Archive | September, 2012

Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress pt 4 – God’s Peace

September 28, 2012

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Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 3:18-20 we come to know about a peace that we will never truly understand in this lifetime. We have God’s promise that He will guard our hearts through Jesus in much the same way a company of troops are guarded by a sentry. This protection extends to the very core of our being – so much so that it is part of the Full Armor of God Ephesians 6:14-17

Adam Clark said it well in his commentary that this peace is the harmonizing of all passions and appetites which is produced by the Holy Spirit. Living in this peace will certainly carry us through to the next life.

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Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress pt 3 – Just Ask!

September 26, 2012

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Philippians 4:6 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.(KJV)

There is no need to be anxious about anything. Worrying about basic needs is counterproductive and takes away from your work of spreading the Gospel. Worry can consume you to the point of forgetting to pray.

Jesus taught in Matt 6:25-34 that we are not to worry – just look at all the things in nature that the Lord makes sure are cared for in splendid manner. He then assures us that we are so much more important than these things and that God knows what we need. Peter took this lesson to heart in 1 Peter 5:7 where he calls for us to cast …all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

When was the last time you had a really heartfelt conversation with God?

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Book Review: Popes and Bankers

September 22, 2012

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One of my hobbies is looking for connections between successful businesses and godly principles. Even if the business owners do not know it, they often used a philosophy found in the Proverbs or the Sermon on the Mount to lead their company. I am also somewhat of a history buff so the description of Popes and Bankers appealed to me right away.

Jack Cashill tells us the story of usury as it transforms from a disrespected and even illegal practice to what we have in the modern day. As an economically and religiously conservative person, I found that I agree with the broad points made by Mr. Cashill and have no problems using them as proof in my own conversations. Whether or not one agrees with his fiscal philosophy, time spent with this book will be worthwhile as the reader thinks about the historical events.

Worldviews aside, this book is a great read. It moves fast and allows us to have a fresh look at the history of the world. For those not living debt free, perhaps it will even cause some self-reflection into their own borrowing habits and not make those commitments so casually.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress pt 2 – Kindness

September 22, 2012


Philippians 4:5 – Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (KJV)

Part 1 of this series – Rejoice! 

The Lord is coming soon, if we want him to find us possessing the “mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5)  we need him to find us as a people who are patient, kind and gentle of spirit.

We know from 1 Corinthians 13:4 that Love is long suffering, kind, not envious, not boastful – exactly the kind of traits that moderate people have. Being loving and gentle in all situations is an outstanding way to teach our worldly friends what being a Christian is all about.

Paul reminds us to have a loving attitude to our neighbors in Romans 13:10-11 and James 5:7-9 says … Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord...

The Lord is coming – a kind and gentle lifestyle will help you be ready and you will influence others to be ready.

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Paul’s Recipe for Reducing Stress pt 1 – Rejoice!

September 19, 2012


Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

To sum it up in a couple of words, the Philippian epistle is often called the “happy letter”. Paul was Nero’s prisoner and Christians were beginning to truly understand what persecution was, yet Paul penned a very upbeat and encouraging letter.

We have never been promised an easy life just because we live for the Lord, but how can Paul be so upbeat in this difficult time? Look at Philippians 1:21 – Paul tells us that Christ gives his life meaning, and his death will mean the gain of Being with Christ.

James offers counsel in James 1:2 by saying: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations. Our challenges are going to strengthen us and train us for what life brings us. In 1 Peter 4:12-13 Peter tells us to …think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

The Lord desires that we be happy even though we have a lot of work to do here in this earthly life – There is no reward when there is no labor. If Christ is what gives your life meaning, there isn’t anything else that really matters or needs to be worried about so… Rejoice!

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8 Reasons Not to Skip Church Services

September 14, 2012

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not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:25 ESV

If the Hebrew writer’s words aren’t enough, here’s a few extra:

  1. It is a rewarding privilege that only children of God have.
  2. If we don’t, we cast our vote to stop scheduling it.
  3. Our influence and contributions to the Lord’s work is dependent on attending.
  4. It helps lead the lost to Christ.
  5. Jesus would attend if He were here.
  6. It’s not optional.
  7. It stabilizes our homes.
  8. It part of the example we set.

Can you think of others?

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Motes and Beams

September 13, 2012

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Matthew 7:3-5 one of the most often quoted of Bible passages. Jesus had a knack for turning a phrase and here he made impact with a humorous impossibility. The Master Teacher sure could get an audience’s attention!

Even the smallest of sins have serious consequence (Romans 6:23) and it is important to help our friends recognize this. It is even more important to have ourselves in order before we turn our attention to others, or we risk being in the same comical situation that is described in our text. How can the person we are trying to correct and reprove take us seriously when we make no effort to correct our own obvious sin?

Part of our responsibility as members of the Lord’s church is to help each other get to heaven through teaching and admonishing (Col 3:16), but this is one occasion when we are authorized to put ourselves before others.

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