One year over…

Many years have come and gone and this one is no different. All sorts of people in the world doing things like shooting each other or someone who they don’t agree with. Wars breaking out or getting worse because of beliefs or differences in beliefs or culture. The human race, regardless of the color of your skin, is killing itself one person at a time. Although some days, many more are killed than just one.

Why can’t we get along with each other? Is it our cultures or our skin color that sets us at odds so much that we can’t stand for the “others” to live? This is nothing new exactly because it has been going on for millennia and it will continue until the return of Jesus. In many ways, even His name causes much of the strife and problems in our world today. As long as you are speaking of God, there is no problem but when you bring Jesus into the conversation then things get heated.

Why does He cause such reactions? Well, in the days before His crucifixion, it was His teachings and the way that He taught that was the real problem. His authority and the teaching that He was doing was undermining the control that the High Priests had on the people. Then there was the, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except by Me” statement! Who did He think that He was,420268_10150681777049769_182249954768_8767283_149600359_n.jpgGod?!

Yes, this past year has been a bad one in more ways than one for many people who have lost loved ones. Some of them were lost due to war, some were due to car wrecks, some were killed by gun shots fired by people who didn’t need to have a gun in their hands. Some were killed because they waved a BB gun around that looked like the real deal.

This past year has had some senseless deaths occur in it, but they could’ve been prevented. Our problem is not the guns or the fake guns and it is not the attitudes or opinions of those in government, it is that we have forgotten how to be a society that takes responsibility for its actions, regardless of how shocking they may be. We have also pushed our principles and the Book which taught our grandparents and their parents how to act out of the education system.

It is time to put prayer and the Bible back where it belongs so that the next generation won’t completely forget that God is in control, no matter how bad things get or who may be in charge here. He will bring about a revival and heal the problems in our land if we will just seek Him out and repent of our sinful ways.

The Bible is still a Book which has more wisdom in it than all of the books that are in the library and we need to be using it, studying it and reading it. If we don’t then we can only blame ourselves for what will come next.

Does it seem that time is going way too fast these days?

All parents know this and children learn it sooner or later. It just seems that the weeks, especially in the summer, just melt into each other and its hard to tell one week from another. How can we slow things down a bit before our children are gone and the house is empty more than it is full? Fill your time with the talents and the gifts which God has given you. It doesn’t matter what gifts or talents they may be, just get up and outside if you have to and use them. Do some volunteer work for people in the nursing homes or help someone in your community. Little things that we may take for granted and big chores for other people.

Time going by to fast happens when you are busy and sometimes when you aren’t busy enough. It doesn’t matter if you are a parent or grandparent, although our time flies by too fast for us to keep up with it most of the time. Even when you are doing something constructive for someone or maybe even enjoying a hobby or two, time just goes by too fast. That is why Jesus said to take up your cross (life), and to follow Him. Say the things that He would when they are needed to be said.

It just seems that there aren’t enough hours in the day, but the hours haven’t changed. There are still twenty-four of them, eight or so we are supposed to rest or sleep and the rest are for work, whatever kind of work you may do. Jesus said that those who love the darkness love it because it hides what they are doing. We see and hear about the sins which happen every day in and around America and the world and very little of it is good news. As a matter of fact, good news hasn’t been reported on much since a certain newsman died about five years ago. I used to love to listen to him when I could catch his show on the radio and when I was growing up, he even had a small segment on TV.

Those were the last days when we could comfortably go to sleep at night and not have to lock our doors. It seems that it has been a very long time since we could live that way, but it has only been forty years or so.

I have been watching some of the crusades which Billy Graham did years ago, the one tonight was from Dallas, Texas in 1971. I was about nine or ten at the time, but the problems that he was speaking about sounded very familiar. At that particular time, abortion still wasn’t legal in America but drugs and alcohol were and he spoke about the dangers and the consequences of them both. I imagine that Mr. Graham hangs his head if he even listens to the news at all today. If I were him…I wouldn’t watch it at all. I would just pray for America and her soul and all of the souls in America, because prayer can do powerful things, including changing the minds and hearts of people in a country that is on a very wide and slippery slope.

Jesus told those that He preached to that the way to Heaven is by a narrow way and there are few who really find it. This road isn’t as easy or as straight as the broad road, but it leads to Heaven. The rewards that you get on Earth won’t travel the road with you, only those things done for the Kingdom of Christ will make that trip. God loves us all and He has made a way for us to get to Heaven through Jesus, it is only our choices which will condemn us to an eternity of punishment away from Him.

Time does slip away from us every second of every minute, but after your death here you won’t be able to count the minutes or hours. Time doesn’t have a meaning in that life, it is eternal. Your choice will determine where you spend eternity so choose wisely and follow Jesus.

Reflection on Mothers Day

For me, celebrating Mother’s Day is a time of reflection which brings some lonely feelings into my life, but it also brings back good memories as well. My own mother died about seven months after Mother’s Day in ’95, so this year marks the twentieth year that I can’t say or do anything for her. All that I have are my memories, and that’s OK.

Mother’s Day is a celebration of our mothers and their life and sacrifice for each of us to be here. Many of our mothers and fathers have sacrificed much so that we could go to school and have things that helped us to get through life. Why did they do these things? Because of love. Love makes a difference in every life, whether you realize it or not.

The love of our parents and grandparents helped us to become the people that we are today. Our love of our children today will help them to be the person that they are meant to be. The difference between us and those who would destroy our culture and our way of life is that they don’t have love in their life. Love makes a difference in all ways and in all situations and the best place to find real love is to look for it from the Author and Creator of it, God Himself.

He loves us, each of us, so much that He sent His Son to Bethlehem as a baby to be raised as a human, to live and die as a human, but since He had God’s nature in Him He was able to live a sinless life. A life of complete obedience to God’s laws and to His commands.

This love is what prods each of us to seek out something that we know is missing, yet we don’t know what it is. We try to fill that spot with drugs, or sex or money but none of that satisfies because none of them fit. The Holy Spirit of God is the only One that fits in that space, that empty part of you that all of us have. Even if you don’t want to believe in God, you feel that empty feeling. You know that there is something missing, but you don’t want to believe that it is God Who can fill that spot in your life, Who is the One that is supposed to fill that empty space.

Mothers are the best reflection of a loving God on Earth, at least the ones that actually love their children. Seek God out so that He can show you the love that He has for you through His forgiveness and the eternal life that you will have in Him. If that is something which you don’t want to do or can’t understand why to do it, I understand. I will be praying for all who visit here anyway.

Thanks for stopping by.

Why should we?

Every newscast seems to be saying the same thing. That Christians are supposed to support and go along with the agenda that is being put forward by a certain lobbying group. Actually, the Bible says that we are to step back away from you and not get involved at all.

What God considers to be an abomination, we aren’t supposed to condone or accept. Why should we? If you can’t accept our beliefs, whether we agree with your lifestyle or not, who is being intolerant? According to our rights as Americans, we have the right to believe and worship any way that we please.

But, today it seems that we are labelled as haters because we actually believe the words contained in the Bible. It is not our opinion about you one way or the other, it is God’s hatred of the sinful life that you want us to accept! How would the Muslims treat you? I have heard that they are killing homosexuals. At least we aren’t condoning that!

I love you as a person, just as God does. But, it is the sin that is in your life and your lifestyle which He won’t accept. He will forgive you, IF you turn away from it and follow Him in repentance. No one can keep sinning willingly and on purpose and serve God as a Christian too, if your heart and soul has been changed on the inside then it will show to the world that you have truly changed.

I don’t think of myself as perfect, I am far from that! Yes, I stumble and fall, and say things or think something I shouldn’t, but my spirit or the Holy Spirit will convict me of it. Then I determine to repent of it and ask forgiveness. God loves you far more than you will ever realize until you come to Him and repent, asking Jesus into your heart to change you into the person that you should be and can be for Christ.

All things work together…

Does this verse or beginning of the verse speak to your life or your spirit? Yes, to me it does, because everything works together for the good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Kinda limiting isn’t it? “For those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose”, not for everyone, not for those who are not Christians, but for those who are Christians! Things will work out for your good, maybe not immediately but eventually, because God’s timing is different from yours or mine.

We want things to work out right now! Nobody wants to work for something or anything today, they want it given to them regardless of the cost! The problem with this is that people don’t value things which are free! It doesn’t matter if the item cost one thousand dollars or more, if they got it for free then they don’t place any value on it at all! The cheaper something is, then the less value is given to it so people will not value it or take care of it like they will if they truly had to work for it and earn it.

I think that is the very reason that many people don’t place value on their salvation through Jesus. They don’t value it because it has already been paid for and all that they need to do to claim it is to believe it and ask for it and it is theirs! There is no need to do anything to earn it because our works, even done in Jesus’ name, will not earn us a place into Heaven! Our place, our salvation has been paid for through His sacrifice and nothing that we can do can come close to the price that was paid for it!

All that you have to do is claim it by asking Him into your life and your heart, ask for forgiveness of your sins and you will be a different person from that point on. Then, the works that you can do for Jesus will be worth something! Because, they will be done in the power of the Holy Spirit and not through man’s strength and will. God loves us all, but He doesn’t love the lives that we lead until we dedicate our life’s accomplishments to Him.

Time is running short because the “birth pains” are beginning, the ones which Jesus spoke about that would happen before the troubled times, the Tribulation of the world. You can see it in the financial markets, in the news every day, it is building up and one day, soon I believe, it will blow the world’s eyes open so that people can see what is happening. Yet, for some it will be too late. Give your life to Jesus, read and pray over the Bible so that you can be part of His Kingdom because if you aren’t then you are part of Satan’s world and that won’t be a pretty picture or a good future at all.

New hope for the future

The election has fostered hope in our government and in the future of America, but it is likely that it is a false hope. Oh, yes, the promises that were made in order to get the votes are high and grand, but are they real and doable…hardly. In the climate that our lawmakers find themselves in during this administration, few if any of the promises that were made will make it to a committee, let alone a vote. Then there is the chance of a veto as well, so the newly elected will not likely to make any real progress at all.

I don’t want to seem to be down on our President. I am glad that I have lived in a time that we could elect an African-American president because it is something that I didn’t think I would ever see. What has been done to our economy is tragic, but I fear that it really isn’t the President’s fault at all. It is the fault of our country and the people who have been pushing God and Christianity out of our culture and our schools and especially out of any government sponsored event or office.

Our nation was founded by God-fearing men and women and it is time that we accepted it as fact and got back to the God of our forefathers in truth and in our schools. In all honesty, if you don’t want your child or children to learn of God and what He has blessed us with, school your children at home and let the majority of children learn of our Creator and the blessings that we have enjoyed because of His grace toward us. He didn’t condone the slave trade that occurred three or four hundred years ago when it started in Africa and in Ireland, but it happened and brought many people to Christ anyway.

Right now, I am schooling my child at home because I want him to learn about God and His grace toward us and in the history of our country. I have to do this because of cost and because it isn’t allowed in public schools today like it was in my parent’s lifetime and their parent’s schools too. Our country was better off when God was part of the curriculum and not considered part of the “problem”. The problem is that many people, Christians, have not stood up to the minority who scream the loudest saying that our religion is harming their kids. How can learning of God and His love for you and your children harm them? Would you rather learn of Satan and his “rewards”? How about Buddhism and it’s rewards?

The only way to be blessed with an eternity that is meaningful is to follow Jesus and learn from the Bible, God’s Word and Wisdom. No other “religion” can gain you access into Heaven, only through the gates of hell and Satan would be tickled to death if he could get you to follow him there if only because he deprived you of a place in Heaven!

In the beginning paragraphs, I said that our problem in this country and its economic woes did not start with our President and it didn’t. Many of our policies concerning the secularization of America began before he was ever born and we began reaping the consequences of those actions long before he became President.

A revival is needed in our country and in every person’s life and if not revival, then salvation through Jesus. This is the only way of actually saving our country and no elected official can do it, only Jesus can have this effect on each person who will ask Him into their life and their heart. Yes, I do read my Bible and I have read the places where slavery was approved of, where genocide was approved of, but in both instances God was approving it because of the outcome of His people, not because He hated the ones that were supposed to be killed or enslaved. Pray for our country and its leaders, those who actually know how to lead at least, and for the mercy of God to come to our country and not His judgement upon it!

Expectations, what are they today?

Many people seem to have fantastic expectations of their children and their lives today. In many ways, we seem to try to live our lives or some part of our lives through our kids and their accomplishments, don’t we? You see it portrayed in movies and on television and on the Internet and social media, our lives and our children’s lives are open to all of the world in one sense or another. Depending upon the security that you have in place, and unless you are knowledgeable about such things, many of us don’t have much security at all.

