This comes from Perry Noble at http://www.perrynoble.com/2011/03/17/seven-things-i-cannot-expect/
#1 – I cannot expect to win arguments with those who don’t want to settle the argument, they just want to fight for the sake of fighting. (II Timothy 2:23)
#2 – I cannot expect people to read my mind. (I Corinthians 14:8)
#3 – I cannot possibly expect to have a complete and detailed plan from God that tells me exactly what His plans are for the next 20 years. (Psalm 119:105) – He doesn’t promise to let us see years in advance, but He does promise to show us our next step!
#4 – I cannot expect to be a follower of Jesus and keep everyone around me happy at the same time. (Proverbs 29:25)
#5 – I cannot expect to stay the same and see progress (Isaiah 43:18-19)
#6 – I cannot expect to please God without taking steps of faith (Hebrews 11:6)
#7 – I cannot expect to hear God’s voice if I am always running at an unsustainable pace! (Psalm 46:10)
- Perry Noble
CHUCK COLSON HAS THIS TO SAY ABOUT GRATITUDE*: The great preacher and American theologian Jonathan Edwards called thanks for such blessings "natural gratitude." It's a good thing, but this gratitude doesn't come naturally -- if at all -- when things go badly. It can't buoy us in difficult times. Nor, by itself, does it truly please God. And, to paraphrase Jesus, even pagans can give thanks when things are going well.
Edwards calls the deeper, primary form of thankfulness "gracious gratitude." It gives thanks not for goods received, but for who God is: for His character -- His goodness, love, power, excellencies -- regardless of favors received. And it's real evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a person's life.
This gracious gratitude for who God is also goes to the heart of who we are in Christ. It is relational, rather than conditional. Though our world may shatter, we are secure in Him. The fount of our joy, the love of the God who made us and saved us, cannot be quenched by any power that exists (Romans 8:28-39). People who are filled with such radical gratitude are unstoppable, irrepressible, overflowing with what C. S. Lewis called "the good infection" -- the supernatural, refreshing love of God that draws others to Him.
And that, more than any words we might utter, is a powerful witness to our neighbors that God's power is real, and His presence very relevant, even in a world full of brokenness as well as blessings.
* from: http://www.christianpost.com/news/grateful-for-god-in-tough-times-51865/
Two weeks ago New York became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage. It joins Connecticut, Iowa Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. Some polls show that public opinion in America has shifted from opposition to support of gay marriage in just a decade’s time.
Our world is changing. How should Christ’s Church respond?
FIRST, we must not respond with hate. Paul said, “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against...the spiritual forces of evil…” (Ephesians 6:12). Vilifying and indentifying as evil those who stand on the other side of this “issue” results in deluding ourselves that we are somehow spiritually superior. Beware of casting off the humility of Christ.
John Wesley is a help here: “Be angry at sin, as an affront offered to the Majesty of heaven; but love the sinner still: Like our Lord, who ‘looked round about upon the Pharisees with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.” He was grieved at the sinners, angry at sin. Thus be thou “angry, and sin not!’” (Sermon 33, Sermon on the Mount, Discourse 13).
SECOND, we must not respond with fear. Fear of public opinion, of being in the minority, of being hated and accused of hate and prejudice will result in quieting the church. If we give into fear we will fail to speak out lovingly and take a firm stand. Do we love the souls of our gay friends and family members enough to refuse to condone their actions and bless their choices?
Jesus prepared us for the backlash against the righteous: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” - John 15:18-19 (NIV)
If the person who has chosen a gay lifestyle has no representative of Christ in their life who lovingly yet firmly disagrees with them, how will they experience the love and holiness of God so they might return to Him?
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.
- William Carey
My name is Tim Kirkes. I am honored to be the a child of my heavenly Father, the husband of Lisa, the father of two boys and the pastor of San Dimas Wesleyan church.