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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Christ in My Career: Part Three (Influence)



This is a portion of a book titled, "Christ in My Career" by Allen W. Graves. I will post edited by me to update usage. "Influence Belongs to God"  Christians can use their influence to draw others to Christ or they can use it to drive them away. One’s example may lead others to seek the Savior who can transform life. Or it may cause an unbeliever to lose all confidence in Christians.
Some people who never read the Bible, attend Church, or hear a sermon can be greatly influenced by the life and testimony of a Christian. The life of a faithful Christian witness is an open book whose contents are obvious to all with whom he associates. Such a life is an unanswerable argument as to the reality of saving and transforming power of Christ.
Every Christian wields an influence of some kind, either good or bad. He either represents or misrepresents Jesus by the way he lives, works, talks, and worships. The right use of influence is a responsibility of every young and old Christian should welcome.
Paul advised, “For none of us liveth to himself… It is good neither to eat flesh (meat offered to idols), not to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak” Romans 14:14, 21

Our Spiritual Heritage And Obligations By J. C. Penny

Our Spiritual Heritage And Obligations by J. C. Penny

I HAVE found silence to be a powerful element in prayer. To learn to be alone with God even in the
presence of others is something we Christian laymen should try to do. There are innumerable times during the day when we can turn our thoughts, even for a moment, from business affairs and center them on God's goodness, Christ's love, our fellow man's needs.
I have not omitted by design reference to our obligation as laymen to the church. Rich is our
spiritual heritage, and we all owe more to the church than we can ever repay for preserving Christ's
teachings, holding together believers, providing a place for religious instruction for ourselves and our
children, and giving spiritual leadership in our home communities, our nation and the world. The layman should give himself, his talents, his experience and support to the church. The church in turn should offer an even greater opportunity for spiritual growth to the layman. It should help him see the necessity of bridging the gap between the practical and the spiritual, and then counsel him as he proceeds to take the steps day by day which will result in spiritualizing all of his daily contacts.

From Lines of a Layman pg 27

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Fire of Sacrifice by J.C. Penny



Just as it takes the fire to burn the dross from the ore, so does it take the spirit of sacrifice in our lives to bring out the best within us.  Trials, labor, grief, are but the fires in our lives which are necessary to purify and bring out our virtues.
In business, sacrifices are demanded of us as well as labor, trials and economics. All these straighten our judgment, make for administrative qualities and cultivate resourcefulness
Is there any sacrifice worth-while? Yes, because of the compensation, not compensation of dollars and cents, or in name and glory, for the compensation to self.
Sacrifice establishes character. It makes for purity of motives, honor, dependability, power for service and unselfishness. It takes the fire of sacrifice to clarify a man’s mind and heart so that he can establish the worthier ideals for himself. A man who desires anything must be willing to go the whole way for it, not halfway. No man gains anything in the way of power and privileges who does not pay with a change in habits, thought and action.
“Lines of a Layman” by J.C. Penny, c.1956, Channel Press, Great Neck, NY, page 118

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

J. B. Phillips on Missionaries


In the book, “The Church Under the Cross” in 1956 on page xi, J.B. Phillips wrote,“I have never been a missionary myself, though that was long my heart’s desire, but I grasp with both hands the opportunity of paying tribute to this magnificent, unadvertised army. I know many missionaries personally, and at summer schools and elsewhere I have met many more. I believe there is no body of people who deserve our respect, our admiration and our support. It should not be a spiritual chore but a high privilege to support these front-line warriors with our prayers. I confess that I am often outraged by the world’s treatment of such committed, dedicated lives. Nothing is more easy than for a novelist or playwright to jeer at the “simple” missionary, or to build his own success upon the theme of a lonely missionary who “goes wrong.” I grow very weary of disparaging remarks about missionaries made by men who are not fit to black their boots. Now I would challenge all those who sit comfortably at home and disparage the work of the missionaries and jeer at “native Christians”. What have they ever done to win a single person from darkness to light?”  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Workstyle Witness

Since I've started my new job I've attempted to really seek the Lord on how to be a witness and the approach I should use. This is how it's been going.
  1. My first days and week was mostly spent with my mouth shut and ears open. Learning the job and learning the people I work with.
  2. Mostly keep my witness to making general remarks during causal conversation about church or something the Pastor said that weekend. This really lets you know if someone is open to hearing more or they couldn't care less. Already any real believers will ask where you attend and step into fellowship. Must be careful if you work with temp labour. You do not know from one day to the next if the person will be there for you to witness to. You must hear God on this and step up to witness if the Lord moves you.
  3. Bring a Bible to work to read during break or lunch. But don't keep your head in it long and lose touch of what is going on around you.
  4. Wear Christian apparel that is appropriate.
  5. Show real concern for others at work. The guy no one likes, befriend him.
That is all I got for now.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Angels on the Night Shift

"Now there were in the country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I give you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." Luke 2:8-9
On the night of the greatest event in world history the Lord choose to reveal Him-self to low class shepherds of the fields. These shepherds had to travel away from their families to get their herd to greener pastures. They had to watch in shifts during the night to protect them from predators. They had no corral to place them in for safekeeping. The night shift shepherds were surely the hired hands or servants of the owning family. No evidence just experience on those who are always chosen for the nightshift.
God chooses the lowly to share in the Good News of a Savior being born. This shows us that God loves dearly those in low places like those missing their families because of "greener pasture".
If you find yourself in this situation as I have found at many times. Rejoice that God has placed angels to watch over you, His flock, during the night. Receive His Good News and joy to all people like you.
(Note: this post was done many years at this time and I wanted to repost it again. I am currently unemployed so, keep me in prayer.)

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Christ in My Career Part Two (Time)

This is a portion of a book titled, "Christ in My Career" by Allen W. Graves. I will post the entire part as written my him, because I could not summarize any better.
"Time Is to Be Used for God
The way in which a Christian uses his/her time will determine his or her success or failure in Christian living. No Christian has a right to "kill" time. Time is a precious gift from God to be invested wisely.
The proper use of time would solve the problems of many troubled and frustrated people. It would greatly reduce the difficulties experienced in the work of many Churches.
The right use of time could bring education to the unlearned, prosperity to the poor, culture to the uncouth, and achievement to the discouraged.
paul urges Christians to "walk in wisdom..., redeeming the time" (Col.4:5). Ecclesiastes 8:5 reminds every young person that "a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgement"."

Friday, December 06, 2013

The Lesson Your Pastor Didn’t Learn In College

During lunch, the other day, I struck up a conversation with another patron in the restaurant. We got on the subject of problems in the Church. Then he opened up and shared some personal things that got me thinking.

Back when his daughter was thirteen, then belonged to a very close Church where all the members felt like family and everyone was close. But there was a problem; his daughter was being molested by one of the guys in the youth group. This went on without his knowledge for two years. Other kids in the group knew about it and so did his other kids. But no one told him. He approached the pastor about the problem and asked him what he should do. This was a problem his pastor was not accustomed to. They did not teach “Youth Group Molestation 101” in college. So the Pastor talked to other Pastors (who also never took the course), but got no help. The pastor called the young man into his office to confront him about the incident. The young man confessed to the sin, repented and promised not to do it again. He was allowed to continue in the youth and praise & worship groups. The pastor then told the father that there was nothing he could do because the young man “Repented”. The pastor also told the father that his daughter would “get over it in time”. The father of the daughter confronted the father of the young man and was told that his daughter “asked for it.”

The father of the daughter then thought to involve the police and asked his daughter about this option. She felt she had loved the guy and did not want to press charges. Now the problem I would like to address is the fact that some pastors are ignorant in dealing with this issue. To better handle these incidents they need to know:

1. Molestation is against the law.
2. Sex with a minor is considered rape, even if it is in mutual agreement
3. These incidents are to be reported by law
4. Anyone covering it up is guilty

The pastor should have instructed the father of the daughter to report it to the police, even if the young man’s father is the main giver in the Church. The young man should have been removed from the youth and praise & worship groups. It is a false teaching that a person can repent and not be responsible for the consequences of their sin. The Lord truly forgives and the relationship with Him is healed, but the person still needs to reconcile the relationship with the person wronged. Is it justice for the young man to get married, have a family and go on with his life, while the daughter spends her life in therapy and confusion? Shouldn’t the young man at least have repented to the girl and offered to pay for any expenses accrued from the incident, such as therapy, etc…

The need is for pastors to get some kind of training in dealing with these problems. Seek help and information from child advocacy professionals, law enforcement and lawyers. A bible college or seminary would be smart to offer continuing credit course in this subject on campus or online. If your church has had this situation happen, it would be just like the “Body of Christ” to offer continual help to victims and not hide it under the proverbial rug. Here is my close challenge: If you have been involved in, meaning doing the deed, covering up, or just ignoring, find the victim and repent for your part in the affair. Do whatever the Lord reveals for you to do to help the victim heal. And don’t just tell her to “Give it to Jesus”, because when she does, the Lord may not be as forgiving to you as she would be. That milestone can be heavy.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Remembering My father

I would like to take time in remembering my dad today.
He passed away on Oct. 18, 2007
He was born in Skipperville, Al. Along with his twin sister Frances.
He was born to Oscar Morris Brooks and Ira Blankenship.
Grandmother died not long after they were born, then being raised by her sister Minnie later moved to Cottonwood to live with Minnie on the Blankenship Farm owned by Cousin John Blankenship.
Here they lived as share-cropers. Dad spoke of having played ball with Nazis POW's during WW2. When he became 18 he joined the Navy. Then married my mother Bettie Maxine Duke after a courship through the mail. (My mom's nephew (who was older than my mom) married my dad's twin sister. My mom lived with her brother and that's how they got together)
He was a descendent of two confederate soliders. Joel N. Brooks and his son Sammual C. Brooks of Pike Co. Al.
Dad was a deacon at Union Hill Baptist Church in Cottonwood, Al.
He was well liked around C'wood. At one time he worked for the city and was their police, fire and water man. I remember he carried no gun and would not until he became a guard at the local nuclear plant that was being built in the 70's.
I remember we were buying some used auto parts from a (drunk) dealer in town. While my dad went to get the part off a wreck (that's how they did it back then) the dealer (while play cards with other drunks) told me privately that, " when your dad worked for the city, Cottonwood had something". I felt very proud. He left this world with a good name. I can only hope I do the same.