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Sunday, August 29, 2010

God Loves Golf, He Allows Mulligans

 God is able to blot out your sins and He will not remember them anymore Isaiah 43.25 

In golf sometimes a golfer is given a second chance which allows the player to do a particular move or action again. Mainly, the shot will not be tallied on the score card. As humans we make mistakes error, because we are no where near perfect. So it stands to reason that in life we should be able to ask for second chances however they are hardly granted.

In the eyesight of God he allows us to have Mulligans. God’s second chances are called forgiveness. Forgiveness is an opportunity to be exonerated from a sin. Many Christians feel that despite the fact you humbly asked forgiveness God still holds that sin over your head. Unlike man, the Heavenly Father does not. He clearly states that once we ask He forgets. God does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Psalm 103: 10-12. God is able to blot out your sins and He will not remember them anymore Isaiah 43.25 Only humans have the problem with letting go or forgiving.

Let us take advantage of the Mulligans in life take it to the Father who can really allow a do over. So as it is written "For if you forgive men when they sin against you your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But, if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Mat 6:14-15
Remember God does forgive and allow second chances in life. Ask for yours.

Tigner J. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Your PATIENCE can be a Virtue

There is an old saying, I’m sure we have all heard in our life time; Patience is a virtue. When hearing this quote one has to ask what is patience? It is the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, or irritation. Now I don’t know about you but it has taken a life time for me attain a few of these qualities. It is still a work in progress. Now virtue is moral excellence; goodness; righteousness conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude. Many of you possess attributes of virtue however your misfortunes, pains, or irritation impedes your development of patience. Realize, there is still hope with some effort you can develop endurance which will give you the strength to handle storms, run life’s races, or climb rough mountains. The reward will be for those who wait on the LORD which shall renew your strength; you shall mount up with wings like eagles, you shall run and not be weary, you shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Why is it hard for people to gain patience or find it a challenge to wait through the storm for their break through? One quick simple answer is society has conditioned us to believe that we can get what we want instantaneously, with no wait. We see and hear the subliminal messages daily from various marketing campaigns; why one should not go home and cook a wholesome meal when you can stop by the grocer and pick up an eight piece meal for only $8.99! Or how about complete meals in a bag that can be cooked in a microwave in less than twenty minutes! Don’t leave out instant coffee, ATM machines, and our favorite fast food restaurants. Personally, I love home cook meals (smile).

How does this affect our living habits and Christian beliefs? It desensitizes us to the point that we expect and look for all aspects of our lives to respond the same way. When we pray we want an answer instantly. You’ve prayed for a break through, jobs, answers from doctors, friends and family members and when there is no response, many have gone as far as to demand God to quickly answer our prayers and when our patience has grown short due to no reply we find it quite appalling causing many to abandon the Father. Remember God is the Father He does not operate on a time schedule regardless as to how bad the situation may appear. According to the word be patient and wait on the Lord; He will turn to you and hear your cry. Psalm 40:1

James 1:3-6 sums up what it takes to strengthen our patience. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubt is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
One analogy I often quote to describe time and patience; it’s like watching a tree grow you can’t expect to plant a tree today and be capable to bare fruit tomorrow. The Tree has to go through the germination process, sprout, grow, mature and then produce. That course of action takes many years. In comparison, we may have to go through many trials, tribulations, and wavering faith before reaching a level of patience before one can yield fruit or reach the prize!
To bring this story closer to life another great illustration on patience is of a man who watched a caterpillar as it headed into the next development stages of life. This man quietly waited as the transformation of change took place. When the metamorphosis was complete the new butterfly began its break through the chrysalis. Struggling to free its wings the man felt compelled to assist by gently cutting away the casing which liberated the butterfly. Thinking he has done a great deed this man’s impatience created a disaster, the butterfly cannot fly. For you see the great effort it takes a butterfly to break out its part of building wing strength which will enable flight.
Don’t be like the impatient man, Learn from the butterfly by fighting through your obstacles while growing in faith. Make your virtue a necessity; seek God through prayer which will allow you to make the best of a difficult or unsatisfactory situation. You can win in the end keeping your faith growing patience and continue trusting in God!

Tigner Rand
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

The True Vine in a Dry season

Good vines bring forth good fruit
I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me and me in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. John 15:5

Dry seasons of life

For many seasons my life was stagnant. There was drought, No growth and no signs of relief - so it appeared.

 No matter the direction of choice, every road was a dead end. It was one disappointment after another followed by frustration and discuss. I searched for my purpose revisited my passion(s), and even questioned why I was here. For each inquiry was a negative response despite the fact the HOLY SPIRIT was speaking to me all along. Setbacks can cause a person to feel like a failure, especially when you loose connection with Christ which later leads to questioning God. As soon as uncertainty synchronizes in ones spirit, Christians (people) have a tendency to withdraw and detach from God.

