The Death Of The Sacred

I have a confession to make.
Well, it’s really not much of a confession, more of a revealing of my nature.
Here goes, I love technology.
I love how it makes things convenient for me. My schedules are synced to my computer and my phone, I can create presentations from most of my mobile devices (of which I have multiple devices), and I can take striking photos and create beautiful banners that look like art…all because of technology.

The Dangers
Despite the fact that I love technology, I have become more and more aware that I can become too dependent upon it for everything. My car even tells me where to go these days, so rarely do I acknowledge or recognize the direction in which I am going – my mobile GPS does it all…well, except drive (but I can’t wait until it can!…Okay, I digress).

Despite all of these technological advances in our age, I truly feel like we run the risk of losing the ancient and the sacred. What do I mean by this?
Our attention spans have grown shorter since the introduction of cellular devices. You don’t believe me? Can you go an entire hour without looking at your phone, either to check for new status updates on social media or to see if that special someone has texted you? It is becoming increasingly difficult even for me to divorce myself from the tech all around me and I fear I am losing the sacred even in my own life.

Related image


How about you?

Can you put your phone down?
Can you close your laptop, tablet, other devices without feeling the ‘itch” to check it again?

What do I mean by ‘Sacred’?
If you were to study the spiritual disciplines, these things that I consider ‘sacred’ would be:
Meditation
Prayer
Fasting

Image result for Holy
Solitude and Practicing Presence

Study
Simplicity
Solitude
Submission
Service
Confession
Worship
Guidance
Celebration (In God’s Presence)
(Source: Renovare )

It is very difficult to do any of these sacred things when our attention spans have grown short and shorter. For some of you reading this right now, you might even get hung up on the word ‘sacred’, because some of you perhaps have an issue with the practice of anything liturgical or what some might consider “high Church”…needless to say we can become so distracted that the sacred has died in our age, or is in its death throws as we speak.

Perhaps the next question should be:
How do we revive the sacred in our lives“?
Here are my suggestions to help you with this process, but as a caveat to this, each person is different, and if you find that something works better than something else, do what helps you to revive the sacred in your life.

1) Make a list
Make a list of all the distractions in your life.
This will help you recognize the things that prevent you from entering into those sacred moments. Remember, that the elements are not the desired goal, but rather the fellowship with our Father in Heaven should be our desire. It is in the moments of the sacred that we encounter the Divine.

2) De-clutter a space.
After you have acknowledge and listed the things that distract, find a specific space to de-clutter and prepare. No space is holy, it is our attitudes and focus that allows us to tune into the presence of God. So, if a closet is the space you choose, the so be it. God’s presence isn’t fixed in specific locations, because the Holy Spirit resides in His people. The space we de-clutter is for us, that we might focus and prepared to receive and listen.

3) Sit in Silence (Try not to fall asleep)
I saw this partly in jest, because I have, at times, placed myself in silence and have struggled with slumber. Other times, your body is telling you to get more sleep, and perhaps we need to listen to that. A time of silence can help us enter into the sacred, although I openly acknowledge (as an extrovert) that this practice is much hard for me. Perhaps you will find it easier…if you do, please enlighten me by commenting below.

4) Converse with God.
You don’t need special words, or a litany of things to bring Him…have an honest conversation. After all, He knows you better than you know yourself – He made you, so He understands your intricacies and nuances. He is aware of your situations and the things you struggle with. Be honest, because you can’t fool God – He already knows. What this conversation does is opens our lives before Him as we acknowledge elements of it verbally.

5) Begin with one of the above mentioned disciplines…study, read and apply:
The last one will take patience.
This isn’t an instant gratification, fast food type of habit.
You must acclimate yourself.
This will take discipline and acknowledgment that it will not occur over night, but rather gradually as you apply yourself to this task.

The sacred is not dead…yet.
Don’t let it perish because of our distractions – at least in this generation.
Perhaps we have to eliminate the distractions in order for us to return to the sacred. Perhaps it is within our own busy minds that this war needs to be waged. Where ever the distractions lay, confront them and carve out those intentional moments in which we might encounter the Divine.

Something more to ponder today.


The Dreams of Our Childhood…

What is it that drives you, motivates you, wakes you up in the morning?
Fear?
Coffee?
Money?
Children?
Your Spouse?

What are your passions and goals in life?
To be successful?
To find happiness?
To be content?
To travel the world?
To make the world a better place?

What if within that pursuit you discover that happiness you’ve been searching for has been with you the whole time?

