Archive for February, 2013


Potential

 

At my last work assignment this email went around. I believe it was generated from, Wade G. Steckel, however I am not completely certain as I said it was an email sent to me from someone else.  So if I have missed the author I apologize and will correct the error if it’s pointed out.

 

Every once in while it’s nice to be reminded of this important part of who we are. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

 

“When I was a basketball coach, and even now as an official I often comment how certain players have tremendous potential.  At work I meet associates whom I see as having tremendous potential.  Sometimes we call it an “upside”.   Heck, I have 7 of them on my very own team!  But what does it mean to have that “potential”?

 

Potential is that strength in us that is unused.  It is the talent in us that is hidden and not exposed yet.  It is untapped abilities.  It is talents that still lay dormant.  It is those capabilities in us that we unknowingly have capped off.  Do you realize the wealth of potential that you have been blessed with?  Why would you want to deprive this world of those blessings, those gifts that are inside of you?  That potential still in you is what you were put here for, to use it.   It is your purpose! 

 

Do not be one of the over 5 billion people of this world who never maximize the full potential that was placed within them.  Do not settle for a mediocre life.  Realize that you have it and work extra hard to express it, to use it, to cultivate it, to share it.  Guard it from laziness and contentment and distraction and compromise.  We have been given a powerful, wonderful gift and He would expect you to use it!  We call it UP side for one reason, it came from above, so don’t squander it!”

 

Holy club

It is difficult not to become legalistic and religious, but what measure or self examination do you hold yourself to? I heard Peter Wagner speak about his daily routine in prayer, He asks the Lord if he has sinned in anyway, if so he repents for it, he also asks the Lord to help him the three sins he feels that he is most likely to commit.  I was really impressed as I began to think about the areas in which I struggle.  What others deal with are not always issues for me, but my areas I seem to get caught in over and over.  I so appreciated his honesty to say hey these areas I struggle to not commit sin. So I guard those areas and I pray about them daily.  This idea reminds of the scripture “and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:27).  Again what measure or self examination do you hold yourself to? 

These are John Wesley’s self-examination questions.  Some of them stemmed from his days with the Holy Club, but many of them developed over the years of his traveling ministry.  As you can see, sometimes the better answer is yes and sometimes no.  Some require a fuller answer.  All of them are challenging.  Wesley himself often spoke of his own failure to keep all aspects of the plan outlined in the questions.

 
  1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I am better than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
  2. Do I confidentially pass on to others what has been said to me in confidence?
  3. Can I be trusted?
  4. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
  5. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying, or self-justifying?
  6. Did the Bible live in me today?
  7. Do I give the Bible time to speak to me every day?
  8. Am I enjoying prayer?
  9. When did I last speak to someone else of my faith? [ conversation starter questions ]
 10. Do I pray about the money I spend?
 11. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
 12. Do I disobey God in anything?
 13. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
 14. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
 15. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
 16. How do I spend my spare time?
 17. Am I proud?
 18. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees who despised the publican?
 19. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what am I doing about it?
 20. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
 21. Is Christ real to me?

Think about it.

Without God

Today is my granddaughter Kallun’s birthday.  As I think about her life and how much I wish I was with her to celebrate it I continue to mull over in my mind an article I read a week or so ago. 

An essay on CNN iReport, “Why I Raise My Children Without God,” This article posted on the CNN website caught my attention.  This article is a clear in your face statement “I have chosen my way and I dare you to suggest I should live otherwise.” If you read the article it is clear she is angry and thinks that we should be able to explain God and He should act on what we see. This article caused me to think about what others see and hear when they see and hear our message. The next day I was sadden even further when this article climbed toward the top of the list of news. This article sparked another article headline read, “Godless mom hits chord with parents” (January 18th) “Mitchell, a mother of two teenagers in Texas who feels “immersed in Christianity,” started a blog about raising her children without religion because she felt frustrated and marginalized. She didn’t want to feel so alone, she says.

Mitchell gained a whole new audience and the reassurance that she’s not alone. Her essay on CNN iReport, “Why I Raise My Children Without God,” drew 650,000 page views, the second highest for an iReport, and the most comments of any submission on the citizen.  I wondered why does she care if she is alone I thought that was her choice or outcome of her decision to live without God. The result of the article was shocking it drew the second highest page views for iReports history.

Mitchell’s blog and article are indicators of our society a line that has been hazy in the past is now being drawn in bold strokes. A huge push to move away from God, Godly principles, and morality is overtaking our country and world.

Another indicator television is on a quest for supernatural power programs casing programs of evil.  This fascination with power has a draw in which these programs are suggesting that we can use evil and make it good.

There are so many sad parts of this, first the quest for power is in all of us.  Yet I wonder why the fascination with power is so prevalent?

One, I believe at the very core is our need to experience supernatural power. I think this was created when God placed Adam and Eve on the earth. I also believe we have the ability to live and move in this power.

Two, supernatural power or the power of God should be something that is evident and active.  We as Christians have failed to pursue or move in that power. The enemy once again is trying to fill that hunger that is within us.

Three, this huge wave suggests to me that as evil arises, it is a sign that God also has plans to release new measures of power. What can the enemy do to compete with the power of God? He can release his own version, He desensitize us to supernatural power are two things that could be done.

As the time passes by we will continue to see evil rise, our choice will be what side of line we are on and how much power will we choose to live in?

Speakeasy:

Last night I watched on food network Bobby Flay’s new program in which he arrives at a couple’s home to have dinner.  Three couples compete to be the best home cook of that particular city. Each couple has to serve three courses with a theme. Last night the theme was Speakeasy. 

This morning while reading my email and thinking about writing a couple of blog entries I came across an article or service named Speakeasy.  This service is for Christian writers and bloggers.  When I start to see the same thing in different places I begin to think okay what is happening? What needs to be said?

I am not so sure speakeasy is really what needs to happen, but I understand the concept I think Speak truth would be a better title.

According to Wikipedia, A speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. They began back during prohibition.

I think we need to proclaim what we are talking about not behind closed doors, or hiding out suggesting what we are doing is not right.  Or worse yet discuss only among ourselves what we believe or sense.  Christianity has not done a good of getting our messages out.  For that matter what is our message? What is your message? This has been brought home to me this year as I have reentered the secular work force.

Learning that the “Christian ease” that I didn’t know was so engrained in me, made it difficult to express what I believe and why.  To those who have no experience or understanding of doctrine, denominational differences, or what I would “think” would be the basics.

During the year I made some new friends, one was a drug dealer , a very strict Catholic, one who is mad at God because her mother died, another who is a new age practitioner and last but not least one who married into and divorced out of a Pentecostal family.  Each of them are delightful people who would extend their hand should I ever need anything.  My goal is not to make them into me it’s more about sharing and living truth.  I don’t have answers for those who don’t have questions.

I have begun some soul searching, how relevant is what I believe? How can I explain what I believe and why in a way that those who don’t have my experiences, teaching and beliefs would understand?  The only way I have found so far is how I live.  How I live is so much more important than what I say.  This belief or way of speaking has served me well.  It does not take long and new friends recognize I am different.  One of my favorite quotes in my words goes something like this “Preach the gospel at all time only when necessary use words.”

Just some things to think about – No that’s all we’ve been doing is thinking? So how am I going to change how I talk so those who don’t live in my world can connect with me or I can connect with them? That is the question I am working to answer in my life.