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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Devotionals / Walking in the Light Welcome Guest

          Random thoughts from someone trying to walk in His light

    Wed, Jun 28th - 6:28PM


    Hey, I couldn't decide between these two songs. The first one connects with me because I had a birthday this week, and I'm still hanging out with teens. The second is much more serious.

    FIVE IRON FRENZY » At Least I'm Not Like All Those Other Old Guys
    i'm twenty-nine years old, still wearing the wallet chain, like i was twenty-eight.
    i'm wearing my vans right now, 
    so high school kids will think that i can skate.
    i've got a degree in science, yet shaking my fists in defiance.
    anyway, i'm not cliche, i hardly own any ties.
    i may be old, but at least i'm not like all those other old guys.
    i'm watching mtv, for fashion tips, so i can say, that i saw it first.
    backwards hat, tattoos, and goatee say i'm cool, just like fred durst.
    i pay almost all my bills, i sleep on a futon still.
    anyway, i'm not cliche, i might not even die.
    i may be old, but at least i'm not like all those other old guys.

    BIG DADDY WEAVE » Everything You Are

    You are Holy
    God of the Heavens
    Lord of Creation
    You have power
    The universe displays
    All things fade away
    But You remain
    And Your mercies stretch across my life
    As far as I can see
    And I know from experience that You are good indeed
    I stand here in amazement of Your awesome majesty
    For words cannot describe, oh God
    Everything You are to me
    To me God, You are
    You are Father
    You called me Your very own
    My redeemer
    You left heaven's throne
    My ransom
    With blood for me you paid
    So, one day unashamed
    I'll see Your face
    And Your mercies stretch across my life
    As far as I can see
    And I know from experience that You are good indeed
    I stand here in amazement of Your awesome majesty
    For words cannot describe, oh God
    Everything You are to me
    Indescribably good
    Lord that's what You are to me
    You are making me into
    Just what You want me to be
    You are Jesus
    And I love You
    Your mercies stretch across my life as far as I can see
    And I know from experience that You are good indeed
    I stand here in amazement of Your awesome majesty
    For words cannot describe, oh God
    Everything You are
    I stand here in amazement of Your awesome majesty
    For words cannot describe, oh God
    Everything You are to me

    Comment (3)

    Mon, Jun 26th - 9:49AM


    There were some great messages on envy yesterday at our church. We are working through 1Corinthians 13 in church and sunday school. Envy is what lead the Pharisees to want to kill Jesus.

    John 11:47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. "What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. 48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

    The teen resonated with envy immediately about envying someone's good looks or popularity. It really turns out to be about not being satisfied with what God has given us, or how he has made us.

    You are eactly the way God intended to make you.

    Comment (4)

    Sun, Jun 25th - 12:49AM


    This weekend was just what the Savior ordered. We actually went to Pacific Grove. it is an old Methodist town next to Monterey. It is quiet and beautiful. And cool. It was 106 at home and we were wrapped in blankets at the beach in the evening. The views were great, with the wildlowers in bloom on the cliffs over the ocean. I could figure out how to post a picture for you, but I doubt it.

    Three days away from ecerthing with Taryn. Also, camp is over and we are no longer short handed at work. Life is good.

    I'll get back to work soon, with a real post.

    Thanks and God bless.

    Comment (2)

    Thu, Jun 22nd - 11:16AM


    We decided to spend some money that we don't have and actually take a few days of vacation. We are off to beautiful Monterey Ca. for three days of beachcombing. God put that amazing scenery there for a reason.

    See you soon.

    Comment (4)

    Wed, Jun 21st - 1:36PM


    I bet you are all tired of camp stuff. Us too. We did an amazingly smart thing and took the next week (this week) off. We have been catching up, working on wedding inviations, and working on Al Wisehart's place.

    Al Wisehart is my hero. He is 90 this year. For decades he has been the head elder of our church. He tells stories of the decisions that were made when our church was founded. He has been a leader here from the start and until a couple of years ago, he still was. He has been repected here for all of those years and could have at any point "cashed in" that respect to get his way in some issue. He never did. He could have called for an older pastor, slower music, more control, padded seats, anything. And we would have given it to him.

