December 29, 2011
Okay, you are driving on the freeway making your way from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas and decide to tune into your favorite radio station. But, for some reason the signal won’t come in clearly down in polygamist territory. (smile) So, you keep fiddling with the dial trying to get a clear signal. You can sort of hear the music, but there is so much static on the line that you eventually give up and pop in a CD instead. You know there is no point in continuing to mess with the tuning knob because there is something blocking the radio waves. Well, God is also on a certain wavelength (called Light) and in order to get any results from our prayers and to get our needs met, we have to be tuned in to the right frequency. However, if something is blocking that frequency, we can pray until we are blue in the face and nothing is going to happen!
Many people view a relationship with God in the wrong light (pun intended). This really isn’t their fault as they cannot go beyond what they have been taught. The fault lies with the so-called ministers who cannot get beyond the subject of sin. Sin, sin, sin, sin…is all they want to talk about. But, God isn’t on that station so people would do better if they turned that radio off forever! If a relationship with God was always about what I do wrong, I wouldn’t want one with Him either! Perhaps we have all been presented with that ridiculous picture of what it means to be a Christian. You know, where we don’t have fun in life anymore. Where we all get together on a Saturday night, hold hands and sing songs, while trying to be real holy and not have any “evil” fun! Shoot me now, right? That narrow, religious view can’t be true, can it? And although there isn’t anything wrong with holding hands and singing songs (smile) I don’t think we give God enough credit for understanding His creation. Ha ha…God knows all about you and still loves you! God already knew that mankind would fall short of “deserving” His love, but because of His great love, decided to love us anyway. The question is never about God’s view of us, but rather our views about Him. So, how can we get on God’s wavelength and tap into His power? Well, first you have to get the transmitter and next you have to get on the right frequency.
The first step in getting on God’s frequency is to get “born-again.” Contrary to public opinion, not everyone is a child of God. (Just like not every child is my off-spring, praise the Lord!) God is only the Father of those He has fathered. God is spirit and in order to be His child you have to get spirit. Okay, now stop right there! Don’t start thinking what you have to do to earn God’s spirit. You are going to lose out if you follow that logic. You are going to miss the frequency you are looking for and end up in polygamist country! Don’t try to figure it out your way, let God show you how easy He made it!
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)
Okay…Wow, that was really easy! Too easy! Surely there’s some good I have to do first? Some proving of myself? Some tests of my sincerity? Some suffering for the Lord? No, no, no, a thousand times no! Wrong frequency… Quit fiddling with the dial and simply accept that someone got you on the wrong channel. So, you believed in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and confessed the savior from sin (instead of confessing all your sins…good luck with that approach!) Now you are God’s child, you’ve got one helluva transmitter; you’re getting closer to accessing God’s power, but there is something else you need to do!
Now you have a permanent (hardwire) connection with God (haha that’s right permanent) but you still have that old mind you had before (wrong station). Dum, dum as I like to refer to him. Dum dum is still on the wrong frequency. Dum dum still wants to do it all himself/herself! So, now your job is to get rid of Dum dum and get your mind to the right frequency where God is… God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. So your job is to bring your thoughts up to the level of God’s Word. This process is called, “renewing your mind.” Until you can get your mind lined up with something true that God promises in His Word, you will have no power with God. (Wrong wavelength, remember?) Now, the old senses world is not going to appear to line up with what God says is true. In fact, the world is going to tell you the exact opposite of the things God promises to His children. God’s Word promises prosperity, the world says poverty; unless you have the right degree, know the right people, pay your dues – blah, blah, blah! God’s Word promises health and wholeness, the world says disease and suffering are just a part of life; there’s nothing you can do, it is what it is! See what I mean? You have to think how God says to think! You have to get rid of all that negativity! You’ve got to get rid of all that doom and gloom. You have got to get rid of that mountain of unbelief and start looking outside of yourself for some answers. Access to God’s power only comes about when you decide to “walk in the light,” only when you decide to believe what God says is true and walk out on it; only when you get yourself tuned-in and on the right channel! Pretty clear, straightforward, simple?
Our being God’s children and Him being our Father is God’s permanent relationship with us. Getting on God’s wavelength is called ”fellowship” with God and represents our continued relationship with Him. Our abundant life depends upon staying in fellowship with Him. Access to God’s power comes into manifestation in our lives only after we get our minds on the right frequency.
Don’t spend another moment running from this station to that station! Tune-in to God and His promises and experience God’s power in your life, power that’s always available to you, even in polygamist country!
December 27, 2011
I’ll bet you didn’t know that we have it all backwards when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions. People are always waiting for a “feeling” before they make a decision or take some new action. We have all been taught to believe that we have to wait until we feel something in order to make a change in our lives. The whole world tries to work according to that erroneous theory. Instead of making a decision and taking action according to that decision, we wait and wait and wait for some elusive feeling to come first before we act and alas that feeling never shows up, or it shows up briefly but lacking sufficient strength to help us make a real change. So, the feeling goes away (apparently) and we go back to business as usual; no change, no result, same ol’ same ol’. The reality of successful change is in understanding that feelings follow decisions and not that decisions follow feelings.
Here’s an example of how this works. You have been eating, drinking and being merry for the holidays and somewhere along the way it becomes apparent that you are turning into a real fatty! (smile) And because you don’t like that chubby person staring back across from you in the mirror, you decide you are going to lose some weight. And because you are still “stinging” from the horror of that rotund image, your decision is very strong! Now, here is where it gets interesting. You find yourself totally and completely motivated to go to the gym. Oh there’s no maybe I’ll go, maybe I won’t! Doggone it you are going to take this weight thing by the ears and solve it! Now you have been going to the gym faithfully for about 3 weeks. The New Year has come and gone and you are thinking that this “weight loss” thing is a little harder than you imagined. You start telling yourself things like, “Hey, people gain weight and it aint the end of the world!” or, “It makes no sense to run on this treadmill for 3 miles to burn 500 calories only to put back on those same 500 calories with a large slice of post-holiday pie!” Then, suddenly your motivation (feeling) is gone bye-bye. You settle for buying larger, more comfortable clothes and get back to life as usual. So, what happened to you? Why did your motivation go away? What happened was that you got talked out of your decision. Feelings or desire follow decisions. Instead of waiting for the feeling, the desire, the motivation to come back (and realizing it just aint coming back) you have to re-make your decision! You have to re-decide. The strength of your desires follow the strength of your decisions. See what I mean? We had it all backwards.
In order to make a New year’s resolution that will result in real change for your life, you have to use what we call, “The Four D’s,” decision, desire, details, deliverance. First you make a logical decision about something you would like to change in your life. This is the most important step. Make a real decision! Get clear, get focused and make a resolved decision to do something different or to get a different result. You will discover that your desire, your feelings will line up exactly with what you have decided. Now with that motivation in place, take the actions you know you need to take. If it is a new job you are after or simply earning more money, take action on what you want. Okay, now here is where it gets a little tricky… Despite your enthusiastic beginning, you will find yourself feeling challenged to have the same motivation as when you started. Feelings, feelings, feelings… This is where most folks fall by the way side and why the gym is crowded on January 2nd and a ghost town again on January 15th. Assuming you still want to lose weight, get a new job, or earn more money, re-make your decision! Decide again. Recognize that you have been talked out of your original decision as evidenced by your lack of motivation and that you need to go back to square one – decide! Trust me, your feelings of motivation will come right back because they are based on the decisions you have made.
Feelings or desire are not some mysterious element of human nature that we cannot understand. Feelings don’t just “happen” to us and then we make decisions based on them. Yet, how many people think that’s the way it works? Have you ever heard the ridiculous quote, “Well, the heart wants what the heart wants!” Good Lord I hate that saying! Your heart wants what you have decided it wants. It is not some separate, mysterious entity that has predestined plans built into it, with your job being to find out what “it” wants. Your heart is you. It is the sum total of everything you have allowed into it. “It” doesn’t make decisions, you make decisions about what you believe; what you expect; what you desire. You do-do you see it? Okay, so desire follows decisions we have made and are making. Decision first, then desire.
