Pickin’ and choosin’

Religion is an easy thing in America. We have the freedom to pursue and
worship whoever or whatever we wish to or even to not worship
anything at all. Being religious is very easy and there are many
people who are very religious about their chosen religion, some even
to the point of being fanatical about it. So what is it about this
trend in America? Mainly it is because for the past fifty or sixty
years, we have been searchers and seekers. Not so much as seeking out
God and His ways, but seeking that which suits us the best in a
church or religion.
That is not such a bad thing because many times in this searching, people
will be called to faith in God and give their hearts to Jesus.
Although, some may not listen intently to the messages that are
presented to them and they want to pick and choose whatever they want
to believe. This is a dangerous way of doing things and for an
illustration of this I propose this:
A man was building a platform from pipes and boards so that he could have some
people singing and just presenting music for those who wanted to hear
it. He went through the hardware store and picked out the most shiny
pipes and bolts and nuts that he could find because they would look
good in the lights. He didn't pay any attention to the sizes that he
chose, just that they looked nice and shiny. When he got home to put
it together he found that he couldn't get anything to work very well
together because even though they were pretty and shiny, their sizes
didn't match well. A few were the same size and would go together,
but the next one in line would not. What went wrong?
Well, he had some that were quarter inch and some that were a half inch in
size, these were mixed and matched and he even had some bolts and
nuts that were in the same shape, being different sizes so that few
would work together. It doesn't work in construction and it works
even less efficiently with religious beliefs. 

Picking and choosing one or two verses from the Bible to believe and then
discarding much of the rest of it doesn't work, just as choosing
parts because they look good rather than because they fit together
doesn't work. Except, that is what many people seem to be doing
today. Why are people trying to “make their own god” as some
claim? Mainly because they don't like the message that they have
heard from the Bible or they don't want to be told that their
lifestyle is wrong or sinful.
God Himself is Holy and He won't allow an unclean sinner into Heaven
unless they have repented (turned away from) of their sins and the
lifestyle that went with them AND they have asked Jesus into their
life and their heart, allowing the Holy Spirit to change them
spiritually so that they can be a true Christian. Christianity is not
based on going to church at certain times or participating in rituals
once every month or every six months. You can go to church for a
century, every time the church has services, and if you haven't
accepted the call of Jesus in your heart and life then you haven't
changed much. You may know the Scriptures and have read the Bible
through and taught a class or two in that time, but if you haven't
given your life to Jesus then you aren't saved!
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How to begin….

This year is coming to a close and a new one is beginning at midnight, so what can we do to make sure it is a good one? Is there anything that each person can do, big or small, that will make this year better for us and for the world around us? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Have a more positive attitude toward life
  2. See the world as your ministry, whether you are a Christian or an atheist, and not as an enemy
  3. Do something for someone that you don’t know without expecting anything in return, regardless of how small or how big it is
  4. Give your time and energy to your family more than you do to your job

Read God‘s Word at least three times a week, one chapter at a time, before you begin any of the suggestions above. They are not in any particular order, they are just suggestions, but the reading of God’s Word is the key to all of them. It will give you insight and wisdom to follow through the days and weeks to come.

Why do I advise even an atheist to read God’s Word? Because it is far more powerful than my words are and because they need to get to know the One that they claim doesn’t exist. Whether they get to know Him personally or not is not my concern, although I think that they need Him and should get to know Him. God knows whether they will decide to believe in Him and ask Him into their lives or not, regardless of their belief or lack of it.

So, what will your year be like? Will it be filled with money and all  sorts of adventures? Will you get married this year and embark on a new life with someone? Will you give your heart to Jesus and walk with Him in a new life that can be fruitful for His kingdom and glory? All of these things, these possibilities are waiting for you but it is your choice which ones you will go after. Some offer rewards here and now, some offer companionship and love and a life that can be better than it was before. At least one possibility for your life offers rewards which can never be taken away and will last into eternity regardless of what your life on earth turns out to be.

So, which one will you seek?

Hypocrites, who wants ’em?

When I entered Heaven’s door
I was stunned and confused
Not by the beauty of everything
But by the people in the pews.

There were some there that made me
Ashamed to be seen there, and some
That I thought were surely in the
Wrong place.

Because when I looked around,
There were some that I found
Who I knew were alcoholics, thieves,
Liars, and sinners, and trash.

A kid that I knew from sixth grade
Who took my lunch money more than twice.
Then there was a neighbor of mine,
Who never said anything nice.

I walked over the Jesus and asked Him,
“What’s the deal? I would like to know, how did all of
These sinners get here? And why is everyone so quiet and
Somber, please give me a clue?”

‘Hush, child’, He said, ‘they’re all in shock. Not one of them
Thought that they would ever see you.’

So, remember, Judge not lest ye be judged! Just because you go to church, it won’t make you a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car. Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future in Christ! Just because the local church is full of hypocrites doesn’t mean that heaven won’t be too!

Pain, why do we suffer from it?

In many lives today…there is pain. Pain from the loss of a loved one, or from the loss of a job. Pain from the result of disease and sickness, like cancer or auto-immune diseases and sometimes from some process that doctors can’t pin down. Pain is in many people’s lives due to something that they have done and sometimes it is there just because of age. We all have experienced pain in one form or another, whether it is emotional or physical and it is something that we can’t escape.

Is pain a necessary part of life? It is to an extent. We experience pain because of the fallen nature of the world that we live in, but the pain that we experience doesn’t have to take over our lives. I say this because many people allow it to do that, but it doesn’t have to do it. The people in our world that are experiencing cancer and other diseases which can cause pain as well as the treatments that are used in treating them experience pain that many of us would not wish on any human being. That is why I think that people that are going through this are some of the bravest, strong people in our world.

Life can truly be hard to live, although people that live in countries which are “developed” may not know it, unless they are sick in some way. But what about those who are sick in their soul? Many of them don’t know that they are sick, or that they are missing something very important to their lives! Some don’t even think that they have a soul that lives for eternity. They are under the impression that when their life here is over, that’s it. There will be no accountability for anything that you have done in life because God doesn’t exist.

What do you think about that? God doesn’t exist? How can that be? Did all that you see just happen? What about everything that is going on in the world today? All of these wars and droughts and tornadoes and earthquakes are just random, natural events that are under no one’s control at all, is that it? I know, the wars are mankind’s way of dealing with or causing problems in the world, depending on which side you happen to be on.

Contrary to these beliefs about randomness and accidents, God is in control of and knows about each aspect of our lives regardless of where we live or who we are. He doesn’t care if you know Him or not, but He knows you and has known you since before the world began, just as He knew me before all of this was put into motion. God loves each of us more than we can imagine and He provided a way for each of us to be forgiven of our sins and be able to come into His presence. Do you know what it is? It is simple, maybe too simple…believe that Jesus died for your sins and ask Him into your heart so that you can become more like Him.

That’s it! Believe that He died for you and your sins and ask Him into your heart to forgive you of all the time that you wasted while you were not His. Once the change in your life is begun, your life will change because you have changed and others will see it and they will want what you have. Tell them! I promise that if you have given your life to Jesus, your life will never be the same…it will be better!

 

Today is the day!

How far in the future do you make plans? I really don’t think that there is a way to truly make plans ahead of time. Many times people ask you questions like “What will you be doing five years down the road?” or “What about ten years down the road?” Can you really plan that far down the road in your life?

What can we do about the direction that our lives take or rather, do we have real directions in our lives these days? Living in the moment, today, now is all that we have but we need to treat it as if it may be the last day. Why? Because we are not guaranteed tomorrow, let alone next week or next year. This bit of wisdom is found in God‘s Word and it is from Him, so it is the truth. It cannot be changed and no one can show that they know the future well enough to see exactly what they will be doing tomorrow or next year!

Life is a gift for each of us, what happens to that gift is up to you. You can use it in a positive way and make a difference in other people’s lives or you can use it in a negative way and cause other people’s lives to implode because of something that you did or caused to happen. Each person on this planet has the capability to be or do many things, good or bad, each of us must choose the path that we will take.

Some may say that their path has been chosen for them because of circumstances in their life. I don’t believe that your circumstances and your position or your parent’s position in life really has that much influence over your life. If you choose to make something out of yourself, you can. If you don’t decide to dream or to make a difference, then you won’t. The difference is your decision!

Your decision also can make a difference in your life, not just here but in eternity too. Because it is your decision that will decide the direction that your life takes and the path that you ultimately follow.highway2heavenhell You don’t see your destination in this life, but after you take your last breath here, so which one are you on? Eternity is a long, long time so make the right choice while you can.

I know that someone will have issues with my subject, but that is fine, as long as it gets you to thinking about your salvation and your relationship with Jesus. Today and in the past fifty years or so, people have pushed God out of their lives. Many are trying to forget God entirely. How can you do this? How is it even possible to forget Him?

When a baby is born or you see a newborn puppy or a beautiful sunrise or any number of gloriously beautiful scenes on Earth, how can you possibly believe that God doesn’t exist? I know that some look at these things and say that they are just natural processes, part of nature itself and all of them were brought about by natural processes and that God has nothing to do with them. Really?

I want to challenge you to read a few chapters in a book called Job in the Bible. The chapters begin with chapter 38 and go to 40. It is not much, but it is God speaking to Job, His righteous servant. As righteous as a man can be at least, but he was trying. Many people in our world and our society today don’t want to try. They just want to go to work, come home, drink a beer and watch some shows on the tube and go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow. Men have forgotten God.

Why have they done that? Because they don’t want Him mucking up their lives or getting into their heads. They don’t want God anywhere near their children or in their life. But, God does want to be in your life and in your children’s lives because He loves you and He cares for you. It has nothing to do with power or money or greed, God owns it all and can create anything that He wishes to so why would He want what you have?

Many people wonder why He would want a relationship with them? It is because each one of us is special to God because He designed us that way. Each person can do something for Him that nobody else can do and if they will come to know Him and follow Him, then they will find out what that something is. It may not be something which the world would recognize as great or stupendous, but God knows what you and I can do and that it is specific to each person.

I am the only one that can write this blog, with these words. If someone else wrote it, it would be different. That is what I mean and what God needs from each of us…our individuality and our personality. Each person is specific in their own way, like our fingerprints, we are all different because He designed us that way. Think about it while you read those chapters in the book of Job, you’ll see and maybe He will help you to understand too!

Do you feel like a rebellious Christian?

There are likely many people who do feel that way. They call themselves Christians but they want to do it their way. It is true, we each have our own way of doing things and our own talents which God uses for His purposes, but we have to allow Him to control what we are doing for Him. We have to allow Him to come into our lives and prompt us to do things His way with our talents that He has given us.

Rebellious Christians, those who want to do things their way, are the ones who want to follow their own way. Yet, God has given us the talents and the way to follow Him and to be able to do the things that we need to do for Him. The reason that they are rebelling is because they don’t realize exactly what Jesus did for them. He gave His life for each of us, not just those who lived during His time.

How or even if you believe or don’t believe, may not matter to some right now but it will matter when you come before Him when this life is over. Just as your belief in or lack of belief doesn’t negate the existence of gravity or light or heat, the same goes for belief in Jesus and Salvation through Him. Whether you believe it now or not, it will become truth to you one day and if you don’t believe in Him before that time, then your eternity will be far different than those who chose to follow Him.

You don’t have to like the things that I write or even the subject that I write about, but the result of your unbelief will be apparent to you one day. Pick up the Word of God and read it with an open mind, not a closed mind.

Irrational belief

“If there is a textbook example of being irrational, then irrationality believes in something without any evidence.” – Atheist reference to Christianity

What about the seemingly universal belief, in most of academia, in evolution? Do they truly have proof of something evolving into another type/kind of animal? Is there a fossil of an evolutionary form that anyone can recognize as being between (transitional form) from one animal and another?

The most famous claim that I am aware of is that whales came from hippo-sized land animals many millions of years ago, and yet there is not one fossil that has been found that shows such a transformation. It didn’t happen overnight, because evolution takes millions of years, right? This “hippo” just didn’t jump into the ocean and its legs automatically shrank to the size of flippers?! Irrationality and insanity go hand in hand it seems. Thinking that just by belief and the so-called “fact” that there is no evidence for such a thing happening automatically makes evolution the correct assumption! Really?!?

Come on, if there was a shred of evidence that I could look at and perceive that one animal is changing/evolving into another, then I would believe it. But, there isn’t!

The statement at the beginning of this article is really a definition for a type of faith, so this person is not talking of irrationality it is really a jab at Christianity. Actually, it is a definition of “blind faith”, the kind which goes along with things like theories that have no proof but if enough people teach it for long enough it is taken as fact.

Christian faith is not blind faith, it is backed up by history and by eyewitness accounts from historical documents, so the recorded stories in the Bible (Old and New Testaments) can be traced to historically documents and other proofs. Can anyone show proof positive that evolutionary processes took place to create man or are those skeletons just skeletons of apes from thousands of years ago?

I don’t think that there will be any such evidence because it doesn’t exist! Many of the biological life that has been on earth since its creation are still in the same forms that they always were to begin with, so where is the proof of evolution?

Belief in evolution is backed up by this phrase: Insanity that is backed up by enough people to make it acceptable to all.

If you don’t want to believe in Christian beliefs or an afterlife or anything to do with the Bible, then do what most people do when they find something that they don’t like…change the channel! Don’t listen to Christian radio or to television programs that have things which you don’t agree with in them. That is exactly what Christians do! We try to tell people what our faith tells us to say, just as Muslims or Mormons do, but when we do it we are called insensitive, irrational, and narrow minded. Any other religion in the world is tolerated except Christianity.

So, if you want to be irrational then go ahead. I just want to ask one simple question: “What if my faith and its beliefs are right?”