Morning Bible Studies 1/22/18

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Topic: “Urban Camo”

Have you ever walked into a courtroom and faced the Judge for something you’ve done wrong? I have and it is not an enjoyable experience.  I noticed that the Judge was much less tolerant of one person in particular who was wearing a ball cap, shorts, and a tank top – than he was with me.  The Judge instantly corrected the hat situation and then went on to reprimand the guy for his choice in attire.  I wasn’t dressed extremely fancy  I had on a pair of khaki pants and a button-down, collared shirt in all blue – no tie.  When I stood before him, I responded with “yes sir” or “no sir” and kept my facial expression as if he were teaching me something.  He was, in fact, teaching me something; don’t do it again!  My point is that we all experience situations where the manner in which we present ourselves in public matters and I believe the same for presenting ourselves to God.

I wouldn’t accept a cardiologist that was about to operate on my son’s heart, to be dressed in coveralls, workboots, and a hardhat, however that same fella I would gladly accept (or at least listen to) to build a retaining wall alongside my driveway.

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Would you hire a man smelling strongly of cologne, wearing a 3 piece suit, not looking you in the eye, and shaking your hand with the strength of a child to operate a crane in the steel mill?  Possibly not.

This morning in Bible study, we wondered why lately God doesn’t seem to be answering our prayers.  Well, the question is:  How are we approaching Him?  We turn to the Bible.

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:12-16)

First, we see that we need to come boldly before the Lord.

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Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalms 100:4-5)

Next, we see that we need to thank Him, acknowledge him and He promises us His love and faithfulness.

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10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. (1 Thessalonians 3:10)

And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

 

He always answers our prayers, just maybe not when we want, or how we want.  We must be earnest with ourselves and then be earnest (confident) when we talk to Him, having faith that He is a great Father.

 

Maybe you (the reader) thought this may lead to the bashing of people’s style when entering a church.  It is not.  It is not our place to judge others, but to interpret for ourselves from the instructions in the Bible how we approach God – If this helps, it probably wouldn’t hurt to approach the Judge this way neither 🙂

Pray today, talk to God – He is waiting!

Please feel free to comment and have a great Monday!

Verse to “chew on”:

 

Daniel 2:21

21 He changes times and seasons;
    he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
    and knowledge to the discerning.

 

Morning Bible Studies 1/21/18

Topic: Meat and potatoes…

We are going to buy this church!  Not figuratively, not wishful thinking, and not by financing – literally.  It has an address and it is not a “pipe dream”. We have the vision and the means, so we are going to step out in faith. Yep, you’ve read that correctly!  Meat.

That picture is our hope.  Sound strange?  Well, we wanted to base our bible study this morning on hope.  During the previous week, we focused our topics on the ever-changing struggles that we are facing.  The tools and instruction that we apply to each struggle we find in the Bible and we like to pass them along to you, in order to help. So this morning (and for the following Sundays) we are going to entertain hope.

We did this in a tangible, realistic and faith-based way.  We wanted this Sunday’s bible study to be positive and encouraging and any other adjective you can imagine that would create a spark!  We had many smiles on our faces this morning when we talked about this picture.

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We “get through” our days around here, with some, but little hope.  Yes, of course, we try to look forward to something – such as one day last week, we made the decision that after work,  we would shut the phones off, put our pajamas on, grab some blankets and watch a movie.  We did that.  We watched “August Rush”.  Great movie, great decision and it was enjoyable for two hours.  We also look forward to going to church and during busy times, we live stream sermons in our living room.  But those little things that get us through our day and therefore weeks, are what I call potatoes.  Kind of correlative to making a roast and leaving out the meat – still edible, however missing something. We can do more.

Personally, during my week (and some of the Bible studies), I have thought about what I have been writing on this blog site.  I love my mission and will stay true to it.  I pray about it often each day.

If I’ve got your attention thus far (thanks), this is where it may get a little boring, but hang in there!

This brings me to a few things I have noticed and learned and we talked about these three words this morning in our Bible study (including reading scriptures related to them) and we discovered their definitions.  While doing so, we came to an interesting fact.  Each of these three words is being used less and less in our day-to-day (current society) vocabulary.  Why is this?  The bible hasn’t changed!  Please click on each word and it will link you to a graph that shows the frequency/usage of each word (on a timeline).  I believe that people are drifting away from spirituality and the Bible itself.

