Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Change, Free Will, freedom, God, judgment, Justice, Marriage, Politics, Relationships, Religion, Religious Freedom, repentance, society, Truth

Let’s get serious about this marriage thing

The outpouring of emotion and anger surrounding the Supreme Court decision has prompted me to write this post.

There are some things that never change. Same-sex relationships have been around for centuries. The struggles with sin have been around just as long and the word of God has been around longer. For those who were outraged by the decision, I hope this is a new beginning for you.

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I hope that this decision forces you to study to show yourself approved of God. I hope that this decision makes you hold your spiritual leaders to a higher standard and I hope it encourages you to be the best you can be for Christ.

Satan has allowed this to become a religious fight and it is not. This is about civil rights and that is supposed to be as important to the Constitution as salvation is to the bible. In our preamble it says we are to, “…secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…” although this country does not always do this, the decision today was a strong attempt….and rightfully so.

Our Constitution and our bibles are two different things. But what they agree on is free will. Our God offers us a choice and holds us accountable to that choice. I do not ever want the government to attempt to control my choice. But insurance companies were controlling the choice of who your spouse could be and whether or not they would pay benefits based on who you chose as your spouse.

So if the insurance companies allowed for their customers to define who gets the benefits they are paying for, then there would have been no need to incorporate marriage into this situation. Civil marriage has taken a hit, but holy matrimony has not. I would rather same-sex couples simply refer to their relationships as civil unions and the same benefits given to married couples be extended to them as well. That way everyone would satisfied. But I’m not the president.

Furthermore, we have never had a righteous president in the history of America. Every single president has innocent blood they must give an account for, whether what they did was direct or indirect. So why are we looking for righteousness in unrighteous places??

What every child of God needs to do is not react to what has happened with emotion. And definitely don’t try to be the bible scholar you are not. Instead place all of your blame and expectation on yourself — first for joining this fight so late and second for not having any influence in the matter what so ever.

What you can do right now is make sure that your own household is in order. Make sure that you are leading in the education of your family and not relying on Congress to guide your moral compass.

Allow the world to be the world and allow the word of Christ to dwell in you richly. Where most see chaos and turmoil in this decision, I see opportunity — to God be the glory!

Posted in Accountability, Change, Confidence, Determination, Discipleship, Faith, Fear, Free Will, helping, judgment, Justice, kindness, Love, Obey, Relationships, Self, society, Taking Responsibility, Truth

My anger belongs to me

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If God only gave us 10 times during our life to lose our cool and then we would die, I wonder how many of us would still be here?

God, wanting us to do the right thing, knew that by giving us intellect that we would figure out what the right thing to do would be. He also, in his infinite wisdom, knew that we would need something to fuel our bodies to action for the right thing. We not only need to understand the right thing to do but he gave us something to energize that effort. He gave us anger.

Anger belongs to us. It is supposed to be the fuel that makes us move NOW. Consider this: We know the bible teaches us to be angry, but sin not. And to not allow the sun to go down on our wrath. Then the Apostle Paul gives the example of when Peter was to be blamed he withstood him to his face and he didn’t let an hour go by before doing it. We were never taught to allow wrongdoing, but to challenge it with truth.

Now, in our society we love to waste time talking about things and saying what we’re going to do without doing a thing. We love to share our stories with others to gain support and we love to make empty promises about what we’re going to do in retaliation — and it’s all talk for the most part.

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This foolish effort runs on anger. God expects us to own our anger and let it be the fuel for resolution. Anger was supposed to compel us to do the right thing immediately. To respond to things that make us uncomfortable we need a little anger. Anger is not bad. Doing the wrong thing with anger is bad.

So the lesson here is easy: When something angers you, speak to it immediately. You owe your brothers and sisters that right in Christ. So don’t punk out! Own your anger and speak the truth in love.

Posted in Accountability, Achievement, Change, Confidence, Determination, Free Will, freedom, History, judgment, Life, Opinions, Perseverance, Progress, Self, slave, Truth, Willpower

Life was meant to be led

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So God gave us all one life and that was for the purpose of us growing and developing into a state where we would function in our right minds, and make decisions for our well being.

There are so many things in this world to get us off this task. This world is all about influence and control. We fight each day to keep our righteous minds.

