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May 8, 2017, 9:40 AM

The Place to Air Your Laundry



If I wanted to complain, gripe/bash others, and talk about all those who have done me wrong all day, I probably could do it.  But what good would it actually do?  

Does it feel good to get it off my chest?  Maybe, for a short period; until I realize that off my chest means it is now staring me in the eyes.  Few if any are actually going to listen, and even if they do there is nothing they can really do except have their day/perspective twisted and ruined by my problems.  

How many people am I poisoning with my own bitterness when I constantly complain to others about my difficulties, hurts and pains?  How many attitudes of others am I damaging by my own vitriol?  How many lives am I dragging down by my own poor perspective.  

Now, I am not saying that there is not a time and place to be able to vent.  But most airing of grievances is not constructive at all, and it certainly does not help when you spread the minutia around to everyone that you know.  

The good news is that there is one to whom we can turn to that not only will always have time to listen, but also cannot be poisoned or persuaded by negative attitudes.  He is the only one that can bring a solution or give you the peace, grace, and strength that is needed to endure.  His name is God and He loves you and cares about you.  

“casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” - I Peter 5:7
 

Even better news is that He can change your outlook, perspective and attitude. He can reveal and remind you off all that you have been blessed with and shift your focus to where it needs to be.  When you are thinking of how things in life are not fair He can remind you of the unfairness of sin, and of the cross of Christ.  He can turn your eyes to focus on the God who loves you despite all the things wrong in life and remind you how one day He will make all things right and new.  

Turn to God not others with your needs, you will find that through Him and His strength that instead of spreading venom to your own detriment, you will sing a news song for His glory!

 




May 5, 2017, 2:41 PM

Living and Forgiving



“...Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.”  

Joel 2:13

Are you quick to show mercy and forgiveness?

When your children mess up, do you cut them a little slack?  When a coworker drops the ball, do you cover for them?  When a spouse, friend or anyone else for that matter says something hurtful, do you let it roll of your back. 

We can be so magnanimous over our efforts to show compassion and forgiveness, but our efforts will always pale in comparison to what an Almighty God demonstrates towards those that belong to Him.  

In the Old Testament the Israelites where always turning their backs on Him, marrying people they were told not to, worshipping false gods, and committing countless wicked acts in direct and deliberate violation of His commands.  Yet, while God did judge the people for their sins and allowed them to face the consequences of their actions, He remained ready to forgive them when any would turn back to Him.  

In both society and in the church we tend to judge people and write them off after what we perceive as an indiscretion is committed; particularly one against us personally.    We tend to respond with anger, hate, and bitterness towards others and then become incensed with anger if the tables are reversed.

It would do us well to remember that we all deserve destruction and Hell but yet  we were given Jesus and offered mercy, grace, and forgiveness by a loving God.  

We would do well to remember the forgiveness that God gives to us and live out our lives carrying out the example that He has shown and demonstrate forgiveness, love, compassion, and understanding to people who desperately need it.

We certainly did need it and thank God that He saw fit to give it. 

Won’t you find it in your heart to offer the same to someone today?




May 1, 2017, 4:10 PM

Release the Power Inside


"But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God,  which had given such power unto men" Matthew 9:8

Jesus had just performed two miracles.  A man who was paralyzed had been brought before Jesus by his friends, and Jesus had both healed his spirit, (by forgiving his sin) and healed his body by curing his disease.  The man got up, picked up his bed, and returned home.

Throngs of people were amazed and gave God glory because of this miraculous power.  

Christian, God still does miracles today, and He is willing to do miracles through you if you will but use this power for the glory of God.  You have access to power that is on loan from God for use in this life!

Two thoughts occur to me.  I encourage you to ask the same questions I have asked of myself today.

 Am I a believer in the power of God?  Or am I one of the skeptics that doubts the authority and power of God to do miracles.  If I believe that God has the ability and power to forgive my sin in my life, (which is the greatest of these two miracles) then why do I doubt His ability and authority to work miracles in this world through my life?

Is my life bringing others to an amazement of God's power and causing others to turn to God and glorify Him.  Or, am I living a life for my own glory.  Am I seeking for others to see me, or God working through me.  Or, am I living my Christian life in such a shroud of secrecy that no one even is amazed because I don't declare the glory, power, and authority of God through my body?

Friend, if you belong to God, then the Holy Spirit and power of God live in you.  You have power of which you do not realize.  Live you life believing that God desires to do mighty works through you for His glory.

If you want to live an amazing life, live a life that leads people to be amazed at the power of God and causes them to give Glory to God, that He could do such a work through you.  

Do others see Jesus in you, marvel, and praise God!  Let others see Jesus and release the Power inside.




April 28, 2017, 10:59 AM

May This Be My Prayer Each Day


Every once in a while I stumble upon a song that the words really, really speaks to my heart.   This week I heard a song whose words brought tears of conviction and desire.  I want to share them with you and my prayer is that the words to this song will become your prayer as much as it is mine.  

Make me broken
So I can be healed
'Cause I'm so calloused
And now I can't feel
I want to run to You
With heart wide open
Make me broken

Make me empty
So I can be filled
'Cause I'm still holding
Onto my will
And I'm completed
When you are with me
Make me empty

Make me lonely
So I can be yours
'Til I want no one
More than You, lord
'Cause in the darkness
I know you will hold me
Make me lonely

'Til you are my one desire
'Til you are my one true love
'Til you are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me

 Sidewalk Prophets - Keep Making Me 

May God speak to you through these lyrics to this song and may this become a daily prayer of your own.  




April 26, 2017, 8:18 AM

Who God is After



“And I, if I am lifted from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” John 12:32

Jesus came for every kind of person.  He crossed every barrier, religious, moral, tribal, racial, and cultural.  He died for every demographic group.  Being born however as a Jew, he was born into a culture that had narrowed the pathway to God as Jews restricted salvation to Jews, or those who behaved like Jews.  Within Judaism some Jews felt superior to other tribes and all tribes felt superior to other ethnicities who were not part of God’s chosen people.  

They did so because they had been rightly taught that the Jews are God’s chosen people.  They were wrong however in thinking that salvation was only for the them. The Bible says it salvation was offered to the Jew first but also to the Greek. (meaning Gentile, or everyone not Jewish)  

Jesus however broke down cultural barriers and religious taboos when He visited with a Samaritan woman (John 4), when He healed a Samaritan Leper (Luke 17:17-18), when He healed a Roman Centurion’s servant (Luke 7:1-10), and a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter.  (Mark 7) He also healed on the Sabbath (Mark 3) and forgave sinners of their sin. (Mark 2) He forgave a woman allegedly caught in adultery (John 8) and ate in the house of publicans and sinners.  (Matthew 9)

The point of all this is that Jesus is that no matter what your ethnic, societal, or religious standing; God is in search of you.  

God has been in search of all kinds of people even from the beginning.  Consider the birth of Christ:  God wrote 4 kinds of people into the Christmas Story.  

1.  The High - The Wiseman represent those who are educated, connected, and rich.

2.  The Low - The shepherds represent society’s blue collar worker and those on the bottom rungs of the social order.  

3.  The Resistant - King Herod stands for all those who see themselves as too powerful, too important, or to self sufficient for God.  

4.  The Receptive - Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and Anna represent people who are open to God’s grace.  

Jesus when He died stretched out his arms on the cross, symbolic of the open arms that await anyone, no matter where you are from,  who you belong to, or what you have done, if you are willing to accept Him.  

No one falls beyond the reach of God’s redeeming love.  It is by grace that you can be saved through faith in Jesus as God and His work on the cross as your payment.  

It is for you! You are who He is after!


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