Psalm 106: 1-3, ESV.
Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2 Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or declare all his praise?
3 Blessed are they who observe justice,
who do righteousness at all times!
We can do nothing but give thanks and sing praise to God when we reflect on the nature and work of God. God’s love endures forever in terms of eternity or the bigger picture. David writes the same thing in 1 Chronicles 16:36… “from everlasting to everlasting.” The psalmist asked a question about proclaiming the mighty deeds and declaration of praise of and to the Lord. The writer is thinking of Israel here and throughout this particular psalm the writer reflects on the Nation of Israel, their history and response to God.
In the third verse, the psalmist reflects of those of who constantly judge righteously.
How can you and I judge righteously? Those of us who love to do the right thing always and wants to achieve justice (righteously) with a mind towards a godliness of grace and mercy is the person who can remember what God has done historically, is doing, and will do and respond by giving thanks to God. It takes a relationship with God and that relationship is strengthened through the Divine written Word of God.
The take away is for us to give thanks, reflect on God’s goodness in thanksgiving and by expressing that goodness though our acts of justice and righteousness.
What has God done for you lately?
© Dan Kinjorski, 4/2019
Do we really need two eggs?
Do we really need two eggs?
The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down. Proverbs 21:20, NIV.
I am not a dietitian. I am a consumer who is learning about himself and how to eat healthy.
I have been wanting to lose some weight for the last couple years. I tried different programs or systems to include the infamous NS and JC, one neutral and the other titled with a name of a woman. Can you guess the systems? They are good programs or systems but I lost interest in the both of them as I was eating the same thing or felt like I was eating the same thing over and over again. I actually lost a good amount on JC, but it just became too expensive. So, now I am participating in another program, one with a coach and educational material. Is it working? I have lost 10-11 pounds quickly and that was primarily water loss. I am slowly losing weight by the choices I am making. The system has changed the way I think.
I am currently eating every two to three hours, primarily with 100-110 calories with one exception. I have a lean and green dinner, which can range between 400-500 calories. All together I should be eating 1200 calories a day—only because I am not running or exercising. I am sure I would add calorie intake if I was exercising. I like the program because it seems educational. For instance, experientially I am finding out that I usually have joint pain if I go off the plan and make a choice that includes bad carbohydrates. I eat the bars, shakes, and some of the other food products from the company. I like them, tasty…with some exception.
This is what I learned so far about myself (applicable to the rest of humanity): (1) I ask myself, do I really need two eggs? Do I really need a donut or two, or three? No, to all of it. There is a difference between what I really need and what I want. I only need one boiled egg to get me to the next two-three hours when I will eat again. (Ok, sometimes a toasted bagel may join the egg, but I am wondering if I really need it). (2) Most of the time I eat what I want because I can. It is an attitude of privilege and because of that “attitude” I had become obese, impacting my health. Think about it…it is strictly because “we can” eat what we want when we want and usually it is because we are tired and on an emotional roller coaster in life. Yes, eating unhealthy food that is not good for us is all about comfort. And marketing. Do soft drinks, full of sugar, really quench our thirst? No, just makes us thirstier. By the way, why do we call "soda pop" (cans/bottles of water mixed with various chemicals) "soft" drinks when they are hard to the stomach?
I will be honest and tell you I may order two eggs when I visit a restaurant or I may not. I think it is important to our own health that we consider the primary question when it comes to eating, “Do I really need this?” See, some will say, “no, but I still want it… (Why?) …because I can afford it and I want it, it gives me comfort.” Isn’t that an attitude of privilege? People make money off of our attitudes and privilege.
My hope is that I will order what I need and enjoy the food knowing that I am working on losing the unwanted burden of our fallen world. I do know this, no more “hop” for me- nothing but sugar and too much of that. No more BK or McDs and absolutely no more fast “Americanized” Asian food—you know the one with the drive through. I will end with this one disclaimer. You may see me one day at a restaurant and I may be eating something that I shouldn’t, my hope is that I am not as heavy as I am now and that I can afford a little “play food” as I fellowship with others…I just don’t want to overeat or eat unhealthy food to be a practice of life for me.
© Dan Kinjorski, 2019
In the late 1990’s I was a student at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. It was an opportunity to integrate my journey, experiences, with a theological understanding of God and his word. As a student, I came to understand the concepts of the theological “know, be, do” way of living. Ironically, this same paradigm, “be, know, do” was and is part of Army leadership ideas. I revisit the concept of "being" in this article.
I believe that Christian servanthood or leadership is about being and not doing. No telling what happens when we do a lot, we often make a mess of things. I know because I have lived that life, where I felt the need to do more and do more often, it was part of getting a “top block” on my officer evaluation report; or an attempt to get a top block. It may be that some will do more often to prove their worth as part of the team. I know.