Now you have made your decision and that desire is in place, what’s next? Details… You will be happy to know that when you are taking action on changes you want to see, certain details are going to start showing up to help you get to where you want to be. Hmmm.. “I wonder why I never thought to call him before?” Hmmm… “Where did that idea come from?” Hmmm… “All of sudden it seems real clear how I can get to where I want to go when before it was so muddy.” You won’t be able to recognize the necessary details until you have become serious about your decisions. If you are waiting for something (i.e. your ship to come in, your luck to change, your lottery ticket win) – you will most likely be waiting for a very long time. And, sadly, while you wait patiently for the great miracle where God just changes your entire life without your cooperation, you won’t be able to recognize the little details along the way that have the potential to get you where you want to go. Stop waiting; swim out to the ship, change your own luck (lol whatever that is), earn the money the old-fashioned way instead of begging for a free lunch!
Decision, desire, details then what? Deliverance! You arrived! You got the new job! You figured out a way to earn what you really need! You can finally look at that creature in the mirror and smile! God wants you and me to live a more than abundant life! He desires that above all things we prosper and be in health, even as our souls (minds) prosper. (III John 2) We can be everything we want to be in this life! We can have the things we want and need! The hold-back isn’t God but rather our lack of decisiveness in this life. Don’t get it twisted folks – feelings come and go, but the truth lives and abides forever!
Believing that you will make the decisions that lead to the desires; that you will uncover the necessary details and receive in full your sought after deliverance! Life isn’t hard people, error is hard. Do you feel me? (smile)
December 20, 2011
When something really terrible happens or there is some disaster, it always amazes me when people say we should try to find the good in the situation. What if there is no good in the situation? I think more often that not people don’t understand why bad things happen and naturally try to find some “higher” purpose in the tragedy. It is very, very subtle, but the hidden message is that for some inexplicable reason, God is responsible for everything that happens to a person. If someone dies prematurely they say that “God called him home” ~ despite the reality that all of us left living here on earth are besieged by great grief and pain from that horrible event. Seems like a higher purpose wouldn’t be at cross purposes with everyone else involved, but hey maybe that’s just me… Goodness and evil cannot come from the same hands anymore than we could get apples from a pear tree. Yet because people don’t understand (and that’s no condemnation, because no-one can go beyond what they are taught) they invent reasons and try to put good spins on bad things. Some would even go as far as to say that God is teaching us a lesson. Remember hurricane Katrina? Religious leaders (so-called) said God was mad at New Orleans and brought the disaster upon them. That would be kind of harsh, wouldn’t it? What if twenty of God’s kids lived there? How about five? What if there was just one? Oh I know, hell with ‘em, they gotta learn! I trust you see some illogic here. The reality is that there are two great powers in the world today. One is named God, who is love, and all that is wonderful about life and one is named the devil, who is hate, and every evil thing that ever happened to a human being! Both are at work in our world today and both gain access into our lives by the things that we believe. If we believe lies, live in fear or are simply ignorant of spiritual matters, we get negative results in our lives; some small, some horrendous! In contrast, if we believe the truth, live above fear by believing and desire to learn spiritual matters, we get positive results in our lives; small blessings and ‘oh my gosh’ colossal blessings! There is no darkness in light and there is no light in darkness. If you don’t learn anything else from reading this, learn that! We have, perhaps, depending on our age, all suffered at the hands of evil to some extent, so again there is no criticism of anyone, but rather a sincere willingness that we learn otherwise.
So, what does any of this have to do with the title of this post? Well, a lot actually! The best way to learn ANY lesson in life is by experiencing the good, not the bad. Sure, because we tend to be quite hard-headed (smile) we learn lots of stuff the hard way, but that isn’t God’s way. God desires that we trust what He says and reap the results of that trust. Then, as we experience the good, we are more and more motivated to do more good. Can you see it? We are motivated by the goodness of God. (Here’s two translations of Romans 2:4)
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (KJV)
Or the riches of His goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering, dost thou despise? — not knowing that the goodness of God doth lead thee to reformation! (Young’s Literal translation)
You see, the goodness of God actively leads us to a change of heart (repentance). This isn’t talking about salvation here, it’s talking about our mind-set. It is God’s goodness that is ever extended towards us that causes us to want to change how we think. God will never, ever violate your freedom of will (that sadly comes from choice B- above). So, God, like any loving parent, wants your free-will obedience to Him and He just loves you and helps you and rescues you, so that you will get to the place that you want to learn more about Him. In other words, He motivates you by His goodness. Don’t we, as parents, pray that our kids will at least try doing what we said, so they can see a good result and be encouraged to get more good results. Well, God is no different! Being a God of love, He could not do otherwise.
