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Archive for March, 2011

Cultivating a Spirit of Innocence

March 14th, 2011 1 comment

Part of recapturing our blush is learning how to cultivate a spirit of innocence. The Apostle Paul writes,

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

Philippians 2:14-16, NLT

How easy it is to become jaded and cynical. The longer we are exposed to human sin and failure the more we are likely to experience a hardening of our hearts. Our spirits begin to function in negativity.

It’s easy to become cynical when you are around…

Those with perverted viewpoints, habits and desires…

Those who are continually complain and find fault…

Those who will take every occasion to pervert what you do and say…

Those who seek every opportunity to hinder the cause of truth and righteousness.

This is why Paul tells the Church at Philippi to do everything within their power to avoid complaining and arguing. Instead, he exhorts them to live “clean and innocent” lives.The Greek word used here (ἀκέραιος akeraios) means “that which is unmixed; and then pure, sincere and without guile.”

In fact, Paul we should live like God’s children. In other words, we need to cultivate and protect a sense of childlikeness in our approach towards God and others. This spirit of childlike innocence will cause us to shine like “bright lights” in the midst of a world that is crooked and perverted.

Let’s get rid of the cynicism today! This week, I’ll be talking about how we can cultivate a spirit of innocence in a cynical world. Stay tuned!

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Righteous Romance Tip #3: Jealousy

March 11th, 2011 No comments

Some of you are wondering what jealousy has to do with righteous romance. After all, doesn’t the Bible place jealousy squarely in the category of what is sinful?

For instance Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:20:

“For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.“

And in Galatians 5:19-20, jealousy is listed as one of the works of the flesh:

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,”

So what’s jealousy have to do with righteous romance? Everything.

We are not talking about carnal jealousy which is rooted in a heart filled with fear, insecurity, hurt or control. We are referring to the godlike quality of jealousy.

Did you know that one of the names of God is “Jealous.”

You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.
Exodus 34:14 (NLT)

Jealousy in and of itself is not good. It is only godly and helpful when it protects the covenant relationship. Jealousy is love’s boundary. Jealousy is like a strong fence that keeps out intruders from encroaching upon the marriage covenant.

Jealousy is meant to defend love, not destroy it.

This is why the Bride cries out to her Beloved,

Place me like a seal over your heart,
like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
its jealousy as enduring as the grave.
Song of Songs 8:6-7

Love needs the security of a covenant – “My beloved is mine and I am His; his banner over me is love.” Jealousy is aroused when someone or something takes first place in the heart of the beloved.

Jealousy says, “I should be first.”

Ask your spouse to list, from his/her perspective, what they consider to be your top five priorities or passions. Then take a look at the list. If your spouse is not securely on top in the #1 position, something is wrong.

In a spirit of holy jealousy, work diligently to keep your spouse in an uncontested place of pre-eminence and you’ll have a protected garden where romance can flourish.

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Presidential Pence-sivity

March 10th, 2011 6 comments

The following is an except from a speech entitled, “The Presidency and the Constitution,” delivered by The Honorable Mike Pence, U.S. Representative for Indiana’s Sixth Congressional District while on the campus of Hillsdale College, September 20, 2010. It is an eloquent and essential reminder of the role of our President to serve the people and to enforce and uphold the Constitution of the United States. Enjoy!

“America is not a dog, and does not require a “because-I-said-so” jurisprudence; or legislators who knit laws of such insulting complexity that they are heavier than chains; or a president who acts like, speaks like, and is received as a king.

The president is not our teacher, our tutor, our guide or ruler. He does not command us; we command him. We serve neither him nor his vision. It is not his job or his prerogative to redefine custom, law, and beliefs; to appropriate industries; to seize the country, as it were, by the shoulders or by the throat so as to impose by force of theatrical charisma his justice upon 300 million others. It is neither his job nor his prerogative to shift the power of decision away from them, and to him and the acolytes of his choosing.”