Live Like You Were Dying Week 1

Notes – January 17

“None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death…”
– Ecclesiastes 8:8a (NLT)

“You bring our lives to an end just like a dream. We are merely tender grass 6that sprouts and grows in the morning, but dries up by evening.”
– Psalm 90:5-6 (CEV)

“Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out.  Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don’t live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light.”
– Romans 13:11-12 (NLT)

  1. Live with a sense of  .

“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. 28“And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that arehere today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith!”
– Matthew 6:27-30 (NLT)

“This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it.”
– Psalm 118:24 (NLT)

2.  Live with a sense of .

“We die only once, and then we are judged.”

– Hebrews 9:27 (CEV)

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but  on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but          what is unseen is eternal.”

– 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

3.  Live with a sense of .

  • Take off your frantic .

“Be still and know that I am God.”
– Psalm 46:10a

  • Take off your frantic pursuit of the .
  • Put on more time for  .

Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Part 2)

Planning for 2010

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

January 10, 2010

Today’s service concluded the three-part series on planning for the New Year.  The audio file includes the teaching portion of the service only and does not include the presentation of the changes being implemented at Lakeside Church in the next 90 days.  The notes below are a companion to the audio file.

Scripture: Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.

– Proverbs 9:1 NIV

Wisdom’s Seven Pillars

  1. A _______________________.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid

-Proverbs 12:1 NIV

11My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, 12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

– Proverbs 3:11-12 NIV

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

– Matthew 5:4 NIV

  • S__________________ .

1 The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: 2for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; 3for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair;

– Proverbs 1:1-3 NIV

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

– Matthew 5:8 NIV

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

– Proverbs 1:7 NIV

  • Maintaining _____________________ with people.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.

– Proverbs 11:30 NIV

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

– Matthew 5:11 NIV

17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

– James 3:17 NIV

Tuesday’s devotional

Pastor Derek’s             

Devotional Journal for August 18, 2009


Day 8 – Trust in God is the key to life

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-9 NLT

  5Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
 6Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

 7Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.  Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  8Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.

 9Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.  10Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.


What is the writer saying?

Rather than reasoning everything out and weighing the pros and cons, we need to trust in God and obey Him in everything.  When we do that, the choices we are to make become more clear to us.

We must not become full of ourselves, thinking that we know better than God.  The danger is that we become careless and end up living in sin.  Instead, we must have a healthy fear and reverence of God, for when we do, we will turn away from sin and evil.  Only then can true spiritual and emotional healing take place.

We must put God first in everything.  Its all His anyway so we must give the very best of what we have back to Him, rather than merely giving us what is left over.  In return, God promises to provide us with all we need.


How does this apply to my life?

Logic!  It can sometimes be my worst enemy.  It’s not that God asks me to set my intelligence aside or to no longer count the cost; rather, my tendency to reason things out can get in the way of simply listening to the voice of God and obeying Him.  In my own mind I can justify letting down my guard in the name of building relationships for evangelism.  I can justify giving God what’s left over rather than giving Him my best, because, after all, God knows how “busy” I am with life.  Choosing this path will only lead to frustration, disappointment, guilt and heartache.  I must again realize that in Him I find all I need.


My prayer:

All knowing Father,

You know the ending of my life from the beginning.  You know the days of my journey on the earth.  As it was with David, you know when I get up in the morning and when I lay my head on the pillow in the evening.  You know the consequences of decisions I make before I even make them.  Your knowledge and wisdom are perfect.  They never fail.

In spite of all this, too often I rationalize my decisions, relying on my own less-than-perfect wisdom.  But today, Lord, I commit my choices to your hands.  I choose to listen to your quiet voice.  Speak to me, O God.  Guide me this day.  And may the decisions I make be pleasing to You.

I am listening.

Saturday’s Devotional

Pastor Derek’s             

Devotional Journal for August 15


Day 7 – Favor With God and Man

Scripture: Proverbs 3:1-4 NLT

 1My child, never forget the things I have taught you.  Store my commands in your heart.  2If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.  3Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!  Tie them around your neck as a reminder.  Write them deep within your heart.  4Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.

