Posts tagged ‘love’

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.

 

 

 

April 22, 2016

Super Chapters of The Bible – Old Testament

To begin this blog post I wanted to preface it by sharing with you how I got the idea. My pastor David Dunn was speaking one Sunday recently and he honed in on a Luke Chapter 16 as a focus for the cross-reference of James Chapter 5. What stood out to me was so much insight and knowledge and gumption to this Chapter in Luke that I named it a “Super Chapter”. I also felt like other Books of the Bible had that same effect on all of us. I am not saying that other chapters aren’t as important as these are, I am just saying that I feel like these Chapters in the Bible are extra special…at least to me and maybe to you as well. This isn’t a perfect science either and this is mostly for fun and education as well. I will also highlight a verse or two that I think ‘coin’ the chapter in my opinion also. I would love for you to comment on your own “Super Chapters” you think are as good as the ones I will be focusing on below. Enjoy:

Genesis 50. Besides Chapter 1 being so important with the Words,”In the Beginning God created”, I felt so much goes into Chapter 50 along with forgiveness/redemption and Verse 20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
Exodus 20. Great stories/depictions of the Israelite’s leaving Egypt, etc. but come on, The Ten Commandments….which are still valid today! Thou shalt not….
Leviticus 18. Big on rules, this Book with its regulations and laws of how to properly handle yourself in this life. God gives us the ‘what not to do’ summed up in Verse 22-23,‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.”
Numbers 14. Grumbling from the Israelite’s and Verse 2, Joshua and Caleb’s good report, The Glory of the Lord shows up and more. Verse 8 is the highlight of that Chapter as well,”If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.”
Deuteronomy 6. Jesus quotes this chapter in Verse 5 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Also, do not put the Lord to the test, and Fear the Lord.” Pervading topics throughout the Bible.
Joshua 24. Now I know Chapter 1 is great but Chapter 24 summarizes the whole book well. Highlight Verse 15,”But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Judges 4 I love that a Woman named Deborah leads the army and people of Israel in battle and service. Verse 9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” Notable mention is Samson in Judges 15 & Gideon Judges 6.
Ruth 1. Only 4 Chapters, but a powerful account of her life I think we can relate to in some ways. Summed up in this verse, the Faith of Ruth is shown here, Verse 16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
1 Samuel. Too many good chapters for sure and thus debatable. I have always liked this Verse 22 in Chapter 15: But Samuel replied:“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice,and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”
2 Samuel 12. The culmination of accountability comes to a head with David’s initial response and then his penitent heart after Nathan rebukes him. Verse 13 “I have sinned against the Lord.”
1 Kings 3 The wisdom of Solomon is on display here as God had granted him. Verse 28 “When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.”
2 Kings 19 Many Kings of Israel that do good in the sight of the Lord on the throne and Many that do evil just the same during their reigns. I love this prayer and the Chapter is powerful in itself. Verse 15 “And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.”
1 Chronicles 4. The Prayer of Jabez. Famous book and a good read. Verse 10,”Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.”
2 Chronicles 7. Famous Verse 14 from the book and chapter “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Notable mention is Chapter 1 when Solomon asks for Wisdom rather than anything in the world and God gives him more than he expected because he asked with right motives a la Matthew 6:33.
Ezra 7. Some Chapters in books of the Bible are more ‘Super’ than others. Still others have more than one. In the case of Ezra it wasn’t so easy. I went with Chapter 7 Verse 28..”Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me,…” and this chapter had the most substance of God being addressed than the others as well.
Nehemiah 1. Boom, right off Nehemiah gets into the grit of what the whole book is about. Fasting, Mourning and Praying. The Rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls. Verse 5,”Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,” – This is how we should pray, like our forefathers.
Esther 4. Powerful story of bravery. Not any mention of God in this Book(The only Biblical book to do so) and the famous words of encouragement from Mordecai in Verse 14…”And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Job 38. The Hammer drops! After Job’s wife says to Job “curse God and die” in Chapter 1.The conversation between God & Satan and the litany of 3 of Job’s badgering friends ridicule him and on and on, God gives the last word…Are you done? Verse 4-5,“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?Tell me, if you understand.Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!Who stretched a measuring line across it?” I love these verses. Puts us all in CHECK! WHERE WERE YOU…
Psalm 91. With TOO many good Chapters to count, I’m going with this one. Verses 1-2 are beautiful in a maze of others “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,my God, in whom I trust.”  I must share that I love Psalm 23 as well, which I do have memorized.
Proverbs 3. Again pick your favorite and go with it.They are all Super! Verses 5-6 always quickly come to my mind “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;6 in all your ways submit(acknowledge) to him,and he will make your paths straight.”
Ecclesiastes 2. Amongst the ‘Wisdom’ of Solomon and so much meaningless…Verse 25 makes a point “for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”
Song of Songs 1. Starts off so beautifully and I must go with beauty, Verse 15 “How beautiful you are, my darling!Oh, how beautiful!Your eyes are doves.” Speak like this to your spouse and your marriage shall endure!
Isaiah 53. Without question, in my opinion, one of the most important Chapters in the entire OT. Verse 5 about Jesus(The coming Messiah) “But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;the punishment that brought us peace was on him,and by his wounds we are healed.” *Honorable mention to Chapter 1:18 and 40:31. Again too many good Chapters in this Book.
Jeremiah(aka Weeping Prophet) Chapter 1. So many great verses in this first Chapter alone. Verse 5, 9 & 17. I really like the Verse 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,before you were born I set you apart;I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Notable mention to Chapter 29:11.
Lamentations 3. Not sure there is really a Super Chapter here, but if there was, 3 would be it. Verse 31-33 “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever.32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.33 For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”
Ezekiel 37. Not a very famous book, but of the quoted and powerful chapters in a 48 Chapter book this is it. Verse 4-6,”Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Daniel 3. One of my most favorite books of the OT and this Chapter in particular. Jesus comes alive as the 4th person in the blazing furnace. Verse 25- He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
Hosea 4. The adulteress/whore wife likened to Israel’s prostituting herself to other god’s. Verse 14b”a people without understanding will come to ruin!”
Joel 2. Quickly becoming one of my favorite Minor prophet books. This famous Verse 28,”“And afterward,I will pour out my Spirit on all people.Your sons and daughters will prophesy,your old men will dream dreams,your young men will see visions.”
Amos 4. A serious call-out of Israel throughout the book and in Verse 13 God makes a statement,”He who forms the mountains,who creates the wind,and who reveals his thoughts to mankind,who turns dawn to darkness,and treads on the heights of the earth—the Lord God Almighty is his name.”
Obadiah 1. Only 1 Chapter here and Verse 15 stands out ““The day of the Lord is near for all nations.As you have done, it will be done to you;your deeds will return upon your own head.”
Jonah 3. Oh how we love to tell this tale to our children in SS class 🙂 Chapter 3 really points to God’s willing nature to forgive as shown in Verse 10 “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.” However, Nineveh was destroyed some decades later for her same faults historically.
Micah 6. Another famous and quoted verse that I truly love. Verse 8,”He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.And what does the Lord require of you?To act justly and to love mercy & to walk humbly with your God.”
Nahum 1. Three short Chapters and mostly in regard to God’s wrath. Verse 3a,”The Lord is slow to anger but great in power;the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.”
Habakkuk 2. Anther 3 Chapter book. Habakkuk brings 2 complaints to the Lord and He responds twice. Verse 20 “The Lord is in his holy temple;let all the earth be silent before him.”
Zephaniah 3. Three Chapters again. More judgement and wrath but ultimate restoration found in Chapter 3 Verse 17,”The Lord your God is with you,the Mighty Warrior who saves.He will take great delight in you;in his love he will no longer rebuke you,but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Haggai 2. Two Chapter book. That is why these are called the minor prophets. Shorter books many of them. Haggai ends leaving you wanting…but I like Verse 5 “‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’
Zechariah 4. Verse 6b ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
Malachi 3. This is the end of the OT. Famous verse from this book in this chapter Verse 10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it”

November 10, 2015

Feeling Alone?

hebrews 13_5

To start off a blog post with Scripture on this topic is very appropriate.  In my experience and knowledge and ingestion of society today, I have found that the feeling of Aloneness or being Alone is a dreadful thought.  What society has deemed moving forward with technology seems to have placed our eyes behind a computer or iPad or smart phone.  While this has improved our lives in many ways, it seems to have separated us from others and from conversation with people.  The physical act of communication ‘in person’ is becoming an almost lost art.  The emoji’s,texting and Instant Message has also made us less verbal and communicative and reduced our spelling capabilities.

My point for the above paragraph is to point out that technology has made us more alone rather than more connected to others. I feel that because of our mobile devices, we have less interaction with other human beings and thus ‘feel’ more alone even though we are more ‘connected’ than ever to the outside world.

“Do not forsake the assembling of each other together” Hebrews 10:25 

This scripture above written almost 2k years ago is extremely meaningful today than it ever was.  We are to meet as a body of believers and sing hymns, have fellowship and listen to sermons together, not behind a TV or a mobile device.  Now everything does have its place, but to replace our assembling together is not the point!

“Love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:39

We can do this virtually, but in person is much better.  Get out and show your love to others in a personable way.  Get out and support a good cause by volunteering.  Get out and run a marathon.  Get out and get into a Bible Study.  Get out and grab a cup of coffee at your local brew-house.  GET OUT and touch some lives!!

We were never meant to be isolated from the world, but to have Jesus make us fishers of men(Matthew 4:19) and fulfill the Great Commission(Matthew 28:19-20)

I love facts and statistics and I could have included those in this post, but that really wasn’t my point.  My point is to encourage those feeling Alone to know there is hope and a future God has promised all of us and that getting our hands dirty and involved in our community is the best way to shake that feeling of ‘Alone’, because in my heart of hearts, I believe, we are never Alone when we know the true savior, Jesus.

Blessings!

May 23, 2014

Racism

When I see my beautiful daughter that is almost 2 years old interact with different kids of all races at her Pre-School, I realize something quickly and evidently. She looks and treats everyone the same. Which teaches me a huge lesson – that racism is NOT something your born with – it is something that is taught. Taught by family/friends/society whomever it may be. The issue of racism is a sad one and frankly, it truly disgusts me.

Being a Christian, I realize a lot of things. When it comes to racism, I realize that it is the Devil’s ploy to get us to hate each other and cause strife amongst ALL of us children of God. That’s right, we are ALL children of God. He created each and every one of us. We are taught this through God’s HOLY BIBLE and believe it is truth. If you are a Christian and know what God says in Genesis, that HE created each and every one of us, then there is NO room for us to hate another race.

God wants us all to love each other and share that love with each other, not hate. There is a spiritual battle going on for each of our souls. Believe that! God wants you to be in His Kingdom and treat each other as you would like to be treated.

Love is our only hope and love’s name is JESUS!

Blessings!

Tags: , ,
April 17, 2014

Love after US

I had to use this from a devo that I follow from Jim Denison. It’s powerful and I don’t think I could put it any more eloquently than he did.

God has always taken the initiative to restore us to himself.  He sought Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  He sought Noah, calling him to build the ark that would save the human race.  He sought Abram in a land we call Iraq today.  He sought Jacob on that night they wrestled together, and Moses at the burning bush, and David after the king had sinned horrifically.

Then he sought us in the most miraculous, unexpected way of all—he became one of us.  He folded the glory and power which created the universe down into a fetus who grew into a baby who breathed our air, walked our dirt, faced our temptations, felt our pain, died on our cross and rose from our grave.  We could not climb up to him, so he climbed down to us.

He sought fishermen beside the Sea of Galilee, tax collectors in their booths and trees, lepers in their abandoned loneliness, and demoniacs in their cemetery hideouts.  He was the housekeeper who sought the lost coin, the shepherd who sought the lost sheep, the father who sought the lost son.  He sought Peter after his denials, and Saul of Tarsus as he persecuted the church, and John on his prison island of Patmos.

And then the day came when he made you.  Not because our planet needed another person, but because he wanted an intimate, personal relationship with you.  He led me to write these words so he could use them to seek you today.  So he could wash your feet and cleanse your sins and commune intimately with you.

May this Easter be a blessing to you and your family as you ponder on just how much God truly loves you and me and the ultimate price he paid on our behalf because of that love.

April 9, 2014

Love one another

Jesus told us as his second commandment to love one another as we love ourselves. With that, I wanted to share my wisdom of growth in my Christian walk and faith in this post.

There are many ailments that plague our society today. Many of these ailments are pointed out in the scriptures. Morality(or the lack thereof) is the biggest of them in my opinion of what ails our society today. As a Christian living in todays society we are thrust into the spotlight and are put in positions to defend our faith against these ‘ailments’ of society. It has taken me a long time to get to this point in my walk with Christ. My answer to these ailments is several fold. First and foremost, is that we must address everything in love. Second, is that if we hope to change one’s mind, we must be willing to understand and give respect. If we don’t, then we will never reach a lost world that desperately needs Jesus.

I know that these ‘Morality’ issues are hard to address and deal with and that we don’t like to address these issues most of the time. What I am trying to say is this, “Love everyone, no matter what and let God make the change in the person” Our job is to Love as Jesus did, not to judge. Our job is to water the soil, it is God who makes the growth. Our job is to plant the seed, it is God who fertilizes and makes the change, not us.

If Christians can give a listening ear and show respect and love then people will listen to us. If we don’t show that type of behavior to people then they will never listen to us. Show Respect to earn respect. We were given 2 ears and 1 mouth. That’s because we should listen twice as much as we speak, especially when we are trying to get the Good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ out to a dying world.

Blessings!

July 11, 2013

If it feels good…

This term or adage “If it feels good” or “To each his own” is NOT OK in my book. Let’s break it down as to what we are really saying when we use those terms. The looseness of how we use these terms is rampant as well, which should give pause to all of us.

So, to go to extremes here, for example, If it feels good to like underage boys and/or girls, then hey To each his own? Really? Isn’t that pedophilia? Or I like to snort cocaine, so To each his own? Really? Or they curse too much or killing people or degrading another race. All that is OK, because when you say those terms, that is really what you are condoning. You are condoning anything that is different and not necessarily what you would do, but it’s still OK in your book, because hey, It feels good to them, so it must be right. I think not!

We are saying that we don’t really care what others say or do or how they act when we say those terms essentially. Until, it treads on you or intrudes on your way of life, then it may become a problem or issue for you. Then you no longer agree with that term, because it is against what you think or believe or affects you.

We all have experiences and ideas and bias to rely upon for decisions that we make and the choices. Just because you think the choice your making is Ok or feels good doesn’t mean that it’s right. There is a natural order of law and there is also man’s law, with penalties for poor choices that we as humans can and do make.

I don’t use or say those terms, because I think there is a better way. A higher way. I believe this and I understand it may be different from what you believe, but I’m not saying to each his own. I’m saying that there is a God who loves you and wants something better for you. That the chains of sin and burden can be broken in your life. That your thoughts on what is OK, may not be OK. There is cause and effect. You smoke cigarettes for years and years and your chances of dying from lung cancer are pretty high. You murder someone because your mad at them for something they said to you, you’re going to jail. You have an adulteress relationship and your chances of getting a disease are pretty high(not to mention the fact tha you can die from AIDS) among other things.

Does the effects to the cause give you pause? Yes, but we do them anyway don’t we? Yeah, its human nature, but regardless it’s a sin and enslaves us to bondage. It makes us a slave to sin. Jesus said love your neighbor and love God. If you follow these 2 commands, that all things in life will fall in line for the good. Apply these 2 commands to any situation you can think of and you will find that it fits and would help you choose a better way.

I say, love. I say, I understand you do these things and I don’t agree with them and I will pray for you. I won’t say, To each his own or If it feels good do it, I will say, I hope you see there is a better way, but understand that you may not choose this way and I love you anyway, with a Christlike love.

I think you would be naive to think there isn’t a judgement when we die and a God who says I love you, please know that there is a better way. This whole – if it feels good junk – is a joke and even if you think you can rationalize it(like most of us easily can do), again, doesn’t mean that it’s OK.

I say, there is a better way and boy does it feel good!

August 27, 2012

Sophie

I wanted to share a pic of my beautiful daughter for y’all. Amazing love!!!! I keep telling people why they didn’t tell me how much joy it is to have a child. If I would have know I woulda had more sooner! 🙂

20120827-115322.jpg

Tags: ,
July 22, 2012

Sophie Isabelle

Heather my beautiful wife and I had our first child together last thursday. She was born at 7:12pm on 7/19/12. She was 19.5″, 7.89 lbs.

No words can explain how much I love this child and how grateful I am to have been so blessed to have a life that includes such a loving wife and a daughter, a child I never thought I would have or experience being a father.

Praise Jesus is all I can say really right now. Most of my future blogs will be focused around this love child that’s for sure.

God is TOO good!

March 8, 2012

Agape

Agape = Unconditional Love that only God can give and give to us His children.
Man is so inept to give this type of love fully.

Thank you Father for your Agape love that you have for us. Amen

Tags: ,