Your Association to the Greatest Nation

olympics

I was glued to my TV this Summer watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. I couldn’t help form  rooting for and cheering on the athletes from the United States while listening to the chants “USA, USA, USA!”

121 medals were handed out to America’s athletes, more than any other country in the world!  The results seemed obvious: “WE ARE THE GREATEST”!

Those four words have been used and recognized by another athlete, whose slogan was “I AM THE the-greatest-coverGREATEST.”

In a recent Newsweek article, it was said that “Muhammad Ali was not only a boxing champion, he was a championship talker.”

The following are some quotations from Ali who died this year, at the age of 74:

  • “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”
  • “It’s just a job.  Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand.  I beat up people.”
  • “At home I am a nice guy but I don’t want the world to know.  Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”   [Footnote [i] ]

So are we really the “Greatest” nation, is your country the “Greatest,” or are we like Ali, just talkers?

WHAT’S IN A NATION? – SCRIPTURE READING –  Jeremiah 8:20:

“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.”  (NIV Bible)

What NATION then, do you consider to be the greatest IN YOUR LIFE today?

You may say USA or Israel or even China.  Whatever your answer, I would say that you’re mistaken.  Why?  Because there are “nations” that have a much greater effect on our everyday lives.

ProcrastiNATION –

Dictionary.com defines the Noun as “the act or habit of procrastinating, or putting off or delaying, especially something requiring immediate attention.”procrastination-doitnow-570x350

This is dangerous ground!  How many victories have been lost…due to dangerous DELAYS.

I think it’s ironic that we wouldn’t think twice missing our own graduation, our wedding, a banquet in our honor, a meeting where we are to get a promotion. BUT so many keep questioning the idea of getting SAVED!

I’m not talking about a temporary thrill, one fleeting moment, or a highlight in life.  I’m talking about a CHANGE in our ETERNAL destination.

We are creatures of habit–whether for good or bad.  Too many times, our HABIT is to keep putting off things until it’s too late–leading to lost opportunities.

LOST OPPORTUNITIES in Scripture –

  • Hebrews 12:15-17 – Esau sought repentance too late!
  • Matthew 25:10 – The Foolish Virgins waited too late to acquire the oil!
  • Matthew 26:40-46 – The Disciples missed the prayer meeting in Gethsemane because of sleepiness and unconcern!
  • John 20:19, 24 – Thomas doubted all the more because he didn’t make it to the meeting to personally see the resurrected Christ.

Then there’s the story of, good ol’e Felix.  Felix is an example of one who procrastinated too long.  

Acts 24:25 (Amplified Bible):

But as he [Paul] continued to argue about uprightness, purity of life (the control of passions), and the judgment to come,  FELIX became alarmed and terrified and said, “Go away for the present; when I have a convenient opportunity, I will send for you.”

As far as we know, Felix never found that place of REPENTANCE, and most likely, resides in the pits of hell to this day because of one lost opportunity.

The next nation to look at, is ImagiNATION –

whyimaginationmatters_feature

I love the way the New American Standard and the King James Version of the Bible reads in 2 Corinthians 10:5: 

[5] “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

The English Standard Version (ESV) says, “lofty opinions” and the New English Translation (NET). “arrogant obstacles.”  In either caseI think you get the idea.

Our IMAGINATIONS can run wild at times, so much so, that some people lose touch with reality.

Mark 7:21 puts it this way:  For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery.”

The devil wants you to live in a make believe world where he can control you, causing you to believe things that are not always true.

Schools of higher learning in many nations are the centers for spiritual warfare: theory of evolution, secular humanism, existentialism, false religions that capture young men and women’s thoughts and imagiNATIONS.

And here’s another “nation” to think about: DetermiNATION –

Here is a “nation” we should all want to visit, the stand up and root for kind!

Life can throw us a lot of curve balls and a lot of hardballs.  I played a lot of organized baseball growing up, so I had to use the metaphor.

Sometimes, we just want to throw in the towel and give up when things get tough. We feel that it is too hard and we are too weak to carry on.

So many times over the years I have faced those “tough” times.  Most of my working years were spent in the construction industry.  When things were “booming”, employment was a surety.  When Union Strikes came into play…unemployment usually followed.

I remember the first year of marriage and my wife and I saying to each other,  “You know, I don’t understand why people say the first year of marriage can be so tough financially. We’ve got plenty!” Although at the time, I was working nights at a large grocery chain and didn’t have a clue that a “hardball” was about to hit me between the eyes.  Six months after the wedding ceremony and with a baby on the way, we found ourselves UNEMPLOYED.

In the 60’s, being unemployed meant standing in line to get your unemployment check every week.  I felt ashamed, embarrassed, disheartened, that I was in this situation.  The head of the household responsibility was almost more than I could handle.

But I was DETERMINED!

So many times it just requires hanging in there a little longer or trying just a little harder.  When I found myself without a job…finding employment became my new job!

Matthew 10:22 (MSG):

“…But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end.  It’s not success you are after in such times but survival.  Be survivors!”

Although the verse in Matthew pertains to the persecution for being a Christian, the principle still applies when life situations get tough.

James 1:12 (AMP):

[12] Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.”

Many a WAR has been won due to the ties with this country.  We must be DETERMINED to make HEAVEN our home.

“IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE”   

its-a-jungle-out-there

MONK (TV Series) was an American comedy-drama detective mystery television series that ran from 2002-2009.  It’s lead character, was an eponymous character by the name of Adrian Monk.  [ footnote [ii] ]

The theme song, “It’s A Jungle Out There,” I and my wife would sing along with every week.  It was written by Randy Newman and the lyrics started out with…

“It’s a jungle out there

Disorder and confusion everywhere

No one seems to care

WELL I DO…”

There are real enemies out there in the “jungle” that want to rob you of your SALVATION, but 90 percent of the battle is in that DETERMINATION!!

In my viewpoint, procrastiNATION, imagiNATION, and determiNATION, these three are the Greatest ‘NATIONS” that exist in our lives today.  Being able to deal with each of them will determine our Spiritual Victory.

 


Footnotes & Credits –

Footnote [i]:  “I am the greatest”: Muhammad Ali in his own words by Reuters on 6/4/16 at 10:31 AM.

Footnote [ii] :  MONK- Wikipedia.

PHOTOS:  Google Image Search.

Bible Translations:  Amplified Bible (AMP), except where noted in the text.

 

The Mystery “Streaker” in the Garden

Clothing Can Send A Message

When my family was young, dressing for church on Resurrection Sunday (Easter) was a day for spring dresses, suits and ties.  I remember trying to scrape some money together in the early 70’s, just so daddy’s little girls could venture out to the shopping malls and pick out that special dress.

We may not dress for Easter in the way we used to…but, we do send out signals with our clothing.  We do communicate what we feel about ourselves and, we send signals regarding our self-image.

Uniforms Can Identify Authority–

We wear clothes to tell others who we are and what we are about.

My dad was a San Diego Fire Department Captain.  When he wore his firefighter slicks, get out of his way so he could do what he must.

If I were to stand in the middle of a busy street today, holding my hand up to stop traffic, chances are…I would be hit and killed by an auto.  But put on a police uniform and do the same hand motion…traffic would come to a halt because they would recognize the authority of the uniform.

Some people communicate with their clothes of not just who they are but who they hope to become.

“Dress for Success” Idea

There are groups available to serve jobless people, offering not just counseling, but also business suits and tailored dresses.  My folks always told me, “If you are going out on an interview…look the part.”

So, what does our clothing have to do with this week’s Scripture message?

AN INTRIGUING LITTLE FOOTNOTE IN MARK’S GOSPEL –

This footnote comes during that stormy scene in the 14th Chapter, when in dark Gethsemane:  JESUS prayed alone because His closest friends for the past three years would not stay alert–the betrayer’s kiss, the arrest, a brief scuffle, and–what distressing words!

“Then [His disciples], forsaking Him,

fled, all [of them]”  (Mark 14:50 AMP).

BUT NOW COMES THE INTRIGUING FOOTNOTE – Mark 14:51-52 English Standard Version (ESV):

MARK 14:50-51
MARK 14:50-51 [Bible Iliad The Naked Young Man @ Alpha]

51  And a young man followed him (Jesus), with nothing but a linen cloth about his body.  And they seized him,  52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

After the descriptive narrative, the story continues:  trials and denials, prisoner releases and floggings, mocking and parading, and, in the end, CRUCIFIXION.  DEATH.  Dramatic death,  DARKNESS and death.

[More reporting, more investigation is needed.]

THE MYSTERY IS REVEALED –

Here’s the MYSTERY that grabbed my attention.  Why did Mark waste his ink on this certain young man, wearing nothing but linen?  Why tell us about a person who was almost snatched by some soldiers but who pulled out and ran away…NAKED?

But was this really a waste of ink?  Scripture points out:  “Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience…”  (2 Timothy 3:16).

That said, then who was this young man…what does this mean?  Does his dropped linen cloth send a MESSAGE?

Just as clothing can send messages, and what we wear may send signals, so also what we leave behind marks out a new identity.  What we drop off permits us to become something new.

Who then, was the “STREAKER” skittering through the grove of olive trees?

In study, I found several possibilities, each represents a different way of understanding the “dropped cloth.”  Each of these dropped cloths may fit some of us.

The Possibilities–

Some think that the young man may not be anyone we can name; that he may have come from an affluent family.  LINEN was expensive, and so if he was wearing linen out there in the garden at night, when you might have expected informal clothing, it might suggest he had wealth and wanted to show off.

If this theory is correct, this young man came close to JESUS, almost got caught up with Him, but he ran because he couldn’t risk losing his financial status in the community.  So he dropped his cloth, his fine linen cloth, and ran away…NAKED!

Wow!  I thought there may be a METAPHOR for some of us here.

We’ve watched JESUS from a distance.  We have listened to Him, but with skepticism, because He teaches things that are hard to swallow.

We’ve trusted in our success in business and in our profession, but JESUS speaks about losing our lives in order to find them.

JESUS tells us that if we want ETERNAL LIFE, sell all that we have and give it to the poor.

Getting Close to JESUS!

We can’t get too close to this JESUS, not as prosperous as we are  He demands too much!

If this is correct, that this young man is a man of means, clad in fine linen…Symbolically then, as he came close to JESUS that night, he had to drop that cloth.

I HEAR A HARD LESSON–that the meaning of LIFE doesn’t consist in the abundance of the things which we possess; that our dollars and our acquired acclamations do not earn us anything really.  In the sight of God, as the Bible teaches it,  “All our righteousness is as filthy rags”  (Isaiah 64:6).

All the STUFF we have will deteriorate and all the achievements we have piled up…will fade.

It’s a hard thing to hear for the “whoever’s”…

The “whoever’s” In our prosperous achievement-oriented society,

“Whoever will save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for My sake, and the gospel’s will gain it”  (Mark 8:35; Luke 9:24; Matthew 16:25).

That means we have to DROP the cloth of prosperity and no more pretension.

Behind our pretty clothes, our varnished veneers, and our well-manicured lawns, lies nothing but the NAKED TRUTH–we are desperately needy.  Only Christ Jesus can satisfy our need.  We must drop the cloth of PRETENSION.

But What If…

What if the anonymous STREAKER found in the garden of Gethsemane was NOT a young man of wealth?  Maybe it was someone we can actually name, identify that young man losing his cover in the garden.

All for good reasons, some Bible students think this certain young man was LAZARUS. The man who JESUS raised from death a little while before.  Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha, were good friends with Jesus.

JESUS arrived at their home in Bethany after Lazarus had been dead for four days, shrouded and buried.

But JESUS stood at his grave and commanded, “Lazarus, come forth!”  And indeed he did.

The Bible story reports that they had to release the grave-clothes in letting him go.

What if…the young man mentioned in these verses… is LAZARUS?  And more than that, 9306807480_694ec4546esuppose that this LINEN CLOTH is his buried garment.

True, it no longer has the same purpose of binding his arms and legs, but is free to move about.

But is he still wearing that shroud?  Is he still running about town in the same cloth used to wrap his dead body?  How weird would that be?

But even if that sounds bizarre, it’s not unusual.  Though peculiar, but not uncommon.

The Truth is…many of us continue to wear our grave-clothes.

Many of us exhibit the relics of a DEATH from which we’ve been freed at SALVATION.

Many of us act as though we were trapped in THE PAST instead of THE FUTURE.

