SOAP Day 276

S: 1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.2 Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— Philippians 3:1-3 NIV

O: This verse is a good (frequent) reminder to be aware that many will appear “Christian” from the outside (much like the Pharisees), but their confidence lies within these outward appearances (going to church, church membership, etc.). This verse reminds us to NOT put our confidence (con = with, fide = faith) in these things but in Christ Jesus and to serve God by the Spirit, not our own volition.

A: I catch myself falling into this myself. I’ll see a situation or fear what people might think if I do or don’t do something that is “Christian”. I need to rely more (and solely) on the Spirit, pray continually and give praise to God who has done all of these things for me.

P:  Father God, thank You for your wisdom, guidance and provisions. Thank You for being a gracious God to us. Please continually reside in our hearts and be our beacon, remind us where our faith lies and help us avoid falling into these pitfalls that can make us stumble. We give all the glory to You, Father, in Jesus name we pray, amen.

SOAP Day 273 – Picture This!

S:Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” Isaiah 59:1-2

O: The book of Isaiah is quickly becoming one of my favorite books of the bible. It reads like a modern story we’re used to today (although it was written about a century before Christ was born). The first half of Isaiah is a telling of doom for the sinful nation of Judah while the latter half of the book is a telling of hope and restoration (like modern stories, we have background, build-up and climax).

In regards to the passage that spoke with me today, it is a conviction of how my sin separates me from God. It creates a chasm that no bridge can cross though through my confession, faith and prayer, I can close that gap and not only move closer to God, but have God take steps towards me. The illustration above is a great example of how sin separates us from God but through faith in Jesus, we can be drawn closer and have a path to God (much thanks to my pastor, Peter Horn, for explaining this to my wife and I a few years ago). This is an easy illustration to make and I highly recommend you share this simple explanation with those seeking the Truth.

A: This verse convicts and reminds me to repent of my iniquities (sins). To not rely on my own good deeds but to ask forgiveness, pray and seek God more. There is nothing I can do earn God’s favor but to seek Him, give Him glory and give Him control in my life.

P: Father God, you are so gracious to give us an opportunity to be with You. Your love, grace and provision is there for those who seek it. Please come into my heart and soul with Your blinding light, wash away my sins and any darkness that resides, fill me with Your spirit so that I long to seek You all of my time. For Your glory I give You praise and ask of these things, amen.

SOAP Day 269 – No Accident!

How we feel about our own children, God magnifies an unmeasurable amount and THAT brings me infinite joy! †

S: “Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4 NIV

O: God created you and I. God knows you and I. He even knows what we’re going to do, that we’re going to fall and he has promised to pick us up and keep us going! Keep the faith and share the faith, you are not an accident!

A: I need to always remember to keep my sights on my creator, my savior and my redeemer. My God is alive and he wants the best for me and you, don’t ever forget that.

P: Father God, forgive me for not always having my full attention on the glory that You and You alone are. Please fill my heart and soul with Your breath and use me as Your vessel to share the gospel, share Your greatness and help lead others to a better, everlasting life. Amen.

SOAP Day 265 – Sealed

S: “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14, NIV)

O: God’s grace is overwhelming. For those that believe in Him (Jesus), we will inherit the greatest treasure we can’t even imagine (it’s beyond our comprehension). From the point we accept Jesus and are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are truly His possession and cannot be bought.

A: I belong to Him. He is my saviour and has given me guidance, wisdom and the ability to share the gospel, time to start living and representing the way I should be.

P: Father God, thank you for your grace and acceptance of us. Even though we murdered You on the cross as you knew we would do, You still gave us the key to heaven if we just accept it. I can’t express my love enough except to give You my heart fully and completely, I am Yours, use me for Your purpose. Amen.

It’s going to take a miracle…

Well, the Texas Stars are eliminated out of the playoffs (note: at least they WERE 1st to reach last place in the Western Division, but I don’t think they award that) and unless the following happens, the Dallas Stars will be eliminated as well (from ESPN):

“Here’s a look at how the Stars can catch each of the teams they are still chasing the Western Conference playoff race. The Stars would only need to tie each team in the standings since they would own the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins.

Los Angeles: The Stars would have to win both their final two games and the Kings would have to lose both their two remaining games against San Jose in regulation.

Phoenix: The Stars would have to win both their final two games and the Coyotes would have to lose their two remaining games, which are at St. Louis (Friday) and at Minnesota (Saturday).

San Jose: There are two ways to catch the Sharks. The Stars would have to win both their final games and the Sharks would have lose their remaining two games against the Kings and at least one of those losses would have to be in regulation. The second scenario is that the Stars go 1-0-1 in their remaining two games and the Sharks lose both their games against the Kings in regulation.”

So yeah, you’re reading that right…we’re hoping that certain teams lose so we can tie for a playoff spot…

This has been a heartbreaking season for both the AHL and NHL Stars teams as the Texas Stars came out of the gate on fire in the pre-season but lost 6 out of 7 of the first games and would continue with the “win one, lose a few” trend throughout the year. They say you don’t win the cup in November, but you can sure lose it. There were some 3 win waves but they were often met with 4 loss slides.

Once winter hit in Central Texas (ha, winter and Texas in the same sentence), the Texas Stars couldn’t quite maintain their footing as the slide, call-ups and injuries mounted.

Dallas was a bit of a different story, most of the season Dallas was within striking distance of a playoff spot and at times sat at 1st or 3rd place in the Western Division, but we know that all teams have been fighting hard for that playoff spot in the WD and a few losses and other teams getting the W’s they need can turn the standings upside down in an instant.

At this point, I’m just going to enjoy the games for what they are. I have tickets for the remaining (Texas) Stars games and I know those guys are going to do the best they can for the fans (as Gazdic tells below). I appreciate that several of our Texas Stars were called up to Dallas, some for short stints and others for long-term contracts.

For Dallas, I hope everything goes in our favor, it’s going to be a long summer as is, let’s not make it any longer than it has to be.


SOAP Day 263 + SWORD

S: “He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure” Isaiah 33:6 (NIV)

O: Every day there are people, books, tv shows, etc. telling us that they have the answer, the key to happiness, success, etc. This verse is a reminder to not take your sights off of God…He will provide everything you need…from wisdom to happiness to success, He can do it all (in less than 3 easy payments to boot)!

A: I want to seek God with everything, for everything and keep my sights on Him. I also am learning that “fear of the Lord” is not to be afraid of Him, but to respect and honor him. I liken it to my fear of electricity (ha), sure, it can hurt or kill you if you’re not careful with it, that’s why you have to respect it, treat it carefully and it will brighten your day (pun intended) if you treat it properly.

P: Father God, you are my foundation, you are everything to me. I welcome you into my heart to come and shine Your light and wash out the darkness, the sin and the evil that exists in man. Fill me with Your wisdom and grace, pour out of me in my day-to-day thoughts and interactions so that I may help lead others to You. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

BONUS: My pastor taught us the Sword Bible study method, so I’m going to try it out here, please bear with me 🙂 If you’re not aware of what this is, please watch the awesome sermon, “Stop Going To Church and Start Being The Church” here: http://www.hcbcleander.com/pages/page.asp?page_id=173099&programId=120017

The Sword Bible Study Method

o What do we learn about God? That God is our everything, our life source that, when we fully depend on Him, true life change occurs.

o What do we learn about people? That no man can give us everything we need, whether knowledge, guidance, protection, there is only ONE.

o Is there a command to obey? Fear the Lord, Respect the Lord and receive his grace.

o Is there an example to follow? From what I understand, this verse is an address to Hezekiah (king at the time) but is also paralleled in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”