So, what are you doing?


In your life today, whether you are a Christian or not, what are you doing? I don’t ask this being nosy, but to ask specifically “what are you doing?”. Do you think about it when your day begins or when you come home?

I am continuing this post this morning after the news of Rev. Billy Graham’s passing from this life into the next. I have no doubts in my mind about his residence at this point because he is with his wife and his Lord. God blessed the world 99 years ago when he was born but until his ministry began in earnest, no one knew that he existed except his family.

Each of us as Christians has a responsibility to walk as Jesus walked, as Billy Graham walked. Most of us would counter with something like “I can’t do it”; that is true, but by giving your heart to Jesus and following Him through life, every day, you can! The disciples did it, Paul did it, and every Christian since His ascension to Heaven has done it by the Spirit leading them through every day!

If you have felt His call on your heart and your life and you haven’t given your heart to Him then what are you waiting for? You are not guaranteed today or tonight any more than I am. Life ends when God says that it is time, He is the only One Who knows when your life and mine will end. Be mindful of the words that you speak in this life as well, because you will be called to give an account of all of the idle words which you spoke to your wife, your husband, your children and your friends.

Our life, daily, is a witness to our Lord Jesus the Christ and if we don’t read His Word and ask Him to give us the strength to get through each day in His Will and power for our lives, then we will fail to do so. You and I cannot live a Christian life on our own. Your strength and mine will fail every time trouble or some other dart from Satan hits us in the chest, but if you give your life to Jesus and seek to stay in His will and His strength each and every day, then your life will mean much more than it would without Him.

I feel a sense of loss because Billy Graham has gone to be with Jesus, but I also feel a sense of triumph and celebration too. He was America’s example of the Christian life and his shoes are hard to fill but his son, Franklin, is doing a good job. Those of us who are Christians, regardless of denomination, should strive to live our lives in humility and as ambassadors for our Lord Jesus the Christ. Because, if you do that your life will mean much more in eternity than it ever could if you don’t belong to Jesus and He isn’t part of your life every day.

So much useless fun


When I was a child I am sure that my Mom and my grandparents thought the same of “cowboys and Indians” that we played. But today, there is so much electronic uselessness in these games that are so rampant on cell phones and game consoles until I am not sure where they are taking the next generation. I cannot see any useful education that these games bring to this generation except maybe hand and eye coordination.

What will that do for you? Actually, in the real world, I am not sure what it will help with except for maybe swatting flys. I suppose that while playing these games young people can’t get into any real dangerous trouble. Although some of the games that I have seen described in game magazines which my son gets are very graphic in their portrayal of violence and how it is used to “get what you want and kill the other guy”.

In truth, these are games which don’t teach a vocation of any kind but they reward you for behavior which would get you killed or put in jail in the real world. So if playing games can allow you to work out your aggression in a non-violent way and which causes death and destruction to a nonexistent animal or person then I suppose it might have some useful quality.

The world today is violent enough without adding to it in gameplay, but as long as the next generation doesn’t bring that violence into our world then I suppose these games can be tolerated. How does God look at them and the outcome of this gameplay? That is a question which I can’t answer. He may view it in the same way that I see it, but some of these games are occultic in their nature so I hope that those who play them don’t take the powers from the game into a real religion.

Translating some of the occultic themes and powers from a game into using them in real life could be much worse than many would think. It only takes an invitation to a demon or a spirit or Satan himself, even if the invitation is muttered in a joking manner. Once the spirit or demon is in your home or worse in your mind, then you and your family are in serious danger. I realize that many people don’t believe that these entities exist, but since Jesus cast demons out when He was on Earth, then I do believe that they exist and are present now.

Why do I bring these ideas into the light now? Because until we realize that they are here and they are real, then all of the evil that goes on around us will be played off like it is just someone who is insane or that they are evil. When the reality is this: they were influenced by a spirit or demon to do whatever they did. Killing many people at a concert or at a school sounds exactly like something which a demon would have a person do if they are susceptible to them.

I pray that no one who reads this is into the occult, of any kind. If you or your children have ever thought about reading something or trying a tarot card reading or going to a medium who claims to read your palm or tell you about your future…don’t do it!! Get away from them and stay away from them! It looks innocent and fun, but that is how Satan tempted Eve all those thousands of years ago. He is doing the same thing with all of the scientists today. Trying to make them believe that natural forces created us and everything else in the universe and that God had nothing to do with it. These are all lies but they can be disguised as a true statement.

Seek out the Creator instead and learn from Him because the Truth is in God’s Word and it is only there where salvation and eternity can be found. Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light because he once was an angel of God. Make sure of your knowledge and from where it comes.

What is wrong with this world?


Here’s a bit of a conversation that I read earlier, let me know what you think about it: I used to think that the communist totalitarian regimes were much worse. I’m having second thoughts, not because those got better, but because the US has gotten so much worse.

Be careful of your words and how you speak, remember Jesus said this in Matthew:  “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36–37)
Why is our world, especially the United States, become so much worse in conduct and corruption as well as in having no respect for each other or even for life itself?

whats-wrong-with-the-world-3-638Truly, it is because of the place where we are in history. It is not because of the number of countries with nuclear capability nor is it because of Communism or Democracy or some other political system, no it is because of how close we are to the second coming of Jesus!

I know there are many who don’t subscribe to this belief because they either don’t believe in God or they don’t believe in Jesus and His second coming. But, God doesn’t lie and the Scriptures have held true for all of the past four thousand years or so because scientists have proven the existence of the people in the Bible and because it was predicted that Israel would get its land back. How many other nations have done that after two thousand years? None!

The world and the people in it have gone astray from their Creator and the religion or philosophy which they are following now is not one which will bring them into His Kingdom. So what can we do to help them? Well, other than telling them about Jesus and His grace brought to them by way of His death on the cross and His resurrection three days later. But their salvation depends upon their belief in Him and their acceptance of His grace through the Holy Spirit. If they are convicted of their sins and repent of them to follow Him, then they will be saved! It doesn’t take a baptism nor does it take any amount of work or money given to any church..belief in Him and repentance and moving to follow Him every day will bring salvation to them.

The big problem today is that much of the world doesn’t want to know Jesus! They are very tied to their religions deeply. So deeply in fact that they persecute any Christians in their countries and in some places they imprison them or kill them. God honors these martyrs for His Kingdom truly but none of us really want to be a martyr but for our Lord and Savior it may be necessary one day.

All of the problems in our world today can be traced back to the Garden when one incidence of disobedience caused our separation from God and it has progressively gotten worse since then. I pray that many who may read this might use it for inspiration to lead someone to Jesus or maybe they will decide to follow Him. In either situation, you or the person who comes to know Jesus, it is a winning situation.

Are you comfortable?


Does God call us to do things outside our comfort zone? Of course, He does! How would the gospel have gone to the four corners of the world during the first century if the followers of Jesus had stayed in their comfort zones? We wouldn’t have much of the New Testament if Paul had not written the letters to the churches that he did from prison. He was very much outside his comfort zone don’t you think?

LifeisGoodBeing comfortable in life is nice but most things that are worth having don’t come to us in a comfortable, easy manner. We have to work for them, bit by bit, saving a little at a time if necessary and stashing it away so that we can have those things. But, in our instant world today, everyone wants their satisfaction and their stuff right now! Nobody wants to wait patiently which is why following God’s plans for us is very hard to do. Why do I say that? It’s because God’s timetable doesn’t fit our plans.

His timing works according to His vision and purpose in our life. You see, He can see months, even years down the road so when you ask Him for something that He doesn’t allow you to have right now it isn’t because He doesn’t want you to have it. It could be that He has something better than what you think you want but it will come to you in His time, not yours. Could God give you what you ask for when you ask Him for it? Of course, He could, but it might now be the best that He had waiting for you…if you would wait.

We squash our own rewards when we try to get ahead of God’s plans and His purpose for your life. We move ahead like a child running ahead of their parent trying to cross the street, but when the parent catches their hand and stops them they look hurt because they couldn’t go the way they wanted. A child doesn’t see or notice the traffic or the truck that would’ve hit them but the parent does. That is what God is trying to tell us but many times we just run away from Him, as if we know better than God. Many people don’t realize that God loves us enough to let us fail, He lets us fall down and realize on our own that we should’ve waited like God wanted us to.

When we do learn that lesson, sometimes many years have passed. Why? Because we are all stubborn and hard-headed and it doesn’t matter what background you have or the culture that you come from! God has watched over your mistakes and allowed you to fail but not to the point of letting you get killed. Particularly if He has something in your future that He knows will bring much more glory to His Kingdom and maybe more of what you have asked for too.

Do you know anyone who has squashed an opportunity to do something great for God because they were scared or didn’t think they could do whatever it was? I do because it is me. I felt God’s call on my life over thirty years ago but like Jonah, I didn’t want to do that right then. I was too stiff-necked to realize that God didn’t give up that easily. When He has something planned for you to do and you feel His call in your life, don’t turn away from Him. He will make sure that the opportunity comes around again.

So don’t get too comfortable in the place where you are because God might have somewhere else He needs you to be!

Does God care about me?


Good shepherdThis is the type of question is the kind that you hear or see posted on social media when a disaster happens or when a child is hurt or killed. Does God care? YES! He cares and He loves each of us more deeply than we can know, especially children. Jesus said:

Matthew 19:14 King James Version (KJV)
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Consider this question which has been put to pastors and to God Himself: Is anything too hard for God?

While it is true that there is nothing that is too hard for God, there are many things in life that are too hard for us. We have trouble lifting more than our own weight for example. We have a hard time admitting our faults and our shortcomings. We also have trouble, at times, admitting that we were wrong in some decision which was made in haste or in anger or maybe when we were hurt emotionally by someone close to us.

No, there is nothing too hard for God but many things are very difficult for us to admit that we have trouble accomplishing them. Even if God calls you to do something like being the pastor of a church, it doesn’t matter the size of the church or congregation He will equip you to do that which He calls you to do. At times we don’t feel that we are capable of fulfilling His call on our lives but with faith and following the decision to take the first step in following His call we can do it.

There may be some rough places at first and a few scraped knees and falls, but if you determine to continue to follow His lead in your life and keep on the path that He is leading you on then the outcome that He knows is there will be fulfilled. This is the type of commitment which the church today needs to follow and make sure that it is following Jesus in all that it does for Him. As long as your faith is placed in God and His Son, Jesus and they are the Leaders that the church and its pastor are following, then the call and the outcome will be assured because it is from God!

As long as you continue to follow Jesus in your daily life, walking with Him and listening to His counsel and not your own, then your outcome will be assured. Because when you live your life the way Jesus’ disciples did with Jesus as your Teacher and your Savior, your walk through this life will be in His will and it will be directed by His Spirit and not your own.

We are all children in God’s sight, so we should be sure to come to Him with any problem or need in our life. No matter how big or small or if you think it is a calling from God or not! Bring it to Him, ask Him about it, study the Bible to find His wisdom about whatever it may be, then pray about it. Don’t jump up and run ahead of Him, make sure that what you feel is right and it is approved by God before committing yourself to it.

What can I do?


In our walk with Jesus, we sometimes wonder if there is anything which I can do to have an impact for the Kingdom of God? Some people may not consider this, but I feel that some really do want to have an impact for God. So..is there anything which we can do to bring people into God’s family? Yes and no actually.

Yes, we can do a lot for the Kingdom of God in that we can live our lives in Christ so that others will notice that our life is…well, different. Can we do this on our own? No, we can’t! Jesus said “Apart from Me you can do nothing”; and He was right! Without Him in our heart and the Holy Spirit’s guiding influence on a daily basis, we can do nothing which will make an impact for the Kingdom of God.

Living for Jesus and His Kingdom on a daily basis is possible only if you have the Holy Spirit living within you, changing you into a likeness of Jesus. Reading the Bible and studying His Word will only take you so far and without the Holy Spirit giving you the wisdom from His Word, even that won’t mean much or accomplish much at all! God has given us much of His Wisdom in His Word, but without the Spirit teaching you through it, revealing that wisdom to you, much of His Word will remain just words and nothing more.

Does God use people or circumstances to bring His will to completion?

Yes, He does and sometimes those people are not Christians but they have been brought to a place where God can use their influence for His purposes. We are not puppets or automatons but He has used kings and priests and even a donkey to bring His will to bear on history and in the lives of those who He deems important to His purposes. Since God exists outside of time, He can see the future and the past as easily as we can view our daily lives. He can readily discern a person’s impact for good or evil and cause them to be useful in His plans.

This is why He already has the workings of our future laid out, we just don’t know it yet. Is there anything which we can do in this timeline in which we live? Yes, but we must be willing to be still and know that He is God and let His Spirit guide us each day toward that goal, His goal, whatever that may be. If you try to get ahead of Him or do things outside of His will and purpose for your life, He will let you but it will likely fail.

Living without Jesus in your heart and allowing His Spirit to guide you in life is a foolish way for a Christian to live, because if He isn’t in your heart then you aren’t a Christian at all. Your walk with Him is a daily fellowship and one which needs to be nurtured and kept in sync with your reading of His Word. Your effectiveness as an ambassador for His Kingdom depends upon your walk with Him and your closeness in relationship to Him. If you are trying to do these things without depending on Him then your walk will be like a blind man without a guide, stumbling and falling more than you are walking.

Make sure of your relationship with Jesus and your belief in Him before your life here is over.

Ups and downs


upsAndDownsWe all have them. One day you feel great and you can do anything. The next day…you feel as if you have fallen into one of the deepest pits that you could possibly find. Life is that way and it continues to be that way. Very likely it will keep on feeling that way or rather being that way for most of us until we are called home to Heaven with Jesus.

If you are NOT a Christian or your religion doesn’t believe in God or Jesus or any part of the Bible, then I can’t give you much encouragement about the way life is now or what is coming in the hereafter. Many Religions beyond Christianity don’t look at eternity the same way. Some look at death as a final chapter which ends the “book” and that is that.

Other Religions look at death as a doorway into eternity and it is your performance in this life which determines your reward or punishment in the next life. It isn’t your performance in this life which determines that even if it was a huge amount of money given or many good deeds done. The factor which has the determining and deciding vote is whether you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior or not in this life.

Yes, we all have ups and downs and sometimes they last much longer than we want them to but with your life in God’s hands and with Jesus as your Savior they can be managed and be far less stressful. Can they be managed without Him? Yes, you can manage them and get through them but those ups and downs and the stress that comes with them will be harder to bear on your own.

God didn’t intend for humanity to live in this condition of a fallen world with all of the problems and pitfalls that come with it, but we are in it and without Him to guide us and comfort us through it our lives will feel much worse than it should be. God is not a doting grandfather ready to dole out gifts and money at a whim nor is He a genie to call on when you want something. Thankfully many of the things which people ask for are not granted because He knows what is coming next week and the thing which you are asking for isn’t the right thing that you need.

Our time here is short compared to eternity and God, Who lives outside of time, can see next week or next year and He knows what is good for you and what will be the best for you in the long run. Your request for something like a Cadillac may not be granted because He can see that it wouldn’t be good for you and your family. A good Chevrolet with a few miles on it will be better in the long run and won’t cost nearly as much.

Be mature enough in Christ to thank God for the unanswered prayers which you didn’t get and thank Him for the answers which you did get which were so much better than what you had in mind!

Is your church part of the problem?


In many churches today, especially within a fifty-mile radius of my home, many visitors feel unwanted and unwelcome. Why is this? Mostly because our churches have become social meeting places rather than places to meet and worship God and Jesus. My church and yours should be places to fall in love with our Savior, but more often than not we talk more about politics and government issues and who should be added to our prayer list this week. Granted, many who are truly in need of prayer for healing and comfort NEED our prayers each and every day.

But the political issues in our government and how it is being run should be part of our prayer ministry, not a part of the commentary and debate in church or Bible study time.

Is the church part of the problem in America today? In some cases…yes it is. We are more concerned about the color of the carpet in the sanctuary and how it looks than we are about drawing more people into the church to hear about salvation through Jesus! So, what can we do about our relationship with Him? I mean, it is our relationship with Jesus which we are supposed to be giving away or at least showing people a Savior that they need to get to know!

Why are churches turning away from their “first love” and trying to be everything to everyone these days? It seems that some churches are trying to attract more people to church just for the numbers in attendance. Having a large number of people attending church is good, but if the message is more fluff than it is substance pertaining to salvation through Jesus, then the message is wrong!

Having 300 or more people attending church every Sunday is great but if you aren’t preaching the love of Jesus and the salvation which He died to provide for those who will believe, then you just have a full church. IF you aren’t following up with those who have attended your services to find out where their beliefs are or if they need prayer for specific problems in life, then you aren’t doing your job as a church. When I say this, I don’t mean that the preacher has to be the one following up with the people. It is the responsibility of those who are Christians in the church who should be doing this as well as the preacher!

Even a full-time preacher can’t reach out and touch every person who has visited your church or has asked for prayer. The only way that we, as a church, can take care of those in the congregation and those who have visited but haven’t decided to be a part of your church is for the deacons and the elders in the church to go to them and invite them back. If they are searching for Jesus, they will feel His presence in those who are inviting them back IF you are doing it in the power of Christ and with His love shining through.

Numbers and the amount which is given during the offering are not the way which measures a church and its commitment to following Jesus. Telling others about Him, mentoring those who are new to the faith, Bible study and helping others to grow in their walk with Jesus are the ways which the church continues to be the true church in the world today! Praying for each other’s burdens, listening to their concerns about being a Christian and living your walk with Him every day is the way to walk the walk so others might want to know Him too.

Many of these things are what our churches need to be doing but few actually are doing them and doing them effectively.

Time is ticking away…


IamtheWayWe are almost a whole month into the new year already! So what else is new you might ask? Well, our time on Earth is ticking away too. God has promised that His Son will return one day and since most of the signs which point toward that event have already happened, the only event keeping it from happening is God’s timing. He is possibly waiting for the last sinner to be saved, I don’t know which event God is waiting for.

I can guarantee that when the specific event happens, the trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will rise to meet Him in the air and all who are alive on Earth will know when this happens! Soon after this, those of us who are alive will be changed and we will meet Him in the air to be taken to Heaven. There will be much confusion and likely many deaths because of pilots who are Christians will be gone. People driving their car or a bus or a semi-tractor rig or even a boat will all be taken up to meet Him in the air and there will not be a warning of this impending event.

Yes, time is slowly ticking away. For some of us, it is ticking quite fast, but your time and mine are moving toward this event. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, time is still moving in that direction. When He comes for those who know Him and have given their lives and their heart to Him, as the Scripture says “it will happen in the blink of an eye“. You may even be talking to a friend who is a Christian, and suddenly they are gone. Their clothes and shoes and their wedding band and watch are all on the ground or at the place where they were sitting…but they are gone!

Now what?

If you are a Christian, then you will be where they are..in Heaven. If you are not a Christian then you need to get busy seeking God, fast! Because soon things on this Earth will become very different from yesterday. If you have read the Bible-based fiction of the Left Behind series, you will know what is about to happen. If you have ever studied the book of Revelation you will know what is about to take place. Don’t discount prophecy in the Bible because God’s Word always comes true, regardless of how other “experts” interpret it.

eternityDon’t wait until that day to seek Jesus out! Will there be others who are seeking Him? Yes, but their numbers will be far fewer than you might believe. Many people who are going to seek Him out will be wondering why was I left behind? I went to church pretty regularly and I prayed and studied my Sunday school lessons at least sometimes. What went wrong?

Actually, nothing went wrong except your belief in Jesus and your acceptance of Him as your Savior. You knew about Him and you read enough to know about salvation and what was required BUT you didn’t actually believe it! You didn’t think that salvation was as easy as it was for the thief on the cross. Belief doesn’t require money or works or witnessing to others. It just takes a sincere belief in the Person of Jesus and what He did on the cross for you to be forgiven.

Think about it because another hour has gone by since I began writing and we can’t get it back. Seek Him out and know that He loves you and is waiting for you to believe in Him enough to ask Him into your heart. What more do you need to do?

Is your life in balance?


If you asked that question to a room full of people, whether you were at a church or a school, I would be right in saying that few, if any, would say “Yes”. We do try to keep our lives in balance but most of us don’t even know what we are balancing on or the actual part of our life that we are trying to balance.

Can we do this balancing act ourselves, without God’s help or presence in our lives? The answer is, absolutely NOT! Yes, I could balance my checkbook or maybe stand on one leg for a little while, but balance my life, that is something that only God could accomplish in my life and yours. Although it wouldn’t be instantaneous. Allowing God into your life and into your heart does begin the change, but it is a continuous change. It is something that people call a “work in progress” which doesn’t really become complete and finished in this life.

God’s finished work in each of us who accepts Jesus as our Lord comes when we enter into Heaven. The learning and the work for God’s Kingdom don’t end at that point, but we are more able to do the right and correct things in His will from that point on. Balancing your life is a goal which many people reach for, trying to attain it in this life under their own ability. But, until they come to the realization that it cannot be done without God in their life, that goal will be out of reach regardless of the amount of time or money spent to attain it.

Balance in life is about as unattainable as the fictional balancing of the Force in Star Wars. Because…without God in your life and without Jesus in your heart, it truly is something which you cannot achieve your own power and wisdom. Learning from God’s Word and learning how to apply it to your life is a process, much like learning history and philosophy in college. You don’t get it all at once, but you study and read and learn. Sometimes you may have to go over the material again in order to “get it” better.

The best part of learning from the Bible is that you are learning from God’s Word and wisdom and not from man. His wisdom is far beyond ours regardless of the number of degrees that you may have. Please, consider giving your heart and life to Him and learning from His Word. There is no better education than His and the Teacher is very good at what He does too. The Holy Spirit will teach you and guide you in all things through the Word, bringing to mind different lessons each time you read a passage.