Opinion. Observation. Application.
Monthly Archives: February 2014
Because of my refractory asthma my Doctor who specializes in these kinds of lung conditions has advised me to keep my speaking to under 20 minutes AND (he gave this special emphasis)–really relax and enjoy it. I explained to him the conditions by which I often speak lend itself to some intensity because of the sense of urgency I feel. Some where in the process I got back to this idea that I would blog on the concepts God was laying on my heart. Yet…Just as when I speak my bronchial tubes become restricted, I find myself pounding the keys of the laptop pretty hard when I type something that has my jets really revving up!!! THIS IS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS:
I read an article today about why the “Millenials” have given up on Church. Don’t get my wrong–I understand generational dynamic, but there has always been generational issues–that is what “generations” are all about! If you didn’t have differences you wouldn’t have a generation. The differences are how you tell a generation has come and then going and then come and then going and then come and then going (you get the idea). But as far as the article is concerned: There is nothing new or different in realizing how to reach people–young or old. We all have problems. We need solutions to our problems. I believe the solution is found in a change of heart. There can be no REAL lasting or meaningful solution to any problem (you are just changing it or masking it) unless there is a CHANGE OF/IN THE HEART (of the person realizing there is a problem). The bottom line is: I CAN NOT change my own heart. It isn’t possible on my own. I can change my habits, my attitude, by behavior–but none of these is lasting until I CHANGE MY HEART. The thing to keep in mind is–I can’t change my own heart. I need God’s help to change it. As a matter of fact, only God CAN CHANGE my heart. God specifically desired to change my heart by coming to earth–taking my sin–dying for me: To show me that I am dead with out Him! He (Christ) rose from the dead to show me that God through Christ can change anything–but specifically: HE CAN CHANGE MY HEART. He ascended into Heaven and is at God’s right hand interceding every minute, every day, 24/7 for the change of heart I need.
The change of heart is a full time deal–but I have to keep walking in it through faith. The Spirit of Christ can guide and direct my life, but it is important for me to stay walking in faith every minute of every day.
The change of heart is so full time that I don’t think we have time to do the kinds of things we would do if we don’t take the time to consider what an important and powerful a change of heart is in me and to me.
A change of heart allows me to forgive others quickly and easily.
A change of heart empowers me not to be a wounded, an offended or an easily hurt person.
A change of heart gives me the empathy to listen to others rather than talk myself.
A change of heart provides me with the opportunity to pray rather than persuade.
A change of heart lets me be free from pettiness, gossip, slander, or negativity.
A change of heart is merciful toward others not condemning or judgmental.
A change of heart opens up my life to God working in me and through me not around me or in spite of me.
A change of heart becomes the small gate and the narrow way that Jesus taught is the way to LIFE.
Remember: You can’t change your own heart! God can….and God wants to….TODAY!
In Matthew 15 Jesus is going around and around with His disciples going around and around with the Pharisees. The Disciples of Jesus are still being controlled by what people say about them and (think about them). The tendency on the part of the Disciples to be controlled by what people say and think of them wouldn’t get itself under control until after: 1. Jesus’ death sentence, crucifixion, resurrection, appearances, and accession. 2. The Day of Pentecost (laid out in Acts 2). 3. Their own testimonies, complete with their own persecutions and martyrdoms.
Back to Matthew 15: In verse 12 the Disciples to Jesus: “Do you know the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
Jesus response back to the Disciples (taking full advantage of a powerful teaching moment in verse 13): “EVERY PLANT THAT MY HEAVENLY FATHER HAS NOT PLANTED WILL BE PULLED UP BY THE ROOTS.”
I assume we are all “plants.” Jesus’ teaching is that not every “plant” that is planted was/is planted by God.
How do we know which plants (Christian lives) are planted by God and which are planted by the flesh? IT BECOMES OBVIOUS THROUGH WHICH PEOPLE CARRY OFFENSE, CARRY SENSITIVITIES, CARRY HURTS, with them when they need to be casting their burdens upon Christ.
There is a common tendency for the Church to baby the babies who are offended, sensitive and hurt. People carry the offense of others and spread the pain to still more people. People “circle the wagons” and build that circle of offense to prove their point of why they were hurt. Still others try to prove the righteousness of their offense. ALL OF THESE ARE SIMPLY GAMES OF THE FLESH THE DEVIL USES AGAINST THE BODY OF CHRIST TO TEAR DOWN THE LIVES OF PEOPLE!
In our WWJD culture (what would Jesus do?)–we speak FOR Jesus as if He would baby the babies. Babying the babies is so common place that the Church creates vast heretical teachings, Worship Songs, Church ministries that tend and mend wounds that Jesus Christ already provided atonement for.
For those of you who are offended–TURN YOUR LIFE OVER TO CHRIST.
For those of you wounded–BY HIS STRIPES YOU ARE HEALED!
For those of you hurt–WALK BY FAITH NOT BY SIGHT!
The last thing we need to be wasting our time on is to “mediate” between offended people. Jesus suffered enough already and is the right hand of the Father to intercede on our behalf. Ask forgiveness of others–and ask forgiveness from God and be made whole! Quit walking in your offense.
Offenses and wounds become our “pet” that we prance around to be noticed by others. Instead we should consider a spirit of offense SHAMEFUL in the sight of God.
Whininess and complaining are the manifest fruit of wounded and hurt believers in Christ. Other Christians who harbor and tolerate that kind of behavior of fellow Christians are what Jesus called…..wait…..for….it……: BLIND GUIDES (Matthew 15:14).
Jesus said: “Leave them. They are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
It is a tragedy the amount of Christians today who are wounded, offended and touchy. Further–fellow Christians who tolerate the wounded, offended and touchy by repeating the offenses and slandering others with their gossip and slander. (Blind guides)
Jesus needs us to toughen up! He needs us to go down deep. He needs us not to be wounded and offended by what others say and do. He needs us to wake up and realize we are unrepentant babies.
Jesus needs us to be planted in HIM–not planted in the flesh, not planted in the spirit of the world, not planted in the acceptance of what people say or think. PLANTED DEEPLY IN HIM.
Those planted by the Heavenly Father don’t get rattled or uprooted by being offended, hurt or sensitive to what others say. Those planted by the Heavenly Father have actually read all the way down to the end of this blog and are challenged by the Word of God enough to say: “The only thing that truly matters in my life is for my life to be planted by the Heavenly Father!”
This is my prayer and hope for my own spiritual life–and invite you to join me in it.
Marceil came home with some materials the other night and I was looking through it. A couple of sheets really stood out to me. They were about diffusing customer relations situations. I adapted it here in terms of facing an angry person or an angry situation. This is not about “how to” placate or please–but how to diffuse so to eventually resolve an angry situation.
1. Assume the person has a right to be angry. The reason for this is if you assume they have a right to be angry you can be listening for what the root cause of the anger is in the first place.
2. No matter how much emotion you are hearing–DON’T respond to it emotionally. What you are hearing IS NOT personal–even if the person tries to make it personal, don’t take it personally.
3. Be patient and speak softly. Remember you didn’t take this on–it came to you. Take a breath–don’t interrupt.
4. Repeat back what you heard–but with the tone of a question: “I heard you say…” or better yet: “Did I just hear you say?…”
5. Own the problem. Help them out. Investigate the issue. Determine what went wrong or what is going wrong.
6. Correct things if you can. If you can’t correct things try to find someone who can.
7. Follow up. Email, text, phone, or even drop them a note. Find out how they are doing at a later time.
If you try to help diffuse an angry person or angry situation you will be surprise how much it helps you develop depth in your own life!
It has been an interesting weather pattern for some time. Most of California is in a severe drought and the rest of the country has endured storm after winter storm that have left people stranded, hurt, and in some cases: dead. The Bible has plenty of examples of weather phenomena. Since finishing up and releasing my new book “Bring Down Those Idols” I have been thinking about Elijah praying that it wouldn’t rain at the same time pronouncing to Ahab and the prophets of Baal that it wasn’t going to rain. (And it didn’t rain for three years)! A famine struck strong and hard. Elijah prayed again. This time he prayed it would rain to show the prophets of Baal that God was the one in charge. As I think of Elijah–and as I think of our current weather issues–I think the same thing SHOULD be going on in our thinking: IT IS TIME FOR US TO ACKNOWLEDGE OUR NEED FOR GOD. Further–we should repent. Repentance brings humility into our lives. If you live in California and you are serious about ending your drought: 1. Get down on your knees. 2. Repent of your sins (pride, lust of the eye, lust of the flesh) 3. Ask God to take control of your lives. This doesn’t have to do with just California and their drought. This three step concept could/should apply to every tornado or tornado threat–every earthquake–every hurricane–every severe storm–every blizzard–or every (any) time something happens in nature beyond our control. Every weather related issues is meant to bring us to the place where we realize THERE ARE THINGS IN MY LIFE BEYOND MY CONTROL AND I NEED GOD. Weather issues aren’t a judgment of God (as such)–but a way to bring us BACK to God or CLOSER to God. Never forget: There are things I can’t control–SO–I submit myself to letting God ALWAYS be in control of my life! Be careful out there and let God be in control!