Darkness and Light


In our world today we live in places of both darkness and light. Sometimes it can be seen or heard or reported in the news, sometimes it is more spiritual in nature. Particularly when someone you may know seems to go off the deep end unexpectedly when you don’t see it coming and nobody can explain any reason for it. Then there are times when we see an unexpected kindness in places where it doesn’t show up very often and it seems to grow by being passed on to others because of a kindness which a stranger did.

No one seems to understand how either of these can be seen in our world. The darkness which rises on our television screens when people are killed for no apparent reason. The light which shows up when someone either gives their life to save another or when someone does something for people they don’t know and didn’t have to do it but they did.

How can both exist in our world today? Because of the war between good and evil or God and Satan. This is the reason for both being seen in our world today. Sometimes or rather most of the time, we hear about the darkness more than we do the light simply because it gets our attention and it makes a better news story. Oh, there will be a small story at the end of the news where you will hear about a kindly man or woman who does something for others and they try to make it seem as if kindness was truly rare in our world.

Sometimes kindness and love really are rare in our world, but I believe that is because it doesn’t sell well. Kindness doesn’t make good news or copy for a newspaper. Evil or darkness makes really good news stories regardless of the media which picks it up. Also, we tend to pay attention to bad news more than we do when we hear about something which is good but unexpected. Why? For the same reason that the media picks up bad news… we look at it as more interesting, even when it may be a tragedy like the school shootings in the past few years.

If we are trying to follow in Jesus’ footsteps in our life we should be doing as much as possible to spread some kindness, some light into the world. Not for fame or recognition but to bring the world’s attention to Jesus and His teachings. A small kindness may not go very far but sometimes it goes a lot farther than you think it does.

Give …. a chance!


There are many, many things which could go in that space and I don’t want to even attempt to go over all of them. Today, you could say that our country should go in there or the President-elect, Donald Trump, should be in that spot. There are many more that could go there but my point here is that whatever you place in that blank space, do it!

Don’t just say it, do it! What is the most important part of your life which needs to be in that place? Is it your job or something concerning school or your marriage which needs a chance to work? Is it your relationship with your Savior? Is there a multiplicity of options in your life which needs a chance to work?

We all have things which need a chance to work, in one way or another. For some of us it is a relationship, whether it is one with our Savior or our spouse or another family member, really doesn’t matter. The point is that relationships have to be worked on, taken care of, nurtured if we want them to grow. So much is going on in the world today, and if it was broken down to what the REAL problems are and what or maybe Who would fix it, the choice would be simple.

The problem with that is this: nobody likes a simple solution.

Simple solutions to complex problems involving cultures and religions which have been at odds for centuries are not achievable in our world. Why? Because we are human and our solutions involve other human beings, each of us has their own idea about a solution to a specific problem. When we don’t cooperate with each other to implement a solution, the problem gets bigger and it isn’t solved in the long run.

The point that I am attempting to get across to those who may read this is that human problems don’t have a human solution. Our solution is found in the Bible, in His Wisdom and faith in Him, not in our fallible ways and understanding. I don’t claim to have those answers, but God does. They are found by reading and studying His Word and asking Him for wisdom in our daily lives.

Living by His Word, studying His Word and His wisdom and asking Him to show you and me the way through a problem or around a problem is the best way to live. It isn’t easy because most of us don’t like to admit that we can’t find the solution. It isn’t easy because we don’t really like to study any book, regardless of which one it may be. God’s Word isn’t hard to understand if you ask Him to help you to understand it.

Seek Him out in the Bible, because when you go looking for Him…you will find Him or He will come to you. He hasn’t lost you, but you may have forgotten where to look for Him. Don’t forget that God loves you and has loved you and me since before the world was created. Each of us has a job in His Kingdom, mine is being a preacher, yours may be something totally different. Just like any government in the world, all jobs are important in some way and if someone isn’t doing their job then the rest suffer for it.

Love, where did it come from?


I know, there are going to be people wondering about my sanity now. Trust me, I know where I am going with this.

