Getting into the Swing of Things

My last two college classes are beginning on Tuesday. Just after the first of the year I will have my Associate’s degree. By the grace of God, I will have accomplished this by the age of 40. When you compare this to thing that God did in the Bible, it’s really small by comparison. However, it serves as an example of how important each and every one of us all are to God. While I may never slay a giant, part a sea, or walk on water (though I believe I could if it served to further the glory of God) hopefully my decisions will inspire someone else. Just maybe my faith can be an example to what faith can do for others.

This is where I pray to get into the swing of things, not because I want God to help me handle my schedule, but because I want God to hep me handle it in a Godly manner. Sometimes, it’s not what do, but how we do it. We must be willing to let God take control of things. His understanding is far beyond our scope of understanding (probably the reason we screw things up so badly). We have to be set apart from so many different things of the world. Otherwise, we run the risk of allowing worldly things to take too much of our attention.

Paul wrote about this in Romans Chapter 12, we should not let ourselves conform to the world. We have to live in this world, but we don’t have to accept immoral things that others do. It all falls back to Jesus telling the people to be a light and a city on the hill. We need to be a Godly example and not just go with the flow. That’s why I believe that we need to get into the swing of things first by asking God to guide our choices daily. He won’t force us to seek Him out, but He won’t leave us hanging when we do.

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New Testament

As I told you guys earlier I had started listening to an audio Bible while driving and working.  Now, I have listened to the entire New Testament and decided to start again with Matthew and go through it all one more time. Honestly, I remember something new each time I read or hear any part of the the Word of God. I figure to listen to the entire New Testament once more and then I may start are the Old Testament.

The first time I listened it was out of order, but for some reason it made sense to me. I also included the book of Daniel in with my listening. This time I figure got straight through and make notes when possible. My goal is to retain as much of  God’s Word as possible, or at least get a generalized idea where particular themes are located. (I get agitated when trying to discuss with someone and can’t remember where I read or heard something.)

Anyway, my request is this, please say a prayer that I can learn more and use it to further the kingdom of God to more people. My ultimate goal is to try and show people the wonderful gifts that God offers, not just in the world to come, but the world we live in now. God bless!!

 

Where’s Your Proof?

In previous blog I had, several people and I got into a discussion about the proof of God. Somehow an irate person had discovered the conversation and was really trying to stir things up. This person was attacking nearly every comment the rest of the participants of the discussions and was demanding that we provide them with iron clad proof that there is a God. Eventually,  we asked the person to feel free to believe what they wanted and we would continue with our faith. Problem solved, right? Wrong! This person began cussing and accusing us of dodging the questions and became fairly amusing at one point.

Eventually, they began demanding our proof again.  So, now wanting to be rude, I simply asked them for their proof there is no God. Their response was that they knew and didn’t need proof. Really? Christians must have proof, but non-believers don’t? But, I wasn’t going to even go there, this was  someone who was just looking for a fight. Their next attack was to talk about how much they hated God anything to do with Him or Jesus. I tried to be nice, but this person was just trying to push every button they could.

Finally, I decided to take this ‘logic-driven’ (their claim, not mine) and call them out for a few things. The biggest things was the fact that they had such a disdain for ‘imaginary’ characters. How can you hate something you don’t think exists? So, I asked them and they said they it was their choice what they could hate or not. (Isn’t it everyone’s choice what they believe or don’t believe.) This lead to me making the observation that they did in fact believed in God they just hate Him. After a few snarky comments this person just stopped. I guess when they realized that their logic wasn’t so logical after all.

Some people just like to argue for the sake of arguing. Before trying to attack someone else, maybe they would be better to take a look at themselves.

Memorial Dinner

Today we are having a midday church service followed by a memorial dinner in the out building of our church. Today has meaning for me because so many that have attended this dinner during the years have gone on to be with the God. People we love and still miss being here. Two people that I think of immediately are my mother-in-law and my aunt. It was at this dinner a few years ago I caught them in the parking lot talking and snapped a photo of them.

Sadly, it would be the last photo I ever took of either one of them. My mother-in-law passed away less than two weeks later, and my aunt passed away a little over a year later. We all have these types of stories that we can share. When we lose family that are saved we need to look at it as a positive thing for them. They no longer are suffering and their reward has begun. The flesh side of our thinking causes us to look at it as a sad thing, we should grieve for those who are gone.

It brings to mind the story of King David and his punishment for the affair he had with Bathsheba. Samuel told David that the child that came from the affair would die. While the child was living David did all he could to grieve and try to intercede to God. Once the child died he got up and went about living his normal routine. The people asked him why and he said when the child was alive I attempted to change once the child was gone there was nothing I could do.

To me this shows an understanding of the way things are meant to be. Human interaction is for those people who are a part of the relationship. When one human passes on there is nothing more that the one left behind can do. This doesn’t make it any easier for some, but it is the way things are.

Romans 8:24-28

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

There are times in my life when I question why things have happened and what is the lesson to be learned from them happening. When it comes to these times, I think of this selection and it helps me remember that I don’t have to know the reason. Instead, I need to have the faith that God is doing this for my benefit. I may not see the big picture, but I should have faith that God already knows what are the effects of this happening to me. I believe this where the whole Scripture about walking by faith and not by sight applies to our lives.

As I am sitting here typing this post, my 1-year-old granddaughter has pushed the power button on my laptop twice. She has crawled underneath my end table and gotten stuck and has caused me to have to deal with her several other times. This is a good example of what I am talking about because as aggravating as this is, I am still blessed with grandchildren to cause me aggravation. The joy they bring far outweighs the bad.

So my advice is this: appreciate what we have, keep your eye on the prize, and remember God knows more than we can understand.

Knowledge vs. Wisdom

Since I have been listening to my audio Bible I am discovering more and more information about the Word of God. I believe that it is a good experience for me to listening to the various books. I went out of order when listening to the various books, but my goal is to eventually listening through the entire New Testament and then the Old Testament.

The reason for this post is that with the wisdom I am gaining from the Word of God, it made me realize that the knowledge of the world just can’t measure up. I believe that wisdom is the application of the information that we can learn from the Bible. I look at it like a distinction between knowing how to do something and actually doing something. One common theme I have discovered is that it’s one thing to know what the Bible says, but it is so much more to apply the wisdom we gain.

It is wisdom that leads to the application of knowledge in our daily lives. Just knowing something doesn’t mean that we apply it.

Thank You, God

Recently, my wife and I have been so blessed in so many ways by God. From stress about bills to stress about family, we have been delivered by God. I believe it is because we agreed that we needed to turn things over to God and let His loving hand guide our decisions. (Our decisions offered little to no relief.)

I think that we hinder the plan that God has for us by thinking we need to be in control. So, we decided it was time to put all our cares on Him and things have improved for us. Faith is so crucial in our relationship with God. I believe that when we lack in this relationship that it is failure on our part.  This happens by having weak or restricted faith.  

Once we understand that complete faith in God is only way to go, then the way is made clear for the changes that are needed. Deliverance comes from God and not from self. No matter how good things may seem in the beginning, the solidify factor will always be our faith in God.