Monday, September 29, 2008

Deja Vu? Matthew 14 and 15

This is funny to me. In Matthew chapter 14, we have the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 (we know it was much more than that because they only counted the men). In this story we see the disciples going a little nuts when Jesus says to them, "You feed them." They freak out, and Jesus saves the day by taking the 5 loaves and 2 fishes and continues to fill the baskets so that everyone not only eats, but is full!

The very next chapter in chapter 15 (probably a few days to a week later), we see Jesus with a crowd of about 4,000 men (plus women and children). Jesus poses the question to the disciples of Him knowing that the people are tired and hungry, and He doesn't want to send them away for fear they might faint along the way. I wish we had tones of voices and sarcasm in the Bible, because it says that the disciples say, "Where will we get food enough to feed so many people?" I'm not sure, but this almost seems like they're being sarcastic, you know? Like they know exactly where to get the food, and they just want to see Jesus do the miracle again! I almost liken it to when I'm playing hide and go seek with my daughter, and she's in the room with me, and I see her, but I pretend not to, so I'll ask, "Where is Cecily? I don't see her? Where could she be?" Of course, she'll start giggling and want me to acknowledge that I see her. It's fun. The disciples here had to have been thinking that this situation seems really familiar. Like, oh, didn't this just happen last week? I'm not gonna freak out this time. Let's just trust Jesus this time, it'll be way cooler. And, of course, Jesus takes the food that they have and multiplies it and everyone is full again.

Is there something that you need to trust Jesus for today? Maybe your daily needs? Maybe a relationship? Maybe a habit you're trying to break? How about expecting Him to do something mighty in your life instead of freaking out about the obstacle in front of you? Have a great day!

Ron Foster

Friday, August 22, 2008

Peace or division?

37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. "

These are the words of Jesus in Matthew chapter 10 as He is sending out the 12 disciples on an outreach missions trip! But how could Jesus say these words? They seem pretty strong right? In some other versions, it's even more harsh words like using the words, unless you hate your father or mother, you're not worthy of me. This sounds pretty harsh. Well, not if we look at the big picture. Let's take a look at the whole context of what He was saying here.

34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn "'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- 36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' 37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. "

So now we have another odd phrase here. "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Doesn't this seem like a contradiction? Especially since I don't ever remember Jesus getting into a sword fight! There was that one time that He drove all of the merchants out of the Temple, but He used a whip for that. Well, let's stop and think about what a sword does. It cuts things, people, and animals. It slices them. It DIVIDES them. What Jesus was saying here was that I am a dividing line in people's lives. People will either be for me or against me. Within households, some will believe and follow Christ, and others will reject Christ and those that follow. Jesus will be a point of contention between family members, friends, even countries! He's saying that you're going to have people that are close to you that will reject me and you will have to make a choice of who you love with all of your heart...those people or Him.

Let me ask you now. The line has already been drawn. Jesus has used the sword to make the dividing line. Who will you give your life to?

Have a great weekend guys!

Ron Foster

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Things I Love.

Here are my loves. I love my God! I do. In Him is life, and my life is found in Him. I love my wife. She is my best friend. She is my queen. She is my bride. I love my daughter. There is no feeling in the world of when I walk in the house at the end of the day and she squeals, "Daddy!" and comes running to wrap her arms around me as I pick her up close. I love that she asks if I want to play with her. I love that she prays, brushes her teeth, and reads books with me. I love being a pastor. I love preaching. I love sharing God's Word with people in a creative way that gets them excited about having a relationship with Him, and getting into His Word personally. I love teenagers. I love getting to be a part of their lives when they are making the decisions that will affect their lives forever. I love seeing them come to Christ, grow closer to Him, and introduce their friends to Jesus. I love my friends. I really view this part of my life as a gift from God that I don't deserve. I have been truly blessed with some incredible friends that live literally all around the world. There are too many to list here, so I won't put some on here and leave some off. Those are some of my loves. Thanks for letting me share.

Ron Foster

Sunday, June 15, 2008

September Concert!

Awakening Music Festival
Newsboys, Skillet, Matthew WestBritt Nicole, Nevertheless, Echoing Angels, Run Kid Run, Justin LookadooBull Run Park - Centreville, VA September 13, 2008
For info contact: 703-669-5055 For more info Click Here

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Little Rest

I've been on vacation now for 10 days with 3 more to go. I say that to say that this trip has given me new motivation and energy for many things including this blog. As I thought about it, I went straight from my ministry in Long Island to the ministry in Annapolis without a blink. It turns out, I needed a break. My daughter needed a break. My wife needed a break. I loved looking over at my daughter this morning sleeping away on her little bed. It was the greatest. Normally she is the one getting me up and this morning I woke up, went to Dunkin Donuts to get my wife some coffee and a bagel for the girls, and came back. My daughter was still sleeping! She wasn't just sleeping, she was resting. She was comforted knowing that mommy and daddy were right there and she didn't have to worry about a thing. That makes me think of when Jesus said, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest." I want to encourage you to bring your worries, concerns, and burdens to the cross today, and in return receive rest from the Lord! Have a good one guys!

Ron Foster

Thursday, April 17, 2008

You want it, you got it! E-100 Day 32 (1 Samuel 8-10)

I think I was in either 5th or 6th grade. One of my best friends, Steve Barnes, was going to be spending the night at my house. I didn't have too many friends spend the night, so it was a big deal when I did have someone over. We were ready to party! Steve got to be a part of our family's Friday Night Ritual: Go to Hollywood Video and rent 3 movies, then to Pizza Hut to pick up the 2 large pepperoni pizza's (for me, my brothers, and Steve) and 1 veggie pizza (for my mom and dad), then head home! Normally we would watch one or two of the movies on Friday night and save the other one for the next day. But tonight was special. All of the movies were ones that me and Steve picked out, and we were determined to watch all of them Friday night! Bear in mind that we would start watching the movies until T.G.I.F. was over on ABC. We had eaten our pizza, drank our soda, and watched the first movie. During that time, I had also been mixing my famous chocolate chip cookie dough from scratch (something my mom taught me how to do at 6 years old). I made a double batch even, so this big mixing bowl was filled! Steve and I brought the big bowl in the living room with us and two spoons! Everyone else was getting ready for bed, and we were allowed to stay up and watch the movies. My mom gave us a warning, however, "Don't eat too much of that dough, you'll get sick to your stomach."

We heard the warning. We understood the warning. But we were determined to eat a ton of cookie dough anyway. We ignored the warning. We paid for it in the morning. We were sick as dogs. We were determined to do what we wanted. Much like Israel in our reading today. They wanted a king. Samuel gave them this horrible warning of what would happen if they had a king, and their response was, "We want a king anyway!"

This totally challenged me to really stop and listen when people that are looking out for me try to give me advice or a warning. Hopefully, the next time we will actually stop, listen, and learn from what others might be trying to save us from. How about you? How are you at taking advice or warning? Are you rolling your eyes right now? Maybe it's time to sit up and listen. It might save you alot of trouble. Have a good one guys!

Ron Foster

Monday, April 14, 2008

A quick break 2 Corinthians 11:22-33

Have you ever had one of those moments where someone is complaining about their day, and you're thinking to yourself, "That's it? That's your problem? That's nothing!" There are times when I begin to feel like I've either accomplished everything myself, or that my problems are the worst ones around. In this passage, Paul had come across some people that felt that he wasn't justified to be the one to correct them or that he hadn't paid his dues as an apostle/preacher. Then Paul laid it all out. Let me summarize for you. So far in Paul's journey's he had:

Given a scourging (39 lashes with a cat of nine tails like Jesus had - 40 was a death sentence) 5 times!
Beaten with rods 3 times
Shipwrecked 3 times
Left adrift at sea once
Dragged outside the city and stoned one time
And the list when on!

After reading this, I was reminded of when I was in Bible College and there was a Pastor visiting from Russia. He was in his 60's. He began to share how many times he had been put into a prison camp for preaching the Gospel, and basically put it in perspective as to what real persecution is. Here I had thought that I had "endured" for Christ because I had sat at home on a Friday night or two missing out on the party, been called a name or two because I was in school to be a pastor.

I say all of that to say this: I have been challenged this week to be reminded of our mission as followers of Jesus Christ, and the lessons that He taught when He was here. Jesus said that if the world hates me, the world will hate you too. This is a hard lesson to swallow simply because no one wants to be hated. I want to be liked. But if I'm following Christ with all of myself, then there will be people that don't get it, and will actually try to hurt me physically, emotionally, or financially. And when that happens, I hope I can be like Paul, and brag about it! Have a good one guys.

Ron Foster