Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Game of Life!

Life is an Adventure! Ever hear that expression?

Adventures can be great fun!

They can also turn into moments of confusion, frustration, fear, and even into getting us off-track. Most of us like the thrill of exploring the unknown, as long as we’ve got a guide. Without one, adventures frequently lead to disaster.

It certainly makes sense to expect that the Creator of life would be the best Guide for life’s adventure. He is! And He’s given us a written guide to life—the Bible. God’s Word functions as our helpful companion along the way.

Although God has given us a guide to life, there are times we don’t always pay attention to it. We ignore the warnings and directions from God as often as we disregard the instructions of a human guide. Often, those moments of confusion, frustration and getting off-track can turn into profitable lessons if we stop long enough to say, “I should have been paying closer attention!”

How Can I Simplify My Life, Yet Live It Fully?

Life is a series of “moments”………

When we think about it (which is most of the problem) life appears complex and busy. This is an illusion. Life is simple and serene, because we can only live one moment at a time. There are no neurotic or intelligent people; only neurotic or intelligent moments (Choices). By paying attention to the present moment, and the next, and the next, we determine the quality of our lives.

The Only Problem You Will Ever Have Is A Wisdom Problem.

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine… your Choices… your Moments.

Wisdom comes to us through God’s special revelation His Word.

Application of this wisdom is “seen” in the intent and discipline to make Godly choices in a world filled with sinful distractions and detours. Wisdom represents the culmination of knowledge and understanding carried to its practical and ultimate end.

Wisdom involves “Knowing” the facts of divine revelation, (His Word) and an “Understanding” of these principals so as to see God’s intention of a blessed or happy life through redemption (from our mistakes, the past) and a practical sanctification (a better tomorrow.)

Wisdom then engages the human intellect and will translate this “Knowledge” and “Understanding” into a pattern of godly experiences and responses becoming the Habits of one’s life.

What Has God said… What am I going to Do about what He has said?

Deb & I care about you…

We want you to LIVE THE ADVENTURE God has planned and purposed for YOU!

See You IN Church

Leave some stinking feedback!

We trust the following “Study Tool” will encourage you to pay closer attention before you reach a dead end or feel lost. It’s our hope that you will develop a new confidence in your guide to life, the Bible, and the One who provided it for you. And we pray that your adventure with the Lord as your Guide will be great fun!

Finding Your Central Purpose.


Bob A. said...

I couldn’t agree more with this month’s blog.

I believe we are all seduced by life’s folly…..pleasures….things…… unbridled selfish ambitions……”idols”….most all of them can become idols in their own right. It can happen to Solomon, the wisest man of his time, it can happen to any of us.

I am convinced by my own flight with folly through my own mid life crisis , aka “prodigal son” period, that of course, Solomon inspired by the Holy Spirit, couldn’t be more right in his assessment. Not only is 2:1-11 a great section of Ecclesiates, but the way Solomon closes out the book is powerful as well….

Ecclesiastes 12:9-13 The Conclusion of the Matter
9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but also he imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true. 11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

As you said in the blog….”Wisdom then engages the human intellect and will translate this “Knowledge” and “Understanding” into a pattern of godly experiences and responses becoming the Habits of one’s life.”…..we need to hold to God’s GPS….His compass in our lives.....

Proverbs 4:3-5 3 When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, 4 he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.

Joshua 1:7-8 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

As I speak to my own children and try to give them the wisdom that I lacked during my darkest years without God in my life, I talk about Solomon. I put his wisdom into terms they can understand and relate it to their own lives (the 4 of them ranging from 23 to 13 years of age) and point them to one of my most favorite passages since the prodigal in me came home to his Father……

Jeremiah 29:11-14 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.”

The important thing for us to understand is what God expects from us in the way of prayer, supplication, seeking Him with all our hearts….this is the key to what follows in v12 to's the key that unlocks the prior...

12 ” Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity.”

It’s not different than what Jesus said in Matthew…..

Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, Seek, Knock
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Stay focused....stay fixed....His Word /GPS is all we have.

Great blog PM.

Hosanna !! \o/\O/

Kathleen said...

This message has set the tone for my prayers today and beyond. Much to ponder. I hope to be able to define my purpose in Christ. Thanks and God Bless.

nICHOLE said...

WOW... so much to think about.
I am looking forward to this upcoming "Game of Life" study.
After 13 yrs saved, there are so many things I seem to repeatedly get caught up on, and not always God pleasing... I know HE has great plans for me, and that I was saved for a great purpose, Though at times, I still struggle in KNOWING what that true purpose is.
But you nailed it on the head when you said, it's not in obeying Him that creates this close relationship... it's my relationship that causes me to Obey. In turn I will KNOW what He has for me.
Thank you for the reminder...
"I used to know this..."

Look at that tying two studies cool!

I realize that finding and knowing God's purpose for me is not that difficult... I'm just looking forward "to another push OK maybe another shove over that hump that I keep hanging out on".

Just being real.
Thanks so much PM

Thomas said...

What do you desire? does your love for others trump what you have? What would you give for someone you love?who is defined as someone you love?who are your brothers and sisters in love? Would you hold back from another for the sake of your self ? How much is fair and what do we share?Is love about you or is it about me? should i tell a friend or save it for me?Do i share my love or share what i have ? Can love be greed like a gold bar x10? Do i give it away or save it for me?I am ashamed, ashamed of my life for i gave away my complaints and my strife.Its not to late now I can feel his love, he gave his to me, he gave me his life. the price he payed for us all and what can i do, for i owe him back, forever i live.He came here for me, Now he waits for me there.Will it be like a party where loves in the air, where no love is spared it is poured over you.will we take it in or will we pour it on you? Is it to strong to keep? Do we pass it on? Do we take what we want or give it away? IT doesn't matter its already there. Will you make it there? IS this not life lets be for real yes go with god and make your own deal.He will take you there yes its for real but you must keep your end of deal. Read in the book the book is alive. The bible is real like you are of life.

Ndale said...

I remmember years ago growing up with my dad in jamaica, he would always say to me "your so lucky, you have nothing to worry about" i never quite understood what that meant, i felt safe and secure with him, of course he was my dad and would protect me from all harm, then i moved to United states five years ago, and it wasnt till i was living on my own and taking charge of my life and responsibilities that i realised how hard the world make it seem to be young, life is jorney that none of us can walk on our own without God, people today are moving at such a hurried pace , we are loosing the true meaning of life, and day by day we are becoming desensitized by our self cultivated stresses and challenges. Pastor mark spoke about compassion this past sunday, about cultivating compassion, somehow we have forgotten how to be compassionate, we have forgotten how to love and care for each other, many of us start a greeting by saying hi, and asking how are you, but if we truly told them how we are, how we are hurting inside, and how much we go through, i think some would probably become uninterested. But through prayer and using gods word as the key we will make it through.

Willie... said...

A "stinking" comment? Hmmm... I'd rather leave a NICE one, instead! ;)

It was just over 24 years ago that I first started attending New Life. I was Baptized here on Jan 26'th, 1986.

By the time Easter rolled around, my heart was drawing closer to Jesus in ways I had never imagined! \o/ During the Easter celebrations, I found myself wanting more of HIM... to truly, and TOTALLY SURRENDER to Christ, to seek and to do HIS WILL for my life!

At one point, the choir was singing, "I'm Yours, Lord! Everything I am! Everything I'm not! I'm Yours, Lord, try me now and see! See if I can be completely Yours." I was swept up into the meaning of those words as I listened and sang them as a prayer from my heart.

In the Evening service, was when it all came together! I will never forget the life-changing moment: I was at the Altar with many others, and a Word of Prophecy was given through Pastor Evans. I don't remember the details, but the closing words are written indelibly upon the tablet of my heart, "I have called you, and I will use you."

WHOOSH! The power of God just overcame me like NOTHING I had EVER felt, before! I just "melted" there, in His presence, with a JOY that utterly defies description! As I lay there on the floor, it was like these wonderful waves of joy, peace, and love washed through my innermost being! I was HIS. Completely surrendered to do HIS WILL for my life. I didn't know what that was, yet, but whatever it was, I was saying "YES, LORD!! YES!! I'm YOURS, LORD! Everything I am..." \o/

Unfortunately, a few months later, PRIDE snuck into my heart... "look at me! I'm so close to God, I can't fall!"

Well, fall I did. :( SPLAT!! Face-first into sin.

Immediately after that brief, but significant, failure I sought His forgiveness with many tears and repentance. After being blessed by His Love, Mercy, and Grace once again, I took hold of God's hand and vowed to lever let go! No longer would I *ever* allow myself to say "I can't fall"... from then on, it was, "LORD, please hold me and guide me, lest I fall again."

Yes, I have *stumbled* a few times along the way... but I never let go of His hand, and he (of course) never let go of mine. I've had a stumble here or there, but not a total face-plant like that one time!

Today, I am still seeking His direction for my life. Since He closed the door of Christian radio nearly 3 years ago, I pray earnestly each day to be returned to a place where I can serve HIM in that capacity once again. \o/

Pastor Mark has said, "What makes you angry, and what makes you cry? Those things are keys to what God wants you to do."

Seeing the total, complete lack of Christian music on the airwaves of Fairfield County does both.

I close with my "Life's Verse"... Mat 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."


Anonymous said...

Awesome Blog and SELAH Coach 1 and 2. I love that and I quote " If you are not teachable, You're not reachable."
And my prayer is just that Lord help me to remain teachable, so that I can REALLY "KNOW" what your purpose is for me. Thank you for reminding me (US) of this in these studies.

Anonymous said...

Ndale you are so right. I read the Selah's of the past two days as well. It's very tough to find a coach .....someone who isn't judging you because your life doesn't quit come up to the measure of the brother or sister around you who thinks they have got it together. It appears we seem to get judged much faster than we are offered Godly advice.

Can anyone out there give some thoughts as to why we seem to get "judged" and passed by or written off rather than a Godly hand or gesture to mentor or coach in times of need since it seems to be so important?

Can anyone one give a Godly answer?

Anonymous said...

Is that Harley Davidson Thomas?

You're a poet man!

Anonymous said...

I read the selahs part 1 and 2 and wish that we could actually find brothers and sisters in the faith that could actually be "coaches".

What is it about people that would rather judge another than help them??

Any thoughts out there?

Mark said...

Hi.. Pastor Mark here…don’t often answer questions on the blog…figure there are enough smart people out there to help….but could not resist a little follow up…

Thanks for the feed-back!

Trouble finding a Coach?
Couple of people have asked HOW?
Couple of people have asked why do I just get Judged?
A few thoughts:

1. Look for someone Older… In faith & years… Experience Matters with a coach.

2. If all your friends are “Judgmental” …. Find new friends!!

3. You don’t need 10 coaches … One is a great.. Maybe an assistant coach.. But that’s plenty to start with.

4. On the “Judgment” ? …. Remember a Coach is not a Cheer-leader… Coaches are supposed to point out our Flaws…(In love) and offer ways for us to “BE-Better” …. Part of Coaching is Judging!!

5. A coach will “rarely” be your “friend”… the relationship just has difficulty working that way… I don’t worry so much if the people I am trying to Coach/Lead “LOVE” me it’s more important they “Respect” you and your input into their lives. Ask any kid on a high school team if they Love what their coach puts them through.. if they Love what he “makes” them do… If they love how he talks to them sometimes… But do they “Respect” him for what he has brought out of them…What they have become……

T said...

Anonymous comment # 4 I feel your pain. I once had a problem with a nepolistic coach, find one that can help you from the inside out and sees your good qualitys as well as your faults.Only one was perfect! Some coaches are more open and have more compassion than others find one that works for you.May God bless you:)

Anonymous said...

I've been getting these Selah's for a while now....I've seen many on Coaching and Mentoring. It's so important but why sooo rare especially in the church.

You see so many people who really believe (and you might think they think so too) that they have it all together, and it seems as if they avoid anyone who may upset their apple cart or rob their "positive energy" or become a burden to them if they actually try to get involved in someone's life when they see that person could really use it.

I've seen so many scriptures on "encouragement" in the New Testament. Why is it that those that seem to have it together....are blessed.....don't even take the time to put their hand on someone's shoulder who may be hurting and just say, "how are you doing?....can I say a prayer with you? Hang in there, He said, Never will I leave you nor foresake you...", or at least say something positive.

Why is that? Anyone have any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Hello last anonymous, I see the same thing where I'm from....not only that, I don't even see the Pastor's take an interest in the lives of the flock. They just meet and greet with a smile but don't get involved. I don't understand how they cannot feel the tug of the Lord to reach out with love, understanding and encouragement to attend to a member of the flock that's hurting without an "official" appointment.

Does anyone else get the answer to this dilemma in the church? Where do we find the love of Christ in the Church?

Bob A. said...

Hey Kathleen

Check out a book called Way of Wisdom by James MacDonald, it's awesome...It's a great read for knowing God's Will for your life.

Check Amazon 1st thru Newlife (it didn't see it on MacDonald's Amazon page ),

Otherwise, go to

where you can get a copy for a donation of any amount.

God Bless You in your search !

Bob a said...

It’s cool how the Selah and the Blog study work together to bless us! Today’s Selah works like a puzzle piece within “The Game of Life”, no?.

I was looking at the story of Elisha and the Widow’s Oil from 2 Kings 4:1-7 this morning when I opened the Selah.

Check it out….The widow is worried because her husband died and she’s destitute….she’s got financial problems….(sound familiar)? So Elisha asks her, “what do YOU have in the house?” All she had was a jar of oil. He told her to go borrow empty vessels and bring them and just start pouring the oil you have. As soon as she ran out of empty vessels to receive the oil…..the oil stopped flowing. She sold off the oil in the vessels, paid her bills and for now…problem solved.

It seems that as long as we bring ourselves as empty vessels, God will keep filling us with what we need. As long as we do whatever WE can do with WHAT WE HAVE, God will do the rest… in the Selah PM said, “When we do our best, God will do the rest”.

It’s great when God’s spirit sends us a message that all comes together. We know God’s word has all kinds of examples of this… when Jesus fed 5,000 with what they had…….David succeeded over Goliath with what he had (he said in 1Samuel 17….what am I gonna do with this armor?….all I need are the stones I have).

Utilize all we have in prayer, energy, friends, mentors, coaches, loved ones, church family, God given talents, etc……then come empty to HIM and we will be filled……He will accomplish His purposes through us.

What a great blessing today how He put it all together.

He promised!

Bob A said...

Providential Selah!

No different than Elisha and the Widow’s Oil from 2 Kings 4:1-7

Thank you PM

Hebrews 3:14-16
14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15As has just been said:
"Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion."

All together now.....Say aaaaahhhhhhhhhhh !!!

Hosanna ! \O/