Your Life In 2008

I heard a recent statistic that I have found to be true in my life… it said that, “… you are a 1,000% more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down with an action plan to achieve them…”.

This last Sunday I just took the entire congregation through the exercise I personal use for myself… and many said they found it helpful. I hope you do as well!

MEMORY VERSE: John 10:10 “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give you a rich and satisfying life.” – NLT

TEXT: Matthew 22: 36-39 “Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the law?” Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

· How in 2008 can you love the lord more with your heart?

· How in 2008 can you love the lord more with your soul?

· How in 2008 can you love the lord more with your mind & strength?

· How in 2008 can you love your neighbor more?

“Let’s say your walking along the beach in the Bahamas and you stub your toe on a bottle… there’s an interesting label on the bottle covered in sand, so you rub & rub and out pops a genie… this genie offers you 3 wishes…

What would your 3 wishes be?

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What are 5 things you will do in 2008 to insure Gods plan for you will happen?

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What are 3 things you’d like to change about yourself?

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What are 5 things you are going to do to help you change those things?

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5.

(previously posted at TimmyGibson.com)

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God Sees the Caboose

Isaiah 40:30-31 “Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”

Have you ever been headed toward a Railroad Crossing, thinking to yourself; “please Lord, don’t let there be a train… I don’t have time to wait” and then you begin to accelerate just incase there may be a train coming? I never have, but I have heard of people doing that! Ha ha!

Then what happens? There’s a train! So, you either turn around or go another way, or you wait, then wait, then wait some more.
Have you ever had the train stop? Oh isn’t that a blessing? Have you ever turned around to go another way, just to keep the car moving, and come to find out that it would have been faster to just wait? And finally, have you ever been at a train crossing out in the flat country where you could see in both directions for miles and miles and no matter how long the train was you could see the caboose?

Have you noticed that it was easier to be patience and wait because you could see what was coming? You could see just how long you were going to have to wait… and that made it much easier. As a matter of fact a short train in the city that is being blocked by buildings seems to take much longer then a long train in the country, huh? Why? Simple because you can see what’s coming!

Our relationship with God is more like the City Train Railroad Crossing – our view is blocked and we do not know when “it” (i.e. our problem, our struggle, our stress, our depression, our hard time, etc.) will be over. But the good thing is, God SEES the caboose! Have faith in Him, and trust He will keep the train moving.

UnderSTANDing Leadership!

understandingleadershipbmp.jpg“Leadership is the challenge to be something more than average” – Jim Rohn

I am intrigued by this thing called leadership. I often wonder why some do, and some don’t. Why some learn and others don’t.

Leadership is ultimately influence. But I believe great leadership is influence to do good. Too many people in this culture are poor leaders; leaders who influence people for bad.

When I was younger, even in my 20’s I had a desire to be famous. I guess I am not alone. Many people I have spoken too have wanted to be a “rock star” of sorts. This explains the popularity of American Idol show. But I have matured, at least some what; now rather than being famous I want to be influential. I want to help people have a better life.

I believe that in each person’s core we want to be a force for good rather then evil.

So that thought out; how can we grow our leadership muscle? Become more influential? Truly help people?

    1.) Prayer – I know I know this seems so trite! But it’s easy to say, easy to write (or type) but not so easy to do on a daily basis! Start today!
    2.) Study God’s Word – Another easy thing to say, yet difficult to find time in our busy schedules to do. Start today!
    3.) Sincerity – 1 & 2 done on a regular basis will make this one really easy!
    4.) Practice – Do leadership. Start small, and God will give you bigger stuff!

“The key to great influence is being great at whatever you are doing now”
– Timmy Gibson

Those who gossip to you, gossip about you!

GOSSIP – small talk, hearsay, palaver, chitchat. Gossip, scandal apply to idle talk and newsmongering about the affairs of others. Gossip is light chat or talk: to trade gossip about the neighbors. It is rumor or general talk that is damaging to reputation; it is usually more or less malicious.

I have learned in my 38 years of life, “those who gossip to you gossip about you”. What is even more disconcerting is that Christians engage in this SINFUL behavior with NO GUILT! It’s just nuts I tell ya, just nuts! It’s Christian Tabloids!

It’s like a Christian who justifies an adulterous affair (and says, “but I love her”), or a Christian who legitimizes stealing from work and says (“because they don’t pay me enough”).

Romans 1:29 “Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.”

2 Corinthians 12:20 “For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior.”

Besides GOSSIP being a dark evil sin that we’ve all engaged in at some time, it’s bad for 3 reasons:

1.) It distracts us from doing the things that are really important; loving and caring for people, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, praying and reading the scripture!

2.) It is murder with the tongue. It seperates close friends, and it breaks relationships!

3.) It tears down people! Gossip produces nothing good in a persons life, period!

How to know when you’ve stumbled upon a GOSSIP:

1.) They gossip to you!

2.) The are unhappy. (typically about many things)

3.) The world is just out to get them.

