Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Why Should I Go To Church?

August 31, 2019

Today I want to address one of my favorite subjects: going to and membership in a church. Favorite only in the sense that I have heard every excuse in the book for NOT going to church.
I won’t bore you with most of these excuses. In my discussions with people I have acknowledged that God is everywhere in our universe and not just in the church.
Ok so you say, if church is where I can express my faith, my heart for the Lord and for those less fortunate, what church is it that will give me that vehicle?

If you study the early church you will find that they only focused on worship and discipleship of Jesus Christ. Church doctrine is not the same as God’s law. In the book of Jeremiah, it says that God has a special and unique plan for each of us. He cannot fill that plan,however , unless we become open to let Him do His work in us. That establishes a commitment between you and God.

Now, by joining a church, you are putting that commitment on the line and showing God that you are willing to work for Him. Do we see commitment talked about in the Bible? Many times. The Apostle Paul refers to himself,as a “prisoner” in the Lord. In Amos it talks about two people being in agreement with one another.That implies a commitment right there. In Romans it talks about being devoted to each other. You cannot be devoted to anyone for any reason unless you also have a commitment to that person to some degree.

In Romans 12:5 it says “so in Christ we who are many, form one body and each member belongs to the others. In belonging to a church, you are happy because the love of others that Christ put in you has an expression. You are happy because you have fellow believers to share worship and outreach.

I heard about a high school that had a career day . All the seniors came into the gym and each person presented his or her career and invited them to come to their booth at the end of the presentation. The Army,Navy and Coast Guard were there. But one of the last presentations was a Marine. He stepped up to the podium. looked around at the group and said ” I don’t see anyone here who could make it in our program. It is the toughest challenge you could ever face. I don’t think any of you have the guts to become a Marine. If you think you have what it takes , come see me after the presentation”

After the assembly was over, guess which booth had the largest number of inquiries? The Marine was flooded with applicants. You see, we know intuitively the commitment that requires a lot of us will also be the most benefit to us. When the cost and sacrifice and requirement is high to belong to an organization (the church) the payoff always results in a stronger character and a sense of real accomplishment.
I posed the question what church will give you what we have described. I can only tell you that a church that preaches the Bible, that has lively worship, that has small group study opportunities , is mission oriented and provides some social outlet for its members. Sounds like quite a list of requirements but many, many churches fit the requirements.
Before I went into the ministry, my wife and I attended a church that had all those and more. In fact all our social activity involved the church or members of the church. It was the center of our life.
I also want to point out that if you are not sure of the Christian faith and how how you fit into it, going to church and especially being in a small group will develop your understanding and your faith ,,,,,,,,,see you in church! Amen

Is This World Our World?

August 7, 2019

I wonder if you have heard this story::
There was a man who lived by the side of the road and sold hot dogs.
He was hard of hearing and had no radio, he had trouble with eyes, so he read no newspapers,
but he sold good hot dogs.
He put up signs on the highway telling how good they were; He stood on the side of the road and cried ” buy a hot dog mister” And people brought: He increased his meat and bun orders, he brought a bigger stove to take care of his trade.
He finally got his son home from college to help him out, but then something happened. His son said “father,haven’t you been listening to the radio? Haven’t you been reading the newspapers? There is a big depression, the European situation is terrible, the domestic situation is worse.”
Whereupon the father thought, “well my son has been to college, he reads the newspapers and he listens to the radio, and he ought to know”
So the father cut down on his meat and bun orders, took down his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand on the highway to sell his hot dogs.
And his hot dog sales fell almost overnight, “your right, son” the father said to the boy, we are certainly in the middle of a great depression”

How many times are we told in scripture that we are in this world and not of it. How many times are we told to follow the Holy Spirit, to do God’s will. But how many times each day do we listen to the naysayer and follow what the world is telling us and not what God is telling us.
The story is a good example of following the world and not what is right, and what we are called to do and be. It can be depressing if we listen to the loud clatter of those who would tell us how to think, what to do and what to say.
Think back ,how many times EACH DAY do you listen to and react to what you hear and see in this world. If that is your frame of reference, what a negative stressful life it can be. But I like to think that we as Christians and yes I am painting a broad brush, live in the Kingdom and are guided by a God who created us, loves us and wants the best for us.

Over the years,I have run into people who are talented,moral individuals but struggle every day with trying to live in this world and people who are depressed, who are about to give up. These people do not have the hope found in Jesus Christ.
Before you jump all over me for my negative view of this world, we are all here in the world, God put us here. God created this world.But since Adam and Eve we have messed things up. But for all that most of us sinners know we have the redemption found in Jesus Christ. So we relate to those in this world. Hopefully we witness to our great gift of hope and grace and we make the most of it. For we know that this world is only a stopping place, that our place is with Christ in eternity.

So we love life,we love people, and be that beacon of light that can shine in the world. (a lady in one of our churches just passed away and she said every day for us to shine our light in the world)
I love my life,I love the people I meet. I love all the places I have been. I certainly love the fact that God had given me the years that I have lived.

So I would just ask you today…as you live each day,in your devotional and prayer,stay plugged into the Holy Spirit . And above all, listen to what the Spirit says as he guides you. HE will bring you through the fog and storms of this world. And if we do, we can make a difference in this world.We can change attitudes,we can help the suffering and those in need, for that is what Christ calls each of us to do. Amen.

Reaching The Lost

June 29, 2019

As Christians,we should be concerned with our attitude with the world around us,with what is expected of us. But sometimes our “holier than thou” gets in the way. As members of a church we should be concerned about how we interpret and carry out the command of Jesus when He says
“Go make disciples of all the world, ,baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

George Barna an observer and researcher on church ministry, says that before we step out in our evangelistic efforts (and this applies to each of us as well as the corporate thrust) :
1- We need to pray for those who have not known Christ, or who have not accepted the invitation to give their life to Him.
2- In talking to people in those categories, we must first love them, keeping in mind that they are all children of God.
3- Gently ask them if they have a church home. Get them talking about their experience with church
in their life. (four out of five “unchurched ” were formally involved in a church and in the words of many were “driven away” by some negative experience.
4-Confront that negative experience or experiences. Don’t try to explain it away, especially because we may not know all the circumstances. Do show them that you want them to have a good experience.
5-Share your walk with Christ and your experience with the local church. Mention the activities in your church they might be interested in. In your walk with Christ it is important to give them context as to your coming to a saving Grace in Jesus Christ.

David Brainerd once shared his burden for the lost when he said “I cared not or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls for Christ. While I was asleep, I dreamed of those things and when I awoke the first thing I thought of was this great work”
Bill Bright, who authored the video “Jesus” said in his approach to saving the lost through the years “I am a rather reserved person and I don’t always find it easy to witness. But I have made it my practice–and I urge you to do the same–assume that when you are alone with another person for more than a few minutes, you are there by divine appointment to explain the love and forgiveness he or she can know through their faith in Jesus Christ.

No, we are not like the Apostle Paul or Bill Bright, “I cannot witness the way they did”.  You are right, God has made each of us unique and so God has given us each unique abilities to witness.

Jesus used three parables to Illustrate what we should do about the lost. The first: a shepherd lost one of his sheep and he left the 99 until he found the lost sheep. He rejoiced with his fellow shepherds. Next, he told about a woman who lost a valuable coin in her house. She cleaned and swept the house until she found it. Then she called all her friends together to celebrate finding the coin. The third parable is about the Lost son who went to the far country. He kept watch and when he saw the son return he had a celebration.

If you notice that the father did not go to the far country to find his son, he made a warm inviting home for him to return to. So in one way we search and another way we  attract. We want to have a warm inviting place for new people to come and experience the love of Christ with those in the local church.

At this point I should stop with this blog. There is so much more we can address when it comes to bringing the lost to Christ. Perhaps in another blog I will continue my thought process. All I can say now is:  share the love of Christ; shine your light in the world. Amen.

Happy Birthday Church

June 9, 2019

In a departure, I was asked to put my Pentecost sermon on my June blog.. I am complying with that request…
We celebrate the Birth of Jesus and all the world pauses to celebrate Christmas. We celebrate His resurrection and most of the world recognizes Easter as a special day on the calendar.

But today is Pentecost and hardly anyone realizes it across many denominations. Yet this is the day the Holy Spirit came to the 120  hiding in the Upper Room and transformed them into joyful evangelists. The poet William Blake wrote a poem about Pentecost. Part of the poem says “unless the eye catch fire,God will not be seen; Unless the ear catch fire, God will not be heard; Unless the tongue catch fire, God will not be named. Unless the heart catch fire, God will not be loved; Unless the mind catch fire, God will not be known.”

All believers have God in their hearts, but not all believers have given their whole heart to God. The question is not, how can I have more of the spirit, but how can the Spirit have more of me. Take inventory. As you look around, do you see any resistant areas? Go down the list:
your tongue-do you tend to stretch the truth?
Your language-do you use profanity?
Grudges-do you keep resentments parked in your grudgarage?

I could go on but maybe you consider these questions to personal. Blame Paul, he asked these questions in Ephesians 4:25-31 look it up if you want to be reminded. Do your actions interrupt the flow of the Spirit in your life. Do you get off kilter and ignore or not listen to the spirit.? Keep that in mind and clean your house. Don’t give up. Luke 11:13 says “your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him.”

Pentecost is also important because today is the birthday of the Church and God has given us a wonderful opportunity of being part of it. In fact we will have a birthday party after the service in the fellowship hall. It is interesting that some of the people who were passing by reached the conclusion that the apostles were drunk, which tells something of the joy and excitement that prevailed that day.In trying to put into words what that meant The California Gold Rush gives us a good example.
Growing up in California , I heard a lot of Gold Rush stories but this was a new one on me.

There were three prospectors who found a rich vein of Gold in the mountains of California. They realized what a great discovery they had and decided “we have a really good thing going as long as nobody else finds out about it” So they headed to town to file their claim and get the necessary equipment to mine the gold. True to their vows, they didn’t say a word to anyone. They filed the claim purchased the equipment and headed back to the hills to their claim site. But when they did a crowd of people followed them And why was that? They hadn’t said a word to anyone—the expression on their faces gave them away. Their faces were aglo in anticipation of the wealth that would soon theirs. People know they must have found something special.

You may have heard this before , but it also makes the point. A motivational speaker was asked about his most difficult speech. He answered,”well it was when I was asked to speak at a national convention of undertakers. My subject was  to explain to them how to look sad at a $10,000 funeral. You see, when there is joy on the inside, it is hard to keep it from showing.

Pentecost says that the early Christians discovered joy unspeakable in the Lord Jesus Christ. Again and again Paul writes “rejoice in the Lord, rejoice, I say again rejoice in the Lord” Pentecost is a once in history event when the Church was born. Let me share with you some of the things we learn on this Pentecost Sunday; One, the church was created by God. The Church is immortal, from the beginning of time, before the foundation of the world, And He promised that even the Gates of Hades would not prevail against it. So it was on the day of Pentecost the Church became a reality.

I don’t know how many of you might remember several years ago radio stations were running commercials for two major denominations. Both sets of commercials were saying about the same thing. “We have strayed from the principles of the Christian Church and we want you to know that we are returning to our roots and want you to come back to the fellowship”  That is interesting, because for many churches the temptation is to look at what is going on in the  world and they then try to get in step with it. But that is wrong! The church may never be  the most popular institution in the world, because most of the time the church goes counter to the popular culture. God wants the church he created to stand for the truth, to be unshakable in the presentation of the Gospel.

The next thing we learn from Pentecost is that the Church is to communicate the love of God. The theme of Pentecost is communication. When the apostles went into the city and began to share the Gospel, the Holy Spirit gave them the ability to speak in the tongues of the many people who came from around the known world. The purpose of the church today is to communicate the message–and one way we are doing that is translating the scriptures in different languages and trying to win converts from different countries. In addition,the Jesus Project has for years prepared a video on the life of Jesus and it is distributed around the world.

A few years ago I read an interview with the now late Charles Coulson.  He said that when he first got out of prison for the Watergate coverup crimes and professed to be a born again Christian a lot of people were mad at him. One state senator from Maryland came up to him at a prayer breakfast and called him every name in the book and accused him of saying he was a christian just go gain sympathy-telling Coulson that he was sure it wouldn’t last. Four years later he came back to the same prayer breakfast and again Coulson was one of the speakers. After the event the senator came up to him and apologized saying that when he had attacked him he was mad at some of the remarks about the senator and others in government but had since become a born again Christian. In our communication we cannot dilute the Word just because it may offend someone. It is the truth that will set us free

I’ll bet most of you have at one time or another watched a sporting event on TV,baseball games, super bowl, NFL games and have seen the giant sign  that reads “John 3:16” ( I see a lot of blank stares-but I know some of you remember.) A man named Rocken Roland Stewart is responsible for that .Stewart was a drunk-then he met Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior. He became a Christian and God healed him of his alcoholism. One day it occurred to him , if he could get into major sporting events and put the word of God before the people, it would be seen by thousands even millions. It has been many years now but Roland and his wife Margaret and a friend William James lived a spartan existance -They drove over 55000 miles a year in a beat up van using their money to buy tickets to sporting events so they could hold up the sign “John 3:16”

Don’t you wonder how man thousands of people in the time he was in stadiums, turned  their bibles to John3:16 and read “God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.—because of Rocken Roland Stewart. Maybe that is not your thing. The point is that there is a man who heard the command to tell the world. You see, when you and I are saved by the blood of Jesus and added to His family, then God expects is to do the best we can to communicate that message to the lost and dying world. That is the purpose of the Church.

The next thing we learn from Pentecost is that the church is to establish  a fellowship that is unique. Can’t you see those early Christians when they heard the Good News about Jesus? They shared something that has never been shared before. All of them know that they are guilty of many sins but now they have repented of their sins, have been baptized  and they have been redeemed.! And they all have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. Have you noticed that the Holy Spirit didn’t give them the gift to tell the Good  News only to those only to those they encountered that had clean sandals , wore their turbans the right way, wore their beard in a neat way. God said  go make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. The church that  he established is an inclusive church, not an exclusive church. Oh, I have and you have been in churches that the clothes you wore, the car you drove or the amount of money you put in the collection plate was the measure of whether you were accepted or not.

At one church I served, a young couple started coming to church… They were excited and so were we. A week or so after they had been coming a few times I called on them. The wife told me that they had visited another church and the “greeter” at the door upon observing that her husband had on jeans and a shirt said “maybe you folks are at the wrong church” She was almost in tears as she related the story to me. But that is not Gods church!—the people on pentecost  are part of a new society. They had come out of a world of selfishness and greed and dishonesty. Now they are part of a new fellowship where they can share things about themselves with others and know that the people will become compassionate and kind. In the fellowship you don’t have to question everything  you are being told. Now here were 3,000 changed people that God made different and made new…..they were “born again”.

The church must always be that  Most institutions are only interested in what they can get from you..But the church wants to give. Oh many will take advantage of you. But the church is where you can come and hear the truth and be ministered to and needs  will be met in your life.We are to be a different people, a different culture  an oasis in the middle of the desert, a shade tree on a summer day, a cup of cool water when you are thirsty, a place to come and know that you won’t be rejected,that you will be accepted and loved, brothers and sisters in the family of God.

I get the argument all the time that on Sunday morning , I can worship God on the golf course as well as sitting in a pew. I agree with that person to a certain extent..Of course we can worship God wherever we are. but as I tell them. they are missing out on being in fellowship with believers and having a better relationship with Jesus.

Pentecost tells us that the world changed after Pentecost because of the churches’ influence. And  it ought to be that way today. This morning, if you are lonely, tired or feel taken advantage of, then know that within these walls are  people just like you. So we can come without pretending, we can come to be ourselves  with all the warts and blemishes,scrapes and scratches and find love and acceptance because that is what the church is to be, the family of God.

Today, Pentecost Sunday, the birth of the Church let us all release the Holy Spirit in each of us and in this church. Let us in our bible studies and in our worship, give thanks for God’s gift of His Son and the Holy Spirit. For we are like a ship without a rudder, a train without an engineer or a car without a driver if the Holy Spirit is not active in our lives.

Let us today become a spirit filled church!!!!




The Gospel of The Second Chance*

May 11, 2019

Are you in a position in life that you feel that your expectations and goals are a disaster? Do you feel
that you have let your self and God down and that you are a failure?
Are you listening to all those people who say you aren’t going to make it, that you can’t measure up?
Whose guides are you using to listen to these folks? You know that God values you just as you are. You aren’t perfect and neither am I (only Jesus was perfect) But if we love Christ as he loves us and we follow Him then the pattern of our lives comes from God.

I refer you to Mark 16:6-7. I and many others who read the Gospels regularly have missed Jesus statement that is found only in Mark. When I first saw it I was taken back but very thankful for His statement. Here is what he says:
Mark 6-7:” Don’t be alarmed” he said,”you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene who was crucified . He has risen,He is not here. See the place where they have laid Him. 7: But go tell the disciples AND PETER he is going ahead of you to Galilee , there he will see you just as he told you”

Read it again.–if that isn’t a hidden treasure, I don’t know what is. Peter who was outspoken,who denied Jesus and generally not the person you would like to lead you evangelism team, became one of the greatest evangelical leaders in all of scripture (1&2 Peter)

Peter got a second chance to be a true follower of Christ. Not many chances exist in the world today. We don’t have to go far to find examples of that -the kid who didn’t make the little league team; the employee who got a pink slip; or the wife and mother who got dumped in favor of the young secretary.
Jesus had an answer to this cutthroat mania-“its a dog eat dog world?” He would say,”then, don’t live with the dogs” Why let a bunch of other failures tell you how much of a failure you are. ?

Just ask Peter ,he got the message “you are ok Peter you get to try again.” It is not every day that you will find someone who will give you a second chance -much less someone who will give you a second chance every day! That is our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

*title borrowed from others

The Coming Easter Celebraton

April 1, 2019

As we approach Holy Week culminating in celebrating the Risen Christ, we must reflect on what this “holiday” means to a vast majority of our citizens. I am afraid Easter has taken second place as hierarchy of modern holidays.
I suspicion that advertisers haven’t found a way to commercialize it as thoroughly as they have commercialized Christmas. But this was not the case with first century believers…Paul declared “that if there is no resurrection of the dead then Christ has not risen. Then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty ” (1 Corinthians 15: 13-14.
It is important to add that, as Paul saw it , Easter isn’t Easter without the cross. In another passage (Galatians 6:14) he exclaims “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus”

Traditionally , the week leading up to and culminating in the celebration of Easter. is devoted to the contemplation of what Jesus suffered on the cross. As we prepare for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, of course we celebrate and give thanks for each and every day That God has given us.  But as we approach this Holy time we celebrate on Palm Sunday, Jesus entering Jerusalem and the people laying palm branches in front of Him. For me this is the time to read the Passion Story. On Thursday , we celebrate what we call Maundy Thursday. Maundy commemorates Jesus foot washing of His disciples as well as the Last Supper. In my tradition we didn’t wash feet (although as pastor I wanted to do this) We did celebrate Holy Communion. On Friday is the day that Jesus was on the cross and we meditate on his pain and suffering.

Holy Saturday  is a quiet time in preparation for the resurrection. All of this is not just a theological exercise. This is the ultimate tenant of the Christian faith. If a person confesses their sins and asks Christ to come into their life, they will be saved by God’s Grace. But Salvation is based on Christ dying on the cross to atone for our sins and being resurrected to eternal life for those who accept his free offer of Grace and will also  be cleansed by the the Blood of Christ and will reside with him in eternity.

This is why Christians world wide celebrate Easter . Why we have celebrations in our churches and with believers everywhere thank God for their redemption and look forward to eternal life. Amen

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

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!

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