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A blog for God’s People

Archive for February, 2008

Are You Baptized? Come Join God’s Family! Chapt. 15 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on February 23, 2008

Water Fountain by holidaygirl in Flickr public files

“Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into Christ’s body by one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13

 

We begin discussion on our second purpose, which according to Rick Warren is to be formed for God’s family.

Are you baptized? If you believe in Christ and God, Warren tells us you should be already. Without delay, you should have been baptized. He says, “Like a wedding ring, it is a visible reminder of an inward commitment made in your heart. It is an act of initiation, not something to put off until you are spiritually mature. The only biblical condition is that you believe.”

I was baptized as an infant and we baptized our son as an infant as well. There was no delay. As most of my regular readers know, I worked for our church for several years. When I started working there, I was highly surprised to find out (and you might be too) that many people attending church every Sunday and some even during the week, are not baptized. And since Warren brings up wedding rings, you might find it interesting to know that many people are not married either, even though all would think that they are.

People put things off. They start living together and pretty soon there are children. People just assume they are married. They are good people. They go to church. They participate in the church. They volunteer for the church. They donate money to the church. They go through all the motions, but they never got around to getting married. And when it comes time to baptizing the children, they never get around to it either.

Now of course this is not everybody. But it is a far greater number than you realize. Some young couples have even come to our church to get married and they themselves assumed they had been baptized because they had attended church their entire lives, but later came to find out from their parents, after the pastor asked, that, no, no one had ever actually taken the time to baptize them over the years — over the decades.

Does any of this surprise you? I was greatly surprised. At first I thought it would be one or two isolated cases, but as I continued working, I came to realize that it was far more prevalent than it should be, especially for people who are attending church. I’m not talking about people who don’t believe in God here. I’m not talking about people who only occasionally attend church, whenever it’s convenient or once or twice a year for Easter or Christmas. I’m talking about church regulars.

People don’t realize this is often the case because of course this is confidential information. The pastor, the staff are not going to blab or gossip about the people who attend their church.

If this describes you, there should be no shame and as you can see, you are far from being alone. There is no need to postpone any longer because you are afraid of telling your pastor. It’s OK. He’s unfortunately all too used to it and will rejoice in baptizing you. So postpone no longer if you truly believe in your heart in Jesus and in God. Go get baptized.

And if you are and you baptized your children too, thank God. Thank Him and praise Him for having led you to Him through His church.

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God Is Always Present: Chapt. 14 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on February 21, 2008

Previous chapters can be found on the Purpose Driven Life page.

Distant by serni in Flickr in public files

“God may kill me, but still I will trust Him.”¬† Job 13:15

We will never meet anyone as faithful as God.¬† “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” he has promised throughout the Bible.¬† Yet most of us will go through periods in our lives where we feel abandoned by God.¬† Even if we look for Him, God remains hidden to us.¬† It is a lesson for growth and a test of faith.

We know that God loves us and we know that God keeps his promises.¬† Rick Warren tells us once again to speak to God.¬† We are to tell Him exactly how we feel.¬† What emotions have you felt when God seemed distant?¬† Did you tell Him how you felt?¬† How often do we have a real conversation with God, not just a formal prayer or a laundry list of requests, but real communication?¬† Do we tell him everything — our pleasures, our dislikes, our emotions, our hurts or our times of happiness?

When we go through times like this, we can also try to remember all that God has done for us in the past.  I know that no matter how bad things have gone in my life, God always turned things for the best.  Bad situations always turned to good.  Always.  There is no reason to doubt that he will continue to turn all seemingly bad situations into good.  It is hard to keep that in mind when we are in the thick of negative times, but if we conciously keep that in mind while our life is still good, it will be easier to remember when we need to.

Warren tells us that it is during these times when we continue to trust and believe God that we “worship him in the deepest way.”

Today ends the second section of The Purpose Driven Life.¬† Tomorrow we will start discussion on our second purpose, “You were formed for God’s family,” with Chapt. 15.

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Worship Is Not One Size Fits All: Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 13

Posted by infinitygoods on February 20, 2008

Bold Tree by Zack Stern in Flickr public files

Previous chapters can be found on the Purpose Driven Life page.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

How do you worship God? Do you have more than one way? Does it change with the seasons or as you have gotten older?

