Tag: different opinions

The Debate

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Debates.

Does the world need them? Does a “pro” ever become a “con”? Vice-versa?

How does one win a debate? How do you score a debate? Do you win points for finger pointing, and are points deducted for each time you say, “huh?”

I mean, it’s easy to tell who wins a football game. There are clearly defined rules for scoring points. Wrestling, baseball, basketball, hockey; at the end of every game there’s no doubt as to which team won.

So how does one score a debate?

I watched part of the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham this evening. I listened to each person give their opening statements; five minutes for each. But I know what I believe and why I believe it, so I decided to save my data and move on to something else.

Like write this article.

Do arguments ever settle anything? Can a person be won over to “the other side” by someone who is more articulate and has a better Power Point presentation than his opponent? If so, what does that say about the audience, the listener?

I’m really not against debates. Really, I’m not. It’s good to hear intellectual arguments for both sides, in my opinion. However, there’s something everyone must understand. After the debate is finished and both gentlemen thank each other for the fine debate, shake hands, and go their separate ways, life will continue as before. Bill Nye will believe his way and Ken Ham will stick with his. Bill will continue to tie his bow tie as before, and I imagine Ken will keep his beard trimmed as always.

The world keeps turning. And no matter if people believe in a young earth, old earth, evolution, or revolution; whether they watched the Nye/Ham debate or not, they will have to face and answer THE most important question this side of eternity:

Not as one who debates. Not as a scientist. Not as a theologian or an atheist. Not as a politician or a clown.

Not even as a moderator.

But as someone who will stand before the Creator God, the Ruler and Judge of all mankind. The One Who gave His only Son, so each and every person could have eternal life.

The question each person will have to answer, with their mind AND their heart is: “Have I been born again?”

And though it’s not a game, the final score will be obvious.

Are You Teachable?

Know-it-alls come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, ages, and experiences. The world is full of them, in case you haven’t noticed. No matter what the subject, some people are experts on everything!

Maybe you’ve never met a know-it-all. Good for you. But just wait, you probably will one of these days. Of course, everyone goes through a period of being ultra smart. It’s part of growing up. It happens usually during the teenage years (which could include the “spiritual teenage years”). Unfortunately, some people never grow out of it.

How about you? Are you teachable?

The word “teach” is a very important biblical word. It’s used over 100 times, most of it pertaining to being taught by the Lord. People read verses about being taught by the Lord and think it gives them the right to say, “God’s my teacher. I don’t need any man to teach me!” They use the verses as an excuse to be unteachable. Here’s a hot one for you…

If someone will NOT receive teaching from anyone but God, they WILL NOT receive teaching from God.

A favorite scripture verse for the “unteachable” is found in 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

“See”, they say, “No one needs to teach me anything; the Holy Spirit is the Only One I need.” But the same Spirit has placed us into a Body; a Body with different parts, different gifts, different callings, different offices…DIFFERENT! We NEED DIFFERENT! He has placed us into a Body into which He has also placed…”Pastors and Teachers”…for the perfecting of the saints…

So you don’t believe me, eh? You don’t agree with my statement? You don’t agree that a person has to receive teaching from an individual or else they’re really not teachable? Allow me to explain.

Different instructions, dealing specifically with teaching and learning, have been given to us throughout the Word of God. Here are some examples:

“Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

“And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.”

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

“Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths”

“Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”

“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”

“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.”

“And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

“yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”

“These things command and teach.”

“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient…”

“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

Sorry, no scripture references. Easy to find using a concordance, though…

Anyway, did you notice all the references to teaching? It’s rather a simple concept, actually. How else can someone learn if they can’t be taught? And for someone to be taught, they must be teachable!

It’s like this: to add water to a glass, the glass can’t be full. Someone’s who’s teachable has room in their glass. Someone who is UNTEACHABLE THINKS their glass is already full.

We will NEVER get so smart we can’t or shouldn’t learn something.

I’ve watched people. I’ve watched them grow in God, grow in fellowship and relationship with others, and then I’ve seen them become so SMART and SPIRITUAL they quit learning and developing in the things of God. They pull themselves and their families out of church, out of fellowship with others who could help encourage them. I’ve contacted them afterward. They start complaining about all the hypocrites, the shallowness of the pastor, the volume of the music. No one seems to care. And since they’ve been reading the Bible, they can lead their family just fine. They’re anointed just as much as the pastor is. (Kind of reminds of Korah, in the book of Numbers)

Unfortunately, and it never fails, a year later or so the family is a mess, and the unteachable one is still bad mouthing everyone but himself. You know what? I’d rather sit and listen to a smelly ol’ catfish growl than to be in the company of someone who isn’t teachable. How about you?

A person who won’t be taught loves to hear themselves talk. They love their opinions, and couldn’t care less about what anyone else might have to say.

Years ago, as I was deep into my know-it-all stage of spiritual growth, we attended a little church in Altoona, Iowa. Our pastor was Brother Anderson, and he has since gone on to be with Jesus. Anyway, he sure was a patient man. I know. I helped him develop patience by the way I acted. Now I didn’t see it at the time, but looking back, I was really a know-it-all. Yes, I was hungry for God and His Word, wanted to grow and help others; but I was a know-it-all. I really had a hard time listening to sermons that weren’t as “deep” as I felt they should be. Hard for someone like me to learn anything from anyone! Too busy comparing what I heard with what I “knew” to be correct.

Well, back to my pastor and I. At that time there was a family in the church whose daughter became extremely ill and ended up in the hospital for an extended period.

Since I was quite the caring, spiritual giant, I asked the pastor what he thought I could do to help the family.

“Well, I would recommend going to the hospital and sit with the family. Encourage them by just being there. Visit with them, pray with them, and stay out of the nurse’s way.”

My spiritual response was, “I really thought I should bring some Kenneth Copeland tapes, a tape player, and my Bible so I could pump them full of the Word of God and faith.”

One of the few times he showed his frustration with my “billowed sails of knowledge” was after my response. I’m sure he tried, but he just couldn’t hold it in. He could only temper his reaction which were these words, “If you didn’t want my opinion, why did you ask?”

I learned something at that moment. Several things, in fact. One, I really didn’t know as much as I thought. Two, others have a lot more knowledge and experience about things than I do. Three, if I’m really going to grow in the Lord, I’d better listen more than I talk. Four, if I don’t receive the ministry of the one God has put into my life, then I won’t receive ministry from God.

Ouch!

So, when’s the last time you actually allowed someone to teach you what you really need to do in order to: get through a certain situation, deal with a particular co-worker, handle problems with your kids, parents, or spouse…

and when’s the last time you actually followed their advice?

When was the last time you admitted to yourself that you really aren’t the brain you’d like people to think you are?

Why not do it now? Look into mirror and say, You, in the mirror! Look at me while I’m talking to you. You know some things, but you don’t know all things. You need to be, YOU WILL BE, teachable. You will learn from God, from your pastor, from your brothers and sisters in the Lord. You will learn from enjoyable moments, and you will learn during seasons of sorrow. You will learn how to be content with little, and you’ll learn how to abound with plenty. You’ll learn God CAN make it without you, BUT He’d rather not have to. You WILL LEARN that in order to listen to other’s wisdom, you must clamp your mouth shut. Shut mouth, open heart.
You’ll learn there’s a season to give to others knowledge, and a season to allow others to pour into you.

You, in the mirror, YOU WILL BE TEACHABLE – and thus you’ll be an asset to the Kingdom of God; and especially to the King.”

“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 NKJV

Why I Believe Jesus Is The Healer

The Lord That HealsThere are many viewpoints regarding the subject of healing, specifically pertaining to these questions: “Does God heal?”, “Does He heal today?”, “Is healing a ‘new age’ subject?”, “Does God give people cancer?”, “Is there such a thing as ‘faith healing’?”. On and on the questions flow, accompanied by answers that sometime bring more confusion and doubt than anything else.

I understand my viewpoint is simply what it is; my opinion. While I like to think my study, background, experience, and faith give credibility to my opinion, I know that I can’t convince anyone of the truth. It will take Someone much greater than I to bring that about. Therefore, my intention for this post is not to convince anyone to embrace my opinion as the ultimate, complete truth on the matter. My aim is simply to explain why I believe Jesus is the same today as He was 2000 years ago; and because He’s the same, He is doing the same things He did then. Such as, healing the sick.

This post may end up in your mind as just another one of many opinions. But to me, this is life! (Scriptures are listed at end of post for those desiring more research.)
So here goes:

Why I believe Jesus is the Healer

(and Father God still heals today):

1. God created us – every part of us. He knows how to fix us
2. He created everything by His Word and faith
3. His Word is Life and Health
4. He sent His Word to heal
5. His Word runs swiftly
6. When sickness touched the Israeli camp, the Lord showed them a tree
7. God Himself is the Tree of Life
8. He referred to Himself as The Lord That Heals
9. God has declared that He forgives all iniquity and heals all diseases
10. Under the Old Covenant there was provision for healing. New Covenant is better!
11. Even after sin and rebellion, The Lord made healing provision
12. When the children of Israel left Egypt, there was not one feeble among them
13. God has answered the prayers of multitudes and has promised to answer ours
14. The Lord promised to restore health and heal wounds
15. Jesus, the Suffering Servant, Savior, bore our sins and carried our diseases
16. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever
17. Jesus: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me…”to preach, heal, proclaim and open
18. Multitudes sought to touch Him and He didn’t try to outrun them!
19. Whoever touched Him was made whole
20. He never denied healing to anyone who came to Him believing
21. Jesus receives all who come to Him…this includes coming to Him for healing
22. People came to Jesus desperately seeking His touch, and got it!
23. The early church was given the same mission as Jesus
24. Paul wrote that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation
25. When a crippled man heard Paul preach, he had faith to be healed and walked
26. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil
27. Jesus went about doing good, and healing
28. Jesus believed that sickness is of the devil; the devil is the author of disease
29. Jesus told the leper that healing was His will
30. Jesus told the Gentile woman that healing was the children’s bread
31. John prayed for the church to prosper and be in health
32. The peace of God that passes understanding is wholeness for the complete man
33. Paul prayed that our whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved…
34. James:Sick?Then call for the elders to pray the prayer of faith and heal the sick
35. Even sinners (so as to include ALL mankind) can find healing and forgiveness
36. Jesus doesn’t send sickness and disease to teach His people
37. Jesus said, “If you’ve seen Me, you’ve seen the Father.”
38. His grace (His willingness to use His ability) is sufficient for our every need
39. Whatever things you ask for in prayer, they shall be granted you
40. The law of the Spirit of life in Jesus set us free from the law of sin and death
41. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in me, giving life to my body
42. God loves me and delights in my prayers
43. His promises are Yes! and Amen! in Christ
44. If two or three will agree on earth…
45. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done; as in Heaven, so on earth
46. Not one word has ever failed
47. Forever His Word is settled in Heaven
48. Jesus is the Word of God
49. Nothing is impossible with God
50. With God, ALL THINGS are possible
51. The only time Jesus didn’t heal much was when the people wouldn’t believe
52. Without faith it’s impossible to please God…but with it…
53. His Name is above every name, including that of sickness and disease
54. Jesus means salvation
55. No good thing will He withhold from them who walk uprightly
56. Every good and perfect gift… Healing is a gift, a good gift
57. Jesus is God Almighty

Just some reasons why I believe Jesus is the Healer and healing is God’s will. But don’t take my word for it. God’s Word is life to those who find it and health to all their flesh. And…

faith still comes, grows and changes things.

Healing Scriptures: Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 139; Hebrews1:1-3; 11:1-6; Psalm 107:20; 103:3; 147:15; Numbers 21; Exodus 15:22-26; Psalm 105:37; Proverbs 15:9,29; Matthew 7:7; Mark 11:22-24; Jeremiah 17:14; 30:17; Isaiah 53:4-6; 61:1-3; Luke 4:18; Hebrews 13:8; Matthew 4:23-25; Luke 5:15; 6:17; Mark 5; 16:15-20; Romans 1:16; 10:9,10,17; Acts 14:7-10; 1 John 3:8; Acts 10:38; Luke 13; Matthew 8:1-3; 15:26; 3 John 2; Philippians 4:6-8; James 5:15-16; John 14-16; John 6; 2 Corinthians 9:8; 12:7-10; Romans 8:1,2,11-14; Luke 11:5-13; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Matthew 18:19; 1 Kings 8:56; Psalm 119:89; John 1:1-4; Luke 1:37; 18:27; Mark 3:1-6; 6:1-6; Psalm 84:11,12; Philippians 2:9-11; Matthew 1:21; James 1:17; John 10:30

Union…Support

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Union-
“an act or instance of uniting or joining two or more things into one”

There are several aspects involved with defining the word “union”, but I think it’s really important to understand the “uniting” concept.

Usually I write about “spiritual” truths, and though this post will primarily apply to labor unions, there’s still a spiritual application to understand.

Whether with marriage, labor, or church, the concept of “uniting” to form one unit (union) out of two or more is the same. Each person that is “uniting” brings to the union all their strengths and weaknesses, answers and questions; in short, who they are and all they are. The union becomes a covenant relationship of sorts.

One major reason for uniting is support. Support FOR each one FROM each one in the union. The strengths of some support the weaknesses of others. Where one succeeds, all succeed. If one fails, it affects all in union. And though there may be personal preferences (which we all have) the success of the union takes precedence.

I have belonged to several labor unions throughout my life, I’ve been married for over 40 years, and I’ve been a Christian (in union with Christ) for 37 years. Each union requires my complete support and allegiance, otherwise the union is in jeopardy.

A few years ago while working for the Postal Service as a Station Manager, I messed up and forgot to do one of my duties. As I sat in front of my boss, answering for my actions, I was in shock by the lack of support I was getting. Finally I said, “I might as well go back to the carrier union; at least I’d get better support!”

Well, that’s where they sent me. Back to support. Back to the union.
(I really want to thank all my union brothers and sisters for their support, and for welcoming me back to their ranks.)

Being in union is more than paying dues, bills, or tithes. It is supporting one another for the benefit of the whole. So be it!

© 2012 Jan Grace

The Chef’s in the Kitchen…it’s pudding time!

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It’s called banana pudding, not bananas with pudding, vanilla wafers and bananas, or even vanilla extract and friends!

Now a recipe may have a main ingredient or two, like in banana pudding, but there are no “big chiefs”. The amount of each ingredient may vary, but every ingredient is necessary. As the pudding is created, everything is mixed together to make something all the ingredients individually could never make, even if they fasted and prayed for 40 days straight! Any ingredient, by themself, is just that; they are by themself. Regardless the amount of “schooling”, or the “heritage” they have, or even the “size of their cupboard”, they are only what they are and cannot be anything different unless mixed with something else. I’ve heard more than one box of wafers cry out, “Fill me without measure!”, yet the only One anointed without measure is The Chef. The ingredients must not think more highly of themselves than they should, and must realize they NEED each other.

Jesus prayed in John 17 for His Church to be one, AS He and the Father are one.

The Lord has all the ingredients to make up His “pudding”. There are bananas, milk, wafers, etc; prominent players and groups of players that are very evident. These are the churches and individuals who seem to be anointed to be “out front”. Then there are others, the supporting cast if you will, that aren’t very appealing to those around them. These are those within the Church that have smaller rolls, maybe believe a little different, do things a little odd (anyway, that’s what the banana told me), and have a hard time mixing with others. Actually, none of the ingredients can mix themselves! Even the best banana in the bunch cannot peel itself. And who really wants to take a knife to their hide and divide what they have just so someone else can be blessed! Don’t expect that from a vanilla wafer!

But the Lord is trying to get the ingredients together! I realize each one likes to hang out with their own bunch, or be in groups where the spoon is not so cold or harsh when it stirs, but you can’t taste the pudding if the ingredients are segregated.

I’ve recently been hanging around various and sundry ministers and ministries and this thought came to me: many are content to join with others when they have time and when they are with people who “taste” the same as they do. They keep to themselves, or their “own kind”, and fail to realize the flavor isn’t the same without them. Also, by keeping apart from others, they will rot or grow stale before they ever become what the Chef has in mind. 

There’s a verse in Hebrews 12 which says, “everything that can be shaken will be shaken.” Allow me to paraphrase-“The Chef has gotten the mixer out of the drawer and has plugged it in!” Kind of a scary thought, to be in the Lord’s mixing bowl. But what a joy when it comes time to lick the beaters…

As I said earlier, the Chef is moving in the Kitchen. He’s pulling the ingredients out of storage and cracking some eggs, cutting some bananas. The salt’s getting pinched, the flour sifted, and everyone is smelling the vanilla! The heat is rising on top of the stove and soon, very soon, the Chef will pick up each ingredient and use them AS HE SEES FIT.

This would be the best time to yield, to be ready to mix it up. For your finest hour is at hand; His Hand.

Forgive me, I have sinned

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Forgive me, for I have sinned.

I’ve been as guilty as the next person. As a matter of fact, I have just plain out and out sinned! “Oh no, brother, what have you done? Have you become trapped in pornography, or started smoking? Maybe you’ve started drinking again…”

No, something more serious than that, I’m afraid.

You see, I am someone who has talked about others, made them the butt end of jokes, and have helped sow discord when I, as a follower of Jesus, should have been sowing unity. I have secretly, and not so secretly, wanted certain people to fail because I don’t agree with their philosophy. I have spoken disparaging words against them and have failed to follow the words of Jesus completely by not praying for them.

You may say, “how could you act so bad?” “I thought you were a Christian!” “And you had the nerve to write a book about the power of encouragement!”

I’m sorry that I have let each one of you down. I let The Lord down, as well.

Most importantly I let President Obama down, along with his staff. Just because I don’t like his policies is no excuse for not praying and believing God for him. When I was a pastor I’m sure the congregation didn’t agree with all my opinions and decisions yet I expected them to pray for me anyway. No difference.

Joseph had a tough life, the children of Israel had it rough as well. Sometimes there were good rulers and sometimes the rulers were rotten. Daniel is an interesting study, as he said to the heathen king, “O king, live forever!” The early church had horrible persecution yet Paul told them to pray for their leaders.

I repent of my Obama jokes, posts, etc. My choice, now, is to be part of God’s solution rather than part of the problem. God HATES those who sow discord, and speaking ill of leadership is sowing discord.

The election is over! That doesn’t mean we just give in to every policy that our leaders come up with, but it does mean we do what God said in His Word. Pray. Believe God can change a heart, change a nation. Speak life, unity, peace, righteousness over our leaders and nation. We cannot speak ill and ugly of someone we carry regularly to God in prayer.

Righteousness exalts a nation. Prayer prepares the way for righteousness. May we be one nation under God.