Daily Service: Selfish or Selfless?

From selfishness to selflessness

Life changed for John when he discovered for himself how much better it is to give than to receive.

From selfishness to selflessness

“No one pays attention to me. I wish someone would do something for me; I wish someone would care about me; I wish …”

These thoughts ran through my head as I lay in bed after a long day. I was quite upset because of something that had happened, and I blamed my friends for it. “None of my friends do anything for me.” I only wish I had known then how damaging these thoughts were, how destructive they were for my life.

I was being selfish

I didn’t realize how selfish I was being; not at first. I prayed to God and asked Him for a way out of the loneliness that was consuming me. I hoped and prayed that He would send someone to help me, but I knew deep down inside that He had something much better in store. Over time God showed me how engrossed I was in my thoughts and He provided a way of escape. I was expecting that suddenly someone would show up in my life and solve all my problems. But instead, I found out that the problem was something I could do something about myself, instead of lying around waiting for someone else to fix things for me.

God showed me through His Word how selfish I was being. These thoughts about “poor me,” “no one likes me,” “me, me, me” were totally self-centered and egotistical. God’s Word speaks clearly and powerfully about selfishness and selfish aims: “For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. James 3:16. His Word was true: I only found disorder without rest in my thoughts. I was always waiting for somebody else and soon my life became dependent on others, which I had absolutely no control over. Life just become bogged down with anxiety and unrest. I was hoping for the others to think of and do things for me, but the only thing I could control was what I could do for the others.

I could be a friend to others

“… in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”Philippians 2:3-4.

It is really simple actually. Sometimes it is just giving a smile or just saying a few words of encouragement to bless others. I find comfort in God’s Word: Jesus tells us that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31). We are to love the others as much as we naturally love ourselves. My mindset has changed for the better. Instead of always anxiously seeking help from others, never finding true rest, always thirsting for more, never being filled, I could be that person I was endlessly seeking after for someone else.

Satan fights as hard as he can to get me to change my mind. I find myself being tempted to be absorbed in my thoughts; tempted to be engrossed only in myself and my own problems. But I keep saying “no” to Satan and I overcome these temptations one by one. I pray to God to give me grace and strength so that I can overcome every single time I’m tempted. When these thoughts and feelings come, I have to cry out to God to help me become free from selfishness. Then I choose to rather bless those around me.

My life is turned around

I am now assured that I am not living life in vain. I no longer have to depend on the others, and I no longer have to depend on my feelings. The result is eternal happiness and not momentary pleasure. I am assured that I can overcome every trial and every sin. I have faith in God that I can overcome all my sin because He says so in the Bible. “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Now, instead of being focused on myself and how I feel, I can see the needs of other people around me.  I can reach out to others who may feel alone, I can help and encourage them. I can be a disciple of Jesus who believes God’s tremendous Word and does the good.

“Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved

 

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I’ve Got Some Bad News — Daily Pursuit: Pursuing Jesus Together!

Have you ever read something in the Bible and thought, “Nope. Don’t like that!” I did that the other day, thinking THIS DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE! I know. I know. I’m being a bad pastor again. Allow me to set this up for you. Psalm 112:1 (NLT) How joyful are those who fear the Lord and […]

via I’ve Got Some Bad News — Daily Pursuit: Pursuing Jesus Together!

Now that’s a good word Pastor, thank you.

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Fox’s Book of Martyrs

https://www.biblestudytools.com/history/foxs-book-of-martyrs/

Edited by William Byron Forbush This is a book that will never die — one of the great English classics. . . . Reprinted here in its most complete form, it brings to life the days when “a noble army, men and boys, the matron and the maid,” “climbed the steep ascent of heaven, ‘mid peril, toil, and pain.” “After the Bible itself, no book so profoundly influenced early Protestant sentiment as the Book of Martyrs. Even in our time it is still a living force. It is more than a record of persecution. It is an arsenal of controversy, a storehouse of romance, as well as a source of edification.”