To “do” is more about feeding the anxious mind or the anxiety of the organization. It is true that there are often deadlines and projects that need to be met and managed. However, there is an opportunity for the Chaplain or the Minister/Pastor to influence the agenda of the ministry more often than not. Nevertheless, there are times where the culture of the organization sets the pace and tone.
As a faith leader, or Christian servant, it benefits the organization (Military, Corporate, or Church) for the Chaplain or Pastor to influence their lane of responsibility. The Chaplain or Pastor can set the tone and model what spirituality looks like. It does not have to be “busy” all the time; doing things for the approval of others. We can set the tone by being vs. doing. What exactly does this mean for the Chaplain or Pastor in a military or corporate setting, or in a pastoral setting?
Being is a way of living; a way of being confident in who we are and what we can contribute to the organization. Peter learned this the hard way. While he failed to “do” in the context of the cross, Christ’s suffering and death, he made up for in his letter to the believers in his day. As a leader, Peter may have learned to be and not so much in doing things for the sake of being busy.
God told Israel to be holy because he is holy. The nation of Israel represents God—as a Nation set apart for Him— and their doing or living should be a result of their relationship with him. Peter quotes Leviticus to encourage the readers to be holy because God is holy. How does a spiritual leader, a Chaplain or a Pastor influence his work environment with the idea of being?
First, he or she is already holy in a positional sense. Second, Peter tells us how to be holy. In my Key Word Study Bible, NIV, the word says this: “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. . . do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. . .” Being or to "be" is resting in a relationship with God; the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. It is being self-assured that all is in the control of God, the Sovereign.
In conclusion, a servant leader rests in the presence of God as part of the Body of Christ. This is the Being in the old school thought of “know, be, do.” Being a servant leader accepts and rests in the Sovereignty of God and has a focus in his or her consistent communion [relationship] with God, the Trinity. It is about resting in the peace and full acknowledgment of the grace of God in our lives. Our doing springs out of our being. Therefore, when our Soldiers, Patients, or church members interact with us—they don’t see an anxious Chaplain or Pastor—but they see a self-assured Chaplain/Pastor who is being what he or she is called to be—Holy and at peace with God.
© Dan Kinjorski
Are we preaching the right message?
Why do we forsake the simple for the impressive? The Gospel message is simple. The Word of God is solid. I have seen the gospel, the Word of God, twisted in such a way as to upmarket; making it more glamorous, upscale, and chic – to draw the crowds in. The critics may say that is how you reach the lost, by being more current, more cultured and thereby making the Gospel message more sophisticated. How does this happen? We do this by preaching and teaching that everyone deserves what they don’t have; they deserve success (without the work) and have a destiny in life. Rather than preach or teach on calling or vocation they speak about an ambiguous destination for life. In this life, we are promised eternal life with God, in Christ. The biblical destination for eternal life is either heaven or hell. Eternity with God or eternal separation from God. “Yes, Toto, there is a heaven and a hell. We are not in Kansas anymore.”
As Pastors, ministers of the Gospel, Counselors of Faith, we need to maintain the simplicity of the Gospel. Rather than use trendy words, we need to stay with words like calling, vocation, spiritual (vs. supernatural). Bottom line is that we need to stay biblical.
I have been reflecting on the purpose and message of the Church lately. One of the motivating factors is hearing the radio announcement of a popular Pastor. Many of my pastoral friends like to hear him speak. A few of my former military leaders like him as well. He is a great speaker, can articulate very well. However, I think of his message and for me, it does not fit well with biblical theology. It may for pop-psychology but not from the bible. In fact, he makes statements that I believe only God can make. So, what is the purpose and message of the Church.
The purpose of the Church is to make disciples of Christ, not of me or anyone else. Yes, twitter and blogs are fine—as long as the message points to Christ. Matthew 28: 18-20, (ESV) And Jesus came and said to them [the disciples], “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
That is the purpose of the Church, to make disciples of Christ. To teach them about Christ, about God, so that they can go out and tell others about Christ and disciple others to Christ.
The message of the church is Christ, the good news. Romans 10: 9-17 (ESV) if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
It is simple, nothing too difficult. It becomes difficult when we stray from teaching the bible. Peter, exhorts the Elders of his day [what can be the modern-day Pastors]. 1 Peter 5:1-4 (ASV) So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,[a] not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;[b] not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Let’s stick to teaching the Bible, not destiny, not promises made about success and wealth. The messages of success and wealth are not universal, but the Word of God, the Good news of Christ is universal. By the way, we are promised that God will meet our needs in his time, not ours. He alone is Sovereign
© Dan Kinjorski
A Story from Kuwait
Psalm 121… I lift up my eyes to the hills…
I was the Youth Pastor at our Church of God in Rapid City, South Dakota, in the Fall of 1999. It was there that I received orders for my first Chaplain assignment to Ft. Hood, Texas. I wanted Ft. Bragg or Ft. Campbell for personal reasons, (family related, another story at another time). My family and I arrived in time to celebrate Thanksgiving in a Stetson (1stCav, 1stTeam)! It was a great time to be back in uniform. I had competed six years of education to return to the Army. It felt good to be able to take care of my family.
I was assigned as a Field Artillery Chaplain in the Division Artillery. Six-months later, I made it known to the Division Chaplain’s office that I am willing to be the Task Force Chaplain for an upcoming Operation Desert Spring (ODS) tour in Kuwait. It was a five-month tour for the Task Force. I was chewed out by my Division Artillery Chaplain for volunteering. It is not good when a Brigade Chaplain loses a Battalion Chaplain to a tasking. Well, it had taken the Division Chaplain (and others) six months to make a decision of whom they were going to send; Pentecostal/Mormon or Mormon/Imam? I guess it was a difficult decision for a 1200 Soldier task-force, primarily made up of Protestants, Catholics, and no more than a dozen Islamic Soldiers and other faith groups.
One day, while in the staging/living area fortified by sand dunes just south of the Iraqi border, I noticed Soldiers were always looking down at their feet, to the ground, meandering their way from one point to another. A famous Budweiser commercial came to mind and for those that are holy - a scripture came to mind as well. An idea began to form.
That evening we had staff call by Radio and I was to share a thought of the day. I know, cliché—right. Command called on me and I keyed the mike and as loud as I could, I yelled, “Wassup?” In fact, I yelled it twice, “Wassup? Whassupi?”
I was told that everyone within the hearing range of a radio immediately stopped what they were doing and listened to the Chaplain encourage them to lift up their eyes to the sand dunes and see where their help can come from. It was a daring, crazy, way to capture the Soldiers attention and remind them of God’s beautiful skies and help. In fact, Soldiers were waiting to hear from their Chaplain at every Staff Call on the radio after that moment. It was a subject talked about for days.
Lessons learned: (1) Don’t volunteer, tasking will come to you. I admit it, I did it because it would look good to be a Task Force Chaplain on my Officer Evaluation Report. The tour turned out to be both good and bad for me. That will be another story at another time. This same idea of not volunteering is important to the local ministry. Yes, volunteer, but do not overcommit. Take care of yourself so you can volunteer where and when it is important. (2) Be daring, yet careful. I had taken a bold step and won the hearts of the Soldiers and leaders. Yet, it could have backfired—depending on the character of my Commander. For the local ministry, know your community, know your leaders in the community. (3) Our own lives, as Chaplains and/or Pastors, are at stake when we constantly look down at our circumstances and not observe God, his creation, and be reminded that our help does come from the Lord and not the promises of certain positions or tasking.
© Dan Kinjorski
Psalm 2: 10-12, NIV
Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 2 is about God’s sovereignty. God’s sovereignty is one of my favorite themes in the bible. It also celebrates a crowning of an Israelite King as well as the crowing of Christ, the eternal King of all creation.
This particular psalm gives a warning to government leaders and readers of the psalm. The psalmist, in his reflection, warns governmental leaders and us (the readers) to respect—reverence the true King (Jesus)—always being aware of the eternality of life. Embrace the Lord. The idea of a kiss, in the middle east culture is natural and it is not like what we may think of kissing today. It was socially acceptable back in King David’s time to greet one another with a kiss. It shows respect. In fact, today’s socially acceptable practice is an appropriate hug (if signaled by the other). I believe that if we don’t have a relationship with the Eternal King (Jesus) – we will choose the life of eternal hell. Finally, the psalmist writes that those who seek refuge, or put their trust in God, are happy. In other words, to change from being sad or depressed in the moment, seek refuge in God, and ask for him to make his presence known in your life that you may see and hear him.
Only one reflective question today:
How have you found refuge in God lately?
Prayer for today:
Almighty God, we seek for your presence in our life today. Open our eyes that we may know your presence. Open our ears that we may hear your voice today? Your word says that if we draw near to you, through your word or in prayer, you will draw near to us. We stand on your promise right now. As we take a moment to reflect on you, show us how you have protected us, how you have embraced us and guided our life. Amen.
Dan is in a second career, that of Counselor, but he is a pastor at heart. He desires to present the Word of God in its context and then challenge the reader in its application to our lives. It is the Word of God that brings revival to our souls. The psalmist writes, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.
Dan and Maribel Kinjorski
Dan and Maribel are Bible Teachers. They love to expound on the Word of God. Maribel has been involved in Church since an early age. A graduate of the University of San German, Puerto Rico, in Business Administration and Economy. Dan is a graduate of East Coast Bible College (now shuttered) and the Pentecostal Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity (1999) , Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (2019), and now working on a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology: Counseling Education and Supervision.