Wednesday, October 18, 2017

INTERVIEW: John Fugelsang Talks To Keith Giles



LISTEN: Sirius XM Radio Host John Fugelsang interviews Keith Giles about his new book "Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb".

Recorded live on Tuesday, Oct. 10th, 2017 on "Tell Me Everything".

Used by permission.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

My Personal Mission Statement







As part of my new job, we’re encouraged to read through the book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and reflect on each of the habits together in scheduled weekly meetings.

Honestly, it’s not something I would ever want to do on my own as I am allergic to all the usual leadership and success-minded literature that permeates our culture. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the principles are derived from the teachings of Jesus.

For example, the first habit involves realizing that we often allow others to control us. The goal is to move from being reactionary – where we are always being manipulated by the desires of others – to being proactive – where we are driven more by our own set of internal values. In other words, our attitudes should not be shaped by circumstances or people, but by an inward decision to be who we already are, regardless of our circumstance.

So, my joy is not dependent upon outward conditions: how much money I have, or how many people like me, or what sort of status I may have in society. Instead, my joy radiates from within and flows out of who I am inside. Because I know I am loved by God, created in His image, called by His name and adopted into His family as His child and co-heir with Christ, my happiness is fixed on this.

I can be in prison, or sitting under a tree in the park and I am content. I can be rich or poor, young or old, healthy or sick and still remain at peace within myself based on who I am inside.

This is what Paul referred to when he said that he had: learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11-13)

The second habit is to start with the end in mind. Literally, this means to begin by imagining your own funeral. Who is there?  What do they say about you? What do you want them to say? In other words, if you want people to stand and say that you were a great friend, that means you’ll need to start being a great friend. If you hope that people will talk about what a loving and kind person you are, then you should start working now on being more loving and kind to people.

Again, this concept is very grounded in the idea of sowing and reaping. If you want good fruit, then you must first make the tree good, as Jesus said. Anyone who plants an apple tree should not expect grapefruit, or vice versa. The way we behave today plants seeds for what our character will be like tomorrow.

Part of working through the book involves writing your own personal mission statement. This isn’t something I would normally ever do, but again I found the process of sitting down to think about it very inspiring.

Here’s what I came up with for my mission statement:

“I want to always remind people that they are more beautiful than they imagine and dearly loved by God. I want to use every gift and talent I have been given to reflect the love of God and point people to Jesus who is the best picture we could have of who God really is, and who we are called to be like.”

Have you ever thought about what your mission statement would be? What would you include? I’d love to hear yours if you take time to write it out and share it in the comments below.

Also, what would you want people to say about you at your funeral? What are you doing now to make sure that what they say about you lines up with the impression you hope to make on the people around you?

Share those in the comments if you can.

Finally, if you haven’t done so yet, please subscribe to the blog and share this post with your friends on social media.

Thanks,
Keith



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

JESUS RETURNS TODAY




Not only am I really tired of all the so-called end times prophets picking dates for the End of the World based on some obscure Bible passage, a few wonky mathematical equations, the alignment of the moon and the stars and a little bit of old-fashioned B.S. thrown in for good measure, I’m downright angry about it.

I mean, I can’t decide what’s worse: The fact that these sorts of predictions continually get promoted or that so many Christians endlessly fall for them.

What it does for our faith is to solidly prove to everyone who has never read the Bible that it must assuredly be too confusing to understand, or just flat-out filled with failed prophecies.

Either way, these end times prophecies about the end of the world based loosely on the Bible do nothing but make Christians look stupid and the Bible look untrustworthy.

Why would anyone listen to anything a Christian says about anything? If they can’t even understand their own Holy Book, what makes us think they can understand my life, or help me with my problems, or lead me to something one might consider to be “The Truth”?

With all that being said, I have something to say to all of you:

Jesus returns today.

I’m totally serious.

Today, Jesus will reveal Himself as the Lord and show His true power to the world.

Every knee will bow when they see Him.

Every tongue will confess when they hear His voice.

Every heart will melt like wax when they realize that they are in the Presence of the Holy One.

His Kingdom will descend from Heaven.

His rule and reign will have no end.

Jesus returns today.

Here’s how: You and I are carriers of His Presence.

His Spirit lives and breathes within every one of us.

There are millions of us all over the world right now.

Those of us who are in Christ will not only do the things that Jesus did – feed the hungry, care for the 
sick, stand for the oppressed – but we will do even greater things than this.

Like, love our enemies and pray for those who hate us.

Like, forgive those who have spitefully used us and release them – and ourselves – from prisons of pain and regret.

Like, serving our neighbors and demonstrating the transformative love of Jesus in every way we possibly can.

When people who have not known Jesus see this kind of love, they will see Him and they will be conquered by His affection.

When people who have never experienced forgiveness are set free from blame and guilt, they will experience His presence and be overcome with joy.

When people who have been told they do not deserve love and compassion are suddenly and unexpectedly immersed and saturated by the love of Christ that is higher, and wider, and longer, and deeper than any mind can comprehend, they will know that Jesus has returned to rescue them.

Jesus is returning today.

If you’re lucky, you just might catch a glimpse of Him when He does.

If not, that's ok. He'll be returning tomorrow, too.

But, whatever you do, don’t get left behind.

-kg