Tag Archives: faith

Before – The 2017 Kindness Challenge

I found Niki, from The Richness of a Simple Life, during this year’s 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge. If you did not see any of her challenge posts you should click on her blog link and check it out. She has a great perspective and I am happy to connect with another strong Christian online.

Before we begin the seven week 2017 Kindness Challenge Niki has asked that we take some time to put together and intention post. What is that? It is kind of a plan for what we would like to accomplish in the Kindness Challenge. What will be the kindness you will seek to embody? How will you touch others or allow them to touch you?

I find myself in a weird mood as I approach this. I know everyone has a different perspective on kindness, but I want to share this thought. Kindness is not doing something you should do as a matter of politeness or being a positive part of society.

To say thank you is not kindness. To do something after you are instructed is not kindness, at least in my estimation. In order to register on the kindness scale I think your action must be beyond your normal habits.

The kind of example I might give is seeking out the manager of a retail store and telling them what a good job their staff does. Or what a good job they do about keeping their store clean and stocked. Take a buggy in for someone in a parking lot so they don’t have to roll it to the buggy return. You are going in anyway.

Recently there has been some opportunities to send birthday cards to members of my church. I have been selective in who I send to, choosing those who may not receive a card from anyone else. Everyone deserved to feel special on their birthday, so it is a small thing on my part.

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Looking at the seven weeks and themes I can give a better intention of what will be the focus.

  • Week 1 | Self-love
  • Week 2 | Self-compassion
  • Week 3 | Self-acceptance
  • Week 4 | Kindness role model
  • Week 5 | Choosing kindness
  • Week 6 | Kindness without expectation
  • Week 7 | Grateful for kindness

 

I may have trouble with week 1 because as a Christian I feel like self-love is something that can cause issues. This blog is called Living the J.O.Y. Principle, which espouses the idea of Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. I find the more I focus on Jesus and doing for others the happier I am.

However, I do realize you must have balance in all things and eventually you will tap yourself out with no input to your own self-development. I suppose that may be a big reason I wanted to take part in this challenge. Plus a challenge with a large quantity of participants provides someone to hold you accountable. We could all use more of that can’t we?

2017 Before Posts

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wanderlust

The Weekly Photo Challenge is like a mini-lottery game to me. You never know what might pop up as the topic of the week. But unlike the lottery, at least in my experience, there is a winner every time with the Weekly Photo Challenge, you just have to peruse the photo archives.

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I am on the left in my “HOT” weather gear.  

I wanted for years to travel to do mission work with my church. In about 2010 or so I finally got the chance as we traveled to the gulf coast of the United States to work on a church roof that needed to be replaced. I have been to the tourist areas in Florida like Orlando, Saint Augustine and Melbourne, but this was my furthest trip into the western side of Florida.

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In 2012 I joined a team of 10 others on my first international mission trip to Belize. This picture is from Old Belize, the most tourist centered place we visited and it was only for lunch on the way to the airport on the last day. Most of our time was in and around the capital of Belmopan.

alaska I hope to take in the breath taking beauty of our 50th state this fall as my wife and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. There is an ever-growing list of places I want to see and this seems a great starting point.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/wanderlust/

 

Denial – the easy response when you see sin in your life

DenialI know anyone who has ever been alive longer than a couple of years has heard about sin. It is the product of many of this mortal life’s good and bad experiences. Sin comes in many forms. There is purposeful sin, accidental sin, ignorant sin and more. But in the end it is all against God’s instructions for how to live a Christian life. Do you think God hides any of this information? He doesn’t. He puts it out front and center for our consumption. If we do not know its because we don’t care to look for it or ask about it.

What is the first human reaction when we are faced with the thought we may have committed a sin? I think it is denial. We think “oh no, not me!” “I didn’t sin. If so I didn’t mean to.” But if we are honest with ourselves many times we do indeed sin. I have been a Christian for more than thirty years and I still sin way too often. Thankfully my knowledge of the difference between sinful acts and those that aren’t sinful has increased, but the sin nature is still present.

I used to try the denial route. It is easy to deny and try to blame your actions on the situation, the weather, the stock market or anything else. But all this does is prolong your feeling of conviction that comes from wanting to please God with your actions. The best thing you can do when you realize you are sinning is to remove yourself from the situation and confess your sin.

Accept that you are mortal, that sin will always be a challenge and try to learn how to head it off before it gets tis claws in you. Isn’t it better to not have to dive into the denial pool? God loves you, will accept you wherever you are and will change your life, including how you deal with sin, if you will just follow his lead.

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

Go Seek Your Fortune – 03/30/17

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Did you know if you are a Christian you cannot be rich? That is a perception among those without understanding of the teachings of the Holy Bible about submitting to the will of Christ. They wrongly believe if you accept Christ you surrender any chance of success and accumulation of worldly wealth.

