Sunday, March 20, 2011

Moving Day!

This BLOG has Moved to our new location,

Click this link and check us out (and tell your friends).


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Same God, Different People

*NOTICE* Patrikin is moving, tomorrow, to! Check it out and let me know what you think!
Today's Post:
"Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful" - 2nd Timothy 3:16a
There is a noticeable difference in Bible passages - some show God angry, others full of love and compassion. Why the difference?

Some believe the Old Testament God is not the same as the New.1 Others teach it's man's understanding of God that evolved and continues to do so - essentially rewriting scriptures for our day.

The Church has always taught God is the same, has not changed, and all scripture is equally inspired.

The Old Testament is the only Bible the early church had. They didn't say, "Hey, we can do better than that!"

The difference is relationship.

Example:Vandals think I'm a bad grouchy man when I call the police on them, but my family thinks I am wonderful when I give them Christmas gifts. It's the same me, the difference is relationship and their actions. I am more complex than either view. Sometimes I have been known to let my children suffer the results of their actions when I think it is in their best interest. I then seem to have become a mean grouchy man, but I haven't really changed.

God has different relationships with different people groups but he is the same God. He has always been compassionate but our sin evokes justice. In Christ the justice is satisfied and we can walk with God in peace.
"[W]e have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" - Romans 5:1b
- fritz

1 - Marcion of Sinope, 144AD

Friday, March 18, 2011

Not Tempted to Eat Worms

*NOTICE* Patrikin is moving in the next few days to here! Check it out and let me know what you think!
Today's Post:
"[E]very man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." - James 1:13b-14
I've never been tempted to eat a worm, they just don't appeal to me - but there's something in a fish that calls when they see one. It's not the worm, it's the fish.

It's the same way with us.

Example: We have a handicapped child who is always drawn to the donut/coffee table at church; he can't keep his hands off and can't stop with one. We can't blame the church, they're not tempting him - he has the problem.

It's the same with any temptation. God and society are not doing it to us, we are. We have the responsibility put down our pride, recognize our problem areas, and avoid situations that allow us to be corrupted.

God will help by providing an escape route but he doesn't make us take it.
"God is faithful ... When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." - 1st Corinthians 10:13b-14 (New Living Translation)
The devil doesn't make me do things, I move my own body, and always have a choice.

- fritz

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Conspiracy Theory

Conspiracy theories are rampant! The world bankers are plotting this, the Rothschilds are planning that, the government is secretly conducting one thing and another.

It has always been such and they may all be true! But there there is a higher planner!

Take a moment to read what the Bible says about that,

"Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.

They sharpen their tongues ... aim cruel words ... shoot from ambush ... encourage each other ... they say, “Who will see it?”

But God will shoot them with his arrows ... turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin"

- Psalm 64:2-8 (NIV)
A friend years ago told God in prayer, "Lord, since you are going to be up all night anyway, I'll let you worry about that; I'm going to get some sleep."

*NOTICE* Patrikin is moving in the next few days to here! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Following Faith - Step 5 (Time)

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." - Hebrews 11:13
There is one final step to following faith - time!

Faith followers of the past did not all receive during their earthly journey what they were wanting, neither did they all receive immediately. Sure, by faith Abraham received his son, Daniel didn't get eaten by the lions, and incredibly small armies defeated incredibly large enemies, but the Bible also points to others who received their reward later.

Some children never come to Christ while their parents are alive, yet those parents hold on in faith because of a longer view of life than their breathing.

God is for eternity, our life is for eternity, faith is for eternity.

Be willing to take that last step, the step of time.

- fritz

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shoe Throwing

"Judah is my lawgiver; Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe" - Psalm 60:7b-8a
Throwing a shoe in middle Eastern culture was a sign of intense disrespect, and it is really bad when God says he will (figuratively) throw his shoe over a whole people group!

Fact is, God judges by people groups, even now.

Notice the term,"nations" in this verse and who said it:
When the Son of man shall come in his glory ... before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them [the nations] one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats" - Jesus (Matt. 25:31-32)
There is one exception!
"[P]ut on the new man ... where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all." - Colossians 3:9b-11
Those who put on Christ are his people group regardless of where they come from.
"thou ... hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" - Revelation 5:9b
Jesus' redemption crosses all boundaries, people groups, and genders.

Thank God for Christ!

- fritz

Monday, March 14, 2011

Following Faith - Step 4 (Confession)

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." - Hebrews 11:13
There is always a spoken element to following faith.

