Tag Archives: good

Good Grief Charlie Brown

I realized I was out numbered last night in the teen class when I ask a question about their favorite television classics. I watch very little television, preferring silence or a podcast of my favorite preachers, perhaps I’ll pick a little on the guitar or play the fiddle but upon the occasion that I decide I’d like to watch a movie or show, I spend more time scrolling through the guide than I do actually watch anything. I usually end up on DIY or HGTV channels because at least there I don’t have to put up with gore, drama, language or just plain idiocy.

I’m for certain dating myself, but when the commercials came on for the Halloween episode of “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” my heart went pitter pat wondering if my grandbabies would find it as big a deal as I did as a child. We waited weeks with anticipation for those special TV nights when kids ruled! Today half the kids in America have their own TV and there’s a new cartoon on every hour. Wow… that’s really sad. Another example of excessive living taking away the wholesomeness of our youth.

The conversation in the teen class last night stemmed from the question “Why does it matter about the music or Television I entertain myself with?”

I gave them the verse Philippians 4:8~ Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

It’s really hard to think on those things when you have zombies screaming at you from the television, or a chick just got stabbed to death. Reality TV is not reality at all… or is it? Have we really gone that far as a world today? Even my beloved DIY shows have gotten ridiculous as spoiled brat couples are just SO STRESSED OUT because the million dollar home they toured had the wrong color tub. Oh my goodness, my stomach just seriously rolled over, and this is why I don’t watch television.

In the words of Charlie Brown, “Good Grief!”

I need a Philippians 4:8 day. I need things that are honest, just, pure, lovely, a good report and praise!!! I need good news! I know the world’s full of bad and I need to understand the dangers that are out there but I do not need to sit with my nose glued to the latest Ebola report or watch garbage on television that makes me treat every stranger as a suspect in a murder or go to bed with fearful thoughts.

I don’t care if Charlie Brown’s not cool. As much as I love the technology of today, there’s a part of me that longs for those Kool-aid and popcorn nights and the Great Pumpkin…

Something Beautiful & Good: You!

I have about as much of a clue on why God tolerates my antics as I do on figuring out what makes the world tick. My attention span is that of a two year old (I kid you not). I’ll apologize ahead of time or behind time for a conversation in which my eyes glaze over. It’s not you, it’s that ol’ ADD, which can stand for Attention Deficit Disorder, or Adult Defiance Disorder which I have no medical diagnosis of either, but I’m pretty sure I have both; and they could be treated with a big stick.

I’ve been working on a guitar piece that was humming softly in my brain when I got up this morning. It’s a chorus by Bill Gaither titled “Something Beautiful.”

The lyrics are:

Something beautiful,

Something good;

All my confusion

He understood;

All I had to offer Him was

Brokenness and strife,

But He made something beautiful

Of my life.

I “get” that song, or better yet God “got” me when He inspired Bill Gaither to write it. My world has been filled with confusion since day one, it’s what makes me, me. And it’s what frustrates anyone who has to deal with me. Even in reading what I just wrote I can imagine your eyes glazing over! But please bear with me as I let you in on something God shared with me this morning in my confusion…

Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:11 ~ He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

In His Time

So, you’re not feeling beautiful today? Me either, inside or out. But God said He made every thing beautiful in His time… not mine. In Heaven when God created Shari, He created me just the way I am. His time is eternity past, present and future – and because I know (because scripture tells me) that He knew me before I was born I can be rest assured that my ADD behavior did not catch God off guard. ~

Jeremiah 1:5 ~ Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Somehow, someway, God has a plan for me. Not a new and improved version, this version. And in God’s time, where He is, where He can see yesterday, today and tomorrow He sees and loves me as He created me, as I am. In His time, age, size, hair color nor any other human elements matter. He sees us as He created us… beautiful. Who are we to argue?

