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Showing posts with the label Uprising

"Remember the good and the good will grow."

"When you trust God with your future, hope naturally abounds."

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2006-08-29) from his book, Uprising(Kindle Locations 1807-1808). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

As I have mentioned here many times, I am now retired. I was for many years paid to be good now I am good for nothing.What I mean by that is I am a retired pastor.I am no longer paid to be responsible for a group of people.But I am this week doing one of those duties that goes along with being a pastor, I am doing a funeral of a very special friend not out of responsibility but out of deep love for his family.
Now death is one of those problem areas even if you are a Christian but especially if you are not.I mean from this side it is so final.There seems to be no hope.They’re gone and we will never see them again.But the reality is when you trust God with your future, hope naturally abounds.I mean He says that He is preparing a place for us and therein is our hope.This life is not the final story there is another place and even when someone goes on ahead of…

"We have attempted to silence Jesus by speaking for Him rather than letting Him speak for Himself."

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul(Kindle Locations 3509-3510). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I started this year to learn more about Jesus.I wanted to see how He responded to life’s situations, to seehow He handled the difficulties of life, to see what He stood for and what He was against.I wanted to see what He said not what other people thought He said.So I am now on my 11th time through the four Gospels found at the beginning of the New Testament. They are four books from four different writers who shared His life and His words.If you have a certain type of Bible His words are in red.
What is Jesus like to you?Did you get your thoughts from someone else’s views or from His words?So many times our view of things in life is through what other people say.People are very important in my view of life.I learn so much from other people.But people’s view must go through where they come from, their culture, their family, their …

"Even in a fallen world, wisdom sees the good..."

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 3442). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

James over in the first part of his letter in the New Testament says that if any person lacks wisdom then ask God.  There is so much that we have access to that is from God and we can ask Him for it.Wisdom is a very important thing He wants us to have.
Now this quote from Erwin is just part of it, "Even in a fallen world, wisdom sees the good...not just the good that is or that must be done, but the good that will come through choices made. This distinct view of reality known as wisdom is nothing less than seeing life from God's vantage point."And He wants us to have that but we need to ask.
Now wisdom sees good in all things.Not that all things in themselves are good but wisdom is the opportunity to see the good that comes from wise decisions.God wants you to see the good that will come from your choices.He also wants yo…

"For some reason many of us would rather know the future than create it."

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 3349-3350). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I had never thought of it that way.I understand the fear of the unknown but there is no adventure in the
known.Of course so many want security in their life, they want to know.
He goes on to say, “After all if someone can simply tell us the future, we can abdicate any responsibility on our part. All we have to do is just let it happen.”But if that is true why am I even here? I’m just a pawn to be moved from here to there. But I am a creation of God whom He placed here to be used to create the future.I have a purpose, a part to play in making this world different and I am challenged and excited about that.I like that.I revel in that even as a 65+ retiree.God has created me to create something even today.
But for those of you who fear the future, Erwin goes on to say, “He (God) offers us confidence in relationship to the future; He p…

"Just thinking about tomorrow seems to create enough anxiety in the life of the average person."

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 3347-3348). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

And we are in the midst of a lot of anxiety right now with what is happening in Washington D. C..I mean it’s the government that we have put our trust in to take care of us isn't it? But with the Republicans in control of the House and the Democrats in the Senate and the Presidency, life as we know it is in chaos right now.
Now here is my problem.Who as a Christian am I really to put my trust in?My thought is my trust is to be in God.He is the one whom I have given over control of my life.So why should I be so concerned?The Republicans and the Democrats don’t have my best interest at heart.If they did they would be getting together and solving this problem.No, God has my best interest and He is working all things out for my good even in this chaos in Washington.He has a plan and He has my best interest at heart and He is worki…