What if you got it all wrong, and had to start over?
Would you?
Could you?
Or would you simply settle?

I fear many people have given up on dreaming.
I fear many have simply settled for what they have, and bought the lie that the dream was too large, or too unrealistic.

What would it take for us to begin dreaming again?
I mean dreaming reality big…like when we were kids.
When there was no such thing as impossible.
When, if we dreamed it, it could truly happen.
No walls of “can’t” exist.
No prison bars of “You just don’t have the time or education” to hold you.

Could we begin to believe again?
Would we even know how?

Yes, Adulting is hard…but as we grow older the imagination of our youth becomes even harder to hold onto.

We need to redefine the impossible.
We must recapture the dream.
We should never just settle…

-Something more to ponder today.

Walking at Midnight on the path of restlessness.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

I have another confession to make – I am restless…like pit of my stomach-aching restlessness.  Some days I can put my finger on it, while other days it is as elusive as an honest thief.  I am usually successful at pushing it back down, repacking that box that it lives in and stowing it away in that shadowy corner that I seldom travel to.  Still, I know it’s there…and it weighs on me as if an elephant had decided to perch its rotund bottom on my chest.

I wonder if you feel this way sometimes?
Do you have to push it back down as well?
Do you have to re-tape that worn-out box and pretend that dark corner doesn’t even exist?  Does it keep you up at night – blinking at the ceiling fan, counting the rotation of its blades as shadows dance off reflections of streetlights lit only for 3rd shift workers and insomniacs out for a stroll?  I repress the urge to join them, to open the front door and walk barefooted down the now cooled, uneven sidewalks as I imagine myself trying to avoid the spiny round pods that fall haphazardly from the large gum tree in our front yard.   I have stepped on these awful spiky seeds a time or two while walking barefoot down our path and even in the cool darkness of the night thoughts of the surprise pain causes me to recoil my feet from the lower spaces of my bed.

I wonder if David ever felt this way?  The pre-murder and adulterous David…the one that tended sheep and slew predators to the flock.  I wonder if he ever felt restless in his heart?  I am sure he did when, later he was being pursued by jealous King Saul and his men.  As David hid from cave to cave and village to village, I imagine him laying down on an uncomfortable uneven floor hoping to rest his weary head.  I can picture his deep sadness as he yearned for his best friend Jonathan.  Yet David trusted in God…but I would venture a guess that there were moments in which he was restless and he too had to push it back down and re-tape his box.

It is said that there is a season for everything…and yet Jesus told the people of his day not to worry about anything, yet I can’t help but find myself in the season of worry from time to time.  Doe that mean that I am not heeding His words?  That, despite my best efforts, I am not trusting in Him?  Perhaps you have thought this also> I worry, but Jesus said not to, and here I am still worrying.<  What do we do with these seasons?  How do we find the glimmers and glints of hope in the mess of our minds?  Sometimes we do believe the lie.  What lie you ask?  The lie that Jesus wasn’t really talking to us when He said those things, that it was just for the disciples and people around Him right then and there… The lie that we are broken people beyond fixing, and that the restlessness that we feel in the pits of our stomachs and the weight of our hearts is what we deserve for being fallen, sinful people.

Don’t live there.
Don’t wallow in that muck and believe that damning lie.
The son who turned his back on his father and spent his entire inheritance on partying, prostitutes and comfort found himself feeding muddy, fetid pigs.  Day in and day out he was covered in mud and pig excrement.  He definitely smelled as bad as they did.  He had lost everything – squandered a small fortune on foolish, regrettable things, and the stink of his life went much deeper than clothes and skin.  He lived there.  He wallowed there.  That pen of stench became his home for a period of time, until he came to senses.  As Jesus told this story of prodigal son, I imagine some who were listening felt that he was telling their story.  The prodigal son came to his senses, got up and devised a plan to return to his father.  He formulated a plan in his mind, he believed he would be unwelcome to return as a son, but maybe, just maybe his father would let him return as a servant.  Can you imagine that restless journey home; The endless loop of things he would finally say to his father in order to stave off the reprisals and chastisements?  As each dusty step led him closer and closer to the home he once knew, thoughts of doubt and fear must have crept in.  “Master, just let me work for you.” (For surely he would never be worthy to call him father after what he did).

