All posts by miltonfriesen

Get a God-Perspective!

DavidandGoliath

When you face problems, get a God-Perspective. The size of your problem matters less than your perspective does. If you see it as insurmountable, it probably will be for you. If you see it as huge, it is huge to you, even if someone looking at it from the sidelines sees it as a small problem. A really small problem can seem really big if its in right in front of your face. Step back, look up, its probably not the size you think. And even if its a big problem, a God-Perspective can build the needed faith to overcome the odds.

David had a God-Perspective when he faced Goliath. Everyone around him called Goliath a “giant”. His brothers did. The king did. They were afraid of this “giant”. But David simply calls him the “uncircumcised Philistine.” It wasn’t so much a put-down, as it was simply pointing out that the “giant” had no covenant with God. And David knew that he did have a covenant with God. So did all the rest of the army of the Children of Israel. But somehow, they let the taunts of the giant warrior intimidate them and they lost sight of the covenant. And God was difinitely bigger than Goliath. That was what David focused on. He focused on the fact that the “giant” was mocking the people who had a covenant with the Almighty. That gave him the faith that God would be there with him. By Covenant the giant was not just mocking them, he was mocking God, and David was convinced this was God’s enemy as much as it was theirs. That gave him confidence that God would be with them.

A God-Perspective can help us see that the battle isn’t just mine, its God’s too. And when its God’s problem too, then we can rely on Him coming through on the problem. Because believe it or not, God desires your success more than you do. Well, that is, if you have a renewed definition of success. He desires His name to be glorified in our lives. Of course, sometimes a God-Perspective will simply cause us to realize that the problem isn’t a problem for us to overcome at all, its a wall to protect us from going into the danger zone. In that case, we just need to alter course and walk the other way. What-ever the case, God’s grace is sufficient in our weakness.

photo credit: Tuxified via photopin cc

No More New Years Resolutions!

new-years-resolutionAround this time of Year, millions make their New Year’s Resolutions in a renewed effort to improve their lives. They don’t like what they see when they look back at 2012, and vow 2013 will be different. And so they make this List of things that they will do, or not do, from this day forward. Are you one of those people? But, New Years Resolutions rarely ever lead to change.

Why? Because its like making a wish-list. A list of things you wish you could quit doing, or start doing. “I wish I could quit smoking.” “I wish I could lose weight.” “I wish I would eat healthier.” “I wish I ________.” Go ahead fill in the blank. If you are like me, it doesn’t matter how good last year was, you could sure find a thing or two to improve on.

But a month into the new year will show that for most people, 2013 is shaping up very much the same as their last year. So why is that? There are at least 3 easily identified problems with new years resolutions. The first problem is, the desire for change is often not big enough. We’ll make all kinds of impromptu resolutions on New Years day with out really thinking them through, but they lack conviction. And the next problem is, often there are so many things we think we need to change, we are overwhelmed. Fear and self-doubt come with that list, and we give up almost before we start because changing all that is such a daunting task. Thirdly, we lack motivation to change. Sure we’d like a better life, but it is so much hard work. So why exactly are we doing this?

So what if I told you there is a better more effective way? Go ahead, ditch the pattern of New Years Resolutions and replace it with a more effective approach.

Lets be a bit more deliberate in choosing change. Most of our Life is dominated by habits. Habits will either make or break you. So find the one habit, not three, not two, just one habit, that will most improve your life. and then we’ll work on that. For example, I determined that the one habit that would change my life most, is getting up earlier. By getting up earlier, I would be more likely to have time to work-out, brush my teeth, eat breakfast, spend time in devotions, read something positive, and a whole slew of other things. So I determined that to be my one habit that would change my life the most. So what is your one habit that would change your life the most? Think it through! You are only allowed one!

Then, once you’ve determined what that one habit is for you, write down clearly how that habit will improve your life. If you are not passionate about your reason for doing it, you probably won’t do it. For example, I wrote down:

Getting up at 5:00 AM;

  • will give me more time to read for and write my blog
  • will give me more time for devotions
  • will give me time to start my day by reading something positive
  • will give me time to work out and get physically fit
  • and these things in tandem will improve my passion for my business
  • and therefore, more money
  • and all combined, better health

Now that is some reason to do it. My life would benefit from it in almost every aspect. That is motivating. Now I am far more likely to do that. What is your one habit for this month? Replacing the negative news stories with a positive book? Replacing TV with a long walk?

Experts say forming a new habit takes twenty one days. So you can do this process over every month, and come away from 2013 with 12 powerful new habits. Talk about a year that will change your life!

Here is a helpful chart to help you graph the formation of your new habit: New Habit Graph Chart

Dreams vs Reality: The Rubber-band effect!

Where there is no vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18a KJV

While this is the most used and succinct version of this verse, the WEB probably brings out its full intended meaning best:

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But he who keeps the law is blessed. Proverbs 29:18 WEB

In other words, if there is no prophetic vision or revelation, there is no motivation for constraint or self discipline. Your life depends on clear divinely inspired vision. Whether it is for the purpose of godliness or the purpose of fulfilling you God-given destiny (or dream), you need clear sense of purpose and direction.

So what is the relationship between the reality of your daily life and your dream? For your dream to have any effect on your reality it must be connected. That connection is naturally there, but it can be broken. Think of the connection as a rubber-band. You loop one end around your daily reality, and the other end of the rubber-band you loop around your dream. Now if your dream is bigger than you and your daily reality, it will pull you and your reality into its space, and is it does so, it keeps growing in strength and direction and keeps pulling you to the fulfilment of your dreams. Now if your dream is small and un-inspired, it has no pulling power, and the bands go slack. Or maybe your reality even pulls your little puny, un-inspired dream right down into the pit with you. But the worse case scenario is when your dream is so out there that it breaks the rubber-band holding your dream and reality together. Then the dream or vision loses any chance of affecting your reality or life in any meaningful and positive way. It gets reduced to a simple fantasy.

rubberband-effectThe rubber-band that holds your reality and dream together has two very important strands: The first strand is ‘Patient Faith’, and the second strand is ‘Motivated Self Discipline’. These are the two things that harness your dream to your reality or daily life. For you to be moved by your dream, you must first believe that your dream is possible and that your dream is right for you, and secondly, you must act on it.

I mentioned before that a dream can break your rubber-band; your self-discipline and faith. This happens when you build a big, powerful dream that is completely wrong for you, or that is far bigger than your faith can handle. The Bible is full of references of people being commanded to, or doing things according to their faith. So if you have not been engaged in growing and stretching your faith, your dreaming capacity remains small. It is better then to build a smaller dream according to your faith, rather than to just build a pretty fantasy. Remember too, you can’t achieve anything you wish to achieve. If my five foot four inch tall friend who is more geek than athletic comes to me and says: “I will become the next Michael Jordan”, I will respond: “you are dreaming the wrong dream.” God has made each of us unique, and with different strengths and talents, and if your dream is pulling you out of your God-given giftings, the rubber-band will eventually break. Your faith and self-discipline will fail you.

So make sure your dream or vision is inspired, God-given, powerful, and bigger than you. Then it will be effective. Of course, if it is God inspired, it is always bigger than you are. I say that because, it is impossible to please God without faith. (Hebrews 11:6) He is in the habit of giving dreams that will only come to fruition if we remain in Christ as Christ remains in us. (John 15:4-6)

But if our dreams are God-given, work on them with patient faith because all things are possible through Christ, who strengthens us. (Matthew 19:26 and Philippians 4:13)

God’s Mercy is new every Morning!

Oh the Mercy of God
by Geoff Bullock

Oh the mercy of God, the glory of grace,
that You chose to redeem us, to forgive and restore;
and you call us your children, chosen in Him,
to be holy and blameless to the glory of God.

To the praise of His glorious grace,
to the praise of His glory and power.
To Him be all glory, honour and praise,
forever and ever and ever, amen.

Oh the riches of grace, the depths of His love.
In Him is redemption, the forgiveness of sin;
and You call us as righteous, predestined in Him,
for the praise of His glory, included in Christ.

To the praise of His glorious grace,
to the praise of His glory and power.
To Him be all glory, honour and praise,
forever and ever and ever, amen.

For the glory of god, expressed in His Son;
His image and likeness revealed to us all.
The plan of the ages completed in Christ,
that we be presented perfected in Him.

To the praise of His glorious grace,
to the praise of His glory and power.
To Him be all glory, honour and praise,
forever and ever and ever, amen.

Meditate for Success, is it Biblical?

