Friday, July 06, 2012


HIGHER


Jasper Speaks:

I live in the same house with a daredevil.  He is a six-year-old ball of energy and has little fear of physical harm. We have a crude swing hanging from the tree in our back yard. It is just one seat and a chain that Kendra threw over a branch --- just sturdy enough for one little boy. When we play on the swing, Jackson is not content with a light push to keep him going. He yells for me to push with force. The neighbors hear his hearty order of, “Higher Daddy”! I pull the swing back and push with all my might and then smile as he giggles and yells in excitement.

Those moments get me thinking about my spiritual life. Sometimes I can be timid and afraid for God to swing me higher in my faith. I am content sitting quietly on an old porch swing, rocking in a slow, familiar pattern. Deep down I know God wants me to embrace a more exciting faith. He wants me to be on the rickety tree swing shouting, “Higher!” I wonder if I miss some great adventures by resting and letting my fear outweigh my faith.

Unlike Jackson, I am petrified of heights. I like my feet securely on the ground.  If I pursue that posture spiritually, I run the risk of not experiencing all God has for me. Trusting God and embracing those higher moments can be difficult to do. However, we must try. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.” Our fears keep us from trusting God to do exciting things in our lives. We let fear squash our attempts to share our faith, live on mission, go to other places to share the gospel and give sacrificially. If God does not give us a spirit of fear, it must come from the enemy.  If it comes from the enemy, we need to fight against it.

1 John 4:18a tells us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”  God is love. There is no fear in Him. It is time that we start living out a fearless faith. We need to expect God to do exciting things in our lives. We need to be ready to shed the bondage of fear, step out in faith, and do things we never dreamed we could. I pray that you will approach your spiritual life with daredevil like ambition. You will ask God to give you the faith to swing higher and go farther. If we let go of fear, the heights we can attain for God’s Kingdom are without limit.


Faith Builder

Jasper Speaks:

When I think of the times I have wronged God, it humbles me that He continues to love me. It amazes me that He wants to talk with me. Often it takes me days to talk to someone I feel has “mistreated” me. Still, God desires to hear our voice no matter wat. He longs for the communion that is found in a prayer of repentance, a word of thanksgiving or a song of praise.

Prayer is an essential part of a Christian’s life. We have the privilege of speaking with the creator of the universe. The meeting is not one with a frightening force that has no name but with someone who desires us to call him “Abba” (Daddy). He wants to be involved in our lives and He has chosen prayer to be our main line of communication with Him.

The great heroes of the Bible had a spirit of prayer. We see prayer at the center of the lives of members of the “Honor Roll of the Faithful” in Hebrews 11. Abel is listed for his good sacrifice to God. He is mentioned for an act that made Him and active participant in prayer.

Enoch “walked with God”. His prayer life became such a part of who he was that God spared him death and literally continued the conversation as he was translated to glory. Through his life we learn the importance of faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. Enoch’s faith was expanded by his prayer life. I believe that in our modern life, full of distractions, our faith can also be made stronger through conversations with the Master.

Noah, as soon as God brought him to dry land, built an altar and prayed. His devotion was so strong that in a world where everyone else was seeking sin in any way possible, he could still hear God’s voice above the tumult. Again, I think there is great wisdom for us today. Sometimes we can feel all alone in this world where people seem set on satisfying their own desires, but like Noah, we can hear God’s reassuring voice that He will help us through our greatest storms, when we quiet ourselves and pray.

Abraham and Sarah prayed continually for a child. Their prayers we answered when they were well “over the hill”. They had all but given up when God showed them he had heard their prayers.  The lesson we find here is that sometimes we give p too easily. The Bible does not say pray until you are convinced that God is not listening. IT tells us to pray without ceasing. We must wait for God’s timing to bring an answer. I am sure Sarah never expected to be changing diapers in her 90’s but she found renewed faith in seeing God answer her prayers.

The honor roll continues with names like Jepithah, Samuel, David, and the prophets who faced difficulties beyond what we can imagine. They all have become a great cloud of witnesses for us to not give up hope. Our hope will increase when we are fervently seeking time in prayer. I pray for you that you will allow your life to be changed and your faith to be increased by sharing your life completely in communication with our heavenly “Daddy” through prayer. 
Minister of Discipleship and Administration

Jasper Speaks:


It has been a crazy few weeks. It is summer in student ministry and things are in full swing. As I write this we are preparing to leave later today for our Mission Trip Retreat for our trip to Memphis in a couple of weeks. We are also preparing for our trip to Ghana. I did accept the new position of Minister of Discipleship and Administration at PBC. We are currently in the hiring process for our new Youth Pastor. If you would like information on that job just click HERE.

Right now I am spinning a lot of plates as we make this transition. Please pray for me and for our church as we continue on.