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Showing posts from July, 2016

Sky Links, 7-30-16

Here we go...

Busy, busy, busy.
Business is an issue and a detrimental problem I see.  If you are a very busy person, you may not see the down-side of business.  I believe, or it is my opinion that, a busy life, overstuffed with too many activities and responsibilities, is a shallow life, that yields diminished returns.

And, some pastors are way too busy, and way over-worked, because 'the job description' is way too wide and frankly inhumane.  Everybody loses: the minister, their spouse, their children, and the ministry.

This is why I want to share this article by Tim Suttle, The Importance of Disappointing Your Congregation, where Tim reflects on the words of Eugene Petersen, about 'unbusying yourself':
Peterson’s probing question is essentially this: If I was not busy making my mark in the world and not busy doing what everyone expects me to do, what would I actually do as a pastor?

His answer is quite simple: pray, preach, and listen. The pastor must be a person who …

You're My Best friend

This is my love, and this is my friend.
-Song 5:16
Who is your best friend?  I have had many best friends in my life, beginning with my brother.  I have  thoroughly enjoyed my friends.
Today my best friend is my wife.

Friendship in the Bible is defined as an affection and love between two people.  The affection begins with association:  he/she is a associate.  This then progresses into loyalty: a bond forms wherein that person becomes a part of your life, a special person to you that you care about, do things for & with, and spend time with.  Finally, this can progress to having an affectionate bond between us.
We can be friendly to everyone and there are people who are so friendly, that we say that they are "everyone's friend".  But friendship comes about through mutuality: both people have to desire friendship with the other, for a bond of friendship to come about.  It is like dating: one invites and the other responds or chooses not to and a friendship …

When God Moves Against The Enemy It is Revival Time

For the worship leader.  A song of David.

O True God, hear my voice!  Listen to my complaint! Guard my life;  keep me safe from my enemy’s threats. Hide me from the sinful circle that conspires against me,
from the band of rebels out to make trouble,Who sharpen their tongues into swords, who take aim with poisonous words like arrows.They hide in the shadows and shoot at the innocent; they shoot at them without warning and without any fear.They persist in their evil purpose and plan in secret to lay their traps. And they say, “Who will see them?”They plot their offense with precision and say, “Now we have the perfect crime.” The human heart and mind are deep and complex.

But without hesitation the True God will shoot at them; His arrow will surely wound them.He will use their very own words to bring them to destruction;all who see will be appalled at what happens to them.Then everyone will fear the True God;  they will proclaim His deedsand will reflect upon all He has done. The righteous …

Put A Little Love in Your Heart

One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked Him, “Which command is the most important of all?”

“This is the most important,” Jesus answered:

Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

“The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no other command greater than these.”

Then the scribe said to Him, “You are right, Teacher!   You have correctly said that He is One, and there is no one else except Him. And to love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

When Jesus saw that he answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to question Him any longer.

-Mark 12:28-34

How are you doing at the one thing…

Rich Man, Poor Man: Discontent vs Loving Your Gift

So the Lord sent Nathan to David.  When he arrived, he said to him:
There were two men in a certain city,  One rich and the other poor.
The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle.
But the poor man had nothing  Except one small ewe lamb that he had bought.
He raised it, and it grew up, living with him and his children. It shared his meager food and drank from his cup;  It slept in his arms,  And it was like a daughter to him.
Now a traveler came to the rich man. But the rich man could not bring himself  to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare for the traveler who had come to him.
Instead,  He took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for his guest.
-2 Samuel 12:1-4

Question: Do you ever want what someone else has?  Do you ever long for a different life, to have the things, the position, or the recognition that someone else has?  Are you unhappy with other peoples blessings?

A Simple Story About Two Different Men
Nathan, the prophet, told a story here, to David, of two…

Some Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.

I want to be the white man's brother, not his brother-in-law.

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.

The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.

Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?

We must meet hate with love.

I’m talking about a type of love which will cause you to love the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed that the person does. We've got to love.

Yes, it is love that will save our world and our civilization, love even fo…

Freedom in Christ

Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don't submit again to a yoke of slavery.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

-Galatians 5:1 (HCSB, NIV, NKJV)

Freedom in Christ

Christians are free.  Set free and changed.  This happened through the cross of Christ.

We need to know that following Christ does not put us or bring us under the law.  We have to say this because there have always been people who teach that we need to come, dwell, or abide in, under, or through the law to be saved.

We are now free to live in Christ, desiring to serve God, in love.

The center and the life of Christianity is the person of Christ.  The life of Christ in me makes me a Christian and his life in me desires righteousness and lives the godly life.

Living in Christ

The freedo…

Servants Rule!

The greatest among you will be your servant.
-Matthew 23:11
How is your serve?  I was thinking about the phrase kids use to brag that their group is the greatest, like, "nerds rule!"  It's like "we're the best", or "we're the greatest".
And it is true that Jesus said that servants are the great ones in the kingdom.  Kingdom values are different, even upside down from earthly values.  We are kingdom people first and church members second.
The way that Christians are governed is by kingdom values inside and outside the church.  It does not matter if you are thinking of "the church gathered" or "the church scattered".  Jesus, who is the builder of the church, says that his people will not be like the world or like the religious institutions, of his day.
Jesus said that there is no hierarchy and no corporate flow chart.  There are not special people who are heads or positional leaders.  There are no officials or officers.

Freedom: Asking For Rescue and Deliverance or Vindication

In Your justice, rescue and deliver me; listen closely to me and save me.
-Psalm 71:2

How many of us right now need to be rescued or delivered?  I think there are two categories of people: those who who are desperate and those who think they are ok.  The truth is or the reality is that we are all in desperate need of rescue and deliverance.

What if I told you that you need, I need, we all need deliverance and rescue?  If you keep saying that deliverance is for someone else and you are ok, then I doubt that you have a vital spirituality.  To be alive towards God is to come into the realization of our deep need for rescue and deliverance.

The rescue and deliverance that we need is asked for on the basis of God's justice or righteousness.  The NET Bible translates the beginning of this verse this way: "Vindicate me by rescuing me!".  I asked, "where are the words, "In Your justice", or, "In Your righteousness"?  "Vindicate me", is the ans…