This AMP’ed Me Up! 10-9-19

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” – Luke 5:31 ESV

I’m sure I am not the only one that his has happened to… As I prepared for my first child, Emmy, to be here, I began to become A LOT more germaphobic. She wasn’t yet born, but I began to practice hand washing after every single thing I did, There was no way that I would be the person getting my baby sick.

After she arrived, the feelings of germaphobia became even more intense. But one thing has become very plain to me over the past five years: you cannot escape germs. They are EVERYWHERE!!! And that means that everyone, my 5-year-old daughter, my 18-month son, everyone, myself included, will get sick at some point. 

Everyone IS sick. We are sick with sin. Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” (Luke 5:31 ESV) We have a Physician. And He is great at what He does. But just like every time we get sick with a cold or strep or something else, we get better. And then at some point, it comes back. Or something else does. Jesus is here. For us. 

No one is immune to becoming sick. But everyone has unlimited appointments with the Great Physician. He has come to heal us, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Make your appointment today.

Feel free to contact me by phone (575-693-5452) or email (dennis@centralwired.org) with any questions!

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Lord, You are everything we need! Thank you for being our Great Physician! I pray that when we are sick, in any way, we come to You and You alone. I pray that when we approach You, we do it with the confidence that You are who the Bible says You are and that You do what it says You do. We believe! Help our unbelief!  We love You and praise You and worship only You.  
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
-DAK



Let Me Be Frank… 10-9-19

My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you.  12 For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:11-12   

 
We have a puppy named “Boomer.”  You read that right.  I named our puppy after a football team. (BOOMER SOONER)  I have no regrets in regards to that.
 
Boomer is most definitely a puppy.  He runs around at top speed (even in the house) and manages to find every single mud puddle in the yard.  He tires easily and isn’t above taking multiple naps in a day.  He prefers to be inside for that.
 
A couple of days ago Boomer was filthy.  He had mud everywhere.  We have a process when this happens and most of the family just votes to leave him outside, because if he comes inside he needs to be cleaned. 
 
Caden tried his best to get Boomer’s paws under the warm water.  Boomer stood at attention, but he was pretty much over it within a few seconds.  That’s when I heard Caden say, “Boomer, stop struggling.  It will be easier if you don’t struggle!”
 
The Lord has taught me many hard lessons over the years.  I have been broken time and time again before the Lord because of my struggling.  I resisted His correction.  I thought I didn’t need to be changed, I was fine just the way I was.
 
Except I wasn’t…  And God would teach me those lessons eventually.
 
God is as gentle in correcting us as we allow Him to be.
 
Our sin makes us filthy.  Our pride tells us that we don’t need to change.  But God will continue to change us and transform us throughout our journey, as we trust in Him.
 
Don’t harden your heart to His correction.  Don’t close your ears to His voice when He reveals those things that you try so hard to hide.  Don’t struggle against Him and believe that your way is the best way. 
 
We must trust that the God who knows us, every part of us, knows what’s best for us.  And when He corrects us and we surrender to Him we look more and more like our Heavenly Father. 

 

Lord, work in our lives.  We surrender our hearts to you.  We know that You are good and everything You do is good.  And we trust that You are making us new each and every day.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
 
We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER! 
SOLI DEO GLORIA
-F   



Let Me Be Frank… 10-2-19

Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4
 

Caden started cross-country this year.  He is running at the junior varsity level (as an eighth grader) and we couldn’t be more proud of him.  He’s pretty athletic.  He’s pretty ambitious.  And he’s pretty determined.  He’s running at a really great pace.  He’s finally found his niche.
 
At the beginning of the year he loved the sport.  He loved running.  But somewhere along the way he began to lose heart.  He wasn’t winning races.  In fact, he wasn’t even placing.  That’s where the dad conversation comes in.
 
“Caden, you aren’t going to be good at everything automatically.  There are some things that are going to come easy for you and there are things that you will have to work really hard for.  Don’t get down on yourself and don’t give up.  Sometimes the things that are the most difficult are the things worth fighting for.”
 
If only I would take my own advice… 
 
We get so frustrated at ourselves for not being “better” immediately.  We long for the easy button in life and wish our problems away.  But James, speaking simply, says “Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds.”  Because, sometimes the things that are the most difficult are the things worth fighting for.
 
