What's On Our Minds
THROW IT IN THE TRASH April 27 2015
When Alex was about three years old, Poppa and I were her “babysitters” for the week-end. One evening we were trying to get her to eat her dinner. She obviously was not in the mood for what I had prepared and pushed her plate aside. Poppa asked her what she wanted him to do with her food. She quickly and very emphatically replied, “Throw it in the trash.”
That’s how it often is with you and I. Jesus taught us many lessons while He was here on earth and we simply just push them aside and “throw them in the trash.” Let’s look at three of those lessons:
BE GIVING AND CARING AND COMPASSIONATE - “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick” – Matt. 14:14. “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing…” Matthew 6:3
BE FORGIVING - “Peter came up to the Lord and asked, “How many times should I forgive someone who does something wrong to me? Is seven times enough?” Jesus answered: Not just seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:22-23
DON’T JUDGE OTHERS - “Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.” Luke 6:36
We live in a world where the primary focus of many is “self.” But we are commanded in God’s word (Luke 10:27) to:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
WHEN I DON’T WANT TO GO TO CHURCH April 27 2015
Over the past few weeks I have had several different people share with me that they find themselves with this feeling of ‘I don’t want to go to church.’ At times I’m sure many of us have gotten up on Sunday morning and echoed that same sentiment. We’ve had a bad week or we don’t feel our very best. There are those who simply just don’t believe we have to go to church. Sometimes we get disillusioned by things people in the church do or by the things that they say.
Let’s take a few minutes and look at what we are taught in God’s Word.
GOING TO CHURCH IS GOD’S COMMAND
“Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord’s coming is getting closer.” Heb. 10:25 (CEV)
THE EARLY CHURCH WAS A FAMILY
They spent their time learning from the apostles, and they were like family to each other. They also broke bread and prayed together. Acts 2:42 (CEV)
THE SCRIPTURE TELLS IS IN I COR. 12 THAT WE ALL HAVE SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND WE SHOULD USE OUR GIFT(s) TO HELP KEEP HIS BODY, THE CHURCH, STRONG BECAUSE WE ARE A MEMBER OF THAT BODY.
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” I Cor. 12:12
“You obey the law of Christ when you offer each other a helping hand.” Gal. 6:2 (CEV)
“Our bodies don’t have just one part. They have many parts. Suppose a foot says, “I’m not a hand, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the foot still belong to the body? Or suppose an ear says, “I’m not an eye, and so I’m not part of the body.” Wouldn’t the ear still belong to the body? If our bodies were only an eye, we couldn’t hear a thing. And if they were only an ear, we couldn’t smell a thing. But God has put all parts of our body together in the way that he decided is best. A body isn’t really a body, unless there is more than one part. It takes many parts to make a single body.” I Cor. 12:14-19
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT ME. WHAT IF ANOTHER PART NEEDS ME? OR, I NEED ANOTHER PART?
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” Rom. 15:1
“Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.” I Cor. 13:7
“Try your best to let God’s Spirit keep your hearts united.” Eph. 4:3 (CEV)
In an article I found by Wes McAdams, he says: “Some people feel like churches are full of hypocrites. Well, I wouldn’t say we’re all hypocrites, but we’re definitely imperfect. In fact, we’re down right messed up sometimes! We are often inconsistent, insensitive, and incompetent. But here is something you may not have considered: because we are so messed up, you can help us. You can help encourage us to be better. You can help us see the shortcomings to which we’ve become blind. You can help by not giving up on us; just as God hasn’t given up on you.”
Ralph Carter, Pastor, Brushy Creek Baptist Church, Taylors, SC said: “To be a hypocrite is simply to wear a mask. It is to admonish people to do one thing and then do another. Ever told your children to be patient but become impatient with them? We all have said one thing and done another. We absolve ourselves from guilt by pleading "but it's not what I normally do." And, for most, that's probably true. So how many times does a man have to act with hypocrisy to be a hypocrite? The church is filled with hypocrites because people make up the church. But if God divides us into two groups, the group most like Him and the group the most not like Him - we all end up in the second group.”
THEN WHY IS IT SO HARD
“Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack.” I Peter 5: 8 (CEV)
“We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.” Eph. 6:12 (CEV)
HOW DO I FIGHT AGAINST SATAN
“Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil’s tricks. We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world.” Eph. 6:10-11 (CEV)
“Always be glad because of the Lord! I will say it again: Be glad. Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” Phil. 4:3-7 (CEV)
“Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don’t ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise. You know the teachings I gave you, and you know what you heard me say and saw me do. So follow my example. And God, who gives peace, will be with you.” Phil. 4:8-9 (CEV)
WHAT’S THE CONCLUSION?
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” Heb. 10:23-27
HAVING A PLAN April 02 2015
Our great grandson, Andrew is not quite one year old. And, he is going through the “investigator stage.” He can’t walk yet, but he has no trouble going from room to room, from one thing to another, discovering what the world at grandmother’s house looks like and feels like. One of his favorite investigation sites is the connector box where Poppa has several electronic devices attached. It seems there are a series of blinking lights which really foster a lot of curiosity on Andrew’s part.
Fearing that he might get an electrical shock (or, at minimum, disconnect Poppa’s devices), his grandmother has tried picking him up and turning him in another direction, or diverting his attention to some other activity and still his fascination with those lights keeps him coming back. Her latest intervention included turning him around and ever so lightly tapping the top of his hand while telling him, “No, No.” Evidently at some point she had also pointed her finger at him as well. Well, Mr. Andrew looks up at her with this really big smile on his face and points his finger back at her as if she was playing a game with him. He just didn’t get the message.
