Archive for ‘Jesus’

October 26, 2016

Millennials

millennial

This morning’s newspaper quoted a staggering statistic on millennials. 22% of Millennials make up America’s population, but only 10% believe in Jesus.  What does that say about our future and our current state of society?

What it boldly points out to me is that we are failing to share the Gospel in the world and we are not practicing what we preach to our youth.  Sharing the gospel takes boldness and a desire to get a message of Love out to society that is dying. Dying to know Jesus, but unknowingly. Dying physically. Dying for something different and profound. That is who Jesus is. The anti-mundane. The Way, The Truth and the Life.  The anti-establishment. The ‘against the grain‘ guy who turned the 1st Century upside down!  The man who said “If someone slaps you on the cheek, turn the other,” and “The first shall be last and the last, first” and “Love your enemies and pray for them.”  Who says that in society today? Who makes these statements? No one! Society says just the opposite! Get what’s yours, fight back and hate them who hate you.  Not Jesus.

In order for Christ to be real to others, you must shine that light of His to other people. That includes your family and friends. They are your first point of contact and should be the people you reach out to with the Gospel and practicing what you preach. Hypocrites are everywhere and the Church and body aren’t any different. I always say, that’s why I need Jesus. This is true, however, you must show love in a way that you have been shown that love from your creator.  Love transcends everything.  In order to reach – we must Love first & foremost as Jesus did.

Our approach must be different. The way we have approached society for too long must change. Hell-fire and brimstone have their place, but there isn’t a place for that in evangelism.  There is plenty of time for folks to learn about that in their discipleship walk with the Lord. That won’t get them in the door and get them to realize there is a God so big that He gave his only Son to die for all our sins.

Share your personal testimony, that’s what I do. No one can dispute what your story is and how Christ came into your life and change YOU.  This makes Jesus real to those around you and to whom you are sharing Christ with.  Be genuine and don’t act like you are better than anyone.

We are all broken vessels(realized or not) that need a Savior and that is Jesus. Don’t try to be the savior. Just pray and ask God to make your testimony real to those whom you share it with and keep praying afterwards for those whom he has laid on your heart to pray for.

Let’s get the Gospel out to those millennials and everyone else whom we come in contact.

Blessings.

 

 

 

August 24, 2016

Good News

I wanted to encourage you in your walk today. Regardless if things are going great or you are struggling, know that God is there with you.  For me, I was totally encouraged by this paragraph below that I read from a devo today that just gave me such a smile and Joy in my spirit that I had to share it.

experience

What I want to do First is read this book A Cloud of Witnesses. Second thing I want to do is sing praises to God knowing that He is always right by my side in the good and the bad…ALL the time!

For us as Christians, I think it gets hard some times when you can’t see God physically or as the paragraph above notes “in life’s darkest hours” we don’t think he’s there.  But as scripture and our forefathers that have gone before us know, we need to trust on God’s promises for our lives and not solely on our experiences.

I won’t give pass to our experiences and how important those are in our daily walk with Christ. However, if you are relying solely on them or even feelings, well that’s a whole other problem that we must overcome as believers and furthermore trust God’s revealed Word in the Bible over them.

With that I want to encourage you to keep reading God’s word and what he says to us as believers. Know that we do have such a great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us that have paved the way for us to be here in such a time as this.

Glory be to God.

Amen.

June 21, 2016

Benediction

This Benediction has blessed me sincerely and I think about it often through the week. My Pastor states it at the end of every service and it comes from scripture(which is best!).

I wanted to define this term first for you out there who are not familiar. There were 5 total, but these 2 below suit best.

Benediction:

noun
1.

an utterance of good wishes.
2.

the form of blessing pronounced by an officiating minister, as at the close of divine service.
The scripture comes from the book of Jude which only has one chapter. Verses 24-25:
24 Now to the one who is able to keep you from falling, and to cause you to stand, rejoicing, without blemish before his glorious presence, 25 to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, and now, and for all eternity. Amen.
Now isn’t that beautiful!  It fills me up with a Christ like love every time I hear it. May it be a true blessing to you as well as you ponder and meditate on these glorious words.
Blessings!
May 10, 2016

Unemployment

The title of this post is Unemployment. I wanted to write this post because my wife has been unemployed for almost 15 months as of today. Granted she gave birth soon after being laid-off, but still puts her at around 12 months of seriously looking for a job for employment.

What bothers me most and the importance of why I’m writing this post is that the economists keep saying that the Unemployment rate in the great USA is at 5% and steady. Well I say horse manure!  My wife got only 6 months of Unemployment checks(that we had to pay taxes on) and that was it. No more support from our Government. No more checks. No more nothing after that. On our own.  No Bailout.

This doesn’t sit right with me. Mostly because that 5% number is a HUGE LIE!  That number represents something that is obscure, not the TRUE state of our country’s Unemployment rate. What happens is once there are no more claims for Unemployment from an individual, then your “off the books.” They don’t consider you Unemployed anymore…even though you are!

Also, this whole “We added 200k jobs this month” crap.  What is that?  What kind of jobs are these “jobs” people are getting??  I guarantee these jobs aren’t the White collar kind. Probably the minimum wage kind mostly, but not the 6 figure kind, the dream job kind, the support your family Middle-Class kind.  There are more lay-offs happening than I’ve seen in my 20 years employed.  Granted my wife and I both work in the Oil & Gas Industry and times are hard for the past couple years for sure. This report of adding jobs is not specific and is thrown around like some great heavy boulder of truth, when actually it is completely misleading and in my book a lie.

The REAL Unemployment rate is somewhere above 12.6% per this article. I say ‘above’ because I believe there are more Unemployed today(2016) than there were in 2014. Also staggering is that the Unemployment rate is at one of the highest rates in the History of its recording Today!

Come on American Government, STOP LYING TO US AND PADDING SOME PATHETIC NUMBERS TO MAKE THIS WHITE HOUSE LOOK ‘GOOD’!!!  We are being lied to by so many that we can’t even tell what the TRUTH is anymore. Let’s fix this LIE and what these REAL numbers are for one & give the truth so we can at least look at ourselves in the mirror and be happy at what we see is looking back at us.

I’m praying for my wife to find a job and pray that those of you who are looking jobs find one as well. Not a job to pass the time, but a real job that is worth while and fulfilling.

* Full disclosure, my wife has been applying for 10-20 jobs a week for almost a year and has had 2 phone interviews only. Also, she is a Mechanical Engineer, degreed.

 

May 3, 2016

Super Chapters of The Bible – NT

I am continuing my post on Super Chapters of The Bible New Testament here. My previous post was on the OT. I figured the Bible was big enough that it deserved to have both Old and New Testaments separated into two posts. I feel like the OT will be harder than the NT because I am more familiar with the NT, however that might not be a good thing since there are so many verses in different chapters that I really like in the NT that could make it harder. We shall see and I’m excited to dive into this. Hope you enjoy it!(Closing entry here, the NT was much harder for me to pick chapters and verses, just because I have studied it more than the OT. Loved loved doing this)

Matthew 6. So many good chapters in this book. Verse 33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  One of my favorite verses of all time. Makes me think about the poignant verses throughout the Bible that have this same theme. Seek GOD first!

Mark 12. Greatest Commandment, Widow’s Offering and much more. Verse 31 “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g]There is no commandment greater than these.”

Luke 16. Verse 13 “You cannot serve both God and money.” Among a ton (including the Lazarus account) of powerful verses, this one is one of the best in this chapter. Notable Chapter goes to Chapter 24 regarding the Walk to Emmaus.

John 15. Verse 5″He who abides in me will bear much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  and Verse 17 “Love each other.”  Notable entry for this book of John is Chapter 1,8 & 14.

