Friday, September 24, 2010
Living as Children of Light
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin:" Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
"Ephesians 4 (New International Version)." Biblegateway.com. 24 September 2010. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+4&version=NIV.
The Armor of God
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
"Ephesians 6 (New International Version)." Biblegateway.com. 24 September 2010. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+6&version=NIV.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
I love you Mom & Dad!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
1. Pain relievers and other over-the-counter medications
Acetaminophen — the active ingredient in Tylenol — is available in many generic products. Note that the generics aren't similar: they're identical. Why would you ever pay more for an identical product? This also applies to everything from cold medicine to eye drops — virtually every over-the-counter medication. The labels are right there — read them.
Name-Brand Acetaminophen: $10.99
Store-Brand Acetaminophen: $6.99
Difference: $4.00 (57 percent)
Although I should certainly be used to it by now, I can't get over the fact that people go to the store to buy something in a bottle that they could be getting nearly free in their kitchen sink. But even if you can convince me that bottled water is worth the money, you'll have a heck of time convincing me that the gallon jug from Crystal Springs is noticeably better than the one from Publix. And if you're really concerned about water quality and/or taste — why aren't you buying a filter and making your own bottled water? I just don't get this entire concept.
Name-Brand Water: $1.25
Store-Brand Water: $.85
Difference: $.40 (48 percent)
I'm sure there are connoisseurs of moo-juice that could distinguish name-brand milk from store-brand — but I'm not quite sure how they'd do it. Bouquet? Finish? Sounds like a bunch of bull to me.
Name-Brand Milk: $5.45
Store-Brand Milk: $3.39
Difference: $2.06 (60 percent)
It's already a substitute for butter. Is it really going to negatively impact your quality of life to substitute the substitute?
Name-Brand Margarine: $1.79
Store-Brand Margarine: $1.19
Difference: $.60 (50%)
You're taking a cup of chlorine and adding it to gallons of water in your washing machine. How could any TV commercial possibly convince you that a brand name will make your clothes come out better?
Name-Brand Bleach: $2.25
Store-Brand Bleach: $1.67
Difference: $.58 (35 percent)
6. Cleaning Products
Many — if not most — cleaning products are already overpriced substitutes for stuff you already have around the house. Two of the most popular news stories we've ever done were Household Products Vinegar Can Replace and Do-It-Yourself Laundry Detergent. But let's assume that you have a fetish for spray bottles and insist on buying ready-to-use cleaning products: is the name brand getting your counter that much cleaner?
Name-Brand Cleaner with Bleach: $3.29
Store-Brand Cleaner with Bleach: $2.39
Difference: $.90 (38 percent)
Think your job is hard? Imagine if your career entailed convincing the public that your company's salt — the most basic of ingredients — was better than some other company's salt. The whole idea is preposterous. And yet, there they sit, side by side, with nothing but their labels and their prices to set them apart. And where spices are concerned, that's just the beginning — can you tell your oregano from mine?
Name-Brand Oregano: $5.48/oz.
Store-Brand Oregano: $1.24/oz.
Difference: $4.24 (342 percent)
I'm going to stop this exercise here. Not because I couldn't go on — I could turn this into a book — but those are all the specific prices that I wrote down while we were shooting the above story. There are literally hundreds — if not thousands — of examples of people routinely swapping hard-earned cash for something virtually worthless: a name brand. It happens in the grocery store, it happens in the clothing store and it happens at the car dealer. It happens everywhere.
Am I saying that name-brands are never worth the money? Of course not. I can tell the difference between Dunkin Donuts coffee and store-brand — that's why I pay extra for it. But I certainly can't tell the difference between brands of oregano, bleach, orange juice, bananas, cheese, spaghetti, flour, sugar and a plethora of other products.
Paying extra for name brands that don't offer higher quality in return is nothing less than stupid. If you can use that money to instead build a $342,000 nest-egg, you absolutely should. Even if you don't need the money, maybe you should still refuse to do what the commercials tell you and donate the difference to charity. In either case, the world ends up a better place.
Johnson, Stacy. "7 Things You Should Always Buy Generic." MoneyTalksNews. 11 September 2010. Yahoo! Web. 19 September 2010.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Your hands shaped me and made me. Job 10:8 (NIV)
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
You have a right now to go directly to God; you have direct access. You don't have to pray through anybody else. You don't have to confess through anybody else. You don't have to go through anyone else to have fellowship with God. The Bible teaches that you have a direct line now.
In addition, God says you have been gifted for ministry to serve other people. Every Christian is a minister. That doesn’t mean every Christian is a pastor, rather minister. Anytime you're using your talents and gifts to help others you're ministering.
Notice the Bible verse above says, “He saved us for His holy work.” You are saved to serve. Why did God save you? So you could serve Him.
You may be thinking, “How do I know what my ministry is?” You look at your talents, your gifts, and your abilities. You look at how God shaped you. God wants you to use those talents and gifts to help other people. Every time you do that, that's called ministry: nothing fancy, scary or supernatural about it. It's just helping others.
Can you minister in a sales office? Yes, you can. Can you minister as an accountant? Yes, you can. Can you minister driving a truck? Sure! Anytime you're helping other people in His name, you're ministering.
In fact, God says you're necessary in the church. You're a necessary part of this family. Look at it this way, if I don't use my talents -- you get cheated. If you don't use your talents – I get cheated. Everybody else in the congregation gets cheated.We're all important; we're all necessary to do our part as we fit together.
Warren, Rick. "God Says You Are Capable." Purpose Driven Connection. 1 September 2010.