April 2017 - GraceAndWorks

Psalm 18:46-49

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The Lord lives! Blessed be the rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted. It is God who avenges me, and subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises in Your name.

But–I Want To Be Entertained

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Entertainment comes with many different levels. Movies, musical shows, bowling, skiing, skating, playing games with friends and family, golfing, and the list goes on. Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday have become “Party” time. I hear things such as let’s have a Sunday “Fun-Day”, where’s everyone partying, and “I” want to……..It’s become a way of life for many to just do their own “Thing” and have fun.

We have no regard to what God wants us to do. We can’t seem to make time for ourselves to attend Worship services on Sunday. Sunday “Fun-Day” should be having the enjoyment of family time and God time, not “Where’s the party?” The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us to not forsake the assembly of the saints. We should want to attend Worship. You want a Sunday “Fun-Day”? Go to Worship with family and friends, sing to your heart’s content, pray to God and thank Him for the blessings that you have in your life, Commune with Him to show your respect and thanks for Jesus giving His life for you and me, and you can also hear a lesson from His written word so that you may become a better person. Worship services are not for entertainment as one thinks of entertainment. They are to Praise God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We don’t need instruments and choirs because we all sing in unison with our hearts and voices.

Next time Sunday rolls around, attend Worship services and create a God “Fun-Day”. Create a good habit instead of relying on the bad habits that the world has. SMILE God loves YOU!!

Have a good week all.

Philippians 4:8

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Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.

Ephesians 5:5-7

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For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not partake with them.

It’s Difficult To Stay Focused

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When driving down the road, how easy it is to lose concentration. You see something off to the side of the road and glance over for a look. Conversation can be distracting to the driver. Talking of the phone or texting. Listening to the radio can take your attention away from driving. There are all kinds of things that will cause us to lose focus and some times it will cause accidents.

I watch a lot of sports. I see teams get a big lead and think they have the game won only to lose concentration and end up in a close game and even losing. In football, teams will employ what they call “Prevent Defense” only to see a lead evaporate, trying to run out the clock and win the game. I call this a “Prevent to win Defense” because there are times when the team loses focus and ends up losing the game. Individual sports like golf, tennis, and track and field require extreme focus. You hear athletes say “my head just wasn’t in the game today.” What that simply means is they couldn’t gather the concentration or focus to make good things happen.

Life is full of distractions. We lose jobs, friends and family members pass on, health issues, bad attitudes, not knowing what is going to happen, worry, stress, procrastination, bull headedness, and the list goes on. However, things are going to happen to cause us to lose our focus on the job at hand and we must be able to adapt and overcome. Not easy at times, but can be done with the concentration, attitude and focus.

Christian lives are also suspect to losing focus. We get tired, grow apathetic, and lose interest. We become comfortable and lose focus on the goal. All of this persuades us to slow down, back off, drop out, and give up all because we lost focus.We don’t like quitters, we hate ourselves for giving up, and the very word SURRENDER leaves a bad taste in our mouths. Even when things are bleakest we need to persevere, hang on, not giving up, and never cry “Uncle”. We have sayings we use, such as “Keep on keeping on”, “Never say die”, “Tie a knot and hold on”, and “It’s not over ’til it’s over”. Catching sayings, but they won’t work unless we can stay focused.

In 2nd Timothy chapter 2, Paul gives us good examples on how to remain focused. He tells us to be as single minded as a soldier, be as disciplined as an athlete, and be as hard working as a farmer. Most of can relate to one or all of these. We need to be patient under hardship, abstain from wicked ways, and be a pursuer of a good and pure heart. If we can do these things, we will remain focused on the goal. That goal being Heaven.

SMILE God loves YOU!! Have a good week all.

Be As Hard Working As A Farmer

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Tractors without cabs, air conditioning, stereos or radios. Cars, pickups, and trucks with no air conditioning and not much of a heater. Up at 6 AM and work until 6 PM. Get done what you could and start all over the next day. Winter time, up early in the morning to feed the cattle and then off to school. Working on a farm was a way of life. It wasn’t easy, but you never gave it a second thought. You just did the work without question.

We had about a thousand acres of wheat land to farm and 125 head of cattle to take care of. We had alfalfa, cane, and grass for the cattle. Some 15,000 bales were put up each summer so we had feed for the cattle in the winter. We didn’t have the equipment that is available today. Bales were rectangular, weighed 50-75 pounds, and all had to be handled by hand. We would load them on a trailer and haul them to a stack to store for the winter. Hard work, yes!! But a way of life and we never questioned doing it. We had miles of fence to take care of and tended to that when it had rained and it was too wet to work in the fields. Working in the fields we sat on open tractors as the dirt swirled around us. We were never concerned about spraying for weeds or bugs and sitting in the open breathing all that in. This was back in the 50’s and 60’s. I don’t know exactly what farming is all about today, I’ve been away from it for many years now. However, I do know it has evolved with better and more efficient equipment. The work still has to be done. The work is still not easy. The work is still a way of life.

Why did I tell you all this? In 2nd Timothy 2:6, Paul encourages and admonishes us to be as hard working as a farmer. He is talking about our work in God’s kingdom. Are we as dedicated as the farmer? Are we as diligent to our work as the farmer? Are we as focused as the farmer? The work has to be done. The work isn’t always easy. The work should be a way of life.

Count your many blessings and thank God for them, through prayer and your work for Him in the Kingdom.

What Path Are You On?

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If you are like me, it seems that life is like a NASCAR race. You just go around and around in circles making nothing but left hand turns. Sometimes we don’t even get the circle completed before something else comes up.

There are several paths as we go through life. When I lived on the farm we had paths that we drove on through the fields. They were bumpy and rough to ride on. Then there were the gravel country roads. Better that a path, but could still be bumpy and rough to ride on. We then graduate to the paved roads. Smooth sailing along the way. Until…..you hit that dreaded “Chuck Hole”, then BOOM, the ride turns bumpy and rough.

If this all sounds waaaaay to familiar, take a look at your life. Are things bumpy and rough and the ride you have isn’t as smooth as you thought it would be? Maybe it’s time to do something about the rough patches.

Awwww if only we would do what God wants us to do, life would be a much smoother ride. He doesn’t want us to hold grudges, harbor anger, worry about things that don’t matter, covet what others have–be satisfied with what He has provided for us, have a disrespect for others, and being self-centered. He wants us to be obedient to Him. Lead a righteous life, go to Worship services on the first day of the week, be baptized for the remission of sins, be cordial to others, and have the love and respect for others that they deserve. What a better world we would live in, if all would abide in God’s rules instead of just doing what we want!! No more lying, cheating, murder, stealing, and gross immorality. Those things would all be gone and out of our lives. Awwwww the smooth ride through life that we desire.