Monday, September 1, 2014

“When you live in light of eternity, your values change.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 49). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

That is so true.  My writing this and sending it out on a holiday for you to read is done in light of my believing that this life you and I are living is not the end.  My belief is that this life I am living now is only a very small part of the life that I will live.  My 90 or so years is only a drop in the bucket of my life.

Rick says, “You use your time and money more wisely. You place a higher premium on relationships and character instead of fame or wealth or achievements or even fun. Your priorities are reordered. Keeping up with trends, fashions, and popular values just doesn’t matter as much anymore.”

I know some would say that I don’t want anyone to tell me about eternity.  That is your belief and I don’t want you to try to push your beliefs on me.  But here is the problem.  If I say I really care about you and I believe that a personal’s relationship determines where they are going to spend eternity then I have to tell you about the possibility.  I care too much about you to not let you know even though you don’t want to hear it. 

My belief in eternity causes me to spend time with people who don’t believe and to write this blog.  From my perspective it really matters whether you have a relationship with God.

Rick also says, “If your time on earth were all there is to your life, I would suggest you start living it up immediately. You could forget being good and ethical, and you wouldn’t have to worry about any consequences of your actions. You could indulge yourself in total self-centeredness because your actions would have no long-term repercussions. But — and this makes all the difference — death is not the end of you! Death is not your termination, but your transition into eternity, so there are eternal consequences to everything you do on earth. Every act of our lives strikes some chord that will vibrate in eternity.”

That is why to those who believe it is so import for you to believe because we really care about you and where you will spend eternity.  You really matter to us and to God.”

So do you have a relationship with God?

Friday, August 29, 2014

“God’s mercy to us is the motivation for showing mercy to others.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 183). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

And that can be very difficult to do can’t it? 

But as Rick says, “Whenever you are hurt by someone, you have a choice to make: Will I use my energy and emotions for retaliation or for resolution? You can’t do both. Many people are reluctant to show mercy because they don’t understand the difference between trust and forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. Trust has to do with future behavior.  And that is very good to see. Forgiveness must be immediate, whether or not a person asks for it. Trust must be rebuilt over time. Trust requires a track record. If someone hurts you repeatedly, you are commanded by God to forgive them instantly, but you are not expected to trust them immediately, and you are not expected to continue allowing them to hurt you.”

I don’t know where you are in your life story but some of you needed to see this distinction.   Yes you forgive.  If you do that quickly you will be absolved of the pain by doing that.  But trust is another thing.  That takes time and in some cases it will never happen because they cannot be trusted because they haven’t changed.

Jesus said when they were about to crucify Him on the Cross, “Father, forgive them” but trust was another thing.  He knew their hearts and knew they would do it again if given the opportunity.  But if they changed in their beliefs and their actions then over time He could trust them.

Now Paul is a classic example of this.  He set out after Jesus was killed to kill the Christians but his personal encounter with Christ brought about a change in the direction of his life.  Initially the Christ followers didn’t trust him but eventually they saw he had change and they saw him as someone they could follow and trust.  His new relationship with Christ had changed him.  He was a different man.

Yes we must give mercy but trust is another thing.  It will take a personal experience with Christ to change them.  He is in the resurrection business and He can change them but they must ask Him to do it.

So how are you doing with your mercy giving?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

“Every act of enjoyment becomes an act of worship when you thank God for it.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 96). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

So many think that God is in the anti-pleasure business but that just isn’t true.  Rick says, “God also gains pleasure in watching you enjoy His creation. He gave you eyes to enjoy beauty, ears to enjoy sounds, your nose and taste buds to enjoy smells and tastes, and the nerves under your skin to enjoy touch.”

1st Timothy 6: 17 (TEV) says, “God … generously gives us everything for our enjoyment.”

Margaret, my wife and I every Saturday head out for a day of exploring and adventure.  We live close to the San Gabriel Mountains and close to the Pacific Ocean and we love to see God’s creation.  He created all of that for our pleasure. 

Whenever we drive through downtown LA I marvel at what man can create and build.  Right now they are in the process of building the tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi River but it doesn’t come close to the smallest foothills that God has created here in LA. 

Margaret and I are making plans to go in October to Portland, Oregon for our 40th wedding anniversary.  We are so looking forward to all the beauty of the Columbia River and the mountains there and the northern Pacific Coast.  And God created it all for our enjoyment because of His love for us.  It is something that is there to enhance our worship and our love for Him.  He is so good to us.  Thank Him for it.

So what part of His creation are you going to enjoy this holiday weekend?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

“God smiles when we use our abilities.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 94). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

My son, Brett who is entering his second year of Law School texted me last night about his grade that he got in a summer class.  And I loved it.  It brought me great pleasure.  And if that brought me great pleasure don’t you think my Heavenly Father takes great pleasure in how I use the abilities He created me with?  He loves it.

Over in Psalm 37: 23 (NLT) it says, “The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD. He delights in every detail of their lives.”

As Rick says, “Like a proud parent, God especially enjoys watching you use the talents and abilities he has given you. God intentionally gifted us differently for his enjoyment. He has made some to be athletic and some to be analytical. You may be gifted at mechanics or mathematics or music or a thousand other skills. All these abilities can bring a smile to God’s face.

And then Rick says, “You don’t bring glory or pleasure to God by hiding your abilities or by trying to be someone else. You only bring him enjoyment by being you. Anytime you reject any part of yourself, you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.”

If you don’t be you then something that God wanted to happen will not happen because He created you for a purpose and there is no one who can fulfill that purpose but you, only you. 

Psalm 33: 15 (MSG) says, “He has shaped each person in turn; now he watches everything we do.”  And that is so great to realize. 

Find out who and what you really are and then live out the purpose that He created you for.  That is where real worth comes from.  He took great care in creating you and He takes great pleasure in seeing you live it out.  It starts with having a relationship with Him.  That is where your life really takes on real meaning.  

So why not start your search for the real you today?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

“God smiles when we trust him completely.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 90). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I know how important it is for us to please people, especially with so many unpleasable people around.  I mean to get a smile out of some meaningful person to you can make all of the difference in your day.  I pleased them and they like me. 

Now to get a smile out of someone that you don’t ever expect one from is a real accomplishment.  Maybe you have never seen them smile and then they smile at you.  Wow I did it.  And for some they never expect that God would ever smile at them.  I mean some think that all He does is judge us.  But God smiles when we trust Him completely.  So what does that mean to trust him completely?

Well Rick says, “Trusting God completely means having faith that He knows what is best for your life. You expect Him to keep His promises, help you with problems, and do the impossible when necessary.”  That’s what it means to trust him completely.

Over in Psalm 147: 11 (TEV) it says, “He takes pleasure in those that honor Him; in those who trust in His constant love.”

Now it really does please me when my kids trust my love and wisdom.  And that is so true of God.  Your faith makes God happy.  Hebrews 11: 6 (NIV) in the New Testament in the Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” 

And the benefits that come from trusting Him is even greater than just a smile.  He can do the impossible in our lives if we trust Him?

So in what area of your life do you need to trust Him?

Monday, August 25, 2014

“Love leaves a legacy.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (p. 161). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Then Rick says, “How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth. As Mother Teresa said, ‘It’s not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.’ Love is the secret of a lasting heritage.”

I was thinking the other day of a very special friend of mine and his funeral.  There were over a thousand people at his funeral.  It was an unbelievable time.  And they didn’t come to celebrate his life for his corporate success but because of his relational success.  People knew he really loved them and they loved him.  That is what a real legacy is all about.

I hope you are finding that people really do matter.  How you treat them, how you react to them and how you love them makes the difference. 

Rick also says, “Wisdom is learning that truth sooner rather than later. Don’t wait until you’re on your deathbed to figure out that nothing matters more.” It is a horrible waist of life to live it for the wrong stuff. 

While I was writing this here in the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at Sunset and Vine, I had Rosie sit down and share her story and I shared mine.  This was our first extended conversation.  She is the manager here.  She is also a new friend.  People are what really matters.

So what are you building your legacy on?

Friday, August 22, 2014

“Love is not a good part of your life; it’s the most important part.”

A thought by Rick Warren, (2012-10-23) from his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? (pp. 159-160). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

1 Corinthians 14: 1a (LB) in the Bible says, “Let love be your greatest aim.”  Paul also wrote in 1 Corinthians 13: 3 (MSG), “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”  It is so very important.

Rick said, “Often we act as if relationships are something to be squeezed into our schedule. We talk about finding time for our children or making time for people in our lives. That gives the impression that relationships are just a part of our lives along with many other tasks. But God says relationships are what life is all about.”

I know that many people come to the later years of their life and then realize that they have built their lives on the wrong priorities.  And this is a great reminder to us to make our relationships a greater priority in our lives. 

Rick also says, “Relationships, not achievements or the acquisition of things, are what matters most in life. So why do we allow our relationships to get the short end of the stick? When our schedules become overloaded, we start skimming relationally, cutting back on giving the time, energy, and attention that loving relationships require. What’s most important to God is displaced by what’s urgent. Busyness is a great enemy of relationships.”

Oh I know how much time it takes to provide for our family.  Yes they need a place to sleep, they need food to eat but they also need love to survive and love is what will last. 

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13: 13 (NCV), “These three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.”

So who is it that you need to spend more time with?