Monday, November 24, 2008

Youth Group: A 50-Cent Parable

What are you worth?

I wanted to share a parable about Jesus' sacrifice for you, what it means and how valuable it is. Presented by the CICF Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Nov. 23, 2008, during the annual Thanksgiving gathering. Cast: Michael Quintans, Daniel Custodio, Krista Flores, Myles Dacio, Jimmy Aviles and Jonathan Benjamin.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For Such a Time as This, How Do We Pray?

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. — Psalm 46:1-2

How do we pray?

With confidence and belief that He will deliver: “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of his glad welcome” (Ephesians 3:12). “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it” (Hebrews 4:16).

This is my prayer...that His Church grow strong and unified. As individuals we reflect Him in us like never before. Our opportunity to do so is now!

And on another note...

The election is over, and I'm committed to pray for the new President. I've signed up for The Presidential Prayer Team's 77 Days of Prayer for Our Next President initiative. I'd like to invite you to sign up too. You'll receive an email every morning with a concise, scripturally oriented prayer for the new President. It's a wonderful way to help our country move into the next chapter that God has for us. You can sign up here:

The Presidential Prayer Team's 77 Days of Prayer

This is a meaningful way we can help our country during these difficult days.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Shortcuts and Me

I'm a pleasure seeker. That's my disease. I'd rather seek pleasure before responsibility, before work, and before a lot of things.

Now, don't get me wrong. Having pleasure is a God-given feeling. However, for some of us, we reason that if one day at Disneyland is a blast, then why not spend a week at Disneyland? If one In-and-Out cheeseburger is good, why not have three of them? If one wife is good, why not have a dozen? (Just kidding on that last one.)

My desire for pleasure too much of the time is the first thing I thought about when I read a devotion this morning by Henry Blackaby. You will sometimes be tempted to take shortcuts to your destinations in life. The first line in this devotion made me think, "Heck, ya! A shortcut is so much better in my life then having to endure any struggle, any pain, and any responsibility."

Well, guess what I learned (again) today? I better squash that desire to do it my way and wait for God's way. Why? Because His plans are so much more important than my plans...and my pleasure.

This from Blackakby's Experiencing God Day by Day:


Then Abishai said to David, "God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!" - 1 Samuel 26:8

You will sometimes be tempted to take shortcuts to your destinations in life. David faced this temptation numerous times before he finally assumed the throne. Samuel, God’s prophet, had anointed David and prophesied that he would be the next king of Israel (1 Sam. 16:12–13). Yet, while David waited on God’s timing, he watched in frustration as a crazed King Saul brought the kingdom into jeopardy. Saul pursued David to murder him, forcing David to flee for his life.

Then an incredible opportunity presented itself to David. David found Saul in a vulnerable position, sleeping with his army. Abishai, one of David’s warriors, offered to kill Saul. It seemed to make perfect sense. Saul had tried to kill David on numerous occasions. God had said He intended for David to be the king. By taking matters into his own hands, David could bring an end to his exile and assume the throne as God’s anointed servant. Yet he refused to compromise his integrity in order to become king, even though he wanted the position and it was rightfully his. Accomplishing God’s will in any manner other than the way God prescribed was unthinkable.

At times you may face similar temptations. Well-meaning friends advise you to hasten God’s will for you rather than waiting upon Him. You may be sorely tempted to take control of your situation, assuming the end will justify the means. These are the times when you must trust God’s perfect timing. God may plan for you to attain a certain position or take a new direction, but the timing may not be right. Watch over your heart. Don’t allow others to persuade you to compromise your integrity as you follow God’s will.


"Experiencing God Day-By-Day" is based on Henry Blackaby’s multi-million selling "Experiencing God" book and Bible study. Find insight and grace in this 365-day devotional focused on the divine presence in each life and around us.