Reaching the Impossible  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

When I was studying Athletic Training in college, one of the areas which I did learn about was a principle called the S.A.I.D. Principle.  This stands for “specific adaptations to imposed demands”.  Basically stating that the body, specifically muscles, will respond to the amount of stress you place on it.  Simply put, if you lift a barbell with 50 lbs on it, over and over, your body will respond to building muscle mass to handle that demand.

Finding a limit can sometimes be all too easy.  That brings us to this week’s quote…

The only way of finding limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.  ~ Arthur C. Clarke

I think the mental part of the body is much the same way.  More importantly, and similar to the mental side of the argument, is how we adjust to life’s challenges.  Or how we adjust to trying new things.

For me, trying something new can be very stressful.  I remember being asked to be a guest speaker for a church on their “Theme Sunday”.  I was given one bible verse which I was supposed to have three lessons over, one being a bible class.  This was in my first couple years as a minister.  Was it ever a stretch!  But it was also fun to be challenged like that.  What seemed impossible was definitely possible.  It was one of my favorite mini-series at that time.

So, just when you think something is impossible…go beyond the possible and see the impossible start to take shape!

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Being Salty  

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“That’s disgusting” were the words my 2 1/2 year old said after he sprinkled salt on his fork, after the fork had been wet from the juice of canned peaches he had just finished.  I said something like, “I bet”. 

It didn’t take much for him to taste the salty flavoring from the salt on the fork.  He was curious and tries to be as independent as possible, but in this case he didn’t like it.

Salt has many positive effects it can make food flavorful, preserve foods, melt ice, or keep things from deteriorating.  As we are challenged, from the words of Christ, to be the salt of the earth, here are some applications to choose from to use this week…

  1. Salt to Taste ~ As each person has their own level of preference for salt, keep in mind when you may be putting too much salt on their lives.  You don’t want to cause people to be put off by your efforts of sharing Jesus by having too much salt.  With each encounter, give them enough salt to make the situation “flavorful”.
  2. Melt “Ice” ~ It can be frustrating when you are trying to be evangelistic and your attempts seem to be doing nothing. Who you are involved with may have a “cold heart”.  The way to get through to them is to have their hearts melted before you can continue.  Think about using the Fruit of the Spirit as “salt” to melt hearts.  Use love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Another “granule” of salt to use is prayer, as a method of melting.
  3. Sprinkle Liberally ~ This is not in conflict with the first one.  Do not limit where you sprinkle the salt.  A little here, a little there, a little over the shoulder… When we start limiting where we sprinkle we miss other places that may need the salt. You have the salt to use…so start sprinkling!

Don’t forget to be the “salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors” in people!

Sprinkle away and create a more flavorful and preserved world!

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Henry’s Mural  

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A few years ago a close friend of ours was getting ready to have a baby.  I had said I could paint a mural in their nursery if they wanted. They took me up on it.  The mural space was 5 1/2 feet by 11 feet.  The first night I went to work on it, by the time I was done for that night I had lines on the wall.  LINES…that’s all.  No color, gradient shading, etc.  Just lines.  I believe my friend was a bit disappointed.  However, the end result was what I was hoping it would be, but it took a vision to get to the point at the end of the project.

That brings us to this week’s quote

Look closely at the present you are constructing: it should look like the future you are dreaming. ~ Alice Walker
What we are doing today greatly affect what tomorrow looks like.  I think this is something that parents need to realize.  How they deal with today affects what their children grow up to be.  Whether it is how they manage conflict, marriage, money, religion, friends, etc.  Everything done today paves the street of tomorrow.

When I was drawing that mural, I knew what the end result was hoping to be even if the owner didn’t know where I was heading (except they could go by the picture I was using as a guide). If I hadn’t known where I was going I would have simply been fitting parts of a puzzle together any which way.  It is vital to see the present and have the future in mind as you are constructing it daily!

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Rejoice & Be Glad  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer

When I was home throughout the summer I would seem to find some moments to complain about being “bored”.  Then, there were other times when I saw that my friends had material things that I wanted.  In both situations, I was challenged to see how fortunate I was with the life I was given…family, material things, health, logic, etc.

It is so easy to think about what is not going right in your life.  You may want to “wallow” a bit in what is not going right.  To be forced to look at the positives in life may not be what you really would like to do.

As I read through the verses from 1-12 in Matthew 5, I saw that the person who is a Christian, should look at their life as fortunate.  Fortunate in many ways.  As we think about how fortunate we are, here are some applications to choose from to use this week.

  1. Blessings versus Burdens ~ I steal this from an idea my wife uses for a lesson. However, the concept is to focus more on the blessings in your life versus the burdens.  It is needed for us to look at good things that are happening.
  2. Blessed ~ When we’re poor, we’re blessed. When we mourn, we’re blessed. When we’re meek, we’re blessed. When we hunger for right-ness, we’re blessed. When we’re full of mercy, we’re blessed.  When we’ve got a heart that is pure, we’re blessed. When we’re makers of peace, we’re blessed. When we’re persecuted, we’re blessed.  WOW! How fortunate are we to be able to blessed!
  3. Pressing on to the Reward ~ Having some moments in running, I remember how much the finish line would be of encouragement to me.  Just keep on going, through the end! As we think about the rough times in life, may we be encouraged to keep going through the end as the reward is worth everything!

