Tag Archives: belief

Time is of the Essence

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Do you ever feel like you have enough time in the day? Are you a busy person? Are you a procrastinator? Does time seem to be moving faster and faster the older you get?

The other day my kids were watching a movie on Netflix. It was a kids show about some children who are spies (conveniently called “Spy Kids”). The dilemma in this show was that the bad guy was stealing time. He was making the clocks all around the world speed up.

The problem was that he was doing it for a good reason. He had lost his father and was trying to teach all people around the world to value the time they have with others. I think the bad guy had a good point.

We take for granted what becomes commonplace in our lives. Through the years we become accustomed to the idea that there will be tomorrow. We make decision based on plans for the future.

The other day I heard a sad story of a person who took the future for granted. This person had been studied with about Jesus and what He did to save us. This person believed the message and wanted to be baptized to give his life to The Lord, but in the end he decided to put it off until a later date.

Fast forward several years, and the person has still not dedicated his life to Christ. He out it off until a better time but that better time seemed to never come. When the decision was in the forefront of his mind he let other factors influence his decision to do what was right. Now he’s dead.

Death is finality. There is no more opportunity for the things you wished to do to come true. The decisions you neglected stay neglected. You are given one shot at living this life.

Hebrews says, “It is destined for man to die one and then to face judgment.” Reincarnation isn’t an option. There will be no time after death to undo the mistakes of your past. All of those mistakes need to be dealt with right now.

That’s why every time we read of someone being convicted of their need for Christ in the New Testament there was immediate response in baptism.

Time is of the essence. Time is fleeting. Now is the time to do what is right. Don’t put off till tomorrow what should be done today. All of these clichés are appropriate for you if you know you need to come to Christ but have been putting it off.

Have you been baptized? Have you been forgiven? Do you have the Spirit living in you? If not, then don’t wait until a better time to get that fixed. The time is now. God is calling.

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Shoe Tying Gone Wrong

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Are you familiar with TED? It is a nonprofit organization whose motto is “Ideas Worth Spreading”. You can find information from them at http://www.TED.com.

What TED does is bring some of the brightest minds around the planet to talk about a wide variety of topics. People speak on such things as solving water crisis problems and helping world hunger. They talk about why our universe is fit for our type of life and how to fix a broken economy.

Many of the speakers do an excellent job and are fascinating. I’ll admit that most are a bit out of my league or just don’t pique my interest. However, I ran across one of their videos that surprised me. You can go to TED.com or YouTube and search for “Terry Moore: How to tie your shoes”.

In this 3 minute video Terry Moore discusses how to tie shoes the correct way. I’ve been tying my shoes for most of my life and hadn’t realized that there was actually a right and wrong way to tie shoes. It turns out that there is a best way to do this, and most people are close to getting it right but one wrong move has them tying a knot that is weak at best. This is a major cause of shoes randomly becoming untied throughout the day.

How do you tie your shoes? The right way or the wrong way? Did you even know there was such a distinction?

We tie our shoes day after day, and we teach our kids to tie their shoes the way we tie them so that generation after generation grows up tying their shoes the way it has always been done. Just because it’s always been done that way by your family, however, doesn’t mean it’s the best or right way to do it.

The apostle Paul understood this later in life. He had spent his entire life extremely dedicated to the Pharisaical sect of Judaism. He knew the letter of the law and was a “Hebrew of Hebrews”. He did everything right (or so he thought). Not only did he do everything right, but he was evangelistic in trying to get others to change their ways and condemning those who taught the way of Christ.

It was on his way to Damascus to righteously persecute more of these heretics in the name of Jehovah when Jesus appeared to Paul (then known as Saul). During that encounter, Paul realized that though he had been convinced that was he was doing was right, and even though he had great zeal for his way of life, he was dead wrong and needed to change.

Fortunately for everyone who reads the bible he wasn’t resistant to the vision, and he changed his way of thinking with the help of the Spirit. He went on to write most of the New Testament as we know it and became one of the greatest evangelists for Christ of all time.

We wrestle with this same kind of thinking today. So many things are done day and week and year after year because we have always done them that way. We accept things as being scriptural because someone said it is scriptural. We, like sheep, blindly follow the sheep that went before us.

