What kind of person are you?

So many today shouting to keep quiet; they say, “keep it to yourself”. How can a Christian share the good news of Jesus Christ, the only Savior available to people, if the culture rebukes our smallest reference? In California today, it is becoming hard to have a private in-home Bible study. A person can publically share Hinduism or Islam, even in public schools, but not anything to do with Christianity.

I am reminded of Mark 10:46-52, where the crowd was telling Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, to keep quiet as he asked Jesus to have mercy on him. You see, this blind man knew that Jesus was the Messiah, as he called Him “Son of David”; he knew more than the establishment did. Jesus called for him and healed him, saying “your faith has healed you”.

Today, who are the blind among us, and who are the large crowd saying to be quiet? The blind, with heightened senses, often know more than those with physical sight. As a searcher, they know they need a Savior as they lay waiting for an opportunity to present itself. What kind of person are you? Are you a searcher, looking for a Savior? Are you one to help restore the blind [I am not referring to physical sight, but spiritual sight] or are you going along with the crowd, yelling to be quiet? What kind of person are you really?

To be able to see a new view of reality

It is so sad to hear anyone say, “you cannot prove there is a God”. Even worse, is when clergy says it! Obviously, the focus then is all about having faith. Faith! Jesus told us in Holy Scripture that even those in the presence of a physical miracle will not believe. We also read about those in the physical presence of Jesus Christ, listening to Him speak and watching Him act; they walked away.

Through out history and today, people have and are walking away. What would make them “see” the LORD? I can introduce someone to Jesus, but I cannot “make” them believe; only the Holy Spirit can do that. So the question then becomes, how to introduce a person to see that there is indeed a God, the creator of all that is?

I contend that you can indeed prove there is a God; all you need are the eyes to see. This is why I wrote the book: I Am, the Great Creator God; it is a book that shows a person how to see, how to look at the created world differently and see the “Creator” in the creation. You must set aside your blocking agendas constructed from the day your were born, and allow a different perspective to be a possibility. It is like climbing a hill, reaching the top and seeing exposed in the distance, a glorious sight of a plain filled with wild flowers, a calm lake, and a beautiful rainbow! How magnificent…to be able to see a new view of reality you had not seen before! Yes, God is real and you too can see Him, just open your eyes to see beyond our present darkness and ask Jesus to enter your life.

Life is About Value, Enjoyment & Contribution

Do you remember the 1982 movie “Blade Runner” directed by Ridley Scott, where Blade Runner Rick Deckard played by Harrison Ford pursued “artificial humans” called replicants which had escaped and were now on the loose? The highly evolved replicants had a limited lifespan but had to be controlled; the last of four being tracked down by Deckard was Roy Batty played by Rutger Hauer. Near the end of the movie, Roy was dying yet had defeated Deckard and even had saved his life; as the two were sitting in the rain, Roy, holding a white dove, reflected on his life. He had seen amazing things and though artificial, he wished to live on…he had feelings and memory. He says he had seen things “you people” [humans] wouldn’t believe like “attack ships on fire off the shores of Orion” and “seabeams glittering in the dark at the Tenhauser Gate”. Moments lost in time, washed away [when he dies] like “tears in rain”. As Deckard looks on in wonderment and reflection, Roy says “time to die” and dies; he then releases the white dove.

The story makes you think about what is life, experiences, memories, value, enjoyment and contribution. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be created? I would push farther by asking, what does it mean to be created by God; the God who gave you your every breath, that created your heart to pump life blood through 90,000 miles of arteries and veins in your body; the God who created your brain to think, reason and love?

Life is About Value, Enjoyment & Contribution

Do you remember the 1982 movie “Blade Runner” directed by Ridley Scott, where Blade Runner Rick Deckard played by Harrison Ford pursued “artificial humans” called replicants which had escaped and were now on the loose? The highly evolved replicants had a limited lifespan but had to be controlled; the last of four being tracked down by Deckard was Roy Batty played by Rutger Hauer. Near the end of the movie, Roy was dying yet had defeated Deckard and even had saved his life; as the two were sitting in the rain, Roy, holding a white dove, reflected on his life. He had seen amazing things and though artificial, he wished to live on…he had feelings and memory. He says he had seen things “you people” [humans] wouldn’t believe like “attack ships on fire off the shores of Orion” and “seabeams glittering in the dark at the Tenhauser Gate”. Moments lost in time, washed away [when he dies] like “tears in rain”. As Deckard looks on in wonderment and reflection, Roy says “time to die” and dies; he then releases the white dove.

The story makes you think about what is life, experiences, memories, value, enjoyment and contribution. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be created? I would push farther by asking, what does it mean to be created by God; the God who gave you your every breath, that created your heart to pump life blood through 90,000 miles of arteries and veins in your body; the God who created your brain to think, reason and love?

We Get What We Sow

This first weekend in August, in gun-free Chicago, we have 10 or 11 killed and some 70 shot.  How can that happen in a gun-free city? It is not racism. Maybe, the “bad guys” don’t follow the laws of the city. Well, obviously it is NOT about the gun…it is about the HEART.

There is an innate understanding in all of humanity of what is right and wrong, so that is not the problem. All the usual excuses are removed. So that only leaves one other thing…it MUST be about the heart. The more we remove God from the culture and shackle the way we can talk about the saving grace and mercy of our LORD Jesus the Christ, the more we will find evil stepping in to fill the void. We get what we sow.

Yes, I will Pray for That!

I have been wondering how to get the truth out in a world that has conveniently decided there is NO absolute truth. This current generation has set up a great flexible system for itself; it is a system that anyone can believe whatever they wish and call it truth. That one person’s truth does not have to be another person’s truth…each can be different…whose to say? This easy system allows  anyone to conveniently reject real truth by simply stating there is no real truth…that one can believe whatever they want.

Yes, they can believe whatever they want, but that doesn’t make it truth. For 2,000 years the history of those maintaining the actual real truth is well documented. Can that factual history really be erased in one generation?

The problem with the current insane position is that there will indeed be a judgement day, a separation of the wheat and the weeds, a separation of the sheep and the goats. Because Christians care for our follow humanity, we desire none to be lost, so there is the question. How to warn today’s people of a one-day eternal judgement?

There is indeed absolute truth. You can say all day, every day that there isn’t any absolutes, but that will not remove the real truth. That is putting your head in the sand. I suppose that if you are left-leaning, you wish for government to watch out for you…this trust will fail you!

For me? I cannot convict anybody; I can only make introduction. I pray the Holy Spirit will illuminate those blinded by the current world-view and show them there is a different and better course to follow…yes, I will pray in all humility for that to happen.

Peace and Grace!

Let Us Rejoice and be Glad

When was the last time you read Psalm 118? Chances are great, it has been a while! The first four verses state “His [God] love endures forever”. Many Christians and Muslims will say these words often. But what about the days you suffer? What about those who see no hope and maybe don’t know that God loves?

Verse 5, “In my anguish I cried to the Lord”…have you ever been in anguish? What did you do? If you lashed out in anger to those around you, did that help? The last part of verse 5 tells us, “He [God] answered by setting me free.” My friends, the world binds you to it; it will never set you free! Only God and the love of Jesus Christ can and will set you free. Verse 6, “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Verse 8, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”

How many people do you see each morning, dragging into work, tired, grumbling and without smiles? The only life available to us is only going to be found in the LORD Jesus. If you are reading this, then you are alive…that, my friends is a blessing! You have been given another day to do something good. If you already know Jesus, then be a blessing to someone else. If you do not know Jesus, then I invite you to think about the redeeming blood of Christ, poured out for you for the forgiveness of sin; whose love invites you to turn (repent) and invite Jesus into your heart. Verse 24, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

What is Your Response?

My Christian friends, do not look down on any non-Christians for we were once non-Christians too. We should be telling others of the love of Jesus Christ and that salvation is available to all if they would simply repent (turn from their sins by admitting they are a sinner) and receive the free love, forgiveness and mercy from the Lord Jesus who shed His own blood on the cross to redeem (pay the price) for the sinners (all of us) of the world.

If you desire to keep on sinning, then you are rejecting the free gift already handed out to you. What should a person do when they receive a gift (any gift)? Be thankful, of course! You have already been handed a free gift, what is going to be your response?

Walking in the Footsteps

I was surprised and moved to find out, through reading Jonathan Feldstein’s article this morning, that astronaut Neil Armstrong [first man to step on the moon] while visiting Israel in 1994, said to his archaeologist guide, standing on the old Temple steps, “So Jesus stepped right here?” The guide said these are original steps and Jesus often went to Temple, so yes, Jesus walked on those stones.

Quoting from Feldstein’s article [Jonathan Feldstein] “I have to tell you,” Armstrong said to the Israeli archaeologist, “I am more excited stepping on these stones than I was stepping on the moon.”

Think of that my friends! To be so moved by the reality of walking on the very stones that Jesus the Christ, the eternal Son of God, walked! Many still deny that Jesus Christ even existed, which I find extremely hard to go along with for many reasons, but also because we have first century Jewish and pagan historians writing about the real Jesus and His activities. The reality of Jesus many will accept; but the sticking point is…who Jesus is. Some will say He was just a good man. He was a teacher/Rabbi. He is God. He was a prophet.

Who do you think Jesus is? Your answer will impact your eternal destiny!

I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, who Jesus is; He is all those things previously mentioned, all in one LORD and Savior Christ. It is no surprise in our relativist world of self-indulgence and no absolute truths that church membership is forgetting who Jesus really is, for if we had the excitement of Neil Armstrong walking in the footsteps of Jesus, we would have full churches singing the roof off for the indescribable glory and reality of our risen Savior and LORD.

A Growing Darkness…Not a New Problem

Are you paying attention to the level of coarseness, ugliness and hate going on in America and Great Britain? Mostly based on orchestrated untruth for political agenda, we see growing darkness and a hardening of the heart within people all over. Sadly, this is not a new problem.

The apostle Paul speaking to the Ephesian people: “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed” (Ephesians 4:18-19).

Do you not cry for the country so filled with hatred, so purposefully mislead? National legislative leadership swearing oath to the US Constitution, then condemning it…where has integrity gone? Honesty? Morals? I thank God for the middle of the USA, Bible-belt Americans, hard working salt of the earth, a bedrock foundation so often mis-characterized; they are the glue trying to hold us together. I would ask you to stay the course and hold fast, keep your vision, and pray for our country’s leaders.

Humble Roots & Decent Actions

As we sang the song in church yesterday, I could not help but reflect on the unfortunate discord we currently see in our great country, especially as we approach our Independence Day celebration this July 4th. The song: “America! America! …God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood, From sea to shining sea!” Brotherhood, what a great word…from the east coast to the west coast [yes, it is an inclusive word].

My reflection on national character brought me to the Larry Provost Article published today on humble roots and decent actions. Why not take time to read it, stop with the politics and slow down for your own reflection this July 4th on how we should treat one another? It just may bring a blessing to you!

Humble Roots & Decent Actions

As we sang the song in church yesterday, I could not help but reflect on the unfortunate discord we currently see in our great country, especially as we approach our Independence Day celebration this July 4th. The song: “America! America! …God shed His grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood, From sea to shining sea!” Brotherhood, what a great word…from the east coast to the west coast [yes, it is an inclusive word].

My reflection on national character brought me to the Larry Provost Article published today on humble roots and decent actions. Why not take time to read it, stop with the politics and slow down for your own reflection this July 4th on how we should treat one another? It just may bring a blessing to you!

It is About the Heart

Friends, my book “A Different Kind of Tree” is about moving from sinner to a child of God; half of each of the 15 chapters is about my own life. I wish to blog about Christianity and not politics; I believe political engagements are killing us by creating hateful debate and setting up a battle field.

What would Jesus say about the four young children killed in Florida this week and the two police officers shot trying to save the children and stop the madness? Would Jesus wish the President happy birthday today? You know Jesus would show compassion, tears, sensitivity and blessings. We need to do the same; can we stop the hateful rhetoric, stop the ugly cursing, and show some respect for people?

Our nation is dying, not by our actions, but by our hearts! Actions follow the heart; the hate, the killings, the cursing, the riots that we are experiencing are all driven by the heart, and not by some political bent. Proverbs 4:23 tells us “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” My friends, be at peace and show love!

There is Always Time to do…

In one of my daily devotionals from “Truth for Life”, I saw this small piece of text years ago. It is from C. H. Spurgeon and updated by Alistair Begg at Truth for Life and published by Good News Publishers (2003). It is good and worth revisiting every now and then. Somehow, as I reflect on my 50th High School Reunion, current weather events, volcanoes in the world, family life and death, it called me back again to share this portion with you.

“Reader, if you are not yet saved, may your heart, in keeping with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; do not be out of tune with nature, but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires. If you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins, then I entreat you, give your vigor to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I am thankful to the Lord every day for that. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may, but oh, an early salvation has a double value in it.”

Have you thought of the value of time as it is reflected in nature? Every season has it’s time…time for this and time for that…new life and new beginnings happen annually. We have a chance at new life and new beginnings every day; all you need to do is to turn toward the Lord, your Savior and Creator. Perspective comes in many forms; a chance at a wake-up call is a blessing not to be overlooked. Why not take a walk, study a new blossoming flower and think about your life and the directions you should go. Blessings to you!

Focus – be Steady and be Like Joseph

Joseph of the Bible’s Genesis stories had an interesting life; his brothers hated him and tried to kill him. He was sold into slavery. But over and over again the story tells us that God was with him; many might question, where is God in this? Joseph kept going, succeeding at every level; but problems still followed him. Falsely accussed of attempted rape by a jilted high-powered woman, he was wrongly thrown into prison. Prison, where he now had more chances to succeed, which he did. Forgotten by an exiting jailmate, he remained in prison where he continued to do the Lord’s work, not sitting around in self-pity. Joseph got out of prison by following the Lord’s Spirit and succeeded even greater, always keeping his eye on God and doing the right thing regardless of the possibile negitive outcomes when dealing with “the world”.

So what’s in this story for us? We would ALL do well to keep our eye upon Jesus Christ, do His will (not our own), and not worry about what the world thinks of us Christians. Put the Lord first and everything else (be it good or bad) will fall into proper alignment. Just because you follow Christ doesn’t mean your life will be easy; Jesus told us the world would hate us for what we believe (John 17), so don’t worry! Be of good cheer! If you are a Christian, you are a child of God…it doesn’t get any better than that! Blessings to you!

Where are they now?

I wrote about death a long time ago, the article is free to download at Muskrat Books , but we don’t like to think about death and dying, though it is and will be real for all of us. I think many young people, especially those sick individuals that commit the shooting of the innocent, don’t have a clue what death is. Sounds funny, I know, but when you grow up with all the violent computer games & television and hateful rap music, what can we expect? The voices to the contrary seem to be mute!

I recently lost my wonderful Mother-in-Law, my own Mother, and a principal in the firm where I work. Where are they now? If you have a secular worldview, a false view, then you believe they are dust, gone, no more. This greatly magnifies the pain of loss! However, if you have a Christian worldview, then you have HOPE!

Resurrection Hope! Hope that one day we will be reunited in Heaven. Jesus redeemed us with His blood on the cross, taking my sins and paying the price of death that I myself should be paying. Our Redeemer conquered death itself and lives to prepare a place for us in Glory…all we need to do to join Him is to believe Jesus Christ is LORD and accept Him as your personal Savior. I look forward to being reunited with my family that has gone on before me, for those that have faith in Christ Jesus, I know where they are!

Foundation Repair Needed…Fast!

My book, A Different Kind of Tree, is about growing from sinner to a child of God. Using the metaphor of a tree, it is about bearing good fruit or bad fruit.

A simple look at our culture now reflects a lot of bad fruit! The violently expressed hate filling social media over simple things of no consequence seems so out of balance. Where is that energy coming from? Why is hate so forcefully being expressed these days? The coarseness of our language, the violence cast upon the innocent, the lack of integrity of our leaders, the lack of balance from our media and schools, and the general disrespect for the rule of law by our citizens…all points to a fallen nation…bad fruit.

We have taken away and turned our backs on the foundation of our nation. What happens to a building which develops a broken foundation? It falls apart! We must return to our founding structure, and re-instate the 10 Commandments…even if you reject the first 5, the second half tells us how to live with one another…REALLY, that has to be to our benefit!

Happiness is a state of mind!

You do NOT have a right to be happy!
You DO have a right to pursue happiness, however; so it is up to you to be happy. So, how can you be happy?

Happiness is a state of mind. Happiness is about your focus. If you hear negative news all the time, what will you start to think? If you are more optimistic about things, you will start to think positively, talk positively and act positively…and you’ll be more fun to be around, and you’ll have more fun too. It is contagious!

But, Haven, you say…the world is falling apart; how can you be optimistic in all this muck and mire? Is the world really falling apart? How do you really know?

You all have heard about the so-called Man-made Global Warming Catastrophe and the fear of a worldwide crisis. Those supporting this idea say there is a scientific consensus; there is not and those scientist pushing the hoax have been shown to have doctored the information to suit thier personal agendas. But this scares people! They have been claiming the world’s end for decades; in the 70’s, our doom was to be an ice-age. Historically, the climate temperatures do in fact naturally go up and down about every 25 years or so, and it is currently cooler than the temperatures we have had in the past couple decades. Polar caps change; they always have. It is all part of solar cycles…its a normal God-created thing.

So, why the fear? Why the worry? …and does all this “worry stuff” make you happy? Do you just want to stay in bed, pull the covers over your head and tune out?

Throughout history, every crisis has birthed innovation and new discovery; what made these people create these other options? What made people look beyond the acute problem immediately facing them? Was it a belief in what they could do? Maybe it was a belief in WHO created them and that they too might be creative enough to work through a problem. Notice I said: WORK THROUGH A PROBLEM. This is the difference…attitude & focus to move forward…that they could achieve results.

It was the FOCUS on the fact that THEY could do something! That they had God-given abilities to do something…it got them out of bed in the morning and to rise above any problems.

WORKING THROUGH A PROBLEM is not about “not having any problems”…it is about not letting the problems control you, but YOU control the problem. Problems are opportunities to excel in something, to have achievement and reach innovative solution. They are not to be feared, but to be conquered!

I have VERY good news for you…you are created to do amazing things, and YOU have already been granted God-given abilities to be creative!

Can We be Better Children?

Everyone is a child of/from someone; that is, you had a mother and a father. My father died in 1994; I remember his last words to me as if they were spoken only moments ago. Well, my mother is now dying. Will I be repeating my words concerning my father? “I wish I was a better son.” Will I be saying, mother, I wish I was a better son a year from now? I don’t know…but I think so, I am far from perfect. I have not been a bad son, I love my mother…but I could have been better.

Don’t waste any moments being upset with your parents; be thankful you were given the gift of life. Likewise, be in relationship with your children now so that they too may have the benefit of relationship later in life with you. Don’t waste a single day by being selfish. My book, “A Different Kind of Tree” available at Amazon or at http://www.muskratbooks.com was all about my journey from sinner to be a child of God. Did I mess up earlier in life? Yep! Did I waste valuable time? Yep! Can I learn to do better? Yep, I did learn! Will I do better? You bet! I have siblings, children and grandchildren; it is definitely worth the effort!

What is a Christian?

What is a Christian? Someone who knows Jesus Christ? No…the Bible tells us that the demons know Jesus Christ. Someone who knows Jesus is the Son of God? No…the demons know that too. Fact is, Jesus told us that many so-called Christians will call Him Lord and He will say, “I don’t know you”. So what then is the real Christian? Maybe the Christian is one who does good things. No, many non-Christians also do good things. So what then is the real Christian?

Michael Brown, past professor at a number of seminaries, wrote an article published on January 3, 2013, entitled: “What’s Right and Wrong with American Christianity”. He listed 8 “right things” and 12 “bad things”. The right things were about the things a Christian “does”: feed the poor, generosity, being helpful to others, being moral, pro-life, and pro-Israel. Jesus asked us to go and “do”, strive to be righteous and look after your neighbor; so I agree with Brown’s “right listing”, but these things don’t define a Christian. The bad things consist of having shallow faith, leadership scandals, moving away from orthodoxy, prosperity preaching, false teaching, and changing the church to fit the culture. Here we have a serious and accurate list. If we can reverse this “bad list” we will find out what a real Christian is.

A real Christian has a very strong faith in Jesus Christ and is willing to put Jesus above all things including self. The Bible teaches that leadership will be judged harsher than others; leadership should be stronger and humbly better, no excuses. The Christian’s faith must remain orthodox; the Bible is the very word of God, believe it with all your mind, heart and soul. A Christian does not change Jesus to suit his personal whims nor to change orthodoxy to appease the culture to comer sit in a pew.never give up A Christian loves Jesus no matter what the world thinks, no matter if it costs him his business, his friends or his life. Disciples don’t die for a lie…no matter what!

Think YOU have problems? Who are you riding with?

We all have “storms” in our lives, problems and pains. The “storms of life” come against us all. Jesus chose the disciples for a grand purpose; He would not allow them to drown in the Sea of Galilee…read Mark 4:35-41. Furthermore, Jesus had a purpose for the group to get into the boat. The purpose was NOT to drown in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, but to get to the other side. So, why do you suppose these seasoned fishermen, familiar with the storms on the Sea of Galilee, were so upset that they thought they were going to drown? They forgot who they were traveling with! The Lord Jesus would not allow them to drown; they had nothing to worry about. So let me ask you, who are you traveling with?

Jesus can and will calm the “storms in your life”, all you need to do is to get into the boat with Him! This Easter, I invite you to finally accept with Jesus did for you and get into the boat with Him! I promise it is the best and only trip you can take for all eternity! Amen.

Want to Change Your Life? Try this Every Morning!

We Christians often will say that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and rightly so, for He is! But in addition to this truth, I would like for you to try something new, starting this Easter. A saying you probably have repeated before, but I wish to challenge you to say it everyday this year and mean it; don’t just repeat empty words but concentrate on each simple word: “This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

What if you started everyday with this statement before you got out of bed, and then lived the day in rejoicing God’s creation and creatures? What a difference your outlook would be! How much different would your speech be knowing you are talking to one of God’s creations? Whether they know or believe in God doesn’t matter; the Creator still loves them and so should you. Would your morning commute be more friendly? How much better could you cope with life’s problems knowing that YOU are a blessing from God? We all have problems, but knowing that the day was a gift to YOU from God should make a huge difference to you! Know that you are loved by God (John 3:16-18)! Sing out everyday inspite of those nay-sayers all around you, “This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

See the Creation, See the Creator – Part 2

When we view God’s creation, we see part of God. Our Creator, the Lord God Almighty, will move His creation toward higher order through relationship. This is why He created us. He loves us! He wants to see us grow toward completeness, just as we delight in seeing our own children grow toward completeness, and become fine adults. How many parents have looked out from the audience at the school awards ceremony, to see a child receiving an award, and think “I had something to do with that…I sure am proud!”

A sense of completeness and relationship, we each seek this “reward of living”, much more important than money. So it is with God, and this is why He created you and I. He seeks out relationship with us; God desires to look at us and say “well done my good and faithful child, I am proud of you and I love you so very much”.

Some would say that God has no need of us. I think just the opposite. Why? As an architect, I know about the feelings between a creator and his creation. I know there is a “relationship” with the created object; after all, as discussed earlier, the created object is actually a part of the creator. God delights in creating; we are all created in His image. You don’t create and then destroy a masterpiece. Oh, you may experiment, realize it isn’t working, and then start over, drawing on your newly acquired knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. But you don’t destroy your final masterpiece; you work to save it.  God is reaching out to you now; salvation can be yours.

[For more discussion on Creating, please refer to the book, I Am, the Great Creator God by Haven D. Mankin. Information about the book and how to obtain a copy is available at: http://www.MuskratBooks.com]

Trees are known by their fruit

“A Different Kind of Tree” is a book about life. It is a book about how and where you get nourishment; a book about where you have planted your roots and what fruit you bear. Everybody bears fruit; the only question is: Is your fruit good or bad? Is what you do of a positive impact on others or is it of negative impact? This book is about growing in the LORD, if you love the world and it’s evil, you are not in the LORD (1 John 2:15-17); it is about the decisions you make in life. Each Chapter starts out with a portion of my true life story because this book is also about “the journey”, my journey through the bad, the ugly and the good. It is about my journey out of darkness toward Christianity and becoming a true Child of God. Check it out at http://www.MuskratBooks.com. The book shows that God is great and truly forgives, we simply need to repent and try to do better.

See the Creation, See Creator – Part 1

It is a God given wish of all humans to create, yes, I mean each and every one of us. Why? Because it is a reflection of you; we all wish to leave a mark, part of you ends inside that creation.

There is an inner spirit in each of us, yes each of us, created by God and in His image and character. Besides the Holy Spirit, this other inner spirit is the creative “juice” that will move to do creative things. I like to call it “juice” because it (whatever “it” is) this creative essence in each of us, “flows”. You can feel it when it is moving and you know when it dries up. Haven’t you heard an artist say things like, “I don’t have it anymore” or “nothing was coming to me”? Every artist has a dry period; a period when the “juice” is not flowing. The juice hasn’t dried up forever, gone and never to be experienced again. No, the juice is still within you; it has only ceased to flow at that given time. It is best to just get up and do something else for a time. When the juice is flowing, you can do amazing things. Michelangelo’s statue of David can be carved out of a rough block of marble. Frank Lloyd Wright’s house, called “Fallingwater” in Bear Run, Pennsylvania can be designed. Leonardo Da Vinci’s 16th Century painting of the “Mona Lisa” and Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” can all be created out of nothing, ex nihilo baby!

Every time you read a novel, a poem, a sonnet, a play, any literary work, you have revealed something of whom the writer is and about their life. You can see that Michelangelo understands human anatomy when you view his drawings, such as the portion of the Sistine Chapel ceiling called the “Creation of Man”. Most architects display “their style” to the point that a person can view a set of buildings and place the architect’s name beside each one. In the created object, there is indeed part of the creator.

Part 2 – Your Relationship with God

Following my Part 1 from last week, let me give you an example of how much God loves you. Aside from the fact that you are created in the image of God (Genesis Chapter 1), God listens to your prayers for others, your prayers for yourself, and is willing to take action according to His will. In the example below, Daniel has been praying for his people and for himself.

Daniel chapter 10, verses 12-14, an angel came to Daniel:

“Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and humbled yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I [an angel] have come because of your words. The prince of the kingdom of Persia [one of Satan’s demons] withstood me twenty-one days [a war in the heavens], but Michael, one of the chief princes [one of God’s main angels], came to help me [God’s main angel came to help the first angel], for I was left there with the kings of Persia [Satan’s demons], and came to make you [Daniel] understand what is to happen to your people in the latter days. For the vision is for days yet to come.”

Here we see God not only hearing, but acting due to the prayers of a man who believes in the LORD. God not only sent a messenger, an angel, but when that first messenger  was delayed by evil forces, God sent a more powerful angel to hold off the evil influences to allow Daniel to understand God’s will. My point is this…this story shows how important your relationship to God really is…that God will work out His will, whatever it takes, to those who love Him. Knowing this happened to Daniel gives us understanding that the same can also happen to us.

Part 1 – Your Relationship with God

2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 to 4 states: “In the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (ESV)

Probably most will say that the above verses spell out our current culture. They would be correct; but please note that the end times have been on-going since the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. The human values noted in 2 Timothy 3 have been on display for most generations since. Yet, we have the ability of seeing first hand these ugly sinful values on display in our current time on this planet.

We need to turn; that is, we need to repent and turn toward our only Savior, Christ Jesus! Any view of history, no matter how long or short, reveals that mankind cannot save themselves. Many will reject the idea of an ultimate savior, saying there is no God because there is evil in the world. Will you bet your eternal soul on that? …or, do you believe this world is all there is?

God will bring all things to a close and re-create all things anew at His time. Out of love, He is waiting for as many as possible to turn…to repent and accept Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, so to find a heavenly home.

Part 2 will be an example of how much God really cares for those that love Him.

Garbage-in Means Garbage-out

I contend that a person’s dress and their speech are connected to their actions. Just look how people dress these days to travel; not long ago you would dress up to travel. People’s actions will affect what they think, and what they think affects their actions. I believe that what you chose to take into your heart impacts how you will act and talk. I believe that “garbage-in means garbage-out”. It is all connected. Today, it is rare to encounter “manners”. It is rare to see chivalry and courtesy. Many say that the culture is much more coarse today than just a few decades ago. One thing that is very common today among young and old…foul language in open everyday communications. We see teachers in young classrooms using foul language. It is a rare rap song that isn’t laced with foul language. Kids tell parents that everyone talks that way.

The Bible has much to say about the evil of the tongue, driven by an impure heart. An evil tongue, driven by an evil heart, is the cultural damage we see every morning in newspapers and on TV news shows. It is the tongue that creates the gang wars and shootings at sports events. Obviously there are some refreshing exceptions, but does anyone doubt me concerning the current state of our culture, our politics, and Hollywood?

Fill your heart with the blessings of God’s Holy Word, the Bible, be at peace with yourself, and be nice and courteous to those you meet…you will find your heart and your voice will start changing into a compassionate and sensitive human being.

 

Moving Backward into the Deep Caverns of Hate

Evil comes in all packages. Often, groups with the nicest sounding names can be the most evil; wolves in sheep clothing. Where I live, middle America, I see no racism…we all get along just fine. I see people helping one another. Why is it that the purported racism seems to most often be in the big liberal cities, rather than middle America? God created all of us in His image; we are all children of God. Whether you believe in God or not, you were created by a Divine Hand. All blood is red! We Christians (true, not just name only) do not see the human differences; so, I must ask, is there a business, a way of gaining power and money from promoting hate?

I am not completely unaware; I have been a witness to history for more than 60 years, but we seem to be moving backward into the deep caverns of hate. Have we not learned anything after all the trial and errors that have been made in our 200 years? It appears to this one observer that the arguments are growing more absurd and dangerous. Why is hate fueled so much? What is to be gained? In recent memory, there was a Washington News Bureau Chief who broadcasted, to his own demise thankfully, that the GOP would be happy with black people drowning as hurricane Isaac approached. This so-called journalist didn’t know the real facts; that it was the GOP that brought about all the civil rights improvements we have in this country…that the KKK was first a democrat group. Can we move forward and not backward?

In recent memory we have Ferguson activists threatening the police and praying for their death. But people like this are fueled by their leadership. The so-called Reverend Sharpton, speaking in a church on the events in Ferguson claimed an ancient Biblical text, not supported by Jesus Christ, that there would be an “eye for an eye” in retaliation for their perceived mis-justice in the case. In other words, he was saying there would be death for death and the fight was not over. In pulling down Old Testament verse to suit his passion, his political agenda, he chose to not obey the teachings of Jesus (Matthew 5:39-45) for a pastor is not to make the Word of God his vehicle for hate.

Please, I pray, let’s turn around before it is too late in this country to repair itself and become a “Godly Nation” again. Shalom.

 

Connections of Love, Hate, Respect and Violence

Blessed are the Peace MakersSeveral years ago, this image was placed on the doors of the Houston County sheriff’s cars in Alabama. In recent years, we have seen many police officers being gunned down, murdered by hate-filled people fueled by the hateful rhetoric from hate groups such as “Black Lives Matter”, a group applauded by then President Obama. The folks in Alabama reacted negatively to the image due to its Bible reference of Matthew 5:9. Why? Did they not want peace? If they hated cops, then they must really love anarchy!

Maybe they did not know where hate comes from? Hate and evilness comes from Satan. Were they on the side of Satan? Love, Hate, Respect and Violence are all wrapped up in who we really are. This is not about black or white, rich or poor, male or female, nor any other set of comparisons the Progressives wish to divide us over. This about the heart and your inner spirit.

Goodness, love and peace come from God, and the Bible is God’s Holy Word…plain and simple. God was speaking then and is still speaking today…first, YOU must stop speaking and listen!