Posted by: rmckinno1 | October 14, 2009

Jeremiah 17:9

For almost a month now I have been talking about this scripture. I couldn’t remember the chapter and verse, but I have told many people of how much I’ve pondered this lately:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and is desperately wicked. Who can know it?”

Paraphrased with strong’s meanings, it could be said like this:  “The heart (inner being, soul, thoughts, memories, feelings) is deceitful above anything else. It is desperately sick, weak and frail. Who can have real understanding of it?

As I picked up a new book yesterday, this scripture that I have been meditating on and “processing” was almost the first thing in the book! Perhaps God has been trying to tell me something?

Anyway, I realized that we are often told to “follow our heart”. But how dangerous is that? If the heart can deceive us more than anything else, why would we want to “follow” it? I know that I certainly don’t want to simply “follow my heart” anymore.

God’s word is vital to us. Another book I’m reading talks about how we seem to always find ourselves having to “choose” in the heat of a moment. This is dangerous because “in the heat of the moment” is full of pressure, emotions, doubts, etc. We need to have already chosen before we ever get to “the heat of the moment”.

In our kid’s klub church ministry we always repeat the same line at least once a week:  “We need to make the wise choice. And where do we go to find out what the wise choice is? The bible!”

I’m growing more aware than ever before that we need to have a clear understanding of God’s word more than ever before. His word is a lamp to our feet. It exposes what is coming up before we stumble (“the heat of the moment”) upon it. It shows us how we are to live and teaches us how to obtain and maintain the relationship with the Holy Spirit so that we won’t have to wait until that instant to choose. The choice was made before.

So, we must learn how to LEAD our heart instead of “just following” it. Because a decision made before is not based upon our feelings, emotions, past experiences, etc. It has been made upon the Word of God being rightly divided and understood through the power of the Holy Spirit as we walk in right relationship with Him.

I want to LEAD my heart by following THE SHEPHERD! “He leads me beside still waters.” “The steps of a righteous man are ordered by God”.

If I am choosing to allow God to lead me daily, I am choosing to lead my own heart to do so. And if I am doing so, I won’t find myself in many of the situations I have found myself in before – where I “followed my heart in the heat of the moment” to a place that wasn’t good.

Yep. Been there, done that. Got scars to prove it!

How about you?

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Posted by: rmckinno1 | October 9, 2009

What is Religion to You?

Sandy and I got up at 5:30 this morning to go walking. We live in a sub-division that has a nice circle in it. Two laps is almost a full mile, and we try and do at least four laps when we walk.

We’ve agreed that the first lap should be for prayer and meditation. We simply walk in our own thoughts and talk about it later in the walk. This morning Sandy spoke out earlier than usual. She was thinking about how people in the days of old – during times of extreme persecution – could be so firm in their faith/religion. She wondered if it could be that they actually BELIEVED their religious tenets more than we do today.

It got me to thinking about how easily we are “swayed to and fro with every wind of doctrine”. How easily we are “ensnared”. How easily we go from being “full of love” to “full of anger and hatred”.

Think about it:  in the Roman empire, Christians were put in the field and lions were released upon them. If it was at night, many times their children were skewered on long poles and lit a-fire to provide light. And what did they do? They fell on their knees and prayed – giving praise to God, thanking Him that they were about to be seen as worthy to die for Him.

Think of Steven. As stones were flying upon him – slashing his skin and fracturing his skull – he prayed FOR the people who were killing him out of pure hatred because of his belief in Jesus instead of harboring bitterness and anger at the injustice of the moment.

Did these people WANT to die? I don’t think so. But they seriously had something going for them that we lack today. I go from “happy-go-lucky” to “cranky” at the drop of a circumstance.

So the question I pose is this: DO WE REALLY, TRULY BELIEVE what we say we have built our foundation upon? Are we actually living a life that displays the power and love of Christ?

Or should be say that “religion” used to be a set of beliefs that caused its followers to walk a certain way, and that “religion” is now a set of beliefs that people claim, but don’t follow?

Selah

Posted by: rmckinno1 | October 6, 2009

You Know What? I’m not gonna worry about it!

I remember a story my little brother Fred told about when one of his kids was potty-training. He went in after the child “did his business” and it was a mess! He called the child back in and gently scolded him about the mess and the boy simply replied “You know what? I’m not going to worry about it!”

We’ve laughed about that story many times in my family. That statement has gone into the McKinnon Family Archives of Sayings that gets longer every year. But you know what? We can learn a HUGE lesson about this.

He knew that he may have messed up. He also knew that he would not be the one required to clean the mess up! In other words, there was nothing he could do about it now. It was done.

I hear a lot about what’s going on in the world today. Are we in the last days? Is Obama the anti-christ? Is national health care going to start a decline the in the health system of America?

So many concerns. So many fears. So much of a mess. Some of it I may have a vote on. Some of it I may not. I have so much in my life that I have made a mess of in the past. It’s done. I can’t change it now.

