Parenting level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest…
What level parent do you think you are?
By what, and whose objective and/or subjective standards should be used to determine this?
As a parent, what if the decision as to whether or not you can keep your children was based on a standardized test that your children took? What if that test was based on how you managed your children at home and how they performed outside of the home?
What if your child or children were given a test based on everything you taught them as a parent throughout the course of a year?
As a parent, are you able to control how well your child or children master what you teach them? Are you able to control what they watch and listen to all of the time? Are you able to control their behavior? Do your children always comply and submit with humility, or do they sometimes give you attitude? Does your child or children ever rebel against your rules? Do they ever sneak and do things they aren’t supposed to do?
How many macro issues are going on around the world that influence and affect the culture of a home and how children learn and behave? How much is beyond a parent’s control?
The truth is that every adult still struggles from some behavioral, social, intellectual and emotional issues inherited from their home no matter what the race, culture religion or socio-economic status may be.
So, what if in everything you did as a parent, your name was accompanied by a number/score by which you would be judged?
Why do we have this unrealistic, unfair and highly-subjective metric placed on our educational professionals?
Many educators are parents too, with the same struggles and challenges.
Yes, test children to get a snapshot and benchmark of what they’ve learned. But, don’t base the EFFECTIVENESS of someone who has to share the dedication they have for their own children with two to eight dozen other children who aren’t their own.
How many good parents would lose their children based on a test score?
For those of you who consider yourselves to be Christians, there’s no better parent than God our Father right?
Do we base His effectiveness as God and a Heavenly Father on how well His children obey Him and master His expectations?
James 1:17 (NKJV)
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning
You wake up, reach over and kiss your spouse. You then you turn on the television to check the weather and traffic. You go into the kitchen and grab a bite to eat and promptly brush, floss and take a shower so you can get out the door and be on time for work.
What’s wrong with this morning scenario?
You acknowledged your spouse…
You acknowledged the weather…
You acknowledged the traffic…
You acknowledged your hunger…
You acknowledged your hygiene (even your ‘low’giene:-)…
You acknowledged your job…
But did you acknowledge the One who made everything else you acknowledged possible?
Did you acknowledge God? Did you tell Him good morning? Did you tell Him thanks for protecting you and your family, while you were unconscious all night? Did you thank Him for waking you up? Did you thank Him for brand new mercies..
Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
This world is far too dangerous. Too unpredictable… Too evil for us to begin our day without acknowledging the God of our salvation.
Too many people say they are believers, but when they are honest with themselves, they live as if God isn’t even there.
We acknowledge, relate to and take seriously what is real to us.
I believe that beginning the day without acknowledging God first thing each and every morning is the ultimate ‘intentional’ act of arrogance and pride.
We are saying, (without saying )… “I’ve got this.” “I don’t need your protection.” “I don’t need your provision.” “I don’t need your guidance.” “I don’t need your wisdom.” “I don’t need your help.”
In as sense we are saying, “I don’t need you today!”
When you love someone…when you’re in love someone, you act like it. In fact, not only do we expect the love we give be reciprocated, we demand it of one another.
We prove how real God is to us, and how much we love Him by how we relate to Him. How we talk to Him. How we fellowship with Him in His word and prayer.
Have you talked to God today? If not, why not stop right now and…Tell Him you’re sorry. Tell Him you love Him. Thank Him for His grace and mercy. And make a commitment that God is the first Person that you talk to each morning.
O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.
I know I’m not the only one who sometimes struggles with this. I’m sincerely grateful and thankful for the level of blessing and favor on my life. I’m not talking about riches. I’m talking about being thankful that I have food, clothes, shelter, good health and a sound mind…for what many people call ‘the little things’. I’m thankful that my family is doing well, thankful for freedom, peace, safety and yes, I’m thankful for salvation.
But, sometimes I want more.
I would love for God to bless me to be able to support my family well through my writing and leave behind a financial heritage for my children. Ohhhh…that would be so awesome! I would love to be able to do some of the things for my family that I know would make them happy. Who doesn’t want financial stability, good health and peace in their life.
I can’t count the times I’ve been praying to God asking Him to bless my life and stopped and just had to stop and say, “Thank you!”
Because you see, so many times when I’m asking for more, I think about so many who have less.
So many times when I lain in my bed worrying about something, I think about the fact that it’s a blessing to have a bed in which to worry. Someone, somewhere at that very moment is trying to sleep under a bridge
God tells us to be content, and I truly am…
1 Timothy 6:6-8 (NKJV)
6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, [a]and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
But, still I want more. Don’t you? I mean God also told us He would give us more, if we have our priorities straight…
Psalm 37:4-5 (NKJV)
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit[a] your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.
Do you ever feel conflict over being thankful and wanting more?
How do we manage being content with our lives without being covetous?
If you have this conflict too, tell God thank you for the conflict. It’s a sign that you aren’t greedy or covetous.
Here’s a few simple tips on managing that conflict.
Please be careful when you…
Feel God owes you better.
Feel what you have isn’t good enough.
Ask God for more, more often than you thank Him for what you have.
Never pray for those who have less than you.
Lose that internal conflict between being thankful and asking God for more.
John Chapter 17 records the real ‘Lord’s Prayer’, as Matthew 6 gives us the model prayer. In John, He prays for Himself, His disciples and finally those who believe in Him through the disciples words…us.
It’s interesting of all things He could pray about, in verses 20 through 24 He prayed for…
Unity… Agreement… ONENESS!
Because three of the most powerful forces on this earth are…
It would be impossible for the Gospel to spread, the church to grow and families to survive without unity.
Notice what the bible says about agreement…
Genesis 11:6 (NKJV)
6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people ARE ONE and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.
