I lost a supposed friend last Sunday. One who had some different beliefs but was open-minded (supposedly) and we had been friends for about a year. Heck even pen-pals. Open-minded, I love that when people claim that. Yep the person was open-minded as long as I apparently didn’t believe God, the Lord Jesus Christ and Christianity. Open-minded, you underestand, as long as the beliefs are the same as theirs. Open-minded. So far in my limited life experience of almost 51 years, the person who claims such isn’t REALLY. I apparently thanked God too much in my posts when I wrote about blessings and answered prayers.
What is kind of interesting is I have been thinking about the term “open-minded” a bit recently. I had recently heard that for a Christian that being “open-minded” in essence allows ourselves to vex our souls (2 Peter 2:7-8). Put another way, it puts us in constant environments that we know we should not be a part of (ex. abstain from all appearance of evil – 1 Thess. 5:21-22). So I have been thinking about that and what that really means/implies on the whole and to my own self. I am still not sure of the whole paradigm (if that is the correct word to use) but I must agree that I have been getting a bit wore out having to skip posts by individuals who embrace a lifestyle or belief system that is so contrary to mine. I know not everyone agrees with everyone else on everything so that isn’t the issue. It’s more about serious systemic beliefs that I understand to be wrong. So then maybe the fact that the individual isn’t open-minded after all actually means that they have more serious convictions about their own beliefs than I do, which if that is true, means to me I have allowed my soul to be vexed when I was trying to be engaging and open-minded myself. Which gets me to thinking about the phrase “open-minded” and how it should be correctly used/applied. Maybe – though now I am pretty positive it is the case – the willingness to be “open-minded” isn’t always a good thing or more importantly – the right thing.
It is more important in trying to develop relationships and friendships to be true to what you know is right even if that limits the opportunities to gain friendships. After all, for a Christian, the most important relationship one should have is with the Lord. If the chief “aim” of the human being is to glorify and enjoy God I am sure that obedience to Him trumps open-mindedness for the sake of being engaging is not going to lead to success in accomplishing one’s chief aim.
Why is the FBI not allowed to arrest this individual? Freedom of speech has nothing to do with it. It is aiding and abetting enemies of our country. That used to be called treason. That use to result in one’s arrest, prosecution, trial and death. And in pretty swift order at that. Why isn’t it news in Ohio (where I live) that such a college is rewarding such character and activities? Is it because universities are known (very well-known actually) to be strong supporters (usually) of criminal and amoral behavior? Hmmm, I wonder what it is about so-called higher education that results often into degeneration?
While I’m not a supporter of the masons I am sharing this info because the reality of the convenience of a target is a factor. How long before he is back on our streets? Probably just long enough to be further radicalized in our prisons. Which brings up the topic of our prisons. Why are we ALLOWING them to be places where people can be radicalized whether in white supremacy garbage or muslim extremism? How come prisoners aren’t being converted into saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? You know, Christian beliefs of the Reformation? Or heck even Buddhism? At least they would act with peace. I thought one of the purposes of prison was the rehabilitation of the individual. What happened to that?
A lot of haters out there in the the “love-people” who are so “open-minded” when in ref to those against/unhappy with the Supreme Court’s decision last Friday.
I am glad Christians live under grace and not under the Law because no one can be saved and redeemed by the Law (Romans 2:12, 3:20-21; Galatians 2:21, 3:11 KJV: I can’t vouch for the other translations) (Sentence for those who want to quote the vast number of rules for the Jews in the OT.)
Disagreeing with the decision and with so-much of what is norm in society doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) come with hate/venom and I hope what I wrote wasn’t misconstrued as such. I actually only had grief, concern and troubled-spirit when I wrote it. I am aware that a trick or SOP for the people referenced in the first sentence of this post is to call sincere objectors – haters. I can say/write I do not hate those who celebrate the decision on Friday. I do know – with certainty – it is all a spiritual battle.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
(1 Corinthians 2:10-16 KJV) don’t
So yes proper judgement is expected of the Christian. As the old saying goes “We are to be fruit-inspectors”. And don’t forget “by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20) – and btw, Jesus did say that.
