Common Sense Christian

The Thinking Christian’s Site

Todays Thought – October 2

MISSING

“Do you know where John is?” I noticed it was very quiet.

“I thought he was with you!” came the panic tinged reply.

“Johhhn!” I dashed out of the den into the kitchen, then into the dining room.

By this time the whole house was mobilized, all of us rushing around looking for the diminutive toddler.

“He’s not here!”

The shock contracting my chest was so crushing I could hardly breath.


What would you do if your child or one of your family members disappeared? In the above scenario it could only be imagined what would unfold for this family the longer tiny John was missed. Immediately the family would rush outside, 911 would be dialed, and family, friends and the community would be mobilized.But, ever notice th difference in the reaction in your own church, among your spiritual family? A young Christian disappears from the flock–what happens? Does anyone notice? Does anyone care?

Matthew 18:1213 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep , than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.


Here is a related post from a friend!

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October 1, 2007 Posted by | Spiritual Growth | 6 Comments

Today’s Thought – October 1

 

DIRTY JOB

There is a great show on the discovery channel called “Dirty Jobs – With Mike Rowe”  The episodes have such names as:  “Worm Dung Farmer”, “Avian Vomitologist” and “Garbage Pit Technician.”  I keep waiting for the episode “Diaper Changer” because I can attest that it is one of the least appealing jobs I have ever encountered.  

My daughter was about 2 months old when she went over two days without a messy diaper.  Up until that time, I had changed many.  After about a day and a half we grew very concerned and made an appointment at the pediatrician.  The pediatrician administered treatment and it wasn’t long before I was presented once again with that wondrous “gift” of a dirty diaper.  I have never been so happy to see one/change one in my life!

When a child is birthed into the family of God, they are a spiritual baby.  They will do things that spiritual babies do–things that are natural for them to do.   The mature Christian’s honest expectation is that the baby Christian SHOULD have inconveniently messy diapers (sin) because it is their nature.  Growing out of diapers is a gradual change that comes about with maturity, and just like I was with my daughter, it should even be cause for consternation to see an abrupt and unnatural change in baby behavior.  How contrary this thought is from prevailing philosophies within the church of God today who birth babies then expect immediate change!

1Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

October 1, 2007 Posted by | Spiritual Growth | 4 Comments

Today’s Thought – September 11

 

Stop Child Abuse!

The baby screamed only louder when the mother jerked it out of its seat in the shopping cart and proceeded to pound on its tiny backside. I noticed marks on the baby’s arms and legs. The baby couldn’t have been a year old. The woman looked straight up into my baleful glare. I shook my head almost imperceptibly.  Me and Jesus have at least one thing in common–neither of us are “comely” and “baleful” does not look good on me. Nervously she plopped the baby back in the cart and shot down the grocery isle as if pursued by rabid dogs.

Spiritual babies often find themselves born into abusive “households.” Ignorant spiritual “parents”, unworthy of the trust given them, have unrealistic expectations, throwing a complicated set of rules and parameters in the baby’s lap and then beating them if they don’t perform up to the unrealistic levels they have set for them. This spiritual baby, the victim of abuse, becomes a tiny bewildered soul who only understands that life is about pain and fear.

Our responsibility to these babies is to

feed them: I Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

and

nurture them: Galatians 6:1 (a) Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;

Stop spiritual child abuse!

September 14, 2007 Posted by | Spiritual Growth | 1 Comment

Daily Devotional – September 7

 

A FEW GOOD MEN

(Subtitled: A Manly Challenge to Pastors)

There are many young people who sign up for elite fighting units like the Green Beret, the Navy Seals, or Marine Recon. Often less than 5-10% of accepted applicants make it through basic training,  even less actually join the ranks of the elite.

There are literally hundreds of sites talking about “pastor burnout.” Some quote the percentages as high as 60%, many list various and sundry reasons “Lack Of Support/Encouragement For Pastors” to “Church Conflict” and hundreds of excuses in between. There is one site that cautions pastors not to preach but a couple times a month because of the “demands” message preparation puts on them and their families.

The true reason for pastor burnout is that many who choose this discipline were not CHOSEN to begin with.

To “endure hardness as a good soldier” (2 Tim 2:3) the job requires

  • discipline–the complete assumption of the role of a servant who accepts and follows orders without question,
  • a willingness to sacrifice everything for the cause of Christ,
  • and the desire to work to the point of exhaustion and beyond to win His battle.

Once initiated, the real man of God has little to worry about, his strength and tools to do the job come from above.  If you you can’t stand the pressure, get out and do yourself and God a favor–your pulpit desperately needs God’s man!

Service is tough, and God just needs a few good MEN.


The following is a paid advertisement by God’s Universal Army.

Enjoy creature comforts? Don’t join us–its about serving, not being served, or the accumulation of a comfortable lifestyle or pension.

God’s man is a lean fighting machine.

Want to be an elite? It takes work– HARD, SELF-SACRIFICING WORK.

God’s man knows hardness and thrives on it.

Fear burnout? Consider a easier branch of service, you may not have what it takes.  

God’s man is no pencil pushing desk jockey.

2Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

1Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

BOOYA!

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September 7, 2007 Posted by | Challenge, Spiritual Growth | 6 Comments

Daily Devotional – August 14

THE RADICAL

I was called a radical today and banned from the church.

Last Wednesday night I spoke the “truth in love” confessing to my former class that I, along with some in the church, had been complicit in “discarding” a spiritual baby upon the scrap heap, and leaving it for death.


First, I love this church, its people and its pastor.  Dearly. I had left this church once before, years ago, because some black kids had come to my class, and I had been asked by the church leadership to ask them to leave and go to the “black church.” I refused, but they were still asked to leave by others. I struggled with my conscience and my heart for two weeks and finally resigned and left.Two years later I came back to the church, hoping it had changed.

I served again for over 6 years when one day a young man who had just accepted Christ started coming to the class.

Dennis was an interesting, albeit troubled, young man. He wore pants with large chains on them, painted his fingernails, wore mascara, and did funny things with his hair.

Not long after he came, the murmuring began. There were even those in the church that said that if Dennis stayed, that they would leave the church. “Dennis was just there to flirt with the girls,” some said. “He is out of control and dangerous, he has caused trouble in other churches!” said others.

The leadership of the church approached me again (like before) and “encouraged” me to “encourage” Dennis to move on. There were confrontations forced between several of the members and Dennis, and it wasn’t long until Dennis was given exactly 3 weeks to “change.”  Failing to meet the deadline given he was pushed away.

A spiritual baby.

A tiny spark of God’s, abandoned, tossed out into the cold to die.

A gift of God’s love–an opportunity given to us to prove our love and maturity.

However…

We were uninterested in dealing with the baby poop, uninterested in the inconvenience of teaching him to eat his food, uninterested in protecting and nurturing him.

I fought for Dennis–I wanted to keep him, but in retrospect, I didn’t fight hard enough and have to admit my guilt that I was relieved to see him tossed into the cold and left to “die.”


I have confessed this before my God, but on Wednesday I confessed before my former class as guest speaker.Today I was told that I was a radical with a “head full of nonsense,” and to never come back.At first I was a little disappointed. I do love the people, I do love the pastor.But…as I was being told this, I experienced a peace like I have never felt.  And then began the REJOICING!

Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

I have no idea where he is now, but I begin a pilgrimage to seek out and find Dennis. I have much to do.

Paul – The Radical

Note: In regards to the video, I would NEVER compare myself to my wondrous Savior, but pay attention to the words.  I think I LIKE the title I have been given: RADICAL.

Prayers for me and my former pastor and church are appreciated.

August 14, 2007 Posted by | Spiritual Growth | 5 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 30

 

The Wrong Man

Man in the pulpit had something to say

Told me the wrong thing, led me astray

Lookin’ at the wrong man. Wrong man.

Friend said she’d help me always be strong

The bond that we shared wasn’t that strong

Lookin’ at the wrong man. Wrong man.

I can do it myself, I don’t need no one

I guess that’s why I feel so alone

Lookin’ at the wrong man. Wrong man.


Hebrews 12:2 (a)  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith;

July 30, 2007 Posted by | Spiritual Growth | 3 Comments

Daily Devotional – July 26

4 WIVES

(Author Unknown)

Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives.

He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another.

He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidante and was  always kind, considerate and patient with him.  Whenever the King faced a problem, he  could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times.

The King’s first wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her!

One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, “I now have four wives with me, but when  I die, I’ll be all alone.”

Thus, he asked the fourth wife , “I loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I’m dying,  will  you follow me and keep me company?”

“No way!”, replied the fourth wife, and she walked away without another word.

Her answer cut like a sharp knife into his heart.

The sad King then asked the third wife, “I loved you all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”  “No!”, replied the third wife. “Life is too good! When you die, I’m going to remarry!”

His heart sank and turned cold.

He then asked the second wife, “I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me.  When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?”

“I’m sorry, I can’t help you out this time!”, replied the second wife. “At the very most, I can only walk with you to your grave.” Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning, and the King was devastated.

Then a voice called out: “I’ll go with you. I’ll follow you no matter where you go.”

The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect.  Greatly grieved, the King said, “I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!”

In truth, we all are all married to four spouses in our lives.

The 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it is in constant decay and decline.  it will leave us when we die.

Our third wife is our possessions, status and wealth.  When we die, its accumulation will go to others.

Our second wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

And our first wife is our spirit. Often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world.  However, our spirit is the only thing that will follow us wherever we go.

Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that will follow us to the throne of God–the only thing of eternal consequence in our lives.


1John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life.


Disclaimer:  Common Sense Christian does not advocate, promote or endorse having four wives (or four husbands for that matter…).

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Spiritual Growth | 3 Comments