Showing posts with the label Renewed

Another look at 'do unto others'

No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not knock those who work with him. Don't knock your friends. Don't knock your enemies. Don't knock yourself. (Alfred Lord Tennyson) “But I say to you people who are listening to me, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Ask God to bless the people who ask for bad things to happen to you. Pray for the people who are mean to you. If someone hits you on the side of your face, let them hit the other side too. If someone takes your coat, don’t stop them from taking your shirt too. Give to everyone who asks you for something. When someone takes something that is yours, don’t ask for it back. Do for others what you want them to do for you. (Luke 6:27-31) Are we really listening to Jesus? Most of us would admit we listen on occasion, more when things aren't going as we expected, but not as closely at other times. Why is that? We

In it, but not captive to it

When asked what some of my favorite passages are in the Bible, I generally reference the people or writers I connect with for some reason. For me, the Pauline epistles and the Book of Proverbs are probably some of my most 'frequented' reading. I have found much that I connect with when studying the life of David and have learned much about how to connect with the heart of God through simple, honest sharing of my heart as he did. I have to say that the Pauline epistles speak to me about how we should live, treat others, and the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Regardless of where you find your greatest connection in the Word, the most important thing is that the Word is taken in regularly, meditated upon with much thought, and allowed to change you from the inside out. That is what God intended by giving us such a magnificent book - the Bible. This letter is from Paul, an apostle. I was not appointed by any group of people or any human authority, but by Jesus Christ himself and by

Not again, but afresh

 I came across a thought we might want to consider this morning: " Only the mediocre are at their best ." (Jean Giraudoux) Well, that certainly puts it right out there, doesn't it? There are days I feel pretty good about what I accomplish, while others just pass without me really doing all that much. How do you I think I feel about those days when I don't accomplish much? Usually I am a little bit discouraged by my 'lack' of 'doing', but I am learning to 'do' less and 'listen' more - not because I don't want to 'do' something, but because I have learned it is easier to do it once than repeat the same failures time and time again!  Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?— and treat your servants with kindness for a change. Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we’ll skip and dance all the day long. Make up for the bad times with some good times; we’ve seen eno

Time for a replacement

Romans 12:1-2 - it is time to train our minds (Craig Groeschel) - the greatest power to overcome the lies within our minds is the truth. So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. The more we think a thought, the easier it is to think it again. The more we think a thought, the more we make it the dominate thought pattern, it will freely emerge without us having to think upon it with very much eff

And now this...

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.  (Eleanor Roosevelt) What does this 'new day' bring for you? It isn't a loaded question, I am simply asking us to consider what new strength or new thoughts may come today. I discovered quite some time ago that my thoughts do a lot to influence my physical, emotional, and even my spiritual strength. What I choose to dwell upon when I go to sleep at night can 'color' my rest with either delightful ease and refreshment, or unease and feelings of greater weariness when I rise. Our thoughts actually encompass us and often determine the strength with which we will face each hurdle that comes. Someone once told me it is hard to escape your thoughts and I think they were right. Our thoughts permeate everything we do - even our rest. This is the reason we do not give up. Our human body is wearing out. But our spirits are getting stronger every day. (2 Corinthians 4:16) Our human bodies are indeed wearing out. I played ho


At the end of a particularly long, arduous day I might just desire a little 'me time'. The transition from the hectic pace of the day into the quietness of an evening relaxing and a little slumber later into the night is a promised reward for a long day's work. There are times when we desire renewal, whether it be by 'me time' or some type of 'retreat' from something, but it seems hard to find. The opportunity just doesn't seem to come and we are finding ourselves getting tireder by the minute. There are times we don't understand the reason for our endless work, but we know we are called to engage in it. We might question the continuation of the efforts, not always seeing much return on our investment, but growing more weary each day. Remember this - we don't always have to see the immediate return on our investment - we just need to continue making it. He continued, "Go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with t

Crushed Under or Trying Again?

Honor is sought by many, but only some of those who seek will ever find it. Why?  " Pride first, then the crash,   but humility is precursor to honor ." (Proverbs 18:12 MSG)   Simply put, honor is an outcome of humility - most who seek honor are not doing so with a humble heart.  They seek it for the "importance" or "stature" it produces.  Honor is indeed the reward of the humble - for those who bring others blessing first will find honor in their endeavors. You cannot truly find honor in climbing over others on your way to the top!  Humility is also a precursor to a healthy spirit - for a right view of yourself and others comes from a right view of God.  The right view of God will produce the right vantage point for us to view everything and everyone else in our lives. A healthy spirit conquers adversity,   but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?   Wise men and women are always learning,   always listening for fresh insights.   Words satisfy the

Not just a life preserver!

Affirm your promises to me— promises made to all who fear you.  Deflect the harsh words of my critics—b ut what you say is always so good.   See how hungry I am for your counsel; preserve my life through your righteous ways! (Psalm 119:38-40 The Message)   Reassure me of your promise,  made to those who fear you.   Help me abandon my shameful ways;  for your regulations are good.   I long to obey your commandments!   Renew my life with your goodness. (Psalm 119:38-40 The New Living Translation) Sometimes we need to see things written a little differently to help us understand the purpose of what is being written.  From our passage today, let's look at a few similar words that have some very unique meaning: Affirm and Reassure - Affirm carries the meaning of remaining true to that which has been promised.  It is the idea of confirming or ratifying an agreement.  David is asking God to give him confirmation that his promises will remain true for all time.  Reassure carries the