Tag Archives: belief

He’s Making a List…..

As the song says,

He’s making a list

checking it twice

gonna find out

whose naughty and nice

This may be true for good old Santa Claus. We are told he keeps a list in hopes of manipulating us into toeing a line of good behavior. His list is supposed to have the names of the naughty and nice children but I have never heard of any naughty ones. Have you? Perhaps there were naughty children who got coal for Christmas in a land long ago and far away but to my knowledge every one gets on the “Nice” list these days.

Sadly, this mind set has carried over into the secular thoughts about God and Heaven. Some people see God as a Santa in the sky Who they can make a wish to when they want something.  Furthermore, there is the belief that all the world will eventually be seen as “nice” or just and therefore will be saved. There’s never a thought of whether or not they are naughty or nice. If there is any guilt about bad behavior they simply bargain the consequences away promising to do better if He will only just come threw this time for them.

God is concerned with whether or not we do the right thing although His idea of “Nice” is not the same as ours. We can try to live a good life and be a good person but by whose standards do we see “Good”? God gave us the Ten Commandments to show us what is expected of us and to open our eyes to the fact that we can never live up to them. At least not by ourselves. He is ready willing and able to help us live that victorious life. This is the very reason we have this holiday season. It’s a very well known passage of scripture but always bears repeating –

 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 NKJV

Our in ability to live up to Gods Standard of righteousness (otherwise referred to as Sin), is the very reason we needed a Savior. God Almighty sent the answer to our sin problem. Rather than just let us wallow in our inability He freely chose to come to us and take on our fragile form and pay the penalty for our sins. There is, however, one very simple condition that is left for us. We have to accept that this was done for us because we are sinners and repent of our sinfulness. Once we do this we can honor His sacrifice by letting Him lead us down a path of righteousness – His righteousness.

For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:37 NKJV

But this salvation the Savior brings requires an action on our part. It isn’t just given to us the day we are born. we have to accept this gift by recognizing our need and asking Jesus to be our Lord as well as Savior. It really is that simple. Thankfully!

But although he made the world, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. Even in his own land and among his own people, the Jews, he was not accepted. Only a few would welcome and receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.  All those who believe this are reborn!—not a physical rebirth resulting from human passion or plan—but from the will of God. John 1:10-13 LB

 The Reason 1

He’s making a list and I hope your name is on it because one day there will be a reading of the lists and a separating of the naughty and the nice – Jesus told us about that day several times –

 “Just as in this story the thistles are separated and burned, so shall it be at the end of the world: I[will send my angels, and they will separate out of the Kingdom every temptation and all who are evil,  and throw them into the furnace and burn them. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the godly shall shine as the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Let those with ears, listen!  Mat 13:40-43

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”Acts 16:29-31 LB

This may not be the usual or politically correct Christmas message but the truth can be hard to hear sometimes but nevertheless needs to be stated………

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR FRIENDS

and God Bless you in the New Year, Al and Betty

"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" is a Christmas song. 
It was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie

the first commandment with a promise

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6: 1-3 NKJV

That it may go well with you and you may live long.

The Living Bible translates this scripture like this –

This is the first of God’s Ten Commandments that ends with a promise.  And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing.

Whatever translation you choose to read the idea still resounds. God will reward you for honoring your parents.

See also Exodus 20:12  and Deuteronomy 5:16 NKJV

On this Mothers’ Day as we salute our Moms  and celebrate their devotion in raising us through the years we need to remember that not all Moms are feeling loved and appreciated today. Sadly many Moms (and Dads too) are abandoned or ashamed by their children.  Is it any wonder that prisons and morgue are filling up as our society shows less respect for parents and more concern for what matters only to me.

That it may go well with you and you may live long

Fortunately, God is the God of U-Turns. If  we think that we have been less than “honorable” towards our parents we can repent and turn towards God as we change our ways. Even if our parents have passed away we can still ask God to forgive us of being rebellious and disobedient children. Even if they were less than perfect parents, we can be honorable towards them. God does not tell us to honor our father and mother if they are good and perfect parents. The responsibility is on us to honor our parents. How good a job they do with the children they were given is between them and God. So, if they were poor parents or even abusive derelict parents, we should forgive them.

That it may go well with you and you may live long

It’s a promise from God that He clearly put in writing. No reading between the lines or ambiguity here. Simply put do this and this is what will happen. So, the exact opposite is rationally true. Dont honor your parents and it will not be good for you and you will not live long.

Maybe this should have been a happy funny uplifting post but I don’t tend to plan what I write too far in advance. I write what is on my heart. I speak as a layman – not a clergy. I have to say that this is something that I had to learn and like almost all of my life lessens – I learned the hard way. After years of disrespecting and disobeying my parents and years of speaking critically about their shortcomings I found myself in a bad place. Only by the love of God was I able to learn Gods Word and live a new life.

My parents both died long before I learned what kind of child I should have been but I know that God has forgiven me and I honor them today in how I speak of them to others and by looking back at them with compassion rather then judgement.

Painted Gerber

Finally, I pray that everyone had a wonderful Mothers Day today but if you did not, I want you to know that there is a God in Heaven Who sent His Son, Jesus, to show the greatest measurable amount of love towards YOU! He died so that you don’t have to. He LOVES you and will wash away that hurt you feel because of  a child or a parent who hurt you so long ago.

He will hear you when you call – Honestly, He Will.

Blood Moon Rising

Tonight, or early morning tomorrow, depending on where you are on the planet, there will be a lunar eclipse which will produce a “Blood Moon”. While some have used this phenomenon as an occasion for speculation regarding the end of days I am reminded of the Y2K worries that captivated our thoughts not so long ago. The turning of time from 1999 to 2000 was heralded as a cataclysmic moment. It was feared that the computers that we all have become so dependent on would shut down causing business collapse and hysteria. Thankfully these things did not happen. Life went on without a hick up.

Now, with much less fanfare, there are whispers on the news and internet that this Blood Moon is a sign from God signalling the beginning of the end!! Well, like Y2K, time will tell if these fears are founded or not. But the bigger question is – So What? So, if it is the beginning of the end what can we, or more importantly – YOU, do about it?! If we all hold our breath at the same time can we hold back the hand of God? If we stay up tonight fearfully clinging to the people and things we love will God have compassion on us and change His mind? Obviously the answer to these questions is NO! There is nothing that we as mere mortals can do to put off what God has determined to be. That is, if this is the beginning of the end. If it’s not we will wake up tomorrow and face the day ahead just as we did this morning and yesterday and the day before that. This Blood Moon will disappear in our rear view mirror as we forge on ahead unaffected by its passing.

Red Sun 3

Unless, of course, we use this natural cosmic event as a reminder of our helplessness to defend ourselves from things so massively bigger then us. We could also use this event as a cause for reflection and soul searching. What if the end were coming? Are we ready? Are you ready? Am I ready? There are more prophecies concerning the end of days ahead than the birth of Christ (which all were fulfilled to the T). Christ told us Himself that a day is coming when the world as we know it will be changed. So, if the evening news dedicates a 90 second spot to the Red Moon tonight, listen and ask yourself – “What if?” or “Am I ready?” I hope and pray that we all are ready when that day comes no matter when that should be. Be Blessed – Al

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Ps. 19:1 NIV

But what if it were an easy thing to do?

But his servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?

2 Kings 5:13 HCSB

Oh, sorry, I almost skipped ahead to the end of the story. Let me go back to the beginning and please, read along if you like (2Kings 5:1-14). Naaman, a commander of the Syrian army was a leaper. As a result of his many raids into Israel, he had a maid servant for his wife. This girl, who was taken from her home against her will, to be a salve in this mans home, took pity on him and suggested that he travel to see the prophet Elisha. (talk about love your enemies! but that was the point of last post not this one).

So, Naaman went to his King and told him what the servant girl said. The King told Naaman to go and even wrote a letter to the King of Israel for Naaman to take on the trip along with a great deal of Silver and Gold and other gifts. When Naaman arrived at the home of the Prophet Elisha he was met by Elisha messenger who told him – “Go wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be clean.”

Well! How dare he!?!? Naaman was angry and insulted. He expected the Prophet to come out and perform some intense prayer or sacrifice or something. Additionally, the Prophet didn’t even come out to greet Naaman – he sent a messenger! Finally, Naaman believed that there were several “better” rivers in Damascus compared to the Jordan. Rejected, Naaman was determined to ignore the Prophets instructions and go home. His servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great (difficult) thing, would you not have done it? Reluctantly Naaman yields and dips seven times in the Jordan River. When he finishes his skin looks fresh as a new born baby.

The moral of the story is this – Naaman went to the Prophet with an expectation of what would happen and how he would be healed. He was prepared to pay a large sum of money and do whatever was asked of him (assuming it was logical to him to do it). When faced with the humiliation of having an errand boy address him and instruct him to do such a seemingly simple task Naaman balked. In the end what was expected of Naaman wasn’t difficult to do – only humbling.

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Isn’t that just like so many people? We expect to have to pay our way. Some recite endless strings of prayers or abstain from certain foods at special times. Some believe that they must punish themselves physically so as to be purged of sins or deprive themselves of companionship to get closer to God. There’s a need inside us to feel that we “earned” what we have. Unfortunately, or fortunately, God’s ways are not our ways.

In the book of Acts chapter 16 we see Paul and Silas in jail and singing songs of praise. When a great earthquake shook their doors open and their shackles free. The jailer thinking that Paul and Silas had escaped was going to fall on his sword but they stopped him. The jailer asked them – Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved

It really is that easy. No Penance, No flogging. No Fasting. No Pilgrimages. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero!

Have Faith in God. Trust in the Lord. Call out to Jesus.

Who do you say I am?

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”“But you,” He asked them, who do you say that I am?” Matthew 16:13-15 HCSB

WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM ?

I am going to bet that everyone has a family member or knows someone, friend, colleague or neighbor who knows Jesus. Growing up I had friends at school whose parents were preachers and classmates who were “born again” and met many a stranger who wanted to know – “do you know Jesus?” Because of these associations I heard what they had to say about who Jesus was to them. I never really gave Him much thought but did have an opinion about Him that I supposed I collected from what others said mixed with liberal amount of ignorance and arrogance. But when push came to shove I had to admit I knew nothing of who Jesus is.

“Christ either deceived mankind by conscious fraud, or He was Himself deluded and self-deceived, or He was Divine.”

Liar, Lunatic or Lord

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”- C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity

Eternity

So, either Christ is Who He says He is or He is a Liar or a Lunatic. The evidence, that is clearly recorded in the Bible, should remove all doubt. The only thing left to do is reach a verdict for yourself. Disregard what anyone else says about Him and look only at the Word of God. Read Johns Gospel and then ask yourself – “Who do I say that He is?” But, I would strongly urge you to not reach your decision too quickly or lightly. Eternity awaits your decision both with open arms.

Old Earth or New Earth – Cosmos Controversy

To those who may not have noticed, the Internet is a buzz with haters. There are those who hate the TV series called Cosmos. They are taking a stand against the shows host – Mr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, against the Evolution the show promotes, against the producers at Fox and the advertisers and on and on and on. Likewise there are those who are hating the “science deniers” and the “science-challenged” and the conservative “fundies” and the right wing Tea Party.

Ok, the sides are clearly defined in a controversy of the ages and there are also just as clearly a good number of militantly, radically and thoroughly committed devotees on both sides. Unfortunately, these loudly outspoken extremist only help to fuel their oppositions case and so on and so on….

In the midst of all it his extremism there has to be a middle ground. Even if that demilitarized zone is simply that we agree to disagree!

Oh no! I didn’t just propose peace! I obviously do not understand what is at stake here! After all there is only one truth – and it’s not theirs!

Well, maybe I don’t understand what is at stake. Perhaps, if they attempt to prove their point regarding the origins of life, the age of the planet and the birth of the infinite cosmos it will cause the God I worship to cease to exist. Perhaps if they present a state-of-the-art show using all of the cinematic mastery at their disposal it will shame our God into hiding. Maybe they will cause the foundations of our very existence to crumble and we will have to change the past 2,000 years of history to conform to this new “truth”.

Or, maybe, we who say we believe in the God of Creation need to remember a few basic truths of our own. The very Bible that tells us about the Creation in Genesis also tells us God made man in His own image. So when Adam was one minute old he was an adult man. Not a helpless infant crying for his Mommy! Likewise that same Bible tells us that God created the heavens and all they contain and the very same age discrepancy seen with Adam could easily be seen in the cosmos.  This same God who created everything could very well have created it “old”. There is a bit of irony in that some in the science community, who say we believers are limiting science by our narrow view of things, are the very same people who are putting our all powerful God in a small box. Not wishing to be too controversial but there are “old earth” theorists within the Christian community. But they also are met with haters. Whether the earth is old and science is then validating the God of Creation or the earth is new and the Bible is in direct opposition to the science of today, really isn’t the point. The point, I believe, is in how we believer respond. After all the courts removed God from school back in the sixties and we have seen a decline down a slippery slope ever since. We should not be surprised by this TV show or, for that matter, many other secular decisions being made to change the world around us today.

Jesus told us that the world would hate us if we belonged to Him. He also stated that broad is the way and many that shall find it that leads to destruction. Paul tells us in Romans chapter one verses 18-22 that –The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

Or, as written in Paul’s 2nd letter to the church in Thessalonian  chapter 2 verses 10-12 – And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

All creation

Perhaps, before we become bad witnesses for Christ as we attempt to defend Him by beating others into submission, we should obey Him and simply “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” and let Jesus defend Himself.

Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven – Matthew 5:16    Be Blessed, Al and Betty

After the Event! – Ready or Not part 2

Oh Dear Betty I miss you so much. I talk to you constantly because I hope you can hear me and because the thought of talking to myself this much is frightening. It’s been a week since you left and I am dieing here without you. A week since the mass abduction – the “official” title given to the event, but what they are saying just doesn’t make any sense. They said the visitors wanted to move the narrow-minded religious people who were holding us back and yet all the children are gone too. It seems anyone under the age of 21 can not be found. When pressed about this they refused to comment. Their story doesn’t add up and I don’t think I am the only one questioning it.  Why take the innocent ones? Surely the little children weren’t holding humanity back from the next big step in evolution. I just don’t get it.

They said that there will have to be a restructuring of the monetary system worldwide. So many people are gone and the resulting panic has caused a crisis. The rumor is that we will all pool our resources and hand over our cash, plastic and anything else worth value and in return be given a corresponding virtual account. They say we will do business electronically wherever we go to buy something a debit will be made using a scanner and our ID. Someone said that the best way to avoid identity theft and robbery is to put the ID “in” us. Like a chip in our hand or something. They must be moving quickly on this because we have been told to report to our nearest firehouse, police station or post office to surrender our money and credit cards and accept the new system. Why not do this at the banks? So many questions and very little answers.

The whole town is so busy. Homes, now empty, are being cleaned of all personal objects of those gone and designated as “available” but I haven’t found out what that means. Jimmy, next door, says they are going to be given to homeless people but I don’t believe that. The government cant just take a home and give it away – can they? The DPW has been busy putting up towers but not cell phone towers. These are different, kinda like the old radio towers with a tall singular antenna on the top. Like everything else around here its all very hush-hush.

The news, which is broadcasting constantly, tells us that there has been a rise in suicide attempts but none too successful. It almost seems as if you can’t die even if you want to. The looting that took place immediately after the event was quickly put to an end by the Supreme. I still can’t get over that title. The Supreme – supreme what? He shows up outta nowhere and everyone calls him the guy with the answers. He starts barking orders and the world jumps. He promises a new era of peace and prosperity but will threaten to go to war with anyone who even opens their mouth against him or his plan. He had the police and military kill the looters and put their bodies on display – on TV and the internet – as an example to all. Yeah, the looting stopped alright. In fact crime is down to nearly zero since he showed up.

Some people are calling him god-like. But the priest that he calls The Instructor hasn’t said that….yet. What the Instructor has said is that the diversity of faiths must stop and we all must get under the united banner of Singularity – a new concept where many become One. Churches, synagogues and all other houses of faith are being stripped of any symbols and the flag of Singularity is being raised high over each doorway. Singularity. If the TV isn’t showing the news of the Supreme’s plan being put into action,  its telling us all about the peace and serenity that awaits us when we “become One” with each other through this new religion.

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I still can’t help but think that this guy and his plan were just waiting in the wings for something to bring him out. His plan seems too complex to be thrown together in this short of a time. The pieces of the puzzle called his plan require a lot of planing, building, people and money. You get all this done in one week. It’d take a week to get a committee appointed to look into how to address a crisis of this size. It smells fishy……and frightening.

Dear God. Betty why didn’t I listen to you? Is it really too late for me? Will someone please tell us the truth?

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name Rev 13:16-17 KJV

Jesus, however, invited them: “Let the little children come to Me, and don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18:16 HCSB