Thursday, May 31, 2007

All About The "I"


Isaiah 55: 8-11"I don't think the way you think. The way you work isn't the way I work." God's Decree."For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.

I have found myself in more than one conversation lately concerning the will of God for my life. Each time I find myself saying things like "I have tried this, I have tried that, I am going to do this, I think I will do that, I’m going to do that". All of which have turned out to be nothing but a waste of time talking and thinking about things I wanted to do. Twice this week I have been challenged on using the word "I" in these terms. If you noticed there is nothing in the statements above that lends itself to God. There is only "I".

So what do I think about this? After being where "I" have been for the past two years, by the way, was with an incredible water sports ministry called In His Wakes, I have decided that God has me here for a reason, a reason that I can not explain. There has been a great deal of thought put into the reason God allowed me to depart form this great ministry. I must omit I have tried to explain it many times, all the while using the terms "I" and "me".

This week "I" learned that God does have an incredible plan in the mist waiting for me. Do I know what it is? No! But God does and "I" am content to wait on Him and learn and prepare myself for the next chapter in the story as GOD writes it, not "I".

Isaiah 55: 8-11 sums it up. We all know these verses and are quick to make them ours but the reality is we like doing things our way, we like knowing the plan. Lets get humble in the site of God and be big enough and honest enough to say "I" ain’t got it figured out but God does.
Please visit In His Wakes at www.inhiswakes.com
George Beasley

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No Where To Run


Isaiah 49: 8-12God also says: "When the time's ripe, I answer you. When victory's due, I help you.I form you and use you....

Have you ever wondered why we do things that just don’;t make a great deal of since? Is it God’s will or our will? This is an age old question that is not answered by just a brief comment or letter.
In studying this week and through conversations I have decided that it’s okay sit still for a minute or two, it’s okay to let God redirect you onto a new path. It’s very hard not to run ahead of God and start something new and exciting. I see many pieces of a great puzzle but none fit together yet. For the past few months I have been running over there and then back over here and then back to there. I am tired of running, so I am walking and listening now.

I remember a guy I grew up with at one of the homes I was in. His name was Philip Myers. If you ever went anywhere with him you had better be in shape. He always wanted to run. I remember he came over to our cottage one day and ask if we could make a trade. I said "sure, that sounds like a great deal". The only problem was, the stuff he was trading for was across campus so off we went.

The second we stepped out the door, he took off. I was a runner back in the day so it was no problem keeping up with him. In the mist of our sprint to the other side of the campus I asked "Philip, why do you run every where you go? He replied quickly "you never get anywhere in life by walking, it takes too much time. This statement I have pondered on for many years, often wondering if he is still running, or did he finally slow down and enjoy the beauty around him.

The message can be taken many ways in what he said. We can run every where we go, that can be good, but you may get tired, you may run right pass the very thing God has for you.

To live a life of victory, we need to know where to run. Once God has given us the task, take off like we did. Remember that the deal was made in the cottage and then we knew where to run, we had direction.

The deals we make with God will be on our knees, then step out, take off, run like you never have. God can keep up.

George Beasley

Friday, May 25, 2007

Shelter from the Sun


Isaiah 49 says "Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty, shade from the sun, shelter from the wind, For the Compassionate One guides them, takes them to the best springs. I'll make all my mountains into roads, turn them into a superhighway".


Let me bring you to a time in my early teen years. Haven House was my second group home. It was to be short term. I had a great deal of people who cared about me but my stubborn attitude pushed many away. Although young, I learned so many life lessons here. This was a time before the "mental games" were introduce into troubled teens lives. I call them "mental games" because as time would go forward, we all learned how to beat the system. The system being ideas like "if you let them think this, then they will act this way. Haven House was not that way at all, they taught us by life itself, teaching us that for every action, negative or positive there would be a reaction and a price to pay at some level. I hope you immerse yourself in this story as it is as true as it gets. Lord willing I will take you from this point in my life to now in the up coming stories. Here is the Haven House story as I saw it and remember it today.


What controversy there was in the neighborhood on Shepard Street. This thing called a home for troubled youth was coming. Maybe now looking back we were pioneers of our present day culture and Haven House was the pioneering concept of "fixing" us. I had already had an idea that none of the neighbors wanted us there but this was not really new to me. It had seemed for most of my life that I was just in the way.The experiences I had there would forever change me. Not knowing at the time what changes were being made but they would mold me into the person I am today. It was not the experiences to me that made the difference but the people. To prove this I have thought about all of the experiences both good and bad while at Haven House. What effect did they have? I can say mostly positive and impacting to some degree.


When I think about the people, what effect did they have on my life? There is an overwhelming deep desire to tell you that these people who gave their life to try and teach me something had such a life changing impact that it would be hard to put into words. I guess what I am saying is that it was never about the experiences but the people.To prove this after some thirty years I can tell you of only a couple of experiences I had but I can see in my mind and tell you each persons name and what I remember them doing for me.


That to me is impacting.There was Charlie, not really sure what his job was but I do remember him spending time taking to me, that's all we really wanted, just to talk and someone to listen. A lady name Anita, who did the same, always a sweet smile and a warm hello, eyes that would warm your heart no matter how bad things were. I can remember her always asking on a hot summer day "would you like something to drink?"Although not part of the Haven House my court appointed officer, Ellen. I must say she had an impact that is still lasting on me. I can remember sitting with her and talking out things, she had me do some crazy things with my fingers to test my concentration, I still do that today.


