Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One new thing this year!

Remember, the New Year changes in-spite of us, what are we going to change realistically in 2015? Don't think of many changes, as people usually do and nothing changes for being overwhelmed! Think about that one thing, that one annoying thing that has followed you oh so long. The one thing that has held you back from being what you need to be, or do.

If it is diet work on that! If it is a job change, work on that. If you have struggled with attitude, work on that! Gratitude work on that! So many and long is the list, yet it is that one elusive thing we seem to carry over year after year! We try to change so many things, make many resolutions, followed by the disappointment of accomplishing none!

The one thing we don't want to do, is the one thing we must do! If we see the one thing change it will be the encouragement we need to take the next step! It is just like a honey do list, we get it set before us yet become overwhelmed at all that needs to be done, usually nothing does! We put off what we can because of the long list before us.

Well prioritize your list from most important to the least and chip away at it, one at a time! When the list begins to shrink your confidence will begin to grow, because you will actually see accomplishment! So what do you say New Year one new thing? Or New Year same old you because you took on more than you could handle?

Remember what is, or seems impossible to you, is possible with God! You alone can do it, but you cannot do it alone!

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It has to start somewhere why not with you

I am not sharing this because of me, I know somewhere out there; there is someone who thinks they will never hear an I love you from mom or dad! It may start with you, if you can forgive and fall in love with them again, love will reign! I did just that, Jesus loved me out of despair and let me live again, but I had to talk to my dad whom I disliked so very much! It was hard as I lived 10 hours away and had no vacation at the time, but God had a plan and timing is all His! 

But we could talk by phone, and that is where it started, as I would hang up with him, I would say love you dad, and always got a me too from him! As some time passed I did get to sit with my dad, share my heart, my bitterness, and yet ask his forgiveness and tell him I loved him! Some people would say he should have asked for mine, but I was the one who needed to move on and if dad wanted to do anything he could! 

At that meeting he did not. But I was freed from so much bitterness and anger that day it cannot be explained except God was in control! But one glorious day, unexpected my dad made me weep, not from anger or bitterness, but from three words he would never share again. As I was getting off the phone with him I gave him my usual good bye, I love you dad. 

That is when it happened, out of no where, no rhyme or reason, he hadn't gotten saved yet, it came, three words I have not forgotten! I love you and tell the family also! I never heard it again, that does not matter, I got to hear it at least once! I have shared something similar to this before but felt led to share again I feel God wanted to too! So sometime if you want something so badly, what are you willing to sacrifice? 

Pride, anger, bitterness maybe even an abused life? Sometime to get free we need to forgive, even those who may of wronged us. A big decision yes, but also a complete freedom so worth it! God does not want you held captive by anything or anyone, He wants you free! I hope this helps someone out there, if not I needed to write it down being obedient to God! If we don't share what He has done in our lives how will people ever see His amazing love, it has to start somewhere? Be blessed all and give it to Jesus!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Free indeed?

If I gauged everyone by the color of their skin, I could not in clear conscience be a Pastor! We have to live and believe the whole word, preach the whole word, without discrimination or prejudice! If we choose to express our opinions outside the back up of scripture, then they are just that a feeling based on opinion only!

Dangerous to make rational decisions like that! If you feel oppressed come to Jesus get release! If you feel like a slave come to Jesus get freedom, if you feel beat down and held back, come to Jesus get the strength to move on! You see, Jesus did all these things for us, lived them experienced them, yet without sin!

He loved us so much He came to earth to feel what we feel yet without sin! Pastor's we cannot get caught up in preaching a social theology, we have to preach the word of God in it's fullness! Jesus did not sway from the word He is the word! the Apostles did not sway from the word they learned faith through the word!

For 2 thousand years the gospel message has been preached and has transformed lives, who are we to change that method? Jesus the same yesterday, today and forever! Get back in the word stand on it, live it breathe it, that is the only way we will change anything, one soul at a time, not one color at a time!

Acts, Romans, Hebrews The four Gospels, no where does it say separate people by color! There were two groups of people Jew and Gentiles!

Galatians 3:28 New King James Version (NKJV)

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Take time, to take time!

My granddaughter brought tears to my eyes last night. She wrote a 9 page paper dealing with Alzheimer disease. When you wonder if people notice, and how the family deals with the issues of life. We may need to stop and read a 9 page paper on the subject. Alyvia came down and ask me to proof read her paper, by the way it was due today, and make any corrections I may find.

It was such blessing to see how much she had taken notice in what was happening to her Great grandmother and the family.  She actually interviewed her grandmother to learn how this disease effects caregivers, those closest to the family members struggling. Her paper was not only touching, but had so much information.

She had done her homework for sure, researching the causes, and expressing her concerns about this disease. Never really knowing how this all impacted her until last night. She shared how she has lost the exciting great grand-mom she remembered when she was younger, and her struggles with understanding that loss.

Her concerns that people be made aware, this disease is real and effects everyone, not only the caregiver, but the entire family! What I learned last night, reading her paper, was the importance of staying in touch now! When things are going fine we seem to take life for granted and family is doing alright. Wrong! We need to do a better job communicating with each other before life becomes a loss issue.

What I mean by that is, never assume we have mom and dad forever. You never know when a disease like Alzheimer's will strike, it may be happening to them right now. Take time to pay attention, take time to take time. Those you have not talked with in a while, now is the time! It is never to late to catch up with family, unless, you don't take that precious moment, and take time!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Not about the "I" but about the us!

Being in the Marine Corps, you could never say I in boot camp. We thought it was always some dumb thing the drill instructors  harassed you about!  What we really learned from that is, it is not about I it was always about the team! We were a platoon, not a one man show, it took everyone in the platoon to execute an order!

Funny how the same thing we learned in the military would be effective in my walk with the Lord! Though we are one part we are also part of a body, we have our function but it has to work with all the other parts to be effective! Would have never guessed, being trained by the Marine Corps, was preparing me to serve my Lord and the church!

Funny how life does that if we are open to learn from it. Who would have known that being in mans military would prepare me for being in God's army? Looking back many times and comparing my life to today. There are many moments, no matter how bad, that God has transformed them to His good purpose!

Just like the Marine Corp needing and creating a few good men, through rigorous training to face a physical enemy. So God through His rigorous training, prepares us for that spiritual battle we face daily! But we are not to do it alone. Though we are one, we are part of many! There is a reason for that, it reminds us we are never alone.

God never leaves us or forsakes us. He never sends us into a battle without the proper back up, and equipment! Life always has it's lessons. They are training tools for the bigger things that will come our way! But remember it is not about the I, it is always about the us! You may have never been in the military, but you can still learn the us way of life.

Stop thinking it is all about you alone. There are people around you that care. They are part of your life. They are there for a purpose. Try today, to break the "I" syndrome you may be trapped in. You are truly part of a bigger team if you are willing to see and look beyond yourself a bit! Don't let the "I" in your life blind you from seeing God's bigger plan for you!

Romans 12:4-5 (NIV)

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Never Alone In Marriage!

Marriage is not something you do alone, marriage is the beginning of many things you will do with your new best friend! Marriage, becomes a glorious adventure as you both search out the mysteries of life together. She may not understand all you do, and you may be confused at times to her actions and emotions!

But that is what makes this journey you are beginning together, exciting and intriguing!  When the bumps of life  throw you off, and they will, that is when you hold on tighter than ever. That is the time you turn to each other and say together we have this. You are now the team as God intended. A team that endures even when wining seems to be out of grasp, because losing is not an option!

You hang in because there is always another game to be played! If you look at each other everyday with the same eyes as when you met, you cannot lose, but only gain! Love is not always smiles and laughter, sometime there are tears and pain! But it is through those time together you grow closer to being one!

Genesis 2:24 (NKJV)

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Captivated By Your Freedom?

Though I am confined more than most, I am free more than most! There are some out there that are captive to their freedom, because they are not grateful for it! They are so lost in that freedom, they truly lose sight of how free they really are! In my, somewhat of a confinement, I have learned to understand true freedom.

It's not just the ability to come and go, but how you handle not being able to, that is freedom!  It is when we get so busy in our freedom that we lose sight of it! We need to start remembering we are free not to be too busy! It is not freedoms fault we have lost time, but ours, because we have lost sight of our freedom and what it truly means!

Jesus said, you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free! (John 8:30-36) So what truth are you hanging onto? If your own, and your freedom seems to have you captive, and you are more overwhelmed then not! You may need to check what truth you are following. Jesus says He offers you a truth that sets you free and you will be free indeed. A freedom that does not hold you captive, but a freedom that give you release, clear and reasonable thinking!

Ask yourself this question, has your freedom captivated you, or truly set you free?

John 8:30-36

30 As He was saying these things, many believed in Him.
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, "If you abide in my words, you are truly my disciples,
32 and you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
33 They answered Him, "We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.
34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.
35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever.
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When Tragedy Strikes!

It is hard when Tragedy strikes us. It hurts, and sometimes leaves us confused and asking questions. God wants us too! He wants us, at that very moment to come to Him and ask. He is our Father and He wants to comfort our pain and dry our tears! Yet what we forget, is how God wants to also use us during these times!

It is not always how tragedy touches our lives, but how through tragedy God can touch others through you!  We may not understand all that happens and why, though sin plays it's part, but the pain does not last. It is through these times we come boldly to the throne of Grace ask the tough questions and receive His grace and mercy!

We hold to the memories of loved ones gone, their smiles, warmth, and laughter! If we know for sure of their relationship with the Father, we hold onto the times we will see them again and anew! Don't hold onto what we think we have lost, hold onto what we have gained by knowing those who have gone before us! Allow their memories to touch the lives of those who are still with us! 1 Thess. 4:13-18, Hebrews 4:12-16

Friday, August 29, 2014

Humble Pastor, really?

To be a better pastor you truly need to follow the John 13 model Jesus set. He gave an example of true leadership and servant hood. It is called servant leadership. A leadership of serving others, not only leading the way, but living the way. Jesus taught His disciples, being good leaders you need to be good servants.

Meeting the needs of those by doing and not by just saying it! Jesus set the model when He humbly girded Himself and got down before the men He loved and taught them be example! Humility is not easy for leaders, though they think they have it. Peter is a good example of how tough humility can be when Jesus started to wash his feet.

John 13: 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to Him, "Lord, do You wash my feet?" 7 Jesus answered him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterword you will understand."

Most of us know what took place following, Peter tried to refuse Jesus service, and Jesus told Peter if He did not wash his feet he had no part or share with Him. What Jesus meant was he needed a leader with humility. True servants, men who would not only teach the flock but touch them personally. Jesus is the truest picture we have of a humble servant all the way to the cross. (Philippians 2:8)

If Jesus set the example why then do we not have the humble servant in the pulpits we need? Men who think of others more highly than themselves? What we have are job seekers, book writers, and lecture and life experts who are daily struggling themselves, sadly watch the news!

We need men in the pulpit who follow the Jesus servant leadership model. Men who know exactly what God called them to do. Watch the flock! Feed the flock! Serve the flock! Care for the flock with the love of Christ! Doing these things Pastors will also be served by the flock, it is a natural process God set up in scripture, and Jesus led the way in John 13.

I am not saying don't write books, lecture, etc... What I am saying, if you are a Pastor those are all secondary to the flock! Know your calling, if indeed you were called, if the other things are more important than the flock of God you may need to seek God's true calling on your life!

We need foot washing Pastors again. The church is struggling and fracturing people are leaving because of the lack of compassion in the church, which starts right in the pulpit! How about you Pastor? Foot washing beneath you? Well maybe it's time for a lesson in humility re-read John 13 often and be reminded of your call to be like Jesus!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Never Give Up!

I know a man who was born to fail, never succeed, destined to quit everything he attempted! His father told him always he would never amount to anything. He was stupid and he should just quit! So he did, he lived down to those expectations and never finished anything he started. Sports, school,  friendships, even the Military kicked him out!

The only thing he did well was quit! It became so easy as life went on to just quit, give up blame everyone else for his failings! He quit so much even his father who taught him so well became disappointed in him! A mother who loved him even came to the point of acceptance that her son would probably not live long, most quitters do not, and that is so sad!

It became so easy to give up that it was the one successful thing he could do, and do well! He had no friends, except three he could think of yet ran them off for years! Again he was successful, again it was easy to quit even close friendships! Quitting became the norm of success for this man, he was taught well and encouraged by family, though that was not really so!

He acted so badly most times his family came to expect nothing less or more from him! His family loved him, but there was nothing they could do. They just watched as he spiraled into drugs and alcohol, bitterness seized him, anger surrounded him like a cloud! He could not be reasoned with at all. Confusion would set in as he did all to please his father, lived down to his expectations, did exactly what his father taught him.

Only to see disappointment and more discouraging looks and comments from his dad! That confused and certainly angered him more. If he was doing all his father had expected of him than why was his father not proud? He would later find it was all in reflection, he was the reflection of his father, a mirror image that reminded him of his failures!

Though he raised his son to fail, it reminded him of his failings, something he never wanted to deal with either! Watching his son fall apart and nothing he could do made him helpless, so it gave him more reason to quit also! His son knowing this and feeling the pain, wanting so much for his dad to just love him and be proud on anything, failed even more!

