Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I used to be a world-class worrier.
I used to worry if I didn't have something to worry about.
Then, at the beginning of 2008, Aaron Barth came to Friday morning staff prayer. He said he'd been reading in Matthew 6 that section that Jesus talks about the lilies of the field, how they don't weave, & how the birds of the air don't sow crops.
And then he said something that changed my life. He said, "you don't have to read all that. read just the 1st part - 'don't worry about your life' "
All during 2008, as God led me to move downtown with HOG & a Christ Chapel, whenever I would fret & try to figure out things, God would quietly whisper, "don't worr about your life."
And as 2008, & then 2009, rolled along, I realized my worrying had seeped away.
Somewhere along the way, I started letting God take care of things.
Worry is all about trust.
We think we have to make things happen, when all we have to do is let God make things happen. He's got our backs. He's gonna take care of us.
We just don't believe it.
So, we worry.
Take it from me, as I walked thru my season downtown, & as we head into our season in Blairsville...
don't worry about your life
Monday, August 30, 2010
9 cheerfully share your home w/ those who need a meal or a place to stay.
How many of us share a meal with someone, or share our home with someone?
Up until a few years ago, I can say we didn't do that very much. We were too "busy" in our lives. We were busy with our jobs, ministries, raising Hannah, & keep life running.
That all changed when John Michael came to live with us. He introduced us to a whole raft of people. Our lives haven't been the same since.
Has it been easy? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But that's the chance we take.
Somewhere early in 2001, I started taking people to lunch.
Has it been expensive? Yes
Has a lot been done for people, & the kingdom of God? Yes
Has it been easy? Yes, & no
Have extraordinary things happened at these lunches? You bet!
What's this all about - this eating together, & living together?
Caring for others more than ourselves.
I discovered about 10 years ago that the world is dying for someone to listen to them, & care about them.
They will tell us extraordinary things, & they will respond to our caring.
And the ripple effect of our loving goes on for eternity.
Just a thought...
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sympathize with each other.
Love each other as brothers and sisters.
Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.
9 Don't repay evil for evil.
Don't retaliate with insults when people insult you.
Instead, pay them back with a blessing.
That is what God has called you to do,
and He will bless you for it.
Anybody have a hard time doing this besides me?
Saturday, August 28, 2010
We are so much like the unbelieving people around us. If something happens we don't like, we react, strongly. We don't often don't act in a Christ-like manner.
Well, let's just say I don't act in a Christ-like manner.
It's so easy to "vindicate yourself" or "slam dunk the offender" or "set them straight".
That may not be the way God wants me to react to people.
It's just that we don't want people to "get away with something".
It's a fine line between not being a doormat & reacting in a Christ-like manner.
One thing I've sensed especially in the last couple of years especially - a LOT of people are watching me, all the time. (no, I'm not psychotic & paranoid! ;-)
But people do watch me. I sense the ripple effect of my life more & more - both in the positive, & in the negative.
So, we must live in such a way that our actions & reactions glorify Him.
What would have happened to us if the people we were watching as we decided to follow Jesus had been people who like us in the way they live?
Hmmmmmmm.... not a pretty thought, is it?
"Be careful how you live among your unbelieving neighbors."
Friday, August 27, 2010
1 Peter 1:13 So think clearly and exercise self-control.
Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.
14 So you must live as God's obedient children. Don't slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn't know any better then.
15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.16 For the Scriptures say, "You must be holy because I am holy."
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as "foreigners in the land."
18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.
21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.
22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.
24 As the Scriptures say,
"People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
25 But the word of the Lord remains forever."
And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Your glory is higher than the heavens.
2 You have taught children and infants
to tell of your strength,
silencing your enemies
and all who oppose you.
3 When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—
4 what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
human beings that you should care for them?*
5 Yet you made them only a little lower than God*
and crowned them* with glory and honor.
6 You gave them charge of everything you made,
putting all things under their authority—
7 the flocks and the herds
and all the wild animals,
8 the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
and everything that swims the ocean currents.
9 O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!
You may or may not know that for 27 yrs I was a minister of music in the United Methodist Church.
Every time I read Psalm 8, I think of this incredible choir anthem - The Majesty & Glory of Your Name, by Tom Fettke.
I can't imagine how many times I've directed - hundreds of times.
Yes, I know it's old school. Yes, I know the preacher talks too long - advance it about 3:30 in & catch just the choir.
Listen to it ALL the way through. It will be worth it.
When I hear this anthem, I miss directing choirs. ;-)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.
9 Each time he said, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in weakness."
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
"My gracious favor is all your need."
I don't need to be clever, brilliant, deep, wise, or a set-your-hair-on-fire leader. All I need is to see Him & His favor. All I need it His favor.
"My power works best in weakness."
He can work in me when I acknowledge my overarching incapability to be who I should & make happen what needs to happen. His power works through my weakness because my weakness allows His power to flow & work unimpeded.
Someone remind me of this after we get to Blairsville.
There's so much in this verse that's SO on target for our "next" in Blairsville.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods.
Once I was stoned.
Three times I was shipwrecked.
Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea.
26 I have traveled on many long journeys.
I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers.
I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas.
And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.
27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights.
I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food.
I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.
28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my feeling that weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not burn with anger?
30 If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am. 31 God, the Father of our Lord Jesus, who is worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not lying. 32 When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept guards at the city gates to catch me. 33 I had to be lowered in a basket through a window in the city wall to escape from him.
We live with such a success orientation here in America, & in the western world.
If Paul was alive today, we'd think he certainly did have his act together.
We'd probably give him John Maxwell's "Developing the Leader Within You" & talk to him about influence & working with people better.
We'd tell him to plan better so he wouldn't have to do without.
We'd tell him to check out a little more closely cruise lines when traveling from place to place.
And we'd think his like was pretty much a disaster.
Would you go on a mission trip with him?!
I doubt he did many days at the beach, or shopping in the bazaar.
I bet he didn't even have T shirts made so we could tell people all about how much we did for the Lord this summer with Paul in Macedonia.
And we wouldn't talk about how weak we are - we have to put this strong that says I'm-well-put-together, I've-got-it-under-control, I'm-a-great-leader.
As we go off on our missionary journey to Blairsville, I have no illusions about me. This wasn't my idea - it clearly was God's. We all know my strengths, & my weakness. All I'm gonna do is go - & let God be & do whatever it is He's dreamed for this next season in our lives to be, & be done.
Whatever happens next is all Him & very little me. I eager to see what it is. I'll tell you about it here, no filtering, no spinning, no brave face. You'll be getting it just the way it is.
And we all know that whatever good that happens, whatever ripple effects are released, it's to Him be ALL the glory.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
vs 6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.
vs 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
vs 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
The laws of sowing and reaping are pretty clear.
It's kinda like the old say, "what goes around, comes around."
As I was reading these verses, as well as the whole chapter, I wondered if these words are prophetic in regards to our move to Blairsville?
Is that a little self-seeking?
I wasn't looking for prophesy this morning. Good grief! I was just thankful to be awake! ;-)
But as I was reading it, I got this kinda quickening in my spirit.
I guess time will tell, won't it?
I wonder what these verses said to you today. So many people tell me that every day they try read the stuff I write. (Honestly, y'all... you need to get out more! ;-)
Anyway, lemme know what these verses said to y'all.
I resonate with verse 15, too...
vs 15 Thank God for His Son - a gift too wonderful for words!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Pro 3:5 (The Message)Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
He's the One Who will keep you on track.
God gave me this verse on January 18 of this year as one of the 4 passages I was supposed to hold on to for 2010.
Little did I know...
Friday, August 20, 2010
As we look to our soon arriving season in Blairsville, God isn't poking me about something, He just seems to be quietly reminding me of something...
our time there is far more than we imagine.
we think we're gonna have a satellite group meeting in our home, watching the service at SportsTowne over the Internet.
we think we're gonna start a House of Grace in our home.
we think those folks across the street at the rv park are a mission field for us.
we think we're gonna have some sort of gatherings in the hay loft
But we rally don't know. We're gonna just go & see where God wants to take us.
He's very creative.
It's gonna be interesting.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Think about that...
How many of us live like that?
And how many of us life with the prevailing attitude that we're gonna live like we want, unhindered by opinions of others around us.
Have we made living like we want to an idol?
This doesn't mean we become slaves to the vagaries of human opinion.
What we need to remember is that our lives have ripple effects on the lives around us.
We have a much stronger influence on the people around us than we imagine, when we least expect it.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I was talking with one of my sons a couple of weeks ago about what God's leading Lynn & me toward as our "next."
We're essentially packing everything up, moving to Blairsville, GA, & starting all over.
Yeah, I know - it sounds crazy, especially at our ages.
This particular son said he would live to live like that but just couldn't see how.
I told him that the way to live like that is to just do it - just say to God "whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however."
And trust me, He'll be providing you with more than enough adventure.
Why do we go?
2 Corinthians 5:17 ...anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him.19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.20 So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God!"21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
Why would God pick someone like me to be His ambassador?!
(maybe to show His terrific sense of humor?! ;-)
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. 2 We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
3 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
5 You see, we don't go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, "I believed in God, so I spoke." 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
Monday, August 16, 2010
How many of us think that God may call us, but we're the engine pulling the train in getting it done?
The longer I live, the more I think we're just conduits...
...plugged into Him, & plugged into people...
...His love & power flows through us to people.
Our only responsibility is to keep the conduit in good enough shape to allow His love & power to flow unimpeded through it.
If God calls us to be & do something, He's the One Who makes it happen, not us.
Remind me of that as we travel to Blairsville, will ya?
I was thinking about something yesterday...
I've lived in Middle Georgia for 29 years - half my life.
Fairly soon, we're packing our things & moving to Blairsville, where we basically know no one, & are starting all over, again.
I turn 60 soon.
This is crazy.
Didn't think God still did this kind of thing with people.
Pretty cool, huh?!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Now, understand, I dream a lot - some of them are just dreams - you know, crazy. Some of them are funny. I remember very few of them. They're dreams - transitory.
Let me set this up for you...
I have a friend who died a few years ago. We had been very good friends, & wonderful brothers.
But like I said, he had died. When that happened, I let him go. It's been years since I thought of him.
In my nap this afternoon I had a very compelling dream.
It seems I'm driving down the street in a area where there's people, kids, runners, other cars coming from the other direction, maybe houses and small businesses along the street.
I'm driving along, when I see this guy on the other side of the road, on the left side of the street. He has on sneakers, dark "slicky pants" (like workout pants), a T shirt, hoodie, & some sort of hat. Because he's walking in the same direction I'm going on the left side of the street, I see his back before I see his face.
I think to myself, "that guy sure does look a lot like my brother, Xxxx"
As I pass by, I look over & he looks just like my friend. And he speaks to me. It's my friend. This guy's been dead for years.
Needless to say, I quickly find a place to park!
I run back to where he is. Sure enough, it was my friend.
It goes without saying that we had a hug-fest, right there on the street.
And I of course asked him how in the world he was here.
Here's what he said....
"The best way to explain it is that natural world & the spirit world operate in like 2 circles next to each other. Every once in a while, those 2 worlds pass close to each other. If you're in the spirit world, & you want to, & you get permission to, you can cross back over. I chose to come back."
(As I looked at him, in the flesh again, I understood that if you came back, you would be human, would be vulnerable to sin again, & would get disease & die again, eventually.)
So, my friend/brother invited over to his house, & I went.
I'm not reading anything into this, other than it's a dream. It's just that it came out of nowhere, with a main character who was a very, very good friend & brother, but someone who's dead & someone I haven't thought about in years.
If you have the gift of dream interpretation, give it your best shot.
If you don't have that gift, don't try to explain it, or imbue it with anything, or point out all the theological or Biblical inconsistencies or impossibilities. I'm more than aware of all that.
God is not distant from His creation, particularly those who are walking in obedience.
He's watching what we do, guiding us further, protecting us, & sustaining us.
We so often think that once God calls us to something, it's up to us to make it happen.
If something we're being &/or doing is clearly God's idea, it is His responsibility to make it happen, not us.
It is His responsibility to give us the strength to carry it off.
It is His responsibility to both precede us & follow us (Psalm 139:5) - iow, to prepare the way & mop up behind us.
Whatever we're called to be &/or do, He's the One in charge, not us.
(Someone remind me of this daily - especially when w move to Blairsville in a few weeks! ;-)
Saturday, August 14, 2010
21a It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ.
Jesus is the divine "Yes!"
And so much of the time we settle for lives of a mundane "no"
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
That verse reminds me of a saying people used to say when I was little & growing up...
"Only on life, 'twill soon b passed. Only what's done for Christ will last."
This song is ringing in my head these days - it true for me, & it's true for you...
Time that is Left - Mark Schultz
What will you do with the time that’s left
Will you live it all with no regret?
Will they say that you loved till your final breath?
What will you do with the time that’s left?
Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
What will you do with the time that’s past?
Oh and all the pain that seems to last?
Can you give it to Jesus and not look back?
What will you do with the time that’s past?
Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
What will He say when your time has come?
When He takes you into His arms of love?
With tears in His eyes will He say well done?
What will He say when your time has come?
Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
(Lord be present in all my ways,
help me follow You all my days oh Father God)
What will you do with the time that’s left?
Will you live it all with no regret
Will they say that you loved till your final breath?
What will you do with the time?
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God's secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn't love others, I would be nothing.
3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable,
and it keeps no record of being wronged.
6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
7 Love never gives up,
never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.
8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Monday, August 9, 2010
14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, "I don't need you." The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you."
22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
27 All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:
first are apostles,
second are prophets,
third are teachers,
then those who do miracles,
those who have the gift of healing,
those who can help others,
those who have the gift of leadership,
those who speak in unknown languages.
29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? 30 Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! 31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Saturday, August 7, 2010
the 1st one is this verse:
Proverbs 20:24 How can we understand the road we travel? It is the Lord who directs out steps.
And the direction He's directing me - Blairsville - came out of nowhere! We're heading that direction; how it's all gonna shake out is known only by Him! ;-)
here's the other one...
1 Corinthians 10:13 remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, He will show you a way so that you will not give in to it.
If this is true, then none of us has any excuse, do we?!
Think about that...
God's not gonna let me be tempted any stronger than I'm able to handle.
I ain't got no excuses now!
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
12 You say, "I am allowed to do anything"—but not everything is good for you. And even though "I am allowed to do anything," I must not become a slave to anything. 13 You say, "Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food." (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can't say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. 14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.
15 Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ? Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute? Never! 16 And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, "The two are united into one." 17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.
18 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. 19 Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
One of the most disturbing things I run into particularly in the last couple of years is how many 20something dating couples, who consider themselves Christ followers of some serious commitment, are having sex.
And I'm not talking about just Bill Clinton's definition of sex (that was that only intercourse (coitus) qualified as sex - and we saw how that definition worked out for him!).
I thought that was off the list of things unmarried people could do?
I get the many of the same reasons non-believers tell me...
"Well, we're in love,"
"Well, we're gonna get married."
I don't think so.
I see so many couples affected so negatively in their lives, their emotions, their relationship with the other person, & most importantly, it harms their relationship & intimacy with God.
Don't do it, y'all. I've lived to long, seen too many lives harmed & altered by couples who have sex before they get married.
I remember one person who took months to get over breaking off a relationship. He asked me one day why it was killing him. I shared with him a number of reasons that breaking up is hard on people.
To cover all the bases, I mentioned that when people have sex, especially if they have intercourse, & the break off their relationship, it is devastating because of the DEEP bond that is created by especially having intercourse.
I didn't believe this person was sexually active in this relationship.
He said, "well, that explains it."
And yes, it took him a long time to put that relationship behind him.
Let me just say this folks...
