Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Th rest of the old posts

Our lives reflect our attitude toward God Psalm 97 The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the ...earth sees and trembles. Do our lives reflect this or is He simply a nice guy who want us to be nice
Things that happen to us in life can either be no fault of our own, or no fault but our own. In either case, the result is that we must deal with it, and it is in the dealing that character is made. We can either respond with patience or frustration. Our actions directly effect the way people respond to us. Kind words ...invite a kind response, angry words invite an angry response and can only have devastating outcomes.
Who we are effects how we see things. How we see things effects what we do. If we are in Christ, we will see the world around us as God does and will act in accordance with the love we have been given. If we are bitter and angry people, we will perceive the actions of others in the same way and respond with cutting words and harsh remarks. We can measure the state of our heart by the way we respond to people.
God should not just be an addition to our lives to help make it more complete. The power of God and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit should transform our lives into something radically new. The Bible says, "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." The best way to serve God is to live out who he created you to be in Him and to use our talents and desires for his glory.
I think we as Christians underestimate the power of prayer. If God really is who we claim Him to be, then our communication with him should have much more power. Do we know what it means when we pray in the Jesus' name? Do we realize that we are speaking intimately with the one who put the earth in motion? How does this effect what we pray, how we pray, who we pray for, how often we pray? Pray with great expectation.
17 "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. 18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. 2 Samuel 22: 17-19

I'm discovering the key to patience is to cultivate tough skin. We can receive criticism, insults, personal attacks without needing to avenge ourselves. We can calmly let the Lord deal with them as He chooses. By not needing to correct every slanderous word, we are free to focus on God's work. We can even love the people who hurl such words. Forgiveness becomes much easier since we weren't offended in the first place.
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried. Gilbert K. Chesterton
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. (Proverbs 3:3) Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. (Hebrews 10: 23)
So if I stand, let me stand on the promise that You will see me through. And if I can't let me fall on the Grace that first brought me to You! And if I sing let me sing be for the joy that has born in me these songs. And if i weep let it be as a man who is longing for his home... -Rich Mullens (1955-1997)
(John 3:16) لأَنَّهُ هكَذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ الْعَالَمَ حَتَّى بَذَلَ ابْنَهُ الْوَحِيدَ، لِكَيْ لاَ يَهْلِكَ كُلُّ مَنْ يُؤْمِنُ بِهِ، بَلْ تَكُونُ لَهُ الْحَيَاةُ الأَبَدِيَّةُ.
Give thanks with a grateful heart because of what He has done for us. Let the weak say I am strong. Let the poor say I am rich, because of what the Lord has done. I know all to well that without the Lord, I am nothing. I can do nothing on my own strength. It is only by fully depending on Him along with the grace and love of God that I can do what He has called me to do. Without Him I am so dead.
In the words of my good friend Pastor Nate, "God gave us a brain for a reason." it is true that we depend on God for everything, Including our every breath. But God also expects us to do something with time and abilities He has given us. Just because we know the battle is already won in Christ, does not mean that fighting it becomes unnecessary. Even though David knew he would defeat Goliath, he still had to fight.

What is that makes God's grace so amazing? It is the the balance between Holiness and Mercy. In view of God's Holiness, we are "undone" as Isaiah says. Gods standards are set so high, no Human can possibly reach them. God, in his ...mercy, makes us his children. The fact that is God is Holy makes his grace amazing. Wha...t if God was all grace and no truth, or all truth
I see the man I am. I see who He is, and I can see the man I want to be because of Him. Lord help me to: die daily, submit my will to yours, let you remove everything that is not of you in my life no matter how painful, work out my salvation, walk humbly before you. Help me to grow in sature and favor with God and man. When people look at me, I want them to see you.and no grace?
What is that makes God's grace so amazing? It’s the balance between Holiness and Mercy. In view of God's Holiness, we are "undone" as Isaiah says. Gods standards are set so high, no Human can possibly reach them by their own efforts. This is the fundamental reason we need a savior. God, in his mercy, makes us his children. The fact that is God is Holy and does not tolerate sin makes his grace amazing. He lowered himself taking the likeness of man so that we could be made right with Him. Why would the Ruler of the universe humble himself to the point of becoming like one of his creation? This baffles the imagination and can only be described as AMAZING. What if God was all grace and no truth, or all truth and no grace?
What does it really mean to bare one another's burdens? I was watching the Passion of the Christ, and I came to the part where Simon of Cyrene takes Jesus cross. Even Jesus needed help baring his burden. How much more do we need a friend to simply sit with us, cry with us, and carry us to the feet of Jesus in prayer when we can't pick ourselves up one more time. This is the kind of Love Jesus is talking about.

What would happen if our theology and our reality clashed? Most of us could, in great detail, explain our beliefs about God; what we believe, why we believe it. It's almost like be spiritually drunk. When we're sober, pleasing God is at the forefront of our attention. When we're caught up in the world, God is the last thing on our minds. What can we do to make God a priority all the time?
I've come to the conclusion that the phrase, "practice what you preach is backwards." We as followers of God need to preach what we are already practicing. To live what I believe, pray for those in need, always give more that enough. To gently walk in grace, boldly stand in faith. Most of all to share the Father's love. Let me know that you think?
I love how the apostle Paul puts this. "If it possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." I love the part (as far as it depends on you) I'm not responsible for anything else other than my relationship with God and my own actions. How I love God and how I love others. Here's another one from proverbs. "When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to live at peace with him."
It is impossible to forgive without humbling ourselves. It's humbling to confront the person who hurt you and say I release you. We don't have to wait for the offender to apologize before we forgive. Sometimes this will never happen. We forgive because God told us to, not because it feels good at the time. It does later. "Forgiveness is releasing a prisoner, and realizing the prisoner was yourself.”
Today's thought comes from Pastor and teacher Chuck Swindoll. "The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment. The making of a saint is the task of a life time." The Bible says, "Choose this day whom you will serve." This is the process we are all in. Am I daily surrendering my life and will to God? Do I love and care for others as He would? Am I quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry?
Hi, so today's thought also comes from Wild at Heart. Here's the quick paraphrase. When God looks at you deep in your soul, what do you think he sees? How we answer this question, largely indicates how we relate to God. If we see our selves as sinners, we will hide from Him in shame. If we recognize the FACT we are made HOLY by His grace, we will run to Him.
Today's thought comes from a book called The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. "Creation discloses a power that baffles our minds and beggars our speech. We are enamored by God's power. We stutter and stammer about God's holiness. We tremble before God's majesty and yet we grow squeamish and skittish before God's love." We say how great God is, but yet doubt His capacity to love us in the face of our troubles.

What would happen if our theology and our reality clashed? Most of us could, in great detail, explain our beliefs about God; what we believe, why we believe it. It is an entirely different thing to take those principles and implement them in our daily life. Instead of just talking about loving others and putting God first, what would happen if these ideas became a lifestyle?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Atheists use YouTube to proselyze.

As I was surfing YouTube the other day, I came across this delightful looking cartoon about Noah and the Ark. I clicked on it expecting to see a cute and even humorous take on the classic Biblical account of Noah and the Ark. What I saw was nothing of the sort. The first thing to come on screen were big letters and a booming voice over that said, "The Thinking Atheist Presents:" I was slightly amused. "Oh boy, here we go again. Another Atheist wanting to refute the truth of the Bible." As the video went on, it became quite clear that attempting to disprove the story was only part of this group's agenda. No, they a much bigger plan in mind, and that was to completely attack not only the Bible and the Christian faith, but ultimately God himself. After the video was finished spouting all sorts of false statements and blasphemies, I soon discovered that this little group was not so little after all. These people had produced several videos all with the same message that God is non existent, and even if He does exist He's a violent and cruel psychopath.
The video begins with telling the viewer that the Flood "...left absolutely no geological evidence." Hmm, this is interesting because countless scientist have concluded that in order to form the vast array of land masses and geological formations on the earth, a large flood must have had to take place. But no matter, we won't listen to science. After all, neither does the Atheist.
Ok, talk science all you want. Most of it is over my head anyway. But the next thing the video spouts is pure unadulterated hatred for God. They rename the story of the flood: "Drowning Your Children When they Don't Behave" and begin putting their spin on the account found in Genesis 6. They claim that God was somehow responsible for the sin of mankind. And here's my personal favorite. The video claims that God encouraged incest as a way to repopulate the Earth. I obviously don't have time to mention everything in the video, but I hope you get the picture that Atheists do not just merely believe in no God, but are avid haters of God and those who follow Him.
The blasphemies continue with videos about the Ten Commandments and other subjects. They even had a video about Haiti showing the mass devastation and carnage. All this is accompanied by verses about how much God loves mankind. In truth, the video made me sick. It ends with saying that as the nation of Haiti crumbled, people's prayers were met with silence due to the non existence of God. Of all their videos, this one has got to be the worst. Say what you want about religion, God will deal with you later. But to use the death and pain of thousand's of people to prove a point is just plain wrong.
As my anger grew for these people who so vehemently hate God, I watched yet another video. This one is the most blasphemous of all. It's called, "The story of Suzie." It tells the sacrilegious story about a girl named Suzie who prays to a God that either doesn't hear her or is just plain absent. The videos contends that Christians give God glory for things people are responsible for and says that prayers about wars and the sick and dying are met with no response because these things are all a part of God's perfect plan for humanity.
If this doesn't make you angry that these people talk about our God this way, it should. When David saw Goliath, the thing that bothered him most was that Goliath cursed and mocked the LORD God of Israel. We should have the same sentiment and not stand for people mocking God.
Not that I want you to look at the web videos and thus make them more popular, but I do want you to see the obvious loathing the Atheists have toward God.
So what is it that makes Atheists hate God so much? Could it possibly be that they know within their hearts that God is there and they feel threatened by Him and His holiness? Maybe they know that if they concede that God is there and is Holy, they are responsible for their sin.

Romans 8:5-8
5Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man[a] is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind[b] is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Old posts

Here is a collection of some older "Thought for the Day." They range on a wide variety of subjects. This is by no means a comprehensive collection.

How many of our friends and peers know that we are followers of God? I say I love God, but how does that effect the way I live? Am I in the world but not of it? Do I pursue the presence of God? What do I do when tempted? Francis of Assisi wrote, "Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words. One of the biggest insults we can receive is when someone says, "I didn't know you were a Christian?"

It has been said that maturity is moving from having soft skin and a hard heart, to having hard skin and a soft heart. Most of us get hard skin and keep our hard heart. God wants us to have a heart that is teachable and sensitive to His leading. At the same time God wants us to be wise, to know when to speak up and when to shut up. To not let the destructive words of others keep us from doing God's work.

One of the least sung heroes of the Bible has to be Jonathan. Here you have the crown prince of Israel, defending and even loving the very man who will take his place as king. Jonathan has every reason to hate David. But instead, Jonathan loves David like a brother, and rejoices in his success and helps him escape from Saul. He never deserted David. I want friends like that. No wait, I want to be a friend like that.

How many of us have a tendency to put our reputation above the things God would have us do? we see someone we should say hello to or be of assistance and fail to do so because we're concerned with the opinion of others. Jesus loved the outcasts and down and out. In fact, he preferred them to the people who thought they had it altogether. God's opinion of us is what matters. Who can you love today like Jesus would?

What is it that made David a man after God's own heart? First thing was that he was faithful. Before he's crowned king, to get him to do anything, they had to get him from his father's sheep. I don't think it was that David just loved the sheep so much as it was his job and he was going to it until God put him someplace else. How bout us? Are we faithful with what God told us to do today, or do we want it all now?

Today's thought comes from pastor and teacher Chuck Swindoll. "God says go, and we say, "Right OK." And before we're off our knees, we're saying, "now wait LORD, how am I supposed to pull that off?" This where our faith becomes a reality. It's one thing to hear the voice of God, but another thing altogether to get up and move along in faith, trusting that what He said will come to pass. We get distracted with details.

Jesus loves us just as we are, not as we should be. We will never be good enough for Him in our own strength. That is why He makes us good enough by his grace. That is good news. He knows everything about us and still says, "I LOVE YOU MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS WORLD. I MADE YOU!"

Ok, today's thought comes from John Eldridge's book Wild at Heart. "We love God. We even desire to be close to him. But how many of us (epically men) are ever so vulnerable enough to simply let ourselves be loved by God?" To let Him be the perfect father and to let him see the dark recesses of our broken heart and to invite Him into that place? Let me know what you all think.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Victory over sin

The beauty of living under grace through Christ's redemptive work on the cross means that we can now, for the first time in our lives, say no to sin. Think about that. Before we came to Christ, there's no way we could have said no to sin. Paul tells us in Ephesians that we were dead in our transgressions (sin). We could do nothing about our sinful condition. We were slaves to its desires. But the good news is the God has brought us from death unto life. We have been made new. We now have the ability to do what James calls resisting the devil. This is something we could not have done before Jesus came into our lives. We have been set free from the bondage of sin and its desires.
Does this mean we no longer have a desire to sin? Of course not. We all have a sinful nature that is just waiting for opportunities to creep its ugly head. What this does mean is that we now have the power in Jesus' name to say no. Sin has lost it's power over us. We don't have to sin. We sin because we choose to.
The Bible says that even when we are tempted He will provide a way of escape. The only response to sin and temptation that has ever worked in scripture is running away as fast as you can from the thing that is tempting you. Joseph was tempted and he ran out of the house so fast that he left his coat behind. His purity meant more to him than any earthly thing. He says that he could not do such a wicked thing against his God. Instead of weighing the options and letting the temptation eat at him, he flees. David, on the other hand, does not flee. He entertains the thought and lets it consume him. Once David opened the door to sin, its consequences came to stay like a house guest that won't leave. Samson flirted with his fleshly desires and it ultimately cost him his life.
The only response to sin is flight. Get out while you still can. God has provided a brief window of opportunity to say no and be victorious over sin's desires. We don't have to sin any longer.


On Jan 7th of this year, My very dear friend and adopted Grandmother Spin FitzRandolph passed from this word and went to be with her Lord. The following was posted on the discussion board for the Facebook Group called Memories of Spin and were my thought about the whole thing.

As our dear friend Spin was laid to rest yesterday, we are now faced with a crucial decision. What are we going to do with legacy she has left? So many of us were touched by Spin's loving personality. We were encouraged by her loving words and comforting hugs. If we needed a laugh, we knew where to come find it. But to leave these qualities unused in our own lives, would be a tragedy. Spin taught us how to love by example. By the way she loved us and by the way we saw her loving others. We should now follow in her footsteps and do the same because she followed Jesus' footsteps. We must now ask ourselves this. Who can I be a Spin to? To whom can I show God's love and acceptance? Whose day can I brighten by a smile and a laugh? How can I make others feel the immeasurable worth they have in Christ? How can I serve God by serving others around me? How can I love without restrictions or prerequisites? How can I be a friend to those who need one, whether I feel like being one or not. How can I take life's heartaches and learn how to have joy in the midst of it all because I know my Father in heaven has it under control? Spin taught us how to do all these things not because she told us, but because she showed us by the way she lived. So my challenge to all of us, even though it is hard because we loved Spin dearly and will miss her, is to pick up her torch and continue to live out her legacy to others. In the word's of her favorite singer Mark Lowery, "To live what I believe/pray for those in need/ always give more than enough/ to gently walk in grace/ boldly stand in faith/ most of all to share the Father's love."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Think Creative Ministries

Hi this is Josh Matthews, creator of Think Creative Ministries. This is the first posting on this new blog. So in light of that. WELCOME. I hope you will find this to be an inspirational resource.

Think Creative Ministries is a way to creatively present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have many avenues in which we do this. The first of which is in the area of Christian Drama. Through the Think Creative Ministries Team, We produce a Christian Comedy Variety and Improv Show called, "Sabbath Evening Live."
We also produce a improvisational Podcast called "All This Stuff In One Podcast." Our actors explore their imaginations and create quality lunacy for kids and their parents everywhere.
We also offer Christian Drama education. Everything from acting classes to starting your own Church Drama Team.
You can find our group's profile on Facebook at: Think Creative Ministries.
There you will find the latest news as to what we are doing, when our next show is, and pictures from the latest event.

In addition to providing you with clean, God honoring comedy, Think Creative Ministries wants to encourage a closer walk with our Savior, Jesus Christ. Much of the material found on this site will be inspirational thoughts to help us in our daily walk with God. Each day you will find a new "Thought for the Day." This is mostly the result of insights I have gathered from the Bible, sermons, books on spiritual enrichment, friends, and life itself. I used to post my "Thought for the Day" as my Facebook status update. This worked well for a while, until the 420 character limit became to restricting. This blog provides a better format for sharing the, "Thought for the Day." Coupled with the current "Thought for the Day, I will also post some of the older ones from Facebook. Please feel free to comment on anything you see.