Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Archive for the ‘Rick Warren’ Category

Follow Your Passions To God’s Purposes

Posted by infinitygoods on March 27, 2008

cyclic-in-flickr-public-files-by-spunfunkster.jpg“As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person.”  Proverbs 27:19

Do you enjoy doing what you are doing in your life right now?  Do you have a passion for your job or for your life?  Sadly, many of us, perhaps even most of us, answer a resounding “NO!!”.  That should be a huge red flag for all of us.  What are our joys in life?  What are our hobbies?  What are our passions?  What do we love?

Rick Warren is not the only one to tell us that we should follow our heart’s desires.  Psychologists tell us too.  Career counselors tell us.  Highly successful and renown people tell us.  The Bible tells us.

Do we listen?  Really listen?  Or do we say “Yeah, yeah, I know,” but keep doing the same old rat race, the same old daily grind, the same old rut?

Have no worries, God will use that daily grind purposefully too, but it should lead you somewhere, not keep you stuck in it like quick sand or even cement.

Take the time right now to ponder about what you are enthusiastic or passionate about.  Go on, think.  Don’t read another word.

Advertisements

Posted in America, author, bible, book, books, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, education, Faith, Family, Flickr, God, God's Word, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, life, love, Photography, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, United States, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

PBPGINFWMY There Is A Time For Everything: Chapt. 28 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on March 10, 2008

From The Roots Up by enveehaze in Flickr public files “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” Habakkuk 2:3
 
God is always telling me to wait. It seems I have to wait for just about everything from the most mundane to the most important.

When we think about it, our entire life is nothing but a waiting period. We wait nine months to be born on earth and we wait an entire lifetime to be born into our eternal life.

God’s time is based on eternity. What may seem like eternity for us on earth is the blink of an eye to God.

There is a lesson to be learned. If you’ll allow and forgive the trivial allegory, while we pray: “God give me patience, and I want it right now,” God answers “We will sell no wine before its time.”*

We are the wine and the Vine’s branches. It takes an entire lifetime for us to learn the good, unlearn the not so good, and form our character traits.

Rick Warren asks us “Where in your spiritual growth are you having to be patient because there seems to be little progress?” In which areas do you need to be patient and persistent?

*Advertising slogan for Paul Mason Winery. The Orson Wells commercials aired during the late 70’s and early 80’s.

Posted in America, author, book, books, Christian, Christianity, culture, education, Faith, Family, Flickr, God, God's Word, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Lent, life, reading, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, U.S., Uncategorized, United States, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Are You Pro-Choice? God Is! Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 26

Posted by infinitygoods on March 8, 2008

Buttress Roots by alumroot in Flickr public files“We are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires.  Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  Do not be deceived, my dear friends!”

No, this post is not about abortion.  I just couldn’t resist the temptation to tease you with that headline!  🙂  Now that I have your attention:  God is pro-choice!  He gives us the choice between good and evil; to sin or not to sin; to obey or to disobey.  He does not force us to do anything.  He gives us complete free will.  We are not puppets on a string.  We are not programed robots.

Each time we are tempted it shows Satan hates our faith.  He wants to destroy our faith and he wants to destroy us.  The sin is not ours when we are tempted, it is his.  He is the one doing the tempting.  He is the one who is sinning in perpetuity by loving himself more than God and by trying every trick to destroy our souls.

Rick Warren asks us when are we most tempted?  Where are we most tempted?

Think of Satan as the most vile allergy and avoid all triggers like the plague.   Then, always ask God for His help.  He is always there ready to protect us.  It is our choice to ask for help or to sin.

Posted in America, author, bible, book, books, Christian, Christianity, Church, education, Faith, Family, Flickr, God, God's Word, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Lent, life, love, Photography, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, U.S., United States, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Power Of Love: Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 25

Posted by infinitygoods on March 7, 2008

redwoods-3-by-skooterdawg.jpgWho among us would not love a rosy life, completely free of troubles and set backs?  Yet, God allows Satan to trouble us.  Some people believe, and we are all in danger of all too quickly slipping into the same belief, that times of senseless tragedy prove there is no God or even the oxymoron that God is evil.

God is good and God is love.  Satan is the one who brings us evil, destruction, death, senseless tragedy.  In my own life all negatives, hardships and tragedies have eventually been turned around for good.  God used these times to bring me closer to Him or build character and in the end, bring something so good out of those circumstances which could not have happened otherwise, that really it had to happen that way.

