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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Women are NOT to be Silent in the Church.

I read my computer. That may seem like an odd way to start an article and an even odder thing to actually do. But I read the things I have written before. One note mentions an Arizona preacher who used scripture to say women are to be silent in the church and that meant not even to say Amen. This was from back in March of this year, 2014.

 

Let’s just say things inside of me went–

Boom Gif And that’s now. Just imagine what I must have felt to make a note of it!

 

 

“34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”-1 Corinthians 14:34-35

 

 

Women are NOT to be Silent in the Church

by: Ronovan

To read the scripture that . . . preacher . . . points to you would say, well he’s just doing what the Bible says. This is the problem with many preachers today. They read but do not know.  First I have to explain something to you. There are preachers and their are pastors. Preachers just get up and preach at you. Screaming Man

 

Pastors take time and make the effort to tend to the church members.

Shepherd and his Flock painting

 

1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.”-Romans 13:1-5

Hmmm

Some may wonder about why certain leaders are in power, but then again look at how the Jews were put under the yolk of others. There is a reason. Often times it is to make us stronger with God. But I digress. Perhaps that will be a point for another article another day. But I don’t put scripture out there in part, I like to put parts that pertain to the scripture I want to discuss so you see the context of it. I don’t pick and choose.

 

 

What this passage says, from Paul who also wrote Corinthians is that we are to follow the laws of the land in order that no one may say anything against us that we are rebellious or anything and thus we may continue to live and believe as we like.

What the Arizona pastor apparently does not do when he reads the Bible is look at historical context. In the times in which the scriptures were written it was illegal for women to speak in public gatherings. That is why the scripture says what it does. Paul and scripture were not against women speaking or even being leaders in the church as Paul mentions Phoebe as a deacon of the church which means she worked with the elders of the church in an important role. Even if some question exactly what her role was, they cannot deny her importance in the church.

Paul also, in the same chapter, refers to Priscilla as a co-worker in Christ Jesus.

I listen to preachers preach and I have this alarm that goes off when something doesn’t sound right. I also do a lot of studying on my own. I actually take out the chapter and scripture number references/divisions of the books of the Bible and read them as originally written in order to not read them in a way that man has decided they should be divided up, instead of how God had his handpicked scribes put them to parchment.

Romans, one of the more controversial books and actually one of the most misquoted and misused books, has a very different message than some realize when read as a letter or essay and not with chapter breaks that make you stop and dwell on things where God did not mean for you to, but a man wanted you to because that’s how he thought. The actual real messages are more obvious than you would ever imagine.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-July 05, 2014.

Move by MercyMe. I just might bend but I won’t break.

Back when I was having to be the lead singer for our Church’s youth praise band I sang ‘I can only imagine’ more times than any of you can imagine. That was the big MercyMe hit. It was slow and for someone who couldn’t sing and had never even sang in front of anyone in their entire life it was an experience to be sure.

Last week I shared ‘Shake’ by MercyMe which was different than you may have expected. This song was before that one and really changed their style and sound. It’s by far my favorite over even ‘Shake’. One line says;

“I just might bend but I won’t break
As long as I can see your face.”

Listen and enjoy.

Move

I’m not about to give up
Because I heard you say
There’s gonna be brighter days
There’s gonna be brighter days
I won’t stop, I’ll keep my head up
No, I’m not here to stay
There’s gonna be brighter days
There’s gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but I won’t break
As long as I can see your face

[Chorus:]
When life won’t play along
And right keeps going wrong
And I can’t seem to find my way
I know where I am found
So I won’t let it drag me down
Oh, I’ll keep dancing anyway

I’m gonna move (move)
I’m gonna move (move)
I’m gonna move

I’ve got to hold it steady
Keep my head in the game
Everything is about to change
Everything is about to change

This hurt is getting heavy
But I’m not about to cave
Everything’s about to change
There’s gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but won’t break
As long as I can see your face

[Chorus]

No matter what may come
Gotta move to a different drum
No matter what life brings
Gotta move gotta move to a different beat [x2]

I just might bend but won’t break
As long as I can see your face

[Chorus x2]

No matter what may come
Gotta move to a different drum
No matter what life brings
Gotta move gotta move to a different beat

© Copyright-All rights reserved-RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-July 05, 2014.

Sand to Rock

Sand to Rock

by: Ronovan

 

The waves surge and pound breaking the grains of sand

The grains ride and swirl until, just surviving, the waves retreat

They settle…briefly, knowing the waves will return.

 

Words are spoken, the waves retreat, and calm is instilled

The grains settle once again, but this time they gather together

No waves will come that will break them apart

 

Solid as the rock they settled on

 

Copyright-All rights reserved-©RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-June 29, 2014.

Sunday Thought: You are Beautiful

Sunday Thought: You are Beautiful

by: Ronovan

Do you ever wonder what God thinks of your looks? Or maybe you wonder if God favors those fashion model types over the . . . whatever other types you can think of . . . like . . . those who eat a hamburger and fries or pizza once a week maybe. It’s sad to say that some models aren’t even good enough any longer to the point that companies are photoshopping them thinner. I think it used to just be airbrushing marks or wrinkles.

 

Why even bother hiring models? Why don’t they just have CGI models and be done with it?

 

Jesus was perfect. Have you ever thought how Jesus looked? Do you think he looked like the Jesus from the Son of God movie?

 

Did you know the Bible describes the Messiah’s physical appearance?

 

“Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”-Isaiah 53:1-3

 

After reading this passage it made so much sense that Jesus would not be the Brad Pitt of the ancient world. To follow Jesus you needed to follow him because you believed, not because you thought he was some above the norm handsome guy.

 

God knows the real you, the real way you look regardless of what you do to change. I know some young people that, as healthy young people look amazing but they wanted to fit in with the anorexic set because they thought that’s what was popular. As starving trying to fit in young people they just lost that healthy sparkle they had. The energy was gone and their eyes didn’t shine any longer.

 

God sent Jesus to save you as you are. He died for you as you are. No matter how pretty you are or what shape you are in, God deemed you worthy enough and beautiful enough to send Jesus to die for you, and Jesus agreed to do it.  Think about it.

 

And yes the copyright date is correct on this.

Copyright-All rights reserved-©RonovanWrites.wordpress.com-March 28, 2014.