4.) They do not have any TRUE friends. (have you ever had a friend gossip to you about another friend? That is not friendship!)

5.) Gossip follows gossips! (so if you are always in the midst of gossip… it’s YOU! You are the common denominator!)

Typically, gossipers attract other gossipers. So if you find yourself in a gossip crowd, I would recommend you inform your “friends” (if you can call them that) and challenge them that you want to be a true Christ follower and that you feel that gossip is not doing anything positive in or for your life and will discontinue partaking in the sin of gossip!

“Small people talk about others,
Medium people talk about things,
And big people talk about dreams and ideas”

Let’s be BIG PEOPLE!

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Church Should Be Like A Hospital!

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It’s interesting that Christians, who should know better, who only think of church from the perspective of; what’s in it for me? Especially those “Christians” who consider themselves “mature” ought to know WE ARE BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING. I am reminded of the great reality found in the Gospel of Luke:

Luke 12:48 “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” -NLT

I also think of the famous words, “ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country” and how if you change just a few words it applies to church; “ask not what your church can do for you, but ask what you can do for your church”.

I am not sure just where the issue comes from; is it our consumer culture that has messed us up to think church is about “getting” something, rather then “giving” something. Is it because most churches exist FOR the Christian, rather than FOR the lost person? Almost like church has become a gathering place for Christians, rather then a hospital for the hurting?

I see church being a lot like a hospital; a place where the doctors, nurses and staff are the Christians serving and helping to heal, feed, love, and serve the patients… rather then a Doctor/Nurse convention. There are far too many churches who function a lot like a Doctors Convention.

Now, don’t misunderstand me here! Church should “give” you opportunity to use your gifts to serve others, and “give” you opportunity to reach people for Christ, and “give” you challenging life-applicable biblical teaching to encourage you to live a godly life, and “equip” you for kingdom stuff.

Ephesians 4:11-12 “Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.” –NLT

I know you want to be a self-less person who lives their life to serve God by serving others and helping people find a meaningful life in God.

“When you die you will not be known for what you acquired for yourself, but you will be known, loved and admired for what you did for others” – Timmy Gibson

What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos?

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I am amazed at what we Christians think “the Bible says…” about various subjects!

I recently had a kid tell me that, “the bible says that tattoos are a sin”. Of course this was something that his parents had told him.

So, what does the Bible say about tattoos?

Leviticus 19:23-28 23 “When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden.[f] Do not eat it. 24 In the fourth year the entire crop must be consecrated to the Lord as a celebration of praise. 25 Finally, in the fifth year you may eat the fruit. If you follow this pattern, your harvest will increase. I am the Lord your God. 26 “Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood. “Do not practice fortune-telling or witchcraft. 27 “Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards. 28 “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.

In this passage God is speaking to his covenant people Israel. He is specifically telling them to stay far from the religious practices of the surrounding people groups. The prohibited religious practices in these verses include eating bloody meat, fortune telling, certain hair cuts related to the priests of false cults, cutting or marking the body for dead relatives, cultic prostitution and consulting psychics. All these practices would lead God’s beloved people away from Him and toward false gods that were not Gods at all. In the midst of this context we find the word translated “tattoo marks” in verse 28. It is important to note here that the context of this passage is not one of body décor but one of marking one’s self in connection with cultic religious worship. Check out what Bible commentaries tell us much about the eastern religious practices that God was warning His people to shun.

These prohibitions seem to relate to pagan religious customs which should be avoided, including pagan mourning rites (vv. 27-28) Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983–c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary: An exposition of the scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

The practice of making deep gashes on the face and arms and legs, in time of bereavement, was universal among the heathen, and it was deemed a becoming mark of respect for the dead, as well as a sort of propitiatory offering to the deities who presided over death and the grave. The Jews learned this custom in Egypt, and though weaned from it, relapsed in a later and degenerate age into this old superstition (Is 15:2; Je 16:6; 41:5). “nor print any marks upon you” (v:28 )—by tattooing, imprinting figures of flowers, leaves, stars, and other fanciful devices on various parts of their person. The impression was made sometimes by means of a hot iron, sometimes by ink or paint, as is done by the Arab females of the present day and the different castes of the Hindus. It it probable that a strong propensity to adopt such marks in honor of some idol gave occasion to the prohibition in this verse; and they were wisely forbidden. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments. On spine: Critical and explanatory commentary. (Le 19:28). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

“Make any cuttings in your flesh” (v:28): the reference here is to the practice of making deep gashes in the skin while mourning the death of a relative. This was done to provide life blood for the spirit of the dead person rather than to express sorrow. On account of the dead: as indicated above, this describes the purpose of all the actions in verse 27 as well as verse 28. Péter-Contesse, R., & Ellington. (1992). A handbook on Leviticus. UBS handbooks; Helps for translating (Page 296). New York: United Bible Societies.

