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Christine's Blog – March 2011 Archive (18)

What do you see? A revisit from one year ago ...

What Do You See?  What Do They See?

The Duke leaned against my car, and it felt kinda’ like an out of body experience for me, because he was talking about me to my two friends I had brought along to the Long Beach prayer meeting.  “I saw her come in, this blonde white woman and I basically thought she was a fraud.  I sat back and listened to her and looked to poke holes in what she said . . .”  Well, that explained the serious expression and dark eyes that I had viewed from my…

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Added by Christine on March 31, 2011 at 3:44pm — No Comments

I thank God for unanswered prayers. Romans 8.26-27

“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers

Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs

That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care

Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers…”  Can’t you just hear Garth’s sweet croon?

‘Not really sure why it makes it more ‘country’ to use bad grammar—‘hmmm . . . can’t imagine why some folks think country singers are just a bunch of hicks… but what about the theology of the lyrics—is it…

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Added by Christine on March 30, 2011 at 8:40am — 1 Comment

Of flowers in the canyon

Three things struck me about the following story—

-Sometimes God creates by making something beautiful of our lives

-It is in the ‘canyon’ times that we see growth

-If in the ‘canyon’, we ought be looking around for the beauty that

       has a unique opportunity to grow …

A friend read this story to me on the phone, and I hope it speaks to you as it did to me:

Gwen was an undisciplined and strong-willed girl, always accustomed to having her own…

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Added by Christine on March 29, 2011 at 8:14am — No Comments

Purpose in Pain - three things to remember

Purpose in pain … three things to remember.  Romans 8.17 ff

Yes, my mom always told me that things came in threes.  A backward glance at our Romans 8 study reveals three things that groan—three things that keep us hopeful—Creation, believers, and the Holy Spirit, who prays for us. 

I am incredibly inspired by Romans 8!  Paul has so much to say to believers that we could honestly camp right here for several more weeks.  One of the areas that Paul speaks toward is suffering in…

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Added by Christine on March 28, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Three Things. Romans 8.18-28

Mama always told me that things come in threes.   Yesterday, today, tomorrow … tic-tac-toe … Father, Son, Holy Spirit … in baseball—three strikes, three bases, three outfielders … as we look a little more closely at the middle of Romans chapter eight, we see Paul’s observation that in life, there are three things that groan.  Take a look at Paul’s thoughts:

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  For…

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Added by Christine on March 24, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Held in the power of God’s Love. Romans 8.18-39

Look where we are going . . . here in Romans chapter eight.

Scripture is meant to be read in its context.  So as we consider creation, we must remember that we have a hope and a future ourselves—an eternal one.  I have emboldened and underlined certain points, because my dear friends, these verses are critical to right thinking!  (perhaps you should consider reading this out loud, because this is one amazing passage, and I pray that it sends…

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Added by Christine on March 23, 2011 at 7:27am — No Comments

Paul and Nature . . . Anthropomorphism. Romans 8.19

Anthropomorphism - attributing human characteristics to an animal or nature.  Did you know that the apostle Paul used anthropomorphism in his letters? 

“For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.”  Romans 8.19

“Poppycock!” you say, “As though creation understands that it is awaiting anything in the future—God-moved or otherwise!  Was Paul daft, Man?”  Permit me to take you where I’ve been in considering the answer…

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Added by Christine on March 22, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Words that bug.

Some words associated with Christianity really turn people off.  These words have the power to alienate, confuse, and create hostility—so strong are the reactions at times.  I’ve seen the expressions on faces time and again when the words are used in a religiously-integrated or even denominationally-mixed group.  (Hey, I like that, “religiously-integrated”)

Born again.  The first time that I remember the term ‘born again’…

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Added by Christine on March 21, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Father? Romans 8.14-17

“Father”  . . . what does the word bring to mind for you?  Do you think of your dad—responsible, nurturing and loving?  ‘Or your dad—angry, critical, or not present.  Do you think of yourself—“Dad” being one of the hats you wear—one of your roles?  And if so,

       what adjectives would you attach to yourself as a dad?

Do you transfer any of these qualities to your image of God the Father?  Hmmm . . . perhaps some thinking is in order.  ‘Like—if your dad was…

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Added by Christine on March 17, 2011 at 8:33am — No Comments

Who calls your cadence? Romans 8.5-11

Picture in your mind’s eye the scenes of young cadets, spiffy and shiny, called to attention, ready for inspection, and then to “maa-rch . . . right, left, forward, halt!”  Sound off . . . and march again.  Why do the cadets respond as they do?  Because their cadence has been called. 

Who calls your cadence?  I mean . . . there must be some reason you do what you do.  Do you allow your cadence to be called by your sinful human nature—whose goal it is to fulfill your desires for…

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Added by Christine on March 16, 2011 at 8:41am — No Comments

Paul names the wolves. Romans 8.1-4

One evening a Cherokee grandfather was teaching his young grandson about the internal battle that each person faces. “There are two wolves struggling inside each of us,” the old man said.
  “One wolf is vengefulness, anger, resentment, self-pity, fear . . . The other wolf is compassion, faithfulness, hope, truth, love . . .”

 The grandson sat, thinking, then asked: “Which wolf wins, Grandfather?”
  His grandfather replied, “The one you feed.”1

 Paul identifies those…

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Added by Christine on March 15, 2011 at 7:08am — No Comments

Mystery, Wonder, Confusion, and Controversy. Romans 8

Good Day!

Mystery, wonder, confusion, and controversy … Why, about what?  The third person of the Trinity – the Holy Spirit.  As we move forward in Romans, Paul is going to reference and discuss the actions of the Spirit, so let’s step back a moment, and refresh our understanding.

One of the last things Jesus said to his followers before he ascended into Heaven was, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit…

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Added by Christine on March 14, 2011 at 7:24am — No Comments

No condemnation ... what the heck does that mean? Romans 8.1

Here we go—another ‘tion’ word in Romans. 

Condemnation – the state of being condemned

Justification – the act of being made right with God

Sanctification – the process of the Holy Spirit working in us to make us more like Christ.

We have just gotten 'up close and personal' with Paul as he struggled with his sin condition, and then we turn the page, and he tells us that, in spite of our sin, if we are in Christ, we are not condemned … we are not doomed.  (key…

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Added by Christine on March 10, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

On resisting temptation ... or not. Romans 7

“There was a time in my life that I built highways to temptation.  Meeting them at the door took too long.  Now I find that there are very few temptations that I am interested in pursuing.  Is that wisdom, depression, boredom or God?” a reader wrote, in response to “Meet them at the door, and don’t let them in,” my last morning briefing.  

Wow!  Now that is such an interesting personal insight, isn’t it?  Where he admits that he formerly entertained temptation, now he seems to have…

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Added by Christine on March 8, 2011 at 10:01am — No Comments

Meet them at the door, and don't let them in!

Good Morning~

So, we’ve been talking about sin . . . about the struggle that is part of the human condition . . .

about Paul’s admission that ‘while he knows the good he ought to do,

            this is the thing he does not do’!   

Here’s the question—from whence does temptation come? 

   Does God tempt us?

       If not … where does the temptation come from??

Hmmmm … consider this from James:

“No one, when tempted, should say, "I am…

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Added by Christine on March 7, 2011 at 7:36am — No Comments

Paul opens up about his sin .... he makes sin personal. Romans 7

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do,” Paul wrote.  Have you ever considered what sin(s) Paul battled?  I mean, let’s be honest—it is difficult to think of him struggling with temptation and sin, isn’t it?  After all,

Paul was arguably the second best teacher that ever walked this earth,

         the first and most influential missionary,

            taking the Gospel from Jerusalem into Europe and…

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Added by Christine on March 3, 2011 at 8:41am — No Comments

Sin.....distance yourself from it. Romans 6.12-23

“God’s great love and purposes for us are worked out in the messes, storms and sins, blue skies, daily work, and dreams of our common lives, working with us as we are and not as we should be.”2

And yet…he doesn’t want us to be dragged down by sin…Paul finishes out Romans chapter 6--

(You are dead to sin, and alive to God) That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don't give it the time of…

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Added by Christine on March 2, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Purpose Statement.

If you were to write a ‘Statement of Purpose’ for your life, what would it look like? Or put another way, ‘What’s your story?’  It would follow that how you choose to order your life would flow from that.

I’ve been thinking about that . . . I believe my life is a gift from God, (especially since my mother had previously had her ‘tubes tied’ and was 45 years old when she had me!)  Life is a gift from God, and what I do with it, is what I give to God.  Oh, I often fall short, but he…

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Added by Christine on March 1, 2011 at 7:43am — No Comments

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