At whom are you pointing your finger?


Everyday you read it, see it or hear it … someone pointing the finger at the ‘other guy’.  So and so did it, it’s someone elses fault.  The old saying is, when you point the finger there are three others pointing back at you.  no-finger-pointingEveryone is to blame, and no one is to blame.  No one wants to take credit for the bad, no one wants to be at fault.  We are a NO FAULT generation.

Christians are no better, they love to point fingers.  “No wonder what they are going through, did you know that …?”  and so the gossip goes.  Gossiping, that’s another blog.  Pointing the finger, you cannot go to church or be in a gathering of Christians without hearing people pointing the finger.

Recently someone a few towns over won $600 million in the lottery.  I heard so many comments from Christians.  “Better not have been a Christian, unless they found it in the parking lot!” Amazing what people single out.  So many play the $.44 cent lottery (cost of stamp to mail in an entry to win millions in a contest).  Others ‘gamble’ on the stock market.  Gambling’s a sin, right?  Depend on how much you spend?  What about that $1.29 candy bar at the check out? Gluttony’s a sin right?  Depends on if you’re overweight?  That soft drink? That movie? What about that latte?  We just LOVE to point our fingers at everyone elses lifestyle.

Matthew 7:5 (NASB) “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

One woman looks at another shaking her head and leans to her neighbor, “how does she allow herself to get so overweight?”  The guy leans in to comment to his co-worker, “I heard he has something on the boss and that’s why he got the promotion.”  The little boy nudges the girl beside him, “her mom bought that award for her.”  (Where do you think the kids learn it from?)

The root of much finger pointing is jealousy.  Watch your thoughts today, you might accidentally speak out loud.  Now back up and read the preceding verses to Matthew 7:5:

Matthew 7:1-4 (NASB) 1Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?”

The only judgement comes from God’s word.  Let Him be the judge.

lPOINT TO THE SCRIPTURES! r

How Many Footprints?


I am sure you have all heard or read the poem “Footprints”. Footprints-in-the-Sand121

It is a wonderful sentiment to reflect on during hard times.  Recently, actually over the past several years, I have had time to remind my self that the Lord carries me through the tough times.  But, this got me thinking the other day after coming through a medical trial.  Over the past five years as I look back I see where the Lord has carried us through during loss of jobs; my mother’s illness and death; our daughter being buried in the tornado; the bank trying to foreclose on our home, financial difficulties to pay for the broken elbow, a funeral, a wedding; difficult child births of grandchildren and finding a way to be there; and my chronic illness.  Yes, He definitely carried us through.

But, then I thought, “Lord, what am I doing?”  It is like we go through life and an “earthquake” rocks our world and we beg and allow the Lord to carry us through.  Then we basically say, “Lord, I got this, put me down”.  And we start cruisin’ along until we are hit by a “tornado” that sends our world spinning and again we beg and allow the Lord to carry us through.  Then we get back on our own and a “whirlpool” sucks us in, or a  “tsunami” or a “hurricane” , “quicksand” or “molten lava” hits us and on and on we go up and down out of His arms.

Life is HARD so why in the world do we keep taking control and asking to be “set down”?

WHAT IF looking back on our life there

WERE ONLY ONE

set of Foot prints,

HIS?

Isaiah 40:28-29, 31 28Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding isinscrutable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. 31 Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

RBGREENDESIGNS.COM 2020

HOPE is a verb!


HOPE – According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

intransitive verb
1: to cherish a desire with anticipation <hopes for a promotion>
2: archaic : trust
transitive verb
1: to desire with expectation of obtainment
2: to expect with confidence : trust

EasterNot to worry, I am not giving you an English lesson today.  But, note where the WORLD places what Christian’s think of the word HOPE … in 2nd.  It is NOT archaic for our HOPE to be TRUST nor is it secondary TO TRUST IN OUR HOPE WITH EXPECTANCY AND CONFIDENCE.

If your HOPE this Easter season is faltering and wavering. If you are giving in to circumstances of life, than you need to look towards The Cross and seek His Face, allowing the Holy Spirit to renew your HOPE!

Sing unto The Lord:

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
Refrain:
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.
2 When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in ev’ry high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]
3 His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood; when all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay. [Refrain]
4 When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.” Edward Mote 1834

Easter, you have your proof.  Now stand on His promises, our HOPE – Jesus.

1 Peter 1:3-5 (NASB)3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in Heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

Despite your circumstances, your LIFE, live in the Proof, Standing on the HOPE!

Colossians 3:23 (HCSB)23Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically,as something done for the Lord and not for men,24 knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.

 

RENEW YOUR HOPE: Read His Word

Hebrews 6:11  “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your HOPE sure.”

Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold unswervingly to the HOPE we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 11:1  “Now faith is being sure of what we HOPE for and certain of what we do not see.”

