We are approaching the holiday craze with a quick as lightening speed and many of us, entrenched in the tar pits of old tradition, hope to keep the sentiment of giving still alive.
How many of us are just going through the motions? Maybe no one will notice our sentimental feelings have left us.
Why do we cling to old traditions anyway?
I remember some years back when I was feeling this way. Everything had changed for me on the inside. I was going through a crap-ton of problems including divorce, and I didn’t see the need for going through the trouble of the “Thanksgiving Bird.” I was sarcastic, lacked thankfulness and truly longed to forget the season. I know there are other reasons for a little holiday drama and believe you me when I say, “I’ve been there”. But it sucks the joy right out of the song, “Joy to the World.” I wanted so badly for everyone to see things from my perspective. I wanted them to ask, “Why are we all doing this?” and “Who made the rules about this day, this celebration and this week?”
Jesus Christ must have felt the same way. He grew up in a spiritual household where every holiday and religious custom were observed. But when it came to the way God wanted things done, he knew traditions were about to change forever.
Look at this section of the Word of God in Matthew 15;
“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. ” vs. 1-2
The Pharisees, or (PC Police, = Politically Correct) wanted to know why Jesus was allowing his men to disobey and not observe tradition. Tradition was a big deal. Why though? Why?
“But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.”
This was a rule given to them by God through Moses. Look how they twisted it.
“But YE (You all) say, Whosoever shall say to [his] father or [his] mother, [It is] a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. [Ye] hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
The Elders in the church had changed what God had given. They changed the intention the rule, and the heart of why it should be done the way God wanted it done.
Traditions dull the sharpened understanding of God’s new reality which is the New Man.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;” 2 Corinthians 5:17-18
The old traditions of men cannot compare to the new reality of God in Christ in you. God is love, when He asks you to do a task, it’s out of love not duty or obligation. God has enriched our view points, and our motives and everything that was the old way of thinking. Now, when we go about our traditional events, we can ask the God of all Flesh, how He’d like things done. Don’t be surprised if He changes things up for you. Don’t be surprised if He says go, when you think to stay, or stay when you think to go. Let Him surprise you. Ask Him this year…”God if you were me, how would you get things done during the Holidays.” Don’t be surprised if He puts a fresh new flavor on all the fossilized flavors of tradition.
God bless you today!
Our society can’t tell the difference between light and darkness.
They can’t tell the difference between truth and error.
I know this because, this last week, I used myself as a human test subject. Here’s what I found out.
They say that a culture’s thoughts and heart are revealed by its media, art, music. I figured I was as good a test subject as any. I have a strong renewed mind, I’m disciplined to read the Bible and I’m convinced or persuaded about what God has in there. So I started by soaking up the Top 50 Pop and Country tunes. (And immediately noticed a common theme. Brokenness, death and theft.) I stopped reading everyday in the Word and tried to stop thinking about God. (Dangerous experiment…I know)
Here’s what happened. Every step away from the Word, was a step out of the light and into the dark world around me. Confusion resides out there. Neglect is the king of our culture including hopelessness and even physical pain. Yesterday, at the END of my experiment, I was told that many thousands of dollars was removed from my bank account without my permission. Confusion, anger and physical pain hit me in waves. Literally, I had chest pangs and a migraine. I went reeling out of control in my mind. Who had the permission to do that? Who would be allowed? How could they have stolen thousands of dollars, well let’s be honest, there wouldn’t have been that much for them to take. But still what the $*#! Within seconds, my heart rate climbed and my blood pressure was in the stratosphere.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105
Okay, back to my experiment.
How could the little ‘ol Bible have helped me here?
How would this seemingly antiquated book have been a practical means of literally keeping me safe?
“Trust in the Lord with all then heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I would’ve stopped and asked God first if this was something I needed to worry about. Right? Ha! If I had, He would have said something like…”It was a typo, and a misunderstanding both, on the party involved. Stay calm and just take care of it.”
Instead of FrEaKinG out. I could have had peace. So here’s what I realized. I was standing just outside the light of God’s Word and I wasn’t asking God what to do in situations that come up, as a result my “Truth-o-meter” was disabled. I couldn’t tell what was true and what was error.
