2.5%? Really?

I am not speaking of the Social Security increase that our government is graciously giving to us out of our own money, which will supposedly come next year. I am speaking of a report which said that Christians in America tithe at the rate of 2.5% of their income! I know that jobs are hard to come by and it is hard to make ends meet from paycheck to paycheck, but 2.5%!!

The prophet Malachi wrote to the nation of Israel over two thousand years ago because of something similar happening at the time, here is what God said to write and tell the people:

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.  Malachi 3:8-12

If you are paid say $500 per week, before taxes and all the other stuff, 2.5% of your check would equal $12.50. That barely pays for one meal at a fast food place that serves decent hamburgers!

RaiseyourstandardofGivingI am a pastor and my wife and I try to tithe our ten percent, even if it is more than we can afford at times. It is true that sometimes we don’t tithe that much because of surprises which come up like doctor visits or other things which just happen. Even in the Great Depression people gave to the church at 3.3%! Not great, but better than we are doing today and they had far less that we have!

This article, which I put a link to above, breaks my heart. So much could be done, yet we still hold onto our money…tightly. Could we give more? Sure. Should we give more? Yes, but will we? It is a question which haunts my own soul and it isn’t easy to answer. Even though Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, your heart will be also“.

So, what should we do? Pray about your giving and your tithe, if you are a Christian, if you aren’t then give or don’t or just follow your heart. We could fix so many problems in the world IF we would give ten percent of our income and them make sure it was used in ways to help those who have little and need so much. How  could we do this? I don’t know. I am not a politician nor would I even know how to get the funds to the right people in the countries and the states which truly NEED it.

We need to repent of this tragedy. I need to repent of my own act of robbing God and robbing those who could be helped by this. Prayer and repentance and giving out of our heart is the answer for Puerto Rico and the poor in the rest of America as well as many countries in Africa and Asia, followed by feet taking the fruits of our giving to those who are in need. That is the only way to show Jesus to millions of people who will not see His love if we do not.


nots in your lifeAre we responsible for our actions? It seems that many people don’t want to be. Seeking safe places where their feelings won’t get hurt or disregarding laws and officers of the law seems to be a national pastime, at least according to the news. Being responsible for your moral decisions and actions seems like an old-fashioned idea that many don’t want to subscribe to anymore. Why is that?

Could it be that our society is living with a sense of entitlement today? I think so. The past couple of generations have gone from being brought up in the church to visiting it once or twice a year on certain holidays or on Easter and Mother’s Day. That doesn’t say much at all toward proving that our nation is the Christian nation that some polls say that we are. What happened to being responsible for yourself and your actions? Is that also a quaint idea that needs to be swept under the collective rug?

I was told once that I shouldn’t judge people, especially those who are addicts to drugs or alcohol. I don’t claim to know the depths that those addictions take you to. I was a drunk in high school every Friday night, occasionally on other nights depending on how I felt. I have used drugs although none of the so-called “hard drugs”, until I began having some really bad nerve pains and bone pains in the last couple of years. I don’t like the way hydrocodone makes me feel at all which is why I haven’t had it refilled in almost six months.

Responsibility needs to be taught to young people and some older ones and soon! Why? Because in a decade or so we won’t have anyone who will take responsibility for their actions!

God loves you and you knew that I was getting back to this. There is no substitute for His love and compassion for you. It doesn’t give you a high feeling nor does seeking His wisdom give you a euphoria that you want to come back to until you can’t get enough of it. Giving your heart and life to Jesus by believing in Him will get your sins forgiven IF you will turn away from them, with His strength, and become a follower of His on a daily basis. He gave His Son for you to have access to eternal life and forgiveness, the only thing you have to do is accept it.

It is a gift of God. It can’t be earned, bought or bartered for, but it can be accepted if you will repent and seek Him out in that repentance. He can take away the cravings for alcohol and drugs and give you a desire for His Wisdom and His purpose in your life. God does love you, whether you know it or acknowledge it or not. Whether you will follow Him is already known by Him, yet it is still your choice to do so or not. He will not force you to be a Christian just as nobody can be forced to love someone. Seek Him out today, learn of His ways in the Bible, pray for His wisdom to come to you when you read it and He will answer all of these prayers and more.

Confusion in Christianity

So much is happening in the world today and some of it is due to confusion about Christianity, what is contained in the Bible and how to live as one. Do I mean that Christians are confused? Some of them are, but mostly it is the world that is confused about what Christianity is. Why is that? What is there to be confused about?

Jesus is our Savior and Creator, He was born as a man but with the nature and Spirit of God present in Him. He died because of His humanity and the body that He lived here with, and He also allowed Himself to die in order to pay for the sins of mankind. Could He have refused this cup, yes He could but He didn’t want to defeat God’s purpose.

Many films and books today question Who He is and the authenticity of the Bible as well as whether it is the Word of God or not. People seem to get all worked up about Christianity’s claim that it is and Who it is about, even if they don’t believe it themselves. If you don’t believe it, then let all of us “Christian nutcases” believe what we believe. Very few of us seem to be trying to convert anyone or bring anyone to any knowledge of Jesus, so why does it bother so many people?

I think it bothers them because they doubt their own beliefs or rather non-belief. What if the Bible is true? What if the sermons which have been preached and the truths in them are true? What if hell really does exist? What if…Christianity is right? If you wait until you die to find out, it will be too late to change your mind then.

God loves each of us, regardless of our love for Him. Please, tell others about Jesus if you know Him. The workers are few in the world and we can’t reach everyone, but people are wanting to know Jesus. I do try with this site, but I can’t get to every person because the Internet doesn’t reach everywhere. I will be praying for you all. Thank you.

Where are you?

Many people seem to be wondering this about God these days. You see and hear about disasters and wars and all of the diseases and droughts all around the world and many people do wonder about why they can’t tell if God is even interested in our lives today. He hasn’t gone away and He does care more for the entirety of humanity, those who believe in Him and those who don’t, and He cares enough that He sent His Son to give His life as payment for our sins. Your sins and mine!

God has not moved away from us, He is still on the throne and in His City but He is also near you in your problems and in your trials. He is the One Who strengthens us every day to get up and be about our business in this world and in our life on it. I pray that our nation and this world will seek Him before it is too late.

Why do I say that? Because we are standing at the edge of a dangerous place and time and I fear that the person who is in America’s White House may just tip the scale so that things may spiral out of control toward a economic and worldwide collapse like the world has never seen before. God is still in control, even when this happens but we won’t be able to look around us and tell it. Unless you are holding on to Him in this time and during the days and weeks ahead, the situation will look terribly bad.

God loves us, but just as He used other cultures and nations to punish Israel in times past, He will also do the same with America and the world because we have abandoned His teachings and His Law. You know that it is true because when you turn on any news channel, regardless of the country you live in, the Bible and Christians are being blamed for the problems that we face!

When the REAL problem is actually that we have pushed Him and the Bible out of public view and out of our children’s education and this is the greatest threat to our world because we have turned away from our Creator. We have decided that we know better how to run this world and train our children to seek their own way and their own wisdom rather than His.

The whole of Creation cries out for Him to restore the glory and beauty of what He began in Genesis because in the beginning all of it was perfect and good in God’s eyes. Nothing was out of place, nothing was wrong with any part of it until we, meaning Adam and Eve, chose to do things their way and go against what God had told them to do. Today almost all of humanity has chosen to go their way and do whatever feels right to them instead of learning about and obeying God.

I would rather be in God’s hands than to go against His Word and follow the crowd today. Please, pray with me for God’s mercy and His provision for all of us, because in the hands of mankind is only destruction, pain and misery.

“Take the gospel to all people..”

This is part of the command which was given to the disciples by Jesus before His ascension to the Father. We, as Christians today, are also recipients of this command by extension because we are supposed to be His disciples today! Have we taken His gospel to all people? Not our version of it, but His gospel! That is another of my problems with some churches, in the past and in modern times. It seems that many of our “denominations” have taken their creed, their ideas, their doctrines too far and they give equal weight to their man-made rules and the Bible.

How can we, as created beings, give our laws and doctrines the same weight in spiritual places as God’s Word? Did any of you bring about a world today? Can you stop time and make the sun do your bidding? We are not gods! So why would laws made in a church conference meeting have the same weight in worship services as God’s Word? Mankind’s words should never be taken in any context as being equal to the Word of God! Yet, there are some congregations which do this on a regular basis.

I believe that we are going down a very dangerous path if we are doing this. The church today, regardless of the name or denomination, should be based upon the whole Word of God and nothing more. If you must have rules in your church that are different from the words found in the Bible, then they should be just rules for your church and nothing more.

God doesn’t share His throne with us, nor does He share it with a specific denomination which follows their man-made rules more than His commandments!

When men and women in a church think that their words are equal to the Word of God, there is a real problem. The church today HAS a real problem. We need to get back into God’s Word and stand on His Word because if we represent Him it is His Word that we are supposed to be holding up for the world to see, not our ideas and our “rules”. His Word has proven true time and time again in prophecy and in its wisdom and content. How many of our representatives in Washington or anywhere else can you say that about?

God’s Word is the Word of Truth and if we are not going to believe it and at least TRY to live by His Word, then we should stop claiming to be Christians or believers!

John 3:16,17 says:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

If we are not teaching and preaching these verses from God’s Word and the other truths contained within it, then we shouldn’t be teachers nor preachers at all! When you hear a “sermon” which sounds like it came out of a “self-help” book rather than the Bible, you should RUN out of the building and leave that place! Even though much of the wisdom written in self-help books does sound like it has some basis in God’s Word, the sermon in a church should be from God’s Word, not from a man’s own wisdom.

Today and yesterday

Do pastors need to be commentators about the issues of today? Sometimes it is good that pastors do this, but not at the expense of teaching from the Word of God. Today, people want to hear pastors comment on the issues of today, but that should not be the content of sermons on a regular weekly basis! Pastors are not newsmen but are supposed to be watchmen who tell their church members what God’s Word says and expound upon that!

I am a pastor and I was not called to bring attention to the news, but to bring people into the light of the gospel of Jesus the Christ! This is our job and our calling. Politics and the news are for others to speak of but we are to tell people about Jesus and His works for our good and His Kingdom! God called each of us, even those who are not pastors but teachers and even each Christian, whether they have a position in the church or not. We are supposed to be salt and light to the world so that they who are lost and are seeking the filling of their empty hearts can see that Jesus is their answer and the One who is to be placed in that place!

God loves each of us and has given each of us a talent or two to use for His Kingdom, not just for our benefit but for His glory! Even if we only touch one person’s life and they change and give their life to Jesus because of what they see or hear from us, all of Heaven rejoices because of it! During your lifetime, you have the ability to touch many lives and hopefully to bring them to a saving knowledge of Jesus the Christ. But, you must be willing to submit your heart and your life to Him so that you can fulfill that position and calling.


john317Many people don’t realize that they are searching for it. Many will never find what they are searching for, yet it does exist. You and I are given a treasure beyond imagining and it doesn’t cost us anything. How can it be that a treasure which is not measured can possibly cost us nothing? It must be some worthless trinket or talisman.

This treasure is something which many today reject and many more are angered by it or at least by the Person which brings it to us. The treasure of which I speak is salvation. Our salvation, every person’s salvation was paid for by Him on the cross with His blood. Many times we see that people learn of wisdom from some very different places and people.

“Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.”  Captain Jack Sparrow

“Not all treasure is silver and gold”, it is the most profound bit of wisdom that I have heard from anyone let alone someone in a movie made in Hollywood.

Treasure from God is something which many cannot see nor can they make sense of the grace that is poured out upon us. We have been given a gift of salvation that we don’t have to work for. A gift which we cannot buy, but one which by proclamation from Jesus Himself we must give away. It is a gift of immeasurable value, but also one which God intended for all if they will accept it and believe.

Aside from Captain Jack, many people don’t seem to realize what REAL treasure is today. It isn’t money in any form. It is eternity and salvation provided through the grace of God for us even before we were born. The qualifier is that we must realize that when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we have asked one of the Trinity to live in us because the Holy Spirit is part of that Trinity. If you have placed a priceless pearl in a clean vessel, then why would you put the dirt of your old life back in there?

I am not saying that we will never sin after becoming a Christian, but turning away from the church and willfully sinning and never going back or even trying to be a Christian is WRONG!! Asking forgiveness is good at this point, but if you aren’t going to repent of the sin, what good is the forgiveness?

Some scriptures which may help with this are these:

Everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. (1 John 2:29); Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4); Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7); Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (1 John 5:1); Everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning. (1 John 5:18)

These may make you wonder if you are saved at all, particularly if you haven’t been a real believer who turned away from a life that you would be proud to show Jesus.

1.No one who denies the Son has the Father. (1 John 2:23)

2.No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (1 John 3:6)

3.No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:9)

Even the tolerance of sin is an agreement with it. It is not something which will sit well with your heart, especially if the Spirit abides in your heart. Although we aren’t to judge people, we can bring their sin to their attention and if they don’t want to do anything about it, then leave it to God.


Happy Birthday, America!


I know this is supposed to be a site where you learn more about God and your salvation but the birthday of America wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for people of faith.

Our land has been around for 240 years, or at least that is how long it has been since our Declaration of Independence was put forth. Life around our land would be very different if it weren’t for the influence of Christian leaders and the beliefs of those who started our land on its way to becoming the greatest nation in the world. It is true that some people don’t think that of her anymore, even some people who live here and are benefiting from her generosity.

America has been a light for people to turn to when they need to find their way and it has been a place of refuge for many people as well. It is true that in the past some really terrible and horrible mistakes have been made regarding the treatment of Indians and Africans who were brought here to be slaves. These things shouldn’t have happened, but they did and the worst part is that we either have swept what happened under a rug and out of  the history books or we just ignore what happened altogether.

The biggest problem that we have today is that just when we think that we may have crossed the line toward better relations between the “races”, something happens that is done by one person with an off-kilter way of looking at life and here we go again.

Then you see the old hatred and bitterness come boiling up and we are at the same point in our nation as we were when there were race riots and clashes with the police on television every night. It tends to confuse the kids who have grown up without it and many of them wonder “Why?”

Why do we have to rewind an old tape that was worn out years ago?

Yes, there were many atrocities committed during those times and before then, but can’t we stop dragging the past into the present? Make a new day and a new way of getting along with one another! Stop looking at their skin color or their music and just listen to each other for once. Begin to TALK to one another, not texting but talking! Put the phones down and sit down and talk! Turn the TV off and talk to your kids or grand kids about the past but also about the future…their future!

Don’t repaint their future with the brush that you used when you were their age! Help them find a better one, one that is positive about what may happen in the future and not drag the negative parts of history in to cover up the progress that has been made!

America can be great again, if we as Americans will stand up and take our country back and MAKE it better! Shuffling money around from the rich to the poor won’t do anything but cause more problems. Fixing the things which are wrong is going to take more than a new President or a new set of laws or regulations. It is going to take Americans getting together and working toward fixing the problems one at a time!

We are blessed

lamb-of-god-passoverAlthough many don’t seem to notice it. Why? Because we have so much, we just don’t recognize our blessings. This may be why those in other countries have so much enmity for America. We don’t seem to acknowledge the fact that even the poorest of us, in terms of money, are truly blessed. Some beyond belief to those who are starving in other countries!

We are blessed because of where we live and because God has blessed this land due to our past relationship with the land of Israel. We do not have that same relationship with Israel today and I believe that we are going to suffer for it in the near future. God loves all of us, He just doesn’t approve of the lifestyles that many of us cling to today. Some of us live as if there is no end to our blessings and also like there is no tomorrow.

Then there are some who don’t believe that God exists at all and they live moral upstanding lives. Some, who claim to be Christians, live more like the rest of the world who do not believe in Jesus. They live lives of greed and consumption, taking as much as they can and not giving thanks for any of it. They may have “grown up” in the church and learned the ways to appear to be Christian, but inside they don’t have Jesus living in their hearts.

I am not saying this to be judgmental, but if you are truly a Christian with Jesus in your heart then you will live this out and it will be evident to all around you. The words that you speak, the actions that others see that you don’t think about, they will reflect Jesus and His message. There will be a visible difference between you and the world around you!

God gives us each day to show someone the character of Jesus in our life so that they will want Him too. It is not just another day to make money or to get ahead of your co-workers for the best position in a firm or wherever you work. None of the things that we have here on Earth will follow us into eternity except what we accomplished for God’s Kingdom. Your wealth, your position, your house or car, even your family won’t matter in eternity unless you have lived for Jesus in all of it!

We are finite beings and our accomplishments won’t mean a thing unless they were done for the Kingdom of God through Jesus’ saving power in our lives! Do you really want to try to attempt to gain entry into Heaven on your own merit? Are you so righteous that you think you can get in without Jesus in your heart, living by His strength every day? No person on Earth is that good!!

Moses, John the Baptist, Peter, James, or even Abraham could accomplish that feat without their faith in God and their belief in the Seed which came as Jesus our Savior! God had promised Him and they believed even without seeing Him. John the Baptist, Peter and James saw Him and walked with Him and even witnessed the miracles but without their faith in Him and their belief in Him and Who He was, they wouldn’t get into Heaven either!

So much..so little

It is a contradiction but, with God in the picture even a contradiction works. How do I know? Read the story of Jesus feeding so many with so little, like the five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men. Some say that there were likely fifteen thousand souls there at least and yet there were twelve baskets left over from a lunch meant for one child.

God can use even a little talent in a big way, no matter how you see yourself or where you may be in the world. But, you have to give Him control of your talent and yourself before He can use it to bless others. Just as when a farmer plants a seed or a plant in the ground, it is only one at the time. But with water, air and sunlight it can become much more than one seed or one plant.

We, as Christians, are like that as well. God places His Spirit in us when we are saved and we are supposed to nurture it with care and feed it by prayer and the Word of God. By studying God’s Word, we feed the Spirit and like Jesus said “it will overflow as a river of living water” to all who are exposed to it. True, it may not be His exact words but that is what we are supposed to be, springs of living water to draw the world to Him by what they see or hear in us.

God can use each of us in ways that we can’t imagine or even believe that we could do. But, with His Spirit guiding us we can do so much more than just be ourselves. We can be His ambassadors and representatives to anyone who is searching for the Truth. It doesn’t take much. A prayer here or helping someone with their load in some way. Opening the door for someone, praying for someone who you don’t know.

These things are “works” true enough, and they don’t get you a spot inside the gates of Heaven. Giving your life and your heart to Jesus gets you into Heaven, the “works” are part of the life that you live after you accept Him. These are the results of your salvation, the fruits of your life in Christ that never would’ve grown out of your life if you had not given your heart to Jesus.

Just as James wrote in his epistle, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18, he wasn’t speaking of works being required by your faith but as a result of your salvation. The works that you do will prove your faith and your salvation! God loves each of us so deeply that we won’t understand it until we are in His presence, but He hates the sins that we have lived with in our life. Repent and turn to Him, give your heart and your life to Him so that you will be saved.