Daily problems and an eternal cure

Yesterday was my son’s birthday and we were supposed to go out to eat. He and his mother did, I had sinus problems which caused me to get sick enough to puke and had to stay at home. Ruined my day in some ways, but we had pizza and birthday cake (chocolate) with ice cream for dessert so all around, a pretty good save!

Life goes on regardless of your health problems, good or bad, we all have them. God is there to give you peace and comfort and to strengthen you at those times when you truly need it. My day, yesterday, began in a weird way anyhow. Dreams which were so vivid I felt I could touch them, but I didn’t want to because of the nature of them. It was as if Satan was showing me a video of what is going to be in outer darkness and the parts of hell where the fire is not!

I was, at least, able to call out to God and get out of that situation, but the nausea remained and grew worse. Why am I speaking of my day in this way, particularly here? Because, I need for you to know that I have days like this. I may be a pastor of a small church and a blogging pastor too but my days are not always “on top of the mountain” days. I do have fits and sputters of days and days where I fall entirely into the valley where the demons live. Yet…God carries me through all of those unsavory places with His Strength and His peace.

Is life perfect? Of course not…at least not yet. It will come as close as possible when Jesus begins His rule on Earth for one thousand years and then when the new Heaven and Earth come it will be perfectly wonderful beyond anyone’s wildest imagination! I can’t give you much of a description because of a limited imagination and the fact that there are no detailed descriptions of our future home. John tries to do it and some other writers attempt to give you a description of it, but from what some reported visitations have said in movies and books, the colors and textures of Heaven just don’t translate well into ordinary language.

Our minds can’t put into words the views and the texture of it and then you have to think of the clarity and the smell of Heaven, it would be like I have written before “like trying to describe blue or red to someone who was blind from birth”! They don’t have a concept of the color and if they haven’t seen it before then a description falls far short of what it is! It is the same with any description of Heaven, those of us on Earth have never experienced a perfect world, one which has deeper, richer colors and textures and even smells than we can experience here.

Life here is limited to our place…where we live, what we are exposed to and our ability to understand all that God has placed in our life. We can’t understand how a person living in Mongolia or the Congo or India lives because “we haven’t walked in their shoes or their sandals”. Even in America, there are many different cities and problems within those cities where we can’t understand the reason for the violence and other problems because unless you live there, you CAN’T know anything about it!

The best part of being a Christian is that we can live here expecting Jesus to come and we will have a home there too. Why bring this up today? Because, we all have problems and there are bad things happening in this world every day but…God is in control and He knows what is happening and why. Could He stop many of the things which are happening? Yes, but what would we learn from life if an angel came to our rescue every time? What would we learn about life and living if we looked for God to give us everything and we didn’t have to do anything for it?

We would be treating Him like many people look to the government today, waiting for their stamps and their money to be put on the card again. There is no need to try to get a job or go to school because the government will take care of all your needs.

Having faith in God to take care of your needs is not the same as Him providing everything for your daily life. He does want us to depend on Him, but if you aren’t willing to live your life as if you are His child then why should He? God loves you so much that His Son took on human flesh to live among us and then die for our sins so that we can belong to His family! If you can’t be bothered with living the way He wants you to, then He might just let your life be like you are living it rather than the way it could be.


Does anyone feel this way today? There are days when I feel this way and it even encroaches upon lonely, even with friends and family around. Why is that? Mostly it is because, I think, of my disability. I don’t have a daily job to go to, I don’t work except when I preach at church on Sunday. My “self-worth” isn’t tied to a career or a job anymore.

The good news about this is that God sees me as being worth His grace and His love! Just as He sees you and every other person on this planet, He looks at us with eyes that have seen all of the good and the truly horrible in humanity, and He still loves us! Why is that?

Because He is God! He can do whatever He pleases and it pleases Him to love us!

His love is so far above what we know and feel until it won’t be known by us until we are in His Presence…if we are born-again Christians. If you haven’t given your heart to Him and asked His forgiveness for your ways, then you will face Him as a person being judged for their life, their words and deeds, and everything that you gave approval of in your life.

Alienation is loneliness but it can bring you closer to Jesus if you will seek Him in it. Depression can be overcome by Him in your life by seeking His guidance through prayer, and reading the Psalms. All of our hindrances and limitations can be brought under His strength and under His tutorship if we will let Him take the wheel of our life.

We weren’t meant to do everything alone and without Him in our lives. We try to do a lot before we find out about Jesus and we try to do it with our own strength, our own ideas, our way of fixing things. Until we find that most of the time, our way is not going to work. We still feel empty and inadequate, unable to meet the deadlines and the requirements with our strengths and our ideas.

What are we to do?

Submit your life to Jesus and ask Him to cleanse your heart and your life so that you will be part of the family of God. Believe that He died for your sins and took the punishment for them, then ask Him to forgive you and He will. The grace of God has been extended to you through Jesus, all you have to do is ask for it and it is yours. You won’t be alone anymore because a part of God’s Spirit will live in your heart from that point on!

Worry, doubts and fears

It seems that every day people are bombarded with more things which cause fear and anxiety. We doubt ourselves at times, and we have fears which cause us to worry about things which we can’t control. What can we do about this? Can we do anything about this situation? It depends upon your situation and your faith.

Some people claim that they can handle their own lives and they don’t need to have “blind faith” in religion to help them get through life. The problem with this kind of attitude is that when push comes to shove and things get a bit out of hand, most will seek out a “higher power” for comfort and direction even if they claim that they don’t believe in a “higher power”. God is that One Who is higher than all, Jesus is the One Who can relate to our suffering and our pain and they can help in all of life’s situations no matter what!

With all of the news that is available to us on the Internet and television today, there is very little which goes on in the world that we can’t keep tabs on whether we truly want to or need to or not. All of this information can cause us to worry far more than is healthy, and the worst part is that we shouldn’t worry about it at all. God is in control of it all. He is watching and guiding your life and mine toward that day when He will call us home.

Yes, one day the whole world will see that we are important to our Creator. Important enough that He will be returning soon, much sooner than most think. Many people are going to be surprised and terrified when that day comes and the church, the believers who are waiting for His call, all disappear and are taken to Heaven. Then they will want to believe, but it will be harder to do so. Many explanations will be given which have nothing to do with God or the Bible’s prophecies but just as in the days of Noah, when the door to the ark was shut the only ones saved were the ones inside.

We don’t have “blind faith” in a God Who is not there. He is the Creator because there is no way that all of this universe could come into being as it is because of an accident. Our own solar system, out of all the ones that have been discovered, is the only one that is stable and with orbits for all of the planets that allow for life to flourish. All of the hundreds of solar systems that have been discovered are too close to their star or too far-flung to harbor life.

God loves all of us, no matter what your skin color is or your culture, but we refuse His provision and His grace when we try to take His place. When we think that we know better than He does how to fulfill our lives in this world, we are deluding ourselves. Seek God in the Bible or at a church which teaches from His Word. Pray that your life can have meaning in and through Him and seek His wisdom every day. This is the best way to relieve stress and worry because He is the One Who holds tomorrow in His hand. All that we have is today.

Live today for Jesus and then do it again tomorrow, then repeat until He comes again. That is the prescription which will conquer worry, doubt and fears far better than anything that a doctor can give you.

Are you for real?!

Many times when we are honest about our faith with someone, this may be the response. But, Jesus told us that if we deny that we know Him here then He will deny us in Heaven. I don’t want that on my conscience and I would rather be true to my faith in Him than not. Am I a Jesus freak? Well, I am a pastor of a small church and I have a ministry on facebook and here too, so I would say that yes, I am a bit of a “Jesus freak”. That is just fine with me actually. Why? Because it is my job and my calling. Why do Christians think that we are not supposed to tell others when Jesus Himself told the disciples to go and tell everyone about the Gospel? We are part of that company if we have given our life and our hearts to Him!
Is Christianity real? The religion is but the commitment of the believers is questionable. Why? If you were told that you had a gift waiting for you, if you would claim it and tell others how to get the same gift, would you?

In today’s world, if that gift were a million dollars, some would claim it and then tell others how they could get it. Some would hoard the information and not tell anyone else, why? If you knew that there was a cure for cancer would you give it to just someone in your family or would you spread the news about this cure, particularly if it was a simple cure that anyone could have? Some would and some would keep this information to themselves. Why?

If you knew about the end of life result for someone that would result in their eternity being an endless torment and you knew that they needed Jesus in their heart…wouldn’t you tell them about Him? Wouldn’t you read the Bible to them and try to explain the salvation message to them? Some people would tell them, others would say that is someone else’s job, not mine. Everyone needs to know about the way to salvation whether they choose to act on that knowledge or not is their decision.

Live…Love…and Joy!

In times of trouble and strife,

Things which come into all of our lives,

Open your heart and your mind,

To be especially kind,

To those less fortunate or maybe who are just hurting.

These are the times when God’s Wisdom has to come in,

but it can’t enter into a closed mind and heart. You have to

be able to take it into yourself and allow it to change you,

so that others may see His Strength, His Love and His mercy

in you and me.

Drama and life

It seems that today with the Internet and all of the social media outlets that we have, there is more drama than ever about things which are happening all of the time. I know, years ago this was all gossip on the phones. The problem with today’s version is that this stuff never really goes away! Births and deaths, accidents and graduations, heart attacks and strokes, family reunions and funerals, they will ALL be there until the Internet and Facebook are gone! Even then, some trace of this will be available to future generations to read and wonder about.

Dramatic situations and life seem to go hand in hand today, but they really shouldn’t. Yes, life goes on no matter what is happening around us and we can make it dramatic or dramatizing if we want it that way. But…why? I know that tragedy strikes and yes, that can be dramatic and traumatic at the same time but God will see you through it! If you haven’t given your life to Him, then you really should. If you need to know why you should do so, then you haven’t gotten there yet.

God doesn’t want us to go through life alone without Him, yet we merrily do so thinking that we can do it all on our own with no help at all. Many times, we are right…as long as everything is going smoothly. Get one of those phone calls from the doctor or a pink slip from your job, and things could change in a hurry! If you have a teen in the house and you get a call from the hospital or the police or sheriff and your life may change forever.

God is there with you through these times, and all that you need to do is call on Him. His Strength is available to you through the Holy Spirit and His Grace is always available, just ask Him for it! There is no shame or disgrace in admitting that you need Him because we all do!

Granted, He doesn’t shower us with gold or silver when we ask for it but that is because He knows what is best for us at any given time. His Grace and mercy and His Peace is always available through His Word, the Bible. We don’t have to pay much for it, we don’t need psychologists or self-help books to find the wisdom for life’s problems because it is all found within the pages of the Bible.

Seek Him first for your needs, your peace, your health, your life and He will provide all of those and more because He loves you! Any who have lost children or spouses to an illness or death, seek Him out and pray for His peace and comfort and He will gladly provide it. Though it won’t rid you of your grief and the pain that you feel, it will make it more bearable because He loves you!

Think about it.

Is today a really bad day?

Are you under the bus? Is that how it feels today? How bad are you feeling today? Are you in a place where you feel like you are under the bus?

We all have days, sometimes weeks, where we may not feel good about the situation that we are in, whether it is one that we put ourselves in or our health may have put us in this spot. Did you do it to yourself or did God allow it to happen? For some of us, it is something which we actually are responsible for the situation, good or bad but usually bad, that we find ourselves in. Then, depending on how bad it may be we get into a pity party over it and carry it into other people’s lives so we won’t be alone. Is your situation caused by dependency on drugs or alcohol? Then, you got yourself into it and nobody can get you out until you make that decision to do so. God can give you the strength and the courage to get out, but it is still your decision to take the first step away from where you are.

For many people, that first step is the hardest one to take, especially if you are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Why is that? Because, our body reacts with the chemicals which we put into it and depending upon how they make us feel, we get strongly addicted to them. The stronger the so-called “good feeling” is, then the stronger the addiction is which makes it harder for you to break the addiction and get away from it. Why am I bringing this up during the holidays? Because, during the holidays is the time when many people get depressed over money or relationships or ??? Who knows what can cause these feelings, but it seems to happen during Christmas more often than it should.

We see people who seem to be happy in their lives, smiling and laughing and getting stuff to give to each other and if we aren’t able to do the same thing, then it makes us miserable. How do you know that they really are happy? That may just be a “fake happy face” that they use during this time of year! We don’t let people see the real us most of the time, that is reserved for close family or sometimes nobody knows the “real me”, you know how that feels? I do.

I have lived it and been that way for years and didn’t realize how much damage that I caused in my own life and in my own relationships until recently. I went into a real depressive state earlier this year and it took reading and praying my way through the Psalms to get me out of it. Depression can make you feel like you are not just under the bus, but that the bus is parked on top of you and you feel like there is nothing or nobody who cares enough about you to help get you out! Although, sometimes we want to stay in that condition. We don’t really care to get out or maybe we don’t want to get out from under this cloud and feel better.

Well, I am here today to tell you that you can do it! It is possible to come out from under the cloud and the bust and the addiction because there is Someone Who loves you dearly, even if you don’t feel lovable and may not even love yourself! God loves you and has loved you for thousands of years. Jesus came and died on the cross for you, so that you can come to know Him and the Father because of His sacrifice which covered not only your sins, but everyone else’s sins in the world as well! He came down to Earth in human form but with God as His Father and He had no “sinful nature” inside of Him like we do, and yet He still died for our sins, our weaknesses, our problems even though He didn’t have to…He did it because He loves us. Not because we are lovable, but because if He hadn’t, we would be doomed to eternity without knowing Him or God. We wouldn’t have been able to make ourselves right with God because it just isn’t part of our nature.

Jesus came into the manger as a babe in swaddling clothes, clothed in flesh so that He could know our troubles, our weaknesses, our fears, our heartaches and give us comfort through all of them because He has been there. He knows about your trouble and your triumph, your fear and your joy. He knows your pain and the pleasure of love without the sinful nature that we have to deal with. He and the Father love each one of us regardless of our trials and faults. All that we have to do is believe that He conquered our troublemaker and our sickness and then ask Him to come into our lives and give us the strength to make it out from our place of pain…out from under the bus. Then, pray and seek His strength to do it again tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Being free from the pain of addiction is possible, but it takes us and Jesus to move, to take that first step, and then another and another until we are clear of it and we can see the Light and His love for us.

When you are down

1623771_736809902997332_1536594980_nThe times that I have been down in my life and not realized what I was going through, I don’t think that I could count them. I was very likely depressed more than I thought but I just thought that I was having a bad day. In truth, I was having a bad day but it also involved being at school or being with my family which really didn’t help much and sometimes made it worse.

They tried to help cheer me up or make me laugh. It worked sometimes, but more often than not it didn’t and it just compounded the problem. Family members, Mom, grandmother and grandfather and friends from school all would try to “help” in their own ways but the depression was still there, sometimes it was less cumbersome than before but often I would just lie and tell them that I was OK, and we would get on with the day.

True, that was not the right way to handle it but I didn’t know that at the time and neither did you. The point that I am making here is not one to bring up old habits or memories from this past week or in your life. My point on this site is to point you to the One person Who can help heal the dark areas of your mind and bring you back into the light of day. He won’t force you to worship Him and I won’t bring up the sinful life that we have all lived, because you know what you have done or what you may be doing today.

God loves you so much that He allowed His Son to give His life on a cross in order to take the penalty for your sins, regardless of how bad you think that you are. He came so that you can have an abundant life, one that is full of purpose and hope, not depression and thoughts of death and despair. I have had them myself, but I have conquered them through Jesus and His strength not on my own.

Give your life and REAL purpose, follow Jesus and do what the other disciples did…make disciples of others, become His disciple not because you are required to but because you are grateful that you have the chance. God has a place for you in eternity, and all that you or I have to do to get there is to believe in the saving power of Jesus and what He did for all of us on that cross.

What do we leave behind?

10561767_743035049071205_2362292510227829463_nThe genius that left us behind today was a great man of talent. He is going to be missed by many, not only in Hollywood but all over the world. His comedic genius and wit has been entertaining audiences for over three decades and it was a shock when I heard that he was gone. Could we have done more to help him? Could the world or his friends come along side him and helped to get him through his deep depression? I don’t know!

I have been through a few months of depression myself, though my depression wasn’t as deep as his was. I will truly miss his life being in our world because I was looking forward to another Mrs. Doubtfire. But, I will be happy to watch the original over again as well as his other television shows and movies. It is a shame that many people don’t leave a lasting impression on humanity like celebrities and sports figures. Yet, even their influence will be felt less and less as time goes on. We still see and hear Elvis and John Lennon and Michael Jackson, but the impact that they made begins to fade after a time.

Do we really leave a legacy to society when we are gone or do the memories fade as the audience that we had dwindles with age? I will never know, because I don’t have a following such as any celebrity does. Some of you might miss my writing one day, but it won’t last long in Internet time. I will be replaced with the newest and best that is out there.

The thing that I hope that I have left you with is that Jesus is the answer to all of your problems. Not Muhammad or Buddha or any other god or religious figure. Jesus came and died for you and me and He is the Savior of us all. The only requirement of you is your belief in Him and your request for Him to come into your life and make you into a new creation in Him. That is all that you need to do. There is no money required, no sacrifice that you have to give, only that you believe in Him and in what He did for you. He made more of an impact on our world with His death but it was because of His resurrection that we still have hope!

No matter what the problem or your circumstances may be, He is the only real answer for it and the only One that matters! Please give Him your heart and your life, then you will see what true eternal life will be like!

What has been your “test”?

Have you been blessed with a “test” in your life? Many people don’t think of these as tests but as trials. In reality, it is a learning time or a teachable moment, even if the so-called moment lasts longer than you wish or want it to. Think of Job, in the Bible, his teachable “moment” took away everything that he had including his health. So much so that his wife advised him: “His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!“. ( Job 2:9)  What kind of nonsense it that!?

Giving up on life or cursing God…neither option is a good one and could actually make things much worse! God loves each of us far more than we can understand and He is always near us, especially if you are a Christian. Although many who are going through times that are hard, especially now, may not be Christians. So, what can they do? If things seem to be too hard to bear, cry out to God! He is the Great Physician and is able to do above and beyond what we can know or think to ask for!

Jesus died for us so that we can come to the Father at any time and if your heart feels that there is no hope, there really is! Through Jesus’ sacrifice for us, He gave us the access to God directly. We no longer have to go to a priest or a rabbi to know that our prayers are being heard. There is nothing that we can do that will aid our prayers about whatever it might be that is tasking us and trying our faith. God hears what you need, especially when we are seeking Him for His ever-present help and understanding!

We are not to test God with irrational things like jumping from a building or handling snakes or drinking poison. Our faith may save us in some of those situations, but God will allow gravity to have its way. The other so-called “tests” are just against common sense, period!

The point that I am trying to make is that God loves us and will save our souls if we come to Him, seeking Him for our salvation. When we add suicide into the mix of “issues”, God will allow your soul to be saved if you have given your heart to Him prior to this, even though some might argue this point. My actual point is that if you have given your heart to Jesus and truly asked Him into your life, I don’t believe that He will allow you to get so far down that you take your life. During my month of feeling this way, I have thought of suicide but that is as far as it went…just thoughts and nothing more.

I love my wife and son too much to leave them like that and even though I love Jesus more, I don’t believe that He wants me to do something that stupid with my life. If for no other reason than it doesn’t honour Him at all if I kill myself! Writing this out seems to be helping in many ways because it is almost like talking to a therapist without the bill. Besides, they have no interest in you anyway. All that they want is their fee. I may be wrong about that, but consider that they don’t really know you at all, you are just a patient to them.

Anyway, God created you and knows you far more intimately than anyone. He knew that this was coming and why. He also knows when it will end and will enable you to get through it, and you will by depending upon Him, trusting Him and having faith in His provisions for you.