Stupidity

Proverbs 19:3

People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed? (Message)

We all have done stupid. Sometimes its planned stupidity, most often it is a quick, temporary, brain damaging decision with painful, down-the-road consequences. The mature person however will accept personal responsibility for their decisions and actions. The immature though will find someone else to blame. If they can’t find a human person close to the situation to blame, then they will look for the next best one. That one is usually God.

Some people hold a theological belief that God causes everything to happen – good and bad. That if the student receives a poor grade, it must be God who didn’t intervene and change the grade for the better. If a person is fired from a job for continuous tardiness, it must be God’s fault for not giving him special favor with his supervisor. If you are involved in an accident, it must be God’s fault for not protecting you as you race 20 miles above the speed limit weaving in and out of traffic. The list is endless.

When one realizes that we are in control of our responses in all circumstances, and we have no one to blame but ourselves, that is when stupidity dies. Albert Einstein is given credit for saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So, if life keeps giving you lemons because of your stupidity, do you think it may be time to change something?

God is not out to destroy you. In fact, he wants you to live up to the potential He created you for. He knows who you are. He knows your strengths and weaknesses. He doesn’t expect you to be anything else but you.

So rather than continue to blame others, take a time out, and look at the fruit of your life. What area of your life are you happy?  What area are you disappointed? Then take time to pray and thank God for the happy areas. For those areas you are unhappy with, ask Him to lead you toward fulfilling your potential as His child. But don’t ask if you are not willing to change and go places you have never gone before. Ask, Seek, and Knock.

As you ask Him, begin to seek his answers. It may take some sacrifice, hard work, and long hours of commitment, but with God walking with you it is only a matter of time before you will come to know Him better and see His work in your life.

But it all starts by accepting personal responsibility for the outcomes in your life. We have no one to blame but ourselves when stupidity strikes. However, God’s grace is sufficient to carry us through the brain damaging, ugly behavior that we all have a propensity to make happen. Focus on Him and He will lead you covered with His Grace.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Born Again

John 3:3

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

Sometimes I wonder and speculate whether or not Jesus and Nicodemus were actually comparing the spiritual new birth with being physically pregnant. There are some Biblical scholars who believe the Greek word translated into “born” would be better translated as “begotten.” Again, I wonder.

To be born again implies more than the sperm and egg connecting within a Mother’s womb. As the fetus grows, an ultrasound would show the head, legs and arms of a child taken shape early in the pregnancy. Approximately eight weeks into the new life a heart beat is heard. Science will acknowledge that the child is alive at this time but dependent on their mother for nourishment. The process from the initial marriage of sperm and egg until the child’s birth into the world is approximately nine months.

What keeps the child alive is the umbilical cord connected to the Mother where the child’s nourishment is received. During these nine months the child is being formed and prepared for life outside their mother’s womb. The child isn’t considered “born” until the day they are birth into the world.

So, when Jesus said we must be born again, was he speaking about the sperm and egg becoming one or was he illustrating the resurrection when our bodies will be morph into a spiritual casing?

Again, I wonder. Isn’t “being born again” more like a child in the womb of a mother than the mature Christian we like to thing we are? As a child of God in the womb of the Church, am I not being slowly shaped into the image of Jesus Christ? Then one day, we will be raised with Christ and see Him as He truly is because we will be like him (I John 3:2)? 

Again, I wonder. Just like a child is protected within the Mother’s womb, are we also not protected within the arms of our God?

Again, I wonder. Like the umbilical cord connects and feeds the child in the womb, doesn’t Christ’s faith feed us through His Word?

Scripture doesn’t give us all the words spoken between Nicodemus and Jesus, but just the most important need to know phrases. But I do wonder and speculate at times…

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Ready, Willing, Able

Acts 9:10-12, 17

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”  And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying,  and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” …So, Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

As you dance with the LORD, He is going to move you around the ballroom floor of earth with unexpected turns and twists. Are you ready? When your assignment is given, are you going to be physically and mentally able to accept and follow through? Have you enough trust in the LORD to willingly accept your assignment without fanfare and doubt?

Ananias was a disciple of Jesus. When he received a vision from him, he didn’t run or hide. Instead he had such a relationship with our LORD that he immediately recognized His voice. Now Ananias didn’t quickly accept his assignment. At first, he needed clarification that the person God had in mind was the same person who the saints were avoiding because of the harm he was doing to them. Saul was causing havoc among the disciples believing their destruction was best for the Jewish community. But God had other plans. So, God communicated his purpose for Saul.

Then Ananias got up, went and found Saul, and prayed laying his hands on him following God’s instruction. Saul, who later changed his name to Paul, regained his sight and became full of the Holy Spirit. God took a zealous enemy of the church and open the door for his purpose to continue.

Saul, with the pre-notification vision that a man named Ananias will lay hands on him and he will regain his sight waited in prayer. So, what do you think went through Paul’s mind when a disciple showed up in his house, named Ananias, with instructions from the Lord to lay hands on him so his sight will be restored?

Are we ready, willing, and able to serve God according to his desires and not ours?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

The Core of All Relationships

John 15:1-8

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

We all have spiritual roots leading to Jesus Christ. He died for ALL mankind. And in his life, death, and resurrection, he restored what collapsed in the Garden of Eden. He redeemed mankind from the death trap solicited by Satan and again has given humanity direct contact with the Almighty.

Today, some may know Him better as a Friend, others as an Elder Brother, and others still as their Lord. Generally, most are originally introduced to Him as their Savior. And yet for many unbelievers, he is simply another historical figure with a few quips to live by.

Yet history and experience show when one accepts Him as He claimed to be, one begins to experience a richness of life that includes knowing God. With this understanding when one meets a stranger, one has a better understanding that Jesus Christ also died for this person; which means they also have direct contact with the Almighty but have either built walls to keep Him away or are simply ignorant of their relationship with the Creator of the Universe.

In other words, Jesus Christ directly involved Himself into every single person’s life whether or not they ask for his assistance, or even heard about him. And now he reiterates to his disciples the principle of mutual cooperation. He has already fulfilled his part. He now reminds us we need to complete our part.

Our part is to abide in him. To submit to Him. To allow Him to have access into our heart and mind. To follow Him wherever He goes. In the process we will become more like him in attitude and character. His Spirit will begin to transform us into His image. We will eventually spiritually morph from a caterpillar to butterfly. In the end, Jesus’ Father will be glorified.

So, the next time you meet a stranger, remind yourself Jesus has already committed Himself to help this person become more like Him. We are simply the conduit that may provide the hands, feet, words, or ear for them to learn more about who they are in Christ. They are already included in the circle of the Triune God. But like many, they are totally ignorant of the richness and quality of life that awaits them by engaging into the Man from Galilee who paid the supreme price for their benefit.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

What is Your View of God?

Galatians 4:8

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.

Your view of God determines the outcome of your life. Your decisions, plans, and behavior are based on your worldview which includes your opinion and belief of who God IS.

If you believe God doesn’t exist, your life will be lived with relative morals, self-centered accountability, and an uncertain future without hope.

If you believe God is a cosmic force that feeds you with energy, then you will have an impersonal relationship with an electrical-like switch that you turn on and off at your will.

If you believe God is a capitalistic entrepreneur, then you will work your hardest to transact your efforts for the greatest return.

If you believe God is a stern judge waiting for you to mess up and then punish you for your failures, you will be fearful to risk taking chances in life.

If you believe God is a deist who created the world and then left everything behind for humanity to figure it out, then you probably allow your self-reliance blind you from developing meaning relationship with others including God for you will want to do everything yourself.

If you believe God is solely into justice, then you will focus so much on right and wrong that you will miss out on peace, mercy, and grace.

If you believe God is solely about love, then you will close your eyes to the destructive behavior of others within communities in the name of love.

God reveals Himself through the pages of the Bible and creation. When you come to understand that God is Triune, Father-Son-Spirit, then you begin to see the logical carryover into all creation.

The Bible is the means to the end, not the end of itself. Therefore, use Scripture to enhance your realization of who God IS. As you read the Bible, stop and ask yourself what does this Scripture tell you about God?

And as we come to better know Him, we also come to better know ourselves. Since we are created in His image, our talents, abilities, and makeup are pattern after Him. As we discover how He exercises these qualities, we emulate Him in small physical ways.

Jesus is our role model. He is our rabbi. We are his student. Learning who God IS begins with knowing Jesus. He reveals the Father and introduces us to the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, make Jesus your aim and central core in all your relationships and plans. You will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of your life as you make Him the central focus of your life.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Wealth Creation Manifesto

Isaiah 48:17 (NASB)
Thus, says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.

wealth2

BAM is a global Christian ministry focused on bringing people, communities, and nations out of poverty through business. BAM stands for Business as Mission. Recently they outlined their manifesto. They did in my opinion such an outstanding job summarizing God’s purpose for wealth that I just copied word by word to share for the benefit of others. The link to their paper is below.

Affirmations:

1. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.

 2. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with Him and for Him, to create products and services for the common good.

 3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.

 4. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.

 5. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.

 6. There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.

 7. The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.

 8. Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.

 9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.

 10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.

 11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.

http://matstunehag.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Wealth-Creation-Manifesto-v-4.0-23-April-17.pdf

Wealth is the byproduct of providing services or products for the satisfaction of others. As stewards of God’s Kingdom on earth, our responsibility includes investing to help others flourish. As the old saying goes, “Give a man a fish today to eat, and you have to do it again tomorrow. Invest and teach a man to gather his own fish, he will eat today and tomorrow. Multiply the process with others and the entire community will do the same.

Go and Do Likewise…

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

Values. Needs. Dreams.

Amos 3:3 NKJV

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

walk1

What brings people together? What makes two people from an entire universe become friends? Why are some people totally repulsive to each other?

These are very complex questions which social scientists have done studies and more studies. Yet when you make it simple and to the point, don’t two people come together when they have something in common? Most of the time it may be a task, or an interest, or simply a need that needs to be fulfilled.

I like to think that when two people have similar values, and/or needs, and/or dreams, you have the potential of real, deep friendship. Sometimes the friendship leads to a deep bond like marriage. Other times, towards a friendship closer than a brother or sister.

Jesus surrounded himself with twelve disciples. Some were self-employed as fishermen, one a tax collector, and another a terrorist. Typically, these people would have nothing in common and probably wouldn’t spend any time together for no other reason except for Jesus Christ. What brought them all together? They indirectly saw the values, needs, and dreams Jesus expressed as something they desired and believe Jesus would help them succeed at it.

So, if you are looking for friendship, a mate, or a business relationship, focus on the other person’s values, needs, and dreams. See how they relate with yours. If there is a common thread, you may have hit the jackpot. If not, pray about it, and let the Holy Spirit reveal what you may suspect or show you something deeper than is invisible to the naked eye. Either way, lean on the Triune God and He will show you the way.

At the end of the day, isn’t Jesus someone who we all see as a person whose values we admire, whose ways satisfy our needs, and who may help us fulfill our dreams?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved