January 6, 2009

Seeds of Hope

Posted in Christian Life, Christianity, Eternity, Family, Friends, God, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Mission, My Personal Walk, Personal, Prayer, Running, Things That Make Me Cry, Things that make me laugh, Things that make me SMILE, Thoughts, Worship tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:06 am by Dan Barnett

I’ve made it my goal to raise $5000.00 for an organization called Bethany Christian Services. I’m asking for flat donations or per-mile pledges.  Every mile I run this year will be logged on this site.  You can click here to learn more and donate.

December 12, 2008

The Almighty Paver

Posted in Christian Life, Christianity, Discipleship, Eternity, Friends, God, God's Sovreignty, Jesus Christ, My Personal Walk, Personal, Prayer, Religion, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Worship tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:41 pm by Dan Barnett

I’ve had the opportunity recently to reconnect with old friends. Some are from years ago when I was young, and some are from not so long ago. In talking with some, exchanging emails with others, and just observing as well I’ve been blessed to be shown God’s hand in so many of their lives. He has shown me his control and his providence.

I’ve begun to see his plan revealed bit by bit. The masterful story he is telling undoubtedly has he, himself, at the center.

I recently sat and talked for a bit with a woman about this very topic. As we each shared our stories, through tears and laughter, God showed up in a new and fresh way in each story. I remember how hard it was as a 13-year old boy who had just started to feel acceptance in my circle of friends to be uprooted and taken away from all of them. I remember swearing that I would not stay gone. Ypsilanti, MI was my home. I was bitter towards God for forcing me to leave. Later, after graduating high school, I would be bitter again for God withholding blessings I thought I deserved. Mistake after mistake would land me a single guy with uncontrollable debt and no place to really call home. Through a roller coaster ride over several years, I would experience let down after let down in every area of my life. Things I poured my heart into just didn’t become what I’d hoped.

About 2 years ago (give or take some months) I felt a feeling I had longed for my whole life. It was the feeling of unmerited comfort. When my wife lost our third child early in her pregnancy I felt helpless. I had no idea how to comfort her or encourage her. All I could do was tell her that no matter our feelings we had to be OK with what was happening. Through a card from a woman I didn’t know God broke me. He reached out and squeezed me to his chest and wouldn’t let go. As I sat in my car weeping uncontrollably, I realized this was what I had longed for — the feeling of comfort.

My gratitude would soon fade, and my greed would take over. It wasn’t until God took my one security and smashed it that I would be forced to trust him once again. When I lost my job, I was “OK”, but that soon changed. Rejection came more than I was ready for. Well-intentioned people triggered hurt that I didn’t expect. Our marriage broke or flourished on every word spoken to each other. Then, the answer came.

I looked at the friends from long ago and realized that had I stayed, with the direction my life was headed, I would have been one of the biggest obstacles to God reaching my friends. God shows me his hand in many of their lives now. He took the obstacle out so he could draw them to him.

I then ran into an old friend from just a couple of years ago. Through a 2-minute conversation I knew he was hurting. We talked that night for over an hour. And, once again, God hit me over the head. As I addressed the issue of sin in his life I got to the point I needed to and God spoke to me. This friend was dealing with a struggle we all struggle with at times. He wanted to feel the presence of God in his life and wasn’t. I told him he was wrong. I told him that a father who loves his son disciplines him. He didn’t want God’s presence. What he wanted was God’s comfort. But the sin he was refusing to deal with was bringing God’s discipline. See, God was there. He was just there in a way my friend didn’t want. After talking to him I looked at myself and started to wonder if maybe God was showing me the same thing. I had told my friend that the pain and frustration he was dealing with would fade and be replaced by God’s comfort if he made a decision to go after God with everything. I reminded him of the prodigal. His father saw him off in the distance and ran to him. That is what God was waiting for me to do.

So, let’s get back to sharing the stories with the woman. Through the entire conversation one phrase of hers kept ringing in my ears. I had mentioned how the roads certain people in our lives have taken were long hard roads, and she said, “It’s hard to watch them go down that road. But, you have to remember that God built that road for them.” When we’re struggling to see God I the people around us who just can’t seem to get it, they just can’t seem to get over that hump to find God’s peace, we question, “Why not, God? Why don’t they get it?” We have to remember that God built the road they are on for a purpose.

When the end of the road comes to them, and God is not at the end of that road, and there is no more hope, we have to remember. When they become as our enemy, and we experience more hurt at their hand than we can bear, we have to remember. We have to bring ourselves to rest in the comfort of God’s sovereign plan. We must rest in the comfort that God built that road, and where that road ends up is up to him.

June 1, 2008

Words escape me, even titling this post.

Posted in Christian Life, Eternity, God, God's Sovreignty, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Things That Make Me Cry, Worship tagged , , , , , , at 12:53 am by Dan Barnett

I happened to see this on Hollie’s blog.  As I decided to stay up and have some “me” time while everyone is in bed, my “me” time has turned into “Audrey” time.  If you are familiar with the christian group “Selah”, you know who Todd Smith is.   He and his wife have an amazing tory of faith and praise in the eye  of death.  Please, for the love of all that is good, set some time aside, and go to Angie’s site.  Read from the beginning.  You will feel hurt you have never felt for another person, as well as a respect and admiration for them beyond expectations.  Here is a link to the very first post in the story of Audrey.  After you read the post, go to the end of the page and click “newer post”.

February 8, 2008

We wonder, some times, why the world hates us.

Posted in Christianity, God, Mission, Prayer, Thoughts at 5:01 am by Dan Barnett

Jesus was very clear that the world would reject us(at times, solely for our faith).  Sometimes, however, we wonder why they won’t even listen to a word we say.  It’s like they see through us, or atleast see through other “Christians” who have abused the grace God has given them.  Want to know why the world rejects us sometimes?  Most unbelievers don’t reject Christianity, rather they reject their view of it.  Many times that view comes from people like this.  If the task of reaching the lost wasn’t hard enough at times, this can’t help.  Be in prayer for guys like this to see the result of their “bash-em-up” evangelism and change.

November 5, 2007

In God’s Arms

Posted in Baby #3, Eternity, Family, Heaven, My Kids, Personal, Poetry, Prayer, Things That Make Me Cry, Things that make me SMILE at 7:48 pm by Dan Barnett

God’s Arms

In our arms we hoped to hold you, safe from all harm.

With our eyes we hoped to see you grow up and behold

The future that awaited you filled with hopes and dreams.

We wanted to kiss you and show you our love

And teach you the love of our God up above.

But God’s plans were greater than we can ever dream.

He planned your life perfectly,

Though too short it seemed.

For although I could hold you for moments at a time

His arms are greater, much greater than mine.

Now in my dreams I long to know you as the blessing you are.

As I wait for that glorious day, when your face I’ll behold.

And when the future that awaited us is finally revealed

I’ll run to you and hold you and fully understand

Of how the point of it all was hidden in His hands.

Because…

Oh how I wish I could hold you for moments at least,

But you were always God’s little one.

And, now you’re safe in His arms.

This is the song I wrote for our “glory baby”.   

Beth ha t go and write a post on her blog that teared me up.  GEez!

Our pastor preached on Psalm 121 on Sunday.  What timing of this passage.  God is great.

November 4, 2007

Miracles

Posted in Christian Life, Family, God, God's Sovreignty, Jesus Christ, Personal, Prayer, Things that make me SMILE at 8:30 am by Dan Barnett

Some of you have heard of Beth’s mom’s recent spat with possible Ovarian Cancer.   They had found a huge mass on her ovary a few weeks ago.  Beth’s grandma told her mom a few days before the exploratory surgery that she had Catholics, Methodists,and Baptists praying for her, so she was pretty much covered.  We chuckled at it, but it was great to see how many people were praying for her.  After the surgery this past week, I told Beth the Pentecostals must have been praying to(again as humor).  When the doctors went in they were expecting to remove both ovaries and possibly a kidney, as there seemed to be something on one of them as well.  Praise God, because he made it quite a bit easier and showed up with his power.  The doctors found no trace of this mass on her ovary.  There was no sign of tumors anywhere, and they dug around quite a bit to find it.  We’re very excited at what God has done. 

Prayer for a Friend

Posted in Friends, God, Mission, Personal, Prayer, The Church, Things That Make Me Cry at 8:19 am by Dan Barnett

A friend of ours from church was in a pretty bad accident last night.  He broke his hip socket and his pelvis so bad that they will have to do surgery on it.  The recovery will be anywhere form 2-4 months if all goes well.  Please pray for him.   His name is Joe.  Even more please pray for his family.  He has a wife and 4 kids.  This is going to be an extremely trying time as he won’t be able to work during this time.  As a carpenter I know it will be exceptionally hard getting back into his job.  Please be praying very intentionally for them.  Thanks.

October 14, 2007

Buck Up!

Posted in Christian Life, Friends, God, Prayer at 9:12 pm by Dan Barnett

Check out this post by Steve.  He handed a print-out of this to us at church a couple of weeks ago.  I found it very helpful.

July 24, 2007

My Songs to My Kids

Posted in Baby #4, Eternity, Family, God, God's Sovreignty, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Music, Music Kicks, My Kids, My Personal Walk, Personal, Poetry, Prayer, Things That Make Me Cry, Thoughts at 8:29 pm by Dan Barnett

My wife and I recently downloaded a few songs on Itunes.  She wanted some new music for the time she is labor, and I had been wanting a couple just to have.  Now, I don’t normally start off liking the songs she likes right away, but they usually grow on me.  Today, as I was driving home from work, I started asking myself the question “if I were to play one song for each of my kids, what would it be?”. 

For Kailtyn(age 3) I picked “May I have this dance?” by Scott Krippayne.  It is a song he wrote for his daughter after she insisted on dancing with him in the middle of Starbuck’s.  The memories a dad has with his daughter as his little treasure and princess are priceless.  Sometimes, when I pick Kaitlyn up, she wraps her arm around my neck and just pats me gently.  For any who think boys and girls are anything alike, forget about it.  I will raise my sons to grow and depart from me as men.  My daughter, I will raise her as a priceless treasure entrusted to me until the day I must pass her to someone much more suited to walk with her.  When she is grown and finds the man I’ve done enough background checks on and found not even a stolen cookie form his friends, the relationship I have with her will be gone.  I will no longer be her shield.  I will no longer be her source of comfort.  I will be her dad.  He will fulfill all those roles as God intended.  I will be able to watch and see how God shapes her into his princess through this man.

For Landon(age 2) I had a couple.  The first is “I Am Nothing” by Jeremy Camp. Great title to build up your son eh?  “I am nothing without your love.  I’m unworhty but your death has been enough….”  I want him to grow up with this truth in his heart, so that he always has the true perspective guiding him.

The second one for Landon is “Carry me” by Scott Krippayne.  As he reaches times in his life where he realizes it’s either sink or swim, I want him to trust God to lead him through.  My prayer before every time I speak, whether a sermon or a lesson to kids, is that God speaks his words through my mouth.  My prayer for Landon is that God displays his strength through landon’s walk.

For baby #4(hang on, number 4?  what about #3)

For baby #3, we have never met, and will some day in glory, I picked “Wish You Were Here” by Mark Stewart.  It is a song from the perspective of the one who has passed and is sitting at the feet of Jesus.  “….finally free, to run with the angels on streets made of gold, to listen to stories of saints new and old, to worship our maker that’s where I’ll be when you finally find me.”  I also have a song I wrote for her, but won’t post it here until Beth sees it too.

For #4(J.C.B.)/To be born in the next couple of weeks…  I picked, among many, three.  First, “The Best is Yet to Come” by Scott Krippayne.  The title says it all. 

Second, “Holy Moment” by Matt Redman.  I prefer the Superchic(k) version.  As I meet my son for the first time, look into his black eyes that can’t yet look back, and say, “Hey Buddy!” while he hears that familiar voice that has been muffle by mommy’s belly for 9 months, it is truly a holy moment. “Let this be a holy moment now, as something of Heaven touches Earth.  Voices of angels all resound.  We join their song!  Come. Come. Come.  Let us worship God!  With our hands held high and our hearts bowed down.”

Third is the one I didn’t hink I’d like an wouldn’t if the baby was dropping into place so fast.  “Proud Father” by Jon McLaughlin.  “A proud father, of me, you have already made.”  Nuff said.

If you were to pick a song to share with your kids what would it be and why? 

July 22, 2007

Land Yesu! music kick

Posted in Christian Life, Christianity, Eternity, God, God's Sovreignty, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Mission, Music, Music Kicks, Personal, Prayer, Religion, The Church, Thoughts, Uncategorized at 8:28 pm by Dan Barnett

I know I haven’t done any music kicks in quite some time.  I’ve been looking for the past few weeks for the lyrics to this song by Selah.  The title, “Landa Yesu,”  means follow Jesus.  Sounds simple enough eh?  The rhythm and arrangement of the song is pretty cool, but the words, when listened to intentionally, mean so much. 

Chant:

Bandundu, Bandu ya Bible

(Bandundu, people of the Bible)

Bandundu, Bandu ya Bible

……..

Verse 1:                                                                                         Translation:

O Bantu, o Bantu,                                                                        Oh people, Oh people,

Landa ndinga ya nzambi.                                                            Let us hear the word of God.

Landa Yesu. Landa Yesu. Landa Yesu.                                     Follow Jesus.  Follow Jesus.  Follow Jesus.

                                                                               chorus:

Let your truth be told.

Let our hearts receive.

May we all be changed.

Let us now believe.

Follow Jesus.

Verse 2:

Ndinga ya nge-your commandements

Bonso masa-are like water

ke sukula-to our spirits

moyo ya beto-bringing life

Yo ke zenga- they are piercing

Mpimpa-through the darkness

Ke pedisa mwinda-bringing light

Na ntoto ya beto- to this land.

Chorus 2:

Let your truth be told.

Let our hearts receive.

May we all be changed.

Let us now believe.

Follow Jesus.

Bridge:

Nkara ti longo

Feshi Kasongalunda

Iwungu Idiofa

Kahemba Kajiji

Bulungu ti kikwit

Masamanimba ti Kenge

Kinshasa eh Congo

Oh Africa.

Chorus 3:

Let your truth be told.

Let our hearts receive.

May we all be changed.

Let us now believe.

Cause blessed is the life

built upon your word.

Those who find their hope

trusting what they’ve heard.

Follow Jesus.

As I’ve said before about Selah, I love how they integrate the congoese language into thaier music.  This song is actually for the people where Todd’s dad is/was a missionary.  The bridge is a cry to people of all these different villages and tribes to be the people of God.  What strikes me most is the chorus.  He shifts gears from the people to God.  He is pleading with God to allow us to hear his word an believe.  I realize when listening to this song that I don’t plead with God on others’ behalves.  This song really does put God’s soveriegnty front and center.

Next page