Amos 3:3 (NKJV)
3 Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
1 Corinthians 1:10 (NKJV)
10 Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all [a]speak the same thing, and that there be no [b]divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
It was through ‘agreement’ and ‘unity’ that the devil was able to provoke rebellion in heaven leading to him and those who united with him being kicked out…
Revelation 12:7-9 (NKJV)
7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they [a]did not prevail, nor was a place found for [b]them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
However, the ultimate agreement is in heaven…
1 John 5:7 (NKJV)
7For there are three that bear witness [a]in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
So, if our Savior was intentional enough to pray for agreement, I encourage you to be intentional to specifically pray for agreement EVER DAY in…
In your local church…
In the Body of Christ…
In your government…
On your job.
And especially pray for unity with God… That you are ONE with Him and He is ONE with you, just as He is ONE with our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah. Pray for this every day, and if possible every time you pray.
Notice how many times the Lord says or infers ONE in His prayer for us…
John 17:20-26 (NKJV)
20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who [a]will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be ONE as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be ONE in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be ONE just as We are ONE: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in ONE, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
Remember, this isn’t just a prayer, it’s the Lord’s passion. And, it should be ours too.
However, it’s not His fault if we allow our lusts to pervert our natural, God-given sexual attractions. We cannot trust our flesh. Lust can have us doing some crazy things if we aren’t careful.
It certainly got King David caught up…
2 Samuel 11:2 (NKJV)
2 Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold.
Think about this.
Why are so many people attracted to what is, at times, the nastiest part of the body?
One of the first things that many men and women are attracted to is the butt, booty, behind, derriere, bum, a**, so much so that even countless songs have been written about it…
They are splattered all over television, the internet, magazines, flaunted in public, ‘butt’ that’s because people are so attracted to it.
So, if your flesh is trying to get the best of you through intently checking out someone else’s, (especially other than your spouse’s) rump, think about the fact that even though it might look good, it’s a good chance it might not smell good.
God has a way or reminding us that our flesh is corrupt and, we will return to the dust of the earth. No matter how much you wash, as you go about your day, a butt will be a butt.
Be careful, don’t let your lusts make a donkey out of you:-)
One of the most difficult things to understand in the Bible is used by unbelievers as one of the first bullets they shoot to say there is no God.
Why would a loving God allow people to be stoned to death? They go on to say, ‘who would want to serve a God like that?’
I’m quick to say, ‘Me!’ And, this is why.
Relationships fail because of expectations not being met. The Bible is a narrative about two relationships, God and those who claim to be His, and those who don’t.
There are also two dispensations of these relationships… Old Testament and New Testament.
The powerful thing about the Old Testament is that it’s where God gave us His expectations through His relationship with Israel and Judah.
Through THE MOSAIC LAW, we learned what behavior God loves and what behavior God hates. When we look closely at how God reacted to Israel’s behavior. Yes, sin is sin, but to put it simply, some sins piss God of more.
For example, if a stranger were to hack your bank account and stole one dollar, you would be angry. You would be angry that they invaded your privacy and sacred space. You would be angry that they stole from you, but not as angry at the amount they stole. But, what if someone close to you hacked your retirement, stole your life savings and used YOUR money to hire someone to kill you to get insurance money as well? How much MORE angry would that make you?
In the Old Testament there were some sins that led to being exiled, while there were other sins that led to death.
During that time, Israel was our example to let us know God’s level of displeasure.
1 Corinthians 10:10-12 (NASB)
10 Nor grumble, as some of them [a]did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
God allows different things happen in different times. Back then they had the benefit of great miracles and hearing directly from God. Today we have the benefit of their experiences and technology that would seem like magic to them.
It’s in the Old Testament that we learned God’s expectations…
Romans 7:7-25 (NKJV)
7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, (A)I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, (B)“You shall not covet.” 8 But (C)sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evildesire. For (D)apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, (E)which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.12 Therefore (F)the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.
However, when Yeshua came and fulfilled the law, His death satisfied not only the penalty of eternal death, but also extended grace that the law didn’t. For example, look at His response in these two situations..,
John 8:1-11 (NKJV)
8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 Now [a]early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and (A)taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, [b]this woman was caught in (B)adultery, in the very act. 5 (C)Now [c]Moses, in the law, commanded us [d]that such should be stoned. But what do You [e]say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they (D)might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with Hisfinger, [f]as though He did not hear.
7 So when they continued asking Him, He [g]raised Himself up and said to them, (E)“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it,(F)being[h]convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up [i]and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers [j]of yours? Has no one condemned you?”
11 She said, “No one, Lord.”
And Jesus said to her, (G)“Neither do I condemn you; go [k]and (H)sin no more.”
Matthew 19:7-8 (KJV)
7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
So was the level of consequences left for our example in the Old Testament fair to the people living then relative to us today? Maybe not, but God never claimed to be fair, only just. GOD ISN’T FAIR, BUT HE’S JUST…
Because of this today we know God gets just as angry now at forsaking His day of rest by working unnecessarily, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, idolatry, or witchcraft as He did then. Now we know that stealing or coveting makes Him angry, but not as angry as the fore mentioned sins…yet all are sin.
The law and its consequences is our teacher.
Galatians 3:24-25 (NKJV)
24 Therefore the law was our [a]tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
I encourage you to read through the Old Testament from the perspective of intentionally noticing how He reacts to Israel’s behavior. It gives great insight into how He feels when we do the same things today.
We all know that God expects us to love everyone, even our enemies. And, we also know that’s not always easy to do. Sometimes peoples’ actions can take us beyond not just liking them.
There are people who clearly don’t like us, people who don’t have the same beliefs, values and opinions. People who we feel don’t respect our traditions, heritages and cultures. Those who unapologetically work against us and try to hurt. People who hate us.
