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Let us not become weary in doing
good, for at the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galations 6:9)

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Entries in Perspective (22)


God Says... "I give you my wisdom."

By Jason S (Connecting to Impact)

School for me was not that difficult. I was intuitive enough to know how to give the teachers what they wanted on assignments or at least sound coherent. I had a pretty good knack for hearing in class what would be important to remember and taking notes so tests didn’t require too much studying to get an ‘A.’

Now, if you experienced the opposite, don’t feel jealous. I received little to no common sense in most areas and did not develop any “street smarts” of any kind. I was young when I got married and thrown into a whole new realm called “the real world.” There were thousands of situations then and now where I have felt woefully inadequate, nervous, unprepared, and downright stupid.

This is my point. It’s very rare for any of us not to feel stupid at certain times or about certain things. It may lead us to tell God, “I’m stupid,”  but He has a response (He always has a response)—“I give you my wisdom.”

Too much “book smarts” can leave you in analysis paralysis. Too much “street smarts” can leave you jaded and cynical. The good news is that God gives us divine wisdom to meet every challenge in our life if we let Him, and there are no negative side effects.

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This is My Father's World

By Pat

From the time we are born until the time we die, at some point or another, we all have the "that's mine" mentality. Just watch children playing, and count how many times you hear the term "that's mine" either said, yelled or cried. We intervene. We tell they have to share; we remind them that's what God would want them to do. But do we sometimes need that same reminder?

In the Old Testament, the people fought constantly over their land, their countries. "It's mine!" Territories were guarded closely, and those who attempted to encroach upon another group's territory often found themselves asked to leave-and not so politely, either. Seems like things haven't really changed all that much, have they?

I intensely dislike, when navigating through an automated phone system, having to press a certain number to continue in English. Sheesh! It's America! Of course I want to continue in English. After all, that's the language spoken in MY country, isn't it? I have sometimes become resentful of small communities within larger communities where certain ethnic groups reside, sometimes clinging to the customs of their home countries, and this admission does not make me proud. And I know that I am not alone. But who do I think I am, proclaiming this to be MY country? Isn't it really God's WORLD? Yes. Is it.

And so I have been praying for God to change me, change my perspective and way of thinking and of the way I view other people. We are a world of many cultures, many languages, many races and many customs, but only one God; the God who created them all. We are all brothers and sisters living in one world created by the Master. Any walls or barriers that exist have been erected by us, not by God, and in order to live in harmony with one another, we must knock down these mental barriers. The Old Testament days are gone...we must share. I try now to see people not as any one ethnicity, but rather as simply God's children, and my country as God's world. It's NOT mine!

"Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right."  (Acts 10: 34)

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.


God says... "Sin's pleasures are fleeting but its sorrow is lasting."

By Kely Braswell (Dangerous Breeze)

You Say: Sin is fun!
God Says:
Sin's pleasures are fleeting but its sorrow is lasting.

Oh, please, excuse me while I go spit up in my mouth!

Here’s the deal. Some things are just stupid beyond imagining.

Like these statements:

“I’m going to go dip myself in butter and lie in a horse trough of snapping turtles.”

“Listen, y’all, I’ve got a GREAT idea… I’m going to strap myself to the face of a large silverback gorilla in the Congo.”

“Wait! I’ve got it! Let’s all stick a nine foot length of barbed wire up our left nostril, pull it out our right one, and hang ourselves from a rafter. That sounds like fun!”

NO. No one has ever said any of those things.


Because they are stupid.

In fact, they’re more than stupid; they’re redneck stoopid.

Let the words of Jesus speak a little truth into our day, and then let us all go peacefully about our lives, knowing that in His heart is, for us, a deep desire for fun. True fun. Lasting fun.

Here’s what He says. Hear the contrast.

“The thief (that’s the one that says “sin is fun”) comes only to steal and kill and destroy.”

Hear that? The author of sin, the father of lies, he only wants three things for you, and he loves for you to think that sin has some other golden effect than those three things. But it doesn’t.

He wants to steal from you.

He wants to kill you.

He wants to destroy you.