“Trials and temptations are not the punishment of God, but the process of God.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul(Kindle Locations 3029-3030). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
So many people have the mistaken idea that if they have a relationship with God that everything will be perfect.  I am in the process of reading the Gospels 13 times this year and I’m finding that Jesus life was not perfect.  In fact one of the first things He went through at the beginning of His ministry was a time in the wilderness being tempted by Satan.   He also went through many, many trials.
“Trials and temptations are not the punishment of God but the process of God.”  Because we don’t really get this we lose out on the benefit of the process.  God wants us to grow.  HE wants us to become like Him.  So what is He like?
One of Jesus close followers, Philip asked Him one time, “Lord, show us the Father.  That is all we need.”  He wanted to know what God was like. So Jesus replied to him, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the…

“God allows and at times causes us to go through the kinds of circumstances that strip away all falsehood and leave us with our real selves

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 2979). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Who are you?Really, who are you?If all you’ve gone through are the blessings of life then you may not really know the answer to who you really are.Who you really are comes through in the struggles of life.
Oh it is great to share about your faith through the good times of life.You may say that all the good stuff is because of your faith but you may have a different story when life isn’t so good.
Margaret and I have had the privilege to sit under the ministry of both Erwin McManus and Rick Warren.They have been two men who have had a great impact on my view of life.They are both men whose faith has been tested through great struggles.
Margaret and I sat Tuesday night and listened to Rick and Kay tell Piers Morgan on his CNN program of their immense struggles after their son’s suicide this past summer.We went to Saddleback their church the …

“Even in the worst of circumstances, the grateful of heart are able to find sources of joy and inspiration.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1808). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Margaret and I were talking about some people we know and the horrible life they have.Life can be tough.But some people are miserable in their tough lives and even their good lives while others live with an anticipation and hope.  Why is that?
What do you see in your life?Do you see despair or do you see joy and inspiration.How grateful you are goes a long way in determining your perspective.Another way to say it is, what glasses you see through determines what you see.
Think of the statement, “I don’t deserve this.”There are two ways you can say that.I can say it with the idea in mind that I am better than this.No way should I be going through this.  I DON'T DESERVE THIS!!!  It is with a haughty feeling sorry for my-self attitude.God will not reward that attitude.You will be miserable.
Then there is the feeling of unworthiness bu…

“Until you can see the work of God in the worst of circumstances you have not yet begun to see your life from the eyes of God.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 1827-1828). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I am right now reaping the benefit of someone’s worst of circumstances.I have been reading the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles.I just finished it yesterday and have now started reading the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans.I have just been reading of the difficulties of Paul and of how he finally is put in a prison in Rome.And from that prison Paul wrote a big portion of the New Testament including his letter to the Romans.
Here is the point.If Paul with all his energy, his devotion, his drive had not been put in prison a big portion of the New Testament would never have been written.God saw Paul’s life differently than even Paul saw it.
Oh that we could see our worst of circumstances through God’s eyes.He sees it all.
God is good and He is right and He is faithful and He can be trusted and His way is best and one d…

“To say you don't have any talent is to contradict God.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 2650-2651). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

We say some statements that if we would stop and think don’t make any sense.We want so much to be and sound humble.  But putting our self down is a reflection on God.He doesn’t make junk and He created us with a purpose in mind and He gave us the talents and abilities to do it.
Now saying that we don’t have any talents could also be an excuse to not be all that we were created to be.Who we are is God’s gift to us and what we do with it is our gift and responsibility to Him.
Erwin says, “All of us are complex and represent a composite of intelligence, passions, personality, skills, talents, and gifts. The dynamic interaction of all of these are the material from which we draw our potential.”God has called us to realize that potential.
What is the talent that God gave you?Do you know?Are you using it?That is the sweet spot in your lif…

“Bitterness requires that you live in the past; hope requires that you live for tomorrow.”

A thought Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 1722-1723). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

This is totally different from where I have been reading.Where I was reading today in this book was for me in my life and I then felt I needed to go back and I found this thought.This thought is for you.You must be living in a life of no hope, living a backward focus life of despair, of bitterness and of deep pain.Just like all of those people in the Gospels who were damaged when Jesus passed by who were healed when they reach out to Jesus and He then stopped and touched their hurt.Jesus wants to do the same for you today.
So what situation in your past are you focusing on which produces your bitterness?Are you tired of living with no hope, living in pain, living with such bitterness?Then you are going to need to let go of your past and look to God for your hope for your future.It is a total change of focus.It starts inside of you.Ju…

“The focus of generosity is the contribution we make in the life of others.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 2350). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Generosity is the opposite of greed.But some people have the mistaken idea that it is connected in the CHRISTian life with what we get in return.They don’t say that but they believe it and live it.They give to get.
Erwin goes on to say though that “God’s goal for all of us is not that we become affluent.God’s goal is that we become generous. When your pursuit is for wealth, you leave generosity behind.”
Do you remember the parables of the talents?Three servants were given varied amounts of money by their master and they were to make more.Two of them doubled theirs but one hid his and that one wasn’t rewarded but punished.Do you realize that what they were doubling was not for them but for their master?It was his money.Their reward was in the deep satisfaction of being faithful to their master.
Generosity means giving not getting.HE doesn’…

“If you pursue loving God and loving others, love will pursue and find you.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Locations 2123-2124). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

The key is it is both.It’s in pursuing to love God and pursing to love others that love will find you.In our self-centeredness we are constantly looking for someone to love us but in God’s mind and plan that is backwards.
Now if I am striving to love so I will be loved I will not find true love.We are to love no matter whether it is returned or not.We are just to love. That is what real love does.But if i strive to love God and love others then that selfless act will bring love to me.
Earlier Erwin says, “God is inviting us to focus on loving rather than on being loved. God knows that only when our hearts are in this position are we able to experience the love we long for.”
Margaret and I go to Erwin’s church, Mosaic Hollywood and Hank Fortener, the other Teaching Pastor at Mosaic shared yesterday that this is also the way you recei…

“Life is an adventure to be explored and excavated for its endless unexpected surprises and treasures.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul
(Kindle Locations 1844-1845). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

How do you view each morning, with dread or excitement?Your view goes a long way in your enjoyment of the day and your view is a choice.I know I harp on this a lot but I know it makes a difference and I believe it may be what you need today.
I love looking at each day as an adventure.I have never lived this day.It is an unknown.There are things to be done and things to be seen that I have never done or never seen before.There are new stories to hear and to learn.Have you found how interesting people are if you just stop and listen to their story?Now I know my story.That is not an adventure.Hearing your story for the first time is. People are very interesting.
I tried a new coffee shop in our neighborhood yesterday.I’m going to take Margaret to it tomorrow.We tried a new food for us last night, we liked it.We’ll do it again.
I am 65+…

“Memories have a way of defining not only who you were, but who you are and who you will become.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1815). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

And to some extent, memories are a choice.He also says, “I remembered a life filled with pain and disappointment, not because that was all I experienced, but because it was all I had brought with me.”
So what memories are you holding on to, what are you repeating over and over?What memories do you celebrate?That tells me what kind of life you are living.If all you remember are your failures, your pains, your rejections then you are living a life of deep hurt of deep despair, and probably a life with a lot of anger and no hope.Why do you do that when you also have good memories that could bring you joy?
Now some would say, “I am a realist” but remembering the good things is also being a realist.For some I’m afraid they like the attention that they get when they show how they are a victim.That is not healthy.That is not GOD’s way.
If you a…

“Perspective is not shaped in a vacuum; it is formed in the context of gratitude.”

A thought by Erwin Raphael McManus (2003-09-04) from his book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul (Kindle Location 1784). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Right after this thought Erwin says, “An ungrateful person sees the glass as half-empty and wonders who is holding out on him. The grateful see the glass as half-full knowing that someone has shared with them more than they deserved.”You see, it is not your personality but your perspective.There is the key to how we view life and whether we enjoy it or not.It is our choice.
So are you ungrateful or grateful?Do you see GOD as good or holding out on you?Do you start your day with despair or excitement?Are you grateful for the opportunity of a new day and what you have or in despair because of what you don’t have and angry at what it costs to live the day?
Yes, I know that life is tough and that living has its struggles but it also has its blessings. Whether you are grateful or not creates the view of your life.
I have been slowly letting s…