What’s Your Philippians Opinion?

Until I typed those words I hadn’t noticed how amusing they might sound.
(I’ll give you a minute while you hear someone with your favorite accent ask that question in your head.)

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Philippians 3:14 New International Version (NIV)

14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
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After reading that, what should we do? I think it’s fairly simple.

Press on. As in, persevere.

Sometimes things are happening that make pressing on seem like a big challenge.

What then?

You have probably heard that we’re not supposed to complain.

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Philippians 2:14 New International Version (NIV)

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing,
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I believe there is definitely one exception.

Complain to God if you need to complain (petition). He’s ready to hear what you’ve got to say. Be honestly yourself with God and be honest ABOUT yourself with God. He’s got your back. And He’s always ready to give you more of the peace that passes all understanding when you seek Him.

What you and I have to do is remember to do what is says in another section of Philippians. We have to “press in” by worshiping, praying and otherwise seeking intimacy with God.

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Philippians 4:6-7 New International Version (NIV)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
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Keep pressing on. Keep “pressing in” with God.

Press On. Press In. Repeat.

Like on the back of a shampoo bottle.

That is all.

God bless you!

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Remember Intimacy With God

No matter how busy you get and even if you’re involved in some really great stuff, keep seeking intimacy with Holy Spirit.

Here are verses and a song to remind you:

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Psalm 42:1-2 Living Bible (TLB)

42 As the deer pants for water, so I long for you, O God. 2 I thirst for God, the living God. Where can I find him to come and stand before him?
***

God bless you!

I Just Wrote 1500 Words!

Not in this blog post!

Were you worried? 😉

This morning I felt the Lord nudge me to get up. It was just before 5:30.

Soon I realized that he wanted me to write. He knows my desires.

Some time in the last 20 years I decided that my favorite verse is Psalm 37:4. (By the way, I feel that if it’s your favorite, you ought to have it memorized, right? So, if it’s not memorized, it naturally follows that it’s not your favorite.)

Here it is:

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

I was very happy when I read those words years ago. (Maybe that’s another way to judge your favorite verse as well!)

I believe He was showing me that one of my assumptions was incorrect.

What is that assumption?

That I can’t write unless it’s really quiet or some soft instrumental music is playing AND THERE ARE NO INTERRUPTIONS.

If you’re like me then at least part of the time you like free stuff. When we got Kindle I checked out some of the free book titles and read “Sydney Smith” by George William Erskine Russell in the fall of 2014. Wikipedia says that Sydney Smith was an English wit, writer and Anglican cleric. He was born in the 18th century. Here are a couple Sydney Smith quotes I found on Google this morning:

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.

A great deal of talent is lost to the world for the want of a little courage.

Sydney Smith used to write at a little desk in the same room while his wife was having sometimes lively conversations with groups of women with whom she socialized (and ministered?). I was amazed at the clergyman’s ability and I don’t think I’m quite there yet, BUT this morning I got up and wrote while helping my wife get ready for school a little and having some conversation with her at various times.

Some of you might be wondering why I think this is a big deal.

Well, for starters I wrote 1500 words in under 90 minutes!

For me to do that with distractions from wife, life, doggies and computer glitches is well, a miracle.

WriteNonFictionNow.com says that the average length of a nonfiction book is 50,000 words. I sort of knew this but now that I’ve written so many words in an hour an a half I can see light at the end of the tunnel!

Even if I were only to write 1500 words once every day that means 33-34 days!

Why do I believe this has happened for me?

I’ve been worshiping God a lot more frequently since April, but especially since July. Last night was probably night 52 for me at The Fire & Glory Outpouring and I’ve been worshiping God at home more. Of course, we attend regular worship services at our home church, Solana Beach Presbyterian (Solana Pres).

Put simply – more intimacy with God. If you prefer, I’ll say it this way – more intimacy with Holy Spirit.

As I learn to listen for HIS still, small voice I become more practiced at hearing him. I believe the bible talks about this.

Here’s John 10: 27-28

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

I’m not going to attempt to unpack these verses right now, but I do find them comforting and challenging.

I want to hear His voice and I’m (very) regularly seeking intimacy with Him.

Maybe it’s a lot like what I told our son about soccer when he was growing up.

When you practice and keep practicing, you get better at it.

I urge you: Go, and do likewise!

Spend Time With Jesus

This year I’ve had some wonderful experiences in my faith life. You only have to read previous posts to find that out or see where that is implied. The last couple of days have not been awesome for me and I think I figured out why.

This is an online blog. What’s printed here goes out to the world. I don’t promise to tell you every little thing about my life, but I will share that sometimes things are off with me. I want to keep sharing about real life faith. It’s not because my candidate didn’t win in the election
[ That was DAYS ago! 😉 ].

Here it is:

I’ve spent a lot of time online and not enough time with Jesus. I believe it’s that simple. (OK, maybe the extra caffeine today didn’t help!)

Please remember the account of Mary and Martha in the Gospel of Luke today and every day. And, remember it especially tomorrow on Thanksgiving.

God bless you!

Luke 10:38-42 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Martha and Mary
38 Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with [a]all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; 42 but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

When You’re Tired, Press On

Right now I’m feeling tiredness slipping into my body. We need to be extra careful when we’re tired while driving (Hello truck drivers, soccer moms and dads, students, taxi, uber and delivery drivers and all the rest!) or doing something else with physical hazards. Earlier today I was poking through ice with a butter knife and made sure my other hand was out of the way. (I have found that it’s also a good time to really pay attention to what’s coming out of my mouth!)

Fortunately, I mostly have to concern myself with spelling and crazy cursor jumps that can erase paragraphs in under a second. (If it’s never happened to you, well, God bless you.) 🙂

Many of you are very aware of the need to “press on” in spite of being tired. Back in the 90s my wife and I were living apart for a time and I worked really late Saturday nights and then got up at 5:45 am to pick up our son and take him to church with me. I knew there was a time coming up in the afternoon or evening that I could have a rest. Even the worst case scenario was probably that I could hit the pillow at 10 on Sunday night.

What I’ve found is that when you can look forward to a time of rest at some point, it’s easier to press on. Many new parents find themselves sleep deprived and it’s like that commercial says: Dads don’t take sick days.

Another big help is encouragement. That old song “Home On The Range” contains the lyrics “Where seldom is heard a discouraging word”. Hopefully, Your Support Matters (this blog) is a source of encouragement for you.

Recently I’ve found a lot of Christian music that’s very encouraging. It might be my attitude (which I believe stems from more frequent, intense worship & greater intimacy with God in recent months) has shifted and that’s given me a healthier perspective about Christian music. It could also be the case that more Christian artists are writing from a place of true intimacy with God. Whatever the reasons, I find myself listening to Holy Spirit-inspired music much more often.

What may also be true is something like the 80/20 rule (or better yet, 90/10?). If you’re listening to 80 or 90 percent Christian music (songs that YOU find inspiring & Spirit-filled), you may find a difference in your attitude versus 80 or 90 percent secular music. I want to be absolutely clear that I am not saying you MUST do this. You could try an experiment and see how it works for you.

If you think back to how I started this post, I was talking about pressing on when you’re tired. Of course, if you have the opportunity to rest when you need it, take it!!

When you’re in a position where you must press on in spite of being tired, you may find it easier if you’ve been living in an encouraging environment. You may not have as much control over your living environment as I have right now. I understand that. But, you may have some control over “taking in” encouraging music, words or videos.

Here are some suggestions:

1) Pray honestly and intimately as a son or daughter of God

2) Read the Bible, especially Psalms

If you look closely you’ll notice that Psalms ARE prayers, so I see it as doubly good or a “double portion”.

3) Read Faith Books (RFB!) like:

A) The Cure

B) Mahesh Chavda’s The Hidden Power Of The Blood Of Jesus

You might win Mahesh’s book here.

C) David Herzog’s Glory Invasion

D) Patricia King’s Help, God! I’m Broke!

You might win Patricia King’s book here

4) Read my faith blog, Your Support Matters (YSM)

5) Listen to what I call faith music.

A) Read previous YSM posts and you’ll find lots of songs.

B) If you have Amazon Echo, ask Alexa to play Crowder or play Christian music

C) There are great radio stations online now like Air1.

So, to sum up…

I suggest you plan ahead by getting rest when you can so it’s easier to PRESS ON.

If you’re not getting enough rest, you can “gird” yourself by having an encouraging, faith-based atmosphere in your life by reading and listening to uplifting & Holy Spirit-inspired music, words and other media and sources. ALMOST FORGOT! AND, worship God intimately and often, alone and together with other believers. Some people call this “living a worship lifestyle”.

Here’s some media to remind you to Press On.

Always remember that God, the Creator of the Universe, loves YOU!

Remember Your Encouraging Words

This goes for words spoken to you as well as words you speak.

Right now I’m being encouraged by my previous post, DO In The Moment!, which I wrote just this morning.

I believe God is nudging me to share right away before I forget. Less than 20 minutes ago I got back from shopping.

There was a time that I used to shop as fast as I could with not much time for conversation except for the shortest of hellos. I even taught myself to “handicap” the lines to see which one might be a little faster. I took into account the checker, the shopper AND their groceries. Sometimes I could tell if someone was going to relieve them and I came to know that a shift change took up some time.

While I’m not saying I don’t pay attention to the lines at all, today I was open to speaking to people in line and I met a nice young couple named Tony and Paradise. I felt that God was nudging me to talk with them a bit. I even felt him nudge me to give them my card.

That’s really new to me. Of course my card is new and I got a good deal at Vistaprint, but what’s really new is believing that God would have me give my card to someone. I guess in the past I would have thought it was too self-promoting, but I am sincere. I don’t always feel a nudge to give my card, but this time I did.

Sometime in the last couple weeks I felt that particular nudge for the very first time.

As I left the house I noticed a young man who I thought may or may not have been about to come up our walkway to our front door. I’m usually open to at least say hello and I let him know that while I am fine with the girl scouts or little league coming to my door, I’m not really receptive to sales people unless they are from the area.

He was polite and I told him that I thought his home services company might be able to find customers online. I’ve shared before that sometimes I feel a nudge from God to talk with a particular person. This time I felt God was reminding me “Your Support Matters” more than once.

As I was getting into my car I felt God didn’t let up. I guess I thought it must be my mind because why would God be telling me to tell him about my blog? I still ask God fairly often, “Is this you or just me?” I believe that I’ve shared that I’m new at this kind of communication with God.

During this process I realized that I had my Your Support Matters cards in my left pocket. Finally, I decided to not get into my car and I called out to him as he was walking away. I shared that I had posted recently about stuff that might help as a salesman or in business. Then I added, “I also share about my faith.”

This young man then opened up about how he and his grandma had both been addicts and now they loved the Lord and went to services on Shabbat and Sunday. I didn’t concern myself with possible differences in our styles of faith. I listened and told him about The Fire & Glory Outpouring and when he told me they lived in Chula Vista I let him know that anyone can watch it on Youtube, either past “episodes” or LIVE Wed-Sun at 7 pm (Pacific).

As far as past “episodes” go, I also told him to check out Night 192 and I urge you to do the same.

He seemed grateful to have run into me and I was certainly glad that I had paid attention to God, even if it took more than one nudge.

Because I posted this morning and I came back to check my blog this afternoon I was reminded to share what I believe will bring encouragement to some or many. Moments come and go.

DO in this moment.

Watch from 1:53:50 for about 35 minutes or so. You’ll see a little of Jerame Nelson’s style as he introduces his wife, Miranda. She has her own style as well, but what I really want you to see is the powerful move of Holy Spirit on September 4, 2016. Do it now before you forget. I did and wrote this post. If you desire, you can also watch from the very beginning and worship God with music.

God Bless You!