Category Archives: Christian living

Take off Your Hat and Stay

(An edited and expanded version of a post from September 2011.)

A well-to-do family hired a maid to keep the house and laundry clean. All the first day the new maid wore her hat, the family thought that in the excitement of a new job and wanting to get right to work she had simply forgotten to take off her hat. This habit of keeping her hat on continued into the following week. Curiosity finally overcame the lady of the house and she asked the maid why she always wore her hat when she worked. “Well,” replied the maid, “I want to be ready to quit any time you say something that hurts my feelings.”

My weemee

The story is ridiculous, the maid needs some help. Yet I wonder, “How many Christians keep their hats on?” How many of us wear our feelings on our shoulders waiting for an excuse to leave the church? Many times when church leaders talk with those who no longer attends worship, those choosing not to attend say they do so because someone said something offensive to them.  I talked with someone a number of years ago, who left because someone insulted her choice of dress. Yes, what that other person said was offensive and out of line, but we should not let people get in the way of our relationship to God.

I wonder what hope we would have if Jesus had quit because His feelings were hurt? People mocked Him. Religious leaders taunted Him. His disciples and even His family doubted Him. The Sanhedrin falsely accused Him. Roman soldiers slapped Him and spit in His face. The Jews called His teachings into question and that is just the beginning.. Yet He persisted in the mission before Him enduring the shame and suffering (Heb 12:2ff).

When many people quit following Jesus because what He said offended them, he turned to the disciples and asked, “Will you go away also?” Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of life.” (Jn 6:67-68).

Where could we go if we leave Christ? Where else is there salvation? What is more important to me? My feelings or my soul? Are you still wearing your hat? Take it off and get to work!

-Scott

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Fellows in the Same Ship

Fellowship.  Churches use this term on a regular basis. But what is fellowship? Here are some answers:

The building where I obeyed the gospel.

The building where I obeyed the gospel.

  • Fellowship is finger-foods on Sunday evenings.
  • It is greeting each other when we meet.
  • It is greeting visitors guest at our assemblies and events.
  • It is church sports teams.
  • It is lunch or super with Christian friends.
  • It is welcoming newcomers in our homes.
  • It is prayer breakfast and ladies’ Bible class.
  • It is Vacation Bible School.
  • It is Men’s Retreat, Fall Festival, and Spring Fling.
  • It is mission trips to stateside and foreign mission points.
  • It is visiting the sick, shut-in, or bereaving.
  • It is special events at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  • It is bridal teas and baby showers.
  • It is house warmings and gift baskets.
  • It is work days at the building or camp.
  • It is disaster relief.
  • It is cleaning the yard or home of elderly members.
  • Fellowship is loving one another, accepting one another, encouraging one another – continuously – as we anticipate our Lord’s return and our eternal fellowship with Him and one another.

1 Peter 4:8-10, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”

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The Others

20111024-082456.jpgNo not the movie, I still have nightmares. I am speaking of the others, as in, those around you.  Think about the other people you contact, connect with, and cross paths with each day. Think especially about your brothers and sisters in Christ.

The more I study God’s Word and reflect on His message, I become more and more convinced that being a Christians means that I am “Other Person Centered.”

There are some negatives associated with this focus.  There are things we are to NOT do to each other. I will share those today and the next blog with look at some of the things awe are supposed to do for the others.

  1. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. (Romans 14:13)
  2. But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. (Galatians 5:15)
  3. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices (Colossians 3:9
  4. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. (James 4:11)
  5. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. (James 5:9)

These are the negatives, but there are WAY more positives . . . but that is tomorrow.

- Scott

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We Can Keep on Keeping On

Yesterday we considered why we quit.  We looked at what potentially leads us away from God and His people – His Kingdom thephoto Church. Even with all that is against us we can keep on keeping on. We can “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Cor 15:58)”

How Can We Endure?

  1. Know Satan’s ploys.
  2. Know our own tendencies.
  3. Work on MYSELF.
  4. Help each other.
  5. Purpose of assembly.
  6. Encouragement
  7. To learn

How Can Avoid Falling Away:

  1. Remove all occasions to stumble.
  2. Help each other deal with temptation.
  3. Be Spiritually minded.
  4. Engage in godly activities.
  5. Surround self with good influences.
  6. Know / learn the Truth.

- Scott

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Which Church?

#Contagiouschurch

#Contagiouschurch

Churches want to grow. Those that grow are contagious congregations that focus on people over programs.  Growing churches reach their communities with the good news of salvation in Christ and keep people connected because they help people mature in their individual spirituality.  These congregations bring people to Christ and assimilate them into the body of Christ – His Church.  Are we that church? Are you helping the congregation you attend be that church?

Someone once suggested three categories of churches, one of which you are a part of. There are:

  1. Private Hospital Churches: These congregations seek to care for their own.  Everything they do from programs, classes, fellowships, trips, groups, and even worship focuses solely on the needs of members. These churches have an inward focus; helping only those on the inside and those that come to their “hospital.”
  2. Army Churches: The congregations are constantly on the march. They move from one issue to the next. They seem to always have a fight on their hands. They fight doctrinal error in other churches, they fight political battles against society, and they sometimes even fight among themselves. There is always more ground to win and some to win back. They are always in battle, but might be missing the real war.
  3. M.A.S.H. Unit Churches: These congregations resemble an army on the march. However, they know that the enemy is Satan. These congregations carefully ensure that there are no victims of friendly fire. They understand that people are not the enemy, but sin is. They are on the march looking for and caring for the wounded.  While advancing the Kingdom they recruit and train new people. These congregations equip members and send them to the front lines. Those who come for help, receive spiritual healing, training, and any needed rehabilitation so they can return to the front lines to fight against principalities, powers, and the forces of evil in this present age. M.A.S.H. Unit churches care for the souls of people.

May we strive to be a M.A.S.H. Unit Christian and together work to bring people to the healing blood of Christ.

- Scott

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This is about Nothing

Nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here.

“What are you up to?” – “Nothing.”

“What’s new?” – “Nothing”

You would think we live in a boring word.  Nothing seems to be going on.  Maybe we answer “nothing” out of a sense of feigned humility.  We do not want to appear excited by our own life and events so as not to give the impression that we think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  However, we should be doing something. We should be learning something  or doing something new as we grow in Christ.  We are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which (God) prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (cf. Eph 2:10).

With that in mind, I want to share this poem I found in my files last week: (A Google search did not reveal author’s name.)

The Sin of Doing Nothing

He made no mistakes, took no wrong roads

               He never fumbled the ball.

He never went down ‘neath the weight of the load.

                He simply did nothing at all.

He lost no hard fights in defense of the right;

                He never bled with his back to the wall.

He never fell faint in his climb to the light;

                He simply did nothing at all.

So death came nigh, for life slipped by,

                Add he feared for the judgment hall.

When they asked him why, he said with a sigh,

                “I simply did nothing at all.”

So, God will pardon your blunders, my friend,

                Or regard with pity your fall.

But the one big sin that may surely mean hell,

                Is simply do nothing at all.

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Positives From Rapture Books and Movies

There are positive things that come from movies and books about the end times. Although

there are misunderstandings of the end of time in many of these works of fiction, there are some Biblical teachings present that we can learn from.

      1. Belief in God. These stories compel you to believe in God.  There is a direct appeal for people to have a dependent faith in God. As Christians we have the responsibility to develop personal faith in God and to challenge our society with God (Matt 28:18-20).
      2. Bible Knowledge. Stories like Left Behind insist that everything we need to know is in God’s word. Although God has not told us all we want to know, His Word tells us everything we need to know to serve Him faithfully. Of course with any presentation about God’s Word, we need to compare what is taught with the scriptures (Acts 17:11).
      3. Repentance. A story line about the end of time will call for repentance of those who do not have active faith.  In contrast to Left Behind, there will not be time after Christ’s return to repent. The time to change is now this side of eternity (Heb 3:7-13).
      4. Prayer. These stories promote belief in prayer and dependence on God. We need constant reminders of our constant need to be in contact with out heavenly Father.
      5. The End of Time. The overall message of the Left Behind series compels the audience to consider the end of time. Although the events that happen in Left Behind are not consistent with what Scripture teaches, there is a message to consider the Lord’s return.  There is a heaven and hell, we need to consider the reality of the end and ask ourselves, “Am I ready for Jesus to come again?”

There is a great day coming! Are you ready for that day to come?

- Scott

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