Will you have an impact?

We are starting a new year, not exactly an Earth-shaking event. But…will you have an impact in our world or your world this year? Sometimes we make resolutions for the year when it is brand new and fresh but after a couple of paychecks and possibly a trip to the doctor’s office…well those resolutions get placed in the closet until next year. So, can we have an impact on those we love or the workplace?

GodisNearActually, we can IF we will let God into our lives and let Him influence our living from day-to-day! I know that there are people who don’t like to hear about religion in general, regardless of whether Jesus is part of it! But, the fact is that everyone needs Him whether we realize it or accept it or not!

Could we have an impact on the world without allowing Jesus into our lives on a daily basis? Yes, but it wouldn’t have an eternal outcome if we did it all on our own. Teachers in high school and college have an impact on their student’s lives during the year, but how much do you remember of tenth-grade algebra class? I would guess that, like me, you don’t really remember much of it (unless you actually work in a field that you USE it every day)!

Being a Christian is very different from learning algebra or geometry because it is a decision which we are called to by God and the Holy Spirit. It is not a decision that you make on your own, although you do have to decide to accept the offer of salvation from Jesus. You can’t just decide that today I am going to become a Christian because it is a calling from God which prompts you to realize that you need Jesus in your life.

Being a Christian and living life as a Christian is not a hard thing to do, but it is a life that you have to learn to do. Studying the Bible and learning about the grace of God and His plan for your life is part of living your life for Jesus! Repenting or walking away from your sins is another part of being a true Christian. Sitting in church or Sunday school once or twice a month and not changing your lifestyle doesn’t make you a Christian. Although many people who go to church once or twice a year think that they are Christians, even though they haven’t been baptized or changed anything about their lives!

You can have an impact in this world and in eternity by living your life for Christ so that others will see its effect on you and want what you have.

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Freedom of religion

Freedom of religion which is guaranteed in our Constitution concerns the freedom to practice the religion of your choice or none at all. So why do many in our country want to get rid of any shred of Christianity that they can and yet any other form of religion beyond that is Ok?

I suppose it is because of the truth which we claim to follow in our churches and preach from the pulpits was given to the Jewish people as the Word of God through His prophets. Therefore it is True and indisputable which makes many people very nervous and jittery about a book with absolute Truth in its pages. They question its Truth and they question the validity of those who wrote the words down.

In many parts of the world there is no freedom of religion at all, you either believe and practice the religion of the state or, in some cases, you are killed for being a heretic. If you aren’t killed, then you are put in jail so you can’t spread your “lies” to other people.

All of this division has been orchestrated by Satan from eons past or since Adam and Eve were in the Garden at least. Our world, not just America, has many religions which worship things and ideas which have been written down in recent memory and some which were taught many hundreds of years ago. The religions or people and their ideas that are worshiped are not gods and they are not God, but it seems that many are deceived by their leaders to believe that they are.

Don’t give your heart or your mind to these ideas or people because that path leads away from God and away from eternity in Heaven. It doesn’t lead “to the dark side” but it does go to a dark place from which there is no escape. God loves you regardless of what you may have heard or read because He is your Creator. Seek Him out while there is time and try to have an open mind doing so. Learn about Him from the Bible and a Bible teaching church, not some of this “prosperity new age” junk!

 

Dividing lines

Why are the people of America trying to divide our country now? I mean, it happened during the Civil War by politics and by differences of opinion on slaves and who should have them or not. Now, we are dividing it because of the history of that period and the feelings of those living today. My ancestors came from Ireland, some of them were slaves too but I am not going to worry myself about what happened over 200 years ago because it is not part of our present.

Countries and people are divided in many places around the globe because of politics and religion. America was the world’s “great melting pot” where every person from anywhere could come and be an American, not a hyphenated citizen. What happened? Have we rewritten our history so it won’t offend anyone today? What about twenty years from now? Will we just throw away the American flag and the national anthem and any trace of history from more than a century ago?

God brought our land together and the people who made up this great land and the government which governs it too. Now, at least one-third of Americans…maybe more are willing to make it into what exactly? Will it be a country that your grandparents would be proud of? Will God approve of the changes that seem to be happening at a rapid pace?

I don’t know the answers to those questions. I am not sure that many people know the real answers to those questions. I do know that if our country goes down the path which seems to be forming in our politically correct media and those who make the rules in our government, America will not be a place to look up to by anyone anymore. I never thought that our country would ever get to this point, but after the Vietnam War it seems that we, the American people, have lost much of our ideals and our pride in our country.

Did America have some dark days in her past, yes, but so does every country in the world! All of them have had slavery and abuse of power issues. All countries have had racial tension and religious persecution, we are not unique in that arena. Life, no matter where it may be, isn’t easy or guaranteed to last a certain amount of time. Some of the atrocities such as sex slavery (which is going on now) haven’t been dealt with yet.

Pedophiles and sexual battering and other perverted problems which are coming to light are not something that I thought that my child would have to learn about or have to pray about for guidance and protection but we are. We have pushed God out of education and mostly out of our collective conscience and now we are paying the price for it.

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Rest I need, yes sleep….

YodaThose words come from an old Jedi teacher in “Return of the Jedi”. But we all need sleep and rest. Not the sleep of death or oblivion or becoming one with the Force, but restful sleep each day. It is given to us by our Heavenly Father just as it was given to Jesus when He walked on this Earth so many years ago.

Restful sleep is sometimes a fleeting think in our world today because of the sedentary lives that many of us have. Sometimes our brain just doesn’t seem to crave a shut-down period and we keep the neurons firing so much that we can’t get to sleep without medication of some kind. Yes, God intended for us to rest at night to begin the day refreshed and ready for what may come in it. So…why is it so hard at times to get our brains to hibernate for a few hours?

We have too much technology around us could be part of it. The blue light from screens on phones and Kindle’s and computers interrupts our brain’s perception of night. Most of the research that has been done on this says that our screen time should be shut off at least four hours before bedtime, the problem is that our flat screen TV’s emit just as much blue light and many of us have those in our bedroom. We are deliberately sabotaging our own sleep by watching TV until bedtime or even in our beds.

Can we wean ourselves from this technology which interferes with our rest? Not willingly I fear. Consider this if you are having problems with sleep and try to limit late night viewing of screens. I will be doing this myself and hopefully we can find a way to limit our use of medication to sleep while possibly getting better sleep. Amen.

Life…..

Some days I think about our lives in this world and I suppose I think a bit too deeply or something. We see and hear about so many tragedies in the world on the Internet and on the TV news programs and it makes it hard to see any good in the world. Life is not easy today, even with all of the technology and gadgets that we have, living for Jesus is not easy.

JesusiscomingsoonOf course, He said that the world would hate us because it hated Him first. Live your life in Him according to your faith, live out your faith in front of people regardless of their reaction or dislike of your religion. Sometimes, your example may be the only view of Christianity that people see. Good or bad that is what will be thought of when they think of being a Christian, so try to make your life a good example of Jesus’ life.

Is it easy to do this? NO! Because we are all human. Even with the Holy Spirit living in us, there are many times which we don’t listen to His prompting and His advice for living. We believe that we can do it our way and in our strength and we can’t. Jesus said, that “apart from Me you can do nothing“.

I pray that anyone reading this will seek out Jesus and ask Him into your life because the days are getting nearer to the time when He will return. It is not a myth and it is not just a book, the Bible is the Word of God and all of the prophecies have come true except for His return. It will happen.

Instant conclusions

In our society, we draw conclusions about everything and most of the time we do it immediately. Especially when it comes to violence in a public place. Writers for many publications are disavowing any responsibility when it comes to owning the reason for any crime which has a violent outcome. In spite of our collective ideas of terrorism, whether it is done by a person of color or not, we still tend toward segregation of blame.

If you are of a certain religion then you are radicalized. If you are African-American then you are angry, about what doesn’t seem to matter, but that is what the pundits on “news” programs label people as. But when the person is white, they are labeled as insane and a gun nut or even disturbed because of PTSD. Yet, many of them bought their weapons legally with background checks and apparently passed those checks multiple times.

Why do we or at least some in America make these snap judgments about each other and about people who buy firearms and use them. It is true that we only think these things when some person uses a firearm to take lives in a way that is inconsistent with society or its norms. But honestly, any life taken is one which was taken too soon! Murder is against the law of man and God as well! It doesn’t matter if you kill someone with a knife or a gun or a bomb, murder is still against God’s law!

What can make someone snap to the point of shooting at people just because they are convenient targets? I will never understand the kind of crazy that sounds like!

Was God there? Yes, in the first responders who came to the aid of those in danger. He was there with the police who stormed the hotel and found the killer who was taking lives like targets on a range. Yes, God was there and He is still there giving comfort and strength to families and friends and to those who are recovering! We all need to pray for the victims and for our country because there could be another person who may snap and begin to do this somewhere else.

Seek Him out in all things and look for God in every place where you are because He is there, sad though He may be because of our intent and because of the apathy that is in our society today.

 

people are never the enemy

In wartime and peacetime, this is one little bit of wisdom which never is heard, I wonder why is that? People really aren’t the enemy no matter what type of conflict it may be. Sometimes it is a religious war or conflict and it affects people of all ages, but the people aren’t the enemy and they aren’t the reason that the conflict is going on. It is usually because of a doctrine or something which was said about someone, maybe taken out of context, but once it is said it can’t be taken back.

GodisNearNo, people are not the real enemy. Satan uses people to attack others in subtle ways at times, but the attack usually works because of something that was said or maybe it was written somewhere. The hurt and pain caused by a word or a sentence can last for a lifetime and the retaliation for those words hurts for the same amount of time. Yet, it doesn’t matter what is said afterward. It won’t matter how much was said prior to the pain. Because once that happens, whatever it might be, all of the good is forgotten and will never be remembered again.

No amount of money or time or prayer will ever fix or even lessen the pain caused by a word or phrase which was said at the wrong time or in the wrong way. The pain which comes back toward the one who caused this in the first place will never go away either. Nobody will ever let the community or the church or their friends forget what happened. At least until Jesus comes again. I can’t tell you how that will fix things because I am not Him, but somehow He will do something which will heal the hurt and the pain.

That is what I am looking forward to, regardless of the amount of time that I have left on this Earth.

Addiction

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Amen!

When the storms of life get too rough, trust in God and in Him alone. Because Who would be better to calm the seas and storms of life than your Creator? He went through storms and trials and pain in order to bring each of us into His House in Heaven. So…don’t turn away from Him when you need Him, because He has never been very far from you at any point in your life. Prayer is the lifeline which will save you from any and all problems, heartaches and trials, if you will just trust in Jesus for your Salvation from sins and drugs of all kinds, He will give you the strength to get past all of them.

What is the difference?

There is so much in the media today about LGBT rights and privileges and their struggle with their identity. Gay or straight what is the actual difference other than sexual? Acting out a role in an identity, no matter which side of the “fence” you may be on, is just that…a role. Whether you feel like a man or a woman today or tomorrow doesn’t mean anything! The gender which was given to you by genetics and by God Himself/Herself, is the one that you were born with and it should be the gender that you live by.

You can’t “think” your way into being a man or male or female. It is your right to pursue happiness in your own way but truly it shouldn’t impair or impact my happiness if I choose not to “think” your way. Life is a challenge regardless of your gender or your preference in the bedroom, but your choices shouldn’t be forced into laws or into schoolrooms for children to learn. Especially since most children don’t find out about their own preferences in sex or identity until they are well into their teens or even into their twenties.

God created us as male and female in order for the human race to populate the Earth. The same way that animals in the jungle pair up as male and female to keep the species viable and alive. God loves all of humanity and His Creation but He isn’t very happy about our stupidity when it comes to the way we blatantly sin against His rules and the natural order of things.

The verses in God’s Word which address this can’t just be tossed out because it offends some people due to their ideas of gender and sexual partners. That is like taking a part out of a recipe to make a cake or brownies, leaving the sugar or the chocolate out just makes it a very dull and bland tasting mess. It may look like a chocolate cake or a pan of brownies but without that critical ingredient, very few people would want to eat it.

Seek God and His righteous ways through prayer and study of His Word, even if some part of it offends you. Why? Because, He gave those Scriptures to us as a guide for life, almost like an instruction manual. He didn’t give us step by step instructions for every situation but if you will turn to Him and depend upon Him in this life, then the other steps will work out in your favor. As Jesus said, “Seek out the Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”follow Christ

Don’t legitimize….

You may wonder why I didn’t put a subject behind that but there is a reason. It is because we are giving legitimacy to many religions and beliefs when we shouldn’t be! There are too many subjects which would fit in that title. What are they? Dowsing, pyramid energy, mediums who claim to be using “angel cards”, ouija, etc.; all of these and more are part of the occult and people shouldn’t be consulting with them, but they are.

Giving these “optional” beliefs legitimate status doesn’t help us to get the message out into the world that Jesus is the way to salvation, not “alternate religions”. There are so many different beliefs in the world until it is hard to understand just why there are so many. Satan has been working very hard to give people an alternate viewpoint which can be molded into a new religion or faith. It seems that today it is so easy to put your faith in almost anything besides God and Jesus!

separatechurchesWe talk about religion and being religious as if that covers all of Christianity but you can be religious about anything. Just because someone seems to be religious doesn’t mean that they are a Christian. They could be religious about any one of the hundreds of different religions out there, you could even be a religious atheist! My point is this:¬†don’t give religions other than Christianity a legitimate foothold!

I know, I am not being inclusive of all people and their beliefs and I will own that. What I am trying to get people to think about here is ETERNITY!! There is only one God and Jesus the Christ Who can grant you access to eternity, or at least one that you would enjoy living in! The Bible states it plainly that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, all other paths, even though they may be morally good, will lead you elsewhere for eternity.

Some faiths don’t believe in eternal punishment like the lake of fire foretold in Revelation. But, if God says that is where you will be and He doesn’t lie, then that is where your choices will take you! Seek out Jesus and His gospel, believe in Him and repent of your sinful ways and then follow Him, reading His Word and praying for strength each day because it is through Him that we are given eternal life and forgiveness.