Sunday, April 29, 2012

WWGS, WhatWouldGodSay?

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:8-11 NIV84)

I wonder how many people still own AND wear WWJD bracelets. They were quite the Christian fad many years ago. I'm not making fun of this. It is noble and right to try to emulate Jesus in the things we do every day. Wether it's letting a car merge in front of you in the midst of a traffic jam, geting the door for someone, serving the poor, homeless, or lost, it is great to Do as Jesus would do. As a matter of fact, this verse says just that. We are to use our gifts to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace. That is the very essence of WWJD. The thing that really caught my eye about this verse is, "If anyone SPEAKS, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God." So maybe I should make some bracelets that say WWGS, What Would God Say?

It is great to serve others, no one can argue about that. But, now it is so popular to use our words to hurt others. Maybe we should think about our words just as much as our actions. I'm not just talking about the spoken word, I'm also talking about the written word. Social Media sights like Twitter, Facebook, and a multitude of others, make it so easy to speak for and against others. Blogs and Web Pages make it easy to share our thoughts and ideas. This blog is a perfect example. I hope these are words blessed by God. I hope they are words HE would have me speak. I try to speak as if I were directly speaking for God. I know I am not perfect, my words can be just as sinful as I am,  but I am trying to speak as God would have me speak.

As we are writing our Facebook Posts, our Tweets, or our BLOGS, we should consult the Word and Speak as though we are speaking the words of God. If we would all just use this simple thought, the Cyber world would be a much better place. If we would only print that which is uplifting to others, that would be speaking as God would speak. If we could keep from printing the word to tear down, criticize, ridicule, or hurt, God would certainly be praised. To him be the Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Can't complain about anything? REALLY?

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe (Philippians 2:14, 15 NIV84)

I sure would like to re-write the Bible sometimes. (Not really!) Maybe God meant "Do SOME THINGS without complaining or arguing.....". I can't complain about anything? Are you kidding me? REALLY?

It is so much easier to complain and argue than to be blameless and pure. It must be easier because so many people prefer complaining and arguing. People wouldn't choose to do something harder, would they?

In reality life would be SO MUCH EASIER, if people would try to be blameless and pure. If you've read this blog for any length of time, you will know that I might be the poster child for this. I am the result of an experiment to test a life of complaining and arguing vs. a life free of blame and ugliness. There has been many times in my life I just wanted to be angry. I just wanted to lash out at everyone. I have had times when it felt easier to be hateful than loving. I finally have turned a point in my life where I got tired of being angry at the world. I finally saw what I was becoming and didn't like it. So, with the help of the Spirit of the Lord, I am recovering. Like an alcoholic, I have to take it one day at a time. For the last 6 months I have been searching for the good in ALL THINGS. Do you know what I've found? It's actually easier to be happy than it is to complain. My whole body feels better. Like someone addicted to alcohol, I can easily relapse. I have to take each day one day at a time. With the Lord's help I have seen how ugliness affects me and wanted to change. I haven't been able to do it by my own power and strength. I have to deal with it every day. I have seen how others can take me right back into negativism (Not sure that's a word) With all the turmoil and unhappiness around me, I can easily join in the attack. But, for some reason, God is doing a work in me and I don't stay there long. I love the NEW attitude. I'm certainly not perfect, but I'm improving my life one step at a time. Rather, GOD IS IMPROVING MY LIFE ONE STEP AT A TIME!

Take a look at yourself. Are you Happy with who you are? Are you unhappy? Is your attitude at an all time low? Search DEEP inside? Who's in control of that? Are you letting someone else drag you down? Have you convinced yourself that life is terrible? Only YOU can let others take away your joy. Don't blame it on them. YOU HAVE CHOSEN to act and react the way you are. Do  you want to change? Pray, right now, to your Heavenly Father. He will take charge and begin a good work in you. He will transform you even within this crooked and depraved generation. When he does, you will be like the stars of the universe! Your life will truly change.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Theme of the week -- Harmony!

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:8, 9 NIV84)

God continues to speak to me. It appears he has a theme for me the past couple of days. I am drowning in the "ABSENCE OF HARMONY". I am sure it pains God to see that we can't live in harmony with each other. We don't love as brothers. I have 3 brothers. As we grew up, we did a lot together. When we were at home, privately, we would argue, fight, tease, and torment. Even as adults, we have had some HUGE disagreements over politics, sports, cheating on board games, and numerous other silly topics. That was all done privately. No one outside the family ever could sense the battles. Once we stepped out the door of the house, we were one. We support each other through thick or thin. If you challenged one of us, you challenged all of us. The battles behind closed doors made us better. Those debates and trials made us who we are today.

Why can't life be like that. I know this sounds a lot like yesterday. I just can't get it off my mind. Good Athletic teams are the same way. The most successful teams I've been a part of were those teams who come together to fight a common opponent. They could pull together when challenged and they always were there for each other. Nearly all athletic teams face some type of internal strife. The good ones use that strife to make themselves better. The bad teams let it tear them apart. This could be true at work or in a church. Internal strife is going to occur at work and sometimes in a church, just like it does at home. Are we gong to let it tear us apart or are we going to use it to make us better. The choice is ours.

We need to love each other as brothers. We need to be compassionate and humble. We need to keep from paying evil with evil, or insult with insult. Harmony is a valuable goal. It takes work and patience. Sometimes we need the spirit of the Lord to intervene because we can't do it on our own.

Do you want to be BLESSED?  Strive for HARMONY and UNITY! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stop Bashing!

Philippians 1:9-10

New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,

We live in an era where it is very popular to bash people, schools, companies, teams, coaches, teachers, administrators, law enforcement, politicians, lawyers, doctors, friends, family, neighbors, etc........ We have 24 hour talk shows that do just that. I'm always reminded of Jesus. John 8:7 -- When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Today is not much different. We throw a lot of stones. Christians are just as bad as anyone else. I'm just as bad as anyone else. 



As Christians we say we love everyone, even the sinner. Yet that love is so shallow. I am pretty confident if we got to know people in-depth, even the ones we don't agree with, we wouldn't be so quick to BASH them. We don't give people the benefit of the doubt. People are no longer innocent until proven guilty. They are guilty, even if we don't know the whole story. Now, with social media, it's even easier to bash publicly. My school has taken some pretty big bashing lately and if people only knew the hearts of the people they were bashing, I'm sure they would be ashamed. None of us are PURE AND BLAMELESS. I'm not saying we are. I'm just saying knowing the heart of someone would help encourage us to be accepting and forgiving. Really getting to know someone might help this world be a much better place to live. Bashing in public might make the "BASHER" feel better, I'm not sure how, but it does nothing positive for anyone else. How some, who call themselves Christians, can publicly, verbally, destroy another person is beyond my understanding. 

We could all use this simple prayer. We all need to be more loving and we need to love on a deeper level. We need help in discernment. We need help in standing in the other persons shoes and loving them regardless. When we do have issues with someone, why can't we just go to them and privately discuss the issue? Instead of bashing can't we try to understand, accept, and forgive? Why do we need to vent publicly? How can that further God's kingdom? 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Support Public Education

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:11, 12 NIV84) I might hurt some feelings with this one. I have worked In public education for nearly 20 years. I can't stand when we get bashed for all that's wrong in the world. It is a growing trend and it gets uglier everyday. Great Christian students with great supportive Christian parents are pulling their kids from public school in increasing numbers everyday. Why? How is this going to help our sinful world? As Chrstians Jesus told us to "GO". He did not tell us to stay to ourselves. Good Christian kids are needed in public schools. We need them to spread the gospel through their words and deeds. We need christian parents to be leaders in the stands at athletic contests. To take Christians out of main stream life through homeschooling or private school is against what Jesus did. He didn't hide with his followers, he went straight to them. Public schools are made up of good Christian teachers who are trying to make a difference. They are on the mission field. They need other workers to make a difference. They are not perfect, neither is the Christian school. Instead of bashing and removing yourselves from this world, inject yourself. You can survive as an alien or stranger. You WILL be used by God in powerful ways. Your kids will be used in powerful ways. Sure it's going to take more prayer to protect your kids. You might have to spend more time talking to them and helping them cope with the sin of this world. It's better to do it now than to throw them to the wolves after high school. Public education offers a lot. Most importantly it offers a chance, for all who follow Christ, to be a light in the darkness. Join the army as a recruiter for God. We need soldiers to fight the battle. Take a position on the front lines and make a difference. Support public education by your prayers and your presence.Get involved to make it a better place!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

God is Speaking

Ephesians 6

 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 

God is speaking. Our Pastor has been preaching on Satan, Demons, and Angels. Today was Demons. It just so happens the next verse in my Daily Study was also mentioned in the Sermon, today. God is speaking.

