A friend of mine…

TrueFriendshipCould we be friends?

Sometimes people get so caught up in life and living until they forget about the friends they have. Friends put up with all sorts of behavior that even your family won’t put up with, but that doesn’t mean that you should forget them. True friends are those that even when it has been years since you last spoke to each other, you can just pick up where you left off. How many friends like that do you have?

This is the type of friend that we all have available in Jesus.

When you give your heart to Jesus, He becomes your Savior and friend but HE also introduces you to many other people who can be your friends. Your brothers and sisters in Christ! They know Him and through their spirit and your spirit you can become close friends. I am not saying this is automatic because that is not how friendships work, but it can be.

God created us all to be as close as friends no matter where we live or what our life may be like. Could you be friends with God? Of course you can, if you will just decide to follow Him and His Son, every day not just once or twice per month. Walk with Him in life, daily…even hourly, because HE gives your breath to you and your heart beats because of His grace too!

Friendship is a relationship and being a child of God, saved and sanctified by the atoning blood of Jesus, is also a relationship which needs to be a lifelong one! Your relationship with Jesus should be one which is even closer than just friends and in order for that to be, you need to learn as much as possible about Him! This can be done by reading and studying the Bible and attending a church which teaches from it.

Consider that your relationship with Jesus is a friendship. Mainly because He already knows you far better than you know Him, so pursue Him like you would if He is the only Life that you have…because after this one He truly is your Life or your Judge, it is your choice which one He will be ultimately.

What is coming?

Really, nobody knows. We do have some prophecies from the Bible which tell us some things which are coming in the next few years. How many years from now, nobody knows except for God Himself. The best thing that Christians can do is to pray and ask God to help them to become closer to Him.

Changes are coming in many different areas, and I am not speaking of our government here, around the world in the places where wars are being fought right now. Some new wars will be declared in other places along with weather patterns which may get worse.

We don’t know what or when but God is in charge and all of us need to turn to Him for our lives. I pray that this year will be the year that many people will come to salvation through Jesus.

A new year….a new beginning of sorts, make it eternal in the embrace of God.

What is about to happen…

Many people seem to be wondering about this and searching for the answer. Nobody knows what is about to happen except God. Haven’t you thought about this during this election cycle? We all have to some degree. But, with all of the pundits and players leaning one way and then the other from day-to-day, how can you know which candidate would be the right one?

Truly, you and I can’t know the answer to that until after the election and we find a winner. Many people are saying one thing about this candidate and how the future will turn out if he or she wins, when in the real world..nobody knows for sure except God.

Will America be a great republic like it was sixty years ago or one hundred and sixty years ago? Nobody knows. Will it turn into a socialist state and disintegrate into a chaotic anarchy? Nobody knows. If you don’t vote in the election, you won’t have a say in either outcome, so don’t complain when it doesn’t go the way you wanted it to.

Voting for a third-party candidate who has absolutely NO chance of being elected is as bad as not voting at all, so don’t cry about it when things get really bad if you didn’t have the guts to vote for a candidate which could do something for us. Why is this post so politically loud and not pointing out which person to support? Because I don’t have that answer and nobody else does either.

I do know that God already knows who will be elected and it will be the person that He has chosen to either bless this country once more or it will be the person who will bring America to its knees once and for all. We will either enjoy God’s blessing or we will feel and be subjected to His judgement, there is no middle ground, it is either one or the other.

Seek God’s wisdom in this election, pray about your decision and ask God which person you should vote for. Be in prayer about this every day until the election is over, then you can relax and say that you did all that you could and God has chosen because ultimately it will be God’s choice who will be our next President.

I am getting off of my soap box now. Thank you for listening and please be in prayer about this election, our future and your children’s future depends upon the outcome.

So much suffering…

I am sure that some people are asking “Where is God when this flood began?” or “Where was God when the wildfire burned our town to the ground?”. Yes there is suffering in the world but God didn’t cause it. The flood was caused by a weather system which got stuck in one place and didn’t move. Some of the fires in California were started by a man who knew how to start fires easily. Did either of these events have something in common? Yes, they both caused loss of life and the loss of homes and businesses.

When we see things like this happening we should get on our knees and pray. It is true that God may not send a huge downpour to put the fire out or even stop the rain, but He will be there in your trial to help you get through it. Does this take the edge off of the suffering? No, but if you have put your faith in God, you will have a peace about your situation regardless of how it turns out.

I know that I am making general statements here, but God does care and He loves all of you more than you realize. He will give you the victory and bring more into your life one day than what may be taken away in this world. In some ways that is a really lame way of saying that we should be looking forward to Heaven, but it is true! Our reward for being His today, here on this Earth is that we have His strength and His Spirit in us to give us the peace to get through all of our problems.

It is true that we may be able to get through our day-to-day problems with our own money and our own strength of will and perseverance, but what will happen when one of those is not enough? If you don’t have enough money or you get sick in some way and your strength is not enough to get you through it, what then? Money can’t save you, it may pay the bills but if you die your money is no good anymore. Faith in Jesus and believing in His grace and atonement for your sins will carry you into eternity, where money doesn’t mean anything.

Give your life to Jesus and ask Him to cleanse your heart and your life of all the stuff that shouldn’t be there. Read the Bible and learn about Him, go to a teaching church and walk with others on the same road that you are on. Remember, in a couple of songs there is a “highway to hell” but there is only a “stairway to Heaven”. It kinda shows you the amount of traffic that you will be with if you think about it.

Please, don’t wait to decide something which will have eternal consequences because you may not get another sunrise or even another sunset. Look at your life honestly and like you were making an investment. Will your life as it is now be enough for God to allow you into Heaven? Without Jesus in your heart, your life and your net worth means nothing! God doesn’t take bribes, He can give you a planet made of gold so there is no amount that you could barter with to get in unless you have given your life to Jesus. If you have done that, it won’t matter if you die being the richest man on Earth or the poorest of the beggars, your eternity is rich!

 

Life matters…

There have been many protests concerning certain lives matter, whether they are Black, African-American, or even White. Come on, God created Life! Your life, my life, and every person who has ever lived on this world, all of our lives matter to Him! The color of your skin or your ethnic origin is irrelevant to God. Slave or freeman, Muslim or Protestant or any religion in the spectrum, God loves you! So, yes, life matters to God…every life!

We, humanity, have put limits and regulations and stipulations on which lives matter and which ones do not matter, at least to us. Why should we compare and claim that my life or your life matters more than any other? A baby being aborted at a clinic could possibly be the person who finds a cure for cancer, but if they aren’t born and allowed to grow toward that potential we will never know. Someone being killed in Turkey or Iran or Syria might also be important to the peace cause in the future, but we will never know for sure.

Lives matter every day, not just today but every day in our country. So many are hurting this morning because of the actions of one person or a few people who are targeting people for the color of their skin. It is heart-wrenching to see this happening in our country when racism should have become a thing of the past. Yet, every time it seems that we have a handle on it, someone from one ethnic group or another will blow a hole in it and begin the process all over again.

I don’t write this in the sense that I am some perfect Christian because there was only One perfect man ever on Earth and He is Jesus. My ideas are that we should get along, but in the society that we have today, in America and around the world, it is not possible. Humanity hasn’t evolved to the point of getting past old hatred and wounds from decades past. We just don’t seem to be able to let it go. Every time healing begins, someone pulls the bandage off and starts it over again. This needs to stop but without prayer and cooperation between those with different tones of skin color, it won’t get a foothold or gain any traction.

God loves us and we were told by our Savior to love one another, but it seems that we haven’t truly figured out what that means yet. We don’t understand the meaning of the word because we have watered it down and changed the meaning of the word “love” so much until it really doesn’t convey the same emotion that Jesus was telling us to express toward each other.

Seek out the Lord in your life and follow Him. Why do I say this? Because if you follow the Author of Life, you will be more alive than you ever have been. You will also learn to be more loving and if you love others as Jesus loves you, then you will not be like those who are causing all of the division and hatred in our world today. Jesus came to bring eternal life to all of us, all we have to do is accept it by faith and ask His forgiveness. Being a Christian is not something which can be forced upon someone, just like you cannot force someone to love you, but if you have felt that you need Him at all, then all you have to do is ask Him to come in and cleanse your heart and to accept you as His child.

What is happening in your world?

We all live in different areas of the world and we are influenced by our own culture, regardless of what kind of culture it may be. Some of us have grown up in areas where there is an intolerant attitude toward other cultures or beliefs. If you have grown up in an area like this, it may not seem to be a bad thing. Because to you and your family and friends, it is normal to be that way. But, what about the rest of the world? How do they perceive your culture? Do you even care how it is perceived?

Today, it seems that many people don’t really care about perceptions from outside their culture. Many people don’t even care about what their family and friends think, particularly if they are from a different cultural or religious background.

Why are we so polarized into left and right, right and wrong, do or don’t do, or even “if you don’t believe the way that I do, I will kill you!”

All of this is happening because of Satan and his influence over our world and our cultures. Many in our world today don’t want to admit that he even exists, let alone that he is the influence behind the back-biting and religious intolerance and all sorts of hate that is going on around us. If we could just learn to live by the principles taught in the Bible, there wouldn’t be so much strife in the world, but sadly Jesus predicted that this time would come.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 10:22

We are to endure with patience and follow His example in these times. We are not to slander and hate others because that is what they are doing and we are called to be like Jesus, not like the world. So, why is it that we have so much trouble between cultures and beliefs? Again, the answer is Satan and his influence on our world. He hates us and it doesn’t matter what religion that you cling to because he wanted to rule the world and make it his. God gave us dominion over the Earth, but Adam handed it over when he disobeyed God so long ago. We have been living under the assumption that we still have dominion over it but we don’t really. It is just an illusion that we have been led to have by him.

God is in control of the outcome, no matter who thinks they are. We are the ones who need God and not the other way around. Trust in Him, learn of Him, ask Jesus into your life and your heart because one day, in this life or the next, you will bow to Him. It needs to be in this life because after this life, you will bow to His judgement if you didn’t ask Him into your life while you yet live.

Living today and tomorrow

So much is happening in the world today. We see it and hear it on the news and on the radio. We read about it in newspapers and on the Internet. Some of it is true, some of it is blown out of proportion, and some of it is just made up to look like news.

Can we believe it? Some of it but not all.

So, what are your goals for life and living today? Are they similar to other people’s goals of losing weight or getting a degree? Do they have anything to do with making lots of money and building a nice (big) house? When I see goals like this or hear about them and then drive into Flowood or some other town and see these big homes that all look like they are duplicates of each other in size and shape I wonder what is the purpose?

It seems that we like to be individuals and we like to have things which others don’t have, but when it comes to our houses and cars we are stuck with copies of everyone else’s likes. There are no real unique homes or cars. Yes, you can paint the outside of a Camaro a different color from others, your home may have a different floor plan than the one next door. But the shape of the car is the same. The shape of the house is mostly the same.

Everything in our lives, for the most part, is the same. Wouldn’t it be great if we could customize our living space the way we want it to be? I know we are at the mercy of cost and that the companies which sell cars sell the cars which their research tells them that we want. Life is different today than it was, say one hundred years ago. They didn’t have phones, many didn’t have cars, most lived in what we call a shack today. But, I never heard my grandmother say that they didn’t have a roof over their head or food on the table.

Life today is very different from what it was then. Life today is very different from that of just forty or fifty years ago. It seems that we have forgotten how to be kind to one another. We don’t seem to try to help each other when there is a need. Mostly we just sit around and wait for someone else to help, when we have the ability to do it ourselves.

We also spend way too much time reading comments and things from social media sites. Yes, it is fun for a while but it is like sitting in a rocking chair, you are doing something but not going anywhere. Reading those comments is funny and sometimes it is educational but if you don’t get up and do something about those causes that you “like”, nothing will get done!

It is like saying “Amen!” with all the gusto that you can muster, then going out the door of the church and not having a clue what the Preacher said!

God put each one of us here for a purpose and a reason and it doesn’t matter where you live or how much money you have. You can do something for God’s Kingdom. It may be nothing more that offering up a prayer for someone in China or India, but God can use a heartfelt and sincere prayer and do something with it. It is true that there are many who don’t believe in Him and may never believe in Him, but prayer can make a difference in someone’s life. It made a difference in mine.

God loves you and He can work with you and through you to make a difference in someone’s life. A hug or a prayer or even just a note or an email letting them know that you are thinking of them and that you are praying for them in whatever situation they may be in. Seek Him out and thank Him for getting you up this morning and use today for something that Jesus would do if He were here. Then, repeat tomorrow and the next day until He calls you home. I promise that the outcome from small things will have an impact when you see its results in Heaven.

Choose…

We seem to be all about choices today. We choose a mate or a lifestyle to live by. We choose which school to attend and which major to take. We, sometimes, choose which religion that we will follow or not. Choices are part and parcel of life, particularly in America, but also in other places around the world.

Some of those choices in other countries are unpopular and bring hardship into the lives of those who make choices that are against the majority. At times our choices are so numerous that we can’t seem to decide what we want. What can we do in these instances?

Choose…

Your life’s religion is a choice, sometimes it is one based on culture or family tradition. But, if you found out that your religion is false or that it will not lead you into an eternity of happiness, what would your choice be? If that choice is going to be an unpopular one with your family and friends, what would you do? Would you choose to follow the crowd and go into an eternity with everyone else just because it was acceptable to them?

These are answers and questions which each of us need to ask of ourselves and our friends and family. Why should we bother with asking these questions? Because that is what Jesus told us to do…go into all of the world and preach (tell) to them the gospel. If you are a Christian, this is your mandate. It is not a question of if we can tell, it is more like when will we tell them?

Your life in Christ is secure in Him, if you believe in His atonement for you and accept Him as your Savior. God, the One God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, loves you far more than you can ever realize. He has a purpose for your life, not only here but in eternity too, but you won’t be able to enjoy it unless you follow Jesus and give your life to Him. This life is a puff of smoke compared to eternity, no matter how long you may live. Consider this and turn to Him while you are here because the chance to give your life and heart to Him is only available while you live. There are no second chances or do-overs later.

What do you do?

I have been asked this many times in my life by people wanting to know about my profession or my preferred job interests. It has always been a bit hard to answer because I have done so many different jobs in the past thirty-five years or so. I am not going to go through the list here, but it is safe to say that I have had at least a dozen, maybe a few more, different jobs in that length of time. Some of them I enjoyed, and some I just tolerated until something else came along. Many people, it seems, have done the same because nobody stays in a job more than a few years unless they found a perfect match to begin with and just stuck with it.

The thing is that “what you do” is not who you really are, particularly on the inside. Sometimes the job that you find yourself doing is one that you have to do, not one that you want to do…and there is a BIG difference between those two. Many people it seems, especially in our economy today, HAVE to take a job that they didn’t study for but it will pay the bills for a time.

I went to college to get a job in the medical field because I thought it would be a stable job and one that, hopefully, I could retire from one day. WRONG! Internal politics and whether you are liked by the right people has a lot to do with how long your job lasts, whether it is a stable and necessary job or not. If you are curious about what job I studied for, it was Medical Technology (a fancy sounding term for a lab technician).

Later, when I was told that I needed to find something else to do, I began doing something that I liked doing…working on computers. I once told my boss’s wife that I would do it for free but that doesn’t pay many bills. I still do it occasionally, but most people just go and buy a new laptop when their desktop quits now. That is the difference between doing something that you HAVE to do and something that you WANT to do and LIKE doing.

That is why I enjoy writing here, because I get to tell people about my Savior and that He wants to be your Savior too. Jesus loves you far more than you can imagine and it can make a HUGE difference in your life, not only here but into eternity. Especially into eternity! Why do I say it that way? Because Satan is telling people that they have all the time in the world to make that decision, an in reality we don’t.

Just as the rich man who said that he was going to build some bigger barns to hold his stock and then retire and take it easy. That very night God said, “Thou fool, your soul is required tonight.” He didn’t know and had thought that he had time to get his life straight, that is not the case for many of us. Some of us can because of disease, but you really aren’t given your next sunrise! Seek God and His righteousness now while there is time, ask Him to come into your life and make it whole.

If your life ends tonight or tomorrow and you haven’t made that decision, then your time is up. You will be standing before God when He asks you, “What did you do with my Son?” What kind of answer will you give? Think about it.

Living successfully by faith

Successful living can be done by many, in many ways. Learning and pursuing a lucrative position or skill can help you to live successfully by the world’s standards. You can have money, fame, fortune, mansions, and cars…all of the trappings of a successful life. Have you ever wondered why so many “successful” people have to go to drug rehabilitation programs? Why do many have to go through programs to help them to beat their addiction to alcohol too?

If you were to ask them their reasons for these addictions, there would be only one reason given and that is because they felt that something was missing in their life. There was an empty feeling, even with everything that they have. Why do you think that might be?

The reason is simple, if you look for it in the right place. It can’t be found in a bar or in a bottle of pills or alcohol which is why those things never satisfy. Seeking satisfaction in money will only bring stress and heart trouble and possibly ulcers. Seeking to satisfy your craving to fill that empty space with lovers or drugs will only end in your death. Two things which are never satisfied, or maybe three: death, hell and the grave. Not one of these is ever full enough to cry out, “Enough!”.

A successful life can be lived happily and humbly by seeking God in the Bible. Learning about Him through study and prayer and seeking out His Son, Jesus by faith. This is the only path that will give you true satisfaction and peace in your life. No other way exists which will lead you in that direction, certainly nothing made by man can do it. No amount of money can buy a key which will open the gates of Heaven, only the acceptance of the grace offered to us through Jesus by God will do that.

Yes, this post is about your salvation because God loves you. Whether you are successful in this life and by the world’s standard or not, He loves you. You can do for His Kingdom something which nobody else can do and He will show you that path to eternal success. The success which I speak of doesn’t end with this life because our life is only a puff of smoke compared to eternity!

Consider the dot (.) that you see there. Then stretch a line from it all the way to the other side of our solar system. That dot or period as it is called represents your life in its entirety, that line which stretches for nearly nine billion miles represents only a fraction of eternity! Why would you want to concern yourself with such a tiny part of your existence when there is so much more ahead of you?

If you live your life chasing rainbows and never find the time or a reason to give Jesus a place in your heart, then your eternity will be very different. It will be spent totally isolated from God and His love, in a darkness so complete that it will be painful and agonising. Yet you will have eternity to think about the times that you heard His message and maybe even felt moved to accept it…but you didn’t.  Why? It would’ve been so easy to make that decision, so simple even a child can do it and yet many people just don’t.

Some today are being called by Jesus just as Saul was on the Damascus road and they are answering that call. It will put their lives in danger, but they are doing it anyway. Why? Because, Jesus is the answer that everyone is looking for! They just don’t know it yet.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you in Heaven.