Acts 4. The beginning of the Church and the spreading of the Gospel(The Good News) to the world fills this Book of Acts. Also aka how to pray-AdorationConfessionThanksgivingSupplication-Acts delights with Peter and Paul’s missionary journey’s. With so many Chapters to pick from and so many Highlights, it’s hard to pick just one Chapter and verse. I’ll go with this one and highlight others for you. Chapter 4 Verse 12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  Notable Chapters 2,5,9,10,22.

Romans 8. The Book of Romans is considered the Mt.Everest of the Bible and Chapter 8 is the pinnacle. Verse 39 “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Just this Chapter alone has many great verses to choose from. Notable mentions to Chapter 1, 3, 5 & 6.

1 Corinthians 13. Known as the LOVE Chapter because so many couples incorporate this chapter in their weddings/vows. Verse 13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

2 Corinthians 5. Verse 17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”

Galatians 5. Fruits of the Spirit-Verses 22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Ephesians 2. Verses  8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith(in Christ Jesus)—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Our entire Faith rests on these verses. Notable mention to the Full Armor of God in Chapter 6.

Philippians 4. Verse 19″And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”

Colossians 3. Verse 14″And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

1 Thessalonians 5. Verses 16″Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

2 Thessalonians 3. Short book and nothing too powerfully disruptive here, but Verse 5″May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

1 Timothy 6. Verse 10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

2 Timothy 3. Verse 16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

Titus 2. Verse 11″For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.”

Philemon 1. Only 1 Chapter here. Verse 4″ I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers”

Hebrews 11. The Hall of Faith as it is know as. By Faith over and over. What’s great to see here is the men that were fallible, all members of the body of believers. Verse 31 “By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.” Not only a prostitute, but also in the line of David unto the birth of Christ. Many more Chapters and Verses that are astounding in this Book.

James 1. Verse 22″Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” In Church we have been studying this book for over 2 years now. I feel very close to it. So many great verses throughout the entire book. Chapter 1 really sets the tone for the entire book and the rest of the chapters kind of follow along and elaborate what was stated in this 1st chapter.

1 Peter 3. Verse 15 “in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”  Notable entry to Chapter 5.

2 Peter 1. Verse 21 “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

1 John 4.  Verse . 18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

2 John 1. Only 1 Chapter. Verse  6 “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.”

3 John 1. Another single Chapter.  Verse 11″Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.”

Jude 1. Lonesome but great Chapter and I love this Doxology in Verses 24 “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”

Revelation 3. End times book, with much left to be revealed, Jesus says I am coming soon. Don’t be this guy, Verse  15″ I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Notable entry in Chapter 22, Come Jesus Come.

 

Blessings to you and yours. Sam.

 

 

 

 

December 9, 2015

Caelub’s Dedication

IMG_0239On November 29th, 2015, we had a Dedication service for our 2nd child Caelub. We celebrated it at our new place of worship Grace Bible Church.  We invited our closest friends to be there with us and to support us. The Solomon family were there as Caelub’s God Parents as well.

To break down a few things, our view on God Parents is more practical. We are close with the Solomon’s and thus have made them God Parents, to help be the representation of Christ to our children, not in a sense of ‘if we die’ they take over(for clarification). Heather and I are also God Parents to their last child, Ava Marie, as well and they view this blessing the same.

Speaking with our Pastor, David Dunn, we wanted an infant Baptism, but he firmly said,”No, there is no precedent biblically speaking for infant Baptism.”  I never really thought about it that way, just thought of it as ‘normal’, but we accepted this and asked for a dedication then for Caelub in which we brought him forth before our congregation, along with the Solomon’s, and he said a prayer blessing over us focused on Caelub. We were grateful for this blessing and prayer.