The honest answer to that question is very simple: It came from God! He wouldn’t have made our world the way that He did if He didn’t love us, all of us! God made the universe itself so that we could look out and see what an awesome God we serve! Why am I putting so many exclamation marks in these sentences? Because the point that I am making needs to be emphasized so people will notice it.

God put all of the planets together in our solar system in the order that they are because of His love for us. How or rather why do I say this? Because Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus are all out past the asteroid belt and they scoop up or influence any comet or other body so our planet doesn’t get slammed like the moon or Mercury.

I know that our planet has been hit in the past by meteors which have done some serious damage, but not to the extent of wiping humanity off the face of the Earth. Love came to us through the acts and the intent of God because He loved us before He created Earth. In His Word there are many references to His love for us and we should be able to see it in everything around us every day! If you can’t then there is something wrong.

Why do I say this? It is because of the questions and the angry outbursts which will come after this hurricane. So many people killed and put out of their homes by a storm which moved so slow, couldn’t God stop it? Yes, He could have, but what will come out of this storm? People helping people who have been made homeless, people helping those who are injured by the debris or by walls falling, food and shelter will be given and provided by people who didn’t have to do anything but they were moved with compassion to do something.

What is it that makes us be compassionate in times like this? It is because we are made in the image of God, all of us can see the needs of those who need help and if we can help, we should. Satan has a temporary claim on the rulership of this world, but his time is growing shorter by the day. He knows this and he is trying to cause as much pain and suffering in this world as he can. Not so much to punish us, but to make people question whether God cares for us or not!

God loves us, all of us. It is because of His love that many of us are still here, and those who have been killed by these storms or earthquakes or wars are casualties of Satan’s hatred for humanity! Give your life to Jesus and follow Him because when you look at the signs all around us and the prophecies in God’s Word, you can see that there isn’t much time left for this world before He comes! Amen.

What are the names for God?


The references above came from the website of the BlueletterBible.org

Why am I listing all of the names found in the Old Testament for God and His Name? Because it is needed and necessary in today’s environment and in our culture, not only because of where the world is in Prophecy but because there are so many who just need Him!

Truly, we all need Him in our lives but do you seek Him? Have you sought Him out in your trials and in your life? He is there, regardless of what you hear from people who don’t believe in Him. He hears your prayers and He will answer if you have given your life to Him. He will also answer if you repent of your sins and turn back to Him, asking Him to be your Lord and Savior.

God is a provider and a Protector and He is our Creator, we should honor Him in all that we do and in how we live every day! Being a Christian is getting harder because people don’t want to hear about Jesus anymore. The few that do want to hear are the ones that we need to be speaking to and God will lead them to you or you to them whichever is the best way. He will also give you the words to say so that they can come to know Him.

Don’t turn away from God, because He has never turned away from you! Get to know Him while you have the time.

Happy Birthday, America!


usa-american-flag-gif-3

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!

Apples and Jesus


A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago .. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. In their rush, with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding…

ALL BUT ONE!!! He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned.

He told his buddies to go on without him, waved good-bye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.

He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her; no one stopping and no one to care for her plight.

The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, “Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you okay?” She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.”

As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, “Mister….” He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, “Are you Jesus?”

He stopped in mid-stride …. and he wondered. He gently went back and said, “No, I am nothing like Jesus – He is good, kind, caring, loving, and would never have bumped into your display in the first place.

“The girl gently nodded: “I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me gather the apples. He sent you to help me, so you are like Him – only He knows who will do His will. Thank you for hearing His call, Mister.”

Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: “Are you Jesus?”

Do people mistake you for Jesus?

That’s our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace.

If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting scripture and going to church. It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day-to-day .

You are the apple of His eye even though you, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked up you and me on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit.

Sometimes we just take things for granted, when we really need to be sharing what we know….

 

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect.
It means you’ve decided to see beyond the imperfections.”

The nicest place to be is in someone’s thoughts,
the safest place to be is in someone’s prayers,
and the very best place to be is ……..
in the hands of God

God Smiled on You Today .

Understanding…


I have read many books, scientific and novels, books to waste time with and books which help you in ways that you need help with. I have come to understand much of the Bible itself but I am still studying it and will be until my death. I won’t understand all of it even then.

Yet, I am a father to a teenage son who is very much like me in so many ways, and I can’t understand him. I suppose it is because I have never fully understood myself. Which is something that I doubt that very many people in the world can claim truthfully. Why am I writing this on my blog? I suppose to vent a little, but more to the point I am doing it because I need to.

Most of the words which I have written here I don’t believe were entirely my own, but were inspired by the Spirit of God. I have never been very eloquent or well spoken, especially in public, but I seem to be able to write things that people have told me seem to be inspired wisdom. Surely the wisdom that I have written here is from God because I don’t consider myself to be a wise man. Yes, I am a preacher and I do preach on Sunday morning every week but most of that is reading from God’s Word and then trying to explain it in the best way that I can. The wisdom that is there in those sermons comes from God, not from me. It comes from the Holy Spirit guiding me in my sermons and I believe that He does that here as well.

So, the reason that I am writing this is to help me understand myself and my son and possibly to help others who may be going through the same issues in their lives. God knows each of us far more intimately than we know ourselves and He can reveal things in your life and mine that we didn’t know, even pertaining to ourselves. So, what can I find out about myself from God today? I am not sure if He will reveal much to me that I don’t already know.

I am stubborn, and I have a temper which I pray that He will help me with every day. Some days it is hard to focus on the project at hand and stay focused until it is done, so I likely have a bit of ADD but that is okay too. God still uses me in ways that I never thought possible, as for understanding myself and my son that is going to take a lot more time and effort than just writing an entry here. God will help me with that as well.

We all need to understand each other and ourselves just in order to get along better. The problem is that we are never taught any of this in school and very rarely at home. The understanding part only comes from God and He only hands that out to those who ask for it. If you don’t ask, you don’t receive. Please don’t ask God for patience though, your learning about that may be entertaining for Him but you won’t like it at all! Patience comes through reading the Psalms and prayer. Learning about God and His ways gives you the understanding that you need in all situations. See, God gave me my answer just as I knew He would!

Applying it to a teenager is a different story altogether, so I will try to learn more about God’s understanding so I can cultivate some of my own. I pray that all of you who read this will be safe and secure in God’s love and know that He does love you no matter what! I am also praying for the families and friends of those killed in France. There will be a victory in the fight against evil one day, just make sure which side you are on!

Amen

 

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.

Trust and obey, how can we do that today?


And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory is departed from Israel”: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. (Isaiah 4:21)

At the wedding in Cana, Mary the mother of Jesus told the servants, His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

In the first quote from Isaiah, it was a time of Israel’s departure from worshipping God. They were following all of the stuff that was around them in the promised land. The gods of the different people had enticed them, the people had enticed them and they had fallen out of love with God. Why? Because they had done it before, time and time again. People today ask, “How did the gods entice them?” Satan and his demons were the gods and they would cause things to happen from time to time so that the god seemed real, but the piece of wood or metal was still just as deaf and dumb as it was before. When the ark of God was taken from Israel, the Spirit of God did leave the Temple and the nation itself.

In the second quote above, the mother of Jesus told the servants to make sure that they did what He told them to do. Why? Because of Who He was and Who He is! Today, we have many churches which have formed their own doctrines and their own requirements for worship, but they are man-made! What good is that? Anything done by man or made by man will flop if it is not done for the Glory of God! If what you are doing in your life is only for yourself and nobody else, then it may work for a while but ultimately it will fail. It doesn’t matter if it is a business or your marriage, if you haven’t dedicated it to God and His Kingdom and make sure that you seek His Wisdom for it every day, then there will be trouble at some point. It may start as something small and insignificant but it will get worse.

Give your heart and your life as well as yourself to Jesus. Dedicate your marriage and your business to Him by giving ten percent of your increase to the church and God’s Kingdom. All of these are the beginning of wise living, the most important is giving yourself to Jesus and asking Him to come into your life. Live your life as if He was walking with you because if you have asked Him into your life, He is. Be careful of your business dealings, make sure that they would glorify God no matter what you do. The outward appearance of holiness without the inward man being renewed by Jesus, if like a white-washed tomb. It is pretty, but it isn’t clean. Just as you can clean up a hog and take it to the ring and show it off, but as soon as you let him out of the trailer at home, he will go straight to the mud wallow.

Living your life as Jesus would is the only way to show the world exactly Who it is that we follow. If they can’t see Jesus in your life, then He very likely isn’t in your life or your heart. Remember the clean hog? He is only clean until you let him out, then he goes right back to what he was doing before. Love and the power to change comes with Jesus, if you can’t show others both of those results in your life, then maybe you need the One Who can clean you up inside and out.

To finish the story from the wedding in Cana, Jesus told the servants to fill six water jars (about thirty gallons each) to the brim, then take it to the man in charge of the wedding. He told the groom, “Most people give the best wine at the first, then bring out the cheap wine. You have saved the best wine for last”.

It was because the servants did what Jesus told them to do that the miracle happened. The water was not special. Neither were the pots. What made the difference? First, it was the One who gave the command and second it was the obedience of the servants. Obedience is the thing which God has always looked for in us. From the Garden all the way through the Bible to the end of the age, it is our obedience, faithfully doing the will of God which brings the most blessings into our lives and in the lives of others.

Many people might ask the question, “How do I find the will of God for my life?”. That answer is simple: seek Him out in reading the Bible, prayer for His wisdom in your life, pray that He would reveal His will to you through His Word. Just as Jesus said, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and all of these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

The Wisdom of God is contained within the pages of our Bibles, all that you need to do is read it, study it, pray over it and seek Him in it. Then pray about the things which you feel led to do by His Spirit. If He leads you to come to Him in repentance, then do that! It doesn’t matter how many years you have been in church! If you have been a member of a church for five years or fifty, that won’t save you if you haven’t given your heart to Jesus and asked Him to change you into what and who He knows you can be!

Live for Him, allow Him to live and work through you every day, because this is how many people will come to know Him and your example may be the only time that they ever meet Jesus before the end of their life. Make sure that they recognize Him through you.

Birthday wishes and kind words


Birthday wishes are like snowflakes, they are beautiful as they come and they make you appreciate the life that you have. We appreciate them when we see them or hear them fall on your ears. Wishing someone a happy birthday is a wonderful way to appreciate this person’s friendship. Appreciation of someone’s friendship is a wonderful way of showing kindness toward people who are or have been part of your life. Whether they are in your life now or not, even if you only see them infrequently, kindness and appreciation are qualities which you get from being Christ-like.

Yes, you can be kind and appreciative even if you are not a Christian but you will be even more so if you are one. Your character or the character of Jesus will come through into your daily living, your being, and it will show through everything that you do. There won’t be much of this distrustful, mean-spirited, person left in you. Now, I am not saying that everyone who is not a Christian is this way, I have met a few Christians who act this way in their life and their business practices. I suppose thinking that if they are kind and caring toward their competition that they will be run over in their business and be taken advantage of by people, so they think that they have to be “tough-minded and hard”.

Do you think that Jesus was this way while He was a carpenter before He began His ministry? I doubt it. I think that He was just as easy-going and kind toward those who didn’t want to pay Him for His work as He was to those who paid Him a little extra for the work that was done. Being a kind person, whether in business or in your everyday life, is easy but as Jesus said “be shrewd as vipers” when working or talking around people who might take advantage of you. In today’s world people will try to take advantage of you when you are kind to them or seem to be naive, so conduct yourself in the way that Jesus would.

Seek His wisdom, found in Proverbs mostly, to conducting your life and your business and then do it everyday. Some people may not see the love and compassion of Jesus until they see it or hear it in something that you do or say. Just a kind word, a “thank you” for something that is expected but say it anyway, open the door for someone who is carrying a package, just being helpful can go a long way toward bringing someone to the knowledge of Jesus.