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: August 2013

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!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Share and Share Alike

Ya know, I’m old school and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably not amused by the current climate of our culture. Yes, I believe every generation looks at the up and coming crowd and reflects on how much better things were in ‘OUR’ day. Are we just being nostalgic about our formative years and there’s really no difference in the way people are? or is there really as much of a difference as we think there is? And if so, what should be done? Well, I believe that there IS something going on. Whatever it is, it’s causing me a bit of concern and here’s what I’m doing about it.

Share and Share alike - Here are a few ‘golden nuggets’ of wisdom that I’ve collected. I grew up hearing SO many of these types of sayings that I simply don’t hear much anymore. I think we should continue to share and impress those time tested truths on the “new school” generation. Some are sayings I often share with my children. This is more of a potpourri of sayings as they don’t follow one distinct topic or theme. Here are a few that I remember;

• Do unto others as you would have them do unto you Luke 6:31 (The Golden Rule: paraphrased)
• It’s so nice to be nice – My Grandmother
• Prayer changes things.
• If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped. -Evelyn Underhill
• Don’t assume that all YOU know, is all there is.
• Don’t despair the friction experienced in raising your children. Stay consistent and encouraged; you’re raising your grandchildren through them.

During a Sunday school lesson several years ago, the discussion was “Does God still use Angels in the lives of Christians who have the Holy Spirit inside of them?” Here’s a powerful little statement presented by a student(Pat Wilson) that helped clarify things for us.
• Angels’ jobs are to provide and protect, The Holy Spirit’s job is to guide and direct.

Of course as you read these, you may have heard the same general idea presented differently. The point is, are you sharing it? It’s disheartening how much I hear people express such angst at the idea of repeating themselves, especially when the most tried and true form of teaching IS repetition. I make this point because maybe there are a few fingers that can be pointed back at us for seeing repetition as exhausting rather than essential.

This is a list of stand outs from my experience – PLEASE ‘Share and share alike’: Respond/comment/email me with some of the golden nuggets you’ve come across in your experience. I’ll post them and pass them along.

Here’s The Word;

Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

In Him,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sunshine On My Shoulders

Okay, I may surely be risking the confiscation of my “Brother Card” on this one; but somehow this quote captured exactly what I was feeling after a week of still moving and cleaning stuff out of my old house while maneuvering around the droves of unpacked boxes in my new one, getting the kids prepared for the first day of school. It also seems quite obvious that I’ll be dealing with the ebbs and flows of an ugly divorce for the foreseeable future (well, maybe not full-blown ugly but definitely unattractive), and I could’ve about fallen over backwards when I found out how much it would cost to cut down the forest that surrounds my house. Whew! I think even Calgon would hide from me if it saw me coming down the street. …but I digress.

And now, a word from John Denver on writing the song “Sunshine on My Shoulders”

"I wrote the song in Minnesota at the time I call 'late winter, early spring'. It was a dreary day, gray and slushy. The snow was melting and it was too cold to go outside and have fun, but God, you're ready for spring. You want to get outdoors again and you're waiting for that sun to shine, and you remember how sometimes just the sun itself can make you feel good. And in that very melancholy frame of mind I wrote 'Sunshine on my Shoulders'."

Now I’m not here to dismantle John’s theology but he makes a clear point about our ability to choose our frame of mind. I’m sure you, just like me, have more than enough things in your life tugging away at your sense of joy and peace. Sometimes those things are so strong and we feel so bullied by life that we look up to God as if to question “Are you seeing this?” It’s at those times I thank God for His Word and His Work to give me the strength to focus my mind.

Here’s The Word;

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Psalm 121:1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Ahhhhhhh… Calgon simply can’t compare to Christ! You see that there is a choice to make. And it’s not to deny the fact that into each life a little rain must fall, or the fact that sometimes ‘a little rain’ is more like a flash flood. But knowing that there’s a Father in Heaven who loves me (and you) dearly and not only desires for us to rejoice, but has provided for us VERY good reasons to. Maybe you’ll have to reach back into your memories a bit – or even better; reach forward to the Hope of Heaven where we’ll all walk around with the “Sunshine on our shoulders”.

In Him,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Audacity of Nope

As I drove home from work the other day, I became overwhelmed to tears. The issue was the idea of my sinfulness. Not merely my ‘missing the mark’ due to the fallen nature that we’ve all inherited from Adam; but the real, obstinate choice to disregard what I know to be better which oftentimes amounts to some insignificant selfish desire. A friend of mine made a statement years ago saying that if God showed us our sin in its entirety, we could not stand the full weight of it. After hearing it, I spent a lot of time pondering the idea. Over the years, the statement has become more clear to me. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not in a depressed state where I’m constantly beating myself up or shunning God’s daily mercies and blessing because “I’m not worthy.” I realize that we need to be careful that the enemy not use thoughts such as these to gain a foothold to turn us in on ourselves. Paul did a very good job expressing the reality we all have as believers (even mature believers)– The daily war with the old man of sin.

Here’s The Word;

Romans 7:18-21 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

I guess it’s also the other side of the coin; God is SO good to us. I think of my kids; I reckon since I've read enough comments on Facebook that in reality, I can say “OUR” kids. Our children (and by extension as we relate to God – WE) seem to operate in a sense of entitlement. We tell our kids over and over again; “Clean up behind yourself.” “If you don’t understand, ask.” “Be more responsible.” “Why should I continue to give you things when you don’t appreciate what you already have?” I find myself negotiating with my kids to get them to do what’s appropriately expected and “right”. I pray that God would help me leverage the proper balance of direction, discipline and encouragement because I also find myself trying to not be too hard on them, and then second –guessing that I’m too lenient.

But that brings my thoughts back to us and how we relate to Our Heavenly Father, what more could God possibly do? Actually, what more SHOULD He do? This entire existence is ALL God’s situation; He’s created absolutely everything good thing that we obliviously enjoy. Even though we have His Word and His Spirit guiding us from faith to faith into an ever-maturing expression of righteousness, when we willingly disregard His teachings…it’s just like saying “Nope”. And with all He’s already done, He never deserves any answer except “Yes”.

Here’s The Word;

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

So I’m just sharing the thought. I would pray that you not give the enemy an opportunity to turn you in on yourselves, but I also pray that you be encouraged to obediently appreciate Our Father better. And that the idea of giving Him less would be increasingly distasteful to the point that you realize and stand opposed to the audacity of “Nope”.

In Him,

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

For Your Enjoyment

     As much I truly love digging deep into The Scriptures; applying the principles of Hermeneutics to commonly contended (or mis-applied) passages – I also love the simple clarity afforded when we take a BIG STEP back and get a wider view. In the whole message of Scripture, I see that even before the magnificent display of The Trinity’s awesome orchestration in creation, God (Triune) was enjoying Himself. Creation was never the result of any compelling requirement based on a need or lack in God but was simply a continuation of His enjoyment.

Here’s The Word:

Revelation 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

The Bible is replete with verses that speak of God’s pleasure; Things that He finds pleasure in as well as things He finds no pleasure in. And my point is this – Do we maintain a consciousness of how our life affects God? More specifically, do we seek to bring joy to God’s heart by our responses to life’s situations?

Here’s The Word;

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

What's your attitude of gratitude? What does your appreciation look like? Are you the quite or exuberant type? Sober and sedate or spirited and passionate? Are you more concerned with how your display of gratitude is seen by men or are you unashamed to “cut loose” gitcho “praise dance” on? I don't imagine that the "joy in Heaven" is one of reserved acknowledgement exhibited with nodding and smiling.

Here’s The Word;

Psalm 35:27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

I have a growing concern and I actually feel that I’m becoming more influence by a post-modernist Christianity that emphasizes an “in my heart” display of faith and subsequently, joy. It seems as if many new believers are either learning or are never challenged to live a displayed changed lifestyle and anything pertaining to spiritual transformation is never encouraged or challenged to be anything more than a sincere feeling in your heart. However, I admit that I understand the drive for having a heart towards God, I just think a proper and prosperous walk with The Lord is one where are heart AND are hands are equally engaged and a proper display of exuberant joy is expected and appropriate.

Here’s The Word;

Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

Psalm 147:11 The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

So please take this as encouragement to keep in mind The God created you - not due to lack, but for His pleasure and that we have the ability to make choices that affect His pleasure. I know for myself, this study has already affected my prayer and I know in my heart that I will stay conscious and pray “Father, help me to be cognizant of the choices I make: Help me be a vessel used for Your enjoyment”.

In Him,