Thursday, December 20, 2007

Build UP: Live Today

Live Today “Through Him”

Philippians 4:11-13
…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

It is customary at the close of the year to look back and remember the events that made up the concluding year. We can sometimes see from this vantage point how God has moved in our life in the previous 12 months. However, our look backwards should be more of a glance than a full-on stare. If we concentrate on the past, then we will miss what is happening today.

It is also common practice at the start of a new year to look ahead with expectation. We stand on the brink of the coming year and, with hope in the Lord, dream of the wonderful blessings that may come. However, our look ahead should be more of a glance than a full-on stare. If we concentrate on the future, then we will miss what is happening today.

So here we are at the crossroads of two years. We glance over our shoulder and praise God for His past work in our life. We glance forward and praise God for the hope we have in Him for the future. However, now it is time to get busy in living today. Take each and every moment of the present day to seek the Lord. Grow each day in relationship with Jesus. In this way we move through each day with praise on our lips for the past, hope in our hearts for the future, and the joy of living today in relationship with Jesus the Christ.

May 2008 be a year of growing in the Lord and finding His peace and contentment in all circumstances.

To God be the glory!

PP. (post post) I am going to be out of blogging range for a week or so.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Build UP: What We Deserve

What We Deserve

Romans 3:23-25
...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.

Most advertising these days promotes the message: "Buy this product because you deserve it!" The world shouts that life ought to be like the glamor portrayed in advertising, because "we deserve it". Do we? Do we deserve luxury and opulence?

Genesis 3:17-19
To Adam [God] said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
"Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat of it
all the days of your life.
It will produce thorns and thistles for you,

and you will eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your brow

you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return."

That's what we deserve, and it doesn't sound very luxurious! Our sin separates us from God and that is a bad place to be. What we deserve is hell! But that's not what God gives us. Instead, God gave us His Son to save us! He gave us His precious Jesus to die for our sins! God gave us what we don't deserve.

Praise God!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Build UP: Peace


John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Jesus gives us peace. When we know Him, we can find peace no matter what the world hands us. And peace is an awesome thing to have when the world we live in provides us a daily dose of chaos, disappointment, attacks, and frustrations.

Yet that same world tells us to seek our comfort in a new car, retirement, a new wardrobe, a cruise, or a new love interest. We're led to believe that when we attain them we will be happy, peaceful, and content.

The truth is, I haven't found anyone yet that found any lasting peace in any of these lures. Granted, they have some fun and enjoy the moment, but morning comes and the peace is gone. The sad truth is most people pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and take off after the next thing that they're told will make them happy.

There is only one source of lasting peace and that is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. His peace lasts forever! His peace is available no matter what the world throws at us, and believe me the world hurls at us constantly. I can't remember where I first heard this, but I'm passing it on anyway because I think it presents tremendous wisdom:

Frustration is losing sight of God.

The parallel positive statement could be: Find God and find peace.

Find God.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Build Up: Faith and Success

Faith and Success

1Corinthians 10:31
...whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Ask 10 people to define success and you will get 10 different responses. People say success is wealth, impact, reputation, comfort, luxury, the latest "toys", or leisure. In church work we tend to measure success by the numbers. You know, the bigger the church the bigger the success. Frankly, I'm starting to fall off of the numbers band wagon. I love this piece from Oswald Chambers:

It’s one thing to go through a crisis grandly, yet quite another to go through every day glorifying God when there is no witness, no limelight, and no one paying even the remotest attention to us. If we are not looking for halos, we at least want something that will make people say, "What a wonderful man of prayer he is!" or, "What a great woman of devotion she is!" If you are properly devoted to the Lord Jesus, you have reached the lofty height where no one would ever notice you personally. All that is noticed is the power of God coming through you all the time.

We want to be able to say, "Oh, I have had a wonderful call from God!" But to do even the most humbling tasks to the glory of God takes the Almighty God Incarnate working in us. To be utterly unnoticeable requires God’s Spirit in us making us absolutely humanly His. The true test of a saint’s life is not successfulness but faithfulness on the human level of life. We tend to set up success in Christian work as our purpose, but our purpose should be to display the glory of God in human life, to live a life "hidden with Christ in God" in our everyday human conditions (Colossians 3:3). Our human relationships are the very conditions in which the ideal life of God should be exhibited.

Read the entire devotion by Oswald Chambers "Still Human"

Display the glory of God, be faithful.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Daily Build Up: More on Success

For those of you who subscribe to this blog you may miss out on comments that other readers post on this site. My friend Pheaney (pronounced Fee-nee) sent these thoughts that I'd like to pass on to you:

Pheaney has left a new comment on your post "Acorn Build Up: Success": For some more thoughts on Biblical success, I would recommend "Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome" by Kent Hughes.

Thanks, Pheaney for chiming in! This is the second time in as many weeks that someone has suggested this book. It must be time for me to pick up a copy.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Success


Philippians 3:8-9
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

So what is success? This becomes an important question when we begin to realize the impact it has on the way we live life. We invest our life in the pursuit of success. The end (the way we define success) establishes the means (the way we live our life).

