Monday, June 30, 2008

Connecting With God

God’s great blessing was upon them all.
Acts 4:33b (NLT)

Our mission at Christian Life Church is to connect people to God. Our relationship with God is the most important relationship any one of us will ever have. It is the relationship that we were created for. It is the relationship that shapes our life’s destiny. It is the relationship that will determine our eternity. Therefore, connecting with God is of the utmost importance for us all.

I recently asked our leadership teams how they connected to God. I received a wide variety of answers as they shared their favorite ways to connect with God. One of the reoccurring ways was through attending church. Whether it was the worship, the Word, the prayer around the altar, or the fellowship, each one described how important this aspect was to their Christian life.

Our verse for this Bible Blog comes at the beginning of the Book of Acts. The Day of Pentecost had come. The new Christians were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. They gathered together sharing their lives in community. The apostles were teaching boldly about Jesus. It sounds like an amazing moment in early church history. It was a time of true unity and great power. And Acts 4:33b says, “God’s great blessing was upon them all.”

I know that we all desire God’s blessing in our lives. We love to feel Him close, His presence working in and all around us. There is no doubt that God’s blessing is in our life when we gather together with other believers as the church and experience Him.

As we seek to connect with God let’s remember Hebrews 10:24-25, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…”

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What are you waiting for?

“What are you waiting for?”
Acts 22:16 (NLT)

I can’t wait for our family vacation this summer. It’s on the calendar and will be here in a couple of weeks. It’s been a very busy season in my life and the life of our church with even bigger things coming this fall season. I need this upcoming down time with my family. Like I said, I can’t wait!

Do you ever get tired of waiting? Waiting for something on the calendar? Waiting for a dream to come true? Waiting for something or someone to change? Waiting for an answer to prayer? Waiting for your miracle?

There are seasons of waiting in our lives. The big problem is that it is the seasons of waiting that the enemy uses to cause us to doubt God and His faithfulness, goodness, etc. We have to remember that every saint of the Old and New Testament went through a season of waiting where they needed to keep their faith in God strong. Even Jesus went through seasons of waiting and yet kept focused on the Father and His will.

It is difficult to wait, especially during difficult seasons of life but always remember these verses…

If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Romans 8:31 (NLT)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

For all the promises of God in Him are
Yes, and in Him Amen… 2 Cor. 1:20 (NKJV)

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

I will stick with you until every word I spoke to you comes true. Jeremiah 1:11 (MSG)

Remember, God’s Word and promises do not have expiration dates. So wait patiently and pray persistently. Don't give up!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Family Reunion

But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
Exodus 20:6 (NLT)

This coming week is the big Merrill Family Reunion. There aren’t many of us, but we sure do have a blast. I can’t wait. We haven’t seen everyone for some time now. I love getting together with our extended family. It’s exciting to see how the kids have grown, spend some quality time having fun, and hear how life has been treating everyone.

This is actually the 4th Merrill family reunion and even though we haven’t gotten together that often there are certain traditions we have begun. When we think about traditions we often think about the past. But traditions are really not about the past. Traditions are actually those special things you want to pass on from the present to the future. While all traditions are special we need to think about the spiritual traditions we pass on with our lives.

There is a strong foundation of faith in our family. My Grandpa and Grandma Merrill were godly people that passed their love for God on to their children and their children’s children. And now there is a whole new generation (their great grandchildren) growing up in the Christian faith.

What is the tradition of faith that you are passing on to your children and your children’s children? It’s never too late to start building new traditions. Begin this summer! As you share your faith with your family may God bless your family “for a thousand generations.”

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Pray for your pastor

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
1 Tim 2:1 (NLT)

Thank you to everyone who emailed me ( last week expressing a desire to be a part of a new prayer ministry at Christian Life Church. If you are interested and haven’t emailed yet, please take time this week to let me know.

A week doesn’t go by that the pastors and the staff doesn’t spend time praying for each request that comes in. You can join in prayer by visiting and clicking on the prayer requests page. We believe God hears our prayers and answers our prayers. That makes prayer powerful!

I appreciate it when people tell me they are praying for me. I admit, I need it. If you’re wondering how you can pray for the pastors and staff here are some suggestions.

  • Pray for physical, mental, and spiritual strength.
  • Pray for time to accomplish the work of ministry and time for family and fun as well.
  • Pray for our marriages and families.
  • Pray for God’s wisdom and understanding.
  • Pray for Christ to live through us – Galatians 2:20
  • Pray for time in God’s Word – Psalm 119:11
  • Pray for an intimate knowledge of God – Philippians 3:10
  • Pray for strength to stand firm – Ephesians 6:10-13
  • Pray that we would live by the Holy Spirit’s leading – Galatians 5:25
  • Pray that we would lead a life worthy of our calling – Ephesians 4:1

Thanks for your prayers and you can count on ours!