Dealing With Mirages in Our Work

A mirage is false hope. It is only helpful for motivation, not in reality. You can’t eat the sand. A mirage in your work or life will not sustain you. Reaching the destination of a mirage ends in a reality check. In other words, a mirage only prolongs and makes worse the inevitable.

source:http://kids.britannica.com

source:http://kids.britannica.com

We all have mirages that appear from time to time in our field of vision. And a mirage is tempting. But the problem is, no matter how much we want it to be true, it just isn’t. And pushing towards it only brings that painful reality into focus quicker.

What the Duck Dynasty Firestorm Reveals About Tolerance and Absolute Truth

Tol·er·ance  noun \ˈtä-lə-rən(t)s, ˈtäl-rən(t)s\
: willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own

The recent media storm surrounding statements made by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson have sparked many debates around “free speech”. But the real issue here is not Phil Robertson, what he said, how he said it, LGBT rights, or even free speech. A&E has every right to fire Robertson. They are a private company, and they can do whatever they feel is right. The LGBT community has their right to voice their concerns, and Phil Robertson has a right to express his opinion.

The real issue here is absolute truth.

The key phrase in Webster’s definition of tolerance is “willingness to accept”. For decades in this America, tolerance meant that even if I don’t agree with you, I will still “tolerate” your views because we live in a free country, side by side. An “agree to disagree” sort of world.

That world is no more. “Tolerance” is now defined as accepting anyone’s view as long as they do not claim to have absolute truth. I will tolerate you as long as you admit that I’m right too. Absolute truth is the deal breaker, because in our post-modern world, no one can have it (many believe). If you claim to have absolute truth, you are bigoted, intolerant, and should be ostracized from the community.

That’s what is happening to Phil Robertson. 

It’s what happened to Jesus. 

It’s what happens to Jesus still, and those who follow Him.

Christ’s claim on absolute truth strikes people as intolerant, because it puts them in a position of being wrong. And for them, that is intolerable.

So, Christians, don’t be “surprised” or in “disbelief” about the reaction to this latest firestorm. Jesus predicted, correctly of course, that this would happen.

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:18-20

The world hates believers in Christ, because we are holders of absolute truth.

Typhoon Haiyan Relief

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No water. No electricity. No communications. These were the conditions on Bantayan Island following Typhoon Haiyan. Most of the island was completely destroyed, impacting thousands of families. The family of Pastor Dennis Medosa survived the storm, and thankfully escaped with no physical injuries. But their lives had been completely rearranged.

During the storm, the family was huddled inside their home. The storm began to rip their house apart, and fearing for their lives, they fled to the nearby church building. Next, the storm ripped the roof off of the church building. With nowhere else to go, the family weathered the storm inside the church. The typhoon blasted Bantayan Island for 5 hours, and daylight showed the devastation that it had wrought.

Bantayan Baptist Church has a main church building, operates a Christian school, and has 4 feeding centers for underprivileged families. All of them were utterly destroyed during the typhoon. All of the school supplies and books, the computer center, the church benches, the musical instruments – everything is in ruins. Pastor Dennis says, “basically we are back to zero in our ministry”.

Global Surge is committed to helping Pastor Dennis and Bantayan Baptist Church rebuild. We are partnering with them to strengthen their ministry and expand their influence on the island.

We will be helping in several phases of relief:

Phase 1 ($25,000) – providing immediate relief to the community through food, water, temporary shelter, etc.
Phase 2 ($50,000) – rebuilding Bantayan Baptist Church, the pastor’s home, the Christian school, and feeding centers
Phase 3 continuing support through specific projects to stabilize the church and impact the community

Our initial goal is to give a total of $75,000 in two phases. Phase 1 is completely funded and is now ongoing. We need your help to fund Phase 2 ($50,000) and rebuild this ministry. To date, we have $25,400 committed for Phase 2.

 Please consider a gift to help us rebuild the ministries of Bantayan Baptist Church.

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How Worry Moves Your Focus and Hurts You Spiritually

Golf immortal Arnold Palmer recalls a lesson about overconfidence: “It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, “Congratulations.” I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus.

On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don’t forget a mistake like that; you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again. I haven’t in the 30 years since.”

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Focus is important. Lose it and you lose your way.

Sometimes we miss what God is saying because we are too focused on earthly circumstances and not on Him. This happens to me, to you, and we have a record of it happening to the disciples. In fact, the account in Mark chapter 8 is a little humorous, or would be, if the subject was not so serious. In the account, the disciples in the boat with Jesus were so focused on their hunger that they missed an entire spiritual lesson, and Jesus could not have been more frustrated with them.