Party With the Lights On

Think with me for a moment about all the people you know right now that just can’t seem to get their life together. They just continually make wrong choices and the effects of those choices are prevalent in the dissatisfaction that they experience in life. Not the folks that just have an unfortunate (depending on your perspective) lot in life, I’m talking about the one’s who continually bring it on themselves. The sower’s who inevitably become the reapers.

Do you have them all locked in? Alright; as junky as those cases are,  I want to tell you about a group that has it worse though. They are the one’s that in our minds have it all together. The folks who appear to be doing things right. For lack of a better word their life is just hunky-dori.

This particular group has two options of the Mr. Miagi style; “Lights on.” “Lights off.” Life isn’t meant to be lived in a bubble. We will fall, what will we do when we land? Will we pull the blankets of deception up to guard us, or will we let the Lord be our shield? Who’s judgement are we concerned with? That of men who are no better than ourselves or that of God who is holy and just?

I think we have grown afraid of confessing our sins to one another due to the judgement of our brothers. Too often we come along and kick a brother or sister while they’re down. My uncle told me once, “Christians are the only people who shoot their wounded.” That has always stuck with me. We never know what kind of impact we may have on somebody in that first group by being bold enough to fear God rather than man and bring our sins under the light.

What freedom there is in telling your Christian brothers and sisters this is my struggle and knowing they are praying for you instead of preying on you. Jesus said people would know we were Christians by the love we had for one another(John 13:35). Can we lay down our weapons and pick up our bandages? If you’ve got some things in your closet that aren’t jiving with your Christian walk, confess it and be healed. If someone confesses something to you and rather than pray for them you pass judgement or proceed to gossip about it; Lord have mercy on you, your judgement will be worse.

Blood and Bandages—Ignite for Christ

Honour the king


Nothing like an election year to bring out the best in folks. Just some liberty loving American’s following through on civil discourse about the future direction of our nation. If you disagree with that representation of the political scene congratulations you are breathing.

Unfortunately for anyone interested in another political debate article you will be upset to find neither Cruz, Trump, Clinton, or Sanders mentioned in this post again. I want to talk to you about Mr. Barak Obama, our Commander in Chief.

Another level of disappointment coming for anybody hoping I was about to grind my axe about how terrible he is, what a traitor, what a monster.  No, what I want to talk about is respect for authority.

Our countrymen and our children bare witness to the words we speak and the words we write. How then will we be remembered? As a people who babbled on about the woes and evils of our “king”, the President of the United States? Or will we like Jesus submit to authority and respect the office and the God who gave him his authority.

Please don’t confuse my message and imagine it to be one of laying down to tyrants or supporting ungodly rule and policies. On the contrary, sound the alarm and try to repel the wicked plans of men abusing authority. Do this in a spirit of grace though. You can adamantly disagree with his policies, his views, and all that he stands for without attacking his very person that was created in the image of God.

Many of us, myself included have failed to adhere to scripture in this area of our lives over the last eight years (probably more if you feel that Mr. Bush stole a lot of our freedom in the name of security) honour the king. (1 Peter 2:18)

Join me, and let’s send off Mr. Obama in a fashion that would be pleasing to our Lord. I’m simply asking that from now to the next inauguration we speak graciously and we keep him in our prayers as the bible commands.

Love and Ashes, Ignite for Christ.

What’s Important Now Radio Guest Apperance

I had the privilege today to join Pastor Tom Sears on the What’s Important Now radio broadcast. This airs on Sunday’s at 11:00am ET on fm radio WAJR 103.3 There will be a link to the show posted at the bottom of this post. I have zero radio experience,Pastor Tom has a ton. I did learn something of importance though, I sound like a  goon and should stick to writing, but who knows. In any case, I had a good time on the show with Pastor Tom who doesn’t sound like a goon and has one of those James Earl Jones-esque voices. He does a great job and presents truth from an easy to understand, relatable, biblical viewpoint. I encourage anyone to listen to his shows. If you can’t listen to the shows at that time, the mass of his content loops 24/7 on Christian Truth Radio.

GUEST SPOT on WIP RADIO (click download as free member)


 

Pride is an Acquired Taste

Pride: a feeling that you are more important or better than other people. That is one of the definitions of pride out of Merriam’s dictionary. What does God say about pride? He has a lot to say about it, but I just want to look at one scripture. “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate” (Proverbs 8:13)

Pride and arrogance God hates, yet I find it so prevalent within myself that it taints everything I do. It seems that all I get done doing is asking God to forgive my pride and take it away from me. If that’s not all I’m doing then I’m probably just walking around proud and about to fall. Swallow your pride folks will quip as if it is some finger snap move. “Hey Jeff, you left your pride switch on.” “Gee willickers, thanks neighbor, that could have caused me some real troubles.”

