Promises, Promises

Posted: September 29th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: My Thoughts, Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

NeverGiveUpPromises. As kids, we are taught that promises are to be taken seriously, and so we grow up trying our hardest to keep them.  Maybe it’s because we remember a promise being made to us by a parent or friend that ended up being broken, or maybe we try hard to keep them to avoid causing others disappointment. Maybe it just goes back to “Let your ‘Yes’ be yes, and your ‘No’ be no.” (Matt. 5:37)

I think sometimes that we only say “I promise” to the easy stuff.  “I promise, I’ll take out the trash before I leave.” “Tomorrow we’ll go the park, I promise!”  You know, the incidentals.  If the promise isn’t kept, it’s not a big deal.  Maybe that is where our problem started, because it seems today that promises don’t mean much at all.

Maybe the best example is that of the politicians. They make all sorts of promises to get elected, and a majority never come to fruition.  Part of that may be it is not in their sole power to deliver on them, to which I say, “Don’t make a promise you can’t keep.”  To others, I would say, “Don’t make promises you never intend on keeping.”  Either way, it really is setting a bad example.

Maybe more disheartening the example that 50+% of married adults (even Christian adults) make: “Til death do us part.”

I know, I know, crap happens, people “fall” in and out of love.  People change. People fight. People cheat.  The fact remains, a promise was made.  It’s one of the most important promises we can make, yet it is taken so lightly by so many.  If you think I am being harsh, I am, but please keep reading.

I ask a question.  Would you keep a promise, if it meant someone else being uncomfortable?

Like,  “I promise not to smoke any more.”  The chances are, if you make this promise, you will be grumpy for awhile, I know, I have been around plenty of people trying to quit.  But I have patience and tolerate them, because in the end, them keeping their promise is better for their health.  If fact, in their hardship, I even encourage them to keep this promise.

Now, would you keep your promise if it meant hurting someone’s feelings?

Scenario. “I will help you move next weekend.” Here, a promise is made to help someone, but on that day, your kids are not feeling well and your spouse asks you to stay home and help out.  What do you do? Well, you feel sympathetic toward your spouse and children, and you know it may hurt their feelings, and maybe they feel they are not number one for a few hours, but you go and help your friend move.  Why? Because your word is your word, and it sucks sometimes, but you do it.

Moving along, do you keep the promise when it causes harm to yourself?

“I promise to protect my family.”  A robber breaks in, and without hesitation, a man or woman will do whatever necessary to protect their loved ones, even if it costs them their life.  Makes sense right?  One of the most costly to follow through on, but we do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do.

Now the difficult one: Would you keep a promise if it cost the life of your child? I know someone who did.

A man was promised that a nation would be made from his offspring, but to follow through on it, his own child had to die.  The promise was made by God, to Abram, at the cost of Jesus’ life.  Not only did God follow through on the promise, He made the promise knowing what it would cost.

Now I challenge myself and you to keep our word.  Make your yes, yes, and your no, no; especially when it comes to your marriage.  We make mistakes, I know, I have made plenty, but we can’t give up.  I doubt very highly that keeping the promise “Til death do us part” will cost us the physical lives of our children, but it is killing generations in many different ways (broken homes, broken relationships, bitterness, even hatred being passed around like Halloween candy all in the name of “What’s best for the kids” translates to “what is best for me.”).

It’s not easy sometimes, but it’s worth it.  It’s work a lot of the time, but it’s worth it.


To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain

Posted: September 8th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

This is a great bit of audio.  Here is the video from youtube, or if you like, you can follow the link and download the mp3.

Words that hurt so good: “They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.” John 16:2

Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?   As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.   Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.   For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,   Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Download Now! To live is Christ, to die is gain (compilation) by Compilations


The Jonah Effect

Posted: September 3rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Spirituality | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »
Copyright Eric Morris 2006

Copyright Eric Morris 2006

There are a lot of things going on in the United States today, politically speaking (bear with me a minute, this is not a political rant).  It isn’t hard at all to see that our country is at a fork in the road and the vehicle is stalled until we decide on a direction.

In times like these, the opinions on what the problems and solutions are vary, and some who carry them speak louder of it than others.  I have heard that the Obama administration is taking the country to a socialist, Marxist, communist direction, and I have heard many solutions varying from impeachment, to voting out all incumbents in 2010, to outright revolution.

Now, others feel this is a great direction.  There are millions of individuals who need the health care programs being proposed, the programs afforded by the stimulus to help with heating bills and home renovations, and the incentive at a corporate level to be more environmentally responsible.

Regardless of which camp you are in, I offer the following:

There was a man named Jonah, you’ve probably heard of him.  God speaks to the prophet that he is to go to Nineveh, and we know his reaction.   He gets on a boat and heads the opposite direction.  In response, God sends a violent storm and everyone on the ship is afraid that the storm will sink the ship.

Here is the how the rest goes down (Jonah 1).

All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.   But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.”

Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah.   So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?”

He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.”

This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the LORD, because he had already told them so.)”

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Let’s bring it into today’s world.

The ship (country) is in troubled water, and people (especially conservatives) are running around screaming, “The sky is falling!”  They are crying out to their gods (representatives, radio talk shows, and the like) “What do we do? Why is this happening?”  all to no avail.  They think they are being punished for some wrong doing of theirs, or those around them, but this is not the case at all.

See, the story is not about them, and it is not about the storm: It is about the saving of a people.

The entire time this storm is going on, where is the prophet?  He is in the bottom of the ship, hiding.

And there it is.  Jonah finally faces the truth that all of this is happening solely because he is not doing what God commissioned him to do.  See, the answer for the men of that ship (and our country) was not to throw the captain (president), crew (congress), or cargo (legislation) overboard.  None of these would stop the storm, and did not cause it.  The only thing that can stop it is the obedience of God’s people. Our problem is, we’re running and hiding in the bottom of the ship still and not recognizing our wrong.

Jonah had to realize his disobedience was the problem, own up to it, and then obey.  Once he decided that he was responsible for the calamity around him, he jumped overboard (died to himself and his own ideals).  Instantly, the storm was gone, and I love this part, “God provided…”  We need to get to that place as believers where we say, “It is our fault that this storm is on you.”

So what is the believer to do in the current political climate?  Obey God’s commissions.  If we simply lived (and I am including myself in all this) as Christ taught, none of these actions the administration is purposing would even be necessary.  God told us to take care of the fatherless and the widows.  He calls the believer to give all to those in need and not to worry about himself.  He calls us to be good stewards of the earth.

As for the health care bit?  Where is the believer in this?  See Matthew 4:23-24 “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.”

If we as Christians would stand up and pray for our leaders first, without prejudice, malice, or selfish motivation, that in itself would be a milestone.  Let’s take care of what Jesus called us to do FIRST, and he will calm the storm around us.  The revolution that needs to happen needs to be in the hearts and actions of God’s people.

- mooney