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MORE BY MATTHEW WEST
This morning I was listening to the words in a lot of the songs we play on SOS Radio. I was hearing songs about faith, trust, love, grace and changed lives. There was just this theme of "change" in the air. I've been feeling it in my prayer life over the last few weeks, and I think change is inevitable when we are on a journey with Jesus. I'm excited to see how God challenges our country and our culture in 2014.
God is in the lifechange business. Jesus said, "If you really knew me, you would know my father as well, from now on you DO know him and have seen him. Anyone who has seen me has seen the father. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these."
We had a conversation about imaginary friends on the show yesterday. And Mike Tyson called in!
Here's a guest blog from Chef Phillip Dell:
It’s that time of year again- the time when lots of people set New Year’s Resolutions.
40 to 45% of American adult make one or more resolutions each year.
Among the top New Year’s Resolutions are resolutions about weight loss, exercise, and quitting smoking. Also popular are resolutions dealing with better money management and debt reduction.
And just how many of these resolutions are maintained as time goes on?
- past the first week: 75%
- past 2 weeks: 71%
- after one month: 64%
- after 6 months: 46%
There's a lot of Epic Bible movies releasing in 2014.
Noah - (Russel Crowe/Anthony Hopkins/Emma Watson) A 150 million dollar budget is going into this film!
The Exodus - (A movie about Moses) starring Christian Bale & Sigourney Weaver ( Ridley Scott is directing this)
God & Kings - (A movie about Moses) directed by Stephen Spielberg
Mary Mother of Christ - The movie facebook page bills the movie as "The True Prequel to the Passion of the Christ" It's from the writer of the Passion of the Christ. (Ben Kingley is in this one)
Son of God - (Mark Burnett) It's based on The Bible mini series and made into a movie. (The film will feature selections of the miniseries as well as deleted scenes not featured during the telecast.)
The tables have turned. We now live in a world where Christians (at least occasionally…be honest! ; ) look for reasons to avoid going to church. And where those who believe there is no God look for reasons to start churches.
Popping up in cites around the U.S. and U.K.: Atheist Churches. They’re structured perhaps a lot like your own church services. Singing. Teaching. Offerings.
Some people say fear is the absence of faith, but I think fear IS a form of faith. It’s faith in the "what if's" of life. It’s faith in the wrong things.
As I was reading through the Christmas story with my kids recently, I noticed each time an angel appeared to Joseph or Mary or Zachariah… the first thing the angel always said was FEAR NOT. That was a point where God always made a drastic shift in that person’s life. It was an "unexpected appointment" that catapulted that person forward in their relationship with God and their work with God.
"Dear God, No matter what happens this year, give me the heart that is willing to obey you, the attitude that is willing to thank you, and the courage to take the first step, whatever the cost may be."
It's funny how we don't think about God automatically when we face BIG problems, but we're hesitant to pray big prayers like this. It's like we know God is all powerful, don't think he will actually show up to solver OUR personal problems.
Have you ever prayed a dangerous prayer?
What was your hesitation behind it?
What was the long term outcome?
How did God work in your life and/or change you for the better?
I’ve been reading a book called BUILT from Benny Perez and it’s about beating the odds, escaping average and keeping your fire and passion for the long term so you don’t burn out.
He says, "We can spiritually drink soda and that may satisfy us for the moment, but eventually we must have the water of God’s presence. We speak from the overflow of our heart. Our purpose as leaders cannot ever truly be fulfilled apart from Jesus. As we are regularly exposed to God’s heavenly perspective, our vision stays clear."
King Solomon shared this in the book of Proverbs and I think it's a great reminder as we start a new year! I hope this encourages you to reframe the way you look at wisdom. I hope you'll ask God to pour out his wosdom in your life this year!
"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to God and he will make your paths straight.