Keeping things given to us by God simple, even though we live in a very complicated world.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Christian Friend

I want to give a Seek Him First welcome to Melanie, who authors Monday Through Sunday, a faith based blog that reads like a devotional.

I guarantee that you will get many blessings if you check it out.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Needed: Leadership

One of the books I've read this month is titled "You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader." The author is Mark Sanborn. One of the reasons I read the book was that he was kind enough to respond to a post on my other blog after I mentioned his book, "The Fred Factor." Mark, like most who read these words, is a believer. The version of "You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader" I read was an expanded Christian version of the book.

I read the book about three weeks ago, but some of the message sunk in this past weekend after an incident on my job. In the business world, as well as the church world, there are many managers and administrators. But sadly many of these managers and administrators are not leaders.

Seeing that I am writing this on my faith based blog, I will deal with the church aspect of this. I was saved in June, 1980. Having been baptized some two years prior to that, I had some trying to tell me that it wasn't salvation at that time, but Satan telling me that I wasn't really saved. Some of these folks were deacons in the church that I had attended, and one of these folks was the pastor. In looking back at that, I feel that the consul coming from these "leaders" in the church was to make them look good and not from the leadership of the Holy Spirit. I've heard others get the same counsel and accept it. Some who did are no longer in church. Others heard the Holy Spirit again and came to accept Him and now are being used in a mighty way.

Sometimes a young Christian in a small established church has little room to grow, because these churches are steeped in tradition and those in "leadership" roles do not want to give way for anyone who might do things contrary to the way it's been done for years and years. The folks who can't find an area to serve either find somewhere else to serve or fall by the wayside. The small churches, steeped in tradition, eventually die of old age. Churches that don't have a free flow of leadership become stagnant.

One of my most frequent observations in the past couple of years is that some give the impression that arrogance is a spiritual gift. I've had Christians tell me that they know more about things of the church than I do because they've been a Christian longer. I don't think God regards seniority when he uses us. I think He looks at our hearts.

You don't need to be a deacon, elder, trustee, teacher, or a pastor to lead one to Christ. Peter Led many to Christ. Andrew led Peter to Christ. Which leader was more important? The answer to that one is this is a trick question, as the most important leader is the Holy Spirit as without Him, we can't lead anyone to the Lord. Without the Holy Ghost, no other office in the church is necessary because with Him we have no church.

No matter what job you have in the church, do it under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and He will help you to be the leader you need to be.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Judge Not

Judge not,that ye be not judged.- Matthew 7:1 KJV

I have mostly Christian readers of my blogs, but I also reach out to unbelievers. I like reading about peoples lives and their views on it. I enjoy the lines of communication that I make through the blogosphere, especially when it becomes one on one with email.

I get messages from people who thank me for not being judgemental. I will tell you though, that process has taken years to achieve.

I got saved in June of 1980 as a result of reading literature connected to a Christian publication. as I have posted before, I will not give the name of this publication, seeing I see some legalism and hate coming from it nowadays. I see a contradiction of the gospel message coming from it. For years I had thought that it was the authority for my Christian education. I learned a lot of Bible, but little love. I was very judgemental because of it. As a result, I couldn't get along with people from other denominations, let alone those who didn't profess to be believers.

We as Christians are to follow the example of Jesus, not other people. The best way to find out the example of Jesus is to read His Word and find out what He is like. We find that people we tend to shun, He embraced. He never told anyone to clean up their act, then He would associate with them. he was more concerned about the condition of their soul, and felt their life would clean up afterward. Even though we sing "Just as I am" if the anybody with a bad reputation would come into worship with us, we have a tendency to wonder about their ulterior motive.

I once heard a former pastor say during a message that we should go into the projects and win the lost there, instead of having them come into church and polluting those in service. As I say, he is a former pastor.

You can't win the lost if you don't associate with them.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord

14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21 KJV

Sometimes we have to remember that as Christians, we have the Lord "watching our backs." We sometimes feel that we have to get our "pound of flesh," when we've been wronged, but that's not the Lord's way. We have Jesus to fight our battles and we have to wait on Him, as He will avenge us in His time, which would be the perfect time.

In the interim, we are to "live peaceably with all men." If someone does us wrong, my mother used to say, kill them with kindness- "if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."

Sometimes people do things to hurt us and it's human nature to want revenge but , as Paul wrote in the text for this post, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

Easy to say, easy to read, but hard to do.

Dear God, please give those who are wronged the strength to let you avenge those who wronged them. Help us all to be an example to those who do others wrong by following the example of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

White as snow

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18KJV

This post was inspired in part by a post and comments at Amais' Liquid Plastic blog.

Winter is here in Ohio and I got to remembering some thoughts I had some 25 years ago as I was driving to work one winter morning.

There was a light, but fluffy coating of snow on the ground. The snow was a very bright shade of white. I was on a spiritual high and I got to thinking about the goodness of the Lord.

I thought about the fact that the snow covered the ground and the marks that man left on the Earth during the other three seasons. The snow is helping prepare the Earth for agricultural use for the following seasons. Snow also replenishes the water table.

Snow is similar to the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

The blood of Jesus covers our sins, and renews us for eternal life. The blood prepares us to be fruitful in our Christian walk. If we have the blood on the outside we have the Holy Spirit on the inside.

God took our black hearts,
Covered them with red blood
Made them whiter than snow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Follow up from my other blog

For those who just come over to this blog, Happy New Year.

If you read my post over at WIXY's Gone Bananas yesterday, you know that I mentioned a book called The Fred Factor as recommended reading. The book's author, Mark Sanborn, left a message in the comment section thanking me for the recommendation. We had an exchange of emails on the topic. Mark told me that he gets google alerts when his books are mentioned(Hi Mark). He also wrote the following:

I take from your profile you are a believer. I am as well. Don't know if you know it, but both The Fred Factor and You
Need a Title to be a Leader are available in a slightly different and overtly Christian edition from Waterbrook Press.
Both books are excellent and would be great for leadership and disciple training in an overtly Christian edition.

Check out your local Christian bookstore or go online for these great resources.

Also go to Mark Sanborn's website and sign up for his free newsletter, which is sent out via email. You can get some good resources on leadership, and everybody can be a leader. Remember Andrew lead Peter to Jesus and Peter lead many.