstrated When We Show them Mercy.

“Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to

others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted

flesh.” Jude 22-23

11.  Our Love for Others is Demonstrated When We Build Relationships with Them.

“When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zaccheus, come

down immediately. I must stay at your house today.’” Luke 19:5

12.  Our Love for Others is Demonstrated When We Share the Gospel with Them.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will

be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

 

**Thanks to Vicki Hooker and our Prayer Team at Coulter Road Baptist Church for developing these for our year.

I Hear the Bells Do You?

In Christmas on December 25, 2013 at 7:00 am

bellDoes the Bell Still Ring?

At one time most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.


The bell brings joy. 

The eyes always give them away.  Last night the kids were wide-eyed with excitement.  As they run in this morning to see the gifts under the tree is sheer joy, on their part and mine!  The joy around Christmas for children involves Santa and that brings joy in the innocence.  The bell brings joy because of belief.

When we choose to believe that a little baby named Jesus was born to die taking on our sins, our hearts ring with joy.  Joy of being relieved of all sin and guilt and shame.  “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”

Let not age or event remove your joy.


The bell brings stability.

Christmas comes on the same day every year.  Our Eve process always includes making cookies, opening some gifts, and watching Polar Express.  The kids know what is coming for weeks.  Since they still believe it affords this stability.  My daughter asked if we still believed. We said, “Yes.”  We responded in that way not because we believe in a person who rides a sleigh around the world in 24 hours while dropping gifts but because we believe in the spirit of giving that began with God giving us Jesus.

Like the boy who is teetering on whether to believe or not, we teeter on whether to believe in Jesus consistently or not.  We want to believe and to be real and relevant to the world around us.  Because we often are taught that we must choose one or the other, we feel unstable.  Because we are taught that to believe in Santa (or concept of) is absurd after a certain age we come to a point of difficulty.  When we finally settle down and choose to believe in Jesus regardless, we find a new stability of emotion, character and intellect we did not have before.

Don’t let age or event remove your stability.


The Bell of Innocence.

We live in a world where both love and stability are in short supply.  The innocence of youth has given way to now just being innocence of children.  I fear that I am witnessing that being given away to the innocence of pre-schoolers.  How long before innocence is gone at birth?  I pray that the bell of Christmas never grows cold or silent for you.  Cherish an innocence that Jesus brings through belief in what He has done.

Don’t let age or event remove your innocence or that of your family.


Merry Christmas.

Overcomer

In Life and Culture on December 2, 2013 at 11:55 am


So many people I know are struggling!

  • Weight/Body Image
  • Marriage
  • Finances
  • Addictions
  • Obsessions
  • Grief
  • Loss

It is very likely that you, or someone close to you, is struggling with one or more of these  issues.  In my life I have struggled with grief, loss, and sometimes weight control.  In my circle of friends, I have struggled with someone in all of these areas.  It is amazing that such a short list can encompass so many.  How do we become an overcomer?

When we  have lived our lives dependent on someone or something for our identity, image, or self-worth we will struggle.  When we are asked to give it up we can become upset.  The triteness of “just quit” cuts deeply.  In the life of Jesus we find a moment, an interaction, that will help  us define and decide to move forward.  Overcoming addiction, dependency, emotional baggage, and more is possible.

1.  Is your life right now what you want it to be?  Jesus asked the man at the pool if he wanted to be made well.  It seems like a ridiculous question.  Yet, if I am not in a position to admit my need for help I will not find it.  Many of us might answer this question with “NO!”, but fail to act on that understanding.  We continue to wallow in the pain.  We continue to satisfy the obsession/addiction with unhealthy options.  This man had been on a mat for 38 years.  His life was not what he wanted, but he did not have a solution until Jesus offered one.  He wanted to be made well, but did not have the ability to do so himself.  Until we come to a point of acceptance in our inability, we cannot find the joy of Jesus’ ability.

2.  Have the courage to look beyond your past.  Jesus told the man to stand and walk.  You tried diets.  You have tried therapy.  You might have even done rehab.  What I am suggesting is not spiritual rhetoric.  The point is that Jesus healed the man the moment he spoke.  This guy had to look past the 38  years and have believe.  The man could have chosen to remain on the mat, logically concluding that nothing happened.  He could have added up all the years and not believed in the word of Jesus.  Overcoming your current obstacle begins with admitting the problem, but cannot move forward until we believe in what Jesus can, and has already, done!

3.  Embrace what you  have.  This man got up and walked away.  Look at this again.  He got up and walked away!  The same guy who had been lying there for 38 years now got up and walked away.  he had not worked for 38 years.  He had not, probably, seen his family for 38 years.  He was stepping back into society physically as an adult, but socially as a child.  When we break through the obstacles before, and within, us there will moments of rediscovery.  You will not have all the confidence.  You will not have it all together.  Embrace what you do have: a deepening love and relationship with Jesus.

4.  Not everyone will understand.  People will find a problem.  Friends will still have painful memories that you are trying to get beyond.  Family might be distant.  You might hear things like, “You can’t possibly think you can stay clean and sober.”, or “You will never have a normal family life again.”  Two boys were walking to school when they noticed they were about to be late, which was severely unacceptable.  One boy suggests they stop and pray that they would not be late.  The other one suggests running as fast as possible and pray along the way.  Prayer and work go together.  Faith and action go together.  Nobody else has lived your life.  Nobody else knows the decision to trust in Jesus that you have made like you do.

Overcoming the obstacles we face in life is never easy.  Those obstacles are filled with pain, pride, grief, and tragedy.  However, Jesus offered this man a new life.  He offers you one as well.  These steps to overcoming are a great beginning point.  For further understanding feel free to comment or contact me.

Getting Paid

In Chrisian Life, Decisions on July 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm

calendar_payday

Do you remember your first job?  My first job was at Wendy’s.  My favorite part was every two weeks when I would get paid.  The first check seemed to take the longest because I had to work two weeks before getting the check.  That felt like the longest two weeks.  At 17, I hadn’t completely learned the process of work then get paid.  Oh, how I have learned it since!  Every day I would clock in and work my shift and then go home.  I did that for 10 days and couldn’t wait for payday.  When I opened the envelope I was, as many have been, surprised at how much was taken out before it got to me.  I didn’t really care because I had money.  For the first time, I had money I had earned without the help of my parents.  It was a glorious feeling of freedom and maturity.  I took my girlfriend out to dinner and movie that next day to celebrate!!

Getting paid is a common occurrence though we may not consider it often.  We receive wages for everything we do.

  • Money is the most common way of getting paid.  We work and we receive money for our efforts.  This one is obvious.
  • Pain is not a pleasant consideration.  However, the wages for our actions come in many forms.  Depending on what your actions include, pain is quite possibly what you will get paid.  The poor relationship and the choices involved leave emotional scarring that can take years to remove.
  • Guilt and shame are also two forms of payment.  The sin that so easily entangles us will pay you in this way. God created us to live for Him.  When we sin, and we all do, we fall short of God’s glorious purpose for our lives.  Guilt and shame leave their mark on our hearts and minds.  While this is a form of pain, it is vastly different.  These wages lead to alcoholism, abuse, cutting, and more.  We fight to feel alive because the wages of sin are death.
  • Peace and joy come to those who follow after God and invite the Holy Spirit’s influence in and over their lives.  This is a gift of God given toward you as payment for faith.  Once you were at war with God, but now peace has come.  These are the best checks!
  • Cleanness is one way of speaking about sanctification.  Our scripture teaches that this is the wage you earn when living by God’s standards.

We all receive wages for every action.  You have the choice to make as to which ones you desire to earn.  God does not force you either way but leaves the choice up to you.  I have earned from both sides.  I assure you that God’s wages are much more beneficial and long-lasting!

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness. 21 So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification —and the end is eternal life! 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.       – Romans 6:20-23

Entangled

In Chrisian Life, Decisions, Direction on July 2, 2013 at 10:00 am

There I sat with my glass of tea in hand, sunglasses on and music blaring in my ear buds with what seemed to be a dead mower.  I had been on the mower for a while trying to catch up.  The rain had been wonderful to receive but the downside is that the grass grows faster than I have time.  I had already done the front and side yards and was moving to the back.   I knew mowing the backyard was risky because of all the child elements involved to but it had to be done.  I was rocking along when the mower just stopped.  I moved it to a low spot where I could get a visual on the mower deck.  At first glance I couldn’t see anything.  However, when I looked closer I could see that a piece of rope had been caught by the blades and wrapped itself up around the shaft.  You would think that the blades would just cut the rope and this would have never happened.  There seems to be some strange effect when rope is introduced.  Instead of just cutting through it, the mower got entangled.  Until the rope was cut off and unwrapped there would be no more progress.  I was stuck.

Have you ever felt stuck?  You have been rocking along in life when you get all tangled up.  Maybe it is a relationship, or sex, or pills, or gossip, or something else.  Each of us have a “rope” that when we try to mow over it causes us to get stopped.  What do we do?

1.  Check the yard before you mow.  I run into trouble when I skip this step.  If I would take the time to make sure where I was going to mow was clear of all problems then I would not be having to crawl under and work on the mower.  Everyone of us have our triggers.  Begin to see what triggers you.  Do your best to avoid those triggers.  Clear them out through accountable relationships, better choices, and sometimes simple avoidance.

2.  Look ahead not right in front.  Sometimes I get to singing along with the music and use the steering wheel as a makeshift drum set.  When that happens I forget to keep looking ahead and can run over stuff like a rope, or hose, or wire, etc.  I see this happening in our lives constantly.  We get so involved in the moment that we forget to keep our eyes ahead and run into trouble.

3.  Unwrap the rope.  When you do get tangled up prepare to spend time getting unstuck.  Because the blades spin at such a high-speed the rope gets wrapped extremely tight.  It will take a while to get it cut loose and taken off so that the blade spins properly again.  The same is true in your life.  We all get stuck at times.  For some it is a physical habit while others have an attitude or speech issue.  There are still others who deal with items such as sex and pills to cope with life.  Whatever is tangling you up needs to be removed as quickly as possible or progress can not be achieved.

I could still ride the mower all over the yard and act like something is happening but it would be a lie.  When we are entangled the only option is to stop and fix the problem.  During that process I keep telling myself, “If I want to actually accomplish anything I must prepare ahead by clearing out the yard and staying focused. ”  We would be wise to do the same each day.

6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:6-11

Forget About It

In Control, Decisions on June 12, 2013 at 6:48 pm

baseball-pitcher-focus-on-ball

The evening was hot and the game was just getting started.  The starting pitcher took the mound and threw the first pitch.  After about 20 pitches, the coach called time and walked out to the mound to check on the composure of his pitcher.  3 runs had already come in.  He walked 1 and now bases were loaded.  He was starting to stress out.  The last batter he faced was hit by a pitch.  The coach came out to the mound to talk things over.  This is what the pitcher remembers:

Forget that last pitch. 
You cannot change the past so don’t live in it. 
Live now.  Pitch here. 
Take a breath. Take control.

How many times do we allow the last pitch to control the next?  What do I mean?

I have, and so have you, allowed the events of yesterday to control (determine) our present.  A comment, look, or event that is a negative does not have to control how we act today.  Can you change it?  Can you go back and remove it?  Can you time travel and adjust it?  No.  Why allow it to control you now?  We must learn to focus on what we do now.  While what we do in the past has both good and bad consequences, it is what we act, think, and say now that makes the difference.  When we continue to determine our steps based on the past we will always be a step behind the present.  We will be out of touch.  Like the pitcher who must “shake off” that wild pitch and focus on the current batter so should we in our lives. 

This does mean a “live for today” style of living.  What we do today echoes in eternity.  We determine the future today, not yesterday.  What are you doing today?

 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead,
14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

 

%d bloggers like this: