Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Proverbs 18:2 (NIV)Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions

Many of you know what that stands for?  Mind Your Own Business.   I could save us all alot of trouble if we'd all be just as worried about our own business and lives as we are about others business and lives.  I am not saying we shouldn't care or be concerned about others, but at the same time, many of us are so busy wondering and worrying about what others are doing or not doing that we neglect ourselves, but even more, we can be over-stepping our boundaries as a friend or family member.

It's common sense to me really.  You got a friend or family member who has a drug or alcohol problem or has a cheating spouse, yes you may have an obligation to step in and intervene or try and help them, but in day to day life when we want to push our nose and opinions into other people's business where it doesn't belong we are wrong.

If a friend or family member asked for your advice, input, or opinion than you have every right to be  I their business because you've been invited, however if you are are neve invited, but still insist or pushing or prodding your nose or opinion into people's lives, you're going to find yourself with few friends and maybe a sore nose 8-).

There is a fine line between being a concerned/caring person and wanting to help others and being someone who is just very nosy and opinionated and wants to tell everyone else how they need to be living or what they need to be doing or not doing in their lives.  That is not healthy relationships to do your friends and family that way. 

How many times has someone gotten mad at you over something you said or did or a decision you made and it wasn't even their business or related to them in anyway?  How many times have you forced your opinion or view on someone and ever stopped to hear what they had to say or that maybe they didn't even ask for your input? Do you think maybe some people never ask for your opinion or advice because you are too opinionated or too nosy?  Think about it!  Might be time for you to take a hard look at yourself and evaluated your relationships.  

Do people respect you and your opinions?  Do people come to your for advice?   Do you respect other peoples business, boundaries, and lives?  Are you quick to get angry or excited over what someone else is doing or not doing even when it has nothing to do with you?   I admit I'm an opinionated person, and I'm not afraid to share my opinions with those that ask.  But, I try to respect those i care about and hope they do the same. 

I have people in my life who I go to because I respect their opinions and advice and I also avoid certain peole because I do not respect their opinions and advice because they have way too much of it and too little listening or respect for boundaries.    I think God calls us to love and care about people, but He also wants us to respect people's business, privacy, opinions, views,  and lives.

Do you want someone sticking their nose in your business where it doesn't belong? Or pushing their opinions on you when they were requested by you?  We would not want someone treating us that way, so why would we treat others that way?

Let's all do a better job of loving and respecting people and mind our own business and worry about being the person God wants us to be. 

I Thessalonaians 4:11b-12(NIV)
You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

God's Timing

God's Timing

One of the hardest lessons for anyone to learn is that God's timing and our timing do not always match up.  We pray and want things and want them now! Our society of instant gratification has ruined our patience and faith in God, because what we want we want now, without even considering it may not even be God's will especially in our prayers.

We can rest assured if we have faith in God and a committed relationship with Him, He will ALWAYS give us what we NEED and not always what we want.  But, it's more than just desires of wants or needs, the key is to understand that God is God and we are not and that His timing is not the same as ours.

So many times we try to bring God down to our level and place God in human terms, but instead we should be striving to be more like God, learning to wait on God's timing, and trusting in His will for our lives.  He is God.  He is Holy.  He is creator.  He deserves and demands our trust!

It's ok to pray for things, but we must learn that when we approach God we must not only pray in faith, but we also must learn to pray with the attitude of  God's will be done, but most of all be willing to wait and trust in His timing.

They say in the entertainment business that "timing is everything" and I believe that in the Christian faith.  Timing is everything and that timing is God's not ours.  It may take  years to get a prayer answered and it may not be answered in the way we want, but that is where we trust in God's bigger picture and plan, things that we may not see or know.

Some of our prayers do get answered quickly and fairly often, but many take lots of time, because there are other factors going on.  As the old song says,  "God works in ways we cannot see-He will make a way".  We have to learn to trust, wait, and have faith in God's perfect timing. It's perfect everytime.  Ours is not, and  sometimes God may be trying to protect us, He may be working in someone else's lives and there are factors and things taking place and taking time that we do not known about, so therefore we have to wait on God and trust in His perfect will and timing.

Whether we are praying for others, ourselves, a situation, a problem, a loved one, an illness, a job, or anything and any situation we are praying to God about,  we all have to give it to Him in prayer and understand the Holy Spirit even speaks when we don't have the words to express, and when we give it to God and keep praying about it, we must be faithful in our prayers, but also faithful in our trust, patience, and waiting on God to work.  God's timing, let's wait on it!

Isaiah 64:4(NIV)Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's in a Name?

What's in a Name?

What does the name "Christian" mean to you?  Some people say "I'm a Christian", but it's simply based on they are not catholic, jewish, muslim, mormon, or buddhist, so they must be a "Christian".  However, Christian is not a race or it's own religion, it's a term first used in the bible in the New Testament to describe people of "The Way" or followers of Jesus Christ.  First, they were called people of "the way" and eventually the term "christian" was coined, basically meaning a follower of Christ.

So, you are not a "Christian" unless you are literally a "follower of Jesus Christ" meaning it requires you to do something, not just wear a name.  It means people responsed to the gospel/good news of Jesus Christ, and accepted Him as their Savior, was obedient to Him, was baptized, and begin following Him.  That's the name Christian.

I have met people my whole life who claim the name "Christian" yet they do not claim any faith in God, some simply believe in God, or went to church when they were little, or know they aren't some other religion, but they are simply misunderstanding the meaning of being a Christian.  They aren't serving God, praying to God, reading His word, or serving in His church. They have no relationship and have made no commitment to God through Jesus Christ, therefore they are mis-using the name Christian

I can go around calling myself Doctor, but unless I go to medical school and pass and fulfill the commitments of being a Doctor with the state to get my license, then I am no Doctor.  It requires a process and commitment and steps to become a Doctor, and christianity is the same, it's more than a name.

We need to be educated and informed.  Do not call yourself a Christian if you have not made a commitment to Jesus Christ and are not actively in a relationship with God serving Him and being a part of His body the church.  In order to wear the name, it bears with it a great responsibility and calling. 

I am not trying to be legalistic or judgemental, I am trying to be realistic and clarify what the name Christian means and doesn't  mean and what wearing the name brings with it.  If your aren't another religion, then you simply are no name. You are not a religious person.  If you were raised in church when you were a child, but never made a commitment to Christ or stopped going, then you aren't a Christian, you are simply you.  A non-christian, or whatever you want to call yourself. I could say you are a sinner, but we are all sinners whether we are christian or not, the only difference is when you become a christian you have forgiveness of your sins those who aren't are still living in their sins.

 If we have graduated from a certain school or with a certain degree or training then we take pride in being called an engineer, a soldier, a doctor, a mechanic, a teacher, a certified welder, or licensed social worker.  Our names mean something because we did something to earn to wear the name, and we would take exception to anyone who called themselves our name without earning it or going through the steps to be able to wear it.  Christianity is the same way.

Anyone can become a christian and everyone has a right to be called a christian, but they must first choose Christ, choose to accept Him in their lives, repent of their sins, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and be committed to living and growing in a personal committed relationship God.    But, we can't wear the name or call ourselves a christian if we aren't willing to commit to Christ and wear His name in service and commitment.

Acts 11:26b(niv) 
The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

Acts 2:21 (niv)
And everyone who callson the name of the Lord will be saved.’

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekend Getaway

I had an opportunity to get away with my wife this past weekend and head to Lynchburg, VA and spend the weekend enjoying some quiet time, alone time, quality time, and spend saturday going to the one day Marriage conference "Love for Life" sponsored by AACC(American Assocation of Christian Counselors) and it was held at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

I think it has been since our honeymoon that we had the chance as a couple to be alone and just enjoy being together with no distractions, problems, kids, worries, jobs, or stresses.  As one of the speakers said it is very important for married couples to have a "daily delay"-take 15-20 minutes out of your day just to talk and visit as a couple.  A "weekly withdrawal" meaning make time for a date night and then a "annual abandon" meaning take one weekend a year and go somewhere for the weekend just the two of you alone and enjoy each other and time together.

So I guess this was our "annual abandon".  The conference was great,  Tim Clinton Spoke(founder of AACC), Ted Cunningham, Pastor of Woodland Hills church in Branson, MO, Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar (of 19 kids and counting) and a guy named Joe White. (Duggars to the right and Ted Cunningham below) they were my two favorite speakers.  The Duggars shared their story and how they kept God at the center of their marriage and family.  And Ted shared 3 journeys we are on, our own spiritual journey, our spouses spiritual journey, and our marriage journey.  He was very funny too.

All and all, all 4 speakers did a good job sharing with all us married folks.  We had a little contemporary worship with was nice and we also were able to pick up a couple books to read.  I think Cheryl and I both got alot out of the conference and we needed it.  Sometimes people need that help, and though some couples go to a marriage conference on the brink of divorce, others might go to get recharged, and I think you'll agree no matter how strong or weak your marriage relationship we always can learn, grow, and become a better spouse.
I think we enjoyed just taking our time driving there and stopping for lunch and a little shopping.  We ate at some good restaurants during the weekend, found a place called Nancy's chocolates which had truffles from heaven, they were awesome!  We also enjoyed just lounging around our hotel and not having to be or go anywhere in particular.  We visited Lynchburg Church of Christ(christian) on Sunday morning before heading home.

It was a great great time. I love my wife so much and realize we need to be proactive in making time for each other, that I have lots of things I need to be working on to improve myself as a husband, father,  man, minister, and christian.  That my wife and I need time away and to enjoy being together and make time for it more often.  We also need to better communicate, it's so easy to fall into ruts, or miscommunicate, or blame your spouse, or let outside distractions come between you.

I want to encourage all my married friends to work on your marriage every day.  Go to an marriage conference every year.  Take a few minutes each day to visit, make a weekly date night, and take a weekend a year to get away together.  But always work on yourself and strive to put God first in your marriage and in your own life.  Marriage is a journey and a commitment and it takes lots of work and it's worth it!  I love my wife and thankful even though we have been faced with some tough times in our short marriage that we've not given up on each other and our love for God and one another!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012


Is this your first response when someone is talking to you or telling you something?  Because you either can't hear, or have selective hearing, or are ignoring them. Well what about God?

God speaks to us.  No it may not be audibly like He did during times we read about in the Bible, but I'm not sure that would matter. God talked to  many people in the Bible directly or through dreams and angels, etc...and still they didn't listen to Him.

God does speak to us in a variety of ways today, through His Word, other people, nature, circumstances, through music, through reading christian books, emails, and blog(like this wonderful gem).  Most of all He speaks to us through His Holy Spirit.  Yes, God Himself comes and dwells in us when we accept Him and our Savior and are baptized, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit and among the many roles the Spirit has, one is to speak to us, but the great question is are we listening?

Maybe God is trying to speak to you about your lifestyle or behavior? Maybe God is trying to get through to you about you about your attitude or rebellion?  Maybe God is trying to talk to you about serving more or getting more involved in your church?  God is speaking to us everday in a variety of ways about a variety of topics depending on each of our invidivual needs and place where we are in our relationship with God.

Some of us God is speaking loud and clear that we need to get in church, or get saved, or God is calling you to ministry, or convicting you of a sin, or trying to help you make better decisions or act with honesty in integrity?  I am not sure, I can't tell you what God is saying to you, but I can tell you to open your ears and listen all around you.

Don't get confused there are other voices speaking for your attention.  Satan speaks to us and our own voice speaks to us, I find it eery that satan's voice and our own voice sound just alike, but when God speaks it sounds nothing like our own voice??? Maybe that should be a clue to us who is speaking to us, who we are listening to, and who's advice we are following??

Take time to listen to God. Read His Bible, do a devotion, Pray, worship, look around you, whatever ways you communicate to God, always leave time to be quiet and still and listen to God. Don't do all the talkin, give God time to speak to you, but most of all take time to Listen and Hear Him, it could change your life, the direction you are headed, and could be a huge blessing!

James 1:22-24(NIV)
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012



Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)

6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Serving is not an option, it's a command. You would think by looking around  many of our churches today that serving was optional, as our churches are filled with people who simply "attend" and do not "participate" and who warm pews instead of warming up their gifts God has given them.
One of the biggest problems facing the church besides satan and the world, is I think apathy from church members, I hate to even call them members, because they really are more attenders than members, being called a member implies you are an "active" part of the organization, or in christians terms,  part/member of the body of Christ.
The problem is church is we got a body that only a few of the parts are working and moving, and the rest leave the body crippled or lame because they are not doing their part or fuction in the body.  We need ALL parts/members of the body to be working, serving, and moving together with the rest of the body, so that the whole body is working properly and truly giving glory to the head of the body, Jesus Christ!
If you confess christianity, attending church is not an option, you need to be a part of the body. If you are a christian, then participating and serving in the body is not an option, you need to do your part.  We are all gifted by God in different ways and with different talents, but talent un-used is talent wasted, and servants that are not serving are hurting the body and holding the body back.
The question is not whether you serve or not, but where you serve and how!  Serving is not an option for the Christian.  We cannot just only attend services and bible studies,  we need teachers, nursery workers, greeters, children and youth workers, administrators, leaders, singers, custodians, prayers, encouragers, and the list of serving positions and places to serve are endless in a church.
Here is what happens, when you don't serve. You got a hand trying to do the job of a foot, or an ear trying to do the job of a toe.  Or better yet, you got a foot trying to do 10 other jobs in the body, when they are only gifted to be a foot.  
You have one person in many churches doing the work of 5 or 10 people because no one will get up, step up, and serve.  I got news for you, God is not honored by attenders, pew sitters, and do-lessness.  He is honored by sincere service, workers, and people using the talents He gave you for the sole purpose of using for His kingdom and His glory.
My challenge for you today is SERVE!  Get to work!  Take the burden off the few in your church who is doing all the work, and do your part in the body of Christ! 
1 Corinthians 12:27(NIV)
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.