It is funny how tradition in “The Church” sometimes gets confused with scripture/truth.  Baptism is a personal decision and is only needed to be made once in life(I know folks that have done this multiple times) but is not required for salvation(Man on the cross next to Jesus at the crucifixion). I know this. It is also a personal decision to be made once your ‘of age’ as well. Thus, the zero precedent in scripture for infant baptism, even though many churches do this. My Pastor is a hardcore, Bible believing brother and taught us something that I never really gave much thought to. I am glad we spoke about this and am glad that at least we were able to do a beautiful dedication for Caelub to the Lord for that purpose.

We invited all our friends, whom we consider family, over to our home for lasagna and salad afterwards and had our Pastor and his wife over as well. It was a beautiful day and a splendid memory that we will not soon forget.

Love you my son, Caelub.

Of course, I must include scripture here for reference:

One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism – Ephesians 4:5

Luke 23:39-43 Man on the Cross – Baptism not required for salvation

*Now I dedicate him to the Lord. From this time on he is dedicated to the Lord, then they worshiped the Lord there – 1 Samuel 1:28

November 20, 2015

Gettysburg Address

abraham-lincoln-quotes

I thought it profound to read the President Lincoln speech. It is very short, yet profound. Concise and encapsulating. It takes your breath away. One of the best writings to have been spoken since the origin of America’s birth. Read it for yourself:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln

November 19, 1863

October 21, 2015

Christianity today….

Where to start….

I have been having conversations with ‘Christians’ over the last few years and among them I have found that they differ from my views on biblical topics.  Do not judge they say or there isn’t just ONE way to Heaven or God would never do that or Why would God do that.  This Comic strip below really expresses what I have found Christianity to resemble a lot like lately in light of the current times. I will elaborate a bit more after you read the strip below:

i'm a C BUT

This comic strip really hit home for me in light of my conversations with not only Christians but non believers as well.  I keep hearing these common themes of ‘it’s personal’ and ‘that’s how I feel’ a lot.  For me, reading scripture and knowing Jesus and my God whom I serve is how I get to know him and learn what He wants from me and how I should live. It is not a feeling or something to be kept quiet.  We are meant to live out loud and shout the good news from the Mountain tops.

The sad situation is that there are so many Christians that believe this way and that needs to change. And that change needs to start with you and me.  To end with scripture that is apropos, I will end with this one.

 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work – 2 Timothy 3:16,17

July 9, 2015

Powerful Quote for Evangelism

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”  Charles Spurgeon

April 24, 2015

History of the NIV Bible

I read this from a Faith Gateway Bible Study and thought it was a great short read on the history and insight into the NIV Bible and what went into getting it ready for publication. What astounded me was the 10 years it took to get it ready. That’s a long time to spend on something so important. So next time someone blows off the version of Bible your reading, share this post with them and let them know it was a Major undertaking and not something to take lightly as if it was created overnight.

Have you ever wondered how the New International Version (NIV) Bible came to be?

It started in the early 1500s with a humble man and a huge conviction: to translate the Bible into the English language. Standing on the shoulders of William Tyndale, the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT) was commissioned in August of 1965 “to prepare a contemporary English translation of the Bible.”

The NIV translation project was initiated by the signing of the NIV charter and the formation of the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT). The CBT was formed to create a modern English Bible translation from the oldest and most reliable biblical manuscripts available, providing the best possible blend of transparency to the original documents and ease of understanding in every verse.

The CBT began the translation process for the NIV in 1965, working from the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts. Their translation work took more than 10 years and in 1975, the New Testament of the NIV was released and in 1978 the entire Bible was published.

Since its release, the NIV has become the world’s best-selling Bible translation with more than 450 million copies in print worldwide.

Now, after fifty years, the world celebrates one of the great Bible revivals. A translation that captures the original meaning of Scripture in common, everyday language. A translation that is true to God’s Word and has changed how people read, experience, and live out the Bible ever since.

Visit the official NIV 50th Anniversary website and watch this video to learn more about how this translation came to be. On the website you can also sign up for free NIV Bible reading plans, download the free NIV Bible App, and so much more!

Blessings!

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