True greatness (Why be great in a 2nd rate way?)

True greatness doesn’t demand allegiance. It inspires it. Forcing others to do your will isn’t greatness, inspiring them to do what’s right is.

To be truly great is to be unwilling to hate. It recognizes human dignity in everyone. It never demeans or demonizes. It’s always kind.

True greatness isn’t conquering others. It’s overcoming the evil with yourself. Fake greatness is selfish; true greatness is selfless.

True greatness is listening with compassion, not lecturing with adamance. It has no need or use for self-exaltation.

True greatness belittles no one! It is willing to be little in the eyes of others, but unwilling to belittle them. It recognizes the greatness in others, even when it disagrees with them. True greatness listens to understand, not to criticize.

True greatness is love and kindness and treating all people as your equal. It is to live your life with high ideals, fairness, and integrity.

True greatness is to seek understanding, walk in the light, and do what’s kind and right. True greatness overflows with gratitude, always appreciating what others have done.

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Song lyrics about the immanence (closeness) of the living Jesus

* “He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own.”

* “‘Fear not I am with thee, peace be still,’ Jesus whispers sweet and low.”

* “Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him, how I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er.”

* “Heaven came down and glory filled my soul.”

* “And then the hand of Jesus touched me, and now I’m no longer the same.”

* “Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it Jesus, let it be.”

* “The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.”

* “Jesus is the answer for the world today, above Him there’s no other, Jesus is the way.”

* “Why don’t you look into Jesus, He’s got the answer.”

* “He touched me, O, He touched me, and O, the glory that floods my soul.”

* “O, come let us adore, Him.”

* ” And then I cried, ‘Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit,’ and somehow Jesus came and brought to me the victory.”

* “Jesus, take the wheel.”

* “On Christ, the solid rock, I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

* “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.”

* “I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold.”

* “Give me Jesus, you can have all this world, but give me Jesus.”

* “Jesus loves me, this I know.”

–If you can think of other songs that illustrate the immanence (closeness) of Jesus, list them in comments.

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Offense-baiting

Much that people say today is designed to be offensive. Don’t take their bait. When people try to offend you, don’t let them (no matter what they say or do)! Be unofendable!

To expect other people to think and act like you, opens the door to you being offended. You can disagree with someone’s beliefs, words, and/or actions, without taking offense. To fill your heart with offense makes no sense.

Pride is quick to take offense. Humility rises above it.

To avoid taking offense assume people have the best intentions. Be a reverse paranoid. We have the right to not be offended, to love people even when we disagree with them.

It’s easy to not be offended by something someone has written. Just don’t read it.

Some people get offended because someone’s words confirm guilt they already feel. Offence happens because of the way an offended person interprets things.

If we talk about what encourages us, instead of what offends us, we’ll be happier. Many people get offended when they’ve not even been harmed. Try not to do that.

We all have the right to express our opinions, but no one has to listen or agree. However, if you make your point in the least offensive way, you’ll be more likely to be heard.

Sometimes, when we’re offended, it’s driven by our wounded pride, not by truth. Instead of taking offense at hurtful words, we can ignore them, or respond with love.

We have the right to criticize people’s ideas, but not their physical characteristics Physical characteristics tell you nothing about a person’s character. People who feel they’re treated as inferior, aren’t offended by the idea of equality.

Being kind can change someone’s mind. Rudeness just makes them defensive. To respond to people with kindness, you need to give up your “right” to be offended.

“Love one another,”
Isn’t a suggestion.
Are you showing love?
That’s the question.

Hearts are breaking,
Society’s shaking.
We need to love,
Not push & shove.

“Blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” –Jesus Christ. Love doesn’t refuse to listen to hurting people.

What we’re seeing in America is not sudden anger, but many generations of pain. America needs more than religisized politics. We need people who actively demonstrate the love of the living Jesus.

When hurting people desperately try to cope and heal, it doesn’t an ideology reveal. The answer to pain-based anger isn’t insults & force. It’s compassionate listening.

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The immanence of the living Jesus

If you refuse to hear and obey the living Jesus, hearing a man preach about Him won’t do you much good. However, directly experiencing the immanence of Jesus, releases awe, healing, and ardent celebration. (If you get caught up in aporia, you miss out on euphoria.)

If you don’t know the living Jesus as the great transforming Presence in your life, you’ve missed the point of Christianity. Much Christianity is missing the immanence of the living Jesus. Jesus isn’t an abstract principle but a living Person who wants to interact with you. Not only is Jesus sovereign and eminent, He wants to live in you and be immanent.

When Jesus proclaimed, “The kingdom of God is at hand,” He announced His immanence. “Christ in you–daily experiencing that reality is the immanence of the risen Jesus.

When you let the living Jesus actively work in your heart and mind, that’s immanence. Within myself, I experience the living Jesus as strongly as I experience my own consciousness. Let Emmanuel (“God with us”) demonstrate His immanence in your daily life.

Many Christians have never seen the living Jesus lead even one meeting without a preacher or a program. The living Jesus wants to make the kingdom of God an imminent reality, not a distant dream, talked about by preachers.

To help you experience Christ as immanent, check out my two handbooks to Christ in you: Beyond Church Ekklesia and The Joy Of Early Christianity. Thank you.

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Even when life is unfair, try not to be a Pharisee

Beware. Controlling, religious Pharisees aren’t unique to the first century. In the Bible, religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus. Many still do today. (The Pharisees wanted to keep the living Jesus from disrupting their religion. Do we?)

The Pharisees converted faith into a mere formula to follow, but Jesus says, “Follow Me.” The Pharisees saw their religion as entitlement, but saw the living Jesus as a threat to it.

To be proud and forceful about your opinions, but resist the living Jesus, is to be a Pharisee. The Pharisees were very religious, but they had no room for the living Jesus. They wanted Him dead.

Pharisees believe that they’re good people. Biblical Christians know we’re not. Pharisees are proud of their holiness. Biblical Christians are humbled by our lack of it.

The Bible clearly shows that Jesus didn’t support the status quo. He disrupted it. Pharisees were amazingly good at religious activities, but bad at following Jesus.

I love to see Christians interact as the body of Christ, not just sit and passively listen to one speaker. Worship that refuses to welcome spontaneity, quenches the Holy Spirit. Christ-followers are called to be spiritually living stones, not religious dry bones.

Today we have the Bible and we have direct access to the living Jesus. We can move beyond prepackaged and controlled religion. I’m always amazed at how everyday, the living Jesus is actively working inside me.

The kingdom of God is a demonstratable reality when King Jesus is present and obeyed. Biblical Christianity is so much more than pastor-focus and formal religious status. Unfortunately, I think today’s church might welcome the ancient Pharisees as their strongest members.

When pastor-focus
Caught us,
Christianity lost sight of
The living Jesus.

If we ignore the living Jesus,
We’ll miss out
On what Christianity
Is all about.

Christians aren’t called
To be proud Pharisees,
But humble servants
Of “the least of these.”

“In our day, the scribes and Pharisees would be represented by the clergy, the professors in our theological seminaries, and all high church officials.” —Francis J. Grimke

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Cancel your appointment with disappointment

Disappointment wants to dominate us and to steal the joy of hopeful expectation. Refuse to let disappoint destroy your joy in the present and your hope for the future. Life’s full of too many blessings to be disappointed by the ones you think you missed. Cancel your appointment with disappointment.

Disappointment says, “Look back and cry.” Jesus says, “Look to Me and rejoice!” The living Jesus is the best ointment to heal your disappointment. Prisoners of disappointment, let the living Jesus set you free!

Disappointment is like a pier. It doesn’t cross the lake, but it does give you a fresh viewpoint. If you refuse to look back, but look forward with hope, disappointment can’t last.

Disappoint your disappointment. Refuse to follow where it tries to lead you. Defer it until it’s so distant you hardly notice it. Continually point your mind toward your blessings, not toward disappointment.

All human life is made in the image of God. Respect God’s image in everyone. The loss of young human lives is no less tragic because it happens prenatally. When a country is overflowing with insults and rudeness, one kind word is powerful.

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Violence is extreme arrogance / humility seeks peace

Violence is extreme arrogance. It pretends it has the right to hurt people. Human violence almost always causes more injustice than it solves. Both prenatal and postnatal violence are cruel.

Temptation is the “human race” bate, luring us into pride, divisiveness, and injustice. Unkind words from our own citizens, may be the greatest, current threat to America. Outward hostility is a poor substitute for the lack of inner strength.

Christians are called to humility: To love the people on both sides of an argument. Be beneficial. Help heal the hurt and hostility in our land. To resist humility is to work against God.

Play the “human race” card. Embrace all people as your equal. There is much unfairness in the world; try not to be the cause of even more. (Do you want to be treated the way you treat the people you least respect?) Unfairness is often well camouflaged. Sometimes we lack compassion because we’re unwilling to see someone’s pain.

We’ve all been treated unfairly in various degrees, but all unfairness isn’t equal. Bad things come to those who hate (bitterness eventually consumes them).

The Christian answer to racial conflict should be love. Race as a divisive feature of mankind is artificial. History reveals it as manmade. When humans declared superficial skin color to be significant, we unleashed much pain.

Refusing to try to understand someone’s viewpoint is the beginning of unfairness. Too many people want to overpower others. I want a world where we empower each other. If we want to be heard and respected, perhaps we should listen to and respect others.

Most people aren’t intentionally unfair, but it’s so easy to be unintentionally so. Although fairness and equality can never be fully achieved in a nation, we can do better than we’ve done.

A genuine attitude of fairness goes a long way towards peace, healing, and community. It’s easy to assume that things are fair, but if we haven’t examined them with open hearts and rational minds, how do we know they are? To learn your nation’s history without prejudice, pursue it like you would study an ancient civilization long ago destroyed. By learning how atrocities were committed in history, we may be able to prevent more.

The more you make room for the living Jesus to work in your life, the greater you are in His kingdom.

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Crumbling comfort zones, freedom, & choices

Stand up for what you know is right, deep in your conscience even when it’s uncomfortable. Don’t just for what you want. Tell what you stand for (instead of insulting your opponents). Love people, even when you disagree with them.

Compassionately warning people of danger is love. Dangerous times need such love. Warnings are good. They alert us to the opportunity to avoid pain and mishaps. Failure to warn someone who is stepping unaware into harm’s way, is unloving.

Danger lurks when the people of a nation embrace and promote self-destructive behavior. Beware of the march of evil ideas. (Not all points of view are just and righteous.) Your behavior matters. Choose to do what’s right before God and avoid doing wrong. When your conscience tells you that a bridge is out, it’s wise to turn back.

Rejecting Christian ethical standards, leads to becoming a prisoner of whims. The voices in your head & heart don’t always tell you the truth. If you find yourself trying to justify immoral behavior, you may be already deceived.

If you can’t (or won’t) vividly see your own faults, self-righteousness has set in. Our mistakes are warnings. They don’t define us, but challenge us to be better.

Freedom is wonderful, unless it’s used to self-destruct or to do wrong. Being your own moral compass is the road to confusion and personal chaos. Choose thoughts and behaviors that improve your life, help others, and align with truth.

“Not judging” isn’t being quiet about your beliefs. It is “speaking the truth in love.”

On going anger is dangerous, both to the angry person and to society. When your anger exceeds your compassion, you become a walking danger.

Sexuality’s not a toy for our fancy. It’s a God-given blessing that carries responsibility.

An artificial lifestyle is heartless. A superficial lifestyle is shallow. A beneficial lifestyle is beautiful.

Superficial thinking leads to arguments, but a relentless search for the truth leads to peace. As long as you will listen to your conscience, you’re not far from the voice of God.

Superficial Christianity’s common; supernatural Christianity’s Christ’s “narrow way.” If we’re not entirely convinced of eternity, we act like all that matters is now. Warning: It’s easy for Christians to be out of step with the living Jesus.

As comfort zones crumble around us, I find great comfort in the living Jesus Christ. The living Jesus is busy calming storms in human hearts, all around the world in 2020. Even though I don’t understand what’s going on, the peace that the risen Jesus gives, transcends it all.

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Angry people aren’t very fun & rage is a goofy stage

When anger burns like fire and blows like a hurricane, a country is in trouble. Angry people aren’t very fun.

America’s experiencing nature’s furry in fires and storms and human rage from the White House to the streets. We need to disengage rage, before it’s too late! (Look at the past. People who rode rage, always crashed.)

To effectively communicate, take the shout out of your voice and disengage from rage. After all, rage is a goofy stage ( as a platform for speaking and/or a phase of life). If we turn the page on rage and engage each other with love and compassion, we can heal.

Taking offense lets your destructive emotions out of their fence. Best forgive. Rage is a cage that locks down the heart of the person who carries it. When you get mad at people, you acknowledge their ability to manipulate you.

Loathing is a heavy load, both for the loather and the lothees. Loathing is ugly clothing, but a smile is always in style. Loathing easily leaps into violence, but love likes to lead toward peace.

It’s sad that many people choose to be mad about what they don’t like, instead of glad about what they do. If you stay mad, you’ll stay sad. If you show love, you’ll rise above it like a dove. To get mad at someone for disagreeing with your opinion is arrogance.

Anger makes the human mind think irrationally. Volleys of anger kill the jollies of life. Cease fire! Escalate kindness to de-escalate conflict.

Anger creates tension. Widespread anger creates widespread tension. Peace please. To avoid getting mad, refuse to allow people’s words to make you mad. Instead of getting mad, try being merely miffed. Then you won’t wreck a relationship.

Anger turns conversation into conflict. It changes discussion into discord. We need love and kindness to lead our way. See: Off the RACE Track–From Color-Blind to Color-Kind.

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Christicism–be a Christic

Jesus said, “Leap for joy,” but many Christians just creep along. We need more Christicism–first-hand, mystical encounters with the living Jesus. Christology is the study of Christ. Christian mysticism (Christicism) is experiencing Him. I experience mystical encouragement as Jesus speaks within me. I find that I am strongest when I’m weak enough to surrender to Jesus.

To be with the living Jesus and in awe of Him, is the most amazing form of prayer. Beholding Jesus dispels indifference and compels awe and obedience. Behold the Lamb of God! If Jesus never causes you to say “Aha!” you may have replaced Him with religion. Christ demystified is Christ denied.

A Christic (Christian mystic) is someone who continually listens to and obeys the risen Jesus. A Christic follows Jesus supernaturally, not just intellectually. Jesus didn’t teach concepts unrelated to daily reality. Follow Him daily, not religion. A Christic experiences and obeys the living Jesus for real.

Many people avoid mystical experiences with the living Jesus, because of fear. Much of modern Christianity has been demystified & emptied of awe, leaving a mere shell.

Too much Christianity demonstrates verbal proclamation, but behavioral denial. Demystified Christianity is often dull, but “Christ in you” is continual adventure. For admission into great joy, let the living Jesus lead your into daily mission.

Christians are called to live in a Christocracy–under the direct Kingship of Jesus. Do you?

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