Sorry.

Posted: 02/15/2012 in Uncategorized

This week has been a bear. So I haven’t had time to post anything. I will start posting again when the time allows. To those who are following me, again I want to say thanks. I appreciate your support.

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Come to the cross that still stands

And look at the gift given to you

He died with a back covered in bands

Through heaven’s gate he will allow you

Come all to the standing cross

A symbol of sin that is broken

He gave us all a bridge to cross

All this in the past was spoken

Now come to an empty grave

To see His power even over death

He gave to all who are depraved

And gave freedom to the oppressed

Come look at this empty grave

Death could not keep Him down

That death we all can brave

And soon He will wear a crown

Come and look at the standing cross

For He was a gift given to us

That when we die we’ll cross

The chasm to our eternal bliss

Come and look in His empty grave

Only then will you truly believe

Only then your life He’ll save

Then one day your grave you’ll leave

It is amazing how some things work, especially in the ministry that I work for. So many times we try to do things because we know that no one will find out. We tend to put one of these up in our minds and believe that this will be enough to keep what we do private.

Sorry, this is for me and me alone

 But God has some things to say about things done in secret. He says that He will blast out the news of the hidden things when we do them in secret. He will bring them to light. (Mark 4:22 “For everthing that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”

All too often we think that we can do things in secret when we are alone and it is okay.  At least to a degree. I say to a degree because technically, we are never alone. We have someone looking over our shoulder all the time. It doesn’t matter if we feel like we are doing anything wrong. But, if we are in ministry, that ministry after a time will suffer. If we help out in church, eventually we won’t want to do that. Why? When we do something that we know that God does not want us to do, He will step in if we continue on with it.

I have seen this before. I have said that I work for a ministry called Teen Challenge. I saw the effects of what one staff member was doing when he was by himself. Though no one knew what he was doing, it was still affecting the shifts that we worked. Things were becoming chaotic. When he admitted to what he was doing and was released from his part in the ministry, things seemed to calm down almost immediately.

Strange as this might sound, what is done in the physical world affects the spiritual and vice versa. When you work in ministry it can be felt and seen in a way that is hard to ignore. What we do will affect us in all areas of our lives no matter how good we hide what we are doing. Be careful what you do when you think you are alone. The Holy Spirit is looking over your shoulder. God will not let things go for too long before he steps in to deal with it.

We all have those areas that we want to hold on to and God will let us. But He will also bring these things to light if we don’t deal with them. Trust me when I say, it is easier to deal with them ourselves. It is much harder when God has to step in and deal with it Himself. It may be difficult either way, but why would we want to carry around baggage when we don’t have to.

First off, let me just say sorry about the last post that was sent out. It was done by mistake. This is the post that was supposed to be sent out.

Yes, yesterdays post was more of a fun thing. I received this in an email and thought “why not”. So I posted it. But then today, I started to think about what God’s Valentine to us really was.

You see, many of us have a valentine from God. We have it hid away, in a drawer or on a shelf. We don’t read, but we know that when we need to see it, it is close by. But for many of us we claim that we don’t need it. If we do have it out it just sits somewhere collecting dust.

Would we treat a letter from our loved ones this way? Would we keep an email unopened from our spouse or girl/boy friend? Or another family member? Of course not we would read it with joy. Knowing that while we read their words they have us on their minds. This letter or email makes us feel special.

We all like knowing that there is someone thinking about us all the time. Shoot, many of us are thinking about someone else all the time. Someone that has captured our hearts or whose heart we would like to capture. Yet we disregard a love letter to us of one who has us on His mind and heart all the time. He looks at the palms of His hand and sees a picture of you and me there. So what is this letter? The Bible.

God's love letter to the world

God's love letter

The Bible shows us the love that God has for us. The Bible shows us His devotion to us. God told us in His letter the depths He would go to “win” our love and devotion. He fights for us. He woos us to himself. He is our strong tower. He is our strength. He is our wisdom. He records all this in the Bible. He gave it to us, so that we can know what we need to about Him in order to love Him.

Instead, those He loves choose to ignore it and Him. Maybe we should take time now to read the greatest valentine that the world has ever seen or been given. Then we can get to know the One who would do whatever it takes or took to get our attention.

God’s Valentine

Posted: 02/08/2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

         In my last post To Love or Not To Love I talked about how we can push away people by how we act towards them. Or how they see us treat others. We do need to be careful what we do. If only for the reason that a picture is worth a thousand words. It seems all too often what we do does not match up with what we say. People will only see our actions and not listen to our words in many cases. The reason? We can lie with our mouths but not with our actions. At least for very long. Therefore we need to make sure that our walk matches our talk, at all times.

         But this also means that we need to remember where we ourselves come from. We can’t come across as being better than others. We need to remember that we are no better than anyone else. We need to remember where we have come from. That is, we are sinners, saved by grace through the mercy of someone else.

        But let me define what I mean by the terms grace and mercy. GRACE = unmerited favor. MERCY = not getting what we deserve. From a biblical standpoint or Christian viewpoint I am saying  that I am a sinner, saved by the unmerited favor by not getting what we deserve. We who have been a Christian for quite awhile tend to forget that. We forget that God showed us grace and mercy when we first came to him. What we need to do is extend that same grace and mercy to those around us.

          I am not saying that we need to turn a blind eye at everything a person does. There are times when love says that we will need to confront others. But we need to remember that we have come from similar backgrounds. Doesn’t mean that we can’t come against what they are doing wrong. I am saying that patience is needed and sometimes grace and mercy is needed instead of the firmer hand..

          Patience was extended to us by God. Which we should be very happy for. God could have taken us any time He wanted to. Instead, He chooses to extend His patience to us. Why? He has a plan for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” If he was to get angry with over every little thing we do, eventually he would just get of us. Instead he shows patience and has his hand out to us. He wants to give us grace and mercy and not His wrath.

          But he also expects His children to do the same thing. Extending a hand in patience in order to bring them to same grace and mercy that we have from God. He to show His love to the world through us. All we have to do is change the way we see things. Take a look at others through His eyes and not our own.

            I will approach the subjects of grace and mercy at a later date. Just remember that we are not perfect. Which also means that those we are supposed to go to are the same way. Remember  where you have come from and allow the things learned from then to now help you draw others to Christ as you had been.

Really. Does the title even have to be said or asked? Unfortunately, I think it does. All too often we see images in movies, videos, or those who think that they are saying what they are supposed to be saying. At least in their eyes. For instance look at this picture. The message is quite obvious. There is no way to misconstrue what is being said.

Now my question is this, if God hates fags, then what did He come here for? Why did He live like us and die? If God hates certain groups or certain people, then would that not make what He did useless? Now I don’t know what Bible the church who pickets with signs like these are using, but I think that there are a few verses that have been taken out of them.

For instance the Bible I use says this:

1 John 4:16 And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him.

Is this missing in some Bibles? If so this needs to pointed out so the publishers can get it fixed. Because if God is love and a God of love then where is the hate coming from? Is it any wonder that people want nothing to do with the church, God or Jesus Christ? Is it any wonder that we are looked down upon or seen as a joke?

God is a God of love. He proved it. “But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) I don’t recall John 3:16 saying “For God so loved certain people, that He gave His only begotten Son. That only these people who believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Did or would God really only talk about certain people? I don’t think so. I recall the verse saying something completely different. Something along the lines of: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The word “world” means just that, world. It means the whole of planet earth. Everyone. No one is excluded. Everyone has the same chance as the person next to them. But they have to choose. God doesn’t. Does He want people go to hell? No! Does He force people to go to hell? No! That is our choice and no one else’s.

But for some reason there are those that think He does. There are those that think there is no reason for an army. (Soldiers are going to hell as well. At least to some people.) We can’t draw people to Christ if we are pushing them away. If we push them away or treat them with contempt or even worst, hate, how are we drawing them to Christ. We can’t claim to hate certain and then claim to love God. It doesn’t work out that way. God says that the person who does this is a liar.

I work for Teen Challenge. I deal with people that have gone to church. I deal with people who probably wouldn’t set foot in church any other way. Most of the time it is just plain bad choices that ultimately cause them to cross paths with me. Other times I believe it is because of a bad incident with someone at church that ultimately brings into my “orbit”. I believe that the reason many people don’t go to church is because of the hatred felt towards them.

After Thursday night Bible Study at the church I go to, some of the people went out to fellowship and get something to eat. Towards the end of their time there, the waitress said that she did not know they were Christians. Why? Most of the Christians that she had as customers were hateful. This was one of the few times I am sure that she had met some truly great Christians.

Ghandi could have been truly great as a Christian. But why wasn’t he? He read the Bible, quoted from the Sermon on the Mount. It was because a church elder would not let him in church the one time that he wanted to go in. The church elder was hateful to Ghandi and he never tried to go to church again. It is also telling when he says “you Christians are so unlike your Christ”. You can read this story at John Mark Ministries.

We need to quit hating people or groups and start loving them. We need to have the mind of the one who let an adulteress go. We need to have the mind of the one who loved the sinner while hating the sin. Jesus Christ played no favorites, so why do we? Our job is to bring people to Christ. Not push them away. I do not want to be called a liar because I have said, shown or claimed that someone is not worthy of God’s love. Thereby, His grace and mercy follows. I have known many people with lifestyles that God hates, but I never hated the person. You will never find me being like that. I have chosen to love in action as well as word. Where do you stand?