Have you ever had a big stinky pail of muddy compost and dirt in your possession? One that was too big for you to just dump out and refill. How would you clean it up? You’d have to begin the process of filling it with good pure clean water and over time all the mud would be gone. When we allow the devil to fill our minds with his putrid, smelly disgusting ideas tainted with error and half-truths, we essentially allow him to vomit into our mind. Before long, we are filled to the brim and only we can decide to stop him and start filling our minds up with that good pure clean truth of the Word of God. What benefit is there? EVERY BENEFIT you can imagine including and deeply important, your own peace of mind.
“Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear (respect) the Lord and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” Proverbs 3:7-8
When you are tight with God, you can tell the difference between light and darkness and truth and error.
“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” 1 John 4:6
Has it been awhile since you picked up your Bible? How about a daily routine of study? It is never too soon to have peace in your life. It is never too late to have a victory.
God bless you today!
Some people make discouraging others an art form. They go around throwing a wet blanket over every good, sound or inspiring idea. But aren’t you glad some of the people we know didn’t let the discouragement win? Say, like…Christopher Columbus. Here the guy is called crazy more times than he was called sane! Or Benjamin Franklin when inventing the light bulb…now that guy was a multi-tasker. Look at all the brilliance and wisdom beyond his years that guy exhibited. Mother Theresa, Henry Ford, Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul and the list goes on. We could name people all day who had big things to do in life, and didn’t give in to criticism, self-doubt or discouragement. Oh sure they may have had moments of it, but they didn’t let it win.
If you’re discouraged, you begin to worry, then you doubt then you become afraid. Fear limits your abilities in every way. It stifles creativity. And you need to be creative to solve problems. It stifles motivation by taking away the very reason you started the journey. Even a tiny thought of discouragement can be toxic to motivation. WHY? Why so toxic to motivation? Because motivation is the baby. Babies are always fragile. Who are motivation’s parents?
Thoughts are the Mother
Thoughts are the mother of motivation for good or for bad deeds. But did you know you can control what you think? Yep. Our minds are like a computer, but it is our freewill choice to use it whichever way is profitable to us. We can even stop and control it with practice or let it run as far and as out of bounds as we like. It’s up to us. God made our minds like a super computer wired for billions of thoughts over years of memories. Wow! It would be worth millions if someone could rebuild it. Since we have this kind of thing in our hands everyday why not promote the best. Discouragement shuts down the positive synapses, so why not think good, encouraging and positive thougths?
There are so many to choose from in the Bible. But here, try this one on for size.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
God knows His thoughts of us, and they are good thoughts. Thoughts of peace so we can have a future and hope. Doesn’t it say in Ephesians we are supposed to be imitators of Him? So let’s just copy His ideas. Let’s think thoughts of peace towards ourselves first and then of others. Once you have that down, then you can meet Motivation’s daddy.
Action is the the Father.
Action defeats fear every time. If you’re discouraged act. Give and sow good seeds of prosperity. If you’re in real estate and frustrated, go door knocking, make cold calls, and prospect. Do something creative and action oriented that forces yourself out to of the pity party. When the pressure is on give. Giving is a principle. Everytime you give you receive. You know the saying, what goes around comes around. What are you acting on? Fear or Love? Peace or confusion? Encouragement or discouragement?
Action is extremely powerful when you link it with God. Ask God what to do, what’s available and how to receive it. Know that He is GOOD always. Depend on that. I like to make this fun. I like to go on bless missions. I ask God, who can I bless today and really listen for the thought He gives. Then I act. Do you know the miracles that produces? Now you have our super computer worth millions, linked to the creative power of the God of all Creation and BLAMO! Blessing is popping out, spilling all over everyone. Could you do just one per day? How about more? What if you made it a habit?
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good words, and glorify your father which is in heaven. ” Matthew 5:16
God bless you today!
…Who want it that way.
Below are 5 steps to a simpler life. A life that lifts us high above and on to a new perspective and way of thinking.
“Wait a minute there, Miss Positive. How can you say I’M the one complicating my life! Don’t you know what kind of cards life has dealt out to me?”
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” Romans 9:20
Yes, I’m sorry to say, yes. We complicate our own lives, but that’s because we don’t understand how to unwind all the knots and twisted motives of our enemy. Before we can begin doing that, work on our own perspective of God.
