11. May 2018

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What Are You All About?

What is your passion? What drives you? Why do you wake up in the morning? What might you weep and pound the table over? Perhaps it is making money to pay bills and live comfortably. Perhaps it is to become somebody the world will remember. Could it be to avoid anxiety, have some fun, and be liked? For some, it may be to serve God faithfully with integrity and honor.

 

Lately, I’ve been discussing with Barbara, my wife, and our middle daughter, Anne, about spiritual gifts in light of what it says in 1 Corinthians 12 – 14:1. Consider reading this passage for yourself.

 

Remember these things. God's gifts are good. They are given to His children for His glory, for the building up of His Church, the Bride of Christ, and He will shine through you to reach souls for salvation, discipleship, and service. 

 

If you are a Believer (a saved, born again follower of Jesus) you have at least one gift of the Holy Spirit for He resides in you, His Temple.

 

Also remember that it is God who determines which gift(s) you receive. Yes, you can pray for and desire gifts, but no one determines the gift(s) except the Lord for His reasons alone.

 

I do want to zero in on one key verse, 1 Corinthians 14:1a.   (ESV) 

 

“Pursue love,”

 

Other versions say, “Follow ye charity”, “Make love your aim”, “Make love thy great quest”, etc. The idea here is actually beautiful and quite deep. If you have an out-building on the farm with 5 large sealed Bell jars (representing different spiritual gifts) on the shelf. This building is supposed to be your honey storage building. What good are the jars unless they are filled with honey? The honey is the love of God and, thus, His love for people…through you.

 

Let us pray for each other that we pursue God and sinful people with His love regardless of the spiritual gift.

“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”   

(1Corinthians 13:3   ESV)

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

The Gospel http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

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10. May 2018

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Do I Have The Joy?

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Where?” How many of you remember singing this song at camp or in Sunday school? What a great song with a great message. I am learning (the hard way as usual) that “Joy”,  like love, is a choice. It is not so much a warm, bubbly feeling I get from people, things, or experiences. Rather, it is a moment by moment decision to hold the hand of my Savior Jesus and choose by faith to possess a glad heart.  

 

 

Now it is time for True Confessions.  I am not joyful or glad much of the time. I find that I have allowed the disappointments in life, the set backs, and the outright royal shafts that come to cloud my judgment and my faith. Like the Apostle Peter on the Sea of Galilee and during the night of Jesus`s arrest and mock trial, I tend to quietly groan in grumbling and, at times, fear.   During these times, I take my eyes off of my Jesus, my Great Shepherd, and lower them to this world, with its intrigues, its pressures, and its troubles. I might not be alone in this. Right?

I do confess I am ‘missing the mark’ for this is what sin is. Sin is an archery term. It is the ‘sin’ distance which measures by how much my arrow misses the mark of perfection on the bull’s eye.

 

  Sin is a condition which misses the perfection of God.  

 

Like Peter, whether, sinking in the drink or slinking in denial, I am the opposite of joyful when I do this. I really desire that God gives me the Spirit-directed power to choose joy as well as to choose love. These two are like loyal roommates. One is not without the other. Please pray this for me. I will pray this for you.

 

“And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”   (Nehemiah 8:10c  ESV)  

 

 

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

The Gospel http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

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10. May 2018

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God’s Not Finished

As I’ve gotten older, almost 67 now, having experienced one heart attack and other health issues, I have come to the humbling conclusion that I’m not 21 anymore. Why…I’m not 40, 50, or even 60 anymore. Those of you brave souls who’ve hit 60 know what I’m talking about. I’m not the man I used to be. Well…that might actually be a good thing. Ha! Thank God He is not nor has He ever been finished with me. In terms of godly character, I know I am not yet the man He is making me to be. That is good news!

My physical status does, however, affect my emotional condition. I don’t  have the strength nor the energy that I once had. Cleaning out the eaves on that ladder just doesn’t motivate me anymore. I am learning to face reality. I cannot do everything I used to be able to do. I get tired much more easily. This is humbling. Can some of you relate?

 

My God is not finished with me yet. That’s the great news. Seasons of life change. But His desire to extend the Kingdom of His Son never changes. He, if we are willing and available, will use us and our prayers to reach many souls for Christ.

 

I want Heaven populated with as many souls as possible. I pray you do as well. Let’s serve Him with the strength and character He gives us. Let’s pray for each other that we fill Heaven together.

 

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:6  ESV)

 

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  

                                                                                                      (Philippians 3:14  ESV)

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

The Gospel http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

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10. May 2018

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Through The Storm

Is it just me or is Wednesday the toughest day to get through? I remember back when I was a cadet at the Academy. Wednesday was like being half way on a swim across the English Channel... during a storm! My studies, parade practices, Obstacle Courses, room inspections, inspection in ranks, and the general ongoing pressure of the Spartan academy lifestyle left me drained.