Look at your life and the forces around you. Your home life, your job, your friends, the products you buy, the services that you use, everywhere you turn someone is trying to get you to do something. Buy this thing, support that cause, help him out — there is no end.

From the time you wake up and even in your sleep, life is getting away from you. The status quo says eat, drink, buy, spend, take, push, struggle, force, aggression, die trying and too late. These words belong to the world and they are used far too often.

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So you my friend must take control. We don’t often consider it but for many the word sale means you need to buy. Did you need the item? It doesn’t matter because it’s on sale.

For some, hearing the words happy hour means it’s time to drink. Why, are you thirsty? No, it’s happy hour.

Look at the control these simple words have on us. Our words have the same effect as controlled substances — and we are hooked.

So how is this fixed? We must take control of our own lives. Life was meant to be led. You have to get out in front of yours and lead it. Guide it. Control it. Treat it as precious as it is. Critical thinking is paramount to your success.

In the words of the late great rapper Heavy D, “In this life I strive for improvement. Be your own guide, follow your own movement.”

Make no mistake: this isn’t about surviving, it’s all about flourishing.

Posted in Accountability, Discipleship, Faith, Free Will, freedom, Giving, guilt, Happiness, helping, Honor, Jesus Christ, Progress, Sharing, significance, Truth

Are you really faithful?

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So there is this story about I guy who could teach people how to spin grass into gold. The people could not believe that he had such a skill. The man he taught reacted pretty much like you thought he would. With dollar signs in his eye he spun all of his grass,  his families grass and his neighbors grass into gold. He made tons of people rich with his new gift. And everyone was happy.

What does this story have to do with faith you ask?

We are encouraged by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:6-7 to walk in Christ. And the way Paul says to do it is remember and apply what you have been taught with all thanksgiving.

Do you think that the man in the story was joyous about what he had learned?  Do you think he thought any about the person who taught him? What do you think was his attitude about doing the work?

The point is that when something is a benefit to you,  no one has to make or force you to do it. You do it because it brings you joy.

Our faith in Christ Jesus is based on the gift God gave and the effects of that gift in our lives. As a result, we love and honor the work done by God and imitate it.

This means that the joy and understanding I have on the inside of me will manifest itself in what I do. And by looking at that you see my faith.

So I ask again. Are you really faithful?

Posted in Achievement, Free Will, God, Success, Taking Responsibility

What if there were no mistakes?

When I review my life, I see many colors. Colors which represent the good and the bad. All the good things about my life are the very bright colors – things like the success stories I have, fears I have conquered or the birth of my three children. And then there are the dark colors – things that I regret doing, saying, and falling for. The dark colors represent the times when I was a sucker. They are blemishes that prove I’m not perfect.

I had a thought while I did this review: What if everything that has happened to me was not an accident or a mistake? What if the things that happened to me were my destiny and that a higher power had purposed and set some things in motion to bring me to a certain point? What if the words “accident” and “mistake” were all part of a big conspiracy to make us believe that we had a level of control we don’t really have?

I heard an atheist say once that God, the creator of the universe, was no more than an imaginary friend who we created because we were scared of death and the unknown. He said that everything that has happened was going to happen anyway and because of fear, we invented religion. Religion then gives us something to do when we’re scared.

I believe that there is some truth to what my atheist friend has said.

The truth is that I believe, we have been allowed to believe, that there are accidents and mistakes so as to point blame when something happens. This is not to be confused with things that we cause to happen that were not accidents. For example, another friend of mine lost his job. He started off telling me that his racist boss finally got rid of him. I asked what happened and he said that they made him take a random drug test and the marijuana he smoked last weekend was still in his system. Trying to keep from laughing I said, “So how does this make your boss racist?”

You can probably figure out the rest of the conversation. My friend lost his job because he was careless with it. Smoking illegal substances is a quick way to get fired from most jobs – especially in our economy. Not that it is impossible for his boss to be a racist – it’s still a challenge we face in the 21st century. But even with this scenario, there was a deeper reason – other than stupidity – for him losing his job. When we lose things, there is a lesson in that. For my friend, the lesson was responsibility. More than anything else, he needs to be more responsible. He needs to take responsibility for his actions and stop blaming others. Blaming others is a diversion from learning the personal lessons.

What I want you to see is the beauty of trials and tribulations. I want you to understand the other side of a mistake. The point is that if we take away the concept of a mistake, then we would be clear to see the true destiny in the trial and we could “count it all joy.”

