"When God calls you to something, He is not always calling you to succeed, He’s calling you to obey! The success of the calling is up to Him; the obedience is up to you." David Wilkerson
This is a short, but challenging thought. Most of us raised in the United States have a very strong success orientation. Our economic system is based on getting ahead and being upwardly mobile. Upward mobility really has no real value in light of eternity. The real challenge is to faithfully serve in the face of little success. In all cases, win or lose, "Obedience is better than sacrifice." RJD
"We can't solve modern problems by going back in time. Retreating to the safety of the familiar is an understandable response, but God has called us to a life of faith. And faith requires us to face the unknown while trusting Him completely." Charles R. Swindoll
No doubt about it--the Post-Modern world is presenting challenges both to the Church in general and to us as individuals. How can we cope with the continual barrage of sensuality, political rhetoric, misinformation, changing morality, relative values, and the pleasure seeking/materialistic-centric culture that surrounds us? Sometimes the answers are neither clear nor simple, so, we just put a stake down and stand. Personally, it is a call for "me" to stand for God and respond to others with love and integrity. The scripture that comes to mind is a word from the Apostle Paul to Timothy.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) RJD
"What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies." Thomas Cranmer
What a wise quote. So often we espouse values that we do not live ourselves. Jesus made it clear, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Too often we fall for the wrong "things" in live--and if we really want it, we choose it and justify our actions. There is little doubt that we all need God to deliver us from our worst instincts...at least that is the truth of me. RJD
Making a "paraphrased" version of the Apostles' Creed--is probably like listening to finger nails scratching across the surface of a chalk board; however, since we readily accept paraphrased versions of the Bible, this should not really stir too much controversy. Anyway, this is the official "RJ Paraphrased Version of the Apostles' Creed."
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of all that is; I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, the author and the finisher of our faith; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a Holy and sinless life, only to be unjustly punished when Pilate had already declared Him to be an innocent man. He was crucified, died, was buried and descended into hell. But, on the third day he rose victorious over death, hell and the grave. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and even now He is making intercession for His people.
I believe in the Holy Spirit and fullness of His power and ministry on this earth, I believe that Christ is preparing a bride that is without spot or wrinkle, I believe in a Church that will continue to stand in the face of darkness until Christ returns, I believe that the Gospel Message is destined to reach every tribe, every tongue and every nation, I believe that all the saints of God, both living and dead will hear the trumpet sound, and their temporal bodies will be gloriously changed into bodies that shall live forevermore, without pain, suffering, weariness or the tentacles of sin. And so, we shall evermore live in the Kingdom of our God and King. Amen
“We need to pledge ourselves anew to the cause of Christ. We must capture the spirit of the early church. Wherever the early Christians went, they made a triumphant witness for Christ. Whether on the village streets or in the city jails, they daringly proclaimed the good news of the gospel.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
I think that the power of the gospel message is underappreciated and underused in most Church circles today. Often "we" are motivated by doing good works where we can see the physical results. So, our church activity is filled with good works. We do good works for each other and we pursue the good of those that are outside the church walls. I appreciate the effort...however, good works separated from the good news of the gospel will fizzle out or get off track. To maintain the integrity of good works, we must center those works on that which is truly and purely good. So, let us hit the streets with good works in our hands and the good message on our tongue. RJD
“Christianity affirms that at the heart of reality is a Heart, a loving Father who works through history for the salvation of His children. Man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of all things and humanity is not God. Bound by the chains of his own sin and finiteness, man needs a Savior.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
No doubt, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a champion for social justice. What is social justice? It is the work of redeeming culture, society and civilization for the common good. The work of redemption requires a Savior. This is why, those involved in social justice causes need to make a spiritual connection. Fighting against the darkness that entangles, strips and afflicts mankind requires the light of God. God is the one who breaks chains, sets free and redeems. Ultimately, we need God to redeem us so that we can "do" the work of redemption. RJD
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed,” Denzel Washington (12/6/16)
It would certainly be refreshing to hear and read the news without all the spin! Personally, I'm not interested in the political spin of the left or the right on everything or anything considered newsworthy. I like the Dragnet approach: "Just the facts..." If the truth of the facts do not line up with the chosen narrative of a political position, those facts should be guarded by good journalism as a sacred trust. There is not a compelling case for newspapers to drip with misinformation. Any misinformation, disinformation or spin should be viewed with complete distain--for it is an epic failure in the mission of journalism. In order to understand and "fix" the things that are broken in our culture, we need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!" RJD
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ” Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher expectantly passed away at age 60. She is famous for playing the part of Princess Leia in Star Wars. She was both an actress and an author. One of my favorite quotes from Carrie deals with resentment.
She hits the nail on the head with this quote. Often, in my own life, I have held on to resentment as if it has any effect on those that I have held in contempt. Those that have not lived up to my expectations have been locked away in my resentment torcher chamber. Only problem, the only person in my resentment torcher chamber is "me." Time to forgive and move on..."yes," time to forgive and move on. RJD