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.

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.

Take Deliberate Action Toward Loving Your Neighbor

Posted on: March 22nd, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 (NIV)

The Bible teaches that you should take deliberate action toward loving your neighbor—in the same way you want to be loved by your neighbor.

Yet, God knows this is an impossible assignment unless you have his Spirit working within you, guiding and transforming you. It’s hard enough to love yourself, let alone the contrary (my polite Southern way of saying disagreeable) neighbor down the street.

You will be empowered to love your neighbor as you allow God to empower you; as you trust and obey (for there’s no other way) God’s leading in your life; as you purposefully give your whole being—heart, soul, strength, and mind—to God.

This brings you daily to the door of dependence upon God, a threshold you step through acknowledging that you need him to work through you. In doing this, you’re able to draw upon God’s strength and love; he becomes the power, the infinite love, within you to love others as yourself.

They may waste your love; they may discount your love; they may react angrily to your love; they may never understand your love, yet, your other-centered love demonstrates the depth and breadth of God’s love for us: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV).

Truth says God is transforming you from self-centered to other-centered, and that frees you to love without expecting anything in return.

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly 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.

Love Jesus? Do What He Says

Posted on: March 21st, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” John 14:15 (NIV)

Jesus said you show your love for him when you do what he tells you to do.

This doesn’t mean your love for him is an obligation. That’s the quickest way to destroy love; besides, love is not demanding (1 Corinthians 13:5 NLT).

It means, because you love Jesus, you care about the things that matter to him. You become one with the will of Jesus, and his will is to always do what the Father tells him to do. In this way, you become one with Jesus and one with your heavenly Father.

This oneness is reinforced by the Holy Spirit working within us, connecting us to God and to other believers. You, then, love God “with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind” (Luke 10:27 CEV).

The more you obey God in the details of your life, the more real he becomes to you. You begin to see, day in and day out, that God faithfully levels the path before you and covers the path you leave behind.

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly 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.

Love God By Learning the Way He Thinks

Posted on: March 20th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 (NIV)

To love God with your whole mind requires you to think like God.

Impossible? Of course, unless you’re connected to God through the Holy Spirit within. This connection initiates the renewing of your mind, directing you to think upon the things above and not the things below, to set your mind on the things of God as you abandon self-absorbed thinking.

This doesn’t mean you become a mindless robot, rather it means your thoughts start to match God’s thoughts and you’re perspective about people and situations start to match God’s perspective.

Thinking like God means:

  • You trust his guidance and no longer rely on your own understanding.
  • You allow God to interpret the facts, since he knows the whole truth.
  • You measure your thoughts against God’s Word and God’s character.
  • You take ungodly thoughts captive and bring them before King Jesus.

You will not be able to change the way you think without God’s help, but this dependence on him brings you to a place of strength, not weakness. Do you consider Jesus weak when he explained he only says and does what the Father tells him to do and say? We have Jesus-life within, transforming us into portraits of Jesus. How can we be Jesus-like if we remain independent of God in our thoughts and their resulting actions?

Start asking yourself, “What would Jesus think?” If you want to develop the mind of Christ, you need to begin thinking like Jesus. His thoughts were focused on the Father; he was in constant conversation with the Father. Jesus was self-forgetful, thinking more of others than himself.

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly 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.

Love God With All Your Strength by Admitting You Are Weak

Posted on: March 19th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” Luke 10:27 (NIV)

No doubt it sounds strange, but in order to love God with all your strength, you have to admit you are weak.

By doing this, you acknowledge God is the true source of your strength and that in your weakness he is strong. You become strong as you become totally dependent upon him, allowing his strength to work through you.

As God shows his strength through you, you’ll find yourself doing things you never thought possible. God promises you can do all things through him as he gives you his strength (Philippians 4:13). You’ll take steps of faith you never thought possible, and you’ll love others in a way you never imagined as God supplies you with supernatural strength and energy.

Tell God you need his strength and really mean it this time. When you try to love and serve others with just your strength, you’ll inevitably fail. And that’s okay, because God wants you to fail in your own strength so you’ll start to rely upon his strength.

Then, love God with all his strength. God knows you won’t be able to love him with all your strength until you become dependent upon his strength to do so. You simply can’t do it through your own energy or strength. God knows you’ll come to realize this yourself and, at that point, you’ll be faced with a very clear, but difficult choice: keep-on keeping-on in your own strength, wondering why this abundant-life thing just doesn’t work, or take the Nestea plunge into a deep-end dependence on God’s strength.

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly 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.

God Wants Your Heart to Beat in Rhythm With His

Posted on: March 18th, 2013 by Jon Walker |

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Luke 10:27 (NIV)

Jesus matched his heart with the Father’s heart, obeying everything the Father told him to do. His heart beat so closely with the Father’s that he did nothing without the Father’s direction and blessing. King David was called a man after God’s own heart because he cared about the things that mattered most to God and because he did what God told him to do.

God wants your heart to beat in such perfect rhythm with his own that your passions merge with his passions. God wants you to love others as if your heart were one with his heart.

Your heart can beat as one with God’s. That’s his design, and he wouldn’t set you up for failure or ask you to do something he’s unwilling to support. He is working toward bringing your heart into rhythm with his.

You can love with whole-hearted God-love. The Holy Spirit connects you to God’s love, and it will flow through you to others.

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly 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.

How does Jesus show compassion?

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

When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” Then he went up and touched the coffin . . . . He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. Luke 7:13–15 (NIV, emphasis added)

Looking at Luke 7 (above):

  • What action does Jesus take to show compassion?
  • Ask God to show you how to make this kind of compassion practical in your life.

Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and . . . they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him. Matthew 20:30–34 (NIV, emphasis added)

  • What action does Jesus take to show compassion?
  • Ask God to show you how to make this kind of compassion practical in your life.

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Mark 1:40–42 (NIV, emphasis added)

  • What action does Jesus take to show compassion?
  • Ask God to show you how to make this kind of compassion practical in your life.

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. Mark 6:34 (NIV, emphasis added)

  • What action does Jesus take to show compassion?
  • Ask God to show you how to make this kind of compassion practical in your life.

Jon Walker is the author of Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, Costly 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.

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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