Archive for the books Category

Looking at a job in this world

Posted in books, Business world with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2010 by rylanreed

I just read this article in the Aug 28th, 2010 World magazine and it really spoke to me, and I’m sure it will to you as well.  Have fun reading it!

Pushing paper in the kingdom

When our work in this world seems futile, God is using it for unseen purposes | Janie B. Cheaney

In an early episode of NBC’s situation comedy The Office, the mismanaging manager Michael Scott herds all the white-collar male employees of Dunder-Mifflin paper company down to the warehouse to see how the blue-collar half lives. As they load a truck—literally pushing paper—with bumbling inefficiency, Ryan the temp suggests to Stanley the jaded sales rep that they could get the job done faster if they formed an assembly line. “Look,” says Stanley, “I’m just running out the clock down here, same as I do upstairs.”

Though exaggerated for laughs, The Office resonates with cubicle-dwellers everywhere. Sometimes the highest calling of an employee is putting up with the other employees—meanwhile clearing the desk so it can pile up again, avoiding sensitive toes, and gathering in the conference room on the boss’s latest whim. And what is our purpose, again? Why does this year’s motivational seminar look suspiciously like last year’s? Aren’t we motivated yet?

“This also is vanity,” says the preacher, “and a striving after wind.”

Work is not our curse, but our calling; our Father works, and so do we. Even in a fallen world, there is no greater satisfaction than that of a job well done. Still, every job is subject to what we might call the four F’s: frustration, failure, futility, and false starts. To lose a six-figure client in air-conditioned comfort is as maddening as losing a crop by the sweat of one’s brow. None of this is new; an old Puritan prayer reads, “But O what a death it is to strive and labor; to be always in a hurry and yet do nothing!” “I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool?” (Ecclesiastes 2:18).

Even a great job has its down days, when we’re tempted merely to run out the clock—especially when we feel the clock running us out. At my stage in life (I turn 60 this month), it takes faith sometimes just to get out of bed. Many a poet likens sleep to death, and now I know why; gravity settles on me as the dark moments creep. Raw time spins its web over me with no advocate to argue or protest. The muscles are not so springy, the bones have mysteriously taken on weight during the night. The alarm goes off, and I’m Lazarus in the tomb, edging toward decay, bound in strips of linen, thinking “What the heck . . . ?” when he hears his name called. After all, nobody asked Lazarus if he wanted to come forth.

Faith without works is dead. Likewise, faith without work is dead. Work is the arena where faith proves itself to be true. I know from experience that rewards lie on the other side of getting up, running my two miles, cracking open the Bible, communing with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When the alarm goes off, these are things not seen, for which faith is the assurance. I’m not dead yet—God is here, calling me in the buzz of the alarm. My vocation is His hammer, level, and awl.

Because while we work, invisible walls and gateways are rising around us. God is also at work, and for our four F’s He substitutes His three R’s: restoration, renewal, resurrection. While we push paper or dig ditches, He builds His kingdom with our sweat. In that kingdom, there are no false starts, no futility; what looks like failure here may be treasure in heaven. No one is sidelined, no one takes a sick day, no one retires, and there is no running out the clock.

“Everybody’s working for the weekend” in the secular world. In the spiritual world, there’s another weekend. For our six days on the earth we labor; on the seventh, the unseen gates are seen at last, and we enter to rest.

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Direction to look

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2010 by rylanreed

If you would like to read the first two part of the series, you can go to Bad growing areas and Thrown seed

How can we start to interpret the Parable of the Sower and what Christ says? There are some books and commentaries that do help out, and here is one that you could look at to help. 

Final Confrontation is the last book in the Chronicles of the Host series. I haven’t read much of these books, but they do sound pretty interesting. The book is looking at the earth and life of Jesus in an angelic viewpoint, and there is a conversation in the book that occurs between two angels while Jesus is preaching the Parable of the Sower: “These parables which illustrate the point of His lesson in ways even humans can grasp. Only those who have ears to hear, corrected [the other]. Most of these are searching for a day’s meal rather than a life’s purpose and are therefore missing His point altogether.”

Matt. 13: 1- 9 “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”

It was interesting to see how each angel saw what Jesus was talking about in totally different ways, but both being very true. The parables were easy explanations of what Jesus was really trying to get after and the point He was trying to make. They were said in a way that all humans could be able to grasp and understand.

But it is only really attainable to those who have ears to hear, since that is what Jesus said, right? How could that be since everyone has ears that are able to hear, unless they are a deaf person? The really interesting part is where Jesus quotes Isaiah: Isaiah 6:9 “Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.” Jesus says: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!“(Mark 4:9). He obviously was speaking about spiritual perception, as was Isaiah. There are people that don’t and can not hear spiritually to what Jesus is saying and will not before their death.

What does all of this mean? It is really a HEART issue.  Where a person’s heart lies, will tell what a person wants out of life and where he/she will go with that life.  We all want to our own things and our own way, but some choose to hear that voice more than others. Now, I am not saying that those who choose to hear really do anything at all, because it is ONLY God who can produce any kind of good through us as human beings.  I didn’t choose to hear Christ, and I usually don’t choose to do good things, its only with Christ’s help that I can. This is a huge topic of debate, and I really can’t explain it for those that disagree. But I will say one thing, God is almighty and always good, and He controls all things!

How to bring them to Christ

Posted in books, Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2009 by rylanreed

I saw a title exactly like this for a book, at a Christian book store. (How to bring them to Christ, R. A. Torrey) It sort of puzzled me because there was already a book out on the market that has told everything that you could think about to bring people to Christ, and that is the Bible. No another thing that puzzled me was thinking that we, ourselves, could be able to bring people to Christ and what we can learn to help in bring more people to Christ.

I would hope that everyone would know that they can’t bring people to Christ in their own strength, in their own way of doing things, or even in their own timing. But sometimes I even fall into one of those categories and start thinking of how I can do this, or I can do that well.  In 1 Corinthians 3:4-9 it says “4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”

Paul explains to everyone that what Apollos and himself did was exactly what God wanted and used those things to help bring some one to Himself.  Paul planted, sharing the gospel and Christ crucified, which was necessary in getting someone to the point of accepting Christ, but he didn’t change their hearts to accept Christ, only God did.  Apollos watered, shared more knowledge from the word of God, which was necessary to help someone learn more things about who Christ was, but he didn’t change their hearts to accept Christ either, only God did.  Paul pretty much told everyone that he did a little, and Apollos came along and did a little bit more, but God was the only one that brought anyone to Christ.

Lets remember that we do play a part in someone coming to Christ, because God uses us for His glory and He is the only one that can be able to change some one’s heart to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.

Why seek Jesus?

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2009 by rylanreed

Other than the fact that He is the only saving grace that we have, He has also been through everything possible in a life time, that we could go through, and definitely not as bad as Jesus had it.  This is a quote from The 3:16 Promise Book by Max Lucado:

Why seek Jesus’ help with your challenges? Because he’s been there. To Nazareth, to Galilee, to Jerusalem. But most of all, He’s been to the grave. Not as a visitor, but as a corpse. Buried a midst the cadavers. Numbered among the dead. Heart silent and lung vacant. Body wrapped and grave sealed. The cemetery. He’s been buried there. You haven’t, yet. But you will be. And since you will, don’t you need someone who knows the way out?

In Hebrews 4:14-16 it says this:

Jesus the Great High Priest: 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

We can be able to look to Him for our comfort in everything cause we know we have someone that has been through it all and can and will carry us through what we are going through right now or down the line.  1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

