Message by Rick Warren

                           

                              Rev. Rick Warren

YOU CANNOT GROW WITHOUT A TEACHABLE ATTITUDE

“Practice these things. Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress” – 1 Timothy 4:15 (GW) 

There is only one way to develop the habits of Christlike character: You must practice them—and that takes time

While you were given a brand new nature at the moment of conversion, you still have old habits, patterns, and practices that need to be removed and replaced.
We are afraid to humbly face the truth about ourselves. I have already pointed out that the truth will set us free but it often makes us miserable first.

The fear of what we might discover if we honestly faced our character defects keeps us living in the prison of denial. Yet, we often build our identities around our defects. We say, “It’s just like me to be …” and “It’s just the way I am.” The unconscious worry is that if I let go of my habit, my hurt, or my hang-up, who will I be? This fear can definitely slow down your growth.

Only as God is allowed to shine the light of his truth on our faults, failures, and hang-ups can we begin to work on them. This is why you cannot grow without a humble, teachable attitude.

  • Godly habits take time to develop. Remember that your character is the sum total of your habits. You can’t claim to be kind unless you are habitually kind—you show kindness without even thinking about it. You can’t claim to have integrity unless it is your habit to always be honest. A husband who is faithful to his wife most of the time is not faithful at all!
  • Your habits define your character. There is only one way to develop the habits of Christlike character: You must practice them—and that takes time! There are no instant habits. Paul urged Timothy, “Practice these things. Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15, GW)

If you practice something overtime, you get good at it. Repetition is the mother of character and skill. These character-building habits are often called “spiritual disciplines,” and they include such things as meditation, prayer, fasting, Bible study, simplicity, stewardship, solitude, submission, service and evangelism.

                                

 

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Focus

                                    

                                  Rev. E. Anderson

FINDING THE GOOD IN LIFE

I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing” – Psalm 16:2

Time to make a list. Take a pen and paper, and write down all the good things in your life. Include things from your family life. Include things from your social life. Include things from your work life. Include things from any other life you might categorise for yourself .

Now, think about which items on your list you may treat as more important than God. Anything that fits that description is, in fact, a false god an idol, It’s something you worship that you shouldn’t worship.

Whether or not a ”thing” is good often depends on how you use it. God may grant you special opportunities. He might bless you with certain material possessions. He might give you talents and skills. All of these things start off as good. They become corrupt when they are separated from God.

David figured out that he had ‘good’ things in life whether he was hiding in a cave from King Saul or living in Jerusalem as king of Israel. Even though there were times in his life whelk he sinned, when David was walking closely with the Lord he saw clearly the danger of following other gods and the importance of focusing on the one true God. As his experiences confirmed, nothing good would come of anything he gained apart from God.

This is true for us, too. If you got your promotion by undercutting a coworker who deserved it more than you did, then you got it apart from God. If you won a sales competition by fudging your numbers, then you got it apart from God. lf you cut corners on quality to make an early tee time, then your work was done apart from God. If you hired a new employee based on his or her looks rather than skills, then you did so apart from God.

Only by walking closely with the Lord and focusing on the one true God can we have the genuinely good things in life.

                                

Christian Testimony

                                        

                                            Luis Vidigal

THE THING THAT CAPS PLAYING FOR PORTUGAL

Defensive midfielder Luis Vidigal has had a successsfùl career – with 15 International caps for Portugal – but the star says his top priority is his faith in God.

Now playing in the Portuguese Liga for Estrela Amadora, the star said: “I don’t believe that anyone has everything. I need Jesus because I believe that my life doesn’t finish here in the world. I have very special place beside Jesus and he is waiting for me.

He is equally clear about the change that becoming a Christian has made in his life.

“The change that Jesus made in my life was complete. Before that I believed that I could do overfilling by myself. I trusted in my own capabilities to reach my goals, whether social or professional, but in reality things did not happen as I wanted them to.

“Starting from the moment that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour everything improved. Without a doubt my both life has been transformed”.

Luis is one of five brothers who have all played professional football. One of the highlights of his career was playing for Portugal in Euro 2000, especially in the game where Portugal went 1-0 down to England, but came back to win 3-2 and progress to the semi-final. Another was to play on the Portuguese team that took fourth place in the 1996 Olympics.

                            

Leadership Factors

                                         

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

LEADERS MUST HAVE SKILLFULL TONGUES

The Law of E.F. Hutton

Proverbs 10: 6-32

A number of verses in Proverbs speak of the tongue and how to use it as a positive influence. Leaders who use words skillfully increase their influence. Leaders who understand the power of their words accomplish the following:

1. They proclaim justice and are blessed – v. 6.

2. They speak hope for the future, becoming a fountain of life to others – v. 11.

3. They speak forth wisdom and save others from ruin – vv 13, 14.

4. They know when silence is more powerful than words – v. 19.

5. Their words feed and nourish many others – v. 21.

6. They express what is right aid nurture the right in the hearts of those who follow – vv. 11, 52).

                              

Time to Laugh

                                            

                                     Rev. E. Anderson

ALWAYS LATE

Charlie, a new retiree greeter at Walmart, just couldn’t seem to get to work on time. Every day he was 5, 10, 15 minutes late. But he was a good worker, really tidy, clean-shaven, sharp-minded and a real credit to the company and obviously demonstrating their “Older Person Friendly” policies.

One day the boss called him into the office for a talk: “Charlie, I have to tell you, I like your work ethic. You do a bang-up job, but being late so often is quite bothersome.”

“Yes, I know boss, and I am working on it.”

“Well good, you are a team player. That’s what I like to hear. It’s odd though you’re coming in late. I know you’re retired from the armed forces. What did they say if you came in late there?”

“They said, ‘Good morning, General, can I get you coffee, sir?'”

WORMS

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon.        

Four worms were placed into four separate jars:

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a container of chocolate syrup.

The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol – Dead.

The second worm in cigarette smoke – Dead

Third worm in chocolate syrup – Dead?

Fourth worm in good clean soil – Alive.

So the Minister asked the congregation – What can you learn from this demonstration?

Maya who was sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said,  “As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won’t have worms!”

That pretty much ended the service.

TRULY WASHED 

Today, I was in the bathroom at a popular coffee chain. Someone wrote “What Would Jesus Do?” on the wall.

Another person wrote directly underneath that, “Wash His hands.”

Then a third person wrote, “And your feet.”

[forwarded by Michael Grice]

today’sTHOUGHT

She had her face lifted, but it turned out there was one just like it underneath.                   

A JUDGE FUNNY

The judge warned the witness, “Do you understand that you have sworn to tell the truth?”

“I do.”

“Do you understand what will happen if you are not truthful?”

“Sure,” said the witness. “My side will win.”

                           

Powerful Quotes

                                       

                                     Rev. L. Goodwin

MISSION & EVANGELISM QUOTES

“When social action is mistaken for evangelism & mission then the Church has ceased to manufacture its own blood cells and is dying of Leukaemia”  – Shirwood Wirt 

“The best remedy for a sick church is to put it on a missionary diet” – Anon

“There’s one thing you cannot do about missions; get rid of your responsibility” – Anon

What is Missions?

M is for God’s mercy that allows us to live;

I is for inspiration we Christians should give;

S is for seeking for souls that are lost;

S is for the saviour who paid the cost;

I is for our influence portraying what we are;

O is for others who call us from afar;

N is for the need of Christ in every nation;

S is for sending them the story of salvation.

“Mission is not merely a task for the missionaries but the raison d’être of the whole people of God. Ecclesiology must be founded in missiology.”  Also “Mission is not something we simply tack onto the church. Mission is integral to the church’s very identity & calling as God’s people. Why? Because mission, as the Scriptures make crystal clear, is also integral to God’s very self” 

– Chris Wright (Principal of All Nations College)

MISSION STATEMENT

  • Succeed at home first
  • Never compromise with honesty
  • Hear both sides before judging
  • Obtain the counsel of others
  • Defend those who are absent
  • Develop one new proficiency a year
  • Plan tomorrow’s work today
  • Maintain a positive attitude
  • Keep a sense of humour
  • Be orderly in person and in work
  • Listen twice as much as you speak
  • Concentrate all abilities and efforts on the task at hand, not worrying about the next job or promotion

                                     – Rolfe Kerr (quoted by Steve Covey)

“The less we emphasise the Christian religion, the further we fall into the abyss of poor character and chaos” – Kirk Fordyce (Mississippi Governor)

                           

Wisdom’s Ways

                                       

                                     Rev. A. Linford

Rev. A. Linford, before his decease, was recognized as a good, great and interesting Bible teacher in the Assemblies of God Fellowship for many years. He was a well-loved Bible College lecturer and writer that bequeathed a tremendous amount of Biblical material in his generation. What a legacy he has left to be researched and brought forth to refresh our day! We shall be using such on this site: His writings from the book of Proverbs and also his Editorials that he wrote for the Redemption Tidings when he was its editor. I trust you will enjoy and appreciate

BRIBES

“To pervert the ways of judgment” – Proverbs 17:23

Bad men fear justice. They know the scales are weighted against them, and so they use devices to pervert judgment. Most prominent of these is blackmail, the use of threats, promises, or gifts to persuade or force others to keep quiet, to speak, to act or otherwise attempt to conform others to their will. Blackmail has many faces; let us examine three of them.

Material blackmail: The giving of a bribe in secret, “a gift out of the bosom”, is common. What men will do for money! It may also take the form of holding back legitimate gains. The promise of gain or the threat of loss can put great pressure ona person to impede the course of justice. It takes a man of integrity, of firm moral principles to resist such allurements or stress. But a righteous God demands righteous dealings. Society can succeed only as it is based on equity and truth.

Mental blackmail: To put any person in mental bondage through pressure of ideas or dogmas is a form of blackmail. There is a legitimate fear, for moral responsibility has both its rewards and its restitutions. But to enlarge fears is a satanic device, a foul ingredient of cultism. The fear of God is a rational, reverential response to Deity; but “the fear of man bringeth a snare” – Proverbs 29:25, and to create such fear with evil propaganda or practice can be a form of mental blackmail. This is evil.

Moral blackmail is, perhaps, the worst form, especially when Scripture is distorted to apply pressure, such as ”heavy shepherding, the excessive dogma of pastoral authority that demands blind obedience. Allied to this is emotional blackmail, a playing on the feelings of others for personal advantage. This can take the form of cajolery, caprice or threat of personal injury, such as a threat to commit suicide if one’s whims are not gratified. Even pouting can take this form. Very often a stern rebuke, or an indifferent attitude may blow away such piques. But in a mature person such attitudes do not rise: they are childish.

PRAYER:

Help me to do right because it is right, O Lord!

                           

                                      

                                   Rev. E. Anderson

This is a simple outline for you to think about and meditate on. The introduction, main thoughts and conclusion need further material to be added. It is an outline for you to expand, develop more fully and fill in to spiritual profit and inspiration.

GROWING THROUGH LOSS AND CHANGE

“A time to gain, and a time to lose” – ‘Ecclesiastes 3:6 NKJV

Grief counsellors have given us a healing process for working through our losses known as the ‘grief cycle’. It includes five stages:

1/. Shock sometimes called denial. Our initial reaction is, ‘This can’t be happening. I don’t believe it’. We’re numb, incredulous, in a kind of stupor.

2/. Anger:  We cry, ‘It’s not fair! What did I do to deserve this? How could God let this happen? I have been a Christian all my life!’

3/. Bargaining: ‘I’ll do anything if you’ll change this. Save my loved one and I’ll serve you for the rest of my life!’

4/. Depression: There’s nothing left worth living for. I wish I could fall asleep and never wake up again!’

5/. Acceptance: ‘Somehow life must go on. I’ve got my family to think of, so I have to try again’. The intensity, duration and order of these stages vary from person to person. You may re-experience any stage until the work of that stage is completed. But when you’ve finished your divinely appointed grief work, you’re ready to ‘…heal…laugh…dance…embrace…love., final peace…’ (vv. 3-8). You’re ready for God’s new beginning! Israel had wept over Moses for thirty heart-rending days till ‘the days of weeping and mourning ended’ – Deuteronomy 34:8. The mourning wasn’t avoided or shortened. It was worked through and completed; then they were ready for the future God had planned for them. ”Moses My servant is dead..,” you’ve grieved him in a healthy way. Now you’re ready to join Joshua and “., .arise, go over this Jordan…to the land which I am giving to (you)…” – Joshua 1:2 NKIV. When you complete your grief you continue your growth!

                          

Points to Ponder

                                          

                                       Rev. E. Anderson

PAIN

I HAVE never read a poem extolling the virtues of pain, nor seen a statue erected in its honour, nor heard a hymn dedicated to it. Pain is usually defined as ‘unpleasantness’. Christians don’t really know how to interpret pain. If you pinned them against the wall, in a dark, secret moment, many Christians would probably admit that pain was God’s one mistake. He really should have worked a little harder and invented a better way of coping with the world’s dangers. I am convinced that pain gets a bad press. Perhaps we should see statues, hymns, and poems to pain. Why do I think that? Because up close, under a microscope, the pain network is seen in an entirely different light. It is perhaps the paragon of creative genius.

Philip Yancey, Where Is God When It Hurts?

Someone else said, “Pain plants the flag of reality in the fortress of a rebel heart”.  C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world”.

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

“Pleasure is nothing else but the intermission of pain”.

John Selden, quoted in John Bartlett Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations

                              

Illustrations that Light Up Life

                                         

                                    Rev. E. Anderson

THE GECKO – YOU YOUNG ARE THE PROBLEM .

A student with great interest in and enthusiasm for in Third World  went to India and soon suffered a culture shock. Suddenly everything annoyed him: the climate, the food, the living conditions, the strange mysterious faces around him. But what really made him lose his temper was actually a trifle. They assigned him a room to him and on moving in, he examined every nook and cranny of it, only to find to his disgust that he was sharing it with a thick, fat ugly lizard

He became aggressive, “I refuse to live with that creature”. So he tried to catch the intruder in half a dozen ways, but to no avail. So, finally, the lizard hid behind a cupboard. The guest was too proud to ask someone’s help. But then in the middle of all this senseless commotion, he suddenly got the bright idea of making friends with the lizard. It was not easy at first.

But now the first thing he does when he enters his room is to look for his lizard. Soon he even gave him a name. In a short time it became almost a conversation partner. And he also began to note the good qualities that the lizard had. For one thing it controlled the mosquito population in the room.

After a while, this enthusiast began to realise that his problem did not come from his environment but from himself.

– Willi Hoffsuemmer

                                

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