Renewed Strength - Serve Others "but those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength..." -Isaiah 40:31 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/ http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification BlogEngine.NET 2.7.0.0 en-US http://renewedstrength.org/rs/opml.axd Renewed Strength Renewed Strength 0.000000 0.000000 The Simple Joy of Being Available <p><img src="rs/image.axd?picture=%2f2014%2f02%2fUntitled.png" alt="Use me Lord" width="229" height="229" align="left" hspace="12" /></p> <p>To anyone passing by, they just looked like two copy paper boxes. If you were a little more observant, you might have noticed that each box appeared to be full of random food items. A loaf of bread in this box, cup of noodles in that one.</p> <p>But to one couple, it&rsquo;s salvation.</p> <p>To one family it&rsquo;s proof of Philippians 4:19</p> <p style="text-align: center;" align="center"><em>And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.</em></p> <p>For one father, it&rsquo;s proof that God never intended for us to worry; we only have to ask.</p> <p style="text-align: center;" align="center"><em>Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.</em> (Phil. 4:6)</p> <p>David and I live a hectic life. We each work two jobs. David works as a therapeutic behavioral specialist for a social services firm in San Bernardino County. I write for various publications. We&rsquo;re both youth pastors. If we aren&rsquo;t at work or doing work, then we&rsquo;re receiving text messages and phone calls about work. We hustle from one event to another, there are meetings for something every week, and in our &ldquo;down time&rdquo; we are often swamped with planning events and teachings or paperwork.</p> <p>We don&rsquo;t get much time to spend together as husband and wife. I&rsquo;ll leave it up to you to imagine how much time we feel like there is left to make ourselves available to God for anything else.</p> <p>We were taking a quick break to have tea together one morning before dashing off to a staff meeting at church when I received a text message. It was my mom asking if our church still had a food ministry.</p> <p>My first thought as I read the text to Dave was worry for my mom.</p> <p>Turns out, she was not asking for herself.</p> <p>I grew up with very generous parents. It is not something that I took much notice of as a child, but whenever we would pass by someone in need my mom would always give what very little money she could spare. People in need only have to tell my dad that they&rsquo;re struggling before he is thinking of ways to help them.</p> <p>I do not know how hard life was when my parents were growing up but I remember going with my mom to the food bank when I was a little girl. I know that my parents did not always know how they were going to feed us. I know that people helped us. I know that God always made sure we had what we needed.</p> <p>When it came to generosity, there was no shortage of good role models in our home. So the next text message I received was no surprise.</p> <p>Through a work conversation, my mom happened to discover that one of her co-workers, a man who had only recently been hired, was desperately struggling each evening to figure out how he was going to feed his family the next day. Married with six children, the man and his wife were having a difficult time bridging the gap that occurs with a change of jobs.</p> <p>&ldquo;Does your church still have a food ministry?&rdquo;</p> <p>Heck yeah, we do!</p> <p>In a brief text message, we received details of how many children and the age of the youngest child. Then I told my mom that we would pack up some food while at church for our meeting and bring it to her office.</p> <p>It was going to be hard to make it work. Staff meetings run from 11:00 until 12:30, <em>if</em> everything runs on schedule. Dave had to leave for work (an hour away) no later than 1:00, mom works 15 minutes away and we only have 1 car.</p> <p>That is not counting the time it would take to pack the food.</p> <p>Do you know what God does when you make being available to Him a priority, despite an insanely busy personal schedule?</p> <p>Do you know what God will do to take care of the people He created; who bear His image?</p> <p>God cancels staff meetings. God makes sure that there is enough food and even hygiene products to care for a family of 8. God even makes sure there are cookies for the kids. God provides grocery store gift cards.</p> <p>Is there anything God will not do to take care of people?</p> <p>It does not matter if this family believes in God or not. God is real and He cared that they were struggling.</p> <p>For one couple, it means they no longer have to worry so much about how they will feed their children.</p> <p>People are afraid to ask for help. They do not want to seem &ldquo;weak&rdquo;, &ldquo;worthless&rdquo;, or &ldquo;lazy&rdquo;. However, they will not necessarily say &ldquo;no&rdquo; if help is offered.</p> <p>They didn&rsquo;t ask for it. It was offered to them freely. It was not a reward for hard work, though I am told the husband works very hard. It was provision for a need.</p> <p>It was just a couple of boxes of food and a couple of people being available to God even before we knew how we would fit it into our schedule.</p> <p>There is a great deal of joy to experience when we make being available to God a priority.</p> <p>Are you offering help to the people around you? Do you make yourself available to God?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Jennifer Arman is a pastor and blogger whose motivation is to speak challenging yet encouraging messages. She currently lives in Ontario, California with her husband David, studies ministry and leadership at Life Pacific College and has a passion to see people embrace a life of total faith. Find her on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/JennArman.Writer" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and check out her blog <a href="http://oneradicallife.com/" target="_blank">1 Radical Life</a>.</p> <p>(Image credit: Jennifer Arman )</p> http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/The-Simple-Joy-of-Being-Available admin@renewedstrength.org http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/The-Simple-Joy-of-Being-Available#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=06e9136e-7b15-4b5b-9e2c-b00ccca67516 Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:27:00 -0500 Christian journey Serve Others RS_Admin http://renewedstrength.org/rs/pingback.axd http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=06e9136e-7b15-4b5b-9e2c-b00ccca67516 6 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/trackback.axd?id=06e9136e-7b15-4b5b-9e2c-b00ccca67516 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/The-Simple-Joy-of-Being-Available#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/syndication.axd?post=06e9136e-7b15-4b5b-9e2c-b00ccca67516 Does Mega Church equal Mega Business? <div class="float-left" style="width: 56%;"> <p>click to enlarge<a href="http://renewedstrength.org/rs/image.axd?picture=%2f2013%2f09%2fmega-large.jpg" target="_blank"><img style="width: 100%;" src="/image.axd?picture=%2f2013%2f09%2fmega-large.jpg" alt="Mega Church" /></a></p> </div> <div class="float-right" style="width: 42%;"> <p>Megachurches, made possible by a perfect storm of exponential population growth, more freedom to worship than at any time in history and charismatic leadership, are a rapidly spreading phenomenon of modern religion. A megachurch is defined as a church with an average weekly attendance of over 2000. The number of megachurches has increased from 10 in the 1970s to over 1600 in 2013. Although megachurches make up less than one percent of all churches, they serve over 10 percent of all regular church-goers. They also draw in an estimated $7.2 billion annually, all of which is exempt from taxation. Megachurch members are overwhelming white, although several notable African-American megachurches have come to the forefront in recent years. States below the Mason-Dixon Line lead the way in the number of megachurches, although California, with its large population base, also makes a respectable showing.</p> <p>Megachurches not only provide for the religious needs of their members, many megachurches offer fitness centers, game rooms and other extras to draw in new members and serve their local communities. America was founded on free market competition, so it is not surprising that some of those same principles have spread to religious organizations and churches. However, megachurches are not a strictly American institution; the largest church in the world is located in South Korea and claims to serve over 850,000 members. Much like big-box stores are accused of hurting smaller businesses, megachurches are often blamed for drawing away members of other churches in numbers significant enough to lead to the closure of some churches. On the other hand, six percent of attendees of megachurches represent people who have never attended church on a regular basis.</p> <p>Most megachurches are founded and led by a single pastor. Some megachurches also have a presence on local and national television, which spreads their popularity further afield and draws in additional funds. The fact that some megachurch pastors have apparently strayed from the Biblical principles of austerity and poverty seems not to trouble the faithful who attend their weekly services, watch on television, buy their books and open wallets to provide donations. Multimillion-dollar estates, private jets and luxury vehicles are among the perks enjoyed by several well-known megachurch ministers, although many do fund charities and engage in other types of charitable giving.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Does-Mega-Church-equal-Mega-Business admin@renewedstrength.org http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Does-Mega-Church-equal-Mega-Business#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=582480b6-03e5-4886-a089-ef6f2143002b Fri, 13 Sep 2013 07:18:00 -0500 Christian journey Serve Others RS_Admin http://renewedstrength.org/rs/pingback.axd http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=582480b6-03e5-4886-a089-ef6f2143002b 6 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/trackback.axd?id=582480b6-03e5-4886-a089-ef6f2143002b http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Does-Mega-Church-equal-Mega-Business#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/syndication.axd?post=582480b6-03e5-4886-a089-ef6f2143002b What is your ministry <p><img style="float: none; margin-left: auto; display: block; margin-right: auto;" title="What is your ministry" src="http://www.renewedstrength.org/image.axd?picture=6854613579_1ea95dfcf6_n_thumb.jpg" alt="Confused about your ministry" width="244" height="184" />About a year and a half ago, this question really got me thinking and sparked a big change in my life. About 6 months prior, I felt that God was calling me to stop being a &ldquo;back row Baptist&rdquo; and actually serve Him. I grew up in a Christian home and was active in the Church. I have considered myself a Christian for as long as I can remember. The problem is that I was going through the motions rather than actually living my life for Him.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>While in a Bible study prayer meeting, one of the other members looked at me and said that he could tell that God had a special purpose for me and wanted me to serve Him. I was speechless! I completely agreed with what he said, but how did he know? My wife and our Pastor both knew what I was feeling, but how did this man know that?</p> <p>Well life went on as usual. I constantly thought about how much I would love to be in full time ministry, but there was no way I could do that right now. Working my current job to provide for my family trumped any possibility of going to seminary to become a Pastor. Then about six months later, I ran into this man at McDonalds. We got talking and he plainly asked me, &ldquo;What is your ministry&rdquo;. Again, he rendered me speechless. How can I have a ministry? I&rsquo;m not a preacher.</p> <p>I spent a lot of time thinking and praying about what he said. In Ephesians 4:11-13, The Apostle Paul writs <span class="verse">&ldquo;And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God&rsquo;s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ&rsquo;s fullness.&rdquo;</span></p> <p>That's when it hit me. I don&rsquo;t need to be an apostle, prophet, or pastor to build up the body of Christ. We are all called to serve Him. <a title="The Great Commission" href="http://www.renewedstrength.org/post/The-Great-Commission">The Great Commission</a> applies to all of us.</p> <p>Ok, so now I knew that I was being called to serve Him in growing His kingdom. I knew that I did not have to be ordained to do it. But how was I to have a ministry? I started thinking about the gifts I have been blessed with. Although it is not my profession, I have several years of experience in web development so I thought I could start an online ministry. Renewed Strength was born.</p> <p>Now this too was a hard move for me. I am very technical minded but I am not a heavy reader, much less a writer. I barely passed high school English. Then I remembered Romans 8:28; <span class="verse">&ldquo;We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.&rdquo;</span>&nbsp; It doesn&rsquo;t matter if I am a good writer, I definitely don&rsquo;t claim to be, and I don&rsquo;t need to be. I know that my ministry here is prayerfully considered and led by the Holy Spirit. He has blessed me with the opportunity to have an online ministry that reaches thousands every week.</p> <p>So what is your ministry? How can you use your own God given talents to help others?&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: xx-small;">Image courtesy of </span><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcmonahan/6854613579/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: xx-small;">Flickr user</span></a></p> http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/What-is-your-ministry admin@renewedstrength.org http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/What-is-your-ministry#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=8dc2b059-7f22-41a5-9817-f9c871dd0794 Thu, 25 Apr 2013 13:19:00 -0500 Christian journey Serve Others Trust in the Lord RS_Admin http://renewedstrength.org/rs/pingback.axd http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=8dc2b059-7f22-41a5-9817-f9c871dd0794 7 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/trackback.axd?id=8dc2b059-7f22-41a5-9817-f9c871dd0794 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/What-is-your-ministry#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/syndication.axd?post=8dc2b059-7f22-41a5-9817-f9c871dd0794 Don’t forget Giving Tuesday <p align="center"><a href="http://www.renewedstrength.org/rs/image.axd?picture=GivingTuesday-300x300.png"><img style="background-image: none; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-top: 0px; border: 0px;" title="GivingTuesday-300x300" src="http://www.renewedstrength.org/rs/image.axd?picture=GivingTuesday-300x300_thumb.png" alt="GivingTuesday-300x300" width="244" height="244" border="0" /></a></p> <p>Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, all of these special days sure make for busy week! It all starts with gorging ourselves on a 3,000 calorie meal. Once we recover from the food coma, we plan out our full weekend of shopping to make sure we get the best deals. Lots of food, lots of deals, buying lots of &lsquo;things&rsquo;. This has become the norm for the Thanksgiving weekend, but what about those that are less fortunate? I always try to show and state my thankfulness for my many blessings, remember the less fortunate, and be grateful for what I have rather then thinking about what I want. But is this enough?</p> <p>Am I actually helping anyone else by humbly thinking of them and being grateful for what I have? Do my thoughts keep anyone warm, fill their stomachs, or show God&rsquo;s love to them? No! Well we now have another day to finish out the Thanksgiving weekend. <a href="http://givingtuesday.org" target="_blank">#Giving Tuesday</a>. Giving Tuesday was created by New York&rsquo;s 92nd street Y with this simple idea &ldquo;We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals&hellip;.Wouldn&rsquo;t it be great to have a day for giving back?