Junk is junk

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Sep 062011
 

One man’s junk is not necessarily another man’s treasure.  Sometimes one man’s junk is junk.  If you have something that you don’t want, and you offer it to someone else, don’t get offended when they don’t want it either.  That’s just silly.  Offloading your trash onto someone else is not a great act of altruism and generosity.  It’s offloading your trash on someone else.  Think about the message you’re sending.

“This isn’t good enough for me, but it’s certainly good enough for you.”

Really?

There’s nothing wrong with offering something that you don’t want anymore to someone else.  Half my house is furnished this way.  But if they don’t want it, don’t get offended, just get rid of it some other way.

Later Days!!!

God’s reputation

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Aug 312011
 

I was just working in my basement and thinking about doing a good job.  It brought to mind one day, long ago, when I was working for my father.  We were painting a house.  My father left me alone to work for a while, and I made a rather big mistake.  I remember overhearing the conversation that the owner was having with my father.  He commented on how the work wasn’t very professional.  I had damaged the reputation of my father that day.  To this day, I still feel badly about what I did.

How often do we damage the reputation of God?  I feel badly about what I did to my dad’s reputation, but do I get that same feeling after I have failed to uphold Christian ideals, either by something I say or something I do?  We should feel just as badly about hurting God’s reputation as we do about damaging the reputation of our employers or friends or spouses.

This just popped into my head a few minutes ago, and I figured I would share it before it left.

Later Days!!!

Church was pretty good today.

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Aug 222011
 

We had a last minute health crisis with our scheduled worship leader, so we had to put the entire music worship service together right before church.  I got to play guitar today, which is nice.  Usually, I’m on drums.  Not that I mind the drums, but it’s nice to do something new once in a while.  We were definitely winging it.  The songs were songs that the usual worship leader knows by heart, but the guy filling in wasn’t quite as familiar with them.  It turned out good.  I really do love playing in the praise band.

The message was from James and centered on the dangers of our language.  It’s a familiar theme, but as with almost everything in the Bible, it’s good to be refreshed on it.  It’s so easy to let the lessons of the Bible slide away.  I suppose that’s one reason it’s so good to go to church every week.  One of the interesting thoughts that our pastor put out was that our words reveal the condition of our heart.  It’s not enough to just guard our words, but we must also change ourselves inside, or more accurately, ask God to change us.  If our hearts are right, then our words will be right too.  If our hearts are wrong, then even if we remain silent, our hearts are still wrong.

Anyways, it was a good message.  It certainly gave me something to think about as my mouth is one of my personal stumbling blocks.

That’s all for tonight.

Later Days!!!

Social Media battles

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Aug 202011
 

I think I figured out a way to get my posts flowing across all my different accounts.  We’ll see.  If this post stops at Facebook I will have run out of ideas.  It might be time to hang 10 on Google.

Later Days!!!

Facebook and Twitter and MySpace. Oh my!

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Aug 192011
 

I’m so frustrated right now.  I set up a Facebook account, a Twitter account, and I updated my MySpace account.  I then linked the Facebook to my blog, the Twitter to my Facebook, and the Myspace to the Twitter.  It worked flawlessly.  I could post once and it was propagated across four different sites.  Awesome.  I then renamed one of my blog categories to “My Faith”.  Aaaaannnnnd….everything stopped.  I managed to get the blog and Facebook linked.  But the blog posts won’t post in Twitter.  They stop at Facebook.  If I write something directly into Facebook Twitter picks it up.

I’m so frustrated.  I’ve about had it  with this social media thing.  Does anyone want to come over for a FACE TO FACE cup of coffee?

Later Days!!!

Reminded of my sin

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Aug 192011
 

My last blog talked about the importance of true sorrow for our sins.  So this post is about repentance.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matt. 5:4)

I think that we, as Christians, may rely too heavily on God’s grace.  This is not to say that we should be relying on our good works to get into Heaven.  What I mean is, we are so confident in God’s grace and forgiveness that we skip an essential step…repentance.  It may just be me, but it seems like we place so much emphasis on God’s love and grace, that we forget to emphasize why we need God’s love and grace in the first place.  We are sinners and require God to forgive us.  In order to receive forgiveness, however, we must repent.  If this wasn’t so, why is the call to repentance repeated so many times in the Bible?  In the Bible, forgiveness is always preceded by repentance.

God does forgive us time and time again, and for that we should be glad.  At the same time, I think that when we fail to realize how sinful we are, we also fail to appreciate the awesomeness of God’s grace and love.  None of  us are perfect, and we all need to repent of our sins.  The good news is of course that God “…is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9).  This is encouraging to say the least.

That’s the post for tonight.

Later Days!!!

My life or my words?

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Aug 192011
 

How many opportunities have you missed to witness to someone?  I can’t count the number of times I’ve failed to witness about Christ because of any number of reasons.  In Matthew, Jesus puts forth the Great Commission.  In it he tells his disciples (and by extension us) to go spread the Gospel.  To me it is very obvious that he meant using words.  Of course, our lives must show what we speak.  Nothing has damaged our faith more than hypocrisy.  Still, we need to actually tell people about our faith.  If we don’t, then nothing will let them know why we are different, or why we live the way we do.

I’ve heard the saying, “Don’t talk the talk if you can’t walk the walk.”  Unfortunately, this assumes that you can perfectly adhere to God’s commands.  No one can do that.  If we could, there would have been no reason for Jesus to be crucified.  In witnessing we need to admit that we are sinful as well.  We should also show genuine sorrow for our sins, not just gloss over them with a glib knowledge that we are forgiven.  This could lead to a good discussion on repentance, but that will have to wait for a later day and another post.  In failing to show any sort of sorrow for our sins, we weaken our verbal witness to others.  Ah.  As I said, repentance is for another post.

So, that’s my thought for today.

Later Days!!!

Does God love me?

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Aug 162011
 

I recently traveled to Nevada.  One night I was standing outside and was thinking about God’s love.  God’s love is a difficult thing for  me.  It’s easy for  me to grasp God’s power, his wisdom, the fact that I don’t understand his plan for my life and many other facets of God that he has revealed to us through his word.  But God’s love…Ah…God’s love.  It just doesn’t always match up.  It’s much easier for me to see the difficulties of my life as a consequence of my sins.  And in fact, I think that more discussions should be had about the consequences of sin.  Although God forgave David, the sword never left David’s house.  That, however, is a thought for another day.  Today, I want to concentrate on God’s love.  I don’t truly have anything profound to say about it.  Only that as I was standing there, I began to think about my children and how much I love them.  I thought about how even when I discipline them, I love them.  I also thought about how I truly want the best for them and most importantly, how I often know better what is best for them than they do.  At that point, I suddenly had a brief flash of understanding about God’s love.  I also realized that until I truly understand how God loves me, and until I truly love him back, I would be held back in praising him.  It’s one thing to serve God with your mind.  People throughout the world serve other people without loving those they serve.  In fact, often they despise those they serve.  God wants more than that.  Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matt. 22:37). In our human state, however, it is very hard for us to love someone without feeling that they love us in return.  I think that this might be why it’s so important that we understand that God loves us.  John 3:16 leaves little doubt.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

I realize that I haven’t really put forth anything ground breaking here.  But still, I’ve been a Christian for over thirty years and I still struggle with this issue, maybe you do too.  It’s amazing how you can be standing outside at night in the Nevada desert and God can suddenly reveal a small part of himself to you.  It’s even more amazing how he can reveal a part of himself that you might think of as old knowledge as something new and incredible. Well, that’s all for tonight.

Later Days!!!

Why we suffer…

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Oct 172010
 

This will have to be a rather quick blog, but I felt that it is worth sharing.

I was standing outside today and pondering sadness and pain and trouble.  I’m working on a new song about praising God even through our grief.  I’ve got two verses and a chorus worked out, but it’s been slow in coming.  Regardless, as I was trying to come up with the next set of lyrics, I thought about how God allows us to experience pain and suffering.  A common accusation against God is that if he is all powerful, how can he let people experience pain and suffering, especially people who (in our human eyes) are innocent and don’t deserve it.  A common answer to this accusation from the Christian establishment is that we live in a fallen world.  This is true.  Another answer is that God allows us to suffer in order to increase our faith in Him.  It is also true that once you’ve made it through a difficult time in life with your faith intact, your faith is actually strengthened.  I believe that there is another reason though.

I believe that God allows us to suffer because he doesn’t want us to become attached to this world.  The New Testament has many metaphors that compare us to strangers or aliens in a land that is not our home.  If this world was perfect, why would we want to ever leave it?  God wants us to desire to be with him in Heaven, not to stay here on earth.  Thus he allows us to suffer so that our desire is to be with Him forever.

I must go now.  Just a quick blog on what I was thinking tonight.

Later Days!!!