Friday, May 1, 2009

No Limits

  From time to time we all face limits to our abilities and movements. Sometimes these are physical in nature, like a broken hip or leg. Sometimes our limits are imposed by others, such as the boss won't let you have time off. Most often, our limits are self- imposed by our saying, "I can't do it." These self-imposed limits are the most debilitating. Even physical limits do not have to stop us if we choose not to let them.

 Jesus said, "If you have the faith of a grain of mustard seed, you could move mountains." We are faced with many possible limits in our lives, if we choose to accept them. If we choose not to accept them as limits, we can use them to work for us. The loss of a job can become an opportunity for a better one, or a new career. Loneliness can be a time of creativity, if we put it to good use. An argument with a mate or friend can be a time of learning and growing. 

We can use the things that seem to limit us as an advantage. It is our choices that makes a crisis an opportunity. If we have faith in God and are seeking to do His will, what seems to be limits in one direction can become a springboard to greater achievements in a new direction. When we live by faith, even an evil event can be converted and used for good. 

The choice is ours to let it do us in or to look for ways to use it for God.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

100 Days

Since the time of FDR the first 100 days of a presidency  has been used to mark success or failure just because FDR got so much done in his first hundred days.

Yesterday President Obama completed one hundred days and touted his success. We must give him the credit due because he had accomplished a lot and almost as much as FDR. He inherited almost as big of a mess as FDR did.

As one who believes that all governments should have balanced budgets and NO debt I have been very disgusted with both major parties since Reagan came to power with his voodoo economics. An un-necessary war for which the true cost were hidden and the failure to keep investment banks in check have created a huge debt for future generations to pay off. I did not like it when Bush bailed out those bad banks with out any controls and even switch the pay out plan. I do remember that President Hover in the 1930's did nothing and we wound up in a great depression. No modern president wants to repeat that.

President Obama has done very good in repairing the image of the US around the world. All in all I give him a B+ for effort. I pray for him every day and for our country and world peace. I pray for the day when the armed forces of all nations stay within their own borders!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why Were They Called Christians?

"And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Acts 11:26

 The early disciples were distinguished by the unique quality of their lives, belonging to Jesus body and soul. They had become a different people because they possessed the spirit of Jesus and were committed fully to Him. They had the following marks of character: 

J   1. They loved and trusted Jesus completely.

J   2. They were reverent and humble.

J   3. They possessed a forgiving spirit.

J   4. They had a world outlook.

J   5. They loved all people.

J   6. They sought God's will in everything.

J   7. They gladly bore their crosses.

 The church began with Jesus, His word of God's love and salvation, His way of living, doing, and loving. The disciples loved Him and received His spirit as well as His commission to do His work. They believed in His promise, obeyed His precepts, and perpetuated the Last Supper. They continued to live under Jesus' directions and to teach their followers to live according to the way of Jesus. For this, they were called the “People of the Way”.

 Then the People of the Way took their faith to Antioch where people spoke Greek. Jesus the Messiah became known as Jesus the Christ which is the Greek word for Messiah. The word Christian means belonging to the Christ. So the book of Acts reports that The followers of Jesus were first called Christians at Antioch.

 I wonder, would we be called Christians without telling others that we belonged to Christ? Would you be considered Christ-like by someone who didn't know that you belonged to His Church? Will they know we are Christians by our love? Something to meditate on...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bent Out Of Shape

Life many times leaves us all bent out of shape! We get both the good and the bad sometimes wrapped up in the same package. In our lives we have all kinds of experiences including rejections, disappointments and unexpected disasters. 

If you live long enough you can experience age related problems and illness. A death in the family or a close friend leaves a vacuum and our grief can overwhelm us. Depression can sap our strength to the point that we find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. We can even wonder if life is worth living at all.

One sabbath Jesus told a crippled man to rise, take up his bed and walk. The man who was born crippled could have just laid there. It was his choice to believe that he had been healed or he could have wondered who this crazy rabbi was saying these things.  We too have choices to make in our lives. We can simply accept things the way they are and stay in our despair or choose to accept God's help and get up and walk.

It is always our choice to give in or go on with living.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Up Against It

This morning I was drinking my coffee in the breezeway trying to focus my eyes for the day. I was fascinated as I watched a  wasp that had some how gotten inside. It kept flying at the window in the door butting it's head again and again.

Then I became focused enough to realize that a wasp in the house was not a good idea. Note I am not a morning person! I went over to the door and opened it wide. In short order the wasp flew out in to the great outdoors and to freedom to live out her life as God planned it.

How often are we like that wasp banning our heads agains some barrier like that window pane? We can't seem to get to where we long to be with out  help. Perhaps that wasp was a sign of the spiritual state of many people in today's world, hurting and feeling hopeless.

Jesus came to give us direction and to open new doors for us and if we will accept His help we can have a life filled with meaning and purpose. Each of us has a myriad of opportunities  to give us that meaning if we wil open our spiritual eyes and listen to Jesus. Remember that Jesus said in John 10:10 "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Supply Preaching

Over the next few weeks, starting today, I will be supply preaching for a rural congregation that is between ministers. Today I am preaching on the scripture in John 8:1-11 about the woman caught in the very act of adultery.

The self-righteous religious men of the community dragged a woman before Jesus and said, We caught this woman in the very act of adultery. The Law of Moses says that such women should be stoned to death. What do you say?

Jesus bent down and wrote in the sand and said, "The one among you who is without sin cast the first stone." Then he wrote in the sand again and they all went away.

What did Jesus write in the sand that sent them all away? John does NOT tell us. Many think that Jesus wrote their sins in the sand but John does not tell us. I think he may have written the actual quote from the Law of Moses that them men alluded to. It was Deuteronomy 22:22 "If a man is caught lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die. The  man who lay with the woman as well as the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel."

The second time Jesus wrote in the sand may have been "Where is the man?"