Paul chose to consider a relationship with Jesus Christ as the only success. He considered EVERYTHING else "rubbish". Paul lived his life in a solitary attempt to know Christ.

If our definition of success is financial stability, personal health, physical safety, professional renown, fame, or social popularity, then we will live our life accordingly. I'm not trying to suggest that we should quit our jobs and throw away social responsibility. However, the way that we choose to define a successful life has a tremendous impact on the way we live our life.

Choose well.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Joy


1Thessalonians 5:16
Be joyful always...

I thought I might spread some joy by relating to you a new job interview technique with which I'm experimenting. This is a true story that happened on November 16, 2007.

I was well into the interview when the interviewer accepted a phone call. Sitting across the desk from the interviewer I decided that this was a perfect opportunity to grab another breath mint. In order to access my front pocket I leaned back on the two back legs of the chair in which I was sitting. I couldn't quite reach the mints, so I leaned back a little farther. Just as I reached the point where I could access the mints I simultaneously reached a point in my lean where I was balanced, not falling forward or backward. I balanced there for what seemed like hours not knowing if I would return to my normal upright position or fall over backwards. Unfortunately, the latter transpired!

I fell straight back with my feet up in the air! The interviewer looked up from her phone call and all she could see was the souls of my feet. She shrieked, thinking I needed medical attention and her shriek caused me to think that she may need medical help, too! So I unceremoniously rolled from my flat on my back position to a very funny looking crawling position, stood up, righted the chair, and tried to look like I'd planned the whole thing.

When she concluded her phone call she said, "Well, I thought I had seen it all, but I have never seen this before in an interview!"

I would recommend that you wait to try out this technique until we find out if I get the job. Until then, have a great day and keep all four legs of your chair on the floor!

Be joyful always!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Gratitude


1Thessalonians 5:16-18
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

I want to take this opportunity on the eve of Thanksgiving to express my gratitude to the Lord for His amazing provision.

I thank God for:

* Jesus who said, I "have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life..." (John 6:38,40)

* my beautiful wife and partner in Acorn Ministries, Julie

* my amazing daughters (Gina, Kassidy, and Katie) who bring joy to my life every day

* my friends and family that support Acorn Ministries with their prayers and their finances

* the privilege of encouraging and equipping church leaders

What are you thankful for?

Please send me your thoughts of gratitude so I can post them on this blog. You can send your thanksgiving thoughts to me at: or you can post a comment on this blog. Subscribers can post comments by clicking on the "Daily Build Up: Gratitude" link above and then click "comments".

God is good! ~ All the time!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Acorn Build Up: God Box - Suffering

God Box - Suffering

Romans 5:3-5
...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Suffering is a part of the human condition. I haven't met a person yet that couldn't describe in some detail a time of suffering. Actually, most people can tell you about an area of their life in which they are currently suffering. Suffering is natural. What we do with it makes all the difference.

The temptation when we suffer is to let it overwhelm our entire life. We focus on the suffering so much that we block out everything else, including God. When my suffering occupies all of my thinking, then I have effectively placed God in a box and then sealed it and put it on a shelf.

Suffering provides an opportunity to seek God like no other human experience. Seeking Him, we find strength in His power. As we learn to depend on the Lord our character changes. Ultimately, we find the only real, sustainable, and perfect source of hope; God.

Unbox God - seek Him in suffering!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Acorn Build Up: God Box - Logic

God Box - Logic

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good pleasing and perfect will.

Have you heard the expression "putting God in a box"? The concept is that any time we place limitations on God - we put God in a box. Once we box up God we are, in effect, removing Him from the throne of our life. With the throne vacant, we very naturally assume the role as lord of our life. As cool as that sounds, the consequences are severe and eternal!

The logic of our mind often does the work of placing God in the box. We study the world around us and begin to draw our own conclusions. We see the consequential nature of events and determine our own strategies. We recognize the activity needed for our prosperity and we act. We look to the future and figure out how it ought to look and then we invest our resources in attaining it. We think, therefore we box.

2Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead , to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Renew your mind - unbox God!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Submit (encore from 11/06/06)

Submit (Encore from 11/06/06)

Hebrews 12:9-11
...we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

My three-year-old daughter wants to do EVERYTHING herself. She needs adult help in many of the activities or she will likely get hurt or break something. Often I have to discipline her because she's just not ready to perform the tasks safely. Over time she will be able to do it herself, but in the meantime she must submit to my teaching; my discipline.

In my relationship with God, I'm (far too) often just like my daughter. I want to do it myself! The hardest life lesson for me is to submit to God. I don't know if it is my Marine Corps background, fear of what might happen, or just plain old everyday pride. Regardless of the cause, submitting is difficult for me. However, if I don't submit to His training, I'll never learn what I need to learn. If I don't accept the training, then I'll never receive the "harvest of righteousness and peace".

God's discipline shapes and molds us into the people God intends us to be.

Submit to His discipline!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Submit


Luke 22:42
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.

Every act of Jesus' life is worthy of study. Jesus placed God's will above His own. In a world that elevates self, it is particularly important to study the Lord's submission.

