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Friday, March 20, 2015

Living for More than Just Myself

Short thought of the day:

"Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge." 

Reading this verse during my devotions this morning brought something to mind. What if we were to live our lives while we are young for our kids in the future? So many parents find themselves in compromising or hypocritical situations when their past misdeeds come to the surface. Wouldn't the logical thing be to not do certain things so later on in life you won't regret it? Instead society pushed everyone to believe that they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, with whomever they want and that's fine because that's what their heart desires.

"Wise people are careful and stay out of trouble, but fools are careless and quick to act." 

The Bible teaches something completely different. The Bible says that you are counted wise if you DON'T do everything that your flesh desires to do.

"Fools don't care is they sin, but honest people wok at being right." Proverbs 14:9

There actually are some things out there that God does NOT want us to try. Although it may not be mainstream to seek a pure and noble lifestyle, it's the wise thing to do.

So, for those of us without kids of our own yet, think of them and how our actions shape the type of life they will have. For each one of us, think about all of his children God has allowed to come into your life; our actions shape the type of life they live as well.

What habit should you quit for the sake of others?

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let My Life Song Sing to....??

If there was a song composed about your life here on Earth, what would it be about?
Have your answer? Great. 

Now, recalling that good things glorify God and bad/sinful things glorify the Devil, who would your life song praise?

"Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. and if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:11-15

Our "lyrics" are written daily in the book of life. Unlike earthly songs, there is not bias or ulterior motive for its existence. The facts are there plain and simple.

On these old scales, it was easy to compare the weight of one item to another. The heavier the item, the further down it would fall. Let's say that the left one is all of the sin you allow to stay in your life. So it would make sense that those sins would have greater weight in your life right? If sin has a greater presence, then it will also take up most of the verses in our song. We may be able to deceive ourselves, by the scale never lies!

Christian band Casting Crowns composed a song entitled, Lifesong. Here is a snapshot of one of the verses:
Let my lifesong sing to you
Let my lifesong sing to you
I want to sign your name to the end of the day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to you

Our daily testimony should glorify God; not how we are on the fence or how we are trying to serve to masters. Yes, in the end it is the compilation of all of our testimonies into a song that will sing off of the pages of the book of life.

"For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due for us the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10

What is your life song about?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

You are What You Eat

I believe that most of us have heard of the saying, "You are what you eat." The first time that I heard it, I was in elementary school. Back then my friends and I honestly believed that we would turn orange if we ate a ton of carrots. Now I understand that if I eat only sugary food, my body will perform based of all of the processed sugars I've ingested. Let's just say my performance would be pretty sad if all I ate was sugar.

If that saying is easy to grasp and believed my most human beings, how about applying that in a spiritual sense. If we only "consume" worldly things, then we shall become worldly. Seems simple enough right? Yes, however mix some denial in there and the outcome is too many Christian living today.

Whether or not we honestly believe that we can have our cake and eat it too, one thing that is certain is that one day we will have to explain our sweet tooth to our Heavenly Father.

"So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God." Romans 14:12

"But I tell you that everyone will have to give an account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken." Matthew 12:36

For those lifestyle choices that we chose to call good evil and vice versa, God will ask us why? Standing before the Great I Am is not going to be the same as standing before our parents.

"As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'Everyone will bow before me; everyone will say that I am God." Romans 14:11

There will be no skirting around that fact in the end. That includes Atheists, Sikhs, Buddhists, Agnostics, Hindus, and any other world view or religion. EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has ever lived and will ever live will acknowledge God as God.

So, what I was reminded of this past weekend is that no matter what you decide to hold onto against God's will, it will not go unnoticed. That sin will arise again when the great Judge calls for you account for why you loved that sin more than you loved Him.

Will you chose God over the sins you struggle with?

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Friday, March 13, 2015

7 Hours

7 hours
           420 minutes
                       25,200 seconds.

If I had to account for that amount of time that I had been given, what would be my response?

Yes, we can say that our society is very materialistic and selfish. I have a greater impact on my own life than that of societies. So, I should follow after the greatest quality of life whether or not that quality if condoned my society.

So... was my focus today solely on things and/or all on myself? How many people did I pass going about my day? Did I speak more positive things or negative things into fruition?

We measure a man's success by the legacy left behind,

7 hours 
                             420 minutes 
                                                           25,200 seconds.

