Archive | August 2015

All The Bells and Whistles

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Bells and Whistles…..
We have all heard the saying …. “It’s got all the Bells and Whistles…. ”
So what does that mean?   Well, if I am looking for a new car…. and I want all the “Bells and Whistles” it would mean,  I am wanting every new fangle dangled gadget I can
get, to be on it.  I want to be able to push a button to start it… I want heated seats…. Sun roof… automatic start so I can warm it up from the house in the winter… GPS… Voice control… shoot… I can even get heated steering wheels and warning beeps to alert me when there are cars or objects  in my blind spots!!   LOTS of options… LOTS of Bells…. and LOTS of Whistles are available…. IF you want to pay for them!

Why… do we like Bells and Whistles over just the Plain Jane?  Excitement…. fun….. convenience…. ease….. lots of ooohhhs and awwwhhhs…. and just plain COOL!!!
When it comes to modern day technology…. well, to be honest… we have just gotten a taste of so many cool “Bells and Whistles” that settling for …. or going back to Plain Jane thinking… is kinda like watching all your movies on a TV in only Black and White.   It may be ok to “visit” the nostalgia of yesteryear…. but living there … well… it just isnt gonna cut it for very long!

Years ago… I was sitting in a Christian Church Pastors office…. discussing ….things …. like my recently experience of being Filled with the Spirit, with the evidence of Speaking in Tongues.  As a Christian Church Pastor, he believed that the gift of Tongues had passed away …. based on the Scripture that says….

“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away”.   1st Corinthians 13:8-10
Needless to say… he was certain I had stepped over to the “dark side” and was “dabbling” in some kind of demonic activity of sorts.  He thought it was his mission to wake me of my stupor and save me from the error of my ways.

Well… He was about 9 months too late!!  I was already a believer that it had NOT passed away… because… I had seen it…. heard it…. received it… and done it myself!    It was exciting!!  God… became exciting…. Jesus became…. Exciting… and the Holy Spirit…. WAS EXCITING!!   My walk as a Christian was now more of a Christian with “Bells and Whistles”!  The words of the Bible became clearer… easier to grasp…. my prayers seemed to have more impact… on me… as well as others…. I started to get more insight from the Holy  Spirit…. and Praise and Worship was more than just words to speak, or sing.   I was hooked!   No longer was the “plain Jane” go to church and sing 3 songs…. 15 minute preaching…. a prayer and song as we were leaving… good enough for me!  I wanted… and expected MORE!

That was almost 20 years ago…. and I need those “Bells and Whistles” even more!
“Bells and Whistles” grab our attention and help us hold it!   Face it … with this fast paced world around us … there are not only  “Bells and Whistles” vying for our attention… but we have horns… sirens… and fog horns that are so loud we can barely hear our own voice let a lone the voice of the Holy Spirit!
…. and…. if it is hard for us “adults” to keep focused…. How much harder is it for the “young” people to stay focused on God?!?

Many would say ….”we don’t need “Bells and Whistles” in church to make church good… the Word being preached and the songs we sing need to be reverent.  Plain Jane was good enough for me to get the message of my need for Jesus… It should be ok for the generations to come.    Although I agree with the power of the Word standing on its own…. I do have to disagree with the Plain Jane delivery.  When all you knew was “black and white TV”… it was good.   But… once Color was introduced…. You have to admit…it is very hard to really enjoy a movie without it!

Our young people …. and us older people as well….live in a world that is constantly stimulating the mind….eyes…. and ears….. and if we don’t give them the right “Bells and Whistles” in church… they are gonna find it elsewhere…..another church… a cult… a bar…. etc.
We always say Church and being a Christian is fun…. Fun is different for each of us.   We simply can not focus on one age group… gender… or status… and notconsider the times we live in.  If we are not careful….we may lose some very hungry people who are looking for answers.   I want my friends… family…. and enemies to meet and to know my God….  who has … ALL the “Bells and Whistles”!!!

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One Tree In A Field

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I learn so much while I am driving to work…. church… shopping…!
One day as I was driving down 43 I saw this tree… out in the field… standing… on its own.
It caught my eye… not because it was a beautiful tree… but because it just “stood out” in a practically empty field.
I have always wondered why farmers would leave just “one” tree out in the open like that.. still….seems odd to this “non farming” lady… so out of place. Lonely.
Then God said to me.
Look at the tree rows on the other side of the road…. what do you see?
I thought.. well, they are all lush and green and made a beautiful scene to look at as I drive by …. but then I realized not one of those trees “stood out” to me. They all blended so nicely into the others so you could barely see where one tree’s branches stopped and the other tree’s branches began. Nothing special…nothing really that would catch my eye.
He said…when it comes to things of this world… we should not be like the tree line I saw. Blending in with all of the other voices… all the other actions and ways of life. When we do … we lose our individuality…our voice….and no one will really be able to see what we stand for or believe. But…. We … as Christians…. need to be more like the lone tree…. Standing out from the middle of the world….no matter how awkward we may look.
It takes courage to do so. Out on our own we are more likely to take on all of the heat of the sun… all of the force of the mighty winds that may blow our direction. We may lose some of our branches and become a bit weather torn…. but… we will still stand…because we are rooted to our source in the ground.
He asked me … which one had caught my eye this morning…the line of trees … or the one by itself?
I said of course…. the one out standing by itself.
I also noticed several more as I continued my journey to work… and each one seemed to echo what God had said to me. They were very special … and unique…catching my eye as I drove by!
What about you? Which tree are you? One that is snuggled in tightly among a line of trees doing what the rest of the world is doing? Or… are you one of those trees that is standing proud and strong in the middle of the field… alone?
I want to be different from the world….I want to maybe catch the eye of a passer-by-er …that may just take notice of something a little different about me.

2 Corinthians 6:17   Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord…..