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Author: Mike & Nancy

TTWMN 224: Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

Anybody out there who wants to live a blessed life? I see a LOT of hands going up! But seriously, who wouldn’t want to live “blessed”? But ask the question, are you willing to do what you need to do, and live how you need to live in order to get it, and there might be a lot less takers for the offer.

A few weeks ago we kicked off a study of the Beatitudes with teacher and author of the book, “Broken Yet Blessed” Kathi McCarty—and as she told us then, the purpose of Jesus’ entire Sermon on the Mount which began with the Beatitudes, is to teach us “how to live a life that is dedicated and pleasing to God, fully blessed because it is free from hypocrisy, full of love, grace, wisdom and discernment.” Today Kathi is back to help us explore the first Beatitude…

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

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TTWMN 223: 10 Things I Hate About You

Relationships are tricky things, and maintaining balance in them between each other’s needs and desires can sometimes be like tip-toeing through a minefield. But it doesn’t have to be that way… all you have to do is ignore everything the world and political correctness says is right and just, everything it says you deserve, and you’ll have no problems at all! Well… that’s not exactly right, but it is a pretty good start. If you want a wonderful, perfect marriage, your only hope is to embrace the S word… submission. But before we get there, let’s clear the air about the things that really sabotage marriages, involving the ten things we do to each other that really undermine the intimacy you were hoping to have.

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TTWMN 222: The Beatitudes: A Central Document of the Christian Faith

Most of us listening are probably familiar with Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount”, with the best-known part being The Beatitudes”—you know, all those “Blessed are” statements. But while we may have read them hundreds of times, have you ever taken the time to truly dig into them, exploring exactly what Jesus was telling us in each one of these 12 verses? Never fear! Over the coming months our favorite teacher and author of the book, “Broken Yet Blessed”, Kathi McCarty, will be joining us with in depth study of each one, starting today with an overview of the entire passage.

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TTWMN 221: Religious Freedom

If you’re over age 50, you probably remember taking some sort of class, maybe Civics or American History, which taught you about the foundation of this country. You learned about the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, along with the brave and eloquent men who authored and instituted them.

Maybe you even learned about their divine inspiration as they were guided by “The Creator” and “Providence”, supernaturally leading them to establishing the most wise and brilliant government the world has ever seen, and one way beyond the thoughts and inclinations of man. And maybe, if you’re like me, you find yourself today looking at the culture around you, and asking “what happened?”

We, especially committed Christians, are indeed facing an existential threat, one that will one day bring us the persecution of our Brothers and Sisters in China, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, and all places where proclaiming Christ calls for your life. Sure, we’ve already had a very small taste of that in isolated instances, but we all know, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. So with National Religious Freedom Day coming Wednesday, let’s take a good long look at the topic of religious freedom.

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TTWMN 220: Peace On Earth

One of my favorite things to do this time of year is watch all those great holiday shows and Christmas movies. “Miracle on 34th Street” (UN-colorized), Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (with George C. Scott as Scrooge please), “A Christmas Story” about a kid wanting a Red Ryder B-B Gun, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” narrated by Burl Ives, the original Seuss classic “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Holiday Inn” with Bing and Fred, and the Waltons prequel “The Homecoming”, about the Christmas joy found all around despite the Great Depression—all of these take me away to a simpler time, often to my childhood, giving me a warm feeling inside like a hot cup of cocoa. Then I turn on the news, and am instantly reminded of the 3rd verse in “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”: “And in despair I bowed my head: “There is no peace on earth,” I said, “For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men”. Yup. But the very next verse tells us why that’s not really true: “Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep, The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men.” Well that’s encouraging, but we’re still surrounded by unrelenting anger, hate, discontentment and offense. So to get back to the peace we’re supposed to have, let’s remember one more classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”…

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TTWMN 219: 5 Potholes on the Road to Godly Character

Hopefully by now you’ve heard enough of these shows to know there is more to being a Christian than just saying or doing what you need to do to become “saved”. True, salvation is a benefit to being a Christian, as we are saved by grace thru faith in Christ, but that gift is just the beginning of our journey, and it comes with responsibility—if I gave you a car for Christmas, but you never put gas in it or changed the oil, that gift would soon become pretty worthless. Likewise, after we’ve repented of our sins, received His gracious forgiveness and are covered with His righteousness, we have a responsibility to GROW in our faith, in our knowledge of Him, in wisdom, and in holiness. But that doesn’t just instantly happen, and it isn’t always easy—there’s all sorts of opposition along the way. Here today to tell us what to watch for to make this journey successfully is teacher and author of the book, Broken Yet Blessed, Kathi McCarty.

