Tag Archives: repentance

The 16 Best Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts Under $5 – Monday Momentum

NOTE (02.11.2013): The Seasons of Life Ministries website will be down for a few more days this week while we transfer everything over to WordPress. The blog will stay live, hopefully without any interruption, throughout the process. If you need anything that typically comes from our site – resources, pdfs, giving, “contact us”,”That Day” inquiry, etc., reach out via Facebook at on.fb.me/SEASONS.

Same Old Problem
     Hate me if you want, but I’ve already bought my wife’s Valentine’s gift this year. Figuring out what to get is often the hardest part, isn’t it? Sourcing it can be a lot easier once the “big” decision has been made. Shopping on Amazon meant I didn’t pay shipping – I mean, who wants to pay shipping? Who wants to pay for anything, right? Can’t we just have the perfect inspiration weeks in advance and get what she wants for free?

     Not a chance. Everything has a price – either now or in eternity. True? So, when I say “under $5”, I don’t mean these gifts won’t cost you anything, I mean there’s no money involved. 

     Really?

     Just crack open your bible to 1 Corinthians 13.4. I know, you’re mad at me, because you think I’m pulling a fast one on you. Read on. Trust me for a moment, here. “Love is patient.” Stop. How’s that going for you right now? Now, I’m aware there are 15 more qualities of love that follow, but let’s just start with this one.

     I’m not always patient. How about you? Why is it that we’re most impatient with the people closest to us? The easy answer is this: “they should know better not to get in the way of our agenda”. The harder answer is this: we’re never going to get over this hump (or whichever other of these 16 qualities) on our own. In fact, everything Paul talks about up to that point, even in the previous chapter, is an act of God via the Holy Spirit.

What the Self-Help Books Won’t Tell You:
     “Try harder” is practically the mantra of the secular humanist movement. “Try different” is the second commandment of the same. But, what God has given us is something far more powerful, far more helpful, and far more lasting than mere “man up, get up, do it again”. The Holy Spirit has been given to us not only as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Eph. 1:14), but as a helper to walk with us (Greek: paraclete). 

This Year, Give God a Try
     Love is the first mentioned “fruit of the Spirit”. Implication – love can’t be “mustered”. It’s an act of the will, but it’s only present in its true, 1 Corinthians 13 form by… the… Spirit. So, what if everyday, we paused with our bible, played “tap the bible app”, or just got really silent and recited that verse, but with a hook – “Lord, grow me patient, grow me kinder, kill my boasting…” What if we did that with a long, silent pause in between each of the 16 qualities? 

     Do you know the voice of God? Do you know the convicting, yet not condemning sound of the Holy Spirit answering your question – “Where have I been impatient, unkind, boastful, etc.?” God doesn’t provide the Holy Spirit to crush us, but to come alongside us and lock arms with us as we walk through every challenging season of life. 

     What would the fruit of this labor look like? What do you think your love for your spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, co-workers, overbearing supervisor, or enemy look like if you spent just ten minutes bringing that question before the Lord and waited in silence for the answer? “Lord, where have I been ___?”

     Give the gift of honesty before the Lord and repentance to those around you this year. It’ll cost you some time, deep introspection, reliance on the Lord, and less than $5 every time.

in Christ,

AP

Get Clean this Christmas – Ron Dunn

It’s Time 
     In 1986, garbage was piling up on the streets of Philadelphia. The sanitation department was on strike. Joseph Paolino and Sons moved opportunistically securing a contract with the city that involved collecting, burning, incinerating and then removing the ash.


     
How?  The ashes were piled on a freighter called
The Pelicano with a disposal trip planned to a third word country.  One problem.  Joseph and Sons did not properly segregate the trash before feeding the incinerator.

      Everything from orange peels and plastic to aluminum, copper, car batteries and light bulbs were blended together and in the end formed  28 million tons of toxic ash. Haiti, Honduras, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic… port after port turned them away.  The Pelicano became the most unwanted ship in the world and for two years it went from point to port, refueling, but leaving with it’s garbage.

      Can you relate?  For 15 years I was the Pelicano…docking and refueling at church on Sundays and in a men’s group on Fridays, gaining some energy, but still leaving with my toxic garbage.

      In Matthew 11:25 Jesus is getting ready to tell us how to get rid of our garbage…

      He had just talked about the people and cities that would not repent.  Now he thanks God that it is His plan to withhold the answer to those who consider themselves knowledgeable and wise, but reveals truth and reserves relationship for the childlike… a contrast to those who want to act independently of God and those who depend on the Father.

      After this prayer of thanks, Jesus lays One Thing out: Come unto me all you who are weak and heavy laden…those carrying garbage around for years…and I will give you rest.

      So what if Jesus had changed it up just a bit?…  What if he said…and I will sell you rest.  Would this be on your gift giving and gift getting list this Christmas?

      How much would you pay?… Seriously…think about it!

      The great news…it is free!

      If you have been carrying a heavy load of trash, it’s time to lay it down.

As we are nearing December 24th and 25th…Christmas, It’s time
 
     
Identify your garbage.  All the trash that you no longer want to haul around.

      Come to Jesus… lay it before Him, acknowledge…repent

      Invest some necessary time around the closing verses of Matthew 11…

      This Christmas I will precede our family gift-giving time by placing one wrapped package upfront and center….

      Inside the package will be four wooden letters… R-E-S-T. …The perfect gift that Jesus is willing to  freely give….

      The heart of Christmas.

      Men…somehow, in some way take the lead this Christmas and in a few memorable moments, with your family, from your personal experience, luxuriate this opportunity and share some dimension of what it means to “Come.”

     One on one with Jesus, it’s time to discover rest.

– Ron Dunn