- The first step to living simply, is accepting, embracing and submitting to God through His son Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-10 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved..”
- The second step is easier than that. Phillipians 4: 4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.” This shouldn’t be two hard, right? You may say well I don’t always have something to rejoice about. Really? Did you wake up and fog a mirror today? Rejoice doesn’t mean you have to break out into a musical every morning it simply means, find the positive truths in your life. Reach for them, point them out and receive them into your life. One great one is Jesus Christ could come back today. That is something extremely positive.
- The third step is just continued in the verse. “Let your moderation (gentle patience) be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.” (Verse 5) The Lord the God of all the universe is “at hand”. That’s an old English saying that means, He doesn’t take off for a lunch-break right when you need Him, He is present, involved and concerned for you. But He’s not ever going to make you love Him, or “make” you ask for Him. He’ll just make life a lot simpler when you do. I’m just going to follow the verses here.
- “Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Verses 6-7) See how simple it is?
- “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.” (vs. 8) Here’s the catch, I told you life could be simple, but I didn’t say easy. We have to train ourselves to think positive and not think negatives. That in itself can be a very big job.
How simple do you want life to be?
“(27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV
Simplicity comes when we submit to the wisdom of God, not our own wisdom.
“(3) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (hard to do.)” 1 John 4:3
Simplicity happens when we do what He asks us to do.
God bless you today!
–Embrace the knowledge and power of God.
Have you ever heard the phrase…”Clean your gun in peace time”. This phrase works well for a reference in our spiritual competition as well as in the military. It means get your house in order, get practiced up at cleaning your weapons, and make sure you know how to use them.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5
This verse is a great one to practice in “peace time” and is as simple as asking; God if you were me, what would do? James 1:5 talks about two of the nine manifestations of the gift of holy spirit; word of knowledge and word of wisdom. Word of knowledge is our asking God; what is going on in any situation that we encounter in our lives. Word of Wisdom follows the knowledge you just receive with the question; God, now what do I do about it?
God sees things from EVERYBODY’s perspective.
God is All Knowing and Omnipotent.
This means, He is ALL knowing and ALL powerful. He knows what to do about what is going on at all times. But He doesn’t just see someone’s situation. He sees, their heart, their motivation, their past, their future. He sees all the other hearts and motivations in the situations around them. HE KNOWS ALL THINGS. Then He gives the right knowledge and understanding to us through His spirit.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,” Exodus 31:1-3
God has been giving mankind His knowledge and wisdom since the moment we began. It was always in the plan for God to fellowship with us. So much so that when He formed Adam of the dust of the ground, then breathed life into his nostrils and made him a living soul, the very next thing He did was create Adam in His in own image. He gave Adam spirit, Holy Spirit. God designed Adam from the beginning to have His spirit working and communicating with God Himself. God pre-wired us to hear from Him, to want Him and to yearn for Him.
But why? Why would God do that?
Everything God does is for our blessing and protection. He understands that we live in a corrupt world run by a spiritual dictator named Lucifer. God knew we’d need the intel. The #bootsontheground. We’d need to know when there was a spiritual attack on our families. He knew we’d need to fight back with the spirit inside us and have power. That is why Jesus Christ’s life and decisions to succceed were so crucial. Everything about our #spiritualransom and rescue hinged on Jesus Christ’s free will choice to go through with “God’s salvation plan”. Some say that #JesusChrist didn’t have a choice, but he did. He displayed the struggle he had with it in the Garden of Gethsemane. Thank God he went through with it. I wonder if, in the end, he knew the real heart of this verse.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity(love/agape), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love/agape), I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity (love/agape), it profiteth me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 1:1-3
God’s plan was the biggest rescue attempt in history. He rescued us from the adversary through His Son Jesus Christ.
Think about this for one minute…that was a tremendous amount of energy, fore-thought and effort on God’s part just so we could talk to Him. If God used phenomenal creative and miraculous power, moved mountains and shifted the cosmos for us, is it really that hard for us to ask one silly little question??
