E-mail Encouragement: Creating Yourself Anew  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , ,

God always seems to come through in my weakness. Last Saturday night, the Vision Team met for our monthly meeting. With all that has been going on in the recent past, I didn't go to the meeting with much. However, I sat back as ideas and encouragement seemed to pour out from the group. God is Good!.. When I read today's quote, I couldn't help but think of last Saturday...

The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation. You are not discovering yourself, but creating yourself anew. Seek, therefore not to find out who you are, seek to determine who you want to be. ~ Conversations With God

It seems that each time we have had a meeting, God shows me a surprise! I commend and applaud all of you who are a part of this Team! I see God working in great ways! Ideas of how we can be used are simply multiplied over and over!

May we all be continually renewing of ourselves! May we all be on the never-ending journey of seeking to "determine who you want to be" and who God wants you to be!!!

Anticipation God's Next Surprise ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: Praising Our Creator  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

It was a great opportunity to be outside worshiping our God, yesterday! I am sure there were days the Israelites worshiped God and it wasn't the most opportune weather! I didn't care for the unseasonably warm temperatures, but I did enjoy the scenery and the company!!!

Getting outside is refreshing! Seeing creation draws us closer to the Creator. May you be a being of praise this week as you thank the Creator for all that He created. Not only did He create matter (the scientific term), but He also created a method as to return to the glory which sin takes away!

We are microscopic if you put the earth, solar system, galaxies, etc., into a picture form. Yet, He is still "mindful" of us! How great is our God!?! Praise the Lord!

Have a praise-filled week!!!

Thanks for the great day yesterday!

Clapping toward the Creator ~Share/Bookmark

Especially For Men: Sexual Temptations  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

Men ~
We can never be too protected when it comes to keeping ourselves protected against sexual temptations. There is nothing worth directing our thoughts onto some other woman, other than our wives! These are great articles! They are short and only take about one minute, each, to read. If you are short on time, look especially at Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Let me know what you think...Jarrod

Theme of the Week THIS WEEK'S THEME
Escape and Evasion Drill
Our world is full of sexual booby traps. So plan now how to make a getaway.


Daily readings are as follows:

Sunday: Blindsided
MOI, September 23, 2007

Monday: With Angels Like These …
MOI, September 24, 2007

Tuesday: The Creature
MOI, September 25, 2007

Wednesday: Rude Dude?
MOI, September 26, 2007

Thursday: Ambushed
MOI, September 27, 2007

Friday: Survival Instinct
MOI, September 28, 2007

Saturday: Weekend Wrap-up
MOI, September 29, 2007Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Strength  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , ,

I hope you've had a good week, thus far. With last week being so busy, it has nice to have a "less busy" week.

We've all had our share of struggles. From the smallest to the biggest, the least frustrating to the most, struggles are struggles. However, most struggles help us learn lessons, which help us cope with life. Think about this as you read this week's quote...

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger


You simply cannot be strong all the time. You might be able to appear strong, but you will wear yourself out trying to be strong. In order to become strong in muscular strength you must perform some type of exercise which exerts tension on muscles. This causes the muscle to actually tear, but is replaced by more muscle cells. When we go through hardships and don't give up we may "tear" but it is replaced by more "cells" to enable us to get through the situation and/or learn from it for the next time.

Our hope is not hardship, but not surrendering to the inevitable will develop strength.

Having a hardship this week? May God bless you as you seek Him through it all and become "stronger" in the end!

Blessed by Him ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings - Keep Watch Over Yourselves - Acts 20:25-31  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , ,

Today, I left the assembly with a great anticipation of the future! I am looking forward to what the future holds for us. I now have a new type of freedom, free from responsibilities that the shepherds will shoulder, that I haven’t had in the past.

