Accept One Another

 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7

 Acceptance sets the tone in a trusting relationship. It ascribes value by making a friend feel special, especially if someone struggles with wounds from past rejection and hurt. Acceptance is an antidote for guilt and regret. It looks to bring meaning in the moment, not dwelling on former failures. It creates a non-judgmental, safe environment. Like a sympathetic nurse, it listens with empathy. Acceptance feels no discrimination or bias.
Who is hungry for your approval and acceptance? Is it a child, a parent, a friend, a co-worker or fellow Christ follower who needs to feel your warm words of delight in them? To not be an included team member is emotional torture. Passive rejection can be worse that blatant rejection.   Indeed, an accepting attitude says, “I believe in you”, “I need you”, “I am for you”. You give others the benefit of the doubt. A person who feels your approval has nothing to prove.

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:6 NKJV

Acceptance from Almighty God is found in Christ. He accepts the rejected. He invites those who wander from the faith to come home. Christ calls His children back from embarrassing situations and embraces them with open arms. His acceptance is unconditionally based on His love and grace. The Lord is looking for those in need of approval. He can’t wait to bless and believe in His own. Jesus accepts back those who have turned their backs on Him.

Therefore, accept others as Jesus has accepted you. Even sinners, you may ask? Yes, you can accept the individual without compromising your integrity. You grow in Christ’s character when others, who are unlike you, know you like them. You love those who love the world, without your loving the world. When you serve someone with competing standards, they tend to ask “why me”. Lovingly say, “why not you”–in order to bring praise to God!

“The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.” Romans 14:3

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for accepting me in Christ, so I can accept others in the same way.

Related Readings: Psalm 101:3; John 6:27; Acts 15:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:13 


Karma…does it always apply?

Post shared via The Heatblast
This week’s topic of the week…Karma…does it always apply?
I mean…negative things happening…does that always bring negative things back around?
I read this story in Cosmopolitan about four best friends…one was about to get married…they had a bachelorette party. At the home the girl grew up in. There was a pool in the back yard. All four of the girls grew up playing in this pool. Their favorite thing was to push each other in the pool and splash water on each other when someone was trying to stay dry for whatever reasons.
Anyway, at the bachelor party they had fun with each other as always, but this particular time, when the girl who was getting married the next day, got slightly nudged into the pool…she fell awkward and hit her head. Her body went numb. She floated to the surface and realized she could not feel anything. She was paralyzed. She missed the wedding, because she was in the hospital for the next five months. Ten years later she is still in a wheelchair, but she got married anyway and is celebrating the tenth anniversary of marriage and the accident.
I wanna know if you could forgive your best friend? You know the push was innocent. You know it was no harder than you all had done a hundred times before, but that one time…changed your life forever. I don’t mean forgive her, because you know it’s the right thing to do…but, forgive her because you know it hurt her just as much as it hurt you. It changed her life…just as it changed yours. Will you secretly hate her in the back of your mind when you have to summon help…just to wash yourself?
Even more so, if it happened to your husband or wife, to be…would you still marry them? Would you love them the same? Could it be…still, to death do us part? No matter what changed or how hard it got…would you stand by their side?
Tough…huh? Karma

What’s A Friend?

When I think of friendship I am forced to go to the Bible and read what it has to say and not come up with my own interpretations. Doing that in the past caused me to be in a lot of unstable, and unhealthy relationships with male and females. I truly must admit I’ve cried just as hard over female friends as I have over a romantic break up. So here is what I’ve gotten today from the Bible about friendship:

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

I think this scripture needs to be on a huge piece of wood hanging in my house for me to read often. I have to admit I have not chosen my friends carefully and have suffered for it greatly. There have been times in my life that I’ve let everyone in and wanted everyone to be a friend. In return I wound up with a broken heart of my own doing because everyone was never supposed to be a friend. But somewhere in my misguided mind I believed that to turn someone away from my friendship was mean. But the Bible considers it “careful”.
So how would one go about choosing a friend carefully; well I have a few suggestions. (Suggestions are just that, you can take or leave them, but here they are).

1) Pray about each encounter you have with people of interest and not. Some people may be called to be your friend that you would otherwise over look and vise versa.

2) Instead of having walls up, have boundaries set in the beginning and then adjust them accordingly as the friendship and trust develop.

3) Pay attention to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit in reference to your relationship, He will inform you if you have a friend and their purpose in your life.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

This scripture is a definition in my opinion as to what the character of a friend should be. It doesn’t mean that a friend is to love perfectly, but that they will love you at all times. And in Christ we are called brothers and sister as well as friends, so the second half of this scripture lets me know that when the going gets tough, my friendship with true friends will keep going. If you have had friends that are all for the good times but vanish in the bad, you know what that feels like and it’s easy to see who’s who when those times come. But be careful not to lump everyone in that category, as some true friends will fail you. I just believe it will look differently, like they will be sorrowful that you were hurt or that they may have disappointed you instead of taking the “Who Cares” stance.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

In a way, these scriptures are some what saying the same thing. Basically a friend, a true friend isn’t going to tell you what feels good just for the sake of making you smile. If they can’t be honest and truthful at all times, then you might as well just consider them your enemy that kisses you and smiles in your face with hate in their heart.

I have not said all that I’ve wanted to discuss on this topic but like my best friend said “Don’t overwhelm people with too much info at once.” So as I read and study this last scripture that’s listed below, I will pause. This one has a few different meanings in my head so I have to dig deep. The different translations can throw me off sometimes so I’ll get to the bottom of it and return later this week to close out this segment. Thank you so much for reading and may your friendships be fruitful!

Proverbs 18:24 

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

24Some friends don’t help, [a]but a true friend is closer   than your own family.

Proverbs 18:24

New International Version (NIV)

24 One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 18:24

New King James Version (NKJV)

24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly,[a] But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Post courtesy of The Relationship Stuff

Forgiveness in Stone

Two friends were walking through the desert, during some point of the journey, they had an argument; and one friend slapped the other one in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand.  Today my best friend slapped me in the face.
They kept on walking, until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.  The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but was saved by the friend.
After recovering from the near drowning, the friend wrote on a stone:   “Today my best friend saved my life.”
The friend who had slapped and saved the best friend asked, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?  
The friend replied ‘when someone hurt you we should write it down in sand, where winds of forgiveness can erase it away’.  But when someone does something good for you, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it.  

Learn to write your hurts in the sand, and to carve your blessings in stone.


Hey there guys, you good? :-)

So, I just finished filming a really good movie called GOOD DEEDS. It’s me like you’ve never seen me before. It comes out in February, brace yourself. :-)  There were a lot of long days on this shoot, so I wanted to take a break.  I decided to do some traveling and since I still have 20 more pounds to lose before I start my next movie, ALEX CROSS, I thought I would go to the Grand Canyon and do some hiking, climbing and so on.  At one point in the climbing, I was over a steep drop and was tied to a safety rope, while a buddy’s safety rope was tied to me. It was my responsibility to help him up, since I was bigger and weighed more.  I told him, “I’ll hold on to you to help you up but if you start to pull me over with you, I’m going to untie this rope.” We had a good laugh about it, but I was serious… :-)

I started thinking about that moment a few days ago. How many times are we tied to a person, people or things that are pulling us down and we won’t untie the rope?  For whatever reason, be it family, friends, society, or just the feeling of being obligated, trapped or that if you don’t, no one else will.  I have watched so many people go over a cliff with a person that they are trying to help up, it’s sad.  YOU MUST UNTIE THE ROPE!!!

This is your life and you are wasting it being tied to someone who is destroying his or her opportunities and yours. If the person that you are trying to help does not know that they are worth being saved, how do you expect them to put any value on you saving them? You’re not worth it to them.  They can’t get it! SO YOU NEED TO! Listen to me, untie the rope and don’t lose yourself trying to hold on to someone who can’t survive on your level. You hear me? Maybe they have gone as high as they can go.  Just because you can survive on that level doesn’t mean that everyone else can. Stop trying to help them, UNTIE THE ROPE! I know you may feel this is cruel, but what is more cruel is dying a death that’s not your own. Letting your destiny go to hell because someone else pulled you there. Are you kidding me? That isn’t God!

Here is what I have learned over the almost 20 years that I have been in this business. Let me tell you, I have seen and worked with some of the most talented people you can imagine and I used to wonder why they never got any higher than they are. You know, the kind of people who always seem to be at the door, but never can go in.  It used to blow my mind until I got a revelation from God.

For many years I was the same way, I would get close and things would fall apart. I couldn’t get any traction, not in my career, not in my personal life and not in the pursuit of happiness. I just couldn’t move forward. Through much prayer and self-discovery, I found out that I used to be, notice I said “USED TO BE,” a self-saboteur. I would find a way to subconsciously destroy every good thing that was in my life and I didn’t even know I was doing it. Most self-sabotaging people don’t know that they are doing it.  I don’t think there is anyone sadder than a person who blames everyone else, but themselves for their situation.   The very revelation that I was causing my own problems was one of the greatest blessings God could have allowed me to see. Once I realized the behavior, I was able to change it. That is why my life is in such a great place right now.  I realized that my very thoughts were keeping me from being successful at everything.  “So, as a man thinketh, so is he.”

Many times a lot of us sabotage subconsciously because of what mamma or daddy said, traumatic childhoods or any number of things that happened growing up that made us feel that we shouldn’t have or that we didn’t deserve it.  I’m here to tell you all, that misinformation was wrong. You do deserve it! You are worthy of it! For me, knowing that Jesus died and rose again makes me know we are all worthy.

Why am I saying this? I’m just tired of people being upset with people who have realized their dreams.  The only difference in someone who is living their dream and someone who can’t get it to come to pass is they don’t feel they deserve it. They don’t feel they are worthy of it.  So many of us have dreams, dreams that the world is waiting for, talents that will help heal and change nations, but we keep destroying our own successes. I know for a fact that if I had not figured this out, you wouldn’t be reading this email right now. Nor would I be a happy soul.

The world is waiting for your gift. Give it to yourself and you will give it to them, but first you have to UNTIE THE ROPE.


Everyone Can’t Be In Your Front Row

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

Life is a theater- invite your audience carefully. Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives.

There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative
, incompatible, those not -going anywhere relationships/friendships and fellowships.

Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention to; which ones lean, which ones lift, which ones encourage and which ones discourage, which ones are on the path of growth and which ones are going downhill. When you leave certain people, do you feel better or worse? Which ones always have drama or don’t really understand, know or appreciate the gifts that lie within you.

Listen; The more you seek God and the things of God, the more you seek quality, the more you seek not just the hand of God but the face of God, the more you seek things honorable, the more you see growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the “FRONT ROW” and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.

You cannot change the people around you… but you can change the people you are around
.  Ask God for wisdom and discernment and choose wisely the people who sit in the front row of your life.

Show Up

“The brothers there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these men Paul thanked God and was encouraged.” Acts 28:15 

Friends in trouble need us to show up. It is OK not to know what to say. Your presence speaks volumes. Just showing up many times causes people to thank God and to be encouraged. They thank God because they see God in you. They see His care. They see His concern. They see His love. They see His compassion. Because Jesus lives in you, you are grace personified to a suffering saint.

However, to meet a friend in faith at their point of need may require some inconvenience on your part. To encourage them in their misfortune may mean you have to rearrange your schedule and say no to something important but not necessary. Investments in people take time and sometimes sacrifice. People care can be messy.

Cancer can be cruel. But when a friend is under its curse, then we can be there to bless.

Do not worry about what to say—just show up. Speak very little and when you do, ask sincere questions. Appropriate questions may be, “How can I help?” Or, “How can I pray for you and your family?” Or, a tender, “How do you feel?” No sermonizing or stories of people who suffered similar plights are edifying.
Yes, weave in a prayer and soothing Scripture during your time, but do all with sensitivity to the Spirit’s leading. Just showing up is the best medicine. Do not be concerned about your own feelings of inadequacies or sadness. Keep the focus on Christ and “loving on” your friend in need. You are God’s deliverer of grace and kindness. “I do not do hospitals” is no excuse. Jesus said that hanging out with the sick was equivalent to ministering to Him. It is a journey with Jesus, on behalf of Jesus and to Jesus when you care for the hurting.

God may be calling you to travel a long distance to encourage a friend in the faith. Maybe the need is to travel overseas to a land and people ravished by poverty and disease. There may be Christians on the ground serving on foreign soil that need for you to show up. They do not need you to provide answers or pontificate about the plight of the people. What they need are loving leaders who will show up and who will serve under the leadership of the nationals at their point of perceived and real needs.

Moreover, prison is the sentence of some. There are currently Christians who are incarcerated for their faith. They need our encouragement and prayers. Pray that we who are free of jail can feel the pain of those who are locked up for Jesus. Public expression of faith is not to be taken for granted. Millions of believers around the globe cannot proclaim or discuss Christ publicly, yet the church is thriving in some of these faith confining environments. When you show up there, be careful—you will be changed forever. The faith of the West looks fragile and fatigued compared to those saints’ whose faith that has been galvanized by persecution.

So, show up—not just for the encouragement of the friend in need but for your own edification. You will go to be a blessing and in turn will receive much more of a blessing. This is how God works many times. The sufferers become the encouragers. Your gratitude to God explodes because of the faith and hope you witness in others suffering “mega” trials and tribulations. Show up to help others so that you, in turn, can be helped. We are a family of faith. We all need each other, especially in times like these!

Taken from Dose 47 in the 90-day devotional book, Infusion.