Phil Us Up!
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June 30, 2015, 4:55 PM

Maybe they're on to something.



     There have been many times in my life I wish I could communicate my thoughts in a better more loving way. It happened Sunday, and I’m sure it will happen again! (Sometimes I feel like Phil Robertson, LOL, see 1/7/2014)     

     God’s word is clear about many things; sexual sin, both homosexual and heterosexual, are some of those things that I think we understand. Many places in scripture we read easy to understand instructions on what God expects of His people. What is not so easy for me, is how God wants me to react to those on the outside who commit those sins.

     I know many of us, to put it mildly, are disappointed with the recent Supreme Court ruling on homosexual marriage. Let me be the first to say, no matter what the Supreme Court says, they cannot change God’s definition of a Biblical marriage. They don’t have that power and never will.   What they do have the power to do is to change the laws of our land.

     God calls us to follow His word and His commandments. Jesus often spoke about the greatest commandment. In Matthew we find this, One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

     We know those words so well; it’s one of those passages we all have memorized! The question I always need to have answered is this, how do I Love the Lord my God with my heart, soul, and mind. Well, Jesus answers that question as well. "If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

     Jesus says, we show OUR love by keeping His commandments, US keeping His commandments. It’s way too easy for me to look at others, especially those who have committed terrible sins and forget, God and Jesus command me to treat them with love and respect. I know I have a long history of not doing that exact thing, and then condemning them for their sin.

     Paul writes in Romans some instructions I really need. If you start in 1:20 and read to the end of the chapter he describes our world almost perfectly! A rather long and complete list of terrible sins, some of which I have committed! Then in chapter 2 Paul tells us how we are not to act. Why? Well first he says it’s God’s business to judge them, and secondly I will not escape because I am no better than they are. It is easy to forget how forgiving God has been to me. Listen to Paul in 2:20 “…do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?” I heard this yesterday and I quote my brother; If, when you think, read or hear the word sinner and you don’t think of yourself first, that’s a problem. If, when your think, read or hear the word love and think, “yeah but….” That’s probably what caused the first problem.

   Kindness, tolerance, patience are the only ways we can fulfill the second commandment like the first. Not because I condone anyone’s sinfulness, especially my OWN, but I hope with love and respect to demonstrate God’s kindness I experience daily, which leads to repentance. 

     Maybe Jesus and Paul are on to something here. I love you all!                        Philip



Comments

09-05-2015 at 3:38 PM
Bobby Sims
A truly difficult topic. However, isn't it true that our first responsibilty is to recognize our own sins and our own need of a saviour?
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June 9, 2015, 12:00 AM

What's happening today in Nepal?



      I am always glad to get home after a long trip. It is especially good to be home after what I saw and experienced in Nepal. I knew things were bad, but it still took my breath away to see it with my own eyes. The suffering and pain now has names and faces  I know and recognize. Before I started home I sat down with Danny and Ben, we talked about things we would take away from our trip. The first thing for me is, I have a greater understanding how many things we Americans take for granted. Simple things like, water, the air we breathe, the homes we live in, we just assume are going to be there. I need to be thankful for things I usually take for granted. ...........That’s happening today in Nepal.

    I believe with all my heart we did some very good things there. Safe water is such a blessing; to be able to drink and not worry if what I am drinking is going to make me, at best sick, and at worse kill me is a good thing. ...........That’s happening today in Nepal.

     It’s humbling and embarrassing to think about the things I regularly complain about, when I saw what they are experiencing in Nepal. I never heard anyone there complain about ANYTHING. What I did see was joy. The promise of safe water to drink, to cook with, was cause for celebration. I wonder, when was the last time I celebrated safe water? ..............That’s happening today in Nepal.

     The relationships that were born of God through our common love for Jesus and His Kingdom will last forever. I pray every day for Madan Shah, our Christian brother living in Nepal, and Ben Gray, still serving there. To watch God work through these men while I was there makes my heart soar, and it continues today. The work that was done and is being done brings praise to God. In the Bhaktpur health clinic, a man of the Hindu faith said to me, “I praise your God for this water”. Praises to God, from men of another faith?  Maybe that’s the greatest thing that happened while we were there, and............ that’s happening today in Nepal.

     I am so very grateful for the opportunity given to me by Global Samaritan to go and see what happened in Nepal, and what’s happening in Nepal. I am so thankful to be a part of God’s family here in Haskell. The financial gift to go is a wonderful praise to God. I cannot thank you all enough.

     Jesus said one time; I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.  Because of you and many others............... that’s happening today in Nepal.

To God be the glory. I love you all

Philip

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May 28, 2015, 2:08 PM

Water In His Name



If someone said to you: “My God does great and unsearchable things; He does wonders without number.” How would you respond? Really, like what?  I read a verse recently from Job. That’s exactly what Job says, and then he adds, He gives rain on the earth, and sends water on the fields. Today I want to think like Job did. In his mind rain is really one of the great unsearchable things God does.

I did a little research because I wonder if we all understand what God does when it rains like it did yesterday. I looked at the radar it was raining from Mexico to Iowa! Here is what I found out. If one inch of rain falls on one square mile of land it is 27,878,400 cubic feet of water, which is 206,300,160 gallons, which is 1,650,501,280 pounds of water. Now that’s heavy and it rained inches and inches in Haskell! How does that much water get up in the sky? Well that is by evaporation, well what does that mean. Well water stops being liquid water for a while so it can go up and not down. It then turns back to liquid so it can come back down. The whole process has a lot of steps I grew tired of trying to understand like condensation, coalescence, etc.

            I think I will just look at rain like Job did.  "But as for me, I would seek God, and I would place my cause before God; Who does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. “He gives rain on the earth, and sends water on the fields. This week I will place my concerns before our God, who does great things, like make it rain.

     This week as I prepare to make way to Nepal, I am humbled by what the Haskell Church has done…………again. Leigh and I have been a part of this family for nearly 8 years, and again I am humbled by the gift of this church, to do something that will make a real difference in people’s lives.  I ask you to continue to offer up prayers for this effort. My God does great and unsearchable things; He does wonders without number.

I love you all

Philip




May 5, 2015, 4:01 PM

Mothers Day without Mom



 

 This Sunday, May 10th is Mother’s Day. It will be a first for my brothers, my sister, and me. I think that's the way it is supposed to be. Last December all five of Mom’s children, and many of her grandchildren gathered in Abilene and buried her. So this is our first Mother’s day without Mom.

It will have been almost 5 months since she died early that December morning. I don’t know about my brothers and sister, but something is different for me. Oh don't misunderstand, things have been mostly getting back to normal, but something seems very different, and I know it is. We live life now, without Mom.

I hope you are blessed this weekend to spend time with those you love, especially your mother. For me, it will be a time of reflection and thanksgiving. Oh yes how I miss my Mom, but mostly I will think about how blessed I was to have her all my life. I will think about how she wanted all five of her children to be as good as they could be. I have made a list of things I am going to do this Mother’s Day.

Forgive. It may sound funny, but that’s the first thing I want to make sure I have done. I had some pretty good arguments with Mom the past few years of her life. All mothers are human and make mistakes. I did my best to offer forgiveness before she left this world; the time for forgiveness is now. Forgiveness brings our emotions back in balance. If you need to offer it to anyone, do it now.

Consider Her Advice. We all know, or at least should; Mom seemed to always know what was best. I pray you have or had a Mother that really knew what is best for you and your family.

Believe in Her Love for You. I could talk about Mom’s faith, hope or her love. I believe with all my heart, God’s love for her is eternal, and so is her love for me. What ever happened in our lives, I never doubted her love for me, my sister and brothers. That’s what I will think about, and be thankful for this Sunday.

Paul writes in 1st Corinthians; When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.

If and when you grow up, you can thank your mother.

These three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

That’s why this Sunday; I will thank God for giving me such a “greatest Mom”.

Philip

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April 3, 2015, 10:00 AM

Son Like Father....I hope.



     I had to go to Abilene Thursday morning and didn’t listen to much news before I left the house. I listened to the radio on my way and heard the news. I had never heard of Garissa University College, I have now. It’s a small teacher training school located in Garissa Kenya. The reporter said at least 147 are dead, with that number expected to rise. According to other reports, the attackers went through the dormitories asking the students if they were Christian or Muslim. They shot the Christians and let the Muslims go. The terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, has taken credit for this latest attack.  It just breaks your heart.

     As I listened to the radio people began to call in. Nearly everyone they put on the show was understandably angry, another example of senseless killings. Most of the calls were demanding some kind of retribution, some kind of pay-back. As I listened I really wanted to agree with the anger. Don’t misunderstand me, I believe the Kenya police have every right to track down those responsible for these murders. But I wonder how does God expect us to react?

     Jesus’ teaching on how we treat our enemies is clear and well, downright hard. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:43).

How to you love people that do things like this? I don’t know, but He did.

     Paul would write some time after Jesus’ teaching, “while we were God's enemies, Christ died for us.” For me the problem is not that I don’t know how to treat my enemies, I just find it hard to do it. For me it begins with actions that I know are helpful and beneficial to them regardless of how my heart feels. I can do for them what I do for those I love, pray and provide. I hope that’s what Jesus meant when he told us to “lay up treasures in heaven” if I do that, maybe somewhere down the road hearts will be softened, and my heart will come along. I know that’s what I need. I’m pretty sure God sometimes doesn’t like what I do, but he never stops loving.  It’s where as a son, I need to be like my Father. 


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