Grace Creates

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

What Do I Do With This, God?

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

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8–9 NIV)

When we confess our belief in Jesus as the Holy One of God, we often assume our lives will become easier. It doesn’t help that many people with good intentions teach this as biblical truth.

Certainly Jesus taught that his yoke is easy (Matthew 11:30), and the apostle Paul spoke about the Sabbath rest of God (Hebrews 4:9), but both these examples teach the need to develop a deep trust in God and not that following Jesus is easy. We’re to step into the will of God and stay there, trusting he has our best interests at heart (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28).

With God’s Spirit working in us and through us, we can get through what we’re going through. The apostle Paul says this is the very time we can learn to trust Jesus: “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am” (Philippians 4:13 MSG).

If we want to make a significant contribution to the Kingdom of God, we cannot sidestep the difficult seasons of life. Like Paul, we can watch God keep us from being crushed when we’re under pressure, give us hope when things don’t make any sense, reveal his presence when we are rejected, and pick us back up when we’re knocked senseless to the ground (2 Corinthians 4:8–9).

Getting through what you’re going through requires a shift. Instead of asking, “Why me?” ask, “What do I do with this, God?”

Talk About It

  • Why wouldn’t God take away all our problems when we commit our lives to Jesus?
  • What do you think God would do if you prayed, “Lord, help my unbelief?”
  • Where are you saying “Why me?” in your life? What do you think will happen if you ask instead, “What do I do with this, God?”

 

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.

Life’s Uncertainty Teaches God Can Be Trusted

Posted on: June 6th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: , ,

We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God. John 6:69 (NIV)

Because the well runs dry, we know Jesus is the river of living water (John 4).

Because the storm rages, we know Jesus is the Lord of the storms (Matthew 14).

Because the floods overwhelm, we know Jesus is the rock on which to build (Matthew 7).

Because the foundation shivers, we know Jesus is the cornerstone that will not move (Matthew 21).

Because sickness comes, we know Jesus is the healer (Matthew 4).

Because we’re bankrupt through the debt of sin, we know Jesus is our redeemer (Galatians 3).

Because we grieve, we know Jesus is the voice calling from the shore, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” (John 21).

Because we’re full of doubt, we know Jesus is the nail-scarred palm inviting our touch (John 20).

Jesus taught in the “nasty now-and-now” because he knew disciples with focused faith are never made in the classroom; we’re made in the uncertainty of life as we come face-to-face with “I can’t, but God can.”

If we will allow it, our circumstances drive us deeper into the heart of God, and we change because we have believed and come to know the Holy One of God (John 6:69).

 

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.

Will You Join Jesus in His Work?

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

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:36–38 NIV)

There are gut-wrenching moments in life, the kind when something hits you so hard it feels like someone’s ripping your insides out.

The apostle Matthew, in his biography of Jesus, suggests Jesus experienced such a gut-wrenching moment when he saw all the harassed and helpless human sheep. More than a mere broken heart, Jesus was moved to extraordinary compassion when he saw so many people beaten down by life, facing problems so overwhelming they didn’t even know where to go for help (Matthew 9:36).

In this moment, Matthew reports Jesus looked at his disciples and said, in effect, “I want your help with this. There are so many people who need relief—who need to know and experience God’s compassion—that I need you to help with this great harvest” (Matthew 9:37–38, author paraphrase).

Jesus calls us to join him in his work. Jesus calls us to pray that others will join us in this work. God fills us with his love and compassion so we can minister to those who are harassed, helpless and beaten down by life. We carry the good news that Jesus helps us overcome the heartache of our circumstances and tribulations.

 

Will you join Jesus in his work and see how God works through your obedience to him?
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.

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.

Turn your prayers into conversations

Posted on: December 7th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: , ,

“Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter.” (Matthew 26:40 NIV)

Read this devotional as a prayer:

Help me, Lord, to develop a strong prayer life. I know you desire intimacy with me, and you want me to watch with you and pray (Matthew 26:40).

Yet, I never seem to find the time to pray in a deep, fervent, consistent, persistent way. What draws me to my knees the most is when I have a problem, when I want something from you, when I need your help.

I’m flipping through my calendar, stressing with commitments, and you just want to hang out — with me. Help me turn my prayers into conversations with you that keep flowing throughout the day, an ongoing communication where I never say “Amen.”

Keep me close to you, no matter what it takes. I’m not sure I really want to pray that; I have bruises and scars from “whatever it takes” discipleship, but, then again, I confess the crush of these moments have taught me to throw myself on the stone before the stone falls on me.

And that has moved me closer to the love that compels my obedience, closer to becoming one with your heart. So, I’m asking that you change me until my deepest want is to be with you.

With this I pray that you will create me worthy of my calling and that your power will fulfill every good purpose you plan for me and energize everything I do in faith.

My prayer is that your life will emerge in my face and in my hands, in my thoughts and in my words. I know your grace will make it so (paraphrase of 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NIV).

 

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 Bonhoeffers 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.

This week stop trying to win arguments

Posted on: November 19th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: , , , , , , ,

“I beg you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to stop arguing among yourselves. Let there be real harmony so that there won’t be splits in the church. I plead with you to be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.” (1 Corinthians 1:10 LB)

Stop trying to win arguments.

Instead, make it your goal to love those who disagree with you. Go for the love, not the win. Jesus tells us love will always win; he guaranteed that when he walked out of the tomb.

When you find yourself in an argument with someone during holiday family visits (not saying that will happen), use these biblical guidelines for getting along:

Let mercy guide your response (Proverbs 3:3–6). In a conflict, most of us say we only want what’s fair, but God’s approach isn’t about being fair. It’s about grace and mercy (Romans 5:8).

Let God determine the truth (2 Corinthians 13:8). The truth is not determined by your thoughts or feelings (1 John 4:1) or the opinions of others. Truth is what God says it is; he is the sole authority for interpreting any situation (2 Corinthians 10:5).

The Bible says we shouldn’t rely on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), that what appears to be right to us may very well be wrong (Proverbs 14:12).

Look for God’s presence (Matthew 28:20). Satan wants us to believe we’re in the battle alone. Follow the example of the young shepherd boy, David, who believed God was in the fight and that the battle belonged to the Lord (1 Samuel 17:47).

Look for the conflict’s true source (Ephesians 6:12). According to God’s Word, we’re really not fighting other people; our real enemy is Satan and his “unseen spiritual forces of wickedness.”

Lay down human weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4–5). When we try to meet our own needs, working independently of God, we tend to use what the Apostle Paul called weapons of the flesh. These include: manipulation, gossip, slander, ridicule, threats, blame, nagging, deception, and silence. When we use them, we end up in an “evil for evil” cycle, and that’s like trying to fight a skunk with “stink” — everybody loses!

Learn to use spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4). The Bible tells us that prayer is a powerful spiritual weapon. After we put on the whole armor of God, we’re to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).

 

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

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

Author: Jon Walker

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

God requires risky obedience

Posted on: November 2nd, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: , ,

“Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of.” (Luke 19:26 MSG)

If God tells you to take a step of faith but you hesitate to take it until he shows you what the second step will be, you’re not waiting on God. He’s waiting on you.

God uses risks, large and small, to push us into a deeper faith. And so he wants us to step forward in faith, even if we don’t know where the second step will take us. The not knowing is what requires faith, and the not knowing compels us to rely on God to guide us forward.

Regardless of what we see on the other side of a God-directed risk, the reality is God is there. What seems to be a no-guarantee situation actually comes with the greatest guarantee of all — a God-guarantee — that he’s working in your life.

With this guarantee from God, you can enter into the risky obedience of attempting things that are impossible unless God gives you his strength to do them.

With this guarantee from God, you can enter into the risky obedience of loving other believers so deeply and so richly that you prove to the world that God’s love is flowing through you.

With this guarantee from God, you can enter into the risky obedience of loving your unlovable neighbors just as God loved you, even when you seemed unlovable.

With this guarantee from God, you can enter into the risky obedience of changing your priorities to match God’s priorities, sacrificing, in faith, what you cannot keep for the things that can never be taken away.

With this guarantee from God, you can engage in the risky obedience of making disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them that the risky obedience of following Jesus comes with a God-guarantee (Matthew 28:19-20).

  • What task is before you that seems impossible?
  • How would your approach to that task change if you believe it comes from God?

 

Jon Walker’s new book, “Breakfast with Bonhoeffer,” is a message of hope for anyone longing for another chance at life as God created it to be. It is a story of God’s faithfulness, even through job loss, home loss, economic uncertainty, divorce and an incurable disease. Structured like a novel, it reveals how God works through our often messy and inconsistent faith.

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 Calls Us to Himself

Posted on: October 26th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

“Not everyone who calls me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do.” Matthew 7:21 (TEV)

Being a disciple of Jesus doesn’t mean simply agreeing with Jesus or even heading in the same general direction as Jesus. We’re not called to follow Jesus in the abstract. It is not like we’re negotiating a contract, where we come to an agreement in principle. Think of it like this: you can agree smoking is hazardous to your health, but it means nothing until you stop smoking.

The call of Jesus is to Christ himself. We are called into a relationship. We follow and obey the person, the only begotten son, the author and perfector of our faith.

Jesus calls us to a level of intimacy that can only be sustained by his constant presence in our lives. Discipleship without Jesus is no discipleship at all. We may not understand all that discipleship involves or all that it will cost us, but Jesus calls us to take the first step, and, through that obedience, we develop the additional faith necessary to take the next step.

His call is a command for you to comprehensively and absolutely walk away from the way you do life now so you can follow him down an exclusive path through the narrow gate that leads to the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus wants you to know him and, through that relationship, He will empower you to live an extraordinary life, full of grace and truth. He calls you to a miraculous life, one that requires edge-of-your-seat faith to follow him, where you find yourself asking in joy, “What’s next, Jesus? What are you going to do through me today?”

 

Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, is a story of God’s faithfulness during struggles with bipolar disorder, divorce, and economic uncertainty.

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 knows you can have exceptional faith

Posted on: October 23rd, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: ,

“Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart.” Mark 11:22-23 (NLT)

We often speak of a radical faith in Jesus and what we mean is an extreme faith where someone is committed to Jesus to the exclusion of anything or anyone else. We think of someone who sacrifices everything, who irrevocably alters his or her life in order to follow Jesus. The sacrifice is so significant that there is no turning back to the old way of life.

We are amazed by this sacrifice and we tend to think these people have an unusual and exceptional faith. Yet, the truth is their exceptional faith is what Jesus expects of us all.

In a sense, we’ve been lulled into believing there are two tiers to discipleship – there’s the basic plan and then there’s a premium package for the more pious. We think there are only a few among us — monks, missionaries, and ministers – who are called to be more saintly while the rest of us must settle into an average discipleship.

Jesus, on the other hand, saw it as a matter of fact that his disciples would be able to develop a noteworthy faith. He said, “Have faith in God.” He didn’t say, ‘Only some of you should have faith in God.’ His command to have faith includes you and me. And, because he’s told us to grow in faith, we can not only be certain we can develop greater faith, we can also know he is working to help us become more faithful.

Jesus says our faith is based upon our trust in him. We will see the power of God working through us when we believe it will really happen and when we have no doubt in our hearts. Our faith increases through our obedience to Jesus.

Jesus calls every one of us to develop an exceptional and extraordinary faith. He won’t allow us to settle into a ‘discipleship’ where we think Jesus may mean what he says but we’re not sure; or a ‘discipleship’ where we sort of agree with Jesus and sort of live according to his commands. He knows God created us for so much more.

For us to confidently live out our faith, we must learn to trust that Jesus really means what he says and that he will do what he says he will do. Instead of trying harder to be a faithful disciple, we must learn to trust him more.

That trust will allow us to see the kingdom of heaven like the man who finds hidden treasure in a field. He re-sorts all of his priorities because nothing is as important as buying the field. Our trust in Jesus will make us like the shopkeeper who finds a rare pearl and realizes everything else he has pales in comparison and so he never looks back to the things that once were important (Matthew 13:44-50). You will be someone who is characterized by an extreme faith.

Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer, is a story of God’s faithfulness during struggles with bipolar disorder, divorce, and economic uncertainty.

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.

pastors.com