When One Hurts, We Rally

picture taken by Josh Amyx.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

Good friends of mine lost their house in a fire this week. They lost everything but pot holders, a signed basketball, and a few pictures salvaged. Fortunately, their lives were spared. And of course that is really what matters. Nevertheless,  I am hurting for them and the loss of not only their valuables but those things that cannot be replaced… pictures and awards and certificates that are precious to us as families.

Their loss ignited an outpouring. Our church rallied. The amount of prayers and support would inspire the greatest doubter that people can really care. It was inspiring to see. It reminded me of an absolute truth… We need each other.  You really do need your church. You might think you don’t but I assure you God never intended you to go it alone. We don’t need the church only to receive but for us to give as well.

We need each other. The body of Christ was meant to be a group of people that do life together. That love each other and rally around its members when they are hurting. The body is not always perfect in this. There are times where people slip through the cracks and feel neglected. Sometimes it is because they Attend the church but are not connected to the church. There is a difference. God intended the church body to be a close, connected community that loves each other.

We need each other. We were never meant to do this life alone. We need those outside of our immediate family to love us. So often when something happens it effects our family and those outside of it are the ones who can comfort us and love on us in our greatest time of need. It shows us how much God loves us when church people rally to show us support. It is supernatural. It is God’s will for His body.

We need each other. We need each other to share our burdens with; to celebrate our joyous moments; to grow together in the Lord; to raise our kids together; to serve with one another. To come together as a community that we can be real with. It is an authentic community. I am accepted and loved just as I accept and love others in return.

We need each other. When life throws us a curveball, we need others to help hold us up; to help us find perspective; to hold us while we grieve; to help us pick up the pieces and move forward. God wants His body to take care of each other. Christ would have us reach the world with the gospel but if the church doesn’t care for its own, how will our message be received?

The church is not the church if it doesn’t care for its own in the name of Jesus.

Dax

Why God Created You To Work


23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, Colossians 3:23


I owe, I owe, so off to work I go! 

That was the bumper sticker on the car in front of me today as I drove to work. Kind of sums it up doesn’t it? Most of us begrudgingly trek to work every day out of necessity. For the blessed few who love what they do (like me!) you don’t hate it but it still is a job. There are stressful days, frustrations with people, difficult tasks. The burden we carry in our job can be heavy. We can easily lose our joy if we lose sight of the bigger picture. Working for money or a better position or to pay the bills is less than satisfying. It will suck the life from us. What we need is vision. We need to catch a vision for why God wants us to work. When He created the universe he declared it work and called the result good. The seventh day He took a well deserved break. He then created man and woman and told them to work to subdue the earth. This might surprise you but work is not a product of the fall. Adam and Eve were working before they ate of the forbidden fruit. After the Fall the earth just stopped cooperating. Work became a lot harder but they still were called to do it. They were created to do so. And so are we.

Maybe we need to catch a vision for why God created work. We need to understand that he made us so that we need to be doing something that contributes to a greater purpose than ourselves, something that benefits others, and ultimately glorifies His name. You can do this in whatever you are called to do. And we need to see it as a calling and not just a job.  If you are a teacher, then you sharpen your skills to be the best communicator of knowledge possible because you know God loves truth. If you are a shoemaker then you don’t have to  put a cross on the shoe to glorify God but you make the best shoe you possibly can because God is honored by precision and quality. If you stay at home then you create a home of order and hospitality because your God brings order to all things. Whatever your job is you need to catch a vision for how God can be glorified in it. He wants you to work towards a pattern of excellence in whatever you do because He is glorified in that. 

It does not matter where you land on the pay scale, if you are in management, or whether you use your hands, mind, or both for your job. Whatever you do, catch a vision for why God has you there. When you put your best effort and keep the right attitude in your job, others will notice. When they notice they will wonder why you work so hard. You will have opportunity to glorify God in an even greater way, by sharing your faith with them. When they ask why you work so hard, you declare that you do it to glorify your Father in Heaven. Tell your boss when he or she evaluates you. Tell your employees when they thank you. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t hesitate. Speak it boldly with love. Your hard work has given you a voice with them. Don’t miss the opportunity!

Work hard but don’t forget to rest. God did! You need it. It creates rhythm in your life. It makes you appreciate more the value of rest. Lay your tools down and breathe. Put your computer away and let your mind wonder. Put up the paperwork and worship. Find rest emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. 

You spend a lot of time doing what you do. Don’t waste it on selfish pursuits. Don’t work yourself to death for things that you can’t take with you. What does God want to do in you at your job? Gain eternal perspective. Glorify Him in whatever you do!


Dax


Should I Confess My Sins

I am a Christian. My sins are forgiven and removed as far as the east is from the west. I stand completely blameless before the Father because of Christ’s sacrifice.  When God sees me He sees a perfect creation. That is not because of us. It is a complete work of Christ in me and not anything I have earned by my own effort or behavior (2 Cor 5:17-21).

So if I am blameless in his sight, completely pardoned before I even commit the act, then why bother confessing sins?

