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Just Ask ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: October 6th, 2015 | Category: Christianity, Conflict, Disappointment, Hope, Inspirational, Uncategorized | Comments

Every so often, too often really, we are going to be faced with life trials, tribulations and the inconvenient trespasses of others. Selfishness is the principle cause of our troubles, if not our own then the unbridled selfishness of others. My way or the highway is the most often chosen road map of our lives. This is the basis of our internal conflict, but let me explain that. Living like a Christian will only, on the rarest of occasions, make an impact on those around us. Those few who are intuitively paying attention. The rest of the time it simply makes us good with God. That’s huge but it’s often not enough to change the meltdowns which occur throughout our everyday lives. We’ve lost the ability to totally trust each other, because the vast majority of us put our own interests ahead of anyone else’s. When viewed disinterestedly, this is ridiculously obvious, but when clouded by our tainted perceptions of self, it’s totally obfuscated. God’s approach is totally different from ours and to learn it, we must first surrender our total self to God. Selfishness fights that commitment every step of the way. We must yield the right of way to God at every intersection of life. Along with this we must accept that we are no longer of this world, (yet while still in it) we will then be of God’s Kingdom. When only one of 100 of us are in that Kingdom, it can begin to feel very lonely. At those times we must turn to God for understanding and strength, compassion and love.

This world, over approximately 7,000 years (or 7 days for God) has changed from a garden stroll in near solitude, to a stampede of all-a-likes trying to become one-of-a-kinds. Which is the most devastating consequence of selfishness. Collisions now necessarily occur at every relational intersection we find ourselves passing through. God’s answer: “My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?” (Galatians 5:16-18 MSG). This is the Devine counsel which 99 out of every 100 have continuously chosen to ignore. We want to believe that we are simply behaving like free spirits, when in fact we are quite the opposite, prisoners led by the erratic compulsions of a law dominated existence. God says that won’t work. We are walking through the valley of death every day, without the help of God. God is amazing, in that He can see everything for what it really is. He sees the cause and origin of every collision. He sees the ineptitude of our repetitions. He is just waiting for us to ask, that He might show us the right way to live. He is waiting for us to choose to be led by the Spirit. One glorious transition at a time.

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Stepped On Toes ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: June 30th, 2015 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Christianity, Hope, Love, Understanding | Comments

Civil rights? The rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality. If I told you that I have been routinely barred from such freedoms and equality for decades, in my workplaces, public forums of every sort, public institutions, by being told that I could not even speak about my family in those places where anyone might hear me, am I a victim? I was told that such discussions might offend others who did not recognize my family, as my… read more

Blind Eye Defiance ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: May 7th, 2015 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Christianity, Common Sense | Comments

Not paying attention to something doesn’t seem to carry the same social stigma which has historically been attributed to our outright defiance of that very same something. In the end for us, having a forgiving Savior has seemingly been played as our trump card over our own interim ambivalence toward any personal need or desire for salvation. That won’t work for those who’d like it to. The Good News isn’t intended to be read and understood in that way. It’s… read more

Plant, Tend & Harvest ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: March 28th, 2015 | Category: Christ Follower, Christianity, Church, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Love | Comments

At times it’s hard not to turn, look or to just run the other way. Each time that I allow my mind, body or soul to wander unaccompanied into God’s metaphorical garden, I see crumbling sidewalks, plastic flowers, artificial greens and tainted water complete with gardeners who are content leaning comfortably on their shovels, rakes and spades. This artificial garden we’ve substituted for the real thing is intended to look good but serves no real or practical purpose. I quickly… read more

Our Family of Promises ~ JC Calkins

Posted: February 27th, 2015 | Category: belief, Christianity | Comments

Israel, a land, a people and a nation. God’s land, His chosen people, His promised and prophesied nation. It’s not simply an isolated nation of Jews, but of a heritage richer than any other. This rising nation is both ancient and futuristic. It is multi-cultural-lingual-spiritual and generational. It’s a prosperous flagship of freedom and diversity. There is one undeniable fact which MUST be understood by every Christian, our roots are deeply entrenched, our faith permanently embedded and our spiritual promises… read more

Seeing As He Does ~ JC Calkins

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

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… read more

Temporary Liberation ~ JC Calkins

Posted: August 1st, 2014 | Category: Christianity, Common Sense, Hope, Jesus Follower, Truth | Comments

When it comes to God, there is a lot to think about. There’s also a lot riding on our actions resulting from those thoughts. There’s a lot of old culture and history to be necessarily considered. There’s also a lot of grammatical confusion concerning what God actually said, meant, wants or expects of His people. Then of course we have the Old and New Testaments. We have Mosaic laws and we have Grace. We sometimes go to great lengths to… read more

Love Central ~ JC Calkins

Posted: July 28th, 2014 | Category: Christ Follower, Christianity, Church, Deception | Comments

Good writers today are taught not to construct run-on sentences, but sometimes they’re necessary. The following sentence, although complex and conjunctive, really cannot be parsed out as a series of separate thoughts or sentences. It would not carry the same, necessary, inclusive weight of descriptive, essential truths. The Apostle Paul said this about God, us and love. “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints… read more

An Awful Lot ~ JC Calkins

Posted: July 26th, 2014 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Christianity, Deception | Comments

The people who had Jesus Christ killed, may have been called Pharisees, but they were just people who disagreed with some of what Jesus said and stood for. They so disagreed with some of what He said that they felt it was necessary to end his life, to preserve their way of life. He did nothing wrong, He didn’t threaten to hurt them, He just didn’t say what they wanted to hear, so they were actively opposed to what he… read more

Every Season ~ JC Calkins

Posted: July 23rd, 2014 | Category: Christianity | Comments

  Every stage of life should offer new opportunities. We should not dwell too much in yesterday but step forward eagerly into tomorrow. This is the path that Jesus Christ has cleared for those who’ve chosen to follow Him. Our Way back when’s must be replaced with our don’t wait for tomorrow’s. With Jesus, we’ve chosen to live fully in every season, to grow and grow, much more than passively into tomorrow. “They shall still bear fruit in old age;… read more