Stranger Things

Stranger Things. If you like suspense, fear, and intrigue with a strong dose of fiction, then  the show, Stranger Things is for you.

My wife and I really enjoyed both seasons. Try it! You just might like it too!

stranger-things-titles

In the show, there was an alternate universe. Some of the characters called it ‘The Upside Down’. It was the same yet different. The buildings were there but there were very few people. Again, the Upside Down was the same but yet, strangely different.

I understand that I am being very vague and ambiguous with the description of the show. All I really want to communicate is that there was another world, a world different from the reality in which the people were living.

The Word – reality

The Worth – We live in this world. But I feel like we are not always living in reality.

Acts 17:16-31 is a passage of scripture that describes Paul while he was in Athens. The people are accusing Paul of speaking about ‘strange things’.

So Paul, as was his custom, began to preach. He was explaining how the people were worshipping many different idols and gods. They even had an idol to an unknown god. I assume they were covering all of their bases.

He then turns the conversation around to God. And in verse 28, Paul hits them with the truth. “For in him we live and move and have our being…” 

In the original language, the word being means simply, “to exist.”

Substitute the word reality for the word being. We exist, we live and breath, in fact, our very reality is in God! If God is removed, we cease to exist!

All of the idols and gods the people of Athens were worshipping are not reality!

In November of 2017, are we just like the people of Athens? Too many times the answer is…yes! We worship so many things and can be oblivious to the reality that is God!

The Work – What is your reality? Do you find that your life is filled with many things, that you are religious, that there are idols present?

If you answered yes then you might need a reality check.

reality check sign

Stop and take time to ask God what is reality. What is real?

Perception is truth. What you see you take as truth. Ask God to help you see, feel, touch, and perceive His reality. That is the truth we all need.

It might take a little getting used to but it will be worth it!

I conclude with Paul’s words, “For in him we live and move and have our reality!”

 

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Because of P, we get Q.

Before I get into this post, please read my previous post. It is the foundation for today’s message. Here is the link, Two people, a bus, and a gift.

foundations

A through P. That marks my progress so far this year. Today is about the letter Q. This one was more difficult than most of the others. But as I typed the last post, a seed of an idea started to grow. Again, Two people, a bus, and a gift was the beginning and now it will continue.


My best friend is computer/IT guy.

I have a friend who is a medical doctor.

I have another friend who is a financial planner.

My wife is a graphic designer.

My pastor is also my mentor.

What do these people have in common? They are all qualified.

The Word – qualified

The Worth – In any type of setting where a person is receiving something, it is important that the giver is qualified.

In no way would I go to the doctor for a surgery unless I knew that he/she was trained and educated to do the procedure!

It would not make sense to take advice from someone unless they have experience and knowledge in the specific area in which I need advice.

You know what? God is qualified. 

That begs the question, “What is God qualified to do?”

The short answer is that He can do anything because He is God.

But the specific answer is that God is qualified to forgive me and you.

Hebrews 9 talks about the superior quality of Christ’s blood over the blood of goats, calves, etc. that were used in sacrificing. Reading the whole chapter would be better because of the context but I will put verse 12 here for now.

Hebrews 9:12 “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

The blood of animals was temporary. It did not last. In essence, the animal blood was not qualified to take away sin. But Jesus, who was perfect, eternal, and human, was uniquely qualified for the task of removing sin.

I like that phrase, uniquely qualified. It would be good to remember it.

The Work – Because God is passionate about loving us and Jesus is qualified to remove our sins, we don’t need to try to save ourselves! We can’t do it anyway! Our good works and the like are not qualified to save us.

What we can do is accept this truth by faith. We can rest in the knowledge that God has taken care of everything. His life can flow through us everyday!

Make and spend time with Him today. Thank Him that He is qualified!

And you know what that means? We are now qualified!

When, by faith, we accept His sacrifice, we are now seen as righteous!

We become His tool on earth for His work and His kingdom!

So go out and live purposely because you are qualified to do so!

Qualified With Green Tickmark

 

Am I being productive enough?

If you have read any of my posts for 2017, you have seen the pattern. This post is going to be a word that starts with the letter K.

If you have done the math, 26 letters in the alphabet translates to one post every two weeks. That would get me through the alphabet and 2017 at the same time.

If you have figured it out, based on the schedule of one post every two weeks, then you know that I should be on the letter P! I am a slacker!

So I ask myself this question, “Am I being productive enough?”

In so many situations, we think we need to be ‘productive enough’ to succeed.

Perhaps these thoughts have wormed their way into your mind:

Did I do all I could? 

If I stay one more hour…

I need to make more money…

I feel so lazy!

I don’t deserve that…

  • promotion
  • raise
  • new job
  • woman
  • man
  • blessing
  • __________

…because I have not earned it. 

That list could go on a lot longer!

Why do we have this mentality that life is ‘works’ based?

I think we I can answer that question.

light bulb moment

We work because we don’t trust.

