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THE QUIET CORNER
with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People
 

November, 2011

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Cheerful Stuff

Posted: November 30th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

As the season of  joy approaches, time and tempers seem shorter, resources wither and too often giving becomes more of a chore than a blessing. It seems like the perfect time of year to try and distinguish between the needy and greedy, but to do so without judging is often beyond our means. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.‘” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. ” (Romans 14:11, 12 NIV). What does God expect from us?  Giving out of duty, obligation or tradition dampens the spirit and provides little radiant warmth for the giver. Cheerful giving has quite the opposite affect. The burdens behind the often turned phrase, “we exchange gifts,” are those of duty and/or expectation, the weight of which spend rather than bank joy.  Quite simply, there is no physical balance in giving.  Giving simply means moving resources from larger piles to littler ones. Giving is sharing. Our nature is to try and build bigger piles for ourselves and then share some of that with others. God’s nature is to share as needed. Our nature is to serve ourselves first and then if we have time, serve others.  God’s nature is to serve everyone else first and then make do with whatever is left. Our nature is to hold out our hand when necessary, God’s nature is to extend His hand of grace all the time. God expects us to be more like He is.

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV).  When we need money, God might provide money or the resources to earn money.  He might also forgive debts, alter needs, rearrange priorities or teach a lesson. What He never does is turn his back on us. As random and circumstantial as his methods may sound, they are neither of those.  Knowing what we need is His forte, knowing how best to fill that need is His perfect gift. Knowing what’s left in our hearts is too often His burden to bear. If God could deliver the perfect gift to this world, it would again be through His sharing.  If we all followed His example, the following conditions would not exist; poverty, hunger, homelessness and loneliness.  A world without these plagues would be a garden planted much closer to Heaven. Gifting whatever is in our hearts is all that God asks of us. Working on the condition of our hearts is His constantly flowing gift to us.

JC Calkins with COMMON SENSE 4 UNCOMMON PEOPLE

 

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Goodbye Scoundrels

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

In January of 1964, a young songwriter/poet named Bob Dylan wrote and released a song entitled “The Times They Are A-Changin”.  It stands true today. About that same time, he wrote a less famous song, which was also a social commentary entitled “With God On Our Side”, the lyrics for both (which are too lengthy to include here) are a simple search away.  The point is that things haven’t really changed much in the last 50 years or for that… read more

Purposefully Intentioned

Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

“I love this, it’s just so perfect, it’s what I was born to do”!  From a Christian perspective, this is a very flawed assumption and statement.  What we want to do with our lives and what God wants us to do are more often than not, entirely different. Once we decide that we love some activity, receive some rewards, or somebody tells us; “you’re a natural,” we conclude that this must be our purpose in life. This can be a… read more

The Side of Truth

Posted: November 27th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

Some like authority, they find comfort in it. Others defy authority, often because of poor leadership, but many simply because authority represents a loss of personal freedom.  Defying authority as a matter of principle is no longer a social anomaly, but a clear sign of societal decay.  Authority is essential to peace.  A society without authority is chaos and chaos is the objective of some.  I attended a seminar where a counter-terrorism expert explained to his audience that the objective… read more

Really Knowing

Posted: November 26th, 2011 | Category: christian, Common Sense | Comments (1)

Are we like so many others, satisfied with our maker as a gentle, love fixes everything sort of fellow? Is it much easier to imagine Jesus Christ as a hands on healer or hillside story teller than anything else? The power and glory of God doesn’t arise out of these pleasant holiday images but rather from the sheer agony of the cross.  If our earthly life is all that we are concerned about, then an adorable baby in a manger… read more

Headline GOD

Posted: November 25th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

Serving humanity in God’s name is a privilege, not a testimonial. We must take care that we are always “serving the root”, not the other way around. When God asks us to do something, whatever that may be, it is to glorify His name not our own. “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke… read more

The Harder, The Better

Posted: November 24th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

I used to think of myself as a problem solver or a fixer.  People would bring problems, hundreds at a time and it was necessary for me to make their issues “go away”. I took pride in both the effort and successes. Of course this was just a very long trial for me, not a test.  It took way too long for me to realize that the true gain doesn’t arise out of the loss or victory, it’s about how… read more

Thank You

Posted: November 22nd, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

Almost five months after the historic Battle of Gettysburg [in 1863], these words were recorded; “When I left Springfield, I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of [60] thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.” These are the words of Abraham Lincoln, our… read more

God’s Suggestions

Posted: November 21st, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

It’s difficult, in such a violent world, to exhibit love for all of human kind. “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” (2 John 1:6 NIV). Through obedience we can find understanding and from that understanding, we gain wisdom. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John… read more

God’s Forgiveness

Posted: November 19th, 2011 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense | Comments (1)

It’s true that God is love, but it is also true that God is righteous.  “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23, 24 NIV).  Have you ever taken a stand on something as a matter of principle? This happens when we feel so strongly on a matter, that we can not find within ourselves the capacity… read more