Are You a Spiritual “Do-Gooder”?

April 25, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

As I waited in traffic for the light to change my eyes fell on the license plate of the car in front of me. Its message, DU GOOD, was simple, yet it challenged me.dos

This term was at one time used by non-believers to not so graciously refer to believers. Most generally it was not received with appreciation by believers. However, as I recalled the term, I began to realize that it should not have been offensive to believers but considered a compliment.

In 1 Peter 2:12 we are admonished to “live such good lives” that the non-believers around us “may see your good deeds and glorify God.” What a challenge for us as believers!

Over and over the Bible admonishes us to “do good.” It starts in Psalms 37:3 with the words “Trust in the Lord and do good.” Proverbs 11:27 promises that “he who seeks good finds goodwill,”

Christ urged us to even “do good to those who hate you” in Luke 6:27. The apostles continued this theme in various passages as the following:
“having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8)
“Let us not become weary in doing good” (Gal. 6:9-10)
“Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil” (I Thes. 5:21)
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds” (I Tim 6:18)

We are also warned to be careful as to what we call good in Isaiah 5:20: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” And we are admonished by Paul in Romans 12:9 to “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

While we are admonished to do good things (works), these will not earn us salvation or eternal life. That must come by believing in Jesus Christ as God’s perfect sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 9:28). However, once we have done that, as His followers, He becomes our example for doing good (Acts 10:38). The good we do is the result of that faith (James 2:18).

In light of the above, it should cause us as believers to reevaluate our own standard of good and evil as related to those things which we once considered evil but now have begun to tolerate in our world.

Join John next time when he examines “Our Hope”.

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at [email protected]

Key to Happy Retirement – Friends?

April 25, 2010

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
as appeared on RV Home Yet? April 23, 2010

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Some couples who consider full-time RVing have a difficult time leaving the grandkids. In fact, sometimes it prevents a couple from making that choice or causes them to get off the road. However, a British study by the University of Greenwich found that participants who had friends or a social network were more likely to be happy in retirement. Having grandchildren mattered little.

Lead researcher Oliver Robinson, of the university’s department of psychology and counseling, said, “There are both benefits and drawbacks to the presence of children and grandchildren in retirement, which balance each other out. The positives are that having children and grandchildren imparts a sense of purpose and meaning, while the drawback is the frequent commitment for child care that can potentially interfere with the sense of freedom and autonomy that is at the heart of a positive retirement.”

American retirees express similar feelings.

In the long run, grandkids grow up and get busy with their own lives. Several RVers at a forum I participate in have said that they go visit family and barely see their children or grandchildren because they are working, have sports or other activities and want to spend time with their own friends. Of course, being part of your grandchildren’s lives is rewarding for both you and the children, but centering your lives around theirs could mean missing out on developing a network of friends that will last the rest of your life.

In my case I see my grandchildren more frequently as an RVer since I lived across the country from them before hitting the road. There would be enjoyment in being more involved and I also want to have adventures!

How about you? What do you think? How have grandchildren affected your RV retirement?

Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Please add your comment below or email Jamie at [email protected]
reprinted with permission

Buying A Repo RV

April 25, 2010

Anthony Lee – EzineArticles.com

According to recent surveys, people prefer buying RVs since according to them having a motor home nearby makes it easier for them to go away over the weekend which in the long run will help contribute in creating stronger bonds among family members.

But brand new RVs costs a lot. That’s why buyers are looking for cheaper places to buy their own RV. They look at dealers of second hand RVs as well as repo rv auction. Repossessed RVs might be the better deal between the two.

When you look for an RV, whether in a repo rv auction or in a dealership, it should contain the basics. A minimal RV normally has beds, food preparation and storage areas and at least one table. The bigger the RV the more equipped it becomes. There are RVs that have full bathrooms, living areas, refrigerators, and even master bedrooms.

You might also chance upon more elaborate RVs in a repo rv auction. These RVs features satellite TV and internet access. Some even have slide-out sections, and awnings. But the more the amenities the more expensive the RVs become. A typical RV can reach between $10,000 to $500,000 when brand new. While some still costs more than that.

Just imagine how much you’ll save if you buy an RV from a repo rv auction. The basic thing to remember when you go to a repo rv auction is that to be focused and determined. Give yourself a ceiling on how much you would bid for a RV unit. Never join a bidding war since this is a sure way to lose money rather than to save some. Decide on the matter before you go to the auction and stick to it.

Make sure that you inspect that conditions of the RV as well as the amenities or equipment inside. If you have time, which in a repo rv auction you usually don’t, give each equipment a thorough check. Each not working or damaged equipment brings down the overall value of the RV.

You should also need to have a basic guide book on how much a used RV should cost, how much if damage to it or the equipment inside are substantial. This will ensure that any bidding you do in a repo rv auction is based on facts and not mere speculations.

To search for repo rv auctions, please visit http://www.auto-car-auctions.info

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Anthony_Lee

RV Owner Maintainence Mishaps

April 20, 2010

by Mark Polk
Mark is a regular contributing author

There are lots of things to remember and to maintain on an RV. Sometimes we maintainencetend to overlook the simplest maintenance requirements on our RV. As the old saying goes, you can’t see the forest for the trees. These simple oversights can result in costly repair bills to correct the problem too. Let’s take a look at some common RV owner maintenance mishaps.

1) Checking and adding air when the tires are hot. I see it all the time, people checking their tire pressure when the tires are hot. You should always check and inflate tires when the tires are cold, before traveling more than one mile. Hot air expands and will give you a false reading. If the tires are already hot wait several hours before checking and adjusting inflation pressure.

2) Neglecting to periodically check the water level in batteries. 85% of lead acid batteries manufactured in the U.S. die before they should. One of the leading causes for battery failure is overcharging the battery. Overcharging a battery results in severe water loss and plate corrosion. This is a common problem with RV’s. The RV converter has a built in battery charger and most RV owners are under the impression that if you leave the RV plugged in when the RV is in storage it will keep the batteries topped off. While keeping batteries topped off is extremely important the problem is that many, but not all, RV converter chargers provide a constant charge of about 13.5 volts which is too high for fully charged batteries and the electrolyte is boiled off resulting in an early death for the batteries. There have been advances in converter charger technology and many of today’s converter chargers are 3 stage chargers that will prevent batteries from overcharging. Another problem is during times of high battery usage and recharging the electrolyte is boiled off. Periodically checking and adjusting the water level in the batteries can save and extend the life expectancy of the battery. When you add water use mineral free water. Distilled water is best and only fill the battery cell to 1/8 inch below the vent well.

3) Not rinsing and flushing the black water holding tank after you empty it. The only way to get a long service-free life from the RV black water holding tank is to rinse and flush the tank after you empty it. Some RVs have a built in system for flushing the black water tank, but many don’t. If your RV doesn’t have  a built in flushing system there are aftermarket products like tank cleaning wands and reverse flush valves that will assist in keeping your black water tank clean, clog-free and odor-free. Watch a short video on tank cleaning products. Watch a short RV tank cleaning products video.

4) Not performing pre-departure checks. I think nearly every RVer, at one time or another has learned this valuable lesson. Pre-departure checks or a final walk-around before leaving can save you costly repair bills. Common RV repairs relating to this are repairs to the steps, TV antenna, awnings and power cords. Take a minute to walk around the RV, and look on top and underneath before heading out.

5) Not periodically inspecting your RV for water damage. Water leaks on an RV can cause extensive damage and can be extremely costly to repair. To protect your investment and your wallet you need to take the time to inspect the RV for water leaks. The outside of your RV may look fine but the internal damage caused by water over a period of time can result in the entire roof, floor or wall rotting away without you even knowing it, until it’s too late.  To prevent a leak before it starts thoroughly inspect all roof and body seams, sealants and around any openings cut in the RV roof or sidewalls. Reseal any seams or sealants that show signs of cracking or separation. Consult your RV owner manual for inspection intervals and for the type of sealants compatible with different types of materials.

6) Not performing routine safety checks. It’s not uncommon for RV’s to sit in storage for periods of time. If dry cell batteries aren’t removed from devices like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors the devices won’t work when you need them. By simply getting in a habit of checking the smoke, CO, and LP gas leak detectors prior to each trip you can prevent this from happening. Follow the testing instructions in the owner’s manual or on the device itself. If you remove dry cell batteries during storage remember to re-install them next spring. You also need to get in a habit of inspecting the fire extinguisher before each trip. Look to see if the arrow is pointing in the green area in the sight gauge. If it reads empty or needs charging replace it or have it recharged immediately. If it’s a dry powder type fire extinguisher the arrow pointing in the green doesn’t always guarantee that it will work. Every month you should turn dry powder extinguishers upside down, tap on the bottom of the extinguisher and shake it so the powder that settled on the bottom is released. Make sure you know how to operate the fire extinguisher too. A simple pre-trip checklist can serve as a reminder to test all safety devices prior to leaving on a trip.

7) Not maintaining the RV water system. The potable water system in your RV requires some maintenance to keep it trouble free. Something I’ve run into quite often is the complaint that there is a stale odor coming from the RV water system. When you return from a trip and you’re not going to use the RV for a while you need to drain the entire water system to prevent it from getting stale and musty. You should drain the water heater, low point water drains and the fresh water holding tank. Caution: Never drain the water heater tank when it is hot or under pressure.  With the drains still open you can turn the water pump on for a moment to help force any remaining water out of the system. Do not let the pump continue to run once the water stops draining. Close all of the drains.

If by accident you forget to drain the water system and you get that notorious stale odor all is not lost. You just need to sanitize the water system. Start by draining all of the old water out of the system, and then close all of the drains. Take a quarter cup of house hold bleach for every fifteen gallons of water that your fresh water tank holds. Mix the bleach into a one-gallon container and pour it into the fresh water holding tank. Fill the fresh water tank completely full of water. Turn the water pump on, open all hot and cold faucets and run the water until you smell the bleach at each faucet. Close the faucets and let it sit for about 12 hours. Drain the entire system and re-fill the fresh water tank with potable water. Open all of the faucets and run the water until you no longer smell any bleach. It may be necessary to repeat this process again to eliminate all signs of bleach from the water system. Once this is done it is safe to use your water system. It’s also a good idea to use a water filter at campgrounds and to keep bottled water on hand for drinking.

If you don’t feel comfortable performing any of these steps you should take the RV to an authorized RV service center to have the maintenance performed.

What are some of your RV owner maintenance mishaps?

Happy Camping,
Mark

Mark Polk is founder of RV Education 101 and RV University

Do the Do’s, Also

April 17, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

It is so easy to get caught up in the things that followers of Christ shouldn’t do, the don’ts. But Jesus’ message was mostly a message of doing. It was a positive message. Yet the Bible puts the two together. For example,dosin James 4:17 we read that to know to do good and not do it is sin. Ouch! Did you mean that for me, God?

It has been my experience that when a Scripture stands out to me or keeps coming back to my mind, because I have hid it in our heart (Psalms 119:11), it is time for me to listen to its specific message.

Did not our Master promise us that the Holy Spirit would teach us and remind us of everything He said? (John 14:26) Did not the Bible say that the Word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart? (Hebrews 4:12)

We all struggle with doing what we should do. Even the Apostle Paul confessed in Romans 7:15 that he did not always do what he knew he should do. So what is required of each of us?

First, we must listen for the Holy Sprit’s voice as He speaks to us through our Bible study and daily circumstances. Next, we must pay special attention to the dos we see as we read the Bible. Then we must remind ourselves that, as Paul, we have not already attained or been made perfect. We must forget our failures and press on toward the goal (Phil. 3:12-16).

We must not let the devil load us down with a sense of guilt for not always doing the dos. “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:13-14). Yes, even the sin of not perfectly doing the dos.

Join me next week when we talk about the “Do Gooders”.

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at [email protected]

John Piper to Reexamine His Soul

April 13, 2010

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter

Well-known evangelical preacher John Piper announced Sunday that he will be taking his first-ever break from ministry to reexamine his soul.

John Piper

Pastor John Piper announces on March 28, 2010, that he will take an eight-month leave of absence. Elders of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis approved his request.

The long-time preacher apologized to his congregation for not a specific deed but for the “sins of my own soul,” “ongoing character flaws” and stresses that they have caused to others.

“I see several species of pride,” Piper told Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. “They may not rise to the level of disqualifying me for ministry. Nevertheless, while I don’t think they do, I grieve over them.”

Piper, who is considered one of the most influential preachers among Protestant pastors, made the announcement after preaching about Jesus Christ and the cross he beared. It was the first of four final sermons before his eight-month leave from the church and ministry.

In the 30 years he has been preaching, Piper said he has never let go of his passion for public productivity – ever. That is, until now.

“In this moment (the leave of absence), I’m letting go of all of it,” he said.

That means no preaching, no book writing, no blogging, no tweeting, no articles, no papers and no speaking engagements – with a few exceptions that his wife, Noel, agreed to.

“One of the goals of fasting,” he noted, “is to determine levels of addiction or, as Paul Tripp of Tim Keller would say, levels of idolatry.”

“The reality check is what will happen to John Piper’s soul … and to my marriage … and to my future … when there will be no prideful sipping from the poisonous cup of international fame and notoriety,” the 64-year-old preacher said. “I need to find that out and I don’t know any other way to do it.”

“I just want to preach so bad I can hardly stand it,” he admitted. “I love what I do.”

The break from ministry will also serve as a period for him to work on his marriage to his wife of 41 years.

The couple is “rock solid” in commitment to each other, he stressed, and there is “no whiff of unfaithfulness on either side.” However, Piper said the term “rock solid” is not always an emotionally satisfying metaphor.

“The precious garden of my home needs tending,” he told his congregation.

“I want to say … to you, Noel, that I want you to feel precious, precious over the ministry.”

Piper’s leave has been approved by the elders at Bethlehem Church, which currently has three campuses. The elders have also appointed a group to stay in touch and keep Piper accountable for the leave.

Though future plans are not certain, Piper said he hopes to return after the leave of absence to preach for at least five more years.

“My prayer and my high expectation is that these months will be a launching for a humble, happy, fruitful five years – I believe the best five years of 35 years and the best five married years of 46,” he said.

Piper will be preaching three more times, including on Easter Sunday, before his leave.

Why God Loves Humans

April 13, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

handnailedtocross-Jesus

In pondering the many whys about life, I could not avoid asking myself this question: Why Does God Love Human Beings? Perhaps it has crossed your mind too. The Psalmist asked it in Psalms 8:4-8.

So why does God love us? Why does He continue to love us in spite of our dismal record of deeds throughout the record of history?

Although God provided no way of redemption for the fallen angels, He chose to make us the object of His love and to provide for our eternal salvation through the suffering, death, and resurrection of His only begotten Son?

In Genesis 6:11-13 we read that even in early history man was “full of violence” and so corrupt that God determined to destroy His entire creation and to start over with “a righteous man” who “walked faithfully with God” (Genesis 6:9).

However, just as Adam and Eve disobeyed and chose their own ways so also has mankind continued to this very day (Matt. 22:38, John 14:23).

Yet the Bible tells of God’s unfailing love for all mankind (John 3:16-18) and beckons us to come near to Him (James 4:8).

The words of the song The Love of God ring in my mind: “O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure….” It seems that I hear God ask me: “Why do I love you like I do?” His answer comes back: “I just do. I always have and always will. I have demonstrated how much I loved mankind through My Son’s death on the cross. But you must believe that I do and accept My love by loving me in return.”

Will you accept His love for you today? For help or more information, either email John below or call 888-NEED-HIM.

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at [email protected]

Christ’s Unanswered Prayer

April 4, 2010

by John Imler
John is an RVchurchesUSA Ambassador and author of It’s Never Too Late

At first glance this would almost seem to be a false statement or even blasphemy. To even think that the Son of God had a prayer that was not answered seems preposterous. However, it is true. prayer

In the Garden of Gethsemane, as His “soul was overwhelmed with sorrow,” Christ went alone to pray. Leaving three disciples close by to pray with Him, He prayed “may this cup be taken from me” (Matt. 26:38, 39).

How can we blame Him? Although He was the Son of God, He took on our humanity and descended into a world full of sin that failed to listen to its Creator. His soul was not only overwhelmed with sorrow, but to the very point of death.

Christ had spent three years calling the world to repentance. He had suffered rejection by the religious leaders. He knew what lie ahead. He knew Peter would deny Him. He knew Judas was nearby plotting his despicable deed.

This was not a thoughtless request He asked of His heavenly Father. He knew that soon those who He had chosen to continue His work would run for the hills for fear. He knew that even after He would rise from the grave Thomas would still doubt (John 20: 24-28).

But there was more to His prayer. He also spoke these words: “My Father, if it is possible…Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39).

Of course, it was not possible. Christ was God’s “one and only Son” (John 3:16). He was the only perfect sacrifice for man’s sins (I Peter 2:22 -25). Submitting to further humiliation at the hands of the throngs of His enemies, He also submitted to His Father’s will. This plan was devised before the creation of the world (Rev. 13:8).

However, Christ had another prayer that was answered. It was His last prayer from this earth. It is recorded in Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them, for they do no know what they are doing.” That prayer was for all who are willing to receive it. You will find the reason God could not answer Christ’s unanswered prayer in John 3:16-18.

During this Easter season when we remember Christ’s willing sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, will you not accept God’s forgiveness and Jesus Christ as your own very personal Savior?

John welcomes your comments either below or email him directly at [email protected]

Alive!

April 4, 2010

by Max Lucado
From No Wonder They Call Him the Savior

ROAD. DARK. STARS. SHADOWS. FOUR. SANDALS. Robes. Quiet. Suspense. Grove. Trees. Alon e. Questions. Anguish. “Father!” Sweat. God. Man. God-Man. Prostrate. Blood. “NO!” “Yes.” Angels. Comfort.no_wonder

Footsteps. Torches. Voices. Romans. Surprise. Swords. Kiss. Confusion. Betrayal. Fearful. Run! Bound. Wrists. Marching.

Courtyard. Priests. Lamps. Sanhedrin. Caiaphas. Sneer. Silk. Arrogance. Beard. Plotting. Barefoot. Rope. Calm. Shove. Kick. Annas. Indignant. Messiah? Trial. Nazarene. Confident. Question. Answer. Punch!

Peter. “Me?” Rooster. Thrice. Guilt.

Proceedings. Court. Rejection. Prosecute. Weary. Pale. Witnesses. Liars. Inconsistent. Silence. Stares. “Blasphemer!” Anger. Waiting. Bruised. Dirty. Fatigued. Guards. Spit. Blindfold. Mocking. Blows. Fire. Twilight.

Sunrise. Golden. Jerusalem. Temple. Passover. Lambs. Lamb. Worshipers. Priests. Messiah. Hearing. Fraud. Prisoner. Waiting. Standing. Shifting. Strategy. “Pilate!” Trap. Murmurs. Exit.

Stirring. Parade. Crowd. Swell. Romans. Pilate. Toga. Annoyed. Nervous. Officers. Tunics. Spears. Silence. “Charge?” “Blasphemy.” Indifference. Ignore. (Wife. Dream.) Worry. Interview. Lips. Pain. Determined. “King?” “Heaven.” “Truth.” “Truth?” Sarcasm. (Fear.) “Innocent!” Roar. Voices. “Galilean!” “Galilee?” “Herod!”

9:00 A.M. Marchers. Palace. Herod. Fox. Schemer. Paunchy. Crown. Cape. Scepter. Hall. Elegance. Silence. Manipulate. Useless. Vexed. Revile. Taunt. “King?” Robe. Theatrical. Cynical. Hateful. “Pilate!”

Marching. Uproar. Prisoner. Hushed. Pilate. “Innocent!” Bedlam. “Barabbas!” Riot. Despair. Christ. Bare. Rings. Wall. Back. Whip. Slash. Scourge. Tear. Bone. Moan. Flesh. Rhythm. Silence. Whip! Silence. Whip! Silence. Whip! Thorns. Stinging. Blind. Laughter. Jeering. Scepter. Slap. Governor. Distraught. (Almost.) Eyes. Jesus. Decision. Power. Freedom? Threats. Looks. Yelling. Weak. Basin. Water. Swayed. Compromise. Blood. Guilt.

Soldiers. Thieves. Crosspiece. Shoulder. Heavy. Beam. Heavy. Sun. Stagger. Incline. Houses. Shops. Faces. Mourners. Murmurs. Pilgrims. Women. Tumble. Cobblestone. Exhaustion. Gasping. Simon. Pathetic. Golgotha.

Skull. Calvary. Crosses. Execution. Death. Noon. Tears. Observers. Wails. Wine. Nude. Bruised. Swollen. Crossbeam. Sign. Ground. Nails. Pound. Pound. Pound. Pierced. Contorted. Thirst. Terrible. Grace. Writhing. Raised. Mounted. Hung. Suspended. Spasms. Heaving. Sarcasm. Sponge. Tears. Taunts. Forgiveness. Dice. Gambling. Darkness.

Absurdity.

Death. Life.

Pain. Peace.

Condemn. Promise.

Nowhere. Somewhere.

Him. Us.

“Father!” Robbers. Paradise. Wailing. Weeping. Stunned. “Mother.” Compassion. Darkness. “My God!” Afraid. Scapegoat. Wilderness. Vinegar. “Father.” Silence. Sigh. Death. Relief.

Earthquake. Cemetery. Tombs. Bodies. Mystery. Curtain. Spear. Blood. Water. Spices. Linen. Tomb. Fear. Waiting. Despair. Stone. Mary. Running. Maybe? Peter. John. Belief. Enlightenment. Truth. Mankind. Alive. Alive. Alive!

Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2005) Max Lucado

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