Competition is one of my signature strengths. I don’t like losing or being wrong. By God’s grace I am mellowing with age. So, I can somewhat identify with John when he and his buddies were bothered that someone they didn’t know was taking on demons in the power of Jesus’ name yet wasn’t part of their signature team. I’m sure he felt that that it was completely inappropriate for one who was not spending time at the feet of the Master to minister as a supposed follower. But John and his fellow disciples were misguided in their thinking.
Matthew 5:13--You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled on by men.
Stan* came over to my house. Earlier he sent me an email stating that he and his wife would not be attending our small group. But I wanted at least a chance to get to know him so I invited him over to chat. During the course of our conversation Stan said he and his wife were having a difficult time finding a church to attend in Colorado Springs because of theological differences. When I asked him what that meant Stan said that they did not believe Jesus was God. Therefore, church leaders were not comfortable putting them in a leadership position. He further elaborated that 95% of Christians mistakenly are taught and believe in Jesus’ deity. No wonder they were having trouble finding a church home!
Have you ever considered the notion that what you and I say is a form of planting? For example, if I whine constantly I create an environment of dissatisfaction and I reveal an inner discontent with life. If I have a critical spirit and am harsh in the way I feel towards others I create an atmosphere of distrust and rob my surroundings of joy. If I talk only of myself I establish a place of pride and self-centeredness that leaves others with no desire to linger. If I speak of others with unflattering terms or negatively I produce gossip or slander and cause the reputations of those of whom I’ve spoken to wilt. At the same time I’ve created the perception in the listener “I wonder if he talks about me like this when I’m not around.”
Tigard, Oregon—HOME! Our Plymouth Voyager rolled up 8153 miles drinking over 341 gallons of gas as we traversed 25 states, Washington D.C. and parts of Canada. We weren’t able to visit everyone we hoped to see, we got sick and at times I think our three children reached the travel saturation point. But it can be a great thing to be stretched beyond our comfort zone. God was gracious to us and we experienced an unforgettable month visiting relatives and friends and learning more about our nation and its people.
The hero stands and surveys the majestic scene. His ears catch the music of one anthem after another as the London Philharmonic Orchestra plays in honor of each nation represented. His eyes scan the dignitaries of 140 different nations as they mingle--Zambians, Koreans, Brazilians, Turks, Ukranians, Indians, Filipinos, Costa Ricans, French, Nigerians, Chinese. . .
Luke 2:13,14--Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!
Matthew 2:9,10--After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure.