Stand Firm, Hold On

2 Thessalonians 2:15Stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We do not live for ourselves only. We need to pass on to others the things we learn from God and from His Word.

My Advice – Remember the things your mother and I taught you and tried to model to you. Hold onto them. They are a part of who we are. By holding onto them you are holding onto a part of us, even long after we are gone.

Brought Down or Rising Up?

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Proverbs 24:16 –  [F]or though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. (NIV 1984)

Seven musings to inspire us to rise again and not be brought down.

Billy Graham – “Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.”
My Musing – The fact that we all make mistakes is not an excuse to repeat them or wallow in them.
Rick Warren – “We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
My Musing – We are only prisoners if we choose to be, because Christ has set us free.
Colin Powell – “There are no secrets to success.  It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
My Musing – Like Paul, we need to press on.
Abraham Lincoln – “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”
My Musing – What could be more dangerous than being content with our failures, with our life of sin?
Barack Obama – “The real test is not whether you avoid failure, because you won’t.  It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it.”
My Musing – We may not be able to avoid failure, but we can avoid situations that lead to failure.  If you don’t want to eat the apple, quit hanging around the tree.
C. S. Lewis – “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different.” — C. S. Lewis
My Musing – A steady upward progress is often difficult to measure except in retrospect,
Winston Churchill – “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”
My Musing – Unfortunately we often keep going back to the same old tree.
My Advice – As Christians, our eraser (confession and repentance) that will always outlast the pencil (our sins).  But that does not give us license to sin.  And what a mess all those eraser crumbs can leave.  To obey is better than sacrifice (asking for forgiveness).

Finally, Whatever

Philippians 4:8Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – We are, to a great extent, what we think about. If we think about these things, they cannot help but improve our attitudes. But if we think about the opposite, it can only erode our attitude.

My Advice – Be careful about the things that you allow to occupy your thoughts. Whether good or bad, they will eventually affect you. Make sure they are good.

Fresh Fruit

Galatians 5:22, 23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Who would not want these? The problem is we seek for them in all the wrong places. The truth is, they are ours simply by living by the Spirit.

My Advice – Let these qualities be your legacy in life. Pursue them rather than wealth and status. Wealth and status may be a by-product that you will only be able to truly enjoy if you have these qualities. You cannot gain these qualities any other way than by living by the Spirit.

You Know His Voice

Galatians 5:16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – A battle is being waged within us. A skirmish that is not necessary, because the war has already been won.

My Advice – The Spirit lives within you. Listen to Him. You know His voice. He is the feeling of uneasiness you feel when faced with certain choices, the sense of unrest when you’ve made the wrong choice and the feeling of peace when you know that you have.

What Is Truth?

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Isaiah 5:20Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (NIV 1984)

Jack Ryan: You’re going to jail, pal!
Ritter: [seeing Ryan holding a piece of paper] What is that? What is it you think you have there?
Jack Ryan: You broke the law.
Ritter: You are such a Boy Scout! You see everything in black and white!
Jack Ryan: No, no, no! Not black and white Ritter, right and wrong!

Clear and Present Danger is a 1994 film based on the book of the same name by Tom Clancy.

2 Timothy 4:3I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (NIV 1984)

Turner: Boy, what is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth?

Three Days of the Condor is a 1975 film about a bookish CIA researcher who finds all his colleagues dead, and must outwit those responsible until he figures out who he can really trust.

John 18:37Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (NIV 1984)

Pontius Pilate: “What is truth?”

From the trial of Jesus Christ, circa 33 AD.

My Musings – If there was any time we needed Continue reading “What Is Truth?”

By Renewing Your Mind

Romans 12:2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV 1978)

My Musings – How do we renew our minds and thus be transformed? By allowing Godly thoughts to fill our minds rather than worldly thoughts. This is done through constant prayer, diligently reading His Word and through regular Church attendance and involvement.

My Advice – Don’t believe that you have to conform to the world’s pattern of success and pleasure to be satisfied and happy. Allow God to transform you from the will of the world to His will. It will not disappoint you. You will find that it is good, pleasing and perfect.