“Follow me as I follow Christ” – Apostle Paul

May 15, 2009 at 20:39 (Completely Random)

A while back, I was listening to a sermon and a thought popped into my head. The preacher was emphasizing how the disciples, when Jesus called them, dropped everything they were doing, and I thought, why? I mean, it seems weird that someone would leave their family business, in the middle of a work day, and follow someone just because He asked them to. You have to keep in mind that at this point Jesus was not well known, some people knew of Him, but He had just started His ministry. The only people who believed that He was the Messiah at this point were His mother Mary and His cousin John. So what reason would they have to follow a random Rabbi?

A couple connections were made pretty quickly, when I first wondered why. The first thing I remembered was that at Portland Bible College they talked about how it was common practice among Rabbi’s in the time of Jesus for them to gather disciples, but normally from the synagogues. Then I thought, would I drop everything for a great teacher, because if nothing else Jesus was known as an exceptional Rabbi, if they asked me to follow them? And surprising even myself, I thought yes I would. If C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien or John Piper or Sean McDowell or pretty much any person who is or was considered a good teacher/apologist asked me to follow them and learn from them/with them I would more than likely sell everything I didn’t need and do it, minimal questions asked.

The last thought that hit me, like a freight truck, was that Jesus has called me to follow Him. And yet why am I so unwilling to go to the lengths I would go to for a fallible teacher? I know that Jesus is the only teacher worth following, He’s called me to give up my possesions and follow Him, but I greedily hold on. I pray that He’ll give me strength to give everything to Him.

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Power of Words

May 14, 2009 at 23:31 (GenChurch)

It’s kind of funny, kids say “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Adults know this is untrue, even if they pretend to be unhurt. But I think even as adults we don’t, can’t or refuse to understand exactly how powerful words are. If we were to ascertain what the deadliest weapons of all time were, the Atomic Bomb would be third, Kalashnikovs would be second, and words would be first. (Obviously you have to take into account that the deaths caused by words sometimes implement AK-47’s and atom bombs to carry out their destruction)

A good example of this would be Hitler, if you take Hitler at face value, he was nothing more than a short geek who felt sorry for himself, but he was able to speak with such command and conviction that he quickly won over supporters. Once in power Hitler quickly seized every newspaper, and media outlet ’cause he understood the power of words, he also started indoctrination in Germany’s schools and is quoted saying:

“By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”

Words build bridges into unexplored regions.”

But Hitler was not the only one who had something to say during World War II, if he was I might be typing this in German. Here’s a few things Churchill had to say about words:

“We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.”

“Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all.”

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

Contrast Hitler with Winston Churchill, and you soon realize that the battle for Britain during World War II was a shouting match between two great orators with a lot of blood shed and no victor, but it stalled Hitler. Churchill’s words hammered against the propaganda, and small flickers of light could be found throughout the conflict. His words even affected America to the point that when we were attacked by Japan, Roosevelt chose to get involved in the European conflict before we retaliated against Japan. Wars are debates, unmonitored, bloody rebuttals with no briefs except more death.

I had more to say but, I’ve forgotten most of it so I’m just going to close with a few areas you can think about when considering the power of Words. I’d start first with James 3:3-10. Next I’d say consider how Satan tempts using words, he doesn’t need to be murderous only convince you to be. And finally consider affirmations, particularly negative self affirmations and how they affect you.

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