My husband says to me, “what do you want for Christmas?” I answer “nothing”, and he obliges. To me Christmas is one of the most sacred of days. It is the day that my Savior, my King, my Redeemer was born and for that reason alone, I celebrate. Other than that, I find little reason to celebrate.
To many folks, it is a day/season to spend too much money on unneeded and unnecessary “things”. I believe that if these things are needed and necessary they would be bought at the time that they are needed and deemed necessary. So many are entrenched in the mindset of more and more and more; posting, streaming, snapping, pinning, tweeting pictures of mountains of presents under, over and around their tree. For what? For what purpose? Do you really think that the person opening the gift will love you more or less depending on the dollar amount spent? If that is true, then there really isn’t any love there.
“The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, life to the fullest” John 10:10
You are the son, the daughter of the Most High King. Do not back down when the enemy comes around; do not cower, for we are called to be as BOLD as the Lion of Judah (Rev 5:5). God Almighty has put His Power in you so that it is there when you need it to ROAR.
Our enemy, satan, will use your past, your weaknesses, and areas of your life where you are not strong to entice, beguile and tempt you; believe that he will and he does. Scripture tells is in John 10:10 that satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy your life, your dreams, your future.
Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an increase on my Facebook feed of posts touting what I am calling “Quick Christianity”. These posts espouse the many blessings and benefits of a three minute devotional time. A Google search of “Quick Christianity” produced an almost offensive “Christianity for Dummies Cheat Sheet” – from the Dummies for Whomever, Whatever genre of helping books.
I don’t know why the title of this offended my sensibilities, but it did. Perhaps it is because so often I’ve heard that only weak-minded, delusional people feel the need to rely on a make-believe god to help them through their day, week, life… and calling it Christianity for Dummies, well I personally find the word Dummies offensive.
I do not want to make this an essay about atheism, or other religions, or religious freedom or tolerance. No. If you come to our blog, or listen to these podcasts you know that we are Christians. Period. That is not open for debate or discussion. You know that we will always speak the truth. Period. But I digress. Continue reading
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. Hebrews 11:1
Sure and Certain
These two qualities, sure and certain, require a secure beginning and ending point. The foundation of FAITH is belief in God’s character; that He IS who He says He is. The finish point of FAITH is belief in His promises; He WILL DO what HE says HE will do.
“… without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” Hebrews 11:6
But believing that God exists is only the beginning; even the demons believe that much. “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” James 2:19. God will not settle for mere acknowledgment of His existence. He wants a personal, dynamic relationship with every person… a relationship that will transform your life. The reward for those that seek Him… His intimate presence surrounding you, guiding you, indwelling you, and loving you.
In whom or on what do you place your faith?
“I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you]. Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken off] branch, and withers and dies; and they gather such branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is, if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you, My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples.” John 15:1 AMP
A little while back our Bible Study class was discussing this passage in the book of John; pondering it brought to mind the many years that I had my gardens. Specifically it reminded me of tending to the couple dozen tomato plants I would plant in my vegetable garden each year.
Left alone tomato plants will overtake a good portion of your garden space while producing little or no fruit. They love the heat and the sun… add water and you have the makings for some pretty big plants. Notice I say “big plants”… I didn’t say a lot of tomatoes, just big plants.
“So Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen, and he himself was driving the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah. “Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,” he said, “and then I will come with you.” “Go back,” Elijah replied. “What have I done to you?” So Elisha left him and went back. He took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his servant.” 1 Kings 19:19-21 NIV
Elijah, a Prophet, was commanded by God to anoint several Kings as well as anoint Elisha as his protégé and successor. Until that time, Elisha was a farmer plowing his family fields, driving a team of oxen behind the plow. Just living his life.
In an instant his life is transformed when Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him. At that time a man’s cloak was a prized possession. It served as his protection from the weather and any other dozen uses. But in this instance the cloak denoted the office of Prophet. The act of Elijah covering Elisha with his cloak was to show that he would be come Elijah’s successor. Elisha dropped what he was doing and ran after Elijah. But he stopped him and asked to be allowed to go back and say goodbye to his parents, to which Elijah agreed.
A minute doesn’t seem like a big deal. After all, it’s just 60 seconds. It goes by in the amount of time that the average heart beats 80 times… or for the average lungs to breathe 20 times. A minute is fairly insignificant if you think about it. We really don’t focus on the single minutes of our life. They are not accounted for in big plan of our life. They tick away and before we know it, all 2400 minutes of this day are done and we are starting on the next 2400 minutes.
So what can happen during one minute?
- 25 Americans will get a passport
- 58 Airplanes will take off around the world.
- 116 People will get married
- 11,319 UPS packages will be delivered
- 243,000 photos will be uploaded to Facebook
- 250 Babies will be born
- 106 People will die
- 360 Lightening strikes will hit somewhere on the earth
- 7,295,000,000 human hearts will beat 582,800,000,000 Continue reading
This is a re-post of this article first written in 2015. How sad is it that all we need do is to change the name of the Church or Synagogue and it is as relevant today as it was three years ago.
My heart hurts today. The news on every channel is filled with images from South Carolina and the senseless killing of nine precious saints in the AME Church in Charleston. My heart weeps for the destruction.
satan has stepped up his unholy boldness; he is no longer lurking in the shadows. Oh no, he is taking his evil right to Main Street America.
his pervasive evil now invades our homes to steal our children right from their beds only to rape, maim and murder the innocents – all done in the name of evil. And satan laughs.
Evil now walks upright in the full light of day directly through the front door of our schools and opens fire on the innocents – killing all in its path; leaving a trail of destruction and tears that can never be repaired, never be forgotten – all done in the name of evil. And satan laughs.
Evil now boards our airplanes – unafraid and undaunted. It takes control and three thousand innocents are murdered – all done in the name of evil. And satan laughs.
The Power of the Cross: One Man Sinned and All Men Died – Another Man Died So All Might Live by James Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“The Catholic Church believes that when Adam sinned (Genesis chapter 3) his trespass caused a reign of death that ruled over all men. That view is correct (Romans 5:17). The Christian churches do not believe God would hold blameless men accountable Adam’s sin, therefore they do not believe Adam’s trespass caused death to reign over anyone. That is why the Christian churches refuse to teach that little babies must be baptized to take away Adam’s sin. That view is absolutely reasonable, true, and correct. How can both views be valid?” Continue reading
“As we are approaching the end of this age, we will come to see that those things which are to be shaken shall be removed and only those things which are not to be shaken shall remain. May we therefore seek for things unshakable which come through the spirit of wisdom and revelation.”[i]
Recently we began an all Church Bible Study called Experience Life by Pete Briscoe. In the week two study, we are challenged to develop and deepen our relationship with Jesus by committing ourselves to spending time with Him, becoming more the person He desires us to be. “Discipleship requires Discipline” “We have a new life in Christ – a relationship with our living Lord!” Just as when we meet a new friend, we want to get to know them better, we do this by spending time with them – talking, learning about them, their past, their likes, their dislikes, etc. “For the Christian, isn’t that what spiritual growth really is – getting to know Jesus better, communicating with Him, learning what He likes and doesn’t like, and adapting our lives to His?” Continue reading