What Will I Be?

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 NLT

We all want to “fit in”.  We find out what’s trending and we follow.  Many say they want Read More

So God . . . This Is What I Want.

This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. 1 Corinthians ‭1:25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I’ve often wondered why God doesn’t ask for my advice.

Don’t I see things that the omnipresent God can’t see? Don’t I know things that the omniscient God doesn’t know? I think I have some really good ideas (not really).

I think I know a great deal, when in reality, I know very little. The pretense of my insight and wisdom promotes my insignificance and waning. Pride effects perception. Saint Read More

It’s Not Mine

Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him. Psalm 49:16-17 ESV

I’ve been alive for just over six decades and I still struggle with the “wealth” thing. The psalmist has the right perspective . . . we “carry nothing away”.

If we “make it” and can’t take it with us, then we must “manage it”. After all, it’s not ours, it’s His. God entrusts His resources to our care, both personal and organizational. Paul reminds the faith-walking in Corinth, “Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.” (1 Cor 4:2 NLT)

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’” (Heb 13:5-6 NLT)
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A Dad’s Heart

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. Luke 15:20 NLT

Being a dad is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

I’ve been at this “father” thing for almost 40 years. Once I think I have a handle on it, I find that I’ve lost my grip. When I think I have arrived, I realize I’m still on a journey. Pope John XXIII says, “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”

Jesus’ influence and instruction created great interest to those who where not on the “inside”. Luke tells us, “Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.” (Luke 15:1 NLT). He was different, He was dynamic, and He was Read More

Looking Inside

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. 
2 Corinthians ‭13:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

One of our favorite family movies is “The Lion King”. Now, our grands can enjoy the re-release. At one part, Simba struggles with responsibilities that are before him . . . is he strong enough? Is he able to be all that is required of him? Can he do what he is tasked to do? Mufasa’s image comes to Simba and says, “Look inside yourself, you are more than what you have become.”

At different times in our lives, we may experience comfort and ease or chaos and economic struggle. In each of these times, at every turn and at every intersection of doubt and destiny, we need to look inside to see what God is doing and how He is working in our hearts.

We are challenged to examine ourselves . . . or look inside . . . on a regular basis. Eugene Peterson in his paraphrased work, The Message, reminds us of Paul’s thoughts, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others.” (Gal 6:4 MSG)

As we look inside, we are reminded that as God touches us, we touch others. As we look in, we begin living out. Here are some thoughts on looking inside and living outside . . .

We Bless Others Because We Have Been Blessed. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul reminds us that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3). When we look inside at all the ways God has blessed us, we are able to be a blessing to others. Wise King Solomon reminds us, “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:25)

We Love Others Because We Have Been Loved. Jesus deliverers and demonstrates love . . . He is love. We are told that we love, only because we have been first loved by God. (1 John 4:19) As we walk in this life, opportunities come before us each and every day to show love and to share the love of God. The disciple John reminds us that there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). If fear is present, love is absent. And, if love is experienced, fear has exited. Our healing can be another’s hope. Steve Maraboli writes, “A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”

We Give Because We Have Been Given. John reminds us, “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (I John 3:17-18 NLT) We give . . . following the example of God. The beloved disciples writes, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”(John 3:16 MSG) He loves . . . He gives!  We love . . . we give. If we are not giving, we are not loving.

We Serve Because We Have Been Served. The heart of a believer, of a Christ-follower is seen in one who serves. Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 NLT). He did not come to be served . . . but to serve . . . and He has given us that example to follow.

Inspirational writer and speaker, Israelmore Ayivor writes, “The only way to make a damaged machine work again is to break it down, work on its inner system and fix it again. Screw out the bolts of your life, examine and work on yourself, fix your life again and get going.”

Peterson gives some insight, “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out.” (2 Cor 13:5 MSG)

Give yourself a checkup. Take a look on the inside . . . Blessings . . . Loving . . . Giving . . . Serving. Through Christ, you are more than what you have become . . . test it out.

Shut My Mouth

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Proverbs 15:1 NLT
Words are powerful.
The carefully chosen word can calm conflict.
The wrecking word can wage war.
Words can hurt or heal.
They can agitate or they can appease.
Pearl Strachan Hurd says, “Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.”
King Solomon, noted as one of the wisest men who ever lived, encourages us to use a gentle response when anger rages.  With a decisively chosen word we can divert danger.  Our objective becomes disarming anger before it becomes destructive.

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