“things may not ever be THE SAME, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be BETTER.” Continue reading
“things may not ever be THE SAME, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be BETTER.” Continue reading
So many people love the cozy idea of sitting by a warm fire, and sipping egg nog or hot chocolate as they unwrap gifts with family or friends.
So many people get excited when they hear the weather forecaster announce snow is coming.
But, while some people rush the grocery stores for extra food in case they are snowed in…
While some people prepare to cook hot meals and watch the snow fall…
While so many children get excited over the thought of a snow day…
While some say, “Hmmm, what will we eat?”…
Others cringe at the thought of snow coming…
Others wait to see what the grocery stores will throw away…
Others wonder what cooked meals they can find in a dumpster…
Others wonder how they will keep their children warm on a snow day…
Others say, “what will we eat?”…wondering IF? rather than WHAT?!
As we enjoy the blessings of warmth, food and shelter during the Holiday season, let us not forget those who have no place to lay their heads…no place for their children.
Let us remember those who have to struggle looking for someplace to use the bathroom with dignity after a night of sleeping on the street.
Beyond the holiday season, remember your WINTER FUN is someone’s WINTER FEAR.
And, take advantage of the opportunities that God gives you to be a blessing to someone in need. It’s good to PRAY for them, but it’s even better to be the answer to your own prayer for them.
1 John 3:17 (NKJV)
17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
Please help me share this message…
People sure can ‘cherry pick’ their sins!
Let me first say this. I DID NOT say God hates homosexuals or those who have abortions. God loves everyone, and we were all made in His image.
Now, with that said…I wonder why do so many of my fellow Christians act as though homosexuality and abortion are the only sins that matter socially, politically and most of all that matter to God.
Yes, I agree that homosexuality is a sin…that gay marriage is unacceptable to God, and that abortion does equate to murder. My intention in writing this isn’t to debate these two sins, but to be responsible… From Genesis 19, to Leviticus 18, to Romans 1, to 1 Corinthians 6, God makes it undeniably clear that homosexuality is a sin and that marriage is only between a man and woman Genesis 5:2 and Matthew 19:4, even though there are many who are now trying to twist scripture and claim ‘that’s not what God is saying’. The bible also makes it clear that life begins at conception Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:19 confirming that abortion is taking a life.
And, I’m not just talking about the obvious fornication and adultery either. In fact, I wonder how many people so passionately against some sins read their bible enough to examine their own lifestyles.
Carefully read Romans 1:26-27…it clearly addresses those who engage in homosexual activity…
Romans 1:26-27 (NKJV)
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
But UH OH!!! Don’t stop reading there! Look what comes immediately after! How many times have you heard this read, preached or taught?
Romans 1:28-32, 2:1-3 (NKJV)
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[a] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[b] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
Romans 2:1-3 (NKJV)
2 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?
If you read that carefully, it needs no commentary. It clearly speaks for itself. Look at some of the sins that the NKJV defines as ‘not fitting’, and again… I’m not just talking about fornication and adultery either.
Here are a few…
Covetousness: This is greed and Colossians 3:5 goes on to define it as idolatry. This sin, in my opinion is one of the greatest plagues to our society today. The unquenchable desire for more goes beyond ‘wanting better’. It is the exact opposite of contentment and thanksgiving. And the idolatry committed isn’t just worshiping ‘things’, but oneself by placing our desires before God’s.
Strife: There are those who love to quarrel and bitter conflict.
Whisperers and Backbiters: How many people secretly or openly speak evil of others? Think about the fact that many publications and television shows are successful because of the love of gossip, whispering and backbiting.
Proud, Boasters: Pride and boasting almost defines our society and culture today. Not a spirit of humility and thanksgiving, but an arrogant pride in our strength, out accomplishments without regard that everything we have or have done is through the grace of God. We revere leaders with this attitude even when God has spoken against it. I can’t help but notice how many Christians excuse President Trump’s arrogant, unapologetic and UNREPENTANT attitude that God hates, just as much as homosexuality…yet this is excused because they falsely see it as strength. It was much easier to criticize President Obama’s efforts towards gay marriage…in these areas, both leaders were wrong in the eyes of God.
Unloving: Many Christians don’t share their faith or express themselves or even speak out against sin in the spirit of love. Even though homosexuality is wrong, God does not us to hate, bully or be mean to anyone who participates in that sin. It’s God’s will that we hate the sin and not the sinner. No one will be convinced of any wrong through being mean-spirited and hateful.
Untrustworthy: The KJV calls it ‘covenant breakers’. This includes those who breaking contracts and commitments (including marriage). Have you ever broken a contract or agreement? Have you ever been untrustworthy.
And notice that not only does verse 32 state that all the sins mentioned are worthy of death but many people approve of those who practice them.
Romans 2 goes on to say that when we judge others for the sins they practice, we who practice other sins are judging ourselves for our own. In other words, God condemns self-righteousness.
Please remember this, calling out sin is not judging. It is our responsibility to hold one another accountable and to judge righteously…
John 7:24 (NKJV)
24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
Condemnation or stating what’s in another person’s heart is judging. Saying homosexuality or fornication is sin is not judging. Telling someone they can go to Hell for a particular isn’t judging. Judging is condemnation as if someone has no hope. Judging is the condemnation in saying that someone is beyond saving, or have done too much to be saved.
So please…Don’t let what is politically or socially popular dictate what you consider to be right or wrong.
From my archives…
Have you noticed that people treat Christmas shopping like a duty, an obligation… almost like a job?
One person will ask…
“Have you finished your Christmas shopping?”
“Are you ready for Christmas?”
and another will answer…
“No, I HAVE , GOT to get it done!”
During this season, people spend enough money to make or break many retailers fiscal year…
During this time of year some people are prepared because they’ve saved for the holiday…
During this time of year some people spend money they can’t afford in order to buy presents…
During this time of year some people borrow money and end up paying for this Christmas into and beyond the next.
Are any of these people you?
Think about the fervor, the diligence, the stress….
Think of the hustle, the bustle, the FUSStle…
Consider this. What if people approached benevolence with the same attitude they…
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In case you missed it…
Do you sometimes feel that God is unfair to you?
Do you feel that He sometimes allows others to ‘get away’ with more than you?
Do you feel He requires more of you than others?
More suffering, more patience, more strength?
Are there some people in your life of whom you expect more? You expect them to treat you better. You expect them to ‘have your back’, you expect them to have more patience with you and for you.
You expect them to be more loyal, dependable, caring, loving? How does it make you feel when they aren’t? It’s okay when people who don’t know us let us down, but it’s different when those closer to us do…because of our RELATIONSHIP with them.
Because of our relationship WE EXPECT MORE.
That’s how God feels about you. Jesus says in…
Luke 12:48, “For everyone to whom…
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I may lose some readers and/or ‘followers’ for making this post, but it’s my prayer that God will gain some.
Okay, I know this is a morbid unpopular subject, and most people don’t like to talk about or preach about it any more, but as I read Matthew Chapter 7, I can’t read past verses 13 and 14 without drawing the conclusion…that most people will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10-15).
The LORD says, “many go in by it” meaning the gate to destruction, and then He goes on to say, “ few are they who find it” in regard to those who find the way which leads to life. Jesus lets us know that the road that leads to life is difficult.
We all have loved ones who died without accepting the Christ Jesus as LORD and Savior. It’s a difficult thought to accept their eternal plight.
That’s why in Jesus’ parable of “The Rich Man and Lazarus”, the rich man who died asked for a message to be sent to his brothers so that they would not end up like Him.. Your loved ones who died outside of Christ would tell you the same thing if they could…
Luke 16:19-31 (NKJV)
19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell[a] from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ 27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”
The awesome news is that if you’re able to read this post, God has given you grace and time to accept Yeshua, (Christ Jesus) as LORD and Savior of your life.
That’s how easy it is to avoid eternal separation from the presence of God. Now, I know there is much debate over whether it’s a literal Hell, Lake or Fire, whether you burn forever or are immediately consumed. I know there are those who say that the church ‘created’ Hell to control the masses, but all of that is another discussion….all I know is I don’t want to find out the hard way.
As much as I love to encourage you, I wouldn’t be responsible as a minister of God if I didn’t warn everyone of the ultimate consequences of sin…
So, even though it’s difficult, enter into and continue the narrow path. Even though most people ‘won’t make it in’, you can make sure that you do.
You’ve seen it happen before. Anger always comes back…usually harder.
Words and actions released in anger always come back, but rarely return in peace. Only love can cool anger’s searing heat.
Put your anger in check before it turns into wrath, because even though love conquers wrath, sometimes the damage remains.
Wrath kills…both figuratively and literally.
Anger is a seed, if it is used wisely, it can ignite passion that allows love to diffuse the anger and plant seeds that lead to good fruit…
Such as being angry enough at wrong to do something about it…
Such as not returning an insult, can end an argument and lead to a lifelong friendship.
If anger is NOT put in check, it ignites emotions that allow wrath to plant weeds instead of good seeds…
Such as returning an insult can lead to a fight, and animosity that lasts for years and spreads to others…anger is a seed.
The next time you’re angry, stop, think…let your anger cease before you speak or act, if you don’t, not only will come back, but it can come back harder…JUST LIKE A BOOMERANG.
“Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.”
“A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
1 Peter 4:8.”
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
WHEN POLITICS & SCRIPTURE COLLIDE (THE HOLY CITY OF JERUSALEM)…
In this case in regard to the city of Jerusalem SCRIPTURE WINS (as in every case) (Psalm 122).
This particular scripture isn’t quoted or preached as much as others, but it still gives very powerful insight into what’s in God’s heart, and gives us guidance in where and how to stand concerning the Holy City of Jerusalem. Of course those who don’t esteem the entire bible as the inspired, written word of God will not agree. It is my prayer the we can learn to disagree in peace.
Yes, there are implications for taking this stand, but that’s where faith in God comes in. Faith that even in the midst of the chaos that’s sometimes created from standing on the bible as the inspired word, that our God, Yah, is in control.
This chapter is a beautiful reminder in scripture that God wants us to include praying for Jerusalem as a part of our prayer lives.
Psalm 122 (NKJV)
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go into the house of the Lord.”
2 Our feet have been standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem is built
As a city that is compact together,
4 Where the tribes go up,
The tribes of the Lord,
To the Testimony of Israel,
To give thanks to the name of the Lord.
5 For thrones are set there for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.
7 Peace be within your walls,
Prosperity within your palaces.”
8 For the sake of my brethren and companions,
I will now say, “Peace be within you.”
9 Because of the house of the Lord our God
I will seek your good.
Pray for peace within the Holy City of Jerusalem.
“There’s no such thing as a stupid question!”
People love saying this, but too many times they don’t mean it. In a recent meeting at my office, one of my co-workers shared an email from another co-worker in another department which had several questions. Other people in the meeting then began to laugh at, mock and make comment on how silly the questions were. Unfortunately, this went on for a while until I stated, “I thought there were no stupid questions”. After that was stated, comments transitioned to, “Maybe they’re new”, or “Maybe they just didn’t know”. Of course they didn’t know…that’s why they asked.
I’m pretty sure the person who sent that email would not have appreciated, or may have been hurt if he or she knew that their questions were being made fun of.
I can’t count the times that during a public Q & A session that I have waited to ask a question privately, and was sometimes even cautious about that.
It’s even more sad when people want to know more about God, His word, His will, or salvation and are afraid to ask because they think their question is stupid. Especially if the person is ‘older’ and thinks they should be expected to already know.
Let’s be very sensitive to how we respond to those who think enough of us to ask a question.
We can discourage someone who is serious and sincere about learning more about God by an inappropriate response to a question.
Remember what the word tells us…
Luke 6:31 (NKJV)
31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
In case you missed it…
“Hey! You aren’t going to believe this!”
“Have you heard the latest?”
“Guess what _______did!”
“Don’t repeat this…”
“I hate to talk about people but…”
Many times these are some of the phrases that are followed by gossip, spreading rumors and telling other peoples’ business.
Gossip can be destructive to people, families, communities, organizations and even churches.
Some popular television shows are successful primarily for the love of gossip.
The bible is clear that God forbids His people from gossiping…
“Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence…”
Proverbs 16:28 (NIV)
“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”
Proverbs 11:13 (NIV)
“A gossip betrays confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their…
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