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Keyword: ‘understand’

If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it. ~~Jesus

December 8, 2012 1 comment

Where does discontent and depression come from? Is it possible we understand that God wants us to do something and yet have not acted on what He has said?Happy - 01

Happiness comes from doing what we know God wants us to do. We will be more than happy when we act on His desire and purpose for our lives. Peace comes from knowing in our heart what God wants us to do, understanding that in our mind, saying it with our lips and then doing it.

If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed (more than happy) life. ~Jesus (John 13:17 The Message)

Having a challenge understanding? This is the opportunity to trust a God who is in a good mood.

November 9, 2012 Leave a comment

There are so many things we can’t understand. Every day. So … what to do?

Having a challenge understanding? This is the opportunity to trust a God who is in a good mood.

Categories: Devotion Tags: , , ,

Who understands me?

Wow. Now here is a thought. How much of our current culture is built around trying to understand ourselves. Way too much and not the way things are in God’s world.

“We have to get rid of the idea that we understand ourselves. That is always the last bit of pride to go. The only One who understands us is God.” ~~Oswald Chambers

“Baseball is like church. Many attend few understand.” ~~Leo Durocher

November 16, 2011 Leave a comment
Categories: Personal Tags: ,

“We don’t believe because we understand, we understand because we believe” ~~Bill Johnson

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment
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My own understanding

I think I am pretty clever some days. I think I can figure it all out. AND then I run into the wall with something and I realize I am not as clever as I like to think I am. My understanding is not what our LORD wants.

If the victory is to be His, I have to trust Him with all my heart. I have to emotionally connect with what He wants not what I understand. May I trust him from the bottom of my heart. May I do it now. What is He saying?

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! (Prov. 3:5 The Message Bible)

 

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How could we possibly understand?

December 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Just a quick look at the space images on the NASA site and there is no doubt what a great God we have. He spoke and the stars were born. It really is more than a person can understand. What a awesome creation. And He put us in the middle of it. WOW!

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:3

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Understanding to guard us

How amazing is it that God wants discretion to protect us and understanding to guard us? He is so good to show us what we need to know and how we need to act. He cares for us like no other. He is good and looking out for our best interest.

May wisdom enter our hearts. May knowledge be pleasant to our souls.

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease,
without fear of harm.

Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.
Proverbs 1:32-33; 2:9-11

Categories: Uncategorized

Do I have a heart after God?

Clearly God wants us to be people after his own heart. I read it time and time again. And so I am thinking about this a lot. What does it mean to have a heart that is far (Matthew 15:8) from God? How can I fully commit my heart to our Father?

I am thinking that it has a lot to do with my emotional engagement with God. No matter what, is my innermost desire to please Him, to love Him, to do what He wants? Do I have a passion for Him that won’t stop or go away?

Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deut. 6:5)

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7)

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:34)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. (Prov. 3:5)

Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You. (Ps. 119:11 NASB)

These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Matt 15:8)

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. (2 Chron. 16:9)

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What kind of insight to we have?

We have God’s wisdom in our life. The amazing Spirit of God leads us. That is amazing. While we don’t always understand everything, we have a leg up on gaining insight into how God works than the average Joe.

It is interesting that the world we live in doesn’t see this.

“But you’ve seen and heard God’s wisdom because God, by his Spirit, has brought it all out into the open before you.” ~~ Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:9 The Message)

“Does it make sense to send a devil to catch a devil, to use Satan to get rid of Satan?” ~~Jesus

It is hard to imaging this actually happened but then again sometimes we have a “fantasy image” of Jesus that is not anchored in reality. When religious people don’t understand what is happening, it is easy to blame things on evil. And so,the religion scholars from Jerusalem came down spreading rumors that Jesus was working black magic, using devil tricks to impress them with spiritual power.

Jesus doesn’t ignore it. Jesus confronted their slander. He still does that today. We must face who Jesus is and not slander Him. This is very important. Jesus demands it.

If someone is doing good, in the name of God, can that be the devil?

“Does it make sense to send a devil to catch a devil, to use Satan to get rid of Satan?” ~~Jesus (Mark 3 23 The Message)

Smile even if you are hurting. Be happy even if you are unhappy. It’s called strength!

April 27, 2013 2 comments

Smile even if you are hurting. Be happy even if you are unhappy. It’s called strength!

Jesus didn’t call us to be Christians. He called us to be Disciples. He didn’t promise us a rose garden. He did guarantee that if we follow Him, we would have a joy no one can understand. Submission leads to happiness.

You can smile if you are hurting. You have Jesus, you have His strength and you can be happy in Him.

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“Don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed with someone who is not your wife.” ~~Jesus

Jesus knows something and he wants religious people to understand it. Who we are is a result of what we think. If we think about committing adultery, we have done it. What makes us “UN-virtuous” is what we think, not what we do.

This is a huge thing to grasp. Jesus knows, for religious people, it is way to easy to “get around” moral rules and still violate the principle God has in mind every day. We need to change how we think (repent) about God’s word.

“Don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed with someone who is not your wife.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

“Don’t loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way.” ~~Jesus

Jesus sends us on a mission. He has things He wants us to do for Him. We need to understand His urgency. In His new plan for us, He has places He wants us to go for Him. Taking time to stop along the way gets us out of synch with His mission for us.

Jesus demands we get moving and get to where He wants us to go. Nothing else is acceptable to Him.

 “Don’t loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way.” ~~Jesus (Luke 10:4 The Message)

Do you ever get tired of waiting on God?

March 25, 2013 1 comment

Sometimes I get tired of waiting on God. I know that may sound like heresy but it is true. It’s OK though. My Father understands. He sent his Spirit to help me. He is right along side of me giving me His great energy. He is most powerful.

Sometimes I don’t know what to pray for. I don’t even know how to pray. It really doesn’t matter. Again, His Spirit does the praying for me. How cool is that? My Father knows me much better than I know myself. His Spirit keeps me right in front of God.

There are a lot of details to my life. It is no big deal for my Father. God loves me and makes sure that every detail of my life is worked into something good. No, something excellent. That’s just His way. Always in a great mood. Always giving me good news. Always giving me more than I can think of to ask Him for. After all, He is my heavenly Father.

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The Message gets stronger in us

We are a people who understand the Message of Good News. That Message keeps get stronger and stronger in us. Nothing or no one can stop it. God will see His word be fulfilled. It happens through us.

May we allow the word of God to grow in us today. Just as He promised.

“The Message bears fruit and gets larger and stronger, just as it has in you.” ~Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:6 The Message)

“It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this.”~~Jesus (3 Radical things to do)

February 25, 2013 1 comment

We all want to live. Before Jesus, we were in the world of the dead. We knew it then and we fully understand that now.

Jesus shows us how to live in the world of the living. He puts it to us simply. These are all radical and demand our full devotion.

