google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html 2015 April

Archive for April 2015

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Way of Wisdom

with Regina Sanders

Endurance



Hello. Welcome to The Way of Wisdom with Regina Sanders. I am so thankful that you have chosen to listen today. Today I want us to discuss endurance. Often when one thinks of endurance they think of strength training for a race or something similar. Scripture also refers to endurance, and just as it strengthens you for a race, it strengthens you in your walk with Jesus. Let's see what Scripture says.



Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."



Endurance and ambition is a combination of determination and tenacity. It is a balance of patience, persistence, and guts. Endurance is also being reliable and accountable, which establishes security and commitment. Without endurance, any good endeavor or intention has no chance of success.



Endurance means to be alive, to be driven by what counts. It is the readiness to fight for what you believe, to go all the way. Without such commitment any undertaking remains flat and empty. It is an energy which comes from within and stops at nothing to achieve its goals. This, of course, requires that endurance be closely examined to ensure that it is used in a healthy and productive manner.



Ask yourself, "How committed am I to my values? How much would I fight for them? Am I easily swayed? What price am I ready to pay for my beliefs? Is there any truth for which I would be ready to give my life?"



For anything to endure it needs to be loved. A natural or indifferent attitude will reflect in a marginal commitment. If you have difficulty making commitments, examine how much you love and enjoy the object that requires your commitment. Do I love my work? My family? My choices?



For endurance to be effective it needs to be caring and loving. Endurance without love can be counterproductive. Raw endurance can come across as harsh and aggressive, which undermines the cooperation of others. Out of sheer determination one may often become controlling and demanding, driving others away. For endurance to be successful it needs a loving and caring attitude, it requires patience.



Does my endurance cause me to be, or seem to be, inflexible? Does my drive and determination cause me to be controlling? Am I too demanding? Do others (my employees, friends, children) cooperate with me out of the sheer force of my will and drive, or out of love? Is my endurance unloving? In order to get my way would I allow others to get hurt? Do I believe that the end justifies the means? Would I stop at nothing to achieve my goals? When my endurance prevails and I overcome the obstacles in my way, am I still loving? Even when defending myself and others against unhealthy influences, am I driven by love or hate?



Examine the discipline of your endurance. Endurance must be directed toward productive goals and expressed in a constructive manner. Is my endurance and determination focused to help cultivate good habits and break bad ones? Or is it the other way around? Does my endurance come from strength or weakness? Does it come out of deep conviction or out of defensiveness? Am I ever tenacious out of stubbornness and an unwillingness to acknowledge errors? Am I invested in certain decisions and not prepared to review them? Do I use my endurance against itself by being tenacious in my lack of determination?



Healthy endurance, directed to develop good qualities and modifying bad ones, will always be compassionate. The compassion of endurance reflects a most beautiful quality of endurance: an enduring commitment to help another grow. Endurance without compassion is misguided and selfish. Endurance needs to be not just loving to those who deserve love, but also compassionate to the less fortunate. Does my determination compromise my compassion for others? Am I able to rise above my ego and empathize with my competitors? Am I gracious in victory?



Examine the endurance aspect of endurance, its expression and intensity. Everyone has willpower and determination. We have the capacity to endure much more than we can imagine, and to prevail under the most trying of circumstances.



Ask yourself, "Is my behavior erratic? Am I inconsistent and unreliable? Since I have will and determination, why am I so mercurial? Am I afraid of accessing my endurance and committing? Do I fear being trapped by my commitment? If yes, why? Is it a reaction to some past trauma? Instead of cultivating endurance in healthy areas, have I developed a capacity for endurance of unhealthy experiences? Do I endure more pain than pleasure? Do I underestimate my capacity to endure?



Yielding, which is a result of humility, is an essential element of enduring. Standing fast can sometimes be a formula for destruction. The oak, lacking the ability to bend in the hurricane, is uprooted. The reed, which yields to the wind, survives without a problem. Do I know when to yield, out of strength not fear? Why am I often afraid to yield?



Endurance is fuelled by inner strength. Humility does not compromise the drive of endurance; on the contrary, it intensifies it, because human endurance can go only so far and endure only so much, whereas endurance that comes from God is limitless.



Do I attribute my success solely to my own strength and determination? Am I convinced that I am all powerful due to my level of endurance? Where do I get the strength at times when everything seems so bleak?



Bonding is an essential quality of endurance. It expresses your unwavering commitment to the person or experience you are bonding with, a commitment so powerful that you will endure all to preserve it. Endurance without bonding will not endure.



Sovereignty is the cornerstone of endurance. Is my endurance dignified? Does it bring out the best in me? When faced with hardships do I believe like a king or queen, walking proudly with my head up, confident in my God given strengths, or do I cower and shrivel up in fear?



When fighting for something you believe in, pause a moment to ensure that it is accomplished in a loving manner. Break one bad habit today. Be patient and listen to someone that usually makes you impatient. Commit yourself to developing a new good habit. When you awake, acknowledge God for giving you a soul with the extraordinary power and versatility to endure despite trying challenges. This will allow you to draw energy and strength for the entire day. To ensure that your new resolution should endure, bond with it immediately. This can be assured by promptly actualizing your resolution in some constructive deed. Fight for a dignified cause.



Let's pray....



Thank you for being with me today on The Way of Wisdom with Regina Sanders. Please join us again next Wednesday with more teachings. Be sure to visit this site each day for teaching from others. God bless you!


To hear how Regina is helping you today from the Scriptures, please do download the mp3 using the links below or play the audio file! Come on in! Then please do make a comment to Regina using the comments section below...



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Think Spot 27 April 2015

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Think Spot - 27th April 2015

G’day and welcome to Partake! Welcome also to Monday and our Think Spot together!

Obedient Life

As a Christian you are to be a little Jesus! In your local communities, wherever you happen to live, work, study or be! You are to live a life of obedience, of and to, Jesus Christ! For you are being transformed by the Holy Spirit who lives inside you! You are to be totally and willingly obedient to Him! Obedience, not out of some kind of slavish duty or ritual, but obedience borne from willingly loving God and loving others.

Imagine

People will know you are a follower of Jesus, if you are obedient to Him, practically showing love to all! Imagine the community where you are transformed for Jesus Christ! Imagine your community filled with people seeking to know about our Jesus, because you and other Christians were sacrificing their time and possessions! Imagine the communities you are involved with wanting to give Jesus the glory and honour in every aspect of life!

Transformation

Transformed communities of people devoted to Jesus and experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in bringing people back to God the Father! Loving God and loving each other as He commanded would help do this in your local community!

Be Obedient! Be bold! Be strong! Be courageous! But you need to be lovingly obedient to Jesus Christ in both small and large things. Jesus said in John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them."

You will face pressure to disobey Him, even sometimes from those within your church. But if He has commanded you to do something for Him, you are to obey Him. It is far better to obey God and disappoint people than to obey people and disobey God.

Go into this week, lovingly willing to be obedient to God! Trust in Him and ask Him for the strength to be lovingly obedient to Him. He will help as you ask! It can sometimes be very difficult to be obedient to God, particularly as some people, even other Christians, will try to get you to disobey. Be strong in the Lord! Be bold! Be courageous! Need help? Then ask somebody to pray with you! Then be prepared for opportunities to be lovingly obedient to Jesus – in small and big things!

A prayer to help you this week.
Father, help us to live obediently to you. May the Holy Spirit encourage us as we seek to live worthily of Jesus Christ, in loving obedience to Him. Father, it is in His name we pray and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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The Practice Of The Presence Of God:

The Best Rule Of A Holy Life

(being Conversations and Letters of Brother Lawrence)


G’day! Welcome to Partakers! Today we continue our Sunday series, where we are reading from a book by Brother Lawrence “The Practice of the Presence of God”… This book is available for you to freely download at various websites!


Letters - Letter 3


For a soldier friend whom he encourages to trust in God.

WE have a GOD who is infinitely gracious, and knows all our wants. I always thought that He would reduce you to extremity. He will come in His own time, and when you least expect it. Hope in Him more than ever: thank Him with me for the favours He does you, particularly for the fortitude and patience which He gives you in your afflictions: it is a plain mark of the care He takes of you; comfort yourself then with Him, and give thanks for all.

I admire also the fortitude and bravery of M. GOD has given him a good disposition, and a good will; but there is in him still a little of the world, and a great deal of youth. I hope the affliction which GOD has sent him will prove a wholesome remedy to him, and make him enter into himself; it is an accident very proper to engage him to put all his trust in Him, who accompanies him everywhere: let him think of Him the oftenest he can, especially in the greatest dangers. A little lifting up the heart suffices; a little remembrance of GOD, one act of inward worship, though upon a march, and sword in hand, are prayers which, however short, are nevertheless very acceptable to GOD; and far from lessening a soldier's courage in occasions of danger, they best serve to fortify it.

Let him then think of GOD the most he can; let him accustom himself, by degrees, to this small but holy exercise; nobody perceives it, and nothing is easier than to repeat often in the day these little internal adorations.

Recommend to him, if you please, that he think of GOD the most he can, in the manner here directed; it is very fit and most necessary for a soldier, who is daily exposed to dangers of life, and often of his salvation. I hope that GOD will assist him and all the family, to whom I present my service, being theirs and yours.


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The Big Story - Part 10

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Big Story - Act 5 Scene 2:

The Church of the Ages - Temple and temples

with Roger Kirby



We traced through the story of the decline of Israel before Jesus appeared in terms of their loss of a place where God dwelt. If we now pick up the story of the great Temple in Jerusalem in the days of Jesus we find some fascinating things. John, in his gospel, tells the story of the cleansing of the Temple at the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry (the other gospel writers put it much later in his ministry which may be because Jesus cleared it twice or John was more interested in the theological meaning of the event than its timing). Mark’s account is even more interesting. He tells the story in the middle of another story, clearly relating the two. The other story is about the fig tree, which as Jesus and his disciples walk into Jerusalem they see is barren which is no surprise because it is the wrong time for figs. Jesus curses it, which seems a very odd thing to do unless it is for some other reason than its lack of fruit. Then the next time they pass it, the day after Jesus cleared the temple, they see it has completely withered away, much to the disciple’s puzzlement. Two interlocked stories like this are a fairly common device in Mark’s Gospel. The story of the fig tree is clearly saying that the Temple is now no use, like the tree with no figs, and will therefore wither away.

The extent to which the people of Jesus’ day centered life on the Temple is amazing. We read that: “Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom.” In a mixed family party that was probably 5 days walking each way – a considerable time not to be working and earning. John in his Gospel records Jesus going up to Jerusalem on several occasions. Life in 1st century Israel revolved around the Temple building to an astonishing extent. They clearly thought that God was there, and more accessible there, than anywhere else. It was what some people would call a ‘thin place’, that is a place where it feels much easier to get close to God than most places because heaven and earth have only a thin gap between them (which isn’t really the case but it can feel that way if we are somewhere where we have often met with the Lord).

Put those two things together – what Jesus did to the fig tree and the centrality of the Temple – and we see that he was striking at the very centre of all that they believed in. That is why the main accusation against Jesus at his trial was “this fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days” and that was the basis on which he was condemned. It was when Stephen said, “the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands” that he ran into serious trouble and his death. The whole Jewish system, priests, sacrifices, forgiveness of sins etc. depended on the Temple.

In fact the Temple only lasted less than 40 years after Jesus cursed it before a Roman army destroyed it in AD 70. Various groups of zealots had risen in revolt in such a disorganized way that they fought each other on the steps of the Temple while the besieging Romans watched in amazement. Eventually the Romans broke through into the city and the Temple precincts and there was a horrendous massacre. The prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled quite terribly.

What then was to replace the temple? Paul answers that question in Ephesians 2 when he says, “you are fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” A better temple built of human beings – you and me – has replaced the physical Temple, built of stone. WOW!

Elsewhere Paul says, “we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people’” quoting Old Testament passages. Paul is using the plural. It is the people of God together who are the temple but, of course, it has to apply to each one of us individually as we live and walk around. So the ‘thin’ places where people can come close to the Lord now are the presence of the Lord’s people – you and me! Double WOW!



So what?

Can we live up to the challenge that presents? We could never do so by ourselves and of ourselves. This is where the work of the Holy Spirit comes in to the experience of every one of us. Fortunately Jesus made promises to his disciples, and to us through them. Linking together some of the things recorded that he said in John chapters 14 – 16 we get, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. When he comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you and when I send him to you he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”

That has been the challenge to the people of God for nearly 2000 years now. How well they have lived up to that challenge has been a mixed story down through the centuries. Sometimes the whole idea that there is a great resource for those who profess to follow Christ has been all but lost. Sometimes it has been found and used to the great enrichment and growth of the people of God both corporately and individually. We, I think, live in one of the better periods, looked at world-wide.

Are you, am I, a good temple, a thin place, where earth and heaven come close together?



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Partakers Friday Prayers!


We pray together and when Christians pray together, from different nations, different churches and different denominations - that reveals Church unity! Come! Let us pray together!



Soul of Christ, be my sanctification
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water from Christ's side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesus, listen to me;
In your wounds I gladly would hide,
Ne'er to be parted from Your side;
Guard me should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to you above,
With Your saints to sing Your love,
World without end.
Amen.



A prayer based on Poetic text "Anima Christi" by Cardinal Newman


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Way of Wisdom

with Regina Sanders

Compassion's Role In Love



Galatians 5:13-14; "For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself..'"

Compassion blends and harmonizes the free outpouring of love with discipline. Compassion possesses this power by introducing the dimension of truth which is neither love or discipline and therefore can integrate the two. Truth is accessed through selflessness: rising above your ego and your predispositions, enables you to realize truth. A clear and objective picture of yours and others needs. The imbalance of love and discipline is a result of a subjective, hence limited perspective; introducing truth, by suspending personal prejudices, allows you to express your feelings in the healthiest manner.