    He is a country guy. Not a cowboy, just country. He often wears a cowboy type hat, but not a fancy Stetson. Just a straw hat worn to keep the sun off, not impress anyone. His hands are rough and knarled from hand tools and bailing wire. One of my first "ministries" was to replace him as a sunday school teacher. Although he knows scripture, his gift isn't teaching. He just did it for 50 years or so, until someone came along who could do it. He is incredibly humble. He was genuinely surprised when I told him that we often held him up as an example to the teens. He got tears in his eyes. Last year our outgoing pastor gave him a gift and I was blessed to be able to lead the standing ovation for him. Our teens gave the loudest applause and it is to our adults shame that they weren't as loud, or long, as they could have been.

    Humble yes. But not exclusively. I asked him last year about how to deal with one of our problem people. He said to talk to them. Explain things to them. He said that years ago they were having trouble with a youth pastor. Al took him for a long walk and explained some things to him. "He wasn't  much of a problem after that"
    I told him a few years ago that it looked like someone else was going to be voted in as chairman of the board. Someone very popular and not very qualified (as he clearly proved later). He said with a grin, "Do you think so?" He met with the pastor. A week later I was made chairman, without a vote.

    He stepped down a few years ago. That in itself is very impressive. Imagine turning over your life's work to some young(ish) punk that hasn't been through a tenth of what you have. He has had to move to a retirement home now, where someone else is hired to do the gardening. His wonderful wife doesn't remember much anymore. He can barely walk his property. He is now to the point where he needs to be ministered to, by the people he has ministered to for years. It seems harsh of God to have left a faithful servant like that. But its really a perfect fit for us, if we would only respond. We we help him now, we get to pay him back. As crazy as it sounds, I have encouraged and counseled him. It grew me up very fast.

    I see Al's story as the best agrument for organized church. Wher would we have know him if we didn't assembled together? Where would a simple, humble, amazing man have had a chance to lead? Where would there have been people to minister to him in his last years. We are lights, reflections of God's love. Al's ministry has been a place to come see the beautiful light.

    Comment (7)

    Sat, Jun 17th - 12:02AM


    We're back from camp. It went well. No big decisions, but a lot of relationship building.

    I'm exhausted, but can I plant a question?

    I want to explore this for a couple of reasons: What do you say to someone who says thay they used to love God but then someone they loved died. Now they don't believe. Try to make this hurting persons feelings a priority. Something like," It was God's will, get over it." would be a little harsh. 

    Comment (7)

    Sat, Jun 10th - 10:29PM


    I am almost ready for camp next week. But I have a college lesson to teach  first. So I went over more from Ezekiel. Such a great book! Try it sometime, slowly.

    Ezekiel 33:30 "As for you, son of man, your countrymen are talking together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, saying to each other, 'Come and hear the message that has come from the LORD.' 31 My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. 32 Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice.

    Israel was entertained by God's Word. I can see them now. Hearing Ezekiel and his creative and firey messages and saying, "Wow he's great! Do you know who needs to hear this? Can I get a copy of that message for my sister?"
    Be very careful not to be entertained by God's Word. If a holy God speaks, it is not too likely that we should be comfortable hearing it. Oh sure if He's talking about Heaven or loving us, we should feel good. But if its a challenge or warning we need to search our hearts.Not being holy ourelves, its very likely that we have some sin in whatever area He is addressing. And then we need to act on His Word.

    Comment (1)

    Sat, Jun 10th - 9:36AM


    The devotions are done! Thanks for your help and comments.

    Now, I want to write a few discussion starters - get to know you questions. This is for the first night, in their cabins. These are teens from 12-18. there are many different levels of depth in their spiritual livesI want some spiritual and some that are just fun.

    Here's a couple of examples:

    Why have you come to camp?
    What do you want to happen here?
    What are your favorite song lyrics?
    What is your favorite movie line?

      * * * * *   Stars to everyone with helpful suggestions!

    Comment (2)

    Fri, Jun 9th - 12:32AM

    OK, last one


    1 John 4:7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

    1. Are you easy to love?

         A. Yes always, like a furry kitten
         B. Sometimes, like a snowy day
         C. Eventually, like a Red Bull
         D. No, like a Gila Monster

    2. What per cent of people do you show love to?

    0 % _________________________________________ 100%

    3. What per cent of Christians do you show love to?

    0% _________________________________________ 100%

    4. What kind of love comes only from God?

    1. Romantic
    2. Friendship
    3. Sacrificial
    4. Sexual

    5. How does knowing God help you to love others?

    1. I know God loves us all
    2. He makes them all lovable for me
    3. I know God told us to love others
    4. I know that they all love me

