November 30, 2018

VIDEO: Do Tithes and Offerings Belong in Christianity?

Our conversation continues…listen in as Rick and CQ Contributor, Julie, discuss three questions related to our recent podcast on Tithing including: Does tithing belong in Christianity? Just because tithing in the Bible doesn’t involve money, are you saying we should donate land or cattle instead? If it’s true the Bible doesn’t teach people to tithe money, why are so many churches teaching contrary to the Bible?

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November 26, 2018

Ep.1049: Are You a Mary or a Martha?

Powerful life lessons from two friends of Jesus

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CHAPTERS

[00:17:13]
What do their lives teach us about ourselves?


[00:36:44]
What is the lesson of Martha's correction?


[00:54:40]
How do the sisters respond when their brother dies?


[01:12:10]
How does their faith and growth come full circle?


Theme Scripture: Luke 10:41-42

Let’s face it – the Bible really does a lot of focusing on men. Adam was created before Eve, Noah saved humanity and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the patriarchs of the nation of Israel. The prophets, Jesus and the Apostles – all men. So where does that leave the women of the Bible? The answer to this is actually astounding! The women of the Bible are left to quietly teach us some of the most powerful and significant lessons the Scriptures have to offer. Finding these lessons is like uncovering rare and telling archeological artifacts that vividly reveal deep biblical truths. Such are the lessons we receive from Mary and Martha, sisters of Lazarus and close friends of Jesus. Their conversations with and actions towards Jesus speak volumes - not only of their importance in HIS life, but also of their abiding place in our lives as well.

Continue Reading

It is unusual to say that Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were close friends of Jesus because we don’t think of Jesus as having close friends.  He had apostles, and Peter, James and John seemed to have been closest to him among the twelve.  He had followers both men and women, and a few names do come up as being close to him, but they were followers.  Martha, Mary and Lazarus were his friends.  He is recorded as going to their home often as a place of rest and recuperation.  This would have been important to Jesus, as he is not recorded as frequenting anyone else’s home for such comfort.

There are a few subtle and really profound hints in Scripture that speak to the importance of Martha and Mary in the life of Jesus.  One of those hints is about Martha complaining.  We usually think of Martha as the one who Jesus had to reprimand.  Her gripe to Jesus was that her sister was sitting at his feet instead of helping her with the hospitality responsibilities.  Jesus gently responded to her that she was overly concerned with such things and to let Mary be.  This causes us to think that Martha was a frenzied almost half-hearted follower of Jesus, yet nothing is further from the truth!  The way Jesus responded to her speaks volumes to her importance.

His response was, “Martha, Martha!”  The amazing thing is that there are only ten instances in the Bible where a name is repeated that way.  Each of these examples shows how very special those people were, for in Jewish culture such a repetition was recognition of endearment.  It turns out that Martha becomes an absolute hero and example for us along side of her sister Mary.

This is just the very tip of the iceberg regarding the deep and life-changing insights we can apply from Martha and Mary.  Check out our November 26, 2018 podcast, “Are You a Mary or a Martha?” and join us for what turns out to be a thrilling ride of discovery into the characters of these two women.  There are few words written about them, but pound for pound those words carry a truly mind-boggling impact!

 

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November 26, 2018

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VIDEO: How Can We Be Truly Thankful?

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Ep.1048: How Can We Be Truly Thankful?

Patterning your thankful life after nine simple lessons from Jesus

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CHAPTERS

[00:18:42]
How does thankfulness change what we do?


[00:36:36]
What does justice have to do with thankfulness?


[00:54:10]
How does being thankful help us live a higher standard?


[01:12:22]
How can we have gratitude when others don't like us?


Theme Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

In the United States, Thanksgiving Day is a day that was originally set aside as a national holiday to stop the activities of our busy lives and thank God for His providence.  Fast forward a few hundred years and what do we have – a day set aside for family friends food and football.  Being “thankful” is rarely on the agenda anymore, and being thankful to God specifically borders on political incorrectness!  So, what about actually living daily with a grateful heart?  That's a concept that is far from the collective consciousness of our tech savvy society.  Now, just because gratitude is not the general focus does not mean we as Christians have permission to ignore it.  On the contrary, living a life of appreciation is a Christian requirement, so how do we take that which is required of us and transform it into that which we seek each and every day?

Continue Reading

To want to live a thankful daily life means we first need to grasp the reach gratitude has in our every day.  If you begin to dig beneath the surface you soon realize that being thankful has its roots in the simplicity of good manners.  I have three grandchildren, an 11-year-old boy and two three-year-old girls – and one more on the way!  While spending time with the two three-year olds yesterday, it struck me how much a part of their social training is learning good manners.  When they wanted juice they were given the age-old question, “How do you ask?” to which they immediately answered with “Please!”  Of course, once the juice was delivered their cue of “What do you say?” was dutifully responded to with a resounding “Thank you!”

Realize it or not for us as adults, “please” and “thank you” are the core factors in living gratefully, for they create a powerfully positive perspective for our everyday.  “Please” implies a kind recognition of someone doing something for us, whether we are entitled to it or not.  It is having gratitude before something takes place and sets the stage for whatever service we have requested to be able to be performed in a cheerful way.  “Thank you” seals the exchange with the simple act of acknowledging someone’s efforts on our behalf.  So you see, gratitude is one of the most precious and basic of all human responses.

Now, what would you say if I told you that Jesus took this incredibly simple lesson of living with gratitude and expanded it to truly cover every aspect of our varied lives?  The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 are appropriately looked upon as a recipe for living well as a Christian.  What if we looked at those very same verses and focused on the living thankfully lessons they could teach us?  Now that is a whole new ballgame!  Check out our November 19, 2018 podcast, “How can We be Truly Thankful?” and walk through the verses with us.  Our special guest opens doors to gratitude that most of us never even knew existed.  “Please” give it a listen!  “Thank you!”

 

 

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Ep.1047: Why Did the Tongues of Fire Touch the Apostles?

How God’s Spirit and speaking in tongues really worked in the Bible

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CHAPTERS

[00:16:43]
What did Pentecost mean for Christians?


[00:34:44]
Why was the Pentecost event so dramatic?


[00:53:32]
Was the gift of speaking in tongues passed down to us?


[01:12:50]
Is speaking in tongues wrong?


Theme Scripture: Acts 2:1

Sometimes the Bible is really dramatic.  Take the day of Pentecost in Acts which was fifty days after Jesus was crucified.  The apostles were told by the risen Jesus to hang around Jerusalem, and on the morning of this particular day there were fireworks – literally, there were fireworks that came down from heaven.  Not only did fire come down upon them from above, but they then spoke in foreign languages about the gospel and converted thousands of Jews to Christianity.  So, why the big and spectacular dramatics with the fire from above?  Was it really necessary?  And what about the miraculous speaking foreign languages business? Couldn’t they have uses translators?  On rare occasions, God will do things so far out of the ordinary that we just have to stop and take notice.  This particular day of Pentecost was such an occasion, so let’s see what the message was!

Continue Reading

The events of that particular Day of Pentecost were a unique, once-in-all-of-history occurrence.  Just as Jesus died once for all of mankind, God knew that to further the cause of Christ – the gospel - there would need to be a way to permanently establish his followers. In Jesus' final message to his disciples before he ascended to heaven, he told them to wait in Jerusalem and that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit “not many days from now.”

What followed lives in religious history as the monumental beginning of the Christian movement.  There was the attention getting, powerful roaring wind, the miraculous fire descending from heaven and settling over the apostles and the unexpected speaking in the foreign languages of those who had gathered in Jerusalem.  The dramatic message that came from all of this was a witness of “the mighty things of God.”

Many Christian churches still believe in the gift of speaking in tongues, though there are dramatic differences in today’s practice.  Modern tongues are spoken with unintelligible sound,s as many believe they are speaking a “prayer language” to God.  But are they?  Was there ever any prayer language spoken of in the Bible they can model this practice after?  While the Apostle Paul does reference speaking “in the tongues of angels” and also mentions speaking in tongues without an interpreter as speaking to God, there is absolutely NO biblical leg for today’s practice to stand upon.

How then do we interpret speaking to God in the angel language thing?  We simply use biblical context, which in this case means taking notice of and applying the scriptural statements that show us the why, the how the when and the results of biblical speaking in tongues.  Check out our November 12, 2018 podcast, “Why did the Tongues of Fire Touch the Apostles?” and see how we get beneath the surface of the matter to reveal the profound truth on this amazing gift of the early Christian church.  Seeing the matter laid out in alignment with biblical history and prophecy will make sense, no matter what language you may speak!

 

 

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VIDEO: What Can I Do Now About Procrastination Later?

Ugh. We all procrastinate at some time, but why? We know time is precious and a gift from God, so why aren’t we using it better? What steps or habits can we cultivate to prevent ourselves from being in a constant state of procrastination stress? Watch this quick vlog then listen to the entire podcast of the same name for the answers to these questions and supporting Scriptures.

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Ep.1046: What Can I Do Now About Procrastination Later?

Defining, dismantling and defeating our procrastination tendencies

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CHAPTERS

[00:17:25]
What four things predict if we will put off what we know we shouldn't?


[00:36:45]
What are some practical tips for getting things done?


[00:54:50]
Isn't patience just a fancy word for procrastination?


[01:12:16]
How do perfectionism and joy fit in?


Theme Scripture: 2 Peter 1:10

(We apologize for the sound quality in the first audio segment - it clears up quickly!) I’m not even going to ask the question because, let’s face it we all know what the answer is.  Procrastination is common with all of us.  The only real question is, “What kind of procrastinator am I?  Do I put things off only when I’m not in the mood to do them?  Do I some avoid tasks like the plague because I really thoroughly dislike them?  Or am I the guy who just doesn’t seem to want to do anything?  You know - the guy who has mastered the fine art of creative avoidance, which makes me actually look like I am busy and productive, when in reality I am running and hiding.  What are the implications of being a Christian procrastinator?  Our lives are supposed to be all about doing the will of God through Jesus and that is not really something we ought to be toying with?  So, what’s the answer?  How do we face, understand and finally defeat the urge to procrastinate?

Continue Reading

The first thing to know about procrastination is that there are actually two kinds.  The first is the, “I have a deadline and I’m gonna put this thing off for as long as physically possible” kind.  This very common thought process will typically place us in a blissful state of denial until the eleventh hour.  At that point, we rely on our deadline-imposed adrenaline rush to come to our aid. Unless you are a chronic procrastinator, once you get through the sleepless and caffeine-crazed phase, you resolve to never let things go that far again.  That decision is sound and adhered to...until the next deadline comes!

The second kind of “I’m not going to do this now” nonsense is actually worse.  It is when we have a task or change or project due much farther into the future.  Putting it off is easy – too easy – as that nebulous future date or time has little or no impact on the present stresses of life.  We go merrily upon our way with a sense of security and calm, as we have seemingly countless tomorrows at our disposal.  In matters of health and security down the road, this brand of procrastination has a cost factor that can literally be life-threatening.

None of this is good, especially if you are a Christian and your entire life is supposed to be built around walking in Jesus’ footsteps.  So, what do we do about it?  The good news is that there are lots of scriptural and practical ways to develop a “do it now” approach.  Check out this podcast, “What Can I Do Now About Procrastination Later?” to tap into the many suggestions and principles available.  We reveal the four strong predictors that bring us to the door of procrastination, and we talk about three simple steps that counteract its effects.  Then there is the fascinating and important conversation regarding the similarities and differences between applying a patience based approach to our tasks versus procrastination laced escape from them.  Don’t hesitate – log on now!

 

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