Tag Archive: Christianity


Speakeasy

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.

Advertisements

It’s All About Me

I have jokingly said over the last few years as I wave my hand in front of my face. “It’s all about me!”  I got this line from the movie “Cheaper by the dozen.”  During this movie the boyfriend of the oldest daughter, makes a comment very closely resembling It’s all about me.  I laughed and thought at the time this is so true so much of the time. We people act and treat others as if this is true.  Really stop and look at others and even yourself.  How many of us may not say it but think it.  Many want others to treat them as if they are the reason the earth turns on its axis.

Today while catching up on the blogs I follow I came accross a peom entitled the same.

http://christianity.about.com/od/membersubmittedprayers/qt/iflifewasaboutme.htm

It isn’t the exact idea but its close.  I think it would be good if we all did an internal inspection of what we’ve been saying and how we’ve been acting.  Who do you think it’s really all about?  If you say Jesus or God I believe your correct. Does your life portray it? Does every decision reflect this truth?  What about your lifestyle?  What about your money? What about your family, your spouse, your children?

I probably will continue to jokingly say “Its all about me” when I realize I am pushing for my own thoughts, opinions and own way. Its my way of saying okay I realize I am centering on myself sorry.

So what do you think  how much of your life do you live it as it’s all about you?

R. I. S. E.

About a year ago I read an article I found on Crosswalk.com. This article has some great ideas especially for us to review at the beginning of a new year.  As I looked it over for myself I thought I would write a small review and encourage you to take in its points and possibly apply them.

R: Reduce

Ask yourself what is something in your life that you could reduce that isn’t helping you in _______ (Your walk with God, Your relationships, Your work etc. )?

I: Increase

Ask yourself what is something in your life that you could increase that could help you in _______ (Your walk with God, Your relationships, Your work etc. )?

S: Substitute

Ask yourself what is something in your life that you could substitute that would help you more in _______ (Your walk with God, Your relationships, Your work etc. )?  An example would be Splenda for real sugar or reading a book instead of watching TV or walking instead of driving.

E: Eliminate

Ask yourself what is something in your life that you could eliminate that isn’t helping you in _______(Your walk with God, Your relationships, Your work etc. )?

These are a small portion of the article Rise Up and Move: Are You Ready?  By Kris Swiatocho, The Singles Network Ministries.  http://www.thesinglesnetwork.org/  You may have to do s search on crosswalk.com to find it. 

I am reviewing these points myself, while making them a matter of prayer.  . Dean and I are making some HUGE changes again of which you will hear more about in the next few weeks/months. These four questions are helping me to take the necessary steps to align with what God is saying to us, His Word about this year and our circumstances.

I would encourage you to also read over these, pray about them and even check out the full article.

Blessings to you in 2012.

While Dean and I worked around the house today we put our DVD of the Book of John on to listen to while we worked. As I listened this is what I heard:
“Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie — the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” John 5:1-7 NIV
I thought of the answers I sometimes give.
1. Am I giving answers to questions that have not been asked?
2. Am I relying on what we have known and seen in our immediate and long past?
3. Am I acting on what He has told us, even though it’s different than what we have planned?
Then later as I passed through the living room I heard:
Jesus said to them, I am He, they went backwards (drew back, lurched backward) and fell to the ground. Then again He asked them, whom are you seeking? And they said, Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus answered; I told you that I am He. So, if you want Me [if it is only I for Whom you are looking], let these men go their way. John 18:6-8, AMP. One of the Bible version’s I looked up said and they fell down.
I had these thoughts.
1. When Jesus the Great I AM comes onto the scene, we can’t stand.
2. Jesus knew and knows who He is and doesn’t shrink from His identity under pressure.
3. The plans of the enemy fall in His presence.
4. We don’t always understand His plan, it’s better than ours especially in the long run.
5. Who am I seeking?
The story goes onto to say Peter takes his sword and cuts off one of the high priest servant’s ears.
1. How many times do we take things too far with the thought that we are helping the Lord?
2. How many times do I act on my own with zealous religious actions?
Today I got more of our house cleaned out. We are getting for a garage sale this Saturday. I also got some sobering reminders of who I am and who He is.

