Christian growth a team event

Staying True

I was recently reading Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on Psalms when I came across this thought on Psalm 19:9,

‘The mark of a true bible student is a burning heart not a big head.’

The truth of this struck me instantly as did a sense of sadness at the many times I have got this wrong in my own experience in studying and sharing Bible truth. It is a timely reminder to me of the other old truth that we stop teaching the day after we stop learning. It also took me back to the words of Sir Isaac Newton when praised for his great learning he said,

‘I am like a small boy walking along a beach and turning over a stone here and there while the vast ocean of truth remains undiscovered before me.’

I am not discouraged by how little I know. I am in fact encouraged to grow in Christian understanding and living and to do my best to help others to grow along with me. Christian growth is a shared happening. We share the little we have discovered with each other and together we grow.

Christian growth is always a team event.

~ Alan Hermann

Our Attitude – a recent exhortation

George Bernard Shaw once wrote;

‘Attitude is the public face of the private thinker, it’s how we present ourselves to others, the smile, the words. The inner-self, made public.’

Attitude is everything. Our problems, whatever they are, are not really the problem – it’s our attitude to the problem, that is the problem.

We can change the most difficult circumstances into something quite different, we can change the negative into something positive. Even when you can’t change the direction of the wind – one can adjust the sails!

It is one’s attitude that is critical – the ultimate example is contained in Philippians 2:5.

“Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, he humbled himself …”

Everything that follows: the statement about the nature of Jesus, his sacrifice and his resurrection has no meaning for us unless we take on board this opening phrase; everything is dependent upon our attitude to life – this is the link between us and Jesus. Attitude is critical, attitude is everything.

W C Fields wrote;

‘Attitude is more important than education, money, circumstances, than what people say or do, its more important than appearance, dress or status. Attitude is everything.’

This is the unstated theme underpinning the letter of James. It’s all about attitude towards trials & temptations – it’s not what we suffer or why we suffer but our response to suffering (James 1:12) listening & doing (James 1:22-25) respect for the other person (James 2:9) faith and deeds (James 2:24) use of the tongue (James 3:13), submission to God (James 4:10) & each other. Its not just about what we think, but about what we do & how we do it. The latter is the most critical part. It’s not about what we believe and do but the way in which we believe and do – It’s our attitude that matters!

However, it’s not just our attitude that matters, it’s often ‘we’ who cause another’s attitude to be negative & unresponsive! I share some thoughts from a little booklet I recently picked up in a local church about ‘Soul Wounding’! An imaginative idea that is closely related to our subject.
The writer imagines a satirical sketch where he is covered in bandages. The bandage over his head will be for ‘the ears that are burning’ and the ‘nose out of joint’ the bandage around his back for the ‘stabs in the back’ he has received, his feet bandaged for the damage caused by people ‘standing on his toes’. You get the idea – these are the scars that cannot be seen by the naked eye but the pain they cause are as real as physical scars. They wound the soul, the life of the person and they are often caused by the attitude that we adopt to another!

One simple fact resulting from ‘soul wounding’ is that such a problem can affect us for many years, we may carry around with us these scars, untreated and unhealed – they will just fester & cause even greater suffering. We need to avoid causing such problems in the first place & if we are affected, we need to seek treatment – forgiveness & restoration. The answer is to think about ‘our attitude’ and aim to demonstrate a more positive attitude to life and to others so that we & others may be at peace with God and each other.

Colin Edwards

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Additional reading

  1. Life Is A Marathon
  2. Facing our existence every day
  3. We may not be ignorant to get wisdom
  4. Careful not to have God’s wrath poured out upon us taking on the right attitude
  5. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  6. A Royal Rule given to followers of Christ
  7. The works we have to do according to James
  8. Memorizing wonderfully 71: Philippians 4:8 True and Honest things
  9. Today’s thought “Forgive … from your heart” (January 16)
  10. Looking for a spiritual new life
  11. Worthy partakers of the body of Christ
  12. Genuine Christian behavior
  13. If you keep your faith and trust in God
  14. Brothers and sisters in Christ for you

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Related

  1. Perception
  2. Genesis 4:6-7
  3. January 2
  4. Can Versus Will
  5. “Do. Or Do Not. There Is No Try.”
  6. Forests
  7. Move
  8. Spiritual Adept Shortcuts Series … by Alice B. Clagett
  9. Two Affirmations to Help Heal the Heart … by Alice B. Clagett
  10. Update on a Prior Blog … by Alice B. Clagett

To decide what to do with the time that is given


“All we have to decide is
what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien


Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Beslissen wat we moeten doen met de gegeven tijd

Demanding nothing of the world


When you demand nothing of the world,
nor of God,
when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing,
then the supreme state will come to you uninvited and unexpected.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Niets van de wereld eisend

Do You Want to Believe?