I was wondering what example I could give you, but personal examples either did not seem universal enough or were too difficult for me to share.  Then I remembered an e-mail I received a few years ago.  I did not find on the Internet the exact and powerful wording which had brought most of us either to tears or close to it, but I did find the passage below which is a paraphrase of that e-mail.  It addresses a universal subject which has affected all of us worldwide, not just us living in the United States.  It shows how a different, more positive point of view sees God’s hand in turning evil into good.

Where was God during the senseless acts of terrorism of 9/11?

“A very dear friend recently questioned my faith in God right after the terrorist attack on America.  Her question was simply put, “Where is your God today?”  She was very hurt, as all Americans were, so I tried not to react defensively.  Since that moment I have prayed and grieved over the disastrous events.  However, I believe I have found some comfort in knowing where my God was the morning of September 11, 2001.  He was indeed very busy.

“First of all, he was trying to discourage people from taking the hijacked flights.  Those four planes had the capacity to carry over 1000 passengers, yet there were only 266 on board. God was on four commercial flights giving terrified passengers the ability to stay calm.  Not one of the family members who was called by a loved one on one of those planes said that passengers were screaming in the background.  On one of the flights He was giving strength to passengers to try to overtake the hijackers.

“He was busy trying to create obstacles for employees trying to reach the World Trade Center on that Tuesday morning.  On any given day, the buildings could hold 50,000 workers.  It was a miracle in itself that 30,000 fewer were in the building that terrible day.  How many of the people who were employed at the WTC told the media that day that they were delayed from reaching work on Tuesday because of traffic delays or various other reasons. God held up two 110 story buildings for over an hour so that two-thirds of the workers could get out.

Although this is without a doubt the worst thing I have seen in my life, I can see God’s miracles in every bit of it.  I can’t imagine going through such a difficult time and not believing in God.  Life would be hopeless !

Of potentially 74,280 Americans directly targeted by these cowards, 93% survived or avoided the attacks.  Pass this information on to those in depression, or in fear, and especially to the media.  Don’t fear these cowards and terrorists.  God is on our side and in addition, the odds are against the terrorists.”  Author Unknown

Posted in America, author, book, books, Caring, Children, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, education, evil people, Faith, Family, Flickr, Freedom, God, God's Word, history, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Internet, Iraq, life, love, Memories, nonbelievers, Photography, Purpose Driven Life, reading, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, terrorism, travel, U.S., United States, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Key To Happiness By Reading & Understanding The Bible: Chapt. 24 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on March 4, 2008

Walking Inside The Painting by Araleya from Flickr public files

“Truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.” James 1:25

Rick Warren tells us in Chapter 24 to read the Bible daily and apply God’s words to our daily lives.

When we read the Bible or listen to a sermon or a homily, do we have a closed mind? Do we read it superficially? Or are we distracted? Or do we really understand and accept God’s Word?

I read the Bible, but I admit I am one who skips around the various books. I have studied the Bible in small study groups and I have even taken college religion and Bible classes including a Jewish studies class where we read the first five books of the Old Testament almost line by line. Yet I have never read the entire Bible from cover to cover. Over my lifetime I have more than likely read the great majority of the Bible, but never from start to finish in a linear fashion.

We wouldn’t take other books and hop around back and forth within those books. I have no idea why we do that with the Bible, but that’s the way I’ve always been advised to do it. That’s the way my church has always done it on Sundays picking and choosing verses from the Old Testament and from the New Testament. The Bible studies at church have never followed a linear path either. One day it was Acts, one day it was women of the Bible, another time it was Psalms and Proverbs. We’ve never done it from cover to cover, one Bible study at a time.

Warren tells us we can read the entire Bible in one year if we only commit to 15 minutes a day. I’m a slow reader because with any book I like to fully appreciate each and every single word and their full connotations. So maybe it would take me 30 minutes each day. That’s not difficult. I love to read and I’m sure most of you do to since you spend time reading blogs. I often spend several hours reading books, including the Bible so if just minutes can get me to read every single word of God, then that’s something I am eager to do.

What about you? Perhaps you have already done it, but did you fully appreciate the meaning, the nuances, the connotations? Perhaps it is time to read the Bible from cover to cover another time and truly study its meaning by asking questions and writing down your insights. Pastor Brian at our son’s former school always encouraged that we have a study Bible where we highlight and write in the margins. He even gave each second grader their first adult Bible with a bright yellow highlighter. He told them to highlight every verse they ever memorized and to highlight all the verses that meant something to them. He told them to write in it and keep writing in it all their lives. He made a great ceremony of it. It was like a graduation ceremony, receiving a Bible and highlighter instead of a diploma.

That was not the way I was brought up. When I was in college we had to write in our Bibles and because I could not bring myself to do that in a pristine copy, I got a used hardcover study Bible complete with full-color pictures and commentaries. It was already highlighted and written in, but not much. It is still the copy I use to study my Bible and the one I bring to each Bible study even though it is bulky and heavy, but over the last couple decades, it has been thoroughly highlighted and written in. It has been a great blessing and I fully agree with Pastor Brian. If you haven’t experienced this blessing yet, perhaps you too were taught that you should never write on the word of God (or any book), then go ahead and jump right in. Perhaps you’ll want to get a used copy as I did. The white page will not defend itself with a used copy.

What are your thoughts? I would have a lot more to say about the word of God, but this blog post is already long. Let all of us know how you feel. Or just think about it to yourself if it is easier, but do reflect on it. Take the time to ponder on the subject.

Tomorrow we will move on to Chapt. 25.

Posted in America, author, bible, book, books, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, Faith, Family, Flickr, God, God's Word, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Lent, life, Photography, Purpose Driven Life, reading, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, Tradition, U.S., Uncategorized, United States, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Your Life Is Shaped By Your Thoughts: Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 23

Posted by infinitygoods on March 3, 2008

Rooted by pkittycat in Flickr public files“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”  Proverbs 4:23

“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”  Romans 12:2b

“Think the same way that Christ Jesus thought.”  Philippians 2:5

“We should think of their good and try to help them by doing what pleases them.”  Romans 15:2-3a

“God has given us His Spirit.  That’s why we don’t think the same way that the people of this world think.”  1 Corinthians 2:12a

Have you ever thought, “what were they thinking?”  This happens to me often when I watch TV, which is one of the reasons I don’t watch very often.  Many television shows are not based on the love that Christians should show each other.  It is so often full of hate, yelling, screaming, arguing, fighting, killing, total chaos and outrageous disharmony.   People of this world, as the Bible calls them, don’t always even notice that this is not the way things should be.

Do you think those people who are screaming, fighting, and killing are thinking of others?

This chapter also made me think of all the people who get married too easily.  They do not really love each other or even really care about each other.  They are getting married for selfish reasons and their “marriage” quickly turns to divorce.  That’s because they never realized that a real marriage starts by thinking about your spouse and trying to make your spouse happy.  As soon as we try to please ourselves rather than our spouse, we are not holding up our end of the marriage.  When both spouses are trying to please and think of their own selves, the “marriage” disintegrates.

Rick Warren tells us that thinking of others is the core of Christianity, the heart of being like Christ and the best evidence for our spiritual growth.

Posted in America, author, book, books, Christian, Christianity, Church, education, Faith, Flickr, God, God's Word, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Lent, life, love, Photography, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, U.S., Uncategorized, United States, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Think And Act Your Way To Godly Habits: Chapt. 22 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on March 2, 2008

Green Tree by droog in Flickr public files

“Let your roots grow down into Christ and draw up nourishment from Him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth.” Colossians 2:7

We begin the third section of The Purpose Driven Life. Our third purpose is to become like Christ. Rick Warren reminds us of the characteristics of God and of Jesus. We were created in God’s image and were given these same characteristics. We are spiritual beings, intellectual, relational and we have a moral consciousness. Our life on this earth is meant to develop these characteristics. How much work and effort have you put into these areas until now? God is always there to help you with the desire and power to please Him.

Warren tells us that our character is essentially made up of our habits. Did you know it takes approximately three weeks to develop a good habit? Ephesians explains that we have three responsibilities to become Christlike. First, we must act in new ways. Second, we must think in new ways. Third, we must develop new godly habits. How do you habitually or usually act? How do you usually think? What are your habits?

Our ways of thinking and acting or behaving are very important, very key to our character. The way we think and the way we behave can even change the way our brain works. I was watching the documentaries in the DVD of the Aviator with Leonardo DeCaprio and learned that the latest research in psychology shows that actors’ brain waves become like the brain waves of the characters they play. I’m paraphrasing and simplifying a complex area of study, but for example, when DeCaprio was acting like a person who is Obsessive Compulsive, after a few weeks or months of rehearsing and shooting for the movie, an actors’ brain takes on the same characteristics.

