Archive for February, 2012

General Eisenhower would demonstrate the art of leadership with a piece of string. He’d put it on a table and say: “PULL it and it will follow wherever you wish. PUSH it and it will go nowhere at all. It’s just that way when it comes to leading people. They need to follow a person who is leading by example.”

1 Corinthians 13 – would be leading by example, not when push comes to shove. This is a continuation from yesterday.

ed if you speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, (which i try to do) and ed if you have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, ( there have been an attempt or two) but you don’t love, you’re nothing. ed if you give everything you own (i give a lot) to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr( not burned at stake), but you don’t love, you’ve gotten nowhere. So, in conclusion no matter what i say, what i believe, and what i do, i am bankrupt (at the end of my resources; lacking) without love.

ed, love never gives up. Never gives up on what? That i can change someone’s mind or direction? Or, on God working all things together for my good?

ed, love cares more for others than for self. But what if i am taken advantage of, what if i am hurt? Excuse!

ed, love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. But what about hoping and desiring more? Is that taboo? Excuse!

ed, love doesn’t strut, love doesn’t have a swelled head, What about being confident? Excuse!

ed, love doesn’t force itself on others, What about leading and being a good negotiator? Excuse!

ed, love isn’t always “me first,” Somebody has to be so why not me? Excuse!

ed, love doesn’t fly off the handle, Just a moment not how i usually am? The word says to not let the sun go down on my anger, so i’ve got time. Excuse!

ed, love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, No but i can learn from their past, right? Excuse!

ed, love doesn’t revel when others grovel, It’s not reveling if i’m just celebrating my victory? Excuse!

ed, love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Well truth is in the mind of the beholder, right? Excuse!

ed, love puts up with anything, Really… but when is enough, enough? Excuse!

love trusts God always, love always looks for the best, love never looks back, and ed, love keeps going to the end. i know, i know, i know, but?

Love never dies. That means that love is always the right way to deal with life and the people in it. Excuse… No Truth!

Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit.

ed you know only a portion of the truth, and what you say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, your incompletes will be canceled. ed, when you were an infant at your mother’s breast, you gurgled and cooed like any infant. When you grew up, you were to leave those infant ways for good.

ed, you don’t yet see things clearly. you’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! You’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees you, knowing him directly just as he knows you! But for right now, until that completeness, ed, you have three things to do to lead you toward that consummation: ed, trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.

A closing story of When Push Comes To Shove.

The only opening manager of a large department store, was in a rush when they had two no shows and one late arrival. While in the office trying to call some workers in, they notice a customer waiting in line at the returns counter. They hang up the phone and run over to where she’s standing.

Manager: “Sorry, ma’am, it’s been a hectic morning.”

Customer: “You’d better be. I’ve been waiting here for over half an hour!”

Manager: *puzzled* “I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s possible.”

Customer: “Yes, it is. I’ve been waiting here!”

Manager: “It’s only 8:07 am. We opened at 8:00 am.”

Customer: “Over ten minutes, then!”

When push comes to shove things deep inside me are capable of coming out and surprising me and simply explaining it by saying “that’s not me normally is not sufficient.”

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i know the name Jerry Garcia only because my son gave me two Jerry Garcia ties for Christmas. So needless to say i have never listened to his music, never heard the following song, read or heard it’s words before today. But… it brings another point to ponder regarding “When push comes to shove.”

“When Push Comes to Shove”Words by Robert Hunter; music by Jerry Garcia Copyright Ice Nine Publishing;

Shaking in the desert, wherefore do you cry? Here there may be rattlesnakes to punch you in the eye Shotguns full of silver, bullets made of glass, String barbed wire at your feet and do not let you pass When Push Comes To Shove, you’re afraid of love.

When Push Comes To Shove When Push Comes To Shove You’re afraid of love When Push Comes To Shove

Shaking in the bedroom, covers on your head Cringing like a baby at the hand beneath the bed Phantom in the closet, scratching at the door The latest mystery killer that you saw on channel four When Push Comes To Shove, you’re afraid of love.

Shaking in the garden, the fear within you grows Here there may be roses to punch you in the nose Twist their arms around you, slap you till you cry, Wrap you in their sweet perfume and love you till you die When Push Comes To Shove, you’re afraid of love.

