I have to give credit to Michael Hayatt and his new book Platform for helping me reenergize my blog (www.trenidydavis.com). In the book Michael gives step-by-step instructions on how he was able to build his “platform”. The resources in this book are invaluable for anyone who, as the subtitle suggests, “has something to say or sell.”
One of the primary things Michael did in the book was to challenge me to reexamine why I began blogging in the first place. When I started back in 2007, Facebook was in its infancy. Initially blogging gave me a way to let my family and friends know what was going on in my life. But as social media (Facebook and Twitter) matured and everyone seemed to have their own “platform” it made sense for me to simply migrate my “cyber” life from blogging to social media. Unfortunately Facebook and Twitter turned me into more of a consumer than a producer. This realization has motivated me to make a change.
“Platform” has challenged me to build and reengage any audience I may have lost; (Hi Mom). If you own a small business or are in the marketing department of a larger one, I suggest you get your hands on this book. It will help you stand up and stand out in this noisy world.
We have no right to decide where we should be placed. or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever he places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) - Oswald Chambers
For the last couple of years these viruses seem popular. Most often, the people who get them don’t understand that their “virus protection” software is actually the malware that is causing them problems. Watch this brief video to gain a better understanding of how they work and why you should never PAY online for the removal of this software.
With a new year comes new attempts to read through the Bible. In previous years I’ve attempted the One Year Bible, The Chronological Bible, 90 Days through the Bible, and the Jessie Duplantis Memorize the entire Bible in 60 seconds (just kidding). Sometimes I have succeeded, but most of the time I get lost in Leviticus when it goes into toe fungus.
This year, for the first time, I’m excited to have the same reading plan as my girls. Actually me, my wife, and my two daughters are going to be reading through the New Testament this year. It doesn’t mean that we will all be reading it aloud together every day. Most days we will be reading it individually for our personal devotional times, but at other times we may read it as a group. I’m excited to be at the same place in the scripture at the same time with my kids. I believe this will provided excellently teaching opportunities to explain to the kids portions of the scripture simply by asking them what they learned from their reading. I’m not sure where I found the reading plan below, but I like it because spaces out the gospel accounts and it also includes Proverbs and Psalms in the year plan.
So if you don’t have a plan consider using this one. It’s very doable. Also, try to team up with other friends or family so that you can enjoy the experience together. May God grow us all as we get to know him better through his word in 2012.
Romans 13:1-5 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. “
While I agree that our government seems inept at times, I’m thankful that they do establish and enforce the laws in this country. This is how God protects us from each other God has established government and we, as American’s, get the opportunity to peacefully shape ours. Vote your conscience before the LORD today. God is sovereign and has established our government and still influences our government through the lives of men and women just like you.
Tonight Liz and I worked on this video. This sport does not define who she is, but she does enjoy it. JJ and I are very proud of the young woman she is becoming.
More often than I care to admit, I find myself not sensing the joy and presences of the LORD. When this happens there are 3 things we must do.
- Confess it to the LORD as sin. (John 1:9) Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross we have not excuse not to experience the joy of the Lord. In John 15 Jesus told his disciples that he had told them “these things” so that his joy would be in them and their joy would be complete. We have access to this joy and it is a sin not to be walking in it.
- Ask for it. (Luke 11:12; Psalm 51). After his sin David asked God to “restore the Joy of your (God’s) salvation.” God will give Good gifts to us as his children and he wants us to walk aware of him and his power. We have not because we ask not.
- Obey. It is better to not feel it and obey than to neither feel or obey. IF we obey we still will get the benefit/fruit of our obedience and God will work through us. Just like Jonah we may not want to, but God will still use us. And hopefully when his fruit comes we will take joy in it and will again sense his presence.
As long as we are in this world and trapped in these bodies we are bound to repeat this cycle. It’s something we must do day by day moment-by-moment if we are to experience him. Where ever you find yourself today Confess, Ask, and Obey and allow the LORD to restore to you his joy. There is NO greater place to be.
2 Timothy 2:2 is a verse that God has always used to remind me of my primary role as a disciple of Christ. In the verse Paul tells the young pastor Timothy, “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” Paul was reminding Timothy that if the gospel was going t to continue to pass from one generation to the next it would need to be “entrusted to reliable men.”
For the last 15 years God has been allowing me learn through experience what this verse means. As leaders in the church, we often feel it’s our role to meet every need and disciple every person that crosses our path. But precious time can often be wasted when we spend the majority of our time investing in those who prove to not be trustworthy. I also think about the parable of the sower and the seed that ends up being thrown along the path; in short wasted seed.
Last night I was able to look around at a small group of people what wanted to know God, His Gospel, and His plan for them. I knew as we were talking that none of God’s word was being wasted; that it was all falling in fertile soil; that these people were reliable, faithful, and trustworthy. We don’t always know of the front-end who the faithful ones are, but over time, as we live alongside others, God reveals to us the ones he has placed in our life.
Yes we are to love everyone and help them with their physical, spiritual and emotional needs; but we should never lose site that if we are going to be a part of the succession of the gospel, we must be pour our lives into not just any men, but faithful ones.
This week I address the issue of modesty. This is especially challenging for me because I am a man writing about an issue primarily related to women and girls. I do this with a father’s heart and a pastor’s heart, not a spirit of condemnation or judgment. Here we go.
Years ago in my student pastor days, we had a young lady (an active church member) who came to youth group wearing a halter top type shirt with no back to it, just a string holding it together. Several of our leaders said something to the young lady and I received a call from her mother the next day. This church member informed me that the Bible said nothing about how to dress and she was quite upset that her daughter had been judged” by us in the student ministry.
I informed her that the Bible does address the issue of dress and clothing.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:9: “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”
Look at these words: modestly, decency, propriety, appropriate, worship. Do these come to mind as we think about women’s and girl’s fashions worn by Christians today? I’m afraid we give far too little attention to how we allow our daughters, even our very young ones, to dress. If we as parents allow our daughters to dress in a worldly, revealing manner, we open them to all kind of negative attention. Now I confess you ladies look good to us guys even if you are wearing suit of armor. God has wired women to want to look beautiful and men to admire that beauty. Nothing wrong with that!
Every sin is satan’s perversion of God’s good gifts. This is why we must protect our daughters – because sin is so deceitful and the devil is so crafty.
When I was a young man in high school there were two ways we saw “pretty”
girls: the beautiful ones and the sexy ones. Let’s raise daughters who desire to be beautiful according to God’s standards, not sexy according to the world’s standards. One day our daughter will grow up and get married to some guy who doesn’t deserve her (can I get an amen from all parents here?).
My desire is for her to use modestly, godliness, worshipfulness to attract the kind of man God wants her to have as a husband. A man who will treat her with love and respect and appreciate her for the gift she is rather than as an object to satisfy his lusts and selfish desires. Any good fisherman knows the kind of fish you catch is determined by the type bait you use.
C.J. Mahaney has written a book called Worldliness; in the book there is a chapter on modesty. In that chapter his wife and 3 grown daughters give guidelines to women on specifics of how to live this out (a heart checklist if you will). They are far more qualified than I to address these issues.
I encourage you to read and ponder on this http://kari-motherofthree.blogspot.com/2008/06/modesty-heart-check-carolyn-mahaney.html
Here is a link to C.J.’s blog giving you some of his content related to modesty http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/cj-mahaney/category/modesty.aspx.
Let me close with this quote from John MacArthur: “How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the heart. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood?…. Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshiping God? Or is it to call attention to herself, and flaunt her.beauty? Or worse, to attempt to allure men sexually? A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.”
Quotes for the week:
“I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” (The Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 2:9)
“A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.” (Pastor John MacArthur)