TONYVAND1's SparkPeople Blog TONYVAND1's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Time Off I am going to have to take some time away from Sparkpeople espeacially blogs My wife ruptured her Achilles tendon on Sat evening. I am going to be busy. <BR> I will try to keep in touch as much as possible <BR> <BR> Tony Mon, 4 Mar 2013 17:54:28 EST "Sirs we would see Jesus" Philip was the apostle who took the Greeks to meet Jesus. He also introduced Nathaniel to Jesus. History tells us that he became a great evangelist in Asia. He spent a lifetime inviting people to come and see Jesus. Yet in the upper room he struggled with his faith when he asked Jesus to "show us the Father." We too might be shy and struggling with our faith. But we can be like Philip and say we have found Him whom Moses and the prophets wrote. "Jesus of Nazareth Come and see." Are you introd... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 09:16:12 EST At Calvary " Our sins not in part ,but the whole is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more>" These words penned by Horatio Stafford are so powerful and yet we so easily forget them. How often don't we fall back into the same sins that we brought to Calvary earlier? We need to know that we can leave our sin at the cross because the price has been paid once for all. We have been released from the guilt of sin because Christ shed His blood so that we may be forgiven. Come to the cross today, confess... Thu, 28 Feb 2013 12:27:20 EST Self Discipline What does self discipline mean to the Christian lifestyle: Self discipline manifests itself through our obedience to God It is very important in all that we do. It is making sound judgements rather than impulsive ones. We live in a world filled with many choices. Many emotions and appetites pull us down and away from God's best <BR> So often we would rather please ourselves than God. However just as we need to practice self control in our bodies through nutritional eating and exercise ... Wed, 27 Feb 2013 14:46:08 EST Heart Problem In the story of the friends bringing a paralytic to Jesus w e see them dropping the paralytic through a hole in the roof. Jesus when he see the man senses immediatly that the man has a heart problem along with his being paralyzed. He tells the man your sins are forgiven and he heals him as well. Our problems sometimes run deeper than we know. When we walk with the Great Physician he can diagnose us accurately and heal us completely. Come to Him today. Tue, 26 Feb 2013 09:48:24 EST UNBELIEF Have you ever praised God for His power and goodness, while secretly doubting that He would work in your situation? Unbelief says: Some other time not now; some other place not here; some other people not me We must remember that anything God has done any other time He is willing to do it now as well. We walk in the fullness of the Spirit , and we need to trust and obey. God wants to work through us. <BR> Lord give us faith to believe. Mon, 25 Feb 2013 08:20:37 EST Repentance "Do not quench the Holy Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 5:19. I think if we are honest with ourselves most of us are in need of repentance because we often do quench the Holy Spirit. By unworthy thoughts and unfriendly attitudes we often quench Him We need to begin to think of Him as One to be worshipped and obeyed. We need to invite Him in to our lives. We need to surrender every area of our lives to His control He dwells within us , so lets allow Him to occupy every room . "Forgive us, Change u... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 15:49:00 EST Turning the Crank Is it possible to have church without the Holy Spirit Zechariah 4:6 says "Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit." <BR> You can organize a church . Call a pastor ,form a board ,set up Sunday School ,get mens and women's ministry started, but if you do it in your own power and strength the church will go no where. It is not by what man does, not by good music, not by good preaching, but it is by the Spirit that God works Allow the Spirit to have controlling power and you will come face t... Fri, 22 Feb 2013 09:09:02 EST Preaching with or without Power Is it possible for a preacher to know and learn truth ,preach it faithfully, and yet be totally without power? Yes I believe that can happen when we leave the Holy Spirit out of the equation. When we are passive about the Spirit, or even have unbelief in His Power we become cold and passive. When this happens those who hear from us become insulated and have hard hearts. We need to pray that we are filled with the Spirit and with His power before we ever try to teach His truth.. We want to ha... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 10:35:58 EST Illumination In todays world there is such a need for divine illumination. We can find many Christians that are Bible taught but not Spirit taught. We need to have both. We cannot interpret and know Scripture with out the illumination by the Holy Spirit Truth consists of correct doctrine enlightened by the Holy Spirit <BR> Pray that the Holy Spirit will indeed enlighten and imbed His Word into our lives. Wed, 20 Feb 2013 12:43:34 EST The Holy Spirit Is God, the Holy Spirit evident in the life of your church today? The New Testament Church began when the Holy Spirit descended and entered the believers. Acts 1:8 The church started out with Him and a Bible and then a hymnbook was added. When we look at the elaborate services we produce today we would be hard pressed to have a service with just a Bible and hymnbook. I am not saying all the things we have added is wrong but I wonder some times if we have crushed and left out the Holy Spirit i... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:49:27 EST IN HIS TIME Have you ever become impatient with God/ You prayed to achieve a certain goal and it seems like God is not listening. I wonder if Paul felt that way when he had to wait 14 years after his conversion to meet with the elders in Jerusalem? We all can become impatient with God when He seems to take a different route than we would to get to where we want to be. We wonder" Why the delay?" "What is God doing?" We need to be willing to trust His timetable. If you are waiting upon the Lord you must... Mon, 18 Feb 2013 12:13:02 EST Faith You can always deflect Satan's attack when you know it is him that you are fighting. How? By putting on the shield of faith. Faith will lift us up when we detirmine to trust God despite the circumstances that we might face. Remember that God has promised to work all things for good. He hears and answers our prayers. He will never leave us or forsake us.. Faith is trusting in God because of His promises. Remember we can trust God with the outcome. How is your faith today? Sun, 17 Feb 2013 19:31:36 EST Controlled by Thoughts If Christ Jesus showed up at your home or work place today what would you say. Would you say:" Lord I was just thinking about you." Don you know that all of our temptations come to us through our thoughts? If we let the world enter it will clutter our minds with all kinds of junk.Instead we need to fill our minds with God's Word and keep our mind focused on Him. Victory begins with what we think. Our you thinking about Christ today? <BR> Sat, 16 Feb 2013 17:15:23 EST Jesus is Alive Today, as you walk in a park, drive along a road, sit on the patio, or gather in your home, remeber that Jesus is Alive.. He is with you and His Word is true, wonderful and real. Turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full into His wonderful face. Know that He died and arose again so that you too can have eternal life. Believe on Him and walk according to His plans. You will be glad that you did. Fri, 15 Feb 2013 10:11:09 EST Trust Jesus John Peterson in a song wrote: "Why worry when you can pray? Trust Jesus, He will be your stay." Do you believe that? So many of us turn to worry rather than prayer. Yet we are commanded to trust Jesus and pray. In Scripture it says that God will keep us in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him Isaiah 26:3 The difference between faith andfailure is focus, and the difference between worship and worry is trust. What a good reminder that we need to be praying people. Why worry when you can p... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 09:56:25 EST TOGETHER There are many examples of couples in church history who served the cause of Christ. Martin and Katherine Luther Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, Jonathan and Sarah Edwards Adoniram and Anne Judson to name a few. Each of these couples characterized a marriage that is centered on Christ. They were ready to sacrifice and they were committed to each other and to Christ. <BR> <BR> How about you? Are you and your partner committed to Christ and willing to sacrafice every thing? Are you committed to each... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 12:33:43 EST Multiplication Jesus can take a small act on our behalf, to change the world. A word of witness might change a life, or in time change the world. Also when he causes much fruit to be borne because of our small but faithful contribution, that is multiplication. Just like Jesus took the lunch provided by a boy and turned it into feeding the five thousand so he can do the same with our contributions. Won't you just give Jesus all that you have? He will multiply that tremendously. Mon, 11 Feb 2013 09:52:26 EST Filters Amy Carmichael suggests filtering our words with three sieves: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Paul's advise in Galatians 6 goes even further. Instead of just refraining from criticism we must also try to restore a person. His three filters are: Are we spiritual? Are we gentle? Are we careful? When a friend does something unwise we should not spread the news. Instead we need to pray that God will speak to him. If you approach the person , then do it in love and gentleness. We d... Sun, 10 Feb 2013 15:19:30 EST Peace in the Storm There are two ways that God can answer our prayer for peace. He can either remove us from the storm or He can give us peace as we go through the storm. We are always free to ask Him to remove the storms of life. We do grow deeper when He gives us peace as we go through the storms. I for one want that peace as I go through the storm. My trust and faith grows as I lean on Him There are times when I have asked Him to remove me from a situation but usually I grow much with Him when He walks wit... Sat, 9 Feb 2013 13:30:38 EST Obedience The four Gospels and the book of Acts recounts repeatedly, those who follow the will of Christ will come across obstacles of many kinds. We often think the opposite. It is the disobedient who will encounter obstacles. Not true. Obedience to God can result in trials. Storms often come because we are obedient. The deeper we go into God's Kingdom the more likely it is that we will be resisted. So are you obeying God? Expect a storm to come along as well. Paul encountered them so why not you. Fri, 8 Feb 2013 11:32:35 EST Honesty Have you ever played golf? Golf is a game where players keep their own scores. This means that you have to rely on their integrity to keep accurate score of their game. We need to practice integrity in all areas of our lives. Honesty and sincerity should be traits found in all followers of Jesus Christ. Lets make it our mission in life to have people say " I know him ---he always plays fair." Will that be what people say of you. If not change to day. Become a person of integrity. Thu, 7 Feb 2013 10:33:23 EST Going for the Best Chuck Swindoll in his book Strengthening your Grip says" Money can buy medicine, but not health. It can purchase a house, but not a home. It can buy companionship, but not friends. It can buy a bed, but not sleep." Having money is not wrong, it is just not the best. True wealth needs always be compared by its worth to God and His kingdom. We need to keep God first in our life as well as our finances. " Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways though he be r... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 09:33:23 EST Speak up for God Jesus of Nazareth was the first Christian activist in history. When Jesus saw the money changers in the courts of the temple His righteous anger took over. He drove them out and cleansed His Father's house of those unscrupulous vendors. These vendors put heir own interests above God's and so they were angry with Jesus for throwing them out. <BR> We all come face to face with things that are not right. The temptation is just to pass by and say we can't change that. So we look the other wa... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 09:21:59 EST Humble Pie Paul had to be humbled when he embraced Christ, after he had established a reputation of persecuting Christians. Paul was humbled by his experience on the Damascus Road when he met Christ. He had to forget everything that he had placed value in . He had to give up his Judaism, and instead embrace Christ. He admitted that he was wrong and he said sorry. Paul saw the error of his ways. Do you need to say sorry to God or to someone else? Do not delay, it can be the dividing point between the pa... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 09:14:42 EST Being Faithful To be in ministry is a difficult task. Often results are not immediate or obvious. When we base our morale on visible success, we may become proud of our accomplishments or discouraged by temporary setbacks or struggles. No matter what we are doing for the Lord, both small and great things, He expects us to be faithful. Faithful regardless of the setting or outcome. We just need to rejoice in the fact taht we have our names written in the Book of Life. Be encouraged in your ministry today. Sun, 3 Feb 2013 16:59:58 EST Returning Just wanted you to know that we got my wife's mother in law into a Nursing home and I will be back to blogging next week Sunday will be my first blog. <BR> Thu, 31 Jan 2013 12:11:33 EST Faith or Failure? Moses was a man of great faith but he also failed the Lord and had many doubts. As a young man he murdered someone and he doubted God when God said he would be the deliverer of the people of Israel. Moses was a man that we can identify with. He was brave, faithful, outspoken, compassionate, loyal and a man of faith. God honored him instead of rejecting him for his failures. So if you have failed don't give up. Turn back to God because He wants to use you as He used Moses. Fri, 18 Jan 2013 08:04:41 EST Sowing the Seed We are to sow the seeds of the Gospel; but it may take years to germinate. Do not loose heart. Think about William Carey who did not see his first convert until seven years. Many missionaries work many years before they see evidence of the Holy Spirit working. It may take seven or seventy years to see results but there is power in the Gospel seed Your job is to plant those seeds, that is all. Do not loose heart God is at work Thu, 17 Jan 2013 08:14:23 EST IN CONTROL. God's ways are not our ways. We may think that the whole world is falling around us, and we wonder if God is at work. Often when we think there is no more hope, He unfolds His plan and ways and teaches us that He is in control. His plans and ways often are not our ways. He is so much bigger than we could ever dream off. His thoughts are so much better than our thoughts. We need to allow Him to show us His own unique plan for us. Ask Him to reveal it to you today. Wed, 16 Jan 2013 08:59:49 EST Trust and Obey. The Christian life is not easy but it is simple. We need to live in obedience and walk in faith. Have you ever wanted to do God's part as you trust and obey. Maybe you are praying for a child to return to Him. You are trusting God and expecting an answer to your prayer. God's part is to convict and convert the child Can you trust God to do that. Any situation is an opportunity to trust Himas well as obey Him. Do your part and He will do His. Tue, 15 Jan 2013 09:16:08 EST OPPORTUNITY KNOCKING? It is important that we do everything for the Lord as opportunity presents itself. The world looks for opportunities to succeed but we as Christians need to look for opportunities to serve. Is there someone you can help today? Can you do a favor for a friend or call someone who is lonely? How about visiting someone in the hospital? Can you bring a meal to someone or offer counsel to someone struggling? There are so many different opportunities placed before us each day. Look for them and fill... Mon, 14 Jan 2013 09:00:23 EST Today is the Day. We have Good News. So why do we not share it more. In this sinful desperate world, people are looking for Good News. So why do we remain silent? Today somebody needs to hear the Gospel. The same Gospel that we discovered for ourselves. We need to share it with others. Someone is waiting to see Jesus through you. Will you share Him today? Sun, 13 Jan 2013 16:02:44 EST One day in His courts. The psalmist says" One day in your court is better than a thousand else where. That is the way many new believers in Christ feel. They cannot get enough of Jesus. Andrew and his friend followed Jesus as soon as they met Him. They stayed with Him the entire day. John 1:39 Many people who are not Christians would probably do the same if they encountered Christ. They would give up a lot to spend time with Him. <BR> It is also easy to take His presence for granted and to forget what a pure plea... Sat, 12 Jan 2013 20:24:10 EST Renewing our vows. Many people become a Christian when they are children. At that time we do not have a full knowledge and the maturity as believers. That is why I suggest as you mature in your faith that at some point in time you renew your vows to Him Tell Him that you know you are His but that you want to be His with all of your heart and all of your affections, fully realizing all that Christ does for us. Renew your vows just as Peter did at the Resurrection A renewed commitment is like having a fresh st... Fri, 11 Jan 2013 22:11:42 EST Filled with the Spirit When Jesus was on this earth He had to submit to the Spirit, but He had no sin and therefor did not battle with the Spirit Because we are sinful, we are not naturally at home with the Spirit We all have to choose to obey Paul's command to " be filled with the Spirit Ephesian 5:8 The choice is ours and Christ is our example. Choose this day to be filled with the Spirit. You will be glad that you did. Thu, 10 Jan 2013 14:07:37 EST 'Hallowed be thy Name" The name of our Lord is to be hallowed, feared, reverenced, trusted and loved. Our society would rather reduce our Lord to a profanity and diminish His name to a vulgarity. Jesus said "Hallowed be Thy name." The Bible tells us "Who among you fears the Lord?" Who obeys the voice of His servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon God" Isaiah 50:10 Praise the name of the LORD! B;lesser be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forev... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 16:55:12 EST Bitterness: The book of Hebrews warns us not to let any root of bitterness spring up, for it can cause trouble and defile many. Rather than being bitter we must learn to forgive others of their sins against us, just like the Lord has forgiven us. We can become embittered at church so quickly. Why is that? In Acts 8 Peter warns against this as well John Ortberg says:" A grudge is like a baby; it has to be nurtured to survive." Stop nursing those grudges my friends and they will disappear. Tue, 8 Jan 2013 13:26:10 EST Begar or Child. Often, Christians approach God like a stranger on the street, begging Him to just help them to get by. If we have accepted Jesus as our Savior,He no longer is a stranger to us, He is our Father, waiting with open arms to embrace us and give us everything that He has. How do you approach God? Is it from a beggars perspective, or as His child. Ask Him to develop a healthy Father /child relationship with Him. He loves you so much and what to have fellowship with Him. Mon, 7 Jan 2013 09:52:53 EST Hiding God's Word While visiting Poland in the 1930's Michael Billester recalls giving a Bible to a villager who was converted by it. He suggested that the village should keep it and memorize verses from it. He returned a few years later and found that the entire village of 200 had memorized chapters instead of verses. They had committed the entire Scripture to memory We ned to have that same commitment to memorizing the Bible. It is valuable for us to know Scripture and be able to quote it just like Christ d... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 13:46:25 EST First Fruits Are you giving your best to God. Often when disorder and chaos comes into our lives we neglect to Give God our best, Being spiritual takes work, and its much easier to do nothing. We need to delight in the Lord and give Him our best.Remembering and responding to God takes energy and time. every day. That is just what it takes. Are you ready to commit to that ? <BR> Sat, 5 Jan 2013 13:17:09 EST Slaves Are you a slave to what you have? Are you living a frantic life trying to spend your time talent and treasures before you loose them? There is a lot of talk of financial crisis in our countries and many people are afraid they are going to loose every thing. So they become slaves to what they have. Jesus said you cannot serve two masters, God and money. We need to have a plan in place that says today I am going to glorify God with my talents and time and even my treasure. Is your plan in place... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 10:20:37 EST The Voice of God I have been asked "How do you know that God is speaking to you? " My answer is when you have a close and personal relationship with God you will hear His voice because you are familiar with it. To become familiar with His voice we have to spend time im In His Word as well as in prayer or communication with Him. Jesus would often get away from people when He was on this earth and spend time alone with God. The more we spend time getting to know Him the more clearer His voice will be, and the e... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 16:33:19 EST Vacation My wife and I have taken our kids and grand kids to a resort for a two day mini vacation as a reward for loosing 40 pounds this year. Sun, 30 Dec 2012 19:24:58 EST Nothing We as Christians have nothing to boast about There is nothing to justify ourselves. Only in Christ are we something. When we feel down and we feel that our lives are worth nothing , that is when Christ the Lord is the strongest. We are weak but He is strong. Remember nothing is impossible with God. Fri, 28 Dec 2012 13:46:59 EST Tasting God Oh taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8a Have you ever tasted and seen the goodness of God? In the Old Testament the Israelites wondered where there next meal would come from as the wandered in the dessert. When the woke the next morning God provided manna from heaven which sustained them for the next 40 years. Over 2 million people were fed daily by God. Maybe you are also in the wilderness right now. You might be wondering how you can continue on. Your life may be meaningless to... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 17:34:33 EST Finding Jesus In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas , did you take time to look for Jesus? Did you worship Him and give Him gifts? The wise men took time to look and find Jesus. Even though Christmas has past, why not stop and look for Him as well. There is no better time than now to do that. When you find Him, worship Him and accept Him as your Savior. Your life will never be the same again. Wed, 26 Dec 2012 15:24:36 EST God with Us. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14 <BR> Immanuel means "God with us." What does it mean God with us. First of all it means that God understands us. He knows what it is like to be a new born child. He knew what it was like not to have a place to lay down His head. He knew what it was like to be betrayed by one of His own. He carried the burden of all of our sins to the cross. He knows what it is like to be one of us. He was one of... Tue, 25 Dec 2012 08:25:01 EST Merry Christmas Just want to wish all of my readers and spark friends a very Blessed Christmas and Joyous New Year. <BR> <BR> Mon, 24 Dec 2012 20:27:42 EST The Tyranny of Time As I enter into this Christmas Season I have set some new goals for my life. Hudson Taylor once said I can do more work in four hours with one hour of prayer than what I would do with just five hours of work. I want to try to implement this in my life for the new year. Not sure how that will work but it would be cool to pray for an hour for every four hours work and see what God will do. Will you commit as well to praying more this year? I truly believe that God works through His people ... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 17:37:53 EST