Self is a four-letter word

When we use, or you hear someone use the word “try” that means “self” is vying for control. Self is

assuming responsibility. Super responsibility. That’s not a good thing.

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Empowering

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

If you watch much TV you discover there is a  vitamin,  a cream, a lotion, a diet,  a pill,  a vacation spot, or a breakfast cereal  that  will empower you and bring you happiness and good health and long life all for only $19.95.

Lately I’ve noticed that some of these products promise you they’ll empower you to face and conquer life’s challenges and become the successful person you’ve always wanted to be.

Bunk

How gullible some of us are to believe that there’s power in a pill or breakfast cereal. Or that we will be empowered  to leap tall buildings in a single bound if we brush with a certain brand of empowering toothpaste.

We are woefully misguided if any of us believes he or she has the ability to generate any power on our own.  Many of us rely on our own resources to generate self power, which  is not real power. If we rely on our flesh to produce power, we will surely fail and become frustrated.

 The only Power that is beneficial or  helpful to us is the power that comes from God. That power  resides in the life of Jesus Christ. If we believe in Jesus as our Savior we reside in him. To access his awesome power we must become weak and surrender our flesh to him. The weaker we become the more power becomes available to us through Christ..

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, here is a list of things you are when you live out of your true identity in Christ

  1. you are a totally new creation
  2. you are in Christ
  3. you are totally forgiven for EVERY sin you’ve ever committed, are committing now, or ever will commit in the future
  4. you are totally righteous
  5. you are totally reconciled
  6. you are redeemed
  7. you are sanctified
  8. you are justified
  9. you are totally accepted
  10. you are an integral part of the body of Christ
  11. you are a citizen of heaven
  12. you have eternal life and you’ll never die
  13. you are unconditionally loved
  14. nothing you could ever do would ever make God love you less than He does now

Our greatest need of all

 in a previous post we said our two greatest needs are love and acceptance and work and value you probably noticed I mentioned four needs,  but we lumped  love and acceptance together   and worth and valiue together. But (in this writer’s opinion), acceptance is the greatest of all our needs by a country mile.

Acceptance is the nucleus of all our relationships, from the most intimate of marital relationships to our acquaintances on  the fringes of our sphere of influence.. 

As a curious adolescent teenage boy I craved my dad’s acceptance. I don’t believe I ever got it. There were isolated  incidence where he showed pride in some accomplishment of mine that I took as acceptance but those times were few and far between. Our relationship was adversarial until after I’d become a father myself.

My friend Daniel (Webster) describes acceptance as a “state of being desired or wanted, belonging, or having worth.” if we don’t feel acceptance in our lives, we may try to find it  in a gang or a cult. We may seek acceptance in unsavory places or with unsavory people or social outcasts–anywhere or with anyone who engenders those feelings that make us feel desired or gives us a sense of belonging no matter how toxic or unhealthy the relationship,.

My friend Daniel (Webster) describes acceptance as a “state of being desired or wanted, belonging, or having worth.” if we don’t feel acceptance in our lives, we may try find it  in a gang or a cult. We may seek acceptance in unsavory places or with unsavory people or social outcasts–anywhere or with anyone who engenders those feelings that make us feel desired or gives us a sense of belonging no matter how toxic,unhealthy, or harmful the relationship is.

Feelings of acceptance from friends and loved ones is central to our true identity in Christ.  Feeling truly accepted by Christ and accepting others as Christ sees them are essential for knowing and living out of our true identity in Christ.

More on acceptance in future posts.

I’m gonna worry anyway

The Bible tells us over and over again not to worry. Jesus  commands us not to worry,

 One night this week I couldn’t get this late because I was worrying about a financial matter I thought I had forgot to deal with. I tossed and turned for hours, not praying about it, not asking God to handle it. I almost got up in the middle of the night bowring to try to resolve it on my own so I wouldn’t have to “worry”  about it anymore and get some sleep.

After tossing and turningfor hours, I finally dozed off for a few hours of fitful sleep. The next morning I got up and went right to the paperwork I needed to resolve the issue with the company with which I had the issues.

 After looking at the paperwork, I discovered it wasn’t even an issue. There was no there there. So I wasted viable hours I could have been sleeping worrying about an issue that wasn’t even an issue. God gently reminded me that he will take care of things like that if I just stop worrying and let him handle things like that.

Will I ever learn? Will we ever learn? The admonition, the command, “Don’t worry”  is in the Bible so often for a very good reason. The things we assign worry to,  the things we think we should take case of ourselves, God wants to handle. Will we ever trust God enough not to worry and allow God to care for us the way He wants to?

The Cone of Uncertainty

cone of uncertainty 2They can’t tell you where the storm will strike, when the storn will strike, or how bad the storm will be. Weather savvy meteoroligists at the TV station draw this wide cone on the screen hedging their bets with their best scientific guesses. It’s called the cone of uncertainty. It’s used to describe where weather experts believe the eye of the storm could possibly travel.

Despite all the sophisticated high-tech weather stuff, their “best” guesses are still uncertain. Continue reading →

How well do you know your true self?

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When DO we all get to heaven?

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What I believe about myself today

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Are you in or are you out?

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Clawing my way out of a black hole . . .of my own making

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The “Good Christian” myth

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Three Parts Of Man — Body, Soul, Spirit

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The Jesus way

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Who is Jesus?

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Thou shalt love the Lord how much?

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Our True Identity In Christ

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Must we confess our sins to be forgiven?

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How to pick the right religion

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The majestic, simple Gospel

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The other cheek

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Grape Expectations

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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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The Shoes of Peace Aren’t Flip-Flops

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Baskin Robins Christianity

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It’s been one of those days

Murphy’s law on steroids.

Whatever could go wrong today went wrong. From the moment I left the house this morning until I crashed on the couch at days’s end. My soft couch was welcome respite.

I regret to say I was not a nice person today. in the throws of multiplemurphys-law setbacks I lashed out at two ladies. Both, in their respective roles were trying to help me. Both were cheerful and pleasant. I was not.

I chose to complain and become one of those antagonistic clients they practice on in  HR customer service training classes.

I sought them both out at the end of our meetings and apologized  profusely and earnestly. I resent my negative responses to people who only wanted to serve me. All I wanted to do was argue and register my dissatisfaction and disappointment. All they wanted to do was help me.

By days end I was exhausted and regreted that I responded contrary to my usually pleasant Type A, never-meet-a-stranger self. I needed relief.  I needed rest.

I came home and opened my bible and read Mathew 11:28-30 several times.  About the third or fourth time I felt His peace wash over me. I was quiet, refreshed and at rest in Jesus.

I’m so grateful that on Murphy’s law days I can always come to Jesus and let Him take away my burdens and my anxiety and give me His peace and I can rest in Him.

Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and
learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. 
For my yoke
is easy
and my burden is light.

Riddle: What is full when it’s empty?

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Failure in 2017

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Banging on the door

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What resentment can do

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Do you ever use the “J” word in public?

Did you inow . . . Continue reading →

Have A “Mary” Christmas

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The Blackest Friday

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Ever notice isolation around you?

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He just loved her

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Do you know another word for “never-ending supply”?

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Do humans get a pass on sin?

Is it okay for people to sin just because they’re human? What do you think?

How many times have we heard people who get caught committing sin announce, “I’m only human.” Why yes, we are. All of us are “humans”. We’re mortal. Politicians claim membership as humans with a flair of confidence after they’ve been caught in sin. Admitting they’re “human” seems to justify all manner of transgressions, to them anyway.

Paul reminds us in Romans 3:23 all (all us humans) have sinned and fall sort of the glory of God.

But does admitting we’re human when we sin give us a pass? Does our human condition make it okay? Where’s the remorse? Where’s the repentance? Where’s the accountability? Does being human justify sinning? Can we justify our sins by simply admitting we’re human?

We can be justified, but not by anything we say or do.  We are justified by the precious blood of Jesus on the cross. His priceless blood supplies the only justification for our sins. Not anything from or by us. It is only Jesus and his blood on the cross that justifies the sins of us humans who have a personal relationship with Him.

Let’s replace, “I’m only human” with “It is against You, and You only, that I have sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so You are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. from Psalm 51.

Let go (of what?) and let God Response

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Charlton Heston and the 23rd Psalm

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Loving people where they are

Editor’s Note: When I read this post on Shannon’s blog, I left her a comment saying everyone needs to read this message. In my opinion it goes to the heart and soul of the solution to many of our world’s social ills.  Enjoy.

By Shannon Moreno
Blogger over at Revelations in Writing

Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” – (John 4:7,9-10)

I so appreciate this exchange between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. He models for usshannon 3 how we can break down social and cultural barriers, and approach people where they are. Though society would have deemed her unworthy – to acknowledge, let alone speak to – Jesus approached her directly and spoke to her face to face. He was kind, honest, and offered the hope she had so long been looking for. As followers of Christ, we are called to do likewise. Our job is to break down barriers that society deems necessary, and show the world that they are not. We must touch the “untouchable“, love the “unlovable“, give voice to the silent, and meet the needs of those without. So many are misunderstood, misrepresented, and labeled as a result of their circumstances. May we be the ones who answer the call to love our neighbors as Christ has loved us – no barriers, no limits, just love.

Shannon is a long-time devoted blogger since 2011. I read her thought-provoking posts regularly. Shannon is a career teacher and coach and is raising two teenage boys. which in and of itself is a full time job. Read her posts on her blog at https://revelationsinwriting.wordpress.com

Go thee into thy closet

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Chained to the past

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Child-like

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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.

Ten excuses for not changing

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“Pick up your mat”

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Come on. Get Up!

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

we often fear
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shhhhh…don’t mention “it”.

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