Christianity 201

February 3, 2013

It’s All In Your Perspective

Last week Pete Wilson reported on an insight he had while up in my part of the world, so even though this is shorter, I kinda had to include it here!! Click here to read at Pete’s blog where this was titled, A Breath of Fresh Air.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

A couple months ago I was in Toronto, Canada to speak at a conference. The driver who picked me up from the airport was a middle aged man named Lucas. He was from the Philippines. It’s funny how you can learn so much about a guy by just spending a few minutes in a car with him.

Pete Wilson on Cross Point LiveIn route to the arena we began talking about life and family. He had four children, but was the youngest of 11 brothers and sisters himself. He spoke a little bit about how he made it to Toronto and how much he loved living in Canada.

During the commute we hit a stretch of road where traffic almost came to a complete stop. As we got closer to the bottleneck I realized it was a construction project. While in the middle of small talk with Lucas I couldn’t help but think…. “Stupid traffic. Stupid construction. Will they ever finish all these projects.” However, as we drove through the construction Lucas chimed in with…“Sure is wonderful that the government here has the resources to fix up the roads like this. In the Philippines we didn’t have these kind of resources and the roads are virtually impassable throughout most of the country.”

This is just one of the many scenarios God has used in my life recently to remind me that gratitude really is a choice.

Gratitude is not based on how good your situation is but on how good you see your situation to be.

That’s why someone with half of what you have can be so much more thankful than you.

It is simply true that the person who has chosen to make gratitude his or her mind-set and lifestyle can view anything–anything–anything through the eyes of thankfulness. The whole world looks different when we do. And a grateful man or woman will be a breath of fresh air in a world contaminated by bitterness, cynicism, and discontentment.

~Pete Wilson


And now here’s an exclusive bonus item that appeared exactly a year ago at Thinking Out Loud. You may have noticed that the link to Pete Wilson’s article today begins with “Without Wax.” Here’s the 411 on the blog’s original name which doesn’t appear there anymore:

The word sincere comes from the Latin phrase sine cera,which means without wax. The phrase comes from a practice where people would hide the cracks in cheap pottery with wax in order to pass the pottery off as being worth more than it actually was. Quality products were often stamped with the words sine cera to show that it had not been doctored, that it was in fact authentic.

I can’t think of a better name for a blog that is, above all, authentic and transparent. If Pete Wilson is not in your blog reading routine, check out the pastor of Nashville’s Cross Point Church’s blog.

October 10, 2012

Being a Person of Integrity

Here are five powerful messages in one from Jeff Jones Blog, originally posted as The Road of Integrity. Click through to read more great posts like this one.

“People with integrity have firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.” Proverbs 10:9, NLT  

We all know that the fastest and most efficient way to get between two points is a straight line. The original Hebrew word translated for “integrity” is defined as “straightness”. People who walk with integrity typically walk a straight line. Their lives are defined as ordered and in control. But folks who live on the edge, always try to cut corners, and tend to be a little less than truthful are defined by following crooked paths. The result is always the same, they slip and fall.

I want to share with you five things that will help you to walk down the road of integrity.

#1  Develop Your Character

We live in a world that is extremely superficial. If you’ve got the looks: you’re in. People are enamored by appearance and are more interested on the outside than what’s on the inside. But here’s the deal– you can alter your appearance a ton of different ways, but you can never hide what’s on the inside. Because whatever is on the inside, will come out when you’re squeezed. When you squeeze an orange, you never get apple juice.

So we all need to develop our character. Character is something that we can develop and work on everyday. It’s not glamorous or sexy, but it does define who we are. Ask God to help you develop a character that honors Him and allows you to walk in integrity.

#2  Be Honest

I remember the advice my mother gave me over 50 years ago, “Honesty is the best policy.” Well it’s just as true today as it was back in the 60’s. Here’s how it works:

A.  Be Honest with Yourself– it always starts with us doing a little self analysis.

B.  Be Honest with God– He knows everything about us already, so just be honest with Him.

C.  Be Honest with Others– learn to shoot straight with the people in your life.#3  Do The Right ThingEvery day we’re faced with a ton of decisions. We come to a fork in the road where we need to draw on our integrity to make a decision on what direction to take. The choices we make determine our present as well as our future. Often times we’re forced to choose between doing the right thing which could mean more work or a delay in moving forward. Sometimes doing what’s right isn’t the easiest thing, but it’s always the right thing, for us and those that will follow our footsteps.

“The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:7, NKJV

#4  Pay Attention To the Small Stuff

The Bible reminds us that it’s always the little foxes that spoil the vine. That’s a great reminder that we need to pay attention to the little things of life. Every day when an aircraft carrier gets ready to launch its aircraft the entire flight deck crew walks the deck, shoulder to shoulder, making sure that there is nothing that could get sucked up into the jet engine. Our Navy men and women know the importance of paying attention to the small stuff.

I remember finding a stack of quarters at the spray car wash one day. I could have used those quarters to wash my car, but they weren’t my quarters. They’d been left there by someone, and of course it wasn’t a big deal, but the bottom line is they weren’t mine. I left them there for the next guy.

#5  Keep Your Word

This is an easy one. Just say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t say one thing and mean another. It’s the old adage, “Walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk.”

Don’t promise to meet someone for coffee if you really don’t plan to ever do it. Listen to what the Bible says about this.

“…let your yes be yes and your no, no, lest you fall into judgment.” James 5:12, NKJV

Make a point to only say things that you believe and that you will back up with your actions. Every time you keep your word you are building your integrity.

 “Father, help me to walk in my integrity. I seek to bring You honor and You glory by my words and by my actions. I desire to walk the straight and narrow with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
This is the second visit to Jeff Jones blog here. Click to see a previous article.  And here’s a more recent piece from his blog on strength and courage.
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