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An Interesting Idea

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I read a great article today on Linkedin that talks about what we’ve learned after finishing school.The article is about the Harvard class of 1989 and the results of a survey that 435 of those graduates completed.

The most compelling insights came from this open-ended question:

“If you could travel back to 1989 and explain your last 25 years to your younger self, what would that graduating senior have found most surprising?”

The answers from the respondents were very interesting and thought provoking,as well as entertaining.You really should click on the Linkedin link and read it for yourself!

So this article got me to thinking about my life as a Christian and the things I have done over the past 36 years.If I could go back in time 25 years what would I say to my younger self? And here is what I came up with:

I would have spent a lot more time developing lasting,loving relationships instead of spending so much time “doing church”. As much as I love the Lord,and He knows my heart,I realize now that I forsook those closest to me while I pursued what I thought was His will for my life.Had I known then what I know now I would have understood that “CHURCH” is not a building.It is not a denomination or an organization.It should never ever come first in anyone’s life.I would have understood that long ago I stopped being the church and started doing church.

If there is any redemption to my story it is that I can begin right now to nurture new relationships,as well as work on rebuilding those that have been categorized as hopeless.

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,
2 Co 5:18

Ron

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This One Thing I Know

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There are a lot of very smart people in this world.

So smart that sometimes I wonder how in the world a person can accumulate so much knowledge in a lifetime.

You probably know people like this.People who seem to be on an entirely different plane than the rest of us.

Politically smart…Mathematically smart…Business smart…Theologically smart…

I’ve been thinking about who and what I am in the eyes of God,and one thing I am not is smart.

Oh,I’m smart enough to make a very good living.And I think I’m smart enough to know that the best thing I’ve got going for me besides my family is my relationship with the Lord.

Ah yes,there’s that word again…relationship.

I have been a Christian for over 35 years and in that time I have served in just about every capacity the church has to offer.

I’ve been a pastor,a church planter,an evangelist,a whole bunch of other titles,shoot I’ve even been a janitor!

For about 30 of my 35 years I have been behind a pulpit somewhere or another and that has defined who I am in Christ.

Not Ron the Christian man,but Ron the preacher man.

Or so I thought.

For the last couple of months I’ve been without a home church while I take a step back and regroup.This was a choice I made…..to be nothing except an anonymous Christian for a while.

I’ve seen too much of the ugly side of church.All the things that make people cringe when I write about them on this blog.The things that people don’t want to believe happen in church.

For a while I felt lost,as though my life had no meaning.After all,how could God use me unless I was busy doing church work?

It has suddenly occurred to me that I am much more than a Christian with a title.Much more.I am first and foremost a forgiven sinner now called a child of God.I am a witness of the power of His resurrection for He is alive in the hearts of His children.I am part of this big family of God.I belong to Him.

I am nothing without Christ.But with Him I am a complete man.

I am not “smart” in the way the world measures intelligence,but I agree with the Apostle Paul when he said this:

2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God.
2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
1 Co 2:1-2

To know Jesus and Him crucified.

Now,that is a smart man!

Be blessed,

Ron

A Day of Deception

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Like many of you,I often question many of the things taking place in the world today.

I mean, how could you not question the rampaging violence in our society,or the staggering numbers of starving and diseased people all over the earth? If we have a conscious at all, and certainly if we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us we must surely be aware that something has gone terribly wrong.

Yet on the other hand,I know people who believe that everything is great and that God is pouring out blessing after blessing upon this world.

I suppose if one wanted to one could say it’s all a matter of perspective.You know; the old half full vs.half empty thing.

Maybe it’s just me but being nearly 60 years old I believe I have lived too long and learned too much to bury my head in the sand and act as though everything is just as good now as it’s always been.

If I am to believe the Bible(and I certainly do)I must believe it all.I am not afforded the luxury to pick and choose the “nice” verses that are soothing to the soul and neglect the harsh warnings of trouble on the horizon.One look at the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 should give us a clear indication of what I’m referring to.

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The disciples had two questions to ask of Jesus,and if you think about those questions you realize that they aren’t much different than the one’s we are asking today.

In this short discourse Jesus gives a very clear picture of the conditions that will exist as the time of His appearing draws near.

In these six verses there is one warning that stands above the others.It is found in verse four when our Lord says to take heed,or be very careful,that no one deceives you.Why do you suppose He said that?

I believe it is because there is a spirit of deception in the world today.Think about this for a few moments.

Things that we have always been taught were true are being challenged on every hand.The cry of the world is that there can be no truth,therefore everything is permissible.

If I may be so plain as to say that the church today has become a purveyor of deception not unlike the world itself.

Which is why Jesus said that many would come in His name saying they are Christ,or of Christ,and deceive many.

Hardly a day goes by when we aren’t exposed to some new doctrine or belief system.What passes for Christian TV is hardly discernible from every other self help diatribe emanating from the world.

All of which begs the question: doesn’t anyone read their Bible anymore? Doesn’t anyone compare what they’ve heard with what was written?

Yes,we are living in the day of deception and many are falling away from their faith because of it.

Remember these words of Jesus:”in the world you shall have trouble,but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”

Even in a world filled with lies and deception, we can overcome it all because He has already overcome for us!

Be blessed

Ron

Do We Really Care About Each Other?

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Sunday morning….

People have come to the one place they’ve been led to believe is a respite from the weariness and pain.

The shadow of the steeple.

Our churches are filled with hurting,lonely people.

Desperate people.

People who sit through a few announcements.

Disengaged people…

A few songs.

A brief sermon that neither pricks the heart nor eases the burden.

A dismissal prayer.

People who leave the same way they came.

People who are hurting and lonely.

People who leave the shadow of the steeple wondering why no one sees the pain and hurt.

Or wondering if they do see…but do not care enough to be Jesus to them in their time of need.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Mt 11:28-30

Ron

As Long as I Have Him…..

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A thought….

Psa 73:25,26

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.

My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Being alone, abandoned along the side of the road, reeling from despair….take heart.

He alone is our sufficiency.

Ron