Prayer before during and after battles with pride is the only feasible way. Not sure why I would think it would work any different from all the other principles of God, maybe that is the heart of it right there; doing things my way instead of God’s. Real life example coming up in the next paragraph. Disclaimer: I fight with my wife. (even though she’s my perfect help mate)

I started out the day with prayers to be loving and kind; walk in a manner pleasing to God. A good four hours, a grocery trip, and complaining about my driving wife later I’m pulling the car over and telling her to drive or we’re going home. Now after a lecture from my five year old in the back on how I am supposed to always love my wife; I decided to swallow my pride and apologize. (That little goon was out of place to be getting involved but we will leave that for another blow) End of story, hooray for super Christian doing just want God wants.

Just kidding, that isn’t how it went this day because I didn’t pray about the next moment of tension between the wife and I. Point is the tension continued to build until we are back at the house and not speaking to one another. After a fight I always find it comical how dedicated we are to out mime roles during a fight.

What is the point to all this rambling? God will deliver you from your pride, if you ask him. You just have to swallow it down and spew back up some humility. If your like me though, you may find that your appetite for pride is not yet quite refined.

Forks and Knives: Pride Pie Surprise! Ignite for Christ.

Stir the Pot

Usually this little saying has a negative connotation with it. The person too involved with the affairs of everyone else. Getting into the mix of relationships between friends, co-workers, and church members and saying little things here and there that will keep the flames of discord roaring.

I want to focus on the biblical version of stirring the pot. Our scripture text will be Hebrews 10:24-25. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as yee see the day approaching.”

The bible is clearly telling us to meddle in the affairs of our fellow Christians. Not in the way of harmful gossip; but by the means of encouragement. In following the text I should be sitting around with my brothers and sisters in mind just coming up with ideas how I can stir up the love of God and the good works that follow faith in them.

How am I supposed to do this? I barely have time to get my own affairs in order. The bible speaks plainly here, go to church. The objections are many and varied. They all fall dead here at the feet of God’s word. Meet together and encourage one another. When we are faithful to this scripture our love becomes stirred up. It is so encouraging to see folks show up at the house of God. To put their lives on hold and gather together with their brothers and sisters to worship Him.

The more time we spend in the presence of the Lord (don’t take me to mean we can only spend time with the Lord at a certain building or place) and fellow believers the more our love will be stirred up to set our minds on how we can love and stir up others.

Get out there and provoke somebody. Ignite ’em up.

 

 

 

 

Perfectly Paralyzed

Disclaimer: This is written from the perspective of a thirty one year old adult male who has fewer handy man skills than he probably should. If you don’t find yourself in this category please try to find deeper truths within it that can apply to your own situation.

Now that all of that is out of the way, lets talk about pride and how it can quickly wreck your day. Through lack of interest, circumstance, and lack of time management I have managed to make it to my current place in life with very few handy man skills. This isn’t a big deal if you are willing to learn, pride has a funny way of sending willingness right out the door.

I have apparently been an all or nothing type most of my life. Team this up with a perfectionist mentality and you will start to see the problem. Most folks can have something go wrong around their house and go attempt to fix it. Not me, I have to call somebody or pay somebody to do it. I can’t just simply go attempt to do it on my own because I might fail. Perfectionist can’t have failures tied to their list of accomplishments, they don’t tend to mesh very well.

This was all well and good as a younger lad, the Lord blessed me with quite a bit of natural talent in athletics and my mental capacities. This resulted in doing pretty well in sports and having mostly A’s on my report cards. Then something happened as I got a bit older. I realized I never developed any study habits, I never learned how to really train. If something didn’t come quick and didn’t come natural I didn’t know how to attain it. This is still a skill set I’m working to acquire.

What happens to a person like the one described? You become paralyzed. You don’t try anything new because you might fail. If I am alone and reading a book or watching a video teaching me to do something I am fine. If my wife walks in I’m instantly on pins and needles. I become unnerved when I know that she knows that I have no clue what I’m doing. The feeling of inadequacy causes me to go on the defense and snap at her for any tiny thing she might say or do. The same goes for my little girl joyfully skipping around. Does she know you  don’t skip around a person who doesn’t know what they’re doing?

I’ve come to a conclusion; I would rather be the continual squire than the proud fool. If I hold onto my pride I’ll maintain the same skill set I have right now until I go to the grave. If I lay down my pride and allow myself to be instructed by others God will send me the people I need in my life to impact and influence me to be who He wants me to be. If I’m lucky I might come out of it all knowing how to garden, change my transmission fluid, and raise chickens. Lord help me to receive instructions.

Ignite for Christ.

Ashamed at His Coming

Is it me or is our society full of things to be ashamed of? Is it me, or are our minds full of things to be ashamed of. Society is just an easy faceless target. Society is simply each one of us looking into our mirrors at the same time. The view is pretty pitiful. Pride, jealousy, lust, fear, gossip, double-mindedness; that’s just the surface of my mirror, how much can you add?

The beauty of this messy mirror is that the blood leaves no streaks. No greater cleaner has the world ever known than the Blood of the Lamb. Should they be able to bottle it up then no other stain fighting product would sit on the shelves for they would all be found greatly lacking.

I John 2:25 “And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.” When you are cleaned by this beautiful blood our Father in heaven sees only the righteousness of His son. A promise of a land of no more sorrows, no more pain, no more tears, no more goodbyes. To forever be in the presence of the Almighty and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Having this great promise in mind how then shall we live?

I John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” It matters how we live our lives, it matters what we do with our time, it matters what we say, it matters what we do. We have no guarantee of our next breath nor of the day our savior will return. Take out the garbage; live for the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Live in a way that no matter what time of day or night our Lord should come you can have confidence and not shame.

Love and ashes, ignite for Christ.

Tell Me About It

Psalm 77:12 “I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of they doings. Psalm 119:13 “With my lips have I declared the judgements of thy mouth.” Psalm 119:27 “Make me to understand the way of they precepts: so shall I talk of they wondrous works.” Psalm 119:46 “I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.”

These are simply a few verses I stumbled across in some random bedtime reading. They are powerful though. These verses tell us exactly what we should be doing with our mouths. We really are careless with our words. They can be so powerful and used for such greatness, but more often than not we waste them on foolishness.

In all three of the verses the man of God is speaking up. He isn’t quietly fading into the background afraid to upset someone. He’s not concerned with what the people around him might have to say about it. Jesus said to do our work while it was light because the dark was coming and no man could work in the dark. The time for passive aggressive work in the kingdom is past, in fact; I don’t think it’s time ever was.

How many conversations with co-workers are you going to let slip by? How many family functions are you going to attend and hold your tongue? “We don’t discuss religion or politics are here.” That is clearly from just three verses one of the most unbiblical things I’ve ever heard.

Wise as serpents, but as harmless as doves. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you by the hand; ask him to loose that tongue of yours for something other than gossiping about people or criticizing your wife. (self judgement; pray for me 🙂 ) Ask Him to show you opportunities to interject the truth in love into the conversation.

The Lord told us to speak up; don’t let this current culture convince you to be quiet. Your King is waiting to hear you defending him in the midst of all this injustice and darkness.

Come on in, the Refiner’s fire is fine. Ignite for Christ.

“Wannabe” “Poser” “Follower”

I remember as a young kid wanting to fit right in with my pals. I didn’t enjoy times when I felt like I was outside the circle of acceptance. Now as time went on and certain fads came and went you could find yourself in danger of a pretty weighty label if you weren’t careful. That label would be “wannabe” or poser or even follower.

To fall under the weight of one of these brands could be devastating. Now the very pals that you were hoping to have camaraderie with were looking at you with questioning eyes. “This guy over here is a poser gang.” With one off handed comment like that you could very quickly find yourself outside the camp.

Now depending on your particular set of friends that may be a huge blessing. Speaking in general though most people want to be accepted and/or respected by their peers. This becomes less important to a degree as you mature but this longing to belong still remains prevalent throughout our lives.

Parents want the love and respect of their kids, teachers want students to hear their teaching and apply it, employees want to mesh into the group at work or at least be well received by the boss; gang members want the love and respect of the rest of the gang. We were designed for relationship just as God the Father is in relation to God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We were made for it.

With this wanting to belong, we could very easily fall into the label of poser or wannabe; and I suggest we do. We need to all be modifying our behavior to fit in. To fit in with God. Mimetes is the Greek word used in the bible’s new testament seven times to positively describe Christians. It means simply: Imitator or Follower

Friends, lets give  up our hope of attaining total acceptance in the circles of the world, and take our place in the circle of God. May the circle, be unbroken.

Love and Fire: Ignite for Christ.