Like LAZARUS, we have been offered new life by JESUS; but, again, like Lazarus, we do not shake off the things that bind us that hold us back.

PAST BAD HABITS CONTINUED…

Some of us our BOUND in old habits that make us appear as “dead men walking,” even though we have been shown the right path to take.

We hold on to old prejudices (“I’m guilty”).  And yet, who of us does not know that in JESUS CHRIST there is a way, a TRUTH, and a life–a life that brings freedom?

Why would we choose death over life?  But we do.  We do.

Dropping the “Shrouds of Death” –

LAZARUS, raised from death, not yet thought life unleashed his freedom.  And so here he is, on the night of trial, lingering on the edge of the garden, yet not ready to go and die with JESUS.

Why should LAZARUS even fear death?

He has already been given life, and should understand that the One who gave him life once…could do it again!

BUT LAZARUS is living in a SHROUD and had to drop that cloth exposing his frail limbs.

SAD FOR LAZARUS!  AND SAD FOR US…

…If God, who has begun a work of SALVATION in us will not bring it to completion.

SAD FOR US if once we said “YES” to Jesus and His offer of a NEW LIFE, but done nothing with it for years and years.  It means we are still wearing GRAVE CLOTHES!!

We must drop the “shroud” that BINDS us to the past.

There is a THIRD THEORY in this story…

During my investigation, I uncovered a THIRD possibility of who the anonymous young streaker might be.

It might have been a nameless rich and accomplished young man, who could afford a LINEN CLOTH, or, it might have been LAZARUS, still wearing his burial shroud, or it might have been MARK himself, the author of this gospel.

It may have been a very young MARK writing this account, not wanting to name himself as the “streaker,” but telling us that he was there all the time.  He was a WITNESS–but in his nightshirt.  Night clothes, pajamas, sometimes were made of LINEN.

Uncovering the Evidence in the Garden – 

There are many reasons why it could be MARK, too many to list in this blog.  But it definitely could be John Mark.  It is consistent with what we know of Mark in other places of the Bible.

Here in this seemingly insignificant little story of a young man who came out to the garden one night, awakened from his sleep, got close to the action, but who hesitated at the key moment.

Here is a young man who had followed JESUS, maybe even closely, but who went back home to sleep when things got tough.  He pulled back to SAFETY–an insulated life, and came out to watch, but at a distance.

And if it’s true that MARK is the mystery “streaker” in the garden, just as he did later on, according to the Book of Acts…he RAN.  He bolted.

When the going got tough, he got going, but not because he was tough, far from it.

He got going because he was afraid.

He got moving because he was immature and not ready for what was coming next.

He got to his feet and ran because he had not yet awakened to all that JESUS had in store for him.

He ran and exposed his maturity.  As we often do.  As we run.

We too go to sleep by cutting short what we could very well experience.

We too start to be a follower of Christ, but find Him too complex, too much.  So we slip into unconsciousness–we go to sleep, we run from Him.

Hazy and Lazy About the Christian Faith…

Some of us don’t get it what it means to be a Christian.  Our PRAYER lives have not advanced beyond,  “Now I lay me down to sleep.”

Our GIVING lives have not passed beyond tossing a coin or two to a beggar on the street corner, or sending a minimal check to a charity or church.

WE ARE ASLEEP!  We could be so much more as Christians, but we just haven’t grown up.

So like MARK, we go about in our sleepy-time night-clothes, not aware that we are called to be children of the Light.

We need to LET GO of the life of near-nothingness and to commit to grow in JESUS. Otherwise, we will find it mighty cold out there, exposed in the night with nothing to protect us.

THERE IS STILL ANOTHER LINEN CLOTH THAT WAS DROPPED –

Dropped Cloths…

The rich man, or Lazarus, or Mark.  Take your pick.  Each one of them exposes us; dropped cloths that will strip away all the ways we hide ourselves.

For you see, in an EMPTY TOMB, there was another LINEN CLOTH (Mark 16:6-7):

“Do not be alarmed; you are looking for JESUS of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised, he is not here.  Look, there is the place where they laid Him…Go, tell his disciples…”

HE LIVES!
HE LIVES!

And they did GO TELL!

