Showing posts with the label Image

But it seems that...

How little do they see what really is, who frame their hasty judgment upon that which seems. (Daniel Webster) I pray that he will use his glorious riches to make you strong. May his Holy Spirit give you his power deep down inside you. Then Christ will live in your hearts because you believe in him. And I pray that your love will have deep roots. I pray that it will have a strong foundation. (Ephesians 3:16-17) If you looked upon my life on any given day, you might not always see the evidence of Christ coming through is some of my actions or words. Why is that? While I have a 'strong foundation' (Christ in me) and believe the 'right stuff' (the Word of God and the Holy Spirit's urging), I don't always make right choices. I speak before I think, step out before I seek direction, and sometimes just lazily approach life as though time didn't matter. If you just looked at the outward, you might form a wrong impression. If you knew the struggle going on inside me

Let him free

Many people live by some unwritten code that implies rules are for breaking, not for keeping - do you know any of them? There is just some inward "pull" to break a few rules once in a while, or perhaps all of the time. While I am not a 'rule-breaker' all of the time, I definitely do my share of pushing the limits of the rules and/or breaking them all of the time. Yesterday we began to look at the sensibility of "following the rules" God sets out for us. His first "rule" was very clearly stated: No other god but me. His second is almost along the same line, but with a little different "twist": “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea." (Exodus 20:4) No other god but me focused on any affection or attention we directed toward another person or pursuit which clearly took our affection and attention off God himself. Today's "rule" deals

What do you see?

None of us really likes for anyone to compare what we have, or what we have done, with what another has or has done. What we have doesn't really matter, but try to tell that to some people. What we have done isn't all that important, but some amass credentials like they were something to be coveted. We don't really want anyone else assessing us, do we? There are times when an honest assessment of who we are and what we are doing is something we'd rather avoid. Facing the fact we might not be moving in the best direction at the moment is sort of intimidating, if not downright humbling! Yet, the beginning of any real change in our lives begins with the first step - the step we take to the mirror of God's Word! Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can

The right image

Did you ever dream of being someone else? You observe a famous sport's star performing so well in his sport and you begin to imagine all the glory and grandeur he enjoys. You see one of those shows on TV where what is depicted is some lifestyle of opulence and magnificence. You note the admiration a particular teacher receives from her students and you imagine being so well-liked someday by all those who you will touch in your profession. We all 'admire' another from time to time, or consider 'what it would be like' to live in their shoes. Did you ever stop to consider what it is like (truly like) to be the President of the United States, a U.S. Senator, or Prime Minister of a great nation? Imagine being the Son of God, come to earth, leaving behind your divinity, knowing that your entire purpose for being there was to endure the ridicule of people and the ultimate end of death on a cross. Not exactly the same image is created, is it? You might not want to walk in h


For You shaped me, inside  and out . You knitted me together in my mother’s womb  long before I took my first breath . I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your  unique  creation, filled with wonder and awe.  You have approached even the smallest details with excellence;  Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.  (Psalm 139:13-14 VOICE) We have probably heard that little quip, "God don't make no junk". We could also say, "God doesn't make mistakes".  Consider this for just a moment... When God made you and I, he made us "IN his own image" (Genesis 1:26).  " Now let us conceive a new creation - humanity - made in our image, fashioned according to our likeness ."  When we complain about the "image" we bear, we are really saying we don't like the image of God, since we are fashioned "according to the likeness of God".  If a sculptor had a model upon a stool for a whole day, ch

Familiar, but not really

This past week, our pastor spoke to us about being so familiar with some things in the church, we almost "warp" our beliefs by the familiarity which has become a way of life to us.  Let me explain what he meant with this statement.  We get so familiar with the things of God, we almost take them for granted - taking them for granted leads to us not always developing and keeping a keen awareness of the truth.  We can sometimes "soften" the truth about God's character.  For example, we "believe" God is all powerful - but do we go to him in prayer each and every time we are faced with the impossible? We "believe" God is all knowing, but do we turn to him for the wisdom we need or just try to figure things out on our own.  We can end up in the pursuit of religious thoughts and principles, but miss out on the fact of the powerful God in the midst of our lives.  As Israel was set apart as the nation God would choose to dwell among, he told them to n

We SHALL - not we MIGHT

Wouldn't we all like to know what our future state will be?  We have this gnawing desire to know the future.  As parents, we want to see what our kids will turn out to be like, dream about what accomplishments they undertake, and imagine them doing certain things or marrying certain individuals.  As children, we imagine taking flight into the great unknown, discovering parts unknown to common man, or discovering some new invention which will set the world on fire with excitement.  As believers, what do we imagine about our future state?  Our imaginations often stop at what we can see in our mind's eye about what it is we can comprehend or believe about our children or ourselves.  We often don't look beyond what we can "see" into the unknown realm of what is "promised" to those of us who have put our faith in Christ Jesus. Dear friends,  now we are children of God,  and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, 

How do you see me?

Have you ever felt a "bad attitude" just creeping up on you?  You are working away, living life, and almost without notice, you find yourself thinking thoughts you should not, responding curtly, or managing to "disengage" from the circumstances completely.  Get behind a slow moving car when you are late to your next appointment and see what you will imagine about the driver in front of you!  Never once do you stop to consider they may have just left the hospital where they said their last good-byes to a loved one, or that they are working hard to get the little bit of horsepower out of their overly used vehicle simply because they cannot afford anything with more "pep".  Sometimes what is at the core of the issue is "US" - not someone else!  We have allowed the wrong attitude to form - usually about US, not the other person!  When we do this, it "colors" how we interpret everything else in life.   What you say about yourself means not

Presentation is Everything!

Have you ever followed a recipe so closely so as not to miss one important ingredient and then wondered why your "finished product" did not appear just as the beautifully adorned photograph in the picture?  I have!  No one told me I'd need a sprig of parsley, a lemon wedge, and a fancy drizzling device to make my plate appear EXACTLY as the picture!  Sometimes we have all the right ingredients, but we lack something in the presentation. 3-4  Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.   (2 Peter 1:3-4 The Message) There are times when we know we have all the "right ingredients" which go into living for Christ, but wonder about the "

Pigeon-hole gods

Most of us live by some unwritten code which implies rules are for breaking, not for keeping.  There is just some inward "pull" to break a few rules once in a while.  Yesterday we began to look at the sensibility of "following the rules" God sets out for us.  His first "rule" was very clearly stated:  No other god but me.  His second is almost along the same line, but with a little different "twist": 4  “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea."   (Exodus 20:4 New Living Translation) No other god but me focused on any affection or attention we directed toward another person or pursuit which clearly took our affection and attention off God himself.  Today's "rule" deals with trying to pigeon-hole God into a box which fits our "image" of what he should be like. Let me elaborate a little.  God warned against creating some "g

Gaze on!

    54  Your decrees have been the theme of my songs  wherever I have lived.   55  I reflect at night on who you are, O L ord ; therefore, I obey your instructions.   56  This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments. (Psalm 119:54-56 The New Living Bible) 54  Your laws are the songs I sing  wherever I am living.  55  LORD, in the night I remembered your name,  and I obeyed your teachings.  56  This happened because I carefully obey your instructions. (Psalm 119:54-56 Easy-to-Read Version) I gave us a couple of versions of this passage to read this morning so that we can put together some thoughts.  In examining this passage, several "themes" became apparent: - David has made following God's decrees (his Word) his way of "doing business".  He has a lot of choices (as do we) in dealing with the stress of life. His choice was to turn to God.  Wherever he was "living" - there God was in his midst - right down to the songs he sang.  Have you

Mirror, Mirror on the wall...

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? (Romans 8:31-32 The Message) In other translations, this passage begins with the words, "If God be for us, who then can be against us..."  Well, I think our worst enemy is not some demonic agent of hell, but US!  It is amazing to me to see the things we believe about ourselves that keep us limited in our lives.  The passage begins with a very telling question:  "What do YOU think?"  The answer to this question goes a long way in us walking INTO growth as we should and not AWAY FROM it! The truth we often fail to embrace is that God did not hesitate to embrace us - in our sin , aware fully of our fickleness of heart, and knowing full well that every promise we'd make him would al