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.

There is so much pain…


Not just in Florida or in any of the other towns and cities where a terrorist has used a gun to kill people, but all over the world where people are persecuted for the faith no matter what it might be. Pain in hospitals where children who aren’t old enough to walk are trying to fight cancer of one type or another. There is much pain in any one of the war zones around the world because of the death and destruction caused for reasons which few can even recall today.

Why?

This is the question which so many parents and grandparents ask when their child is suffering from a disease that ultimately will end their life. Many of them are suffering from diseases which have had millions of dollars spent on research and yet there is still no effective treatment let alone a cure. Why? It seems that educators and scientists and doctors all believe that if we throw more money at the problem it will work out better in the end…but it hasn’t. In any of those areas, more money has not fixed the dropout rate or the disease survival rate significantly. I know that more children survive some childhood cancers now than they did thirty or more years ago, but what about the new cancers or those which have evolved as they speak about?

Did they change so much that even the treatments from years past don’t even work or are the drug companies just too greedy and they just raise the price of a drug and change its name? Exactly! Greed has driven this industry for far too long. Greed has driven our medical industry for too long as well.

Why am I bringing this up on my site? Because I have had to buy some medication and it was expensive. I have also talked with some friends who have medication which cost nearly $500 for one inhaler!

God did not intend for us to have to take these things in the first place and the companies are making so much money off of them! If we could go back to growing our own food and eat those vegetables exclusively then our need for medication would diminish. God loves us and did not create our world with GMO things to feed us or to plant in our gardens. When He made it, He said it was good and that means perfection!

Find a diet which follows the Bible’s recommendations. I am not talking about eating insects like John the Baptist, but eating wholesome REAL food, not man-made, modified food. This is the type of diet which will KEEP you healthy or possibly cure some of the problems that may be caused by those man-made “foods”. Seek God’s wisdom in your diet as well as in your life so that your eternity will be declared good in God’s eyes.

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.

Death…


It seems that we can’t get through a year without a shooting at a school or some other venue. Actually, it hasn’t been a year, it has been more like six or eight months. Regardless of the amount of time between them, it is a very sad day with another school shooting today. I can’t make any sense of any of these. There is no pattern or reason for any of this violence and killing. So, what can be done? Can anything be done to stop this before it gets worse?

I’m not sure what can be done if anything. On this point, the only useful help can come from God. He is the only person Who can comfort a grieving parent or spouse. As far as the motivation for these things which are happening with far too much frequency….we are living very close to the end times predicted in the Bible. Satan and his demons and principalities are causing all kinds of problems in the world today.

I know that many people don’t want to believe that Satan is real or that demonic influence has anything to do with all of humanity’s problems but he is real and they do have a very large influence over our world today. How is this possible? Because there are so many people in the world who do not have a relationship with Jesus, that is the main problem in our world today. I know, there are wars and economic problems in our world, but many of those were also caused by a suggestion or some other prodding from a principality of Satan’s forces.

Some of those suggestions may have happened many years ago but they are becoming reality today. Just like some of the unfortunate racial persecution and enslavement in America, this was caused because some people took some part of God’s Word and twisted it to match their own philosophy. I don’t mean to say that the Bible was the reason for slavery, but parts of it were taken out of context and used in ways which God did not intend, and this was done by men, possibly being influenced by a spirit or principality of Satan.

We cannot discount young people as not being a threat to everyone, but could this be caught earlier? I don’t know. If the shooter posted his ideas and his philosophy toward being a shooter and some of the teens who knew him said that he liked to hurt animals. If someone is that disturbed and a tip is received about them, then it should be followed up on. We cannot keep ignoring the signs or the posts that some of them put up on social media.

Prayer is what the families need in Florida right now, not to be used as leverage for gun control because gun control is not the answer. Screening those who are disturbed or who show disturbing tendencies should be done, but this likely won’t be done either. Please, pray for these families and for our country and seek out Jesus as your Savior because you really don’t know which day will be your last.

 

Love, God’s way


1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13

This is the greatest chapter in the New Testament about the Love which is expressed toward us by God. It also expresses the type of love that Christians should express to each other and to the world around us. Since Valentine’s day is tomorrow, I thought I should put this up so others might see it and know that God loves you unconditionally, even if you haven’t given your heart to His Son. If He didn’t love all of us in this way then what would be the reason that He sent Jesus to redeem us?

God’s reason was His Love for humanity even when we were unlovable and sinners.

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 is true love?


We search for a feeling similar to the feeling which we felt from our parents and grandparents when we were growing up. But how do you identify the real thing? How do you know when you have found it?

What is true love?

The love which is expressed by God is True Love. He gave His Son as a sacrifice to pay for all of the sins in the world from the beginning. God doesn’t ask for anything from us, except for our belief in Him and our faith in His faithfulness toward us. Jesus paid for all of the words that have been said in anger and rage. He paid for all of the murders and the rape and all of the worst sins which people have committed since the beginning of humanity until now.

True commitment to Jesus takes concentration on Him and His message, regardless of the people in the church or what may be going on around you in the church. Here is a bit that I found on Facebook which brings this point home a bit more clearly:

A man went to the Pastor of his church and said, “I won’t be attending Church anymore.”
The pastor said, “May I ask why?”
He said, “I see people on their cell phones texting and typing during the service, some are gossiping, some just aren’t living right, some are sleeping, some are staring at me, they are all just hypocrites.”
The Pastor was silent. Then he said, “Can I ask you to do something for me before you make your final decision?”
He said, “Sure, what’s that?”
He said, “Take a glass of water and walk around the church two times and don’t let any of the water out of the glass.”
He said, “Yes I can do that!” He went and got the glass of water and walked around the church two times. He came back and said proudly, “It’s done.”
The pastor asked him these questions; “Did you see anybody on their phone?; Did you see anybody gossiping?; Was anybody living wrong?; Did you see anyone sleeping?”
He said, “I didn’t see anything because I was so focused on this glass so the water wouldn’t spill out”
He told him, “When you come to church, you should be just that focused on God so that you don’t fall. That’s why Jesus said, ‘Follow Me’, He did not say follow them.”

Don’t let your relationship with God be determined by how others relate with God. Let it be determined by how focused you are with God.

The reason that I bring up commitment is that love and commitment go hand in hand in a relationship, which is what we are supposed to have with God and His Son. Give your heart to Him so you can find out what true Love really is because He will never leave you!

Are you like Jesus?


I once read this and I think many people feel the same way today because it seems that I hear it from people that I have invited to church.

Gandhi said, “I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”.

Honestly, we are exactly like that. We claim to know Jesus and have Him in our heart, but to people that we don’t know or are new to our church we are more like the Pharisees than we are Jesus. We tend to judge people by the way they are dressed or by what someone said about them in a whisper when they came in and sat down. What if you are judged in that way when you are standing in front of God? How would you like to be judged by the measure that you use every day?

It is true that people in the church can be much like children when someone new shows up. Children are mean. The words which many people in church use toward someone who NEEDS Jesus can be very hurtful and mean too! I don’t mean that every church is this way nor are all the people in each church this way, but the ones that we hear about certainly are!

In spite of the childish rhyme which goes: “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words can never hurt me”.  This is patently WRONG and most adults know it, but they teach this to their kids anyway. Words do hurt, many times more deeply and for a much longer period than sticks and stones.

Why do we do this? This kind of behavior is not what Jesus would do nor would He allow His disciples to act like this! “Church people” have always had a kind of “better than you” attitude and unfortunately it doesn’t do much for the membership of the church. Many of them would really get offended if you told them this too. So, how can it be fixed? Well…there will be some hurt feelings and some will get angry with the pastor if he is the one pointing it out, but you can’t get rid of a behavior if you don’t know it is there.

An addict won’t try to change their life until they recognize that they are addicted to whatever it may be. Although, I am not saying that we, as Christians, are addicted to this type of behavior but it does tend to happen more often in larger churches or in city churches, at least in my experience. Small country churches may notice new people but most don’t turn a judging eye to a new person until they get to know them or hear some gossip about them. Even then it is the wrong thing to do.

We are all sinners in God’s sight, but if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior then your sins are covered by His blood and forgiven. So the drug addict or alcoholic who shows up on Sunday and sits in the back is no different from the preacher who is bringing the message. Jesus loves them both and if they are Christian and have accepted Him as their Savior then their sins are forgiven. Even if they fail occasionally and sin again, Jesus still loves them and if they come in repentance to Him they are still forgiven.

We are all human and in God’s sight, a sin is a sin. There are no BIG ones or small ones. This is why Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors, whether they were accepted by the Pharisees or not and most weren’t. Jesus brought His message of God’s love to everyone, whether they were sinners, saint or adulterer or prostitute, and murderous thieves like the ones who were crucified with Him. Why can’t we do the same?

Because most church-going Christians think that they are better than others, but the ground is level and God’s grace and love are given free to all at the foot of the Cross. Only through the belief in and acceptance of Jesus as your Savior is salvation purchased by His blood and not your own works.