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You’re Right … And You’re Right, Too

I must have seen the movie, “Fiddler On the Roof,” a half-dozen times. In one scene the portly lead character, Tevye, is in a lively discussion with a group of his Jewish neighbors.

One of them states a strong opinion about whatever the subject was. Tevye looks at him and says, “You’re right!”

A man across the small circle delivers a contrary opinion. “You’re right, too!” Tevye says.

Someone else says, “Wait. He’s right (indicating the first man) and he’s right (indicating the second). They can’t both be right.”

Tevye thinks a minute and says, “And you’re right, too!”

That’s the way I feel when we start arguing about God. One says, “God is great and powerful, glorious and mighty. He’s all-powerful, all-present, all-knowing, eternal and good.”

And with Tevye I say, “You’re right.”

Another says, “Jesus is my best friend. I talk to Him like I talk to you. Why just this morning I was saying, ‘You know, Lord, I’ve got this ache in my toe. And did you see how those people acted towards me at church last night? And by the way, Lord, I’d sure appreciate it if you could help me get a parking place and (chatter, chatter, chatter) and could you wait a minute, Lord, I’ve got to go to the bathroom? I’ll be right back.’”

And with Tevye I say, “You’re right too. (Kind of).”

How can God fill the far corners of the universe yet be near enough to hear my weakest cry?

You’re right, too! He’s all that and a lot more. He’s God. Continue reading

The Remarkable Connection Between Praying and Sneezing


Pray-ers are a lot like sneezers—there are all kinds.

For instance, some sneezers are “blast-a-hole-in-the-wall” sneezers. There’s no art. Just suck in a week’s worth of air and “Ahhhhhhhh-CHOOOOOOOOOOOO!” Woe be to the person who steps between this sneezer and the wall.

The air current from the sneeze registers about seven on the Richter scale.
If all you want to do is expel whatever is tickling your nose, I guess this is okay. It’s not pretty. If others aren’t expecting it, you may give them a heart attack, but hey, it works.
Some folks pray like this. No art, just get it out. When they pray the rafters rumble, the windows rattle and dust floats down from the ceiling. If Jesus had prayed like these folks when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter, James and John wouldn’t have slept instead of praying.
Sleeping would have been impossible.
Other sneezers are much more artful. Instead of trying for the big bang, they aim for style and understatement. “Ah-choo!” they squeak and daintily dab at their nose with a handkerchief.
And some folks pray like this. They want to express themselves in a sophisticated fashion so they seem to pray with one pinky in the air, like cultured people used to drink tea in the pre-Starbucks world. Continue reading

Key #6  Growth Is Incredibly Important If You Want To Be Successful

Most of us stop growing around the age of eighteen … upwards anyway. Horizontal growth seems to spread out all through life. That’s natural, but what isn’t natural is the fact that when we come to a certain place in our life many of us stop growing in other ways.

Some stop growing in their knowledge of the Lord when they realize they are saved from hell and are heading to heaven because of Jesus. They didn’t want a PHD in knowing the Lord, just a fire insurance policy.

Others go to sleep intellectually. They never entertain new ideas, never read books to learn more, never listen to speakers who can help them grow, or they never take a course or sign up for an apprenticeship. They know enough, thank you. So, they stop.

And, “I got the girl, okay? Why should I try to help our relationship grow. We’re married!”

What if a baby decided that the ability to walk across the room was sufficient for him in life and he never went any further? As much as possible, he lets mama and daddy carry him around.

We can’t make ourselves any taller but we can grow in a lot of areas that add tremendous value and contentment to our life.

Here’s How Continue reading

First Step Towards An Improved Version of You In 2017—Attitude

Once I got mad and I stayed mad a long time. I figured I was right to be furious but it

didn’t do me much good. When I think about that period of my life, I recall a lot of misery, me walking around fuming inside.At night I tried to sleep with a chip on my shoulder. It didn’t work very well. Angry, angry.

And then there was the time I went through a stretch of feeling sorry for myself and comparing myself to others. Or do you want to hear about the time … no? Me, neither.

That was a tough patch.

I’ve been a lot of unhealthy things in my heart and in my head for a slice of my life. But, I’ve learned something: if I find a stray cat in the kitchen, I’ve got to kick him out, or he’ll make himself at home. If I keep my anger, or self-pity or any other sick attitude for too long, I become that thing. I’ve got to do something about the “stray cat.”

Otherwise, I’m not just angry for a moment. Everyone gets mad. But, when I hold onto that anger too long, I become an angry man. Some folks, if you separate them from their self-pity, their anger, their critical spirit, or a host of other “stray cat” attitudes, they almost cease to exist.

There is a story about a lady whose constant request at the prayer meeting was, “Pray for my terrible husband.” The people prayed and God saved him; changed his life.

And she left him for another man.

I suppose she felt a need to be pitied. She was defined by her misery. “Poor Sis So and So.” I imagine that her new man made her miserable, so her itch to be pitied was scratched.

Watch/develop/decide… your Attitude

What is your attitude in life? What do people think about when they think of you?

There is a Syrian immigrant somewhere, shivering under a tent who has more hope than some of us. He’s in miserable conditions, but he’s hoping for something better and that keeps him going. And many of us whose lives are better than 90% of the people in the world are wretched and depressed.

Remind me again why that is.

Hope is an incredible factor in healthy, happy lives. It’s a foundational stone for a good attitude.

Our feelings ebb and flow during life—physical battles, trials, difficult people, emotional changes, life-stage changes, so many things influence our attitude. Good things shape us, too.

 

We have to take charge of our attitude. We have to be intentional about it.

Seth Godin says, “”Attitude is the most important choice any of us will make. We made it yesterday and we get another choice to make it today. And then again tomorrow.

“The choice to participate. To be optimistic. To intentionally bring out the best in other people… they are a choice. No one does these things to us. We choose them and do the work (and find the benefits) that come with them.”

So How Do You Do It?

 I suspect that some babies show up in the delivery room, pop open their wonder-struck eyes and say, “Hello, doctor. You’re really looking good. This is going to be a great day.” They seem to be born with a great attitude.

Maybe that happens, but for the vast majority of us, it doesn’t come naturally. As a matter of fact, I think the only ones who were ever like that were Adam and Eve. And they weren’t exactly born. A rotten attitude seems to be a result of man allowing sin to enter the world.

Since then we’ve had to work to get our attitude right. Here’s how to get started.

1.      Be thankful. If you’re convinced that the world owes you life, liberty and happiness you’ll always be mad when life isn’t like that. Stop and genuinely give thanks to God for His blessings. If you can’t think of any, you’ve got a serious blindness problem. Really. Do it! Stop and thank Him. Make it a habit. (Romans 1:21; Colossians 3:15)

2.      Become the master of your thoughts. You decide what stays in. Your heart decides what’s important and if anger and frustration prevail it might be that you’ve got a heart problem. Look and see why you’ve got heart disease and deal with that.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)

“A good man produces good things from the good stored up in his heart, and a bad man produces evil things from his own stores of evil. For a man’s words will always express what has been treasured in his heart.” (Luke 6:44 J.B. Phillips)

Sometimes a thought gets hold of us and we can’t get loose. We need supernatural deliverance—either once and for all or once a day.

‘Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity.” (Rom. 12:2, J.B. Phillips)

But, it’s more than a choice. God has to do a work in our attitude, so that we can have his attitude. Positive thinking isn’t enough.     « To be made new in the attitude of your minds » Eph. 4:23

3.      There is a powerful connection between your mouth and your heart—one influences the other, one reveals the other. Wives, how do you talk about your husband to others? To him? Husbands? And how do you talk about your life? All that reveals your heart AND influences your heart.

We all talk to ourselves. This is our narrative about ourselves, our story as we relate it. Do you want people to pity you or pay attention to you? Sometimes if we feel incapable of exciting admiration we settle for provoking pity. Proclaim your praise for the Lord—and others. Proclaim your confidence in Jesus and His promises. Let your story be the story He tells about you and the dream He put in your heart.

4.      Choose those that you hang with, as much as possible. When you can’t stay away from grouches, gripers, criticizers, complainers and “the-world-is-coming-to-an-end-ers,” be a positive influence in the life of these negative people.

And if positive people are constantly encouraging you by interjecting something positive into your self-pity, it might be a sign that you’re the grouch in the situation. Quit it!

5.      And …

Don’t just resist a nasty attitude. Fill your mind and heart with good stuff, so there is no room for junk. Read and pray the Psalms; fill up every spare corner of your mind with the great promises of God’s Word. Get excited about God’s promises. Remember His answers to prayer.

Keep your relationship with God up-to-date: love His presence, admit your sin when you fail, and pay close attention to difficult relationships with those close to you. Here’s something to think about–if we’re constantly clashing with others that might indicate a problem with us. We all clash at times but when it happens often, it may well be our attitude—the world owes us, we feel disrespected, angry about something, or we might be disobeying God in an area of our life and we want to misdirect attention.

Get some exciting God-given goals. Learn to pray and walk in God’s presence.

Getting your mind « renewed » is a process. We must work at it each day. But, it sure beats the alternative which is stinking-thinking, stinking-speaking and stinking-acting.. All that leads to a stinking life. (Rom. 12:1, 2)

“A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.” (Proverbs 18:20, NKJV)

Putting It into practice:

 

What is the one word that best describes your daily attitude?

Ask three people who know you well to describe your attitude in one word. Then ask the same people to describe you biggest negative attitude in one word.

Pray seriously about this: what am I going to do to change the negative part of my attitude?

This article might interest you: FOUR SURE-FIRE WAYS TO FIX THOSE PROBLEMS BETWEEN YOUR EARS http://davidscoffeestains.com/four-sure-fire-ways-to-fix-those-problems-between-your-ears/)

Here’s a book that will help you in your journey towards an attitude that leads to God’s abundant life—“40 Days to a Joy-filled Life” by Tommy Newberry

Images: pixabay.com, johnhain; fr_golay, petelinfort; keijj44

Continue reading

Seven Keys To Help You Do a Little Bit Better In 2017 Than You Did In 2016

 How did you like my headline? It more truthful than most, huh?

I get a bit cynical at this time of the year as I read eye-catching article headlines like, “Five Sure-fire Ways To Grow Hair,” “33 Proven Tricks To Shed 350 Pounds Quickly,” or “Here’s Three Secrets To Go From Really Ugly to Really Beautiful In the Blink Of An Eye.”

Or some such drivel.

I could headline this article, « Seven Keys to Total Victory This Year. » Or how about, « Here’s Seven Steps To the Life You Want In 2017. » I’m sure I’ve probably used something similar because that’s part of the formula. Promise the world.

Come on now. Raise your hand if you believe you’re going to get there this year.

Hang onto your seat for the revelation of your life. Here’s one revelation that will shake you to the core. You’ll never be the same if you understand this. Actually, this may be true if you can grasp what comes next:

Arriving isn’t always the best part of the trip. Sometimes the process of getting there is more fun—AND MORE IMPORTANT– than actually arriving at the destination.

It’s crazy but a lot of people are empty and unfullfilled when they reach their goal. They don’t know it, but they love the process. And that’s not bad.

So these seven things probably won’t make you perfect by the end of the year. The Lord isn’t making perfect men anymore. My wife got the last one. Hmmm … maybe not.

But, if at the end of the year you’re further up the road and more like the Lord Jesus, closer to your goals, then you’re successful.

The next few weeks we’re going to talk about some things that will get you nearer to your objective.

1–Watch/develop/decide … your attitude

What is your attitude? “Poor me. No one values my contribution. Others are privileged, but not me. The world is going to pot. I’m angry. It the fault of …” Continue reading