"SOMETHING YOU INHERITED"
12:08 am cst
One of the most important tools I use in Pastoral Counseling is a computer test to determine a
person's 'Personality Profile.'
If you're unfamiliar with the study...it was developed by Hippocrates
some six-hundred years before the birth of Christ and is still used in psychology and psychiatry in various forms today.
One of the reasons that it is such a vital piece of information is that is helps us to understand our tendencies toward
certain behaviors. Not only does understanding our personality help us learn more about ourselves...it can also go along
way toward helping us understand others better.
Each personality has it's unique "Strengths" and
it's unique "Weaknesses." Knowing and embracing this can help someone to work on their weaknesses and
build upon their strengths.
What many people don't realize is that their personality is not full of "Character
Flaws," but with inherited weaknesses. Yes...it's true...WE INHERIT OUR PERSONALITY. If you've
ever been accused of acting just like your mother, father, or a grandparent...that's why. Truth is, our personality
is as much a part of our DNA as our eye-color or finger-print. As the saying goes: "A soup is made from the
ingredients tossed into the pot."
One of the reasons I mention the study of the "Personalities,"
is because so many people struggle within them, not realizing that they were actually created by God with certain strengths
and weaknesses. Instead, many people simply view these weaknesses as character flaws. For example: If a
person is very shy and has a deep fear of being embarrassed or addressed in public, it's easy to think that such an issue
is a character flaw...when in reality, it is simple personality. The same is true with many forms of depression, as
well as a tendency to be bossy or perfectionist in nature.
As I said, another important aspect of the personalities
is how they relate to one another. Some people obviously clash, while others get along famously...without even knowing
or understanding why. The answer? Personality.
There are many great articles on the internet about
the personalities, but if you guys would like, I'd be more than happy to write an indepth teaching on the subject and
place it here long-term. You can let me know through email, or posting a comment on this site.
it is very important for all people to get to know themselves and others better, if they want to find "getting along
with themself and others," a bit easier.
I love you all,
"THOUGHTS ON DEATH"
5:06 am cst
Have you ever wondered what 'really happens' when a person dies?
of us have read stories of people who've had differing experiences in what is termed as "Near Death Experiences"
or NDE's for short. Many describe feelings of utter freedom and peace...of traveling into a realm of perfect love,
where there is no pain or fear. Many of these same people describe being greeted by loved-one's who've gone
before, and by God and Jesus Christ.
Others recount experiences that were not so pleasant and bring to mind common
thoughts of Hell and suffering.
Although the debate about whether or not NDE's are real rages on between believers
and doubters...one thing is clear. WE WILL ALL EVENTUALLY FIND OUT, when we exhale for the last time.
it's everyone's right to believe what they believe...or do not believe, for that matter...as a minister of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ, I'll tell you what I believe as a result of my studies in the Bible.
First, mankind is
triunal. In other words...we were created into three parts: Mind, Body and Spirit. While the body and brain remain
behind upon our death, the Spirit lives on and is transferred to either Heaven or Hell.
According to Jesus, those
who choose to believe in Him would not die, but their spirit would be translated from the Earth into Heaven to be with Him,
where He is currently residing. Those who choose not to believe in Him are "condemned," and upon their death...their
spirit is sent into the 'Prison of Hell' to await the final Judgment.
What's important to note here,
is that the choice is ours.
It is obvious to anyone who has passed by an open coffin and viewed the body
of a person they knew...that the person who once resided in that shell, is no longer there. Although atheists or other
doubters might believe that a person just 'ceases to exist,' it seems highly unlikely to me. It seems more
obvious to me that the person that once lived inside that body is just no longer there. So...if not there, then where?
Again...according to the Bible, Heaven or Hell.
According to a couple of passages of scripture from Jude
and Peter...Hell is a prison where the "angels who sinned," are kept in chains of darkness awaiting
the final judgment. In other words...a 'prison for condemned prisoners awaiting judgment.' Since Jesus
warned that "those who do not believe are condemned already," it seems likely that they too would be placed
into this prison.
So why would I be taking the time to write on something that feels very abstract to most people?
Because it's obviously the essential teaching on eternity...and realizing that all of us will eventually breath our last,
it warrants a closer look...right?
I realize that many argue that "nobody knows what 'really' happens
to us when we die so we are all left with no proof." Many even argue that teachings on Heaven are meant to "ease
the suffering of death" in the minds of survivors, while teachings on Hell are meant to control the actions of others
I honestly wouldn't argue either point...except for one reason. Jesus Christ and His
teachings. Most historians agree that Jesus was a real person who lived, taught, died by crucifixion as the Bible records.
Since there were numerous eye-witnesses to His resurrection, there's no reason to doubt that either.
Jesus did exist and was in fact the Son of God, (which of course I believe fully), then we should pay attention to His words
on eternal life, since He would have intimate knowledge of the subject, and spoke with authority on it.
the major reasons I believe firmly in Life After Death, is the Biblical study of the "spirit." The word "spirit,"
actually means breath. The Bible tells us that "God is a Spirit," and that He "breathed into Adam, and
he became a living spirit." Now...why does that make sense?
The first thing we do at birth is inhale.
