The thing about corn

I grew up in Shenandoah, a small farming town in Southwest Iowa,

35 miles from Nebraska and 13 miles from Missouri. Corn is the primary agricultural crop in the state.

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Spiritual blessings

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

We have a universally accepted funny saying here in the South. It goes like this: “You can say anything you want, good or bad, about anyone and it will be alright as long as you follow it up by saying, “Bless his/her heart.”

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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 →