Taking offense is tacky. (Does that offend you?)

To take offense is to feel hurt, slighted, or annoyed because of something someone said or did. It’s not wise to be offended. Let’s go beyond taking offence and show God’s love to all. We can disagree with people without taking personal offence at what they say and/or do.

Offense trumps love. It is very easy to allow yourself to be offended. However, it takes much strength and courage to avoid taking offense.

  • Taking offense is painful. It hurts your feelings. Most people believe that the person or the thing that they have taken offence at is what is hurting them. However, in reality, it was their choice to be offended that is hurting them.
  • Taking offense is tacky. Tacky means sticky. It also means not having good taste. Taking offense is allowing negative, angry, hurtful feelings to stick in your heart.  Not that’s tacky — not having good taste — because those negative feelings leave a bad taste in your spirit and cause you ongoing pain.
  • Taking offense is making someone’s words or behavior about you instead of about them. When someone says or does something harsh and you take it as an insult, you are putting yourself first. The truth is that whatever a person says or does is much more about her/him than it is about you. They are speaking and/or acting from their own insecurity rather intentionally attacking you.
  • Taking offense is disobedience to Jesus. Jesus taught us to “love your enemies” not to be offended with them.

So how can you avoid taking offense?

  1. Choose to be aware of the offending person’s pain. He/she must be pretty miserable to talk and act like that. This attitude will transform offense into pity and compassion for the person.
  2. Choose to see the offending person as mentally confused. If a person who thought he was Napoleon said something bad to you, you wouldn’t take offense. Instead you would write him off as crazy and laugh off his comment.
  3. Choose to aggressively resist the offensive feelings and thoughts that try to invade your heart and mind. Don’t let them in. Don’t let those thoughts and feelings kick you around. Instead, you kick them out. Say to them, “Get out of my mind and heart. Offense is not welcome in me. I refuse to accept offense! I will not tolerate feelings or thoughts of offense!”
  4. Every time that what the person said or did comes to your mind, choose to pray and ask God to bless him/her. Say, “God bless (put name here)! Bless his health. Bless his finances. Bless his family and friends. Bring good things his way.” Jesus said we are to bless our enemies. So do it. Don’t worry about whether you feel it or not. Just obey and bless. ( Symeon The New Theologian [949-1022] put it this way: “If you truly love and pray for those who slander and mistreat  you, who hate and defraud you, you will make rapid progress.”)
  5. Choose to remember that you have offended others and therefore you aren’t any better than those you are tempted to be offended at.

If you will to train yourself to choose to do these things every time you begin to feel offended, offense will soon loosen its hold on your heart. That will open the way for God to fill you with His joy, peace, and love.

Don’t be tacky and take offense!  Don’t take offense at my sincere desire to help you get over the tendency to feel offended. Instead do these things and begin to enjoy God’s continual flow of love in your life.

(Still having trouble letting go and forgiving? Here’s my 9th most popular blog post to help you: When Somebody’s Done You Wrong — 3 Three Responses.)

offense trumps love.

 

Posted in acts of kindness, God's love, heart-felt love, How to forgive., Jesus, kindness, Love one another, love wins, love your enemies, love your neighbor as yourself, perfect love casts out fear, speak the truth in love, true love, trump, Uncategorized, unforgiveness, way of love, where there is hatred let me sow love | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

We desperately need heavenly politics

Forget Trump and Hillary–America desperately needs the living, resurrected Jesus. Here’s my paraphrase of Jesus’ words in Matthew 3:2:

“Line up your attitude, thoughts, words, and actions with God and His will (rather than with your feelings, desires, compulsions, and traditions) for His kingdom (His government and authority) is here, offering an alternative so that we can go beyond human leadership, anger, pride, panic, prejudice, violence, fear, crookedness, bullying, and hate.”
(“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” –Matthew 3:3, NKJ)

Vote for Jesus! Make Him Lord (absolute Master) of your life. Follow and obey Him 24/7/365. Keep His presence, passion, and fire burning in the center of your heart! Demonstrate and proclaim His power, presence, and love, everywhere you go.

Heavenly politics? When we come together in Jesus’ name, deny self by laying down our plans, opinions, and agendas, and let Him personally lead and direct the meeting; we enter into the government and control of God rather than the government and control of man. This is a manifestation of heavenly politics — the kingdom of God — the will of God being done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Have you ever been to a Jesus city council meeting? (America desperately needs Jesus’ city council!) Amazing things happen when Jesus’ city council (ekklesia) meets together! (In the Greek New Testament Jesus said: “I will build My ekklesia.” Ekklesia is the name of the city council in ancient Greek city-states.) The “gates of Hell” cannot prevail against Jesus’ city council. Learn more about ekklesia here.

