No Contest! Generosity Is Preferable to Greed!

October 15

And Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware

of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in

the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Luke 12:15

Consider people first learned about sales by word of mouth. Then newspapers became the medium for advertising bargains. Next, the postal service began filling our mailboxes with ways to save money, and now, well, bargains via email and banner ads are a constant stream tempting us to buy things we don’t need just because “it’s such a great deal!” (Luke 12:13-21)

Jesus warned us about “consumerism” – which wasn’t even a word in His day. Instead, He talked about covetousness and greed – the accumulation of “stuff” beyond what we need. But where do we draw the line? Even looking for the line dividing “need from whim” is a fallen trait, driven by our “desire” to get as close as possible to it without appearing greedy?

Consider then, rather than merely limiting our consumption, perhaps the better kingdom approach is to expand our generosity. By giving to those in need, giving more than is asked for, giving to our enemies, and perhaps even giving until it hurts, or IT IS A REAL sacrifice – are all ways to store up treasures in heaven and escape the confines of earthly “soot and clutter” (Luke 12:32-34).

I’d be remiss though if the quantum leap going far beyond our expressions of daily generosity, was not revealed here in our mandate as His Ambassadors to disciple those in our circles of influence, so they too, possess their heavenly passports, and we store up treasures in heaven…… (Matt 6:19-21)

God promises that as we open our hands to the needs of others, He will at the same time fill our hands with what we need (2 Corinthians 9:10-11).

Prompted by David Jeremiah’s    Destinations: Your Journey With God

Pertinent Admonitions for Christ Followers in Days of Unfettered Chaos While Mass Psychosis Abounds…

Oct 12 Reading from The One Year Bible: The Message Version.

Thessalonians 5:1-28 MSG

[1-3] I don’t think, friends, that I need to deal with the question of when all this is going to happen. You know as well as I that the day of the Master’s coming can’t be posted on our calendars. He won’t call ahead and make an appointment any more than a burglar would. About the time everybody’s walking around complacently, congratulating each other-“We’ve sure got it made! Now we can take it easy!”-suddenly everything will fall apart. It’s going to come as suddenly and inescapably as birth pangs to a pregnant woman.

[4-8] But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart. People sleep at night and get drunk at night. But not us! Since we’re creatures of Day, let’s act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.

[9-11] God didn’t set us up for an angry rejection but for salvation by our Master, Jesus Christ. He died for us, a death that triggered life. Whether we’re awake with the living or asleep with the dead, we’re alive with him! So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing it.

[12] And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

[13-15] Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.

[16-18] Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

[19-22] Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible. Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

[23-24] May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together-spirit, soul, and body-and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!

[25-27] Friends, keep up your prayers for us. Greet all the followers of Jesus there with a holy embrace. And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don’t leave anyone out.

[28] The amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you!

A Simple Suggestion: Praise As The Bookends For Your Prayers

October 10

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!

You have relieved me in my distress; have

mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

Psalm 4:1

It often helps to follow a pattern when we tackle a project. In approaching the Throne of Grace, our pattern is the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6. If you’d like to use the Lord’s Prayer to develop a sequence for your own prayer time, just follow the course of these six words.

                Praise: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.

                Priorities: Your kingdom come, Your will be done.

                Provision: Give us this day our daily bread.

                Personal Relationships: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

                Protection: Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

                Praise: For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.

Notice that the first and last words are the same, as prayer comes full circle in worship, from praise to praise. The glory of God provides the bookends of this prayer that you can offer today.

David Jeremiah        Destination: Your Journey With God

Rory Feek: A Back-Porch Conversation about Life, Love, Homesteading and Fireflies

Rory Feek is a world – class storyteller, songwriter, filmmaker, and New York Times best-selling author. As a musical artist , Rory is one-half of the Gammy – award – winning duo, Joey + Rory. He and his wife toured the world and sold nearly a million records before her untimely passing in March 2016. Follow Rory’s monthly column “Roots + Wings” in each issue of Plain Values, formerly Winesburg Ohio’s best kept secret. Enjoy this 30 min interview about the evolving of the Feek homestead. Click either link at the bottom, then close the advertisement and the interview should begin.

Seriously, as I continue considering Karl’s admonition this morning about “what’s holding me back,” simplistically, Rory has prompted me to think of transitioning from referring to our ten acres, two homes, two barns, a field and woods with its meandering stream from the foreboding cold war era designation of “the compound,” to a more inviting “welcoming to the table” identity of “the homestead.”

In Rory’s October Plain Values column, he details his journey the past year to turning off his router and “snipping” the internet cable. The column begins with a quote from Henry David Thoreau I went to woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Incidentally, Plain Value subscriptions are life enhancing Christmas gifts. 330-601-6106 www.plainvalues.com

Seriously now, what’s holding you back from moving forward? Your lack of facing Reality? Remember your Resource’s formula?(people + prayer + presence = power). Get Results! Get Transformed!

Enjoy your journey!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WLxy4zEqy2Y
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WLxy4zEqy2Y&feature=share

Apology First! Admonitions, a Hot Second!

First folks, I made a serious error in my last blog. The quote was actually from Keith Miller, a prolific author beginning his trail of admonitions back when I was a teen with his early on book “Taste of New Wine,” AND not Warren Wiersbe as I stated. Wiersbe was merely quoting the quote crediting Keith Miller. A simple fact my sister had told me correctly but that I failed to fully comprehend! Once again! My excuse is the integral internal liabililities accompanying later stage maturation!

Second, I will pass along an admonition of “later stage observations of future events” for Christ Followers by such as Dr David Jeremiah in his recently released book titled “The World Of The End: How Jesus’ Prophecy Shapes Our Priorities.” I’m halfway thru it on Audible and have ordered hard copy yesterday and highly recommend it for any CF seriously coordinating/reconciling today’s events with Matthew 24, known today as the Olivet Discourse. Today we are learning fear can indeed erode faith, IF we let it. We are learning from experience that staying mentally healthy in a crumbling world is our daily assignment and we can’t do it without a buoyant spiritual foundation for our lives. We need God, we need Christ and His teachings, we need the Holy Spirit and his indwelling, and we need the scriptures and its prophecies about the future.

There is a special scene in the Bible where the teachings of Christ, the inspiration of the HS, and the prophetic words of God, all come together in a gripping chapter that is too often overlooked. We call it the Olivet Discourse from the final week of Jesus’ natural life where he sat with four of his disciples on a ridge on the Mount of Olives where our Lord rolled out the blueprint of the ages, the master plan for the last days, beginning with the shocking prediction of the second massive temple complex tumbling down (which occurred within decades according to the reputable historian Flavius Josephus written accounts from AD 70. See “the destruction of the second temple” in templemount .org/desruct2.html . Actually the Roman soldiers with long iron bars toppled the stones off while reclaiming the melted silver and gold in the temples storehouses that ran down into the temple’s foundations fulfilling Jesus’ prediction. Later then, Jesus gazed forward to the precarious days prior his return in our days ever delivered and it is recorded beginning in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21.

And as in the infomercials, today there is another admonition!. As encouraged in prior blogs, go to dailylightdevotional.org and select Oct 8 for priceless “approaching end-times” admonitions for CF’s to read and memorize before the Shizzies hit fizzies in our domains. In fact, I suggest you hit your print button so you have hard copy for distribution later if and when we loose internet. Reminds me a tad perhaps of available oil in the ten wise / foolish virgins parable.

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves… (Matt 10:16, KJV) See gotquestions.org/wise

Time to go dig potatoes!!…… merlin

If Love without Truth is HYPOCRISY; Then Perhaps, Truth without Love, Borders on BRUTALITY!

This simple and profound Truth inspired by Warren Wiersbe’s famous quote to succinctly focus we Christ-Followers was most appropriately shared with me during these uniquely historic times while I was speaking with my sister Verla this past Saturday. In fact, do understand, that this “if – then” was solely my idea, resulting no doubt from the quote rattling around in my brain the past 48 hours, and perhaps rather appropriately, since we’re visiting our first grandchild here in Northampton Massachusetts, the pre-revolutionary war bastion during the 1730’s and 40’s, for such as long time resident Jonathon Edwards, and later the visiting English evangelist George Whitfield, and more than a century later, even for D L Moody.

Back to Wiersbe first though, Wikipedia states Warren Wendell Wiersbe (do you suppose his parents possessed a sense of humor with the initials WWW, and not merely a World War Warrior either!) Born on May 16, 1929 and passing May 2, 2019, I have associated Wiersbe being birthed in Nebraska but it was actually in E Chicago. Now, Warren Buffet, my father, and I always thought Johnny Carson to have been birthed in NB also, but Carson was actually born in Iowa; though he was a Cornhusker grad. Dad and Carson were born in ’25, Wiersbe in ’29, and Buffet in ’30, and now, Buffet is the last man standing.

Wiersbe was an American Christian clergyman, Bible teacher, conference speaker, and a prolific writer of Christian literature and theological works. He is perhaps best known for his series of 50 books in the “BE” series: Be Real, Be Rich, Be Obedient, Be Mature, Be Joyful, et., and other theological works.

As a middle and high school students, my sister and I would watch from the utility room window to catch a glimpse of the orange bus crest a hill a half mile away enabling us to walk timely to the road to meet the bus without waiting too long in the MN sub-zero temps. During those years mother had the kitchen radio tuned to KFNW Fargo ND 1200 AM (the decade prior FM arrived) that featured then M-F 7:30-8:00 AM Theodore Epp in his “Back to the Bible” radio broadcast who was later succeeded by Wiersbe during 1980-1992.