    6. How did God best show that He loves us?

    1. He died for us
    2. He made creation for us
    3. He plans to be with us forever
    4. He answers our prayers daily

    7. Why is God’s love for us so amazing?

    1. He gives us stuff
    2. He forgives us every time
    3. He loved us even when we didn’t know Him
    4. He is always there for us

    8. It is hardest to love others when:

    1. they don’t love you back
    2. they ignore you
    3. they are ugly
    4. it costs you everything

    9. How do we love like God loves us?

    A. Tell them what to do.
    B. Give people things.
    C. Be forgiving.
    D. Put others first.

    10. If "No one has ever seen God", how can they love him?

    1. They can read about Him.
    2. They already know from birth.
    3. They can follow their hearts.
    4. They can see Him in us.

    Suggested prayer:

    What are some things that I can do to show your love to others?

    Who should I start with?

    Thank you for loving me so much.


    Three miserable men sat at the table, drinking coffee out of styrofoam cups while people cleaned up around them. They were dressed in suits and all had their ties loosened and collar buttons undone. A sign over the stage behind them said "Agape Award"
    The tallest man, in the most expensive suit said, "How could they give the award to that man? I gave more money than that man has made in his life. I started the love scholarship program. $5,000 for the best essay on "How Love Can Save America" every year. I raised the money for the St Valentines statue for the park." He ran his hand through what was left of his hair. " I paid for the Agape House, for goodness sake. That loser Al West works there. As a janitor. For free."
    "The award is for the man who shows love, not the man with the most money," said a short, round man impatiently. "I managed the Agape House for years. I wrote the proposal that started the thing. I have spent hours in meetings and banquets. I got the grant that pays the bills every year. There is more to Agape than money, Spencer. It’s about the time involved. I should have won that award." He drained the last of his coffee.
    "Someone told me that Al was a good counselor," he said. "So I went get his advice"
    "You did?" asked the third man. "About what?"
    "Oh, nothing. I just made something up. Just to see what he’d say. Anyway, I told him that I had some problem. I must have talked for two hours and he just sat there listening and scratching his beard. He never told me what to do or how to fix things or anything. He’s no genius."
    "I think it’s his big red beard. With that thing on his face, he is very memorable. He looks so old fashioned. He’s like Santa Claus or something," said the first man.
    All around them people were working. A team of teens were folding up the chairs and putting them on a large rack. Some women were taking down the decorations. Another team was clearing and wiping down all the tables and some men were following behind them, folding up the tables.
    The third man shook his head. He was still perfectly dressed. His pure white hair was intact. "All three of us spoke at the LoveFest. I preached a whole series on love this spring. We have all spoken before the city council about new laws. But not him. We have all been in the front of every important church activity scheduled. He’s always there somewhere. In the back. Talking to people or setting tables or something. But I have never heard him make any important speech about anything."
    "I just don’t see how he won," said the first man. All three men muttered in agreement. A friendly looking man in a large red beard reached between them to clear the tables.

    Why did the people vote Al West the Agape Award for Showing Love?

    What does that tell us about the best way to show God’s love?

    Comment (6)

    Wed, Jun 7th - 12:02AM


    1 Corinthians 9:19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.  24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

    1. How does Paul "make himself a slave" to everyone?
    A. Does yard work for them
    B. Prays for them
    C. Spends time with them
    D. Pretends to agree with them

    2. What would you do to "become weak to win the weak"?
    A. Hang out a the wimps table
    B. Not do anything that might confuse them
    C. Not talk about any deep ideas
    D. Sin a little so not to look too holy

    3. What would Paul have had to become to reach you?
    A. An intellectual with all the answers
    B. Someone fun to be around
    C. Someone who really cared about you
    D. Someone in the right place at the right time

    4. What would you have to give up to follow Paul’s example?
    A. What would you do to train?
    B. Pray
    C. Study the Bible
    D. Make money
    E. Go to church

    5. Where are you in your spiritual "training"?
    A. Just getting started
    B. Worn out
    C. Getting my second wind
    D. Sprinting for home

    6. What things would be like "beating my body"?
    A. Eating healthy
    B. Resisting temptation
    C. Reading the Bible
    D. Prayer
    E. Exercise

    7. What holds you back in your training?
    A. Fear
    B. Shyness
    C. Uncertainty
    D. Laziness
    E. Not interested

    8. What things would be like "beating the air"?
    A. Video games
    B. Time with friends
    C. Watching movies
    D. Listening to music
    E. Sports

    9. What does Paul mean by "I make my body a slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize" (vs.27)?
    A. If I sin I won’t go to Heaven
    B. If I sin no one will listen
    C. If I sin they won’t pay me
    D. If I sin I can’t be an apostle

    Suggested Prayer:
    Ask God what things you could do to show His love.
    Ask God how you could "train".
    Ask God for help to put others first.