I can't name the number of times I have received multiple messages, like this, in my life. Most people would say "What a coincidence!" I know better. God speaks all the time. If only we would listen.  It might be better for God to hit us over the head with a 2x4. We're not very good listeners when it comes to listening to the God in Heaven.  So, what is God saying to me? -- Answer: There is a battle out in this world and as a member of his Army, I need to be ready. I need to recognize the evil and do everything I can to keep people from falling deeper into it's grasp. When I get busy and forget God, (which I have done lately) I become open to the devil's schemes. The most common excuse for not spending time with God, mine and others, is "I'm too busy". I have been preparing to go back to the classroom next year while at the same time trying to get everything done for my replacement as AD. I have been deeply involved in my own professional development and have not been spending as much time with God. I have been trying to help a new CMA chapter get off the ground while fulfilling my duties as Chaplain for my Chapter. Sounds like some great excuses doesn't it. Two weeks ago the sermon main point was, "When Christians justify, Satan wins."

I've been justifying my time away from God and Satan has won. I need to get back to God. My greatest sin occurs when I neglect my relationship with God. I need to pray, read his word, and look for ways to bring people to know him.
With the Battle that's going on in this world and here in Garrett, Indiana, I can't afford to do that. Can you?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

We're crazy -- like the weather!

1 Peter 1:24-25

24 For, 
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[cAnd this is the word that was preached to you.
This Indiana weather has been crazy this year. Before we went on Spring Break the temperatures were above 80 degrees. It was the middle of March, I was riding my motorcycle to school and people were thinking about planting flowers. We were cutting our grass and the farmers were working in their fields. Fast forward to today. It is cold. We can't even get into the low 50's and we get frost every night. I see so many people frantically covering their flowers and shrubs.

We are just a crazy as the weather. We will go to extremes to save and take care of our plants, our yards, and our flowers. We give them special plant food or fertilizer and would spend any amount of time and money to care for them. I think I'm one of the worst.

I wonder what would happen if we/I would care as much for people as we/I do plants. What if we would be more concerned about feeding the hearts and souls of the lost than our lawns? The Lord knows our hearts. He knows our foolishness and our frivolous pursuits. We need his forgiveness and we need to pray for the strength to change.

 "Help us Lord, pursue your ways, not our own. Amen!"

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What I learned from my parents!

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Ephesians 5:1 MSG)

 I wish all parents were like mine. At school the number one reason kids are constantly in trouble is lack of parenting at home. I am amazed how early this begins. We even have 1st graders who are out of control. I just keep asking, Where are the parents?"

I love my parents. I am who I am because of my mom and dad. Sure they taught me the basics, how to tie my shoes, ride a bike, play sports, study hard, and love the Lord. They deliberately taught me those things. But, they taught me so much more when they weren't even trying! Parents teach by there actions and reactions to daily life. How they handle stress, how they spend their money, how they treat other people and what they spend their valuable time on. In this regard, my parents taught me the most valuable lessons. It wasn't that they JUST taught me to love the Lord, they did it themselves. They taught me how to handle stress when they had to deal with difficult financial times. They taught me how to love someone like they loved each other. My Dad adored my Mom and treated her with the utmost respect. They taught me that God was number one by making him number one in their life. It wasn't what they said, it was what they did that taught me the most.

Our Heavenly Father and his son, also are teaching us. They both gave us many examples how to live, how to deal with stress, how to deal with troubled relationships in our lives, what's important and who's important. The problem is, most people don't ever get to known the Father and the Son well enough to find the lessons. Prayer, reading your bible, opening your heart to the spirit of God, that's where the lessons are. That's where the father, our heavenly parent, is trying to teach us the most valuable lessons in life. Start learning today!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Person of the Year

Don't grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! (James 5:7-9 NIV)

I have worked very hard the last 6 months to change my attitude. I JOKINGLY tell my wife I'm working trying to earn "Person of the Year". I have learned several things about myself over the past several months.

1) It's not easy being positive with everyone 24 hours a day -- This is a sad statement. It shouldn't be that hard for a man who lose the Lord.

2) I feel better physically when I'm being positive -- People are going to think I'm crazy. But, being a diabetic and over weight, I have noticed my health improve. I have lost weight and my blood sugar has never been better. Yes, I have also changed my diet. I am not eating as many sweets and doing portion control. I have "dieted" before and been miserable. So I think it's due to attitude more than diet change.

3) I am influencing other people -- ok, either I am looking at people differently or I am helping change their attitudes. It really doesn't matter. I am enjoying being around people a lot more and that is helping me maintain a positive attitude.

What's your attitude like? Don't think that everything has been great over the last 6 months and that's why my attitude has been better. My school has gone through some very trying times lately. I am crazy busy trying to finish out my duties as Athletic Director and get ready for going back in to the classroom. I am trying to complete 18 hours of professional development. So I do have stress. I have CHOSEN to rise above all of that. My only goal is to be as positive as I can be in all things. Try it! You might like it.