Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Love and Life of a Testimony, Sermon Notes

The Church, Who, Where, What

JEFF AND MELISSA PHILLIPS PASTOR OF LEGACY OWENSBORO CHURCHI gave a message the other night with the intent of helping people know they ARE the church.  Here is my message. I also had a Powerpoint to go along with it if you want to leave me a comment, I can email it to you as an attachment.

Acts 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.

Why does the world need a church? What is the church, who is the church and where is the church?

As believers: We are a regenerated people saved by the power of God for a purpose in this world.

The word “church” means: Ecclesia = “gathering”.

 

 

We sometimes misunderstand that the church is a gathering – (like an event) but actually “gathered ones” who builds their lives around Jesus as Lord, King and Savior.

It is not an event but the event of Christ saving people to Him.

Jesus builds his church thru his people, therefore everything we do counts, not just a couple of hours that we are in church but all life where we live as the church bringing glory to God in ALL things.

Jesus wants to saturate the world with his presence as the head building His church in every place.

When WE understand this, it changes the way you see yourself.

You don’t “go” to church you “ARE” the church.

MOST PEOPLE THINK CHURCH IS AN “experience” an event – listen to message, sing, pray and look as though church is way above us. People gather to look up to find Jesus when the Holy Spirit is everywhere.

We attract people to come into the church (a building to find God) but a building is just a place for us to be a part gathered to be the hands of feet of Jesus.We are the church...be the church, not a building but an example

To be a better church is not to form a better program, not to rely on pastor, staff, volunteer but to serve together becoming more like Jesus and be the “expression” of Jesus to many.

 

Mark 4: Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.

As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.

Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.

But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

We are the church...be the church, not a building but an exampleMeaning: The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.

The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.

  1. Careless, thoughtless hearer are easy prey – satan robs the hearer. ( thinking of other things, zones off)

The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.

  1. Hypocrites: Start out right, shows profession, many are glad to hear a good sermon but don’t profit from it because in reality, life is too hard to change – light of Jesus does not shine in them through actions and attitudes.

The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.

  1. Hebrews 6:8 Worldly cares are great hinderance, trust is put in financial security – faith in money – status

And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

 

Thirty fold: The number 30 can symbolize dedication to a particular task or calling. Aaronic priests were dedicated to serve at 30, in part because it was the age when a person reached both physical and mental maturity and could therefore handle major responsibilities.

We are the church...be the church, not a building but an exampleJohn the Baptist, began his ministry at age thirty. In the Fall of 26 A.D., at the age of thirty, Christ began to publicly preach the gospel (Luke 3:23).

Joseph, a type of Jesus, was thirty years old when Egypt’s Pharaoh placed him in charge over all that he ruled. King David also, when he began to reign over Israel, was thirty years old (2Samuel 5:4).

The number 60: which literally denotes to uphold, help or support. The widow ; who herself gave much support for the body of Christ in “every good work”:

The number 100: represent the fullness or completeness – accomplish a task, the glory that results from Grace, God’s miracles.

Think about this: Jesus Christ is not only willing to be known and to represent Himself, He is willing to be known and represented by us!

He asks us to be His representatives, His ambassadors.

To be sure, we do a poor job of this sometimes, maybe even often. He knew that we would, but chose to arrange things this way anyway. He knows you’re not perfect, and he invites you to represent Him anyway.

 

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faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, prayer, Salvation, Sermon Notes, Supernatural

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Valentine's Day Flowers is a great way to show you love someone

Last night I got the opportunity to speak at our church about the facets of Love.  Since Valentines day is tomorrow and everyone seems giddy about the event planning on flowers, chocolates and cards, I decided to teach about Love.  Here are my sermon notes and in a few days, I will upload the sermon link so you may also hear the message.

I John 4:16 –

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

This type of love that comes from God :

Daily Live in Love

There is love that is perfect love

Pursue it

Is forever love

Is Greatest love

Brings unity

Brings peace

Shows kindness

We have to receive it and put it on – abide in it

Sacrifices for sake of others

Love is a choice….

Greeks had terms of love:

  • Storge – affection that parents have with their children, (putting up with family members) Storge Lovers: life long friends
  • Philia – mental love of give and take – loyalty to others – general shoulder to shoulder friendship, Philia Lover: Philos love is a mutual, “give-and take” relationship,
  • Eros – Physical love – passionate love with sensual desire – love at first site – looks. It is based more on “self-benefit”.  Pure emotion without the balance of logic:

Erotic lover wants to know everything about the beloved from the first moment of their RELATIONSHIP, all of his or her experiences, joys and sorrows, who else he or she has loved in the past, how much and in what ways.  like to wear matching T-shirts, identical bracelets, matching colors, order the same foods when dining out, find out that their blood types are the same; they typically want to be identified with each other as totally as possible. Breakups are explosive and painful. Eros love can only succeed in the long-term if it progresses into a higher form of love. Otherwise, it will not last.

  • Agape – spiritual love – true unconditional love, expecting nothing in return –  no self benefit: Agape Lover: forgiving – “not a fall in love desire” but this love is always available for the opportunity to show that love.  They are patient, have the ability to wait indefinitely for the behavior of their love to change.

Other types of LOVERS:

  • MANIA (Possessiveness and Intense Dependency) (Eros and Game player )Mania is an obsessive love that, intimate  and intense, often includes jealousy, possessiveness and a lack of communication. Maniacal love can lead to domestic violence.   The constructed ideal of this type of lover is obsessed to where they are unable to sleep, eat, or even think logically around the loved one. The manic lover has peaks of excitement, but also depths of depression, with very few periods without a high or low, jealous – irrational.

A manic lover cannot tolerate loss of contact , even for short periods of time, and is distressed by a lack of the lover’s presence .

* crushed by real or fancied rejection, possibly to the point of suicidal ideation.

* manipulate the behaviors or feelings of the loved one,

* do not tolerate separation at all well.

The manic lover has a tendency to review past relationships and speculate about what when wrong – high level or anxiety,  have problems related to anxiety and associated with low self-esteem and a poor self concept.

  • Pragma (logical – sensible) a person who is unable to invest love in “unworthy” love objects. (You DESERVE ME) The pragmatic lover is keenly aware of the comparison level for alternatives that he or she has. Pragmatic lovers are inclined to look for a “deal – good bargin” A pragmatic lover typically assists the loved one to fulfill his or her potentials; for example, such a lover might make sure the love object finishes school, asks for deserved promotions, gets the attention or that he or she “deserves” from physicians, stockbrokers, or employers. And everything is planned – family
  • Ludus (game player) A ludic lover hates dependency, either in himself/herself or in others. This type shies away from commitment of any sort (does not like lovers to take him or her for granted). The ludic lover enjoys strategies, and may keep two or three or even four lovers “on the string” at one time. A ludic lover may even create a fictional lover to discourage a real one’s hopes for a permanent relationship. He or she avoids long-range plans. Self-centered and won’t listen

The Types of Love are explained.  The Agape is the highest form of love however culture continues to seek self gratification instead of selflessness.

1973 book The Colors of Love, John Lee compared styles of love to the color wheel.

Three primary styles:


1. Eros – Loving an ideal person

2. Ludos – Love as a game

3. Storge – Love as friendship

Three secondary styles:


1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love

2. Pragma (Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love

3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love

The human brain supports falling in love, which is why we have such a strong physiological response when we are attracted to another.

Most people want love but believe self gratification is in there too.

  • make me ‘feel good’
  • Love  MUST nourish it. : feed it, to take care of it, to value it.

 True love is not about what you feel, it is about what you do.

*Euphoria Stage.  Emotion and feeling based but can be a long term with different value if love grows.

The more time you spend with a person the more you learn about their character and personality. The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

*Offense stage comes swiftly after the Reality stage because the relationship was built based on the feelings felt in Euphoria as opposed to a solid friendship.

The Offense stage is different from having hard times in a relationship.

