Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January's Top 5 Posts

Here is the monthly roundup of all the most popular topics both for the past month and all-time. Catch up on any popular articles you may have missed!

Last Month
Jan 30, 2012, 1 comment
19 Pageviews
Jan 18, 2012
19 Pageviews
Dec 20, 2011, 1 comment
11 Pageviews
Jan 12, 2012
9 Pageviews

All Time
Dec 20, 2011, 1 comment
24 Pageviews
Sep 26, 2011
20 Pageviews
Jan 30, 2012, 1 comment
19 Pageviews
Jul 7, 2011
19 Pageviews
Sep 3, 2011
19 Pageviews

Monday, January 30, 2012

Socialism in Church

I am going to try micro-blogging more. If you happen to follow me on twitter, notice that I will use the following hashtag: #BTSermon. Whatever I say in that tweet is either a quote or point from a message, probably in real time. I will also credit the speaker by last name. From there, if your interest is piqued, I suggest you download or stream that message from sermon.net/bibletruthchapel. The messages should be updated fairly soon.

I have always enjoyed saving good quotes. I will now be sharing them with the world. In addition, if you're on twitter and go to BTC, I invite you to join in and use the hashtag to share the parts of the message that impacted you. Let's get a good conversation going!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Veggie of Choice for Tasteless People

The Veggie of Choice for Tasteless People
14So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. 15I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.18And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.d I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
- Romans 7:14-20  

If there is one thing you need to know about my childhood it is this: my mother had an unhealthy infatuation with Lima Beans.

I clearly remember almost every dish containing that Vermin of Vegetation. My mother played Dr. Who in the episode: "Who makes Shepherd's pie with Lima Beans." (Perhaps it was a question...) I would successfully pick out every pale green pebble and be ready to eat by the time my father was dishing his second helping. Don't get me wrong, Shepherd's Pie was one of my favorite meals, but I only ate it sans the LB.

But casseroles were not the only infected portion of the meal. She would introduce the LB in less subversive manners--yea, she even presented it with no camouflage, like in a "vegetable medley." Ha! Upon analysis it was clear that the LB was the laughingstock of the group. The carrots were vibrant compared to the pale LB. The broccoli was a real green color. The corn was much better tasting. Even the cauliflower spat in the LB's face. Yes, even nature itself declares the abomination of the Lima Bean.

I swore I would not eat the Lima Bean, ever. But alas, my mother and father had other ideas. They coaxed me upon threat of violence. (I'm going to beat you if...) They coaxed me with taunts. (You're a baby if...) They even coaxed me by insulting my intelligence (They're not that bad...) and rationalizing my future. (When your taste buds die, then you'll like them.) But once I emerged from my adolescence, I swore the Lima Bean off entirely.

That being said, I found myself eating Lima Beans at lunch today. I hated every moment of the experience. The blah-flavor of the LB combined with its ugh-texture resulted in a nasty explosion of ick in my mouth. I kept asking myself, "Why am I eating this crap?" And my answer was, "I don't know." Finally my brilliant mind came up with a solution, "Eat around the LB's you dummy!" So I did.

In her attempt to ease my displeasure, my mother told me two non-reassuring things about myself and Lima Beans. 1) Lima Beans have no taste, so I should be able to eat them. 2) When I get older, my taste buds will die off and I won't be able to taste. I will eat Lima Beans then. Never mind the contradiction, consider the illustration.

Lima Beans are like sin; it is gross though tasteless and the less sensitive you are to it, the easier it is to do. How many times am I caught choking down Lima Beans? The answer is: not as often as I'm caught doing something I am ashamed of. Paul said he does those things he hates, and I also hate the things I do.

Why do I do things as tasteless as sin?
Why do I grow so cold to sin?
These are not excuses to continue indulging. These are more reasons to pick these deeds out of my life! May God help me to make a decision and stick to it.

Just like I've done with Lima Beans.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Learning to Grow Up. Reblog.

 This is a reblog from my wife. It is an exceptional look at the godly influences in her life through the assembly. Sometimes we take way too much for granted.

Learning to Grow Up.: 01/15

If you've ever been to my home assembly in Miami, Florida you have probably noticed a section of Jewels. In the back right side of our assembly is a section of beautiful women. These women are true examples of what it means to be a pillar in the church.

A few years ago, I had the privilidge of studying 1st Timothy with one of of Elders wives. Of course, it was incredibly encouraging because we studied it with the middle school / 9th graders. The biggest take away from the study was the need to pursue godliness above all else. To dedicate our lives to seeking Christ.