Our culture screams at us every moment of every day a message of "you deserve..." and "it's all about you". Product names reflect this focus on "me", too! When we accept this message we put ourselves in the seat of the lord of our life. We then evaluate every aspect of life on how it serves the lord of our life, a.k.a. me.

That's not how Jesus lived. Think about it. Jesus had unlimited power on earth. He could have used that power to topple the governments of the day and then set Himself up as the ruler of the world. He could have. The devil tempted Christ with this very thing (see Matthew 4:8-10).

The world tempts us every day with the same promise of power and wealth. Jesus says, "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only." (Matthew 4:10b)

Submit to His will.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Seeking God

Seeking God

Acts 17:24
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.

Seems to me there is some general confusion on this point. It appears that some people go to church on Sunday to find God there. Yes, I believe God is there, at the church. However, God is also at the grocery store, the football game, and in the living room of our home. Seeking God can, and probably should be, a full-time effort. No matter where we go, because God is everywhere.

We spend amazing amounts of money building and maintaining these "temples". Even though God doesn't live there, we pour precious resources into upkeeping "the Lord's house". Please don't misunderstand my point. I love churches! Often times I do encounter God in these meticulously built halls. After all, God is there, too! My point is that we can seek, and find God, anywhere and everywhere. The key to successfully connecting with God is that we, in fact, seek Him.

Seek the Lord!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Church Conflict II

Church Conflict II

Matthew 5:23-25
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Settle matters quickly with your adversary...

Since the church is made up of people it is completely understandable that we will have conflict in the church. It is in the resolution that the people in the church can distinguish themselves from the rest of the world.

I've noticed that the longer an issue remains unresolved the larger the gap grows between those involved in the conflict. Sides are chosen. Arguments are polished. Character is questioned. Faith is questioned. Jesus says, "Settle matters quickly..."

I've noticed that there is weight in carrying a grudge. It takes lots of energy to haul it around. Depleted, it is difficult to stand before the Lord. Jesus says, "...go and be reconciled to your brother..."

Jesus says, "...if...your brother has something against you..." Jesus doesn't mention who is "right" or who is "wrong" in the argument. Rather, if there is an issue, then resolve it, quickly!

If there is conflict in your life, resolve it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Church Conflict

Church Conflict

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world...

One of my most shocking discoveries about the church is that sometimes church people disagree! Sorry for the sarcasm. However, the truth is at first I really was shocked. Frankly, it wasn't the fact that church people disagree; rather, it was the way they disagreed.

Here are the facts.
* Every church is made up of people.
* People are flawed.
* Therefore, churches will have conflict.

The question isn't "if" there will be conflict, the question is "when" will it happen. To me the more important question is "how will conflict be resolved?"

God calls us to live life differently than the world lives it, to follow a distinctly Christian pattern. When our conflicts in the church look the same as the way the world fights, then we are conforming to the pattern of the world.

Jesus said, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)

Conflict is a given. How we resolve it is the question. Jesus calls us to show the world we are His by loving one another.

Love one another!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Psalm 9:11
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done.

I launched this blog on October 13, 2006. The Lord blessed this effort in a wonderfully surprising way by encouraging people all over the world! I praise God for the impact of the Daily Build Up experienced in the following countries:

United Kingdom
and others!

I estimate that just under 9500 posts (9479) have been read in this first year! Praise the Lord!

I want to express my gratitude to the "guest encouragers" that added their awesome voices to this effort of building up the body of Christ. Particularly, I want to publicly thank Rachel Smith and Sandy Egle for their contributions. I praise God for these great saints!

If this blog encourages you, please consider passing it along to your friends. It's easy! Simply copy the following address and paste it in an email to your friends. I'd love to have the opportunity to encourage them, too!

If you'd like to support this ministry, please prayerfully consider making a donation by clicking on the following PayPal link. You can use (or set up) a PayPal account or your credit card.

Make a Donation

Gifts can also be sent by check to:

Acorn Ministries
PO Box 237
101 West South Street
Flanagan, IL 61740

Thank you for helping us provide this ministry of encouragement for another year!

Sing praises to the LORD!


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Fanning the Flames

Fanning the Flames

2Timothy 1:6-7
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.

One of my favorite things about camping is the campfire. In order to keep the flames going, I must tend the fire. I add wood, rearrange the placement of the logs, and, if needed, I blow air onto the embers to keep the fire going. If I leave the fire alone too long, the flames will die out and eventually the fire will die.

Our faith, like a campfire, takes effort to keep it "burning". We have to tend our faith or, it too, will lose its flame and eventually die out. Here are a few of the many ways to fan the flames of our faith:

* prayer - there's no better way to build a relationship than to talk with the Lord throughout the day
* scripture - read the Bible every day
* study - sit with others and discover God through His Holy Word
* worship - join with others in the presence of the Lord to lift our praises

Fanning is intentional participation in activities that add fuel, heat, and air to our faith. God gave us this awesome gift, now it is our responsibility to care for and feed it.

Happy fanning!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Disappointment


Hebrews 13:5-6
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

I sent out an appeal letter recently asking people to support Acorn Ministries through prayer and financial gifts. Our ministry currently ends each month with an average deficit (i.e., the negative difference between income and expenses) of $500-$600. In response to the appeal we received a $10,000 check which would have covered most of the debt incurred over the last 18-months due to the monthly deficit. To say the least we were thrilled! Then came disappointment.

We discovered that the check was a mistake. The giver had meant to write a $1,000 check, not $10,000! In my disappointment God led me back to this passage in Hebrews. I'm not really dependent upon financial gifts; rather, I'm dependent upon the Lord! I don't really love money; rather, I love Jesus! And, there is no reason to be fearful of our monthly deficit and the growing debt it causes, because Christ is my helper!

Please join me in lifting up to the Lord that which causes you disappointment today. Let's give it, whatever "it" is, over to Jesus. Then let us find peace from knowing that God will never leave us and He will never forsake us!

Trusting God,

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Guest Encourager: Rachel Smith "Suffering"

Suffering - by Rachel Smith

Romans 5:2-4
Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Music has a profound impact on our health and mental well being. Often a song touches our hearts in a place we could not reach on our own. The power of words paired with rhythm is truly a gift. I had the blessing of attending The Uprising Festival in Colorado this summer. I was pleased to see great bands like Third Day, Mercy Me and Jars of Clay. But God brought me all the way to Colorado from my home state of Illinois to hear a song. To have some comfort. To understand the “why” for even a moment.

My hardships are probably no worse than yours. They may have a different title or different people involved, but at the core pain is pain. I desperately try not to wear my pain as a badge of honor. I try not to compare and “one up” my life circumstances with those of others. My pain and my joy are to bring Glory to God.

If through a brief and momentary suffering I can somehow bring encouragement to others, comfort to the hurting and Glory to the Lord. Then bring it on!


Monday, October 01, 2007

Guest Encourager: Rachel Smith "Morning Coffee"

Morning Coffee, by Rachel Smith

Hebrews 3:13
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

Often times we take for granted those people who always seem to look on the brighter side of life. You know the ones that can find that one positive thing in a pile of negatives. After a crazy morning of rushing kids to school and making a mad dash through the coffeehouse only to spill half of the steaming cup on your new white shirt, this friend smiles and says, “well at least it didn’t get on your pants too.”

Wow! What a way to look at life. Do you see the cup as always half full as the optimist does? Or do you see it half empty as the pessimist? Not being a perpetual optimist myself, I prefer to call the half empty cup, realistic. In fact, I slant towards the service orientation. This is a cup in need of being filled.

But what if that person who fills the cup for us awakes one morning to find their own cup empty? Every now and then even the optimist has a ‘cup is completely empty day’. This is why we are ALL to encourage each other DAILY. Some of us encourage with words, some with acts of service, and some with gifts or other methods. Find your way of encouraging and fill some ones cup today.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Guest Encourager: Rachel Smith "Encourgement"


Acts 16:40
After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.

Read that again. Yep, I highlighted it correctly. Paul and Silas get out of prison and they are the encouragers. Wow! I would think after spending some time in prison, I may be the one in need of encouragement. But that’s not what this passage tells us. It was after a time of trouble that Paul and Silas were able to share their experiences with others and bring encouragement.

I find this, well, encouraging.

Maybe my ‘time in prison’ isn’t a punishment or a test at all. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a gift of encouragement to you.


Note from Lon: You can find more great "Build Ups" written by Rachel by clicking on the Rachel Smith label below. If you subscribe to this blog, you will need to click on the title (Guest Encourager: Rachel Smith "Encourgement") above, then find the labels at the bottom of Rachel's post.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Reliance


1Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Hope must rest upon something reliable. What in the world is trustworthy? Upon what can I truly rely? In what can I place my hope?

In my life I have relied upon many things, but none of them deserved my hope. Wealth, skills, personality, dumb luck, other people, good looks (this was a long time ago!) and organizations are a few places in which I've misplaced my hopes. Eventually every one of them let me down.

There is only One trustworthy enough for me to rely upon. That one is God. God will NEVER let us down.

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."

F.R.O.G. (Fully Relying On God)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Guest Encourager: Rachel Smith "Home"


2 Corinthians 5:6-9
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.

Where do you want to live? Have you ever really thought about this? I’m sure you have. We have all toyed with the idea of relocation at one point or another. Sometimes these dreams are prompted by job turmoil or opportunity. Sometimes they are prompted by weather. I choose to live in Illinois. This is one of the few states in which you can run the heater and the air condition in your car on the same day! But even beyond the blistering heat or frigid cold wind, it is a longing to be with my mother or my brother which gets me to day dreaming of moving. On more than one day I have thought how wonderful it would be to go ‘home’ to the town in which I grew up.

The reality is I don’t really like that town. I have never cared for large cities or crowds and my children and husband are quite content in our sleepy little town. What I long for is my family, that feeling of ‘home’. God’s word reminds me I am never truly ‘home’ in a small town or a large city. My true ‘home’ is with the Father. When I am again reunited with the Father and all of my family, I will be ‘home!’ So, ask me where would I like to live?

At the feet of Jesus.

Rachel Smith

Note from Lon: Rachel's post represents the 200th post since I started this blog in October 2006! Praise the Lord for His blessings upon this ministry of encouragement! If you'd like to support this ministry financially, please click here.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Another Quiet Place

Another Quiet Place

Mark 6:31-32
Then because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, [Jesus] said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quit place and get some rest." So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

Tomorrow (Sunday) morning I am going away to a very quiet place. I am leading a group of men on a seven-day backpacking expedition on Isle Royale National Park. The park is an island in Lake Superior that can only be reached by plane or boat. We will take a 3-hour boat ride to reach the island.

Our purpose is to retreat and to spiritually recharge. My guess is that we will face an adventure or two along the way. Two requests:

1. Please pray for me and the other men throughout the next week.

2. Please excuse yet another absence from this blog.

God is good!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Obstacles


John 7:38
He who believes in Me...out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.

Today's post is taken from Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest". Chambers teaches:

Jesus said that, if we have received His fullness, "rivers of living water" will flow out of us, reaching in blessing even "to the end of the earth" (Act1:8) regardless of how small the visible effects of our lives may appear to be. We have nothing to do with the outflow - "This is the work of God, that you believe..." (John 6:29)

A river is victoriously persistent, overcoming all barriers. For a while it goes steadily on its course, but then comes to an obstacle. And for a while is is blocked yet it soon makes a pathway around the obstacle.

Do you see God using the lives of others, but an obstacle has come into you life and you do not seem to be of any use to God? Then keep paying attention to the Source, and God will either take you around the obstacle or remove it. The river of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never focus your eyes on the obstacle or the difficulty...simply remember to stay focused on the source. Never allow anything to come between you and Jesus Christ...nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Serve the Lord

Serve the Lord

Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all you heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Labor Day is drawing to a close. I don't want this day to escape without remembering for Whom we labor. No matter what work we do, let us remember that it is for Jesus that we labor. We bring Him glory when we excel in our work. We bring Him glory when we persevere through the difficulties of our work.

We bring Him glory when we perform our duties differently than our peers. We bring glory to Jesus when we avoid gossip, solve conflict in a loving way, and speak the truth in love. We bring glory to God when we approach challenges with the peace that comes from knowing Christ.

In today's labor let us bring glory to God!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Change


Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Imagine visiting a factory that produces high-heeled shoes. As you tour the facility you find that everything about the place is designed to make high-heeled shoes. The whole assembly line is planned in a specific way so that each person plays a role in putting together these shoes. Not surprisingly, at the end of the line we find beautifully constructed high-heeled shoes.

After all, wouldn’t it be silly to stand at the end of the line and expect a tennis shoe to come rolling out? No, the organization is designed perfectly to achieve the outcome, the product, of a high-heeled shoe.

Yet that’s how we tend to look at change. We stand at the end of the line and expect something different to come rolling out. Remember, every organization is perfectly designed to get the outcome it produces.

Now, if you like the results you are getting then leave the system alone. On the other hand, if you want something different, then something needs to change. After all, no matter how much we want a tennis shoe to roll of the assembly line, if the line is designed to produce high-heeled shoes, then that’s what we will get; high-heeled shoes.

What would you like to change? What needs to change?


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Struggling


James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Have you noticed the inconsistency and the sporadic way in which I'm posting these Build Ups? There's a reason. The reason is that I've been struggling. Namely, I am struggling financially and I've allowed that struggle to throw me off my game.

I've allowed the challenges of this world to distract me from my purpose. It's sad when I profess a ministry of "using God's gifts to build up the body of Christ; the Church" and yet I stop building up as soon as the times get tough. There's no doubt in my mind that these are, in fact, tough times. However, the difficulty of the path doesn't give me an excuse to quit the journey and go home.

According to Oswald Chambers, "Faith must be tested, because it can only become your intimate possession through conflict." If our faith was never tested, then it would remain in a weakened, infant state. On the other hand, when we rely on God through the tough stuff our faith matures and grows strong.

Norman Vincent Peale
Through persistence, self-knowledge, prayer, commitment, optimism, a resolute trust in God and the building of your own personal moral strength, you can enjoy the blessings of a deeper faith and face the difficulties of life with courage and confidence.

Consider it pure joy!

The Daily Build Up is a FREE publication from Acorn Ministries. It's intention is to encourage people in their faith walk. If you would like to support this ministry, you can use your credit card or your PayPal account to make a tax deductible contribution by clicking on the following link:

Contributions can also be made by check to:

Acorn Ministries
101 West South Street
PO Box 237
Flanagan, IL 61740

Thank you for supporting this ministry of encouragement that is making an impact around the world!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Guest Encourager: Rachel Smith "Words"

Words by Rachel Smith

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

My brother taught me something when my father died. I'm sure my brother doesn't even know it, but our actions often speak louder than our words. My father's mother, was never a grandmother to us. In fact she was very mean to both of us and to my mother. I've never cared for her and my father always had us call her by her first name, because she didn't want to claim us as her grandchildren. She now has Alzheimer's and it's in latter stages. She came to my father's memorial service and said some inappropriate and hurtful things. I fumed. How could she continue this meanness even after his death! But my brother went up to her and hugged her and said, "Hi grandma, I'm so sorry"

His kindness was a great lesson on what our words are for. A lesson I will never forget.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Fix Your Eyes

Fix Your Eyes

Hebrews 12:2-3
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

When we think of Jesus and what He did for us, it seems that the sorrows and struggles of this world lose their intensity. When we concentrate on Jesus we take the focus off of ourselves. When we consider Jesus everything is different.

I love the old hymn, "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" by Helen H. Lemmel (1922)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace.

Fix your eyes on Jesus.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Get set, Go!

Get set, Go!

Hebrews 12:1
...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

God marks out for each of us a race to run. Our unique course is designed by God with our individual gifts and graces in mind. Our path is planned to bring glory to God as we participate in the building of God's kingdom.

Sadly, I fall so short of my potential. I allow myself to be hindered and entangled by things of this world. The more I become ensnared the slower I move. Often I consider taking what looks like an easier path.

This passage reminds us to remove anything that hinders us or impedes our progress. It reminds us to keep moving forward despite the difficulty. It calls for us to find our marks, to get set, and to GO!

Have a great run!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Busy Summer!

Busy Summer!

Mark 6:31
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

This summer is proving to be a busy one! What ever happened to lazy summer days when boredom was the biggest challenge of the day? Sigh.

Two things are suffering due to my busy-ness: 1) my Daily Build Ups have been sporadic at best - perhaps I should change the name to Occasional Build Ups, and 2) time with my family. I'm going to attack the latter by investing the next eight days in some intensive family time, commonly referred to as "vacation".

Unfortunately, the "Daily" Build Ups will remain on hold until I return. If you need encouragement, please stop by the Daily Build Up site and read through a few of the 180+ postings that are always available.

God is good!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Band Camp - Absence

I thought I could keep up with my Daily Build Ups and serve as an instructor at Pontiac (IL) Township High School's marching band camp, but I was wrong. Temperatures in the 90s and an aging body have proved a little too much for me.

I will try to get going again before too long. Thank you for your patience!

God is good!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Prosperity


Jeremiah 29:11
"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."

I'm hearing a lot these days about prosperity. I've heard this passage from Jeremiah offered as a indication that following God will lead to prosperity. I agree, but with a deep concern for how we define prosperity.

One definition of prosperity is worldly wealth. One could deduce from that definition that if one follows God, then he will become wealthy by the worlds standards.

I happen to adhere to a different definition. I believe God's definition of prosperity is becoming the person that God designed me to be. In God's economy wealth is measured by spiritual maturity, not by the car one drives. I believe God's plans are to help me to be spiritually mature.

James 1:4
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Prosper in the Lord!

If you have time and interest, check out this video by John Piper about the "Prosperity Gospel":

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Wet Toes

Wet Toes

Joshua 3:15-16
Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away...So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

God didn't "pile up" the water in the Jordan until the priests got their feet wet. That appears to be a standard operating procedure for God, that is, He waits until we make a commitment.

My dear friend Jason Woolever put this great John Maxwell quote on his post-methodist blog:

Commitment is the Key
“Until I am committed there is a hesitancy, the chance to draw back. But the moment I definitely commit myself then God moves also and a whole stream of events begin to erupt. All manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, persons and material assistance that I could have never dreamed would come my way begin to flow toward me… the moment I make a commitment.”

God is calling each of us into action, to cross our Jordan.

Let's get our feet wet!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Guest Encourager: Rachel Smith "Be Still"

Be Still, by Rachel Smith

My father died at the end of May and I have searched for sometime now on how to convey this unique and confusing kind of pain that comes with loosing a parent. My father and I were not close the years immediately before his death and I wonder in my finite mind, will I see him in heaven? Will he know me? Will he love me? Will he miss me? Will he forgive my wrongs?

I can’t think about my own flawed earthly father without thinking of our perfect heavenly father. You see, the earthly parents we all have were chosen for us (good or bad) by the Lord himself. I have had times in my life where I have felt separated from God. Where I have strayed from what is right. In fact almost every day I make choices that would not please my God. I wonder in my finite mind, will I see him in heaven? Will he know me? Will he love me? Will he miss me? Will he forgive my wrongs?

And then, He answers me softly “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

Monday, July 23, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Trust


John 14:1
Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me."

Trusting is tough for most of us. We've been burned by people that should have been worthy of our trust, so we learn not to trust others. Plus, our culture screams at us to be independent and self-reliant. Pride, which we are so susceptible to, doesn't make trusting any easier. I can still hear the toddler in me screaming, "I can do it myself!"

Then we wonder why life is so difficult. We fret and we worry.

Jesus calls us to trust Him. Trusting God allows us to stop worrying. After all, if we trust that God is in charge, and He loves us, and His plan is to prosper us, then why waste time and energy worrying?

Trust God ~ Don't Worry


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Another Absence

Another Absence

Sorry for the extremely late notice, but I'm away from my computer this week. I'm serving as the "speaker" for a High School Camp being held at Camp Menno Haven.

Here's the brochure blurb:

~High School Camp . . . July 15-20. . . Grades 10-12* . . . from the hyper worship to the exciting full-camp games to the coffee house banquet, this week is what your looking for to complete your summer! C'mon, seriously though, just ask your parents to assume your car payments for a week and come on down. Camp runs from Sunday at 6 PM to Friday at 6:30 PM.

I will rest up this weekend and start posting Build Ups next week. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground

1 Corinthians 15:58 (The Message)
With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don't hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.

I saw a great sign in front of the Faith Christian Church (Washington, IL). It read:

The mighty oak tree was once a tiny nut that stood its ground.

God calls us to participate in gaining ground for His Kingdom. The challenge is that God ways are not the same as the ways of man. God's ways often look unreasonable to the world.

Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world...

Against the pressure to conform to the world we are called to stand our ground. Further, we are to throw ourselves into the work for which God has called us. Keep in mind that no effort made for God will be wasted.

Stand your ground.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Guest Encourager - Woolever

Are you a lifter or a leaner? – Submitted by Pastor Jason Woolever

1Thessalonians 5:11
"...encourage one another and build each other up..."

Check out this old poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

There are two kinds of people on earth today,
Just two kinds of people, no more, I say.
Not the good and the bad, for 'tis well understood
That the good are half-bad and the bad are half-good.
No! The two kinds of people on earth I mean
Are the people who lift and the people who lean.

Are you a person who lifts the loads of others with your attitude, words, and actions? Or are you the type who makes people's loads feel heavier than they were before you entered the room? What would your family/co-workers say?

To read more from Pastor Jason, check out his blog at:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Watch your mouth!

Watch your mouth!

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

"Watch your mouth!" is a phrase I remember from my youth. My memory of these words is pretty clear because I think I heard them often. The words that come out of our mouths can be terribly hurtful! The old "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never harm me" is less than accurate in my experience. Words can hurt!

I was a freshman at a Big 10 university when I heard, "You can't write." He was a graduate assistant and I was his student in an English 101 class. The shame is that I believed him. It took me 11 English classes to break the hold those words had on me.

I was a junior at a different university when I heard, "You write well, but you just need some work on your grammar." She was a part-time teacher and I was her student in a special 099 English class for people that needed help to function at the college level. Those words had power. Three years later the faculty members overseeing my graduate work suggested that I needed to publish my writings!

Change a life, encourage someone with your words today.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Neighbor Build

Neighbor Build

Romans 15:2
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

The world teaches us to stand on top of your neighbor in order to get ahead. According to the prevailing culture, neighbors are people to out-run, not build up. After all, building up someone else doesn't do anything for the "bottom line", that is, pleasing my neighbor doesn't help me.

Talk about counter-cultural! Our faith teaches us to to reach out to our neighbors for their good. We are to encourage them and build them up. We do this for their good, not for our own personal benefit.

Reach out and build up a neighbor.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Absence


I will be away from my computer for a few days. I hope to get a Build Up sent your way later in the week. Until then, try to find ways to build up the people God places in your path. Lifting people builds spiritual muscles.

In Christ,

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Leadings


Luke 9:59-60
[Jesus] said to another man, "Follow me."
But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father."
Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

I've always thought Jesus' response to the man was unreasonably harsh. It seems to lack the compassion that I associate with the Lord. William Barclay provides a different perspective:

In all probability the man's father was not dead, and not even near dead. His saying most likely meant, "I will follow you after my father has died."

The point Jesus was making is that in everything there is a crucial moment; if that moment is missed the thing most likely will never be done at all. The man in the story had stirrings in his heart to get out of his spiritually dead surroundings; if he missed the moment he would never get out.

If we put off until to-morrow, it will in all likelihood never be [done]. Jesus urges us to act at once when our hearts are stirred.

The Spirit is constantly at work guiding and encouraging us to follow God's will. The moment we become aware of God's leading is the very moment to do something about it. The more we respond, the more sensitive we become to subsequent leadings. The more we respond, the more truly useful we become for the Lord's purposes.

Listen and act.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Freedom


Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.

When we accept Christ our bonds of slavery to sin are broken. We are free! We are given the freedom to turn to Christ when temptation rises. There in the arms of our Savior we are free.

The challenge comes when we stop looking toward Christ. We reason that a little taste of the forbidden can't hurt. We rationalize that we've been good so a little reward is due. In essence we take our eyes off of the Lord and turn our attention to ourselves.

Without much fanfare we simply pick up the yoke of sin and submit ourselves to its reign. Slavery.

Stand firm.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Peace When Troubled

Peace When Troubled

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you...

When times are tough, it is important to regain our focus on Jesus. For some reason, God has allowed this difficulty into the path of our life. Discovering the reason isn't nearly as important as determining how we react to the challenge. Every difficulty that blows through our life is an opportunity to look to Jesus and to reflect His peace.

In his book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote:

Are you severely troubled right now? Are you afraid and confused...Then look up and receive the quiet contentment of the Lord Jesus. Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself.

I have often found the peace of Christ during troubled times by singing this old hymn,

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
look full in his wonderful face,
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of his glory and grace.

Peace be with you.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Acceptable


Psalm 19:14 ESV
Let the words of my mouth and meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

This past weekend I attended a worship service led by a local singing group called Acceptable. One of the singers explained that the name for their group came from his mother's use of Psalms 19:14 as her theme verse for life.

Isn't that what we most deeply desire, to please God? We want God to find pleasure in every aspect of, and moment in, our life. This goes way beyond our intentionally spiritual moments, like worship services, Bible study, and prayer time. This includes the times when we're over-tired, under-fed, and all around worn thin.

This even extends to the words we choose and the thoughts we entertain. To please God with our words and thoughts requires us to become increasingly aware of God's presence in our lives. Just because we don't think about Him, doesn't mean God stepped out for a smoke. No, God is always with us. It's our attentiveness to Him that has taken a powder.

Be acceptable.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Trust


John 14:1
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in [Jesus].

This whole obedience thing is nigh on impossible when we don't trust the Lord. Think how hard it is to obey someone you don't trust. When trust is lacking our efforts are halting and without confidence. We limp along waiting for the other shoe to drop; expecting the worse.

On the other hand, how wonderfully freeing it is to follow, that is obey, someone we trust. When trust is in place our steps are bold. We take action. We attempt things we wouldn't even consider were we left to our own initiative; expecting success.

Trusting in the Lord, like people, begins small and builds. The more we turn over to God, the more we find Him trustworthy. As our trust in the Lord grows, He calls us into deeper obedience. Trust leads to obedience.

Trust and Obey.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Sacrifice


Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It is becoming common to hear myself and others lament about the sacrifices we are making for our work. When people ask, "How are you doing?" My response often sounds like, "I'm very, very busy! I haven't even seen my family in days!"

The more one sacrifices for the job, family, church, even God, the more respect we seem to give them. This communicates a strange and scary message: The more you sacrifice, the better.

So we sacrifice. We sacrifice our health, our relationship with our spouse, our friends, our relationship with our children, and our relationship with God.

In his book "My Utmost for His Highest" Oswald Chambers takes a very counter-cultural perspective:

It is much better to fulfill the purpose of God in your life by discerning His will than it is to perform great acts of self-sacrifice.

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice... (1 Samuel 15:22)

Obedience over sacrifice.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Audience


Galatians 1:10
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

I've just finished a very busy season of musical theatre. I played trumpet in the pit band for "West Side Story" in our local community theatre. Because of this experience the concept of "audience" is fresh in my head. Every ounce of effort that went into this production was for the purpose of pleasing the audience.

In this passage, Paul calls our attention to our chosen audience in life. To whom are we performing? Singer and songwriter Sara Groves put it wonderfully in her song "This Journey is My Own". Here are some selected lyrics:

When I stand before the Lord,
I’ll be standing alone.
This journey is my own.
Still I want man’s advice,
and I need man’s approval,
but this journey is my own.

So much of what I do is to make a good impression.
This journey is my own.
So much of what I say is to make myself look better.
This journey is my own.

I have never felt relief like I feel it right now.
This journey is my own.
‘Cause trying to please the world
it was breaking me down...
Now I live and I breathe for an audience of one...
‘Cause I know this journey is my own

You can live for someone else
And it will only bring your pain
I can’t even judge myself
Only the Lord can say, “Well done.”

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Acorn Build Up: God's Workmanship

God's Workmanship

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I once saw an awesome Christian singer/songwriter perform a song called "Masterpiece in Progress". The singer, Jeff Steinberg, is a man that has overcome tremendous obstacles in his life. You see Jeff has no arms and his legs are badly deformed. Now he sings of God's workmanship: "Jesus is working on me and I'm becoming what He wants me to be".

I'll likely never forget that night seeing Jeff belt out this amazing song. I sat across from Jeff at supper that night. Somehow my friends and I ended up in one of the very front tables and Jeff was seated with us. I had no idea he was performing that evening. Frankly, I thought he was seated there as a courtesy because of his disability. That's what I saw; his disability. When dinner was over, much to my surprise, Jeff was helped onto the stage to entertain and encourage us.

We truly are masterpieces in progress designed to do the good works God has placed before us. Thanks, Jeff!

If you have a moment, please check out Jeff's ministry by clicking on this link: Jeff Steinberg

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Dedication


Romans 12:1
Therefore, I urge view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship.

This passage was used in the daily devotion book I use by Oswald Chambers titled, "My Utmost for His Highest". Chambers wrote:

We have the idea that we can dedicate our gifts to God. However, you cannot dedicate what is not yours. There is actually only one thing you can dedicate to God, and that is your right to yourself.

I love Eugene Peterson's take on this passage:

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life -- your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life -- and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. (The Message)

Worship God by dedicating our everyday lives to Him.

Be dedicated.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Acorn Build Up: Equipped


Hebrews 13:20-21
May the God of peace...equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever...

I spoke with a friend today that reminded me of this awesome passage. God will provide the good stuff for us so that we may do His will. We are given the resources, gifts, opportunities, education, experience, and everything else we need to perform what is pleasing to the Lord.

William Barclay has this to say about this passage:

God is the God who both shows us his will and equips us to do it. He never gives us a task without also giving us the power to accomplish it. When God sends us out, he sends us equipped with everything we need.

When facing difficulties, please remember that God has prepared you with everything you need.

God is good!

Please let me know if there is a Build Up topic that would interest you. You can email me your suggestions at: