E-mail Encouragement: What Can You Achieve?  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer

Wasn't last night good!? I hope you had a good time singing, praying, hearing the Word, and hearing how God has been working in the lives of many people. God is Good! All the Time!

What can you achieve?...


My mother taught me very early to believe I could achieve any accomplishment I wanted to. The first was to walk without braces.
Wilma Rudolph, 1940-1994, Olympic Gold Medalist

God can definitely do some amazing things in people! We all seem to have moments of wearing braces on our spiritual legs. We may want to do big things for God, but we need to throw the braces to the side in order to do them. Unfortunately, about the time we are ready to take the braces off, we lose our confidence and put the braces right back on. What is it that you want to do with/for God? What is something you're afraid of doing that will impact the Kingdom, but afraid to take the braces off? If you have no answer, then you are definitely wearing braces and are "used" to them. If you said what you were wanting to do - then pray and ask that God remove those fears from you.

Praying we remove our "braces" and each do big things for God!

Have a week filled with (good) "surprises"!Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: Remembering - Deuteronomy 8:2-3  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in ,


Happy Memorial Day! I hope you all are having a great Memorial Day!

Yesterday, we focused on what Memorial Day is all about…remembering - from Deuteronomy 8:2-3. Remembering loved ones and those who’ve died in armed services, but not forgetting about what we have in Christ – the freedoms, the victories, the blessings, the forgiveness, etc. As you reflect back, think about these additional applications…

  1. Egypt was the place of slavery to the Israelites. Sin is our place of slavery. When were you led out of sin? What did it feel like? After you have been out of that “land” of slavery, do you continue to praise Him for being out of that “land” or are you getting so used to it that you have forgotten what it was like to be there? As you read this, say a praise prayer to God for delivering you from your “Egypt”.
  2. When was the last time that you were humbled? What was the method in which you were humbled? Humility helps us focus more on Him and not on us – as He is the one who provides. As you go through your week, look at life through eyes that see life as an opportunity to focus on Him and not on you. Try to keep to the forefront of your day that you are a “connector” – helping people be one “connection” closer to Jesus!
  3. Testing reveals if we’ve grasped the concept. James challenges his readers by saying that if we have faith, there will be actions that reveal that. On the flipside, faith without actions is dead (James 2:14-16). Our faith is not limited to “staying with God” but it also includes having faith that He will be with us when we see someone who needs Jesus and talk to them about Him or praying to Him about something that may seem impossible to you but knowing that He could make it possible. I have talked about praying for “surprises” – do you have the faith that you are willing to pray that and see what God will do in your life? Try it…you might like it! I know I have loved being a part of God’s “game” and seeing what’s “around the corner”!

God brought an encouraging day to me today! Through a few people…that was what I reflected back on as a few of His “surprises” that He brought my way…What were yours???

Remembering…

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Cline Paden Passes Away  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer

How timely it was to receive this while finishing up working on the very thing the school, that was a dream of Cline Paden's, taught me to do...to "Preach the Word".

To all alumni and friends of Cline Paden:
Cline Paden went to be the Lord at 7:00 p.m. today, 5/26/07. He was at home with his family gathered around. After a long struggle with health problems he finally won his victory. Cline was 87 years old when he passed.
Cline Paden was the founder of the now, Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock, Texas. My wife, Aubrey, and I had the privilege of attending and graduating from there a few years back. We hold this man in the deepest regard. God worked through him, among many, to train many men & women to spread the gospel.

Memorial Day weekend is a great time to remember such a great man as Cline!Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Be the "Miracle"!  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in ,

Whose life did you make a difference in yesterday (or today)? Did it make you think? Or, who did you cause to become one step closer to Jesus? Hopefully you have a name of someone – even if you have to think about the events of the day. If you just can’t think of anyone, then the next question is “Why didn’t you make a difference or bring someone closer?” Maybe it was because you didn’t think about it or you possibly didn’t have a chance to. These thoughts were stirred from this week’s quote…


Instead of looking for a miracle in your life, look to see if you are the miracle in someone else's life. ~ Nola Rohde Vollmer

What a great statement! We, oftentimes, have a consumer mindset, and it causes us to “look for a miracle” instead of “being” a miracle.

Keep in the forefront of your thoughts when you are around someone to help them to be one step closer to Jesus (which does not always mean salvation).

Have a great rest of your week!

Be the “miracle”!!!

Searching for someone who needs a “miracle”...Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentinings: Continue On  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in ,

What a great Monday! First of all, the weather this weekend was gorgeous! I was able to be outside at different times, especially at night, and really enjoyed taking in the nice temperatures.

I loved telling you all about our big "surprise" that God brought our way. It is a testimony to God bringing you something when you ask for it!!! It had been just a few weeks before when I shared about having a surprise, and He definitely brought one!!! So, sometime around the end of the year, we'll have Baby Spencer!!!

The sermon yesterday was for us to all remember to "continue on with what you've learned and been convinced of", from II Timothy 3:14-15. It was kind of a "mortaring" sermon, in that it is a sermon to just add a little to your foundation of faith...

1. It is fascinating to think that scripture is "God-breathed". To think that all these words were told to these men by God. I envy their ability to be able to have that connection with God...don't you!? However, we forget that we have that a connection with God too, as the Holy Spirit is right here with us at all times. It is an amazing gift - the same Spirit who ascended like a dove, lives inside us! WOW! Praise God today for that gift!

2. I would guess that one universal thing that all receiving this can relate to is dieting. You know what it means to try to resist eating certain foods. Fleeing things that our "individual" flesh finds appealing can be difficult. However, Paul tells Timothy to flee the "youthful passions". Today and/or this week, keep in mind things that are appealing to your "individual" flesh, that is or has potential to be sinful - gossip, imagery, language, television, internet, etc. - and flee from them - followed by a prayer (either for forgiveness of being involved too long or thanksgiving for allowing for the escape).

3. When something is important to you, you will do all you can to make sure that it doesn't leave your possession (even if it is packed away). You may have many Bibles (I just counted 15 that I have in my office), though we have one or more, we must keep in mind the words that are in them and how they provide victory to our lives. Don't ever lose faith in the usefulness of the words in your Bible.

Yesterday was great! I pray that you will have a week of "surprises"!!!!! (Have you had any surprises to share...?)Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: Jochebed - A Mother's Sacrifice  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , ,

I hope that all the mothers had a good Mother's Day!

I also hope your Monday has caused you to have a good start to the week! My week started off on the right track, as yesterday was fun and encouraging to me! Kids are funny! The video of the Bible Hour kids telling how about why they love their moms turned out excellent!

As we focused on Moses' mother, Jochebed, yesterday, she had some tough decisions to make when it came down to giving up of her baby. As we think about her situation, here are a few other applications...

  1. Can you tell what is going to happen tomorrow? You can presume that if there is a tomorrow, what events will likely happen, but we can't know for sure. As soon as Jochebed released the basket, he was now in the hands of God. What would happen to Moses? As you don't know what will happen tomorrow, are you willing to give yourself into the hands of God? Sure we know what happened to Moses, but you don't know what will happen to you. In your case, think about it in the aspect of "how will God show up in my Tuesday?" My challenge to you is to look for Him...see how He will surprise you (in a good way).
  2. Jochebed feared what would happen, but she also hoped of what would happen. She wanted him to be safe. She had hope that the God of the Israelites would take care if her son. May you not be concerned about all the things that could prevent you from showing/sharing Christ, but look for the hope of when you get to show/share Christ! God is good...all the time! And He is all around...just look for Him!
I pray that your week will be easy and full of open doors! May you keep your eyes open to seeing the opportunities.

God bless!Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Just One More Time  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , ,

I hope your week has gone well so far. I hope that you’ve been able to do some “tilling” into people’s lives this week. Or maybe it has been some “working” of the soil. Or, even some “fertilizing.” Whatever it is, I hope that you have seen God in your days in ways that have surprised you. I know that I’ve had some moments which God has used my “weakness” for His glory. God definitely shows up when you least expect it. Just tonight, I was thankful that God put in my path someone who’d I least expected. It was just a “working of the soil” moment! That is not even mentioning all the “working of the soils” that was done when I was at the school on Wednesday.

Thomas Edison, known for the invention of the light bulb (among other things), like most inventors, failed many times during his life as an inventor. From his experiences, offers up this great quote…

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~ Thomas Edison

How many times have we failed at something, and then to just give up? I am sure a number of times. Where there are tangible consequences, then we are less likely to give up (i.e. doing school work for a grade, rather than doing the work to simply “learn”). If you have ever tried to share Jesus with someone (whether it be an invitation to church, a note of encouragement, an attempt to be evangelistic, etc.) and failed, you are probably not real eager to try it again. You feel like a failure. What about thinking that it wasn’t the right time for that person to be open? Or, maybe you could just tweak your approach to make it better. Or, maybe you just didn’t “see” the right person to approach, and it really is the next person that is open and ready. However, if you stop after either one of these, you could be preventing a huge wave of people who you were going to influence. Just like if Thomas Edison would have stopped with a few failures, he would have never let his “light” shine on so many other people. If the first few attempts of a glass bulb that encased filaments and gas would have prevented him from going on, he would have missed a huge wave of people to influence.

Who will you shed your “light” on this week? Don’t limit to how few, but to the many!!! Don’t have a goal of 1, 5, 10, etc., have an attitude of EACH person that I come in contact with I will be a light to them…not giving up! Remember, even if you fail, just try one more time – that may be the one who needs your “light” the most!!!

How has God surprised you lately?...

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Greensburg Kansas Tornado Pictures  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer

My sister-in-law, who lives in Kansas, sent this link to me that shows aerial photos of Greensburg (Kansas) that was leveled in a recent tornado. There are about 25 pictures to look at.

Pray for these victims!

www.kansas.com/static/slides/050507tornadoaerials/

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Monday Mentionings: Fertile From Fertilization  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , ,

Family ~

What a great day it was to be with the family! I left excited, uplifted, and ready to start my week!

My life has changed dramatically since I started asking God for “surprises.” It seems that more often than not, He is showing me something that I didn’t expect. Today was just all the “connections” that I got to be involved with as we went to eat, shop, and Baccalaureate. I enjoy reacquainting myself with people that I know from the community – a way to “cultivate” relationships.

As we looked at causing a heart to become “Fertile From Fertilization”, taken from II Timothy 2:6, today and expanded on Paul’s principle of the hardworking farmer, think about these additional applications…

  1. Break Open the Soil – Who is someone who you need to break open their “heart-soil”? Someone who you haven’t even thought about “disking” their heart. May God grant you an open door to break up their “heart-soil” and may you recognize when that door opens and have the courage to walk through it. Remember the question of “I wonder what God is doing right now?” If you don’t already have an ice breaking question, try that one – see what the person’s “heart-soil” is like.
  2. Work the Soil – The size of the “clods” in the soil will depend on how much working over you need to do to the soil to get it ready for planting. The main emphasis in this passage is that the farmer is “hard working”, and so that application falls back on us by being involved! This is the fun part; you get to team up with God and get a piece of the action.
  3. Apply Fertilizer to the Soil – As different types of plants need different types of fertilizer, and then decide what the person you are connecting with needs to make it a good environment for the seed to grow. We talked about how some plants, like corn, will need a certain amount of potash to make the yield ideal. Though you may not know what a person’s “heart-soil” is deficient in, right away, you can always give a good dose of kindness because that never hurt anyone. In other words, actual chemicals might have a poison point, where too much of something may actually cause death to the plant. However, when dealing with people, there isn’t much of a risk involved in giving too much of something – like love, joy, peace, patience, etc… So, whether you are fertilizing with one of the elements from the Fruit of the Spirit or if you are adding something like encouragement, you have little risk of “over doing” it. Our big challenge is the “doing” in the first place.

I have prayed that God surprises you today! Share any “surprises”...

Have a great Monday!

Looking for the “Surprise of the Day” ~
Jarrod

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What is Your Goal?  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in

Aubrey and I watched "Facing the Giants" tonight for the second time. It had only been about 8 weeks since we saw it the first time, but the messages that are infused into the movie were just as impacting the second time as they were the first!!!

One of the truths pointed out is "what is our goal"? Since the theme is football, the coach asks about the goal of football. One player says, "To win games." As the coach responds, "Is it? Is that all we are here to do, win games?" I think about our own goals? What are they? Each reader will probably have their own goal in mind, but I challenge to do the same as what the coach in the movie did...having the goal to glorify God!

Aubrey and I drove around discussing this thought (among many) and we agreed that we (as people) must glorify God in the journey, not just at the finish line (goal, victory, etc.). There is so much we will miss along the way if we don't look and see what God is doing in our life. Also, how we can glorify Him with how He is working through us.

What will you and God team up and do this week/weekend? Share your "tag team" experiences...Share/Bookmark

National Day of Prayer  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in ,

Yesterday was the National Day of Prayer. I had the privilege of being asked to join with others at the flagpole of our local hospital and pray. There were two different times - for the employees' sake. Then we had the formal National Day of Prayer Service at the Methodist Church, followed by a luncheon. The rain inhibited some from coming, as we were planning on having the service on the courthouse lawn. It was encouraging to lift up a variety of topics to God that concern us locally and nationally.

Through it I was grateful to God for this community. It is a "religiously" minded community. Though it is far from being free of the influences of the Evil One. I am very thankful that we have the opportunities and freedom to hold services like this in a public place (though the rain kept us from it this year). May we never forget our freedoms - in America, and most importantly, in Christ!

I hope you have a great Friday!Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Fear Not  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in ,

I hope you have had a great week, so far! You are over halfway through the week, but there is still a good amount of "God-work" able to be done. I am not referring to a "duty" that you must perform in order to be a "good Christian" but rather to be able to team up with God and see what happens.

This quote has been gnawing at me for a while...so today is the day I am sending it...

"Fear does not have any special power unless you empower it by submitting to it." Les Brown

What do you have to fear when it comes to the Kingdom? Is it lack of knowledge? Is it failure? Is it not knowing where to start? What is it? Whatever your fears are, may you give them to God and allow Him to suppress them.

On Monday I wrote about some of the things that happened to me on Sunday that were "surprises". Someone responded with "aren't you going to tell us what they are?" After last night and asking a question about God working in your life lately, and getting no response I sat amazed that no one had an experience to share. I am not saying that because I wanted someone to talk just to talk, but to think that "I must have been the lucky one" that got to experience that this week.

I have had a "blown away" week!!! Why? I don't know, maybe it is because I changed a word or two in my prayers, which changed a thought pattern in my life to cause me to see things differently. The following things are not to brag about my week, just to share and to let you in on a little of my "God-work" week. Sunday, I had the privilege of seeing some students from the HS that I wouldn't have expected to see at the Graduation - it allowed me to get to know him outside of the school setting. Then, later on, someone shared something that revealed that their heart was "getting it" (the "it" being an important concept to better their life). I thought, "Go God!" Monday, after writing about Sunday, I was in my office when a gentleman who played in the Ping Pong League stopped by. We had talked about "coming to church" throughout the season. As we sat and talked and talked, we ended up having an impromptu formal evangelistic study. Chalk another one up for God! Tuesday, I received a "thank you" card from another one of the Ping Pong League participants - I was thrown aback. I didn't expect to get formally thanked from organizing the Ping Pong League. I thanked God for the note, him, and allowing the Ping Pong League to be impacting.

So, I don't know if my week has been like that because I prayed a certain way, thought a certain way, and/or looked at things a certain way, but I have had a good week! I hope that the rest of your "God-work" week can be filled with great things!

Don't forget, the National Day of Prayer service is today at the Courthouse lawn (weather permitting - otherwise at the United Methodist Church). See you all there around noon!

Seeking Him ~
JarrodShare/Bookmark