&rdquo;</p> <p>This movement has growing very rapidly and gaining popularity every day. Let us all take this day to give back to non-profit organization's that truly make a difference in the lives of others. There are countless causes that need your support, and there are many ways of &lsquo;giving back&rsquo;. You can pledge to support them financially to help their cause and mission. Even if you cannot afford to give money, you can also give your time. No matter where you live, even in the smallest cities, there are organizations around that need more helpers. One way or another, lets all do our part to spread the word and make the inaugural #Giving Tuesday a huge success.</p> <p><span style="color: #cb4721;">&ldquo;Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.&rdquo;</span></p> <p>-<strong>Deuteronomy 16:17</strong></p> http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Dont-forget-Giving-Tuesday admin@renewedstrength.org http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Dont-forget-Giving-Tuesday#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=677115a5-1c48-46f4-8b72-fca8a384709f Fri, 23 Nov 2012 09:01:00 -0500 Serve Others RS_Admin http://renewedstrength.org/rs/pingback.axd http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=677115a5-1c48-46f4-8b72-fca8a384709f 0 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/trackback.axd?id=677115a5-1c48-46f4-8b72-fca8a384709f http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Dont-forget-Giving-Tuesday#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/syndication.axd?post=677115a5-1c48-46f4-8b72-fca8a384709f How to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims <p><a href="http://www.renewedstrength.org/rs/image.axd?picture=jelveh20121101064241223.jpg"><img style="background-image: none; padding-left: 0px; padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-top: 0px; border-width: 0px;" title="jelveh20121101064241223" src="http://www.renewedstrength.org/rs/image.axd?picture=jelveh20121101064241223_thumb.jpg" alt="jelveh20121101064241223" width="244" height="139" border="0" /></a></p> <p>17 states were devastated by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week. At least 60 have died, thousands of homes have been destroyed, and millions a are without power. Emergency services personnel and disaster response teams, utility workers, national guard, and many other from all over the country have responded to the area to help those in need.</p> <p>Many of the disaster workers are doing this as part of their job. Thousands of them however are volunteers. The Southern Baptist Convention &ndash; Disaster Relief team which is comprised almost entirely by volunteers, just committed to serving 400,000 hot meals per day to area victims.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>This outpouring of help is much needed and a blessing to all of those who were effected by the wrath of this record breaking super storm, but it is still going to take many months to restore the area. These organizations also need out help! Below are some ways we all can help out:</p> <p>A) Above all else, pray! Pray daily for the people who lost loved ones, houses, and possessions. Pray for the workers that are in the damaged areas working tirelessly to help strangers. Pray for their safety and for God to give them a Renewed Strength each day to continue their mission. Pray that those that are effected will look to the Lord for guidance and peace during all of this.</p> <p>B) Go help. There are many organizations on the ground helping the states recover. Some require specific training or experience, some do not. <em><a href="http://www.baptistsonmission.org/Projects/Type/Disaster-Relief/Hurricane-Sandy">Baptist on Mission</a></em> is a large Baptist Disaster Relief organizations based out of North Carolina. They are working hard and needing more volunteers. You can also check with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other organizations. Even if all you can do is hand out water bottles and give a shoulder to cry on, this is much needed!</p> <p>C) Donate to the relief missions. There are many organizations accepting donations of money or goods to help in the relief efforts. The <a href="http://www.namb.net/disaster-relief-donations/"><em>North American Mission Board</em></a> has a fund established for those that are willing to give.&nbsp; (Be careful and research any organization soliciting donations. Many of them are good, however scams surface every time there is a disaster)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We all must band together as Brother&rsquo;s and Sister&rsquo;s in Christ and be willing to <a href="http://www.renewedstrength.org/post/Serve-others.aspx">Serve Others</a>. Be in prayer daily, help and give as you are able and feel led.