Archive for February, 2013

Purpose: Why Do You Do What You Do?

Monday, February 11th, 2013

A reporter’s question prompts today’s word-of-the-week…
PURPOSE

The reporter asked, “Aside from feeling good about yourself, why do you do these rides?”

I thought about it later on route A1A. Am I doing all this so I can “feel good about myself”? Or maybe so others will feel better about me? Is this a big exercise in building Rich’s self-concept?

It’s a worthwhile question. It’s important to examine motives, to honestly ask why we do what we do. Behind all the fancy words, what’s the real purpose?

Personally, “feeling good about myself” wouldn’t be enough motivation to maintain this sort of effort. I need something bigger than “me” to keep me moving down the road.

I’m not sure I knew that when I started. Maybe at the beginning this was about scratching a personal itch. But I have a sense we’re wired for bigger stories.

I believe we were created for community, and especially to serve others in our communities. I believe we’re happiest, most satisfied and fulfilled, when we’re using our God-given skills and passions in service.

Perhaps the question of purpose is a good one for a Monday morning. I wonder if we always understand why we do what we do.

Maybe, if we honestly examined motives, we’d realize we need to do some different things.

Mostly, though, I suspect we’d find many of our actions have deeper purposes than we realize. Maybe articulating those underlying purposes would give us a renewed sense of energy and commitment.

I can’t crank 1000 miles, day after day, along lonely roads, just to make myself feel better about me. I can do it, gratefully and joyfully, to feed a few hungry kids and help some people believe in hope.

It’s really not about me.

Or you.

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Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Persist

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

I’ve noticed as I crank along how often I pray for comfort. I basically ask God to take away the hard stretches of life.

Do you ever catch yourself doing that? It’s not about suffering or pain, just wishing away the difficult stuff that’s part of moving down the road.

I’ve decided I would do better to ask God for the will to persist, to just keep moving down the road. That’s how I get stronger. Ironic, isn’t it, that working through a difficult stretch makes the next one easier?

Our culture does a lot to make everyday tasks easier and more comfortable. The problem, apparently, is that we develop a mindset that equates difficult with bad.

Persisting through the hard parts is how I develop character. God cares more about my long-term character than my short-term comfort. I suspect when I ask Him to remove the hard stretches, He smiles and gently encourages me to keep cranking.

What’s a difficult stretch you’ve been trying to avoid? Is it possible you need to ask God for the will to persist?

I’m going to spend the week riding down the east coast of Florida toward Miami. Wherever you are, I hope you…

Have a great week.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Submission isn’t Stupidity

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Ephesians 5:21: “Submit to one another.”

“Her husband is having an affair, and she knows it,” one of the ladies in Sunday school said. “He told his wife she can’t have her name on any of their accounts any longer, and she has to give him all the money.”

I sat in shock as I listened to that conversation.

The woman continued, “The Bible says she is supposed to submit to her husband.” She looked around at us and asked, “What is she supposed to do?”

“Submission isn’t stupidity,” I said. “She shouldn’t help her husband to sin by helping him to continue his affair and forget his marriage vows to her.”

Now the woman who talked to us about that situation raised her brows and stared at me. The others remained silent.

I explained that Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”

“What about verse 21?” I asked. “Had the woman forgotten about that verse too? And verse 28, ‘In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.’”

“That is the problem with taking a verse out of context to plead one’s case or satisfy one’s selfish desires.”

“Daily Bible study of a book or chapter with a Bible dictionary and concordance help me look at the context.”

Dear God, help me read the Bible in context daily. Amen.

Application:
  In what situation will you search the context of a Bible verse this week before you make a decision?

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Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC

All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

You are Never Alone

Monday, February 4th, 2013

“Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Where shall I flee from Your presence?” Psalm 139:7

The omnipresence of God!How baffling to any finite comprehension! To think that above us, and around us, and within us–there is Deity–the invisible footprints of an Omniscient, Omnipresent One! “His Eyes are in every place!” On rolling planets–and tiny atoms; on the bright seraph–and the lowly worm; roaming in searching scrutiny through the tracks of immensity–and reading the dark and hidden page of my heart! “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do!”

O God! shall this Your Omnipresence appall me? No! In my seasons of sadness and sorrow and loneliness–when other comforts and comforters have failed–when, it may be, in the darkness and silence of some midnight hour, in vain I have sought repose–how sweet to think, “My God is here! I am not alone. The Omniscient One, to whom the darkness and the light are both alike–is hovering over my sleepless pillow!” O my Unsetting Sun, it cannot be darkness or loneliness or sadness–where You are. There can be no night to the soul which has been cheered with Your glorious radiance!

“Surely, I am with you always!” How precious, blessed Jesus, is this, Your legacy of parting love! Present with each of Your people until the end of time–ever present, omnipresent. The true “Pillar of cloud” by day–and “Pillar of fire” by night, preceding and encamping by us in every step of our wilderness journey. My soul! think of Him at this moment–as present with every member of the family that He has redeemed with His blood! Yes, and as much present with every individual soul, as if He had none other to care for–but as if that one engrossed all His affection and love!

The Great Builder–surveying every stone and pillar of His spiritual temple;
the Great Shepherd–with His eye on every sheep of His fold;
the Great High Priest–marking every tear-drop; noting every sorrow; listening to every prayer; knowing the peculiarities of every case: no number perplexing Him–no variety bewildering Him; able to attend to all, and satisfy all, and answer all–myriads drawing hourly from His Treasury–and yet no diminution of that Treasury–ever emptying, and yet ever filling, and always full!

Jesus! Your perpetual and all-pervading presence turns darkness into day! I am not left un-befriended to weather the storms of life–Your hand is from hour to hour piloting my frail vessel. The omnipresence of God–gracious antidote to every earthly sorrow!

“I have set the Lord always before me! “Even now, as night is drawing its curtains around me, be this my closing prayer, ‘Blessed Savior! abide with me, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent!’ Under the shadowing wings of Your presence and love, “I will both lie down and sleep in peace,  for You alone, O Lord, make me live in safety!” Psalm 4:8

~ John MacDuff, “The Night Watches”

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Copyright 1998-2013 by Christians in Recovery
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Think Jesus, Not Positive Thoughts

Friday, February 1st, 2013

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4: 4 � 8 King James Version

I’m sure you’ve heard many times that we are to think positive thoughts and indeed we do need to think positive instead of thinking negative. However, just thinking positive thoughts will never change us or our circumstances. We don’t have the power to change anything. It takes the power of our risen Saviour living in us to change us and our circumstances. Instead of thinking positive we should “Think Jesus”. He is the only one who can change a life and melt a hardened heart into a soft heart.

For years, I tried to change my life and my circumstances by thinking positive. It didn’t work and it will never work. The day that I cried out to Jesus and asked Him to take control of my thoughts, circumstances and life was the day that I felt peace for the first time in my life. It felt like I had escaped a hot fire and plunged into a soothing cool river. It is impossible for me to put into words the relief I felt because I knew that Jesus would work everything out for good in my life. What a faithful and loving Saviour we serve!

One of the most contributing factors to negative thinking is all of the violence, sexual scenes and profanity that bombard our homes daily through the television set. I read an article this morning by a doctor and he said “The majority of my patients are not only addicted to drugs and alcohol; they are also addicted to the television set. One of my patients told me, ‘The reason why I tried to commit suicide is because I saw this real cool dude do it on this movie that I saw.'”

The doctor went on to say that he himself had been addicted to country music for years and that he had become depressed because of listening to all the songs about divorce. He said “My parents got divorced and every time I heard a song about divorce, I would get very upset and depressed.”

If we were to think about Jesus instead of thinking about all the negative things in our lives, I believe that we would live peaceful lives. Yes, we do have negative situations and heartbreaking circumstances in our lives, but there is nothing that we endure and experience that Jesus can�t solve. Put your trust in Him because He will never fail you!

Copyright 2007-2013 by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved
The author may be contacted via her website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com

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