Well, the fact that God forbids us to hate people hasn’t changed, but He does allow us to hate THINGS about people. So, the next time you look at someone in such intense anger that hate begins to fill your heart, here are a few things that it’s okay to hate ABOUT people…
Even the organizations and institutions they create.
Everything mentioned above can be hated without hating the person. How do I know that? Because God, who loves all of us, also hates some things about us too…
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)
16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him: 17 A[b] proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
But, He never lets what He hates about us provoke Him to hate us, even when we’re His enemies…
James 4:4 (NKJV)
4 [a]Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Romans 5:10 (NKJV)
10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
We were created in God’s image. He hates stuff too. He just doesn’t hate us…ever. So, the next time you feel your natural God-given emotion to hate fill your heart, do these five things…
Stop and focus on what it is you hate ABOUT them.
Focus on that or those things.
Ask God to help you love the person.
Then sincerely pray that God strengthens them in the areas you hate, and to open your eyes if you’re wrong.
Ask God to help you love them through the things you hate about them, just like He loves you through those things He hates about you.
You see. Learning to love people through the things we hate about them gives us the opportunity to be more like God.
When you’re sharing God’s love, it frustrates the devil.
But, he has absolutely no power over your life except that what God allows…
Job 1:12 (NKJV)
12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your [a]power; only do not lay a hand on his person.”
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
God gets glory out of our lives when we overcome the devil, just as He did when He allowed the enemy to have temporary access to Job.
He bragged on Job, and sometimes God is bragging on you…
Job 1:8 (NKJV)
8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you [a]considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and [b]shuns evil?”
That’s why sometimes frustrations come from nowhere…
Frustrations to your health…
Frustrations to your finances…
Frustrations in your relationships…
Frustrations on your jobs…
Those aches and pains. That boil on your behind. That person who has been frustrating you in traffic for the past 20 miles. That co-worker who continues to conspire against you. Those people who are insensitive, inconsiderate and unapologetic.
The devil see’s when you’re not letting those frustrations get to you. So, he sends another frustration…and another…and another, until God tells Him, “That’s enough!”
The enemy knows He has no real power over your life, so those frustrations are just him ‘giving you the finger’…
He’s flipping you off because you’ve pissed him off.
So, don’t let him get the best of you! Keep your cool. Praise God. And, let God get glory out of your story.
21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
23 But He answered her not a word.
And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throwit to the little dogs.” 27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Why did Jesus remain silent in verse 23?
Why didn’t He answer the woman when she first asked?
If she had left, angry or discouraged because Jesus didn’t answer immediately, then her daughter would not have been delivered.
Our God is a God of order…Just because He’s silent, doesn’t mean that He doesn’t listen. God has His own timing…
Galations 4:4 (NKJV)
In the fullness of time, He gave His only Son…
Acts 17:30-31 (KJV)
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Yes, there are examples throughout the bible of God’s timing.
Jesus tells us why He initially remains silent to the Canaanite woman…He tells her he was sent FIRST to lost sheep of Israel. His answer could even be perceived as harsh.
It wasn’t time for the Gentiles yet…BUT, it’s possible that Jesus also remained silent so we could see the example of the woman’s persistent faith.
Jesus’ silence prompted the woman to worship Jesus even more, and be more persistent(vs 25).
Those around her were able to witness her great faith and persistence…She didn’t get offended, angry or discouraged.
Sometimes people will get, super spiritual and tell you to ask God and let it go…that continuing to ask is a lack of faith…but the bible teaches persistence in God’s silence(Luke 11:5-13, Luke 8:1-8) still having faith through the persistence.
It’s HOW you continue to ask, your attitude as you ask that matters (the woman remained humble and didn’t get angry or impatient with Jesus). After all, persistence is a sign of faith that your persistence will pay off, right?
This woman’s persistence and great faith prompted God to act beyond His timing on her behalf, PERSONALLY.
God can do the same thing for us today. If you’re asking God to move in your life…
DON’T GIVE UP…
DON’T BE DISCOURAGED…
DON’T GET ANGRY AT GOD…
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY DON’T LOOSE FAITH, even if you feel God is being harsh!
Be content to be patient and work within God’s timing, and sometimes He will do something for us ‘personally’ to confirm our faith…
Strengthen our faith…
And display our faith so others can see and believe.
When you love someone, you want to learn what pleases them…and what displeases them.
The same is true for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…Yeshua the Messiah.
Many of you already know that the Hebrew name for Jesus is Yehoshua, or Yeshua in its shortened form.
Many of you also know that Jesus is a transliteration of Yeshua in Hebrew to Iesous in Greek and later Jesus after the letter ‘J’ was added to the English language in the 1500’s.
We also know the importance God places on names in both Old and New Testaments.
So here’s my question for serious contemplation and conversation…
What if…Just what if…Jesus doesn’t like being called Jesus just as a man named Michael doesn’t like being called Michelle…and vice versa? Both Michael and Michelle have the same meaning, but they aren’t the same name.
Nor, do we call Joshua of the Old Testament Jesus, as both names have the same meaning, but they aren’t the same name.
If companies will sue over misuse of their name…is it possible that Yeshua wants to be called Yeshua. God introduced Himself to the world through the Hebrew people… not a race, but a faith He created as His own people.
Is it our place to tell our Savior what He wants to be called? When we refer to foreign leaders, do we translate or transliterate their name, or do we refer to them in their particular language?
How do people abroad refer to Barak Obama, Donald Trump, or Joe Biden? What is the city of Jerusalem (Yerushalayim) called in other countries?
If we REALLY love God through His Son as we claim, shouldn’t we at least consider it.?
The truth is that it’s possible for millions of sincere people to believe the WRONG thing.
I’m not asking this question with my mind made up that using the name Jesus is wrong. I just feel if we really want to ‘get to know Him and please Him that we should continually refine our faith and relationships.
In how many different ways will He feel we haven’t tried to get to know Him…
Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)
21 (A)“Not everyone who (B)says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will (C)enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who (D)does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 (E)On that day (F)many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not (G)prophesy in your name, and cast out demons (H)in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 (I)And then will I declare to them, ‘I (J)never knew you; (K)depart from me, (L)you workers of lawlessness.’
It’s the same as wondering how does He feel about people using the Roman symbol of His execution to represent Him…but that’s another discussion.
Who was there when God ‘SAID’ “Let there be…”? There was no audience. Moses wasn’t there…the revelation of creation was given to him much later.
The Hebrew word for “said”, AMAR, according to The NAS Old Hebrew Lexicon means, to say, to answer, to say in one’s heart, to think, to command, to promise, to intend.
When God wills it…God says it.
God’s will is His words. He wills and it happens.
Jesus Christ, Yeshua, IS the living word. Jesus was there in the beginning as the Word and later became flesh. Just as your spirit, your essence of life, is invisible but your body is the image of your invisible spirit. God is a Spirit and Jesus Christ is not only the Word that was there in the beginning, He is the image of the invisible God.
Colossians 1:15 (NKJV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
John 1:1-3, 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
But what is ‘word’? The Greek words RHEMA and LOGOS are used as equivalents for the Hebrew word DABAR, as the Word of God or Divine Word.
God’s will is His words. He wills and it happens.
God can place His will, thoughts and desires inside of us, it is us that must use language to communicate. Language is for us, not God.
Language is what we use to communicate our thoughts, our intents…what’s in our hearts. We use language to communicate…God doesn’t have to. God is not limited to English, Igbo, Spanish, French, Portuguese or any other language.
His ways our not our ways and thoughts our not our thoughts. God can communicate with us through a thought. God knows your thoughts…does God hear them in a language? Or, does He just KNOW what’s in your heart.
Yes, we confess with our mouth, for the benefit of others, but we aren’t saved until we believe in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. How does God know you believe? Does He need a language to do that?
Many times people are critical when someone says, “The Lord told me”… And rightly so, because people tend to say that very loosely…too loosely. People will critically and sarcastically say, “What did God SAY to you?” Did you HEAR His voice?”
Yes God has spoken audibly at times for our benefit…Moses, The Mount of Transfiguration…but God doesn’t have to SPEAK audibly to SPEAK…
Nehemiah 2:12 (NKJV)
12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem; nor was there any animal with me, except the one on which I rode.
Jeremiah 31:33 (NKJV)
33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Matthew 16:17 (NKJV)
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Hebrews 8:10 (NKJV)
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
Revelation 17:17 (NKJV)
17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
Remember. Those who rejected Jesus (Pharisees, Scribes etc.) heard Him with their ears… They heard Him speak in their language…but they didn’t hear Him in their heart.
There are as many internal church and denominational church cultures as there are churches and denominations.
And, there are several denominations that feel dancing before God is an acceptable form of worship…
2 Samuel 6:14 (NKJV)
14 Then David (A)danced[a] before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing (B)a linen ephod. 15 (C)So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet.
Psalm 149:3 (NJKV)
3 (A)Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
This article is for those who feel dancing is an appropriate part of worship, not to debate whether it is or, not to judge those who do or don’t.
So, here’s the question…in many of the churches that DO incorporate dance into their worship, there are a few specific ‘dance steps’ that are often done during worship. These steps are typically called THE HOLY DANCE.
My question is when and where did these particular steps become the designated HOLY DANCE, and why are any other dance steps that ARE NOT sexually suggestive considered taboo and inappropriate for worship?
Have you ever heard a father brag about paying the bills? Putting food on the table? He may even say, “I deserve to run around with the fellas or hang our because he’s holding it down for his family. Have you ever heard a mother brag about taking care of her family? About being at home for her children? Have you heard a father or mother brag about not ‘running the streets’, about dealing with the difficulties of life without turning to drugs or alcohol?
How about this one? ” I’m faithful to my spouse!”
Have you ever heard a child brag about doing their homework and staying out of trouble?
Have you every heard a Christian brag about regularly attending church, being faithful in giving or studying their bible?
This is all good, but it is absolutely nothing to brag about.
Because they are all doing what they are supposed to do. They are all doing what’s expected of them.
What’s unfortunate that we live in a society where so many people are not doing what they supposed to do, that those who are may seem beyond the norm, or even special…feel they deserve a pat on the back.
One of my favorite movie scenes is in the movie, “Guess Whose Coming To Dinner” when Roy Glenn’s character who played Sidney Poitier’s character’s father was lecturing his adult son about how hard he worked to make sure he had everything he needed, as he objected to his son dating a white woman. He told him this as if his son owed him something for providing for him. Sidney Poitier’s character quickly rebuked his father for making him feel obligated for doing what he was supposed to do. He then lovingly acknowledged his love and respect for him.
In an age absent and distracted parents and rebellious children, those doing their duty can begin to feel special…when they actually aren’t.
Notice what Jesus had to say about simply doing our duty…
Luke 17:7-10 (NKJV)
7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.[a] 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”
Be thankful if God has blessed you with a mind and the discipline to hold down your role as father, mother, son, daughter, employee, citizen, disciple, Pastor as expected. Yes, we all make mistakes, but you haven’t gotten ‘caught up’ or distracted to the level of some others…but we should never think we deserve a pat on the back, are ‘special’,or ‘owed something’ for doing our duty as God expects.
Would it reveal a dirty mind? Or, a mind meditating on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report and praiseworthy?
Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
Would it reveal the works of the flesh or the Fruit of the Spirit?
Would it reveal malice or good intent?
How would you smell at work? At school? While sitting in your home? While looking at your smartphone?
How would you smell while sitting in church?
How often would you smell good? How often would you stink?
We need to learn to replace the words ‘blame’ and ‘fault’ with ‘responsible’.
Blame and fault are negative; Responsibility is positive.
Blame shifts responsibility or refuses to accept it.
Fault encourages one to pass the buck to protect themselves.
Have you ever blamed someone else when you were responsible?
Telling someone ‘I blame you’ or ‘it’s your fault will likely make them defensive.
But, telling them ‘It’s your responsibility’ or ‘we all make mistakes’ is more will likely make them be accountable.
The enemy is always looking for opportunities to provoke us to sin so he can blame and accuse us.
10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
Romans 14:11-12 (NKJV)
11 For it is written:
“AsI live, says theLord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
5 For each one shall bear his own load.
God expects us to hold one another responsible and accountable, sometimes with rebuke…
Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)
17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
And, sometimes in gentleness…
Galatians 6:1-2 (NKJV)
6 Brethren, if a man is [a]overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
But always in wisdom. Remember, responsibility brings accountability and blame brings shame.
When being onboarded to my first teaching position, the principal told me, “Teaching is a 24 hour job.”
She was unintentionally feeding a toxic macro-culture of unrealistic expectations that includes judging sincere professionals as undedicated if they aren’t devoting their time away from work to their obligations at work.
This infers that the expectation is to neglect yourself…your marriage… your family… your life for your career.
WRONG! NOPE! I CAN’T GO FOR THAT!
Yes, we sometimes have to arrive early and stay late, then work at home…but it should never be the daily expectation. Some people even consider this behavior noble and judge others on their expectations.
No, my first principal should have encouraged me to use my time wisely… work smart and not hard… and never forget that the number ONE (1) reason(s) for being in any profession begins with yourself and your family.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ABSENT TO BE A DEADBEAT PARENT…
…All you have to do is put your career before your own children.
No matter what profession or job you GO TO every day…TAKE ALL OF YOU TO IT, then BRING ALL OF YOU BACK HOME! It should never come before you or the people most important to you…and it should never come before the people to whom you are most important….
THEY NEED ‘QUALITY YOU TIME’…
…Not some shell of you who is always preoccupied with work. Even God teaches us to…
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR ‘AS’ YOU LOVE YOURSELF! (Mark 12:31)
Anecdotally, one of the greatest causes of cognitive dissonance among educators is the feeling they’re doing more for the children of others rather than their own.
How many milestones and memories have you missed to fulfill someone else’s expectations of you above your own or your family?
God also demands that we rest one day out of seven… whether you believe it’s Saturday or Sunday, have you forsaken your gift of rest? Do you spend your weekends getting ready for Monday? God forbid!
Remember, it’s not how many hours you work, but how you work your ours.
It’s your responsibility to create healthy boundaries while honoring your commitment to your career.
The first few weeks in a new year is an ideal time for personal reflection. It’s a great time to stop and think back on the things we got right, but more importantly on the things we thought or did wrong…through either commission or omission.
Many times when we make genuine efforts to reflect over our own lives, we begin to think about those who have had an affect on our lives, sometimes to the point that we forget to reflect on how WE have affected THEIR lives… Or how we have affected our own.
IT’S NATURAL FOR US TO PLACE BLAME AND DEFLECT RATHER THAN SEEK SOLUTIONS AND HOLD OURSELVES ACCOUNTABLE.
So this is just a quick reminder to US (myself included) that as we reflect over the past year (or the past) that we remain FOCUSED ON OURSELVES in the mirror of our minds.
If no one else in the world changes but you, the world still changes!
2 Corinthians 13:5 (NKJV)
5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you [a]are disqualified.
It happens every New Year. Many preachers giving promises of peace and prosperity from the pulpit. First of all let me say that sometimes God does send prophetic proclamations of good news to His people, but not every year.
There are many preachers out there who make the same promise
“This is your year!”
“This is your season!”
But, the prophets in the bible didn’t always deliver good
news. In fact, many times they were tasked with warning the people of what was
to come. God is loving enough to not let His people be caught off guard without
But, beware of preachers who deliver only good news.
Promising prosperity and good news every year plays on the
emotions and hopes of those who God has entrusted to watch over their souls.
Unfortunately, many preach through their flesh whether than God’s Spirit…
Some to feed their egos…
Some to keep members engaged…
Some to manipulate money out of the people…
How is EVERY YEAR GOING TO BE YOUR SEASON?
Remember what God told Ezekiel…
Again the word of
the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your
people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the
people of the land take a man from their territory and make him
their watchman, 3 when
he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the
people, 4 then
whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the
sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the
trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who
takes warning will [a]save his life. 6 But if the watchman sees
the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned,
and the sword comes and takes any person from among
them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at
the watchman’s hand.’
7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have [b]delivered your soul.
Think of all the pride, arrogance, curses, blasphemies, abominations, insults that are released daily. Much of this behavior comes from those who call themselves believers.
How much it comes from you?
So many times we expect to give our worst and receive God’s best.
This type of preaching is like quenching your thirst with cola or alcohol. It may feel refreshing, but it’s actually dehydrating you.
I pray that God grants you a year of peace and prosperity…but I can’t promise it.
Let me say first that I’m not excusing adultery, fornication or any other sexual sin. These sins also result from an innate, natural desire that we don’t ask for, and people make a choice to commit these sins based on that desire.
However, there are many people who are now trying to defend homosexuality by saying that Jesus never addressed it, or forbade it. They say only the Apostle Paul addressed it, and some even try to contend that he wasn’t really talking about homosexuality.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet.
We all know there are several sins that Jesus never directly addressed…
To name a few.
Jesus didn’t even say directly that getting drunk is a sin. It was indirect.