I don’t know how many emails that I have received about a poll which was taken at random, that showed that thousands of people still use “password” for their password or “0123456” even. These are ridiculously easy for a child to crack, let alone someone who really is a true hacker! The security that I am speaking of is in reference to the “stuff” that you store in the cloud or on Facebook’s servers. How easy would it be for someone to crack your password and get into your family photos and other things which should be kept private?

We have expectations of security and life, along with what we expect or want from our children. To put it a bit more politically correct, “what we want our children to become is just to make us look and feel better”; maybe not so politically correct, but a sight more succinct maybe? We expect or hope that our children will do better with their lives and their careers than we have been able to do, but do we give them the esteem and the knowledge of applying themselves toward that goal or do we just coddle and spoil them until they graduate into the real world and hope that they get it right?

Many times it seems that is exactly what we are doing to the next generation. We “baby” them and give them stuff that they didn’t have to earn until they graduate from high school or college and then we expect them to hit the ground running toward a goal which they have no idea how to accomplish at all! We never tried to get them to earn their way in life or through school or with chores to do at home! They played games and watched TV and movies on DVD, when they weren’t whining about all of the two pages of homework that they had to do. Yes, some kids actually have far more than two pages but so did we when we were growing up!

In the public school system, there is now something called “common core” which is the biggest joke of all on our kids. No one can be left behind while taking this curriculum because not even the teacher understands it, so how can our kids know or learn it? We are expected to raise our children to be good people with character, but how can they have character when many of us don’t even have it? Do you know any of the Ten Commandments? Do you know where they are found? This country was founded on principles which came from the Word of God and all of the Ivy League schools were founded, at first, to be seminary schools which trained preachers and missionaries.

What happened to our country? What happened to the values and the beliefs of those who run this nation and those of us who live in it? We have allowed science and political correctness to invade our churches and our homes. Many people are mourning the loss of values and purpose in our country, but it is our fault that it has slipped away. We allowed it to happen because we as Christians did not speak up and try to keep our country as a Christian nation. Now, we are paying the price although the true price hasn’t been set yet.

Violence is not the answer

I am a pastor and a Christian and I happen to be caucasian, but beside the fact that the person who was shot was African-american, what good is going to come out of this violence in Missouri? If the kid who got shot was white, would there be such violence and rioting going on? Yes, there would have been some crying and maybe a lawsuit, but what good is going to come out of the days of violence that is going on now?

I have to ask, “What would Jesus do in this situation?”

I know that my culture is different and my history is different, but what is the point to all of the fires and looting and shootings or whatever else is going on up there? Will this ease the mother’s pain? It won’t bring the young man back, but it will polarize the country yet again over a racial issue that shouldn’t be an issue at all. Not today! Stirring up a nest of hornets is not something which anyone would rationally do, and stirring up racial anger and hatred doesn’t accomplish anything except cause more hatred and anger.

There is no rational reason for any of this, except to gain publicity for some people and cause more pain for others. Seek God and His answers for this, not an answer that would thrill Satan himself! The anger and violence that is being shown in the news looks more like some of his doing than righteous anger that some are calling it.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”, this should be the cry behind those seeking justice. It shouldn’t sound like a call to war, which is what it looks like. I am praying for a peaceful solution to this and all of you should be too.

Time off

It is something which we don’t take unless we really need it and that is why I have been absent for a while. I have been having to deal with an auto-immune disease for a while and with the prayers of many people and God’s grace, I will conquer this at some point. It may just go into remission, but if it stays that way for a while then I will be grateful. I have used my time to rest and be the pastor that I need to be and to find ways to cope with this in a natural way rather than taking all the chemicals that the pharmaceutical companies want our doctors to prescribe for us. I don’t need all of the so-called “side effects” that are likely to be worse than the disease itself!

Anyway, enough about my problems.

Time off…is it something that we do or is it necessary at all? It actually is both. We have to decide to really take time off from our vocation and get away for a while. Do people really do this? In today’s society with all of the cell phones and tablets and laptops, it really isn’t very likely that many people get completely out of touch. I can do it, somewhat, because I live in a rural area where there is little or no cell coverage and I have to get my Internet access through a satellite. Granted, I am not out of touch because I still use my cell phone to check in with my Facebook friends and some other friends that I send text messages to over the wifi in my home but that is just my life.

Real time off should be a complete getaway from technology, although I don’t know if that is really possible in our society today. But, twenty years ago we didn’t have such a pervasive invasion of our time and our lives. Cell phones were present but the networks that supported them were sparse and there were no smart phones and no Internet to speak of yet. We and our parents and grandparents lived just fine without all of the technology that we have today and we made it alright. What happened? This technology was supposed to give us twenty hour work weeks and a better quality of life. It seems that life is more complicated and hurried and harried because of the technology that is so prevalent today!

Where can we find a peaceful alternative to all of the technology and the intrusion that it has brought into our families and our lives every day, almost twenty-four hours of every day? Can we possibly find a way or a place that we can have real peace and joy in our lives? Actually, it is not a place or even something that we can do to have peace and joy…it is a person, the Person of Jesus Christ.

Giving your life and your all to Him because He gave His life and His all to redeem you from the penalty of sin is the way to a joyful life and one that can be filled with peace. Contrary to what many believe, the sin which He saved us from is living outside of obedience to God’s grace and the belief in Jesus’ sacrifice for each of us is what saves us. The acceptance of His sacrifice and the repentance that you experience because of it will give you the joy that you seek.

The drug dealers and killers, serial and otherwise, along with those who persecuted and killed hundreds in the past as well as today will pay for what they have done. So will those who have swindled money from unsuspecting victims in the stock and bond market, the war criminals which killed millions during wartime, whether it was during the second World War or during a country’s “modification” of its citizens to a “new way of living” will pay for what they did.

Hell was created to punish only one creature and his followers and that is Satan, but if you have not given your life to Jesus and truly become a follower of Him, then you are on the same side as all the legions of fallen angels who followed Lucifer and were cast out of Heaven with him. You will suffer the same fate in hell because of your rejection of Jesus and the Grace extended to all of us by God the Father. It doesn’t matter what sins you have or have not committed in your life, the unpardonable sin is the rejection of God’s favor and grace through Jesus and the acceptance of your pardon through Jesus’ sacrifice. If you will not accept it, believe it and repent to be a new creation in Christ then your punishment will be no different from Satan’s.

Your life, your joy can be complete through Jesus. But, if you reject Him, your destruction will be complete and eternal as well.

A conscience, do you have one?

Many, if not most people, do have a conscience but with all of the evil, hateful things going on in the world it sure doesn’t seem like it. You would think that it would prompt more people to think about what they are doing before they do it, but when you read a news story or watch the news, it seems that thinking about what was wrong with their intentions was the least of their thoughts.

What is a conscience? Is it God telling you what you should and should not do? Your conscience is, according to the definition of Webster’s: an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior. To answer the second question: yes, it could be the Spirit of God telling you or guiding you toward and right decision rather than a wrong one. It also has something to do with your character and how you were brought up as a child. Were you taught right from wrong? Did your parents or grandparents take you to church?

The lessons learned, and the words that were heard in church came from God’s Word, the Living Word. This is where most of our collective conscience comes from since God’s Word is able to make an impact on your life, even if you are not expecting it to make an impact. It resonates with your heart and soul because it is supposed to. God’s Word never comes back to Him void, it always accomplishes what He intended for it to do. If you heard it in a sermon or on the television, if God intended for your heart and soul to respond to it, you will.

God loves you and wants what is best for you, regardless of the time or place or the circumstances that you may find yourself in. Our lives are truly important to Him, for some that is hard to understand. I mean, how or why in the world would the Creator of the universe be interested in me or you as an individual? What could we possibly do for Him? Well, what about when He called Moses? God came to a bush in the desert to call him, for something great, couldn’t He do the same thing (maybe less dramatic) for some of us?

Your conscience comes from a part of you that knows right from wrong, the truth about life comes from the One Who created it so you recognize truth, His Truth. Give Jesus and the Word of God a chance to make a difference in your life so that you can make a difference in someone else’s life. Of course, it won’t be you making the difference it will be Jesus. He will show through your life and into someone else’s life so that they might want what you have.

Think about it, then ask Him to come into your life and be your Savior. When He does, your life and the lives of those around you will never be the same.