Archive for the ‘Average…’ Category

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Have you ever felt like your waiting on something that isn’t going to happen? i’ll bet that most of us have at one time or the other. It’s called expectation. And about now your wondering what exception have to do with average.

imagesHello my name is Dr. ed peterson and i’m the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. My hope today that as you read or listen to this that it would meet your expectations. This series about being “Average” or not, is completely about relationships. The first thing i must understand is that relationships come with degrees of expectations those i put on myself and ones i put on others. Even my relationship with God has expectations.

The whole relationship thing for me has always been difficult because of my expectations. Expectations are, the act or state of looking forward or anticipating, the degree of probability that something will occur.  A belief that someone will or should achieve something.

i think i found an example to summarize my whole take on expectations… and relationships.images-2

This is found in Matthew 26 starting with verse 36. “Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, “This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me.” EXPECTATION – “Stay here and keep vigil…” RELATIONSHIP… “with me.” Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?” In this relationship Jesus is surrendering His will for that of His Fathers.

When he came back to his disciples, he found them sound asleep. He said to Peter, “Can’t you stick it out with me a single hour? Is it at all possible that there’s a slight touch of frustration or disappointment in the relationship?

EXPECTATION… Stay alert; And this time Jesus goes far as to tell them what to do and why He is expecting them to do this. “Be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there’s another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.”

images-4He then left them a second time. Again he prayed, “My Father, if there is no other way than this, drinking this cup to the dregs, I’m ready. Do it your way.”

“When he came back, he again found them sound asleep. They simply couldn’t keep their eyes open. This time he let them sleep on, and went back a third time to pray, going over the same ground one last time. So did Jesus lower His expectations?

“When he came back the next time, he said, “Are you going to sleep on and make a night of it? My time is up, the Son of Man is about to be handed over to the hands of sinners. Get up! Let’s get going! My betrayer is here.” This is no casual statement. There is an urgency for Jesus to fulfill what the Father asked and required of Him, which He was more than willing to do. You might say that God had an expectation of His Son. 

Many have asked me, “If your not average, what are you?” “Are you saying your above average?” “What do you want to be called, if not average?” Here’s the thing about not wanting to be average. i am left with a decision of what do i want to be called. My problem with being called average is that i have an immediate question of… compared to what and who? i initially though i would just call myself different. But then i found the same problem as with average. Different from what and different from who?

In light of this whole series i have found the answer. i simply want to be called a disciple. Jesus says in Matthew 26:33 to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. This is what makes me a disciple, not average, not above average, and not below average. God can use average people but what He desires are disciples.

images-1There’s one last thing i must share about expectations and loving others and not wanting to be called average These are the actions of those who don’t want to be called average. They are the behaviors of disciples.

Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies.

That’s a disciple!

 

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imagesMatthew 5:38-42 Jesus says, “Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere?” It may not get me anywhere but it does feel good sometimes, if only for a moment. 

Hello i’m Dr. ed peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. It’s my intention to wrap up this series regarding my being “Average” or not? i think there have been enough examples of what it looks like to be “Average” and what it takes to not be average. There’s plenty of knowledge. Now is the time for obedience. Daily application of these principles will determine whether i am average or not.

Unknown-1Jesus continues, “Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.” This could easily be misunderstood by thinking that Jesus is telling us to become doormats for everyone. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Doormats feel unworthy and allow people to mistreat them due to a lack of love and respect for themselves. Jesus is saying that our lives should flow out from the love of the Father. That as we understand more of the depth of His love for us we are able to love ourselves and then we have the ability to share that love with others.

Unknown“You’re familiar with the old written law, Love your friend,’and its unwritten companion, Hate your enemy.” i’m getting the feeling that my past is about to show me just how average i am in some areas. Jesus says, “I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst.” 

my only hope for loving an enemy is through a renewed mind in Christ and my only hope of a renewed mind is a hunger and thirst regarding the Fathers love for me which goes back to the death and resurrection. Out of a revelation of the Fathers love for me will come the correct response… in every situation! These verses apply to “momentary” enemies, those that do or say something that we feel is contrary to what is inappropriate at that moment making us to want to hit them with a brick. The best example i can think of with this is a parent with their child or a husband and a wife.

When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

One of the reasons some Christians shy away from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7) is because of conditional statements like this. “IF you love your enemies (the way God loves his enemies), THEN you will be his children.”

This does not mean i can earn my way into God’s family by loving my enemies. Rather it means that when i love my enemies, i prove myself to be in relationship with God.

i’ll close with Jesus words, “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”

Average… Empty Promises!

Posted: November 17, 2014 in Average..., Podcasts

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imagesMatthew 5:33-37 And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.

Hello i’m Dr. ed peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. The verses i just shared are what Jesus said to the crowd of people in the Sermon on the Mount.  These words are the next portion of my look at whether i am average… or not.

In the past few posts i shared about paying attention to the character of a person versus their personality, their ability to speak well or their appearance. Empty Promises is probably not the best title for this portion of the word. “Integrity” may fit better. Integrity is a reputation of trustworthiness that is built up over a period of time and is proven by our behavior, our conduct both in and out of the limelight, both in the public view as well as when no other human is looking. This is exactly the point of what Matthew 5:33-37 is trying to convey through Jesus words.

i heard this story, “My boy,’ said the businessman to his son, “there are two things that are essential if you are to succeed in business.” What are they, Dad?” Asked the boy. “Integrity and sagacity. What is integrity?” “Always, no matter what, always keep your word.” Replied the dad. “And sagacity?” Asked the boy? “Never give your word!” Answered the dad.

That story reflects the epidemic of lies, deceitfulness, and distortion of truth that saturates our world today. It’s hard to know who or what to believe. There is no hope of objective truth – truth which is true for all people everywhere, regardless of age, nationality, ethnicity, gender, education, or income level. What’s true for me may not be true for you. Truth has become subjective.

images-1Some examples… Companies have assured their clients that their private financial or health data is totally safe and secure with them, until a buyer was found willing to offer the right price. Corporations have gone out of business or their executives have been imprisoned because of lies they told their investors. The health of millions has been jeopardized because tobacco companies never told the truth to smokers about the high risks of cancer. Drug companies have withheld serious risk factors of their products until deaths of patients precipitated legal proceedings. Tragically, some Christian organizations have also played fast and loose with the faithful contributions of their sponsors. Sadly, so much of the legal profession today is caught up in trying to find clever, sophisticated ways to bypass, avoid, undermine or conveniently twist the law and the truth to suit their client’s purposes. It would take a highly trained, high paid lawyer to interpret to most of us all the fine print of so many of the deals and transactions we make, that we generally just sign and hope for the best. And how about our wedding vows? I do, i do, i do, i do, i don’t!

To try to get the truth in a court of law, we used to have to raise our right hand and place our other hand on the Bible and “swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God”. But the fear of God, the mention of His name, and the use of the Bible have been banished from our judicial system. However, it is still assumed that when you stand before a judge and make a statement under oath that to knowingly give false testimony, makes you guilty of the crime of perjury.

Jesus says, if you don’t want to be average then “Don’t say anything you don’t mean. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. You become average.

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Thank you for joining me today. i’m Dr. ed peterson and i’m the host of the me and I Am post and podcast.

There is a difference between spending all your time together and being married? Once the knot was tied, the whole dynamics of the relationship changed. i am now bound to her and her to me. i made a commitment, and i can’t just walk out when things don’t go my way and the same is true for her. i’m in this for the long haul, good times and bad times, for better and for worse, in sickness and in health and my level of commitment makes all the difference.

UnknownIn America today the average marriage commitment lasts just eight years. There is a divorce every 36 seconds which translates into 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week, and 876,000 divorces per year. An average degree of love and affection will put us right in the middle of those statistics.

There are moments in marriage when your spouse may disappoint you. When this happens, it’s hard to know how to deal with the disappointment without making things worse.

Disappointment comes in many forms such as minor or major. It could be as simple as forgetting to pick something up at the store or as complicated as an affair. In some of the most difficult situations, the disappointment in your spouse can actually change the way you look at them. Maybe you never thought that he or she could do something that would disappoint you. Your view of your spouse’s character changes.

When your spouse disappoints you, the first thing that you need to do is to examine why you feel disappointed. Were you asking too much of your spouse? Did you have over-inflated expectations? For minor disappointments, it might be best to let it go. If you feel that your disappointment is valid and needs to be addressed, then the next step is to deal with the issue with your spouse.

As spiritual people, we know that we are not perfect. We are merely human and make many mistakes along the way in our lives. Why then, do we assume that our marriages have to or will be perfect?

imagesWhen we’re young and in love we tend to believe that a happy marriage means that we will spend hours staring into each other’s eyes, doing fun things together and always agreeing. This is probably because during dating, a couple tends to spend hours staring into each other’s eyes, doing fun things and always agreeing. We tend to focus on how perfect our love is.

