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Reflections Blog

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Mind Your Speech!

Posted by kirxander on July 7, 2017 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (2)

The way we talk has a huge impact on our relationships with others, and how we're perceived.


Please enjoy this great illustration!


 

Time and again the Scriptures address the tongue. James devotes an entire chapter to controlling the tongue. When we consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:34 we see why the tongue is given such extensive treatment. How we handle the tongue is a great indicator of our hearts before God. Aesop shares a helpful fable to illustrate this point:


Once upon a time, a donkey found a lion's skin. He tried it on, strutted around, and frightened many animals. Soon a fox came along, and the donkey tried to scare him, too. But the fox, hearing the donkey's voice, said, "If you want to terrify me, you'll have to disguise your bray." Aesop's moral: Clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away.


Taken from: The Power of Words by Mike Leake

 

 


Ask For Wisdom!

Posted by kirxander on June 26, 2017 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (1)
Our best tool for gaining wisdom is to ask God. But let's always make sure we have the right attitude. Please enjoy the below.

God Bless!


Ask for Wisdom

By Douglas Twitchell


My freshman year in college, I took Physics 121, which was the introductory level physics course, required for all engineering majors. It was a "weed out" class, which meant it was intended to be difficult enough to "weed out" the people who either weren't serious about study, or weren't able to keep pace. Tests were graded out of 120 points, and anything above 55 points was considered passing. Another way of saying that: if you got 46%, you were passing! Still, half the class was always in danger of failing.


Because I had an incredibly strong background in Physics from high school, my college level class didn't teach me anything new until about halfway through the second semester. While my classmates were struggling, I was coasting along, getting 110, 115 points per test.


It wasn't long before I had classmates hanging out in my room nights before Physics tests, asking for my help. I was always glad to give them help, and they knew that I wouldn't steer them wrong.


Imagine, though, if every time I explained a problem to someone, they had said to me, "Well, that's a nice idea, but I think this way will work just as well..." And then they proceeded to use a different method, arriving at a different answer.


Don't you imagine that after awhile, I would say "Excuse me, if you're not ever going to listen to what I tell you, why are you even bothering to ask?"


This is the attitude James warns about in James 1:5-6: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.


James tells us: don't come to God asking for wisdom, and then just ignore the wisdom which he gives. The problem is, we often don't like the advice we get, so we try to set it aside. But James says, if you ask God for wisdom, and then ignore what He shows you, you're unstable, and will make no progress in life!


The good news is that, as happy as I always was to give advice and help to my classmates, God is even more eager to give to us; James says that He "gives generously". How great to know that God is not only all-knowing, but generous to boot!

 



Wisdom is a 'Pass Key'

Posted by kirxander on June 12, 2017 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)

As we start this new sermon series (wisDUMB), how do you make decisions in your life? What is your wisdom level at? Do you ask God for help?


A great illustration on this was written by Kent Crockett in his 'Sermon Illustrations" site. It was called, "Wisdom is a Pass Key":


When I was in college, I lived in a dorm that had 100 rooms, with a lock on each door. It took 100 keys to open those 100 doors. However, the person in charge had a pass-key. That single key had the ability to open the doors to every room in the dorm.


Wisdom is like a pass-key that will unlock difficult decisions and open doors for you. The Lord is the only one who has the key, but He'll loan it to you, if you'll ask for it. James 1:5 (NASV) says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."


Let's be sure to approach God and ask for wisdom in all of our decision making.


God Bless!



What Are You Working For?

Posted by kirxander on May 8, 2017 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (1)

What's your motiviation for the work you do at your job? For the Church? For your family? Consider the following story:


Several years ago, on an extremely hot day, a crew of men was working on the roadbed of the railroad when a slow moving train interrupted them. The train came to a stop and a window in the last car -- which incidentally was custom made and air-conditioned -- was raised. A booming, friendly voice called out, "Dave, is that you?" Dave Anderson, the crew chief called back, "Sure is, Jim, and it's really good to see you." With that pleasant exchange, Dave Anderson was invited to join Jim Murphy, the president of the railroad, for a visit. For over an hour the men exchanged pleasantries and then shook hands as the train pulled out.


Dave Anderson's crew immediately surrounded him and expressed astonishment that he knew Jim Murphy, the president of the railroad as a personal friend. Dave then explained that over 20 years earlier he and Jim Murphy had started to work for the railroad on the same day. One of the men half jokingly and half-serious asked Dave why he was still working out in the hot sun and Jim Murphy had gotten to be president. Rather melancholy Dave explained, "twenty-three years ago I went to work for $1.75 an hour but Jim Murphy went to work for the railroad."


If you only go to work to earn a paycheck, and that is your sole motivation, then all you will reap is a paycheck. You will dread your job and be unhappy. You will only give a half-hearted effort.


If you go to work to please God, and work for Him, then not only will you receive a paycheck, but you will also receive personal fulfillment and contentment. If you work only for pay, you will have a miserable day, but if you work for God, you will have happiness.


Whatever you do for a living, do your best, so that you will glorify your Father in heaven.


Taken from Christianity in the Workplace by Keith Smith

Marriage: Airplanes vs. Rocks

Posted by kirxander on April 17, 2017 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (3)
In the San Diego Union, Michael Grant wrote this about his marriage:


We continue to adjust to each other, an adjustment that started 19 years ago and will never stop because we each continue to grow and change. We will always be different. I think of anniversaries as a time for roses and dinner; she prefers Mexican food and a movie. For Halloween she thinks apples are a good treat; I say, since when did Halloween have anything to do with nutrition? Don't mistake it for a solid marriage. There is no such thing. Marriage is more like an airplane than a rock. You have to commit the thing to flight, and then it creaks and groans, and keeping it airborne depends entirely on attitude. Working at it, though, we can fly forever. Only she and I know how hard it has been, or how worthwhile.


Remember that a successful marriage all depends on us. More important than finding the perfect spouse, is BEING the perfect spouse. Make sure you have the right attitude when you deal with the person you've committed your life to.

Kind Words

Posted by kirxander on April 4, 2017 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (3)
Sometimes we forget just how important other people are to us, or how important our relationships are; both to ourselves, and others. Please enjoy the following story!

Kind Words


One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name.


Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down. It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.


That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.


On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really?” she heard whispered. “I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!” and, “I didn’t know others liked me so much,” were most of the comments.


No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.


Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last do so.


As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked. She nodded: “Yes.” Then he said: “Mark talked about you a lot.”


After the funeral, most of Mark’s former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.


“We want to show you something,” his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket. “They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it.”


Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had said about him.


“Thank you so much for doing that,” Mark’s mother said. “As you can see, Mark treasured it.”


All of Mark’s former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, “I still have my list. It’s in the top drawer of my desk at home.”


Chuck’s wife said, “Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album.”


“I have mine too,” Marilyn said. “It’s in my diary.”


Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. “I carry this with me at all times,” Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: “I think we all saved our lists.”


That’s when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again.


Tell those you love why you appreciate them while you can.


Limitless Love

Posted by kirxander on February 27, 2017 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (2)

Yesterday, Matt talked about Limitless Love. The below is a great illustration of the differences between God's love and our own.


God Bless!


 

The Father's Love and Ours


A gentleman of some wealth and high social position was taken ill. Being much troubled about the little love he found in his heart for God, he complained bitterly to one of his brethren. This is how he was answered:—


"When I leave you I shall go to my home, and the first thing I expect to do is to call my baby. I expect to place her on my knee and look down into her sweet eyes and listen to her charming prattle and, tired as I am, her presence will rest me, for I love that child with unutterable tenderness. But the fact is, she loves me little.


"If my heart were breaking, it would not disturb her sleep. If my body were wracked with excruciating pain it would not interrupt her play. If I were dead, she would be amused in watching my pale face and closed eyes. If any friends came to remove the corpse to the place of burial, she would probably clap her hands in glee, and in two or three days totally forget her father.


"Besides this, she has never brought me a penny, but has been a constant expense on my hands ever since she was born. Yet, though I am not rich, there is not money enough in the world to buy my baby. How is it? Does she love me or do I love her? Do I withhold my love until I know she loves me? Am I waiting for her to do something worthy of my love before extending it to her?"


"Oh, I see it!" said the sick man, while the tears ran down his cheeks, "I see it clearly. It is not my love to God, but God's love to me I should be thinking about. And I do love Him now as I never loved Him before."


We think of our littleness, when we should remember our Father's almightiness. We bewail our weak love, when we should be grateful for our Father's great love. "Here is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us."


Limitless Faith

Posted by kirxander on February 6, 2017 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (3)

Our lesson and study for 2/5 was on Limitless Faith. Here is a great illustration on this topic:


 

During the terrible days of the Blitz, a father, holding his small son by the hand, ran from a building that had been struck by a bomb. In the front yard was a shell hole. Seeking shelter as quickly as possible, the father jumped into the hole and held up his arms for his son to follow. Terrified, yet hearing his father's voice telling him to jump, the boy replied, "I can't see you!"


The father, looking up against the sky tinted red by the burning buildings, called to the silhouette of his son, "But I can see you. Jump!" The boy jumped, because he trusted his father. The Christian faith enables us to face life or meet death, not because we can see, but with the certainty that we are seen; not that we know all the answers, but that we are known.


Donner Atwood.

 

 


Let's learn to have this kind of faith in our Christian lives.


God Bless!

Are Your 'Labels' Limiting You?

Posted by kirxander on January 23, 2017 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (2)

During his lesson Sunday (link to video and discussion questions), Matt talked about how limiting labels in our life can be.


Think about some of the ways you have been labeled. Labels like: angry, impatient, dumb, arrogant, dishonest, self-absorbed, rude, sarcastic, flaky, etc.


In his lesson, Matt asked us what it would be like if we could get rid of those labels (those LIMITS) and move forward with a fresh start. As an exercise, he gave us each Post-It notes to right down some of the labels that are limiting us in our lives (see image below). Then he had us - figuratively - nail those to the cross (Colossians 2:14 - "He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross.".


What labels are holding you back in YOUR life? Nail them to the cross today, and move forward into the Limitless Life God has prepared for you.


God Bless!



Are WE Holding Ourselves Back?

Posted by kirxander on January 23, 2017 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (3)

We all know an elephant can pick up a ton with his trunk. An elephant is one of the most powerful animals. Yet if you go to a circus, you will see a massive animal tied to a little stake in the ground, and he will stay there. He has the potential to go anywhere he wants to go, but instead he simply looks around and possibly thinks about how it would be different if the rope wasn’t tied down.


You see, the elephant’s problem is mental, not a physical limitation. When he was young, before he got his strength, he was tied to a stake that was deep in the ground. He pulled and struggled as a youngster and just couldn’t get away from it. One day he accepted the fact he wasn’t going to get away. From then on, he decided, whenever he was tied to the stake he was stuck. The elephant has allowed the limitations, which had been placed upon it, to keep it from becoming what it could possibly be.


It doesn’t cross his mind that he is not the same elephant he was years earlier without much strength. Nor does he recognize the stake is not nearly as strong as it once was. Some of us need to wake up to the fact that we are not the same person we were back then. God has equipped us with additional strength and if we get up the nerve to challenge what’s holding us back we could find a whole new world waiting for us.

 

 


 

by Robert Sisler "Not Limited by my Limitations"


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