Monday Mentionings: Tulsa Workshop Experience  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , ,

What a great uplifting week/weekend! The Tulsa experience this year was a bit different for me since we had a child, but, overall, it was still a tremendous spiritual boost! The theme was "Prayer: Declaration of Our Dependence." I wish everyone could have been there! The singing was great, the speakers were great, the fellowship was was just GREAT!

Like last year, I had the privilege to attend an early morning preacher's forum and prayer time. Terry Rush hosts this in his office for 15 preachers. It is awesome to hear how God is working in different minister's ministries! God works in amazing ways.

Next year's theme is "Evangelistic Revolution". It sounds like it will be an exciting time. Start praying for the workshop and start preparing to go.

Have a Jesus-filled week!

On a spiritual high ~




Monday Mentionings: Empty - Tomb - Luke 24:1-6a  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , ,

How was your Easter? Even though our son couldn’t appreciate all the fun that kids enjoy on this holiday, it was still a memorable and enjoyable day for my family.

I can’t imagine if, at the time of Christ’s ascension, He knew what was happening or if he was wondering what was going on. Even though I know He was 100% man and God, was He God or man at this time? Was He experiencing something like what we experience when we’re awaken in the middle of our sleep? We’ll never know the answer during our earthly life. Regardless, the empty tomb exhibited power. Power that mesmerizes me. It “wows” me! It is simply unfathomable. Power that makes me preach and share about Him with an unquenchable fire. Do you share in any of those feelings? Regardless, what does the empty tomb do to you? As we look back to yesterday, here are some other applications that I hope you can use in your daily life…

  1. We are wired to desire power. Kids try to get power over people – usually their parents. As we grow older, teenagers want power over their own lives, not wanting parents to have any more. Even as adults, we desire power – power over events in life – a job, family, environment, etc. The sad fact is, we can’t “have” power over anything like that. The same goes for the tomb not being able to have power over Christ. When we’re in a situation that is “out of our control”, may we stop, pray, thanking God that He is in control, and be willing to let Him take care of it according to His Will.
  2. What would your life be like without Jesus? Jesus taught so many great things – how to look past another’s speck for the log in your eye, how to forgive, how to be examples to the world (salt and light), etc. The list could go on and on. For us to be without Jesus, we’d be lost. For the tomb to be without Jesus, we’ve won! You’ve won a pass to heaven. You’ve won the opportunity to share about Him. You’ve won direct access to God (through prayer). The real question is, how will you let others know about this victory you have? Ask someone how their Easter Sunday was…may that open a door for you to share your faith with them! Be bold!!
  3. Christ came to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). Sin came into the world in the very beginning and has infected all of us sometime in their life before adulthood. Say a prayer of thanks to Jesus going to the Cross, shedding His blood, and overcoming the conditions of death to be brought up out of that grave! Hallelujah, Christ arose!!! May you have a clear mind as you go to Him to praise Him for these things (among anything else).

I get very excited as I look forward to the opportunities God puts in front of me to go out on to the mission field and share about the victory that comes through the cross and then the resurrection!

Have an “enlarged territory” type week (I Chronicles 4:10) ~Share/Bookmark

Breaking Through  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , ,

I don't know if you've ever moved somewhere new in your life, but you probably all have started a new job where you didn't know many of the people. In either case, it takes a while for you to break in to a group or two, or even break in to individuals' lives.

One of my passions is teaching - whether it is about spiritual matters, practical concepts, or secular information - I enjoy the challenge of creating an "aha" moment for people. I have the opportunity to teach through my job as a minister, but I also get the opportunity to teach when I sub in our local schools. Sometimes, it seems, that subs are just "temporary" visitors and regular teachers may not care to take the time to get to know them.

After about 2 years of consistent subbing in the local high school, I feel more and more like I am breaking through the barriers of being acknowledged. I look forward to each time I get to sub - not for the pay - but for the opportunity of how God will use me and who I might be able to uplift that day.

With the students, it is a similar concept. Most of them know me, and my "rules" and I rarely have any "trouble" with them. I've been "high fived" and "all right-ed" upon seeing me. Usually they want to know who I'm there for.

God has opened a door for me to, literally, minister to people in our local high school, and I love the fact that I am breaking through to build some relationships with those great people.

It's nice to not be the "new kid" and be able to break through!Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Passion Meets an Open Door  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

Just today, actually a few minutes ago, I heard "I hate tests!" from a student who was struggling with his test. Most of us have had that feeling. Very few like tests. The only tests I have ever "liked" are the tests which I was very prepared for and it was easy. Practically speaking, we are tested each and every day. It informs the "teacher" or "Master" if we understand the concept. Will we stop at the stop sign, will we give back the extra change, will we turn the other cheek, etc.

A different type of test comes when our Creator wonders if you will use what you are passionate about to share the Good News with someone. The test shows up with an open door...will you walk through it or not...that is what this week's quote is about...

God will use you in big ways when passion walks through the open door! ~ J. K. Spencer

I believe that God will use us in big, huge, incredible, astronomical ways when what we are passionate about walks through the open door. I've had a good week of God's surprises and open doors. As much as it energizes me, I hope that you will be infected and blessed with the feeling that comes from the surprises of God. I hope you will be brave and bold enough to walk through the open doors that God puts in front of you.

Let me hear of your "surprises".

Have an "open door" filled rest of your week!

Happy Easter!

Anxious about where the next door will lead ~


Monday Mentionings: Empty - Words - Job 35:9-16  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , ,

One week closer…for some it is closer to Spring Break, for others it is closer to Tulsa, for others it may be a simple deadline, for others it is closer to sharing Jesus with someone you’ve been praying/thinking about, or it may not be closer to anything specific. Regardless, the past has gone, the present is here, and the future is to come. What will you do with your future? How will you help someone understand the fullness of God better this week? As we have been looking at the concept of empty, and yesterday, looking at empty words, here are some applications that you can put to use in your life…

1. Have you ever jumped into something that was more shallow than you thought? Whether it was a pool, one of those pits with the colored plastic balls, or a conversation with someone? The result may have been painful. The same result happens when we give in to any empty words of people, especially the ones that affect our faith. Be aware that Satan knows who to send your way and how to affect you. As you go about this week, keep watch for ways in which Satan is trying to get you to “jump in” to something that has no depth!

2. Sports teams, bands, employees of a company all have in common that each person has a particular role. Sports teams have different titles based on where they play on the field/court and their responsibility. A band member has a particular instrument to play to fulfill his part. Employees have specific titles or specialty areas which they are responsible for accomplishing. The Body of Christ has different members that have a particular talent to accomplish great things for God. When Moses got his assignment from God to lead the Israelites out of captivity, he said, “Who should I say sent me?” God’s awesome, straight-to-the-point answer is, “Say, I AM sent me.” As we are out in the world this week, may the words of God encourage us in our own walk to do our part in carrying out God’s plan to save man! How will you team up with the rest of us to do that?

3. On a scale of 1-5, where’s your faith? One being you’re struggling to believe in Him to five being anything God asks you are doing everything you can to push through any uncomfortable feelings to accomplish (be it evangelism or worship style). If you’re not a five, what would it take to get you there? Something from someone else or something that you and God need to work on together – either way, I pray that you will do what you can to move up from where you’re at. Don’t let the noise of the world drown out the voice of God.

People may disappoint us with empty words, but God’s words are so full that they never will!

Hope you have an “open door” week!

Filling up on Him ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Becoming a Prophet  

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

Some may define it as a pessimist, where others, a realist. Either way, unfortunately, I tend to look at some things in such a way as to not get my balloon popped. I am thankful that my wife is an optimist and can keep me from being a rut when it comes to goal setting.

With that being said, this week’s quote hit home with me…

If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of becoming a prophet. ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer

Recently, I gave a group of people an article that starts off with the sentence “Fear kills vision!” When it comes to doing things for God, if we have fear about it, then we will stop looking for the possibilities it will bring if we do it. If there was someone you were wanting to share Jesus with, but you kept saying negative things about trying – you wouldn’t have the vision to see past your fears. It would also make you a pretty good prophet – because you would talk yourself out of trying.

Who will be in your path today that you can share Jesus with (in whatever way)? The answer for most is “I don’t know.” The response, then, is to pay attention to everyone you come in contact with – they may be the one you were meant to share with that day. But, if you say bad things about sharing with someone, then you will most likely, and unfortunately, become a prophet!

Especially in this case, don’t become a prophet by saying negative things about the opportunities God gives to share about Jesus! Instead, say positive things about those opportunities, and become a prophet that way!

May God richly bless the end of your week!!!

Looking forward to today’s open doors ~Share/Bookmark

When you started the day/week, where was your focus at for the week? Maybe it was on one thing or many, we're all different. Try this one on, was what you were focused on something you looked forward to or dreaded? The power of positive thinking affects us greatly. So, if you looked at the week with dread, you are in for a much rougher road. Looking at the week with dread is like seeing the week without something - fun, enjoyment, fulfillment, etc., which means it is empty of those things. This series called "Empty" focuses on different things which we may experience a form of that word. Yesterday, we looked at how a future can seem empty. Try these applications on for size and see if they can help you as you go through your week...

1. Self-esteem is so important to how a person looks to the future. When you have a low self-esteem you may feel like life, or some aspect of it, is without hope. You may have feelings of wanting to get away, but this can have a negative effect as you are just surrounded by negative thoughts. May the words of Paul encourage you, "[You] are God's workmanship"! The idea of workmanship is like a work of art. You are unique and God can do amazing things through you - what will this week bring?

2. I've heard many times about people who wonder why their life wasn't any better after they became a Christian. They're looking for the blessings that come from being a Christian. Blessings are subjective - you may not get health and wealth blessings, but you may get a lot of other tangible blessings that you aren't noticing. Regardless, our most valuable blessing is to have Christ as a Savior. When all the "sugar" runs out of our life and it seems very bitter, God is still around. The next time you're feeling you are emptied of blessings, think about how you can see, hear, type, walk, run, breathe, or any other good thing you take for granted. We also have the opportunity to go to heaven...what a BLESSING!

3. What do you desire to happen when you come together with the family of God? I desire to be surprised by how God shows up. I am hungry each and every day for that. Do you have a desire to connect with Him some way? Have you ever lost that desire or any desire related to this? We've all probably had "valley days" - I have. That is natural, but what God hopes will not happen is that you stay in "Camp Self", that you lose all desire to go to Him. Even if the only source of hunger is where He's at, you are so content to be in "Camp Self" that you'd rather forage in the valley, than go to Him. May you never find yourself at "Camp Self" - or at least staying there! Seek Him!

May God bless you with a great week!

Spring is knocking! I love the transitional seasons!

Blessed by the Blood ~Share/Bookmark

E-mail Encouragement: Don't Lose Character  

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

The week is coming quickly to a close. How has your week been? Have you had any "surprises" that God sent your way? If so, do you like to share?

Being lost or losing something is almost always a negative concept. That is no different with today's quote. Hopefully when you lose something or have been lost, you learn a lesson for any "next times". That is the positive result - learning the lesson. Certain things that we might lose are more important than other things. Some things are replaceable, whereas others aren't. That brings us to today's proverb...

When wealth is lost, nothing is lost;
When health is lost, something is lost;
When character is lost, all is lost!
~ German Proverb

Character, similar to trust, may take a while to develop, but seconds to lose. Look at celebrities - be it a singer, actor, athlete, etc. - they may have lots of money and/or good health, but none of that matters if they have a bad character. Pete Rose, a very talented baseball player, hasn't made it into the Hall of Fame due to poor decisions which defamed his character. The list could go on and on with people who lost character by making different decisions that were poor ones.

We can learn a lesson by other's mistakes which will help us not lose our character. As Christians we are going to be looked at through a looking glass. So if our character is marred, then our influence for Christ will be marred.

Among other things in life that are important, do everything to maintain a good character!

Have a great end of the week!

Peace & Grace ~Share/Bookmark

Monday Mentionings: Empty - Earth - Isaiah 45:18  

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

It was a great day getting together! The warm weather made me feel a bit more excited to get out; maybe you felt similar feelings.

Yesterday we started a new series called “Empty”. This series is designed to help us understand the different ways which can be empty. We started the series by looking at the earth and how it was empty, dark, formless, and void. Here are some additional ways to remember and apply the lesson…

1. Support is necessary in just about every area of life. Whether it is physical, emotional, medicinal, etc., support is crucial. God set up the earth by suspending it over nothing. However, the earth still needed support – that being support from the Creator. You need support as a Christian – you must be connected to the Creator, too. If you’re not connected to Him, you will go down quickly! Don’t have a week of empty time without connecting to Him! Take time to connect to your Creator this week by praying to Him – give Him your concerns, complaints, praises, thoughts, evangelistic hopes, ministry goals, etc.

2. What does if feel like to you to be in the dark? The earth was dark in the beginning, but Genesis 1:2 tells us that God was still there. Look for someone this week who might be experiencing life in “darkness”. They could be going through something that day, that week, or just a time in their life that seems without hope. They may not even realize that they are living life in “darkness”, but as you recognize it, take your light to them. Your light might be a compliment, a prayer, a conversation, buying lunch, sending a card/e-mail of encouragement, etc. Regardless of what your “light” is – the main thing is to take it to them!

3. God is Good…All the Time! There is nothing remotely like our God! He is awesome! Take time to appreciate our earth and all that makes our area unique. Even in the bleakness of the winter, we can be appreciative of the area that we live in. Maybe you will want to praise God for this too, but at least take time to appreciate where you live and that it was given to you to live on.

I hope you had a great start to your week!

May you have a “vision” and an intuition for those who are walking in darkness as you go about things this week!

Taking my light ~Share/Bookmark