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.

Uncertain of the next step, but certain of God

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 (NIV)

When my oldest son first started playing baseball, he was still relatively young and not used to a life lived around clocks and calendars. So it wasn’t uncommon for him to ask, “Is my game today?” “How many days until Saturday?”

Jesus says this childlike nature is necessary to enter the kingdom of heaven. My son wasn’t questioning if something would happen; in fact, he was confident that it would. But he was dependent upon me to tell him when it would happen.

Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost for His Highest, says, “The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty.” He says we can be certain of God, even if we are uncertain of the next step he wants us to take. We can be certain of God’s plan for us, even if we are uncertain of the specific details. Even though we’re uncertain, we can be confident God will not disappoint us (Romans 5:5).

This also means we can release the things we have no responsibility for and stop worrying about them. For instance, my son could be certain I would get him to the ball game, but he didn’t have to be concerned with how much gas it would require or how to get to the baseball field. He could just enjoy being a child and live in each moment, trusting that I was handling the details and that I would let him know when was time to go.

This is the childlike faith Jesus wants us to develop, where we grow confident each day that he will come through at just the right time and in just the right way.

Jon Walker is the author of Costly Grace. Rick Warren says Costly Grace “may be one of the most important books published during this time of economic uncertainty and world turmoil.”

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.

Glory to God; Peace on Earth

Posted on: December 25th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

Take time to thank God for all that he provides for you.

Psalms 100:1-5

“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalms 100:1-5 (NIV)

Psalms 75:1

“We thank you, God, we thank you— your Name is our favorite word; your mighty works are all we talk about.” Psalms 75:1 (MSG)

 

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

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 will never run out of love for you

Posted on: December 24th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22–23 (NIV)

Years ago there was a television commercial that featured Jay Leno eating a snack chip. The premise was that the chips had become so popular there were people concerned that grocery stores would run out. Leno, biting into a chip with a loud crunch, says, “Crunch all you want; we’ll make more.”

God’s love is like that; you can’t exhaust the supply. It’s sort of like — “Accept all you can of God’s love today; then he’ll still have more tomorrow.” God will supply more and more and more love today, tomorrow, and forever. The ancient poet-prophet Jeremiah says this merciful love from God never fails; it’s like an inexhaustible supply of fresh, loving-compassion each morning.

Since God’s compassion starts new every morning, you will never reach a point where his supply of love is exhausted. God will never run out of love and compassion. This means you can never blow it so bad that God will abandon you. He is the God-of-second-chances. If you’re uncertain that God can (or has) forgiven you for things you did in the past, ask him to help you replace your fears with faith.

God will make it so. The Hebrew word for faithfulness is related to the word amen, which means “so be it.” When you close a prayer with amen, you’re quite literally acknowledging that God is faithful to make it so. How would your prayers be different if you deeply believed God will make it so?

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

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.

An anecdote about an antidote

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

Jesus said to her, ‘Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.’ (Mark 5:34 MSG) 

When I was writing for my high school newspaper, the teacher used to say, “The difference between this class and othxer classes is that when students in the other classes turn in their homework, usually the only one to see their mistakes is the teacher. In this class, if you make a mistake on your homework, we publish it for everyone to see.”

A couple of days ago we made a mistake with Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals, running the headline, “Unselfish Giving Is the Anecdote to Materialism.” No doubt God could use someone’s funny or interesting little story — an anecdote — as an antidote to materialism, but the headline should have read, “Unselfish Giving Is the Antidote to Materialism.”

We are imperfect people serving a perfect God.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things Rick Warren says is, “I want everyone on my staff to make at least one big mistake a week. If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not trying anything new.” His point is that he doesn’t want us to be afraid to try something innovative and creative, even if it means risking failure.

There was a woman who “suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years,” and she’d gone to all types of doctors; that not only left her poor, but it also left her in worse health than before. One day she saw Jesus walking through a crowd, and she thought, “If I could just touch his robe, I know I will be healed.”

“The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with” (Mark 5:28-29 MSG).

Jesus turned around and said, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague” (Mark 5:34 MSG).

There may be a “plague” in your life that you’ve been bearing, not believing things could ever change and not believing you could ever be healed. Or maybe there’s a risk Jesus is telling you to take, but you’re a little frightened about reaching out for his robe.

Take the risk, and watch what God does. In fact, taking the risk is one of the ways that he helps you deepen your faith — because each little step gives you the confidence to take bigger steps.

