Archive for the 'Life' category

Friends

Nov 24 2014 Published by under Family, Life

By Rev. Doug Clay

 

DClay-300x300Good Monday Morning . . .

 

I have heard it said that true friendship is when you walk into a friend’s house and your WI-FI connects automatically.

 

C.S. Lewis said friendship is born at that moment: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”

 

I can’t imagine going through life without a few good friends.  Too often when we walk through some difficult seasons it is easy to withdraw into isolation; or fall into a pit of condemnation; or reach for some short-term medication . . . but to have a few good friends, who can “refresh your heart,” now that is priceless:

 

A friend who refreshes is one who offers tears, not just answers.

 

A friend who refreshes gives godly counsel, not just quick-fix formulas.

 

A refreshing friend is one who will keep reminding you of the bigness of God and His ability to see you through no matter how unfair everything is for you.

 

A friend seeks to be genuinely interested in your wellbeing and will empathize, instead of comparing his plightful situation to yours.

 

Paul said of Timothy “He genuinely cares about your wellbeing.” [Phil 2:20], and he said of Philemon, “Your kindness refreshed the hearts of the people.” [Phil 1:7].

 

Take some time today to thank the Lord for the friends that He has placed in your life.

 

Strive to have friends for life. To find a real friend in a lifetime is a good fortune; to keep him is a blessing!

 

Make a great day!

 

Doug

 

Rev. Doug Clay serves as the General Treasurer for the Assemblies of God. He can be reached at dclay@ag.org.

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Thanksgiving – A Redemptive Outlook

Nov 03 2014 Published by under Family, Life, Ministry

MJ

This month’s posts will focus on what it means to be thankful. Our first post is written by Michael Johnson, Director of Ethnic Ministries at Global University.

 

Ephesians 1:15-16

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

The Thanksgiving holiday is a rich American tradition that is both historically and relationally steeped in gratitude and community. The first Europeans and Indigenous Americans celebrated life and survival together and in turn gave thanks to God for preserving their lives during unsettling times. Fast forward to the year 2014 and we can see the vast changes this festive celebration has evolved into. Here are some of its new characteristics: Detroit Lions vs. Dallas Cowboys, Black Friday sales, carbs, sugar, and lots of butter. Although different from the first Thanksgiving, the holiday still carries the spirit of gratitude where friends and family still gather to give thanks for a productive year.

On the other hand, here are some ideas from Ephesians 1:15-16 that could bring the holiday a more redemptive outlook. In the text, Paul is rejoicing over the church in Ephesus who gave their lives to Christ and received the promises and blessings of God. This group of believers were once steeped in the cultural and religious darkness of Gentile traditions, but at this point their new experience entailed something else: spiritual blessing, predestination, adoption, grace, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, understanding, the gospel, and the Holy Spirit.

Paul took it upon himself to nurture, guide, and help the Ephesian church to live the Christian life. His heart burst with joy because he knew firsthand the challenges this group had to live with in regards to spiritual darkness, maturity level, and human resources. The bottom line is that Paul was thinking of others and putting their needs before his own. He was excited about the intentional growth and unison this church family was practicing, and as a spiritual father he could not help but GIVE THANKS and PRAY.

The imagery of Paul locked up behind bars in a Roman prison, with a pen and paper, writing these words while feeling the pain of not being present with his spiritual children compels any reader to consider the sincerity of these words: “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”

In this month of November, let everyone take the initiative to imitate Paul and consider others more than oneself. To transform a holiday of feasting and relaxation to one that is truly:

THANKFUL – for people that God places in our lives

PRAYERFUL – for people’s faith in Christ and love for his church

 

Michael can be reached by email at mjohnson@globaluniversity.edu.

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God is Still God

Oct 27 2014 Published by under Life, Ministry

DClay-300x300By Rev. Doug Clay

Good Monday Morning . . .

Gladys Aylward was an incredible woman. Born in London in 1902, to a working-class family, she was forced to enter the workforce at an early age. Her ambition in life was to be a missionary, but she was turned down by the agency she applied to because of an “inadequate academic background.” Instead of giving up on her dream, she spent her entire life savings to move to Yangcheng, China to live among Chinese people.

Gladys was loved and respected by the people of Yangcheng. She started adopting war orphans and at one point had over 100 children in her care. In 1938, Gladys was forced to flee when the Japanese invaded Yangcheng, but she could not bear to leave her work behind. With only one assistant, she led 94 orphans over the mountains to safety. At one point during the escape, Gladys was visibly tired and discouraged. A 13-year old girl reminded Aunt Gladys of the story of Moses crossing the Red Sea. Gladys snapped back in weary desperation, “But I’m not Moses,” to which the girl replied, “Of course you’re not, but Jehovah is still God.”

Most of us will never find ourselves leading a group of orphans across the mountains of China to find safety and shelter. Yet there are times, when we get weary and discouraged on life’s journey; there are times that we can feel enemy forces pursuing us; and there are times when we feel like screaming, “I’m not Moses.” It’s in those times that you need to remember, “Jehovah is still God.”

Remember . . .

 

When your strength is gone . . . He is still God.

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

 

When you have no peace . . . He is still God.

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

 

When you feel totally lost . . . He is still God.

Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

 

When you feel vulnerable . . . He is still God.

2 Thessalonians 3:3

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

 

When you feel hopeless . . . He is still God.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Because He is still God, you can . . .

Make a great day!

 

Doug

 

Rev. Doug Clay serves as the General Treasurer for the Assemblies of God. He can be reached at dclay@ag.org.

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Forgetting What You Should Remember

Oct 20 2014 Published by under Life, Ministry

By Rev. Doug Clay

Good Monday Morning . . .DClay-300x300

Isn’t funny how we have a tendency to forget what we should remember and remember the things that we should forget?

Scotty Smith, in his book Everyday Prayers writes a prayer inspired by 1 John 4:16, NLT:

Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.

“Gracious Jesus, I’m remembering today to love all kinds of people in all situations. This would be impossible if you didn’t love us as you do.

Help me, Lord, love all the members of my family. They are at the same time the easiest and the hardest people to love, day in and day out. Help me to provoke one another to love and good deeds . . . not just provoke!

Help me love my friends. Help me know when to share feedback to my friends and when to just actively listen and be present.

Help me know how to love the irritating people in my life, those that I try to avoid.

Help me know how to love the foolish people in my life, the ones that are making destructive choices, the ones I get frustrated at.

Help me to know how to love the depressed people in my life. Those that I instinctively try to fix to make happy, but I know that’s not what they need from me.”

I want to always remember that people are my greatest asset; I want to keep working at loving them. After all, the Bible says:

I John 4:20-21, MSG
If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.

Make a great day!

Doug

 

Rev. Doug Clay serves as the General Treasurer for the Assemblies of God. He can be reached at dclay@ag.org.

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