Saturday, April 30, 2011
In Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch is living a crazy life with deadlines and ignoring the important things in life. Mitch ignores his family (dying brother), his girlfriend/wife, and his old professor (for 16 years). He avoided the things that matter most. Life is busy. Work often consumes us. It is important that our priorities are in order so that we do not regret the things we did or did not do. God should be our first priority, followed by spouse, then children, and finally work. I want no regrets when I'm older. My goal is to focus on the things that matter not the things that do not. In 1 Timothy 4:7, Paul writes: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith". These words Paul spoke carry no regrets. I want to be able to speak these words one day. Prioritizing my life now will be the first step in finishing the race. Will you be able to say this verse at the end of your life?
Thursday, April 28, 2011
In Tuesdays with Morrie, Morrie tells Mitch to not "assume it is too late to get involved.” As long as you are living, you have the opportunity to get involved and make a difference in this world. Millions and millions of people are struggling through life with very little hope. They are starving for the Word of God and do not realize it. With all the natural disasters that have occured recently, more and more people are struggling to provide for basic needs. You do not have to look at the world for opportunities to help the hurting. People are hurting everywhere you come in contact with people. Hurt doesn't always show, but it exists. Jesus tells us in Matthew 9:37-38 “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Morrie also taught a very valuable lesson on forgiveness. "Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others." The first part of the quote focuses on forgiving yourself for not making the best of your life and missing opportunities. The other part of the quote focuses on our relationships with other people. No matter how we are wronged by one another, we are commanded by God to forgive as He forgave us. Above all we are supposed to love others and be compassionate. Paul writes in Colossians 3:12-14, "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity". These are great words to live by. I've heard it said that "forgiveness provides closure".
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Morrie tells Mitch to "accept the past as the past without denying it or discarding it". The past has ways to come back to the "present", but we cannot change the past or allow it to consume us. Lessons learned in our past often shape who we are today. The circumstances life has brought you or the struggles you faced in your past happened for a reason. At the time, most people do not understand why they are going through a trying time. Through reflection, we sometimes see and understand why we experienced a particular challenge. Discarding the past or not learning from it could lead to other consequences. Paul tells us in Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose". This verse tells us that no matter the circumstance God is working for the good if we love Him. Something good will come out of the circumstance you are facing. You may not realize it at the time or never realize it, but know that God is working.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Morrie discusses the importance to accept the abilities you have been given. Do not be envious or jealous of others gifts. If everyone had the same gifts, many things would not be able to be accomplished. Each one of us are designed for a purpose. We each have different gifts that we should use to serve others. We have human limitations, but we are reminded that when we are weak, God is strong. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:10, "That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong". Weaknesses and limitations in our life will come when serving others. God promises to provide and give us the things we need to serve others and Him. In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul discusses how each person makes up and is important to the body of Christ through the different gifts that each of us have. "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work". This passage is so true. The gifts we are granted should all be used to worship and serve the same God.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
In the book Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom does a great job of recording the last months of Morrie Schwartz's life. On their Tuesday meetings, Morrie would share many life lessons with Mitch. These lessons can be applied to each of our lives. The book is thought provoking and allows the reader to examine their own life. The next five posts will focus on five of the many lessons Mitch learns from Morrie. I will apply these five lessons to the Christian walk.
Lesson 1: Accepting Your Abilities (Posting Date: 4/22/2011)
This blog post will focus on 1 Corinthians 12. Each one of us are designed for a purpose. We each have different gifts that we are to use to serve others.
Lesson 2: Accepting Your Past (Posting Date: 4/24/2011)
This blog post will focus on Romans 8:28. We have all faced circumstances and events in our lives that we do not understand the reasons went through the experience.
Lesson 3: Forgiveness (Posting Date: 4/26/2011)
This blog post will focus on Colossians 3:12-14. No matter how we are wronged by one another, we are commanded by God to forgive as He forgave us.
Lesson 4: Get Involved (Posting Date: 4/28/2011)
This blog post will focus on Matthew 9:37-38. Millions and millions of people are struggling through life with very little hope. They are starving for the Word of God.
Lesson 5: Have No Regrets (Posting Date: 4/30/2011)
This blog post will focus on 2 Timothy 4:7. Will you be able to say this verse at the end of your life?