Christians should think of their days as fortunate or “yes” days regardless of the “type” of day they are having.  The reason, they have a great reward that is beyond anything imaginable.

If your “home” is heaven…rejoice and be glad!

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Rising With the Wind  

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Recently my 8-year old niece has been around.  She’s visited frequently because of all the activity with my wife being pregnant.  The other day, she was playing with my 2-year old son using an empty infant swimming pool as her toy. My son had one side, she had the other, and she would pull it around waving it up and down singing “Let’s go fly a kite…” A song I sang when I was about her age.  My son would soon say “I love this song” as he laughed with the activity.

Kites are fun, which brings us to this week’s quote…

A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.  ~ John Neal

If you’ve every tried to fly a kite on a day when it was too calm, it is really frustrating.  You may run a little way tot ry to make it rise; it does for a brief moment, then descends.  Ugh!  That is similar to finally getting the “perfect” opportunity to do something.

When conditions seem perfect, they may not actually be.  The time to start may be now, in the midst of having some opposition.

Don’t look for “calm” times to do something, use the wind to your advantage, allowing you to “rise”!

 

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Calling All Concerned  

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Global warming, flooding, tsunamis, HIV, cancer, hunger, or clean water – which is a concern of yours?  Maybe it is one, two, or more.  Maybe it is none.  It may depend whether or not you’ve been impacted by one of them, either directly or indirectly.

What we choose to be concerned about will have various factors.  Mostly it will depend on our interest in the area of concern. The question is, when it comes to the text that we talked about (Matthew 4:18-22), how concerned are you?  Are you pursuing or coming after Christ to help you increase an area of concern for others?

Sunday, we discussed that Jesus is calling all concerned to follow Him.  More specifically, to come after Him.  Even more specifically, to pursue Him.  We should be thinking about how we should be pursuing Him on a regular basis.  Here are some applications to choose from to use this week…

  1. Grasp for More ~ One of the fun things about watching things in 3D is that sometimes it seems like you can simply reach out and grab an object.  Even if logic says you can’t.  As you go on with your everyday life, the concept of getting more Jesus should be that “it’s-just-right-there-but-I-can’t-grab-it” kind of thing.  You will probably not be the one to stop all cancers, but you are willing to put in the effort to make a difference. Use that drive to make a difference with Christ.
  2. Make a Choice ~ Similar to what Joshua said to the people in Joshua 24, where he challenged the people to decide who they would serve, that is our everyday choice question.  We must decide who we are going to “come after”.  We’ve all probably rearranged our schedules for things concerning school activities, doctor appointments, vacations, etc.  However, do we do the same thing for faith-based activities?  Do we take off or work overtime so that we have that time free to do something with the church?  Think about the choices you make and how they determine how concerned you are about them versus your faith activities.

When an area impacts you, you will be more inclined to help out or pursue it.  The call of Christ asks us to pursue Him and what He has to offer.  We’re constantly learning, so the pursuit of Him should mimic that…a learning process.

He’s calling all concerned…are you one of them?

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Stay Fascinated!  

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I love having the opportunity to raise a child and see the fascination he has with just about everything.  He is interested in everything from tools to make-up to nature.  It is just awesome to think what his mind is seeing and coming up with day after day to be interested in.

He knows where the batteries go on toys and wants to get them out, even if there is a screw holding it on.  He is an explorer and it challenges me to never give up that sense of exploration.  That brings us to this week’s quote…

Stay fascinated with positives.... Never lose your fascination! What you're fascinated by becomes fastened to you! Be excited! -Rev Ike
Fascination brings about life and vibrancy.  To be vibrant shows life.  When your fascinated with things you will naturally have a life in you that is hard to kill off.

I like what the quote said about the thing you’re fascinated by will become “fastened to you”.  So true!  You will have a difficult time shaking off what you are enticed by.  I know that when I have an idea for some sort of a project, then my mind will race until I can get it done.

Stay fascinated…be excited!  Have a great week!Share/Bookmark

You Can Have All This…If…  

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We all have our choice temptation.  What might yours be?  I know that mine might include tools, Oklahoma Sooner things, neckties, and music CDs.
Having a “vision” of something is part of what is included in the “sales pitch” of people.  To “see” yourself at the “platinum level” should inspire you to want to make the most of the opportunity to become rich.
So to have someone take you up to a place and say “You can have all this…if…” and you are seeing the most abundant amount of “things” that are appealing to your eye, would be challenging for you to avoid.  You could be very tempted…which is exactly what Satan was wanting Jesus to fall victim to those temptations.
Sunday, we looked at the third recorded temptation in Matthew 4, specifically from verses 8-10, and here are some applications to choose from to use this week…

  1. Two Roads of Choices ~ Choices are all around us.  Some make absolutely no difference. Some make some difference.  Some make a major difference in life. Take time to weigh those decisions that do make a heavier difference.  The decision you do make could make all the difference in your life.
  2. Watch Out for Others ~ This application is probably the opposite of what you may think.  We need to watch out for others in our spiritual “family” in case they are becoming weak, spiritually.  Something in their behavior will probably change to give you a clue.  That change could be complacency, lack of participation, new habits, new friends, etc.
Power, sex, and money are three of the biggest broad temptations that impact almost anyone.  You could have one or all three that will impact you.  The way you choose to react to those temptations, or any temptation, will greatly impact your future.  The more you can resist the temptation in the beginning, the better you are in the end.
Resist Him and make the right choice!Share/Bookmark