1 Peter 1:13  “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your HOPE fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

RBGreenDesigns.com 2020

The Pain’s The Thang


My mother would always steer clear of people who gave “organ recitals” as she called them.  They were “downers”, depressing people. Your mistake would be to ask, “how are you”?  They never got better, something was always wrong, yet they were at the mall, in church, at the school function.  They sounded as though they were dying yet they looked and acted fine.  Some people never get enough attention.lookatme

Makes you want to give them their own t-shirt, “here’s your sign”!

Many of us have our issues, our daily battles.  I have to say my chronic condition is a struggle.  Mom and dad raised us that if you were this side of the grass to get on with your life and bear up under what ever it is you’re going through.  Physically it is hard I know, trust me.  (I will not give you an “organ recital” now, so don’t worry :-D).  Unless you had a fever or couldn’t keep your food down, you went to school and later on work.  My father had a great work ethic.  He went back to work a month after he had his right lung removed and worked for many more years.  It is a mind-set, mind over matter… you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Work ethic, seems to be a vanishing concept.  People would rather complain about what needs to be done, how hard it is to do it or even about the paper cut that is going to keep them from doing the job.  “It’s too heavy, I don’t do ladders, my foot hurts, my back hurts ….”.  Down deep I think it simply they need someone to look at them and give them attention.  There is a legitimate time of sickness or injury, but using it for attention or to make your life easier just makes you an HYPOCHONDRIAC!

 

Sadly, many people carry this mentality into their spiritual life as well.  I call them “Spiritual Hypochondriacs”.  hypo It is no secret that in the Christian life we have ups and downs, mountains and valleys.  Some people hit the valley once and get stuck.  They clamp down on the experience and never get better.  They remember when things were better, when God blessed them and everything was smooth.  Every time you meet them they have the same prayer request.  Let me insert here I am not talking about a long time illness, financial situation, loss loved one, etc.  I am talking personal growth.  Many times we do go through an extended time in the valley because we do not grow in the Lord, we do not learn what He brought us there to learn.  Our daily life is about growing more in the Lord.  If we get stuck in the valley, we are not feeding our spiritual life.  We are not reading His word, praying for others, talking with Him daily.  We need to fellowship with other Christians who help pull us along and we in turn pull them along when the road is hard.  If we are not doing His work, helping others then we “are all about me”.  It’s the spiritual version of “look at me”.   These kind of people become cancers and spread through a body of believers, making them all “doubting Thomas’s; woe is us Christians”.  Nothing the devil likes better than to get Christians in to spiritual hypochondria.

Got pain?  Don’t make it the thang.  Take a time of rest if you need it, let it heal or get better, but do not wallow in your illness.  Doctors say that positive attitudes and can do spirit helps people heal faster than many medicines.  For Christians, that same attitude applies.  Sometimes the valley is long, it is a drudgery of day-to-day, never-ending it would seem.  But, the Scriptures tell us,

James 1:2-4(HCSB)Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

Some coach has taken credit for the “No Pain, No Gain” concept.  But it came from the Bible.  Let people hear of your journey, counting it all joy with expectation of what the Lord is going to accomplish in your journey.

Don’t make the PAIN the THANG!

smile-through-the-pain

Rotten to the core


rotten-applesLife's a barrel of rotten apples. Everywhere you move you're touched by rottenness. TV, billboards, magazine covers at check-out; they all are flooding your mind with images.

Even people walking in stores, the way they dress and the way they talk, are constantly bombarding your mind with things of this world. Rottenness and filth are at every turn threatening to take you over, ruining all it touches. The world is subtle and you slowly give way. Christians find themselves reading books, watching shows and going to movies which major content is adultery, crime and greed.  Just as your body is what you feed it (junk food?) so is your mind. 

Colossians 3:2 ESV “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

At first you keep moving pushing the rotten away. But, like the hand in the proverbial potatoes chip bag, "you can't just eat one".  A thought in the mind can become a mindset, a mindset becomes actions, and actions become character.  And then, although you tell people you are a Christian, they do not see Christ in you.  Your mouth tells dirty jokes and spills profanity, your mind goes down the wrong road first without any hesitation to the right road.

When will you discover how much the world has crept into your life?  A young woman came in to the store to pick up her father's order of books, he was a local pastor.  She had on 'cheeky' shorts and a plunging, spaghetti-strap top.  That pastor is not in control of his teenage daughter, the world is in charge of his home.  Obviously he has not discovered the world has invaded his home.  Makes you wonder how he can lead a flock when he cannot lead his home. 

The world - you must keep yourself set apart, pushing it away and not accept its views for your life and or your family. 

Philippians 4:8 (NASB) “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Eventually this rotten world will rot away. Don't get taken with it.

Deuteronomy 26:18 HCSB “And today the LORD has affirmed that you are His special people as He promised you, that you are to keep all His commands…”