Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why Pro-Life?, 2 videos

Here are 2 videos to add to the previous post "Why Pro-Life?"

Imagine The Potential...

Be Courageous, Mr. President...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Our words matter. This past week, Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States, and the first African American. Perhaps you saw the inauguration when Judge John Roberts quoted the Constitution to swear Obama in. Obama paused during his restatement of the oath which threw Roberts off and he misquoted the proper words. The flub was heard and commented on around the globe. Later that night, Roberts came to Obama in the White House to repeat the oath and properly swear Obama in. The reason: words matter.

This message is meant to show that everything matters; our thoughts, our speech, our actions. Teens must be reminded of this simple principle because a life played out in the context of relationships without this principle is disastrous. The consequences of sin does not escape anyone, including Christians! Even as Christians, we must guard our hearts and minds to not become desensitized to worldly ways. Teens often can often grow cold to Christ and his message and so begins the attitude of IDC: “I Don’t Care”. These words and attitudes are pervasive, and probably so in every new generation.
[1] As we examine a few verses, one should consider that caring is of crucial importance as we live in contact with those around us.

Proverbs 18:21-22 "Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord."

The author of these proverbs understands things matter. Words matter and friends matter. Our words can hurt and wound or they can heal and inspire. Proverbs goes a step further saying they can give life or death. Wow, that’s powerful! And those who understand this little principle will reap the rewards. Think about it, when is the last time you were wounded by careless, wreckless, idle words? Do you remember how long it took you to get over them? Was it hours, days, months… do you still feel the pain? The things we say and communicate to one another really do matter. At the same time, I know the effect and power words of encouragement can instill. When someone comes along side of you and speaks such words it is like refueling an empty car. You see, everyone needs a friend to speak words of life and hope. This is why God gives friends.

The reason friendship exists is so we are motivated to not give up. God wants us to keep our focus on him and serving others. However, due to the typical life challenges we can easily become discouraged and burned out. We need subtle, if not direct, reminders that what we do matters. This is the power of words and friendships. What kind of friend are you? Are you an IDC friend or one who is willing to break the mold and say, “I DO CARE”?


· Look for someone in your youth group or school who needs a friend. You can tell who they are because no one sits around them or they are extremely quiet. Go and talk to them with genuine interest. Ask them questions so you’re not doing all the talking. Perhaps God may have a plan for your new friendship.
· Explain the importance and power of words when it comes to relationships.
· Verses in the book of Proverbs are often unrelated. Though, when they are they seem to be powerfully important. What do you think is the connection between Proverbs 18:21 and 18:22?
· Illustrate on paper using Proverbs 18:21-22 and James 3:2-12.
· What are some helps to caution the way you speak toward others?

[1] One reference that is helpful to me in understanding how to communicate with IDC teens is The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Summer of 2005, vol 23, no 3. This specific volume addresses IDC teens in several helpful articles. To name a few, “What is ‘Success’ in Parenting Teens?”, “Why Do Kids Turn Out the Way They Do?”, "Addressing the Problems of Rebellious Children", and my favorite, “Counseling Angry, Unmotivated, Self-Centered, and Spiritually-indifferent Teens”. What a title!?!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Why Pro-Life?

This can be an intimidating question. In fact one person said it was above his pay grade to answer it. No, that is not a slap at our historic 44th president, but it is an example of the fact that the question sparks debate. I’m not intending for this post to be political. However, the issue I want to propose is why should people, specifically Christians, be pro-life over pro-choice.

God is the Creator of human life (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:3-4, 103:14).
Both man and woman were created in the image of God. This elevates human life above all other created beings since nothing else is said to be created in God’s image. It gives humanity significance and also stewardship in creation.

Life begins at conception (Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:44; Galatians 1:15; Ephesians 1:3-4).
Individual life occurs from the union of the male and female sex parts, thus making a fully capable person with potential for every human capacity. Ultrasounds have literally become eye-opening pictures of the baby moving body parts, responding to external pressures and sound and performing human actions. At eight weeks all the organs are present with the brain functioning, heart pumping, liver and kidneys active. This is none other than the fingerprint of God. And it is reported that virtually all abortions happen after the eight week period.