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TTWMN 218: Are There Contradictions in the Bible?

Lately, it seems like Christianity and all its trappings is often unwelcome in open society… except at Christmas time, where most everybody wants to participate, even if they don’t really believe in the reason for the celebration, Jesus Christ. But that makes it a perfect time to talk about Him, as you’re standing in that long line to check out at the store, as you’re huddled under a blanket waiting for the Christmas parade to pass by, as you’re sitting in the auditorium waiting for that Christmas (Holiday) concert to start, or even as you gather with friends and family. So why don’t we? Sure, they may be complete strangers, but I’ve had some great conversations with people stuck waiting around me in these situations—most recently at the DMV while renewing my license. What else can pass the time more than conversation? And it’s a responsibility we’re given if you are truly a born-again Christian—sharing the gospel with others, not to mention the Proverbs admonition for parents to “train a child up in the way he should go”. But I have a sneaking suspicion we don’t do it because we feel afraid, insecure in our knowledge of the Bible or God’s nature and character, and fearful of getting one of THOSE questions, you know, one we aren’t sure of the answer, or worse, one that seems to point out contradictions in the Bible, opening up us and our beliefs to ridicule. You should know, there really isn’t any contradiction in the Bible, just maybe things we don’t fully understand…but guess what: If we could know & understand everything there is about God, He wouldn’t be God. So today let’s see if we can clear up some of these seeming contradictions that can trip us up.

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TTWMN 217: Communicating In Newspeak Era

Remember the dystopian George Orwell novel, “1984”? The plot warned of the dangers of a totalitarian society that strips all freedoms from its citizens. The tools it used to control people were constant surveillance, the requirement of complete conformity of thought and even memory, and complete devotion to the unseen leader, “Big Brother”. A new language called “Newspeak” was created to facilitate such control, eliminating the very ability of its people to have independent thought, and continually re-writing history to match the current narrative—for example, in “DoubleThink” the term “blackwhite” was used to indicate the desired outcome of citizens to not only believe black was now white, but also to forget black was ever black. If you’ve tried to listen to national news, read the newspaper, or talk with anyone who disagrees with you politically or theologically recently, maybe your adult kids, your employees, neighbors, or students be they high school or college, you may feel like you’re talking a different language as their definitions and historical context are completely foreign to you…and are filled with so many contradictions they don’t even make sense. Welcome to communication in a newspeak era.

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TTWMN 216: Cultivating Joy For Today

There are a lot of angry, frustrated, and downright depressed people out there these days—not much common courtesy, kindness or compassion on display. Maybe it’s just politics, or maybe people are weighed down with the increasing burden of surviving the world’s ever-growing preponderance of futility, lawlessness, and hopelessness (or maybe both). But wait a minute…for those who claim to be Christians, this world is NOT our real “home”. We’re supposed to remember that our real life is with Christ in heaven, where we are to keep our eyes focused, and we’re only passing thru here, hoping to bring people with us. Those saved by the blood of Christ should be different, look different, and live different in these times—but sadly I know too many who are in just as dark a place as the rest of the world. What is missing is the joy that should be so overwhelming it spills out of our every pore. Here today to teach us how to cultivate that joy in our lives is teacher and author of the book “Broken yet blessed”, Kathi McCarty.

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TTWMN 215: Changes

Life is change…

Heraclitus of Ephesus knew that in 500 BC. From the seasons to the oil in your car, everything needs change. But we humans usually don’t like change…and we don’t want to change. We often fight it to the bitter end, being dragged kicking and screaming into it. I watched my dad do this when health and age made it necessary for him and my mom to move to my sister’s town 2 hours away. Five years later, he finally admitted it was the right thing to do, and he actually even liked it there—then he died a few months later. The man who brought Zen Buddhism to the United States in the ‘60s, Shunryu Suzuki said,

“Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transience, we suffer.”

Transience—how true. So if even unbelievers know life is transient, “like a vapor” that is here today and gone tomorrow, how much more do Christians need to remember that we are only here for a time, a journey of being gradually conformed into the likeness of Christ, from the moment we first believed. And if you are a born-again Christian, you probably remember how everything changed following your surrender to Christ. Today we’re talking about “Changes”. But first, let’s take a ride on Mr. Peabody’s “WABAC” machine to where our journey first began.

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