Passing the baton

In racing, passing the baton means that you are handing off something to signify that another person will run a part of the race while you rest for a bit. In life or a family owned business sometimes the responsibility for a family member or the business is passed to the next in line to take over. But, sometimes they don’t want the responsibility or the business, then what do you do?

You can try to sell the business to an interested third-party as is or you can liquidate it and just get out of the business altogether. But, what if it is an aging parent who needs to be taken care of? You can’t just shove them off into some home and forget about them, can you? Unfortunately, many older Americans are treated this way and it is sad.

thereasonforourproblemsMany times it is because the family doesn’t live nearby but often it is because of carelessness and callous feelings toward whichever parent it may be. Whichever it may be, the way we treat our elders will be the way that we are treated when we reach their age or possibly worse. God loves us and expects us to take care of those aged members of society because they raised most of the generation which replaces them!

Why won’t our society care for those who can’t take care of themselves? In today’s world, it is likely because we think that we don’t have time. Many of us take up so much time with work and social gatherings until even our immediate family life suffers because of it. Some cultures do revere the aged population in their country, but today even those are suffering from neglect.

Do I have a solution for this problem?

Sadly…no there isn’t a solution for the entire world which takes care of our aging population, the homeless, those who suffer from PTSD caused by war abroad or a war-like situation in the home. The only cure for any of this will come when Jesus returns to rule our world for one thousand years!

Are you ready for His return? Will you be ready when He calls the “dead in Christ to rise“? There are few who are ready even now. Our country has long cast itself as a Christian nation and many people do claim to be Christians, but there are so many churches closing their doors because nobody is attending church anymore. So why are people leaving the church?

Some believe that it is because of young people and their attitude of “whatever”. It could be that the church hasn’t done enough outreach to their communities or it may be that our country itself is the reason. We have pushed God and the worship of Him into a corner and told them (us) to sit down and be quiet! Silencing the body of Christ here while making other ideas and religions more acceptable. Because as long as we don’t mention Jesus and the love of God for mankind and tell people that the only way to heaven is through belief in Jesus then we are accepted.

But that is not what Jesus told His disciples to do and that includes us! What would the general population think if the courts were suddenly shut down and crime ran completely unchecked in our country? There would be chaos and nobody would be safe. That is essentially what they want the church to do, sit in your church and worship but be quiet when you come out and just leave us alone!

Please pray for our country and the world to come to their senses and realize that they need God in their lives! Jesus is the only Savior that we have and if you don’t or won’t follow Him then the alternative eternity for those will be in hell.

So, what are you doing?

In your life today, whether you are a Christian or not, what are you doing? I don’t ask this being nosy, but to ask specifically “what are you doing?”. Do you think about it when your day begins or when you come home?

I am continuing this post this morning after the news of Rev. Billy Graham’s passing from this life into the next. I have no doubts in my mind about his residence at this point because he is with his wife and his Lord. God blessed the world 99 years ago when he was born but until his ministry began in earnest, no one knew that he existed except his family.

Each of us as Christians has a responsibility to walk as Jesus walked, as Billy Graham walked. Most of us would counter with something like “I can’t do it”; that is true, but by giving your heart to Jesus and following Him through life, every day, you can! The disciples did it, Paul did it, and every Christian since His ascension to Heaven has done it by the Spirit leading them through every day!

If you have felt His call on your heart and your life and you haven’t given your heart to Him then what are you waiting for? You are not guaranteed today or tonight any more than I am. Life ends when God says that it is time, He is the only One Who knows when your life and mine will end. Be mindful of the words that you speak in this life as well, because you will be called to give an account of all of the idle words which you spoke to your wife, your husband, your children and your friends.

Our life, daily, is a witness to our Lord Jesus the Christ and if we don’t read His Word and ask Him to give us the strength to get through each day in His Will and power for our lives, then we will fail to do so. You and I cannot live a Christian life on our own. Your strength and mine will fail every time trouble or some other dart from Satan hits us in the chest, but if you give your life to Jesus and seek to stay in His will and His strength each and every day, then your life will mean much more than it would without Him.

I feel a sense of loss because Billy Graham has gone to be with Jesus, but I also feel a sense of triumph and celebration too. He was America’s example of the Christian life and his shoes are hard to fill but his son, Franklin, is doing a good job. Those of us who are Christians, regardless of denomination, should strive to live our lives in humility and as ambassadors for our Lord Jesus the Christ. Because, if you do that your life will mean much more in eternity than it ever could if you don’t belong to Jesus and He isn’t part of your life every day.

Do you enjoy life?

joySome of us do, but many don’t. Oh, we tolerate everyday ups and downs and we go to work and come home. Living or existing as the day permits and allows. So, what do you enjoy in your life? Your children or grandchildren likely give you some enjoyment and joy. But…what about your life with Jesus? Does being a Christian bring joy and fulfillment in your worship and study of God’s Word?

For some Christians it does exactly that, but for many who think they are Christians and are not, the worship service and study of the Bible is confusing and frustrating. It is that way for many that I call “casual Christians” as well. The biggest problem with this is that you can’t be a casual Christian, claiming Jesus on Sunday or when a loved one dies and then living as you please the rest of the time. Jesus is not a hero which you call on when you need Him and then send Him away until the next time!

He is our Savior and yes, He is our Hero and our Creator but He is not on-call some days and not on others. God and His Son are available at all times, not exactly for your convenience or at your time or on your schedule. God works according to His timing and His schedule. Don’t turn away from Him, especially when you need Him! Not just on bad days or at times when trouble is making your day feel like a week, but call to Him and lean on Him every day!

God loves each of us and wants the best for us, but His best and our idea of best are sometimes very different. His idea of a mansion and no debts may be your home in Heaven, not a beautiful home and no bills here. God’s ideas for us are not the same as our ideas of Who He is, thankfully. If our salvation was no better than our idea of what salvation is, then we would never see Heaven at all!

Don’t close the door on an opportunity in your life to get to know Jesus because the moment that you give your heart to Jesus your name is written down in the book of Life. After that, your life here and into eternity will never be the same!

How much more will it take?

In the news, online and on TV or cable, we are hearing about so much violence in our world. There are shooters and suicides, bombs and bombers, stabbings, wars and skirmishes and “actions”. When will all of this come to an end? Will it ever come to an end? I have noticed the news for at least fifty of my fifty-six years and the Vietnam war was going on when I was six. A few years later Martin Luther King was also murdered in 1968 and then Robert Kennedy was assassinated by a white man. There was violence and riots and all sorts of protests going on, about the war and about the murders of those two great men.

So much violence and hate seems to be in our culture today. Not just in America but around the world. Fighting about religion or someone’s right to be what they want to be even if it isn’t natural. All kinds of vile words being spewed online through social media sites, causing some people to take their own lives because of “cyberbullying”. How much more can our culture, our nation or even the world itself take?

Is there no way to bring peace to the world?

Yes, there is but it will take turning to God and repenting of our sinful ways and lives. Is it possible today? I’m not so sure actually. There doesn’t seem to be enough people who are interested in saving their lives into eternity, let alone believing in Jesus! The only way to bring peace to the world would be for most of the population of the world to become Christians. Of course then we would start arguing about which doctrine to follow. Likely this would even set off some wars and killings as well, so even that wouldn’t work without the Lord returning to rule for 1,000 years!


So much, yet…

It seems that in our culture today, we have so much and yet we still complain. Now, I am not saying that we are similar to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, but they complained about a lot of things too. We have so much in the way of possessions and stuff but it is all disposable and we still want more! Why?

It just seems that we are never satisfied with what we have. God has given us a planet that is moderate in its temperature range, we have gravity to keep us firmly on the ground. There is air to breathe and our days are split between night and day so we have time to work and sleep too. So why do we complain about life and the stuff that we have or don’t have?

We should be thankful for our family and our health, if we are enjoying good health. If you have a job, be thankful for that. Life and living for Jesus is so much more than…stuff! Living for the Lord and with Jesus in your life is so much more than things that we see and have to deal with each day. But, it seems that we are never satisfied with life, particularly our life if we have given our hearts to Jesus.

We look around at all of the stuff that others have, some of whom we think are not followers of Jesus and some who are. We question God, like Job did in his time of testing, and we ask “Why can’t we have xxxx car or this huge house and a bank account to go with it?”.

The answer is the one which Jesus gave to His followers about the rich man. “It is harder for a rich man to enter heaven than it is for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.“; my quote is a paraphrase but you get the meaning of it. I qualify this by asking a couple of questions: Does a wealthy man need anything? He can have anything that he desires, so why would he want God in his life? Is a wealthy person ever hungry or thirsty? Not unless it is forced upon him I’d wager, so why would he or she ever hunger for Jesus and the freedom that being a Christian affords?

Wealth and so-called privilege can give a person much that the world has to offer. But, being a Christian and living your life as one who is a follower and a disciple of Jesus is not something that the world nor the wealthy would desire. Until, somehow, they are brought to a point of true and desperate need which their money cannot give them. Or if they grew up in poverty and became wealthy later in life and they knew that it was the blessing of God which brought their wealth, which they cheerfully gave to help others in need.

Because, until someone gets to the point of realization which shows them Who they truly need, it doesn’t matter if you have money or not, you will not seek out Jesus for your salvation. Until you know that there is nothing which you can do for salvation or healing or whatever you may feel that you need, not in this life but to bring you into God Presence, you will not seek out any knowledge of God nor will you look for salvation in Jesus.

Who is in control?

Our government and those serving their own interests are not in control of much, particularly with regard to our society. So, who really is in control? Satan?

I know that many of you don’t really believe that he exists, but God said that he does so that settles that argument. But is he in control of all of the things which are spiralling out of control today? I don’t think I would give him that much credit. He may be influencing those who are stirring up trouble to be more violent, more destructive even, but he isn’t in control of them exactly.

IamtheWayBesides, if you have ever read the book of Job or heard a sermon from it, then you know that Satan has to get permission to do the things which he does, especially if it may harm Christians or Israel! The One Who is in Control and Who watches everything unfold in its time, is God. Sometimes bad things do happen to good people, but not without God’s permission. He knows that occasionally something has to happen if it will bring about a greater good in His Kingdom. It may cause pain for now, but in eternity the pain is taken away.

Many people seem to be searching for the Truth of God today, although some seem to be looking in the wrong places. Yes, God is still speaking through His Word, the Bible, and preachers who read and study it and then expound on His Wisdom trying to make it as understandable as possible. The message of salvation is easy enough for a child to understand but as adults we tend to make things harder than they should be. Either by not reading the instruction book, the Bible, or by adding our own ideas to those contained in it.

God doesn’t need your help or mine in order to save you. He already provided the remedy and the way of salvation for each one of us, through belief in and trust in Jesus the Christ.


No other doctrine or work needs to be applied to your life in order to be saved! There is nothing that you or I can do to get us into Heaven, Jesus did it all. Just believe in Him and His atonement for your sins, turn away from them (repent) and follow Him. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Truly, it is simple…although living your daily walk with Him is going to be hard at times. Your friends will call and ask you to come to this new bar they found or maybe go for a weekend off to the Bahamas with your fiance which you aren’t married to yet. These are the stones which can trip you up and cause you to stumble and fall.

But…if you truly have given your heart to Jesus, even if you fall, you can ask forgiveness and strength and He will give you both! Don’t turn away from Him and go back to your old life. Don’t feel the pull of the Spirit in church or after you hear a sermon on TV and then decide NOT to give your heart to Him. Remember, we are not guaranteed tomorrow so don’t back away from Him when you know you need Him!

What is going to happen next?

I am sure that there are many who are asking this very question. I wish that I had an answer for it, but the only One Who could answer it is God Himself. The book of Revelation tells us that this time in which we live today will be much like the world was before the Flood. Bad things happening to good people, threatening of world war in the news, people killing and hurting people because of skin color or beliefs. any of this sound familiar?

heaven-or-hell-eternal-destinyChristians need to dig deep into their Bible, read and study them with prayer and some fasting. If you aren’t a Christian, I would suggest that you seek out Jesus and ask Him to come into your life. Why? Because, He is the only way to Heaven! Not Islam, not Zen Buddhism, not cults which teach that you will be a god! Jesus came to save mankind from their own delusions of grandeur and Satan’s lies. He is the only way to have a real eternal life. Being in Hell is not life at all, but it is the second death!

Don’t fall for Satan’s lies, seek out your Creator and Savior, Jesus the Christ. He never has left you alone in any of your trouble and He won’t now.

The book of Revelation is not a fantasy or allegory but it was and is a book which describes the time of Trial or Tribulation which is coming to the Earth soon. John the Apostle couldn’t describe many of the things which the vision showed him, so much of those descriptions sound fantastic, but God is going to bring it all on the Earth. Satan will use much of this time to try to expand his kingdom as well, but his kingdom is in hell! You won’t burn up in an instant, your eternal soul will be there as the Bible says “forever”!

The only salvation which will keep you from that place is through Jesus. Trust in Him and believe that He came for your soul and for everyone else’s because He did pay the penalty for everyone. The only thing that you have to do is believe in Him and His atonement for your sins. Then, live a changed life until you are in His Presence!


Kneeling in prayer

There are many places in the Word of God, where a man or a Savior, bends their knees and gets down to the business of faithful prayer. It is something that many in the Church seem to have forgotten about. We stand and pray, we sit and pray, some of us bow our heads with eyes closed, some don’t close their eyes during prayer. talking with our Savior and our Creator, if you don’t revere Him enough to close your eyes and bow your head then I am sorry for you. God loves you more than you realize, but He expects some respect and reverence from His Creation.

When he had thus spoken, he knelt down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul’s neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more.

And they accompanied him unto the ship.  [Acts 20:36-38]

They took him down to Caesarea and by journey to Jerusalem—his last visit to that city in which he was arrested, imprisoned, and taken to Rome in trial for his life. But the word that describes this last meeting with the people in Ephesus is most poignant and meaningful. “And when he had thus spoken, he knelt down and prayed with them all.”

What does this say about Paul? He desired that they would continue in the faith that he had taught them before his arrest. Paul knew that his time there was over. He knew that he may not see Jerusalem again, so he knelt down and prayed with them all. What did he say? We likely won’t know until we can ask him face to face in Glory! The point is that, as Christians and ministers of Jesus Christ we should pray for our families and our country. We should pray for our friends and our students and those who need God’s healing touch.

Prayer can bring about many things, good and bad. It just depends upon who is doing the praying and what they are praying for. In a parched, drought-stricken land, they may pray for rain, in a world on the brink of war they might pray for peace, even if it would take a miracle for that peace to come. Once there was a man who believed in prayer in our country and you may have heard of him. His name was George Washington. Here is a small picture of something that he did early in our history whenever it was called for.

There was a visitor to the Continental Congress of the American Republic from Great Britain.  And as he stood in the chamber of that august assembly, he turned to the man standing next to him and said, “Which one is General George Washington?”  And the man standing next to the visitor turned to him and said, “When Congress goes to prayer, the one who kneels will be General George Washington.”  Kneeling in prayer.

It happened that this was the way that Congress used to begin each meeting and some say that they still do this…but are they truly sincere about what they are saying and to Whom they are praying? In our society today I doubt it.

Daniel knelt and prayed for God to show him the meaning of his dream and although it took three weeks for the angel to come and give him the meaning, Daniel still prayed. In the eighteenth chapter of 1 Kings, Elijah said unto King Ahab, “Get thee up…for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”  So Ahab went up.  And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and he said to his servant, “Go, look toward the sea.”  And he went up and looked and said: “There is nothing” [1 Kings 18:41-43].  And Elijah said, “Go the second time, the third, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh.”  And it came to pass, after Elijah had prayed, down on his knees for the seventh time, that the servant said, “Look, there is a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.”  And Elijah said unto Ahab, “Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.”  And it came to pass… that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain [1 Kings 18:44, 45].

Elijah was the prophet who had prayed for the drought and he prayed that it would abate as well and his faith was rewarded to the glory of God.

There are many other times in Mark and Luke where we read that “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” (Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35)

Why do I bring this up at this time? Because we are at the doorway of a time that has not been in history before. We are at the very threshold of the prophecies of the book of Revelation! This is the time that we should be on our knees in prayer every day! Not just for our country or for the person who may be elected to be the next President, but for the entire world and its collective salvation.

I pray that all of us will be in prayer for our world and those in it, especially those who have sickness or may be dealing with treatments for cancer or surgery or the recovery from either. There are also many who are living in areas where there is very little to eat and no clean water to drink, so be in prayer that someone can bring them food and clean water soon. Life outside of America is hard but there are also people here who live in poverty and wonder where their next meal will come from. If you can help them, even in a small way, I am sure it would be appreciated.

God loves all of His children even if they don’t love Him or show His love to others, but that doesn’t mean that He will not hold them accountable for any suffering or pain that they may cause to others.