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HOW TO RECEIVE INSPIRED IDEAS THAT CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

By on March 21, 2017

If you ever feel like you’re under pressure, and have almost too many demands on you. I understand how you feel. I have three kids. A wife. A big dog and several tropical fish. Plus a church that reaches people through our weekly services and many who remain in contact by mail. Another constantly changing number of people are involved with our counseling services here at the Worship Center. Half a dozen civic and community organizations have me serving on their boards. Then, I write a monthly column for a magazine. Like you, one thing I have a constant need for is IDEAS. Good ideas. Ideas that work. Ideas that will speedily help people and make their lives work better.

Expectations and demands are almost overwhelming for most teenagers and adults anymore. People expect more out of us, and it seems like in school, in society and on the job, competition is stiffer than ever before.

You can’t bluff your way through life and expect to be taken seriously anymore. Even in church, people are a little more experienced and maybe even jaded after some of the events and crises of the eighties. It takes more than the same old tired ideas and easy answers, clichés and platitudes.

Another problem is that so many of the issues we face aren’t as clear-cut as they used to be a few years ago. And so many of the old solutions aren’t viable any more. The economy is different. So is the job market. And the technology. Not to mention the new diseases and viruses. Then, there’s the changing political balance of the entire world. The problems and challenges that you and I face are new not just to us, but to everybody ELSE on the face of the earth as well.

First of all, we need to realize that the Bible contains laws, wisdom and principles that are so advanced, they NEVER go out of date. They’re eternal. Bible principles always work, in any century, in any political environment and in any economy. It’s because they are based on the permanent, unchanging and universal laws of God.

Like the law of gravity. Wherever you go on the earth, the law of gravity is in effect and it doesn’t change from state to state or from county to county. You can be sure that no matter where you go, if you toss a rock in the air, it’ll fall back to the earth. It’s always been that way and will always BE that way.

It’s good to know that the basic laws of how things work never change. Causes always have effects. Actions always have consequences.
When you know the EFFECT is you want, all you have to do then is to find out what it is that CAUSES it, and then get that cause activated. When you know what CONSEQUENCE you want, then all you have to do is find what ACTION will CAUSE that consequence and then DO it.

Just KNOWING those last two statements helps me in my prayer life and in my day to day life: Knowing that most of our situations really just need to be simplified into “what do I need and how is it brought to pass?”

A few years ago, a particularly effective and successful Christian business man told me that MOST PROBLEMS WE FACE CAN BE SOLVED BY ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY.

You can imagine how eager I was to learn what that ONE thing is that can solve any problem. I figured he would say the one thing is FAITH, but I was wrong. No, the one thing that can solve any problem isn’t money and it isn’t faith. The ONE thing is an IDEA.

And IDEA that will help you to get along better with your family. An IDEA that will help you think more clearly. An IDEA that will help you to get ahead on the job. An IDEA that will help you pay your bills.

Everything in the world was at first an IDEA. Even the world started out as an IDEA, in the mind of God.

The toughest problem, that most nagging hassle, the most lingering annoyance in your life, can be solved by the right idea.
First, you need an IDEA. Then you need the faith to ACT on that idea. Your ACTIONS in FAITH will in time bring the solution to your problem.

So, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT GETTING IDEAS?
Sometimes it’s as simple as asking God to lead you to begin ASKING QUESTIONS. Ask other people who have possibly dealt with a similar situation. There are usually two or three people you know who have more experience than you on the job, or at raising children, or at almost anything else you or I do. We can and should take advantage of the wisdom and experience some of the people older than us have. Usually just by telling them a little about what you’re going through and then asking, “What would YOU do if you were me?” can get you two or three good solutions.

Don’t forget BOOKS. Almost any problem you face has been dealt with by somebody else, and they PROBABLY wrote a book about it. Check the bookstores and the libraries. You can buy ideas for just a few dollars each at a bookstore. NEVER buy just a BOOK. Buy IDEAS.

The BEST book to start with is the Bible. For the most concentrated group of ideas that will help us on the job with our friends and in our inner life, check out the book of Proverbs. It’s right after Psalms, about halfway through your Bible. There are thirty one chapters of these little gold nuggets of wisdom and inspired ideas. One easy plan is to read a different chapter of Proverbs each day, and start again with chapter 1 at the end of the month. You’ll be AMAZED at how much you pick up EACH time you read this book.

Then there’s the need for what I call INSPIRED IDEAS. These are ideas that God pours into your spirit. Ideas that come straight to you from Heaven. Inspired, creative solutions. Ideas for inventions, paintings, poems, books. Almost every answer you need from God will come in the form of an idea – an inspired idea.
• When David used a slingshot to kill a giant, he was acting on an inspired idea.
• When Solomon solved the problem of the two ladies who each claimed that the other one had stolen her baby, he used an inspired idea.
• When Gideon’s little army beat an army of thousands, he was acting on an inspired idea.
• Then, there’s Ruth and Naomi’s inspired idea that saved a nation. Or the dozens of other life changing ideas that came to men and women of the Bible REGULARLY.

HOW DO YOU GET INSPIRED IDEAS?
That’s what we’ll be exploring together. You and I NEED inspired and creative ideas. They’re not a luxury. They’re a “must have”, if we’re going to be the kind of parents, teachers, professionals and students we need to be.
Here’s some starters…

1. Clear up any problems between you and God. If there’s ANYTHING that might be blocking communication between you two, deal with it. It might just be the simple matter of telling God you’re sorry and asking for His forgiveness and help.

2. Get your thoughts focused on ANSWERS instead of on your PROBLEMS. Learn to think in terms of SOLUTIONS instead of problems. The best way to do this is to begin reading your New Testament. I’ll give you SPECIFIC verses that will get your faith up and running, so you can receive inspired ideas from God.

3. BELIEVE that God wants to help you. Make this ONE adjustment in your believing and you’ll find that your faith will begin to flow A LOT more effectively.

4. PRAY. Pray several times a day and pray being HAPPY that God is hearing you and that He wants to help you. This is really important. Keep your praying expectant. Prayers of complaint and of lack don’t get the power of God working. So be HAPPY and pray EXPECTING God to answer your prayer.

After these steps, I’ll go into the fifth which is how to be open for inspired ideas and solutions. You’ll learn HOW to hear from God. What to listen for. What to look for and WHERE. I’ll also share some other practical tips that will help you stay filled with inspired fresh ideas from God…so you’ll never run out. The way the world is today, with all its demands and people’s needs and expectations, we can’t afford to run out!

WHAT THE DEVIL HOPES YOU’LL NEVER LEARN ABOUT TOMORROW…!

By on March 16, 2017

WHAT THE DEVIL HOPES YOU’LL NEVER LEARN ABOUT TOMORROW…SO YOU’LL “LIVE FOR TODAY” TIL THE DAY YOU DIE!

I was bummed out. Fried. I had been talked into going for a pleasure ride out in the country with a friend of mine. Since I hadn’t done anything like that in a while, I had agreed. We went down one back road after another. I had no idea where we were. It was getting dark. Then it started to rain. Hard. I told my friend I thought we really ought to head back home. So we turned around.

After several minutes of driving, I noticed that we had passed the same dead dog on the side of the road twice. That meant one thing: We were lost! I can read a map, so I reached in the glove box. Guess what? My friend didn’t have a Maryland map! He lived in Maryland and didn’t have a map of his own state!

Oh well, things could be worse. We pulled over on the side of the road to try to get our bearings and figure out where we went wrong. Hearing a hissing noise, I looked out the window. We had run over a coke bottle. Now we had a flat tire, were in the dark, it was raining and were totally lost. I wanted desperately to go home!

Braving the rains, we went back to open his trunk. He definitely had a flashlight and was pretty sure he had a can of “fix a flat” in there somewhere. After rummaging around for a couple of minutes he found the flashlight. He switched it on. Nothing. The batteries were dead.

Ok, we can play “braille”. We fumbled through the trunk, looking in every nook and cranny. The “fix-a-flat” simply wasn’t there. So, I gave the spare a good heave-ho, and bounced it to the ground. It didn’t bounce. It was flat, too.

My buddy emerged from the trunk beaming. He had found the jack and his lugwrench! We were all set! We just didn’t have a tire to put on the car. He rather sheepishly told me that he had PLANNED on getting his spare tire fixed. He just hadn’t gotten around to it. He didn’t think he’d need it so soon!

Looking back on it, it’s almost humourus; two guys standing on the side of the road in the dark; soaked through to the skin; no flashlight, a flat tire, no spare and no idea where they are!

On the other hand, what happened to us that evening is like the way a lot of people live their entire lives: Aimlessly wandering in the dark. Hit by the storms of life, soaking wet and with no idea where they are!

Like most problems, the dilemma of getting a flat tire in life and having no spare is avoidable. Coming up short and being unprepared doesn’t HAVE to happen to anyone.

