Posts Tagged ‘ Lifestyle ’

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 04/20/2014

HE IS RISEN!

Find the true Wisdom of God, and perhaps He can be found through some of the writings at Proverbial Thought!

If you have not heard Michael W. Smith’s “Missing Person”, it is well worth listening to. It was one of the inspirations for this poem today. The other was my journey through 2007 as I rediscovered Jesus Christ after a couple of years of turning from Him.

May you be encouraged today on this annual celebration of our Lord’s resurrection!

 

that faith

 

that faith that i once had

where i believed all Your Word said

i trusted all that You had said

and my life was saved from death

but somehow Your Word was forgotten

i decided to embrace my old sin

as i continued into deeper sin

Our relationship worsened

i want that faith to be mine once more

to tell everyone i trust the Lord

that i would know His Living Word

and share that faith with the world

and yet i find i want more than that

that i could lead others down Your Path

and have good replace all the bad

that we would walk with our Heavenly Dad

i still want more with that faith

to lead in power to the only Way

and impact those i meet everyday

because i move on every word You say

that faith that leads me to You

that love that compels me to share Your Truth

that blood that cleaned me through and through

that grace that redeems my eternal soul

that faith that i want today is

that faith that trusts my Lord Jesus

that faith first displayed by Jesus

that faith He wants for all of us

that faith i pray will push me

to follow my Savior completely

to share His Power and peace

to show everyone the Love that fills me

 

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 03/16/2014

Perhaps (and I mean “Absolutely”) we should approach our life in Christ like John the Baptizer:

To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.
John 3:27-30, NIV

This is best accomplished through opening ourselves to the movement of the Holy Spirit. This is what brings honor and glory to God!

And perhaps, like Paul, we will also become smaller. (“Paul” meaning “small”)

 

pickled

i want to be like a pickle
that soaks up what is around
it seems to grow smaller and wrinkled
but it is filled with what surrounds
i want my God through His Spirit
to fill me and surround me
so that i become so saturated
that His Love is all that people see
that i might become smaller
His Spirit and mine infused
that i overflow with the Love of the Father
and live and speak a life of truth

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things …

As the book of Proverbs is finally “all commentaried out”, go catch some of the final wise words this week at Proverbial Thought!

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
Psalm 119:37, ESV

I made a covenant with my eyes . . .
Job 31:1, NIV

A couple of weeks ago, I announced through Facebook that my wife and I were cancelling our Netflix and Hulu accounts.

This decision had very little to do with what we watch. We try to be rather discerning in what we watch because we do not want to let too many immoral and/or blasphemous things in our minds if we can help it.

Rather, the decision came after a comment made by one of seminary professors.

While working through the book of Acts, we were discussing whether Christianity was a threat to the Roman Empire. My reply was “Technically. I mean, look at when Paul got upset with the girl with the Serpent spirit and cast it out of her in the name of Jesus. The people who were making money off of her fortune-telling were suddenly out of a means of income.”

The conversation then focused on how Christianity messed with the economy of the Empire. This is because makers of idols, workers in pagan temples, and even tour guides around cities with temples would lose business throwing off the entire economy of entire cities if not the entire Empire.

Then the professor made this comment: “Imagine if Christians still gave up all of their idolatrous and ungodly pursuits. How many Christians pay for pornography in our society?

My initial thought was “I’m glad that is not us!” (Caitlin and me)

Then some conviction set in.

How much have Netflix and Hulu used their profit to produce shows or movies that glorify sex and nudity?

How much have Netflix and Hulu used their profit to produce shows or movies that mock or blaspheme Christians and God?

At first I tried to justify having these accounts:

How many Christian-based things do they show?

It is not like I watch those things!

Netflix especially comes in handy working in a school, for both my wife and me!

I found myself getting angry that I should have to give up something.

Why was I angry and finding such a need to justify my actions if I was doing nothing wrong?

More than anything, I needed to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

So, instead, I turned to my classmate and said “I am not very happy with the professor right now.” We then laughed about my silliness.

Most people I talked with about it went through the same justifications. A couple of them even said I was being too legalistic.

To combat that, a) I am not saying everyone needs to cancel Netflix and Hulu. This is a personal conviction. I certainly will argue for others to let go, because how much do we really need Netflix, Hulu, and television in general? This is especially true when we consider how useless most television is, how ungodly most television is, and how much God and Christians are blasphemed and mocked. b) We still occasionally watch TV. We enjoy being entertained as much as anyone, and not everything on TV is bad for us. c) We will still go to some movies (Speaking of which, The Lego Movie is rather fantastic in a purely entertaining vain!), for through this we might still be able to show Hollywood what kind of content we prefer while supporting some local businesses (or at least our friends who work at local businesses.

More importantly, though, is that we want to not only obey God in our lives but push others toward Christ by refusing to be a part in causing others to stumble:

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where

“‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

Everyone will be salted with fire.

“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Mark 9:42-50, NIV

We both felt that our continued subscription to these businesses supported content that could cause others to stumble or even be led astray. We would rather not have these forms of entertainment and be closer to Christ than have to have our conscience troubled if what we are doing is moral and godly. Christ and other people are more important than our temporary enjoyment.