I can’t get better at running if I never run.  But all too often we just assume that faith will come naturally.  We’re ambitious.  We’re determined.  And we think that’s enough.  But when we run the race of life, the Holy Spirit does the work.  We just run.  That means we have to listen and respond as we grow deeper in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
 
There will be trials.  There will be tests.  There will be times when you want to throw in the towel.  But the testing of our faith produces steadfastness.  My favorite image is of waves crashing against a lighthouse.  That’s steadfast.  That’s immovable.  Know what you believe, listen for His Voice,  and run your race.  
 
I love having kids.  They push me to be better every single day.  Caden is going to compete tomorrow and, win or lose, we couldn’t be more proud.
 
Don’t give up.  Encourage others along the way.  And when things don’t come easy, don’t quit.  Let steadfastness have its full effect in you. 

We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER! 
SOLI DEO GLORIA
-F   



Something Don’d on Me! 10-2-19

“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!”  – I John 3:1
 
I read an interesting story this last week that really impacted me. His name was Isak, and he was from Krakow, Poland. He was a young Jewish man who wanted to build a temple to God…but he was poor. One night, he had a dream. In the dream, he was told to go to Prague, and dig under the bridge that went into the King’s Palace, and there, he would find gold! So he went!
            When he got to Prague, he immediately found the path, the bridge, and he began to dig! As he was digging under the bridge, he was found by a guard. When asked what he was doing, Isak decided to tell the truth. He told the guard that he had a dream of the gold and he had to come dig.
            The guard began to laugh. “Why, just last night, I also had a dream! I dreamt that in Krakow, there was a man by the name of Isak, and if I was to go to his home and move his stove and dig under his floor, I would find gold! Now do you think I’m so stupid as to go there to that Jewish city with hundreds of men named Isak and look for gold?”
            So the guard released Isak, and he began the long journey home. Upon arriving, he went into the house, he moved his stove. He began to dig in the dirt under the stove…and discovered gold! He used the gold…and he built a great temple to God in his hometown of Krakow!
            So what’s the point? Many times, what you WANT and NEED is near you. But often, to find it, you must go on a long journey! In our culture, we spend a LOT of time looking for joy and fulfillment. Many times, we SEEK TREASURE, but joy often comes when we SEE the treasure of everyday life! We want to know that we make a difference, but fulfillment comes when we discover that we are a treasure in God’s eyes!
            You may be having an awful week. You may tired and worn out from work. Things at home may not be great.  And finances may be stressing you. Can you hear this: You ARE a treasure to the Lord! You are loved. You are wanted. And you are VALUABLE! It may have been a long journey for you to hear this, but it’s right here: You are the treasure that HE WANTS! And He KEEPS seeking you!

When you see who you ARE, through HIS eyes…you’ll see a TREASURE!

Shalom Alachiem, Don



This AMP’ed Me Up! 9-26-19

“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example
in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

As I was thinking and praying about what to write over the past few weeks, I continued to draw a blank. Nothing would come to me. I would do my best to force something to come out, but nothing would ever come of it. It was frustrating to say the least. I began to wonder if I had lost my connection. Had the line been dropped?

Then it came to me. Out of nowhere. When I wasn’t searching for it. It came. I was praying for people that I knew had been going through some struggles.  People in the middle of their desert seasons. Maybe I was praying for you in particular. I was praying for myself for sure. 

And the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “But God…

All at once it became clear how profound, yet simple, these two words were in these seasons when we are caught in the desert. When everything seems to be going wrong, when the world seems to be crashing down around, when health is slipping and uncertain, when people continue to miss the mark, when all seems lost… BUT GOD!!! 

But God is with me. But God is still good. But God is faithful. But God fights for me. But God is my rock. But God pursues me. But God loves me. But God still heals. But God

Whatever season you are in, find your “But God” and continue to speak it out. It is something I am learning each and every day as a Christian, and I pray that from this point forward, it will be the same for you. If God were the only thing we had in this world, our bank accounts in the red, our health in rapid decline, our relationships shattered, everything in disarray, He would still be more than enough. 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) My challenge to you is this: long for a right relationship with God (and nothing else) and watch Him show up in your desert and lead you to the promised land He has for you. 

Feel free to contact me by phone (575-693-5452) or email (dennis@centralwired.org) with any questions!

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Heavenly Father, You are everything we need! Help us to see that all of our desert seasons are opportunities to grow closer and gain a right relationship with You. As we pursue You, show Yourself to us in ways we haven’t seen before. Show us our “But God…” statements. We love You and praise You.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
-DAK



Something Don’d on Me! 9-26-19

I got nuthin’. You’re just reading this article…but I’ve been staring at this screen for quite some time…trying to get my article written. I need to get it done, so I can send it to Candace and she can get it in our Connection Newsletter & send it out, that evidently has happened…because you are currently reading this! I think the professional authors call it “Writers Block”…my professional terminology is this: nuthin’.
 
