surrender884

compassion, confession, faith

Month: June, 2016

Idol Meat and Christian Liberty

hipandthigh

idolAn Overview of 1 Corinthians 8-10

I have been meaning for a while now to post some of my studies on 1 Corinthians that I presented to my volunteers at Grace to You over the last year. I was particularly anxious to toss up my studies on chapters 8-10, because I believe they are so wildly misunderstood by the larger Christian community.

But alas… I got distracted and put it off. However, a little dust up with some NCT folks on Facebook ignited my passion, so here we are.

Like I noted, I think chapters 8-10 of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is totally misunderstood and misapplied by Christians, especially among the Red State evangelical and neo-Reformed types I bump into on social media. The chapters address specifically the idea of eating meat sacrificed to idols and the concept of Christian liberty, and the wrongheaded thinking among Christians about the subject…

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To Forgive, or Not to Forgive

The Life Project

It isn’t always easy to forgive people who have hurt us; it isn’t always easy to forgive ourselves for that matter.

Our Lord told us to forgive, can we just skip it?  I used to say that I believe strongly in forgiveness… as soon as massive retaliation had been achieved.  I was only joking of course…

Forgiving others is an essential part of the Christian life.  It is necessary for several reasons, first because our refusal to obey the command of our Lord is sin.  Second, because we would be utterly hypocritical if we expected God to forgive us while we refuse to forgive others; God will not be mocked.  Third, if we don’t forgive others when they hurt us, we carry the scars of those hurts with us through life, and if we are overloaded with baggage of emotional hurts, we can’t follow Jesus very far for we are…

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Social Media

Having logged into Facebook today I came away thinking, how boring. Years ago it fun to see all of the people promoting ideas. I even made friends with people in other countries.

I went through my likes list and to tell you the truth almost all of them would be deleted but, three or four would be left on the list. It appears that no one makes an effort to post anything on my page unless  I first do it myself first.

Someone called me the other day to see how I was doing. That is a real friend. Not someone who only responds to a post. Some but, not all of those on my friends list can call me. So I am thinking now that once a month is all the time I have for social media.

The Twitter and Instagram accounts will get the same attention as Facebook.

I spoke with my cousin who has a Facebook account today by phone and it was way more enjoyable then posting and messaging.

I can spend hours reading other’s blog posts here and on other sites. Encouraging others to start a blog hasn’t changed people’s minds much.

When it comes down to brass tacks my Twitter and Facebook friends can read my blog posts on social media if they like because that is where they are shared.

Father’s Day

There is a huge difference between Father’s Day and Mother’s Day anymore.

My brothers and I don’t exchange Father’s Day cards or for that matter call each other saying happy Father’s Day. Now Mother’s Day come hell or high water do not forget the women in our lives without giving them the honor for being a mother. I will never forget the first year being with my wife how not getting her anything for Mother’s Day or recognizing other women who were mothers. I thought honoring my mother was all I needed to do.

My father died when I was thirteen and even back then Father’s Day if there was one isn’t as big as today. I have had stepsons from a previous marriage and occasionally  I may hear from one of them on Father’s Day. Here in the past couple of years my wife’s daughter gives me a gift. Other then that it is a peaceful day with not much fanfare.

Tomorrow my wife and I will attend my employers City of Tulsa picnic. It has been unseasonably hotter then normal, so we will stay for a couple of hours instead of the four hours it is being held. If the grandchildren and my stepdaughter come along it would be a perfect day.

I received my present from my wife today. A dozen large chicken wings cooked on the outside grill coated in barbecue sauce. Chicken wings and boiled mussels are my favorite foods so on either Father’s Day or my birthday that is what I get.

In ending let me say Happy Father’s Day to you guys where ever you are . I especially want to thank my Lord and Father who made this all possible because He loved me before I was born.

At peace again

It has been quite sometime since I posted anything. Mostly because I had lost the peace that kept me close to my Lord.

I was facing an uncertain future in my career because of errors I made that management believed would cause more damage to the infrastructure.

Before my hearing for disciplinary action I asked for prayers from many people. I also sought out representation from our employees union. On the weekend before the hearing I created a statement explaining what had transpired during the thirty days when my underground line locates were wrong.

All I wanted was for this to be over and to move on. In the morning at the day of the hearing my union chief steward called asking me to meet him an hour before the hearing. He explain what to expect, what to say and not to say at the hearing. It was as if he was my attorney in a court room acting in my defense. That alone put me at ease somewhat.

What really settled my nerves and calmed me down was the prayer I said asking for the holy spirit to be with me during it all before I met the union steward.

As the people from management, Human resources and the department head filed into the meeting room a sense of peace and the feeling that another person was sitting to my left was there. Then the calmness and peace I asked for was present. As the questioning started the words I spoke came out clear without stammering. The uneasiness I thought may happen didn’t.

When the decision was made for disciplinary action against me, I was given one day suspension without pay.  It was finally over.

Back at the office that same afternoon I spoke with one of the management team who brought this action against me. In our discussion I spoke of the prayers I asked for to give me the words and calmness during the meeting that morning. I told her how they were answered prayers. Then she said to me that she was praying for me too.

I brought to near tears and could feel the love of His power there at that moment. My life and especially my spiritual life will never be the same. How great is our God !

His word

It has been two weeks since I learned that my mistakes at work have brought concern that my attitude is a problem. If what I had said caused others to think that I didn’t care anymore wasn’t true. Every time doing the task at hand was important to me to do it right.

Upon hearing that a disciplinary action would be taken against me I left for a two week vacation. It sure took my mind off the upcoming hearing.

I have considered retiring since I am fully vested in my pension and qualify for Social Security and Medicare.

Still while returning to work the actions that could be taken against me have caused anxiety.

Today as I unpacked my lunch box there was my New Testament that I carry with me while at work. As I stood looking at it the Spirit moved me to read it.

I began reading the 22nd chapter of Luke. Jesus is speaking about His upcoming trial and suffering. All of a sudden it made me realize that my upcoming hearing was trivial compared to what He was about to go through. He was doing it for me.

That anxiety I had diminished and a calm sense of peace filled my heart. There is healing in reading His Word if we just believe.