I was looking at people that got married in the bible, their stories, this is what I found and was pondering about them.

Adam and Eve had a prearranged marriage and they married the same day they met. So I guess that give support for the whole Jewish matchmaker thing?

Rebekah was a “mail order” bride and agreed to marry Isaac sight unseen. So maybe I should look into all those Russian mail order bride sites after all?

Boaz had to purchased Naomi to be his wife. So does this does lends support again to the whole Russian mail order bride thing?

David got Merab as his first wife for killing a hundred Philistines and gathered their foreskins to the king. Now where can a fella find a Philistine today, let a lone a hundred of them? And where would I redeem those foreskins for my prize?

David also got Michal, Ahinoam of Jezreel as perks from the King for a job well done. Makes you rethink the whole benefit and bonus package at work doesn’t? Know what I’m asking for next job negotiations.

Esther won her husband in a beauty contest. So I guess that opens up the door to hanging out at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show to get a wife? Woo hoo!

Now on a more serious note, all fun aside.

David got Abigail as his wife after Abigail showed herself as a Proverbs 31 woman, dedicated wife and servant. This shows us the benefits of looking at the girls life, seeing her character lived out, proving her worth as a wife and mother before you take her as a wife! How well she takes care of herself physicality, no bad habits or addictions, no bad attitudes, emotionally stable, proves she is a woman of God. Do you look at her and see Jesus in who she is, how she lives and loves others, and serves God?

Do not pick her on her beauty alone but her character, personality, qualities and traits. Look at the story of Abigail, Naomi and read Pro 31. Look at those women’s trates, does she display them. Is she walking with Christ.

Jacob served fourteen years as a slave to buy Rachel to be his wife. This shows us we must be patient, work hard and prove ourselves worthy as a husband first!

Men are you proving yourselves to be worthy husbands and men of God while you are single? Do you have any bad and destructive habits or addictions like drugs, alcohol, food, lust or porn, est that you need to get delivered from first. Are you emotionally stable? If so address them now, you do not wait tell you married to fix these things.

Are you proving you are a man of God, a faithful servant of God. Are actively involved with the church, the body of Christ. Are you not just going to church but are serving, exercising your gifts in service to the church/body of Christ. Are actively building the Kingdom of God, serving others, investing time into the lives of others showing that it’s not just all about you. That you are a man of the word, you are actively studying the word daily, that you are a man of prayer, you are actively discipling others, all this proving, showing the woman what kind of husband you will be.

Are you showing you care about yourself and others by how you live? Showing you have good passion for God, people and life, are you actively involved with others? It is all about showing how well you will take care of her and your children by how well you take care of yourself, by how you teat others and yourself now. Are you in good shape, dress nice, shave and shower daily, eat healthy, no bad self destructive habits or attitudes and have a active relationship with God and His church/people?

Bottom line is are you a good preview of want a good woman of God wants to marry, have as a husband and father to her children?

If not take action now, today as a single man of God. I am not saying we have to be perfect, I’m just saying take a look at who you are and what you are offering to someone. Would you marry someone like you? It’s only when we seek to be the best man we can be for God, man of God, be the best for ourselves, that we will attract the best woman of God and have something of value to give her.

After all if you want a Angelina Jolie you better be a Brad Pitt. If you want a woman of God you better be a man of God, and live like it now.

Some simple but effective Ways to Share the Gospel on the Internet.

1. Answer a Question at Yahoo! Answers
2. Blog your testimony in plan English
3. Podcast your your testimony
4. Post your video testimony on YouTube
5. Blog what you learned in church
6. Blog what you learned in your daily bible study
7. Blog about your daily walk with God, what He is doing
8. Even when blogging about secular things interject a God/Biblical world view and solutions on the issue or how biblical prophecy fits in.
9. Edit for Wikipedia .org
10. Link you Bog and personal site to good Christian websites
11. Link other pastors Podcast’s and Blogs to yours
12. Post your testimony on other blogs and sites
13. Post on other blogs regularly in a Evangelical way
14. Share your beliefs in a Facebook Note
15. Put personal Christian book reviews on your blog & Facebook
16. Put a link to live service feeds for your or another churches
17. Put a link on your blog/webpage/myspace/facebook to where you can download a free MP3 of the Bible
18. Put a link on your blog/webpage/myspace/facebook to the online version of the bible
19. Comment on news stories and interject a God/Biblical world view and solutions on the issue or how biblical prophecy fits in.