Marriage is really an imperfect union made up of two imperfect people. We each have our own opinions, backgrounds and quirks. No matter how compatible we are for each other, we have to be aware that we have imperfections.

While it is helpful to have the same basic beliefs on the big issues, money, family, etc., spouses will have a tough time in life if their goal is to always be of the same mind in everything. Disagreeing is inevitable, and appreciating the differences is a wonderful way to realize how unique and special we each are.

Trying to have a perfect marriage puts much undue pressure on a couple. We must be able to relax in marriage and focus on working together rather than worrying about everything being perfect. Even telling your spouse that he or she is perfect is a lot for that spouse to live up to. A better approach is to believe that the two are perfect for each other and that no matter what difficulties come, we’ll make the best of our imperfect marriage.

Often times ultimatums come into play. They will be used by someone who may be feeling a bit desperate. If you feel that your needs aren’t being met or if the relationship isn’t going the way that you want it to go, then you might issue an ultimatum. Frustration and lack of communication often breeds ultimatums. It is a way of putting everything on the table or tossing the issue up in the air to see where it lands. Something will happen after an ultimatum, although usually it is something negative.

If you ever need an issue to be forced, then issuing an ultimatum will certainly do that. But, you have to be prepared for the consequences. In marriage, ultimatums should be avoided. In a marriage, ultimatums can be a dangerous thing. Healthy and happy marriages don’t need ultimatums. It is more important to focus on building your lifelong communication with each other. When you have great communication with your spouse, then there is no need for ultimatums.

In closing… There is sometimes much pain in a place where there is also much joy? A loving relationship is the most awesome experience in the world. This is why it also holds the potential for so much sadness. There are so many things that can go wrong. People are complex and love develops in good times and bad times, in sickness and in health, in better times and worse times through a commitment of “Till death due us part.”

 

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The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that 56% of divorce cases involve one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”

imagesAccording to numerous studiesprolonged exposure to pornography leads to:

  • a diminished trust between intimate couples
  • the belief that promiscuity is the natural state
  • cynicism about love or the need for affection between sexual partners
  • the belief that marriage is sexually confining
  • a lack of attraction to family and child-raising

Thank you for joining me today. i’m Dr. ed peterson and i’m the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. We’re looking at Matthew chapters 5 , 6 and 7 and finding out what Jesus says is average and what the alternative is to being average.

Jesus says to His listeners, “You know the next commandment pretty well, too: Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.

Then He drops a bomb shell. He says, “Don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed.” 

“Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.” Once you hear or read these statistics there will be no question about the seriousness of what Jesus said.

This is played out today in part through a multi-billion dollar industry,$20 Billion to be more precise. While that number seems to be going down one must keep in mind that the good news is tempered with the reality of 80 – 90% of all participation in pornography is done where there is no cost.

56% of divorce cases involve one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”. Jesus says, “those leering looks you think nobody notices-they also corrupt.” Nobody i know openly proclaims that they look at pornography. Yet… it has become the norm, something the average person does.

Paul Fishbein, founder of Adult Video News, says, “Porn doesn’t have a demographic—it goes across all demographics.” After an analysis of 400 million web searches, researchers concluded that 1 in 8 of all searches online are for erotic content.

So who are the victims most likely to be? According to data taken from Internet users who took part in the General Social Survey:

  • Men are 543% more likely to look at porn than females.
  • Those who are politically more liberal are 19% more likely to look at porn.
  • Those who have ever committed adultery are 218% more likely to look at porn.
  • Those who have ever engaged in paid sex are 270% more likely to look at porn.
  • Those who are happily married are 39% likely to look at porn.
  • Those with teen children at home are 55% likely to look at porn.
  • Regular church attenders are 74% more likely to look at porn than non-attenders,
  • Those self-identified as “fundamentalists” are 91% more likely to look at porn.

After an analysis of more than one million hits to Google’s mobile search sites, more than 1 in 5 searches are for pornography on mobile devices.

By 2015, mobile adult content and services will reach $2.8 billion, mobile adult subscriptions will reach nearly $1 billion, and mobile adult video on tablets will triple worldwide.

35% of boys say they have viewed pornographic videos “too many times to count.”

More than half of boys and nearly a third of girls see their first pornographic images before they turn 13. In a survey of hundreds of college students, 93% of boys and 62% of girls said they were exposed to pornography before they turned 18. In the same survey, 83% of boys and 57% of girls said they had seen images of group sex online.

About 64-68% of young adult men and about 18% of women use porn at least once every week. Another 17% of men and another 30% of women use porn 1-2 times per month.

With two-thirds of college-age men and half of college-age women saying viewing porn is an acceptable way to express one’s sexuality it is now the norm and not the exception, all the while being hidden.

Screen-shot-2013-02-25-at-11.26.39-AMLet me repeat what Jesus said, “Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they also corrupt.”

Now listen closely, we live in the age of grace. If you’re a Christian i want to tell you some good news, everything you’ve ever done in the past is forgiven. Everything. You may have blown a marriage; you may have blown three marriages. i don’t know how to unscramble the eggs. i don’t know how to put it all together. But i can tell you one thing i do know and that is that whatever i’ve done, whatever you’ve done in the past is under the blood of Jesus Christ. We start from here. “And if any man be in Christ he is”, what? “A new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new.!’ Forget the past! Take hold of the moment and become intentional about living it according to Gods ideal? Get out of the average statistics!

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Welcome to me and I Am. i’m your host Dr. ed peterson.

Every generation has its life-defining moments. If you want to find out what it was for a member of the so called Greatest Generation, you ask: “Where were you on D-Day?” For baby boomers, the questions are: “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” or “What were you doing when Nixon resigned?” For Generation X, those born between 1965 and 1980—there is only one question: “When did your parents get divorced?” Life has been forever changed by the answer to that question.

i don’t believe that anyone ever gets married planning for divorce. In fact just the opposite, everyone says things like, “Whatever happens, we’re never going to get divorced.” But, while we don’t plan for divorce, we also don’t plan for success. We just sorta take it as comes and when push comes to shove… divorce becomes an option.

UnknownThe topic of divorce is sensitive and would appear to be somewhat difficult to nail down and to complex to understand. That’s not due to the fact that God isn’t clear. It’s due to the fact that sin has muddled up the world so badly that we tend to be unable to think in terms of the clarity and the simplicity of the mind of God.

God’s Design For Marriages…

One day in Matthew 19 the Pharisees were badgering Jesus: “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?” He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”

They shot back in rebuttal, “If that’s so, why did Moses give instructions for divorce papers and divorce procedures?”

Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hard heartedness, but it is not part of God’s original plan. I’m holding you to the original plan, (I’m holding you to be more than average.) and holding you liable for adultery if you divorce your faithful wife and then marry someone else. I make an exception in cases where the spouse has committed adultery.”

Jesus’ disciples objected, “If those are the terms of marriage, we’re stuck. Why get married?”

i love how Jesus responded. “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone. Some, from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought. Others never get asked—or accepted. And some decide not to get married for kingdom reasons. But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”

What’s that look like?  Life-long Commitment  –  Faithfulness  –  Work out Your Difficulties

When It Seems Like Things Won’t Work…

Verse 7 continues, “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”  Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.” 

Then here’s what 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 “A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. …

If there is no sexual sin, but you just can’t stand to be married anyway, the Bible does permit you to divorce, despite the fact that Jesus did not support that idea. But in the event, that divorce is chosen, you should remain unmarried. For the first time it dawns on me why? Because God is able to put any marriage back together again. To remarry is to close the door on reconciliation and in God’s eyes is adultery—unfaithfulness to the covenant you have made.

Mark 10:12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

1 Corinthians 7:12-15 If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 

[13] And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 

[15] But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances.

identity

 

 

In closing… Average people lose their identity to their circumstances. i believe that’s what Jesus was saying, Average people lose their identity to their circumstances. Times when i make average decisions it’s because my circumstances are driving me away from the word of God. When i shared recently in a post titled “Average… Called Out” that was the case. i became who my circumstances directed me to be versus what God intended for me to be.

 

 

 

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Hello I’m Dr. ed Peterson the host for the me and I Am post and podcast and i’m glad you’ve joined me today. i’m sharing about not wanting to be called average and how that translates into everyday living according to Jesus words from Matthew 5, 6 and 7.

In Matthew 5:19,20 Jesus is saying, “Trivialize even the smallest item in God’s Law and you will only have trivialized yourself. But take it seriously, show the way for others, and you will find honor in the kingdom. Unless you do far better than the Pharisees in the matters of right living, you won’t know the first thing about entering the kingdom.”

my interpretation of these words is that unless i do far better than the average in these matters of right living, i won’t know the first thing about entering the Kingdom. In other wards, the average person has far more knowledge than obedience.

Then while still trying to absorb those words Jesus fires another round , getting more direct, more personal and far more detail specific. Oh please say it isn’t so… it’s hard for me to imagine Pooh angry?

