Walking Through Life God's Way

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What does it mean to be alive?

“Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.” - Matthew 22:37-39
I have been pondering today what it is to truly be "alive." I heard a comment in this context, "Being alive is to be passionate and emotional. To feel is to be alive." Is simply pouring out your heart and acting on that response all there is to being alive? If there is more to being alive what is it? Jesus said He came to give us abundant life, does that mean a Christ-follower is to have more passion and emotion....more heart? Where does that leave soul and mind?

Many times we forget that pleasing the flesh can create an emotion as well. I feel good after I eat a bag of potato chips...especially the bar-b-cue flavor...you know what I mean...the old fashioned kind that are saturated in trans-fat and get all over your fingers. It is not healthy at all...but I feel satisfied. Is this true of all our sins? Most of the time, I feel pretty good after the fact. Then, I feel guilty. Another heart wrenching disappointment where I tell myself that I know better than to do that.

Lets ponder this question for awhile longer...what does it mean to truly be alive? All comments are welcome. A nice things about this question is that there is no wrong answer. You know I love ya - Don

Monday, February 23, 2009

Confrontation - Unavoidable!

The Confrontation Principle (John Maxwell's): Caring for people should precede confronting people. Conflict is hard…Conflict is like cancer: early detection increases the possibility of a healthy outcome. In order to connect with people we need to care for people before we confront people. In the second phrase of 1 Peter 2:17, it reads, “Love the brotherhood of believers.”

The illustration I have for this is Jesus himself. At a time when the world is literally spitting at Jesus, he had the power to vaporize them. They are mocking him and crucifying him, and Jesus could have called angels to rip their tongues out of their mouths he created and then had the nails shoved up their noses (now you know what I would have done!)….but what do we see Jesus say, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” Jesus was able to forgive because He cared for them and he was also confronting sin…

There will always be conflict when we connect with others. How we handle the conflict will define “who” we are in Christ Jesus. May we be bold and confront conflict with conviction and compassion. You know I love ya - Don

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday Funny - Holey Socks

Karen is always after me to throw out my socks with holes in them....I guess I am too cheap. Thus, I thought the following would be a good Friday Funny. You know I love ya - Don

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nothing can seperate me!

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”- Romans 8:38-39
Have you ever felt separated from God? The reality is that we are never truly separated from God's love. Yes, we try to pull ourselves away and separate from the presence of God and from His love. Most of the time we pull away because of our shame or pride....which are very closely related.

God offers total and complete reliance on Him as support, strength, power, and present help in the here and now, yet we pull away. There is a great scene in the movie, "Fireproof"where the main character asks, "how can I love someone who continually rejects me?" As he hears is own voice, his eyes are open to his own actions in rejecting God. God love us, yet, we pull away and reject God over and over.

What does God do in response? He continues to love us unconditionally. Did you get that? God continues to love us unconditionally! God loves you...and me. There is nothing that can separate us from that love. Notice that "nothing" is an absolute! I don't know what you may be facing today...I know what I am facing...I also know that nothing that I face will separate me from His love...I also know that nothing you are facing will separate you from His love either!

The world presses in hard, do not fear, for our God is able to get you through. Our God looks beyond the rejection we give to Him and is willing to reach out to us, embrace us and give us strength...all we have to do is trust him for the strength....Psalm 31:5, "I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God." (NLT) Jesus used these words on the cross...I want to use them in my every breath!

God loves you....you know I love you too - Don

Monday, February 16, 2009

Love...the greatest will remain!

"This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one
another.”-
1 John 3:11
We have heard this message from the beginning, yet we still struggle with the basic fact that we are to love each other. We had great services yesterday and after each had ended, I was in the hall chatting and waiting for an Upward Basketball luncheon, when I witnessed a very loud and un-called for situation and exchange of words. It was defused with responsively kind words and the other person eventually apologized, but the entire event reminded me of this verse, "We need to love one another".

We need to be reminded almost everyday...."Faith, hope, and Love remain...BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE!" I needed this reminder, I pray it will help you face the day to come. You know I LOVE ya - Don

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Funny - How you work!

A university student was told by his dentist that he would have to have his wisdom teeth removed.

Concerned about the expense, he consulted his roommate. "I'm not sure I can afford to have my wisdom teeth pulled," he complained.

"I know," his friend replied seriously. "I've seen your SATs."
May we never forget that in this life we are at University for Heaven. "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Have fun and don't forget to laugh - You know I love ya - Don

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Learning Principle: Listen and Change

The Learning Principle: Each person we meet has the potential to teach us something. Take a look at Ephesians 2:20, “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” The foundation of the apostles, prophets, and Christ Himself is servant teaching. A Christ-follower does not stop learning. A Christ-follower will never stop learning…in fact a Christ-follower is dedicated to learning and seizing every opportunity to improve their walk with the Lord and with each other.

