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?

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!

The news is in God’s Word

Have you noticed how much many of the stories in the news today parallel scripture? I am not speaking of the prophecies of the book of Revelation, I am speaking of some prophetic scripture which was written before. Many of the times and the things which were happening during the first century while the apostles were spreading the good news to the world around them, sound as if they came from our time, today! Wars and rumors of wars, murders, groups which were trying to discredit the church and those who were spreading its message, persecution of those who had converted to this “new Way”, these all sound very much like the things which we hear today!

The anti-Christian sentiment has been around since the beginning and although they are working harder today to discredit us and make us seem to be blind followers of a dead prophet, when they are the ones who are following a dead prophet! What about all of the other prophecies which have come true concerning Israel’s people coming back to their land and speaking the language that had been declared dead?

Many of the things that we read in God‘s Word should be taken as literal prophecies, foretelling events which have not happened yet. It should also be realized that the miracles in the time of Moses as well as in Jesus’ time did not come about by man’s intervention, but by God’s. The sea splitting so that they could cross on dry ground, the walls of Jericho falling after the blowing of the trumpets after the people marched around the city seven times, these things were not caused by man forcing God to do something!

That is similar to the way that people take the Word of God today and try to mold it to their way of doing things by saying, “God, I know what you wrote, but…”, when you insert a “but” into this argument you are taking God out of the equation and placing your own wisdom in place of His. So, don’t go blaming Him when something goes wrong. It is your fault because it was you and your “but” that got you into the mess that you are in. God may help you get out of it, but He may choose to let you get yourself out.

Besides, you can’t force God to do anything! He does as He wills and as He deems necessary, not according to our will but His. Give Him credit for being God! He created all that is around us and each person that has ever lived too! He even has a plan for your life if you will give it to Him. Do so while you have a chance to. I am not trying to scare you into giving your life to Jesus, but it is a simple truth that our lives are not guaranteed to last for 87.5 years or whatever your life-span is supposed to be. I may not be here next week, but I am going to keep posting until I have to stop.

In service to Him!

Do we REALLY need motivation to Pray?

prayer-motivationIn the situation depicted here in this picture, prayer and running faster would be helpful! But what about our everyday lives? Do we really need motivation to pray? It seems that many people do need a crisis of some kind to motivate them to truly pray to their Father in Heaven. But, why is that? Shouldn’t we be praying to Him anyway?

He is the Author of life and the Creator of everything so why not pray to Him? Don’t you believe that He could take care of whatever situation you might be in? Granted, He may do so in His own time and not as immediately as we would like, but don’t give up on God! He has never given up on anyone and He doesn’t until it is too late for them to give their lives to Him.

It is our individual choices which take us places that we enjoy or not. Our choices, not someone else’s, are the ones that we will have to account for when we face God one day. Have you considered that today? Have you thought of what you have done or said that you haven’t asked Him for forgiveness for?

You can’t hide any part of your life from God, no matter how much you may want to. He knows all about each of us, regardless of which continent you live on or how far you may be from the nearest cell tower! God doesn’t need cell coverage to find you because He never lost you! He has always been near you, patiently waiting for you to ask for Him to come into your life and help you get things straitened out.

I know that there are many of you who read this that think “My life doesn’t need to be straitened out!”; if that is true, what is working so perfectly in your life that nothing needs to be fixed? Please let the world know how you got everything figured out so we can all enjoy this freedom!

There are many who think that they have it figured out, but they are really fooling themselves. Everyone has problems of one kind or another, some are worse than others but I don’t believe that there is a person on this planet that doesn’t have some problems or at the least one problem. Life just isn’t that easy or pleasant.

Even if you have enough money that you can buy anything that you could want, without asking “How much?”; there are still taxes to pay, rent, maintenance fees for cars, houses, apartments, etc. Life just doesn’t let you have it that easy without some problems. Unless, you are one of those who is off the grid, no cell, no internet, no TV, paid cash for a small house and all that you have to worry about is utilities and food. So even with that, you still have “bills” of a sort; of course you could grow your own veggies, and unless your home is a solar powered one you still have to pay for electricity.

Living on earth is just not that forgiving as far as problems are concerned, although living off the grid entirely doesn’t sound too bad come to think of it!

Giving your heart to Jesus doesn’t fix any of these problems either. As a matter of fact, some problems may get worse especially if you tell others about your Savior and can’t keep it to yourself! We were commanded to do this, so why should you! That is why this blog exists, so that people who are searching for some of life’s answers can find them. I don’t have those answers, but God’s Word does and all you have to do is read it.

Live your life according to Scripture and in awe of our God and Creator, because if He had not made our home we wouldn’t have such a perfect place to live. I know that many of you don’t have a perfect place, but in comparison to the other planets in our solar system, earth is as perfect for us as it gets. God loves you, each and every one of you because He created you and placed you exactly where He wanted you to be!

Give your life to Jesus, pursue Him as you would a lover, learn about Him from the Word of God. When you have done these things, He will give you the peace that you cannot understand and that you have longed for all of your life. You will also be assured of a place in heaven forever and not punishment in hell.

Do you know your Redeemer?

We live our lives in a world full of technology. People are connected today in ways that only thirty years ago was not possible. What about being connected to your Redeemer? The signal clarity never goes away and it is always a clear signal because He hears our every prayer. So why do we not hear Him when He calls? Maybe because we are not listening? Or it might be possible that we just can’t hear that small voice for all of the electronic stuff that we have ringing in our ears and Him.

When we have come to know Jesus, do we decide or does our heart feel the pull of the Holy Spirit? Your only decision is whether or not to answer His call on your life, we don’t decide to get saved just on our decision alone. Unless your heart feels the pull of the Holy Spirit, you won’t feel the conviction to ask Jesus into your heart, that is why we can’t just decide to be saved on our own.

Jesus said that the only way to come to the Father is through Him and the only way that you will know that you need Him is by the conviction of your soul and your heart. Just as Peter was broken after he denied the Lord, we have to be convicted and broken to know that we need Him. We cannot save ourselves and through no action on our part can we be justified before God. Our justification comes through Jesus and faith in Him alone.

“Is it possible that you can lose your salvation?” is a question which gets asked many times. The answer is no, you can’t lose your salvation if you truly have it. If you were “saved” during an emotional event and your life didn’t change afterward, then you may not have been saved. If your character, the person that you truly are, didn’t change and your habits didn’t change then you likely didn’t truly ask Jesus into your heart. Yet, many people think that they are saved because of these things and in many instances they will not listen to anyone from that point on regarding their salvation.

This is a deception that Satan has used for many thousands of years. People think that they have their salvation, their so-called “fire insurance” and no amount of preaching or prayer will get their attention unless God does. They remind me of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time. So wrapped up in their religiousness until they didn’t recognize the Messiah when He came.

Why do we do this? We make up our own worldview, our own comfortable spot that makes us feel all fuzzy and safe, and yet we are deceiving ourselves. Still being taken in by Satan’s schemes, we walk in our comfortable religious “feeling”, and fool ourselves right into hell itself.

Now, I don’t want anyone to think that I am judging anyone, all I am doing is pointing out what some people do. The only One who judges is Jesus and He knows the condition of your heart, regardless of how well you may hide it from others.

God’s Word is the only text that we need in order to know how to be saved and then how to follow Jesus afterwards. It is our instruction book for life everlasting and for life here while we can make a difference in other people’s lives.

We have pushed God’s Word from our lives and from the education system that our children are indoctrinated in and yet we want them to grown up into moral, law abiding citizens. How can they when we have removed the teaching and the influence of God in their lives? Many people don’t go to church regularly anymore so their children are not brought up hearing God’s Word! We are creating a culture that has no fear of God because they don’t know Him or even know about Him.

This fact alone is shown in our culture today because of a small group of people who want freedom from religion, of any type. They don’t want to be told that anything that they may say or do is morally wrong, and yet they will have to account for every word and deed when they face God one day.

The answer to all of life’s questions is found in God’s Word and yet there are many who don’t even have a copy of it in their home. I have read through its pages many times and each time I get a sense of peace and security that I can get nowhere else, because it is a living Word and each of us gets a different message each time we read it or hear it.

Pick up a copy of it at the library or at a book store. Ask God to show you His wisdom for your life through His Word. You won’t be disappointed with the answers to many questions that you have had and you may be surprised about the answers that you never thought would be there. May God richly bless each of you!

Life is …..

Life is…? What? Hard? Easy? Difficult? Mostly, life is all of these. Occasionally, all of them at the same time!

The wind blows, the trees sway.

The river and streams run and tumble and play,

But the rocks are still, yet they are shaped,

By wind and water too.

Life is like that as well. The things that we experience shape our lives and how we perceive life. Can we do anything about the life that we live? Sometimes, but most of the time we just live it. Is it hard to “just live it”? Not really unless you live in poverty or in an area that has been under a drought for a long time or in a war torn area of the world. Life is not easy, regardless of where you live or what you believe in.

The society and cultures that we live in, regardless of the country, shape our opinions and our lives as well as our characters. Is there any way that we can be good enough to be human and be kind to one another? Yes, we all have the capability and the moral compass within us. Whether we choose to be that person or not is our choice. We are free to choose, for good or evil, how our actions affect those around us.

Most of us would like to be liked by our colleagues, so we choose to be likeable and friendly. Others in society choose to be selfish, caring only about what is good for them as individuals and nothing for anyone else. Thankfully, those who are selfish make up a smaller portion of society, but they do get most of the media attention so we hear about them most often. I think that is why we are so fascinated by reality shows. When cameras are around, at some point the selfish person will show up when they are least expected and usually it is the person who wasn’t selfish to begin with.

We are a group of contrasts, always changing as we get older. Sometimes for better, sometimes not so much. Age doesn’t always bring wisdom, it should but life has a way of teaching you lessons that you really don’t enjoy and whether you get wisdom from these lessons or not is still up to you. We are ruled by our choices in life and in eternity. I know, many people don’t really believe that there is an eternity but it is mentioned in the Bible so I believe it exists, and it is a very long, long time!

How can we make a difference in our life and in other people’s lives now and into eternity? By living the life that we have like it is going to end tomorrow! Telling and showing others the One who came to give them life after this one! It is not a hard job, but it is one that is not very popular right now. Some of the lessons contained in God’s Word are considered “hate speech“, bigoted, elitist views of salvation, the list goes on and on.

The point of all of this is that we only have a limited amount of time to let others know about Jesus. Our lifetime is only a small part of eternity and compared to eternity it is but a puff of smoke or mist. The message that we have is one that is very important to those who need it and will listen. If you don’t think that you need it..well, prayer is an option, searching for the answer in God‘s Word is another option, but religion is not. Religion, regardless of which one it is, can get you and anyone else a place in hell quicker than anything because it is not religion that saves your soul, it is belief in Jesus‘ sacrifice for you that saves you!

Open the Word, seek the wisdom contained in it, ask God to reveal Himself to you. Then let His light shine through you to others so that they can see Him and want to know Him too. Truly God is in control, otherwise our world would’ve ended long ago. Get to know Him while you can.

Happy New Year!

So, what are you going to do with the rest of this year? I plan on keeping up my service to my Lord and I pray that all of you will strive to do the same.

How can we keep our lives on track to follow Him throughout the year? Many people ask that question but it is as easy as reading a book. I know many people don’t think of the Bible as just another book, and it isn’t. It is God’s love letters to us, not just instructions for the nation of Israel.

Many people don’t think that God’s Word is relevant to us today but the wisdom contained in it is the same type of wisdom that you find in most of the books that claim to have the “answer” for your problems. I read many of those books, but once I started reading God’s Word I found that those books had just repackaged and reworded God’s wisdom!

Can this be a new year for you? By following Jesus and trusting Him it can be new every day because of the things you learn from Him and through studying His Word. It can also be new every day because you will be a new creation once Jesus takes hold in your heart and your life! Things that you wanted to do or thought were so “cool” before, now they don’t seem so important.

Even friends and people that you hang out with will see a difference in your life. They may ask you about it, they may not like the person that you have become..but that is OK. You are becoming more like Jesus and as long as you keep your eyes on Him and the focus of your life on Him, your life will work out for your good and for His glory.

Now, I am not saying that every day will be a wonderful, stress free day with no worries because it doesn’t work that way. Satan will come against you in the form of so-called “friends” and other circumstances. Sometimes life with Jesus starts out smooth and then gets tougher as time goes by, but keep your focus on Him and He will bring you through it.

No matter the problems or the circumstances, God will see you through them. Troubles and the cares of this world have always been there, whether you are a Christian or not, but when you have Jesus in your life they do one of two things. Either you will turn to Jesus for your help to get through them or you will turn away from Him and that is exactly what Satan wants, so sometimes those troubles can be tough.

The more you cling to Jesus and trust Him to bring you through any trials that you are having, the more those troubles will seem to be less troublesome to you. Our God loves us all and has provided a way to get through this life with victory, but it involves submitting our life to Him and that is something which some people can’t do.

This year, make it a point to check out what God has for you. Investigate it with an open mind, ask questions. This is your life we are talking about and it doesn’t just end when you die, you have a soul that is eternal and the time that you have here is just getting you ready for that time in eternity. Wouldn’t you want to spend it where Jesus is? Because the alternative is not going to be a party like some think. The Bible says that when you are cast into hell, the punishment goes on forever!

I know that people say that “A loving God wouldn’t condemn me to eternal punishment“; He doesn’t but you do! If you haven’t given your life to Christ then you are the same as the angels who threw their lot in with Satan. Hell was not made for us but for them and yet we will end up there if we don’t accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Think about it, investigate it and then decide because you don’t know when your time here is finished.