Fox’s Book of Martyrs is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Persecution of the Waldenses in France

Peter Waldo and the Waldensian Movement -Amazon

Kindle book available 99 cents
Popery having brought various innovations into the Church, and overspread the Christian world with darkness and superstition, some few, who plainly perceived the pernicious tendency of such errors, determined to show the light of the Gospel in its real purity, and to disperse those clouds which artful priests had raised about it, in order to blind the people, and obscure its real brightness.
The principal among these was Berengarius, who, about the year 1000, boldly preached Gospel truths, according to their primitive purity. Many, from conviction, assented to his doctrine, and were, on that account, called Berengarians. To Berengarius succeeded Peer Bruis, who preached at Toulouse, under the protection of an earl, named Hildephonsus; and the whole tenets of the reformers, with the reasons of their separation from the Church of Rome, were published in a book written by Bruis, under the title of “Antichrist.”
By the year of Christ 1140, the number of the reformed was very great, and the probability of its increasing alarmed the pope, who wrote to several princes to banish them from their dominions, and employed many learned men to write against their doctrines.
In A.D. 1147, because of Henry of Toulouse, deemed their most eminent preacher, they were called Henericians; and as they would not admit of any proofs relative to religion, but what could be deduced from the Scriptures themselves, the popish party gave them the name of apostolics. At length, Peter Waldo, or Valdo, a native of Lyons, eminent for his piety and learning, became a strenuous opposer of popery; and from him the reformed, at that time, received the appellation of Waldenses or Waldoys.
Pope Alexander III being informed by the bishop of Lyons of these transactions, excommunicated Waldo and his adherents, and commanded the bishop to exterminate them, if possible, from the face of the earth; hence began the papal persecutions against the Waldenses.
The proceedings of Waldo and the reformed, occasioned the first rise of the inquisitors; for Pope Innocent III authorized certain monks as inquisitors, to inquire for, and deliver over, the reformed to the secular power. The process was short, as an accusation was deemed adequate to guilt, and a candid trial was never granted to the accused.
The pope, finding that these cruel means had not the intended effect, sent several learned monks to preach among the Waldenses, and to endeavor to argue them out of their opinions. Among these monks was one Dominic, who appeared extremely zealous in the cause of popery. This Dominic instituted an order, which, from him, was called the order of Dominican friars; and the members of this order have ever since been the principal inquisitors in the various inquisitions in the world. The power of the inquisitors was unlimited; they proceeded against whom they pleased, without any consideration of age, sex, or rank. Let the accusers be ever so infamous, the accusation was deemed valid; and even anonymous informations, sent by letter, were thought sufficient evidence. To be rich was a crime equal to heresy; therefore many who had money were accused of heresy, or of being favorers of heretics, that they might be obliged to pay for their opinions. The dearest friends or nearest kindred could not, without danger, serve any one who was imprisoned on account of religion. To convey to those who were confined, a little straw, or give them a cup of water, was called favoring of the heretics, and they were prosecuted accordingly. No lawyer dared to plead for his own brother, and their malice even extended beyond the grave; hence the bones of many were dug up and burnt, as examples to the living. If a man on his deathbed was accused of being a follower of Waldo, his estates were confiscated, and the heir to them defrauded of his inheritance; and some were sent to the Holy Land, while the Dominicans took possession of their houses and properties, and, when the owners returned, would often pretend not to know them. These persecutions were continued for several centuries under different popes and other great dignitaries of the Catholic Church.

(I wonder if the “Where’s Waldo” thing came from)

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131 Christians Everyone Should Know

131Christians

William Wilberforce

Antislavery politician

1759-1833

william Wilberforce Abolitionist
“So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the [slave] trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would: I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.”

In the late 1700s, when William Wilberforce was a teenager, English traders raided the African coast on the Gulf of Guinea, captured between 35,000 and 50,000 Africans a year, shipped them across the Atlantic, and sold them into slavery. It was a profitable business that many powerful people had become dependent upon. One publicist for the West Indies trade wrote, “The impossibility of doing without slaves in the West Indies will always prevent this traffic being dropped. The necessity, the absolute necessity, then, of carrying it on, must, since there is no other, be its excuse.”

By the late 1700s, the economics of slavery were so entrenched that only a handful of people thought anything could be done about it. That handful included William Wilberforce.

Taking on a purpose

This would have surprised those who knew Wilberforce as a young man. He grew up surrounded by wealth. He was a native of Hull and educated at St. John’s College at Cambridge. But he wasn’t a serious student. He later reflected, “As much pains were taken to make me idle as were ever taken to make me studious.” A neighbor at Cambridge added, “When he [Wilberforce] returned late in the evening to his rooms, he would summon me to join him…. He was so winning and amusing that I often sat up half the night with him, much to the detriment of my attendance at lectures the next day.” Yet Wilberforce had political ambitions and, with his connections, managed to win election to Parliament in 1780, where he formed a lasting friendship with William Pitt, the future prime minister. But he later admitted, “The first years in Parliament I did nothing—nothing to any purpose. My own distinction was my darling object.”

But he began to reflect deeply on his life, which led to a period of intense sorrow. “I am sure that no human creature could suffer more than I did for some months,” he later wrote. His unnatural gloom lifted on Easter 1786, “amidst the general chorus with which all nature seems on such a morning to be swelling the song of praise and thanksgiving.” He had experienced a spiritual rebirth.

He abstained from alcohol and practiced rigorous self-examination as befit, he believed, a “serious” Christian. He abhorred the socializing that went along with politicking. He worried about “the temptations at the table,” the endless dinner parties, which he thought were full of vain and useless conversation: “[They] disqualify me for every useful purpose in life, waste my time, impair my health, fill my mind with thoughts of resistance before and self-condemnation afterwards.”

He began to see his life’s purpose: “My walk is a public one,” he wrote in his diary. “My business is in the world, and I must mix in the assemblies of men or quit the post which Providence seems to have assigned me.”

In particular, two causes caught his attention. First, under the influence of Thomas Clarkson, he became absorbed with the issue of slavery. Later he wrote, “So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did the trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would: I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.”

Wilberforce was initially optimistic, even naively so. He expressed “no doubt” about his chances of quick success. As early as 1789, he and Clarkson managed to have 12 resolutions against the slave trade introduced—only to be outmaneuvered on fine legal points. The pathway to abolition was blocked by vested interests, parliamentary filibustering, entrenched bigotry, international politics, slave unrest, personal sickness, and political fear. Other bills introduced by Wilberforce were defeated in 1791, 1792, 1793, 1797, 1798, 1799, 1804, and 1805.

When it became clear that Wilberforce was not going to let the issue die, pro-slavery forces targeted him. He was vilified; opponents spoke of “the damnable doctrine of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies.” The opposition became so fierce, one friend feared that one day he would read about Wilberforce’s being “carbonated [broiled] by Indian planters, barbecued by African merchants, and eaten by Guinea captains.”

Prime minister of philanthropy

Slavery was only one cause that excited Wilberforce’s passions. His second great calling was for the “reformation of manners,” that is, morals. In early 1787, he conceived of a society that would work, as a royal proclamation put it, “for the encouragement of piety and virtue; and for the preventing of vice, profaneness, and immorality.” It eventually become known as the Society for the Suppression of Vice.

In fact, Wilberforce—dubbed “the prime minister of a cabinet of philanthropists”—was at one time active in support of 69 philanthropic causes. He gave away one-quarter of his annual income to the poor. He fought on behalf of chimney sweeps, single mothers, Sunday schools, orphans, and juvenile delinquents. He helped found parachurch groups like the Society for Bettering the Cause of the Poor, the Church Missionary Society, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the Antislavery Society.

In 1797, he settled at Clapham, where he became a prominent member of the “Clapham Sect,” a group of devout Christians of influence in government and business. That same year he wrote Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians—a scathing critique of comfortable Christianity that became a bestseller.

All this in spite of the fact that poor health plagued him his entire life, sometimes keeping him bedridden for weeks. During one such time in his late twenties, he wrote, “[I] am still a close prisoner, wholly unequal even to such a little business as I am now engaged in: add to which my eyes are so bad that I can scarce see how to direct my pen.”

He survived this and other bouts of debilitating illness with the help of opium, a new drug at the time, the affects of which were still unknown. Wilberforce soon became addicted, though opium’s hallucinatory powers terrified him, and the depressions it caused virtually crippled him at times.

When healthy, however, he was a persistent and effective politician, partly due to his natural charm and partly to his eloquence. His antislavery efforts finally bore fruit in 1807: Parliament abolished the slave trade in the British Empire. He then worked to ensure the slave trade laws were enforced and, finally, that slavery in the British Empire was abolished. Wilberforce’s health prevented him from leading the last charge, though he heard three days before he died that the final passage of the emancipation bill was ensured in committee.

Though some historians argue that Thomas Clarkson and others were just as important in the antislavery fight, Wilberforce in any account played a key role in, as historian CM. Trevelyan put it, “one of the turning events in the history of the world.”

131 Christians Everyone Should Know.

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Trump does it again!

POTD-June-10-1200x720

Your daily summary of news, events, and updates.

1600 Daily

June 10, 2019

How President Trump outsmarted the ‘experts’—again

Eleven days ago, President Donald J. Trump gave Mexico a choice: either restore the rule of law on its side of the border and help curb soaring illegal immigration into America, or face a 5 percent escalating tariff on all exports into the United States.

A Joint Declaration between the two countries came on Friday, reading in part:

Mexico will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border. Mexico is also taking decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks.

With these commitments comes renewed enforcement. Part of the new agreement, for example, requires a vote from Mexico’s legislative body to implement. “We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!” President Trump tweeted today.

It took only days for President Trump to bring Mexico to the table. He did so by leveraging America’s position as the strongest economy in the world. Despite that massive negotiating advantage, many in Washington were convinced that effort would fail.

How did the establishment get it so wrong, yet again?

Washington suffers from a disease of short-term bias, most of it self-inflicted. Pundits and career politicians inflate trivial controversies to avoid addressing real ones. The mainstream media follows suit, looking for cheap sensationalism to help keep a few more viewers entertained. In both cases, the news cycle moves on before anyone is held accountable for making wrong prediction after wrong prediction.

That short-sightedness also tells us who the Beltway’s real customers are. It’s no coincidence that much of the political class pays closer attention to the hourly fluctuations of Wall Street than to the long-term decline of American communities. Both their jobs and those of their patrons depend on not disrupting the status quo at any cost.

Real negotiation, on the other hand, requires a willingness to stand your ground. It also requires understanding your bargaining power. President Trump knows that a strong America—both economically and militarily—can help shape the world for the better.

The results are already drowning out Washington’s “experts.” For example:

  • Our NATO allies cut their defense budgets for years knowing that American taxpayers would pick up the bill. President Trump said no more—and has already secured a $100 billion increase from our allies in defense spending.
  • Both President Trump and former President Obama promised to renegotiate NAFTA to get a better deal for American workers. Only President Trump delivered, and the new USMCA now awaits approval from Congress.
  • For years, pundits said that America’s days as a manufacturing powerhouse were over. Under President Trump, the U.S. economy added 284,000 manufacturing jobs in 2018—the most of any year since the 1990s.

The bottom line: American strength works. It just requires the will to use it.

See the headlines: President Trump secures a historic immigration deal with Mexico.

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Changing the Beauty Game — BeautyBeyondBones

So this past week, I was invited to attend a really special event in NYC. It was on this absolutely *gorgeous* rooftop on the upper east side of Manhattan, complete with a pool, DJ, gourmet bites… and a view of the city that literally took my breath away. It was hosted by Gillette Venus. Yes,…

via Changing the Beauty Game — BeautyBeyondBones

Great Post as usual. It was good to see a positive message from a major market like this.

BBB

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Taste and see

Psalm 34:8 (NKJV) Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

O Taste and see

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Today’s Theme Song: I give myself away

William McDowell

album: “As We Worship: Live” (2009)

“I Give Myself Away”
I give myself away

[Chorus x2:]
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me

[Verse 1:]
Here I am
Here I stand
Lord, my life is in your hands
Lord, I’m longing to see
Your desires revealed in me

[Chorus:]
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me

[Verse 2:]
Take my heart
Take my life
As a living sacrifice
All my dreams all my plans
Lord I place them in your hands

[Chorus x2:]
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me
I give myself away
I give myself away
So You can use me

[Bridge x7:]
My life is not my own
To you I belong
I give myself, I give myself to you

Writer(s): MC DOWELL WILLIAM DAVID

Daily Bible Reading 11 June 2019

Bible Reading Enhances Any Day (BREAD)
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Daily Bible Reading: 2 Kings 14-15, 1 Corinthians 6
 
2 Kings 14:1-7 (NKJV) In the second year of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, king of Israel, Amaziah the son of Joash, king of Judah, became king. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, yet not like his father David; he did everything as his father Joash had done. However the high places were not taken away, and the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. Now it happened, as soon as the kingdom was established in his hand, that he executed his servants who had murdered his father the king. But the children of the murderers he did not execute, according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, in which the LORD commanded, saying, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; but a person shall be put to death for his own sin.” He killed ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt, and took Sela by war, and called its name Joktheel to this day.
 
1 Corinthians 6:1-2 (AMP) DOES ANY of you dare, when he has a matter of complaint against another [brother], to go to law before unrighteous men [men neither upright nor right with God, laying it before them] instead of before the saints (the people of God)? Do you not know that the saints (the believers) will [one day] judge and govern the world? And if the world [itself] is to be judged and ruled by you, are you unworthy and incompetent to try [such petty matters] of the smallest courts of justice?
1+Corinthians+6_1-3
#PrayerFocus: That I be worthy before my brothers in Christ.

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Daily Bible Verse

Verse of the Day

All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 7:12 ASV

GoldenRule

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