Speak to the Rock

I subscribe to a blog that comes from Mark and Nicki Pfeifer Ministries. The entry was titled Speaking to the Rock.  The article is good, but it really sparked a memory for me.  A couple of years ago I taught a lesson about speaking to the rock.

Moses was out in the wilderness  with all these whining complaining people who were thirsty.  God provided water from a rock for them.  Moses was told by God to strike the rock with his staff.  Remember this was the same staff God gave him to use a sign of his miraculous power.  It was thrown down and became a serpent, it was also was held above the red sea then it opened.  Back to the rock, it gave the people the water that they needed.    Later the same ole, same ole situation whining complaining thirsty people who want water.

We have to give Moses credit he did ask God apparently because God told him what to do.  Speak to the Rock, God said.  Moses as we know hit the rock with his staff.  It worked the last time and yes it worked again water came out of the rock.  Even though the people were given the water they wanted/needed God was not pleased.

Most of us know the story, but what I want to point out is how many of us are still using the same tools that we have always used? How many of us are ignoring what God has said?

God has provided for us a new way.  He no longer requires us to hit the rock. We are now told to speak to the rock.  Life seems easier for us I think to “do” instead of “speak” because of our performance based system.  Doing seems easier than speaking. Speaking requires believe and reliance on God rather than ourself.  When we dissect the thought we know it is ridiculous that we are more able than God Himself. 

I think we limit ourself and God by doing it our way rather than God’s way.  I am determined once again to begin to us the tools He gave me. Including and especially speaking to my situations rather than trying to work it out for myself.

I’ve attached a link to the blog post that inspired or reminded me of what God spoke to me two plus years ago. Read it and enjoy.

Mark and Nicki Pfeifer Ministries –

http://www.markandnicki.com/alignment-principles/2011/09/speaking-to-the-rock/

marked

this post is related to Dean‘s new program on Thursday evenings.  In it we discussed his material concerning the ‘mark” as related in Revelation. The name itself “Choose Your Mark” explains the concept of the program

Choose – there has always been a choice.  In the beginning Genesis, tells us God put a tree in the center of the garden and told us not to eat of it.  Then we see God gave us a choice to obey or do our own thing.  One choice lead to life and the other lead to death….

Your – It’s personal not in the same way as we hear politicians says that’s a personal choice suggesting it is somewhat not up for discussion, questionable or a valid question.  But personal in the way it is your choice. I can’t  choose for you and you can’t choose for me.  God gives everyone the right to choose.  He honors it to the extent that he allows you to even make the wrong choice. It is yours PERSONAL

Mark – In this context we need to acknowledge two kingdoms.. one of light and one of darkness. We are born into the kingdom of darkness (because of the choice made back in the beginning).  We have to choose which kingdom.  By doing nothing we choose, that can’t be our defense… We choose by which Mark we live under.

As I did some study earlier in the day, in preparation for the program I studied some information in regards to what I would consider the Biblical concept of being marked.

Dictionary.com defines Mark or Marked as:

–noun

1.a visible impression or trace on something, as a line, cut,dent, stain, or bruise: a small mark on his arm.

2.a badge, brand, or other visible sign assumed or imposed: amark of his noble rank.

3.a symbol used in writing or printing: a punctuation mark.

4.a sign, usually an X or cross, made instead of a Signature bysomeone who does not know how or is unable to write his orher own name.

5.an affixed or impressed device, symbol, inscription, etc.,serving to give information, identify, indicate origin orownership, attest to character or comparative merit, orthe like, as a trademark.

6.a sign, token, or indication: to bow as a mark of respect.

7.a symbol used in rating conduct, proficiency, attainment,etc., as of pupils in a school: good marks; bad marks.

8.something serving as an indication of position, as a landmark.

9.a recognized or required standard of quality, accomplishment,etc.; norm: His dissertation was below the mark.

10.distinction or importance; repute; note: a man of mark.

11.a distinctive trait or characteristic: the usual marks of agentleman.

12.usually initial capital letter U.S. Military . a designation foran item of military equipment in production, used incombination with a numeral to indicate the order of adoption,and often abbreviated: a Mark-4 tank; an M-1 rifle.

13.an object aimed at; targetto aim at the mark.

14.an object or end desired or striven for; goal.

15.Slang .

a.an object of derision, scorn, manipulation, or the like: Hewas an easy mark for criticism.

b.the intended victim of a swindler, hustler, or the like:The cardsharps picked their marks from among thetourists on the cruise ship.

16.Track . the starting line.

–verb (used with object)

23.to be a distinguishing feature of: a day marked by rain.

24.to put a mark or marks on: to mark each box with an X.

25.to give a grade for; put a grade on: to mark the final exams.

26.scent-mark ( def. 2 ) .

27.to furnish with figures, signs, tags, etc., to indicate price,quality, brand name, or the like: We marked all the bookswith prices.

28.to trace or form by or as if by marks (often followed by out ):to mark out a plan of attack.

29.to indicate or designate by or as if by marks: to markpassages to be memorized.

30.to single out; destine (often followed by out ): to be markedout for promotion.

31.to record, as a score.

32.to make manifest: to mark approval with a nod.

33.to give heed or attention to: Mark my words!

34.to notice or observe: to mark a change in the weather.

Not trying to go over board by defining the word, however understanding the word helps us to apply those concepts to our own life.

Biblically I think we can say that the word we render as marked was used in many ways below are a few:

Boundaries are marked  -Joshua 18:20

People/animals/ things – can be marked for the sword –Job 15:22

God marked dimensions – Job 38:5

marked out the horizon – Proverbs 8:27

marked out the foundations of the earth – Proverbs 8:29

marked off the heavens  -Isaiah 40:12

flocked marked for slaughter -Zechariah 11:4,7

Scripture also tells us that the LORD has marked out a path for us as well -Hebrews 12:1 Race marked.

Contemplating the dictionary definition and some examples from the Bible, what marks you?

When I met Dean he was already ministering on this topic, and I began to contemplate the message that he shared and his title I thought of the scripture Ephesians 1:13

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, NIV

AMP Eph 1:13 In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit.

(from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

13 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free — signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. 14 This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

Obtaining that mark..

One of the negatives from my view in which Dean and I disagree, is that this message scares people. I don’t agree with scare tactics.  (not saying that Dean is employing them), however salvation needs to be more than fire insurance.

What is salvation:

Salvation is simple. We make it difficult when we try to explain it.  God offers us life, freedom and His promises. It is up to us to decide if we want His gift or not.  If you are not sure you are saved or if you know you not saved, Scripture gives us the instruction on what we must do.

ALL have sinned.  We must recognize our need. In Romans 3:23, the Bible tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” All of us are sinners, and we must admit our need for a Savior.

BELIEVE in Jesus. When Jesus came to earth it was a miracle.  He gave up His position in heaven to come and pay for our sins.  He gave His life for us.  He was the payment for our sins. In John 3:16, the Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” We must receive His gift to us. Thank Him for loving you and ask Him to live in and through your life. Then we have the promise found in John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God.”

CONFESS your sin and then confess Him as your Lord. Our sins create a wall that separates us from God.  By confessing your sins and turning from them, you will find forgiveness. Romans 10:9 assures us: “If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” And it says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” You have been born again and are now part of God’s family. Tell someone else what Jesus has done in your life! Get yourself connected to a Bible teaching and believing group.

  1. We must believe that He is our Savior and receive Him as such in our life.
  2. We must recognize that we are a sinner and that we need His forgiveness.
  3. We must confess our sin, pray and tell Him you are a sinner and want forgiveness.

Sample Prayer for Salvation:

Dear Jesus,

Thank you that You love me and have died for me. Thank you that You shed Your blood to pay the penalty for my sin. As an act of my will, I turn from my sin and from all my efforts to save myself. I turn to You and receive Your forgiveness. Send Your Spirit to live in me and make me the person You created me to be. By faith I thank you that You have heard my prayer and have saved me. Thank you, Jesus, that You are my Savior and Deliverer!  Amen!

Now if you prayed that prayer I some instructions for you…. You need to tell someone, you need to get yourself connected with people who can help you in your new life…..

First and foremost having a relationship with the Lord Jesus is our first step in being Marked.