Learning begins with listening and change is always the goal of learning. These are two actions that are hard to do…listening and changing. The success of listening and changing is to value everyone. People do not listen, nor do they change because of someone they do not value. Thus, in order to achieve the Learning Principle, we need to listen to and value every person.

Ralph Waldo Emerson stated it this way, “I have never met a man who was not my superior in some particular.” You and I grow and learn best in the areas of our strengths and we can learn from other people’s area of strength.

I am taking the approach that every person has the ability to teach me something, I want to connect with that person and continue to build on the foundation of Spiritual development in your life. Lets make connections! - Don

Monday, February 9, 2009

Connecting with People: The Exchange Principle.

The Exchange Principle: Instead of putting others in their place, we must put ourselves in their place. Look at Ephesians 2:19, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household” We are fellow citizen’s. Too many times we stoke our egos by stepping on others. God desires that we connect and to truly connect we need to realize we are in this together on equal ground.

George Washington Carver made this incredible observation…He said, “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.” Our treatment of others results from our perspective of them. The problem is that seeing things from another person’s point of view doesn’t come naturally or easy. The reward is that if we leave our place and step into their place, we will connect with that person.

American Airways, which later became American Airlines, had a tremendous problem with complaints from passengers about lost luggage. Mr. LaMotte Cohn, general manager of the airline at the time, tried to get his station managers to overcome this issue, but he saw little progress. Finally, he came upon an idea to help the airline’s personnel to see things from their customers’ points of view. Cohn asked all of the station managers from across the country to fly to company headquarters for a meeting. Then he made sure that every manager’s luggage was lost in transit. Afterward, the airline suddenly made a huge leap of efficiency in luggage management. In order to connect with someone, we need try to see the world through their eyes… we are fellow citizens in God’s Kingdom.

You know I love ya - Don
(much of this came from John Maxwell's Book, "Winning with People," Nelson Business Pub. 2004)

Friday, February 6, 2009

You're Absolutely Right! - Friday Funny

With all the Valentine's going on....I thought this might be a good Friday Funny!
Two men who lived in a small village got into a terrible dispute that they could not resolve. So they decided to talk to the town sage.

The first man went to the sage's home and told his version of what happened. When he finished, the sage said, "You're absolutely right."

The next night, the second man called on the sage and told his side of the story. The sage responded, "You're absolutely right."

Afterward, the sage's wife scolded her husband. "Those men told you two different stories and you told them they were absolutely right. That's impossible -- they can't both be absolutely right." The sage turned to his wife and said, "You're absolutely right."
Avoid conflict at all costs and they will make you a sage! Have an Awesome Friday - you know I love ya, - Don

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sand, Snow, THE Rock

[For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to
the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all
his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:]

I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”- Psalm 18:1-2

With all the snow in Indiana today (another 4 inches yesterday) instead of singing the foolish man builds his house on the sand, we could sing, "the foolish man builds his house on the snow." Snow is very unstable. Probably more unstable than sand to build a house on.

The world around us is very unstable and it will melt away over time. I want to build my house (hopes, dreams, future) on the Rock. The verse above gives us that Rock....Jesus also reaffirms that He is the Rock of eternal life. Jesus also said even the gates of Hell could not topple it over....That is where my house is built!

You know I love the snow....but I also love you - Don

Monday, February 2, 2009

One begger showing another begger where to find bread


We talked about reaching other people for Jesus in services yesterday. Mike Canny preached for us in Solid Ground. (You can download the podcast at www.parkchapel.org/podcast/solidground) Mike told this story.
During the depression a beggar comes to a door of a home and asks for bread. The Woman of the house always tried to help as much as possible. So, she gave the man a Mason jar of water and two slices of bread. The man says thank you and goes to the front curb and sits down. He eats one slice and wraps the other in paper and puts it in his pockets.

He drinks the water and leans over and picks up a small stone and puts a check mark on the curb he is sitting on.
The next month, almost everyday at least one beggar comes to the woman's door. The original beggar signified by the mark that this is a safe harbor and if she can, she will help you.
The point is we are beggars (Christ-followers) showing other beggars (the non-followers) where to find bread. So, I am praying for the ones in my life that do not know Jesus....I am asking God for help in this process...I am studying God's word to be prepared for the wave of seekers. May they see the mark of Jesus in my life. Thank you Mike Canny for sharing these powerful words with us.

May God bless your day and you know I love ya - Don