Thursday, July 26, 2012


From My Perspective - - -

The importance of having and maintaining a right attitude cannot be denied or debated. One will face the challenges of life with either a positive or negative attitude. If one’s attitude is positive, the prospect of success is considerable. However, if one’s attitude is negative, there is little possibility that one will experience anything other than failures.

The motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, is known to have said: “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” Part of what is being stated is to gain an understanding of what these components are. Attitude is: “the way one thinks about things. One can have either a positive or a negative attitude for instance.” In terms of Aptitude: “it is a talent (or giftedness) one has for something.” For instance, a Linguist is one who has “an aptitude for languages” and that enables him/her to learn them faster and better than one with a lesser aptitude. The area of Altitude refers to how successful one can be and the number of goals one will achieve.

The writer, Gian Fiero, states: “More employers are reporting that college graduates are entering the workforce with an ‘Attitude of Entitlement.’ They want the six figure salary, 4 weeks of vacation, and a corner office before they prove or accomplish anything.” He goes on to write in his report – “Attitude & Aptitude - Keys to Your Success” – the following: “A random sampling of companies that offer internships/apprentice positions reveals that they prefer neophytes to be long on inquisitiveness, and short on haughtiness. A counter-productive attitude gets in the way of learning, and building relationships. Employers may become easily enamored with potential and credentials, but a positive ‘can-do’ attitude is often listed at the top of employee characteristics that employers value. So much so, that employers state that they will take a less qualified candidate with a great attitude who shows promise to be a good fit, over a candidate who is more qualified (one who has greater credentials on paper).”


How does the Zig Ziglar point on Attitude, Aptitude and Altitude apply to the Christian Commitment and lifestyle? Does one’s attitude matter? Or – is aptitude the most important quality? Will either of these determine the altitude one will gain? It is encouraging to observe those whom Jesus chose to use in His Kingdom work. In Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus begins calling those with whom He would minister – and later – entrust with the work of His earthly ministry. Were they the most schooled and learned of their day? No! Note what Jesus saw and did: As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. Come, follow me…and I will make you fishers of men. At once they left their nets and followed him.” The two key points: (1) Jesus will make these men into what He wants them to be – fearless servants; and (b) The readiness and necessity to forsake all and Follow Him.


As the Church continues in its growth and development, the Apostle Paul writes and reminds those who comprise the emerging Church, Philippians 2:3-8, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!” The thrust is that – “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…” If it is, even though your aptitude may not be at the zenith of the skill curve, Jesus Christ finds you as teachable and usable. He will make you into what He wants you to be – and – you will be enabled to reach heights you never imagined were possible. Follow Him - He will  lead you to the places where He wants you to be! Consider these things with me!  

Monday, July 23, 2012


From My Perspective - - -

Most of us live with the reality Renewal. One has to periodically Renew a driver’s License; there is the Renewal of Car Registration and License Plates; some have to Renew a Prescription at the Pharmacy; many renew Magazine or Newspaper Subscriptions; an aftermath of the Aurora, CO shooting, there is a Renewed Plea for stricter Gun enforcement (part of the argument is that there are presently 9 Gun Dealers in this country for ever 1 McDonald’s Franchise), etc.  – the fact is that for something to remain current, there is a requirement for Renewal to achieve that result. The Synonyms amplify the concept of RENEWAL as being: recurrence; an awakening; a rebirth; recharging; recommencement; refilling; reformation; regeneration; rejuvenation; restoration; resurrection; revitalization; revival. One should begin to ponder and embrace what these things mean – Rebirth; Reformation; Regeneration; Restoration; Resurrection; Revival.

One should note that along with RENEWAL, there is the necessity for one to develop the capacity to THINK. In terms of what it means to THINK, there must be the addition of the word PROPERLY. It is significant that the Apostle Paul reminds those being addressed of the necessity to THINK correctly and properly. In Romans 12:3 (NKJV), “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not TO THINK of himself more highly than he ought TO THINK, but TO THINK soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” The thrust is: (a) Don’t THINK of yourself more highly than you ought to THINK; but to (b) THINK Soberly, on the basis of FAITH measured out to each one by God.

An old spiritual song contained these words regarding (a) How one should THINK, (b) What one should KNOW/REMEMBER and (c) Why it is Significant/Important. The refrain to the Hymn – “What You Are”  reminds one -
What you are speaks so loud that the world can't hear what you say;
They're looking at your walk, not listening to your talk,
They're judging from your actions every day.
Don't believe you'll deceive
By claiming what you've never know
They'll accept what they see and know you to be,
They'll judge from your life alone.

A Guideline for how one is to think and live according to the measure of Faith granted by God is stated in Philippians 4:8 (NIV), “Finally… whatever is true…noble…right…pure…lovely…admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.” The Message Paraphrase, “Summing it all up…I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.” A major thrust of the ministry and website – Break-Point – raises and answers a practical question: “What’s a Christian To Think (and Do)?” The answer given is: “Defend the Truth and Advance the Kingdom.” The Banner on the page goes on to assert: “We want to help you develop a robust Christian worldview – seeing, understanding, and engaging the world from a Biblical perspective.” Question: Do you have a ROBUST Christian worldview – or – are go a person who merely “goes along to get along” within your culture and world. Sadly, too many are willing to assume the position and posture – “don’t rock the boat” – and apply that without any regard for commitment to any cause or taking any stand. If the culture is running amuck, we don’t need to look too far for an explanation of why it is as it is. If ever there was a time for RENEWAL, it is now. In Revelation 2:5, the thrust of Jesus Christ as He walks in the midst of the churches is: Remember, Return, Repent/Recover. Anything other or short of this kind of RENEWAL is drifting without a certain direction or purpose. Consider these things with me.

Friday, July 20, 2012


From My Perspective - - -

Many people are concerned about our country and culture in terms of direction and future expectations. If one looks at just two areas of our world and nation, one has to be concerned regarding (a) world turmoil and the possibilities of war and annihilation, and (b) economic bankruptcy of individuals, cities and nations. On the one hand, war will bring destruction of cities and nations, and death for countless multitudes. Economically, nations have allowed themselves to believe they can spend what they don’t have and tax the citizens to continue down the path of financial ruin. The person was wise who said: “If your outgo exceeds your income – your upkeep will be your downfall.” To live beyond one’s means is one of the tragic absurdities of our day.

Absurdity means there is a “variance with reason” and embracing that which is patently and “manifestly false; ludicrous; ridiculous.” It is also defined as being “utterly or obviously senseless, illogical, or untrue; contrary to all reason or common sense; laughably foolish or false.” In Philosophy, it is what the Existentialist has embraced and believes in terms of his conception of the world – “as neither designed nor predictable but irrational and meaningless.” The future of the Existentialist is tantamount to stepping out into an unknown special entity – doing so in “faith” – but a faith that is neither factual or objective. As one of their champions allowed in his treatise, one must merely have the “Courage To Be.”

An illustration of Absurdity could be the Congress of the United States passing spending resolutions that have increased the National Debt by trillions of dollars but who have declined to discuss and adopt a Budget for the Nation for more than three years. Does that make any practical or good sense, or is that something that should be deemed as being Absurd? In 1991, when Operation Desert Storm was launched so that Kuwait might be liberated from the occupation of Iraq, that Sunday – churches all across the United States had a significant increase in their attendance (some by more than 25%). People were concerned and fearful about the potential for and possibility of Armageddon beginning. However, 100 hours after the ground assault began, the coalition forces had gained a decisive victory and the coalition forces declared a cease-fire. What happened to those who had surged into the churches the previous Sunday? Did it make any practical or good sense for them to continue attending church when the military had been so effective – or – was there a sigh of relief and further church attendance was relegated to the absurd (until the next crisis or emergency)?

