Love others as He loved us


The video above was shared with me on Facebook. It is sobering and it steps on “church people’s” toes and it should! Because if we can’t show Jesus to someone else, then how do we know if we actually have Him in our hearts? How can we be sure if we are true to our calling and our Savior if we can’t at least be like Him? He didn’t pre-judge people. He had dinner with those who were considered sinners, prostitutes and tax-collectors. He LOVED them! This is what we are supposed to do, as Christians, we are supposed to reflect Him to others and be as much like Him as we can in our lives, not just at church! He loved us while we were yet sinners, before all of us were born and yet He loved us anyway.

We have to be more like Him every day because if we aren’t then we may not have Him in our spirit, our spiritual heart, to begin with! Consider this, think about it, read your Bible, see what and who Jesus really preached and taught every day. It wasn’t just His disciples, it was everyday people…sinners just like you and me. The only difference between them and Jesus was that He was perfect and holy, we are not but we are still supposed to reflect Him to the world. If we can’t do that every day then are you a Christian? Really?

We are only human


In today’s society, it seems that when you are a pastor of a church you are held to an almost god-like standard. One which penalizes you and calls for your resignation when you fail or when you fall like everyone else does. It’s like walking a tightrope, one misstep and you will fall to your death unless there is a forgiving net to catch you. I have felt the stares of people, watching me because they know that I pastor a church. It doesn’t matter if it is a small church or a huge church, the standard is the same. Just because we are preachers, proclaiming the gospel of Christ and His forgiveness, we are not perfect! Our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, so God has forgiven us, but when you see us sin and fall from that pedestal the forgiveness doesn’t seem to follow.

People, humanity has a very long memory when it comes to its teachers and preachers. Nobody is forgiven it seems, when the sin is made public. It is more akin to being tarred and feathered in the public square and then having that picture put up on Facebook or Instagram where it will never go away. On the other hand, if you are a politician or a lawyer or maybe a football star your sins will be overlooked and forgotten in a few hours or days.

Why are we held to such a high standard? Because we are telling you about the love and the forgiveness found in Jesus Christ and that you can have it for the asking. It isn’t a magic formula or a potion that you have to buy, it has been paid for through the blood of Jesus. All that you have to do is believe in Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins, just like the thief on the cross. He couldn’t get baptised and there was no way that he could tell others about Jesus, but he could believe and he did! Jesus told him that “today, you will be with me in Paradise”, if that isn’t an affirmation of being saved I don’t know of one!

The apostles and all believers were given a command to go and tell the world about the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Telling is what preachers do and it is up to you whether you believe the good news and ask Jesus into your heart or not. Do we fall sometimes? Of course. Do we say things that we shouldn’t? Yes, we are human. The difference is…we are forgiven. All that we have to do is to repent and ask forgiveness for the slip or the fall that we got into. You can too! Grace, love, hope, peace and forgiveness are all offered to you from God through Jesus. It is your responsibility to ask for forgiveness and repent of your sins, not just lip service but real honest repentance!

Why do I say it that way? Because, that is what I did for many years. I would go down and feel sorry for my sins and pray and even get baptised. Then, I would attempt to read and understand the Bible for a while, but I would eventually follow a friend to a bar and get drunk, or take a girl home for a night and I would be back in my same rut again. Some call it back-sliding, but I don’t think I was true to the repentance that I professed so it wasn’t real. I was just going through the motions, doing all of the things to “look good” when I was still just as lost as I was before.

Think about it and seek God in His Word, then pray and ask Him to show you what you need to do to truly become a child of God and a Christian.

And now, the news….


Today, most people don’t care what you or I think about anything. But, it seems that they are most interested in things which don’t matter at all in the great scheme of things. You can tweet or post about almost anything from what you are wearing today to something that you heard on the news or even something at home or school. Sometimes, you might even get enough people’s attention to make that tweet go viral! What is going on?

Mostly, I think it is too much information. We are bombarded with so much from our radios, our phones, our tablets and our computers. Then, when you get home you have to deal with all of the news and sports and commercials on the TV. Don’t you wish that we could just turn it all off for a few days or weeks? I sure do! Many people today would be totally lost if their electronics suddenly shut down or lost their connections. No more information, no cell-phone calls, no tweets, no posts on Facebook or videos on Youtube….what are we going to do?

We have lost our ability to get by without information constantly available. Just twenty-five years ago there were no real cell phones and the Internet was just for bulletin boards and email, not the huge amounts of data that is on it now. Going way back to the seventies when I was in school and you had the newspaper, dial phones which were land-lines and the news on the TV, that’s it. Other than listening to the radio or reading books or magazines there wasn’t much for entertainment unless you could get outside and ride your bike with your friends. That’s right, there also were no video games!

