Normal Richie Carter
richiecarter Enough for Today
"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today."
—Matthew 6:34

Have you ever been gripped by fear? You know the feeling. Your blood goes cold. You get that shiver down your spine. Your hair stands on end. (In my case, that is singular, not plural.) Your stomach sinks. Your mouth goes dry.

Then there is the other emotion that is often coupled with fear, and that is worry. There are a lot of things people can worry about today. The state of our country. Our economy. Terrorism. The threat of a war. We are a nation filled with worry.

But there is nothing productive about it. In fact, the word worry comes from an old German word that means "to choke" or "to strangle." And that is exactly what worry does. It chokes you spiritually. It creates an emotional and mental stranglehold on your life. It doesn't ever make anything better. In fact, it makes things worse. That is why Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today" (Matthew 6:34). Paul tackled this problem in Philippians 4 when he wrote, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done" (verse 6). Where was Paul when he wrote those words? He was incarcerated in Rome. He didn't know what was going to happen to him. So there was Paul in a difficult situation, and what did he say? "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything." What happens with worry is that our hopes pull us in one direction while our fears pull us in another. When you worry about the future, you cripple yourself in the present. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength. —Greg Laurie
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richiecarter "When my legs don't work like they use to before... I'll still be loving you" | Father Daughter Dance.
Photographer @richiecarter
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richiecarter Run Lightly

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
—1 Corinthians 10:23

I used to be one of those people who could eat whatever I wanted and never gain weight. When I was in my twenties, I would eat something called a macho combo burrito. It was the size of a sleeping bag, but I could eat it and never gain a pound. Now if I even think about a macho combo burrito, I'll put on weight. I just can't do what I once was able to do.

Hebrews 12:1 tells us, "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us." What may be a weight to one person isn't necessarily a weight to others. Sometimes we'll see another Christian doing something, and we'll say, "Well, I'll go ahead and do that too." But what may not be a hindrance to another person can be a hindrance to you.

Sin is sin. And sin is the same for everyone. But there are certain things that some may have the freedom to do that others don't have. So we have to look at those things and not simply ask whether they are permissible. We also need to ask whether they are edifying. It is not a matter of asking, "Is this allowed?" It's a matter of asking, "Is this going to build me up?" So ask yourself that question.

The apostle Paul said, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify" (1 Corinthians 10:23). In other words, just because something is permissible for a Christian doesn't mean that you ought to do it. Maybe it could hurt you. Let's run as lightly as possible in the race of life. —Greg Laurie
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richiecarter "Weather Ready..." | Re-focused my lens on @freeman4eva.
Photography by @richiecarter
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richiecarter Build on Your Own Foundation
For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
—Philippians 2:13

Some people are really into exercise. They love to work up a sweat, go on a run, or lift weights. I hate all of it. And I know I'm not alone in that. But the fact of the matter is that we really need to exercise. We can't hire someone to work out for us. It's something we have to do for ourselves.

The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12–;13). Paul was in prison when he wrote this epistle. He was writing it from Rome and was experiencing anxiety over the fact that he was separated from these believers.

Effectively Paul was saying, "Look, guys, I can't be with you right now. I wish I were there to offer you guidance and to be a good example for you, but I can't do it. But check it out. It is God who works in you, not Paul." They may have thought, We can't live the Christian life without Paul around. Well, actually they could. And if pastors and spiritual leaders are doing their jobs properly, they will get you up on your own feet spiritually so that you are not dependent on them.

Paul was saying, "Guys, keep things in perspective. It is God who is doing the work. Maybe He worked through me, but it's still God who did the work." We can put people on pedestals and think they can do no wrong. And sometimes people will base their relationship with God on someone else's relationship with God. That isn't good. We need to get our own faith. We need to build on our own foundation. —Greg Laurie
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richiecarter "Classic Cool..." | Focused my lens on @freeman4eva.
Photography by @richiecarter
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Normal Richie Carter
richiecarter The Divine Paradox
"For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
—Luke 14:11

If we have learned nothing else from our culture telling us what we should do to be happy, we have learned this: It is just not true. We have realized where happiness isn't.

Prior to becoming a Christian, I already knew the answer was not in the world. I knew it wasn't in my mother's world of hedonism and drinking and partying. I knew it wasn't in my world, limited as it was at seventeen years old. So I was wondering where it was. And then I became a Christian.

We have a different paradigm to follow, given to us by God in His Word. We could call it the divine paradox, because in God's economy, if we want to be great, we must learn to be humble. If we want self-fulfillment, we should seek the fulfillment of others.

Regarding this divine paradox, Malcolm Muggeridge pointed out, "Where, then, does happiness lie? In forgetfulness, not indulgence, of self. In escape from sensual appetites, not in their satisfaction." The way to happiness is sadness. By that I mean we are sad over our sinful state, so we turn to God, ask for His forgiveness, and enter into a relationship with Him. Jesus gave us the beautiful beatitude, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:4). Another way to translate this would be, "Oh how happy are the unhappy." There is no greater example of this upside down life than Jesus Christ Himself.

We want to find our happiness and our joy in the right place, or more specifically, in the right person, which is God. As we come to know and walk with Him, we will find something better than happiness, and that is joy. We will find joy in our circumstances, regardless of what they are.
3w

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richiecarter "Point your kids in the right direction - when they're old they won't be lost."
Proverbs 22:6
#father #son #footsteps #photographer #loveThisKid #willKillForThisKid #love #fun #fresh #fabulous #fisherprice #sekonic #stillTeamCanon #canon #richiecarterphotography
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richiecarter A New Paradigm
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
—Romans 12:4-5

We have a tendency to want to build our own private universe where the world revolves around us. We are the main characters in our own little movies, and everyone else is a member of the supporting cast. We think it is all about us.

There is just one problem, however. There are other people in our universe, and a lot of them really bother us. But here is something to consider. You might be someone who really bothers another person. We always think that another person is really an irritant. I hate to break this to you, but you might be an irritant to some other people.

However, as followers of Jesus, we need to remember this isn't a solo effort where we only hang out with the kind of people we personally like. Some Christians may think this way when it comes to church: Well, I only want to be around people who are cool, like me. . . . I only want to be around people who are my age. . . . I only want to be around people I can relate to.

Newsflash: It is not about you. God puts all kinds of different people together. Sometimes they are people we never would have hung out with before. Yet God puts these people in our lives and tells us to love them. And He puts you in others' lives and tells them to love you. That is because we are a family. And sometimes in a family, you find yourself related to people you don't always understand. But when the day is done, they are still family.

God says that we need a new paradigm. The way to success, according to the Bible, is through humility. The way to self-fulfillment is thinking of others first.
1mon

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richiecarter "He moves in the way that I move... and I breathe his air" | Thanks to @roncornphotoguy and @bklynchuck for assisting me on this wedding.
Photographer: @richiecarter
1mon

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richiecarter "Laughter is good for the soul." | Focused my lens on @lsmaybe, makeup by @sylviapromakeup. 1mon

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Normal Richie Carter
richiecarter The Hope for America
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land"
—2 Chronicles 7:14

The first recollection I have of going to church was with my grandparents. I was a little boy, and I didn't like it at all. I thought it was boring. My grandmother kept shushing me, and I drew cartoons on the church bulletin as the preacher droned on.

Being raised in a very dysfunctional home, I didn't hear "I love you" a lot. We didn't hug in our family. And I thought, I don't want to be hugged at all. So I approached the scene cautiously.

One night at a revival, Pastor Chuck Smith walked out—a middle-aged bald man. That is the last thing I wanted. I thought, He is like a teacher. He is like the principal. This is going to be so boring! But then, as he opened up the Bible and began speaking, it made sense to me. It was relevant to me. And my heart began to change.

I went from being uncomfortable in church to not being able to get enough of church. I went to every service possible and wanted to be a part of everything and learn as much as I could learn. Then, two years later, I found myself in the Southern California city of Riverside, planting a church myself.

Fast-forward 40 years, and now I am the old bald guy. But I am as committed to the mission of the church as I was on that day I first discovered how wonderful church can be. And I believe that the hope for America is the church.

Some might be thinking, Now, Greg, wait. I thought you said the hope for America is a revival. Isn't it really God? Yes, it is. The hope is God—working through His church.

What is revival? It is Christians getting back to what they should have always been in the first place. It is Christians coming back to life. Here is what God has to say to a nation that wants to be healed: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).
1mon

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richiecarter Should Christians Judge?
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
—1 Corinthians 6:2-3

One day I was talking with someone who wasn't going to church anywhere, and I asked why. "Well, I don't want to be judged," the person said.

The fact was that this individual was doing something unscriptural, and I had mentioned it. I said, "Well, what do you be mean by not wanting to be judged? What is your definition of being judged?" "Well, I'm afraid that if I showed up, people wouldn't agree with what I'm doing and would say something." "So that is being judged?" I asked. "Yes, it is." "I hope that if you go to a church, someone would say something," I said. (That would be the loving thing to do.) I think the nonbeliever's favorite verse is Matthew 7:1: "Judge not, that you be not judged." Nonbelievers love to quote that to Christians who dare to confront them. But we need to understand what judge means in this verse. Jesus spoke these words in the Sermon on the Mount, and the word He used for judge means "condemn." Jesus was saying, "Condemn not, that you be not condemned." I am in no position to condemn someone. It is not for me to say who is going to hell. That is for God to decide. But I should apply discernment, wisdom, and even judgment with fellow believers. Judgment is an evaluation. It's saying to another believer, "Hey, I don't think you are doing as well as you could be doing" or "I want to encourage you." That is encouraged in the Scriptures (see 1 Corinthians 6:2–;3). So in a way, we should apply judgment—but not condemnation. We want to lovingly tell the truth from God's Word with humility, wanting to help that person reach his or her full potential as a follower of Jesus. —Greg Laurie
1mon

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richiecarter "Never let anyone dull your sparkle." | Focused my lens on @lsmaybe. Makeup by @sylviapromakeup 2mon

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Normal Richie Carter
richiecarter A New You in 2015 "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."
—Philippians 2:13-14

In our Christian lives, we are working out what God has worked in; there is our part and there is God's part.

Would you like to become "a new you" in 2015? Do you want to see spiritual change? Here are six tips to put into practice.
Run to win! "Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win" (1 Corinthians 9:24 NLT). There is no point in running for second or third place. Go for the gold!

Get rid of extra weight and hindrances. "Lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1). You don't want excess baggage in the race of life. Are you surrounding yourself with stepping stones or stumbling blocks?

Aim for success, not failure. "I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. . .that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection" (Philippians 3:8, 10). Knowing Christ is the goal, and no matter how well you did spiritually last year, there is still far to go!

Have a clear objective and focus. "One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4). Is your aim in life clear and singular?

Don't look back! "Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. . ." (Ephesians 3:13). Learn from the past, but don't live in it. Break the power of past sins by living for the future!

Press on, even when it gets hard! "Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 3:14). Now is not the time to back off or slow down but to give it your all.
2mon

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richiecarter "People will stare. Make it worth their while" | Focused my lens on @lsmaybe. Makeup by @sylviapromakeup 2mon

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richiecarter Two Ways to Be Happy

Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands.
—Psalm 112:1

There are two ways that we can live our lives: the right way or the wrong way. There are two paths that we can take in life: the right path or the wrong path. The result is that we can live either the happy and holy way or the miserable and unholy way.

Everything you're looking for is found in a relationship with God. Take the story that Jesus told about the prodigal son. It appears from the story that he wanted nice clothes, great food, and parties. So he left home and spent all of his money. And then he returned home, empty-handed and miserable.

But what was the first thing his father did? He gave him some nice clothes. He ordered his servants to prepare some fine food. And then he said, "We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began" (Luke 15:23-24). Everything the son was searching for was in his father's house all along.

The way to be a happy person will be found in what you do and don't do. Psalm 1:1 says, "Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers." So these are things that happy people don't do.

But then the passage tells us what happy people do: "They delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do" (verses 2-3). So happiness comes not only from what you do, but also from what you don't do. —Greg Laurie
2mon

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