Tag Archives: christianity

The Label Says Cotton Blend But I know Better!

cotton_labelI come from a background of textiles.  Yes, Gaston County, North Carolina was my hometown area, and our bread and butter were textiles.  I didn’t know anything else for 18 years.  My dad and mom worked in it all their lives.  It was nothing for me to see my dad covered in lint from the top of his head to the tops of his shoes.  The fragrant smell of cloth, yarn, cotton and material dye permeated our clothes, our house and our town.

Even now, I find myself buying a new garment and putting it up to my nose to get a nostalgic smell and memory of my childhood days. I know that someone has just used the label to sell me a cheap product.

I overheard a conversation recently with some pastors and one pastor’s comment was that he makes sure that they are “Christians” before he marries them.  I interjected into the conversation.  I explained how that it is a sad commentary, as there are non-Christians who have better marriages than Christians a lot of the time.

Just because someone wears the label “Christian” it doesn’t always mean what we think it means.  However, many choose to use that label to be accepted by others, to gain favor in business relationships or even to gain a position or favor swinging the pendulum to their side.

When folks wear the label and don’t measure up to the standards of what Christ meant–it sadly devalues the entire family of believers.  So what do we do about it?  We continue to show others what it means to be 100% Christian and not a blend of good and evil.  Even Jesus said that there would be tares among the wheat.  Tares look like wheat until maturation at harvest time.  The wheat bows over with the golden top.  However, the tares stand upright and proud.

Interesting that wheat bows while tares pridefully do not.  Yes, there are people who look like, smell like, act like and even wear the label of Christian that live among us.  In actuality, they are just not Christians.  Jesus said at harvest time, he would take care of them.

Remember, it might say it on the label, but it doesn’t mean it is the read deal.

That’s what I think about it.



Stop the Deception!

love_3_by_mjagiellicz1Just stop! I use to think I really knew what love was all about. I have to confess that what I thought was love, was not really love at all. In fact, it was a form of love that earthlings have come to believe as love ever since the fall of man. Wow, were we deceived. Then we started saying how much we loved this and how much we loved that-when all we were professing was a form of love the Greeks called, “phileo love.” The word was well known, but there was a serious problem with it. It wasn’t good enough.

No? No.

It only had a shelf life of a few years. Some brands lasted only for a few moments. Others, not even a few months. We used that love to express some emotional need (that we felt in our brain) to tell others that we “loved” them. But we used that same word for our dog, our cat, our car, our children, our house, our president, our neighbor, our sofas, our dentist, our church, our spouses and even God. Now how can that be? How can that be authentic love? We’ve been deceived.

Men and women take vows and say “till death do us part,” only to find out that the shelf life on their love had expired way before death ever thought about coming around. Friends say I love you, only to realize that that wasn’t a good brand of love they bought into and eventually say, “sorry, I must part ways with you now.” How about the brand of love found at the end of a date that causes you to fall for that guy and do anything for him just because he said he loved you? Where did you buy that love? At the dollar store?

Phileo love is good, but not good enough. If Sears were selling it, it would be in the better section of the store. You know, they sell stuff like good, better, best. Phileo love is not the love that glues friendships, lovers, spouses, parents and children together. When we use the same kind of love for a spouse and a dog, then something is not right. I know–I hear you clearly shouting at me, “THERE ARE DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOVE!” No, calm down. There are different “depths” of phileo love but it’s all the same.

Agape is a love, created by God, which causes man to bond in a way that is like super glue. It’s not artificial. It’s not a love substitute. It’s not cheap and ugly. It’s lasting and pure.

Not many people understand or know about agape. Yet. Even in the “best of the best” respected books in Christianity, such as Richard Foster’s “Celebration of Discipline,” not one word is mentioned about the discipline of agape love. It’s difficult to find those who really understand it.

I don’t use the word love much anymore because it is so overused and has such contempt with it. I use the word agape because it means more than love to me. It means what I feel and say.

So who has deceived us? More on that tomorrow.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo12

Why Do We Call Ministers Reverend?

ordinationJesus was so right on when he made several statements about the titles many carried in His day. He realized that agape didn’t need titles to get people to love and respect Him. Even in His last days, the opposition tried to call Him king, and He just replied with a non-answer answer.

We have so many religious titles that men love to have, wear and become attentive to when called by their title. We have the reverends, the pastor, father, bishops, overseers, elder, priests, and rabbi. Many in the religious fields probably feel that they could take them or leave them. However, there are those who feel that respect is in a title. Their expectation of others to call them by their title is their reassurance of that respect.

Agape doesn’t label religious leaders with titles. We give men titles because of protocol in our religious world’s system. Men receive titles to assure others that they have completed the criteria and process demanded of them for that office.

People who know me call me Tim; others call me Timothy. Some call me Pastor Timothy. When I was growing up in church, we called the pastor, “preacher.” Some, I have come to find out, feel that that title is disrespectful. I never could figure that one out.

I appreciate it when people call me pastor, but the truth of the matter is that if they wanted to call me Tim or Timothy, it’s just fine with me. Agape carries with it a respect and care for others without the crown of a title. Agape says that you can just call me by my name; I don’t need to be called by any title.

Jesus even referred to those who were psychologically gratified and loved having their egos fed when others would call them by their titles. They loved it. They lived for it. Vanity is the foundation for such titles. They are used by those who crave attention.

I was in the presence, years ago, of a man who was a district overseer for a particular denomination. He demanded that no one call him by his first name, but by his title, “Bishop.” I guess some people need that sort of thing in the religious world.

Agape says you can love me for who I am. Agape says that I’m going to love you for who you are. Agape is not bias, prejudice nor judgmental. Agape loves when all other loves fail.

Paul says that if I have not agaped, I am nothing. It doesn’t matter if you have titles a mile long, If you don’t agape people, then you are absolutely nothing. That’s pretty harsh. However, agape should be the basis for our leadership and not what title we hold. Jesus asked Peter if he agaped Him and then he told him to feed His sheep. It was agape that would cause Peter to lead people, not a title of rank. Respect is not found in a title. Respect is found in a person.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.comeclogo11

Field Generals of Faith

weweresoldiersA field general is one that takes charge of his men, not just in speech, but also in action. They see him doing–not just saying. He’s a player, not a cheerleader.

A pastor is very much like a field general. He must not be one who barks out orders and waits to see what happens. Contrarily, he must lead in confidence knowing that what he says and does has been asked of him by his commander; the Lord Jesus Christ. He must be fully convinced of, not only what he says, but also what he does.

He must be one who understands the ministry and it’s successes. He also must understand how to prevent failure. He must be one whose metal psyche has been tried, tested and “passed muster.” He has to have the full support of those in his care, guided by his confident demeanor, wisdom and prayerful attitude.

The pastor must not only teach about faith and works, he must show his faith by his works. He does not just cheer people on to victory as some excited cheerleader, but leads in victory by his uncompromising and undeniable faith in Christ.

A pastor must have a track record of fresh faith victories. Victories in the past are great, but they become repetitive and stale; fodder for worn out, dated war stories. People need spiritual leaders who are strong in their vision, purpose and calling. Pastors fall (many times) into the trap of encouraging people to be what they themselves are not. It is at this point where his followers will cease to become courageous. Instead, fear and doubt will become familiar companions once again.

A field general will be passionate about the vision. He will be the one who goes after the fallen (in the midst of the hail of fire from the enemy) when he needs to. He will be the one who shows what love is–rather than telling about it.

No one imitates a cheerleader except another cheerleader. However, a “pay-er” in the stands of a football game will identify with the “play-er” on the field. See, because we love the field general, the captain and the coach.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

This Economy; The Litmus Test of Trusting God

church-graph1I said a year ago that people would have to make a choice of whether or not to pay their mortgage or pay their tithe and offering. It’s happening.

Now, if you have never learned to fully trust God, take Him at His word, trust His promises and have known what it is like to hear from Him, then you will have no clue what I’m talking about and more than likely you will want to argue with me.

However, there is no debate it. It is inarguable. It is indefensible.

Trusting God and His word is not affected by the economy in any way, shape or form.

It has already been reported that churches income are being hurt by the economy.

People are getting laid off, losing their jobs and having a difficult time trying to find another one. Now, you’ll have two types of Christians here; those who knew how to trust God before the economy waned and those who only started learning about trusting God after they lost their jobs.

There will be those who know what is right without being told because they have ALWAYS done right and they know the blessings of God. Congratulations. There are those who hesitate to do right and, more than likely, will not because of uncharted territory of trusting God even though they are Christians. Then there are those who will continue onnot doing right because they have never relied on God before and they certainly will not start doing it now.

Money is a divider between man and God. Man has to have his money. Man thinks he doesn’t need God.

