Friday, February 24, 2017

SCARRED FOR LIFE

What I'm about to tell you could just be your passageway into a new approach to life.  Jesus is the Master teacher about authentic and productive living.  However, sometimes we are found to be merely getting through our days best we can.  

What if I told you that the secret to your success is not just the things in your life that have gone right; like winning a contest or getting a much needed raise, or a new set of golf clubs?  What if we could tap a region of spiritual ore which would lift you to even higher ground?  Well, take a gander the following concept.

Jesus died that we might have life; life abundantly.  This is his goal and the route to be taken for such included his personally backpacking a cross.  What happened on his cross?  He was scarred in order to give life to us!  We are to take up our crosses with the expectation that there will be scarring.

We.  Will.  Be.  Scarred.  As a result, we yield and endure the pain and struggle so that others may find new LIFE in God!

Have we talked/sung about the Cross with little awareness as to the call of really carrying such?  This, my friend, is the central doctrine of the church.  Each of us has had negative things happen in which we have been scarred for life.  You may not have heard me.  I said that negative things happen in which we have been scarred for LIFE!  Just as did Jesus, we can present our scars as proof of being resurrected into a new positive daily walk....which will truly bless others.

We are scarred for their life; a most exciting concept for it gives meaning to our bad days.  We experience them with grace and love that those among us who are dead (in attitude and emotion and spirit) might live again!

I, therefore, encourage you to enter an incredible, believable, hopeful zone that transforms us and then transforms others as a result.  If you are going to be hurt by others (and you are), let the scars give LIFE and hope to others.  They need it.  They want it.  They will be blessed by your scarring.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

BE SURE TO CHANGE YOUR MIND EVERY 10,000 MILES

The mind  plays a major, major role in the Kingdom system of God.  His very reach toward us comes with a package.  Within it we find helps and directives designed for us to enter an entirely new world.  Look at II Corinthians 5:16-17.  Old things pass away.  New things have come.  It's a new world.

Here's where Christianity becomes sluggish.  Rather than changing our minds, we simply top them off by adding a quart of new information.  This will help us keep running fairly good....for while.  But somewhere along the way, we are going to be required to switch minds (change our mind) ridding the old and receiving the new.  Some things in our minds are to be discarded.

I reached a point long ago where I needed to rid myself of believing that God worked only through the Bible.  I had to abandon such training in order to receive an entirely new thread of the information.  I had to empty out my mind of old thinking and refill it with the truth of the Holy Spirit working directly in our lives.

I had to empty my mind that I can't be effective because I am not worthy.  My confidence is in the Spirit of God due to changing out my mind.  I learned to empty my mind of believing that I didn't deserve to be mistreated for serving God.  I needed to replace the old thinking of my mind and refill with the new understanding that I am to take up my cross daily.

Okay, the changing of our mind won't actually be every 10,000 miles.  Rather, it will be daily.  We can anticipate learning from God very new things; several of which will require more than accumulation of information.  Rather, it will mean we pull in to God's service station for a mind-change.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day; II Cor. 4:16.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WHY IS JESUS SO CENTRAL TO YOUR LIFE?

There seems to be a pattern for humans.  Birth.  Living.  Die.

Born.  Engage.  Done.

The reason Jesus should be so central to your life is that he is the only religious leader in history that was beaten to a pulp while paying for our sins, endured the death that we deserved, and then arose on the third day.  The Life-after-Death matter should stop us from neglecting him.  We are certainly sunk without him.

For those of you who aren't really into church stuff, I would ask you to begin to imagine yourself learning, just as I had to learn, about potential living beyond the grave.  It isn't an imaginary fabrication of people who don't like to sleep in on Sundays.  It is the hope...one huge gigantic conviction...that the cemetery isn't the end.

What I didn't see coming is the fact that when baptized (being born again) we arise from the grave of water to a new kind of life now; not just after the cemetery.  God changes things because His specialty is changing people.  Transformation is real.  It is authentic.  It is experiential.

Don't hesitate.  Don't offer excuse if you can help it.  Rather, ask around as to a church where you would understand new beginnings.  For so many, it isn't that you need to reform your life.  No, you need to start over by transforming your life!  Jesus went to the grave....and three days later started over!

May we continue to marvel at what he does for us day by day as we make concerted effort to learn of him smidge by smidge.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A FALSE DOCTRINE THAT PLAGUES

God is up there.  We are down here.  When it's our turn for the grave, let's hope there's something to what has been rumored about a bit later coming out of it alive.  Yet, mankind remains shut down in many areas because of that false doctrine to the point that sometimes we don't even live while we are living.

Father sent Jesus...to earth in order to break that mistaken perspective of distance between the Creator and the created.  He became one of us.  He walked around on our streets, met our people, ate our food; all of which had not been experienced from Heaven's side.  In the process, Jesus received the Holy Spirit at baptism which was simply a sign that Father had moved into earthen-born Jesus.  Demonstration of this union (unity) impacts all of us...at least it should.

A false doctrine that plagues us is our trying to do life without the Holy Spirit.  But because some don't know anything about Him and others would rather control their own religious life, He is basically ignored or shunned.  The Holy Spirit, though, is given that we might have confidence to get life done abundantly; never on our own scrutiny, but His dynamic infiltration of the human heart.  The Holy Spirit works directly in our lives as the Bible insists.

To believe that God is "out there" while we are rummaging around "down here" without Him is truly a false doctrine that unbelievers inside and outside of the church mistakenly absorb.  However, our God is active.  He displayed His activity in His Son for us to take personal note.  "See how Jesus does it?"  "Well then, go into all of the world and make a Kingdom difference!"  "I'll be the Something!"  "I'll partner with you as you be the nothing..and we will make an enormous difference!", says the Living God!

A terribly strange and costly belief error is strangling the world populace because believers operate in fleshly fear; not in Spirit confidence.  It is the Holy Spirit of God who has the power to override earth's discouraging frustrations of the human heart.  It is the Holy Spirit of God who brought the Son up and out of the grave and wishes to free us from daily matters of stymieing restrictions which we place upon ourselves.

And why do we remain cornered from opportunity and impact?  At times we are afraid; afraid of being noted by those around as "one of them".  So we go ahead, do our religious habitualism, and hide; hide like under a bushel basket. May we break free a day at a time in order to become the one(s) God has called to cheer on our neighbors who are just like us.  We both need to know the new confidence to be found in the Spirit of God.  He....sets us free.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

PRAYER ISN'T LIKE PLACING AN ORDER AT A McDONALDS DRIVE-THRU

Taking the time to pray would seem to me to be one of the more challenging traits of the Kingdom life.  It takes faith to do it.  It takes patience.  It takes vision.  It takes confident trust in God.

For many, including myself for many years, prayer was that church thing that I should do; but didn't.  I could give excuses.  You've heard them; maybe even done them.  Prayer is boring.  I prayed and God didn't answer.  It seems to be a genuine struggle to faithfully enter into that God-connection zone.

For me, I was treating prayer as if I were at a McDonalds drive-thru.  I'd like a blessing here with two orders of safety there.  Hold the struggles, please.  Thank You.  Amen.  But prayer isn't placing an order at drive-thru speed.  It is communicating with God as to how you dearly treasure Him while you thank Him for His interaction with you.  Too, it is quite alright to share with God your most urgent needs.

I encourage you to pray with certain hope in the Spirit.  Not everything goes as we wish or calculate.  But we can be assured that He is responding to bless us the best.  Jesus, in the Garden, ask Father to let him skip the rigors of the Cross.  But it wasn't Father's will.  The Son, then, went through incredible suffering in order to experience the ultimate blessing....the resurrection from the dead.

 God wrote the Playbook!

Please, do tell Him your direst needs.  And when at first these prayers don't seem to be heard, be assured that His response is already activated.  Our job is to believe, endure, and watch.  God will respond on His time; not ours.  We are not driving by Him to place an order.  We are, rather, walking with God and have the privilege of watching His responses unfold.

In my early days I didn't pray, didn't like to pray, didn't see the deep need to pray.  And, I was the preacher!  Today, as I have learned to tell Him Thank You before I place my orders before Him, I will walk and talk with Him repeatedly throughout every day.  When you pray, try not to spend time with your words.  But rather, spend time with your God.  Brag on Him.  Visit with Him.  Know that He is most attentive.

We aren't approaching God to place an order.  Rather, we are interacting with Him to know His heart, His will, His call, and His direction.


Friday, February 17, 2017

THE COPY AND PASTE CRAZE

Dear Wonderful Friends who want me to Copy and Paste,

I've not received a request from one person to Copy and Paste their message that I don't dearly love.  I'm crazy about people.  But, if it's okay with you, could I tell you something that you do the people like me?

Your messages include so that I will know who my real friends are.  These words are then followed by you will learn just which ones they are by those who Copy and Paste your message, send it to twenty people, and copy you.

What you don't realize is that you place guilt upon those of us who really love you, but don't want to join that zone of FaceBookism.  And, some like me don't have a clue how to Copy and Paste.

So, would you please not test me as to whether I like you on the basis of whether I Copy and Paste a style of FaceBookism that you obviously enjoy?  Because when you do, it makes me feel guilty because I don't know how to do it....and if I did, I wouldn't.

My friends are dear to my heart.  To be told that I must Copy and Paste to prove it?  Well, I don't know just how serious you are about such.  But when I don't, I'm not meaning to hurt your feelings.  I like you.

 Copy and Paste this memo to twenty of your friends....but not to me.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

LEANING INTO GOD

It's pretty fascinating to me to consistently learn of amazing works for God that are going on all over the world.  We will never grasp the ties and connections to one another as we strive to serve from a basis of faith.  It's just too much to grasp because it's more the size of God than or our collective selves.  As partners within the Kingdom, we participate in fruitful miracles to win in ouk communities while we remain oblivious to His so very much that He has going on.  So be encouraged, your efforts matter...your faith efforts.

I toss an idea your way.  It's nothing new; but it is always valuable to consider as a reminder.  God's ways are not ours.  I continue to expect, even desire, that God operate from our business mind.  The "You make x amount of calls and you'll get x amount of sales" mentality leaves us stuck on our own muscle and steam.  The Spirit is the Refueler and the Redirector.

To wait on God seems to bug our carnal bent for being in control.  All the while we want to be the churches of "What's Happening Now".  I surely do, don't you?  So with this awareness of our inner wrestlings, I remind you that God is working.  I have learned to reevaluate my concept of "work" due to John 6:29.  Our work is to believe in Jesus.  Our struggle is that the flesh would rather have a tangible result to show for/to ourselves that we are effective.

I encourage patience.  Sometimes we sow seed only to hit the field the next day and dig up the seed to see how it's progressing....which will never hit growth by such a trend.  Dare to believe in the invisible.  We operate by faith; not by sight.  The temptation is so strong to quote such a passage and then hit the pavement with our own agenda and muscle.

Lean into God.  I want to learn to lean into Him more.  He is our hope through the Spirit of Jesus.  Let Him do His stuff by getting our stuff and ourselves out of the way.


RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR THE HEART

Nobody likes bad days.  But the truth is that whether we like them does not stop them.  What we choose to do with them is, fortunately for us, optional.

I encourage you today to view your stresses as a fuel for growth rather than as reason for a downer.  We have the power to reverse the setting; any negative setting.  Insult and injury can be transformed to power and blessing.  Bad days are bad days.  We don't try to relabel them.  But we can learn how to make them serve us rather than us serve them.

Life isn't an arrival where we are never called any longer to grow up.  Life is a process that moves us forward and upward by the route of challenges.  First graders don't live the rest of their lives in first grade.  Nor do these same ones get to remain in eighth once they get to that level.  And what takes place in this procedure?  Each student is challenged (by things that they do not understand nor even like in some instances) in order to mature.  Maturing is always challenged to mature even more.

The reason for this particular post is that I know that many of you encounter powerful stresses.  Turn such on its head.  Train it to serve you rather than boss you.  You are not to be a slave to trouble.  But rather you are to transform it into a renewable energy that takes you even farther and higher than if you had not encountered such.

Trash can be converted to fuel.  We have the choice.  Let's dare to go for it!