if we started praying by LISTENING rather than TALKING, our prayers would be so much more POWERFUL, so much more ON POINT. https://t.co/58e06vjGpn
— Mark Batterson (@MarkBatterson) September 5, 2018
Reposted from Max Lucado
Heroes in the Bible came from all walks of life—rulers, servants, teachers, doctors—male, female, single, and married. Yet one common denominator united them. They built their lives on the promises of God. Noah believed in rain before rain was a word. Joshua led two million people into enemy territory. One writer went so far as to call such saints “heirs of the promise” (Hebrews 6:17).
As God prepared the Israelites to face a new land, he made a promise to them, “Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you” (Exodus 34:10). God’s promises are unbreakable. Our hope is unshakable!
Reposted from In Touch Ministries
All of us make tracks through the valley of failure. Then the key question is, What we will do next? Sadly, many believers who stumble give up a vibrant kingdom-serving life for a defeated existence. But failure can also be a chance for a new beginning of living in Christ’s strength.
In pride, Peter thought his faith was the strongest of all the disciples’ and swore that even if the others left Jesus, he never would (Mark 14:29). Yet when the time of testing came, he denied even knowing Christ–and did so three times (Matt. 26:69-75). Satan hoped the disciple would be so wounded by his own disloyalty that his faith would be undermined by shame, condemnation, and despair.
Likewise, when the Enemy sifts believers today, his goal is for us to become shelved and ineffective for God’s kingdom. That’s why he goes after our strengths, especially the areas in which we proudly consider ourselves invincible. But if we’re willing, the Lord can use our failures to do spiritual housecleaning, as He did in Peter’s life. After the resurrection, Jesus met with the disciple personally and restored him, preparing him to become a great leader in the early church. He made it clear that Peter’s potential to serve was defined, not by failure, but by his unwavering love for Christ.
Reposted from Radical Mentoring
I’ve never been much of a funeral guy . . . not that anyone is. The first one I remember was for my father when I was a sophomore in high school. I’ve attended plenty since then, but not until my 40’s did I notice a distinct shift in my perspective.
Before 40, my dominant funeral emotion was numb. Aware of the sadness, but not overwhelmed because death seemed so far away.
Post 40, my emotional state changed. Possibly because I’ve attended funerals of people my age, but more likely because the idea of ‘legacy’ is now more of a priority for me. Sitting through these funerals, I catch myself wrestling with questions like . . .
- What will my family say about me at my funeral? What about my friends?
- Who will attend my funeral and why will they be there?
- How do I want to make others feel when they are around me?
- What do I value most and how am I living out those values daily?
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the funeral for the mother of a family member. Even though I’d never met her, attending seemed like the right thing to do. My family member would have been there for me if the roles were reversed.
This funeral was unique as this lady suffered a stroke almost 30 years ago. She spent the past 30 years trapped in her temporary ‘earth suit’ . . . wheelchair-bound, with a limited vocabulary. It was said at the service that she was a “prisoner in her own body.”
As her grandchildren spoke and reflected on her life, they shared the words spoken to them most often during their visits . . . “I love you” and “Thank you.” Even with her physical limitations, she still let them know she loved them and was grateful for them. That is a legacy.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul reminds us “not to lose heart because while we are wasting away outwardly, we are being renewed every day” and to “fix our eyes on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary.”
Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is Thank You, it will be enough.”
Funerals are never events we hope to attend, but they can undoubtedly shape our perspective on eternity and remind us of the temporary nature of this life. After attending that funeral, here are some of the things I’m pondering. Maybe you’ll join me . . .
What are my eyes fixed on?
Am I allowing myself to be renewed every day?
Am I allowing the temporary circumstances I face every day determine the words that come out of my mouth?
If I could only speak three words or less, what would they be?
Many people dread their work. If you’re one of them, try changing your attitude toward your work! God’s eyes fall on the work of our hands. One stay-at-home-mom keeps this sign over her sink: “Divine tasks performed here, daily.” Indeed, work can be worship.
Peter wrote, “You are a chosen people. You are a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. This is so you can show others the goodness of God.” (1 Peter 2:9). So, let every detail in your life—your words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus. (Colossians 3:17). You don’t drive to an office, you drive to a sanctuary. You don’t attend a school, you attend a temple. You may not wear a clerical collar, but you could, because your work is God’s pulpit!
Reposted from Max Lucado
Reposted from Radical Mentoring
A lot of us work somewhere that’s not ‘headquarters.’ Not ‘corporate.’ Not ‘the home office.’ That was me once. When the orders were handed down to us in the field, they sometimes seemed dumb. Out of touch with the real-world situation on the ground. I’d say, “What are they thinking up in the ivory tower?”
Then it happened.
I was promoted and transferred to corporate. One of my first tasks was complicated with all kinds of HR and union concerns . . . things I had no knowledge of a few weeks earlier. When the new instructions went out to the field, my phone lit up. “Regi, what are you thinking?” “It sure didn’t take you long to forget what it’s like out here.” “You’re just like the rest of them . . . out of touch and totally insensitive to the headaches you’re creating for us out here!”
My boss picked up on it. He took me aside and taught me something I’ve never forgotten. He said, “There’s always something you don’t know.” In a lower-level job or a remote position, there are things people ‘upstairs’ know that you don’t. We never have the whole picture.
This same principle applies in everyday relationships. When your wife comes home acting cross and impatient, there’s something you don’t know. When someone races past then cuts you off in traffic, there’s something you don’t know. When your teammate turns critical and negative, there’s something you don’t know.
And when God doesn’t cause or allow things to work out the way you want them to, there’s something you don’t know. A lot of what we don’t know will never be known until we’re there with God in the next life.
Lean into what you do know. God is good, and God loves you. That’s really all you need to know.
Reposted from Radical Mentoring
There’s a finite amount of belief in a person. You can’t create more belief. You can move your belief around, believe more of one thing and less of another, but each human has a unique capacity for belief.
Here are a couple of controversial examples. Colin Kaepernick lost his belief in standing for the national anthem. It was overtaken by his belief that our country “oppresses black people and people of color.” No matter where you come out on his protest, it has clearly cost him. Right or wrong, he’s suffered for his beliefs, becoming a divisive and unemployed quarterback.
Edward Snowden lost his belief in obeying the law and leaked classified information. His stated reason for those actions was his belief that our right to privacy was so strong, it outweighed his belief in the government. I don’t know how much he’s suffered. I know he can’t come home and is living in exile as far away from law enforcement as possible.
A lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to have lost their belief. Their desire not to be known as ‘overly religious’ has overtaken their desire to be active, engaged, and public about their faith. Rather than suffer embarrassment or rejection or conflict, they’ve chosen to blend in rather than stand out. They’ve drifted from Christian values to become like everyone else.
Have you lost your belief? Has fear of rejection driven you into a spiritual ‘shell’ like a turtle’s? Has your need for approval overtaken your calling to be faithful and true to your Heavenly Father? He’s ready and willing to give you the courage to come back. All you have to do is ask.