Memory Lane

Memory Lane

 

I sit gazing at pictures.

Pictures of my life

Like my first steps.

Or perhaps my first love.

I think to myself, those were the good ole days.

These pictures progress on over my mind.

I close the book.

I think of how far I’ve come…

 

I realize now what I once had,

What ever happened to those good ole days?

When life was simple and enjoyable?

The world could benefit from a trip down memory lane.

 

A TBT-from the early 90s

 

For God So Loved…May 29, 2014

For God So Loved…May 29, 2014

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” ~John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world,” God so loved us (the world, or your name). Do you know that God loves the world and that part of that world is you and me? God loves us so much that “he gave.” He gave so deeply of himself, that he gave his one and only Son, not because he had to but because he so loved us.

Did I do anything to deserve God-loving me so, and giving so much? No not me! But “whosoever believeth in him should not perish.” Whosoever includes me, and if I then believe in the one and only Son of God I will not perish. If I believe in the one and only Son of God, I will not die, and if I don’t die then I will live.

It was because of God’s great love for us that he gave his only Son. It is hard sometimes to understand a love so great that would give so much. If we would only believe in him death is not the verdict or the end, but a passage way into eternal life. God loves us and desires for us to spend eternity with him that he was willing to send his Son to make it possible.

Talking about the gift of God’s Son and the cross, Dr. Gardner C. Taylor once said “what kind of man must I be for it to take that for my salvation?” So what kind of God is willing to let his Son come and die in our place, a God who loved us dearly?

Many people mistakenly think God wants to condemn the world. That God wants to punish the world. The plan all along is to provide his Son, the Way, the Truth, and the Life for us. I love the way The Message translation reads here, “God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.” John 3:17 MSG

God loves you and me, sent his Son to die for us, so that we could spend eternity with Him. I know of no greater love in the whole world.

God loves you, me, and the whole world, and that really is good news.

Unity and Peace in the Family-May 28, 2014

Unity and Peace in the Family

Galatians 6-May 28, 2014

If someone is caught in sin and you are a spiritual person you should try to restore them gently. The point of confronting sinners is that they be restored in their relationship with God and man, and not to shame or condemn. It should be our desire that our brother or sister is restored to a right relationship with God. Should we desire any less for our earthly brothers and sisters? If we knew an action that was being done by a brother or sister caused them to have a strained relationship with our father would we not want to lovingly confront and gently restore them, for the sake of their relationship to out father and our relationship to them.

We too must be careful not to be tempted or fall into pride. Instead we must be willing to love and serve one another, quick to forgive. It is in this type of restorative gentle confrontation that we are becoming more humble and like Christ. Anyone who thinks they have it all and have it all together, when they really don’t is only deceiving themselves and are in no position to help our brother and sister and certainly no position to judge them. We should bear one another’s burdens as much as possible, but also take personal responsibility for our actions too. It is way too easy to start sinning ourselves when we start blaming others.

Before you confront someone first see where your relationship is with God? Are we in a good place? We should be prepared that the outcome of any of these situations may be different from what we were expecting. In receiving the word we must also share the word. They are reminded that what we sow we also reap. No one plants pumpkins seeds and then when they have grown to maturity expect to find watermelons instead. If we sow or invest in the sinful nature, at maturity (harvest) we will reap destruction. Likewise the one who sows to please the Spirit, at maturity (harvest) will reap eternal life.

Do not grow weary of doing good because that investment in the good will yield a harvest if we do not quit too soon. As opportunity presents itself, do good to all people, and especially those that belong to the family of believers. So let your motivation for confrontation be pure and restorative. Do not sow seeds of hate and destruction by do right by them, so that they may be restored in a right relationship with their heavenly Father and we have gained back a brother or a sister.

Paul is getting personal. He is no longer dictating this letter to someone, but is writing in his own larger print. Paul goes back to the original point, the division over circumcision and the unity of the church. Paul states that those who want to make a good outward impression are trying to convince you to be circumcised. Paul then exposes the motivation that they themselves are circumcised is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.

Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to folly in the law with them so that these may boast about your flesh. There will always be people who will try to convince us to do things another way, whether it is the world’s way, the easy way, another religions way, our way, but there only one Way, Truth, and Life. Why not boast in Christ? Boast in the cross of the Lord. Paul said it was this same cross that was his death to the world and the world to him. The cross held so much value, it was worth Paul’s life and if he continued to live it was worth giving up the world.

It is not what is done to the body through outward signs that matters. What counts is new creation. The new creation of Christ living in us, but also the new creation of the body of Christ, although steeped in Jewish tradition Christ is ushering in the wholly and completely new creation. This is the church of Christ, the believers of the way. This is a way that leads to peace and mercy for those who have His. Collectively they suffer outwardly in this world but have peace that their suffering is not in vain, their Lord suffered too for our sakes, and there is more beyond that is worth the wait.

Paul contends that his body bears the marks of his willingness to suffer for Christ, and that no one should ask more through circumcision or otherwise. He pronounces the grave of Christ to be with they spirit, and he calls them brothers and calls them to agreement.