Pooh“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, “Do not murder.” I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother “Idiot” and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell “Stupid” at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.”

Surely the interpreters who wrote the Message Bible must have got this wrong? Seriously, so much as angry? Calling someone Idiot or Stupid? Just to be sure I’m going to fall back on my favorite translation to see. This is how the Amplified Bible says it. “But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire.”

So here’s my take. i am not allowed to say anything about myself or anyone else that God himself would not say. God would not and does not call me an idiot regardless of whether i act like one or not. Jesus is saying that my words matter, that they make a difference in my life and in the lives of people who hear them and actually even when they don’t. No more calling drivers idiots or stupid when they drive like what i think stupid or idiot is. But Jesus doesn’t leave me there, He continues on and tells me what i can and should do.

PeaceThis is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

Or say you’re out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you’re likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won’t get out without a stiff fine.

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Hello I’m Dr. ed Peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. i’ve been sharing about not wanting to be called “Average” and thus have been looking into Jesus words in Matthew 5,6 and 7, commonly called the Sermon On The Mount.

What does not being called average look like? Literally… how does that play out in my every day life? What am i to say? How am i to act and react? What does Jesus say as to how others should see my life as i respond to… life? Last post i shared about being average or blessed. Today i’m picking up at chapter 5 verse 13 which is subtitled Salt and Light.

SaltEveryone knows what salt taste like and everyone except for the blind know what light looks like. There are those that dislike the taste or the use of salt and just as well there are actually those that prefer the dark to light. But for our purpose here today well leave personal preferences and physical challenges aside and speak as Jesus was in generalities, regarding spiritual matters.

He begins by saying, “Let Me tell you why you are here.” How long have people been asking, “Why am i here?” Here’s the answer.

Jesus says, “You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God flavors of this earth.” Being salt and light is not optional. Jesus didn’t say, “ed, you can be…or ed, you have the potential to be…” He said, “ed, you are.” Everyone who is born again is the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

The value of salt, the old testament world can not be under estimated. Roman soldiers received their wages in salt. The Greeks considered salt to be divine. The Mosaic Law required that all offerings presented by the Israelites contain salt. (Lev. 2:13) When Jesus told his disciples that they were “the salt of the earth”, they understood the comparison.

It’s not often that i go into deep spiritual background on topics, because there are so many different opinions and such is the case with salt. Some think that its whiteness represents the purity of the justified believer. Others say that salt’s flavoring properties imply that Christians are to add divine flavor to the world. Still others believe that Christians are to sting the world with rebuke and judgment the way salt stings an open wound. Another group asserts that, as salt, Christians are to create a thirst for Christ. Salt, however, has another vital purpose which is probably what Jesus had in mind… it stops decay. When Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth”, i believe that He meant all of His disciples from then until now are to serve as preservatives, stopping the moral decay in our sin infected world. As for all the other thoughts about salt… each has its own value, so my answer is all the above.

Jesus continues saying, “If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste Godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.” This isn’t hard to understand. It’s what I call the flip side. So let me take the paragraph above and make it the flip side and personal. ed if you lose your saltiness you will not represent the purity of a believer. ed, if you lose your saltiness you will not add divine flavor to the world. ed, if you lose your saltiness you are not going to sting the world with rebuke and judgment the way salt stings an open wound. ed, if you lose your saltiness you will not create a thirst for Christ. Lastly, ed, if you lose your saltiness you will not serve as a preservative, stopping the moral decay in your sin infected world.

LightThen as only Jesus does so well, He comes back and says I can see some of you are not getting this so… Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand.”

In closing here’s the practical application for not being average. “Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—SHINE! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

Average… Called Out!

Posted: November 1, 2014 in Average..., Podcasts

Please click the link below to listen.

This is an unplanned post and podcast. It is one i would choose to not post, much in the same way i choose to not be called average. But then my plans are not His plans, as it’s always been intended to be.

SorryYesterday while driving, i was finishing the final chapters of an incredible audio book i’ve been listening to for a couple of weeks. If anyone has ever watched NCIS on television you know about the Gibbs thing. It’s where when he walks up behind someone who is saying or doing something and he kinda slaps them behind the head so as to say “stop you’re messing up.” As i drove to work yesterday the audio book came up behind me, and slapped me behind the head.

i heard or understood in some sort of unexplainable way a very clear question. “ed, if you don’t want to be called average, why did you do such an average thing?” i didn’t have to stop and think as to what that meant. i knew exactly what was being called into light. i knew what was being exposed with-out a doubt. i had made a very average decision and executed it in a typically average way and now God wanted to know why.

i’ve shared in recent posts about my new job which i started about six weeks ago. i’m trying to keep this short and sweet so i’m just sharing necessities. For months we have had Obama care I health insurance and, we get a good-sized subsidy due to the reduced income we have made while serving in ministry. With my new job comes new insurance but it wasn’t to start until November 1st which was fine as we were still covered under our current plan. Then came a twist. A week ago i interviewed for a position that paid around $8,000.00 dollars more in salary and benefits and was far less stressful than my current position. On Wednesday this week i got the call that i was hired. Great! At this point i’m completely willing to continue to let God’s plan be the one and only plan. But… then my mind started to consider the details of our insurance coverage. Our Obama care ends October 31 st and our new insurance is supposed to start November 1st. Now my new, job coverage may not start until January 1st. That’s a problem. Once i give notice to my current job the coverage there will end immediately and we will be left uncovered. Yes there is Cobra but out of reach for us financially. Not even considering that God’s plan would include an answer to this dilemma i figured out that if i could start this new job immediately, i could get coverage on December 1st and all would be well. So i gave my notice on Wednesday that Friday would be my last day. While feeling uncomfortable giving such short notice i had reasoned it out at many different levels and any average person would have felt justified with the decision. But then I’m not average? my audio book would not let me get away with this stunt and it confronted my double mindedness. i don’t want to be called average… yet when push came to shove I did an average thing. i clearly heard, “why did you trust me with the whole job thing and not consider that I would take care of you from the beginning to end, but instead became average for your own self gain.” i couldn’t hold back the tears of frustration… with myself … they overwhelmed me. i thought for a few moments and realized i couldn’t fix this. i had already my plan for me to start on Monday. There was no going back and now… i was faced with how to move forward. First ask for forgiveness from my gracious Father. Second and the more difficult, forgive myself. Thirdly do what was now required of me to not be average.

ApologySo beyond the first two steps i knew i had to confess my error and ask forgiveness of each of my current bosses and some of the team members who knew what was going on. DREAD!!! GOD… PLEASE… isn’t there another way? Nothing but silence. So i began with the few members of the team thinking they would be easier and more understanding, which they were. Then i began one by one with the bosses. i confessed my error and asked them to forgive me as i had done an average thing. i explained that more was required of me so thus i am now apologizing for my decision to not give sufficient notice. i struggled to hold back the tears as i went through the same process for all three. The last one asked if they could hug me, and then told me that if i ever wanted to come back to call them personally and they would work their magic. With that i knew why i had to go through this, versus just moving on. No bridge was burned. Many wished me well as i left, some calling me pastor, some referring to me as the man of character within the team, some just hugging me and saying good-by. Did you get that… hugging me? i left knowing that God had this plan to make this all work out for His glory, and for my good. His love was reassured and once again grace was given.

To my readers and listeners i ask for forgiveness for not being who i portray myself to be in these posts and podcasts. It’s a good reminder for me to remember humility while wanting to not be identified as average.

PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN.

Hello, i’m Dr. ed peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. Today i’m going back to where this series of “Average” all begins, to the day where “when Jesus saw His ministry drawing huge crowds, He climbed a hillside. And those that were apprenticed to Him, the committed, (the not so average), climbed with Him. As they arrived at a (Purposed, Private) quiet place, He sat down and taught His climbing (not so average) companions. This is what He said:

minds“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

And there it is… Jesus says to His not “so average group,” You’re blessed when this is the way you live, when this is the way you think, when this is the way you talk and when this is the way you act and react with your lives. First He shares the when. “i’m blessed when i’m at the end of my rope.” Then the why. “With less of me there is more of God and His rule.”

Now the question for me is simply… is this a biography of my life? Do all the “when’s” look like what Jesus shares? my initial response is no… but i’m somewhere between, average, being how the general public deals with these things and blessed, how Jesus lays them out. Each one of those life situations that Jesus says i’m blessed with brings back a memory of how i reacted to that situation… and if my memory serves me right it was sometimes, less than blessed. But that’s okay… so long as i’m growing… INTENTIONALLY moving in the direction of being blessed more often than settling for average. i’m recalling the words of Jesus in the last post, from Matthew  7 somewhere around the 14th verse, The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention. To be vigorous and give total attention is not the average, as i’ve already shared.

fit inI think 2 Peter 1 verses 5 through 8 summarize todays thoughts perfectly for me. “So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.”

Until next time live life Intentionally and “Be” Blessed!