I have noticed something about my blogging patterns. I binge. Before you plan to find a recovery group for me, please hear me out. I would very much like to be like those who schedule their blog posts or blog daily, but I have to “strike while the iron is hot” and write when the ideas hit me. Sometimes that means that I write multiple posts in one day.
There is another side to my binge blogging. I also binge read. Some days are devoted to reading, liking, and commenting on the blogs of others. I may press on your link, and you will discover that I have liked and commented on several of your posts at once. I would typically preach about doing things in moderation, but I don’t think I am violating any biblical principle here unless my blogging becomes a personal idol.
Am I alone here, or does anyone else relate? I would love to read from someone who relates to my binging. Please😀.
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Why is it that we turn on the news and hear nothing but bad things? We hear the latest scandals in politics, murders, and a list of other things. I heard John Gray preach once and he said something along the lines of how it would be nice if we heard that it was going to be rainy, but the sun is coming out later.
This morning, I heard His Radio highlight several positive things in their news. One was about a grandmother who saved a snowball her 5-year old granddaughter brought her as a gift. The grandmother froze it. Eleven years later, it is still in the grandmother’s freezer and the granddaughter is now 16. Then others called in and shared about homemade gifts from children. I reminisced about how my oldest son would always spend his Awana money on me at the Awana store and buy me a lighthouse, tootsie rolls, or dress socks. He’s 14 now, but I will always cherish how he thought of me when he could have spent on himself.
Now back on the subject of good news. The word gospel means “good news”. This message of good news is that Jesus Christ died and rose again according to the Scriptures. Those who place their trust in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. We can have complete forgiveness through the death and resurrection of Christ. How awesome is that?
Now it’s time to share some good news!
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Each of us is a walking advertisement. This thought was provoked by a line from The Drew Carey Show from the 1990s. Drew said to Mimi who wore a ton of makeup, “You look like a walking billboard for a makeup company.” That may not be the exact quote, but she fit the bill.
We all, through our actions and attitudes, advertise all kinds of things. Here is a list of things that come to mind that we advertise:
This list is not exhaustive. It does lead me to ask you this question, “What does your life advertise?” The categories are twofold: reputation and character. We all possess a certain reputation. Your reputation is what others think of you. Reputations can often be misinterpreted. Your character is who you are when no one is looking. People will develop their opinions about you, but the real you is the person only God knows. Our goal should be to possess Christlike character that pours over into our reputation. Even if you are extremely like Jesus, there will still be some who will not like you. Remember that God did not place you here to be liked, but don’t make it a goal to be hated.
I want to challenge you as you ponder your life today, consider what your life advertises. If the advertisement of your life needs work, you can submit yourself to the Holy Spirit and watch Him turn your darkness into light.
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Facebook profiles tell a story. They tell who you are, where you’ve been, what you have done, and what matters most to you. As I was on Facebook within the last hour, several things jumped out at me.
The first look at a person’s Facebook profile is normally the profile picture. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is very true. One picture can say any of the following:
- “I value my relationship with my…”
- “I love this ball team.”
- “I love my kids.”
- “I support this cause.”
It can also say:
- “I want attention.”
- “Let’s see how many people will like this pic of me showing off my muscles.”
- “I wonder how many likes I can get for my little black dress.”
- “I value myself above all others.”
- “I’m using social media to fill a void.”
This one window into your life can tell an accurate tale of who you are. It can also tell the story of who you want to be or the story you want others to think rather than reality. As we walk down the hallway of your profile, we see posts that can reflect joy, depression, frustration, or efforts to impress others with the things you bought with high interest attached to it (aka on credit). The pictures can reflect fun times or memes of how spiritual you are or want others to think you are. These images can even be meant for entertainment or inspiration. Some view it Facebook profiles as reality while a Facebook profile can often be a coverup.
Beginning with me, it’s time to evaluate what our Facebook profiles are really saying. Are they real/desired life on parade, or do they serve a greater purpose? Just some thoughts worth considering.
