Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Blessing is God Modeling you into Christ

The Blessing is God modeling you into Christ. There is nothing more. Jonathan Edwards explained in his original dissertation: God’s inherent predisposition to spread out His truth, goodness, and beauty motivates everything He does. So, His decision to create our universe was motivated not by a desire or need for us, but by a desire to glorify Himself. Being modeled into Christ is another way that God glorifies Himself. Those who resist that (being modeled) will not be with the Father.  Jesus said that the way to the Father, the only way, is through me. Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
This is the message we should be teaching our children. Instead, in this popular culture, we teach the love of money and things. We teach that this is mine and that is yours. "I worked hard for my education/this house, etc. and you will have to work for yours." This teaches slavery to the law, slavery to this fallen world and man's way of living in it without God in his/her heart/mind. Why? How? For one, it is boasting about work that one does to have things over others. Or at least to have what others have in terms of material things.
We wonder why people are depressed, suicidal, brokenhearted,... it is because they are living in this way- competing for things.  When we are engaged in this activity, we cannot be blessed, we cannot be modeled into Christ. How can we not live in this fallen world without competing is often the response? Once you stop putting things first, you will see it is not so difficult. Nothing else matters except the glory of God.  Your children don't need college debt, they don't need computer games, they don't need the latest iphone. They need your guidance toward finding and receiving the Blessing that is theirs.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

All Christians like Paul Struggle With Sin

Struggling with sin, Paul sure did. I do too; like all of us living in this fallen world. "I would not have known what sin was except through the law... and yet we know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do. And, if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no the evil I do not want to do, this I keep on doing. Now, if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it... So, I find this law at work; when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man/woman I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Romans 7: 7-25

A House is Built By Wisdom and The Lesson of Hagar and Sarah

Today's women should be more concerned about their house/home as a place of wisdom rather than places of taste / self- expression. We don't realize that our house can become an idol or practice of idolatry.
Proverbs 24 3-4  A house is built by wisdom and becomes strong through good sense. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with all sorts of precious riches and valuables. What does that mean? Does it mean with big screen TVs and shiny objects from Home Goods? No. Because, those things require the law. In our culture, it is difficult to imagine riches and valuables that no one can touch! And, that no one can see unless one is attune with God's Promise, His way of living, His rules for living. Read Col 3 "Rules for Holy Living and Rules for Christian Households".

One of the best examples in the Bible for how a house should be built by wisdom can be found in the life of Abraham and Sarah and Hagar. Why, because when we rest in the Lord's promise, we gain in wisdom and we gain freedom. Gal 4: 21-31 "Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. These things may be taken figuratively for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: this is Hagar. Now, Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. ... Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of that promise. At that time, the son born in the ordinary way, persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. This is a foreshadowing of Christ, the son of God persecuted. It is an example of man (woman) going it alone without resting on the promise that was made. If Sarah had been wise and not living in the 'law', she never would have tempted Abraham with Hagar as a means to have an heir (according to law). Sarah had heard the Lord's voice and she knew of His promise, yet she doubted. In her doubt, she caused social problems (she fell to the rule of law which is the true yoke of slavery, just as Eve had) that never would have existed if she built her house of wisdom. In the end, the Creator will have His way, while man will have only caused heartache.  Remember, we are not children of the slave woman, 'the law', we are children of the free woman who is free only through Christ Jesus and not the law. Which means that in order to be free, we can only be truly free by resting in the Lord's and His promise of deliverance, of salvation. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery 'the law'. Gal 5

Too often mistake the use of 'the law' to be in the current understanding of our culture of law. God sent His only Son because there are too many laws, laws created by God, by man... so many that in the presence of our Creator who is perfect before the law, we would perish no matter how much we have sinned/disregarded the law for there is no sin/law that is over and above another - all sins are sin before a perfect God. Yet, God loves us and so offers us a way out of that curse- living under the law/sin. By our faith, we shall be saved. To show faith in Him, we must live that faith, we must be wise, rest in the Lord and do not take action into our own hands thinking that we alone can satisfy the law.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Feminist MisConception

