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.

Truth: My God Since Birth

Posted on: May 21st, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: , , ,

From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Psalm 22:10 (NIV)

In faith, I know this to be true:

God spoke me into my mother’s womb, and he has anointed me to teach his ways to others.

Before I was formed in the womb God knew (Jeremiah 1:5). He “created my inmost being; [he] knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13 NIV).

From my birth, while I was still in the womb, I cast myself into God’s loving hands. He has been my God since I was in my mother’s womb (Psalm 22:10). From birth I have relied on him; he brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise him, My God and Heavenly Father (Psalm 71:6 NIV).

My objective-in-Jesus is to live a life shaped by God, not by my feelings or thoughts, or one shaped by peer pressure. I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).

I will trust in the Lord with all my heart; I will lean not on my own understanding; in all my ways I will acknowledge you, Lord, knowing, since I was in my mother’s womb, you have straightened the oath for me (Proverbs 3:5–6 NIV).

 

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.

You Are Unique — Believe it!

Posted on: May 17th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

“My only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24 NIV)

You’re the only person in the world who can live your life. No one else can live your life for you, and no one else is in competition with you to complete the task Jesus gave you.

Take a deep breath, and rest in the truth that God created you with such a unique mix of spiritual gifts, passions, abilities, personality, and experiences that only you can be you. No one else can duplicate you, and you cannot, should not, imitate another. You are an original masterpiece from the Master’s hand.

Your uniqueness means you’re the only one who can fulfill the mission that God assigned for you to complete.

God’s graduate assistant, Paul, says, “I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24 NIV).

We shouldn’t waste a precious minute of life doing things that don’t matter if that means the most important thing we can do is left undone.

It’s never too late to start faithfully pursuing the mission God has set before you — the one he designed you to complete.

You may think you don’t have skills God can use, but the truth is, God designed you with the very skills he needs in you to do what he asks of you. You are uniquely, wonderfully, and fearfully made.

Thoughts –

Everything God has done for you, including redeeming you from your sinful failures, will support your success and bring glory to God. Think back on your life. In what specific ways has God been preparing you to accomplish his goal for your life?

How would you live differently if you truly believed God created you for a unique mission, one that only you can accomplish?

 

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.

Jesus Never Looked Down on Others

Posted on: May 16th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: ,

“Think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.” (1 Corinthians 1:26 NIV)

Jesus never looked down on others, and that gave him the ability to see them as people. They weren’t users, consumers, or customers. They were people in need of a relationship with him, not a dos-and-don’ts religion.

Once we understand our identity in Christ, we will begin to see people in a similar way. We will see that they are eternal beings, created in the image of God. We will no longer use their circumstances or sins to define who they are; we will see who they are through the eyes of Jesus.

This perspective, so different from our natural tendencies, brought out the best in the people Jesus met. He saw their true value, and, as a result, they came to know their true value.

Consider:

  • Jesus saw a woman who would sin no more when others saw a woman caught in adultery.
  • Jesus saw a man who was able to see when others saw a blind man.
  • Jesus saw a man picking up his mat to walk when others saw a cripple.
  • Jesus saw a huge yet hurting heart when others saw a wee little man named Zacchaeus.
  • Jesus saw an articulate disciple when others saw a tax collector named Matthew.
  • Jesus saw a woman of willing sacrifice when others saw wasted perfume.
  • Jesus saw a stable rock for building the Church when others saw an impulsive, impetuous disciple named Peter.
  • Jesus saw men who did not know what they were doing when others saw evil men pounding nails into a cross.

Our objective is to stop seeing others from our limited perspective and to start seeing them in the way God sees them, encouraging the best of others, bringing them to the one who wants more than all the world what is best for them — Christ the Lord (Luke 2:8-10).

Thoughts –

Think of someone that you have looked down on. When God looks at you and this person, what similarities do you think he sees?

Try to spend one day seeing and hearing through the eyes and ears of Christ. How does it change the way you see others? How does it change the way you treat others?

 

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.

Embrace Your Identity in Christ

Posted on: May 15th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: ,

“He has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts.” (2 Corinthians 1:22a NLT)

Your faith will grow stronger as you focus on your identity in Christ (Galatians 2).

What this means is that you abandon any image of yourself that is not from God. You stop accepting what others have said about you, how others have labeled you, and how others have defined you.

You start believing what God says about you, that he is pleased with how he created you, and that God defines you.

You’re not defined by your feelings. You’re not defined by the opinions of others or by your circumstances. You’re not defined by your successes or failures. You’re not defined by the car you drive, the money you make, or the house you say you own when the bank really does.

You are defined by God and God alone. He identifies you as his own (2 Corinthians 1:22).

The thing is, if you don’t know who you are, then you’re vulnerable to other people telling you who you are. But the concrete, solid, gospel truth is that you are who God says you are, and no one else has a vote in the matter.

This “identity issue” is an important part of living the abundant life. Jesus was able to face the incredible demands of his mission because he knew exactly who he was. He knew that he mattered to God, and that gave him confidence to move purposefully in faith.

You are now identified with Christ and have the power of the Holy Spirit within you. You are God’s precious child, and he created you in a way that pleases him.

Thought –

What does it mean to move forward “purposefully in faith”?

What is the evidence of the Holy Spirit working in your life?

 

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.

Jesus Requires Total Abandonment

Posted on: May 14th, 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.

Thoughts –

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.

Learn to Think Like the Father

Posted on: May 13th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: , , , , , , ,

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declares his followers citizens of the Kingdom, and then he outlines the shift we must make to Kingdom thinking:

“You are living in the far country, and I have come to bring you home to the Father. We have a difficult journey ahead of us, but I will be with you for every step, and as we journey, I want you to learn the ways of the Kingdom so you will be fully prepared as we enter the gates of Heaven.

It is critical that you learn to think like the Father, and that means you can no longer live with this delusion of self-righteousness. You have to stop thinking you can be good enough for God. Trust me, and I can guarantee you’ll make it through the narrow gate.

And if you choose to follow me, this is what it will be like:

Dependent

You’ve been told to think that you can bring your goodness to God, but I’ve come to teach you that in the Kingdom of Heaven, God brings his goodness to you.

Mourning

You’ve been told to think that your security is in your jobs and homes and retirement accounts, but I’ve come to teach you that the world is spinning into disaster. Get your head into the Kingdom of Heaven so you can see the world for what it is.

Meek

You’ve been told you must cling to your rights, but I’ve come to teach you to patiently endure, trusting with absolute certainty that our Father is looking out for you.

Just

You’ve been told to think you must demand justice now, but I’ve come to teach you that justice is part of my endgame. Justice will prevail in the Kingdom.

Merciful

You’ve been told to think that your reputation is more important than the people who need your help, but I’ve come to teach you to be a friend of sinners.

Pure

You’ve been told to think God is about a religion of image management, but I’m here to teach you to become absorbed in God, not our own intentions — even the purity of high intentions.

Peaceful

You’ve been told the way to peace is controlling your circumstances, but I’m here to tell you that you will only find peace in me. I am the Prince of Peace.

Righteous

You’ve been told that righteousness comes from your own efforts, but I’m here to teach you that righteousness comes from God.”

Thoughts

I borrow this question from Dallas Willard, who asks it in his book, The Divine Conspiracy: Have you ever considered that Jesus is the smartest man in the world? Would the very fact that we follow conventional wisdom instead of the commands of Jesus indicate that we don’t believe he is?

 

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: May 9th, 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.

Thoughts –

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.

Make a Life Where You Live

Posted on: May 8th, 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).

Thoughts –

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.

Let God Interpret the Facts

Posted on: May 7th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

“This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘The owner of this belt will be tied up in this way by the Jews in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” Acts 21:11 (TEV)

Have you ever done the very thing God told you to do and then ended up in what seemed like a worse situation?

The Apostle Paul experienced this on several occasions, but what kept him going was his trust in God’s character. Paul trusted that God was in control and knew what he was doing no matter how things appeared.

And that means Paul took steps of faith based on his belief in God and not according to the circumstances he was in or would end up in. (As Pastor Pete Wilson might say, Paul placed his faith in God’s identity, not in his ability to see God’s activity.)

For instance, when Paul was on his way to Jerusalem, a prophet named Agabus came to see him. He took Paul’s belt and he tied it around his own hands and feet, telling the apostle, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘The owner of this belt will be tied up in this way by the Jews in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” (Acts 21:11 TEV)

Hearing this, Paul’s friends immediately tried to talk him out of going to Jerusalem, but he went anyway, saying, “I am ready not only to be tied up in Jerusalem but even to die there for the sake of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 21:13 TEV)

What the Holy Spirit told Agabus was fact: Paul was bound and handed over to the Gentiles in Jerusalem. Yet, the facts, by themselves, do not reveal the whole truth.

God used Paul’s arrest as the means for getting him to Rome, which is where Paul wanted to go all along. Once in Rome, Paul was placed under house arrest, forcing him to stay in one place after so many years on the road as a missionary.

Bound in chains, Paul began to write letters to the congregations he’d helped plant, and some of those letters are part of the New Testament we read today.

God is in the best position to interpret the facts of your life. Place your faith in him and not your circumstances.

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.

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.

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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