Corner Wisdom

Choices & Kicking Tires

Posted by richieg on May 22, 2014
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th  The nature of the Twenty First Century is “more choices.”  It’s the nature of the information age.  Our wants and choices keep expanding.  Leaders today say if you have a vision, strategies and projects in place then you have established the keys to making change.  All that is then needed is to define a project, now delegate and then you will accomplish tasks.  The goal is that change will always be for the better.

Back in the days when Ford Motor Company produced the first car to be mass produced, the Model T.  The strategy of Ford was to keep on making the same car (all painted black) and after thousand’s of people bought this car it would then cause an epidemic in that people would want one just to keep up with their friends.  But then a new carmaker came along to challenge Ford.  Many thought it was absurd for this new company to even think of challenging Ford.  But what was even more absurd; this company would manufacture a new model car each year and in different colors!

th  The genius behind this concept was Alfred Sloan who figured out that human beings desire “choice.” People want to separate themselves from the next guy.   We see in this example of choice how choice became part of our American Heritage.  So we have come to understand that Americans want control of their choices and our choices are an expression of our freedom.

But when we read God’s word we see how important it is for our choices to line up with His word.  For Scripture says: “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”  (Romans 8:5)

th  Some people come to church “to check it out.”  They want to know things like how many programs are there? How many pastors are there? How many buildings?  Is there a gym? Is there a men’s group and a ladies group?  What is there for kids?  How about covered parking?  Do we have to join the church?  How about a softball team?  Are the chairs comfortable?  These people would like to “Kick a Few Tires” before making any decisions.  Its not just about making the right choices, it is  most important to understand the importance of our motives when making choices.

God is watching each one of us as we speed to towards our appointed destiny, and we meander along pondering our choices and kicking a few tires along the way as if we have hundreds of years to figure things out.  Scripture clearly says:  “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.”  (Proverbs 15:3)

Heaven forbid!

Posted by richieg on May 04, 2014
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th  This is a question I just can’t get around:  If it’s true that the Spirit of God dwells in us and that our bodies are the Holy Spirit’s temple, then shouldn’t there be a huge difference between the person who has the Spirit of God living inside of him or her and the person who does not?

This may be a silly illustration, but if I told you I had an encounter with God where He entered my body and gave me a supernatural ability to play basketball, wouldn’t you expect to see an amazing improvement in my jump shot, my defense, and my speed on the court?  After all, this is God we’re talking about.  And if you saw no change in my athleticism, wouldn’t you question the validity of my “encounter”?

Church goers all across the nation say the Holy Spirit has entered them.  They claim that they are born again and  God has given them a supernatural ability to follow Christ, put their sin to death, and serve the church. Yet when those outside the church see no difference in our lives, they begin to question our integrity, our sanity, or even worse, our God.  And can you blame them?  As the caterpillar finds its new ability to fly, we should be thrilled over our Spirit-empowered ability to live differently and faithfully.  Isn’t this what the scriptures speak of?  Isn’t this what we’ve all been longing for?

“Heaven forbid we gain a reputation for being weird or immoderate.  Fear of rejection has paralyzed me more than once.  God has answered my prayers for greater boldness, but I would be dishonest if I did not admit there are still times when I worry about how others view me.  Most of us assume that what we believe is right but have never really studied for ourselves.  We were simply told. ‘This is the way it is,’ and didn’t question.  The problem is much of what we believe is often based on comfort or our culture’s tradition than on the Bible.”    –    Forgotten God, Francis Chan

C & E People

Posted by richieg on April 22, 2014
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th  The Holy Spirit opened the door to an untapped harvesting location.  These locations are churches, where “C & E People” attend church twice a year on Christmas and Easter.   Imagine that, actually witnessing at a church service!  You would think that at church there would be no need for sharing the good news of Jesus with someone or slipping a gospel tract to someone.

The Holy Spirit provided an amazing prompting, and here’s how it happened:  While attending an Easter Sunrise Service, that was held outdoors.   I got out of my car and walked to the rear of my car and grabbed a chair out of the back of the car.  And then it happened, the Holy Spirit prompted me to take along two gospel tracts;  hesitating for a second and not figuring out why the need for gospel tracts because all the people were going to be in a church service.  But knowing that this wasn’t my idea,  I reached back into my car and put two gospel tracks into my shirt pocket.