I want to address the feminist misconception, the illogical reasoning that women are equal to men and worse that women in their relationship to men can be and or ought to be superior. Women today think that they should have more influence, power and authority in the world. Who said that they didn't??? Women have forgotten that they have those abilities through their God given role as wives and  mothers. It is executed in a way that most women don't understand and that execution is through the role of submission. "Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord." Col 3:18. "Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Ephesians 5:22
What does submission mean or how are we to understand that role? Firstly, let us look at why God orders marriage. Firstly, we can read in Col 3-4 about holy living and rules for Christian households that tell us about God's social order.  We can read in Titus 2 on what must be taught to various groups and doing what is good... to be subject to authority. The order of God's authority is man and then woman who is coming under man or after her husband in the chain of God's authority.  Why? It is about peace, harmony and family. All of which enable relationships. We are all under God, he is 'our' Father. Because of that we are in relation with Him and with each other. God is the Creator and His order of  operation is best. We can look to the Bible for our instruction on His order of operation so that we can have peace, harmony and family which can/will sustain us. In 1 Timothy 3:1-4, we can read "if anyone sets his heart on being an overseer must be reproach; the husband of but one wife, temperate self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach... not violent but gentle, not a lover of money... he must manage his own family well! The feminist misconception is that women can and should do this job order and their husbands. Their argument is that men don't honor God's order. As a sociologist, I would argue... who are raising boys/young men? What are mothers teaching or not allowing to be taught by their husbands. This is not to say that we women and men as Christians are getting it wrong, God's order. We must always be mindful that we live in a fallen world. God' knows this, and that is why He asks us to follow His order as it is the best order in a fallen world.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Women, What to do about All the Injustice in the World???

Women and anger over injustice, how do we cope? Speaking as a woman, I have to admit that I can get pretty angry over injustice. I say to myself, why isn't God doing something about this, why doesn't He act. I know what I would do... Ladies, cool it. God knows about injustice and He is and will deal with it. I suggest you read the Psalms and for sure Psalm 58. Psalms are comforting and they are reassuring us that God does deal with injustice.We must also remember that it is not our 'Godly' position to do battle with people whom we think create injustice or entities that we think create injustice in the world. It is God's job to deal with injustice. Our job is to forgive. Even when we encounter evil in the world. It is God's will not ours that will deal with evil. The Lord's prayer says "thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and deliver us from evil (the evil one)".
All to often, we turn to man and his will/way of dealing with evil/injustice. In fact, we have caused more problems in this world by doing that.  We should turn to God and do what He asks us - to forgive.
A little more than a few of years ago, there was the tragic incident where a man stormed into an Amish school and killed a number of children. The parents of the victims immediately went to the family of the man who committed the atrocity and forgave him and helped his family get through the tragedy that was both theirs  in terms of loss; but neither a greater loss. To often we like to measure our loss to someone else's and conclude that our loss is greater. We fail to look at what other people lose and that it may be just as great a loss. Losing the innocent is tragic. However, the loss of a troubled man/woman is just as tragic in that they may not have been reached in terms of their salvation and that they more than likely committed such an act (s) because they too were victims at some point in their life with no one to reach out to for help/for love.
Injustice will exist in this fallen world, let the Lord God handle it and the best you can do is to remain in Him.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Christians - Forgive ...What We Are Called to Do and a Look at Christian Doctrine

God is all forgiving and merciful. And He is. However, the way to grace in our own lives is through forgiving. We need to be forgiving. We need to forgive those that have hurt us or caused us/others injustice. We need to forgive! Because no one is without the need of forgiveness, no one is without sin. "Let he is without sin cast the first stone." John 8:7
When we forgive, we open ourselves to God's grace to work in our life. This is the purpose of forgiveness. It is that we forgive those who trespass against us that we are delivered from evil.
If we were a quantum computer program designed to operate/function/run as quickly as possible and without second guessing, without hesitation, without thinking about who should get or not get information and or who would be best to get information/who deserves such information... we as that quantum computer would not function at all. A quantum computer functions as though all functions are true, are without corruption. How? The key is in the program and it is forgiveness, total ultimate forgiveness which means that there is no harm done because it is not recognized as if the harm is forever as in eternally fatal. How is it not recognized as fatal? The program is commanded to automatically forgive. This comes through / is made possible in the 'word' command given by the creator of the program. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." So, the program runs effectively without end... having trusted and continued trusting in the Creator's program (s).

