I woke up this morning with the wonderful thought that I am a blessed man. This doesn’t happen to me often. Usually I wake up and think, “I’m still tired, but I need to get up,” or something like that. My second thought this morning was “The stock market dropped 119 points yesterday. Thank you, Lord, that I am a blessed man.”

I get affected emotionally when the stock market drops. I love our country and I pray for our economy. I want our economy to prosper. I also get affected when the Cardinals, the Diamondbacks or the Suns win or lose. I root for our home teams. It matters to me if they win or lose. I’m not so spiritual that the teams I root for, the country I live in, or the economy that we have doesn’t matter to me. Yet there is something that sustains me so that I can still enjoy life, even when many of the things I care about are not going well.

I want to talk about this blessing in my message to Living Streams on Sunday. My message this week is called “How to Inherit a Blessing” from I Peter 3:8-12. Jesus Christ has given us a blessing more wonderful than money and more powerful than the forces of darkness. We do not have to earn this blessing. We can inherit it.

I’ll always root for our home teams and I’ll always pray for our country. However, regardless of who wins games, or the ups and downs of America, every believer in Jesus Christ can inherit a blessing that will enable us to have a life we really love. This is my desire for you and the focus of the Scriptures I will preach on this week.

There is a spiritual battle associated with this blessing that makes it difficult to receive. Please join me in praying that we will have the grace to receive the fullness of the blessings the Lord has in store for us.

On Tuesday our pastors and staff went door-to-door, as well as to bus stops and shops to share the good news of Christ with our neighbors. Some of us handed out tracts and others gave out water bottles to joggers.

I met a man named Ted who had prayed that morning, asking God for direction. He said that my visit to his door was an answer to his prayer. I also went to Butler Park and met a lady named Tina from Germany and a man named Will from Cuba. We had good talks and I invited them to bring their children to our Hoedown Showdown on Halloween night.

David Stockton had challenged our staff to do this outreach. I don’t think any of us were in the mood for it, and we all had a lot of other things we could have been doing that morning. By the time we returned two hours later, however, we had all been blessed by divine appointments and opportunities to touch the lives of people in need. I was reminded that the Lord gives us ministry assignments for our sake as well as the people we reach out to.

This weekend David will be speaking from Jonah 4 about the frustrations that come when our hopes and dreams do not come to pass. This is a message designed to help us understand God’s plans and purposes that go far beyond what we normally perceive.

I hope you will be surprised by joy in the days to come as you accept your assignments from the Lord.

My sermon this Sunday is called, “The Connection between Wisdom, Honor and Discipline,” from Proverbs 3:7-18.

Whether I’m hiking in the desert or playing with my grandchildren, I like to find connections between what I’m experiencing and the truths in the word of God. The longer I live, the more I can see connections between people and events in my life that at one time did not seem to me to be related. When studying Proverbs 3, I saw how these Scriptures, which are individual principles, are also related.

Those who honor the Lord and receive His discipline are rewarded with wisdom. Whether we go to a counselor, a therapist, a doctor, a lawyer or a financial planner, we are usually hoping to find wisdom. The prosperity we hope to experience and the significance we desire for our lives are also granted to us when the Lord gives us wisdom. One of the greatest ways we can add value to our lives is to grow in wisdom. Jesus is our wisdom from God (I Corinthians 1:30).

I’m praying the Lord will help me communicate to you the wisdom of Christ this week in a way that will enrich your life.