Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wait, It’ll Come to You.032016

Coaching Concept“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!

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DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.031516

Anxiety word cloud with abstract background

“Yeah, I thought I had trouble ’cause I had a hole in my shoe, till I saw a boy that didn’t have any feet.” Unknown  “Don’t worry about tomorrow, there’s plenty of stuff to worry about today . . ” Matt 6:33 (paraphrase)  “Don’t worry about anything, thank God for what you have, ask Him for what you need, and He’ll give you peace that’ll keep your heart and you mind thru Jesus our Lord.” Phil 4:6-7 (paraphrase)  (From a letter to my kids)

This was supposed to be about staying relaxed and letting the little stuff slide, because most things will work out by themselves.  Then I figured out it’s about not worrying.  It turns out that most big problems are made up of a bunch of small ones.

I still think you don’t need to worry about everything.  When you can do something about a problem, do it.  When you can’t, just put it out of your mind.  But sometimes that’s real hard to do; like when you don’t have enough money.  Everything that’s wrong seems to come back to money, and you sorta dwell on it.  When that happens, I try to follow that verse about turning it over to God.

‘Course I go through a ‘mental process’ to ‘talk myself out of’ worrying.  First thing is I say to myself, “I’m not going to think about that today.”  I’m not going to worry about what happens later.  After that I decide I’m gonna see how I’m doing right this minute.  What do I have to be thankful for right now?  I can usually think up a few things like, 1] I was able to get up this morning; 2] I got to sleep last night and eat this morning; 3] I may owe a lot of money right now, b ut they don’t throw people in jail for debt; at least not in the good ole U.S. of A.; and best of all 4] God has brought me through worse stuff than this, and I figure He will bring me through this crisis too.  By the time I get through with all that I’m usually feeling quite a bit better.  (And I don’t know why, but it makes me feel better that there are probably other people out there that are worse off than me.)

It’s kinda like Bob Gold says, “You just can’t worry about everything.” What that always meant to me was that “I may have to worry about that sometime, but not right now.  Maybe later.  Maybe I’m going to worry about something, but not that, not now.  In fact, maybe what I need is to go sit on the porch and have a cool beverage and solve the problems of the world with my friends.  Betterin’ worryin’.

‘Course there are a lot worse things than lack of money.  Like terminal illness; or divorce; or trouble with the law; when you get to things like that, you just have to turn it over to the Lord.  He will definitely take care of you, if you’ll just trust Him.

KARMA. 102216

mountain path uphill to the sky at sunsetI thought Karma was like Gal. 6:7-8, “Reap what you sow.”  But the Hindu man on the plane explained Karma to the preacher.  He said, “Karma means that you get exactly what you deserve, based on what you did in your life.”  The preacher answered, “I don’t get what I deserve, because Jesus died for me on the cross and His blood redeemed me from all that I have done.” So there really is “No condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, to those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1.  We don’t have to pay for all the bad things we’ve done! We are free!!!  We’ve been delivered from sin and death.  (and from the “wheel of existence”, as the Hindus might say.)  
‘Course I guess you might say that Karma (as the Hindus perceive it) applies to your ‘natural’ life, in the sense that there are consequences for our actions.  We end up being responsible for the things we do, whether we like it or not.
But in the spiritual realm, Jesus has provided us a way to be delivered from the sin that so easily attacks us.  If we trust Him, Jesus will (and DOES) deliver us from sin and death.
Just between me and you, I think God lets that deliverance seep over into our (us believers) ‘natural’ lives as well.  “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

ARE YOU A DISCIPLE-OR? 110215

Father playing chess with sonSo we’ve been talking about “making disciples” for Jesus, as in Matt. 28: 18-20, when Jesus said, “All power is given to Me, in heaven and in earth, so Go and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and [know this], I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  I am satisfied that ‘making disciples’ is the duty of every practicing Christian. You know, “practicing Christian” means a person who has a personal relationship with God through Jesus, and they have the Spirit of the Living God residing in their own personal hearts and bodies.  (As in 1 Corinthians 6:19: “Don’t you know that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit?”)  Earlier, we have defined “practicing Christian” as one who talks to and listens to God during her daily quiet time; and as one who meets with other brothers or sisters weekly to tell each other what God is doing in their lives.

So if practicing Christians make disciples, how do they do it?  Well, that’s a pretty big subject; we probably can’t cover it in 300-400 words; but at least we could talk about how to begin.  Continue reading

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

PERFECT PEACE. 030515

Evening autumn mountain river in orange mist.Isaiah 26: 3, said, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,  because he trusts in You.”  Focus on God, and He will keep you in perfect peace, because if you stay focused on God, you will trust Him; which is the main thing.

Continue reading

THE TWO SONS. 022415

In Matthew 21: 28-32 Jesus says, “What do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ The son said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” [The Pharisees] said to Him, “The first.”  Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. For John [preached] righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.”

What does this mean?  It’s this: “Whatever you SAY; God cares about what you DO.”  So the Pharisees answered correctly.  But Jesus skips right to the main point, “You guys say the right things; but you don’t do right.  So the bad people, the people you despise because they don’t do right and they don’t answer correctly; they are going to heaven and you’re not.  They believed John’s preaching and turned; but you didn’t turn even when you saw how they were changed.”

So I guess you could say, “Practice what you preach,” and God will like you. But that might not be quite right either; because God looks at our hearts; and He knows what’s in your heart, even if you’re able to hide it from everyone else.  Doing right is not necessarily obedient, if your heart’s not in the right place.  Just like the two sons, the first son said, “I won’t go;” but then regretted it and went.  His heart was in the right place.  The second son said the right thing, but his heart wasn’t right, ’cause he didn’t go.  Like the Pharisees.

So obedience must be about having your heart right.  And how do you make your heart right?  You humble yourself, you surrender to Jesus and you trust Him; and His Spirit comes into your heart.  Your ole heart just can’t get any more ‘all right’ than that.