A Thought on Obedience

I have spoiled so much of my obedience by criticizing the things I was called to do…or give….or bear.

Then Iwould  hesitate…question…doubt…and then finally, without enthusiasm I  do what I was called upon.

 If I know what God’s will is…that should always be enough.

I have learned that I have very little to do with the how or why.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

“What Shall it Profit Me…..?”

There was the time when, wealth, reputation, or the worlds friendship, or certain habits, and opinions, were of supreme importance in my eyes.

By and by there arose things which means a choice must be made between them and salvation of the soul.

There was a struggle at first, but the things of God rose in immensity in my eyes and it became clear that the sacrifice must be made.

Paul said, What things were gain for him, he counts but dung that he may win Christ. “What shall it profit me if I shall gain the whole world and lose  my own soul.”

But, the whole sacrifice was not made at once. Some lighter loss at first….then the soul moved on her spiritual way for a while….

 But then, new danger….  This time some part of the mans very being has to be sacrificed.

The right hand has to be cut off…The right eye has to be plucked out…if I am to enter into life.

There is nothing I can give in exchange for my soul.  

The suffering now is not worthy to be compared to the glory then.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

What About Time Management?

Sometimes….”I just don’t have the time!” Even if my days were to be extended by several hours I am confident that my cry would remain the same.

And when it comes to not having the time,  I looked at the example of Jesus.

He was never too busy. He always had time to invite the little children to sit on His knee. In the middle of a busy itinerary, the disciples tried to shoo them away, but Jesus found the time.

 He had time to heal a woman who touched the hem of His garment when thousands thronged about Him. She saw how busy He was, and thought, “He will never have time for me, but if I could just touch His clothes” and what did Jesus do? He stopped the procession. He canceled the parade so that He could minister to that one shy little lady in her personal moment of need. Jesus always had time for those who needed Him!

And in John 20:21 His words resonate in my mind: “So send I you!”

In the Bonds of Calvary,

There is no reality to a placebo….It is an illusion

When medicine was primitive years ago, doctors often prescribed sugar pills or bottles of colored water with no medicinal value. Some of their patients would still experience some relief as soon as the so-called medicine was applied.

It was noted that 30 to 60 percent of those persons who receive a placebo will experience some relief. It works because the person expects it to work….believes that they will get better and start thinking in terms of recovery rather than in terms of sickness.

There is no reality to a placebo….It is an illusion.

We may be  filling our lives with placebos. These placebos help us to cope temporarily with life, and even provide us a measure of satisfaction and happiness, but because they are only placebos…illusions…they keep us from achieving that which really will make life work.

Forty years ago there was a Greek tycoon whose name was a household word in this country. Aristotle Onassis…

He once said, “All that really counts these days is money. It’s people with money that are royalty now.”  He lived like a king. He had every plaything that you and I can imagine. He was a leader in that group known as the “jet-set.” He had residences in several cities, a tropical island of his own, and an elegant art collection. He had the world’s most lavish yacht, the Christina, a 325 foot frigate that had marble bathrooms and gold plated faucets. He enjoyed the company of beautiful women and startled the entire world on October 20th, 1968 when he married one of the most famous and glamorous women on earth…Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy.

Aristotle Onassis had it all…everything money can buy. But money is a placebo….an illusion. When Onassis’ 24 year old son died in a plane crash, life changed dramatically for him . A close friend said he aged overnight. He suddenly became an old man. In the next two years the values of his holdings decreased by one-half.

Wealth is only a placebo…..Positive thinking can be a placebo. A positive self-image and a positive feeling about your work is generally one of the nicest things that can happen to anybody. Positive thinking is good as long as you realize that it is ultimately a placebo.  Positive thinking is only a sugar coated substitute for a much more important reality.

Even a religious experience can be a placebo if we are not careful.

What I need in my life  is not a placebo…but  the Person of Jesus Christ.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

A Fork in the Road

We’re quick to want people to forget what we’ve done…but we’re not so fast to forget or forgive what others have done.

 Life is full of Relationships – relationships have imperfections.  Someone is going to get injured. When we are hurt, it brings us to a fork in the road.  This fork is a choice.  It’s a defining moment for our lives.  It all hinges on our response to the pain, hurt. 

If we go to the Left.  Life is full of potholes, long-term pain, bitterness, bad relationships, no intimacy, etc.

If we choose the Right.  Life is filled with forgiveness…..and……

Ultimate Freedom is a result of Extreme Forgiveness

If we desire to live on the road to freedom, then we have to, at the crucial point of our pain, make the decision to forgive.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

My Attitude, Dedication and Determination

There is an old story about a happy little boy who went out into the field wearing a baseball cap. In one hand he carried a baseball, & in the other a baseball bat. His face bore a look of tremendous confidence.

Cocking his bat, he tossed the ball into the air, saying, “I’m the greatest batter in the world!” Then he swung & missed. “Strike one,” he said.

He picked up the ball, examined it, & then threw it into the air again. As he swung, he repeated, “I’m the greatest batter in the world.” Once again he missed. “Strike two,” he said.

This time, he stopped to examine his bat to make sure there wasn’t a hole in it. Then he picked up the ball, adjusted his cap, & tossed the ball into the air for the 3rd time.

He repeated again, “I’m the greatest batter in the world,” & swung with all his might – & missed for the 3rd straight time. “Wow” he cried, “What a pitcher. I’m the greatest pitcher in the world!”

 I’m not sure whether I would be considered a pitcher or a batter. One thing for sure, at times I struck out.

So I guess it’s good to be able to start over afresh. Most of us have recovered from the holiday season & are well into doing our jobs & the activities of the new year.

What do I anticipate for this year? Am I full of enthusiasm, looking forward eagerly to what each day will bring? Or am I filled with dread, worried that 2010 will be worse than 2009 for me?

Like the little boy with the bat, may I suggest that your attitude, your frame of mind, your reaction to its events will largely determine whether it is a year of victory or a year of defeat.

The Apostle Paul was never one to let circumstances conquer him. Rather, with the help of God, he was determined to win the victor’s crown. Listen as his attitude, dedication, determination shine through in these words found in  Philippians 3

….Forgetting what is behind & straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

In the Bonds of Calvary,

My Passion

I have decided to stand in the evil days…. in days when the world will resist and ridicule the righteous. 

I think it is going to take a passion for Word of God and for the will of God. A passion that will put it all on the line, but will not recoil or retreat in the face of the onslaught of the enemy. Because I know that even when the enemy comes rushing at me like a flood, God will raise up a standard. 

I love God too much to run. I love the lost too much to refuse to stand in the gap. I hate the devil too much to let him have one soul without a fight.

I will stand in the gap for my children. I will stand in the gap for my neighbors and friends. I will fight the good fight of faith with an unwavering passion for the kingdom of God.

And…….that’s my passion,

In the Bonds of Calvary,

My Dedication

I am dedicated to our Lord. I am dedicated to our call. I am  dedicated to the commission that defines our mission. Dedication will keep me at my post even when others have grown battle weary and spirit worn.

Dedication is the bowing of mywill to God’s will.

Dedication is an affinity to a higher cause and a greater power.

In the last days, in the evil day, it is going to take people of preparation, people who have put on the whole armour of God. It’s going to take determination, refusing to run with the world. And its going to take dedication to the will and Word of God.

What am I preparing to do? What am I determined to do? What am I dedicated to doing?  

To stand!

When others have fallen, to stand.

When others have wilted, to stand.

When others have folded, to stand.

To stand against the flood of worldliness that is sweeping across our country and is knocking on the church doors.    To stand in the gap for the city that God’s judgment not destroy it. To stand for what is right, even when it is not politically popular. To stand up for the unborn babies and children in our schools.   To stand up for the marginalized and disenfranchised. To stand up for morality in our homes, justice in our courts, and education in our schools. It’s time  to stand in the gap or our world is in trouble.

In the Bonds of Calvary,

But God….

I continue to be amazed at the way God is working in my life.

Today I met with the Oncologist to discuss the CT scan that was done on December 31st. The cancer has not grown and I continue to be a cancer survivor. It was twenty-one months ago when the news came that there was not much hope.

But God……!

I am totally convinced that my survival is the result of your persistent and untiring prayer for my healing. I am consistently encouraged by your concern for me  and my continuing progress.

I have learned, because of your care and compassion, to be a better care giver.

 Thank you!

So?  The doctor has scheduled a Petscan because she wants to see if any of the remaining tumor is still living or if we are looking at dead cells.

God has been at work! Isn’t He wonderful?

Thank You!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

Whatever Happened to Commitment?

And for the support of this declaration and with a firm reliance and with the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. (The Declaration of Independence July) 4, 1776

 History teaches us that it doesn’t take a lot of people to change the world. It takes a committed few.

Nothing happens with out commitment.

My commitments define my life.

Ineffective people are controlled by their circumstances.

Effective people are controlled by their commitments.

God is looking for a person and a people that He can use to make a difference in the world.

Count me in!

In the Bonds of Calvary,

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