Murder is wrong (Genesis 9:6, Exodus 20:13).
In every society murder of an innocent being is wrong. Not only is this an innate understanding in society but it is also mandated by the Divine Creator, who alone has the power to give and take life. Unfortunately in the case of the unborn child this is not so in our society. Based on the above beliefs, the unborn child should be protected as any other individual. “A strong argument can in fact be made for this even apart from biblical revelation, for the only differences between babies in utero and babies that are born are: (1) their location; (2) their size; (3) their level of dependence; and (4) their level of development”.
[1] Such differences should not allow death for one set of babies (pre-born) and life for another (those born).
Two other coinciding thoughts from pastor-theologian, John Piper are
1. Existing fetal homicide laws make a man guilty of manslaughter if he kills the baby in a mother's womb (except in the case of abortion).
2. Fetal surgery is performed on babies in the womb to save them while another child the same age is being legally destroyed.

Those who do not have a voice need those who do to speak up; no in fact they need us to rise up. Rise Up to speak of the horrific actions taking the innocent lives of over a million babies each year; Rise Up to educate and inform others on life related issues such as abortion, stem cell research and use and offer the Biblical worldview for life; Rise Up to get involved in sacrificial ways (prayer, crisis pregnancy centers, adoption, rallies, banquets, finances and perhaps even protests when appropriate); and lastly Rise Up to sensitively offer the hope and forgiveness of Jesus Christ who have experienced or encouraged abortion in the past.

Will we Rise Up?

[1] From ESV Study Bible, Biblical Ethics: The Beginning of Life and Abortion, p. 2539.
[2] Fifteen Pro-Life Truths to Speak, found at

Friday, January 23, 2009

Moses & Leadership

On Sunday morning our youth are studying Exodus. It's been fun to recall the story of a little boy floated down the Nile River in a basket, how God used a shepherd to lead the Israelites out of slavery, the plagues... ohhh, the plagues and of course the things Moses learns as a leader of an entire nation.

This week a part of our lesson is in chapter 18. Here are some things I am learning from Moses (and the Holy Spirit!) and trying to apply to our Youth Ministry.

1) God calls every person to play a role in his kingdom. Everyone has a different part and each is meaningful to the whole. This includes every age, gender, personality type and skill level.
2) Leadership is about developing people. This means empowering others to assist in meaningful ways of service. Leaders cannot do it alone.
3) People are more affirming and respectful of leaders who develop than leaders who remain independent. If a leader is not developing and employing people to serve the vision then they will become dissatisfied and feel devalued.
4) Busyness does not equal productivity or effectiveness. Moses was busy but not successful as a leader until he understood the art of developing others. In a word, delegation. Delegation sounds negative but if properly understood it is really helpful to everyone involved.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please post in the comments section below.

AND as a plug for our YM... we're starting YOUTH LEAD. It's a new way of doing ministry but an essential one if we are to be effective in our vision of growing godly generations. If you are wondering how you can fit in YOUTH LEAD I would love to sit and chat over a cherry coke with ya. Hope to hear from ya.

Monday, January 19, 2009


There's a new movie out titled, "He's Just Not That In To You". I'm not going to promote the movie by showing the trailer on this blog because I'm not sure it's worth promoting. However, it would appear that one of its themes seems to go right along with our series TEXT LOVE. The idea that relationships become the center of attention yet because of social dysfunction (no personal contact - one of the movie quotes is "stop cyberstalking him" and "myspace is the new [pick-up style]" wording changed due to content) and selfish heart idols, relationships seldom fulfill us. Well, this message is about the value of friendship over dating.

As we discussed last time, TEXT LOVE is a love that is consuming but short-lived. Lots of attention, time and energy is poured into text love. In time, teens turn dating into an idol to be worshiped. Teens should recognize that dating often becomes “disposable” in the sense that text love crushes come and go. The only one lasting relationship you can count on is Jesus Christ. God loves you more than those who say they do and only for a time. God’s love is different because it is unconditional and eternal.

This message will look at TEXT LOVE from the perspective of dating. Should teens be dating? Or even should Christians date? What is the purpose of dating anyway? These are good and interesting questions when it comes to relationships. By examining 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 I believe we can better understand some principles to help us answer some of these questions.

God provides principles for my body.
Paul offers some strong commands in using your body for God’s intended purposes. He questions the Corinthians six different times to challenge their thinking in the way they are living by rhetorically asking, “Do you not know?” His purpose is to show that God does indeed have principles and commands to follow for Christian behavior.

The following questions can help guide you in the way you live your life. For the purpose of our theme TEXT LOVE we answer the questions accordingly.

·Does this action control me?
Paul quotes a popular saying of the day, “Everything is permissible for me”. People were using this quote to exercise their freedoms without self-control. Paul contrasted this in declaring, not everything is helpful nor will I allow myself to be mastered by anything. Paul knew that anything, even good things, can be turned into a selfish idol we worship.

Likewise, we must ask ourselves if dating a certain person is causing me to be controlled by them and separated from God and everything else. For instance, can you spend time with your family or friends apart from the person you are dating? Even more specific, while you are spending time with family and friends are you texting or constantly calling that person. If so, you may be withdrawing from personal contact with others and allowing yourself to be controlled by a single person. God wants you to repent from this and turn your attention toward him and patience in relationships. We should not be controlled by any person or any thing.

· Does this action honor God?
Paul states the purpose of each person’s body is to glorify the Lord. God created the body as a place for him to inhabit. It is not meant for sexual immorality, giving oneself to another without the boundaries of marriage. Even becoming a Christian has the symbolism of marriage, being united to Jesus Christ and him to you. As a Christian your body is the temple of God’s Spirit and would be dishonoring to God if engaged in sexual immorality.

When persons are dating the common question in Christian circles is “How far is too far?” This is the wrong question because its focus is not on honoring God but pleasing selfish desires. This only goes to further prove your body is becoming enslaved or controlled by that other person. If this is happening the best action is to put the brakes on the relationship. Make a commitment to not be alone with the person you are dating. Spend time in groups with other friends. Discover activities and hobbies that you both are interested in to help shift the focus off the physical to the relational. Above all, ask God to help you make wise decisions and actions that will honor him.

·Does this action protect future?
Paul reveals the dangerous nature of sexual sin saying that it is not only a sin against God but a sin against your own body. Meaning, sexual sin carries lasting consequences other sins often do not physically, emotionally and spiritually. Even more, sexual sin involves another being therefore multiplying the consequences. A Christian’s actions should not weaken another’s faith.

When it comes to dating one has to consider the future. Every relationship is moving somewhere. In other words, we must be intentional about dating because eventually dating should lead to marriage where physical, emotional and spiritual union can be affirmed. So, if you are dating someone, is it moving toward this goal? If not, why date?

The point is there is never any danger of being BFF. Friendship is a gift from God meant to encourage each other and exalt God. A friendship with this purpose has the potential to move to more but it does not have the expectation to do so. Therefore, teens should seriously consider the difference and openly discuss it with trusted mentors, parents and others so such relationships do not become a hindrance to honoring God. People who are BFF seldom if at all regret their relationship. However, those who date and/or engage in pre-mature sexual activity often and almost always have regrets.

· Do you think these 3 questions are helpful when it comes to dating?
· Why is “How far is too far?” the wrong question to be asking?
· How is sexual sin different than other sins? Is it more dangerous or carry greater consequences?
· What does it mean to date intentionally?
· What is the benefit of friendship over dating?

Monday, January 12, 2009


What does the book of Hosea have to do with teens and relationships? Teens often make relationships an idol in competition with God. In reality, every human heart is an idol factory committing spiritual adultery against God. Hosea’s life reflects the nation of Israel. God told Hosea to marry an adulterous wife. Hosea was to model God’s redeeming love for Israel, who was also unfaithful. Throughout the book there are numerous word pictures describing Israel’s spiritual unfaithfulness, like: A promiscuous wife (1:2, 2:2-3); A self-serving mother (2:3-5); A stubborn heifer (4:16); A sick person going to a bad doctor (5:13); A morning mist that disappears (6:4); An ungrateful son (11:1-5); A child lacking wisdom (13:13).

