The Master of the waves

The Master of the waves
Come, and Serve the peace giver!
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas

I John 3:16 we learn that ; "God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son . . ." that we all should have life and have it abundantly through Jesus. Not only do we have life we have a chance at life everlasting in heaven with God the Father and also with Jesus, IF we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. December 25th is the day we as Christians choose to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus. I really doesn't matter what day he actually was born. We can argue that point forever. What really matters is that God loves us and sent His Son. The words in the Christmas story proclaimed by the angels that we "FEAR NOT" should be words that we hold dear to our hearts all year long. Fear not, for the Lord is with thee! Fear not . . .because God is always with us. Think about that . . . God is always with us! No matter what we do or what we say, no matter what trials and tribulations beset us . . .GOD is always with us. He holds us and our lives in the palm of His hand. We have nothing to fear . . .EVER . . . AS BELIEVERS IN Jesus Christ. If you don't know Him as your personal Lord and Savior NOW is the time to call upon His name. Accept Jesus as Lord! 
 MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What is going on in our churches?

Howdy folks; I am sorry for the delay in getting new posts up. I have been pretty lax in the last year, but I am going to try to turn over a new leaf and post at least twice a week from now on. I would like to address some "issues" that I have been seeing and hearing about in a lot of the local churches around here, and from what I hear from friends and relatives around the Good Old U.S.A., in the churches all over the country. There seems to be a big push for building "Newer", "Bigger" , more modern churches! What is that all about? Now if your church is really growing and seeing a great revival and y'all NEED a bigger church building then God bless you! BUT, if your church Pastor, Elders and Deacons think that building a bigger, newer, more "modern" church with a fancier worship hall or altar or family center is going to make your church "better" and will make it "look" successful or make it "look" like it is growing or undergoing "Revival" then you are in some deeply troubled and muddy water. What a church "NEEDS" is not a fancier building or a bigger fellowship hall with a bigger dishwasher or anything else like that. What it needs is the Spirit of Almighty God to move through the church!! Churches don't need any of those fancy accoutrement's. The church needs a pastor and elders and deacons who have the Spirit of God in their hearts and they need to preach the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. Some of the fastest growing, spirit filled churches I have worshiped in, heard about or seen have been simple little country churches. Some that didn't even have a fellowship hall or even airconditioning or plumbing for that matter. But what they did have was a church (and by church I mean the people or members of a congregation) that were all filled with the Holy Spirit and believed and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The message of Jesus Christ or His "Commandments" for the church is that of; "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and spirit, and to love one another like He loved us"! Jesus stood up against the Pharisees and Sadducee's because they had all become too involved and tangled up in the "Law". Jesus said; " I have come to fulfill the law." and to free us from the law so that we could have; " . . .life, and to have life more abundantly." Jesus Christ was born, lived and died for all of us so that we could be freed from the sinful lives and sinful natures we all have. It almost smacks of blasphemy to even think that the size of the buildings that you worship in and fellowship in is important to God. What have you done for God and His Kingdom? Has your congregation, or you personally, feed the hungry?, clothed the poor?, or given shelter to someone who was homeless? That, my dear ones, is what matters to God. I really believe in my heart that God isn't going to care what kind of car you drive, or how big your house is, or how much "bling" you have on your fingers or around your neck. God is a gracious God, and the grace He gives is freely given to all believers. You can't DO anything to earn it, but by the fruits of the spirit you will be able to BE recognized by others, and will work to provide for people those things mentioned above; food for the hungry, clothing for the naked and shelter to the poor and needy. 
   (    James 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.James 3:16-18 ) and (Matt. 7 -15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.)


God is also a judgemental God and God will not be mocked. He knows there will be false prophets and there will be those who "preach" His word for personal gain and personal recognition.

(Matthew 7: 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

God will separate the "sheep from the goats", and ALL who choose His only Son Jesus Christ, and all of those who preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ "rightly" will be judged by their "fruits" and what they have done to LIVE the word of God and not just speak it or preach it and DO nothing. So, as mentioned above, Grace of God is freely given, and that is grace by faith, and we all have read in scripture that faith without works is dead. And a body of believers (a Church) can also be judged by it's works. Not by how big the building is or how new it is. Growth in a church is good. At times it can be proof that the Gospel is being preached and that the church body is doing the work of God. Building a new building like a bigger worship hall or fellowship hall because you really need it is wonderful. A church usually will not grow IF it is not having the Gospel (good news) message preached in it. . . . Usually . . .,but at times it can happen, but just because a specific Church  is growing doesn't mean it's blessings and growth are coming from God. Satan is just as able to "grow" a church for his own motives and desires. We are ALL the church, but if you are looking to join a specific Church congregation, think about it, PRAY about it , watch it for a while, look at it's record in the community, What is it doing? Is it doing God's work? Is it 's message one of God's love and the message of Jesus Christ and the "Good News" about Jesus? And that is the message that Jesus was born, lived, suffered, was crucified , died and was resurrected for the redemption of ALL sinners. The greatest and most wonderful day in my life was the day that I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior and asked Him into my heart. I have never known such love, such peace and calm inside. I had read the scriptures many times "cover to cover"  in the past, but when Jesus saved me all of a sudden the "Word of God" came alive for me. I began to crave reading the Word. I carried my Bible everywhere I went and read it every chance I got. Jesus filled me with the Holy Spirit and nothing was ever the same ever again! It was wonderful! One of the next most wonderful days was when my wife accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Man, how my soul soared! I felt like I was ten feet off the ground and was the most blessed man in the world. If you haven't accepted Jesus do it now. All you have to do is ask Him to forgive you. Tell Him you believe that He is the Only Son of the Living God and that you repent of your sins. Ask Him to send the Holy Spirit to fill you up! If think you need help  ( you don't need it really, but if you think you do) find a good solid Bible believing, Gospel preaching Church and ask a member, an Elder, a Deacon or the Pastor to help you. They will help!   

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer HEAT!!

Howdy y'all; Hot enough for ya? I cannot believe how hot it has been. So many records have been broken. It has really been hard to do anything here with this heat. It has been a VERY long time since last I was here to put up a new post , and for that I beg your forgiveness. It has been very busy for me and I have had a bit of a "hiccup" in my faith walk and about my feelings about what a "pastor" & "minister" should be and how it differs from a "Preacher"! I have served a few churches as pastor/preacher and I have served MANY churches as a member of the congregation in many different capacities. I have cooked banquets, done bar-b-ques, washed floors, swept up, cleaned pews, vacuumed floors, scrubbed toilets, mowed lawns . . . you name it! It is ALL service to the church and service to God. All of it, and all of it is very necessary for the smooth functioning of the church. As we are all parts of the church body and the body of Christ. No body can function well if one or more parts is out of place or broken or missing. Well anyway . . .What is the difference between a pastor, minister, reverend, preacher, etc., etc. etc. In reality it is just a matter of accepted definition by most folks, religions and religious sects. Some churches (Non-denominational) call their preachers, ministers etc. Bishops! Biblical definitions are also a bit vague. The only term that really stands without much ambiguity is "preacher"! A preacher is one who preaches. The person in the pulpit who brings the sermon message is the preacher, who may or may not be ordained by the particular sect's hierarchy. Usually if they are not ordained by the formal church hierarchy they can be (and usually are) ordained as and elder or deacon by the particular congregation they may be speaking to, or they may be sent out to another church to be a guest speaker and are still under the "umbrella" of the parent church. I believe that preaching is a serious onus and should be taken VERY seriously because every word spoken in the name of God from the pulpit is going to have to be accounted for when the day of judgement is at hand. When the day comes and I / we/ you stand before the Lord wewill be called into account for every word spoken in the pulpit or in the name of God!  Reverend is usually a term used within the particular churches hierarchy to designate a person ordained by that hierarchy as a "minister", or "pastor" for the churches under their umbrella of control. So a person sent out to a particular church or one who is hired by a particular church in that hierarchy "Officially" is the "Reverend" Mr. or Ms. such in so. As a "minister" one is ordained to minister (care for, take care of, tend) to the spiritual needs of a member of a congregation or even a non-member if  that person recognizes the person as their "Minister". Prayer for that person is a way to minister. Holding their hand at the time of trial or need is also a way to "minister" to that person. Keeping shared information (sins, failings etc.) confidential is also a way of ministering for a person. We ALL, as believers in Jesus Christ, are called on to be "misters" at one time or another to each other. It does NOT need to be "officially" ordained to minister. It is a verb as well as a noun. Pastor also has both "official" and "un-official" connotations. One can be "ordained" officially as a "Pastor", but pastor is also one of those words that is both a verb and a noun, and means pretty much the same thing as minister. An ordained Pastor is meant to minister to the needs of their congregation. Anyone can, and should be able to preach, witness to, or minister to the needs of another. We are told to do so by Jesus Christ. When He said "Love one another as I have loved you." that is what He meant for us to do. Love lets us take care of each other. By being a member of the body of Christ we are all called to minister one to the other. Do you have to be ordained by a particular church? No, you do not have to be ordained by the church to "minister" or to preach. But . . . whenever you do those things in the name of God, or the name of Jesus, you had better be sure you are doing it out of the pureness of your heart and to the best of your abilities and in a way that will bring glory to God and His kingdom because you will be held accountable for your actions at the time of judgement before the Lord. We all have a witness. We all have a message to "preach" if you think about it. How, where, when and what brought you to the point where you could accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? That is your witness! That is your message to all, especially to non-believers, that you can share or preach. We all have a story. We are NOT unique, because there is always someone who may be in a spot or condition similar to mine / yours before you or I accepted Jesus. Because of the similarities of our human condition we all have known sinfulness and evil in our hearts and can share how Jesus saved us and wiped away our sinfulness with His precious blood! God is good . . .all the time, and will respond to your request for forgiveness if you truly repent. Your words of witness cannot return void. God will use them.      

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8 2011 - Back on line at last!

Well, I am finally able to get back on-line since my computer broke down! I can't believe I have lost EVERYTHING!! SILLY ME I DID NOT BACK UP EVERYTHING TO DISCS. I had a lot of my stuff "backed up" but not everything, and I could not afford to pay for one of those online services where you can back up all of your data! I still cannot afford to do that but I definitely will be backing up my stuff on discs at least.
         Here we are coming into spring FINALLY! I am so tired of winter and the cold. God is so good. I know we need winter for the cycle (circle) of life to be fulfilled but the older I get the less I can handle being cold and all that the winter weather brings with it. Leona and I suffered through three weeks (actually four) of illness! We both had temps over 103 degrees for many days and then ran temps up and down between 99 and 103 for almost two weeks solid, and then just generally felt awful for the rest of the time; coughing up the most nasty stuff you can imagine. We are still fighting it off but are doing much better. God has made us stronger though so we can be thankful. 
       I am brought to mind of James 1:2-4 where it says that we are to count it all joy when we face various trials because the testing of our faith brings perseverance so that we can be complete and lacking in nothing, and also growing in maturity. I am sure that means Christian maturity. I love the book of James because it also teaches us about when we ask God for anything we must ask in confidence trusting and believing that God will answer our prayers, and NOT being of a "double mind". That is a mistake I think a lot of us make, me included sometimes, by putting limitations on God! God is ALL powerful, ALL seeing, ALL knowing, and He does want the best for us, His children! I think it hurts God, just like it would hurt an earthly father, if we asked for something and didn't believe that He (he) would provide what we had asked Him (him) for. Personally speaking, I definitely don't EVER want to disappoint God. Unfortunately, I do it all the time. We all do because we are human, and because we are human we all have those human failings. We all have "feet of clay" sometimes. We know what we must do to please God, and yet we constantly let Him down. The beauty of being a "Born Again" believer and having Jesus as our Lord and Savior is that even though we are not perfect and never will be, we are forgiven! Jesus died for us so that our sins would be washed away! We strive for perfection through Jesus Christ, striving to be more and more like Him as we grow in Christian maturity, knowing that we can only attain that perfection when we finally leave this world and wake up in heaven. The wonder of it all is that we are washed by the blood of our Savior and Redeemer, and we are "Saved"! Saved by GRACE and not by works. Our salvation is a gift, given freely by God the Father. We don't have to be perfect, we don't have to be holy! We must not ever give up trying to grow in Christian faith and maturity we MUST strive toward that perfection . . . but even though we are not perfect or perfected . . . GRACE covers us! Thank you God!! When we have stood the test, we will receive that "crown" that was promised to us by God to those who love Him. (James 1:12) I encourage you all to go to the book of James. It is right after Hebrews, and before 1 Peter.  Read it all. It is a great book. Martin Luther also thought it was a powerful book and one that every Christian should read over and over. Don't ever give up. Don't ever stop "striving" for that perfection that we can find in Jesus Christ because that is the Christian walk we all must make. Trust God! Do not ever limit God or His powers! God the creator made all things, created all things, and as the creator He has dominion over all things; so NOTHING is impossible for God! EVER!   

Saturday, January 29, 2011

FORGIVENESS!!