Righteousness

Faith 

Mercy

I also found it interesting that people donate to some strange causes.  While learning how to blog, I found a website that individuals can use to promote anything (yes, anything) and it has a “button” you can click on and donate to a particular cause.  In one instance, an individual asks for donations to “Help fund my writing and my daily cups of coffee – I really need that”.  True story!  Amazingly, this fund receives hundreds of dollars each month!  Very clever I think, and I at times am guilty of donating to bizarre reasons.  I would flip the person a dollar for a coffee – just because I might believe – good for you for being so bold.  I have definitely spent my money on much worse things.  We currently don’t need donations and will buy the church ourselves, but looking forward, if we ever need a “button”, I can promise you that it won’t be for coffee.

Reading through another blog, I discovered tips on finding the right church.  His tip:

Tip 5: Look For The Gospel, Clearly And Articulately Delivered.

We are going to buy that building in the picture and if God’s plan is for us to use it as a church, that “tip” will be our mission.  Keeping things simple, the Apostle Paul has already given us step by step directions – no need to figure out “the space shuttle launch codes”.  It is unnecessary to create a doctrine that promotes personal authority.  Paul was instructed by the best and shared it – it’s already been done for us.

At a minimum, we will own a building.  A building that was built in the 1800’s – when the words “Faith, Mercy, and Righteousness” were being used frequently.  A building that could host many people looking for the Gospel clearly and accurately delivered.  Hope.

Have a great Sunday and as always, comments are very welcome.

Todays Bible verse to “chew on”:

 

Romans 5:2-5

through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

 

Morning Bible Studies 1/20/18

Topic: We Think Too Much!

11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit (Mark 13:11)

Ever looked back at a situation or conversation and thought, “Man! I should’ve said this, or did that?”.  We can come up with some pretty clever “stuff” sometimes.  We can be crafty, sinister and even contemplate retribution!

I have in the past, been so driven to create my own form of justice, that it will consume me and I will actually go so far as to be proud of myself.  I will justify to the ends of the earth that I am right and “they” are wrong. Each time we do that, it seems to inevitably evolve into ANGER and resentment, guilt – and really, an overall bad feeling inside of us. This is definitely a trigger in my struggle with alcoholism.

The confidence (or maybe slight reassurance) we feel when we “re-play” the situations and fire back in the air – is provided to us by the devil himself.  Shouldn’t we realize that the Devil is establishing his foothold?  We are not only “playing God”, but wasting valuable time and energy at playing something we are not – God.

 

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (Ephesians 4:25-28)

 

First, I think we have to take the “30-second rule”.  This rule is what my better half came up with after she figured out that I invariably jump to conclusions when faced with something that doesn’t go my way.  Funny, in the verse above, it explains that it IS okay for me to be angry, however, NOT okay for me to sin because of it.  If I sin, (or even contemplate it) I have given the opportunity to the devil that he is looking for.  During those 30 seconds, while the devil is tempting, taunting, and agitating us,  we must turn our thoughts back to God.  He is standing there waiting for us to do so.

 

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You[a] shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-5)

But the LordGod called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)

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We played out a scenario this morning that originated on Facebook (of course!).  There is a posting going around that shows a picture of a popular television evangelist and his home.

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Not utilizing the 30-second rule, each of our instincts after looking at this picture was negative at best.  Each of us said things like: “How could he be so arrogant?”, or  “He’s a hypocrite!”, and  “I will never listen to him again!”, “That money could help so many people”,  and so on.  We instantly judged this man because of his possessions.  We fell into the devil’s trap – his foothold.  We spent roughly 15 minutes being God and we got pretty “hot” on this topic while doing so!  The devil was laughing at us.

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The bible says to guard your heart.  God made us in His image.  When we played God in the above example, we did not guard our heart.  We gave in to the foothold that the devil wanted us to (like grabbing the fruit off the tree in Eden).

Suppose we re-play the scenario using the 30-second rule and instruction from God’s word.  Here’s how that may look:

We are envious of his house and the money he has and shouldn’t be – wouldn’t we want those things too?  Even Job and Solomon had a massive inventory of belongings.  We really don’t know how many people he has or has not helped. We do not know the purpose that God has for him.  We took a look at the bible and saw the example of Jesus and the righteous rich man;

 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:20-21)

If Jesus Himself asked this very question to the Evangelist in the example, do we know what his answer would be?  God does.  We don’t, so why do we waste so much time and energy?  I’m as guilty as anyone of doing this.

 

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:23-27)

We must guard our own hearts and look straight ahead.  We must listen to God when He calls us and turn away from the foothold of the devil.

We played out a few other interesting scenarios, like in-laws opinions of our lives, and they all played out similarly.  Think about it (but not too much) and have a great Saturday!  Feel free to comment!