And when this beaten-by-life man, who had squandered everything and had hit absolute rock-bottom crested that last hill, and his home was in view…he saw someone running towards him.  Perhaps it was a servant instructed to chase him off.  Perhaps it was a warning not to come any closer…he would have deserved such a welcome.  Instead, it wasn’t any of those things…it was his father that he had wished were dead, running to embrace the son he thought he had lost.

Don’t live in the home of restlessness.
Don’t believe the lie of shame and guilt.
Be forgiven, let your Father embrace you and welcome you home…and when you are finally hope, re-tape that box and then throw it away.

The prodigal son is me.
The prodigal son is you.
But once we have been embraced,
once we have witness our Father running to us,
Once we have been forgiven and returned to our home (where we belong)
don’t even entertain the lie or the box any longer.

But sometimes…we still walk at midnight, say hello, I’ll be waving.

Something more to ponder today.

Dear Salvation Army, Where Are We Going?

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” -Michelangelo

This is more of a collective pondering today. We need your comments, thoughts and opinions in order to carefully and thoughtful answer the above question: Where Are We Going?

What is our vision?

What should our vision be?

How do we make that vision a reality?

What are some of the obstacles in our way of fully realizing that reality?

Who will it take (e.g. soldiers, officers, volunteers, donors)?

How important is accountability in such a large movement/organization?

How can we become more accountable to Christ within this Army? Where does Holiness belong in such a conversation?

I have disclosed numerous questions to ponder today…are you willing to take a chance at answering any or all of these questions? The larger scope question: Where Are We Going? In other words, if you were to envision where the Army SHOULD BE in 20 years, what would it look like? What would you want to see different, the same, the growth?

-If we have no plan or vision, then we will flounder and waver.

We look forward to your responses!

Something more for the Army to ponder today!

Vision without execution is hallucination.” – Thomas Edison

*Disclaimer: the thoughts and opinions represented here do not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of The Salvation Army and are that of the writer of this blog, reader discretion is advised.*

Day 15 – When The Going Gets Tough…

“We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way;…” 2 Corinthians 6:3-4

Have you heard the phrase “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”?  There are no promises of easy living and smooth sailing in the Christian experience.  Jesus doesn’t say “follow me and everything will come up roses!” No, this decision to Live for Christ is one of the hardest life decisions one ever makes!  It is a promise to live for Him no matter what comes our way.  Through the good and bad times.  In so doing, our witness becomes more than just  The words we choose to say to those around us.  Instead our first witness is seen before we ever open our mouths.  Our actions speak louder than words!  

So let me ask you, what kind of witness are your actions displaying for those around you?  

I must confess that there have been times when I know that my actions have been a stumbling block to others.  I’m not proud of that, but it has happened, and will likely happen again.  Have you had similar experiences too?  I would venture a guess and say yes you have.

In all seasons…in all days of this coming week…in our shopping, leisure, work, hobbies, family and public interactions – may our witness be seen and then heard!  May we never become a stumbling block to those around us!  We are living for so much more than just our lives now!  What we say in what we do actually matters.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for this day and the blessings that this day has offered.  Help me tomorrow to be your witness in all that I do and say!  Guide me so that my words and my actions are pleasing to you, and are a sweet aroma for others!  Help me in those spaces where my witness is not evident.  Strengthen me for the difficult moments of my day!  I want to serve you with more than just my words, but with my life as well.  Show me what that looks like today!  In your name I pray these things.  -Amen!

Imprisoned By Fear?

There is all sorts of types of fear.
Fear that propels you into action.
Fear that keeps those you love safe.
Fear that weighs the outcomes of decisions yet to be made.
Irrational Fear
Phobias…

When we say the word “fear” sometimes it evokes different interpretations and understandings of this little four letter word.  Some see it as a challenge, while others dread.

Fear, when used  right can be helpful, but when it is not it can imprison, immobilize and prevent all forms of progress in life.

Our Faith Walk:
The Apostle Paul, after taking those first step in following Christ, post his roadside theophany,  could have fear what others thought of him.  He could have been held captive by fear following the first time he was thrown in prison or flogged for his outspoken faith…but he didn’t.  He rejoiced while in prison.  He and Silas sang songs well into the night.  Although Paul was imprisoned, he certainly wasn’t imprisoned by fear.

How about us?
How is our faith walk?
Do we find ourselves shouting “Amen” during Sunday church service, meanwhile on Monday at work we whisper to a quivering fearful heart?  Does fear hold us back?  Are we afraid of how others might perceive us if we professed our faith out loud?  What about our attitudes and intentions toward others?  Isn’t it harder to remove self from situations than it is to be selfish?  So it is with overcoming fear and replacing it with faith.  It is not that the fear is removed completely, no, instead we learn to use that fear to our advantage.  We recognize when that fear is rising in us and we must consciously decide to step out in faith…or leap.  Harnessing fear places us “out on that limb”.  We say, yes, I am afraid, but I will trust in God to lead me and direct me.  I do not know where this path will lead me, but I will follow the Lord…I will put my trust in Him.

…“I will proclaim Your name to My brothers; I will sing Your praises in the congregation.”13And again: “I will put My trust in Him. Hebrews 2:12-13

Make this your prayer today:
Lord, where you lead me I will follow.
I am afraid, I admit that…but I will not run from
your calling on my life.
I want to live for you in every moment of today.
Lord, take this fear of mine and use it
motivate me into action.
Let me love those around me.
I will become less and you, dear Lord become more.
I struggle with trusting you with all there is of me,
but I acknowledge this and I ask you to remind me of your presence with me
today.
Grant me your boldness, your courage, and your love
as I walk this path that I cannot see.
Lead me Lord.
-Amen.

No Longer Slaves

“Hello…there you are!!” – Featuring Captain Shanais Strissel

Thorns1

Look at this picture of thorny weeds; imagine living in it- right there in the middle of that ugly, painful nest of flesh tearing barbs.  Imagine yourself moving around in there and trying to lay down at night, attempting to get comfortable enough to sleep.

Nope, not going to happen, right? There is no way to move without drawing blood, ripping flesh, crying out in pain- so you remain still, immobile, stagnant…stuck.

Now imagine this:
prune 2

And we clear away all of the thorns and weeds and we find this

flower 3

or this
seed 4

We find freedom from entrapment, a cool soft breeze, sunlight shining on our face, weight lifted, pain relieved and cool, soothing water running along our roots.

Space to breathe

Space to stretch our long achy limbs

Space to let the wounds heal

So what do thorns and weeds and flowers and seeds and space have to do with – anything?

LIFE, they have to do with life and the representation of struggle, pain, agony and victory.

So, imagine with me for a moment that we all start out as a

Seed

This little seed has been gifted with potential…potential to thrive and grow and stretch into what God has encoded into its DNA to be, whether it’s a rose or an great oak tree…the potential to be

More,

To be beautiful,

To be unique…

And we are all born into families; families of other unique seeds that have already grown… but the problem comes when someone has come along and planted a bunch of weeds into the mix.

Parents are tasked with the immense responsibility of nurturing their children, their little seeds of great potential, right?

They are there to tend the soil, remove weeds, cut back unwanted growth, provide food and water and a safe environment for constant focused growth into the mighty image that we are meant to embrace- to find joy and strength and endurance alongside capable hands.

 

But what happens when our parents plant

Weeds

What happens when your parents only know what life among the thorns is like because that is all they have known and now they are planting weeds in yours?

What about if you go back generations and you see nothing but acres of weeds in your family lineage?

Years of abuse, neglect, bad habits, addictions and on and on and on…all of this baggage serves to cover and hide our identity, our potential to reflect the image of God in our own unique way.

What happens now?

Well, we can’t weed the garden ourselves- it would simply turn us into a bloody, pulpy mess- we simply can’t see where we are going in the midst of that mess.

We could just sit and do nothing, which would leave us to become more sad, angry and embittered to our world and leaving us to pass on our own brand of thorns.

Or,

We could desire

Any change starts with a desire to be different, to see things different, to want more out of life than we have been handed, to be more AWARE of the world around us.

It is to recognize that the weeds aren’t good for us and to desire to get the hell out of there, literally speaking to get the Hell out of our lives – that’s the noun not the verb.

When we acknowledge the thorns are there, and desire to see them gone – that’s when real life starts.  God starts clearing the thorns and weeds for us.  He takes on our pain, our agony, our bloody wounds and gives us peace in place of pain.

Does this mean it will be an easy journey? No. Sorry to say it but getting rid of the thorns and weeds forces us to face our own truths and it’s painful but that is the only road to freedom.  The amazing thing is that we don’t walk a solitary journey; God clears the correct path and leads us to freedom and on the road to revelation.

Our true selves are discovered on that journey one root, one branch, one flower, one petal one leaf at a time until the entire beautiful, magnificent, amazingly unique plant is revealed. Well hello, there you are…

by SLS

Dear Salvation Army, 4 Habits Of Healthy Corps

I recall how aggressive and proactive our Founder William Booth was when it came to the Ministry of The Salvation Army.  In early days, it was recommended that if the corps was not producing, then it should be shut down and our efforts must be applied elsewhere.
booth
This got me thinking.
Do we consistently pour resources, time, effort into ministries that are already dead on arrival?
Are we so organizationally stubborn or reluctant to pull up the rug and move on?

This sounds callous of me, I know.
I also realize the ramifications it could have on families and individuals dependent upon our services.
BUT…with fields ripe in other places, could our habits of holiness and mission be shunted by lack of courage to close one corps and open others?  OR have we become so fundamentally stuck in the mud of being an organization that we are now incapable (by and large) of shutting down broken, financially devastated, unsustainable corps?   I realize this is a sensitive topic, when some people look at certain corps with historical romantic lenses on and only see “what was”…but is being sentimental – detrimental to the forward progress of need and mission?

With that in mind, and with our focus upon corps today, I would like to explore the healthy habits.
This should help us better define our corps, its success in ministry and provide us vitals to its future.
What does a healthy corps look like?
What are they doing differently?
Is MY corps healthy?

4 Habits Of Healthy Corps:

prayer1. Prayer is at the forefront, not the background.
Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian weapon.” -Martin Luther
Prayer is not a last resort but a first response.
If a corps longs to be healthy, its corps members and leaders have to be on their knees in prayer.
It is in this act of humility and petition that we can become sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit.  Prayer is more than just offering a wish list to God.  Prayer is also more than just asking God to heal our friends and loved ones in their times of health concerns.  Prayer is the vital connection between humanity and our Divine God.  It is the spark plug of fellowship between believers as well.  Without prayer we lose the connection and the conversations with God.  He longs to connect with us both personally and corporately.

Have we begun to decline in corps attendances and in our fervor and mission because we have forgotten how to pray?  Are prayer meetings still a scheduled “thing” in our corps?   I believe that there is a direct correlation between dying corps and the death of the prayer meeting.

I can recall the prayer meetings that took place before Sunday Services.  It was specific, set aside time, when the local officers and the corps officers would gather, sometimes as they held hands and prayed for people, and for the Holy Spirit to fall afresh.   Are we missing this in our corps’ today?  Is prayer at the forefront or is it in the background?

2. A Healthy Corps Has Ministries & Programs That Are Relevant To Its Community Needs.
I understand that there are some tired, old programs that just need to be retired.  walk
I don’t say that with any trace of cynicism or disdain, but rather, with a sense of concern.  Sometimes we still believe that some of the old methods of programming we did in the 1960’s will still be relevant and applicable to today.  No doubt, the message of Christ will never change but the method of delivery has to.  Culturally speaking things have changed since the 1960’s.  I hold nothing against that era by any means, but we can’t live there anymore.  We have to progress.  We have to, at times, change our methods.

There will always be some who will argue that we shouldn’t search to be relevant, but if we love people…if we wish to connect with this modern generation, many who are unchurched all together, then we have to adjust our methods and our programming.

communityWhat are the needs of people in your community?
What is it that no one else is doing or is capable of doing in your community?
Could your corps be that “all things to all people” type of ministry?
We have to adjust.
We have to modify, while we uphold the sacred integrity of the good news of Christ.
Healthy Corps are doing this.
Healthy Corps are doing more than just surviving week to week on tired old programming.
Perhaps, if you see your corps as “not quite healthy”, it could be time to take a step out of the mundane, “same ole” routine and give your ministries a shot of adrenaline.

3.  A Healthy Corps Has Godly Leaders Who Are Developing Future Leaders
(Active Discipleship)

developmentIs there a drive to develop future leaders in your corps?
It could be through Corps Cadets classes, it could be through other one on one methods…but there ought to be a push to develop the future of leadership within your corps RIGHT NOW!  I don’t wish to alarm you, but many of our present corps are dying out.  Many of our currently “healthy corps” are in actually one generation away from being put on life support.  Where are the future local officers?  Where are the future corps officers?  How are we seeking to cultivate those gifts in younger generations?  It’s not overly complicated.  You don’t need a Phd in education to lead someone and mentor them, you just need to be available and giving of your time.

If you are a leader right now in your corps, you have the utmost responsibility to recruit your replacement and to disciple them.  Don’t wait for the Corps Officer to do this, you do it.  We cannot just wait for someone else to do what we are all called, as leaders to do.  A healthy corps has godly leaders who are developing future leaders. Are you available?
Are you willing to begin this if you haven’t already?

