GMO and How to Respond

gmo-tomatoUntil a year ago, I was not aware of what GMO even stood for.

Now I know it means Genetically Modified Organism.  It also means a great deal of the food the average person consumes daily is no longer of God’s design.  It is actually very destructive to good health.

Through her FB posting, my youngest daughter has opened my eyes.

I’m very impressed by her intelligence, as well has heart for justice and dedication to it.

The thing is, what do we….what does the average person do with the knowledge except have the “crap” scared out of them.  Actually, after each meal, I wish that a good scare would be an effective tool to eliminate the GMO crap that I’ve possibly…(probably) consumed. 🙂

All kidding aside, the GMO in our “food like products” is far more pervasive through far more sources that had ever imagined.  I knew a couple of years ago, from a farmer friend, that purchasing seed corn for planting required a chemical license because corn is no longer classified as a vegetable. It’s considered a chemical.  As I said, I knew there was limited changes, so I stopped eating corn.  But the reality of it is….unless you want to stop eating….just about everything you can buy at the store now days contains GMO which is a determent to sound health.

The average person can’t easily find, nor afford safe food sources.  Nor, are they in the situation to grow their own.

My wife and I were discussing this today.  You can educate yourself, but what do you do, practically speaking (because we eat every day) with that education?

You can somehow get involved involved in educating others and protesting.  I would do that if you can.  Petitions can be very practical and influential.  We certainly shouldn’t hide our heads in the sand.  We can and should take action where ever we can.

But that doesn’t alleviate the practical need of the moment.  As my wife and I were saying, one thing we are also going to be doing is changing the “rote nature” of our prayers at meal time.  Instead of letting a cursory prayer of thanksgiving flip, nearly unconsciously but more as religious activity, off our lips, we are going to be more intentional.

Since we do believe that prayer has an affect, sometimes supernatural, we are going to be thanking God for His provision, but also making requests for effective change agents, wisdom, and blessing on the food, itself.

We will also watch labels (which lately is getting pretty discouraging) and be open to ways we can be an encouragement with practical, usable solutions…for our selves and those with whom we have influence.

I will also keep watching my daughters posts for information and practical advise.  Besides the fact that I also opening up this article and asking for helpful comments on the issue that all of my readers can benefit from.

Gary

 

 

 

Free Speech Includes Prayer

Prayer 4 FreedomWhen I say, “Free Speech Includes Prayer” some will take me to mean that I’m saying that free speech includes the right to pray when and where a person or group desires.  That it should be within our realm of God given rights in a land of freedom. 

However, that is not the focus that concerns me as I jot down these few thoughts.  Because, you see, the freedom of prayer can never be taken from YOU.

We have a self-contained prayer sanctuary within our very beings.  It’s an invisible tabernacle that no power in heaven nor earth can legislate against.  It’s an inner chamber that only the individual, themselves, can silence.  It’s also the interior room that, by personal neglect, is full of spider webs and dusty drapes for too many.

It is often heard by the sincere activist that freedom will only be achieved by those who do more that “just pray.”  To that I heartily agree!  I also enthusiastically agree with John Bunyan who is quoted as saying,

      “You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until after  you have prayed.”

I also agree with the Chronicler who stated, under God’s inspiration…

   “If my people will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked way, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Free Speech Includes Prayer – Begins With Effective Earnest Praying

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much [in the dynamics of it’s working]” (James 5:16.)

Effectual prayers of fervency must echo from the inner sanctuaries of the men and women who raise their throats in protest.  Otherwise the outcries will come to nothing more than death rattles falling on lost ground.

Once we’ve fervently prayed (not bitched to God and everyone who will listen) about the outrage of our national circumstances, we will find ourselves on ground where God can work with and for us.  Not before.

Last Thought:  God is smart!  When He says that national healing takes place when His people humble themselves and prayer and turn from their own wicked ways, He knows what He’s talking about.  It can’t be improved upon, nor side tracked.  I don’t care how right you may be in your words of outrage and protest.

Gary

 


 

Is the “X” a Replacement for Christ?

xmasIs writing xmas instead of Christmas an attempt to remove the worship of Christ from the holiday?

If the facts are known, the answer is no.  Unfortunately many well meaning but ill informed Christians have been unnecessarily “scandalized” once again.

X is the first Greek letter in the title, Christ. In fact that’s how Christ was written for 1,500 years.