Then there were three, Michael, Peter and Barbara. They were our house parents. Now I could go into detail into each one as they each had their own special way of trying to get into my brain. They without doubt are the most interesting people I had ever met and to this day still are. I have so many wonderful memories and could write a book on my experiences with each of them but to keep this short I will just give you a brief summary of each one and the impact they had.We can start with Michael, he loved to meditate, this was his way of teaching us to relax and get in touch with our inner being if you will. We would sit for hours and just sit, sometimes talk but mostly sit. This was very relaxing and taught me a great deal about myself.


Peter I do believe loved to write, I am not sure if that is where I developed the love for writing or not. Only to say that he had this big book and he would sit and write all of what he saw going on. Peter had a heart and really loved us. As a matter of fact all three of theses shared the same heart. They truly loved us no matter what. A really good picture of how God loves us. Peter also loved to cook and grow his own food, thinking back they all three loved to grow their own food. This is where we would spend time when we did things we were not supposed to do "in the garden".


Then there was Barbara. She wore this long robe , saddles and smoked a pipe. For some reason I am hearing her say "George, what are your feelings on this". She was always caring and seemed to be very sensitive to feelings. What I remember the most about her is she cared and she loved us.I am just trying to give you some insight on Haven House, from the start. Keep in mind this was 1974 and the culture as we know it today was forever changed by the people of Haven House. It was never about the program, the event or all of the other experiences. It was always be about the people. It was always showing us they loved us. That is all we ever wanted, to be loved. It's love that make the difference.


George Beasley

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Loving Me


Ephesians 3:19 (The Message)

14-19My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

I remember standing there in the hot sun that day. All fifteen of us were trying to get in the picture. We had our best clothes on, for me it was a three piece suit, black with pin stripes. I had a pair of borrowed shoes on and I had an attitude.

This was a special day at the Boys Home, picture day. The whole day taken up by some stupid picture taking. That was my thoughts then but now I look at this picture everyday in my office and thank God I have it. It’s really the only one I have of that time in my life.

I have all the names of the guys written out beside them. I think of where they all are now, so much time has past. This picture was taken more than twenty-seven years ago. I look at it and wonder what happen to the other fourteen guys. I know some have died, some have gone to prison and some are on drugs and will never be freed of that addiction apart from God. I know that a few have trusted Christ with their lives but can’t seem to get past the pain, not really letting go of the past. But that is not what this picture is about. It’s about the two people on each end, the sixteenth and seventeenth persons.

They were the young couple that sacrificed their lives and gave it all they had for all fifteen of us. Jim and Thora Maready had given so much of their lives for us. Could you imagine raising three kids of your own and fifteen teenage boys? That’s really what gets me about this picture. Jim and Thora were the best "house parents" there ever were. Believe me I know, I had seen my share come and go.

I guess you could sum them up by saying they cared. It wasn’t just a job to them, sure I have had others who have cared but Jim and Thora really loved us and it showed. It showed because the told us we were the best. Even when we knew deep inside that we were not, they had this unique gift of making us think that we would be something one day. This my friend is love that does surpass all understanding.

Jim and I were like father and son, he treated me like and son and Thora treated me the same. It felt that way most of the time. There were many life lessons taught at that cottage by the lake, many I still remember today and are part of who I am.

Last year I did get a chance to call Jim and thank him for all he had done for me, Thora I have seen once since I got married twenty-three years ago. It has taken a long time to get to the point of really understanding sacrifice. To both of them I owe my life to as I know it today. God had put them in my life then, He knew just the right people to put in my path that would make a difference. It was all part of His plan.

Thank you Lord, thank you Jim, thank you Thora for sacrificing your life for me. You made a difference!

George Beasley

Monday, May 21, 2007

History


Isaiah 48
1-11 You have all this evidence confirmed by your own eyes and ears. Shouldn't you be talking about it?And that was just the beginning. I have a lot more to tell you, things you never knew existed.This isn't a variation on the same old thing. This is new, brand-new, something you'd never guess or dream up.When you hear this you won't be able to say, 'I knew that all along.'You've never been good listeners to me. You have a history of ignoring me,A sorry track record of fickle attachments— rebels from the womb.

But out of the sheer goodness of my heart, because of who I am, I keep a tight rein on my anger and hold my temper. I don't wash my hands of you. Do you see what I've done? I've refined you, but not without fire. I've tested you like silver in the furnace of affliction. Out of myself, simply because of who I am, I do what I do. I have my reputation to keep up. I'm not playing second fiddle to either gods or people.

Our independent history is deep rooted. Each of us were raised in a different way. That makes our history unique. Some of us have a "civil war" type history, some of us have a "southern bell" type history and some have a "rebel" type of history. The rebel is the most sought after of all the generations today. When we think of the word rebel we think of young people but this is not the case in reality. We all are rebels to a degree. We do what we want to do and then justify it by the means of our relationship with God. I guess what I am saying is we all have a different way of making our own history.

In the above scripture there is more than enough to tell us that we don’t have a good history of listening to God. We hear this preached week after week. So, why don’t we get the message?

I do believe that the first part of the verse that sums it up. God says "You have all this evidence confirmed by your own eyes and ears. Shouldn't you be talking about it? And that was just the beginning. I have a lot more to tell you, things you never knew existed.
In reading this it has become apparent to me that no matter what type of history you have, it is God who can change it. If we would just put all of our energy into God, focused on Him and Him alone for all the we have, then we would be able to say our history is dependent on God.

