The Art of Pie

Part 2 of 4
By Pastor Dave

          The P is for Praise.  We just don’t praise people enough – our children, our spouses, the people that we work with and especially teenagers who really need it.  In fact we all need it.  I am not talking about flattery or manipulating through kind words to get something but just plain honest praise.  Examples:  you did a good job, congrats this is something you are really good at, how you solved that situation was great, you know the great quality I see in you is …, or how you stood up and did the right thing.  Why is it so painful to say small statements like this?  When I have honestly done this and given honest praise to someone that deserved it, I have watched their confidence grow right in front of me. [Read more…]

The Art of Pie

Part 1 of 4
By Pastor Dave

          My daughter makes the best pies.  Her specialty is apple which is not surprising because Rachelle and her husband, Joe, own an apple orchard.  Her apple pie is made with a special recipe she developed over the years.  Every year as fall comes around the local people begin to look forward to having an Emmett apple pie since they only make them for two months out of the year in September and October.  When they are sold out you have to wait until next year.  It is impressive for me to see the anticipation, the joy, and the blessing those pies bring to people.  Seems to me that people can’t get enough of them and the desire to have an Emmett apple pie seems to grow every year. 

            But that’s not the pie I want to talk to you about.  Although there are some similarities between the two in that they both bring anticipation, joy, and blessing when you practice the art of pie.  I am referring to the art of praise, inspire, and encourage, P.I.E.  Something we all need in our lives is a slice of pie.  You probably have realized in your life we live in a mean and negative world.  I still experience this meanness because it seems that human beings are carriers of this sinful disease but there was a time in my high school years that I lived with this type of attitude on a daily basis and I want to tell you it was crushing to the human spirit.  The worst part is that we usually end up having this meanness become part of our character.  Frankly, we become what we hate, as someone taught me hurt people, hurt people.  If you get up every day and call someone stupid or psychotic there is a good chance they will begin to believe it about themselves even though it is not true.  We can do this in many subtle ways consciously or unconsciously and it becomes a habit. 

            Those years were a dark and angry period of my life and I didn’t realize how much I was craving a piece of P.I.E.  I believe deep down we all crave it.  Then in the midst of all that darkness, God brought someone into my life with a whole different approach.  To me it was light in all that darkness.  They were positive and excelled in the art of Praise, Inspiration, and Encouragement and how it could lift the spirit of another human being, motivate them to rise above the circumstances of life and make the best of any situation and even change the course of another human being’s life and bring hope in a dark world.  I understand that confrontation, correction and holding each other accountable are necessary in life.  Brethern, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted (Galatians 6:1).  So many times we want to find fault and blame someone else for the problems at hand.  But first before we ask, “Whose fault is it?”  We ask, “How can we fix the problem?”  That being said I decided after I came to Christ I wanted to treat others the way I was treated by my first wrestling coach and a few others I met in my life along the way.  I wanted to be a person that was quick to Praise, Inspire, and Encourage, what I call Pie or the art of Pie.  It is not easy to learn the “art of pie”.  It takes years and for some a life time to learn. 

To be continued ………………..

The Will of God

Part 27
By Pastor Dave

W3CP2 = The Will of God

          How does this peace play out in our lives? How do we identify this peace and apply it to finding the will of God in our lives? When we come to Christ we have peace with God. Romans 5:1 We have access to his daily peace in our daily lives. So this peace plays out in our lives in various ways. One way is Luke 1:79 “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death (salvation), to guide our feet into the way of peace (daily walk as a Christian).” Once we have access to God through the peace purchased for us by Christ, we now have available to us the guidance of God’s peace. This peace becomes the inner compass of our soul and continually sets us “at one again” in this world filled with tribulation. Another way this peace plays out in our lives is Colossians 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” [Read more…]

The Will of God

Part 26
By Pastor Dave

W3CP2 = The Will of God

          To get a grip on this capstone on finding the will of God, I feel I need to answer some questions about the peace of God. Is there a difference between God’s peace and peace we can experience that the world gives? Yes! John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The key phrase is “not as the world giveth.” The world offers peace in the temporal things of this life. The parable in Luke 12:18 and 19 “And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” The word ease means to give rest. Remember the main word for peace means prosperity, quietness, rest, set at one again. The rich man said to his soul to take ease. He was set at one with himself and his financial portfolio. Obviously he has rest in the things of this world but our Lord points out in Luke 12:20 that he was not at peace with God and that night his soul would be required to stand before God. The rich man had the world’s peace and was rich toward himself but he was broke with God. That’s why in Matthew 4, Jesus, during his temptation, turned down all the offers of Satan. They would only offer temporary peace. There is a reason why in Hebrew 7:2 that Melchisedec is called the king of peace. In this Old Testament account of Christ, he is the author of our peace and our access to real peace. [Read more…]