God has reminded me of something that infects the lives of many pastors and churches – misinformation or a lack of knowledge. Ignorance is not bliss. God wants us to be informed, so I choose to do better in some areas.
Today, a friend of mine who has been clean for almost 4 years shared his testimony. As we have been talking for a few weeks about this, I realized how misinformed I am about addiction. The problem is that this misinformation has been propagated from many pulpits and pastors. Rather than finding out the underlying reason that people become addicted to alcohol, drugs, or sex, many choose to call them drunks, meth heads, or hoes. Because the way to get someone on the road to recovery is the guilt trip, right? WRONG!!! It’s time to stop the labels and time to address the root issue.
There is so much more I could say. Bottom line: Do your homework! You might be surprised what you will discover.
About 3 weeks into my first full-time ministry, the pastor came to me and asked if I would teach his Sunday School class while he was out of the country. I gladly took the opportunity. He was teaching Ecclesiastes and told me to pick up at chapter nine. I began preparing and decided to share this outline with you.
We all are going to die. With that in mind, Ecclesiastes 9 gives us some practical advice about what to do while we are still living.
- Remember that God is in control of everything (v. 1).
- Realize that none of us is exempt from death (vv. 2, 3).
- Take hold of the hope of living before there is no more opportunity (vv. 4-6). Ephesians 5:16 also reminds us to make the most of every opportunity (redeeming the time) because the days are evil.
- Enjoy life (vv. 7, 8), specifically your possessions (v. 7) and your purity (v. 8). You can enjoy your possessions when you have earned them and your purity because it is truly a gift from God when you choose to please Him. Nothing beats a clean conscience.
- Enjoy your love (v. 9) – the writer speaks of enjoying the wife of your youth all the days of your life.
- Enjoy your labor (v. 10) – Colossians 3:23, 24 tells us to do what we do with our whole heart as to the Lord and not men, knowing that God rewards it. On a practical note, you can enjoy your labor when you choose a profession that you were designed to fulfill. You will be frustrated when you operate outside your giftedness.
- Expect disappointments (vv. 11, 12). Things don’t always happen as we expect. God warns us throughout Scripture that bad times will come. Just don’t be so pessimistic as the lady in the Disney movie “Summer Magic” who said, “I always expect the worst, and I’ve never been disappointed.”
- Pursue wisdom while you still can (vv. 13-18). Wisdom makes no sense in the world’s eyes (vv. 13-15). First Corinthians also reiterated that God uses what man would normally discard. Wisdom also knows when it needs to keep its mouth shut (vv. 16, 17). Finally, wisdom exceeds material things (v. 18). I would much rather have wisdom than anything this world offers.
The book of Ecclesiastes is a rich book that reminds us how futile and vain life really is. It also reminds us to pursue what really matters. If you have not studied this book of the Bible, I encourage you to do so. You will benefit more than you realize. Take the challenge!
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As a church planter, I have not been quick to get people into our doors. Have I invited lots of people? Absolutely! My main goal is to invite them to Jesus. Their involvement in a faith community is an overflow of their relationship with Christ.
Many church planters try everything imaginable to lure people. They call people they know and convince them how dissatisfied they are in their current church. They tell them how much better their church is than others. I have done the opposite. I tell people up front that we don’t vote, have business meetings or committees, and we are committed to reaching all kinds of people who are deemed unworthy by many religious folks. I purposely try to run them off so if they don’t like what we’re about, they will go somewhere that satisfies them (although worship is not supposed to be about us).
Why do I operate this way? Because vision cannot be compromised. For example, I am a hospice chaplain. As a home hospice organization, we admit those who are terminally ill. Our purpose is not to drum up business by admitting people who want adult day care, pampering, or home health. We are not a taxi service. We have a specific function, and functioning outside our purpose would lead to the demise of the organization.
Overcomers Church has a specific goal and end in mind. We try to prevent from deviating from this goal. Our calendar is filled with things that align with our vision. If we wanted to be like another church in the area, we should have just decided we would all pack their seats.
Vision is key to every area of life. Set goals and build each area of life around them. There is too much at stake to live haphazardly.
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