Category Archives: Misc

Preach With Mud | Stephen Jones

Do you remember the story of Jesus healing the blind man by rubbing mud on his eyes?

Did you notice what Jesus did not do?

He did not tell the blind man who He was. He simply met his physical needs, and then went on his way. Not to say that Jesus had no intentions of revealing Himself to the man, He just knew how to do it.

I find it fascinating that when the Pharisees asked the man who healed him, he could not give an answer. His reply was, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” It was only after speaking with the Pharisees and thinking about the situation after the fact that the man came to realize who Jesus was.

Isn’t it a bit strange that we tend to get this whole evangelizing thing backwards? We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, yet I find myself trying to be the mouth of Jesus.

I get nervous in certain situations because I feel as if God is calling me to tell the guy next to me about Jesus, and I am not sure exactly what to say. And that might be exactly what God is asking you to do at that moment.

But it is more likely that God wants you to simply be the random act of kindness they are praying for.

Or the ear to talk to that they have been missing out on.

Or the love that God is so desperately trying to show them.

People don’t want your theology. Family Guy already taught them all they want to know about Jesus. But what they need to know about Jesus is that He is alive and active. And that He is at work in YOU.

The best way to tell someone about Jesus is to show them Jesus.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
– John 13:35

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Praising God in the storm

I was in the middle of writing on this same subject when this piece popped up in my feed. I put the pen down, because it cannot be said better than this.
As we heed into the week of Thanksgiving, this is an absolute must read!

“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss.
Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:20-23

I am thankful for, thankful for, thankful for hardships, thankful list

I’ve always wished that my life was perfect, pain-free, and easy.

But that’s never guaranteed when you are Christian.

God says that the path He calls us to walk is narrow, not wide.

It’s not a path that many people will choose because it’s hard.

It’s a path that leads you through valleys and storms.

It’s a path that includes dying to your own self and being different from the world.

It’s a path where you learn to grow in Christ daily and that doesn’t come without pruning, breaking, and pain.

November is the month everyone likes to make a list of things they are thankful for.

And we always include everything that is good.

The food on our tables and roofs over our heads.

Our families and friends.

The daily gifts God gives us from above.

And those are all things we should always be thankful for.

But that’s…

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Happy Veteran’s Day 2014

To anyone who’s ever worn the uniform, and their families, “Thank You!”

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for another.”

Or to be willing to…

I am humbled by your service and grateful beyond words.

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The Comfortable Prison Cot | Stephen Jones

It’s not hard to tell that there is a lot wrong with the world. Sometimes, that makes it tough to live with the joy that the Bible tells us to live with.

We can easily forget what God has done for us, is currently doing, and what God has in store for us in the future.

The other day I was listening to an album by hip-hop artist J. Cole. One of the tracks was a skit in which he described the day that he got signed. He got the news via text message while driving in the car with his friends. He was so excited that he was finally going to get paid and be famous; a reward for his hard work. Moments later he got pulled over for driving with a suspended license in an unregistered and uninsured car that he had been driving for months.

Perfect timing, right?

He described that night in prison as the easiest time anyone could ever do. All he could think about was the new life he was about to live.

Sound familiar?

Although, to my knowledge, J. Cole doesn’t profess a relationship with Jesus, we can learn spiritual truths from that story.

Whatever we’re going through right now, whatever pain or trouble we endure in this world, we can take heart because of the HOPE we have in Jesus.

A few people in the Bible come to mind. First I am reminded of Job, whose troubles were much greater than a night in prison. Still he was quoted in Job 2:10 for saying “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Job was well aware of the goodness of God. And for good reason as he was given back twice as much as he had lost.

Another man that comes to mind is Paul. He too suffered greatly, and his attitude is greatly admired. In Philippians 3:8 he says “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”

He describes knowing Christ as having a surpassing worth. The definition of surpassing is incomparable or outstanding.

All the things that the world considers “gains” are described as garbage compared to Christ.

People who collect garbage are thought of as second class citizens, scraping the bottom of society’s barrel. When I see someone who is collecting cans, I see them as unfortunate, and feel bad for them.

But even the “gains” of this world are being compared to garbage! We put a much bigger value on them than they really have. Our expectations of earthly wealth and success to satisfy, only leads us to disappointment.

Instead, let’s look ahead to the greater glory that awaits us.

If we were truly focused on Christ, and the hope we have in Him, we would be living happier than J. Cole in prison the night he got signed.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
– 2 Corinthians 4:17

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Fix It

The old phase, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” is definitely true.

The dictionary defines tough as strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough or careless handling. Synonyms include durable, strong, resilient and long-lasting.

When problems arise, as they eventually will, the tough, buckle down.

They strap in for the bumpy ride.

They rally.

They focus.

They don’t turn tail and run.

The tough understand that giving up, is not only intentional failure, it’s not even easier.

I think it’s also true that when the going gets tough, the non-tough don’t get going.

They just go.

Either by just shutting down and trudging through a stream of days on auto-pilot or by actually going. Bailing. Running.

It’s an understandable instinct. Who doesn’t wanna run when it hurts? When it’s hard? When it seems hopeless?

But, in a broken world, filled with broken people, we can’t simply throw them away when things go wrong, anymore than we’d junk our car if we had a flat tire.

When I break a pair of cheap sun glasses, I sigh, throw them out and head to the dollar store.

Buying a new car every time a tire goes flat, a headlight burns out, or the brakes go doesn’t make any sense.

So, why do we approach a cracked windshield differently than those cheap sunglasses?

We place much greater value on the car.

Whether we decide to work on what’s broken or throw it away, tells us how much we value it.

And ignoring that flat tire or squealing brakes only leads to bigger issues, often with disastrous and costly consequences.

Let’s think of the people in our lives as less disposable.

Let’s live out the 16 things 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says love is, isn’t, does and doesn’t even when they don’t!

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres 8 Love never fails….”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

Something to think about…

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