Friday, November 19, 2010

No Deposit, No Return

Remember the slogan, "No Deposit, No Return"? Back in the day, bottled soda and beer came in refillable bottles. You would pay a deposit when you purchased your drinks. Then upon returning your empty bottles, you received your deposit back, (about 2 cents per bottle).

But in the 1950s the manufacturers came up with a brilliant solution; they would simply charge an extra nickel for the beverage and tell the customer to throw the 2-cent bottle away. Hence the slogan, "No Deposit, No Return."

As Christians, we have a deposit on us. 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22 states, "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."

The Holy Spirit is a deposit put in us by Christ. That deposit gives us value. And when the end times come, whether it be by our death, or the second coming, that deposit will get a return. Our "return" will be eternal life because of our faith and that deposit of the Holy Spirit. Without that deposit we are ensured eternal separation from God; hell.

Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? Have your received your deposit of the Holy Spirit? If not, why not seek guidance* today on how you too can be assured of eternal life. Remember...No Deposit. No Return.

Chatty Kelly

* Visit your pastor, a trusted Christian friend, or read this article to find out how to become a Christian and receive the deposit of the Holy Spirit. Be sure to tell someone your decision and find a mentor (pastor or friend) to help you along in the process of growing your faith.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

See or PhariSee?

I tend to be good about seeing a situation and sizing it up appropriately. I can read body language and gestures, tone and inflection, attitudes and appearances. Some would call that being astute.

Police officers are trained to check out situations and size them up appropriately as well. By reading body language, gestures, tones, attitudes and appearances, they try to determine what illegal activity may be going on. That is called profiling.

But at what point does sizing up, or inference, become judgment? When do we go from seeing to “PhariSeeing.”

Join me over at Titus 2 in Action, where I am a regular contributor to find out!

Titus 2 in Action

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Can See Clearly Now

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
I Can See Clearly Now, Johnny Nash, 1973

Have you ever been driving in a thundering rain storm, and had to pull over because you couldn't see? You know the road is obviously there right under you, but you can't see it in front of you. But just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there. And sure enough, when the rain clears the road is there, like it was all along, "I can see clearly now the rain is gone. I can see all obstacles in my way."

Where is God when bad things happen? Or what about during that empty time when he just seems so far away. "God where are you? I can't find you!" Just as heavy rains obscure our view, the storms of life can blind us to God's presence. But that doesn't mean he isn't there.

Just like the road, God is still there when we can't find him. In Jeremiah 29:13, God tells us "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." We have to be looking, and not half-heartedly, for Him. Still when the heavy storms of life are there, we can be blinded by them. It's then that we may need to pull over.

Even though we know the road is there in the pouring rain, we still may need to stop. And even believing God is there, we still may need to stop. Rest and pray. Sometimes it may be a brief shower. Other times may be hurricane force winds, with lots of damage. God is still there.

Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Then hopefully you'll be able to say "I think I can make it now, the pain is gone. All of the bad feelings have disappeared. Here is the rainbow I've been praying for." But even when the pain holds fast, remember that with the help of God, it will be a "bright, bright SON-shiny day."

Musical Musings:
1. What are the storms in your life, and are they blinding you to God's presence?
2. What are some things you can do make you see clearly that God is still there?
3. If you are experiencing a life storm, look to God. But surround yourself with loving friends or family to help you as well. Someone just may have an umbrella.

Dear Lord, thank you for being our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Help us to draw near to you and seek you whole heartedly in good times and bad. And help us see clearly. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Rock On: Read the story of Noah, who experienced big storms in life, in Genesis 6-9.

Chatty Kelly