So, if you have a history of a civil war, a southern bell, or you are just a straight up rebel, put that history in the book where it belongs, let it go. It really doesn’t matter after God has opened your eyes to His great salvation.

If you wonder why you don’t see the wonders of God in your life, look inside and ask yourself "am I being independent of God, am I doing what I want and not what He wants? The answer doesn’t come easy, we are independent and have this thing of writing our own history.
George Beasley

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Gifted ??



Exodus 28
1-5 Consult with the skilled craftsmen, those whom I have gifted in this work, and arrange for them to make Aaron's vestments, to set him apart as holy, to act as priest for me.

Have you ever tried to do something that you thought you could do but in reality you could not? Or how about this, have you ever consulted with someone that you knew before hand they really didn’t know what they were talking about and about half way through the conversation your blank stare gave it away?

Lisa and I are about to finish up a project that has taken us a month to build. At the start of the project we had our son-in-law, Allen come over and do the work. He is very skilled and precise in wood working. As for Lisa and I we have our own way, this is evident as the project is nearing it’s completion. Allen built the first two section of this deck, then Lisa and I decided we really enjoyed the time we had together in doing this. So, each night for the past few weeks we would get home from work and build for a few hours together. Saturday, after an early morning round of yard shopping and picking up a few good deals we started on the project. We were just a cutting and hammering.

We move over to the entrance way where Allen had worked on the right and left sides, his work is beautiful, I knew we could never get ours to look that good so we thought of a way to hide the imperfections. During us cutting these boards, Danny stopped by and ask "how are you cutting those, you ain’t got no square. I responded that we just draw a line and cut the board. He being skilled in this area went to his truck and got me a square. This turned out to be a very useful tool. Not that I had never used one but just thought I could do without it. With the guidance of these skilled craftsman the entrance way looks beautiful.

I find myself more times than I like to omit working on things I know nothing about. This was a fun project for Lisa and I. We enjoyed being together and working. It turned out looking great to us and that’s all that matters in the end.

To apply this story to us and to our lives is a challenge. The text says to "consult with". Who are we consulting with in our life? Do we run to Jesus first or do we find ourselves all over the place crying the blues looking for direction. I have seen and heard people talking about things they know nothing about, they were not skilled in the area of which they were talking. We do a lot of things in the name of Jesus. Thinking we are doing something good but in reality we know nothing about what we are doing or saying. Sometimes we find ourselves in conversations we really don’t need to be in, what you say will have an effect, positive or negative. I do believe our flesh is like the paranĂ¡, that flesh eating fish. We take anything we can get and eat it up while making our entrance way look beautiful, hiding all of our own imperfections. God has blessed us all with gifts, use them for His Glory and not our own.
George Beasley

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Shade Tree


Jonah 4 7-8But then God sent a worm. By dawn of the next day, the worm had bored into the shade tree and it withered away. The sun came up and God sent a hot, blistering wind from the east. The sun beat down on Jonah's head and he started to faint. He prayed to die: "I'm better off dead!"

9Then God said to Jonah, "What right do you have to get angry about this shade tree?"

Sometimes we all need rest, sometimes we all gather in the same place to rest, and sometimes we just sit and cry about our lives. Don't you think God knows your heart? Do you really think Jonah had to say anything? I know if you have done any growing at all this hits home. Verse nine is the what I am talking about "What right do you have to get angry about this shade tree?"
Think with me for just a moment. What right do we have? When God gives us peace and rest from what ever mess we get ourselves into, what right do we have to be angry when that rest is gone. Is God telling us "lets go now, you are ready" or sometimes as in Jonah’s case "quit wining and do what I ask you to do to start with.

What shade tree has God given you lately? Did you ask God anything while you were there? Or did you indulge yourself in the world thinking "life is great?

This morning I was riding back from my coffee run , I had the Hillsong pumping out "Jesus Is". I was in my prayer time and God said "you know George all I want is to talk to you. I said well "lets talk" and God said " I just want to ride right now, lets just sit here together. So I looked up at the moon and said "that is so cool" and thought about just how close God is to me right now.

These verses are about that. God not only wants to talk with us but wants us to reserve space for him in our lives. He wants to be close, where ever we are that’s where God is. We could have more shade tree days if we would just do what God ask us to do in the first place.
George Beasley

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Whisper


John 11
25-26"You don't have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?"

27"Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world."

28After saying this, she went to her sister Mary and whispered in her ear, "The Teacher is here and is asking for you."

Continuing my reading in John I find some verses that really speak to my heart. These are some of those.

In life as things die, people die, seasons come to an end, life changes but the only real truth in life is that we will never die. We will spend our life somewhere. Either Heaven or Hell. I know I am writing to Christians and love you all greatly but God has given us gifts and talents not just to sit in the room by ourselves after the death of a season or persons. Yes this is life changing and all part of God’s plan. This is a reality that is not easy to deal with. It houses many compartments and is more complex than just saying or writing it.

To take this deeper and find a deeper meaning here in verse 25, we don’t have to wait until the end, the end for us is the beginning. I made a statement recently "there is no telling where God could have taken us had I...". This statement in it’s entirety is true but as a part is not. I know that made no sense but you have to know the whole story so lets just say "we don’t have to wait until the end". Life is right now, where we are at, what we are doing and what we are going to do. The end of verse 26 is something that the Spirit of God continues to teach me, "do you believe this.

