In Romans 1:19-20, Paul talks about how God has put the knowledge of Himself in men’s hearts; to the point that they cannot deny that God exists. They are without excuse. They will have to acknowledge Jesus as Lord on ‘that Day’. Reminds me of times when my kids were young, maybe 10 and up, what church people used to call the ‘age of accountability’, when kids really did know right from wrong.
Once in a while, they’d get to go skating, or to the mall for a party, where they’d be largely unsupervised for an hour or two; they’d even have a little spending money to buy a coke or some popcorn, or play a video game. Kinda exciting, get a little buzz doing new things they hadn’t done much; meet kids they didn’t know. There would be adults around, but not enough for close supervision; like at the movies, or at the swimming pool, or at the park.
I’d usually tell them, “I just want you to do what you know is right.” It was positively amazing. I think God must’ve put those words in my mouth. Sometimes they would even groan. They’d say, “Don’t saaaay that; now we can’t have any fun.” Continue reading →
Prayer is not mostly about asking for stuff. It is about seeking God for Himself. It’s about hearing and knowing what God thinks. It’s about experiencing who God is.
It’s like having an old friend (an older friend) and saying, “I’m having this issue, this problem, and I want to know what you think about it. I want to know how you’ve dealt with this problem in the past. I don’t exactly want you to fix it. I just want a little wisdom about how to look at it in a new way: to see it from a new perspective.
God can be that person. He can, and will, and does, share what He knows, Who He is, in that exact situation. Often, it’s when we didn’t even know we were asking; and we come to a new realization of who we are in that situation and in our relationship with God.
Now, go read Romans 12:1-2 in light of this idea: that God really wants to be, really is: your wise old friend.
I’ll tell you what, you’ve never watched a presidential debate until you’ve watched one in a bar with a bunch of Europeans on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
I promise, I’m not getting political…
But let’s just say, they don’t mince words about how they really feel about Trump and Hillary. The term “Satan’s Spawn” was definitely used….and I’ll let you decide who they were referring to.
I sat down to write this post tonight, and I felt like I needed to update you on my date, but honestly, after watching the debate tonight, and everything that has gone on this weekend, from Hurricane Matthew, to the shooting in Chicago, to the political climate, I just felt like…there are more important things to talk about than my love life….
So, to answer that first question, I had a lovely time on my date. Truly. He had me laughing…
Awhile back I saw an 18 minute TedTalk ‘Youtube’ video by this New Yorker named Simon Sinek, talking about his concept “Start with Why”. In a way it changed my whole perspective on life. I was just starting marketing my book, and the guy said, “If you want people to support you and follow you in whatever you do, tell ’em why, and if your why matches their why, then they’ll help you. They just can’t resist.
And if you tell them why, and your why is central to your life, and your passion, and your cause for action and being, you will just naturally flow into success in your venture, because that’s the way peoples’ hearts work. All these are my words; his are much better stated; but it works anyway. It’s because there’s just something going on in your heart that draws people to your idea, your cause, your passion, because you’re connecting with their cause and their passion.
He also talks about how this concept reorganizes your life so that what you DO begins to support your WHY, and it all becomes a unified force for good for you and for your followers. Read the book and see if it doesn’t have a profound effect on your life too.
1 I bow my knees[pray] to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16
2 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
3 to be strengthened with might through His Spiritin the inner man, 17 that
4 Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that
5 you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18
6 may be able to comprehendwith all the saints
7 what is the width and length and depth and height— 19
8 TO KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST which passes knowledge; that you may be
9 FILLED WITH ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD.
10 20 Now TO HIM who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or [imagine], according to the power that works in us, 21 TO HIM BE GLORY in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen [and amen].
“Consistency is the crutch of small minds.” Tex (from a letter to my kids)
Some people said Jesus was inconsistent because He said people should abide by the law one time, and the next time He said people should be led by the Spirit, and be merciful to lawbreakers. Even in the Old Testament, God said He’d rather have someone with an obedient heart than sacrifice, even though sacrifice was according to the law.
Over and over in the Bible, it says that God looks at the heart. Somehow or other it should be the way we look at it too. I’m sure people ought to do what they say they will, but you don’t have to do the same way ever time. Different situations require different responses.
And this isn’t situation ethics either. It is just realizing that we ascribe to a higher law, which is layman’s terms is being true to God and the people that God puts you with, above being true to man’s law or any dogmatic principle. (How do you know which is is right? If you’re seeking God, you’ll know.) Like it says in the Bible, “This is the first and great commandment, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, . . . And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the fulfillment of all of the law and all of the prophets. If you love God, you will keep His commandments; if you love your neighbor, you’ll treat him right.
My experience has been that if you abide by these two commandments, you won’t always appear consistent to the world, but you will usually do the right thing, and you will be consistent to God and in your heart.
“If something’s got to be done, but you don’t know what to do, wait, it’ll come to you.” (From a letter to my kids.)
Used to be, one of my favorite sayings, one of the principles I lived by was, “Do something, even if it’s wrong.” My rationale was that God could direct you easier if you were moving rather than sitting still. (And if you do something, at least things will change, and maybe you’ll know what to do about the new situation, even if you didn’t know what to do about the previous situation.) Well, maybe.
But now, I think it would be easier for God to send you in the right direction if you weren’t already going in the wrong direction. My more recent experience indicates that in a crisis, if you don’t already know what to do from experience, you should wait until you understand the situation better. I know, it takes a lot of guts to just stand there, when it is clear that something MUST be done, like RIGHT NOW. Don’t do it. Just stay alert, and something will turn up, sooner than you think. Sometimes it’s exhilarating when a great idea just comes on you like a flash of light. Sometimes you’ll hear the answer from your opponent or a bystander, and sometimes the whole thing will work out without you doing anything. And usually, if you wait, they’ll give you two or three chances to do something before you lose control.
It’s pretty easy to go into lockdown. But don’t do it. Use the time to observe the other person. Think of it as a game. You may lose the score, but you can still win the game. You may lose the battle, but you can still win the war. Keep your balance. If you don’t know what to do, just wait, it’ll come to you!