Monday, April 13, 2009

Spiritual Streakers

If the Gospel of Christ was our wardrobe, how would the people who know us best judge our wardrobe?
1. Best dressed list - Your life lines up perfectly with a Gospel filled life.
2. Sharp but over done - You're trying to hard.
3. 20 years behind current fashions - You are clueless about the world around you so your efforts are useless.
4. Nothing matches - You don't care about your appearance of what you wear, you just do your own thing.
5. Clothes don't fit / More holes than hems - You occasionally put on the Gospel when it is convenient for you.
6. Spiritual streaker - Nothing on at all, no evidence of the Gospel in your life.

Here is the verse of basis - Philippians 1.27. In the KJV the word, "becometh" is used. It means "fit", "suitable", "worthy".

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thankful Hearts

I was just continuing making notes on class lecture and was reviewing previous notes to get my mind back in the proper context. I just felt led to post them on here and share them. Enjoy!

The context is a study of Philippians 1.3-11 "The Marks of Mature Believers".
Mark 1 is found in verse 3, a thankful heart.

Here are the notes:
Paul was thankful for believers he only occasionally saw. So should we be thankful for each other even more so and let each other know it. Also for all believers everywhere.

A Thankful Heart Comes From:
1. Asking and trusting God for the strength to bear the trials of life.
2. Deliberately choosing to give thanks.

3 Questions:
1a. Why is it so difficult to give thanks during unpleasant circumstances?
1b. How can you prepare your heart ahead of time to be thankful?

2a. Who is the most thankful person you know?
2b. What makes them so thankful?

3a. Are you thankful for your salvation, family, friends, church?
3b. when was the last time you thanked God for each of these?

I would add a 4th question?
4a. Are your kids thankful for anything? Do they show it or say so?
IF NOT, here is one suggestion:
4b. Do you purposefully let your kids and/or your spouse hear you be thankful? To God through prayer, to them for them or for things they say or do, to others for things or services. Help your kids learn thankfulness not by demanding they be thankful (which there is a place for that) but more so by teaching them by your example.

As a youth worker, I constantly have to remind myself that I am don't hold the prestigious title of "has the most influence in my life" for the kids I work with. For some of the kids I come in contact with I really wish I did have that spot as their parents are either abusive or totally uninvolved/uninterested. I wrote an article for entitled "Desperate Consumerism". I see some kids that have a sense of entitlement to the latest and most expensive electronics and gadgets, the "hottest" items and fashions AND WITH NO SENSE OF THANKFULNESS for any of it or to the ones that have sacrificed time and/or money to buy them a desired item. That sort of attitude does not elicit giving by anyone. Rather a thankful spirit/attitude, especially a genuine one makes it easy for others to remember that thankfulness and give more to that person.

Doesn't it feel like robbery when you give a gift to someone that you poured thought and perhaps emotion into, and they say nothing but are totally wrapped up in the gift itself? But oh how joyous we are when we give a gift to someone and they nearly forget about the gift itself but look us in the eye and perhaps they don't say a word, but that look and smile spell out volumes!!

Parents please PLEASE PLEASE teach thankfulness to your kids and to the next generation by MODELING it in your interactions with others. No matter how small it may seem, a straw handed to you or the packets of creme and sugar for your coffee, your "thank you" to the person may be the only genuine one they hear. And that makes a big impact not only on them, but yourself, on those around you (including your children), and blesses the heart of the LORD GOD.

A small practical idea: Start a list of things you are thankful for and add to it daily.
Other ideas??