Archive for September, 2011


Philippians 4;2 asks for two women to agree with each other in the Lord. We can translate this many different ways. Two women, two men, even two churches. Why can we not see the purpose of the Lord in the things we do in our everyday lives? Why must there be so much disagreement? We need to be about the business of God. We need to be focused on spreading the word of God to those who need to hear it. I pray that these two can find agreement and begin again the work they need to.

Verse three continues on about those whose names are in the book of life, US. We are asked to help these “women.” We are not to stand by and watch, but we are to help them in the cause of the Gospel. We need to help them get back on their feet and make sure they follow the path that leads to life.

What can we do? I say we can pray about the resolution and we can offer our support to those in need. If they are in need of moderation, let us offer that in christian love. Most of all we need to demonstrate the love of Jesus so they can see a good model of how we should be living.

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What Journey are We On?

I had a great weekend in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. It was the United Methodist Men’s annual Spiritual Congress and one of our speakers was Dr. Norval Brown. He challenges us in many ways, but one of the things he said was intriguing. “We are not humans on a spiritual journey, we are spiritual beings on a human journey.”

We have heard many times that we are only here for a little while and that our lives here are only temporary. Is this where we perfect our living so we are able to move on? I don’t have the answer, but I sure thought about it for a while.

We are born into this world and proceed to travel through good and bad times. I think this traveling allows us to experience some of the trials that we would never have the chance to see in heaven. Maybe this makes us appreciate it more. I mean when you experience being outside in the cold, sleeping in a box, the warmth of your bed seems so much sweeter.

What type of journey are you on? Are you focusing on the physical, material needs of this human world? Or are you living your life as a spiritual being who is only in this world for a very small portion of your eternity and therefore trying to live for the One who has created all things? I know I am trying to live a life worthy of hearing these words at the end of my earthly journey. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Complaining?

In Philippians chapter 2, Paul tells us to “do everything without complaining or arguing.” He wants us to be blameless and pure. I know that I have a hard time with this on most days. It is so easy to fall into the trap of going along with everyone around you and complain about all the things that are happening to you, around you and sometimes that have nothing to do with you. Why do we constantly have the need to complain about something. It doesn’t even matter what that something is, we just feel comfortable when we are tearing something or someone apart. Does this make us feel better about ourselves? When we tear someone else down, we think we are elevating ourselves above them and others. I think we are lowering ourselves below them and everyone else. Maybe we should be about the business of building others up and therefore raising us up with them.

When we complain about things, we are merely putting off the need to actually do something about the situation. We never have to truly fix them if all we do is complain about them. The next time you feel the need to complain about something, try to instead, think about what you can do to correct the problem or fix the situation. Keep the complaint to yourself, make a plan and get others involved in helping to correct the situation.

As I look back on the last ten years and even the years before the attack, I realize that I am probably on the majority. Terrorism is something for foreign countries, not for America. I heard about other attacks, but they seemed to be people from our country doing terrible things, but not for reasons from other countries or war. However, after the towers fell, I have focused a little more on the small things. Many have nothing to do with terrorism, but we now live with the fear of something else happening.

Times like these test our faith, courage and most importantly our ability to trust God and forgive. National tragedy or a loss close to home pushes us to our limits of forgiveness because we are trained for revenge. But I have heard about forgiveness this way. We are not forgiving the people who caused this because what they did was ok, we are forgiving them so that we can move on. If we continue to hold on to the anger and resentment that we have when things like this happen, we can never truly move on. They don’t deserve to be in our thoughts every part of the day in our lives. If we continue to hold a grudge, then they will still have power over us. Even when they are gone, the will still control us. Many times this happens when people get divorced. If they can’t forgive the other and move on, they are only punishing themselves.

We are told to forgive those who persecute us and pray for our enemies. How many of us have a hard time with this? I know that I have. Even more so, we are to forgive not 1 time, not 7 times but 70 times 7 times. Basically put, were to forgive all the time. Don’t count have many times someone does something wrong to you, just forgive them. Then pray for them. Pray that they will come to the realization of what they have just done and will want to stop the behavior. Pray that they will begin or deepen their relationship with God. As completely opposite as this is to today’s teachings of revenge and never forget the wrongs people have done to you, join me in changing your own section of the world by living up to the high standard of living like Christ.

Humble?

Philippians 2;1-11

What does it mean to be humble in today’s world? I think it may be harder today to be humble than any other time. We live in a world of self and instant gratification. We want to be recognized. We want to be seen for things that we do and say, things that we have accomplished, things that we have not accomplished but want to take the credit for. But what happens when we try to put others on a pedestal. If someone does something good or even if we help someone achieve a goal of theirs, elevate them above yourself and make them someone who is recognized. What will happen to you? I would say that God would be pleased with you and will then lift you high in heaven. Our rewards are not those of this world, but of the heavenly kind.

I know that I try to live by this everyday. I try to think of others before myself and their needs before my own. I want those around me to feel that they have worth and they are loved. Sometimes I do this to a fault, by not taking care of myself or those closest to me. I need to learn to balance the needs of those around me and make sure my relationships are well cared for. That doesn’t mean that I will stop putting others first, I just may put those closest to me first and then everyone else after them.