How many things in our lives do we devote too much of our time and money to instead of focusing on loving God and people?

In our culture of instant gratification, pleasure, and stuff, how often do we unplug, sacrifice, and get quiet?

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 01/26/2014

Walk in wisdom with some help from Proverbial Thought!

This month I have discussed new year’s resolutions, the state of the Church, and overcoming our own faults.

The poem today is about realizing just how close our Lord is to us, and it is the result of overcoming due to our resolving to follow Christ.

Do you walk with Christ? Do you live in the power of the Holy Spirit? Do desire to walk with Him?

 

walking with

 

in our walk with our Savior
we long to be walking with
Him right next to us  or
at least one of the angelic
we pray that we might see
with our eyes being trained
Him walking with us down the street
and to know we are safe
but our God tells us anew
that He has been there all along
He is always with me and you
and will be until He comes

Really?!

Get a taste of wisdom over at Proverbial Thought!

Big and Newborn Bros

Big and Newborn Bros

My Wedding with Nick

At my wedding 2.6 years ago

Yesterday was my little brother’s 28th birthday. I still think of him as a junior higher, perhaps 13 or 14 years old. That is now half his age! I can barely believe it!

This past Thursday, January 9, was my 14th Re-birthday. It was 14 years ago I first knelt down and declared I believed Jesus is my Savior and the Son of God. I was only a couple years older than how I still view my brother when that happened.

This all got me to thinking about something.

Some friends and I had a conversation about conversations a while back. It was all about the exclamation “Really?!”

The full context of this conversation was focused around what one of us had heard about friendly conversation and this one word. Asking this word after a friend or loved one makes a statement is the same as casting doubt on the validity of the statement.

It is one thing if the conversation goes like this:

“I just won a million dollars!”
“Wow! Really?!”

Winning a million dollars is not a typical occurrence in daily life. Shock and amazement with a little bit of doubt makes sense.

But when the conversation is more like this:

“I lost my phone today.”
“Really?”

In this context, it can said as any of the following:

  • Anger: “How could you do that again?”
  • Sarcasm: “This is such a surprise coming from you!”
  • Astonishment: “This just happened?”

And many others.

The underlying theme is that saying “Really?!” denotes disbelief or mistrust, or at worst it denotes aggression or animosity. And to be fair, most of us use the term in such a way as to say “Tell me more!”

In Jesus’ Name. Really?!

You are probably thinking about how often you say “Really?!” to people, and, if you are like we were, you are attempting to justify your use of the term and explain that you usually mean “Tell me more!”

Let me then ask you this, Christian believer: How do you live your life?

Do go around claiming your connection to your church and as a good Christian, yet those outside the Church look at your example of love and light and think “Is this person really ‘blameless and innocent, [a child] of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16, ESV)

Put another way, do they look at your life and say “Really?! That’s a Christ follower?” And they want to stay away from God because of your example?

Or do you go around sharing the good news of Christ as you live out His commands of love and sacrifice? Do those outside the Church look at your example of love and light and think, “Really?! This kind of thing is true? Tell me more!”

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.
2 Corinthians 13:5-6, ESV

Resolutely Seeking Righteousness

Seek wisdom and get a taste through the words shared at Proverbial Thought!

For the past week and a half I have been talking about why I do not like New Year’s Resolutions.

Here are some reasons why:

1. Resolutions are more like wishes personal wishes for the future. If you really want to stick to your desired goal, it is better to write out specifically what you ultimately want to achieve, sub-goals for marking progress and getting encouragement to continue, and have a support team.

2. We tend to approach resolutions more as guidelines for looking responsible than actually being responsible with our lives.

3. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3, ESV)

Why is number three Proverbs 16:3?

Because, along with my first two reasons, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9) We are always trying to do things we think are best for us, but we do not always seek God’s will for our decisions. Perhaps we fail at so many resolutions because we were trying to do something that either God has not ordained or in a way He has not ordained.

[“ordained” simply means sanctioned, permitted, or established]

Therefore, whether the resolution is to lose weight, change diet, quit smoking/drinking/some addiction, or anything of importance, it is best to seek God first. In fact, one of my favorite passages to quote about just about anything will help with this, as well:

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

And I couple it with this:

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

Whatever plans you have for this year, remember to always put Christ first. Seek out the will of the Father, act on His will, and always give thanks no matter the circumstances or results!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, AND MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU ABUNDANTLY!

Weekend Words & Sunday Stanzas – 01/05/2014

Resolve to discover wisdom, and find some wisdom at Proverbial Thought!

As I have discussed, I am not big on making New Year’s resolutions. I much prefer setting goals and meeting them.

That being said, here is today’s poem, inspired by this passage:

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
Luke 9:51, ESV

New Resolution

a new year has come around once again
and i see where i have fallen short
people are setting new resolutions
that last two weeks or one or two more
these resolutions do not make much sense
if they can barely get past the start

as Jesus resolutely turned His face
toward Jerusalem where He would die
i resolutely declare every day
i shall turn my face to His sacrifice
because Jesus resolved to take my place
giving my life to Him is worth the price