Grace Creates

I recently learned an interesting fact regarding the history of the Omega Seamaster collection. The Seamaster and Seamaster Planet Oceans that we know today are hardy tool watches suitable for diving, James Bond, and overall feeling like high-function instruments that is made really well. You'd think these pieces started out as serious dive watches. That isn't the case actually. When the first Seamaster watches came out, Omega had other pieces in its collection that were more focused on sport. The Seamaster was meant to be a fashionable watch that one could wear up in the Hamptons while playing with their kids and not worry if it got splashed on. It was meant to be a luxury watch from day one. Overtime the Seamaster became an icon and important watch www.attrinity.com for Omega - especially as the brand continued to focus on a range of important high-intensity activities from racing to diving, and everything else where sturdy and reliable watches were needed (not to mention space travel). Flash-forward to now and we have an incredibly wide range of Seamaster watches, and its higher-end cousin the Seamaster Planet Ocean. For review I am checking out two 2011 Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer watches which well represent where the collection and brand are at today. In short the Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer of today comes in over 20 references, is available in 42mm wide or 45.5mm wide cases, and is available with blue or black dials with various color differences. Inside is an in-house made Omega movement, and it is a comfortable beauty on the wrist. The "Co-Axial Chronometer" part of the watch name replica omega Seamaster separates these Planet Ocean watches from others that do not contain the Omega produced caliber 8500 movements. The other new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watches with in-house made movements are the Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer Chronograph watches that contain Omega's caliber 9300 automatic chronograph movements. Those are excellent pieces, with fantastic movements, but I personally like my dive watches three-handed. For a super chrono, Omega has the Speedmaster which now also comes with the 9300 movement. I got to visit Omega and see the caliber 8500 movements being produced. Debuted in 2007, these large diameter movements are made for big watches and are amazing instruments that come from one of the most sophisticated timepiece movement assembly lines ever created. The need for such a production line is due to the fact that Omega must (relatively speaking) mass produce these - but with a very high quality output. They use a very cool automated assembly line that combines mostly human labor with robots that help with precision tasks. It takes about a full day to assemble and test just one 8500 movement. The movements are then sent to COSC for Chronometer testing, which takes another three weeks.

What is biblical humility?

Posted on: November 30th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, “Go,” and he goes; and that one, “Come,” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it. Matthew 8:9 (NIV)

Jesus noted the centurion in the Gospels was a man of extraordinary faith. The Roman officer’s servant was sick, and with Jesus on the way to his home, the centurion sent a message telling him there was no need to come.

He said, in essence, “I know all you have to do is give the word, and my servant will be healed.” His faith didn’t require the physical presence of Jesus, not to mention the bells and whistles of signs and wonders.

But the centurion’s faith also reveals the foundation of biblical humility. Instead of emphasizing his high rank, the solider first established his position under authority. And that’s really all humility is: recognizing, confessing, and acting according to your position under authority.

Because he was a man under authority, faithful to execute the order of those in authority over him, the centurion had an expectation that those under his authority would do the same.

And so he believed, in faith forged through experience, that Jesus was a man under the authority of God, and, therefore, when Jesus gave a command, it would be carried out.

The centurion’s authority came because he was under authority and that is the very thing that gave him the authority to issue orders.

Humility simply means we hold an accurate and unbiased assessment of our strengths and weaknesses. We understand our shape and our gifts, and we’re aware of, but not fretting over, our limitations. We see everything we have as a gift from God, and we know that without him we have nothing.

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer is a provocative but productive read for all who may struggle to believe that God is wasting nothing in order to bring us into the family likeness. Highly recommended! Steve Pettit, Director, One in Christ and Pastor, CenterPoint Christian Fellowship.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

God spoke you into existence

Posted on: November 29th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)

Dear friend, you were started as an idea in the mind of God! You exist because the God of the universe thought you up!

The God who spoke the world into existence, the God who hung the moon and the stars, the God who set the sun in the sky – this creative Creator thought about you, was pleased by his thoughts, and so he spoke you into your mother’s womb in the same way that he spoke the world into existence.

