Confidence

You hear and read about how to be more confident in yourself and your abilities. Exactly what does that mean? I understand that many of us lack the confidence to step out in faith at times. Some of us are not confident in our own ability to do this or that, specifically if it has to do with speaking or something that involves public anything.

There are many books out there telling you how to be more confident in your ability or in your calling. But, how do we do these things confidently and boldly..particularly in our ministry? You didn’t know that you had one of those, did you? Well, every believer has a ministry of some kind because when you were saved it was planted in your new life. You may not be fully aware of it yet or you might have felt God drawing you toward it, but it is there.

We are given a portion of talents and abilities by God when we are born yet some of them don’t manifest themselves until we are born into God’s family. So, what are these abilities? Only God knows what He has given you, but He will reveal them to you when you need them.

God uses each of us in ways that we can’t understand just as He did in the Bible with His disciples and His prophets in the Old Testament. Some of us feel weak and unworthy to be His servants yet He can use each of us in ways which we cannot see prior to His intervention in our lives. Sometimes, He will even break you in a way that He has to heal you or put you back together and He will do it so that you will be more useful to Him in the end.

When God does this, it may hurt for a while but as long as you stay the course and follow His lead, giving Him the glory for healing you and making you a better person, then you will come out on top every time. He used sorrow and pain to bring many people to their knees and seek Him in order for them to be even more useful in His Kingdom. Life drags all of us down at times and occasionally it is God allowing this in order for us to look to Him for strength and guidance through it.

I know it sounds as if I am blaming God for all of our troubles but I am not. Yes, He does use those troubles in our lives for His purposes, but it is not His hand which is dealing each of us the hurts and the ailments which we live with daily. Is life and living hard today? At times it is. Consider that there are numerous diseases which are around which didn’t exist thirty years ago. Many of them have been caused by genetically modified organisms like the sugar beets, corn, soy, wheat and canola which produce much of our food products today or they are fed to the animals which become our food.

Why did I mention these products? Because, forty years ago most of them didn’t exist and many of the “new” diseases that you see on the TV didn’t exist either, including many of the cancers that are killing so many today. How do I know that this is happening? I have suspected it for a long time and during my research, I found a study which speaks of some doctors which put many of their patients on organic food as a prescription for health. Many of those patients had problems which are consistent with cancers, arthritis of differing kinds, bowel disorders and even dementia. With the organic food and diet, many of these were lessened or even reversed entirely.

So truthfully we have caused our own health crisis. Not individually, but the pesticide and seed companies which have modified strains of certain vegetables to be resistant to their pesticides and herbicides. Then the animals eat these and are given hormones and antibiotics to protect them, but what are the effects of us eating these? The so-called “research” is paid for by these companies and makes it seem legitimately harmless.

So, we have caused much of our own suffering, yet God can use this to bring us closer to Him. Follow God and trust Him in all your ways.

In His service.

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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.

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!

What do you want?

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

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

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

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

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

Are you sure?

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

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

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

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

Why worry?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Life…what does it mean?

Life is a breath and a heartbeat,

It is also a time to remember.

How much you have learned

And what you may have forgotten.

 

Life is a baby’s laugh, a beautiful sunrise,

It is also the dew in the morning and a

Cool breeze in the day. Life, what does it mean?

 

It is your day beginning with a prayer,

It is you going through the day in an

Attitude of prayer and it is that day ending with

Thanksgiving to God for that day.

 

Life…what does it really mean? Time enough

To do the task for which you were born, and

To realize that you are not in charge. God is.

 

It is God who gives you each breath, each heartbeat

And the ability to take each step in your journey. So,

Where does your life take you?

 

Seek out the Creator and give your life to Him,

So that He can give you an eternity to know why

Your life was important.

What do you believe?

It seems that some people believe that Earth is an entity and that “she” is Gaia, the mother of all life. Others look at nature and the world around them and see gods inhabiting everything, even themselves. Then some don’t believe in any god or gods at all and just believe that when they die, they will just be in the ground and that their life ends when they breathe their last breath on Earth.

There are many other beliefs in this world from one end of the spectrum to another. From no gods exist and neither does the devil, to at least one religion which has millions of gods. We all have our own beliefs but will those beliefs gain us entrance into Heaven or will they send us to hell? The only belief which will get you or me into heaven for eternity is belief in Jesus and in His atonement for your sins.

God has extended His grace toward us in the Person of His Son, Jesus, and the atonement which is through His blood shed for our sins, all of them. God doesn’t require you to believe in Him or His Son, except if you want to have Heaven as your eternal home. You can live your life the way that you wish and be just as happy or miserable as you want, but if you deny the love of God and the atonement given to you through Jesus then your eternity will be without Him.

You can call it hell or Hades or whatever name you wish to give it, but there will be no light, no love, no relief from any punishment that exists there. Since hell was designed as punishment for Satan and his fallen angels, he will make sure that your eternity will be no different from his.

God loves us and Jesus came as the expression of His love toward us so that our sin wouldn’t separate us from Him through eternity. God enjoyed talking and walking with Adam in the garden and He will walk with you if you will ask Him into your heart. He wants a relationship with us and that is another reason why Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

So…what do you believe? Who do you believe in? Do you believe in anyone or anything outside of yourself?

The best news that I have for you is that God knows you better than you know yourself. He is waiting for you to come to Him, knowing that you can’t do it on your own and that you need Him. Why? Because all of us need Him. To give us a purpose and a reason to be, to live, and to work in His Kingdom. There is no higher calling than to be a son or daughter of God. Consider it…then go after Him with all that you have! Why?

What have you got to lose? He owns everything because HE is the Creator! He created you for a reason and He is the only way that your reason can be found! No job can do that, no amount of money or prestige can do that, no other person can give you that fulfilling love and a feeling of being loved by God!