Saturday, January 25, 2014


When I was young...probably in 1st grade, we had 2 dogs.  They were mutts and outside dogs, but they were my best friends at the time.  During summer vacation, I found that if I threw rocks (small rocks...nothing that would really hurt them) that they would get angry and would bark and growl at me.  I thought it was great see them get angry and bark.  I did this long enough so that even when I didn't throw rocks at them...if I was just near them and would make a sudden movement, they would get up and bark and growl and even snap at me.  They never hurt me, but my actions were certainly making them hostile toward me.

Once day I was outside with my Dad and he witnessed what the dogs would do while I was running by them and he was very alarmed.  He said to me, "I can't have dogs that I can't are more important to me than those dogs and I can't have dogs around who I think might even bite you."  I tried to tell him that it was my fault...not theirs..I was the one who teased them and got them mean.  He would have none of it.  He went into the house and got his gun and shot those two dogs right in front of my very eyes.  I cried for days. But it taught me a valuable lesson I probably could have learned in no other way.

1) My actions can hurt, even if I didn't intend for them to do so.

2) Treat others how you want to be treated, but be especially kind to your friends..this was far before I even knew what our Lord had said...

3) I also realized that if you hit a dog long enough...even if it was just for fun, that they would snap at you even if you weren't teasing them any more.

Be careful with what you do to others. Your actions have consequences.

Luke 6:31
Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

True Repentance

In the Old Testament we have the example of David.  2 Samuel 12 is where Nathan the prophet confronted David with his first David did not realize that Nathan was talking about him...and once the story was told, David declared that the man that Nathan was talking about was worthy of death.  When Nathan told David, “You are the man!”.  2 Samuel 12:7, David’s response was to recognize that he had sinned against God.  Nathan said that his sin was taken away, but the price would be the death of his son with Bathsheba. David’s response to that was to immediately plead with the Lord, to repent in a physical way as well.  He wore sackcloth, he fasted and only had to LOOK at him to KNOW that he was sorry for what he did.  In the end, the child died as Nathan had was a high price to pay for his sin, but David paid the price. David not only expressed his grief, but from that moment on...he was a changed man.  He never dealt that way with another human being because he recognized rightly that is was sin against God.

The other example I would like to bring up is in the New Testament.  Luke 19, the story of Zacchaeus. If you recall that story, Zacchaeus was a tax collector.  Tax collectors during that time were crooked...I know...hard to imagine, things sure have changed since Jesus’ day. They charged people more taxes than they needed to collect...and then kept the excess.  In effect they, defrauded the very people they were supposed to help.  Anyway, after Jesus singled him out, Zacchaeus had a heart to heart meeting with the living God and ended up becoming a believer.  This was evidenced by his repentance.  The conversation can be found in Luke 19:8-10, “8 Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.” 9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.””

Once again, repentance is taking a form that we can SEE and recognize.  We KNOW that Zacchaeus has repented of his sin.  He was willing to sell what he had and do the RIGHT thing. To apologize to the people he harmed and to make amends. Jesus immediately recognized this as a true heart-change and declared that Zacchaeus was saved that day...because of what he did.

There are MANY stories in Scripture where repentance is EVERY CASE no one is saying, “I wonder if he has repented…” (possible exception is Paul’s conversion...but even then people had to admit that he was no longer the Christian-killer he was before)  That’s because true repentance is not only a change of is a change of LIFE; it is a change of DOING. People see that and recognize it for what it is.  We should not be saying...and especially someone who is trained in exhorting repentance…, “I wonder what THAT is.” Seriously.

There is a difference between REPENTANCE and REMORSE.  

Repentance is an act of will whereby you are sorry for what you have done and come to grips with your own sinful actions.  This is brought about mainly by the Holy Spirit.  This act of will results, like it did with Zacchaeus, in a desire to make amends for what you have done.  It is a turning...a change of what you were and changing to following after God with a renewed vigor and mission. It is characterized by a change of thinking and a change of behavior.

Remorse is simply feeling sorry for yourself and in the end, you make excuses for your actions. It does NOT result in a Godly simply results in sadness.  People in this condition can be likened to one caught in a sin where they shed tears and are certainly remorseful, but no real change occurs.  They simply wail and cry and elicit pity….but not real change in behavior is achieved. “Oh please! Just give me one more chance!  I promise not to do that again!” or perhaps, “I swear I will never drink again honey!”  We have all seen that kind of behavior.  We know they are reacting because they feel the heat, not because they are repentant.  They try to manipulate the circumstances so that there is more a change in the way YOU perceive them….not in changing themselves. Do not be fooled.  God is not.

Give thought to what true repentance is and what it points to.

Blessings All!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

What do you believe?

I think it's time for me to lay down some thoughts on what I believe about Abortion.  Some people seem to be confused about my stand. :-)

1) Abortion is wrong.  Not only do I believe this because I value life. I also believe this because God's word has a lot to say about murder and taking of another human life.  This is sin. Period.

2) Will Jesus forgive anyone who has had an abortion?  Yes, provided that they repent.  There is no blanket forgiveness of sins in Scripture.  It is by individual choice to stop what they are doing and trun away from it, giving their faith to Jesus.

3) How do we stop Abortion?  This is a a harder question to answer...because I have no answer to this. For the Christian, we can simply say, "Stop doing this."  Not so much for the non-believer.

A person rightly said that this is sin and then challenged me to find a way to stop sin. Clever, but not so helpful.  Instead of criticizing me I wish that he would have upheld my convictions and offered some solutions.  As  believers,  we should always build up and not tear down.

Ultimately, this sin will not stop until Jesus returns.  Until that time, we Christians must advocate for the unborn. There is no other group of people more vulnerable to the sin of others than these. Taking the life of another is wrong. I do not see any other way to look at it from a Christian point.

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Proverbs 31:8

Blessings All!

Friday, January 3, 2014

If God is for us

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

Many people speculate that God is a God of anger or indifference.  Either He is always trying to smite us or that he just does not care, but nothing further from the truth could exist.

God is sometimes angry, yes...but that is because we refuse to listen to His good advice and follow His ways.  We reject him at every opportunity we have...who wouldn't be angry with that kind of attitude?  He IS for us and he wants the best for us...sometimes he just needs to slap us upside the head.

He is not indifferent either. Sometimes people think that he just sits back and laughs at how we struggle. A simple look at Scripture will blow this notion out of the water.  God is involved with human history throughout the Bible and we see Him working in today's world as well. Look around! Listen up!

John 16:33

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. --Jesus

Blessings All!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Watchful and Thankful Prayer

Colossians 4:2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

If there is one thing that you do this year, I hope that it is prayer that is watchful and thankful.

devote yourselves to prayer
is what the Bible states
and do it with thanksgiving
a tender heart it makes

but also do it watchfully
and do it with much care
and give away the faith you hold
so bountiful yet rare

and do not heistate to tell
your friend or neighbor why
you kneel before the living God
with hands held to the sky

for nothing shall defeat you
if you give it all to God
and nothing will ashame you
when they lay you 'neath the sod

pray with watchful eyes
and pray with thankful hearts
and His joy will be completed
when the Holy Spirit starts

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Don't Be Troubled

Don't be Troubled

John 14:1-6

14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

I had been going through a period of loneliness. Last May my wife went down to Florida to support our oldest son. My Daughter-in-Law was in the ICU down there and was close to death and my wife decided she needed to go and I agreed with her. I would have gone too if I could have. Thankfully, she is pulled through and she is out of immediate danger, but she still will be recovery for some more months, and will require some follow-up surgery to correct a congenital problem. Thank you for you continued prayers for healing.

Now I at first thought that my wife going was to be no problem for me.  I am self-sufficient. I don't need any other  person to make me happy and certainly, the fact that my wife and I will be celebrating 38 years of marriage this month, seemed to me to under-gird that fact. To be sure, we have spent time away from each other during the years for various reasons...but never for more than a week. Seriously, how bad could it be? I was wrong. I was correct that the first week was not too bad, but the longer it went on, the worse it got.  I found strength in what Jesus told His disciples before He was to leave them.

1) Do not allow your heart to be troubled. Believe in God and in Me.

When we are facing loss of anything, we cannot dwell on ourselves. We must look at the bigger picture and it is not about us. It's about God and His plans not only for us but for the world.  When we focus too much on ourselves, we lose perspective and we focus on the mundane and the trivial. Force yourself to look to God and to what His Son, Jesus has done for us. What comfort that is! What great joy! Now you know that there is someone who never has forgotten you and is doing everything for your good. Dwell on that and have peace.

2) I am going, but do not be discouraged. I am going to make a place for you and you will one day be with me.

Jesus knew His disciples would be lonely, discouraged and even depressed when He was gone. He sought to give them a vision of the future in telling them and us all, that He is going, but He is not going for no reason...He is going for their sake. He is going to prepare things for them when they come.  He later told them not to worry; that even though He was going He was going to come back for them.  This gave them a new perspective of the event and comforted them with the truth that Jesus was not abandoning them alone.  In fact He told them that if He went, it would be better for them because the Father would send them a Helper who would guide them in all things.  We look back on this and realize that the Holy Spirit is perhaps our greatest asset in our relationship with Jesus while we live on this earth.  I would not trade that for anything in the world. Would you?

And finally 3) He tells them the truth about His relationship with the world.

Many people mock God. Many people mock Jesus.  In the end, as the scriptures say, God is not mocked.  This one fact, that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, cannot be over looked.  It is one fact that over-rides all opinions and people who would point and say that there are multiple ways to get to heaven.  It goes beyond the people and opinions who say that we are all worshiping the same god. The fact is if we take this as truth, and I say we MUST, then there is no other way to get to where Jesus is except to believe on Him and the One who sent Him.

Are you lonely today? Is your life void of meaning? Do you feel as if you cannot go on because the world seems so much against you and your so called friends are not there when you need them the most? Then rejoice! Because you have found the only thing that will fill that gap. You have found the only thing that will bring you comfort is a world that is comfortless. You have found Jesus. Just like the Disciples who thought they were losing the only thing they had ever believed in, they came to realize that Jesus was there for them. He was the reason to live. He was the reason to keep on doing what He told them to do. When their time on earth was done, He would be the one who would come back personally and show them the room He had prepared for them.

Friends, I do not know about you, but these words of Jesus fill me with joy. How can I be lonely when my Lord died on the cross to bring me life? How can I be lonely when once He died, the Father sent His Holy Spirit to live with me, in me and through me?  How indeed!

Make this New Year the best ever with Jesus!

Blessings all!