Posts Tagged ‘character’

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https://meandiam.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/revealed-chapter-1.m4aimages

Katie says, “Sometimes it hits me like a brick to the head. my life has been kinda insane.” That’s the way i feel when i come to the end of a year and begin to take one of these inventories of my life. As a kid i lived in 19 different places by the time i was 18. As an adult i’ve had 23 different addresses over 42 years. i’ve started a dozen or so different businesses. i have traveled frequently to beautiful places. i have done most of the things i have dreamed. i have more than the necessities of life. i have been and continue to live a very exciting and blessed life.

Katie goes on, “To me there is nothing spectacular about this everyday craziness, it is just the result of following Jesus into the impossible, doing the little i can and trusting Him to do the rest.” As i look back at all the moves, new businesses, serving in full-time ministry, and all the travel, much of it was following God into the impossible. The rest of the much of it… was due to pursuing position, titles, finances… all the things i felt i missed out on while growing up. All the things that i thought would make me different.

It is only in the past few years that i have realized that i can do nothing incredible, but i can follow God into impossible situations and He can do incredible things through me.

Without giving away to much of the book by sharing all the background for these next words there came a very important realization for me. The book says, “Before long her reluctance turned into anxious enthusiasm and she became excited to be the person who would share this dream with me.” Katie is speaking about her mother agreeing to go with her on her first trip to Uganda.

images-2These words caused me to remember the people, whom became excited to share my dreams with me. Ann Marie my wife, best friend and love has been my rock. She has shared every dream with me, supporting me all along the way. While it would be understandable if she wasn’t always excited about sharing my dreams she has never shown it. If she has ever been reluctant it has been hidden by her encouragement for me to pursue the life i dreamed.

Listening to chapter 1 again assured me that it was God’s plan for me to read this book as Katie shares, “I saw strength and depth of character in people’s eyes.” i immediately recalled my focus prayer for this year, “Lord teach my eyes to hear before they see.” You can learn a lot about a person and their life by looking into their eyes and just listening.

Chapter one is filled with many thoughts but one that stands out for me is where Katie shares about bed time with her children. It would last about an hour as the children would sing with all their hearts, laugh, cry and pray. She describes it as simply being with Jesus and that she could feel the presence of God there more strongly than ever before. This reminded her that she had one purpose in Uganda and in life, and that was to love. Her words reinforce in me the very same thoughts, although i am not in Uganda, but where ever i am, i have one purpose and that is to love. Love God with all my heart, mind soul and strength. To love others as myself and i sense that this is where God is working in me through this book. i feel like Peter when i say, “You know i love you Lord.” And i do in spite of falling short many times. But learning to love to myself so that i can share it with others… well there has been the rub.

Luke 12:48 says “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” i have been given much.

Chapter 1 of this story about “Relentless Love and Redemption leaves me with this.

images-1God is making it clear that this is the place… here in Florida, for an unknown amount of time, is where i am supposed to follow Jesus, obey Him , and make my best effort, with His gracious help, to treat people with dignity and care for them unconditionally.

 

 

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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!

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Hello I’m Dr. ed peterson the host of the me and I Am post and podcast. i’m sharing about my unwillingness to be called average and what the word says about what average looks like.

It’s time to see what Jesus describes as average and the flip side of NOT being average. Jesus is speaking in Matthew 7:13 (MSG). Don’t look for shortcuts to God.” Average people Shortcutlook for shortcuts to God. One example of how this speaks to me is regarding my quiet time, my alone time with God. While i can and do pray through-out the day, as i’m driving, working, shopping etc., i need to have some intentional time. Time where i PURPOSE to listen and pray, in a PRIVATE place free from distractions and while there is no magic amount of time to spend there, Jesus example was of a PROLONGED time. If I’m not going to be average then i’ll need Purposed, Private, Prolonged without any shortcuts time with God.  

Matthew 7:14 (MSG) “The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do.” Even though crowds of people do it. Even though the average person does it. Jesus is saying, life is not practiced in your spare time. Relationships are not practiced in my your time. Your words are not practiced in your spare time. my actions are not to be practiced in my spare time. Love is not practiced in my spare time. Jesus says, The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.” To be vigorous is to be strong, active, robust, energetic, forceful, powerful in action or effect. Jesus says, the way to ME requires total attention. Luke 6:45 (NIV) says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” If i make take some liberty here by sharing what i’m hearing from this verse. A man who is not average brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an average man brings evil out of the evil stored in his heart. For the mouth speaks what both the average man and the not so average man’s heart is full of.

Matthew 7:15-20 “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don’t be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned. Here are some words that pertain to everyone, average or not. Look for character! Who, and i’ll substitute people in place of just preachers are, is the main thing, not what they say! In this day and age it is difficult to find righteous men and women. Why? Because we are a people who settles for less. Out of comfort, complacency, convenience, laziness, and the reasons go on, we have way more knowledge than we do obedience. “When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers (the average teachers)! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.”

In closing Jesus shares why this should matter to me Matthew 7:21-25. ed, “Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands (average) strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here. These words I speak to you ed are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build your life on.”

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strugglingWhen God says “No” it’s most likely going to be a struggle. Romans 5:3-5 (AMP) says, “Moreover [ed be full of joy now!] ed, exult and triumph in your troubles and rejoice in your sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.” And if i’m looking for results verse 5 details them saying, Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames ed, for God’s love has been poured out in ed’s heart through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to ed.”

I feel it’s important to note that in verses 6,7 and 8 there comes a great truth that i need to understand and hold dear to my heart. For me these verses are like a shield of protection. “While ed was yet in weakness [powerless to help himself], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) ed the ungodly. Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die. But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for ed by the fact that while he was still a sinner, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for ed.”

After all these years and looking back on the events i shared in Part 1, i can’t recall ever asking why. What i do remember is that when all was said and done there was a peace in the midst of sadness. i think on these events once in a while, wondering what if? What if the end result was according to my choice? Then i move on, knowing that those loved ones… and i, are right where God decided. While there is a time and a need for grieving, there is a greater need for me to trust and rejoice. That may sound cold and uncaring but i assure it is not. It is me surrendering my will and my understanding, to one who is greater. i cared deeply about these events, these people. That’s exactly why i’m okay with how things turned out… trusting God with knowing what was best.

The essence of trust is not asking why. In each of these situations within a few days, we said our good-byes for the last time. It’s probably the hardest thing i have ever had to do. But my trust in God is not shaken as i found hope in the words from 2 Corinthians 15:54: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

DietingIn this series i focused on death but these thoughts, principles, applications, apply to every situation whether its, fore-closure of a home, declaring bankruptcy, eviction from a home, financial need, a bad marriage, divorce and even dieting. You name it there is Word to cover it. i want to close by going back to Paul’s words as a summary for this series and as i often do make it personal to me.

There was given me a thorn (a circumstance) in my flesh (my mind, will and emotions), a trial, a tribulation, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted, to teach me, to lead me, to guide me, to prepare me. Multiple times i prayed to God about this and begged that it might depart from me; But He (God) said “no” to me. He then said, “My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you ed [sufficient against any danger and enables you ed to bear the trouble manfully]; ed My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. ed, I want you to gladly glory in your weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Me your God may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon you! So for My sake ed, be well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when ed is weak in [human strength], then and only then is he [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).

ed, I gave you a promise in Isaiah 43:2 (AMP) I AM the God of My word. I promise you ed that when you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. ed, when you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.

Thank you so much for joining me. My hope is that by sharing my experiences you will be able to glean something that will stir your heart to intentionally search for more. So until next time “BE BLESSED AND LIVE LIFE INTENTIONALLY.”

“If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.” – Elbert Hubbard

1 Thessalonians 4:4-5 Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.

The ed translation. ed, acquire knowledge of, gain a habit, mannerism, by experience, value,  place a high estimate on.

Dignity: bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect, nobility or elevation of character, worthiness.

According to the definitions i am to bear conduct, elevate my character or worthiness.

Now all together, ed, acquire knowledge of, gain a habit, mannerism, by experience, value, place a high estimate on, yielding somewhat, granting permission, in conduct, and elevate your character, as well as your worthiness.

One line in the definitions of dignity stands out to me. It’s the words indicative of self-respect. In it’s simplest form if i am a person with self-respect i like myself. Self-respect is not contingent on my success because there are always failures to contend with. Neither is it a result of comparing myself with others because there is always someone better. Those are tactics usually employed to increase self-esteem. Self-respect, however, is a given. We simply like ourselves or we don’t. With self-respect, i like myself because of who i am and not because of what i can or cannot do.

But there is another side to self-respect and that is the heart of what Paul is trying to get me to see. If i have self-respect then i will give dignity to my body, i will appreciate my body, i will do things that show the creator of my body my gratefulness for it. i will not intentionally harm my body. This is why Paul says that i am to learn to appreciate. It is like everything else when it comes to the Word. Romans 12:2 says, ed, don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Transformation!

With self respect comes certain behaviors which Paul says are “not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.” The way i hear this is, that if i am not giving dignity to my body then i am abusing it which puts me in association with those who… know nothing of God. It is never my desire to intentionally be categorized as one who knows nothing of God. These words are disturbing. At this exact moment it’s all a little overwhelming. It seems like every part of me needs something, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically.

i noticed that Paul does not give a list of things. If Paul isn’t going to list things then i am not inclined to share my list. BUT… i am aware of the things he is speaking to me personally. Some small and some larger things. My teeth were one such item.

