Wednesday, July 15, 2020

GOD'S POWER IS YOUR POWER

Even the title doesn't quite seem right, huh? And that's a part of my point. We talk the talk of faith; but we tend to deny major tenets. We are given a holy assignment; a very holy one. We are to take up OUR crosses and follow Him with the identical mission as when He carried His.
From the cross perspective, God's power resides in us. It isn't mainly in our church attendance. Nor is it located in our Bible knowledge. His power is in our carbon-copying the dying of Jesus for the saving of sinners.
Regarding the "as for Jesus/as for us" parallel, take a gander at Hebrews 9:15-22 where it concludes, "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."
Do you get the extreme of Jesus? Yes, I believe we do. We buy into it completely and rightfully so.
But...do you get the extreme of yourself? That as others offend, hurt, sin against you...and that you are to boldly maintain that exact extreme that Jesus did? Do you understand that this world is not in deep hurt because it can't find a church primarily? It's in deep pain because it can't find duplicationalistic cross carriers.
The power for community healing is found in the dying of its church adherents. The restoration of one who is guilty as sin is not found in their apology; but in the believers absorption of the sinner's guilt. This force (this power) is Christianity-gone-real and when it goes real it will be Christianity-gone-viral.
Yes...we get hurt. Furthermore, others get hurt by us. The call to stop sinning is one element. The insistence to die for the sinner is the mantra of Jesus the Lamb...who was slain. We like the go to church part. The slain part, though, is what helps individuals find their place of acceptance and value. The Cross explains us, defines us, and as it kills us...gives us true life.
God's power...really is your power. Be serious about it for others will get well when we can sacrifice for their well-being. Thank you God for giving us a mission that...gives life to the hopeless and the helpless...like You did for us!

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

TWO PLACES OF BIRTH UPON EARTH

TWO PLACES OF BIRTH UPON EARTH
One of God's powers among and within us is the awareness to be thankful. I know that many of you have terribly rough times; genuinely so with absolutely no doubt about the intensity nor the struggle. Yet, I want to be one of those voices in your midst that would encourage you to look for the blessings, His provisionary blessings, within the region of each challenge.
For every stress we deem substantial, someone else has a much larger one that they would be very happy to trade for ours. This doesn't diminish our serious load. It does, hopefully, bring about a perspective that we may find reason to be thankful.
God came to earth as a man specifically to be subjected to brokenness; our brokenness. Not only does He understand our stresses, He beat them...every...one...of...them.
We do not deny the trials nor the tribulations seemingly everywhere we turn. And neither do we ever submit ourselves to that deceitful temptation of hopelessness. Nope...not once.
God is the very author of life...two places of birth upon earth...life from the womb and life from the tomb. Both...give such an incredible signal of, "You've got to be kidding me! This...is just awesome!"

Thursday, June 06, 2019

THE BOOK THAT OPENED MY EYES

I have many favorite authors and books. Max Lucado, Philip Yancey, and Chuck Swindoll (and more can be listed) are three of my dear friends who write perpetual masterpieces. Their books inspired my mission and supported my spirit. But one special author opened the door that I might begin to learn from these friends.
His name? E. Stanley Jones. His “The Divine Yes” constructed my faith and I never got over it. All of his writings set me on fire. But The Divine Yes put sense and practicality into my faith. It transferred my actions into synchronized partnering with Holy God.
I applaud you for your favorite books. Maybe you would want to list the one that awakened you to see God in clearer fashion that others might find gain.
For me, The Divine Yes is still at the top of my list. It is where I began to realize that everything truly is a YES!

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

THE WORD OF GOD...FROM STONE TO FLESH

God first gave mankind instruction written in stone. We would know this as the Ten Commandments. It was the Law. Such was presented to be hard and rigidly concrete as if set in...stone. The Law was given to reflect man's hardness of heart.

But, later on, along came Jesus. The message from God, displayed within His Son, shifted from hardness to flesh. The transition is forever impactive because the adjustment was from concepts and principles to nature..our new nature. The former is unyielding.  The latter? Perpetually flexible.

Is is any wonder that it is much easier to lay down the law than it is to lay down our lives? One comes from hearts of stone. The latter flows from hearts of love. The Holy Spirit ushers in the latter by PERSON-ally (via Jesus) flowing through our hearts day by day.

Don't be a religious grump. Be a spiritual carer of people. Dare to let others see you as one who cares; not one who scares.




Sunday, June 02, 2019

FAITH IS MORE THAN A SCORECARD

Faith is one gigantic trait that, even in the world of religion, tends to somehow find itself buried within the confines of a formatic ritual. Practices, doctrines, and results tend to dominate. And...each of these three are certainly major tenets of an authentic belief system. Yet the difference I'm addressing is more of whether we are actually suited up and in the game or are we merely sitting in the stands with scorecard in hand?

Are we experiencing the daring moves of God within our walk? Or, are we offering applause when we see others on the field having a breakthrough. Our real work is to suit up (in Christ) with the intention of participating in the actual game of faith versus boredom.

Faith isn't a blink of a moment on our way to completing the three or the five or the eight steps to the plan of salvation; depending on who has devised and issued the plan. Faith is the main thing about knowing, believing, and following Jesus. A problem, a most serious one, is that religion has vaulted itself into which pleasantry group over what are the risks of following our Savior.

Faith is more than a scorecard. It's rewarding to see this element increasing within the church world. Could it be that denominational lines are blurring because increased faith is occurring? I'm one who thinks so. My walk over 71 years has gone from indifference to God, to legalism in church, to trying to lend myself to development in the Spirit. I like the breakthroughs while bemoaning my own notorious and obvious lack.

This I know. Faith is more than a scorecard (used as proof text) hoping to demonstrate our doing church right. It is the transformationalistic leading of the inner person from self-definition to the God-one. We have much entering yet to do. How fun is that? May we grow in the opportunities faith opens as we find ourselves less self-reliant and Jesus totally competent.

Faith is more than a scorecard. One who believes it is most likely is merely engaged in church-attendance mode rather than Holy Spirit expectation. I speak not from criticism. Rather, I nudge with a wow-factor that God can do with us, through us, and for us things that will scare the tar out of us.

We. Say.
Go. For. It. Now.
Enjoy. His. Results.

Friday, May 31, 2019

ENTHRALLMENT IS ALL IT'S PROMISED TO BE

I encourage you to awaken to the wonder all about you (just in case you've been tugged by distraction). It's so easy to lose track of successes for you are surely pelted by difficulty and distress. No one is exempt. While we do not pretend that our walk has no problems, we can factually and actually count the many acts of wonder that are happening to and for us. So much so that we hardly notice how automatically we are being surrounded by blessings...immensely galore.

Take inventory of a few of the simpler things, routine things, of life. For instance, note the price of gasoline increasing. Bemoan the rise if you want...or celebrate the reality that you have a car when parts of the world do not. These ride the bus...or walk.

Consider the commonality that you are reading this thread. Many have no eyes to see. You get the picture by now.

I once lived on the under side of life. Poor Terry. I was a whining, complaining, accusing waster of my time. I was the only one who could call my own hand. When I did, transitioning was immediate as if turning on a dime. It wasn't a matter of others changing their ways in order for me to enter happiness. All it took was a re-framing of my thinking trends.

How would I choose to use this tool known as perception? I seemed to be the only one in my voting booth. So why not elect to have a very good day? Ah, finally I learned how to cast my vote. I checked the box for ENTHRALLMENT.

Be enthralled with life. Certainly you are attacked with frustration and even injury. But don't let these become thieves. Instead, train them to become your cheerleaders toward an even more productive life. You can do it. And, would you know why? It's because you get to be the one who decides what items will dominate you mind.

Go have a really good day...for it...awaits you...now!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

THE GREATEST DAILY CHALLENGE

I John 4:8 issues a profound statement, "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." While such a comment is world-changing in truth, it has become possibly a yawner in church. We likely tend to like those we like and don't like those we don't. Follow me? Let us sense the apostle's weighty call for reason of giving us true ability to impact our communities.

Is not the fundamental and most fierce challenge among us all that of loving others? Aren't we caught guilty of preferentialicity; you please me and I'll like you? You offend me and I'll keep score you scoundrel?

A Christian's trademark is not that he belongs to a church and attends regularly. No, it is always that nature which exudes from the cross; not getting our way that others be given greater care. This beauty will always need to be seen throughout our walk as we seek to increase in our ability to love others; even those who test us to our limits.

We, as believers in God, can only be verified as truly following Him by our love for others...even when others are a tad bit difficult to treasure from our own strength. No, such an assignment cannot be completed unless....unless the Holy Spirit is given our permission to bear His fruit within us for we cannot possibly muster love for our enemies (and aggravaters) on our own.

The only reason that we cannot bring ourselves to love all others is one. The Bible spells it out. We do not allow the love of God to flow through because, quite honestly and accurately...we don't know God. This challenges me every day. How about you?