I Like To Drink, Smoke, Tell Jokes

“You Christians don’t look like you have any fun. I like to drink. I like to smoke. I like to tell jokes.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Mike said. “If you have things in your life God doesn’t like, he’ll let you know. What God wants is your heart.”

Greg and Lynn McDonald w/ Beth Jusino

Embracing The Journey: A Christians’ Blueprint For LovingYour LGBTQ Child

(p. 37/Nook)

Howard Books

Hmmmm. Do WE trust God with the aftercare? Or do we worry that people won’t recognize their sin and we HAVE to tell them? God may lead us to do so but He is more than capable.”

I do, however, see a difference between telling someone that they can’t and that I can’t. I came to a relationship with Jesus right smack in the middle of a dating relationship. “Want to go for a drink,” he asked. “Sure, if you don’t mind if I drink a cola.”

Though he was ok with that, it was an assumption of God’s will and an immature answer. Later, circumstances led me to a lifetime conviction of no alcohol. If God desires that conviction, or any other, for you, He will let you know.

I Still Love April Fool’s Jokes,

lonnie

Unlikely Friends

“Ben was a champion of personal discipline, good citizenship, and charitable deeds. That was exactly what he saw in the behavior of Philadelphians, as more and more of them experienced the ‘new birth’ that Whitefield was promoting.”

Randy Petersen; The Printer and the Preacher p. 4; Nelson Books 2015

Evangelist George Whitefield and philosopher Benjamin Franklin were good friends for decades; and yet they didn’t agree on faith issues. YET, (and I love this!) Benjamin saw the fruits of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; the fruits of the Spirit. It’s unknown whether Frankin ever came to a saving faith, but he certainly didn’t lack opportunity.

I love seeing God in the pages of history!

lonnie

Proud American

“There is much to condemn about the methods of these early missionary enterprises in America.

“In general, there was too much conflation of God’s ways with European culture and a wanton disregard for the welfare of the native population. But we must not ignore the fact that the settling of America was a religious mission as much as it was a business opportunity.

“It was also a quest for religious freedom.”

Randy Petersen, The Printer and the Preacher, Nelson Books 2015 (p. 13-14)

I am weary of sorting history like we sort laundry . . . or is it more like recycling? What we find useful (for our cause) we keep. What doesn’t fit the blame and shame picture we want to portray, we disgard. History includes some awful mistakes, some so evil and more intentional than we want to admit. But history holds a lot of good and inspiration; some really ugly people and some we owe a great debt to.

I disagree with taking down monuments or erasing names of less honorable events or people. In my thinking, without the reminders, we may miss the warning signs of slavery or genocide happening again. By seeing reminders of a war that not only divided our nation, but our families too, maybe we can keep it from happening again.

I will acknowledge the wrong.

Please allow me to celebrate the good, as well; particularly the freedoms unique to America.

I’m proud to be an American.

Many are still flocking to our shores–some with far from honorable reasons–but many because they anticipate a better future. Can we be both welcoming and wise? I certainly hope so. But honestly, we need the voice of both sides to reach that balance.

I am thankful to the men and women who created our history, and for those who are, now, growing our history.

lonnie

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord . . . (Psalm 33:12 NIV”

Wish I Had Been There!

Jason Benham (pro baseball player) was asked, only minutes before the game, to address a stadium packed with students and parents. The marketing assistant wanted him to encourage the young people to fully engage in studying and reading.

Apparently, known for his faith, Jason was told there “wasn’t enough time to preach a sermon or anything.” Jason didn’t want to share a message they’d soon forget; but he only had about 60 Seconds.

He prayed for wisdom and stepped forward.

“I’ve heard it said that the most important things in life are the people you meet and the books you read. Well, I’m here to tell you that the best book I’ve ever read is the Holy Bible and the best person I’ve ever met is Jesus Christ. He’s changed my life, and He’ll change yours, too, if you commit to studying His book.”

THE CROWD ERUPTED IN APPLAUSE.

PEOPLE WERE WHISTLING, AND PARENTS WERE YELLING, ‘WAY TO GO!’ . . .

as if they were saying, ‘Finally! Someone just said it!'”

All-caps are mine, ’cause I wish I’d been there!

I’m sure I would have yelled louder than anyone else.

Even though Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that God has not given us a spirit of fear/ timidity, we often prepare ourselves for the sneers, arguments, and insults each time we mention our faith, prayer, or the name of Jesus.

But,

Just Maybe,

we wouldn’t see sneers, but hear cheers. Shall we step up, step out . . . And see?

lonnie

David and Jason Benham

“Living Among Lions” p. 195-6; Word Publishing 2016

Taking Thoughts Captive

What kind of picture does your mind’s eye see when you read Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 10?: “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

I see myself chasing a butterfly with a flimsy net. Want to know how successful I’ve been? Not very.

But I like the Benham brothers’ take on that Scripture. They make it practical enough to practice — which, of course, is Paul’s/God’s intention. Try these on for size. Do they help you?

“Take captive every thought, not allowing it to make itself at home in our minds . . .” (p. 159)

Or

“Take every thought captive–to kill the seed before the sprouting of the weed.” (p. 160)

Though I’m as far as you can get from possessing football knowledge, I know that intercepting the other team’s pass and running it toward your goal is an opportunity each team looks for. I imagine myself reaching up to capture an unforgiving, impure, or deceptive thought and changing it’s direction to one that will please Jesus; one that would line up with His Word.

Or I could imagine doing quality control as a conveyer belt drives fruit down the line. Galatians 5:22 and Philippians 4:8 serve as my guide. When jealousy and selfishness come down the line, I grab them quickly and discard them. When fruits of truth, gentleness, and patience come down the line, I know they will serve the Body well and I let them go to do just that.

One thing I know is that I can’t do this myself. I need God’s help, and because He cares for my health and that of the Body, He is more than willing.

Ever Dependent–Ever Growing,

lonnie

Stealing Someone’s Thunder

If you see one coffee shop come to your community, there is surely another to follow. Recently, my warehouse market, much to my displeasure, took on the look of it’s main competitor. I think Mom used to call that “stealing someone else’s thunder.”

I’m reading my third book on living in Babylon; aka in a pagan culture. I’ve heard at least three songs on Christian radio about fear.

Are Christian artists and authors also trying to slip in under the umbrella of someone else’s profit and fame? I don’t think so.

When I was writing more seriously, I’d get these GREAT ideas for books or articles, only to see MY idea appear on a store bookshelf or in a current magazine. I determined that I was “too late,” hadn’t heard God, or didn’t obey quickly enough.

As I read my third (or fourth) book on Babylon, mostly centered on Daniel, I see differently. As I hear one of the songs about fear–all of them favorites, I hear differently. No one’s trying to get a jump on the market, God is speaking! In the multiple venues and genres, He wants to make sure we hear.

Are you seeing common themes? Take special note. “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Revelations 2:29).”

lonnie

Fiery Furnace

“This is a lesson for you and me to wrap our confidence around. When God allows us to experience a fiery furnace, He promises to experience it with us. Because He is good!”

Anne Graham Lotz, The Daniel Prayer p. 113; Zondervan 2016

I was praying for a friend a week ago. I could tell from her texts that she was really going through it! I wanted to ask, “Do you feel like you’re in the fiery furnace?”

Because, it seemed God was opening an unusual picture for me.

Looking into the fire, the king didn’t see just the 3 men he’d had thrown in, but another man. How did he get in there? Was it Jesus? I wondered, were the “4” men fellowshiping in the fire? And, if so, what were they talking about?

Could that mean that we, too, can fellowship with Jesus in the midst of our fires?

And, as I write this, I wonder at something else. The fourth man did not come out with Daniel’s friends? Did the king expect him to? Or, being an angel of the Lord, did the king fear that he would?

So many thoughts–much like a maze. May God highlight any part that would be meaningful and helpful to you.

May He Ever Be Honored and Trusted,

lonnie