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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Don't Feed It And It Will Die

Given Fall of 1997
A wise friend of mine, a former elementary school principal, gave a talk to a men's group once on, "The Black Dog". He told of how cute a little black puppy is but if you feed it and care for it, it sometimes grows up to be a big, mean, black dog. That once, little, cute, controllable puppy can become a big, mean, uncontrollable monster!

This story was given to illustrate how a bad habit can "grow" from a small, seemingly insignificant thing into a big, troublesome problem that you can't control anymore. It could be anything: smoking, gossip, porn, drugs/alcohol, lying, gambling, whatever. You know what I'm talking about and you're probably thinking of something in your life right now. At the beginning, these things seem harmless and are easily controlled but as you continue on in them, they grow and can become overpowering.

The answer? I asked God about this and I've heard preaching on it too. If you don't feed the thing, it will become weaker and weaker and eventually...DIE! When you give in to it, you're feeding it and it grows and grows. Now, this is hard to do but think about it next time your habit comes licking or growling at your feet. Don't feed it! The black dog will die.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Be In Position

Given June 19, 2005
During intercession at church on this Sunday morning, as I walked and prayed, I noticed a flash of light on the carpet. I took one step further and it was gone. A small piece of plastic on the floor was reflecting the light from the ceiling but I had to be in the right spot to see it. The light was only visible when I was in the right position in relation to the light source. I couldn't see the reflected light until I moved into the right position.

I thought, "God is telling me I must be in the place where I can see His light reflected to me." And, not only to me, but I need to be in the right place for His light to reflect OFF me for others to see! When we're in the right position, in relation to God, the source of light, His light will shine through us and, believe me, people are watching. "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world." John 11:9

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Christmas here at the Dotson house is different this year. Our youngest son is home from college but is sick in bed. Son number three is in China teaching English for a year, the first time in his life he hasn't woken up at home on Christmas morning. However, we talked to him over the Internet using Skype this morning. Son number two and one are with their own families but we were able to be together at church this morning. That was good.

My oldest son, Chad, has a very popular blog of his own and his post today says it all. Read it here. To all who read this, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Here's Your Sign





I wrote recently about us being God's representatives here on earth and how we should be aware of that and how people look at us. Sadly though, many Christians don't look or act like Christians because they are so "conformed" to this world. "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:2". God has been reminding me of this concept a lot recently.

Then I thought, "How would we behave if we had a sign around our neck that read, 'I'm A Christian'?" I think we'd act differently, don't you? Think about it as you drive, at work, at the store, at the ball game, and everywhere you go. People are watching us and, if they know we're Christians, we're God's witness, His representative. My brother knows I'm a Christian but do all the people I meet each day know?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

It Is Written!

Given December 14, 2005
I was thinking the other day about temptations. The Bible says we all have 'em in various forms, James 1:14, and we're supposed to resist them. But, sometimes you know, it's hard to do. Then I thought, "Well, the Bible says Jesus was tempted like we are but He didn't sin." How'd He do it?

The answer is in Matthew 4:4, "But he answered and said, It is written", and in Matthew 4:7, "Jesus said unto him, It is written again", then in Matthew 4:10, "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written..." Three times Satan tried and every time Jesus resisted him with, "It is written" then He quoted the Word of God. That's the answer for us! IT IS WRITTEN!

Whenever the devil comes at you with fear, say, "It is written...I have not been given the spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7. If he tells you you're gonna fail, tell him, "It is written...I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13. If he says you're sick, come back at him with, "It is written...by His stripes I'm healed!" Isaiah 53:5.

We can defeat the devil just like Jesus did, with the Word! Now, think of all the ways Satan tempts & lies to you and go look up & memorize scriptures to fight back with. It works! "Submit to God, resit the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7. "Devil, get outta here!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

What's That Stew Worth?

Given December 13, 2005
For years, I've thought badly about brothers Jacob and Esau. Jacob cheated his older brother but Esau was dumb enough to "sell" his birthright for a bowl of stew?

"Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom.) Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright." "Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?" But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob." Genesis 25:29-33

Later, Esau realized what he had done and what that stew had cost him. I thought, how dumb, to give away something so important for a fleeting gratification. Today though, I realized... we do the same thing quite often. We watch that movie we know we shouldn't, we eat that whole bag of chips, we get mad when that car didn't give a signal, we watch TV instead of praying or go to the ball game instead of church. What's your bowl of stew costing you? Well, we won't know right away but someday we'll find out. And...like Esau, I don't think we'll like the price!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Who's In The House?

Given December 10, 2005
I attended the monthly Men's Prayer Breakfast at another church in my town this morning which is always a treat. Good food, good fellowship, and the Word of God. What could be better?

The young man, Chirs, who spoke this morning asked us to picture a stick figure with the head, arms and legs as usual but the body was a church. The point was that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" 1 Corinthians 3:16 He said we need to look at what's in our temple and clean it up! Things like pride, anger, unforgiveness, malice, lust, etc. We need to do some house cleaning! Can we agree on that?

But it made me think that God is in there and sometimes He has to share my house with some unacceptable stuff. Sometimes, I leave the door or a window open and the undesireables sneak in. I don't want God living in there with all that stuff and He can't do what He wants to do in me with a dirty house. It's time to do DAILY house cleaning. Amen?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Word Power!

Given April 30, 2002
No one would argue the fact that God's words have power. In Genesis, He said, "Let there be light." and there was light. He spoke it and it happened. Now, that's powerful! But you might say, "Yeah, but that's God's words. He's God." But Jesus told his disciples, "...So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say." John 12:50. So, Jesus was using God's words and that's how He had so much power. "Yeah, but that's Jesus, He was God."

Then, Jesus told God, "I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them." John 17:8. So now, the disciples had the words of God and look at all they did. But, it doesn't stop there. "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off. Acts 2:39. Hey...that's us! We were afar off! And that's not all. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." John 14:12.

Do you see it? The Spirit of God is in us and we have, (or we should have), the Word of God in us, so we should be speaking that Word and getting results on this earth! Practice it. God's Word works!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

DNA Says No!

Given December 4, 2005
I'm sittin in a hotel room in Roanoke VA right now, up here for a technology conference where I'll do a presentation tomorrow morning. I don't like these things as much as I used to, I'm gettin old I guess, but I do like the chance to have three unencumbered hours on the road to listen to preaching tapes, (actually, today it was MP3s I downloaded to my Pocket PC, I'm a technology guy, you know.)

But, my pastor said something this morning that qualified, to me, as a "revelation" even though it came to him. He'd been talking about us being, "washed in the blood" and the fact that, because of the blood of Jesus, our sins were covered or done away with and "remembered no more". When God the Father looks at us, he doesn't see our sin he sees the blood. Then Pastor Wayne said, "The DNA comes back and says, NO MATCH!" We are not even the same person the devil tries to make us out to be. The Bible says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17
The DNA doesn't lie, we're new! Praise the Lord!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Symptoms

Given December 1, 2005
Say, a man is sick in his body AND he's not saved. If a doctor and a preacher are standing there in front of him, he'll choose the doctor almost every time. His physical symptoms are real; they hurt or he can see 'em. His sin symptoms are hidden, they're not readily seen, they can be put off for awhile...or can they?

What are the symptoms of sin? How can you tell if somebody's not saved? Many times you can't, but the person knows. Sin symptoms are things like selfishness, hatefulness, pride, greed, addictions... But wait! You see these things in Christians too!

Look at this: Then the news about Him spread throughout Syria. So they brought to Him all those who were afflicted, those suffering from various diseases and intense pains, the demon-possessed, the epileptics, and the paralytics. And He healed them. Matthew 4:24. Jesus healed them all! He didn't check their spiritual condition before He healed 'em and you know there had to be some sinners in the bunch. But when their bodies got healed, they were more apt to let Jesus heal their sin sickness too. Let's look at ourselves to see if we have any sin symptoms and ask Jesus to forgive us and change us. And you know, you can do that if you're a Christian or a sinner.