“If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?” unknown

i can bend it and twist it.. i can misuse and abuse it.. But even God cannot change the Truth.

Verse 2 – And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

The higher things…  rich, eternal treasures.”  i assure you that walking around setting my mind on the words “rich, eternal treasures,” will not get what i think the author intended for me.

Philippians 4:8 lays out what the higher things, the rich, eternal treasurs look like. “Finally, ed, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, (here’s that word “If again”) if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate (set your mind and keep it set.) on these things.”

Not these posts but my application of the information within these posts lines up with Matthew 6: 20 “ed lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.”

The first rich, eternal treasure, the higher things is…

Whatsoever things are true – I like Paul believed there were certain things that were true, and pure, and good, in the world, which were commonly regarded as such by the people of the world, and his purpose was to show that such things are to be exhibited in my words and actions. Everything that is honest and just toward God and toward people is to be practiced by me, i am in all things to be an example of the highest kind of morality. It is not acceptable for me to exhibit partial virtues: not to perform one set of duties to the neglect others; not to be faithful in my duties to God, and to neglect my duties to people, not to be punctual in my spiritual practices, and neglectful of the laws of morality; but i am to do everything that can be seen as the highest of moral character.

John 14:16 says that my Father “gave me a Counselor to be with me forever – the Spirit of truth… [He] will teach me all things.” – Jesus Christ.

The consequence of this now, not by way of merit, but by way of grace, is the enjoyment of the rich treasures of eternal glory:

True: not false, real, genuine; authentic, sincere; not deceitful, firm in allegiance, faithful, steadfast, being or reflecting the essential or genuine character of something.

i am to be true, genuine to my promises; true. sincere in my statements; and true, faithful in my friendships. i am to maintain, be steadfast to the truth about God; about eternity; about the judgment; and about every man’s character. If i am a man who is false to my statements and promises, i will always disgrace God.

“ed, set your mind and keep it set on, whatsoever things are true.”

In the absense of truth, power is the only game in town.

i posted about the seven deadly sins according to Mahatma Gandhi and now i ’m posting the seven Knightly Virtues. i know it’s a little dated as we don’t have knights today, but… but i think that inside every man is a desire to be a knight in shining armour and inside every woman is the desire to be rescued by a knight in shining armour, that is if she hasn’t been already.

Number 6 is Nobility. This word is sometimes confused with “entitlement” or “snobbishness,” but in the code of chivalry it conveys the importance of upholding my convictions at all times, especially when no one else is watching.

Nobility according to the dictionary is, nobleness of mind, character, or spirit; exalted moral excellence. The body of persons forming the noble class in a country or state .

Unlike yesterday’s word which ranked very high in the Webster’s Dictionary of searches, this word ranks near the bottom.

“Whatever career you may choose for yourself – doctor, lawyer, teacher – let me propose an avocation to be pursued along with it. Become a dedicated fighter for civil rights. Make it a central part of your life. It will make you a better doctor, a better lawyer, a better teacher. It will enrich your spirit as nothing else possibly can. It will give you that rare sense of nobility that can only spring from love and selflessly helping your fellow-man. Make a career of humanity.Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights.You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in.”   – Martin Luther King, Jr.

In Philippians 4:8 Paul tells us, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is excellent, whatever is praiseworthy: think about such things” He goes on to say that when i “think on these things” the “peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”

My mind grasps the concepts of true, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy. The Bible and the world God created provide examples from which to learn true,
lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy, but what about “noble?” If the Bible provides examples and instruction on “true, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy,” then certainly there are models for “noble” and nobility.

What does “noble” mean in today’s society? For me, noble had always been some notion in the back of my mind born out of my high school history class or classic literature. How could i—an average “nobody”—sincerely follow Paul’s admonition to “think about such things” as nobility without a biblical understanding of what it means to be noble?

Romans 5:17 “Because we belong to the family of the King, we can ‘reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” In other words, if
i am of the household of faith, then i am of noble re-birth, and that is heritage worth celebrating!

There is an overlooked passage in Isaiah: “The noble man devises noble plans; and by noble plans he stands” (Isaiah 32:8). When i first read this verse, i was fascinated with its implications. Paul’s admonition in Philippians—to think on noble things—was made clear in a new way as i thought on Isaiah’s words. There are many more references to “noble” in the Bible that may be woven into a majestic tapestry.

It is my hope today that God will plant in me noble plans and that these plans will see me through all my days.