Lite on Self

Beware the ‘gospel’ of ‘self-esteem’, of ‘health-and-wealth’, and of ‘speaking-positive-confession-and-claim’–they draw you farther from the true gospel and person of Jesus Christ to depending on self.
Don’t be deceived into thinking we can dress up, gather up, and legitimize the old creation in the name of God. Our outer appearance is but filth before God who looks at the changes in the heart and knows everything before we think it. The true gospel message is the catalyst for change, and that, from the inside of us, to what we do on the outside–from the heart.
HIS perfect WILL be done, not ours. When, between asking, and speaking forth, and striving to get, to make, be better by the world’s standards will you have more time to draw closer, deeper, and have a more meaningful relationship with the Creator through His Son, and get to know WHO HE IS?
If you can state right now that you believe God sent His Son, Jesus to be the SIN SACRIFICE for everyone so we could be made righteous before a Holy God through Him, can you give up, or lose, work, or suffer too much for Him? He willingly gave His life because of LOVE for all.
Don’t get caught up in thinking all you have to do is think positive, speak nice, and all that happens will be fine. By telling God what you want and just have to have is really shutting you off from hearing His perfect will for you.
I’m not putting down bettering one’s means to make it in this world, no. Take a look, every material thing, every want and desire of getting more in this life to be happy, rarely gets you no closer to Jesus than the father of lies. Church on Sunday to ‘get your praise on’. Praise for what, the good and happy times and status that shows the world you are somebody? Are you praising God for what He does, can do as is His person, or praising because you got what you wanted?
God is not the ‘candy man’ in the sky. If anyone’s offering you candy, it is Satan who wants to make believers as ineffective for the Lord as possible.
and to continue to draw the masses away to doing great for the world and not for God, though Satan will have you think it is for God.

God owes us NOTHING and He has ALL the power, not us, and we can live through His power.

Let us pray, laying ourselves fully BARE to the God of all creation, that we may lose ourselves and our selfish agendas to being the righteousness of Christ before other

Make me to rest in You alone, God. To dwell in Your peace and comfort are true blessings. Not seeking what You can do for me, but seeking Your perfect will in my life. Forgive me, God, for thinking and doing otherwise. This is Your mercy towards me. More of you, not things, is how you bless me.

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The Single “Half”

I added a few more things to a previous post because I keep hearing references to single folks in general, to get married, have a career, have children. Though society’s suasion is NOT so much to get married, as it is to have a ‘partner’, and a high-paying job. The push is to get with someone–someone to ‘fulfill and complete’ you. I hear the same reverb in the Christian community.

We often hear people refer to a married couple’s “other half” when their partner isn’t present. The other half of what, you say?  Is it that you are only half a person without the other? Well, mostly not—they are talking about the other half of a whole union, of your marriage. Both people are wholes that make up another whole, but bigger unit. I could go on about two halves make a whole, but most of that bores even me. Yes, but we are not ‘half-persons’.

In a different sense of the same, something I read recently talks about singles being a half of a whole something too, but sounding more as if they are missing another half of something else. Many singles hear “When are you planning on getting married” or “Why aren’t you married?”  Now, does that mean the single, unmarried person a half-person?

As I stated before, none of us are half-persons whether we are married or not. A person is still a whole human being, even if single. From the standpoint of the Christian life, there is much benefit in being single and serving the Lord when the focus is the Lord and not on self or the responsibility of marriage,

Married people serve the Lord, too, but there are so many other responsibilities that need attention. Paul tells us why in 1 Corinthians, “…The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

I agree, this is by no means meant to offend or be an affront to any who may want to someday marry, but while you are single, continue to serve others through Him with fervor—don’t focus on not having that ‘other half’ others say you have to have, to be complete. God is your completion, right here, right now, and He will supply all your needs as you live for Him.

God makes singleness wonderful when it is lived out in His will. When you are feeling unfulfilled because of societal pressure, and trying to be what everyone thinks you should be—attached—He is the “half” that is your everything; let God fill any void you have. Marriage may not be for everyone, folks. And if you do get married, you still serve God with fervor and live with your spouse as one in Him and watch your love and service grow.

A Christmas Memory

Christmas in our household was truly about family. Everyone was together for many years: Mama, Daddy, two brothers, and two sisters, and me. The younger four children believed in Santa Claus, but we all knew celebrating Christmas was because of the birth of Jesus.

We would also see our Uncle G at our house on Christmas Eve to enjoy the night and Christmas day with us.  Like one of the children, he would joke, play, and have fun with us. I often wondered, even as a young child, where my Uncle really lived because he was at our home many nights, and he would be at other relatives’ homes when my family went to visit. After growing up, I did find out that he could not read, did not drive, and worked wherever he could get employment. I heard too, that it was very hard for him to keep his money and easier to keep a drink in his hand. But I loved Uncle G.

One particular Christmas Eve, while I was supposed to be asleep for the night, I heard noises, voices coming from downstairs. Whispers and laughs, Christmas carols and some other sound I had never heard before. After waking my brother, we both tiptoed quietly down a few stairs to peak into the room where our Christmas tree stood and from where the sounds came.

My eyes grew wide when I saw Mama, Daddy, and Uncle G playing with and enjoying racing cars on a figure-eight track that made the strange sound I had not known before. My brother and I looked at each other, giggled and smiled to see that and all the other gifts wrapped under the tree. On many Christmas mornings, we didn’t receive much, but we were always grateful to for a special gift meant just for us. This was going to be a special Christmas!

As quietly as we came down, but a little giddier, my brother and I went back to our beds. I do not remember if we ever fell asleep that night, being so excited about Christmas day. I felt I would surely burst waiting for a race with Uncle G, having fun singing Christmas carols and playing with the rest of my toys.

The next day came, of course, and in and throughout the merriment of the day, we all took time as we always did, to listen to my Dad read the true Christmas story. You know the one where the Baby was born in a manger, to be our light and our salvation. Amid all the fun, joking and laughing, I watched my Uncle G even closer that year as the story was being told. I knew Uncle G loved being around us, but I also saw in his eyes that he knew and loved being told about the Savior of the world, even if he wasn’t doing things just as he should. I saw family gathered ‘round to hear not only the true meaning of Christmas celebration, but I saw the true meaning of loving family and coming together no matter what.

There are family traditions that are often cherished and coming together with family is one that is worth repeating through the years and passing on to following generations. The legacy of love, the reason for Christmas being evident in our home will and still does live on. I have since given my heart and my life to Christ, to live for Him and serve others in His name. What a joy!  I love my family!

Though Uncle G and Daddy have since died, and Mama, my brothers and sisters live farther apart with our own families, those times are always talked about, laughed about, and sometimes we shed a tear or two of joy and sadness when we remember them. But because of why we celebrated Christmas, our family times together had more meaning for me, and I am certain, for Uncle G.

The Single “Half”

We often hear people refer to a couple’s “other half” when their partner isn’t present. Other half of what, you say?  Is it that you are half a person without the other? No, they are talking about the other half of a whole union. Both people are wholes that make up another whole, but bigger unit. Something I read recently, talks about singles being a half of a whole something, as if they are missing another half of something else. Of course, we know it means marriage, don’t we? Many singles hear “When are you planning on getting married” or “Why aren’t you married?”  Now, does that make the single, unmarried person a half-person?

You are still a whole human, even if you are single. There is much too much benefit in being single and serving the Lord when the focus is the Lord and not on self. Married people serve the Lord, but there are so many other responsibilities that need attention—but by no means is this meant to offend or be an affront to you who may someday marry—continue to serve others through Him with fervor—just don’t focus on busyness and self-gain.

 God makes singleness wonderful when it is lived out in His will. When you are feeling unfulfilled because of societal pressure, and trying to be what everyone thinks you should be—attached—He is the “half” that is your everything; let God fill any void you have. Marriage may not be for everyone, folks.

Will it Matter in the Kingdom?

Will it matter in the kingdom?  The kingdom of God, that is.  I sometimes ask that question in discussions with others—mostly when someone is passionate about a particular issue like sports—or when I find myself climbing an uphill battle in social and political banters.  I also ask myself the same question when I find I have a full plate and am trying to prioritize my schedule and discern which will matter most in His Kingdom.  Though the initial question may be said in a fun-loving manner when debating friendly issues, it is a serious question.

In Matt 6:33, Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.

What are all these things?  In the previous verses He tells us not to worry about what to wear, what to eat, or even about tomorrow because your Father has and will take care of even the smallest of details and needs. 

I’m not saying that we do worry about sports, social issues, politics, or the condition of the world just because we discuss these things so passionately, but sometimes our faith falters and we get anxious and move our focus on the things of the world to look for answers, completion, and comfort.  If we find ourselves in that state, God wants us to move our focus back to Him and seek after things of Him and all His righteousness first, so we don’t have to get antsy about anything.  Surprisingly, unexpected things happen when we do that (but it is right there in His Word).

You know, seeking the kingdom takes time and it takes consistency and our commitment.  We also have to believe and fully trust that God’s Word is truth; truth, not just for the moment, but for all time.

We have to discern between what is important, urgent, and things over which you have control, and the flip side of it all—what you don’t have control over, what’s not urgent, and what’s not really important.  This in itself cannot be done unless we take time out of a busy day to seek the answers from the Word of God.

Sure, have friendly conversations and debates on things that interest you—just don’t let them get in the way of your seeking God’s kingdom treasures first.  Don’t let that be your whole day, doing things that may not even matter in the kingdom.  A friend puts Matt. 6:33 in these words, “Make God’s business your business and He’ll make your business His business.”

Reflection questions for you and me:

**What’s at least one thing you are not doing now, that if you started on a regular basis would make a significant positive difference in your life?

**What are the things that pull you away from focusing on seeking His kingdom’s righteousness first in your life?

Whatever it is, sports obsession, watching too much TV, not enough prayer time, Bible reading, anything—be honest—then daily, pray that change into your life and put actions to your prayers because you have responsibility in this too.

God has promises for us, not just out of the blue, but there are things He’s commanded of us…Read over Matt. 6:33, find that you don’t have to worry about having [what you think is] enough, be over anxious about seeing or getting all sorts of things done before the day is done.  Will it matter in the kingdom if you do, or if you don’t?

Friends, my prayer for us is that we be diligent first in praying about this very issue, that we search ourselves, and that we will allow God’s Holy Spirit to show us in a clear way, the direction we must take. Following His direction will matter in the Kingdom.

Coming Back.

I have had several blogs over the years–very inconsistent on my part of maintaining. This one will hopefully be filled with interesting pieces as I address religion, politics, life, and the works. I hope you will read and become part of the discussions. Thanks Talib for the inspiration, again.