To many of the new generation, that particular time in history would be classified as the stone age. But, we survived and made it through high school too even without common core, thankfully!

Oh, yeah, the reason for all of this history lesson in how people are overloaded with information today…we are coming to the end of the church age folks! News flash! This has been in the Bible for many years. “But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase.” Daniel 12:4 Why do I refer to a prophecy from over 2500 years ago? Because that is exactly what is happening today. Also, the book of Revelation explains the age that we are in as coming to an end and when knowledge increasing.
So, what does it mean by “the end of the age”? We are on the edge of time, the time when prophecy is coming to fruition and we should be watching for its Author coming in the clouds. The world is changing so rapidly until we are covered with information constantly, but the problem today is that most of the information is irrelevant to history or prophecy. It is causing people to pay attention to things that are not important and they won’t see what really is important. Like giving your life and your heart to Jesus and searching or seeking to know Him even better than you ever have before.

Why would you do that? Well, He died for your sins so that you wouldn’t have to pay the penalty for them. Is that really important? If you don’t want to go to Heave, maybe not. But, if you would like to enjoy eternity and live in it forever in a home that was built by God, then it is the most important decision you may ever make. Seek Him out in the Bible. Read it, study it and pray about it. You might just meet your Savior and His Father and get to know them better. If you do, you will be on your way to eternity and it will be one that you will never be bored in ever again.

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.

What do you hear?


From the television and almost all of the news sources, mostly…JUNK! The world is going down the tubes fast, and all anyone seems to care about is their shows on TV or what is happening on Facebook. What difference does it make? Facebook, Twitter, Survivor, and so on are all just there to distract us from what is happening in the world. Yes, there are some on all of those social media sites which are talking about actual news, but what news?

What about our freedom? Freedom to worship ANY way you want to in America! We have that freedom right now, but it seems that there are so many on one side who can’t stand ANY mention of God or Jesus! I am not trying to force anyone, anywhere to worship the way that I do, but it seems that there are many who just can’t stand to read or hear about Jesus at all. If you want to worship a rock, I don’t care! That is your option, even God gave you the choice to do so even if He doesn’t agree with it.

We have a choice and it was given to us by God Himself. You can choose to believe it or not, it doesn’t matter to me. I pray that you will come to Him before your life is over, but it is your choice regardless of where you live, at least as far as I am concerned. Many of the countries in the world are not nearly free enough to have the choice of Who they worship, as we are in America.

Christians, whether you agree with their faith or not, are being killed not just persecuted and yet the Christians there are not converting to Islam. They would rather die for their faith, just as the martyrs have done for hundreds of years. I pray that we in America don’t see this kind of persecution, but it may happen yet.

What can we do? Pray for those in areas where Christians are being persecuted severely like in Iraq and Iran and Turkey. I don’t know what to tell you about things that we could do other than pray. Since God is in control and He can send Angels to comfort and help those people, prayer is powerful because God is able to deliver them by His power.

The world is tearing itself to pieces and it isn’t over, this is just the beginning. It actually hasn’t gotten to the point that most are fearing will come yet. Read your Bible, study the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, pray about what you are reading. We are at the beginning of those times! Watch and pray that you will have the strength to endure until He comes again to take the church out of this.

How much more?


How much more is the world going to have to endure? How much more killing in the name of a dead prophet? How many more children will be murdered in the United States because they aren’t wanted? The count is over fifty million now! How will you explain to God that you killed them because you just didn’t want that child because it was inconvenient at this time?

The atrocities that we hear about on the news from the Middle East don’t even compare to our own, because we made it legal. There is a double standard in this world today that is so messed up. It is impossible to keep up with all of the things which happen and many of those we don’t hear about on our “news programs”, we get them from Facebook or somewhere else on the Internet. The lives that we have today, at least according to the pundits of the time, were supposed to be like those of the cartoon family, the Jetson’s. Very little work, money to do whatever you needed to do, technology to take care of all of your needs. By this time, we were supposed to be living the life.

It doesn’t look that way to me today. Our weeks now are taken up with updates on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, texts on our smart phones, blogs where we tell everyone our shopping habits and post our pictures of vacation spots that we would like to go to, but don’t have the money. Then, there are the folks who actually work for a living. Many of them are working sixty and seventy hours and barely have time to shut their eyes in sleep before they have to do it again.

Yes, I do keep this blog going. But I don’t post anything except the messages which I feel led to post by the Lord. I don’t care if you believe me or not, that is not my concern. My concern is that you believe in Jesus, Who died for your sins so that you can have life in Heaven. I know, I sound harsh tonight, but the point is that there are so many who discount the Bible and the Son of God. Why? If it weren’t for their love and grace toward you and me, we wouldn’t be here at all!

God loves each one of you, far more deeply than any of us truly deserve. Yet, He gave His Son on the cross to pay the penalty for all of the sins of humanity from Adam into the future until He comes again and even further than that. All that we need to do, if we want to repent of our sinful ways, is to come to Jesus in repentance and ask to be forgiven. Ask Jesus into your heart and then determine that you are going to live under His teachings from the Bible for the rest of your days. Read it, study it, pray about what you have read so that you can understand it and then tell others about your life with Him. Even if you only tell one person and they come to Jesus, all of Heaven rejoices at that!

All of this terrible stuff that we are going through right now is because of Satan and his demons. They are not in hell, they are here causing all of this. The wars, the diseases, the killings, the murders, all of the terrible, evil things that men are doing to each other is being done because of the influence of satanic powers and demons who inflame our human tendencies to a point where we don’t even act like humans anymore. All of this was foretold in the Bible and that it will get worse before the end comes. Seek out Jesus, pray that He will save you so that you can be a light in someone’s life if only for a while.

God loves you. Look to Jesus for your Salvation. Seek Him while you can.

Life is tough, be tougher!


People who are survivors live through things that many of us would cringe at, accidents, war injuries, PTSD, cancer and chemotherapy, the list could go on and on.

My nephew is living proof of this and I feel that it is my duty to tell what I know of his story, at least to a certain point at least.

He was hurt in a four-wheeler accident about a month ago. He and two other boys were on the four-wheeler, which is not a good way to ride anyway, but they were being boys! Anyway, to make a very long story a bit shorter, a truck went to pass by them on the road and the driver of the four-wheeler decided that they should come back up on the road and they ended up in front of the truck. All three boys were hurt, but my nephew was hurt the worst, physically. He is still recovering in the hospital and he has only been in a room for about a week, the first three weeks he was in intensive care. He is strong, in his will and in his body, but it is God and many, many prayers that has brought him this far.

God has a plan for him…He has something to do in God’s Kingdom. I don’t know what yet, he doesn’t know what it is yet, but I hope that when he comes through this, he will find that purpose. I am not going to post pictures from his wreck or his recovery here, but I am placing a link to his prayer page on Facebook. If you wish to help in any way please visit this page. His family will need as much help financially as they can get due to the cost of the treatment that he has already had, but he will be going through therapy for the next year or so. Please, pray for him and if you feel that you can or should help contact them through this page.

He needs medical help, but God is in the help that he is getting. The doctors have been impressed with his progress, but I am not sure that they realize Who was doing the healing because it really is God working through them! According to the news that I got on the night that he had the wreck, the paramedics had to bring him back once or twice before they even made it to the hospital by helicopter. Our God is awesome and He is able to do exceedingly above what we think can be done in ANY situation.

I am not writing this to beg for money for my brother-in-law’s family, although the bills have already started coming in. I am writing this to let people outside of Facebook know that God is awesome and He still heals people today! They had to remove part of my nephew’s skull to relieve the pressure on his brain, although there is no brain damage today. As I said earlier, God has been guiding the doctor’s hands and their treatment of this young man, he is only thirteen years old.

Life is tough, and it is fleeting, his life could’ve been over that night if there had not been a helicopter team able to come pick him up. The other boys lives could have been taken, but they weren’t because God intervened in their lives at that time. I know that some won’t see it that way, but it is true! Even the person driving the truck was not at fault, because God had a plan and a purpose for this to happen. We may not know what His plan is yet, but He will bring it about one day.

Live your life for God. Wake up to know Him, read His Word, pray to Him to give you the understanding of His Word, because He is the only One Who is truly in control of this world, and the people living here and their lives, whether they have given their life to Him yet or not. God loved us enough that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for us and to bring salvation to us, all that we have to do is claim it and realize that we can’t do anything to make our lives better, but He can.

Help, we need, our Father can give it


There is a picture that I found on Facebook that needs to be here and here it is:

What about this picture is beautiful? Everything. The sun for the day, the warmth from the sun which God placed there just for us, the woman who isGivemePeace praying, these are all beautiful creations and all are part of the world that God created. We are the ones who make bad decisions, the ones who follow the wrong people or the wrong ideology, even the wrong teaching from a pastor who is deluded into thinking that he has the best way of saving people or whatever.

Thinking more of yourself than you ought to will only cause a greater fall one day. Considering your own thoughts and words to mean more than God’s Word will truly condemn you. Yes, there are preachers who do this today, but hopefully their followers are not very vocal.

God loves each one of us, every day, whether we love ourselves or our circumstances or not. Give thanks to God in all circumstances, regardless of the pain or the sorrow because this life is temporary and so are the problems contained in it. He loves you and will provide the strength and the comfort to bring you through whatever you find yourself in. What can we do that will make a difference in other people’s lives? For one, live your life as close to Jesus as you can if you are a Christian, then others will see Him through your life. If you don’t believe in God or Jesus, then you need to be seeking Him. He cares about you and loves you as His child, as His creation, all that He is waiting for is for you to come to Him.

 

Stand tall and depend on Jesus


We need His power and strength in the time that our world is in today. We also need Him every day regardless of the circumstances or who we think that we are. How can we possibly think that we can get through our lives without leaning on and depending on Jesus? I know that we are supposed to be individuals and independent, but God made us to have fellowship with Him on a daily basis!

Pray-for-strength

He wants us to lean on Him, to depend on Him when the times in our lives get to be more stressful than we can manage. Instead of drugs or alcohol, we need to depend on God for our strength because He can give us what we need when we need it. Anything or anyone besides Him is just a cop out or counterfeit and we need the real God Who can perform miracles in our lives daily!

 

Have you asked Jesus into your life? Would you ask Him into your life so that your daily existence is more than just existence? Your life will have a meaning and a purpose because of the One who gives life to all who ask for it.

 

We face many troubling times ahead from the economy to stress at work and at home, with bills and expenses that we never thought we would have or would be so unmanageable. Many in the world today are dealing with personal issues which they never thought that they would have to handle before retirement. Now, some wonder is it possible to be able to enjoy life at all? Do we really have to work until we just work ourselves into our graves? Today it seems so.

Life may be easier in some ways than it was fifty or more years ago, with technology helping us do more in less time. The problem with having technology and all of the convenience that it brings with it is that we are never away from the connectedness of the world! We are always in touch with anyone, either by e-mail or instant messages or posts on Twitter or Facebook or any number of social networking sites out there.

The fact is that we need to be connected to the One who brought all of this about. We need that connection, daily with Jesus. His signals never fade and you are never out of range with Him. You can always get in touch with God and Jesus at any time and anywhere. Regardless of how far away you may think that you are, He is beside you. He is always waiting with open arms to take your burdens and problems and give you the comfort and the strength to make it through the day, every day.

Don’t turn away from Jesus, but turn to Him especially when things don’t seem to be going your way! Because He really is the One that loves you more than you even love yourself! He gave His life for you so that you could be forgiven and be with Him in Heaven instead of being in hell with Satan and his fallen angels.

Think about it and pray about it, ask Jesus into your life. He knows where you are no matter what or where you may be in your relationship to Him.

Our cluttered, busy lives


Have you noticed that your life and the lives of many people are so cluttered with stuff to do and things which need to be done that there is no time to do them all? All of these electronic devices and gadgets which were supposed to make our work life and our daily lives more relaxing and easier to manage have actually done the opposite! Those of us who have cell phones and the coverage to use them, are constantly connected to e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or some other service that pings us all of the time. We are never disconnected unless we get to an area that doesn’t have coverage and even then…we panic! Until we are connected again, then we feel that life can go on. Why?

Why do we have to be connected all of the time? Our data, our lives should not revolve around a device or a service that is not much more than a way to keep up with everything and everyone that we have added as a friend! Your life was not designed to be this way, your brain was not created to do this! Even though the use of these devices (I have one too) has caused many to seemingly attach them to their ears and never put them down, we are supposed to be following and speaking to God in this way as well! In Deuteronomy 6:7 it says: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Of course it is referring to the Ten Commandments, but the point of this is that we are to think about, meditate on God’s Word during our day, using its wisdom as a guidebook for our life. Many of us have replaced it with our cell phones. Granted, there are “apps for that” which will allow you to read God’s Word on your phone, but do we do that?

Being connected to the world through our phones is fine, but we need to stay connected to God as well. If you are not saved or have just brushed off religion or Christianity all together as a bunch of nonsense, I pity you. Many of you will be thinking at this point that you don’t want my pity, but the reason for it is simple. If you don’t accept Jesus as your Savior, then your eternal destination will not be an enjoyable experience at all. Each of us has a choice and it is simple, which is why many people think that it is too simple! That choice is between doing what we feel like doing or giving our heart and our life to Jesus and submitting ourselves to His will and not our own.

The consequences of not giving your life and your heart to Him, in this life, are few. You will be able to live and go on with your life without Him, but the comfort and strength that you would’ve had access to won’t be there. There will always be an empty space in your soul and in your heart where He should be, and you will feel it. Trying to fill it with something else or someone else won’t work until you realize Who needs to be there and ask Him to come in.

Being connected to the world all of the time is fine, but being connected to Jesus is much better! It is better for you, it is better for your friends and family, and it is better for eternity! Think about it.