Basic Christian doctrine when compared to other religions there is little comparison!
  • There is only one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; Galatians 4:8-9).
  • God is three in one or a Trinity (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; John 14:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Acts 2:32-33, John 10:30,17:11, 21; 1 Peter 1:2).
  • God is omniscient or "knows all things" (Acts 15:18; 1 John 3:20).
  • God is omnipotent or "all powerful" (Psalm 115:3; Revelation 19:6).
  • God is omnipresent or "present everywhere" (Jeremiah 23:23, 24; Psalm 139).
  • God is sovereign (Zechariah 9:14; 1 Timothy 6:15-16).
  • God is holy (1 Peter 1:15).
  • God is just or "righteous" (Psalm 19:9, 116:5, 145:17; Jeremiah 12:1).
  • God is love (1 John 4:8).
  • God is true (Romans 3:4; John 14:6).
  • God is spirit (John 4:24).
  • God is the creator of everything that exists (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 44:24).
  • God is infinite and eternal. He has always been God (Psalm 90:2; Genesis 21:33; Acts 17:24).
  • God is immutable. He does not change (James 1:17; Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 46:9-10).
  • The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:11-12; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
  • Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1, 14, 10:30-33, 20:28; Colossians 2:9; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 1:8).
  • Jesus became a man (Philippians 2:1-11).
  • Jesus is fully God and fully man (Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 4:15; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • Jesus was sinless (1 Peter 2:22; Hebrews 4:15).
  • Jesus is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6; Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22).
  • Man was created by God in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27).
  • All people have sinned (Romans 3:23, 5:12).
  • Death came into the world through Adam's sin (Romans 5:12-15).
  • Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2).
  • Jesus died for the sins of each and every person in the world (1 John 2:2; 2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 Peter 2:24).
  • Jesus' death was a substitutionary sacrifice. He died and paid the price for our sins, so that we might live. (1 Peter 2:24; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45).
  • Jesus resurrected from the dead in physical form (John 2:19-21).
  • Salvation is a free gift of God (Romans 4:5, 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 1:8-10).
  • The Bible is the "inspired" or "God-breathed," Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
  • Those who reject Jesus Christ will go to hell forever after they die (Revelation 20:11-15, 21:8).
  • Those who accept Jesus Christ will live for eternity with him after they die (John 11:25, 26; 2 Corinthians 5:6).
  • Hell is a place of punishment (Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 19:20).
  • Hell is eternal (Matthew 25:46).
  • There will be a rapture of the church (Matthew 24:30-36, 40-41; John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
  • Jesus will return to the earth (Acts 1:11).
  • Christians will be raised from the dead when Jesus returns (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).
  • There will be a final judgment (Hebrews 9:27; 2 Peter 3:7).
  • Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
  • God will create a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Atonement for Your Sin ...Because of God's Love

God's love is Great!!!! He is all forgiving and merciful. But since we live in a fallen world, in the meaning of having fallen from the position/relationship we once had with God before the fall of Adam/Eve, we are now in a place where we need atonement for sin, we need a substitute so that when God looks at us here, he sees who he intended. He sees Jesus. Atonement for sin was given to us through Jesus Christ. God is multidimensional and in that is His perfection; and thus, He is all knowing. In His perfection, man cannot know Him in his sinful nature nor be given simply through deeds. This God knew and sent his Son as atonement for our sin. In this way, God is all forgiving and all merciful.  In His multidimensional state, He wants to draw us near to Him, into the most perfect relationship we can be, the best choice, the best state of being in a multidimensional reality, that state of all possibles - and there is one best possible and that is in relationship with the Creator. And He wants as many of His creation in relationship with Him as possible. He has the best possible for you if you accept His love. I must say that I am so disheartened as I have listened this week to many women call in and relate their situation. Most of them are or appeared to be at their ropes end. Why, why, why....? The desperation in their voices great. Some of their stories similar, most rebelled at an early age and many fell into the hands of ungodly men. The best advice I can give is to be strong in the belief that God loves you and has always wanted the best for you. In order to realize that, you have to look back and see where you went wrong, where you strayed, not blaming others. Repent, forgive and move on. Repent means to rethink. Look at where the serpent entered your life. Ask why? Did you rebel? Did you not listen to wisdom? Did you think you were smarter? Did you have to drop out of school? Where you just caught up in your parents sin? Most of the time it is rebellion that has led  women away from God. It is never too late to repent. Forgiving others in what happened to you is wise, but realize that it is about you and you must rethink what you did or did not do that led you astray. Forgive yourself of your sin, God already has. Atonement for sin was made possible through Jesus Christ! Believe that God loves you as He sees His son when He looks at you. He wants you back on the right path which is a relationship with Him. He has something special for you because He loves you... just ask and you will receive.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Don't Think Like Everyone Else Does - Be Strong in Faith!

Don't think like everyone else does. "The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, "Don't call everything a conspiracy, like they do and don't live in dread of what frightens them. Make the Lord of Heaven's Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble. He will keep you safe." Isaiah 8:11-14
In telling you that I am not boasting!  "Again, I [Paul] say don't think that I am a fool to talk like this. But even if you do, listen to me, as you would to a foolish person, while I also boast a little. Such boasting is not from the Lord, but I am acting like a fool. And since others boast about their human achievements, I will too. After all, you think you are so wise, but you enjoy putting up with fools!. You put up with it when someone enslaves you, takes everything you have, takes advantage of you, takes control of everything and slaps yo in the face. I am ashamed to say that we've been too "weak" to do that! 2 Cor 11:15-21.
"This boasting will do no good, but I [Paul] must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don't know only God knows. Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my bod. But I do know that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell. That experience is worth boasting about, but I'm not going to do ti. I will boast only about my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so,k because I would be telling the truth. But I won't do it because I don't want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, even though i have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh , a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power words best in weakness." so, now I am glad to bast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can worked through me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor 12:1-10

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Freedom and Salvation and a Society of Liberty

Forgiveness and love are the keys to freedom and salvation. No other faith makes such a promise. Christianity gave us the ability to conceive liberty and here in the United States a government was established for the people and by the people.  Christianity gave us the idea that the individual is a responsible being, responsible for him/herself in terms of actions and repentance.  Moreover, that every individual be granted forgiveness (no man/woman is without sin) as a way for the individual and group to move forward, to evolve. This was/is the message of Christ. We are free indeed! "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36 There is only freedom in Christ "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Gal 5:1-2

Teach your Daughters and Sons Well

Teach your daughters and sons well- that means to follow a Christian life- to live in God's social hierarchy. Today, most people are caught up in the culture of have vs have not(s) and think that the government is the answer. They think that a good government will watch out for its people. The government is only what the people are; if they are not Godly then the government won't be. We should not teach our children, especially daughters, to look for a 'savior' in government. We should teach them to seek a good 'Godly' husband. We should teach our sons to be 'Godly' men.  There are plenty of examples in the Bible. The Bible is God's word for us to us so that we can not only follow them but come into a relationship with God by reading them. God is not a dictator. He is the Creator of heaven and earth and all the things in it. We must be mindful though that we now live in a fallen world, a corrupt program. This happened when Eve listened to and took information that was not for her. She passed this along to her husband. Adam certainly had a role to play in the corruption and God was/is well aware of that. Because of that sin, He sent His Son to redeem us, to patch us back into the original program which is soon to be our reward for believing.
We live in a fallen world.  Because of that, God also gave us His word for Salvation, the word was Jesus Christ, and the word leads us back to our original program, relationship with our Creator. The word tells us that here and now we need to follow a certain 'firewall' of protection as we go forward in our salvation. God gave us instructions for life as a family, the unit of life. God-man/husband, woman-wife.
Read Peter 1:3 or Romans 7 or Cor 1:7  Eph 5 or Col 3:18-22 In these we can find our role and way back to paradise. The sound structure of family/marriage is the glue that keeps society functioning. Any sociologist, including myself, will tell you this based on countless studies.
Where can we begin to fix the problems we face in our society? We need to remember about God's hierarchy. Women must let their husbands rule over them and their children. This does not mean to subject themselves to abuse. Too many people jump on that as a defense to disobey God. We cannot suppose that all men intend to hurt their loved ones. We all sin and will continue to do so in the fallen world, but thank the Lord for forgiveness and sin no more. We can suppose that if men are taught when they are boys the word of God, they will be strong Christian men, good husbands. Hence, we must teach our daughters to follow their husbands, be good wives and they will have a good life and strong family. This does not mean that life will be without hardship or struggle. Again, we live in a fallen 'corrupt' program/world. What we must do and what matters most is to glorify God, give Him thanks and praise! For He alone can save and will as long as you let Him. " Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will love with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people." 2 Cor14-17
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand fir, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Gal 5 1-2 

Monday, September 8, 2014

If you Love your Spouse- Be a Dream Supporter

If you love your spouse, your husband, then support his dream. I know so many women who demand that their life, their dreams comes first. I am not saying that a wife's dream about her life and her children's in terms of self satisfaction and future is not important nor am I saying that both spouses, husband and wife, can't simultaneously support each others dreams, she/they can. A Godly woman though should know God's hierarchy (God- husband-wife* see Ephesians 5:22); and when meeting her potential husband, learn what his dream in life is before getting married. What a joy to find out that his dream is (her) your dream too. If his dream is differently from hers and they still pursue marriage, both can support each others' dream; but, that takes a lot of due diligence and sacrifice as in being inconvenienced from time to time of one's own dream pursuit about life in this world.

I knew a dream killer and that was not good for me and my dream. Worse, is that I failed to realize I too was a dream killer; life was not just about me and my comfort zone. It takes a lot of courage to be a 'rock' for someone else. To be the main support, main fan, and or cheerleader before putting one's own agenda/goals first.

If you love your spouse, put aside your dream and let his dreams come true.  It may in fact result in your dreams coming true!

Everyday Living can be Mundane

Some of us,moms especially, wonder if there is nothing more in life than cooking, cleaning and laundry. The mundane can appear cruel. Think of it as a means of preparation for eternity of enjoying your reward in heaven. We like to imagine that heaven is one big party where we can do everything we want, changing up whenever we feel like it. But, that is not the case. In heaven we will rule as our reward and the amount of ruling will be based on our lives here. If you can do the same ole thing everyday here and rejoice in that, your reward in heaven will be even more wonderful. "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." Rev 22:12 "To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations." Rev 2:26

I know that the everyday can be mundane, but delight in what you have and though you may clean up the same mess a thousand times, do with with a light heart. "I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you-- the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore." Psalm 121

Friday, September 5, 2014

Getting UnStuck in Your Marriage

 Today on Walk in the Word with Pastor James McDonald, you can listen to advice on getting unstuck in your marriage. Are you stuck? What does that mean? It means that you and your spouse are not moving forward in your marriage in the sense that you are not growing in love with one another. You might think that you can only reach a certain point when it comes to loving your spouse but that is not the case. You can grow more in love even if you think you have love between you or no longer have any. How? Pastor James McDonald tells us that marriage was God’s idea from the beginning and He has a lot to say about how you can move yours forward into health and vitality. Again how is that possible. Whether you are in love or no longer feeling like you are in love, Pastor McDonald provides wise words to either grow more or get back in love. When I listened to his radio program today on Walk in the Word, I heard one thing that stood out for me. The one thing that I knew was important - exclusiveness. This more than anything else is the key. In our relationship with our spouse, as in our relationship with God, (He is a jealous God) we need to share things with our spouse, with God, that we share with no one else. It creates a space/place that is private, even secretive. We confide in our spouse as we confide in God, we exchange certain words that we only share with our spouse, we exchange glances, gestures, and we touch our spouse in ways that are only for him/her. Exclusiveness is key. You have a favorite song, restaurant, movie that you is yours and no one else' s... including conversations about certain topics that belong to only the two of you!

Getting unstuck is about reconnecting with those exclusive things that you share or creating new ones.
Check out Pastor James McDonald's website to hear his radio program on getting unstuck.


Inconvenienced for the sake of others!

Americans don't like being inconvenienced... We like to do what we want to do, in fact we feel that we have the right to do only that which makes us happy. Being a Christian means being inconvenienced for the sake of others. What does that mean? It means extending yourself, going beyond your own imagination of what life should be like. It sounds painful to a lot of people since they immediately think that it means leaving the self behind. It does and does not mean that. It depends on how you accept that extending yourself as a calling, a fulfilling calling.  It means going out of your way to do for others what you would expect others to do for you. Of course, some people say I don't like others doing for me and I don't expect others to do for me. "If my car breaks down, I will just walk, I don't need a ride". Little do they think it could be on a 100 degree August afternoon and on the freeway with limited shoulder space. "I have my own kids to take care of."  Little do they think there could be a day when they are sick and not able to drive their kids to school in the morning."I don't think we would have anything in common, look at the car he drives. Little do they know that he has an awesome slot car track in his basement. "I'd like to host a bible study, but my house is too small." Little do they know that God's house is big enough for everyone.

I am not talking about 'works'. I am talking about paying attention to troubles in your neighbors life, or family members' lives and taking the cross from them when they can't carry it.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Faithfullness When Faced with Trouble