A portion of a sermon – Four Lies That Ruined The World - preached by the late Dr. Adrian Rogers included these thoughts: “In today’s world, we have substituted many things for God’s Word – (1) Relativism: there is no fixed truth; (2) Subjectivism: based on feelings and experiences; (3) Rationalism: using reason and logic alone; (4) Pragmatism: Don’t ask if it’s true, but does it work; and (5) Postmodernism: There is no absolute truth; it is subjective and individualistic.” How does one combat the “Lies” that seem so prominent and prevail so readily in our culture? One way is to be determined to know The Truth. There is this fascinating exchange in John 8:31-32, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The Jews resisted these words – “the truth will set you free” - and protested them on the basis of their heritage – “we are the descendants of Abraham.” Jesus reminds them that it is not an ethnic heritage but a personal relationship and commitment - John 8:36-37 – “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.” The Absurdity of our culture and the indictment of Jesus to it is – “…you have no room for My Word.” How about you – do you have room for Jesus and His Word? Have you made a personal commitment to Him – to know Him and to walk in His truth? To delay would be an absurdity!  Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


From My Perspective - - -

The phrase – it’s all relative – is often used in our culture as a way of defining or explaining why things are the way they are and/or how they got the way they are. The Urban Dictionary makes an attempt at defining the phrase: “It’s All Relative (or Everything’s Relative) means that the world is in the eye of the beholder; it all depends on how you look at things; all people look at things from a different perspective and have differing opinions or views about someone, something, etc.  Everything is quantifiable in terms of individual perception. To him, the new house is beautiful and grandiose in appearance; to me, it's ugly and pretentious. It's all relative, then, isn't it?  You think you're poor? Then take a look at the skid row bums living in the sewers downtown. Everything is relative.” Is this an adequate assessment and definition?

Another offering in terms of “What Is Relativism” states: “Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid, and that all truth is relative to the individual. This means that all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements…are truths that are relative to the individual…Under the umbrella of relativism, whole groups of perspectives are categorized.  In obvious terms, some are: (1) Cognitive Relativism (truth) - Cognitive relativism affirms that all truth is relative.  This would mean that no system of truth is more valid than another one, and that there is no objective standard of truth.  It would, naturally, deny that there is a God of absolute truth; (2) Moral/Ethical Relativism - All morals are relative to the social group within which they are constructed.; (3) Situational Relativism - Ethics (right and wrong) are dependent upon the situation.” This also lacks adequacy and leaves one wondering whether or not life and culture are existing in a vacuum of some sort. No one seems to ask: “What is the reference point?” Not one dares to inquire: “Compared to what?”

The reference point and the comparison needs to be in terms of an absolute. Relativism is reluctant and hesitant to compare with a Moral Absolute because it might easily put their theories at risk by raising questions that cannot be answered apart from the acceptance of The Absolute! Somewhere and/or Sometime Someone needs to ask a simple question: “Relative when/as compared to what?” If there is no reference point, then “Relative” is a hollow and meaningless word insertion.

The Apostle Paul deals with a relativistic inclination by the culture of his day by giving a definitive and absolute declaration. In Romans 6:1-7, “ What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?...For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.” Paul is dismissive of relativism as a valid argument when he declares and defines (a) the reality and possibilities of new life in Christ, versus (b) remaining as one is, namely, sinning and being dead in one’s sins. What Paul is asserting is that there is no middle ground – Relativism – but only the Absolute – life in Christ or death in one’s sin.

In I John 5:9-12, the Absolute is stated as clearly and simply as possible – “…the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” This is God’s Declaration and His Absolute. Our Culture looks for wiggle-room and the relativistic approach to life. But God says – No! Eternal Life is possible only one way – in Jesus Christ. If you have Him – you have Eternal Life! That is God’s Absolute. Any other approach is relativistic and leaves one designated by God as – “he who does not have the San of God does not have life.” Consider these things with me!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


From My Perspective - - -

On Friday Evening, July 6th, 2012, Barbara Walters hosted a 20/20 Special on the subject of Heaven. The lead-in stated: “Barbara Walters explores what heaven means with leaders of every faith.” In an Online Survey during and after the telecast, the question was asked: Do you believe in Heaven? The responses are: No – like Stephen Hawkings, I believe it is just a fairy tale – 1572; Yes – I believe Heaven exists – 1301. The results are a bit surprising and disappointing. Many of the responses were whimsical and wistful, whereas others were very predictable. One can easily conclude that the “Church of Jesus Christ” as it is seen and known by today’s culture has (a) lost its focus, (b) has not proclaimed its central message adequately, and is not preparing those who are listening for eternity. Is that statement an indictment against “The Church”? Yes, indeed.

