Advent Readings

Posted in Advent, Discipleship, Holidays with tags , , , on December 1, 2012 by mikekeaton

I am posting these passages for any and all who would like to celebrate and observe Advent this year on their own or with their family.  Our church is observing Advent this season as an effort to recapture the true meaning of Christmas and to keep Christ in the center of it all.  Our Christmas series of teachings is emphasizing this.  learn more…

If you have never observed Advent then I recommend you do some searching online or feel free to leave a comment and I can pass along some more info.

This schedule includes more than needed readings for this season of Advent because each year is different in terms of number of days.  Feel free to adjust the readings to your likings…

First Week

Sunday – Is. 40:1-5

Monday – Is. 52:7-10

Tues. – Is. 40:9-11

Wed. – Gen. 3:8-15

Thurs. – Gen. 15:1-6

Fri. – Deut. 18: 15-19

Sat. – Ps. 89:1-4

Second Week

Sunday – Is. 11. 1-10

Monday – Zech. 6:12-13

Tues. – Micah 5:2-4

Wed. – Mal. 3:1-6

Thurs. – John 1:1-8

Fri. – John 1:9-18

Sat. – Mark 1:1-3

Third Week

Sunday – Luke 1:5-13

Monday – Luke 1:14-17

Tues. – Luke 1:18-25

Wed. – Luke 1:39-45

Thurs. – Luke 1:46-56

Fri. – Luke 1:57-66

Sat. – Luke 1:67-80

Fourth Week

Sunday – Is. 7:10-14

Monday – Luke 1:26-35

Tues. – Is. 9:2-7

Wed. – Matt. 1:18-25

Thurs. – Luke 2:1-20

Fri. – Matt. 2:1-1

Sat. – Luke 2:21-35



Just Trust in the Lord

Posted in Discipleship, Learnings with tags , , , , , on November 28, 2012 by mikekeaton

“Trust in the Lord”.  those words seem like “christianeze” (def.-trite language and cliches used often by those who call themselves Christians).  Those 4 words may seem like they are trite or cliche, but truthfully they are “inspired by the Holy Spirit”, they are also “God Breathed” and according to 2 Tim 3:16 they are “profitable” for us.  profitable sounds nice, in this messed up economy, anything profitable sounds pretty good.

Just last night I was learning along with my community group about overcoming worry.  the simple remedy for worry that was offered by our teacher was to trust in the Lord and pray!

REALLY?!  Just Trust in the Lord?

seems so simplistic.

why is it so hard?  why do i worry?  why cant i just trust in the Lord?

so this morning i read in Psalm 37 these truths:

-“Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the Land and befriend faithfulness”

-“commit your way to the Lord, Trust in Him, and He will act”

-“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him, fret not yourself…”

-“fret not yourself, it tends only to evil…those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land”

-“I have not seen the righteous forsaken”

-“the Lord will not forsake His saints”

-“wait for the Lord and keep His way”

-“the Lord is the stronghold of the righteous in time of trouble, the Lord helps them and delivers them, BECAUSE…


I think the Lord is speaking to me….ya think?!

Trite or cliche…doesnt matter, the Lord just wants me to trust Him, He promises me if i do that He will help me and He will direct my steps!!!

praying today and…t.r.u.s.t.i.n.g.

Just Trust!

how do you deal with worry and trusting in the Lord?

The cry of our hearts

Posted in Learnings with tags , , , on November 2, 2012 by mikekeaton

I am detouring today from the posts of the last few weeks concerning our finances that have been connected to our series of teachings at our church.  I think this post is highly relevant in the current political atmosphere, but, not only as it relates to politics…but also, really, our whole life.

everyday i try to read a chapter from the book of Proverbs and at least 1 or 2 from the book of Psalms.  i call it my daily dose of “wisdom and worship” 🙂  So, today i was reading Proverbs chapter 2 and Psalm 20.  I really love the 2nd Proverb, b/c it really captures the cry of my heart and should be the cry of all our hearts….the need for wisdom!!

As a church leader, husband, father, and other roles of life, I often feel so inadequate and inferior to the demands of the role and calling.  I feel there are so many smarter and better qualified people than me.  So, I constantly cry out to the Lord for wisdom…i want wisdom…i need wisdom…so i ask for it all the time!!

Verses 1-10, basically say we need to pursue it, look for it, desire it, search for it, expose ourselves to it, immerse ourselves in it and as a result…we’ll get it!!  Verse 10 says “wisdom will come into your heart”…i am still waiting for that day 🙂  i wonder if i will know it when it happens?  will i feel adequate?  will i feel like i should be leading?  will i know i am wise?  i dont know…probably not!

I am promised, as you are also, that if we seek wisdom, we will gain understanding, knowledge and wisdom of God, which is the beginning point, and from there we will know how to walk and live a life of integrity and morality, and wise choices while having the favor of God.

Dude….i need all of that!!

Now, as that applies to the current political scene.  Don’t we need wisdom to discern who and what to vote for?  This presidential election seems to me to be pretty important to our future on earth in America.  Seems like wisdom is what is needed, not allegiance to a political party or traditional bent or leaning.

Psalm 20:7 said, that there are those who trust in chariots and horses but our trust is in the name of the Lord our God.  perhaps an application of “chariots and horses” could be “candidates and houses” (houses of representatives that is)…some trust in certain candidates and their political views to be their “savior” or the one who will “fight for their rights”.  But we, BUT WE, (who is the we? perhaps…the people of God?), but we…trust in the name of the Lord our God…what is His name?

Psalm 20:5, uses the word “banners”, the name of the Lord our God that refers to “banners” is Jehovah-Nissi – the Lord our Banner…which basically means, it is the Lord our God who goes before us carrying our banner, “fighting for us, representing us”…some trust in chariots and horses, but we…we trust in the name of the Lord our God!!

We need lots of wisdom as we go and vote and really for everything in our life and everything i and you will do this day…seek wisdom, search for wisdom, let it be the cry of your heart this day, and every day!

lots of love…have a great weekend!  blessings,


Advancing God’s Kingdom with our Money – devotional – day 13

Posted in Finances with tags , , on October 31, 2012 by mikekeaton

You cannot serve God “and” Money, but you must learn to serve God “with” money.
Think about, discuss or pray about the verse that relates most to your life:
Luke 16:11-13 (Jesus said) “So if you have not been trustworthy
in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?…No
servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love
the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You
cannot serve both God and Money.”
Proverbs 10:16 The good man’s earnings advance the cause of
righteousness. The evil man squanders his on sin. TLB
Matthew 6:19-21 (Jesus said) “Do not store up for yourselves
treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves
break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break
in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Proverbs 16:16 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose
understanding rather than silver!
Proverbs 17:16 Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he
has no desire to get wisdom?
1 Corinthians 4:2 It is required in stewards, that a man be found
faithful. KJV
The world asks: “What does a person own?” God asks, “How is the person using what they have been given?”
A Christian is one who does not have to consult his bank book to see how wealthy he really is.

from Brian Kluth’s 40 day generosity devotional

Stewardship and Contentment go hand in hand – devotional – day 12

Posted in Finances with tags , , , on October 30, 2012 by mikekeaton

We said this past weekend that stewardship requires faithfulness!  To be faithful we will have to be content to a large degree.  Contentment can come as well as good stewardship if we focus on what is in “front” of us vs. what is “ahead” of us!  Enjoy today’s passages.

Focus on being content with God’s daily provisions.
Think about, discuss or pray about the verse that relates most to your life:
1 Timothy 6:6-8 Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we
brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
Proverbs 30:8-9 Give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just
enough to satisfy my needs! For if I grow rich, I may become content
without God. And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s
holy name. TLB
Matthew 6:9-11 This is how you should pray: “’Our Father in
heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be
done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread…”
Philippians 4:11-12 I have learned to be content whatever the
circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, & I know what it is
to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and
every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty
or in want.
You are only poor when you want more than you have.  The trouble with most people is their earning capacity doesn’t match their yearning capacity. 
The most expensive vehicle to operate, per mile, is the shopping cart.  🙂

from brian kluth’s 40 day devotional to a more generous life

BE FAITHFUL in your money handling!! -devotional – day 11

Posted in Finances with tags , , on October 29, 2012 by mikekeaton

i thought this one was good in light of the topic of our conversation yesterday at our worship gathering.  enjoy and keep growing spiritually!!!

A main focus for your giving should be your local church and ministry staff.

Read the following verses.  Think and pray about the verse that applies the most to your life.

1 Corinthians 9:11-14 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?…Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

1 Timothy 5:17,18 Pastors who do their work well should be paid well and should be highly appreciated, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

1 Corinthians 9:10 Christian workers should be paid by those they help. Those who do the plowing and threshing should expect some share of the harvest.

Galatians 6:6 Those who are taught the Word of God should help their teachers by paying them.

2 Chronicles 31:9-13 Hezekiah asked the priests about the heaps; the chief priest, answered, “Since the people began to bring their contributions to the temple of the LORD, we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the LORD has blessed his people, and this great amount is left over.” They faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts.

Deuteronomy 12:19 Be careful not to neglect the Levites (ministers) as long as you live in your land.

No church ever has a money problem, only a faithfulness problem.

From Brian Kluth’s online evotional – 40 day spiritual journey to a more generous life

Your Finances and Your Children – devotional – day 10

Posted in Finances with tags , , on October 26, 2012 by mikekeaton

Train your children to be faithful and generous givers.
Think about, discuss or pray about the verse that relates most to your life:
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he
is old, he will not depart from it. KJV
Genesis 18:19 I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children
and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing
what is right and just.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to
be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them
when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie
down and when you get up.
Psalm 78:4-7 We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy
deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. He
decreed statutes…which he commanded our forefathers to teach their
children, so the next generation would know them, even the children
yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they
would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would
keep his commands.
Ephesians 6:4 Bring them (children) up with the loving discipline the
Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice. NLT
John D. Rockefeller said, “I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed on my first salary, which was $1.50 a week.”
Giving a child money to put into an offering plate does not produce a generous adult. If you want to produce a generous adult, you must train a child to tithe from any money he or she receives from family, friends or work projects. This child will grow up to honor God.

from Brian Kluth’s 40 day devotional on becoming more generous.