You can be as settle or as bold as you want in sharing.

Helpful tips on blogging for outreach to the blogging world

Top 10 Social Networking Sites (World)

1. Facebook (http://www.facebook.com)
2. Myspace (http://www.myspace.com)
3. Hi5 (http://www.hi5.com)
4. Flickr (http://www.flickr.com)
5. Friendster (http://www.friendster.com)
6. Skyrock (http://www.skyrock.com)
7. Tagged (http://www.tagged.com)
8. LiveJournal (http://www.livejournal.com)
9. Orkut (http://www.orkut.com)
10. Fotolog (http://fotolog.net)

Books I would reckomend to everyone to read.

Total Church

 

Total Church – This small manual for doing church was surprisingly insightful and winsome to me. They cover a wide range of topics that are all essential for healthy church life. I love the focus on Gospel and community. This is must read for all church leaders.

the-mission-of-god

 

The Mission of God – What is God’s agenda in the world? You’ll find it clearly and exhaustively articulated in this tome from Dr. Chris Wright. I would say this book should also be required reading for all Christians. A bit longer than most want to tackle, but the blessing will be enormous. Those of us who are passionate about the gospel will want to consume this book as it convincingly articulates God’s heartbeat from cover to cover of the Bible.

deathbylove1

Death By Love – I have not actually read this book yet (on the list for 2009), but I have read enough excerpts to know that this book is certainly one that you will want to pick up and check out. Mark shows how the gospel applies to a variety of different and challenging pastoral situations.

The Biblical Man:

Here are some good resources on biblical manhood.

1) Masculinity Powerpoint
2) Proverbs: What it Takes to be a Man (Darrin Patrick – The Journey Church – St. Louis)
3) Proverbs: Men and Masculinity (Mark Driscoll – Mars Hill Church – Seattle)
4) Here is an interview with CJ Mahaney on biblical masculinity. (PDF here)
5) Defining Masculinity (Matt Chandler – The Village Church – Highland Village, TX)
6) For Guys Only – A Collection of Articles on Biblical Masculinity
7)What’s Your Story? Sermon. Mark Driscoll. Mars Hill Church. 1 Tim 1:12-20.
8)Life Inventory Chart.
Supplement to Sermon.
9)Biblical Man Intro Powerpoint.

Twitter-3I do believe that I’m officially a twit now. I have been using Twitter for a few months now but I’ve only recently started to be active with it. I have hooked up with some well know pastors and authors, even a CEO, as well as some common everyday folk. It has become, for me, a place to meet new people and connect, there are some cool and fun folks out there that I’ve been able to relate to and even meet.

The problem that I see with Twitter and the rest of the social media crowd is just figuring out what I’m supposed to do with it, I have a Facebook and Linkedin accounts to and have had them for a while, but really never figured out the optimum use for them. Keep in mind that figuring out what I can do is not the problem, it’s figuring out what I should do is. I have the same dilemma with my personal website and my Blog, all though I getting the hang of my blog, just lack the inspiration to do it as often as I would like, my website is still a work in progress looking for a plan.

What I like about twitter is it gives me a look inside the life, thoughts of others and allows me to share my day to day life in real time with other, even the mundane every day task like fixing dinner. Share what God is doing at the very moment, saying to me, and be with others at the moment God says of does something in their lives. Others can be with me and I them while at the gym, at a conference, reading a book, even just witnessing the sun set on the beach. I have really come to love twitter, I still have not got it down, find myself at a loss for limiting myself to 140 characters to say something, but getting there. And I still do not have the texting from a phone down yet, I defiantly need a smart phone.

I’ll be honest, I was skeptical of Twitter at first, did not see its point of need. And, yes, it could be a huge waste of time. To me, it’s all in how and why you use it. And, no, it does not replace face to face time or phone calls. That time is always more valuable. But Twitter has helped me maximize time with the people I follow that I can not see face to face.

