Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Love for God

Earlier this year, Isaac shared some of his thoughts on God with me. I would love to share one of these with you, it has really revealed a love that he has and a battle we all fight.
"Dad, I want to be good, but why is it so hard sometimes?"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Coffee and Christians

What a great time today to spend drinking coffee (ok, I had a Green Tea Frappuccino) and visiting about our walk with God.  I love these guys; they love the Lord and each other. They give me strength and encouragement to remain faithful. It is a great blessing to see teens from four different congregations get together to fellowship - better than that, we are FAMILY!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

This picture is of my cousin Ryan, but its message to me is powerful.  I have been perplexed at how God can find me worthy to be His instrument; it is this thought that has stopped me in my tracks many times, but I have come to realize recently that God has forgiven me anything that may make me unworthy, and has given me Christ - everything that makes me worthy to be his instrument. I now can step out boldly and know that God is with me and CAN use me as his instrument. THANK YOU GOD! I will now show my thanks by the life I live!
Men of God
Matt Phillips (my best friend) and my cousin (Ryan Lovelace) ventured out to the mountains this weekend to encourage one another to be strong in the Lord. Matt and I call each other by other names; Matt is David and I am Jonathan.  We have such a strong brotherhood relationship that we chose to use these names; it is the strength of love that David and Jonathan had as close friends that we share. This weekend provided the opportunity to welcome Ryan to join us in our walk with God. We discussed what it is to be a man of God while hiking, fishing, cliff diving, and just drinking coffee by the fire. We wrote each other letters of encouragement and read them aloud around the campfire. What an awesome weekend to experience God. It was majestic to experience the stars at night without city light interference. Thank you David and Ryan-My brothers in arms- for this adventure/experience.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Half Dome
On June 6th, there will be many of us that will endeavor to hike the 16 mile round trip journey to the top of Half Dome (Yosemite Valley) and back.  It will be tough, it will challenge the weak, and it WILL humble us all.  At the top, we will experience the realization that we are not as big as we think. We will come before God and his creation, and we will be enlightened to this fact; we are nothing in comparison.  I pray that we will come back with complete reverence for our God, the creator of the world. And I pray that we will entrust our souls, our work, and our lives to Him.
Matthew 4:19
"Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

I love to fly fish. To carefully choose the fly that will attract a beautiful Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout).  To tie the fly securely in place, preparing for the catch. The trout bites, the fisherman snaps, holding the line tight, hauling in the yield. With fly fishing you feel every bit of the struggle.  I pray that God will use the church, carefully placing each member (fly) securely where he/she needs to be, in order to haul in the yield.  The struggle will be felt, for the world is tough to let go for some.  Follow Him, for he will make you fishers of men.

We are afraid of persecution, rejection, and failure.
-What is persecution, but evidence of not living according to the persecutor.
-What is rejection, but evidence of insecurity within the rejector.
-What is failure, but evidence of success in trying.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I should have made mention of this blog's purpose from the beginning.
I had very little desire to begin a blog or to even write. I don't know if I have anything that is new to write or worthy to be read.  

This blog is practice for me to grow and learn in writing.  I hope to better my grammar and confidence in writing through the use of this blog. 

IF there is ever anyone encouraged by the words I write then praise God, but know that I have so many people in my life that have taught and continue to teach me so much concerning our faith and life. 


This is just a short comment that grew out of our study on Sunday Nights from looking at the men and women of faith in Hebrews 11.  One aspect of this study is to elucidate who God is as seen by these "witnesses." 
Last Sunday night we have noticed ways in which Noah's actions were affected by his faith in God.
I could not help to be reminded of the various properties of water as I thought of the flood incident. 

Is the only substance on earth that exists in all three phases: solid, liquid, and gaseous.

has a large range of temperature (0-100 C) making it available anywhere on earth.

possesses an incredible property that is shared by very few other substances; it is less dense in its solid state than it is in its liquid, allowing ice to float.  Otherwise, the oceans, lakes, and ponds would freeze from the bottom up and destroy all aquatic life. I could go into the way the molecular structure allows for this to happen, but I am sure many of you would be bored or could care less.

has an incredible high heat capacity that is second to mercury.  This is best for buffering the earth's climate from high temperature fluctuations.

It is essential to the life of all living organisms.
Maybe this is why Jesus is referred to as the living water!

It is exciting to see the design of our Creator and GOD in this universe.  The details of the water molecule help us to see God as our Creator!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

This was a portion of a speech given by Roosevelt in 1910 at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. He was speaking about citizenship in a republic, but I can’t help to apply this to our lives as citizens of another kingdom.   

In 2 Corinthians 5:11-21, Paul is encouraging (vs. 6) the church to see ourselves as a "new creation."  Paul not only impresses upon us our identity as a new creation, but he gives us a purpose. That purpose is the "ministry of reconciliation", our purpose is to invite the world to come to know God.  We are ambassadors; we are God's voice to the lost, and we are the "righteousness of God in Him." We are to not critique those “in the arena,” but to get dirty and sweaty, to “strive valiantly” even if it appears that our work is in vain.

God, the Creator of the Universe, gave us this ministry. It is in verse 18 that I was encouraged by this message-"Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation….” What an awesome gift, a purpose, that we are looked at by God, not as we look at each other by the flesh, but as His new creation (vs. 16) who have been charged with the “valiant work” of fulfilling His will, in this desperate and lost world. 

We now look at each other as citizens of the kingdom of God. We do not look at each other according to the flesh; that is we do not care about educational, financial, or familial standings. We look at each other as brothers and sisters of our Father; we look at each other as the righteousness of God.  WOW. How much will that changed perspective affect the body?  How many sins are covered up in love (1 Peter 4:8)?  

If we saw our work as God’s work, if we “strived to do great deeds” for God, rather than for ourselves; if we spent our lives in “great devotion” to each other’s good. What might be accomplished? 

We not only look at one another differently; we look at the world through the eyes of God - LOST!  And we ache and run "daring greatly" to reconcile them to the Lord! 

In Christian Love   Mike Soto