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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Alle, alle auch sind frei!"

"Followers" I believe this is the term used for those following such blogs. Webster describes followers as 1 a : one in the service of another : retainer b : one that follows the opinions or teachings of another c : one that imitates another2 archaic : one that chases. But here following is possible without notice/interaction. But in life, everyday living following will lead to interaction and indeed give notice to those around us. So who are we following? I'm asking this to the reader and at the same time questioning myself. Who and/or what are we chasing after? As a Believer the obvious answer(Sunday school answer) is Jesus Christ but I know many times I find myself simply following self and all the wants.moods,desires that seems fit for self. I will watch what I say, write, blog at times because I'm "concern" what this person/people might think (and I'm not talking about being considerate) making for that moment that person my "leader". This pass weekend I saw a "special" on a preacher (of course he now gets a one hour special since his teachings are against the main steam church they (News) wouldn't think of interviewing a pastor such as Greg Laurie, Francis Chan, Charles Swindoll, Andy Stanley for an hour well that is unless they "fall") who after preaching the gospel for years decided that there was no way his grandparents could have went to hell and for that matter not even Hitler so he said God led him to proclaim "Olly olly oxen free " (okay thats my version) or as he put it God told him to preach this new message that Hell is a place in life, and that after death. Everybody is redeemed. Everybody.. And immediately Im thinking some deep thoughts like "REALLY?!" and "SERIOUSLY!!" To quote the great musician & philosopher Steve Taylor "I'm no theology nut, but the reverend may be a little confused" So he and his assistants were surprise that they were dismissed by mentors and many churches didn't want him preaching at their church (I think Im a bit surprise that this surprised him but I guess the preaching another gospel thing changed in his mind as well) Anyway towards the end of this program this man who is now preaching heresy (not exactly the Truth ) said he believed the majority of the church is following a cult version of Christ. And I was like wow I cant disagree with that one at all. As its been said," God created man in His image and man returned the favor" When the true Gospel and preach and we are challenge to live according to books like ACTS we start looking for that new leader. Francis Chan told how members of his church question if he was heading towards being cult because he talked so much about giving money and things away aka blessed that we may bless others. I have no great closing for this but I do know most of us if not all of us keep running of the trails set before us to find another leader or even worst a make believe Gospel one that fits us for short term or long term. The thing is we need to be sure who we are following because there are many (family,friends,children,neighbors,strangers) following our lead.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What About Me?

I had the extreme pleasure of helping out some friends tonight. They help out with a ministry called Shoes For Orphaned Souls which collects new shoes from all over the U.S. and distributes them to orphanages all over the world. I won’t embarrass them by telling you how many shoes they collect to send in, but suffice it to say that they help many children around the world.

As myself and a brother that I work with were helping to carry boxes of shoes from an attic, I could hear the unmistakened voices of many who would say “What about me?” or “Why not help children in our own community?” It seems that, even while people may not say it, many think it. Many are looking for how it will benefit them.

While I do not believe in Socialism or the Social Gospel for that matter, I do believe in helping others. Socialism is a forced way of sharing the wealth, which is contrary to scripture…if a man does not work, he does not eat; and by the sweat of his brow will a man work (let every saying be qualified by two or more scriptures). The Social Gospel is humanism in disguise and seeks to promote the flesh whithout regenerating the spirit by the Spirit…if you sow to the flesh you will of the flesh reap corruption; unless a person be born again (of the Spirit), he will not inherit the Kingdom of God. I do believe in showing the compassion of Christ and helping out those in need. It is logical and falls within the boundaries of the church to show care and concern for the material needs of those around them, especially those in the Body of Christ.

So what does this have to do with me…or YOU??? I want to encourage you to get and and help someone else out. Random acts of kindness are great, but why not do some intentional and planned acts of kindness? Make it a habit to get involved in something in your community, even if it’s only for a couple hours a month. I know some really good ministries that would love to have someone help out for just a couple hours one day a month. Find someone nearby and visit with them or help them get their groceries. The opportunities are endless.

When you help someone else out, I believe it fills a void in your life and puts you on the path to wholeness. You’re not doing this in order to repay God or to do some kind of service for God that will make God love you more. What you are doing is responding to the love of God in your own life and acting accordingly. When you do things out of obligation to God, it becomes works and salvation comes by grace through faith, not works. If it was by works, you would have pride in yourself. When you do things because of what God has done in your own life, it becomes an act of love.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37, 39