My Sunday Thought: For Others

Philippians is one of my favorite writings of the Bible. I know many refer to them as books of the Bible, but they were letters and essays when first written and only became ‘books’ after being bound together in a book called the Bible.

No, I am not going to make a big deal about semantics today, it’s just one of my little quirks. That and the numbered verses and the chapter divisions. I really just enjoy the words in the original flow, without man’s interruptions. Man can mess up some beautiful things, you know?

But Philippians has some of my favorite sentences in it. One of them is one of the first I ever referred to as a life ‘verse’.

Philippians 1:19

“Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.”

Whatever is happening to me, I count as something I can use to make me stronger in my relationship with God and make me a better person overall moving forward each day. It might be a good fortune or a day of body ravaging pain but through each I move forward with the one constant in my life. And I use all for my betterment.

But that sentence is not what was  given today for me to think about and ponder upon. No, I was given instead;

Philippians 2:3

1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 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.”

I found the sentence today interesting. I’m not overly sure why. Okay, perhaps I do know why.

Think about it like this. Say you go on vacation and you have to leave your house and expensive things behind but you are the only one you can count on, the only one you can trust. Would you actually be able to relax on vacation or even take that vacation?

Now think about if your neighbors cared about you, watched out for you and each other, each others property and safety. Would you be able to go on vacation and relax?

Yes, I know what most people think of when they read the verse. We are supposed to put other people before us as Christ put others before himself. But there are many benefits even before we get to heaven we can receive if we all just did as this verse said.

I like to think I consider others before I do myself at times. No, I am sure I don’t all the time. Just wanted to say that before anyone decided to think I was being all braggadocious or something. I know I care about my blogs and my writing and the happiness of those of you reading what I write. But I do sometimes put things on delay to help here and there. Why do I do that?

I do some things around Blog World that people would ask to be paid for. You know what? I enjoy doing the things I do. I rarely, if ever have said no to helping someone. Why? In all honesty, I’ve never thought to say no. Maybe afterwards or in the middle of something that is taxing during a fibro flare, I might get that “I so regret saying yes” feeling, but the person’s happiness makes it better.

Don’t do things for others for recognition. I haven’t told you what I’ve done or for whom. Anything I’ve ever written with someone I’ve not wanted my name there but it’s been pretty much insisted upon at times. I like just helping and seeing the person get good results . . . if they do. Most of the time I really don’t do that much except just spark an idea.

Anyway. Help others. Put others needs before your own. It sounds like a big thing but it isn’t always. If you’re a boss, stand up for your employees. I did that when I was a boss. I ended up being stabbed in the back by one of those I stood up for time and again, but here I am . . . doing what I love most, writing. All works out for my deliverance.

Until Next Thoughtday,

Ronovan

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A spark enflames. My Sunday Thought for Today.

“4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell”.-John 3:4-6

This passage is one that is used often about what trouble our words can cause. This is the message given most often from the pulpit about these words.

ron_ballgame_blackandwhiteAs we all know, I am a bit different. I look at this and say “So with my words I can spread a fire of encouragement and love.”

Some see my words of encouragement  and even my “Much Respect & Love” as a means to another end. They think I am after something. Of course I am. I want to encourage people. I don’t use those words unless I mean them. I respect everyone until they give me a reason not to. I love everyone regardless. Yeah, I know, “Ooooo, the Christian loves everyone, even the murderers.” Well, yeah. I’ve written about that before. I love God’s creation, I just don’t love what the creation does . . . and it went on from there to explain more but I’m not getting into that today. But I don’t throw the L word around much. For one thing I know people take it the wrong way.

Well, I’ll tell you this. Call me different. I got no problem with it. Don’t judge me just because you have experiences with others. And finally . . .

Use your words to start a fire. Spark encouragement everywhere. Spark love everywhere. Spark friendship everywhere. Spark trust everywhere.

 

Much Respect and Love

Ronovan

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Do everything in love. My Sunday thought for today.

My randomly generated Bible verse today was 1 Corinthians 16:14

“Do everything in love.”-Paul to the church in Corinth

It is always my custom to then go and read the surrounding verses to get the context of the message. If you visit the verse today you will see it stands alone and does not rely on an explanation from any surrounding verses. But there is a message from all of those verses.

Paul was telling the church that he wanted to come and that he was sending others until he could but regardless if anyone of them were there or not they should . . . do what?

“Do everything in love.”

That pretty much sums up how we should be and how I TRY to live. I try to live that out here on my blog and to those I encounter through it. Do I fail at times? Oh yeah! But I TRY.

It doesn’t say to do this thing or that thing in love it says ‘everything’. You see if you look throughout the New Testament you’ll see that doing in love is a key. If true love is guiding you then you can’t go wrong. This isn’t the ‘in love’ love. Or the ‘love of power’. This is ‘love of what is right’. For a Christian that ‘right’ is the words of Jesus.

You know we look at the writings in the New Testament and there are so many arguments about it, but just go to the words of Jesus and see if things are backed up by what he said. “Love your neighbor…” remember that one? Not love that neighbor on the left and not the one on the right.

This is a pretty simple thing that if we all thought and lived by would make the world a lot better. It wouldn’t even matter what your beliefs were, just simply love. For those who might be thinking, “But I don’t believe in what the Bible says,” well, I kind of think “Do everything in love” is a pretty good thing. As I’ve said many times before, whether you believe or not, the words of Jesus and those words inspired by him are still useful to everyone’s daily life.

 

Much Respect & LoveRon_Hoodie_HeartRonovan

(See? I got a little heart love action going on.)

 

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Sex and Hell: My Sunday Thoughts, Enter at Your Own Risk

You ever notice I have strange ideas about things? It’s Sunday and that means Bible thoughts are swirling through the old lost mind. Christians annoy me. They really do. What? That surprises you to hear me say? Well keep reading and see what the old amnesiac has to say.

Sex.Couple kissing and embracing hands on faces

  • If you have it and you’re not married then you go to Hell.
  • If it occurs outside a man woman marriage then the people go to Hell.

You know if I had thought of that in my early to mid twenties when I started searching for a church I would have just said, “Forget it, if I’m going to Hell already then I ain’t gonna bother with it.”

Oh I know, you are thinking, “Ronovan, you forgot about the part where if you get Saved by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior then you’re okay.”

No, I didn’t forget it. Nope. Thought about it the entire time.

So here is where I am coming from. Do we all sin? I know some of you are saying you don’t believe in sin and so forth, but okay then. Do we all do bad things, like breaking the laws and such?

Yeah, I see some of you nodding your heads, trying to stay awake and it’s not working. Just like in a church on a hot day right before lunch time and the pastor is preaching the same sermon he has 5 times before and he’s been there less than a year.

If you break a law and you go to court, you end up paying a fine of some sort, be it money or time in jail. Now after you get out of jail or have paid a fine then you are free to go on your way.  That’s because that’s what the rule book says, the law.

Well Christians we have a rule book, a book of law so to speak. Yeah, the Bible, the Word, the Good Book.

  • It says in the Bible that Jesus came for ALL of our sins.
  • It says in the Bible that if you accept Jesus then your sins are thus forgiven.
  • It says in the Bible you have to be perfect from that point forward to stay Saved.

If you agreed to that last one we might need to have a little talk. Because there is a verse in there that says . . . hold on let me find it.

Here it is, John 10: 27-30

27″My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[c]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”-Jesus

Notice that, “No one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” No sinner can snatch you, not even yourself. Once you are in the Father’s hand you are His. You may slide back into a life that you crawled out of, but all the Father asks is that you try to be better. That you try to do better. No one can be perfect, if they could then Jesus would not have had to come in the first place.

Now I am talking to my Christian friends here. We need to stop judging and fudging. Stop judging people and stop fudging the Word of God. “But Ronovan it says in Romans 1 that . . .” Stop right there. Have you ever read Romans 1 and 2 together without the chapter breaks that later man put in there? Without verse numbers? No? Give it a try and then see what is being said.

If you do you might see that Paul is laying into the early Christians of Rome not to judge those that people today condemn in Chapter 1. He is telling them that if they do then they are judging themselves.

What society do you think made up those first Christians in Rome in the first place?

Yes, sex outside of man and woman marriage is a sin as the Bible says. A touchy subject I know. I am a sinner. Yep. Throw me to the pits, oh, wait . . . I accepted Jesus. I . . . and I don’t . . . I don’t judge other sinners.

“But Ronovan you’re judging us for judging others.”

Nope. I am sharing the Word of God.  “But you judged.” No, what I did was point out something that we have all been taught for so long is more of a ‘tradition’ in the church than an actual fact of the faith.

Pastors around the  world today are preaching on Romans Chapter 1 right now as an end all and be all, because it’s what they’ve been taught according to ‘traditions’.

