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.

Jesus Requires Total Abandonment

Posted on: April 30th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4 NIV)

We’ve taught people it’s OK to let Jesus have a significant place in their lives, a moderate place in their lives, or a compartmentalized place in their lives. We know discipleship involves growth, so people need to grow into Jesus defines my life.

But the growth isn’t happening among so many followers of Christ. Why, instead of the abundant life, do so many of us end up living lives of quiet desperation?

We go to church, we read the Bible, we pray, we try to be good people and serve other people. Yet, for many of us, Jesus isn’t central to our increasingly complex lives, where we’re over-stretched and now seem to be facing a tsunami of uncertainty in many areas that for so long have seemed relatively secure, such as our finances, our jobs, our homes — even our fundamental safety.

God never intended for Jesus to be an important part of our lives; he is our life. Colossians 3:4 says, When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (NIV). If you try to find your life apart from Jesus, you will lose it; but if you lose your life in Jesus, then you will live an extraordinary life energized by the life of Christ within you.

Jesus will not tolerate wishy-washy disciples. Clearly, what we call radical obedience here on Earth is the obedience expected in the Kingdom of Heaven. In other words, our lukewarm discipleship is actually radical disobedience.

Jesus has his eye on the endgame, and so he intends to break through every program, every ideal, and every form of legalism that keeps us from following him in total abandonment.

Think about it

In what ways have you allowed your life to be over-filled with things that keep you from growing in discipleship?

What radical steps do you need to take so that you can follow Christ in obedience?

 

Discover how God can work through the worst of circumstances in Jon Walker’s 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.

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.

Make a Life Where You Live

Posted on: April 29th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

“Seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13 TEV)

There are all kinds of reasons houses sell quickly or take a long time to sell, but I’ve always been particularly attentive to Christians who put a house on the market because they are responding to God’s call.

I’ve watched as those houses sell the same day they’re listed, but I’ve also seen them take forever to sell, forcing the families to pay for a place to live while still paying the mortgage on an empty house. One of my friends, after waiting two years for his house to sell, eventually donated it to a non-profit organization, getting him out from under the monthly payment, even though he lost all his equity.

Yet, I believe in God’s economy, and that means he can sell any house at any time he desires.

So why is there sometimes a huge delay?

Because God’s goal is to get us focused on Kingdom thinking and Kingdom finances. God is continually pushes us into places where we can develop more faith, places where we must make a choice between trusting him and leaning on our own understanding.

Perhaps God delays because he wants us desperately looking for him and how he provides, helping us to develop the faithful attitude of gratefulness.

Many of us are familiar with Jeremiah 29:11: “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.”

But that verse is actually part of a “Letter from God” to the Jewish people who are being held captive in Babylon. They want to go home to Israel, but God says it isn’t time yet. He tells them, “Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat what you grow in them. Marry and have children. Then let your children get married, so that they also may have children. You must increase in numbers and not decrease. Work for the good of the cities where I have made you go as prisoners. Pray to me on their behalf, because if they are prosperous, you will be prosperous too” (Jeremiah 29:5-7 TEV).

God says it’s going to be a while, so make a life. Don’t invest your energy in hopes of leaving; instead, invest your energy in the people around you. Don’t be physically present but mentally somewhere else, thinking of the future or the past, thinking of someplace else. Following Jesus requires that we be fully present in the present.

God also says pray for the place you live, because as it prospers, you will prosper. He says, “Seek me, and you will find me because you will seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 TEV).

Think it over

What are the differences in the world’s economy and God’s economy? In which do you place your trust?

What steps can you take to more fully invest in the place where God has you — in your neighborhood, workplace, or church?

 

Discover how God can work through the worst of circumstances in Jon Walker’s 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.

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 Cost of Discipleship

Posted on: April 26th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!” (Matthew 5:10 TEV)

We are called to bear the sins of others, just as Jesus bore our sins. We bear the sins of others when we forgive them, regardless of what their sin costs us. We bear the sins of others when we’re willing to pick them up and carry them home, even if it means we will have to sacrifice for helping them.

Were the divine privileges Jesus gave up to bear the costs of your sins worth more than bringing you home to the Father? Of course not! Jesus knows you are worth every bit of his sacrifice.

We pay a cost when we help others find freedom in Christ. Bearing the sins of others, even when it means suffering and rejection, is one of the ways we become like Christ.

The truth is, as we follow Jesus down the narrow path, he will lovingly and ruthlessly place us on the anvil of his grace and then hammer us into the shape of Christ. Jesus became the Christ because he was rejected and suffered, and for us to become his disciples — to become like Christ — we must share in his suffering and rejection.

Think it over

How does the fear of rejection keep us from becoming more like Jesus?

Matthew 5:10 says, “Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires” (TEV). What is your response to persecution?

Discover how God can work through the worst of circumstances in Jon Walker’s 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.

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.

Don’t Be Good — Be Godly

Posted on: April 25th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but are full of bones and decaying corpses on the inside. In the same way, on the outside you appear good to everybody, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sins.” (Matthew 23:27-28 TEV)

Jesus doesn’t want you to act like a good person. In fact, he doesn’t even want you to be a good person, where you are aware of your own piety.

Jesus wants you to be a godly person whose behavior is connected to your intimacy with him and whose service flows from God through Jesus through you to others.

When we start thinking about what we should look like or whom we should impress with Christian behavior, we’ve changed the very nature of what we’re doing. We may do good things and provide noteworthy service, but that doesn’t mean it’s connected to Jesus and something recognized in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus had a major problem with the Pharisees because they focused on behavior and image and not on their relationship with the Father. So he was blunt and brutal in his criticism of them because they taught others to act like a believer instead of how to be a believer: “How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look fine on the outside but are full of bones and decaying corpses on the inside. In the same way, on the outside you appear good to everybody, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and sins” (Matthew 23:27-28 TEV).

This hypocrisy and idolatry leave us in a state of denial — perhaps the great condition of the modern Church — where we act as if we’re living the abundant life while secretly living in quiet desperation. We try to interact with a shadow of Jesus instead of meeting him face-to-face; but he will have none of that. He wants an intimate relationship, and he also has the end game in mind. He has to push us into the reality of the Kingdom so that we can begin learning how to be a citizen there, even as we follow him down the narrow path and through the narrow gate.

  • In what ways have you focused more on being good than godly?
  • Pray for your small group, church, or community of believers, that you would move toward godly transparency and away from inauthenticity.

This devotional © Copyright 2013 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 Reality of Christian Community

Posted on: April 16th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. (Colossians 2:16-17 NLT)

In the novel “The Man Who Was Poe” by Avi, several scenes show Edgar Allan Poe trying to finish a story. He’s based the story on the real-life events he is experiencing, and the boy in the story is based on a real-life boy who asked Poe to help him find his mother.

Poe is often drunk, and he begins to have trouble distinguishing between fiction and reality. He keeps getting frustrated because the boy in real life will not submit to his manuscript. He sees the real-life boy as a character in rebellion, a contrary character that Poe will be glad to be done with.

This is often how we approach Christian community. We enter into Christian fellowship with a fantasy of what it should be like. We have an image of how people should act, and we try to create them into our image, rather than accepting the reality of who God created them to be. We imagine everyone will be spiritually mature, everyone will get along with each other, everyone will be sensitive to the needs of others, and we’ll all love and support each other.

Our fantasies eat away at the authenticity and transparency required in any Christ-centered fellowship. There’s no way others can meet our ideal, and so we become frustrated that no one is acting like a Christian ought to act.

Talk About It

  • How would you describe your small group’s level of transparency?
  • What role does pride play in our disillusionment of Christian community?

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer. This devotional © Copyright 2013 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.

We may suffer even when obedient

Posted on: April 12th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“If any of you want to come with me,” he told them, “you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me.” Mark 8:34 (TEV)

When we suffer, we can cling to the truth that God is not surprised. We do not suffer outside the sovereignty and power of God.

We can rest in his promise that he has our best interest at heart and so, when suffering and rejection come, we can obediently trust that our suffering is not an accident but a necessity used by God to lovingly squeeze the things out of us that we might otherwise ignore or excuse — the sin, disobedience, and apathy that we like to think isn’t so bad.

And this is why Jesus so often addresses the weary and brokenhearted (see Matthew 11:28-30). In a sense, ‘Come to me if you are desperate because only desperate men and women are willing to suffer for my cause.’

They alone understand God will give them “treasures of darkness and riches from secret places, so that you may know that I, the Lord, the God of Israel call you by your name.” (Isaiah 45:3 HCSB)

Consider this: The cross did not just happen to Jesus; it was part of his purpose for coming to earth. Suffering does not just happen upon you; God uses it to help you fulfill the purpose for your life.

You may face suffering even as you walk obediently into this decade of destiny. Don’t let it distract you; instead, let it drive you deeper into the heart of God. Even if you can’t see the work of God’s hand, place your faith in the loving and good nature of God.

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with BonhoefferCostly Grace, and Growing with Purpose. He is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope devotionals. This devotional is copyrighted 2013 by Jon Walker. 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 Jesus Lens

Posted on: April 9th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:2 TEV)

Most of us try to live with one eye on Jesus and one eye on the world. The only thing that does is give us double vision.

Following Jesus down the narrow path and through the narrow gate into the Kingdom of Heaven with double vision is more difficult than a drunk trying to stay steady and straight while touching his nose or walking heel-to-toe down the line.

I’ve had double vision ever since junior high, when a linebacker swept his forearm through the ball, unintentionally using his elbow like a pile driver, smashing through my glasses and driving them into the bottom ridge of my right eye socket. The muscle under my right eye was permanently weakened, so it tilts up ever so slightly, just enough to keep my eyes from lining up together in coordinated vision.

You can imagine how disorienting life can be when there’s always a double-image of the things you see. Imagine driving. Imagine trying to pour yourself a glass of tea. It can drive you crazy, not to mention give you a huge, daylong headache.

This is how so many of us try to follow Jesus. We keep one eye on the world and the other on the Kingdom — and that skews everything we see. Our focus is constantly shifting from one image to the other. We stumble along, trying to walk a straight line but instead staggering between what is right and what we think is right. And we call this normal; we call this discipleship.

We were never meant to walk with double vision, and seeing double doesn’t give you a double-focus because — this I know well — you can’t focus on anything when you’re seeing more than one image. By its very nature, double vision is unfocused.

Eventually, double vision corrects itself because your brain chooses one eye over the other — the damaged one. When we aren’t intentional on seeing the whole of reality through the eyes of Jesus, we most likely will default into a damaged view of the world.

When Jesus gives us his eyes, he shows us how citizens of the Kingdom are able to see. He adjusts our vision so that we can see the whole of reality. We can see the Kingdom truth that all things come from Jesus, go through Jesus, and come back to Jesus (Romans 11:36).

Seeing Kingdom reality while living in this world is not about alternating between two pairs of glasses as your circumstances change. It’s more like wearing bifocals. I wear bifocals because my lens correct so I can see far — into eternity. The bifocal allows me to see what is up close while still looking through the larger lens — the Jesus lens. I don’t have one eye on the world and one eye on the Kingdom. I have both eyes “fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end” (Hebrews 12:2 TEV).

Talk About It

  • How do you see differently when you intentionally see the people and circumstances around you through the Jesus lens?
  • What circumstances have you made a conscious choice to view through the world’s perspective?

This devotional © Copyright 2013 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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