Where will you go when you die?

Kemosabe1
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Why forgive?

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How do we get right with God?

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Are you doing enough for God?

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God’s free gift of grace, to me, is. . .

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My inevitable but necessary 31-day sabbatical has ended. I am home. I will publish my next “For His Glory” post on Wednesday, May 17.

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Today is National Bipolar Day

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What’s your AQ — Attitude Quotient?

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Do I have to draw you a picture?

“Well, [pause] yes,” he said. [Pause again] “Sometimes you may have to.” Continue reading

. . .and on the 8th day . . .

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What’s your FQ? your faith quotient?

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What’s your WQ–Winning Quotient?

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How do we know the one true Church?

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Baskin Robins Christianity

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What is your TQ-Team IQ?

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Failure in 2017

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Capital of dreams

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Sharing scars

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What’s your social intelligence quotient?

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Go ahead! Take God for granted

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When is the last time you really blew it?

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Today I found an uplifting, positive blog

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Bobby Kennedy’s speech on Martin Luther King’s assassination

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A tinge of guilt

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Letter to Millennials from the Frustrated Church

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Sometimes helping loved ones grow up is painful.

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Go thee into thy closet

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“Pick up your mat and walk.”

When Jesus encountered a man who had been afflicted for 38 years, He gave him three commands: Get up; pick up your mat; and walk.

if I make a conscious, deliberate decision to get up, to obey Jesus, to do what Jesus tells me to do, my life will change. It’s a lot easier, and more comfortable sometimes, to remain where we are. To remain in the grasp of a place we don’t want to be, but don’t have the courage, or the faith, to do what Jesus tells us to do.

Like the sick man Jesus encountered, I need to make an effort to change, especially if I’m lounging on a mat of my own creation. I have to want to get well. I need to obey Jesus’ command. The man needed to take action.

Then Jesus told the man to pick up his mat. John 5:9 says, “Immediately the man became well.”

I’d be willing to wager he showed that mat to everyone he met, skipping through the streets testifying to how Jesus had healed him. His mat became his message. God used the man’s 38 years of affliction as his testimony to God’s faithfulness and powers of healing.

Finally, Jesus told the man to walk. It was finally time for him to act. Once Jesus has touched us, impacted our lives and healed us, He wants us to walk out our testimonies. To share our healing with others.

I am a victim of post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. We experienced a homicide in our home November 10, 2013. Following the murder the PTSD set in and it took several months of weekly counseling for me to work through it. When I did, I shared my story in recovery groups, church groups and with others who experienced PTSD. I walked my story out and could tell others, “I know how you feel.” Because I did. I was able to share understanding and compassion with them. And others shared their stories with me as well. We share a bond that others can’t share. But as we walk out our experience, we grow stronger and closer to the Lord. I am forever grateful for all the things God showed me as I lay on that mat.

Maybe someday I’ll write about all that.

If you missed the post, “Get up”, you can read it here.
If you missed the post, “Pick up your mat”, you can read it here.
If you’d like to read about the homicide and the source of my PTSD,  You can read the full post here.

When you want to hear from God

Editor’s Note: I can’t count the times I’ve wanted (needed) to hear from God and didn’t. I’m an impatient sort, so I feel uncomfortable when God says, “Wait.”  My blogging friend, Kelly Baker, wrote an excellent post on her blog about three things we might consider when we need to hear from God. I wanted to share her insights and thoughts with all my readers.  Be blessed.


By Kelly Baker
Guest author
Blogging at KellyrBaker.com

Don’t we love it when God gives clear direction straight into our spirit? Generally speaking, He doesn’t always do that! One day I longed to hear from God. I worshipped.

Silence.

I prayed. I asked. I went to battle with the Word.kellyrBaker

More silence.

I waited.

Again, exasperating silence.

A Psalm of David. I pray to you, O LORD, my rock. Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you are silent, I might as well give up and die. Psalm 28:1 NLT

This particular translation of this verse makes me chuckle. I’m sure there is a more productive solution than self-pity.😉 But, what do we do when He says nothing? Why does He say, “Wait”?

We all desire to hear His voice clearly, and when we haven’t we wonder what are the possible reasons. It’s not easy to be at peace with His temporary silence, but we can be sure He has a purpose in it.

3 Actions While Waiting on God’s Answer 

1. Spend time with God daily. Could it be that He wants to fill our hunger and thirst? He desires that we know Him more and more through His Word. When we study the Bible, we begin to know God’s character. I’ve thought of someone in the midst of a situation and said, “I already know what that person would say!” When we know someone well, we can easily hear that person’s voice playing in our head. When we regularly spend time with God, it becomes easier to “know” what He would say in those times when we feel He is silent. We can then more readily relate His Word to our circumstances.

2. Consent to character development. There may be times when we open our Bible while seeking Him for specific direction, and the Holy Spirit will illuminate the words we’re reading. Suddenly, there is an answer staring us in the face, maybe even from an entirely different angle. He might be telling us we need to make an adjustment. It might not have been the answer we thought we needed, but the one He knows we need. He often gives us what we don’t expect, but it’s still an answer. To the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet (Proverbs 27:7b KJV).

Gears3. Trust Him. God is getting every detail in place. Have you ever looked at the perfect way gears lock together and turn when they fit properly? When we wait for His timing we see Him properly align every specific, necessary facet. Sometimes we think we are stuck, but if we could take a step back and see His viewpoint we would see the big picture. We aren’t all clock makers. He is working on our big picture. He’s got it covered.

Through His seeming silence, God might be saying, “Come and know Me more,” or “An adjustment needs to be made.” At other times, He may be wanting us to let go of the stress and trust Him. He will fulfill His promises. Let’s not allow doubt to be a hindrance. A prayer of doubt will nullify a prayer of faith.

What are other reasons God may be silent, or say, “Wait”?

We change our clothes, we change our minds, but . . .

we often fear
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Break the law. Oh, Please, break the law

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Do you have a big but?

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Growth Requires Change

By John Ed Mathison
Executive Director
John Ed Mathison Ministries

Change is always difficult because most of us don’t want to change.  However, thejohn ed amount of growth is often dependent on the amount of change we are willing to make.

My experience with Sunday School at Frazer is an excellent example.  Early in my ministry I put together a visionary group called the Joel Team to help discern God’s vision for the future.  One layperson suggested that Sunday School attendance had to grow in our church.  This bucked the trend because United Methodist Sunday School had been declining over the last 50 years.  Our Sunday School was small, but these creative laypeople began to discuss how we could change that trend.

We discovered that some of the larger Sunday School classes were meeting in smaller rooms, and some of our smaller classes were meeting in larger rooms.  This isn’t good stewardship in the use of the facility.

Let me remind you that Sunday School classes have a tendency to have ownership of their space.  They go to great efforts to upgrade the looks of their classroom.  The window treatments, the altar tables, etc. are oftentimes personally made by members of the class.  One layperson suggested, “Why don’t we look at Sunday School attendance every six months and rearrange the rooms to give the largest rooms to the largest classes.”

Caution!  This is a huge change.  People began to see that every Sunday School class might have to change rooms.  But the question is – do we want to grow a Sunday School or do we want to have business as usual and keep our own rooms?  Change would be necessary.

The Joel Team, consisting of people from all age groups, said that our core value is to grow our Sunday School. To do that it would be necessary to place the largest classes in the largest rooms.  It was voted on and passed unanimously, because the core value did not center around the inconvenience of change but the vision of growing the Sunday School.

Every six months the average attendance of each class is recorded and the rooms are assigned accordingly.  The Sunday School grew to three sessions each Sunday morning.  Each room is used three times.  If you go to Frazer today you will see no permanent Sunday School class names on a door.  There are actually three slots for 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 Sunday School.  Each class has a nameplate that they can slide into that slot.  The classrooms change accordingly to average attendance and the size of the room.

It has also created a bit of competition.  If you want to keep your Sunday School room, you need to be inviting people and growing!

Another layperson suggested that the best way to grow our Sunday School is to start new classes.  Because the tendency to give a new Sunday School class a room that is not being used (because nobody else wanted that room) you design defeat for the new class.  The Joel Team suggested that we give the best classrooms to the new classes.  That was a big mindset change for Sunday School classes.

All of these ideas passed our governing body almost unanimously.  Because the Joel Team had representatives from every age group in the church it was not a case of “they” making a decision for radical change, but it was a “we” are a part of that deciding body.

If these proposals had been my idea, I would not have been retained as pastor very long!  But this was the vision of the laypeople.  When laypeople have ownership, vision becomes reality.

What was the result – Frazer grew a Sunday School that became the largest Sunday School attendance of any United Methodist Church in America!!  The amount of change dictates the amount of growth.  Vision became reality when people were willing to change.

John Ed’s blog posts appear on For His Glory each week.
Contact: JAM Executive Suite 4,4131 Carmichael Road, Montgomery, AL 36106 Phone: 334-270-2149 Email:info@johnedmathison.org