people are never the enemy

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

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

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

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

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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.

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.

Understanding

I have been told that I don’t have any understanding about addiction. I’ll own that because I don’t want any understanding about it, at least not from the addiction and use of it!

I apologize to those who read my previous post about an accidental overdose that I experienced because I wasn’t careful about what I was doing. Yes, it was an accident. I didn’t do it to try out the addictive nature of opiates like hydrocodone.

While I was “feeling the effects” of it, a voice in my mind was telling me to try it again. I remember that very clearly but I also remember that feeling of not being in control, not being myself and feeling….well I am not sure what I was feeling, but it felt good for a while. The next day I was sick and nauseous all day, my eyes had pinpoint pupils, even the smell of food didn’t smell good to me.

Why am I writing this? Because, I am not judging anyone who is addicted to any kind of drug, but there is God Who can help in all types of addiction. Note, I didn’t say “a” God, but God Himself! Don’t pay attention to those who look down on your trouble, if they can’t get out of their own pew and get to know you and why things are happening or have happened to you, find another church! There are many who will help and can understand because, even though there are few who practice what Jesus taught us they do exist.

Thank you for telling me that I don’t know what I am talking about, at least that makes me feel like someone read my post for a change. I had intended to get rid of this blog, but maybe some part of it may help, if not then visit http://thelivingmessage.com, maybe some of what I put up there will give you some encouragement.

Addiction

You hear a lot about opium addiction and its derivative drugs from opium/heroin, so why is it so addictive? Because of the high that it gives, being such a euphoric feeling, even with a small amount of drug such as four milligrams of hydrocodone. It is a very easy and very much addicting group of substances.

Why am I bringing this up? I took a dose of cough medicine which had hydrocodone in it last night. I may have taken a little bit more than the amount the doctor told me to take, but I wasn’t expecting the reaction, the outcome, the high that just a little more put into my system. I didn’t take it to get high, I wasn’t taking it to “try it out”. I won’t be taking it ever again.

My point in this is: why would you do such a thing when it makes you feel terrible afterward? My entire day was blown yesterday and I was ill for almost the whole day. Did it feel euphoric while I was “high”, yes, but not worth doing it again that’s for sure!! Please read this as a warning, it is addictive and some of these new opiate drugs are even more addictive than what I took. Please seek out some other form of “high” if that is what you need!

Praying for all who read this. Seek out Jesus and His Salvation in your life, eternity is a better and LONGER high than anything here on this Earth! Amen?

Three words….

In the Old Testament, there are two words which contrast the way that God shows His love and patience for us, and they are “but God”. The third word is mostly seen in the New Testament and it is “therefore”. What do these words have to do with salvation or a sanctified life in Christ and in relationship with God?

They show us what His love for us means enough that He is about to do something which will make a difference in many lives, not just in one person’s life. The statements which come after these words most often signify a change for the entire human race regarding God’s love and patience toward us all.

When you see “therefore” in the New Testament, it means simply that whatever follows is done, period. Some examples of these words and what follows are listed here:

Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Genesis 31:42
If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.

Genesis 50:20
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

1 Samuel 23:14
David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands. 

The reason that I didn’t include “therefore” statements from the New Testament is because there are so many of them. Nearly every chapter in Matthew and Luke’s gospel has one. All of the letters which Paul wrote have them, so it would be prohibitively long.

All of these examples show that God cares for us, not just the Israelites but the whole of humanity! Why? Because, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to die in our place, to suffer the scorn and the abandonment upon the cross if He did not love us!

Why do you think that Jesus said to His disciples, “Suffer the little children to come unto me”, because children don’t need a “why” or a reason to believe…they just do! This is the kind of faith that we seem to lose as adults. We get so caught up in life and in our living until we can’t or won’t believe unless we can touch it or feel it in our hands. This is why there will be so many “Christians” in hell one day! Many of them think that they know Jesus and that they believe in Him, when they really believe in the idea of Him and His love for them. The “idea” won’t save their souls!

We have to shed our veil, the curtain which we have been seeing Him through and look at Him as our Creator and our Savior and see Him as a real and living person, not as a “quaint idea” that is spoken of in the Bible and at church. Many times during my life when I thought that I was a “Christian”, I prayed and I read a few verses of scripture. But, I never did get into the Temple. I never crossed the threshold of the outer court, let alone come into the Holy Places where God is. God enjoyed a relationship with Adam and Eve for a while, yet we don’t know how long it was. They were immortal at that point, so it could’ve been a long time. This is the sort of relationship that He wants with His church, His people today.

Do we come near to Him? Do we visit with Him every day or do we just visit for an hour or so on Sunday morning, then go home and don’t think about Him again until next week? How would you feel if that were your relationship with your spouse? Kinda cold isn’t it?

God loves you and me and everyone else on this world that He created for us, but we seem to forget that He is there. We don’t want to acknowledge Him unless we need Him for something, usually urgently…like RIGHT NOW!!

God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit don’t work like that! The Spirit comes to you when you become a Christian. He doesn’t come as a drip at a time, but as the whole package. Jesus saves you and you are to become more like Him as you mature in your walk, daily, as a Christian, studying the Word of God and learning from Him. God watches over you and me and everyone else and makes sure that all things work to our good and His glory IF we belong to Him. 

The church needs to understand that since we are the “body of Christ” until His return, we need to mature into people who are as priests in His Kingdom. We shouldn’t be acting like little children who don’t know better or who don’t know how to act like true Christians who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

Do you believe?

In the world today, there are many who don’t believe in Jesus or the Bible itself yet it is the inspired Word of God. Although many people don’t believe even that the Bible is God’s Word but just a collection of stories written by a bunch of men. The Bible is so much more than that!

It was written under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit and the words which are contained in it come from God. Yes, it was written by forty different men over a period of more than 1500 years. That in itself is amazing because if all of those men from different times, even centuries apart, could write a book which told of a Savior Who would come to save the world, then how could they have made the stories up?!

Belief is also bound up in faith because you can’t believe in the miracles or in our Savior without faith even if it is as small as a grain of mustard seed. The tiniest bit of faith can be used by God to accomplish many things, far beyond what you would think. When the will of God is involved in anything, it will be accomplished no matter the size of your faith!

Give your life and your heart to Jesus, as well as all that you have, and He will multiply it back to you and into His Kingdom in ways that can’t be imagined. I pray that this will encourage you to follow Jesus and ask Him into your life. Why? Because, I have to…it is my job to tell others about Him! I can’t keep quiet because He is in control and His power goes into the world to heal from this time forward! God has not stopped healing or mending broken hearts and lives.

Thank you for your time and may God richly bless you in all of the ways that you need, in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

Too much negativity

Every day we hear negative things being said about people in our society and by the political machine which has been going on for about 1 1/2 years or so. What good does all of this sniping and complaining do? None of it does anything positive for the country nor does it make each candidate look any better in the eyes of the voters.

Can we do anything about it? No, probably not, particularly because we live in such a “politically correct” society, not just in America but the entire world seems bent on not hurting people’s feelings. Yet, they are perfectly fine with killing babies in and out of the womb, and it doesn’t matter if someone kills himself or herself by being blown up by a bomb so that they can kill many people in the process.

Many of those who are being killed are Christians and they are being killed because of their faith in Jesus! This is only going to get worse. Politicians are talking about how they will do away with ISIS because of their terrorism toward us and Israel, but they have no clue how to go about it. I am sure that many of you who will read this will wonder why I am adding to the pile of negative junk in the media. My reason is that there is Hope!

Being PC in this world just shows that our ignorance is showing and that everyone can see it. Why? Because everything that is on the news these days is backwards and out of touch with the majority who believe one way while the ones who are crying or whining about some injustice make up only one to three percent of the population. Just as in a schoolroom full of children, one who is crying will get far more attention than 40 who are not, that is our society today.

One day very soon, Jesus is going to come back and take His church home. It will not matter whether you believe in Him or not, those of us who have given our hearts and our lives to Him will be taken up and away from here. Some say this is going to happen before the “anti-Christ” shows up, but I believe that we will be present during part of the Tribulation.

God will try us all by the fire of Satan’s wrath to be sure of those who believe in Jesus. Many will fall away from the faith, many will abandon their religious background and the church that they grew up in. The things which are happening right now are what Jesus spoke of as being the birth pains before the event which will rock the whole world to its core. Please seek Jesus in your life, in your Bible and your church while there is still time. We have the way to eternal life and it is belief in Jesus but if you refuse, then you only have yourself to blame.

I bring this up because it is my job to do so. I was called by God to be a pastor so I am doing the best that I can while I can to tell as many as possible about Jesus and His offer of salvation. Do I get any points for doing this? No, unless you accept Jesus as your Savior. Then, I will get to meet you in eternity and I will gain a brother or sister in Christ! Don’t turn away from Jesus while there is still time to ask Him to heal your broken heart or your relationships! He made the entire cosmos with His Word, so I believe He can do anything that you ask of Him, especially forgiving you and bringing salvation into your heart.

Understanding

In society and in our homes, we need more understanding between family members and people in general. Is being understood really that hard? Even in churches, it is sometimes hard to get along with people and it takes an understanding heart to do so. So…how can we manage to do this? Is it even possible without the help of the Holy Spirit?

I don’t have the answer to this question and I can’t find the answer except by prayer and reading in God’s Word! Why do I always go there? Because God is our Creator and our Savior and His wisdom is so far above the wisdom of mankind, that’s why I go to Him for all of my answers.

I know that He won’t lie to me and His answer will always be the right answer! God loves each of us and HE wants us to be happy and healthy. If we aren’t, it may be due to our own actions or it is because we haven’t followed closely enough when walking with Him. Understanding life and all of the things in it is hard to do, because it is like being a parent. There is no manual, no study guide to help you with caring for and raising a child unless you use the Bible as your manual. The wisdom contained in it surpasses all of the philosophy classes in any college.

We are flawed human beings and we all make mistakes. God is perfect and able to help us with our life and with raising children because we are all His children. He has had many years of experience, so going to Him should be a decision which is a “no brainer”! Can you raise a child without Him or His wisdom? Yes, but their life and yours will be exposed to more trouble and pain than it would’ve been if you had sought out His wisdom first.

Truth, what is it?

In today’s society what is the truth? Many people seem to think that it is relative to each individual. What is true for me may not be true for you.

Okay, does the Sun come up in the East? True fact. It sets in the West. True fact. Summer is usually very warm if not hot. True fact. There are many paths to get to Heaven and be accepted by God. FALSE!! See how easy it is to narrow down what is true and what is not!

God set in motion all of the planets and stars in their orbits and in their courses. Fact. Satan is going to help you get everything that you want in this life. This is one of his promises, and it may come true for some people. The key to that sentence is “in this life”, he will not lead you into Heaven. He may make you think that is where his path goes, but when you stand before God at the end of your life you will give account of everything that you did or said. If you didn’t accept Jesus as your Savior before your life ends here, then your eternity will be with Satan.

God wants each of us to have a chance at eternal life with Him so if you have heard the gospel, don’t turn away from it.

Even Pilate, who questioned Jesus, asked Him “What is truth?” He didn’t know that he was speaking to the Creator and Author of Life and truth. God has given us much in this world, yet we look around and ask, “Where is God?”!  Really? Look at all of the LIFE that is concentrated here on this small planet! Evolution cannot explain this because there is no way that chance mutations produced all of the life on this world in the time that most scientists believe that it has been here. Even if you extend the time to include the age of the cosmos itself, moving from some single-celled organism to everything on the Earth in that amount of time has been modeled by computers as being impossible.

God has given us everything in its season and He gave us this small planet to live upon. Whether you believe it or not, truth is found only in God’s Word and in Him. Seek Him while there is yet time to do so, don’t fool yourself into thinking that mankind’s truth is better than God’s. Make sure of your salvation while there is time, while you are alive, because when this life is over, there is no chance to change what you had the time for during your life here.