Jesus is Lord

 

Posted in American church, casting your vote, church, city council meeting, ekklesia, Heaven, kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven, kingdom values, organic church, politics and religion, presidential candidates 2016, Presidential politics, repent, repentance, the Kingdom of God is at hand, Uncategorized, violence, violence in society, will be done on earth as it is in Heaven | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

America’s big lie about black men

America was settled and then founded on a huge lie (this was not a little white lie) about black men, women, and children. The lie says that black skin is somehow shameful. That big lie, buried deep within our national subconsciousness, releases negative, emotional reactions (uneasiness, suspicion, caution, dislike, fear, disdain, superiority, anger, etc.) when a great many Americans see black skin. Then those reactions make us blind to the unique person within. That lie is especially powerful in labeling black men.

We call that big white lie race. However, in the Bible there is only one race — the human race. To categorize people and treat them differently because of skin shade, makes no more sense than to do so because of eye color. Truth is all people belong to the same race.

Black men are amazing people (and it is a lie to believe they are not)! The news tonight broke my heart and made me cry several times. (The stories included an unarmed black man with two policeman kneeling on his back being shot point blank in Louisiana and a black man in Minnesota, stopped for a broken tail light, shot when he told the police officer that he has a licensed gun.)  I don’t get it. This morning I heard that a hate-filled sniper in Dallas began to shoot and kill policemen at a rally. America’s big white lie has got to stop before it blows up our country! We must repent of this evil lie (and get it out of our subconscious minds) that has plagued America since the first Africans were forcibly brought ashore by human traffickers in 1619!

We love black men at The Salvation Army Berry Street. Their gender/color combo doesn’t make us afraid or suspicious. Personally I’ve found black men to be very easy to talk with and get along with. For two summers I sold books by myself, door to door, in black neighborhoods, and I never had any problem with a black man. I’ve walked streets where black men were selling drugs. I’ve worked with hundreds of black men (and white men) in a Salvation Army Rehab Center. I’ve prayer walked in so-called “dangerous” neighborhoods and gone to places police told me not to go and still had no problems. I’ve held hands with street-looking black men, praying for them, and many times I’ve seen them cry. America, stop telling and believing lies about black men!

While I was writing this blog this morning, my wife received a phone call from a family we love. A family of 6 young black men, their sister, and cousins were about to lose their grandmother, who was found unconscious in bed this morning. This family has been part of Berry Street since we began 8 1/2 years ago. Ernie and I went to the emergency room to try to comfort this family in their grief. Seeing these young men in their twenties with tears of grief in their eyes was deeply moving.

We went to an urban grocery store to get food for the family. We don’t normally shop there so we needed help. While shopping, four different black men who work in the store were incredibly nice to us and helped us find what we needed. Then we walked into a restaurant and a black man who was in front of us opened the door, but didn’t go in. Instead he held the door open for us. (See what great people black men are!)

Here’s a pic of me and one of the most amazing men I know! It’s time to stop believing the national lie about black men.

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So what is the big lie about black men (and women)? It has been told since the 1600s and is still believed by many millions during the 21st Century. Check out America’s (big) white lie about black people here.

The truth is that black skin and black people are beautiful!

Here’s a pic of me and Christian rapper Viktory. What an amazing guy! America, tear down the lie!

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Posted in African American experience, African Americans, black history, black is beautiful, blue eyes brown eyes, healing racism, police violence, racial healing, racial reconciliation, red and yellow black and white, Uncategorized, violence, violence epidemic, violence in society | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pledging Allegiance To The Living, Resurrected Jesus Christ

The early Christ-followers continually got in trouble with government and with religion because they proclaimed “Jesus is Lord” (the absolute Master and Ruler high above all nations, governments, and religions). Their declaration of dependence on and surrender to the supreme authority of Jesus Christ was not just in their words, but also in the way that they lived their lives.

There is only room for one Lord (Absolute Master) in a person’s life. If I’m controlling and/or running my life, then Jesus isn’t. If a government, organization, or some other authority is controlling and/0r running my life, then Jesus isn’t. If a religion or a set of rules is controlling and/or running my life, then Jesus isn’t. If conforming to society and trying to be accepted and approved of by living like my peers is controlling and/or running my life, then Jesus isn’t.

Christ calls us to follow Him. Therefore:

I pledge allegiance to the living, resurrected Jesus Christ and to His kingdom (His active rule and dominion on earth) above every other authority and government. Rather than following my own opinions and desires, or conforming to pubic opinion and the society around me; I pledge to continually listen to Him speak in my heart and through the Bible, and to daily follow and obey what He tells me.