It won’t be long before we’ve slipped right past Christmas and have moved on to the New Year. What area of your life needs to be transformed in 2013? Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes” (Mark 9:23 NIV).

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

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.

The Bible Teaches Us to Fight Fear With Faith

Posted on: December 20th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” Luke 2:8–10 (NIV)

Have you ever noticed God is always telling us to not be afraid? For instance, in the Bible, whenever an angel shows up with a message from God, the first thing the angel says is: “Do not be afraid.”

There are all kinds of reasons we might be afraid to receive a message from God: We’re afraid of change, afraid of losing control, afraid of sacrifice.

We’re afraid of living apart from the pretense that we must be good enough.

Yet, the good news of great joy is that you don’t have to be good enough because God is good enough on your behalf!

The Bible teaches us to fight fear with faith—faith that Jesus will cover all our sins and shortcomings.

Practical Nativity:

Replace fear with faith. God’s perfect love drives out all fear (1 John 4:18). As you abandon your fears, ask God to guide you toward great faith: “I believe, Lord; help my unbelief.”

Chase God, not perfection. You will never reach perfection, but Jesus, through his death and resurrection, is your perfection. God doesn’t love you because you’re the best in your class or because you try really hard. God loves you because he loves you. Slow down, shake off your anxiety, and meditate on that.

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

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.

Christmas Quiz: What’s Biblical, What’s Traditional?

Posted on: December 19th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; oand she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn. Luke 2:6-7 (TLB)

The devotional today is different from usual. This Christmas Quiz will help you separate what is biblical about the Nativity and what are simply traditions we’ve come to think are true.

The quiz can be downloaded here. You are welcome to share this with others.

The quiz is compiled by my friend, Steve Pettit, pastor of CenterPoint Christian Fellowship in Gainesville, Florida.

Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

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.

The Lowly Baby Jesus

Posted on: December 17th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

[Jesus], being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:6–7 (NIV)

Most of us approach humility in one of two ways:

We act like humble looks. We consciously act the way we think humility looks. But, by doing that, we live with a fabricated humility.

We assume we’re unworthy. We assume we’re insignificant, and we live like a Tom Petty-Refugee, as if we’re somehow second-class.

The biblical approach to humility means you understand exactly who you are, but more importantly you understand exactly whose you are and that God has placed you where he wants you for such a time as this. In this way, your humility is not attached to your self-esteem.

In other words, rather than trying to think less of yourself, think more of God.

When you agree with God’s view of you, a Jesus-formed humility emerges in you. Like a lowly baby in a manger, you’re no longer burdened by needing to know all the answers or needing be in control of everything. You are dependent on God and those God sends to help you.

This is the thing: you will succeed in your Jesus-life because of who God is, not because of who you are. He supports you, not because you pretend toward perfection, but because he knows you can’t succeed without him. In your humility he becomes your strength for any task before you. God created you, prepared you, and called you to share the good news for such a time as this.

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

Best Christian book this year!! — Jon Walker has managed to share his real life struggles and apply them to the biblical words and understanding of Bonhoeffer. The way he weaves the words of his own story of brokenness with the words of salvation from Jesus Christ teaches us all where our true treasure resides. Mr. Walker shares how he lost his family, financial ruin, and all the while battled mental health demons as he hit bottom. In between anecdotes, he gives us Bonhoeffer’s biblical guidance to inch closer to God, to focus on God, and make God the center of his life. I am buying this book for many of the people I care about for Christmas this year. By jc via Amazon. (Thanks jc!)

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.

The Bible teaches that God is never surprised

Posted on: December 14th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: , ,

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born. Luke 2:6 (NIV)

We manage time; we waste time. We spend time; we save time. We wish the time would come; we wish the time would pass. We see time fly; we feel time drag. We watch clocks and carry calendars, creating the illusion that we somehow control time, yet all the while moments flow forward like a mighty river that cannot be stopped, harnessed, or re-routed.

Yet, God controls time. He created time and we, his creations, are fenced by his time, directed and guided by his holy and loving hand. Do you think God was surprised that “while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born?”

We’re often surprised by unexpected developments in our lives; yet the Bible teaches that God is never surprised, even in the most disastrous turn of events. How would your faith differ if you believed God was not surprised by your current circumstances and that he’s working, at this moment, for a holy and healthy conclusion?

Practical Nativity:

  • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Time cannot diminish Christ’s love for you or his power to work within your life. He is there in the past; he is here in the now; and he is there in your future.
  • A thousand years are like the blink of an eye to God (Psalm 90:4). God is working to bring you into eternity, not just to get you through the end of next week. Praise God for his grace and for a love so strong that he wants you to spend an eternity with him.

 

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

Best Christian book this year!! — Jon Walker has managed to share his real life struggles and apply them to the biblical words and understanding of Bonhoeffer. The way he weaves the words of his own story of brokenness with the words of salvation from Jesus Christ teaches us all where our true treasure resides. Mr. Walker shares how he lost his family, financial ruin, and all the while battled mental health demons as he hit bottom. In between anecdotes, he gives us Bonhoeffer’s biblical guidance to inch closer to God, to focus on God, and make God the center of his life. I am buying this book for many of the people I care about for Christmas this year. By jc via Amazon. (Thanks jc!)

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.

Jesus had a family too

Posted on: December 13th, 2012 by Jon Walker |

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. Luke 2:4–5 (NIV)

God uses your family to direct you toward his purpose. The family into which you were born was not the result of an accident; God spoke you, quite deliberately, into your mother’s womb. You are a unique blending of the DNA, heritage, and characteristics of your parents.

Jesus had a family, too. We tend to think of his family in big picture terms—that he had a heavenly Father, that he was the son of the virgin Mary, that he was an heir to David’s throne.

But Jesus became a carpenter because that was the trade of his earthly father, Joseph. And, can you imagine, when Jesus walked through town his neighbors could see a hint of Mary in his smile or in his eyes? Because of family obligations, Jesus waited until he was thirty years old to begin his public ministry.

He had a flesh and blood family, and God used that family to move Jesus toward his holy purpose, including his birth in Bethlehem.

God will use your family to work his purpose. God placed you in your family to help you become a masterpiece portrait of Jesus. Hopefully, you’ll grow in Christ-character with the help of positive role models, including relationships that encourage and support the Jesus-growth in you. But even if you’re in a difficult family situation, God will still use your family to develop you into a Jesus-being.

 

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

Best Christian book this year!! — Jon Walker has managed to share his real life struggles and apply them to the biblical words and understanding of Bonhoeffer. The way he weaves the words of his own story of brokenness with the words of salvation from Jesus Christ teaches us all where our true treasure resides. Mr. Walker shares how he lost his family, financial ruin, and all the while battled mental health demons as he hit bottom. In between anecdotes, he gives us Bonhoeffer’s biblical guidance to inch closer to God, to focus on God, and make God the center of his life. I am buying this book for many of the people I care about for Christmas this year. By jc via Amazon. (Thanks jc!)

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.

Was the census by Caesar Augustus a coincidence?

Posted on: December 12th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: ,

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. . . . And everyone went to his own town to register. Luke 2:1, 3 (NIV)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem because God decreed it. His birth in Bethlehem was foretold by the ancient prophets. But what would compel Joseph and Mary to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, especially late in a pregnancy?

How would they, just as human as you and I and still looking through the glass darkly, know they were to go to Bethlehem for Jesus to be born?

In Luke 2, we see God used a bureaucratic announcement made by a secular authority to guide Joseph and Mary. Augustus said the population should be counted, and that meant everyone was required to return to their “ancestral home.” Joseph was a descendant of King David, so he headed toward David’s ancient home—Bethlehem (Luke 2:4–5).

Practical Nativity:

  • You were born at the right time. God was not surprised by your birth, the circumstances of your birth, or where you were born. He spoke you into your mother’s womb and he knows you by name.
  • You can be active, not passive in circumstances. Move from “Why me, God?” to “What’s up, God?” God is working all things out; look for where he is at work (Romans 8:28).
  • You have a hopeful future. How would you view the circumstances of this Christmas season differently if you were certain God was working in those circumstances? “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

Best Christian book this year!! – I don’t usually write reviews but this book is so exceptional that I just have to share my thoughts. Jon Walker has managed to share his real life struggles and apply them to the biblical words and understanding of Bonhoeffer. The way he weaves the words of his own story of brokenness with the words of salvation from Jesus Christ teaches us all where our true treasure resides. Mr. Walker shares how he lost his family, financial ruin, and all the while battled mental health demons as he hit bottom. In between anecdotes he gives us Bonhoeffer’s biblical guidance to inch closer to God, to focus on God, and make God the center of his life. I am buying this book for many of the people I care about for Christmas this year. By jc via Amazon. (Thanks jc!)

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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