Aren’t you getting tired from all the hate?

This morning, the following headline finally push me over the top. A federal representative, sworn to follow the Constitution, says this about a duly elected President? It doesn’t matter if you like him or not; this is about much more:

Obama is human, President Trump is ‘really not,’ says Rep. Ilhan Omar

Hating conservatives, hating liberals, hating Jews, hating Christians, hating Muslims, hating white males, hating Obama, hating Trump! Friends, this is all playing into Satan’s plan of division, destruction, and chaos! Don’t you see the coming fall? Don’t you see the decline of the United States of America [underline “united”]? Many how spew hate over a simple stupid red hat with white words on it…why? What so wrong with “Make America Great”? What nation has done more in the world to help others? What nation in the world has done more to feed, clothe and help the helpless? Answer: only America! If we needlessly go down, so goes the world. Maybe this is all a great hateful push by Satan…I don’t know. I do know how unloving and sad it all is.

I do know this however, for me, I will follow Jesus Christ and try my best to be loving to all, and show kindness. Give it a try!

 

Who is that errand boy? Epaphroditus?

Get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, get up and do it all over again. Day in and day out…do you feel like to are going in circles, a job of drudgery, a job of no value, that you are not going anywhere? Many are believe they are in that boat with you!

How do you really know you are in a boat to nowhere?

Let’s meet Epaphroditus. He was an errand boy nearly two thousand years ago in a town called Philippi. His church sent him with a message and a gift to Rome…off he goes on foot over rugged terrain. Terrain teeming with wild animals, dangerous people and no bathrooms! His biggest problem? He was so sick, he was near death and nearly died. How would you feel in such a situation? Most, I believe, would think, “why am I doing this?” For no pay, sicker than a dog, on a long walk, robbers all around…”I must be a flaming idiot!”

Well, our friend Epaphroditus, because of his efforts, ended up in the pages of the Bible [Philippians 2:25-30 and 3:15-18] to be remembered for all time. He lessen Paul’s anxiety as he contemplated his coming execution by the Romans and brought him a gift while he was under house arrest. God blessed him and had mercy on him; he was a worker for Christ Jesus! Not JUST an errand boy, he had a very important job to do…to carry a message when he was very ill.

Would you, could you do the same? Colossians 3:23-24, no job is un-important if you are working for Jesus!

Loneliness…Color it Gone!

On February 10, 2019, CBS’s show “Sunday Morning” presented a segment on loneliness. I certainly understand short periods of loneliness; I’ll bet everyone has experienced this at one time or another. However, “Sunday Morning” broadcasted a fearful stat, if it is actually true; experts claim 50% of Americans are lonely. Not just lonely once in a while, but they exist in a long state of loneliness.

The show’s interviews presented comments that loneliness was more intense when the individual was around other people. Surely you have seen a group of people, not talking to each other, but having their nose stuck in their phones. Have we lost how talk to each other? We can talk to our pets, but can’t talk to a follow human? Has so-called social media made us less social? Has the “me” generation reached the climax of selfishness, having reached that lonely mountaintop of nobody but me?

Sadly, the show never once mentioned the joy that can be found in spiritual relationships; the most valid being connected to Jesus Christ. While a two second comment about solitude was mentioned; the show skipped right over the benefits and the joy of solitude in experiencing God’s wonderful creation, or the uplifting solitude found in the “Jesus Walk”. Real empowerment is available to all to help YOU to love first, be the first to show love, then You will start receiving love from others. Loneliness…color it gone!

 

Switching to a different blog…come along!

To my Followers,

THANK YOU!

I am going to terminate this blog and concentrate my efforts on my other blog, A Different Kind of Tree

Rather than split my efforts and time between two blogs, I feel it best to move to just one blog in order to keep the quality and research focused for all blog posts and articles.

The Different Kind of Tree blog goes along with my book of the same title. There are currently 270 posts. All my efforts are now being focused toward my website: The Mankin Christian Library

My hope is that my followers on this blog, I Am, the Great Creator God, which was tied to my book with the same title, will switch over to A Different Kind of Tree

Thank you, Haven Mankin

Making a Course Adjustment

Friends and Followers,

I am going to terminate this blog and concentrate my efforts on my other blog, A Different Kind of Tree

Rather than split my efforts and time between two blogs, I feel it best to move to just one blog in order to keep the quality and research focused for all blog posts and articles.

The Different Kind of Tree blog goes along with my book of the same title. There are currently 270 posts. All my efforts are now being focused toward my website: The Mankin Christian Library

My hope is that my followers on this blog, I Am, the Great Creator God, which was tied to my book with the same title, will switch over to A Different Kind of Tree

Thank you, Haven Mankin

Storms Often Come When You are Obedient

So many today think that if they follow Jesus and be a Christian, they will not have any problems. I knew a co-worker who thought he would never be sick again in his life. So what happens when problems do befall on them? They, in their guilt, think God is mad at them. This is all wrong! Besides the desires of the Devil to impact, not those already in destruction, but those trying to live as Jesus taught, I blame television preachers proclaiming the so-called “gospel of health and wealth”. Another name for this false unbiblical teaching is “word of faith” (sounds so much better, easier to hook people); this preaching comes from the likes of Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and many others. Sadly, many local churches have also fallen prey to this heresy.

Let’s look at the book of Mark chapter 6 for a great example. After the feeding of the 5,000 men plus women and children, Jesus in verse 45 tells the disciples to get in a boat and go ahead of Him to Bethsaida. In the middle of the sea, the disciples were struggling against a strong wind storm. They were in trouble and afraid BECAUSE they had obeyed Jesus!

So at their darkest hour (it is darkest before the dawn, see verse 48), Jesus comes to them and says “take courage, it is I, don’t be afraid” (verse 50). To be obedient does NOT mean you will be well with money in your pocket, and a fancy new car. To be obedient could kill you, as it did for 11 of the 12 disciples; obedience killed Jesus!

I pray we stand up and be obedient; stand for something greater than what the world offers. Christians, show that we are not of this world! Show the world we stand for something so much better than the world we currently live in! Be obedient to the words of Christ Jesus and get in your boat. Recognize the LORD, it is Jesus coming to you, our one and only Savior! Jesus will come to you at your time of need!

Will you see Him?

There is a Bible verse that has Jesus telling those around Him to let the children to come to Him (Matt 19:14); I believe that partly what Jesus was saying was for those [even the adults] to come to Him “as little children”. That is as persons who can believe without overthinking, and accepting things at face value. Jesus did many miracles, but this did not cause people to become believers (John 12:37). Pastor Alistair Begg says, “the main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things”. Why do we have to make things so difficult?

Is it because we want to be seen as being intellectual? The creation of the universe is easily shown to come from God but just look at the complicated arguments and the theories that arise on both sides! Do these arguments prove anything? Who is more intellectual than someone else? I am not so sure that is a good thing to be an intellectual; just look at nonsensical comments coming out of our universities these days. High brow comments tend to bring focus on the person and not the subject at hand. Children don’t do this; they accept things at face value. This Jesus knew full well, thus He calls the children! It is the adults that complicate things for the selfish manipulation of others.

Now we find ourselves in a post-modern situation where people don’t believe anything at face value anymore. Saint Thomas did not believe in the resurrected Christ until he could touch His side. Do you remember what Jesus said then? Blessed are those who believe but don’t see (John 20:29). This is faith! Faith as little children! Won’t you come to your only Savior, Jesus Christ at face value? Don’t wander off in the muck and mire of discussions like: “you cannot prove God exists or that God doesn’t exist”. For it is easy to prove God exists if you have eyes to see…the proof is all around you. Open your eyes as a child! This is why I wrote, I Am, the Great Creator God, to show people how to see…but sadly if you are not thinking as a child, you will never see.

Honesty…Yes, it is still a goal for us!

Honesty…certainly not shown in politics, not shown in education, and not shown in business and advertising. I suppose there has never been a time where honesty was the norm. The snake was not honest, so Eve blamed the snake, and Adam blamed Eve…no one from the start takes responsibility for their own actions. Certainly, people have twisted truth and told lies to reach some benefit or just for the greed of power and influence.

We learn this form of deception early in life from role models, be they in Hollywood, politics, sports or at school. What happens when our teachers are dishonest and lie to suit their politics? A recent example, even the left-leaning NPR shared a very interesting exposure:

“Deeply flawed data published by the U.S. Department of Education was exposed by National Public Radio this week. NPR’s investigation found that more than two-thirds of school shootings reported to authorities between 2015-16 never happened.”

How many have run with the awful thought of their children at exaggerated risk at school due to dishonest reported data? How does this happen? Is this local reporting for attention and money? Is this the “federal mother ship” altering things for the greed of national money and political power?

…and we get mad when our children cheat on a test?

I wrote an article in 2008 entitled “Force Honesty”, I think it still applies…and sadly, maybe it always will. It is only one page, check it out at Mankin Christian Library.

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!

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.