Why are we separate?

In the centuries since Jesus, our Savior, ascended to His Father, YHWH, and He sent the Holy Spirit to be with the early church so that they could get started. Why? Because there were many thousands of people in Jerusalem that day when Peter spoke and the only way that many would understand him was through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God Himself. Many people think that Peter was speaking in many languages that day and he may have been, but it wasn’t coming directly from his mouth that way. This is just my belief and you are welcome to disagree with me, but the Spirit was giving them utterances to be heard by all of the people and it was Spiritually done.

What I mean by that is that even if Peter was speaking in Aramaic, the Spirit was working through him so that all of those who did not speak Aramaic heard his words in their native tongue. So to be understood, to be heard by many people who needed salvation and so that they would believe in the power of God through the Holy Spirit. Do we, as Christians, still have that spirit with us today? In a sense, yes we do. Wherever it is needed and necessary, the Holy Spirit will make it evident to those around that God is alive and well and working through us to bring the knowledge of Jesus to them.

Are these spiritual gifts necessary for salvation? No, they are not. They are manifestations, proof of salvation and validation of ministry if and when it is necessary to spread the gospel to others. There is an article which shows some of the differences between churches and I am giving the link to it here, and although I believe that we are all serving the same God our ideas about Him are very different which is what has separated us all along.

There are many names given to God by mankind over the years and many of them can be found in this article which is a good reference for exactly Who He is because these names are all in God’s Word so there is no dissension. God loves each of us, not just a few and not just those whom He calls to Himself, but many people in the world today don’t look at Him that way or think of Him that way.

Some people treat God like a genie or a grandfather. He is our CREATOR! He is GOD! There are and always have been three persons in the Trinity of God. There is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and it is the spirit which we have when we open our hearts to become Christians. No amount of speaking in tongues which can’t be understood will make your salvation more real. God still heals people today, maybe not in the most dramatic way but He does it just the same. Is there prophecy today? Yes, in the Word of God and in those who are preachers of that Word and no other!

How can we turn away from God and His nature of being a Triune Godhead? At Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove and lighted on Him, God spoke saying “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased”. You have the Trinity in that one place at the same time. David said that he needed the Spirit of God to give him strength, the Angel of the Lord has been identified as the pre-incarnate Christ and God the Father, our Creator, was present with Israel in numerous ways throughout their history and He is with us today!

The church shouldn’t be splintered and fractured, but it has been for hundreds of years and in the last one hundred years it has fractured even worse. Why? Because of the influence of Satan, in my opinion. He has infiltrated the church in the congregation and in the pulpit. Inserting his ideas and lies so that men will consider them to be their ideas and they sound just close enough to the truth until it becomes doctrine, yet it is not from God’s Word exactly…it just sounds like it. I pray that we will wake up and open our eyes spiritually before our Lord appears and many are left wondering what happened. Continue reading

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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.

For Mom

Do you visit her as much as you should or call her once or twice every week? Mothers give so much to each of us when we are children and as teens and they are valuable when we become parents too. So, why don’t we pay attention to their aches and pains and problems?

Usually when they get old enough for us to notice their infirmities, we are so busy with out lives until their problems are overlooked until an illness or some other problem arises that we can’t ignore and maybe she needs our help with. Sometimes, even those aren’t enough because she is too proud to ask for help, unless it is offered first. Why do we treat our mothers and sometimes our fathers too in this manner?

Because we have grown up and now we are parents and grandparents and time just gets away from us, we seem to not notice the time that we spend away from home. Even when they are asking for us to come visit or to bring our children to see them. They deserve to be able to see their grandchildren too.

Mother’s day is the first in the year that honors one of our parents and then there is father’s day. Why can’t we honor them both no matter what day of the year it is? Just a thought.

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.

Healing…

There are many times that we all need healing in one form or another. Healing from grief and pain in the loss of a dear friend or loved one. Healing from a disease or an accident. Healing from hurtful words or actions which, possibly a loved one, was said to you or done to you. Healing comes to each of us in many forms.

Which one do you need today?

Jesus can bring a healing spirit into your heart and change it from one that is mistrustful and alone to one that sees the good in people and comforts others when they feel down. Many times we feel that we are the ones who need the healing, but when we offer prayers and comfort to someone else we are the ones who get the most benefit. The love of God, which we bring to others through our prayers, works in both directions. It touches the one that we are praying for but it also flows through us and into us to heal us in ways that we don’t even know that we need.

Healing…is something that Jesus did when He was here and He is still doing it today. Through medicine and doctors and through our diet and exercise, we are healed and helped in ways that we didn’t understand could be done. A little change here, a walk for ten minutes or so, eating less red meat and more fish…these are little changes that we can do which will bring healing to us along with prayer.

Healing of our hearts and our souls, that is the very thing which Jesus can do even when we don’t think it is possible. Sometimes it will happen when we just don’t believe it or even when we don’t want it. God has His purposes and He works in our lives to fulfill His purposes in ways that we can’t imagine. Not that He forces us to do something, but the circumstances of our lives will work for His glory and our good…if we allow it to.

Unfortunately, we are the controllers of that part of our lives. By that I mean that we choose whether we will do this or that for God today or tomorrow, God doesn’t force us to follow His directions. He will allow us to fall and fail in our own attempts at doing what WE think is right and when we realize that it isn’t, then He will pick us up and begin again. Just as the potter at his wheel. The re-making and re-molding process isn’t pleasant, nor is it what we would want to experience most of the time, but in His process and His time we will do His will in our lives.

It may be just before the end of our lives, but it will accomplish that which He deems is necessary and glorious for His Kingdom. It will not show the type of glory that our world expects, but to God even a small coin is worth much more than gold when given with the right attitude.

So much fear and anger

The world is a place where many things happen “in the name of Allah”, many of them are caused by hate…why? What is the reason for hatred, fear and anger toward those who don’t follow your religion? Just because there are people who believe differently than you do is not a valid reason for this at all!

In some circles and belief systems the emotions of fear, anger and hate are looked upon as destructive emotions and that is exactly what they are. Fear in itself is not because a healthy fear of heights can save your life. A fear of death can keep you alive to live another day, depending upon your situation. Anger and hatred are more like acid and fire, keeping them inside can cause disease and death quicker than normal.

What am I writing this for? Because there is much fear and anger in our world today because of hatred. Those who cannot tolerate other religions besides their own bring this into focus on the daily news because of their actions. Why? I don’t know. I cannot understand the mindset of those who follow this way of life and living in order to kill others in the name of their “god”.

I saw an article earlier today from a woman in the Middle East who asked this same question but in a way that put Christians in the place of “radical Muslims”. How would the world feel about Christianity then? What would every person think about our religion if we did these things on a daily or weekly basis? We wouldn’t be living our lives according to the teachings of Jesus, that is for certain! So, why would the “prophet” encourage his followers of Allah to do this? There is no reason for this and it is the only religion in the world which is this violent and has been for hundreds of years.

Humanity can be better than this. We are not perfect and never will be in this life, but we can’t claim that our religion is the only one that should be followed. While it is true that according to the Bible, “God is a jealous god”, He is that way because He expected His people, the Jewish people, to be His priests and representatives to the world! They failed at their calling and didn’t recognize their Messiah when He did come to them. God doesn’t blame them or anyone else for this or any of the other sinful ways that we live our lives, but when you feel a call or prompting from the Spirit, don’t push it or Him away! You may never get another chance at this.

Move away from the hate and anger and move toward Jesus. Give your life and your heart to Him while you still have breath in your body and the ability to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Love…heals

A wise man once said that “Love heals all wounds.” It is true and it is a fact. Love is the only emotion which doesn’t hurt, the consequences of lost love are the pain and heartache but true love doesn’t hurt. It is true that those words are not in the Bible exactly, but since Jesus is the embodiment of God’s love toward us you can truthfully say that His Love heals all of our problems. I found this quote which supposedly came from an actor that I admire:

12391764_767543386681173_2827549231088575546_nHe experienced losing his wife a few years ago from an accident while skiing. I prayed for him in his sorrow and grief. That kind of loss would’ve hurt me deeply and I am sure it did him as well. The point of this is that the love that comes from God and your heart as well is a healing love, one that can do no harm.

The greatest of these is love is part of a chapter that I will share here. Think on this, pray about it today because in your sorrow and depression, God’s love can heal the wounds and the pain:

If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13)

God’s love never fails, so give Him a chance to prove it to you and He will.

Days, hours, minutes and seconds….

Our lives are measured by these as well as by years and decades, yet many people get hung up on their age and how they look or feel. I wake up in the morning, some days with pain and sometimes without, but if I worried about my age or the way that I feel…what good would that do me? I can’t change any of it, they don’t have a cure for arthritis of any kind, my balance cannot be restored as it was unless God heals me, so why should I worry? Jesus told His disciples not to worry because it was pointless, not the exact quote I know but you get the point.

You have likely heard it from family and friends, that there isn’t anything that you can accomplish by worry so just don’t! In the world that we live in, that is far easier said than done! God does love you, saint or sinner doesn’t matter, and by saint I don’t mean without sin I just mean that you have given your heart and life to Jesus. We are, all of us, sinners saved by the grace and mercy of God. What you or I choose to do with our position and our calling in Jesus will only determine our reward in Heaven. Your works on this Earth and this life don’t pave the road to get you there, Jesus did all that was necessary for your salvation.

The only part that we can play is to let others know about Him and the grace afforded to us through Him. Tell someone how Jesus has touched your life, in what way, show them the path to take to meet Him if they will follow. Time is growing short and we must be doing God’s work while we can. Worry only hinders your witness and your daily walk with Jesus and since you can’t have an impact on your situation in life, why not just give the problem to the One Who can do something about it?

How much will you give up?

We see the results of greed and avarice in life every day. Looking at those who flaunt it from Hollywood, it makes me sick. Look at the people on the different lists, such as Forbes 400 or some such list. The one question that I would like to ask all of them is this: “Are you happy?”

In truth, many of them are not. They worry about their money or their career or their investments or about whether they will win an Oscar or get on the list next year. I know that in their life and the career that many of them have chosen, these worries are legitimate concerns and I don’t begrudge them for any of that. But, have you slowed down your life enough to look around and see normal people and how they live?

Have you even considered a simpler life? One without all of the “stuff” that your house or your car or even your closet is full of now? I don’t mean giving away everything, because many of us won’t or couldn’t do that, but just cut back on the amount that you have. I mean, I know some of you collect cars but what can you do with fifty or one hundred cars other than dust them off and run their engines once or twice a year?

I think Thodo-better-life-quotes-on-simple-white-paper-with-yellow-frame-most-positive-quote-about-life-and-successreau had the best idea when he went into the woods for a few years alone and just lived simply. He certainly found out a lot about himself and what he could do without, and I think many of us need to do that too. Whether we will do it or even if we can do it is another thing altogether! This is one of those ideas that sounds good on paper, but when you think about it seriously most of the time it turns out to be hard to do.

Our lives should be simpler, easier to deal with on a daily basis but the times that we live in are not so easy to simplify. So, I ask you: What would you be willing to give up?

Many people would want to know what will they get in return for giving up something regardless of what they give up, so to that I would say: whatever you seek. In relation to that answer, I don’t mean to imply that giving up something will get you something else in this life, particularly if you are seeking after riches or other “stuff” that the world recognizes as rewards for doing something.  What I am speaking of is seeking after the Creator, which is what our soul…our spirit feels empty without that relationship.

This is the very reason that many people are constantly searching for happiness in life or wealth or fame or alcohol and drugs. We feel empty without God in our lives, but until we know Who we are searching for we don’t have a clue regarding where to look or what to look for, let alone Who to seek out. When you do finally get to the point of knowing that you can’t fill that place with anything that you do, many of us feel the need to cry out “Where are You?” or “What will fill me with Peace?”. Sometimes we find Him waiting patiently for us, but sometimes we are misled by Satan to follow a path which leads in the opposite direction.

It depends upon your ability to hear Him or your willingness to hear His voice. Why do I put it this way? Because God is not loud and boisterous like the ruler of this world is. We may notice a feeling or a pull toward looking for God in the Bible or at a church, but a friend or an event will scream loudly in your desirous heart for you to do or go somewhere else. It says, “Step of this path and follow me, it won’t be but just this once”, but eventually your steps will lead you so far away until you will feel like God won’t take me now.

Yes, He will. God used Moses who murdered an Egyptian, He used David who committed adultery and murder, He used Samson who ignored his Nazarite vows and did as he pleased until he was a slave to those that he was supposed to protect Israel from. God used a man by the name of Saul, a Pharisee who was zealous for getting rid of the people who followed the “Way”, and he ended up writing half of the New Testament! Yes, God can use you and your talent for His Kingdom and His purposes and it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past.

Give your heart and your life to Jesus and the rest of your life will be useful to Him. Forget about your past failures or your failings and get on with living for God. Even if your life ends sooner than you think, if someone sees your Christian walk while you are living then your life, however short, will not have been useless to Him.