When Push Comes To Shove When Push Comes To Shove You’re afraid of love When Push Comes To Shove.

Could it be that i get to “When push comes to shove” because i’m afraid of love? Am i afraid that God does not love me enough to show up on my behalf so i have to push and then my push turns into shoving? Or… more personally am i afraid to love the one i’m pushing and shoving against?

There is a presumption on my part that the infraction of rules, is on their part. That may or may not be true. The infraction of the rules may actually be on my part and they are pushing back, then i push back, then they shove, then i shove and the game is in on. There is a face off, a pushing against one another until one of us can kick the ball to our teammate and resume the game, and…  by the way, i know… God is on my side!

But back to the idea that i may be afraid of love. The word equips me for all life so i’ll go to the most quoted, the most known, the most often used words to describe love in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 13 – and since i am considering my possible fear of love i’ll personalize the verses.

ed if you speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and ed if you have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but you don’t love, you’re nothing. ed if you give everything you own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but you don’t love, you’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what you say, what you believe, and what you do, ed, you’re bankrupt without love.

ed, love never gives up. ed, love cares more for others than for self. ed, love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. ed, love doesn’t strut, ed, love doesn’t have a swelled head, ed, love doesn’t force itself on others, ed, love isn’t always “me first,” ed, love doesn’t fly off the handle, ed, love doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, ed, love doesn’t revel when others grovel, ed, love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, ed, love puts up with anything, love trusts God always, love always looks for the best, love never looks back, and ed, love keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. ed you know only a portion of the truth, and what you say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, your incompletes will be canceled. ed, when you were an infant at your mother’s breast, you gurgled and cooed like any infant. When you grew up, you were to leave those infant ways for good.

ed, you don’t yet see things clearly. you’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! You’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees you, knowing him directly just as he knows you! But for right now, until that completeness, ed, you have three things to do to lead you toward that consummation: ed, trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

More to come. i don’t want to throw some scripture at this who idea just to see what sticks.

DO AND SAY – Two brothers once lived this way; One was Do, the other was Say. If the streets were dirty, the taxes high, or the schools were crowded, Say would cry, “My what a town!” But his brother Do would get to work and make things new. While Do worked, Say would cry, “He does it wrong. I know that I Could do it right!” So all day people heard the cry of brother Say. But this one fact was never hid; Say always talked; Do always did!

i shared that because i have great concern that i listen to information (God information) all the time and my concern is that i Talk a lot about it but never Do it with the intention of it changing my life.

Ever since last week the statement or more likely this question has filled my mind. “When push comes to shove.” See it sounds at first like a statement but when it keeps repeating itself it becomes a question. i find that interesting as everyone knows i am trying to not ask questions and simply live my way into answers, but this statement is trying to over-ride that. When push comes to shove,” what will i do, or what do i do, what should i do, what have i done in the past and what will i do tomorrow?

What does “When push comes to shove” mean? Here we go! When matters must be confronted, when a crucial point is reached i would be in a push comes to shove situation. my first though goes to “when matters must be confronted.” Are there matters that must be confronted by me? Well… the answer is yes. But… the answer may be no. Don’t i have some matters i must confront as a part of life. Other matters, and i would say probably the more important matters, the answer may be no.

When push comes to shove, is from rugby, where, after an infraction of rules, forwards from each team face off and push against one another until one player can kick the ball to a teammate and resume the game.

By definition and that explanation i can a test that experienced a push comes to shove last week. An infraction of rules occurred and the forward from each team faced off and pushed against each other. The weekend began with me still pushing against the other one, still trying to kick the ball to a teammate where the game could continue… in my “favor.” Gladly i can say it did not consume the week-end and i stopped pushing.

i found myself, asking myself, how did i get to this place of pushing. i got there when it appeared to me that all the easy solutions to a problem had not worked, and so something must be done.
When push comes to shove i also attempt to bring people into agreement with my point of view, get them on my team and… they feel pressured to agree. They then say things like, “when things get a little pressed; when the situation gets more active or intense. When push comes to shove, you know I’ll be on your side.” This may be a true or false statement, depending on whether they have counted the cost of being on my side.
When push comes to shove, what will come out of me, and where will it come from?
This story is from someone who works as a security guard at a major retailer in the mall. One of their duties is to pre-lock the store at the end of the night. They leave the middle door unlocked for customers to exit while locking the side doors. While finishing the lock up, a customer runs up and tries to exit the store.

Customer: “You’re not locking me in here! You’re not even closed yet!”

Me: “Sir, we only pre-lock. If you just—”

Customer: “No, you are a worthless, fake mall cop. Did you even graduate high school? Now, let me out!” *keeps pulling on the door*

Me: “Sir, you just need to—”

Customer: “I said, open the door! I want your manager!”

Me: “No problem, sir.” *calls store manager*

Manager: *comes up on the scene* “What seems to be the issue?”

Customer: “He won’t let me out of the building. I am a paying customer and I demand to be let out.”

Manager: *turns to me* “What is the problem?”

Me: “He was trying to pull open a push door.”

Customer: *pushes open the door* “Oh, I erm, uh…” *leaves sheepishly*

When push comes to shove! “Oh, i erm, uh…” *i leave sheepishly*

i have a different direction for today. Jesus summarized His life in only two verses. Thirty years in just two verses… Luke 2:51-52 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was [habitually] obedient to them; and his mother kept and closely and persistently guarded all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man.

Psalm 5:12 Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround me with your favor as with a shield.

So rather than me posting a few words today, let me ask a question of you as a reader. If you had to summarize your life in fifty words or less, what would be important enough to include?

i will share some thoughts on Jesus summary. Jesus being my example i am concluding rightly or wrongly that “the favor of God” is important and i can’t eliminate the rest of the verse that says, “and man.” Noah found favor and saved himself and his family. Moses found favor and led the Israelites to freedom. Joseph, Ruth, Nehemiah, David all found favor. Webster’s says that favor is the state of being approved or held in regard, excessive kindness or unfair partiality, a gift bestowed as a token of goodwill. So finding favor is or appears to be important.

God wants to bless me, assist me and give me preferential treatment and special advantages in my life. When i am enjoying God’s favor, He also increases my favor with other people. Proverbs 16:7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Favor makes a difference.

So back to the original idea of today’s post. If you had to summarize your life in fifty words or less, what would be important enough to include?

Now i know or so it seems at the moment that this has nothing to do with today’s post, but… i am led to include it, Proverbs 16:1 THE PLANS of the mind and orderly thinking belong to man, but from the Lord comes the [wise] answer of the tongue.

Favor or Taken for Granted?

Posted: February 23, 2012 in Am i There Yet?

There have been times in my life when someone would ask “would you do me a favor” and I would immediately say “Sure!”  Then, I would find out just exactly what that favor entailed, and get frustrated with myself for not saying something like “…depends on what it is.”

I’m sure many have come across this once or twice (or more) in their lives.  There’s always that one person who asks for the almost impossible.  “…Babysit my kids while I do this or that…”  “…Lend me x amount of dollars and I’ll pay you back at such and such a time…”  “…call and wake me up at such and such in the mornings. And, make sure I’m up…”

I think a favor is a favor as long as it remains in the favor category, and doesn’t transition into being totally taken for granted.

You agree to babysit one morning, then next thing you know the kids are being dropped off every morning. You don’t see the parents for hours. Your morning, and maybe even your afternoon, is now filled with wondering when the parents are coming for their kids.  When they do finally arrive, they flood you with “Thanks…you’re a life saver. I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t been for you.” Now, i’m a ‘hero’ in their lives, and i’m stuck.

This happened to me many times, not with kids and baby sitting but other situations. i only choose babysitting because it doesn’t apply to me and i didn’t want to use something more identifiable. I do a favor one time, and suddenly find myself doing it over and over.  That’s being taken for granted.  When I finally get fed up, I have to deal with each culprit, and tell them how I feel, firmly but nicely.  There may be an absence of communication for a while, but they will get over it.

When it comes to money i have a policy that i do not lend money. If i can’t give it then the answer is no.

Here’s a great story to illustrate my point. I’m going to use fictitious names to make it easier to understand. We’ll use Jane and Sally. There was the time that a friend (Sally) asked another friend (Jane) to call her one morning in case Sally didn’t hear her alarm.  Sally was going to a party,  was going to be out late,  and wanted to make sure she got to work on time.  Jane didn’t mind. Jane called Sally, and Sally answered, and then said ” Call me again in 10 minutes and make sure I’m up.” Jane didn’t mind and called her. Sally responded “Give me another 15.” and again Jane complied. When the Jane called again, the Sally made the announcement she wasn’t going into work that day, but would appreciate a call at such and such a time so she could call in. By this time Jane was a little miffed that she was having to watch the clock for someone else, while she was trying to get ready.  But, Jane called her anyway.

The next morning, Jane get a very angry phone call at work. “WHY DIDN’T YOU CALL ME AND WAKE ME UP?  NOW I’M LATE FOR WORK AND IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!”  Then, Sally slammed the phone down in her ear.  Jane was shocked to say the least, and a bit angry, but decided to let it go.  That night Sally called Jane, told me about her day, and how she got in trouble for being late again.  Sally then proceeded to tell Jane what time she needed to start calling her every morning, and the time frame in between calls.

Jane listened as patiently as she could then asked Sally what she did to wake up before she asked her to wake her up the first time. Sally said she used an alarm clock. Jane asked Sally if it was broken. Sally said no, but she didn’t need it now that Jane her friend would be calling her.  Jane simply told her to start using her alarm clock.  She didn’t mind the occasional call, but she wasn’t going to spend her mornings while she was trying to get ready for work being someone elses snooze alarm.

i have had things just like that, just as ridiculous. I’ll do anything in the world for a friend until i start feeling I’m being taken gross advantage of.  i’ll also do anything in the world for someone unless what they are asking me to do goes against my moral or social values.

When asked to do a favor i need to start out my query with ‘….if it’s possible, would you please…’ and end the query with ‘…if you can’t, i totally understand.’ And, when someone asks me for a favor i now am committed to state at the beginning ‘…tell me what it is, and i’ll let you know if i can or can’t.’

After all, I would rather cheerfully do someone a favor, than resent every moment I’m trying to do it. Guardrails! There is another side to favor and so tomorrow i’m at this moment planning on sharing about it. We’ll see what God has in mind when the time comes.

Favor or Trade Off?

Posted: February 22, 2012 in Am i There Yet?

So what happens when everyone  assumes that i will always make it happen to their benefit and don’t even seem to notice that I am doing  them favors. And now i am in a place where i need something and i can’t get the group to give it.  What do i do?

i think i have two separate issues here. There’s the issue that i feel that i’m being taken advantage of by those who are constantly expecting me to act on their behalf and for their benefit. And  then there’s the issue of what i’m expecting other people to do for me in return.

It may be that what’s happening with me is that when someone asks me to do them a favor, i perceive the request not so much as a question, but  more like a demand with a question mark at the end. Meaning, i don’t feel that  i’m being asked to do the favor, but rather i’m being told to do it because it is what they need.  i then agree, somewhat and sometimes reluctantly, because i don’t feel i have the option to say no.

But a favor is only a favor when it is something nice that i am doing to help out someone else. If doing it makes me resentful, hurt, bitter or feel  used, then i am not doing the other person a “favor” and i am certainly not doing any favor to myself. i found the following while resarching my thoughts and found it interesting. i’m not saying i fully embrace it, it’s just an interesting concept.

In Jewish law, there is model for this concept. They have the mitzvah of tzedakah, of giving charity. The word “mitzvah” means both “good deed” and  “commandment” — a mitzvah is a good deed that they are supposed to do. But  Jewish law sets parameters for the mitzvah of charity. They are obligated to give  no less than 10% of our income to charity, but no more than 20%. As for that additional ten percent between 10% and 20%, Torah law states that they should only give it only if it is something that they choose to do and really want to  do. If giving that “extra” charity makes them resent or regret the fact that they have an obligation to give charity, then they are not allowed to do so since it is counterproductive.

In other words, they have three levels of charity. 1) the minimum 10% that they should give, whether they feel like it or not. 2) extra charity, up to 20%, that they should give only if they truly desire to. 3) excessive charity, or more than  20%, which they’re told not to give (except under certain extreme circumstances)

While favors obviously can’t be measured as precisely as dollars in the bank,  there might be a model here that could be applied to that kind of charity as well. There is a certain “minimum” amount of favors that i am to do for others,  similar to the 10% of charity that they are obligated to give. However, to go above and beyond that with my favors is not a positive thing if it leads to a reaction where i want to stop doing favors for people altogether.

