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Inspirational

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Lost or Misled? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: November 2nd, 2016 | Category: Common Sense, Conflict, Deception, Inspirational, Truth, Understanding | Comments

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Is there something interfering with your pretty picture? You believe that simply because you’re a good, law abiding citizen, who once or thrice a year stops in at a church, that you’re good with God? You’re in the good minority as far as you can see, given all the crooks, cheats, liars and greedy sons of something you interact with daily, right? God has so many jerks to deal with that you must be a shoe-in for heaven … if there is such a place! No need to participate in any church, you already know all that you want or need to know, right? Nothing ventured, nothing lost. Giving God the freedom to go after those who really need some serious fixing, must be a good thing? Is that right about you on any count? Do you know a few people who also fit this description?

Because if it is or if you do, you’re kissing off the chance of a lifetime. You are the one whom God is trying to get through to. You are that lost sheep who doesn’t know that you’re a sheep or that you are lost, but you are. In many respects, we all are, in one way or another, at some time or another. We might be intrigued by angels and demons or disgusted by greed and selfishness but neither of these are allowed to shake our comfy world in a warming kind of way. As long as we’re healthy, mobile, fed and able to pay our bills, we’re OK with ourselves. Here’s the shaker, God isn’t OK with that or with us. Sure we live in times where God seems to have lost interest. Where people do pretty much whatever they want without consequences. Where governments reject God in favor of liberality. That has happened before. That’s not the answer or excuse we should be relying upon, that’s the problem we should be rectifying. ““My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place.” (Jeremiah 50:6 NIV). Jeremiah the prophet, whom God had set aside (about Jeremiah – ““Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”” Jeremiah 1:5 NIV,) was simply repeating the message for all nations that God had entrusted to him, some 600 years before Jesus was born. We have been led astray (again), we have become one of those nations, those peoples, where the lost sheep have begun to outnumber the saved flock. “My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.” Ezekiel 34:6 NIV. Ezekiel was a contemporary of Jeremiah, it seems that God really wanted to emphasize the perils facing the sheep who would be led astray. Jesus did search for us, when he finally came along, because he knew what had happened and would happen again. He is still searching. ““You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: “ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’” Mark 14:27 NIV. Jesus said, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” Matthew 18:12 NIV. This timeless concept of value still holds true today but the numbers are shifting. Now the flock is in the minority and the lost sheep are multiplying. Wandering away from the flock is the thing to do now, a new and widely accepted way of life. A freedom which will surely lead to death. This is a time when revival is necessary but I believe that God will let the chips we have chosen to play, fall where we have chosen to play them. God will continue His search for His lost sheep in the darkest of the coming storms we have brought upon ourselves. Within such storms, the lost sheep will better be able to see the light. His light. The lost and misled shall choose to seek God and come running when they feel His calming presence. God is our resting place. Our heaven. We do need reminding of this, but give some thought to being rescued before the darkness becomes overwhelming. Being saved means nothing more than coming home to the God we know. That said, being saved can only happen while we’re still alive. After that we’re simply being returned to the dust.

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Fresh Starts ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: October 18th, 2016 | Category: Conflict, Hope, Inspirational, Truth, Understanding | Comments

Sometimes things simply go our way and sometimes they don’t. We usually feel good when the wind is at our backs and then we start wondering just what we’re doing wrong when we face our harshest headwinds. Of course there are those among us who blame every headwind they encounter on something or someone else entirely. That might be a contributing factor here and there, but it’s rarely (if ever) the primary factor in our plight. We make choices every… read more

Freedom ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: September 28th, 2016 | Category: belief, Eternity, Hope, Inspirational, Love, Spirituality, Truth | Comments

We have developed some strange ideas about what presents and then actually constitutes  our personal freedoms. Some think age? Others believe, financial independence? Business or home ownership? Zero commitments? Laws? Unlimited choices, resources, opportunities? In reality, each of those only tend to more securely tie us up with different kinds of knots, responsibilities and challenges. I’m going to make this next point without any exception. Until we have a permanent relationship with Jesus Christ we can never hope to be totally free. We… read more

I Don’t Know ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 29th, 2016 | Category: Inspirational, Understanding | Comments

Has anybody ever watched or heard you do or say something remarkable and then asked you, how you did that? This query is not for magicians. Even if you’ve forgotten about the specific event(s), I suspect that this has happened to you. Your response was probably an apologetic form of “I don’t know”. There are so many things in this life which we don’t even attempt to explain, much less wrestle with. No second thoughts, we just move on presuming… read more

Am I Significant? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 19th, 2016 | Category: Christ Follower, Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Love | Comments

Everybody wants to feel significant. In some way, by some measure. Without God, we will simply press ourselves into a chosen or defaulted life. A life of our choices. If, given our choices, we think we are failing in one arena, we’ll usually step up our game in some other arena(s). Work, play, learning, competitions, relationships, they all offer us the opportunity to achieve some desired level of earthly significance. We want our lives to somehow matter, to others. Here’s… read more

Even Better Than Hope ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: August 3rd, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Hope, Inspirational, Jesus Follower | Comments

Imagine that the road of your life is built on a foundation of Hope. That the many miles you’ve traveled, detours taken, storms encountered, accidents experienced are at least in part resolved and restored by the Hope that your road continues with options. That’s most of us. We live on a street named Hope. What could be better than that? It may be an unknown, but it’s something! Some people have no hope what-so-ever which is extremely discouraging. Hope really… read more

Relationship With God? ~ John C. Calkins

Posted: July 28th, 2016 | Category: belief, Church, Faith, Inspirational, Love | Comments

Why would it be important for us to have or to be in relationship with God? If just believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He came (here) and died in our place, for our sins, then what would be the further point of any relationship? It was a done deal 2,000 years ago. Wasn’t it? That may be the most misunderstood concept of faith and belief today and such misunderstandings carry the worst of long term… read more

Being Open To God ~ John C Calkins

Posted: June 21st, 2016 | Category: Christ Follower, Common Sense, Inspirational, Love, Truth | Comments

For the most part, this is a well intentioned world but this upbeat description pretty much ends there. IF our positive intentions were to be regularly carried over into similar actions, I believe that this world would be very different. Delightfully different. God agrees and inspired the Apostle Paul to write this. “It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but… read more

Becoming Transparent ~ John C Calkins

Posted: May 26th, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, Deception, Faith, Inspirational, Spirituality, Truth | Comments

“The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’” The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good… read more

Earth Shattering ~ John C Calkins

Posted: April 16th, 2016 | Category: belief, Christ Follower, disciple, Inspirational, Jesus Follower, Understanding | Comments

Those 3 men of amazing influence. Have you ever wondered just what they talked about? “Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” (Matthew 17:3 NIV). They were separated by thousands of years but they came together to talk? I have wondered, just what was said? The Bible doesn’t really provide any insight into what was communicated as the meeting was recorded in Matthew 17:3. The encounter itself illustrated life after death, which of course addressed… read more