Don’t Lose Focus!

Do you have times in your life where you are so busy you lose track of what’s important? I think especially in the days we live in that can happen more often than we like it to. Nowadays so many of us wear multiple hats. We juggle so many things that can overwhelm us. Believe me I speak from experience. It’s rare I get overwhelmed very often. I do not get stressed by my schedule. I am very busy a lot of the time. However, I have lost track of what is important at times. I try very hard to balance everything going on in my life such as family, work and ministry. At times in my life I have lost sight of my schedule and was not balancing things very well. My amazing wife put me in check and helped me see that I was going off track. I have since then made it a priority to balance my schedule correctly as to not take away from time with her and my family, but still be able to work and do ministry. There are still times when I am super busy but it is counteracted by times when I have down time because of the schedule I watch pretty closely.

I am saying all of this because one of the easiest things that we lose track of is our relationship with Jesus because it is not right in front of us screaming for our time or attention. In those busy times what is not right in front of us can take a back seat. We need to pay attention and be intentional in our relationship with Jesus. We need to make HIM a priority. We need to focus on Jesus because our relationship with him is how we get through all of those crazy times in life. He is where we get our strength to help us through what life throws at us. Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. In the verse you just read it tells us to seek Him first and the things we need will be provided for us. I feel it is telling us that the strength, power, mercy and grace that we need will be there when we need it if we focus on our relationship with Jesus as well as knowing who we are, where our joy comes from, and that we are loved. All of that will get us through those times of being overwhelmed or times when we get off track.

When you get side tracked, lose site of that schedule or just get really overwhelmed with life, take a step back, take a minute and turn your eyes towards heaven and talk to Jesus. Let Him give you Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. This is how you can get back on track and set your heart on what is important. Plain and simple.

Be Blessed, Dave

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You know what’s true!

There are so many places in the bible that tell us lying is bad. A sin against God. Something that deserves punishment. Proverbs 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and one who utters lies will not escape. So why do so many people in this world think it’s ok? I will be honest I used to be one of those people. I got to the point in my life I was good at it. I will tell you though as a result it messed up relationships, it took a toll on my emotional well being and it also got me in a lot of trouble sometimes.

So once I started having a relationship with Jesus I came to grips with how wrong it was and how much damage it did to so many things in life. Colossians 3:9-10 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in knowledge according to the image of your Creator. When Jenn and I got together the kids were really young so we have been teaching them from a young age that lying was wrong and the damage it does to life and relationships. As well as once you get caught how you are looked at because people have a hard time believing what you say. Jenn was even taught from a very young age how wrong and detrimental lying was and it really stuck with her into adulthood.

I write this today because even though you teach your kids everything there is to know about how God feels about lying, how much it messes things up in life and the relationships it ruins you cannot make their choices for them. They still may choose to lie. They may say “What does it matter.” Lying does not just hurt the people you lie to it hurts you. It shows people what your true character is. It shows people what your heart is full of deceit. It shows and unloving heart. Matthew 15:18  But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a person. 

As we go through this in our lives right now we encourage you. Pray for God to change hearts. Continue to teach them Proverbs 12:19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue, only a moment. Lies never last. They will always get found out one way or another. This verse from John pertains to know Jesus but it is also relevant here. John 8:32 You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Telling the truth sets you free from the harm that lying does. In your relationships, in life and especially in your own heart. God loves you and wants your heart to be set free.

Be Blessed, Dave

Can you tell the difference?

Do we recognize interruptions for what they are. Some are distractions some are opportunities. Don’t miss out on God’s next new thing. In the story about Peter in the book of Acts let’s unpack what we are talking about.

Acts 10:10 He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing something, he fell into a trance.

Peter had to overcome the distraction of hunger during his prayer time, but he also had to recognize a God-orchestrated opportunity in the call from the street.

Acts 10:18 They called out, asking if Simon, who was also named Peter, was lodging there.

We need to know the difference in interruptions. Are they distractions or opportunities? Distractions need to be removed or overcome, but opportunities need to be pursued.

Expect the unexpected. Throughout the gospels, Peter and the other disciples repeatedly expected the usual. But they were following Jesus and should have been expecting more and anticipating unexpected things. We should always expect the unexpected. Are you expecting more?

In this world I think we let the distractions of life and situations around us stop us from realizing that distractions take us away from what God is calling us to do. It also causes us to miss the opportunities God put in front of us He wants us to act on.

Are there things in your life that if you took a really close look you would realize they distract you from God’s calling on your life? Social Media, TV, Non priorities that can be managed differently and the list can go on and on. In those distractions are you missing the opportunities that are right in front of you? Because you are overwhelmed or busy with one of those distractions do you ignore the tug on your heart to give a meal to someone you see is in need? Do you miss a conversation with someone that needs to feel God’s love through you.

Lost people – those at risk, alone, hurting and hopeless – matter to God. He cared enough to send His Son to die for all of us. He has loved us from the beginning of time. He asks us to be conveyers of His love.

Pray so God can show you the difference between the distractions and the opportunities. Then step back take a look at your life and get rid of or overcome the distractions that are taking you away from the opportunities God is placing around you to show his love to the world.

Be Blessed, Pastor Dave

Jeremiah 29:11, John 13:35

I didn’t expect that!

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous is joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

When we are kids we grow up expecting to become what we dream about. Some of us want to be police officers, nurses, astronauts, rock stars and even cashiers. We carry those dreams with us for quite awhile. As we get older life changes. We might have to sacrifice those dreams or our dreams might become different.

When we get to be adults and our minds have learned about life and what we want out of it we tend to project those expectations onto other people. When we form our beliefs and how we act we sometimes think others should act and speak like we do because that’s what we think is right. If we do that I promise you that we will be let down every time.

God created us as individuals. We all have different personalities, make different choices, speak differently and act differently. We cannot and should not project our expectations on others. That is not what God called us to do and that is love one another. When people don’t meet the expectations we put on them we get frustrated, angry and most of the time end up in an argument because they aren’t doing what we expected.

The reality is we are called to love others and that means listening to them. Looking at things from their perspective. That doesn’t mean you have to abandon your beliefs or change who you are it just means love them for the person God created them to be. One of His children.

Be Blessed, Dave

Where Do You Turn?

We are all going to have storms in our lives no matter how obedient we live. Troubles are inevitable. The important thing is how do we handle them and what do we learn from these storms. It’s easy to pretend we have it all figured out. From the outside we look like our lives are close to perfect when on the inside we may be fighting a battle so detrimental that we literally let it tear us apart.

We can try to handle the storms on our own and may be successful at doing this for days, months or even years. All the while it’s eating us alive. We try to hide behind the lie that “I can handle this on my own”, when the truth is we CANNOT handle these things on our own. God either places people in our lives to help us get through the hard times or He himself walks alongside us seeing us through.

So what if the storm you are facing not only hurts you but may also affect the people around you and your life? So you fight an internal battle each day and do your best to ignore it because if you face it, the repercussions could be detrimental.

Suppressing these internal feelings causes more damage than good. Jesus did not suffer and die on the Cross for you to live your life bound by chains. We were never meant to walk this journey on our own.

So where do you turn? Do you turn to alcohol, drugs or any other temporary fixes, or do you turn to Jesus for healing? This is what Jesus says in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.

In black and white, the Bible tells us we will have troubles in life, but Jesus tells us through Him we will have peace. Nothing in this life is too big for God! In Matthew 19:26, Jesus looked at them and said, ” With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”. This to me shows that all of our hope, all of our peace, and the solutions to the troubles we face come from staying in relationship with Jesus.

So no matter what you are facing today, remember GOD IS BIGGER THAN OUR HIGHEST HIGHS AND LOWEST LOWS!!

Be Blessed, Jenn

What’s your priority?

We spend so much time in our lives worrying about where the things we need will come from or how we will get through the problems we are going through. We rely on ourselves and the people around us to bail us out from time to time. A majority of those times we get frustrated when things go wrong. Do not get me wrong it is not bad to ask for help when needed because God puts people in our lives for that reason sometimes. The thing is what is your priority? Are you looking to God first in these times or are you continuously worrying about how these problems will get fixed? Are you leaning on people so much that they are getting tired of helping?

I have always been a person that has worried about money. I always stressed about my next paycheck and if I will be able to afford the bills that were due. Early in my marriage to Jenn I would constantly be on her about how much she was spending so we would not get into a hole. I borrowed from people. I know for most people this is an issue. It is also just one example of the things people stress, worry or get frustrated about.

That was until I realized after reading the verse above and many others that those worries started to disappear by concentrating on my relationship with God first. The hope that I needed to get through the problems I was facing in life came by God providing what I needed through that relationship. That relationship will provide our needs over and over again if we make it a priority. Sometimes it will not look like we want it to but God knows what we need better than we do for ourselves. Make your relationship with God first priority and He will be there for you time and time again.

Be Blessed, Dave

What are you thinking?

Hello everyone. I want to write about something today that has been bothering me for some time. What are husbands thinking? I tend to watch couple interactions on a regular basis because God has given me a passion for the man’s role in the relationship. This can go for married or unmarried. I constantly see men treat their girlfriends or wives like dirt by the way they talk to them, their actions towards them as well as making their priorities more important than hers.

This picture above is just a small list of how a husband should be. Even if you do not have God in your life, most of this list is still on point. If you love the woman you married, then you should be doing these things. If you do not have God in your life, that is the first thing you are doing wrong because you cannot truly love her if you don’t know love. 1 John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. So if you do not have a relationship with God let’s talk. Go to wethechurchministries.org and contact us. We would love to chat with you.

We are called as husbands to carry quite a bit in the marriage. Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Stop talking to them like they are beneath you! Stop putting them down, even if you think it’s a joke its not! So many women have self-esteem issues and a husband that degrades them makes their insecurities even worse! It tells us in the bible to encourage one another.

The verse above sets the example for who we are called to be as well. Jesus gave Himself up for the church (us) out of love. So He put our lives before His own. If that is the example then why is it so hard for husbands to comprehend? PUT YOUR WIFE BEFORE YOURSELF! Put them, their needs and their priorities before our own. If both of your cars need to be fixed, get hers done first then work on yours. If she needs money for the kids that comes before the latest video game. I am not saying neglect ourselves or our lives, but do what they need first. If you love God and love your wife, they come first! Clearly stated in the bible Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. The bible states it plain and simple.

I know some of you are going to read this and say “but you have no clue what my wife does to me, how she treats me. She never puts me first”. I will say to you the same thing I say to men I journey with through their walks as a pastor, the same thing I say to my kids time and time again when they fight and say well they blah, blah, blah… We don’t have to answer for the words, attitudes or actions of others!!! We will only have to answer for our own! So live by Jesus’ example. Love your wife before yourself. Put her needs (spiritual, emotional and physical) first!

Be Blessed, Dave

Tis The Season??

As we are only a couple days away from Christmas I thought about something I have been seeing a lot of in the world around me. At Christmas time we hope for and/or expect to get presents that we had on our list from the people that give us gifts on Christmas day. The anticipation builds day by day leading up to the time we are unwrapping those presents. What happens when we open that box and what’s inside is not what we expected or it’s not even something we had on our list at all. Right then even though we try to hide it the best we can we instantly get disappointed or even mad in our assumption that the person that gave us the present didn’t even read our list or just plain didn’t care what we wanted. Don’t get me wrong sometimes people are just horrible gifts givers (especially men). The thing is getting gift from someone should be about the thought and love behind the gift not what we expect from them.

I think we transfer this issue to our regular lives as well. When we have feelings we need to deal, express our emotions, hold someone accountable amongst other things I think we tend to expect people in our lives to react a certain way. We also do this when we go into a relationship and project our expectations of past relationships or other relationships around us on ours to be the same. Either one of these situations can be unhealthy to our lives.

We can’t expect people in our lives to live up to what we think they should live up to. All we can do is do what God has called us to do and love them (John 13:34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.). Our love for them should not be based on how they act in a given situation. They might not have it in them to do or say what we are expecting.

