A Question~August 27~Are You A Cynic?

Are you cynic?

The origins of the word traverse back to long ago Greece. In the 3rd century BC, a group of Greek philosophers founded by Antisthenes, were known for their  ostentatious contempt for ease and pleasure. Today the word usually is used to refer to the person who avoids the silver lining in favor of the dark outline. Cynics display a mix of distrust with doubt. Sometimes cynics are funny…for a little while until others tired of their negativity posing as insightfulness.

Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.”
Stephen Colbert

Referencing George Carlin, Ann Voskamp wrote, “Itch the scab of any cynic and what you’ll find is a wounded idealist.”

Is there a part of you that reaches for the bromide of cynicism when confronted with the assault of your world?

You are not alone. It is all to common, and, at least from my vantage point, much easier to utter the negative, the unimpressed, the doubtful expression, than maintain the virtue of grace.

…”Peace be with you!” John 20:19

Oh, sure, it is easy to find quotes from Christ regarding peace and love. But on the timeline of His life, this one stands in significance, because Christ said this to his apostles, afterwards.

After they had grown discouraged. After they had walked away from Him. After their denial of Him.

After His death and resurrection.

…”Peace be with you!”

Christ might have justifiably chosen a cynic’s course, or, worse, a revengeful course…but because of grace, He granted peace instead.

Shalom.

God, I know that you want me to be like salt on the earth, like a candle in the dark, a lighthouse on a hill, so that others will come to you. Cleanse me anew that I will be a witness for you. Show me how you want to penetrate the darkness of my domain with your light. Help me to be a positive influence in the places where I live, work, study, play. Thank you, Lord. ~Os Hillman

 

dare to be strong

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Other Questions

Midweek Question: March 26

Have you ever considered at what point a test becomes so difficult that you decide you can no longer trust in God and you must take over to solve the problem?

For me it is usually the opposite: A test or a trial becomes so difficult that I realize it is only trust in God that will carry me to solution.

Os Hillman wrote the question above and he writes about the faith of Jeremiah to explain. “Jeremiah drew a sharp comparison between the man who trusts in his own effort to solve his problem and the man who trusts in God when he cannot see the outcome. The man who trusts in God bears fruit despite the circumstances in his life. He does not shrivel when the heat comes; in fact, his roots go deeper into God’s grace. He continues to bear fruit in spite of his circumstances,” writes Hillman in his devotional series, Marketplace Believers.

 

blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. Jeremiah 17:7

 

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more questions

 

Midweek Question~October 30~Purah

Who are the “Purahs” in your life?

“If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp” (Judges 7:11).

To battle the avenging Midianites, God came to Gideon through an angel and addressed him. God called Gideon a “Mighty Warrior” which was quite a stretch of characterization from Gideon’s insecure, timid perspective.

 

Gideon was still not convinced about this battle against the Midianites, especially since God reduces his troop size from 22,000 to 300. God did two more things to help ease Gideon’s anxiety. He told him to go into the camp during the night to eavesdrop on their soldiers. God tells Gideon that what he will hear will encourage him. Gideon is terrified by the whole idea. So, God takes another step in order to use Gideon for His purposes. He sends Gideon’s trusted friend and soldier named Purah with him.

 

We all need “Purahs” in our lives. We need people who are willing to take risks and who can be used by God to bring our faith up to a level of being able to do extraordinary things in His Kingdom.

Has God called you to a daunting assignment? Perhaps He has also placed a “Purah” in your life to encourage you.Or. perhaps, you are being called to be a “Purah” in the life of another who has a daunting assignment to accomplish.

This message abridged and adapted from Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Remembering a Hero on 9/11~Steven Siller

Written by Os Hillman: 

On 9/11/01:

New York City firefighter Stephen Siller had just completed his shift when he heard on his truck’s scanner that a plane had hit one of the World Trade Center towers. Siller quickly turned his truck around and attempted to drive back to Manhattan via the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel but found the entrance blocked by abandoned vehicles. Desperate to join his elite Squad One brothers, Siller donned 75 pounds of fire gear and ran a mile-and-a-half through the tunnel, before an emergency vehicle picked him up and dropped him off at Tower Two.

Siller had been orphaned at the age of 10 and raised by his much older brothers and sisters. Siller died that day trying to save others. He left behind a wife and five children.

His story proved so inspirational that it became a legend in the newsrooms and firehouses of New York City. His six siblings – who in many ways viewed Siller as a son, as well as a brother – found themselves grappling with a dilemma: should they allow the tragic circumstances of their brother’s death to paralyze and embitter them or use it as a catalyst to help others and preserve his memory?

The Siller family chose the latter.

Once they made that decision, and armed with no extraordinary wealth or political clout, the siblings combined forces to convince New York officials to close down the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel the last Sunday morning of each September and stage the “Tunnel to Towers Run” to commemorate their brother’s heroic last run.

Each year since 9/11 tens of thousands of runners have retraced the steps of a hero. As part of the event 343 New York City firefighters, each representing a fallen comrade and holding an American flag, stand throughout the length of the tunnel. They are joined by firefighters from across the United States, each holding a poster-size picture of a firefighter who perished on 9/11.

The Siller family has raised more than $1 million and donated the money to charities that benefit families of those affected by the 9/11 attacks.

This is a tribute to one heartbroken family who opted to channel its energy into triumph out of tragedy. By Os Hillman

“So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you” (2 Cor 4:12).

This Weekend~Jettison

This weekend I am going to be on the lookout for opportunities to “jettison” limiting beliefs  that I carry around or the limiting beliefs that others hoist on to me.

jettison

“Jettison” means “to abandon as worthless, to discard, to eliminate, to get rid of.” Paul says if you want to enjoy life, there are some things you’ve got to get rid of because they are wearing you down and overburdening your life. ~Rick Warren

It is a vintage word with immense meaning. My friend G. helped me to jettison some defeating thoughts that crept in over the last two weeks/months/years. It is insidious how a single thought can start a thought cavalcade that becomes a thought-cancer.

“One thing I do is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead” Philippians 3:13 (Good News).

A Prayer from Os Hillman

Oh Lord, Help me be strong and courageous. Empower, lift up, and encourage me that I will not be terrified of any thing, person nor circumstance, neither let me be discouraged, for You, the Lord my God will be with me wherever I go (Joshua 1:9). No matter what I face today, I know that You are with me and Your Holy Spirit lives within me and has sealed me unto the day of redemption. I know that the blood of Jesus has covered my sin and washed me white as snow, that I may be righteous in Him and live unto Him. I praise You and thank You Lord Almighty for Your strength, power, grace, mercy, and love. May You be glorified in all the earth, and through my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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Other weekend activities

May you have an Ephraim Day~Monday words for the soul

Joseph named his second son Ephraim. Ephraim was given to him after he had been delivered from his suffering of 13 years. Joseph said that he named him this because God had made him fruitful in the land of his suffering. Ephraim means “twice fruitful.”

Pink Flowers with Catcus

Joseph was fruitful in two instances. He was fruitful during his time of adversity and in his prosperity. When God brings us into a time of suffering, it can be a fruitful time. It’s rare for us to see the fruit during the suffering period. But know that the roots are going deep into the spiritual soil of our soul because of our pressing in to God during our time of suffering. This is producing a work in our character that cannot be seen until it finishes the process. Such was the case for Joseph.

If you find yourself in a time of suffering, now is the time to press into God. Let your roots grow deeper. Whenever there is a famine, tree roots are forced to drive deeper into the soil to find water. These times are designed to create such a deep-rooted faith that our natures will be changed forever. ~Os Hillman

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More Monday Words for the Soul

A Word from The Sponsor~October 28

We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. ~Psalm 66:12b

We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. Psalm 66:12b

The verse today~Psalm 66:12b~has a little “b” at the end. It is the “b” that provides the happy ending that makes great movies and great stories.

To get the full story, it is important to read the entire Psalm.

Psalm 66:10-12a: “For you, O God, tested us; You refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance.”

Os Hillman explained, “God’s economy of abundance often has little to do with material blessing. In God’s economy, abundance is often measured in wisdom and knowledge of Himself. It is then that we are truly blessed. Wisdom cannot be gained through intellectual pursuits. Wisdom comes only through experience. Real wisdom comes from the kinds of experiences that come only through the deepest tests. Lessons of refinement, including prison accompanied by burdens, lead us through the fire and water. This is the territory that must be traveled to reach that place of abundance.”

Stay strong and thankful if you, like me, find yourself in the Remaining Place. The darkest hour is just before daybreak.

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See Additional Words from The Sponsor by gently clicking here!

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