Passing the baton


In racing, passing the baton means that you are handing off something to signify that another person will run a part of the race while you rest for a bit. In life or a family owned business sometimes the responsibility for a family member or the business is passed to the next in line to take over. But, sometimes they don’t want the responsibility or the business, then what do you do?

You can try to sell the business to an interested third-party as is or you can liquidate it and just get out of the business altogether. But, what if it is an aging parent who needs to be taken care of? You can’t just shove them off into some home and forget about them, can you? Unfortunately, many older Americans are treated this way and it is sad.

thereasonforourproblemsMany times it is because the family doesn’t live nearby but often it is because of carelessness and callous feelings toward whichever parent it may be. Whichever it may be, the way we treat our elders will be the way that we are treated when we reach their age or possibly worse. God loves us and expects us to take care of those aged members of society because they raised most of the generation which replaces them!

Why won’t our society care for those who can’t take care of themselves? In today’s world, it is likely because we think that we don’t have time. Many of us take up so much time with work and social gatherings until even our immediate family life suffers because of it. Some cultures do revere the aged population in their country, but today even those are suffering from neglect.

Do I have a solution for this problem?

Sadly…no there isn’t a solution for the entire world which takes care of our aging population, the homeless, those who suffer from PTSD caused by war abroad or a war-like situation in the home. The only cure for any of this will come when Jesus returns to rule our world for one thousand years!

Are you ready for His return? Will you be ready when He calls the “dead in Christ to rise“? There are few who are ready even now. Our country has long cast itself as a Christian nation and many people do claim to be Christians, but there are so many churches closing their doors because nobody is attending church anymore. So why are people leaving the church?

Some believe that it is because of young people and their attitude of “whatever”. It could be that the church hasn’t done enough outreach to their communities or it may be that our country itself is the reason. We have pushed God and the worship of Him into a corner and told them (us) to sit down and be quiet! Silencing the body of Christ here while making other ideas and religions more acceptable. Because as long as we don’t mention Jesus and the love of God for mankind and tell people that the only way to heaven is through belief in Jesus then we are accepted.

But that is not what Jesus told His disciples to do and that includes us! What would the general population think if the courts were suddenly shut down and crime ran completely unchecked in our country? There would be chaos and nobody would be safe. That is essentially what they want the church to do, sit in your church and worship but be quiet when you come out and just leave us alone!

Please pray for our country and the world to come to their senses and realize that they need God in their lives! Jesus is the only Savior that we have and if you don’t or won’t follow Him then the alternative eternity for those will be in hell.

Anger or compassion


thereasonforourproblemsWe live every day with the consequences of one or the other, the outcome depends upon which one is more prevalent in our lives. Is it anger and our temper or do we live a life of service to others and showing compassion toward their problems? Do you worry more about your own problems and troubles? Most of us do exactly that. We worry about our lives and our finances and many other problems, most of which we can do nothing constructive about.

Life is given to each of us to bring glory to God, not to our own life or for our own selfish needs or wants. God gives us the necessary abilities to accomplish everything that He has intended for us to do. We should depend upon Him and His provisions for us, whether it is in the form of money or talent, to be able to accomplish the task He has given to us. Finding out that task is our job, to work toward being close enough to God so that we can discern His will for us.

How do we do this? By reading the Bible with an attitude of prayer and seeking His will for our life. Read a chapter then ask God to reveal His wisdom in what you just read. Ask Him to show you what His wisdom means in this chapter and how it applies to your life and ministry. It doesn’t matter which book you are reading or what chapter it may be. It could be in Genesis or Psalms or Matthew or even in Revelation.

The point is that whatever you read, ask God to show you what His wisdom is in the scripture. I have found that it doesn’t matter how many times you read a book or chapter in God’s Word, you will get a different meaning almost every time you read it. Why is that? Because God’s Word is a living document which reads you and your Spirit as you read it. Actually, it is God’s Spirit which inspired the Word of God in the Bible which is reading you and your soul.

I know that many will read this and call it crazy or something like that, but if you ask a preacher or an evangelist about what they get out of reading and studying the Bible, you will get many different answers. By that, I mean that each time you read the same passage, if you are reading it to learn from God’s wisdom, you will get a little different message than you did the last time. I have only read the Bible through about seven or eight times and each time I will get a slightly different message from the last time I read it.

God knows you so much better than you do and His Word speaks to those differences however slight they are or what those emotional or life experiences might be. His Word speaks in His voice to your soul, your spirit and it is that part of you which hears the different messages or teachings which come from the study of His Word.

Disenchanted with religion


I got an email this morning with a link to an article which is disturbing, but very likely normal for the generation called millennials. After I read the article I noticed that the author had a point at the beginning of the article. Anyone, whether a teen or a young adult would question their faith in those instances. Many of us do, whether we are from the “baby boomer” generation or any of the later generations.

My point here is that when you find that your priest or your pastor or even your church doesn’t live up to the standards taught in the Bible, find another place to go. Read and study your Bible and do it at least once a year. I read through the Bible at least once every year and I find that when my reading plan is finished, I feel good about it but after a few days away from reading the Bible I feel empty.

I don’t feel better until I start reading it again, from the beginning all the way through. I used to wonder “how can someone do that?” After I read a book, unless it was a really good book, I usually don’t read it again, because it is like watching the same movie over and over. The Bible is totally different! It is alive through the Spirit of God and it reads you too. I usually find something new or get a better understanding of a scripture after I read it over again. I see or understand a part of it which I didn’t get before, that is why I read it through over and over again.

No, none of us are perfect but if we strive to live our life as a reflection of Jesus, then our life will be much better and it will be our witness for Him for everyone to see. One of the most disturbing problems in our country today is the low numbers of young people attending church services. It seems that by the time they reach puberty or maybe a little older, they decide that church is not for them.

Some parents are responsible for this as well because I see too many drive up to a church, drop their kids off or have their parents bring the grandkids to church and they don’t attend. Your children learn and do the things which they see you doing, so don’t blame them or the schools for their bad behavior when they get to college!

While it is true that many of our church leaders and celebrities and even our elected officials haven’t set a very good example for children to follow, it is their parents who are mostly responsible for how they turn out. If you read your Bible and pray and go to church then your children will pick up on it and usually they will follow your lead. Why am I bringing this up? Because if children don’t learn about God and Jesus and salvation at home, nobody else is going to teach them…especially the schools and colleges!

Don’t make God seem to be a punisher of your sins and don’t harp on how sleazy the TV shows are either. We are not holy even as Christians, we have been given the righteousness of Jesus through our faith in Him! God loves every person on Earth, but He doesn’t like their lifestyles sometimes or the “god” that some worship. The creation around us points toward God and His Son in all that is so perfectly set up and working in it. We are not an accident nor is the universe or our solar system, it was created for a purpose…God’s purpose, and we are too!week-of-creation

Accidental but on purpose


Many of the things which happen in our lives seem to fit this description. We think of them as accidents but later realize that God had a purpose in it all along. Depending upon the outcome of the “accident”, it could be good or bad in your life or your vocation. All of which is under God’s control whether it feels that way at the time or not. Like, Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. He knew that she was going to be there before His disciples went into town. He also knew that she was in spiritual need of what He could tell her and reveal to her.

WomanbytheWellDid He really have to leave Judea in order to get to Galilee? Kinda. According to some maps I have looked at, yes He did have to get out of Judea to get to Galilee, but He didn’t have to go through Samaria. Many people went the long, long way around to get there. But Jesus had a mission and a purpose for what He did.

Why do I bring this up? Because, it is something which all of us need to do. Some of us may do this on a daily basis, some may only try to do it when we feel the need for it. God gives each of us a purpose when we become His children. Sometimes that purpose is our life’s work, sometimes that purpose is part of our daily lives. In either case, we should be seeking His Spirit and His guidance in all of these things that we do. Especially when it comes to posting something on Facebook or even on a blog.

Why? Because something posted online, just as something that is said, can’t be undone. You can’t really take it back entirely. It may have been copied by someone and posted somewhere else, but it may still be out there and it can cause more hurt if it was something that should’ve been between you and God and nobody else! Talk to Him about it, pray about it, regardless of how hurt you may feel DON’T post it to a public forum like Twitter or Facebook.

I have been learning this lesson for many days and I am still learning it, trying to get it completely embedded into my mind so that my brain won’t forget it…ever! The only thing which I can ask of anyone who knows what this is about is forgiveness and to give you my utmost and most humble apology.

Words….


We write them and speak them every day that we live but it is the spoken word which can do so much in either direction. The Bible says that the tongue is fiery and it can bless and curse almost at the same time. Truly it can and we have all experienced it at some time in our lives. Maybe when we were children and a friend said something which hurt our feelings, even if it was not intentional. Children don’t think about what they say, they just say things which come out of their mouths and many times they are hurtful, mean, and sometimes cruel!

Yes, the tongue can hurt you with words and the attitude which is behind those words are used is another part of the blade which your mouth can wield. So that old saying about sticks and stones is just a lie, because words can and do hurt you. Sometimes the pain caused by words can last a long, long time! Far longer than the bruises from a stone or a stick.

So many times we say things without thinking, even as adults, and we find out later about the hurt feelings that we caused with those words. The problem with words and the pain caused by them is, just like smoke or water, when a word is spoken from your mouth or mine it cannot be recalled. God’s Word is the same. When you read it and re-read it, your soul gets washed in it and by it until your tongue becomes saturated with it too. Eventually, the Holy Spirit will help you get control of it to use it for His Kingdom.

Sometimes, we don’t want to use it that way but when God has a plan for your life which includes preaching, then eventually you will accept your position from Him. Words are what God used to bring the Sun and moon into being and most of creation as well. The only part of the first chapter of Genesis which didn’t use God’s Word was when He made man in His image. He used His hands to mold him into the shape of a man, after scooping up some clay mud from the stream and molding it into the right shape, then He breathed into his nostrils the Breath of Life and man became a living soul!

Words and your tongue and mine can have a great impact on someone. Children repeat things that we say, sometimes it is embarrassing but it does happen and everyone who has a child or a grandchild knows it! The tone of your voice is what children and pets pick up on too, and they act or react accordingly. Anger, frustration, and hate can cause far more damage to a relationship between people even when those emotions may not be truly involved at all. If the words that you are saying sound like you are angry, frustrated or seem to have a hateful quality to them then the effect on those around you is the same as if you had struck them with your fists.

Do words and your tongue have this kind of power? Yes, they most certainly do. If you have lived and worked in public you have likely heard it or witnessed it sometime in your life. Seek out God’s strength and provision in your life so that your words don’t cause hurt feelings and damaged lives because many times those can’t be repaired…ever.