Come, let us follow Jesus.

Only one life, 'Twill soon be past; Only what's done for Christ will last.

Verse of the Day

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Walked on the Moon.

Laugh of the day. This is Brian Regan, a hilarious comedian. Good stuff!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. (James 1:2-4)

As Christians we are not immune to the pains and sufferings of this age. If Christ was not immune then why should we be? We are instructed to count is as an "opportunity for great joy". So, when we're being persecuted physically and mentally by those around us, when death or illness assaults us, or when life's daily stresses and strains weigh on us we are to be joyful? That's crazy talk! I thought we were supposed to complain and sulk around like it's the end of the world. I believe complaining about our situation is so easy to do that it's become our default position, but James gives us the reason for our joy.

We are to be joyful because of what the testing of our faith brings. It brings endurance, which in turn will make us whole and complete. After all what is the suffering in this life compared to the pleasures of eternity. What is an average life span? 80 years? Let's say 100 years. What is that compared to everlasting life?
It is barely a blip on the screen of our existence. Therefore, eternity is another reason for our joy. Because of Jesus Christ and our belief in Him, we can be joyful in knowing that this life is not all there is. After the sting of death we shall be ushered into a life brimming with the very presence of God. We shall not be able to contain ourselves. Who could? For God will have made us whole and complete in Christ and the Holy Spirit, through us, will give glory and honor to the One who is worthy!

Weary believer take heart! We all must walk this journey of life that has been laid before. We shall overcome with God's help. Press the fight!

Love God. Love others. (Matthew 22:34-40)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Crazy Love

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. It is easy to read and very convicting. If you don't like feeling uncomfortable in your "Christianity" then you still need to read it. He doesn't hold back, but he tells the truth in love. We, as Chrsitians, need to step back and give an honest evaluation of ourselves. To test ourselves and see if we are in the faith. American Christianity, especially in the south, is a watered down luke-warm version of what Jesus teaches in the Bible. Our belief system is not totally based on what the Word says. Which is kinda where we need to go for guidance.

"Crazy Love" is a good book that stives to put Jesus and His teachings at the center of our lives. Very applicable and relevant.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Season to be.......

I feel that I have some commonalities with Scrooge when Christmas rolls around. It's not the good parts of Christmas that get me aggravated but the commercialization of it. Christmas is a money making machine in America. I hate that because the meaning behind the symbol of Christmas is lost amidst all the greed. Jesus Christ and His coming to earth as human was the biggest event in human history and it has been reduced to a ceramic sentiment on a mantle. We stress out about the gifts (what we're going to give and get) when a lot of us don't even need the gifts. The money spent on all the unnecessary gifts could definitely be used for something better than pleasing ourselves.

We are rich beyond what we can even begin to realize. We lose sight of the blessings of a full belly, a healthy body, and a dry place to sleep. We should desire to give our "stuff" away and trust in God to provide fo our daily needs. Trust is a word that many of us flippantly toss around, especially in relation to God. "Yeah I trust God, but......" fill in the blank. It's such a foreign concept for us to trust God to feed us because we don't have to.

I pray that we would refocus our view and direct our attention to where it needs to be. It's all about God anyway, we might as well get on board!

Are You Ready?

This book "Crazy Love" has started off really good by trying to paint the impossible picture of how awesome God is and how small we are. In chapter 2 entitled "you might not finish this chapter" Francis Chan tells of how short our lives are, and that we are not the center of the story. God is. Chan wants us to know how insignificant we are compared to God; not to belittle us but to wake us up to reality. This is an excerpt from that chapter.

As a pastor, I'm often called upon when life "vanishes like a mist." One of the most powerful examples I've seen of this was Stan Gerlach, a successful businessman who was well known in the community. Stan was giving a eulogy at a memorial service when he decided to share the gospel. At the end of his message, Stan told the mourners, "You never know when God is going to take your life. At that moment, there's nothing you can do about it. Are you ready?" Then Stan sat down, fell over, and died. His wife and sons tried to resuscitate him, but there was nothing they could do - just as Stan had said a few minutes earlier.
I'll never forget receiving that phone call and heading over to the Gerlach house. Stan's wife, Suzy, was just arriving home. She hugged me and cried. One of her sons, John, stepped out of the car weeping. He asked me, "Did you hear the story? Did you hear? I'm so proud of him. My dad died doing what he loved doing most. He was telling people about Jesus."
I was asked to share a word with everyone gathered. There were children, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends. I opened my Bible to Matthew 10:32-33: "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."
I asked everyone to imagine what it must have felt like for Stan. One moment, he was at a memorial service saying to a crowd, "This is who Jesus is!" The next, he was before God hearing Jesus say, "This is who Stan Gerlach is!" One second he was confessing Jesus; a second later, Jesus was confessing him!
It happens that quickly. And it could happen to any of us. In the words of Stan Gerlach, "Are you ready?"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Psalm 73

This is the New Living Translation of Psalm 73. It might be my favorite Psalm.

Truly God is good to Israel, to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They don’t have troubles like other people; they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for! They scoff and speak only evil; in their pride they seek to crush others. They boast against the very heavens, and their words strut throughout the earth. And so the people are dismayed and confused, drinking in all their words. “What does God know?” they ask. “Does the Most High even know what’s happening?” Look at these wicked people—enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply. Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Did I keep myself innocent for no reason? I get nothing but trouble all day long; every morning brings me pain.

If I had really spoken this way to others, I would have been a traitor to your people. So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked. Truly, you put them on a slippery path and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction. In an instant they are destroyed, completely swept away by terrors. When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning. Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart;he is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.