He.Is.God!

My walk with Christ has suffered tremendously. And, in all honesty, it’s been no one’s fault but my own.

Bless you for stopping by and reading my post! Please remember today that God made you carefully and wonderfully. You are a precious to Him!

I try very hard to make certain I spend a significant time with God every day. I try. I often fail and when I do the yucks come in. Not demons or some sort of Langolier monster thing, just knowing I haven’t taken the time to acknowledge my “Room Mate.” I try to see Him that way so I know I can’t just go on without talking to Him. He’s always there, so it’s important I speak to Him. As my Friend.

Anyway, if you have been following my life, you know the last few years have been rather tough. As Christians, we tend to try and keep all the negative bottled up because we don’t want people we are trying to witness to see that even as Christians, our lives can be terrible. That we can go through the worst things possible too. And, I am trying to be open about my faults, my mistakes and the fact that I have gone through H E double toothpicks. Not the real one, not the literal hell, just a very difficult season.He.Is

My walk with Christ has suffered tremendously. And, in all honesty, it’s been no one’s fault but my own. But, the results are that my marriage failed, I have wandered from job to job, I’ve failed as a father, I have become very ill and morally failed as well. So, now you know too much. But in all this, my God never let me down. He just didn’t.

As I have never made it a secret, you know I love to write. And I write about anything. I have two books in the works and will begin on another here in a couple of weeks. I write on subject matter, reviews, newspaper articles. I have written obituaries, front page and local sports. I write Christian stories, science fiction and detective stories. And page after page of website content. Whatever my mind tends to.

One of my favorite things to write is songs. And I have written quite a few. Never made a dime off of them, but you can’t write just for that. In all honesty, some are pretty good. Mostly Christian and Praise and Worship. God is my source. Always in everything, He is my source.

About 3 years ago, I started a song called “Your Amazing Grace.” No plagiarism here, it does not resemble the great John Newton’s hymn in any way, it simply uses the term reference. I haven’t sung it in a long time. I play the tenor guitar and without it, I sound like a baritone chicken being strung up for dinner. I say I started the song because many times, just like my other writings, I don’t always finish it. But today, I pulled it out and decided to sing it in my morning worship time. Here are the words:

You said, “Seek me, come unto me, and you will find me”
I give all I have, I trade everything to call You my God

Everything for the cost of the Way, for the journey
My home, my possessions, all I’ve understood
To see You, face to face
To know you, and your amazing grace

You said, “Come follow me, you will do greater things”
I  chase after You, I follow You as I never have before

The words He gave me years ago now apply directly to my life. It would be hard for me to fully explain. But those of you who know me well and what the last few years have been like will probably understand better. I do apologize for not completely explaining.

But here’s what I take from this, God knows what our future is going to be like. He knows about the ups and downs we are facing. Before we face them. Can He change things? Actually, not as much as you would think. God is bound by His word. He gave mankind free will, to make decisions on his own. Can He override that? Well, to be honest, I’m not sure. He is God and has the ability, I suppose. But He will not break character either.

And His greatest character is that He loves. He is love! We may be with Him in Glory for a million years and still only comprehend a small portion of Who He is. But I do know this one thing: He.Is.God!

Blessing to you!
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Cynicism on Sunday

Sometimes, it’s better to just remain quiet…

Greetings to you on this beautiful Sunday morning. cynSunHave a blessed day in the Lord on the Lord’s day! For all days are His.

I cannot equate my life and my existence and my experiences as something out of the ordinary or of some great consequence. In other words, I’m a nobody. No, no, don’t argue. I really am. And it’s fine. I am somebody with Christ and that is most important. What I mean is that there is little chance my work will ever find it’s way into the great annals of life. It’s okay, I’m not looking for some kind of sympathy or anything like that. Please, follow me here.

I recently was looking for a graphic to use in one of my blogs.Any significant artistry that I use, I like to try and credit the work. It can be rather difficult  since some pictures get used so much it’s hard to trace it back to the source. But, in the process of searching for the artists name, I stumbled across a blog that had used it. I began reading the man’s writ and found myself getting confused and depressed.

In our effort to “expositate” all we feel God has laid before us, we sometimes spend much of our time muddying the waters more than bringing out God’s promises and blessings. It’s not the job of the preacher, teacher, apostle, prophet, writer (or whatever category you are in when it comes to showing God to the world) to make the “hidden secrets” of God even more mysterious and difficult to understand.

When we talk about God, we should promote Him, not hide Him in a way that makes us feel superior. I’ve had people tell me they could never write the way I do. And while that makes me feel good, it does not give me license to be something I am not. Let me explain what I saw in this blog.

It was an opinion of one concerning the resurrection of Lazarus. In the end, the writer was more concerned about how awful it was for Lazarus to have to die a second time than about the miracle of bringing him back to life. That the action was selfish on the part of his family and Jesus because they were friends.

I am always just a little “heart sick” when I see this sort of thing. God never meant that moment to be anything less than amazing. And, I guess, more than anything, I never want my blog to be something that takes the crazy amazing things of scripture and turn them into something that becomes critical of God.

God is, was and is forever. His ways are not our ways. The moment we get it all, we’re in so much trouble it ain’t funny! You ever sat down to a meal at a restaurant with someone who just never stops complaining about it all? The prices, the serving sizes, the poor service? This, that and all of it? Too much? Yeah, me too. Makes you want to get up and walk away.

I feel that some can do “Christianity” exactly the same way. And I think that Jesus likely wants to just get up and walk away. So, I am asking my readers to check me on it. Feel free to call me out when I get to complaining here. When I get nit picking about the life Jesus gave me. Of course, I’m not likely to condemn the miracles of Christ. Nonetheless, we must stay vigilant.

I hope you have a miracle infused Sunday!
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Blessed Be The Lord!

Do you ever feel like God has singled you out to bless you? He has!

Okay, sipping my cinnamon coffee, awake and ready for the day! Join me? Okay, happy  Saturday, let’s go!

God is so good! I sometimes have to get that statement in my head by force. I think that’s okay. When the circumstances Presentation1we are in don’t seem so wonderful, I believe it’s fine to remind ourselves that God is good despite not feeling that way.

In church, we often are “pulled” into that realm where the presence of the Holy Spirit is so fantastic we cannot even begin to describe it. If you haven’t experienced that, I highly recommend it. God is not just the God of the spiritual, but he loves to wander through the reality we live in and “zap” us with His crazy presence. I can give you examples of just that in my own life, but maybe another time. The point I want to make is that when God’s presence isn’t being felt… When the air doesn’t float with His touch… Presentation2When He is not in the middle of revealing something you can’t possibly describe, He is still good.

When the electric bill arrives with a few surprises and it’s about to get shut off, He is still good. When the boss decides you are his target for the day, God is still good. When the car breaks down. When your teeth ache and you find the insurance doesn’t cover dental anymore. When the neighbor dumps his trash all over your yard. When you burn dinner…God is good, Blessed Be the Lord!

We’re not called in this life to understand God. It’s wonderful GodisGoodthat you want to understand Him, that is exactly how we should be because in order to understand something you must seek to know it better. It is the same with God, always seek to know and understand Him better. But know in the midst of that that He is so big and amazing, you “ain’t” gonna get it all. And most, when times are hard, it can be very hard to understand why He isn’t taking care of it all. I’d love to have a pat answer for you, but the reality is that the rain falls on the just and the unjust (Matt 5:45). Many of the great people of the Bible dealt with frustrations as well. Read Job. Talk about dealing with “stuff.” He said, ““Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  So, life happens, God is Good! We’re not made to understand it all, we are made to walk in faith when it just doesn’t make sense. And, believe me, I know that can be hard. In fact it might be one of the hardest parts of the Christian walk.

One of the side affects of today’s technology and medical advancements is the ever increasing desire to understand everything. And we simply cannot “understand” all there is about God. One of my “creeds” that I have posted about several times is that if we can figure out God with our feeble little minds, then He’s not much of a god. But one thing I can assure all, God is good, all the time!

Blessings! You might receive a large number of posts today as I am trying to switch all my archives over from the other site. As I bring them here, they will naturally post, sorry for the spam, but you might find something good to read!

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The Three Levels Of Forgiveness

Did you ever realize that there’s more forgiveness than just being forgiven for your sins?

Blessings on this most wonderful day! God has something more for you today than just the ho-hums! So, get your coffee and sit for a spell while we discuss God’s crazy amazing love!

The 3 Levels of Forgiveness

Let’s get right to it. I hate all the jibber jabber leading up to the point.

Level One: Forgiveness of Sins
You must be born again! From my favorite book, Ephesians, verse 1:7, “In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Okay, so a quick theological statement here, -His blood spilled in place of ours allowing us to become “clean” and have our sins forgiven. Because He has such an amazing level of grace. I just throw that in to define the scripture for you if you need it.

But, here’s the point: We need this first level of forgiveness to truly reach the next level. We also need it to be saved and bound for Glory. So, Level One is the forgiveness of sin.

Level Two: Forgiveness of Self
Some people will breeze through this. In fact, some never even have to slow down here. But that’s not everyone. Here’s what happens sometimes:

Say a person lived the life of just day to day and nothing really bad. In other words, maybe they haven’t been saved, but they haven’t really been a terrible person either. Or, the other end of the spectrum, mass murderer, generally a really bad dude.Prison, all that stuff. Either of these (or somewhere in between) can become nearly stopped in their tracks at this point. They see the love and the mercy of God. His purity overcomes them and they begin to compare who they are with who He is. Their past with His past and their future with Him. It looks impossible.

They have been forgiven of their sins, but they struggle to reconcile their “dirtiness” with His cleanliness. They have to forgive themselves. To move on, regardless of how bad they might or might not have been, they have to learn that what they were is no longer what they are. Self forgiveness coincides with His forgiveness.

Level Three: Forgiveness of Others
This can be a really big one. Now, like Level Two, someunforgiveness may never have this problem. But, I bet, most do. They may move on fast, but speaking from personal experience, it’s usually an ongoing thing. In Matthew 6, Jesus said, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will the Father forgive your trespasses.”

There’s two ways to take that. 1) God will literally not forgive you if you do not forgive others. Or, 2) The unforgiveness will eat you alive. Here’s my experience: Having things stuck in your head about something someone has done to you or done to someone else and it affected you somehow, is a disease. Unforgiveness is a disease.One that kills you from the inside out and murders your relationship with God. It is an open door to a myriad of both spiritual and physical problems.

You must learn to get that out of you as fast as it arrives. Don’t let it build up. If you do, it’s just that much harder to get it out. There is an amazingly simple way to remedy the problem and the Bible speaks of it time and again. You don’t need any special giftings or any kind of training. You simply have to learn to bring it to Jesus. Write it down if you need to so you will remember. I have found my struggles (all of them) are directly related to how much I talk to Jesus about them. It’s not some crazy big secret, you just gotta take it to God. And…not to Facebook. Oh please. Feel free to let people know you need prayer, but anything like this posted on Facebook is gossip and you are setting yourself up for a MAJOR fall! If you are taking your problems to Facebook instead of God…well you decide who your god is. But, hey, (as Kermit says) that’s none of my business.

A very old, tried and true remedy. And simple. Talk to Jesus about it. Often!

Blessings!
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A Salutation of Note

Blessings this beautiful August morning! There is much in the world today that may cause you worry. Today, hand that worry over to Jesus and rest in the fact that He has overcome the world. Seek Him today and let Him give you peace.

peaceIf you read the New Testament much you know that Paul the Apostle is the author of many of the those books. He is ascribed 13 of them, but there are arguments from some that think he wrote more and some that think he wrote less. I have little patience for those who fight over authorship because I know it was essentially all written by God.

Paul often begins his letters with a salutation. Or a greeting. Many times in his greetings there are real nuggets of gold. A great lesson in itself. I found one such and I’m sure I am not the first to spot it, but it really spoke to me so I thought I’d share it. So, here we go. Romans, chapter 1:1-7. We’ll read the whole greeting.

“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God 2 which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

I want to focus on just a couple of verses, 3 and 4. There’s actually several important teachings here, but I just want to chat about this part.

Let’s re-read these two verses:
3 concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh,
4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

I believe we have to remember who we are. I mean, as Christians. We are born flesh and blood. Then, we are born again as Christians. So, like Christ, we are born in the flesh and then “Declared to be the ‘Children’ of God.” Are you still with me?

At this point Jesus is “with power…” Of course, we know He would not have been the Christ without power. Don’t forget the words he Himself said, we would do greater works than even He has (John 14:12). How? With the power He himself had.

But there’s a catch. Read the rest of the statement. “According to the Spirit of holiness…” We can say until we are blue in the face that we are the Children of God, but power (spiritual gifts, healing, prophecy, etc.) doesn’t come JUST from the Declaration of who we are, but what we do. Are we holy? Now, I’m not looking for a theological debate on whether or not we are holy by the holiness of Christ. Remember the passage in Romans 12…verses 1 and 2? We are supposed to change. Holiness is one of those changes.

Power to work in the strengths and giftings of God comes with holiness. Basically, the act of becoming more like Jesus. Learning to abstain from the things of the world that separate us from God.

“So, you’re saying I can’t watch TV anymore? I can’t listen to music that’s not Christian? I can’t dink wine anymore?” Please, I know that some of these questions and others like them will pop up. It’s inevitable. But there’s one simple answer to all of these. Does it take away from God’s time?

As usual, I’m getting off track. The essence of what I am showing you is that holiness is one of the great keys to working in the power of the Holy Spirit. If you want to see greater things, then greater changes have to take place. I am learning that in my own life. Remember the old saying…Doing things the same old way and expecting a different result is the true meaning of insanity. If you’ve tried a thousand times with no answer…no results, then it’s possible that there’s something wrong with you and your methods. I only say that because I am learning that me and my methods aren’t working. Don’t mess with my grammar.

Blessings today! And from here on…

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P.S. – My blog location continues to evolve, so changes may still be coming. I will endeavor to keep you posted! And, for those who receive this automatically, as I update my archives, you will get extras that you may have already seen.

 

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What’s Worship All About?

Morning everyone! Got your coffee in hand? Blessings upon you and your loved ones today! Happy Book Lovers Day! And what book could a person love more that the Bible? So, in the comments, let me know your favorite Book of the Bible and your favorite book that is not the Bible. My favorite Book of the Bible is Ephesians and my favorite book other than the Bible is… I couldn’t tell you. I have read thousands of books in my life, mostly science fiction, but picking a single favorite is really hard. Anyway, please take a second and comment your favorites. Leave your name so I know who it came from!

What Is Worship?

I want to talk a little about worship. We know there are many forms of worship, but I want to focus for just a moment on songs. Just because it is a song about God, a Christian song as it were, does not make it a “worship song.” In a way, anything we do that glorifies God is a form of worship, but a song of worship is a song that is directed at God in a way that glorifies Him and loves on him.

Now, keep in mind I am not song bashing here, but I notice that in “worship time” we quite often sing songs that in no way love on or glorify God. They are songs about God but not really singing to Him. Let me give you an example:

“It Is Well With My Soul”
“When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

And on it goes to the chorus. Now, get me straight here before you jump all sideways on me. I am not bad mouthing this song. It is a beautiful song with a wonderful message. It is a hymn, older than dirt, but very much a legitimate song even for today. One of my all time favorite songs is a hymn, so I love them and they have a wonderful place in today’s churches. But… It’s not a song that praises God. It is worship in a very mild format. Again I am NOT bad mouthing Christian songs in this format.

Christian songs come in many styles and genres. It would be impossible to fully explain it all here. I am not a song know it all, but music is a very big part of my life and has been since I was a child. And honestly, I love all genres to a point. But I’m getting off point here.

So, what is my point? I think that when we come together to worship, we should in fact worship. I feel that far too often we are singing songs that were just handy or that we know well. You may ask why worship is so important? Well, first of all (among many reasons) worship is the single thing we can give to God. In all formats of worship (our time, our money, our praise), it is the only thing we can give to God that he doesn’t have. It is the greatest way to say thank you for all He has done for us.

Also, He asks for it. He is telling us to worship Him. And, the Word tells us He inhabits the praises of His people. Essentially, He becomes “heavier” in worship. That’s why many miracles and words of prophecy and so on happen in that time. It’s too much to go into here, but I have had God’s strong touch happen to me more than once in corporate worship.

True Worship Songs?

So what is a true worship song? Well, a real worship song will always have the subject focus in it to be God. Whether it is directly speaking to Him or indirectly. A song that speaks directly to God is the greatest of worship songs. We are telling God how much we love Him directly. Like a prayer, only it is focused on just telling Him of His goodness. Here’s an example:

“Awesome In This Place”
“You are awesome in this place, Mighty God
You are awesome in this place, Abba father
You are worthy of all praise, to you our lives we raise
You are awesome in this place, Mighty God.”

Do you see the difference? Not every worship song is directed to Him, but the greatest are.

Worship songs that speak of Him are still worship. They do not speak to Him but speak of Him. As though we were speaking to the world about how wonderful He is. I feel these are legitimate worship songs as well. Again, here’s an example of what I am talking about:

“How Great Is Our God”
“The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the Earth rejoice, all the Earth rejoice
He wraps Himself in light and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice, trembles at His voice.”

In this song, it’s as if we are telling those around us about how awesome God is. It is very much a worship song, but indirectly as it is like we are bragging about God to someone else.

Worship songs never talk about how tough life is. They don’t talk about how the world hates us. They don’t talk about the devil. That’s one you really gotta watch out for. Imagine, singing songs in “worship time” that reference the fallen? But, it happens a lot. I think the biggest problem that happens is that the person deciding what songs to sing has never learned of the responsibility of the “worship leader.” Leading God’s people in worship is never secondary to any other “position” in church. But, many places today do exactly that.

God blesses the most during worship. No other time does it say He inhabits. Not the preaching, not the offering time, not the prayer time. Just the praise time.

Worship is almost always the first thing we do in church. Why? Is it tradition? Nope, it’s because His presence comes in during that time and we take advantage of that to have Him involved in the remainder of the service. If there is interruption during worship, it will set the tone of the remainder of the service. The anointing will be “resistant” over all of the service. Including the Word. I used to be a pastor and having a lack of anointing during the Word because of messy worship is devastating. Most preachers who struggle with this likely have no idea what’s going on.

Think About It!

Now you know, worship time in song is not just a bunch of songs thrown together haphazardly. The entire time should be led of the Lord from start to finish. Choosing the songs, the singing, the leading, the sensitivity to God’s presence. And what is being said in the songs.

Blessings – Hey, I’m not a know it all and I can take a little correction. Let me know if  you agree or even if you think I’m somewhere out in deep left field.

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The Slippery Slope

This was just going to be a Facebook post, but I had so much to say on it…

I am a patriot and I abhor terrorism. Make no mistake. And I know the truth about Islam. I just read how Italy wants to stop allowing mosques to be built. Presumably to halt the spread of terrorism.

 

Here’s the slippery slope: as we (humans) put a stop to a religion, that will naturally spread to religionS…plural. Yeah, all of them. Will that happen? Can that happen?

Slowly but surely, Christianity is getting a bad name. It was once the accepted religion in America and respected around the world as a religion that teaches love. What happened? Did it change? Did something in Christianity change? Is there some alterations that took place?

The Bible is no different today than it was a likeMehundred years ago. The truth is that the world has become a much smaller place than it was and the actions that are now sin (and always were) have become (for many of them) acceptable behavior. In our effort to ensure equal rights and proper treatment of people, we have allocated certain sins to be a person’s “lifestyle” and their choice, thereby removing the penalty. People will stand before God accounting for sins that society told them were not sins. Too bad it won’t make any difference at that point.

Any time someone feels different, the media or some politician jumps on the bandwagon to charge forth proclaiming that this is the new norm. Meanwhile, the Bible still claims these sins to be sins. And while the entire Christian belief is based on love regardless, these protagonists twist it into a book of hate. And, inversely, Islam to be a wonderful religion. But, as people come to see that much of it is about “killing or converting” people, they react with finality. “Get rid of religion altogether!” That’s the crux!

I am a Christian. I am not less or no more human than anyone else. My belief and my faith are all based in love. If you refuse my witness, I will not like or love you any less. I will not blow up your home or shoot you for doing something sinful. I will always love you no matter what you do or what you believe. I do not judge you, I love you. But I won’t say everything you do is okay. I won’t point it out because I do love you, but if you ask (you’d be surprised how many will) I won’t lie to you either. Heaven longs for you. It’s up to you whether you want to get on the bus.

Christianity is based entirely upon the Bible. And mostly what Jesus taught. He is the Christ (Messiah) and that’s where the word Christianity comes from. The last thing He told His disciples to do was to go into all the world and tell people about Him and get them saved. So, if you don’t understand why some Christian wants you to know about Jesus, well, now you do.

Blessings,

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Note: This is an archive update. You may have seen this article before.

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