I thank God for twitter and the ability to be pastored by a dude thousands of miles away through technology. To be encouraged by others I would not even be able to meet in person.

So, take a chance and try it out for yourself. Tweet what you want, when you want.

rejesus-cover-v1-199x299Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost have written a new book, Rejesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church, in which they call the church to “reconfigure itself,” and “recalibrate its mission, around the example and teaching of the radical rabbi from Nazareth.”

Here is an interview with Alan Hirsch on this new book, it is an interesting read, check it out.

Church Leadership Book Interview: Alan Hirsch

new birthFor me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21). My main resolution for 2009 is to die. Die to self. To become a total new person, a person in the image of Christ. I need to learn how to be a more faithful cross-bearer, not a better person. If I don’t let go of my life this year and let the Spirit do his work, I’m going to crash and burn hard. I’m sure of it, that is why my part is not to strive and make it happen, but to get out of His way and let Him do what He needs to do, make me who He wants me to be, and do with me what He wants me to do..

In 2009 Dennis Muse will die, come to an end, whom I once was I wish to be no more, the life I have lead must come to an end, a new everything is the only acceptable outcome of 2009 (read my blog on Jan 1). I will ether become and finish the year as a completely new person, someone in the image of Christ, with a total new life, a life in Christ for His purposes. A new career, married, new church and in a new place, or I will physical die and become a new person in Christ. Those are the only two acceptable and really only two options for me. There are no other acceptable out comes for 2009 for me. Ether as Paul sad, For to me to live is Christ (live for Christ), and to die is gain (have more Christ), I will not accept being who I have been or the life I now live. I will not settle for lukewarm, or cold, will not be a Sunday Christian, or status quo, but rather an overcomer, a new creations in Christ, I will not live in the world or the wilderness. All things must be new.

God did not hand fashion us breathing His life giving breath into our nostrils for us to life a dead life.

I’m tired of life as a ‘dead end’ street. I want my life to have purpose and meaning…I want my life to be fashioned and carried out in His likeness. Image is great… but it’s His likeness that defines who we are. We were created to bring Him glory and honor. So that our lives would show forth His likeness… let’s show the world who he really is! Let’s show them by the life we live. Let’s show them through His likeness.

463066766 be1e63030b“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matt 6:25

It’s amazing that scattered through our everyday lives are strategically placed ’scarecrows’. They are not placed by God, but rather by satan to rob us of God’s best. If the birds could figure out that a ’scarecrow’ was really a ‘tip-off’ to the best location of corn- would they really allow themselves to be scared away? Scarecrows only possess the image of harm. They are completely unable to inflict any degree of harm.

One such ’scarecrow’ in our lives is worry. Worry is a powerful tool that satan parades to rob us of God’s best. It not only will effect us spiritually but physically. The harm it can bring upon the human body is endless…..never mind the fact of how it can destroy relationships and our ability to fully trust God.

Worry is the sin of distrusting the power and promises of God upon our lives. It will never add anything to us- only rapidly diminish and steal away. God promises that He will take care of us. God specifically tells us not to worry, but only to trust.

So often that is easier said than done. But He is either able or not! He is able to sustain us and bring us through. Look out for ’scarecrows’. Identify their source and don’t allow them to rob you from God’s best. Look for the ‘tip-off’ to the promises God has for your life. TRUST GOD!

The next King of Israel anointed, the choice of God and not of man, surely his life would be plain sailing and all effortlessly lock into place- running for his life, and having to flee without even time to grab a weapon, no time to spare. Acting like a madman in the face of his enemies, finding himself all alone in a dark, damp, depressive cave…..this surely wasn’t God’s scripted plan? (Psalms 142:5-7)

The reality of life can sometimes catch us off guard. We find ourselves in places we didn’t even think possible; places where we didn’t even have time to prepare for….this wasn’t what we were expecting in life? I’m sure David felt exactly like that. All he had done was to give his best. Every task King Saul sent him on, he fulfilled in an excellent manner. He should have been the hero of the kingdom….but now he’s the hunted.

Have you ever heard the saying- ‘when it rains, it pours’! Well, I think David could have been the author of such sayings. He’s fleeing for his life and ends up in a cave. Once as a young man I had the opportunity to go ‘caving’ – apart from the (occasional) stalagmites and stalactites there wasn’t much else to see in that dark and damp environment. It certainly wasn’t a place you would want to stay in….and add the fact you were all alone to that too, it certainly doesn’t paint a very appealing picture.

In that ‘place’- one out of control to David, he decides to take control. He couldn’t change the circumstance naturally, so he changed the moment spiritually. David turned to God in his despair. So often, unlike David we try to do it all on our own- we think we can make the difference, but all we do is make it worse. David began to confess that God was his refuge (his dwelling place) – no matter what he saw around him – he knew what was in him. He began to claim that God was his reason for living and that God would be his rescuer and restorer.

Life is never fair – but God is always good. There will be times we feel all alone, and that no one cares….but like David we need to remind ourselves how wrong that way of thinking really is. The temporary ‘happening’ around us should not alter the permanent knowing (faith, belief) within us. With God we are never alone

322914038 beae642d9cThe New Year always offers hope for a new start, hope for change, a new beginning. So on Dec. 31, many people make daring resolutions to do things like run 20 miles a day, from the first day, stop smoking, change they way the talk, find the perfect person and get married, watch TV less and read the bible more. With 90% failing to accomplish even one thing, change for good, finish the new year being the new person the set out to be.

Yet I hope to change, archive my resolutions, goals. Is it because I have an iron will and incredible self-discipline? No, not at all. My only hope for change is Christ.

We all love the idea of self-improvement, don’t we? The next year to be better than the last year!

People start off with good intentions with goals such as no more eating junk food for me! I’m going to eat healthy, organic only, exercise more. I’m going to rise with the dawn and conquer the entire Bible by Dec. 31, 2009. I will end world hunger, and memorize at least 100 scriptures. Launch an evangelism blitzkrieg and the devil better get out of my way! I will be a new, better person, not be negative, be an encourager to all, will not lose my temper at the other, even those bad drivers. And from now on I’m reaching out to every person I meet. Look out world, because there’s a new me this year!

And so we’ll begin the year with a bang, with the intent of kicking down spiritual doors and taking names to boot. But we know the story. Our Blog entries for January 31st begin with words like, “I fell off the wagon today…” or “I just don’t know what happened!” By February most of our lofty spiritual goals have been dropped like an old Barry Manilow CD, and we resign ourselves to another year of spiritual mediocrity. And we’re still only in the tenth chapter of Genesis.

But I have one resolution, only one, yes just one, and it is a major one, “Every thing must Change”! And I mean everything, who I am, my life, everything about me. I no longer want to be me, who I am, what I do, where I live. I wish to retain nothing of who I am. I want a new personality, character, mind, attributes, abilities, gifting’s, heart, body, career, everything must go. I want to be a totally new person. A person conformed to the image of Christ. A completely new life. Who I have been, I wish to no longer be.

This is my only New Years Resolution, my only goal for 2009, that “everything must change”, become a totally new person, become the image of Christ. I do not wish to be on this earth January 1, 2010 as the same person in anyway as I was January 1, 2009.

And there is no way I can archive it myself, this is something completely on God. So how and when does true change begin?

From God, By God

Every goal for spiritual growth this year must be approached with the following mindset: Jesus has already secured my perfect standing with God, and now He’s the one who will continue to change me. And it is Jesus will for us to become His image, for the old man to die, for us to become a new person in His image. To have His mind.

So do you want to grow this year? Really grow? Start every day with Christ and Him crucified.

We start with Jesus Christ. The one who faithfully kept every spiritual goal. Our forgiveness. Our power for change. Our hope for a new year.

We should use all God’s means of grace to grow, reading and meditating on Scripture daily, prayer as a way of life, fellowship as a way of life, worship as a way of life, communion daily. But our hope for change is our mighty Savior Jesus, not ourselves. I am asking for a monumental task, one that only God can do, but I know it is His will that we become the image of Christ, a new creation in Christ. So I am trusting in Him to change everything about me, but to death who I once was.