Now as i said this is not my conclusion, it is for consideration. i now must go back and compare it to Philippians. Both technically have the word, one Old Testament and one New testament. Mean while how can i tell when to say “no?” As long as i am willing and happy to  help, i can say “yes.” The moment i beginning feeling that “everyone feels i am available” or that “no one recognizes i am doing favors” it is time to say  “no.” It sounds like, i may need to take a little break from doing favors and focus a little more on myself right now, and then slowly begin saying “yes” as i am ready.

As for the other issue i mentioned– that many are not willing to come together to help us all out when  it’s needed– that, too, is a problem. But the problem is not so much that they are not, but that i am expecting it. If i am doing someone a favor so that they will do a favor for me in return, then it’s not a favor. It  is only a favor when i am doing something for the sake of helping out others. As soon as i do something for something in return, it becomes a  trade-off. It’s not a favor when the person owes me something in return.

Ideally when i help people, they should be willing to help me as well when i need their help. But if they don’t, it is their problem and a reflection of them. My problem is only when i expect it.

For now, i must remember that i have the right to say “no” to a question that  is asked. If i can help, and i am not resentful in doing so, then by all  means i’ll say “yes.” But i must bear in mind that when i say “yes” i am owed nothing  in return. i am doing a favor. And doing a good deed is all the reward i should need.

Do Me A Favor…

Posted: February 21, 2012 in Am i There Yet?

Well here we go… again… and again. Most days i forget about the logo and slogan i attached to this blog. Here’s what i said, “RECYCLE! Webster’s Dictionary says this, “to claim for further use” or “to recondition and adapt to a new use or function” or “to pass through a cycle again.” me and I Am is the story of how God (I Am) has claimed me (me) for further use. I Am is reconditioning and adapting me for a new function. Oh… don’t be surprised to see that i pass through a cycle more than once.”

Tell me that words aren’t powerful or that they don’t make a difference. Read what happens to this verse by adding just one word.

Philippians 2:1-11 (ed), if you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Okay but for how many, for how long, really! Is there ever a time when enough is enough? A time when you just walk away, when you pack your bags and call it a day, when it seems like one favor to many is being asked of me? The answer…  On the day that i can say, i’ve gotten nothing at all out of following Christ, on the day when i can say, His love has made no difference in my life, on the day when i say that, being in a community of the Spirit means nothing to me, on the day when i no longer have a heart, and on the day when i no longer care.

GREAT! Then as if there were any doubt as to the answer of my question, the chapter continues on with instruction and example, and again i will add just one word to it. Did i really ask, “when is enough, enough?” i should always read the rest of the story before i open my mouth and insert my foot. Anyway here’s the only way possible for me to do the favor that is being requested.

(ed), think of yourself the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, He set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, He stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, He lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

9-11Because of that obedience, God lifted Him high and honored Him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that He is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.

It’s Obvious!

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Am i There Yet?

i don’t remember all the details regarding a conversation i had with some one this week but the question i was asked was, “ed, do you really believe that God cares about you? Do you really believe that?” Later i was thinking on the question and this verse came to me. i wish i had it in my spirit and could have answered with it instead of a simple “yes, i do.” i felt the inadequacy of my answer, but could not come up with anything to redeem myself at the moment. If i had been that person i would have left saying, “well that’s good for him but not for me.” The real question is “Why.” Why do i believe that?” That’s what they really wanted to know and as i look back what they really needed. The time was rushed and i felt like i had to answer so i took the matter into my own hands and spoke my own words. i see that i didn’t have to do that, as the truth had already been spoken and all i had to do was quote the one who spoke it and it would have been all that was needed.

Hebrews 2:16-18 It’s obvious, of course, that he didn’t go to all this trouble for angels. It was for people like us, children of Abraham. That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.

my answer after the fact, now at this moment… “It’s obvious to me that Jesus didn’t go through all that He did for angles. It was for people like me and like you. Jesus became human and experienced every detail human life and more specifically of my life so and yours so that He could go before God and get rid of my sins our sins. Jesus experienced all the pain that i would suffer, all the testing that i would face and He is able to help me everywhere i need it.”

Well they say that hindsight is beautiful… i think not in this case as i did not buy up an opportunity that God put before me. i’m not taking on guilt or condemnation but i do receive this as a reproof, a correction, a reminder that my vocabulary needs to be full of life, full of the word, full of truth that will set myself and others free. Jesus spoke the word not for angles but for people like me to learn from His sacrifice.

Promise or Threat…

Posted: February 16, 2012 in Wandering Thoughts

A few days a go one who is close to me sent me this passage. i doubt that he would have anticipated how relevant his verse would be just a few days later. i received an email earlier and it brought this verse to mind immediately as i read the words within the email.

All of this came from a discussion about the green pastures we use for our Onething Life gatherings on Fridays. Since we are using a diversified group of pastors, and speakers we were discussing about their motives and so he sent me these verses first and followed up with the one i want to focus on today.

Philippians 1:15-18 NCV – It is true that some preach about Christ because they are jealous and ambitious, but others preach about Christ because they want to help. They preach because they have love, and they know that God gave me the work of defending the Good News. But the others preach about Christ for selfish and wrong reasons, wanting to make trouble for me in prison. But it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that in every way, whether for right or wrong reasons, they are preaching about Christ. So I am happy, and I will continue to be happy.

Now for the focus of my post today.

2 Corinthians 5:9-10 NCV – Our only goal is to please God whether we live here or there, because we must all stand before Christ to be judged. Each of us will receive what we should get—good or bad—for the things we did in the earthly body.

i am sitting here thinking that i am going to disappoint someone in the decisions i will make over the next few days. The words of the verse are applicable to today. my only goal is to please God.(big period) Whether i or Onething lives “here” or “there”, my only goal is to please God. (again big period) The truth is i will stand before God to be judged, not for just these decisions i am about to make but all decisions from the past, present and future.

Each of us will receive what we should get—good or bad—for the things we did in the earthly body. i will receive what i should get—good or bad—for the things i did in the earthly body. That’s a promise, not a threat, and it’s a promise that i welcome.

What’s That Smell?

Posted: February 14, 2012 in Wandering Thoughts

There is a saying that says, “Old fishermen never die; they just smell that way!” The saying reminds me of carnal Christianity that always has the smell of death about it. It stinks. It has a repulsive odor.

However, there is something refreshing when a beautiful young woman comes into a room wearing an elegant fragrant perfume. The aroma does not over power you, but when she leaves the sweet fragrance lingers on for a while. You can smell that fragrance on another woman a few days later and you are suddenly reminded of the beautiful young lady. So it is with genuine Christianity. If it is to be said that i love the Lord Jesus i will emit a lovely aroma.

That distinctive sweet smell is the Spirit of God bearing His fruit in my life. There are Spirit-filled people all around the world that have that distinctive fragrance of the presence of Christ filling them. It is a rich bouquet of the fruit of the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 2:12-14 When I arrived in Troas to proclaim the Message of the Messiah, I found the place wide open: God had opened the door; all I had to do was walk through it. But when I didn’t find Titus waiting for me with news of your condition, I couldn’t relax. Worried about you, I left and came on to Macedonia province looking for Titus and a reassuring word on you. And I got it, thank God!

14-16In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.

16-17This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No— but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say straight from God and say it as honestly as we can.

i stand in Christ’s presence when i speak; God looks me in the face. i get what i say straight from God and say it as honestly as i can.

i just felt like i needed to hear it again! This is an exercise that i need to apply everyday. First i must stand in Christ’s presence, meaning that i have invited Him into my day. Then i can begin to speak things of value. Then God looks me in the face is as though i am looking into a mirror and i am seeing the expression of my face that goes with the words that i am speaking. i don’t think i can even write the words… especially as i look back on what i have said today. i can’t say that i got some of the things i spoke today straight from God. Further more not everything i spoke today was as honest as i can. Somethings were hurt, frustration and emotions which are not truth but well dressed lies. So for me these words are prophetic as to where i want to be. They are my confession of faith that leads me on this journey of maturing in the word and becoming a sweet smelling fragrance which arises from the perpetual victory parade which is the life and times of me.

i stand in Christ’s presence when i speak; God looks me in the face. i get what i say straight from God and say it as honestly as i can.