Philippians 2:14-16a  Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. 

The other morning The Today Show was on and I saw a story headline: “Kirk Cameron Controversy.” I know Kirk to be an outspoken evangelical Christian so I was interested in what this controversy was. His shocking statements were that a wife should follow her husband and that the Bible teaches submission. Why in the world does our liberal media call this a controversy?  Because this angers feminists and because our culture does not know what the Bible teaches nor care to follow it. We must remember that we are becoming the minority. Fewer and fewer people hold the Bible to be the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and useful for everything in our lives.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness            2 Timothy 3:16

What else (besides our view on marriage) separates us distinctly from the world?

How we speak, how we love, how we forgive. These are the things that will make us stand out in the darkness.

Phil.2.14

Philippians 2:14-16 paints a picture of believers who do everything without complaining or arguing.  The apostle Paul says that it will make us “shine like stars” if we do this in the culture we live in. Imagine! No more need for customer complaint departments? No more need for small claims court? We’re told that we should speak only words that build up and benefit others, that our words should be a source of blessing:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29

Proverbs 10:11a The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life.

I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly convicted by this. My words are not always helpful, beneficial or a blessing. I often fall into the trap of trying to be funny or talking about myself too much. I complain when things are not going my way and want to garner sympathy from those who hear my tale of woe.

When we admit we have been wrong; when we humble ourselves, apologize and ask for forgiveness, we will shine like neon lights on the darkest night. Even though I grew up in a home that was considered Christian, I never once saw this modeled. I think this is common, many people have not seen this done (or done well). When my husband and I were first married, my version of an apology would be something like, “I’m sorry I yelled at you, but you are so frustrating!” This is not an apology at all but an excuse and further blame directed at him. This only stirs up further strife. A real apology contains remorse and regret for my actions – taking complete responsibility for them, and a determination to do better in future.

This is a truly radical concept in our world. Once in a while you will hear a story of a Christian family who forgave the drunk driver that caused their child’s death and how they reached out to him in prison. These kinds of stories make the national news because they are so rare. But more often, when I’m in the grocery store or doctor’s office I will overhear people telling of those who wronged them and how they will never forgive or forget. That is much more the natural tendency we have, to lash out in anger and seek revenge.

Ephesians 1:19-20 says the same power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that’s working in us, those who are the children of the living God.

We are different. We have the power of God working in and through us. We have resources that the world knows nothing about! So let’s show that, model that, demonstrate that to a dark and lost world.

Please, Lord, may Your love and power be shown through the words I speak…

3648x2736 uncropped TheAppBuilder-icon-morro-strand-sunset-21nov2008-49.RAW20 Aug 2013, the original 1024 x 1024 icon version has been replaced with a larger 3648x2736 original here due to a Getty request to represent the image. The original 1024x1024 icon displayed here is now a hidden file www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/9555966139/ This is a proposed splash screen and icon for an iPhone and Android App I'm building using JamPot's The AppBuilder Morro Rock at sunset on Morro Strand State Beach, Morro Bay, CA To use this photo, see access, attribution, and commenting recommendations at www.flickr.com/people/mikebaird/#credit - Please add comments/notes/tags to add to or correct information, identification, etc. Please, no comments or invites with badges, unrelated images, flashing icons, links to your photos, multiple invites, or invites with award levels and/or award/post rules. Critique is always welcomed. PhotoMorroBay.com Social Network - An App to appear soon in the Apple and Android App stores. PhotoMorroBay.com Social Network. Author: Mike Baird Created: 9/29/2011 8:10:55 PM Status: Awaiting store submission Support url: photomorrobay.com email: app{at] mikebaird d o t com phone: 805-704-2064 Description: PhotoMorroBay.com Social Network, including Yahoo! Group discussions, Flickr photo sharing, Digital Photo Walk Meet-ups, Bay Birding Photo Cruises, and Morro Bay Bird Festival photo events. Keywords: photomorrobay,DPW,digital photo walk,bay birding,photo cruise,morro bay,bird festival,Mike Baird,Michael Baird,Dos Osos,Sub Sea Tours,photomorrobay.com, Details: Morro Bay, CA Central Coast Area (San Luis Obispo County, California, USA) PhotoMorroBay.com Social Network, including Yahoo! Group discussions, Flickr photo sharing, Digital Photo Walk Meet-ups, Bay Birding Photo Cruises, and Morro Bay Bird Festival events led by bairdphotos.com photographer "Mike" Michael L. Baird. Share your photography passion. PhotoMorroBay.com -- Gateway to our local Morro Bay, CA photographers' Yahoo! Group for discussions, events, meet-ups, polls, calendars, etc., and Gateway to our local Morro Bay, CA photographers' Flickr Group for photo sharing and critique. ***** 1024x1024 version of www.flickr.com/photos/mikebaird/3048731033/ a JamPot TheAppBuilder icon and splash screen resource photomorropbay.com theappbuilder.com Shown as the lone bird is the Long-billed Curlew Numenius americanus) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-billed_curlew en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Long-billed_Curlew_eating_sand... (another of mine on the Wiki pages) *** 11/24/2011 posted here to preserve some comments I recently made about using Apple's Aperture software. I want to talk about Apple's Aperture 3, which is only $79 in the Mac App Store (It is still $199 in the Apple Online Store, Amazon, etc., and, it is the same program, just not delivered on physical media). You can download and install it as many times as you like to all of your machines using the same Apple ID. That beats searching for a DVD. All of Apple's newer software is now being delivered/sold only online, even the latest Lion OS X. Normally I use only Lightroom for my image management and processing (with some Photoshop CS5 if needed), but since the introduction of iCloud from Apple recently with the iOS 5 and Lion OS X upgrades, and the iPhone 4S, I find myself taking a lot of iPhone photos (8MP, HDR, HD Video, GPS geo-tagging), the quality of which has astounded me and many others. The cool thing about iCloud is that as soon as you enter a WiFi zone, all the photos you've taken earlier are automatically uploaded into the cloud (Your Photo Stream in iCloud is a rolling collection of your last 1000 photos), and then they are automatically downloaded into the "Photo Stream" of every Mac device you own running OS X Lion (iMAc, MacBooks, iMAcs, iPads, etc.), where they are then automatically archived permanently. No longer do I need to remove an SDHC card from a point-and-shoot camera and import the photos into a computer, and then worry about syncing all my photos from my different machines into consistent libraries. For this to work on OSX Lion (iMac, MacBooks...), however, one MUST use either Apple's iPhoto or Aperture program. Now many of you know I hate iPhoto (it tries as hard as possible not to let you know where your photos are on your hard drive; makes duplicate copies with every edit, etc.). So I was curious and looked at Aperture again even though I was biased against it. I didn't like the $199 price, but when I found that Apple lowered the download price in the App store to $79, I bought it and played with it. You can learn about Aperture at www.apple.com/aperture/what-is.html www.apple.com/aperture/action/ www.apple.com/aperture/action/frakes/ www.apple.com/aperture/what-is.html#overlay-jarvis www.apple.com/aperture/iphoto-to-aperture/ store.apple.com/us/product/MB957Z/A#overview --- you too will be impressed with it's power... many professionals use it for high-end production projects. So, bottom line is that I'm done with iPhoto. All my iPhone photos are sent to my Aperture Application on my Macs automatically (and I'll also know exactly where they are on the hard drive). I then have the option to further export/import between Lightroom and Aperture or Photoshop if I want to preserve my usual workflow, and prepare the iPhone photos the same way I do all my RAW Canon SLR images. I may well not even bother using Lightroom treatment for many of my social iPhone photos, as Aperture cleans them up in seconds... and provides automated Flickr and such uploads. I highly recommend Apple's Aperture as a vehicle for integrating your iPhone iCloud images into your existing Lightroom/Bridge/Photoshop workflow. And, many professionals find they prefer to use Aperture as their only image management/processing tool (it is nicely integrated into the Apple eco-system, using for example your Apple Contacts to aid in labeling faces in your images). very impressive. Apple is doing a lot of things right. I wonder when Canon and Nikon will catch up. 11/24/2011