Thursday, October 31, 2019

Elohe Chaseddi

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.(Hebrews 4:16)
 Elohe Chaseddi . . . the God of mercy has covered my sin and turned His anger away from me . . . and will do so for anyone who calls upon Him name for mercy! (Romans 10:13)It doesn't get any better than that for a sinner like me! Thank You Father!!!!
My God of mercy shall come to meet me; God shall let me see my desire on my enemies.(Psalm 59:10)
 Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus . . . (Ephesians 22:3-6)
Friends may turn on us. Jobs may dismiss us for strange reasons we may never understand.  Even our health will fail us! Yet the God of mercyElohe Chaseddi, showers us with mercy, compassion, and grants us grace . . . Rather than punishment and death, He offers life!

That's something to look forward to . . .

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

WHO is God anyway?

Lots of questions about God? Who is God? What is God? Where is God? Before we say we praise God or honor God or even pray to God, we must know WHO this God really is! If we say we belong to God and He has saved us, then WHO is He? WHO do we tell people He is?
God is God! There is No one like Him! He has always been and always will be! He is faithful! He doesn't quit! He is El-Emunah. 
 “Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments. . . (Deuteronomy 7:9)
God does not change. From everlasting to everlasting, He is God!  (Psalm 90:2) He will do what He says and never fail. He will complete His promises to provide, forgive, defend, and yes, rescue all those who call upon Him from sin and eternal death! He will save to the utmost. (Hebrews 7:25)
 . . . . being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ . . . (Philippians 1:7)
WHO is God anyway? He is FAITHUL!


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Flesh vs Spirit . . . A simple math equation.

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spiritthe things of the SpiritFor to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.(Roman 8:5-8)
Simple math today . . .Flesh + World = Death . . . Spirit + World =Life

Paul is very clear here. To live in the flesh and to please our carnal lusts and desires will lead to eternal death, or enmity with God. Life in this world and by this world's standards will indeed separate us from God eternally!

However, living by the Spirit of God and His desires will lead to eternal peace and life with Christ! To love free of all the anxieties and tensions this world places upon us we must live by Spiritual Truths of the bible! We need not be afraid (Isaiah 12:2) nor anxious for anything.(Philippians 4:6)

It begins in our thought processes (Romans 12:1-2) and leads to the heart! (Ezekiel 36:26) Believe and live!!!! (John 11:26)

Monday, October 28, 2019

We are leading . . . but in which direction?

Respect for authority . . . .many times in today's world that is hard! Yet we must in a God-honoring way. It shows a reference for God. Those of under authority, and we ALL are, we must remember that all authority comes from God. (Romans 13:1) Those of us who lead must also remember our role. We are leading . . . but in which direction?
 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more  those of his household! Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.  . . . And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:24-28)
Remember, we are accountable unto God!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Live life like we believe!

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesuswho, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.(Philippians 2:1-11)

Live life like we believe! Can we do that . . . Starting today? Can we love like Christ? Can we care like Christ? Can we live life like we believe in Him not simply believe of Him?
Jesus loved unconditionally. He forgave easily. He was patient, gentle, trusting and trustworthy. He was compassionate and gave His all in all He did. He was not me first. He taught an others first lifestyle!

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.(1 John 4:17-19)
We are to love and live like we truly believe!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Fish for breakfast . . .it is time to begin sharing!

Fish for breakfast? While many have had fish and grits, especially in the southern U.S. states, or even a variety of fish and a salad when perhaps visiting some island nations, it is not a new idea! Check out the writings form John:
But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, “No.” And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some. So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.  Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have just caught.”  Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, “Come and eat breakfast.” Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, “Who are You?”—knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. (John 21:1-14)
A communion breakfast of fish and bread . . . all prepared by Jesus! It must have been nice.  But check this out . . . Peter denied Jesus three times. This was the third time He appeared to the disciples after His resurrection. Jesus would now ask Peter three times, "Do you love Me?"

So after Jesus fed His followers, He told Peter to "Feed My sheep". (John 2:17) As we are well fed through Scriptures and teaching, it is time we began feeding others!

Fish for breakfast . . .it is time to begin sharing!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Don't hide HIS-tory in you!

Don't hide . . . especially when you have something good to show!
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
We all, as believers, have something to say . . . something . . . some ONE for others to see! Don't hide! What we think is a weakness, a handicap, or even a failure can bring glory to God. Allow Him to work.

Live out loud for Christ. Tell your story. Live your life for the world to see. Make HIS-story live in you for all to see Him and know Him!

 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? (Acts 2:4-8)
Somebody needs to hear from you today!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

what we do with failure

 . . .knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.  For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. . . (Romans 6:6-8)
All the G.O.A.T.s fail at times! Everyone does. The difference is what we do with failure. Many quit right there. The great ones dust themselves off and get back on the horse . . . back up to the plate . . . they want the ball again . . . they try the recipe again!

Great quarterbacks miss thirty percent of their passes. The best shooters in basketball make only half of their shots. The best hitters in the baseball Hall of Fame are failures nearly seventy percent of the time! Even some of the best chefs' meals come after mistakes and burned dishes.

So what about you and me? Why are we so hard on ourselves? Do we not trust God and His work in us? We are forgiven! (1 John 1:9) We are renewed! (2 Corinthians 5:17) We are His! (Ephesians 2:13) His mercy is NEW every morning!(Lamentations 3:22-23)

Get up and get going!

Monday, October 21, 2019

We Can't Quit!

Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:38-39)
Jesus Christ experienced hematohidrosis while praying in the garden of Gethsemane before his crucification as mentioned by Luke; “and being in anguish he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44) Yes . . . to the point of sweating blood . . . Jesus was obviously stressed, anguished and even perhaps fearful of what was to come! Yet Jesus would not quit! He turned to God in prayer . . .

Where do we turn when stressed, anguished and to the point of giving up? To whom (Whom) do we turn? Some choose drugs . . . some sex . . . some alcohol . . . some binge watch shows . . . others turn to food. As believers we need to choose to turn to the One Who knows our troubles and cares for us more than anyone else. (1 Peter 5:7) If Jesus had to turn to the Father, why don't we?

“Now, therefore,” says the Lord“Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning." So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness . . .(Joel 2:12-13)

Friday, October 18, 2019

Humble Community

I must admit, I am hurting today . . . not for myself but for those who feel that they have no voice, can't speak up, aren't valued and in despair! In fact, many closest to me . . . family, young friends and students I teach . . . hold on, Jesus hears and cares!
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.  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.Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?  For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.(1 Corinthians 10:12-17)
As a universal Body of Christ, as a CHRIST-centered family, as a CHRISTian school, even as  an individual CHRISTian, we are nothing without Christ! We are no better than anyone else. We humbly serve one another and care for one another, building up rather than tearing down. We are only as effective as our weakest link!
 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
Jesus came to seek and to save, to serve and not to be served . . . . Look it up!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Don't Miss This!

Don't miss this!
Then Jesus said to them, All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And so said all the disciples. (Matthew 26:31-35)
All means all!  I've missed this when reading so Many times that Peter would deny Jesus. Yet in closer reading, Jesus told His followers that all of the twelve would deny Him! Then they all agreed that none of them would!

It is an eye-opener for me! It wasn't all on Peter! His story is then one God wanted us to know, but in deeper reading we see ALL the apostles denied Him at some point! This also encourages me! Even as I deny Him with my thoughts and actions at times, I. Can be sue He will forgive me and restore me as He did Peter. (John 21:15-25) As I honestly and heartily repent (1 John 1:9) He promises to forgive and restore me! Just as the Apostles went on to live a sacrificial life for Christ, there is hope for me . . . and you! Don't miss this folks!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Praise the Lord!

Praise the LordPraise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the LordI will sing praises to my God while I have my being. Do not put your trust in princes,  nor in a son of a man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; In that very day his plans perish. Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; Who keeps truth forever. Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down. The Lord shall reign forever—Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord! (Psalm 146: 1-10)
Very seldom do I quote an entire book of scripture in my journaling, but these verses not only caught my eye but my heart! Just read the words and realize just how good . . . how awesome . . .  how mighty . . . how gracious . . . how loving God is!

I can only say very simply, "Praise the Lord! "

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Agitate! Agitate! Agitate

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control , to perseverance godliness to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness loveFor if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to perseverance for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.  Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you . . . .(2 Peter 1:5-13)
Peter is nearing his death . . .yes even death upon a cross as Jesus predicted.  (John 21:18-19) One thing he wanted to be sure of was that those whom he taught were truly saved and growing in their faith. I now understand that burden!

As a husband, dad, grandfather, coach, mentor, and teacher, I am many times challenged with the thought that those under me don't quite get it. While we are never quite sure of another's faith, I am constantly reminding those around me to continue to grow and show growth. As Peter wrote that we grow in virtue (righteousness, integrity) knowledge, self-control, kindness, and love, our relationship with Christ is evident and active!

Just weeks before Frederick Douglass died, a young black man asked him for his best advice. Douglass’s response? “Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!” A lot like Peter, Mr. Douglass kept things stirred up! We cannot allow our faith to grow stale! 

Some of the last words of both Peter and Mr. Douglass were to keep things moving and improving 

Great advice indeed!

Storms and Faith

Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him.  Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesu...