Casual

Casual

She described her boyfriend as casual. He was shocked and disappointed. In his mind, he had been relaxed and willing to defer emotionally to her feelings which, if he were totally honest, could be described as over-the-top.

Casual. Really? She might as well have said, lethargic or indolent. Why was he so upset by this, he wondered? And then he remembered, it was the Bible quote from the Book of Revelation,  “I know what you have done, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. But since you are lukewarm and not hot or cold, I’m going to spit you out of my mouth.” He shuddered at the recollection. Have I become lukewarm he wondered? via Daily Prompt: Casual

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Mind or Spirit?

Mind or Spirit?

“The mind of man plans his way”  Proverbs 16:9

“It is quite plain in the scriptural revelation that spiritual things are hidden by a veil, and by nature, a human does not have the ability to comprehend and get hold of them. He comes up against a blank wall. He takes doctrine and texts and proofs and creeds and theology, and lays them up like a wall – but he cannot find the gate! He stands in the darkness and all about him is intellectual knowledge of God – but not the knowledge of God, for there is a difference between the intellectual knowledge of God and the Spirit-revealed knowledge.”  ~A.W. Tozer

Isa. 55:8-9  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

1 Cor. 2:14 , “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Jn. 16:12-14  “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

1 Cor. 2:6-9  “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.”

1 Cor. 1:18-29  “I know very well how foolish it sounds to those who are lost, when they hear that Jesus died to save them. But we who are saved recognize this message as the very power of God. For God says, “I will destroy all human plans of salvation no matter how wise they seem to be, and ignore the best ideas of men, even the most brilliant of them.”

“What about these wise men, these scholars, these brilliant debaters of this world’s great affairs? God has made them all look foolish and shown their wisdom to be useless nonsense. For God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never find God through human brilliance, and then he stepped in and saved all those who believed his message, which the world calls foolish and silly. But God has opened the eyes of those called to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, to see that Christ is the mighty power of God to save them; Christ himself is the center of God’s wise plan for their salvation. This so-called “foolish” plan of God is far wiser than the wisest plan of the wisest man, and God in his weakness—Christ dying on the cross—is far stronger than any man.”

“Notice among yourselves, dear brothers, that few of you who follow Christ have big names or power or wealth. Instead, God has deliberately chosen to use ideas the world considers foolish and of little worth in order to shame those people considered by the world as wise and great. He has chosen a plan despised by the world, counted as nothing at all, and used it to bring down to nothing those the world considers great, so that no one anywhere can ever brag in the presence of God.”

Often we struggle to seem clever, smart, self-contained and able to tackle any task that comes our way. The result, when successful, is pride. Humans want to elevate people, to praise them and admire them. Large churches are filled with followers of a person. God has clearly explained He wants us to be dependent on Him, not ourselves. Many years ago, Billy Graham went on the Dick Cavett Show to be interviewed. Cavette was not a believer. Each time he asked a question to belittle Graham, Billy replied with a smile, “Dick, the Bible says. . .” After a few such answers, Cavette was visibly uncomfortable, wishing for the show to end. Billy chose to be weak in his flesh to be strong in the Spirit.

Hope and Assurance

Hope and Assurance

“After all, he has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.” ~Hebrews 13:5

The athletes were in peak condition, ready to explode across the finish line, or sail over the high jump bar ahead of their competitors. This major meet was only once-a-year and they were physically prepared. But would that be enough?

It was the finals in the high jump. Two athletes remained to decide first place, a Russian and an American. This was it and their adrenaline was flowing. Back and forth they went, each man sailing over the lesser heights with ample clearance. Until…

At the time, the world record high jump was 7 ft 5 34 in. The holder of this record was one of the finalists, Valeriy Brumel of Russia. The bar was raised to 7 feet. The thought of sailing over seven feet turned out to be outside the
American’s belief about himself.

Thus far, both men easily cleared each height. But facing a height he’d never cleared before, the magical seven feet, defeated the American. Time after time he missed. And not just missed, crashed into the bar absurdly. It was amazing to watch after he had sailed over every other height with ease. He defeated himself in his mind. Which is, unfortunately, what some Christians do.

