Terminator Disguised As A Church-Going Christian

Do you sometimes feel numb and cold like you are part machine, while at other times another part of you rages like an out of control forest fire, wanting to terminate relationships?

You may never dream of actually, physically murdering anyone, but if you harbor hate for a brother or sister your sin is at the same level and in the same category as murder!

“Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

~ 1 John‬ ‭3:15‬

Murder is not a Biblical misdemeanor, it is a Biblical felony. Hatred that is harbored and not even yet expressed in words or actions is not a Biblical misdemeanor, it is a Biblical felony. Hatred does not have its own minor sin category, it is in the same category as actual murder.

It cannot be over emphasized or exaggerated how destructive and how wicked the sin of harbored hatred is in the eyes of our Holy God. We downplay the issue of brotherly and sisterly harbored hatred with a common excuse of the world: “nobody is getting hurt, it can’t be that bad.”

If you are harboring in your heart any measure of hatred for someone else in the family of God, whether you think that you would never “act” upon it or “verbalize” it, please take to that same heart the stern warning from the scriptures. We like to downplay the seriousness of our sins, and the world likes to do the same so our light does not shine on their own darkness, but a wise person will look at themselves in the mirror and will see the reality of their condition.

God warns us so we will be motivated to change our course. I pray that you will know the joy once again of a heart that does not have any hatred harbored, whether great or small.

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#PastorsTip #1John3 #Murder #Hatred #Misdemeanor #Felony #Forgive #Love

For God And Kingdom!

To carry our own Cross of Pain & Shame is to give up the comfortable life, and to pick up the sacrificial life. It is to do what we know to do, even if God has not yet revealed all the why’s or any of the purposes. It is to do what is right, regardless of the pain and shame that will come crashing down upon us.

“Jesus said, ‘… You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns… Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me and for the gospel will save it.’”

~ Mark 8:33-35

To carry our cross of pain and shame is not just referring to suffering as a result of a public ministry, though we definitely are surrounded by witnesses. Our suffering can be anything that the enemy might use to try and kill our hope and tempt our destruction of our own integrity.

The carrying of our own unique cross of paining and shaming is a ministry all in its own. Not what we suffer, but HOW we suffer is the most honest portrayal of our love for God. Few, if any, will endure great pain and shame for something or someone they don’t believe in. Regardless of what and why we suffer, it is HOW we suffer that is solid evidence for the witnesses of our lives (on earth and in Heaven) of our love and wholehearted commitment to living For God And For His Kingdom.

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#PastorsTip #Mark8 #Pain #Shame #Suffer #SacrificialLife #ComfortableLife #Carry #Cross

God’s Passion For Your Family Life

Are you walking through life all alone, missing out on any sense of family? Do you have a family that you were born into, but you lack any sense of being a family? Have you had a mother or father pass away, or worse they just walked away without seeming to care about you? Did your spouse pass away, leaving you with an intense loneliness and a deep sense of vulnerability?

Whatever the tragic cause of your feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and a void of family love and affection, there is an encouraging hope to be had.

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…”

~ Psalm 68:5-6

It is God’s compassionate passion that no one remains alone; He has a passion for your family life! He is the ultimate master of family replacements!

We do not understand why everything bad happens in life, but one thing that can be done about the future is to pray! Fervently, sincerely, and constantly ask the Lord your God to fulfill His compassionate passion by placing you in a family of His excellent choosing.

I have watched countless fatherless and motherless kids be re-parented by a godly, loving saint of God; I have watched countless widows and widowers be re-married with a godly, loving saint of God; I have seen the compassionate passion of God be fulfilled in the lives of His people.

For the time being, while in your state of loneliness and vulnerability, be patient, be prayerful, and be hopeful. God has a family for you!

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#PastorsTip #Psalm68 #Adoption #FosterParent #Widow #Widower #Remarried #Family #Placement #Vulnerable #Lonely #Fulfillment

Like Heavenly Father, Like Earthly Father

Parenting a child isn’t a single event of creation between two married people, nor an outcome of an illicit one night stand. It’s a lifelong mission of love which provides consistent training and discipline in their youth, and coaching and consulting in their adulthood.

