Last weekend I alluded to the fact I thought I was running out of creative ways to refer to our weekly review. So for now I’ve decided on simply saying “Week In Review” in languages from different countries where we know there are some who are joining us along our shared path.
So on this edition of “Becoming Today”, we recognize the Hindi translation as we look back at the week that was.
Monday we chose to get things started on a “Favor-Able” note.
Yes I realize the grammar police will be quick to point out, it’s one word, no hyphen or other symbol is necessary but I’m trying to make a point. That is why we discussed how Favor and Able come together to become so much more…
Let’s get to work on our shared definition of favor plus able and how they do indeed have a favorable impact on each of our lives.
For our purposes let us accept that favor is an act of kindness that honors the recipient, uplifts them, and recognizes them with benevolence and admiration.
If you are favored it is quite “Becoming”.
Able gives us the ability. It empowers our actions, boosts our skills. It qualifies us, increases our competency and allows for us to be more than capable.
So when we look at Favor + Able , yes it equals (=) favorable.
Favorable for the purposes of our shared journey along the path of “Becoming Today”, is the ability to competently be empowered with the skills and resources necessary to recognize, accept and receive blessings that honor, uplifts and inspires us with the benevolence and admiration of a loving Father.
The Favor of God is always available for us. We must actively choose to seek and not only become rewarded with it, but also to put it to the best use in sharing for the good of the whole.
As I have come to understand favor, I have been able to develop an acronym to allow for an easier study of the concept. So let’s explore it one letter at a time, as F.A.V.O.R.:
Finding freedom, from burdens, limitations, false beliefs and freeing ourselves to be “Becoming”.
Finding the freedom to renew, rejuvenate and revitalize yourself begins with an understanding of all that being free entails. The search and struggle for freedom is definitely empowering and a very important step for one and all.
For many, abundance is first looked upon as having to do with material things. Defined as “a very large quantity of something”, it certainly can be taken that way. However the abundance we’re seeking here has more to do with our spiritual development than a societal concept of always needing to want more, more, more.
Abundance along our shared journey involves what the Scriptures describe as living an “abundant life”. Referring to our living in an abounding fullness of joy and strength. The two can and do exist simultaneously. Certainly there is a need for silver or gold in our world, otherwise God would have never created them.
A win, yes. Plus so much more. Victory is an eternal reward. As the chorus of the song “Victory in Jesus” reminds us all:
“Oh victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me ‘ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood”
Viewing victory through the Bible we learn in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance”.
And victory empowers us to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
This involves not only the seeking and finding of situations that present an opportunity for ourselves, but also granting us the opportunity to be loving and benevolent to others. While the worldly definition of opportunity as a favorable time or set of circumstances is generally viewed as seeking material things for one’s self, along or shared path it is also the occasion, the moment, the ability to help increase others.
In Luke 10:25-37, we can read the Parable of the Good Samaritan. There it is taught that there are opportunities to do good in the name of Christ. These possibilities exist all around us.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10).
The remaining question for accepting opportunity is whether or not we will each choose to recognize seeing another in need as an assignment from God?
Literally redemption means “the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil”. Becoming redeemed involves accepting our rescue, believing we are being restored and regaining possession of our knowledge that in all things, God will deliver us.
We are redeemed through His forgiveness and compensated by His Mercy and Grace. To live a life of redemption involves accepting Christ as our Savior for He was “crucified, died and buried”’ so that we might live in and with the Love And Peace of God.
Freedom, Abundance, Victory, Opportunity and Redemption empowered by “able” – having the means and possibilities to boost our understanding and abilities is certainly a blessing.
Toosday pointed to the fact that we should focus on faith over fear. “Fear? Not!”, included a discussion of how knowing who I am, and where I wanted to go, I was able to find the strength to focus on my intention rather than circumstances,concerns or the objections of others. Understanding the Divine purpose that was being revealed in my heart, allowed me to be guided through all the ‘hows’.
How I would do it. How I would get there. How I would find my way.
I could have allowed fear to take hold and insisted on wasting time on trying to figure out how this or how that. Or worse yet I could have opted to get stuck in the “what ifs?”
What if this? What if tha?. If this; then what if that? And on and on and on…
Luckily I chose Faith.
We all should.
Faith can be simply defined however it takes effort to understand and determination to put into action.
As the dictionary offers, “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” a it’s first attempt at enlightening us to Faith. Followed by the list of synonyms: trust, belief, confidence, conviction, credence, reliance, dependence, optimism, hopefulness, hope, expectation
Then it adds a further description, a ”strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof”.
It’s only in merging the two that we can arrive at a shared understanding of the concept.
Faith is the assurance of things we hope for, but have not yet received. Faith is also the confidence, belief and trust in things that are not seen. Faith must be present before a prayer can be answered.
Faith is hard work, but its rewards are truly remarkable.
Midweek we continue our focus on looking to strengthen our resolve. By undertaking a weekly search and rescue mission for wisdom.
This week we examined Proverbs 12.
This passage is broken down into three sections, beginning with the statement “it’s Right To Live for God”. Evidence is then given to aid testimony for this bold declarative statement that includes as we read in verses two and three, “ If your heart is right, favor flows from the Lord, but a devious heart invites his condemnation. You can’t expect success by doing what’s wrong. But the lives of his lovers are deeply rooted and firmly planted.”
Have I mentioned, “when the Bible keeps talking about the same thing over and over,that’s because it is important”? Well it is. That’s why the themes of opening our hearts to enlightenment and pure Divine love are again echoing in today’s topic.
As are some common sense principles such as outlined in verse nine: “Just be who you are and work hard for a living, for that’s better than pretending to be important and starving to death”.
A solid truth and really I don’t see any way for the idea to be debated unless of course you believe starving to death is a good idea.
Skipping ahead for a moment to verse 11, “Work hard at your job and you’ll have what you need. Following a get-rich-quick scheme is nothing but a fantasy”.
Could Solomon have had prophetic dreams about my emails? The ones I receive, not send. Every day there are dozens of them attempting to lure me into no effort, totally automated making a million dollars in 10 minutes nonsense.
Works and the integrity and character we invest in them are vital. Too often I see people fall prey to those trying to resell the same nonsense someone else sold them all based upon the principles of not needing to do anything but put your life on auto-pilot.
Life is meant to be lived. It is an ongoing experience that requires our participation. You can’t set an auto-responder and walk away.
There are far too many of these false messages, robbing many of hope, when the schemes ultimately fail. I was especially outraged earlier this year when I watched for a week as one such huckster spent hours everyday teaching the opposite of wisdom and righteous living.
Even sadder for me this individual is associated with an individual who has been well known for decades in the motivation and personal development fields, but as his disciple and “business partner” kept repeating the message, “just steal what you can and move on”, it got even worse.
As the days went on he provided others who bought into his system and they were proudly declaring his false advice as a mantra, “just steal what you can and move on”.
It’s just wrong. Unwise and the opposite of living righteously.
Thursday we took an interesting approach to examining how the Scriptures might be shared, if the authors were here with us in the 21st Century.
In this imagined conversation I am receiving text messages from the Apostle Paul, this week he shared some about what happened to him on the road to Damascus.
You can read the whole chat here, but in the meantime here’s some excerpts:
To learn more about Paul’s encounters along “The Road to Damascus” you can also check out Acts 9, verses 1-9.
I hope you enjoyed our unique look at the word of the Apostle Paul and how he might share it with us if he were here in the 21st Century.
Now if you’re wondering what I could possibly say next? Join us tomorrow for another Free Form Friday edition of “Becoming Today”. Stick around just a little longer…
… because on Fridays we deviate from our normal format and I share some random thoughts and observations that I really need to get out of my head.
Yesterday that included the astonishing revelation of an outraged Congressman who’s upset that you are not supposed to lie to Congress or the FBI.
You know I really wish this were something I made up. But truth is so much stranger than fiction. Unfortunately again we find so-called leaders failing to have any concept of reality.
This past week Texas Congressman Louis Gohmert proved he needs to be reminded of what Forrest’s mama always said – ‘stupid is as stupid does’
Why? Because he apparently was outraged that Republicans are not allowed to lie to Congress or law enforcement.
Yes he really said that. In an interview, the yes – Republican congressional representative said, quote, “If you’re a Republican, you can’t even lie to Congress or lie to an FBI agent or they’re coming after you”.
Shouldn’t it be common sense to understand that not only as a member of Congress, but as a citizen you are expected to be truthful when questioned during an investigation?
You can’t even lie?
Why should you be allowed to?
If I as an everyday citizen and voter can be prosecuted for lying to law enforcement why shouldn’t Congress?
Federal statutes indicate that making false statements to federal investigators can result in prosecution for the felony crime of making a “false statement” to an agent of the federal government related to a federal matter.
These false statements can be either verbal or in writing and don’t have to be made under oath to violate the statute. The law applies in all types of situations, including misrepresenting income to the IRS or lying to the FBI during an interview.
If convicted of violating 18 U.S. Code § 1001, it can result in up to five years in prison.
There are no exemptions for any elected officials in the law either.
This claim that it’;s outrageous you can’t lie to Congress or the FBI, further irritated me, yeah that’s a far more polite way of saying how it made me feel, because those elected to Congress swear an oath.
They pledge, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God”.
While it does not specifically say I shall not lie, I believe it is something that those of us electing someone expect them to refrain from.
Also egregious here is the fact that many elected officials also affirm their commitments with a hand on a Bible, which without a doubt instructs that lies of any kind are a big no-no.
In Proverbs 16 it clearly states that “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him”, among these is a “lying tongue”.
Also in Proverbs 12, “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight”.
Proverbs 19 also adds, “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish”.
So while he tries to dodge the issues and apparently favors misrepresenting facts, I think Louie Gohmert, who openly promotes himself as a Christian and claims affiliation with a church that believes in the sanctity of the Bible, one day will come to find out he too will be held accountable.
We also discussed pollinating fish, mourning bison and a new definition for weather vane. You can read it all here.
Otherwise that wraps up another week. I thank you for sharing our journey as we continue forward together. Come Monday please choose to join us again for our next edition of “Becoming Today”.