As we looked at the charge to our shepherds, John & Gary, from Acts 20:25-31, I think we can apply these things to our own lives, as well. Here are some applications to take with you this week…

  1. When you are in the world, there are times you must be out front showing people how to be Christ-like. What would Jesus be like if he was at the market and didn’t receive the fastest service? Would he raise a fuss or try to be compassionate?
  2. Everyone falls. How will you be an aid in helping people get back up when they fall? Use those times when people fall to gently teach them not to fall the next time. Your sincerity of care will be appreciated.
  3. Relationships are the purest way to “bring people to Christ”. When you develop a relationship with people, they will be more attracted to Jesus/Christianity than if we just try to coerce them into having a bible study. Sometimes we are not inclined to venture into the unknown and develop a relationship with someone new. Here’s the challenge, who can you try talking to that you don’t normally talk to? Someone at work or at a restaurant or wherever? I am not just saying that you simply say “Hi”, but that you try to make several attempts to get to know more about them – name, family, where they work, what they like to do, etc. Get in the middle of people’s lives! You might surprise yourself about how enjoyable it is. Now that you know how easy it is, don’t stop there!
  4. Know any “loners” or “wanderers”? Could be in or out of the church. Send them a card, buy a soda/coffee, invite to lunch, etc. Maybe they just need a listening ear. How will you go about “rescuing the perishing”?

This next week involves a couple of things that I am looking forward to: One, being outside next weekend and collectively worshiping God amongst what He built (nature), when we go to Dolan; Two, officially starting my office as President of the Hamilton County Ministerial Alliance – I look forward to seeing some new faces as we begin meeting again.

Have a week filled with surprises!

Filled with anticipation ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Don't Give Up  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , ,

Teamwork can happen whenever two or more people work on accomplishing a known task. I was more than pleased tonight when people worked together to accomplish more than one task. Some gathered things together for the Thursday School tent (and then went to set it up), while others folded a total of 300 flyers. I applaud all these efforts which caused both tasks to be completed in a reasonably short amount of time! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

The thought of teamwork brings me to this weeks quote of encouragement...

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it
together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true
strength.” ~ Unknown


It is easy to give up. I cannot say that I've never given up. With that said, I can easily relate to this quote. However, there is a lot of strength that is gained through working through self, adversity, compromise, doubt, and a host of other "things" you could name. I have been on that side of the coin, too. It allows you to see that it was worth persevering!

May we be a people of perseverance who show others that the "joy of the Lord is your strength" and not be ones who "give up" on God, Jesus, our church, ourselves, etc., no matter what life hands us!

Pressing on ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength - Nehemiah 8:9-12  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , , ,

God is Good....

Did you say or start to say "...All the time?" If you are at all familiar with that phrase, you are probably familiar with that response. No matter what goes on in our life our God is good! The joy that is found in our Lord is our strength. Maybe you've already needed that strength today (whenever you read this).

As we looked in Nehemiah 8:9-12 yesterday, we examined a phrase that we can use over and over in our lives today..."the joy of the Lord is your strength". There is so much gold found in that phrase! Not only is there gold in just "panning" the words to see what is found, but being able to recite that phrase and get comfort. I have said it over and over to myself last week and each time it seems to give me a jolt of comfort. I pray that you will find joy and strength in that phrase!!! See if you can use any of these additional applications this week...

  1. "This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it" - Psalm 118:24. If you know the song, try singing or humming it to yourself. See if it doesn't give you a bit of joy to your day. If you know of someone who is going through a rough patch, maybe this might be a verse you could write on a card/note to encourage them.
  2. LORD, YHWH/Yahweh, Jehovah - names of power, of mystery, and of royalty. Say those names...what emotions did you feel? Tell Him that He is LORD of your day...see how your day goes as you remember that phrase through the day.
  3. Knowing that God is with you as you go through life is something to give you strength as you encounter difficulties. David went up against a giant. David was smaller and had less "man" power, but he had a lot of God-power! His confidence didn't come because of his size or his weapon, but because he put his confidence in God! As you go up against "giants" this week, remember to pray and put your confidence in Him. (Scriptures from the David and Goliath incident that I used are at bottom)
This is a busy month for us with Fall Festival and Dolan Lake. Also, there are some other opportunities for us to be involved in: Power of Praying Husband, Power of Praying Wife, and Men's Ping Pong League. If you're interested in any of these, contact the appropriate people to get involved!

The next couple of weeks we'll be taking a small break from Nehemiah - resuming it on the 30th of September. If you have any ideas that you would like to hear a series on, let me know.

Have a Jesus-filled week!!!

Because of Him ~

------------------
SCRIPTURES:

1 Samuel 17:4-7
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him. (NIV)

Verses 38-40
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. "I cannot go in these," he said to Saul, "because I am not used to them." So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd's bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. (NIV)

Verses 45-47
45 David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands." (NIV)Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Fearing Shadows  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , ,

Light is practically always a good feeling. The sun coming up in the morning reminds us that a new day is dawning. Lights coming back on after they went out due to power failure allows us to feel safe again. You could probably think about other instances where light made someone feel good.

Light causes shadows. Do you fear shadows? Read on...

Never fear shadows. They simply mean there's a light somewhere nearby. ~ Ruth E. Renkee


The system of sacrifices in the Old Testament has been referenced to being a "shadow" of what Christ does for us in the New Testament. Based on the inabilities found in the sacrificial system, it would be easy to "fear" them. As the sacrificial system was such a system that required many, many sacrifices to be done throughout one's life.

If those in the Old Testament knew that Christ's death meant never having to sacrifice again, they wouldn't have "feared" these sacrifices. As those sacrifices simply meant that Christ (i.e. the Light) was "somewhere nearby"!

May we revel in the idea that we have the Light to "walk in" (I John 1:7) and a "light" to illuminate our path (Psalm 119:105)! So remember not to fear shadows because a light (of comfort) is nearby!

I hope you have a great end of your week!

Walking a "Lit" Path ~Share/Bookmark

Open Door: Subbing  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to sub in our local high school. I love doing this because it gives me a purposeful opportunity to be in the environment of the kids of the community. I hear things that I don't normally hear. I see people who I rarely see. And the reverse happens in each instance.

On one such occasion, last week, I was subbing in what most know as "home economics" class. One class was the "Foods and Nutrition" class. This is a two period class, where they will later be cooking, so extra time is needed. I finished all of what was asked of me with about 25 minutes to go in the total time. I decided to ask about what I and/or our church could do to give kids something to do. It was a total off-guard question, so, needless-to-say, they had nothing immediate to share. I didn't leave the situation disappointed. I took it as God opening a door for me to talk to them. I told them that if they ever thought of anything, they would have an opportunity any time they saw me to share their thoughts with me. I returned to my seat and shortly thereafter a student came up and was asking me questions regarding some of the thoughts I had expressed. We had a good conversation and I expressed appreciation for him coming to me. I told him any other time he wanted to, I was always open.

God is good...all the time! He makes doors open when we least expect it!

I don't consider it a defeat...regardless, I still praise Him!

What has God been doing in your life?Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: Built for God Before Self - Nehemiah 6:15-7:4  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , ,

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you all are having/did have a great day! It is good to have those three-day weekends from time to time.

With the opportunity to play softball next week coming up quickly, I enjoyed getting re-familiar with the game of softball Sunday evening with Shawn, Heather, Aubrey, & Shawn's friend, Adam. I have a feeling I am going to be getting re-familiar with sore muscles come Monday morning! :) We had a lot of fun and I am looking forward to playing with the Dale Christian Church next Sunday!

The wall that Nehemiah started is now built. All that witnessed or heard about the wall knew that it was because of God that it was completed. As we live our lives, may people see that our lives are "built by God" too! Here are a couple of other applications to use for this lesson...

  1. What is a characteristic in you that people would have no problem identifying as being "built" by God? In other words, what do you do different than others to show that God is a priority in your life? i.e. your prayer life, handling your temper, encouragement, etc.
  2. When was the last time you suffered a defeat? Did you praise God, then? If not, do it now. We must remember that we still serve God and praise Him in our victories AND our defeats! (From "Facing the Giants")
  3. God before self. Easy to say, tough to put into action. What is an area where you've been struggling to put this into practice? Pray that God would help you prioritize things. Keep this verse in mind...“and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern” - Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

May you be blessed to have the easy road in serving Him with no roadblocks to prevent that service! May you be ever saying something like this...“I don’t know how I’m going to serve you today or what you are going to put on my plate, but no matter what, I’m standing in the circle that says, ‘I’m serving You, Lord.’”

Have a God-strengthened, Jesus-oozing, and Spirit-led week!

Looking for surprises ~Share/Bookmark