Does scripture actually tell us to confess sin or is that a church tradition? Let’s look:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.      1 John 1:9

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.    James 5:16

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.    Psalm 32:5

A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.     Psalm 51:1-5

So confession is biblical and must be a part of your life as a believer.  You see it both in the Old And New Testament. Some would argue that confession was necessary before Christ only, but it is also commanded of believers in the New Testament too.

In  order to best understand confession, it is helpful to look closely at the word in its original language. It’s construction gives us insight into its importance for the spiritual life. The word confession in the Greek is ὁμολογέω (homologeo). It is created by two separate words: homo and logeo. Home means  “same,” like in homosapien (same species). Logeo means “word,” like its usage in John 1, the logos (word) became flesh and dwelt among us. So confession means to “say the same word.” Don’t miss the significance of that: confession is saying the “same word” about sin as God does. It is to be in agreement with God about the nature of sin. How does God see sin? He hates it. So we should confess the same thing to God by acknowledging that we also hate sin and see it as a destructive force in our life. Sin dishonors God and by confessing it we acknowledge that sin is unworthy of the gospel at work in us.

To confess or not to confess is not an option for a believer. We must acknowledge our sin. We don’t need to confess to a priest or any human agency but have direct access to the Father (Hebrews 4:16).

Should we confess our sin to each other?  We are to confess sin to each other but only so we can help each other carry that burden (Galatians 6:2). I would confess sin to other Christians  I trust to help carry the burden and to hold me accountable.

Confession does several things for us. When we confess sin we are living out the gospel. Confession shows our desperate need for grace in our lives. Confession also keeps us humble as we admit daily to our struggles with sin.

Perhaps the Lord’s Prayer gives us the best insight into our calling to confess:

4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.  Luke 11:4

Confession is good for your soul. You don’t need it to be forgiven but how can you call yourself His if you don’t despise what He despises. We must take sin seriously and confession is how we acknowledge its destructive force in us.

I suggest every night before you go to bed confessing your sins to the Lord. Thank Him for His forgiveness and grace and provision to overcome sin.

5 Things to Never Say To Your Wife

Mouth+Taped+Shut.jpg

 

Wisdom means knowing when to say something but also knowing when to keep your mouth shut. For those who are married or in a dating relationship, you learn quickly that there are some things that shouldn’t be said. When they are spoken it can get ugly quickly. Here are five things I have learned through my own school of hard knocks not to say to my wife. Maybe they will help you learn quicker than i did. These are in no particular order. They all are equally  foolish!

 

Why can’t you be more like…

Now it really doesn’t matter who you finish a sentence like that with. Comparing your wife to anyone will be all but disastrous for you. You might pay for it for years and years. Comparisons are a bad idea! Heed my advice here. Your very life may be at stake.

Stop being so sensitive.

Being that you are most likely the reason your wife is agitated at this moment makes this statement even more dangerous. If you want to have the exact opposite effect of what you were hoping, utter these four words. I promise you that your wife will not say “Honey, you know you are right. Forget I said anything. I am being foolish. Want me to make you a sandwich while you rest and watch TV?”

Yes, you do look fat in that.

If you need my advice here of why this is a mistake then go ahead and consider yourself a hopeless case and pray that your wife is the most gracious person, besides Christ, to ever live.

You’re starting to remind me of your mother.

Mother In Laws are great (Mine reads my blog so I am using discernment here). But I assure you that your wife does not want to be compared to her. If you have said it I feel confident you did not mean it in that moment as a compliment. Sure you meant; “Dear, you are beginning to remind me of your mother. Your cooking is getting amazing and your beauty continues to increase!”

What’s wrong now?

Perception is reality. You might have the best intentions with this question but let me interpret for you in terms you will understand how your wife hears it, “Woman when are you going to stop breaking down and I have to come and fix you over and over again. I have better things to do.” I will repeat myself here that this will not go over well for you. If you communicate to your wife that she is a burden then she might very well show you how much she can make this a reality for you.

 

I recommend striking these five statements from your vocabulary to never be uttered again. Your world will be a much happier place if you do.

 

Dax

 

 

Overwhelmed by Circumstances in your Life?

 

When you and I hurt deeply, what we really need is not an explanation from God but a revelation of God. We need to see how great God is; we need to recover our lost perspective on life., Things get out of proportion when we are suffering, and it takes a vision of something bigger than ourselves to get life’s dimensions adjusted again.

Warren Wiersbe

I know what’s its like to feel like everything is crashing down around you and nothing makes sense. The answer is not in pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and trying harder to be stronger. That way is failure because quite frankly none of us are strong enough on our own. It’s only when you take all that effort and put it into fixing your eyes on Jesus that you finally find supernatural strength and peace. Don’t carry this burden alone any longer. You have a Savior who cares deeply and wants to carry it for you.  You have tried your way of handling it and you know how much that does not really work. Now give it up and look to Jesus and find rest for your soul.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”    Matthew 11:28-30