Saturday, November 29, 2008

Great Thanksgiving

I was reminded this year of many of the things we CAN be thankful for;
Dressing (like the Pruet's make)
My own bed
More food than 20 people can eat....twice
As we sat at my mom's house in Corpus, I thought of many of the homeless folks this week, that may get a meal, but they wont have the same experience that I had. I am so blessed with a family that loves each other. The restored relationships in our family, is a testament to forgiveness and unity. I got to play golf with my cousin and uncle this trip. I hadn't played with them in 15 years. What a joy!
I'm sure there is so much more....we are so blessed.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

David's Cabinet

2 Samuel 8: 15 David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people. 16 Joab son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; 17 Zadok son of Ahitub and Ahimelech son of Abiathar were priests; Seraiah was secretary; 18 Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; and David's sons were royal advisers.

One of the commentaries I read states that:
David was not so engaged in his wars abroad as to neglect the administration of the government at home.
David executed judgment and justice unto all his people-Though involved in foreign wars, he maintained an excellent system of government at home, the most eminent men of the age composing his cabinet of ministers.

If you look at the American Statesman this morning, front page, you see Obama’s new economic team. As he continues to assemble his cabinet, I am reminded to pray for the men who will effectually lead our nation. I pray for our new president, his advisors and those who he will place in power, whether it be in Cabinet positions or Supreme Court Justices. I pray that they fear the Lord…and that they seek to administrate with righteous justice.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fool for God

2 Samuel 6:22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.

Some great images of worship come to mind as I read this passage.
I remember a man, a grown man…in a worship service I was in….walking to the aisle…down toward the front and laying face down on the floor. Face directly into the ground. At ANC its not uncommon to see a good percentage of folks, free enough to raise their hands. I would say that David ‘dancing before the LORD with all his might’, was something to see. Yet, a newly crowned king, was so free in his expression of worship that he could act foolishly, before HIS king.

Several great worship song…also come to mind. One of note by Matt Redman….Undignified

I will dance i will sing to be mad for my king

nothing lord is hindering the passion in my soul

I will dance i will sing to be mad for my king

nothing lord is hindering the passion in my soul

and ill become even more undignified than this

some would say its foolishness
ill become even more undignified than this

some would say its foolishness

I didn’t use to be a hand raiser. I was a wanna-be hand raiser. I could do in the privacy of my own car (or truck), but when it came to being in public, with people I knew…I didn’t want to appear foolish. King David….acknowledged the foolishness and his desire was to become even more foolish…as a posture of humility.

Hand raising to some…is just as much a part of worship, than the singing itself. So why do we raise our hands?
Act of humility…..surrender
Posture of receiving from God
Identifying ourselves with Christ
Maybe even… answer to a call….’Here am I ….send me Lord!’

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

God is Justice

2 Samuel 4: 11 How much more—when wicked men have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed—should I not now demand his blood from your hand and rid the earth of you!"

You know…David continues to be consistent concerning God’s sovereignty (a great lesson for us) Recab and Baanah, both Benjaminites (under the house of Saul) did what they thought was expedient and would earn them favor with David….by murdering Saul’s son, and uniting all of Israel. They carried the severed head as a trophy for David and presented it to him, as the head of an enemy.
First of all, David didn’t consider Saul or his descendants his enemy. And he had given on oath to Saul, to never kill or erase the name of Saul from the earth. He was loyal and loved Saul and Jonathon.
Secondly, David believed the Lord would deliver Israel to him. He wasn’t compelled to rush or take matters into his own hands. “vengeance is mine…says the Lord’
God ultimately trumps all the evils that men do…and can work them for good….for His purpose, David could not condone the evil of man….even if it apparently would be ‘for the good.’
I think it is so important to wait on God. I think we must also call a spade a spade when it comes to evil in the world. Even when God uses events, even sinful situations, and brings glory to himself… this is His prerogative. He doesn’t cause evil, evil exists in the absence of God. Could God circumvent evil…certainly, does he condone it….certainly not, is evil dealt with….severely.
We are so conditioned to for immediate gratification and response…..some believe that God’s not paying attention when evil goes unchecked, that when there are not immediate punishments and consequences for evil, must mean God is somehow less ‘God-like’. David knew….that God is Justice…he will judge both fairly and severely. And His ways are higher than our ways…and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

All the King's Men

2 Samuel 1:11 Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them.

After hearing of the death of Saul…and the delivery of the crown and the band on his arm….that the king would wear….David truly mourned. Truly.

If anyone had reason not to mourn it would be David. But the thing I like….the thing that stuck out to me most of all….were the men with David. They were a party to the attacks and the running for their lives…they had reason to loathe Saul as well….yet their leader set the example, their leader showed them how to behave in this instance….and they truly mourned, wept and fasted with David.

God thank you for the Godly examples you have put into my life….who have shown me how to behave, how to love, how to be a man and still love you. God lift them up today and give them special blessings as leaders, give them your wisdom as they continually seek out other men to shepherd. And let those of us in leadership realize that we are being watched….how we behave predicates how those around us will behave. Guide our hearts, our thoughts and our tongues as we interact with others….both those who know you and want to know you more…and those who don’t yet know you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Matthew Henry’s Commentary states: Those who consider the Lord as the Giver of their abundance, will dispose of it with fairness and liberality.
This was the word I got as I read 1 Samuel 30. A portion of David’s men remained behind…and stayed with the supplies because they were too tired to go on….and ultimately fight.
The ‘evil men’ amoung the remaining 400 fighting men of David’s, wanted to cut them off from the plunder. But David recognized that the plunder was a provision of God….not by anything they did or won. God had delivered Amalekites before the first sword was drawn.
I pray ANC continues to be a giving church. Though most at ANC aren’t rich by Austin standards…we are rich by the world’s standards. God has given, so that we may bless others.
I was reading James 2:15-17 again this morning: Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
God continue to go before ANC….bring us the RIGHT people, give us this sense of ‘fairness’ that David had, and let us fight where we see injustice. Help us to remain focused on you and what you’ve called us to do.

Monday, November 10, 2008

We all have nipples.

This should be one of those stories taught about in church on Sundays….but I have never heard it, nor do I even remember reading it.

1 Samuel 28:3b Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.
6 He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. 7 Saul then said to his attendants, "Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her."
8 So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. "Consult a spirit for me," he said, "and bring up for me the one I name."

This is a story of Saul…seemingly outlawing a practice that is in opposition to God….yet holding onto the practice in his own heart. How wicked are our own hearts that we try to put on this image of what we want people to think about us…when deep down, we cling to the very things we publicly say are ‘vile and wicked’.

Numerous stories come to mind of the hypocrisy within the church….from child molesting priests, to adulterous televangelists, to IRS cheating pastors and lesser offenses as well. No wonder we get blasted in the media when yet another of us morally fails.

The most painful example of this to me…was my old youth pastor….from when I was a teenager. We had a great youth group, then he went off and pastored a hugely successful church in Arizona, then planted a church in Birmingham Alabama. Along the way, he helped start Student Life ministries, was chaplain to the Samford College football team, was on a popular local radio show and taught marriage seminars. Last year, he had to cancel one such dates at a Marriage seminar because he was found out….he had carried on a 30 plus year affair with a former babysitter (the girl was only a few year older than me). This really rocked me. Basically his affair predated being my youth pastor, …and all the activities listed. Needless to say, his ministry is over….he has no platform. Had there been a simple incident of infidelity….maybe. But this man harbored this sin, while preaching in opposition and positioned himself as an expert in ‘marriage’. The thing that made me sickest….was thinking about all the young people who have trusted Christ after listening to him…and their doubts.

The part of the passage that is most convicting….have you guys ever been somewhere where you don’t want to be recognized? I used to have a lot of Youth Camp t-shirts…a lot. But there were times…..that I intentionally changed my plans because I didn’t want to be associated one direction or the other….if that makes sense. Here is a good rule of thumb….if you have to changed your appearance, or wear a disguise…then you probably shouldn’t be there.

Now on a funny note…there were times I should have changed and didn’t. You guys remember THE Farrah Fawcette poster? You know you do…in the red bathing suit..and the nipples….well as a kid I had that on a t-shirt. I would have had to be about 12-13….maybe. Well I sat front and center one Sunday night at church….you guessed it…with my t-shirt on (what were my parents thinking?*****) Well, the pastor asked my parents after church not to let me wear that in service again.

*****seriously…what were they thinking?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hey Abner, right here!

1 Samuel 26:13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them. 14 He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, "Aren't you going to answer me, Abner?"

David had a string of spiritual battles…and apparently he has come out on the right side. Each time his vengeance was turned away….and David allowed God his timing.

But I wonder about the condition of David’s heart, that he taunts both Abner and Saul. I don’t even know if it is his heart….but maybe just his flaw, the crazy way he is wired. The Lord has just made a transformation in his heart, from hatred and killing to honoring and sparing, and he takes the opportunity to at best, taunt….but more likely make a fool of the King and the general of his army. Sounds like something I would do. Reminds me a bit of a scene from Braveheart!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Voice of Reason

1 Samuel 25:12 “Put on your Swords!”

Snap! Just like that. David’s pride was hurt…no doubt, but his response to kill every living male in the house of Nabal. This doesn’t seem like the cool head of the man who in the previous chapter, spared the life of Saul, and then honored him. Seriously, who is more deserving of death….a man trying to kill you or a man who dissed you?

Okay, but seriously which one of us hasn’t been there before? Maybe we weren’t going to kill someone….but maybe we were cut off in traffic…and all of a sudden we are a total freak. Or we get corrected and our first response is to attack. Our male egos are so jacked.

Thank goodness for Abigail the Peacemaker….she kept David from sinning, from committing murder. David was impressed by her boldness, her courage and her good judgment. So much so, that when Nabal died, he asked Abigail to become his wife.

God used Abigail, much like he uses our wives. How many times have they been the voice of reason for us?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


1 Samuel 24:5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe.

I’m not sure if this is the first time, but David didn’t consult with God. This is kind of in opposition to how David operated in the previous chapter. At his men’s urging….David went and cut the corner of Saul’s robe, when he was in the cave, and Saul was distracted.

I was just struck with the fact that remorse never follows God’s leading. It’s only when we step out on our own…do we have these feelings.

David’s actions afterward, were a great model for us, when he realized what he had done. He first told his men (the witnesses) of his wrong, then he apologized to Saul (the offended).

Monday, November 03, 2008

Fight for Injustice

1 Samuel 23: 1-2 When David was told, "Look, the Philistines are fighting against Keilah and are looting the threshing floors," he inquired of the LORD, saying, "Shall I go and attack these Philistines?"
The LORD answered him, "Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah."

My first thought about this passage was, isn’t it cool that David when he heard about the attack on Keilah…was impressed to fight for injustice. Really without anything to gain, and everything to lose, he put himself in harms way militarily…and exposed his position to Saul.
This may be a stretch…but as a precursor to Jesus….who in the same way fought for the ‘underdog’, the less educated, the common man….David relied on God’s provision for him in the fight. And David saved Keilah from an enemy who came to steal, kill and destroy.
Secondly, David didn’t rely on his past victories against the Philistines as an indicator to attack or not….he went to God. David knew the source of his strength and victory.
As proof that God isn’t afraid of our questions…David went back to God after his men questioned his military strategy…
4 Once again David inquired of the LORD, and the LORD answered him, "Go down to Keilah, for I am going to give the Philistines into your hand."
God didn’t burn with anger, or punish David or his men for their doubts. He remained constant, delivering them as promised.

Men I pray we trust God ways. That we always fight for injustice, put ourselves in harms way for the ‘least of these’, and seek God first.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween was incredible!

Seriously. Along with the Hatmakers, we decided to have a little impromptu neighborhood gathering instead of sitting on the couch, sending the kids to the door to give out candy.
We had a bounce house thing, had tons of hot dogs, bacon wrapped sirloin and jalapenos...and just sat out as neighbors, we have started to connect with, came by with their kids. It was really no big deal, but everyone appreciated it.
I have been a part of church, where halloween was frowned upon, but seriously.....we aren't celebrating Satan, we are allowing kids to be when we were young. Last night, we were creating community...neighbors meeting neighbors...shouldn't THAT be what the church does? And if we acknowledge Halloween Night...when we know everyone is going to be out with there something wrong with that? I personally dont think so.