Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On My Own–Part 4

The Dark Traveler
Mark 4:24  And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.

In the beginning post of this series, we said that the photograph at the beginning of each post in the series is the inspiration.  And it is.  Whether we’re intentionally false teachers, whether we preach incorrectly because we learned incorrectly, or if we’re part of the flock and misled by either of those types of leaders, we still have a way toward a different result than we see in that image.  So, look closely at the picture.  And let’s weave a storyline or two into that image and see where they take us.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

On My Own -- Part 3

The Dark Traveler 
1Timothy 4:16  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 

In the previous segment, we talked about false teachers.  False by choice.  False because their focus was on themselves and their own gain.  Instead of on God.  But that kind of teacher or leader is rare. Though, by their own need for wealth, power and attention, more in the spotlight than others.  So, what are we likely to see in most leaders?

Friday, November 25, 2011

On My Own -- Part 2

The Dark Traveler 
Isaiah 56:10-11  His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.  Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

In Part 1, which really was an introduction to this series, we talked about man going astray and still considering the path we take as being clean, error free, righteous.  That dichotomy between reality and mental understanding comes from misunderstanding.  Either intentional or because of what we’ve been taught.  And what we’re mistaught is either out of honest error by the teacher or intentional deception.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On My Own -- Part 1

The Dark Traveler 
You could probably write several novels and “how to” self help books based on this photograph.  It’s by Mary Kay and titled “The Dark Traveler”.  When it was posted, Mary mentioned in the discussion that the ship had been stuck there for a very long time and was a well known sight.  And that added dimension to my original thought, when I saw it.

Isaiah 53:6a  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;

That’s the verse that ran through my mind as looked at Mary Kay’s photograph.  The ship sits there, a rust bucket going nowhere.  But, sometime in the past, there was a proud ship with a good captain and crew, doing whatever the ship was intended to do, on a regular basis.  At some point, they were misinformed or made a bad decision.  The result was the ship getting grounded in the shallows.  Stuck for very possibly a very long time, a ghost ship in the fog.  A compelling thought, though not pretty.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Seeking and Becoming

"God's love is never earned nor lost, loaned nor borrowed. It's available but it's invisible; it's present and it's perfect." -- Bob Goff

Matthew 6:33-34a  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

"Great leaders don’t think less of themselves, they just think of themselves less." -- Mark Miller

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Destiny: Blessing or Curse?

“Destiny is for losers.  It’s just a stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen.” – Blair Waldorf

2Timothy 2:15-16  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Marcelo Almeida shared that quote recently.  It may not seem to go with the Bible passage quoted.  But, thanks to an online conversation shortly after I saw the quote, I got to see how the two are intertwined.  And we’re going to look at that today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Randomized on 11/15/11

Justin Lathrop quoted Jeff Goins as saying, “No one who changed the world did it by waiting for an audience.”  Think about that in relation to our previous post and what was said about partnering with God.  The quote speaks to part of the principle we discussed.  We know that God is both omnipotent and omniscient.  His power is such that He really doesn’t need any help.  Being all knowing, He’s aware that we usually need to be active participants in the process of our own blessing or we won’t appreciate what we get.  Since God loves us, He gives us the opportunity to jointly participate with Him in blessing ourselves.  So, there’s a lot of wisdom in one of Tim Schraeder’s tweets, yesterday, “Have you ever stopped to thank God for the opportunity to be doing what you do? Maybe you should. You are where you are for a reason.”  Worth remembering.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This Will I Do

Luke 12:18  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

Neil Camara took the above picture.  It’s titled “The Burning Skies of Illinois”.  Seeing the picture brought to mind the passage that includes the above verse.  Think with me as we read further.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

….Not Your Thoughts

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. – Isaiah 55:8
That’s the verse we started our last post with. Along with a question about church use of resources.  Exactly where we want to begin today.  If you recall, the question was why churches, with millions (or more) in resources didn’t do more for the poor and the hungry and less for their own decor.  And there are a whole series of answers.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Thoughts are….

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. – Isaiah 55:8
There was an online discussion that began with the question about what would happen if churches with huge buildings with ornate decorations spent that money on the homeless and hungry, instead.  It was an intellectual exercise, a rhetorical question.  Not intended to point fingers.  You know, a verbal opinion poll.  My response changed that, in a way.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Depraved and Deprived or Blessed?

Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
In the past several posts, we’ve looked at what John Maxwell described as a mindset of scarcity vs. a mindset of abundance.  Or whether the glass is half full or half empty.  We saw that thinking in terms of scarcity put the focus directly on ourselves and away from God. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blessed and Planted

Psalm 119:1-3 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.  They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
Those verses begin the October 22nd devotional in John C. Maxwell’s Leadership Promises for Every Day.  Mr. Maxwell points out that all 176 verses of Psalm 119 lift up the Word of God as the one thing that brings in stability to our lives, no matter what may be going on.  He suggests two reasons why this is important:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Full or Hungry?

Philippians 4:11-13  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
In his September 22 leadership reading, John Maxwell quoted Thomas Jefferson as saying, “A candle loses nothing when it lights another candle.”  The reading in which he used that quote dealt with mindset.  And whether that mindset was one of assuming scarcity or of assuming abundance.  As leaders, we can share what we have by partnering with those we lead or we can withhold our resources because we don’t think there’s enough to share.  Which made me think of the verses that began this post.  And we’ll get to them in a moment.