Monday, March 30, 2015

Blessed Rest

image used under Public Domain license, photo obtained from pixabay
This past Saturday and this coming Saturday, we're resharing a couple of posts that speak to our spiritual leadership.  There may be more, if I think they fit and have permission to use them, here.  

As a Christian blogger, I've been interested in leadership topics for some time. Particularly since I subscribe to an idea John Maxwell expressed.  He stated that leadership is influencing someone and we all do that with at least one person.  I add to it the reality that, sometimes, that one person may be ourselves.

Recently, I saw several articles about what successful and productive people do, much of it before going to bed.  It struck me that a lot of it relates to our spiritual walk.  Whether we realize it or not, how we end our day is as important as how we start it.  Let's see where God takes us with this.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

10 Thoughts About Your Online Presence as a Christian



We have a way of  going online on our particular choices for social media, forums, our blogs, etc. without thinking much about what's being posted or how it's taken by others.  We're, most often, just having fun.  But think about what happens when we openly state we're Christian.  We automatically get others paying attention to what we say and do, our walk with Christ.  Some unbelievers or carnal Christians are going to look for reasons to "live like Hell".  Others are going to look for clarity to help them decide if this Christian God is worth their attention or is what they've been seeking.  

By being online, we, in a way, put ourselves in a leadership role.  Leading people to salvation or into improving their relationship with Jesus.  Now, don't go all paranoid on me.  It's important, but the load isn't all that heavy.  There's nothing sweeter than having a relaxed walk with God, getting blessed by using the gifts and calling He's given us.  So, we're resharing a couple of posts on Saturdays that will bless your online leadership.  We start with Dwight Clough, who is a blogger I met on Google+, and who describes himself as an author and an online pastor.  His blog is Empower Good and, yes, that's a link to his blog.  I think you'll want to check it out, once you've read the reshare that's Dwight's guest post for the day.  Let's take a look:

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Distraction vs Concentration

image used under Public Domain license,
photo obtained from commons.wikimedia.org
Well, it's Saturday, when you never know what you'll find, here. In honor of that, we'll start with some news.  Two items:

First, Thursdays are back to being LifeNotes day.  Because it was too late this past Thursday to do an exclusive, this week's Thursday post is both here and on LifeNotes.  If you don't follow @kraski or @kraski777 on Twitter or circle me on Google+,  just follow the link to the left to the list of my LifeNote posts, which will always be up to date after 9am EST/EDT on Thursday.

Second, for those of you who prefer your devotionals in hardcopy form, we've been editing and revising our Breastplate Gems series of monthly devotionals, so we can put them together in a full year hardcopy.  We're not sure, yet, whether it will be completed by Summer or in time for Christmas.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime,  Todd Parsons is back.  Let's see what he has for us, today:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Fear Not! - Part 1 - Redux

image used under Public Domain license, photo obtained from pixabay



A few years ago, I did a series of Easter posts, beginning with this one.  I decided to update and reshare it as a Thursday series.  Today's post may not seem very Easter-like, but it sets the table for the rest.  It creates the spiritual foundation for our unique look at the Easter season.




Monday, March 16, 2015

Purposed or Improperly Used?

goblet from http://www.mangumpottery.com
Romans 9:21 (AMP)  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same mass (lump) one vessel for beauty and distinction and honorable use, and another for menial or ignoble and dishonorable use?

Melanie Baker-Nash Did a great job with Saturday's post about that verse.  But there was a response on one of the social media sites that led me to think a little more needed to be said.  Not everyone knows the background.  And that can lead to misunderstanding and discomfort.

Our illustration comes from Mangum Pottery.  In fact, the link will take you right to the page where that's available.  I saw the picture on the web and thought it looked like a vessel of honor.  So, as we said last time, we thought we'd include a link.  We'll talk about that goblet or vessel after the break.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Vessels of Purpose

goblet from http://www.mangumpottery.com
It's Saturday, our usual day where almost anything can show up here.  Today, that's Melanie Baker-Nash.  Or at least an original post by her.  If you're not familiar with the name, we met by becoming co-moderators for the Google+ Christian Bloggers community.  Since then, we've become as close friends as we can be with a separation of thousands of miles.  But I've come to admire, trust and rely on her honesty and her heart after God.

I asked Melanie to do this week's guest post and she asked for a topic.  I thought of Romans 9:21 as a continuation of the thought pattern from the previous posts.

Our illustration comes from Mangum Pottery.  In fact, the link will take you right to the page where that's available.  I saw the picture on the web and thought it looked like a vessel of honor.  So, we thought we'd include a link.  To get us going on today's thought, here's Romans 9:21 in the Amplified version:

Romans 9:21 (AMP)  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same mass (lump) one vessel for beauty and distinction and honorable use, and another for menial or ignoble and dishonorable use?

Think about that as Melanie shares her thoughts on that verse.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Is My Way God's High Way?

image used under Public Domain license, photo obtained from pixabay
Sunday, my friend Pastor Bob Colban preached at our 9am service.  Our head pastor was on his way back from our European conference.  What Pastor Bob shared was worth resharing, but it also triggered some thoughts of my own.  So, you're going to get a mix.  Pastor Bob started with a verse in 2 Timothy:

2 Timothy 4:10 (KJV)  For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

There are a couple of things we need to note, here.  First, as Pastor Colban mentioned, if we do a search in the New Testament for Demas, we'll find out that Demas was active in ministry and had previously been a great help to Paul.  I'll let you do your own search for that one.  Then, in this verse, we see some interesting statements.  We'll get to that on the other side of the break.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Coming Soon ... Or Not

image used under Public Domain license, photo obtained from pixabay
We've used several prompts from 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts by Ryan Andrew Kinder  As I was browsing them, yesterday, one stuck out.  The prompts are aimed at creating a piece of fiction or a fictional poem.  What I write, here or in my books, isn't fiction.  But the prompts can be a kickstarter for some interesting trains of thought. 

24. You have twenty minutes left to live. What do you do? How are you so certain your life will be ending so soon? 

No, my demise is not imminent.  I have no clue when I might leave this life.  But the prompt played into some of my recent thinking.  Follow along with me.  I think it's worth the journey.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

It Only Happens When I Think - Part 2

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of
commons.wikimedia.org, picture by D Ramey Logan
We started our previous post with the idea that I mess up and "It only happens when I think.". That's true.  And not just for me.  But good things can happen when we think, too -- at least if our thought patterns are with God's thoughts or about Him.  

Last time, we said, "God has three essential qualities: His perfection, He is just, and He is love.". Being perfect, God could almost be described as omni-everything, although there are some qualities that don't fit who God is.  And it leads to an interesting analogy.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It Only Happens When I Think - Part 1

image used under Public Domain license, 
photo from commons.wikimedia.org
Ever mess up?  Yup, me too.  As the title says, it only happens when I think. Which is why I did, recently.  And, if you're anything like me, you usually miss that fact initially.  At least some of the time.  Other times recognition of the error is instantaneous. Either way, the first response is to denigrate our self worth for not doing things right in the first place. The next phase is defending what happened, despite knowing it's indefensible. After which, we try to hide it or fix it ourselves. Finally, we give in to the reality that we need help.  And we always do need help. But messing up got me a suggestion to reevaluate my relationship with God and understanding of who He is.  That's always a good thing. Take a look.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Your Ballpark, You Choose... Choose Life‏

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


As we mentioned,  last Monday, we're taking a brief hiatus from LifeNotes and the same, but probably briefer, here.  That doesn't mean that we won't be sharing content and meditations.  Those who have gotten used to all that's here shouldn't be deprived.. So, as we said, Thursdays will be live here instead of at LifeNotes.  Mostly guest posts, such as the meditation we share today from our friend, Todd Parsons.  I know, it's Monday. Enjoy.