This is a subject that many people, including me, have a hard time with. I don’t really have a hard time forgiving others who may have hurt me in the past, but forgiving myself is another thing altogether. It is also hard to fathom forgiving someone who has abused children or even killed children, especially yours or someone else’s. I know that God can do this and if we truly follow His teachings and give our hearts to Jesus and let Him forgive others through us, then maybe that forgiveness is possible.

But, forgiving myself for some wrong that I know that I did in the past is a hard thing to do sometimes. God does tell us to let Him have our hearts and He will wash away those pains and hurts which happened in the past. But, it still takes some effort on our part to truly forgive either myself or someone else.

By effort I mean that we have to pray and ask Him to help us to forgive completely because we can’t do it on our own. Depending upon the hurt or the pain caused, forgiveness is one of the hardest parts of being a Christian. Forgiveness of other people as well as forgiving our own behavior from times past.

Please, seek forgiveness from God for your own sins, mistakes, and anything else you have done. He provided the grace and mercy for you on the cross through Jesus, all that you need to do is accept it as the gift that it is and learn to forgive. Sometimes that learning curve can take a while, so seek Him daily.

So much strife

Today it seems that is all that is on the news, whether it is a cable channel or a national network. Everyone seems to be having truly hard times in the world that we live in. From wars and persecution in the Middle East and Asia to natural disasters like the flooding in South Mississippi and Louisiana. Is there anything or anyone who can help or even cares enough to help?

It seems that the government has taken a holiday since the beginning of the flood in the South and nobody seems to care one bit about the people caught up in it. Is there anyone who will help? Yes, local people and police and fire departments are helping. Some churches and other organizations are helping as much as they can. The national guard has been called up in most of the areas, where the flooding is the worst, to help with rescues and to keep the looting down.

Why do these problems and disasters bring out some of the good and some of the really bad in people? It seems that the bad is more pronounced because of these situations rather than bringing out the better side of people. So what happened?

I am not sure exactly. Many of the people who are looting and doing other crimes are young people who should know better! Why aren’t they being taught right from wrong and how to be productive citizens rather than being people who demand everything be given to them for free? I am sure that our schools had nothing to do with this, because they don’t teach morals in schools anymore because the teachers aren’t allowed to.

What happened? Well, about fifty-three years ago prayer was taken out of schools as well as teaching from the Bible and lately our pledge of allegiance has suffered the same fate because of being politically correct and not being offensive. All of these things have taken pride in your country and the sense of right and wrong out of education. Life isn’t fair to everyone and our progressive government from back then and today has made it harder for those on the lower socioeconomic scale to get out of their situations and make life better.

Jesus came to do the same thing. He did not intend for everyone to share equally in all things, like socialist countries do, but Heaven is meant for those who belong to Him. In Heaven we will all be equal because we will be serving Him in His Kingdom! We will have different jobs to do and abilities to use to do so, but in God’s eyes we are equal but different. Not due to the color of our skin, but because He gave each of us a talent and a purpose before we were even born and we will fulfill our purpose in His Kingdom!

Have you asked Jesus to come into your life and to forgive you of your sins? If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? None of us are guaranteed to see another sunrise, but we have today, right now. If you have felt the Spirit calling you to repent and come to Jesus, don’t put it off. Come to Him, ask Him to forgive you for waiting so long and then make sure that you find a Bible teaching church or at least someone who knows Him and can lead you in studying the Bible.

Why did Jesus come the first time?

It seems that this is the real question that many are wondering, particularly those who attend church but don’t study their Bibles. This is also a rant, in a way, from a pastor to those who come to church. Please don’t take this personally.

We have heard and seen and sometimes read the story about Jesus’ birth. How it was foretold in the Old Testament, brought to reality in the New Testament. The people involved were told by the angel, Gabriel, that this was going to happen to them. All of these Bible facts are there and available to read at any time. Yet, there are so many “blank stares” in congregations which seems to tell me that much of this information is doing exactly what our parents said: “It goes in one ear and right out the other, with no deposit in between.”

If sermons and revivals and going to Bible school don’t plant any of this so that you take it in and believe it, then what do you come to church for? The food and fellowship?

Jesus came because of the love that God has for ALL OF US! Yes, He came first for Israel but God knew before this that He would be rejected. We are always outside of the intended target audience, but when they refused to believe then we, as gentiles, were offered the “prize” from that point on.

What is that prize? The offer of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus and our belief in Him, that is the prize! It is a gift to us, one that we can’t afford and can’t pay for ourselves! But it is offered to us if we will believe in Him and ask for forgiveness from our sins. From that point, our only purpose is to tell others of His grace and love for them and that it is available to them too.

The scripture of John 3:17 says it best:


The world. Not just a few people from one country or nationality, but all of mankind are offered this salvation. Free for the asking, for those who seek it, for all of us who need it and that includes everyone everywhere. The Son of God didn’t come to condemn us for not understanding the Word of God and He didn’t come to do anything more than to offer us salvation. He healed some people of disease and ailments which only God could do, such as the man who was born blind. Why did Jesus do this? Because it was foretold that He would and because of their hard hearts, it was necessary to get their attention.

There are miraculous healing’s being done today, but not as radical and unusual as some that He did. Some of them today are radical, like a tumor which goes away completely with no medical intervention. That kind of healing can only come from God and by the faith of those involved. We are loved by God and I can’t give you a reason for it, except to say that He loves us because of Who He is!

Seek Him out, look for Him in the Bible, learn about Him through His Word. Even if you don’t like to come to church, read His Word and ask Him to show Himself to you in it. He is there for all to find and know, all you need to do is seek Him out in it. His majesty is around you in the trees, the stars and the entirety of the universe but all of that is His creation, it is the Creator that you should worship and He is available to those who seek Him out!

Choose Life…

Life as I choose to define it here is a life which is following the Author of Life which is Jesus the Christ. Many people write His name as if Christ is His last name, but it is a title meaning Savior or Messiah which is why I chose to write it this way here.

God loves you enough that He sent His Son to die for you on the cross, giving His life and His blood as the ransom in payment for all of the sins of the world. He didn’t die for just a few people, He died for all and His blood paid that price for you. All you have to do to inherit eternity is to believe that He did this for you and that you need Him, also realize that you are a sinner and that you should turn away from your sins whatever they might be.

I have heard people say that they won’t go to this church or that one because there are hypocrites in there and not real Christians. All churches have hypocrites in them because we all fail at some point either today or tomorrow or maybe last week and you saw it or heard it. Preachers do it too because the only person who was sinless was Jesus. Being a Christian doesn’t make you perfectly sinless, but your sins are forgiven by God’s grace through Jesus sacrifice!

He is the Creator and Author of Life itself because He was and is the Living Word of God and it was by His Word that all of creation came into being. It was because of His love for us that He couldn’t be the liberating and conquering King that the Jewish people wanted when He came the first time. When He comes again, He will be the King of Kings and He will conquer the world’s system and its leaders who have persecuted His people for so long.

Satan and all others will get their reward when their judgement is given and carried out.There will be no appeal and no bargaining. The same judgement will fall on you if you have chosen not to live a Christian life and ask Him into your heart. Even if you have been a faithful member of a church or maybe a deacon or pastor, but have not given your life and your heart to Jesus, then you will be judged as one who knew about Him but He didn’t know you.

Please, don’t make that mistake. Everything that is needed for you to be saved has been done, all you need to do is accept it and change your life to match His. Follow in His footsteps, learn from Him and soon His ways will become your ways.

Days, hours and minutes

I know, there are more divisions of time than just those but those three are the ones which we use every day. Why am I talking about ways to count down a day or a week or even a year? Because time is important to all of us at this point. When will we NOT need to worry or even think about hours and days or even years? In Heaven, in our eternity, that is when. Time is measured from the point of conception until our death because this body, this tabernacle that we live in only lasts a certain amount of time and God knows exactly how many years and seconds that each of us has.

We can’t imagine eternity because there is no time there, so when you cross over into it a minute could be a day or a few hours on Earth. So…what are we going to do with an eternity? I can’t say for sure but God has a plan and part of it will be during the one thousand years of Jesus’ reign after the Tribulation. That will be a time in which many advances in science and all sorts of things will likely happen. But, to those who have been given a glorified body even one thousand years won’t be a long time.

Our time is measured by the rotation of the Earth and its rotation around the Sun, it was set up to reflect perfect harmony and it is. Although, creation has been going down hill since Adam ate the fruit in Eden. When all is restored to perfection one day, we will know how the universe was supposed to be.Your fruit trees will produce fruit which tastes so much better than what we have now. The vegetables will be more flavorful. Even the air that we breathe will be cleaner and more invigorating.

Life won’t be the same anymore it will be more than we could imagine. This is even before most of us get into eternity. Time will be different, our lives will be different, the universe itself will be different but if you have given your heart and your life to Jesus…life will go on without end!

Time as we measure it now will be a thing of the past. Your life before eternity, before Heaven, before all of the wonders that we will share forever. Will it be hard to live this way? NO, because God will provide everything that you need! We won’t be thinking about bills or groceries because at this time, those are not necessary at all. The only people who won’t be enjoying eternity will be those who have doubted God’s grace and have not accepted Jesus as their Savior.

They will live in eternity but it will be one without God, without all of the nice parts of Heaven. No water, no food, no bearable temperatures but since you have an eternal body you won’t die either. It is YOUR choice which will send you to that place, not God. You will be there because you refused to give Jesus a place in your life and you wanted your “stuff” in this life. Think about it.

Life is…..

Personal and individual and collective and cultural. Do you know what I mean by this? It is very touching and personal to each of us, because each of us who wakes up every day we experience it anew again. Each day and night is special because it will never be again. This minute has already passed while I have been writing, and it will not be back.

Why is it so fleeting? Because time flows like water and one ounce of water that has passed you in a stream will never be back. It is the same with the seconds and minutes of your day, the one that is passing right now will never be back again. Your life started with your first heartbeat in the womb, and it will continue until that last heartbeat.

For some, this line of thinking is circular because it is just double-talk to some of you, but the comments that I made in the first two paragraphs is true. This minute right now will never come back, yesterday is gone and the future is still a minute ahead of us at all times. Your life is and always has been lived in the moment, right now. You can plan for tomorrow or next week if you wish but you are not guaranteed that time until it gets here.

God loves you and He prepared to give you an eternity of time with Him through Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross. It is your choice to believe in Him and the grace that is extended to you through Jesus, because it is the only way for you to have an eternity in Heaven. No amount of work or money or attendance will open the door for your salvation, only the redeeming power of belief in Jesus will do that.

Yes, it is simple. Some claim that it is too simple, because there must be more that I can do or you can do to be saved. Unless you confess your sinfulness and ask Jesus to forgive you for waiting so long and ask Him to come into your heart and change you from the person that you were to the person that He needs you to be…your life means nothing and it will end with your last breath.

By giving your heart to Him so that you can be cleansed and changed by Him, you become like Christ. Little by little, day by day, in reading and prayer through the Holy Spirit and His Word you will become more like Jesus and less like your old self. You won’t be perfect and sinless, but you will be forgiven! Your name will be in the book of Life and your life will be eternally with Jesus and all of the other Christians.

Life is tough sometimes and it is hard some days, but mostly life is something that we each live through. What our life means in eternity, the outcome of our influence in this life, will be apparent only when we enter into Heaven. For some, you will see many people who you had influence in their lives positively, even though you may have never met them. Everything that you say or do for Jesus like saying thanks for your food in public, giving back money that you got in change that was too much, helping out someone who needs help without them knowing who did it…all of these things show that part of Jesus in you.

It gets noticed by everyone. You may not know who sees it, and it may not make much of a difference in your life here, but you will be surprised when you get to Heaven and find a person that your actions or words made an eternal difference in their life. Consider life today because the moments that it has taken to write this or read this will never come back, but what you do with the rest of your life could have eternal consequences for you and for others too!

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.

Good Friday, what is good about it?

At some point, I am sure that some have asked that very question. What is good about this day? What makes it “Good Friday”? First, it is the belief that Jesus was crucified on this day, although how you fit three days between today and Sunday for His resurrection I am not sure. Why would the crucifixion of our Savior make a day good? Another point to answer that would be that without His crucifixion, there could be no forgiveness of sins extended and offered to the whole world because of His death.

Why was His death necessary? Because He had to be resurrected from death in order to conquer death and the grave. I mean, you can’t come out of a grave unless you have been put into it, right?

All of this came to be, not because of a rebellion that Jesus started, not because He was inciting people to revolt against Roman rule although many wanted Him to do just that, it didn’t even happen because priests were afraid of Him and His power although that did have a part in it. The whole plan had been put into place at the point where Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden. When God told them that “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15
Jesus’ life and death was foretold that far back in order to take care of the sin that had come into the world and many other prophecies between that time and Good Friday happened as well. The “woman” in that first prophecy was a symbol of many things. Not only was it a symbol of a mother, but she was a symbol or type of Israel and the Jewish people too. She also symbolized humanity, because God was not speaking of a serpent as a snake, He was speaking to Satan who had inhabited the snake to entice her and tempt her. Satan hates humanity simply because God loves us, that is where the enmity comes from.

Anything which he can do to destroy or hurt us, as humans, he will do. Whether it is by violence, war, diseases, famines, murder or any of a number of ways that he and his cohorts can bring to bear on us in order to hurt that which God loves, he will do it. Especially if he can keep us from accepting Jesus as our Savior, ultimately that is his number one goal!

Christ conquered death, hell and the grave as well as paid the price for all of man’s sins with His death and resurrection. God offers us the grace through Jesus to accept Him as our Savior to become joint heirs with Him in God’s Kingdom. It is a gift offered from God, all we have to do is ask for it and accept it in order to have it! What makes that so difficult? If someone offered to pay off all of your debts and give you ten million dollars also, would you refuse it just because you didn’t have to work for it? Of course not, so why do we refuse to accept the gift of eternal life with Him when we are given the option?

We don’t have to do anything to get it. Though, in return we do work for Him after we truly accept who we are in Christ. Nobody forces you to do anything, but it is not cool if you have accepted Jesus at one point in your life and then turn back to your sinful ways of living. Yes, you can do this but it is wrong. Why? Because you are witnessing to people with your life and telling them that you can get a free ride into Heaven. Just accept Jesus and then go on with your life as if you had not accepted Him. Wrong!!

If your heart is changed by Him, really changed, then you won’t go back to your old way of living as a sinner. you will be grateful for the pardon that you received from God and then tell as many people as you can about Him! Pray about this, read God’s Word and ask Him to show you what to do and then DO IT!!!

Pondering Scripture

2 Chronicles 7:14 says: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

In the scripture above, the Lord gives a number of conditions for our healing. We must humble ourselves, pray, seek His face, and repent from our ways in order to be forgiven and receive our blessing, is that right? It was in the day that God said this to the Israelites and to some extent, it is today as well. We still have to humble ourselves and seek Him and pray and repent of our sinful ways, but the forgiveness has been paid for by Jesus on the cross.

What else can we do? Do we have to do anything to be forgiven? Mainly, we have to seek Him and ask for our forgiveness, but the seeking needs to be done daily, not weekly or only when we think we need Him!

Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

Do we offer ourselves up as a living sacrifice to Him daily? That is how we are supposed to start the day, giving it and ourselves to God’s service. It is only right that we do this because of the sacrifice made on our behalf. Even though, we aren’t required to do anything, we should because we belong to Him! We were bought at the price of the Savior’s life and we owe Him our lives and more but our life is all that we have to give if it is given willingly and with a humble spirit.

Are we His? Do you know His purpose for you?

These are questions which many people in history have asked and many are still asking today. Yet, few are finding the answers that they seek. Why is that do you think? Is it because the answer can’t be found? Of course not! It is there, in front of us every day and yet many people do not find it because they are looking for something else.

When we read the Bible, we are supposed to be praying about what we are reading so that God can reveal His wisdom from the Word to us. I admit that I don’t do this all the time, but that is how we are to know the mind of God, at least as much as we can know Him as we are now.

In Jeremiah 29:12-13: “Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” When we seek Him with all of our heart, He hears us and responds to our prayers. If our heart isn’t in it, He knows.

Our life in Him can be awakened by our attitude toward our service to Him. With God, attitude is everything because it shows what is in your heart and soul. It proves what kind of change has been wrought in your innermost being or even if there has been a change!

That is why Jesus said in John 14:14-16: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth.”

There are those in ministry today that are saying that this is the way to prosperity. God only gives you what you ask if it is in His will for you. He is not a rich grandfather who hands out goodies when we ask for them! Many people would like for that to happen, but that is now how our relationship with Him works.

We are to be reflections of Jesus’ character and show the world what He has done for us and what He has in store for them, if they will only come to Him and lay their lives down for Him. For many people the thought of giving your life to Jesus is just too much, although I am not sure why. The fact that Jesus gave His life for all of us before we were ever born speaks volumes toward the character and the foreknowledge He had pertaining to us. Why can’t we, at the very least, give our lives to Him and His service so that His sacrifice was not in vain?

When we spend time with God and His Word, we are in contact with our Creator and our Redeemer. What more could we need? Our walk with Him will be sweeter and any temptation that comes our way can be pushed aside with scriptures that we have taken into our mind and our heart. The Spirit Himself can bring them to mind whenever you see or hear something which might cause you to stumble if it weren’t for the Word and its wisdom.

Our world and each of us in it needs that wisdom to carry us through the struggles that we face, but God gives us hope and strength through His Word to be able to handle whatever life puts in our path.

Can we be the children that God wants us to be? Not on our own or by our own strength, but with His strength and His wisdom by reading and studying His Word, we can be true ambassadors to the world for Christ. Our world, our country needs Him today—now, as we are getting closer to the time of reckoning for this world and its ruler. I pray that each of you will search your hearts and decide for yourself if you will follow Him daily from now on.

If we don’t, our way of life and our eternal life hangs in the balance by a very thin thread. Can you look around you and consider facing eternity without those that you love and hold dear? I can’t.


Small sins cause the greatest pain

When we do sin, even in the smallest way, we are breaking God‘s laws. Not that we are bound by the Laws of Moses since we are under the sacrifice of Jesus and under grace, but consider that God said that we are to be subject to our government and its laws. Every time we break the speed limit, even a little, we are breaking the law of God and man.

I know that many people don’t count those “little sins”, but God does. In the least, those “little sins” like speeding, lying to someone (just a little), cause problems with our prayers and with our relationship between God and us. If we are to call ourselves Christians, we should act like it, and that means obeying the law.

“For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth.” Leviticus 11:44

Christians and those who believe in God and who He is are called to be holy by claiming Jesus as our Saviour because He is the Messiah and the One prophesied about by the prophets in the Old Testament scriptures. We have to come to Him before it is too late because the only way to the Father is through the Son.

There will be a great falling away of people from their faith in God and Christ during the time of tribulation coming upon the world. Your faith in what you have been taught and in the Bible itself will be tested and the only way to hold firm to that is to claim it fully and completely. God does not want any to perish but if you cannot or will not accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus, that is what will happen.

I know this is a harsh message to read and hear but the time will come when these things are happening. It is prophesied in the Bible and God’s words are true!