Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: November 2012

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Motivational Poster

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How Grace Thou Art

Hello All,

I really like wind chimes and I have a few hanging around. I have a larger one hanging out behind the house near the patio and I love its pure, deep melodies that fill the air as it catches the wind. The thing with wind chimes is because they have to hang freely out in the elements, the string that suspends them is bound to wear and break. I’ve already had to fully re-string the one on the front porch. It’s not a problem; it’s well worth it for the wonderful song of the wind chime. That’s kinda how I see words. Well not all words, but some words that resonate so beautifully when re-strung and re-hung to produce such a pure melody of truth.

Today, that word is Grace. What is your definition of grace? We can be so quick to recite the words we’ve been taught that they hardly evoke anything more than stale rhetoric. We don’t often delve into simply re-hearing the melody for its true beauty but hopefully I can encourage you to pick up grace and restore it and hear the beauty of its song. Grace – God’s unmerited favor. Is that it? How about G.R.A.C.E – God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense: Even more clever and both are doctrinally correct ways to see grace. I believe there’s more. But I think the most beautiful song of grace comes when YOU set time aside to seek its meaning out for yourself: When you re-string and re-hang the truth of God’s grace in your heart to experience that soul-stirring melody.

Here’s The Word:

2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

As rich as these verses are at presenting the concept of Grace, I doubt that you’re hearing the melody I am. It’s gonna take more than a few verses in a 3 minute blog post but I bet if you read the verses surrounding 159 occurrences of “grace” in the Bible(KJV) and meditate on the fullness of God’s Grace, it will make your heart want to lean into the Love of God and simply hum along: How Grace Thou Art!

In Him,

Monday, November 26, 2012

Great Expectations

Hello All,

If you’ve ever found yourself trying to make sense of interpersonal relationships, you’ve probably been presented with the idea of expectations. I can’t say that I’ve ever heard “expectations” as a positive thing. Actually, I’ve mostly heard that having expectations are a recipe for disaster. If you've heard something different I’d be interested to hear from you. But the fundamental question remains: Are expectations really bad? Again, this is one of those situations where I think giving some real thought to the question will dissuade us from quickly offering the “canned” answers. Sadly, many of us fall victim to the ‘wide pendulum swing’ when it comes to certain things; especially when it “works” in our favor. Here’s an example of the wide pendulum swing, and it’s basically the idea of presenting an unreasonable option as the only viable option depending on our disposition and situation:

Child: “Mommy, can I have a donut?”
Mom: “No you may not.”
Child: “But I’m hungry, do you want me to starve?”

This may not sound familiar to YOU, but maybe to somebody you know. Now of course this example makes it obvious, but in real life things have a way of happening more subtly. In light of that, we should try and be aware of our tendencies when it comes to expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that expectations are good and should be embraced in all circumstances. That would also be an extreme swing of the pendulum as well. When all is said and done, we need to keep a balanced perspective; to embrace the good while at the same time avoiding unreasonable expectations.

Here’s The Word;

Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers

Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not

James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

If expectations were bad in themselves, God, who obviously has more than a few expectations for His children, would not be setting a good example. But how often does our pendulum swing negate God’s expectations of us? Too often these days, our behavior is more reflective of the culture than Christ. We feel wronged and immediately seek to involve authorities. The Bible directly addresses the issue of how we defend ourselves in the household of faith. 1 Corinthians 6:7 “expects” us to rather suffer being wronged rather than take another believer to the “worlds” court system. No! It’s not saying “be quiet and let people do to you what they want”.

You see on the other hand, Scripture also speaks of being careful with the company you keep and says explicitly not to ‘cast your pearls before swine’, so it’s perfectly reasonable to have and to be open about expectations you have when it comes to relationships. Seek wisdom. Spend time making sure that you don’t have a wildly swinging pendulum. Disaster comes when expectations aren’t reasonable. It’s not an easy topic but The Bible is God’s Mind and it says what it says for His greatest Glory and our greatest good and if we embrace the whole Bible with our whole selves, our lives will give proof to the life-enriching effect of God’s Great expectations.

In Him,

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Real Good

Hello All,

Question: How do you define good? If somebody from another planet asked you to explain the concept of good, what kinds of things would you say to paint a clear “good” picture? When you think about it, it’s not so easy. Is "good" a choice relative to other choices? I guess you could argue that but don’t think so. Good is not a choice in itself; good is the measurement of a choice. The idea of taking a measurement implies a starting point. What is the starting point whereby we measure “good”? This is not meant to be a trick question and I realize there isn’t an easy answer but it’s most definitely something that we should spend a “good” deal of time considering. The issue obviously with defining good is finding an objective and agreeable way to measure it.

Let me add some levity – I’m really not trying to dictate the parameters or specifications that govern the correct usage of the word “good”. My “modus operandi” is more concerned with submitting food for thought rather than “follow these rules”: Not that I’m above a good “Thus saith The LORD” but that's not generally how I roll. Okay, as I was saying: From the point of view of trying to live a Spirit-filled, Christ-following life, I think it’s important sometimes to give consideration to the words we use. The notion of good can be so subjective, that when continuously used in inappropriate ways, we run the risk of dulling our doctrine.

At one end of the spectrum, we can be grossly corrupt.

Here’s the Word:

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil.

This verse would seem to speak of “bad” people who know what they’re doing; but remember, it was Aaron who gave into the wishes of the children of Israel, melting their gold to form the golden calf. You need to realize that their initial idea was not “Hey, let’s make God really mad!” They thought it was a “good” idea.

Somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, we can be generally complacent.

Here’s the Word:

1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Just to be clear, that verse in Corinthians is not about envying someone else’s prosperity; it’s about a life of service to others for their benefit. We do live in a society inundated with relativism and sadly, it has largely affected delivering the message of Christ’s love to a dying world. We have sayings and beliefs that make it okay for us to continue pursuing the life that we want to live: “To each his own”, “Hey, whatever works for you”….stuff like that. We hold back from sharing “Biblical” Jesus with people because we don’t want to turn them off with “religion”. Generally, we don’t have much issue with seeing these choices as basically “good”. It’s good to not bother people right?

And at the far “other” end of the spectrum, we can be grievously confused.

Here’s the word:

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

That has got to be one of the scariest stories of all: These guys sincerely thought they were good, and by most anybody’s account they had undoubtedly done "good": They’d prophesied, cast out devils and other “wonderful” works. Jesus however, called them workers of iniquity. Grievously confused indeed. Now consider the thief on the cross who obviously didn’t do “good” things; his request to be “remembered” was honored immediately by Christs’ response: “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 24:34). As difficult as it is to find a suitable definition for good, we must allow the Word of God to provide our objective measurement. We must not allow the world’s relativism to erode our fundamental definition. Like I said, I’m not trying to present “rules” and I truly don’t want to make any of this sound easy …just food for thought. It’s imperative that we let God define good. Only His definition will produce real good.

In Him,

Monday, November 05, 2012

I Voted!

Hello All,

Are you ready and excited to head to the polls?
And stay glued to the telly, til the tally is totaled?
Tis’ the campaigning season, so listen and take note,
In spite of who is elected, make sure that you vote.
We know we have problems that will never be solved,
Lest we lift up or voices, lest WE get involved.
But isn’t it interesting? A wonder in fact,
How this season defines us, and dictates how we act.
Now look in comparison, and look at the zeal
We should be spiritually stirred, and seek “change” for real.
The time for campaigning brings out the best and the worse,
If only we were as passionate about chapter and verse.
We contribute our money to our candidate’s campaign.
But pass the offering plate twice, we grumble and complain.
We learn about laws and the Electoral College,
“Yet my people perish from a lack of knowledge.”
We brush up on events and our political speak,
Eager to engage “opposers” and the politically weak.
Everybody’s a pundit, not ashamed to speak loud,
Not intimidated by “facts” or the size of the crowd.
So quick to voice our views, ready to defend tooth and nail
But where is our passion for those headed towards hell?
A large number will knock it though they still haven’t tried it
Sitting on the sidelines, they remain undecided.
But we’ll try to convince them and try to persuade;
For a chance to live better, we’ll be not dismayed.
Amazing how like “it’s just in us” …this passion and drive
And should be even more so, for us who are ALIVE!
It’s surely not wrong to have a passion for things
But what sort of action, should this passion bring?
Just a short month from now, a silence will ensue.
Other news will be news, still none of it new.
Until a few years have passed and that time comes again
Where our passion is ignited and our desire to win.
But if Christ be in you, and you hold His banner high,
There’s absolutely no reason to let the passion die.
So just to encourage you, for it is duly noted,
In spite of who wins “This Election”, I've already voted.

Here's The Word:

Daniel 5:21b ...till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.

Titus 2:13-15 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

In Him,