I mean that is the real question here. Do you? When praying the Spirit is saying "do you, you do don’t you?". Some of you have heard this, kind of crazy but the Spirit of God in the mist of praying ask me this. My response is the same as verse 27 "Yes, Master". But mine is more "yes Master and a little laugh", I just can’t believe it sometimes, just how powerful God is!

Now for the end of this story. Have you had anyone recently or have you recently practiced verse 28? Have you whispered in someone’s ear and let them know that God loves them, God cares for them and God can change their life? I have had this recently. Let me tell you something that this does. It heals, it mends, it builds broken hearts, broken relationships and broken spirits.

This is bit deep and streach on these verses but it's how I saw them. So, again as you guys go out, as we all go out into our own mission field that God has us in, whisper to someone. "Jesus is here, and he is asking for you".............
George Beasley

Friday, May 11, 2007

Come On Now

John 11: 38-39Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, "Remove the stone."
The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, "Master, by this time there's a stench. He's been dead four days!"

40Jesus looked her in the eye. "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

41-42Then, to the others, "Go ahead, take away the stone."

They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, "Father, I'm grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I've spoken so that they might believe that you sent me."

I have really been excited about seeing what happens next in the story. As you may can tell by now I am not a "read a chapter a day" kind of guy. I will read until I see what truth the Spirit has for me, think on it, walk through it in my mind. I would like to say I think on it all day but that would be a lie. I can say I try.

These verses could be a continuation of yesterdays note on how our faith and trust in Jesus goes back and forth no matter. I mean. Jesus is standing right there and in vs 40 Martha is telling Jesus the man is going to be smelling. So I have decide to go a different route and call this one "Come On Now"

"Come On Now" these are words that I heard often as I skied this past weekend. I think it is one of those geographic statements, kind of like "believe that" or like my sweet bowling shirts.
Do you think Jesus is saying to us sometimes "Come On Now". In vs 38 Jesus made a statement "Remove the stone". Now here is God who is getting ready to raise a guy from the dead and He is "asking people to move the stone". Why is this? Not one time but twice He ask! Could He have moved it?

Look in 42-42, it was as if He had to get someone else to move it. "Come On Now"! The point is really simple here and I do believe a kingdom principle is being applied.

God loves us and want to use us. How would you liked to be the ones who move the stone? In other words "are we?" Are we doing what God ask us to do or are we just standing in front of the tomb making excuses "it’s going to smell" or "it’s too heavy" or "I’m too busy". I have a long list of why I can't move the stone when Jesus ask.

Or maybe it’s we are doing all that we can and we just need to be reminded that Jesus prays for us. They removed stone and just look at the prayer He prayed.

Lastly, don’t leave vs 40 out. Jesus looked her in the eye. "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

That’s enough...........

Jesus, I pray for all those who have need at this time. There are many amoung us. All of us seem to be in some type battle where we may need some help in moving our stone. Lord send us help when we need it and give help when we can. Lord, you ask us to just do one thing and that is believe. We believe Lord!Show us your glory.....amen

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Don't Ever Quit


2 Timothy 4
1-2 I can't impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don't ever quit. Just keep it simple.

Have you ever said something that you really thought you were in the right to say and no matter what, we find ways to justify those words that were spoken out of anger and selfishness? Maybe a better way to put it is, have you ever said something that caused separation between you and a friend?

Words can do so much damage to people and relationships. I once heard a preacher say "that’s why God put two gates in front of your tong, your teeth and lips". I have sat in my quite times and often wondered about this friend. God continued to bring him to my mind.
Would our paths cross in life again? Would we ever speak again? Would God be able to restore what I had torn apart? The answer of course is, yes.

I sat this past weekend thinking that I really need to talk to this friend, it was urgent. I prayed several times as we kept missing each other on the phone. Every time my phone rang I wondered if it was him. Finally we were able to talk. We started with the basic hello’s and how are you’s. Then I could hardly wait to get it out. I had to say "I’m sorry, I’m sorry for the words I had spoken, sorry for getting in something that was really not my business to start with. He said with a soft voice "I accept your apology, George. My heart was free, it was as if I had been set free of some type of invisible chains.

But, it was not finished yet, I was reminded that it was good to say I’m sorry but I needed to be forgiven. I then ask him for forgiveness for what I had done. Some would say that saying you are sorry is enough but that was not true in this case. I wanted a fresh start, a clean slate. I did ask for his forgiveness and he graciously said "I do forgive you".

All I want is to be able to see this friend, see him in a light that I once knew. Forgiveness has brought this back. Sometimes we say things that we really don’t mean, sometimes we do things that make no since. We are not perfect but we have the ability to set things right when we know we are wrong.

So, now what? Are there more in my life that I need to right? Without doubt but God will have to go before me and help me. The important thing here is the act of forgiveness.

I know all of us have these situations in our lives and are not always solved with just a call. Again, it was the act of forgiveness that ended up setting me free and restoring a friendship. Will things ever be the same as they once were? I think with this person, they will. With some, things will never be the same.

There is two rules of life that may apply. I have been taught both in my Christian life. One says "to forgive means to forget, so it’s over and we are supposed to forget about it". Two says " to forgive is to let go, never go back to, let God have it all, we will remember but no need to rehash". I think number two is more accurate. We are all human and may never completely forget anything, good or bad. However, we can move on and let Jesus take on what He came to this earth to do, take on our sins.

My question and point for today. How many of us go through life with these wrongs that deep down inside we know we have the ability with the Holy Spirit to try and make right? Have you prayed and ask God to help? Do you have a sincere desire to restore something you have torn apart with words?

Sometimes we end up talking to everyone about a situation except the people who can really change it. That my friend is strife. That’s it isn’t it? Talking to someone who has no ability to change the situation you created. Seeds of strife will only continue to separate and cause destruction. This I learned from a great friend in St. Louis.

The end of verse two is another thing I learned from St. Louis "Don't ever quit". As long as we are breathing there is time to restore, there is time to try and make a wrong a right, there is time to see the Glory of God. Don’t wait, like I did. You have heard the old saying "time heals" haven’t you. Well it doesn’t. It’s God who heals, it’s forgiveness and love that heals. God is time, God is love and He wants us to live in victory.

Thank you friend for your grace and understanding towards me. Thank you for being a friend even when I didn’t deserve it. Thank you for your forgiveness. Timothy was an odd verse for this life story and life lesson but I thought if we really believed that God was looking over our shoulder we may wait just a minute before saying something that will take a month, a year or a life time to set right.

George Beasley

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

In Awe


Genesis 28
10-12 Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran. He came to a certain place and camped for the night since the sun had set. He took one of the stones there, set it under his head and lay down to sleep. And he dreamed: A stairway was set on the ground and it reached all the way to the sky; angels of God were going up and going down on it.

13-15 Then God was right before him, saying, "I am God, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. I'm giving the ground on which you are sleeping to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will be as the dust of the Earth; they'll stretch from west to east and from north to south. All the families of the Earth will bless themselves in you and your descendants. Yes. I'll stay with you, I'll protect you wherever you go, and I'll bring you back to this very ground. I'll stick with you until I've done everything I promised you."

16-17 Jacob woke up from his sleep. He said, "God is in this place—truly. And I didn't even know it!" He was terrified. He whispered in awe, "Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God's House. This is the Gate of Heaven."

Have you ever ask God to show up to a certain place or come to you at a certain time? Have you ever done that? You know, "ask God to show up". I do it all the time. There is so much to Genesis 28 but I want to focus on one thing and one thing only. Is God showing up for us? How do we know, do we just trust He does? Man, these are some great questions, don’t you think?
I was excited to write about this today, mostly because I have been here more times than I would care to omit. The text says it all in verses 16 and 17. Jacob woke up from his sleep. He said, "God is in this place—truly. And I didn't even know it!" He was terrified. He whispered in awe, "Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God's House. This is the Gate of Heaven."

I have been in awe before of God’s Holiness, His awesome power, seeing Him work right before my eyes. Whether waking up, praying or sitting in a car, whispering "Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. God has shown me His power and is where I am. It great to hear people pray and even to say "God, will you come to us, will you come in this place to help us, come and be with us. I have no problem at all with this so please don’t read into this. What I am say is more times than not, we "wake up" and say "God is in this place—truly. And I didn't even know it!"

Do you know where God is? The Holy Spirit? Where is He in your life? This my friend is "Incredible. Wonderful and Holy.

George Beasley

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Fenced In


2 Corinthians 6
11-13Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!

Do you ever feel like the world is just not big enough? You know, like you are cramped up in a small place, getting no where in life. I have ask myself in recent times "is this it, is this what I was made for, is there any more for me to do God?

I may have told you that I was challenged to go to Bible study on Sunday morning, so I went. As I sat there I was reminded on how small I have made my world. Gene reminded us of how many times we use the personal pronoun "I" in a sentence. I was also reminded and challenged to get into God’s word more. We do tend to get into a pattern and then the pattern gets less and less in size and before we know it we have made our world so small that we can’t even function in it ourselves. This I have found to be a very dangerous place to be. The decisions we make while at this point are usually bad and nothing good comes out of them.

In the preceding verses of Chapter 6, Paul is talking about all the things in life we do and ends it up with "having nothing but having it all. Then falls into verses 11-13. This is where I want to write today. I have been accused of late of being to long in my writing but as I have learned and some of you know there are those who are not as brief as me. I am smiling now. I guess I could have written on 1-10 to start with and then moved into 11-13 but not today.

I want to talk to you about living openly and expansively as Paul has described here. To live a wide-open life, full of all that God has for you. How can we do this? How can we live a life that is wide-open and spacious, not fenced in?

Paul answers that question with one statement "The smallness you feel comes from within you.
What we feel is who we are. At any given moment in life, if we feel small we are small, if we feel big we are big, if we feel sad we are sad, if we feel happy we are happy. It all starts within. Here is the question for us today. Who is within us? Is it the Holy Spirit? Is there evidence of this?

I have built my own fence and if not broken down in time, life gets smaller and smaller. God has great plans for all those who know Him. We must depend on the Holy Spirit of God to direct us.
It is the Holy Spirt who lives in us. I was reminded of this yesterday as I was praying.

The point I am making today is the world is much bigger than we think, your world is much bigger than you think. As Pastor Jeff told me one time "God is only bound by His word, you cant’ put God in a box. These words are so true. The sad reality is most of our Christian culture or religions have put God into this tiny box that fits their world which becomes our world. We have fenced God in and made all these rules and regulations that really don’t apply in life, we have not only bound God, but have bound Him by our words.