The Will of God

Part 25
By Pastor Dave

W3CP2 = The Will of God

          The final piece to the W3CP2 = The Will of God puzzle is peace.  Peace is the assurance that we have made the right choice in seeking God’s will.  Peace that we are on the right pathway on this incredible treasure hunt for his will.  It is also the confirmation that we have arrived and found the specific task he wants us to do for him and in him.  Peace is the quiet rest we have in God when we are continuing in his will.  It puts joy to the statement when we get up in the morning and we say I love what I do every day and at this time I wouldn’t want to do anything else with my life.  This is it.  It has nothing to do with how hard our job is or the challenges we can have in every job or as I prefer to say calling.  It is the peace that God gives us that he has and will give strength to perform his will every day.  He prepares us for the task at hand and the abilities to handle whatever that task entails. [Read more…]

The Will of God

Part 24
By Pastor Dave

W3CP2 = The Will of God

          5.  Prayer of confession.  Prayer brings us closer to God and the closer we get to God, we will see our need for cleansing.  God is holy and pure and one of the ways we miss finding the will of God in our lives is that we have sin that needs to be removed.  Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”  In prayer in Psalm 51:2 “Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.”  Prayer that leads to confession opens up the lives of grace between God’s spirit and our spirit.  Then his grace will influence our hearts once again.  We cannot find God’s will for our lives if we are not clean before God.  Praying properly will drive us to search our hearts because when we come into his presence, his holiness only magnifies our lack of holiness and the prayer of confession begins. [Read more…]

The Will of God

Part 23
By Pastor Dave

W3CP2 = The Will of God

        4.  Prayer brings rhythm with God.  I am one that believes that life is rhythm.  I believe there is a physical rhythm and a spiritual rhythm.  There are days when everything is clicking for me and then there are days when I am all thumbs.  On those days I have to slow down and sometimes even put my life in creeper gear to try to catch the rhythm of my day.  If I don’t slow down and focus it only seems to get worse.  I also notice this rhythm with my wife and my other relationships.  Some days my wife and I are just clicking and there is this great rhythm between us.  Then other times we seem to be going in different directions and understanding what each other is thinking seems more difficult.  We are not on the “same page” so to speak.  It’s then I try to slow it down and figure out what the problem is and see if we can get back in rhythm again.  Sometimes it’s my stubborn will or my selfish pride that gets in the way.  Sometimes it is a good thing and God uses my wife to stop me from doing something I will regret.  Lack of rhythm indicates there is something not quite right and it’s a sign to slow down and see why. [Read more…]

The Will of God

Part 22
By Pastor Dave

W3CP2 = The Will of God

          3.  The power of prayer.  Without prayer there is no finding the will of God.  We are cut off from our source of power.  One of our problems in understanding prayer is that we look at it like a light switch.  We turn it on and we expect results and when we don’t get results we get frustrated.  We give God our grocery list of requests and expect to have them filled within our time schedule.

       There are times when God gives us immediate answers to prayer like Nehemiah when he was before the king and he asked God what he should say when the king asked him what he wanted and God gave an immediate response.  But usually when we pray for something and there is no response in the time we feel we should get an answer we feel there is no power in prayer.  That is not true.  We must remember there is always power in prayer.  God is always listening and he will respond when he is ready and how he wants to respond to our prayers. [Read more…]

The Will of God

Part 21
By Pastor Dave

W3CP2 = The Will of God

          2.  We need to spend time in the presence of God to understand his ways, desires and wants.  God does not have to explain why he does what he does or his motive for doing his sovereign will.  God is above question.  He enjoys our presence in prayer and will never chide us when we come to him.  The great need for us in finding his will for our lives is hidden in the presence of prayer.  We need to spend time with God in prayer.  God calls this place we come to commune with him in prayer the throne of grace.  Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  God welcomes us to come to him at his throne of grace, in prayer, boldly make requests and to linger in his presence.  Even in life when we spend time with someone we begin to understand how they think and what their method is.  That’s what the presence of prayer helps us with in searching for the will of God in our lives. [Read more…]

The Will of God

Part 20
By Pastor Dave

W3CP2 = The Will of God

          Next is P2.  The first P is prayer or as George Mueller called it Prevailing Prayer.  Much has been written about prayer.  I want to talk about how prayer relates to helping us find the will of God in our lives.  It is more that prayer is integrated in every step in finding the will of God.  Prayer in discerning the will of God to keep us on target with the interpretation of the Word of God.  Prayer helps us in the struggle to put our will in neutral.  Wrestling with God in prayer and seeking his will over our will by placing our will in neutral so it does not interfere with his will when he reveals it to us.  Prayer is our pastime when we are instructed to wait on God.  Isaiah 40:30 “But they that wait upon the Lord…”  Prayer is the tool we use to discern the circumstances of life in how we should react to or choose the right circumstances that show us the will of God.  Prayer is the prevailing posture we take until God shows us clearly his will for us. [Read more…]