In our Heart

God has set the world in their heart. He has placed within us a design, and inner working that allows us to know we are a part of His creation, but we must wait with patience (again… not my strong suit) to discover what that complex plan is from beginning to end. If we made a delectable baked dessert and took it out of the oven half way through it wouldn’t be eatable. But, wait until it’s done and it’s the delight the creator intended. I don’t know what God’s plan is for me… and that frustrates me to no end that He didn’t discuss it with me, but in truth He may have discussed it with me prior to my appearance on earth. The desires in my heart may have come from a conversation in eternity past, that’s why they’re my desires today. Interesting thought… But another truth is, that confusion comes from the fact that there is no good in me, except the goodness of God through the Holy Spirit. I have this old nature that continually battles with the new nature that came from Salvation. But in spite of it God gave me a job to do and it’s a gift. Listen to verses 12-13 ~ I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

The desires of my heart, the person God created me to be is a gift meant for enjoyment. So rather than living in discouragement we should remember that we came with a purpose instilled in our heart.

The Bible is your user manual… crack it open and get some direction for the day!

It’s good to be here…

There’s a quote that people say when something bad happens in life, ~ “It left a bad taste in my mouth.” The polar opposite of that is found in Psalm 34, when David said in verse 8 “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” At the time this was written, David had just fled from Saul. A man called to be King, chosen by God, a servant of servants and yet he finds himself under attack and on the run for no other reason than King Saul’s fear of losing power; which David, though he was entitled to it, had no desire to take. David fled into the enemy territory of Gath, the home of Goliath who he slew. Saul’s fury was so great that David felt safer in the land of the enemy than at home, but he was far from safe.

As a child of God in America, allegedly the “Home of the Free,” there are days I feel somewhat like David. I love my country and the foundation for which we stand, I have respect for authority and no desire to overthrow the government, and yet with the economy in such a state, the attack on the Word of God and the embracing of the vulgarity in society I too want to run into the house of God for refuge. David wasn’t afforded a house of any kind for refuge but rather in the cave Adullam.

I Samuel 22:1-2 ~  David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard it, they went down thither to him. And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

And in the cave of Adullam, David is joined by four hundred misfits just like him and he is on a strange new training ground preparing him for leadership of Israel, “And it tastes good.”

It tasted good because he “spoke good”

David said in verse one “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Praise encourages the soul and blesses God, Who, by the way, won’t be out-blessed. Proverbs 28:20a says A faithful man shall abound with blessings…” I fully believe that those men who were in distress, debt and discontent were drawn to David because he encouraged their souls too. If you’re in trouble spiritually or emotionally the last thing you need to do is hook up with a negative Nellie. Find yourself a faithful servant of God who speaks good of “all” circumstances and you’ll find yourself encouraged in the journey.

It tasted good because he “shared good”

Verse 3 ~  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. David and that ragtag bunch of men were in that cave under attack and they were having a Worship Service. If it were not for the fellowship of like believers I’d be in trouble; and by like I mean they too have a desire to serve God and are focused on the purpose of God. We encourage one another, we share the goodness of God, not the corruptness of the world. We have negative people within the congregation, but I love on’em and move on. Scripture says magnify the Lord, not Lucifer.

It tasted good because he “sought good”

Verse 10 ~ The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.

David sought good in his circumstances. He knew God allowed him to be in that place, at the time for a purpose and the same is true with the condition we’re in. (or the Country we’re in). As frustrated as I get with Washington, there is no other place I’d rather be than here. I still have the freedom to worship. God is King and Ruler in my world.

I have a desire to be a greater leader in 2014. I want to encourage the believers and I can think of no better way than to study those who God used. David’s words to his men are word’s I’m taking to heart today and sharing with you:

Verse 11-14 ~ Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Speak good (guard your mouth), see good (guard your eyes), do good (Let God guide your work)…. Wise words.

That Good Thing

Good Thing

Every Christmas season the desire to “do good” abounds most every where; someone wants to see a smile on the face of a child or a family receive a gift of hope. Even the “grinchiest” of Grinch’s find their heart enlarged when they discover “that Good Thing.” And then there are those who continue to walk in blind rebellion and refuse to discover that “Good Thing” but would rather believe it is they that are good. My heart is saddened and I fear for those who created the Christmas campaign for Atheists, spending thousands of dollars (if not millions, I really have no idea) to convince the world that Christ is a myth and “reason” not “The Reason” of Christmas should be celebrated. It is my prayer that actress Julia Sweeney who arrogantly and using the name of God in vain, proclaimed on a billboard in Times Square of New York City that “There is no God,” will discover the goodness of God before she finds herself kneeling before the One she said did not exist.

It is only the goodness of God that allows us to breathe one more breath and that God does not annihilate us from the face of the earth when yet another billboard taunts our faith with the remark “8712 inches per hour = nonsense, what other biblical nonsense is there?” referring to the rain in Noah’s day. It’s a good thing God is good, else the first bucket of the next load would be dumped on their house with no ark in sight. That is why we read in Matthew 19:16-17 ~ “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” With the arrogance and ignorance of mankind there would be no hope of Heaven without the goodness of God Who knows us, and loves us anyway. He, Who from the beginning of time knew of our weakness to keep the law and made a means for redemption which was that “Good Thing”  prophesied in Jeremiah 33:14 ~ Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

That Good Thing promised was the Messiah! The same Who now dwells within the child of God and as Paul reminded Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:13-14 when he said ~ Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

Paul knew how hard it would be to keep hold of sound doctrine in a world that is anything but good. They may not have had billboards in biblical times but they had their version of Julia Sweeney. I’m so thankful this Christmas for saints of God who risk and give their lives to share the gospel of that Good Thing. Hallelujah for that Good Thing that have to look forward to because of that Baby in the manger, the Man of Galilee, the Savior on the Cross of Calvary.

Hebrews 9:11-12

 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

 

The “Stuff” Good and Bad Days are made of

I discovered a new phrase this morning as I clicked onto the homepage of www.biblegateway.com to read scripture. In one of their articles was the phrase “thought leaders.” It was a reference to people they’d interviewed for an article. Their thought lead my thought down this path this morning; who’s thoughts are we leading and how? Attitudes are formed in the bowels of mankind; you can take that however you’d like but the Bible speaks often of bowels in relationship to the heart. In the Song of Solomon 5:4 Solomon wrote “My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him” in reference to his loves delight in his return home. It’s not the most romantic of words in our culture but it speaks of the queasiness you feel when you love someone that much. We flower it up by saying we get “butterflies in our stomach.” And the same queasiness or uneasiness in our soul can be stirred up in strife or anger. It is then nausea and it’s often spewed forth in vile words that are meant to produce nausea in the life of someone else. It’s the “stuff” good and bad attitudes are made of.

David wrote in Psalm 94:11, “The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” Most of our thoughts are self-centered in some form or another. Even our grandest, most unselfish ideas have at their core the idea that it will work to our favor somehow. It’s the nature of man. We most often think that we are superior to those around us in way and in deed. When someone belittles us or speaks unkind we don’t usually think “Oh, that’s okay, I did that to so and so last week.” No, we usually think, “Who do you think you are?” Those thoughts and actions turn our thoughts and actions into a negative state, and by that we are now “Thought leaders.” We have set the tone for the day. We’re far more powerful than we comprehend.

By the same token a kind word or deed can create a positive spin to a conversation and everyone leaves with their bowels refreshed. When’s the last time you said that in a conversation? Paul said it to Philemon in his letter in Philemon 1:7 ~ “For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee.” Again, it’s a cultural thing, but it’s so fitting; because in the pit of our stomach is where those emotions reveal themselves.

So what should we do about our thoughts? After all many of them are controlled by circumstances we’re not in control of. A little self-examination goes a long way. David said in Psalm 119:59 ~ “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.” The Word of God is a thought changer. We have to go into every day understanding that we are one bad situation away from vain ideas. One negative comment either to us or from us that ruins an entire day. But the Word of God can change all that. If we have started our day reading and contemplating what thus saith the Lord we’ve put goodness into our heart, and if we dwell on His thoughts, our thoughts can be pushed aside. And if we’re confronted by a “Negative Nellie,” we can thwart Satan’s plan, and his bad day intentions will have gone awry!

Praise God the Lord doesn’t think like we do. Psalm 92:5 ~ O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. Our shallow thoughts cannot compare. How much greater to think on His thoughts than ours and to lead those around us down His path.