Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Giving credit, where credit is due!

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 3:16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 3:17 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

We are indeed as Christians the builders of God's kingdom, we keep it growing, restructuring, retooling, and reordering it. However it is God who made the building materials, the builders and laid the foundation. So we ought not think to highly of ourselves but give credit where credit is due. Today give God our creator, sustain-er & redeemer credit for all the earth and everything in it including you.
Dear God enable us to see your creation and marvel at you perfection in all things, so that we may better understand how unique we are and give you the ultimate credit, glory, and praise. Amen.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lending a helping hand, Leading a positive life!

Happy Tuesday, today's reflection comes from the Hebrew text of Leviticus lets take a look:

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
19:1 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 19:2 Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. 19:9 When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 19:10 You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God. 19:11 You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. 19:12 And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the LORD. 19:13 You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning. 19:14 You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.

God's call to the people of God here is simple, leaving some of your increase for the marginalized and left out. Lend a hand whenever possible to those whom you know are in need. Moreover lead a positive life, do right by others and let God take care of your oppressors.

Friday, February 11, 2011

looking for shelter!

TGIF and this is the weekend of LOVE! Well LOVE is great but this weekend for me I NEED SOME PEACE-REST-SHELTER! A BREAK! Thank God the Psalm for today spoke volumes to me, I pray it speaks to you also.

Psalm 11

For the director of music. Of David.

1 In the LORD I take refuge.
How then can you say to me:
“Flee like a bird to your mountain.
2 For look, the wicked bend their bows;
they set their arrows against the strings
to shoot from the shadows
at the upright in heart.
3 When the foundations are being destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”

4 The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.
5 The LORD examines the righteous,
but the wicked, those who love violence,
he hates with a passion.
6 On the wicked he will rain
fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.

7 For the LORD is righteous,
he loves justice;
the upright will see his face.

This song from David is short, sweet and true. I pray that you take it to God who is our refuge find peace, rest, shelter, and protection in God. Stay Awhile! Until next week love P.J.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Staying out of mess!

I mess up all the time, I put my foot in my mouth and say the wrong things, I forget things sometimes. Simply put I am anything but perfect and I fall short often. So I am not coming down on any one particular person or situation, but as I live I learn more about people, God and life. Life is messy and certain people think it is there personal duty to make it even messier. God however is not about mess but about order and staying out of mess. Therefore today's blog aims to help us lead cleaner lives and stay out of the mess. I wish you a cleaner future!

2nd Timothy 2:14-18 (The Message)
14-18Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God's people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they're not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples, throwing believers off stride and missing the truth by a mile by saying the resurrection is over and done with.

Dear God you have given us the blue print on how to stay away from the mess, help us to follow it, in Jesus name. Amen.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Keeping it together- @ all times!

Have you ever felt like you were loosing? Loosing your mind, your relationship, your finances, loosing a battle with illness or at work? Have you ever felt like you were loosing? At times in my life when I feel like the world is closing in I turn to scripture for comfort and to remind me how God empowers me to keep it together. I hope that you also can find comfort from these scriptures that Paul wrote to the church of Rome:

Romans 12:9-16 (The Message)

9-10Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.(it's o.k. not to always be the Superstar)

11-13Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

14-16Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down. Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.

I believe that these few words can be a blueprint for life and keeping it together at all times, even when the world seems to be closing in. First be about love and don't hate-do what is right. Secondly don't over to it, just keep a steady pace- Never quit- and when times get tough, Pray Tougher. Thirdly, bless all folks, cry and morn with others just as eagerly as you rejoice with them. Don't be cocky or conceited but make friends with the same love you pour into the world.

What helpful and real information, friends when the world closes know how to love, pray and be humble. These things will enable you to keep it together at all times. I promise.

Dear God help us to keep it together, we pray. Amen.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Perfect Storm- meets- The Perfect Savior!

The phrase A perfect Storm comes from a 1997 book that refers to a storm so forceful and broad that it effects every aspect of life on earth. As I am still reflecting on the Blizzard of 2011- which some have deemed a perfect storm for Chicago, my mind wondered to the perfect storms of our lives. Those situations where it seems that one incident is so forceful and broad that it effectively shuts down everything else. When I experience such storms, which I believe we all do; I turn to Hebrews 2:14-18. Let's Look:

14 Those children have bodies made out of flesh and blood. So Jesus became human like them in order to die for them. By doing that, he could destroy the one who rules over the kingdom of death. I'm talking about the devil. 15 Jesus could set people free who were afraid of death. All their lives they were held as slaves by that fear.

16 It is certainly Abraham's children that he helps. He doesn't help angels. 17 So he had to be made like his brothers in every way. Then he could serve God as a kind and faithful high priest. And then he could pay for the sins of the people by dying for them.

18 He himself suffered when he was tempted. Now he is able to help others who are being tempted.

When you find yourself enduring the perfect storms of life, hunker down- settle in- rest assured that every big storm has any eye-where there is calm. Trust and believe that Christ is the perfect savior who has been through the test and temptations of the storm and even died so that we may endure such storms. Know that even the perfect storm has no authority when facing the perfect savior.

Thought for the day: If God has allowed you to come to it, God will also bring you through it!
Dear God bring us through the storms of life even more faithful than when we went in. Amen.

Love P.J.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't believe the HATE?

Friends to day our scripture reminds us not to buy in to the stereotypes that society places on you, instead rely on what God has revealed to you through Jesus Christ!

Everywhere we look our culture is telling us what to buy, wear, eat, where to go, how to worship and what to believe. According to how we respond and live we are all placed in a category. There are societal stereotypes placed on each of us, we are either too young or to old; to skinny or overweight, to conservative or to liberal and the list could go on and on. This type of stereotypical pressure and hatred I believe Paul was preparing young Timothy for in our text today, let's look: 1st Timothy 4:12-16
Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young. Set an example for the believers in what you say and in how you live. Also set an example in how you love and in what you believe. Show the believers how to be pure.13 Until I come, spend your time reading Scripture out loud to one another. Spend your time preaching and teaching. 14 Don't fail to use the gift the Holy Spirit gave you. He gave it to you through a message from God. It was given when the elders placed their hands on you.15 Keep on doing those things. Give them your complete attention. Then everyone will see how you are coming along. 16 Be careful of how you live and what you believe. Never give up. Then you will save yourself and those who hear you.

Paul was literally speaking to Timothy in reference to his age but I also believe that for you and I it's not just about age but all of the labels others put on you to limit you. Therefore for all of us I say don't believe the hate but lean on the word and , understanding of God. Allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit. This is my prayer.

Love P.J.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Everybody Plays the Fool sometime? Right?

Proverbs 26

Fools Recycle Silliness
1 We no more give honors to fools than pray for snow in summer or rain during harvest. 2 You have as little to fear from an undeserved curse as from the dart of a wren or the swoop of a swallow. 3 A whip for the racehorse, a tiller for the sailboat— and a stick for the back of fools! 4 Don't respond to the stupidity of a fool; you'll only look foolish yourself. 5 Answer a fool in simple terms so he doesn't get a swelled head. 6 You're only asking for trouble when you send a message by a fool. 7 A proverb quoted by fools is limp as a wet noodle. 8 Putting a fool in a place of honor is like setting a mud brick on a marble column.

Dear God keep us safe this day, and grant us wisdom, common sense, and understanding that we may never find ourselves playing the fool. In Jesus name we pray- Amen.