Rick Warren tells us to be accurate, authentic, thoughtful and practical. To be accurate, he tells us to know the word of God. To be authentic it must be genuine, heartfelt and with deep feeling. We should be thoughtful rather than merely going through motions and we should be living sacrifices. We should live for God, not for ourselves.

How do most of us measure up? Are some ways easier than others? Do you read the Bible? When you go to church to you go through the motions, barely even hearing the week’s message or are you fully focused on God?

We all have our good days and our bad ones of course. But how do we rate most of the time? What is in our heart? Are we going to church for God, for ourselves, for keeping up appearances?

Chapt. 14

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“Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids.”

Posted by infinitygoods on February 20, 2008

 thursdaybannerbook.png

Happy Thursday, everyone!  For more participants be sure to visit Thursday Thirteen.Erma Bombeck (1927-1996)

Today would be Erma Bombeck’s birthday.¬† She was born February 21, 1927 and died April 22, 1996. The newspaper columnist made us laugh at life’s idiosyncrasies for three decades through her syndicated column and her bestselling books like “If Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries, What Am I Doing In The Pits?”

  1. Insanity is hereditary. You can catch it from your kids.
  2. Thanks to my mother, not a single cardboard box has found its way back into society. We receive gifts in boxes from stores that went out of business twenty years ago.
  3. Did you ever notice that the first piece of luggage on the carousel never belongs to anyone?
  4. Getting out of the hospital is a lot like resigning from a book club. You’re not out of it until the computer says you’re out of it.
  5. Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.
  6. When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he’s doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911.
  7. If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.
  8. It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.
  9. It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.
  10. On vacations: We hit the sunny beaches where we occupy ourselves keeping the sun off our skin, the saltwater off our bodies, and the sand out of our belongings.
  11. When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me”.
  12. One thing they never tell you about child raising is that for the rest of your life, at the drop of a hat, you are expected to know your child’s name and how old he or she is.
  13. Seize the moment. Think of all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.

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Psalm 65:7 You Set Up The Mountains By Your Might

Posted by infinitygoods on February 20, 2008

http://the160acrewoods.wordpress.com

7 You are robed in power, you set up the mountains by your might.
This is a shot of the mountains above my home. I am always in awe at how they are set up or arranged like giant boulders stacked up on top of each other. According to the historical and geological societies in the area, this type of geological formation is only seen in Southern California at the border of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, and no where else in the world.

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Get Free Photography Magazines

Posted by infinitygoods on February 19, 2008

Rangefinder and After Capture are two photography magazines which are distributed free to photographers, artists, or anyone who routinely publishes photographs such as for a photography blog or a blog which makes heavy use of photography.¬† All you have to do is follow the links and fill out the short forms where you’ll find details to see if you qualify.¬† There is no catch.¬† The magazines are paid for by the advertisers.¬† There are no more than the average number in any magazine which makes you wonder why all magazines are not free if these magazines are able to do it.¬† You will not be added to a zillion mailing lists.¬† I have been receiving these magazines for a couple years and have only received one annual photography catalog in addition to the magazines, no other unsolicited mail.

The magazines are both of above average quality and full-color.¬† To get a feel for them check their websites.¬† They cover all sorts of photography such as sports, wedding, portrait, commercial, and fine art.¬† As I do photography and art, these magazines work for me for inspiration , education, and entertainment.¬† They are great magazines and you can’t beat free!

wfmwbluebanner.jpg

For more Works For Me Wednesday participants, please visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Don’t miss my other Works For Me Wednesday posts on my Household Tips page and Organizing Tips page.

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Drawing Closer To God: Chapt. 12 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on February 19, 2008

Those of you who don’t have WordPress must be wondering where the daily Purpose Driven Life posts have gone. WordPress has been down. We have all been unable to post or approve comments, etc., while readers have still been able to read our blogs. My clock and auto-posts have also acted up in the last couple of days. WordPress has uncharacteristically given us no reason for this down time so I cannot tell you what happened or if the clock problem is related.I will pick up where we left off. Today we will discuss Chapter 12. I think it is best to only post one chapter rather than two so that noone falls behind because of this incident and so that we follow Rick Warren’s recommended schedule of only 1 chapter per day. He strongly advises NOT to do more than that. It does not pose a problem since I have been posting on Sundays too, so we will still finish before Easter.

Cool Green Tree by idg on Flickr Public Files

Previous chapters can be found on the Purpose Driven Life page.

My determined purpose is that I may know Him — that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His person more strongly and more clearly.” Philippians 3:10

This chapter reminded me very much of my own dad. It is one more example for me that our relationship first with our parents and later with our children teaches us how to have a relationship with God.

Throughout my childhood and even into my adulthood my dad would say to tell him everything. Whatever it was, whether positive or negative, my dad was the person to tell. If I had a problem at school, if I had a problem with my mom, if I had a problem with my allowance, if I had a fear or a concern, whatever it was I should report it to him. If I was proud of an accomplishment, if I was looking forward to a special event, if I was happy, I should tell him. Does that sound like the first step Warren brings up in this chapter? Does it sound like I had to be honest with my dad and tell him the truth in everything, just like Warren tells us we should do with God? We must tell our Father everything. Tell God the good and tell him the bad. Have entire conversations with Him just as you would if you were telling your dad or your confidant. Let God be your confidant.

When you tell a confident everything, it’s because you have confidence in them. You have faith or trust in them. Have faith and trust in God. Warren tells us that if we have faith or trust in God and we love Him, we will obey Him. And if we trust God, we will also trust his values. When we have a good friend we value their opinion right? If Martha tells us that something is good, we trust her and believe that it is good. If we trust God then we value his opinion and values too. It’s all related and intertwined. Warren tells us that God can be our friend too and that we should want his friendship above anything. Do you?

How would you describe your relationship with God? Are you on friendly terms? Do you talk to Him regularly? Do you listen to Him and do what he believes to be good? What do you do to get closer to God? What ideas and thoughts has this chapter sparked in you?

Chapt. 13

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Inhumane Conditions In The Slaughterhouse Since 1993?? They Told Us California Cows Were Happy Cows!!

Posted by infinitygoods on February 19, 2008

With this week-end’s meat recall, 143 million pounds of beef, the largest Lick by imagegrabber in Flickr public filesrecall in history, comes an even more disturbing possibility. A video has surfaced that shows inhumane conditions may have occurred since 1993. That’s 15 years!! Did the government do anything to safeguard that consumers eat healthy food? Did the greedy big business slaughterhouse have the least thought about the public school children who would eat tainted meat? Are California cows happy cows as the advertising slogan claims? You decide.

Check out Tad Cronn’s article and look at the video he posted.

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This Is A Happy Day!!

Posted by infinitygoods on February 18, 2008

Today is a happy day for my family and I want to share the joy with you as best as I can with a blog, so here are two happy YouTube videos for your enjoyment.

[YouTube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=2U-rBZREQMw]

The Sun is Shining, Come On Get Happy,
The Lord is Waiting to Take Your Hand.
Shout Alleluia! Come On Get Happy,
We’re Going to the Promised Land!

[YouTube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=qJLZ7PcInV4]

Won’t you sing along? Everybody knows this one! There’s even subtitles.
I’m Singing in the Rain. Just Singing in the Rain.
What a Glorious Feelin’. I’m Happy Again.
I’m Laughing at Clouds. So Dark Up Above.
The Sun’s In My Heart!

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Treasure The Word Of God As He Treasures To Hear Us: Chapt. 11 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on February 17, 2008

Two Trees In Spring by @t Flickr public files

Previous chapters can be found on the Purpose Driven Life page.

“I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” Job 23:12.

When we become friends with someone, we talk to them. We build on the relationship by calling on the phone or talking in person. Rick Warren tells us we can build our friendship with God by talking to Him.

We can talk to God through constant conversation, praying without ceasing. You know that little voice we all have? We can use that little voice to talk to God all day long. Instead of talking to ourselves, we can talk to God.

Then our entire day and each and every activity will be narrated with prayers to God.

Friends talk to each other and share stories. One of the ways God talks to us is through the Bible. So another way to become friends with God, according to Warren, is to think about the word of God. Job says “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” We can memorize verses, read the Bible to discover new insights, or ponder on the Bible stories and verses we already know.

Do you already have ways of reminding yourself to pray to God? Do you ever just talk to Him as in a conversation? Which type of prayer do you find easiest: the formal, memorized prayers or impromptu conversations?

In Chapter 12, Warren will discuss four more ways to develop our friendship with God. Until then, may we hear God through his word and may God hear our prayers.

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