Posts tagged ‘Religion’

He Arose!

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And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.  Romans 6

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Pay It Forward

Do you remember this 13 year old movie “Pay It Forward”?

A kid named Trevor is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher. The assignment: Think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor comes up with the idea of paying a favor, not back, but forward. Repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. His efforts to complete his idea revolutionize his life, his teacher’s, his mother’s, and an ever-widening circle of people he doesn’t even know. Pretty cool, huh.

You may not realize it, but your life has the potential to bless everyone you encounter.

Part of God’s plan is to work through the people who have linked up with him to make the world a better place to live. You can be a part of this. In fact, God wants you to be a part of it. You, your life, the way you live it, has the potential to bless everyone you come in contact with each and every day. A kind word. A smile. An unexpected action. A small courtesy. There’re a myriad of ways!

Why simply walk through life when you can dance through life with purpose. Where you can be a blessing for those who meet you. Try it. In doing so, I’m betting you will benefit as much as the people around you.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4

Open Mouth, Speak Words

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One of my motivations to pay attention in high school English was when my sophomore teacher told our class: “There will times in your life when you’ll want to sound educated. There are times when you want to sound like you have some sense.” I didn’t like people thinking I was an uneducated fool (even if I was then…and maybe, still a little bit). This is true in the lives of most people. Usually, it doesn’t matter how you talk. But, once in awhile, you want to sound all “educated-like.”

Have you ever been to a church where when the people pray out loud they sound grandiose and eloquent? Let me tell you this:

If you are approaching God, try to sound eloquent, then stop it…and be yourself.

God doesn’t care. Praying is just conversing with God. It’s talking. You’re not all formal and smooth-tongued when you talk to your spouse, or your friends. You just talk! Normally. That’s what prayer is. There are no special words, no special phrases, no special rules.

There are no requirement to pray to God. No membership fees. Here’s exactly how to do it: Open mouth. Speak words. Wait for answers.

Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and he will hear my voice. Psalm 55

There’s the Kick! And It’s…!

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The NFL playoffs are in full swing on the way to Super Bowl Sunday!!! And, a couple of the games have been among the best ever played.

In great games it usually boils down to one play. Fourth and one and the team goes for it…make it and it’s on to victory…come up short and it’s down in the throes of defeat. Or, as in two of the NFL playoff games, it all comes down to a field goal. One play decides the whole game.

But, your life is not like that. One play doesn’t decide your life. Your life is a combination of ebbs and flows, of ups and downs. Just because you get way down…that doesn’t mean your life is a loss. It simply means you need to start moving in the opposite direction. Toward the good stuff.

This is where God can help you out. He can provide continuous guidance throughout your life, lighting up the way when your path has grown dark.

In life, when you kick the field goal and miss, or go for it on fourth down and come up short…you just move on. It may take awhile. You might be playing defense for a bit, but eventually you’ll have the ball again. God’s a really good coach. Try playing on his team.

For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die. Psalm 48

Killing Me Swiftly With Your Song

What do Conner Kennedy, Taylor Lautner, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Mayer, Cory Montieth, and, now Harry Styles have in common?

They’re all ex’s of Taylor Swift!

Yep. The first of January this year the One Direction singer Harry Styles and Taylor Swift were on a vacay in the British Virgin Islands (no pun intended) when there was some trouble in paradise. Whatever happened Taylor swiftly (pun intended) boarded a plane and flew back to the U.S.

Sad. But here’s the bright side. You and I will probably get to hear a whole new bunch of awesome Taylor Swift songs, as she frequently writes about her broken love life. And, I do like her music! How about you?

God doesn’t make bad situations happen in your life. However, sometimes he uses them to make you stronger. And, frequently he writes a new song about your life…it’s a good one, a happier one, a song of hope. You might try singing it.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God…. Romans 8

Guess who this one’s about…

Now! Yes! Right Now!

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We are a nation of instant gratification. Life is so fast if you don’t like one thing in just a second or two…move on to another. Occasionally, though, it takes some time to find what you’re looking for.

Have you ever bought an album off iTunes because you liked six of the fifteen songs? You keep listening to it and over time some of the other nine songs become your favorites. If you hadn’t put in the listening time, you wouldn’t have gotten to know those songs at all.

The same can be true of church. You might go to a church for a couple of weeks. Go in a the last minute, sit down, get up and leave as soon as the program’s over. Never really get to know “the other nine songs.” So…you just quit going.

Are all churches the same? NO! There are different communities of people in each one. Find one you think you have something in common with. Maybe a friend goes there, or the music sounds like your style, or the laid back atmosphere makes you feel comfortable. But then? Stay awhile and get to know the community. Put in the listening time. Give the people a chance.

If that community isn’t for you…move on. Find another.

God created the church to support you. To give you another family. Look around…find your family.

And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…. Hebrews 10

 

Say What?

5bb3ec9a9d5972e26621b7df553e50d7What the heck is this saying? What?!

You spend a lot of your time trying to figure out what something means. You read it, see it, hear about it…and you ponder…and you still don’t understand. You know. Like those manuals that come with electronics. Of course, if it’s something about your job, you have to understand.

People say the same thing about the Bible. They say it’s hard to understand, and for that very reason some people just choose not to read it at all. But, listen to what the writer Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) had to say about this:

Most people are bothered by passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.

Why is that? Well, it’s because the Bible is a book of action. It’s not just a pleasant summer beach read. If you read the Bible and that’s all you do, you’re missing out. You’re missing the point. What you read is meant to be put into action. When it says: “Love your neighbor as yourself,” it means to do just that. Yes. In the way you treat your neighbor. Words into actions.

Have you ever thought of the Bible in this way? Try reading it again with the intention of putting what you read into actions in your life. It might change who you are.

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12

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