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with Common Sense 4 Uncommon People

December, 2014


Seeing As He Does ~ JC Calkins

Posted: December 30th, 2014 | Category: Christianity, Hope, Inspirational, Love | Comments

Seeing As He Does

Sometimes the simple act of living can be a monumental challenge. For example, just exactly how can we go about functionally “not loving” the world and still love our neighbors (as ourselves) as we have been commanded to do? We too are, after all, someone else’s neighbors and are also of this world. To reject the world entirely might seem like an instruction for other believers to inclusively reject us? That would hurt. If we can’t see past or through this wall of confusion, we might well be left to hide in some remote cave or vast forest, where we will still be left in a conundrum of conflicting choices until we finally do leave this world. That was never the intent. “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15-17 NASB). The world, at least for us, is pretty big, constantly changing, speckled and spotted with 7 billion humans and significantly more other valuable, living creatures and developing species. The ways of the world are after all only a manifestation of a majority of our attitudes and actions. Those same ways of the world have consistently been promoted by the systems of the world which we in turn have tolerated, created, participated in or in some contradictory circumstances, simply ignored. To not love the world would seemingly involve us, by integration, not loving ourselves either, which far too many of us have already gotten pretty good at.

Let’s simplify both this idea and the world. God first created and then “… so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NASB) that’s big and let’s not forget from the verses above “the one who does the will of God lives forever.” It’s critical to remember this. God expects that we can functionally distinguish between the ways of the world and His ways. He gave us the capacity, by way of intellect, insight, reasoning and an EXAMPLE to see the contrasts and differences. He gave us Jesus Christ, who was of this world, to clearly demonstrate these vivid and critical distinctions. The bible can also help us to remember or discover this. God knows that we can all apply these distinctions because He created us specifically to do just that. Jesus did not reject the world, quite the opposite, yet He did emphatically reject “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life“. Those three references perfectly describe the crumbling foundation stones for all of the ugliness we see in so much of this world and it’s ways. I particularly appreciate the verbal portraits of the second and third scripturally rejected references, (2) the lust of the eyes and (3) the boastful pride of life. EveryONE & THING we covet in this world is a predictable byproduct of our released “lust” as opposed to any fruitful vision of love and faith. Everything we despise is repeatedly evidenced through “the boastful pride of life”. If the world is ugly, it’s because we’ve made it that way and then danced in it. God in His glorious wisdom, sees past and through these manufactured walls of confusion we stare at, He sees the clearly designed, redemptive potential, in everyone. He knows the proximate cause, that resident negative influence (fallen angel) intimately even if we can’t necessarily see or recognize it. Cause and Affect as described here is not however the end of God’s story. God’s judgement is the end of the story and as for now that chapter is open ended as long as we are still breathing. God sees the fruitful goodness in us right through the weeds we’ve chosen to lay in and He’s offered to each of us, the safe yet ultimate weed killer, by way of His Holy Spirit. Your assignment today and every day, is to see the world and yourself as God does or to one day not see it at all. To do that, I’d suggest that you ask for His help. … Dear Father please


Christ-Mass Knowledge ~ JC Calkins

Posted: December 22nd, 2014 | Category: Christ Follower, Christmas | Comments

It’s not easy for some of us to think about God, life and challenges during much of any year, or to be thankful when life has been knocking us around and stealing our chosen sources of joy. The good in life too often seems masked or clouded by the bad. It’s much easier to be merry when the winds of life are at our backs, not in our faces, but easy simply isn’t when we turn to God. Good is… read more

The Weight of our Waters ~ JC Calkins

Posted: December 15th, 2014 | Category: Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

It seems as though we can not walk through any storm without getting wet, so we do, oblivious to this and every other opportunity to grow. After all, these storms are not everyday occurrences, they are just inevitable delays, distractions and inconveniences, all a natural part of this life. Some storms are worse than others. We’ve come to so take them for granted, to dress ourselves in our chosen protective moods and garb, that we no longer recognize the gradual… read more

Recognition ~ JC Calkins

Posted: December 9th, 2014 | Category: Hope, Inspirational, Uncategorized | Comments

I’m still wondering about the cause, but I now know the solution. There is something about right and wrong, which we seem inevitably unable to differentiate between. Perhaps we really never were very good at it. As a result of this societal ineptitude, we continue to involuntarily bury ourselves in fields of quicksand while wondering or even screaming as we’re sinking, “what went wrong?” There have always been those individuals among us who have been very disciplined and adept at… read more