Obligatory Resolution Post

2014 has ended and 2015 has begun: time for new year resolutions! I usually make the same cliché resolutions. You know: eat better, exercise more, blah blah, etc. And like a lot of people I generally make my resolutions known, except for spiritual ones. Why? Is it out of shame? Fear of being made fun of or scoffed at? Or is it because of our society telling me that religion is offensive and to keep it to yourself? I don’t know, but not this year! Here are my spiritual resolutions:

1) Be a better spiritual leader to my family.
2) Read my Bible everyday.
3) Be a more patient father.
4) Pray. Pray by myself, pray with my wife, pray with my kids.
5) Grow closer to God.

Have a great year!

 

 

 

One more, update the pictures in my blog header!

Lego Lessons

-Randy MedlinThis quote is from a lesson by Randy Medlin from the University Church of Christ in Montgomery, AL. In the lesson, Randy likens Christians to legos. They tightly interlock together to make something much bigger and stronger than as individuals, and every single one of them is important.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[b] yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

God can see in the dark!

All throughout the Bible, people have tried to hide their sins from God.  From the very beginning of creation, Adam and Eve tried to hide that they had eaten from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:8).  Then we see their son, Cain, killing his brother and sidestepping God’s questions (Genesis 4:9).  David, the man after God’s own heart, tried to cover his sin by having the husband of the woman he committed adultery with killed (2 Samuel 11:14-17)!  God saw through all of these people and their lies, and they all received different punishments. From hard work and painful childbirth, to wandering the earth, to the death of an innocent.

As if these weren’t bad enough, there are two dynamic duos in the Bible that lost their lives as a result of their attempted deceits.  First up, Nadab and Abihu.  They were sons of Aaron, the brother of Moses and High Priest.  They offered an offering of fire that God did not approve.  They were then stuck dead with fire for it (Leviticus 10:2).

Next up, Ananias and Sapphira.  They were members of the early Church.  They sold a field they owned and gave part of their profits to the Church.  This would have been a great thing, if only they hadn’t lied about it!  They told the apostles that they gave 100% of the profit to the Lord, but they held back a portion for themselves.  When questioned by Peter, Ananias was struck dead on the spot.  When Sapphira told the same lie, she too was struck dead (Acts 5:1-11).

This message isn’t very uplifting or comforting, but this message is very important: God can see in the dark!  Hiding our sins from the world, from our loved ones, from our brothers and sisters in Christ, from those who look up to us as an example does not work on God!  He knows what’s in our hearts (Psalm 44:20-21, Luke 16:15, Acts 15:8)!

While God does indeed see everything we do in the dark, John 1:9 says: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Now that is comforting!

The F-Stop Blues

If you look closely at the lens of a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera, you’ll see a ring near the base of lens that controls the F-Stop. The F-Stop represents the size of the aperture, or opening, in the lens.  The lower the number, the more light is allowed to enter the camera to create a bright and vivid image.  The higher the F-Stop, the slower the shutter needs to be to get enough light for a full exposure.  If the shutter is too slow the image will be blurry.

Our hearts can act like an F-Stop to God’s light.  If you open it wide, you will be bathed in God’s goodness and can absorb more love and knowledge and grow as a Christian.  But if you close your heart, you open yourself to blurry images of God, leaving yourself vulnerable to underexposure, leading to Satan’s darkness.

James 4:8 – “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”

1 John 1:5 – “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

Who is your target audience?

Most blogs, speeches, books, etc. are written for a target audience.  I write this blog with three audiences in mind:

1) People who are looking for something.  They may not know exactly what it is, but they are searching.  If something that I write will cause just one soul to ask a question that could lead them to God, then I will count this blog a resounding success!

2) People who are like minded as me.  Its always good to see that there is someone else out there who thinks the same way as you do, and another hope I have of this blog is to encourage other Christians who are also struggling through this world.

3) God.  This is who its all about.  God sees, hears, knows everything.  He should be our target audience, not just in our speech or worship, but in everything we do –Colossians 3:17.

Comedian Chris Rock said, “I’m never proper or careful, but I never curse in front of my mother, either.” We certainly need to remember the people we love and respect when we talk, but we need to think about our Heavenly Father much more.

The Bitter End!

In the sailing world the rope used to control the sail’s angle in the wind is called the mainsheet.  The mainsheet attaches to the the sail’s boom and goes through various pulleys then into your hand which you then pull in or let out to control the sail.  The end of this mainsheet, or rope, is called “the bitter end”.

So you’re sailing across the sea of life (subtle huh?) and there suddenly arises a gale force wind so strong that the sail gets whipped forward and the mainsheet is being pulled out of your hand and the bitter end is approaching!  Usually one would tie a knot just before the end to keep it from pulling through the pulleys and losing complete control of the sail, but you didn’t tie the knot.  You figured you could just hold on to the rope and use your own grip to control the sail, but the knot that should have been there would save you the struggle for control, it would have kept that boom and sail steadfast and unmoving.

Our lives need that knot to help keep them from spinning out of control when the big issues come up.  Make God the knot that keeps your sail secure, let Him help keep the bitter end from slipping through the blocks and out of your control.

‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”  -Lamentations 3:22-24