Renew your Mind

Some people seem to think that we have to turn our brains off before we do anything religious, but that is not what God wants of us. As John Piper said “the brain God gave you is intended to throw fuel on the fire of your affections for God. It’s really good at it if you let it.” . Exploring the world and theology are related if your mind is open. One is the study of God, the other is the study of what God created. If you can interpret the facts with an open mind, they both blend together quite beautifully.

When I exercise my mind I get excited. The more I know about him, and his creation, the closer, and more in awe of his majesty I am.
It is like exercise of the body at first, and difficult to do at first, if you haven’t done it in awhile, but with prayer God will get you through it.
This also has the benefit of catching those who believe that Christians are unintelligent off guard.  I remember one time that I was talking to a group of people on X-box. Somehow the subject of Christians being stupid came up, and that was my chance to shine. For 45 minutes these teenagers who wanted to play a racing game shut up and listened to me talk about God! They had never heard anything like I was saying. God was certainly with me that day to enable me to draw teenage boys away from a game, to hear about God.
If I had not been a book reader, I don’t think that conversation would have been possible.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
The Apologetics Study Bible

Rejoice always??

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We are told in 1 Thess.5:16-18, that we are to rejoice always, pray without ceasing,  and give thanks in all circumstances.  Some of you are asking, how is this even possible, how can I rejoice, and give thanks when I face so much tragedy?
On your own power I am not sure it is possible to rejoice always, and give thanks, much less pray without ceasing. Who can rejoice in the sudden death of a loved one, who can pray twenty four hours a day? I think we have a clue to this puzzle in

Philippians 4:4-9  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things. 9 Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

(2015-08-10). The Apologetics Study Bible (Apologetics Bible) (Kindle Locations 60588-60596). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

When you are walking with a friend or loved one, without speaking a word it can be special. It is like you are sharing emotions, instead of words. Deep emotions at that. God is with you no matter where you go, he is walking beside you like a loved one. The feelings you get when you acknowledge God’s love is prayer.  So while it is impossible to get on your knees, close your eyes, and bow your head 24 hours a day, it is possible to walk with God, knowing that he is at your side 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As for rejoicing always, it is harder still. If you celebrate something like 9-11, something is wrong with you, but even in the worst of tragedies if you look really hard, you can see God there. God was in the emergency workers that were willing to risk their lives helping others. God was there when politicians of both parties sang God Bless America on the Capitol steps, and people from all over the planet did whatever they could do to help America heal. We can know that God can make whatever befalls us, work for good. That is what we celebrate!

I am no expert at this, but I am trying a new thing. I have a set of counting beads that I use as a prayer prompt. I confess seven sins, praise God for seven things, and pray for 7 people or issues.  It isn’t always easy to find seven praises, but in this world of constant bad news, it is important that you do find things to praise God for every day. It will help you with your walk with God, and help you to keep your sanity when it feels like everything is crashing down around you.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

If You Are a Christian, Please Stop Doing These 5 Things

1. Telling people “I’ll pray for you” without actually praying for them. Guilty as charged. I can’t think of anybody who hasn’t done this at one time or another. And while most of us don’t actually mean to forget, it’s probably best that we just set aside time on the spot to pray for people. Are we really so busy that we can’t stop and pray for someone’s needs? We need to make sure we are fulfilling our duties as Christians and actually follow through with them. One prayer could be the tipping point to someone coming to know the love of God. Don’t miss the opportunity to speak life into someone because you don’t think you have time.

Source: If You Are a Christian, Please Stop Doing These 5 Things

Side note:

When someone ask you to pray for them it is handy to have a notebook ready. Write down their name, just their first name will do if they want to remain anonymous, and the reason they want prayer to make sure that you don’t forget.
I also have had business cards that have my contact info, and my website address on them.  That way they can contact you with questions about your faith, or to give you an update on their prayer request.

Love your Enemies

Matthew 5:43-44 English Standard Version (ESV)

Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

People are quick to blame Christians for many of the evils in this world, but real Christianity at least attempts to love their enemies. When innocent people get murdered, it isn’t love, therefore it isn’t Christian, and Christianity can’t be held responsible.
Christians are people too, we mess up. Sometimes we mess up badly. Those persons can be held accountable, but if their actions go against what the Bible says, Christianity can’t be blamed.

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Flies around a Picnic


The lies about the Bible are getting so common nowadays, that they are like flies around a picnic on a hot Southern day. The foods are your favorite, and you are enjoying sharing them with friends. All too soon the flies start coming around, you are enjoying the food and companionship of long lost friends so much, that at first you don’t mind swatting a few flies away, but it seems like every time that you swat a fly, a couple more come to takes it’s place. Pretty soon you are so busy swatting flies, that you don’t have any time to eat for yourself. You may even start to check the food for tell-tale spots. Before long you are tempted to pack up your food, and go home to eat in peace.

Christian case making is a lot like that. The Bread of Life is so fantastic that you want to share it with the world. You know that some of the meal is an acquired taste so you spend a lot of time learning how to make the message as palatable as possible (while remaining within the guidelines of the Bible), but then the lies come. dispelling the lies can be difficult, but you love The Bread of Life so much that you don’t mind. It often seems like every time you dispel one lie, two more take it’s place. Sometimes you are successful in dispelling the lies, other times they appear to spot the food that you have prepared, and you grow tired.
It’s okay to go home and take a nap, but DO NOT STOP making the Christian case.
When you have had a chance to rest a little, it is time for you to do some things, to make your next time witnessing experience more successful .
Write down  the names of the people that you had issues with, and put them on your long term prayer list, and pray for them.
Write down the issues they had with your message, meditate on how it could have gone better.
Spend some time in worship so that you can refuel your spirit.
Find a Christian friend that has been into Christian case making for longer than you, so that you can have a shoulder to cry on, a prayer partner, and an adviser.
Keep reading your Bible.

You may be interested in:  The Lee Strobel 3-Disc Film Collection: The Case for Christ / The Case for Faith / The Case for a Creator  The books were an awesome collection that paved the road for a lot of Christian case makers.

 

 

 

A share isn’t a shortcut for prayer!

shareprayer   I know that the people who create memes that say “One share equals a prayer” probably mean well, but meaning well and doing well are two different things sometimes. This is one of those times! Why on earth would you rather share a post, than talk to the creator of the universe? Jesus wants you to talk to him, and draw closer to him, but these memes are like giving someone a picture of chocolate, rather than giving them actual chocolate.
Give Jesus the real thing, not just a picture of it. Jesus is worth more than a push of a link!

If you need help with your prayer life, please consider this book

The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies
It was inspired by the movie War Room, by the  Kendrick Brothers

The Healing That We Need

Why, O Lord, does it always seem
That we often get no reply?
When we are so very desperate
For all the answers why
When we need a special touch
To heal all of our sickness,
A miracle that only you can do,
Restoring strength to our weakness
We do not know the reasons ‘why’
You don’t answer straight away,
We only need to have faith in you
And be persistent when we pray
You may choose to heal much more
Than our needs of the physical
So much more is the spirit inside
That may be in need of a miracle
For you care so much for us
And want to see us healed,
Not only in this body of ours
But in our souls as well
For healing is for every part,
Our body, spirit and soul
And God just wants to touch each part
And make us truly whole
We needn’t feel so downcast
As we wait upon the Lord,
For the answer will come in His time
Then we shall be restored.
© By M.S.Lowndes