  1. Believe what Jesus says.
  2. Align ourselves with the Father.
  3. Put Jesus in charge.

“It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life and is no longer condemned to be an outsider. This person has taken a giant step from the world of the dead to the world of the living.”” ~~Jesus (John 5:24 The Message)

“Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.” ~~Jesus

February 21, 2013 2 comments

Do we have enough time? Jesus demands that we understand that time is up. Now is the time. We can’t delay understanding who is in charge. We need to change our mind. We must believe.

God’s world (Kingdom) is one where He is in total control. This requires that we change how we think and how we live.

“Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.” ~~Jesus (Mark 1:15)

“The Father handed all authority to judge over to the Son so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father.” ~~Jesus

February 12, 2013 Leave a comment

Jesus demands that we understand who He is in relation to God. Jesus says this. He really wants us to get who He is. Jesus said, “Don’t judge.” Yet, Jesus tells us He will judge. He has that authority and He has been given it by God.

His Father is pleased to do this for His son Jesus.

So … we should pay attention to what Jesus says. He will be the judge.

“The Father handed all authority to judge over to the Son so that the Son will be honored equally with the Father.” ~~Jesus (John 5:20-23 The Message)

Computers are magnificent tools but …

February 12, 2013 1 comment

“Computers are magnificent tools for the realization of our dreams, but no machine can replace the human spark of spirit, compassion, love, and understanding.” – Louis Gerstner

Categories: Personal

Remember the early days?

January 24, 2013 Leave a comment

We should remember the early days when we first came to Jesus and saw the truth. Those were not always easy days. Friends didn’t understand. Family members laughed at us. They “knew” us too well. But, we knew who we knew.

He was with us through it all. We knew our real treasure. In one way, it seemed like nothing bothered us at all. We were willing to endure anything for Jesus. We were sure of Him.

So, will we throw it all away now? No, we need to stick it out no matter what.

We need to stay with the new plan. It is so much better than how we used to justify our self. The new plan is a sure thing. He has promised to complete everything and so we need to go for the prize. It isn’t going to take as long as we think. He will be back anytime now. We need to thrive on loyal trust. We can’t cut and run away.

We aren’t quitters. We aren’t losers. We are going to hang in and see it to the very end. Trusting Him who is always faithful.

He is the truth.

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God is God

January 15, 2013 2 comments

God is God. What if some do not have faith? Will their lack of faith zero out God’s faithfulness? Not at all! We may not understand it but it is true.

God is God. End of story. Game over.

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“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” ~~Jesus

December 30, 2012 2 comments

Jesus challenges us to be radical in our love for God. Do I want to be embraced by our Father? Is He the most dear thing in my life? How can I get to that place every day?Happy - 01

I will be more than happy (blessed) when I have lost everything that I think is important to me in this world for Jesus. Jesus doesn’t exclude anything on the list. Not family, possessions, not anything. That is our Messiah’s challenge to us. Give it up for Him. Seriously.

That is what He requires. That brings us true happiness. His happiness.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:4 The Message)

“The Son gives life to anyone He chooses to.” ~~Jesus

December 24, 2012 3 comments

Jesus makes it clear he has authority, even to give life. He demands that we understand this. It is core to the new agreement we have with God through Him. Choice

No one is making Him do it. He does it because He wants to.

Jesus doesn’t shut anyone out. God handed all authority to judge over to Jesus. Anyone who dishonors Jesus, dishonors God, for it was God’s decision to put Jesus in the place of honor.

Jesus chooses to give us life. That is the good news we have today and forever.

“The Son gives life to anyone He chooses to.” ~~Jesus (John 5:20-23 The Message)

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“The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.” ~~Jesus

December 20, 2012 2 comments

As mothers and fathers, we understand the love that we have for our children. Magnify that by a factor of billions and that is the love that our heavenly Father has for His son Jesus. And that is the kind of love He also has for us. Love never fails

Jesus is included in everything God has in mind for us. When Jesus speaks, he knows what He is saying. His Father has told Him everything. We can trust it.

“The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing.” ~~Jesus (John 5:19-20 The Message)

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“Beat it, Satan!” ~~Jesus

December 15, 2012 6 comments

Jesus understands Satan’s approach. Three times Satan tempts him.  Authority

Jesus quotes God’s word and then uses his authority to send Satan on his way. Jesus has given us the same authority. We are in the new plan with God. Jesus brokered the agreement.

May I use the authority of Jesus.

“Beat it, Satan!” ~~Jesus (Matthew 4:10 The Message)

“I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama.” ~~Jesus

December 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus has it all together. All the complexity we see. All we don’t understand. He sees it simply. He understands it all. He is putting it all together.Complexity

If we want understanding, let us go to Him. Jesus is the author of our life in God and He is the one who is going to finish it all out. We have nothing to worry about. He has it all figured out. Our job is to trust Him.

“I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:17-18 The Message)

Will we follow God’s new plan?

November 26, 2012 3 comments

Jesus habit was to teach about the way God intended things to be. He had a huge number of people that always showed up to hear what He had to say. He knew what He was talking about because He didn’t do anything but what He saw and heard from His Father. And like so many times, the religious scholars of the day tested him and tried to trip Him up. They tried and tried but it never worked.

He was educating us about the new plan. Not the way of Moses or the prophets and the old plan. Much of the old plan was because of the us not God. Jesus had a message of good news and the way it was intended to be all along.

Jesus challenges us to understand the way God wants things in His world (Kingdom). Let’s get moving with God’s new plan.

Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them.

Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking …

“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.

“But at the beginning of creation God …” (Mark 10:1-5)

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How passionate is God?

November 20, 2012 Leave a comment

God is passionately in love with us. His love is not just an average run of the mill kind of love. In His word he gives us analogy after analogy about how ecstatic and passionate His love is. It is the thrilling and exhilarating love of a bridegroom for His bride.

It goes way beyond anything we have ever experienced. He can’t remain quiet about it. He is shouting it out!!

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch . . . As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Isa. 62:1, 5)

“You know both God and how he works.” ~~Jesus

November 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus challenges us to not worry and live for what God wants to accomplish today. God takes care of the flowers and the birds. We see that and know that. And yet we get focused on the wrong things.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—Jesus wants us to know that God will attend to us, take pride in us, do his best for us? God is the loving Father who has our best in mind all the time.

Do we know God is in a good mood? If so, we know how he works. We need to understand in our heart the very nature of God. Once we get that, we will always know how He works.

“You know both God and how he works.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6:33 The Message)

Am I willing to look foolish?

November 16, 2012 2 comments

Great story from Max Lucado. We never know how our faith in Jesus will pay off. Even when it makes us look foolish.

Dear Friend
by Max Lucado

Dear Friend,

I’m writing to say thanks. I wish I could thank you personally, but I don’t know where you are. I wish I could call you, but I don’t know your name. If I knew your appearance, I’d look for you, but your face is fuzzy in my memory. But I’ll never forget what you did.

There you were, leaning against your pickup in the West Texas oil field. An engineer of some sort. A supervisor on the job. Your khakis and clean shirt set you apart from us roustabouts. In the oil field pecking order, we were at the bottom. You were the boss. We were the workers. You read the blueprints. We dug the ditches. You inspected the pipe. We laid it. You ate with the bosses in the shed. We ate with each other in the shade.

Except that day.

I remember wondering why you did it.

We weren’t much to look at. What wasn’t sweaty was oily. Faces burnt from the sun; skin black from the grease. Didn’t bother me, though. I was there only for the summer. A high-school boy earning good money laying pipe.

We weren’t much to listen to, either. Our language was sandpaper coarse. After lunch, we’d light the cigarettes and begin the jokes. Someone always had a deck of cards with lacy-clad girls on the back. For thirty minutes in the heat of the day, the oil patch became Las Vegas—replete with foul language, dirty stories, blackjack, and barstools that doubled as lunch pails.

In the middle of such a game, you approached us. I thought you had a job for us that couldn’t wait another few minutes. Like the others, I groaned when I saw you coming.

You were nervous. You shifted your weight from one leg to the other as you began to speak.

“Uh, fellows,” you started.

We turned and looked up at you.

“I, uh, I just wanted, uh, to invite … “

You were way out of your comfort zone. I had no idea what you might be about to say, but I knew that it had nothing to do with work.

“I just wanted to tell you that, uh, our church is having a service tonight and, uh … “

“What?” I couldn’t believe it. “He’s talking church? Out here? With us?”

“I wanted to invite any of you to come along.”

Silence. Screaming silence.

Several guys stared at the dirt. A few shot glances at the others. Snickers rose just inches from the surface.

“Well, that’s it. Uh, if any of you want to go … uh, let me know.”

After you turned and left, we turned and laughed. We called you “reverend,” “preacher,” and “the pope.” We poked fun at each other, daring one another to go. You became the butt of the day’s jokes.

I’m sure you knew that. I’m sure you went back to your truck knowing the only good you’d done was to make a good fool out of yourself. If that’s what you thought, then you were wrong.

That’s the reason for this letter.

Some five years later, a college sophomore was struggling with a decision. He had drifted from the faith given to him by his parents. He wanted to come back. He wanted to come home. But the price was high. His friends might laugh. His habits would have to change. His reputation would have to be overcome.

Could he do it? Did he have the courage?

That’s when I thought of you. As I sat in my dorm room late one night, looking for the guts to do what I knew was right, I thought of you.

I thought of how your love for God had been greater than your love for your reputation.

I thought of how your obedience had been greater than your common sense.

I remembered how you had cared more about making disciples than about making a good first impression. And when I thought of you, your memory became my motivation.

So I came home.

I’ve told your story dozens of times to thousands of people. Each time the reaction is the same: The audience becomes a sea of smiles, and heads bob in understanding. Some smile because they think of the “clean-shirted engineers” in their lives. They remember the neighbor who brought the cake, the aunt who wrote the letter, the teacher who listened …

Others smile because they have done what you did. And they, too, wonder if their “lunchtime loyalty” was worth the effort.

You wondered that. What you did that day wasn’t much. And I’m sure you walked away that day thinking that your efforts had been wasted.

They weren’t.

So I’m writing to say thanks. Thanks for the example. Thanks for the courage. Thanks for giving your lunch to God. He did something with it; it became the Bread of Life for me.

Gratefully,

Max

“The children get fed first. ” ~~Jesus

October 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus challenges us to understand certain realities. The wise person doesn’t argue with him. The wise person has insight.

A woman who had a disturbed daughter heard where Jesus was. She came and knelt at his feet, begging for help. The woman was Greek, Syro-Phoenician by birth. She asked him to cure her daughter. Jesus didn’t respond the way we thought he would. She knows he is right. She knows her place in this world. She knows children get fed first. She also knows if there is anything left from the meal, the dogs will get fed as well. That is how she responds.

Jesus is impressed. He heals her daughter. God is in a good mood and that extends to all, not just the children. No matter what our place in this world, we have a place of honor in His world.

“The children get fed first. ” ~~Jesus Mark 7:27 (The Message)

Will I take the help?

October 17, 2012 1 comment

Am I letting it slip through my fingers? I have access to God. Jesus paved the way. Jesus understands our reality. He is completely in touch with my reality. He knows where I am with things and is ready to help me.

He experienced everything I am experiencing. He understands. He even managed to hit the goal that God had for Him.

So, will I take the help? Will I accept it? Will I walk right up to Him and get what He is ready to give to me?

Yes, I will.

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all without missing God’s goal for His life. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. ~~Apostle Paul (Hebrews 4:14-16)

What does God want me to do?

September 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Jesus has called me. He wants me. It is His desire that I do what I do right now. He is sending me forward according to His new plan. I have been picked up and cleaned up. While I missed the mark before, that is not the case now since He is so good to show me the way. I was a mess before but not now.

I have been set apart by Him for a life filled with God. He is my Master and He is yours as well. He wants to have this great relationship, founded on love. That is all he wants.

It does come back to “What would Jesus do?” kind of question.

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How amazing is God?

September 26, 2012 4 comments

We serve an amazing God. We need to celebrate everything He does for us. Celebrate Him doesn’t quite seem to capture it though. Paul suggests we revel in God. In Greek, the word is χαίρω. It means to rejoice or be glad. It is also used as a salutation or greeting.

Paul is emphatic. In the New American Standard Translation we read it like this. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!”

God is in a good mood. Whoo hoo!! I am glad. That is some good news. It is an amazing day in paradise.

I mean, revel in him! ~~Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:4 The Message)

Is it all still a mystery? Will I hear God?

Is it all still a mystery? No, it is not at all.

Much about God’s world came seem mysterious. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus got it out in the open. God’s word helps us understand what seemed vague before we came to God and got on the road to know Him every day.

Jesus is clear that he came to make known to us the mystery of how things work in God’s world (Kingdom). He does make everything crystal clear. Will we hear him? That is his challenge to us.

God is open. He wants us to be just like that.

“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open.” ~Apostle Paul (Colossians 1:26 The Message) 

Where will I find God’s wisdom?

We don’t find God’s wisdom in the popular philosophies that are floating around. This is not about the “success mentality” we hear so much about. This is not about our mission statement.

It is about what the Holy Spirit will reveal to us. It is about know what God wants us to do. It is about hearing His living word, right now. We won’t find it lying around on the surface.

May I know God, what He wants me to do and understand that is wisdom.

You don’t find God’s wisdom lying around on the surface. (1 Corinthians 2:7 The Message)

“If you enter your place of worship and you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right.” ~~Jesus

Jesus challenges us to live a real life, versus a fake spiritual one. God commands us to love one another. How can we pretend to worship God (love Him) if things aren’t right with a friend.

Jesus challenges us to make things right. That is the first order of business. Then we can worship. Right relationships with others leads to a right relationship with God, our Father.

“If you enter your place of worship and you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5 The Message)

Should I try to read between the lines?

Paul is clear about Jesus. His writing is clear about God. God’s word is clear.

There is no “I wonder what he meant” kind of stuff with God. He is in charge in His world (Kingdom). He always has been. He always will be.

What God wants to happen will. There is no doubt about that. It is clear that His desires will be achieved.

It is clear that nothing is impossible with God. He can do anything. He is God.

He is our loving Father. He has wonderful things in store for us. He is in a great mood.

“Don’t try to read between the lines or look for hidden meanings in this letter.” ~~Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 1:13 The Message)

“Wise son, glad father; stupid son, sad mother.” ~~King Solomon

July 30, 2012 2 comments

Wisdom is so important. When Solomon was asked by God what he wanted, he responded wisdom. To know and understand God’s world (Kingdom) is essential. It makes our parents so very happy.

Stupidity is another thing altogether. Not knowing what God wants makes our families very sad.

May we all choose wisdom.

“Wise son, glad father; stupid son, sad mother.” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 10:1)

“Some of the seed fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it.” ~~Jesus

July 29, 2012 10 comments

Jesus knows that God’s word isn’t always received well.   The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word of God, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved. It is hard to understand all of this. The Disciples struggled as well.

We don’t have to understand how or even why the Devil snatches up God’s Word but we know, from Jesus, it happens. We have to be careful. This message is for us not someone else. Jesus said this to His disciples. He said it to give us insight. We need to take care with God’s word.

We are challenged by Jesus to have good-hearts. He wants us to seize the Word. We need to hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest. That is how it is in God’s world (Kingdom).

“Some of it fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it.” ~~Jesus (Luke 8:5 The Message)

Am I wandering around in a fog? Is that a bad thing?

Wisdom. We all want it I think. What is the path? How do we get there?

God is GOD. He has, from before the beginning of time, had a plan in mind. He is executing against it, day by day, year by year, century by century, millennium by millennium. We seek to understand it all but some days we just can’t. It is a mystery. We are wondering around in a fog to some extent.

What we do know is that He has a plan in mind. We trust Him that it will all unfold, just as He has planed it out. His purpose will be achieved and we will see His glory. So be it!!

I want to understand God and have His wisdom. I need to seek out what is His purpose to get there.

God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. (1 Corinthians 2:6 The Message)

Will I hear GOD?

Worried!

Worried! (Photo credit: photoloni)

The worry of the world can completely drown out the word of my heavenly Father. He speaks to me. He gives me His love. But worry has a way of overcoming what I know He is saying. How often do illusions about getting more choke out the word? The way of the LORD is to hear the word and understand it. True repentance is to change my mind. That brings fruit!!

Jesus challenges us about how deceitful the pursuit of wealth can be. That leads to worry and not hearing GOD.

May I hear GOD and believe He is good. He has my best interest at heart. He will not fail me.

And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns , this is the man who hears the word , and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word , and it becomes unfruitful . Matthew 13:22

Can I do a deep dive?

A lot of people are just flitting around the surface. I can be one of them. The Holy Spirit of God is not superficial. He is not content like we can be.Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

Imagine knowing the depths of God? No seriously, imagine that!!

How can I know that God’s plan is for me? Well, I can do a deep dive into God. When I am filled with His Spirit, He brings what God has planned.

The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. ~~Paul (1 Corinthians 2:10)

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What do I learn from the rude?

The way of the world is to want to hang out with the cool people. They can help us for sure. We all understand that.

Paul hung with them AND he also hung with the uncool. He found value and fulfillment from those who were rude to him. He learned a lot from those who were so smart. In GOD’s world that makes sense.

Everyone I meet—it matters little whether they’re mannered or rude, smart or simple—deepens my sense of interdependence and obligation. And that’s why I can’t wait to get to you in Rome, preaching this wonderful good news of God. Romans 1:13-15

How do I want to be treated?

"The Golden Rule" mosaic

“The Golden Rule” mosaic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do I want to be treated? With respect. With understanding. I like to be given the benefit of the doubt.

How do you want to be treated?

Jesus said “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize faults-unless, of course, you want the same treatment.”

I don’t want to be treated that way. I should never be critical of others. Hard to do but through the power of His Spirit I can.

“I write this, dear children, to guide you out of missing God’s goal for your life.” ~~Apostle John

July 10, 2012 2 comments

John has a focus for his message to us. It is one we ought to all make the most of. God has a goal for our life. Without Jesus, we miss it. We shouldn’t. We don’t have to.

God is in a good mood. We have help in understanding how  to meet God’s goal. We have help in living a life of power, in God’s Spirit to hit the mark.

And John is clear about the goal. It is to love one another. It is to love everyone we come in contact with. God’s goal is love.

“I write this, dear children, to guide you out of missing God’s goal for your life (sin).” ~~Apostle John (1 John 2:1 The Message)

 

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“Listen now, all of you— take this to heart.” ~~Jesus

July 5, 2012 1 comment
English: Sacred heart of Jesus Español: Sagrad...

English: Sacred heart of Jesus Español: Sagrado corazon de Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus challenges us to understand that it is not what we eat that is the problem. The problem is our heart. The problem is what we think, do and say. That is the real pollution in our life. Jesus is clear that it’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart in GOD’s world (Kingdom).

We need to know this about our self so that we can take advantage of Jesus redeeming us from the price we have to pay for what is in our heart. Jesus gives a new heart. Now that is good news.

“Listen now, all of you— take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it’s what you vomit—that’s the real pollution.” ~~Jesus (Mark 7:15 The Message)

“A farmer went out to sow his seed.” ~~Jesus

July 2, 2012 3 comments
English: Farmer

Farmer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus challenges us to understand GOD’s word. GOD is the farmer. It is GOD who plants the seed, His word.

This has nothing to do with us. It is all GOD’s doing. We like think we are the center of things. Even the disciples of Jesus didn’t get what Jesus was saying and they were with Him all day long for 3 years. It all starts with GOD and His word. That is the most important thing to understand. It is all about GOD and what He says / wants.

“A farmer went out to sow his seed” ~~Jesus (Luke 8:4 The Message)

“You scratch out God’s Word and scrawl a whim in its place. You do a lot of things like this.” ~~Jesus

June 21, 2012 4 comments

Jesus is talking to religious people. That would be us. He challenges us to really understand what God is saying and to quit making up things that only benefit what we want. Jesus isn’t looking for selfish people. He doesn’t want us to be religious and quote scripture for our own benefit. He knows we do this way too much.

He wants us to search out God’s word and act on what He is asking us to do.

“You scratch out God’s Word and scrawl a whim in its place. You do a lot of things like this.” ~~Jesus (Mark 7:13 The Message)

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“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.” ~~Jesus

What does it mean to be a part of the Kingdom of God? It is hard for us to understand the role of a King. It means that Jesus is in charge.

Jesus challenges us to know and act like he is in charge. Why? Because He is.

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.” ~~Jesus (Luke 9:23 The Message)

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“Are you being willfully stupid?” ~~Jesus

Jesus explains so many things to us. He challenges us to hear, really hear, what He is saying. He is blunt. He is straightforward. He really want us “to get it”. He has given us the Holy Spirit to help.

May we listen and understand. It is important.

“Are you being willfully stupid?” ~~Jesus (Mark 7:18 The Message)

“Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.” ~~Jesus

God is God. He does things that don’t make sense to us. We clearly wouldn’t do very much the way He does. He doesn’t need our permission or approval. How He does things pleases Himself.

Jesus challenges us to understand God, what He wants to do and accept His way.

“Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.” ~~Jesus (Luke 10)

They were worried, Jesus wasn’t at all

Here is a lesson in worry from our Master Jesus. He wasn’t worried. He wasn’t anxious. He was just doing what He knew to do which was be in His Father’s house. So, his parents were worried. He was not. I should be concerned about doing my Father’s business and not worry about anything else. And, he continued to grow this way. Stuff just didn’t faze Him because He was listening to His Heavenly Father and just doing what He heard Him saying.

May I be about my Father’s business and grow in His favor. May I worry about whether I am pleasing him.

When they saw Him, they were astonished ; and His mother said to Him, “Son , why have You treated us this way ? Behold , Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:48-52

 

 

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“Don’t say ‘God be with you,’ and not mean it.” ~~Jesus

May 20, 2012 2 comments

Jesus challenges us to mean what we say. Religious jargon and trite sayings are useless. It is the power of the risen Lord and Savior that means something. Jesus challenges us to understand what action God wants us to take not say some religious saying. The action Jesus took was always specific. He healed the blind but never exactly the same way.

May I live the life Jesus wants me to every day. May my life speak his power.

“Don’t say ‘God be with you,’ and not mean it.” ~~Jesus

Can I help where help is needed?

April 15, 2012 1 comment

I know sometimes I am trying to help with the wrong thing. I think I understand the problem but I have somehow missed the real issue. Jesus is able to help where the help is needed. Not missing the mark at all. He experienced it all himself and has gotten rid of our missing His goal for our life. He is our High Priest.

May I rest in the knowledge that He helps me where I need the help.

It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed. Hebrews 2:16-18

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“Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Word and you will only have trivialized yourself.” ~~Jesus

God means what He says. What He says is important. What He says is not to be trivialized in any way. When we do, we trivialize ourselves, not Him. His word will always be true.

Jesus demands that we understand that. It is important.

“Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Word and you will only have trivialized yourself.” ~~Jesus

Some thoughts on speed (Now!!)

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I am focused on 3 cultural issues right now with the core being an open culture. Here are some of my thoughts on Speed (Now!!). The pace of business continues to change and move faster and faster. That is clear and it requires that we have a world that understands and enables that. Faster, more predictable ways of creating and changing technology are no longer a nice to have — they decide which of us will survive and which will not. For technology professionals, that means it’s not a question of whether we will adopt lean and agile techniques but how soon and how broadly we will adopt them. That doesn’t mean charge into the transformation blindly. If we do, we may meet an untimely but fairly predictable end — we’ll fail to realize the benefits because we didn’t properly execute. As I have been reading and talking to technology and business staff on this, there seem to several trends to consider.

We have to do more than pass out this blog and pray for results. We (I) all need education, coaching, and practice to understand how agile differs from traditional methods. Business groups will need even more attention as we learn how and why our roles will change — take great pains to explain what value agile will bring us, and make sure we accept the role of owners. Do we own speed? Do we own agility? We also need to look for the right initiatives to attempt to speed things up — we should seek those that are not already rigidly defined or too complex, and avoid complex integration, dependencies, and mission-critical efforts in our attempts. Of course, simplicity and usability also help here. If is too complex, can we simplify it? That will help speed delivery and support radically.

Our culture can propel or kill new ideas. We should beware technical and business factions that don’t want the change that agile brings — for example, will staff that consider working in an agile world consider it to be an incorrect methodology? Will businesspeople not want to participate in faster projects because they are too busy? We have more options with our technical world, but if we’ve done everything we could in explaining to stakeholders how agile can add business value and they still don’t buy it, we may need to move on — it may be that the business domain does not require agile — or start our approach with speedier transitions like a water-scrum-fall approach with more work in the water and fall parts of the process. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Is agile right on huge, monolithic applications that change infrequently? Probably not. Advanced agile organizations seem to set up multiple scrum and traditional teams to deal with large, monolithic apps. If requirements are stable, we should consider sticking with what we have done for years if it’s working and the business is not complaining. Agile techniques seem to shine where innovation and changing requirements are part of the business model. We have lots of examples of that. Where stability is the norm, agile may not be the right answer. We should also be careful to least ask the question. The lack of complaints may only reflect a business assumption that technology approaches are always slow. That may not be fair but it could be the perception.

Improvement of any kind requires that we understand our business partners are today and where they want to be in the future and that we muster the right human, financial, and political resources to ensure success. We should focus on value for the business first, establish how we will create value, and set proper goals. When we know the goal, we can define outcomes against those goals, and measure success accordingly. Driven by business-value priorities, we will need to assess our approach using both qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Here is a way to think of change. Improve or transform?


Categories: Personal

Are the Atlanta Braves really that happy?

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training one week from today, the Braves’ roster looks about the same as it did during the September swoon that kept them from the playoffs.

This disappoints me because I wanted general manager Frank Wren to shake things up. But players who endured one of the worst late-season collapses in history seem pleased to have the same cast as they crank things up again.

“I’m happy,” said closer Craig Kimbrel, National League Rookie of the Year after leading major league relievers with 127 strikeouts and tying for the NL lead with 46 saves.

“We have a good team. All the pieces are here. It’s not like we had to go out and get anybody. The team’s talented. We’re going to be fine. We’ve got a really good clubhouse; that’s a big part of having a good team. I’m glad we didn’t break that up.”

The Braves’ pitching staff, one of baseball’s best in 2011, could be even better if the Braves can stay reasonably healthy. They return all key members of the NL’s top-rated bullpen, led by Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty. Also back are their four best starters — Tim Hudson, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson, Brandon Beachy — and a group of young pitchers who will compete for the fifth rotation spot and one or two bullpen openings.

The Braves traded veteran pitcher Derek Lowe to Cleveland with a year left on his contract, agreeing to pay $10 million of his $15 million salary in order to turn the page after his second disappointing season and to open a rotation spot for a youngster from a group that includes Mike Minor, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado.

Hudson had back surgery in November and will be brought along cautiously. He might not be ready at the season’s outset, but the Braves think the worst-case scenario is a return by early May.

Braves players understand we wanted change, even if some wanted change for change’s sake. Others were disappointed the Braves didn’t add the big outfield bat that general manager Frank Wren said he was looking for after the 2011 season. Wren says they could still add a hitter or fill other needs in the coming weeks, but the Braves will evaluate some of their own players during spring training to gauge those needs.

“Any time you struggle the way we did down the stretch, it’s the last thing anybody remembers,” said Venters, arguably the majors’ best reliever until his late slump contributed to the Braves’ 10-20 skid to the finish.

“[But] we had the fourth-best record in the game going in the last month. Our team’s great. The clubhouse chemistry is better than any that I’ve been a part of. I’m excited about the team.

“I think we have everything we need to be successful. I don’t think we needed to make any moves, and I think Frank did a great job with the way he approached the offseason and let it play out. I mean, we had some unfortunate things happen last year — Tommy getting hurt, J.J. [Jurrjens] got hurt, Brian [McCann] got hurt, [Martin] Prado. And then you had J-Hey [Jason Heyward]. He’s not going to do what he did [in 2011]. He’s too good of an athlete to not make the adjustments and figure it out.”

Jurrjens (knee) and Hanson (shoulder) missed most of the second half, and both are healthy now and without restrictions. Through July 9, Jurrjens and Hanson were a combined 22-7 with a 2.14 ERA in 33 starts. After July 9, they went 2-6 with a 6.75 ERA in 12 starts.

“There’s no doubt that our rotation was the strength of the team,” Venters said. “That’s why we [relievers] pitched so much because our starters kept us in so many games. If those guys stay healthy, there’s no telling. … I expect to be in the thick of the division race anyways. But having those two guys, they’re horses. They’re No. 1 starters on most teams.”

Jurrjens and left fielder Prado were at the center of many offseason trade rumors, but Wren said all along he wouldn’t trade key players in any deal unless it made the Braves better. The Braves didn’t sign a major league free agent from outside the organization.

“I don’t think any of us really expected [significant moves],” third baseman Chipper Jones said. “Nobody was going to be a free agent; everybody was coming back. The bottom line is, for 4 1/2, 5 months we were pretty dang good. We had the third- or fourth-best record in baseball. We were right there. We just didn’t finish it out. I think that’s the sour taste that everybody still has in their mouth — [everybody] that’s not inside this clubhouse.

“We’re confident that we can go out and still play the same brand. I really didn’t expect us to do anything position-player wise, other than maybe a move or two off the bench. I expected most of the movement that we made to be done in the pitching staff, and you’ve seen it. With the exception of D-Lowe, there hasn’t been much, period. We’re OK with that.

“You sit back and you watch some of the other teams in your division make moves, you’re thinking to yourself, ‘They’re getting better by the day.’ But that’s the nature of the beast. It really doesn’t mean anything.

“On paper it looks good for those people. It might sell a couple of extra tickets. But if you make all the moves and you look up at the end of July and you’re still five games under .500, it doesn’t do you a lot of good. We don’t plan on being in that spot.”

Can I get out of my coffin?

February 11, 2012 Leave a comment

 

I need to wake up from my sleep. I need to get up out of my coffin. Jesus is showing me the way. He is shining His light on me. I need to watch my step. I need to use my head. I need to think and not live carelessly. I need to understand what Jesus wants me to do.

May I understand what Jesus wants me to do. May I know it deep in my heart. May I not only know but also do it, demonstrating my obedience.

This is why it is said: Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. –Ephesians 5: 14-20

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“When we touch the foundation of the reality of the good news of God, we will never bother Him anymore with little personal complaints.” ~Oswald Chambers

February 1, 2012 Leave a comment

I need to understand that God sent Jesus to redeem the whole world, not just me. What am I willing to endure to bring the good news of God to others? Criticism? Torture? Jail? Death? Ostracism?

Is it worth it? Yes, it is. It’s not about me.

It is an injustice to say that Jesus Christ labored in redemption to make me a saint. Jesus Christ labored in redemption to redeem the whole world and to place it perfectly whole and restored before the throne of God. The fact that we can experience redemption illustrates the power of its reality, but that experience is a byproduct and not the goal of redemption. If God were human, how sick and tired He would be of the constant requests we make for our salvation and for our sanctification. We burden His energies from morning till night asking for things for ourselves or for something from which we want to be delivered! When we finally touch the underlying foundation of the reality of the gospel of God, we will never bother Him anymore with little personal complaints.

via My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.

Am I humble enough?

January 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Am I humble enough? Not yet and that is important to understand.

Who gets the credit? That is a central question. In God’s world that He rules (the Kingdom), God gets the credit. The victory belongs to the Lord. Humility is central to relationships. Central to my relationship with Him. Central to my relationship with others. Love does not boast. That is how I bless others and receive a blessing.

May I always give the Lord the credit. He is God. He is good. He is great.

Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-12

How does the customer experience look on social media?

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Is the customer experience useful on social media or is it just a bunch of disjointed interactions?

Forrester Research makes a good point that we need to have a good way of managing the experiences for our customers.

“Social media already plays a role at each step of customers’ complex journeys to discover, evaluate, buy, access, use, and get support for products and services. Customer experience professionals must align their firms’ social activities with their customer experience strategy by documenting existing social activities and mapping them to the customer journey, understanding customers’ existing use of social touchpoints, identifying gaps in the journey and disconnects between existing social media initiatives, and establishing guidelines and metrics to keep the organization true to its social objectives.” ~~by Jonathan Browne

 

Categories: Personal

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” ~~Apostle Paul

November 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Power of PrayerI should be thankful and talk with God about everything. He is in charge. He loves me and has wonderful plans for me. Wow, that takes the pressure off and allows me to not be anxious. He ROCKS!!!

This is His path to peace for me. I don’t understand it for sure but it is true. He is guarding me. Leting Him be in charge guards my mind from my own plans which clearly leads to worry and fear.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! …. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-9

Things way over my head

October 28, 2011 Leave a comment

That God has done something in my life is a real surprise, Him handling every single detail. It is nothing but a gift, His riches which I have a hard time understanding, coming to me every day. I am writing about things that are way over my head.

My task is to bring out into open what He is doing. His generosity is amazing. It is hard to get my arms around it. The credit goes to Him. It is His work for sure.


