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Whatever You Do

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.

-1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17, 23; James 2:12 (NLT)

There are three things in life: work, celebration, and rest.  If you have not rested, then your work will not be productive and enjoyable.  Also, if you do not rest, you lack the energy and fountain of vitality to celebrate.
You can't celebrate and rest.
After work, we need rest; but we often celebrate after work, before we rest.  We celebrate while we are tired which is ok as long as we are aware of our tiredness.  If we are out of touch with our exhaustion, our celebration in tiredness will be less enjoyable.
But, if we ackn…

Joseph, The Righteous Man

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly.
-Matthew 1:18-19

Joseph was engaged to be married to Mary, when she told him that she was pregnant.  She told him something that didn't make sense.  She told him that she had not had another man in her life, but that she was visited by an angel, who told her that God would cause her to be pregnant, in a miraculous way. 

We do not know how Joseph judged Mary's account of how she became pregnant.  What we do know is how he responded to this crisis.  He responded with mercy and honor in a righteous way.

Joseph's betrothal to Mary was a more serious  matter than engagements of couples today.  In today's language, Joseph was already Mary's husband, while Mary remained at her father…

What Child Is This?

And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the lodging place.

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord,was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a…

Good King Wenceslas

The Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas" tells the story of a king who goes out with his page to give alms to a poor man on the day after Christmas. Wenceslas is a real person, born in 907. His father was converted to Christ through the work of two Greek brothers Cyril, known as Constantine; and Methodius in the 860's. These brothers became known as "the apostles to the Slavs". Wenceslas' father died when he was only thirteen and his grandmother, Ludmila, raised him as a Christian. His mother, Drahomira, remained pagan as did his younger brother and arranged Ludmila's murder in 921 and regained control over raising Wenceslas. History is sketchy on what happened during the next 5 years, but when he was 18 years old, he assumed the throne and had his mother exiled. He then promoted Christianity throughout Bohemia. The nobles did not like the Roman influence that they saw coming in through Christianity and plotted to kill Wenceslas with his pagan …

He is still born in a stable

"and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them."
Luke 2:7 (TNIV)

Christmas is all about Christ's birth. He is God's gift to humankind. He was sent to reconcile us. He also showed us what God was like. Rather that transport into earthly life or appear, like an angel, Jesus was born to an obscure set of parents, under obscure circumstances, at an obscure time, and in a very obscure place.

He wasn't born in the finest hospital of the day, nor in a palace, and not on a mountain top. He was born in a room that western minded moderns think of as a stable, where animals lived and were sheltered for the night, just like you would find on most farms or ranches today. Actually, it was a room in the house where the animals lived and had shelter for the night. Historians believe it was actually a cave.

Many Bible translations state that Jesus was placed in a manger,…

When You Meet Together

What is the outcome of this, brothers and sisters? When you meet together, each one has a psalm, a teaching, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. All these things must be done to build up the church.
-1 Cor. 14:26

I have a question.  What is a meeting?  Is a meeting just a gathering of people, where anything happens; or does every meeting have one thing in common; that you meet there?

Is going to a movie theater a meeting?  What if it is a film festival and there is a panel discussion and interview with the filmmakers, including questions and answers?  Is it a meeting then?

I believe it's a meeting if you meet.  If you can say, "I met someone", you were at a meeting.

There are "meet and greet" times built into events that are not meetings.  It's not a meeting, but an event.  The organizers know people like to meet; so they build the meet time in.  That does not make it a meeting, but an event where meet time is built in.

We have gatherings where t…

How To Respond To Tragedies

At that time, some people came and reported to him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And he responded to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were more sinful than all the other Galileans because they suffered these things? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well. Or those eighteen that the tower in Siloam fell on and killed—do you think they were more sinful than all the other people who live in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well.”
-Luke 13:1-5

If you have some time, open your Bible to Luke 13.  I will be going back to it a lot.

I started writing this post, this past fall.  After the two hurricanes.  Before Las Vegas.

This post is about how to respond.  The Bible has a lot of wisdom on this.