I also remember many years ago Justine Bateman had played a role of a young blind woman. Although she is not blind, during the shooting she put her hand right through a glass pane door, missing the door handle completely and slashing her wrist. The articles had quoted her saying she had not seen the handle — just as if she had been actually blind rather than merely pretending to be blind.

So the way we act or behave can really change the way we are. The same goes for our thinking. If we think something, pretty soon we will believe it. We’ve all experienced self-fulfilling prophecies based on whether we thought positively or negatively about something. For these reasons, we need to develop godly ways of thinking and behaving.

Posted in America, author, bible, book, books, Christian, Christianity, culture, education, Faith, Family, Flickr, God, God's Word, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Lent, life, love, nature, Photography, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, Tradition, U.S., United States, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We Are Meant To Experience Life Together In Fellowship: Purpose Driven Life Chapter 18

Posted by infinitygoods on February 26, 2008

Stripes of Colors by M C M Cruz on Flickr public files “For where two or three have gathered together in my name, I am there in their midsts.”  Matthew 18:20

We are meant to be with others and to share our feelings.  We grow with the help of others and they in turn grow with our help.

This chapter reminds me of blogging, especially the Christian blogs and the blogs written by Christians.  In our blogs many of us share who we are.  We risk exposure, rejection and  being hurt.  As Rick Warren said, it requires courage and humility and requires that we depend on each other.  How often are the comments sections full of empathy, where we agree, understand and affirm the blogger’s feelings and opinions?  How often do we share each other’s troubles and problems?  It’s because we feel part of a community.

Even though the World Wide Web is wide indeed, we feel connected to the one blogger and to the regular commenters.  The thousands and potentially millions of others who could be visiting become invisible to us and we relate and connect to the small group which appears visible.  In a way, we fellowship with the other bloggers, the other mommies, the other Christians whose lives become intimate to us, slowly and over time.

This is similar to what a small fellowship group in a church should look like.  If we join a small bible study, over the next weeks we will get to know the personal lives of the members as they share and relate to the bible stories on a very personal level.  Soon, the group will relate, empathize and be concerned for the other members.  They will rejoice over triumphs and grieve over losses and hurts.

Fellowship  in the real sense of the word is a very important aspect which is required for our nature, for the way God created us.  We cannot live alone.  We cannot live like hermits.  We cannot live without a community.

Posted in America, art, author, book, books, Christian, Christianity, Church, education, Faith, Family, Flickr, God, God's Word, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Lent, life, love, Photography, reading, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, U.S., United States, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Put Time And Effort Into What Matters Most to God: LOVE Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 16

Posted by infinitygoods on February 24, 2008

Untitles by R4pH in Flickr public files “‘You must love the Lord your God will all your heart…’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:37-40

Have you noticed that most of these chapters are about love?  Does it seem like it just might be important?  Rick Warren tells us it is what matters most.  Matthew tells us that Jesus told his apostles that loving God and loving His people are the two greatest commandments and that the other commandments are based on these two.

So if love is so important to God, how much time and effort do we put into it?  How many hours do we spend showing our love to God?  Or showing our love to our families?  Or to our fellow man, whether they are Christians, Jews or even non-believers?

Let’s not wait until we are on our deathbed to realize that our relationships are our most important accomplishments.  As Warren reminds us, “All you’re taking with you is your character.”  We won’t be taking any awards, gold watches, money, cars, designer clothes, or any material trappings showing earthly successes.  Yet, how often do we get trapped or sucked into the rat race for the material, sometimes even in the hope of helping or pleasing our families, but in reality robbing our loved ones of a quality relationship with us?

Even when we spend time together, how often are we not even looking at our loved ones?  How many of us eat in the car with our children staring at the back of our heads?  How often do we stare at the road, going to yet another destination?  At home, are we staring at a TV screen or a computer screen?  Even when we are cooking for our family, are we looking at our children when they speak to us, or are we too busy following the recipe?  How often do we face each other and look into each other’s eyes?

Posted in America, author, book, books, Christian, Christianity, culture, education, Faith, Family, Flickr, God, God's Word, Home, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Lent, life, love, Purpose Driven Life, reading, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, Spreading God's Word, Tradition, U.S., United States, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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.

Posted in America, author, book, books, Christian, Christianity, Church, culture, education, Faith, Family, Flickr, God, God's Word, Infinity Goods, infinitygoods.com, Lent, life, Photography, Purpose Driven Life, reading, religion, Rick Warren, Spiritual, spirituality, U.S., United States, USA, writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »