Life and death…choose Life!

In so many ways, our world looks like this. Possibly not such a stark contrast in much of the world as this, but in other ways it is exactly like this. Many places in the world are or have been in a drought for a long, long time. In some areas, the drought is caused by man’s own mean-lifeordeathspirited streak in not tolerating others particularly in the area of religion.


Is it so hard to get along with others who don’t believe exactly the same as you do? For some, it seems to be exactly that point! Hindu’s can’t get along with Christians, Muslim’s can’t get along with Christians, Socialist and Communist countries have problems with Christians. Do you see a pattern here?

It isn’t hard to see, but it is hard to understand the reason behind it. It is true that in the distant past, Christian countries and those who followed the leader of the Church at the time, well-meaning soldiers who were charged by the Church to bring civilization and “right beliefs” to the heathen. This was not the way to bring Christ to other people, but it was done, so lets move on!

Our past, regardless of the country that you live in or the beliefs that you hold, is something that we should study, make note of so that we won’t repeat those mistakes, and then move toward a more Christ-like living arrangement. Jesus did not tell us to go and beat belief into the masses because that doesn’t work! It turns most, if not all, away from that belief in Him.

Jesus said for us to go and tell them the good news of His teachings and that He came to bring salvation to all of mankind. Jesus paid the price so that all could benefit from it, but it is your choice whether you accept it and respond when God calls you.

Matthew 28:16-20 King James Version

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


Preoccupied with what exactly?

It seems that in our daily lives, regardless of our religious faith or lack thereof, we are preoccupied with all sorts of things. Some of it is relevant to our lives, some of it is not but most of it seems to be of very little value in the scheme of our lives and those around us. We, and I say this openly, worry more about our twitter feeds and our Facebook friends than we do the homeless man who sleeps under a piece of cardboard to stay warm. We chase after our phones far more than we seem to chase after our spouses or our children. We worry more about our status on social media pages that we “belong to” more than we worry about our relationship with Jesus Christ! Technology has become an addiction for many people. From games and game systems to phones and tablets which many of us didn’t even have fifteen years ago because they weren’t available or were too expensive at the time.

Now, they are so cheap that Amazon is selling a five pack of Kindle Fire tablets for 250 dollars! Everyone in your family can have one so that nobody will pay any attention to each other when we all have our heads buried in our tablets! Most will be used for games, although as the saying went thirty years ago for Playboy “I just read the articles (books).” The problem with all of this preoccupation with games and electronic books and distractions is that we aren’t paying any attention to EACH OTHER!! And we aren’t paying any attention to God or His message because in many churches, they are using tablets and apps to spread the message as well! It is good that the message is getting out to more people this way, but many will just ignore the alerts from the church app just like they do any other alert.

We need to be talking TO each other more, not AT each other which is what happens when technology gets in the way. What can be done about this? Unfortunately, not much. The generation which came along around the turn of the 21st century called the “digital”generation has never lived without technology of some kind and they have always had access to the Internet. If something like an Electromagnetic pulse bomb or a nuclear explosion were to happen and cut off our technology for weeks or months or more, many people would go through such a withdrawal that it would be like a nation of drug addicts all going cold-turkey at once!

I know this sounds like a rant against technology, and I am using technology to write this but I do have a point to make. That point is this: we need to get our collective selves BACK into God’s Word, the Bible! A digital version will be better than no Bible at all, but a written one would be better because it wouldn’t need to be charged up to read and it wouldn’t be affected by a nuclear electromagnetic pulse which might send us back at least one hundred years technologically speaking. Our world and every person in it needs to get to know God, not Allah or any other pretender! The God of the Bible and specifically His Son, Jesus, because without Him you are doomed to an eternity of being out of the presence of God which will be hell.

God loves each person who reads this and He does care about every little thing in your life, but He doesn’t like the lifestyles that some of us live every day. If you have not given your heart and life to Him, then ask Him to help you with the decision…He will. Remember John 3:16,17: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Why all of the violence?

We see it and hear about it on the news every day. It is in the movies and TV shows. So why are we so enthralled with violent games and TV shows? Honestly…I don’t know. I don’t understand the love of violence, but it has been in our culture for a very long time it seems. We have had many wars in the past and if you go back just for the lifetime of America, we have been involved in many.

So, why can’t we just get along? Is it pride or arrogance that keeps us from having peace? Is it our religious differences between cultures which causes most of this madness? Is there a solution to all of the killing and violence?

All of those questions are valid and the answer to some of them is yes we can get along, yes it is pride and arrogance that causes some, if not all, of the divisions in the world. The religious differences have been around for many hundreds of years and in some cases it really is our problems with tolerance that causes our hatred and violence between people of different faiths. The solution to these problems is not one which will be accepted by all though. There are three faiths which center around God in the world and they have a lot of cultural baggage between them. Radical beliefs which polarize them because of a minority claiming them as beliefs which they want to force upon most, if not all, of the world.

It has been this way for many years. A minority that holds radical views of their religion which doesn’t reflect the beliefs of the majority but they get noticed because of their attacks on others and their voices are usually the loudest too. Even Christianity has some radical congregations or groups which teach views which most Christians look on as not representing the church at all. The solution to our violent problem will not come from us though, it will come from Jesus Himself.

There has to be a change in the way that we live our lives and how we serve others and the church. That change has to begin within each of us first. Speeches don’t do it, revivals which last for a day or two won’t get it done. If the change is not brought into each person’s heart by Jesus and a commitment to Him then there will be no possibility of change which will last. Talking about it won’t help, listening to tapes won’t help but the Holy Spirit can change each of us from the inside out.

Seek Him out while He may be found.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Understanding is necessary!

This is something which is missing in our society today. Why do I say this? Because there is so much intolerance in our country, especially for Christian viewpoints! That is why I said that there needs to be more understanding in the media and in our culture too. Yes, there are intolerant Christians, but just like those who kill people with guns, they don’t represent the Church or the majority of Christians in this country!

We, as a people and a nation, need to stop this persistent categorizing people who you don’t understand by the actions of a few! It’s like deciding that all dogs are bad just because one breed, like the Pit Bull terrier, has a few who aren’t raised correctly. Many times in our society people are judged by the actions of a few people and it is applied to a large group, such as those with dark skin color or those who work in a particular profession. We are told not to judge people by our parents and by God, yet we do it all the time. I heard many times in school “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but today it seems that we as a nation have forgotten those words too. What happened?

Understanding is defined as: the ability to understand something; comprehension; sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving; having insight or good judgment.

It seems that our society and the much of the world in general has forgotten the meanings of this word, whether sympathetically and forgiving or just simple understanding. Have we gone so far away from our teachings about God and His laws that this word is unknown or disregarded by everyone in society today? It seems that way because every story on the news should have something to do with this, but most stories are about intolerance and hatred toward those who don’t believe the way you do or who look different from you (racism).

I have addressed racism before but I am going to bring this up again: We have different cultures, beliefs, and religions but we ALL belong to the HUMAN RACE! Skin color may be different and the shape of our eyes may be a bit different in some parts of the world, but Biblically speaking we are descended from Adam and Eve who both were likely dark-skinned and not Caucasian. Yes, we all differ in our cultures and our preference for people who look like us or those who are similar in beliefs. These beliefs and cultural differences can be seen from one part of a city or state to another, but if you are a Christian your beliefs a similar enough that there shouldn’t be a division. Specifically one that may cause you to be so different that you can’t stand each other!

The apostle John said that “If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”  1 John 4:20

Seek God in His Word. Learn of Him and His provision of grace and love toward all of us. Pray that He will come into your heart and change you to be a new creature in Christ. This is what is necessary for salvation. If there are any questions or prayer requests please leave them in the comments. Thank you and I pray that all who read this will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Are you following the right one?

There are many ways in today’s world to find your way in the world, but are you on the right path? Are you followBelievetheBesting the right One? The world itself is split into many different camps. Some are following their own ways, some are following Christianity, some aren’t following any “religion” at all, some are following man-made religions. It seems that confusion should be the norm in the world and it is indeed happening in many places. Why? For thousands of years, mankind has followed his own path in regard to whether to worship a god or create their own. Some even chose to follow the one, true God.

So, what should we do today? The road is easy and wide when you are following a god created by man or even when you aren’t following anyone but your own ideas. That is the reason that many people follow that path, because it isn’t hard and you don’t really have to give up much to go on that pathway. Some people have told me that you are forbidden so much in following God and Jesus until they just decided not to follow anyone at all. That is not true at all.

It is true that many of the rules in the Old Testament do forbid many things regarding the enjoyment of life’s riches, but the new covenant that was brought about by Jesus doesn’t follow those old rules. It doesn’t do away with them, but your salvation is in Jesus and not in following rules that you can’t keep anyway! Those rules were put there to show the people that they needed a Savior and couldn’t be righteous by keeping rules because unless you are perfect in obedience you can’t do it! Jesus did it because He is the Son of God and did not have the nature of Adam to trip Him up.

We are saved by His grace that poured down from Heaven through the blood of Jesus to us and it paid the price for ALL of our sins! It is a free gift that we only have to accept through faith in Jesus. He did it all so that we could be His feet and hands to take the message, the gospel to the world until He comes again.

Those other gods and paths that some follow may be fun for a while, but where will you spend eternity? I know some of you don’t believe in it but what if I am right about it? You will stand in judgement by God after your last breath here. Are you perfect and sinless, holy in all of your ways?

Think about it now while there is time.

Sad remembrance

Our country was still reeling from the impact and the horror that had happened only a few hours before at this particular time fourteen years ago. Most of us were in shock. Not wanting to believe what our eyes were seeing and hearing on television or radio that morning, yet it had happened.

America had been attacked on her own soil, in the very heart of one of the most populated and celebrated cities, New York City. Yes, it was a sneak attack, an unprovoked attack from our point of view. Why? was the question that everyone wanted an answer to, but that answer even today is elusive. Theories abound but no real solid answers have been given or found in the years since.

How can we get past this point? There is no specific nation to look toward as the instigator of this, the reason…if there is one is based in religion, just one religion. Islam.

The word itself in Arabic means literally “submission to God”. A fairly benign statement that many believers both Muslim and non-Muslim can agree on. Christians, Jews and Muslims can relate to this as being the path to Life eternal.”What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Romans 4:3

In all three of those religions, belief and submission are almost synonymous, and yet each treats the other very differently. Religion has caused all sorts of pain and suffering in the past as it does today. Yet, we should be looking to the Author and Finisher of our faith for the Truth and that is Jesus. He brought the Truth of God to us because, as John puts it: “The Word was God and became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His Glory.” John 1:14

We are remembering the act of terror, aggression and war that was committed fourteen years ago today, but we have not turned to the One Who can give us peace in our souls and love toward those who intend to do us harm. Oh, for a few days and weeks we did go to churches and worship places and implored with God to show us why this had to happen. Most people didn’t recognize the answer that we got which was “to get your attention”!

It had to be done so that we would, as a nation, turn to God and repent of our sinful ways. But, we didn’t do that. We took it as a slap in the face and with anger we rose up as a nation, almost as they did in 1941, and we struck at those who had struck us. The problem then, as now, was that was similar to swatting at an ant in an ant hill. It only spread the problem out and made then even more determined, which their Koran tells them to bide their time and strike harder the next time.

We cannot look at this from a religious point of view or a national point of view, it just is part of our world and the time that we are living in. The next strike will be worse.

Do you know Jesus?

Do you know Jesus, the Son of God? Have you come to Him and asked for His forgiveness, because you know that you need it?

What if…what if it were Jesus saying those words to all of you? How would you feel then? Convicted? Ashamed? Indignant? Humbled? UN-worthy?

I write this to show you how far God has brought me from where I was, so that maybe some of you might see that God can use the most unusual things…oops, I mean people, to accomplish His will and His purpose in your life and in mine, to use you to have a positive effect on someone else and their life.

God can do great things, with a thought or by His Word and by just His Breath He gave life to a model made of clay and it became a living, human being with a soul! Then he took a bone, and made a woman who most men would DIE to have on their arms, imagine that!

The point I am beginning with is this, God can do great and wonderful things with very little or a lot. He can also do great and wonderful things with nothing at all! Because He is God! What can you do with nothing? Not very much I would guess, because I can’t either.

Yes, a man and a woman can come together and a child will be born, IF God wants you to have that child. You can’t force it to happen, you have no control over what color their eyes will be or their personality, but God does. He brought you and your wife together because He knew that you complement each other. Not in the sense of, “You sure are beautiful tonight, honey!”, but because your souls and your personalities fit perfectly.

Now, you can ignore that little voice in your mind that tells you that you are marrying the wrong one, but I guarantee you that you will regret it if you do. God loves you and He loves your children, even before you finally find the right woman to have those children with.

Thirty some years ago, I was a very confused and angry young man. I did okay in school, but I was a loner and I didn’t make friends too easily. I kept to myself and kept my mouth shut, for the most part. But, one day I got introduced to whiskey, not Budweiser, but the real alcohol! The kind that didn’t take much to gets you to feeling more oats than you have. The kind that, in today’s climate, would get you killed before lunch break was over.

For some odd reason, I liked the way that alcohol made me feel. Almost like I could do anything, say anything and live to tell about it tomorrow. Many of us feel that way in our teen years, whether we have whiskey giving us more mouth than we should have or not. Since there was an old man selling to whoever had the money to buy, I usually went to a football game on most Friday nights. That was my cover story at least. I would go and buy a pint or a half-pint of whiskey and before the night was through, I would’ve finished most of it. For a sixteen year old kid who did weigh much over one hundred pounds, to put it simply, I would be crawling home drunk. I had a wreck a few weeks after this began that put me in the hospital for about a week.

When I got out, I swore that I wouldn’t do that again. Well, that didn’t last long, although I didn’t have another wreck. I got drunk or tight as we called it, almost every day at lunch time. Sometimes, I would smoke pot, most of the time I just drank whatever I could get my hands on. I was well on my way to being an alcoholic. My teenage years weren’t impressive at all and since I didn’t live in town, I wasn’t popular at school either.

This is all old news, my past, for some it’s your past as well. But, you know, God can use anyone in anyplace at any time…but only if we are following Christ! Saying so doesn’t work, talk doesn’t work, IF you are going to live into forever you must have Jesus in your heart FOR REAL! This is not and it will not be a well liked sermon, but you know what? The sermons which Jesus spoke in front of the Pharisees and the other religious leaders were not popular, but they were full of the TRUTH!

The truth is that a ball of clay that can be made into a man by our Creator is what we are. The Light of Creation He brought into being with His Word, everything in the first chapter of Genesis was brought into being by the Word of God, but Adam was brought to life by the hands of God! He had a special plan for us, before mankind (and that includes women too), was even molded out of clay or fashioned from a bone like the first woman.

We are special to Him and have been ever since Creation began. His plan has been in place since before Adam took his first steps. God knows you and me and has known us since before Earth was ever formed into the world that we live on. Love like that cannot be ignored, should not be ignored because God does love each of us that much. It is a love that we can’t understand at all.

It doesn’t matter how little that you know about God. It doesn’t matter if you have ever read the Bible all the way through. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is. God loves you! This is the message that Jesus was trying to get across to the children of Israel. They believe that they are special because they are descended from Abraham and in God’s eyes they are BUT that alone won’t get them into Heaven. No amount of good deeds or amount of money or even the time that you have spent in church or on missions will tally up your side of the page so that you can squeeze in the door!

Just having a membership in a church makes no difference whether you get into Heaven, sitting in church for forty or fifty years doesn’t do you any good except it makes you responsible for all of the Truth that you have heard in that time. Did you accept Jesus as your Savior? That is the only “ticket” that will allow you to stand in the presence of God, having Him as your Savior is the only covering which will allow God to see you as Holy enough to come to Him as His child!

It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past, the only way that you can be of any use to God now or in the future is to truly give your heart to Jesus and let Him come in and make a true and lasting change in your life. That change has to be all the way to the core, not just a surface change that lasts until the revival is over. It has to be REAL, the change has to take over your life, your family, your business, your friendships, your finances, EVERYTHING!!!

Why does it have to be that much of a change? Because YOU ARE A NEW CREATURE! You are different, you are not the same person that you were yesterday, your wife is not the same, your children are not the same. The change has to be COMPLETE and totally committed. If you haven’t made this change, this deeply, this far-reaching, then you need to DO IT! Because, unless it has been a heart change, deep inside, the kind that it will offend you if you hear someone take God’s name in vain to be used as a curse word, if it isn’t that deep then it isn’t real and genuine!

Will you make that deep of a commitment to Jesus? We are entering a time in history that has been foretold in God’s Word and if you haven’t made this kind of commitment, you NEED to do it TODAY! If not today or tonight, then please make it soon. We are not guaranteed tomorrow, and if you are going to make a difference then you need to make this change! If that voice or some part of your soul is feeling a call from God to be that person, the one that will stand in the gap, the one who will lead their family and their business and their friends to Him, to Jesus. If you are being touched by Him and by His Spirit please answer His call on your life. Today.

Birthdays and time

I know that many of you have noticed that the more birthdays you have “celebrated”, the less time it seems to take between them. Even my son, who turns sixteen today, has noticed it and he doesn’t have that many under his belt so to speak. Your perception of time changes when you get older. Days and weeks seem to run together, then the months and years, until pretty soon you are wondering “What happened?” It is true that time goes much slower for those who are incarcerated or who are in living conditions that are far from ideal, but in truth time moves at the same pace that it always has it is our perception of it that has changed.

Life is filled with experiences which cause us to take note of them and make our days either go by quickly or pass by more slowly. If you happen to have a fast paced job, then the day goes by so fast until you have to bring home work to get it finished before you go back, then again if you work at a store where people come in spurts, the days drags by between the customers. Then there is the waiting for the return of Jesus. We know that He is coming back because of the statement made by the angel, “He will return in like manner”, when He was taken up to be at the right hand of God. It has been nearly two millennia since that day. Many people say that He isn’t coming back, some think that it will be hundreds of years in the future if at all, some think that it could be tomorrow or today.

We don’t know and the Bible doesn’t tell us. Jesus gave us some signs to watch for and most of them are happening every day around us, particularly in the Middle East. He also said for us to keep watching and don’t lose faith in Him and in the words spoken in God’s Word. He will return and if you notice the prophecies that have been fulfilled, it very likely will happen in our lifetime. When it will happen, nobody knows for sure. I have noticed that some are saying that it will happen when the last lunar eclipse happens at the end of September, I don’t believe that but anything and anytime is possible.

God knows when our days are coming to an end and He knows, for each of us, how many days we actually have from the day we are born. Thankfully we don’t have access to that information or many people would have bucket lists and the world would be even crazier than it is already! Time is something which we all count during each day that we live. We count it by the minute and the seconds and the days and weeks. The most amazing thing is that we won’t have to count any of it after we arrive in eternity, because time for each of us will cease to exist if you are blessed with the love and the atonement granted by Jesus in your life.

Eternity will be very different if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior. Time will be miserable and pain-filled and never-ending. I know the argument that “My God wouldn’t allow that to happen!”. God didn’t sentence you to hell, you did. Each one of us has had a chance to accept Jesus as Lord, yet if you don’t by the end of your life it is YOU who has condemned yourself to an eternity without God in hell! We have all seen the handiwork of God in nature and in our bodies, we have heard a sermon or a prayer about God and His grace which is given freely to us even when we don’t deserve it. Even the American Indians prayed to the Great Spirit that they believed created everything and they were right, they just called Him by a different name. That doesn’t mean that Allah or Buddha or any of the “man-made” religions are right because their gods were created by their minds or were just men and nothing more.

God is real and He is in control of time and the number of birthdays that each of us has. Seek Him out in your life while you can, give your heart to Him and ask Him to come into your life and give you the strength to work for Him during the time you have left. Even if it is only a few days or weeks, your example during this time can have a great impact on someone you love or even someone you don’t know.

What have you decided?

Many people seem to have made up their minds that Christians are to be hated and scorned. What has happened in our country? I realize that there are some groups which preach hatred toward other faiths and of people who they deem as “unworthy”, but they are not the majority of Christians! Even the people who believe in Islam don’t all carry bombs and rifles and threaten to kill anyone around them, this behavior only comes from the fringes, from splinter groups, from people, who have IMO, gone off the deep end religiously. So, which camp are you in? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Are you a practicing Christian? Or do you hang on to a few scriptures and base your beliefs and your doctrine on them alone?

It seems that our country has decided by default that we are no longer a Christian nation, just because of the decision handed down on Friday of last week. That one decision doesn’t nullify the Bible or God’s laws, they still stand as the only beacon of Truth for those of us who claim to be Christians. Yes, there are churches and pastors who have radical views about their version of Christianity just as there are radical Imams and other religious leaders out there, but as everyone else says “they don’t represent the whole group”.

The one religion which has always attempted to help others and point the way to a better life here and in eternity is the one that everyone seems to be bashing and trying their best to disassociate themselves from. Other religions have done those things too, I don’t mean to imply that Christianity is the only one, but the religion which brought the Pilgrims to these shores shouldn’t be the one that we are trying so hard to eliminate. So, what have you decided? Are you on the same side as those who hate Christians and want nothing to do with it? Are you a Christian who is saddened by all of this?

I am praying for our country and the world itself. Please let me know where you stand in the comments. I pray that the number of Christian responses will outweigh those with negative comments.

Thank you for your prayers and your comments in advance.