Growing up I lost my grandparents at an early age and I wasn’t that close to my Grandmother since she lived in another city. I grew up in a very close nit family but lacked the grandparent/grandchild relationship. Moving ahead to the age of 19 and I met my bride to be and she introduced me to someone that she was very close to, her grandmother. At first impressions Sylvia did not like me and I did not much like her, I felt that she was too liberal and opinionated but for the love of my life I would deal with her. At some point during our dating she made it clear to Tammy that I was not good enough for her (and Sylvia and I even joked about it later on). But a strange thing happened, Sylvia and I began to respect one another. She became the grandmother I never had. During our trips to Florida to visit Grandma we would wake up to fresh orange juice and fresh bagels every morning something I never had growing up not because of lack but because it just wasn’t something we ate at home. All that to say this morning as I opened the bagels and got a wiff of a everything bagel, I am taken back to those precious mornings in Florida with Grandma Sylvia and think of how much I miss her and how blessed I was to have her as part of my life. We miss you Sylvia Singer!
As I was sitting backstage at New Life Christian Church sipping my “Purified Water” I looked at it with distain because it was not real “Spring Water” and then I thought about all of people that don’t have clean water to drink. We don’t even stop to think about the fact the water that we flush our toilets with is cleaner that what most people in other countries have to drink.
I moan and groan because I don’t have enough money, and yet I have an abundance of perfect clean spring water that never ends. To some people that alone would make me rich.
Perspective, that is what I need, I am glad I looked at the water bottle this morning even with distain because it made me think, and made me realize just how spoiled I am.
An old song we use to sing went like this: Count your blessing name them one by one, count your blessings see what God has done.
Today I count my blessings, how about you?
The Lord has been speaking to me through scripture a lot lately, specifically about my calling to preach the Gospel. A calling that I have put on a back burner and neglected for the past few years. A calling I might have forgot about but the Lord has not forgotten and has been good to remind me of it.
How can this happen? A calling that was once so important that it burned within me and now hardly a thought about it.
There are many reasons I can give but I think it all boils down to disobedience in one way or another. I am so thankful that the Lord is willing to pick me up, dust me off and give me not a second chance but a million chances.
I think of Sampson who knew of his calling, knew of his strengths and his weaknesses and still fell to temptation that kept him from his calling.
So my question today is this, what has God spoken to you that you might have forgotten or neglected? What do you need to do to fulfill His calling on your life?
One more question, who is missing out on the Gospel because of our failure to fulfill this calling? This challenge is for me today, I hope that it speaks to you as well.
This week we said goodbye to a very dear family friend. Mike was always known for his big smiles and warm heart. I knew that the calling hours would be full of people but the lines of people were truly amazing. There were tears and laughter as people shared memories of Mike but one thing was for certain, Mike left his mark on their lives. Things might have been very different if Mike had not become a Christ follower some years ago. He had really become a changed man and the crowds of people were there to attest to it. Mike Loved Jesus with all of his heart and it showed in his relationships with others.
This makes me wonder, what mark will I leave? Will people know me for who I am now or who I was before I became a Christian? Does the love I have for my Heavenly Father show through me?
We only have but this one life to touch and effect others and that life is speeding past us at a unbelievable pace but you and only you can stop it long enough to effect someone else. It is time we put others above ourselves and leave our mark!
Today life stands still for one family that lost a loved one. I find it interesting how the world seems to stand still for those that grieve while it moves at a hurried pace for others. The trivial things of life seem to disappear during a time such as this, nothing else seems to matter for the moment, disagreements seem to fade away.
Why do we wait until tragedy to love on our friends and family? Why do we let stupid things keep us preoccupied and separated from others?
The one thing that the person(s) grieving will tell you, DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE! Love one another while you can, you are not promised tomorrow.
Yesterday was Easter, I dragged out my suit (that I could not wear just a few months ago) and decided to dress up for church (for my wife). As I looked in the mirror I saw what looked like a very respectable man (and good looking if I say so myself). It got me thinking about “wearing your Sunday best” to church. I have heard this for years and for the first 10 years of going to church I religiously wore a suit thinking it would be what God wanted.
Lately I see things a bit differently, since I normally am unseen during church (working in the production booth) I don’t “dress up” too often. I have also heard people say that they don’t have nice enough clothes to attend church. This is the thinking that changed my mind about the “Sunday Best”
If what I wear to church makes me look good and others look/feel bad than there is a problem, especially if I am wearing something just to make ME look good to others. Church is not about how good we look, it is about how we can uplift and encourage others. Wearing a suit does not make me a good Christian it just makes me “look” good. Just think about a person on trial in a court room, they are dressed in a suit to make them “Look” respectable even though they may have killed someone.
In my final thoughts is the scripture in 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
I was thinking the other day about how people might view me or what they “REALLY” think of me. Nobody likes to think that they are disliked, after all everyone wants to feel loved. I have come to the understanding that I can be a jerk and for that matter you probably have been too. When I think back at some things I have said and done and how I have reacted to situations I can see how people could have a bad impression of me but that is not really me. I am not really a jerk, or at least I don’t want to be, I am still learning to react better and watch what I say. I find it helpful to own the fact that at times I can be a jerk because this helps me to examine myself and my actions to try and learn from them so maybe next time I won’t be. If we continue to go through life thinking that everybody loves me, then we will never be able to grow from our mistakes. Let me say this to you, if I have left a bad impression or acted like a jerk to you, PLEASE contact me so I can apologize to you and both of us can move forward and grow from it. Thanks for being a part of my learning process and thanks for understanding.
John Lennon once wrote a song called “Imagine”, in the song he asks that you imagine an almost perfect world. I remember that when this came out Christians were all upset because one line in the song said “Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try, No hell below us, Above us only sky”
What I found odd about the Christians response to the song was this, if the secular world is looking for the perfect world or Nirvana then why not show them the way to Jesus? Granted the world is not perfect because of sin, but Jesus is perfect and sinless.
Along the same lines of thinking, if Christians truly follow the Bible and try to be just like Jesus, I believe that the secular would would want what we have.
It is time that we as Christians come out of battle mode and into the Love that we are told to share in 1 Corinthians 13 “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” Ephesians 6:12.
If you are not a Christian and you are looking for the perfect world, you may not find it here on earth, but there is a place called Heaven that is far better than our minds could ever imagine.
We just celebrated Martin Luther King Day and the most famous words to his speech “I have a dream” rang out across every tv and news program and I have to wonder where are the dreamers? The ones who grow up with a driving passion for their future, the ones who knew what they wanted to become and accomplish in life before they graduated high school. I have seen a vast amount of teens without a clue as to what they want to become and therefore wander through life aimlessly with only the desire to make it to the next day. This saddens me. I believe we are all created to do great things, to be an asset to our country and not a liability.
Parents, please pay attention to your children, help them realize their talents and encourage them in their talents as well in their dreams (even if they seem unattainable).
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6: 6Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it. Amplified Bible (AMP)
Let’s help the next generation fulfill their dreams and quite possibly change the world just as Martin Luther King did.
As many of you know I have decided that it time for me to get serious about losing weight. Yesterday I stepped on the scale for the first time in over 6 months and was shocked at the weight I had put on. So it was decided, I was going on (and I speak with trepidation) a diet. So I downloaded an app for my smart phone and entered my weight and I was shocked when it told me I was ……. Obese! In such a politically correct society couldn’t they come up with a nicer term? That really hurt! I am sure when they came up with the word Obese, it was not to hurt my feelings but to make me aware that there is something that needs to change in my life or it could be dangerous for my physical health.
Along the same line of thought, I was listening to my good friend Christopher Hopper singing “Feel You” on my phone this morning and the words hit me that says: “What do you see inside the windows of my soul?” Then I realized when I take communion at church the scripture tells us: A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 1 Corinth 11:28. I have to ask myself, do I really want to know what kind of sin lurks about inside my soul? There could be lust, gluttony, gossiping and all kinds of nasty things that I don’t like to think about, But the scripture is there to give us warning, there may be things in our spiritual life that could be a danger to us and it is time to get serious about it and make necessary changes.
Won’t you join in my quest, what things in your life need to be changed so that you can be in better physical or spiritual health?