Can’t Sleep

It’s a quarter after three in the morning.22/ 365   IYHKYWU by Tilly Floss

I can’t sleep. I was just laying (lying…I’ll never get that right) in bed and reflecting on my life and how much damage I’ve done to myself and others in my life.

I was a pretty good guy, outwardly anyway. A nice guy. Friendly. Good attitude. Hardworking. Caring. Generous. But I liked to chase skirts… and I did a lot of damage. I used people. I hurt people. I really didn’t notice it much back then, but I sure notice it now.

Looking  back , I can see (and not all of it, I’m sure) the damage that I caused. I have helped to mess up a lot of people’s lives, some of whom are still close to me. Many are barely a memory. But the wreckage is real, and I did it.

I know that I’m forgiven for it all, but it still hurts and it’s still hurting others. It’s “the gift that just keeps giving” (sin is), so says my pastor.

So my advice to those of you out there who are engaged in things that are contrary to the will of God, is this; knock it off!. You may not be able to undo the damage you’ve already done, but you can surely help to keep yourself and others from more of the pain and suffering that is the hallmark of our selfishness.

And when you just can’t keep your nose out of it, know that you are just the type of person that Christ Jesus came for. You are a real sinner who’s never going to be able to fully keep his/her nose out of where it doesn’t belong. But by God’s grace, repent and believe yet once again. Believe that He really does love you and He really wants the best for you. He really does forgive you.

And if you just can’t seem to believe that fact 100% of the time, then return to your baptism each day and trust that what God has done there, is still doing there, is for you. Taste the bread and wine and know that He is with you, in you, working on you, continuing to forgive you. Continuing to keep you in His faith. Continuing to love real sinners. The kind that I was. The kind that I am. The kind that you are.

If you think you can lick this problem on your own, you are delusional. It ain’t gonna happen. If you think that you can gradually move towards sinlessness on some progressing sliding scale, you are delusional. That’s not going to happen, and it may make things a lot worse. (that exercise might turn you into a modern day Pharisee)

Sin is a part of you, and it will always be a part of you, even though by God’s grace, and or your hard work, you conquer some of it. Thanks be to God when you do!

But in Him you are spotless. In your baptism, “you have put on Christ”. Is that not good enough for you? It should be.  Take comfort in Him. Take comfort in our Savior who died for us “while we were yet sinners”.

Get off the God project! As my pastor says, it’s no fun anyway.

Live in Him. Repent and believe. Do the best that you can and try to do no harm. When you fail, ask forgiveness and trust that He will make you new, yet once again. 

 

Ok… back to bed.

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Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Happy Christmas Folks !! Explore 312. by larry211

Celebrate the coming of the One who is our Savior.

May He bring you His Peace, and keep you in His faith.

 

 Your friend,

        Steve

OK…Here’s a reason not to go to church

 

By Graham Smith
Last updated at 3:01 PM on 21st December 2009   Seattle Cops James Pitts and David Toner Pwned After Trying to Take Photographer's Camera by Thomas Hawk

 
 A clergyman has been criticised as ‘highly irresponsible’ after advising his congregation to shoplift following his Nativity sermon.

Father Tim Jones, 41, broke off from his traditional annual sermon yesterday to tell his flock that stealing from large chains is sometimes the best option for vulnerable people.

It is far better for people desperate during the recession to shoplift than turn to ‘prostitution, mugging or burglary’, he said.

The married father-of-two insisted his unusual advice did not break the Bible commandment ‘Thou shalt not steal’ – because God’s love for the poor outweighs his love for the rich.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1237470/Priest-outrages-police-telling-congregation-My-advice-shoplift.html#ixzz0aKuuGuVv

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What in  Heaven’s name is happening ?

My own church body (the ELCA) promotes fornication and homosexuality, so I’m not just pointing the finger at others.

I think a high up muckety muck in the Anglican Church just gave a nifty talk the other day extolling the virtues of the Taliban, for cryin’ out loud.

All I can say is , “Come Lord Jesus, come.”

PS- I know there are plenty of good pastors and churches out there. I am blessed to be in a faithful congregation with a faithful pastor.

Lord, please lead people to churches that are faithful to your Word.

 

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Why go to church?

  Make worship of God into something that you are comfortable with.Mother's Day by Spencer Finnley

Stay home on Sunday. You don’t need to go meet with a congregation to worship God, do you?  Enjoy some needed and well deserved down time with your family.

Teach your kids what really is important in life…the family. It’s more important than anything else, right?  It’s so important that many churches do not even gather on Christmas day.

Church pews, and stained glass,  pastors , and Sacraments…isn’t all that stuff  just “religion”?

So relax. Do it your way. Get comfortable.

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I think this is exactly what the devil would say, and is saying.

 

 

What do you think?

‘What is Truth?’

What-is-Truth?

A sermon by Pastor Mark Anderson delivered on Christ the King Sunday, 2009

 

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Why did He come?

To give us a blueprint on how to fix this world?Star light, Star bright... by JSaм

To be a shining example to us that we might finally ‘get it’ and whip ourselves into shape?

To give us something to shoot for?

Ah…no.

He came to save the people that He made who inhabit this fallen world. He came to save those complicit with the brokeness of this world. He came to save us.

There is a beginning and an end to this world, just as there is a beginning and an end to us.

The earth will pass away. Each of us will pass away. We are all dying people. There is no escaping it. We might be able to soften the reality of our deaths, but there is no escaping it. It is real and it is coming. It will be here before we know it. The older we get, the faster it moves towards us.

Each of us face the moment of our final breath here on earth.

His Word is what created this world. His Word is what upholds and sustains this world.

He made us, so He loves us. He wants to save us from an eternal death, an eternal darkness to which our estrangement from God has condemned us to.

Sure, I get political here…maybe too much. But we have to live in this place, don’t we? We have friends, families and neighbors that we are concerned about, don’t we? As with you, I want them to have the best possible life and experience the least amount of suffering in this veil of tears we call life.

But it will end. All of it will end. Whether it’s ten thousand years down the line, or this evening…it will surely end. And each of us will be lowered into the grave as well.

But our Creator, our Savior, our Redeemer is not content to leave us there. He wants us to live forever with Him. He wants us to have authentic life, the way it was meant to be before it all went South.

He came to save us. He wants to save us.

 He knows us. He knows everything about each one of us, more so than even we know about our own children. He knows of our rebellion and our selfishness and our desire to exclude Him from our lives and become our own little gods. 

But He loves us anyway. We wants us anyway. He died for you and forgives you all of your sin. He wants to heal all of the brokeness that characterizes your life and the life of this world.

There is nothing for you to size up and decide about. Indeed, we have already decided. We have decided to forget about Him, even as He decided to love us and save us.

Because He came, because He keeps coming, we don’t have to endure eternal darkness and death. Our deaths can’t keep us in the grave because His death on that cross couldn’t keep Him in His grave.

He came to open up a brand new future for the world. A future of wholeness, trust, forgiveness and love. A future with Him, where we will want for nothing. A future so wonderful that words cannot begin to describe it.

That’s why He came.

He wants you. He’s after you, even as all the forces arrayed against Him are after you, also.

We anxiously await His second coming and joyously celebrate His first coming.

May the Lord Jesus bless you and keep you this Advent season.

 

 

 

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Why place the emphasis on the sinner?

Why do so many insist on placing the emphasis in the church on fixing a problem that has already been fixed?vibrating+belt+machine-2 by silverkittycat

We need a Savior (and we’ve got one), not a self-help guru, or cruel task master that is trying to whip us into shape.

All over the place in the Christian blogesphere, I run into folks who are obsessesd with a perfect church.

Forget it. It ain’t gonna happen.

Don’t they know who it is that makes up the Church?

Don’t they know that the wheat and the tares grow together? Don’t they know that the wheat are still sinners, too?

The emphasis ought be on our need of a Savior (using the Law and our brokeness and the brokeness of the world), and then the Savior Himself should be emphasized. What He has done, what He is doing, and what He will yet do.

There is a big diffeence when you focus on the sinner and not the Savior.

Pride, self-righteousness, phoniness, and despair are all hallmarks of focusing on the sinner and whipping him/her into shape.

Repentance, love, forgiveness, and freedom are all hallmarks of focusing on the need for a Savior, and focusing on just who that Savior is.

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“Yeaaaaaaah  but…..”

 

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What’s Wrong with Christ…”alone”?

Roman Catholics have Christ… plus the pope, and your good efforts Why He Died?_8144 by jaciii (off&on)and your penance.

Many Protestants have Christ… plus your ‘decision’ and your ‘seriousness’ (your fruits), or ‘your experience’.

The Orthodox have Christ…plus your ‘efforts’ to become better.

The Christ  ‘alone ‘ crowd seems to be a pretty small group in comparison to the ‘plus’ groups.

Why is Christ alone, never enough for many of these folks?

 

Just wondering out loud.

 

 

The Anabaptists

Were the Anabaptists victims?

Or were they the perpetrators?Martha Rosler - anabaptist cages by Schoopz

Who’s really to blame for the murder and mayhem and the deaths of close to 100,000 people?

Were the Anabaptists just trying to worship peacefully, in their own way, in the privacy of their own homes? Or were they radicals bent on overthrowing the status quo and imposing their brand of religion onto society?

There are documents supporting both sides, are there not?

Then who can we trust for the more accurate picture of the Anabaptists in 16th century Germany?

If the Anabaptists had won the day, would Christianity have survived?

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I appreciate any insights and comments you might have.

Thanks.

 

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What title would you give this post?

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H/T to ortho-Cuban

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