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with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People

July, 2011


Outwardly Focused?

Posted: July 31st, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

I like, I want, I need, I’ve earned, I deserve, and I love … are our most predictable starts in conversations today.  If we were trying to complete any of those preambles would our next word ever be “nothing”?  Maybe it would be for one or two, but not for all of them.  The focal point here is really the first word “I”.  We are by our core nature inwardly focused.  It’s the thought which follows the “I” that tends to begin the process of defining us.  “I want to get to know you better” says something very different about us than “that’s who I am, take it leave it”.  Let’s go back a bit in time.  Why do you suppose we think of ourselves first? In answer to a question, “God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I am has sent me to you.‘” (Exodus 3:14 ESV). Yet God, our Creator, is outwardly focused. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 ESV)  Image, as used here, is a very broad term, far surpassing the physical.  We know this because God exists as Spirit not physically as we understand it.  Is it merely coincidence that we think constantly in the I, me, my vernacular?  Our prayers are too often centered around our I, me, my attitudes and needs. One of the greatest challenges we face in life is to change our thinking, to deemphasize ourselves while elevating our concerns for others.  Jesus was steadfastly resistant to talking about or focusing on himself.  He was all about loving the Lord our God (the Father) and serving others, we need align our thinking with His.  We were created in God’s image but we definitely tarnished that image, by disobeying (eating the fruit of the forbidden tree).  Obedience is the most critical variable in our transition and the I wants must take a backseat to what He wants both for us and from us.

Whenever I catch myself in one of these “I” statements, which is far too often, a correction is warranted.  Over time these corrections become the unconscious new norm and my often stalled transition starts rolling along again. God continuously brings us back to situations which illustrate lessons we haven’t mastered yet. Fortunately the Lord is incredibly patient with us.  With God’s constant attention we can grow and with that growth we can achieve so much more of value in life.  Making the world a better place is admirable, starting with ourselves is the first step toward that objective.

JC Calkins with COMMON SENSE 4 UNCOMMON PEOPLE (share or repost today)



Our Essential Journey

Posted: July 29th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

There is only one way to win in this adventure called life.  We are born into this world totally dependent.  A process of learning through mistakes and achievements brings us to some physical pinnacle of our lives.  In this dimensional world, climbing any hill of success involves commitment, stamina, foresight and some physical tools.  Regardless of which set of tools are assigned to each of us, they will wear out.  That’s guaranteed.  When we are at the top of our… read more

God’s Helper

Posted: July 28th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

I’ve often thought about my early days, those “Sunday School” sessions where I first learned about Jesus Christ.  My recollection is that I was in awe of this very special human, this son of God.  I don’t recall any particular lessons which were taught, it was more of a story learning experience.  I do recall wondering, even at that very innocent age, what it would be like to be a child of God, to have a special purpose in God’s… read more

Act Now

Posted: July 27th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense, Political | Comments

As a young man, I remember reading a passage that went something like, “the most difficult lesson that parents must learn is when and how often to use the word NO with their children”.  It’s the single most difficult but beneficial instruction used to properly guide a developing life. Now some 30 years later, I can see so much wisdom in that passage.  The differences between right and wrong can be very subtle or they can be bold.  Laws are… read more

Failings Of The Weak

Posted: July 26th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (2)

If every tree were the same, we’d all end up lost in the forest.  Every aspect and article of our life and world is uniquely constructed from subatomic particles.  Each lump of mass serves a specific purpose.  Although we class similar articles and life forms into groups, none are identical.  God imposes specific limitations on everything for reasons that only He knows.  A rule of science says that mass can neither be created nor destroyed, a physical truth limited to… read more

How God Runs Nations

Posted: July 25th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense, Political | Comments (6)

“But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” (Luke 22:26 ESV).  In 1776 the leaders of a new nation, most of whom volunteered for the assignment, after having declared themselves independent from the tyrannical leaders they had left behind, set in place a form of government to be managed for the people, by the people.  They created a congress for  the sole purpose of representing their… read more

The Worst of Times?

Posted: July 24th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (7)

It seems now that I’m better traveled along a path of truly discovering the essence of His goodness, it seems like a millennium ago, when I first heard the words, “it’s easy to thank the Lord in the best of times, we need also to thank the Lord in the worst of times”.  At first this made very little sense to me, but such is the way of learnings which have not been applied in life.  Hypothetical learning produces hypothetical… read more

Now AND Later

Posted: July 23rd, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

Without a doubt, He’s the most intriguing man who ever lived.  He is also the most mysterious and philanthropical.  His professional biography was written by ten different people and hundreds of other authors have attempted to decipher His teachings.  As a teacher, no others can even remotely compare as we count His devoted legions of followers.  He’s never been proven wrong.  He’s the central character in books, films and short stories.  He’s cured the sick, raised the dead and sacrificed… read more

A Tank Filled With?

Posted: July 17th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

“He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts—” (Mark 6:8 ESV).  Now how hard is that?  Over the centuries, we’ve developed a growing need to collect more and more things.  Our stuff, we believe, defines us and gives us comfort.  It’s become the foundation of our security, some things physical for our physical world.  This is one of those places in life, where we begin to “obsolete” the… read more

The Man From Heaven

Posted: July 15th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

Each day many unreasonable occurrences confound us.  If we purchased a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, opened the box and found only 5 puzzle pieces, we’d be hard pressed to envision the placements, angles or even the subject purpose of the puzzle’s image.  Such is life. The pieces which are presented to us, mean little in the big picture, but without them that picture would be very different, incomplete, less fulfilling.  Everybody walking the planet confronts many subjects each day, some… read more