Jesus the true vine

Jesus spoke of Himself as the ‘True Vine’ in John 15. If Jesus is really in our lives as the true vine only we can hold ourselves back from growth.
Sure a person can make a case that by their own doing life is progressing and increasing dividends. Please realize by excluding God in your plans you limit your potential growth! When storms come in your life you will not be able to withstand them alone. As a result of not having a direct link to the ‘true vine’ - Jesus Christ - you are doing nothing. Your personal growth and upward mobility will surely fall just as the man who built his house on sand; without a foundation it could not withstand the storms Luke 6:48-49.

Jesus Christ confirmed this by saying “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” As a result of getting a ‘direct hook-up’ with Christ you have to abide in Him as well as His word.

 There is no doubt trials and tribulations will come again. But let it also be known, the closer we walk with Jesus, the more Satan attempts to tamper with our weaknesses. However by walking in faith God will see us through! Hallelujah!

Find your connection to the true vine; Christ will not lead us astray. ...If God be for us who can be against us?” Romans 9:31.

All Mighty and merciful Father,
Thank you for sending your Son Jesus the Christ allowing us the opportunity to be redeemed from all our sins and have a chance to receive eternal life! Thank you for being the True Vine the branch that can produce and reproduce goodness for eternity. Lord I pray asking that you will rally around all readers connecting them to your vine and enabling them to grow spiritually. Allow their branches to bear fruit: Fruits of love, compassion, honesty, faith, creativity and helpfulness. May each reader find their purpose and to be in your will. We can do all things through you Lord as long as we stay connected to you. May these words be received by you and may blessings fall upon all that read. These things I pray in Jesus Christ name, Amen.

Tigner Rand 

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Desires of your Heart

Desires of the Heart

There is a man named Blake who works hard for his family of four. He manages to live a modest life. He is a caring, loving and giving man who would lend a hand or give his last dollar to any person under the pretense of getting a blessing in return. 

On paper, Blake believes in the Holy Trinity: The Father Son and the Holy Spirit, occasionally attends church and only pray when he has trouble. As the sands of time flowed in his life, he begin worrying about evildoers and corrupt people,  who don't believe in God. They are happier and financially secure while Blake’s life spirals closer to a dismal end. He is just two pay checks away from being without a roof over his head.

A Generous Heart

There is Joyce, a woman of God with eight children from 10 to 28 years old. Since the passing of her husband Joyce has managed to maintain her house. She has kept the family together, food on the table, bills paid, and put three children through college. Joyce is always full of joy with a kind word to say everyday. Joyce is a generous person, giving from the heart with no false pretense. This woman’s cup continuously overflows with blessing for her and others.

Envious Heart

Two people who both accept Jesus Christ as being true. Both are caring and giving individuals. Blake has a small family while Joyce has a large brood. Why is it such a contrasting difference in their blessings? One would assume that Joyce would be the one struggling, disgusted, and questioning why her prayers have not been answered on the other hand she is happy blessed and highly favored. Based on this situation there are loads of legitimate discussion points we could focus on: Pride, Self-righteousness, being Humble, giving from the heart, trust, faith and the list can go on. But for this topic of dialogue I’m focusing on not being envious.

We all know someone who depicts the lives of Blake and Joyce. It’s also safe to say many of us may portray some of these attributes albeit the good or bad traits. By all means there is yet another sect of people who will argue the point that God has not given you your desires, yet you keep knocking, seeking, all while trying to get an answer just as Jesus told us in Matt. 7:7. Often times God don’t always make sense on how and when he will answer our prayers and desires. We have to implement what David wrote “Trust in the Lord, delight yourself in him and commit your way to the Lord.” Psalms 37:3-7. Reading these verses David emphasized the word trust several times which tells us trusting in God is the key to your desires. Remember trust is a form of faith. However to get the wishes we also need to rest, commit, don’t worry and wait patiently on the Lord. By doing this God shall bring to pass the desires of your heart.

The question you need to ask yourself is “Can you not be envious of men who “have it all” and not believers? Can you not worry about the evil doer nor be envious because the day will come when they are cut down like grass Psalms 37:1. The solution is for us to REALLY become committed, trusting, and not worrying. But most important patiently on God by aligning ourselves with Christ by asking to be in his Will as well as learn to TRUST Him. 

A Sharing Heart 

A sharing heart allows you to give ungrudging to those less fortunate your:

  • Time 
  • Talent
  • Treasures 
Regardless to your current state - Blake or Joyce - maintain a praising heart to God during the excellent and unpleasant times. Have a caring heart, and love others as you love yourself. No matter what render your heart to God and he will bless you with the desires of your heart.

Tigner J. Rand
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