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!