Month: August 2013

Clouding Conviction

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Have you ever seen a response or a post (like on face book) where someone begins a rant about what has been said?

Me too

Why do they do that?

The same reason you feel like it at times when you read something and you would like to rant a bit but don’t…

You don’t like what is being said.

Sometimes it’s because you have understood what is being said and feel a rant is needed other times it’s because you have misunderstood what was said and your misunderstanding  stirred something within you or you understood what was being said so you start a rant on something that is far from the idea that was being communicated to get your mind off the conviction that has stirred up your soul.

Yes, sometimes the thing you read is so true, so convicting, so moving in a bothersome way that your being diverts the attention off the life changing truth (because sometimes there are life changing truths that are posted or blogged about) to something else and that something else is your rant.

The same-thing often happens when a person is confronted face to face with a wrong they have committed.

Like when a friend or family member confronts them with it.  The truth of what has been said causes the person to change the subject with passion.  Because we know, though no one has taught us how, that one of the best ways to deal with conviction is to fill the airways with a lot of words and if we can cast the blame on someone else or show that someone else is in the wrong it some how alleviates the convicting pressure of what has been spoken.

This is why people have roasted preacher for lunch.

This is why people push back onto you when you point out something about them.

This is why sometimes you scratch your head and say “How did they get that out of what I said?”

This process that we all do from time to time is called…

“Clouding Conviction”

at least that’s what I call it.

And every time we do this we miss the opportunity God has placed before us to correct what is wrong and change for the better.

So next time you see something that stirs you to the point of ranting, take time to pray and get to the real reason why you are moved.

I’m willing to bet you’ll find it’s not the preacher, or your diversion

It’s something God is pointing out for you to change.

It’s more than what is being said that matters…

This is one of those blogs where I wish I could write a whole chapter to unpack what I’m trying to say…

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We listen to words way to much and ignore the spirit by which they are said.

For example if someone was to say…

“The color is red”

What is being communicated has more to do with what their spirit is saying than it does the actual words.

If it is yelled it means one thing

If its just a kind response it’s another.

If it is said in tears it means something quite different.

To learn to listen to more than just the words that are spoken is to touch the spirit of the person who is doing the talking.

In life there are a lot of people who have the right answers. They use words to say the right things, in fact they can say them the right way with the right emotions but the thing they cannot do is hide their spirit from you when they speak.

When someone speaks their spirit is always revealed.

Now you can personally be blinded to their spirit, you can focus on their words to the point you lose the ability to ascertain what their spirit is saying, or you can just not look for that because you feel it’s too subjective but regardless if someone opens their mouth…

their spirit is always revealed.

Jesus says it this way…

“You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34

Yes they knew what to say, they knew how to say it but their evil spirit still was evident even in the goodness of what they spoke. Because good words, the right answers, the right things can be spoken the right way with an evil spirit.

It takes looking beyond the words to the spirit driving the words to figure out what type of spirit is behind them.

Sometimes something is said that sounds mean but the spirit behind it isn’t. To look for what their spirit is saying would avoid a needless argument.

Sometimes something is said that sounds good but the spirit behind it isn’t. To look for what their spirit is communicating would avoid a potential mistake being made.

I know I do not want to have needless arguments and I know I want to avoid potential mistakes and I have a feeling you do to…

For we know man, not only by the words of his mouth, but also by the tone of his spirit.

So next time you listen to someone speak don’t allow yourself to get distracted by what they are saying.  Listen for the spirit behind what they are saying, only then will you truly know what is being communicated.

A Cyrus Soap Box Moment

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We have a concept in our society that children are to be kept innocent and away from the “dirtier” things in life.

Children need role models that live the right way, and do the right things.  Society looks for children to have the ability to look up to someone that inspires them to do the right sort of things and stay away from drugs, sex and drunkenness…

So we set people up to be those types of role models, not for us but for our children…

and every time this is done those role models “fall”

and then we complain about what they have done.

But why?  What foundation do we stand on to say that what someone like Miley Cyrus did in her last performance was unexceptable?

What about the guy that was on stage with her?

What about Lady Gaga who also performed that night? I mean we have put up with her for a very long time.

Have we forgotten that it is very easy to make a long list of inappropriate performances by well known artist?  From American Idol results night to the Super Bowl half time show,  the Miley thing was not the first time something inappropriate has been done.

Not even close…

So, why are we so upset over Miley?

Shouldn’t we have been upset before now?

We went school clothes shopping for my daughter just a few weeks ago…

Has anyone noticed what their children are wearing out in public?

The clothes that are for sale on the racks…

has anyone noticed the shortage of material?  The thinness of the cloth, the lack of coverage in important places… even on the manikins?

Has anyone looked at album covers lately, the posters in department stores, or the scampy commercials that “pop up” on TV without warning…

Has anyone been outraged?

We should have been.  We have allowed this to happen by buying the very music and clothing these performances promote.

And if you were watching MTV when the awards show was being broadcasted… why were you watching MTV in the first place?

You do realize it’s not a sesame street sort of station…

(Just an FYI)

What needs to change is not Miley Cyrus, it’s our culture as a whole. We progressively get worse and worse and worse…

and I know some of you do not want to hear what I believe is the solution but here it is anyway…

We need Jesus back in America, for our citizens to get back in church, accept Him and walk in His ways…

and quit supporting all this other stuff that is bad for our kids…

and bad for us.

Thoughts On A Monday

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We stumble

We walk

We’re Prideful

Then Humble

Wasteful

Successful

Out of God’s will

then in

caring

then selfish

hateful

then loving

We are

We are

Convicted

Excited

Guilty

Forgiven

Wanting to be different

but Changed by the redemption of God

Wanting to be different in the mistakes we have made

but Changed because those sins no longer matter

No longer matter

because they don’t matter to Jesus

Our desire is to be clean

but we are often dirty

Our desire is to be used

but that takes brokenness

We have nothing of value

except for Jesus

who can’t be sold for any personal profit

for He is only valuable to us if He makes us His.

His…

Glad I am

Therefore I’m never alone…

even when I feel like it

For He never leaves

nor forsakes 

me

I may not be valuable to others

but I am valuable to Jesus

who created me.

Valuable…

Valuable!

A random thought from lunch today…

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Have you ever been to someone’s house and they gave you something to eat like…

Buffalo Meatloaf

And then they said “its better for you than regular beef”

Have you ever noticed that any food that people give you that is odd in nature is always better for you…

Hey eat this canary… its better for you than chicken

Hey eat these goat eggs they are better than chicken eggs

Goat eggs?

and have you ever noticed that if there is a food item they do not like they say…

“That causes cancer”

Pepsi causes cancer

Chicken eggs cause cancer

Pasteurized milk causes cancer

Mexican food causes indigestion (this one is true)

Salt causes high blood pressure which triggers cancer

Have you ever noticed that?

Why is it that when we decide to eat something different  we can’t just say..

I really like this and resist the urge to prove why?

Why is it when we do not like a certain food, we always try to give reasons why?

Why can’t we just say…

I really don’t enjoy that food and life is too short for me to eat something I don’t like.

Why can’t we just be real and let people be real and move on?

I think its because deep down inside we want someone to agree with us so we feel better about what we are eating or not eating.

Regardless, it is funny if you think about it…

so next time someone puts “buffalo meatloaf” in front of you to eat and they say it’s better for you than regular meat just have a little fun and say…

yea.. but I heard it causes cancer…

and let the dialogue begin.

It Wasn’t Just Yesterday

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Kids get older

It seems that just yesterday we were in Christ Hospital holding our daughter for the first time.

It seems that just an hour ago we were in Saint Luke Hospital holding our son for the very first time.

But it wasn’t

Nor the first steps we watched them take, the first words we heard them say, the first Christmas they actually experienced with excitement, the first time at Disney World or the time they began to understand what the beach really was…

It wasn’t just yesterday…

but it seems like it.

It wasn’t just a moment ago when we dropped them off at school for the first time…

this week is a reminder of that.

With one Open House down and another tomorrow night 13 and 10 years have seemingly flown by.

And though it seems like we have “never not” had children, it also seems like they grow up very quickly.

Because they do…

So here’s to making it count today by spending time with your kids,

for they are only children for a very short amount of time.