The point is to show how Israel had forgotten and ignored God. Israel was the Lord’s bride but she had whored herself to others. Spiritually speaking this was idolatry. The popular god was Baal. Baal was known as a god of fertility. He was to have power over the weather and agricultural productivity. Baal worship was often characterized sexual conduct, drunkenness, mutilation, human sacrifice and the likes. At such temples, persons could “worship” by selecting a prostitute saying “I beseech the goddess of Astarte to favor you and Baal to favor me”(ESV Study Bible). In other words, as one responds in sexual production so shall the gods give fertile seed and weather for productive crops. Israel was God’s chosen people to dwell among and bless. Yet, they forsook him. Hosea shows that though God will judge sin he also desires reconciliation.

God sees every teen and wants them to know and experience his amazing love. Because teens are highly relational they are often consumed with thinking and acting in ways for the opposite sex. They may go so far as to make the other person the center of their attention and world. YET, there is no one who will love you like Jesus. Jesus is faithful. Jesus is fulfilling. Jesus is forgiving. God told Israel that they would replace the name of this idol with a face to face, intimate relationship with the living God (2:16). Just as Hosea had to see that God’s love is far different than human love, we too must embrace God’s love and place Him above every other love in our life. Teen dating simply does not measure to God’s forever love.

· Do you think that teens “need” to date? How can this become an all consuming trap?
· Why do you think most teen relationships not last?
· What does Dave mean when he says “every human heart is an idol factory committing spiritual adultery against God”?
· How do you know when another person is becoming an idol you worship? Who can you ask to hold you accountable for when you are making this mistake?
· How does Jesus saying “ILYM” impact dating relationships for teens?
· What will you commit to doing to grow in a relationship with God? Seriously, are you really going to do what you say?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We'll be starting a new series this week at ZERO. It's called TEXT LOVE. We'll discuss many issues teens face in dealing with relationships, sex, friendships, dating, sex, communication (I am noticing teens becoming socially dysfunctional in personal contact even though they are more socially connected through texting, internet, phones, etc. WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THIS), sex, boundaries, manhood, womanhood and sex. In case you have not heard, it has been said that teen boys think of sex every 7 seconds. Well, it's time the Church start addressing the issue biblically.

Here's a list of the message titles. You can guess what they are or simply just wait til they roll out.

Jan 11 ILYM Hosea 2:14-20
Jan 18 BFF 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Jan 25 IDC Proverbs 18:21-22
Feb 1 HGG 1 Kings 2-3
Feb 15 HGG Genesis 24:16-25

Also, here are some important quotes to consider on the issue. Get ready for an interesting few weeks!

“The Love life of a Christian is a crucial battleground. There, if nowhere else, it will be determined as to who is Lord: the world, the self and the devil, or the Lord Christ.” - Elisabeth Elliot, Passion and Purity

“More than one in 10 (T.V.) shows include scenes in which sexual intercourse is either depicted or strongly implied; among the top 20 shows watched by teens, 70 percent include sexual content, and 45 percent include sexual behavior; in shows that include sexual content, the number of sex scenes is up to an average of five scenes an hour; The total number of sex scenes has almost doubled since 1988, from 1,930 to 3,783; There are 6.7 sex scenes per hour on top ten shows.” - Raleigh News & Observer, (11-05)

“‘Hooking up’ has replaced traditional courtship and dating among today’s college students… It is strictly about user sex. I use you and you use me for mutual pleasure. And liquor is more often than not the lubricant that makes things go.” - Vigen Guroian, “Dorm Brothel: The new debauchery, and the colleges that let it happen.” Christianity Today. Feb. 2005

“Each year in the United States, more than 800,000 girls 19 and younger get pregnant and over 4 million teens contract sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea.” - Newsweek, 4-25-05, p.61

“The Christian church is riddled with immorality, among the young and the older, the single and the married, the laity and leadership. Like the frog that boiled to death by degrees, many Christian homes have been gradually desensitized to sexual sin. When we hear that 60 to 80 percent of young people engage in sexual intercourse before marriage, most of us assume our own church young people constitute the other 20 to 40 percent. But any youth counselor in touch with reality will tell you this is often not the case.” - Randy Alcorn, quoted in “War on the Family: The Sex Revolution Continues” (Eternity, Jan. 1989, p. 31).