Can this be broken, can this fence be torn down? Yes, of course it can, I am living proof of that. It starts with you understanding God and His word. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!

George Beasley

Monday, May 7, 2007

It's What I Want

Today seems to be one of those days. Just not sure what to write. Do I edit an old story? Do I write a new one? What to do? This is my third story this morning. I sent this one out to you all a few weeks ago. None the less, it is relevant for me today. It kind of falls into the story I wrote yesterday on love. It deals with the emotions. I guess after rereading this and the story from yesterday I would ask one thing. Who is driving your life, what is guiding or directing your emotions? Have you truly giving everything to God?

Jonah 4
3"So, God, if you won't kill them, kill me! I'm better off dead!"

4God said, "What do you have to be angry about?"

5But Jonah just left. He went out of the city to the east and sat down in a sulk. He put together a makeshift shelter of leafy branches and sat there in the shade to see what would happen to the city.

6God arranged for a broad-leafed tree to spring up. It grew over Jonah to cool him off and get him out of his angry sulk. Jonah was pleased and enjoyed the shade. Life was looking up.

7-8But then God sent a worm. By dawn of the next day, the worm had bored into the shade tree and it withered away. The sun came up and God sent a hot, blistering wind from the east. The sun beat down on Jonah's head and he started to faint. He prayed to die: "I'm better off dead!"

9Then God said to Jonah, "What right do you have to get angry about this shade tree?"
Jonah said, "Plenty of right. It's made me angry enough to die!"

10-11God said, "What's this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a mere shade tree that you did nothing to get? You neither planted nor watered it. It grew up one night and died the next night. So, why can't I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, this big city of more than 120,000 childlike people who don't yet know right from wrong, to say nothing of all the innocent animals?"

I have deleted and rewritten and am trying to get this just right. This book is about so much of life that it’s just not funny. It deals with all of the human emotions. Jonah is happy, Jonah is sad, Jonah is angry, Jonah is mad. On and on we could go. There is a great kingdom principle here in these last verses and I don’t want to miss it. So for the sake of being to long in this story I may split it up into a few parts.

Have you ever been where vs 3 is "I'm better off dead!" You don’t have to tell me, just be honest. It just you and God right now. Have you ever said this to God. The giver of life the very one who can grant you that request. This is a sad place to be but it can also be a growing place.

I love what God says to Jonah "What do you have to be angry about?" This is what God will ask you when you are at the point of no hope, a point of not being able to see past the horizon in life.
What do we have to be angry about? We are here for one purpose, no matter how complex we like to make our lives and how busy we make ourselves the cause of Christ is why we are here.
In verse 5 we can see a great example of how we react when we don’t get what we want. The text says "He went out of the city to the east and sat down in a sulk. He put together..Try and follow me here as this is where it gets a little deeper. While he was pouting about not getting what he wanted and not what God wanted, look at what it says right after "he sat down and sulked. "He put together". You can call it a play on words, not theologically correct, reading into the text but one thing you can’t deny, he did it himself. He went out on his own into a bearing land, he walked away from God, he tried to do all of this against God. The whole time talking to God.

The point is simple. God had one simple request and I believe that same request is for us today. Go and preach the gospel! Just Go! Just do it! Why is that so hard for us to understand. We try so hard to make things so complex. Have we made the cause so complex that we can’t move? Have we just diluted the gospel so much that the message is not heard?
This story is one of truth, it makes us really take a good look at ourselves and what we are doing in life. Have we built this shelter around us and are we just sitting back to see what God will do? Or are we at the point "you know what, God! I am angry at you. It’s okay to be here but don’t camp here. Ask God, he will answer you just like he did Jonah.

George Beasley

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A Life of Love

Ephesians 5
1-2Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

There are some things in life that we just can’t fake. In the end "love" really has no boundaries. I’m not sure how many times I’ve read these verses but today they seem to really hold me where I need to be. As I look around in our world, where is this love. I don’t want to come across judgmental in any way but just want to express to you all what I am seeing.

Where is this love that has no boundaries? Where is the love of giving oneself up for others? I’m just not sure. In recent months we have talked so much about love. The love that Christ has for us, the love that we have for Him, the love we have for our children, the love we have for our mates. Our culture has taught us that love is just another human emotion, we can turn it on and off. I am quick to say "I’m not sure about that now.

In the past I would have fought you on this. I will agree that love is the greatest of human emotions but how can we just say "I do or I don’t. I have been taught in my Christian walk that I have to love even when I don’t feel like loving, to always give this. It is true that we have to learn to love some things but in recent times I have seen people that I love. I do not know them, I have never met them, I have never spoken to them but I love them. Explain this, I ask myself.
I guess to start I will say to love with an unconditional heart it will be that of the Holy Spirit, a love that pours out even when you don’t feel like loving. A love that never ends, a love that can cross all boundaries, a love that is not judgmental, a love that doesn’t look at circumstances but at the person. I do not see this love as a human emotion but one of the Spirit of the living God. The Holy Spirit that lives in every Christian.

This being true, then why can’t we all love with this kind of love? I guess I will now say and introduce the world to us all. To learn to love as Christ did, then we will have to observe Him and how He reacted. I love the verses above, especially this, "mostly what God does is love you.
I will end by saying that it is the Holy Spirit in us that loves this way, a way that we can not explain at all apart from the word of God. The word says "Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. Let’s be extravagant with our love, to keep company with God is an awesome thing, talk to Him and learn this life of love.