And he never, EVER, wants to let up. He never has an inkling of a smidgen of a moment when he says, “Wow, Bob’s had a really bad day. I think I’ll let up on him just for a little bit and give him a break.”

Nope. Never compassion.

Steal. Kill. Destroy.

Sin is fun, huh?

Now, how ‘bout Jesus side of things?

“I come that you might have life, and have it abundantly.”

Which sounds better? To be stolen from? Killed? Destroyed?

Or to have abundant life?

Just as satan (I don’t even wanna give him the dignity of capitalizing his name, the conniving sniveler) never, ever lets up in his desire to steal, kill, and destroy…

Jesus never, ever – not for one little nano-second of YOUR EXISTENCE – Never! – has He ever desired for you anything other than abundant life.

Excuse me. Does this whole discussion of sin being fun fall into the category of a “no-brainer?”

Don’t be redneck stoopid. Please.

Parting thought, and it’s a big, encouraging thought!…

“In Your presence is fullness of joy;
                at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

(The Bible, John 10:10 and Psalm 16:11)

(As a long-time redneck, I can say “redneck stoopid” without being bigoted in any way. I ain’t bein’ bigoted because I am one.)

Kely is the senior pastor of Antioch Community Church in Knoxville, TN. He has a B.S. in Secondary Education, and he’s a lawyer on top of that (go figure that combination!). He has also been an overseas church planter off and on for the last 20 years. Kely is a husband and father to six, and enjoys running, reading and writing. You can find more of his writing over at his blog: Dangerous Breeze.


From Scraps to Blessings

By Pat

I often feel like I have made such a mess of my life that I can't possibly serve God in the manner he wants me to. I have missed so many opportunites, taken so many wrong paths, and passed up so many chances to truely be the servant God created me to be that I feel it's just too late. I'm not so young now, and I despair that I have wasted so much of my life in ways that I know can't possibly be what God would have been pleased with. But there's hope!

In the famous story of Jesus feeding the large crowd of people with five loaves of bread and two fish, the great power of Jesus is shown by how he miraculously feeds five thousand people with just these small food items. A miracle indeed, and the meaning and magnitude is not lost on me. I know that Jesus made something big from something small, but what I have recently focused on is what Jesus did with the leftovers; the scraps that were left behind by the crowd.

"When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten." (John 6:12-13)

Jesus did something miraculous by feeding the crowd with the small amount of food, but what he did with the leftovers is, to me, both miraculous and comforting. I am not finished. I might not be perfect, and I might feel like all that's left of me is scraps, but God sees me differently. God can gather up my scraps and make something wonderful of me for His use! He doesn't see scraps, bits and pieces. He sees baskets filled with usefulness. He sees something wonderful, and if I allow Him to take control and do what He does best, wonderful things can happen. I am so thankful that, no matter what I have done, God can make something good come of it.

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.


God Says...

By Ginny (MAD21)

Awhile back, I was discussing topic ideas with the guys who have been writing for my series on Mondays. We had started organizing one of the ideas but stopped when Jay came across a fabulous article on faith by Donald Borsch, Jr. called, "Sonship: The Reality of Faith." After reading his post and seeing the "God Says" list he included, we decided we wanted to expand on what he shared, by making his list (and a few more we added) the topic for our next series.

We are told in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that even if we can do all kinds of amazing things, if we do them without love it means nothing. The lesson here is obvious. But when preparing for this series, I read: "if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." I wondered... what if you love, but you lack faith? What happens when you've been beaten down by a situation so far, for so long that you really begin to question how strong your faith is?

We have all been there. That place of doubt.

"I'm not good enough."

   "It's impossible."

      "I can't."

         "I'm afraid."

            "I can't resist."

               "I can't forgive."

                  "I want."

                     "I feel all alone."

Many of us put on a good face no matter what we are going through in our lives. I think for the most part we all just "go with the flow" and deal with things as they come along. But there are those times when doubt, or a lack of faith, get the best of us. It can last for a moment, a day, or much, much longer. It's for those times that we must prepare ourselves. We must work hard to build our faith before it's tested, before we face the challenges. If we can build that strong foundation, it won't matter what comes our way. Because with faith comes it's companion: hope.

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