Monday, January 23, 2012

Stay Positive

It’s so important to be positive at all times - the lives of so many in our world depend on it. Creating a positive environment, not a negative one, is the only way to return the positive results I’m sure we all seek. We need to be willing to watch the way we view the world, to watch the way we speak and interact with the world in which we live. Negativity destroys our ability to view the world in a positive light, as it alters the perspective through which we view it.

A motto I want to live by in 2012 is “say no to negativity.” because if you can do that you’ll experience a much more positive year.

I believe negativity to be the single most destructive force in society today. But here’s the problem - sometimes unfortunately, we the church, are not exempt from this reality.

As Christians “our product” is the Good News. Yet at times we misrepresent this amazing message of life by frustration, carrying hurt and unforgiveness, sometimes misunderstanding, we struggle to believe.

We call ourselves believers but our attitude and demeanour or dementia as I like to call it, causes us to forget to demonstrate that we are BELIEVERS, people who actually represent the nature of the message we say we confess. Our lives should be defined more by what we believe in than what we DON’T believe in.

The problem is our attitude will leech out and affect everything else in our world…in other words you can’t say you love “that person” when you hate ”that person”. Your lack of love “there” will affect your ability to love “here” Lack of belief “here” affects your ability to believe “there”.

It’s important that you “fine-tune” the environment that surrounds you because a positive outcome can never be produced from a negative outlook. The two will never flow from the same source. James 3: 9 .. We cannot with the same tongue praise God, and with it then curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing and this should not be so. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

What’s happening at work is about what’s happening in you. If you have a bad day at work, bad reactions can often leech out at home. If you have a difficult relationship with one partner that ends badly, sometimes those same dynamics can follow you into the next relationship. We say things like "care factor zero" and so zero is exactly what we get back. The Bible says “Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath”. Have you ever had a curry or a marinated meal and had left overs? After sitting in the fridge overnight sometimes the left overs can taste stronger the next day. Negativity, hurt and pain are a little the same. Time may not in fact heal all wounds as the statement suggests, it may in fact make them stronger. Sometimes we feel we have the right to harbor negativity and we use justifications like…if you knew what I’m going through you’d understand why I’m feeling so hurt. Or, one of my personal favorites, sometimes we call it realism - “being real” - and it’s just an excuse, not for being “real” but being “real nasty.”

Or when we are negative we can sometimes come to terms with it, then include it as part of our identity and say, it’s just the way I am. Don’t define yourself by a season you're going through or the season could in fact define you. If you’re going through hell don’t stop! If life throws you a curved ball, don’t catch it. Here’s what happens, like the curry, it intensifies the longer we hold on to it. If we don’t get rid of it, it will be stronger the next day, month, year. Here’s what you do with rubbish, you take out the trash. Ever seen one of those houses where for years no one has ever removed any rubbish and now the inhabitants are living in squalour and filth. If we don’t deal with negativity it remains in us rotting away and creating a toxic environment that eventually poisons us. Don’t expect favor and and don’t expect blessing if you constantly view life though the lens of negativity.

This is the objective view of God, even sin now (since Jesus) is seen through the perfect sinless and sacrificial life of Jesus Christ, so when God looks at sin He views it through the positive perspective of Jesus. His view of humanity with all its failure, fault and inconsistency is that none should perish - a motto used in the movie, “The Guardian”. In this movie, the life-saving force would rescue distressed boats trapped in mountainous seas. Nothing would deter them, even at the expense of their own lives, they refused to see the conditions, the huge winds and gigantic waves. All they saw was the lives they were about to save. Great things are achieved only when we refuse to look at the negative and focus on the possibilities. It’s all about perspective, what you refuse to look at. So believing is “NOT SEEING.” Faith is the evidence of things we “CAN’T SEE.” God states in His word that, I will do over and above what you imagine or “EVEN SEE.” Then this “EYE HAS NOT SEEN,” ear has not heard what God has prepared for those who love Him……

You’ve got to see past what you see with your eyes, what you feel with your emotions what you hear with your ears. All great things come from this ability to see what cant be seen, to believe what is unbelievable…to know what is unknowable. Peter only attempted to walk on water because he looked past the negative data. When he refused to consider what he believed he could not do, preferring to believe what Jesus said he could do, then he could walk on water.
But the moment he returns to looking at what’s happing around him, to see the situation through the view finder of the natural, the wind and waves, he immediately sank. That’s why much of the great things achieved actually occur in the closet first. Away from public scrutiny, away from the distractions, things that seek to steal your attention.
Spiritually often we are preconditioned to think .. I’ll believe it when I see it. If we make the mistake of doing this, we cut off faith, disable belief and anything positive doesn’t stand a chance.
Jesus pointed to very few people having qualities He could promote as Godly. Strong faith or belief was one of them….
A woman who argued with Him for a miracle, a centurion soldier who believed all Jesus had to do was speak a word for his servant to be healed.
A woman who washed His feet out of complete thankfulness, without one thought for the fact she shouldn’t have even been there. Yet in Luke 7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” In contrast Simon could not see past the prostitute to see the saint. Sometimes we live in the world (we see)… Jabez changed his perspective refusing to see himself as a pain any longer but blessed. We live in a trashy world so often only because we refuse to take the trash OUT, we refuse to “SAY NO TO NEGATIVITY” Jesus only came to give life, the devil only comes to bring death. Don’t live in that negative world, don’t even walk down that street or live at that address.