What is the writer saying?

We learn so many wonderful truths that, if followed, serve us well throughout life.  We need especially need to store those spiritual truths that we have learned from others along the way.  If we do this, the result will be a longer and more satisfying life.  We must never compromise principles like loyalty and kindness.  We are to maintain them at the very core of our being so that they become our core values.  When we do, our life will please God and others will be drawn to us, for we shall then have a reputation fitting for a Christian

How does this apply to my life?

I am told that there is a book whose titles goes something like this: All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.  As I look back on my childhood, I realize that my desire to please God was formulated in a Sunday School Class taught by Mrs. Duplessis.  I learned to share and to be fair from my parents when my sisters came along.  I learned respect for teachers and for those in authority from Mom and Dad before I was allowed to be in a Sunday School class.  To this day these form some of my core values.  But I need to revisit these principles often to ensure that they always remain at the core of who I am.  Oh that I might please the Father and that my life would radiate the kindness and loyalty of Christ, so that others might be continually drawn to Him.

My prayer:

Dear God,

Thank you so much for the parents who brought me into the world and raised me to be who I am.  But I thank you, too, for Sunday School teachers like Mrs. Duplessis, Elaine Kelly, and Weldon Vroom.  Only eternity will reveal their full impact on me.  Today I pray that I might be found faithful in your sight to live out these principles each day.  Help me to be increasingly kind and caring; loyal and supportive; grace-filled and forgiving.  May the words of my lips, the attitudes of my heart and the actions I take this day be pleasing to you.

Your son.

Thursday’s Devotional

Pastor Derek’s

Devotional Journal 


Day 6 – Staying on the right path

Scripture: Proverbs 2:10-22 NLT

10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy.  11 Wise choices will watch over you.  Understanding will keep you safe.

 12 Wisdom will save you from evil people, from those whose words are twisted.  13These men turn from the right way to walk down dark paths.
 14They take pleasure in doing wrong, and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
 15Their actions are crooked, and their ways are wrong.

 16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman.  17She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God.  18Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave.  19The man who visits her is doomed.  He will never reach the paths of life.

 20 Follow the steps of good men instead, and stay on the paths of the righteous.  21For only the godly will live in the land, and those with integrity will remain in it.  22But the wicked will be removed from the land, and the treacherous will be uprooted.


What is the writer saying?

When we seek after wisdom, when we gain understanding that enables us to skillfully apply knowledge to every day life situations, we are able then to make wise choices.  Our understanding will keep us from calamitous choices and will keep us safe.

This wisdom will also keep us from the schemes of those who manipulate and mislead others with words of enticement.  These kinds of people deliberately choose the wrong over the right.  They brag about their evil deeds and really enjoy doing wrong things.  They are wicked to the core.

Wisdom will also protect you from the tempting words of the promiscuous, and from their seduction.  These people have abandoned their husband or wife and have deliberately ignored their marriage covenant made before God.  Choosing to give in to this kind of seduction leads to destroyed lives and an early grave.  Those who live this way seal their fate and will never achieve the abundant life God desires us to have.

Rather, we are to model our lives after those who choose to life clean (righteous) and godly lives.  In the end, only those who are godly and who value integrity will succeed.  The wicked will ultimately lose out.

How does this apply to my life?

As I consider my life and the years that have seemingly passed in the blink of an eye, I realize that the times of greatest joy were times when I acted wisely and made good choices that were centered in my understanding of God’s will for me.  On the other hand, the times of greatest pain and discouragement were those times when I acted foolishly and chose to do my own thing, regardless of the consequences.  Today, with more years now in the past than in the future, I must be all the more diligent to behave wisely, to draw from the understanding God has given through the years, so that I might make the right choices.  May God fill me with wisdom and find me faithful this day!