</p> http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/How-to-Help-Hurricane-Sandy-Victims admin@renewedstrength.org http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/How-to-Help-Hurricane-Sandy-Victims#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=b0db597f-8b36-4a02-aa00-11a44b0f2302 Thu, 01 Nov 2012 18:34:00 -0500 Serve Others RS_Admin http://renewedstrength.org/rs/pingback.axd http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=b0db597f-8b36-4a02-aa00-11a44b0f2302 0 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/trackback.axd?id=b0db597f-8b36-4a02-aa00-11a44b0f2302 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/How-to-Help-Hurricane-Sandy-Victims#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/syndication.axd?post=b0db597f-8b36-4a02-aa00-11a44b0f2302 Preach to Us Smooth Things <p><img src="http://renewedstrength.org/rs/image.axd?picture=%2f2012%2f10%2fpreach_to_us_smooth_things.png" alt="Preach to us smooth things" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Titus 2; Isaiah 30:9-10</span></em></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;<span style="color: #cb4721;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif';">&ldquo;But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things &mdash;&nbsp; that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded,&nbsp; in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,&nbsp;&nbsp; sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.&nbsp;&nbsp; Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you.&rdquo; </span></em></strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: #cb4721;"><strong><em><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif';">&ldquo;That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the LORD; who say to the seers, &ldquo;Do not see,&rdquo; And to the prophets, &ldquo;Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits&rdquo;. </span></em></strong></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Isaiah was a prophet in Israel during a very difficult period in the history of the nation. They had rebelled against God and were not repentant. Isaiah preached judgment on the nation. But the people did not like it. Look at how God Himself described the people in Isaiah 30:9-10. They wanted Isaiah to preach deceit and flattery. They wanted to be like others. They refused to Trust in the Lord<br /></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">The same is true of our society today. Even in our Churches that have over the years been built on tradition. We want to be like others. We are calling for a new form of teaching, a new form of doctrine, a new form of tradition. Preach to us new things; new ways of life and new morality.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Isaiah resisted the call. He was hated; he was persecuted, and finally, according to history, was sawn asunder between two boards. (Hebrews 11:37-38)&nbsp; That has been the lot of men who stood for the truth over the centuries. Stephen was stoned to death. Paul and Peter were executed. Jesus Christ Himself was crucified. People do not like hard sayings. People do not like the truth. Tell them the truth and they will hate you; persecute you and where it is possible execute you.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">We have a choice between standing with the truth, the hard facts of the Scripture, the true doctrine on one hand, and the new morality and the new preaching and teaching on the other.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Take, for instance, the many teachings today about the Christian and wealth, the Christian and affliction, the Christian and the worldly standards. The Christian needs to take a close look at what the Scripture says and give it the correct Biblical interpretation. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Now let us look at what the Bible says about this age in which we live. The passage we read in Titus was Paul&rsquo;s instruction to this young Pastor Titus in Crete. He had the problem that most of our Churches have today &ndash; how do I set this Church in order so that the whole doctrine and truth is preached? Paul instructs him to speak sound doctrine &ndash; not what people want to hear. Let women be reverent, young men to be sober-minded; servants to be obedient; rebuke with authority.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">In another Pastoral Epistle this time to Timothy at the Church in Ephesus he wrote: Second Timothy 4:1-5: <span style="color: #cb4721;"><strong><em>&ldquo;I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.&nbsp; But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.&rdquo; </em></strong></span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">The Apostle Peter also writing in the same vein urges us all to be careful, See Second Peter 2:1-3 <span style="color: #cb4721;">&ldquo;<strong><em>But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.&rdquo;</em></strong> </span></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Let us be wary of the new morality, new doctrine and new revelations. I have the inclination to cling to the dictum which says; <strong><em>&ldquo;If it is new, it is not true and if it is true, it cannot be new.&rdquo;</em></strong> I still have the old religion.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">Let us carefully examine these things before we give in to them. Let us milk our own cows, and then we will have the cream and not diluted milk. Resist the smooth things. In understanding <a title="Be Real Men" href="http://www.renewedstrength.org/post/Be-Real-Men.aspx">Be Real Men</a>!</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 0in; margin-right: .5in; margin-bottom: .0001pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: justify; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Cambria','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-bidi-font-family: 'Times New Roman';">God bless you all.