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?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

BREAKING THE BONDS OF INDIFFERENCE

All of us are in the toughest war; that enormous battle for our souls and spirits. It's heaviest hitter is INDIFFERENCE. Who cares? Offer a shrug? Find your ammunition to blast away at the other side; believers or un. Indifference is wily because it is poised as most innocent. What could be wrong with neutrality?

Neutral: neither pro nor con. It's clarion call is, "Who cares?" Yet, the bulk of the living populace would be in strong favor of life after death. Would resurrecting from the grave in order to enter a new life to never die again be an important factor? I would think that few would shrug their shoulders in an "I can take it or leave it" attitude.

Therefore, I encourage us to break the many bonds of indifference that come our way. They are there for a reason; to neutralize us into unbelief. Oh, I'm aware that the mockings are quite abundant. And the pointing out the failure of those who take a stab at believing? Everywhere one turns. This should tell us something about how drastic the believing factor is to the hearts of men and women. One should wonder why belief in God and all that goes with it is so adamantly opposed if He and His system are fake; illegitimate.

I know. I know. You've got a reason, a legitimate one, as to why you will have nothing to do with faith in God. Yet, consider that one day you will die. So far its only happened to others; but your day is getting closer. And what say you about your next future? Shouldn't we be wowed and enthralled at the concept that just as a seedling planted in the ground arises from the dead and into a beautiful flower, that the same style will be of ourselves?

Jesus lived and died...and lives. He broke the indifference code. We aren't called to believe in the church. It's full of us...who are there because we can't save ourselves one moment. We are called to believe in the one person who broke death's indifference code. He ruined the hopes that cemeteries held. He will devastate them...because....they. will. not. keep. us.

Break the bonds of indifference for such is our personal prison without bars. And would you take a guess at why this indifference is so prevalent? It's the easier way out. However, I think we are worth more than a habit of "Who cares?" Each...should care...a lot. Eternal life is real. Hear Him call.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

WHY CHURCH IS EXCITING

Truthfully, I never saw it coming. I've been to church since a little kid. Parts I liked. Parts I didn't. The Kool-Aid and cookies were my big draw! The rest was simply a matter of putting in my time.

It's the latter that I find sensed by so many...in church. And, I'm not critical for I once lived there. Yet, the good news that I wish to convey day after day is that life in the church is to be profoundly electric with hope, wonder, and accomplishment.

Ritual kills.  Jesus said so. Life (for us) was and is always his target. Church is not the stiff formation that can be perceived by many who attend. It is the opposite...the breakthrough to abundant (Jesus' word) life!

I encourage you to read your Bible; not so you can say you read it. Rather read to believe. Dare to believe that what isn't yet in your life (your world) can be. When impossible becomes reality, you are striking gold in the kingdom of the interaction with Father.

You can't buy it. Neither can you talk yourself into it. Your role is to believe God. He will supply the "how tos" and the "wherefores".

Church is exciting because it is God-activated and our trump card is that we believe Him over doubters who wish to be negative toward the true spiritual walk.