I think there is a very valuable lesson in Andrew’s story. Not for Andrew because he will get the message as time goes on; but for us. Sometimes we are so involved with our day to day activities that we fail to take into consideration our long terms goals and objectives for this life and for eternity. We tend to let one day drift into another without much thought about the potential impact on our future. What kind of values do I want my children to have? Am I doing those things which have eternal value? Am I spending time and money that I am really going to need in the future in terms of realizing my goals and objectives? Am I exercising the personal discipline that is required? Are my goals and objectives in line with spiritual precepts and commands?
“Teach your children right from wrong, and when they are grown they will still do right.” Prov. 22:5 (cev)
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” Prov. 21:6 (nkjv)
“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise.” Prov. 6:6 (nkjv)
“He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.” Prov. 10:5 (nkjv)
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 (nkjv)
NOT HAVING A PLAN IS A PLAN TO FAIL.
GET ALL EXCITED April 02 2015
Aiden, who is 5 years old and one of our precious great grandsons, recently heard a song which he really liked. So much so that when he was visiting with his grandmother recently and “his’ song came on the radio, he said,
“Guys, guys! This is my new favorite song! You HAVE to listen to it and you HAVE to like it.”
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we loved Jesus so much that we would be as excited as Aiden was and we would want everyone to listen and “like” it.
I’m reminded of something that John Piper says in his book, “Don’t Waste Your Life” – “Whenever something is of tremendous value to you, and you cherish its beauty or power or uniqueness, you want to draw others’ attention to it and waken in them the same joy.”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 (kjv)
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15 (kjv)
“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” Habakkuk 3:18 (kjv)
“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” – Psalm 26:7 (kjv)
This world needs true joy and everlasting hope!
ARE YOU SHARING YOUR JOY IN JESUS?
From “Memos from Nanna” by Pat A. BishopLearn more - Click here
What do happiness, problem-solving, dealing with angry people, and gaining wisdom have in common? None of us are exempt from something that seems to be a way of life for many people. In the Bible study book, “God’s WORDS Are Something Special” (released by Courier publishing in July, 2014 and available at www.SomethingSpecialMinistries.com), I call it the “Me. Myself and I” syndrome. In fact, many times we see this syndrome, not just in others, but also in ourselves. I want – I need – I got to have – If I don’t look out for number one, who is – I don’t care – After me you’re first – He can’t talk that way to me – Who does she think she is – and etc. etc…………. Have you ever been on the receiving end of those kind of comments? Often we find that we are the person making those kind of statements. When someone has the mindset of “Me, Myself and I” they reflect that attitude in how they treat other people as well.
I have a really precious friend, Lu. Lu is a very petite lady, wears, maybe, a size five dress. She and her husband are two of the sweetest and most loving people you will ever meet. I’m not sure how old Lu is, but I suspect she is not far from being 90 years. She has a heart and respiratory condition which requires that she carry with her a portable oxygen system. During a recent visit she was telling me that she probably wasn’t going to be able to come to church again. I immediately responded, “I can understand that your oxygen machine must be difficult for you to manage.” “I don’t have a problem with that,” she replied. “It’s just that I am afraid that someone will knock me down.” I began to understand her thinking. While the portico of our church building is rather sizable, it is also very crowded as people come and go into the sanctuary and to and from our educational wing. “The children are sometimes not very considerate,” I responded. “It’s not the children, it’s the adults. They are in such a rush that I feel I might get run over.”
What do happiness, problem-solving, dealing with angry people and gaining wisdom have in common? How does Ms. Lu’s story fit into our subject matter? The answer is in the word: Gentleness. Learn more –Proverbs 12:20 - Titus 3:2 - Proverbs 25:15 - Proverbs 15:1 – James 3:17.
GENTLENESS – HUMILITY – PATIENCE - PERSPECTIVE July 11 2014 2 Comments
When one of our grandsons was not quite three years old he was “spending the night” with Nanna and Poppa. The time came when he needed to use the bathroom and Poppa had not yet come home from work. So, I said to him, “I’ll take you.” “No, Nanna, no “gurls” allowed. So I’m waiting in the hall within ear shot and after an appropriate period of time, I hear him calling loudly, “Nanna, Nanna!” I rushed in thinking he must have encountered a problem. When I entered the bathroom he had slid off the seat and was standing beside the toilet pulling on the handle that flushes the toilet. “Nan, me thinks it needs a battery.” From his perspective, if it wouldn’t work, it needed a battery.
I’ve thought about that a lot over the years. We all tend to see things from our own perspective, our own point of view depending on the circumstances of our life, depending on the life lessons we have encountered. Those differing points of view often cause conflicts and misunderstandings. Many times what one person says, and what the other person hears, are two entirely different things. We all need to work hard at trying to understand the other person’s point of view – to see things from their perspective. We must learn to be patient with each other. We must exercise humility and gentleness, remembering that God tells us to love others as ourselves.
In Phillipians 2:2, learn more.
Pat A. Bishop
A New Website & Our First Product Release! June 28 2014
We are so pleased to launch our new website, www.SomethingSpecialMinistries.com, along with the release of our first product, "God's Words Are Something Special," by Pat A. Bishop. We hope you enjoy your visit! Please check back regularly, as we have many more exciting Christian study guides, Bible-based publications, and inspirational items coming soon.