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; line-height: normal;"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;" lang="EN-GB">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt: auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt: auto; line-height: normal;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; color: #605f5f; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;" lang="EN-GB">About the Author:</span></strong><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; color: #605f5f; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;" lang="EN-GB"><br /> <span style="background: white;">Silas Eke became a new creature in Christ Jesus in September 1969 while on the Nigeria/Biafra war-front. Since then, he has been actively engaged in sharing Christ to others through his writings, invited talks and personal counselling. As a writer, Mr Silas Eke was the author of a newspaper column &ldquo;Ministering Christ&rdquo; which appeared every Sunday for six years from 1984 in the Sunday Concord. His first published book &ldquo;Enjoy your family&rdquo; stems largely from his work while writing the column. You can find him on the web at&nbsp;</span></span><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif'; mso-fareast-font-family: 'Times New Roman'; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;" lang="EN-GB"><a href="http://silarolipte.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #3aa7d0; text-decoration: none; text-underline: none;">http://silarolipte.blogspot.com/</span></a></span></p> http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Preach-to-Us-Smooth-Things admin@renewedstrength.org http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Preach-to-Us-Smooth-Things#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=463c2331-937b-4428-a22e-e1bf83ce85d0 Tue, 23 Oct 2012 07:28:00 -0500 Christian journey Serve Others Trust in the Lord ASITO ROKOSUGU http://renewedstrength.org/rs/pingback.axd http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=463c2331-937b-4428-a22e-e1bf83ce85d0 6 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/trackback.axd?id=463c2331-937b-4428-a22e-e1bf83ce85d0 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Preach-to-Us-Smooth-Things#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/syndication.axd?post=463c2331-937b-4428-a22e-e1bf83ce85d0 Serve others <p><img title="Serve others" src="http://renewedstrength.org/rs/image.axd?picture=%2f2012%2f10%2fserve_others.gif" alt="Serve others" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">After a busy night and not getting to bed as early as I had hoped, I had planned to sleep in as late as possible. At 6am I was woken up by a friend of mine who needed me to jump start is car due to a dead battery. My first thought was &ldquo;NO! I want to sleep!&rdquo; Luckily I was able to hold my tongue and not say this out loud. I quickly got out of my comfortable warm bed, got dressed, and went outside to help get his car started. I couldn&rsquo;t help but be reminded about the day before when the same friend made the comment that he didn&rsquo;t know I was a &ldquo;Church person&rdquo;. Now this friend of mine who is not a Christian, but now knows that I am, woke me up to help him out. I have no problem helping someone out, believer or not, my only problem was that I was no longer in my warm bed!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The thought of my initial mental reaction bothered me. If I would have said my thoughts out loud and not been willing to help him out (or even not being happy about it), would this allow God&rsquo;s love to show through me? Absolutely not! Christ calls us to serve others, more than ourselves! Philippians 2:3-4 says <span style="color: #cb4721;">&ldquo;<em>Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.&rdquo;</em></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">My initial reaction was not regarding his needs as more important than mine. The Bible is full of verses reminding us to serve others and love our neighbor (Galatians 5:13-14, Acts 20:35, <span style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">Mark 10:44-45, Mark 9:35, and many more). On one hand, I was glad that I did put my selfish desires aside and went to help him, but is it enough to just do what is right. How we do what we do can make a huge difference also. Our body language, expression, and attitude often speak much louder than the words coming out of out mouth.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) can be a difficult phrase to remember when faced with a choice to make. An even harder thing to consider, but one that can make even more difference would be HWJDI (How Would Jesus Do It). God is still on the throne, and as judge supreme, he will one day judge us on actions and motives. Did Jesus do what was right by serving others yet making sure they knew that he was inconvenienced by it? Of course not, he served and loved others more than himself. He has set the example for us to follow. We are to let God&rsquo;s love shine through us in everything we do. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">Today&rsquo;s events combined with yesterday&rsquo;s conversation gave me the reminder of this that I needed. Many unbelievers think Christians are people who go to Church on Sunday then don&rsquo;t do anything different the rest of the week. It is true that we are all sinners (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23). We all need to be careful of the image we are portraying to the rest of the world. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic;">Love your neighbor as yourself. Serve Him by serving other (Matthew 25:40)</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,<br /> and the love of God, <br /> and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit <br /> be with us all, <br /> now and evermore. <br /> Amen.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Serve-others admin@renewedstrength.org http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Serve-others#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=850421c3-ea40-4ffe-9dd2-e47c86a5b48d Sat, 20 Oct 2012 10:54:00 -0500 Men Serve Others ecinue http://renewedstrength.org/rs/pingback.axd http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=850421c3-ea40-4ffe-9dd2-e47c86a5b48d 1 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/trackback.axd?id=850421c3-ea40-4ffe-9dd2-e47c86a5b48d http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Serve-others#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/syndication.axd?post=850421c3-ea40-4ffe-9dd2-e47c86a5b48d Heart of Church <p><img class="float-left" src="http://renewedstrength.org/rs/image.axd?picture=%2f2012%2f10%2fheart_of_church.gif" alt="Heart of Church" width="140" height="140" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="virtual"><span class="woc" style="color: #cb4721;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.</em></span><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;"> <span class="woc"><span style="color: #cb4721;">By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.&rdquo;</span> &ndash; John 13:34-35</span></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="virtual"><span class="woc"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>First off I just want to thank David for allowing me the opportunity to guest blog on his site, he has some great material and I&rsquo;m just glad and blessed to have this opportunity. For those of you, who don&rsquo;t know me or have seen my writing, which I&rsquo;m sure is most of you, I hope that God has given me the words that either inspire or move you closer to Him.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="virtual"><span class="woc"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>When I was asked to write I wasn&rsquo;t really sure what to write about, cause there&rsquo;s so much, but there&rsquo;s been something on my heart and it&rsquo;s becoming the heart of my ministry. That heart is discipleship, and getting back to the heart of church, and what God wanted out of us when He gave us the Holy Spirit. If we look at the scripture above, this is Jesus&rsquo; words to the Disciples at the last Supper and one of His final words to them, and it&rsquo;s His urge to them because Jesus at this point knows they have to start the church and be the foundation of it all.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="virtual"><span class="woc"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>The foundation that Jesus lays down is one of love, and of loving one another and through that love people will see the Father. If we fast forward into Acts and we see the formation of the church and the fellowship of believers it&rsquo;s the same exact thing. They devoted themselves to one another and to the Word in such a way that others took notice and they added to their numbers daily. It&rsquo;s this simple formula laid out over and over again of what the church is supposed to be and what followers of Christ are to look like, yet so often we miss it and over complicate it.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="virtual"><span class="woc"><span style="mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>People are to look at us, and that&rsquo;s supposed to be the witness of who Christ is and through us they are to see Him, and my question is; what are we showing them. In 1 John 4:12-13 he says:</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="virtual"><span style="color: #cb4721;"><em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">&ldquo;No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.&rdquo;</em></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="virtual" style="text-indent: .5in;">It&rsquo;s very clear we are the window into which others see God and who He is. What are we showing Him? We split up along religious lines and then talk about differences between different religions, and then amongst ourselves we fight and argue over what&rsquo;s the right way to follow Jesus. That&rsquo;s not the image of Jesus that we are supposed to show, as it&rsquo;s laid out we are to love one another with such passion and devotion that the whole outside world can see, and not help but notice the power of the Spirit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="virtual" style="text-indent: .5in;">My challenge is to get back to the heart of church, what our Father meant it to be, that we cut out the distractions, the programs, all the things that get in the way and just get back to fellowship. To devoting ourselves to one another, to discipling others and showing the love of Christ. That&rsquo;s all we are meant to do and all we can do, we can&rsquo;t convince people to follow Him, just show them the power of the Spirit in our pure authentic love for one another.