Today and next week, I’m going to be reposting some blog entries from the past year. Think of this as the reruns or something…or maybe encore presentations! I’m doing this because I haven’t been able to import the entries from the old site, so I thought that I would get some of them to this site by reposting them. Enjoy!
We certainly serve a God of grace and mercy! His grace revealed to us through His Son is something that I have no idea how to comprehend! It is simply amazing! God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, He doesn’t require that we follow a set of do’s and don’ts. In fact, Jesus came to give us freedom from the rules (or law). Jesus came to give us freedom from a religious system. Jesus came so that we would be able to do as we please and still recieve forgiveness. Our relationship with Christ doesn’t put restrictions on us, it sets us free! Christ doesn’t limit our actions, He allows us to live in freedom!
So, what’s the point of good works? Why should we even worry about doing the right thing? The answer is just two words…LOVE and GRATITUDE. That’s the reason we feel the need to live according to the Spirit. Our love and appreciation for Christ motivates us to live in a way that’s pleasing to Him. 1 John 2:3 says that we know we love Christ if we obey His commands. This is said because it is impossible for us to do the right things out of our own power, it has to come from a love and appreciation for the grace of God. Recieving God’s love requires a RESPONSE of our love.
Many times, I find myself trying to obey the rules. I find myself so caught up in the rules that I completely lose sight of my motivation for following the rules. I become like a Pharisee loving the law, rather than the law giver. I can never obey all the rules. Jesus proves during the Sermon on the Mount that it is impossible for man to be perfect (Matthew 5-7). I do, however, have to live out my gratitude and love for Christ. Where does your motivation come from? Where is your focus? God doesn’t want our perfection, He wants our love and appreciation!
It sounds really simple when spoken, but when practiced, it becomes much more difficult. However, this is what the Christian faith is all about. Not that we have to serve God or that we have to be good people, but that we want to in appreciation for what God has done for us.
Since joining the staff of a church a little over a year ago, I have begun to realize the importance of encouragement. As most of you know (if you didn’t you do now), this month is Pastor’s Appreciation Month. This is the month for us to tell our pastors how much we appreciate them and thank them for what they do every day. It’s not easy work! It’s tough and can be very draining! So, give your pastor a gift, write them a note, or give them a restaurant gift certificate, anything to show your appreciation this month. (By the way, if you buy them dinner, you DON’T have to go with them…family time is important)
After yesterday’s post about taking risks, I figured that it would only be appropriate to post today about how to deal with failure…
- Why are you taking the risk? Has God placed a desire in your heart, or is it from selfish desires? If it’s God, it’s worth the risk!
- After failing, don’t try to cover it up. Part of leading is being willing to admit failure. Part of following is forgiving your leader for failing and thanking them for being willing to take the risk.
- If you fail, evaluate why. Did you enter it without fully committing? Did you place all possible resources, energy, and time possible to help it succeed? Did you give adequate time to prayer?
- What’s next? After failing with something, try something else. God’s a God of change and movement, if one idea failed, what was meant to be the next step?
I’ve always been a person willing to take risks. As a matter of fact, sometimes I’ve been known to take stupid risks without thinking them through. However, I like this fact about myself. I firmly believe that as Christians, we are to be risk takers. That’s what Jesus did.
We are people that tend to focus on the past. We look at the past to remember past experiences that went well. We remember the times when “things were easier.” We remember what has been and how good it was. We even remember the wonderful way that things have always been.
With the economy in shambles and the worries over the next presendetial election, it seems as if some Christians are forgetting who has the economy, the White House, and the world in His hands. No matter what happens to the economy or who is elected president, God still runs the country and it’s still in His hands. Here is something that I read the other day that I felt the need to share:
Psalm 46:1-6 (NCV)
God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes, or the mountains fall into the sea, even if the oceans roar and foam, or the mountains shake at the raging sea. There is a river that brings joy to the city of God, the holy place where God Most High live. God is in that city, and so it will not be shaken. God will help her at dawn. Nations tremble and kingdoms shake, God shouts and the earth crumbles.
Yesterday, I wrote some things that most people that are close to me probably don’t know. In case you missed it, here it is. I promised you some more, and I’m a man of my word…
I have an addictive personality. I tend to get on kicks. I see something I like and I do it often. I’m the same way with food. I’ll eat something that I think is really good, and eat it as often as I can for a couple of weeks, then it’s on to something else. For instance, right now I am really liking Arby’s. A while ago it was CiCi’s, but that one really wasn’t good for the diet!
It bugs me when 2 people sit at a 4 person booth at a fast food restaurant. If there are plenty of 4 person booths available, it’s okay, but when the restaurant is busy, it drives me crazy. If you have 4 people, you can’t sit at the smaller booths. I at least think that they should move if they know someone needs it!
I talk to myself a lot. I have always done this. I guess it goes back to when I was little and I had an imaginary friend (his name was P.T.). I always talked to him, and it’s translated into me talking to myself. I sometimes wonder if I even do this when other people are around.
I am a really deep thinker. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true. I think all the time, and not just about stupid stuff. Sometimes I find myself not listening to other people because I’m too busy thinking. I think this is one of the reasons I get tired so easy, my mind’s always running. It’s also one of the reasons I like to blog. It sometimes allows me to put what I’ve been thinking about into words.
I am somewhat of a perfectionist. I critique everything I do. I say that if you aren’t going to do something to the best of your ability, why do it? If something doesn’t look right, why not fix it? If something’s not the best it could be, fix it. Sometimes this one drives Melissa crazy! I think I might try to push my philosophy on her sometimes. I also think that’s why I change the template on this blog so much. I’ll find something that I don’t like about the look of it, and decide I have to fix it.