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.

Encourage Someone Today

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

“So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.” (Romans 14:19 HCSB)

As Pastor Rick prepares us for the Decade of Destiny, remember to support those around you who are preparing, too.

  • God wants us to build up one another. The word “support” literally means to increase one another’s potential. It carries the idea of strengthening one another, making one another more able to face the challenges of living for Christ. “We are in this fight together” (Philippians 1:30a NLT). We cannot afford to lose anyone. To succeed, you need the strength supplied by the Body of Christ, just as they need you.
  • God wants us to stand alongside one another. God does this for us — he “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV). We’re created to stand alongside one another.
  • God wants us be patient with one another. When we support one another, we express unconditional love. Even after we grow close enough to each other to learn one another’s quirks and annoying little habits, we will stick by each other’s side, “with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2 NKJV).

Talk About It

Is there someone who could use your encouragement today? Don’t wait until later! Encourage them now.

 

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 Have a Choice

Posted on: May 28th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” (Romans 6:18 NIV)

For years I wandered away from God, and my image of that time is that of a traveler on a trail through the wilderness.

I left the trail and got lost.

Wandering in the wilderness, I lost even the memory that I was there because of my own sinful choices. Eventually, I lost the truth that I had any choice at all. It felt like I was held hostage by my choices and that I had no choice but to keep making the same choices. What other choice did I have?

So, part of my prodigal return was realizing I still had a choice, starting with the foundational choice that “I can’t, but God can.”

Once I returned to God’s path, I could clearly see the terrible, horrible choice I’d made to wander away and the resulting waste of time, energy, and missed opportunities. Not to mention, I’d been exhausting myself trying to live life like it was never designed to be lived.

What I could also see is that I still had choices — I could continue down God’s path, I could sit and mourn the waste, or I could return to my wanderings.

But, most of all, I finally believed my freedom of choice left me free not to sin. I did not have to sin; I could choose not to sin. I am free from sin, not free from temptation, but free from the slavery of sin that kept me chained to ungodly choices.

Jesus broke the power of sin in your life, and he’s empowered you, through the Holy Spirit, to make the right, corrective, godly choices.

Be still and know that he is God — and think upon this truth.

Talk About It

Why do you think God lets us make our own choices?

Are you facing a big decision about your future? What do you believe is the godly choice?

 

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 don’t have to sin

Posted on: January 9th, 2013 by Jon Walker | Tags: 

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:6–7 (NIV)

You don’t have to sin. You are no longer a slave to sin. Thank God Almighty — you have been set free from sin! (Romans 6:7–8).

The problem is most of us live thinking we don’t have this choice. If the enemy can get us to believe we’re still slaves to sin, then he can keep us stumbling without engaging in battle.

The Apostle Paul is not saying we’ll never sin again. We are human. We will make mistakes, requiring us to fall on God’s grace.

What Paul is saying is that sin is no longer natural to us. It was natural for the old you, who was put to death with Jesus Christ but it is not natural to the new you, who is alive in Christ.

I’ve seen this in people with addictions. They believe the lie that they have no choice but to feed their addictions. This erroneous belief guides their behavior, like a victim who thinks he is controlled by others and has no choice or is not empowered to make choices on his own.

The blood of Jesus Christ broke the power of sin in our lives. When we face temptation, we’re free to say “No!” The Holy Spirit within us gives us the power to make the right decision — but the choice is still ours.

Jon Walker’s new book is Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

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

This devotional © Copyright 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.

Was the census by Caesar Augustus a coincidence?

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

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

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

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

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

Practical Nativity:

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

Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer

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

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

Author: Jon Walker

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

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.

Don’t give up: Look for what God can do

Posted on: November 15th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: , , ,

“His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” (John 9:2-3 NIV)

As Jesus and his school-in-motion moved through town, they came upon a man who’d been blind since birth. The apostles started a prosecution-of-blame: “Maybe he’s blind because he sinned? Maybe he’s blind because of something his parents did?”

Eugene Peterson suggests that Jesus’ response could be paraphrased, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do” (John 9:3-4 MSG).

Instead of finding someone to blame for your difficult situation, look instead for what God can do through you and for you!

Look to what God can do through his power, strength, and majesty. Get your eyes off the things below and look to what God can do right now through you because the “night is coming,” when you’ll no longer be able to work (John 9:4 NIV).

We don’t have time to figure it all out. Instead of asking, “Why me?” we need to ask, “What do you want me to do in this situation, Lord?”

The apostle Paul says, “We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:10 HCSB). In other words, we carry Jesus’ death in our bodies, and then God resurrects the life of Jesus within us.

God uses our tragedies like an involuntary surgery that causes fear and even greater pain, but on the other side we are stronger, on the way to recovery from our disease of faithlessness.

And even though it may be difficult to see how God can do that or to even see God at work, we grow more confident that he is moving us toward a peaceful future (Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11).

How have you seen God use a difficult situation in your life for good?

How do you think it’s possible to be confident in God’s power at work even when we are going through a crisis?

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. “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.

Don’t give up: Look for what God can do

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

“His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.’” (John 9:2-3 NIV)

As Jesus and his school-in-motion moved through town, they came upon a man who’d been blind since birth. The apostles started a prosecution-of-blame: “Maybe he’s blind because he sinned? Maybe he’s blind because of something his parents did?”

Eugene Peterson suggests that Jesus’ response could be paraphrased, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do” (John 9:3-4 MSG).

Instead of finding someone to blame for your difficult situation, look instead for what God can do through you and for you!

Look to what God can do through his power, strength, and majesty. Get your eyes off the things below and look to what God can do right now through you because the “night is coming,” when you’ll no longer be able to work (John 9:4 NIV).

We don’t have time to figure it all out. Instead of asking, “Why me?” we need to ask, “What do you want me to do in this situation, Lord?”

The apostle Paul says, “We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:10 HCSB). In other words, we carry Jesus’ death in our bodies, and then God resurrects the life of Jesus within us.

God uses our tragedies like an involuntary surgery that causes fear and even greater pain, but on the other side we are stronger, on the way to recovery from our disease of faithlessness.

And even though it may be difficult to see how God can do that or to even see God at work, we grow more confident that he is moving us toward a peaceful future (Romans 8:28; Jeremiah 29:11).

  • How have you seen God use a difficult situation in your life for good?
  • How do you think it’s possible to be confident in God’s power at work even when we are going through a crisis?

 

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.

Believe God will help you

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

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6 NIV)

You learn to trust God by obeying him in small ways.

You probably agree God is the supreme ruler of the universe, powerful enough to overcome any problem or defeat any enemy, that “everything comes from him; everything happens through him; everything ends up in him” (Romans 11:36 MSG).

And, if this is true, then your struggle to give it all to God is not over the issue of whether or not he’ll be able to fulfill his promises — he clearly can do that.

Perhaps the resistance you and I exhibit when we’re faced with trust is because we seriously doubt God will look out for our best interests: “Yes, I believe God can work this out, but will he?”

Or, “I know I can work this out, but I’m not sure God will — at least I’m not sure he will do it the way I want to see it done.”

  • God patiently understands your hesitancy. He made the first move toward establishing a loving, trusting relationship with you. He didn’t wait until you could be trusted to receive his love, and he doesn’t insist you become trustworthy before he trusts you with precious gifts (Romans 5:6-8).
  • God supports our small steps of faith. When we obey God, even in small ways, “we find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand — out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise” (Romans 5:2 MSG).

What are you thinking –

  • How do you exhibit trust in God’s promise to work for your good?
  • What seemingly small steps of faith do you need to take today toward greater trust in 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.

God covers your faults with his perfect love

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by Jon Walker | Tags: , , , , , ,

The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son. John 1:14 (TEV)

The love of God is intimate and personal. He came up-close in Christ, and that means we cannot hide our imperfections and faults from him. He knows about them anyway.

This model from God means we need to love each other intimately and personally, looking past the faults and weaknesses of one another, seeing the handiwork of God in each one of us, knowing that we also have weaknesses and faults but that God is active in our lives, too.

When we know and believe that God is determined to love us no matter what, we can stop being concerned about our faults and conform to Christ instead of our fears (Romans 12:2). When we don’t believe that God loves us no matter what, we try to put on masks that make us look perfect in order to hide our faults. When we try to hide behind masks, we undermine God’s plan that we live together in transparent, loving communities, such as small groups.

The reality is, God’s love is perfect, and he wants to cover our faults with Jesus Christ.

God goes beyond merely diagnosing our problems or judging our faults (Psalm 103:10); instead, he steps forward to address the areas of our lives that are broken:

  • Into our emptiness, he brings fullness and completion (Colossians 2:9-10).
  • Into our deficit, he brings supply (Philippians 4:19).
  • Into our death, he brings life (Ephesians 2:1, 5).
  • Into our separation, he brings reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11).
  • Into our imperfect love, he brings perfect love (1 John 4:10).

The more we’re conscious of God’s love, the less self-conscious we become about ourselves. We spend less time and energy looking to appear perfect and have a life where everything is exactly the way we want it to be; instead, we invest more time and energy pouring ourselves into other people, who, along with us, make an imperfect community, but one infused with God’s love.

  • Ask yourself, “What is stopping me from engaging in genuine community?”

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.

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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