Repentance is….

Something which many people seem to be against. I don’t know exactly why, but when people like certain things, they just don’t want to give them up. I understand the feelings about certain things being so strong that you just can’t seem to quit, but what about those things which will cause you pain and suffering? Why is it so impossible for some to be unable or unwilling to change their beliefs or their lifestyles so that there won’t be anymore suffering?

Before I go on with this line of thought, I am not speaking of suffering while you are enjoying your life or whatever you happen to be doing. I am speaking of pain that will come as a result of something that you are doing now. It may not come during your lifetime here on Earth, but when your life is over then you have to explain your actions to God, whether you believe in Him or not, then what will you say? “I was only having fun!”; “I didn’t mean to hurt anybody.”; the only thing that is going to be done is a view of everything that you have said and done during your lifetime which can’t be ignored nor explained to God because He already knows your answer.

Repentance is “changing your life and your mind so that you are doing things which are totally different from what your life was before Jesus.” In other words, a 180 degree turn away from sin, regardless of what that might be, and turning toward Jesus and following Him. Believing in Jesus and asking Him to forgive you and to come into your life and change you into the person that He wants you to be for Him and for His purposes and not your own is just as simple as saying, “Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner and that I need you in my life. Please forgive me of my sinful ways and help me to become the person that You want me to be. I thank you for your sacrifice because it made a way for me to become an adopted child of God through  you and I believe that You did it all for me. Amen.”

It is just as simple as that. You don’t need to do anything else because He did it all for you.

In Him we are…

We are MORE than conquerors through Christ, no matter what this world throws at us! In Ephesians 1:16-21 says this in the Amplified Bible:

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. 17. [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him, 18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones), 19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength, 20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places], 21 Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.”

God has given to each of us as believers, the victory through His power and through Christ who also conquered this world and the one who is in this world! You might say, “Victory over what?”!

Victory over your circumstances, whether they are involving money, loss of a job or a loved one, depression, alcoholism, drugs, illness, whatever it may be. Paul wrote the scripture above to the Ephesians because that is what he prayed for them to experience in their lives, not just some of the time but every day! I am not saying that God will heal all of your sickness or your addictions overnight, but He will comfort you and be there with you through the process of getting over them and through the healing process.

Sometimes God will heal you or me when we claim that healing through faith in Him and His power in our lives. But, Satan is going to try to derail your faith and stop any victory that you gain over his demonic powers which enslaved you to that illness or addiction. He will tell you that it isn’t possible, that God doesn’t care about you and that God won’t do anything for you that you can’t do on your own. Those are lies from the master of lies!!

God does love you. He does care about you and your problems and He will make a way for you to get through them! If you have given your heart and your life to Jesus and asked Him to come into your life and change your life into what He sees in you, then you can make it through all of the things that are going on, no matter how bad they are! It may require that you are killed by someone who is not a Christian, but you are the conqueror because as a Christian you have a sure victory through Christ and a place..an everlasting home in Heaven with Jesus!

We see and hear every day that more bad things are happening in the world because of hatred and violence in places from America to the Middle East to Africa, but these are ‘birth pains” of a world that is coming to a close. Look up and pray, expecting Jesus to come because He will. Your salvation and redemption draws closer every day!

Contentment…what is it?

In our daily lives, it seems that “being content” is as elusive as the boson particle. If you find it, then it is fleeting and it only lasts for a short while. What are we looking for in order to be content with our lives? Many people are looking for…something, they just don’t have a clue what it might be! You can feel it as you grow up. When you are a teenager, you feel that there is something more and at that point in life it might be a CAR. Then, when you do get one whether it is new or used, it never seems to be “just right”. There is always something that is not quite right, whether it is the paint or the wheels or the engine (not the most eye-catching color or wheels and maybe not enough horsepower or if you are frugal, not enough gas mileage).

Being content with what we have takes time and patience which many people are not willing to wait for in our society today. “We want patience and we want it NOW!!” kind of attitude. So, what can we do? The first thing that I caution you to do is this: DON’T PRAY FOR PATIENCE! You will learn it but it will not be on your terms, it will be on God’s terms and according to His timing, not yours. Just a warning before you ask for something that you won’t enjoy. I asked for it and by the time I found it, well lets just say it took far longer than I expected.

Contentment is really being content, happy and satisfied with whatever situation you find yourself in, regardless of your circumstances. It is not an easy thing to attain and it does take patience. It also takes maturity in yourself and in your spiritual life as well. Contentment is not something which a young Christian will be able to attain, even though they will want to and feel that they need to get to that point.

I am not saying that it is impossible for anyone to be content with their lives, spiritual or otherwise, but it isn’t easy in the culture that we live in today. When you are content, there is nothing that you feel is missing, and that is the part that is hard for most people to find, regardless of the amount of money that you have or your position in life. Although, the contentment that you seek can be found in a relationship with Jesus.

Yes, He is the Savior of mankind and He can bring peace to our world and to your life, if you will seek Him out and ask Him to come into your heart and your life. Every area of your life, not just an occasional visit on a holiday or once a week, but every day too. Read and study the Bible because the wisdom contained in it will also help to bring peace to you and to your life.

Start with Psalm 23 and John 3:15-17, then seek out more about Him through the other gospels. When you have come to know Him you will realize that He is the answer that you have been seeking all along.

God gave us all of this

To be stewards of, not to enslave or to abuse and maim. His creation is what we are supposed to be taking care of is not for our benefit or amusement. We can enjoy it, revel in its beauty and marvel at the wonder of all that is on this Earth as well as in the heavens above, but the animals that we are sharing this planet with should not be used as toys or targets for abuse or neglect. Consider this which was posted on Facebook:

“Woof!” I said as you started the car,
“Hooray!” I said, it’s my first time afar…..
The scents we were passing were all new to me,
For it was my first introduction to this mystery.
As we got out of the car I embraced you with joy,
After all you remembered to bring my favorite toy!
You threw it once or twice, of which I retrieved,
But on the third it seemed you were ready to leave.
You threw it long and hard and I chased it like lightning,
But when I turned to bring it back I saw a sight quite frightening.
I gripped my toy hard as I tried to comprehend
What it was I did wrong to make our relationship end.
You walked back to your car as I sat there still loyal.
Why am I subservient and you so royal?
Your engine started, and you peeled out into the night,
You didn’t even care about my overwhelming fright.
As I sat in my pose determined you would come back,
The sun faded behind me while the surroundings turned black.
Day after day I stayed in that park,
Lying… waiting… too feeble to bark.
As I lay there dying thinking of you master,
I asked myself how I got into this horrifying disaster.
With my last breath of life, I whispered your name
Then I collapsed in a heap overrun by pain.
Why didn’t you love me master? Why didn’t you care?
Had I no significance, was I just a clump of hair?
I stayed there master and I waited for you
I guess taking care of me was just too much to do.
I’m gone now master, no more You-and-I
But what I can’t figure out is why you didn’t even say goodbye…
-Author: Andrew Siegele-

DON’T ABANDON YOUR PETS. You are their lives

— with Matt Beastall-Crossposter and Matt Beastall.

