Friday Coffee with PJ

Friday morning means coffee and a couple of random thoughts that I hope will be of help to you as you strive to live your faith in Christ.

1. One thing I always find interesting about political conventions. They (both the Democrats and the Republicans) always only showcase "one side." Now it is obvious why they do it - they want to win in the general election. So we get it. But transferring this "looking-at-one-side" to the real world can really get us confused and out of sync. So we must be careful. We must especially be careful that we do not do this when looking at only "one side" of God. Often I hear people say something like, "I like to think of God as ...." Usually the word they fill in that blank with is something like "loving" or "gracious" or "good" or "faithful." And it is true. God is all of these and we need to be VERY thankful that he is! But isn't the God revealed in the Bible also "just" and "holy" and "wrathful?" Of course he is. The Apostle Paul, in writing to the CHURCH in Rome, urged them to "consider the kindness and the severity of God" (Romans 11:22). And in the book of Hebrews we are told, in words written to Christians, that "our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:28-29). It seems to me that today's Church in increasingly looking at God in a "one-sided" manner. Yes God is a God of incredible and amazing love! But he is also a God of terrifying holiness (do a study of those in the Bible who came face-to-face with God and be prepared for some face plants!). Only as we understand just how awesome God is in his holiness, justice, wrath, etc. .... will we truly understand and rejoice in his love, mercy and grace!

 2. Controversy. It is everywhere. No matter where you go, or where you turn, you will find controversy. Even the one event that perhaps brings the world together like no other is not immune to it. Of course I am talking about the Olympic Games. Just one week from today the Summer Games will have its opening ceremonies in Rio De Janeiro. And in our day of seeming endless controversy, the Olympics has its share (think Russian doping scandal and athletes housing issues ... just to name a few). And if you don't like controversy ... well you may want to plan three month excursion to the moon because more controversy is sure to be coming our way as the presidential election heats up. What saddens me about all of this is that the differences we all have in so many varied arenas of life cannot seem to be discussed in a civil and kind way. Instead of trying to understand one another we tend to attack those with whom we disagree. I could go on a lot longer about this ... but let me suggest one simple step all of us can take toward a way we can "defuse" heated conversations about controversial matters....let's just purpose to LISTEN to UNDERSTAND what the others are saying. That, my friend, will go a long way toward bringing back civil discourse in this country to where it needs to be. And to my fellow followers of Christ ... let's practice the admonition of the Apostle Paul to the Church at Colosse:

"Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person" (Colossians 4:5-6).

Thanks for stopping by . . .

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Friday Coffee with PJ

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