The last thing we do is exhale. Even science would have to agree that a person's final breath is "released,"
and goes somewhere. Again, by looking at a dead body, it is obvious that the life that was there...is no longer
there. It had to go somewhere. It left in the exhale.
Although our minds cannot actually comprehend
how it all works, it's important to note that Jesus spoke with authority and teaching on this topic. Why?
To build a religious movement in His name or save us from condemnation. Only you can be the judge of that. My
prayer is that you'll choose wisely.
I love you all,
10:55 pm cst
It's quite easy to find yourself feeling down about your Christianity or your current walk
with God. It's easy to look around yourself and feel like other Christians are making greater progress, or that
you're somehow "missing out" on the current 'Move of God.'
It's also quite common to
find yourself so busy just living day to day that the 'fire' you felt in the early years or days of your relationship
with God has cooled a bit, leaving you feeling like a lousy or even lazy Christian.
Once in a while I have a tendency
to compare myself to other ministers or our Church to other Churches. This is a mistake because it usually only leaves
me with one feeling...lacking somehow.
What I have to remind myself is, that in God's Kingdom...we are all
equal. We all have a place at the Head Table, we all are invited to share in His bountiful love and mercy. We
are all "Joint-Heirs" with Christ.
Sometimes it's really hard to seperate the way the 'world'
works, versus the way God and His Kingdom works.
In the world, we are used to everything being a competition...for
jobs, for honors, for relationships, for our small place. Therefore, it is easy to find ourselves viewing our Christianity
the same way. In those times when things are going really well, we can feel like a really good Christian...but in times
when we are struggling with great pain or opposition in our lives...it's easy to feel like we are 'not so great,'
The key...I think, is to remember that our Christianity is who we are and NOT WHAT WE DO. Certainly,
our love and efforts toward others should reflect who we are...but that doesn't always mean we will fly through life without
seasons of great struggle. Great struggle does not and should not identify our relationship with God.
Our relationship with Him is actually very simple: He is our Father, we are His children. It's not based upon
accomplishments or success...or even failure.
I've often heard certain people referred to as "Great Christians."
This mindset is of the world, not from God. To God, we are either Children or we're not. God does not love
us for our 'greatness' but for our simple willingness to come to Him as dear children...in good times and in bad.
I'm not sure who I'm writing to here, but I sense as I write this article that there is someone reading...who's
struggling. You wonder if your relationship with God is where it should be and if God is angry at you for not being
better. The answer is...I believe...He's not mad at you at all and wants to remind you that those emotions are of
the World, not Him.
Precious friend...God is the one doing a "good work" in you and He is the one who
is "faithful to complete it." God knows exactly where you're at...what the struggles are...and your heart
in the matter. My prayer is that His peace will rest upon you, allowing you to be revived and comforted in knowing...that
He doesn't compare His children...He simply loves them equally...you included.
I love you all,
"HOW TO MAKE REAL CHANGES"
11:36 pm cst
As 2009 gets underway it is common to pause and look at how our lives are progressing...or not progressing.
If things are going well, of course our emotions follow, (at least in most circumstances), and if things are not going so
well...our emotions can be filled with disgust, pain, fear, anxiety, anger and a host of other unpleasant and self-defeating
If you're in the company of those whose lives have been painful lately, I want to talk to you about
how to find some changes that should prove fruitful.
The key to making things better...in a word is "focus."
It is so easy when we're struggling to get caught up in the confusion and painful emotions that leave us overwhelmed
and feeling panicked about our future. Sadly, this condition does nothing to improve our situation, in fact...only serves
to make it worse.
If we look at the famous Biblical story of "David and Goliath," we can see how 'focus'
helped David to do what no one else could do...conquer.
As most of you know, Goliath was a giant of a man...and
was a big bully to boot. He mocked the fearful armies of Israel for days on end, leaving them confused, fearful and
unable to focus on anything but certain death to anyone brave enough to challenge the Giant. This confusion and fear
ran all the way to the top...King Saul...as evidenced by the fact that he was willing to give his sword, armor, wealth, AND
DAUGHTER, to anyone willing to kill Goliath. Even with all this incentive...there were no takers...
a teenager bringing bread and cheese to his brothers walked up and heard Goliath mocking Israel.
We all know the
end of the story. David killed Goliath while the rest of the Israeli Army and the Philistine Army looked on in shock.
How was David able to do it? He was able to focus upon God and God's ability working through him, rather than on
the size of the problem.
For whatever reason, we humans have a tendency to focus on the problem, rather than the
solution...which is always God working through us.
I have had so many times in my life when I became overwhelmed
with situations that were causing me pain, frustration and feelings of defeat, which tended to make me confused and anxious.
After settling down, the Holy Spirit began to comfort me and remind me that God was bigger than my Giant, and that I needed
to refocus on that.
In the story of David and Goliath, we find David reminding others and himself, how that God
had helped him in the past to overcome other frightful enemies, like a lion and a bear. We too should remind ourselves
of God's greatness in our pasts...helping us to refocus on God's greatness, rather than the depth of our valley.
I have a lot of changes I want...and need to make in 2009. I realize that in order to do so, I've got to
focus on God and the answer He gives, rather than constantly rehearsing the problems. It is my prayer for you as well.
I love you all dearly,