Nothing he did mattered, not anything he could do well would make a difference, people just knew it would not last! He would quit, because the one person he sought to please, the one he sought to prove things too, could never come to the place or find the words, son I am proud of you! You see, his father was a quitter also, for him to expect any good thing from his son he would have to see some good in himself and it was just not there!

His son did not know these things because his father could not share these things. So this man continued down a road that was destined to kill him if he did not change something! Thoughts reeled in his head how he could do things people would remember him by! The sad thing, these were all thoughts of how he could die in a big and exciting way people would remember him for!

Little did he understand, people would only remember the sad life this man lived, he would be leaving them nothing else! But who would know that this man had a plan for his life? A plan that would change peoples thinking of him. Even he would be amazed, though hopeless now, he would come to see how valuable he would become!

Though he was rejected, as he felt all his life, it would be through rejection that his life would be transformed! Being asked to leave a place he loved so much because his actions were so bad. He felt he had failed again, letting down a man who loved him so much! But being a quitter by profession it was easy to leave, but this time he left with something no one else gave him.

It was something that would take another ten years to grab him. But it would change his life forever and make him a winner he never thought was possible! Through what he thought was rejection, being asked to leave, was actually an invitation to be accepted. An acceptance that would make this man hunger and desire to go back to the father, who had done so terribly raising him and seek his forgiveness!

It would be an acceptance that would give this man a purpose in life, a reason to live, a reason to never give up and quit again, at least not without a fight or a right reason! As I said though, it would take another ten years from that day he was asked to leave! Another ten years of failure, quitting and rejection of many! A time when he would even move away from his home town to escape his life.

Little did he or would he understand until later. No matter where he would go, he was always and be would be always there, there is no escaping you! Yet being away did not change the fact he still wanted to impress his father, do that one thing that would get his attention and show him how wrong he was! Remember the man who asked him to leave his property?

I hope you do, I hope you are asking, just what did he give this man when asking him to leave? He gave him hope, he gave him purpose, he gave him love, he gave him what he had been given years before when his own life had none of these! He introduced him to a man who had also experienced rejection from his own people.

A man who was sent by his own father to these people, a father who would have to turn his back on his own son for doing what he sent him to do! A man who would love him and bring him out of despair. Teach him to love those who had rejected him and forgive those turned their backs on him! Deliver him from the anger he had for his own father and to fall in love with him!

Desiring to share this mans life with his father because his father deserved better! Sharing this man with his wife and children because he failed them miserably and they deserved better! He shared this man with others because it was through this man he was able to hope again! Never wanting to quit, never wanting to give up he had hope.

He found he had a future! Today is no different for many, there are many like this man, who have felt the pain of rejection and loneliness. The put down of fathers and mothers! A life of quitting and failure never seeing a life worth living for! But there is a man who wants to make a change in your life, a man who gave it all so you can have it all! A man who loves us like he loved the man in the story above! Before having been asked to leave, an invitation was given.

An invitation and introduction to the man who could change his life! It was a life changing introduction to a man named Jesus Christ!  The man in the story was told if he would ask Jesus into his life he would be transformed! One day in a little room next to a bed this man fell down broken beyond broken! Cried out to this Jesus he was introduced to, claimed the promise of a new life!

That day would never be forgotten, for when he stood up he was changed! Nothing he could do himself, he tried everything, but the best he could do was just quit and give up! This day in 1979 was different, it was a day he emerged from his room different, changed from the inside out he was changed! He wanted to share this change with his father.

How do you know he was changed you ask? He never quit, he never gave up til he got to his father many miles a way, and many months after his change! Quitting was not an option anymore! Something miraculous had happened he felt like a winner for the first time in his entire life! He no longer wanted to go out in a blaze of glory, he just wanted to share his new life with others!

People saw the change yet watched for a time, they knew him, they knew it was just a matter of time and he would quit and let them down again. But this time was different  as years passed he remained the same, not perfect but changed! What happened to his relationship with his father? Well he first shared his faith in Jesus, asked him for his forgiveness!

His forgiveness, really? Yes, he need to move on with his life, so whether his father accepted it or not this man could move on and not look back! His life would be free from his fathers baggage, he could begin with a clean slate! But the one thing he did not receive that day he so desperately wanted, just one thing! To hear his father say four words, I love you son! It did not happen that day, But he man never quit, never gave up!

With every phone call, before they hung up, the man would say I love you dad! Dad's response would always be, me too son! Never quitting, one day after a phone call, the man finished by saying I love you dad. His father for the first and last time said, I love you too son! The man just wept and thanked Jesus for that one special gift he still carries with him in his heart!

Sharing Jesus with his father was the nest step, every time his father's response was he did not need a Savior! On the day of his father's death, four hours before, he got a call from his sister, dad just got saved he knows Jesus! The man wept thanking Jesus for this gift, not knowing in four hours his father wold be gone! He did not give up, he did not quit praying!

This man was a quitter never finished anything gave up on it all, had no hope was a failure destined to a life of no hope nothing! Jesus made a difference, Jesus gave him to hope to hang on and never give up, even on the man he had come to hate! He never gave up! How about you?

Quitter, hater, hopeless, are you like the man in the story? By the way this story is true! Come to Jesus, He never gives up on you, so you never have to quit or give up! You are special, so special to Him that he died for you, yes he gave it all so you could live! John 3:18, Romans 10:9-13, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I want to know!

I for one, want to know your hurt and pain. Please never hide it behind a smile or a joke! You are important to many. Many love you, you are special! It should never be an embarrassment that your life takes a turn from what we think is normal! Sometimes being down is alright, but share it with those who care. Those who will pray for you and hold your hand without judgement! 

There are so many choices to make, but the worst is to think know one cares, we do, I do, but most importantly God does! There is not a person who does not get depressed at times. The sadness comes when you think no one else struggles with depression! Depression can be a prison with no escape. Only if you throw away the key to life around you, and those who are reaching out to help you! 

Open those prison doors, as only you can, come out from the darkness into the light and talk about it! People want to know, people want to care, people truly will never reject you if you will just help them understand! Understanding that can only come from you, at a time you think, you don't understand what's happening to you! 

Understanding comes from not locking yourself away from the world, but sometimes forcing your way back into the world by being proud of who you are! Knowing you are not alone, there are many of us out here who need to hear your cry! We need to see your tears and understand it's alright and we are alright! But it helps to know that depression can be a tool to life, and a tool to live, only if we reveal it's pain without shame! 

I for one, want to know. I want to hear. I want to walk beside you on your journey. You are not alone!
We need to reach out regardless of the results and the hurts, depression should never win we need to fight! 

Matthew 11:28 (NKJV)

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pastor's, our way or God's?

If Pastors handled everything the way they wanted to at times there would be a lot of fire from heaven come down! But its also about grace and mercy and forgiveness. Pastors I believe, are given a few more gifts to utilize, now it's up to us to utilize them properly! We have to completely follow God's word whenever we are dealing with any situation or person!

The whole idea is reconciliation, but then there comes that time we have to discern when it's time to move on and remember we can change no one! That is when our faith needs to kick in and pray God's intervention! Pastor's cannot do all or fix all or change all, but we have a Savior who is able and willing to do all! We need, as Paul spoke to Timothy, to be instant in season and out, be ready to roll always!

2 Timothy 4:1-2 King James Version (KJV)
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

We have to be willing to turn people around, but it is by example not only word! Pastor's also have to remember, their way or God's way and that's who we measure our way against, God's!
We have been given a ministry of reconciliation not an ministry of fear and and intimidation!

 2 Corinthians 5:16-19 (ESV)
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

Yes we need to hold Christians accountable if we truly love them we will, yet we are accountable for our actions also and we as Pastor's need to remember that. (Matthew 18, James 3:1, Galatians 6:1-5, and many more)

So as Pastor's, yes we have a burden to bear, yes at times it can be tough and we can get in the flesh. But we need to remember always the old cliche, What Would Jesus Do in any situation we find ourselves? If we truly stop a bit give it to Him, we will see a very different perspective than our own most times! I like this quote from Max Lucado “Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.”  He Still Moves Stones

It is not about what we want, it is all about what God wants, and we as Pastors need to know the difference!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

What keeps you?

What keeps you, right now from calling on Jesus? Doubt, you are not alone. Not good enough? You are not alone. Disbelieve? You are not alone. The Apostle Paul was all these things and worse in some cases! Yet when he turned his life over to Jesus, his life was transformed, and became a driving force for the Gospel! (Acts chapters 7-28)

 If you have the faith to drive your car down the highway, you have the faith to believe in Jesus as Savior. Not that easy you say? Well that is exactly what keeps people from believing, it is too simple. Actually, though simple faith is all you need, people struggle! They need proof, well it takes faith. It takes as much faith not to believe in Jesus as it does to believe He is! Think about your life, where you are, where you truly want to be! Me, I choose Jesus, I pray you will also! 

Roman 12:9-13,17

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Open it, apply it!

You will never gain knowledge till you open the Bible itself! Yet without application and relationship you will never truly experience all God has to offer you! Read to not only learn, read to apply what you learn and come into a relationship that is intimate and not just knowledge alone! I know people who know a lot, yet they are not experiencing the fullness of God in their lives because their relationship is based on knowledge alone.

Grow in the knowledge of God to grow in your relationship with God. The Apostle Paul shared this about his former life. He was real smart and knew a lot about God, yet had no relationship with Him! It was not until He came into an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ did he truly begin to learn and draw closer than ever to Him!

He was able to apply all he had learned about religion and bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus! A change that was so obvious people could not believe this was the same man whom they once feared! Paul, not only spoke on knowing the word, but living it also!

Philippians 3:5-8 (NIV)

5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ

2 Timothy 4:1-5 (NKJV)

4 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at[a] His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A calling from God, is a hungering for God!

God lead me through much before fulfilling my call to Pastor, but I had to be willing to do much. I needed to grow and learn to answer that call! I found the journey to be so fulfilling. I was a youth leader, a college and career leader, a youth Pastor, a counselor, oh yes I did preach once in a great while!

I never said no to anything I was asked to do in the church! You know it's a calling when you hunger to do more!! Plus God provided me with a full time secular job also because those positions were unpaid! I was and am so blessed to have the privilege  to do what I do, God certainly could have done something else for my life!

When your called, your called but it is still on God's time table! I have been humbled, and God has provided me a wonderful fellowship to shepherd, and a leadership to guide a little differently than I was! It is never my way that is the way, it has to be God's way always! It took a lot of years to get me to a place God wanted me to be, yes, because I got in the way many times and it was costly!

But by His grace alone I have been given to opportunity of a life time, to serve and come along side those who hunger the same as I, for more Jesus! You know your called when your hunger to learn is never satisfied! I desired to so be the example Paul taught Timothy to be.

I Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

 I so have to remember that they see the Jesus in me, and train others to hunger for the same!

2 Timothy 2:1-2 You therefore my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2-And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who are able to teach also.

I followed the example of others who followed Jesus. So I can do no less than be that example to others, in hopes to have the same success as I Pastor!

Monday, June 9, 2014

I have a relationship not a religion!

Some people out there think I am close minded because I am a Christian, no, not really! I am faith minded believer who over the past 30 years, have found enlightenment in Christ, my search was over, why should I continue to search for this when I found it in Jesus so many years ago? These folks of other religions and beliefs seem to continue their search for what I have found.

Why would I follow that belief system? I share my faith because of a real and personal life changing relationship I found in Jesus Christ! Now if you chose not to believe, that is certainly your choice. Keep searching as I did never finding contentment with anything, only fault and excuses why I did not believe in the God of the Bible!

Have I seen hypocrisy yes! Have I seen judgmental people yes! Have I seen what religion can do yes! But I was not saved or changed by a religion. I was not changed by being educated. I was not changed trying all the religions of the world, that I never trusted even when I was searching for something! Why in the world would I trust them and the people in them now?

 I came into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, not a religion, nothing man made! By faith I believed, and faith alone! I took a shot with Jesus and He has not let me down yet after over 30 years! Why would I change what works, for something I have watched over the years not work! Now as you can see I am not even using any Bible references this time around, because people accuse me of hand picking scripture to prove my point!

Well now I am just putting out there my changed life, a life that has seen people healed, yes physically! People set free from demon possession, yes I was there in South America to experience first hand! Yes I have studied other religions again and compared them to what I have personally experienced over the years, and still choose my life of faith!

People out there mostly talk from anger, resentment, and doubts they have experienced from organized religions, yes I understand that also, as I was rejected and judged by them to! But my faith was not in the men or women of religion. It was in the One who claimed to be the only way! I made my choice and I am sticking with it why? Experience, I have a relationship and not a religion, that is the difference!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

To understand, turn the pages!

Looking at the cover of the Bible and saying I don't understand it so I don't bother opening it, is like looking at the front door and saying I am not opening it because I don't understand the world! If we learned to take things a little slower, stopped talking ourselves out of things and take a shot, oh what treasures we could gain!! The Bible is the book of life, and life is our book to the world.

We have to spend time in both, we have to turn the pages to learn! As the saying goes never judge a book by it's cover, as you may miss so much from it's pages! Start in the book of John and read a chapter a day, go slow take it in, and see what a wonderful relationship God wants to have with you, and how intimate a relationship that will be!

I don't care how long you have been saved, or if you have just been, or do not have a relationship with God! This Gospel will take you into a deep walk with Jesus as He touches lives in such a personal and intimate way! Just a chapter a day could make such a wonderful difference in where you are in your life. But you have to be willing to open the book, and allow God to open the book of your life also.

I think that frightens people more than anything, the thought of opening the book of your life. But the Bible tells us nothing is hidden from God anyway, so why not just come clean and get set free?

Luke 12:2-3 (NKJV)
2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
Jesus just wants you to come to Him and He will do the rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I read other books also and learn a great deal, yet what I have found is, those authors are getting their ideas from the same place I can get mine. In God's word! They are writing from their hearts what God has given them from His word, (The Bible). Max Lucado, Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, etc... They all have great books, but their main source is God's word!

I put their names in this writing so you would have a idea of some books to search out, but never leave the Bible out of your reading source! To understand any book and it's writings, you have to turn the pages!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Arguing is one thing hitting another!

Have you ever heard anyone say, we never argue? My response is most always Hmmmmmm!
Did you know people argue in different ways? Loudly, quietly, silently, in different rooms avoidance, short and sweet, all these different ways, but it is still arguing! Silence is no less arguing then if you get loud, it is just a different way! 

Sometimes it takes what it takes to see a different point of view, and a good healthy disagreement helps sometimes, people just need to be honest! Getting physical is not arguing, it is abusing there is a big difference between the two and couples need to learn which one to walk away from quickest! 

Tragically they do not in most cases. A couple of reasons, 1. No place to go. 2. But I love him or her. 3. People will judge. 4. I am in control. 5. I am not leaving my home. 6. He or she only does it once in a while. 7. He or she did not mean to hit. 8. It is always someone else's fault. 8. I or we don't want anyone in our business. 9. I or we do not want the neighbors to find out. 10. Always an excuse for bad behavior. 

These are just a few, I am sure there are tons more reasons people will not take a break for one another. But the important thing here is this, you need to know the difference and when it's time to take a break from each other! Notice I said break from each other? Taking a break gives you both time to breathe and think a bit more clearly. 

And decide the next and best route to follow to work on a potentially dangerous situation if not headed off soon. If admittance is not made that there is anger issues, that is a cause for warning and concern. Abuse will not stop until honesty prevails and help is sought! But if one or both parties involved will not cooperate, get the proper help, do the work involved in healing the problem, it will just worsen! 

There is always help out there, it just takes a humble heart to admit the problem and seek the help! Sometimes it takes time apart to get to this point. Friends and close family may not be the best place to turn. Your Pastor, if you have one may be helpful, yet you may need to turn to agencies outside your circle. 

This is alright and most probably the best thing to do. Never put it off hoping it won't happen again, if it has been more than once, that is one to many you need to seek help! It is fixable if the right help is sought after, and the person involved truly wants to be helped! Always remember this warning, arguing is one thing, getting physical is completely different and a warning sign to a much deeper problem!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Just Words?

There are certain words that should not be used too often, love is one! It is a word said more and acted upon less, than any word we use! Hate is also one of those words, it is said more and acted upon way to often! Racism is one of those words least understood, and used more often than necessary! 

Understanding is a word that should be used more and no ones takes the time to! We use words like, know, but we really don't. The word think, should be thought on more, and the word excuse, thought on less! When Jesus used the word love, He was preparing to die for us, action! John taught on the word hate, he said it kills! 

Though Racism is not mentioned in Scripture, Jesus said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves! When lacking understanding it means we struggle more! I could certainly go on, but most folks truly do not want to hear any word that may challenge them to change, or even desire change! 

Change means, we could be wrong in our perception or understanding of any word. We could be using in the wrong context of it's meaning! We need to research some of the words we so freely throw around to get our point across! 

And if our actions don't speak louder than these words we use, we need to speak these words less and act on them more! Love heals, hate kills, racism divides, understanding sees. John 3:16, 1 John 3:15, Matthew 22:37-40, Ephesians 4:18

Monday, April 14, 2014

What believers miss!

What believers miss when they think they have been there, done that, or heard that already, don't realize what they are really saying is, God you cannot teach me anymore! When I read over the same thing that I have read, and I do try very hard to read through the Bible once a year, plus my normal studies, I learn and find treasures, that I always seem to miss on previous readings.

I say thank you God that I am still teachable! Believer, never get to a point that bible study is boring, and thinking you have arrived. You will find humbling is just around the corner! You can never know it all. Never hear it all! When you feel you have, you stop learning. You get stunted in your growth, and you find less joy and victory in your life!

Oh you may act victorious, but the truth is in how you speak, respond and get involved! Believe me, been there and have done that! I memorized tons of scripture. Knew a lot, of what most all the books of the Bible had to say. I could point you in most any direction in the word, or subject! It sure impressed people, but God was not impressed!

I used that knowledge for the wrong reasons, to impress pump up my ego! Well God took care of that through a humbling experience in my life. I find now scripture does not come as easy, I have to work harder! Memorizing also has become harder. And all the scripture I had memorized seems to have gone! You see I believe that if you have a gift, and you abuse that gift, God may just take it back!

2 Timothy 2:15,  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (NKJV)

I don't have the exact Bible for that, I feel it comes when God has to lovingly take you down a peg or two, a humbling! You can never hear, know, or find all the treasure in the word God has for you. Don't settle for I have arrived. I have heard all that! Ask God to quicken your spirit again. Teach you excite you, and show you, the treasures He has hidden for you in His word!

James 4:6,  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Don't be a believer who misses everything because you think you know, have heard and done it all already! If you are then you are not alive. You cannot know what God has if you know more than Him! Ask God to change that thinking to stir your spirit and to wake you up from the spiritual sleep you are in, and live again!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Free or Freely Confined?

I have learned to appreciate being as confined as I am. I have drawn closer to the Lord. Yes, it is hard sometimes not to be as free as I would like, but when I watch those who have freedom, and hear them complain how much they don't have, I just smile and thank God for the lesson of gratitude I am being taught!

If you are free to come and go as you please, and cannot find the time to do the things you should be doing, then you are more confined than I! It always amazes me the complaining I hear about no time, except when it's the things we enjoy! Lose that time, and see how you will not come to appreciate time so much more! What we do with our freedoms also tells God what we will, and will not do for Him.

His work can be confining, yet rewarding. Boring, yet exciting. Tedious, yet fulfilling! Still, we always have an excuse not to serve Him! We find all the reasons we cannot serve in the capacity God would like. Why? Because it is not as fun as we think. It's too much Bible. It's to structured! We have time to make all these excuses!

So what are we telling God about what we have, and do not have regarding freedom? Jesus told us to make disciples. Are we, or do we leave it to someone else because it's something that just isn't our cup of tea? Our free will, could just be our costly confinement! You see, God gives us every opportunity to serve Him or ourselves! How about you?

What is your freedom doing for you? Free or just freely confined?
Jesus said, in John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." KJV

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Leadership is not just telling!

Leadership is not only telling the way, but most importantly it is showing the way! I think even Jesus could have gotten bored doing the same things over again and again. Yet the most important to Him was, for people to get it. He always went over and over things with His disciples, discouraging maybe, necessary absolutely!

The Apostle Paul even wrote in Philippians 3:1, "Finally my brothers rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe." We learn from repetition, we need to hear things more than once for them to stick. C. Gene Wilkes, in his book Jesus on leadership said, "leadership is not something you pursue, leadership is something others give to you."

You just do what you are committed to do for Jesus and leadership will come. To many folks out there want that upfront experience without the responsibility that comes with it. We can always tell people how to do anything. But not until we are willing to come along side them, and show them they are important to us. Important enough that we are willing to do it over again, always remembering someone did it for us!

We have to be in God's will and plan not our own. In the book Jesus on leadership, Mr Wilkes puts it like this, "Christ's servants tap into God's power. Otherwise, how could they see the future and have the courage to pioneer their way into it? You see, leadership is not about us who are leaders. Leadership is sacrifice! Leadership doing what you already know and, with excitement, doing it over again so others can come to where you are!

Jesus on leadership, "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet." John 13:14

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easter Time

As a Pastor I love this time of year. Its springtime! Flowers blooming, birds chirping, trees and flowers budding everything coming to life. The tomb of winter is behind us and now life is bursting fourth again, we are excited for the change, and ready to live again! Just as it was in the time Jesus was crucified, it seemed as though winter had set in, and life had stopped!

It felt as it does for us today, that winter would be there to stay, when would it be spring again, when would they hear and feel life alive? I am sure, as we do, they bundled up and hoped for the best and this bad weather would soon be gone! But Just as they felt winter would not pass, something changed, something happened in the early morning hours on the third day, spring came!

Though they were not quite prepared, spring came, on that early morning walk to the tomb, feeling winter would not pass, life would burst forth! Their lives would not be the same, it was spring, it just came, without warning the weather had changed their hopes and uncertainties would be answered! He is risen just as he said go tell His disciples that Jesus has raised in the spring time, He was alive!

That was the angel’s message of warmth to the women that cool early morning! The death grip of winter had passed, springtime had arrived, life began to abound! They no longer felt the grip of winters grasp, they were warmed with the knowledge it was passed and spring was here! What does Easter mean to you?
Is it just another day to dress up and buy flowers and candy, or hunt eggs with the Easter bunny? 

Jesus died for you and on the third day He rose from the dead, He defeated death and the grave for you! All this He did so you would not have to be trapped in the winter of your life, He offers you spring!
From death of sins winter grip, to life set free to live and hear springs cry, you are alive, He has risen as He said! He paid the price for your sin that you could spring forth and live, you can be unshackled from the grip of sin. 

As spring brings life to everything around us, Jesus brought life to us by His death on the cross and more importantly His defeat of the grave and springing forth from the tomb alive.

Spring is here as well as Easter time. What does it mean for you? There is more to it than just a changing of the weather! It is a life transforming time, as Christians we celebrate a Risen Savoir. 

If your life seems trapped in winters grip, turn to the one who created the springtime and be made alive! Burst forth with singing as the birds of the air, the flowers and the trees as you celebrate new life! 

John 3:16, "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." NKJV

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A calling to wait!

I remember when I felt the call to Pastor, I went to my Pastor and told him. He suggested to me what to do next, pray! I did just that and God opened some wonderful doors for me, which took me through, fire, pain and tears. All so worth the journey! Pastoring is not all about the glitz, popularity, and self. It is about Shepherding, nurturing, discipling!

My Pastor must have thought I was a tick, I was hungry all the time wanting as much time with Him as I could get! He never had to chase me down as I was in his back pocket, LOL!!! Looking back I would have slowed down a bit more, but would not have changed my path, God had a plan! Though I have had my hills and valleys, the most important thing I have learned, never go by how I feel!!

Pray more rush less, wait more be still! I have learned where I am right now is where God has me, and I am content! What a journey it has been and I learn everyday, more and more! If you truly put it all in God's hands you will never be disappointed or despondent!  On the contrary, God will open the doors of heaven and you will be completely in His will!

Do it any differently and you will never be happy, only always searching! Paul said I have finished the race, most people never do because they want to jump right to the finish line. They miss what God has for them because they jump ahead never wanting, or allowing God to complete the work He has begun in them. So my suggestion to you, if you feel you have God's calling in your life, for any ministry.

Wait on Him. Be in prayer. Watch the hand of God just move in your life and enjoy the thrill of the ride He has prepared personally for you! Sometimes it it not the call to move as much as it is the call to wait!

Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God
Phil. 4:6, Be anxious for nothing

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Never amount to anything?

There were many times in my life, when I was told I would never amount to anything! Though I lived down to those comments for a long time, I am living proof they were wrong! No I am not the CEO of a top company, or even a little company. But I am a dad, a grandfather, a husband, an uncle, a son in-law! I Pastor the most wonderful fellowship.

I cannot think of a more successful life! Never amount to anything? Only if you give in, give up, and only see what people see! If we measure success as the world deems success, we will be disappointed. If you are breathing you are a success, you have the opportunity to do something. We may fail, that does not make us failures, that just means back to the drawing board!

Always remember, where there is breath there is hope. Where there is a will there is a way. People can say what they like, but always try and remember, their words are probably more of a reflection of themselves than you! Their short comings should never be yours! If you never remember anything else let me encourage you with these words, folks are entitled to their opinion, but that does not make it so!

God formed you and made you unique to you not to anyone else. If you are struggling with God, that is another matter. Maybe it is time to find Him, or return to Him? You will never know success until you come to the One who wants nothing but success for you. If everyone deemed success on the thoughts of others, where would we be today?

You will find that truly successful people take very little credit for themselves. Others around them get the credit, and almost always you will hear God getting most of it. I said it that way because no one is perfect. We don't always put God first on our list as we ought, but we can never forget to give Him the glory for all we have! So when someone says you will never amount to anything, remember this, you already have!

Psalm 139:13-14, "For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. NIV

Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." NIV

"If you are not making mistakes, than you are not doing anything. I'm positive that a doer makes mistakes." John Wooden

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Beat or aggravatingly upbeat?

There are people out there who do not care for people like myself who seem to always be upbeat! Well I am not always upbeat, sometimes I am beat, I just don't surrender to the beat part! My life has had obstacles, yet it has not been as bad as some around me. Those are the folks I watch, those are the folks I set my eyes on, who seem to always praise God even through the storms that come their way!

I have watched those around me, even young folks who have suffered tragedy, yet have not given up, they fight, they reach out to God their healer for help and strength. One such young man I would like to mention is Mike Rooney. He was in a motorcycle accident that put him in a wheelchair. A young man, in his early 20's, who could of given up and caved in yet with his faith in God, and a very loving family, he has done amazing things.

I remember my sister Robin, who I share very little about, at 18 dove in a swimming pool and broke her neck, her remaining years would be lived out as a quadriplegic. During that time she came to know Jesus Christ as Savior. Folks would tell me after a visit how their lives where changed, how, though they came to encourage and a left with more encouragement than they came with.

One Sunday morning as I was getting ready to preach, my heart was overwhelmed by a special guest and his mom and dad. Sometimes God just knows what you need to inspire you at a time you need it most. When I saw this young man being pushed through the door, a smile from ear to ear, if I had any doubts, if I was a little down, that smile of victory put me right back in touch.

With who you ask? God, Mike's unwillingness to give up reminded me that day, we have a God that can get us through anything if we just trust and hold on. Now I am sure Mike has his down times, and memories of youthful things he may not be as able to do. Yet he fights, his mom Michelle and dad Michael fight and pray. His sisters Kara and Erin fight and pray.

I watched this family come together and give God the glory, not for him to walk necessarily, but just grateful Mike is with them. Though there were times of trial, they reached out knowing and trusting that God would answer their prayers, and He did. Through traches, learning to eat again, to many other challenges, though beat at times Mike and his family were never beaten.

I do not even remember them asking for big miracles, but everyone they would receive, they gave God the glory. So you see, when you are feeling beaten, when you feel that life is unfair, you can give into the beat down and be defeated, or think of those around you going through so much more and find a reason to be aggravatingly upbeat.

Psalm 116:1-2 "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice, and my pleas for mercy. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Frustrated with ministry?

If ministry is a frustration, you may need to evaluate who you are in ministry for, God or you? Remember Jesus had a pretty busy schedule also, the only time He was frustrated was with people who had priority problems! So reevaluate who you are doing things for, stop take a breathe, turn it all back to God, because He wants you too. Get free, get the victory back and serve Him because you have joined Him where He is. If you do it right you will not be overwhelmed you will be over blessed!

When we lose sight of what God's plan is, we usually lose sight of our direction and lose focus on our relationship with God. We tend to feel that if we are doing it for God we must be doing what we should. That is not always so. Just because we are doing a lot does not mean God is always in what we are doing. The Pharisees thought they were doing a lot for God, but in essence it was all about them! (Matthew 23)

Working hard for God and getting frustrated with God at the same time does not make sense does it? Well it is not to late to stop and truly ask God, if what you are doing for Him is genuine. Are we doing it because we see Him working, or are we doing it because we think it is our soul responsibility to do it all? The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few Jesus said. ( Matthew 9:37)

If we are frustrated, than maybe what we need to be doing more of is discipling others to come along with us. We may have a calling on our life, but it is never a calling to do it all! Are we praying and asking God for direction, or are we controlled by feelings? What we need to see is, we can do a whole lot of things half halfheartedly, or one thing successfully? What do you think God thinks here?

Get out of the way, let God have His way, and see if you don't see your way, a little better today!

1 Peter 5:6, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. (NKJV)

Psalm 51:17, "My sacrifice, Oh God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise." (NIV)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A wonderful son, probably not.

You know something? People are always telling me what a wonderful son I am to care for my mom. Well without a wonderful God and being blessed with a wonderful wife who loves my mom as much, I would probably fall a little short of wonderful! Though I would care for her anyway, it sure makes it a double blessing to have the relationships I do! 

We have a support system from our church family, our children, our neighbors, my wife's family jumps in when we need them. To be wonderful, whatever that truly means, you have to have some amazing people in your life also. And an amazing God who transformed my life for just moment as this! Wonderful no, a son always! The scripture tells us we are supposed to take care of family. 

1 Timothy 5:8, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 

So you see I am not trying to be wonderful here, just faithful, not anything special, just a son who wants his mother to have the best care! Just a son and a believer who wants to be an encouragement to anyone going through the same as my wife and I. I know there are different circumstances in life, and not all situations are the same, but family is family and they still deserve the best we have to offer.

I am always reminded of what Jesus did for me at Calvary, He gave his very best for my very worst! He gave His life so I could live! He took my place so I would have the place I do now! He restored my life, healed my marriage, set me free so I could serve. So I do, with His help, the help of my precious wife Karen, and so many other wonderful people He has put in our lives. 

So when people around me call me wonderful I have to tell them, probably not, I am just doing what I am supposed to do. Wonderful? No just being a son!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Be encouraged please!

Those families struggling with Alzheimer's, as hard as it may seem, and though there is little understanding still, just be you always, because they cannot be them! They may have forgotten, but you shouldn't. Is it hard? Yes. Is it hurtful? Yes. But never, ever forget, they are still mom, dad, uncle, aunt, and human beings. Yes they need help, yes they may even have to go to a care facility, but they are still who they are, no less!

They just don't remember and it is hard for them also, trying to figure it all out, looking at you, knowing you belong in their life, just not where! They try, they do, they just cannot help what has happened to them, and that is no punishment toward you, or them! One thing you can never, ever forget though, is you! Take a break, get some rest, find a support system, and what ever you do, do not be or feel embarrassed.

You are not alone, and there is nothing to be ashamed of! Hang in there and just be you for them, you never know when that one moment will come, that they will remember just a little, and how blessed you will be because you were there!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just sharing a concerned heart!

You know, sometimes you just need to share your heart. As a Pastor I sometimes, well most times, write with a lot of scripture or write what I have gained from life and shared what scripture matches that story. Well today I felt let's just to share my heart. Just share some things I have on my mind without making anyone work to hard to understand.

When a Pastor writes anything I do feel he needs to show where he is coming from, yet not to the point that causes people to feel inadequate or intimidated. When we write or speak it definitely needs to be truth, backed by the word, and challenging! Yet never should the word be used as a battering ram to get our way or to intimidate anyone to gain anything.

We need to make sure when we speak it is God lead and God speaking, by that I mean prayerfully seeking God when we study and prepare, to insure it is not about us and all about Him! If we remain genuine, and committed, and truly just trust God and His word, His word will do the work intended, not having us help it along.

You see, we as Pastor's do not last forever, but His word does, and that is the seed that needs planting and less our opinion of things. When we start to impose our will on matters of sin and wrong, what are we telling people about God's word? Our responsibility to the body of Christ is to preach the word as spoken it 2 Timothy where Paul was used by God to give Pastoral instruction.

2 Timothy 4:1-5,"I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill you ministry.

Simply put God does not need our help or gimmicks, He just needs us to preach His word faithfully, truthfully and purely! We should never, somehow water down the word and try and give people loopholes to sin and convince them it is alright because Jesus loves then where there are. Well He does loves us where we are, but He loves us to much to leave us there! Preach the word, just sharing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Burden or Blessing?

Is it hard to care for someone who can no longer care for themselves? Yes it is if you look at it as a burden, and not an opportunity God has given you to be a blessing! Sometime we lose sight of family and how important they are because we get caught up in what we are doing, and how important we are! Life never, just, revolves around us, it always involves us!

In some way someones life touches us, how we perceive that it how we will receive it either as a blessing or a curse! It is not punishment that we are called upon to care for, or look after anyone. It is a honor and a blessing that we are seen as that person. It is never a mistake that it falls on you, if you truly look at your capabilities alone it may seem that way, but you are never on your own, as much as it may seem!

God is there, He promises this, He is there His presence is all around. He tells us He will never leave us of forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) He promises that. We just have to call on Him in our time of need. When we do this we will come to the place, to serve others will never be a burden, but always a blessing!

Psalm 50:15-"Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will glorify Me. (NKJV)

1 Timothy 6:8-"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (NKJV)

Hebrews 13:5-"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have, ''I will never leave you nor forsake you." (NKJV)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

When the church fails to stand!

When the church stops taking stands, it won't be long before it cannot stand! I have always loved the quote, "if you won't stand for something, you will fall for anything." I have read many views on how Christians should behave, and how they should conduct themselves. How we have freedoms, and how we have the choice to do what we feel in Christ.

Yes we have freedom, the freedom not to sin or to be like the world, yet the church today makes more excuse to follow the world. We can drink, we can smoke, we can eat the way we want, then wonder why there is so much sickness in the church, Alcoholism, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, the list goes on. Wonder if the church would stop and think, hmm, wonder if these freedoms we have are not truly freedoms but bondage in disguise?

In I Peter 2:11-12 it says, "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation." NKJV

When we feel it's alright to drink, smoke, or whatever suites our fancy, what are we saying about our faith in God? What are we saying to a world that struggles with drugs, alcohol, tobacco,  eating problems, etc.? I feel when we fail to stand on the word of God we fall very short of extending His grace. People are looking for a way out of addictions, and the church is making excuse for them to stay right where they are!

They continue to struggle, we continue to pray, yet wonder what is happening when we see no results. God desires obedience rather than sacrifice, humility rather than self-centeredness, yes we do have freedoms, but these freedoms are not to be stumbling blocks, and the church has become just that! When we express our freedom are we really taking a stand or Christ? Or are we really creating a type of excuse for the world to continue in sin?

1 Corinthians 8:9 (AMP)
Only be careful that thos power of choice (this permission and liberty to do as you please) which is your, does not [somehow] become a hinderance (cause of stumbling) to the weak or over-scrupulous [ giving them the impulse to sin]

Philippians 2:3-4 (NKJV)
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

1 Peter 1:13-16 (ESV)
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who has called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Living down or living up?

You know, sometimes we just live down to what people expect of us instead of living up to who we truly are! I always say, if you know who you are, you don't have to prove who you are! As a young child my dad used words like stupid, failure, you will never amount to anything, just quit school and get a job! All encouraging remarks huh?

Well you know something? I grew up living down to those expectations and my life was a mess. I have read books by Max Lucado, and Pat Williams, Facing your Giants and Coach Woodens 7 principles to live by. Both these books, and of course many others out there are very encouraging, yet before I had these books in my life I needed to make a decision.

That decision was not to allow what people think of me determine who I am and what I will become. The first step was getting saved, asking Jesus into my life put me on the road to a life more victorious than I have ever experienced. The next step for me was developing a spirit of forgiveness, I had read in God's word that if I do not forgive, or how I forgive will be how I am forgiven. (Matthew 6:14-15)

I began my journey toward victory when I could forgive those who hurt me, without expectation they would change and be different. I was the one who needed victory over defeat, I was the one who carried my past into my future. What I came to realize was this, I was carrying their past into my future too! I needed to be set free and only Jesus could do that.

I had been set free, I was no longer carrying their baggage with me, but what about my future encounters with those who would be adversaries? We will always have them in our life, but it is what we do, and how we accept what they say to and about us. Reading books like Facing you Giants, and 7 principles to live by remind us that others have had to face obstacles in their lives, yet remained true to themselves and God.

Never placing these books and authors above the Bible and Gods principles, but using them as tools along side and being reminded, how we can continue to live victoriously in this world of adversity! The word of God is not the back up book, it is the book that these authors encourage us from, yet with illustrations of life experiences, and how people turn to God's word and to Jesus to make the difference needed.

Victory is just a choice away, you can live down to the world's expectation, or live up to what God has created you to be, a child of the King! The choice is yours, Jesus is waiting, call to Him, ask Him to be the Lord of your life, you will not be disappointed! (Romans 8:15-17, 9:33, 10:9-13)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

If not Jesus, then who?

If Jesus, does not come first in your life, where does that put you? 

That is always something to think about in our Christian walk, don't you think? Many of us profess to be saved, yet when it comes to where, and what priority we put Christ, that is where the rubber meets the road! Even as being saved we still put Jesus on a shelf, we want to do things our way, and then question why we have no power in our lives, and prayer does not seem to be answered.

We forget so easily how we were transformed and set free, how we were forgiven and peace overwhelmed us. As we grow in the Lord we seem to get farther from Him, how does that happen? It is called complacency, we get lazy, we stop reading the Bible, we don't pray as we ought. And even when we do these things, we do them on our terms and in our time frame, and we expect the same results!

If Jesus is not first, than who is? If we do not start are day with Jesus than who? I personally have learned this lesson the hard way, doing less for the Lord and expecting the same results. Well it does not work that way. When excuses, are what mostly come from us, why we have no time for the Lord, no time for prayer, no time for study. What are we telling God? We have no time for Him!

We do only those things that we enjoy, what we find most fulfilling and base all that on how good it feels instead of how right it is! Feelings alone should never drive us in our walk with the Lord. If our relationship with Him is struggling, even our feelings will begin to fail us. So what do we do you ask? Turn your hearts back home, back to Jesus.

As you lay your head down at night, as you awake in the morning, think about Jesus and what He has done for you. Do not let excuses become the controller of your life, Jesus never used them so why should we? He could have made excuse but He did not, He always had our best interests in His heart, all the way to the cross! 

Jesus said in Matthew 22:37, "You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Romans 12:1-2, " I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, acceptable, and perfect.   

 I Peter 4:1-2, "Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.