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Showing posts from January, 2013

“Our relationship with God hinges on our relationship with other people—the two are inseparable.”

A thought by Andy Stanley, (2009-08-22) from his book,It Came from Within!: The Shocking Truth of What Lurks in the Heart(p. 115). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
This whole matter of relationships with others is so important because it affects our relationship with God.Andy also says, “The truth is, you cannot resolve your differences with God if you are unwilling to resolve your differences with the people around you.”Jesus made this clear when He said in Matthew 6:15 (NIV), “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Relationships are so very important.In some situations you may need some outside help.There are people who have the ability to deal with conflict.For men this many times is a problem.They aren’t even honest with themselves that there is a problem so how in the world could they be honest with someone else.They aren’t even honest with their wives or or their parents or their kids or that person at work or that friend so how coul…

“Forgiveness is a gift we decide to give in spite of how we feel.”

A thought by Andy Stanley (2009-08-22) from his book, It Came from Within!: The Shocking Truth of What Lurks in the Heart (p. 145). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.
That is so true.
I had a situation that happened in my life that in no way did I want to forgive. I wanted to play the martyr and get all I could out of it. I mean they stabbed me in the back and then there were others who followed them closely behind and again that really hurt.
But today I am at peace.There is no pain at all when I think of that situation.I am free because of forgiveness.

Now I have no relationship with this person today because of some evil that they did to someone close to me but I am free. Have I forgiven them for what they did to the other person?No, I haven’t.The evil that they did was not toward me so what they did was not up to me to forgive them.I am not the one to forgive them.There are some acts that the justice of God takes over.
But I am free from the injustice of that person toward me because…

“All relationships have failings, but all relationships don’t have to fail.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book,What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person (Kindle Location 2350). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
That is sure true.That is where grace, love and forgiveness come in.In every relationship there will be pain because no one is perfect.
I was reading yesterday about how Peter denied He knew Jesus.Here Jesus was going through the most difficult time that anyone has ever gone through and one of His closest friends denied that he even knew Him. How have you handled rejection from your closest friend?Well after Jesus had been killed and then resurrected, one of the first people He came to was Peter.He still loved Him.The relationship had a failing but He knew it didn’t have to fail.
What are your expectations of your friends?Do you expect perfection?Oh we want grace because we are not perfect but we demand justice because they should be?
Somehow we need to understand that “All relationships have failings, but all rela…

“We often confuse the heart of compassion that requires a response with the feeling of sympathy that remains idle.”

A thought by Brandon Hatmaker, (2011-10-18) from his book, Barefoot Church: Serving the Least in a Consumer Culture(p. 34). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
I was just reading a story about Jesus over in the 20th chapter of Matthew in the New Testament.It seems that He and His disciples were leaving this particular town and a crowd was following them.And a couple of blind men disturbed the group and the crowd rebuked them and told them to be quite. But they continued yelling and Jesus finally stopped and asked them what they wanted and they said, “We want our sight.”
Now I’m sure these guys had been there for a long time and the sympathy of the crowd who walked by them every day turned to annoyance and then ignoring them.But these two blind men had heard that Jesus was going by and they shouted, “Have mercy on us” and it says that Jesus didn’t have sympathy but He had compassion on them and touched their eyes and immediately they received their sight and followed Him.He did something and He w…

“True relationships with others decenter the self.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person(Kindle Locations 2627-2628). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I wonder if one of the major problems we have at making a commitment with someone else is because we have to lessen the love of our life which is ourselves.And there is so much we have to give up in order to do that.
I have been noticing again what it means for a couple to have a new baby come to live with them.I mean that other person demands that you decenter yourself. To those of us who are married and those of us who are parents it is totally worth it.
And to those whose relationships are all based upon themself and those whose children take second place in their world they have totally missed out on the beauty, excitement and adventure of life with someone else.
I am sorry; if I am the love of my life then I have deprived my life from really living.There is nothing that I have given up to be a husba…

“When what motivates you lines up with what satisfies you, it is a powerful combination.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell, (2012-10-02) from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential (pp. 23-24). Center Street. Kindle Edition.
Rick Warren says that God has given us a SHAPE.S – Your Spiritual Gifts, Heart – Your passion, A – Your Abilities, P – Your Personality, E – Your Experiences.Your SHAPE tells you what God created you to do.
Another way to say SHAPE is to call it your Sweet Spot.Now there is a Sweet Spot on a baseball bat and also a golf club and when you hit the baseball or golf ball on the Sweet Spot the ball will go farther than you could imagine.You hit the Sweet Spot.
When you are working in your Sweet Spot you will be energized but when you are working in anything other than your Sweet Spot, your SHAPE, then your task will de-energize you. That is why so many people are not energized in what they do because they are doing what they do for the wrong reason.They are doing it for status, for money, for recognition, for their paren…

“Relationships die without communication, and communication is hardest in the midst of conflict.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person (Kindle Location 2355). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
That is so true.Relationships are built on give and take, in other words, talking and listening. Not one person talking and the other person listening but each one talking and each one listening, really listening.  In there comes understanding and caring.
Now in conflict there usually isn’t any listening.Oh both may be talking, telling their side of the situation, trying to convince the other one that they are right and that blocks communication which in turn damages relationships.You see, relationships are built on the mutual desire to build each other up and not tear them down.And conflict is built on tearing the other person down and building yourself up.In conflict it is all about winning and the other person losing and that is damaging and it eventually could kill the relationship.
I have found in my nearly …

“The divine potential of a moment is unlocked by the choices we make.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 182). Kindle Edition.
There are so many choices to be made in a moment but only a few that will make a difference, only one or two that are divine moments.
Have you ever realized that you were living a divine moment, that you were being used by God to make a difference?For sure of all the choices it was not the easiest one to make.There was some effort on your part, maybe even some risking and for sure there was an inward battle but there is always a reward.Sometimes you reap the reward immediately but most of the times it is down the road but there will be a reward.
For me writing has a divine twist to it but it always has some difficulty attached to it.I mean there is always some reading ahead of time and that takes effort especially the right kind of reading.
I love reading mysteries.I just finished one mystery on my Kindle and just loaded a new one last night so I was dr…

“When we feel overwhelmed with disappointment it often reveals something that has become too important.”

A thought by Kyle Idleman (2011-05-24) from his book, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus(p. 62). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Kyle gives an illustration that really emphasizes this point.
Let’s say you are taking your son fishing.He is going to be with you and he is so excited.But as the day goes by the fish aren’t biting and you slowly grow frustrated and disappointed. As you are going home you are quiet and clearly upset.Now what that shows is that catching fish not spending time with your son is clearly more important to you.That is clearly a wrong priority.
Now to the son, just being with his dad is exciting no matter how many fish he or his dad catches.His only disappointment possibly would be in realizing what was important to his dad, catching fish, not being with him.
What do your disappointments show is clearly a priority to you?Is it a misplaced or a correct priority?Now this is a great way to search out and refocus or reinforce your priorities and the be…

“A mistake is simply another way of doing things.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell, (2012-10-02) from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential (p. 6). Center Street. Kindle Edition.
Yesterday afternoon after I had written my blog I was reading it and realized that I had left a word out and I had also misspelled a couple of words.I had already sent it out on the internet super highway with these mistakes.Now I had a couple of options.I could have gone to my dashboard and deleted the whole blog feeling ashamed and defeated vowing to never write a blog ever again or I could add the word and fix the misspelled words and then repost and come back again today striving to do better proof reading and here I am today.
Now I don’t like making mistakes but at least I am trying to make a difference, mistakes and all.I like another statement that John made, “To become intentional about growing, (which we were dealing with in yesterday’s blog) expect to make mistakes every day, and welcome them as a sign that you ar…

“We don’t improve by simply living. We have to be intentional about it.”

A thought by John C Maxwell,. (2012-10-02) from his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws ofGrowth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential(p. 3). Center Street. Kindle Edition.
You see there is work in improvement.
Do you every watch any of those TV shows where those people are walking through Home Depot dreaming about what they could do in their house and this guy comes up and he says he can do it in three days.They then have to make a decision of whether they want it or not.I mean they are going to have to kill themselves for three days in order for it to happen.And some people don’t take the risk and lose out.
On my other blog, bill’s front porch, I just finished looking at setting goals at the beginning of the new year to make improvements in ourselves.Only 5% of people set goals and they are the most successful people around.They realize that you cannot reach your potential without being intentional about it.
Now the real reason why I write this blog is for me.It is an intentional action that…

“When a relationship is broken, the injured party is the only one who can heal it because only the injured can forgive.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person(Kindle Locations 2277-2278). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
So many don’t really realize it but the most important thing in our lives is our relationships. God showed that by His creating us so He could have a relationship with us and Christ showed that by His coming to earth.Adam our representative broke the relationship with God and Christ came to heal it through His death.
Now that is also true with us and our broken relationships with others.Remember how Jesus said, “Father… forgive us the wrongs we have done”, that is healing our relationship with God, “as we forgive the wrongs others have done to us”, that deals with our broken relationship with others.
That means in order for us to have a relationship with God we need to ask for forgiveness of our rejection of Him and also the wrongs, the sins we have done against Him.Then we are to forgive those who have w…

“If we run from the battle, it is difficult for God to win the battle through us.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus from his book, Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment(Kindle Location 1925). Kindle Edition.
That statement really hit me as I just read it. Somewhere we have gotten into our minds that this is heaven.That we live an existence of continual peace and we are given everything we want on a platter.That if we have obstacles in our task that God has given us to do then it must mean that we are not where we should be.When in reality we may be exactly where we should be.
Life is good but it may not be easy.I am reading the story of Jesus over and over and His was not an easy life.What would have happened to us if He would have run from battles that He faced every day? We would not be experiencing the opportunities and the privileges that we have every day in our life.
I am retired from the responsibilities of being a pastor of a local church and I sometimes slip in to believing that I am not still a part of the battle that I have been called to figh…

"Life is at its best when it involves other people"

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book,Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival (p. 19). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
That is so true.
I am right now sitting at a Starbucks writing this.When many people find out that I spend a lot of my time at Starbucks they will usually say something about the coffee.And I want to jokingly say, “Oh, do they serve coffee?”I don’t come to Starbucks for the coffee, I come for the people.It is a place where I can connect with people.The truth is I have found that “life is at its best when it involves other people.”Have you found that out yet?
If you have spent any time on my 2 blogs, you know that I am retired.For 3 ½ years my wife Margaret worked at home.She would work but it also meant that we could have lunch together.In other words, she was accessible to me but now she works in an office.That means she leaves at 7 am and comes home at 6 pm five days a week.That gives me a lot of free time.
Now I have a computer at …

“Fear causes us to hide in the face of change, and it leads to living a reactive rather than constructive life.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) in his book, Viral: How Social Networking Is Poised to Ignite Revival (p. 10). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
My wife, Margaret has changed jobs and in that we have changed locations.Now for some the thought of changing jobs and then changing locations brings great anxiety into their life.They will do everything they can to make sure they don’t have to change.They haven’t found yet that change can be their friend, not their enemy.
I’m reading right now though the Gospels in the New Testament and I was reading today an amazing story in Luke.Jesus was walking in a crowd and a woman touched Him and she was healed of a physical problem she had had for 12 years.She decided she was tired of the problem and she wanted a change.Jesus knew something had happened and He asked, “Who touched me?” and with fear she told Him and all those people what had happened.Jesus then said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole.Live…

“The goal in a relationship with Christ is not to be become learned, but to become lifelong learners, open to new knowledge, new friends, new places.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person (Kindle Locations 2083-2084). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
It is so easy for us to believe that we have arrived.For some after they have finished their level of education they think they have learned all they need to learn so now they are to do.
Margaret this week went to see a new Doctor here in Pasadena.With her being a diabetic she needs to see a doctor on a regular basis so there we were.This man was an old 66.Now in a little over 5 months I will turn 66 but I don’t think I am an old 66.I love my computer and my kindle and my iPhone but this guy didn’t even have a computer.He didn’t believe he needed it.That was just one area that showed he was living in another century.Needless to say we are looking for a new doctor.
There are a lot of Christ followers like that.They can point to a day when they were saved and sanctified and they then have arrived.Oh they go t…

“Christianity is not a system of laws and principles, but a pattern of relationships.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person (Kindle Locations 780-781). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
I have just come to really realize this fact.Margaret and I are in a new city and we are in the process of making some new friends; I in my Starbucks world and she in her work world but not in our church world.We have been driving 60 miles to attend one of the greatest churches in the world and sitting and being taught and challenged by one of the great pastors of our day but we have made no new friends.And he challenged us this week to the fact that this is wrong.
On our drive home from church Saturday night, Margaret and I both agreed that we needed to find a church closer to where we live.Pastor Rick said that each one of us would go through this year some kind of crisis where we would need a support group.We thought about the fact that if something happened to us, we wouldn’t even have a Pastor to call o…

“If we’re in GodLife relationships with the Scriptures, we admit to hearing voices.”

A thought by Leonard Sweet, (2012-03-13) from his book, What Matters Most: How We Got the Point but Missed the Person(Kindle Locations 1691-1692). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
There is a great desire for many to have God speak to them.The surest way to do that is to read His Word, the Bible.If you do you will hear Him speak to you.The Bible is the living word of God.
I love to read.I have over 75 books on my Kindle right now.I have read or am reading over 50 of those.I read two newspapers every day.I have over 45 columns that I read every day on Google Reader.I have made a commitment to read the four Gospels 13 times this year.
I love to read.I want to learn and to be entertained but the most important reading that I do is my quiet time every morning.This is the time when I am seeking what God wants to say to me every day through His Word and then writing it down in a journal.
Do you do that?Do you take time to read the Bible and have God speak to you from those inspired words?If y…

“Is there a limit to MY power?”

A question by Mark Batterson, (2011-12-13) from his book, Be a Circle Maker: The Solution to 10,000 Problems(Kindle Location 161). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
The answer to that question is determined by how you and I deal with the difficult circumstances in our lives.Is His power limited only by what you and I can do and what those around us can do?Is He someone we only worship but don’t depend on in these impossible circumstances in our lives?
There is a circumstance right now that I am striving to not limit His power.God’s power is greater than any circumstance and I am striving to believe that right now, not only in my head but in my heart and through my prayer.It is a battle.But I don’t want to in any way limit Him in His power in this particular circumstance in our life.
What about you?