- Politics is not the primary means by which we can affect social change. Jesus is. Even God Himself could not legislate righteousness (just read the Old Testament). The only true hope for the depravity of humanity is a heart transplant performed by the Holy Spirit.
- With that said I believe we have a right and a responsibility to vote our Christian convictions. We can and should make a difference in our communities and in our country. Voting is a great opportunity to be salt and light in this great nation we live in. I am ever amazed at the people who choose NOT to use their voice during the elections and suddenly find it after the fact. Complaining doesn't fix things, however, getting involved can!
- Now after all is said and done we need to remember that our first commitment is to His Kingdom. We are called to reach people from every walk of life and every political camp. Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and Independents all need Jesus and it is up to us, the Church, to share Him with them. As for me personally, I care more about someone’s forever than I do their political affiliation (or my own for that matter).
Monday, November 3, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Saturday, August 30, 2014
- You have never been closer to breakthrough than you are right now at this very moment in this fight.
- No matter how close you are to winning if you give up now you lose.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
I see it everyday. People read a book, attend a seminar, have an epiphany that is going to change their life and then... a few days, a few weeks or maybe a few months later are back living in the same old rut. What happened? Well most times we simply became discouraged along the way. We have great ideas, even great intentions but sorry execution. We have been conditioned to respond to and expect instant gratification. I want what I want and I want it right now. I'm all for efficiency but great meals aren't made in a microwave. They have to simmer.
Great lives are much the same. It takes time to make changes and even more time for those changes to take effect. Think of it this way if you will - many of us have spent a lifetime doing whatever it is in our lives that's not working the wrong way. We have a lot invested in our disfunction. We change an attitude today, an action tomorrow and expect different results yesterday. Unfortunately that's not how the world works. When we don't see the rewards for our efforts immediately we get discouraged and tell ourselves that it's not working. The truth is it's just not working yet. Don't give up so quick because breakthrough is ahead (it's certainly not behind!).
We also get discouraged at times because we choose to listen to the wrong voices. The key word is CHOOSE. A while back I got verbally reamed by someone close to me. It had a profound effect. I'm talking loss of sleep, anxiety attacks, digestive problems and other stress related issued. Yes pastors struggle with these things too. I was talking with another pastor about my situation and he asked me why I allowed this person to talk to me like that. My response was, "What choice did I have?" The truth is that I had several and the one I chose didn't work well for me. If I'm presented with a similar situation in the future I will CHOOSE to walk away. No fuss, I simply won't participate. Hey, the deal is, haters gonna hate. There will always be people who will see (and say) the negative side in every situation.
In 1 Samuel 30 we have an interesting story about David dealing with discouragement. It would do you well to take a couple minutes to READ IT and let the reality of God's Word speak to you. David had lost everything and in that moment of discouragement everyone turned on him. Well almost everyone -
"But David found strength in the Lord his God." - 1 Samuel 30:6b
Monday, July 21, 2014
There are many sources of stress in our lives but today I want to narrow it down to two of the majors -
- Not accepting responsibility for obligations that belong to us.
- Accepting responsibility for obligations that don't belong to us.
- Whatever you are facing you don't have to do it alone. If you are willing God is faithful every step of the way.
- Others are depending on you. Jonah's choices affected both his fellow passengers and the 120,000 residents of Ninevah.
- What is that one thing that needs to be done to move you forward in your family, your career and/or your relationship with God?
- What responsibilities are you carrying right now that don’t belong to you?
Monday, May 5, 2014
- Maintenance - the ongoing energy required to keep things functioning at the current levels.
- Momentum - the residual energy from previous efforts.
- Moving Forward - the intentional energy needed to raise the bar to a higher level.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Friday, March 21, 2014
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Monday, March 3, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
- Recognize that you have wronged, offended and/or hurt someone else. That's all that matters at this point. This is where being sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit is vital. Guilt is good because it leads us back to God, shame is bad because it causes us to withdraw and hide.
- Repent before God. The sooner the better! Many view repentance only in terms of our initial salvation experience. I believe it should be a hallmark of our lives as believers. God says IF we will confess our sins He WILL forgive them.
- Pray for peace. In impossible situations God can do amazing things. He can soften the hardest heart and open the door for difficult discussions.
- Ask for forgiveness. It may be semantics but I rarely if ever say 'I'm sorry'. If you look at the true meaning of the word you are literally saying 'I am a worthless' and regardless of how bad I've screwed up I'm not worthless. My recommendation is that you say, "I apologize for ???, will you forgive me?" One is a statement and the other a question. It requires a response and empowers the other person in the situation. If you don't think it matters just see which one is harder to say.
- Make amends if possible. If our heart is truly grieved for hurting someone else it is appropriate and right for us to fix what we can. As for what we can't... thank God for grace! For instance - 'I accidentally ran over your mailbox repeatedly. Will you forgive me? Can I replace it for you?'
I think it's safe to say that forgiveness is a BIG DEAL with God so it should be a big deal to us as well. If God cares about something we should too.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift." - Matthew 5:23-24
Thursday, January 30, 2014
For instance I used to long for the day when I hear God say, "well done good and faithful servant" (Matthew 25) but now after a couple of decades of following Christ I've raised my expectations. When all is said and done, when I have finished the race that God has given me to run I hope to hear Him say, "This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased" (Matthew 17).
There are a few questions in life that must be answered and how we answer them impacts everything.
- Who is God?
- How does God see me?
- Who am I living to please?
There was a time in my life when I only saw myself as a servant, but now I see myself as a son. Makes sense when you read the following passage -
“Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.” - Galatians 4:1-7
See both a servant and a son desire to do well and be commended, but each work from a different motivation. One from a sense of duty or obligation and the other because of relationship. It is different working for a company than it is in the family business. When it comes to the Kingdom we are more than just people punching a clock, we are fully invested stakeholders!
"For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends." - 2 Corinthians 10:18
My prayer is that you are able to see yourself as God sees you, not with arrogance but with humble confidence!
Monday, January 20, 2014
Thursday, January 16, 2014
- First it is not a diet because the primary goal is spiritual and not physical.
- It is not strong-arming or manipulating God. Cut to the two year old throwing a tantrum in the Walmart checkout because he wants a candy bar.
- It is not punishing ourselves or even sacrificing for the sake of sacrificing. You need to fast with wisdom and people with medical conditions or taking certain medications should talk with their doctor (sounds like a pharmaceutical commercial). Remember that God is not asking you to hurt yourself.
- Fasting is a conscious choice to sacrifice something for a specific period of time in order to focus on something else.
- It is aligning our spirit, soul and body in the right priority and choosing to put God first - see Matthew 6:33.
- Fasting is not about bondage, it's about freedom.
- A true fast is not just about what you don't do, it is just as much about what you do. Take a look at Isaiah 58 for more details.
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