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Being Blessed: Running on Empty

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Being Blessed: Running on Empty

When I was in high school there was a pecking order. There were the popular kids for whom image was everything. Then there were the bullies. They may or may not be the popular kids. For them power over others was what drove them. Lastly there were the outcasts. They were either kids who decided to be outcasts by forming their own group of smokers, dopers or just tried to be different and weird as they could. Or the outcasts were people who just couldn’t compete with popularity, grades or sports. They may or may not have decided to be outcasts. Middle and high school was a concentrated social environment. All of the good and bad of people was right in your face. But a very few felt deep down that they were okay. Very few had an inner strength to withstand the intimidation, temptation to rebel or the competitive pecking order. Very few felt blessed.

Blessing is a gift. It is not something you achieve or earn. Its either given and received or not. How many people are missing this sense that they have been blessed? Parents are the primary blesses. The greatest gift they can give is the blessing of being loved, accepted and belonging. Many young people go to school today with an empty tank emotionally. They do not feel blessed. Without that inner strength of blessing they are easy prey for a culture of indulgence, peer power and even death. Somehow they didn’t feel they received blessing at home.

Why students are lacking a sense of blessing is because many times parents and teachers and peers are running on empty. If everyone is operating on empty it very difficult to both give and receive blessing. Blessing is missing because blessing is primarily a spiritual gift and a spiritual ability. The spiritual is not encouraged in our culture. Spiritual gifts are in short supply. Who will build the spirit of another person? Who will give a gift that is greater than a self-esteem speech or a “get-it-together” lecture?

We need a greater capacity to both give and receive blessing. If many of us are running on empty, where will we find this capacity. It cannot come from an empty place. But it is certainly is a place we can start. When we admit our emptiness and quit excusing and denying it, we are in a place where blessing can begin. For Christians we begin with God. Jesus said we have to come empty so we can be filled. Actually, he said it this way, “blessed are the poor in spirit”. They can experience more of God and his action in their lives. In admitting we need God, we are beginning the journey of living a blessed life. If so many of us are empty of this sense of blessing, we cannot be the source of it. We must find it outside of ourselves. Being blessed means we begin with God. We come with our expectations and our needs, but then we lay them down. We come to God without pretense and without demands. We just call out for him. Then the “kingdom of God” is ours. Then we allow God to reign in our hearts and in every relationship we encounter. We enter a whole new way of living. We live blessed by letting God rule our lives. We live blessed by cooperating with God’s priorities of love and faith and hope. We become full of God. We become blessed because God is the ultimate blesser. He is the ultimate gives and the source of all blessing! People are so needing others who will be a source of blessing. One person with a deep sense of being blessed can change the environment. 
God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Matthew 5:3

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Believing the Impossible

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Believing the Impossible

What seems impossible with us is not impossible with God.  We sure desire for impossible things to happen in our lives and our world, don’t we?  Why don’t we see them happening?

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Questions Welcome

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Questions Welcome

In school we were all encouraged to raise our hands if we had any questions. Of course, many times we may have felt our questions were stupid. What about the church? What about asking troubling questions from people who follow Jesus? Do you feel comfortable there? 

Jesus was never afraid of a good question asked in sincerity. 

I believe that we must all come to realize one basic truth in all our questioning: humans do not possess the the answer to their own questions apart from God. Until we realize this we could very well perpetuate that problem and frustrations that prompt all our hard questions

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God in the Everyday

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God in the Everyday

Life gets busy. We have our work to do, our chores to finish, relationships to keep healthy.  Then there is Jesus. Jesus is the one we love, Jesus who overlooks our lives, Jesus who saves us. Jesus who died for us and rose again. 

Did you ever ask God to be near, to be present?  He never leaves us alone. Knowing God in the everyday is a matter of trust, not just effort. 

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