As Rick Warren, says in The Purpose Driven Life, you are not an accident. You were created by God at just the right time, in just the right place, with just the right way to serve God in “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14 NIV).

You are not a product of God’s assembly line. Rather, you’re a unique creation, like a priceless painting from a grand master: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).

God carefully and lovingly selected your eyes, your hair color, your nose, your intellect, your personality. None of this is an accident, so, if you’ve been rejecting yourself, then you’ve been rejecting God’s design of you. It’s okay to talk to him about your frustrations, disappointments, or confusion.

Ask God to help you live as the person he designed you to be. Ask him to give you a clear and present vision of your purpose in life; then, ask him to be your strength and wisdom as you live it out.

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer is a provocative but productive read for all who may struggle to believe that God is wasting nothing in order to bring us into the family likeness. Highly recommended! Steve Pettit – Director, One in Christ and Pastor, CenterPoint Christian Fellowship

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

You are a channel of God’s love and grace

Posted on: November 28th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: , ,

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV)

In faith, I know these things to be true:

  • God is full of love and grace, and he fills me with his love and grace.
  • God’s work within me is to clear a channel for his love and grace to flow through me into the lives of anyone and everyone I meet.
  • I may not be there yet, but I am “confident of this, that he who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 NIV).
  • And I know “God is able to make all grace abound [in me], so that in all things at all times, having all that [I] need, [I] will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV).
  • He will make my joy complete because I no longer live in darkness, but I now live in the truth and have fellowship with God (1 John 1:4; 1 John 1:6).
  • Through the “Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,” I am, at all times, filled with grace, mercy, and peace (2 Corinthians 13:14 NIV).
  • This is what I believe to be true and I will walk accordingly, allowing God to do his work in me from the inside out.

Who can benefit from God’s love and grace through you?

Pray this today: “Father, please do your good work in my life. I believe; help my unbelief.”

 

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

“Powerful and painfully honest, Jon Walker’s storytelling is pitch perfect. Tempered with truth and humor, it is a poignant reminder that God’s providence does not always come wrapped in the packaging we expect. It is a melodious song of a fragile human being who learns to sing and trust in spite of anxiety and circumstances.”. Review by Kathy Chapman Sharp, author of Life’s Too Short to Miss the Big Picture for Women.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Give thanks, for God is at work

Posted on: November 27th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: ,

“Another one of his disciples, Andrew, who was Simon Peter’s brother, said, ‘There is a boy here who has five loaves of barley bread and two fish. But they will certainly not be enough for all these people.’” (John 6:8-9 TEV)

We’ve been talking about how our ability to give thanks to God is based on our ability to see his involvement in our lives and to understand things do not come to us through coincidence.

Was it a coincidence that Andrew met this specific boy among the crowd listening to Jesus? Was it a coincidence that the boy had “five loaves of barley bread and two fish”? And are we any different from Andrew in that he looked at the bigness of the problem instead of looking at the bigness of Jesus?

Here’s one more God-story to help you focus today on the many ways God provides for you. When I sold my home for a huge loss, I knew what was left was “certainly not enough” to even rent a one-bedroom apartment. Surely this was even too big for God.

And then God connected me with friends of friends. David and Susan Moffitt had moved to a new home and not sold their old one. They were letting someone live in the house, but that person would be leaving soon, and Susan suggested I drive by to see if I’d be interested in living there. She said, “It’s a little rough, but if any house has character, this one has it.”

So I drove through a neighborhood of older, upscale homes, down a street lined with trees, creating the kind of entrance effect you might find as you enter the grounds to an old Southern college. At the end of the road, I could see a white house with a white picket fence. It looked as if it was sitting in the middle of the road, but, as I got closer, I could see it was a visual effect because the road took a sharp turn to the right just in front of the house.

The Moffitt house was the last holdout from the parceled progress that turned a plantation and some farms into just another neighborhood. It was an old 1940s farmhouse sitting like a two-acre oasis in the middle of suburbia. I pulled into the dirt driveway and drove up to the front, next to the white picket fence.

Just as I stopped the car, three deer walked out from behind a large hedge and stood a few feet away from me. And — I kid you not — right on cue, Amy Grant’s version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” started playing on the radio.

Later, I called Susan and told her I’d like to talk about moving into the house. I hesitated and then asked, “How much are you planning to charge?” She said, “Oh, we weren’t planning to charge anything. We’re glad if we can bless you.”

How has God provided for you this year?

Ask God to show you the things in the last year that you’ve written off as coincidence but were actually God at work in your life.

This devotional was adapted from my new book, “Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.” “Gut-wrenching honesty, real world faith, not just another ‘feel good’ Christian story,” this book shows how God works through the worst of circumstances, including disease, divorce, and financial downfall.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

“Powerful and painfully honest, Jon Walker’s storytelling is pitch perfect. Tempered with truth and humor, it is a poignant reminder that God’s providence does not always come wrapped in the packaging we expect. It is a melodious song of a fragile human being who learns to sing and trust in spite of anxiety and circumstances.”. Review by Kathy Chapman Sharp, author of Life’s Too Short to Miss the Big Picture for Women.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Does God answer specific prayers?

Posted on: November 26th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

“All eyes look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Psalm 145:15-16 HCSB)

The distinction between coincidence and God’s activity in your life is important because it will affect your ability to thank God for the many things he provides. If you think in terms of coincidence as opposed to God’s activity in your life, you will miss the truth that God is providing for your every need.

Let me give you an example of one way God deepened my faith in this area. Because I have bipolar II disorder and also live alone, my doctor encouraged me to get a dog. Feeding and walking a dog helps build structure and routine into the day. But I was at a place in my life where I wasn’t sure I could afford a dog, especially the shots and veterinarian visits that would be required.

But I went ahead and asked God to provide me with a dog. I love dogs and have had several, so I was specific in my prayer. “Father, I am grateful for what you can provide but this is what I’d like:

  • One that is hypoallergenic, because I am allergic to dogs that shed. I’d really like a cockapoo — a cross between a cocker spaniel and poodle.
  • One that is older and already trained.
  • One that is female, because my last dog was a very territorial male.
  • One that is around 30 pounds.
  • One that I can afford to keep.”

I found a rescue dog that seemed to fit my criteria at a place just around the corner from my house. But, when I walked the dog around for a while, there just didn’t seem to be a connection. When I brought the dog back in to the rescue center, the woman at the front desk asked, “What are you looking for?”

I said, “I really was hoping to find a cockapoo.”

She said there was someone who had recently called about a cockapoo. She gave me a card and said, “Give this woman a call and see if she has the right dog for you.”

I called Laura West, who owned Pumpkin, a 4-year-old female cockapoo who weighed around 30 pounds and was current on all her shots. When I asked her how much she wanted for Pumpkin, she said, “I just want her to have a good home!”

I told Laura how I’d prayed specifically for this dog. Was it a coincidence that I just happened to walk into the rescue looking for a dog at the same time Laura, who is also a believer, had called the rescue about Pumpkin?

I think Pumpkin, also known as Jasmine, is my God dog, and so I can say with confidence that God is working to meet your needs as well. Thank God, from whom all blessings flow!

What is a way God has provided for you this past year?

What are the things for which you have to be thankful?

You can read more about how God can work through the worst of circumstances in my new book, “Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.” “Gut-wrenching honesty, real world faith, not just another ‘feel good’ Christian story,” this book shows how God works through the worst of circumstances, including disease, divorce, and financial downfall.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

“Powerful and painfully honest, Jon Walker’s storytelling is pitch perfect. Tempered with truth and humor, it is a poignant reminder that God’s providence does not always come wrapped in the packaging we expect. It is a melodious song of a fragile human being who learns to sing and trust in spite of anxiety and circumstances.”. Review by Kathy Chapman Sharp, author of Life’s Too Short to Miss the Big Picture for Women.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer: ‘a transparency that is unusual and refreshing’

Posted on: November 25th, 2012 by Guest Contributor |
Jon is probably the best around at taking the writings of Bonhoeffer and making them understandable to all of us. In Breakfast with Bonhoeffer he blends the narrative of some of his life struggles, the deep insights of Bonhoeffer, and the wisdom of the Bible into something each of us can use in our daily lives. His stories are heart-wrenching, and are presented with a transparency that is unusual and refreshing. Jesus does not promise us an easy life, but He does promise to walk with us every step of the way. Jon’s latest work helps clearly show that, and adds to it the insights of one of the greatest theological thinkers in modern times. It will touch your heart, and challenge you to walk closely with God through life’s ups and downs.
Doug Hart
Executive Pastor, Pathway Community Church

Author: Guest Contributor

Was It Coincidence or Was It God?

Posted on: November 23rd, 2012 by Jon Walker |

“Look at the birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren’t you worth much more than birds?” (Matthew 6:26 TEV)

Is there such a thing as coincidence? The way you answer that question will affect the way you give thanks this week. If the blessing you receive is just an accident, you can be glad. But can you be grateful?

If you understand that any blessing comes from God, then you can be grateful to him as well as the people he sends to bless you. Our ability to see God’s hand in the blessings we receive deepens our faith because we not only see him active in our circumstances; we also see him providing for our needs.

Let me give you an example. Several years ago, I realized one morning that I didn’t have enough money to make my next mortgage payment. No doubt, in this economy, you can relate. I’d been laid off twice by companies forced into bankruptcy. I’d gone through my savings, drained my retirement accounts, and, along the way, I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder.

I’d applied for several jobs and had always been a highly productive worker, but my confidence was collapsing, and, because of the bipolar, I wasn’t sure if I could handle a standard 40-hour-a-week job.

That morning I talked to God about my circumstances. Oh, who am I kidding? I yelled at God about my circumstances (I’m so glad he allows that)! I was tired of the financial pressure. I reminded God I had two graduate degrees and 25 years experience; I deserved better than a minimum wage job.

After I vented my anger, I quieted down and said, “God, I don’t know what to do, but I’m looking to you. I haven’t got a clue. I’ll do whatever you want, God. You’re in charge.”

I sat down on the couch and in a conversation with my Heavenly Father, I said, “You know, I really liked ministering with Rick Warren at Saddleback. And that’s the kind of job I need right now, because they would allow me to work around my (bipolar) energy levels. Do you think you can find something like that for me to do?”

A few days later, the phone rang. It was one of the unsung heroes at Saddleback Church, David Chrzan, who serves as chief of staff.

He said, “Jon, we have a staff member leaving, and I wanted to see if you could help us with an online ministry.”

Was that a coincidence or was it God, the Great Engineer, at work?

If you believe the answer to my prayer above was not a coincidence but from God, why would he do any less for you?

What are some circumstances in your life that you once called coincidence but you now see as blessings from God?

 

You can read more about how God can work through the worst of circumstances in my new book, “Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.” “Gut-wrenching honesty, real world faith, not just another ‘feel good’ Christian story,” this book shows how God works through the worst of circumstances, including disease, divorce, and financial downfall.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

“Powerful and painfully honest, Jon Walker’s storytelling is pitch perfect. Tempered with truth and humor, it is a poignant reminder that God’s providence does not always come wrapped in the packaging we expect. It is a melodious song of a fragile human being who learns to sing and trust in spite of anxiety and circumstances.”. Review by Kathy Chapman Sharp, author of Life’s Too Short to Miss the Big Picture for Women.

 

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Why would God NOT be involved in your circumstances?

Posted on: November 22nd, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

“Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon. A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, ‘Would you give me a drink of water?’” (John 4:6-7 MSG)

This week give some thought to this question: Is there such a thing as coincidence?

In Kingdom reality, there simply cannot be. Random doesn’t happen in God’s Kingdom. Oswald Chambers says God is the Great Engineer, creating circumstances to bring about moments in our lives of divine importance, leading us to divine appointments.

Was it a coincidence that Jesus came upon the woman at the well? Was she just a random woman who walked into a discussion of God’s grace and omnipotence and then told a whole village about God’s forgiveness? Would God have left that all to chance?

Would he do any less in the details of your life?

The Bible says God actively works within our circumstances. And so we cannot judge our situation apart from God’s wisdom.

In other words, we must leave it up to God to interpret our circumstances. Only he is capable of understanding all the facts, and only he sees the significance of every detail.

This is a critical question to answer in your life: Is God active in your current circumstances or not?

Think about this —

  • Why would God NOT be involved in your circumstances?
  • If you believed God had your best interest at heart, how would you view your current circumstances differently?

 

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer: “Powerful and painfully honest, Jon Walker’s storytelling is pitch perfect. Tempered with truth and humor, it is a poignant reminder that God’s providence does not always come wrapped in the packaging we expect. It is a melodious song of a fragile human being who learns to sing and trust in spite of anxiety and circumstances.”. Review by Kathy Chapman Sharp, author of Life’s Too Short to Miss the Big Picture for Women.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

God is at work in ways you can’t see yet

Posted on: November 21st, 2012 by Jon Walker |

Coming over to us, he took Paul’s belt, tied his own hands and feet with it and said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘In this way the Jews of Jerusalem will bind the owner of this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” Acts 21:11 (NIV)

Our objective-in-Jesus is to gather facts, but leave it up to God to interpret them.

You give God the circumstances, disasters, hindrances, and hurts in your life, then you let God interpret those circumstances.

Something you now see as a curse may actually be a blessing in bloom. God has the “seen from up high” perspective.

God may be at work in a way you can’t yet see, redirecting your life or protecting you from something far worse than the nasty-now-and-now that’s now nipping at your heels, or that’s even knocked you to the ground.

By one interpretation, Paul was about to be thrown into prison, and that would end his missionary opportunities. By God’s interpretation, Paul was about to be re-focused on writing letters that became part of the New Testament and on spreading the gospel in Rome, creating a large body of believers who would take the gospel across the world as they left Rome due to persecution.

You can walk in confidence that there’s nothing anyone can do, or that you can do, that will push you beyond the reach of God’s grace and redemption (Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11). And there’s no truth in the thought that God has abandoned you, or that he just doesn’t care.

Walking by faith means you trust God even in the most difficult of situations, knowing he is the only one in position to interpret your circumstance, and he can transform all things into something good (Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11).

 

Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, is a story that shows how God works through the worst of circumstances, including disease, divorce, and financial downfall. “Gut-wrenching honesty, real world faith, not just another ‘feel good’ Christian story.”

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

Be confident in God’s ability more than your own

Posted on: November 20th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NIV)

When Jesus commands us to do something, he knows we can’t do it unless we’re empowered by him. So, through the Holy Spirit, he joins his life with ours; thus, “Christ lives in me.”

This new life takes us where we could never go ourselves. God transforms us by the life of Christ within us, and so we “live and move and have our being” energized by being in Christ (Acts 17:28 NIV).

No matter how hard we try, some days sheer willpower isn’t enough to move us closer to where God wants us to be. And so we try harder, and things just get worse.

This is God driving us away from “try harder” Christianity. It is God teaching us, “Not I, but Christ.”

We begin to see it is no longer “just I” doing the work. We learn to say in faith: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NIV).

Our confidence is not in our ability but in God’s ability. Discuss ways that God works through us internally and externally to build our faith in him.

How would things change in your life if you traded self-confidence for God confidence?

Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer: “Gut-wrenching honesty, real world faith, not just another ‘feel good’ Christian story”.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author: Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. Used by permission.

About Jon

Jon Walker has worked closely with Rick Warren for many years, first as a writer/editor, later as vice president of communications at Purpose Driven Ministries, and then as a pastor at Saddleback Church.

He's also served as editor-in-chief of LifeWay's HomeLife magazine and founding editor of Rick Warren's Ministry Toolbox.

He is the author of Costly Grace: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship. His articles have appeared in publications and websites around the world. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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