Life Lessons of a Homemakeover

I haven’t written an article in a while because I’ve been a bit preoccupied with a project. I find it strangely fulfilling to be so engrossed in a project that I have time for little else,

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even eating on some days. My latest home project consumed all of my attention from early-September until December first, when I put the finishing touches on my full home-makeover (it shouldn’t have taken that long, but Home Depot and I had some… disagreements).

What I find most fulfilling, however, are all the life lessons that God is teaching me through this work which are applicable to every other facet of my life.

1. You Must Have Vision

The ability to see, or imagine, what is literally not there is essential to creating transformation and a beautiful outcome. Very often, the mess or dis-repair of what we currently look at clouds our ability to make things right, or make things new. But when you can tap into an imagined reality, in full detail, it’s that mental image that allows you to let the first sledge hammer fly. And as a matter of fact, you can become quite good at seeing beauty where others only see mess.

God has given each of us a measure of faith and a creative spirit; to solve problems and bring wholeness and beauty.

What do you see here?

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2. Intention & Focus

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The End of the 1st Amendment

At least the portion applied to freedom of religion.

A Minnesota Town Wants Religious War Memorials, So Satanists Offer One With a “Baphometic Bowl of Wisdom”

The City of Belle Plaine has received pressure from atheists and Satanists to remove a war memorial that

belleplainemonumenttstfeatured a cross. After their efforts failed, the Satanic Temple proposed their own monument, called the “Baphometic Bowl of Wisdom.”

It is a black, steel cube. Inverted pentagrams (a universal Satanic symbol) are etched into the sides of the monument. A pitch black, overturned soldier’s helmet is planted on the top.

It is named after Baphomet, an androgynous half-goat, half-man demon.

Satanists are claiming that this monument respects veterans. And the city of Belle Plaine has accepted it.

I wonder how many years out America is from restricting or amending the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. Or more likely, no legal change will be made, but rather the spirit of freedom and tolerance for other beliefs, which is quickly eroding, will simply disappear.

This is the catch-22 of American freedom that allows the existence of beliefs and behaviors that undermine the core values it rests on.

For example, Libertarianism is completely untenable; as follows. Libertarianism > freedom of commerce, association, and travel > libertarian values allow no restrictions on who can move into the community or what values they should hold > new arrivals much prefer authoritarian policies > poof! Your free society is gone. Libertarian values restrict the group’s ability to maintain its libertarian community. Sown into core of the system is its own self-defeating value.

Same is true for Christian communities (or those who wished for one). When your societal ideal rests on freedom of religion, tolerance, acceptance, and not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you’ll soon find you have no ability to influence your culture or community. Your own values require you to support the rights and access and influence of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and even Satanic worship.

Well, that certainly is diverse.

 

Build Yourself Up… to help & save others

I was reminded of a scripture today that I used very often in the past for debates on gifts of the Holy Spirit and in speaking in tongues:

…But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, … Jude 20

I argued, “You see, praying in the Holy Spirit is praying in tongues, and that’s how you can build your faith”, never taking in the full context of the verse.  The fuller context is like this:

These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.  These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.  But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,…  
Jude 16-23

God reminded me today why we must build ourselves up; to keep

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“but others save with fear, pulling them from the fire..”

ourselves in His love, despite a world around us that is going to sh*t.  And to actively look to have compassion on others so we might save them from their impending destruction.

An Uncertain Sound

For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle? – 1 Corinthians 14:8

With the arrest of three men in New York, allegedly on their way to hijack a plane in Turkey to divert it to the ISIS hotbed in Syria, we have yet another instance of the “war on terror” coming ever closer to home and on US soil.  The men have also been accused of plotting to kill police, FBI agents, US soldiers, and even President Obama.

Again, most people can see the hand writing on the wall and are beginning think critically about how they will respond when a more concerted attack takes place here in the US homeland. Others, of course, have their heads firmly planted in the sand (or sometimes, a certain body orifice) and are waiting ever-so blithely for a very stern and rude awakening.  It’s hard to blame them when a lot of the media discussion is around whether the President and his cabinet are using the correct nomenclature or what strategies can be used to defeat ISIS and their ilk “over there.”

Since there is no clarity of message in our national media space, and not much of a message coming from American spiritual leaders, the sound being heard today is uncertain.  Without a clear and certain “sound” how can one prepare himself for battle?

Sounding the Trumpet

Please prepare your mind and spirit for the struggle of our generation.  Seek God’s will in your life and ask him what He would have you do during the coming storm.  Prepare for both a spiritual battle, and quite possibly, a physical one.

A Storm is Coming

As ISIS beheads 21 Egyptian, Coptic Christians in Lybia and shoots up a free speech forum, and kills two, in Copenhagen, Denmark just this week (not to mention the other recent events in Europe and elsewhere), we can see two common elements in the targets of Islamic jihad: open Christians & seculars that dare criticize Islam or its followers.  As such, it’s amazing that even though such elements are in ready abundance here in the US, most people do not imagine that such attacks can, or will, take place on American soil.  As Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan’s Purse and son of evangelist Billy Graham, has said, “The storm is coming.” It is certainly time that most Americans wake up to this fact.

So ask yourself: How are you preparing your family and your soul for this seemingly inevitable event? Continue reading