An interesting and sobering article posted this past Friday on the Time’s website. While I do not equate so-called orthodox Christianity with anything resembling Roman Catholicism, I do agree with the gist of the article. In my opinion we are now finally officially Sodom and Gomorrah and this is not the place where Bible believing Christians will be welcomed. I have posted in the past about the meticulous plans to warp this country as well as posts on the very real reality that we are involved in a spiritual war that is far more devastating than Isis, Taliban, Nazis and whomever else you can throw into the mix. Those organizations are puppets for the grand evil master-mind who has but one goal: the eternal destruction of every human soul he can get his grip on. Flight of fantasy on my part? Ladies and gentlemen I can not articulate just how bad and real it is NOR how much WORSE it is going to get here and throughout the world.
If you are identified by the world as a Christian you need to consider somethings about your life going forward. Bullseyes are being zeroed in. This is not melodramatics. Do you really stand on your convictions and beliefs? Whatever the cost?
“Why in the world are you linking gloom and doom to the USA’s Supreme Court equating homosexuals getting same-sex marriage Constitutional protection of a right?” Simple because blatant sin is being officially approved as “good”, “normal”, even “righteous”. That is completely contrary to the word of God and I and many others try to live our lives aligned and obedient to God’s word. No we are not perfect but we also don’t give up.
By the way, it was not an accident that the homosexual movement branded themselves with the rainbow. The rainbow was the first sign God gave to the human race when He promised Noah that He would never again destroy the earth with water. It is a sign for remembrance of the covenant God made with Noah and all future descendants of the human race. Trust me, it was no accident.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
One more further word of warning; do you remember what God says living in Sodom & Gomorrah did Lot?
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)
(2 Peter 2:4-8)
Over the last 25 years of my life I have had three virtual pastors. Virtual in that I have never sat down with each and been in discussion with them. I have not been in the church’s in which they were pastors but through their ministries they have helped me TREMENDOUSLY as I try to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. One of those individuals is Dr. Charles Stanley. I can’t imagine a kinder individual in the world and someone also who is in sync with the heart of God. This morning I received an email of a new post for the month of May and after reading it I felt that many of you would appreciate it as well. I have quite a few “followers” that are not Christian but I think the HEART of what he is saying you too will appreciate and benefit from. So here it goes…
Have you ever wondered what kind of person God wants you to be? Although our talents, personalities, abilities, and backgrounds may differ, the Scriptures reveal some basic traits the Lord desires for all of us. Every one of us is called to develop a heart for encouraging others (1 Thessalonians 5:11). To encourage someone is simply to let them know they’re not alone, to go to their side and walk with them on their journey. The Christian life is not one of isolation and independence but of relationship and interconnection. Although some of us are more outgoing than others, we can each express encouragement in our own unique ways. We may have no idea what an impact our gracious words, sound advice, or acts of kindness may have on another person.
To encourage someone is simply to let them know they’re not alone.
When I was in first grade, I overheard my teacher comment to someone else, “I like Charles.” She probably never knew I heard her remark, let alone how much it meant to me, but I still remember the way I felt at that moment and the encouragement it gave me during a lonely period in my life. Another person who impacted me was my Sunday school teacher. Even after I’d begun attending a different church, whenever he saw me delivering newspapers, he’d pull his car over and talk with me for a while. Then he’d buy a paper from me for about twice the price even though he had one delivered to his home. We didn’t discuss anything important, but it made me feel significant that he cared enough to go out of his way to talk to me. We probably all have similar memories of people who either deliberately or unknowingly encouraged us.
One of the prime examples of an encourager in Scripture is Barnabas. His name means “son of encouragement,” and that’s exactly what he was. He’s first mentioned because of his eagerness to help the believers in Jerusalem. After selling a piece of property, he gave the money to the apostles so they could distribute it to whoever was in need (Acts 4:36-37). On another occasion, he brought Saul, a former persecutor of believers, into the church, assuring them that he was now a Christian (Acts 9:26-27). Barnabas could never have known the importance of this one act of kindness. Eventually, the infamous Saul would become the great apostle Paul who encouraged countless others as he traveled around the world planting churches.
God wants to use each of us at various times and in different ways to encourage others.
God wants to use each of us at various times and in different ways to encourage others. This means we must be alert to people the Lord brings across our path and make ourselves available, even when it’s inconvenient or we feel as if we have nothing to offer. If we ask the Lord, He’ll give us the wisdom to know what to say or do as we come alongside others.
To become an encourager, we must first give others our time and our undivided attention (1 Thessalonians 2:17-20). Face-to-face meetings are the most effective, but we can also reach out through phone calls, emails, letters, or even text messages. However, I’ve often seen people sitting together in silence at a restaurant with their heads bent over their phones. That’s not the time for texting. When we’re with people, we need to give them our full attention and listen mindfully. How else will we know what’s in their hearts and how to support them?
Second, we can encourage others by helping to meet their needs (2 Corinthians 1:5-7). This might come in the form of comforting those who hurt, affirming those who struggle with low self-esteem, spending time with the lonely, or simply meeting someone’s practical needs. For example, if I didn’t have a few staff members who come to my rescue every so often, my computer would be a disaster.
Third, Christians are called to build each other up spiritually (Romans 1:11-12). When people are struggling to trust the Lord in hard times, they need someone to remind them of God’s constant presence, unfailing promises, or unlimited power in their situation. Sometimes it’s helpful to point out an applicable verse of Scripture that gives God’s perspective, instructions, or comfort. Another aspect of spiritual encouragement is warning someone who’s headed down the wrong path and offering loving correction.
Finally, encouragement is a motivator (Hebrews 10:24-25). I remember a number of times when my mother supported me after I didn’t do very well in a particular subject at school. She never shamed or condemned me for a bad grade but simply encouraged me to do my best. Her advice has stayed with me all these years, motivating me to give my best effort in whatever I do.
If you, too, have been encouraged by your mother, why not let her know how much she has impacted your life and how thankful you are for her love and devotion? Then follow her example, much like Paul followed in Barnabas’ footsteps, and become a son or daughter of encouragement in your family, workplace, and church. The Lord will richly bless both you and those you encourage. You never know what a difference your gracious words or actions might make in someone’s life.
Charles F. Stanley
Tomorrow being Monday, I doubt I will be posting SO this post will be my official birthday post, though it is one day early. How old you ask? Tomorrow is the big five-oh. Yep 50 freaking years old. When I opened the card from my family on Friday and saw the large word Fifty on the card, I think that was the first real time it all actually “set in” for me.
No I am not whining I will be 50. No I do not feel any closer to death that a day earlier. I have none of the baggage like in reaching the milestone of 50. But, STILL, in my opinion that is a big milestone for me and anyone else. Next “aging” milestone will be 60 so that is quite a ways off.
I did have an interesting surreal moment, actually moments this weekend. I have caught (I guess in my mind’s eye) experience (people, cars, etc) moving in a bit of a blur. Ya know like catching time speeding up further. I noticed this on Friday and Saturday. It was like the usual effect in movies/tv when they are trying to express the sudden acceleration of time. It was quite interesting. I look fwd to noticing it today and tomorrow, hopefully.
“So Kevin, after almost fifty years of life on this earth, what would you share with someone who asked?”
I guess several things, though they will lack eloquence and artful writing…
* I think we spend way too much time on the temporal things instead of the more important eternal matters.
* A friend is someone that is THERE and PRESENT of their own volition. Anything else is a paid acquaintance at best.
* Too often fondness is incorrectly called love.
* We must plan and proactively engage in what needs to be done in order to have the life we want to experience.
* Peace requires a lot of preparation and hard work…..and often common sense.
* Much of life is vanity.
* Our thinking affects our health, perspective and our experiences.
* Healthy eating is something one owes themselves. and their loved-ones.
* Integrity is something we must work hard to achieve and keep.
* One’s imagination can and usually will produce far more horrible experiences than that one will actually experience so try to shift one’s focus.
* A personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and God, the Father is worth far more than any other relationship one can have on this earth.
* Do your very best to not grieve the Holy Spirit.
* The most important book one can read and re-read and apply to their life is the Holy Bible; particularly the KJV.
* One needs to be engaged in healthy hobbies in order to have a balanced life.
* A true friend can be a precious gift.
* Life will be full of hard choices, seek the wisdom of God and then act in faith.
* Speak kindly to yourself in your mind. Harmful words damage your being and spirit.
* Every family has some dysfunction that needs to be delicately managed.
* Read “good” books each week.
* Travel is good for your life and awareness.
* Be kind because everyone is going through trials and hard things.
* A smile is a powerful gift and a good hug even more so.
* Don’t go to bed angry.
* Don’t get tangled with “stuff” and getting more and more of it.
* Don’t compare oneself with another human being. No good will come of it.
* Work hard to be content.
* Civility is a badge of honor.
* Set timed goals for oneself so that you can grow and develop.
* Marriage is a commitment, hard work and well worth it.
* Work hard to be the very best you can be for others and for your own self.
I am surpised so many things actually came to mind just now. That took less than 10 minutes to put in writing.