“Sex is the only form of human behavior viewed as uncontrollable in teenagers. If we taught them about driving the way we do about sex (how to speed and break laws without getting caught or paying the consequences), there would be more accidents and casualties among this age group than there are now.” - Columnist Cal Thomas (in Washington Times, Jun. 10, 2001, pages B3)

“It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.” A guy named Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7

Monday, January 5, 2009


Dear Fallen Angels,

We at Hell’s Headquarters are not impressed with your work at Southern Calvert Baptist Church. Of course, there are a few dark spots but that is hardly to your credit. By and large, you have failed miserably at squashing the work of God’s Holy Spirit. It is positively revolting to see over three hundred potential slaves of ours adoring Jesus, our enemy. This has got to stop or you will be transferred to some other location where there is less opposition.

Evidently you need to relearn the most important lesson we teach here at Hell’s Headquarters. This is that extended and concentrated prayer must be undermined at all costs. Every one of the Devil’s angels cuts his fallen teeth on the basic manual of prayer obstruction. Have you forgotten such elementary teaching?

Here are some specifics that you must do at once:

Those “Dynamic Prayer Meetings” on Sunday nights at 6pm has got to cease. At all costs do not allow people to get serious about prayer. Much more, do not even think of letting more Christians attend these meetings. For the most part, this has been one of your greater schemes accomplished. Most of those Christians think these meetings are a waste of time or make themselves too busy to even attend. Keep up the malicious lies!

Also, who are these “Joshua Prayer Warriors”? They meet every dreaded Sunday morning during 10:45am worship services. They plead with our Enemy to work His Spirit while those fool pastors (Steve and Dave) preach from that dreaded Bible. You would tremble if you knew how many of our master’s flaming darts have been extinguished by the prayers of these opponents. I shudder to think what would become of us and our few captives it people started to join them. Satan help us if deacons, ministry team leaders, couples, singles and entire families start to pray during worship. If this continues it will cause unimaginable havoc.

Lastly, what is this “next generation” talk all about? Pastor Dave continues to call people to leave a legacy by serving in nursery, children and youth ministry. Destroy him. Attack all of these ministries. What we have found to work in other churches is an indirect approach. Simply, allow apathy to take its course. Allow people to think that serving is tiresome and futile. Cause those with jobs to become overextended and disrupt family life. Allow college students and the retired to bask in the comforts of idleness. We are slowly beginning to lose ground in these areas and cannot afford for these youngsters to catch the gospel message. The cause of Hell rests on the failure of next generation ministries.

You must double and triple your efforts. This is no time to relax. The entire country of America is nearing a fall from Christian ways. We must advance even in the small rural areas such as Calvert and St. Mary’s county. It is our duty.

For the sake of Satan,

Hell’s Headquarters

Letter adapted from Desiring God

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2 for the theme

On occasion when I find an article or resource that is on the theme of the blog title "Growing Godly Generations", I like to pass it on. So here are 2 interesting articles that I recently came across. Hope you enjoy.

The Eschatology of Parenting

Clothing and the Character of the Child

Friday, January 2, 2009

Overcoming Unfulfilled Expectations

What expectations do you have? What are you dreams? How come these are often not a reality?

“Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he withheld his compassion?” (Psalm 77:7-9)

Perhaps the answer to these questions is because we have turned God into someone he is not. Read Matthew 11:1-15 to see an example of one who had unfulfilled expectations yet through Jesus’ response found fulfillment in God and his word.

In this passage John had unfulfilled expectations of the Messiah and unwanted circumstances being in prison. if we are honest, we have the same tendency John did. We turn Jesus into someone we hope he is: Someone to achieve my dreams, fulfill my desires, satisfy my needs, and meet my expectations. Jesus did not come to perform our purposes but to accomplish his own. We must understand this foundational concept if we are to overcome personal expectations that remain unfulfilled. In other words, we must surrender our dreams and expectations to trusting God and his purposes.

Continuing to read this passage you can find 2 ways to overcome unfulfilled expectations:

You can overcome unfulfilled expectations by focusing on God’s work (Matthew 11:1-5).
There are times when our expectations go unfulfilled that we fail to see God’s hand at work in our life. We become selfish and myopic in our thinking. However, it is most often in times of crisis and unfulfilled expectations that God is diligently working in our life. Many believers who have endured such experiences can confirm this truth.

C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pain. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Psalm 77:17-19 “The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.”

Nahum 1:3b “His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.”

In other words, evidence that God is present and working in your life is the fact there is change and crisis. God allows such circumstances in order to shape our being and refocus our priorities. We must know that God is not so removed to never know our pain. Remember, Resurrection Sunday never would have come without Crucifixion Friday.

- Write a list of your unfulfilled expectations. Pray over them asking God to reveal his purpose in them.
- List “God-sightings” in your life this past year. Places where you saw God at work in your life and around you. This will serve as a reminder that God is not absent or left you alone. If you cannot think of anything to write then perhaps the reason is because you do not know God. Would you consider asking God to reveal himself to you, even as John did in this passage?

You can overcome unfulfilled expectations by focusing on God’s calling (Matthew 11:6-15).
When God is not meeting our expectations we must first evaluate our faith and trust in God’s sovereignty to bring about his purposes in our life. Next, we must not lose our passion for who we are and where God has called us. There are times when things may not be going our way and things seem like they are stacking against us. During these times we often take on the victim mentality. We excuse behavior based on the actions of others. This mentality becomes our prison of depression and hopelessness. It is wrong because it views our unfulfillments bigger than God. It fails to see God as all powerful and all knowing bringing about all things for his greater purposes. God is working in the midst of trials and he is calling you to not give up. “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me…”

). In other words, we should expect challenging and difficult times. Too often we can be tempted to give up and pull away right before we reap the benefits. In the face of difficulty or challenge we quit and abandon everyone else. Not only is this a selfish attitude but it denies the group, team or spouse (the body of Christ) the opportunity to support one another and grow from struggles. Besides, when did the road to God’s blessings become paved with ease and comfort?

God is calling you to protect his name and persevere in the situations he has placed you. This may mean getting counseling in your marriage, working through the issues attacking your marriage. It may mean remaining patient for God to clearly open another opportunity of employment. You may have to show some tough love to a loved one because of your commitment to not compromise your integrity. To summarize it in a phrase: be tenacious over God’s calling. Tenacious means “not easily pulled apart, persistent in seeking something valued or desired.”
[2] God has called you and is preparing you through various circumstances to glorify Jesus and serve others.

Romans 8:18, 28-29 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us… And we knot that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son”

2 Corinthians 1:4-5,9b God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows… [these circumstances] happen that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

- There’s probably someone in your life that knows/thinks you are about to give up on them or step away from a commitment. I encourage you to contact them and tell them you are committed to protecting God’s name and persevering to discover God’s purpose for the situation.

- Realize God cares more about your long-term character than your short-term comfort. It's not about your happiness but your holiness! Choose to view obstacles with this perspective.

Ultimately, the reason why we are able to focus on God’s work and God’s calling is because Jesus did so when he lived on earth. Jesus was never surprised by the circumstances he faced but in his humanity he did face unwanted circumstances; specifically the cross. Yet, he submitted to the Father’s will dying for our sin. Jesus was tenacious about honoring God the Father. Our hope rests on Jesus and the sufficiency he provides.

· Have you personally trusted and received Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sin in your life?
· John’s unfulfilled expectations led him to seek God. What does yours lead to? Are you allowing them to lead to dishonorable behaviors (victim mentality)?
· Will you submit your expectations (fulfilled or unfulfilled) to honoring God in all things?

[1] C.S. Lewis in his work, The Problem of Pain.