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Showing posts from September 27, 2015

Baseline Life

For any home buyer the first thing to do when you sign a contract is to get a home inspection. A certified inspector will come to your possible new home and review all the systems (plumbing, electrical, structure, foundation, roofing and more). Each inspector follows up his work with a 30+ page review of the house. This becomes a baseline for each buyer to know what are repaired issues and what could possibly be issues in the future unless addressed. Baselines are helpful. Do you have a baseline for your daily conduct? A way of life you seek to carry out? Paul sent a special message to the Philippian believers, he said, "Rejoice in the Lord always…Let your gentleness be evident to all…Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God…will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-7) He suggested four action items, rejoicing, gentleness, non-anxiousness, an…

Life After Death

What generates your hope in life after death? Is it modern writers and their theories? Is it stories of those who have died on an operating table yet come back to life? There is one absolute and validated proof of life after death and it rests in the person of Jesus Christ. Paul writing to the Corinthian church said of Jesus after his death, "he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time…then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also…" (1 Corinthians 15:5-8) Jesus in his resurrected body was touched and talked to by dear friends. (Matthew 28:9, 17; John 20:19-20,27; 21:6, 12, 15) He walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. (Luke 24:13; Luke 24:15, 17, 30, 31) He was as tender and loving as prior to His death. (Luke 24:37-42, 51) Mary Magdalene spoke with Jesus at the tomb, she thought he was the gardener because he was not spirit but body, …

Wisdom Quest

As a young boy I remember going with a bee keeper out to his fields of white boxes. We would heat up sticks in a metal can and spray its smoke into the beehives. Soon thereafter we would draw out racks full of honey. I remember even today the incredible sweet taste of the honey comb so reviving to the physical body Solomon applied the taste of honey to sweetness in your soul accomplished through the gaining of wisdom. He said “Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste. Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” (Proverbs 24:13-14) Gaining wisdom is important to living life effectively. A wise action you may start with is to find an older person, whom you trust, to come along side you and train you in gathering the ingredients that will produce wisdom in you. Remember that knowledge and experience are necessary to develop wisdom. And, you have to strive for a life …

Rescuing the Perishing

We have seen great tragedies in every generation. Whether the concentration camps and gassing of Jews in WW2, the killing fields of Cambodia during the Vietnam war, the Chinese people devastated under the hand of Mao Tse-tung who became the father of Red China post WW2. Man's inhumanity to man has been a constant occurrence throughout the ages. It still is today as ISIS rages across the Middle East killing Christians, raping women and pillaging cities. And, too often individuals and nations turn their head or say they did not know it was going on. Solomon challenged powerful people to "Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this,' does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?" (Proverbs 24:11-12) This is the universal law of God and applies to nations as well as individuals. It req…

Adversity

Football is a game of adversity. From the first through the last quarter there are eleven men opposing you. They push, hold, shove, bad-talk you, deny you first downs, intercept your throws and are intent on stopping you. And, time is ticking away, no time for waiting or resting. You are forced to continue by the clock. When was the last time you faced adversity? Were you prepared for what happened? Did you come out victorious? Solomon said this about struggle, "If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!" (Proverbs 24:10) We all do face trouble and we all don't succeed all the time. In one way trouble can reveal the depths of our strength. It can reveal our endurance level and our ability to overcome. In another way, it can keep us from the best, the good in life. Trouble becomes an experience that can benefit us or beat us up. It is a bully. It can discourage, create a discontent heart, cause despondency and then we will faint. If we expect trouble…

Death

We often consider the death of a saint as "too soon" and wonder what more they might have done for God if they were left on the earth. We think about the many that we wish were already gone because of their evil lives and the havoc they have caused on others. These musings reflect our limited understanding, our view of the bigger picture, which only God can see. Isaiah wrote of the people of Israel that "they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain. 'Come,' each one cries, 'let me get wine!' Let us drink our fill of beer! And tomorrow will be like today or even far better." (Isaiah 56:11-12) The next thing Isaiah says is telling about the state of celebration these people are in. He says, "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.&qu…

Narrow and Clear

It is said of believers that we are a "narrow" bunch. We have do's and don'ts and seem to walk a narrow road rather than an all-inclusive wide road. Well that being said, are we better off to have a position that aligns with Scripture or morph to the peer pressure of the world? Paul gave us a clear picture of what life should be like "among us." Ephesians 5 has contrasting actions and words between believers and others. He said there should not be "even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed because these are improper for God's holy people." He also said, "nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving." (5:3-4) Words and actions required of a believer are different than those of one in the world. The interesting thing is that these "boundaries" do not impede us from living a full and fruitful life but rather free us in a world th…