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A studied approach to scripture gives great faith in Community Transformation. Jesus was a transformer. Paul was a transformer. Moses was a transformer. Hezekiah was a transformer. We are called to transform our society to look and act like the Kingdom of God. Fill out the info below and I’ll email you a copy of Principles of Transformation – No Leader Before or After. Over 52 examples from business, community, government over centuries are given wrapped around a study of Hezekiah’s action plan. Of Hezekiah, it is written no leader before or after matched his leadership.
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Decisions reveal directions and determinations. How intense are your passions? Do you like life or thirst for life? Don’t be fooled .Your inner desires are making your decisions.
There is a word in Spanish that struggles expression in English. Anehlo. To passionately thirst with intense desire that overwhelms all else. There is such a desire in you whether you acknowledge or not.
This morning I attended a service at a congregation in support of our DOGS program. Every picture, video, word, greeting, display and person shouted one message. We want you to meet Jesus, receive forgiveness, and enjoy an energized life in Him.
Another church with which I work has a different message. We are here to enjoy our Christian heritage and you can join if you fit, but remember you are not priority.
Yet another shouts a love for a specifc culture and community and tradition with Christ’s eventual connection through social engagement.
So what about your family focus fathers? This conversation is really not about Churchianity, but home front.
The press of living is relentless. Decisions mark time. My back is a little sore from playing on the floor with my granddaughter. At three, she is full of energy and loves to jump and fall and fly. It was a good workout and fun. There was a lot more that needed my time. She got it.
I have books to finish and funds to raise and events to plan and she got all my time. Loving her in family is paramount to me. Unity in the Spirit in the bond of peace in close family, friend, and faith community drives my preferences. I prefer what leads that direction and defer what does not. All three areas are important but the core is unity of the Spirit.
If there is fracture, heal.
If there is separation, unify.
If there is conflict, face.
If there is distance, close
Ignorance – educate.
Hurt – forgive
Confusion – clarify
What drives you? What do your prefer? What do you defer?
Have you taken time to transform the inner man to conform to an image of Christ?
Inborn desires meld over life into something else. Chose your mold. Change the inside to change the outside.
Quit fooling yourself about your desires. Examine and change them to a better thought level. Then life will begin to straighten out. You will prefer your life in a better direction if the better direction tranforms the inner man.
John 9:5-7 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
Dirt Gets In Your Eyes
Construction stirs up dirt.
Destruction stirs up dirt.
Dirt gets in your eyes.
Wash it out.
Wow! How clearly I see!
I never noticed the dirt before.
Before building, it was there.
Before losing, it was there.
Dirt gets in your eyes.
When dirt flies up, we rinse.
Then we can see.
The dirt was there before.
The dirt of life is always there.
Normal dirt just happens.
When dirt flies up, we rinse.
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How lovely is Your tabernacle,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yes, even faints
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young—
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;
They will still be praising You. Selah
This Dove and Me.
This dove gives me pause for reflection. Well, much of life gives me pause for reflection. A friend asked yesterday, “Phil, what are you doing for a living?” Whew. Surviving was the answer in my heart. My answer surprised me. Quick gut answers in the middle of a challenge reveal a lot. I’ll get to the answer in a minute.
Back to This Dove. This Dove showed up in…
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Matthew 5:1-2 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed….
Life has had some tough turns in the journey of the last 13 months. They are violent. They are hard. They are just not nice. Life can be like that.
Life has had some great moments in the journey of the last 13 months. They are beautiful. They are fulfilling. They are comforting. Life can be like that.
In the hardness and in the beauty, life is meant to be lived. Life is not a spectator sport. Engage.
This morning is a calm spot. Not that there is not an hundred items and more waiting to be tended. Water seeped up into the vents of the house the other day in a downpour. It is gone, but repairs…
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Take a few minutes to zoom in on this infographic and mull over the meaning. (More at http://religions.pewforum.org/ .) This infographic provided by Pew Research helps strip away denials we form as we go to bigger church gatherings and have fewer people in God’s family.
The continuing demise of the effectiveness of faith in the United States should bring a multiple of responses. Why do we struggle to acknowledge our declining influence in community standards? What is it about faith that enables a complete denial of reality? Maybe the issue is not faith. Maybe the issue is religion. Maybe we have locked into our customs and traditions and so want to connect people with our style that we miss their soul? Maybe we have so looked to matching their style that we miss our soul? Either way, we are missing it.
. Attendance has gone from 60% to 25% in our churches in the last 50 years.
. Fatherless homes have gone from 11% to 34% in the same time frame.
. Abortion exists as an acceptable option. Life dominated. Now disposal dominates.
. Same sex marriage exists as an acceptable option. Generational family dominated. Now, one life flings are gaining ground.
. Our border is a war zone over access to our drug infatuation.
Pray with knowledge. Act with purpose.
. Get involved in someone else’s life. Quit being so self-centered.
. Be a concerned listener to your neighbors at work, home, and marketplace. Take an interest in their world instead of preaching at their world. Seek to understand.
. Go do something you would not normally do. Go spend time in an environment that is unfamiliar to you. Be a missionary to someone in your same city.
. Try to write down the message of acceptance in Christ and forgiveness of the blame of mistakes without using Christianized terms like saved, salvation, blood of Jesus, made pure, Holy Ghost fire, sin, or heaven. There is nothing wrong with those words except they don’t communicate to an unbeliever. Surely the Creator can reconnect us to His love and accept us into His family even though we wander off into our own selfish pursuits and need to have our record expunged. Yes, we need to be honest and transparent with our selfishness and bad living habits. Yes, we need to go to Him and acknowledge He is right and we are wrong and we need His help. Yes, we need to realize He sent His Son, Jesus, to take our deserved punishment and sentencing of guilt. Yes, we need to accept Jesus as not just a man, but also The God. And we can do it in terms that are meaningful to us just like the Greeks of the early days of the church and the Hebrews of the pre-church days.
. Be relevant with a powerful message. Don’t water down the gospel. Live it. Learn it. Give it away.
Pray For Excellence
Daniel 6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
Winners in life excel.
Whatever they do, they do with Excellence.
Consider Daniel. Daniel was taken from his homeland, sent to be trained in the ways of the wisdom of another country, and prepared in their schools to rule. Why? What did his captors see? These men came in to kill and plunder and ended up taking Daniel, Hannaniah, Azariah, and Mishael to be trained for ruling. Most recognize the latter three as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, their captive names. But few know Daniel by Beltashazzar, his captive name. Why? Because he excelled above them all.
Ever wonder why a Kleenex is called a Kleenex? Actually it is a facial tissue, but a company named theirs a Kleenex and produced such an excellent product, their name became a word in the dictionary. Paper towels are paper towels, but facial tissues are Kleenex.
Ever had a Happy Meal at Burger King or Taco Bell? Look again. It doesn’t say Happy Meal. That is a McDonalds’ trademark. Their kid service is so excellent, take a child into another fast food chain and they immediately ask for a Happy Meal.
What is Excellence?
Excellence has to do with the way we do what we do.
Is it right the first time?
Is it what we promised to do?
Did we communicate so others could be ready?
Was action taken after we acted to make sure it was right?
Were problems attended to quickly?
Excellence is caring enough about others involved to make sure we provide for them the best service:
- at the right time
- according to their needs
- according to the best of our abilities
Excellence is sticking with it until the job is done.
Excellence is going the extra mile.
Excellence is giving it all we have and then giving it some more.
Excellence never settles for second best.
Excellence makes sure people understand.
Excellence finds out what people need and gets it there for them.
A Prayer of Excellence:
Father, I am committed to being a person of excellence in all I do. Create in me the heart of Daniel. Let me be the one of whom it is said, “They excel above the rest.” Let me have the testimony of heaven on my behalf of excellence.
Father, teach me the ways of excellence. Build integrity, honesty, and a knack for detail into my inside approach to life and living.
I want to care and tend to the needs of others first. I want to have what people need for them when then need it. I want to never settle for second best, but be one who sets the standard to which others can strive.
Let me be the person of excellence, who is tuned to Your heart in every situation. Teach me, Lord, Your path of the heart of excellence. Stir in me the zeal of personal testimony for others to see my witness shine as a great star in the universe in the middle of mediocrity that others might see You instead of me.
“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, “Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.