I am sure that all of us that have kept out our ears open over the past few years have noticed the increasing talk about meditation and its connection to success. And often,we react to it with skepticism, calling it a new-age practice.

But really, God commanded meditation in the Bible long before the term New-Age was coined.

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8

The practice of meditation is something that we Christians have not valued, and as a result, we are not reaping its benefits.

The difference between Christian Meditation and New-Age Meditation, is simple. One teaches you to reach inside of yourself for for the real you, the other teaches you to reach inside of yourself to the Christ who dwells in you. One teaches you to empty your mind of all things, the other teaches you to fill your minds with the things of God’s Holy Spirit.

Not so much a matter of physical position, as it is a matter spiritual position. That position of humility that seats you at the feet of God (as in the story of Mary, Martha and Jesus) and opens yourself to learn the truth from God’s Perspective. And when we do that, God promises prosperity and success!

Photo Credit

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

RSS by Email is Here!

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100 Artist in 1

This is one of those random thoughts I sometimes pursue and I thought I would share the Inspiration.

Reminds me of the Healing Preacher I heard about who hauled around with a complete cast of actors who would be ‘healed’ in the middle of the meeting and start jumping out of wheelchairs, and throw away crutches and casts would fall off. I guess sometimes you need to give faith a little push too, eh?

Shea Hembrey, 100 artist in 1

The Discipline of Confession

Confess your Faults one to another. And God will heal you of your disease and weaknesses.

We need confession in a healthy church in order to grow healthy Christians. And yet more and more I have come to realize how far the discipline of confession has disappeared. Many think confession is for Catholics who have priests, but the truth is, ALL of us Christians are priests for each other. We need to confess our faults to each other. We were not created to live alone with our weaknesses.

Unity in the Church!

It seems every where I look I see a different church denominations. Baptist, Mennonite, Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Baptist, Free-Will Baptist, Independent Baptist, Amish, Baptist, Old-Order Mennonite, Amish, Eastern Orthodox… I hardly got started and I already missed that other Baptist one.

Each of these split off some other group in the course of history over something. Maybe it was a disagreement, or the color of Jello you were allowed to bring to the church picnic. But more likely, it was simply that some people didn’t love each other. The Prophet was too black-and-white to get along with the Encourager, and the Teacher was too proud to receive from the Giver, and somehow the bitterness festered until each had their own followers and sides were taken and lines were drawn in the sand and the duel continued until they had amassed enough dislike to justify as a reason for official division and… well, they quit worshiping together.

Mostly we divide due to distrust and dislike… distrusting that the other is honest enough before God to really believe what he says he believes (probably because I am not that honest before God), and dislike for the challenges another person brings to my comfort level.

And then there is judgement: he doesn’t really believe ’cause if he did, he’d pray louder; Or he  prays that loud because he is self-righteous.  And once we start judging their motives any excuse for division is spiritual enough.

It’s ironic that Jesus prays we will be one as He and the Father are one because our unity will prove the world that He is with us, and we go make sure the world don’t see it. Interestingly, our division PROVES the LACK of Christ’s presence in our midst and yet normally both sides of the division believe they are more spiritual than the other. If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we HAVE fellowship one with another! (1 John 1:7 Emphasis mine)

Here is a story that has been with me for years:

A small group was studying the bible together and came upon the verse that admonished the Christians to be united. And immediately they stared discussing how they could be more united. Maybe if they agreed on a dress standard, or defined acceptable practices. But as soon as they tried to nail down the dress standard, disagreements arose. Some thought jeans for women were okay, some thought man should wear beards, but never did they all agree. Finally a wise man said: “lets go home and pray about this until next week.”

So they all went home and prayed. Next week they gathered again and the group leader asked: “did God speak to anyone on unity?” An older gentleman answered: “well, I did have a dream. In this dream, we were all gathered together and were working hard at living in unity. And I said, ‘but Jesus that is what we are doing, isn’t it?’ And Jesus answered: “yes!” Then I had another dream. In this dream all the sheep were thronging to the shepherd, and I noticed that the closer they got to the shepherd, the closer they were to each other. It was then I realized, if we all eagerly crowd around Christ, we will be as united as we can possibly get.

End of story, but I think the moral of the lesson is this: If we seek unity for the sake of unity, we will lose it, but if we are willing to even lose unity for the sake of Christ we will find it. Have a familiar ring to it? Well that principle applies to many areas of life.