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Showing posts with the label Rumors of God

“Products are designed to wear out quickly and then be thrown away.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead, Jon Tyson and Bill Hybels, (2011-07-19) from their book,Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About(p. 33). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

That is true with the world but not God.Yes it seems like I am wearing out each day but the best is yet to come.
My mind isn’t wearing out.My love for my wife, Margaret isn’t wearing out.My anticipation to see my kids and grandkids grow to God’s full potential is not wearing out.My passion to make a difference with God isn’t wearing out.My wisdom from God isn’t wearing out.My experience isn’t wearing out.My excitement for life isn’t wearing out.My challenge to see people come to their full potential isn’t wearing out.My desire to serve Jesus isn’t wearing out.My yearning to share with you each day is not wearing out.My longing to learn isn’t wearing out.My wonderment of what is around the corning isn’t wearing out.My craving to know more about Jesus isn’t wearing out. My relationship with God is…

“The United States has just 5 percent of the world’s population but consumes 30 percent of the world’s resources.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead, Jon Tyson and Bill Hybels, (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About(p. 29). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I am reading the Gospel of Matthew right now in the Message paraphrase.There are some things Jesus says in chapter 10 that speak to this situation.
Jesus says, “Be content – please.”That would help wouldn’t it?We maybe wouldn’t need to consume so much.We could maybe give some that we have to those who really need.
He also says, “Don’t think that I have come to make life cozy.”But isn’t that what life is all about?I mean I work so that I will be cozy.I need that comfortable house, that comfortable chair, that comfortable bed.Isn't that what life is all about?I wonder..
Here’s another one.“If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick or thin, you don’t deserve me.If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself.”But that is my first concern.I need to take care o…

“In relationships, these are defining moments; we either push through emotion to transparency, or retreat to opinions.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead, Jon Tyson, & Bill Hybels, (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Locations 1725-1726). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
I had today, three of those defining moments with three of my Starbucks' friends.Each one was a very special situation that I value very much.
Now as you know I am a retired minister.Ministers have opinions about everything.We know what is right and wrong about every situation and are tempted to let you know how smart we are and how important we are.But I have found in life that opinions do not build relationships but many times hinder them and I am into relationships.That is why I spend so much time in Starbucks.
I know that many people have been hurt in relationships and that brings a certain wall between them and people but when you share who you really are to them, little by little your walls come down and so do theirs.And in each relationship there is that tim…

“Is Jesus’ vision that we live as disconnected individuals who use everything, including him, to meet our personal needs?”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) from their book,Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Location 1529). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
I am having some problems with some of the issues that we as CHRIST followers champion.  We came and founded this country on religious freedom but we are now it seems on the side of restricting people from coming to the USA.  Something about that they might take jobs away from us.
I heard someone say that our poverty level here would be the middle class in Europe.  That’s not even talking about some of the countries in Africa.  It is no wonder that the world wants to come here.  Our poverty level is a major step up to the rest of the world.  
Now I do appreciate the fact that the Evangelical world has gotten the vision to help those in need in a greater measure but we may have a problem with them sitting next to us in church.  I will give and I will go but I don’t want them coming here.
Now the…

“More than ever, other people and organizations make our choices for us.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Locations 362-363). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Millions of people tomorrow at 6:30 pm will stop for a few hours to watch an event that will change people’s desires and needs.  Yes some will be watching the Super Bowl for the football but many more will be watching for the commercials.  I used to watch the World Series to see the new car designs for Ford, General Motors and Chrysler introduced.  I remember when Ford introduced the Edsel and when Chrysler came out with those big fins.  Yes sports and advertising go together.
Now if we can just watch all those commercials and not get hooked then it would be OK but we will watch and then want even when we have more of that particular item than we really need. 
Right now I am sitting in a Starbucks writing this after I have just walked for 1 ½ hours.  I got here at 8:00 am and there was a l…

"We wait for people to think like us, act like us, believe like us, and behave like us; and when they do, we are kind to them."

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson, (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About(Kindle Locations 1180-1181). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
We do that because that is how we have been taught at home or even at church.  Now I understand that comes from our insecurity.  Anyone who is different from us makes us uncomfortable.  I understand that.  But that is not what Christ did.  
Let’s say you watch CNN News and you sit at Starbucks with someone who you find out likes Fox News.  Do you start up a conversation or do you move?  What if you are straight and you find out they are gay, what do you do then?  Or you don’t go to church but they do?  Or they are pierced all over the place but you aren’t?  Or you find out she had an abortion and you just got back from picketing an abortion clinic?  Or they believe if you love each other you don’t need to ever be married but you believe it is the next step after you say you love each oth…

“Jesus never used guilt as a motivator. Guilt is so limited in its ability to effect change.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson, (2011-07-19) in their book,Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About(Kindle Location 691). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Guilt is so easy to use isn’t it?  I remember when my dad would put his face in his hands and say about me, “Where did I go wrong?”   That would really get to me because my dad was my hero.  It would really make me feel bad about my behavior but I’m not sure if it really helped me to change it.  Now the fear of disappointing him because of my deep love for him was what would get me to change, not the guilt of what I had done.
I know as a young minister I would be tempted to use the old guilt method of leadership and of preaching but I did everything I could to not use it.  Guilt may bring initial change but forgiveness had a more far reaching impact on bringing about change.   To show people how to take care of their guilt and how much God loved and the hope He gave was way more effective than mak…

