Obstacle vs. Opportunity  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , , , , , ,

For many, during the holiday season, presents obstacles. Some would be categorized under financial. Buying or the desire to buy gifts for others becomes rough, due to limitations.

However, there are other obstacles that may come about. Relationships, job, weather, etc. may bring about issues that financial cannot even fix. But what do you do with obstacles, do you allow them to become opportunities? That brings us to this week's quote...

"What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity." ~ J. Sidlow Baxter
Whether life is in the holiday mode or just going from day-to-day, obstacles present opportunities. Where are the opportunities? Right there! We must open our eyes to see them. The opportunity in a financial situation may not be to cause you to be better off but to learn to do something better in the future.

There are opportunities all around you. Opportunities to smile during a busy holiday season. Opportunities to be patient in a long line. Opportunities to show your faith to those who do not know Christ.

Make the the most opportunities this holiday season! Now it's your turn...how do you feel about the quote?
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Christmas Down and Dirty: Dirty Laundry  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , , , , ,

One of the many reasons I love to stay in a hotel is for the fresh, clean towels one can have each day. Part of the reason for that is that I really like a totally dry towel. Having any sort of moisture in a towel just takes away some of the feeling of cleanliness.

Does anyone share in my preference?

Each person starts off clean. There are some who feel that we start off sinful, but each person is responsible for their own sin (see Ezekiel 18:20, for example). Though we are born into a sinful world, but we are not born sinful.

With that, we start off clean, like the towel. Then, as soon as it is used, it is no longer clean. It is soiled and must be cleaned to be at the point it started. So too, you, were once clean and became dirty at the point when sin came into your life. One side point, I think that there is a distinguishable difference in "sin" and a "mistake" when it comes to a "point" when we become "dirty" - but that's for another time.

Sunday, we looked at Romans 3:23 & 6:23a and Colossians 2:13-15 discussing "Dirty Laundry" in our "Christmas Down and Dirty" holiday sermon series. Here are some ways of application to choose from to use this week...
  • See the Past ~ Acknowledging where you've been in the past (or present for some) and realizing you were/are unworthy of being able to commune with God. Even if you have the luxury of having that past as wiped clean, acknowledging it is important to know where you have come or will come.
  • Clean, Not Just Smelling Good ~ I remember the first few Febreeze commercials that talked about taking the odor out of clothes or other porous materials. Febreeze may take the odor out of clothes or upholstery, but does not cause it to be clean. Whether one is spraying Febreeze on your soul may make it smell better, but it doesn't make it clean. We must realize there is only one way to make ourselves smelling good and clean!
  • Stay Clean! ~ When you have an item you greatly value, you will most likely want to keep it clean. Even if it may get dirty, you will want to make it clean, again. Again, if it becomes dirty another time, the point of the item is to stay clean. With that said, as our soul started off clean, then became dirty we should value our (presumed) cleanliness to keep it that way, even if it has been soiled once, twice, or a few times.
Our laundry is bound to become dirty. From spilling of food, dirt, or some other means. Our spiritual side became dirty, but the fact that we can now be clean. Thank goodness for Jesus to come "down" to a "dirty" earth for our dirty souls to become clean. What an awesome opportunity!

Now it's your turn...What do you appreciate most about Christ coming down to clean us up?
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Time Spent Worrying  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , ,

I have wasted a lot of my life worrying. Another way of phrasing it is that I have lost a lot of my life worrying. There are a lot of minutes or days that could have been spent more wisely if worry would not have been present.

Some worries were brought on by myself (i.e. procrastination) where as other moments were not (weather, bad news). Either way it has caused me to lose time that will never be gained back. However, worry for any reason causes one to focus on themselves and their desires too much.

Worrying often points back to how "I" will be able to accomplish something. Some things may be valid, within this context, but there are a lot of situations in which worrying does nothing to help the situation, but God does! That brings us to this week's quote...

Often times worrying is trying to figure out what to do to save yourself rather than trusting in God for deliverance. ~ J. Meyer
How much time have you wasted in worry? Probably more than you should have. How many of those times of worry did you gain anything? Probably not many.

As you can see there is a lot of truth found in the quote. With life situations that are basically "out of your hands" you should be trusting God He will take care and accept the outcome. It is probably easier said than done.

Now it's your turn...How does the verse impact you?
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You Have Value  

Posted by Jarrod Spencer in , , , , , ,

Criticizing oneself is a habit that most everyone is guilty of. "I don't look good in ____" or "I'm no good at ____" or "I stunk at ____" are something people have said of themselves at one one point or another, in one form or another.

It is easy to look at yourself and see all the flaws. You know yourself better than just about anyone. You know what you're not good at, as well as, what you are good at. However, living in a society of achievement, we don't want to just be better than the worst. We want to be higher than that, but we rarely see ourselves as that high aspect. That brings us to this week's quote...

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. ~ Malcom Forbes
We must understand that we are of great value, practically priceless. It doesn't matter how old you are or how many "bad" things you've done in life, you are of great value. Embrace that! Enjoy that!

Don't put the value in what you are NOT, value what you are and go with that...let it take you places!

Now it's your turn, what is one of your best features? Personality or physical or ____...
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