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Stop Acting Like A Child

I know that you have heard this story before. It is one that Jesus tells a couple of times, so it is a concept that Jesus wants us to understand.

Stop and think for a minute. When you think of a child, what comes to your mind? If you were to ask me, a child is usually happy and care-free. They have a natural curiosity for life. They are quick to forgive and make up. They do not worry about life, they live in the moment. These are just a couple that come to my mind, I am sure that you could add to mine.

Take your list, and now transfer that to your life? Do you display those traits? Jesus tells us to have the attitude of a child, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Those are some pretty strong words, aren’t they?

I will share with you where I am trying to let the child out in me again. Maybe you will be able to identify with me.

I personally need to have a deeper curiosity for Jesus and the Bible. I need to stop thinking like I know that or this, and really want to understand and question everything. A child needs to know everything. Have you ever gotten into a conversation about the moon with a child? (Something so simple right?) You know how the conversation goes: Why does the moon smile? Well Johnny, it seems to smile, but actually those are craters that look like a smile. Oh, OK….. What are craters? Well Johnny, craters are made from meteorites. Oh, OK….. what are meteorites? You get the picture? We need to have the same kind of curiosity for Jesus.

I need to stop worrying about my future and what is going to happen, how the bills are going to be paid, are we going to make enough money this month. When was the last time you heard a child asking if we were going to have enough money for food this month? A child puts all their trust into you, they do not worry about the future, they live today, the moment. A BIG lesson for me.

Have you ever watched kids when they are playing? They do fight and argue, but once they find an adult and tell their side of the story. The adult tells them to make up. Both children say they are sorry, then 5 minutes later they are best friends again. This is huge for us. We need to move forgiveness from our heads to our hearts, as Jesus commands us.

So, if anyone ever tells you to stop acting like a child, just smile and know that you are that much closer to the Kingdom of Heaven.

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” ~ Matthew 18:1-4

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Are You A Toxic Christian?

Are You A Toxic Christian?

Kim and I were out running errands a couple of days ago. While we were driving we passed a church, with a large sign on the front of it. I looked at it quickly, then I had to do a double take to actually read the sign. When I actually saw what the sign said, my heart was broken and angered at the same time. Here is what this LARGE sign said that was smack in the front of the church.

NO SKATEBOARDING
NO ROLLERBLADES
NO BICYCLES

I do now know why they did not say:

NO KIDS
NO FUN
GO AWAY

This is a subject that GOD has laid dear to my heart; Toxic Christianity & Toxic Churches. Do you know that it has been said that 8 out of 10 churches are dead or dying? How sad is that? There used to be a time that Christianity was the religion of choice. When a person wanted to search for GOD, they would have tried a Christian Church. But that is not the case today. Christianity is just a choice among many religions and gods.

We had one of our good friends prove this. Her daughter went through a shooting at a shopping mall, as you could imagine she was very shaken up. So she went searching for something……. she had a Buddhist saying tattooed on her back. The comment of her parents is that they were glad she found some god and religion. With the statement like the one above, no wonder she found accepting Buddhists.

Some of our churches have become toxic. They are so focused on them and looking inward, that they have totally missed Jesus’ last command. They are more concerned with looking good, what type of music fits ME, and not accepting people that are not like them or that would fit into their church mold. What our culture is boiling down to is our Christian Churches do not carry the weight it used to, WE have to carry that weight. We have to be shinning examples of Jesus love and acceptance. Who did Jesus hang out with? The pretty, religious people? Or the lost, hurting, ugly, prostitutes?

You might be saying “What can I do”? Hopefully you are involved in a church that is carrying out Acts 29. One good gauge is to look at your baptisms, do you have them regularly? If not can you remember the last one you had? WE have to be the example of Christianity, church or no church, we need to reach out to the lost, the kids, and hurting of our culture. OK, OK, OK…. I could go on and on.

I believe that you are going to see a shift in our churches in the future. I think that you will see more mini missions going out into the people, instead of waiting for the people to come to them. One good example is a link that Donna sent me yesterday. It is Skate Disciples. A father and son mission to reach the young skateboarders. This is an awesome example of reaching out to a certain group of people that are lost and mislead, showing Christs’ love and acceptance. Awesome job guys! So, where are you on the toxic meter?

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Have you ever noticed that when GOD does some work in your heart, it is never just one thing. For me it seems to always be a series of events or heart changes. This past week has been a tough one for me. Plus, when you are going through these adjustments, does not satan always seem to do his work too. He tries to get you down and feeling discouraged about yourself.

I am somewhat of a work-a-holic. For me (maybe you can identify with me) I feel that I need to get certain things done for the day. I feel that if I do not make progress with work in someway, I will not provide for my family and we will not make enough money to support us. (Did you notice how many times I said I?) 

Sometimes “Life” happens and we do not get enough work done, this stresses me out. I become focused and the stress seems to keep building and building up. I become a jerk to Kimmy, and not much fun to be around with anyone. My focus turns from GOD to me and what I need to accomplish. If you think about this, my problem is that I am not trusting GOD to provide for my needs.

There are two thoughts that I would like to make. Today, The Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me these things.

He reminded me of how Jesus fed the 5,000. How many fish and bread did Jesus start out with? Matthew 14:16-17 Jesus had 5 loaves and 2 fish, and He fed ALL those people, WOW. The point that The Holy Spirit was making to me, is that Jesus does not need much from me to provide for me and my family. He does not need me to work tons of hours and enter tons of items. He will provide for me with very little.

So, if you are in your life and you are stressed about making it, and you are working more and more and more, Jesus will provide for you, put your priority on Him and have the faith that He will come through. Read Matthew 6:25-34 I LOVE this passage!

The other thought that I had, if you become as stressed out as I was. Take some time off, refocus with your family and GOD. You will be amazed what a difference it makes, and do not be surprised if while you are resting in the LORD and your family, GOD is still working for you and providing for you.

I did this today and spent some time with Kimmy, I could feel myself clam down and refocus on HIM!

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One Sided Prayer Life

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Psalm 29 is the psalm that I would like to focus on today. How is your prayer life? It seems like when we become busy our prayers become shorter and shorter and more to the point. Usually that point is what we need.

“Dear Lord, Please help me at work today, I need money so I can pay my bills, please give me patience with my kids today, help Aunt Suzie get over her sickness, Amen.”

Does that sound familiar? Let me give you another example. When our son was alive most of the time, life revolved around his needs. Dad, I need money, why do I not have a cell phone, I am having trouble with a kid at school, Mom is being unfair, No, I do not want to do that……. and on and on. I do not mind answering him or being there for him, that is why GOD chose me as a parent, but sometimes I would like to just talk to him, no struggle, no wants, just talk back and forth.

There is no way that I am even comparing myself to GOD, but I can imagine that is how GOD feels at times. He LONGS to just talk with you. These psalms are a great way to just talk with GOD. A majority of the psalms are songs and prayers just praising GOD, if you do not spend some of your prayer time praising GOD I would encourage you to do so. We serve such an amazing GOD, if you spend time thinking about HIM, it just humbles you.

Alot of the Psalms were written as prayers and songs to GOD. They were written by men who were seeking the face of GOD, praising GOD, and crying out for help. I believe that we should read them as they were meant to be.

Below is Psalm 29, it is a wonderful psalm praising HIS majesty. Do not read the words, pray them to the LORD!
Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.

The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace!

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