Take it from this old guy - don't have sex before marriage. It ain't worth it.
I could quote all the studies about the negative impact that it has. That won't make any difference.
Most people don't think those studies apply to them. All the dire things that happen in people's lives, emotions, & relationships won't happen to them.
It seems that so many 20somethings feel as the great theologian, Travis Tritt once wrote - that they are "ten feet tall, & bulletproof."
Whether we're 20something, or 60something, or anysomething, the laws of sowing & reaping are the same.
With all the love in my heart, let me say this...
If you're unmarried & having sex with your partner, stop.
If you're thinking about starting to have sex with your partner, don't.
19 Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
vs 1 We gather our thoughts, but the Lord gives the right answer.
vs 2 People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines the motives.
vs 3 Commit your work to the Lord, & then your plans will succeed.
vs 8 It is better to be poor & godly than rich & dishonest.
vs 9 We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
vs 18 Pride does before destruction, & haughtiness before the fall.
vs 19 It's better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.
vs 20 Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be happy.
vs 31 Gray hair is the crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life. (dan note: This one made me laugh!)
vs 32 It is better to be patient than powerful; it is better to have self control than to conquer a city.
vs 33 We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.
SO many of these speak to where I am as we walk toward living & ministering in Blairsville.
Monday, August 2, 2010
The rub here is trying to figure out how much advice is enough - when is enough enough?
Each of us is plunging headlong into life - hopefully the life God dreamed for us.
It's not safe, or prudent, to make ourselves an island, not seeking good counsel - the hard part is finding good counsel - people who have good sense, but don't try to overwhelm us with their ideas.
I find that people are always willing to tell you what they think.
But that isn't always wise counsel.
I've found as I've walked toward whatever it is He has for us in Blairsville that I have to be prudent with whom I give a hearing. I've got plenty of people in my life who are more than willing to tell me what they think I should be or do. Very few of them know what their talking about.
How do I pick & choose amongst the opinions?
Obviously, this person has to be a pretty mature Christ follower, as well as a person whose life shows a consistency & maturity in general.
Usually if someone is somewhat hesitant to offer an opinion, that's a good sign.
If they have a take it or leave it attitude about what they say, rather than an attitude that implies that they think they're speaking for God.
If someone is proactive - iow, if they exhibit an interest that isn't prompted by me usually means they're thinking about it in a constructive way.
Receiving advice & counsel is a dicey thing - I try to take everything with a grain of salt, & test it out with what I think God's saying to me about the whole thing.
One thing's for sure - if I'd listened to a lot of the opinions I've gotten, we wouldn't be going to Blairsville! ;-)
Btw, the house is being inspected this week. One more step in the process. Woot!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
"living by God's power"
I wonder how many of us REALLY do this?
Or do we live by "God helps those who help themselves"?
(btw, that's NOT in the Bible ;-)
How many times do we, do I, take direction & guidance from God & then try to do that direction & guidance under our own steam, in our own strength?
Yeah, I do that. Maybe you too?
As Lynn & I continue to walk toward living & ministering in Blairsville, one of the greatest dangers is to try to do this in our own strength & cleverness.
Mis - take!
If this is God's idea, then it would follow that He's the One who gonna furnish the preparations for our coming - like leading us to a house, finding us jobs, & preparing the hearts of those we are presently & will come in contact with.
And if this "next" is all a part of God's crazy, funny, challenging, heartbreaking, wonderful plan that He dreamed for us a gajillion years ago, then He's the One responsible for giving us the strength we need, the wisdom from which to draw, & the protection we gotta have.
If His power doesn't show up, then I think that would be a clear indicator that we'd made a significant miscalculation along the way! ;-)
The whole idea about Blairsville seems so fantastical to me. I couldn't have dreamed this up. I'm not that clever, or that... gutsy.
One other thing...
If God seems to be calling you to something, just pray, "God, if this isn't Your perfect will, don't let it happen" & then start walking toward it. If it doesn't happen, well, then you'll know it wasn't His will.
But if it does happen, well, guess what?