To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, Ephesians 3:8

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“The Message that points to Messiah on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction.” ~~Apostle Paul

October 27, 2011 Leave a comment

The way God works seems silly to those who don’t know Him. For many, “Why” is the big barrier to a true relationship with God. “Why did this happen?” “Why would God work that way?”

Of course, this is the way children think as well. “I don’t get it” they say. “Why can’t I do X?” they ask. “I don’t understand why you want let me” they protest after we have explained it 10 times. Our decisons seem silly to them.

That what God is doing makes sense to me is a sign that I am on the way to salvation. I am on the road. I must stay focused on what He is doing and not get diverted by what He isn’t. If I stay focused on His wisdom, I will be more than happy.

The Message that points to Messiah on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written, I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots. So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—proclaiming the Message, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation. 1 Corinthians 1:18-21

“Do not be anxious about anything.” ~~Apostle Paul

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

My part is to rejoice. God is so very good and He is always in this amazing mood. Jesus has a mission to bring Good News to me. Am I hearing bad news? It is a lie then. That is from my enemy Satan. So, I will rejoice at the good God is doing now.
 
I need to talk with my Father, ask Him for what I need, and be thankful in my conversations with Him. He knows what I need and will do more than I can imagine.
 
I don’t understand it, but as a result, His peace is mine. I can rest and relax. His peace is at attention in my heart. He is protecting me and the enemy can’t reach my heart.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-9

 

 

Locusts and wild field honey

September 3, 2011 Leave a comment

John paved the way for Jesus. He set the stage. It is all about life-change. We know we have missed the goal that God is mind for us. We need to make it clear that we understand that.  Being baptized with Jesus into death and resurrection gives us a changed life. It is His new plan for us. We can reach God’s goal for us. We don’t have to live a life that misses that. He is in an amaziing mood and gives us this gift simply because He loves us.

Now how great is that?

John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of missing God’s goal for us. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their knowledge of missing God’s goal, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey. Mark 1:4-6

A discipline not a technology

Customer Experience Management tools are getting some buzz by technology marketers. “Houston, we have a problem”!! Here is the rub, managing the customer experience is a discipline and not a technology. There is no single tool that can tell you how to understand and meet customer needs across multiple touch points. Great idea but just can’t be done.

So what should we do? We need to map our whole ecosystem of customer touch points and continuously improve the people, process and technologies with a great strategy. Simple but not easy.

What do you think?

Doing what God said

He is God. That means He knows what He is doing even if I don’t get it. His answer is the right answer. His timing is the right timing. He is God.

My job is give it to Him and trust Him. He cares about me in ways I can’t understand.

Yep, He is God and He isn’t going to stop being God. May I live my life that way.

So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it. 1 Peter 4:17

 

 

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Special agents

God has a plan for us. Under His plan, we are special agents of Jesus. His assignments for us aren’t “normal”. They are special. Planned out just for us. How amazing is that?

Now that is some very good news for today. That brings some much needed grace and peace to our lives.

I, Paul, am under God’s plan as an apostle, a special agent of Christ Jesus, writing to you faithful believers in Ephesus. I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:1-2

May I understand the role God has for me and serve as His special agent.

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Who we really are

It is interesting how some people just don’t “get it”, i.e., understand what we are up to in God. We know we are His children. We know He loves us and how amazing that is. We know he is not angry or upset. We know He has our best interest at heart. We know He cares beyond anything we can imagine. We know He is in a good mood, all the time.

We really are the children of God. Really. No doubt about it.

What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to. 1 John 3:1

May I know who I am in Him.

Could it be right?

“I was not able to understand how it could be right to pay an actor, or a singer, or an instrumentalist for entertaining the public and wrong to pay a ball player for doing exactly the same thing.”
— Al Spalding

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My work

April 29, 2011 1 comment

Paul made tents for a living. It wasn’t how he defined his work. His work was to help people understand the good news that God has for those who come into his life. It wasn’t even something he was talented at. It was a gift from God. He wasn’t qualified to do it but God gave him everything he needed to succeed.

My work is not what I do for a living. My work is to take advantage of the gifts He gives me and press on. It is His way in His world and that is good news.


This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. Ephesians 3:7-8

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Rip Van Winkle Theory

I believe in the Rip Van Winkle Theory: that a man from 1910 must be able to wake up after being asleep for 70 years, walk into a ballpark, and understand baseball perfectly.

— Former Major League Commissioner Bowie Kuhn

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All are welcome

April 12, 2011 1 comment

Everyone is welcome in God’s world. We don’t naturally understand it or how it works but it is true. It is a great mystery. No matter if you have gone to church your whole life or never set foot in the door. We all stand on the same ground.

We all have the same offer of good news to enter God’s world. We all get the same help from a God for whom nothing is improssible. All of the promises that Jesus made are ours. No favoritism to the religious. Those sitting at the bar are just as welcome. There is nothing we have “to do”.

As you read over what I have written to you, you’ll be able to see for yourselves into the mystery of Christ. None of our ancestors understood this. Only in our time has it been made clear by God’s Spirit through his holy apostles and prophets of this new order. The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board. Ephesians 3:4-6

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He is not decrepit

March 31, 2011 1 comment

Lately I have been thinking about what our Father is not. I don’t know why that helps but it frames what He is better. I think all the time about how powerful He is. But He is not decripit. That frames His power better. He is never weak. He is never overwhelmed. He is as powerful as ever!!!

May I see and understand His absolute complete power!!

So why didn’t anyone come when I knocked? Why didn’t anyone answer when I called? Do you think I’ve forgotten how to help? Am I so decrepit that I can’t deliver? I’m as powerful as ever, and can reverse what I once did: I can dry up the sea with a word, turn river water into desert sand, And leave the fish stinking in the sun, stranded on dry land . . . Turn all the lights out in the sky and pull down the curtain. Isaiah 50

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A lamp

Almighty, eternal and merciful God, whose Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, open and illuminate our minds, that we may purely and perfectly understand your Word and that our lives may be conformed to what we have rightly understood, that in nothing we may be displeasing unto your majesty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. – the daily morning prayer of Ulrich Zwingli, from Gregg Alison’s "Introduction to Historical Theology"

A mind unafraid to travel

A  Prayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

Dear Lord, please give me…
A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;
A work to do which has real value,
without which the world would be the poorer;
A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;
An understanding heart;
A sense of humor;
Time for quiet, silent meditation;
A feeling of the presence of God;
The patience to wait for the coming of these things,
With the wisdom to recognize them when they come.

Amen.

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What is the characteristic of a spiritual man?

I have a passion for the Good News!! I want to be a man after God’s own heart.

That is all there is to it.

“The lasting characteristic of a spiritual man is the ability to understand correctly the meaning of the Lord Jesus Christ in his life, and the ability to explain the purposes of God to others. The overruling passion of his life is Jesus Christ. Whenever you see this quality in a person, you get the feeling that he is truly a man after God’s own heart.” ~~Oswald Chambers

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Thanks for others

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Our attitude about others should be one of thanks. He has blessed us with such rich relationships with our brothers and sisters. This should be something we do all the time.  When we think of someone, we should thank God for them. This brings us closer to God in understanding how to pray for others.

I thank God through Jesus for every one of you. That’s first. People everywhere keep telling me about your lives of faith, and every time I hear them, I thank him. And God, whom I so love to worship and serve by spreading the good news of his Son—the Message!—knows that every time I think of you in my prayers, which is practically all the time, I ask him to clear the way for me to come and see you. The longer this waiting goes on, the deeper the ache. I so want to be there to deliver God’s gift in person and watch you grow stronger right before my eyes! But don’t think I’m not expecting to get something out of this, too! You have as much to give me as I do to you. Romans 8:8-12

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When does He get tired?

January 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Some days I get home and I am really tired. My energy is gone. Not much left.

I have to be careful not to project my humanity on Him. He is God. He has always been. He created everything. He will never, ever grow tired. I can’t understand that but I know it to be true.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. Isaiah 40:28

Mere Busywork?

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

I am interested in how much of my time is “mere busywork”. Now stuff has to get done; there is laundry, cleaning, dishes and meals. I don’t think that is what today’s scripture (Ephesians 5:15-20) means. Times where I have “the chance” to do what “the Master wants” as opposed to the dark world where the enemy entices me to do what I want; what choice do I make? Each day is made of these moments.

  • Am I evaluating my time in the light of what the Master wants?
  • Is this what the Master wants me to do right now?
  • When I am not doing what the Master wants, do I see that as a fraud to the way He wants me live?

May I drink huge draughts of the Spirit of God. May I understand what the Master wants.

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.

Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light! So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Don’t live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.

Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:15-20

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As seems best

November 27, 2010 Leave a comment

I admit that I am not very creative when it comes to painting, sculpting, etc. I do enjoy hand blown glass and have seen pottery made. Everything done is in the hands of the artist. He is in control.

And so, God is shaping us as seems best to Him. We may not always understand it but that is the way he works. He is the creator. He is God.

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. Jeremiah 18:1-6

May I open myself to what He sees is best for me.

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The Peace and Strength of Jesus' Love

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

from writer Amy Carmichael…

If the praise of man elates me and his blame depresses me…
If I can not rest under misunderstanding without defending myself…
If I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve…
then I know nothing of Calvary Love.

What a good and great God we have: His love gives us more than enough strength and peace to meet the challenges of our lives and to love those around us.

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Just won't stop

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment

He cares about us in a way we probably can’t understand. It is His nature to be good. He can’t be anything else. He has always been that way and always will be. His love just won’t stop.

May we give thanks to Him. He is good.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 

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Worry Isn’t Work

Many of us have grown up thinking that if we are properly self-punishing then we are somehow being responsible. "What, I’m a nervous wreck — how could I possibly take on more?" On the other hand, if, God forbid, we are feeling carefree, we have this nagging sense that we’re being downright irresponsible, certain that if we don’t get right back to self-flagellation then the other shoe is going to drop. And hard. We don’t correlate our sense of responsibility with what we are actually producing. We correlate it with how hard we are being on ourselves.

Thus anything that’s fun cannot possibly be work, and everything that’s unpleasant is.

Read more…

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Today

How often do I dwell in the past? Remember the time …. Ah, the good old days!!

God is doing a new thing. He has a new plan. It is springing up like a fountain just turned on. Where nothing existed in us, He is creating a new being. Where no love existed, His generosity creates life. Where no understanding was available, His wisdom pours forth.

May I forget the past. May I dwell in His way today.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. Isaiah 43:18-21 TNIV Bible

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A post-industrial A to Z digital battledore

Seth Godin
A post-industrial A to Z digital battledore
New times demand new words, because the old words don’t help us see the world differently.

Along the way, I’ve invented a few, and it occurs to me that sometimes I use them as if you know what I’m talking about. Here, with plenty of links, are 26 of my favorite neologisms (the longest post of the year, probably):

A is for Artist: An artist is someone who brings humanity to a problem, who changes someone else for the better, who does work that can’t be written down in a manual. Art is not about oil painting, it’s about bringing creativity and insight to work, instead of choosing to be a compliant cog. (from Linchpin).

Read more…

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The Guest of the Maestro

The Guest of the Maestro
by Max Lucado

What happens when a dog interrupts a concert? To answer that, come with me to a spring night in Lawrence, Kansas.

Take your seat in Hoch Auditorium and behold the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra—the oldest continually operating orchestra in the world. The greatest composers and conductors in history have directed this orchestra. It was playing in the days of Beethoven (some of the musicians have been replaced).

You watch as stately dressed Europeans take their seats on the stage. You listen as professionals carefully tune their instruments. The percussionist puts her ear to the kettle drum. A violinist plucks the nylon sting. A clarinet player tightens the reed. And you sit a bit straighter as the lights dim and the tuning stops. The music is about to begin.

Read more…

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Nelson Mandela

Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage, by Richard Stengel (Stengel, now editor of Time magazine, was a confidant of Mandela’s.)

From “Look the Part”:

“[Mandela has beautiful posture. You will never see him hunched over with his head anything but upright and looking ahead. On Robben Island, he was always aware of how he walked and carried himself. He knew he needed to be seen as standing up to the authorities, literally and figuratively … He knew that people took their cues from him, and if he were confident and unbowed, they would be too.” Read more…

The Little Big Things by Tom Peters

Tom has posted the "cliff notes" version of The Little BIG Things. To understand the rationale, read the quote below; it’s the opening paragraph of the attached paper:

"This is the era of short attention spans. And short business books. And yet The Little BIG Things came in at 538 pages—albeit there were 163 items, averaging about 3 pages each, and additional space consumed by oversized type used for emphasis (hey, that’s what I do). I wouldn’t cut it by a page—I didn’t. Nonetheless, in the interest of getting connected with as many people as possible, I’ve produced this ‘Highlights’ pdf, 78-pages long, which captures the ‘BIG idea’ in each of these ‘little BIG things.’ Missing are (1) the nuances and (2) 90 percent of the ‘How to’s’ and the rationale for those ‘How to’s.’ Eliminating the subtleties and cutting the action part is cutting the heart out of the book—nonetheless, I hope you will be titillated by what follows and moved, perhaps, to purchase the whole shebang; or in fact to use this version, distribute it, etc.—I want the ideas to circulate to the max.—Tom Peters, July 2010, West Tinmouth VT" (I suspect this may piss off the publisher-but I’m a 30-year member of the "The more you give away …" club.)

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