My prayer:

Dear God,

I have lived more years already than I will live in the future.  Yet I am reminded that my time on earth is but a moment, a fleeting vapor, compared to the eternity you have planned for all who believe.  Remind me with each choice I make that eternal consequence is infinitely more important than temporary pleasure.  Remind me, I pray, that your will for me is perfect and leads to happiness and true joy.  And this day, would you help me apply understanding to every circumstance and situation.  Grant me wisdom today so that my words, my thoughts, and my actions might be pleasing to you.

Thursday’s Devotional

Pastor Derek’s

Devotional Journal for August 13, 2009


Day 5 – God’s faithfulness toward those who are upright

Scripture: Proverbs 2:6-9 NLT

6For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.  7He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.  9Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.

 What is the writer saying?

So what is wisdom and how can I have it?  Wisdom is the ability to apply understanding to knowledge and the true source of wisdom is God.  Victory in daily living, protection from the devil’s onslaught and direction so that we stay on course all are given to us by the One who loves us and justifies us.  It is within this relationship and fellowship with Him that we gain a more complete understanding of what is right and consistent with God’s good character; what is fair, and every good path for our life.

How does this apply to my life?

So often I look for solutions to my own problems rather than seeking God’s solution.  I weigh out the pros and cons of decisions with little regard to God’s promise of victory and protection.  The reality is this: if God is my protector, my source for victory, and the director of my life, then I must learn to follow Him with more reckless abandon, seeking only His will and His plan for my life.  He has promised direction for the just; yet, the just are to live by faith.  This is the path that pleases the Father.  This is the good path for my life: the path of faith and trust.

My prayer:

Father, you are my wisdom and my strength.  You are my provider, my shelter, shield and the leader of my life.  You continue to grow me and stretch me in the faith.  Yet, so often I wonder if you see me as being upright or blameless or even faithful.  I do know that my heart desire is to be found a good and faithful servant.  Grant, O God, that I might have greater understanding and wisdom; help me to realize greater victory in my life; lead me in every good path for my life.  I trust you to do what is best for me.  I am yours. 

Your grateful servant

The Value of Wisdom

Pastor Derek’s Devotional Journal

Scripture: Proverbs 2:1-5 NLT

1My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.  2Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding.  3Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.  4Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures.  5Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.

What is the writer saying?

Those who read and consider Solomon’s writings are considered by him to be his offspring.  Therefore, he invites us to value these commands as a treasure. As we do that, we will block out those things that interfere (however briefly) and focus exclusively on the wisdom we find and we will concentrate on gaining understanding.  We will cry out for both insight and understanding.  We will search through these scriptures as we would for hidden treasure.  For only as we discover and understand the wisdom of these teachings, will we gain knowledge of God and understand what it means to fear Him.

How does this apply to my life?

Sometimes I only casually skim God’s Word, the Bible to find those things that are convenient.  Today I am reminded that each word and verse in the Bible is a nugget of treasure of inestimable worth.  Just as a radio tuner blocks out all other signals so that we might listen to the broadcast on a single frequency, I must practice the fine art of tuning out distractions so that I might focus exclusively on God and His truth so that He might speak to me day by day.  Only then will I gain a more mature understanding of who He is and what His will is for my life.  May my reverence for the Father grow deeper with each passing day.  For herein is the greatest treasure of God’s Word – that I might know Him!

My prayer:

Adonai, God, My Master, How easy it is to ignore your greatness and your right to be my master.  How often I try to run my own life rather than living the life of a servant.  So this day I acknowledge that you are my God and my master.  You are my Adonai.  Teach me more about you: your nature; your character; your will for my life.  Give me understanding and insight, I pray, that will better enable me to understand the challenges I face today and your plan for me and for others as I face these challenges.

Your servant.

