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June 24, 2015, 3:02 PM

A Constant Need

Failure is a part of life.  Everybody fails at various times throughout life.  There is no one who has not experienced the sting of failure.  The Christian life is no different.

For the Christian, sin is failure.  Failure to meet God’s high standard for living.  Failure to live a righteous life.  It is a life that in our own strength is impossible to live.  We need God and His strength.  We constantly need Him because we fail often. 

We fail/sin when we depend on ourselves, our strength and our ways of living.  Our Failure/Sin reminds us of our constant need for God.  So when you fail, or when you sin, let it draw you back to an utter dependency on Him.

When God draws you back to himself, He will do so with loving open arms…Because He is God and He knows of our  constant need of Himself.




June 22, 2015, 12:10 PM

Time to Stop Hitting the Snooze!

America has been given another wake up call.  Perhaps we need to stop reaching for the snooze button and get up and answer the call.  

Evil, racism, hatred and wickedness are all multi-faceted and very real.  

None of these have a particular face, color or description.  None of them fit into a convenient pre-packaged box.  They exist, and they are everywhere.  

What happened in Charleston,  Emanuel AME Church is terrible, tragic, sickening and heart wrenching.  It is also another event in a long and growing line of events that defy description and comprehension.  We are faced, once again with several grievous realities that we must refuse to continue to ignore.

We cannot ignore the fact that racism was certainly a factor in this latest atrocity.  It is clear that based on past history, flags of Apartheid and racist manifesto’s that race was an issue.  

Hatred is also an issue that we cannot sweep under the rug.  Whether it be hatred from his own being mistreated or not does not negate the fact that no matter what are upbringing may be, we ultimately make our own decisions and develop our own attitudes and behaviors.  

It is clear that the things we surround ourselves with impact our lives and impact our thinking.  People, books, music etc. will effect our lives for either good or for evil.  There really is no in-between.  The decisions you make today will shape your tomorrow.  

Let us also call this act what it is…Terrorism.  Terrorism does not come as a one size fits all model.  This man terrorized a group of people who had opened their arms to him.  They had from all accounts embraced him with love and warmth and He in turn terrorized them.

The one redeeming portion of this story as tragic as it is, has been the response of the families of the victims and those of this church.  Their willingness to forgive.  Their readiness to love.  Even in the face of a watching world who has in some cases decried their forgiveness as naive and impossible they have been a shining beacon of light.  

It is understandable that we as human beings find it difficult if not impossible as people to forgive an act such as this.  We cannot even fathom someone expressing forgiveness and compassion while being sincere.  Anyone expressing such sentiment is often doubted or even ridiculed.  Don’t believe it then read the comments in the news regarding the forgiveness expressed by the victims families.  They have offered their own forgiveness and pointed this monster to the one who can eternally forgive despite what anyone else has to say.

What America and the world need to understand and have explained is this:

As heinous and seemingly unforgivable this is by man’s standard of understanding, we can forever be grateful that God and His mercy operate on an infinitely higher plane than we do. All sin/evil is heinous in God’s sight. God alone can give us or rather the families of victims the ability to forgive and love. His soul is as redeemable as my own thanks to the shed blood of calvary and repentance from sin. 

That being said although there can be forgiveness, there are still consequences to our actions.  

As a society and a people who live in this country and in this world we must wake up and stop hitting the snooze button.  We must stop sweeping these issues under the rug.  We must acknowledge that no amount of psychology, psychiatry or secular therapy will ultimately do what needs to be done.

Equally as true, no amount of human effort can give us the compassion that is needed to forgive acts like this in our own strength.

More or better gun laws is not the answer.  More and better drugs and therapies are not the answer.  What is the answer is to realize the real heart of the problem is the heart.  The heart must be changed.

Evil, racism, hatred and wickedness are all multi-faceted and very real.  They are also the results of a heart problem because of sin.  The only one who can change the heart is the same one that the victims where at church praying to.  They are the same ones that the families of the victims were pointing this man too…His name is Jesus Christ.

Jesus alone can change the heart of both the evil, racist, hateful, and wicked.  

Jesus alone can also change the heart of the one struggling to forgive and love.

 



June 18, 2015, 1:20 PM

A Call to Unconventional Obedience

We may never know why God sometimes calls us to walk in “unconventional” obedience.  I invite you to notice the benefits of such obedience.

1.  It trains our hearts to see things differently, to look away from the fear of any obstacles that stand in the way.

2.  It shapes our hearts to trust God in the face of any inadequacy or doubt we might feel.

3.  It releases us from relying on our own strength and encourages us to rely on god.

When viewed from this perspective, you no longer see God’s commands as strange or a waste of time.  God’s commands are a means of shaping us into leaders He wants us to be in our homes, workplaces, churches, and communities.




May 20, 2015, 11:42 AM

When the Storm Clouds Roll In

We will all experience dark days in our lives.  Storms of life roll in with dark clouds and difficult circumstances.  There is no one who is immune to the trials of life.  

But even in times like these when there seem no answers can be found, we can still turn to an all powerful, all loving God.  In His love he never promised a cloudless life.  He knows we need storms to test our faith, strengthen our faith and prove our faith.  Storms of life and the questions and uncertainty that come with them are designed to drive us closer to a God that loves us and a God that one day will put an end to all storms and there will be no more storms.  

Until that time comes my prayer is not that there will be no storms in your life but that rather we as believers in Jesus Christ would allow the storms to move us according to the will of God.  My prayer is also that the if you don’t know Jesus Christ and the hope we find in Him that through the storms and you would see the Son.

I hope the words of this song speak to your heart as they have to mine in many dark times.

When shadows fall and the night covers all
There are things that my eyes cannot see.
I never fear, for the Saviour is near.
My LORD abides with me!

How can I fear? Jesus is near!
He ever watches over me!
Worries all cease; He gives me peace.
How can I fear with Jesus?

When I’m alone and I face the unknown
And I fear what the future may be,
I can depend on the strength of my Friend!
He walks along with me.

How can I fear? Jesus is near!
He ever watches over me!
Worries all cease; He gives me peace.
How can I fear with Jesus?

Jesus is King! He controls everything!
He is with me each night and each day.
I trust my soul to the Saviour’s control;
He drives all fear away!

How can I fear? Jesus is near!
He ever watches over me!
Worries all cease; He gives me peace.
How can I fear with Jesus?




May 13, 2015, 8:24 AM

The Road Less Traveled By

Do you want to see God do amazing works, demonstrating His power in your life?
Do you want God to develop a mighty faith in you that will not waiver even when those around you waiver in their faith?
Then ask God to help you to take the road less traveled.

When God was dividing up the promised land of Canaan among the Israelites in the Old Testament, many of the people were asking for lush valleys and grassy plains. Caleb however, who had spied out the land 45 years earlier and had believed God’s promises, asked God for the road less traveled. He asked God for a mountain!

“Now then, give me this hill country about which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the LORD will be with me, and I will drive them out as the LORD has spoken” Joshua 14:12

Caleb knew the difficulty of what he was asking. He knew the Anakim were a giant like people who had fortified great cities with mighty walls in the mountains. But Caleb believed God’s word by faith. He believed because God had promised, but also because He had seen God keep his promises in times of difficulty in the past 85 years of his life. 

Many people today want a life of ease and comfort. Many Christians today just want to go with the flow and not rattle any cages. They are satisfied with the status quo. They don’t want difficult challenges nor up-hill battles with the giant issues of this life. Some are satisfied with where they are at and others just don’t believe they can push the limits they have set for themselves.

But God never calls Christians to a life of ease or status quo. God calls us to grow, mature, increase in our faith and be examples and testimonies to others. He calls us to reach beyond our own limits because He is limitless. He calls us to reach outside of our own walls to demonstrate His love and power to people that need to see Him and know Him!

The road less traveled is where we learn to grow and are grown. It is where we see the amazing power of God made real in our lives. It is where we find the strongholds needing destroyed in our own lives. It is where we find the power of God to drive out the sin and hidden attitudes of rebellion against God. It is where we find the giants that need to be defeated! The road less traveled is where we find the breathtaking panoramas of nature, God’s creation unfolded and God sustaining us on difficult tasks. It is where we blaze the trails that God has sent us to blaze so that we can be the examples and testimonies to others that we are called to be. It is where we learn to trust God in greater ways. And where our faith is grown and established.

It is how we become the light set on a hill for all to see.

 


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