 

Even now, Wednesday is my longest day with leading aBible Study at 7 AM 25 minutes from home. Sometimes I crave a nap because my energy reserves are depleted by mid day. Do you like Wednesdays? Some call it Hump Day. Wednesday dinner in the Cadet Mess Hall was the best meal of the week. It was steak night. Occasionally, they’d toss in a lobster. I guess they were trying to help us get through the week. It helped.

Sometimes life throws us more than just a tough Wednesday. Some of you, right now, are going through rough seas that are weeks, months, and even years long. The drain and pain of life is bitter and, at times, almost unbearable. We’ve been there. Barbara and I want to be in the prayer trenches with you. Remember two things. First, you are not alone. Jesus is with you and so are many others, in spirit and in prayer. Second, this difficult time will not last. There will be an end.

 

The Lord cares. He will not abandon you. He will carry you through the storm.

” You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah”   (Psalm 32:7 ESV)

 “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” (Proverbs 18:10  ESV)

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

Here is the Gospel:  http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

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9. May 2018

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Scariest Day!

“One of the scariest days of my life!”  You’ve probably had one. Some of you have had more. I was a Second Lieutenant Platoon Leader stationed in Germany. The year was 1976. The day: May 6th. It was 9 months to the day and my young wife was at the Hospital giving birth to our 1st child. All appeared joyful and happy on the surface.

Back then, I was not allowed in the delivery room. There I sat all alone in the rather cold, undecorated waiting room.

 

Suddenly, the German doctor bursts through the door with fear on his face! He blurts out  with a heavy German accent, “Ve are going to try to save da baby undt your wife! Ve might lose both. Ve tink da cord iss wrapped around da baby’s neck. Da baby’s heart rate is too low. Vee are going to perform a radical, emergency C-Section.”

 

He then rushes back through the swinging door.

 

I am left there utterly alone. No cell phone. No other people. Nothing. Fear gripped me. Here we were in a foreign country in an old WWI refurbished Hospital in Stuttgart.  And I might lose my wife and new child in a matter of minutes.

 

Although I had been a born again Christian for 6 years, my maturity level as a follower of Christ was abysmal. Yes, we attended church here and there when I wasn’t on maneuvers and we went to a Bible Study once in awhile, but I was deep inside a people pleaser living a carnal existence. My soul may have been saved but my feet were firmly planted in the world.

 

My heart raced. I felt a heavy panic. I cried out to the Lord! “Help!” The Army moved us permanently back to the States. We settled in Colorado Springs, Ft. Carson, near Denver’s big military hospital.

Some how God pulled us through.

 

Isaiah 41:10 (ESV) has become like a friend. “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

 

Sara. Soon to be 42, is married with 3 beautiful children. She is the oldest of 7. Let us pray for those of us who are facing scary times and difficult trials. And let’s help and encourage each other if we can.

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: Jim.Grunseth@Cru.Org

Here is the Gospel:  http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

 

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7. May 2018

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If You Are Kind, You Are Beautiful.

When was the last time someone was kind to you? I remember there were certain times in my life when people chose to be kind to me. I didn’t particularly deserve it. One time I was about 8. I was skating at the community rink. I wasn’t any good. This older kid was a bully and was skating towards me really fast and threatening to smash over me. I was scared!

 

At the last second, an older boy who lived two houses away from ours, jumped in front of me taking the hit from this bully. This kind Neighbor’s name is Keith. I was both relieved and grateful. Awhile back, I bumped into Keith at Culvers, a local restaurant. We had such a great chat. He and his wife were there, both now retired, and our friendship connection had not changed. Kindness lasts.

 

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  (Ephesians 4:32 ESV)

Let us pray for each other that we would obey this command.

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: jgrunseth@centurylink.net

Here is the Gospel:  http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/

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7. May 2018

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Are You Smoldering?

I’m learning afresh that Jesus is with me all day and all night by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit. This morning, in the quietness of my heart, He said, “Jim...do not fret. It only leads to evil.” Interesting.....

 

Psalm 37:8 ESV says, “Refrain from anger, forsake wrath. Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.”

 

I was fretting these last weeks over something basically unimportant. Typical. The word “fret” in the Hebrew means “a slow burn”: Like burning a large pile of leaves. Hmmm. I’m good at that. How about you? Let’s pray for each other that we will obediently choose to stop fretting over those piles of leaves in our hearts that frequently tend to smolder and smoke. Let us cast these troubles unto Him, King Jesus, the Shepherd and Savior of our souls.

 

Please send us you comments or prayer requests to: jgrunseth@centurylink.net

Here is the Gospel:  http://marriageanchors.com/2012/05/18/your-anchor-dont-leave-port-without-him/


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