Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Future Awaits .. .

Beware, lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)
As we celebrate the eighth grade graduation of our youngest son and his classmates, I am so concerned for the things the world is doing to our youth. As a bible teacher, I have done my best to impart not only biblical knowledge and God's Truths, but also my experience in life. I am concerned that many times it has fallen upon deaf ears and hardened hearts. However, I know that He who is in me and many of these students is still greater than he who is in this world! It is my prayer that the Lord strengthens and protects my son and these students to use them in this dark world to His glory. I pray that as the evil one seeks to steal, kill, and destroy them, that my God gives the strength and fortitude to not only STAND, but to break strongholds and knock down barriers in the name of Jesus! I have done my best, now it is time for another chapter to unfold . . have Your way Lord!

Monday, May 30, 2016

A Vivid Memorial

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (John 15:12-14)
Memorial Day 2016. . . . As I remember and honor all those who put their lives on the line for their "friends" in this country, I simply have to say "thank you"! I cannot imagine being sent to a foreign land with a mission to destroy an enemy I do not even know, yet I must to protect my own family and nation. Facing death every day with the the hope that my sacrifice would be worth it and that some way I would return to those for whom I was fighting. And to think, many of our own citizens think war is not an option. Tell that to our God, who sent His people into battle time after time to wipe out evil! As I ponder the sacrifice of my father, father in law, son, and many other friends and relatives, I am also reminded of my Savior, who paid the ultimate sacrifice; dying for those who at times were His enemies.(Romans 5:8) I cannot imagine giving up a perfect heavenly abode for this sin-sick world, yet Jesus did it! He did because it was necessary. There needed to be a perfect blood sacrifice for our wretched sin. Dying for family and friends is one thing, but dying for those who hate you. . . . . Thank God for my Savior, for without Him I would have no future. Thank God for the sacrifice of our soldiers, for without them we would not have the freedoms to worship the God we serve!

Friday, May 27, 2016

If not now . . . then later!

. . .with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. (Ephesians 6:7-8)
Ever feel unappreciated? Do you watch others receive rewards and accolades and inside know you have done more . . .done better . . .worked harder? Well, as the old song goes, we were never promised a rose garden in life. In fact, we are told that we will have struggles, we will have turmoil, we will have strife!(John 16:33) I realize it is hard to go unnoticed. Human nature seeks rewards for hard work. After all, many folks get awards just for showing up! That's another topic though . . . Be assured that if we truly are attempting to honor the Lord in our efforts, it will pay off . . .later, even if MUCH later! We are investing forward as we do things for the Lord and not for man. Take heart: If man passes over us, the Lord has something better in store for us in eternity! www.tsninthebeginning.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Tired? Weary? In a rut?

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (Galatians 6:9) In Galatians 6, Paul begins to address the issue of restoring our fellow believers who are struggling and stumbling through the CHRISTian life. Let's face it, we all sin. While we may have stretches where we really feel as though we are "getting it", we also have "losing streaks"! We have a responsibility to one another. While we are indeed responsible for our own actions, we are also to come to the aid of others in the Body . . . even when they are doing wrong. We cannot give up on God or others. As we dedicate ourselves to enrich the Body by gently coming alongside others, we strengthen the entire family of God. So as Paul summarizes in verse ten, whenever we have the opportunity, let's be good to one another, even in holding each other accountable to serving the Lord. Paul reminds us that such attention is needed first within the Body so we can then be more effective out in the world! Keep seeking the good things of God and watch Him work! (Matthew 6:33) www.tsninthebeginning.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Right now . . . Before it is too late for this generation!

This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts; who being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus. . . .(Ephesians 4:17-21)
Imagine to have sat directly under the teaching of Jesus Christ and yet still reject His words and His ways. How bold was that? Yet we do it today . . . We sit under sound biblical teaching, we sing songs proclaiming the Gospel, we even pray to the God we claim to so love. Yet when it comes to our decision making, we use the world's standards far too many times. Jesus would say that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. (John 10:27)
So why when it comes to life's choices like relationships, money, activities, and the like, do we more often that not use worldly standards over biblical standards. If we know the music is ungodly, why listen? The "beat". . . . REALLY? If we know our friends are not a good influence for us, than why are we always finding ourselves with them? Time for some new friendships? If we know what we are doing is not of God and we say we ARE, then why do we not ask for help?
The time is drawing nigh when we will have to take a bold stand for what we believe in and how we live. If not now, when? If not you and me, than who will? You ever wonder why you were chosen to live in this day? You my friends, like Esther of long ago, we're born for such a time as this! (Esther 4:14)
Will YOU take up the challenge . . . take up the Cross?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Who is HE?

"Who do men say that I am?" So they answered, "John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others say, one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do YOU say that I am?" Peter answered and said to Him, "You are the Christ (the Messiah)." (Mark 8:27-29)
Jesus had just finished feeding over four thousand with seven pieces of bread and a few small fish. Yet still the disciples were worried how they would eat beyond that day. He went on to heal a man's blindness at Bethsaida. As they travelled on toward Caesarea Philippi, twenty five miles north of the Sea of Galilee, at the base of Mt. Hermon, Jesus had a casual conversation with His disciples . . . "What are people saying about me anyway?" Sometimes, as we struggle through life, we even ask ourselves, "Who is this Jesus anyway?" Better yet, we may be asked, "How do you know for sure He is who you say He is?" After all He has done and is doing, people still doubt . . . More often than not, it is our actions and not our words that prove to others that Jesus is indeed Lord and Savior of our lives . . . not simply Savior, but Lord AND Savior! I often reply to my very intelligent (but sadly lacking in wisdom)relative who loves to debate the existence of God and the Truths of the Bible: "He is MY God and MY Savior . . . MY Lord and MY Redeemer . . . You cannot change MY mind!" He knows I know, but sadly he rejects the reality of MY God. He just can't come to let himself believe . . . but I will not give up on him or God!
Anyone in your life still seeking? Let them see and witness a real God in your life. Live out LOUD for Jesus in front of all to see!!!!
www.tsninthebeginning.blogspot.com

Monday, May 23, 2016

Not A DIFFERENT WORLD

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
As Paul gives the example of those in Moses' day who, even though they witnessed the miracles of God before their very eyes, chose to worship idols, covet, and commit immoral sexual acts. They were overtaken by temptation and chose to sin rather than obey God. In many cases, God was right there in their midst! There is really no temptation new to man. There is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Society may have new customs and technologies, but the basic temptations are there. Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, pride of life . . .(1 John 2:16) Yet God is still reaching out to each of us with the help we need: God is STILL God! www.tsninthebeginning.blogspot.com

Friday, May 20, 2016

Confident in the Midst of Chaos

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God , that you may be able to STAND against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the vil day, and having done all, to STAND. (Ephesians 6:10-13)
Many are fearful of what we face in the future; terror attacks, political confusion, natural disaster, deadly viruses and various other diseases. Yet there is nothing like the threats and battles we face in the spiritual realm! In fact, many of the physical challenges we do face, especially as CHRIST-followers, might just be directly linked to such demonic and evil sources. Satan would like nothing better to see God's people struggle with illness, financial battles, family strife, work-related challenges and the like. Anything to keep us from a closer relationship with our Lord is just fine with our enemy. We however, must recognize the source of our struggles and turn to God even the more! As we buckle up our chin strap with the knowledge of our salvation, tighten our belt of TRUTH, strap on our sandals and walk in His Word, hold our shield of faith up high, and wield our sword confidently, we shall STAND! We shall not be moved! We shall have victory!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Choose this day . . . Culture or God?

A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an ABOMINATION to the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)
When the Lord gave Moses the words in Deuternomy, it was to restate the laws He had laid down years before. It was a restatement of what He issued prior for a new generation. When God restates something . . . REPEATS something, we can be sure He means it! As the Pharisees and others would try to twist God's laws to fit their lifestyle, Jesus would not remake a law to fit the culture, but rather make it even more plain. He would make it personal! I love what He says here in Mark 7: It's not the Law of God that needs adjusting, it is the heart of man! We would rather obey the traditions and cultures of our society than to obey God.
"He said to them (the Pharisees) 'All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition . . . For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulterers, fornications, murders, thefts, covetesnous, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.'" (Mark 7:9-23)
I do not need to remind anyone of recent political statements concerning public restrooms. Be very careful! God is not to be mocked. His Word is not to be "twisted" to fit man's desires. Do we really think the things occurring in our society are new? One only has to examine the perversity of the Greek and Roman cultures to see nothing is new under the sun! Take a close look people: whose side are we on? We are here for such a time as this!!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Believing is LIVING!

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it in them. For since the beginning of the world, His attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools . . . Therefore, God gave them up to uncleaness, in the lust of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie . . .(Romans 1:18-25)
What do you and I believe? I am not asking your religious affiliation, your denomination, or your church's name. This is a simple question . . . What . . . better yet, WHOM do you and I really believe in? Why do we get up in the morning? What do Who motivates us? Where are our goals taking us? Have we been caught up in the wisdom of the world, swayed by political correctness and tolerance? Are we in fact, ashamed of the Gospel, ashamed of God, and becoming FOOL-ish? Serious thoughts to ponder . . .
For I am NOT ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, know the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What? Not Now!

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to Whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)
I read the following this morning via email from Steve Auterburn of New Life Ministries:
Finding a way to help others requires that you ask two questions: "What is God doing?" and "How can I get i nto the flow of his activ­ity?" When we ask these questions, ideas will come. And once we begin doing this, the "why is this happening" question, which once seemed so important, becomes irrelevant. The best answer to why is always what. When we stop asking, "Why has God allowed this?" And begin asking, "What does He want me to do with it?", we're ready for God to start His work in us, and that prepares us for service.
Most times, when the unexpected occurs, we ask, "Why?" As we read here and have often heard, the real question we should ask of God is "What should my response be Lord?" Henry Blackaby, in his small group study "Experiencing God", reminds us that God is always and work around and we would be much better off joining Him at work where He is already working, rather than figuring out what else to do. As we stay in close contact with God, even the unexpected becomes expected! We anticipate tha shock. We are prepared for the surprise. We are equipped to handle to emergency. It doesn't necessarily make things easier in the physical, but spiritually speaking we are better equipped to react and respond.
Look around . . . How can we respond today to allow God to be seen and felt?

Monday, May 16, 2016

Don't Lose Focus . . .Good Suffering

We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! To the present hour, we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. (1 Corinthians 4:10-13)
Paul, in writing to the Corinthian church, is attempting to to correct divisions within. There was immorality, oppositions to his teaching and to the apostolic doctrine. Yet even as Paul was attempting to correct them, he did it by humbling himself! This may have been a bit sarcastic from Paul as he was speaking to those whom he had introduced to Christ. Christians had been put on public display in Rome, even facing wild animals in the center of the Coliseum. Yet the Corinthians believers have forgotten their spiritual state and had become very comfortable in their lives. Even as Paul went through many trials, he was dependent upon the Lord for his needs. Here he reminds those whom he had taught not to forget whom they were. We cannot get so comfortable in our faith that we forget what Christ has done for us and that we are merely servants, slaves to our Master and King! Many times we need a good reminder of where we would be without Christ and those whom He had placed in our lives. A period of suffering . . . emotionally, physically, spiritually . . . can do just that! www.tsninthebeginning.blogspot.com

Friday, May 13, 2016

The mind is not so terrible . . .

. . .that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man that grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the Spirit of your mind, (Romans 12:1-2) and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. therefore, putting away lying . . . be angry and do not sin . . . let him who stole steal no longer . . . let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth . . . do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let ALL bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:22-32)
While the CHRISTian life can seem boring, dull, and uneventful for the non-believer, for the true CHRIST follower each day is filled with challenges, mazes, and roller coaster events. How these challenges are met decides how we grow and develop in our relationship with the Lord and others. While becoming a sincere CHRIST follower (disciple, learner, student of the Gospel) is indeed a matter of the heart, it is also a matter of the mind. There is a constant battle in the mind for right and wrong, good and evil, acceptable and unacceptable. If we do not learn of God, we will easily choose what we already know of the world. If there are doubts in your mind concerning God, ask of Him! (James 1:5) Seek wisdom from others who are walking and have walked in your shoes. Read of those who have succeeded in the past. Just as one seeks knowledge and experience for a career and other endeavors, one must seek out ways to live a successful CHRISTian life by examining what is available. We must make up our MINDS to WANT the relationship!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Unified in Prayer

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our welfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10: 4-6)
The truths of the Gospel can do much better battle against spiritual matters than our physical weapons. Ignorance, prejudices, carnal reasonings, pride . . . all weapons of Satan, are useless against the Power of God's Word. Studying His Word, believing in it, living by it, and encouraging others of like mind to stay together in the battle are vital ingredients to a more effective life in Christ. In prayer, alone and with others, we share our burdens and personal needs. We share successes and shortcomings. We weep and we laugh. We come away from prayer being lifted up and ready to do battle as a unit, equipped and confident to go to war! Many battles are not even seen, but ever-present,all-knowing, and all-powerful God stands before us!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Get Ready!

Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you must also be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him. (Matthew 24:42-44)
Many folks have house monitoring systems, anti-theft devices for their cars, even security apps on their phones. Yet I wonder how many are really secure when it comes to their personal future. The bible is clear as to the return of Christ and the final judgment. What we do not know is the time or day. Just as we protect ourselves and our families from an unexpected visit from a stranger, we all need to be prepared for the return of our Lord and Savior. Those not ready will be shocked indeed! How many of us would recognize Him if He came today? Are we ready? Are we anticipating His return? Are we looking forward to it? To some, it will be a welcomed surprise . . . To others it will be devastating nightmare that never ends.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Godly Standards

But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you. (1 Samuel 13:14)
In disobedience to his calling, King Saul saw fit to offer a sacrifice to the Lord. He was not a priest, but a king! This was not all he did in disobedience to the Lord. He did not destroy all the Amalekites. He sought after a fortune teller. As we all know, if we are not obedient to the Lord, there are consequences. Many times these consequences may take time to occur, other times they are immediate. Often God grants us the grace to change our ways and holds back His punishment.
But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask more. (Luke 12:48)
If we call ourselves followers of Christ, we are accountable. It may seem we are getting away with sin. We may even convince ourselves that the decisions we make are acceptable to the Lord. More and more I see us as a Body becoming lax in our commitment to Godly principles. Human nature draws us to accept what the world accepts. We must carefully examine ourselves; as individuals, as families, as entities within CHRISTian circles, as the Body of Christ. We may lose some friends, yet gain the trust and respect of our Lord! Are we becoming like Saul? Are we adhering to all that God expects of us? Are we slacking in any areas? Are we holding ourselves and our youth accountable to Godly standards?
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (1 Peter 3:9)

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Challenge of LOVE

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
As we pass another Mother's Day celebration, there are many thoughts that have gone through my mind. While I rejoice in my own mother's contribution to my life, I still have unanswered questions as to her suffering the past many years with Alzheimer's/dementia. She was a dedicated mom and wife, despite the challenges she faced. She deserves better, but only God knows all the answers. I can only love her the best way I am able at this point. "Love" has changed, but it is still LOVE. In marriage, I am learning to love my stunningly beautiful wife through all the ups and downs of marriage. It is tough being working parents of adult and teenage children. It is a challenge making time for the many grandchildren. Serving full time in the mission field and work force is challenge enough. We must choose to serve, choose to sacrifice, choose to love despite our feelings and desires. However, I am a bit miffed at how some folks today use the word love today. While I hear "love" very often, it is rare to really observe it in action. I listen to a child say "I love you", yet I witness all forms of disrespect and lack of proper manners and honor which is due. I observe a spouse publically state "I love you" with flowers, chocolates, and rings, yet I witness a lack of sacrifice, submission, and sincere dedication to one another. Love is not easy!!! Above all the descriptions of love from Paul above, I must admit, love is a challenge! We must choose to love despite the ups and downs of life. We must choose to sacrifice when we least feel like doing it. We must choose to love when we believe we have been left a bit cheated or shorted in life. We must choose to love even when we are unloved, scorned, ridiculed, even forgotten. Yes, love is a choice. However, it is also a challenge. Thank you Jesus for choosing to love me! www.tsninthebeginning.blogspot.com

Friday, May 6, 2016

Worthy of Jesus

Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth, I did not come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to "set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man's enemies will be those in his own household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)
When we follow Christ, we are going to face ridicule, division, and sometimes even persecution. When we take on the character of Jesus, it will NOT be an easy road. However, if followers of Jesus begin to think universal acceptance is more important than Truth, than the person of Jesus is being misconstrued. While we all sin and none of us are near the character of Christ, it is something we strive for daily. Many times our self-centered pride gets in the way of our good and Godly intentions. Believers come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. Some live a quiet yet effective life for the Lord. Others live out loud and bold, but a yet still effective. However, we all must intentionally, carefully and lovingly live out the life Christ has given to us. No matter the intensity of the persecution, it is real. It comes with the territory! www.tsninthebeginning.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Little Talk with Jesus

Why pray? Why not! When we fail to pray, we show a lack of faith . . . a lack of dependence upon our Creator God. We show a lack of need for Him. We treat Him as if He doesn't matter. It does not really matter the manner in which we pray or the words we use as much as it matters that we involve Him in our daily life! There are no magic words or heavenly style, simply a personal need and acknowledgement that He is indeed God! Would we not talk over a major decision with our parents? Would we neglect to discuss daily choices with friends and associates? Do we not seek internet advice such as Google, Web MD, Better Business Bureau, or other such sources when making purchases or obtaining services? How is it we cannot or will not feel comfortable speaking to God? Why pray?
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . . that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width, and length, and depth, and height . . . . to KNOW the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above ALL we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to ALL generations, forever and ever . . . AMEN!!!!! (Ephesians 3:14-21)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Enjoy the CHRIST- Centered Life!

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to basic principles of the world, and NOT according to Christ. (Colossians 2:6-8)
Complete the following statement: CHRISTIanity is . . . . A. Boring B. Old -fashioned C. Out-dated D. So much fun and excitement E. For adults only F. All of the above G. None of the above While I would be able to understand just about all of the answers, especially from the point of view of our youth, our experience with a genuine CHRISTian life is a result of what and how we are taught. If we teach, model, and live a boring, old-fashioned, out-dated, adult-only CHRISTian lifestyle, than this is what our young ones will think it is. When we model an exciting and adventurous lifestyle, our young people will also embrace it. At least they will be without excuse! Jesus was not boring! He was innovative, progressive, and full of surprises. Have your checked Him out; turning water to wine, healing blind men, causing lame men to walk, curing life-long illnesses, calming strong storms, and raising the dead? He went to parties and celebrations too! Yet He has STANDARDS that He would NOT compromise! As believers, we must keep our STANDARDS high! We must be consistently CHRIST-centered and hold to THE biblical world view. We cannot allow the empty deceit of man's traditions or culture change how we view things. Our youth are searching for a consistent standard of CHRISTian living yet they see a variety of lifestyles and choices. . . What is acceptable for a believer? How do we live in the world but not be of the world? How do we be friends of sinners yet hate sin? What is a Spirit-filled life anyway? Modeling . . . Mentoring . . . Discipling . . . this is what our young people need. Yet we too must know how to live a joy-filled and exciting life for Christ! Do weknow? It seems that every generation drifts further and further away from the biblical standards . . . or we allow the standards to be re-interpreted! Our kids need guide lines, boundaries, and standards . . . BIBLICAL STANDARDS and they just see them lived out! The foolishness must stop if want to save our youth!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Grateful to God

Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as raindrops on the tender herb, and as showers on the grass. For I proclaim the name of the Lord: Ascribe greatness to our God. (Deuteronomy 32:2-3)
. . .in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. (Titus 2:7-8)
Can the blind lead the blind? Will they both not fall into the ditch? A disciple is NOT above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. (Luke 6:39-40)
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:1)
Challenging words for those who teach, mentor, or otherwise guide our young people. It is a wonderful privilege but one with great responsibility and accountability. It is not simply a job, but rather a calling, a gifting, and a passion. God takes our young people seriously, in fact so seriously that we would better off dead than to lead a little one astray. (Luke 17:2, Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42) I love what God has done for me and where He has me. However, I take it seriously because it has eternal consequences. Happy Teacher Appreciation Day to all who guide these, His little ones! www.tsninthebeginning.blogspot.com

Monday, May 2, 2016

Speak Lord . . . I am listening . . . Show me, Tell me, Send me!

So what is "prayer"? We have all heard it defined as talking to God, yet it is more than simply talking, it is communicating! Prayer is an opportunity to be intimate with our Creator God. It is how we humbly and respectfully sit with our Almighty God and Father and have conversation with Him. It is a time to receive instruction, advice, comfort, peace, and even correction. We can open our heart up to the One who knows us better than anyone here on earth. It gives us a glimpse of what it will be like one day to actually be with our Father for eternity! Spend time with the Lord, not just once or twice a day, but all day and everyday. The more time we spend with Him ,the better our time on earth will be!
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be 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)
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