Photo: "Woof!" I said as you started the car,<br /><br />
"Hooray!" I said, it’s my first time afar…..<br /><br />
The scents we were passing were all new to me,<br /><br />
For it was my first introduction to this mystery.<br /><br />
As we got out of the car I embraced you with joy,<br /><br />
After all you remembered to bring my favourite toy!<br /><br />
You threw it once or twice, of which I retrieved,<br /><br />
But on the third it seemed you were ready to leave.<br /><br />
You threw it long and hard and I chased it like lightning,<br /><br />
But when I turned to bring it back I saw a sight quite frightening.<br /><br />
I gripped my toy hard as I tried to comprehend<br /><br />
What it was I did wrong to make our relationship end.<br /><br />
You walked back to your car as I sat there still loyal.<br /><br />
Why am I subservient and you so royal?<br /><br />
Your engine started, and you peeled out into the night,<br /><br />
You didn’t even care about my overwhelming fright.<br /><br />
As I sat in my pose determined you would come back,<br /><br />
The sun faded behind me while the surroundings turned black.<br /><br />
Day after day I stayed in that park,<br /><br />
Lying… waiting… too feeble to bark.<br /><br />
As I lay there dying thinking of you master,<br /><br />
I asked myself how I got into this horrifying disaster.<br /><br />
With my last breath of life, I whispered your name<br /><br />
Then I collapsed in a heap overrun by pain.<br /><br />
Why didn’t you love me master? Why didn’t you care?<br /><br />
Had I no significance, was I just a clump of hair?<br /><br />
I stayed there master and I waited for you<br /><br />
I guess taking care of me was just too much to do.<br /><br />
I’m gone now master, no more You-and-I<br /><br />
But what I can’t figure out is why you didn’t even say goodbye…</p><br />
<p>-Author: Andrew Siegele-</p><br />
<p>DONT ABANDON YOUR PETS. You are their lives” width=”320″ height=”176″ /></div>
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<p>Pets, especially dogs, think of us as pack members…family, and when we treat them like this it is unforgivable. Although, they won’t feel that way. It just confuses them as to why you did such a thing.</p>
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Christians in the crosshairs

Some Muslims even expressed their sentiments to Christians in Baghdad at a Sunday service.

“You are the true original people here, and we are sorry for what has been done to you in the name of Islam,” whispered one Muslim woman to a Christian woman fighting away tears, according to The New York Times.

This was from an article on the forced evacuation of Mosul (Nineveh) in Iraq. For a so-called “religion of peace”, Islam is not being very peaceful at all, especially with the Christians who have inhabited this city for over one thousand years. Mosul has been a Christian dominated city for at least that long, according to the information that I have been able to find.

Here is another quote from the UK:

“What are the moderate Muslims saying?” the Lebanese Catholic Maronite Patriarch, Bechara Rai, asked acidly last week. “We do not hear the voices of those who denounce this.”

Indeed not. The Caliphate’s threat to the Christians – convert, be taxed or die – contradict, in the words of the Chaldean Patriarch, Archbishop Louis Sako,  “1,400 years of history and of the life of the Muslim world and of coexistence between different religions and different peoples”. Archbishop Sako spoke, too, this week of how Iraq itself had become a “humanitarian, cultural and historical catastrophe”. But he added that Christians in the region must remember that the Koran demands respect for minorities and that the Christian people must also remain respectful to Muslims and show “patience and endurance”. Which, I would have thought, might be turning the other saintly cheek a bit too far.

We, as Christians, should help those in need if we can. I am not sure if the help that we provide would reach the ones needing it though, so I am not sure what to do. All that I can do right now is to pray for them and I ask all of you who read this to do the same. It seems that the American government is not offering any sort of help for these, yet they are willing to help the oppressors of Israel. Of course in the media, Israel is the oppressor of the Palestinian people not the other way around. Israel has belonged to the Jewish people since at least four thousand years ago according to the covenant made with Abraham and God’s covenant cannot and will not be broken.

When you pray about the trouble in our world today, please include a prayer for those Christians being persecuted in Iraq and those in North Korea and China as well. Pray for Israel and for God’s protection for them too. We need Him and they do too.

 

Psalms…do they matter anymore?

The entire book of Psalms is quite big compared to other books of the Bible, but they contain comfort, advice, wisdom, and praise. All of the other books of the Bible contain those things as well, but not as well understood as those in the Psalms. Do we need them today? Do they matter to you? Yes, we need their wisdom and comfort and truly the Psalms should matter to all of us, especially those who claim to be Christians.

God gave the words and the wisdom to David who wrote most of them and to the other writers as well, so why not acknowledge His involvement in His Word? He inspired the writers of the entire Bible and He still inspires writers today. Many Christian writers don’t come by their wisdom that they impart to us through books or blogs by their own knowledge. College degrees don’t impart wisdom, they impart knowledge to the extent that you can absorb it.

My degree is in Clinical Laboratory Science which is totally UN-related to what I write here.

Psalms has helped me to get through the early months of depression that I have been going through and I am sure that God’s Word will provide much more comfort as time goes by. Despite what some agnostics feel or believe or rather don’t believe, God does exist and one day they will bow down and confess that He is Lord.

