Problems and disagreements

These go together of course but they should be dealt with long before they get out of hand.

All of us have these from time to time. In our friendships, in our relationships with each other, and in business too. So what can we do about it? Well…that depends on the type of relationship. If it is between business partners sit down and talk about it. Find out what is the real problem and try to find a fix for it. If it is between friends, sit down and talk about it. Don’t just push each other away and let it fester into something that will break your friendship, especially if it is something that can be fixed. Put your pride away and try to be civil about your relationship. It is hard to do in our “my way” world because everyone seems to want things to always go their way and have no respect for the other person’s feelings or reasons for their actions.

This is especially true in marriage. “Me, and my and mine and I” really don’t belong in a relationship between husband and wife, but often those are the words that start an argument that can lead to divorce. It seems to be inevitable primarily when the children are grown and the “partners” are not on the same page anymore. 

Life gets in the way and it can cause disagreements even between people that haven’t really had an argument for a long time. Personal issues, financial issues, sexual wants, and needs all get in the way of a lasting relationship and today the word “compromise” seems to have been taken out of our abilities and our marriages. 

All of these problems can be solved through faith and prayer IF we are both willing to work on the relationship. When you get frustrated and tired of fighting or disagreeing, that is when someone will just give up on keeping the relationship going regardless of what kind of relationship it is. Thankfully, God doesn’t give up on us like this but we do. Many marriages and friendships are lost due to being tired of the words and the drama that goes along with them. As a friend of mine said, “It just gets old and I’m tired”.

The problem that I see in this is that each of us in a long-term relationship has been blessed with that person by God Himself and it is our responsibility to look beyond big or small disagreements because we should be honoring Him in this as well. Whether it is a friendship or a marriage, it has been given to each of us for a purpose. Finding out that purpose and holding on to it is our responsibility as Christians. Unless you have given your heart to Jesus, this won’t really apply to you. Being devoted to Christ and devoted to those in our lives goes hand in hand but our relationship with Jesus comes first. If that foundation isn’t there, the other relationships will also fail.

The foundation having Jesus Christ at the center of your life gives every relationship in your life a firm foundation, to begin with. If that isn’t there or if that relationship hasn’t been dedicated to Jesus, to begin with then there will be trouble in the long run.

Seek forgiveness if possible

It seems that there are many who are offended today by the small stuff. Things which wouldn’t have been noticed twenty or thirty years ago, but today the words or actions seem to get under people’s skin. What happened? Did we all get so thin-skinned in the past few decades until even the little stuff causes problems which can’t be forgiven?

Have you said something to someone in the past which you didn’t mean in the way that it was taken? We have all said something at one point or another in our lives which we truly wish we had never said but just like spilled milk, words can’t be put back. The damage is done, sometimes the damage takes months or years to come to light. Then again, sometimes a word or phrase or even a gesture can blow up like a bomb and cause all sorts of hurt and emotional pain.

Can this be fixed? Sometimes they can, and sometimes they can’t or won’t be forgotten or forgiven. The rhyme we learn as kids, usually from our parents or a friend actually isn’t true…words can hurt, sometimes deeply enough that the person never heals and never forgets. Many times those words were spoken in anger or under the influence of alcohol or prideful arrogance.

Yes, I have said things in the past which I regret to people who were my friends or schoolmates. Mainly because I can’t remember who I said them to or under what circumstance they were said, and it bothers me that I can’t recall having said them. Do I wish that I had not said or done whatever it was which caused someone pain? Yes! I pray that I will have the opportunity to ask forgiveness one day but today I can’t because I don’t remember what was said or to whom it was said.

Lord, I pray that you will bring this to my attention or bring us together so that healing can begin before this life is over. Amen.

The wonder of Joy

joyIn many ways when we come to know Jesus, we are joyful in that knowledge that we have our salvation granted through Jesus our Savior. We are very much like a small child, giddy and so happy that our Savior loves us enough to grant us our salvation through His blood, His death and resurrection! So…what happens after you find that you need to learn more about Him and learn to listen to Him every day?

It seems that many people don’t experience that joyous wonder like a child. They understand that they need Him and they ask Him into their hearts. But sometimes our church or others in the church who should shepherd them toward their Savior drop the ball. Many people end up just standing in ankle-deep salvation for many years and some never get past that point.

The joy of knowing Jesus and knowing that you have been saved through His sacrifice in your place should carry you through for many months until you begin to mature as a Christian. But how do you do that? The same way you get through any learning situation, by study, prayer and by seeking His advice for your life every day. It is a daily walk with Him after all, and just as any relationship…it needs to be cultivated and nurtured.

He is your Creator and your Savior and that relationship should be one that continues all through your life, day in and day out. Sounds boring, but think about Who you are having a relationship with! He is the Creator, the Son of God, your Savior and the second Person of the Trinity! Could there be anyone in the universe who could possibly be more interesting?

If you are wondering how you could get to know Him, READ the Bible! God inspired the writers and disciples to tell you about Himself and His personality. Yes, sometimes He is demanding but it’s because He expects us to obey Him, just as we expect our children to obey when they learn the rules about being in your house! Life, as a child of God, is a learning process and it is one that takes a lifetime! You can’t get a version of it which is a digest version, it is a day by day, week by week learning process which is very much like our own lives.

The joy of knowing Jesus is like the joy of bringing home your newborn son or daughter. It or rather they are new in your life, you are new at learning how to handle your relationship with them or Him. As time goes on and you learn more about Him, the joy should grow into a deeper love and a deeper relationship…but there should always be a bit of joy in it from day-to-day!


A friend and Savior

TrueFriendshipCould we be friends?

Sometimes people get so caught up in life and living until they forget about the friends they have. Friends put up with all sorts of behavior that even your family won’t put up with, but that doesn’t mean that you should forget them. True friends are those that even when it has been years since you last spoke to each other, you can just pick up where you left off. How many friends like that do you have?

This is the type of friend that we all have available in Jesus.

When you give your heart to Jesus, He becomes your Savior and friend but HE also introduces you to many other people who can be your friends. Your brothers and sisters in Christ! They know Him and through their spirit and your spirit you can become close friends. I am not saying this is automatic because that is not how friendships work, but it can be.

God created us all to be as close as friends no matter where we live or what our life may be like. Could you be friends with God? Of course you can, if you will just decide to follow Him and His Son, every day not just once or twice per month. Walk with Him in life, daily…even hourly, because HE gives your breath to you and your heart beats because of His grace too!

Friendship is a relationship and being a child of God, saved and sanctified by the atoning blood of Jesus, is also a relationship which needs to be a lifelong one! Your relationship with Jesus should be one which is even closer than just friends and in order for that to be, you need to learn as much as possible about Him! This can be done by reading and studying the Bible and attending a church which teaches from it.

Consider that your relationship with Jesus is a friendship. Mainly because He already knows you far better than you know Him, so pursue Him like you would if He is the only Life that you have…because after this one He truly is your Life or your Judge, it is your choice which one He will be. Choose wisely.

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

Why don’t relationships work?

Truly the reason that this happens is because of the foundation. Many marriages begin on the wrong foot and certainly on sand or loose gravel for a foundation. Why do we pursue a relationship that ultimately will fail?

IAM-JesusWe do this because we haven’t found the Relationship which can’t fail. We are born searching for something or Someone but for years we search and look for things and people to fill that void, that empty place which always feels as if it needs…to be filled. It is a scientific principle which states quite accurately that “nature abhors a vacuum”. At some point, something will fill that space whether it is good or bad, God or Satan, it doesn’t matter which, but it will be filled.

If we try to fill it with a career or a family, that can work for a while but it isn’t permanent. If we try to fill it with drugs or alcohol, our life and our relationships are doomed to fail because those things are designed to destroy whatever they come in contact with! But…if we will seek out our Savior, Jesus the Christ, and repent of the attempts which we have tried before, and ask Him to come in and clean our heart up, then our life will be placed on the right path.

Following Him, learning about Him by reading and studying the Bible, praying about your family and your problems, all of these will begin to fix your pathway and your life in such a way that your foundation will become complete and solid. When this happens, your relationship with your spouse and your family will begin to level out and become less bumpy and more smooth. This is the foundation which should guide our lives today but we tend to follow along with the rest of the crowd at school or church, if we go at all.

If everyone at school or at church is just going along to get along for the sake of being thought of as a “pillar of the community”, that is the wrong reason. Trying to earn a place in the eyes of people and “fair weather friends”, no matter how you earn it, doesn’t help you in the long run. Why? Because it isn’t built on God’s foundation which is Jesus.

You can decide to ignore this advice if you wish or just don’t read this at all, it doesn’t hurt my feelings one way or the other. But…what if I am right. When your life is going to hell on a slippery slope, which of your friends could possibly pull you out of it? A rich kid that you went to school with? No, they are likely off enjoying life just as they think they should. What about your dear friend from work? Not likely, they come home feeling even more tired than they did last year.

The only One Who can get your life back on the right path and give you strength enough to make it through all of your trouble is Jesus. No other religion or “holy man” or prophet can do that because all of them are dead! He is alive at the Father’s right hand and He is able to help you in your time of need. Seek Him out and make sure that He is your foundation and your Solid Rock, your Savior. Because without Him, we can do nothing.

Get your relationship with God and His Son, Jesus, right and the rest of your life will be so much better than it has ever been before.

Are you satisfied..with God?

You know, it sounds like a very silly question doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about His satisfaction with us? Actually, it really is a give and take relationship…a two-way relationship between you and God! Why wouldn’t we be satisfied with Him? Maybe He didn’t answer your prayer the way you thought He should or maybe something happened to you or a family member and you prayed to Him about it and got no peace about it or no answer at all.

God is not a genie! He is the Creator of the entire universe from the largest galaxy to the smallest particles of matter! He doesn’t have to answer your prayers the way that you want Him to! Especially, if your ideas and your wants conflict with what He has waiting for you! God loves you more than you know, but you need to realize that He is in control and learn to be satisfied with Him!

Satisfaction with God is not something which is automatic because we are not satisfied with out own lives most of the time. Being satisfied with God is knowing that He has your best interests in mind and knowing that He can see the future of this action or this prayer and He is going to work in your life for the best outcome, no matter what! Granted, there are times when the best outcome may be to bring you home to Heaven rather than allowing you to suffer here on Earth. We may not have the ability to heal your problems, but God can.

Although, sometimes His way of healing happens to include your travel to Heaven to stay. The connection between believers and God has to do with your Spirit which changed you into a born-again, sanctified Christian is always in communication with God, even if you are not. The Spirit living inside you is part of the Trinity and it is that part which is always in touch with God, as long as you haven’t quenched the Spirit’s influence or grieved the Spirit in any way.

The question about those two things weighed on my heart for a long time until recently, so I will give you the definition that I received. Quenching the Spirit is concerning something that God wants us to do and we don’t do it, grieving the Spirit is when you do something that is against God’s command or purpose in your life, like drinking a beer or smoking a joint especially when someone else may see you do it. You have grieved God’s Spirit in your life and you have ruined your testimony in front of someone else who knows that you claim to be a Christian.

We are complicated beings made in God’s image with a physical body, an immortal soul and if you are a Christian you have the Holy Spirit residing inside you to teach you, comfort you, strengthen you and guide you through whatever life throws your way. In order to live that kind of life, you need to learn about Him and His ways so you can listen to His voice and recognize it as God. The only way to do this is by reading God’s Word so you will know what His voice, His Word sounds like. It will always involve a relationship to either Himself or Jesus and it will never seek to do something which is against a command in the Bible.

Learn His ways by reading His Word and praying about what you read. Go to a Bible teaching church, regardless of the denomination, so that you will hear from His Word and not just someone’s ideas about God. Being satisfied with God and His provision for your life is something which we all need to do, even though it isn’t easy sometimes. It is a learning process just as being a Christian is. Yes, you can become a Christian by giving your heart to Jesus, but you have to learn to walk with Him on a daily basis and learn from Him and the Word so that you can be an effective witness to others.

When you give your heart to Him and truly ask Him to forgive you and make you His, you are a babe in Christ and just like babies we all have to grow and learn. Being a Christian is not automatic and it isn’t the easiest job to learn either, but it is well worth it! Satisfaction with Him will come as you learn more about Him and mature in your faith. Put your trust…your faith in Him like you see children trusting their parents or like your dog trusts you and you will learn quickly that it is the best relationship that you have ever had!

So much love

Yes, I know that there are many of you out there who may not know the One of which I speak. Yet, He does love you with such a deep and abiding love that it is indescribable, at least in human terms. I have felt it at times in worship and in reading and studying His Word, yet I can’t give you a description of it any more than you could tell someone about the color blue or red!

There are many ways that we feel love in life. Through our families, our friendships, even from people who somehow helped us when we didn’t know it. Love can be expressed in ways that defy description, even from human terms, but God’s love is a kind of love that goes as deep as your cellular structure, even into your atomic structure. That kind of love, agape’ love, is the kind that asks nothing in return and never expects anything more than love to be given away. In doing this, you glorify God and that gives Him pleasure too.

God created us, each of us, with certain talents and abilities and we are to use them for His Glory and purpose. But, many don’t do this because they don’t want to or they don’t want to believe in God or in His Son, Jesus. The reasons for this are many. Some say that Jesus was just a prophet and nothing more, some say that God doesn’t have a Son, that He is One and none others are involved. The tiny, relative to the universe, ball of dirt that we live on is the one place which God has focused His attention on at this time. He may create another place and other people in the future, but as far as we know right now we are it. This is not arrogance, it’s just that we don’t have any proof of anyone else so we can’t say for sure.

If there are others, God loves them too wherever they may be. Love covers many things in life. Real love, not just lust or infatuation, doesn’t get jealous or angry because true, abiding love doesn’t stray from a relationship. In the past and right now too, people are moving away from a belief in God because He is not seen or they just don’t want the Bible to be true. That way, they don’t have to be responsible for their sins because of the Truth in the Bible.

God loves all of us and cares for us just as He did for Israel in the times of their slavery. He brought them out and into a land where they could have served Him in a fantastic way, but they didn’t obey Him and the commandments given to them. They mingled with the inhabitants of the land and began worshipping their gods who were not gods at all, but were likely demons.