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="virtual" style="text-indent: .5in;">That is my prayer for all of you, that we begin to shut out the noise and get back to Jesus, and the love He has shown us and now it&rsquo;s our turn.</p> <p class="virtual" style="text-indent: .5in;">&nbsp;</p> <p><em>This has been a guest post by Daniel Hunter. For more if his inspiring works, visit his blog at&nbsp; <a title="http://www.danieljhunter.wordpress.com" href="http://www.danieljhunter.wordpress.com" target="_blank">http://www.danieljhunter.wordpress.com</a> or on Twitter at @Daniel_HunterRR</em></p> http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Heart-of-Church admin@renewedstrength.org http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Heart-of-Church#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=a9ec666a-3f18-4f75-86f5-0427953fce9d Tue, 16 Oct 2012 08:59:00 -0500 Christian journey Serve Others ASITO ROKOSUGU http://renewedstrength.org/rs/pingback.axd http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=a9ec666a-3f18-4f75-86f5-0427953fce9d 0 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/trackback.axd?id=a9ec666a-3f18-4f75-86f5-0427953fce9d http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Heart-of-Church#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/syndication.axd?post=a9ec666a-3f18-4f75-86f5-0427953fce9d Be Strong and Courageous <p><img class="float-left" src="/renewedstrength.org/image.axd?picture=2012%2f3%2flion.jpg" alt="Courageous Lion" width="140" height="140" /></p> <p>A phrase repeated many time in the Bible. Two simple words, with simple meanings:</p> <p><strong>Strong</strong> &ndash; of great moral power, firmness, or courage</p> <p><strong>Courageous</strong> &ndash; not deterred by danger or pain; brave</p> <p>Now let&rsquo;s take a look at what it really means to be Strong and Courageous. One of the best examples of this in the Bible is certainly the story of Joshua. Joshua spent many years helping Moses in the wilderness after the Exodus form Egypt. Moses was told by God that it was his time to die, and that Joshua would take his place to lead the Israelites through the Jordan River and to the land they were promised. Although Joshua had already spent many years helping Moses, there is a huge difference between helping the leader, and being the leader. This certainly takes an extra measure of courage to step up to the plate. God repeated the phrase &ldquo;<em>Be strong and courageous</em>&rdquo; many times to Joshua. God went on to tell him:</p> <p><span style="color: #f3a251;">"No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or forsake you.&rdquo; - Joshua 1:5</span></p> <p>I&rsquo;m sure this was very comforting to Joshua, and should be comforting to us. God&rsquo;s statement here does not only apply to Joshua. It also applies to us, IF we are willing to stand up, depart from our former sinful ways, and be a courageous leader for God.</p> <p>If your anything like me, it is very easy to justify your own actions and think you&rsquo;re doing things right. You may be thinking &ldquo;well I am in a position of leadership at (work|church|home|baseball team|etc) and I do a good job, so I guess I&rsquo;m already a courageous leader.&rdquo; Cool, done, moving on. Hold on just a minute! Do you measure your success by the opinions of your peers, or the opinion of God? Are you putting others first and truly serving them, or just leading them for your own agenda? We all need to take the time to prayerfully examine out motives behind what we are doing. Being a strong and courageous leader doesn&rsquo;t mean being a strong boss. It means you are of great moral power and brave enough to server others, while leading them on the path of what is right, not just what is popular.</p> <p>The best example of this is a movie produced by <a href="http://sherwoodpictures.com/"> Sherwood Pictures </a>in 2011. It is a movie simply titled <a href="http://www.courageousthemovie.com/"> Courageous &ndash; Honor begins at home</a>. If you have not seen it, I strongly recommend it. If you have a spouse, children, friends, or anyone else who looks up to you, you owe it to them to ask yourself, &ldquo;Am I being a good father or just a good enough father&rdquo;. I am no longer content with being a good enough father. My family deserves a strong and courageous leader of their family. A leader with great moral power who will keep their actions honorable and answerable to God. A leader who is brave enough to do what is right and unafraid of ridicule. This leader will be me. Will you be a Strong and Courageous leader for those around you?</p> http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Be-Strong-and-Courageous admin@renewedstrength.org http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Be-Strong-and-Courageous#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=0df7e75e-4ec8-4a26-950b-4a677a20c705 Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:23:00 -0500 Christian journey Men Serve Others ASITO ROKOSUGU http://renewedstrength.org/rs/pingback.axd http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post.aspx?id=0df7e75e-4ec8-4a26-950b-4a677a20c705 6 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/trackback.axd?id=0df7e75e-4ec8-4a26-950b-4a677a20c705 http://renewedstrength.org/rs/post/Be-Strong-and-Courageous#comment http://renewedstrength.org/rs/syndication.axd?post=0df7e75e-4ec8-4a26-950b-4a677a20c705