Saturday, March 2, 2013

Is God Speaking ?



Sometimes it's automatic, and we understand that God is speaking to us by His revelation in a situation that occurs in our life because we simply just do what we are compelled to do without reservation.  Then there are those times when we realize that we should have done something after it's too late.  We just seem to miss the Father's supernatural heartbeat all together, but it's a learning experience for all of us.  Our Lord knows the roar of life over here is heard above His voice from the other side of reality, so when it's necessary, God reveals His presence by having fellow humans cross our path, or sometimes we just feel compelled to take a chance on doing something cool that may cause us a slight inconvenience. 


Acts 9 - Saul's Conversion - NIV - 1984 Version

As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing.
  












There are times when God speaks rather profoundly and a human is forever changed, but they weren't really looking to change.  God will work through a human whenever he wants to!


Nebuchadnezzar's Experience With The Voice of God. ...


Daniel 4 - NIV - 1984 Version

Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird. At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.  His dominion is an eternal dominion;  his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth  are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven  At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.




When God wants to convert someone for HIS glory, it's pretty much going to be undeniable !


Undeniable Revelation

Saul and Nebuchadnezzar's conversion are examples of God using undeniable revelation to affect change in a human, it's as if they were predestined...it was God's plan all along !  No, I'm not a Calvinist.  I just think that when God wants to work through someone, he will.  I think God still utilizes undeniable revelation to this very day, but since humanity has the complete Word of God, it's not as obvious.



Salvation Is For All !


2 Peter 3 - NIV - 1984 Version

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.

John 10 - NIV - 1984 Version

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.


This Side of Life


For the most part, normal time and circumstance rule the day.  We are freemoving to and fro, here and there.  God does not force his creation to prostrate in reverent worship, and this is why He doesn't manifest Himself into our side of life...to do so would not be true reverence, and God is the epitome of truth!  Atheists are silly, it seems like they think that if God were real, it would be like rubbing the lamp to make God appear.  God is the creator of everything we can observe, you don't call Him to prove Himself as if he were a human.  God is not a supernatural bully!  The atheists say that Biblical claim seems to indicate that God is some sort of war mongering bully, but they declare this without taking the entire context into consideration. 

The Still Small Voice

I think I know what God's will for me is...it's that I should have life!  That's the simplest way of defining God's will! I think the more important thing is learning when God is talking, and not pushing back when He does speak!  Since I already know what God's will is, I think I'm better purposed to learn how to listen better!  I wonder how many times I've missed out because I didn't go to McDonald's to buy the homeless guy a cheeseburger when I felt that God was speaking?  This is still a problem for me. ...

Conclusion

We have this side of life to make a decision!  We can say; yes Lord, or we can say no.  I fear for the ones who know God is real and curse him to His face the most, however.  The thing is, if we deny God unto death, we can take into consideration all the metaphorical and literal descriptions of hell.  If one denies God in physical life, one will reside in hell after physical death...forever.  Nobody to talk to, no smiles, no happiness...just hearing the anguish of others as they burn in anguish...all alone, or perhaps, even seeing heaven as they are in torment...one can't really fathom, really. ... 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How To Defeat Worrying

Planning ahead can potentially evolve into worrying, and when our thoughts go into hyper-drive, it's like being on an out of control airplane...the feelings of impending doom are highly intense.


Worry as defined in the dictionary


1.) to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret. 2.)  to move with effort: an old car worrying uphill. –verb (used with object) 3.) to torment with cares, anxieties, etc.; trouble; plague. 4.)  to seize, esp. by the throat, with the teeth and shake or mangle, as one animal does. 5.)  to harass by repeated biting, snapping, etc. 6.)  a worried condition or feeling; uneasiness or anxiety.






One can worry so much that the body actually feels the effects of exertion as if they've experienced the situation. ...  


Worried Sick? 

Worry is an enormous waste of time and 90% of the things we worry about never come to pass.   We all run scenarios of future situations in our imagination in order to plan what will be done, but when the " what if " stigma is over focused on, worry is birthed!  Many issues worried about were never a part of reality in the first place and if a person tends to be a bit negative minded, they can very well exhaust themselves in thought before the time comes to address the issue.  The father of lies; "the evil adversary", is the author of deception and worry.  It's not wrong to plan ahead, but there is no need in thinking of the worst case scenario happening over and over again.

If we worry about having a bad day, then we probably will have one!  We can potentially evoke a negative situation into existence because irrelevant thoughts can program our subconsciousness to an extent where "the script of our worries" is played out by us when the time comes to handle the situation at hand.  There is no bigger stumbling block in our business communications than stuff we have "over pondered" about.  We can think ourselves right out of the deal of a lifetime.

Worrying accomplishes nothing especially when the situation has not come to pass yet; and if it has, little can be done when you just sit and fret!  Worry can weaken your mind enough to where evil principalities can start influencing your thoughts.  Yes indeed, one can actually be worried sick, and one can also be worried to death especially if there are high blood pressure factors and heart disease.  Stress related to worry can actually effect the person's rationality, thus dangerous decisions are made that can place the individual or others in danger. 

What Can Be Done To Find Relief ? 

Learning to transfer stressful thoughts into the super natural realm of Holiness is often overlooked, but highly effective.  Thinking that you can handle the situation is prideful, so pray about the situation and admit to Christ that you have fallen victim to yourself due to worry and doubt!  Worrying never gets anything done.  If you are worrying, it is a sure sign that it's time to get something done.  If the situation is in physical existence, PRAY.  If you can, and if it is safe...go toward the problem if it is possible.  Face it!  If the situation has not come to pass yet, or it is unsafe to confront the situation, do not give the opportunity for Satan to create turmoil!  Pray until you have prayed!  Saturating a potentially bad situation in prayer helps enormously!

Give the situation that you're stressed about to Christ, because God wants us to rely on Him totally.  No, all the thoughts won't go totally away, but Christ can take the load off because his yoke is easy!  What this means is he will take the weight off so that the load is lighter..."his yoke is easy"!  Our spirits are lightened because Jesus bares the weight of the spiritual load.  Out of control thinking torments us is in the same area where our spirit, soul, and imagination are.  Worry can be defeated in the spiritual realm because it is Godly territory.  Our burdens must be given to Christ to handle so that our fragile spirits are not crushed.  One you speak the situation into the supernatural realm, the solution will come into mind later on; or most of the time, the resolution will suddenly manifest in your life.
Jesus says bring the worry to him.
Matthew 11 

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Jesus speaks about a comforting councilor.
John 14 

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jesus says don't worry about it!
Matthew 6 

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in his entire splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?   So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. 

Final Thoughts 

Remember, our carnality can make us forget that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit!  We don't become robotic disciples once we accept Christ.  We have to learn to lean on Christ and listen for the prompting of the Holy Spirit.  Our constant dialog with God helps us to traverse through life!  This dialog includes; reverent prayer, thinking about God's position on life issues, and talking to God as you would talk to a friend as you seek advice.




 All Bible references were NIV 1984

Friday, December 23, 2011

When A Christian Dies. ...


The ones promoted to spiritual presence with God shed no more tears, and they feel no sorrow because they are present with the one who spoke all that we see into existence.  As we know our loved ones are with God, we should celebrate their life and legacy.  The best way to honor the memory of a deceased love one is to pass their influence along to someone who needs it.

1 Corinthians 15 - declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Eternal Spirit 

 

We are eternal beings.  When a person passes away from this side of existence at 90 years old we say that they lived a long time, which is true for our side of existence.  Those of us on this side of life mourn for the deceased because we miss them, and it is well with us to mourn because closure is needed in the haze of loss and shock.  I think the modern world forces people out of mourning far too early, but as we mourn, we should realize that those who served and believed in Jesus are in fact, undoubtedly, home !  90 years compared to eternity isn't very much, and  20,000 years compared to eternity isn't much either. 

 

When someone young and close to us passes on, we are totally jolted and shocked and we mourn all the more, but we must remember, we are eternal beings.  This is why we must try to tell people about Jesus...so when you get cut off in the conversation and they start to argue, that's a sure sign that the seed is where it needs to be! 

