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Category: Purpose

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 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 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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TTWMN 214: Good & Evil (Part 2)

Last week we started a discussion about what IS “Good”, and what is “Evil”… depending on who you ask, the answer can be quite different from person to person. In the last episode we discussed how Evil came into the world (from a biblical perspective just go back to the Fall in the Garden of Eden), and then explored what the World says is “Evil” compared to what God says is Evil, noting that while we may agree on the words used, like Injustice or Judgmentalism, how each of us defines them and our acts in accordance to those definitions will expose where our true allegience lies—with the World, or with God. A lot of our discussion focused on the fight over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, with arguments centered around his alleged past and his suitability to serve in that capacity. Now that he is officially Justice Kavanaugh, any thought that those arguments and efforts to destroy him would cease are just wishful thinking. So we’re continuing the topics of “Good and Evil” today, by looking at what the World says is “Good”, versus what God says is good.

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TTWMN 213: Good & Evil (Part 1)

We’ve talked many times on this show about the rapidly changing morals and values in our society. But what we have witnessed with the recent hearings regarding Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s suitability to be a Supreme Court Justice, takes the phrase “the politics of personal destruction” to a new level, as every aspect of his entire life was analyzed. Unverified accusations, refuted by all named witnesses, of acts supposedly committed in high school and college, were accepted by the opposition as “gospel”…interestingly, all while ignoring obvious AND PROVABLE assaults of women by vaunted members of that party. I don’t know about you, but I frequently feel I’ve awakened into a “bizarro” world, where up is down, right is wrong, and the laws of nature and physics no longer apply. But is that really true, that this is a new development? If we truly believe we Christians are not of this world, but only passing through until our real life in Christ is fully actualized, we could maybe see that it’s been this way all along, and the recent developments are only the promised increasing of evil in the world until Jesus returns… as it was in the days of Noah. So today we’re looking at what qualifies as “Good and Evil”, according to the World, and according to God.

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TTWMN 210: Momentary Afflictions

You’ve been pretty blessed if you’ve made it through this life without any tragedy or suffering—you know, those shocks to the system that in a moment change your life: your present, your future, all your hopes and dreams…gone in an instant. And there’s this strange phenomenon: when you’re in the midst of your grief, pain or tragedy, your world coming to a complete stop… you realize, all around you, life is going on as normal for everyone else. Maybe those moments are designed to shock us, to remind us…

this world is not our home

—the things we see are and have always been, temporary. What’s real, what’s lasting, what’s important, are those things that are unseen. And the tragedy, the suffering, are merely a “wake-up call” to bring us back to that realization, grounding us in a vision beyond what we see in front of us.

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TTWMN 209: Avoiding The “It’ll Do” Virus

It all started when we were kids: our mom or dad told us to “clean our room”, and we just picked everything up and shoved it under the bed or in the closet. Maybe it’s human nature to want to do just enough to get by, to look like you’re working when someone walks by your desk…while keeping Facebook running in the background. Going just enough over the speed limit to not get a speeding ticket, putting just enough effort into the housework to say you cleaned the house, but hope nobody looks closely at that toilet, or peaks behind the shower curtain, or looks under your bed. But remember when Jesus said you needed to “count the cost” before following Him? That’s because to be His disciple, you have to be “all in”, no adding Him to your life and thinking you’re good to go. But how many people fill churches every Sunday, doing the “hour for God,” then check out and back into the world? Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” And if you just thought to yourself, “I think I do enough to get in,” then you need to stick around and listen for the next hour. Joining us today is teacher and author of the book “Broken Yet Blessed,” Kathi McCarty.

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