Prior to that, Wiersbe pastored Calvary Baptist in Covington KE ’61-’71 and the historic Moody Church ’71-’78. It is also interesting for KMC readers, and especially the pre You-Tube crowd, familiar with the Detweiler family having birthed and maintained The Calvary Hour in NE OH for nearly 70 years, to note Wiersbe’s Calvary Baptist Sunday sermons were also broadcast as The Calvary Hour on a local Cincinnati radio station. More information is available in Warren’s autobiography “Be Myself: Memoirs of a Bridge-Builder.”

Back to the rich history here in Northampton area for the earlier giants, you may enjoy the following clip from christianity.com titled “Ten Things You Should know About Jonathan Edwards.” This clip rather de-bunks the negativity towards Edwards I’m hearing in some circles of late. Here is some of what I learned:

1.) Jonathan enrolled in what became Yale when 13 and graduated at the top of his class at 17

2.) After serving the Northampton Congregationalist Church nearly 30 years, they voted to remove him from pastoral service for barring “unconverted” people from partaking in communion. Having both married at 23 and beginning as a pastor scholar under his grandfather at this church, his grandfather died three years later and Jonathan then assumed the pastorate. Whereas his grandfather had welcomed all to participate in communion, believing the sacrament could become a “converting ordinance” helping bring the lost to Christ, Edwards disagreed and maintained that only believers should partake in the Lord’s Supper. Any of this sound familiar? But bear in mind, it took 30 years for the vote to materialize. And we don’t know either, when Jonathan became so convinced, but as he was a prolific writer, I’m sure it is well documented and not a spur of the moment whim or vote.

At 47 then, Edwards and his family (11 children) moved to the frontier in western MA known today as the Berkshires, where he pastored a small congregation of settlers and preached through an interpreter to Housatonic and Mohawk tribes people. Edwards genuinely loved and cared for the natives, frequently writing about the quality of their character and the culture. The two tribes showed reverence for Edwards, and his ministry bore lasting spiritual fruit.

3. At 54, Edwards reluctantly agreed to leave his writing retreat and effective ministry in the Berkshires for full time academia accepting the Presidency of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). Shortly after assuming his post, in Jan 1758, Edwards received a smallpox inoculation. Less than a month later, Jonathan Edwards died from the inoculation’s complications. Please, this occurrence is not necessarily to be associated with the events of today, though I’m sure this was well documented medically as well, being in an academic environment, but then again, assumptions do…

Read it without my editorializing by clicking the link below.

https://www.christianity.com/wiki/people/you-should-know-jonathan-edwards.html

Hmmm! So, Satan Tempts Us on the Premise of Merely Shifting Our Point of View?

And only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil. Satan does not tempt us merely to do wrong things – he tempts us to make us loose what God has put in us through regeneration, namely being of value to God.

Click the link below for more insights on the intricacies of temptation from the Sept 18 reading from My Utmost for His Highest.

https://click.messages.odb.org/?qs=9c72d810df821b6b5ca644be8ebf7ae231fb96493fb3616823c1db30f11359aea2b4e243cc178d3a65cb9153f3a9cd5fd214d18d02b5f4285c714f88f137eab6

Start This Weekend Inspired!

Meet Marlin Miller, founder of the enterprising culturally unique Plain Values magazine, and his wife Lisa and their family, in this 7 minute clip depicting Love of Family and their own “Tiny School.

Please share appropriately with your those in your circle of influence. Blessings on your journey today and beyond, relishing both your joys and sorrows, while experiencing the Love of Your Family. God is Love! Don’t miss out!

Thanks Chuck Holden, for sharing this with me earlier this morning. It certainly enhanced my day and hopefully, the days of many others seeking inspiration. Readers, remember to share your similar inspirations with me if you’re desiring a wider audience.

Here is an Interesting Perspective to the Bottom Line of Our Arguments or Obedience… the simplicity that is found in Christ. II Corinthians 11:3

Oswald Chambers My Utmost For His Highest September 14

Simplicity is the secret to seeing things clearly. A saint does not think clearly until much time passes, but a saint ought to see clearly without any difficulty. You cannot think through spiritual confusion to make things clear; to make things clear, you must obey. In intellectual matters you can think things out, but in spiritual matters you will only think yourself into further wandering thoughts and more confusion.

If there is something in your life upon which God has put His pressure, then obey Him in that matter. Bring all your “arguments and…every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” regarding the matter, and everything will become as clear as daylight to you (see II Corinthians 10:5).

Your reasoning capacity will come later, but reasoning is not how we see. We see like children, and when we try to be wise we see nothing (see Matthew 11:25). Even the very smallest thing that we allow in our lives that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is completely sufficient to account for spiritual confusion, and spending all of our time thinking about it will still never make it clear. Spiritual confusion can only be conquered through obedience. As soon as we obey, we have discernment.

This is humiliating, because when we are confused we know that the reason lies in the state of our mind. But when our natural power of sight is devoted and submitted in obedience to the  Holy Spirit, it becomes the very power by which we perceive God’s will, and our entire life is kept in simplicity. Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest.