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Waking Up to God

Did you wake up this morning with a positive deep thought about something you were to do today already playing in your mind? Some of us are naturally gifted with this ability, but too often, I’m afraid that you wake up much like myself in moans, grunts and groans. Has anyone reading this discovered that getting out of bed is requiring more effort each day as we get older? We still need to figure out how to put a positive spin on everything, agreed?
I have an old friend with a flair for the positive, often wakes up with a dream fully played out in his mind. He writes them down for playback with his friends. He has shared them with me and although we don’t fully understand their meaning we laugh about the seemingly randomness of them.
You see, some of your most precious and vulnerable thoughts are the first ones in the morning. Our mind is engaged in a dream state at that point, a place that is somewhere between the possibilities of your spirit and your imagination. It is while in this condition we are the most pliable to deliberate thought. To those of us who truly desire to live right today, shouldn’t we give ourselves to God at this moment? I know our natural pattern of thought is to begin worrying about all the things we need to do today, especially if your money is running thin or you’ve procrastinated for far too long about something. So, if you have all this trouble already waiting outside your front door, wouldn’t it be the best for us to give all of today’s “stuff” to God first thing?
Our Jesus knew this. He knew Jesus always took this time of day to have some of his best talks with his Father. In Mark 1:35 it says, Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Now, I don’t know how you do it, but my prayer language is a lot like what I’m saying with you. It should not be an act of religious ceremony, but more simply an act of gratitude to be blessed with the breath of life one more day. Amen? One more time, we get another chance to do something right today.
And when we wake up thinking about doing something positive, by all means, we need to go to God and get instructions. I’ve heard this action called being shaken awake.
In Matthew 6, our instructions say this about our day and all our troubles in it: 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

That’s right. Focus on your next step and the day He has given us and our future is promised to be simply amazing.
And just in case you did not start the day in prayer, let’s pray.

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The Bonding Power of Prayer

Ooh! The nerve of some people! Especially, the people I come in contact with everyday. They can be the most backstabbing and betraying people around me. “And why is that?” I asked myself. Then it dawned on me because they are closest to me. They know me. They have earned “the right” to openly criticize or make commentary about my daily walk. And, oh, does it hurt sometimes.

There was a time that “lashing out” in revenge was my natural reaction. No longer. I’ve learned to measure such accosting behavior with “The Golden Rule.” I now measure and weigh it with this question, “Do I do the same thing?” Nearly every time, the answer is yes.

So how do you make lemonade out of such personal attacks? Reading from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 gives us the exact instructions and the reasons for them: “Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Now, this isn’t how you should treat everyone, as much as it special instructions about those you work with, worship with and live with. Those closest to you. This instructions in love and praise so that you may know God’s will for you.

Now, stop writing that mean Facebook post about your least favorite person of the moment and pray for them, instead. It will dissolve the chip on your shoulder and free you. Forgiveness is like that. Keep it up today and you may just be an answer to someone’s prayers.

Destiny of a Victim

Do you feel that you are a victim? Did you grow up wanting to be one? My next question is, are you doing anything about it?
We still live in a country of free choices and free mobility. As a citizen of the United States you CAN move and you CAN change your pursuits with positive results. Funny thing about freedom, though, is that it will leave you alone wallowing in your self-pity if that is all that you want. It is a powerful thing, however, for those seeking opportunities and prosperity. They are the willing to make self sacrifices for the pursuit of their dreams.
But, freedom will also let you alone to just dream, too. Yes, I’m being redundant. Yesterday’s welfare babies are today’s welfare parents and they too, are simply dreaming of the house on the hill, but too often, they’d rather take the pill of sedentary indulgence.
Proverbs 28:19 says, Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.
Now, I’m not talking about the single moms who have lost the father of their children or of a family that experienced some form of tragedy. I’m talking about the willful ingrate on welfare because they have no hope of succeeding. They have accepted their fate as victims. Victims are people without hope and wear their misery as a sort of badge of honor. But the world sees them as losers; the trash that has settled to the bottom of society. And they get kicked often.
If you are such a victim, I have good news for you. Let me tell you that people who know Christ no longer fall prey to this world. I’m a Christ-follower. You can call me Christian, or a Bible thumper, but you cannot call me a victim. Christ has paid the price for my life and has assured me I will have it more abundantly if I follow Him. I’m following, and I am therefore, content in all things. I never settle for less. I find purpose in all things that I do and endure, including sickness, suffering and humiliating circumstances. Christ has my back. He’ll do that for you, too. But you need to be willing to follow. You see, He knew you before you were born. You were destined to be a Child of the King, not a victim of this world. The choice is yours and it is forever, your destiny.

Improving Your Mind

If nothing we do is perfect, then what should we change to remove such deficits that leave us lacking? We can’t repeat what is familiar because all logic says that our errors will perpetuate in a squirrel-caged cycle. Our thinking, then requires change, but not for greater thoughts of this world full of inequity and iniquity, but toward the instructions of God’s word. From this, we gain the assurance of God’s love which we must in turn, give His love He gave to us, to others. Then we will bask in the wellspring of a renewed mind and a heart at peace with God.

Roman’s 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

What’s in Your Heart?

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching in a few days, which is one day I wished that capitalism would have left alone. But it pursues the matters of the hearts all the way to the bank, with my obligatory proceeds.

My wife benefits and so do I, indirectly, from such an outpouring of displayed adoration, even if it is just a card and a rose. Whatever I choose, Hallmark always gets my buck to accompany whatever else I can conjure up to offer to the one I love.

Love. Now there is a misused word. It took a spiritual resurrection on my part to truly understand what it really is. Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is what I refer to as the LOVE CHAPTER. It tells you all about real love and what your expectancy should be. It isn’t a thief, a liar, a user, impatient, self-serving, angry or malicious. Love is all about the other person, “YOU”. So, I do pretty good being that I’m all those things that Love isn’t.

Thanks to the Grace of God I get love and have love to give. Then He did something for me 14 years ago that was so amazing. He gave me the most wonderful woman in the world as my best friend, my lover, my confidante, my spiritual prayer partner and life-long companion, Wendy. She is the gift of God’s love to me. Because that is true, I must honor her as the same gift of myself to her was God’s doing. I’m very humbled by her mere adoration for me. Albeit, I really think she got the short end of the deal.

So, this Valentine’s Day, with a card for $6, chocolates for $5, and a love that is priceless I can tell you that I know LOVE is in my heart. And, thank God, I get it.

Do you know what’s in your heart? Gotta have it to give it so that you can get it.

Minimize yourself to Maximize your life

My wife emailed me the Thought For the Day, from their hospital’s Chaplain. It said, “I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man. – Dwight L. Moody”

Considering the trouble I usually get myself in…all by myself, I understand fully that statement. I’m living it. But, I don’t want to continue doing so. Giving myself to Christ daily is the only way I have been able to make my life worth living. And, at 64, I have not been living most of my life as I should.

I hope that you can understand the trouble you have gotten in, is not just because this is a fallen world, but because we, all of us, have imperfect hearts. And from our hearts, express our actions.

I am perfect for no one, especially for myself. But I have learned to overcome it. My peace comes from the Bible’s assurance that He sees me perfectly as perfection. I know that I am perfection in progress, but the greatest satisfaction I can achieve from this process is see His perfection in the love I receive from my wife, and from others in Christ.

For those of you with Christ in your life and have lived for long enough period to realize how this is supposed to go. Decrease yourself before Christ, so that He may be Increased in your life.

Who is really being Bailed Out by the Feds

Our country is in dire straits for new leadership. Do you understand about the Stock Market catastrophe? Well, the federal government is telling us that they’re working on solutions to prevent a Depression. A bit of healthy skepticism should always be applied to whenever the government gets in a rescue mode. There is usually an underlying reason for doing what they do. Nobody does anything in Washington for the total “good of the people”.

I’ve read recently how the government (our fine tax investment) is bailing out the botched mortgage industry, by buying several of the desperate mortgage investment corporations. This amounts to almost a trillion dollars that Washington does not have. We are essentially borrowing from other foreign powers that our tax dollars will need to pay back. The Bible has a truth that should be applied here: “A slave to the lender a borrower will be.” What is that going to eventually do to our Amercian Liberty when we owe our enemies? My daddy didn’t fight WWII or the Korean War for this. My classmates have not fought Viet Nam for this. My peers have not fought in Irag, Kuwait, or Afghanistan for this.

The Bush Administration’s concept may be a solution to our nation’s economy and the world economy for that matter, but I find this proposal extremely appalling for one ethical reason. While these corporations are being “saved”, the billionaire CEOs that led the greed in these organizations are living fat and large in their multiple mansions in their magnificent Mercedes Benz debauchery.

What is wrong with this picture? Millions are being forced out of their homes and losing their jobs with nowhere to go while these fat cats continue stoking on their Cubans with disconnected indifference. They got their’s. Where’s ours? Why aren’t the Feds bailing out the homeowners who were victimized by greedy market manipulation? Why isn’t the government protecting the hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost by highly-skilled workers? Read the excerpt below and you decide for yourself who is actually benefitting. But, you can bet, it isn’t you or me.

“The government could make a profit, a substantial profit,” said Jaret Seiberg, a financial services analyst at the Stanford Group, a policy research firm. “The pricing mechanism is going to be central.”

The plan will help banks shore up their balance sheets by removing hard-to-value assets. This would address the seemingly endless rounds of writedowns and capital raising that have been rocking the financial sector.”

Read the whole story on CNN:

http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/19/news/economy/what_we_know/index.htm


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