The “tattoo” marks described in Leviticus 19:28 were clearly related to false religious practices. The word translated tattoo in our English Bibles is the Hebrew word “qa aqa”, this word appears only one time in the Bible, here in this passage Leviticus. The word “qa aqa” means literally “to cut” but taken with the surrounding words indicates a cutting that left a mark imprinted in the skin. This could have been a form of branding, scarring, cutting or a process where ink was inlaid into the skin; there is not enough data to fully define exactly what this word meant. However we translate the word “qa aqa” though, in this passage, it is certainly used in the context of cultic religious worship. The prohibition against “qa aqa”, (translated tattoo) was to keep the Israelites from being involved or affiliated with cultic worship practices. Plus, I get the sense that it is referring putting the tattoo on yourself… so just make sure you have someone do it for you. (ha, just a little joke there!)

Anyway, the tattoo of today is much different than it was for those who originally received the Pentateuch (the first 5 books of the bible). Today tattoos are a decorative means of self expression and personal decoration. In our current culture people modify their appearance for beauty in many ways such as clothing choice, makeup, plastic surgery, haircutting and coloring, weight loss, body-building, and ear piercing. Some of these practices have a history in ancient ritual and false religion, but in our cultural context they do not denote a connection with evil or false faith. In the same way tattoos today do not link the wearer to cultic worship practices and is not generally practiced for ancient religious purposes, tattoos today are for ornamentation.

Yet another reason to believe Christians are free to tattoo their bodies is that New Testament believers are not bound by the Old Testament laws to gain or regain right relationship with God. If we were to obey the laws of the Old Testament we would also be bound by rules that would restrict shellfish and pork eating, hairstyles, wearing of clothes made from two different fabrics, even eating cheese on hamburgers (yes, it is true). Some also feel that modifying the body somehow defiles God’s creation, but if this was true would it be right to pierce ears, correct a club foot, cut hair, clip nails, get a tan or use orthodontia? Each of the previously mentioned practices modifies the way we were originally created, some permanently. Getting a tattoo is a deeply personal choice that falls in the category of personal appearance and is vitally connected to the freedom of the believer. The Apostle Paul reminds us that the Old Testament Law was designed by God was to lead people toward Jesus. Now that Jesus has come and set us free, we are not under the law for our good standing with God. Our right standing before God comes from placing our trust in Jesus’ death on the cross to pay for our debts, not on following the Old Testament regulations.

Galatians 3:24–25 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.— NAS

As New Testament followers of Jesus we are not under restriction in the area of personal décor.
Tattoo of today can describe images that merely please the wearer, or have deeper meaning to the owner. Many Christians today are tattooing themselves not in tribute to a false idol or anti-Christian deity, but with love for the one true God and Creator. Many today utilize this permanent marking a way of giving glory to God. Some find that Christian tattoos attract questions about faith and provide opportunities to give God glory by allowing the story-telling of His Love to those who aren’t convinced yet.

Tattoo is a significant life-choice and should be only entered into with a great deal of forethought. Some questions to ask yourself if you are young and considering a tattoo are:

Am I legally of an age to get a tattoo?

If I live with my parents, would my parents support my decision?

Would I be defying the authority God gave my parents over me at my current age?

Would I still want this particular image when I get older?

What if my future mate wouldn’t like having to see this image for a lifetime?

Would this tattoo be in an area of my body that would be plainly visible? – Many people do unfairly judge people with tattoos as being “second-class.”

Would this image bring God glory?

Do I feel fully convinced that tattoos are allowable for Christians?

Tattoo is not for everyone, and is certainly not for a Christian who feels unconvinced that getting a tattoo is completely Biblical. In this and many areas of the Christian life there are many truly excellent believers who have varying degrees of agreement and disagreement about Christians with tattoos. In whatever you believe about this issue I hope that you will leave gracious space for others who might feel differently.

May ALL things bring Glory to our great God, Jesus the Christ.

myraisein30days

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

What a great song, Jesus Loves Me. Though known as a children’s song, I feel it is a wonderful reminder for all of us adults as well, especially the adults who have come to doubt those words.

It’s a sad thing when we adults begin to grow older we lose faith. And not just in God, but in dreams too. It’s like we throw God and dreams in with the tooth fairy or Santa Clause; “those are childs play and only for the minds of children”.

I am reminded of what Jesus said, in Matthew & Luke’s gospel…

Matthew 18:4 “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Luke 18:17 “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

I often have wondered what Jesus was really saying here? Could it be that he was referring to the child-like faith of little ones? Or that it’s so easy for a child to believe in what is unseen. Unlike we adults who feel that, “if you can not see it then it is not real”. I am reminded of a couple more scriptures…

Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Oh to have child-like faith that says and believes with the whole heart, Jesus Loves Me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!

First, know today and everyday, JESUS LOVE YOU, no matter what you’ve done, or what you are doing now… He longs for a relationship with you! Invite Him into your life today – you’ll be glad you did. Secondly, begin to dream again! What do you want to become? What do you want to do in life? What do you want to accomplish? Dream again!

– Timmy