Tuesday, December 27, 2011



Matthew 7:13-14(NIV)

    13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Narrow.  It can be a good thing or a bad thing.   Good when talking about your waist line and bad when talking about your mind.  Good when talking about the way to Jesus and bad when talking about attitude.

I remember an old saying that say's, "Your mind is so narrow you can see through a key hole", which is pretty narrow!  Meaning that a person isn't willing to think outside their own box, or willing to be open to others opinions only their own.  Not a good way to live or make or keep friends in my opinion.

In church circles we like to throw around titles like "Liberal" or "Conservative" or "progressive" or "legalstic", and I don't like labels and don't think God does either.  Those labels are man made and not always accurate. 

A narrow-mind is never a good thing, because you are limiting yourself and isolating yourself from common sense, reality, or even actual truth, whether it's in christian circles, politics, careers, even relationships.

God gave us a pretty big mind and the freedom to use it and exercise it, why we limit it I'll never  understand?  We get hung up on things that don't matter and make them matter.  We get focused in on our own opinions and try and make them everyone's.  We can manipulate the Bible or other's words to make them say or mean what we want so they agree with us.  Which is not healthy or right.

When it comes to God, we need to take Him and His word and mold ourselves around Him, not vice versa.  When it comes to others, we need to learn to agree to disagree, be big enough to accept the fact that sometimes we are wrong, don't know, or someone else knows more than us.  We need to open up our minds and realize we don't have all the answers and we can't always be right.

When I talk about moving from a narrow-mind to being more open-minded, please use common sense. I am not talking about anything goes, accept and agree with everyone, and not have your own opinions, but we need to stop living in fear or dominating and trying to control others who don't agree with us because we are insecure.  We put God in a box and make being a christian so difficult that it becomes a list of do's and don't instead of an actual relationship.

We can also be so narrow-minded when it comes to politics, our area of expertise, our intersts, etc...that we make it hard for people to want to talk to us or be around us.

My advice? Take a chill pill.  Loosen up.  Stop making your mind, your life, your opinions, and your thinking so small and narrow, that's a small place to live when we have to control or worry about every little thing. 

Following God is serious business.  His Word is no joke, but sometimes we make things so complicated when we care more about keeping our opinions, our  traditions, our ways, or things so narrow, that being a christian becomes so rigid and narrow, that it becomes an obligation and not a relationship, like Jesus intended it to be.   The way to Jesus is narrow, only through Him, however the methods people worship Him, relate to Him, and serve Him are not to be narrow or rigid.  Jesus gives us freedom and freed us from slavery and a narrow-mind is a form of slavery.  The way is narrow, He didn't mean our minds.

Whether it's your faith, relationships, hobbies, politics, or whatever, learn to open your mind God gave you and think with common sense, truth, and being realistic.

Luke 24:45(NIV)
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Always someone else

Always Someone Else

No matter how bad we seem to have it, feel like our life is, or how awful we feel our circumstances are, we have to remind ourselves someone else out there always has it as bad or worse. We are not alone.

Just like with the holidays, though many are excited and looking forward to the holidays, many more dread the holiday season because maybe it reminds them of loss? regret? loneliness?  You know what it's like when you are sad or depressed or angry and people all around you are happy, makes you wanna punch 'em in the gut lol. 

Anyway, I'm not trying to ruin anyone's holiday cheer, I just want you to think about somone else besides yourself.  If you are happy consider those who are not and reach out to them or pray for them..  If you aren't happy, keep in mind others are worse off than you and maybe that will make you focus and appreciate the things you do have to be happy about.  Either way, the focus needs to be taken off oursleves so much.

Really if you think about it, Christmas is really about the most unselfish person ever, Jesus.  He willingly gave up His home in Heaven, perfection, holiness, and turned it in, to be born a human in an old stable, knowing that His future was to be one of torture, death, and hell.  Jesus wasn't thinking of Himself when he was born, and definitely not of Himself, when He went to the cross.  He wasn't being arrogant and saying I'm the son of God I have a right to boast, nor was He feeling sorry for all the pain He was going to endure for you and me.

Jesus really is the  ultimate example of thing about others and how important it is for us to have an unselfish attitude, especially around the holidays.  We need to care about ourselves, take care of ourselves, and spend some time working on ourselves, but our attitude should be one of gratitude, appreciation, and adoration to God for all His blessings, even despite whatever circumstances we may be facing.  But, also our attitude must still be one of thankfulness especially if we are suffering or going through a hard time, because we will need God to get through it no matter the circumstance.

I just hope we all can think about someone else this Christmas.  First, Jesus, and secondly those less fortunate or those we know have a hard time during the holidays or have needs.

Merry Christmas!

Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves

Wednesday, December 14, 2011



I don't think it was a coincidence that God chose Shepherds to come and find newborn baby Jesus the Messiah in a manger.  Afterall,  He is the good Shepherd and Jesus was the lamb that was sent to be sacrificed for our sins. 

These common, hard-working people had a thankless job of tending the sheep, leading them, guiding them, protecting them, and caring for them.  It's sort of what God does for us.   I've been told sheep are some of the dumbest animals in the world, they are hard-headed and stubborn, well I think it's a good comparison, because I know I at times, we are all dumb, stubborn, and hard-headed.  We are also easily led astray, vulnerable to attacks (sheep wolves and other predators, us satan, though he is also compared to a wolf in sheep's clothing as well).

The point is we need guidance.  We need accountability and leadership in our lives.  If not, we are prone to get lost, fall and get hurt, or even put ourselves in danger from temptations, addictions, struggles, and problems.   As churches, we need leaders to lead our churches.  Most churches have problems because they do no have adequate Shepherds(also called Elders, Overseers, and Pastors) to lead and guide the flock(God's church).  When you have no leadership you have chaos, one or two trying to dominate or be controlling, and you certainly have many different individual groups trying to "run" the church, but they are just "running" it in the ground" and "running" members and potential members away.

We need a Shepherd.  We need a God to guide us, lead us, and protect us. If we accept this lamb of God(Jesus), He gives us His Spirit to dwell in us and act as a guide.  We can call on the Good Shepherd anytime in prayer for help, comfort, strength, wisdom, courage, power, and direction.

You cannot go through life with no leadership?  You will spend 40 years doing circles in the desert like the Israelites did in the Old Testament because they refused to follow God.

As the Christmas season and story is around you and you hear about Shepherds. I want you to think about the importance of having a Shepherd in your life,  maybe that's what's  missing?  As a church member or a Christian I want you to think about the Shepherds in your church.  I want to encourage you to support them, pray for them, follow them, and allow them to lead.  If you church doesn't have Shepherds like the situation I am in, turn to the Bible and see what the Bible says about leadership and get some Shepherds in your church so that your church will be biblical, healthy, and function as it should with God as the ultimate shepherd.

We all need leadership in our lives:

As Individuals we need God:
 John 10:11(NIV)

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep

As a church we need Godly men to lead us:
1 Peter 5:2(NIV)

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Bible

The Bible

Psalm 119:8(NIV)
"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sing against you."

Psalm 119:133(NIV)
"Diret my footsteps according to your word."

The Bible is the WORD of God.  (John 1) in John He tells us that Jesus is the WORD and the Word became flesh.  The Bible is holy scripture.  For the Christian it should be a map, a guide, a GPS, and an instruction or lesson book..  The Bible is all sorts of things.

Though many want to argue about verions/translations of the Bible, they end up missing the point or the intent of  Holy scriptures.  Though I don't agree all translations/versions are good or accurate, I also from in depth study on my own conclude that not all are bad and certainly not trying to point people away from God or mislead people from God's truth.  I think most scholars wanted to make the bible as accurate as possible and as close to the original manuscripts as possible, but that's another subject.  Either way,  we must use common sense and wisdom to understand the point of the Bible is to help us know God and His plan for us.  Use a tranlation that you are comfortable with or your church uses.

However, the point being today is that as a Christian you cannot grow without actively reading and studying the Bible.  You cannot claim to know God or have a healthy relationship with Him if you are never spending anytime with Him in His Word.  It's like people who try to bake without a recipe or people who try to put together equipment and furniture without reading the instructions. It's like saying you are best friends with someone, but never talking to them or getting to know them.

We need God's word.  The Bible teaches us about the gospel message of Jesus.  It teaches us about the character and person of God.  It serves to guide, equip, instruct, teach, edify, encourage, convict, challenge, motivate, etc...pick an adjective, the Bible is there to reveal many things to us. 

No matter how old you are, how long you've been a christian, and even those of us who are leaders, pastors, teachers, etc..in church, no one has arrived when it comes to reading and studying the Bible.  There is always something to learn, and some insight, understanding, or wisdom we can gain.  We will always need instruction, correction, and growth as long as we live on this earth.  We need God's word.

We need to develop a reading plan, get a study Bible or devotional t helps us read and study the Bible.  We need to get involved in a Bible study at work, home, at church, or a small group.   No one can ever say I get too much Bible. 

God did not inspire this Book of His Word to go to waste, lay on a coffee table, book shelf, or in night stand.  It is meant to be read, studied, appreciated, and shared.  Take time to read your Bible. Find ways to be creative and manage your time better and make room for reading and study of God's Word.  It could change your life.