Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience. ~ Greg King
“All I’m asking for is a minimal level of competence… is that too much to ask?!” How competent are you in the absence of God’s Grace? I don’t think the problem is realizing this. For me, it’s accepting it…
I don’t need to be competent. But I do need to operate in the competence of God’s sufficient Grace. We spend so much time trying to convince ourselves that all we do is good and acceptable and “enough” in the presence of God. We strive to prove our worth to everyone who doesn’t matter, exhausting ourselves needlessly when all God desires for us is to throw ourselves completely into His consuming Grace. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone; I don’t need to be competent in anything BUT proclaiming the goodness and competence of my God. I can be an idiot in everything else but if I can get this right…
What has He done today? All that I accomplish is directly due to the competence of God and His ability. All that I fail to do is nothing more then opportunities for God to once again show His power and competence. When His light beams from the working of my hands, I have successfully and competently stepped aside making way for His abundant Grace to truly touch a dis-believing world.
Peace, today. Sean G.
Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:5-6
5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
“All you need to grow fine, vigorous grass is a crack in your sidewalk ” ~ Will Rogers
Expectations suck. There’s just no other way to put it. My favorite quote from my then seven year old son is “Dad… I finally got it figured out… I’m just gonna lower my expectations from now on so things suck less.” That’s about as wise as anything I’ve ever heard!
When people disappoint me, it’s generally because they’ve failed to meet what I expected them to do. It had nothing to do with some epic failure on their part. Disappointment is a tell-tale sign of a far deeper issue… with me, not them. I expect so much of others because of what I want. Here’s the paradox: part of what I want is to not be held to that same standard. You cut me some slack while being absolutely perfect in meeting my own demands and needs. That’s jacked up. It’s also spot on for pretty much all of us. But God doesn’t operate that way at all, does He. Instead, God meets us where we are each day and His only goal isn’t to get us to do everything that He wants but merely for us to simply listen to Him and seek Him in everything we do. Pretty low expectations from the Creator of everything. God understands that if we do that, almost everything else will fall into place. We may still stumble along our daily path but if we meet this singular expectation, we will continue to stumble back onto God. And He knows that this is worth all our failings and stumbling if we can just do that one thing: seek Him.
We should strive to be the loving, Holy people of God but that’s not my expectations of you… that should be the expectation that I place upon myself. As a dad, I also have certain expectations for my children but I can never allow my expectations to supercede my love for them, ever. By understanding their pension towards the sin nature, I must become patient in my own expectations for them to do right and follow the laws of God but expectations must become the mentor and teacher and never the standard by which their worth of goodness will be measured. It’s a slippery slope, I know. Maybe in the coming weeks or even just today I can lower my expectations for other people and other things and perhaps they won’t suck quite as much! And maybe others might also cut me some slack and my own “suck-value” will decrease as well! I might just find myself enjoying life more void of the “suck” factor or at the very least…in spite of it!
Let God continue His work in you today. That is the only way in which we will find at the end if the day that we are meeting our full expectations! Let those expectations of others be complimented and saturated with the Grace and Mercy of Christ and you will find your relationships on far more solid, steady footing. Let the expectations for yourself be raised and your love and desire for Christ raised with it and you may find yourself reaching far greater heights in your spiritual life, as well. God cuts you some slack but He never stops expecting you to become the person He knows you can be. That’s not so bad. Peace, today! Sean Gutteridge
Today’s Scripture: Philippians 2:13
13 For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.” ~ Albert Einstein
If it’s true that our desires will lead us straight to our greatest temptations, then what would happen if suddenly, my desires all became centered around one thing: the desires of God’s heart? Is that even plausible? Hmmm. I think that’s actually an interesting question. Is it possible to be tempted by God’s desires and life-style choices of a new and different kind of living? How much wouldn’t I love to arrive at such a place as that! To center every thought around the desire of God would be such a revolutionary way to live, especially in this present narscacistic age. How wonderful, then, to not be able to control myself nor my actions knowing in confidence that I am finally being controlled by One leading me beside cool waters and into unknown places that will see my heart renewed and strengthened. Sorrow and pain and certainly trials still await but in the vestments of His grace, these things are no longer the center of my attention. I’d be too busy focusing on desires that use to seem… unreachable!
How often I deceive myself and I do so willingly. Because I want what I want. Let me be lured by the desire’s of God and all that His Grace has for me. There is so much to be had if I will just be lured by what’s right and most profitable for me. And every once in awhile, well… it may lead to a pie shop! The apple crumb rocks!
Peace, today. SAG
Today’s Scripture: James 1:14-18
14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.
15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. ~ Mark Twain
Wrote out… ever feel like that? Like maybe God seems to have hit a writer’s block with your life’s story? Or maybe, there’s just not much more to write about and maybe your story is headed for file 13, where all the other written out, going nowhere, blah – stories end up. But God is never finished with you or me even when He hits the wall and doesn’t know quite what to do with us. He’s the only writer who’s characters seldom do what they are suppose to do. If we did, perhaps God wouldn’t have been mistaken for such a prolific writer of tragedies.
Truth is, He knows exactly how He wants our story to go but we seem bent on resisting the Master Author every step of the way. He’s not experiencing writer’s block… He’s just taken a step back and waiting patiently for me to figure out that my story ideas aren’t nearly as good (or creative) as His are.