We realize that our salvation is not of good works or sterling character, however we stumble over our less-than-perfect behavior following our faith in Christ. The lie that sets in says we must not really be saved based on our lack of measuring up to a sinless lifestyle. Who says? Not God. God tells us we are His forever and no one can take us out of His hands. God says, repent and move on, knowing that your sins are forgiven…over and over until that final day. Believing we are failures simply fractures our walk with the Lord and saps our strength. We are believing a lie.

John 11:25-26 ~Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.”

1 Peter 1:3-5 ~All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

John 10:27-30 ~My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

John 6:35-40 ~Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

1 John 4:4 ~But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

Romans 8:38 ~And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ~This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

We all agree that the Bible is God’s Word. So then, instead of believing lies about ourselves, read the Bible and find hope, assurance and weapons of our warfare, which are spiritual. God has given us everything we need for daily victory and strength. Read the Bible, stand against Satan’s lies and our own wrong feelings of failure. God sees us as perfect through the blood of Jesus. How can we disagree?

The Power of Our Minds

The Power of Our Minds

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“What he thinks is what he really is.”  Prov. 23:7

 

            “What’s on your mind?” Stan asked his good friend Evan. “You seem preoccupied.”

            “Funny you should ask,” Evan replied, stirring his coffee. “Lots of things are spinning around in my mind and some of them I am not happy with.”

            “Can you share?”

            Evan looked at his friend and decided to be honest…fully honest. “I think of how much better my life would be if I had not been passed over for promotion. And that leads me to think of how I’d like to tell my boss just what I think about that. Sometimes I actually imagine grabbing him by the shirt and yelling in his face. Stupid huh?”

            “No. Not stupid. Honest. Have you ever told anyone your true feelings about this before?” asked Stan.

            “Actually I haven’t and it feels good to get it out there. Now that I hear myself saying it, I realize how wrong it is and the word forgive pops into my mind. I’ve spent a lot of wasted time being secretly angry and bitter over what I thought I should get instead of taking my feelings to the Lord and giving Him the burden.”

            “Praise God, Evan. But don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. I spent several years being angry with Pastor Tim because I didn’t get selected to be an Elder. Since he and I don’t always see eye to eye, I knew he was behind it. And then one day over coffee, Tim told me he voted for me in every case but it seemed as though God was preventing my name from being selected. That shocked me and took me to my knees, asking God to forgive me. The power of the mind is staggering, Evan. And the power of forgiveness is even more powerful.”

            What do you “think”? Are you building a secret thought life that gives you the pleasure and gratitude you “think” you deserve? Are you secretly angry or disappointed but unwilling to share that with a friend? Satan is the father of lies and is willing and able to help you along that road. He did remind a hungry Jesus that He could turn stones into bread!

            John 5:39-40  “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.”

            Philippians 2:5  Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. . .who gave up all He had and took the nature of a servant.

            Matthew 22:37  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

            Rom. 12:2-3  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

            1 Cor. 8:2-3  Those who think they know something really don’t know as they ought to know.3 But the person who loves God is known by him.

            1 Cor. 3:18-20  You should not fool yourself. If any of you think that you are wise by this world’s standards, you should become a fool, in order to be really wise.19 For what this world considers to be wisdom is nonsense in God’s sight. As the scripture says, God traps the wise in their cleverness (Job 5:13);20 and another scripture says, The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are worthless (Ps. 94:11).

            Eph. 3:13-21  So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

            The power of thought to bring wealth has been the subject of many best-selling books; Because there is truth in it. A kernel of truth that says you will walk in whatever you think. Therefore, we must “Fix our thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise,” according to Philippians 4:8

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Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving!

This was taken last year…after Thanksgiving but reminds me of the feelings around this time of year. I love living through the seasonal changes (many of these are in my life). We all have seasons as we grow and change. For all of them I am thankful…especially for that special season in Eugene, Oregon when Jesus became an integral part of my life. Since then, Thanksgiving has taken on a new face, a new look, a new feel. Thank you Lord for my newness.
And thank all of you who drop by from time to time, wondering if there will be something worth seeing or reading. Although I don’t have enough time to tell each of you how thankful I am for your interest, I am VERY THANKFUL. If no one reads my posts, there would be no point.
I hope your Thanksgiving day is full of wonderful memory makers. And if not, I ask God to heal your situation and give you His peace.