Peter . . . said to Jesus, ’But Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ’. . . what is that to you? You follow Me’ --John 21:21-22
One of the hardest lessons to learn comes from our stubborn refusal to refrain from interfering in other people’s lives. It takes a long time to realize the danger of being an amateur providence, that is, interfering with God’s plan for others. You see someone suffering and say, “He will not suffer, and I will make sure that he doesn’t.” You put your hand right in front of God’s permissive will to stop it, and then God says, “What is that to you?” Is there stagnation in your spiritual life? Don’t allow it to continue, but get into God’s presence and find out the reason for it. You will possibly find it is because you have been interfering in the life of another— proposing things you had no right to propose, or advising when you had no right to advise. When you do have to give advice to another person, God will advise through you with the direct understanding of His Spirit. Your part is to maintain the right relationship with God so that His discernment can come through you continually for the purpose of blessing someone else.
Most of us live only within the level of consciousness— consciously serving and consciously devoted to God. This shows immaturity and the fact that we’re not yet living the real Christian life. Maturity is produced in the life of a child of God on the unconscious level, until we become so totally surrendered to God that we are not even aware of being used by Him. When we are consciously aware of being used as broken bread and poured-out wine, we have yet another level to reach— a level where all awareness of ourselves and of what God is doing through us is completely eliminated.
A saint is never consciously a saint— a saint is consciously dependent on God.
This post was cross-posted from utmost.org
I've done a lot of thinking about social media in the past. Is it good, is it bad, is it neutral? Is it something we as christians should pursue? as a church? It certainly has some value, or at least fulfills some felt need, but despite the "good" associated with it, I can never look too far beyond the overall effect it is having on us as individuals and from there, on society. This video sums up a lot of my thoughts in a powerful and cons ice wa
Sleep is a wonderful gift from God. It's even more wonderful when it eludes me. We usually don't even think about it until we lose it or don't get what we feel we need.
Last night I woke up at 2:22 am. Boing! My eyes were tired and I kept them shut, but my body and mind were wide awake! This happens every so often. I'll have a few nights of a good 8 hours, then one of waking up in the middle of the night and lying there for several hours.
Isn't it ironic that when we're kids, it's such a novelty and treat if we get to stay up late for a special occasion. And when we're teens, we make it a habit to stay up as late as we can as often as we can. I remember one time my family and some friends spent a couple of days at Pine Knot, a cabin my grandparents owned in the mountains of western Pa. The cabin had 2 large rooms: 1 was furnished with multiple beds, the other with kitchen and dining furniture. I was an older teen at the time, and my brother and sister, along with other teen friends decided to stay up all night. We played games and chatted at the dining room tables until daylight. Not one wink of sleep all night. This was pretty significant! And I bragged about it to my Grandpa. He told me then that once you lose sleep, you never make it up. Really? I had never thought about that and what kid does?
The college age young person stays up late to study for exams, write papers, or party into the wee hours. Just about the time you get some common sense and decide you feel so much better with a good night's sleep, you get married and start a family. Most babies do not sleep through the night. None of mine did for a very long time.
As the children get older, there are many nights where they do sleep long hours. But there are those nights when they get sick or have nightmares or just can't sleep for whatever reason. One of our daughters (she knows who she is!) used to come into our room in the middle of the night and announce: "Mommy, Daddy, I can't sleep." Thanks for letting us know!
Then the cycle begins again as your own children hit their teen years and think you're so "old" and "out of it" for going to bed soooo early. I remember another daughter insisting to us one time: "Mom, no one - NO ONE - goes to bed as early as you guys." Well, what she didn't realize was that she didn't get up as early as we did. At the time, Andy needed to be at his job by 6:00 am.
So we get the kids all married and out of the house. Life is wonderful. We'll finally get a good night's sleep. Surprise! Now we're in our fifties and I've hit menopause. Aghghghghgh!
So long ago when I was up in the night with a nursing baby, I determined I would use the time constructively instead of complaining and wishing I could be back in my bed. What do I do with those precious night time hours when I happen to be awake:
1. I listen to the quiet and enjoy it. There's nothing as peaceful and restful as a house in the middle of the night.
Here are 2 quotes Pastor Mark uses at times:
The first requirement for a Spirit filled life is 8 hours of sleep.~Lewis Sperry Chafer
Fatigue makes cowards of us all.~Vince Lombardi
I found this quote on the web:
If people were meant to pop out of bed, we'd all sleep in toasters. ~Author unknown, attributed to Jim Davis
One of my favorite children's books ends with a lullaby:
Sleep, sleep, my little fur child,
Out of the windiness, out of the wild,
Sleep, sleep, warm in your fur
All night long,
In your little fur family.
My point is that sleep is a gift, a wonderful gift from God - the Giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). And Psalm 127:2 says:
"In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for He grants sleep to those He loves."
O bed! O bed! delicious bed!
That heaven upon earth to the weary head.
~Thomas Hood, Miss Kilmansegg - Her Dream
written by Phyllis Wallin
It's safe to bet you probably haven't given the sound of coffee too much thought.. This cool little video shows what you're missing. A nice reflection on minutia.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! (Psalm 67:3, 5)
Why does God demand we must praise God?
Just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it: “Isn’t she lovely? Wasn’t it glorious? Don’t you think that magnificent?”
The Psalmists in telling everyone to praise God are doing what all men do when they speak of what they care about. My whole, more general, difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can’t help doing, about everything else we value.
I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.
There is the solution! We praise what we enjoy because the delight is incomplete until it is expressed in praise. If we were not allowed to speak of what we value and celebrate what we love and praise what we admire, our joy could not be full.
So if God loves us enough to make our joy full, he must not only give us himself; he must also win from us the praise of our hearts — not because he needs to shore up some weakness in himself or compensate for some deficiency, but because he loves us and seeks the fullness of our joy that can be found only in knowing and praising him, the most magnificent of all beings.
If he is truly for us, he must be for himself! God is the one Being in all the universe for whom seeking his own praise is the ultimately loving act. For him, self-exaltation is the highest virtue. When he does all things “for the praise of his glory,” he preserves for us and offers to us the only thing in all the world that can satisfy our longings.
God is for us! And the foundation of this love is that God has been, is now, and always will be for himself.
Recently in my community group the issue of fearing God was brought up. Do we really need to fear Him, as in be afraid of Him? Is it really more of respect and awe? A few years ago I watched the Basic Series by Francis Chan, and he starts it off by talking about the Fear of God, and what he really understands the Bible to mean by that, as well as the implications that will have. It's really phenomenal. Below is the audio, but I would highly recommend getting the full video series (7 parts).
Clinical psychologist Dr Ramani Durvasula analysed 1,000 coffee lovers and examined common personality styles and psychological traits, looking specifically at introversion and extroversion, patience, perfectionism, warmth, vigilance, sensitivity and social boldness.
In her results, Dr Durvasula found that those with a penchant for black coffee are typically purist, no-nonsense individuals with a tendency to prefer the simple life, although they could also be abrupt, impatient and even averse to change.
In contrast, latte drinkers tended to be intent on pleasing others, but could also show slightly more neurotic attributes.
'Perfectionist' cappuccino drinkers are perhaps the most high-demand personality, with Dr Durvasula's research finding them to be obsessive and controlling, overly sensitive, and health-conscious.
Instant coffee drinkers seemed to display more laid-back characteristics in the findings of her study however. Personality traits associated with this group included a predisposition to procrastinate and put off things that need doing.
Finally, those who preferred their coffee fix cold and sweet were considered socially bold 'trend-setters' who could be reckless on occasion.
In January it will be 16 years since I started memorizing Scripture in earnest. I had sporadically learned a verse here and there through the years up to that point, but it was always a half hearted effort with many excuses as to why I couldn't memorize.
Bruce & Bev were a couple who lived in our town and attended our church for 14 years before moving to Colorado.They've been gone a while now, but while they were here, Bruce taught our adult Sunday school class at church. He was an excellent teacher and we learned and grew significantly because of his ministry. One of the things I admired about both Bruce and Bev was their dedication to memorizing Scripture. Bruce often challenged the class to memorize certain portions, but I resisted that challenge for a long time. Finally, during one class time, Bruce dared the whole class to memorize Psalm 91 as he taught through the psalm. I decided to take the plunge. That first chapter took a long time, but what a blessing to be immersed in God's precious Word as I ruminated and meditated over the verses in my effort to commit them to memory. After it was memorized, I decided to take on another Psalm. Well, one chapter led to another until here we are today - 16 years later.
There are many benefits to memorizing portions of the Bible.
1. It's good exercise for the brain and helps keep you sharp.
I think the spiritual benefits far outweigh everything else, but the whole person (mental, physical, etc.) reaps great rewards from being constantly in the Word.
You know how some people break out into song when they hear certain phrases. Well, memorizing Scripture does the same thing for you. When you're in certain situations or hear certain words or phrases, it reminds you of a Bible verse or chapter. I read The Hidden Smile of God by John Piper, a biography of 3 men, one of which was John Bunyan. John Piper quotes Charles Spurgeon, who read The Pilgrim's Progress every year, as saying of John Bunyan:
"He had studied our Authorized Version... till his whole being was saturated with Scripture; and though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim's Progress - that sweetest of all prose poems - without continually making us feel and say, "Why, this man is a living Bible!" Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God."
I was so impressed by the example of John Bunyan. Wouldn't it be great...instead of feeling overwhelmed at trials and hard times, I would be able to "bleed Bibline" and be comforted and encouraged in my faith and walk with the Lord.
I still wouldn't say I'm a great memorizer, but in 16 years, I've developed my method.
1. I type out the passage I want to commit to memory.
2. I put that section of verses into a notebook I keep at the treadmill.
3. When I do my exercising, I repeat the verse until I know it and can go on to the next one.
4. It works!
So now, I'm wondering, what should I memorize next? I've been thinking about Psalm 119, because each verse in all 176 verses mentions God's Word. But yikes! 176 verses! It will probably take another 16 years to memorize just that one chapter.
written by Phyllis Wallin