Can you be content with little?

Judas gave up his relationship with Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and by the time he realized what he had done it was too late. In our world, it seems that everyone has an iPhone or some huge phablet that they are carrying around. Granted many of those phones were “free” from their carrier or in some other way a gift, but those are worth hundreds of dollars. Could we be content with less than we have today?

Consider that we have been given a tremendous and fabulous gift by Almighty God, our salvation through Jesus. Is there anything which could compare to that? I’ll answer that question and the answer is NO! There is nothing that we have or could get our hands on which is worth even a fraction of the gift which we are all partakers of if you are a Christian. So, what can we be content with?

Most of us seem to be chasing after things more today, following our friends and those that we work with. If they have a nice home, we want one better. If they have a 3-series BMW then we want one on the next series. I know that not everyone follows this pattern, but in many places in the world and in our country too it does happen. But…why? What difference will it make in your life if you have the best of things?

An Android phone will do everything that an iPhone will do and it does so for less money in most cases. But why do so many people have to have the latest iPhone or Apple watch? Is it because of the image? That must be it because products besides Apple’s products can perform just as well and in some areas, they will perform better.

Making do with less is not looked on as a desirable trait in our culture. So why does our culture look back at the Greatest Generation that went through the Depression and WW2 and idolizes them? They made a little go a long way and they didn’t really complain about their place in life while doing so. They did what they had to do and made it work one way or another.

So…why can’t we do that today? Is it because we are spoiled brats who don’t know how to “make it work” no matter what it takes? Is it because we have been given so much until we don’t really want to work for our satisfaction or our blessings either? God had to deal with His people who became complacent about what they had and would turn away from Him until He used someone to punish them enough to bring them back. They would get “rich” and prideful so that they considered that they didn’t need God and they would worship other gods which were not gods.

Today we have made things into gods and convenience into a god as well. If our money can’t provide it or if we don’t have enough money then we throw a fit and sometimes blame God for it. The god of convenience has killed more babies in abortion clinics than all of the wars which we have fought but nobody seems to care.

One day that bill will come due and it will be God Who will require a payment for all of those innocent lives lost.

Can we get by with little or must we always be consuming more and more? If you follow the advice of God in Proverbs you can but there are so many who don’t even know where the book of Proverbs is. They wouldn’t know where to look. I pray that our world and our country will have a revival and move back to having faith in God and learn from His Word before the time of testing comes. Many don’t believe that the time is coming but it is and the world will regret their actions when it does come but it will be too late by that time.

The Exodus, the Bread and the Wine

This idea just came to me while I was reading a story about Christianity. The only explanation that I can give you for the title is that the Spirit placed the idea in my mind. I am not Jewish, although I have read a Jewish Bible complete with the New Testament. The three ideas in the title: the Exodus, the Bread and the Wine are intimately tied to the nation and people of Israel.

Bread&WineThe Exodus is their liberation from bondage as slaves in Egypt for over four hundred years. It is not unlike our own lives in that we were slaves to our life of sin and rebellion toward God. Now, for some of us this rebellion wasn’t an active rebellion and we may not have known that what we were doing was sinful in the sight of God. Why do I say it that way? Because many of us asked Jesus to become our Savior at an early age, say 8 or 12 years. I barely knew what the word “sin” meant and honestly I didn’t think that my life could’ve been classified as sinful, at that time.

During the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites were glad to be out of bondage but they didn’t know this God Who had called them out of bondage. Which is why it took forty years for them to get to the point of going into the land which had been promised to them. Even after all of the miracles and provision that God provided for them during this time, they still rebelled against Him in their Promised Land.

Sounds a bit like us actually. When we learn about God and what He asks of us, don’t we rebel a bit? I mean, we like the idea of forgiveness and eternal life but “being in a state of prayerful thought” on a daily basis is a bit much don’t you think? Not really, if you consider what this really means. The analogy that I like goes something like this: When you go to the doctor and you tell him you have had a cold and a cough for about a week, you don’t mean that you have been coughing for a whole week. Just that you have had a persistent cough which has hung around for that length of time. It is the same with praying without ceasing. It doesn’t mean that you pray 24 hours a day, but you wake with a prayerful attitude of thankfulness that you are alive today. You thank God for your health and your breakfast. You thank Him for being able to go to work or school or whatever you are doing today.

That is an attitude of prayer without ceasing.

It gets you through your exodus in this life, every day and night, all through your life! This is your “daily cross”.

The Bread is reading and prayerfully studying the Bible. Learning more about God and what He requires of His people, Israelite and Gentile. If you don’t know what is required or asked of you, how will you know what to do with your life on a daily basis? The only way to know is to read and study His Word with prayer for understanding at least a few days during the week. I don’t mean that you should read the Bible for a whole day, but a chapter or two a day for a few days at a time will get your mind washed in His Word and keep it on His ideas and wisdom.

The Wine is what you partake of through giving your heart and your life to Jesus, asking Him to come in and change you into a child of God. This is part of your walk, your life with Him and it begins your exodus from your old life, your old ways, into a life that is lived in and through Jesus! It is a daily process. Salvation, if you truly are sincere about it, comes immediately when you ask for it. Your sanctification and becoming more like Jesus is the walk, prayerfully with Him every day. Your exodus or your walking away from your old life comes when you have asked Him to come in and change you into a new creation!

Just as the trek through the desert wasn’t easy for the children of Israel, the process of becoming a Christian and becoming more like Christ won’t be easy either. There will be days or times where you will stumble and fall, but Jesus is there to help you get up. If you have studied the Bible, then you can fall onto the wisdom that you have gained through it when the times get tough.

The life of a Christian isn’t always easy or sure. There will be bumps and bruises during your walk with Jesus, but He is still there with you through it all. The wisdom that you gain from His Word, His Bread and His Wine will last you through eternity and you won’t regret any of it when you see Him in His Glory one day!

Unreasonable expectations

In today’s world every person on Earth looks for something or someone who is unreasonable, impossible even because we are looking for that “perfect specimen”. We not only look for an immortal beauty but we want her to be strong but gentle and one who can fulfill all of our desires and our needs. No woman or man exists which can fulfill these expectations! Sometimes we get these ideas from watching movies or reading books like romance novels or maybe some other form of lesser entertainment.

But…perfection in all areas doesn’t exist in this mortal plane. There isn’t a man or woman on Earth who can be all of these and be in love with us because each of us is also imperfect. If the perfect man or woman exists then anyone or anything less than perfection, such as you and me, just won’t cut it! It is something which we learn as young adults usually to our own peril and disappointment.

Just as Galatea and Pygmalion, we too are bound by expectation and disappointment to some extent. In the story, he prays for her to be made into a woman who is like his ideal and his goddess grants his request. In reality, unless perfection is mated to perfection, the relationship is doomed to fail because an imperfect being, such as you or me, cannot fulfill the expectations of the other.

God can change you into a new creation when He comes to live in your heart, but until you are brought to Heaven there will always be a human who fails and falls in this life. Is it possible to have perfection in this mortal body? No, it is not. It is an unreasonable expectation of our existence to even think that it is possible.

Even God cannot look on us and we cannot look Him in the face without dire consequences. Perfect love and sinless Life cannot stand in our presence without causing our death because we are unable to be perfect in any of those areas. Perfection doesn’t exist in this realm of existence and since God exists outside our reality it only exists where He is. Did God expect too much of mankind? No, because He knew when He created them that they could not be obedient in all of their imperfect ways.

God does give us an image, an ideal to work toward in the person of Jesus Christ, and we can strive toward that goal but in this life we will never attain it. Learning about Jesus, following hard after Him in this life, reading and studying Scripture and prayer asking Him to grant us wisdom enough to understand Scripture’s true meaning, these are the works which guide us toward Him and His image.

As long as we don’t create an imperfect, human inspired image of Him, changing Jesus into a more attainable human ideal then we will do fine. If we do that then we are guilty of creating an idol of our own which resembles Jesus only in our minds, because it is not Him but an imperfect copy. Our copy or idea of Jesus or even God is based upon the only form that we are familiar with and that is ourself.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33


Weird title, huh? Mostly, to get attention but there is a good reason. Time itself is winding down according to prophecy…so what is next?

Read the Book! I am not saying this lightly because of the prophecies contained in God’s Word, the times which we are living in are there. It doesn’t say names or places exactly but the descriptions of the happenings in it sound very much like all of the troubles in the news today.

onebreathawayIt seems that many people are ignoring this today, mainly because there are many who don’t believe in God or His Word and the Truth contained within it. So much is told of this time until when you read parts of Daniel and Ezekiel and the book of Revelation, when you think about what you have read it sounds very much like the news that we hear weekly.

Yet, the churches and the news and the Pope don’t mention any of these things in their media clips talking about this time. Why? I believe that it is because of the amount of time which has transpired since the ascension of Jesus. Even though He said that He was returning, so much time has transpired until no one believes that it will happen in their lifetime.

Every day, week, months and years are going on just as it always has been, so why should anyone be expecting the end time prophecies to take place? As Solomon said in Ecclesiastes “there is nothing new under the sun“; so why should anyone worry that it will be different tomorrow or next week? God has given the whole world a grace period of almost two thousand years to learn of Him and to turn to Him in repentance and humility, yet they have not!

In those two millennia, mankind has seen fit to create for himself idols and ideas of “god” which do not fit Him as He is in the Bible. We have made Him into our own “gods”, even if we don’t have carved images of Him or our idea of what He is like. We worship those “ideas” of “god” which are not God. We have placed Him into a box which we like with things like, “my god wouldn’t send people to hell for this or that because he loves everyone” or “my god doesn’t condemn people because of their sexual orientation, he includes everyone in his church”!

Many churches and pastors today teach on these very topics and this is WRONG!! It is not Biblical at all! God hasn’t changed to allow sins and sinful people into His Presence and He will not change because God said that “I am the Lord and I change not“. Just because it is your opinion or idea that God is this way or that doesn’t make it so. God is god and His timing will bring about the end of the age whether you think it is coming or not!

Be ready in that day because when the trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ rise, then those who remain will be caught up with them to be with the Lord forever.


What do you choose to be like?

A.W. Tozer once said this:

We can choose to be like the Old Testament Israelites and look upon the pagan world with admiration and even envy, or we can choose to examine Christ and place all our admiration on Him. Either way, that which we admire most reveals who we are and who we want to be.”

Most of us don’t know most of the time what we would choose to follow or admire in today’s world. Many of us seem to follow the most talked about celebrity or sports figure or some other person or whatever that may be catching everyone’s attention today or maybe this week. It doesn’t seem to matter whether they are shallow, egotistical, or even in their right mind!

I know, I’m exaggerating a bit on some of that, but you get the point. We tend to be distracted by tweets and posts on FB and all sorts of other media these days, especially youtube, but real life is not part of these media outlets agenda! Your life is meant to be so much more than media consumption and tweets! This is not the type of life we were meant to have, particularly at the end of the age which we are coming upon.

What you choose to follow or be is your choice of course, but God made us to be more than what we are ready to do for Him. Today, we see and hear all sorts of things which get our attention and cause us to focus our attention on something or someone other than Jesus. When this happens we admire “those people”, whoever they may be or whoever they may be following, for their dedication.

Why can’t we be dedicated to Christ? There are so many who are fanatically following someone or some religion but Jesus is our Savior and He is worthy of our praise and our worship and we should be dedicated to Him! The number of truly dedicated Christians in America is far less than it should be. Many people claim to be His, claim to be Christians, but from the answers they have given on questionnaires they prove themselves to be “head-knowledge” Christians rather than changed heart Christians!

Knowledge of Jesus, even knowledge of God’s Word is great but if you haven’t repented of your sins and asked Him to come into your life and change you from the heart outward, then without a real change in your life, I don’t know if Jesus knows you or not. A repentant heart, one that is truly sorry for the life and the sins that they have been part of, will seek out the only One Who can cleanse it and make it completely new.

All of the stuff which we try to put into our lives and our heart in order to feel right on the inside just doesn’t work because it doesn’t fit! The only person that fits in that part of you is Jesus! No amount of work or money or sex or drugs or anything of this world will do, only Jesus fills that space and when He does then you will feel it and you will know it for sure.

What is in your heart

Is it fear or anger? Is it insecurity or selfishness? Could it be some emotional baggage that you have been given by your parents? For many who have lived through being children of divorced parents, all of these are true. We grow up with things inside us that we don’t understand or comprehend. Sometimes, this emotional baggage will cause a person to implode or explode depending upon the way they are raised and who is raising them.

Life is changed and altered by the things which we experience during our childhood. Good or bad, it sticks with you regardless of the outcome. Sometimes each of us can overcome it by our own perseverance, if we recognize it for what it is. Sometimes…it is the over-comer.

Feelings of helplessness and despair can cripple you while growing up, especially when you feel like you aren’t wanted or loved. Many of us have felt these feelings as we grow up, either due to a so-called friend’s remark or a family tragedy such as the death of a parent or a divorce (which amounts to the same thing). Many family members will tell you that you will get over it, in time, and that may be true but the scar is still there and sometimes it doesn’t heal completely.

The only cure for this condition, regardless of its cause, is to seek out Jesus and ask Him to come into your heart and your life so that He can heal the wound that is there. He is the only Physician Who can do this, there is no other! Drugs only make things worse, alcohol fits in the same bucket with drugs, all other “things” which people chase after are also temporary and really don’t help in the long run.

Jesus can heal those wounds and He will fill that empty space which is there. It doesn’t matter if that empty space was caused by drugs or a divorce or a death in the family, Jesus can heal all of those wounds. It may not be instantaneous but with time and prayer and reading God’s Word, the healing will begin and it will heal. One day as you are reading His Word, you will notice that the pain and emptiness are gone and in its place the Holy Spirit of God has placed peace and joy!

Joy that can’t be explained without faith in Him. Joy that makes no sense to someone who hasn’t asked Jesus to come in and heal their heart and the pain which has lived there for so long. God love can do amazing, glorious, miraculous things in your life and in mine. We can’t explain it to someone who doesn’t know Him, but they can see the difference in our lives and in our personality. Jesus came into the world to save it from itself, and when He does this to your life, others will notice.

Pain, suffering, and all of the ailments which go along with them may not completely go away, because Satan will bring them back to hurt you, to put a stone in your path or to trip you up in your walk with Jesus. Cling to Jesus and His Word because it is the only eternal Rock which will bind your wounds and be able to carry you when life gets rough.

What is in your heart? God knows and He will give you the strength and the ability to fill it with Himself and will begin your healing, if you will allow Him to.

Life, what about it?

baby developmentWhen I was much younger, I wondered about the life that we live. Not so much in philosophic terms exactly, but after watching the coverage of the Vietnam war and Dr. Martin Luther King’s murder, even then it seemed that life was cheap. I knew better, but it still made me think a bit. But, I was young and I didn’t think about it long so I went on to school and played with my friends and did my homework.

Now, I am a father and a pastor and I think about life every day. It still seems that to most of the world around us, not just in America, human life isn’t worth much even today. It seems that life today isn’t regarded as being worth more than a thought, if that much! Why have we come to this point in history? Where the life of a baby in the womb is in just as much danger as one on the street! A baby in the womb is even in more danger today because there usually isn’t anyone to speak up for them and defend them.

No, I am not getting on a platform about abortion, I did that a day or so ago. My point here is that we don’t cherish life today, no matter if it is a pet, a baby, or a person. But…life is supposed to be sacred! Human life certainly, but all life in general because it is God’s Creation! It is true that many people claim to be Christian and yet many of them don’t even have a true relationship with God at all! We don’t look at being a human being and being a Christian as anything special, it seems.

Many believe that by belonging to a church and attending services occasionally that they have a relationship with God. How absurd! That is more akin to visiting McDonald’s once in a while and thinking that you know the owner! God does know you and He loves each one of you. But, being known by God and being His child by adoption through Jesus Christ is something totally different.

Jesus died for you in order for you to be God’s child and when you feel that call by faith in Him you can become a part of His family. It isn’t something that you choose on your own, He chooses you first, then you have to answer. If you don’t, then you have pushed Him away. This part won’t be good for you, now or in eternity, because you are telling Him “Not now, I’m busy” and “You’re not important to me”. Hopefully, He will keep trying to bring you into His family but you can push Him away only so many times. There may come a day when He chooses to let you go your way…not good at all.

Why do I say that? Because if you look at how humanity has fared without Him, it usually isn’t very good and depending on how far they move from God it can be very, very bad for all concerned. Even though God said that He would never again bring a flood on the Earth, that is why it came in the first place. Mankind had pushed Him out of their lives and went after their own ways and their own gods. This is why God chose Noah, because he had not gone the way of everyone else. Sometimes, following the crowd has very serious consequences. Think about it.

Why worry?

There are some thunderstorms and tornado warnings going on all around us tonight. Some have taken shelter in their shelters or in safe places. I live fifteen mile out in the country in a mobile home/trailer but I am nogodisincontrolt scared nor am I worried. God has got this and He is in control! Am I praying? Yes, but I am not worried because Jesus said not to do that. I can’t have any effect on the storm or the winds or anything that is coming, but God can! My Creator is able to take care of me in any situation, no matter what it is! Amen.

God loves us and when we are doing His Will, all we need to do is to lean into Him and trust that He has our best outcome in His hands. That is what I am doing. I hear some thunder coming so I suppose I better shut the computer down for the night. I will be back sometime tomorrow.

How much more?

We are thankful and we were thankful yesterday, so how much more thankful will we be today? I have seen shoppers at stores who are waiting all night to get in when the door opens and some of them are pushing and shoving so they can be first in getting what they want and getting out of the store.

What happened between being thankful for God’s blessings and bounty and getting more stuff? How much more will we choose to get so we can be fashionable or in step with our neighbors? Do we really HAVE to have that new doodad that came out a few weeks ago? What about paying off your credit cards as a gift to yourself or your spouse? What about giving to your church or to the homeless shelter in town instead of spending over five hundred dollars on something that will be gathering dust in a couple of months? Does 4K resolution really matter that much when you are watching the Super Bowl in February? Does the price you pay for that resolution really bring you more satisfaction while watching any TV show?

All of these questions are the kinds of questions we should be asking ourselves long before we wake up at three am in order to be close to the front of the line this morning! What really is more important to you and your family? That is an even better question. Have you considered your relationship to Jesus in all of this too? I am a pastor and these questions do go through my mind about myself and about those who attend my church. I pray for all of the people out there who are traveling today and for those who are working today because they need God’s protection and His blessing, whether they realize it or not.

During the holiday season, which seems to have gotten off to a running start yesterday afternoon. Yes, many stores opened early, around four or five yesterday, just to get people out of the house and into the stores shopping. I don’t think I will ever get out there and into the thick of the lines and the crowds. It’s just too much!

God needs your energy and your presence in His family too and if more people would spend even ten percent of their time and money for His work, out world would be so much better than it is now! How is that possible? Because ten percent of the billions spent on gifts during this weekend could go a LONG way toward helping the homeless, both Veterans and non-veterans alike! It would also go a long way toward helping the hungry in the world too.

God can use your blessings in any number of different ways, but if you spend all of your cash on “stuff” and not on helping others, then what are you really doing? You are showing others that “stuff” is more important to you than serving God. During the holidays it seems that many people do just that and it makes me wonder what is keeping them from helping the church? What is keeping them from coming to church when they can get up before sunrise to get to a store and be one of the first through the doors?

Something to ponder during this Christmas season when we are supposed to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus! He didn’t tell us to go and spend, Jesus said go and TELL others about Him!

Life is worth…Living!

I just finished reading one of the last entries on a blog which was written by an atheist. I didn’t know him personally, but then I read a post from a few days later which his wife wrote and he passed away four days after writing the post that I read. It was…a post which showed the thoughts of someone who was giving up on life. He was depressed and had seemingly decided that it was his time to go. I don’t know for sure if he killed himself, but he knows for sure, where his eternity is. He had asked me before to prove the existence of God and whether the Bible predicted WWII, I told him that I could not prove the existence of God and that the Bible did not predict WWII.

You cannot prove the existence of God because He is. It is a question of faith and if you don’t have faith or you don’t believe anything in the Bible, then there isn’t any proof which would prove that God exists. Even if He came to us today in human form like He did when Jesus walked with His disciples, nobody today would believe in Him except for those of us who already believe. The problem with this is, of course, that He said in the book of Revelation that He would come back as a King of Kings and with the armies of Heaven. Jesus would not come as He did 2,000 years ago.

God loves each of you, and if you can open your mind a little and read the Bible for the history and culture that is there then you will see Him. Although, reading it as a history book is good, that is not all that is in it. There are so many things which God can reveal to you if you will have faith and believe. The problem with this is that there are many people who only read it as a book which has history and poetry and lots of stories in it, reducing it to just words.

The problem with doing this is that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Inspired by His Spirit so that the history and the stories told in it would have a line which winds from the beginning of the Earth to its end. It doesn’t go into detail about every nation or every war which happens, but it does point to your Savior and the only way to salvation and eternal life! Give your heart to Jesus, the Spirit will touch you at some point in  reading His Word, then you have to listen and open your heart to Him.

That place where you have always felt…empty. That is where the Spirit is supposed to live in you! He is the only One Who fits in that space and once you realize this and ask Him into your life, then you will finally feel whole! No more time alone. No more feelings of incompleteness. Satan will come and try to steal your joy at finding this, finding Him, but if you lean on Jesus and seek His strength to get through it then you will!

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem and since life itself is temporary make sure that you ally yourself with the Creator and your Redeemer, Jesus the Christ!!