We must all learn to forgive. Not just others who have harmed us or hurt us, but also how to forgive ourselves. God wipes away our sins the minute we are "born Again":

Ephesians 1:6-8 (King James Version)

6 "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;"


Matthew 18:15-22

15 "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

The problem is, that even though the Lord has removed our sins from us as far as the East is from the West . . . ( Psalm 103:12: "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us."
Psalm 103:11-13(Context)
. . . we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. Satan has a way of knowing our weaknesses and our "soft spots" in our human nature and he will use them at every chance he has! And if Satan can keep our mind on our sins that means he is successful in keeping us from concentrating on the Word of God and the purpose that God may have in store for us. The other thing is, that as long as he can keep us thinking about our own sins, he can keep us from forgiving others. Forgiving others is the only way that we can be truly free. And, that is truly free to love others. Love and forgiveness goes hand in hand. We need to forgive ourselves before we can really love ourselves and until we can really love ourselves we cannot truly love another. One of the other things that I had found difficult to do, was to forget my sins and to forget the harm I had felt from others. The old saying "Forgive and Forget" is much easier to say than it is to do. We MUST learn to do this if ever we are to mature as Christians. Being "Born Again" brings a great responsibility with it. Growth in the gifts of the spirit is what we all must strive for. It is imperative that we grow in our spiritual walk.
 
 Ephesians 5:9-10;  9 "(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)10Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord."
 
The way that we can do this is to strive to walk closer and closer with Jesus every day. We seek that perfection of the spirit that is Jesus Christ, and, unfortunately, we can never really attain that perfection, BUT we must strive daily to be more and more like Him. We must learn to surround ourselves in prayer every day and every hour that we are alive. It is like Paul said, that we must "pray continuously".

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (King James Version)

16 "Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

We must also learn to "walk in love" just as Christ loved us we must learn to love one another.
 
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." John 13:33-35( context)
 Ephesians 5:1-2  1 "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."

We must also learn to be wise, and wisdom comes only from study of the "Word of God."

 Ephesians 5:15-21; "15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." 
 
I have been using a lot of scripture references in this entry and, I have meant to do just that. We are nothing without God, and the only way that we can learn about God, and learn about Jesus Christ is by study of the scriptures!  
 
2 Timothy 2:15
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:14-16 (Context) 

 
Romans 10:16-18 (King James Version)

16 "But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world."

1 Peter 1:22-24 (King James Version)

22 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:"

Ephesians 6:17

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: "
Ephesians 6:16-18 (Context)

Hebrews 4:11-13 (King James Version)

11 "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."

So back to forgiveness! In order that we may learn to be more like Christ, and learn more about God we must study scriptures. In order to learn how to be forgiven and to learn how to be forgivers of others we need to study scripture! Do NOT just count on the preacher to tell you about the "Word of God" or tell you what the "Word of God" says; get a Bible and study it for yourself. Try to read the whole Bible, cover to cover! After you have done it once . . .do it again, and then do it again. Make notes, underline things that "move you" or things you don't understand and then look them up or ask someone you trust as a Christian to help  you understand it. Pray, pray every day. Pray that God will give you wisdom and understanding. Pray that God will show you how to forgive yourself. God bless you all, and I will pray that you learn how to forgive yourself.      

Monday, January 24, 2011

All Praise, Honor and Glory to God!

Folks; I have got to tell you that Yesterday we had an Awesome morning service at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in beautiful Grapeland Texas. The Holy Spirit was so powerful ALL of the congregation was lifted up by the power of God. We also had an awesome message and service at the evening worship. My wife, Leona, was also baptized after the regular worship service, Praise God! When she came up out of the water I could see a "glow" around her that I know was the power of the Holy Spirit shining in, through and around her! I was so excited by it I wept, laughed and danced a bit for the joy I felt at knowing she was now, beyond any doubt, truly "Born Again". Forever saved, and her name was written in God's Book Of Life! We will be together forever after we pass from this life into the next for, as Paul says, to be absent from this life is to be present with Christ.  

2 Corinthians 5:5-9 (King James Version)
5 "Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.

It is a good feeling for me to know that we will be together in Heaven! In my family there are a great number of my ancestors that I know were filled with the Holy Spirit, and that when my time comes to pass from this world I know that I will be present with them as well as I will be present with God! Of that I have absolutely NO doubt.

 Philippians 3:7-11 (King James Version)

7 "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead."


Long ago when I was a very young man I felt the "call" of God upon my life! I knew I was different. I knew that there was something that God had in store for my life and I needed to discover exactly what that goal was and to work towards it with all that was in my power. I loved being in church and I loved praising and worshipping God. Every time I could be in church I was there. When I was hired for jobs, even when I was still a teenager, I made sure that I would be free to go to church. Most of the times and most of the employers were okay with that, and I was able to go to church regularly. Once in a while I had to take a job that didn't allow me to go to church, but eventually I would work around it and be able to go to church, and if I couldn't I would quit as soon as I found a job that would let me worship. I grew up in the fifties and sixties and church was taken much more seriously back then I think. It played a major role in society and in most families I knew. Prayer was still allowed in school, and prayer was allowed in public at ball games, and at almost every public function. A commitment to God and God's service was much more acceptable. Unfortunately, in todays world and society, it is not necessarily so. So much has become influenced by what is "politically correct" and publically acceptable and it is because of that, that people are affraid of offending someone or some group. Back then I taught Sunday School to 4th and 5th grades and I was very active in the Christian Youth Group at my church. We did all kinds of things for people in our community and especially for the elderly. We as a group would visit the "shut-ins" and other elder folks. Not just those who were members of our church either. We had an outreach to every one who was in need. Our youth group would help folks rake leaves in the fall, trim trees and bushes, paint porches, and at times whole houses if the person couldn't do it themselves. We mowed lawns, weeded gardens, shoveled snow and hung storm windows for folks; AND we did it for free! We also put together food baskets and delivered them, and not just for holidays. When we found out about a person or family in our community that was in "need" of anything, we were there to help. That's the way things are supposed to be! That is part of what it means to serve God. The church I belong to now does a lot of what I have been writing about, but there are NOT too many churches anymore that do that kind of ministry. Oh sure, most all of them have food drives for public assistance groups around the area, but very few of them do the kind of "outreach" that I remember. And they should. Instead folks have to depend on, or demand, government help. Part of the problem, I suppose, is that there are not as many folks who belong to churches like there used to be. That too, is something that has changed for the worse. All that I have been writing about is a reflection of the above passage in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 9 "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him."

Corinthians 10:31 "Whatever you do, do ALL to the Glory of God." That should be our "goal" as Christians; to be accepted of Him (God) in all we do. We need to take care of each other. We don't, or shouldn't have to depend on the government for help. Our churches should be where we turn when we have a need of any kind. God has said that He will provide ALL of our needs. He also promised that for all we have done for others in this world it would be counted as if we had done it unto Him. We are saved by God's grace and that by faith, but when it comes time for the "final judgement" we will have to be accountable to God for our every deed done here on Earth. Good or bad.



(KJV)
Matthew 25: 34-40

34 "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For many years I had a poster that showed Jesus hanging on the cross and the caption underneath the picture was;

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

All that I have written above was part of the way that I thought I could satisfy "the Call"  I felt on my life. In many ways if was, but as I grew up and moved from childhood to my teen years, and then into my early adult years I realized that much more was required of me. I fought it, hard! I knew I was ment to be in ministry to God, and to God's people. I reached out to many others in the church and quite a few of them also felt that I should do all I could to enter the ministry. Still I fought it. I became bitter and angry for many reasons, some of them we may cover in this blog a little later, but right now suffice it to say that there were a lot of reasons for it, and I found myself drifting farther and farther from the church and service to Christ and God's Kingdom. It was in the middle and late '60's and into the early '70's when my battle became more and more self destructive. I tried drugs, alcohol and sex. You name a drug and I put it into my body. I was living for myself. I didn't care about service for, or to God or anyone any more. I worked hard and partied hard! Thank God my mother didn't give up on me! She kept praying for me and for my soul. She too, knew I was ment to be in service to God and His Kingdom. Finally, praise God, finally I turned away from my sinful and willful ways and turned back to God. I'll tell you all more about it as time goes on, but for now let me just say "I saw the light"! I had hit bottom. I was completely broken in my lustful ways. I realized that drugs and alcohol are poisons that rob you of life. You may feel great when you're high, but the reality is, you are being slowy destroyed from within. It is a path of slow suicide, because they will kill you! When I finally accepted Jesus as my personal Lord, Master and Savior, I turned back to the path I was ment to walk. I was now a "born again" child of the living God! I was "saved"! I was made brand new in Christ! All of my sins and sinful ways were washed away by the prescious blood of my Savior Jesus Christ. God is always faithful. God never gives up on you. God made it very plain to me that He was always there, even when I was at my worst, He was there with me. Holding me, loving me, waiting for me to turn back to Him. All praise, honor and glory to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. One of the hardest things for new believers to understand is that they are different manifestations of the same God, the Great Three in One, the Great I AM WHO I AM, Jahova. Creator of all things and Master of the Universe. The Great Potter.            

Colossians 1:10-16 (King James Version)

10 "That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (11) Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (12) Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (14) In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:  (15) Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
No matter how far you have fallen, no matter how revolting your sins may have been; God is there, lovingly holding out His arms, waiting to take you back. Scripture supports this in numerous passages, but one of my favorites is the one from Revalation 3 and another is in Matthew 7!
Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Revelation 3:19-21 (in Context) Revelation 3
Matthew 7:7-8"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."



I asked Jesus, how much do you love me? And He opened his arms wide and died for me! What more can I say except that in scripture it is written:
Romans 5:8

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:7-9 (context)
Of course we also have John 3:16 that says:
 John 3:16 (King James Version)

16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

No matter what, no matter when, no matter where, God is there, waiting for you to make the commitment to Him. Waiting for you to "answer the door" , waiting for you to accept His only Son as your Lord and Savior! God be praised! If you are not yet in those who's names are written in the "Book of Life", do it now accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Tell your pastor about your decision! Tell him you want to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. Read your Bible every day. The more you read it the more you will come to know God and His awesome power, and the more you learn, the more you will want your life to conform to the life of Jesus Christ. Without God, without Jesus Christ, all that we do and all that we are is empty foolishness. It doesn't matter if you are a sanitation worker, a mechanic, or like me many things; a chef, carpenter / boat builder, wood carver & model ship builder and Nurse, or even if you are the CEO of some big corporation! God wants you to be in fellowship with Him. He loves you, He loves you so much that He sent His Son to suffer humiliation and death for you so your sins could be washed away with His blood; the blood of the perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ. Answer the call - say "YES" to God!!  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

God is With Me - Psalm 91

For as long as I can remember this Psalm was one of my mother's favorites, and it has come to be one of my favorite passages. When I need a "little time" with God , and a little reassurance of His presence in my life. I turn to the Psalms. The Psalms are full of comfort and peace. They are also the place where King David left  some of his notes and prayers to God. King David was a sinner of the highest magnitude, BUT, he also had God's ear, and God's favor. He committed adultery with Bathsheba, and actually had her husband sent into the heat of battle to be killed so he could marry her. He became convicted of his sin and David got on his knees and begged God for forgiveness. He admitted his sin, publicly, and David was forgiven by God. God elevated him to the status of one of Israel's greatest kings. God was also faithful to David's children. Read in 1 King, 2 Kings, 1 Cron., 2 Cron, and the Song of Solomon. Do you ever feel like your sins are so bad, so horrible that God could never forgive you for them. Well, forget that notion. God is all powerful, all seeing and always faithful. God doesn't want any of His children to be condemned in sin and be cast into the firey pit with Satan. God wants all of us to be heirs in His kingdom through His Son Jesus Christ! Paul also thought that he was the worst of sinners, yet all of his sins, and they were terrible sins, were forgiven and God elevated him to a place of honor. He filled him with the Holy Spirit through knowledge of His only Son Jesus. Remember that  Paul was first a pious Jew, as were all of the deciples, and had been persecuting those who followed Jesus and His way of life. Paul was even present at the stoning of Stephen. He was trained in the traditions of the Pharasees. BUT, he was forgiven all of that and ended up being one of the strongest believers in the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and worked hard all the rest of his life to spread this Gospel to the world.
Romans 8 (KJV)

16 "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. . ." 
 
 John 3:16 (KJV)
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
 
While we were yet sinners God sent His only Son, Jesus to die for us!
 
Romans 5:8(KJV)

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:7-9

 Galatians 3:26-28(KJV)

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus

Psalm 91 (KJV)

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

All of the Psalms are wonderful revelations of God and God's love and faithfulness to all of His children. God does not want us to be cast down and depressed. He wants us to be at peace. We can have that peace through a personal relationship with God. The best way for us to do that is by accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and savior. When we are in Christ , we are counted as one of God's children. See the verses from Romans 8: 16, 17 above for the Biblical proof of this. I urge you to repent of your sins and sinful ways. Turn to God. Turn to Jesus to be your pathway to that salvation trhrough the forgiveness of your sins. Jesus knows you and knows your sins. They are what He went to the cross for. Jesus was beaten, spit on, mocked, and the hairs of his head and beard were pulled out. Imagine that suffering. Imagine all of that pain. Imagine the pain and humiliation of being nailed to a cross.  Now believe that He went through all of that and went to the cross to die for you so your sins could be washed away by His blood. Jesus was the final and perfect Lamb, sacrificed for your sins!     

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christ is the ONLY Way - January 18th

Howdy folks; It is coming up on Wednesday and I am looking forward to going in to the house of the Lord tomorrow for Worship and Praise. It is such a joy to worship with friends in Christian fellowship. I love it and I love all of them. I have a bit of joyful news to share with y'all! My wife, Leona, has come to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior! ALL praise and Glory to God!  We both have been praying about this for a long while. I had told her when we first got married, way back in 1971, that I would never pressure her or push Christianity on her, and I never did. We had divorced for a while, and it was back in 2007 the Lord brought us together again. The first day I saw her back in 1971 I knew that she was the woman I was going to marry. It took about a week before we were to meet in the cafeteria of the College we were both attending. I was sitting and playing a game of 9 -5 with some friends and she walked up to the table. My jaw almost hit the table. I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, and I still think that! My opening line was a real doozie; I said; "Hi, my name is Tom, I am one of the photographers for the yearbook and I have to do some darkroom work. Do you want to go up to the darkroom with me and see what developes."  She burst out laughing and said; "With a line that corny I'll have to say yes." Well, the rest, they say, is history. We ended up baking whole grain bread for the first "Earth Day" celebration and we were married the following July! I was so much in love I don't think my feet hit the ground for years. We really hit it off and she was definately my best friend then and she is now. I just knew that the Lord had brought us together! We ended going in different directions in 1982, after our divorce in 1981, we just drifted apart. I went off to finish college and go to seminary, and to find out what the Lord had for me.  We kept in contact sporadically, on and off, through the years, and when I found myself single again in 2006 and found out she was too, I guess it was just inevitable that we would get together again! It has been beautiful. To be back together again with someone who was and is my soul mate, and know that God had brought into my life, is so awesome I cannot put it into words because no mere words could ever explain how it is. Only someone else who has that experience with another person could ever understand. It is like that line in the movie "Jerry Maguire" that says "You (she) complete me." She does "complete" me. When we are not together, for whatever reason, I feel like something is missing. I have been a born again Christian for many, many years and I have always wanted to be together with a spouse that was too, but with Leona, I was willing to "wait upon the Lord" for Him to make the difference in her life and open her eyes to the "truth of God" and the joy of knowing Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior. I told her that, once again I would NOT pressure her or push her toward Christ and believing in Him as God's only Son, sent to earth to save all mankind. We prayed together, studied the Word together and went to church and worshipped together. She always had a strong belief in God so that part was easy. Jesus was a choice that is hard for many folks to make, and it was for her as well. I kept her lifted up in prayer and so did all of my friends who are believers. When you pray for a person's soul you have to trust that the Holy Spirit will do the work inside the person you are praying for. And it was just so in Leona's case. She fervently studied and prayed by herself as well as with me, and praise God, this past Sunday January 15th 2011 God made a way and the Spirit of God moved her to stand up for Jesus and go to the altar for Jesus and the Holy Spirit to fill her up! I rejoiced, I cried for joy, I danced for joy and so did the rest of the congregation of our church! Praise God my wife, my help meet was saved. She was "Born Again". Later she told me she felt like a "great weight" was lifted off of her shoulders!    

 John 8:31-32(KJV)
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  
 
When a person makes that decision to follow Jesus Christ and accept Him as personal Lord and savior there comes a joy and a freedom that only comes from knowing Him, Jesus, as Lord. We are made brand new. ALL that was filth of sin is washed away.
       
Ephesians 2:3-10 (King James Version)

3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them . . .

God's unfailing grace is sufficient for us. Once we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior we are entered into God's grace by that simple act. The act that is both so simple and so difficult; accepting Jesus! I think it is very difficult for all, who are believers in God, but maybe not believers in Jesus Christ. It may even be difficult for many who believe in the manifestation of God as Jesus Christ, but haven't come to the point of accepting Jesus as personal Lord and savior. Many people believe that by believing in God and believing in Jesus and going to church every time the door is open they are "saved" but, that is not so. It kind of fits with an old joke that some "Born Again" Christian's use that says; "Just because you go out and stand in the garage doesn't make you a car!" that kind of expresses what I mean. Many Christian believers feel that they are covered by God's grace because they do go to church and believe. That may be true, that is not for me to judge, but to be truly "Born Again" you MUST accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, and you do that by accepting Him and the Holy Spirit into your heart. By openly repenting of your sins and by ASKING Jesus to save you. That is scriptural.

