Spiritual Static

Have you ever had to put together or replace components of your “home entertainment system” ?  If so you know how challenging this can be.  I remember when it was referred to as A/V equipment-audio/visual.

When I did this, my biggest challenge was sound.  I could get the sound from the t.v. speakers but not from the external ones.  I was able to get sound with static, static only and sound with static.   The static was so bad that it was not worth it to turn the speakers on.   Turns out the amplifier needed to be replaced.  Once that was done, the sound worked the way it was supposed to.

Our walks with God can be like that too.  Sometimes there is static interfering with our ability to her or worship Him.  This static can be from many things: a busy season in life, sin, people  who are around us, the place we worship.

Some of us are good at being able to stay focused on Him despite the static.  Others of us find that we are putting so much energy reminding ourselves to stay focused on Him, that there is little left over for worship or hearing Him.

If you are someone experiencing static from where you worship, a good test to use is this:

Can you honestly say you would feel comfortable with bringing a friend/acquaintance there and would you feel comfortable recommending it to people inquiring about Shabbat and the Feast Days?  If the answer is no and remains that way over a few months time, that is a good indicator that you are experiencing spiritual static.

Shabbat and His Feasts are supposed to be times of rest, joy, delight, and worship of Him.  Static interferes with our ability to do that.

This post is part of Shabbat Shalom Link Up.

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Penny Wars

Penny Wars

Image by ThreeIfByBike via Flickr

The congregation just finished penny wars.  This was a fund-raiser of sorts for the youth.  I am not really sure how much they made as we were not told what the final outcome was, but that is not the point of the post.

We were told that this was a way for the youth to “work” for the money…but there was not much work involved.  The premise was that pennies were points, so the more pennies the more points.  Anything higher than that was used to subtract points.  Two jars were set up-boys had one, girls had the other.  Each week at service we would get an update of who was ahead and were encouraged to “help our side” by putting pennies in the right jar or by putting higher denominations in the other jar.

As I stated earlier, we were told that they would work for the money but they did no work at all.  Secondly I have problems with the whole sabotage part of the deal.  The youth should be encouraged to work with, not against each other and this activity does the opposite of that.

The only time the jars were out were at service, thus encouraging people to focus on the sabotage instead of the unity we are supposed to have in the body.

I do know that I am not the only one that was troubled by this-some of the youth were bothered by it too.  One of them even had the courage to tell the leaders why they did not like it-good for that youth!

I am not sure what they hoped to accomplish by this exercise.  All I know is I am glad it is over and we no longer have to hear and be encouraged to participate in it.

 

 

Bulls in China Shops

Someone has a challenge they are struggling with which does not have to be a sin issue.  This person tells a couple about this challenge in their life and the couples response was that “they were going to be on this person until something was done about this.”

I wonder if that person will ever tell this couple anything again.  I know I wouldn’t if that had been done to me.  The couple  acted like bulls in a china shop and I wonder how often the rest of us do that?  Hopefully we see it in ourselves before we get to this point, because acting this way does not work.  We can not force a person to change-even God will not force someone to change.  If he won’t force change, what makes us think we can?

Secondly why was that issue resolved?  Was it because the person really wanted to change or was it done simply to get the bulls off her back?  Forcing someone to change is essentially putting yourself in the role of Holy Spirit, and will not affect lasting change the next time a situation comes around for that person.

There is a time to speak the truth in love and to say hard things-but saying “we will be on you until the situation changes” is not speaking truth in love.

 

 

 

Something To Ponder

I saw this video on another site and thought it had some interesting things to say.

 

Psalm 99

Beautiful song.

One More Night

We have had VBS this week and tomorrow is the last night…hooray!!  We have enjoyed it don’t get me wrong, but it means being out of the house every night this week.  Since I am one of the leaders I need to be there earlier than every one else.

My blessing is enjoying it and she even has her verse memorized.    She was also able to say what one of the attributes of God is…I was so proud of her!

One of her teachers gave her something special as the first night they ran out of flip flops, so she doesn’t have a pair..the only kid that doesn’t have a pair.  The next night she burned her finger on hot glue…again the only one to do that.  Her teacher felt bad that these things keep happening to her so she gave her an extra special gift tonight…bless that teacher!

It makes my heart glad to see that someone cared enough to make sure my blessing did not feel left out of things.

Denying Deity

This weeks STLS topic was open-so we could write about anything that was on our minds. I decided to write about a teaching I heard recently.

I heard a guest speaker a while back and found his comments on Matthew 15:22-28 interesting. His conclusion was that it was this incident that made Yeshua realize he was here to minister to all people, not just Israelites.

What?! The first time he said it I asked myself if I had heard correctly. He did repeat the thought a couple more times so I did hear it correctly.

This man does not realize this, but by stating what he did, he has denied Yeshua’s deity. Of course Yeshua knew that he came to die for all people. He had this encounter with the Canaanite woman to see if she was serious about her faith and to show his disciples that they are to take the Gospel to all people.

There are enough people denying Yehsua’s deity already-we certainly don’t need help from within our ranks to deny it too. And the worst thing is that this man does not even realize his thinking is faulty. How many people will he inadvertently turn away from Him by his conclusion?

Pastors and teachers really need to be careful when they study and teach the Word.

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