Posted tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

HELP WANTED!

May 8, 2017

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38, NIV)

As each year passes I look back and am disappointed that I have thrown away so much of my life searching for things that only gratify me, things that are meaningless to everyone but me. Yet, I’ve been extremely blessed. I have always had a roof over my head, food on the table, and family and friends that have loved and supported me along the way. I’ve had a great education and wonderful spiritual leaders. I’ve had success in business and with love. Looking from the outside, my life appears to be perfect.

So why am I so disappointed?

After years of searching for success in business and finally attaining certain financial goals, I have come to realize life is not about me! Real success doesn’t come from working 60 hour work weeks or walking over other people to move up the corporate ladder. A good job and six figure income don’t truly define success. Too often money causes more problems than it solves. And working hour after hour as if nothing else matters is a sure way to tear a family apart. When we sacrifice our lives for our jobs, what have we really gained?

How do we meet success in life?

It sounds simple, but real success comes from following Jesus! Real success starts each morning and ends every evening with a prayer of gratitude. True and honest success includes Jesus in our conversations throughout the day. Success is looking for ways to love one another (John 13:34-35, NIV). Success is living our lives with joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV).

Success is not about our status at work or the amount of money we bring home at the end of the week! Success is all about living our lives for Jesus! And, more importantly, it’s about living our lives with Jesus!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

WHICH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DO YOU TRUST?

March 4, 2016

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5, NIV)

Debate

I must be crazy. I can’t get enough of the 2016 presidential debates. This election season has become a circus and reminds me of a poorly produced reality TV show. I look at this great country of ours and find it hard to believe that those on the debate stages, both Democrat and Republican, are the best qualified people to serve as president. The name-calling, bullying, backstabbing, demeaning, and vulgarity simply do not represent the best qualities of leadership that I admire or want for this country or for the rest of the world. I am truly concerned for the future of our grandchildren. What kind of leadership are we teaching them? Is there a place for Christianity in politics?

I’m not going to rant and rave about any particular candidate. I simply want each of us to take a step back and think about our future. What kind of leader would you like to see in the White House? Who do you trust with the lives of your children and grandchildren?

Perhaps you’re just looking for free college, lower taxes, higher wages, or inexpensive healthcare? Sorry folks; everything comes at a price! All of the candidates on the debate stage make promises that are difficult, if not impossible, to keep.

Not one of the presidential candidates has the ability to bring the peace and security to our families that they promise. None of those candidates can keep us safe from the attacks of Satan or save us from our sinful selves. None of them can offer us eternal life!

It really doesn’t matter who is elected president of this country. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will still be in charge of all things. Our Almighty Father will be with us no matter who is president of this country.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9, NIV)

Yes, we’re going to choose one these men or women as the next president of the United States of America. It’s extremely important to understand we are simply electing a new president. We are not electing a new Savior! We must never replace Christ’s values with their values. We should always, always keep Christ first – from the time we wake up in the morning to the time we close our eyes at night.

There is no debate – Jesus Christ is, and will always be, in control!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

 

OPINIONS – WE ALL HAVE THEM!

September 22, 2015

Accept one another, then, just as Christ has accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7, NIV)

Romans 15_7

Opinions. We all have them. Unfortunately, nobody on this side of heaven has it 100% right. There are hundreds of different variations of Christianity each with a different interpretation of the bible. To name just a few, we live among Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, etc.  In addition to Christianity, our society includes Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhism, Islam, Judaism, Baha’i Faith, Confucianism, etc. We also live among the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender communities. We all come from different backgrounds. We come from Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Every culture is completely different from the others. Each has its own identity and beliefs.

As Christians, we claim to follow Christ, to model our lives after Him. I realize that is an impossible task, but there is one simple little thing we can do to show that Christ lives in us. We can accept each and every human being that we come into contact with throughout our day. And, even though I say it is simple, it is often extremely difficult. God has given each of us free will and not every person lives according to the principle of “accepting” one another. Many people are confrontational and judgmental (including myself much of the time). But that’s when we need to let our light shine. We need to step above our will and choose God’s will. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to direct our paths and place our trust in Christ.

God did not send His Son to die a painful, excruciating death so He could save only the Baptists, or the Catholics, or the Methodists. He sent Jesus to this earth to save all people – Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, gays, lesbians, Africans, and Australians. We are all precious in His sight!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

NOW THAT’S A “SELFIE!”

September 11, 2015

For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:36, NIV)

We would like to believe that life is all about us. It’s about pleasing ourselves. It’s about isolating ourselves from those who are different from us. It’s about doing whatever it takes to get ahead in life, no matter who it may hurt. It’s all about living in the “selfie” generation. It’s about living a life through social media where we can create the kind of person we want the world to see, but not necessarily the person we have actually become.

The truth is: life isn’t about us. It isn’t about pleasing ourselves. or separating ourselves from others. It’s not about “selfies”. It’s about sharing the love of Jesus, focusing the lens on Him, not on ourselves. Our joy comes from Him. Our peace comes through Him, and our lives are to be lived for Him and for His glory.

