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July 16, 2012 / Michael E. Grasso

How Big Is Your Faith?

James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Easy to read, say, preach, but how easy is this to do?  It takes big faith to really see joy in times of trial.  As my personal walk in faith, is tested, I have come to see the positive more clearly.  It is so true that the Devil loves to attack you when your faith is big.  The evil one loves to give it all he can to test your faith.  I have great personal experience with the attacks of the Devil.  The battles are never easy, all emotions, thoughts, and feelings are under full attack.  It almost sounds crazy to see joy, but the idea of killing the Devil with kindness works.  It is awesome to laugh in the face of the Devil.  There is no greater weapon then to laugh, and be joyful during an evil attack. 

What you will come to find is the battle ends before it begins.  Having big faith is awesome, even when the attacks come big faith makes the Devil oh so small.

After speaking with many friends, they will often laugh today over a situation in the past.  With big faith you don’t have to wait to look back and laugh, you can laugh in the face of the Devil today.

Is your faith big enough to see joy?  Be not afraid to laugh!

July 13, 2012 / Michael E. Grasso

TOP 3 POST OF THE WEEK

WHEN ABORTION IS GOOD

ON RAMP OR OFF RAMP

NEVER GIVE UP ON LOVE

July 12, 2012 / Michael E. Grasso

Thoughts On Forgiveness

Finding it hard to forgive myself for some things I did in the past, I did a little research on forgiveness. I came across this poem by Chuck Smoot.  As I read it out loud, I came to this very real feeling like Chuck somehow was reading my mind when he wrote this.  Give it a good read, and let me know your thoughts on forgiveness.  I resolve to forgive!

       FORGIVENESS BY: Chuck Smoot

Jesus said to turn the other cheek

He also said to forgive 7 times 70

Easy for Him to say

He was God

Or at least the son of God

 

How do I get to the place

Where I forgive those

Who disrespect me and malign me

Those who could care less about my feelings

Yet I still care about theirs

 

Why is forgiveness so hard

Why does it take so much out of you

Why is it easier to hold on to a grudge

Rather than to let it go

Am I doing something wrong

 

If it is true that we are to love others

As we love ourselves

And we stay mad at ourselves

For our misdeeds and misdoing

Is it realistic to easily forgive someone

 

If you extend the olive branch

Of friendship and kindness and forgiveness

And it is not returned

Should you really keep trying

Even if you feel it is a lost cause

 

Or will persistence win the day

With the honesty and sincerity of words

Be recognized and acknowledged

Followed by a reasonable attempt

To let bygones be bygones

 

Is this one of the famous battles

Between head and heart

With both having opposing views

But the same hold on your psyche

Neither winning, neither losing

 

Sometimes I wonder

If our lack of ability to forgive

Is truly more rooted in our

Bruised ego and hurt feelings

Perhaps the pain we feel is comforting

 

If I were to release my anger and my pain

Only to be knocked again

Who becomes the bigger fool

Me for trying

Or them for doing

 

I wish that such matters were as easy

As a game of tic-tac-toe

Or perhaps it is

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose

Neither happens if you don’t take a chance

 

So I resolve to forgive

To be the bigger and better person

Give of myself as I would want others

To give to me

And perhaps this time everyone will win.

July 11, 2012 / Michael E. Grasso

When Abortion Is Good

James 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Resisting our own evil desire is not always an easy thing to do. That is why we must keep our eyes on Jesus.  We must lean on the Lord.  We may feel that God is testing us, but in reality we test our own faith.

I hear that giving birth to a child is one of the most painful yet joyful experiences woman can have.  On the other hand both men and woman can almost painlessly give birth to sin, leading to a not so joyful end.

We all have evil desires within us; we all sin and fall short of God’s glory.  We are in a daily battle of allowing sin to be born into our life or finding the power through our faith to abort sin.

Abortion is a subject of great debate, but in the context of birthing sin abortion is good.  We have to become discipline in terminating sin in the early stage of its birth.  As we read in James full-grown sin gives birth to death.  Abort your evil desire, do everything you can to keep your eyes on Jesus, for He gives eternal life, I will take that any day over a sinful death.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

July 10, 2012 / Michael E. Grasso

Christian vs. Christian

Why is that in many circles we tend to become more judgmental and jaded among friends?  Is it because we care?  Or is it just that we forget to be Christians around other Christians.  I have seen it time and time again we end up hurting the people closes to us first.

Paul wrote to the Galatians about this.

Galatians 6:9-10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Do good especially to those who belong to the family of believers.  Let us not neglect our brothers and sisters.  They need to see your light too.  Your light may help reignite theirs.  Families carry each other’s  burdens, pick up the slack for one another, and show love in the good and bad times.

Do something good today for a fellow believer, your family will not let you fall, so don’t let them fall behind either.  There is always opportunity to do good…. Just do it!

July 9, 2012 / Michael E. Grasso

On Ramp or Off Ramp

It is not always easy to decide if the glass is half full or half empty, it all comes down to what side of the fence you are on.  They say as one door closes another one opens.  Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us that God has a plan for us even when we may feel uneasy about something He is working to give us hope and a future. The highway of life is full of on ramps and off ramps, but each one leads us to someplace new. We need to trust that God is in the driver seat and knows what ramp to take and when.

I am defiantly the kind of guy who looks for the positive among all the negative.  After experiencing some very big let downs in my life I have come to realize there is no reason to let the negative to kick you down.  Trust in God’s plan for you, the faster you find the positive the faster you find His will.

Smile today God has your back.

July 6, 2012 / Michael E. Grasso

6 Steps To Taming Your Anger

Guest Post by: Dick Innes

Your test seems to indicate that you have some buried anger,” said the counselor to his client. “Do you think this could be true?” he asked.

“Me! Angry? Certainly not,” replied the client. “I\’ll punch you in the nose for saying that!”

When it comes to anger we all have a tiger of sorts within. At times it provides great courage and motivation. At other times we are so afraid it will get out of control we bury it so that nobody, including ourselves, will ever know it exists.

Many of us were taught that anger is bad and to show it is immature. The mature person, however, doesn\’t deny his anger. He has learned to express it in appropriate ways.

Even though some people never show their anger, everybody gets angry sometimes. Anger is a God-given emotion and is neither right or wrong. It\’s what we do with it that counts.

In fact, there are many things we ought to be angry about, such as social injustice, child abuse, greed and even legalistic religion that makes rules more important than people.

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Hostility contaminates
everything we do.
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Jesus was very angry with the religious people of his day for this very reason. When he healed a man on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were so furious they plotted to kill him. To them, religious observances were more important than the needs of people. We read that Jesus “looked around at them in anger…distressed at their stubborn hearts.”1

Think too of Florence Nightingale. She was very angry about the terrible conditions suffered by wounded soldiers in the Crimean War. She used her anger creatively to bring about major changes in nursing care.

One of the worst things we can do with our anger is to repress and deny it. Long-term repressed anger turns into hostility and contaminates everything we do.

Hostility shows itself in many ways: a negative, critical attitude, nagging, sarcasm, gossip, resentment, hatred, slamming doors, shouting, taking it out on the children, kicking the cat, aggressive driving, childish “I\’m hurt!” crying, rebellion, denial of sex in marriage, deviant behavior (prostitutes, for example, are often angry at their fathers), putting people down, constantly running late, passivity, withdrawal, rage, and even criminality. The list is endless.

Repressed anger or hostility, when triggered, can have fatal results. According to The Bulletin, in one year 80 percent of the homicide victims in one state were killed by family members or intimate friends. Most of these fatal attacks were the results of quarrels in everyday situations.

Or, as Dr. Cecil Osborne explains in his book, repressed anger may eventually come out in the “form of some psychosomatic illness: ulcers, asthma, arthritis, colitis, dermatitis, heart ailments or any one of a score of other.”2

Furthermore, there is probably nothing more destructive to personal relationships than buried anger or hostility.

Hostility attacks people. Healthy anger is directed against wrong-doing, is connected with love, and is the right amount of anger for the given situation. A helpful question to ask yourself if you think you might be overreacting is: “Should I be this angry?”

People who overreact to situations often have a lot of repressed anger. The immediate situation that brings out the out-of-proportion anger doesn\’t cause it. It triggers what is already there.

The Bible reminds us that “If you are slow to get angry, you are wise. But if you are quick-tempered, you only show foolishness.”3 This isn\’t an excuse for denying one\’s anger, as denial can be equally foolish and destructive.

Being quick-tempered is usually overreacting, a sign of unresolved anger.

The Bible also advises: “So get rid of your feelings of hatred [anger]. Don\’t just pretend to be good! Be done with dishonesty.”4 Also, “If you are angry, don\’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don\’t let the sun go down with you still angry ? get over it quickly; for when you are angry, you give a mighty foothold to the Devil.”5


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Hostility attacks people.
Healthy anger is directed
against wrong-doing.
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How then do you resolve anger?

First, be honest and admit how you are feeling.

Second, accept yourself as a normal human being who sometimes has angry feelings.

Third, determine to resolve your feelings the same day.

Fourth, express your feeling creatively ? perhaps to an under- standing friend first or to an “imaginary” substitute, and where necessary, to the person at whom you are angry. This is not an excuse to lash out at others. The goal should always be to “speak the truth in love.”6

When expressing anger we need to verbalize the emotion. Talking about the anger doesn\’t resolve it. The emotion needs to be released ?  not as an attack or as blame, but as a confession and expression of our feeling as our problem. When this is done, the anger dissipates.

It is neither true nor helpful to say, “You make me mad.” This is blaming the other person for your reaction and puts him or her on the defensive. It is more helpful to say, “I need to talk to you about such and such. I feel very angry about this. I know my anger is my problem and I may be overreacting, but I need to talk to you about this matter.” That is, use “I” messages, not “you” messages.

Anger can also be expressed in writing, as David did in Psalms.7 I have done this many times, after which I have torn up the piece of paper. Where necessary I have re-written those feelings and personally shared them with the other person or people involved.

Resolving relationships is very important. Christ reminds us that if we have any conflict with another person, we are to put things right before bringing our gifts to God.8

 Fifth, before expressing anger, check to see if you are feeling afraid or threatened, because anger is often used as a defense against feeling afraid. If fear is the problem, talk about that.

 Last, when you have shared your anger, forgive. For physical, emotional and spiritual health we need to be in touch with all our feelings (positive and negative), and use and express them in creative ways. This, too, is the way of love, for unresolved anger turns into resentment and builds barriers between friends, loved ones and even God, and blocks out love.