Does the scripture above mean I can go out and sin all I want to and be fine? Technically yes, yes it does. “Then let me sign up now before I go get with the neighbors wife.” It doesn’t work that way. You have to be sincere. Over time things happen and there are outside influences and life situations and all sorts of things that cause one to do this or that. Ask forgiveness and then try to do better.

“Ronovan, do you still think people that have sex with someone other than who they are married to according to the Bible marriage plan is sinning.”

Yes I do. And guess what. I don’t think that sin is any greater than any other sin. There isn’t a tier system. Jesus died for each and every sin, not just what we consider the baby sins.

 

So what inspired me to talk about this today? I really don’t know. I was going to speak on suicide after a popular video was shared with me but then this hit me. Oh, now I remember, it was part of a conversation I had. I think there was a discussion on monogamy.

Did I say things today to encourage people to go out and have sex with other people? No. Did I say they were forgiven if they had accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior? Yes.

I am sure there are some reading this now wondering about me. “What is Ronovan talking about? I thought he was a Christian. He must be one of them Liberal so called Christians.”

I think it’s odd when a person says they believe in something the Bible says that disagrees with “traditions” they are automatically labeled a Liberal. I actually said something in all of that which would make people say I am a Conservative as well.  My actual party if I were to proclaim one is Christ Led.

Not sure if I said anything anyone learned from today. But this is me on a Sunday, sharing my thoughts of how I see what the Bible says. Not everyone has to agree with me, but I am glad I got that off my chest.

Praying you all have a good week and see you next Sunday.

Ronovan

 

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Sunday Thought: Be Still and Know

I read an article by someone I have come to consider a good friend of mine, Allison at Long & Luxe, and a phrase she used reminded me of one of my favorite all time scriptures.

 

Sunset Pear Harbor
gettyimages © Original Photo by Kathy Collins

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”-Psalm 46:10

 

Each person reading this has different beliefs and we each have something we turn to that brings us comfort and peace. During a period where I was dealing with high blood pressure, which due to my weight loss I no longer have, and some newly found health problems at the time my world was chaotic. My mind was not able to focus and things had no stability to me.

 

I’m not one to believe in coincidences. Some people say God doesn’t speak to them. I say they just don’t recognize his language.

 

During this time two things happened:

One Wednesday night at church we broke up into different groups and prayed for each other. The one praying for me prayed for peace and focus in my life without my saying a word of my need.

 

The next week, as I was functioning as the Youth Pastor for my church, I took our youth to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. For those of you not familiar with him, he is an American Contemporary Christian music legend. Some say he even broke the boundaries and brought music of a type that spoke to a new generation of Christians.

 

During the concert Chapman had the lights turned down low and it was just him and his guitar. And he sang this song.

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is holy
Be still oh, restless soul of mine
Bow before the Prince of Peace
Let the noise and clamor cease

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is faithful
Consider all that He has done
Stand in awe and be amazed
And know that He will never change
Be still

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know that He is God
Be still, be speechless

Be still and know that He is God
Be still and know He is our Father
Come rest your head upon His chest
Listen to the rhythm of
His unfailing heart of love
Beating for His little ones
Calling each of us to come
Be still, be still

As I said, I don’t believe in coincidences. I recognized God’s voice in what was going on around me. This was in 2008 and has been a mantra of mine ever since. Be still and know God is God and that there are things beyond your control, things you just have to pray about. Give the grief and the sorrows to Him. Let God be God.

 

Since an accident in my home in the summer of 2013 I’ve been through some tough times. One thing that has never left me is the Word of God. This verse keeps me going. I’ve expanded on it as I’ve studied the Bible more and taken a fresh look at how Christianity is today.

 

“Be still and Let God be God and people be people.”

 

I see the slogans and shirts about “Be calm . . .” or “Stay calm . . .” If I have to rely on people to bring me peace and calm, I’ll just give up now. My phrase means just stay calm and be yourself and LET God take care of the rest and LET people be the people they are and wish to be. Yes, as a Christian believing in Heaven and Hell I will share with someone what I think because I love them, no matter who they are, but I’m not going to force them to be what they don’t want to be. Jesus didn’t do that, and he’s the one I follow.

 

I heard Be Still and Know for the first time at that concert weeks before Chapman lost one of the three daughters he adopted from China. His youngest son ran over her in his truck as she ran to him. He didn’t see her. Chapman kept yelling to his son as he drove off after the helicopter taking his daughter away “I love you son. I love you.” Chapman eventually was able to record again. Was able to be still and know.

Much Love

Ronovan

 

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