No one that I heard on the telecast came close to giving a Biblical focus regarding the reality of Heaven and Hell. A great deal was spent on what people think about Heaven and not what the Word of God declares about Heaven. There are three passages (among many) that gives one a glimpse of what Heaven is and what is occurring there.

Passage One:  Isaiah 6:1-5 – In a vision, Isaiah reports what he has witnessed: “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. Woe to me! I cried. I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty." Isaiah sees a holy place where the Lord Almighty reigns and where men with good sense realize they are unworthy to be in His presence.

Passage Two:  Acts 7:54-60 – After he had delivered a scathing indictment against the hypocrisy and error of the Sanhedrin, we read: “ When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Look, he said, I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him…While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. Then he fell on his knees and cried out, Lord, do not hold this sin against them. When he had said this, he fell asleep – he died.” Stephen saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. Jesus standing in eager expectation to receive one of His faithful ones to Himself.

Passage Three: John 14:1-3 – Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure and tells them where He is going and what He’ll be doing – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” Jesus states: (1) He is preparing a place for His followers, and (2) He promises that He’ll return to take them to that prepared place – Heaven. He also states in John 14:6 the only way and means for getting into His Heaven – “Jesus answered: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

There is only one way into God’s Heaven and that is through Jesus Christ. If He is not your Savior and Lord, then you are not getting into His Heaven. That’s what He said and that’s what He means. Have you come to Him on the basis of Romans 10:9-10? Consider these things with me!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


From My Perspective - - -

Today marks the 236th anniversary of the nation’s Independence and the embrace of freedom, liberty and justice for all. What’s your sense of how the Declaration of Independence is working for you today? Do you believe that it is considered to be relevant and functional within the diversified population that comprises our country today? Or, do you believe that the very principles upon which this nation asserted and declared itself are being eroded, redefined and reinterpreted? In today’s One News Now a “…legal expert warns that Americans' first freedom is under attack like we have never seen." This thought is expressed by Kelly Shackelford of Liberty Institute who says the Founding Fathers listed religious freedom first in the Constitution because without it, all the other freedoms would fall away.

He amplifies this thought by stating: "The fact that our religious freedoms are under attack like we have never seen in this country is really a wake-up call as we enter Fourth of July for Americans who really want to focus on the future of this country in making sure that this country remains free…” He asserts that “…some attacks currently afoot were most likely unforeseen by the founders. We're living in a time right now where the federal government, through the Department of Health and Human Services mandates…is literally ordering hundreds and thousands of religious institutions across the country to violate their faith…" He notes: "We've never had the federal government order religious institutions to violate their religious consciences and their faith. And that's just one of many examples -- whether it's the VA [Veterans Affairs) banning the mention of God at the military funerals; whether it's valedictorians being threatened with jail if they mention God, or churches forced to go to court to expand their sanctuaries or set up a church at a new location.” Infringement upon Freedom and Liberty is ongoing. The fact that it is more gradual than not should be a caution or red light that gives warning to the discerning in terms of the direction things are heading. The defenders of the gradualism will apply their labels – such as, “right wing conspiracy theorists.” Should this occur, one must remain undaunted and fully vigilant in terms of the cherished liberty and freedom that has been preserved purchased at such great cost through the blood and treasure of our brave forebears.

The other part of our focus should be on the purpose and mission of Jesus Christ. The prophecy in Isaiah 61:1-3 emphasizes His purpose and mission: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor…” How do we know this is a prophecy about Jesus Christ and His purpose and mission? In Luke 4:17-21, Jesus claims this prophecy for Himself: “The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." 

A Declaration and Cautionary word is given to us in Galatians 5:1, “ It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” We are to represent Him and the freedom that can only be known by a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There are no shortcuts – He is the only Way. Consider these things with me!