So do your logical, common sense mind a favor. Don’t spend any time trying to find apples on pear trees, they just aren’t there! Don’t look for good in bad or bad in good, they are mutually exclusive. Know in your heart that God would never send a disaster, tragedy or even a stomach ache your way to help you learn a lesson. Instead, pay close attention to the good things that are happening in your life, because that’s where God is…joyfully and lovingly leading you back to Him, where you belong!
God is good always!
December 17, 2011
“I’m in it for the love!” ~ said someone who is very special to me. (smile) But then again, aren’t we all in it for the love? During the holiday season we seem to get all caught up in the “magic” of Christmas. Some say it has something to do with the birth of Jesus. Others say it’s because there is something special in the air. Maybe it’s the family time we have to look forward to or the memories of family times we had in the past. No matter what our reasons may be, something is definitely different during this time of the year. Before we figure out what makes this time of year so different, let’s talk about this illusive word “love” for a moment.
What exactly is love and why do us human-folk crave so much of it? I think we can all agree that love is something that comes from our hearts. It’s that special something that we have on the inside that is always trying to get on the outside. The actual origins of love come from God Himself. (Surprise!) The Bible says that God is love! He is not just the act of love (though He has loving acts). He is not just love in His dealings with us. He actually is love! Love warms our souls. Love encourages us. Love gets us to sacrifice for the ones we love and the things we love. Love makes us stay up late and get up early. Love presses us to find someone to love and someone who loves us. Love guards our children and love gives us the compassion to care for our aging parents. Love heals our broken hearts and forgives those who do us wrong. Love feels sorrow for those in need and love spurs our desire to help them out. Love gives and gives and gives and expects nothing in return, and the whole wide world is in hot pursuit of it! Have you ever stopped to think that maybe the whole wide world is really searching for God? (He is love, remember?) No force in the world is more powerful than love and nothing can stand against it! No-one can resist it and no heart is immune to it. Love quietly helps us to get up after we fall and love reaches out to those who have fallen. Love is everything we need and everything we want.
So back to our original thought ~ what makes this time of year so different from the rest of the year? What makes it different is we decide to love. Notice the characteristics of love? What is our focus during our beloved “ho-ho” times? For a short period of time we get our minds off of ourselves and all our stuff and think about other people. We think how happy she will be when I buy her this special gift! We are kind to the guy on the street who asks for some cash (though we know he’s gonna buy some booze). We are a little nicer, a little more compassionate, a little more forgiving because after all, it’s Christmas! Somehow in some way we manage to shift our focus away from our “almighty” self and share our heart with someone else. We seek their good, not ours. We give and give and give and expect nothing in return. And for that tiny span of time our lives are that much richer, that much more full and so much more satisfying.
So, as you search the stores for that one thing that will make him smile or warm her heart, remember it’s the love in your heart you are letting out that makes this time so special. And as you revel in the warmth and the love you feel inside, why not decide to live that way every day? What your boyfriend really wants is your love. What your children seek isn’t the train set or the dolls or the race track, it’s your love. What your parents are looking for isn’t the pricey gift, it’s your love and affection.
At the end of the day, we all need that love. God is love and the person that finds God (though He is never very far from any one of us) finds love and for the first time in his life begins to love himself. And the greatest gift you could fathom for anyone you know in this life is to give them love. So during this busy holiday season and indeed in every season remember it’s the love you feel that makes it all worthwhile. Love isn’t limited in us but only to the extent that we decide to give it out! Love other people with all of your heart and you will discover something wonderful and brand new ~ you will just be having the greatest time living you won’t know what to do with yourself! (smile)
I don’t know about you but, “I’m in it for the love!”
December 14, 2011
Recently I saw that as a young boy of around ten years old, Matt Barkley said that he was going to be a quarterback for USC one day! Well, here we are in 2011 and there he is playing quarterback for USC and about to enter the NFL draft! What a coincidence huh? I don’t think so. The words we speak have a significant impact regarding the things that happen in our lives. In the Bible lover world we refer to this as your confession. Specifically, the formula goes – confession of belief = receipt of confession! In other words, the things that we believe in our hearts tend to find their way to our lips. Unfortunately perhaps, our confession can be both positive or negative. You are most likely quite familiar with negative confession as the world seems to run on it. Have you ever stopped to think that the folks who are always predicting some negative event seem to get exactly what they said? “Man, I can’t catch a break!” “Well, that doesn’t surprise me, things never work out for me!” “I never win!”
What we believe in life, happens…end of story! Believing comes from our hearts, and the Bible says out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. So, if you have ever wondered what things are in your heart, just pay some attention to the things you say most often. Is your confession positive (it will work out, things always work out for me) or is it negative (just my luck, nothing good happens to me)?
If your confession is mostly negative (and chances are it is because that’s how we have all been taught) then your job is to consciously change your confession. Stop repeating the negatives that fill the minds of other people. Do something freaky and say something positive. Confess that things are going well for you! Don’t wait until it looks like they are (it just doesn’t work that way!). Say it, believe it in advance. Say, “Today is just the greatest day for me and I feel great!” Say, “Good things are coming my way, I just know it!” I know, I know, right now you are saying, “What if I do that and things still go bad?” Well to that I would answer, what if you did it anyway? You cannot possibly think it’s better to confess the world’s crippling negatives all day and then somehow experience good things, can you? That don’t make no durn sense (said in the Dr. Phil voice)! “Are you kiddin me? (same voice – ok, I digress) You have to start somewhere folks! Where in the world did we ever get the idea that confessing negative crap all day long is being realistic? Really, who defined that reality for you? The truth is (and praise the Lord we always get to the truth) that you are directly influenced and shaped according to your confession. Make the decision right now that you will never again make another negative confession! I assure you, it is just as easy to make a positive confession as it is to make a negative one. Do not spend any time listening to the “so-called” realists…because if you observe their lives you will see how they suffer and not want to experience the same.
Now on the flip side let’s talk about the people who have learned this reality and use it in their lives. Have a talk with them and see what they have to say. Oh you can try and hit ‘em with your “sky is fallin” logic but they just won’t have it! They keep answering in terms of goodness and solutions and expectancy – because that’s what they believe! And, for some odd reason, that’s what they experience in their lives! LOL Don’t you dare call it luck… It’s not luck it’s science. Confession of belief (good or bad) = receipt of confession (good or bad).
Now is the time to take the reigns of your life and make your mouth (and heart) line up with the things you actually do want in your life. Say the things you want to happen, not the things you don’t want to happen. Hey maybe one day you could be the quarterback at USC!
Life is too short to think and guess…watch what you say!
December 9, 2011
The world is often a tough place to hang out in. There are so many potential things that could go wrong and a multitude of unknowns. For the life of me I do not know why some folks get all snarled up at the mention of God and would actually choose to do this thing alone! Must be some kind of colossal ego trip, ya know? Well, that kinda brings me to the point of today’s blog. I thought it might be useful to understand why we should be thankful that God arranged things so that we don’t have to earn His goodness to us! Allow me to play devil’s advocate for a minute. There are many, many folks who believe that if we work hard enough and earn God’s goodness to us, then we can receive His blessings. Now on the surface that sounds okay, but let’s think about what that means to us. Let’s just say that the blessings I enjoy in my life are solely based on how well I obey God’s Word. Well now that is just dandy as long as I obey. But, what happens if I don’t obey (and that folks is the reality of being human)! Then the blessings stop coming my way? Now I find myself deserted on an island without God’s help? Do we bless our children because they always do what we say? If my son was disobedient for past 10 years (haha that sounds about right) and then he came to me for help, would I reject him? Or worse, would I enjoy seeing him suffer because doggone it, he’s gotta learn? Nah, that’s just silly, aint it? Or how about this? What if the requirements to get to Heaven were that I have to confess all my sins? (Which would be works–earning God’s favor, get it?) How many sins do you think a person can commit by let’s say age 30? Let’s go with a loose estimate of 3,000. Hmmm confessing 3,000 sins might take a minute. And, what if I confessed 2,759? Or, what if I confessed 2,999 and forgot the one from the drunken holiday party? Shoot fire, now I have missed Heaven by forgetting one stinking, lousy sin. Again quite silly huh?
God in His infinite knowledge has made a way for you and me to be successful even despite ourselves. We don’t confess our sins, we confess the Savior from sin, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was born and came into the world to pay the price for mankind’s sins and forever wipe away the handwriting of offenses that were against us. The Perfect for the imperfect. The Righteous for the unrighteous. And, in accomplishing that great feat by walking and obeying perfectly, he forever secured our favor in God’s sight. Did you get that? He accomplished it for us according to God’s good pleasure! So, the sin problem was settled in Jesus Christ. Surely God knew that you and I would still fall short at times. (Oh we don’t want to, we just do! ~ Romans 7:15) So God made a way that we would forever have access to His goodness no matter what we do or don’t do! I know, I know, sounds incredulous, but it’s true! But what if?… LOL there are no what-ifs! That’s love folks, that’s what Christ came to bring!
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:19-26
Well folks as VP used to say, “I didn’t write the book!” Earning God’s favor might have been a good plan if we could live up to it, but we couldn’t – so get over yourself and just believe God! (smile)
Personally, I’m thankful that God had the foresight and the wisdom to know exactly what I needed and made a way for me to be forever connected to Him! (Romans 10:9-10) I’m not advocating going around living like hell, been there, done that (and don’t want to make that trip again)! We all know how much it sucks to go astray and then suffer because of it… So no thanks! What I’m advocating is getting in sync with what God is saying to our day and time. Oh sure do your best, be good, be kind, that’s wonderful, but don’t get it twisted! God does not bless you because of how good you are, but rather because you believe what He says! Believing is what pleases God!
So to all you WiseGuys that don’t need God, that’s cool..haha, but as for me and my house…well let’s just say we know from whence our bread gets buttered! Don’t make this ride harder than it needs to be. Believe God, accept the Savior and quit trippin yo!
December 7, 2011
I vividly recall the first time this lesson became abundantly clear to me! It was a cool fall night in the suburbs of Philadelphia (Dresher, PA). I was sitting on the front porch enjoying the cool of the evening during a healthy rain storm. We had a large tree in the front of the house. As I looked at the tree, I could see a small flicker that looked almost like a flame right in the middle of the tree. But, I could not wrap my mind around why or how there could be a small flame right in the middle of that huge tree. I went inside and got my son Joshua to look at the flicker and tell me what he thought. He was a young fella, so he said he didn’t know. So, in order to end the awkward silence and to maintain my status as an all-knowing parent, I told Joshua that it must have been the street light shining on one of the wet leaves. Yeah, that’s it…clearly the street light shining on a leaf! (It sure looked like a flame, but hey I decided to walk past it!) Well at about 2:00 a.m. I was awakened, after falling asleep in the office, by a loud bang and the brightest light I had ever seen in my life! In my groggy state I imagined it was the return of Christ (lol, pretty sure that future event won’t traumatize me???) As I rushed to the window, alarmed by the bright light, I watched a power line erupt in the middle of that tree and send the electric line down to the ground in the front yard. The arc on the end of that line as it burned across the front yard was about 3 feet in circumference. That little fireball proceeded to burn a 3 foot deep trench across the entire front yard. Long story short, I called the power company and they got things back in order fairly quickly.
The lesson? I walked by something that didn’t make sense to me. There was something going on in my life that I couldn’t explain or understand, so instead of taking the time to figure it out, I walked past it. How many things are you walking past in your life right now? Maybe you are in a relationship that no longer makes sense to you. Maybe a certain such and such isn’t treating you properly and instead of taking the time to either get it straight or move on, you are deciding to simply walk by what you see without doing anything. After all, it’s easier that way right? Maybe, just maybe things will work themselves out. Let me spare you some time here. Things will not only not work themselves out, but you will find yourself with a large, deep, scarred trench across your entire front yard! Maybe there is some necessary work you have been avoiding. Maybe there are things you need to repair or replace. Letting the stuff go only serves to add more and more stress to your life. I’m not talking about a witch-hunt to seek out problems. No, not at all! I’m talking about those things that nag and harass your mind day by day. You know quite well what those things are because they are at the front of your mind. Maybe you find yourself unsatisfied by your job or where you live or who you are hanging out with. Well, my friends, things are not going to change unless you change them. Things aren’t going to get better after some magical ship rolls in, nor is anyone else going to step in and make those changes in your life. That job is reserved for you and for you alone.
So here’s my advice, as someone who previously held a PhD in ignoring things, your life is way too short and way too important for you to be unhappy. You don’t need to solve all the world’s problems, just the ones that bug you the most. Start there! When you run into roadblocks, and you will, don’t forget to get God’s help. God is invested in your happiness, at least as much as you are! (smile) And finally, just never, ever forget, electricity, if left to its own devices, burns the bejesus out of the lawn!
December 6, 2011
Have you ever noticed how many varying views there are in regard to what God considers important? It may sound somewhat presumptuous for little ol’ me to tell you what God considers important, but hear me out on this one…
It seems that most people’s view of God and what matters to Him is somewhat narrow and limited. I mean we are talking about God Almighty, right? This is the same God that came up with the idea of people; thinking, living, breathing people. The One that designed the human mind to have complete freedom of will, the ability to make decisions and process events leading to conclusions based on logic. That is Who we are talking about right? Okay now, with that in mind, let’s try to understand how He might work with us. I say that because I think not understanding how He works with us or how much He loves mankind has led to many erroneous ideas about Him. Just imagine that our All-Knowing, Everywhere-Present God, the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, is concerned because yesterday you said a swear word. I mean really? Is it even conceivable that this vastly intelligent Being that formed, made and created you is put off from having sweet fellowship with you because you cuss? Or, what if you partook of a tad too much of the beverage last night? Seriously? Oh my lanta! Maybe, just maybe we could give God a little more credit than that. Look, I’m a person and have been a person long enough to kind of have an idea about the shenanigans people do. Somehow with my incredulous intelligence I can understand how people function and love and accept them anyway. But somehow God can’t? With all of that superior intelligence and wisdom, He can’t handle what you do or for that matter understand that you sin at times? I shudder to even ask the question… Of all of the serious and important issues that happen in a lifetime, is it logical that a relationship with God can be reduced down to whether or not I drink or cuss or smoke? Lord help us all! That’s just the kind of crapola that has driven people away from God for centuries. I really think we need to give Him a little more credit than that. If your behavior or my behavior is the most important component of having a good relationship with God, then NONE of us would have a good relationship with God. If you think that I write these blogs about God because my behavior is always righteous, then maybe you should interview my family! LOL Again, oh my lanta!
So what kind of things are really important to God? I hope we can agree it’s not all this external silliness that might make us look good in the sight of man. Hmmm? The truth is that God does not go by the external appearance of things. You (and I) aint foolin’ God by appearing one way and really being another way! God sees beyond that.
For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. I Samuel 16:7b (KJV)
Did you get that? What is important to God is your heart! Your heart is that innermost part of you. It is the tender, center of you, from where all your life flows outward. When God sees you, He sees all of your frailties, all of your weaknesses, all of your foolishness, all of your shenanigans, and He decided to love you anyway! He knows your thoughts for goodness sakes. (scary huh?) You don’t have to be this or be that for God to love you or do things for you! Don’t you see, that is the great ruse that defeats mankind!
God wants to have a relationship with you. He wants to walk and talk with you day by day. He isn’t concerned with how successful you appear to be; how much it seems you have it together; how much swag you seem to exhibit [though having a tight relationship with Him is the ultimate Swag producer:) ]. He looks on your heart. He knows all about you and still chooses you. So it seems to make sense to choose Him! Don’t let the world or those god-awful, media portrayed, Christians discourage you and your pursuit. Not everyone who’s a Christian on the outside is a Christian on the inside. (I know, right?)
This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV)
God (and I) aint mad at ya!
December 5, 2011
I find myself in a continual rant lately in regard to how God works with His children and delineating His job from our job. I don’t think I can stomach another Facebook status that explains away a lack of results or an unanswered prayer by saying how “God works in mysterious ways” or that “God has a higher way or higher purpose for not answering a prayer.” When it comes to prayers, the Bible says the following:
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:22
This is often referred to as a “blank check” from God. As long as the things we pray for don’t contradict God’s Word [i.e. praying for temporary blindness to happen to the New York Giants during the football game;-)] God is more than willing to answer our prayers. In fact, God has left a fill in the blank that we can use for almost any situation of life. In essence there is really no prayer that you can pray that God will ignore (as if He is too busy) or refuse to answer (as if He runs your life without your cooperation) or is unable to answer (as if He cannot do something). However, if you will go back and re-read that verse of scripture above, you will see that it clearly outlines two distinct responsibilities to accompany prayer. Those responsibilities could be defined as “my job” and “God’s job.”
I’ll start with God’s job as that is the best part. Without going into potentially endless details about God who is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Everywhere-Present, I will suffice to say that God has guaranteed that He will remain true to what He has promised in His Word. Just in case you haven’t memorized all the promises, He promises to heal us when we need it, to supply all of our physical needs, bless us with His love, comfort us, help us get things straight when we are twisted, help us separate good from evil, so we can choose the good, and fill our lives with great abundance in every category of life. If you want to compare jobs, His is definitely the hard part! How He does His part really is none of my business. He does not need me to help Him with His part. He does not need for me to figure out how He will be able to do something. He is never caught off-guard or unaware of my needs. There’s literally nothing in life stronger than Him and there is absolutely nothing that He cannot do! (He specializes in things called impossible…as the song goes) That, my friends, is God’s part!
So we are left with the big question, “what is my job?” What exactly is my part in this cooperative arrangement? Well, instead of trying to convince you with my winning personality and powers of persuasion, I will let God’s Word do the “splaining!” Okay back to the verse, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” When you pray for something, it is “your job” to supply the required believing! Believing is something we do all the time. It’s not mysterious or difficult for that matter. We believe the news reports without even as much as a question. We believe the media and their outrageous claims without batting an eye. We believe the doctor, the auto mechanic, and the weatherman often with no corresponding evidence to support their assertions. But, when it comes to believing God we have a thousand “yes-buts” to enter into the mix. Our job is to simply take God at His Word and literally act upon the promise we seek to claim in our lives. Believing means to be fully persuaded in regard to some outcome. Fully persuaded means we have absolutely no doubt. If we doubt the outcome in any way we have already decided the outcome (no result!). Most prayers that are offered up to God are in reality “wishes” as if by uttering the words to God guarantees a result. If we are honest with ourselves we know whether or not we truly “believe” that what we pray will come to pass. And most folks, I’m sad to say, have such a vague, non-specific understanding of God, that they aren’t very confident that He can/will/is able to do the thing they are praying for anyway. So, how could they ever get any result? This life with God arrangement is predicated upon belief and we cannot have accurate beliefs without God’s Word. Life is just too big and complicated to guess our way through it! All of us fall short from time to time with our believing, but the remedy is not to work harder or try to take over His part, or explain away a lack of result with Facebook babble, but rather take the necessary time in God’s Word to build our believing to a level that “s**** happens!” (stuff-haha)
So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17 (ASV)
So, naturally if we really believe something then we are going to take the corresponding action. If you believed the roof was caving in where you are, at this very moment, you would no longer be reading this blog! You wouldn’t have to meditate or look for a sign, you would simply beat feet! It is like that with God’s Word. If you believe God will do something for you (and He wants to more than you want Him to) then when it happens you aren’t flabbergasted, you are thankful that He did it. And, every time you get a result you are that much more confident in Him for the next need. So, if you need a job, pray about it and then believe by getting your butt out there and looking for it. Sitting at home lamenting isn’t believing, it’s wishing! If you need healing, find what God says about healing and then do everything you can think of to get that thing resolved, then let God do His part and bring that healing to pass. Keep saying what His Word says and don’t allow your feelings to contradict what He promised. Don’t stop until it comes to pass! That’s believing, that’s power, that’s what Jesus Christ came to make available to you!
So, don’t get it twisted…You do YOUR job and let God do His job and in the end you will see great deliverance in your life. Don’t try to figure this thing out on your own!
God answers prayers…everyday!