Monday, April 18, 2011
What does it mean to be authentic? One word that comes to mind is "real". Throughout our lifetime, we have probably seen fake products. A purse or shirt looked like the real thing, but was actually fake. If you work in retail, you may have had the experience of seeing fake money. Christians must make sure that they are not leading a "fake" life. In Revelations 3:15-16, Jesus said, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth". It is clear that Jesus is not happy with a lukewarm Christian. In fact, it makes Him sick. A lukewarm Christian hurts Christ's kingdom the most. One who acts like an authentic Christian, but still lives "in the world" is detrimental to the work of God. We must strive to live more and more like Christ each day. We will fail, but praise Him for His grace, mercy, and love.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
How do you get to work? Do you drive the same road everyday? Do you walk the same path? Do you make the same stops at the gas station or coffee shop? We are creatures of habit. We are aware of our surroundings for the most part, but are we aware of the opportunities within our surroundings. Being aware of our surroundings is important not only to keep us safe, but also to see opportunities to serve those around us. In Galatians 6:10, Paul wrote: "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers". I know I miss out on opportunities daily to provide a helping hand or seize the opportunity to serve. It is very important that through my actions and conversations with people that I am as "Christ-like" as possible. Paul reminds us in Colossians 4:4-6 to "Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone".
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Life's circumstances bring us down. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball that the best baseball player couldn't come close to hitting. Our reaction to our circumstances is very visible to those around us. Saying we have the attitude of Christ is totally different than showing others we have the attitude of Christ. In Philippians 2:5, Paul reminds us that "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. This is extremely difficult because everyone thinks and prioritizes things differently. The circumstances that we face are sometimes unbearable, but we know we should and can lean on the Lord. Paul reminded the church in Thessalonica to "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus". What things can you change in your life right now to reflect the attitude of Jesus?
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I recently watched Neil Pasricha's "The 3 A's of Awesome". His speech was inspiring and described how how overcame various adversities in his life. The three A's he discussed were: attitude, awareness, and authenticity. Each of these A's can easily be applied to the Christian walk. A Christian must strive to have the attitude of Christ. A Christian must be aware of opportunities around them to serve. A true Christian must be authentic. The next few posts will explore the 3 A's of Awesome.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I decided to follow the theme of my previous two posts that focused on the movie "Field of Dreams. Through various struggles and nearly losing his farm, Ray continued to follow and listen to the voice. **MOVIE SPOILER ALERT** At the end of the movie, Ray receives a reward for following the voice. The reward is being able to see and play catch with his father one last time. The reward allows Ray to mend his "rocky" relationship with his father. Just as Ray received the reward for following the "voice", we will receive a great reward if we follow the leading and the calling of the voice of God. Jesus tells us in John 14:2, "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you"? As we walk this life, we struggle and fall. We must turn to the one who created us for guidance. Jesus' promise is clear. If we follow him, our reward awaits us in heaven.
Friday, April 8, 2011
In my last post, I discussed "The Voice" in the movie Field of Dreams. I want to continue discussing the movie, but this time look at Ray's wife, Annie. Annie was very supportive of Ray's decision to "follow" the voice. Ray loved Annie enough to seek her input on the decisions he was making. She respected and supported him despite not knowing what would happen based on the decision Ray made. Our lives are much the same. We do not know what tomorrow brings. My wife is very similar to Annie. I love her and she supports me in all my endeavors. She asks difficult and thought provoking questions to make me think about things before a I make a crucial decision. Above all, she respects and supports me. In Ephesians 5:24-27, Paul wrote, "Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless". Paul's words paint a clear picture of marriage, using Christ and the church as an illustration. Love and Respect is a vital part in a successful marriage.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Dreams can be powerful life changers. I recently watched the movie "Field of Dreams". Click Here to view the movie trailer. I love Ray's (Kevin Costner) passion for listening to the voice. Ray fulfilled his dream by building the field and was obedient to the voice. How do you respond to something you are passionate about? Do you listen to the "voice" inside you? When reflecting on the voice, I am reminded of Moses and his response to the burning bush. In Exodus 3, Moses asked God on three occasions if he was the right person for the job. I wonder how I would have responded to the voice of God. Would I have been obedient? Would I make up excuses like Moses? Listen for the voice. It exists within you. Follow your heart, but above all be obedient to the voice of God.
Monday, April 4, 2011
The last few years our world has seen its share of natural disasters. Earthquakes, flooding, droughts, and tsunamis, just to name a few. Some are saying that we are in the "end times". The "end times" began the day that Jesus was crucified. Many people believe that the world will end with the Mayan calendar in 2012. I think I'm going with what the Bible says. In Mark 13:32-33, Jesus said, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come". Jesus tells us that no one will know the day or the hour of his return. Jesus also says that we should be prepared and watching for His return. So, until Christ returns, we must do what He calls us to do in the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:20, Go and make disciples.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I had a major problem with the desire of becoming "famous" in my field. However, the last two months, through prayer and mediation on God's Word, I have begun the process of getting rid of this Bathsheba, once and for all. My desire to be the "guru" in the area educational technology is slowly diminishing. This desire consumed me. It was all I thought about. I stressed and worried about my success in my profession. The desire of becoming a "guru" did take me to some interesting places, but I had very little time for the things that really matter in life. I had very little time for exercise, family, or hobbies. We are warned of this worldly view of "becoming" someone or desiring success in the eyes of the world. In Romans 12:2, Paul writes, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will".