Fortunately, for us, there is forgiveness from God. We surely do not have everything right.

Look at the way we do things in our churches. Why do we do them that way? Why do our churches today look so unlike the churches in the first century when the apostles were spreading the message for the first time?

Don’t get me wrong; I am not against tradition. I do, however, think that traditions need to be continually questioned. Is this tradition useful today? What was the purpose for this tradition when it was implemented? Is it right or wrong to participate in this tradition?

Then think about what you have been taught. Do I believe that because it is the logical argument passed down through generations, or do I believe it because the scripture actually makes this argument? Is this belief what was handed to me, or is this truth from the word of God?

Some things we believe to be scriptural truths aren’t even in the scriptures.

According to Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 20:18-19 (symbolic bookends of the scriptures) we are not to hold anyone hostage over anything we have tried to add to the scriptures. We cannot add some tradition then claim it to be heresy if someone doesn’t follow that tradition. We also cannot take the scriptures and cut away the things we don’t believe in. There are at least six different places throughout the scriptures where this warning is given.

I encourage you to question things. You were given a mind that has great capacity for logic and reasoning – use it. You fulfill your purpose as you use the talents God has given you, and you were given the ability to think. Don’t simply let someone else do the thinking for you.

Just a warning: if you do this, you may come up with conclusions that are different than what your other church members or leadership believes. Be patient. Love and peace and unity are much grander philosophies in the scripture than getting everything right. Romans 15:1 warns us to bear with the failings of the weak. Therefore, it is good to question things and work toward change, but we must be patient with others. God doesn’t just give grace to those whom have all the doctrine right…he gives it to those who haven’t gotten things figured out the way you do too.

So, may you learn to tie your shoes properly. May you seek the truth in your beliefs and traditions, but above all, may you seek love and peace and unity among the brotherhood as you work to bring light into error.

God bless you, and if there is anything I can help you with in your walk with Christ, please feel free to call me at 245-1611 or email me at jddobbs@verizon.net. If you’d like to see the video I spoke of earlier, you can find the link on my blog at http://www.mrdobbs.org. God bless you, and have a great week!

Here’s the link:

Terry Moore: How to tie your shoes


Standing at the Crossroads. Which way do I go?

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Are you or have you ever been standing at the crossroads of a life decision wondering what God’s will for you in this choice happened to be? Does God want you to go left or right or keep going in the same direction? Sometimes the will of God in our lives is clear, but more often than not it is not nearly as obvious.

Consider Abram. He was a man of God who loved Him and trusted Him with his life and all his heart. One day the Lord told Abram to go to the land the Lord had promised him. Where was this land? Abram didn’t really know. God had not sent a map; He only said “Go!”, and Abram went.

I wonder which direction Abram went when he left his house. Did He turn right or left? When he came to another crossroad down the way, what was his method for determining his course? How was he supposed to find a place he had never seen nor had he even been told where it is?

The one thing we know about Abram is that he is the father of faith in God. The three largest religions in the world today consider Abram (later known as Abraham) as one of their patriarchs. The thing about Abram is that he really did trust God.

He didn’t just say he trusted God. He didn’t just go through the motions and give lip service to his faith. He lived out his faith every day so that when God told him to leave his family and his land, he left.

Again, I wonder which direction he went when he left his house.

It didn’t matter which direction Abram went. It was the right direction because He was trusting in God.

God promises us something special when we come to the crossroads of our lives. What he requires of us is faith in Him. Then, when that faith is in place, He promises us that whichever road we take He will bless. Romans 8:28 assures us that any of the decisions we make will turn out for the good when our faith is in the Almighty God.

When I get to that point in my life, then the decisions become much less stressful. The “what ifs” go away because I can now trust that God will take care of me as He promised he would. It may be that you are at a crossroads because the blessings coming your way are many. You aren’t choosing what blessings will be the greatest for you down that road. What you are deciding is where can I go and serve God and glorify Him? With that attitude, He’s going to bless you whatever you choose.

That’s one of the most magnificent aspects to Jehovah, God. He gives us free-will choice. He doesn’t force us down a path or decision. He loves us and helps us down whatever road we choose.