A careful reading of scripture points this out. For example, when Jesus taught on removing mountains by faith he said,
"if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done." - Matthew 21:21
Or when a women who couldn't stop bleeding for 12 years came to Christ it reads
"For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole." - Matthew 9:21
But confession alone isn't enough, there are three (3) steps that must come before. Many start confessing before they're even convinced what they want is even possible.

And what did the heroes of faith confess? That they were only passing through to a better place! They weren't trying to be friends with this world but living with eternity in mind.

- fritz

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Voluntarily Yielding Rights

"But we're not going to start demanding now what we've always had a perfect right to. Our decision all along has been to put up with anything rather than to get in the way or detract from the Message of Christ." - 1st Corinthians 9:12 (The Message Bible)
An article in The Consumerist1 reports about a Walmart customer refusing to show his receipt because, by legal rights, he did not have to. We all have rights - Yes! Some are offered by our country of residence, still others are given to us by our creator.

But we who have given our lives (rights) to Christ have a bigger purpose - to bring honor to Christ and to further his kingdom.

There are times to voluntarily yield rights in a spirit of cooperation, love, and understanding. Knowing when is a matter of maturity and good judgment.

Sure, the guy at Walmart won the fight but in so doing he made everyone else wait, ruined the day of a nice man only trying to do his job and came across looking like a jerk for no good reason.

Sometimes there are higher principles to stand on.

- fritz

1 - "Calm Man Successfully Buys TV And Denies Walmart Receipt Checkers" by Ben Popkin, The Consumerist, March 7th 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Following Faith - Step 3 (The Embrace)

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them" - Hebrews 11:13
To embrace is to hold on and not let go.

It was what the Syrophenician woman in the Bible1 did when she kept pressing Jesus for her daughter's deliverance in spite of insults. It was what blind Bartimaeus2 did when he kept crying out to Jesus in spite of everyone telling he to pipe down.

There is an IF to receiving from God,
"for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." - Galatians 6:9b
When you see what you want and you become convinced you can have it, embrace it and don't take "No!" for an answer.

- fritz

1 - Mark 7:28
2 - Mark 10:46

Friday, March 11, 2011

Word Flinging

"Let me tell you something Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you ... Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation." - Jesus (Mathew 12:37 Message Bible)
Words are flung around so much they are no longer taken seriously; a promise here, and apology there - in our society they now mean nothing.

Next time you talk to customer service for anything, actually count the number of apologies you receive - including the automated one while on hold. How can an apology mean anything if it's automated?!

God values words, and to Him they mean something.

We should be the same way. The Bible says,
God, who gets invited to dinner at your place?
How do we get on your guest list?

"Walk straight,
act right,
tell the truth.

"Don't hurt your friend,
don't blame your neighbor;
despise the despicable.

"Keep your word even when it costs you,
make an honest living,
never take a bribe.

"You'll never get
if you live like this."
- Psalm 15:1-5 (Message Bible)

See "Cascade of Broken Promises", Seth's Blog March 7, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Following Faith - Step 2 (Being Persuaded.)

"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them..." - Hebrews 11:13
Following faith is a five (5) step process beginning with seeing God's promises afar off - choosing to believe that what looks impossible right now is possible with God.

But that is not enough! We must become convinced what we see is intended for us, and that comes through persuasion - an interesting combination of evidence, testimony, and choice. God doesn't expect us to believe without evidence but he does expect us to allow ourselves to become persuaded.

That persuasion usually comes through what's called a "witness", or "testimony". God provides a witness in our hearts that what we are desiring he wants to give.

Read it in Hebrews 11 - Able had the witness, Enoch got the testimony, Abraham heard the "call", Sarah believed what she heard from God and though she laughed she became convinced!

Where does the witness come from? Ultimately from God, but sometimes by way of listening to others we respect, by reading what is written in the Bible, and by asking God to speak in our hearts.

Spend some time with godly people - those following faith. Listen to some good preaching (you don't have to wait until Sunday), have some alone time reading the Bible and asking God to speak it into your heart.

Tell God you are willing to be persuaded!

- fritz

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Following Faith - Step 1 (See afar off)

"The just shall live by faith."
- Romans 1:7, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38
Living by faith is more a matter of following than leading. It involves a five (5) step process revealed in Hebrews 11:13. After listing some famous people it says,
"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."
The first step, "seeing ... afar off", is seeing something from God that looks impossible, and wanting it.

For Abraham it was a son, for Enoch it was not having to die, for Noah it was being spared from world catastrophe, and for all the heroes of faith it was having a place to call their own that would not wear out or fade away.

The Bible says,
"[God] is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" - Ephesians 3:20
Our problem is that we settle for so little, thinking all we can expect is what we currently have right now.

