Tag Archives: faith

Businesses ignoring Faith Celebrations

Businesses ignoring Faith Celebrations

It’s strange to me that faith is rarely recognized in business, maybe even considered taboo to speak about. Shouldn’t businesses recognize that faith plays a strategic role in most people’s purchases, celebrations and lives? Come on corporate America, get with it! Start by unlocking charitable giving programs to faith-based organizations. It can be done….. and oh…yeah…Happy Easter!

Joy-Filled Moments, Past or Present

C.H.’s abridged list of joy-filled days:

  • On Sunday, I celebrated my 47th birthday; that was a joy-filled day.
  • The adoption days of my two younger children were joy-filled days.
  • The birth of my oldest daughter was a joy-filled day.
  • The day I married Anne was a joy-filled day.

Some joy-filled moments were from my childhood:

  • When got my diploma from Jr. High school, that was a joy-filled moment.
  • When I lost my first tooth in kindergarten, that was a joy-filled moment, or on second thought maybe it wasn’t. I think I was actually scared by that event, but receiving those two quarters from the tooth fairy was a joy-filled moment for sure.
  • When I got straight A’s my junior year of high school, when I learned to ride a two-wheeler, when I first drove my dad’s car, all these provided moments of great joy.

But when I remember that I am a sinner, saved by grace, forgiven for all my failures, and made clean by the blood of Jesus something happens, something unexplainable. When I contemplate grace my list of past joy-filled moments shrinks into insignificance, and my heart bursts open with a present sense of joy.  The joy of salvation isn’t about a memory or something from a time long ago.  No, the joy that grace delivers is always fresh, living in the present, here with me right now.  It is a joy from Jesus and it is available to all who ask.

Live Easter’s joy everyday.

Psalm 92:4 NLT   You thrill me, LORD, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done.

I’m writing today as a contributor to the Christian Writers Blog Chain. Our theme for this month is “Joy.” Christianwriters.com is an excellent place to network if you’re a Christian writer or author. Please visit these other members:

The Quest to Love You.

On my wife’s side of the bathroom mirror, above the vanity, is a small note. The tape is yellowed from age and its edges have curled from the steamy air.  It doesn’t reveal the author, and I don’t know who gave it to her, or when she put up, but I wish I had noticed it earlier.  It’s a reminder of hope and love and when you stop to ponder its simple message your spirits are lifted.  It says,

“If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it

If God had a wallet, your photo would be in it

He sends you flowers every spring

And a sunrise every morning

Face it friend, He is crazy about you.”

When was the last time you had someone tell you they were crazy about you? Even if it was just a short while ago, I’ll bet you don’t hear these loving words frequently enough.  But God has been on a quest to capture your heart and tell you how much He loves you every day since you were born.  Even before your birth He was setting it up so that He could share His passionate love with you.

God created mankind to be in relationship with Him.  When sin got in the way, His Son offered to pay the penalty so that He could continue to send you His love.  When Christ finished clearing the path for us to accept God’s love, the Holy Spirit offered to regularly whisper to your soul that God is crazy in love with you.  So why is it we aren’t in touch with His great love for us on a daily basis?

We don’t feel His love impacting our lives because we set up our own roadblocks.  We get in the way of the delivery system. We have a habit of self-destructing and destroying the very opportunities when God wants to pour His love on us through our selfishness, prideful, sometimes lazy, and stubborn hearts.  We want our way, instead of His better ways.

Here are three steps to help God’s quest to love you manifest itself in your life:

1.  Pray and tell God you are sorry for not receiving His love.  Here is a sample prayer:

“Dear God, I have gotten in the way of your love.  I apologize, please forgive me.  I believe in Christ’s work on the cross for my selfish ways and I want the Holy Spirit to work in me to bring me closer to you.  I never want to be far from you, your ways and your love.”

2.  Read the Bible daily and do what it says, Psalm 1:1-3 Proverbs 8:34.  A terrific resource I have been using has been Youversion’s Bible reading plans. Specifically, for the past six months I have been reading the Lifetime Daily Devotions, offered by YouVersion, and finding terrific inspiration every day.  You can read them on your smart phone or on the internet.

3. Give to God’s work in the world.  The Bible is very clear that where we place our money our heart follows, Matthew 6:21.  In Malachi 3:10, God asks us to test Him by giving Him all that He asks and He promises to pour out blessings on you.   Make 2012 the year to test drive this verse and ask God for heaven’s bounty.

God is on a quest, He won’t give up on you, He hasn’t turned away.  He wants to bless you, protect you and to give you joy.  Let’s get out of His way and allow His love to flow.

Comments welcomed below.

This post is part of the monthly blog chain at Christian Writers. This month’s topic is quest.

Christian Writers Blog Chain: January

“Whatever” Does that Mean?

My Father founded International Teams www.iteams.org/us in 1961 to send trained missionary teams to plant churches around the world.  Today the President and CEO of International Teams is Scott Olson.  I have appreciated Scott’s notes and musings about the Christian life.  Please enjoy this guest post from Scott.

When did “whatever” become a bad word?

The first hint I got of this was when my boys were in Junior High School a few years ago. “Whatever” somehow wound up feeling like a term of disrespect pointed directly at me (likely during one of the profoundly well-deserved parental lectures I would give them). “Whatever…”

It pretty much disappeared when the boys moved out, but it has recently resurfaced in a rather unexpected way. I hear it between 5 and 10 times every Sunday afternoon on my weekly phone call with my aging mother. The way she says “whatever” is different though. Rather than using it as a term of disrespect she uses it to project a sense of despair over her circumstances, like there’s no hope when her car breaks down or when her gas or electric bill goes up. “Whatever…”

The simplest definition I could find for the word “whatever” (dictionary.com) was “no matter what.” A word search on the Olive Tree NIV Bible on my iPhone turned up 173 results for the word “whatever.” Never once did I see a definition that hinted at disrespect or despair. Instead, in almost every situation the word whatever indicated some kind of “no holds barred” profound determination. “Whatever…”

Here are a handful of greatest hits…

John 14:13-14 – “I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

Corinthians 10:31 – “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Philippians 4:8-9 – “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

A final thought…

If you have an iTunes account or a pile of old CDs (or dare I say tapes) see if you can find Steve Camp’s song “Whatever You Ask.” This phrase (below) still speaks to me just like it did a hundred years ago…

“…I never want to live a day that I can’t say to you, Lord whatever you ask I want to obey you, to let my life beat with a servant’s heart. Lord whatever you ask I know that you can give me wisdom and courage to equal the task, whatever you ask.”

Scott Olson www.iteams.org/us

Faith-filled or faithless?

Faith-filled people don’t just see with their eyes but they follow their heart. Faithless people have to see with their minds, it has to be logical. Faith-filled people don’t comprehend the entirety of a situation before moving ahead. Faithless people have to have all the answers before moving forward.

Faith-filled people think about what they can give to help. Faithless people only give if it doesn’t cost them too much, hurt their situation, or give them some advantage.

Faith-filled people pray for faithless people. Faithless people criticize faith-filled people for being foolish.

Good news: a faithless person can quickly become a faith-filled person when they recognize their deficit and trust God to increase their faith through His Spirit.

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