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Category Archives: Character

The Valedictorian Church

Misalignment of the spine can cause any number of problems in the human body and can affect not only the skeletal system but major organ function as well.  Studies show that heart, lung, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, stomach, kidney, bladder, prostrate and uterus issues can be directly influenced by the spine.  Furthermore, nerve fibers stem from the spine into every major immune system organ.

In the spiritual terms, misalignment can be just as detrimental to the Body of Christ.  When we fail to come under the headship of our Lord Jesus Christ and those He has set in authority, things become out-of-order.  As children of God and necessary parts of the body, our function can be hindered and our immunity weak.

For the remainder of this post, I want to call the misalignment, a “spiritual learning curve”.   To spare you the more in-depth and wordy definition of “learning curve”… here it is in short form.  The learning curve averages everything out.  In other words, new skills or knowledge can be quickly acquired initially, but subsequent learning becomes much slower. At first, a minimal investment of resources yields significant results, but the payback from continuing effort is smaller.

This is daunting in the world we live in of bigger, better and limitless upgrades.

At first it’s easy to make progress and our efforts are rewarded quickly but as time passes, the efforts we’re making do not garner the same results.  Just as when much is given, much is required, there are times when more is asked of us, with seemingly little to no increase.  This is when we are in real danger of settling for less in terms of spiritual gain if we fail to rise to the challenge. The average Christian walk, with a letter grade C and without challenge can begin to look rather appealing. It’s still passing right?  Yet, God wants us to excel in the call upon our life, walk worthy of it and increase more and more.  Come up higher and get an A!

I do believe God wants us to be straight A students… studying to show ourselves approved by Him, regardless of the applaud of men or the immediate result.  He is interested in our commitment and our longevity in our faithfulness to Him, the church, our leaders, fellow believers and the duty assigned to us.  We should be nothing less than valedictorian in the Spirit as we serve from scrubbing toilets to preaching to the multitudes.  Every season of our life comes with its own report card.

How are we faring?

“Average is just as close to failure as it is to success.”-Dr. John Polis

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Sifted thoughts….

For years, I’ve been going through a sifting.  Who hasn’t?  Whether we recongize it or not, God still sifts today.

Just this week, an evangelist named Jonathan Garlock came to our church and shared on this subject.  I would write what he shared here but truly, I wouldn’t do it justice!  You can get the CD of the service if you like.  Just leave your name and email in the comments below and I will contact you to get your information and get it sent out to you via the World Lighthouse Worship Center!

One scripture that he shared that is still resounding in my spirit is Isaiah 30:28 and I thought, THAT’S IT!!

And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck,
to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity…

God’s breath is what sifts us.  You cannot feel one’s breath unless they are near to you. Very near.  The very fact that God sifts us is because He is near and desires to be nearer still.  Which leads me to my next thought.

I’ve misinterpreted sifting.  There is more than one instance of sifting in the Word.

Satan will sift us, trying to take us out, as he did Peter. (Luke 22)  But just as Jesus prayed for Peter, that his faith would not fail…He has done the same for us!  Pausing here for a moment just to thank Him!  You should too!

Secondly, God sifts us and when He does, He has no intention of letting us fall from His grasp!  When He uses the sieve of vanity, it’s to shake loose the things that we have been clinging to other than Him and the things that have been clinging to us.  Sometimes it will look like people are being shook loose from us, because they are.  Other times ministries (yikes), dreams, money, possessions, extracurricular activities, habits, ownership mentalities, pride, self-centeredness and self-dependence are sifted from us. Sin.  Anything that’s keeping us from being near to Him. Anything that creates a distance.

Sifting reveals nothing less than His desire and great love for us.  When something is removed, He is that much closer.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Character, Faith, God's Breath, Sifting

 

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In Word and In Deed!

2 Corinthians 10;11, Let such a one think this, that such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present!

Have you ever watched an infomercial, where they talk up a product and SOLD!!! Immediately you’re completely taken in?  Hook, line and sinker!

“Yes Mam! This hand-free, voice activated vacuum will not only clean your floor but the walls and ceilings as well.  It specializes in scrubbing the tub, changes the cat litter and has a special setting for rain gutters as well!  And again, compleeeetely hand free!”

You race to the phone, call 1-800- #1vacuum, wait on hold for an hour because they are experiencing a high volume of calls because the demand is overwhelming, and finally place your order! Your expectancy level is SO high.  You can’t wait until your hand-free vacuum arrives so that you can finally live again!  Won’t life be grand?!?

For two weeks, you’ve waited with baited breath!  When it finally arrives, you rip open the box, and there it is and there are no words.  Wall climbing, anti-gravity, gutter grime control my foot! It’s more likely that the cat will clean its own cat litter box before that vacuum sweeper will.

It was such a let down it couldn’t even let itself down!

Obviously, there’s an integrity issue. The character of that product didn’t match the charisma that sold it!

That’s what Paul is saying here.  “Some might say that because my letters are so convincing and so strong, that when you encounter me yourself, I’m a let down.  But hear this! When I arrive, I will do everything that these letters say I will do, because what I say is the same as who I am!”

This is how it is with God and this is how it should be with His children, His representatives here on this earth.

  1. We cannot live to a lesser degree what we profess!
  2. We should embrace the challenge speaking the “great and mighty things which we know not”!  This is God’s answer for our life!  When God’s Word seems beyond comprehension, we must acquaint ourselves with it by declaring it and declaring it until that attribute is formed in us!
  3. We cannot be afraid to advertise God…even if He sounds too good to be true! Many will find it hard to believe that He is what we say but when they encounter His presence in us, they will discover that He is the same in Word as in deed!
 

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The Rumor Mill

The spiritual world runs parallel with the natural.  Oftentimes, where truth abounds, a counterfeit will be manufactured. 

In light of this, I can’t help but be struck by what I’ve discovered in Matthew 9:26, And the fame of it went abroad throughout all of the land.

The word fame here literally means rumor.

We’re all familiar with the terminology, “There’s a rumor going ’round…” or “Rumor has it…”

Unfortunately, we have all been on both the giving and receiving end of such an exchange.

Slandering, gossip and falsities are nothing more than distraction from the true virtue and integrity intended for the body of Christ and the church.  

While we’re busy destroying one another…we’re assassinating  the fame of our Lord! 

Our arsenal wielded against righteousness  and carnal weapons…an enemy of God.

As we allow the counterfeit to take root in our relationships with one another, His fame is diminished!    

It’s time for the church to start spreading some rumors.

Rumors of the God kind.

The church should be the greatest rumor mill around.

Is Jesus Christ not worthy of our talk?

His is our Bright Fame!

 
 

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It’s Being Nailed Down

Isaiah 41:7, So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the sodering: and he fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved..

I’ve read commentary on this passage and it makes reference that this is the work of two idolaters.  One who carves and the other who applies the gold finish to make it attractive.  I certainly don’t disagree with that. 

The reason I say this, is not to discount that but to sort of give a background before I go any further. 

When I was reading this many years ago, I saw not the idolatrous carpenter but the Carpenter of my life.  He was encouraging me in my relationship with my pastor and in my work in the ministry. 

This is what I wrote in my bible that day.  (It’s been more than five years ago.)

This is the relationship between not only God and his people but between those He has placed in leadership and them that follow.  This is a picture of the Pastor encouraging the people.  God watches our work and lovingly says, “That is good!”.  We know the work God has for us and the timing when the Carpentar calls, “It is ready.”  It is necessary for it to be nailed down, so that it should not be moved.

Sunday night in the Word, God brought this before me again.  I sense in the spirit that things are being nailed down now.   Be encouraged, as you are faithful and loyal, that when this thing is finished, it will not be moved.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Character, Christian Living

 

About An Inch Tall

Did you ever hear the saying, “I felt about an inch tall.”

I tried to google it and couldn’t find where it originated.  Quite possibly on the Finzel Road in the Minnick household.  Ya never know.