So the next time you take a “selfie” look into your own eyes. Do you see Jesus in that picture? If He’s not there, delete that photo, re-focus your life, and try again. Keep trying until everyone who looks at you, sees our Father looking back at them. Now that’s a “Selfie”!

Enjoy your day “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

ARE YOU DRAWN TO EXTREMES?

June 26, 2015

“What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.” (Job 3:25-26, NIV)

extreme

Many of us are drawn to extremes. In some instances, pushing our limits can be a positive, uplifting thing. In most situations, however, especially in today’s society it can be a dangerous practice. We live in a world that tells us to “work longer hours”, “sleep less”, “quit wasting time”, “spend more money”, “obtain a better lifestyle”. Our tendency is to follow those directions because everyone else is doing it and we feel like they are all getting farther ahead in life than us. We don’t want to be left behind, do we?

Hold on a minute. Where does the bible tell us to live toward those extremes? Those messages we hear from the world aren’t from God. He didn’t design us to live with extreme calendars, extreme finances, or extreme work ethic. He designed us to be in relationships with one another (John 13:34-35, NIV). He designed us to work as if we were working for the Lord, not for other people or ourselves (Colossians 3:23, NIV). He designed us for rest – rest from work and rest in Him (Hebrews 4:10, NIV).

We can try to convince ourselves that our extreme lifestyles are designed to please God, but be very careful in the way you are thinking. It’s not a sin to have a great job, or lots of money, or the desire to take care of your family. Just make sure you get your priorities straight. God is first! Everything else will fall into place when you live your life for Him! He is calling us to a life of “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV) It seems to me that a life filled with these things would be much more attractive than one which is fast-paced, filled with greed, and totally out of control. 

If you’re driven toward extremes, turn to Christ! Live extremely for Him!

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ

GET CONNECTED!

April 29, 2015

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
(Acts 2:42, NIV)

GET CONNECTED

My last post sounded a bit desperate. Social media and technology have been making this world smaller and smaller. We hear about things now that would have taken weeks, if not months, to hear about just twenty years ago. And, in many cases things used to go on in this world that we never heard about at all.

The whole idea behind Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites is to stay connected with our families, friends, social groups, old classmates, and so on. Unfortunately some of those websites and apps connect us to some pretty dark places. It’s up to us to know when to draw the line and back away.

There is one place, however, that we can all go to stay current; where we can get connected and stay connected to those people that can help lead us out of the dark and into the light. As you guessed, that place is the Holy Bible. For more than two thousand years, the Bible has taught us to stay connected to each other – with no mention of computers or Smartphones:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, NIV)

It was the connection of those who responded to my last post that helped me realize that I shouldn’t even try to get through troubles and challenges by myself. When Jesus Christ is the focal point of your life and you are connected to other Christians, you are never alone. When we experience pain and loss, our connections are there to comfort us. When we are overcome by fear and anxiety, our connections give us perspective; they help us see things in ways we may have overlooked. When we need truth, they can teach us. They help us discover and understand the things we hadn’t been able to grasp on our own. When we get stuck, they set us free. They speak the truth and push us forward. When we face complicated questions and are confused, our connections listen and counsel us. When we mess up or make mistakes, they are there to correct us and to offer mercy. They remind us that we are loved, despite all of our flaws and failures. Our connections through Christ remind us of the One who gave His life so we could enjoy eternal life. Our connections through Christ will be with us for eternity – long after Facebook and Twitter have departed from the social scene.

Get connected and stay connected! The Bible and those who strive to become like Jesus are the most powerful social media tools you will ever need.

Enjoy your day, “Working for Christ”!

Work for Christ

HAVE YOU BECOME A “WATCHER?”

March 27, 2015

As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4, NIV)

Take Action

When you are working, are you working for Christ or are you working for someone or something else? Are you a bystander, simply watching the way things unfold around you, never getting involved, or do you take action and represent Jesus Christ in your daily life?

Personally, I realize I’ve spent way too much time watching and not enough time working. I get caught up in the events of the day and completely forget to work on those things that God created me for, specifically those things mandated by the two great commandments:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39, NIV)

I’ve watched too many sermons about the Gospel, but have not “lived out” the Gospel. I’ve watched too many movies and read too many books about other people’s adventures, but I have ignored the adventures that God has placed directly in front of me. I’ve watched too much basketball, golf, and soccer – watching others face their fears, face great odds, and push themselves to their supposed limits, but have not done those things myself. Don’t misunderstand me, sermons, movies, books, and sports are all good things. There is nothing wrong with inspiration … but it’s got to be inspiration for something.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love... (Ephesians 1:4, NIV)

When God dreamt about us long ago, did He dream of us watching others live out their great stories or did He have a plan for us to live out our story, too? I may have slipped over the past few weeks and months, but God has called out to me to share His love and to continue writing the story He has created especially for me. Pray that He will lead you into your story, too.

Don’t stand by and be a “watcher”. Stand tall and be a worker, “Working for Christ!”

Work for Christ


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