Thursday, October 25, 2012

Accept Responsibility

Accept Responsibility

This is a rare commodity in today's world these days.  What I mean is people who make mistakes, mess up, or do the wrong thing and then turn around and own up to it and accept responsiblity for their actions.

Many people live a lifestyle of lying, dishonesty, blame, finger pointing, and immaturity because they do not want to accept responsiblility for themselves and especially their actions.  They do not want to be held accountable for their behaviors.  Why is that?

There are many reasons, some don't want to be proven wrong.  Others are prideful and do not want to be seen as wrong or imperfect.  Still others are simply just dishonest or selfish people who want to get their way and not have to suffer consequences for their decisions or choices.

We need to accept responsiblity for ourselves.  Our bad atttitudes, our wrong behaviors, or the  choices and decisions we make, including those which are stupid, bad, wrong, or selfish.  We create so much more problems and consequences for ourselves when we don't come clean at the beginning and accept responsibility for ourselves and our lives.

First and foremost, we have to understand that God knows and sees everything including thoughts and attitudes. He knows what we will do before we even do it, and when we do something and try to hide it, cover it up, or lie about it, He knows and we begin the process of creating alot of hurtful natural consequences for ourselves.  Secondly, we need to understand our behavior, choices, and actions impact others and hurt others when we lie, decieve, or cause pain in their lives and we make it worse when we won't accept responsiblity for ourselves.

When you say or do something that is wrong or you make a mistake, admit it, own it, and accept responsiblity for it.  If you need to apologize, do it.  If you need to confess it, confess it.  If you make a mistake at work, at school, with a friend or family member then instead of reacting to being confronted, be proactive and admit your mistake as soon as you know. Of if you are confronted instead of making excuses, blaming others, justifying, or flat out lying, own up and begin resolution and damage control.

Even when others hurt us or make us mad or circumstances out of our control affect us, we alone are still responsible for oursleves.  You and the only one who will answer for you, not your parents, not your spouse, and not your kids. YOU!  Be responsible, take responsiblility, accept responsiblity, and be a person of integrity, character, and honesty.  No matter the situation or circumstance always accept responsibility for yourself and your behavior and actions. It's lime we grow up, own up, and look up to God to help us live and be responsible people. 

Hebrews 4:13NIV
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Faith & Politics

Faith & Politics

2 Timothy 4:2(NIV)
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Apostle Paul gave young preacher Timothy some good advice.  "Preach the Word."  He also goes on in rest of verse telling Timothy how he should preach the Word: prepared, to correct, to rebuke, to encourage.  He also says what his attitude should be in preaching the Word:  great patience and careful instruction.

That is some good advice for us today, not only preachers, but all of us who may share the word of God with others (we all have a responsibility to share the Word of God, not just the preachers).  So, we can' just pull scriptures out of context and change their meaning to fit our denomination, or what we were raised, or taught, or even our agenda because we are passionated about a certain subject and topic.  People do all the time, they preach and push their denominational beliefs, their doctrinal beliefs, and even their preferences they think are gospel, and they talk about God in the mix of it all, but they are missing the point of actually preaching the Word of God.

It sort of reminds me of what we face anytime there is an election year, people want to spout and shout their political beliefs and agendas, yes, even preachers from pulpits want to spew their love or hate of the republican party or the democratic party, or they love or loathing of a certain candidate, or even further a certain issue that they are hot under the collar about you  name it, gun control, taxes, immigrants, gay marriage, abortion, etc.....and we us the pulpit and our faith as a platform to push our opinions and views.

You can disagree with me, I am only stating my convictions and feelings, but I do not feel the pulpit is the place to spew personal politics. It's a place to preach God's word.  There is no mention of political parties in the Bible. There is no authority from God in scripture to tell us to rip apart, disrespect, or put down people or things we don't agree with or dislike.  As a matter fact  Jesus told the jews to give to Caesar what is Caesar when asked about the jews having to pay taxes to the Romans in the gospels and even Paul in His first letter to Timothy encouraged Timothy to pray and not only pray but pray for those in leadership and authority in government.(1 Tim. 2:1-3niv)I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior."

As Christians and even as Preachers we have an obligation to preach, teach, and share the moral and ethical values taught in scripture, but it is not our place to endorse a certain political party, agenda, or candidate.  Nor do I feel according to God's word is it our place to use our position and time as a preacher in a sermon to preach "OUR" feelings or opinions on our president, our government, our political party, or our political agendas.  On a personal level if an someone asks you your opinion or feelings on their own, we are free to share our thoughts as an individual away from the pulpit if we so choose.

People  we are to PREACH the Word and the Word is Jesus Christ.  Not Obama, Not Romney, or George Washington, or JFK.  The Word of God is truth and it's not democratic, or republican, or even Libetarian or Tea Party.  It's not our job to use the church or the pulpit to push any other agenda other than the agenda of God, which is proclaming, sharing, preaching and teaching His Word.

I know some of you will say we have an obligation as Preachers or Christians to speak out and stand up for right and wrong, and I agree when it comes to God's Word, but not politics.  We do need more of God's Word in our governement and Christian leaders, but politics has not place in the body of Christ.  It's about Him, not us, not our agenda, or political views.  

There may be certain issues we are passionate about because of our Christian Faith, and that is fine, we should stand up for our Christian rights and values and I do think each of us should do our own homework and educate ourselves on candidates and their beliefs and views and we should vote our conscience, but we are living in a fantasy world if we think every political party or every candidate will agree with us 100% or support everything we stand for, it and they won't.

As a church we have to stand up for our Christian Values and as Preachers and  Teachers we have an obligation to Preach and Teach God's Word, and I do not think that involves endorsing politics, politicians, political parties, or political agendas.  We preach and teach Christ and let God's Holy Spirit convict and guide each of us who and how to vote on election day.

Just my thoughts, but I  pray I will never use my position or my pulpit to preach garbage, preach personal agenda, my politics, or put down others, or dishonor the calling God has placed on my life by misusing my power or position to preach anthing, but His Word.  I pray you will never use your faith, or pulpit, or positions, to preach, teach, or share anything other than God's Word.

Friday, October 12, 2012



"membership has its privileges" Do you recognize this quote from the American Express commercials or ads?  It's a great marketing slogan they use to show that if you are one of their credit card users that you will have things you won't get with other credit cards.  We'll I'm not sure of that because I've never had an American Express?

What about church membership? What does that mean?  Well what it means and how people treat it are two different things.  Church membeship should have its privileges as well, but people treat their church membership very loosely sometimes.

Membership to a church or religous group doesn't guarantee your way to Heaven.  Many churches claim a membership,but t heir attendance doesn't reflect membership role.  A church may have a membership of 500, but only have 75 attend, so I ask what's the point of having membership if members aren't committed.

I think we need to understand that church membership should mean first and foremost that you have made a decision and commitment to become or be a Christian. That you have accepted Jesus Christ the son of God as your Lord and Savior and have been baptized for the remission of your sins. Secondly, if you are a "committed' christian, your church attendance and involvement in your local church is going to reflect your membership there.

The church is not like social clubs or organizations like the VFW, Moose Lodge, Lions Club, Rotary, etc...where  you pay an annual due or whatever and attendance and involvement is optional.  The church is more than a social setting or organization, it is  the Body of Christ.  It is a family and community and membership to this body should be taken seriously and mean something to you.

If you want to place your membership in God's church then you should be willing to make a commitment to serve, give, and attend faithfully.  Your membership to the church should be backed up by your atttitude and actions.  Meaning as you grow in your personal faith and mature, your service to God in giving of your time, finances, and abilities should grow.

Being a member of a certain church isn't a free ticket to heaven.  Saying your a christian or believing in a God isn't what is required of salvation and eternal life. Salvation is a process and living a christian life is too and so is our membership to the church. We have God's word as our guide and His Holy Spirit as well. 

Churches of all kinds of denominations set up membership classes and polices and some are great and help people understand what is expected of them as a member of that particular church.  But, ultimately your church membership and more importantly your membership to the family of God and church body is your sole responsibility.

As a Minister I cannot force my church members to come to church, or give of their time or money or abilities. I can educate them on what God requires of us, or encourage them to give faithfully to God through the church in a variety of ways, and I can help them understand maybe what God wants if they don't know exactly how to give or serve financially or with their time and abilities, but I can't make anyone come to church, be the church, or be committed.

It is my desire today to those who read this that if you are calling yourself a christian, but you are not a member of a church anywhere that you find a church and make a commitment to serve God there.  I do not believe a person can be a christian and not be a member of God's church locally.   Jesus did not die on the cross and establish the church, for it to have no meaning or be optional folks, we need to read our bibles, church has a purpose and it's the body of Christ, which requires membershp of it's body parts(me and you).  Also, if you do claim to be a membership of a local church, are you attending faithfully? Are you committed to not just attending weekly, but you also support  the church by giving financially a committed amount(you giving is between you and God and you are giving to God-not the church so don't stop giving if you get mad or don't get your way) and you should be serving through the church in some capacity, whether it's teaching, singing, cleaning, handing out bulletins, whatever the gifts you have find ways to use them in serving God and others through your local church.

Don't just call yourself a member of a church, we all need to be a member of the body of Christ and be active in our faith, serving the Lord, and then our membership to His church will definetly have its privileges.

Ephesians 5:29-31 (NIV1984)

29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[a]

Wednesday, October 03, 2012



It's sounds like a nice word doesn't it?  Immune.  I am immune to your negative words!  I am immune to that illness or sickness!  Well I've lived my whole life, all 40 years of it never having an issues with poison ivy until last week!  I got it and I got it good. I had to go get a shot and steroids to get rid of the rash and no one wanted to be around me or touch me for some reason?

I read that sometimes as you get older you immunity to certain things changes, which in this case my years of never having an issue with poison ivy obviously has changed.  I am no longer immune.   It got me to thinking about the way our society has headed.  We used to be bothered by certain things in society, maybe language on tv shows or sex in movies, or social issues that the media pushes, but it seems over time, we become immune to those things and our convictions stop and we no longer are so convicted or offended by things, nor do we stand up for them.

I think of the biggest dangers for christians is when we become immune to the consequences or guilt of sin.  When you first sin, you may feel guilty or remorse and even repent, but if you keep doing it long enough and over time, you stop feeling guilty, or you justify it bein ok, and eventually (in your mind anyway) it's ok, and you have made yourself immune to the consequences or harm of that sin.

We live in an ever changing world and I know so many people think the world we live in today is awful, but if you study the Old Testament and even the New Testament, you see that governments were still trying to force people to go against God,  people were still really sinful and did bad things, and sin was still sin. 

The problem in any time or society is whether christians decide to remain sensitive to sin and allergice to the conseuqences of sin and avoid and flee from it, or we allow other things beside our relationship with God to dicate what we do and say and how we live.

Yeah I lived 40 years without having to worry about Poison Ivy, I had  good run, but now I have to protect myself in the future so that I do not get the rash or suffer the consequences of it's poison.  We need to live our lives the same way.  Protect ourselves against the sins, temptations, people and things, that bring us down, hurt us, and hinder us.

Learn to pay attention to the things that cause struggle, pain, or sin in your life and make the changes you need to make, or soon you will find yourself immune to it and it will be too late.

Proverbs 16:17(NIV)
The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.