“He himself hath suffered being tempted.”  Hebrews 2:18

It is a common-place thought, and yet it tastes like nectar to the weary heart—Jesus was tempted as I am. You have heard that truth many times: have you grasped it? He was tempted to the very same sins into which we fall. Do not dissociate Jesus from our common manhood. It is a dark room which you are going through, but Jesus went through it before. It is a sharp fight which you are waging, but Jesus has stood foot to foot with the same enemy. Let us be of good cheer, Christ has borne the load before us, and the blood-stained footsteps of the King of glory may be seen along the road which we traverse at this hour. There is something sweeter yet—Jesus was tempted, but Jesus never sinned. Then, my soul, it is not needful for thee to sin, for Jesus was a man, and if one man endured these temptations and sinned not, then in his power his members may also cease from sin. Some beginners in the divine life think that they cannot be tempted without sinning, but they mistake; there is no sin in being tempted, but there is sin in yielding to temptation. Herein is comfort for the sorely tempted ones. There is still more to encourage them if they reflect that the Lord Jesus, though tempted, gloriously triumphed, and as he overcame, so surely shall his followers also, for Jesus is the representative man for his people; the Head has triumphed, and the members share in the victory. Fears are needless, for Christ is with us, armed for our defence. Our place of safety is the bosom of the Saviour. Perhaps we are tempted just now, in order to drive us nearer to him. Blessed be any wind that blows us into the port of our Saviour’s love! Happy wounds, which make us seek the beloved Physician. Ye tempted ones, come to your tempted Saviour, for he can be touched with a feeling of your infirmities, and will succour every tried and tempted one.   C.H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening; Evening, October 3.

His Remembrance

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2009 by rylanreed

“And I will remember My covenant” Genesis 9:15

Mark the form of the promise. God does not say, “And when ye shall look upon the bow, and ye shall remember my covenant, then I will not destroy the earth,” but it is gloriously put, not upon our memory, which is fickle and frail, but upon God’s memory, which is infinite and immutable. “The bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant.” Oh! it is not my remembering God, it is God’s remembering me which is the ground of my safety; it is not my laying hold of his covenant, but his covenant’s laying hold on me. Glory be to God! the whole of the bulwarks of salvation are secured by divine power, and even the minor towers, which we may imagine might have been left to man, are guarded by almighty strength. Even the remembrance of the covenant is not left to our memories, for we might forget, but our Lord cannot forget the saints whom he has graven on the palms of his hands. It is with us as with Israel in Egypt; the blood was upon the lintel and the two side-posts, but the Lord did not say, “When you see the blood I will pass over you,” but “When I see the blood I will pass over you.” My looking to Jesus brings me joy and peace, but it is God’s looking to Jesus which secures my salvation and that of all his elect, since it is impossible for our God to look at Christ, our bleeding Surety, and then to be angry with us for sins already punished in him. No, it is not left with us even to be saved by remembering the covenant. There is no linsey-wolsey here—not a single thread of the creature mars the fabric. It is not of man, neither by man, but of the Lord alone. We should remember the covenant, and we shall do it, through divine grace; but the hinge of our safety does not hang there—it is God’s remembering us, not our remembering him; and hence the covenant is an everlasting covenant. C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening, Evening August 13

What a great thing to grasp, that we don’t have to remember all the time or try and remind God of what He told us with the convent of old.  He remembers and will always remember, not letting one of His children out of His sight and out of His controlling, comforting hands.  We don’t have to do anything, and we didn’t DO anything to deserve this, since us and this world is all for the glory of God and His covenant allows us to be apart of His plan for world redemption.

Rainbows

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2009 by rylanreed

I love a good rain shower in the Spring or even a thunderstorm rain shower in late July, usually during the day time, taking about an hour or so and then letting up.  Too sad that I missed out on this year’s rains, even though I totally got to experience some big storms earlier this year, but that’s beside the fact.  What happens after a rain shower is the beautiful and interesting rainbow.  Most people think about little leprechauns and their gold pot at the end, but I think of something different and C.H. Spurgeon gives a great account of what that is:

“The bow shall be seen in the cloud”

Genesis 9:14

The rainbow, the symbol of the covenant with Noah, is typical of our Lord Jesus, who is the Lord’s witness to the people. When may we expect to see the token of the covenant? The rainbow is only to be seen painted upon a cloud. When the sinner’s conscience is dark with clouds, when he remembers his past sin, and mourneth and lamenteth before God, Jesus Christ is revealed to him as the covenant Rainbow, displaying all the glorious hues of the divine character and betokening peace. To the believer, when his trials and temptations surround him, it is sweet to behold the person of our Lord Jesus Christ—to see him bleeding, living, rising, and pleading for us. God’s rainbow is hung over the cloud of our sins, our sorrows, and our woes, to prophesy deliverance. Nor does a cloud alone give a rainbow, there must be the crystal drops to reflect the light of the sun. So, our sorrows must not only threaten, but they must really fall upon us. There had been no Christ for us if the vengeance of God had been merely a threatening cloud: punishment must fall in terrible drops upon the Surety. Until there is a real anguish in the sinner’s conscience, there is no Christ for him; until the chastisement which he feels becomes grievous, he cannot see Jesus. But there must also be a sun; for clouds and drops of rain make not rainbows unless the sun shineth. Beloved, our God, who is as the sun to us, always shines, but we do not always see him—clouds hide his face; but no matter what drops may be falling, or what clouds may be threatening, if he does but shine there will be a rainbow at once. It is said that when we see the rainbow the shower is over. Certain it is, that when Christ comes, our troubles remove; when we behold Jesus, our sins vanish, and our doubts and fears subside. When Jesus walks the waters of the sea, how profound the calm!

C.H. Spurgeon Morning & Evening, August 12 Evening

When I am stuck in sin and can’t seem to get my self out, there always come’s a time where the cross gets thrown in front of me and beings me out of the muck and myre that I was in.  What a great thing to be able to think upon and see after a shower or hard time, that Christ is always there and ready to be your helper and Savior once again.

Fightin sin pt. 1

Posted in books, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by rylanreed

“Let not one of them escape.”   1Kings 18:40

When the prophet Elijah had received the answer to his prayer, and the fire from heaven had consumed the sacrifice in the presence of all the people, he called upon the assembled Israelites to take the priests of Baal, and sternly cried, “Let not one of them escape.” He took them all down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. So must it be with our sins—they are all doomed, not one must be preserved. Our darling sin must die. Spare it not for its much crying. Strike, though it be as dear as an Isaac. Strike, for God struck at sin when it was laid upon his own Son. With stern unflinching purpose must you condemn to death that sin which was once the idol of your heart. Do you ask how you are to accomplish this? Jesus will be your power. You have grace to overcome sin given you in the covenant of grace; you have strength to win the victory in the crusade against inward lusts, because Christ Jesus has promised to be with you even unto the end. If you would triumph over darkness, set yourself in the presence of the Sun of Righteousness. There is no place so well adapted for the discovery of sin, and recovery from its power and guilt, as the immediate presence of God. Job never knew how to get rid of sin half so well as he did when his eye of faith rested upon God, and then he abhorred himself, and repented in dust and ashes. The fine gold of the Christian is oft becoming dim. We need the sacred fire to consume the dross. Let us fly to our God, he is a consuming fire; he will not consume our spirit, but our sins. Let the goodness of God excite us to a sacred jealousy, and to a holy revenge against those iniquities which are hateful in his sight. Go forth to battle with Amalek, in his strength, and utterly destroy the accursed crew: let not one of them escape.  (Evening, C.H. Spurgeon July 17)

Oh, how I hate sin only after the fact of me doing it, which is usually more of a convicting feeling rather than one of remorse and wanting to fight the sin right from the start.  Why can’t I hate sin before the fact of it happening, when I totally know what the outcome will be and how I will be feeling about the sin in my life.  Only through God’s grace, mercy, strength, and power will I be able to beat the sin that is so prevalent in my life.  If I ask of Him and hide under His mighty wings, can I be able to start living a holy life devoted to Him.  I am still a sinner and will always sin til I die, but hopefully as I grow older the sins will start to decrease in their consistency and power.

Keep striving to fight sin in and through the power of Jesus Christ.  When we seek and savor Jesus for who He is and what He has done for our lives, helps us better want to live our lives for Him and not to satisfy our self-wants and desires.  Strive for Him to be glorified and you will be fighting sin along the way.