God Wants To Hear From You

March 12, 2019

There is the story of a man we will call Sam who went to Heaven. St. Peter was showing him around. Sam marveled at the scenery, the beautiful buildings and grounds. Soon they came to a tall building that was very plain, no windows and seemed out of place. Sam curious asked what was in that building. Peter said, you probably don’t want to go in there. Buy Sam persisted and Peter opened the door. Sam was stunned, for there were racks 2 high of white boxes with ribbon around them with a name on each boxthe length of the building. What is in the boxes Sam asked… Peter said the box holds the prayers that were prayed to God and were answered. Sam raced around until he found a box with his name on it. quickly he tore off the ribbon and opened the box…it was empty. :Peter said if you had a prayer life on earth God would have heard you and answered your prayers.

Maybe some of us need to reexamine our prayer life. It all starts with faith-we must have faith that God hears our prayers and will answer them. Of course, God’s answer to our prayers may not be what we expected. But if we have a living prayer life with God, we can be honest with him.

Don’t box God in when you pray. Scripture says “all things are possible with God” If we have the faith that God hears our prayers and that he answers them, we can be bold and ask for anything we need..

A prayer life is a communication between you and God. Don’t be like the Pharisees who went to the street corner at the busy time of the day and prayed out loud so everyone could see how pious they were. Scripture tells us to go into a room and pray to God in secret.–you pray, he hears.

The next question may be what do I say in my prayers? Jesus gave us a good example of the structure of prayer when he taught his disciples the Lords Prayer The pattern for prayer follows this outline.
1-Acknowledge who God is
2-Ask for Kingdom on earch
3-Feed us for today
4-forgive us (as we forgive)
5-keep us from sin
We can then ask for his help and guidance, and for his Grace and power to help those that are in need. This is called intercessory prayer, praying for someone else. Next question may be, when should I pray?
Scripture tells us to”pray without ceasing” I used to spend a lot of time in my car. It was a great time to pray and meditate (safely!) I called it windshield prayers.

If you have a real relationship with God, our prayers and our quiet times of listening to Him will be your guide every hour of the day. God loves you and he wants the best for you. Every day your should say “God what do you want me to do today and please guide me in doing it…amen

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Judging others

January 3, 2019

Boy I can use several examples to illustrate what I am talking about. But one that hit home with me is the following:
We were standing line at the grocery store.. The person checking out was having a problem and everyone behind her was complaining about the delay. Several derogatory comments were made. But one man who was really upset said, “It is one of those welfare card things. I wish those people would get a job like the rest of us” The young woman looked up to see who made the comment and then almost in tears, she dropped the welfare card and ran out of the store. A few minutes later a young man walked into the store and asked the clerk if she had seen the woman. After describing her the clerk said that she had run out of the store, got in her car and drove away.

Why would she do that? asked the young man. Everyone looked at the man who made the comment.
” it was me, I made a stupid comment about welfare card she was using. I shouldn’t have said it.”
“well, that is bad” the man said. “her brother was killed in Afghanistan two years ago . He had three young children and she has taken the responsibility of caring for them. She is 20 years old and single and now has to care for three young children.”

“I am truly sorry , I didn’t know” said the man. “Are these paid for?” he asked pointing to the cart full of groceries.. It wouldn’t take her card the clerk informed him. “do you know where she lives? he asked the mam. “yes, she goes to our church” “Excuse me,” he said as he made his way to the front of the line. He pulled lout his wallet , took out a credit card and told the cashier “please use this to pay for the ladies groceries.
That wasn’t the end of the story. After getting her groceries paid for, he turned to everyone in line and said, :Come on people, we have three kids to feed. Everyone began to put their groceries in the belt. Some went to the end and started bagging them and putting them in carts. They even went back and getting more food to put in the line. When it was done the man paid $1,646. for all the groceries. Then he went over to the young man who was standing there with his mouth open and started writing a check. ” She will need a new freezer and a few other things as well. ” The young man said, “this is really very generous of you. “no,” the man said “her brother was the generous one”

A long story but a great point. In this case there was a positive ending. But how many times when we react to what we see in people and not take the time to understand the situation, do we plant seeds of distrust and how many times do we miss an opportunity to reach out and help someone once we know the situation.

But the real message is that we are not in the judging business. We need to give that job to God. I know that sometimes we feel like we need to correct people, tell them to change their ways, but as the bible says (paraphrasing) don’t correct the other person, until you have made sure that you are right with your life.
If you have compassion, if you have love, then your response to others is to reach out and share God.s love with them. After all, if we are off track, God guides us to the right path rather than condemn us. We can do no less to our fellow human beings who are also CHILDREN OF GOD.

What are we celebrating?

December 17, 2018

Yes, this is the Christmas season..yes we sing Christmas carols..yes we decorate trees,church sanctuary’s and homes.. yes we put up lights and other colorful displays..yes we have the Advent candles yes we have the Christmas parties..yes for a moment we look outside ourselves to our hurting society as we prepare Christmas baskets, and not inward as we do most of the time. All of this to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ..a birthday certainly to be celebrated.

But I wonder how many of us really understand why God was manifest in Jesus Christ and put on this earth? Do you know that God created all that we see hear and touch. He created us in his image. When he was done he said that “it was good”
He gave humans a utopia , a garden that would fulfill all of their needs and be a comfort to them and their offspring to forever. However the first humans sinned against God and the result they were banished from the perfect place and all of us from their children to now are marked by sin.

So God sent his Son, Jesus Christ to become human and live among the people to first teach, preach,heal and love us as his Children. But his real mission was to atone for the sin of the whole world and he did that with His death on the cross. He was divine being the Son of God but he was also human when he went through the torture and degradation of death on a cross. This was the most brutal way for a person to die in that time and this. He was obedient to the end and when he shouted “God why have you forsaken me!”we all understand that Christ took the sins of the whole world because God could not look on sin.

His resurrection 3 days later was the magnificent gift to all of us who believe on Him. We will not die at the end of our earthly life We will live with God in eternity! All because God loved us so much that he sent his Son to atone for our sins and provide a path for us to be with Him forever.

So as we celebrate this season, let us focus on the wonderful gift of our Savior Jesus Christ and what He did for all of us…yes God wants all people to come to Him . All we have to do is acknowledge that Christ is our Savior and that he died for our sins and then ask him to come into our lives.
Is this the day, the season where you take that step? After all it can save your life!
Amen.

Dealing with change

November 24, 2018

Here it is almost the end of November and my last blog was September. Well we have been moving. From leaving my obligations were we were at. to getting moved to our new home has taken my attention away from my usual activities.

Change can always be upsetting to a degree. But if we are still working in the vineyard and following God’s call on our life, the upset will be minor and temporary. It is exciting to meet new people and explore a new town . Especially for me, going to a new church and getting acquainted with new Christians is exciting. I am finding a Sunday School class that will be a place where I can continue to learn from members of the class as well as from the material being presented.

Maybe even if you are not moving to a new home or a new town, maybe now is a time to take a fresh look at where you are in relation to your Christian walk. If you are not going to a church regularly, may I encourage you to take that step. Meting weekly with Christian friends, just gets the week going in the right direction, I have said many times, that Church is the gas station of our souls, to get filled up for the week ahead. If you have Christ on your side, and a church to support you, this life and this world that sometimes is not very nice, can get you through each day,each week and each year.

If you are discouraged,  if you struggle with the day to day of living, turn to the Lord to walk with you. How do you do that? For one, read the Bible. Any problem you have is addressed in Scripture. Two, develop Christian friends with whom you can share your struggles. You can do this with one on one visits or in a bible class. Three, develop a prayer life. God wants us to communicate With Him. HE wants to hear our struggles,and petitions as well as giving him praise.

May you see this world in a new light, the light of Christ. He says he will bring us peace if we look to Him for guidance. May it be so with you. Amen

Reflectiions

September 24, 2018

Every once in a while it is time to reflect on God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, and what that means to us. We all have different reflections but I have a few.

Prayer is a privilege-not a duty. It is an opportunity, a freedom, and a sacred connection to God. You cannot have a relationship with God if you are not talking to Him.

Don’t set arbitrary limits. Don’t box God into your present understanding.When we pray, we should not limit our minds to what God will answer. Faith is the understanding that God will give us answers that will guide us through this life.

The most comforting scripture in the bible is Romans 8:28-30. To know that all things that happen to us on this earth , good will come from it. Sometimes the good is hard to see but eventually the truth will come to be.

Another motivating scripture is Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nothing is beyond my grasp if follow Christ.

IF God gives us a burden it is either for our own strength or for an activity to help someone. Think back to some of your struggles, are you now stronger to face trials than before.?

The Lords Prayer is a ;pattern for:
1-Acknowledging who God is.
2-Asking for Kingdom on earth.
3.-Feed us for a day.
4-Forgive us (as we forgive)
5- Keep us from sin.
6-Continually acknowledge the sovereignty of God

God calls us to focus on others. Not to be concerned with the worldly cares that we have-and if we do this God will take care of us.

God loved us even when we were unlovable-he did not wait until we were acceptable. He loved us at creation and there is nothing we can do to change his love for us.

Learn to call on Christ every step of your journey, He will be your guide and mentor. This life can be a challenge to try to do the right thing. Aren’t we glad we have the Holy Spirit in us to keep us out of trouble.

We sometimes label people and have an idea how they will react based on the “label” we put on them.We sometimes forget that we are all children of God, and his Spirit guides us all sometimes  we are surprised that people do things that show God’s love.

If you don’t love your fellow human beings, then you don’t really love God., or you would have the instincts to reach out to all people in love.

Listen to the Spirit who prompts you to talk to others about the Good News. You don’t know when they are ready to have Christ clarified in their minds.

These are just a few of the gems that come from God and our relationship with the Creator. take time each day to acknowledge the blessings He gives us and realize that everything we have comes from God…….Amen

Noah 2017

July 31, 2018

Sign of the times..
In the year 2017, The Lord came to Noah who was now living the the United States and said “once again the earth has become wicked and over populated and I see the end of all flesh before me.
Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good humans”
He gave Noah the blueprints saying “You have 6 months to build the Ark before I begin to send the rain for 40 days and nights”
Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard-but no Ark. “Noah!” he roared . “I’m about to start the rain, where is the Ark?”
“Forgive me Lord” begged Noah, “but things have changed. I needed a building permit. I have been arguing with the inspector about a sprinkler system. My neighbors claimed that I violated the neighborhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the Development Appeal Board for a decision.”
“Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving he power lines and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Arks’ passage to the sea. I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it”
“Getting the wood was another problem. There is a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls–but no go!”
“When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me. The insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will. they argued that the accommodation was too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space. ”
Then the EPA ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they had conducted an envrionmental impact study on your proposed flood.”
I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I’m supposed to hire for my building crew. Immigration and Naturalization are checking the green-card status of most of the people who want to work. The trade unions say I can’t use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark building experience.”
“To make matters worse , the IRS seized all my assets, claiming I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered  species”

“So,forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years to finish the Ark” Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine. and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and asked “you mean you are not going to destroy the world?”

“No” said the Lord. ” The government beat me to it”

Applicant

June 29, 2018

I came across this the other day and I felt compelled to share it with everyone.

After being interviewed by the school administration, the eager teaching prospect said:
“let me see if I’ve got this right, you want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning, and I’m supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity , modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their t-shirt messages and dress habits.
You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self-esteem. You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, fair play, how to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job.
I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of anti-social behavior, make sure all student s pass the state exams, even those who don’t come to school regularly or complete any of their assignments.
Plus , I am to make sure that all of the students with handicaps get an equal education regardless of the extent of their mental or physical handicap, I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, newsletter and report cards.
All of this I am to do with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a big smile AND on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps! you want me to do all of this and
and you tell me…….

I CAN’T PRAY?”

God Bless our teachers! Amen

Verbal Abuse

June 9, 2018

“Can’t you do anything right?”; “Well I should have guessed that you would mess this up”;; I wondered just how dumb you were”

These statements provide examples of verbal abuse. Verbal abuse can take the form of threats, and insults or comments that seem like jokes, but hurt. Verbal abuse in any relationship can leave emotional scars. Verbal abuse may appear more subtle than other kinds of abuse but it can do just as much damage.

Verbal abuse can happen in any relationship. Parents can abuse children. one spouse in a marriage can abuse the other spouse. Adult children can abuse elderly parents. Although men are more likely to abuse their wives physically , women can and do abuse their husbands. Abuse of any kind arises out of a desire for power and control. Because of the control, the victim may need help in breaking the cycle.

What you say and what you don’t say are both important. Proper speech is not only saying the right words at the right time, but also controlling the desire to say what you shouldn’t
James admonishes us with these words” People can tame and already have tamed every kind of animal. bird,reptile and fish. No one can tame the tongue , though. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we both bless the Lord and Father and curse human beings made in God’s likeness.
Blessing and curses come from the same mouth; my brothers and sisters it just shouldn’t be this way”

James used a series of creative metaphors to make his point about the damage the tongue can do. Controlling the tongue compares to bridling a horse; steering a ship; putting out a forest fire and domesticating wild animals.

Churches can suffer serious harm from a poor choice of words. Gossip can destroy a persons reputation. One temper tantrum can wreck a Sunday School class, a committee or a whole church. James reminds us of the wisdom of Proverbs 17:28: “fools who keep quiet are deemed wise; those who shut their lips are smart” We are told by James that the tongue expresses what comes from within us. It actually reveals the undisciplined emotions of our hearts

Some questions for reflection:
When have you seen bad speech hurt a family, a class, a church?
What can you do heal such situations?
What do you consider the root cause of temper tantrums, angry speech and gossip?
How can we stand up to hate speech and words to intimidate others?
Take time to read James 3: 1-12 and reflect on what he is saying. We all need a lesson in elevating our faith by allowing God to discipline our speech……..Amen

Accountable Discipleship

April 23, 2018

Well, I have missed some time on my regular blog. Between bronchitis, possible pneumonia, they discovered that I had an enlarged heart. That has led to several events and changes to this point.

Back to my usual observations.
There was a survey of campers in a wilderness area of the forest. The comments and complaints tended to the lack of amenities. This indicated that the people who made them really didn’t know what it means to stay in “a wilderness area” They were looking for something that certainly didn’t fit the description of where they were staying.
In a similar way, many people do not know what it means to be a genuine Christian. There are many to be sure who follow Jesus or claim to be a Christian, but they do so on their terms not His. They do not truly comprehend the the biblical definition of discipleship.

So many people who say they are followers of Jesus are not, even though in many ways they look like true disciples. They go to church, they have a profession of faith, they read their bibles, pray and even give at offering time. But they are not living and thinking like the real deal.

George Barna wrote in “The State Of The Church” the results of his survey of self proclaimed Christians ; This is some of what he found.:
48% could not name the four Gospels
52% cannot identify more than 2 or three of Jesus’ disciples.
60% of American Christians can’t name even 5 of the 10 commandments

When asking graduating high school “born again Christians” Barna, found that over 50% of them thought Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.!
61% think that the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham
71% of American Christians think “God helps those who help themselves is a bible verse..Folks , this is not a laughing matter. What is wrong with our churches, our leaders, our bible studies that perpetuate the myth that being a Christian is a name you carry if you are on a church roll somewhere.

Jesus confronts the problem in Luke 14: 25-27. Large crowed were traveling with Jesus and turning to them he said “if anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children , his brothers and sisters and yes even his own life-he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple”

Lets first look at the word “Disciple” A disciple is a true follower of Jesus Christ, and committing to him as He said in the scripture passage.  In other words, what we would call a Christian. If you are not a disciple as Jesus defines it then you are not a Christian.

I know it sounds like measuring up to that definition is almost impossible. But this is what Christ is telling us…If we come to Him, committed to Him and His direction for our life, then we will be the Christian that we should be. He will guide us into our reading of scripture,, meditation, prayer, , reaching out to our fellow man in Christian love, and then we will shine our light into this sometimes dark world. That is the meaning of being a true disciple…….amen

encouraging others

February 12, 2018

We all have times where we are not very motivated or creative For most of us these pass over time. A great way to overcome these times is to focus on other people. Doing for others has proven to be a great way to get the positive energy going again.

There are a lot of ways to reach out to others but one way that can really benefit a person and give you the satisfaction of being someone who thinks about others rather than self… I call it being an ENCOURAGER.
An encourager can can help others by doing the following:
1- Call people. Show your interest by calling and talking to people, asking them about their
life and if there is any way you can help them.
2-Text, Email or facebook people- again showing that you care about them and their life.
3-Write a letter- (some of us still do that!) If you want to walk a person through a tough time, writing an letter, having a hard copy, so that they can refer to it can be helpful.
4-Complement others-notice looks, behavior, ideas that you appreciate, and tell them, complement them.
5-Pray for them- God hears our intercessory prayers. He cares about all of his creation. Let them know you are praying for then.
6-Give them your time- There is really no better gift than being there for them. Best way is face to face but any way you can connect with them and hear them is important.
7-Point them to scripture-I am not waving the Bible to people as a final solution to their problems. But you can show them scriptures that will help them understand Gods love and help for them.
8-Fill a need-Sometimes the best thing you can do is take care of something that the person really needs. Find out what burden you can take off of them.
9-Be forgiving- Jesus tells us time and time again to forgive others. Holding a grudge blocks any truly honest help you can give them.
10-Finally, be a good example- God says to shine our light in this world. How we act, how we love, how we handle life’s challenges, is an example for others to follow.

God bless you in your reaching out and being an encourager, Amen