If I were to reflect on the past 7 hours, what would I conclude was my impact?

I was humbled this evening to recall that we impact others with our words, actions, and on our knees. No matter where I was today, I could have been there for someone.

It may seem like no big deal because my life has not ended, yet if I declare that I love others, then it is a BIG deal. Love should not be about convenience-- I'll love you when I feel like it. Instead, it should be an enduring principle.The biggest part of our earthly legacy is how much we loved or did not love others. Of all that "evil people" to ever live, they are all disliked because of their lack of love for others. Did we focus on things and ourselves, or did we seek to focus on other more?

There shouldn't be a long conversation with oneself when asked to account for ones time. Thumbs up or thumbs down. However, if I profess love from my lips... then my time better be spent keeping my word.

How can you account for your day today?

 photo credit: Number 7 via photopin (license)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thoughts of the Mind

I feel like I can honestly say that everyone is familiar with first step in recovery being acceptance, maybe except for those in denial. The reason being, is that there is no where to move if, your mind sees no reason to get started.

A lot of thoughts can roll through your mind everyday, between 60,000 and 80,000 says the science world, taking our minds many places. Some of those places we readily zoom to and others we avoid like the plague. How about those thoughts that nag you? You're not really sure what they are about, or what they mean, but their consistent presence annoys you.

What do we do with repeating thoughts?

Acceptance has more to do with life than just with recovering from a bad habit, it is about healthy living. Denial may be comfortable, but it sure is not healthy. God desires to be in a healthy relationship with us. I guess that means dealing with some of those thoughts.

Fear and doubt.

Let's be honest, a lot of the thoughts we avoid center around our fears. Man...fear. It's of the Devil! It just get's in the way and messes with life. How many times have we messed up in relationships because of fear? Those fears may of led to doubt, or to lies, or to holding back.

Yesterday, I refused to leave my bed before God took control of my racing thoughts. There was something bothering me, actually for a couple of weeks, and I was no longer going to deny its existence in my life. For whatever it was, it was bringing me down.

Time ticked.... 30 minutes.... 1 hour.... still distracted by unrelated topics... finally my brain slows to a steady beat and focuses on the target thoughts.

Before I knew it, a list of unlabeled fears where bubbling to the surface. I had had no idea so much was festering in my spirit. 

FEAR: Lord, that if  my finances don't come together this year         ...........
                                                    that my trust in you would have been in vain.

. . . . . . . . . .

The curtain has been drawn. No more distraction. Denial gone. This was the core of so many thoughts. 

I felt horrible for thinking it, but it explained my distance from God. 

There were many more that God and I talked about. 

It hurt at first, but then hurt turned into to trust as I realized that, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11. I knew that I was in good hands because, "'I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:1.

Our loving God does not judge- condemn- us for opening up to him. So, He would not hurt the way humans would; instead, love will pour out to me. That's what I realized.

Fear was using its best tool: isolation.

I implore you give your thoughts over to God. Open up your mind and heart and come to terms with how you actually perceive God. Then walk through those thoughts together. Otherwise fear's best tool will consume you.

What fears would do you think are lurking in your heart and mind?

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Are You Offended??

Short thought of the day.

Isaiah 36 and 37 chronicles the battle between Israel and Assyria. Isaiah 36:13-20, captures the harsh words of the king of Assyria. He spares no words while condemning the Lord of Jerusalem and any other God he had defeated in the past. The army of Israel keeps to the command to hold their tongue while anger infuses in them.

A thought came to mind of a story about a boy who meets a knight from the 13th century. The story is about what it means to be chivalrous, but there was a big lesson on respecting God in there as well. The knight was appalled that there was little reverence of God in the modern century. The knight was ready to draw his sword and defend the name of the Lord and the first misuse of His name. That is not how we respond when others take the name of the Lord in vain and attack His character.

Back to Isaiah. King Hezekiah quickly got word of what the enemy king has said, Isaiah 37:1, and he tore his clothes and put on rough cloth. He was distraught. Not because his name and character had been slandered, but an invisible God.

Questions: how do you respond when others attack God? Do you tolerate it because that is their personal belief or because they are on their own journey? Or would you defend God like you would your own family member or close friend?

I am ashamed that I have not defend my God at all times; but thank you Father and that today is a new day!

Will you defend God today if you see someone attack him?

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