 

Honoring Jesus Through The Legacy of The Deceased 

 

Honoring the memory and celebrating the life of the deceased is the best thing to do because those present with the father are celebrating too!  The sting of death was defeated by Jesus, but this sting of temporarily loosing our loved one is felt by us, here on this side of life.  We are left with a heavy heart and sorrow, and we will miss those who have passed on.  On this side of existence, the breech of physical connection is seemingly irreparable, but our happy memories and the hope of seeing our loved ones beyond the grave is a balm that soothes the sting. 

 

We celebrate the loved one's life, and who they were.  The influence of the deceased can be carried on by us on this side of existence, thus their influence has potential to never die through the generations.  Through you, the legacy of the deceased one's life can touch the lives of others.  Sharing the wisdom of a deceased loved one can be the axis of change leading to spiritual healing for those who really need it the most. 

 

Yes, the God kissed blessings of our deceased brothers and sisters live forever!  No human, nor any evil principality can take away the Godly spiritual connection of our passed on beloved and how they touched our lives, that connection lives forever! 

 

Around five years ago my 35 year old cousin passed away due to his airway being compromised after seizure when he was alone at home.  Asphyxiation took his life on this side of life because no one was there to reposition him so that he could breathe.  Wes was the closest person that I had to an actual brother.  He was my cousin, best friend, and brother.  I miss him very much, but with me is that spiritual connection that is never lost. I remember the good times and the crazy things we did.  Every weekend I remember dogging him to get fuel, but alas, more times than not, we would end up on the side of the road.  I was angry then, but now I remember...and I laugh about my refusal to walk with him.  I remember him telling me that I was the best friend he had, and he always claimed me as his brother.  I miss Wes, but I think he is with God, and he is home.



 All Bible references were NIV 1984

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Does " The Grace Of God Mean " ?


In this article I'm exploring the meaning of grace because it is quite often misunderstood by seekers and nonbelievers.  In the article below, I will do my best to convey an understanding.  My hope is that you will seriously think about the depth of your life and what happens after you die.


Grace Definition
1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action. 2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment. 3. favor or good will. 4. a manifestation of favor, esp. by a superior: 5. mercy; clemency; pardon: an act of grace. 



 






The Meaning Of God's Grace 

In the English vernacular, grace is defined first as elegance.  In the latter definitions, we learn what is actually meant when someone mentions the Grace of God.  As far as this side of life is concerned, grace is more accurately described as existing in a status of temporary pardon.  God's Grace means that as we live on this side of life, we won't face the harshest consequences of sin, and that would be spiritual separation from God.

Grace extends to everyone, but to have a pleasant eternal existence, one must truly have faith that Jesus is their Lord while existing on this side of reality.  Abiding in the believer's life nets inner peace, even through the hard times.  The believer may go through excruciating physical hardship, but at the center of their being they will have peace at the core.   The true believer knows that death in this world is not the end.  Once belief and faith are truly proclaimed, sin becomes highly uncomfortable and disliked. 

Time Is Of The Essence 

If God decided to stop his grace toward humanity, the world would be deserted in an instant.  I feel that the reality of time came about because of God's Grace toward humanity.  Life on this side of reality is actually a time period to get things right between ourselves and God.

Thousands of years ago Moses illustrated his God inspired claims in manner understandable to everyone of that cultural historical era, and one of his books is called "Genesis". ...  Almost immediately after creation, the Grace of God became necessary if humanity was to survive.  Instead of total spiritual separation, God gave humanity a grace period, thus " time " started.  God veiled His side of eternal reality from us because the first transgression corrupted humanity. This corruption effects every human on this side of life.  Life on our side of existence can be measured with time, but God's side of reality is infinity...our human minds can't even begin to comprehend the realm of our Lord.  After Adam and Eve's first disobedience, their physicality suddenly took on the same biological life that we have, and this is evident because they quickly noticed they were naked.  In my opinion, the initial humans noticed their nakedness because the embodiment of our side of life is all together different.  The glorified bodies that Adam and Eve likely had previous to "the fall" were of an entirely different physicality.  They instantly knew the disobedience changed their relationship with God.  They covered themselves, hopelessly trying to hide the proof of their sin from God. 

God's First Gift Of Grace

Genisis 3 

The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'  "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?"  He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."  And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" 

Our Side Of Existence 

Grace shouldn't be squandered or toyed with because there is consequence for sin on our side of existence.  Sometimes we learn the hard way, but it's better to learn life's lessons with Christ as your savior.  Now that we know what God's grace is, we should proceed accordingly! 

For Those Wanting A Glorious Eternity. ...

Confess that Jesus is Lord 

 After confessing that Jesus is Lord, He will stand as a barrier between you and living an eternal death ...  Without Jesus as our Lord, sin WILL result in eternal separation from God!  Separation from God is also known as hell!  With Jesus as our advocate, our sin no longer separates us from a wonderful, heavenly eternity.  This doesn't mean that you won't sin anymore, but it means that you will not be comfortable living in sin. 

Confess all of your sin, and then repent. 

You basically tell Jesus all the bad stuff you've done...all of it.  In the future, should you remember a sin you didn't confess, make sure that you talk to Jesus about it.  Repenting means to turn away from sin and the sinful life style. 

Repent from all future sins on this side of life. 

You will have set-backs, but that's life. ...  Just continue to work on a closer relationship with God through prayer, and then pushing back the darkness of evil will become more frequent.  It's takes time to heal from sin, never give up! 

Living out what is listed above is what it takes to receive eternal life!  Read the Holy Bible, perhaps start with the book of John...John 1 and John 2 are the shorter of the three books of John, but ensure you read specifically "John" FIRST.

Biblical References 

John 1 

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John testifies concerning Jesus. He cries out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' " From the fullness of his grace upon grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known. 

Ephesians 2 

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
All Bible references were NIV 1984

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Does Hell Really Exist ?



This is one of the most avoided topics of all in churches and in fellowship circles!  Separation from God is mentioned far to many times in the Bible to be ignored.  Mankind is of freewill, and with this will they make a choice.  I shudder to think of my life without Jesus!  Since Jesus called me, my life has never been the same.   I admit the calling wasn't as strong as it is now because evidently the roar of my flesh kept me from hearing my master's voice.  I stand amazed as I glance backward through time...Jesus was there all along, and he saw it all!  I'm ashamed of it, but I'm forgiven.


Matthew 25 

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 












Literal And Metaphorical Descriptions 

Jesus referred to hell in the Bible as like the sewage pit outside of town where the runoff from blood and sacrifices pooled.  In Jesus's time they called that place Gehenna. ... 


Matthew 23 

And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'  So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.  Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!   "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell ( Gehenna ) ? 


Hell is fire, anguish, suffering, and eternal unhappiness. 


Jude 1 

Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.  And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.  In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. 


2 Thessalonians 1 

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power. 


The Bible claims fire, but it's also claimed to be dark. ...


2 Peter 2 

In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.  For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment. 


Hell is burning, yet there is no fire to warm yourself by. 

Isaiah 47:11-14 

"Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror. All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.  Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by. 


Biblical Descriptions Of hell In The Bible 

You will find these as descriptions of hell in the Bible; Burning, agony, suffering, dark, fire, cold, sadness, anguish, and eternal destruction.  Basically hell is separation from everything that is good!  One can easily see that hell is forever if contextually studying Biblical claim.  God is the reason for all things pleasurable, thus being separated from God after biological death means that the person will have a bad eternal existence.  The Bible claims that those who choose to not believe, or those who rebel against God will separated from God after physical life.  Hell is verified and described many times in the Bible...I even get a trembling feeling just writing about this!

Hell has fire, but doesn't fire net light ?  Indeed, the Biblical literal and metaphorical claims of hell can make your mind spin as you try to wrap your mind around the reality of  it.  We hear of fire, burning, anguish, and suffering throughout the Biblical text.  I hate to say it, but folks are going to go to hell. ...  How can people miss this?  If there is consequence for your sin while in this side of life, then there must be consequence for rebellion against God on the other side of life.  There is simply no way that God will let sin  perpetuate into eternity, I'm sorry Oprah. 


Rebelling Against God 

It's freewill!  Some people will simply not believe, and thus nonbelievers will distance themselves from the reality of God and may eventually pass into the other side of life with that view.   God doesn't want programmed minions, but he wants people that honestly seek and ask Him to "reveal" his presence within their lives.  If God fully revealed himself it would cause forced worship because his presence would be overwhelming.  People who reject God aren't all bad people, but they are blindly enamored with humanity. To believe that humanity is the only intelligent life to exist defies all logic.

The one rebelling against God is more likely to do as their dark carnal desires dictate, and this includes slinking around doing unlawful things!  The nonbeliever is also more likely to perpetrate crimes.  The supernatural battle is unseen, but the results therein are observable because a true non-believer is actually convinced that the supernatural reality of God doesn't exist. ... I'd say it's a from of metal illness.  Aren't you glad that you are a believer! 

You do believe, don't you? 


Thoughts On Spiritual Separation 

No presence of God means no happiness as humanity knows happiness.  I believe Jesus felt spiritual separation with his final words calling out to his Father. ...  We know no response came.   We know that God sent Jesus to dwell among humanity in order to defeat spiritual separation from God.  If something doesn't effect the trajectory of disbelief in a person, or if the individual doesn't soften their heart, and listen...the person is not going to be happy after he biologically dies!  In hell,  the person is separated from God, and in this eternity they would be in burning anguish.  The one separated from God has lost everything. ...  The person in hell is forever overwhelmed by endless displeasure as they exist spiritual nothingness.  No laughter, no peace, no love, no friends, and no tears to follow screams of anger, that would be hellish...don't you think? 


Separation From God Is An Eternal State Of Misery 

Ed Gungor; who is a friend of mine, taught in a sermon that the decision in not believing in God is like someone shooting an arrow in the direction of non-belief within their spirit.  This launch toward non belief likely worsens throughout the person's life. ...  Ed further  described that the decision to reject God starts accelerates similar to matter in outer space after leaving this side of life.  Basically Ed closed with this statement;  " If a nonbeliever, or the one rebelling against God doesn't change their mind before this life is over, the misery and anguish forever gains velocity."


Keeping The Word Of God Alive 

When thinking about eternal subjects one must keep focus on the Biblical scriptures.  If one's musing and deviates away from the Bible, dialog with God, and other believers in sound doctrine, the believer gets very weird!  IF this same believer convinces others that his musing is fact, a CULT forms!

The modern Christ Follower must find ways to be the Salt and Light that Jesus talked about!  In our stance to preserve the teachings of Jesus Christ, we should always be firmly rooted in sound Biblical doctrine.  Humankind's dealings with God have come full circle again, and again in the Bible!

We must make Biblical teaching appealing to the modern world, but we mustn't embrace a worldly application of them.  With the right attitude, and with sound Biblical doctrine, we can indeed appeal to a modern seeking world without departing from sound doctrine indeed! 


In order to have eternal life with God, The Bible instructs us to;

Confess that Jesus is Lord 

 After confessing that Jesus is Lord, He will stand as a barrier between you and living an eternal death ...  Without Jesus as our Lord, sin WILL result in eternal separation from God!  Separation from God is also known as hell!  With Jesus as our advocate, our sin no longer separates us from a wonderful, heavenly eternity.  This doesn't mean that you won't sin anymore, but it means that you will not be comfortable living in sin. 

Confess all of your sin, and then repent. 

You basically tell Jesus all the bad stuff you've done...all of it.  In the future, should you remember a sin you didn't confess, make sure that you talk to Jesus about it.  Repenting means to turn away from sin and the sinful life style. 

Repent from all future sins on this side of life. 

You will have set-backs, but that's life. ...  Just continue to work on a closer relationship with God through prayer, and then pushing back the darkness of evil will become more frequent.  It's takes time to heal from sin, never give up!

Bible verses were NIV 1984 and New KJV

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Evolution Of Sin Has Changed Our Lives And Communities


I'm not a fan of television these days.  Reality television...really?  There is nothing “real” when a person enhances their appearance and adjusts his or her personality for an audience.  I haven't watched television with any sort of regularity for around ten years.  The exception would be College football, and TVland.  Good ole' Andy Griffith...hey, now we can get a glimpse of what the good old days were all about.  White lies were a regular main ingredient in the script on the Andy Griffith show, but usually the truth came out at the end of the episode...sometimes. 


The Home I was Raised in, circa 1980

Ecclesiastes 3

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,  a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.















A Different Time, A Different Life, and A Different Community 

1960 compared to 2011, hmmmm...I'd say those years aren't that different when considering the sin susceptibility of human kind.  It's the same old 1960 sin, but the evolved 2011 satanic methodology has changed our lives.  If we take the time, we can  rewind time like a video, and then we can see the difference with more clarity.

Have you noticed that most modern homes do not have a functional front porch?  Only 20 to 30 years ago we watched out for our friends and neighbors, and they watched out for us...it was the good old front porch era.  Folks seemed to care about other people's kids back then, and they had a hand in the discipline of other people's kids, to an extentThe main interface of communication was the person to person conversation previous to the 90's.  When you wanted to say something to your neighbor you didn't text them because you could probably just yell it out the window....the older reader may remember that windows were open back then! 


An Increasingly Introverted Culture 

In these modern times; air conditioning, televisions, and video games have all but silenced the heartbeat of the American neighborhood.  Cute little communications devices such as the i-phone have made face to face conversation seem awkward...even unwanted.  The modern neighborhood looks abandoned because the way we interface with the world has changed.  Nowadays people don't interact with others in their neighborhood like the families of the 50's, 60's, and 70's did. As a matter of fact, families don't even interact with their own kinsmen!  Due to modern times; a bad economy, and the ever changing ways of life, families are very much scattered.  Family reunions are now becoming by gone events.  Fear has driven us to keep our children indoors because we feel that we must hide our kids from the evil potential of the sexual maniac.  The non-parental supervised game of street football is nearly a bygone memory.  We can't let our kids ride their bikes down the street beyond our eyesight. ...  What a rip off, I had that freedom when I was a kid!

Advances in technology have changed the manner in which we relate to the community and world, thus America has eliminated the charm of the front porchSubtly, In the last 15 years or so, the family has encapsulated themselves within their personal forms of entertainment.  Musing has been swallowed by amusement probably because it takes less effort. Front porches are now crazy looking 4 foot while unlock the door rain shelters nowadays.  We've even retreated from the family room into our own individual bubbles of personal entertainment, and gadgetry. The dinner table has been replaced by the TV tray in front of your personal television.  We continue to retreat further into our own little bubble.  The past 7 years has been an enormous step toward a personal entertainment world.  I hate that many modern kids don't have that privilege of near total outdoor freedom anymore, what a shame!  Nobody seems to care or notice. ...  Some wonder why their 10 year old is 120 pounds.  Well, ya know. ... 


Out Of The Darkness And In Your Face 

Evolving sin has destroyed decent morality, and the dark adversary knows how to get to us...he is now rolling out his best master plan of all time.  We are becoming more and more closed off as a culture, so what satan has done is he's seized control of the social media and entertainment industry through the minds of the administrators therein.  Thus through the social communication and entertainment media, the evil one is also able to influence the politicians who govern humanity.  The world governing bodies allow the social media and entertainment industry to further promote tolerance of promiscuity and homosexual lifestyles. Traditional gender role life styles and modesty are laughed at and despised.  Sexual expression is badly warped, and it's nowhere near the marriage bed; as a matter of fact, conditions in this modern society resemble Sodom and Gomorrah.  What's currently rated PG now was rated R in 1985.  The evil one has indeed succeeded in subduing modesty through the entertainment industry and popular culture!

