Two Are Better

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Ecclesiastes 4:9‭-‬10 ESV

Advertisements

Believe in God But Not Prayer

A pastor once asked his church to pray that God would shut down a neighborhood bar. The whole church gathered for an evening prayer meeting, pleading with God to rid the neighborhood of the evils of this bar. A few weeks later, lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground.

Having heard about the church’s prayer crusade, the bar owner promptly sued the church. When the court date finally arrived, the bar owner passionately argued that God struck his bar with lightning because of the church members’ prayers. The pastor backtracked, brushing off the accusations. He admitted the church prayed, but he also affirmed that no one in his congregation really expected anything to happen.

The judge leaned back in his chair, a mix of amusement and perplexity on his face. Finally, he spoke: “I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Right in front of me is a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer and a pastor who doesn’t.” 

I have heard the above story all my life but I cannot vouch if it is true. The truth is some Christian believe in God, but they don’t believe in prayer. They might claim to believe prayer works, but their actions say otherwise. Some rarely pray, and when they do, they don’t expect anything to change. If we truly believed in prayer, I think we would pray more and more fervently.  James 1:-6-8  Mark 11:24

Expect the Unexpected

See the source image

I have kept a “to-do” list for most of my adult life. I like to think that is wise time management. It’s the mark of a good leader, right? But the truth is I hardly ever get everything checked off my list.

As I began writing this blog; a thought came me. Maybe the reason I like a list is it brings security and certainty to my day. I begin my day reading the Bible and praying but much of my prayer time is asking God to bless MY plans for the day. Would it not be better to seek God rather than making plans for God?

The longer I live, I think that spiritual maturity is less knowing the future and more of a moment by moment sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. We like being in control but following Christ is about giving up control!

Uncertainty is what makes life exciting. Following Jesus was (and is) anything but boring. Jesus never promises security. What He promised was uncertainty. Jesus didn’t even know where He would end up at the end of the day. Luke 9:58

When the disciples woke on the Day of Pentecost, they could never have planned the events that would take place! It never occurred to the shepherd boy David that today I will slay a giant! Moses never had plans to part the Red  Sea. If you read the Gospels, you will find Jesus repeatedly facing the unplanned requests. Blind people were healed. {He did not plan that.} He comes across a funeral procession, stops and raises a dead boy. (Not on His itinerary) The religious leaders bring a woman caught in the act of adultery and they want an immediate judgment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We need to expect the unexpected. Some of the best things in life are totally unplanned and unexpected! Faith is embracing the uncertainties of life. At the wedding at Cana a problem arose, they ran out of wine. Someone dropped the ball and did not purchase enough wine! Do? That unforeseen problem set the stage for Jesus’ first miracle. If everything had gone according to plan, Jesus would not have turned the water into wine. John 2:1-12  No problem =No miracle. 

Don’t fear the uncertain; God has it all under control. “The Lord directs the steps of the godly…” Psalm 37:23

If I Were God

See the source image

 

In the film, Bruce Almighty, (2003) Bruce Nolan is passed over for a coveted position as a TV anchor. When he complains to God about how unfair his life is, God (Morgan Freeman) shows up and ask Bruce if he could do a better job as God. Bruce decides he could do a better job and God grants him temporary limited authority to be God. God does limit his power. He cannot violate man’s free will. His power only extends over several blocks in New York City.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But you have to admit it is an interesting idea: What would you do if YOU were God? Lose that weight you have been unsuccessful in losing? End all wars; sickness, stop all natural disasters from happening, end racism. Who would you like to see win the Super Bowl? I WOULD DEFINITELY END ALL ABORTIONS!
Bruce prepares for bed but cannot sleep because he hears thousands upon thousands of prayers in his head. No problem; he’s God! He answers EVERYONE’S prayer! I mean that what God is supposed to do. Right? Everyone who bought a lottery ticket WINS! Everyone is healed instantly! There is a sudden rise in pregnancy! The stock market explodes! Everyone drives the car of their dreams ( prayer) Unfortunately, it all became chaos!

I am reminded of the Old Testament passage (1 Samuel 8) when the nation of Israel wanted a king just like the pagan nations around. God tried to dissuade them telling them what would occur if they choose a king and it was not favorable. : He (God) gave them exactly what they asked for— but along with it they got an empty heart.” (Psalm 106:15) I admit that have been times I prayed for things that I regretted it later.
I thought if I was God, I would right every wrong and punish all evildoers. If I was God, I would ask for incredible wealth so I could help people in need. If I was God, I wouldn’t do any of those things because I am like most of us; selfish!

If I were God; there are some people that better run for the hills!

Balance

Life, to say the least,  can be “challenging.” There is work, household duties, church activities, children’s sports, parenting; you almost need to be a  juggler to keep all the plates in the air.  Stress is a common household reality. Stress comes when life becomes unbalanced. When you give too much attention to one area; another area suffers. 

Image result for Life Balance

One area that is extremely difficult to balance is the disciplining of our children. Too much discipline and the child may become rebellious. [Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them….] Ephesians 6:4  Too little discipline and the child will grow with no respect for authority.  [If a child is corrected, they become wise. But a child who is not corrected brings shame to their mother.]  Proverbs 29:15  So the key to successful discipline is a balance.   Two biblical examples: 

1. No parental discipline. Often parents want peace in the home so bad, they refused to confront bad conduct. “Now his father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time…” 1 Kings 1:6 David was a man of God but he allowed his son to do whatever he wanted to do. Result? His son, Adonijah, rebelled against his father and took control of Israel. (I might add, David did nothing to stop him.) 

I have often seen parents run to “recuse” a child from the consequences of their actions. I know it is only natural to want to protect our children from harm and unpleasantness. I knew a mother that was continually bailing her two sons out of jail. When her money ran out, she begged family members for money to bail them out but it never changed their behavior. When she could no longer “rescue” they went to prison, where gave their lives to Christ.   In Luke 15 we have the parable of the lost son. The boy wanted his inheritance so he could go and do whatever he wanted. The father never attempted to stop him leaving, that would only make the problem worse.  It was only after the son hit “bottom”, he saw the folly of his lifestyle, repented and returned home. Luke 15:17-18   

I am not saying that we should NEVER go the aid of our children, there are times when showing Christ’s love and forgiveness will turn the child around. In fact, Jesus said to GO and search for the lost sheep and rescue them!  Luke 15:4-7

So how is a parent supposed to know whether to rescue their child or allow them to experience the school of hard knocks? Good question! 

Good question! If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you James 1:5  TLB

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth… John 16:13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

The Truth

truthI am a firm believer in the Bible as God’s revelation to man to show us how we should live. The Bible speaks to every area of life; Parenting, Marriage, Business principles, etc. and when we violate one of those principles; there are consequences. But many people reject God’s truth to accept what the majority promotes. Culture wants to legalize their sinful desires; abortion, same-sex marriage; dignity in death; and so on. Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,”  Verse 25 “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.

People don`t want to accept the truth, unless it agrees with their idea of truth.
The truth seems to be elusive, especially in the arena of politics and media. Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives; WHO is telling the truth? I am confused. How can “fake” news be news? To be true news it must be based on factual information; no slant; no spin. Case in point, the Brett Kavanaugh nomination hearing. Many accusations but none were based on truth. After investigating, there was no truth to the accusations.

Telling the truth sometimes makes us uncomfortable. Never ask a question that you are not ready to accept the truth! I love the Geico Commercial about Abraham Lincoln trying to speak the truth. Speaking the truth is not always easy to speak but it is the best policy.
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Mark Twain