He did address marriage, fornication adultery and divorce.
And, no one disputes that the LORD only permits sex within marriage.
In Matthew Chapter 19, Jesus repeated what He Himself said as The Living Word in Genesis 5:2 , yes He was there in the beginning (Elohim, the name for God in Genesis is a plural noun)… Matthew 19:4-5(NKJV)
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made[a] them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’[b]5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?[c]
The context of the conversation here is marriage and divorce. Jesus specifically calls out MALE and FEMALE in the context of marriage. This is not a cherry picked scripture. It is Jesus in perfect harmony with what God established in the beginning.
Jesus clearly says let HIM (male) be joined to his WIFE (female), because some try to contend, ‘who says that a wife has to be a woman’.
This undeniably defines marriage as between a man and woman.
These verses (Genesis and Matthew) define marriage as between a man and woman. And, since God only permits sex within marriage, sex with any partner, heterosexual or homosexual is sin.
So yes, without saying the word ‘homosexuality’, Yeshua, Christ Jesus addressed it. Any other conclusion is conjecture…reaching…trying to fit a square peg into a triangular slot.
Of course you aren’t going to ‘click’ with everyone with whom you work. Yes, you can meet some life-long friends at work, and sometimes even a spouse. But, many times we work with people who are so much unlike us that we will never be buddies or friends.
However, we do have to learn to work with everyone in a productive and hopefully cordial manner. Whether you work in an office, a school, a factory or a store, we all have to work in a team environment. That’s why so many organizations try to integrate ‘team building’ activities to encourage healthy, productive, efficient and effective interaction.
WHEN DID FORCING PEOPLE TO ‘SOCIALIZE’ WITH THE CO-WORKERS THEY DON’T ‘LIKE’ BECOMING TEAM BUILDING?
Team building should take place during the workday. Team building should be integrated into the processes. It should be a part of the culture.
When you work on projects together…go to meetings together…have working lunches together…work on the line together…have in-service together…go on business trips together…when you WORK together, that’s team building.
It’s the organization’s responsibility to facilitate team building in or at the facility. Forcing people to ‘hang out’ together isn’t for everybody, and that should be respected.
In fact, after work is the time for FAMILY BUILDING.
After work is the time for SELF BUILDING.
After work is the time for BUILDING our RELATIONSHIPS with GOD.
I’m persuaded to believe that God intends for us to separate work from our personal lives. I think He wants us to have a healthy work-life balance.
Psalm 128:1-4 (NKJV)
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, Who walks in His ways.
2 When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the Lord.
Sometimes the best team building activity is time away from your co-workers.
The wisdom in the inspired word of God is amazing! It provides a guide, a measuring stick and a test for behavior that transcends time, culture and our own personal theologies, you know, what we CHOOSE to believe.
It’s easy to say I love you or to say I don’t love you anymore, but how do you know if it’s really love?
Well, the bible gives us an incredible test to tell whether or not behavior is actually love that we can use daily in our families, on our jobs, in our churches…in every situation.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [a]puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, [b]thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
If it’s not patient…it’s not love.
If it’s not kind…it’s not love.
If it’s arrogant…it’s not love.
If it’s not humble…it’s not love.
If it’s rude…it’s not love.
If it is selfish…it’s not love.
If it is easily provoked to anger, lust, greed etc,…it’s not love.
If thoughts linger on things against the will of God…it’s not love.
If it rejoices and celebrates evil people, behavior or thoughts…it’s not love.
If it isn’t willing to carry the weight of those who are weaker…it’s not love.
If it isn’t willing to endure, no matter what the difficulty, believe through when belief and faith are most challenged, hope through the the most difficult and seemingly impossible circumstances…it’s not love!
Save this. Copy and paste this. Share this. Use this every day. Look at every situation, and use this as a test to tell…Is it really love?
There may be some reason that you aren’t looking forward to or may even be dreading tomorrow…. next week… or next month. It could be because of challenges in your relationship(s), on your job, your health.
It could be that your paycheck will not be enough to take care of your obligations.
It may be a promise you made that you already know you can’t fulfill.
You may have robbed Peter and still don’t have enough to pay Paul. You may be separated from loved ones and support.
It may be the expected or the unexpected.
I’m not here to promise a miracle if you share this post.
I’m not even promising tomorrow will be better or even arrive.
God hasn’t promised us tomorrow…but He has given us today.
That’s why He said…
Matthew 6:34 (NKJV)
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
If you have the strength or means to read this post or have it read to you, then God has abundantly blessed you.
In fact, no matter how much or how little money, food, clothing, strength or hope you have, He’s given you more than enough for today.
Those days in your past that you have dreaded, even if they were as ‘bad’ as you expected…you’re still here.
The truth is that God is sovereign to do what He pleases with each day and each person He made.
He loves us, and no matter how bad it may seem, He’s working all things together for our good…
Romans 8:28 (NKJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
The fact is either we trust Him or we don’t. Don’t worry about tomorrow if you don’t trust God with today.
If you’re worried about tomorrow… next week… or even next year…
SNAP OUT OF IT! And, make a conscious effort to do everything you can to enjoy every minute… every second… every hour of today.
Reach down inside and praise God and tell Him you love Him and trust Him with today.
If you don’t know what to say, I suggest…
Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
If you have enough for today, and only today then you are blessed. That’s what Yeshua the Messiah promised us…
Matthew 6:31-34 (NKJV)
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But (A)seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The Lord encourages us to never worry about tomorrow. He wants us to totally trust Him with each tomorrow He gives us.
Remember, that if you have enough for today…you’re blessed.
If you have just one slice of bread left for tomorrow… that’s ‘overflow’.
How many ‘TODAYS’ have you missed out on because you’re worried about ‘TOMORROW’?
If you’re worried about tomorrow… next week… next month… next year…
SNAP OUT OF IT! Stop, make a conscious effort to enjoy every minute…every hour… every moment of today.
This piece isn’t intended to judge anyone for their level of reaction on social media. Any of us who participate have people with whom we’ve connected that get less reaction than others, and we really mean no harm.
So that being said, we all noticed that some friends react heavily to your birthday and family posts, but not so much when you’re sharing your accomplishments, creativity, humor, inspiration etc.
Sometimes people even get ‘in their feelings’ and announce that they are ‘removing’ friends and followers who aren’t engaged. We have all probably noticed ‘ADD FRIEND’ on someone’s page that you thought you were already connected…because they removed you.
So, here are 7 reasons why some of your friends refrain from reacting to your posts..
1. They don’t know you like that…
Yes, you’re friends. You have mutual friends that you may know or not REALLY know, but you’re not in each others ‘circle’ of REAL friends with whom you interact on a regular basis. The fact is that you know OF each other, but don’t really KNOW each other. So, don’t take it personal. Think of the friends in your social media circle that you don’t really know. How often to you react to their posts?
2. YOU post too much for them…
Notice that the heading says YOU post too much, and not you POST too much. Sometimes people get tired of YOUR posts, while they may react very frequently to someone else’s. They might not even know why, but for some reason they get tired of seeing YOUR posts. Sooo, this is ‘somewhat’ personal but not necessarily malicious.
3. They’re annoyed by your ACCOMPLISHMENTS, CREATIVITY, , MARRIAGE, HUMOR, POLITICS, INSPIRATION, COMPLAINING or FAITH…
When we step back and look at what we share, most of the time it’s centered around one or two themes…the pursuit of our passions, our accomplishments, our faith, happy marriages, complaining, politics or encouraging others. Many times we can almost predict what someone’s post will be about when we see their names. Personally my ‘friends’ react far less frequently to posts about my wife’s music, my blog or inspiration, but they react heavily to birthday and family posts. But, as I said, I catch myself doing the same thing.
4. They’re stealing from your creativity…
Many times your friends and followers aren’t ignoring you at all. They really secretly LOVE your content… your inspiration… your opinions… your creativity. They like it so much that while they don’t acknowledge they’ve seen your posts, they ‘steal’ from your creativity… They use your quotes without quoting that you said it first…. They use your thoughts in their conversations, speeches, sermons, songs, etc… and they don’t want you to know they saw that it originated with you. It’s one thing to be inspired by someone, and another thing to ‘steal’ from their creativity.
5. They don’t like you, but can’t disconnect from you…
Some people will see your caption, image or video and move their finger to react, then when they see it’s YOU, they keep scrolling instead. They don’t necessarily hate you (but they also just might) but for some reason don’t react but won’t disconnect. They enjoy ‘not liking you’. They enjoy using you posts as excuses to talk about you to others. Your posts are fuel for their attitude against you and provide material for conversations. They LOVE to HATE you. Disconnecting or ‘unfriending’ you would actually make their life a little more boring.
6. They don’t consider you to be a PEER but love to PEER at your posts…
You may be in the same profession. You may share common interests. You may feel that you are they’re PEER OR equal, but they still love to PEER or look at your posts. As an associate minister and blogger, SOME but not all of my Senior Pastor connections on social media may not consider me to be a PEER or their equal in the ministry, but that doesn’t mean they don’t sometimes VIEW, are inspired by and sometimes use my content.
7. They just don’t notice…
We all have people within our social media circles who we just simply don’t notice their posts. As they scroll looking for certain people or topics, they may miss some people in their circle. They don’t mean any harm…I think we all do this sometimes.
This short list is by no means exhaustive. Again, think about the reasons you may not react as much to some people in your circle. So, before you disconnect from people who don’t react as much as you like…think about the reasons you’re on social media. And, remember, don’t base you life and happiness on what happens there.
And remember that Jesus let us know that all of us are fickle at our best…
John 2:23-24 (NIV)
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.[a]24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people.
I recently heard two successful businessmen, on separate occasions, ‘joke’ about being away from home so much. They both eluded to fact that their families are actually glad when they ARE NOT at home, and dread seeing them return. It reminded me of someone confessing to me years ago that some days, they wished their spouse would have a fatal accident on the way home…they have a strong happy marriage today though.
Family life, whether it’s just two, but especially if there’s several people in the house can be challenging. No matter what’s going on, what energy to you bring into the house…positive or negative?
Everyone brings negativity and dysfunction SOMETIMES, but at TIMES it’s SOME more than others. It can cause people who genuinely love one another to dread seeing each other.
Dad or mom may be grumpy…for whatever reason…
Husband or wife neglecting responsibilities…
The children may be unappreciative or feel neglected…
The siblings may feel one is favored over the other…
Someone in the family responding too harshly…
The daily challenges of work, school and life may be brought home…
Arguments might end without apologies or closure…
Unspoken grievances and complaints with one another fester…
Personal flaws, faults and idiosyncrasies cause harsh feelings towards one another.
For whatever reason, good or bad, justified or unjustified…sometimes each of us can be very hard to live with. Sometimes we ALL can make home life unpleasant. It can become a vicious cycle of responses to behavior that no one even remembers where it started.
This is why sometimes people may either say, or quietly think to themselves, Wow! It sure is more peaceful in the house when ________________ isn’t at home!
Love (just like God’s unselfish, sacrificial love) is the glue that holds families together, and love is always most powerful as a VERB rather than a NOUN.
Real love isn’t just when we are laughing, joking and treasuring one another, but when we are stretching one another’s patience to the limit. When we dread confronting one another, when we are at odds, but still want to be around one another. Real love is being the one who can stop the vicious cycle of reactions to bad behavior with good behavior.
