The Line of Despair

Being open-minded can be a good thing…until it’s taken too far. Then it can actually lead to despair!

Please check out this gold nugget of wisdom from a blogger I’m really beginning to look up to…Mitch Teemley!

Mitch Teemley

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I try to balance my posts between God stuff and other stuff. But, because of my passion to speak truth into people’s lives (including my own), God stuff tends to win. For me, all roads lead to God, not to Rome. Nevertheless…

Modern culture is taking the road to ancient Rome, toward two progressive beliefs: pantheism (everything is divine) and paganism (so take your pick). Conclusion: Life is a BYOG (bring your own god) party, and no god is any more valid than any other. The milestones on the road look like this:

  1. We’ve always allowed diversity, but now we “celebrate” it, affirming that all beliefs are equally valid.
  2. In doing so, we lose our former understanding of the distinction between rights and truths, i.e. that the right to believe something does not make it true.
  3. We denounce the “exclusionists” who disagree with this revised definition of diversity, labelling them

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A Presidential Prayer Request…

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Never, ever…ever…in my wildest dreams, would I have imagined having to tack the word “President” in front of Donald Trump’s name.

Never.

He doesn’t exactly fit the typical “presidential mold”. I don’t detect any trace of political correctness in him…which is actually refreshing…except that he doesn’t appear to have any tact or diplomacy to balance that out. He’s not very careful with his words…whether by mouth or by tweet. Some of his decisions don’t appear to be well thought out, being made out of impulse, or in retaliation to criticism (much of which is warranted). He also appears to be completely out of tune with the plight of minorities in America…and I could write an entire blog on that point by itself.

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Okay…now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let me get to the point of this post.

Despite all of these strikes against him (and I’m sure there are more), President Donald Trump is a human being, created in the image of God, loved by that same God…and in desperate need of prayer.

I’m not writing this as an attempt to correct anyone…this is therapeutic for me.

It’s gotten to the point now where our government as a whole has become a reality TV show…with our President in the starring role. And I can’t stand reality TV. So, as you can imagine, it’s getting really hard to think nice thoughts and say nice things about our President.

But, there’s this person that I have a relationship with…named Jesus…who is making it really hard for me to completely write off President Trump. Because, when I really think about it…I’m no better than he is. The truth is, the same Jesus that died for me died for Donald Trump.

That’s not to say that following Jesus means I can never be critical of our President…quite the contrary. Jesus was very vocal against the unjust religious and political leaders of His day. For nearly an entire chapter in the book of Matthew, Jesus calls the Pharisees “hypocrites” to their faces, and points out the error of their ways in detail. He referred to King Herod as “a fox” (Luke 13:32)…and if you understand what that means from a Hebrew perspective, it was actually pretty gangster.

But underneath Jesus’ seemingly harsh words was an unconditional love…a love that didn’t ignore the wrongdoings of those corrupt leaders, but actually drove Him to accept the death penalty for their corruption.

That’s the guy I surrendered my life to.

And so…as much as part of me just wants to go on a total rant about how much I dislike President Trump, the love of Jesus compels me to sincerely pray for the man, and his family. Not just because the Bible calls us to pray for those in authority…

…but because Jesus loves him just as much as He loves me.

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(Deep sigh)

 

Think About It…

“Many people today, some well-intentioned and some not so much, are doing their best to soft-pedal the gospel in order to widen its appeal.

But in reality, they’re doing the exact opposite.

When we make following Jesus a tag line, or view it as just something we add on to our lives without sacrificing anything, we are actually diminishing the value of the gospel.

We do the gospel an injustice when we don’t call people to sacrifice and give their entire lives to Jesus, because in doing so, what we’re really saying is that following Jesus is not really all that important.”

~ Leighton Flowers

Something’s Gotta Give

A must read 🙌🙌🙌!! Never underestimate the value of sharing your faith!

BeautyBeyondBones

I’m having one of those moments where I literally feel like I’m floating.

And no, there are no illegal substances in my body. Although, I did just eat some cotton candy grapes, and I’m convinced that there’s a magic ingredient in there, because those things are unreal.

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But I legitimately feel lighter than air.

Ever since my mom’s stroke back in December, family has obviously been top priority. We’ve come together as a unit and dug in for the long haul. I’ve been home from NYC for the last four months, and just this past week, my brother and his wife moved two houses down from my parents in the neighborhood we grew up in.

Talk about an amazing couple.

And so this weekend, my mom and I threw her a party to welcome her to the neighborhood.

That party was today.

And it was amazing.

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But not for…

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Think About It…

“There seems to be conflict with how some churches approach ministry.

You have the ‘felt-needs’ crowd, who are all about appealing to where the surface level needs are.

And then you have those who are totally against that, who say ‘We only preach the Bible over here.’

I believe there’s a third way…where the proper preaching of the gospel actually unearths deeper longings in people than the surface stuff they may feel they need.

Good pastors, preachers, and teachers, need to start with the ‘felt-need’, but then go underneath that to show the deeper needs that the gospel is actually intended to fulfill.

When we do that, we actually expose and challenge some of the lies that our culture presents regarding how to meet the surface needs.”

~ Trevin Wax

Don’t Follow Your Dreams

Are we pursuing “our dreams”…and neglecting the Dream Maker 🤔🤔?

Mitch Teemley

Following-Your-Dreams-300x194Today is my birthday. Which, with the possible exception of New Year’s Day, is the day I’m most inclined to assess what I’ve done with my life. I’ve learned a few things in my (largish number) years on this planet. Perhaps the most important is not to follow my dream. Does that sound like a glass half empty? Actually, there’s a part two that makes it more like a glass overflowing:

Don’t follow your dreams, follow the One who made your dreams.

The problem isn’t in pursuing our dreams, it’s in doing so with no sense of how to attain them—or what they should look like in the end. A shockingly high percentage of the world’s most “successful” people confess to being miserable. This, I believe, is because they’ve succeeded not in attaining their dreams, but in constructing a crude imitation of them.

God plants a dream inside each of us

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Think About It…

“So…Jesus is hanging out with His disciples for a couple of years, and then tells them one day, ‘I’ll be leaving you, and it’s better for you that I leave.’

His disciples are like, ‘Why is that better’?

He tells them that when He leaves, He’ll send the Holy Spirit who will instruct you in all things.

The idea was that an infantile, immature faith needs the physical presence of Jesus in order to function, whereas mature faith relies on the Holy Spirit so that, thru the Spirit, we see God in all things.

What we have in America right now is an infantile evangelical movement, where we want God explicitly visible on everything…on the back of my car, on my radio station, in the movie theater, on my t-shirt, in my kid’s school, and everywhere else in the public eye.

So we panic when we see our society intent on stripping those things away.

We need to graduate to a more mature faith, where we’re not relying on all of these external things to be assured of God’s presence, but on the Holy Spirit who reveals God in our everyday lives.”

~ Skye Jethani

To the Mother Who Second-Guesses Herself

If you’re a mother, or are a mother-figure in someone else’s life…PLEASE take the time to read this!

Brandon J. Adams

mother-and-son-1256829_960_720 (1)Humility requires me to speak respectfully, even in awe, when it comes to motherhood. I have not yet been a parent, and I will never be a mother.

But I have learned this, mothers, thanks to my years in youth ministry: you have regrets. No matter how well your children have turned out, as they cross the stage and flip their tassels, all smiles with relief, you think of their flaws (as if there weren’t supposed to be any) and long to have some days back. Even when I’m thinking, amazed, “Are you kidding? I’ve known your kid for years. They’re awesome!”

The longing is legitimately greater in some mothers. But the mammoth task of motherhood is bound to leave holes. A mother can find the tiniest flaw in her own mother-work, as surely as she can spot a speck of dust on a table.

I want to encourage today. Yet I will never been a mother. I…

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My Wife’s Anger Management…

My lovely, incomparably beautiful wife…who is normally very calm and collected…had a “moment” yesterday.

I was sitting in my cubicle at work when I felt my phone buzz. When I saw it was her, I knew it was something important. We normally check in with each other during our lunch breaks, but she rarely calls me during any other point in my workday.

Wayne, I am soooooo hot right now!”

I already knew that of course…her hotness is one of the things that attracted me to her.

Oh, wait…she meant the other “hot”.

She told me about a really tough situation she was dealing with, and instead of reacting in the moment, she asked me to say a quick prayer for her. And after she had calmed down, she actually redirected her anger and frustration towards a solution to the problem.

I love that woman. I texted her later and pointed out that she had literally put Ephesians 4:26 into action.

Ephesians 4:26 (NIV) – “In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.”

By the way…Jesus demonstrated this constantly during His earthly ministry. I recall a particular instance (Mark 3:1-6) where He was in a synagogue during the Sabbath day, being spied on by the Pharisees while He attended to a man with a paralytic hand. He was a bit ticked off at their lack of compassion and hypocrisy…and could have very well zapped them with little more than a thought.

But instead, He redirected His anger towards something beneficial and constructive…healing the man’s hand.

Hmmm…now that I think about it, that’s actually a pretty clear synopsis of the gospel itself. God expressed His anger concerning sin, but instead of punishing us directly for it, He redirected His anger towards a greater good…making a way, through Jesus, for all to be saved.

Whether you’re a follower of Jesus or not, I think we can all agree that uncontrolled anger isn’t beneficial to anybody. And while we can’t avoid being angry, we can redirect our anger towards something constructive.

Take it from Jesus…and from my “hot” wife.

Why Do You Go to Church?

Every serious follower of Jesus will need to wrestle with this question at some point.

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In Mark 1 and Luke 4, we are told about a man who had an unclean or evil spirit.  He wasn’t at home or hanging out in the streets.  He was at church.  I don’t know if this was his first time going to the synagogue or if he was a faithful churchgoer.  Why was he there?  Was he looking for answers?  Was he looking for help?

Like a lot of Christians today, he probably looked like he had it altogether on the outside.  I say this because he wasn’t described like the demon possessed man who wore no clothes, cut himself and lived in the tombs (Mark 5).  The church members and the teachers probably didn’t know what this man was dealing with inwardly.  Every Sabbath, scribes would teach the law, but none of their words gave life.  No one was healed.  No one was raised from the dead.  No…

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