    Eric heard the news on the radio as he was driving to work. The currents had changed and the undertow was going to be much stronger than normal. Not the kind of news a lifeguard wants to hear. He wasn’t a real big guy and hauling all those bodies up the beach got tiring by the end of the day.
    It was going to be hot and it was Memorial Day weekend. The beaches would be crowded. Most of the people wouldn’t know a thing about the undertow, even though warnings were posted all along the beach.
    When he got out to his tower there was a TV news crew waiting for him. Pretty Nancy Somebody wanted to follow him for the day and record some action. She had two cameramen with her. And Seadoos He told her no, but his boss had already said yes. Good press would be good for the budget next year.
    The first rescue came early. A man, way too old to learn surfing, lost his board too far out. Eric got out quickly. The man was exhausted, could barely move his arms. Eric quickly locked his arm over him and powered through the current back to shore.
    The second rescue wasn’t even in the undertow. He just thought he was. He panicked, thinking he was in trouble, and was kicking and flailing madly. When he reached him, Eric yelled to the man and pushed his float towards him. When the man reached for it Eric moved in quickly, so he didn’t get hit or kicked. The man was still trashing about. Eric slid the float under him and backed off, holding the rope that was attached. He towed the man in, letting him kick all he wanted to shore.
    Next a young girl cramped up trying to fight the undertow. Eric swam out and spoke to her calmly. He used his best lifeguard voice, speaking firm but kind to her. She was afraid but calmed down when he spoke. She even did the stretch his suggested for the cramp while he supported her. Slowly they swam together back into shore. Once on the beach, she gave him a hug; making a great shot for the camera crew.
    Finally the sun was setting into the smoggy horizon. Many people had already left. Most of them were bright red despite his frequent warnings. It had turned out to be an easier day than he thought.
    He heard one last cry and was instantly in the water. A woman had gotten confused and turned around. She was very scared and talking to herself. Eric was almost touching her before she heard him. She was tired and giving up and was very low in the water. They were far from the beach.
    "Listen," he said. "We are a long way out here and we’re both really tired. I’m pretty new at this and I don’t think that I can haul you all the way in." He paused and waited for he mothering instincts to kick in. "If we put this float under you do you think you can do most of the work? I think I might make it back in if you can." The woman started her determined swim home, glancing over at him sometimes to se if he was OK. Eric stayed very close in case she did start to struggle. She made it back without any more trouble.
    When the news aired that night, the cameras showed two of the swimmers saying, "It was a good thing that Eric was the one who came. Someone different might not have been able to help me."

    How was Eric different in each rescue?
    Why would he act so differently?

    Comment (7)

    Tue, Jun 6th - 9:48AM



        There comes a time when patience is the wrong thing to give. As long as being forgiving and patient gives a people another chance its good. But when the people get to a point where they can say "I can keep doing this, nothing will happen" then it would be wrong to be patient and forgiving.

    Ezekiel 5:14 "I will make you a ruin and a reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by. 15 You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke. I the LORD have spoken. 16 When I shoot at you with my deadly and destructive arrows of famine, I will shoot to destroy you. I will bring more and more famine upon you and cut off your supply of food. 17 I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will leave you childless. Plague and bloodshed will sweep through you, and I will bring the sword against you. I the LORD have spoken."

       What does this passage tell us about God?

        It says he hates sin, especially idols (which is putting something else above God). It says that, although He is patient (for hundreds of years to Isreal) there will come a time when love disiplines. It says that you can't go on ignoring Him, thinking He'll forgive.

        What have you been saying that about?

    Comment (2)

    Sat, Jun 3rd - 10:35PM


    We talked to the youth about love last night. Readers here are getting things in jumbled order. I posted Devotion 1 a few days ago, about being adopted into God's family. I hope to be ready to post Devotion 2 tomorrow, about self denial from 1Corinthians 9. The third devotion will be about loving others.
    here's the plan in order.

