April 13, 2019

Thinking about the Beatitudes today from Matthew 5:3-12,  All of the things Jesus talked about are character traits that lead to a right relationship with God.  This morning I’m especially looking at:

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”  (Mat. 5:7)

The trait of giving mercy is shown throughout the Scriptures both Old Testament and New Testament.  I am especially reminded of the time when David showed mercy to King Saul as David crept unnoticed and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe but did not kill him. (1 Samuel 24: 8-13)  David was a man of integrity driven by his love for God and his bent on pleasing Go by being obedient to God’s word.

Through the Beatitudes we are called to be merciful, to offer mercy, to show mercy…like David, our strength of character is in part measured by how we are merciful to others, especially those who don’t ask for it or even understand what it means.

To be merciful is to be like Jesus.

Peace

Jim

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April 9, 2019

Watching the beauty of the morning unfold I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words to the church…

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.”  Philippians 4:4-5

Gentleness is one of those qualities that is often seen as weakness…but gentleness seems to be a strength to me.  Without gentleness strength is simply a dangerous deficiency.

Thinking Gentleness today…

Mountain Azalea in the woods behind the house.

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our dogwood

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Peace

Jim

April 8, 2019

Watching it rain this morning, and pondering Philippians 2:5:

“Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…”

And then the writer goes on to talk about how Jesus became one of us, humbled himself, and was obedient to the depths of his soul.

And I wonder if I might be strong of heart enough to have that same mindset…

How difficult it is to be humble and loving.  We often think we’re loving, we want to be, we try hard to be, we even go out of our way to be loving.  But the mind of Jesus goes much farther, the mind of Jesus is loving to those who are different from us, those who believe different from us, those who interpret the Scriptures different from us, even those we perceive as our enemies.  And often we substitute humility and obedience with righteous anger.

I have heard so many try to legitimize their anger at various groups of people by saying that Jesus got angry, and they go on to cite Jesus clearing the temple of the merchants and money changers.  Yes Jesus did get angry from time to time, he was angry at those who acted from selfish ambition, those who misrepresented the love he came to give to all people.  To put it in terms of today, Jesus was angry because the very ones who claimed his name didn’t share his vision of love.

The gist of Jesus’ teaching was/is love.

So… a question to think about.  How can we let the same mind be in us that was in Jesus?

For each thing we attempt to do or say today, think about the mind of Jesus…how can we be like him?

Peace

Jim

 

 

march 19, 2019

Spent some time doing some work around the house today…and taking some pictures.

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Took a trip to the grocery store before dark and saw the moon.

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It feels good to work and not think so much.  Although one of these days I’m going to write my thoughts on the progression of my spiritual life and thoughts.

Peace

Jim

March 17, 2019

I’ve been thinking a little less for the last few days and putting more time in taking pictures.  I got a few good ones I think.

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Birds are some of my favorite subjects…I like shore birds too but unfortunately I don’t live close to the shore.  Plenty of good subjects in Tennessee though.

Peace

Jim

March 11, 2019

Worked with a friend today cutting logs from this fallen oak tree.  A portable sawmill will come on site and saw into lumber.

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Two more cuts (one about where I’m standing) and we’re ready.

My friend Joe is one of the best guys around…very hard worker too, he cut up most of this by himself.

A good way to burn off some energy and clear the mind from things that bug you.

Peace

Jim

March 10, 2019

Thinking about following Jesus and how our example is to be one that causes others to want what we have so that ultimately the Kingdom grows not only larger but closer to what Jesus had in mind when he taught us to pray (Matthew 6:9-13).  I was led back to the sermon on the mount where Jesus taught the people.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16

How are we at being light? 

People who claim to follow Jesus are supposed to be light, produce light, be sources of light…yet some are barely a flicker every once in a while.  I don’t know why that is I just know it’s true from examples.

Following Jesus is being light so that others see us and want what we have…and ultimately they begin to follow Jesus and become light so that others see light in them.

Be light.

Peace

Jim