Spending time in the word of God is essential to knowing him better. You can read a verse today and see one thing, but two years from now, you could read the same verse and see something more — a deeper, maturer understanding of the Holy Spirit’s revelatory power.
Today I’m merely challenging you to S.O.A.P. your anchor scripture again. We did it for the first time on Day 8. My belief is that your experiences in the last 10 or more days, will reveal some growth and possibly the revelation of a new goal. Working to clean ourselves up so that we can better serve our Lord is good practice. We should continuously look to Father for his guidance and include him in every decision, conversation, or presentation that we’re a part of. Ask for clarity — even in the little things.
It is hard to explain really. I don’t think I will ever really be able to articulate how much faith I have acquired ever since I left religion, God, Jesus, and church in general.
Leaving took time. This feeling, this discovery, this realization did not really happen over night. It happened over time.
Growing up in a cult-like environment, I thought I had to fit a certain mold. I had to pray a certain way and singing in church was never an option, it was an obligation. I felt somehow that if I didn’t pray in a particular manner, or say “amen” as much as my adoptive parents did, somehow, I was not filled with the Holy Spirit.
There are scenarios of us at the table praying before we eat a meal and feeling inadequate. Feeling insufficiently prepared to be part of a spiritual world that justified slavery with a…
Many Christian denominations, groups or sects down through the years have distinguished themselves by their peculiar beliefs and emphases. The question is, are these distinctions required of the Christian by our God or are they the legalistic impositions of man on fellow believers?
The Seventh Day Adventists and the Churches of God (Splinters of Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God) place much emphasis on keeping the Sabbath, clean and unclean meats and Bible prophecy. Pentecostals emphasise the need to receive the Holy Spirit and to speak in tongues. Churches that adhere to the principles espoused by the New Apostolic Reformation movement place their emphasis on engaging in ecstatic “worship.” Other groups emphasise baptism in the name of Jesus only, baptism by emersion only, clothing and headwear differences and the list go on. Many of these distinctions are not wrong in themselves. The biggest problem with these distinctions is that…
One of the positive aspects of our society is the fact that we witness acts of kindness being demonstrated daily to others. Persons donate money and material things to help victims of tragedies to get back on their feet. They help elderly persons to cross the road safely. Motorists on the main road will allow the other driver coming from a side road to exit. A few days ago, my wife’s money fell from her purse; a gentleman who was passing alerted her to what was happening. These are all acts of kindness that we are familiar with in our society.
King David in 2Samuel 9:1-12 deliberately sought after a descendant of King Saul for the purpose of showing him the kindness of God. Through his servant Ziba, David found out that Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul was still alive. Saul had made David’s life miserable…
Good Monday morning, friends! With last week firmly behind me (as it should be), I’m ready to greet this week with fresh eyes and a positive attitude. There’s something about the power of a storm to turn things upside down in your life. In my case, it was a Nor’easter that threatened to take down a few of my trees and made good on a promise to knock out my power.
Shrouded in darkness with only the sound of the howling wind in the background, I was able to put a few things in their proper place — at the feet of God. I’ve been praying for major changes in the lives of a few people that I love, and I’ve been petitioning God for years on their behalf. Although I expect him to answer those prayers, and I actually see evidence of his work at times, I know that…
Or at least the mythological version which exists in most religious people’s mind. To think there is some figure with a long beard living in the clouds is ludicrous and is the story given to children. “God” is not that easily explained. He/she/it is not human. I’m not sure what god is, but I’m almost certain it is spirit and not “he”. And I also believe the pronoun used to describe the force is important because using “he” immediately directs most people’s minds directly to the guy in the sky with the beard.
For Jews, Muslims and Christians the image of God was formed during a time in history when people viewed man as superior to woman, therefore men controlled the story. And that story was that man was made in the image of God, more importantly it meant that God looked like a man; a premise I reject.
For most Christians the word “god” immediately has them picturing Jesus as a blue-eyed, brown haired white man walking through meadows; an image created 100% by Europeans for Europeans. Jesus was neither white nor blue-eyed and there were few meadows in 1st century Judea. More than likely he was a shorter man with dark eyes and a dark complexion similar to every other man and woman living in that area in 30 c.e.
So what do I believe?
I believe there is a force or a spirit which exists in our world, but my “god” is not a fairy tale version of a man controlling and manipulating humans like chess pieces. My god allows me to use my actions to directly impact my life. My god allows me to make mistakes. My god does not put qualifiers on love. My god has no face nor gender.
There’s a lot up in the air with my god because I simply don’t know; and I’m more okay with acknowledging I don’t know than pretending like I do.
I read a book many years ago Hymns To An Unknown God by Sam Keen and it changed my perspective on “god” forever and I highly recommend it for anyone. It is not a religious book, but a spiritual journey journal. In that book Keen touches on reforming a new version of what God means in modern society.
Trying to expand my brain in order to better understand deep philosophical matters is not easy, but I will not believe simply because I’ve been told to believe. I must make it make sense for me.
You Can Live as a Cause or You Can Live As An Effect…
Stress is defined as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” The adverse or demanding circumstances do not occur within you, but are a reference to things which happen around you or to you.
I’ve been dealing with a couple stressful situations lately that are impacting me adversely.
Here’s the kicker: all of the internal stuff I’ve allowed is 100% my own doing.
I view stress as an external thing that I allow myself to then internalize. I have the option to control what my mind dwells on and what it does not dwell. Stressful situations happen AROUND you not inside you. What occurs inside you are the thoughts and emotions about the situation.
What has happened to me is I have allowed the situations in the physical world to get inside my body which then manifest themselves as tight shoulders, headaches, anxiety and stress. And it is 100% my own doing.
To combat this I am beginning meditation. I will sit for 15 minutes or so each day in the middle of my day when I begin to feel my mind trying to enter into what I call “The Fear Zone”. I will then sit quietly until my mind quiets and empties. Then I continue with my day.
I think it is important for us all to realize we are in control, not our surroundings. You do not have to live with a mind that controls you. You do not have to live with anxiety. You do not have to accept that “this is just the way I am”.
You have the option to decide to take control. Or you have the option to continue on as you always have feeling helpless and living as an effect instead of a cause.
So often bloggers email me with these grandiose dreams of growing a blog to have millions of followers and hundreds of comments each day. That all changes when we get into the discussion about the volume of work I committed to in the early years. When I explain to them that in the early years of blogging I would read 500 blogs each day (250 in the morning and 250 at night), the reality hits them and quickly their enthusiasm wanes.
Why is it that people are rarely interested in putting in the work? Wanting the end-result is easy. Wanting to be a CEO is easy. Wanting to fly on private planes is easy. Wanting to travel the world is easy. Wanting to retire at 40 is easy. But the hard work and years of dedication required are not easy.
It is also easy to look at the end result and say “Man, is that lady lucky. Must be nice spending all day at the spa and living in that nice house while driving around town in that Ferrari.” What people don’t see are the sacrifices people make in order to get what they want. Mark Cuban lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with 6 other guys for many years eating ketchup and mustard sandwiches; for years mind you.
There are no shortcuts. Life owes you nothing. There are no guarantees that hard work will pay off, but I know what being lazy produces so I’ll take my chances with working hard.