Who Are Your Enemies?

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

Who Are Your Enemies?

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you—Luke 6:27-28

Who are your enemies? Do you have any? Who hates you? Anyone? Most of us would probably answer, no. We might even conclude that these words, spoken so long ago, have become a little irrelevant in our present, everyday lives. And we might try to just move on to the next set of instructions. But, should we? Can we? The answer is, absolutely not. These particular instructions are as relevant to us, right now, as they are challenging—and as they are important. Our King, Jesus Christ, is simply calling on us to love even those who are hardest to love. And we know people like that.

Who’s mistreated you? Who’s let you down? Who’s taken advantage of you? Maybe someone at work? A family member? A friend? A neighbor? Someone you barely know? “Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst” (Luke 6:27-30 MSG).

We must treat well those who’ve treated us badly (Luke 6:27-29). We must help those who will never help us back (Luke 6:31-34). We must be generous to those who are anything but (Luke 6:29-30). And we must be merciful to them all (Matthew 6:14-15). But, not only that, we must be merciful again and again and again (Matthew 18:21-22). You see, what Jesus is teaching us—what we must grasp and embrace—is that we don’t fight evil with yet more evil; we fight evil with good (Romans 12:21).

Where’s Home?

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

Where’s Home?

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest—Matthew 11:28

“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness” (Psalm 23:2-3). How does God restore your soul, brother? Where do you find rest? How are you most able to forget, even for a few moments, the pressures of this life? Where do you get reset and realigned? How do you connect with God most easily? Where are you most able to hear his voice or feel his guidance?

Is it in praying at your breakfast table in the early morning, before anyone else wakes? Or in reading Scripture on the treadmill or in your car over the lunch hour? Is it in a few minutes of stillness and solitude in the evening? Or in boisterous community around a table, with brothers or with family? Is it in walking or running or biking through streets or through hills? Is it in listening to music? Or in making your own music, singing in church perhaps? Or in something else entirely?

Recognize that God designed you, uniquely, to have ways—even amid the busyness—to find him, to find rest and restoration through him. You were designed to, every so often, just come home. So open your eyes. Search your heart. He has, no doubt, already shown you how.

Ready for an Upgrade?

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

Ready for an Upgrade?

. . . the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, open to reason,
full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere—James 3:17

A lot of men—not every man—but a lot of us struggle to hold back a harsh and judgmental attitude toward the world around us, sometimes even toward those we love the most. In the rush and charge of life, with the volatility of family, the pressure of work, the friction of the world, we too often give in to snap impulses to anger and criticism. They feel right in the moment, but they never are (Proverbs 14:17). More considered, gentler approaches are always better—less destructive, more effective, more powerful (Proverbs 19:11, 29:11; James 3:13-18).

These impulses also reveal something deeper: our pride. If we’re honest, they come from thinking too highly of ourselves, trusting ourselves too much, trusting our wisdom, our capabilities, and our “ways” too much . . . and thinking too little of those of the people around us. But, “God opposes the proud,” as pride leads only to hurt and separation (James 4:6; Proverbs 16:18).

So, we must take ground in this struggle. We mustn’t let another day, another year, another decade slip by, doing nothing. These impulses are too hard on others. We must allow our guide, God the Holy Spirit, to train us in humility, to be “quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

Current vs. Legend

Basketball, and sports in general are debatable; in barbershops, gyms, cookouts, bars, etc. What I know is this in the Jordan vs. LeBron conversation is this. There would not have been a day where Jordan would have minded the competition of a 6’8″ guy and showing that he was the one that was it. He did it with Dominique Wilkins. The analyst want to make it seem as if they are just hypothetically speaking of now vs. then. They have made their choices.

My opinion isn’t based on numbers; it is based on the assassin’s mentality. LeBron doesn’t have it and it has shown repeatedly. Had those two matched up back then r place Jordan in this era he would still dominate the league. Today with the rules as they are he would be unstoppable.

Let the conversations begin.

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Want Impact?

“My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>”

Want Impact?

If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed—Luke 17:6

We want our lives to matter. We want these few days we spend here to mean something. We want some sort of impact. Well, brother, if we really want impact, we’ve got to allow the amplifying power of the Holy Spirit to work through us—by being willing to act in faith. When we act alone (as we so often do), we do so with our own strength. But when we act in faith, our actions are amplified by the strength of a great and powerful God. Men and women acting in faith have “stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight” (Hebrews 11:33-34).

The surprising thing about acting in faith is that—unlike when we act alone—it’s not our skill, nor our cleverness, that determines the magnitude of impact. When the Apostle Paul worked to start the church in Corinth, he spoke “in weakness and in fear,” lacking “plausible words of wisdom” (1 Corinthians 2:3-4). He must have doubted whether he’d had any impact at all. But the church was established nonetheless. “God’s Spirit and God’s power did it,” through Paul’s seemingly unimpressive actions, taken in faith (1 Corinthians 2:3-5 MSG).

Watching and Learning in Life

To watch and learn in life, is something we all do. We all watch someone fail, we hopefully learn from that failure that we were able to witness.

Something that doesn’t often happen is While we are learning are we watching? Most times people are not because the learning curve may not allow you to watch as you learn.

Next time a period of time comes while learning try to watch and see if you can. I tried it and failed; that is ok though. I know the next time even if I fail; I will fail forward.

Thanks for reading,
Arthur Poston

Squinting Through the Fog?

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Squinting Through the Fog

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God
. . . and it will be given him—James 1:5

God knows what’s right in every circumstance. We do not. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12). And yet, God installs us as decision-makers nonetheless. He intends us to struggle through, and answer, tough questions throughout our lives: Should I take the job? Should I marry the girl? Am I becoming the man God intends me to become? How should I deal with pain and fear and temptation? Tough questions, indeed. Huge implications.

King Solomon was an epic decision-maker. God told him, “I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you” (1 Kings 3:12). Fortunately for the rest of us, Solomon passed along some of that God-given wisdom, in the form of the Book of Proverbs.

For tough questions, Solomon wrote, we must look first to God (Proverbs 3:5-6). One way to do that, since he empowers us as agents of his wisdom, is actually to look to our brothers in Christian community (Proverbs 11:14; James 5:19-20). Wrote Solomon, “a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15). Counsel from other men is one of our most powerful tools. We needn’t use it for every question. But, for the toughest ones, we must.

Speak Responsibly

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Speak Responsibly

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love—1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Whether it’s two of us or twelve of us or more, when we gather in Christian community, we’re to speak truth to one another, truth motivated by love (Ephesians 4:15). Truth in love—it sounds simple, actually . . . straightforward. And sometimes it is. Many times, though, it’s anything but simple or straightforward. And, in those times, we men don’t typically fare too well. I mean, the mess and complexity of life can make speaking truth in love daunting and uncomfortable—for example, when it requires we challenge a brother or admonish him; when it requires we call-out a brother or call him back from sin. So it’s a rare group of men indeed who are willing to speak truth in love even when it’s hard. We’ve got to be that kind of men.

For us to be that kind, though, we must first be another kind: men who take time to know one another. You see, except in a few cases, it’s irresponsible to “speak truth” to any man without knowing his story. We’re one body, all following our King, Jesus Christ, but we’re also all different, with different designs, different functions, different experiences (Romans 12:4-5). For community to work, for truth to flow properly, we must understand and appreciate each other. And we begin by telling our stories. If we don’t begin there, we’re likely to damage community and to do damage to each other—like when we give advice and try to “fix” a person, or a situation, we don’t fully understand.

Questions? How to move forward…..

What do we do when there isn’t a way to fix a problem in your relationship with the conversation?

Probe by asking questions of yourself:

What is my part in this?
Is there a fix?
What questions could be asked to probe the situation?

There could possibly be other questions that would need to be asked of yourself while trying to get to a version of the truth before confronting the other party. Time is not on your side when contemplating these issues. A lot of time can be lost and you left in limbo asking questions of yourself. The time you take for yourself to propose and create these items of and for yourself be sure to use them “the questions”as soon as possible.

Conversation is still crucial and being in a calm and controlled manner is best. Anger and raised voices do nothing to help either side.

Wake-up Call

"My brother, here’s your WiRE for today ==>"

Wake-up Call

. . . faith apart from works is dead—James 2:26

Imagine yourself, for a moment, standing before our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. Imagine feeling, at first, a bit apprehensive. Imagine lifting your eyes to his. Imagine his face, when you meet his gaze. Imagine his strength, his goodness. Imagine the sound of his voice as he, like the master in his Parable of the Talents, speaks these words: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:14-30). How would that feel—from the one who sacrificed his life for yours—that he’s pleased with the life you’ve lived?

Each of us has work to do before weactually stand face-to-face with Jesus. “He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing” (Ephesians 2:10 MSG). Like the servants in the parable, we’re too given resources for the Master’s work. They were given money; we’re given money too, but also time, energy, natural talents, spiritual gifts, and help from the Holy Spirit. We must waste these resources no more. We must spend them for his work—not just for ourselves.

We must also, though, check our hearts. Doing “good work” isn’t about earning our way into Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). Rather, it’s about trusting our Master and following him into a better kind of life.