The majority of parents who are brought great joy by their children are adults who have been parenting their children since their day of birth. Certainly there are exceptions to this general rule, and in today’s society those exceptions are far too many. However, the general rule still stands for the majority of parents who are raising and relating to their children well.

“The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.”

‭‭~ Proverbs‬ ‭23:24‬

In this Proverb, the “father” and “son” terminology was not used to exclude mothers and daughters, it was simply a style of writing that King Solomon used that makes a direct point from which the reader then draws the big picture of the truth. This verse is about both parents and both genders of children.

Good parenting begins even before conception; it starts in being a good couple who builds their own marriage relationship. Every parenting couple that wants to have their children bring them “great joy” so they can “rejoice” in them throughout their childhood, youth, and adulthood will ‘stack the odds’ (my term, not scripture’s term) in their favor if they will be completely, lovingly, and thoughtfully engaged in providing consistent training, discipline, coaching, and consulting.

Our Heavenly Father provides Divine parenting for us too. In our early years in the faith He consistently trains us and disciplines us, then as we mature in wisdom and holiness He transitions to coaching and consulting us, all without distancing Himself from us in loving relationship.

Today, the term “Family Planning” refers to a couple (married or unmarried) having sex while taking steps to keep conception of a baby from taking place during their encounter. “Planned Parenthood” is an organization that specializes in the abortion of a baby that somehow bypassed the the couple’s attempts at “Family Planning.”

God’s idea of REAL “Family Planning” is when a married couple has a God-designed “Planned Parenthood” that conceives, births, and raises a child with the kind of love, devotion, and involvement that our Heavenly Father has for us throughout our lifetime.

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#PastorsTip #Proverbs23 #FamilyPlanning #PlannedParenthood #Conceive #Birth #Parenting #Fatherhood #Motherhood #OneNightStand #Marriage

Thriving In A Life Of Pain

Are you suffering unjust pain in your body, mind, or emotions? Are you having to endure some kind of physiological suffering? Has your world grown small because of how debilitating the pain has become?

It can be very discouraging to experience the loss of unfulfilled dreams, and even dreams that had come true and that you were living in, but have had that dream disappear.

For those of us who live in chronic pain from some kind of hyper-sensitive physiology (body, mind, or emotions), our Primary Purpose has been clearly defined for us.

“For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God… if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.’”

~ 1 Peter 2:19-22

“Unjust suffering” isn’t just that which is caused by evil people in response to our living for Christ. “Unjust suffering” includes that which we face in life that is not a consequence of our own actions. It afflicts our body, mind, and/or emotions, things like chronic illnesses, diseases, paralysis, depressions (chemical or circumstantial), mental health disorders, bi-polar emotions, etc.

Personally, I have been “unjustly suffering” for over 15 years with a very debilitating case of Fibromyalgia with Chronic Fatigue, and a few other less afflicting things. I too experienced the loss of dreams, including the necessity to resign from a pastorate of a church that had really wonderful people in it. For the last decade my world, from the vantage point of my bed 18-24 hours per day, has become very small.

At first I really mourned and grieved quite hard at my sense of losses. However, I discovered that–for now–my primary purpose in life was for me to be transformed into the example that Jesus gave to us when He suffered. My life (my body, my brain, and my emotions) took on a whole new meaning: to thrive and to become “commendable before God” as I suffered.

Job is another wonderful example of a person who suffered greatly in every area of his life, yet his integrity thrived and he was commendable to God. He suffered the loss of all his grown children, all of his wealth, and all of his health. He was just healthy enough to stay alive, but sick enough to suffer immensely in his whole person, in his body, mind, and emotions.

If you are suffering, if you are debilitated, if you are in constant chronic physiological pain because of the hyper-firing of your nervous system, be of good cheer! (When I say “be of good cheer,” please remember that I am a fellow sufferer in pain and raw emotions). Even while stuck in your bed or in your wheel chair, your primary purpose has been clearly defined: thrive and be commendable to God in every motive that is behind everything you think and say, and that your countenance radiates.

We can do this! We can be this! Let’s thrive in spite of the pain.

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#PastorsTip #1Peter2 #Thrive #Chronic #Pain #Disability #Suffering #Commendable #God #Physiology