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Lately it’s been a little hard for me to find joy in my life, which is very unusual for me. The circumstances of the last month have been such that it has put a mountain of stress on my shoulders (another post in and of itself) and life just continues to hit me hard. As a result I find myself being depressed sometimes, angry others, and generally not the kind of person that I know God has designed me to be. What can I do in these times? What canwe do in these times?

A great example that comes to mind of someone who had lost their joy was Kind David. When we look at David’s life it would seem that he had a lot to be joyful over; he was shepherd who had been made into the king of Israel. Talk about moving up in the world! Yet David also struggled with his sins and this caused him to lose his joy.

While David is described as a man after God’s own heart he was also a human being that sinned like the rest of us. And oh how David sinned. We could point out the incident with Bathsheba as that is of course a glaring example of David’s sin, but what about his taking of a census in 2 Samuel 24? We often over look this case but the judgement for David’s sin was something that greatly impacted the people. After all 70,000 men died! Whoa. I think David lost his joy over this one.

Yet in Psalm 51:12 David said, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Have we asked that our joy be restored? There are a couple of principles we can take away from this verse:

1) Remember that we have been saved! No matter what we are going through in life; no matter how depressed or beaten down we are we have to remember that we have been saved. Even though it may seem like God is distant the truth of his word never fails and we can trust that we have been saved by our faith in Jesus Christ1!

2) Have we prayed and asked for our joy to be restored? I know that prayer sometimes is the last thing that we do, but it should be the first! Yet the great truth of prayer is that it’s never too late. God is always available to listen to us if we are willing to come to him. When was the last time you (or I) prayed and asked that God would give us joy? Have we asked him to give us the fruit of his Spirit which includes joy?

Don’t let another day go by without getting on your knees and asking for the joy of the Lord. As Christians more so than anyone else we should have joy – we’ve been saved after all!

Sarah's HairSarah has been growing out her hair for a very long time now. In fact, other than minor cuts, she has never had any serious cutting of her hair since she’s been born. It’s not that we have anything against her cutting her hair, she just liked it long and didn’t want to cut it.

When she came to us and said that she wanted to cut her hair we were a little surprised. What was surprising though was the reason she wanted to cut it. She wanted to cut her hair so she could donate it to Locks of Love. Now Locks of Love is an organization dedicated to helping children with cancer by providing them with wigs made from real hair. People donate their cut hair and then the organization produces the final product and provides it to the children in need. It’s a great program and one we were very happy to support.

What really amazed me though was Sarah’s heart and the way that she thought about others. When we came home from our cruise back in March I spoke to our church about how we are to consider others (here is a blog post I wrote about it). What a great example of that principle in action. I pulled her up on stage the next week and told our congregation about what she had done and what a great example she provided for us.

We as parents are very proud of her and I pray that she will continue to grow into an amazing, godly, woman.

Wow, I haven’t been here in a while! After some recent conversations, personal reflections, prayer and all manner of other thoughts, I’m going to start writing here again. There is one thing thought that I’m going to do. I’m giving myself some lead time. So, new posts will start-up again on May 1st which will give me time to plan and write so that things do not become stale. I’m still working on what I want the posting schedule to be (5 days a week? once a week?)

Stay tuned and we’ll be back before you know it!

It’s been a long time in the making and something that I wondered if it would actually ever happen. All the schooling, all the study, all the prayer and interviews and resumes and applications have finally come to fruition. I am officially the pastor of Black Canyon Community Church.

My first official Sunday will be December 5th but I’ve been preaching there for the last 3 weeks so really it’s only a minor switch. As I start this new journey though I wonder what God has in store. My prayer is that we would fulfill both the Great Commandment (Matt 22:36-40) and the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20), and that I don’t screw it up! God is faithful and he has prepared and lead me to this place in my life and I trust him to continue to lead me as I seek to serve him.

For now, it’s time to dig in, pray, and seek his face as we begin to see what he has for us in this new adventure.

I have this rule: never go to bed angry with someone. I try very hard to follow this rule, and there have been times that it has made for some very long nights. This principle comes from Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger…” and most of the time this can be very easy to follow. Sometimes, not so much.

A few nights ago I treated my father-in-law badly and after he left my wife called me out on it. At the time, it made me pretty upset; partially at her, and mostly at myself. It was also late in the evening and she was getting ready for bed, but because of my rule I didn’t want things to sit between us. Thankfully it was something that we were able to talk through quickly, and while we were still upset with each other, we were no longer angry with each other. I went over the next day and apologized to my father-in-law and everything was good.

Now let’s consider what might have happened if I, or my wife, had just let things go. Perhaps the route things may have taken would be one filled with bitterness and resentment. She could hold that in mind every time she looks at me and those feelings would come back and continue to fester. Eventually we would be fighting over things that don’t matter because of this bitter root that was never expressed and we may never get back to the actual issue.

With the divorce rate being so high today having rules like this in place help to maintain communication between spouses. By not allowing the sun to go down on anger we enable our relationships to go back to a healthy, or neutral, status. Keep a short account and if you have to get a little less sleep, that’s okay. Better to have a good marriage than to get more sleep!

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