Today’s verse to “chew on”:

 

 

John 10:3-6

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

 

Relationship vs. Authority

Topic: Authority

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC1p9v7uZRc

Being a control freak myself – which in my twelve step group is labeled a character defect, and in a church can be considered a sin, I found this mornings bible study interesting at minimum.  A key to finding sobriety in A.A. is the elusive “spiritual awakening”.  One of the greatest reasons to attend A.A. is for the fellowship.  Should this not be the case when attending church?  Don’t get me wrong, I have felt welcomed at many churches (where I seek spiritual guidance), however, I have also felt judged and almost shunned (if) when I speak my personal issues.  I once thought “I sure would love to have my Pastor’s phone number on speed dial, like I do my sponsor’s!”  Have some churches forgotten that we are all sinners?  A.A. hasn’t forgotten, but I am a devout Christian as well.

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I have recently been blessed by having the opportunity to experience and participate in church services at many varying Christian denominations facilities in multiple geographic locations.  I have taken a message from each service and in each instance, the gift that I’ve received is the relationships with people that I have formed.  This hasn’t been necessarily true in every occasion with the leaders of each establishment.  The congregations were warm, friendly and curious. On the contrary – most (not all) of the time the leaders were the opposite – cold, impersonal, and unattentive to my needs or even my presence!

I have, on more than one occasion visited churches where the sermons “blew me away”.  They were sermons that not only kept me awake and focused but filled me with empowerment and I looked at those Pastors, Priests, Clergy, Reverands, Elders, etc., with great admiration and respect.  In each experience, I put aside my personal social anxieties and made the attempt to meet them and introduce myself.  The result?  As I explained above; cold, unattentive, etc., and I also noticed a few who went into the category of arrogant and downright demeaning.

I was in attendance at a service where I distinctly noticed that not one person was holding hands or putting their arm around there husbands, or wives or children!  This was in a relatively small congregation of approximately 400.  I felt like I was in the “Twilight Zone” literally!

I purposefully reached down and grabbed my girlfriend’s hand.

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Initially, at another service (at a different denomination), the entire congregation were warm, inviting and very friendly.  When the service began I couldn’t help but notice that many in attendance uttered shoosh in almost one loud voice when the Minister walked in.  You could hear a pin drop in that building.  People (and families) were individually singled out to move their seating positions!  The worship (or lack thereof) reflected this seemingly intimidating aura.

I once thought “I sure would love to have my Pastor’s phone number on speed dial, like I do my sponsor’s!”

13 The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught. (Isaiah 29:13)

How does this all relate as far as a bible study and alcoholism (or any affliction)?  Well, we looked at what Jesus taught.  Relationship! We looked at what is God’s will for us, and how that plays a role in our lives today.  We have authority all around us (and with good cause), but is that fact supposed to scare us?  This is where we turned to the bible for answers.

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Jesus sums it up in the book of Mark:

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

39 “We can,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”

41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 9:35-45)

Our understanding or perception of this story is that some of today’s authorities seek vanity and selfish desires for their own status (such as James and John asking to be at His right and left hand) and forget their “mission” in its entirety.

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My previous 10 years of experience of leading people at a large manufacturing facility taught me many lessons.  I managed departments where, honestly, I had no idea what they really did.  I learned that to lead those people successfully – to understand those people – I needed to do what they do.  I would actually take off the “white shirt” and put on the blue; get dirty and perform their job in its entirety with no “stage” set. One of those lessons is that by serving, I not only gained knowledge but earned respect and thereby accomplished goals.  I have “sat where they sat”.

Many of you (if you’ve made it this far, thanks!) may not have time to watch the following video, however, I hope that you do.  Keep in mind that I am not promoting the church or Pastor in the video, nor do I work there, but the message is most definitely worth listening to.

At the end of our Bible study today, we know that we need to pray for and love our leaders and have faith that God is using them either to teach us or to learn something themselves.  Either way, He has a purpose! We are going to practice relationship, and love wins every time!

 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior…(! Timothy 2:1-3)

Today’s verse “to chew on”:

Mark 9:50

50 “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.”

Thank you so much for reading, Please feel free to comment and have a great day!

Morning Bible Studies 1/18/18

 

Topic: Off the Deep End

This morning we started out our bible study kind of clueless at where to begin honestly. (Sorry, but bear with me and keep reading, I will get to a point).  I began by just flipping through the bible – not really reading, but thinking of other things.  Others did the same.  I finally tried to focus by looking back at yesterday’s “to chew on” verse;

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6: 10-13)

…and I continued reading in my bible:

 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Just press play 🙂

 

While I was deciphering exactly what the “armor” is, another told me a verse that they were struck by:     “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10).

We continued on by determining that maybe we don’t understand this, possibly fear this and seemed to question our deeds.  This led into discussing the unexplained guilt that some of us have felt since being a child. Not one could define a single reason (or deed) for feeling not good enough.  And there we went “off the deep end”.

The guilt, shame, worthlessness, feelings of not being good enough etc., that some feel by words indoctrinated into our minds repeatedly at a young age, created who we feel like we are today! Keep in mind that in our youth, we did not understand spiritual principles set forth in the gospel (the gospel of peace – see above). We had little to no armor, today we do! And we must believe it!  When we were young, we listened to them – today, we listen to Him!

God is a loving God and who He is (as He states in Jer 17:10), is one who rewards according to their conduct.  We did nothing wrong, they did!  Our job now is to pray for them to turn away from being evil to others, to exhibit love.  It is not our job to condone what they’ve done, but only to love them (and loving them from a distance is smart).  We don’t (and shouldn’t) continue to allow disparagement in any form.  We are God’s children and we answer to Him.

Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. Discipline me, Lord, but only in due measure—not in your anger, or you will reduce me to nothing. Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the peoples who do not call on your name… (Jeremiah 10:23-25)

Please watch the video above.   Maybe I am wrong, but I have sat in a room of nearly 100 addicts and alcoholics who were practically strangers.  Some of those people I outwardly didn’t care to be around – however, if one of them suddenly had a heart attack – I would instantly jump into action without hesitation.  When I read others struggles on their blogs, or on social media, or I see someone crying – my heart instantly feels despondency and I want to comfort them somehow.  When I see a homeless person or a hungry person, I feel the compassion in my heart – and so on…  The bible study agreed they experience the same feelings.  This is the love and relationship that Jesus desired for us – and this is in our spirit!  He felt it too!  Take note: so did the Jews in the following verse:

John 11:25-45

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

We all have it inside of us and we are all worthy!  Take up space!  Hope this has helped someone.  Feel free to comment.  Todays “to chew on” verse is:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

 

Morning Bible Studies 1/17/18

Topic: One Person

This mornings’ Bible study went in many different directions.  There are so many topics that we could have discussed.  The topic of courage, wisdom and wavering decisiveness was mentioned.  Signs and prayer, direction and confidence were still others.

And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. (Matthew 21:21)

True story:  I was once told a story by a young friend of mine that I think of often.  He told me that he had started a job as a machine operator at a plastic manufacturing company.  He told me that he really liked the job, his fellow employees and his Supervisor.

After being there just a short while, one day near the end of his shift, he noticed that the part he was producing had a mild deformity that he didn’t like.  The operating procedures were specific on the machine set up, but he decided to stray from those procedures and he made an adjustment.  The adjustment solved the deformity and the machine was pumping out perfect parts!

Being new and lacking confidence, he was afraid to tell his Supervisor the change that he made.  When he left for the day, he was very nervous about that decision to change the machine set up.  It consumed his thoughts.  Later in the evening, his phone rang and when he looked at the caller I.D. he recognized that it was his employers’ phone number.  Instantly fear struck him.  He recalled feeling paralyzed and he did not answer the call.  A message was left, but he felt he knew what it was about, so he erased it without listening to it.

The next morning, my friend decided not to report back to that job and indeed he never returned.  A few years had passed and my friend had a difficult time finding employment during those years. He had recently been unemployed for a long stretch and struggling financially.  One afternoon, he was walking through Wal-mart and that same Supervisor recognized him and approached him.  His Supervisor was pleasant and had asked how he was doing.  The Supervisor then asked my friend why he left that job as a no-call, no-show.  Before my friend could respond, the Supervisor continued to tell him that he had tried calling him that evening to let him know that whatever adjustments my friend had made on that machine had solved a problem that the company had been trying to address for years and that the Supervisor only wanted to know what he did!  The Supervisor said that the company missed him and if he ever needed employment to return and find him.

We here at home have been dealing with confidence issues.  Some are the result of the past and how we have been treated.  Most lack faith in God that seems to always slip our conscious awareness. We see signs every day of His path for us, but are we looking constantly?  Are we asking constantly? Are we acknowledging Him?

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

He looks for us! 

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

 

I would like to point out that my friend had confidence in his ability (or he wouldn’t have made the adjustment), however, he lacked the courage to confess to his Supervisor the changes.  He feared one person.  This could be the result of past rejection, criticism, and judgment.  Whatever it was could’ve been resolved with prayer and faith.  Easy to say, I know!  I tell myself and others that if your intent is pure – nothing or no one should stand in your way.  Of course, I am a hypocrite and don’t practice what I preach.

“If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Psalm 66:18)

“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

 

My mission statement (read yesterdays bible study) is to help just one person with this blog.  My intent is pure.  No one can stand in my way except me. I prayed hard after this mornings bible study for a sign, direction, and courage.  I will help one person today.

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry.” (Psalm 34:15)

“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3)

Todays to “chew on”:

Ephesians 6:10-13

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

There are no pretty pictures or “pop-ups” and adds on this page – believe me, I’d like to learn how to put them in – only if it would help you (the visitor)!  I would love to hear your comments.  Have a great day!

 

Morning Bible Studies 1/16/18

Topic: Personal Mission Statement

To start out this morning we reflected on yesterdays bible verse to “chew on”.

Ephesians 4:26

If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day.

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We talked about the times during the day that we became angry.  Did we stay angry?  Did we handle the situation free from sin?

Well, the example that we both agreed to talk about as the highlight of the day took place at the car dealership.  The car was scheduled for an oil change and a tire rotation in order to prevent voiding the warranty.  Years ago, I would have just done the work myself, but those days are over.  Companies now figured out a way to make even more money.  It doesn’t cost $50 for me to change oil and surely it doesn’t cost a large manufacturer $50.  The company’s Mission statement says in part: “Supplying products of the highest quality, yet at a reasonable price for worldwide customer satisfaction.”  I suppose $50 is reasonable, and I am aware of the convenience of having the service center do the work, especially in the middle of winter.

The tire rotation was also included in the price.  While the car made its short voyage home, the “tire pressure” indicator warning light came on.  Instead of just going outside and checking the pressure and solving the problem, She asked that I call the service center and explain the problem.  The employee seemed to be frustrated that her day was interrupted and offered in a snide undertone that the cold weather caused the warning light and to bring the car back up to resolve it.  I shot back saying that the cold weather remained consistent for the hour that the vehicle was in service, that the manufacturer probably accounted for seasonal changes and that I assumed the tire air pressure should have been checked after the rotation… I wasn’t taking the car back up there! Angry.

My response to the employee was angry and my action was the sin.  I sinned by matching their snideness and hanging up the phone on them.  Instead, I could have handled it better.  It did not cause us to stay angry, however, it did lead us into our bible study this morning.

Mission statements vary by company, and if you search for them on the internet, you will see extremely well-written mission statements.  I read through them and am amazed at the eloquent, sophisticated promises of customer satisfaction, doing good, helping people, service friendly, etc., etc.  I don’t believe that the employee in the example above had ever read the companies’ mission statement and if they did, they surely didn’t buy into it.  We see this every day.  If people (including myself) made a personal mission statement, what would it be? Would we buy into it? Or would we only be able to write something eloquent and then go on about our business in the same old fashion?

I have to look at my own “mission” and ensure that I “buy into it”.  I do this daily.  For example, I pray constantly that my purpose for writing this blog is with the genuine (or earnest) goal of helping at least one person and not for ulterior reasons.  I know that my focus (or Mission) is to “do good” and “help others”.  I must think before I take each action – will this do good for others, or will this do good for just me?  Sometimes I get trapped up in the numbers – how many visits and how many likes can I get in one day?  This is prideful and a sin.  It does not put people first, it puts me first.  If I believe that I want to “help others”, my intent had better be pure and I must think hard before putting pen to paper.  Motives that are selfish will fail. Pride will cause failure (Proverbs 16:18), not only failure of myself but the failure of the others that I originally intended to help.

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Paul, the key player in establishing the early church, had a strategy and a mission. It is obvious in reading the accounts of his missionary journeys that Paul chose key cities in which to establish a launch for ministry. He chose cities where he would “help people and do good” delivering the Good News to the largest number of people. Ephesus, for example, was the gateway to Asia Minor.  Pauls mission was given to him by God Himself and Paul “bought into it” no doubt.  He is an awesome example of truly sticking to the Mission no matter what.

Pauls mission statement could be:

Acts 18:9

One night Paul had a vision in which the Lord said to him, “Do not be afraid, but keep on speaking and do not give up,

…and

 

Acts 23:11

That night the Lord stood by Paul and said, “Don’t be afraid! You have given your witness for me here in Jerusalem, and you must also do the same in Rome.”

 

We finished our Bible study this morning walking away thinking of our mission.  It was a great time we shared and I am calmer for it.  Full of hope and focused on the day ahead.  The scripture picked to “chew on” for the day is:

Luke 10:2

He said to them, “There is a large harvest, but few workers to gather it in. Pray to the owner of the harvest that he will send out workers to gather in his harvest.

What is your Mission?  Have a great day!

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