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

I wanna be a babe

Life was filled with guns and war.Over forty years ago a long haired, scruffy, slightly smelly Jesus freak gave a piece of advice to a long haired Jesus freak wanna-be – me. Not sure whatever happened to that guy but his simple advice has pulled me through some rough times in my walk with the Lord. With deep sincerity, he looked me right in the eyes, “Don’t ever forget what Paul said,’Don’t be removed from the simplicity of the gospel'”.

Years later, when I discovered a wonderful thing called a Concordance I went in search of that Scripture. It is not there. I can only assume it was Paul his Bible study leader or Paul his barber who told him that. In any case, the wisdom of the warning has helped me many times over the years.

In these forty years of following Jesus I have hammered out my soteriology, my eschatology, my ecclesiology. I am still open to learning but I have a fairly good grasp on homiletics, hermeneutics and am just a dissertation away from earning my PhD in Pastoral Ministry. I am grateful for all I have learned but when the unanswerable storms of life come and I feel overwhelmed, disappointed with God, frustrated with His people or ready to give up on myself it isn’t all that information that carries me through. Instead, I think back to those days and that piece of advice given so sincerely, “Don’t be removed from the simplicity of the gospel”. Continue reading

God’s tiny request of me

Be Like MeHebrews tells us that Jesus is a qualified high priest because He became one of us. He understands temptation because He suffered temptation. Because He experienced what we experience He can relate to us more completely.

It occurred to me that to some degree the reverse of that is also true. When we are treated unjustly, rejected by those we have poured our life into, ignored and falsely accused it is an opportunity for us to relate to God on a deeper level. Think about this: There is not a person alive who has experienced the depth and breadth of rejection, injustice and disdain that God has experienced.

He created and then blesses all men with life, breath, rain, sunshine and an abundant earth. He extends His hand of mercy and kindness to all mankind and in return each and every one of us, without a single exception, turn against Him, reject Him. Not one of us serves Him faithfully, even those of us who claim his name. But it is even worse than that. Continue reading

Should Christians serve in the military?

In honor of Memorial Day and all who served I’m offering this ENCORE POST

Should Christians serve?Some Christians refuse to serve in the military on religious grounds.  So what of those who do serve?  Are they disobeying God?  Let’s look into God’s Word and see what HE has to say.

Note: Because this is such a complex issue and because the topic so deeply impacts the lives of many men and women who are serving in the armed forces, this topic deserves greater attention and this post is much longer than most.

1. What did Jesus say?
John the Baptist and Jesus both spoke to soldiers in an army that was oppressing God’s people.  Certainly, if it was wrong to serve in the military, it would be extra wrong to serve in an army oppressing God’s chosen people and either John or Jesus would have addressed the issue.  Neither John nor Jesus said the soldiers should change careers.  In fact, soldiers specifically asked John what they should do and he never mentions getting out of the military.

Luke 3:14
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”  He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely — be content with your pay.” Continue reading

Should Christians serve in the military?

Should Christians serve?In honor of Memorial Day and all who served we are offering this ENCORE POST

Some Christians refuse to serve in the military on religious grounds.  So what of those who do serve?  Are they disobeying God?  Let’s look into God’s Word and see what HE has to say.

Note: Because this is such a complex issue and because the topic so deeply impacts the lives of many men and women who are serving in the armed forces, this topic deserves greater attention and this post is much longer than most.

1. What did Jesus say?
John the Baptist and Jesus both spoke to soldiers in an army that was oppressing God’s people.  Certainly, if it was wrong to serve in the military, it would be extra wrong to serve in an army oppressing God’s chosen people and either John or Jesus would have addressed the issue.  Neither John nor Jesus said the soldiers should change careers.  In fact, soldiers specifically asked John what they should do and he never mentions getting out of the military. Continue reading

Live happily ever after

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Storybook endingJoshua 21:44, 45
And the LORD gave them rest on every side, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers, and no one of all their enemies stood before them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their hand. Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass.
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This sounds like the OT version of “and they all lived happily ever after” – no more problems, no more enemies, all was well with everyone. Of course, we know that isn’t what happened. They did not all live happily ever after.  Continue reading

School bullies and the Bible?

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I won the fight.Luke 22:31-32
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
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Put yourself in Peter’s place. Jesus tells you that Satan has asked to “sift you” – translation, “beat the snot out of you”. That is worse than hearing the school bully is waiting for you in the parking lot. But surely God said “no” to Satan’s request, right? Wrong.

Jesus tells you He has prayed for you. Whew! That’s a relief. Jesus prayed so now the bully won’t be able to touch you or maybe you’ll even beat him up, right? Wrong again.

Continue reading

But he doesn’t deserve it.

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Undeserving
Luke 21:1-5
Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.  3 “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God.
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It is interesting that right after the story of this widow comments are made on the accumulated wealth of the temple. This widow gives her food money to an institution that can build gold and jewel encrusted buildings. Something does not seem right about that.
Continue reading