A Form Of Highest Praise

I was gazing at my favorite painting of Jesus while soft music played in the background.  This posture is what you might call a standard protocol for my morning quiet time.

The words seemed to form in my mind, “It is ultimate praise to me when you function as I made you.  I enjoy that very much!”

Then, a short time later as I was “soaking” in that thought, another impression arose in me, “The seeds of inspiration are mine.  Taking dominion over the seeds is yours.”

Note:  The Lord designed me with the calling of writing.  The same truth can apply to any person’s function in life applied to their talents, desires, and motivations.

Therefore, we give ultimate praise to the Lord when we function as He designed and gifted us.  I am reminded me of a quote by former Olympian runner, Eric Liddel, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast!  When I run, I feel His pleasure.”

Jesus said to me, “The seeds of inspiration are mine.  Taking dominion over the seeds is yours.”  An example of me, as a writer, taking dominion over the seeds would be the finished thought,

“I give you the seeds of inspiration, not the mature plant.  You take dominion over the seeds of inspiration by fashioning and transforming them into thoughts of truth, power, and beauty, that, in turn, breaths life into others.”

This complete thought is a demonstration of what might be called, ‘inspirational partnership.’  I encourage you to develop your relationship with Jesus by opening your mind and heart to those seeds of inspiration that apply to your own life.  It is one of the highest forms of praise and brings joy to both you and Jesus.

Gary

 

 

 

 

Why Not Knowing Everything Is Good

FaceAdmitting to yourself (and others) that you don’t know something is a good thing because it’s a true thing.  And you know what Jesus said in John 8:32, “…the truth will set you free.”

I know, as a pastor, (the person whose supposed to know everything about everything, right?) the most freeing words I discovered were, “I dunno.”  Of course it’s important to add to that response, “…but, I will look into that.”

Of course I then need to look into the question, right?  Otherwise it was a cheap “blow-off.”  And, as much as is possible, I do some research.  I also make sure I get back to the questioner.  If I can’t come up with a helpful response…I tell them. 

[Otherwise, they end up feeling like I de-valued them.   No good.]

Learning New Stuff Is A Good Thing

I want to address what I’ve discovered about the “need to know all things,” but first I want encourage you to be a learner. Be thirsty to discover new things.  Being stuck in the cement vault of one’s long established personal opinions becomes corrosive to one’s soul.  Get out of the vault into the fresh air of discovery.  It may be scary sometimes, but it’s oh so rewarding.

Too many folks are afraid they will loose their faith if they listen (really listen) to opposing or different view points.  But, that’s unfounded fear.

As I’ve opened the ears of my heart to others, I’ve actually developed a new authenticity to my own foundation of faith.

The Need To Know All Things

The need to know all things is typically demonstrated by these two areas:

  1. The inner resistance to admitting that you don’t know an answer to something.
  2. Making up stuff.  In other words, giving an off the cuff lame answer, or repeating someone else’s lame answer that sounds spiritual but has no real scriptural evidence.  [There’s a lot of that flowing around].

Not Having To Know Brings Peace

Here’s the deal…

  1. God knows you don’t know everything about everything.  And, if He knows that already, then He isn’t expecting you to come up with every answer.  And, when you can’t, and admit it, He’s not disappointed in you.  He never appointed you or I as geniuses of the universe, therefore, it would be impossible for Him to be disappointed.
  2. He also knows you do know some things.  If you’ll trust Him to do so, He’ll arrange circumstances where you can rub shoulders with people that will help you make new discoveries, and that you can help as well.  It’s called “community.” And Father God is very big on community.
  3. Learn new things, and when necessary find them in books.
  4. Approach life hunger and thirsty to learn.  Jesus said, “He who hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6)

I’ve discovered the freedom of not having to know everything.  I’ve discovered the joy found in learning.  I recommend that kind of freedom and joy.  It’s some of the best “food on the menu.”

Gary

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Auld Lang Syne Grace Thoughts

At this time of year, most are familiar with the term Auld Lang Syne but many don’t know what the words mean.  It’s originally from a Scottish song and means, “good old times.”

As you remember the year that was, you probably can think of some good old times.  Even if you think they are few, they are likely there.  There are also things that bring regret or disappointment.  I’d like to make a couple of suggestions on both levels.

At this time next year you may not have to think so hard about the good stuff…the blessed events.  The solution is to begin this year by keeping a “good on you” jar…or whatever else you may want to call it.  Maybe a “blessings jar.”

Every time something good happens (big or small), write it on a slip of paper and put it in the jar.  Then next year at this time empty the jar and read what you’ve written throughout the year.  I kinda think this is a good new years tradition to begin.

Self examination can be a painful thing if you are prone to feelings of guilt and remorse.  However, I’d like to make a self examination suggestion that could well help you advance in good places in 2013.  Here’s what you do. 

Take a sheet of paper.  Instead of listing your failures, write down those things that you’d like to do better this next year.  Commit it to the Lord.  Then keep the list in a visible place to remind yourself of your journey toward improvement.  The late T.L. Osborne used to say, “I don’t fail.  I just find ways that don’t work.”  I think that’s a better way to look at “failures.”

Someone said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  It’s one thing to think suggestions are a good idea.  It’s another to plan specifics on how and when you’re going to put them into practice.  If you find these two ideas worth merit, try them out and see how they work for you.

May blessing experiences increase for you in 2013!

Gary

 

Your Bottomless Cup

The bottomless cup of coffee.  The “all you can eat” buffet.  It’s closer than you think.  It’s there waiting for you to enjoy.  All day.  Every day.  24/7.

You and I carry this bottomless cup with us wherever we go.  The check has already been paid, in full.  In fact, the tip has already been included.

I’m speaking metaphorically, of course.  But the reality behind the imagery is more real than your heartbeat.

Here’s some of the evidence:

  • “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” – Phil. 4:19
  • “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” – Phil. 4:17
  • “Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding, abundantly beyond anything you could ask or think according to the power that is at work within you.” – Eph. 3:20


The list goes on and on…like a “bottomless cup.”

When I let my thoughts set up camp on the grounds of what I can’t do, I find that the result is severe limitation in my life experience.  I have determined that I will daily divorce myself from believing that I am limited to my own abilities.  Instead, I will focus my attention on what it would look like – for me – if God’s Word is actually true.

Important side note:  God never gifted any one man or woman with the ability to do everything, by themselves, that it will take to accomplish an enjoyable, successful life.  Like the Apostle Paul said, “every man is not an eye, ear, hand, or foot.”  You see, we do need each other.  But, to see each other we must stop starring at our own belly button lint.

<Lifting his cup>  Here’s to you, mate.  Enjoy drinking from your bottomless cup!

Gary


 

 

Never Give Up

Decide, today, that “giving up/throwing in the towel” is not an option.  You have to finish. But not in your own strength.  Never in your own strength. That’s been your problem.  Finish with the strength of your Heavenly Father.  Watch this short video.  It will give you courage:

Is The Devil Setting Your Agenda?

Are you letting the devil or God set your daily agenda?  Too many people are busted, disgusted, and paranoid because they are allowing their daily agenda to be set by the devil instead of responding to God.  How do I know?  I’ve been there, done that, and I bought the lousy T-shirt.

If you find the crooked path isn’t getting straighter and if the rough places aren’t getting any smoother, then maybe the devil is setting your daily agenda.  I discovered the difference was in starting the day with either the question, “What if?” or the statement, “What is!”  Now, that’s really easy to write in a blog, and even easier to read and agree with mentally.

However, the key is in consciously putting it to practice.

What if? That is a line of questioning within oneself that normally is negative and fearful.  What if this happens and what if that happens?  When we occupy ourselves primarily with that question, it opens the door to the devil to guide you into reaction, suspicion, doubt, and fear.  We feel responsible to guard ourselves against, and prepare ourselves for all the “what ifs.”

What is! That is a track of thinking that states truths that God has established in Christ about us.  Those statements open the doors of our mind and heart to hear God speak to us words of His wisdom and direction about our day.  It opens the windows for Holy Spirit inspiration.

So…who sets your agenda for you?  Please share in the comments helpful things you have discovered.  Collective wisdom is often good wisdom.  Join the party 🙂  I would also love to have you “subscribe to and/or follow me.  RSS or email are both safe and convenient.  Your email address will never be shared.  Check out my pages on Facebook and Twitter.   All of it is accessible above.  Later:)

Gary