Tag Archives: Excuses

I’m Sick of My Own Excuses

no-excuse-banner

2017 is just days away! Shocking right? I know that it’s not a big revelation that it followed 2016 but the way time has flown by almost seems surreal. Kind of like the fact that Obama is leaving office. So, for a few days I’ve been strategizing my coming year. Oh… I always make great plans! And sometimes I even get a few of them accomplished. My word for last year was unusual, and the year in review would prove that 2016 lived up to it. It was unusual in the sense that God opened unusual doors (like the wonderful state of Minnesota), allowed unusual circumstances to occur that changed the fabric of my life (such as people entering and leaving my life) and 2016 brought a vigor into my ministry desires that is carrying me into 2017. I’ll announce my 2017 word in a few days.

Yesterday I worked on the banner of my Facebook page and replaced it with one that read “2017 – Sharing Christ Without Excuse.” I’m sick of my own excuses for not sharing Christ more boldly. My aforementioned snarky comment toward the Obama administration was without regret, but I promise not to get hung up on it like he has with the fact he’s leaving office. But I can say it in truth that I have never felt so free to share my faith than after the election of 2016 – another unusual event! I feel like 2017 is going to offer Christians an opportunity to take back some ground that has been lost the last eight years.

Religion (I’d rather say faith, but I’ll use this term for now) losing ground isn’t new to the world. As I read in Judges this morning of Micah in chapters 17 and 18 it was quite parallel to what I’ve seen happening in America. Micah had stolen some money from his mother (which caused her to cuss) because she had intended to use for religious purposes. Ha! I guess she really did lose her religion!  But for whatever reason Micah decides to return it, and this odd woman blesses her son for his state of conscience. She had wholly dedicated this money to the Lord for her son to make a “graven image and a molten image.”

Did God not say not make any graven images? So how this woman thought that the money was wholly set aside is a mystery. Unless you look at religion today, where churches okay a lifestyle of sin, idolatry worship and Jesus combined. And then it looks pretty much the same.

So back to the story and this is definitely a condensed version of it. Micah decides to use the money to make a couple of images and buy himself a priest. What?  Yes, that’s what he did because that way he and his momma didn’t have to go all the way into town to church. They had their own. I guess it was their version of a television evangelism of the day. And although the priest they hired was a Levite, he wasn’t necessarily called by God to be a priest.

Well long story even shorter, a group from the tribe of Dan hear Micah’s priest speaking as they passed by. The Danites inquire of him as to whether or not they can defeat the city of Laish, and following their victory, take him from Micah because he might come in handy in the future for more advice. They not only steal the priest but take his idols with them as well and incorporate that into their worship.

Now scroll to the modern day Christianity and compare.

  • People no longer go to church because it’s inconvenient.
  • A bible proves their faith in God, right? Even if it’s dusty…
  • A few dollars in the plate buys them a preacher who will preach what they desire to hear, or they’ll stay home until they’re over it.

That sounds pretty negative but it’s none the less the truth. Church attendance across America is on the decline because people are too busy or deceived into thinking that it’s not necessary for a Christian’s life. I write this to two groups of people, those in church and those not. So you surely fall into one of those categories, or perhaps in the middle because you “attend when you can.”

The children of Israel when into captivity because of their halfhearted faith and I firmly believe that America was just a few votes shy. So, what will we do with 2017? For me I want to live without excuse! If Jesus says go, I want to go. If He says do, I want to do. If He says speak, I want to speak. How about you?

Tune in in a day or two to discover my 2017 word!

 

 

Have You Heard it Said?

chick excuse“That’s just how I am!”

How many times have you heard it said? I’ve heard it far too many and each time I do I want to give them a holy slap on the back of the head! (I wouldn’t, but if I got in the flesh I could) I’m speaking about people who have told me they’re saved but their behavior (not randomly) but habitually doesn’t back it up.

They’re often of a critical and negative spirit about others, especially toward fallen Christians and yet they don’t see that same critical and negative spirit as an issue.

I want to say to them in return “Ummm… okay. Explain this.”

You’re Broke Buddy!

You’ll note that I called you friend. I’m not throwing rocks because my garden is full of my own. I’m not sin free, or self-righteous….but I’ve been charged as a mouth piece for the Lord and I feel the need to share this thought today.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

If you’re saved, that may have been how you were –  but now you’re broke and you need to fix it. (Totally stole that thought from Pastor Perry Noble) And it put the shout in my soul! It’s truth in it’s entirety when you read 2 Corinthians 5:17 and you are without excuse. That way you were; God fixed it when He saved your soul. But you put it back in your sack and thought it might come in handy later on when you needed to call someone out and make them miserable, stomp on someone’s heart and call it “tough love,” be rude or smart aleck for the cause of comic relief. You’re not only broke…

You’re Busted!

Galatians 6:15

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

No matter what you do (not of works lest any man should boast) or say (It’s under the blood of Jesus) justifies it. Are you forgiven, of course! But what damage are you doing to the cause of Christ who has now entitled you through His blood to be a member in good standing in Heaven? And the lost or hurting soul looks at you who just told them “You need to get over it because that’s just how I am!” and thinks, really? Thank you for showing me Jesus.

Owch!

Like I said, I’m not throwing rocks because I’ve been guilty of getting in the flesh and saying “stupid stuff.” But I’m talking about someone who habitually uses the flesh as an excuse or because they’re speaking to family, feels that they know how they are and should just get over it and go on.

Sorry… you’re busted. Jesus’ blood covered it all, but He didn’t excuse it.

Matthew 12:36

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Owch again!

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We are without excuse

#WithoutExcuse

We’re without excuse. I look about me this morning and I’m grateful for the “raisin’ up” I had in the hills of West Virginia. This is where God placed me and by His grace I was placed in the hands of two wonderful Holy Spirit filled parents. But were I not, I’d still be without excuse. And though I was, that still did not guarantee me to become who I am; a child of God. We all get to grace the same way, by accepting what Christ did; not by being born into a certain family. The world is so full of excuses. This morning I’ve had my eyeballs full…

  • The World says: “So and so made me who I am.”
    • No, “so and so” may have hurt you, but you decided who you are.”
  • The world says: “All religions lead to Heaven.”
    • No religion is just the practice of a learned behavior, Heaven comes from a relationship with Christ. Side note: If you have a relationship with someone, you’re pretty close.
  • The world says: “We control our destiny.”
    • Only so far as God allows. So technically you don’t.
  • The world says: “There is no God.”
    • Those who say that are without excuse because we’ve been raised better.

Gene and Violet Hardway raised me, but God raised me up.

Amos 2:11-13 says

And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not. Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

It is God who put me in a higher place that I may have the privilege of sharing the gospel. Not because I am great, but because I am His. A privilege afforded anyone who accepts the holiness, sacrifice and will of God. He has a purpose for you just as He had a purpose for Israel, and still does. But they rejected Him. Here God tells them I raised up your sons for prophets. God selected and set into place men of God to shine the light to Israel but they chose to ignore it; continually falling back into the ways of the world until disaster struck and then they’d call on God.  But there came a day when God had been rejected one too many times. (His eyeballs eventually got full too I guess.)

Is America there? God raised up prophets and of those He set aside the Nazarite men, many in the prime of their life vowed themselves to the service of God to the extreme, and today we have as those as well. Sure, there are those in the ministry who do not walk the walk they profess, but there are those who do. They’re not perfect, no man is, but they live what they preach. America is without excuse. I speak collectively. I’m an American, but my country is not here, my homeland awaits on the other side of Jordan.

I understand Amos’ frustration at Israel. That’s how I feel about the arrogant lot of people in my face every day. Those who justify their immoral behavior because of how they were raised or treated. I am truthfully sorry for your heartache… but you’re without excuse. Someone else may have hurt you, but Christ, the Creator of all the earth,  loved you enough to die for you and longs to be in a relationship with you through the Holy Spirit and you have hurt and turned your back on Him. He who is your perfect friend and Father. You are without excuse.

The trash talkers of the waves tell the world that all religions are right. Tell me any other than Christianity who’s God died for them.  None. Tell me any other religion that has the moral standards that every human being in their soul knows is right. None but Christianity. Tell me any other that puts themselves in the role of a servant to a heathen nation that rejects them so they might be saved. None but Christian. … Yes… I’m with Amos!

Our destiny is written in the scripture of old. It’s done. Or in Christ’s words, “It is finished.” The only thing we control is self-will; God has the power at any time to stop the world from spinning and throw us into space. Dwell on that thought for a second. God has put the evidence of Himself through His creation before us and He sent messengers to tell the world of His desire to be our Father. I am one.

Amos prophesied that when judgement came, and it would, it would feel like a cart bogged down with weight to the point it couldn’t move. How many in America feel like that today? I love America… but I do not love what she has become. I love her people… but I’m not fool enough to think that God won’t wipe that arrogance off of their faces through judgement so harsh I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.   Saved and unsaved we are without excuse.

There’s no excuse for rejecting Christ.

There’s no excuse for not telling someone about Him.

But Now… a 2015 kick in the pants

 

chick kick

G. Wodehouse (Reader’s Digest[July, 1984], ) told about a member of the British Parliament who was once standing in the lobby of the House when a tall, distinguished looking old gentleman came up and begged for a moment of his time. He had a sad story to tell.

By hard work and thrift he had amassed a large fortune, and now his relatives had robbed him of it and, not content with that, had placed him in a mental home. This was his day out. “I have put the facts down in this document,” he concluded. “Study it and communicate with me at your leisure. Thank you, sir, thank you. Good day.”

Much moved by the man’s exquisite courtesy, the Member of Parliament took the paper, shook hands, promised that he would do everything in his power and turned to go back to the debate. As he did so, he received a kick in the seat of the pants that nearly sent his spine shooting through his hat.

“Don’t forget!” said the old gentleman.

I smiled when I read that story, mainly because I too tend to forget important commitments that I make. Oh the world gets so busy and I am in such demand and yada, yada, yada… it still doesn’t excuse it. I’m a compassionate person, often hurt by others insensitivity, frustrated by a dried up generation of Christians who forgot what God did for them and yes… I’m taking my frustration out in this blog but it still doesn’t excuse the fact that I too forget.

And then God makes me laugh…

Numbers 11:6

But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

Those whining Israelites have nothing on me. How many times do I find myself whining that something isn’t how it should be? And then God kicks me in the seat of the pants and says, “Do you remember where you came from?”

And then I hear myself say “But now God…” Like it’s an excusable whine. When truthfully my but now is crazier than theirs. They at least were in the wilderness, I’m crying about my manna in the U.S. of A. Israel frustrated God, frustrated Moses and I’m sure at times frustrated themselves.

But our soul is dried away… meaning that they were disappointed and withering away like the water from a brook in the hot sun. The manna was the same ol’, same ol’ every day and every day. I have a feeling that’s what God thinks about our gratitude and attitudes. I see it everywhere I go and I see it in the mirror every morning. For 2015 it’s my goal to start the year looking at the 56 “But now’s” in the Bible and learning the lesson behind each one. It’s my proverbial kick in the pants. I’ve been whining because God’s manna wasn’t enough, I wanted everyone else to enjoy the manna too. Well, the truth is, I’m only responsible for my manna. I can’t collect anyone else’s or deliver it for them and I certainly shouldn’t allow that to affect my enjoyment of the manna God has for me, but it has been.

God’s manna is new every day, just as it was for the children of Israel. It’s new and a miracle of grace and my gratitude needed and attitude check. But now, I’m grateful… tomorrow I’ll probably whine again.

If my words stirred your heart, share it with your friends. Blessings! from the Jesus Chick.