Stand Up Church

In this age of free and easy access to answers to our most inane questions and our deepest philosophical quandary’s, the internet, for all its faults and failings is on the forefront providing the answers. For thousands of years, lay people relied on the learned few to share their knowledge and provide us with the answers to our deepest questions. Then one day a few decades ago, the information that we relied on others to provide became readily available to all of us. Sacred texts were now available, holy texts, literary classics, rare – if ever seen manuscripts and scrolls we now ready to be accessed by anyone anywhere that wanted to see them.

It seemed as though all the answers to every question in the universe could now be found. Every question we could ever think to ask could now be answered. Today I can search and find the answer to anything I want to know. Whether I trust the “answer-er” or not, is a topic for another time.

There are several major internet search engines; Google and Bing are the two largest and most accessed. In 2018, there were 5.6 billion searches per day on Google[1] alone.  That’s a bunch of people asking a bunch of questions! So it begs the question, what are they looking for. When it comes to faith, what are the big questions that are in need of an answer? I took a look at the results from my own little blog search results to see some of what folks were asking; the results are clear. This is just a brief list of the taken from this year’s statistics.

  • I didn’t want to give up my sin
  • Bitter truths about rapture
  • Jesus and the Cross
  • What is cherished sin?
  • I believe God hates me
  • The truth about rapture
  • God are you real?
  • Am I saved because of Jesus death

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Just A Minute

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.clock

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

The Truth of the Need to be Born Again

“What’s the big deal about not being born again; after all I’m a good person. It’s not like I’ve ever killed anyone. I’m not a bank robber. Sure I might cuss from time to time, but God knows that I don’t mean it. I know that I am going to Heaven.” I have heard this statement from many people over the years. My response is usually… Really? Are you absolutely positive?

In John 3, we read about the interaction of Nicodemus, a religious leader, most likely a member of the Sanhedrin (the ruling council) and Jesus. Nicodemus sought out Jesus in the cover of darkness without other members of the Sanhedrin to learn from the man named Jesus. He needed to determine fact from rumor about Jesus. Though Nicodemus was a learned man, he still had questions. He wanted to know more and he knew that Jesus had the answers.

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Heaven Declares

Heaven Declares: Prophetic Decrees to Start Your DayHeaven Declares: Prophetic Decrees to Start Your Day by Hakeem Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“START YOUR DAY WITH A POWERFUL PROPHETIC DECLARATION STRAIGHT FROM GOD’S HEART. So many people—including professing Christians—live aimless, purposeless, and defeated lives without knowing who they are or what they have. This should not be the case when God has so much to say about your identity and your inheritance in Christ.

Grow familiar with hearing God speak. Feel the embrace of His Presence. Listen for the Spirit’s constant voice, speaking through the chaos of life.”
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Unmasking the Devil

Unmasking the Devil: Strategies to Defeat Eternity's Greatest EnemyUnmasking the Devil: Strategies to Defeat Eternity’s Greatest Enemy by John Ramirez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Satanist-Turned-Evangelist Gives You the Inside Strategy to Defeat the Devil’s Plans!

Many people, even Christians, deny the devil’s power. John Ramirez doesn’t have that luxury—he experienced the prince of darkness up close and personal.

In the impoverished streets of the South Bronx, John Ramirez found “acceptance” from a family of witches and warlocks. These practitioners of dark arts trained him to be a high-ranking satanic priest—a story told in his first book, Out of the Devil’s Cauldron. However, everything changed when he met the living Christ.”

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But God

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…” Eph 2:1

When I look at the life I have in Jesus it is no doubt that satan wants to stop my forward

but-god
movement by filling my thoughts with “what if…” the “what ifs” of my past; what if I had made a different decision in 1998 or 2008 or 1972 or 1979. How different my life would have been. The images and thoughts are not ugly thoughts, they are not condemning thoughts. They make me want a “do-over”. They almost make me long for those days again. But do they really?

Then I read just a bit further to Eph 2:4 and I see… “But God…” But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much

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Never Ever Be The Same

Never Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts TodayNever Ever Be the Same: A New You Starts Today by Kathy C Miller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Have you ever proclaimed, “I will never be the same” about something in your life you absolutely wanted to change? This book will not only help you say it, but also make the statement a reality—and it can start today.

Never Ever Be the Same by Kathy Collard Miller and Larry Miller empowers Christians to look honestly at their motives and break free from the lies that fuel sinful patterns. We all respond in ungodly ways at times. We try to figure out why we fail in our words and reactions and even pray for God’s help, but before we know it, we’ve succumbed again to distrusting God and taking it out on other people.”
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Spiritually Strong

Spiritually Strong: The Ultimate 6-Week Guide to Building Your Body and SoulSpiritually Strong: The Ultimate 6-Week Guide to Building Your Body and Soul by Kristen Feola

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spiritually Strong is a six-week program designed to help you get in better shape spiritually and physically. As Timothy says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (4:8). This book teaches you how to train yourself in godliness through the implementation of six disciplines—Bible study, prayer, fasting, healthy living, financial stewardship, and serving others.” Continue reading

Experiencing God in Your Everyday

Simply Open: A Guide to Experiencing God in the EverydaySimply Open: A Guide to Experiencing God in the Everyday by Greg Paul

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The simplest, most transformative prayer you may ever pray—the five senses prayer. This book invites you to a simple practice of prayer and awareness that can turn each ordinary workday into a deepening spiritual journey.
No matter where you are or how busy you get, your five senses are always “on,” your mind and heart responsive to what you perceive. These channels of awareness can take you deeper into God’s great mystery if you practice the discipline of submitting them to the One who is closer than you imagine. The beauty of such a contemplative path is that you can follow it anywhere—alone or in company, in quiet meditation or amid the bustle of your craziest day.“

This book, Simply Open; A Guide to Experiencing God in the Everyday, was a pleasure to read. It certainly gave me pause for thought on more than one occasion. It is based on our everyday moments, the moments where we encounter God by asking Him to open us up. Continue reading