They told those who had depended on wealth and status, they could drop that pretension, for Christ is alive and gives freely, without price or payment to ALL who will TRUST Him.

He dropped His cloth and He lives!

They told those who were living in the past, that they could drop that habit, for JESUS is alive and gives NEW LIFE freely.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old thing are passed away and all things become new”  (2 Corinthians 5:17).

He dropped His cloth and He lives!

And they told us who are so immature, so far short of what we could be, we can drop our masks, we can forget our veils.

JESUS DROPPED HIS CLOTH;  He sends a message.  He lives!

And because He lives, we too can live, and live more abundantly–

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whosoever believes on Him has everlasting life. And whosoever includes even such a child as I.”

He dropped His cloth…

He sends a message…

He lives!

Drop that cloth.  Right now, drop that cloth of yours, and truly live!


 Credits and Commentaries:

Commentary:  The powerful transformation of the young man – Mark 14:51-52 & 16:5 by AOSIS Publishing.

PHOTO’S not marked:  Google Images, Photo Pin.

Bible Translations:  English Standard Version (ESV); Amplified Bible (AMP); New International Version (NIV); New King James Version (NKJV).

 

Practicing MORE of Jesus– HABITS!

Meditating on the WORD

THE HABIT of MEDITATION/PSALMS

We know Jesus spent His time first on;  “prayer and solitude“.  Secondly on “worship“. Thirdly on “prayer and confession“.  The fourth habit I discovered this week, is the habit of spending time with God; hanging out with God so-to-speak, in meditation.

There is a practice of Jesus’ life, a definite in-between-the-lines kind of practice in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew; both have Jesus saying something while hanging on the cross.  First, Matthew tells the story this way:

“And about the ninth hour (three o’clock) Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani–that is, My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me?”  (Matthew 27:46–Amplified Bible).

And Luke tells the story this way:

And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!  And with these words, He expired”  (Luke 23:46).

Do you know that Jesus is quoting something here as He is hanging on the cross?  What is Jesus quoting?  He is quoting the Psalms.  In Matthew it is Psalm 22:1 and in Luke it is Psalm 31:6.  Keep in mind here, that Jesus didn’t exactly have a pocket Bible on hand with a handy concordance listing helpful Psalms while hanging on the cross at Calvary.  No, He would have had these psalms memorized.  It meant a significant time “hanging out” with God; meditating on the Psalms.

When it came to game time, Jesus is in the worst situation He’s faced.  The practice of meditation formed certain habits in Him that were coming out naturally.  Those habits come out as “muscle memory” on the cross.  He prays lines of the psalms because that’s what he spent time on while “hanging out” with His heavenly Father meditating upon.

The first Psalm offers a wonderful piece of wisdom in meditation:  “HOW BLESSED is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,  Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.  And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,  which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and whatever he does, he prospers”  (Psalms 1:1-3–NAS Bible).

To paraphrase the verses, “Those who meditate on the law or words of the Lord, day and night, are blessed; or happy, or fortunate.  They prosper like a tree planted by a stream.  They bear fruit in their life that is godly and their strength doesn’t wither.”  This may not always look like how we expect things to happen, but God sustains those who meditate on God’s words.

So what is meditation exactly?  Popularizations of Eastern religions might say, “the emptying of the mind”.  That’s not what Christian meditation is about.  Christian meditation is “rotating God’s word and God’s creation around in your mind and looking at it from every possible angle; chewing on it, savoring it like a gobstopper from Willie Wonka till it speaks to you.”  The rhema Word!

A “simple picture” of an autumn leaf

Let’s practice meditation on something very simple in the above picture of an autumn leaf found on the ground.  While out walking the dog this afternoon, I couldn’t help noticed all of the leaves that had fallen over the past several days.  I stopped and picked up a leaf very similar to the one in the above photo shot.  What questions did I have about it?  What did I notice?  In the above photo, notice things about the picture and ask yourselves questions about it.

Here’s some things I noticed about the leaf found on the ground today:

.  What kind of leaf is it?

.  How many points does it have?

.  What color red is this?

.  How many veins does it have?

.  Is it all one color or are there variations?

.  What are the small splotches on it?  Some are dark and some are gray. Is it mold or something else?

.  What does it look like on the other side?

.  Where did I find the leaf?  Under a tree?  On a sidewalk?

.  Are there other similar leaves around the one I found?

.  What kind of tree did they fall from?

This little exercise in meditation could go on and on.  God’s words and God’s creation are big enough and deep enough to meditate on the rest of our lives.  Every time we go back we also have new experiences that we bring with us, to help us see new and different things.

Jesus spent time meditating on God’s words.  Find some time to do so your self.

“PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT”

When I was 12 years old, everyone my age in the neighborhood was practicing on their rented accordions.  And of course, I needed to be like everyone else– or so I thought.  After my folks explained that accordion lessons were out of the question, my dad did know someone, who knew someone, who gave guitar lessons–at a reasonable price.  So I began STEEL GUITAR lessons.  The guitar laid across my lap and was plugged into a small amplifier that had a scorched mark on the back of the AMP.  Every day, my grandmother would call to me while I was playing catch in the front yard, “Mel, you better come in the house and practice your guitar.”  The lessons lasted for about a year anda half before I decided, being Les Paul was never going to happen– without PRACTICE anyway!

I didn’t want to practice on my guitar because of my parents reminding me to practice; I had to choose for myself to practice.  It is not any different in practicing more of Jesus’ habits.  You have to choose to choose!

The New Roget’s Thesaurus in Dictionary Form list PRACTICE, v. “train in, train for, become seasoned, drill, exercise, do again, repeat, rehearse (repetition); be in the habit, be addicted, follow.”  It’s a CHOICE!

THE HABIT OF LISTENING

The fifth habit of learning and practicing is LISTENING–sometimes hard to master but practicing can bring a new revelation about yourself.  May we practice these HABITS not just by our own power and strength but by the power of God working in us; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

“People will rarely remember your advice but they will remember you listened“– by Cara Lawrence.  Jesus was and IS the consummate listener.  Imagine all those prayers He continues to listen to from people all around the world.  Everyday all day and night.

In February 1964, I met my wife-to-be and we went on our first date together.  After a movie at a Drive-in theater, we went to a restaurant by the name of Uncle Suzies’; it later became our regular hang-out.  I told her how impressed I was with her on the “first date”.  She replied, “Really, how so?”  “You are a good listener. You gave me exclusive attention by looking at me while I rambled on about my screwed-up life, never looking around to see if you knew someone else in the room.”  Her reply to the compliment was, “That’s just who I am I guess. Thank you.”  Her practice of listening came out naturally in who she was.  Both of us were not born again believers when we met; it wasn’t happenstance either.  Thank You Jesus!

Making the other person your focus takes practice for some of us–alright, most of us.  Begin by looking directly into the person’s eyes as you begin to talk to them.  Don’t be looking around at other people.  Forget your cell phone or the remote for that moment.  Listen for what is not said.

The last HABIT (there’s a lot more to find in God’s Word)that needs practicing, in my opinion and Jesus’ too is LOVE  (1 John 4:8): “He who does not love has not become acquainted with God, for God is love.”

LOVING AS A HABIT

Love is something you choose to do!  Love is not a feeling; it’s not a song either.  Do you remember the song by the Carpenters, “Close to You”?  Have you ever considered the lyrics?

“Why do birds suddenly appear,

Every time you are near?”

You have to ask yourself, “Do I really want to be near somebody who causes birds to appear suddenly?”  Didn’t Alfred Hitchcock do a horror movie about this?

Jesus’ LOVE is, a no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been, a no matter who you are kind of love.  He wasn’t afraid or embarrassed to express His love to someone.  He simply said, looking into their eyes, “I LOVE YOU!”

If practicing MORE of Jesus’ habits isn’t your thing right now, let me give you some wise advice and counsel.  Why is it wise?  Because someone gave it to me once!  My attitudes began to change because I chose to practice.  Do you need a new attitude?

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]”  (Romans 12:2–Amplified Bible).

This isn’t a one time occurrence that happens when you are born again.  It has to be repeated.  When Practicing MORE of Jesus–HABITS!, becomes your choice, not someone else s will for your life, a new attitude will surface in a natural sort of way–as Jesus did while in this world.  Practice does make practicing the HABITS of JesusPERFECT!  Being MORE like Him!