This quality means beauty: it blends the differing colors of love and discipline, and this harmony makes it beautiful. For compassion to be complete it needs the inclusion of the following seven facets: love of compassion, discipline of compassion, compassion of compassion, endurance of compassion, humility of compassion, bonding of compassion, and sovereignty of compassion.

Examine the love aspect of compassion. Ask yourself: Is my compassion tender and loving or does it come across as pity? Is my sympathy condescending and patronizing? Even if my intention is otherwise, do others perceive it as such? Does my compassion overflow with love and warmth; is it expressed with enthusiasm, or is it static and lifeless?

For compassion to be effective and healthy it needs to be disciplined and focused. It requires discretion both to who you express compassion, and in the measure of the compassion itself. It is recognizing when compassion should be expressed and when it should be withheld or limited. Discipline in compassion is knowing that being truly compassionate sometimes requires withhold compassion.

Because compassion is not an expression of the bestower's needs but a response to the recipient's needs. Am I more compassionate with strangers than with close ones? If yes, why? Is the compassion coming from guilt? Does my compassion for others compromise my own needs? Am I helping others at the expense of helping myself? Perhaps the contrary is the case: Does my compassion for my family and close ones overshadow others needs? Is my compassion impulsive and careless? Do I assess the measure of compassion necessary for a given situation? Is it commensurate with the recipient's needs?

Can I possibly be hurting him with my compassion? Does my compassion overwhelm others? Is it respectful? Do I give too much or too little? Do others take advantage of my compassionate nature? When I see a needy person do I impetuously express compassion out of guilt or pity without any discretion? Do I commit the "crime" of compassion by helping him with something harmful (give him money to buy a harmful substance etc.)? Do I apply myself to determine this person's needs and help him in the best way possible?

Examine the compassion of compassion. The expression of compassion and its intensity. True compassion is limitless. It is not an extension of your needs and defined by your limited perspective. Compassion for another is achieved by having a selfless attitude, rising above yourself and placing yourself in the other person's situation and experience. Am I prepared and able to do that? If not, why? Do I express and actualize the compassion and empathy in my heart? What blocks me from expressing it? Am I locked in any way? Is my compassion compassionate or self-serving?

Test yourself by seeing if you express compassion even when you don't feel guilty. Does my compassion come from a sense of duty or is it frivolous? On the other hand: Is my compassion alive; does it resound with vitality, or is it expressed only out of obligation? Is my compassion only a result of being a creature of habit who feels badly when another suffers, or do I actually apply myself to examine and refine my compassion, observing it's limitations and forms of expression? How do I express compassion? Is my compassion beautiful? Is it well rounded? Does it contain the other six elements of compassion, without which my full compassion remains unrealized.

Is my compassion enduring and consistent? Is it reliable or whimsical? Does it prevail among other forces in my life? Do I have the capacity to be compassionate even when I'm busy with other activities or only when it's comfortable for me? Am I ready to stand up and fight for another?

Compassion must include humility for it not to be condescending and pretentious. Honor is recognizing that my ability to be compassionate and giving does not make me better than the recipient; it is the acknowledgement and appreciation that by creating one who needs compassion God gave me the gift of being able to bestow compassion. Thus there is no place for haughtiness in compassion. Do I feel superior because I am compassionate? Do I look down at those that need my compassion? Am I humble and thankful to God for giving me the ability to have compassion for others?

For compassion to be fully realized, it needs bonding. It requires creating a channel between giver and receiver. A mutuality that extends beyond the moment of need. A bond that continues to live on. That is the most gratifying result of true compassion. Do you bond with the one you have compassion for, or do you remain apart? Does your interaction achieve anything beyond a single act of sympathy?

Examine the dignity of your compassion. For compassion to be complete it must recognize and appreciate individual sovereignty. It should boost self-esteem and cultivate human dignity. Both your own dignity and the dignity of the one benefiting from your compassion. Is my compassion expressed in a dignified manner? Do I manifest and emphasize majesty in my compassion? Does it elicit dignity in others? Do I recognize the fact that when I experience compassion as dignified it will reflect reciprocally in the one who receives compassion?

When helping someone extend yourself in the fullest way; offer a smile or a loving gesture. Express your compassion in a focused and constructive manner by addressing someone's specific needs. Express your compassion in a new way that goes beyond your previous limitations: express it towards someone to whom you have been callous. In the middle of the busy day take a moment and call someone that needs a compassionate word. Defend someone who is in need of sympathy even if it's not a popular position. Express compassion in an anonymous fashion, not taking any personal credit. Ensure that something eternal is built as a result of your compassion. Rather than just giving them charity help them help themselves in a fashion that strengthens their dignity.



To hear how Regina is helping you today from the Scriptures, please do download the mp3 using the links below or play the audio file! Come on in! Then please do make a comment to Regina using the comments section below...



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