Like a child

LetthechildrencometoMeHow many people do you know who think or act like a child? There are many I would guess in our society today and it seems to be getting worse. Many of them are in the news crying about what someone said hurting their feelings so much that they need a safe place. A safe place for what exactly? So many of them have their eyes glued to the screen of a phone until I don’t see how they even know what is happening around them!

Jesus told us to “believe like a child” not to act like one! Children believe and will do what their parent’s tell them, most of the time. Especially when they are young, at least up until this last generation was born. Twenty years or so in the past, this type of behavior wasn’t too bad. Now it seems to be rampant among college age kids who have no idea about life in the real world and how things are really happening around them. Many of them today are too busy with their games or their phones or both. Chasing Pokemon all over the place and getting into trouble or worse while doing it.

Could life be better in this world? Yes, but it would take a major revival of values in this country. Which would put so many people into shock and running for their safe places until many people would be trampled in the streets. Many of those who are against Christianity have said that our religion has caused all sorts of death and destruction in the name of Jesus. I know it has happened in the past, and I mean the distant past. The Crusades, the Inquisition, and some others in the Dark Ages, but come on, which church was actually doing this?

The so-called “mother” church, Catholicism. The Roman Catholic Church had a lot of influence during this time. Not because they were the dominant church, which they were at the time for good reason. The common man wasn’t allowed to own or read a Bible. Much of the service was done in Latin and there were no Scriptures in the common language until the Geneva Bible and Tyndale and Wycliffe translated it and it was printed. Even then, many who were found to have possession of one of these English Bibles were burned at the stake because of it.

I am not bashing Catholic believers or their church, just look it up and you can find this information in history books like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and other historical documents. God loves each of us, regardless of the doctrine that your church may follow or teach. As long as your pastor/teacher is teaching from God’s Word and not changing it to suit his way of thinking!

Please, think about giving your life to Jesus and following Him on a daily basis because the alternative to Heaven is not worth eternity.

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The breath of Life!

Do you consider breathing a chore or just something that you do? It is automatic, like walking or eating or even drinking water when you are thirsty. What if…you couldn’t do any of those things, then where would you be and how would you get by? If you were paralyzed and could not walk or feed yourself what then? Do you just give up and wait to die? It seems that some would do just that!

Why?? It is true that being paralyzed is a very tough life to live, but with determination it can be done.

It is the same with being a Christian in a world that hates Christianity. Nobody wants to listen to your so-called lies and no one tolerates any amount of prayer in public, so watch it when you bless your food! If you are a follower of Allah, then you can break out a prayer rug five times a day and nobody will say a word about it. Why? Because, if they did it is considered discrimination and they are afraid of legal and physical retaliation!

Christians can’t do any kind of public prayer or preaching because it is offensive. It was that way just a few months after Jesus’ death and it is still that way but worse. People get offended by the slightest mention of the name of Jesus or even by seeing a cross hanging on your neck because of Who it represents. Why? Because they know that God’s Word is true! They know it in their bones and in their hearts, yet in our PC world today, offense toward someone in any way can get you arrested!

One day, when Jesus comes back people will hate Him for coming back but He is coming regardless. He is not worrying about those He will offend or those who still hate Him because they are going to get their just rewards whether they like it or not! God loves all people, but He will not spare them from punishment if they refuse His Grace and offer of salvation through Jesus!

Seek Him out while there is time and don’t put it off because you don’t have a guarantee of tomorrow or next year. There is a reason for the hatred of Christians and their religion…it is because it is true! God placed the knowledge of Him into our hearts whether we know Him or not, but until you ask Jesus to come into your life and fix all the broken pieces and clean out the garbage that you placed there, you will not know Him as Lord and Savior! Knowledge about Jesus and knowing about the Bible from a few verses that you have heard now and again only gives you head knowledge, but until He lives in your heart and you have read His Word prayerfully and completely, knowledge is all that you have.

The Breath of Life comes from God through the Holy Spirit by way of His Grace when you believe in Jesus. It doesn’t come from the Koran or any other religious book or any amount of sacrifices or work that you do in this world! God is the only Creator and the Giver of Life, eternal life, and if you refuse that gift you are doomed to an eternity in hell with all of the others who have turned away from Jesus and chosen to follow their own ways. Eternal life in hell and separation from God and all that is good is the worst way to spend eternity. Don’t go there.

Hello?

Hello there,

Years ago, when I was much younger, I would “talk to the dark”. I may have been praying, I may have been voicing concerns which I had no idea how to handle at the time, mostly I did it because I didn’t have anyone else that I could talk to about everything or even nothing in particular. I grew up as an “only child”, that condition which psychiatrists say breeds monsters like pedophiles and axe murderers. Thankfully, I didn’t fall into those categories later on.

I would lie in my bed, talking, not really to myself but to someone or maybe it was Someone. It could’ve been the wrong “someone”, like Satan, but at the time I don’t remember feeling a terror about it…I wasn’t afraid of talking to them or Him. Of course, I didn’t tell anyone this because I didn’t want to be labeled as crazy or weird, that label came too easily anyway.

My parents had divorced when I was young, like five years old, so I didn’t know what a “normal” family life was like. By the time I could remember anything about my Mom and Dad, they weren’t together anymore. This condition seems to be the norm today, but at the time that it happened fifty years ago it wasn’t the norm at all. Growing up, I felt like an outsider, someone who didn’t belong anywhere and wasn’t accepted by anyone. That feeling of being outside never really went away, it just faded because I didn’t pay much attention to it as I got older.

Why am I writing this? I don’t know really. Maybe it is because I need to get it out of my head or maybe just writing it will somehow help me to feel like I am not “outside” anymore. I have tried to fit in, but that doesn’t seem to work very well. I even felt called to preach at a local church and I have been for over five years, but it seems that there are fewer people willing to hear or listen anymore. I feel more like the prophet Jeremiah who preached and told his people about the coming judgement on Israel for many years but they didn’t want to hear it.

I pray that someone may read this and look into God’s Word for their answers, like I should’ve done so many years ago. It has only been in the last twenty years or so that I have begun to learn from God’s Word about Him and who I am because of Him and His sacrifice. Thanks for reading and I hope that maybe this may help someone.

Reading and learning…from God

It is something that many of us try to do in our lives at one point or another, but many of us have no idea how to do it? We consider reading the Bible through but just as any “new year’s resolution” we soon push it aside like any other exercise. Then we only pick it up on church days and read with our pastor, and sometimes we don’t even bring it to church with us at all.

How can you cultivate a relationship with the Creator if you don’t get to know Him? Our only outlet, our only way of getting to know Him IS to read His Word! His ways are there for us in black and white on a page or today on an electronic reader of some kind, but He and His Words are available! He is near us and if we are Christians, then He is dwelling inside our hearts and so near that we might as well be living inside His skin! Ewww gross! Don’t laugh, I know that is what many of you thought.

The point of this is that He wants a relationship with us, just as He did with Adam and Eve only they chose to be independent and go their own way. Our world has been damaged terribly by this independence because instead of living inside His Love and His Life, we make up our own version of Him and His attributes. We remake God and His Son in our image…how WE want them to be! Then, when we feel like they aren’t doing it right, we try to take over and we usually mess things up pretty good at that point!

God’s Word and Wisdom is in the Bible and if we will treat it as our Creator Who is actually speaking through the prophets and writers then accepting Him for Who He is will be so much better and easier! Please consider it and think about reading the book, “The Shack“. I am going to see the movie and maybe do a Bible study on it soon. God loves you!

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.

Still in denial…

Many times, those of us who feel overwhelmed and depressed are in denial about the reason for the way we feel. It could be something which happened yesterday or last month, but we won’t admit it. It could be something which happened to us last year or even years ago which just comes to the surface when we hear a song or watch a TV show. There are many triggers which bring to mind things that we want to forget, things which we thought that we had dealt with but…we really haven’t.

We just pushed the memory into a corner or a closet and shut the door, hoping that it wouldn’t come out again in the near future. But…something or maybe nothing triggers that memory and all of it rushes out like a flood and we have to deal with it all over again.

I know that many times I usually have some advice about how to avoid these kinds of problems, but in this instance there is no fix or cure. Yes, giving your heart to Jesus does help because you can pray to Him and ask for His strength to get through it but the memory and the depression and pain from it won’t really go away. You will be able to bear it more gracefully and with strength that you didn’t have before but it will still come back.

That being said, Jesus is not the One responsible for bringing old hurts and memories to your recall, especially ones which cause pain and depression. Satan and his cohorts do that and they are very good at it. They have had many years of practice. The good news about this is that you don’t have to live with it alone! Jesus is there with you, if you have asked Him to come into your heart. He will never leave you!

Denial is something that all of us suffer with because we don’t think we need help with certain thing or we don’t consider an old hurt or pain from our past to be significant. But, there are days that cause the memories and feelings to rush back into your life and unless you have a lot of family who understands, you will need Jesus to get you through this.

God loves you and He never intended for us to have the issues which we have to deal with today. The rebellion, which is what happened in the Garden, is what started all of this. One act of doing something that the Father told you not to do, caused the pain and suffering and all of the cruelty in the world. Our human nature wasn’t made that way in the beginning, but by doing it in spite of the command not to, we told God that we will do it our way.

Humanity’s way has not worked out so well in the past few hundred or thousand years. We have made mistakes, big mistakes. We have caused a lot of suffering in places where we shouldn’t have been. In the name of one religion or another, we have killed and murdered people for beliefs which didn’t follow the “church” at the time. We, as in humanity, have done some horrific things in the name of religion, even the Christian religion in the Dark ages following the dictates of men who were in charge has killed and murdered people. All of this has broken the heart of God, because many times the Inquisition, the Crusades, the witch hunts and even the burning of believers who believed differently from accepted doctrine, all of this was done under the guise of serving God.

The church doesn’t want these to come to light because then our religion is no different from the one which is doing the same thing in the Middle East today! There is evidence of course, written and archived, but the thing is many of those saints who were killed for their belief will sit in judgement of those who burned them one day. Unless their killers repented and turned from those things, becoming heretics themselves, they will be judged and sentenced to the lake of fire at the White Throne judgement.

Being in denial doesn’t get rid of the problem. Just as sweeping dust under the rug doesn’t get rid of it either. Giving your life and your heart to Jesus will change your life forever and those problems which creep up on you will be easier to bear with Jesus at your side.

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.

Loss and living

We look at life as a journey many times. It has been compared to a road or a trail or just a long walk. When you have walked that road with someone for a long time and then they detour into eternity, leaving you here, that trail becomes lonely and not very inviting at all. As the song says, “you will never walk alone”, which is referring to having a relationship with Jesus. He will always walk with you, even into eternity.

The problem that we have with our walk through life is that our partner, spouse, friend, lover is here physically with us. We can touch them, talk to them, feel their embrace and just know that they are there. Walking with Jesus takes faith. Walking with Him daily takes more faith because you have to acknowledge Him for waking you today and giving you the ability to go on, even if your spouse or significant other isn’t there. This is something that He will do for you, but you have to depend on Him for it.

Don’t give up on life just because someone who you love isn’t there. Don’t quit because you feel as if your life is over, even if you feel like quitting. Those feelings are trying to make you give up and they come from Satan and his followers! Don’t let them tell you how to live or how to stop living! Your life is full, abundant and free in Jesus! Claim it, follow Him, read the Psalms which are mostly about Jesus anyway, His Word will give you the strength and the purpose to carry on when you don’t feel like it at all!

If your partner was a Christian, you will see them again. Eternity is a long, long time and when we enter into it we will find people that we never even knew in this life. But, they know us because they are part of our family even if we didn’t meet them. God loves us all, so the only thing that we should do is return that love by living our life for Him until we are called home.

How do you feel?

The question above is the very question which a character in a popular TV show could not understand at one point in his life. Yet, it wasn’t long before he realized that it is our feelings…our emotions which guide us. They also help us to make sense of our intellect or life in general. If you are a Trekkie, you know that this was part of a test for Mr. Spock. His mother told him that “the computer knows that you are half human, so it is a logical question”. Many of us flawed, emotional humans tend to have problems dealing with this as well. Maybe not everyday, but at times we do run into situations where our feelings, good or bad, get the best of us. How do you respond in those situations? It depends upon your outlook and whether you depend upon yourself and nobody else or if you seek to understand life through the wisdom afforded to us by God.

So, what do you do when you realize that these words really do have meaning in your life?: “I need help. I can’t do this alone.”

Who or what do you turn to in a time that affects you so greatly that you realize that you can’t handle __________? Whatever it may be. The blanks in your life and mine are, at times, difficult to handle. But, we can get through those times, regardless of how long they last with the strength and wisdom that is found in the Bible. Today it seems that mentioning God or the Bible is an incorrect way of looking for a solution. People today say that this is the 21st century, the Bible isn’t relevant to our problems today. That is a wrong assumption because the problems which we face today are the same as the ones that our grandparents faced over fifty years ago. If you read a historical account of the problems faced in Rome or Jerusalem two thousand years ago, you would find that many of the problems that they faced are the same as today’s problems.

True enough, the technology of the day was much simpler than what we have today but the individual problems of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, unemployment, homelessness, were all still present. There were wars going on in other countries, there was malnutrition and disease. There were people who were rich and getting richer because of the problems in their time just as it is in ours. As the Preacher said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 : “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.“.

I have heard that bell-bottomed jeans are coming back into style and hip-hugger jeans too, so the styles of the ’70’s are also coming back around. Even those platform shoes that were popular at one time are making a comeback. Nothing is new, it just gets recycled into something that many may have forgotten about and it may be called something different but it is still the same. God never changes and He is always there to help if you will let Him. Seek Him out in church or in the Bible, learn about His wisdom and pray that He will give you a new heart and a new life to live into eternity. There is always work to be done, even after we die. The best part about eternity is that we won’t grow old and achy and we will be able to do the work that God has for us regardless of how many years we have lived through in His Kingdom.