The Word – Kinetic

The Worth – We need to start with a quick and easy science lesson. This is physics 101.

There are two types of energy: Potential and Kinetic

Potential energy is stored energy. Kinetic energy is moving energy.

Potential-and-kinetic-energy

In the diagram, the ball is filled with potential energy because it is not moving.

When released, the ball is now falling (moving). It is now kinetic energy.

Here is where science and God meet.

God is always moving. He is kinetic energy. We can’t always see it. And because we can’t see something we tend to not trust it.

The Work – 

I got married at the age of 26. There were many years of asking God why He had not provided my wife. He was moving and preparing me even though I did not see it.

I used to be addicted to pornography. God was moving that whole time even though I was stuck. Now I can help others who are stuck in sin. Thank you Lord!

I was called into the ministry (specifically, March of 1990). Even today, there are times when I wonder about how to live out that calling. You can bet that God is still moving.

These are the biggest examples of my life. What about your life?

In what area is God moving even though you don’t see it?

Isaiah 55:8-11 give insight to our kinetic God.

Genesis 37-50 recounts the wonderful story of Joseph. God was certainly moving then.

Even when Jesus was in the grave, God was moving. Do you believe that God has, still is, and will continue to move in your life?

So start trusting God today. Trust Him because He is kinetic!

 

 

The 5th letter is…

March! I missed it! Wow, how did I not post the last month? Not sure exactly…

Regardless, I am moving forward in this series, Alphabet soup.

So far this year, I have posted 4 times (5 including this one). As you may have already noticed, I am following a pattern. There is a word for each post and I started with Absolute. Breathtaking, Committed, and Diligent followed.

All of these words describe God. Today the word will start with ‘E’.

letter e

The Word – Essential

The Worth – Sometimes people use words in the wrong context. I work at an Olive Garden. I hear the phrase, “I am starving” literally everyday! Sometimes from the customers and sometimes my co-workers but usually from both! Do these people know what starving means!?!? Starving does not mean that you are so hungry because you have not eaten since breakfast! These people are not starving so I wish they would just say that they are hungry!

Essential means ‘absolutely necessary.’ Water is absolutely necessary in order to live. It is essential. Food is also essential. These are things that needed in order to live.

God is essential. In John 15, Jesus spoke some words. In this sermon, he did not exaggerate. He did not speak out of context. The words he spoke were accurate. So much so that we need to take heed and listen. Here is verse 5 from that chapter;

5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

john 15-5

Jesus said that without God, we can do nothing. Again, no embellishment in these words. The Son of God chose these words specifically and with a purpose. God is essential!

He wanted us to know that God is essential. We would not even be able to breathe unless God gave us the ability to do so. Death would happen. We just cannot do it on our own.

That is the penalty of sin. It is death. Physical and spiritual death.

But he gives more grace.

By the grace of God, he sustains us. He lets us live. He bestows grace so that we can come to Him and surrender our lives and follow Him.

The Work – Too many times, we try to live and succeed on our own power, talent, or perseverance. Stop it! I think that you and I need to try to abide (stay connected through consistent and constant relationship with Jesus). If and when there are mistakes, we can go to God for more grace. He loves us and the Bible tells us that His anger is only for a moment but his love is forever. see Psalm 103 

Stay tuned for the letter ‘F’. I am guessing that it will be a word that one usually does not ascribed to God. And, it just might be the best two minutes of your day!

2 minutes

Thank you and enjoy His grace today!

 

 

AB+ and 44

Today is my birthday. It was a pretty decent day. I had some great family time. Work was enjoyable. Had lunch with my wife which is rare so that was pretty awesome.

happy-birthday-meme

Now I am writing this blog. I have not written since late July. Taking time off was planned but not this much time. This blog has been good for me. It helps me to process what I read in God’s word and what I hear God telling me.

Back to the birthday. I am 44 today. Is that middle-age? Whatever 44 is called, so be it.

My life began 44 years ago. At some point, I became born again. For me, there is not a specific date that I can call my “spiritual” birthday. But I know it has happened. On that day, the blood of Jesus washed my sins away.

The blood of Jesus is an interesting thing. Somewhat morbid if you ask me. And then the bible says that though my sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. How can blood do this? What is so important about the blood that Jesus spilled while hanging on the cross? How can I be forgiven? More about this in upcoming blogs.

My blood type is AB+. In my adulthood, I have donated about 3 gallons. Take a look at this chart.

blood-types-red1

According to the chart, only AB+ people can receive my blood. On the other hand, I can receive from any type. Good deal for me.

Again, according to the chart, Jesus must have been O- because anyone can receive His blood.

He is the universal donor. Because today is my birthday, I have been thinking a lot about my life and all the it encompasses.

Of this I am sure: Jesus is my life. His blood purifies me from sin. His blood gives me victory over sin. His blood empowers to live like He wants me to live.

As I stated, I will explore the Blood over the next few posts.

Can I leave you with two questions though?

Do you remember your spiritual birthday?

If not, would you like to have one?