Have you ever felt that way in your prayer life? You KNOW you’re supposed to pray…but the words just don’t come. Your Preacher has told you to READ the Word of God…but you just look at it and don’t even know where to start.
 
So I stare at a blank screen…and I wonder if I have anything to bring to God.  
 
And suddenly, a story from the Bible comes to mind. There’s a teacher of the Law-he’s a good guy, that goes to church regularly, probably respected by his peers, probably has a family, probably has bills and a mortgage-nothing special, but just an okay dude. He stands up and prays, “Thank you God for the ways you’ve blessed me. Thanks that I’m not like one of those guys (with a slight head nod in the general vicinity of the reviled Tax Collector) because you KNOW all the things I do. I fast…and I put money in those little boxes at the back of the Church…and I sing and I clap when Franklin tells me to (Friends don’t let friends clap on the 1 and the 3) and I go to Bacon Brothers/The Table/Monday Night Ladies Class/Spectrum (Whatever age group you are in!)- you’ve got my Spiritual Resume’, God…Thank you for that!”
 
But another guy-one that just needed a job, so he took the only one he could get (Tax Collector) and was labeled a Traitor by his friends-he just stands at a distance and prays. No resume’. No list of good behaviors. Not even a request for “blessings from above.” Just a simple sentence: “Have mercy on me.”
 
If I’m being really honest…I’ve been the first guy more than the latter. WAY more times. Listing off the good things I’ve done. Comparing myself to others that have done bad. I think I hurt my elbow from patting myself on the back so many times. And in my prayer life, far too often, I come with an agenda. “Here’s what I need this week, God!”

But FAR TOO FEW times have I been the “other guy.” Very rarely, do I list my sins to Him. Seldom, is the focus of my prayer a “contrite heart.” Only once in a blue moon, do I “Confess.” This “other guy” was just broken. He didn’t beg. He didn’t have a Christmas list. He just simply said, “I’m a sinner.”
 
So I sit here and stare at a blank screen…and I got nuthin’. And maybe you’re reading this on your phone and you’re right there with me. Nuthin’ to say…nuthin’ to ask…maybe, even you feel like nuthin’. Maybe that’s what God wants from both of us: NUTHIN’. Maybe He doesn’t want us to SAY anything, or ASK anything…He just wants us to BE WITH HIM??
 
How is YOUR prayer life today? Maybe you should put down the phone (or the mouse, or the printed bulletin)  and just bring Him your NUTHIN’? Just “Be still and know that He is God.” And that you and I are not. Our God hears your nuthin’…and I think He says, “That’s what I wanted from you all along.”
 
Shalom Alachiem-May HIS Peace reign over your heart…and may you lack…nuthin’.
Don



Let Me Be Frank… 9-18-19

For the Lord your God is living among you.  He is a mighty savior.He will take delight in you with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Zephaniah 3:17

                      
Name three things you love about you… I’ll wait.
 
Was it difficult?  Did you have a hard time coming up with one, much less three?  Did you give up in the end and say, “great hair?”  Me too.
 
If I asked you to list three things that you don’t like about yourself you could probably list twenty.  Why is that our go to?
 
“Who told you that you were naked?” is a question that has been ringing in my ears for a few weeks.  God asks this question after Adam and Eve confess to hiding from His presence.  They ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  And now they felt shame and fear.  This is not what they were expecting.
 
Who told you that you were…
 

–Too fat — Too skinny — Too slow — Too dumb — Not enough —
–Too much — Too far gone — unloved – a mistake — Worthless —

 
The next time that voice in your head tells you something contrary to GOD’S WORD stand on THESE promises. 
(taken from notconsumed.com – click on link for printable PDF with verses)
https://www.notconsumed.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/for-when-you-feel-like-youre-not-enough-esv-and-kjv-initials.pdf
 
You are…  precious and loved (Isaiah 43:4a)
You are…  wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14a)
You are…  treasured (Deut. 7:6)
You are…  chosen (1 Peter 2:9)
You are…  known and remembered (Isaiah 49:16)
You are…  rejoiced over (Zeph 3:17)
When you start feeling afraid, anxious, or overwhelmed remember that the same God that asks the question in the garden is the same God who sent His only Son, Jesus, to die in our place.  With His love, He will calm all your fears!  Let the Holy Spirit lead you and listen to His voice!
 
