LET ME CHANGE YOUR PAST

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I heard of this conversation between two lovers where the man, who had been wounded from past relationships and was having difficulty trusting in this new affair, said:  “I’m sorry … but my past is haunting me”.    She looked him steadfastly in the eyes and replied: “Give me a chance to change your past”.    WOW … what a statement … “Give me a chance to change your past” … is that even possible?

WHILE IT IS TRUE that we cannot actually go back and literally change our past … there is something deeper … something more profound … something more meaningful and eternal here!

The Bible speaks of a person’s past being “changed”.  The apostle Paul said: This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”  (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)    WOW … “The old life is gone” … Is that possible?

IT IS POSSIBLE as far as my past being a “haunting memory” or a “determining factor” for my future.  That is what Paul meant when he stated:  “We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.”  (Romans 6:6-7 NLT)  SET FREE FROM OUR PAST … WOW!!!

In the Old Testament the prophet Isaiah said that we are NOT defined by our past … but we are defined by WHO GOD SAYS WE ARE … and we need to WALK IN THAT TRUTH:

 “You’ll get a brand-new name
    straight from the mouth of God.
You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand,
a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
and your land Beulah (Married),
Because God delights in you
and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
so your builder marries you,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
so your God is happy with you
.”

(Isaiah 62:2-5 – message)

SO … BACK TO THE TWO LOVERS … Is it possible for her to fulfill what she promised?   ABSOLUTELY!   In the same way God does that for us … we can do that for someone else.   We can fulfill that by NOT defining them with their past … but by loving them for WHO THEY ARE.   When we can perform this amazing act of love we are helping that individual to experience real love … AND … through your example … find healing from their past enabling them to walk this new journey of WHO THEY REALLY ARE.

SO … in that way … OUR PAST CAN BE CHANGED … to where it no longer defines us … no longer controls us … no longer has power over us … AND … we are now FREE to love … to live … and to be the amazing person God says we are.

*CHECK OUT our Website for additional articles and helps:  http://www.theonesimusconnection.com/articles/

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JUST ONE MORE “GIT-UP”

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I have had many blessing in my life … and … many disappointments.   I am convinced that life is a journey and every moment in life will become what we make of it.  I’ve had my gains and I’ve seen my losses.   I have had two major moments in my life when I have literally lost everything  …. Employment … finances … marriage … everything in a moment.   At those times, when it seemed all was lost and hope was nearly gone … somehow … deep inside of me … there was a voice that said “git-up”.   So … with no emotion and not knowing what direction to take … I would make that decision to “git-up” and move forward  … “step-by-step” … and rebuild my life from scratch all over again.

At times I would envy those who claim they had their trials and difficulties BUT never have gone through the experience of “total loss” like I have … not once … but twice.   I would hear them complain about things that were important to them … and yet, to me, seemed so trivial.   I guess it’s all a matter of perspective

When I lived in the Philippines, which is one of the poorest countries in the world and yet has some of the happiest people I have ever met, I really learned to put things into perspective.   People there appreciate what little they may have and yet, if you know anything of their history, the Philippine people have suffered great losses over the years … much more than we can even imagine in America.  They are a resilient people and know how to “git-up” when knocked down.

In America we used to be like that … for those experiences are what made our country so great … and I believe there are still some in my homeland who are like that … but, for the most part, we have become a people who can’t handle loss and if we do experience any kind of loss we ask two things (1) who, besides me, is to blame for this? and (2) who, besides me, is going to fix it?

I think our losses in life ”define”  and  “refine”  us.   They DEFINE us in that our true nature rises to the surface in that time of crisis revealing our priorities and values in life.  They REFINE us ONLY if we let them … for it is an opportunity to learn … to change … to grow … and to become a better person.

I am now being challenged with the third “git-up” in my life.  In many ways, just as dramatic as the first two which were fifteen and thirty years ago … but nonetheless major changes with some substantial loss … career changes … and social adjustments.  I am 65 now and, though in my past I would bounce back quickly, I find I’m moving slower these days.  For a few brief moments the other night I felt pretty tired and discouraged and said to myself: “I don’t think I have another GIT-UP left in met”.   As I lay in bed contemplating all of this I realized that, while at my age I may be a little slower, my life journey has given me wisdom, experience, patience, calm and the endurance to do it again!

SO … I woke the next morning with a NEW PASSION and ONE MORE GIT-UP to move forward and witness the great things that will happen in my life and my career over the next 15 – 20 years of my life.

I’m just being transparent and authentic in this writing today …  and … maybe that’s what happens when we get old and sentimental … BUT I hope this writing has given you the courage and strength to find JUST ONE MORE “GIT-UP” in your life today.

*CHECK OUT our Website for additional articles and helps:  http://www.theonesimusconnection.com/articles/

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ECCLESIASTICAL CANCER:

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AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE is defined as “an illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own immune system.”  The immune system is a complex organization which is designed to protect the body … BUT … “Autoimmune Disease” turns on itself and attacks its own body.

I have been deeply grieved in my spirit lately when I witness “Autoimmune Disease” within the “Body of Christ”.  This deadly spiritual disease will lead to “Ecclesiastical Cancer”.  I have in recent day’s received emails or messages from Christians attacking the credibility other Christians or denominations.  Articles carefully scripted with selected scriptural references condemning individuals & denominations which differ from “THEM”.

I remember reading when Jesus disciples came to Him one day and said “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is NOT WITH US.” – (Luke 9:49) Then Jesus answered by basically telling  them to leave him alone.

In I Corinthians chapter 3 Paul spoke “sternly” to those within the church who were judging and criticizing those who were “NOT WITH THEM” when he said: “You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world? When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world?”

No wonder the world is turned off by the Christian church and has little interest in our message! We can’t show “love” for one another (a trait which is suppose to define us) … let alone have “unity” with “diversity” which is what the “Body of Christ” is all about.  Aren’t their enough other enemies or causes we can pursue without attacking Billy Graham – Joel Olsteen – The Pope – Joyce Myers  – the Charasmatics – the Catholics – or any other person, denomination or Christian cause?

We are ALL a part of the “Body of Christ”.  Paul made that very clear in I Corinthians 12:12-20 when he compared the church to the physical body and emphasized that not only is every member of the body necessary and important … BUT … that it is WRONG to attack any member of the body just because “we feel” they are of “less value” or because they “function differently” than we do.

I agree … maybe their “theology” or “practices” may not be perfect or match up with what “WE FEEL” they should … but show me a person or a denomination which is perfect in their theology or practice!  We have ALL had our failures and we will find when we get to heaven that our own personal theology may not be perfect either.

Maybe this sounds a bit stern … but I am deeply saddened, as Paul was in his writing to the Corinthian church, when I witness Christians and Christian leaders using God’s Word against members of their own “body” … AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE

*CHECK OUT our Website for additional articles and helps:  http://www.theonesimusconnection.com/articles/

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MANO PO

mano po      “Mano Po” is a practice in the Philippine culture of respect and honor.  It is taught at a young age and practiced all their life.  When someone enters into the home or presence of someone older than them they ask “Mano Po” … which is a request to take the right hand of the elder person and press it to their forehead.  It is a gesture of respect and honor and a request of blessing from that person.   This is more than just a gesture though.  It is an attitude which is constant in their life … and is displayed by this amazing custom.

I am humbled and honored whenever this happens.  Being from America … we have forgotten how to respect elders.  In fact there are many things we have lost over the past 50 years in our American culture which used to have an important place … Like honoring men and their place of leadership in the home … respecting the family unit (husband & wife) … discipline and guidance of children … honoring the wisdom and role of our elders … and … most important of all … keeping God at the center of everything.   While the Philippines is not a perfect place … and considered to be a “third world country” … THESE are traditions and practices which are very much a part of life here in this amazing country.

When I was a boy during the 1950’s I remember many of these concepts and practices of honor and respect being  carried out in our country … BUT THINGS HAVE CHANGED … and disturbingly … not to the better.   America is a great country and I am still very proud to be an American citizen.  I am also deeply saddened that I had to come to the opposite side of the world to recognize and experience what used to be prevalent in our culture back home.

I am normally not a negative person … and certainly don’t mean to be here … I just want to draw attention to something we are losing in my homeland which will ultimately destroy our culture and our nation … The rapid erosion of the foundation America was built upon which made her a great nation.  Those building blocks that made our country the strongest nation in the world are the same principles being practiced here in the Philippines:  The respect for marriage (man & woman) … The honor due to men who are leaders in the home … respect and honor given to our elders … and keeping God in the center of our lives.  THIS is the foundation which made America great … and the destruction of these things will be the fall of our society as we know it.

I am determined to do MY PART … and in the words of a man in history who was honored and respected in his home and culture said: “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”   While I can attempt to spread my influence outside my home … I only have control over my home and these are the basic principles that I will see are practiced and carried out in my home.  I will change my world … by starting at home … and starting with ME!

*CHECK OUT our Website for additional articles and helps:  http://www.theonesimusconnection.com/articles/

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“Suspended Between Two Worlds”

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   “Suspended Between Two Worlds”

A Poem God gave me as I stood at my sons’ bedside in the hospital Saturday – September 22nd, 2012

(A writting reflecting on my dads passing and now my sons)

Your dad on one side and my dad on the other with you in the middle suspended between two worlds

On the one hand I know you long to stay with the ones who love you and will miss you so much

On the other there are those to welcome you home where there is no more pain or suffering

Suspended between two worlds can be a lonely and frightening place for it is a journey that we can’t walk with you as you must travel it alone

Yet, I am confident that whichever direction you go … to remain here with me … or to go join my dad … that you will be just fine

For there is a DAD greater than me or my dad who is with you in these moments and HE will give you strength and encouragement as only a real Father can do

… As you find yourself suspended between two worlds

One week later, on Saturday night September 29th at 11:30PM, I was there with you once again at your bedside as you took that journey to be with my dad.  I will miss you so very much son, but I look forward to seeing you again!! —- Your Dad

*CHECK OUT our Website for additional articles and helps:  http://www.theonesimusconnection.com/articles/

 

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