People who have been in the church for years will curtail their giving to the church and will justify it someway and somehow. They have to. They do it to keep their conscience soothed and to be able to sleep at night. These are the ones who will put on a good show at church making you think they have great faith in God when in actually, they are the most frightened at this economy, have a difficult time in hearing from God and have all but quit giving to God in obedience of His Word.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

Wife or Mother, Husband or Son? Your Mates’ Confusion

question_mark_redHave you ever heard about or read the story about a character by the name of Oedipus? He was a young man who killed his father and married his mother as told in Greek mythology.

Sounds preposterous, doesn’t it? Well, don’t be too anxious to come to that conclusion.

You see–there are many men and women in western society, which includes being a part of the church, where these roles are confused, and the lines are blurred. There are men who have married a wife that slowly morphed into the role of his mother. Just the same, there are women who have married a husband, who too has slowly confused that role and manifested characteristics of being her son. Both are recipes for disaster.

Men who have expected to have wives as equal partners in marriage only come to later regret that because they feel they are mothered. The wife here unknowingly treats her husband as if he were her son.

What is so unfortunate about this situation is that the husbands find themselves feeling guilty that their wife/mother will not approve of them and they find themselves having to get permission before acting in freedom. Many of these marriages end in frustrated divorce.

Women who expected to have husbands as equals only find themselves having one more child than their natural responsibility had given them, and that would be their husband. He becomes so dependent and immature that she has to “raise” him and nurture him to the point of unnatural attention and affection. In fact, many in this scenario find the husbands actually calling their wives “mother.”

The Bible intended for our marriage roles to be firmly entrenched by actions where there are no mistaking responsibility characteristics.

A husband is to be a man taking joint authority of the home with his wife, not his mother, and treat her with such respect.

A wife is to share the authority of her home with her husband, not her son, and treat him as his position was intended.

The husband has to understand the difference between self initiated courtesy and asking for permission. The wife must comprehend that she is not the judge and jury of her husband but his support, confidant and comrade. Understanding these roles will make a marriage stronger-not weaker.

Husbands, be the man you ought to be and that is “mature and responsible.” Wives, be the woman you are meant to be and that is “loving and caring.”

This can only happen when both partners assume their God given roles. It will not work if one or the other fails at their responsibility. I am sorry if it might be that way for you.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com

Rodney Dangerfield and God; They Both Get No Respect!

rodney_dangerfieldRemember the comedian, Rodney Dangerfield? I really liked him. He’d always wear the dark suits, white shirts and thin red ties. He would keep the top button unbuttoned and his tie loose and when he would tell a joke, he’d pull at his collar and say, “I get no respect.”

I was thinking about that recently in light of how God is treated not so much by those who are not acquainted with him or know His son on a first name basis, (although they use both God’s name and Jesus Christ in an angry manner and they don’t even know Them) but by those who call themselves Christians or believers.

Those are the ones that I speak of.

For example, our very President, Obama, just last week signed into a law allowing funds to leave America to abolish and eliminate God’s creations found in another of God’s creations to be destroyed but by the same token will punish a pedophile. Can you believe it? I mean He gave Biden the evil eye last week for making fun of Judge Roberts. Why, because he respects Judge Roberts. But God? He gets no respect and Obama proclaims to be a Christian. I think.

How about a person who again considers themselves a Christian, by all manner of means, and yet vehemently say they only have one day a week of which they get to sleep in and rest. I’m glad God is merciful. He could say, “Look, you don’t want to attend My house and be with My family on Sundays’ because you want to rest? I’ll make it easy for you. Next time you rest on Sunday morning, I’ll make sure you keep your eyes closed for the rest of your life. Then the next time you open them, you’ll be looking right at Me.” Whoa! He gets no respect from even them.

Or say, people who go to church, call themselves believers and act like it’s ok to do what they do. Some are guilty of libel and slander, saying God created them gay. Some are guilty of fraud. At church they want people to think they are one way when at home they are another. Some are guilty of stealing by keeping from God that which is rightfully His. It’s a good thing that these religious crimes aren’t punishable by human law. Talk about over crowded jails? He gets no respect even from them.

The best one is those who believe God places diseases on people. I mean I hear people say that God gave them cancer, or caused an accident, or gave them a messed up body. Are you kidding me? If someone in America who has HIV and spits on another person, it is considered a crime. If God does do what many believers say He does, then He too is a criminal and should be put in jail. No respect. He doesn’t get respect.

So Rodney, take heart. You have good company. You and God get no respect.

That’s what I think about it.

DTW – http://www.exaltationchurch.com