Friday, August 18, 2017

HAVE A BEST DAY!

Each of us has a sore spot, an axe to grind, an irritant of a person(s) in our midst.  People bug us.  Who can go through life without multiple I could do without them sorts?

For every person who causes inflammation to our attitudes, there are those whom we individually cause similar distress.  Believe it.  We are not as ideal, perfect, or sinless as we would like to persuade all others that we are.

So how shall we manage this perplexity toward others while remaining biased in our own favor?  We must be determined to develop equal bias in favor of our neighbor as well?  You don't want to, you think?  Uh-huh.  Then perhaps we just now flushed out the troublesome one in this picture.

Have a good day.  Bless others...including those whom you don't like...and you'll discover you are having one of your best days yet!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

BE HEALED

There is a glut of nasty waste moving through humanity on an hourly basis.  Woundedness lives on.  Our determined perpetuation of such increases as minds grow stubborn out of aggravation toward those who hurt us.  Simultaneously, hearts of hope grow dim.  I speak of the most aggressive enemy to each of us...our own unforgiveness of others...every other.

People hurt people.  People offend people.  But...hurters and offenders tend to grow up.  So why do we seemingly even enjoy carrying on the sharp and deep hurt of past offenses which may/can/are to be forgiven at moment's decision?  The reason?  We don't want to.  The result?  The carrier of lack of mercy toward another is eaten alive with ugly vengeance and hatred; all-the-while living unhealed while blaming the "other" party.

This.  Is.  Not.  Good.  Furthermore, This.  Isn't.  Even.  Necessary.

To carry on grudges or arguments or injuries over the past of ten days ago or ten years ago is a waste of one's own health; mental, social, and physical.  We can show mercy the moment we choose.  And the Word says that God will show mercy on the scale that we show mercy.  His advice is, Don't leave home without it (James 2:10-13).  Our seeming joy that we can make the offender pay is only determining the sentence we will receive at the Judgment.  We determine how ours will go--what God will say to us--by the way we treat those who offend us.

Forgiveness does not reside within the behavior of the offender; but within the heartfelt action of the offended.  Bringing an end to violators is not the solution.  The end of harboring ill feelings toward them is.  We.  Are.  All.  Just.  Alike.

Our families, our businesses, and our churches are breeding houses of animosity.  Rage, in places, rages; if not openly, then silently.  Squint-eyed animosity sets up camp within every heart; but, we are the ones who can deny it the power to affect one moment of our day.  The truth is that some seem to enjoy hating as if there is no alternative.  Yet, there is immediate cure when our own mercy is shown.

Mankind is living in perpetual tempest of insult and injury.  This can be changed in a heartbeat; when we decide to change it.  We can heal the world--our personal world--by letting go of spirit-beating resentment which takes its inner toll.  We can bring new life, new strength, and new hope to society immediately.  It will never be due to another's repentance; but due to our determined, selfless forgiveness.

Be healed.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

LIVE WHELMED!

I want to inform you that your life is just pretty amazing...right now.  So many can't see; but you can.  Others have difficulties in so many other areas that would surpass the temporary stresses you face.  I don't put your struggles down.  No.  Way.  But rather, I lift your positive attributes up.

So much of life IS going your way!

You are wonder.  You live in the midst of wonder.  So...go about/be about the wonder that stands awaiting to be acknowledged and applauded.

Live whelmed.  And for those of you who wouldn't mind making more in-depth notes of the grandeur which sits upon your path...be even OVERwhelmed!!!

Way.  To.  Go.  You.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

MIGHT WE GASP AT THE WONDER OF THIS TRUTH?

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
                                                         II Corinthians 5:21.  

Jesus, the one who never sinned, traded places with you/with me.  He became wrong that we could become right.  Let me reword this a bit.  He became VERY WRONG that we could become VERY RIGHT.  

Our do-good deeds don't count when it comes to sin eradication.  Such are absolutely useless.  The shed blood of Jesus is the sticking point; our spirit cleanser.  Church attendance doesn't cut it.  Good deeds are no match.  Paint thinner is useless in mopping up our trails of sin.

Note from the above text that Jesus became, not like the sinner but, the sin itself.  Hanging upon the rugged lumber formed into a torturous Cross was slander, adultery, thievery, gossip, dishonesty.  On the list of sins may grow.

Step back a moment.  Peer toward the strewn body of Jesus dangling in public view.  Emaciated, no longer recognizable as to exactly who he is, this Man took on our sins.  Get it.  Think about it.  He became our very darkest deeds themselves.  Get it.  Think about it.  

This is to be noted with incredible strength.  This moment upon the Cross is so very and deeply raw that the Father of Jesus walked out.  God walked away.  He could not fellowship....sin.  And...not coincidentally...the light of that mid-day went out.  The whole eerie scene turned as dark as night in mid-afternoon.  

Do gasp. Revisit this scene today and again tomorrow.  Realize, my friend, that this man called Jesus is more than a Sunday School term for little children.  He is the one...the only one...in history that didn't just die for the sinner; but he actually became our sin on the Cross.

What's the point?  God had it out with sin and destroyed its eternal impact.  He obliterated the penalty of sin by becoming it Himself.  This.  Is.  Surely.  Great.  Love.  

It was our sins which were nailed to the Cross.  Might we still gasp at the wonder of this truth?  It's too much to take in.  But know this...Jesus became our sin that we might become his righteousness.  

The trade has been made.  Believe it.  We are free to believe it!!

Monday, August 14, 2017

WE MUST NOT LET RELIGION GET IN THE WAY OF CHRIST-IANITY

The four gospels are consistent with repetitive pattern; religion and Jesus do not mix.
This.  Is.  Their.  Message.  Of.  Which.  We.  Are.  Still.  Learning.

The church, which is to be the body of Christ on earth today, has a fierce ongoing battle which must be faced.  Yet, basic indifference has transpired.  The light has gone out in much of the spiritual terrain for the Son of God has been placed by a religious ego of sorts known as "we do church right".

We are in desperate need for the Spirit of God to awaken us.  Awaken us; not the unbelieving world, not the thieves and robbers and swindlers...but us!  A growing picture is developing in far too many places which replicates the garden scene; Jesus praying while the disciples tip over in contented slumber.  

Religion puts one to sleep in the midst of the very process of vital activity.  The constant repeating of acts of worship gradually becomes that which is worshipped....not God....in all religions.  Christ-ianity, on the other hand, is vibrant with anticipatory enthusiasm for the worshipper senses a reality of one's spirit connected to the reality of One's Spirit.

Imagination becomes fascinated as the heart engages in bringing God honor.  One at this juncture has no taste for going through the church motions.  The craving for the Higher cannot be satisfied by the habits of the Lower.

Religion is all about motions.  We call a portion of it "acts of worship".  The question for us is, "Are we genuinely, actually, actively worshipping God?"  Indeed, this accomplishment is rewarding, renewing, and rebuilding.  We must praise something (Someone) bigger than ourselves.  Otherwise, we will continually be watching the one(s) better than us...and such a one(s) will eventually have a clay foot fall off.

It is a daily call, I believe, because it is a daily war to not let religion get in the way of Christ-ianity.  I preached Bible too many years without preaching the Christ of the Bible.  I had my slants, my perspectives, and my applauded/lauded stances; all the while, Jesus was not the centerpiece of ministry and labor.  May we gain new momentum and then renewed momentum day by day.

Christ is to be the key in the term Christ-ianity.  Religion and Jesus do not mix; but, oh how we still try to make the two fit into our preferred forms.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

DELEGITIMIZING THE FACT OF FAITH?

An interruption to faith does not mean that the realm of faith is a false premise.  There are those in abundant number who perport exactly such a measure though.  These are quick to point out the slightest thread of Christianity gone awry as verification that faith is some sort of imaginary hoax.  I believe a "weak crutch" is what they oft times describe it.

Faith sees what isn't yet.  That's enough to cancel pursuit for many.   Yet, that's its secret weapon and it matters because...it is true.  Faith is the lifeblood of our day.  To pooh-pooh it without serious probe is catastrophic for any and all.

Every one of us lives by faith in some degree that hits interruption; yet, we do not boast that there is not reality of faith, do we?  How many have left the house with intent (faith, as it hadn't happened yet) to bolt off to work?  Yet, in the driveway sits a flat-tire.  I thought you were going to work (by faith that's where you were headed)!  Your intent (faith/belief) was deterred for a bit....but you eventually got to your job.

Have you ever planned on Monday to golf on Tuesday only to find storms arrived overnight and continued during the next day?  Did you golf?  No.  Hadn't you planned by faith to do so?  Yes.  So how's this faith thing going for you?  According to the many, faith should be dropped from any and all discussions because what some had planned as absolute didn't happen.

So it is in the spiritual world of sheer faith.  We are engaged and embedded in a belief system that is quite legit.  Interruption?  Well....there is not interruption at all because faith's very nature is full of options.  We begin immediately in our minds (faith) to work an alternative plan.  (We will work an hour later at the office due to that flat tire and we can golf next Tuesday.)  Faith's flexibility bugs the those bent on doubting its most essential nature.

Yes, flexibility is key.  Faith never gives up.  Faith is the terrain and the substance of all hope.  Adjustment defies rules.  We will get to work regardless of interference and we will join the foursome.  Too many, however, shut down when the slightest interruption happened in their faith/church world because they assume that when matters don't work out that faith has been delegitimized.  Not.  True.

We are called to walk by faith and not by sight because faith is the real.  The flat tire by no means signals you won't make it to work.  Your faith says you have options.  The rainy day does not transfer to sell the clubs.  Your faith says you will win over this time-restricted contest.  And...you succeed with both.

So to the doubters of Christian faith out there, you are barking up a mistaken tree.  I know, you believe you've got this church/faith thing all figured out because you've noted inconsistencies like sins, sinners, and even death.  However, all of these are our flat tires and our rain-delays.  Jesus has them all covered.  Your charting of our failures feel quite pleasing to your egos, but what you haven't remembered is that faith always trumps the previous day(s) failures and interruptions.

Jesus has changed the game, the rules, and the results.  Really.  And, truth be told, every person already understands quite well the deep practicality of the realm of....legitimate faith....don't we? I would ask that you possibly rethink your position of delegitimizing faith for it is both practical as well as authentic.

Reschedule your tee time with God.  We all have had to do so somewhere along the storms of life.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

WHERE THE CHRISTIAN WORLD MUST GET A GRIP

This is just my observation, but I believe that the bulk of mankind is wasting a huge portion of its breathing, walking, and talking time.  I speak, not from a sense of criticism but, with intent to be one of those voices in our lives which would join the ranks of assisting each other in moving forward...as well as upward.  Regardless of age, there will always be room for attainable improvement.  This would be called growth and maturity.

I believe that our inner part (our spirit) is carrying a dis-ease that could be compared to a chronic headache or back pain.  That ailment is so ultra-subtle that it goes unnoticed only to be detected by Spirit x-ray.  I speak of the sin of being aggravated and disliking those around us.

"Oh, that's a problem?"  Oh, yes.  It's ruling our world in so many cases.

We must get a grip on this glut of enemyism for it's eating our lunches seven days straight each week.  I'm not necessarily speaking of any deeper violation than that there are those in our lives that we just don't like because of one or one hundred injurious moves they have committed against us.  So?  We have determined to shut them off as no good, unnecessary...and totally not like self.

But...this latter observation is where we are wrong....precisely and devastatingly so.

Why can we not a get a grip that when it comes to sin, we are all alike?  The answer is we tend to give ours an explainable pass while throwing condemnation at all others whom we have determined with enormous conviction that we don't like and won't ever like....again!  But there's a hitch with this mindset.  We have forgotten that we are all just alike.

Consider the apostle who regarded himself as least in the kingdom, "For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves, they are without understanding."  (II Cor. 10:12)

I make a tremendous amount of mistakes.  So much so that I battle shutting down because of how old I am and, yet, I remain so foolish, silly, and weak at times.  So how is it that I can still think of myself as better than another?  Any other?  This verse says I'm precisely like all others.  And, it declares the same of you.

Rather than carry a grudge, you might find life to be a greater dimension of joy and robust enthusiasm if you would get a grip on your own great lack.  Such isn't a negative thought, but rather a most powerful piece of lasting and meaningful encouragement.  We can do better at loving others and the good news is....that it's only a thoughtful determination away!