I am blessed to have such Godly women in my life. The back right corner of my home assembly I have the opportunity to rub shoulders with women who ooze godliness with each smile, each kiss on the cheak and each "How ya doin' Honey"

In December one of the women in our assembly was taken to be with her savior. Through her death I was reminded once again of the call to pursue godlibess. Have you ever tasted the Love of Christ in a cup of coffee? Have you ever thought that you could be diligent in service for as much as 55 years? Yes, I have tasted love from a cup of coffee and No, I don't know that I could be diligent in the same thing for more than few years. However, I was blessed to know and be encouraged by a very special lady who was diligent in her service to the Lord.

I guess my rambling is just a way for me to get my thoughts out. In the "old days" I would write short stories, journals, and write my thoughts on everything I could. It has been a way of release for me. So before I continue rambling, I should get to my point. ...

I recently blogged about my decision to withdraw from Graduate School. The life lesson there was that I needed to learn to to stop over doing it prioritize. Although I feel that I have over committed myself at times and I have felt at peace about the whole grad school thing. ... I can't help but miss it (just the idea, not the stress and work).

My most recent lesson learned was the importance of godliness, and to be diligent in the small tasks.

So, to the 3 folows of my blog. ... Be diligent in all things.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Carry on, My Wayward Son

 10 Then the LORD said to Samuel, 11 “I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command.” Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the LORD all night.  12 Early the next morning Samuel went to find Saul. Someone told him, “Saul went to the town of Carmel to set up a monument to himself; then he went on to Gilgal.”
 13 When Samuel finally found him, Saul greeted him cheerfully. “May the LORD bless you,” he said. “I have carried out the LORD’s command!”
 14 “Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?” Samuel demanded.
 15 “It’s true that the army spared the best of the sheep, goats, and cattle,” Saul admitted. “But they are going to sacrifice them to the LORD your God. We have destroyed everything else.”
 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! Listen to what the LORD told me last night!”
   “What did he tell you?” Saul asked.
 17 And Samuel told him, “Although you may think little of yourself, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? The LORD has anointed you king of Israel. 18 And the LORD sent you on a mission and told you, ‘Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, until they are all dead.’ 19 Why haven’t you obeyed the LORD? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the LORD’s sight?”
 20 “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. 21 Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”
 22 But Samuel replied,
   “What is more pleasing to the LORD:
      your burnt offerings and sacrifices
      or your obedience to his voice?
   Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
      and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
 23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
      and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
   So because you have rejected the command of the LORD,
      he has rejected you as king.”

 24 Then Saul admitted to Samuel, “Yes, I have sinned. I have disobeyed your instructions and the LORD’s command, for I was afraid of the people and did what they demanded. 25 But now, please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the LORD.”  26 But Samuel replied, “I will not go back with you! Since you have rejected the LORD’s command, he has rejected you as king of Israel.”
 27 As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of his robe. 28 And Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to someone else—one who is better than you. 29 And he who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”
 30 Then Saul pleaded again, “I know I have sinned. But please, at least honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel by coming back with me so that I may worship the LORD your God.” 31 So Samuel finally agreed and went back with him, and Saul worshiped the LORD. 
35 Samuel never went to meet with Saul again, but he mourned constantly for him. And the LORD was sorry he had ever made Saul king of Israel. 

1 Samuel 15:10-31, 35 NLT. Emphasis mine.

This passage shows the intimacy involved in leadership.

Can you see it? Do you hear it? I imagine that this is the worst moment in Samuel's ministry. This is the most difficult thing he has ever had to do. He was certain that God picked Saul to be king, and he was right. God told him to anoint Saul king. Now he knows that God has rejected Saul as king. To human eyes, Samuel may appear to be wrong. But he is not. Saul is the one who has failed.

I was struck by the sorrow that took hold of Samuel, even as he had a spiritual duty to perform. One can think of this as an easy message to deliver to the terrible and wicked Saul. But remember that he was not always that way. Remember that Samuel could easily have considered Saul a disciple--someone who was under his wing. By any case, Samuel was consumed with sorrow at the way Saul's story was to end.

How often does this scenario play out? How many Godly leaders see potential in a young man, only to see that young man falter under the pressure of a situation? How many times has the mentor seen a young lady learn so much from the scriptures, only to succumb to the world's influence? I suggest that this happens far more often than any rosy success story. Remember, even Jesus' disciples had some shaky moments.

One may say to be careful who you disciple. You should have been wise, they say. If your disciple fails you then it is your fault for choosing the wrong person. I say no, everyone is worth the investment because everyone is loved by God. If God has shown you the potential in an individual, then you must follow through to develop it. Give it your all, God will do as He will.

Remember that all you can control is your faithfulness. All the good discipleship in the world will not keep others on the right track.They are responsible too.

Remember that this requires a full investment. The only relationships worth having are the ones that you are fully invested in. While this leaves you vulnerable to others, it is the only way to do God's work. In order to increase our effectiveness, we must increase our risk.
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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