Wednesday, February 22, 2012


But I do more than thank. I ask-ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory-to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him-endless energy, boundless strength! All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. (Ephesians 1:17-21 MSG)

My prayer! My prayer life is not what it should be. It is so up and down. (I'm ashamed to say it.) As with most Christians we pray a whole lot more when we are in the midst of a crisis. I'm no different. So, right now things are going great with me. How much time do you think I'm spending in prayer? Not much. Being the CMA chaplain, I get quite a few prayer requests. When I get them I enter them in my prayer journal, I plan on getting to them everyday. Sometimes I'm not a good planner. I can't tell you the number of blessings I have missed out on because of my inconsistency with prayer. Just because I'm not in crisis, doesn't mean no one is in crisis. That's why it's so important for me to pray. pray it tonight for your spouse, your kids, your grand kids, your coworkers, your friends, and your enemies. Start tonight, don't end there. Make it a habit! Pray that I will follow through with this important task. How can I be a follower with having a regular daily conversation with my God?

So, what am I going to do! The answer seems clear, I better get on my knees tonight and follow through with ,y commitment to pray. I know of so many people who are struggling. But, even if I can't think of anyone, I know I can pray these verses. There is not a single person on this planet who couldn't use this prayer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

God is for us!

(James 1:16-18 NIV)
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

God is for us. He loves us and wants us to have a joyous life. It has always been that way and will always be. He wants to be near us and wants us to seek him for everything. So why do so many people act as though God is the enemy and he is against us? I think I can answer that.
God's gifts are perfect. He does not change like a shadow from the travel of the sun. It is us who changes. He wants us to receive his gifts, but so many reject them. I have noticed that most of the pain I go through in life is of my own doing. It is easy to blame God. Why doesn't he deliver me from the pain? But, the pain is usually my own. It is usually from me choosing not to accept his gift and his comfort. Even through the toughest times, he wants to share his gifts and provide us comfort. He usually gets our rejection.

God does not change. We do! Ye, he constantly gives us the opportunity to come back to him. He gives us chance upon chance to seek his will. He does not give up on us. He loves us. He always will. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

They are MY failure!

Galatians 6
 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

If you do a google search for "what does it mean to mock God?" , you will eventually run across an article outlining how many nonchristians have mocked God and come to horrible deaths. They mention John Lennon, MARILYN Monroe, and many others. As a Chrisitan I certinly believe in the power of God and that sin will eventually lead to a horrible death that never ends. The death these nonbelievers face on earth is nothing like the eternal death they will face. But, what is so sad about this is the comments made by many people after the article. Here are a few excerpts:

Demon Doll
So what you're saying is that God should be feared and everybody should tremble before him, because if you don't, he will strike out against you in revenge?Sorry, I refuse to believe in or worship an entity so cruel.

The Doctor
...........Being Jesus has been dead for close to 2000 years, I'm not too worried about it. I still don't believe Jesus "rose from the dead."

So we have a God that strikes us down if we doubt him. What a great guy.

I'm sorry, but if there truly is a god, he should be fired from his job. Clearly, he's not doing it well.

That is the most hateful piece of tripe I have read, and I have read it before. Suggesting that God killed scores of children on the Titanic just to prove a point to some guy that was making a prideful statement? It is circumstantial, it is manipulative, and if you believe this kind of thing, I think you belong in Topeka Kansas.Oh...And Mock, mockety mock mock mock. Blasphemy is a victimless crime.

So you are saying that god is an insecure vengfull being who kills those who don't worship him?

Antique Silver Buttons
OK, let me get this straight. Your God--the one you claim is full of love, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness--keeps a score card of every insult that everyone has ever directed his way. Since many, many people do not believe in your God, or don't believe in any god at all, he has many such score cards. But every once in awhile he totally goes on a killing rampage to wreak vengeance upon some of the people who dared to doubt his very existence (gasp!!). The reason he does this is to make examples of these evil, sinful heretics so that other people will see the error of their ways and turn to him before he has a chance to off them, as well. Am I correct?

See, I wanna know if I got this whole thing right or not, because maybe I'm missing something. I mean, if your deity is just a mean, petulant, whiny, grudge-bearing crybaby who can't deal with expressions of doubt, contempt, or mockery from a few mortal humans, then I certainly DON'T want to worship him. He just doesn't sound all that nice, to me. He sounds like the kind of person that I would avoid at all costs while making fun of him behind his back--because really, isn't it just silly to be so angry at someone that you would KILL HIM just for mocking you? People do that on our nation's highways and we call it "road rage" and put them in jail! I think your God belongs in jail, too, if he has such a problem controlling

I'm an atheist that has mocked God plenty of times, and I'm perfectally well and healthy. Actually, I haven't even had an illness worse than a common cold. And nothing unfortunate has happened to me. Go figure. :)

I am so deeply saddened by these comments. I am saddened by the hatefulness and the certain death these people will face. I'm not saying God is going to strike them down with lightning, or they are going to face some tragedy for their boldness against God, but they will not be with me in eternity without a change in their life. If that happens, I will have failed. We all know people like these. We need to be on our knees for them. We need to be on our knees for the opportunity to show the real power of our amazing God. Time is short. Pray for them! Love them! Serve them! Know them! Be there when they need you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm going to need help!

Philemon 1

 8 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, 9 yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love.

I have prayed for boldness. I have asked God to provide me with a boldness when I am with non-Christians. I have always visioned "sharing Christ" as a bold act of Faith. I think I'm asking for the wrong kind of help!

I think it's easier to be bold, sometimes, than to be more loving. But, we/I need to take these verses to heart. It's easy for Christians to be bold. We know what we have. We know how powerful Christ has been in our own lives and we just want to "strangle" those who don't understand. 

Love should be our choice method of sharing Christ, not boldness. We should have known this. Do you remember this......"For God so Loved........" Christ death on the cross started with the love of the creator of our universe. God himself could have used boldness to force us to follow him, instead he chose Love. Why do I think I need to do it with boldness and power? 

So what do I do now? 

The answer is simple: If I want to bring others to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ, I need to share that Love first. Share the Love? I'm definitely going to need help to do that!

Dear Lord, Forgive me for not sharing your love. I am weak and not as loving as I should be. Fill me with your love so that I may share THAT with others. Your love is perfect. You are awesome and I praise you for sharing that Love with me even when I don't deserve it. May I do the same with others. Amen!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Free at Last!

Galatians 5

1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Slavery has been abolished for over 146 years in America. So, you might think this verse is meaningless to us today. We may not have slavery as it was early in American History, but we do have slavery. It may even be more prevalent now than it ever has. Are you free to do whatever you want? More importantly, are you free to do whatever God is calling you to do? In our country we have so many people enslaved by their circumstances. Even our own country is a slave to it's debt. How can we be critical of our country's debt problems when many of us have the same problems.

We are slaves to our jobs, our salaries, our homes, our cars, and a multitude of other possessions. We are slaves to things that are not of God, but things that are of this world. Be honest, how many of you, if God asked, could give up our salaried career in service to him. What you possess says more about your heart and relationship with God than what you say.

I am no different than most of you. My finances are getting better. They do not have as big a control on me as they once did. But, I have some distance to go. I find that , more and more, my decisions are made from the heart instead of the desire for more stuff.  The things important to me are centered on God, Family and service to him. As my heart continues to draw closer to God, he is able to remove the shackles and set me free. Thank You Lord!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Can't we all just get along?

Titus 3

 9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.

When you think of a devisive person, does anyone specific come to mind? Unfortunately, I can think of several examples. Our country is full of divisive people and issues. We have a tendency to spend more time on the things that divide us. We share so many common goals and opinions but they always get lost in the arguments and quarrels.

A good example right now is the republican race to be the presidential candidate. Really, all the candidates are the same. They might speak different, look different, and have different backgrounds. But, they are all the same. Yet, they spend so much time and money tearing each other down. By the time the final election is complete, we will hate all of them. What a way to choose the leader of our country.

Can't we just get along. Christians can be much the same way. We, too, spend a lot of time bashing one church's rituals or another. It hurts the message. Let's stop it and concentrate on the one thing that binds us together.........Jesus Christ. We are all saved by his grace and mercy. We can all agree on that! It's not the method of baptism, it is Christ. We are one in the spirit, we are one in the Lord! Let's act like it, for a change!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Intense Enthusiasm!

Galatians 4

 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. 

Do you know anyone who is one Zealous? The Definition of Zealous is: filled with or inspired by intense enthusiasm or zeal; ardent; fervent. Do you know anyone who is Zealous for Christ? To my sadness, I can't think of anyone. I know people who are zealous for their football teams, college basketball teams, television shows, hobbies, and past times. But, I can't bring anyone to mind that is intensely enthusiastic for Christ. In reality we should all be enthusiastic and intense about what Christ did for us. He DIED for us. He gave up being God to come down to Earth and save us from the evil within us. He has done miracle after miracle in my life. He has done those same miracles throughout history. Yet, We can get more enthused about IU Basketball than the Savior of the World. I don't have to look further than the mirror to know that's true. 

Dear Lord, Forgive me for not being more zealous for you and for what you have done in my life. Please forgive me for my weak faith. i love you. Help me to share my enthusiasm for life with others. Help me to share your enthusiasm for me and my life. Praise God you care even when I don't. Amen!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Faith alone! Christ alone!

Galatians 3

 23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Faith is everything. Faith is everything,everything, everything!

When I accepted Christ, it was by faith. I was a new teenager at Camp Adventure United c
Methodist church camp. I knew nothing of Christ apart from faith. It was only after my acceptance by faith, that works started to take over my faith. I'm not sure how that happened. I started to feel I had to do things in order to earn my place in eternity. Now that I've gotten older, I understand more clearly. In all my efforts to be "good enough" or "successful enough", I am finally seeing faith emerge as the only thing.

It is my faith in Jesus Christ,nothing else, that saves me. I can't and don't even need to try to work for my salvation. It is a gift received through faith alone. Praise God!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Don't just absorb stuff!

Titus 1

 1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness— 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, 3 and which now at his appointed season he has brought to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Savior,

What is your purpose in life? These verses contend it is pretty simple. One of you main goals is to further the faith and knowledge of God's elect. So many people thing their job is to take up space in a church pew and absorb stuff! We are responsible for making sure their knowledge improves. We need them to know and understand the truth.

It's so easy to over complicate God's mission. You can't do that with this method. Share, love, pray and study to increase your own faith. In turn, that will draw them to your faith.