Talk to Me!

Jonah and Whale SharkNow the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows. 17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.    Jonah 1, selected verses.

I believe God speaks to us. It’s usually more in the form of signs for us to understand than actual words, although that still happens in this current time.  There are many instances of Jesus visiting Muslims in their dreams and in visions, because that’s the only way they can know of Him.

Sometimes I really wonder what’s happening in my life. I’ve got a good job, but lately it feels like the wheels are coming off.  Shall I brush up my resume’?  Do I have something to worry about here?

As these questions swirl, I had two job opportunities come to my attention out of the blue. I’m not quite a good match for either, even though they are both in my “sweet spot” as far as the discipline goes.

This reminded me of when I moved to Memphis for my current job after going through bankruptcy. I lost count of how many recruiters called me with inquiries for jobs I might be interested in.  NOW they show up??

It occurred to me in this instance that God is just showing me that He has this and this is where He wants me right now. What’s the message?

“Jeff, I know you’re getting the heeby-jeebies over your company’s current condition, but I’m still in control. Just to prove it, I’m going to send you two jobs that are almost perfect for you, but that you can’t really win.  Just to show you that I can whistle up whatever I want whenever I want.  If I want you somewhere else, I’ll get you there.  That just isn’t gonna happen right now.  So stop worrying and carry on.”

I didn’t hear a voice, but after prayer and reflection, this is the answer, the impression that formed in my mind. This is my interpretation of recent events.

I can see the message being similar when I got all of those recruiters calling after I moved to Memphis.

“I could’ve moved you anywhere, anytime. You just had to wait and go through some trials to get your where I wanted you, both physically and emotionally.  So hang in there.”

Does God talk to you? I’m sure He does…through events, “coincidences,” etc.  Here’s the thing, when you think God is sending you a message, pray about it.  Be careful of forcing your wishes into occurrences.  You might not get anything.  If not, don’t get hung up on it.  Either He doesn’t want you to know now, or ever, or maybe it’s simply the fact that stuff happens.

So hang in there. God has this.  He may explain why something happened.  He may use circumstances to funnel you into a course of action, like He did moving me to Memphis.

So that’s me sharing what I suddenly felt was a communication. Am I right?  Maybe, maybe not.  But then, my interpretation is pretty well in character with God, right?

Luke 14:7-11

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.      Philippians 4:8 [Full Chapter]

Book StoreI was browsing around the bookstore this evening and saw some new titles. One title was “You are a Badass; How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.”

First, language people! This was on the New Arrivals shelf maybe 20 feet inside the door.  Kids see this stuff!  Is this how we want them…EVERYONE talking all of the time?

Second, it’s a lousy message. We have no inherent greatness.  That’s the road that leads to self-worship and narcissism.  How about focusing on others and community, building the team?  If everyone starts talking themselves into how great they are, who’s going to be listening?  Who is going to care?

Rather, give up to God and your neighbor in humility. Tooting your own horn won’t get you nearly as far as someone else caring enough to toot it for you!

33 Then He (Jesus) came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”    Mark 9:33-35

Or one of Jesus’ parables:

humilitySo He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”    Luke 14:7-11

The other book I saw was even worse: “The Subtle Art of not giving a F****.” Except it was spelled out with a dirty ink splotch instead of the vowel.  Once more; language, people!

If that’s the best this clown can do with a title, what would make me trust there’s anything subtle anywhere in this book?

The basic premise is a good one. See the Bible passage at the top.  But this profane person wants you to buy his book for $20 or more.

Let me save you some time and money. Read my article Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys from 02/02/2016.

Here endeth the lesson.

Thoughts From 1 Timothy

St Paul

St. Paul

3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith. Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,    1 Timothy 1:3-5

 

There are only two commandments that Jesus gave to His disciples and us, both regarding love:

Jesus Smiling34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  Matthew 22:34-40

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genealogyAlso, Paul’s warning against genealogies is prophetic when one considers the Mormon preoccupation with them. From the official Mormon web site:

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints use family history records to perform sacred temple ordinances, for their kindred dead if these deceased family members were unable to perform the earthly rites themselves.  That gives deceased ancestors the opportunity to accept these ordinances in the afterlife.

Jesus teaches us through the parable of The Rich Man and Poor Lazarus that our eternity is sealed once our bodies die.  There are no earthly rites, pre or post death, that provide salvation.  There is only one means of securing our eternity in heaven with God and fellow believers in Christ:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  John 14:6

Quite succinct with no room for argument.

As for genealogies: we’re all descended from Adam and Eve.

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salvation…the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.    1 Timothy 1:9b-11

For those who believe that Christians are homophobes and gay haters, because God denounces homosexuality, God does not approve of any sexual misconduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual.

It isn’t a matter of hate, but of love. People were made to operate within certain guidelines.  The list of aberrations listed above are not correct operations of human beings per their Maker.  He would have us forego the pain of improper behavior, both on earth and in eternity.  God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

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Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy…    1 Timothy 4:1-2

St Pauls Ground ZeroAmerica started as a Christian nation, but we have obviously lost our way as a country. George Washington began his presidency at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City.  This building still stands at Ground Zero, the only building there not to have suffered any damage.  At all.  Not so much as a broken window.  From the History Channel website:

George Washington PrayingAfter delivering his address, Washington walked up Broadway with a group of legislators and local political leaders to pray at St. Paul’s Chapel. Later, he made the humble and astute observation that his presidency, and the nation itself, was an experiment.

In the 21st Century we ban God’s law from our courthouses, persecute Christians while promoting Muslims, call evil good and good, evil.  We sooner believe in salvation from the cosmos in the form of enlightened aliens than the Son of God.  We say God doesn’t exist while entering into pacts with Satan.

Nothing good has or ever will come from any of this.

20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.  Grace be with you. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:20-21