I am not really sure of the point I am trying to make or even if there is a point. I guess what I’m saying is "life is so short and our time here is at an unpredictable end, so love, love everyone you meet, love your children, love your spouse, love your neighbor, love all those God puts in your path but more than anything in life love God and allow the Holy Spirit to love through you, this is a gift. Love the life God has given you.
George Beasley

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Burring the Foxes

This story is one that has many memories tied to it. It was written two months after I joined the ministry, May 2005. Many excuses have risen since that time, many foxes buried. John and I skied the other day and it reminded me of this story. As with all of the stories I’ve written, I feel a need to edit them some. This one was in need of a verse. I have been going through some things lately and as always going to the word seems to direct me just the right way. This week I was challenged on "why are you not _______? I had no excuse, only to realize that God led me to these verses in Ephesians this morning and this has helped me answer the question I was asked. They match this story perfectly and more than that they match my life right now.

Ephesians
1-3In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

4-6You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.


7-13But that doesn't mean you should all look and speak and act the same. Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift.


This will be the first weekly update I have ever titled. You will find out towards the end why it’s titled. Keep in mind these are not scripted and never looked for but are from my heart and reflections of what God has done in my life this week or brought to memory something that needed to be put into words as this is a continual healing process for me.
This is my fourth season skiing. I am a late starter but been around water most of my life. I have been saved since 1988. Lisa and I got saved during a Wednesday night service, how unusual is that. I should have known then God had something very unusual in mind for us in our service for Him. To be quite honest my skiing has lead me on this journey. It seems God has given me something each week to tie skiing in with our Christian walk since accepting His call to IHW. I have tried to not write but it just has got to be.

This week has ben no different. The title is a tribute to the person that this analogy came from. His name is John. He is the very one that God put me in touch with when we first started to ski on a course.
I want you to think about something, all you skiers! What is the one thing we all talk about or tell stories about, either while warming up or I sometimes wait until we get on the back of the boat to talk about. Their I am putting on my ski, talking as usual and out "they" come. What are "they". Have you traced the steps or your routine. I want you to really think about this before I tell you. What do we do before we get in the water, sometimes we wait until after the first pass, drop at the other end, and out "they" come. Sometimes like last week we wait until we make some of the ugliest runs and have some of the very worst skiing in history. We climb back in the boat shaking our head and here "they" come. Have you figured out what I am talking about yet? It’s those excuses. John shared with me the mother of all excuses. It is without doubt the best I had ever heard. You will not guess what the man said!

He falls into telling me about this dead fox near his house. I don’t think he really knew what to do with it. He said he grab the shovel and started digging the hole to bury the fox, he said he even dug little holes for the legs. I can see this hole and more than that I can see the old dead fox standing in the hole, upright and covered up. I think this is how the story went. The point being his skiing may not be good today because he had to bury the fox. He had to dig the hole. I have heard many excuses, the wind, rain, snow, boat wake, not my handle, ran 10 miles this morning, rode 25 miles to get over here on my bike, broke my ribs. You all have a list and know what I am talking about.

Do you see the relation here with our Christian walk. When God gives us a task to do, to serve Him in some other way than perfect conditions we start to make excuses, at least I do. Don’t feel bad, Moses did to, "who am I Lord" he said. This weekend it was the wind for me, before I left the dock, I had the excuse ready. If I don’t ski well today it’s because of the wind! Guess what, with that attitude I didn’t ski well. I had to fight for everything I got today. Was it the wind. NO!! It was my attitude towards the course that was set before me. When God puts the course in front of us we always seem to rush to make excuses why we can’t do it that way. Excuses are very powerful. Sometimes they are helpful because they lead us to where God wants us, they help direct our path and are part of our decision process, we can learn from our excuses. Notice this is not the same as a mistake, we make excuses in order not to make the so called mistakes.
The conditions are not always going to be perfect. I am so convinced this is why God can only show us small parts of His course for our life. We would start making excuses of why we could not do it that way. Not only was this real for me this week but I had a tough question to ask and to answer. It was one of those questions that we try to stay away from because we really don’t’ know the answer and try to say "does it really matter". But somebody gave real good advice "George, you need to find this answer for yourself, don’t ask man, don’t rely on what you were taught, seek God out and ask, go to the word. I had made every excuse not to, "didn’t matter, we can just do things a different way. Something just drove me on and kept saying "what ever you do, "no excuses and no compromises. What ever the out come!
God blessed me this week by giving me an answer to my question. It really does not matter what the question was. The point is how I got to the answer. How many excuses did God have to go through with me to get to the answer. You guys have been skiing way longer than me so I know your excuse bank is rich. How about our Christian walk, how rich is our spiritual excuse bank? How often does God want to do something and we just make a quick withdraw! No, can’t do that, because ______? You fill in the blank. Let’s go this week and try hard to do what God has ask us to do without excuse.

Don’t feel bad when we make an excuse or bury a fox, we are just human you know, it is our nature and will always be a part of our thought process. We love to bury foxes. Does this mean we have to say yes to every little thing someone ask us. NO! It all goes back to what we all have talked about in the past months. Ask GOD! Ask about the big things and the little things. A reason is different from an excuse, it is a different thought process. This week I want to encourage us all to not make to many withdraws and to ease up on the deposits in our excuse banks.
George Beasley

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

True Colors


Written in October of 2006 in the mist of what would come to be one of the greatest trials and test of my life. Would I stay or would I give up all that I had been blessed with for the past two years. This is what I had been waiting for my entire Christian life and now God wanted me to move on! I later came to realize that I had no decision in the matter at all, it was all of God. As Pastor Danny says "it’s His providential will George. For me, I don’t really understand but I am learning and have a great peace in knowing that God's plan will go forward. He may reveal His reasons for moving me one day, either way I can stand on these verses as truth. I had to add the following verse to the story.

Ephesians 3 (The Message)
20-21God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

I went to bed late last night and got up late this morning. Not for any other reason than God was on my mind and I was doing some praying. I got up praying the same thing I went to bed praying. Then I started to study this morning. I realized a couple of things that I just had to share. One was in James, verses 2-4, something that has happened many times this year, and us now knowing that the test that have come and continue to come forced our faith life into the open. I started to smile when I read this, just because it also says "it shows our true colors". As I thought back a about half way through the season and then later into the season you all saw my true colors. You were able to see what makes me laugh, what makes me cry. You were able to watch my faith being tested. Not just me alone but many on this team.
I also saw some true colors. I can hear you asking, wonder if he liked what he saw? It really doesn't matter if I liked it or not, just because I now rejoice in the test to see growth in all of us.
I did learn this year to "ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought". Can we really get a grip on that?

Are we really in love with God? I have been reading a great deal on our relationship with God and will share it with you later but this is a great starting point. What does it mean to love God? How do we know? I went around for years after being saved thinking, can I love God as much as I love ???? You fill in the blank. Person or things? Then as you may know my trip to St Louis the love of Christ was revealed to me through His Spirit. This was the start of my eyes being open to God and His love. So today I can say I love God, more than anything in this world.
So I can pray and ask boldly, believingly, knowing that God will give what He has for us, and lead as He leads us. So much more here.....talk to you all later.
James
2-4Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

5-8If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
12Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.

Looking back now, what have I learned? To trust God. His plan for your life was set into place before the world came to be. YOU CAN’T MESS IT UP!
Your flesh will tell you every lie in the book and the devil is so crafty in making things look as they really should not. The devil wants to encourage us to fail and to be defeated, he wants us to live a life of trouble and a thought of abandonment. I know this first hand as many of you do.
Read James, verse 5-8 again when you need some help and then stand on these verses.
Ephesians 3 (The Message)
20-21God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Do you really believe? Can He really do "anything? The answer for me is without question "YES. How do I truly know "because as I went through this with God and He moved me from where I really had no intention of moving. I no longer ask "why, but am content with thanking God knowing it’s all in His plan. I fought this for months but God worked within my spirit just like the verse says, not pushing me. He has truly given me more than I could have ever imagined or guessed or requested in my wildest dreams!

George Beasley

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Lessons Learned


Written to our team in September of 2005 it still holds a special place in my heart. As I read it this morning I was reminded once again how busy we can get, and how consumed we get in our own little world.

I heard this story at a lunch meeting the other day and the person talking was going off about what ticked him off. As he started in he said the following ticked him off, see if you can relate.

What tics me off is going to the drive thru and getting some dumb head who can't take my order and get it right the first time, that tics me off, or while driving thru the Wal-mart parking lot and getting behind some women who won't get out of my way fast enough, that tics me off, or the old lady and old man in the Wal-mart pushing a cart standing in the way right in the middle of the isle, wont move out of my way! I'm in a hurry, don't they know that!! That tics me off. You know what else tics me off he said "that homeless man on the side of the street holding up a sign wanting money!! GET A JOB!! he said real loud, that just tics me off!!
At this point and I am sure all of you are here, what kind of person is this talking? Is it me? Let me finish the story now.

He said lets pray and bless the time we have together.

His prayer was something like this!

Lord forgive me for being who I am. Forgive me for thinking I was better than the person at the drive thru, forgive me because that girl could be working her way thru college, or getting ready to go on a missions trip. Forgive me Lord for thinking bad when I got behind that woman in the Wal-mart parking lot, she could have just finished a second shift job and on her way to a third job to support her family with no husband, Oh God forgive me!! Forgive me Lord for not just going the other way and saying hello to the old man and woman in the Wal-mart isle, they could have just gotten the news that one of them has terminal cancer, Oh God Forgive Me!!, Forgive me Lord for thinking I am better than the street man, who is at his lowest point in life, him not knowing where his next meal is coming from, not knowing if he is even going to eat. OH GOD FORGIVE ME!! I am no better than any of these, by your grace it could be me!!
As I heard this mans testimony I thought of this and have thought of this all weekend. Think about it next time you are at the drive thru, or behind someone that won't go as fast as you want to.

Life is so short and we (I) spend way to much time thinking on what tics us off rather than how can I be what God wants us to be. But by the grace of God I am where I am. Blessed beyond what I should be but none the less blessed. Lets slow down a bit and really look at how blessed we are.

This weekend is just sinking in, I was so busy I didn't notice some things I should have. I didn't slow down and let God show me some things he really wanted to. I am thinking back to a conversation I had with someone. They said "see that guy over there, he is really connected with you, get a change talk to him". Well, it slipped away, no time I said in my heart. God forgive me for not taking the time to see, to look and to feel the need of others.

George Beasley

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