I surprised the youth one evening as I was speaking to them. We were taking time and sharing about favorite movies, actors, music, etc. The topic turned to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I shared that I enjoyed the movie until the end when the director and/or writer of the movie changed the ending and I was trying to find out what social point they were trying to make through the movie to the viewing audience. I said that I cannot go and enjoy a movie, I analyze it to see what agenda they are trying to “push” on the viewers. What message is the movie sending? They were surprised and you may be too at the statement. After all, can’t a movie, a book, a play, just be entertainment and carry no hidden agenda? My answer is no. Continue reading
I’ve seen various capital stewardship programs in churches as they seek to raise funds for a building project, pay off debt, etc.I listen to radio stations have share-a-thons as they raise operating capital seeking people to partner with them. Frequently, they try to relate to those they are soliciting funds from based on their financial situation. When they do, they alienate me and I presume many others. Here are some terminology they use and how I disconnect: Continue reading
Today my wife and I celebrate 30 years of marriage. In a day where stats are disheartening for the continuation of marriage, many wonder how we lasted so long. Some ask in jest, some of a more serious nature. I have often thrown out a comment in jest to those questions, but now it is time to give the answer to how we have lasted 30 years.
There have been many difficult times, even today. Many enter marriage thinking things will always be great, with no conflict. That is not the way it is. There was even a time when our marriage almost did not survive.
So what is the secret? It is not a secret, it is just that I think people tend to ignore it. Here it is…. Continue reading
Following Jesus is difficult! Have you ever been mad at someone and just wanted to wallow in the madness? I have. People wronged me and I was furious…. but I couldn’t stay mad…. because of Jesus.
If we truly know and believe what God did for us, then it is impossible, to stay mad at another person. Instead of being mad, we MUST forgive.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV)
God gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for us while we were still sinners. That means BEFORE we asked for forgiveness! If God can forgive us, and we accept that, then we need to forgive others. If we do not, or cannot, forgive others, then the Father will not forgive our sins. That’s a promise that not many people talk about because it is painful. We don’t want to forgive, we want the other person to come crawling back to us in shame admitting they were wrong before we even consider forgiving them. It is a choice we have.
After a meeting, I left knowing that there was either a personal attack against me, or a concerned individual seeking honest answers. I chose the latter. If I would have seen it as a personal attack, whether it was or not, then I would have allowed a seed of discord – of anger – to gain root and grow. I knew that nothing good would come from that. Instead, I chose to see it as a concerned individual, and if it was a personal attack, I knew that God would deal with them and their heart. I in essence opted to forgive a possible offense, giving it to God to handle.
Have people planted a seed of a weed in you? Are you ripping that out before it takes root and grows, or are you watering it and allowing it to grow? When we forgive others, it gives us a freedom, and a peace, that can only come from God.
As you think about these things, take a few moments and watch this video…