Posted by: JackRyan88 | March 21, 2014

Being Sinful

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13)

There isn’t a time in the day that I don’t go about grumbling something about someone, throwing my judgments and not using my freedom to freely love.  It is hard and painful to love people who don’t love you back freely.  The sinful nature of being human cause one to wonder what will it really be like to be free.  There just isn’t a second in the day that doesn’t go by without being sinful, the very nature of being human is the sinful being we are.

But, we are freed of sin by casting our eyes to Jesus Christ.  He bares our sin so that we are free from the bondage of sin.  And it is only through Jesus Christ can we be truly free.  Therefore, our freedom from sin is not only to be used to free ourselves, but to show love and grace to one another.  It may not come easy, but through Jesus Christ we gain our freedom.

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Posted by: JackRyan88 | March 20, 2014

Planning my life

Many years ago I worked as a Production Planner for a Medical Manufacturer and I planned the production lines.  I would calculate how many devices we would need to make on a given day to meet expectant orders.  Generally by the end of a week a shortage of devices would be made and we fell short of what was planned.  In life I fall short and expect more of myself, and even plans I want in life.  I want control over my life, like that production line.  But God has his plans for us and how we step through those plans in life.

In their heats humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps (Proverbs 16:9)

Like Job I get disgusted with life and how things are not happening according to my plans.  I get angry, I question why, and I complain to God about what went wrong.  Why do I get so disgusted?  Because I often do not know God’s thoughts and plans.

But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan that he gathered them likes sheaves to the threshing floor (Micah 4:12)

In many ways I can relate to Job.  And after many days of complaining and questioning God answered him.  And basically said to Job, who are you to complain?  Job replied to God and said;

I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’  Surely, I spoke of things I did not understand, things to wonderful for me to know. (Job 42:1-3)

Truly who are we to judge God and his plans, when God has done so many wonderful things, things I cannot even imagine.

It is my intention to do this on a daily basis (with prayer and meditation) to write my thoughts and how I am feeling.  Through this it is my intention to become closer to God, to take the time and let him breathe his plans and thoughts into me.

Posted by: JackRyan88 | March 19, 2014

Sinful Truth

There are times either in our work or in our private lives where we are asked to turn the other way to allow something dishonest to happen.  What does this say about ourselves as Christians?

This happens to us all at some point, where we are told to keep something quiet even though it potentially violates a Man’s law, and/or God’s law.  For instance, exceeding the speed limit.  Our country and states have laws about how fast we can drive.  Exceeding those limits is not only dishonoring our countries laws but also God’s laws.

We are reminded that we are to remain obedient to our governing authorities.

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work (Titus 3:1).

We can say to ourselves, I only exceeded the speed limit by 5 mph, and I didn’t hurt anyone or anything by doing that.  Sure we may not hurt anyone or anything by exceeding the speed limit, but it does not honor God.

As Christians we are to be an example to the World.  As sinners we fall short of being that example.  But recognizing our sinful nature is a step to reconciling our sins, and walking towards the light of God.

Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge (Psalm 5: 3-4)

Posted by: JackRyan88 | March 18, 2014

Honoring

Last night as I came home I received a text from my wife stating, “It’s your turn to park in the garage.”  We live in a house with a single car garage and when we moved there we agreed to share the garage during inclement weather.  Well a Winter Storm/Advisory was issued early yesterday, and my wife wanted to give me the chance to have the luxury of the garage.

But… all winter I have made it available to her.  She works the longer hours, she comes home late, and I just want to honor her in something simple.  So when I got home, I switched the cars around and put her car in the garage.  She didn’t notice for about an hour and then happen to be looking outside and noticed my car outside.

She said to me with a look of disappointment, I wanted you to park in the garage today.  You have let me park there all winter long, and I know you have an important meeting at work tomorrow so I wanted to give you this.  Why can’t you let me honor you?

That led me to think and reflect on my actions last night.  By moving around the cars was I really honoring my wife?  Sure she got the choice spot, her car didn’t have a speck of snow or ice on it.  But was it really honoring her?  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25).”

It may have been an act of love, but I didn’t honor her intention to do something for me.  Her act of love towards me was an act of submission to honor me.  “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as you do the Lord (Ephesians 5:22).”  It was a simple act, and may seem comical (a parking spot in the garage), but it is how we honor, respect and love each other, as Christ loves us.

