• The Letter R

    Sesame Street & The Letter R

    I want to take you back to your days of watching Sesame Street when they would introduce a letter of the alphabet. Today we’re going to talk about the letter R.


    Here at Biblical Solutions, the letter R plays an integral role in discipleship.


    We talk about four R’s. They are: Repentance, Renewal, Rest, and Reconciliation.


    Repentance is a change of mind and turning to faith in God.

    Renewal is focusing on your identity in Christ. Who you are. You are a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God. Who I am. I am a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God.

    Rest is a concentration on how Jesus loves you and me, a concentration on what Jesus has given us in his completed work. Remember that the turning point of history is when Jesus said, “It is finished!”

    Reconciliation is about first receiving forgiveness from God, and then extending that forgiveness to others and seeking forgiveness from others.


    The letter R: Repentance, Renewal, Rest, and Reconciliation. These form the basis for an abundant life in Christ.

    1. It's Your Choice

      Two Mindsets

      The Bible describes two mindsets. You can either set your mind on what God wants, or you can set your mind on what the world wants, it's your choice, and you make that choice in your soul. Your soul is comprised of your mind, will, and emotions.


      God’s will is for us to be transformed. Notice that Romans 12:2 says that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Most people, however, seem to be transformed by the renewing of their emotions. If I just do this or do that, then I’ll feel better about this person or that situation. Trying to change others behavior or your own behavior by transforming your emotions just doesn’t work. It leads to a living death. Satan deceives us by our emotions.


      Don’t hear me wrong. Emotions are good, but all they do is tell you where you are, not how to act. Too many of us in this world act on our emotions. Emotions and feelings are to be governed, employed rightly, expressed honestly, and most of all, submitted to God’s authority and sovereignty. Emotions serve us, we don’t serve them.


      Finally, our will is where we make our choices, based upon our mind or emotions. So as we think about these two mindsets, focusing on what God wants or what the world wants, we need to be reminded of what is driving us, and make sure that we are being transformed by the renewing of our minds, allowing our will to make choices based on God’s truth, and letting our emotions follow that truth. That truth? You are a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God.

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          His Heart Leading Yours


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          1. Happy Thanksgiving from Biblical Solutions

            Meet Your Thanksgiving Helper - PAM

            The holidays can be a stressful time of year. What I have found is that when you have stress in your life, it usually means you aren’t prepared.


            I'd like to share three ways that you can prepare to speak the truth in love this Thanksgiving as well as the rest of the holiday season.


            I’m not sure how Thanksgiving goes at your house, but for me, growing up, someone always got into an argument about something and no one wanted to deal with it. Everyone just wanted to have a peaceful time together, but things got sticky, tempers flared, words were exchanged, feelings were hurt, and we all left with the same thoughts of, “Maybe it will be better next year.”


            When we don’t deal with conflict, the residual effect builds up until we become calloused and jaded. This leads to bitterness and strife. Our words aren’t sweet and our tone is less than loving.


            I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine named PAM. No, I’m not talking about the cooking spray! PAM is an acronym that helps me prepare for stress in my life.


            The P in PAM stands for POSITION. I remember what God’s word says about me, that I am a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God. This helps me stay centered when I’m in the middle of a storm. Everything can be raging about me, yet I can remain calm, because I am a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God. That is my position, my identity, and it is not changed because of any remark that a family member makes.


            The A in PAM stands for AIM. What is my aim in the conversation? What is my aim in spending time with family? 2 Corinthians 5:9 tells us what our aim is, it says, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.” Whether at home or away, whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or you’re going over the river and through the woods to your grandmother’s house, your AIM should be to please Him. Not your mother or your father, brothers or sisters, aunts, uncles, or cousins. Your AIM should be to please Him.


            The M in PAM stands for MOTIVATION. What is your motivation this Thanksgiving? Is it to “get through” the day? Is it to root your team on to victory? Is it to enjoy a good nap? Is it to spend quality time with family? Is it to beat the crowds for the best Black Friday deal?


            Motivation is about a need that requires satisfaction. All the items I just mentioned will satisfy you for a while, but they won’t bring lasting peace and joy to your life. Family will fail you, your quarterback will throw an interception to lose the game, turkeys will trip you up, and there will be a clearance sale in January.


            The only true satisfaction in life comes from Christ living in you.Christ “In You” is the thing we should all be thankful for. That is what motivates us. His love for us, His love through us.


            John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” That’s a great motivation for you and me, to be known by all people as a disciple of Jesus.


            PAM is a cooking spray that helps food not stick to the pan. PAM is also the acronym that allows hurt and pain to be transferred to the Cross, where all is healed.


            This Thanksgiving, remember your POSITION as a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God. Remember your AIM is to please Him, and finally, remember your MOTIVATION is to love one another as Christ loves you.


            Christ’s love In You, For You, To You. Spread this love to others, and by this all will know that you are His disciple, because of your love for one another.


            From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!


            John & Carrie Echols

            1. published a newsletter

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              Happy Thanksgiving from Biblical Solutions
              Solutions for Life ~ You are a Loved, Saved, Forgiven, Child of God
              Meet Your Thanksgiving Helper - PAM

              The holidays can be a stressful time of year. What I have found is that when you have stress in your life, it usually means you aren’t prepared.


              I'd like to share three ways that you can prepare to speak the truth in love this Thanksgiving as well as the rest of the holiday season.


              I’m not sure how Thanksgiving goes at your house, but for me, growing up, someone always got into an argument about something and no one wanted to deal with it. Everyone just wanted to have a peaceful time together, but things got sticky, tempers flared, words were exchanged, feelings were hurt, and we all left with the same thoughts of, “Maybe it will be better next year.”


              When we don’t deal with conflict, the residual effect builds up until we become calloused and jaded. This leads to bitterness and strife. Our words aren’t sweet and our tone is less than loving.


              I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine named PAM. No, I’m not talking about the cooking spray! PAM is an acronym that helps me prepare for stress in my life.


              The P in PAM stands for POSITION. I remember what God’s word says about me, that I am a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God. This helps me stay centered when I’m in the middle of a storm. Everything can be raging about me, yet I can remain calm, because I am a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God. That is my position, my identity, and it is not changed because of any remark that a family member makes.


              The A in PAM stands for AIM. What is my aim in the conversation? What is my aim in spending time with family? 2 Corinthians 5:9 tells us what our aim is, it says, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.” Whether at home or away, whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or you’re going over the river and through the woods to your grandmother’s house, your AIM should be to please Him. Not your mother or your father, brothers or sisters, aunts, uncles, or cousins. Your AIM should be to please Him.


              The M in PAM stands for MOTIVATION. What is your motivation this Thanksgiving? Is it to “get through” the day? Is it to root your team on to victory? Is it to enjoy a good nap? Is it to spend quality time with family? Is it to beat the crowds for the best Black Friday deal?


              Motivation is about a need that requires satisfaction. All the items I just mentioned will satisfy you for a while, but they won’t bring lasting peace and joy to your life. Family will fail you, your quarterback will throw an interception to lose the game, turkeys will trip you up, and there will be a clearance sale in January.


              The only true satisfaction in life comes from Christ living in you. Christ “In You” is the thing we should all be thankful for. That is what motivates us. His love for us, His love through us.


              John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” That’s a great motivation for you and me, to be known by all people as a disciple of Jesus.


              PAM is a cooking spray that helps food not stick to the pan. PAM is also the acronym that allows hurt and pain to be transferred to the Cross, where all is healed.


              This Thanksgiving, remember your POSITION as a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God. Remember your AIM is to please Him, and finally, remember your MOTIVATION is to love one another as Christ loves you.


              Christ’s love In You, For You, To You. Spread this love to others, and by this all will know that you are His disciple, because of your love for one another.


              From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!


              John & Carrie Echols

              1. Jun
                22

                Red River Family Encampment

                All day  •  Saturday, June 22nd – Wednesday, June 26th (CDT)
                Red River, NM
                Red River, NM, USA
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                  Biblical Solutions
                  Solutions for Life ~ You are a Loved, Saved, Forgiven, Child of God
                  It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

                  Some of my favorite cartoon characters are the gang from Peanuts!


                  Charlie Brown and company are staples of my holiday viewing. With today being Halloween, here are some thoughts about Linus, the Great Pumpkin, and the truth about who you are.


                  It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown originally aired on October 27, 1966 and focuses on Linus and Sally waiting all night for the Great Pumpkin to appear to give them presents (spoiler alert - he never does). Linus seems to have confused Santa Claus with the Great Pumpkin! Because of this, I believe Linus had an epiphany between Halloween and Christmas, because in A Charlie Brown Christmas, Linus' demeanor seems to have changed, and he quotes Scripture about the birth of Christ. Now, I know this is a stretch (especially since It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was released a year after A Charlie Brown Christmas) and it's all just cartoons, but it helps bring me to my point.


                  If you're asked around this time of year, "What's it like to be a Christian?" You can use a pumpkin to illustrate. Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin; by faith, once you decide that God is who He says He is, and believe Christ died for all your sins (that's your past, present, and future ones) on the Cross, God picks you up from the patch of sin, with all its thorns and weeds, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.


                  Now this analogy kind of breaks down here, but it allows the truth of God's love for us to be appreciated, because at the end of Halloween, after all the candy is gone, you blow out the candle, and after another day or so, the pumpkin you carved begins to rot and it must be thrown out. However, as a Christian, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit, so your pumpkin (your spirit) will never rot, your light will never fade, and you'll never be thrown out!


                  Allow this truth to ring forth in your soul today; as a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God, your spirit will never rot, your light will never fade, and you will never be thrown out. May this truth bring joy to your soul.

                  1.  — Edited

                    It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

                    Some of my favorite cartoon characters are the gang from Peanuts!


                    Charlie Brown and company are staples of my holiday viewing. With today being Halloween, here are some thoughts about Linus, the Great Pumpkin, and the truth about who you are.


                    It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown originally aired on October 27, 1966 and focuses on Linus and Sally waiting all night for the Great Pumpkin to appear to give them presents (spoiler alert - he never does). Linus seems to have confused Santa Claus with the Great Pumpkin! Because of this, I believe Linus had an epiphany between Halloween and Christmas, because in A Charlie Brown Christmas, Linus' demeanor seems to have changed, and he quotes Scripture about the birth of Christ. Now, I know this is a stretch (especially since It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was released a year after A Charlie Brown Christmas) and it's all just cartoons, but it helps bring me to my point.


                    If you're asked around this time of year, "What's it like to be a Christian?" You can use a pumpkin to illustrate. Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin; by faith, once you decide that God is who He says He is, and believe Christ died for all your sins (that's your past, present, and future ones) on the Cross, God picks you up from the patch of sin, with all its thorns and weeds, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.


                    Now this analogy kind of breaks down here, but it allows the truth of God's love for us to be appreciated, because at the end of Halloween, after all the candy is gone, you blow out the candle, and after another day or so, the pumpkin you carved begins to rot and it must be thrown out. However, as a Christian, you are sealed with the Holy Spirit, so your pumpkin (your spirit) will never rot, your light will never fade, and you'll never be thrown out!


                    Allow this truth to ring forth in your soul today; as a loved, saved, forgiven, child of God, your spirit will never rot, your light will never fade, and you will never be thrown out. May this truth bring joy to your soul.

                    1. published a newsletter

                      Read
                      Biblical Solutions
                      Solutions for Life ~ You are a Loved, Saved, Forgiven, Child of God
                      News & Updates

                      Water, water, everywhere!


                      I've wondered over the last few weeks here in Texas if Noah's blueprints for the ark are available on Amazon! Here's the closest thing I found. While not blueprints, it would definitely help pass the time when there's too much water!


                      Sometimes water causes us to stay inside and not attend events that we normally would. Thankfully, opportunities for online viewing are available. Here at Biblical Solutions, we currently utilize Facebook Live for our Wednesday night series entitled, Victorious Christian Living. This time of teaching focuses on the back half of John 10:10. If you are able, join us on Wednesday nights at 7 PM Central on our Facebook page. If you want, you can also catch the session anytime after as all the live sessions are archived on our Facebook page. These next two weeks are especially critical as they revolve around extending and seeking forgiveness. Don't miss this powerful teaching. You can click here for the session notes. Hope you are able to join us.


                      Master's Program Update


                      As many of you know, I am currently engaged in a Masters program. I am being stretched and challenged in new directions. One of the assignments that I have is to lead two online sessions for one of the training segments. I'm inviting each of you to be part of this time.


                      I'll have a schedule this next week that I will send out. It will be on Facebook Live and I would ask that you consider being part of the session. The training is about walking with the Lord to see if focused discipleship training is part of what God has in store for you. More details early next week.


                      This Week's Teaching


                      Below you'll find my thoughts on an event that happened Wednesday in Amarillo, TX. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit's leading as you read about an unexpected event.