What do you want?

I think many people are asking this question or they are being asked by those who are going to give them something for Christmas. Have you thought about it yourself? There are so many “deals” out there today because it is Cyber Monday and of course last Friday was Black Friday! I try not to participate in either one if I can help it. Go one step farther than just a gift at Christmas and think about a gift that has been provided for us all…and it doesn’t cost us anything!

Jesus came down from Heaven to be born as the Christ-child in a human body and from the very beginning, before the Earth was formed, He was chosen to be slain on a cross to pay for our sins! Blood from animals paid the price before He came, yet they were an imperfect payment because their sacrifice had to be performed each year, every year. His sacrifice was perfect,¬†since He did not have a sin nature and didn’t sin during His life, yet He gave His life to the Father’s will so that we can come to the Father through belief in Jesus the Christ!

As Hebrews 7:27 says:  27 Unlike the other high priests, He does not need to offer daily sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people; He sacrificed for sin once for all when He offered up Himself.

Jesus gave His life so that we might have eternal life with Him. It is a gift which cannot be bought by us, but it had a high price. The price of the Son of God and His life, death and resurrection to purchase our pardon if we will believe in Him. This is a story which has been told through thousands of sermons over the years since His ascension to be with God, a story which many have believed in and on for their salvation.

Today it seems that we have many who have been in the church all of their lives, hearing this message, sitting in the church week after week, who have not taken the steps to finalize being a Christian! Many believe wrongly that because they have been in the church and heard the message and read the Bible that they are saved. They may even be fine upstanding members of the church, volunteering for all kinds of selfless positions and committees in the church. But…are they saved?

Are you sure?

Why do I bring this up now? Because, you and I need to be absolutely sure of our salvation! Why? Because, there are no second chances! If you left the church one Sunday morning or evening and just before you get home, you had a terrible accident which took your life. How would you feel standing before God and seeing your life and your opportunities shown before you, yet you are not saved. You didn’t act when the Spirit moved you in the revival meeting or when you felt Him touch you during a service because you thought you were OK. What a terrifying feeling it will be to hear, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.”

Your eternity lies before you, but it won’t be an eternity in Heaven. It will be one where you feel the burn of loss and the frustration and anger which can only be turned upon yourself because you thought that you already had something and you really didn’t. Nothing can change that now because your decision was made before your death.

Have you decided which direction that you want to go? Most everyone you ask on the street thinks that they have been a good person and they deserve to go to Heaven. How will you feel if your righteousness is not covered by the Blood of Jesus? Is your righteousness better than that of the Pharisees or about the same?

Think about it and consider doing something about it! If you felt the call of the Spirit and didn’t act, make sure that you do…soon!

Why worry?

It seems that the media is worried about all of us who live in “rural” areas of the country. Why? For most of our country’s history, those of us who live in the country, outside of city limits, were the one’s who fed the rest of the country. Now, all we want is to get away from most of the violence and other crime that seems to happen every day on the news.

I am not saying that crimes aren’t committed in the country because they are, but most of them involve stealing something easy to get away with. Very few murders, car jacking, or rape happen outside of city limits. I am sure that some of these do happen in other places, but they aren’t reported because it is a very local crime and limited in how many people were involved.

Am I saying that living in the country is completely safe? Absolutely not. I still lock the cars and the house and any storage area that we have. Thirty-five or so years ago, we didn’t lock our doors, but people have changed and so have the culture around us. Why worry about it?

I don’t really. I pray about our life and our home and ask God to give us protection from those who may do harm to our family and friends, then I hand the problem over to Him and leave it there. It is a learned skill and I have learned it over the past twenty or so years. It is not easy to let go of your anxiety and worries, but Jesus said that “today has enough trouble of its own”. Meaning that we shouldn’t worry about things which we cannot change and specifically about things which we have no control over at all!

God loves each of us, far more than we will ever know until we get to Heaven. We can’t understand His love and mercy toward us because His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts like ours. We can’t be perfect in all of our ways because we are human, but with the Holy Spirit living inside your heart, you can strive toward that calling of becoming more like Jesus. We will not be able to finish the course and be like Him until we stand in His Presence, but the race of life is the one we have to finish and trying to be like Him is the best that we can do.

Just as an old master Jedi once said, “Try not, do or do not there is no try”. Strive still toward the finish of your life when you will attain the goal of being like Jesus. Live as much like Him in this life as you can and let the rest fall to the side. That doesn’t mean that we have to be poor and penniless, it just means that we must walk through this life with our eyes turned toward Him daily. Not weekly or when its convenient, but from the moment you wake until night comes and you need rest for tomorrow. He will guide you on your path.

So much…yet so little

Too much information and too little time in which to use it or even tell about it. Why is all of this happening now? Couldn’t some of this just go away and stay out of the news and the Internet? We have gotten to the point of INFORMATION OVERLOAD!! 24 hours every single day on all the channels and nearly every web page you visit, even this one! It makes you want to run away screaming at the top of your lungs into the farthest reaches of wilderness that you can find or get to! AAAAGGGHH!!!

Now, where was I…oh yeah, the overload of information. I used to enjoy watching the news or reading a news paper or even a news magazine, but now the news that shows up on any of those is hours old and we’ve already seen it, commented on it, and moved on. What is the point of “news” anymore? Oh, and the reference in the title of this little piece is to the amount of information and the time it takes for us to consume it and move on.

Our attention span is like the life cycle of a fruit fly these days. At one point, we had attention spans of twenty minutes, maybe thirty if it was interesting or the one telling the story was engaging enough NOT to put you to sleep! Today…we are do really good if we can get someone to read a sentence, let alone a post/article on a blog. I suppose that is why Twitter is so popular, because they only allow 140 characters including spaces!

Why do I bring this up here..now? Because, we are getting so much conflicting information about our election which is just a few days away. Because our country needs a population which can stay focused longer on the issues at hand rather than voting for someone because they are rich or they have a beautiful wife or because they are African-American or a woman!

Just because they happen to have the right skin tone for some people or the right gender for others, doesn’t mean that they are the best choice for our country. No President, regardless of his station in life or her connections to those who we need to “kiss-up” to will be able to FIX the problems that we have right now! Not even in four years or even eight years, but if we don’t begin to fix them…they will never get fixed!! EVER!

God gave each of us a brain to use for figuring out problems and learning how to fix things when something goes wrong. Well, something has gone terribly wrong in our government! It used to be a republic of democratically elected officials who did the will of the people who put them in office, not the whim of which lobbyist who paid them the most!!

If we don’t sit down and ask God to forgive us for really screwing up our country and for His help in getting it fixed, then we will not have a country very much longer! Seek out His will in this election, not your own! Get your life and your heart right with Him and then ask His opinion of the candidates and the ones which we should vote for. If we can’t humble ourselves before God in this election, then we may lose most of our freedoms which we still have.