“Therefore God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, and at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, or those who in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

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To learn practical ways to make Jesus the Lord (the Head of His body) when we gather for worship; check out: Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia (pictured at the foot of the cross above).

 

Posted in Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, eyes of the Lord, I saw the Lord, joy of the Lord, let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Lord have mercy, Lord Jesus Christ, love the Lord your God, magnify the Lord, My Lord and my God, O taste and see that the Lord is good, Prepare the way of the Lord, Speak Lord, Uncategorized, what does Lord mean? | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Row v. Flow (Religion or Holy Spirit)

Row v. Flow
Should we dutifully row to a droning drumbeat in the galley ship of religion?
Or freely flow in rushing rivers of living water released by the Holy Spirit?

Put Jesus in the driver’s seat. Learn to go beyond church and flow in the power and presence of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ and His Spirit by reading Beyond Church: An Invitation To Experience The Lost Word Of The Bible–Ekklesia.098

Posted in Christian spirituality, different drummer, flow of the Spirit, flowing in the Spirit, flowing of the Holy Spirit, go with the flow, God's flow, Holy Spirit flow, Holy Spirit promptings, Holy Spirit take over, how to flow in the spirit, inner flow, listening, listening prayer, listening to God, Spirit's flow, spiritual adventure, spiritual atmosphere, spiritual awakening, spiritual church, spiritual disciplines, spiritual flow, spiritual flows, spiritual formation, spiritual healing, spiritual hunger, spiritual innovation, spiritual listening, spiritual maturity, spiritual movement, spiritual passion, spiritual transformation, spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

These bodyguards are better than guns!

The world’s most amazing bodyguards . . . When you have the top bodyguards in the world (like the President of the USA or a billionaire who employs an elite bodyguard service) you have no need to carry a gun.

So guess who has better bodyguards than money can buy? Christ-followers! We have angels watching over us! They are better than the US Secret Service! We just need to trust them.

My angel bodyguards have protected me many times. One summer I sold books door-to-door during race riots in Columbus, Georgia. Never once was I harmed. My wife and I have prayer walked regularly in a violent neighborhood in East Nashville for years and our bodyguards have always kept us safe. Once I was running full-speed across a street and something suddenly stopped me in my tracks (had to be an angel bodyguard) at the yellow line. A moment later a car zoomed by and missed me by a foot. I thank God for my bodyguards!

Here’s a bodyguard painting by my friend, Melanie Jackson. The book in front of the painting is about how Christ-followers can go beyond church and experience the supernatural presence of God when they meet together. Check out the book here.

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Posted in alternative to guns, angels, angels watching over you, Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might, Beyond Church, Bill of Rights, demonstration of the Spirit's power, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, God's power, God's protection, gun violence, nonviolence, peace, power, power of God, President, protection, regulating guns, secret service, spiritual power, spiritual weapons, Uncategorized, violence, violence in society, with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, wonder working power, You shall receive power | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes love loses . . .

Love wins has become a popular slogan. However, love doesn’t always win. Sometimes love loses.

  • Love loses when bullying becomes a political strategy.
  • Love loses when a child in the womb is viewed as an object to be killed and disposed of.
  • Love loses when entertainment promotes violence, vulgarity, and disrespect.
  • Love loses when a wall is seen as a cure-all.
  • Love loses when when people disrespect others and call them names on social media.
  • Love loses when honest disagreement is called hatred.
  • Love loses when life becomes about personal pleasure and self-gratification.
  • Love loses when an assault rife is seen as an important weapon in the arsenal of self-defense.
  • Love loses when people are singled out for mistreatment because of their race, their religion, their nationality, or their opinions.
  • Love loses when people are rude to one another.
  • Love loses when people respond to perceived rudeness with various forms of aggression such as road rage.
  • Love loses when we take offense.
  • Love loses when we lie.
  • Love loses when we brag and act in pride.
  • Love loses when we succumb to compassion fatigue.
  • Love loses when we expect government to take care of us.
  • Love loses when we do what we feel rather than what’s morally right.
  • Love loses when laws command people to violate their conscience under threat of punishment.
  • Love loses when sex is seen as a casual activity.
  • Love loses when we let mass murders and other violence make us numb.
  • Love loses when we are unkind to those who disagree with us.
  • Love loses when political correctness stops open and honest communication.
  • Love loses when  when fear prevails.
  • Love loses when the horror of war is celebrated and glorified.
  • Love loses when we steal or cheat.
  • Love loses when we ignore the poor.

When else does love lose?

 

 

Posted in abortion, agree to disagree, assault rife, build a wall, bullying, casual sex, disrespect, entertainment, fear, hate, hate speech, love wins flag, murders, political correctness, politics, pride, racism, religion, road rage, self-focus, social media, Uncategorized, violence, war | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment