Listening

One of the least mastered skills among men (literally guys, un-female) is listening while whole heartedly accepting the speaker (wife, girlfriend, or other person) without judging and fixing what is being talked about. I know why we do this, obviously it’s because we know everything and have responsibility to let everyone around us know how right we are. Lol. Jesus was a man as well. He literally knew everything but was undoubtably known for His gentle gentle demeanor and grace filled acceptance of those who came to Him. While having the authority and ability to judge He came to save. Father help me this day to have the eyes, ears, and heart of Your Son, seeking those who are lost in depression, humiliation, grief, or defeat and may I gently point them to the deliverance that Jesus has given me. Amen. Have a blessed day!!!

Apologizing

“If I have done anything to offended you, I’m sorry” is a very vague and offensive form of an apology. Of course you have done something that offended me, remember?… That is why we are in this awkward moment, lol. When I apologize there should be no if’s, and’s, or but’s that come from my mouth. Whether I think I would have been offended or not this person that God and I both care for has been and it is my responsibility to make a sincere and specific apology. When apologizing it is important to be HERD. Honest to ourselves and them, Empathetic by putting ourselves in their shoes, Respectful of their needs and emotions, and Direct to the point. Have a blessed day!!!

The True Way of GOD’s Salvation

Jesus told us that “His kingdom is not of this world.” It is made up of people in the world but it is a kingdom that is from God that the world doesn’t comprehend it. God, through Isaiah, proclaims, “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts’” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭55‬:‭8-9‬). Why then does it surprise us that Jesus would tell us that there are only a few who will find the narrow and true way of God’s salvation? We are notorious for making our own way through alcohol, marijuana, sex, pain meds, food, movies, tv, or any number of other things seeking deliverance from the pain we are in. Only to find out that these things at best only hide the pain for a little while. Jesus is the only way to God’s grace, peace, and comfort. He has shown us the way through His revealed word, the Bible. It is up to you and I to follow it. Have a blessed day!!

Higher Standards of Living

Christianity is different from any other religion. Our Savior is alive, our God is the Creator of existence, and we are the only religion who is to treat others well. Other religions, at best, talk about not harming, hindering, or make things worse for those of the same belief system. Jesus calls His followers to a higher standard of living. We are to do good unto others as much as we would want others to do good to us. Sometimes this is something big and hard to do, like apologizing and admitting a wrong or going out of or way to help someone. Other times this is something that can be done quickly and easily like smiling or complimenting someone on how they look or for something they have done. God help us be people who look for ways to help others. Create in me habits that encourage others and lighten their load. Amen. Have a blessed day!!

Listening

One of the least mastered skills among men (literally guys, un-female) is listening while whole heartedly accepting the speaker (wife, girlfriend, or other person) without judging and fixing what is being talked about. I know why we do this, obviously it’s because we know everything and have responsibility to let everyone around us know how right we are. Lol. Jesus was a man as well. He literally knew everything but was undoubtably known for His gentle gentle demeanor and grace filled acceptance of those who came to Him. While having the authority and ability to judge He came to save. Father help me this day to have the eyes, ears, and heart of Your Son, seeking those who are lost in depression, humiliation, grief, or defeat and may I gently point them to the deliverance that Jesus has given me. Amen. Have a blessed day!!!

Worry

Some things are easy to say but hard to hear. Assuring someone that “things will work out” is easy to say but hearing it is a “whole nother beast.” Anxiety and worry plague most families and Christians lives. Even when things are going well I catch myself looking for what will go wrong next. The problem with worry is thinking about and becoming preoccupied with something or a list of something’s instead of setting our mind on glorifying God. When I wonder if “this or that will happen how I need it,” or “why someone else’s life is better than mine” my focus has become on myself. Father help me right now to give attention to how You can be lifted up in the situation I find myself in today. Amen. Have a blessed Labor Day Weekend!!!

A God Who Cares

“Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.” When we hurt; rules, guidelines, and comments don’t ease the pain. Trust, commitment, and being present do. Finding out about sickness or loss can bring an ache into our heart that only a relationship with our Redeemer will start to ease. Being surrounded by a God who cares and listens gives great relief to the aching soul. Have a blessed day!!

Where Your Heart Is

This morning I sent Joanna and my dad a picture of a wheelchair accessible pickup. This is something that we have looked for and something I dream about on a regular basis. One day I hope to have one! They say, “Where your heart is, there will your home be as well.” Not that living in a pickup down by the river would be any better than a “living in a van down by the river,” but where I set my heart spiritually is much more important. If my heart is dwelling on pure, unadulterated, eternal things then I will have a home, here and heavenly, that will be eternally pure and in the presence of God. We must be very careful of letting ourselves get preoccupied with temporary, shiny, or new things. While God created us to be able to enjoy pleasure, have fun, and love life, placing any self gratification above Him elevates ourselves above God and that is way out of our league. Have a blessed day!!

Power & Self Control

Power is empowering. When loosing weight the biggest hold up for most people is the doubt that such a goal could actually happen. “What happens if I try and then fail?” This is why diets work so well. “Follow these steps and you can loose weight too!” Having a known plan to follow empowers us and every result we see empowers us more. Now, what of we wanted to get more spiritually fit? Jesus tells us what to do, He has ways to progress our spiritual growth. One that is mentioned in Matthew 6 is fasting. Do we know our own strength in Christ (“With Christ all things are possible”)? If we do not practice the self control that God is willing to give us then we will loose it. Have a blessed day!!

A Daily Prayer

Most holy God we come to You as the One True and Living God. Here we are, living one day at a time, use our lives today to further Your kingdom where we live. Thank You for the people who make up Your church who encourage us and share with us in our joys and sorrows. Father we depend on You in every way and it goes beyond our words to describe how much we need You. May our life make a bold statement of our need and appreciation for You. God, You know our struggles and You understand that we are searching for purpose and strength to finish strong. Help us forgive our family, friends, and enemies when they hurt us and give us Your power to find ourselves in Your will. As we find where we are to be, Lord reign in us that we would overcome temptation. Amen. Have a blessed day!!