Negativity is like a little grain of sand that gets into a bearing joint and slowly grinds away at all that works until it no longer does.
Negativity is a little like cancer, it produces rapidly after its own like at a rate healthy cells can't, eventually killing all that is healthy if not removed totally. Here’s the real problem with negative words: they will travel far more extensively than you ever intended them to. Prov 26:2 Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse (negative words) will not come to rest. Send out negativity it will never find rest it will flutter around trying to find a place to roost but never will. They will flutter back to haunt you for years. But in contrast Prov says…A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Jaybez believed….he said NO to negativity, in the midst of adversity rejection and humiliation he remained positive.
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. You will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word you have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Jeremiah 42:16 Says "the sword you fear will overtake you, the famine you dread will follow you" Negativity will not rest till it tracks you down and overtakes you.

No matter what you SEE of the circumstances, the point is no matter what they show Stay positive, say No to negativity.
There’s a guy named Nick Vujicic who was born with No legs and no arms, he tours the world preaching a positive message that is inspiring. His motto says it all, No legs No arms No Worries.
Stay positive.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The green thing

The modern version of “green” is so tame. When it comes to recycling material, living without disposable goods, and leaving a smaller carbon footprint, the real experts are the long lived people who’ve been there, done that, they did it so much better, so long ago.

I saw this on a friend's status, and thought it was brilliant reminded me of growing up in the 60's Thanks Peter Pilt for reposting it.

Checking out at the grocery store recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment. I apologized and explained, ..."We didn't have this green thing back in my day." The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations." She was right about one thing -- our generation didn't have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then…? After some reflection and soul-searching on "Our" day here's what I remembered we did have.... Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day. We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day. Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw- away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me- down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day. Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right. We didn't have the green thing back then. We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the green thing back then. Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24- hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint. But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

I can personally remember that we didn't have phones; we wound up our watches and alarm clocks. We drank water from the garden hose, walked across the city to get to a friend's house and to school every day. I can remember being woken at the crack of dawn as a child by the sound of a horse and buggy going up our street to deliver the milk to our door. I can remember our bread was delivered and we had to leave a bread tin at the door because the bread had no packaging, our fridge was powered by a block of ice again delivered to the door. Most of my pocket money was earned by collecting bottles and getting the 5 cents or less back for them. I often wondered why we went away from that system it seemed to be so simple and efficient. I often mowed our huge yard with a hand mower. If our parents needed to find us for dinner they would yell over the back fence and that neighbour would do the same until someone knew which house we were at and yell back, “Ashley, dinner's ready” but yes we didn’t have the green thing back then. Oh and we used cloth nappies...Can you still buy them?

I'm not sure I would want to go back to that era, I like my big screen TV, but it may be a good idea not to judge people till you have walked a mile or so in their shoes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dog or Cat?

Life is often divided into 2 camps, one must decide which side they favor and live with the consequences...

The Dog's Diary

8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

The Cat's Diary - Day 983 of my captivity...

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again throw up on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. SAVAGES!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now ...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jesus v Religion... What would Jesus really do?

It was not Jesus intention to abolish religion. Jesus did deal with wrong motives in the hearts of hypocritical people. For example he taught, don't pray just to be seen, or in Luke 11:42 he said it IS right to tithe but not without neglecting justice and love....In Matthew 5:17 He says,

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”

Jesus called the scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites because they lived in contradiction to the belief system they said they practised.

In Matthew 23:3 Jesus told the disciples to live according to the way the scribes and Pharisees told them to.

"practise and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practise”

To judge a group of people unrighteously because you’re a Jesus follower disqualifies you from being the follower you say you are. Proverbs 11:1 says, "an unbalanced judgment is an abomination to the lord." God says, "don’t say you love me if you refuse to love your brother."

DON'T judge what Jesus is not judging, DON'T make sweeping statements... who hasn’t been caught in others' judgments, that don’t reflect your real intention.

There are a lot of great religious people who have achieved great things....and pleased the heart of Jesus.

RELIGION is a Noun... The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, or a personal God.
Synonyms: are faith - belief - creed

Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Some will try and state that in the original it means "to bind" in an attempt to make you think it's bad, but really "to bind" in the original means "to bind you to" or to connect you to something. It's a little like Paul saying I'm in chains to the gospel. Religion seems ok to me...just dont use it to mask hidden motives like strong unbalanced judgments.

Religion is not the enemy Sin is...lets stop fighting the wrong battles
Just sayin