Archive for Relationship

Uncle Charlie’s Purple Poodle

 

“My uncle Charlie took his black poodle to the veterinarian the other day.”

“No, Hon, uncle Charlie’s poodle is brown not black.”

“He’s my uncle; I know his poodle is black!”

“I distinctly recall its color!”

Pettiness.  That’s right.  This couple is involved in pure pettiness.  Who cares if the poodle is black, brown or purple?  We still don’t know why uncle Charlie took his poodle to the vet.  But we do know that these two people are very small.  Self-interest occupies their attention; selflessness never enters their mind.

Friends, God put us on earth so we could contribute to one another’s welfare.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others,” Philippians 2:3-4. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others, 1 Corinthians 10:24.

Arguments over petty issues reveal that we remain self-centered.  God plainly wants us to be others-centered.  Why is it so easy to be self-centered?  Because we aren’t God-centered.

You see, God-centered people trust God to meet their needs.  This trust frees us from depending only upon humans.  When people fail us, we remain confident in God.  We don’t use petty arguments to force others to meet our needs.  God is going to take care of us even when humans fail us.  We give ourselves to blessing those who fail us.  God-centeredness always keeps us selfless.

Incidentally, I still don’t know why uncle Charlie took his poodle to the vet, LOL.

Doing Good When It Isn’t Easy

It’s fun to do good when doing good is easy.  When rewards for well-doing abound, we rejoice in our labor.  We gladly look forward to carrying out our responsibilities and finishing “to do” lists.  Work seems like recreation. Read More→

When You Don’t Feel Blessed

Two thousand years ago God’s people felt unblessed.  Sure, they repeatedly read the promises God pronounced upon their ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but where were the blessings?  A foreign government manipulated their lives and ruthlessly repressed all yearnings for independence.  Poverty afflicted almost everyone and religious leaders used their influence for self-gratification. Read More→

Keeping God Company

God likes company.  In fact, he likes lots and lots and lots of company.

There was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb,” Revelation 7:9. I don’t know why God likes human companions so much.  I guess it’s just his gregarious nature. Read More→

When It’s Polite to Stare

Our electric-powered Japanese passenger train approached Shinjuku Station.  Sliding doors quickly sprang open, and hundreds of passengers disembarked.  Surrounded by this sea of Japanese business people, housewives and school children, Delores and I stood out like sore thumbs.  I noticed two young children staring at us.  The embarrassed mother quickly pulled them away and probably told them a Japanese equivalent of “It’s not polite to stare.”

Like the little Japanese children, we Americans quickly learn that staring is very impolite.  However, there’s one exception to this rule:  It’s alright to stare at the Lord.

During my private fellowship time with the Lord, his Spirit often enfolds me in his presence.  My imagination envisions him seated upon an exalted throne.  His ornate, royal garments fill the temple; angelic creatures shout his praise.  Vivid colors fill my imagination as I gaze upon our Lord’s dwelling place.  Sights and Sounds exceed anything we have seen or heard upon earth.

His love glues my attention upon his person.  It flows around me, enters into me, soothes me, encourages me, and comforts me.  And I gaze, I stare!  I can’t take my spirit’s eyes off him. I dare not allow any thought to distract me from him.

You know what?  It’s polite to stare at Jesus.  In fact, when in his presence, you have no choice.  His unsurpassed beauty grips your attention.  “One thing I ask of the Lord…that I may…gaze upon the beauty of the Lord,” Psalm 27:4.

In the Lord’s culture, staring is totally polite.  Let his Spirit enrapture your attention.  No one will complain.

 

Your Other Atmosphere

Our Creator chose to envelop earth in an atmosphere we call “air.” Air surrounds and sustains us, refreshes us and protects us from harmful sun rays.  Air makes life possible.  Two gases comprise the bulk of our atmosphere: nitrogen, about 79% and oxygen, a little more than 20%. Read More→

Vivifying Your Relationship with Jesus

“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon,” Acts 3:1.

Peter and John made an appointment with God. We call their appointment prayer. For these Christian brothers prayer time wasn’t a vague religious idea. Prayer time occupied an appointment in their daily schedule. They didn’t purpose to spend time with God when they got around to it. They set aside a definite portion of their day for prayer.

Why pray? Because our relationship with God grows dull and inactive when we don’t spend time with him. On the other hand, when his Spirit touches our human spirit during prayer time, our relationship becomes vivified. He rekindles our love for him, our confidence in him soars, a new determination to seek him fills every particle of our person, his nearness floods our thoughts with peace and joy.

People who pursue a vivified relationship with Jesus live victorious lives in the last days.

Becoming Everything God Needs

Couple Praying TogetherYour spouse is a gift from God to you.  Genesis Chapter 2 illustrates God’s original design for marriage.  He created two humans and put them together: Adam, God’s gift to Eve and Eve, God’s gift to Adam.  Nothing’s changed—your spouse is God’s gift to you. Read More→

The Lord’s Delight

God’s presence is the source of our joy.  Singing, dancing, playing musical instruments are expression of sincere enthusiasm for God’s nearness, I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight.  I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God,” Psalm 43:4.  David was dancing before the Lord with all his might,” 2 Samuel 6:14. Read More→

God’s Wisdom, Understanding & Knowledge Possessing You

“By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the deeps were divided,” Proverbs 3:19-20.

Since God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding made everything, shouldn’t we humans seek to be possessed by divine wisdom, knowledge and understanding?  How blessed our relationships with other humans would be!  How much better we would do on the job!  How much more love and joy would fill our hearts!  Yes, when God’s thoughts control our minds, words and behavior, his blessings rest upon everything we are and everything we do!

There’s a book in the Bible called Proverbs.  As we read this book again and again, it gains control over us.  It begins influencing our thoughts, beliefs and words.  Godly wisdom, understanding and knowledge flow from Proverbs into our emotions and thoughts.  God’s way of living becomes our way of living.  God’s way of treating people becomes our way of treating them.  God’s beliefs become our beliefs.

Why not try reading Proverbs?  There are thirty-one chapters in the book.  Try reading a chapter a day according to the calendar date.  In this way, you will read Proverbs through each month.  Think of that!  For just a few minutes  a day you can read Proverbs through twelve times a year.

Then, Godly wisdom, understanding and knowledge will possess you.  You will enjoy increased harmony in your relationships with people. More and more divine happiness will fill your heart.

Be greatly  encouraged,

Pastor James Fields