Thursday, September 19, 2019

life happens

Better is a little with righteousness, than vast revenues without justice. A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.              (Proverbs 16:8-9)
Decisions . . . Decisions . . . Decisions! Making plans . . . changing your mind . . . moving in another directions . . . new opportunities . . . sudden unexpected occurrences. Life is loaded with decisions, choices, and plans! Yet life happens in the middle of it all.

However, the Christ follower need not worry, stress or fear life's decisions. We make our best decisions based upon prayer, Godly advice and careful thought. Then we courageously trust God!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus... (Philippians 4:6-7)

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Groaning lately?

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.(Romans 8:22-28)
Have you heard a whole lot of grumbling and groaning lately?  It's ok to groan, if it for the right reason! Oh, we groan about politics, about family and about finances. Kids groan about parents, their school work, their teachers, and their friends and relationships. Paul writes here that even nature groans . . . but for the right reason . . . in hope for the coming Savior!

Rather than groan about things of this world, which we know is getting worse and worse, why not groan with the Spirit as we read above? Groan for the things of God . . . run after His will for us and others. As we agree with God and seek His will, we will not be as concerned for the things which are passing away!

Matthew 24 reminds us that this world is winding down. . . .that things are getting worse. But there is Good News: it gets better . . . but after this world is gone! To those of us who love the Lord and are called, we can look forward with a hope and a purpose!

Jesus would say, "One, two three . . . all eyes on me!"

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Things are NOT getting any better!

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Proverbs 12:25-26)
Bad days happen, let's face it! Bad things happen to good people all the time. We live in a world with sinners like ourselves but not everyone will admit it or care to change. Our earth itself is winding down as well. (Matthew 24:4-14)

Things are NOT getting any better, despite what scientists, doctors, and others may say. We will not live forever and neither will this earth. The only thing that can be saved is the soul!

By the way, what is the condition of your soul today?
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Jesus first!

Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father. ”But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” (Matthew 8:19-22)
I was reminded of my priorities SONday. Jesus was and is speaking very plainly in Matthew' writings, though it seemed very bit as confusing then as it does now. Jesus first! 

If we are to follow Jesus, it has to be all in or nothing at all. If we want to follow Him, like Him we should not be seeking worldly possessions or acclaim. He had no home. He had no possessions. He trusted God the Father to supply in every situation . . . in the wilderness, at a wedding feast, and upon the cross! Jesus was simply reiterating His earlier words:
 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)
 Our heart, soul and mind must be fixed upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) He must be our first, our only priority! He will take care of the basics!

Today, He just might say, "Trust me . . . Don't sweat the small stuff!"

Friday, September 13, 2019

Be blessed . . . . Happy . . . . HOLY!

Be blessed . . . . Happy . . . . HOLY!
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.(Psalm 1:1-3)
 While the world may consider blessed to mean lucky, fortunate, or well-to-do, the bible translates blessed to mean happy! Blessed can also mean consecrated or holy, as in our Blessed Savior.

That being said, the verses above from the psalmist, give us some plain advice on being blessed, happy and thus HOLY!

  • Listen to Godly advice
  • Don't make it a habit to hang out with the wrong crowd (sinners)
  • Take time in God's Word
  • Focus upon it daily
  • Be satisfied and content with what God provides.
In a day and age when everyone is looking for the perfect plan for success . . . for the believer, here it is! Here's to a blessed, happy, and HOLY life!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

He was, is and always will be REAL!

Faith is a walk in the light....not a leap into darkness. It is placing complete trust in someone or something . . . in this case The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was born, was crucified, and overcame death and the grave for anyone who places their trust in Him. He was, is and always will be REAL! I believe. Do you? 

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Have you placed your complete trust in the One Who lives, yet died for you and me? Who else do you know who would willingly die for a stranger . . . the enemy? (Romans 5:8) Jesus would do it and did do it . . . even if it had been for just one . . . just for me . . . just for you!

Will you commit today to live for Him?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

91:1....9-11 Peculiar numbers for a peculiar day

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
Peculiar numbers for a peculiar day . . . 9-11 . . . 9-1-1 . . . 91:1.

8:46 a.m. and 9:37 a.m. are times etched in the hearts and minds of so many. As we remember a most infamous day in our HIStory and honor those who served, sacrificed and are still suffering from the aftermath, we also call upon Him in Whom we place our ultimate trust.

In the wake of 9-11-01, I and many others can vividly recall the very moments we heard the reports and saw the videos. Many of you were in NY, DC, VA and PA that morning. Some have horrifying experiences of the actual events as they served in the aftermath or went through the horrific ordeal personally. Some even experience guilt because they could have or should have been there!

I pray for and yet honor each of you this day and in the days to come. You are heroes all!

Psalm 91:1 became a rallying cry for many in the many days following . . . in private services and yes, even in nationally publicized prayer and memorial services. However, as we have undoubtedly moved on, (and we must) let's never forget the One Who yet still is our refuge and fortress. Even as nations constantly monitor for threats, our only real security lies with our Rock, our Redeemer, our King amid Soon-Coming-Lord of all the armies! He is still God and we have eternal security in Him!

Never forget the day. Never forget the lives lost. Never forget the lives still with hearts left void. NEVER forget the God Who saves and shelters us yesterday, today and forevermore!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Worries. . . Anxieties . . . Fears . . .

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9)
Worries. . . Anxieties . . . Fears . . . We create them and only we can fix them. However, we as Christ followers are not alone in this battle! What sets us apart from the world when it comes to worries and fears? It is our relationship with the One Who controls it all . . . God the Holy Spirit lives within us and joins with us in life's struggles!

In the world, yes we will have troubles. (John 16:33) Yet we read that worry will get us nowhere. (Matthew 6:27) So the answer is also in scripture.

Think on . . .meditate upon . . .  keep focusing on what we know to be true about God and His Word! After all, the world and its worries are temporary! There is MORE to life than this world! Trust in the promises of God rather than the lies of this world!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Different languages, different cultures, different worship styles . . . . same God and same family!

Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4: 20-24)
We all talk about "my church", don't we? It's normal and in saying it we are reflecting a sense of family and belonging. I get it.  However, at times it goes too far. You see, my church is really no better than your church, because they all are to be His church! After all, Jesus built His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail! (Matthew 16: 17-19)

Trouble comes when our allegiance is more with the church and its leaders over allegiance to Christ. While we may differ in worship styles, service order, or preaching methods, we should not and can not differ in doctrine! If we are following a leader he must be following the sound biblical doctrine set out by Christ and apostolic teachings. As in Acts (Acts 2:1), no matter where we gather, we must be of one accord. We are one faith, one Lord, one baptism . . .(Ephesians 4:5-6)

I have been able to experience this while serving on numerous mission trips. Whether in New Orleans, LA, St. Vincent, West Indies, or most recently in Canonavas, Puerto Rico, I have felt comfortable in worship and fellowship. Different languages, different cultures, different worship styles . . . . same God and same family!

What about you? Whose church do you belong? I pray we can heal family fractures soon, as soon we will be one! He is coming soon!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Light on a dark and stony path

How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth. Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.(Psalm 119:104-105)
It's good to carry a light with you as the night gets dark, especially in unfamiliar territory. Our phone spotlights come in handy  when we come up to our cars on a dark parking lot, or as we search for the house keys when the porch light is off. Flashlights are a necessity wandering through dark woods on a mountain retreat or vacationing on the beaches at night.

The Jewish streets were rough, stony, and dark. Lamps were set up along walkways and torches were used as a guide in the wilderness. It was dangerous to go into unfamiliar territory without a light . . . animals, thieves, and rough terrain could cause serious harm . . . . even death!

It is no different for a believer today. As CHRIST-followers we need a guide. We need a GPS system to show us the way and light up dark paths. That is exactly what the Word of God is! It lights up dark and dangerous situations for us to see Truth and guides our very path from stumbling into deceptive lies which the world offers.

He will leave His light on for us! Do not turn it off!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Remember to rest . . .in God and with God!

Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.  And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.  Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.(Genesis 2:1-3)
God rested from His creative work! He took time to see what He have done and enjoyed it. We can take note of that! Yes, the Sabbath is HOLY. (Genesis 20:8-11) Yes it is set apart to not only rest in God and celebrate and worship Him, but also to rest with God . . . to take time to enjoy all He has accomplished in and through our work.

While man is to work, we all also called to rest. It makes sense for our health alone! However, when God actually does something, we are to do it as well. God calls us to take time out of the ordinary patterns of life to worship and to rest. We are to take a break from the labors of life and enjoy Him, His works, His glory, and yes, even our accomplishments.

Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.  So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.(Mark 6:30-32)

Remember, it's ok to take a break on a regular basis as long as we are consistently working! Enjoy the weekend . . .remember God, remember to rest with Him and in Him!

life happens

Better  is  a little with righteousness, t han vast revenues without justice.  A man’s heart plans his way, but the  Lord  directs his st...