I’m a better me when I’m thankful.
When I’m thankful I am not selfish at the same time.
When I’m thankful I’m not self-righteous and judgmental.
When I’m thankful I’m not greedy.
When I’m thankful I am more patient.
When I am thankful I am not angry.
When I’m thankful I’m not depressed.
When I am thankful I’m kind.
When I’m thankful I am more helpful.
When I am thankful I’m not arrogant.
When I’m thankful I don’t have road rage.
When I am thankful I don’t blame others.
When I am thankful I don’t feel entitled.
When I am thankful… I’m better.
I need to be more thankful.
Posted in my journey by harleypetty with .
I have, once again, been studying the book of Acts to grow and stretch my vision of God’s purposes for the churches Stuttgart Harvest Church will go on to one day start and it is challenging for the family called Stuttgart Harvest Church as well.
The book of Acts. The Acts of the Apostles. The Apostles were the twelve disciples (not including Judas) plus Paul. These men were all called by Jesus to fulfill this role and they all saw Jesus after the resurrection (while there were many more who walked with Jesus and saw Him after His resurrection, these men were called to the role of Apostle).
Today I am offering one statement. A statement grounded deeply into scripture but I will challenge you to discover if I’m telling you the truth. Go find out. Look in the Book of Acts and find proof.
Here is the statement:
The church family that submits and commits to learning together, playing/laughing/loving/caring together, eating together (WOOO HOOO!!!!) and praying together will stay together, grow together and see friends saved together.
Now open your bible app to the Acts of the Apostles and prove this statement true.
And then… Follow me… Let’s Go Do This!
Posted in Purpose by harleypetty with .
I’m feeling… I’m feeling… hmmm… I’m feeling many things at the moment.
This morning during my quiet time (what I call the time I spend talking with God in the morning, listening to Him through His Word, asking forgiveness, submitting to Him as I start the day) I was perplexed. Luxury all around me this morning… and every morning. Just a peek… $6 cups of coffee pouring out of Starbucks this morning like the rain runoff of yesterday’s storm. Complaints of no electricity abound… people looking disheveled and out of sorts. $2 bottles of water from springs and others from extra purified taps. $100 Nike shoes, UGG boots, custom converse Chucks to meet every detail planned by you, amazingly sleek leather riding boots, $40 baseball hats, $200 sunglasses, $1200 laptops. $100 blue jeans, $30,000 cars, $70,000 SUVs, tiled floors where one single tile is worth more than the average daily wage around the world, $600 cell phones and the list goes on… and on… and on.
I am among these consumers. I am one of them. You are too. You might say, “Wait a minute Harley. I don’t have a $70,000 SUV. I don’t have much of what you are talking about.” Fair enough… But you do “have”… the least “blessed” among us right now remain “super blessed” according to the rest of the world. After all… you have found a way to read this from some kind of luxury communication/entertainment device. You have the luxury of time to read. You actually know how to read. You are super blessed.
We have been so blessed in the United States of America. Money flows. Luxuries abound.
Why has God allowed such luxury? I’m not looking for a lesson on the industrial revolution, interchangeable parts or economics. I’m looking for more meaning, more purpose. I don’t believe God flooded with resources these colonies turned country because we are so great, deserving, fortunate, lucky, hard working (though, there is no doubt that our history shows the fortitude and determination of hard work… even if it is lost in much of the mailbox-money and courtroom “reward” money thinkers of today… but I digress).
Might there be a purpose to this flood of resources that exceeds our personal benefit?
Don’t mistake me for a socialist. I detest punishing those who have the desire to produce. Punishing them by forcibly redistributing to someone who refuses to contribute (obviously not speaking of those who can’t physically contribute, and not talking about those single mothers and grandmothers who work full time hours and still can’t make it).
My vote in the last two presidential elections was not based upon political party at all. Beyond foreign policy, my vote was cast for the person who gave the most. The person who donated the most of their personal income to charitable organizations. The candidate I did not vote for shockingly only gave one percent to charity. One single percent (and less some years) of a fortune given to charitable causes when he was making a mere $250,000 annually. Not until his income topped 1.6 million dollars a year did his giving increase to just over four percent. A current candidate shows a history of charitable giving just over three hundred dollars a year for the past decade (Note: all current debate participants, from all political parties, are extremely wealthy). What does our charitable giving say about us?
This post is not about politics, presidential elections, taxes or governmental policy. This post is not about running shoes, leather coats and cell phones (I have all of these too). It is simply posing the question “Why?” Why has God funneled a large percent of the world’s wealth into the United States of America (and yes… that includes you even though you don’t “feel” wealthy. If your family income is $10,000 a year, you are wealthier than 84 percent of the world. If it’s $50,000 or more a year, you make more than 99 percent of the world)?
Why has God blessed us so? Maybe this is a question meant for discussion for each of us… each of us and our Creator.
May we ask, “God, what do you want me to do… today … this week … this month … this year?”
Thank you Father for your blessings. Thank you for the blessings of being a citizen of the most free country in the world. Guide each of us who seek you Father. Lead us to make a difference in our families, cities, states, country and world.
Posted in Purpose, Q and A by harleypetty with .
Some thoughts from your pastor and friend on this stormy day.
It can be unsettling to see a front move through (not from the map but by looking at the sky)
I am reminded that nature is powerful. It is more powerful than myself. It is more powerful than any of us. Even together we cannot contain it, slow it, halt it or change it. All we can do is watch it unfold and seek a safe shelter from the storm.
God has not promised us storm free, trouble free lives of luxury and comfort. He is more concerned with your dependence upon Him than your democracy. He is more interested in your character development than your comfort. Just look around the world. There are believers all over the world… most in third-world-countries with no luxuries that we have daily. Maybe we need to redefine our storm complaints. Maybe we need to redirect our perspective toward growth instead of grievance.
Some of our life storms are the results of bad choices we made. Some are the result of choices another person made. And yes, some are there for reasons we cannot deduce. Regardless of the source, let’s find our shelter in God and allow Him to create purpose and growth through our storms.
When you see it coming… make sure you are already close to Him before the storm arrives. Stay close… keep growing.
Posted in This Is Life by harleypetty with .
A theological thought for today…
But everyone who calls on the name of
the Lord will be saved.
Acts of the Apostles 2:21
Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Not just the few special, seemingly hand selected, by God.
God knows in advance who will choose to call on Him in submission … everyone can… not everyone will.
For Him to know who will submit does not eliminate our free will and choice.
Does God know what time I will leave to go home this evening? Does He know what I will have for lunch tomorrow?
But does his knowledge leave me with no choice in the matter? …No.
He knows but both are fully my choice.
His knowledge of who will submit does not trump the free choice He has gifted me.
Choose life. It is your choice.
Posted in new life by harleypetty with .