Monday, December 29, 2014

At The Ready

image used under Creative Commons license, 
photo by Matthew Wells, from Flickr
"Nothing of any value ever happens without a cost." -- Bill Kraski

Yeah, I know.  Quoting myself seems egotistical.  But it's not.  I quote a lot of people in my posts.  And I give credit where it's due.  I could have credited that to God.  It's a thought He gave me while I was watching a rerun of "Madame Secretary" on Christmas Eve.  But, unlike some of the charlatans out there, I don't like claiming some special connection to God.  I believe we all have that possibility, as long as we're saved. But it takes the rest of our lives keeping a path cleared through the muck we spend our Christian lives removing.  And most of us, myself included, aren't spectacularly good at clearing the way. So, those thoughts don't necessarily show up very regularly.  I'll explain after the break, including how it all fits together.

Monday, December 22, 2014

'Tis the Season

Photo by Anggie, source = Lightstock Photos
"Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.".  That's a recent tweet from @DavidRoads, otherwise known on Twitter as Motivational Quotes.  In this Christmas season, I thought it was an appropriate thought, since that's what Jesus was telling us 2100 years ago.  It's an idea we need to pay attention to.  That reality makes all the difference in the world.  And beyond.

Pastor Chris Moore pastors one our churches in the Philadelphia area. He shared a photo on Facebook of a sign on one of the doors in the area he was doing outreach. The sign read, "When you stop believing in Santa... you get underwear.". Most guys can identify with that one. And it's where our illustration comes in. No matter how mundane the contents of the present may be, we do whatever we can to make it outwardly seem as extravagant as possible.  Till the package gets opened and we find the underwear.  Jesus warned us that there would be consequences if we did that with our lives.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Cross? O But Much Fruit Comes‏

image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org



Here's the first Saturday post in our new blogging schedule.  I can't think of a better person to kick it off than our most regular guest contributor, Todd Parsons.  Todd is consistent with us and, most importantly, consistent with God.

That's what we always want to share, here -- a real and consistent relationship with God.



Monday, December 15, 2014

The Blame Game

image used under PDArt Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
Thanks to our bout with the flu, we've decided to cut back our schedule slightly. With this post, we get back to our regular Monday posts.  Our weekly LifeNote will be, as usual, will be on Thursdays.  Our Wednesday guest posts, tech posts, and videos, as well as our regular Friday post will all be moved to Saturday.  And, on that one, whatever hits the light of day is what will be shared.

Recently, I reshared a graphic on Facebook that asked why we are so focused on helping illegal aliens when so many of our own children were homeless and not being fully helped, yet.  The ensuing conversation quickly degenerated in ways I wouldn't have thought possible.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Rule; Thy Rule

image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
As we battle the tail end of the flu, there have been times when we didn't feel up to writing and blogging.  And times when there wasn't even energy to read much.  We'll be talking about that experience, because it's another example of  how gracious God is.  But the experience reminded me of another reason why I really appreciate my friend, Todd Parsons.  He allows God to give him a few verses and focus in on an important spiritual point.

Whether you're just very busy or ill enough that you can only handle single spiritual insights at a time, that kind of razor sharp focus is greatly appreciated.  Here's one more.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Involuntary Vacation

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
commons.wikimedia.org, picture by Nicholas A. Tonelli
You may have noticed we didn't post Friday and didn't spend much time on social media Since late Tuesday.  We've been battling the flu.  Still are.  We're doing better, but we'll take your prayers. We're actually having a great time with God.  And, yes, chomping at the bit while, at the same time, enjoying God's enforced vacation.

We should be back to a normal schedule by next week, maybe sooner.  Our next LifeNote is already set to publish, this coming Thursday.  So, that will go as scheduled.  Anything else, this week, is questionable.  In the meantime, God's been showing me some interesting things that I'm sorting out so that I can share them here and on our Other Stuff blog.  It's been enlightening.  And, when the time comes, we hope it enlightens you, as well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

So Thankful For God's Good Grace - Part 2 (Video)

image used under Creative Commons 
license, courtesy of Wikipedia
We haven't posted a video in awhile.  This is our missions director.  The message is from our second morning service, this past Sunday.  If you want to see Part 1, from our 9 AM service, you can follow the link in the video to the GGWO YouTube page.

I might have had something else here, except the sermon touched a subject that was on my heart and, in fact, covered some territory that God had me write about in the final part of the Breastplate Gems series of devotional books.

This is one of those messages where you'll be chuckling and suddenly realize you've just had another chunk of doctrine firmly implanted in your soul.  Enjoy.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Topaz - Golden Experience (Excerpt)

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
en.wikipedia.org, picture by Sander van der Wel
We're going to take another detour from the great content from the Exponential West 2014 conference.  Our devotional book for December went live on Amazon, early this morning. It's Topaz - Golden Experience, available for the Kindle, click the title to go buy it.  And Today's post is one of the devotionals from the book.

Our December devotional book covers the verses in Matthew 6:9-34, still part of the Sermon on the Mount.  Much of it has to do with the right focus.  The wrong focus can be a disaster.  As Philippians 4:6 puts it in the Amplified version, "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.".  Whether the Bible calls it concern, anxiety, being care-ful, or worry, the root is fear.  And the Bible tells us not to fear some 365 times, enough to replace fear with something better, on a daily basis.  Today's excerpt gives us one of God's ways to avoid the worry shown in today's illustration..