 

The Origin of “X Marks the Spot”

In the early days of the church, when a follower of Christ as martyred, Christians would often mark an “x” on the spot after the body was taken away.  They were signifying, “Here is a place where a Christian lost his life for his faith.

And so, “X-Mas” is not removing Christ from Christmas, it’s simply writing it in a more ancient way.  Let’s remind ourselves that it’s easy to get upset over things that – many times – have no basis in fact. 

And so as the late news commentator, Paul Harvey, used to say, “Now you have the rest of the story.”

Blessed XMas Everyone!  He Is The Glorious Reason For The Season!

Gary

 

The Secret of Bethlehem’s Stable

Street ManI saw this picture and my heart jumped.  This was the thought.  “If you see this picture with the eyes of your heart, you’ll see the secret of Bethlehem’s stable.”

It’s a secret that has the power to change anyone’s life.

Let it fill the screen of your mind.

Say, “Into thee I see”  Hear, “Into thee I see.”

The man is a metaphor.  Perhaps, as you look into his eyes, they will become His eyes.

It’s Not About Feeling Guilty

Jesus is the reason for the season, and my story today is not about guilt, but touches on a truth that I’ve been discovering for myself.  A reality that is making this Christmas season more real and satisfying than ever before.

It’s not about producing feelings of guilt, or pity.  It’s not about ridiculing the commercialism of our age, nor the removal of family traditions, as such.

It is about taking another look at God’s Story that will bring immediate, as well as, long term positive results…for others and for you.  You see…

This man represents more than a great ministry opportunity. He’s a person that Jesus reminds us at this time of year for whom he came to this world (physically and spiritually).

He is Bethlehem’s Stable.

Especially at this season of the year, we are presented with opportunities to involve ourselves, individually and as a community of faith to minister to those in greater need than ourselves.  And, that’s a good thing!  Our gifts will help, but not have the same impact as deeper and more practical “everyday” participation.

A Greater Truth

A  greater, more resounding truth is this.  Loving the poor means making room for them in “my” life. Loving those who are poor means that I stop thinking about ministry to the poor, but open myself up to being ministered to by those who are poor.  By ministering with those who are poor. Not only as part of a “team” of people (which is good in itself) but on other levels that are more personal.

Sometimes Inconvenient

One of the things that brings more impatience and irritation into our lives is being inconvenienced.”  But, allowing this kind of inconvenience has the potential of doing a much better job of cleansing from self-indulgence that anything else I know.

Self-indulgence (in the name of Godly prosperity) never brings heart level satisfaction.  Letting our hearts beat in rhythm with His heartbeat bears the fruit of the kind of peace that saturates.

Once I start making relationships with the poor that are friendships, I was only mentally agreeing with a Christian sounding effort of charity, but that’s what it actually factually was.  And then…realizing relationship means more than ministry to….but includes opening myself to ministry from these my friends…I was still operating in a half-baked belief system.

I Don’t Put Up With Them

I no longer “put up with” the less fortunate than myself, I am learning to love them as I love myself.  I’m discovering the reality of, “love thy neighbor as yourself” on a much richer level.

Okay, You Caught Me.  It’s Partially Self-Centered

I found out the the sweetest sound in all the world is the heartbeat of Jesus.  It envelopes me with peace, and joy.  And, I discovered I can hear His heartbeat best when…

I am ever deepening my relationship with the poor as I minister God’s love to them, and affectionately invite them to minister His love to me…in all sorts of interesting ways.

My hope is that we will let this season be a fresh experience.  That this season will be a time of fresh life choices that begin….as a babe in a manger, that will continue to grow into an ever-increasing purpose and stature throughout the rest of our lives.

Ever Seeking A Great Vision of God’s Purpose,

Gary

How To Never Forget The Good Stuff

Great Insight.001I used to hate the idea of “journaling.”  It sounded so….”girly.”  Chics keep journals.  Not men like me.

Then I realized something extremely important:  There are so many things that fight to grab our attention every day, that even the greatest ideas vanish far more quickly than we would imagine.

Someone has quipped, “The stubbiest pencil has a better memory than the most brilliant mind.”

Keep a record (even a rough idea) of good ideas, thoughts, and prayers.

People that think that God never speaks to them say that simply because they forget what He says.

Keep records of these things:  (You’ll be glad you did)

  1. Get a cheap (or expensive) notebook and make a record of the things or people that you are praying for.  Date it.  Record the answer when it comes.  Re-read them occasionally.  It will build your faith.
  2. Get a pocket sized memo pad to carry with you.  Jot down positive “aha” thoughts that “occur” to you throughout the day.  Jot down thoughts from others you hear or read.
  3. Start a blog of “best things.” … (or any memorable things).  That’s one of the reasons I even started blogging several years ago.  You might ask, “What if I don’t have time to write the details as a full blog post when I get the thought.  What I do is open my blog, create a simple headline, and a few rough details and save them in “draft” form.  I have 8 or 9 drafts sitting unpublished right now that I will develop later.

You decide how and what for yourself.

One size does not fit all.  However, the “takeaway” from reading this is a decision to keep records of good things.  As the O.T. Scriptures refer to it, “making memorials.”

Writing it is the Right thing.  It’ll change your life for the good!

Gary Ellis OfficeThank you for considering a gift of support for this ministry.  We’re touching and helping change the lives of 50,000+ people monthly in 22 different countries through our various internet ministries.




Thank You!
Gary

Increasing the Clarity of God’s Voice

freeDid you know that hearing God’s voice in increasing clarity is the key to the abundant life that He designed for you to live, and that Jesus made accessible?

Did you know that hearing God’s voice in increasing clarity is the key to you making good daily decisions?

Did you know that God has been speaking to you all the time, but you didn’t recognize His languages?

In my personal journey with the Lord, I’ve discovered (and am still discovering) increasing clarity in being aware of His voice within me.  I want to share some of the best things I’ve learned during three 1-1/2 hour lessons.

Monday, October 21, 2013 – Monday, November 4, 2013 – Monday, November 18, 2013.  All at 6:30pm – 8:00pm

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The Sin Question

sin-picture-1024x866Yesterday I posted a rather “in your face” thing titled, “Hate the Sin, But Love the Sinner?  Having said what I did, the following should be considered.

Sin stinks.  In fact it more than stinks.  To consider it a non-issue would totally miss the point.

I don’t take sin lightly.  The results of sin are catastrophic.

However, I also believe that much of the religiously trained church world has brought more confusion to the table, regarding the issues of sin, than they have redemptive clarity.  Instead of insights into the powerful freedom we can achieve by His Spirit and His Word, the Old Covenant teachings of the Pharisees have re-bound multitudes of sincere saints.

Notes: 

1.  Saints are what a person is that has made Jesus Christ their personal God.  The Church at Corinth was being corrected for their sinful attitudes and actions; Yet, The Apostle Paul still addressed them as saints.

2.  The English word, religion, is literally the Greek word, “to bind again.”  That is why I said (above) that the Pharisees have re-bound multitudes of sincere saints  (with their religion).

So, sin.and.the.sinner….

With such a convoluted understanding of sin and how to think about it and handle it….

Realize.  Sin is the crappiest thing that’s happened to the human race.  But, there’s Good News.  And, a Christian is commissioned by God as a “Good News Telling Lover.”  Until the Good News Telling Lovers get their own s%#t straight…they need to simply exude the love of God.  Get it all over people.  Drench them in it.

A side benefit:  It’ll make you a lot happier person if all the responsibility of being a “sin sniffer” is off of your shoulders.

(Here’s a good article that helps bring some clarity to the sin issue)

Have a good day 🙂   Be blessed.  Enjoy Abundant Life.  It’s Yours In Christ.

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

Hate The Sin, But Love The Sinner?

Arrogance“I Hate The Sin, But Love The Sinner.”  Really?  Seriously?  You self deluded, arrogant, self righteous, religious twit!

As a sound byte, the statement sounds really good.  Even spiritual.  Problem is…we’re not God.  We don’t have His capacity to make that kind of psychological separation.

How about we love the sinner and leave the hating the sin to the only One who can pull it off.  God. 

Well, I’ve said my piece.  Got that off my chest.  Apply it where you will. 

When all is said and done, people are longing to be loved.  Albeit, too many times in all the wrong places.  But, the motivation is to find love.

So, let’s let them find the love in Jesus, through us.  Let’s look at His life, in the Scriptures, and see what He made a big deal of…and to whom.  Where Jesus puts emphasis  of His words and deeds, stress those same places for yourself as you interact with those around you.  Otherwise, take it off your table.

Repent of the high-minded arrogance that has you deluded into thinking that you can separate the sin from the person involved.  Love people.  Leave what only God can do to God, Himself.  We’ll get much further down the road in reaching those whom God wants reached with His Good News.

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Rick Warren Grief

Rick WarrenIn light of recent posts on questions in our walk of faith, it’s appropriate to give a response to the tragedy and grief that Pastor Rick and Kay Warren are experiencing at this time.

I’m on the Saddleback Church email list and therefore received the following prayer request from Pastor Warren:

“Over the past 33 years we’ve been together through every kind of crisis. Kay and I’ve been privileged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss, stand with you at gravesides, and prayed for you when ill. Today, we need your prayer for us.  No words can express the anguished grief we feel right now. Our youngest son, Matthew, age 27, and a lifelong member of Saddleback, died today.”

His email went on to say that his son had died at his own hands, and gave further explanation.

Rick’s request was for prayer and therefore that is primarily what I request you to do.  Pray for the grace of God to bring supernatural peace to their home and wisdom for the days ahead.

Pastor Rick had many advocates.  He also had his share of detractors.  To both I say that its time to be “touched by the feelings” of Rick and Kay’s sorrows.

Of course, there immediately arises the “Why” questions.  Does it matter at this moment?  Does it really?  The answer to the why questions rarely produce the hoped for peace, anyway.  So, there are also appropriate times to not look for answers.

I vividly remember a pastor from my past that came to the visitation of the death of a child of the congregation.  The circumstances were tragic.  Since he was new to the church, he didn’t know the family, nor the child laying in front of him. 

Many people had been sincerely trying to offer words of comfort and hope.  He just stood there with the relatives and wept.  He finally walked away and out the doors with deep feelings of defeat.  He hadn’t “done his job”…especially as the new pastor, he groaned within.

A few weeks later, he was approached by one of the family members.  To his surprise the words he heard were, “Your presence was the most comfort of all.  You cried with us.”

There have been times that I’ve taken my lead from that example.  I’ve received the same response.

In the midst of grief, words seldom provide what’s intended.  At those times let your words be to God (Who understands how and where to touch the inner grief and questions).  Let your tears be shared with the people.

Gary

 

 

 

The Miracle Second

shutupLet me introduce you (and me) to the sixty second miracle.  That minute has miraculous power…for you…and others around you.  In fact the miracle multiplies exponentially if you string a few of them together.

Let me help describe it by grabbing a quote from an article by Mark Morford, entitled, “Shut Up for One Tiny Second.”

“Not long ago, or maybe it was just last week, my friend had an epiphany.

She said, in a surprised and exasperated voice, in that tone you normally reserve for discovering you have obscenely bad breath or a third nipple or maybe a clump of shiny black hairs sticking out of your nose for the past week and no one bothered to tell you, she said, “Oh my God! Do you know what I just realized? I talk way too much.”

This was no small discovery. This was no inconsequential awakening. My friend — who was, by the way, wholly correct — was not one normally prone to sudden bouts of self-awareness, much less a startling, quasi-spiritual confession that something was seriously amiss in how she was interacting with the world, and she needs to do something about it.

She was stunned. I was stunned. She said she just recently grasped, to her horror, that she never really heard a single thing anyone else said, never really connected to a conversation, never really listened for anything except a pause in the conversation so she could jump back in and fill it with an opinion she’d been manically forming while others were talking.”

We all hold beliefs that we feel are absolute, true, and vital to life and eternity.  I’m going to take for granted, for the moment, that what you hold to is, in fact, the real deal.  

If your truth is better truth than someone else’s truth, isn’t it extra important to have the other person hear and consider what you are saying instead of enduring your voluminous “wisdom.”

It’s my experience that I get waaaay further down the road of by voice being heard…if my voice is not heard so much.  If.I.Shut.Up.For.One.Tiny.Second.  During that miraculous minute, I’ve discovered that I began to hear hearts that are holding desires not unlike mine.

Is it easy?  Not for me it’s not.  Especially if I believe that my truth is the truth and forever is at stake?  Nuh-uh, it’s not easy.  Waaaay not easy.  But, I’m learning and I’m discovering the reality in something my dad used to say.

“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

There’s another payoff.  I learn stuff.  Important stuff.  I.don’t.know.it.all.  Far from it.  My life becomes richer (on so many levels) just for the listening.

But now it’s your turn to talk.  Why do we have such a difficult time in this area?  Maybe you don’t, but I do.  So, help us all by sharing:

Gary