Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Direction I'm Bent...

Sometimes we imagine that when the wind is done blowing we will be free to stand up straight and tall once more.
To show the world the strength of our roots.
The power of trust in God.
The rewards of faith.
However, that may not be God's plan.

His intention may have a lot more to do with the direction in which I am bent once calm is restored.

When troubles come (or go, actually...) I want to be certain that the fury of the storm isn't wasted on my life, but leaves me firmly pointed in His direction.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Wit & Wisdom #13622

"The God who made himself of no reputation is under no obligation to protect your reputation." 
~ Rev. Kevin L. Prince (from the Twitter feed of @revivalradio)

"Don't tell me what they said about me. Tell me what you did to make them comfortable to say it in your presence..." 
~ Rev. Tim Joiner (from the Instagram feed of Rev. K. Holland via Rev. Mark Copeland)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Best Thing to Give...

The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity. ~ Arthur J. Balfour

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Judging Motivation

I made a statement at my daughter's graduation that I will repeat here.

"Don't let others define your motivations... they don't know them, you do."

When statements like these are made in situations where there is no time to adequately dive in and elaborate, they can easily be misconstrued by the hearers. I fault nobody for that, but it does kinda prove my point: you don't know what motivated me to say it, but yes, I do.

I first of all want to say, I wasn't speaking theologically. I can quote as well as the next guy the verses that prove that only God knows the heart. But, usually when you stick your hand in the cookie jar, it doesn't take God or a brain surgeon to know you intend to take a cookie. And if you don't intend to snitch a cookie, again, you know that better than the guy who steps into the kitchen behind you!

What I was doing was speaking practically. I will illustrate as plainly as I can. Here goes...

I walk into my office.
You are sitting at my desk.
You have my wallet open.
You have Amazon up on the computer.
You have my American Express in your hand.
You have my desk drawer open.
There is an envelope full of cash in there.

What I THINK You Were Doing...
I think you are in my office and at my desk using my credit card to pay for your purchases on Amazon and while you were snooping you found cash and it's a good thing I walked in when I did... YOU DIRTY THIEF!

What You Were REALLY DOING...
You were waiting for me so you were browsing on Amazon and decided to buy a book. But, then the phone rang and my wife told you that she needed my American Express number right away because she was on the phone making a purchase. So, you open the drawer and move the envelope containing the cash because you need to get my wallet which was underneath. You take out my American Express and give the number to my wife. You are just in the process of returning it to the wallet when I walk in the door.

Your motives were completely pure.
My judgment of your motives were completely wrong.
So, just because I think you are a thief... does that make you a thief? does it make you decide to be one "since they think that about me anyway?"
No, it doesn't. Or, at least, it shouldn't.
Instead, you stand up and realize that it doesn't matter what is said about you, you don't have to allow it to define who you are. You know you're not a thief. Me thinking you are doesn't make you one.
See that... so easy!

What I was telling her, practically, was that we do not have to be what other people think we are. They may misinterpret what you are doing -- that is their right. They may even present your actions in a way that causes others to question you.

But at the end of the day, you can lay your head down and sleep in peace if you live by this verse of Scripture: "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto menKnowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons." (Colossians 3:23-25)

Do it as to the Lord. That is what matters. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I was attempting to say!

God Bless.

Intelligible Love

Your household can operate with an amazing number of high standards provided that your deposits of intelligible love exceed your demands. - Peter Haas