The “WEIRD-people” from the Weird world may have very weird ideas loving to belong to the Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic world but seem often to be blinded by their politicians, like the present presidents of the U.S.A., Turkey and Russia, who are of the same breed and love the tyranny of a dictatorship where they must play the lead, over a a group of people who are caught up in human doctrines of one of their religions, be it a very conservative form in Christendom, or in Islam, or in Russian Orthodoxy mixed with Stalinism.

We may be asked to calm down, but what happened to our family members, our teachers and friends in the 1930ies and 1940ies is clearly printed in our heads and  here in Europe we see history repeating itself.

In Christendom there is also once again a growing hate to those of Christianity. The ones believing in a Trinity got their agricultural fork out again, trying to get down who believe in the Only One True God of Israel, (Jews, Jeshuaists, Non-Trinitarian Christians and Muslims). Those who say they are Christian often do not take on the attitude of Christ, who should be their rebbe and show how they prefer to live without a God Who has given mankind His commandments. They want others to believe we do not have to keep those commandments any more, and do live accordingly a life full of indecent and immoral actions and foul language.

Our best hope should not be on that sort of community but should direct with open eyes for a better world where people of all sorts of culture, colour or race can live together in a global community of loving and sharing people.

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To remember

  • We all have friends who believe things that seem crazy, but we don’t think our friends are crazy.
  • People adopt beliefs based on several factors. If those factors are different, then the people tend to adopt different beliefs.
  • Differences in factors as: region, economic class, ethnicity, social circles, information sources, + life experiences lead people to different beliefs.
  • differences show up mainly in emotion + intuition, which influence our political + moral judgments.
  • perhaps half of Americans accept utilitarian + universalist ideas, but also value loyalty, respect for authority, respect for the sacred, individual liberty, + support for the common good.
  • disagreements exist + also a few genuine crazies + haters: in a population of over 300 million, that’s inevitable.

Don’t let a tiny minority of crazies and haters blind you to the fact that most people want to be good and to do the right thing – even if their idea of “the right thing” sometimes clashes with ours.

  • Screaming at people, calling them names, and dismissing their concerns as unworthy of consideration => on-going conflict + social disintegration.

The Thousand-Year View

graphic-01-newrepublicMy latest blog post for The Jewish Journal:

After a bitterly divisive election season, there’s one question on everyone’s mind:

“How can people possibly believe that?”

What “that” is depends on who’s doing the talking. It means one thing to Trump supporters, something else to Clinton supporters, and who knows what to third-party supporters.

We all have friends who believe things that seem crazy, but we don’t think our friends are crazy. So we’re completely baffled. Are the people who disagree with us ignorant? Stupid? Hyper-emotional? Or – this seems to be the favorite – are they just plain evil?

It’s usually none of those things. The true answer is simpler and more innocent.

People adopt beliefs based on several factors. If those factors are different, then the people tend to adopt different beliefs.

In 2016 America, those factors differ a lot – by region, economic class, ethnicity, social…

View original post 589 more words

Genuine Christian behavior

Genuine Christian behavior

“14 Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Set not your mind on high things, but {1 } condescend to {2 } things that are lowly. Be not wise in your own conceits. {1) Gr be carried away with 2) Or them }17 Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men. 19 Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto {1 } the wrath of God: for it is written, {2 } Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. {1) Or wrath 2) De 32:35 }20 But {1 } if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. {1) (Pr 25:21 f) }21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Ro 12:14-21 ASV)

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In this world we may encounter lots of name Christians (worshipping a three-headed god) who hate those real Christians who prefer to live according the Holy Scriptures and to worship only One God.

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Very often those trinitarian Christians like calling the other ones names and sent them all sorts of hate mail and wishing them eternal torture in a place they call hell. With such fear-mongering they also try to get others to their faith and to keep them in their denomination, calling all other denominations works of the devil. Often we do find in several of those denominations also people who call themselves Christian but who are not ashamed to use such vocabulary their grandparents for sure would turn over in their grave. Today we can find lots of so called Christians who use one f… word after the other as if it is nothing.
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Each person who want to call himself “Christian’ should make sure that his or her attitude is in line with the teachings of the master teacher Jeshua (Jesus Christ) and should make sure he or she can be an example for and of the Body of Christ.

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To remember

  • God planned for all of us who are alive today, to be in this time for a specific purpose.
  • Sin invading this earth for thousands of years > influence seems to be growing immensely => Many being led astray from confines of God’s covering + walking along broad path that leads to destruction.
  • imperative Christians carry themselves in a way that demonstrates character of Christ,
  • hard to win others to God when behavior is just as bad, or worse as theirs.
  • trying to witness to people + tell them to turn away from same things being caught up in
  • When we do good while others treat us badly => our resistance to retaliate causes a seed of love to be planted in the hearts of those who come against us.
  • important to be rooted in God, + have wisdom + understanding of His word, because Scripture tells us why theses things happen, + how we are to react in them.
  • church should be of the same mind, + walk in humility.
  • church = direct representation of Christ
  • Instead of fighting against all those who attempt to knock you off track, show love toward them, + let God do the fighting for you, because vengeance is His, and He’ll be sure to give them a spanking they’ll never forget.