MADE RIGHT IN GOD’S SIGHT

“…since we have been made right in God’s sight…” NLT –Romans 5:1a

I did not plan on attending college after graduation, but instead planned to tour with a band from Florida after graduation. I decided not to go to the Honor’s Assembly because I knew I wouldn’t receive any scholarships since I didn’t apply for any. When one of my teachers, Ms. Kelly, found out she insisted I attend. Her persistence won and I told her I would attend. Nothing will ever replace the smile on her face as a result of me attending. Honors night, I sat through a couple of hours watching my fellow seniors receive scholarship after scholarship. Finally, the last item of the night would conclude the ceremony. The principal walked to the podium, paused a moment, and proceeded to introduce the main award for a graduating senior. He explained that every year, the administration and faculty got together to consider a student who stood out from all others. It was not based on senior year alone, but included all 4 years of high school. After a bit more explaining, he stopped and announced that the “Citizenship Award” for the graduating class of 1991 would go to Steve Morningstar. I was beside myself. I was completely shocked. Being voted as football homecoming king was as honor, but this award came from adults who had watched us students throughout high school. I never lived my life so that I could receive awards. I lived in a way that honored God, my family, and others. Still to this day, I tell my 91-year old grandmother that I live in a way that Christ wanted me to live, how she and my grandfather and father modeled, and make the family name proud. She still likes to hear me tell her that.

What do you need to do to be made right in God’s sight?

BY FAITH

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith… NLT – Romans 5:1a

Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.  NLT -Hebrews 11:2.

Growing up in a little Mid-West town had its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages were the relationships with others in the community. It was small enough to know most of the families while growing up. Church was a big part of our lives. My family was quite active in church events and regular service meetings. My father had always served as a deacon and my mother was involved in the children’s and youth ministries. She was also quite involved in scouting and our school activities as well. On the other hand it had some disadvantages. Since, everyone knew everyone, my parents found out things before we even had a chance to tell them. It also led to my decision to leave home after I graduated from high school.

 

PEOPLE AND PIZZA

Here is my journal entry from Monday, 28 June 2004

Jesus warns against looking down on others Mt 18:10-14 (Harmony 118) Parable of the Lost Sheep

Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father. If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.

 

“I am amazed at what God is doing in our lives. He has been working through us at the beach. For the first time, we were welcomed into the home (tent) of one of ladies who live there in the bush yesterday.

God has truly provided for this ministry. Just last week, we wound up with 10 large pizzas. The Catholic youth group here at Tripler played paint ball yesterday and they needed 10 large pizzas. SSG Font has a 2 for 1 card so she said do whatever I wanted with the other 10 large. Once she said that, I knew to take them to the homeless who lived at beach.

We picked up the pizzas and delivered the 10 to the paint ball group and then we drove to the beach. We pulled up to the area where most of the homeless people live and opened up the back. At first the few people standing there didn’t know who we were and just looked at us. After getting the pizzas out of the van we walked up to them and then they recognized who I was. I told them that the pizzas were for them. They got really excited and looked through the pizzas. They were amazed. Some of the ladies took the pizzas around and handed them out.”

Is there anyone you may know that may need a free pizza today?

RESTORATION

CONCLUSION

For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. NLT – Romans 5:10-11

In “Enduring Everest: surviving your spiritual death zone” the conclusion, I write about the future glory of heaven and the Lord’s presence. I will discuss my view of eternity and how I cannot wait to be with the Lord. I was ready for heaven with my near–death–experience in February 2013, but was saddened when I woke up back here on earth. Until the day I go home to heaven, I will tell my story to a bigger audience. I may never serve in local church again, but I can go visit them.

Do wish for heaven or wish you could stay here on earth?

THE STORY OF GLORY

  1. THE SUMMIT – STORY OF GLORY

And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. NLT – Romans 5:9

Here is my journal entry from Thursday, 13 May 2004

“Jesus tells the parable of the fishing net Mt 13:47-52 (Harmony 86)”

“God is the final judge. The angels do the separating of who is welcomed into Christ’s presence. We are not judges. We are simple people saved by God’s grace.”

My prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I pray that I will be among those who will enter your glory. Allow me to have the assurance of your grace. I pray that you touch my life and take away any doubt that haunts my life. I am a prisoner to my own thoughts. I want you to come into my life and heal every area of it. I want to be the person you want me to be. I don’t want to stay emotionally paralyzed any longer. I am asking that you heal my entire being. I am asking for a supernatural manifestation of your presence. I want you to fill me. I want to open my mouth and have your voice speak through me. I want you to take away the devil’s hold on my life. I have allowed him to keep me hostage for too long. Today, I am asking that you come into my life and lead me to your healing waters. I want a new life in you. I want to speak, think, and teach your life. I am tired of giving the devil too much credit for his games. I do no longer want to be his prisoner. I pray your Holy Spirit to come and breathe new life in me. I want to use my gifts. I want to do your will. I want to be able to pray like Nehemiah and have the walls in my life be rebuilt. I need you Christ Jesus. I am asking that you give me a praying life. I want a praying wife. I want praying children. I want a praying family. I have seen Satan kill off too many of our relationships with family and friends. No longer is he going to hold our lives in his power. Lord Jesus, I need you to remove his demons that have plagued me for too many years. I am asking that you heal my life. I am asking that you heal my marriage. I am asking that you heal my relationships. I am asking that you heal my relationship with you. I can’t do this on my own. Direct my steps. Prepare me to follow your lead. I know you have a restoration in mind. When rejection comes, I will not look at it as failure on my part, but you redirecting me. I praise you for doing what you have done in my life so far. I look forward to the adventure that awaits me. I pray all this in your name Jesus, Amen.”

Where do you fit in the story of glory?

THE SPIRITUAL DEATH ZONE

  1. THE DESCENT – SPIRITUAL DEATH ZONE

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. NLT – Romans 5:8

I have been called by God to be who He wants me to be. Unfortunately, my mind does the driving whereas my heart sits idling. My ambitions get in the way. In his book, Ordering You Private World, Gordon MacDonald addressed the issue of bringing order to your private life. He started off by telling of the day his world came crashing down. He discussed a time in his young pastorate that he had to deal with the disorder in his life. He subscribed, “The order of my private world is an inside-out matter, not an outside-in matter “(p. 9). People try to fill their outer life with things to help them simplify their inner beings, but the proper way is to start on the inside. The outside is affected by the status of the inner private chambers of a person’s life. Order must be obtained through a process of slowing down and learning to breathe. It is an ongoing process. It takes time to accomplish it.

For example: there was order in the Garden of Eden before sin. There was no reason for quick fixes. Many people today try to fast track through life in order to grow spiritually. There is no easy or fast track to grow closer to the Lord. It takes time and patience. There is a time in each person’s life when he or she must ultimately deal with being alone with the Lord. It is the time to come to terms with who they are. There is no hiding from God at that point. One of the first signs that Adam and Eve had brought disorder to their lives was shortly after they ate from the fruit they hid from God (Genesis 3:10). They became separated from God because of sin. Are you hiding from the Lord? If so, why?

Living the way God intended life to be lived there is no reason to hide from the Lord. People do not need anything from the outside world to help them grow in the Lord. Each person has an inner place where He can be heard. It is the place that should bring comfort. However, many fear that inner place.

SHARE IN SUFFERING

PART 4 – THE SUMMIT OF SALVATION

  1. THE ASCENT – SHARE IN SUFFERING

Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. NLT – Romans 5:7

Where is your focus? Have you become more concerned with how God is treating someone else than you are with how He is relating to you?

Growing up, I had always been insecure. I had always compared myself with others. I don’t know what really happened in the college years, but Christ had got a hold of my heart and changed it. Now that has changed, I am setting my sights on what Christ wants to do through me. I don’t want to compare my life with others anymore. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. Rather than responding to what Jesus told him, Peter looked around at his fellow disciples. The Apostle Paul was not overly interested in his own character. Henry Blackaby wrote, “Oh, to have Paul’s tenacity and devotion to the Father’s will! What joy there is not only to begin well in our Christian faith, but also to end faithfully!”

My eternal goal is to stand before Jesus on judgment day and for Jesus to say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:23) As long as our eyes are focused on our own personal holiness, we will never even get close to the full reality of redemption.

Have an amazing Christmas!

PAST THE POINT OF HELPLESSNESS

In ministry, I had become a bum. I had been so driven to do ministry that it affected my relationship with my wife. It hit me hard one day in 2001, when I realized that I had to choose between my family and ministry. I was an associate pastor in a church in California when one of our neighbors had accused my wife of something and drove to our church to tell on her. When Trish found out, she couldn’t take it anymore. She wanted out. She was moving back home to Canada on the east coast. She called home and her grandmother had given her money for her and our two children to fly back home. I was devastated. I couldn’t believe I was at that point in my young pastoral experience. I was watching my world crumble before my eyes. It was happening when I was successful in ministry.

I didn’t know if she was leaving church, God, or me. I had never experienced this before. I really had not preparation for this either. It seemed this was the one thing they forgot to mention to us students in Bible College. I still remember the day, as I sat in the senior pastor’s office and told him my wife was moving back home whether I was coming with her or not. She was leaving.

How do you handle things when they seem past the point of helplessness?

HOPE IN OUR HEARTS

  1. THE CAMPS – HOPE IN OUR HEARTS

And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. NLT – Romans 5:5

“After a year on the road touring with the band, XL, from Clearwater, FL, I decided to go to college. I attended William Tyndale College in Farmington Hills, Michigan. It was a bible school close enough to home, but yet far enough away to be on my own. At 19 years old, I was attending school full-time, working for my rent at an apartment complex near the campus, and working a Saturday shift at a local party store. I still don’t know how I survived on $32.85/week. On December 20, 1992, I was in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, visiting a friend and met Trisha. After dating and dealing with immigration, we finally got married on July 16, 1994 in my hometown in Imlay City, Michigan. We had decided to stay in the States and start a family here in America.”

Home is where your heart is. Where is your heart today?

 

The Conditioning – developing strength

 

Chapter 4: The Conditioning – developing strength

And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. NLT – Romans 5:4

Scouts

I started as a Cub Scout at 5 or 6 and ended up with the Eagle Scout Award in December 1988 with my court of honor held in 12 days before my 16th birthday in March 1989. I’m still proud to carry my Eagle Scout card with President Ronald Reagan’s signature on it. Reagan was just finishing his 2nd term in office when I completed the requirements for Eagle Scout. I’m grateful to have grown up with him as our president  because of his character.

In her book, “When Character Was King,” Peggy Noonan wrote about her experience working on staff of the late president. In scouting though, I learned about having values and knowing when to step up to lead, which was why I probably looked up to President Reagan. He was able to accomplish some monumental things during his presidency. For example, being instrumental in the Berlin Wall falling and ending the Cold War. I regret not having met him in person before he died.

Who will regret never having met you after you’re gone?