Friday, June 22, 2012

Setting Standards

Setting Standards

Whether you're a christian, a boss, a spouse, or a parent, I think we need to set standards for those who we role model for, those who look to us for guidance, and those we oversee.

Wel all know with no rules, laws, etc...there would be chaos, anarchy, etc....Heck, even with those things we still have those to break the law, rules, and act chaotic and have no respect for authority, others, etc...but I think God calls us to a higher standard.

Especially as a church leader, a Christian, and as a role model or parent, we need to set standards for our family, our children, and those whom we have influence.

When we lead and serve in the church, we need to lead and serve by example.  We can't expect others to follow us where we aren't willing to go and we can't expect others to do jobs or tasks we aren't willing to do ourselves.  We shouldn't have to do all the work, but we also need to do some of the work to role model and be an example to others.

As bosses and supervisors at our secular jobs, we need to realize no matter where we go as christians out in the work force, even regardless of whether we are supervisors, managers, or bosses, we represent Christ.  We need to model integrity, honesty, treating others fair, and avoid gossip, dishonest dealings, and tearing others down to get ahead.

As a parent especially we need to set standards for our children.  They need to have clear boundaries, natural consequences for their behaviors & actions, and we need to be consistent in enforcing them.  We also need to pay close attention and monitor and set clear standards for what our children watch on tv, what type of music they listen to, what video games they play, and what they are looking at on the internet.  Remember all those things are luxuries and wants not demands or needs.  We are the parents, we must be the parent, and protect our children from all the media outlets out there.  So many times, I've seen kids posting stuff on facebook, music on their iphods/mp3 players, or they tell me what movies or tv shows they watch and Lord knows what they look at on the web. 

We can't be asleep at the wheel or naive about what our children are doing.  We must be pro-active and smart about technology and what is out there.  Most things have ratings/labels and we must have control/access to our kids things.  It's ok to listen to music, play video games, watch movies, and play on the internet, but please set and maintain standards to protect your children and family so that they aren't led astray or pick up bad habits.

The key here today is to have standards.  Morals, values, integrity, character, and sensitivity to good and evil, & right and wrong.  God is our standard.  His word is our guide.   I'm not sayingf be amish, be rigid, be legalistic, but a person with no standards in their lives is opening pandora's box to sin, regret, bad news, bad habits, rebellion, or worse.  Let God be your standard in your life, your family, your job, and your relationships.

1 Corinthians 11:1
Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Look Ahead

Look Ahead

Philippians 3:13-14(NIV)
13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus

It's easy to live in the past,  it's easy to wollow in self-pity, regret, and focusing on our past mistakes and problems.  But, as long as we are constantly looking in the rear view mirror of life, we are never going to live in the present to overcome our past, or look to the future to overcome our past and be used by God again or live a healthy productive lifde.

Apostle Paul gave the church in Philippi great advice, admitting he didn't have it totally together himself, but one thing he did know what the he wa going to forget the past and push forward to what was ahead in his life and wasn't going to give up because he wanted to go to heaven to be with Jesus.

Paul had every reason to feel guilty, regret, and live in the past.  He persecuted the church, had people arrested and killed for following Jesus, now He was one of the things He used to despise a Christ follower, He had every reason to want to feel sorry for himself or feel like he wasn't good enough or let his past dictact his life, but he didn't.  He accepted grace, forgiveness, and Jesus.  He owned up to His past, but did not let it define His life.

We all have a past. I have things in my life I regret, I wish I hadn't said or done, and believe me I've had my bouts with doubt and thinking God could never use me again or I wasn't good enough to ever be in ministry again, but here I am, and so can you.  Maybe you aren't called to full-time ministry, but God still wants and can use you despite your past.

Maybe you used to be an addict? Maybe you used to be a drunk or party too much?  Maybe you were a cheater or adulterer?  Maybe you used to lie and manipulate and deceive people?  I don't know what skeletons you have in your past, but leave them there, deal with them, accept responsibility for who you were then, and even when people doubt  you or judge you for your past, do not let that stop youf from living today and looking forward to a future that only God can give you.

No one can determine what you can do today to change or what you can do tomorrow to make a difference.  Stop looking back.  Let your past serve as a reminder not  a result of who you are today.

No one can change what they said or did yesterday or what they did or was a year ago, five years ago, or 20 years ago.  But we can change today.  We have a choice.  We can start the process of getting our lives back and living for a future with God.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The View

The View

No, I'm not talking about the show of ladies gossiping and talking about everyone, I am talking about your view, what you see, through your eyes, especially when your world doesn't go the way you expect it or want it to go?

Many times our views of people, circumstances, and things can become clouded or skewed based on anger, bitterness, hurt feelings, misunderstanding, miscommunication, gossip, not having all the information, or the wrong information.

Sometimes our views can be blinded by the pain of tragedy, trauma, or problems.  We don't understand why or how things happen the way they do?  Why is this happening to me? Why did the have to die? Why did I have to go through this?  I feel so alone or misunderstood.

Our view of people or places changes sometimes with our feelings, emotions, or whether things go our way or not.  Sometimes we feel cheated if we don't get our way, or we feel angry if we don't get what we want, or we feel jealous if someone get something we wanted, or we fee slighted if we are ignored or not chosen, or recognized for something we feel we should.

I am not sure your situation or scenario today, but I can assure you many times we see things based on some of the situations mentioned above and we are seeing things not as they are.  Yes, sure sometimes things don't go our way, but not everyone is always out to get you, and things aren't always going to go your way or be in your favor, and yes you are going to have bad days and bad things are going to happen in your life out of your control and you must learn to live with it, deal with it, and work through those times, problems, circumstances, and situations no matter what they may be.

1 Corinthians 13:12NIV
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

I Corinthians 13 is typically the "love" chapter, we read at weddings and funerals and its supposed to make us feel warm and fuzzy, but right in the middle of that chapter is this verse.  It is a verse to remind us that sometimes we aren't always going to see everything or understand everything, but someday we will. 

The key ingredient in everything is TRUST.  We have to trust God that even know we may not understand the WHY or the HOW or the WHEN whether it's our prayers or circumstances or things not going our way, that God has our best interest in mind, He has a different plan for us, He is trying to teach us something, or it's not in HIS will for us. 

Sometimes you aren't going to see things clearly because your feelings or emotions or even selfish attitude won't allow you, but God always sees clearly and if we trust in Him, someday we can see everything through His eyes.

Hang in there, don't get discouraged, don't let sin or bad feelings or negative emotions cause you live or act in a way that doesn't please God just because your view of things is clouded or skewed.  Trust God.