It’s one of those terms that was used following “open mouth insert foot”… “Shoot, I shouldn’t have done that.”…”One of us kids did the very thing that Mom was mid-sentence telling us not to do.”, etc.  You fill in the blanks. It was either she and Daddy, one of us kids or all of us who were left feeling about an inch tall in the wake of a bad choice.

Yesterday was a great day!  I want to give God praise because my grandfather who has been suffering with five broken vertebrae in his back (four in-operable), went into surgery to repair the one that could be repaired and left that hospital pain free!  Glory to God!  On cloud nine with Jesus, if your looking for me…

And then it happened.  In an instant, one of my kids did something and immediately I felt the urge to shrink in defeat.  It was one of those “mid-sentence kind of deals.” 

So, I took my one inch tall self and kids home.  FYI, even if I am one inch tall, I still have to look up to my boy because he now has surpassed me in height.  Good for him!  He gets to measure in at about one and a half inches.

And wouldn’t you know it… after taking the left hook and staggering a bit, here comes the uppercut I wasn’t expecting. 

Having already been taken down a major notch or two, I was now the size of dust.  Yep, good reminder of whence I came.  To make it worse, I happened to be dust that was shedding many tears.  So that made me tiny mud.    

Psalm 103:14, For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

Thank goodness!

When I was laying in bed late last night, I said, “Help me.  I feel about an inch tall.”

Then I read the words of Kathryn Kuhlman.  Simple but profound.  She was talking about Zacheus and said, “and Lord knows I was up a tree.”

God immediately said, “Even short people can climb trees.” 

So, I took His advice, which is always good, by the way.  I began to climb in the Spirit and my heart was crying, as I read the words spoken about Zacheus. (Luke 19:1-9)  “For he wanted to see who Jesus was.” 

Lord, show me, who are You in this?

It was at this moment that my eyes fell on the next line.  “And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him and said to him, Zacheus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at your house.”

We read this thinking that it was because Jesus happened to see Zacheus, that he said, “Oh great idea!  I think I’ll come over since you went through all that trouble to climb that tree!” 

Mmmm….nope.  That doesn’t sit right.  It sounds more accurate to me that Jesus, perhaps unbeknownst to Zacheus, already had His GPS programmed to his address.  You know…123 No Good Tax Collecter Drive

(Insert my address here.)

“Make haste and come down!  For today I must abide at thy house.”

What that must have sounded like to Zacheus!  We see it in the Word!  He received Him JOYFULLY! 

“Who would want anything to do with that sinner?”  

And Jesus says, “Did I hear someone say sin?  Someone made a mistake? Oh, I’m coming over! I’ve got some salvation for this.” 

That’s what I heard, loud and clear ringing in my Spirit as I lay down, finally, to rest. 

“You can always trust Me to abide at your house.  Don’t you shrink back again! I take great pleasure in you. Don’t you know what just happened here today?  It’s what you’ve been praying for.  Salvation is come not only to your “household” but to his “house”.  Today he came to Me himself before you ever knew of this.” 

Thank you Lord.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Character, Jesus

 

Key to Blessing

 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,…

 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:1-12

 

In reading the beatitudes, I see a key to blessing. It’s found in verse one. “…his disciples came unto him.”

Lord, I come to you. Teach me Lord how to be blessed. Without your guidance and your instruction, I do not know how to be poor in spirit, to mourn, to be meek, to hunger and thirst for righteousness, to be merciful, pure in heart, a peacemaker, or even how to be persecuted. But you know. You are all of these.  More than the blessing, I seek to know these truths. Many of us would be willing to forgo the attribute, in order to have the blessing.  But if the characteristics spoken here are  the avenue to blessing and in being blessed, we are in turn to be a blessing to others, then I need to learn from you. I must know!

I want to dispense the kingdom of heaven! I want to release your comfort. Let your inheritance be accessed through my life. Fill them here Lord. There is mercy to be obtained in me. Let them see God here. Let them identify with me, because I am called a child of God. Kingdom of heaven, be theirs!

 

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Blessing, Character, Christian Living