I can tell you that is not true. God’s teaching asks us to cheerfully give 10% of what we earn. Cheerfully as in not just tossing a bill in the offering plate as it passes on Sunday morning because everyone is watching. Freely, because we want to honor God and support His ministries. Not to mention the real fact that all of it is His to begin with anyway. What exactly did you create that brings your income? Even if you conjured a new device out of thin air you used raw ingredients crafted with love by the Creator.

Moving on now, we have established it is okay to have some kind of fortune. But, the way you deal with hat fortune is just as important as how you obtain it. Here is a passage from the gospel of Luke that speaks about it.

10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?   Luke 16:10-11 NIV
God will bless those He knows will make good use of the blessing. That may not always be in tangible assets. Some of the richest people on earth don’t have a bank account of note. Instead they are using their talents, which also can be considered a fortune to the glory of God.
In my estimation our time on earth is a type of fortune. Each of us has a limited shelf life. From the moment we are born there is a countdown and not making the most of our time is squandering a vast fortune. We should be busy about God’s work, sharing with others about his teachings and salvation. That is why I created this blog. I invite you to click around and see what might catch your attention here.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fortune-2/

Elixir – Finding eternal life

Elixir

Humans have sought the magic of eternal life for centuries. All the way back in 1535 a Spanish explorer and conquistador named Ponce de Leon poked around Florida seeking a magic elixir to prolong his life. Hundreds of millions of dollars flow out of bank accounts every month on creams, lotions, treatments and the promise of  extending the scope of our mortal existence.

But truly none of these mortal offerings will translate into much more than a band aid kind of help. For a lasting kind of change to the possibility of an eternal life you have one solid option: trust in Christ.

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. John 3:16 King James Version

There is no doubt why this verse is quoted more often than probably any other verse in the Holy Bible. It is the kind of thing that everyone needs to hear. Notice the keyword whosoever. It does not say the rich, the poor, northerners, southerners, westerners, Americans, Europeans or Africans. There is no qualifier of young or old, black, white or brown. No, God’s promise is to whosoever is willing to take the step. I don’t know about you, but that is my kind of elixir.

The water of life can wash away your sins, those in the past, present and to come. How can that possibly be? Because God is involved and God has already done everything He chooses, is doing so now and will do so in the future. When you follow the teaching of John 3:16, you lock in your reservation in Heaven where eternal life awaits.

How long is eternal life? You can’t measure it in terms the human mind can grasp. Try to think of the worst lecture you ever attended, one you thought would never end. Then imagine the flip side where you never want it to end. That is somewhat like eternal life except it will NEVER end. I choose this as my flavor if elixir.

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

Why do we crave acceptance? – DP – 03/22/17

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As humans we are hard-wired to compare ourselves with others I think. Am I taller, shorter, richer, poorer, better-looking, smarter or the like. No matter the characteristic, even if we feel inferior or superior when it all is tabulated we want to be accepted for what we are. Yes, acceptance is a basic human need. Some people have had to fight for it, like the African Americans forced into slavery over two hundred years ago during the building of this great nation. Even now in some places their acceptance is still a work in progress.

Can I tell you about total acceptance no matter your station in life? It is something offered by the creator of this world, all worlds really. God gave us a pathway to all encompassing acceptance if we are just willing to submit to Him. We can find the instructions for this wonderful promise in John Chapter 14 and verse 6.

 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 KJV

Jesus came to earth two thousand years ago, lived among men and taught about this very path. All who accept Him and make him lord of their life not only find acceptance but gain an eternal home with Him in heaven. Acceptance for all no matter where you are from, what your bank account balance may be, the color of your skin or any other human marker that can be a source of discrimination.

In fact discrimination is nothing God ever engages in. He sees our heart. Now of course if you reject Him he will leave you alone to consider your mistake. But the acceptance everyone craves is always there for the taking. We just have to get over our stubborn nature and resistance to humility.

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

Record – Can you be convicted?

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Okay so let’s talk about this Daily Post topic, record. I suspect many people will choose to talk about the spinning disc that holds music. I hope so, I will be looking to see what songs people choose to write about. I am taking a different approach. What I have in mind is directly tied to the blog I chose to host this post, Living the J.O.Y. Principle. That’s right I will apply this to Christian faith.

One of the greatest questions I have ever heard from the pulpit goes similar to this: If you were accused of being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? In other words what does you Record show? Can you be held accountable for what you do for Christ?

I suppose there is a dichotomy in how we answer that question. On the one hand we are to do things for Christ without looking for praise. But on another we need to know from others if what we do meets the requirements of service God puts before us. Perhaps one of the most basic things we can do to ensure we are building a valid record is to at least follow the Great Commission.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Go and tell. Pretty basic instructions that are easy enough for anyone to follow. In truth when all the dust settles this will be the piece of our record that will mean the most. Tell everyone you encounter about what God has done for you so they can have the opportunity to enjoy the same.

 

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