Casual sex discussions and sex play is a growing problem with the youth of America.  According to many reports, young children are increasingly likely to have participated in perverted conversations with children, or an older individual previous to their 11th birthday...it is absolutely shocking!  I would never let my child have any free reign internet access, nor total freedom with a cell phone...ever!  My daughter begs me to get her a cell phone, but I've seen the trouble a cell phone can bring into a 9 to 13 years old's life.  Some of the things I hear kids talk about leave me speechless!  All youth's aren't subject to debauchery, but we are all human, thus we have that propensity to mess up!  I'd really think twice about cell phone use for kids.


Kids 10 to 14 years old who have 24 hour communication access could potentially be receiving phone calls or participating in dirty little text conversations after bedtime. ...  What are parents thinking?  How can parents let their kids have cell access 24 hours a day...they will likely get a big shock one day!

Looking Back 

In 1980 our family watched television frequently, but we all watched the same television; however, I had much more outdoors freedom as a child than the majority of the kids today.  I remember the feel of the peddles on the bottom of my red clay stained bare feet as I rode up Giger Hill, and the sound of the wind as I streaked down the other side.  My three dogs would keep pace and follow me everywhere as I rode my bike.  My legs were skinny, but they were muscled with no blubber on them. ...  I could easily power through the sand and rugged ground on my bicycle.  I would actually wear the tread off of the tires of my bike!  I had outdoors freedom, but I knew it was time to come home when the deep orange sky would que the locusts to begin their shrill call in those Milton, Florida pine trees.  I remember popping a wheelie to ride up onto the front porch.  At the end of a busy afternoon I went inside to eat supper and watch the one television in the living room. 


The Re-birth Of A Godly Community 

I say that we should give our kid's the outdoors freedom that they have been deprived of.  Most of us likely had the freedom to peddle out of sight and into our world of building forts and getting our school clothes dirty when we were kids, so why can't our kids do something similar?  If a neighborhood committee can be started to inform you that your mailbox is the wrong color, why can't parents in the neighborhood step outside and take a shift in watching the kids as they hit your end of the street?  For that matter, why do we stay inside all the time?  Light the grill, and burn a cow...let's all get to know each other!

If you don't have many neighbors, at least get involved in, or find a church that has an outreach attitude and serve the community...I'm trying to work towards that now as a matter of fact.  As long as the denominations of the body of Christ believe that Jesus is Lord and the risen savior, then all Christ Followers should have enough common ground to face a lost and broken world together.  We can restore community if we work together in the name of Jesus.  If we can restore community as the body of Christ, we can reach the unsaved!  

Bible verses were NIV 1984

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fitting In At Church



Every so often I feel awkward at church, and it nets an aversion to the social interaction therein...so that means I sometimes get in and out of church as quickly as possible.  I'm not the typical church attender; I'm 9 years re-singled, a guy, forty years old, and my daughter lives with her mother 370 miles away, so it's a little tough to embed myself into the fellowship body.  Divorced men like me usually troll the bars and hang out amongst the middle-aged human wreckage.  Years back on Thursday nights I could sometimes be found at the Malibu Lounge basking in the karaoke spotlight, yes, as a divorced guy I was enjoying the bar scene. ...  Then there was that peculiar morning in 2004.


Hebrews 12 - NASB


Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.








 
The First Epiphany


One morning as I wretched in the throws of one of the most violent hangovers in my life, I decided to look into religion...again, but this time my mind was opened.  Kicking through the strewn beer cans, I dry heaved as I hosed out the trash can I had puked in earlier.  In my degraded state, I suddenly realized that humanity is surely not the best thing going in the universe!  Not long after that day I realized that only a fool would dismiss the many instances of supernatural interaction as circumstantial.  I would soon learn that the reality of salvation through Jesus was remarkably different than any other belief in divinity, and I finally affirmed Jesus as Lord of my life. ...

I reasoned that there is no other religion where God walked among humanity in human form, and certainly no other religious figure had conquered death and walked around resurrected in a perfected physical body as Jesus had done !  

Hard Headed 

I asked Jesus to change my life, but the life style change wasn't instant...I had some lessons to learn, seven years of lessons to be exact.  I had no idea that life was about to become a gauntlet of tests, trials, and facing the circumstances of my sin.  Indeed, God took me up on the invitation to come into my life because His presence intertwined in my physical time and circumstance with a saving passion!  I was serious about changing, and my Lord was serious about making it happen. ...  From then on, I was no longer was comfortable with doing wrongful things, and even thinking wrong was swiftly chastened from within my spirit.

After 7 years of being taken to life's woodshed, I'm finally starting to "get it".  I've learned that those physical and spiritual storms are the result of my disobedience.  I have finally realized that confession and repentance promote sanity and inner peace.  God has made me much wiser, and trips to the woodshed have decreased.  The Holy Spirit within my being has eradicated darkness, but I understand that I also have much to do with regression, when it happens.  Satan is the conveyer of sin, but humanity can resist.  Learning how is the hard part!  Better discipleship would have helped me immensely, but I'm a better man for facing the trials!  A good relationship with Jesus supernaturally lifts the oppression of  darkness from the center of the soul. 


Doing The Church Thing 

Have a look at the demographic statistics and you will see that the last place you will find a guy like me is in church.  Sometimes I almost change my mind, but I muster my bravado and pull into the church parking lot.  With a long exhale I get out of the car...alone again.  I walk into the building and I see the smiling faces of other people who believe in God, but as I look around, I notice that everyone else came with somebody.  Incredulously laughing within, I feel as though I'm breaking some sort of unwritten rule that requires that I take somebody with me to church, but I push back against the feeling of not fitting in.  I often wonder if people would actually go to church if they didn't have someone to go with because I know what it feels like to go alone.

No, I'm not a people hater.  I wasn't even close to lonely back in the bar days, but the bar days are over.  The challenge that I now face is not really about social hang-ups, but it's about finding common ground.  Many of my bar hopping buddies back in the old days were single, thus tom catting was easier with a wing man because the single ladies of the night scene traveled in packs too.  I had no shortage of friends back in those days because it was easy to make friends when you had a common life status.

Following Jesus has netted a loss in all non-family friendships.  My slow change toward following Christ hasn't been the best example for my family members.  My immediate family members do not go to church, but they seem to believe in God.  I'm thankful that  my family doesn't alienate me because I follow Christ. 

Singleness and Church 

I'll bet single people don't stay in church because they feel alienated, and I know this is true because I've lived it out!  I recently attended a wonderful family oriented church, but I always felt out of synch with the amazing folks who went there.  I attended the church for nearly two years, but I never really made any friendships outside of the church sanctioned functions.  I felt as though I had nothing in common with the other members with the exception of Christ as my savior.  I often felt that there were members who thought something was wrong with me because of my singleness. ...  Maybe there was some overly speculative scrutiny, but I knew in my soul that I wanted to rid myself of all darkness, so it didn't hurt my feelings too much.

My previous church was very family and youth oriented.  I'm unmarried, my child lives 370 miles away, and I'm certainly not a youth...so that leaves very little chance to form the everyday life kind of friendships in the majority of all churches.  I knew from the beginning that my former place of worship didn't want to risk a singles / divorced ministry because of fears that a male / female relational rift could cause issues at the church.  I thought I'd eventually make a friend or two with a situation similar to mine, but it didn't happen.  I made plenty of friends, but not the real hold the flashlight as you fix the car type of friends

I wonder if anybody realizes that ministry for the single is not really about guy / girl relationships, but it’s about the chance to form real friendship outside of church sanctioned functions.  David Platt of Secret Church recently said; ' One can go to a Christian bookstore and find volumes of material on the Christian couple, but to find a book on the Christian single is a bit of an challenge.'

The Next Chapter of Life 

My current motivation is more about doing service for God.  I recently felt compelled to begin to church shop again because I have far too much idle time.  I'm looking for a church that has an actual local outreach so I can fill the idle time with doing stuff for God.  I'm unemployed right now, so fuel costs are a concern, but as soon as the money issues are resolved, I'm ready to focus more on outreach. 

If I must continue to do without singles fellowship I know that through Jesus I'm unshakable, but I would at least like for the possibility to be there.  I want to set a long term goal toward addressing the ministry issue for the Christian single, and I feel that God is in on it!


  Bible verses were NIV 1984