Why do I think this? Because the Bible tells me that it will happen! Time has gone by for the past couple of thousand years and He hasn’t returned BUT when He does…the skeptics will understand and they will tremble! Because they didn’t believe when they should have.

Psalms is a wonderful book and it has an abundance of wisdom in its chapters and it is useful for wisdom for life and being able to make it through many problems. But, you will never know that the wisdom is there unless you read it. Just as the book of Proverbs is an excellent book for living life and for business too, you will not realize it unless you read it. The entire Bible itself, from Genesis to Revelation, is a wonderful book of historical facts, wisdom, laws, love, and prophecy. Yes, there are times that there are wars, death, plagues, incest, and a whole lot of things that demonstrate that the humans that are written to by the prophets are just that…human. We still have all of those things and more today, but the message that is contained in the words of the Bible is that there is hope and it is in the form of Jesus Christ.

He is spoken of from beginning to end, not only of the book of Psalms but of the entire Bible itself. Life is lived through the Bible, through the entirety of the Psalms. We can see the hope that is spoken of hundreds of years before He is born. He is Life and He is Lord.

The very idea that is being tossed around in the world today is that Jesus was just a man, a prophet, a teacher and nothing more. He was foretold to be the Son of God and He was and is the Son of God. Belief in Him is necessary for Christians, not so much for everyone else. But, the demons believe in Him, Satan believes in Him. They know Who He is and why He came, they just chose not to obey Him as the other angels do.

I know, all of you who don’t believe in God don’t believe in any of these other “beings” either. Well…tough, because one day, if you don’t change your mind and finally believe in Jesus as the Christ, you will get to meet them all. Your meeting won’t be a happy one, nor will it be one that is a brief one either. It will be for an eternity. Read the Bible, the Psalms, the prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel and then Revelation. If you still don’t believe, then I am sorry.

Love…what is it?

In our societies and the cultures all over the world today, love is expressed in many different ways. Some of it is expressed in the way that we understand and sometimes it is expressed  far differently. Have you been exposed to real, honest, true love? The kind which would do anything for you without expecting anything in return?

We are not wired that way. Most of us want something in return for our affection, our love, especially when it is given to someone else. Is it possible for us to really know what unselfish love is? For the most part, the love of a parent for their children is that. We love our children, regardless of what they do just because they are our children. We usually love our spouses the same way because that is the way we are commanded to love them by God. We are to love our spouse as Jesus loves the church.

Do you feel this way toward your family…your wife or husband and your children? I pray that you do. I am not trying to bring judgement on you or anyone that you know, I am just stating that Jesus commanded us to love each other as He loved the church and us. Because there is nothing that we could ever give to God in return for His love except by giving our love to Him. Isn’t that what we all desire? To be loved as much or more than we love.

It is impossible for us to understand the depth of God’s love for each one of us because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours. He is the Creator and we are the created. God is love and He expresses His love in ways that we can see and feel by giving us our lives to live, and the warmth of the sun on our faces. Every breath that you take is given to you by Him…allowed by Him, so that you can bring glory to His name by honoring Him in your life.

Do we do this at all today? Many people don’t. Because God has been taken out of every school, prayer has been taken out of school, even reading the Bible seems to be forbidden in school during free time. This cannot be kept up in the long run! Why? Because, when you forget God and take His Word and wisdom away from people as they are learning, then you have people who don’t have a moral center to guide them in life! They don’t know what or Who they are supposed to base their decisions on or around, so they use their own “wisdom” or some philosophy that they learned in school or college. They might be listening to someone who considers themselves to be more than they are, someone leading people down a dangerous path!

“Many false teachers and so-called “prophets” will come during the times before the end of the age”; this is a paraphrase of something that Jesus said to His disciples when He was telling them of this time that we are living in. Look it up in the Bible! Read it with an open mind and a prayer so that God can show you what is truth and what isn’t. No one knows the day or the hour that the end will come, but God Himself, but it will come. Be vigilant and search for God while you can!