In the light of this we have a great freedom in Christ. That freedom allows us to make any decision we choose because our lives are focused on glorifying God regardless of the outcome. We are focused on trusting no matter the decision.

What if my whole world falls apart when I make this decision? It doesn’t matter. Everything in this world is temporary. God has promised to never leave or forsake you. He has promised to help you through. He has promised to grow you as you face those things. Was it easy for Abram to leave? No. Was Abram scared? Yes. But he persevered and God blessed him.

May you have the mind that trusts God in your decisions. May you be constantly in prayer about the plans God has for you, and may you rejoice that your God loves you enough to bless you regardless of your choices. What a great God we have!

This year make a commitment to not hesitate in making the tough choices. Trust God, and allow Him to guide you even in the confusing times. As always, if there is anything I can do for you or pray with you about feel free to contact me at http://www.mrdobbs.org or at jddobbs@verizon.net. God bless you!


If If’s and But’s Were Candy and Nuts…

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When I was growing up my mother had this saying that really annoyed me: If if’s and but’s were candy and nuts we’d all have a merry Christmas.

Back then I kind of understood it, but now I have a great appreciation for this saying.

Are you the kind of person who says, from time to time, “if only…”? What good does that do? When I was younger this was a popular habit of mine. I would beat myself up with the what if’s and tear myself down with the if only’s. These did me no good. They only made me feel worse.

So what about you? Do you have a past relationship that you’ve often wondered about? If only… Have you lost a job you loved, and you wonder “what if…”?

I find that when I have the mindset that regrets things not done that could have been then I am a miserable soul indeed. I even begin to go into conversations worried about having the right words or doing the right things to make everything go smoothly. I want the best from each moment of life, but the more I struggle to try to make each moment the best myself the more frustrated I am with the minute details of the moment that didn’t go right.

I am a big fan of the movie “The Matrix”, and I have seen all three of them multiple times. I’m not as big a fan of the second and third installments, but in the second movie there is a scene in which the trio that is out to save the world has a conversation that doesn’t go as they expected. One of them begins to complain about the situation when the character that is more prophet-like stops her and reminds her that it couldn’t have happened any other way, but there must be a reason for it to be that way.

When I saw this it reminded me of what Jesus said in Matthew 6. “Do not worry.” If I remember that God is always in control, then I can have much more peace in each situation. God has promised us to turn every situation out for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). If I trust in that promise then I know that as long as I have surrendered my life to Him then whatever I put my hand to will turn out the way it was intended.

If I have prayed over a situation or conversation before I meet, then I can have peace that God will direct my words and actions. Even when I feel like things didn’t go as well as expected, I can trust that God used whatever was said or done to enhance the situation of all involved.

What this does is grant much more freedom. I no longer have to worry about how things are going to go. I don’t have to have regrets from the past. The things that happened happened and the things that will happen will happen. I am not in control. God is!

This also has great implications on whether or not I share the message of Jesus with others. When I am worried what they will think or whether or not I will have the right words, then I hesitate and often do not do the things which are necessary for their salvation. But when I surrender myself to God and His will, then it doesn’t matter whether or not I have the right worlds. All that matters is that I love the other person and try. God will give the blessing.

It is my prayer that you can be freed from a life of regret. May you stop saying the “what ifs” and the “if onlys”. May your life be fuller because of a lack of worry, and may you trust that God will certainly turn every situation out for your good.

If there is anything I can do for you or pray with you about, feel free to contact me at 245-1611 or via email at jddobbs@verizon.net. God bless you as you live in His freedom!


Splish splash!

[tweetmeme]I know this is a sticky subject with a lot of people, but we should be able to express our ideas in a civilized manner, shouldn’t we? Here we go…

What are your thoughts on baptism? Dunking, pouring, sprinkling. Necessary or not? Sinner’s prayer? Baptism of Holy Spirit? Does it begin your Christian walk? Is it when you are saved? I’d just like to know your thoughts and why you think so.

Remember that this is viewed by many people from many different backgrounds, so no church bashing…we are still following Jesus here!

Rich discussion…part of life on the sharp end.


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