I realize that, (though my Father may have scolded me for it and told me to be more careful in the future, or not to do it anymore) I am not the one required to “clean up the mess”. That’s the “Father’s” job. HE, and only He is “capable” of cleaning up the mess.

I don’t have to concern myself with worrying and fretting about it. So you know what?

I’M NOT GOING TO WORRY ABOUT IT!

Posted by: rmckinno1 | October 5, 2009

Who’s Right? And Who’s Wrong?

Good Day to all!

I’ve been thinking lately about how often we get hung up on “right and wrong”. There will always be right and wrong. We’ll never get away from that. But just how important is it? When you look at the big picture – the grand scheme of things – just how important is “right and wrong” when it comes to relationships?

Let me clarify for those who already have made their decisions based on “right and wrong”:  I’m not talking about the kinds of issues that determine a person’s eternal condition here. I’m talking about issues that range from whether it was a foul during the ball game,  whether he or she said something the right way or not, whether Adam had a belly-button or not or even about subjects like abortion, tongues, laying on of hands, women pastors/leaders, etc.

This is what I see:  one person gets into a “disagreement” with another about an issue and things get a little hot. Both of them may say something that isn’t “right”, and all the sudden there is a wedge in their relationship. It happens all the time.

Person “A” was 95% right. Person “B” was the same amount wrong. Person “A” is supposed to be “more mature” than person “B”. And yet he/she is more concerned with how the other person was wrong than about the 5% he/she was wrong in!

My wife has a saying that has stuck with me for quite some time now:  “Sometimes, a person has to take the blame in order to walk blameless.

How often does the Lord sit upon the throne and say “Why won’t one of you simply ‘be the bigger person’ and own up to where YOU are wrong first?”

If I was only 5% wrong, how far will it take me and the person I am in relationship with if I take ownership of my 5% and make it right? Isn’t this like “laying one’s life down for a friend”? Isn’t this “esteeming the other as more important than myself”?

I’ve said it so many times:  We need to get over ourselves.

Getting so caught up in what/who’s “right” and what/who’s “wrong” seems to cause more trouble than help. It seems to me that it is an awful lot like the trouble brought about when Adam and Eve partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – (or could I say “right and wrong”?)

For an excellent blog entry from a friend of mine on this subject about the tree of knowledge . . . check out Ken Mullis at http://www.kenmullis.com/blog/2007/05/laying-ax-to-root.html

So what do YOU think?

Be blessed!

Posted by: rmckinno1 | September 28, 2009

What Does It Look Like, Anyway??

My wife and I have just started attending a small group at our church on marriage. We are going through a book entitled “His Needs – Her Needs” by Willard F Harley, Jr. .

This is an awesome book! The premise is that we need to identify what our spouse’s basic needs are and then to strive to meet those needs. He lists many of the most popular needs, but also tells us that everyone is different and unique. There are forms and questionnaires to fill out to determine these things.

When the men were asked what we would call some of our basic needs are, you can imagine what came out. Everybody knows what “need” comes up in the top two or three anyway. The women shared a few things, too.

Know the old saying “Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars”? Well how true it is! There is simply no way for a man to be able to understand how a woman feels. She’s simply built differently, and it’s as alien to us men as ours are alien to her.

So even when we do know what a woman’s need is, what does it look like? From what I’ve heard most of my life, and experienced myself . . .  is that “for the most part” a woman doesn’t want to have to tell her man how to do it. She wants him to know.

Let me make this clear. I’m not downing a woman for feeling this way. Like I said, they want us poor beggars to know. I guess I’m just plain dumb. I want  a map. I want step-by-step instructions. I want a manual to follow. (and I’m not downing us men, either!)

So . . . . what does it look like?

Posted by: rmckinno1 | September 25, 2009

Gag Order on the Humana Insurance Company:

Hello all,
 
 I’m appalled at the government’s stance on this issue and the direction they are trying to go with the law in trying to shut insurance companies up. What they say is against federal law is actually “free speech”. Following is an insert from my weekly newsletter I get from Senator Isakson:
 
Humana’s Letter Regarding Health Care Reform
Last week, Humana Inc., a private medical insurance company, sent a letter to its Medicare enrollees claiming that health reform proposals could hurt “millions of seniors and disabled individuals” who “could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage plans so valuable.” 
 
The company issued this letter in response to health care reform proposals that would directly cut payments to Medicare Advantage plans by an estimated $123 billion over 10 years and indirectly reduce funding for those plans by another $15.6 billion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.  In response to the mailing, the Department of Health and Human Services wrote Humana last week instructing it to stop the mailings.  The department also wrote to all companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans on Monday, chastising them for saying anything contrary to the administration and suggesting that “such communications are potentially contrary to…federal law.”
 
I feel that Humana was well within its rights to send out a policy piece explaining what could happen under one of the health care reform bills.  I think that Humana is being used as an example to prevent other insurance companies from sending similar mailings that include content perceived to be negative toward the health care proposals in Washington.  The action by HHS is contrary to the First Amendment of the Constitution that allows for free speech.  Both the government and the people have the right to speak freely, and it was inappropriate for Humana to be condemned for doing its job, which is to keep its policy holders informed.  The issue has been raised with the administration by Republicans and a letter has been sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requesting the department to lift its’ ‘gag order,’ and I am hopeful that the problem will be corrected.

 So there you have it. I fear that we are quickly heading to a day when our free speech is taken from us. They’re trying it already. Where do you think this is heading??

Posted by: rmckinno1 | September 24, 2009

World Views

Isn’t it interesting that everyone has their own “world-view”? I understand that we, as christians, for the most part have the same world-view. But even within ours, aren’t there so many variations?

So what do we do with all these different views? What do we do when we feel that we are totally correct in how we see things, and they feel totally different with the same force that you believe yours?

From what I’ve seen (and been guilty of), we often “downplay” the other person’s view and give them either a “chiding” look that communicates either disgust or condescending feelings. How could they be so ignorant?

But what SHOULD we do? Perhaps we should first ask ourselves some questions:

1)   Have I ever been wrong before?

2)   Do I know all the answers?

3)   How do I feel when people look down their noses at me?

Then perhaps we should make a declaration for our lives – that we will not have a “that’s not right” mentality toward others when their opinions/beliefs don’t line up with ours. Perhaps we should begin to ask them why they believe the way they do – because if we’ve been wrong before, couldn’t be miss it again?

In short . . . . . we just need to get over ourselves, don’t we?

 

Posted by: rmckinno1 | July 2, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!!

I thought it would be interesting to post the following quotes by one of our founding fathers – John Adams:

John Adams:
“ The general principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principals of Christianity… I will avow that I believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”
• “[July 4th] ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
–John Adams in a letter written to Abigail on the day the Declaration was approved by Congress

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” –October 11, 1798

“I have examined all religions, as well as my narrow sphere, my straightened means, and my busy life, would allow; and the result is that the Bible is the best Book in the world. It contains more philosophy than all the libraries I have seen.” December 25, 1813 letter to Thomas Jefferson

“Without Religion this World would be Something not fit to be mentioned in polite Company, I mean Hell.” [John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, April 19, 1817] |

Posted by: rmckinno1 | June 23, 2009

Ramblings . . . .

Hey everybody! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so I decided to ramble a little today to let all one or two of my readers know I was still alive and well.

I am amazed at what’s happening around us today. It seems like the whole world is standing on edge, wringing their hands and wondering “what’s gonna happen next?”

I’m reminded that what we are seeing is written in the book. I’m reminded that the Lord holds all things in His hands, and that He is in control everything (as far as the “big picture” is concerned). I understand that God is in control of our individual lives on a daily basis, but only to the extent that we submit our lives to Him and follow His leading – which brings me to the point of my rambling today . . .

In the last days, the scripture says that “even many of the elect” will be deceived. That’s a scary concept – thinking that I, a person who has been sealed by God with His Holy Spirit, can be deceived and follow a lie. How can I know that I’m not being pulled away and deceived by all the lies that are out there that sound so good and seem so right?

The father of lies is really good at what he does. He is a worthy adversary, and one to be very cautious about. I’m not one of those people who see a devil in every leaf that blows on a tree, or in everything that doesn’t seem right. But he is definitely at work today and his success is evident.

The answer to this dilemma is to have a very close and intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit. It’s His job to reveal to us the things that are proceeding from the throne of God. Jesus said that He “only did what He saw the Father do”, and that He only said “what the Father was saying”. The Holy Spirit was the re-layer of that information.

My question is this:  what are you doing to develop your relationship with the Holy Spirit? How do you know that you even have a direct relationship with Him? Or do you feel that since one is “born again” that is the extent that relationship with the Holy Spirit goes? 

I know, that’s actually more than one question. But really good ones nonetheless. Please reply and let me know!

Posted by: rmckinno1 | May 12, 2009

What Does “Commitment” Mean?

I look at my life, and the lives of others around me who bear the name “Christian”, and wonder what it means to really be “committed”.

There’s an old saying that says “Commitment is like a ham and egg breakfast. The chicken was involved, but the pig was COMMITTED!”

Well, I have to ask myself the question: “Robert, are you truly committed to living a life of grace in a true relationship with God?”

Woe unto me, my friends. As I look at my life and my own personal walk with God, I must say that I am a willing participant in many of the goings-on of Christianity, but “committed”? I am shamefully lacking.

They say that the first step in changing for the better is to come to accept the reality that you need to change. Well I’ve accepted that reality, and it puts me in a dangerous position with God. For to know what the right thing to do is, and not to do it . . . .

James 4:17

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