Thursday, October 21, 2004

When a Revival is Needed

In my reading this week, I came across this quote from Charles Finney in his classic work, Revival Lectures:

1) When there are dissensions and jealousies and evil speakings among professors of religion, then there is a great need for revival.

2) When there is a worldly spirit in the church. . .

3) When the church finds its members (and leaders?) falling into gross and scandalous sin, then it is time for the church to awake and cry to God for a Revival of True Religion. When such things are taking place, as give the enemies of religion an occasion for reproach, it is time for the church to ask of God, "What will become of thy great Name?". . .

4) When sinners are careless and stupid, and sinking into hell unconcerned, it is time the church should bestir themselves. It is as much the duty of the church to awake, as it is of the firemen to awake when a fire breaks out in the night in a great city. The church ought to put out the fires of hell which are laying hold of the wicked. . .

Although written around 150 years ago, his message rings true today, doesn't it?

What Are You Seeking?

What are you seeking today?

Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

What do you seek first?

· The approval of people or the smile of God?
· Your will or God’s will?
· To be understood, or to understand?
· To be loved, or to love?
· To fulfill your desires or to fulfill God’s desire?
· To be blessed, or to be a blessing?
· Receiving attention from others, or giving attention to God?
· A good name, or to honor God’s name?
· Control or to give God the control?
· Your plan or God’s plan?

I have discovered that we too often wait for the greater things to seek us, while we go out seeking the lesser things.

If we seek the Kingdom of God first, the other things will be added. If we seek the other things first, we will fall short on all accounts.

Whatever you seek first – that is your greatest treasure.
“Where your treasure is, your heart will be also.” (Mat. 6:21)

Thursday, October 14, 2004

"Thar She Blows!"

Mt. St. Helen's has been steaming lately, and the pundits are venturing guesses as to when she's going blow.

That reminds me of human relationships -- steam, steam, steam -- and "Thar She Blows!"

Some people have a low frustration tolerance. At the slightest annoyance, they over-react with a tantrum.

I saw a sticker on a box a while ago which made me smile. It said, "Warning: contents may explode under pressure."

Wouldn't it be great if people wore stickers like that?

"Warning: if you bother me right now, I'm going to snap your head off!"

Sometimes, we're tempted to stuff our stress and pressures down into our souls. Instead of resolving issues, we shove them down and try to ignore them.

Unfortunately, an unresolved issue is like a dead skunk. You won't get rid of it by shoving it under the bed. Ignoring it just makes everything smell worse!

For the times you are all stressed out and "likely to explode at any moment" - -consider the following:

1. When things are going wrong, ask yourself, "What is going right?"

One bad situation can siphon off all of our positive energy, making us forget that there are 1000 good things happening too.

2. Remind yourself, "This, too. shall pass."

Even the worst situation is not forever. It's going to get better.

3. Do something "de-stressing."

Prayer, reading the Bible, visiting with a good friend, a hike in the woods, listening to your favorite music, going on a drive, or vigorous exercise are all ways to lower your emotional stress level.

4. Pause before you speak.

Is this really what you want to say? Is this the way you want to say it?

It's better to bite your tongue than to say hurtful things you'll regret later.