4.  A Healthy Corps Is Attractive And People Linger & Fellowship
fellowshipHere is where the first 3 habits trickle down to this last habit.
This last habit is more of a response to what is already happening in a healthy corps.
When fellowship is GOOD, people linger in its presence.
We’ve probably seen this after Sunday services from time to time.
People just want to continue “hanging out” with each other.
The fellowship of believers ought to be sweet…but sometimes it’s just plain sour.
There are, unfortunately, sometimes corps members who have bickered with each other for years and as soon as the last “amens” are said in church they march right out the door so that they do not have to be in the same room with their “enemy” who just so happens to attend the same corps.  REALLY?  Again, dear soldiers, this ought not be!  If we want desire to have a healthy corps, we have to seek reconciliation with those who are supposed to be our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

A healthy corps offers time to linger within one another’s fellowship.
It is a safe place to share with each other what is really going on in their lives.
The sweet aroma of this kind of fellowship is extremely attractive to those seeking Christ and a church to belong to.

Does your corps have a sweet aroma or a sour smell?

These are just four habits of a healthy corps…there are many more.
This is a mere primer to a larger topic of Christian living and corps health in our Army.
Is Your Corps Healthy?

Something more to ponder today.
To God be the glory!

Breaking News…”Misremembering” And The Quest For Integrity

Brian Williams has been suspended from NBC this week.
Longtime NBC anchorman was challenged by others within the media world as to the substance of his “encounters” while reporting on the Iraq war in 2003.  His “misremembering” of specific details has left some scratching their heads while others calling for his immediate termination.  Whether intentional or not, the fallout of “misremembering” at the journalistic level will undoubtedly have consequences.

Similarly, within the Christian world “misremembering” and/or inconsistencies of witness will also undoubtedly have consequences!  Like those who report the news nationally and internationally, Christians leaders are looked up to.  They provide other Christians and would-be believers vital information, sources of hope, and godly direction.  Integrity and honesty should be a given, although there have been some who have fallen from grace over the years. swaggart

The witness of Christians can become greatly devalued when inconsistencies and misremembering takes place.  What good is it to speak of love and grace and even Jesus when suddenly we misremember how we are to treat other people?  What good are these Christian qualities when our actions and attitudes do not resemble our words?  Worse yet, what good is it to go to church and sing all the right songs and pray all the right prayers only to walk out of those doors and resemble anything but a Christ follower in our unhealthy habits, speech and actions?

Do we run the risk of running empty on integrity when we misremember how we are to be as Christians?  You bet we do!  The unfortunate consequences of lack of integrity as people of faith is that we will lead people away from God. Why would people want to seek out Christ when His very own followers do not practice what they preach?

Two things happen when we live within the “misremembered” and dishonest walk of “faith”

hypo1. Our Christian witness is compromised, phony and detremental to others who are ACTUALLY living as God has called the faithful to live.  We are not only ruining the chances of potential new believers coming to the faith, but we are making it even harder on other believers who are living lives of integrity.   It only takes a few rotten apples to ruin the whole bunch.  When others look at the church they will mostly likely first see the rotten ones.  We must be aware of our witness to others…it matters THAT much!

2.  Our personal faith and growth will be stuntedstunted
…from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.”  (James 3:10-12)
Living a dishonest life within the realms of faith will inevitably shortchange our potential maturity and growth.  We cannot live this way.  As James puts it “this ought not be this way“.   We jeopardize not only the Christian witness to others, but we tarnish our own paths and limit what God can do through us by living this way.   Living a “misremembered” life that lacks integrity is cheap and unfortunately more common than not.  Dare I say that Christ has called us to live the uncommon life that is full of integrity, love and obedience!

BrianLet’s face it, Brian Williams isn’t the only one who has “misremembered” things, he was just caught.
Many are just as guilty of this same character flaw.  Brian Williams just happened to be in the public eye reporting the news.  Will there be more who will fall from grace?  Of course…but you and I do not have to be included in this statistic if we are mindful of this trap!  Integrity is a valuable, often tarnished commodity that many lack today.  As people of faith, we ought to make it our goal to strive to live integrity in all that we do and all that we are!

Let’s stop the “misremembering” madness in our own lives and start practicing honesty, sincerity and truth both in word and deed.

Something more to ponder today!

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