Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do It

Do It!

When  it comes to doing the things we know we need to do, do we really need someone to push, pull, prod, guilt, and force us to do things we should want to do on our own?

I mean, let's be real, why should my wife beg me to be a better husband?  Why should you guilt your kids into cleaning their rooms or taking out the trash? Why should I have to beg my best friend prod my best friend to tell the truth?  Why should I have to push you to keep reading this blog??

Anyway, my point being, when it comes to chores or exercise or things like that yeah sometimes maybe we need a little encouragement or support or something along those lines, but when it comes to right and wrong, truth and lying, or honoring God or sinning, I do not think anyone should have to force you to do the right thing, tell the truth, or honor God.

When you become a Christain, God promises us the gift of His Holy Spirit to come dwell in us and serve our guide.  It's job is to help guide us, teach us, encourage us, and yes even guilt or prompt us, but if it comes to the point we are made to do something, then we lose freewill.  God is not going to force you to serve Him or live for Him and I don't think it should be pulling teeth to do the things in our lives we need to do to have peace, fix problems, or grow our faith.

If you've been avoiding something, stop it!  Go fix what you need to fix, make that phone call, send that e-mail, make that visit, or whatever is is you need to do.  If you want to go back to school, or lose weight, or work on your self-esteem or whatever it is you've been procrastinating, go for it!

It's time for us to get off the couch (spiritually speaking) and start doing what we need to do.  Be a better parent, be a better spouse, a better employer or employeer, serve or give more in church, or step up and start leading, of if God is calling you to ministry of some kind stop running or avoiding it.

Let's do what we need to do so that our life can empty of baggage, clutter, and things left undown and lets grow in our faith, stretch our faith, and mature in our faith.

Romans 8:5(NIV)
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Worldy Pressures

Worldy Pressures

What's got you down?  What's stressing you out?  What has you feeling overwhelmed?  Is it a job? A relationship?  Finances?  Illness?  Anger? Dissapointment?  Many things can leave us feeling broken, hurting, bitter, or down right frustrated in this world we live in.

No one is exampt from the pains, struggles, and problems, or troubles of this world in any form or fashion, even those who follow Jesus, probably I should say especially those who follow Jesus.   I think when you are trying to live for God, grow in your faith, or trying to serve the Lord in some capacity the worlds pressures may very well increase, whether it's God testing you or Satan attacking you, you can rest assure that those times will come. 

Sometimes the demands of our careers, families, relationships, etc...can seem like too much to bare. Believe me I am there, and what me or you are feeling is not isolated to only us, and though we may feel like no one understands us or gets us or can help us or relate to us, God always can, but it will in in His way, His will, and His timing.

There are many things in this world that can get the best of us,  and we have to be careful to guard our hearts, guard our minds, and protect ourselves when these times are upon us.  The question isn't if, it's when?  So, the first step is preparing ourselves for what the world throws at us.  Secondly, we must be able to endure and persevere through those moments and times so that we don't give up, give in, or blame God or others. 

Thirdly, we need to keep our focus on God and not the pressures and look for ways to overcome whatever the world is throwing at you through prayer, reading God's word, or talking to a trusted counselor/friend.

Do not let the world win,  you are greater and bigger that this world and God created you to be an overcomer.
1 John 4:4(NIV)
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Amish Paradise

Amish Paradise

Many people are still or have been the past several days in West Virginia and surrounding states dealng with the loss of power.  With the loss of power for many comes no water or only cold water, loss of phones, internet, and the pleasures we enjoy of tv, computers, video games, and anything electronic.  Many have lost food in their freezers or fridges, and many other inconveniences.

With this said, my family and I spent the last 5 days without many of those luxuries, but the key there is luxury.  There are many things we take for graanted like a/c, fridges, hot water tanks, tv, and computers.  We also, realize how much we depend on rely on electrical power.

Now, I'm not going to lie, I have no desire to be Amish or live as a mountain man, but at the same time I think the break away from many things was a needed break for some, a reminder of who is in control of all things(God), and maybe a wake-up call to others to get their priorities in line.

I'll admit I missed checking my fb or keeping up with local/national news or what's going on in the world, and I missed hot showers and my DVR/dish/tv.  However, at the same time, I also found myself not griping or complaining about it, and also reflecting and focusing on other things.

I think I was reminded that God has TOTAL POWER.  He is the source of all power that we need in this life.  That He controls the wind, the storms, and anything this life has to throw at us and not only does He have control over all these natural things, He has power to protect us, sustain us, guide us, and strengthen us.

I also realized from time to time we need a MEDIA FAST.  Take a break from tv, video games, computers, the internet, iphones, ipads, facebook, email, or whatever it is that you keep you nose in. Whether you take a break for a day a few days a week or whatever, take a break and enjoy something else like taking a walk,  going fishing, reading a good book, catching up on your to-do list you've been neglecting, or spend some extra time with God through study, prayer, or serving extra at church.

Finally I realized there is a difference between NEEDS and WANTS.  Believe it or not Air condition is a luxury not a necessity, just because many of us have grown up with things and seldom did without doesn't make them needs.  For years and years many people have to live without electric, or electrical powered fridges, stoves, etc....and even yes life did exist before computers and internet.  This time without electric was a great time to thing about what's really a need or what is a want.  Nothing wrong with wants, but never make them needs.

I am thankful we got our power back, I'm thankful we were kept safe from the storms, and thankful for all the workers who worked around the clock to restore power, phones, water, and remove trees and storm damage.  Most of all I am thanfkul for a a God who is always there for us.

Luke 8:25 NIV
“Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”