Category Archives: Religion

Immerse – DP – 03/14/17

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Do you ever take time to immerse yourself in an activity? Sure you do. I certainly do. Reading, writing, working outside in the garden or with our flower beds, spending time with my wife and kids, the examples never end. When we immerse ourselves in any activity we set aside all other things to concentrate on a single pursuit.

To be sure the example I will share today is nothing like the experience or commitment of men and women around the world who take on the role of being a missionary that shares God’s love and truth of his Word around the world. No, my limited experience, a grand total of 23 days in a foreign country is only a small sample of the commitment of those I have so much admiration.

In 2012 the first opportunity to immerse in another country came to me as I joined another three individuals from my church along with nine others for a mission trip to the country of Belize. Now hold on, don’t get all judgmental on me thinking of the resorts and tourist traps of the beautiful country. Our time was centered around the capital, Belmopan, and the greatest experience for me was meeting a missionary that I have become very good friends with in the time since.

2013 pictures 625When I met Carol Heath on that day in December of 2012 I was just another American visiting the country she has adopted as her new home. What she did not know was that for weeks before I had asked God to show me some way I could affect good in the world. I asked him to lay a burden on my heart when he showed me this truth. When I stepped off our old white Bluebird bus to see Heart House, the place where Carol changes the world for the children of Maya Mopan, the village surrounding, I could feel God telling me to pay attention.

2013 pictures 623Beginning that December the immersion changed with knowledge about what could be done to assist in growing Heart House and the ministry involved. Heart House has changed remarkably, which I ascribe as a testament of following God’s direction in faith. My Christian experience has been enriched by extension. Knowing that my church through our efforts are helping share the burden for Carol and Heart House is some kind of wonderful way to further God’s kingdom.

Looking ahead it is my hope and prayer I can make my fourth journey to this place in December. My first try to immerse was exciting for a different reason. But this time it will be so familiar and anticipated I expect to have a great time.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/immerse/

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Mercy – #JustJotItJan Daily – 1/15/17

The Just Jot It Prompt for 15 January is “Mercy” supplied by BarbCT blogging at Gallimaufry.

 
For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Psalms 86:5 KJV
When I decided to begin blogging I wanted to be sure to put Christ first in my writing here as I do in all other aspects of life. His mercy is something everyone should desire and all can have if they choose to believe. I know living a life on earth without it would be so much more difficult. I am thankful every day I learned the benefit early in my life.
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To What Do You Cling?

via Daily Prompt: Cling Cling is a physical verb. An action verb, if you like. It is something we do when we need to be sure we have security.

I choose to cling to a promise. More succinctly God’s promise.

John 3:16 King James Version (KJV)

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

There is so many less solid things on which the people of Earth choose to cling. Drugs, alcohol, money, people, possessions and more are just a few of these. But none of them promises or delivers like God’s word. When you trust on the Son of God you can know beyond any doubt you will reap the reward you seek. What a reward it is, living forever in heaven with God.

I have been enjoying the peace of this belief for over three decades wondering how in the world those without deal with the craziness of the mortal world. With all the violence, poverty, death, destruction and day to day worries of life it would be mentally draining without the aid of my faith.

I wonder how others reconcile their rejection of this idea. Perhaps it is easier to ignore reality when you don’t feel you have to face it. I was saved for fifteen years before I faced the loss of my only brother. Three years later I lost my father and eleven years after that my mother passed away. The peace I felt in all three situations was so incredible. Yes, losing family members was tough, but I knew they were blessed to be with God in heaven, so how could I be 100% sad?

What do you cling to in times of trouble? If you do not know about God’s promises find someone you trust to share them with you.

 

 

Daily Prompt: Tempted

Well finally there is a Daily Post topic in 2017 I can write about on my faith based blog! Tempted is something we all face in our human experience and there is plenty of help from God when dealing with this mortal pitfall. Who among us can boast of never feeling tempted? No one who is being honest. I will quickly raise my hand to testify that there is temptation all around me.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinithians 10:13 (KJV)

God is so good to us. Not only did he create this wonderful world we get to enjoy every day, but he provides lessons for us on how to get the most out of our lives. There is so much good he has stacked up for us we are foolish not to embrace it all. But as with all things too much good can be a hazard to us. Who has not heard the saying you cannot get too much of a good thing. Trust me you can.

Dessert is good. Sunshine is good. So is any number of experiences, objects or desires. But eat too much dessert and you could be overweight. Allow your skin too be bombarded by the sun and you can experience skin cancer. Moderation is always a good way to live. Knowing you limits is an important thing.

Temptation comes in so many forms. But in the realm of what God instructs us we must think about it a little differently. We all tend to have a first love for ourselves. Don’t take that wrong it is not a totally bad way to live, it can just get in the way of caring for others. You will notice the title of this blog is Living the J.O.Y. Principle. You can click on the link to go to another post I wrote about it, but basically it is making Jesus your first priority, Others your second and yourself the last priority.

Temptation will complicate this process. I know, because even as I strive to live this way there are times when I want first. I am not going to tell you I always get it right because I am just as human as any other person breathing right now. Today I celebrate my 52nd birthday and it is hard not to sit in the “do for me” chair. I am blessed with a wife and family who think about birthdays that way so it is the way for today. But do not think I am not thankful and blessed to enjoy their feelings.

To get back tot he point of the bible verse above, God always provides a path of escape when we are tempted. The more you learn about God and his ways the more you see what is meant by this escape. Suppose you have thoughts of taking something that is not yours. God will convict you in that moment, you just have to be willing to hear him. Or maybe you want to be dishonest about a response. Again God will let you know that is not an acceptable path.

God wants us to succeed in this mortal life. He did not create us as we are and then arrange a cascade of failures for us to collect during our moon cycles on this terrestrial ball. He wants us to not only survive, but thrive. Much of the burden is on us. Being tempted once is not a sin. Being tempted more than once for the same reason and refusing to learn how to escape that temptation however is. We must develop our ability to see our sin for what it is and deal with it with God’s help.

Tempted is no way to live, so if you know that is a concern in your life reach out to a friend who can help you understand God’s answers to your weakness.

 

Daily Prompt: Echo 12/1/2016

via Daily Prompt: Echo The one word Daily Post prompt for today is Echo.

When you are a Christian you have a clear set of instructions about how to serve Christ. But just because you have these and know them well does not mean you will always live up to them. Too many times you find yourself missing the mark in one or more ways as you try to serve your Savior.

My echo is when I tell myself I must do better. I must give more love, I must treat others better, I must spend more time reading the bible, I must serve more. I should be more patient, more tireless in my service, more willing to mentor others, more willing to learn, you know as I do the list is endless.

Sometimes the echo is soft in my ears. But sometimes the echo can drive you nuts! Can any of you echo my feelings?

 

well done

Banned – Being Selfish! Instead Bless Others!

How many have you blessed today? This week, this month, this year? If  not, why not? Here is instructions from the book of Proverbs:

Proverbs 11:24-25 “24 There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. 25 The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”

God does not bless us so we can accumulate and collect in places where no one gains. I realized years ago that everything I have is on loan from God. I also decided long ago the sure way to continue to enjoy what I was blessed with was to share with others. It comes as part of the J.O.Y. Principle I try to make my overarching life mantra.

Jesus is always first. Others will be next and my time comes last. How do you do that? With devotion to do what Jesus says in the Holy Bible. Then be kind to your neighbor, or the person you encounter wherever you go. Don’t allow the stresses of life to influence how you treat others. They are just as important to God as you and just trying to do a job or live their life, the same as you.

I heard someone speaking recently about how they housed some missionaries that were on a short term break and needed a temporary resting place. The couple was basically patting themselves on the back fro blessing the missionaries with their hospitality, but in the end their blessing turned out to be so much greater. Truly you cannot out give God.

I am currently in partnership with a couple involved with a mission more than 1300 miles away and the ability to share God’s blessing on my life with them continues to become richer all the time. I have been fortunate to visit them in their ministry location three times and actually be a part of their growth. To see God working through them and with what help my church and I can pass along is a great model of being the “Body of Christ”.

Make a special effort to try to bless someone today!

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This is my response to Banned, the Daily Post one word prompt for 10-26-16.


 

 

Origin Story – Discovery Challenge – 7 June 2016

For this week’s Discovery Challenge we are encouraged to delineate our Origin Story like that of a movie character.

Origin

Once upon a time I was the guy who could not get up in front of others and speak. I would stutter or get nervous, so I just chose not to do it. I also was not a Christian, but just because I had never taken the required step of asking Jesus to be in my life. Luckily I had someone in my life who cared enough to make sure I understood the importance of that decision. You know how it is to have a real life angel that knows how to guide your steps? I had that.

As I matured, I learned what it meant to have a relationship with Christ and knew I needed that. I was sixteen when I finally took the step or steps to the front of my small Methodist church in Meadowview, Virginia. Little did I know that that moment would forever change my path in life and that my inability to speak would also be changed.

Slowly at first I began to feel more comfortable speaking in public. It was mostly in front of friends at church, but eventually I got the chance to do so in more public spaces in front of larger amounts of people. I knew that it was God’s hand that was giving me this ability and I made a commitment to always speak in his name when I could.

Before long I was speaking in front of larger crowds as I communicated plans for mission projects in our church. There was also moments when words needed to be communicated at community events like Relay For Life. With every opportunity my confidence grew.

In 2012 I got the chance to go on an international mission trip and the following year when I returned I read a Christmas Story to about 60 children. Also during that time my wife and I began to lead our church’s effort to provide a teen bible school for around thirty youth. There was no way I could let nerves bother me then, because I was communicating directly about God’s love.

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Reading the “Tale of Three Trees” to kids at Heart House in Maya Mopan, Belize in December 2013.

This past December I had the extreme pleasure of delivering an ad-lib puppet show for about twenty-five minutes to a group of nearly one hundred children and adults. There were no nerves to be found, because God was blessing our effort. From an origin of doubt has come a life of serving for God.

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Just last night as we talked about something called the posture of a Christian, I stoop before two dozen teenagers and another half dozen adults and shared how God had worked in my life. My origin was more like a stumble than a leap, but with God you can do anything.