Well, Terri when you put it like that…
All that phenomenal cosmic power just so we could do James 1:5 everyday without hesitation and in complete confidence. Is it that hard for us try to learn it? Is it really that much to ask for us to apply ourselves, to put a little bit of our time and effort into forming a habit? A habit takes 21 days to form, I say do it for 30 just to be safe. What if you asked God at every opportunity; God if you were me what would you do? How would you handle this? What would you say? God what would you ask YOU right now?
Ha! The ultimate question and it reminds me of when Alladin found the lamp. Here is a link to a short video that makes me chuckle, because Alladin is trying to grasp the concept of what the Genie is and what he can do.
Alladin asks him; What would you wish for? Ha! It’s such a brilliant yet simple question!
The harder things get, the more we are tempted to stop asking God, to quit trying to hear from Him, and to ignore the benefits He can offer through fellowship, but that is a trick. God knows we are being attacked and wants to help. He is Good always. Which means He never manipulates us He loves us.
He gives us rest. His rest.
“Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” Hebrews 4:11
How? Verse 12…
“For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” verse 12
Do you want rest? Are you pressured from all sides? Stop and ask God what He would do. Ask Him how He would handle it. Seek out His Word and let Him help you enter into the rest and peace that only He can give.
God bless you today!
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:13
Today I found this section of “comfort food” in Isaiah and thought I’d share it.
Isaiah 40:28-31 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.”
I’m praying for you today.
God bless you!
Kyle walked up to the large commercial office
building and sighed in frustration.
So much for getting this right, he thought bitterly. He looked down at the three hundred keys on the large ring of keys he collected over the last forty-years and sighed again. Resentment built-in his mind until the tension of it made him want to scream. How could they expect him to figure out which one of these keys would fit in the three back offices that needed their light fixtures fixed? He walked up and down the halls testing the keys on the ring. The frustration and stress began to mount as he put them in and out, wiggled and fought with them. Finally, he looked up and saw the owner of the building standing in the hall. The owner smiled and walked over to him.
“Excuse me, I’ve tried to open these doors for three days! None of these keys fit!” Kyle blurted out.
The man gently took out three keys from his pocket and handed them to him, “Here ya go Kyle, and on this one, pull first then turn the knob, it sticks. Oh and this one,” he lifts another key, “you need to squirt some oil in the keyhole first nobody’s used this one in a long time,” he finishes.
“Thank you Sir!” Kyle says with relief. It then took him a very short amount of time and he had everything done and was on his way.
Imagine for a moment the “building” is our life and the “offices” are all our relationships. There are keys to fit each door. The keys Kyle collected for forty years didn’t fit in the new doors because everyone’s situation is unique. He tried to get in to those doors and found the way he usually got in, didn’t work. But the owner, God, knows just the key to help you unlock the door and smoothly operate inside the relationship. He knows that sometimes you have to give a little wiggle to the keys before it will open and He is happy to help you.
Romans 12:18; If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
If it’s possible– live at peace. When you ask God how to get along, essentially you are doing this command; “with as much as lieth in you live peaceably with all men.” You are doing the Word. Our goal is to be doers of the Word, not hearers only. If God knows a relationship will become a peaceful one, let Him tell you how. It is easy for me to assume I know someone better than God knows them, but that simply is not true. God knows that person inside and out. AND He loves them! He wants the best and highest use of your time, resources, skills and abilities.
Here are 10 keys to full and rich relationships with people.
- Don’t force it. God knows and loves your heart and the other person’s. Let Him help you iron out the kinks and oil out the squeaks. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.
- Be patient. Sometimes you have to put up with people’s short comings to enjoy their long suits. Look at the longterm goal. If the relationship is hard now, hang in there and remember how many times God is patient with you.
- Learn the 15 characteristics of God’s love and operate them as often as you can. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a reference of how God treats you. It’s the expectations/or standard we can set for ourselves.
- Ask God to show you if there is a future in the relationship. It is available to know, in many cases, if things will ever change. But be prepared for the good or the bad. If good, be blessed. If not, be blessed because now you know.
- Get rid of UN-healthy expectations. Part of “Believing all things” is believing the God’s best of people not what we think. Too high of expectations can lead to resentment, which leads to bitterness. Too low of expectations can be harmful as well. Put your hopes in what God hopes for in the situation, and you’ll protect yourself and them.