We have our own version of this today. We worship money, fame, beauty, sex, drugs, alcohol. Though we may not bow down to them, we give our attention and our lives over to them in ways that are very similar to the pagan worship of trees and the earth and stars. Reading through the Bible brings forward some very interesting parallels to life today if you notice it.

Seek Him in His Word, find the love that He has for us as His creation. Then, ask Him to change your heart and your life so that you will know Him even better than you have known anyone before. I promise, you won’t be disappointed if you are repentant and desire to know Him as your Savior and Lord.

So much to do, so little time

Yes, I know, I am trying to scare you. I’ve heard it before…Boo!

Life goes on, it always has, even in the midst of riots and wars and natural disasters like the earthquake in Nepal or the volcano in Chile. I get it, nothing new has ever happened because it has all happened before at some point in our past. These are the same musings which the Preacher, Solomon, wrote when he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, and yet it is true.

The only new stuff that is happening now is that technology is exploding! So is the population of the world. Can we stop or take a breath in this rush to oblivion? Not really. It was bound to happen sooner or later, but it has been prophesied for many thousands of years that all of this would happen when the “end of the age” drew closer.

Well, like it or not we are getting closer. How much closer? I don’t know. Nobody on Earth can answer that question. Although, each one of us has a date that is immovable and irrevocable and that is the day that we die. It is different for us all of course. My death may come tomorrow or twenty years from now, just the same as yours. Thankfully we don’t know our “expiration date”, although there are times that I wish that I did.

I am not going to be arrogant enough to take that date into my own hands and force the end to come sooner rather than later. Some seem to be destined to do this and I suppose that is fine, but it isn’t for me. I don’t know that I could take another human being’s life, let alone taking my own. I am just not made that way and never have been.

God gives each of us a job to do. Whether we choose to accept that job and follow through with it or not is our choice, individually. He doesn’t force the issue on us nor does He punish us for taking a bit longer to get around to it. Why? Because, if He has something specific for you to do that only you can do then He will make sure that eventually you will come around to being the “right person for the job”.

God loves us, regardless of how small our planet may be in the grand design because He is God. He can love and care for whoever He wishes to and since He lives above time, He knows exactly when or if you will choose to come to Him and give your life to Him. From that point on, your life will never be the same…it will be awesome!

I don’t mean that you will have fame and fortune like the people in some places do. I do mean that just thinking about being a servant to the King of Kings and the Creator is…well, enough. If you aren’t a believer and don’t have spiritual faith in God and Jesus, then this concept is a little beyond your pay grade. I am not saying that Christians are better than you, but we are forgiven.

The best part about this is that God loves you and has made His grace available to you without cost. All that you need to do is to acknowledge that you are a sinner and come to Him like a child and ask Him to come into your life and fix it. Help you straighten things out…get your heart right with Him by allowing Him to do the work. If you try to get things right first, you are just in the way. Let Him do it because He is the only One that can!

A brand new you!

Happy New Year! So far, everything seems to be going well since I haven’t looked at or read any news stories this year.

madewholeinHeavenWe can all be made whole in Heaven and in our walk with Jesus. Seek Him out this year, learn of Him and His ways through reading the Bible. Your life will never be the same again, it will be better!

God loves us all, dogs too, and He cares for all of His creation. In order to enjoy our eternity, we should come to Him when He calls, please don’t miss that call from God! Jesus said, “”I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6
Jesus is the way to life eternal, the only way. You cannot do it yourself, nor can you come through some other religion or god. Realize this, come to know Him so that your year can be far better than it has been

When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you will become a new person if you seek Him and read His Word believing that He is the Savior of your soul. Ask Him to come into your life and your heart and change you into the person that you are supposed to be for Him, when you do this then you will change from the inside out. Your habits, your life and your speech will all eventually change to reflect the person that you are becoming on the inside.

It isn’t an instant change, but by seeking Him in His Word and prayer asking Him to give you the wisdom and strength to be the person that you can be, then you will change. The problem in our world and our society is that people don’t want to change or they get dissatisfied with the change, and they think that somehow their heart was changed but they just gave up on the seeking part. That is not how it works!

If you have truly changed and asked Jesus to come into your heart and you have repented of your old ways. Then, pray and seek Him daily…every day! So that you will have His power and Presence with you daily, then you can complete the change inside you so that it can show on the outside. Jesus loves you and cares for you far more than you know, but it takes repentance from your old life, as Paul stated you have to “work out your salvation daily”, it is not instant nor is it easy.. It is a process that has to be worked through daily.

Seek Him in the morning and in the afternoon and before going to sleep, especially during the first year of your new life. Why do I say this? Because, just as in any relationship, you need to get to know Him and the best way to do this is to read, and study the Bible and pray for the Spirit to open your heart to it and help you to understand it.

Happy New You!!