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Showing posts from July, 2013

“Once you take responsibility, it’s your fault.”

A thought by Seth Godin, (2010-10-13) from his book, Graceful (Kindle Location 365). New Word City, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

That is what keeps so many people from stepping out and taking responsibility.They don’t want the pressure.They fear the negative.They are afraid of being blamed for something going wrong.They just want to accept things the way they are.
There also are some who don’t want to take responsibility so they can point the finger.They want to be the blamer but I say that is really being lame.That is being a coward.
But there is another side, responsibility also gets the credit.That is why some don’t want to give it; they don’t want to share the credit.But it seems like taking responsibility and also giving it to others is really the way to make a difference.
And that to me is the best thing about responsibility, the making a difference part and that means living life to its fullest.
Now I have taken responsibility at continuing a thought five days a week here on this blog.Yes…

“Anxiety is experiencing failure in advance.”

A thought by Seth Godin, (2010-10-13) from his book, Graceful (Kindle Locations 331-332). New Word City, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I wonder if confidence is experiencing success in advance?I’m sure more people do the other.Somehow we have learned how to experience anxiety more than confidence.Society would rather teach us seems to come so natural except if you are a child.
Children many times believe they can do anything but adults start putting anxiety into their lives.They know that life is scary and should be feared except those adults who believe, who have confidence.
Bill Hybels is a very effective, innovative Pastor of a church in Chicago that is making a difference in the world.His dad who was a very successful business man saw in Bill a thrill-seeking temperament from an early age and he knew that if he didn’t do something to channel all that energy in a positive direction, Bill would likely wind up wrecking his life.Bill said in his book, The Power of a Whisper, “before I w…

“Unresolved relationships, debts that have been neglected, apologies never made—these are things God will eventually lead us to own and resolve.”

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. 126). Multnomah Books. Kindle Edition.

Guilt is a horrible thing to live with and Christ died so it could be taken care of.But to be totally free from it we need to take full responsibility of the action for our guilt.Where does the guilt come from?What did we do?Who did we hurt?Yes if we confess He’ll forgive but there is more to be done.
What about the person you hurt?What about that debt you still owe?Don’t stop until it is fully resolved.Then you will be totally free.
So what is your next step

“How often have we surrendered our freedoms under the weight of our fears?”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 266). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Think of the places you would never have seen if you had given in to the fear to fly.
Think of all the sicknesses you would have had if you had given in to the fear of getting a shot.
Think of all the new foods you wouldn’t have eaten if you would have given in to the fear to eat something different.
Think of all the friendships you would have missed if you had given in to the fear of rejection.
Think of all the adventures you would have missed doing if you had given in to the fear to risk.
Think of all the excitement and all the joy you wouldn’t have experienced if you had given in to the fear to bring a child into the world.
Think of all the new worlds that your child wouldn’t have seen if you would have given in to the fear of their getting hurt.
Think of the full life you wouldn’t have lived if you would have given in to your fear to gi…

“So many of us have abdicated our passions for obligations…”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 160). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I have been dealing with this even in my writing this blog.I had gotten to the place that I was writing it as a duty, a task.Because of that it was becoming a burden instead of a passion, a privilege.Just acknowledging that has bought a change, a renewed passion.
Now I understand how life can lose its passion.It happens in many marriages.What they once did out of excitement for the one they love turns in to obligations and that can be dangerous.
I was talking the other day with someone about the importance of the husband and wife relationship in a family.Oh I understand the responsibility of being a parent. Those kids didn’t choose to be a part of the family but your wife/husband did.They chose to be your mate out of deep love, deep passion for you.That relationship is the most important one in the family and its passion must be renewed…

“When you lose something, you have to backtrack.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 238). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

When you have a friend that you now don’t have a relationship with and it hurts you, what do you do? If you want to make it right just backtrack to where you got off track.There probably will be some asking for forgiveness and some giving forgiveness.
When you are having trouble with your credit and you’re having trouble buying a house, what do you do? You just backtrack to those bills that you maybe didn’t pay and you pay them.You don’t gripe because the bank won’t work with you or feel sorry for yourself because things don’t ever go right for you.No, you go back and take care of the problems.You clean up where you messed up.
When you’re having trouble with your faith, what do you do? Usually there is a situation in your life where you asked God to help you and it seemed He didn’t hear you and He didn’t give you what you wanted.  So …

“We must resolve not only to leave the path of doing evil, but also to passionately pursue a life of doing good.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus. Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment (Kindle Locations 440-441). Kindle Edition.