Pastor Derek’s Devotional Journal

Day 3 – Rejecting Wisdom

Scripture: Proverbs 1: 20-33

20 Wisdom calls aloud in the street, she raises her voice in the public squares; 21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out,  in the gateways of the city she makes her speech: 22 “How long will you simple ones  love your simple ways?  How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?  23 If you had responded to my rebuke,  I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you.  24 But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, 25 since you ignored all my advice  and would not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you – 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28 “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me.  29 Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, 30 since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.  32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

What is the writer saying?

It is obvious when we make the wrong choices in life – so obvious that it would seem that wisdom takes life and cries in the streets to us: “How long will you choose to love the base way you are living?  How long will you mock what is good by rejecting that which is right?  If you had responded to the rebuke that came, you would have gained wisdom.  But since you rejected wisdom and common sense, since you ignored counsel and correction, I (wisdom) will appear to mock you when your own calamity comes.”  

“Calamity and trouble always causes people to seek wisdom but it eludes them because they do not naturally seek what is right and, in this failure, reject the Lord too.  As a result, they will eat or experience the consequences of their decisions and actions.  Their waywardness will rob them of life.  Their unwillingness to apply what they know is right and make the right choices – causes them to be fools and destroys them.  But whoever applies wisdom to everyday life will live with confidence and without fear.”


How does this apply to my life?

When I ignore what is right and make the wrong choices, it is stunningly obvious.  So obvious that the correct choice seems to scream at me at every turn.  When I say the wrong thing or utter harsh words, it haunts my soul so that I cannot focus on anything else.  It is in those moments that I need to bring my thoughts into check, quickly turn around (repent) and do the right thing.  When I have wronged someone or treated them harshly, I need to apologize.  Whatever the wrong choice I have made, I need to resolve it with those who were affected.  If I don’t nothing will seem right in my world.  The consequences of the continually making wrong choices and my failure to correct my path will continue and until one day they destroy me.

But there is hope.  If I will apply what I know to be true, then I may once again live in peace and contentment.


My prayer:


As a boy comes to his dad for understanding and counsel, so I come to you.  I am not hesitant to call you my dad because you love me with unimaginable love.  And like my dad, (but much more so) you are Wisdom to me.  You know what is wrong in my life, what I do – and even what I think.  Let me, O God, see myself as I really am.  And help me to be so sensitive to You and your will, that I am quick to do the right thing.  As I come to you each day I promise you this: I will listen to what you say – and do what you direct me to do.

Your son

Today’s Devotion: Robbing Ourselves

Lakeside logo

                    Pastor Derek’s

                    Devotional Journal

                    August 10, 2009


Day 2 – Robbing Ourselves

Scripture: Proverbs 1: 8-19 (NLT)

8My child, listen when your father corrects you.  Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.   9What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.

 10 My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!  11They may say, “Come and join us.   Let’s hide and kill someone!  Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent!  12 Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death.
 13Think of the great things we’ll get!   We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take.  14Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.”

 15My child, don’t go along with them!   Stay far away from their paths.  16 They rush to commit evil deeds.  They hurry to commit murder.  17 If a bird sees a trap being set, it knows to stay away.  18But these people set an ambush for themselves; they are trying to get themselves killed.  19Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.


What is the writer saying? 

At every age it is good that we consider the correction and instruction we have received from our parents.  Even in adulthood we are to continue learning from them.  If we adopt this attitude, our life will be marked by grace and honor.

But there are other voices seeking our attention.  They are the ungodly, saying, “Come and join us as we destroy someone.  For our own amusement, let’s lay a trap for someone innocent.  And let’s destroy them completely.  Let’s see what we can get from them.  Let’s treat them unfairly and take all we can from them to add to what we already have.  Let’s see how much we can take and how much stuff we can fill our lives with.  There is plenty to go around”.

We must not throw in our lot with the ungodly in this.  We must avoid this kind of thinking and this kind of life like the plague.  Consider the birds of God’s creation.  Even they can see when a trap has been set to capture and destroy them.  But these people and all who join with them, set a trap for themselves, a trap that will ultimately destroy them from within.  This is what happens when we get greedy for money.  We end up robbing ourselves of the good life God wants us to enjoy.  And we cannot serve both God and money.  (Matthew 6:24)


How does this apply to me? 

When I was a child, my parents were quite poor.  But there was a value my mom and dad instilled in me that continues to direct my life: “Treat people fairly”.  Even though my dad has been gone for nearly 20 years, fairness remains a core value for me.  But I need to be continually reminded that happiness and joy in life does not come from gathering wealth or having a new car or truck.  Joy and happiness is not the result of having new furniture, nice clothes, playing golf or having the latest in technology.  And getting ahead at the expense of someone else brings misery to my soul rather than enhancement to my life.  I need to remember all this and allow the words of my parents to continue to direct my life.

But I am reminded of something else today.  I must continue to instill these values in my now grown-up children.  And I still have a responsibility to live this value of fairness in front of our granddaughter, so that she might do the same with her children and her children’s children. 


My prayer today: 

Oh God, Jehovah Jireh, my provider and my life, I struggle sometimes with my desire for things.  I know you tell me that what matters most is godliness and contentment with what I have.  But sometimes I become selfish in my thinking and want for those things that can never make me happy.  And if I am not careful, I can begin to compromise my values to get what I want.  God keep me from this, I pray.  Give me the grace and strength to live a contented life before our children and our grandchild. 

Let my life be one that is guided by fairness and honesty toward others.  You are my God, Provider, and Giver of Life.  Live you life through me today, I pray.  May the attitude of my heart, the words of my lips, and the activities of my day bring honor and glory to you alone!

Today’s devotion: Wisdom and Discipline

Lakeside logo

                        Pastor Derek’s 

                        Devotional Journal

                        August 9, 2009


Day 1 – Wisdom and Discipline

Scripture: Proverbs 1: 1-7 (NLT)

1These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.  2Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline, to help them understand the insights of the wise. 3Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives, to help them do what is right, just, and fair.  4These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young.

 5Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.  Let those with understanding receive guidance
 6by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables, the words of the wise and their riddles.

 7Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

What is the writer saying?

The words found in the Book of Proverbs are to teach me wisdom and to help me live a life of discipline, so my actions might be right and my dealings with others might be just and fair.  These are for everybody.  Through them the wise become wiser, the simple and unlearned gain insight, students and teens gain knowledge and begin to develop discernment.  But to fully benefit from these proverbs, one must explore the deeper meaning of these wise riddles and sayings.

Undergirding the understanding of these proverbs must be a healthy reverence and fear of God, just as one might fear a father.  But the fool will neither fear God nor seek wisdom and discipline in his or her life.


How does this apply to me?

I am struck again with the reality that, regardless of how long I have been on the Christian journey there is so much change that still must be affected in my life.  I am reminded that when my actions are wrong, they result from my failure to make the right choices.  When my words are harsh, it is not because someone drove me to frustration; rather, it is because I made the wrong choice.  I chose to speak hastily and from my sinful nature rather than speaking from the new nature that was placed in me on the day I was saved 36 years ago.  This book is for me.  God wants to make me wise and god-like.  But I must recognize Him as my Father and the One to whom I must one day give account.

My prayer today is for wisdom.  My prayer is not that I might gain insight that will result in change in others; my prayer is that God might give me insight that will change me.


My prayer today:

“Oh God, my Maker and my Wisdom, how do I allow myself to be so incredibly out of touch with you sometimes?  It’s not just my thoughts; what I do so often is not right, just or fair.  My prayer today is for understanding of the wisdom of this book.  Just as Solomon prayed that he might be wise above all others, I pray that, through his wisdom as found in this book, I might gain understanding of you, myself and of others, and that I might develop godly discipline that changes the way I think, speak and act.  You are my Maker and my Wisdom.  I cannot do this without you.  Abide in me, and may the fruit of your presence within me be a mature and Christ-like character that causes people to turn to and worship you.”