    Last week's lesson  We were designed for God's love
    Next week's lesson: Prayer about camp and a challenge to expect to meet God there

    At camp
    Devo 1: You are part of God's family
    Sermon on discipling
    Devo 2: Self sacrifice to reach others
    Sermon on discipling others
    Devo 3: Loving others
    Sermon on unity

    The purpose is to help kids come away loving God, trying to grow closer to Him, and trying to help others towards Him.

    Comment (4)

    Fri, Jun 2nd - 1:06AM


    This is a rough draft of our first camp devotions. I would like to polish it more but I look very busy for a while and would like some feedback. Any comments?

    Ephesians 1:3-10 (New International Version)

     3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

    EPH. 1:3-10

    Which of these things belong in the "heavenly realms"?
    New cars

    What words are used to describe God’s feelings in this process?
    A.without thinking
    B.in his pleasure
    C with wisdom
    D. in his will
    E. recklessly
    F. in love
    G. against his will
    H. freely given
    I. in anger
    J. reluctantly
    K.with understanding

    What will we look like to God when His plan is complete?

    What is the best thing about being adopted by God?
    A.Going to Heaven
    B. Having a great family
    C. Peace
    D. Being able to talk to God
    E. Being forgiven

    At what point in history were we included in His plan?
    A. At our birth
    B. Before creation
    C. When I accepted Christ
    D. When I turned 12
    E. Not yet

    How do we know that this adoption is real?
    A. There are papers on file at the courthouse
    B. God promised
    C. It feels right
    D. We don’t
    E. Pastor Matt said so

    Redeemed means "a price paid for a slave" What things were we freed from?
    A. Guilt
    B. Consequences
    C. Hell
    D. Parents
    E. Temptation

    What did we do to be included in God’s plan?

    If you know you are adopted by the King, how should that affect how you respond to other people?

    If you know that you are part of a plan, how should that affect how you respond to trials in life?

    You were designed by God, for God’s plan, from the start. What does that tell you about you?

    How would someone convince you that they loved you?

       Sean and Karl were hiding behind a large wooden crate, which covered a hole in a wall. They had been running for the past twenty minutes, but everywhere they turned seemed to be more of the kings men. This was their best hiding place. Two soldiers were nearby, at the entrance to the alley.
       They called out to a passing soldier and started moving everything in front of them. Sean nodded at and grabbed the crate. Together they lifted it and threw it at the soldiers. They bolted for the street before the crate made impact. They rushed past the two soldiers, and were both grabbed by the two men behind them. They were quickly tied and thrown in the back of a wagon.
       The next thing that they knew they were at the palace, forced to kneel before the King. The palace was amazing. The King was in fancy robes, on his throne. The room was large and sealed in rich dark wood. Huge logs burned in the giant fireplace. It was the first time that they had felt warmth since September.
        "You are the two thieves that have been so much trouble?" the King asked. He didn’t seem too impressed. "You are the ones who stole the money from the treasury?" He asked, as thought he already knew the answer.
        Sean and Karl didn’t dare answer. Sean nodded his head without looking up.
        "Do you still have the money?" the King asked.
        "No sir," they answered.
        "Then how will you pay the people back?"
        "We could work, sir. Make payments," Karl said.
        The King’s laughter filled the room. The soldiers and servants joined in as soon as they were sure that it was permitted.
        There was a very long silent pause. Finally the King spoke. "You have the great luck of being here today. Today, I am going to pardon you." For the first time Sean and Karl looked at the King. "I will pay the people back myself. You, Karl, are free to go."
       Karl froze where he was. Finally, when nothing more was said, he stood and walked slowly towards the massive double doors. When he passed the last guard he ran.
        "Sean, you will stay here. You never knew this, but I met you as a young boy and saw that you would be a fine man. I have been watching you grow ever since. I saw you become a criminal, but I still love you.
      "You will live here, in the palace, as my son. Anything that you need here is yours. You have a room here and a place and I have written you into my will. Welcome my son."

    How does this story realte to the passage above?
    How will this affect Karl’s life?
    How will it affect Sean’s?

    Comment (3)

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    About Me

    Name: Jon Johnson
    ChristiansUnite ID: parakleter
    Member Since: 2005-07-27
    Location: , California, United States
    Denomination: Christian
    About Me: God seems to always be taking me someplace new. I want to praise and whine about that and share what I have learned along the way.

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