Walking to a grassy area to set my chair, I was reminded that the tracts would be for the people who would sit next to me.  No one sat close to me until after the service started but then a couple and a middle aged gentleman appeared and sat close to me on either side.  As the service came to a close there was still doubt about how to offer the gospel tracts, because it just seemed too awkward.

I stood up and then leaned over and folded my chair and as I put the strap on my shoulder there was unintentional direct eye contact with the gentleman who was on my right, he smiled and almost automatically I reached into my shirt pocket and took out one of the gospel tracts and asked him if he would accept the tract, he was smiling and said: “Yes, I would” and he reached out and took the tract and then turning from him to leave and I turned right into the woman who had been on my left and she looked right at me and again just reaching into my pocket  that second tract was pulled out and offered to her and she said: “Sure.”  She reached out for the tract and then thanked me.  The encounters were over in what seemed like a flash and I was on my way, Never looking back, I knew everything was in the hands of the Holy Spirit.

Knowing God… and Being Known by God.

Posted by richieg on April 17, 2014
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 th  Who Needs Theology?   Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.

On the other hand, is the road to the knowledge about God…

Knowing God involves:   1.  Listening to God’s Word and receiving it as the Holy Spirit interprets it, in application to oneself.   2.  Noting God’s nature and character, as his Word and works reveal it.  3.  Accepting his invitations and doing what he commands.   4.  Recognizing and rejoicing in the love that he has shown in thus approaching you and drawing you into this divine fellowship.

Knowing and Being Known:  What were we made for?  To know God.  What aim should we set ourselves in life?  To know God.  What is the “eternal life” that Jesus gives?  Knowledge of God.   “This is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, who you have sent.  –  John 17:3

J.I. Packer,
Knowing God

Association & Obedience = Doing Something.

Posted by richieg on April 02, 2014
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th  If the believer really wants to understand God’s purpose for their lives it seems to be understood quite easily that prayer and Bible study are essential in this pursuit.  But knowledge alone will just be reckless, unless the believer is associated with men and woman who carry an anointing in their lives for the miraculous.  Such an anointing can be transferred to others through the laying on of hands and petitioning God, in the Name of Jesus, to be filled with power from above.

King David was known for killing Goliath in His youth.  Yet there are at least four other giants killed in Scripture–all killed by men who followed David, the giant killer.  If you want to kill giants, hang around a giant killer.  It rubs off.  If you hang around an evangelist, you will think evangelistically.  The same happens when we associate with those who regularly experience signs and wonders in their lives

Now about obedience, the real issue.  No matter how much preparation is done to increase knowledge or increase the anointing for miracles in life, it never comes to fruition without obedience.  The believer must have a plan to look for people in order to pray for them; this plan comes from above.  And continue to look for people to minister to, there out there!  The more people we come in contact with, the more God’s good news can make an impact.  Until the believer acts on what they know, their knowledge in nothing more than theory.

Reaching The Lost.

Posted by richieg on February 18, 2014
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DSCN4304  We are called to share the Good News in the pulpit and in our daily lives.  If we are not prepared to accept our part in the great comission of Matthew 28 ‘To go and make disciples of all nations.’  Then how are people going to hear?  For if they don’t hear it from us, then they will hear the twisted story from someone else.

Be ye perfect.

Posted by richieg on January 24, 2014
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th  When troubles come along-illness, money troubles, new kinds of temptation–he is disappointed.  These things, he feels, might have been necessary to rouse him and make him repent in his bad old days; but why now?  Because God is forcing him on, or up, to a higher level: putting him into situations where he will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than he ever dreamed of being before.  It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet had the slighest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us.

Imagine yourself as a living house.  God comes in to rebuild that house.  At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing.  He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not suprised.  But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense.  What on earth is He up to?  The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of–throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.  You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.  He intends to come and live in it Himself.

The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas.  Nor is it a command to do the impossible.  He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.  He said that we were ‘gods’ and He is going to make good His words.  If we let Him–for we can prevent Him, if we choose–He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzaling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness.  The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for.  Nothing less.  He meant what He said.

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Touching Base With God

Posted by richieg on November 30, 2013
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th  Touching base with God on a daily basis brings contact between the Creator and the created, a daunting thought indeed.  This contact brings a perception of things not seen, a meaning to our passing years, and an understanding that we can actually touch created things that mankind is totally incapable of creating himself; such as another human being, the beauty of flowers, the power of the oceans and the majesty of the heavens.  Touching base with God develops a relationship that has eternal effects that are spread out over our entire lifetimes.  Now these results are not meant to complicate God’s plans for our lives, but as our lives branch out and develop we find that problems arise and challenges present themselves.  It is at this point in our lives that we must find absolute truth that will be our guiding force.  This absolute truth is found in Christ, who lived on this earth just like us.

Whether we are young or old it is important to look at our lives as an evolving creation of God that has meaning and a plan for existence.  When we acknowledge God in our lives and desire to learn about Him then the Holy Spirit moves in to reveal the natural law of God’s  wisdom that takes hold of our heart, mind and soul.   And where does this lead us…to God’s Word where absolute truth provides warnings and instructions on how to live life that is pleasing to our Creator, and if our lives are pleasing to God then we find the purpose of our life.  Because that’s how God created each human being, that we should be close to Him by trusting in His Word as a guide for our lives.

Trusting in God’s Son  Jesus brings us in harmony with God, builds relationships with other true believers’ and this unity of believers’ further establishes our relationship with God.  With this foundation in place God then opens doors to use this body of Christ, with our God given specific talents God call’s each believer in a unique and powerful way.  Watching each believer grow in Christ is like watching the four seasons growing and expanding each year in brilliant color and power.  It’s kinda like our life in Heaven will be; ever growing, ever expanding in brilliance through the power of our Lord and King.

Just do something!

Posted by richieg on September 11, 2013
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thCAJSB6AG  Jesus’ appearances after his resurrection:  To Mary Magdalene, to women returning from the tomb, to Peter later in the day, to Emmaus disciples, to the apostles without Thomas present, to the seven by the Lake of Tiberias, to the multitude of over 500 believers on a Galilean mountain, to James, to the eleven, to a group of disciples at the ascension, to Paul, to Stephen, to Paul in the temple and to John on Patmos.

We have all this information about Jesus’ resurrection and stories about heaven and the afterlife fill God’s Word, and just what are we, as believers, to do with this information?  There has been some discussion of this on the street corner.  It seems that people get overwhelmed as to what they think their mission should be in serving God and telling the good news of His Son Jesus.  The talk centered on the fact that Satan likes to convince people that it’s the churches job to preach and our job to give some money to the church and help out at the church once in a while.  This is the way Satan keeps us off the streets and out of peoples lives. 

The key point of this street corner conversation was the fact that it’s not what we do for God, but what He does through us that brings Him glory.  We agreed to focus on just one thing, and that would be to “serve others.”  We decided that we would simply pray to God and share with him that we would like to be of service to people.  We are going to leave it in God’s hands as we believe that God will speak to each of us in His Word, in our thoughts and in our dreams.  We decided to meet back on this street corner in two weeks and share what God has been saying to each one of us about how we can serve others.  The most important thing is that we “just want to do something.”

A Quarter For Your Thoughts!

Posted by richieg on August 28, 2013
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bth_Picture237-3  Several years ago, a preacher from out-of-state accepted a call to a church in Houston, Texas.  Some weeks after he arrived, he had an occasion to ride the bus from his home to the downtown area.  When he sat down, he discovered that the driver had accidentally given him a quarter too much change.  As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, ‘You’d better give the quarter back.  It would be wrong to keep it.’  Then he thought, ‘Oh, forget it, it’s only a quarter.  Who would worry about this little amount?  Anyway, the bus company gets too much fare; they will never miss it.  Accept it as a ‘gift from God’ and keep it quiet.’

When his stop came, he paused momentarily at the door, and then he handed the quarter to the driver and said, ‘Here, you gave me too much change….’  The driver, with a smile, replied, ‘Arent’t you the new preacher in town?  ‘Yes’ he replied.  ‘Well, I have been thinking a lot lately about going somewhere to worship.  I just wanted to see what you would do if I gave you too much change,  I’ll see you at church on Sunday.’

When the preacher stepped off of the bus, he literally grabbed the nearest light pole, held on, and said, ‘Oh God, I almost sold your Son for a quarter.’  Our lives are the only Bible some people will ever read.  This is an example of how much people watch us as Christians, and will put us to the test!  Always be on guard, and remember, You carry the name of Christ

Thoughts become words  –  Words become actions  –  Actions become habits  –  Habits become character  –  Character becomes our destiny