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with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People

March, 2014


More Than Attitude ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 31st, 2014 | Category: Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments

Casual walk through the park.

I don’t know if your history has as many mistakes as my history, but if it does, then we should share something greater than just a new attitude. Many of us would like to start all over again, permanently erasing all of the choices and mistakes which we made in our lives. Somehow, this real world we live in says … you can’t do that, you just have to accept what you’ve done and move on. Accepting that explanation, has us always returning to and wandering around in our personal fields of guilt and remorse. We can’t seem to ever find the exit gate from those mucky fields. We try to forget about it, we try to go out anew and reach beyond that, but then we wake up in the same fields all over again. If I was given the chance to somehow start all over again and I was born into the exact same family, neighborhood, attitudes, responsibilities, processes and friendship circles, could I or should I really expect anything to fundamentally change as I grow up? Certainly not without some additional help and a significant intervening factor. This is really the message that Jesus delivered to us. It’s not a matter of changing our attitude a little bit or just accepting Jesus into our lives, it’s a matter of abandoning our old attitudes entirely and with that essentially our old life and following Jesus into the life that He promised us. We can’t really hold on to everything that we had before and just add something to the package and expect anything to change substantially. The package itself is so cumbersome, it keeps that from ever happening. We perceive life as a challenge, even a struggle, to overcome all of the obstacles which are presented to each of us along our paths. The problem with that attitude is, even if we do believe that we have persevered and overcome those many challenges, at the end of the day or life, we look back and see that we really didn’t accomplish anything significant and now it’s all come to an end. We may have grown the family tree little bit, left a few smiles and markers, but we probably also lost some branches and created several lasting frowns. The balance seems to work OK, but does it really?

Jesus paid the price for us to really start over, to be born again. Yet the world that he has us born-again into, is not the same world which we previously experienced. At first it may look the same, but we are being remade differently and therefore the world around us will be reflected differently. Instead of one with constant challenges, a prevailing headwind, we will see the world as an opportunity for love, compassion and a sharing of what we’ve inherited, yet which still sits idle, as an undiscovered secret to most of the world.  This rebirthing is our only opportunity to bring heaven to earth, not to leave earth looking for heaven. It’s not about us, it’s about the right WAY. “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.“(Romans 5:3-5 NKJV). This isn’t a new attitude, this is faith and belief in the One who showed us how to live, the right way and has given us the chance to actually do it.


Dispelling Confusion ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 27th, 2014 | Category: Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments

It’s interesting, even frightening, this complex relationship between knowledgeable wrongdoing (sin) and forgiveness. At times it seems that we might be better off not knowing the Word of God, than knowing. Knowing God means knowing sin and knowing sin requires us to constantly take the higher road to avoid it. For those of us who know, are held to a higher standard of conscious obedience than those who do not. Let’s face the simple facts, we are born into a… read more

Scorchingly Painful ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 26th, 2014 | Category: Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Political | Comments

God has His own laws and is His own judge. His laws and judgements are so far superior to ours, that we can’t even see them anymore from where we choose to stand or live. Many of our laws today are based upon Mosaic Law, in essence, upon God’s commands and instructions to Moses for His people. Yet we can not even begin to comprehend the logic and wisdom behind these foundational laws of society. When they do not suit… read more

Being Readied ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 25th, 2014 | Category: disciple, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments (1)

If we can separate ourselves from the crosses which we’ve chosen to bear or withstand and submit fully to our Lord, He will begin the laborious process of making us ready. Ready to pour out as He does; grace, love and forgiveness. Ready to walk in His shoes, speak His words and offer our shoulders to cry upon as He has and does for us. God expands within us, as we expand within the world, within the universe. God wants… read more

The KEY Ingredient ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 24th, 2014 | Category: Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments

Free will is one of God’s constantly used gifts to us. Nobody else can offer it, but others are constantly trying to take it away. That said, free will still only goes so far in life. There’s a catch, one that very few people are willing to acknowledge. It’s the KEY ingredient of this recipe. “And He said, “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”… read more

Nothing Is Lost ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 | Category: Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

What kind of person is so measured, so thoughtful and self-controlled that their every action, word and thought has pre-considered every possible interpretation which will ever be rendered? No man alone could ever do that. None. Zero! Not alone. No not even Jesus of Nazareth. When His time came, He said and did only what the Father told him to say and do. He never said anything in secret. He was no more alone than we are. Every moment of… read more

Something? ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 21st, 2014 | Category: Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

It seems as though there are 3 different groupings of people, each group with different attitudes and potential outcomes in their lives. There are those who simply live the obvious life, to what they believe is the fullest. They live within the tangible and do what comes natural without much regard for anything else. They carpe diem, for tomorrow may be lost. This is by far the largest group. Then there are those who accept the tangible yet know that… read more

Strong Stuff ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 18th, 2014 | Category: Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

Do you pray because you heard in church or maybe you read in the bible that it works? Do you want to see if it’s true? That’s not belief, that’s hope born out of desperation. That might even be religion, because religion is doctrine, not conversion. Religion is knowledge and practice, not redemption and salvation, the latter two are the exclusive works of God, not of the church. There’s a huge difference. Jesus said, “Do you not believe that I… read more

Still Being Perfected ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 17th, 2014 | Category: Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

Are you struggling with the absoluteness of Faith? “Because the Old Testaments says ….”!  Don’t be confused by what the Old says, when the New has and is still speaking to us (Son and Spirit). If we question the Will and Power of the Word, our Savior, by that which was said before Jesus spoke to us, we are still ungrounded, struggling, unstable and wiggly in our faith. We must have MORE faith in what Jesus said and did, than… read more

Hindsight ~ JC Calkins

Posted: March 12th, 2014 | Category: Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

Hindsight is really wonderful, but in truth it’s not sight at all, it’s the experiential reality following a form of mental blindness. I’m reminded of how my mom taught me about my own limitations. Step 1, “tap your head and rub your tummy at the same time”. Very good! Step 2, “now reverse your hands”. Not perfect but OK. Step 3, “now with your hands reversed like that, while tapping and rubbing, start walking in a circle.” By then my… read more