Category Archives: ACTIVE CHRISTIAN LIVING,

CHOICES. 050815

Fork roads horizon with grass and blue sky

The introductory talk in the Kairos program for the brothers in white in the prison is called ‘Choices’.  The person chosen to make this talk (in fact all talks in Kairos) is given certain points to make during the talk, but there are two basic guidelines for every talk.  1] Write it and give it in your own words, and 2] give a personal testimony that relates to the subject matter.  While in Kairos we are primarily concerned with talking to the participants about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, in the ‘Choices’ talk, we are specifically directed NOT to say anything about God or religion or the Bible in this talk.  We just want to get them to think, to think about themselves and their past, to think about how their past choices have affected their lives.  It’s like parents raising their children.  In order for the child to grow up to be a responsible, productive citizen, on a natural level, they need to understand the principle of cause and effect.  “If you do this, this will happen; if you do that, that will happen.”  If we do good things, good things will result.  If we do bad things, bad things will result.  Continue reading

WALKING IN GOD’S GRACE.050715

[The following are excerpts from a Kairos talk called “Walking in God’s Grace”.]                  Religious Words on Grunge BackgroundI wish I could tell you that living the Christian life, after you really commit to God, is going to be easy, that you’re going to feel God’s presence every day, more and more; that you’re going to be obedient, that you’re not going to do anything stupid, that you’re going to trust God all the time, that you’re going to love everybody and they’re going to love you; that there’s going to be a steady shining light in your life all the time and no more darkness.  Sorry, it’s just not going to be all sweetness and light, because we’re all still a bunch of sinners.

Let’s say that because of this Kairos weekend, everybody here has made a commitment to Jesus.  We’ve had good food and good fellowship; we’ve felt God’s unconditional love through the brothers, both those from inside and those from outside the prison; and we’re excited about the prospect of going back out in the world to share Jesus with other people out there in the dark.  How are we going to do that?  We can’t.  Why can’t we?  We’re heard the message; we’ve accepted it; we’ve made a commitment to Jesus; and He’s definitely made a commitment to us (to each one of us).  So what is holding us back? Continue reading

FORGIVENESS CEREMONY.050615

forgive yourselfIn the Kairos program we focus a lot of attention on forgiveness.   We do it for two reasons: 1] because in the Bible Jesus devotes  a lot of attention to it; and 2] because in the prisons, there are a lot of people who really need it.

To bring this subject into focus: in Matthew 6:9-15, the Lord’s Prayer, forgiveness is a major point of the whole prayer.  In verse 12, it says, “Forgive us our trespasses (sins, debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  And we usually think the prayer ends with verse 13, “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.  For Yours is the kingdom .  .”

But that’s not really the end, because immediately, without taking a breath, Jesus adds, “If you forgive others their trespasses, then God will forgive you; but if you don’t forgive others, then He won’t forgive you.’  (Isn’t it interesting that He doesn’t make any comments about any other verses in the prayer, only about forgiveness.) Continue reading

JESUS, THE CENTURION AND THE SICK SERVANT. 042615  

ColossiansIn Matthew 8:5-13, is the story of the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant, and Jesus said, “I’ll come.”  The centurion responded, “You don’t need to come; just give the order, and he’ll be healed.  I know this because I am a man under authority (I understand authority).  When I tell one of my men to do something, he does it, no questions asked.”

Jesus was totally impressed.  He said, “I tell you the truth, this man has more faith than anyone I’ve seen, even in Israel.”  Continue reading

WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE? 041615

Coin. Coin pyramid.“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be too.”  Matt 6:19-21

Le Christ du Corcovado et la Baie de RioSo I’ve got a few questions for you: 1] Where is your heart? 2] What do you treasure?  I mean, what do you really care about?  What do you focus your attention on? When you’re not really thinking about anything in particular, what does your mind keep coming back to?  If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?  Here’s another way to say it: What do you really love, with all your heart?

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THIS BOOK OF THE LAW.041415

geneses oneIn Joshua 1:8, The LORD says to Joshua, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. ”

It’s a lot like Psalm 1:1-3, where David says, ” Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the river, his leaf will not wither, and whatever he does will prosper.” Continue reading

Works of Righteousness. 041215

Ephesians 2.8In Ephesians 2:8-9: Paul says,“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

And in his letter to Titus, in chapter 3, verse 5, Paul says again,  “ .  .  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,”   Did you get that?  It is not by any works, not by any deeds we have done, or by any special actions we have taken, that God saves us.  Particularly not by “works of righteousness”, meaning good things we’ve done to make God like us. 

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THE PRESENT.041115

Young woman happy smile hold gift box in hands,standing over grey backgroundIn 1 Thessalonians 5;16-18, Paul says, “Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in all things give  thanks, for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for you!”

In Romans 8:28, Paul says, “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who are ‘the called’ according to His purpose.”

Someone said (I don’t know who), “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is all we have, it is God’s gift to us, that is the reason we call it THE PRESENT!

Peace and Grace from God to you! Tex

 

God Is Your Life. 040915

Male hands with babyDeuteronomy 30:19-20:  “ . . . I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;  that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.”  This passage is part of the renewal of the covenant that the Lord made with the people of Israel at Mount Horeb.  This comes at the end of Moses life, part of his Departing Address to the people, just before the Song of Moses that is recorded in Deut. 32. Continue reading

SALT and LIGHT. 040715

Salt and LightMatthew 5:13-16 [Jesus says], “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.  Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” The Message

What does salt do in the natural world?  Continue reading