Posted by: JackRyan88 | March 17, 2014

Learning Patience.

This morning as I commuted in to work, I thought about many different things, what thoughts are those that I should meditate on for the day?  What is that I should write about?  What worries or inadequacies am I consuming myself with?  Where does God want me to dwell in today?  Patience…

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12 NIV)

I confess that I don’t always have compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  More often I want things in my time, my way, how I see it.  And rarely do I find the patience to wait for God to move me; to be compassionate, to be kind, to have humility, to be gentle, and to be patient.  Often I hide from the opposite thoughts and/or feelings, but they are felt.  And I lay the sin of shame upon myself because of how far I am from them.

Forgive me Lord, for not always being patient, showing compassion or being kind.  I want to be closer to you, I want to be near you.  Show me patience and let me learn to be patient for your will.

2013-12-18 17.42.14 2013-12-18 20.30.21 2013-12-18 20.30.34My wife, youngest son and myself worked at the Operation Christmas Child Distribution Center in Bloomington, MN this evening for a few hours.  What a wonderful experience and privilege to serve with OCC all in the name of Jesus Christ.

I taped shoe boxes shut, my wife and youngest son checked shoe boxes for inappropriate items.  If we were so miserable from our colds, I think we would have stayed longer.   The most amazing thing is knowing where these shoe boxes are going.  We were asked to keep it a secret, so I will honor that.  But it was first presented as an undisclosed country, primary religion Muslin.  God is working in amazing ways, we just need to stop listen and open our hearts and eyes.  Estimating at over 30,000 shoes boxes will go into that country.  Over 700,000 processed in Bloomington alone and 9 million across the country.

WOW!

Posted by: JackRyan88 | December 6, 2013

True Forgiveness

True Forgiveness

Posted by: JackRyan88 | December 6, 2013

Stopping an affair before it happens…

Stopping an affair before it happens…

Posted by: JackRyan88 | November 25, 2013

Operation Christmas Child Relay Center Adventure: Day 8

The finale day…  Mixed expectations today, but after yesterday all is good.  We brought in a total of 81 shoe boxes.  I felt rushed to get the paperwork together, and balance what we had in the cartons to what we had on paper.  Took some work, and we got it all together.

Having done this now once, I know what next year will be like.  Will make some changes, but once you experience it once, you adapt and are equipped for what is to come.

Total for the Relay Center was 694, It was down about 40 shoe boxes from last year.  Although we did not have one area church drop off at the Relay Center.  We believe they went to another Relay Center this year.2013-11-25 15.58.39

Posted by: JackRyan88 | November 24, 2013

Operation Christmas Child Relay Center Adventure: Day 7

2013-11-23 23.50.04 2013-11-23 23.49.13 2013-11-23 23.34.58 2013-11-23 23.35.46 2013-11-23 23.48.32WOW!!!  What can I say…  I am left speechless.   Today at Faith Community we brought in and prayed for the shoe boxes from the church as a whole.  We had the children bring the shoe boxes into the worship center and stack them in front on the stage.  Some of them carrying multiple shoe boxes or going back to get more and bring them forward.  I was blown away!  I was near tears of joy to see what just happened.  I led the church in prayer and saw God’s love envelope those shoe boxes.  All I can say is I was blown away.

In between services I was a bit worried we would not have enough shoe boxes for each child to bring in.  In fact I brought twenty out and placed them on the table, just so every child would have an opportunity to bring a shoe box forward.  Again, I should have trusted in God and let him do his work.  Because 5 minutes before service started, a flood of shoe boxes flowed in.  Again, I was speechless, again I was blown away.  Again I was near tears.

We surpassed last years amount by almost 100 shoe boxes, over 354 shoe boxes just from Faith Community.  Just amazed of what we can do as a community and the work, love and grace of Jesus Christ.  He is working and moving things in so many ways.  We just have to stop and look.

Total for the relay center that day was 420 shoe boxes.  There was an overflowing amount of volunteers helping to count shoe boxes, and put them into cartons.  Kids helped to move the shoe boxes from the Worship Center to the Relay Center.  It was fun to see them work and work with smiles.

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