For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

A Message to My Generation

by pizzaranchadmin on March 5, 2015

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Stories of Impact – Storm Lake, IA

by pizzaranchadmin on March 4, 2015

When we look for a story of Impact, we often search for some Big Story.  We want that reason to make a difference in some Large Way.  We might even put some boundaries or rules that go with that story.  Today I heard a story that made me smile.

Missy, the general manager from the Storm Lake, IA Pizza Ranch was on her way to work last week on one of those COLD mornings.  She came across a man walking alongside the road.  Hmm.  What to do?  There are lots of rules about picking up strangers.  But God was nudging her to do the right thing.  Those safety rules were even part of the conversation between ‘ the walker’ and Missy.  Missy  found out in the ride to town that he was walking to work which was 9½ miles away.  Missy also questioned how he was going to get home after work.  Only to find out that it would be a 9 ½ mile walk home.  This was hard for Missy to hear.  She had a car at home that was not being used and so assured this new friend that a car would be waiting for him when he got finished with his shift.  He could use this vehicle until his was repaired.

The story of impact… what rules are we putting on ourselves so that we have an excuse to not be “Jesus” to those around us.  Are we missing a chance or the whisper of God in our ear?

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Experience God

by pizzaranchadmin on March 3, 2015

I want to stop thinking of reading my Bible as an item on my Christian checklist & really experience God instead.

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The Reality of God

by pizzaranchadmin on March 2, 2015

This week’s mission is a challenge from Lysa TerKeurst:

I’m challenged to live a life that shows the world the reality of God. Not that I have to be perfect… I would fail at that. But to be perfectly surrendered to the Lord with my every action and reaction is a glorious way to live God out loud.

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A generous spirit is a joyous spirit

by pizzaranchadmin on February 27, 2015

By Robert Crosby

Jesus wants His followers to experience great joy.

He let them know they could find joy in part from their prayer life:

Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. – John 16:24

Disciplines Leading to Joy

In order to tap into the joy supply Christ has secured for us, we will need discipline. Joy is not merely an emotion felt within; it is a discipline we must cultivate and practice.

The Bible makes it clear that certain disciplines in our daily routine will lead to a greater sense of joy. Here are some I have found:

  1. Joy Reads!

Reading the Scripture can be an incredible source of joy.

I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure. – Psalm 119:162

  1. Joy Sings!

Singing, whether in a church or in my car, is a way to stir up and release the joy of the Lord in my heart. Singing allows my soul to move its focus away from the circumstances of life and toward the character of God. It’s downright therapeutic.

Be filled with the Spirit… Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. – Ephesians 5:18-19

  1. Joy Gives!

A generous spirit is a joyous spirit.

Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia.  They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor.  But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. – 2 Corinthians 8:1-2

  1. Joy Communes!

Our focus and much of our joy come not only from walking with Christ, or working for Christ but also from doing both of these together with others in community.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!… For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore. - Psalm 133:1 & 3

  1. Joy Meditates!

Our joy is renewed by remembering God, by meditating on His goodness, by recalling his specific acts of faithfulness to us: You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise You with songs of joy. I lie awake thinking of You, meditating on You through the night. Because You are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of Your wings. - Psalm 63:5-7

  1. Joy Serves!

Jesus came into this world presenting Himself as a servant, not a king.  He came to show us that the greatest joy is found when we learn how to truly serve God and people in need. The journey of serving God is supposed to be one paved with great joy: Serve the Lord with gladness. – Psalm 100:2

  1. Joy Enjoys!

God wants us to worship Him, and He wants us to enjoy Him.

In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. – Psalm 16:11

Pastor John Piper says, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

Challenge: How will you extend your joy to others in need around you (a neighbor that lives alone, nursing home, someone sitting alone in Church)?

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Emotion of Receiving a Bible

by pizzaranchadmin on February 26, 2015

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Stories of Impact – Light Up the Sky for Me Lord

by pizzaranchadmin on February 25, 2015

Some people struggle with believing that God is with them at all times and honestly it can be difficult to sense his tangible presence in life.  Many times we just need to allow our sensibilities to be heightened in order to appreciate God’s messages to us in the storms of life.  Ted from Spearfish, SD had just such a moment.  On one of his trips to a Pizza Ranch Coop Meeting he was driving through a particularly foreboding thunderstorm.  It was one of those anxious travels when everything seems like darkness even the light.  Ted was listening to the lyrics of a song titled, “Light Up the Sky for me Lord” and each time the chorus of the song would play there was an especially vivid flash of lightening that would light up the blackness of the trip with a glowing brilliance which almost made it seem like daylight for that instance.

It was one of those tangible God moments when it seems as if Jesus Himself is reminding us that he is always traveling in the seat next to us, even during the darkest of storms He flashes through with His brilliant leadings of Light.

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The Tongue

by pizzaranchadmin on February 24, 2015

The two edged blade of the tongue

Turns by the will of a man

Out of the abundance of his heart

Speaks a friend or an enemy’s plan

 

Thrusts to the heart you can speak

Or lance for poison removal

Your words as a healing balm

Or daggers without retrieval

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Share the WORD

by pizzaranchadmin on February 23, 2015

The Word of God is the most precious commodity we have and as such there is no greater gift than to share it with others.  Pray that God would give you a specific word of encouragement for someone today or even better actually share THE WORD by giving the Bible to someone as a gift.

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People of the Cross & Lent Reflection

by pizzaranchadmin on February 20, 2015

Today we reflected on 2 major events of the week:

  • The be-heading of 21 Christian Egyptian men by Islamic terrorists this past weekend.
  • Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season.

The 21 young Egyptian Christian men were known by the Islamic terrorists as “people of the cross”.  ISIS has declared war against Christians and “people of the cross”.  What will our reaction be to this declaration of war?  I confess that mine was somewhat to retreat to my safe American home and lifestyle and to put my head in the sand of comfort and ease and my God of materialism.  If you are like me and could use a good prayer of confession to kick off the Lenten season, join me…..

“Lord, forgive me.  My heart does not break for what breaks yours.  My comfortable life has become a barrier to me living my life for you.  May you inspire me to truly love others, and to reach out to a hurting world, my neighbor, even if, and especially if, it pulls me out of my comfort zone.  Help me to focus on the cross.  To passionately live my life for Jesus and to recognize the amazing gift of salvation I have received because he took on my sin on a cross of shame.”

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday.  Many of us made a decision on what we would “give up” or “fast” from over the next 40 days or so leading up to Easter.  Also consider what you can take back, and what it means in your life to “take up your cross and follow me”.

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