Don’t believe the lie.  Be careful of the voice you’re listening to.  
 We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER! 

SOLI DEO GLORIA
-F   



Something Don’d on Me! 9-18-19

“As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in His Prophets and you will be successful.” II Chronicles 20:20
 


The odds seemed insurmountable. Everything looked grim. It was the 4thquarter, down by two touchdowns and they had no timeouts. Rudy wasn’t coming to the rescue. The enemy was big. Jehoshaphat was facing armies from Ammon, Moab, and Edom, and they outnumbered, out-armed, and out-warriored him on all levels. It was looking BAD for God’s people! His servants came and warned him, and he proclaimed a fast for all the people, to pray and to inquire of the Lord. When they did, the Spirit of the Lord came down on Jehaziel and he declared “Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s!”
 
We looked at this passage in last week’s article…but here’s where the story takes a turn! Jehoshaphat could have ignored the prophecy from Jehaziel. He could have just sat down and said “Since God is fighting, I’ll just watch SportsCenter and wait for the Highlights of this fight!” He could have even sent out a few warriors and stayed back a safe distance. But what he did…well, it wasn’t the way MOST Army Generals work. He did something that changed the course of history…and it matters even today!
 
He picked a choir. “Okay, Don…you’re using pretty poetry words here, right? A ‘choir’ is really a platoon with bazookas, right?” No, actually Scripture says that before he picked up a sword, before he looked at satellite footage of the battlefield, and even before he fortified the supply lines…he picked SINGERS??   II Chronicles 20:21 says, “Jehoshaphat appointed men to SING TO THE LORD and to praise Him for the splendor of His Holiness.” Now I haven’t been to West Point or Annapolis…but I doubt that would be the course work in Battle Prep 101!
 
One of the songs that our Praise Team has been singing is called, “Surrounded” and it has just two phrases in it:
            1-“This is how I fight my battles…”
            2-“It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by You!”
When you first hear it, that line #1 sounds weird. But as you sing it, and those words sink into you, the songwriter is reminding us that we don’t fight battles the way others do. We fight…by declaring the greatness of our God! We fight…by singing of HIS power, not ours. We fight…sometimes, when we can’t even speak. How are YOU fighting your battles?Are you stressing and fretting and worrying? Or are you singing and releasing it to the one that CAN fight…and WILL fight for you?? “It may look like you are surrounded…” – your enemies may be many and large: debt, depression, loneliness, brokenness. But our God is bigger than ANY of those!! “…but I’m SURROUNDED by You!!!”

“As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the attacking armies, and they were DEFEATED!” (II Chronicles 20: 22-23)The attacking armies…attacked EACH OTHER! And when Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah arrived, they only saw dead bodies! They went out and carried off the plunder…and there was MORE than they could ever carry!!
 
Do you feel SURROUNDED? Does it look like you are about to be crushed by your enemy? Maybe…this is the time you should SING?! Perhaps God is calling you to sing of HIS greatness, not cry about the oppression of what you are going through? Maybe it’s time for you to fight…but fight with a different plan. Fight…with song.
 
Jehovah God…fight for me! You are greater than my grief! You are stronger than my struggle! You are deeper than my depression! You are GOD! Get GLORY in my life! In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Shalom Alachiem, Don



Let Me Be Frank… 9-11-19

There is a story of a young woman having a heart-to-heart with her mother.  “Life is so hard and I don’t know how I’m going to make it.  I’m tired of fighting.  I want to give up.”
 
Her mother took her into the kitchen where there were three pots of water.  The first pot held carrots, the second – eggs, and the third contained ground coffee beans.  This was going to be a VERY interesting meal.
 
After 20 minutes she fished the carrots, pulled the eggs out, and ladled the coffee into a mug.  But instead of saying, “Dinner is served” she asked a question.  “What do you see?”  Upon further inspection by the young woman she saw that the carrots were soft and mushy, she tried to break the egg but the inside was hard, and then she took a sip of the coffee and all her problems drifted away…
 
Just kidding.  It just tasted like coffee.
 
Each of these objects went into the same adversity.  The carrot was strong and unrelenting, but it became weak.  The egg was fragile.  Only a thin layer of shell protected the interior, but it had hardened.  But after the ground coffee beans were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
 
So, who are we in this story?
 
Are we like the carrot?  Strong on the inside, but add a little heat and we lose that strength?
 
