It’s easy to avoid criticism. Do this.

You are guilty!If you’ve felt the sting of the critic’s mean words it’s natural to want to avoid future attacks.

And it’s really easy to avoid criticism.

Simply do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
In short, waste your life and no one will criticize you.
(Except perhaps your parents because they love you enough to tell you you’re wasting your life.)

If you could live you whole life and do nothing but good you still could not avoid criticism.
One man did that and they nailed him to a cross three years after He went public.

Will Rogers said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”
At first I thought that was an outlandish statement – especially since he knew so many politicians in his day. :-)

But years later it dawned on me what he was saying. Continue reading

How to avoid criticism

Will RogersIf you’ve felt the sting of the critic’s mean words it’s natural to want to avoid future attacks.

And it’s really easy to avoid criticism.

Simply do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
In short, waste your life and no one will criticize you.
(Except perhaps your parents because they love you enough to tell you you’re wasting your life.)

If you could live you whole life and do nothing but good you still could not avoid criticism.
One man did that and they nailed him to a cross three years after He went public.

Will Rogers said, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”
At first I thought that was an outlandish statement – especially since he knew so many politicians in his day. 🙂

But years later it dawned on me what he was saying. Continue reading

Jesus: Spoiled little boy?

Barren Fig TreeSeeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, Jesus went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” (Mark 11:13, 14)
________________
So why does Jesus curse this poor fig tree? It wasn’t even time for it to be producing figs? The first time I read this it seemed like Jesus was acting like a spoiled little boy, mad because he didn’t get what he wanted. It was years before I understood the profound declaration he was making by this act. Continue reading

Dang, I hate/love that about God!

Jesus knew about itJohn 12:4-6
Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.
But Judas Iscariot said, “That perfume should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.
______________
Jesus knew Judas was stealing from the group yet He didn’t call him on it. He let Judas get away with it. Dang, I hate that about God. He let’s scoundrels get away with their scoundreling. He let’s jerks get away with their jerkiness. People may stab you in the back and instead of God bringing down the hammer of justice – He blesses them! Continue reading

Don’t be a Christ follower.

followerIn our society “Christian” has come to mean a bigoted, narrow minded, hater. So a growing number of “Christians” are looking to rebrand themselves. I’m OK with avoiding the term “Christian” since it initially was a term used more by the pagan world than by the Christians themselves. Other than Peter’s use of the term one time we don’t see Christians referring to themselves as “Christians” in the New Testament. A term that is coming in vogue is “Christ follower” – I am a Christ follower. 

I don’t want to nit pick (though I am going to anyway) but I suggest that you might not want to just be a “Christ followers”. In the New Testament that too was not a term they used. In the NT they preferred the term “disciple”. Another popular term was “servant” – I am a servant of Jesus Christ. OK, both of those words may be a little foreign today so use “follower” if you want when explaining your stance to non-believers but don’t begin to see yourself merely as a “follower”. Here is why. Continue reading

The Big O Still Matters

[HOME]

chariots of ironJudges 1:19
Now the LORD was with Judah, and they took possession of the hill country; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had iron chariots.
___________________
The Lord was with them and they took the high ground but was God impotent against iron chariots? Of courses not. Judges 4 shows even 900 iron chariots is no challenge for the Lord. So why couldn’t Judah drive out the “inhabitants of the valley”?  Continue reading

Living inside out

[HOME]

Filled with death.John 3:1-3
Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
__________
He prayed long, hard and sincerely. He gave faithfully to the work of God. He fasted regularly and was at church every time the doors were open (probably even had a key to get in when it wasn’t open). He had a profound, unshakable belief in God that drove him onward and impacted his daily living. He studied and memorized Scripture and even believed Jesus was sent from God. Sounds like a guy you would want to welcome into your church.

But without pleasantries or pats on the back for all his religious zeal, the first thing Jesus told Nicodemus is that he couldn’t even see the kingdom of God if there was not a radical change in his life. He had to be “born again”. Continue reading

Get real! Water to wine?

[HOME]

H2O to C2H6OJohn 2:11
This (turning water into wine), the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
__________
The Almighty God who flung the stars and planets into their orbits, who scooped out the oceans with His hand and before whom all creation bows, this God manifests Himself in the flesh and for His first great act He turns water into wine. Sounds pretty trivial even if you are a lover of fine wine. Continue reading

So what is Caleb all about?

[HOME]

The promises of GodMoses sent 12 spies into the promised land to scout it out. All 12 agreed it was a good land, just as God had said, but only two agreed with God that the Israelites could take the land. Joshua and Caleb were those two spies who believed God. I have always loved the symmetry and balance in Scripture, the fact that everything has a purpose and is illustrative to us of some spiritual truth. Because of that, for a long time I had a hard time figuring out what Caleb was all about. Continue reading

How did the apostles die?

ApostlesThis weekend we celebrate the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Approximately half the world knows the story of how Jesus died and rose again. (Sadly, there is still half our world that has not even had a chance to reject Him because they have not even heard of Him. That is what missions and CTEN is all about.) But what happened to the other apostles?  How and where did they die? ** Continue reading