Archive for June 2021

Cause & Effect: God’s Promises and Mercy at Work

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Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

”Cause and Effect" is a relationship between events or things, where one is the result of the other or others. This is a combination of action and reaction. Something happens (a cause) that leads to an effect. 

Five things are true:

1. We have everything to do with outcomes.

2. We have much to do with outcomes.

3. We have nothing to do with outcomes.

4. Things are not always as they appear. Losing is winning.

5. We need MERCY & FAVOR

It is important to keep yourself in a healthy perspective. 

Being diligent is essential, but understand that you are not the “master of your fate” or the “captain of your soul.”

Your are neither helpless nor all powerful

Mercy is the gift before and after faith. We think we’re “working it,” but the mercy of God is helping us more than we realize!

Favor is a product of mercy

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Imago Dei: Qualities of a Man and Father

1 Corinthians 16:12, (TLB), I begged Apollos to visit you along with the others, but he thought that it was not at all God’s will for him to go now; he will be seeing you later on when he has the opportunity. 13 Keep your eyes open for spiritual danger; stand true to the Lord; act like men; be strong; 14 and whatever you do, do it with kindness and love 

1 Corinthians 16:13-14, (KJV) Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 14 Let all your things be done with charity.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14, (NKJV) Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.

Paul presents something common to his culture. Men were often idealized. We’ve seen this in our culture with television shows long ago such as, “Father Knows Best.”

That said, children raised in a home with a loving and caring father also have an idealized view of their father. This is an authentic reflection of Imago Dei, the image of God. Children from these homes will children most likely see God in a better light. How parents live and treat their children and others is the strongest witness to the living God.

Imago Dei is the image of God. It is not the image of self.

The thing that looks like a weakness is a doorway into strength. Paul discovered the principle:

2 Corinthians 12:10, Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul was not trying to do “mind over matter” or trying to drum up PMA, “A Positive Mental Attitude.’  He had already learned from God: 

2 Corinthians 12, And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

Encouragement for Men and Fathers

    1. Meet Every Need (M.E.N.) - Be willing, God will give strength
    2. Pray and expect good and God
    3. Provide the best example, even when you make a mistake
    4. Love your wife and children with everything inside you and in your hand
    5. Instill confidence that anything is possible
    6. Only accept the best according to ability
    7. Don’t expect anyone to give you anything, be prepared to earn it
    8. Give more than you receive
    9. Always bring your “A" game, even when you are the only one who sees it
    10. Benefit your family before all others
    11. Give space to flourish, fail, and recover
    12. odel how to recover from failure and disappointment 
    13. Surround your children with the values that you value
    14. Remember that love is unconditional

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A New Way: From Pandemic to Promise

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John 14:5
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Joshua 3:3 
And they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4 Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before.”

There are lessons to learn from the story of Israel under the leadership of Joshua as they faced another barrier of water, this time the Jordan River. There's was a pandemic, not in a medical sense, but the whole nation experienced a hardship together. And together they overcame it. That's the key word, “together.”

Key #1  |  Operate in Truth at Every Level
Key #2  |  Faithfulness to Small Things Leads to Greatness
Key #3  |  Prepare Well for Every Opportunity and Challenge
Key #4  |  Listen to Learn
Key #5  |  “Stand in the Water.” Put Yourself in Position Act
Key #6  |  When You Change, Your Circumstances Will Change
Key #7  | You Don’t Need to See or Understand Everything That Helps You

Application Questions:
1. What is your New Normal?
2. In what small things are you faithful?
3. What preparation do you need?
4. In what ways do you need to listen to learn?
5. What commitment(s) have you avoided?

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