Sunday, July 24, 2016

What Does Your Judgment Say About You?

Yes we all judge others for one reason or another, let's just put that right out there. Sometimes we do it with good intentions, like when we are interview ing someone for a job and try to judge whether they are a suitable candidate for the positoin. That is not the type of judgment that becomes a problem, it is when we pass judgment for the wrong reasons; like when the person doesn't let you drive into the next lane and you know you have to because you'll miss your exit. What an idiot! Oops there are I go, passing judgment on the moron in the other vehicle. Of course, that person has probably concluded that I'm a bigger moron because I waited until the last minute to switch lanes. Sometimes we judge others by their outer appearance drawing conclusions based on superficial information without truly knowing anything about who they are. Other times, we judge based on the rumors we hear about the person drawing conclusions without any facts. Often we judge based on stereotypes that diminish the humanity of the other person, whether we want to admit it or not.

It is critical that we as believers do our best NOT to judge others unfairly, but rather to practice the same compassion, care and forgiveness that Christ provides each of us. As believers we abide by his word which reminds us that we should not judge, if we don't want to be judged; not condemn, if we don't want to be condemned; and forgive, if we too want to be forgiven. How we judge others speaks to who we are and thus begs the question, what does your judgment say about you? Perhaps we should ask ourselves that question more often. Just a little advice to go!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Many of us will recall the 1988 Bobby McFerrin hit song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" which encouraged us not to worry and simply be happy. Long before Bobby McFerrin's use of the phrase, God encouraged us not to worry in Matthew 6: 25-34. His word tells us not to worry about food, clothing, or anything else. He reminds us that in Christ, all these things are provided for and worrying about them is unnecessary. If he provides for the least, he will provide for us.

Worrying worsens the situation and jeopardizes our well being. There are approximately 350,000,000 people globally who suffer from some type of depression indicating that it is more common amongst people in general than we recognize. More than 11% of children in the United States will experience some type of depression before the age of 18 and about 30% of U.S. college students have had their education interrupted because of some episode of depression. For many, that depression stems from fear and worry, two things that God encourages us to resist. His word makes it clear that we need to stop worrying and being afraid; we need to learn to rejoice in the midst of the storm. He provides us Christian professionals and doctors who can help support us if our fear and stress become overwhelming, all resources we should willingly take advantage of.

God's word sets the expectation for us when it states in Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord, always; and I again I say rejoice." It goes on to say in Philippians 4:7, "And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." His joy, peace, and understanding enables each of us to say don't worry, be happy! Just a little advice to go!

Monday, July 4, 2016

What is Praise?

Praise can be defined in many ways, but here are a few of my favorites:

Praise is a song to god, not just about God.  It thanks him for his divine nature and focuses our hearts on him.

Praise enables us to thank God for his gift of grace, his unmerited favor; it is a demonstration of our gratitude for the relationship we have with him.

Praise provides us with time to acknowledge him and in turn become better acquainted with him.

Praise is an act of submission in recognition that he is Lord and that it is through him we are forgiven and able to triumph over sin.

Praise is an opportunity to focus your thoughts on God and to remember that your motivation to praise him is not based on the good things or the bad things you are experiencing, but because you love him unconditionally,

Praise is an act of demonstrating that you are rooted in your faith and trust in God, so much so that you will stand firm in your praise regardless of the storms that may come.

Praise is your opportunity to overcome self pity and doubt, to proclaim your willingness to trust God even when you may feel forgotten or forsaken.

Praise is your willingness to surrender your control to God and never take it back, to never steer away from his direction and plan for your life.

Praise is you willingness to surrender your pain and grab hold of joy!

Praise is never ending in our walk towards victory in Christ!

Praise the Lord!  Just a little advice to go!