Major Dose of Spiritual Focus Today

It's one of those days when God has showed me that I need a major dose of spiritual focus. Much like the disciples in the boat on the Sea of Galilee when the waves began to over take them. They became more fearful of the storm than having faith in the Savior who was in the boat with them. I'm sure that everyday has "troubles" of it's own but Wednesdays for me seem to be the day when the temptation is greater to focus on waves rather than the ministry.. I cannot speak for other pastors but for me, when I prepare to preach Satan always tries to remind me of my past failures and preset stress in order to paralyze me. Non-Urgent things become seemingly urgent and past failures out weigh blessings. God simply reminded me of a few things today:

1. Look Up!: My help comes from the Lord
  • Psalm 121 - 1 I look up to the mountains — does my help come from there? 2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! 3 He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. 4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. 5 The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. 6 The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. 7 The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. 8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
2. Don't Look Around - FEAR MISPLACES FAITH
  • Mark 4:35-41 35 As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they took Jesus in the boat and started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). 37 But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. 38 Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” 39 When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. 40 Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 The disciples were absolutely terrified. “Who is this man?” they asked each other. “Even the wind and waves obey him!”
3. Don't Look Behind - Stay focused on the Goal
  • Hebrews 12:1-2 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[c] then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
  • Philippians 3:12-14 12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
I hear God telling me these things much like coach Franks used to antagonize us linemen while driving the sled all over God's creation.  I am grateful for God's word and His unrelenting belief in me.


God In One Word

If you could describe God in one word, what would it be? This question forces us to take a moment and focus on the greatness of God. Too often we charge headlong through our lives dependent upon God to help us and work things out without taking moments to focus solely on how BIG He really is. When focusing on His awesomeness, our problems become smaller and our sins become blatant. Though this is painful, it is at this point where God can do some truly amazing things in our lives. By us taking ownership of our sins and confessing them, we position our hearts to experience the fullness of all that He is unhindered. Take a few moments to praise God for His awesome works, character and love. If you are looking for a guide, reading Psalm 145 would be a great start. I only know this because it has worked for me.


Love This Commercial of the Runaway Baby

My wife and I love this commercial. I basically posted it here so I can get a quick laugh. That "I gotta pair of roller skates" voice is haunting LOL


Veteran's Day Freebies

I received this email outlining some great deals on or around Veteran's Day this year. They are meant to thank those who protect us and serve our country. These things cannot give back all they have lost, but hopefully will let them know they are appreciated.