God has solutions in His word to help encourage peace and harmony in the home, and he leaves all of us responsible and accountable. Here are a few scriptures that I have pulled that should relate to everyone…of course this is not exhaustive. There are many more scriptures and accounts in the bible to teach us how to have peace in the house and enjoy one another. Read the verses, if anything applies to you, do your part to keep peace in your house, and remember that 1 Peter 4:8 teaches us, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since LOVE COVERS A MULTITUDE OF SINS”. And, that 1 Corinthians 13:8 exhorts that “LOVE NEVER FAILS…”
When our relationships fail, it’s not because love has failed, it’s because we failed love.
1 Peter 3:7
7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them(wives) with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
1 Peter 3:1-2
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.
1 Corinthians 7:2-5
Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
1 Timothy 5:8
8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Think about all the times God watched us deny, and betray Him…yet He still is always ready to forgive us.
He expects us to do the same.
Ephesians 4:31-32 (CJB)
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted; and forgive each other, just as in the Messiah God has also forgiven you.
The people who are closest to you. The people who you enjoy being around most, and who most enjoy being around you.
Our circles really say quite a bit about who we are.
It’s interesting to see YOUR place in YOUR circles. All circles have those who have the greatest influence…they are the leaders. And, some have those who are either followers, or just glad to be in a group of people like them.
I think that people can be defined by three types of circles. Circles with people who are:
These people have one basic thing in common. They are all making it. They are all getting by, but they are all JUST getting by. They are doing what it takes to survive, and there’s not much more time or money to do anything else. Some are content with this and some aren’t, but they are all just surviving. Within, the group of ‘survivors’ there are still some who are ‘surviving’ better than the others in the group. If this is you, where do you fall in place with your group of survivors?
This group also one thing in common…they are all doing extraordinarily well. They are living in ‘overflow’ of everything they need and the freedom, ability and access to what they want. But, much like the NBA team with players who are superstars, while others are multi-million dollar superstars…they are all in the same prosperous circle, but some are prospering much better than others. If this is you, where do you fall in your thriving circle?
This circle’s common denominator is struggle. Not only is surviving a struggle for those in this circle, but it seems that everyone seems to be losing ground. They aren’t necessarily lazy, but some may be. They may work hard. They may even be wise, but have unfortunate circumstances. Even in this group, some are losing ground faster than others. And, within this circle are leaders and those who have greater influence. It this is you, where are you in your circle?
What ever your circle may be, you can still be a light for God…you can still be a positive influence. Because the truth is that these circles will always exist…
And, God needs to be found in all of them.
1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
So, no matter what your circle, make sure that you aren’t just the GOOD influence, make sure you’re the GOD influence.
Mom said, “Hurry and get cleaned up Eric! You’re going to be late for school!”
Eric was still sleepy, so he dragged himself out of bed as mom continued to scream, “I want to hear that water running NOW!”
So young Eric went into the bathroom, lathered up his washcloth and quickly washed all ‘the important parts’ so he could tell mom that he did it.
Not long after getting to school, Eric began itching badly. He tried to discreetly scratch his bottom, but the itching was so intense, he didn’t care. He aggressively scratched trying to get some relief.
It got so bad that his 4th grade teacher called mom. She came to school, picked up Eric and scolded him for not washing his behind.
Eric told his mom, “But, I DID wash it mom!”
Eric‘s problem was that he quickly washed, but didn’tproperly rinse away all of the soap, which made him itch, so he had the same effect and symptoms as if he didn’t wash at all. His going through the motions led to some uncomfortable consequences.
WHAT‘S THE LESSON HERE?
So many times as adults we can get in a hurry, especially when overwhelmed, and simply go through the motions of what we’re SUPPOSED to do, but don’t do it properly.
We mutter a quick prayer just to say we did it…
We robotically read a ‘verse of the day’ rather than really reading and studying the bible…
We rush through blessing our food without putting any real thought into what we’re saying….
We quickly say The Model Prayer (popularly known as The Lord’s Prayer) rather than having an intimate moment with God…
We say I love you to our family rather than showing I love you…
We hypnotically ‘go through the motions’ on our jobs without thinking about the real reasons we’re doing them, or the implications and consequences if we don’t do them properly and correctly.
We ‘go through the motions’ with our spiritual, personal and professional lives and wonder why our ‘butt won’t stop itching’.
Don’t just go through the motions just to say you check ✔️ed off a box….figuratively WASH AND RINSE THOROUGHLY!
Eric learned his lesson, and it serves as a good reminder for us.
Simply going through the motions can lead to uncomfortable consequences and ‘sticky’ situations.
Colossians 3:23 (ESV)
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
There are negative stereotypes of every race, gender, geographic region, culture, nationality, religion etc.
This is one article that needs no evidence or examples because as you read it those negative stereotypes of which you are aware easily come to mind.
I don’t know what’s worse, negative stereotypes or those people who seem to do their best to support those stereotypes with their thinking, attitudes and behavior.
Even in the bible, the apostle Paul mentions a stereotype that was supported by the behavior of SOME of the people of a certain group, that projected to all of them…
Titus 1:10-13 (NKJV)
10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle (A)talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, (B)for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 (C)One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. (D)Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
Notice that Paul said, “THIS TESTIMONY IS TRUE”. That’s because that…
No matter hard some people work to remove negative stereotypes of their particular ‘group’, there are others who seem to be committed to helping those stereotypes to live on.
Unfortunately, some stereotypes are like rumors… most (but not all) rumors are wrapped around a kernel of truth.
Think about the many groups of which you are a part, and the negative stereotypes of those groups…
Which of those stereotypes does your thinking, attitudes and behavior help those stereotypes live on?
Be careful, sometimes our stereotyping someone fits a stereotype within itself.
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