How temptation and sin work in the believer.

How temptation and sin work in the believer.

Here is the first thing to process:  you and I have ‘go-to’ sins—or signature sins.  These are the sins we will commit if we are going to sin.  For instance there is very little chance you might get drunk on Friday night, but highly likely you will express anger in an ungodly way to your kids.  This is because your signature sin is anger—not drunkenness.  Even more telling is that there is a strong possibility that your go-to sins are generational.  We’ve all heard this:  ‘that guy has a drinking problem just like his dad!’  Or, ‘she is a control freak just like her mother!’ We need to learn to defeat these go-to sins and crucify them.  Once we can list our go-to sins and learn what they are, we are ready to crucify them daily.  The longer we fight them, crucify them, and give them to Jesus—the weaker those sins become in us.  They gradually begin to lose their strangle hold on us. But in the process demons know our weaknesses and make sure…

Contemplation brings transform

There are two ways to read the Bible. First, we read the Bible to gather information.  MOST of our Bible reading, studying, preaching emphasizes this.  A ‘mature’ person is generally thought of as one who ‘knows the Bible.’Second, we read the Bible to be formed into the image of Christ.  This is formational reading.  This is very neglected in most of our lives.  However, this is a key need for spiritual growth.  
You could look at the differences in this manner:

Contemplation brings transformationIntellectual study brings wisdom
We need both!  However, as I said, the majority of our efforts are given to the intellect!

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV) 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:15-18 (DARBY) 15 But unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil lie…

Annoying People

Are there people that you find particularly annoying?  People that—well—really bug you?  People that you wish you didn’t have to meet and see?  What are we supposed to do with these people?

There are three things that we might consider:

 1.  Annoying people are plants by God.  God is wanting to do something in you—and uses annoying people to do it.  God is not beyond making your life miserable through other people.  Yes, that is actually true!  God sees character flaws in you and uses an annoying boss to change you.  God wants to develop patience in you so he asks you to work with the youth in your church.    
Prov 27:17. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

2.   They are annoying because we let them be annoying.  I have often wondered why we let annoying people carry on the way they do.  You see everyone thinks they are annoying but no one tells them.  No one sits down with them and speaks the truth in love to them.  Sometimes annoying people need to be told.  Sometimes …

Zonky, Sam, and the love of God

Zonky escaped—but Mr Grumpman caught him and brought him back.  Zonky was our pet turtle whom we found in the middle of the road —down the ‘Jordan Hollow’ on the way to granddad’s house.  We were actually in granddad’s car when we stopped, rescued this turtle, and took him home.  We made a pen for him around a tree in the back yard and got out some red paint and painted ‘Zonky’ on his shell.
I’m telling you about Zonky because of the deep theological truths he represents.  Zonky represents why God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden of Eden when life as humans—as we know it began.  
Simply put—if God had not put that tree in the garden, Adam should have been called Zonky.  Are you ready?  Follow me:
God—rich in mercy, abundant in kindness, the true definition of love —creator and sustainer of all and everything—created man for one purpose—-LOVE.  More specifically, to be a recipient of love.   Now the very nature of love demands a response and a decision.  Love …

COVID - 19 and Affirmations of God's Kingdom

COVID - 19 and Affirmations of God's Kingdom
Lord I have heard:
Conspiracy theoriesCommunism takeover by the government 
The stories and the rhetoric abound and everyone has their opinions.  Social media provides a platform for many. Lord I affirm that you are King and LORD over everything.  The early Christians and the early church faced horrendous things compared to this.  And did they panic?  Did they rebel? On the contrary they blossomed!  They honoured their leaders.  They obeyed.
Romans 13:1-5 (NIV) Submission to Governing Authorities 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one…

Write it down: The discipline of journaling

Write it down!

Exodus 17:14 (NKJV) 14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”
Nehemiah 9:38 (NKJV) 38 “And because of all this, We make a sure covenant and write it; Our leaders, our Levites, and our priests seal it.””
Jeremiah 36:1-2 (NKJV) Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: 2 “Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day.
Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV) 2 Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision. And make it plain on tablets,  That he may run who reads it.
Luke 1:3 (NKJV) 3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus,
Jude 1:3 (NKJV) 3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write…

On prayer books and reading prayers

I was raised in a conservative holiness tradition.  No one read prayers!  Somehow reading prayers, to me was a sign.  Now, how I processed this, or I came to the understanding of this—I haven’t a clue.  If you read prayers that meant you really didn’t know God—you were pretending.  If you knew God in a personal manner you would never read something someone else had written.  That was tantamount to taking your special someone on a date to a fancy restaurant and reading out of a book all evening long rather than sharing your heart.
At least—that’s what I thought, or I was told—or I concluded.

John Brownhill broke the rules for me.  John was the rector of the Anglican Church in South Porcupine and became a personal friend of mine.  I can’t quite recall how we initially met, but I recall his story.  He was sick—very sick—I believe with cancer and found his way into a Pentecostal church where he was healed.  Afterwards he was called into the ministry and became an Anglican priest.  At the ti…