Am I writing my own story? Then I probably am “wrote out”. But for every breath there is a fresh page waiting to be written by the great writer of all human stories. The one who authored the story of a Son rising and conquering death also authors my own biography… if I’ll only stop trying to help out by making it an “auto” biography, I might find myself in the midst of – not a Shakespearean tragedy but a happily-ever after, romantic comedy! Personally… I’d settle for a farce! Let Him write and just enjoy the story He weaves for you. Stop trying to manipulate the incredible story God has written out for you! Trust Him in His story-line and step into the perfect ending He has in store… it’s sure to have many exciting plot turns and one terrific – and satisfying – ending! Peace to you, SAG
Today’s Scripture: Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
~ Isaac Asimov
I think I know a great deal about the Grace of God and while I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’ve experienced that Grace… I still don’t know nearly as much about it as I may think… If God were human, He’d probably be quite annoyed with me.
Like an early morning mist, God’s Grace greets me from the moment I arise and walk out to face the world. It cools my cheeks and reminds me it is there, yet never is it uncomfortable or irritating to the skin. It is refreshing even as it pushes me on towards the objectives which await me on the journey of one single day. He waits for me in the mist, everywhere I go. It is cool. It is calm. It is just barely present enough for me to know… that like the mist, He comes and goes as He pleases. I do love the mist. Be at peace today in the presence of His always present Grace. Peace, SAG
Today’s Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:9
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. ~ Don Marquis
I know there are certain things I’d rather not be doing and things I’d rather do more of. But life intervenes and my lazy soul sleeps in well past the sound of the alarm in a vain attempt to avoid reality.
I believe I choose to keep the depth of my own personal (and deep) suffering to myself simply because when revealed, even I see the foolishness in it. But why suffer alone? When we have the courage to be honest we confront our own weakness and by bearing all for the world to see, we are now accountable to God, ourselves and the body of Christ. And the world watches. So I suffer alone, deciding it far better that I should never need get better lest someone come along and inquire… Didn’t you give that over to God already? Peace, today. SAG
Today’s Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:25-27
25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Humor is merely tragedy standing on its head with its pants torn.
~ Irvin S. Cobb
The joy of life amidst the sting of death. I think our souls become less resilient as we age. Perhaps because we have more to cling to. I don’t know, really, but that’s as good a guess as any, I suppose. But I know Joy when I see it swinging from a swing on a beautiful spring day. I know Joy exists when I am able to laugh even in the midst of deep sorrow and pain.
In the end, it’s not the passing of loved ones we gather together in our mourning for; though it is the mourning which brings us together binding us in the strength of our unity and His love. No, it is where we pass on to which ultimately brings us to this place to celebrate in Joy and eternal Peace. For in Christ, we were not passed over, not passed by, but He chose to stop and wait while we made up our minds to receive Him – accepting His own sacrifice. THAT us what makes us so unique in this secret which we share… that we are capable of celebrating death by seeing what it truly is… nothing more then a temporary parting of ways until we soon are united once more in heavenly places. And once again, we shall be able to swing together once more… and hear our joyous laughter, now free of all sorrow and pain. I am relieved by this. And laughing, I can even say (though, still through tears)… suck it, death.
Today’s Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-16
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being
“My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.”
~ Mitch Hedberg
I always seem late to the revolution. Not on purpose, mind you, but late never the less. If I just pretend there’s not a problem, there won’t be… right? But deep down, my heart knows better…
And so the revolution within my heart rages on without it’s General at the moment. He’s laid up in his tent with the gout and a severe case of diarrhea. Conflict is perhaps one of my greatest Achilles heels. I run screaming in the opposite direction from conflict. I’ll walk a thousand miles to avoid it. Part fear, part doubt, part plain old laziness, but it equals the same thing: avoid conflict at all costs. What sucks is… God will continue forcing me to deal with conflict until I eventually get it right. I end up causing more division in the end, by accident, but division never the less. How? By allowing things to go unaddressed, things God needs addressed in order for His Will in my life to continue forth. Ouch. That stings. But THAT is the bitter truth.
Make a conscious decision to first unify your desires in your heart with God and it won’t be long before you at able to become not just a unifying force in the lives of those around you – but a ministering force to those others who are dividers of peace. You will become… unconquerable. Peace, today. SAG
Today’s Scripture: Titus 3:9-11
10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,
11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else. ~ Will Rogers
As a kid, I had this knack for tripping up stairs in our home. I even have trouble on escalators traveling up and I’m not even moving. To this day, I live in a one-story house and… I always will!
I’m amazed at the stupid things that trip me up daily. Petty arguments. Imagined slights. Silly insults and more then frequent losses in my spiritual gravity. My temper gets the best of me; I willingly choose NOT to serve my wife simply because, well… I don’t feel like it. Patience takes a longer then expectated vacation and seems always to get lost or miss it’s plane back home.
The submission of my soul seems constantly under seige but what I struggle most with is the submissive spirit Christ deserves in the simplest of things. My mission in life needs to be aimed at being under the missives of Jesus Christ – it’s really not that complicated. But like when I was a kid, even something as simple as walking up stairs sometimes was challenging… I’m still tripping myself up!
Today’s Scripture: Titus 3:1-3
1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. 3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.