“How did we get to the place where church is something primarily for “me” and a place I go to “get” something from it?”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Locations 1449-1450). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
It is so interesting how self-focused we as professed Christ-followers can be.  We profess to be other centered and Jesus centered but it doesn’t show by our attitudes, our actions and our love.
There are so many who have a mistaken idea that the Worship Gathering is for them and they are so quick to say what they want, what they expect.
Margaret and I will be moving next month to Seminole, Florida.  We have a church here in New York City we will miss that we drive 30 miles to be a part of because of its mission to reach out to the hurting, harassed and helpless.  We sit and worship with homeless people who come in out of the cold to get warm and to eat something.  That is what drew us to Forefront Church.
Our church is a church filled with young people who have come to the city to make it…

“We live in a society where we are assaulted by messages that urge us to consume and accumulate.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson, (2011-07-19) in their book,Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle locations 713-714). Thomas Nelson. Kindle edition.
I walk the mall every morning and I’m excited about the fact that we mall walkers are going to get our mall back in another week.  I mean I got to the mall a little after 7:00 am the day after Christmas and Macy’s and J. C. Penny’s were open and I had to go to the second floor in the parking garage to get a good parking spot.  We just need so much more stuff even after Christmas don’t we?  At least that is what we are told.
Now I gave over 10 bags of clothes, coats and shoes to the Bowery Mission in New York City this Advent season.  If I listened to the advertisers I needed to run out fast and get more stuff to take its place but I didn’t and I’m doing fine.  If we as Christians would go into our closets and take all the excess clothing in there then we could take care of the clothing needs…

“The great tragedy of materialistic America is not financial abundance, but spiritual poverty.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson, (2011-07-19) in their book,Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Location 728). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
The truth is they both should be the same – financial abundance & spiritual abundance.  God is the giver of all that is good but He gives it for a purpose.  We have been given a financial abundance so we can take care of the financial needs of the world.  Now if we were spiritual abundant then we would take care of God’s purpose but because we are in spiritual poverty we keep it for ourselves.  And that is a great tragedy.  “Please forgive us for our self-focus.”
Now wouldn’t you like to be the answer to some child in need’s prayer?

“Giver + Gift + Recipient = Obligated gift in return.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson, (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Locations 620-621). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Do you ever give a gift and then wonder what you are getting in return?  If that is true of you then what you gave was not a gift but an upfront payment for what they are now obligated to give you.  That is not what gift giving is all about.
Now to me the wrong spirit of Christmas is not the untold gift-giving that is done but it is the expectation part of what do I want and what so I expect/want to get.  Jesus came to us as a gift and the Wise Men gave gifts to the baby Jesus and both were done with no expectation of getting anything in return.
I have found it so interesting that the one main symbol at this time of year in the secular world is a jolly old guy who gives and gives and gives with no expectation of anything in return.  And what do we try to do is burst that bubble of Santa…

“Giving is the first thing to do in breaking the cycle of greed and taking hold of real life.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About(Kindle Locations 607-608). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Margaret and I moved to Long Island in New York nearly 3 years ago.  We moved here for a specific reason and we were glad we moved.  But one problem with the move is that it is so expensive to live here.  God has helped us and supplied our personal needs but we have not been able to give at the level we are used to or really want to.  So what do you do?  Well what we are doing is to make some changes in our life.
The main one is we are moving to Florida and cutting our living expenses way down.  We are going smaller and we are going to own it.   God has been so good to us to allow us to live in some beautiful houses but we don’t need all that space anymore now that I have retired.  Our last home we had where I Pastored in Las Vegas was very large. But we used it.  One of our last Christmas’…

“God wants us to receive forgiveness and extend forgiveness, and then to experience freedom—the best kind of life.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Location 1374). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
One of the greatest things that I am thankful for is His forgiveness.  I went through a three year period in my life that I call my jerk time.  I mean it a time that I should have put me out to pasture as a minister of God but He forgave me and set me straight.  Also because of that I was able to look at others in a new light.  Because He forgave me for things I did against Him I then was willing and able to forgive others for they did toward me.
Asking for forgiveness is a humbling thing isn’t it?   You have to admit first of all that you did wrong, that you aren’t perfect.  That step makes you really look at yourself and to be honest of who you are and what you’ve done and that you need help.   Asking for and receiving forgiveness from God is such a time of freedom from your guilt and your f…

“Rather than trusting God to supply our needs, we get caught in the frenzy of accumulation.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson, (2011-07-19) in their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About(Kindle Locations 539-540). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
This act of accumulation comes into reality when you are in need of getting a U Haul truck to move your stuff.  I mean when we were moving after 15 years in Las Vegas to a much smaller house on Long Island we had garage sales for three weeks straight and we had the garbage truck guys on retainer.  We gave stuff away on moving day and we had to rent the largest trailer to go behind the largest truck that U Haul had.  With two families we also drove three cars with the truck and trailer for a combined total of over 10,000 miles (2,500 + per vehicle).  We had too much stuff and we still do.
We are back to the same thing.  Margaret and I will be moving to Seminole, Florida and Andrew and Stef into Manhattan the first of the year.  The U Haul truck won’t need to be as big but it will be big enoug…

“Some experts say to completely solve global hunger would cost about thirty billion dollars a year. Americans spend more than that each year on pizza.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) in their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About(Kindle Locations 531-532). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
We really don’t appreciate the problem of hunger do we?  I know I don’t.  I think I do but I really don’t.  I may be hungry so I get up and go into our kitchen and find something to eat or I dial my phone to get a pizza.  I don’t really know about being hungry.
It comes down to the fact that we don’t have a food problem but a sharing problem. 
Have you heard the story about TOMS Shoes?  I got a pair for my birthday.  I love them.  TOMS Shoes is a unique company founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie.  While competing on the second season of The Amazing Race with his sister, Mycoskie visited Argentina. He returned there on vacation in January 2006 and had the idea to develop a shoe company where for every pair sold, a new pair would be donated to a child in need of shoes. Blake had once said of his…

“For-give. You’re giving a gift—a gift of forgiveness. It’s a choice that you have to make, an action that you have to take.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About(Kindle Location 1351). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Now it is a gift for them, the one who has hurt you.  It will free them if they ask for it but it is also a gift for you. It will also free you from their hold on you.   But you also need to see if you don’t forgive then God won’t forgive you.  His forgiveness is also a gift that is given to those who meet the requirements.  One is confession and then asking for it and the other is forgiving those who have hurt you. 
Of course it’s not easy.  You have to die to yourself, to taking revenge, to your getting back at them, to make them hurt like you did.  You have to die.  But also remember, Jesus had to die so you could have His forgiveness.  He showed us what it means to forgive when He said on the cross, “Father forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.”  Our sins put Him on tha…

“Biblically, it doesn’t matter what you get out of worship, it’s not for you.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) from their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Location 1440). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
It is so interesting how self-absorbed we as professed Christ-followers can be.  We think that life is all about us.
An individual came up to Jon Tyson after one of their Worship Gatherings here in New York City and they said, “I didn’t mind the teaching, but I didn’t like the worship.”  Jon then said to him, “Biblically, it doesn’t matter what you get out of worship, it’s not for you.”  And that is true.  We need to be reminded of that fact don’t we?
I’ve been to Jon’s church, Trinity Grace and I do appreciate what they are doing.  His preaching really speaks to issues of our day and their worship leaders at the three different locations that I have been to truly do lead us in worship.  But in this day of production in the church worship world it sometimes is easy to get sucked into the belief…

“When we give in secret, we break the cycle of obligation that is so often present in our relationships.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson, (2011-07-19) in their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About(Kindle Location 632). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
I had never thought about that but it is true.  Let’s say you have a friend who gives you a birthday card.  It is just a simple little card.  Now of course you must try to find out when their birthday is so you can send them a card.  It is the correct thing to do.  It is your obligation.
I remember when my daughter got married and of course all those wedding gifts and then all of those thank you cards.  One person kept asking when they were going to get their thank you card.  I know that is the right thing to do, it is your obligation but somehow that made their gift more for them than for my daughter and son-in-law.  They needed to be affirmed, it was for them.
Now I don’t want to get in the middle of the correct thing to do stuff in gift giving but I do find that something is missing in all of t…

“Often we remain so focused on the one who perpetrated the evil deed that we don’t see our own bondage to resentment or even hatred. But when you forgive, you’re the one who is set free.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) from their book,Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Locations 1356-1357). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
We live in an age of bondage.  So many of us are in bondage to what someone else has done to us.  But of course that is our choice.  We choose to let someone else have that much control over our life.  That is our choice.  We didn’t have a choice in what happened to us but we do have a choice in how it affects us.
Now it is so easy to rehearse and rehearse and relive and relive until that is all we think about.  We hear a certain song and we relive the hurt.  We drive by a certain place and we relive the hurt.  We come to a certain holiday and we relive the pain.  Now we may not realize it but all of that reliving is a choice.  We can also choose to quit letting that other person have so much control over our life.  We can but it is difficult.
It is so difficult to not relive anymore.  It…

“The United States has just 5 percent of the world’s population but consumes 30 percent of the world’s resources.”

A thought by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson (2011-07-19) in their book, Rumors of God: Experience the Kind of Faith You´ve Only Heard About (Kindle Locations 525-526). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Some wonder how a loving God could allow so much starvation in the world.  I mean, there are so many people who live with no hope of enough food to sustain them so they go to bed hungry every night.  If God loves them how can that be?  That is a good question.
The truth is we don’t have a shortage problem but a sharing problem.  Do you realize that we produce enough food every year to feed the world but some eat more than they need thus taking away from some who don’t have enough?   God has provided and we are to be His instruments of supplying but we have kept it and gotten fat off of it.
I was born just after the Great Depression but I lived through some of the aftermath of that very difficult time in our history.  One of the problems that came out of that time was a great fear that many pe…