Now I understand the need to stop doing evil.I do.I know that my having a relationship with Christ means a change of direction in my actions but there is more than just that.In anything we do there needs to be a replacement action involved.If I quit doing something then I need to start doing something.
So what positive difference did we do today?What person is glad we are in their life?Who did we help today?Who did we give a positive greeting to today?What unselfish action did we do today?Who did we give a smile to today?Who did we make feel glad that they are alive today?Who did we encourage today?
Oh, I’m sure you’ve been working hard and not giving in to the temptations that have come your way but what good did you really do? What if we changed our focus from protection to projection?What if we changed our focus from us to them?What if we quit worrying abo…

“Sometimes the worst thing for you is to get what you want.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 226). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

That is so true for me.I’m afraid I got what I wanted this weekend and I am feeling it this morning.My daughter and her family were in this weekend from Las Vegas so there were nine of us in our apartment.And before church yesterday we all of course had to eat so I brought home two dozen donuts from Winchell’s.I love donuts.
Now I don’t eat them very often because it is one of the worst things for me to eat.I can’t just have one so I just have none.  You might say, “But you are an adult and you can have what you want” and that is true.But I also want, really want to be healthy and live a longer life so I just don’t get all I want.
Now, we are free moral agents.We have the freedom to do what we want but we are not free from the consequences of our choice.I chose yesterday to eat a bunch – not one – a bunch of donuts and today I am feeli…

“When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life, The) (p. 57). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

To realize that from God’s perspective life is a test goes a long way in determining how you handle your life.It is important to see that in testing your character is both developed and revealed.
Rick goes on to say that “even the smallest incident has significance for your character development. Every day is an important day, and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God.”
So there is a God purpose behind each situation in your life.Even the bad ones are there to strengthen you and develop you.You see those bad situations are really good ones because they are there for your good.
I start each day with a reminder that God is good.Not every situation that is going to come in my day is good but because God is good He will use each situation for my good.
Some peo…

“When life doesn’t make sense, it becomes all about trust.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book,Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 215). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

When you have lived life for any amount of time there is always a chance that you will go through a time that life doesn’t make sense.Maybe that is where you are today.
I have been fortunate to have lived with a father that I could trust.I knew I could trust what my dad said, what he believed and what he taught.I knew he wasn’t perfect but I trusted him.And that was so important as a son living life.I wasn’t ready to take on all the responsibilities of life but I knew I could trust my dad.
Some of you haven’t had that privilege. You had a father that couldn’t be trusted so in life’s not making sense times you can have real trouble.  Having had someone you trust is so important in living through those times.
Now my dad wasn’t perfect in all things but he did lead me to someone who was perfect, someone I could totally trust in all times.  …

“Whatever I would come to believe in, it could not simply change my mind; it had to change my life.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 192). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I was reading this morning in the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament and I came across something that Jesus said that I underlined.He was talking about someone who He had just healed who had come back to thank Him and He said, “And he was a Samaritan.
Now the Samaritans were a people that the Jews looked down on.In other words, they were prejudiced against them.And here Jesus it seems was highlighting their prejudice.Over and over He did this in the Gospels. And Peter, Paul and James did the same throughout the rest of the NT.
One of the first great battles in the new Church after Jesus’ time here on earth was over whether they were going to accept Gentiles into the Church.A Gentile was someone who wasn’t a Jew.But Peter and Paul showed that to follow Jesus was to let go of our prejudices, to accept those who were different.They s…

“If he could change us, he could change the world.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book,Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 189). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

We somehow have come up with the idea that we can change the world.I’ll be honest I am having some problem with the two side’s views of the outcome of the trial in Florida.It seems to all revolve around the issue of whether I’m a caring liberal or a conservative who cares.But in looking at this situation of a white older man killing a young black man it never comes down to the fact that God loves them both and He hurts for them both.
Now we even as Christians are quick to get on Facebook or Twitter and let the world know what we think but never seeing how what we think has some real animosity and even hatred toward the opposite view.That is not the way Christ works.Change to Him doesn’t come from power but from forgiveness.And so much of how we respond must break His heart.
You see the answers to the world’s problems are not in politic…

“When we stop dreaming, we start dying.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 82). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I have had a dream to live in California for over 30 years.I did everything I could to make it happen but it didn’t happen until this past year.I look in my wallet at my driver’s license and look at the plates on both our cars and realize that I am now living in California and so does my son and his family.
Now they have moved here from Colorado for him to go to law school and they have dreamed to live in the little town of South Pasadena.They have great schools for their girls, it is close to the train for Brett to take to his law school in downtown LA and it is such a great place to raise their family.It was their dream but up until last Sunday it didn’t looked like it was going to happen.Well today they are putting their security deposit down on their new apartment in South Pasadena.Their dream has come true.
As I was thinking abou…

“His strength is available to praying people who are convinced to the core of their beings that he can make a difference.”

A thought by Bill Hybels, (2009-08-20) from his book, Too Busy Not to Pray (p. 18). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.

I was reading this morning in Luke about Jesus.  There in chapter 12 it showed of a time that He went off to a mountain to pray and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.His human part was convinced to the core that connecting with His Father through prayer would make a difference in what He was going through.He showed us what we need to do.
Now I’m not really going through any difficult time in my life right now.In fact I am going through a very good time but I do want to know more about God and to connect more with Him.The reality is even on the good times I need His strength and it is through prayer that it is available to me so that He will make a difference.
What are you going through?So many people are just being thrown around by life and they feel all alone.Maybe that is the way your feel.You are going through a difficult time and you are desperate and you do…

“Take a deep breath. Enjoy it. It’s an act of faith, you know.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 173). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

That is true isn’t it?And it is a type of faith that comes natural.I need oxygen to breath so I do it.I may be a baby and have no idea what it is called but I just do it.Having faith seems to be as natural as breathing.
So why is it so hard to live by faith in other areas of our lives?What area are you having trouble with faith in?Finding a meaningful relationship?Finding a job? Finding confidence?Finding hope?Finding a school?Finding a place to live?Finding an answer to a difficult problem?Finding the answer to some of the major “whys” in your life?Finding what you are to do next? Finding the meaning for your life?Finding your purpose?
Why not "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you." [Matthew 6:33 (NASB)]?Of course that takes faith but so does breathing.
Why not start there?

“Even if you choose not to believe, that in itself is a HUGE leap of faith.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 159). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

We all live by faith.What we have chosen as our world view is lived out by faith.Now I have chosen a world view that God is to be loved, served, and He will reward me with eternal life.Is it a view that can be proven without faith?Of course not but I still believe it.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”I have chosen to believe that and I live each day controlled by that belief.It gives me hope.Can I prove that it is totally true without any doubts?No, I accept it by faith.My faith will be proven true or false one second after I have died and the same is true of you.
Now let’s say you believe that I am wrong.You live with the world view that there is no God and that there is no afterlife.This is it.You are banking on th…

“God proved faithful each and every step of the way, despite…”

A thought by Bill Hybels, (2010-06-29) from his book, The Power of a Whisper: Hearing God, Having the Guts to Respond(p. 32). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

I have found that true over and over in my life.He has proved faithful in my life over and overagain despite my blundering, mistakes and lack of faith.
That is what it so amazing about God’s grace.He loves me despite of how I have acted, despite my pride, despite my getting off the path, despite my lack of appreciation.He has been there when I turned my back on Him. He was their waiting on me to come back to Him.  I just can’t believe what He has done in my life despite….me.
What about you?God has been faithful in your life and you didn’t even know it.He has given you the opportunity of another day but all you did was gripe and complain.Maybe that job was from Him but you didn’t really appreciate it and you never gave your all to being at your best in it.Maybe it was the house He gave you or the husband/wife or even those kids and you…

“If you were meant to fly, not even running really fast is that impressive.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit (p. 143). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

There is so much in life that tempts us to settle.Someone breaks your heart and you settle for never risking having another relationship because you don’t want to be hurt.You hear that a plane crashed in San Francisco and you settle for never flying because of fear.Your parents or some teacher tell you that you will never accomplish anything worthwhile and you settle for mediocrity because you believe them.God says you were meant to fly but you settle for running or even walking because you don’t believe Him.It is so easy to settle.
There are so many different voices inside of us that cause us to settle.What is it that has kept you from really living?It may be that voice of being rejected or that parent’s voice that wants to protect you from being hurt or that voice of fear or that voice of just being lazy.But there is a still small …

“Christianity is meant for lovers, not experts.”

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 773). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

As you may know if you have been reading here for long, I am reading through the Four Gospels this year thirteen times.Over and over I see how the religious experts dealt with Jesus.They knew what was right and Jesus just didn’t fit what they knew.But I wonder what would have been their response if they really did love God and were seeking, really seeking after Him.
What if all that mattered in my relationship with my wife, Margaret was to know everything I could about her and I never enhanced my love for her?How would she feel?
Granted, there are some things in all relationships that are important to know, like our anniversary, her birthday, what she likes.I want to know all I can about God, about, Jesus, about the Holy Spirit not just to know but because my love for them demands it.I want to really know them be…

“To be a follower of Christ is to believe that everyone’s life can be different.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 129). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I believe that.That’s why I write two blogs.It’s not just because I want something to do now that I’m retired but because I retired so I could be more effective in letting people know that their life can be different.It is my life message that comes from my relationship with Christ.
Let, me ask you, are you satisfied with whom you are or would you like to be different?Maybe it’s who you are in your job or your marriage or your relationship with your kids, your parents, your friends.If that is true, what are you doing to make you different?
The Bible says that you can be a new creation, a new person.I know that is true because I am different.I’m not totally there yet but I am different in a good way.It all comes from my relationship with Christ.
On my other blog, bill’s front porch, I have started a new topic.It is about how God sees you…

“When you give up on hope, you become paralyzed in the present and begin to live in the past.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 115). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I’m not sure why I have been drawn to deal with the subject of despair and of hope.It may be because you need to have the message of hope reinforced within you because you are about to give up on hope.You are about to be paralyzed in your present.
There is a way of looking at your past and living in your present and believing in your future that makes life worth living.  It is a connection with God that makes this true.  Prayer goes a long way to making it happen.If you have a relationship with God prayer is a privilege and a vital part in that relationship making a difference in your life.
Here is a simple idea in having prayer relieve your despair and enhance your hope.It is the three pronged approach of praise, thanks, and request.
First of all, start your prayer with praise.Praise is focusing on who God is not what He’s done.  God…

“Despair not only takes us to the wrong place, but it keeps us from going forward.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus, (2006-11-14) from his book, Soul Cravings: An Exploration of the Human Spirit(p. 106). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Have you found that to be true?You have let something rob you of your hope and your joy and you’re not sure if you want to go on.That is a horrible place to be but it is not a place you need to stay.There is always hope.
Now if it is something that you can do something about then set out to do it. There is always, always something that can be done.You must understand that and believe that.For the most part despair is a focus problem. We get our eyes on the negatives of life; those circumstances that we think can’t be changed.But in every negative there is always something that can be changed.Even if it is just my attitude, change that and your perspective changes.
The purpose of despair is to keep you from doing anything.I love the Psalms in the Old Testament of the Bible.I read one every day.One of the reasons why I read one is to keep…