The Offense stage: constant conflict and tension because of false expectations.

*Reality stage it’s not about how you feel, it’s about a choice.  The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

Humans have evolved three different brain systems to encourage mating: sex drive (lust), feelings of attachment (trust), and romance (being in love). Each of these systems plays a role in desire.

Lust. Sex drive is associated with a class of hormones called testosterone (even women have it) Playing competitive sports have been shown to trigger testosterone production; in fact, women get a bigger boost than men during a competition. Making love can also create the same effect. Studies have shown that sex raises testosterone levels, so the more sex you have, the more sex you desire.

touching someone brings more feelings of love because it releases a chemical in your brain to promote love

Trust. Feelings of trust and attachment are fostered by the chemical oxytocin. You can stimulate oxytocin naturally with touch. Hold hands while you watch TV, trade massages, or sleep in each other’s arms. Oxytocin, the love/hate hormone
.  Human and animal studies have shown that oxytocin plays a role in bonding;

While affecting positive behaviors of trust and bonding, it can also affect opposite behaviors like jealousy, envy, and suspicion. when the association is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments”.

Love. The third chemical that drives relationships is dopamine, a key player in the brain’s reward regions that’s been found to promote romantic love. Research shows that —taking risks or trying something new—can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain.

 SONGS: MRI and PET scans reveal that when you listen to music that excites you, your brain releases dopamine during the most exciting moments of the song and even in anticipation of those moments.

Some things a person does can produce so much dopamine that over time, the dopamine response lessens, which means you can lose the ability to feel any kind of pleasure at all. The usual culprits of this dopamine dulling effect are things like cocaine and heroin, which is good news for the great majority of us who are not addicted to illicit substances. The bad news is that if you’re addicted to fatty foods, the same thing could potentially happen to you. If you let rats eat as much cheesecake, bacon, sausage, and other fatty foods as they want, not only will they become obese, but their dopamine responses will start to attenuate over time. So while a small slice of cheesecake once in a while may get your dopamine flowing, overdoing it may have negative consequences on your brain.

Feeling of intense romantic love lasts only about 18 months to—at best—three years.

Brains of these middle-aged men and women showed much the same activity as those of young lovers, individuals who had been intensely in love an average of only seven months. Indeed, there was just one important difference between the two groups: Among the older lovers, brain regions associated with anxiety were no longer active; instead, there was activity in the areas associated with calmness.

Sacrificing Love:  It is the foundation to every key relationship in life.

Revolutionizes marriage

Fortifies friendships

Business : we treat our colleagues, employees and customers

Communities : reach out to people and make their lives better

Love is sacrifice and has a lot more to do with being a servant than with being a hero. 

When you are concerned about the well being of others, you sacrifice.

  • Time
  • Energy
  • Money
  • Give up plans
  • Give up independence
  • Give up privacy
  • May have to part with whatever is most precious to you for the sake of someone else.

Hard because our Culture teaches exact opposite – Logic thinking doesn’t make sense or logic, it’s not fair.

True personal fulfillment never comes through self-gratification but opposite.

The right type of love never fails…. all other types of love will have you wanting but never satisfying.

 

Mark 8:34-35

Deny yourself

“Put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross and follow me closely.  If you insist on saving your life you will lose it.  Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.”

Matthew 20:26  … whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” (throughout the gospels: the one who rules is the one who serves)

Luke 22 :28  The one who stands beside me in trials.  (Through everything you love)

It is only when we give ourselves to God and joyfully serve his people in sacrificial love that we find fulfillment and satisfaction that the world will never know.

In marriage = a lot of sacrifice

  • A good marriage enhances the life of each spouse, making it fuller and more satisfying than it would be if the marriage did not exist.
  • Loving marriage help both spouses grow into their full potential rather than squelching either persons dreams
  • Loving spouses put the other persons needs above their own

The highest form of love…..do you agree?

In friendship = willing to make investment in someone’s life

Why is it so hard?  Commitment

Try it – keep giving and giving – good actions not a feeling…. Some do good but then what happens when people come to the point they are running on empty? They get angry at people: how do you know, people become problems. (hermit)

God tells us not only to live sacrificially but also steadfastly. (persistent, loyal, consistently)

“I am done!”  I am burnout….

How do we get refilled?

Spending time alone with God – He is source of love.  Jesus did this many times, leaving the crowd and go pray.

(can’t depend us getting love from another person) Hosea 12:6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Want peace? 2 Corth 13:11 :  Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will try to disgrace or distress us If believers were left to themselves, they would fall; but they are kept by the power of God

Burn out 3 ways.

  1. Spiritually :  Love tank is low – daily time with God before the day starts. Listen to Christian music
  2. Emotionally: Feel uninterested in others – Life itself happens (bad days) . replenish yourself through relaxing or recreation
  3. Physically:  Won’t listen, no serving, no confront or encourage people, no energy, easily irritated, critical, short fused, defensive and negative.  It is hard to love others and equally hard for others to love them.

Act as Jesus would act and do in all 3 areas.….

I John 4:12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

I Corth. 13:1 : If I had knowledge, if I gave to the poor, moved mountains, but If didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not always want nor boastful, is not conceited, or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

slow to anger when abused, not quick of resentment, nor hasty to revenge when affronted; but exercises forbearance, suffers long, and bears much, and is ready to forgive:
Agape love is the highest form of love.  Do you think you could reach it?

Love suffers long.


Love is kind.


Love does not envy.


Love does not parade itself.


Love is not puffed up.


Love does not behave rudely.


Love does not seek its own.


Love is not provoked.


Love thinks no evil.


Love does not rejoice in iniquity.


Love rejoices in the truth.


Love bears all things.


Love believes all things.


Love hopes all things.


Love endures all things.


Love never fails.

So what does Love Got to do with it… Everything… because without love you are nothing…

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Salvation, Soul Winning, Weird Stuff

Contagious Smiling

Smiling is contagiousLast week I got to experience the film Compelled By Love starring Roland and Heidi Baker’s story.  I was proud to say that my son, Lyle was featured in the film.  The emotions I felt, the awe of being totally sold out to Jesus is truly phenomenal.  At the beginning of the film is an artist who starts painting a picture and you will see this throughout the film the stages of the piece, then at the end you see the final work.  The final picture is of Jesus with a contagious smile!  It makes you feel as though Jesus is happy, that He loves you and He wants you to smile.  Not only for His sake does He want you to smile but for your sake and the sake of others.  It’s contagious! Annalise Roth Phillips my granddaughter loves to smile!  Her smiling makes me smile.

Annalise our granddaughter is only 4 months old.  There is such a love connection when she totally trusts you to take care of her.  She looks at you with those blue eyes and as you talk to her and smile, she crinkles up her nose and smiles so big with her gums showing.  She smiles with her eyes.  It makes anyone talking to her want to get her to smile.  It is a smile that is rewarding even if it only last for just a few seconds.  I am looking forward to hearing her laugh and giggle throughout the house.  A smile, the emotion of trust and total happiness.

As a leader/pastor I love smiling.  I love smiling at people as I pass by, taking time to look into their eyes as if it is Jesus smiling back at me.  What a difference we can make if we just stop for the one regardless of how we feel at the time and smile.  Sometimes its hard for me especially because I am so caught up in the task or in my own thoughts of what I must get done I forget to look at the person in my busy schedule, however it is never my intention to ignore and I am learning to slow down and take time to the most valuable source on the planet… people!

This experience has made me realize how important smiling is.  It is important for at least five reasons according to Michael Hyatt.

  1. It helps others relax. When you scowl or look too intense, it creates a primal reaction in others. Their defenses go up. They become protective and guarded.

    This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen if you are trying to influence them. A smile communicates that you are safe and can be trusted.

  2. It draws people to you. Have you ever noticed how you are attracted to people who smile and laugh a lot? The positive energy is contagious. You instinctively smile in response.

    The simple fact is that people naturally want to be around people who are happy. If you want others to follow you, you can start by smiling more.

  3. It enables you to connect. Smiling is one of the best, quickest ways to connect with anyone from any culture. Even if you don’t speak the same language, a smile is universally appreciated.

    It opens the door, welcomes people into your world, and communicates acceptance. Even if people are frustrated or angry, a smile can often turn them around. In that moment you forge a connection.

  4. It creates positive culture. If you want to change the culture of an organization, change the behavior of its leaders. People naturally play “follow the leader.” When leaders smile, everyone smiles.

    Smiles communicate that your organization is a happy place to work. And who doesn’t want to work where people are smiling and happy?

  5. Why is smiling important for you to do?  Find out here! It elevates your mood. This is one of the surprising benefits of smiling. I had no idea. It literally affects you at a biological level, releasing endorphins and serotonin.

    Smiling has numerous physical and psychological benefits, including relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure, and boosting your immune system. And it’s much cheaper and healthier than drugs.

Seriously, set a goal to smile more this year. Recruit an accountability partner. Set reminders. Whatever it takes. As a leader, it will help ensure you have a positive impact on the people you are leading.  Relieve stress from your daily life right now… smile!

John 10:10…. Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness”.

Jesus is smiling always…. so why can’t we?…be contagious!

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Salvation, Soul Winning, Supernatural

Your Behavior is Linked to Values

your actions are determined by your valuesLeading like Jesus my husband says, “If you live for Jesus hard, it is easy” but “If you live for Jesus easy, it is hard”.

Everyone of us must have a vision to know where we are going.  Most of us can have goals and try to achieve them in life.  Hopefully for all of us, our vision is heaven.  However in life we get distracted by life or get caught up in life we forget the ultimate goal.  Now don’t get me wrong, we should have life goals and achieve them, but we also should have a life full of peace and joy as we live it to see things accomplished .  Not only in that sense but to leave a legacy.  How will people remember you after you are gone?   Yes, life is not all peachy and roses but it is thru the tough times, Christ is there with us, leading us along the way to make right choices.  Those choices are determined by our values.

Seeing the ending in mind means we have a vision.    An element to the vision is our values, because values is linked to how you behave.  Values are nonnegotiable principles that define character in a person regardless if you are a leader or not.  Values is what drives behavior of all of us for our purpose and picture of the future.

true valuesIn Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus ranked two values and He put them in order.

  1.  Love God with all your heart, soul and mind.
  2.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

These are great principles for life but unless they are translated into behavior it won’t happen and they become good thoughts or just words on a paper that we all should live by.  In fact many people say they do live by these words, maybe not daily but try to.

We all  must make good choices and sometimes that means change.  Some of us are hot-wired for change and can adapt very quickly when others, change only is seen by heartache and pain.  We all want to be great leaders, in some form or fashion but to lead as Jesus, these two values must be put above everything else even if it means changing your environment.  The appropriate response for your circumstances will depend on what God has in mind for you.  Since we don’t know what tomorrow brings, that is hard I have to admit.  You see Jesus knows what is best for us regardless on how we feel, nevertheless He gives us a choice.

Our life and leadership are all about choices and the choices  made are based on our values.

I always said, “you are where you are right now in life because of the choices you made yesterday”  What do you stand for?

Before you can reach your goal, you must have a vision and the vision must compel and drive you to reach it.  Nothing should stand in your way.  Not circumstances, not change, not feelings or emotions, not hurt, nor life itself.  It’s called Living For Jesus Hard.  It’s being sold out to the cause.   Is it tough? Yes.  Is it hard to stay strong? Yes.  Do you feel like giving up? Yes.  Is it hard to keep the flesh under control and live by the Spirit under the name of a Christian. Yes.    what values do you hold

It is staying focused.  It is COMMUNICATION with the Most High and with people.  It is doing the right thing and having the wisdom for direction.  It is putting others first before yourself.  It is looking into the future to see the outcome: bettering people’s lives in reaching the ultimate vision.  It is determined by values.  Your choices in life always reflect your values.  Your behavior that you show has your value written all over your face and everyone will see it.

actions determine values

What values do people see written on your face?  They may not see it at first because of the mask, but they will see it in your actions.  Actions will always determine if you reach your vision (goals).   What is your life’s goals?  Do they reflect these two commandments?  Are you doing the right things in your behavior?  It’s kind of funny because sometimes I am hard-headed and aren’t we all sometimes when it comes to listening to the voice of God! Ha!.    Ultimately, I pray that my values will shine upon and through my life for the betterment of more people in influencing more than just a few.  How about you?

Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Weird Stuff

How to Read Your Dog Just by Watching Her Tail

Roxie wagging her tail....Roxie is so cute and she just turned 10 years old Christmas Eve.  She drives me crazy sometime when she barks for no reason.  I thought this article was worth sharing and now I am going to start paying attention to her tail.  lol….

By Dr. Becker

New research suggests dogs send messages to each other through tail wags.

According to a study published in a recent issue of Current Biology,1 the direction of a wag is quite significant. What looks like just another friendly wag to you or me is actually communicating important information to other dogs.

As it turns out, when dogs are feeling stressed they tend to wag their tails to the left. The reason for this, according to the study’s lead author, Giorgio Vallortigara of the University of Trento in Italy, is that tail wagging is a reflection of what’s going on in a dog’s brain. Activation of the left-brain causes the tail to wag to the right, and activation of the right-brain produces a wag to the left.

 

Tail Wags to the Right Signal Openness, Wags to the Left Signal Wariness

In an earlier study, Vallortigara and his team demonstrated that dogs wag to the right side when they encounter something pleasant (like their owners). When they see something threatening, for example, a strange dog exhibiting dominant behaviors, they wag more to the left side. Those study results raised the question of whether dogs notice another dog’s tail wagging and use the information to decide whether the dog with the wagging tail is friend or foe.

For the most recent study, Vallortigara and his team used videos of a dog or dog silhouette wagging its tail mostly to one side or the other, or not wagging at all. The only thing moving in the wagging videos was the tail.

The video was shown to 43 dogs, including mixed breeds, Rottweilers, Beagles, Boxers, Border Collies, and German Shepherds, who were equipped with heart rate monitors. When the video dog wagged primarily to its left, indicating a negative response, the dogs in the study tended to have faster heartbeats than when the video dog wagged to the right or not at all. The dogs’ response also suggested a higher degree of stress.

Left-brain activity in dogs resulting in tail wagging to the right means they are having a positive response that invites another dog to approach. Right-brain activation suggests a negative withdrawal response.

 

Study Concludes Dogs Read the Tail Wags of Other Dogs

The study concluded that dogs who see another dog wagging to the left experience anxiety and elevated heart rates, whereas dogs who see another dog wagging to the right remain relaxed.

The researchers don’t believe the dogs are intentionally sending signals with their tails, but rather the tail wagging is a consequence of the inner workings of the canine brain. Tail-wagging behavior results from the way in which different emotional signals activate different parts of a dog’s brain.

“These results suggest that dogs have perceptual and attentional asymmetries,” says Vallortigara. “So for example, if you are going to visit a dog, if you are vet, there will be probably a side which is better with respect to the probability to evoke a more friendship response or to evoke a more aggressive response.”

Abundant life, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership

Would David Delete His Facebook Friends?

Why should you not delete your facebook friends David had many people who lied about him and spread gossipI always wondered why people delete their Facebook friends.  It is kinda sad but holds true to most people who delete.  Sometimes it is just to clean out your Facebook and start something new and sometimes it is just wanting to block the person from showing up in your news feed.  It used to bother me when someone deleted me, because that can really mess up your thoughts on who you thought were true friends, but now I don’t get too much drama in my head when someone unfriended me.  I know there is something more going on in that person’s head to feel as though they should delete.  For some it gives the person a type of control and makes them feel powerful with a press of the button to end a friendship.  Sometimes it is a hurt that is hard to deal with and instead of valuing the relationship with courageous conversation it is thought better to run from it.  It is a type of protective mode and I understand that.

I wonder how David in the Bible would have felt if he had a Facebook or used some type of social media?  Let us look at Psalms 57.

 

David starts out crying out to God and runs to Him for hiding as the storms of life surround him.  This is a good thing, yet notice David runs to God and not away from Him despite the circumstances of life or the chaos that is going on.  David realizes the power of God, the grace of God and His saving power with confessing his faith.  He also knows that God will rescue him from the liars who are so intent upon destroying him, using the words “I am surrounded by fierce lions, hotheads whose teeth are sharp as spears and arrows. Their tongues are like swords….”  David knew his enemies were setting traps for him and he was fearful of the future but knew he must stay faithful to God.  He then watched his enemies fall into the traps themselves.  He goes on to continue to praise God and sing Him praises for His loving kindness.  Davids wishes thru all of this time in his life , God’s glory be brought throughout all the earth.  David was hurt and he was scared of what people would think or view of him.  A natural response when you know people spread gossip and lies about you.

God is still faithful to those who run toward Him and His grace and mercy endures forever to either party.  The next time you get the urge to delete, if you value the relationship take time to ask yourself “why” you are deleting.  Is it because of unmet expectations, or hurt feelings or just a clean up.  Either or say a prayer over the person instead of hating.  Practice love instead of judgement.  Even in the midst of storms in your life, you can produce fruit for others to follow as God takes care of your enemies.

Facebook is network.  It links you to a person in years down the road could open an opportunity up for you.  I heard a man say once, “Don’t burn bridges or one day you may have no place to go”.

David continued to praise and worship God thru all circumustances!

What do you think?  Would David’s friends delete him or would David delete the people who were spreading lies about him?

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony

Run Toward The Light

I walk in the light
Remember those scary movies you watched as a child?  They would always say, “Run toward the light!” if they were in some limbo area to crossover between death and life.  I find it kind of ironic now for we pursue the same thing knowing what the “Light” is.

We all are on a journey called life, and we really don’t fit into this world, yet we pursue the light.  As we pursue the light the less important things seem to be in this world and character shapes us to who we become.  The light is not darkness, the light is love.  The light is doing the right things.  The light is forgiveness.

If we fail to look closely at our thoughts, motives, attitudes and priorities we will relate with others in unhealthy ways.  The type of person we are is a clear reflections of the condition of our inner life.  Either we walk in darkness and chaos or we walk in light with peace.

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We all have difficulty looking honestly at ourselves and it is easy to overlook our own flaws but oh how easy it is to see the flaws of others.  Can you love others regardless of the flaws?  We tend to blame circumstances for our behavior rather than taking responsibility for our responses.  Right character requires making right choices and disciplining ourself daily.

When we are not running toward the light we will:  react in unhealthy ways of being impatient, unkind, judgmental.  We will fight the wrong battles thinking it is our responsibility to change others.  We will rely on our natural ability to love, however no matter how hard we try our ability will never be enough without God’s help.

I don’t know about you but running toward the light is a daily action and though process.  It is taking time to be thankful for what you have.  It is being kind despite the circumstances.  It is showing and doing right things to others and to yourself.  It is having peace and choosing peace in your household.  So with all that said…. “Run toward the Light” it is your answer to get through this world!

I John 1:5  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, prayer

More Than The Eye Can See

More than the eye... see beyond!Faith is trusting what the eye cannot see

Eyes see the prowling lion.  Faith sees Daniel’s angel.

Eyes see storms. Faith sees Jesus with arms outstretched.

Eyes see the impossible.  Faith sees a God that all things are possible.

Eyes see the wheelchair.  Faith sees the walking.

Eyes see cancer.  Faith sees the stripes that heal us.

Eyes see the sin.  Faith sees the saving grace of forgiveness.

Eyes see your faults and your guilt, coupled with shame.  Faith sees your Savior, His blood and His grace.

Look into the mirror today, look into life and don’t see everyday circumstances.  Faith is beyond what your eyes behold!