FRL NOW 8-4-17 : Spirit of Dispair

In Isaiah 61, we see the garment of praise contrasted with a “spirit of despair.” In the Old Testament, when people felt utter despair, they would rip the fabric of their garments to outwardly show their deep sorrow. Torn clothing was a sign of a broken spirit. When Jacob believed that his son Joseph was dead, “Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days” (Genesis 37:34). Likewise, when David heard a report that his sons had been killed, “The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his attendants stood by with their clothes torn” (2 Samuel 13:31).

Unlike our earthly garments, the garment of praise lasts for eternity.

Though this world still has trouble, we can throw away our torn and wretched garments of sorrow and replace them with God’s beautiful garment of praise. When we lift our eyes toward heaven and praise the name of Jesus, He can remove the cloud of discouragement. He can fill us with unspeakable joy. He can change our desires, attitudes, relationships, and perceptions. The garment of praise is the most important piece of clothing that we will ever wear. When we begin wearing our praise garments regularly, we find it easier to shrug off the garments of discouragement, temptation, and hopelessness.

Unlike our earthly garments, the garment of praise lasts for eternity. Our earthly garments show wear and stains; they are vulnerable to moths; they can be stolen by thieves. Our praise garments are permanent and eternal. Jesus warned us, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Friday Night Dinner Ride 8/4/17 We will meet at 6pm at the Kohl’s parking lot. At 6:30 we will go kickstands up as Road Captain Howard McCann leads us on a great ride. Don’t miss out on this time.

Put on your Praise garment!
Tony

FRL NOW 7-28-17 : Live For Him

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

The secret of our survival is fixing our eyes on Jesus and making Him alone our focus. Then our walk with God and our commitment to serve Him will no longer depend on whether or not people treat us right or circumstances are in our favor. We will no longer rely on our emotions to support us or on our successes to keep us going. Jesus alone will become our goal and motivation—our prize—and we will live for Him, run our race for Him and cross the finish line for Him.

My dear friend, unless you learn to fix your eyes on Jesus alone, you will have no stability in your walk with God or in your service to Him.

Jesus Himself said, “Follow Me.”

Therefore, meditate on Him, consider Him and think about Him so that you may not grow weary in your heart. The answer to enduring until the end is not self-effort or a rational attempt to figure out the answers, but to stop and look into His eyes.

If we do this, we will experience what this song says: “When I look into Your holiness / When I gaze into Your loveliness / When all things that surround become shadows in the light of You / . . . I worship You.” After all his struggles, Job found the answer he was searching for when he fell on his face and worshiped the Lord.

Today let us decide to fix our eyes on Jesus throughout the race set before us.

Friday Night Dinner Ride 7/28/17 We will meet at Kohl’s parking lot, 98th & Indiana at 6pm. At 6;30 we will ride to a great little diner for great food, fun, and fellowship! Don’t miss out on it!

Keep your goggles clean and your eyes on Jesus!
Tony

FRL NOW 7-14-17 : Forgiveness

“Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it” (Romans 12:19a TLB).

The heart of real forgiveness is relinquishing your right to get even. The Bible says in Romans 12:19, “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it” (TLB).

You say, “If I give up my right to get even with somebody who’s hurt me, then that’s unfair.” You’re right! It is unfair. But whoever said forgiveness is fair? Was it fair for Jesus Christ to forgive everything you’ve ever done wrong and let you go free? No. We don’t want God to be fair to us, though. We want God to begracious to us. We all want justice for everybody else and forgiveness for ourselves.

The truth is that life is not fair. And forgiveness is not fair. It’s called grace, and God has shown it to you. One day, God is going to have the last word. He’s going to settle the score. He’s going to right the wrong. Leave the justice part to God. You just concern yourself with forgiving so there can be peace in your heart and you can get on with your life.

If you don’t do this, you will fall into the trap of bitterness. Resentment and bitterness are worthless emotions. In fact, doctors tell us they are the unhealthiest emotions. They will eat you alive like cancer. All your resentment and bitterness toward people who have hurt you in the past isn’t going to change the past, and it certainly won’t change the future. All it can do is mess up today.

When you hold on to resentment, you allow people from your past to continue to hurt you today. And that’s not smart! The people in your past are past. They cannot continue to hurt you unless you choose to hold on to the hurt. Instead, let go of your need to get even or make things fair. Leave it up to God.

The Bible says, “Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others” (Hebrews 12:15 Phillips). Rick Warren

Friday Night Dinner Ride 7/14/17 We will meet at Kohl’s parking lot, 98th & Indiana, at 6pm. At 6:30 we will go kickstands up at 6:30. Don’t miss it!

Let it go!
Tony

FRL NOW 6-30-17 : FREEDOM!

FREEDOM!

The moment of Jesus’ death in Luke’s account is surrounded by a great deal of drama. There is darkness over the land, the veil in the temple is torn in two and the Roman Centurion pronounces Jesus’ to be innocent. If we draw on the other gospels we find that the earth shook and rocks split. The tombs of some who had recently died were broken open, and some were raised to life. It was a dramatic turning point in the history of the world. The price for the sins of the world had been paid, by God himself. In this moment, humanity is set free from the bondage to sin and death.

How ironic and fortunate that this lesson should fall on the 4th of July, which is Independence Day in the United States of America. On this day Americans celebrate the freedoms that are guaranteed in the “Bill of Rights” of the Constitution. Usually when we use the word freedom, it is followed by a preposition, which then links it to a defining word or phrase. For example: Americans celebrate that they have freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. They have the freedom of speech, and the freedom to assemble. Prepositions also come into play when we speak of the freedoms that are granted to Christians by the death of Jesus Christ. One of the first that comes to mind is freedom from the tyranny of Satan, and freedom from our bondage to sin (Now there’s an independence to celebrate!)

We all love our freedoms, but freedom generally entails responsibilities which are not loved as much as the freedoms themselves. In the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, Americans pledge that together they will establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty. The fulfillment of the preamble comes through things like civic service, paying taxes, jury duty, obedience to the law of the land and military service.

Christians have received the most gracious gift from God in Jesus Christ: their freedom. However, this freedom also implies responsibilities. The preposition we would use here is “freedom for.” This implies that there is a purpose to the freedoms received. Christians have a responsibility to respond to the grace they have received. We have received freedom for ministry, and freedom for service. We are set free to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ in this world.

There are Christians who truly accept the death of Jesus on the cross as setting them free from their bondage to sin and death. They have come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior; but they have never moved from the “freedom from” to the “freedom for.” They want the grace that freedom offers, but are not too keen on accepting the responsibilities that freedom requires. We are not set free for ourselves alone. We are set free in order to serve, as Jesus serves.

When we realize that we have received freedom for the sake of Jesus and his church, then others will come to know the powerful freedom that is offered in the cross of Jesus. The death of Jesus was indeed a dramatic turning point in the history of the world. It is a dramatic turning point in your life and in mine. Through our respective ministries many will experience it as the turning point in their lives. It was the day we received our true independence and freedom. - Dr. David Winkle.

Friday Night Dinner Ride 6-30-17 We will meet at Kohl’s parking lot, 98th & Indiana, at 6pm. At 6:30 Road Captain Preston Langford will lead to a great place for food, fun, and fellowship! Don’t miss it! Yoi tabemono ga matte iru!

Celebrate your freedom for something!
Tony

FRL NOW 6-23-17 : Sacrifice

Who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again —Romans 11:35

Christians have it in their power, by a very little sacrifice, to add millions to the treasury of the Lord. Have you found the joy of sacrifice for Jesus? Have you given up something that you might give it to Him? Are you giving your substance to Jesus? He will take it, and will return to you a thousandfold.

I would rather be associated with a work founded on great sacrifice than on enormous endowments. The reason God loved the place where His ancient temple rose in majesty was because there Abraham offered his son and David his treasure. The reason redemption is so dear to the Father and the heavenly world is because its foundation stone is the cross of Calvary.

The Christian life that is dearest to the heart of God, and that will rise to the highest glory and usefulness, is the one whose foundation principle is sacrifice and self-renunciation. This is why the Master teaches us to give-because giving means loving, and love is but another name for life. - A.B.Simpson

FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER RIDE 6-23-17 The weather forecast shows threats of thunderstorms in all directions for tonight. So by faith for answered prayers for rain, we will meet for Family Night tonight at Furr’s Family Dinning, 6001 Slide Road, at 6:30pm. Come join the fun!

Blessings!
Tony 

FRL NOW 6-9-17 : Hope and Courage

Facing tragedy, or life storms of any kind, can be extremely difficult. But in the midst of heartache and pain, you can find the hope and courage to go on. With God’s help, the help of caring family members and friends, and the encouragement found in the Bible and other resources, you will receive the necessary strength to overcome. 

You may be thinking, I don’t know how I could ever get through this. Or you may be battling powerful feelings of despair, suffering, confusion, fear, worry, and even anger. These are all normal responses to tragedy.

But as difficult as this life storm may be, you are not alone. God is with you always. He loves you, and cares about what is going on in your life. He hears your cries and sees your pain. Moreover, He understands.

The Bible says, “And it was necessary for Jesus to be like us, his brothers, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God, a Priest who would be both merciful to us and faithful to God … For since He himself has now been through suffering … He knows what it is like when we suffer … and He is wonderfully able to help us” (Hebrews 2:17-18 TLB). Whatever we endure, His care is certain, His love is unfailing, and His promises are secure.

FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER RIDE 6/9/17 We will meet at Kohl’s Parking Lot at 6pm and go kickstands up at 6:30. It will be a great evening for riding so don’t miss it.

SECOND SATURDAY RIDE 6/10/17 Meet at Loves Travel Stop, 4221 North I27,. We will go KSU at 7:30am and ride to Amarillo where we will join a pancake breakfast fund raiser for the Alzheimer’s association. Cost is 5.00 each for all you can eat. We will then follow the wind and enjoy a great day of riding.

Be blessed!
Tony

FRL NOW 6-2-17 : Born of both water and spirit

“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to
eternal life.” (John 4:14, NIV)

Jesus said you must be born of both water and spirit or you cannot enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:5). But what is this “Living Water” that eternally quenches our spiritual thirst (John 4:14)?

The answer is found in water itself. H2O!

We’re not talking about hydrogen and the oxygen here. In the Kingdom of God, “H” is more explosive than hydrogen! “H” is Him. Jesus! He is Lord, King, and Savior! “O” is One. Jesus prayed about Oneness just before He went to the cross (John 17:21). “2” is how we all got started. We were once separated from Him and Oneness by sin. “ Living Water” is real “H2O.” It is two (2) becoming one (O) in the Christ (H)! And “H2O” opens the gates to Kingdom of God.

With H2O (Living Water), we’ll never thirst again for anything, and we’re forever part of the Kingdom of God! Drink yourself a big glass of that amazing “H2O” today! Confess your sins and keep turning back to Him in all that you do!

Friday Night Dinner Ride (or not) 6/2/17 Depending on who you listen to, there is 35 to 60% chance of thunderstorms at ride time. We’re thinking it’s a great opportunity for another “Family Night” with FRL! Meet at Fuddrucker’s, 5501 Slide Road, at 6:30pm tonight for great food, fun, and fellowship! Bring the entire family!

2017 FRL Trip to Colorado, “RIDE TO THE ROCKIES” June 14-18. Please be in prayer for the group as we travel to celebrate life and the blessing of our FRL family. Attendees will receive the detailed itinerary in the coming week.

Thirsty? How about a great big refreshing dousing of H2O?
Tony

FRL NOW 5-26-17 : The Name Of Jesus

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. Philippians 2:9-10

Once you make up your mind to keep the commands of Jesus and begin to allow the Word to dwell in you richly, the Name of Jesus will become far more powerful to you. It will become more than just a word. It will become a force that will cause every circumstance and every demon that tries to stand in your way to bow its knee to your command.

I tell you, the Name of Jesus works. There is far greater power in it than any of us have yet realized.

My faith is so set on the authority of the Name of Jesus that there are times I just say, “In the Name” and the power of God comes on the scene.

In fact, I’ve discovered that the Name of Jesus—just the Name alone—is effective when spoken by a Word-abiding believer. Revelation 19:13 says the Name of Jesus is the Word of God! So, when an evil spirit is trying to bring sickness, poverty, depression or any other garbage into my household, I don’t have to quote every scripture I know to stop him. I can just point my finger at him and say, “Jesus!” That’s like throwing the whole Word of God in his face at one time!

Discover for yourself what the exalted Name can do. Begin to speak it with confidence and authority. There is power in the Name of Jesus. - Kenneth Copland

Friday Night Dinner Ride 5-26-17 Don’t miss tonight’s Ride! We will meet at 6pm at Kohl’s parking lot and at 6:30 Road Captain Howard McCann will lead us on an awesome ride! Come with a full tank!

2017 FRL Trip to Colorado June 14-18, 2017
The trip is set,reservations are made, and excitement in the air! Begin praying for God’s grace, protection, provision, and divine appointments for this trip.Detailed information will be sent to attendees soon.

Take authority! Speak His name!
Tony

FRL NOW 5-12-17 : Great Joy

Yesterday my youngest son, Andrew, asked his best friend since Jr. High School if she would marry him. There is a pic from that moment that not only gives away her answer but it radiates the joy these two shared during that life changing moment. This is the type joy we as parents long to see our children experience.

Andrew had planned the event with great thought and detail. He took Kenzie on a walk through a botanic garden. As they walked through the park they “happened” upon one of her best friends who greeted them and then opened a handwritten note from Andrew and read it to Kenzie. This repeated a few times along the walk as they again “happened” upon another friend.

The walk continued to a natural archway of vines. Andrew opened and read a final note to Kenzie and then, with photographer strategically nearby, got on one knee and proposed. SHE SAID YES!

JoyAfter rejoicing with them at a dinner party, again meticulously planned by Andrew, I studied this pic and was overwhelmed at the joy of their moment.

It was at that moment I was reminded that Jesus Himself lovingly, meticulously, and with great joy, planned a very special proposal moment for you and I.

He walks us through a garden of life and has placed loved ones along the way to bring us love notes from Him in the form of encouragement, prophetic words, and memories. He has opened His love note written in His blood as He loved us enough to shed it on a cross. And He calls us His bride!

May we always be filled with the Joy of knowing He sought us, loves us, and is returning for His bride!

Friday Night Dinner Ride 5-12-17 We will meet at Kohl’s parking lot, 98th & Indiana, at 6pm. At 6:30 Road Captain Preston Langford will lead us to a great diner. BRING CASH! They do not take plastic.

2017 FRL SUMMER TRIP TO COLORADO June 14-18. Reservations are almost full! Don’t delay another day if you plan to attend. Email tony.frltrips@gmail.com if you are interested in going.

Get ready bride, The Groom returns!
Tony

FRL NOW 5-5-17 : John the Baptist

John the Baptist stood out like a sore thumb. Created and set apart by God for a specific task. A great task. The greatest. To prepare the way of the Lord. A human megaphone for Jesus, John the Baptist spoke words of maximum volume as he pointed others to the One and Only and prophetically authenticated the divinity and eternal nature of Christ.

John knew who he was and he knew who Jesus was. He was all about Jesus. Unashamedly unique, John didn’t cave to comfort, popularity, expectations of others, or tradition. Instead, he walked in obedience to God and sought to make much of the Messiah.

He was an odd bird who ate some seriously unconventional food. I’m down with the honey that he was fond of, but I stop way short of snacking on locusts.

Seriously.

It just wouldn’t even cross my mind to put a big bug in my mouth for nutrition.

Just saying.

And then there was his crazy fashion sense. Pretty sure his clothes caused more than a few eyebrows to rise. Camel’s hair was not necessarily the fabric of choice for the average Hebrew man in his day. But that’s what John wore.

Clearly, impressing others with his coolness was not John’s forte, nor his priority. He was different. Probably not the first one picked for the dodge ball games at Hebrew school and he might’ve even got teased: “Your breath smells like stinky bugs!” Who knows? What we do know about John the Baptist is that he was born for greatness, not for average. But he didn’t go about his days trying to be great. John was focused on pointing people to Jesus—not himself. He was on a sacred mission, which left others wondering about him.

The crowds wondered who he was.

They wanted to know why he did the things he did. The Israelites hadn’t seen a prophet in four hundred years. Something was surely up with this guy. One day John was baptizing people in the Jordan River. The priests and Levites hounded him with questions.

Finally they said, ‘Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Make straight the way for the Lord.”’

Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, ‘Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?’

            ‘I baptize with water,’ John replied, ‘but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’” (John 1:22-27)

Commissioned by God to be famous for Jesus, John had a humble heart and perspective. “I’m not even worthy to untie this guy’s sandals

I love what Pastor and Author Dr. Tony Evans has to say about this topic. “God is not opposed to greatness. God is opposed to pride. Big difference. Unfortunately, it is a difference not widely understood or embraced.”

Peter reminds us of this in his letter to the believers in the early church. “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:5b-6, NIV).

Our job: be humble before God and to others.

God’s job: to lift us up as He sees fit, when He sees fit… all to elevate Himself.

“He (God) mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble” (Proverbs 3:34).

Ultimately, to be great in God’s eyes, we have to get over ourselves and become the least. (Gwen Smith)

FRIDAY NIGHT RIDE 5/5/17 We will meet at Kohl’s parking lot, 98th & Indiana Ave., at 6pm. At 6:30 we will go kickstands up for a great ride to dinner. Don’t miss out on the fun!

2017 FRL Summer Trip to Colorado June 14-18 Join us for 5 days and 4 nights of great riding through the rocky mountains. Email tony.frltrips@gmail.com for hotel reservations. Rooms are limited.

You can be both humble and great!
Tony