Thursday, March 28, 2013

Common Sense

Common Sense?

I love the quote by Voltaire  "common sense is not so common".  That about sums up most of the things going on in our world today.  People have stopped using common sense that God has given each of us.

We are so blinded by our agendas, "rights", religions, ways,views,  greed, and opinions that we lose sight of what's really important and basically our voice, our respect, and self-respect is lost in translation.

We have people doing and saying things in "The Name of God", but honestly The God I know and read about in the Bible doesn't really act that way, treat people that way ,or doesn't give us His authority.  We have others doing things so they can live a certain way or get something they want and they have no consideration or respect for others.  Neither way or side is right.

We have lost common sense when it comes to all these social issues, spiritual issues, religious issues, and economical issues going on in our world today.

I am not an expert and what I share I can only share based on my personal convictions from God, my study and knowledge of His Bible, and through my experiences, and I do not have all the answers to every problem and issue going on in the world right now, but  there are some things I do know and I want to share with everyone.  We cannot know everything, but we can know what we know and use common sense in our daily lives and remove the personal agendas, feelings, and emotions from things.

Here is what I do know:
1. God loves everyone.  He created everyone and everyone of us in His Image. I also know He sent Jesus(his son) to die for OUR  sins and that is ultimate Love to sacrifice like that.  So make no mistakes, God loves everyone yes the gay and the straight; the sinner and the christian; baptist and catholic; democrat and republican; blacks and whites; etc...  Pick your scenario, God loves everyone period and so should we.

2. God loving everyone and accepting everyone DOES NOT mean that God loves everyone's choices, lifestyles, behaviors, attitudes, actions, and decisions.  Please know God's desire for us to accept others who are different than us or we disagree with does not mean we support or accept those things, but we still accept them and love them.  I have people in my life that I love who are gay, straight but living in sin not married, who smoke pot, and who drink way to much, who don't go to church, or who go to church but are legalistic,  but I still love them, not their choices and I'm pretty sure they love me and don't agree with me on everything.  God still accepts them and so should we.  Our acceptance of one another as human beings doesn't condone choices.

3.  We need to become less "issue" driven and more "common sense" driven. We get so passionate about an issue that we lose all common sense.  For some of you the issue this week is gay rights, to others politics, to others its religion, to others is sports, or abortion, or pick your poison. The point is people stop listening to you, respecting you, and hearing you if you are so arrogant, pushy, dogmatic, legalistic, liberal, or over the top in sharing your "issue".  The bottom line is there is no ONE issue in this world that is worth losing your soul, your family, your friendships, your jobs, and forsaking all the other issues going on in your life.   Get a grip.  Stop making life about "one" thing.

4.  I don't have to agree with you and you don't have to agree with me and that's ok.  For example, I am for people having equal rights, all people.  However, equal rights doesn't mean I agree with gay marriage. My view of marriage is based on my belief in the Bible and God is the one who "made" marriage not people or the government, but that is my view. I do think they should be able to share healthcare/retirement/benefits,etc...that is a basic human right. You can agree or disagree, I won't lose sleep and neither should you nor will I stop being your friend and hope I I won't lose  you. 

 I do not think anyone should be denied basic rights, but to me that issue is separate from marriage.  But that is also true of Faith.  How many divisions are there in churches among christians because we can't agree on doctrines, scripture, and practices???? We are so determined at times to be "right" or "get our way" that we fail to realize that if someones doesn't agree with me on something that the world is not going to end.  Even if you or I are right about politics, social issues, or the  Bible, we aren't going to change everyone or get everyone to agree with us, it's impossible and disagreeing shouldn't mean we can't fellowship, get along, or accept one another or be respectful of the differences we have.  Most times we have way more common ground that we do difference.

5. Finally, People misuse, misquote, and mistreat Scripture in the Bible so that we can live a certain way, justify behaviors, lifestyles, and actions, or to make a point or prove others wrong and that is just plain sin.  The bible says what it says, some things are commands and other things are suggestions.  Some things are doctrinal and other things there is liberty to use wisdom, discernment, and yes, COMMON SENSE.  We have to take the bible and look at what is written in context and with an open honest heart and be mature enough to accept what it says.  God's Word will convict you of sin, or guide you to truth, or encourage you to stand firm. You do not have to misuse, twist, manipulate, or change the words.  

The bottom line is me and you have free will and choice.  It doesn't matter what laws the government make or what the Bible tells us to do or not do, we all have ultimate individual responsibility in how we choose to live.  We can either break laws or obey them.  We can listen to wisdom or shun it, we can honor God's commands or disobey them and do what we want.    My encouragement for me and you is not to take advantage of the freedom God gives us to sin and do not use His word to justify your lifestyle, choices, decisions, or actions and stop using His word to condone, endorse, or condemn when it doesn't say that.

People God gave us all "Common Sense" and we need to get back to using it. I don't care what the issue of the day or week is. God never changes.  His Word never changes.  Society and Culture is constantly changing and there will always be times of darkness and times of light in this world and we must remain faithful to God and His word.  What does that mean?  It means no matter the the circumstance, issue, problem or situation choose to love and accept people like God does.   It means grow up and mature and learn everyone is not going to agree with you and you are not going to agree with everyone, so move on.  It means stop focusing on one "issue" because our obsession with it is doing the opposite or what we really want, we are not influencing anyone and mostly driving others away when we become so militant or combative over any one issues.  Finally, it means let God and His Word speak the truth and never use it or misuse it, use common sense with yourself, with others, and with God.

Proverbs 10:21(esv)

The lips of the righteous feed many,  but fools die for lack of sense.

Thursday, March 14, 2013



"You can learn a lot from a dummy."  Remember those commercials about the importance of wearing your seatbelts?  Even a crash dummy can give good advice.

I think we also can learn from dummies, and those from different cultures, races, religions, sexes, ages, and even personalities.  We can learn just about anything anywhere, if we are teachable, open, and willing to learn.

We learn from our mistakes, why can't we learn from the mistakes of others.  We're not always right, but we still want people to respect our opinions, so why can't we respect others when we feel they are wrong?

We've got a lot to learn about learning.  So many times in Christian circles we bash, belittle, or look down on someone because they are not from our relgious group, circle, or denomination.  I'm baptist so I can possible agree with anything a Catholic says. I am church of Christ so only people from the churches of Christ have anything good to say.  I'm methodist and only the methodist have the market on intelligent quotes, books, and sermons.  Do you see how easily it is to limit ourselves when we keep our circle of learning so small?

I don't have have to agree with Joyce Meyers or her doctrine to learn something from one of her books.  I don't have to like Rick Warren's beliefs on baptism in order to learn something from one of his articles.  I don't  have to be Catholic to be inspired by a Mother Teresa quote.  I don't have to be penecostoal in order to fellowship with my charistmatic friend.

Do you see that we can indeed learn from others?  I do not believe in Mormonism or Jehovah Witnesses religion, but I certainly respect their commitment to their cause and they servant example.  I don't have to agree with them or support them in order to learn from them.

Heck, I can learn from just about anyone, dumb criminals, my dog, or even people who I think are dumb.  We can at the very least learn what not to do or say, lol.  My point being, there is so much in this world to learn, and there is a difference in learning and being influenced, and the key is a mixture of common sense, willingness, and intelligence.  I do not let every song, tv show, or news article influence me, but  I don't stop listening to the radio, watching tv, or reading the newspaper because I disagree or don't like something I see, hear, or read.

I think God can teach us from our enemies, those we disagree with, and even those we oppose. We cn learn from experiences, problems, struggles, and daily life situations if we are open to learning.

My challenge for you and me is to open our eyes, ears, and minds to be able to discern and use wisdom and to be guided by the Holy Spirit.  We miss so much God  may be trying to teach us because we are so arrogant, ignorant, prideful, or disassociating form anything we don't agree with. We need to understand that you don't have to accept someones beliefs, stance, or even views in order to possibly learn something from something they say.  If you learn something from something I've said today, then you have learned from a dummy, haha, seriously though don't be afraid to learn something from others, even those you disagree with.

Proverbs 9:9(NIV)
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Nice Body

Nice Body

Two words I don't ever  hear, lol, talking about me, but it should be words that are spoken about our local church.  When people see our church they should know that group is the BODY of Christ, it's not just a religous group or some social gathering, but they are there with a purpose.

Sometimes churches can be more of a secret society that stay inside the building walls and just do things for themselves, other times it seems there are a lot of great social groups out there like the Rotary, Ruritan, or Lion's clubs that are doing more for our communities than the local churches.

There is something wrong with the picture.  The church that God established in the Bible (Acts 2:42-47)  looked a lot different than many of our local church bodies today.   We have to realize the church is a Body and a living organism that represents Christ and is supposed to be living, active, worshipping, serving, giving, and being and not just meeting 3 times a week, having prayer  meetings, and bible studies, and going through the religious motions.  We are to be active and using all our body parts to reach the lost, make disciples, and serving God in our community.

So can "Nice Body" be said about your church? Is your church making a difference for Christ in your community? Are you being the church? Are you reaching the lost?  Are you making disciples? Do you have all your body parts working together in unison and serving and worshipping God in a varierty of ways or are you all just meeting your normal times doing your normal routines of tradition and religous practices?

The body of Christ is a spiritual being not some building with a steeple or some religious cirlce that meets to sing their favorite hymns and do what they've always done.  We are the Church!  We are the Body of Christ! We were created for so much more than what we do.  We gripe, we complain, we divide, we try to be in control, and we want to be comfortable, when God expects and calls the church to be the opposite of all those things.

It's great to gather together as a church body and sing, worship, pray, study, and hear God's Word preached, but we also much be about the business of Jesus, getting out and serving and giving to our community in love, meeting needs, and showing people where they can find meaning, value, purpose, and hope.

Let's all get busy being the church and being an active, positive, and productive part of the church body!