God can do more! Take that first step; begin to dream big and follow faith!

- fritz

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pretending to Believe

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1
Substance is, actually, a combination of two words in the original language - "under" (or "sub") and "stand", hince the literal translation, substance.

If something has substance we can be feel it, hold it, and use it - which is what the heros of the Bible did!

It is not an idea to believe in without any evidence. Real faith is the evidence without which we are only pretending to believe - which doesn't work.

It's time to stop pretending and get some real faith from it's source - God's word!
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the [spoken] word of God." - Romans 10:17
Put yourself under some good preaching, read the Bible asking God to speak it into your heart, let the Holy spirit give you the substance of hope and the evidence of what you can't, yet, see.

- fritz

Monday, March 7, 2011

God Likes Books

"Every day of my life was recorded in your book before one of them had taken place." - Psalm 139:16b
God likes books, words, and writing - from the beginning of history to the end.

As important as preaching is, as enjoyable as pictures are, as entertaining as videos have become, it is the common book, with written words, God has chosen to use for everything he cares about.
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" - Revelation 20:12
Why? Not sure, I just think he likes books, words, and writing - and we should learn to enjoy them, too.

- fritz

Sunday, March 6, 2011

No Control

"And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not" - Luke 9:49-50a
Jesus never tried to exert control over anyone.

He told the wind to cease, demons to leave, sickness to be healed, and spoke the truth in the face of opposition but he never forced his will or ways on anyone.

How much different would our lives be if we purposed to not try to control.

- fritz

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Still Lacking Something

The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? - Matthew 19:20
The Bible tells of a good man who came to Christ and was told to sell everything and follow.

What's important to notice is not the command of Jesus to sell everything, but the man's overwhelming sense something was lacking from his life even after all the good he had done!

The issue is not being good but who is calling the shots.

Jesus told many of the good people of his day,
"[T]he publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." - Matthew 21:31b
He wasn't recommending being bad but that God's Kingdom is for those who turn everything in their lives over to Christ.

When there is a nagging feeling that something is still lacking, check to see if there is still something (maybe even something good), withheld from Christ.

Throw it down and find rest to the soul.1

- fritz

1 - Matthew 11:29

Friday, March 4, 2011

Not My Fault, Still My Problem

"And the LORD spake ...When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean ... and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD for his issue" - Leviticus 15:1-2, 14-15
Yuck! Old Testament laws can be very graphic but if one believes, as the early Christians,1 that even Old Testament law has application today, then what do these verses tell us?

They show that even unintended uncleanness is still uncleanness. Having a boil, lesion, or zit is certainly not the intention or even the fault of the individual, it's the way we all are - the human condition.

Yet it still needed cleansing and sacrifice.

We are, all, born with various problems, tendencies, and orientations. Whether our fault or not they are still unclean and need the forgiveness and cleansing of Christ.2

- fritz

1 - 1st Corinthians 9:9-10
2 - 1st Corinthians 6:9-12

Thursday, March 3, 2011


"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." - Matthew 5:9
We think of peacemakers as those as who try to get people to stop fighting.

But what if it is something else?

Scot McKnight tells us in his book One.Life
[P]eace is a result and not a goal.

Peace is the result of years in a good relationship. Marriages shaped by love result in peace. Instead of focusing on having a good marriage, a husband and a wife who focus on loving one another will have a marriage of peace.

Societies that are shaped by justice and love become societies marked by peace...

People who love find peace, whether they think about it or not.
Maybe being a peacemaker means choosing to do loving acts in an unloving situation. Maybe those are the ones who will be called the children of God

- fritz

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Maturity - knowing what not to say and not saying it.
"If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body" - James 3:2b

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Better Than Dreamed, More Difficult Than Imagined

Jim Martin, pastor and author of a blog I regularly read made an astute comment, Monday, February 21st1
I often tell couples before they marry that marriage will probably be better than they ever dreamed and more difficult than they ever imagined.
He goes on to say
Marriage can be difficult, in particular, when you have never seen a healthy marriage up close.

So where else can a person learn to be married?

  1. Observe married people who seem to be doing something well...
  2. Be a part of a Community of Faith that values biblical marriage...
  3. Seek Counsel from an older couple who is experiencing a good marriage...
  4. Read books on marriage...
  5. Listen to the words of Jesus, especially on the topic of relationships.
This is something we all need to take to heart!

- fritz

1 - Read Jim Martin's entire post here
2 - Related Post - "Married to A Friend", Patrikin, February 23, 2011