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Posts Tagged ‘Peace’

What is your world view? – Money

November 5, 2011 1 comment

***

The minister was preoccupied with thoughts of how he was going to, after the worship service, ask the congregation to come up with more money than they were expecting for repairs to the church building. Therefore, he was annoyed to find that the regular organist was sick and a substitute had been brought in at the last minute. The substitute wanted to know what to play.

“Here’s a copy of the service,” he said impatiently. “But you’ll have to think of something to play after I make the announcement about the finances.”

During the service, the minister paused and said, “Brothers and Sisters, we are in great difficulty; the roof repairs cost twice as much as we expected, and we need $4,000 more. Any of you who can pledge $100 or more, please stand up.”

At that moment, the substitute organist played “The Star-Spangled Banner.” And that is how the substitute became the regular organist!

***

What is a world view?  Let’s just get specific.  What is your world view?  Here’s a basic definition of the term:

…it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual, group or culture interprets the world and interacts with it.

A world view is the foundation of our life.  What we believe to be true shapes our morals and values.  Our morals and values then shape our behaviors and thoughts and words.  So what is your world view?  Do you have a God?  Who is this God?  How big is this God?  Is he just one of many?  Is he just a part of life or is he involved in all of life?  Whatever you believe to be true or not true of those questions determine how you live.

I am a Christian.  I hold true the belief that God is the creator of the universe.  Everything is his.  He creates and intimately knows each and every person who has, is and will be..although many do not believe him.  I believe that he has called us his children.  I believe that he has made one way for us to be back with him in a perfect and sinless environment.  I believe he has resourced us and will continue to resource us with what we need to live a full and peaceful life here, to serve others, and to help them see his ultimate and perfect plan.

Ok, there’s a snapshot of my belief.  Out of this framework of what I believe to be true about life, now and life after this body of mine ceases to live, I derive morals and values.  If I believe that God is the creator of all I see and holds my life in his hands, then it would hold true that I should value what he values.  My values and morals will be his.  Therefore, my actions should hold true to what I value.  People should be able to see my God’s character, values and morals reflected through my words and actions.

I hope that makes sense.  Again, what our world view is determines how we live life.  If my God were small and insignificant in my life…and I didn’t hold his views as true…then I would live life according to someone or something else’s values.  My actions and words would show that God isn’t important and that my ego or something else is.

How we view money and use money or abuse money show’s what we believe about God.  If God owns everything and everything is under his command, as he is sovereign, then it includes all my money…well not my money…his money.  I’m simply a steward of what he provides me.  I can do really stupid stuff with money…and he might allow me to mostly as ‘teachable moments.’  I can do really great things with money.  Money is just a tool, but it’s in The Creator’s tool box.

Here’s my view.  Money doesn’t turn the planet.  Many of us think and act like it does, but it doesn’t.  All the money is God’s, and if he needs it in a certain place at a certain time for a certain action, he can move it where it needs to go. However, if our world view is that money is essential to living, and it becomes bigger than God, then money will rule our world.  We will be influenced by it rather than controlling it as Dave Ramsey encourages.  We will be worried by the lack of it and enamored with dreams of having more of it.  As the Bible says:   For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1st Timothy 6:10

The last part of that verse doesn’t seem to peaceful to me.  Doesn’t sound like money brings contentment.  Doesn’t sound like money will fix things.  Can money be helpful in many circumstances?  Sure, but it is not the source of fixing…God is the source of fixing.  God is the source of all we need.  God is our Father and we are his children, and he wants us to trust Him in all things.  One of my favorite verses, probably my favorite, is this, “Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God.”  That is from the mouth of God through his prophet Micah.  That’s what God desires from us.

Love-Serve-Spread the Word,

Ed

Questions for growth:

  • Write down your world view.  What do you believe to be true.  Where do your values come from?  Where do your actions point?
  • Pick someone apart from yourself.  Can you tell something about their world view by how they act and speak and think?  Remember, people daily evaluate your world view based on what you do and say and think as well.  Do you point to God?
  • Is money a big part of your world view?  Does your thoughts about money line up with God’s view of it?
  • Are you consumed with thoughts and worries and dreams about money?  Or, are you content with where you are and what you have…content enough to be focused on God goals?

 

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Who wants some PEACE?!

December 10, 2010 Leave a comment

There are a ton of funny holiday jokes out there, and so I’ll just warn you, as most of them are for 3rd grade boys…well, you’ll  see.

 

  • · What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
    It’s Christmas, Eve!
  • · What kind of Christmas tree comes from Hawaii?
    “O Tanning Palms”!
  • · What’s the favorite Christmas Carol of new parents?
    Silent Night!

and my favorite one…

  • · A Christmas thought:
    STRESSED is just DESSERTS spelled backward.


 

…he will be their peace.  Micah 5:5

 

What does the word ‘Peace’ mean to you?  When we hear it in Christmas songs, or read about it in Scripture, or hear it on the evening news, what does it mean?  Are there different definitions of Peace?  Or is there really only one, known and given by Christ?  The more and more I read, I like the one that Jesus talks about.

A song we’ve heard many times now on the radio, being the season, has the line “and peace on earth, goodwill toward man” taken from Luke 2:14.  The part of that specific verse that is left out of the popular song, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day is  “On whom His favor rests.”  These are the final words of the angel as he left the shepherds that night when Jesus was born.  So, the Peace that is on Earth is upon the ones who are in God’s favor.  Hmmmm, what does that mean?

In the sections of Scripture Steve is using this weekend, we will find reference to some of Christ’s background.  There is a woman in His ancestry by the name of Rahab.  She was a prostitute.  Yes, you read that right.  She had sin in her life.  Who doesn’t?  But when given the opportunity, she became a key figure to the success of God’s family Israel.  It was a decision of hers to walk out of her sin background and do something for God.  Did she know Him very well?  Probably not.  Did He know her well?  Yes.  And when it came time for her to do something on His behalf, she did it.  She is now listed in Hebrews in the section of Scripture often referred to as the Saints Hall of Fame.  My guess is that there is more to this story than we know…but we can assume that after her life was saved through her decision in favor of God, she got to know Him a lot more!  She became a bit more familiar with Peace.

We are all sinful.  We all make stupid, idiotic mistakes!  We all say things, think things, do things, listen to things, are a part of things that do not glorify God.  But yet God still offers us Peace that only He understands.  Yes, the Bible comes right out and says that we aren’t really going to ever understand true Peace.  If that’s the case, I’d like a double scoop please.  J  If it’s so good that only the creator of the Universe understands it, and He says it’s good for me, bring it.

The funny thing is that He offers it to us.  This thing that is Godlike is offered to sinners.  This thing that we can sometimes feel in our gut but can’t put words to is offered as a promise to people who ignore Him daily.  Why?  That sounds like crazy talk.

I think I’m getting closer to the true Peace…and it’s not about guns and flowers and the 1960’s.  It’s also not about a feeling or an emotion.  Peace is a place and a person.  His name is Jesus and the Bible says that we can live in Him…in this Peace.  Ok…yes, I know what I just typed but I can’t deliver a great definition of it…but I know it’s something I want.  Do you want to live in Peace…in Christ…In God’s ways and His plan for you?  If yes, then you want Peace.  That’s what I do understand.  And when you get glimpses of it, you will say, “Ohhhh, so this is Peace!”

Rahab must have figured out a bit of Peace or she wouldn’t have had pity on a couple Israelite guys that were planning to destroy her city.  She had a gut feeling that this decision she was making was going to bring her Peace…even though she was in the enemy camp and a prostitute to boot.  But God’s like that isn’t He?  He takes the worst of us and recreates us.  He places us inside of His Peace.

When we are there, we can do and think and speak and serve like we thought we never could.  Here’s a saying that a martyred missionary wrote recently:

The Missionary Heart:
Cares more than some think is wise
Risks more than some think is safe
Dreams more than some think is practical
Expects more than some think is possible.
~Karen Watson, (1973-2004) mission worker killed by terrorists in Iran

Can you see how this Karen Watson understood the place of Peace?  She gave everything for it…as Jesus said His best friends would…as He did for them.

Merry Christmas…Peace be with you (Micah 5:5),

Ed

 

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The Third Purpose of Christmas

March 19, 2010 Leave a comment

2 Corinthians 5:18-20

A Time for Reconciliaton

Christmas Carols for the Psychiatrically Challenged

*Schizophrenia — Do You Hear What I Hear?

*Multiple Personality Disorder — We Three Queens Disoriented Are

*Dementia — I Think I’ll be Home for Christmas

*Narcissistic — Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

*Manic — Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Busses and Trucks and trees and Fire Hydrants and……

*Paranoid — Santa Claus is Coming to Get me

*Borderline Personality Disorder — Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

*Personality Disorder — You Better Watch Out, I’m Gonna Cry, I’m Gonna Pout, Maybe I’ll tell You Why

*Obsessive Compulsive Disorder —Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells…

Most all of us are a bit more frazzled at Christmas time. We’re thinking about all the money we’re spending, or not spending. We’re wondering if we missed purchasing a gift for someone. There are parties everywhere, and everyone wants us to come. There are no longer the 3 or 4 special Christmas movies to watch with the family…there are the 25 Days of Christmas on 43 different networks. The malls are packed full. There’s email after email of “free shipping” notices. There are school plays and concerts and practices to be at. There’s the weight we all have to watch while we eat cookie after cookie after cookie after…. No wonder someone came up with the joke at the top of this page.

Mary and Joseph had to worry about a place to stay and a healthy birth. Mary was about to be a mommy…and Joseph a daddy. Oh, and there were visitors that had talked with angels and some that had followed a star. Then there was a couple elderly people who had waited their whole life to see the one foretold by the prophets of their ancestors.

For Joseph and Mary, the time around the birth was about … well, the birth of a special baby. Joseph wasn’t in stores or out decorating the front of the house; he was probably looking through the old scriptures to see what prophets had really said about this new king. Mary was probably wondering if she was going to get any bigger…and wondering when she could take naps…and wondering if she would have morning sickness.

I guess there was a search for PEACE on their parts…and there’s a constant search for PEACE on our part as well. I always remember the one verse that says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Do we treasure the meaning of Christmas? Do we ponder the meaning of Christmas? Do we really know what the gift of PEACE from God really means to us? Do you?

A long time ago, in a garden created by God, two people disobeyed their Creator. Things would never be the same between these three best friends. One is still perfect in love, the other two are now imperfect…unable to be with their creator anymore like it used to be. Things are not peaceful.

A long time after that, the Creator announced that there would be a perfect way to be together with his creation again. That perfect way would come through the birth, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus. True PEACE now could exist in anyone…PEACE between that person and God himself. That person, “whomsoever” as John 3:16 says, could now carry that PEACE with them…and hand it away to other people! The PEACE that can change one person’s life forever can now be lived out to changed families and communities and towns and nations.

Boy, PEACE sounds better that what we’ve all experienced around Christmas (see 1st paragraph). This PEACE is also something that we can have all the time. The name for this PEACE is Emanuel…God With Us. Acts 2:38 explains that when we come to accept Jesus, we receive gifts of forgiveness, eternal life and God With Us (the Holy Spirit).

Life can be simpler and more PEACEFUL. We just have to realize what REAL PEACE really is.

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