Are we like the egg?  We started with a malleable heart, but life (a break-up, death of a loved one, financial hardship, & the list goes on and on) has hardened us?
 
Or are we coffee?  The bean actually changes the hot water – the very circumstance that brought the adversity, the pain, the struggles – into something wonderful!
 
If we’re like coffee then we are not changed by our surroundings – we change the atmosphere…  But we can’t do it alone.  Let me say that again.  We can’t do it alone.
 
In John 18:36, Jesus says that His Kingdom is, “not of this world.” 
 
He also commissioned the disciples (and is speaking to us) when He says in Matthew 28:19-20.  “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  For lo, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
 
As Christians we’re not of this world, but we are sent into it.  And our lives should not be changed by the culture that we immerse ourselves in.  Rather, we should change culture!
 
Be coffee – don’t let your heart become hardened!”
 
Be coffee – when adversity comes, remember He is with you!
 
How do you handle the boiling waters of life?  Be coffee and change the atmosphere!
We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER! 
SOLI DEO GLORIA
-F   



Something Don’d on Me! 9-11-19

“We are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” II Chronicles 20:12

His name was Jehaziel. You’ve probably never heard of him. His name only shows up in Scripture a couple of times…but in one occasion, it changes everything. Let’s set the scene.
 
The people of Judah (God’s Chosen People) were facing a MASSIVE attack from the Moabites, Ammonites, and a bunch of other “ites” that I can’t pronounce. But they were big, they were mean, they were warriors, and they planned to erase the people of God! Scripture tells us that King Jehoshaphat (Judah-the Good Guys) was “terrified by this news.” (II Chronicles 20:3) So the King stands before the entire community and begs for God’s guidance.
 
Jehoshaphat’s prayer (II Chronicles 20:5-12) though, is BOLD! He declares that his HOPE is God alone. He says, “Did you not drive out those who lived in this land when Your people arrived here?” His prayer-coming from a place of DESPERATE pain and fear-did not talk about the great ideas he had. His hope came from the PRESENCE of God and the PROMISES that He had given them! Yes, the King was afraid, and he said so. But He didn’t base everything on the PROBLEM…he put his eyes on the POWER to change things.
 
This is where Jehaziel comes into view. Scripture says, “All the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives and children, and the Spirit of the Lord came on one of the men standing there named Jehaziel.” He wasn’t the Priest or the City Mayor or the spokesperson for JNN (Judah News Network-“All the news that is fit to carve”-Spoken by James Earl Jones or Samuel L. Jackson-whoever was nearby!) – Jehaziel was just a PERSON! But what God said through this man…WOW!
 
 “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” II Chronicles 20: 15-17
 
A simple person…with a Word from the Lord. And that day changed everyone! He didn’t tell them to “take up arms and fight.” In fact, he said quite the opposite. DON’T fight…God will fight FOR YOU! YOU need to stand firm in the promises He has already made, and in the PRESENCE that is here with us!
 
The past few weeks have been challenging. We’ve seen MANY marriages in our own church family under attack. We’ve dealt with car wrecks and unexpected hospital visits. We survived the Aqua-Pocalypse 2019! (Don’s Trademark Pending!) Some are dealing with Chronic pain. Still others are dealing with financial fear. And we all wake up to “Remember 9/11” signs everywhere…and sometimes, it seems like our enemies are MANY and MORE POWERFUL and we are surrounded by nothing but brokenness.

I’m drawn to the simple words of Jehaziel-a guy we don’t remember and rarely quote-that remind us the battle is BIGGER than us…but our God is BIGGER than the battle! If you are hurting…STAND FIRM. If you’re marriage has taken a beating…DON’T BE DISCOURAGED. If the money never seems to be there…SEE THE DELIVERANCE THE LORD WILL GIVE YOU! Go out and face your battles…but remember that the PRESENCE of the Lord goes WITH you, and the POWER of the Lord goes BEFORE YOU!
 
May you walk in ACTIVE TRUST this week…even when things look bleak all around you! And may your hope be NOT that “things will get better”, but that God will be WITH YOU and He will DELIVER the battle…in HIS time and power!
 

Almighty Father, for our friends that are reading this that are hurting,
FIGHT FOR THEM. For the marriages that are struggling, STAND WITH THEM.
And for the battles we face…BE VICTORIOUS!
Help us to TRUST YOU and break free from fear!
In the Name of our Servant Savior Jesus we pray, Amen

 
Baruch Hashem – Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Don