Last week, I started jotting down ideas for 2018 in my green-colored pen. Within a short time, twelve ideas, large and small, appeared. From those, new pages were needed to fill out some of the more appealing or practical ideas. (One of them is to finish some outstanding projects.)
Amazingly, some of those ideas, after being written down, began to seep their way into my routine and actions were taken to make them happen. They’re just ideas for now, mind you. Still, the thought and the writing influenced the mind, and the mind began working toward putting them into action.
It wasn’t that the mind saw the color green as a go sign. That small action of creating a picture of the future and of writing it down made the difference.
James Clear cites a study that showed that “Simply by writing down a plan that said exactly when and where they intended to exercise, the participants in Group 3 were much more likely to actually follow through.” More than twice as likely.
My little exercise demonstrates that the mind is a powerful tool. It works with the thoughts that we feed into it. It appreciates specific plans and positive thoughts. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I went to the bread store near our house to pick up quite a few items for breakfast, since our son and family were going to eat with us. I grabbed a little basket from the stack. Inside the second basket underneath the one I picked up was a wad of bills. I saw a R$50 and a R$20 among others. There may have been as much as R$200, although I didn’t bother to count.
The wife of the store owner was at the register. I explained what I found and tried to give her the bills. She said since I found it, it was mine. I told her it wasn’t mine, and that somebody might come looking for it. So I insisted she take it. One lady witnessing our conversation congratulated me.
I picked up the items I’d gone for, paid for them, and left. I forgot about it. Continue reading
People around me know I talk until I’m blue in the face about the importance of reading and studying the Scriptures. You can’t be a faithful disciple without giving regular, constant, unceasing attention to the Bible. Some people are limping spiritually because they don’t do it, but don’t seem to see the connection. Jesus cannot be Lord, however, unless he is heard and obeyed. And if he is not Lord, then he is not Savior.
As necessary as the place of Scripture is in a Christian’s faith, it must be read properly. Personal aspirations and cultural expectations often bend the true meaning of the Bible into an unrecognizable message. When this happens, people reject God’s plan. They miss what he is doing and oppose the true will of God.
It happened to the Jews of Jesus’ day and still happens today. Continue reading
In 2 Peter, the threat to the church comes from within. False teachers were bringing false doctrine and immorality into the church. Peter wants to warn the saints away and strengthen them against such people who have risen among them.
How to do that? He starts off by saying the saints need to make extraordinary effort to grow spiritually, 2 Pet 1.5-11. Much needs to be added to faith for it to be effective and saving. Faith that just sits there doing nothing goes nowhere, certainly not to heaven. Neither will it be able to resist false teaching when it appears.
For such intense effort, how is one to keep from discouragement? By focusing on God and his power. Continue reading
Post an article on doctrine, and especially on one of the brotherhood’s favorite subjects, and our people will flock to it. Post one on prayer, evangelism, the Christian virtues, or some other practical aspect of our faith, and watch it cry for attention. This tendency has been noted over and over again in the various sites published by Forthright/GoSpeak.
If there is a solution to this problem—and it is a serious one—only God knows. (He does know the solution: it’s called repentance. How to get our people to repent is another issue.)
If the Lord Jesus requires obedience to his covenant, let us be obedient in all things. Let us teach all his will, and practice it as well. Continue reading
This article was written in simple English for an international magazine. We’d like to share it here with you.
Only one God exists. There are not many gods. The one true God created the entire universe. He himself is not created, but he created all things. All other things that are called gods are nothing but idols created by man. Human beings should not worship things they have created.
The one God has revealed himself to mankind. He gave his favorite creature free will. This is the ability to choose between different options and to act according to his choices. The first two people created were Adam and Eve. They chose to disobey God. This choice brought death to them and to all mankind as a result.
Today, no one lives according to God’s will. This is sin. Sin is rebellion against God. Sin separates us from God. We need someone to restore us to God’s glorious presence. Continue reading
This Twitter quote about writing got me to thinking about the writers, and about us the readers, of Scripture: “I love writing that allows for many things to happen at once…”
When we read the word of God with an open heart and mind, Scripture allows many things to happen at once. Continue reading
As a long-term investment in our health and work, Vicki and I let few things interfere with our thrice-weekly workouts. But a few things are more important. Such as a baptism. Yesterday, I baptized a couple we had been studying with, and they chose the best time for the two of them, at 4:30 pm—on his day off, and right after she got off from work, still early enough in the day so that the water was bearable. (It’s wintertime here, and the baptism was done in an outdoor pool.) That caused us to miss our workout, and we were happy to miss it. To help someone move from a state of lostness to receive salvation in Christ is of all things the most important.
“So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen” 2 Tim 2.10 NLT.
What makes all doctrines plain and clear?
About two hundred pounds a year,
And that which was proved true before
Proved false again? Two hundred more.
—Samuel Butler (1600-1680), in Hudibras. Part 3. Canto 1.
—Treasury of David—Psalm 26
Spurgeon quoted this verse, and nothing else, in his comment on Psalm 26.10, about sinners “who are always ready to do wrong or offer a bribe.” Remember that the pound is the UK’s currency.
Money changes what many people will preach as the truth. The Greek orators took up any argument for pay. That idolatry is found in religion today and in some places even in the church of God.
While we pray that the Lord of the harvest may send more workers into his fields, we pray also that they may be people of integrity and righteousness, people of conviction and loyalty to “the grace of God in all its truth” Col 1.6 (as rendered by the Brazilian NVI version).