Remember the old record players that required a needle to play the vinyl records? If you are old enough to remember them, you will also remember that sometimes the needle would skip. A CD player will sometimes skip too. And in both cases we would know that either the player or the record or CD needs cleaning. Could I say that the CD or record player made a mistake? Think about it before you answer. Was there a mistake made or is the “skip” just a by-product of usage?

We don’t call it a mistake because we accept that things won’t work properly sometimes and we move on. Why can we not do this with our own mistakes?

I remember years ago when I left one research company to work for another one. The one I was going to was paying me 15K more to leave. I felt unappreciated at the current place, so I left. I worked for this new company for 19 months. I signed off on the construction of the building, I purchased all of the furniture and hired all 44 employees and set this research company up to run like a well-oiled machine. Once that was done, they let me go and hired another person with very little management experience. I have to say, looking back on the experience, that when they let me go it was one of the best things that happened to me. At the time, I thought I made a mistake leaving the other company. I shudder to think that I could still be at that other company, complacent, underpaid and miserable.

It would have been great if I could have taken the word “mistake” out of my vocabulary and automatically thought about the scripture in Romans 8:28.

Posted in Faith, Forgiveness, Free Will, Giving, God, Jesus Christ, Life, Love, Relationships

I love because I know God

There is a goodness that is overwhelming about the love of God.

In a previous post, I wrote about the modern miracle of love and said that the basis of love was our knowledge of God.

I want to shed a little light on that topic now because I believe there are many who use love as a cover up because their actions say something totally different.

It is impossible to say that you really love, when you hate. You cannot follow Christ, but hate Muslims. You cannot say you have the love of Jesus in your heart and hold a grudge. And you cannot claim that you are a child of God and deliberately cause hurt to another human being.

God’s love is not limited to whether you are Black or White; Republican or Democrat; Christian or something entirely different. We are not the originators of love, God is. That means HE gets to define the concept and those who have experienced it, imitate it.

Did you catch what I said?

We love, because we’ve been loved. Not because we believe the object of the love deserves our love. We love, not because we expect something in return. We love because we know what it feels like and we are now constantly responding to God’s love toward us. We understand why we were the recipients of his love and we pay it forward.

I have a love for humanity because God does!

I love my enemies because God loves his enemies and he loved me when I was his enemy!

I love those who are less fortunate because I see and understand how God loves and takes care of them!

The only reason people don’t love is because they have taken for granted the love God has already shown to them.

The Apostle Paul explains it this way, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.”

It wasn’t the nails that held Jesus on that cross, it was love!

So how are you going to love?

Posted in Achievement, Change, Confidence, Discipleship, Faith, Fear, Free Will, freedom, God, Happiness, Love, Opinions, Progress, Relationships, Religious Freedom, Sharing, Success, Taking Responsibility, Trust, Truth, Uncategorized, Willpower

Maturity in Christ

I often hear Christians and non-Christians painting a picture of Christianity in a very primitive state based on their understanding. What I mean is that they are still looking at scriptures and saying what they see instead of what they understand. The problem: When you take what you see in scripture and never look beyond it, all you get is a form of godliness. When you study and gain an understanding you get the form and function.

So for instance John 13:23-24, “34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.  This is a very “easy” verse to understand, but what you walk away with will depend on your level of maturity. Some people see the fact that there is a “commandment” in the first verse. This same person that sees the commandment will tell you that Christ commands us to do things. They will then begin to process their relationship with God based on a slave/master relationship.

Maturity doesn’t even see the word commandment. Maturity emphasizes the function of this verse and only sees the love. The mature person does not feel “forced” to love. They don’t think that there is a negative consequence waiting on them if they don’t love. The mature person, based on their understanding, has a heart so soft toward God that the willingness to “do” comes from an inner desire to please God and not a fearful expectation of being punished by God.

Spiritual maturity compels us to forgive, not because someone asked us to, but because God has forgiven us. We love, not because the object of our love makes it easy, it’s because God first loved us. We help one another, comfort one another and pray for one another, not because of a command, but because of what we understand.

Hebrews 5:12-14 says, “12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

There is a serious need for Christians to move on to maturity and stop debating the gospel and start sharing it; to stop scaring people to be obedient and start encouraging people to be.