The only one in our lives that we can expect from is God. Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. and Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you”— declares the Lord —“ plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” God’s promises to take care of us. Sometimes that might not look how we expect it but Isaiah 55:9 “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. God knows better then we do about what we need. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.

So in this life when I comes to people in your life hope for the best out of them but don’t expect. Just love them for who they are as a person. As for those Christmas presents you will be unwrapping in two days. Love what you get because someone put thought behind getting it for you. Also remember God’s gift is the best present you could ever receive His son Jesus. That is why we truly celebrate this time of year.

Be Blessed, Dave

When do you cut ties?

I think the title is a hard question for everybody. We care so much about things in our lives and people in our lives we hesitate to eliminate those things or stop talking to people that cause us issues. I think all of us have either things in our lives that cause us to act wrong. We all probably have people in our lives that cause to do things or say things we shouldn’t. So when do you cut those things or people our of your life?

Matthew 5:29-30 If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

The above verse talks about cutting body parts off and throwing them away if they cause to sin. Because it is better to go to heaven with one less part than go to hell with your body intact. Since this is a metaphor I believe this pertains to the things in our lives and also people in our lives that cause us issues or cause us to sin. What if every time we interact with a certain person we get angry, fight, or continually get hurt? Wouldn’t this verse pertain to those kind of circumstances?

Yes the bible tells us in Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter approached him and asked, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? As many as seven times?” “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven. and I agree with that. We should try to forgive as many times as we can but isn’t there a point that we come to that says enough is enough? Being taken advantage of or hurt shouldn’t last our entire life. So I think the verse above applies to those times. We should still forgive but I don’t think when we get to those points that we need to hold onto things or people that we need to cuts ties with. We should forgive but that doesn’t mean things have to stay the same.

The verse below I believe also ties into the subject we are talking about due to the fact that Jesus is saying here that God prunes away things in our lives that do not produce fruit. So those things and or people that cause us to not produce the things God has called us to produce He trims away. So as long as we stay connected to Jesus and God helps us trim off the bad in our lives we will be able to produce what God has called us to produce. That will probably look different for different people but God intends it all for good.

John 15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.

Remember to pray in those circumstances so you don’t do something that you will regret. God will guide you in what to do when the times comes.

Be Blessed, Dave

There will be Disappointment!

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

When Jenn and I started this blog we said we would share life with you in the chance that it might help someone get through something in their life. We also said we would be honest about things so everyone who read it sees we all go though rough times and have the same kind of troubles. With that being said here is my latest.

I have lived my life since finding Jesus for other people. At times I fail at it but Jesus grabs my heart and turns me back to the right path. John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Philippians 2:3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. God called me to this way of thinking a long time ago in my calling to be a pastor but also by sacrificing for those around me. If you knew me many years ago you know I didn’t care about what others needed. I cared about my needs and what I had to do to get them. No matter if that meant taking it or hurting others in the process. So me going without or sacrificing my needs or desires for others was a stretch for me then. Well fast forward that is how I live today and everyday. That brings me to why I am writing this post.

There will be disappointment. No matter how much you give and give and give there will be people in your life that will want more from you. They do not look at the big picture they seem to always think that they still deserve more. Like you live your life to provide what they need. No matter how hard you try to teach that everything is not a necessity or that somethings should be earned they don’t want to hear it. No matter if you tell them how much you have done that they don’t realize they tell you isn’t that your responsibility or just say ok. They always have an excuse for their way of thinking and don’t want to hear a different perspective.

I am here to tell you we have a God that will never disappoint us. He doesn’t want anything from you . He just wants your love. Yes we live our lives in obedience the best we can but not out of obligation but out of love. Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. People will disappoint you but God will not. He also uses things in our lives to work together for the good if we love Him. Sometimes we might not understand why we are going through what we are going through or why God is allowing it but Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways,
and my thoughts than your thoughts. God knows what we need more than we know what we need for ourselves. Trust God and what He is doing in your life because He loves us and wants the best for us. Do not hold onto the disappointment people dish out. Know that if you are doing your best at following God’s will for your life you are doing the right thing. I pray this blesses someone today.

Be Blessed, Dave