But it DOES happen to too many people…and far too often. Like my friend, most people live from day to day, even from hour to hour. They have no idea what they will be doing in the future. They have no specific plans and no strategy to follow. They simply try to deal with problems as they arise…and as a result, their solutions almost always cause more problems.

See, the future has a bad habit of becoming the present quicker than we thought it would. For some reason, we’re always totally amazed when it does.

For people without a Biblical understanding of time, the future is some vague concept that will never actually get here. so, they pretend it doesn’t exist. When a person like this gets “religion”, they simply figure Jesus will come here to get them just a few minutes before the future arrives.

They say that planning for the future isn’t “spiritual”. Some even say that Jesus taught this. He didn’t. he said WORRYING (which is faith in reverse) about tomorrow is unspiritual. PLANNING for tomorrow is something that Jesus himself did – very diligently.

When Jesus was teaching us how to live, and when the Father gave us the principles in the Bible, it was to give us happiness and fulfillment in the only life that we’ll ever have on earth. It was so we can be as effective as possible in reaching other people. It was so we would be absolutely prepared when He calls us to stand before Him at the end of this life. That day WILL come and sooner than we anticipate.

It’s strange to me that people who are genuine Christians and who believe their Bibles so often seem ill-prepared to face the future and ill-equipped when times of crisis come. One reason for this can be fear. It can be that a person’s knowing how things work can make him (or her) so fearful of tomorrow that denial sets in. He/she simply refuses to believe there WILL be a future. But, the truth is that no matter what we believe, life WILL go on. (Remember the saying, “Every newborn baby is God’s way of saying that life should go on…?”)

Sure, you and I face problems. Many of them are indicative of the days we’re living in. But, life has always been tough. That’s nothing new. Those who keep their faith are able to stay calm and move forward, still sowing good seeds and reaping good harvests. That’s what walking by faith is all about.

It’s not just fear that paralyses most people. It’s something simpler. Most people fail to plan and take action simply because the time isn’t “right”. Fact is, the time is NEVER exactly right. The Bible says that, “He that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.”

In other words, if you wait for all the conditions to be right, you’ll never plant your seeds. And if you miss your time of planting, you’re likewise going to miss your time of harvesting. Waiting for the conditions to be just is a complete recipe for failure. We can ALWAYS find a reason for not doing something…and the easiest one is, “the timing isn’t right.”

Want to know something? What we take action on has less to do with all the conditions being just right than it does with HOW BADLY we want something. If we want something badly enough, we’ll stop making excuses and start making changes. It’s really that simple.

One of the more common laments I hear from people is, “If I had it to do all over again, I’d do things differently.” Of course, that’s an easy thing to say, because they know it’ll never happen – they’ll never be able to go back and do things differently.

There’s only one way to beat this life-stealing excuse. Here’s what it is. Use the power secret of the Apostle Paul: Live your life as though you were ALREADY living it the second time, and that THIS time, you’re doing things right.

GETTING ALONG WITH GOD

By on March 7, 2017

Most of us find out we need to learn more, and also how important it is to get along with people. When I got saved, it meant something different, and I also had to get along with God whom I couldn’t see. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to get along with people and God.

Matthew 22- What is the greatest Commandment? The religious people had lots of rules and standards you had to measure up to. They had similar ideas about God – He would wipe you out if you didn’t do just right. I was taught that when I got saved. The people’s most urgent thing was to get me to wear a tie. It was easier to look the way they wanted than to change on the inside. It also extended to my walk with God. I had to use certain words and act a certain way. If I did, they felt I was OK. If I said, “That’s cool,” they thought I was getting worldly.

I was taught to be rude and reject people, ones I felt were my friends. When I met people, I had to make them feel guilty, and if they rejected you, it was really Jesus they were rejecting. I had been fairly popular before, but it became a merit badge to have friends turn against you, or get fired for handing out tracts.

I read the Word and found that is not the way it worked! I saw Jesus grew in favor with God and man! Matthew 22- We already have people dressed right, unpopular, what is even more important? Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind.” Nothing about clothes, or outside things, or things to show off that you made it! Verse 39 – “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” 30- “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Matthew 7.12 – “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” All is boiled down to one simple rule – loving and caring for God and man. To the degree you acknowledge and honor God; that takes care of a lot of rules.” You don’t want to be away from the one you love, and you want to please him. It all boils down to this commandment. It applies to people also. Some only want them and God – not people. You have to love each other “as I have loved you.” “If you don’t love your brother, how can you love God?” if you love the people here, you don’t have to be urged to come here. you rearrange your schedule.

People in the world are not your brothers; saved people are – you have the same Father. The unsaved are “fellowmen” – not brothers. They are the ones who crucified Him.

There is getting along in the natural and spiritual, both necessary. We reverse it – “I’ll work harder when they pay me more” – “I’ll study harder when my grades are better.” “I’ll give more money when God blesses me.” That is natural thinking. You are pro-active; not re-active. You choose your course, and let them react.

Luke 6.38- “Give and it shall be given unto you” – you give first. Take charge. Don’t be tossed to and fro by waves. People of God are not to be tossed and shaken, are not according to other people. Work harder and smarter and get a raise. “I’ll study harder”, and my grades will get better.” “I’ll give to God, and He’ll bless me.”

Some need to dominate others to get their own way…”I’ll make them miserable until they make me happy.” Jesus taught about giving – that’s the key to getting and doing well. If you help people be more than they ever have, you’ll be more like Jesus.

John 10.10 – “The thief takes without earning it; I came so you would have life more abundantly.” There are two ways: (1) Straight and narrow, and (2) broad. John 6.37 – “…him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.” The narrow way makes you more holy and you won’t be cast out. The broad way makes you wander, selfish, smaller world, critical, downward spiral to Hell. There are only two directions. It is amazing that people still don’t choose the straight and narrow.

Man is still absorbed, self-centered, and self-pleasing, consumed with “my needs.” He doesn’t think of what his employer wants. Are they worth the money? Parents know what they want from their kids, but not what they need from their parents. Tell your kids you know how hard it is being a kid. You have more choices. They have teachers and kids and parents telling them what to do, and they can’t do what they want. It’s frustrating! Tell them you understand and you’ve never been a parent before. What do they need from you emotionally?

Men don’t realize what the wife really wants. Most problems in marriage stem from lack of appreciation. Women feel they are there to work and meet needs. She gives constantly, tries to run the household, and is expected to keep the house attractive, etc. what can you give her?

Kids say, “They don’t trust me!” be trustworthy. What does God want from you? Jesus: Give Caesar what is in image of him and give God what is in image of Him. See that God’s needs are met. He has needs, too. Many people, when frustrated, go in reverse. Make others pay and feel guilty and you end up with nothing. Luke 6.38 – “Give…” what do you want? Some things the wife wants make up for what she doesn’t get in other areas.

(1) You say, “I want people to care.” (2) “ I want to be loved from the heart.” That’s what people want from you. Employers, too, want you to care about the job. You start caring and you’ll get that raise. God wants you to care, wants your attention. The Father searched for man after he sinned and hid. God wants your attention. The Father searched for man after he sinned and hid. God wants to be loved. Outward emotions sometimes are selfish, not necessarily love.

Pharisee and Publican – the Pharisee was really pouring it on! Enjoyed being “devoted”. The Publican wanted to do better, was not satisfied with the way he was. You are not your activity.

(2) People want to be believed in, supported, and backed up. If you have been earning it, you’ll get the results. God wants the same thing. “I believe you; you have a track record with me.” (4) you want to be appreciated, men and women. You get so wrapped up in problems, you don’t look out for others. (5) you want to be respected. (6) you want discipline. (7) you want honesty. God wants you real with Him. You say, “Honey, what’s wrong?” she says, “Nothing.” The Father says, “What’s wrong? Let us reason together.” He knows everything, but wants to hear your viewpoint. “I’ve prayed so hard and didn’t get an answer.” (8) he wants a real relationship – not just taking, but giving.

Love God; give Him what He wants – the same thing you want. Jesus says, “This is where it begins.” It endures forever. “I want someone who cares about me, makes me feel special.” Everyone wants that. The key is to notice people, care about them. They are special. It’s the same with God. Let Him see how special He is to you. Nothing hurts worse than to be rejected. We all come alive with praise. We shrivel with criticism and complaint. Understand that in your walk with God. He lives in praises! So do people.

God backs off when treated like an object. So do people. Jesus was friend to sinners, he held kids, He smiled, saw something special, and they responded. No one can resist that. Do the same with God – be pleasant, care, thank Him. The more you put in, the more you get.
When you fall in love, you acknowledge people and God and treat them right. You have incredible potential in God. Get your eyes off self. David said, “My help comes from the Lord.” That’s where your help comes from.

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