Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Good Morning

Good morning!

Today is Tuesday. Just another day during this new normal called the covid-19 shut down. I can look out my window and see the sun shining on the flowers in the yard. A breeze blows the branches on the trees and the flag waves in the sunlight. For all intents and purposes it is a good morning.

But that is the problem with superficialities. Things don’t always appear as they are. A duck floats along on a pond looking calm and at peace but below the surface its feet are franticly paddling! Likewise, outside my window the sun shines, birds sing, flowers grow and all appears to be well on my street.

But.

But within the walls of the brightly lit homes on my block are people who are locked down. Locked down, sheltered in place, quarantined, staying safe, flattening the curve, whatever you want to call it, they are not going about living life as usual. It is obviously the same almost everywhere around the world and maybe we can take solace in the fact that we are not the only ones suppressed by this.

And.

“And how are you holding up?”

“Well. We are doing well thanks, considering. It is an inconvenience but we will get through it. Together, of course.”

“Well, be safe and stay well. Please tell everyone at home I said hey!”

Platitudes. The things that we have come to learn are appropriate to say in ever circumstance. We know what to say when someone gets a promotion. What to say when someone looses a loved one. We know what to say to encourage each other when we face an unusual and stressful time such as this.

Why?

Why be superficial and just keep up appearances? Why speak in empty platitudes? Would being real really be so bad? Would it really be so bad if we said how we feel?

Fearful

Frustrated

Broke

Angry

Stressed

Worried

Tired

Hungry

Hot

Cold

Dirty

Defeated

Rejected

Lonely

Overwhelmed

Unemployed

What if we showed ourselves as we are? Drop the facade. Allowed ourselves to be real.

Yell. Cry. Rest. Take five. Take a nap. Call a friend. Hug someone. Ask for help.

Yes, ask for help! How many times have you been willing to help someone? Friend or stranger, have you been ready to help out without a seconds thought? Many people in our world can be so caring and giving. Yet, so many people will not ask for help. They hold it in. They “man-up” or “push through” or “press on” or whatever ridiculous thing they tell themselves just so they don’t have to swallow their pride and be real.

Jesus told us to ask. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7 Take note of the words Jesus used – Ask, Seek, Knock – “A” “S” “K”!

The Word of God tells us the we have not because we do not ask. James 4:2

We are also commanded many times to help each other.

Love our neighbors as ourselves. Carry each others burdens. Look after the widows and the sick. Just to name a few. Mathew 22:39, Galatians 6:2, 1 Tim 5:3

But the point I wish to make here today is to be real! Superficialities and platitudes help no-one. Be Real! Be You. Let someone in during these difficult times and let yourself be refreshed by their love and support. After all wouldn’t you be loving and supportive of them if they needed it?

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.        John 4:23-24 NIV

If this scripture isn’t calling for us to let down our superficial ways of approaching God (and each other) then I know nothing and should stop writing. Don’t be locked into platitudes in life and especially not in your prayer life. Be real and be transparent. Love and encourage everyone but also allow yourself to be loved, encouraged, lifted up or even carried if that’s what you need.

I’ll stop now. I’ve obviously gotten carried away with this thought for today. Just be encouraged today and if you need help ask. Ask God. Ask a loved one. But ask. Because pretending you are ok when you are not will not help.

 

Be Blessed A&B

An Angel Went Home……..

An angel went home and will be missed.
A teenaged family member went home to the Lord and we are left behind to deal. She was a bright light that shown even when the darkness of cancer loomed. Those of us who are of the faith have held our hearts and hopes in what we believe – difficult as that was. The thought of a young vibrant loved one being struck with cancer is an arrow to the heart of ones faith in God.
Some reactions were to stand in faith. Trusting and believing that God would heal her and that the devil is the father of this lie. To others such faith was viewed as denial.
Some may have seen the diagnosis as a the inevitable death sentence that it came to be and just felt sad.

Whether a believer or a skeptic. Filled with faith or denial. Trusting in an Almighty God or the almighty doctors.
Such a situation raises more questions then it answers.

Why would a loving God allow such things to happen? With all our technological/scientific advances why cant we conquer this and many other diseases? Is there an afterlife? How can we be sure of what happens when we die? Along with many more I am sure.

The Bible is chock-filled with unbelievable suffering. The children of Israel have been persecuted and enslaved and driven from their homeland to the far corners of the world and they have been called (and truly still are) the chosen ones by God. Granted, there have been times when the sufferings they felt were a result of disobedience against God. But there are a few examples of suffering befalling seemingly innocent people.

Job comes to mind. The man that God Himself defended to the Devil saying Job was a righteous and upright man, felt the weight of incredible loss. His wealth, his children, his own physical wellbeing all taken from him in a few days time. Even his wife encouraged him to denounce God and give up his faith. His friends accused him of deserving this bad fortune because he had a secret sin that caused God to allow it.

Ironically, scholars still argue the case of jobs sufferings so I am not going to take a shot at the “why” but rather focus on the “what”. Job suffered unanswerable events suddenly and never gave up his faith in God.
This is the example we have.

Fast forward to the days that our Lord walked this earth and lets look at what He taught us.
He taught us that this life is not the end all. Death is not the end. We do live on.
He also told us that in this world we will have troubles but that we should have faith because He will never leave us or forsake us.
Ok. What’s that mean to a grandmother or mother or father burying a child who died too young from a darkness that came out of nowhere?

It means
This life is not fair. It’s not safe. It’s not right.
In fact this life and this very world is deteriorating.
Jesus Himself called Satan the god of this age (the lord/ruler of this time period).
The day we are born a clock begins and when it stops we don’t know. God knows. Which is reason one for making the most of the time we have. I sarcastically say that our birth certificates have an invisible expiration date. lol maybe?!

What the uncertainty of this life also should teach us is that we are eternal beings. We should carefully consider that eternity because there really are two (and only two) separate and entirely different destinations for our eternal home.

Believe it or not there is a hell. It is real. For ever one time that Jesus spoke about Heaven He spoke two times as much about Hell. Hell is a place that is absent from the grace of God. As bad as this world can be with all its sin/crime/injustice/hate/hurt/pain the spirit of God is here holding back evil and restraining the fullness of the devil. Hell will be a dark, solitary place of suffering alone without end. Life without any hope of rest, sleep, peace or satisfaction.

Heaven, will not be a place filled with winged saints playing harps and endlessly floating about. Heaven will be filled with the presence of a loving God Who will reveal the wonders of the universe to His children.
(Oh, yes, His children! This will be clarified in a later post but – spoiler alert!! – not everyone born on earth is a child of God!! read John Chapter one slowly and carefully).

In closing
In this world we will have troubles but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a loving God Who has a plan that we have to trust in. Yes. We have to! What’s the alternative? Trust in reincarnation? Give up hope? Believe that this life is all there is and when it ends that’s it? nah!!

Read your Bible
Prayer
Ask
Seek
Knock

He is real
He loves you
He will answer you

Dedicated to Dakota Bell Griner May 2006 to Sept 2019 and now eternally with our LORD

Side Note
I was a distant relative to dear sweet Dakota
Distant geographically and relationally
She lived about 1200 miles from me and was my sister’s grandchild. I met her a handful of times and that may diminish my memories of her but not my feelings for those who knew her, loved her and will forever be changed by her leaving. My only hope for those left behind is that her passing leads you all closer to the Lord Who holds her close by His side as she lives forever in His presence.
Love you all
Uncle Al

PS Those of you that know me and read the few and far between posts I write know that I usually show my work – lol

I will, if needs be, show all the many scripture verses that brought about this post because we, Betty and I, still believe that its all about Jesus and the word of God and not our opinion.

Be Blessed

Fitness trackers and Faith

We are a fitness tracker family. We set goals and track our steps (gotta get those 10,000 steps in!). We keep a record of our weight and our water and food intake. We compare and compete and congratulate each other. Being a construction worker, it’s not hard for me to reach some goals, such as steps and distance. But reaching other goals like weight lose or water intake can be harder. At the end of the day I can see where I am at and where I fell short. Every Midnight starts a new day of tracking and all of yesterdays successes and failures are a thing of the past. While I sleep a new clean slate is made and I wake to the possibilities of reaching or even surpassing my set goals.

“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion’s fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lam 3:22-23 KJV

The love and compassion of our Lord are new for us every morning. A clean slate awaits us with each wake up call.

Isn’t that just our life of Faith in Jesus? We are blessed to serve a God of “Now”! Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here, yet. All we have is right now. We wake up with a clean slate. At any point in our day we can take an accounting and if needs be, start over. Start over or renew our efforts to reach our goals. These trackers can remind you to get up and walk every hour. They can show you the number of steps completed in relation to your goal so that you can take action to reach the goal.

Paul shared with us that with all that he had done and all that he had been threw he did not presume to have reached the goal but he continued to press on to the mark of the high calling of Christ Jesus. Phil 3:13-15 Paraphrase mine

“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”…Phil. 3:13 KJV

Putting yesterday behind us and heading straight into the day ahead of us with the goal of pleasing our Lord

Just as we have physical step goals and weight loss goals and strength goals that we set for ourselves we have spiritual goals that we can aim for. Just as we may fall short of these physical goals we will fall short of the spiritual ones as well.

“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23KJV The definition of the word “Sin” translates to “missing, or falling short of, the mark”

Fortunately we have a Lord Who is full of mercy “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1John 1:9 KJV. Whose mercy is new every morning. Lam. 3:22-23 KJV

Every morning is a new opportunity to reach our goals so be encouraged and inspired

So get up and go!!

Let Your Light Shine

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day:

the night cometh, when no man can work. John 9:4 KJV

    Jesus declared Himself The Light of the World, John 9:5b KJV, and in doing so He challenges us to consider what He meant. Was He saying that He is the very sun that the earth revolves around? I don’t think so! Was He trying to reveal to us some deeper meaning? Most assuredly!

 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 

God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. Gen 1:4 KJV 

   God divided the light from the darkness. So, if darkness is the absence of light and if Jesus is the Light of the world, then the night that Jesus spoke of is a time when there will be an absence of Him. I know what your thinking, “Jesus left the earth so very long ago so how can any of this make sense?”

   Simply put – He is still here.

   He is with us in the form of the Holy Spirit. In John 14 Jesus promises the Disciples that even though He is leaving He will send another to comfort, encourage and empower them.  In verse 18 He tells them –  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. I will come to you, in the Holy Spirit, and so He is still here with us. Jesus is here also because of us who believe. We are His body Eph 5:30  and as such we are the light of the world. We have the light of Jesus Christ within us. As long as we are here we must let that light shine because the night comes when no man woman or child can work.

“If anyone walks during the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world.

If anyone walks during the night, he does stumble, because the light is not in him.”

John 11:9-10 HCSB

      The Night is coming. Just look around and you will see that this world is spinning out of control faster and faster every day. Wars, rumors of war, sickness, starvation, diseases, floods, fires, political upheavals and corruption. Immorality, hatred, murder, greed, pride and godlessness are all around us. But this doesn’t have to worry us. We have been warned that these things must happen but the end is not yet here. These are the birth pains that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24.

    Armed with this truth and the hope that lives with in us let us remember the words our Savior said –

“You are the light of the world.

A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father   Matthew 5: 14-16 NKJV

Go out empowered by His Holy Spirit with a smile on your face and a song in your heart because you are a Child of the Most High God. Be blessed, Al

A Formula For Success

So give yourselves humbly to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from youJames 4:7 TLB

   We all strive to be successful. Whether it’s success in our profession or our personal lives we want to be our best at whatever we do. How can we insure our success in all of our endeavors? What can we do to have an edge?

Don’t you know that the runners in a stadium all race,

but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way to win the prize1 Cor. 9: 24 HCSB

   If you have run in a race you know that there is a wall that you hit that seems impassable. It can stop you in your tracks or motivate you to push threw. But, it requires calling on ever last ounce of effort. Sometimes that extra effort isn’t enough. Sometimes our best efforts and shear strength is not enough.

What do we do then? Give up? Make excuses?

Jesus gives us insight into how we can succeed in life.

 “I am the vine, you are the branches.

He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;

for without Me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 NKJV

for without Me you can do nothing

   Wait a minute! That’s got to be a misprint! I am an adult who is able to do anything. How can Jesus say such a thing? He can say that because He knows that we are only able to do so much while we live this life. We can get by for awhile but to be successful in this life – in a way that is important to God – we need to be connected to the source of power and strength.

Jesus is that source

and He uses the example of the vine and branches to illustrate His point.

   The Word of God is full of people who were incapable of great things in their own strength but will God did mighty works. Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Samson, Paul, Peter and many more. His grace is sufficient for them and is also for me – and You too!

  So the next time you are tempted to sin (no matter what that might look like) remember the formula for success –

  1. Humble yourself before God

  2. Resit the devil (the temptation)

  3. Rest in the assurance that you and God have sent the devil fleeing

also consider this

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10:13 NKJV

and this

 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15 NKJV

and finally always remember

He who has begun a good work in you will complete it  Phil 1:6b NKJV

Thank you for stopping by and God Bless, AL

….and the Lord God planted a garden….

The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. Gen 2:8a NKJV

I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone knows of the Garden of Eden. It’s the garden that God made to be the home for Adam and Eve. It’s the place where they ate the apple. It’s where they realized that they were naked.

But how many remember that this is where they also had fellowship with God. Gen 3:8 tells us that they heard the voice of God calling to them in cool of the day. I believe that this was a regular occurrence but that this time they hid because of their sin.

This garden was the perfect example of Who God is and how gracious and merciful He is towards us all. Within the garden were all of the trees and plants and animals. Nothing was held back. God instructed Adam that everything was his for the taking except the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. This was, I believe more a cautionary warning regarding something harmful rather than willful withholding of a delicacy as the world would imply. This is where we see the Just and Fair character of God Almighty. He could have just as easily NOT planted that tree and kept them safe. He rather planted the tree and gave a stern warning in hopes that they would trust Him and obey. Not so dissimilar than a parent instructing a child to not touch wet paint or a hot stove.

Armed with their freewill and a relationship with God Almighty they lived in the garden together. Until the serpent showed up. The serpent raises one question to Eve that set the tone for the whole conversation and is the same trap/test that he continues to use today – “Has God said….?” By asking her a question he already knew the answer to he is looking to see just how well she knows God. Sadly, she fails this test by answering him incorrectly. And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.” Eve added “nor shall you touch it” and that told the serpent that she didn’t know God. Armed with this he was able to plant seeds of doubt regarding the trustworthiness of God. God is withholding from you. He doesn’t want you to enjoy this beautiful fruit and the power it brings. Why, you will become just like Him and He doesn’t want that. Look at how pretty it is.So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” Gen 3:6 NKJV

Herein are the three roots of all sin – “good for food’ – the lust of the flesh; “pleasant to the eyes” – the lust of the eyes; “desirable to make one wise” – the pride of life. But we’ll visit that another day.

Eve showed that she didn’t have a complete understanding of what God said and that may have been Adams fault for not telling her or it may have been that she didn’t have a close relationship with God fro herself. Either way this has been the devils doorway into our lives for generations. Sadly, for many years only the “Church” had the Word of God and so people were in the dark as to what God said. In modern times we have the Word printed in every language and spoken loudly on the radio, TV, worldwide web and in churches across the globe. Yet, so many are still unsure of what God did and did not say.

Today, more than ever, it is important to not only know the Word of God but to have a relationship with God and His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit because the devil knows his time is short. We live in a world where you can read online about how God is a myth and how Jesus never existed and how we all get to live over and over again threw reincarnation. We live with thousands of abortions daily but have to rescue puppies from pounds. How we can have intimate relations with anyone we want but just don’t go to that fanatical church. The devil, like a roaring lion, looks to see whom he may devour because his only job is to kill, steal and destroy. The glorification of the sinful nature of man is ramped up all around us. Truly we are in the days when good will be called evil and evil will be called good. By not knowing God or His promises in His Holy Word so very many have believed the lies of the devil and are perishing daily.

Brothers and Sisters let us read the Word of God while we can. Listen to the voice of God always. Tell this dieing world about He Who died for them before it is too late.

 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. Jude 20-23 NKJV

Enjoying Your Freedom

Liberty Close up

   Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Gal 5:1 NKJV Bible Gateway

   Liberty and Freedom. Today is a day of joyous celebration for the whole country. Marching bands and barbecues and fireworks. Nothing shy, subdued or subtle about the 4th of July. We will remember those who have died to create this land of the free as well as those brave men and women who gave their all to protect it. The very bones of our nation are built on the idea that all of us are equal and free to persue happiness. Whatever that might look like and regardless of the cost.

    No! That’s not what it says in the constitution. It does say that we are all created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But, one mans happy might be another mans sad. This is why we have laws to govern our behavior. I am not free to do whatever I like if it interferes with another persons life, liberty or pursuit of happiness.

    Likewise most “religions” have lots of rules of conduct and traditions that must be adhered to. Jesus came to fulfilled the Law and heralded in a new and better way. Radically different from the old way because the Law of Moses was incapable of cleansing us from our sins. It only covered up our sin until they could be washed away. Washed by the Blood of the Lamb. The Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.

     We, who have trusted in the shed blood of Jesus, should hold our heads up high and walk in the liberty and freedom that Christ has made for us and not be again mixed up in the rules and traditions of religion or in the guilt and shame of our own past sins. Who the Son sets free is free indeed. Free to live a life full of love for Him who first loved us and free to share that love with everyone. Yes, everyone.

    Let freedom ring this 4th of July and let that song you sing be a song of love because God is love and He desires that all come to the saving knowledge of the truth. Let us fulfill the law of Love.

      Be blessed. Have fun. Love them like Jesus. Al

What’s In A Name ?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II,ii,1-2) Shakespeare

   If I understand Mr. Shakespeare correctly it doesn’t really matter what we call something because the “name” doesn’t change the “it”. A rose will still smell wonderfully regardless of what we call it. So, then the name only means something to us. A name makes it possible for us to understand each other when discussing – a rose – for example. When, in conversation, I mention my rose garden, you will have a very good idea of what I am referring to. Maybe not the actual size, type or color roses, but you will know that we are not talking about oranges. Even then, the name Orange brought something to mind – didn’t it?

    Wikipedia says that “a name is a word or term used for identification. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. A personal name identifies, not necessarily uniquely, a specific individual human. The name of a specific entity is sometimes called a proper name

   Another site defines “name” similarly “Generally a name is a label for a noun – a person, place or thing. More specifically a name is a label for a specific person, place or thing.”

   Gods’ Word tells us “A good name is rather to be chosen than great richesProverb 22:1 KJV

   What then, does the names of God tell us? When, in conversation, I mention my belief in God what do you see in your minds eye? Do you see the white-bearded figure painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Or, maybe the Name God brings to mind a vengeful figure who rains fire and brimstone upon those who defied Him? Do you see a young child sitting beside His Sainted Mother? Maybe the name God causes you to think of the suffering Savior nailed to a cross? Or the victorious Lord Who rose on the third day and ascended into Heaven?
   For everyone the answer will be different. Say the name God or Jesus and people will conjure up what they will based on their beliefs. But God can be a vague and general term and Jesus is not limited by what that one name refers to – Jesus means God Saves!
   Our God has many names and each one tells us about His character and nature so that we aren’t left doubting or disputing about Him. In this series I hope to shed some light on the many names of God and hope to pull back the curtain to reveal a little bit more about Who He is based on His Word.

The Old Testament Names of God and their meaning

Jah or Yah – LORD (King/Master/Head) Ps.68:4

Jehovah or Yahweh – I AM/The eternal One/Unchangeable Ex 3:13-14

Jehovah Adon (singular) Jehovah Adonai (plural) –  LORD of lords Ps. 109:21

Jehovah El – LORD God (singular form) Ps. 31:5

Jehovah Elohim – Uni-plural form (3-in-1) – LORD Gods/Strong or mighty an object of fear/God as creator, governing and redeeming man/God of Israel Gen 2:4

Jehovah Elyon – The LORD most high Ps. 7:17

Jehovah Jireh – The LORD will provide Gen 22:13-14 / Phil 4:19

Jehovah Makeh – The LORD smites, punishes sin Ezk 7:9

Jehovah Mekaddishkem – The LORD our sanctifer Lev 20:7-8

Jehovah Nissi – The LORD my banner or ensign Ex. 17:10-12

Jehovah Rapha – The LORD who heals Ps. 103:3; 107:20

Jehovah Roi – The LORD my shepherd Ps. 23:1 / Mk. 6:34; Heb 13:20

Jehovah Saboath – The LORD of hosts (angelic armies) 1Sam 1:3 /James 5:4

Jehovah Shalom – The LORD our peace – Judges 6:24 / Jn 14:27

Jehovah Shammah – The LORD is present Ezk 48:35

Jehovah Tsidkenu – The LORD our righteousness Jer 23:6; 33:16 / 1Cor 1:30

EL Elyon – Most high God, Exalted, elevated Ps. 21:7

 El Olam – Everlasting God Isa 40:28

EL Roi – The God of sight, who keeps watch Gen 16:13

EL Shaddai – God Almighty both powerful and nourishes, sustains Gen 17:1

   Wow! What a resume. These are the very impressive characteristics of our God as revealed to us by His own words. He wants you to know Him intimately. Even as He knows YOU.

   Now, when, in conversation, I say God, I am talking about the great and mighty Everlasting God Who is Creator, Lord and Master of all. The One who sits on high and watches to see everything. The One who punishes sin but nourishes and sustains His people. He Who gives His righteousness to those He sanctifies and shepherds to a place of safety under His banner and provides for. One Who is ever present and ready to send healing and peace.

Can you see Him?

   The next post in this series will be on the New Testament names of God. Thank you for stopping by. Please come back soon and be blessed, AL

Start at the very beginning….

A Very Good Place to Start

As a contractor with 30 years of experience I have learned a lot about my trade and others around me. Its safe to say that I have seen my share of mistakes made during those early years. But I give my thanks to a good teacher. One, who may not have always been patient but always thorough in his explanations of how to do something and why.

In my years I have had the opportunity to train helpers to work beside me and always observed one thing. Teaching is the best way to keep things fresh in my own mind. Somewhere in the relating of the process there is a reliving that revives me. I am taken back to where I was when I learned it and can relate the truth of the process to another with passion.

It is this reason that I want my first post of the year to be about “contending for the faith” that was first inside of us all at conversion. Jude tells us that he wanted to write about the shared salvation of the saints but was moved to respond to false teachers and ungodly people.

But lets review the Basics that we all do know –

Very simply put – Christ came to save sinners of which we are all (1 Timothy 1:15 and Romans 3:23). If we repent and trust in Jesus we will be saved (Romans 10:9-13)

I guess the only question now is – Have you been saved? If not. Why Not?

All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. He knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart and your honesty. Although there’s no special way to ask to be saved we suggest praying the following prayer to accept Christ as your Savior:

“Dear Lord Jesus,

I know I am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe you died for my sins and rose from the dead.  I trust and follow you as my Lord and Savior. Guide my life and help me to do your will.

In Jesus name, amen.”

If you prayed this prayer congratulations, you are a Child of God now and your sins have been forgiven, never to be remembered. We encourage you , if you do not already attend a church, to find one that believes in Bible study. One that teaches the whole Word of God and proclaims the Good News that Salvation is available to all. We encourage you to get a Bible and begin reading it. If you don’t know where to start we suggest you read the Gospel of John first but you can find many Bible study reading lists online also. Consider Bible Gateway or some of the other links from our home page.

Whatever you do read the Bible daily and pray to our Lord for guidance because He is not dead but alive and ready to talk with you. Congratulations as you start a new life in this new year! Be blessed. Al and Betty

 

You Do As I Say Not As I Do !!

“Do as I say but not as I do!”

Ever hear someone say that? Ever had it said to you? Ever said it to someone?

My grandfather, who raised me, used to say that often. I always found it to be confusing and hypocritical. After all wasn’t he supposed to be setting an example for me to follow? Shouldn’t he have said “Now, you do exactly as I do.”? Well, perhaps, in some perfect world that’s what would have happened. But in reality, he wasn’t always setting a good example for me to follow even though he tried.

The Word of God has a lot to say about example-setting. Parents are told to Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Pr 22:6 KJV That word “Train” is the Hebrew word Chanak and is found only 4 times in the Old Testament and it means to train, dedicate and inaugurate. So, we could say train up or dedicate your child in the way he should go. either way it is one of many examples of what the Word says about teaching our children – none of which tells us to behave one way and demand that they do differently.

One of the most wonderful things about our Almighty God is that He doesn’t just “tell” us how we ought to behave, He shows us. Jesus was sent to show us the kingdom of Heaven. He walked this earth in the same flesh and bones that we also live in. The Word tells that –  

we do not have a high priest {Jesus} who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Heb 4:15 HCSB

Jesus had victory over the same sinful temptations we face every day. Before you dismiss that awesome fact by saying “Well, it’s easy for Jesus to have the victory. He is God after all!”, keep in mind that this Scripture clearly says He WAS tempted. Jesus did, however, know just what must be done to defeat temptation – fellowship with the Father.

Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. John 17:11 KJV

Fellowship with the Father threw continual prayer was modeled for us by Jesus. He told us plainly that He could do nothing except what He sees the Father do. Likewise, He also encouraged us to be in fellowship with Him when He told us that without Him we could do nothing.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5 KJV

Do as I do not just as I say because actions speak louder than words !

The best thing we can train up our children to do is to lean on Jesus threw prayer. The only effective way to accomplish this is by modeling that for them to see.

Thank You Lord Jesus for making clear the path we all must walk to make out way to YOU.

Be Blessed and thank you all for stopping by, Al

 

The featured image is I'm warning you by evertt225 at Depositphotos.com

 

What Child Is This ?

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior,

who is Christ the Lord.

 

About this time Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation. (This census was taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, King David’s ancient home—journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant by this time.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket[a] and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, 10 but the angel reassured them.

“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem![b] 12 How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket,[c] lying in a manger!”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God:

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang,[d] “and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.”

15 When this great army of angels had returned again to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on! Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 2: 1-15 Living Bible

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

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