Every week, we all encounter people who are going through losses and tragedies.  How do we respond and what do we say and how can we pray?

Some of us don't know what to say or how …

Give Me This Mountain

Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day.
-Joshua 14:12a (NKJV)
Have you asked God to give you your mountain?  Have you considered that God has a mountain with your name on it?  Do you have a big dream that God has put in your heart that you are waiting to be fulfilled?
Joshua, chapter fourteen, tells the story of Caleb asking for and being given his inheritance.  That's the mountain.  He is saying here, to Joshua, that he wants that particular mountain; and that it is what God promised to him, long ago:

Then the children of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal. And Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him: “You know the word which the Lord said to Moses the man of God concerning you and me in Kadesh Barnea. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to spy out the land, and I brought back word to him as it was in my heart. Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt, …

The Tree of Life

Let anyone who has ears to hear listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
-Revelation 2:7

What are you hungry for and what's on the menu?  Some people seem to always be hungry.  In this verse, we are told that there is a special tree, that only some people get the right to eat from.

Throughout your life, you have probably tried foods that you never had before.  Sometimes, you might have said, "that's really good".  There are foods that taste exquisite.

There is a promise in the message to the first church, in Revelation, that they will get to eat from the tree of life, if they conquer.  A special food is available to those who conquer.

The word conquer is an odd word for us.  What does it mean?
It means victory or overcoming, which has to do with faithfulness.  And faithfulness is an action.  To be faithful and have victory or be overcoming and conquer…

Teaching By Asking Questions (Teaching Like Jesus, pt. 8)

I have a question for you...
-Matt. 21:24, Mark 11:29, Luke 20:3

In my opinion, it is good when a speaker, whether it is just your friend across a table, or someone speaking to a huge audience, asks us questions.  It is bad when someone asks no questions, but just teaches you, lectures you or tries to entertain you.

Think about the best comedians or Shakespearean soliloquy/monologues.  They ask the audience questions.  They ask us to enter into the story.

The best experiences are when we are drawn in.  We say, "Yeah, that happens to me".  And the questions draw me into whatever the speaker is talking about, so that we can be together in it.  Saying, "have you ever ran out of gas?", "burned your toast?", "been honked at?", "been given a surprise?"; all draw me into your story or the story in teaching that you are asking me to go on.

If you have ever watched a TED talk, the speakers ask you questions to draw you into the story about wha…

Notes on Suffering From Job, By Chambers & Peterson

Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying:

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I will leave this life.
The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.
-Job 1:20-22
This is a follow-up on why we can not and should not try to fix people.  (You Can't Fix People)  There is a whole book on this in the Bible, called Job.  It is the story of a good guy who had bad things happen to him.

Here are notes and quotes, full of sage advice and Christ centered wisdom about how to approach suffering, from first Oswald Chambers, then Eugene Peterson.
These are some notes or quotes from Oswald Chambers book on Job called, Baffled To Fight Better. The sympathy which is reverent with what it cannot understand is worth its weight in gold.It is not what a man does that is of final importance, but what he is in what he does. The atmosphere produced by…

You Can't Fix People

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.
-John 15:1-9
You can't fix people.  Have you discovered this?  It is futile to imagine that you can.
We get fr…

God Will Restore Your Lost Inheritance

“Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “since I intend to show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all your grandfather Saul’s fields, and you will always eat meals at my table.”
-2 Samuel 9:7
Many people have lost inheritances that God is going to restore.  
You have thought about it and you have also worked on coming to terms with it, as your history, your story. 
I believe that God does restore lost inheritances.  God's kindness and graciousness knows no bounds with his children.  This is illustrated in the story of Mephibosheth, in 2 Samuel 9:
David asked, “Is there anyone remaining from the family of Saul I can show kindness to for Jonathan’s sake?” There was a servant of Saul’s family named Ziba. They summoned him to David, and the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?”

“I am your servant,” he replied.

So the king asked, “Is there anyone left of Saul’s family that I can show the kindness of God to?”

Ziba said to the king, “There is still Jonathan’…