Faithfulness in times of Trouble... I wrote yesterday about Hosea. He needed to be faithful to God even when His wife could not be faithful to him. Some might say that Hosea should have expected that given Gomer's line of work/situation. Should we go through life expecting things to be as we find them and no more than that??? No, we should expect better always and by doing that we show God that we are faithful to Him,we are in relationship with Him. We can teach our children to expect better, we should teach our children to expect better from others, from themselves. They to teach this is to model it. We can express disappointment but we should also show that we desire more from them and that we are confident in our expectations. You see, speaking as a sociologist, expectations are necessary to live an everyday life as well as one that goes beyond the everyday. If we have high expectations for the everyday, we are thus able to reach higher and beyond the everyday and by doing so we open new doors of opportunity and prosperity. We grow in positive imagination and this is virtuoso.
So in fact, God was asking Hosea to be virtuoso and introduce that into the life of his wife, saving himself and her. It is through relationship that we can be virtuous. Being in relationship with God causes us to be virtuous and this is good for us (for everyone) and this is all that God wants.  Therefore, when we face trouble, we are able to see the way out because of virtue through relationship with God. Virtue in our life is God expects because He is with us and we are with Him. He wants us to expect good things, and so we should expect good things even when faced with trouble.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

E.K. Bailey on Our Relationship with God

Today, I read the most amazing retelling of Hosea by the late E.K. Bailey. What a powerful voice Bailey had, what a powerful sermon as it is one that fits to our today's culture, struggle with sin, and a message that directly steers us toward understand our relationship with God. 
Below is not the excerpt from Bailey's sermon but an interpretation of Hosea and the basic summary of E.K. Bailey's sermon. 

In Hosea 1:2 we read, “The LORD said to Hosea, ‘Go, take to yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom.’” Hosea obeyed, marrying a woman named Gomer, who was unfaithful to him. Why did God tell Hosea to marry a prostitute?

To begin with, it is important to realize this command could be understood two different ways. First, and more likely, this command could be one of anticipation. In other words, God may have instructed Hosea to marry a woman who would later become unfaithful to him. The other possibility is that the command was for Hosea to marry someone already known as a prostitute.

In either case, the reason for this unusual directive is specified in the latter half of the same verse: “For the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the LORD.” God wanted to provide an illustration of His relationship with the people of Israel, who had been unfaithful to Him by practicing idolatry. This theme is carried through the remainder of the prophecies in chapter 1 and the discussion of Israel’s unfaithfulness in chapter 2.

In Hosea 3:1, after Gomer had left Hosea and was living in immorality, the Lord commanded Hosea to find her and buy her back. God was continuing His illustration, except now He wanted to show the greatness of His grace: “Even as the LORD loves the children of Israel, though they turn to other gods.” Hosea’s faithful love of Gomer was an illustration of God’s faithfulness to wayward Israel. Just as Gomer had been unfaithful to her husband and had to be redeemed, Israel needed God’s initiative to restore their relationship.

The prophet Hosea was commanded to marry an unfaithful wife, and this set up a model of Israel’s broken relationship with God. Israel had been chosen and loved by God yet had been unfaithful to Him by way of idolatry. Just as Hosea redeemed his estranged wife and sought to continue his relationship with her, God promised to redeem Israel and renew their relationship with Him. The story of Hosea and Gomer is an unforgettable picture of God’s strong, unending love for His covenant people.

What is the point of this story for today's divorce 'adultery' ridden world. No one ever expects his/her spouse to be unfaithful. In the story of Hosea, Gomer is unfaithful. It could be the other way around... the point being is that many of us live unfaithful to God and yet he is always there ready to forgive and redeem us. We live in a fallen world. And because of that God wants us to never forget that He is there for us faithfully and we should be there for Him...faithfully!
Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Hosea-marry-prostitute.html#ixzz3CI5ADMJc
Listen to E. K. Bailey on Today in the Word - Today in the Word with E.K. Bailey

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teaching Godly Children - we are in this world but not of it!

Teaching Godly children is a difficult task today, more so than in any other time given the technology at hand and the lack of morals/ethics in today's post modern global world. We as parents have a tendency to spoil our child even just by wanting the best for him/her. But what is the problem with that. The problem is that we may not be leading our children into a Godly life. We may in fact be indulging them and or directing them toward a life of self indulgence and instant gratification. We have to teach our children that though we are in this world, we are not of. 2 Cor 10:2-3 "I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live b the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does." John 15:18-19 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world".
How do we teach our children this? That is a good question. We must not let children break the rules we set for them in terms of expected Godly behavior. We hold fast to our faith and let our children be witness to that. We do not idolize things which keep us from growing in relationship with God, this is what children need to learn. We teach them to be patient and to be kind yet defensive of their faith and ready to defend their fellow Christian. We do not let them be exposed to windows/doors of evil whether found in music, television, social media or on the streets of the community/neighborhood.
Be steadfast parents and ask God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ for guidance and trust in Him and His social 'Godly' hierarchy - father/husband, wife/mother and children.