The following are for your information; please share with any active duty military or veterans that you know.
  • Applebee's Restaurant - Free dinners to veterans throughout Veterans Day November 11th; selections will be from a new Veterans Day menu.
  • Outback Steakhouse - Free Blooming Onion and beverage.
  • Golden Corral- Free buffet dinner from 5-9 p.m. on Nov. 16 to anyone who has ever served in the U.S. military Staff.
  • Subway is showing its thanks with free six inch subs to all Veterans or Active Duty members. On November 11th
  • On Nov. 7, McCormick Schmick's restaurants will offer a free entree to military veterans for its 12th annual Veteran's Appreciation Event. Menu picks include such seafood items as parmesan crusted tilapia, roasted cedar plank salmon and almond crusted rainbow trout. "Our Veterans Appreciation Event has become a tradition that our restaurants look forward to each year," said Bill Freeman, CEO of McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, in a statement. For more information: www.mccormickandschmicks.com
  • Krispy Kreme - One free doughnut of any variety.
  • UNO Chicago Grill- Free entree or individual pizza with an entree or pizza purchase of equal or greater value.
  • Coushatta Casino Resort - The Louisiana casino and resort is offering a free seven-clans lunch or dinner buffet to veterans or active military.
  • MarketPlace Grill Express - Veterans and active-duty military receive free entrees.
  • Masala Wok - The Northern Virginian restaurant is offering a free entree to veterans.
  • Hy-Vee supermarkets - The mid-western supermarket chain is offering a free breakfast to veterans.
  • Abuelo's Mexican Food Restaurants - All veterans and active-duty military receive a free entree.
  • Carolina Burgers & BBQ - In Matthews, NC is offering a free meal to all service members and veterans.
  • Brides Across America - Provides free wedding gowns to qualified military brides.
  • Lowe's & Home Depot - Extra 10% off to active-duty military members, National Guard and reserve members, retirees, honorably discharged veterans and immediate family members.
  • Sam's Club - Over 25,000 Hugo canes will be given away to U.S. veterans in need of mobility assistance. Membership is not required, but supplies are limited, so check with your local store.
  • Amazon.com - Free "Veterans Day Honor" MP3 album download. The album includes 12 songs by The Bands and Ensembles of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Cabela's Outdoor Store - Offers their employee discount to all veterans, active-duty military and reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel Nov. 11-12. Discounts vary from 5% to 50%, depending on the item.
  • Build-a-Bear Workshop - Members of the armed services including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Reserve Officer Training Corps, will receive a 20% discount Nov. 11-15 on any one transaction at Build-A-Bear Workshop.
  • Dollar General - 10% discount for all veterans, active-duty military, National Guard and reserve and their immediate families.
  • Fashion Bug - 20% off all plus-size and misses clothing purchases with a copy of military ID or spouse's military ID.
  • National parks, forests and monuments - Admission is free to everyone on Veterans Day.
  • Knott's Berry Farm - Free park admission to U.S. armed forces personnel and a guest during Veteran's Month, November 1-26.
  • Colonial Williamsburg - Free admission Nov. 6-11 for active-duty military, guard and reservists, retirees, veterans and their dependents.
  • San Jacinto Museum of History - Free visits to the Observation Deck, theatre, and special exhibit for veterans, active duty military personnel, and their families.
  • Historic Jamestown - Free admission to veterans, current Armed Forces members and their family members.
  • Battleship Cove - Free admission and a special ceremony for veterans, active, duty and reservists.
  • Vicksburg National Military Park - Free admission for all.
  • Birmingham Museum of Art - Free admission to the ticketed event "Life and Liberty" on Nov. 10-11 for veterans and active military.
  • Vulcan Park and Museum- In Birmingham, Alabama is offering discounted admission through November to the park and museum.
  • Greenbay (WI) New Zoo - Free admission to veterans and their families.
  • Central Florida Zoo - Free admission to the Sanford, Florida zoo with proper ID.
  • Strategic Air & Space Museum- Free admission for veterans Nov. 11-14 to the Ashland, Neb. museum.
  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum - in Oklahoma City offers free admission to veterans and five guests from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Veterans Day.
  • Natural Elements Spa & Salon - In Chesapeake, Virginia, will provide free services from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to both active duty and retired military
Anytime Offers:
  • MILITARY DISCOUNTS UPDATE: All these businesses offer military discounts; all you have to do is ask: Restaurants · Arby's · Back Yard Burgers · Burger King · Captain D's · Chick-Fil-A · Cotton Patch Denny's · Dunkin' Donuts · Farmers Boy · IHOP (20 percent discount with military identification) Java CafĂ© · KFC · Long John Silver · Pancho's Mexican Buffet · Pizza Hut · Quizno's · Sizzler, Sonic · Taco Bell · Whataburger
  • AT&T · California Cryobank · Geico · Jiffy Lube · Meineke · Sears Portrait Studio - Travel and Leisure · Blockbuster · Movie theaters · Ripley's attractions and museums · Professional Sports teams
  • Apple Computers · AutoZone · Barnhill's · Bass Pro Shop · Bath and Body Works · Big 10 Tires · The Buckle · Champs Sports · Copeland's Sports · Dell · The Discovery Channel Store · Dress Barn · The Finish Line · Foot Action · Footlocker · Gadzooks · GNC · Goody's · Great Party· Happy Harry's ·Home Depot · Hot Topic · Jockey · Lerner ·Lowe’s · Michael's · NAPA Auto Parts · New York & Company · Pac Sun · Payless Shoes · Play It Again Sports · Pure Beauty · Sally Beauty Supply · Spencer's Gifts · Suncoast · Timberland Outlets · Wilson's Leather
  • Cell Phone Service Discount - All Federal employees are able to get a 15% discount on their personal cell phones by calling their carrier and mentioning the "Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Discount to Federal Employees Past and Present." You will need to know the military member's supervisor's name, phone number, and full address, so that his/her military status can be verified. Use the following contact numbers:
    • Cingular - 800-319-6393
    • Sprint - 877-812-1223
    • T-Mobile - 866-646-4688
    • Nextel - 800-639-6111
    • Verizon - 800-865-1825
      • [Source: VA Frederick Service Office Maryland VSO msg. 26 Apr 2010 ++]