John 3:2-4 (King James Version)

2The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Jesus, when He continued to be questioned, continued with this:

8The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
14And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God

I suggest to you all that you should read the whole book of John if you are going to accept Jesus but especially this the 3rd chapter, because it has the answer to the question; "What must I do to be saved?"

 (John 3:36) 
36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.


John 3:5 also points out that you MUST also be baptised for that salvation be assured.

5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.


I praise God for Leona's salvation and this coming Sunday after the evening worship service Leona will be baptised and "born again" of the water as well as of the Spirit of God. I am so pleased that we will be together through out ALL of eternity as we have been here on earth. That fills me with such joy, you have no idea.
I must ask you now, even if you have been going to church every Sunday, and Wednesday, and every other day the doors were open, do you truly know Jesus Christ? Have you accepted Him as your personal Lord and Savior? If you haven't, do it now, right this minute. We are not guarenteed another second or breath of life and I don't want you to die without knowing that you are saved and that when you close your eyes in death on this Earth that the next time you open them, you will be looking at the face of Jesus Christ. And, the ONLY way you can be assured, is by accepting Jesus. DO it, take that giant step of faith and ask Him to send the Holy Spirit into your heart!  If you do not have a Bible, get one. The King James Version is the one I prefer but if you have any other version, (NIV) is also a good one, read it. If you don't undestand something, ask someone you know is Born Again to help you understand it. Ask your pastor, hopefully he is a Born Again believer. Or email me if you want to. I'll help, if I can, and if I don't know the answer to your question myself I know a lot of people and places for you to look for answers. God bless and be with you, now and always.    

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thoughts on Winter storms / God's Creation & God's Plan For Our Salvation.

Howdy folks; Well, here it is the 10th of January and snow is predicted for our afternoon forecast! I have to say I have had enough snow to last me a lifetime after all the years I spent in New England. The last year I lived in Northern Maine we had a season snowfall of 22 feet, yup, that's right, 22 feet! Most of that was still on the ground in April! We had to use a bucket loader, sometimes, just to clear our driveway and door yard. I can remember climbing out a second story window so I could shovel down to the back door to get out of the house. I loved it back then. I was a lot younger and I loved to cross country ski, snowshoe and go sledding and snow mobiling with friends. A buddy of mine and I also ran a trap line back then and we were out in it every day or at least every other day to check our traps. A very dear friend of our family used to call spring snow "God's fertilizer" because it would make the ground softer to plow and it seemed to give the spring planting a "boost" in it's sprouting and growth. As I got older I noticed it really did give things a bit of a head start, at times. The very best thing about it is that when the days  started to get longer and a bit warmer you could really tell that spring was just around the corner. Folks would say that "winters back is broken" and some of us would even have mid-winter parties to celebrate the death of winter and the new birth of spring. Having grown up in an agrarian community and living in small farming towns most of my life I could really see why the ancient prehistoric societies would have winter solstice celebrations. Native Americans also had such celebrations. The "circle of life" had a deep and rich meaning for all people, as it still should for us. As we have "progressed" into an industrial society we have lost the connection to the land. We have lost our connection to the "Circle of Life".  What has always amazed me is that ALL of the world's religions have creation stories (much like Adam and Eve), flood stories (like the Noah story), special "king" or leader stories (like the David story), and Savior stories (like our Jesus story) and many other similarities. My Honor's Thesis (which I got an A+ on, by the way) for my Philosophy degree was just that. It was based on the concept that God has revealed himself to many peoples in many different ways. I firmly believe that. We serve an awesome God! The Bible is God's revelation of Himself to His people and the story of the history of His creation's relationship to Him. I accept the Bible as the inspired word of a living God, and how God has revealed himself to many people, and how they wrote God's stories down after years of oral tradition, and finally when He saw just how far people had fallen from His path, and the Law, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to be the "perfect Lamb" sacrifice for all of His creation.

Romans 5:7-9 (King James Version)

7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.



 I also know in my heart that the God of Adam and Eve, Noah, and Abraham sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to die for us while we were yet sinners!   I know a lot of folks will say that it is narrow minded and not "politically correct" to say that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way for one to find salvation, but that is too bad. I have to stand on the truth! And the truth is, that God created all of the universe, the earth and all the things in and on it, and that looking down on it He saw how His creation had moved away from Him and His plan for us in the garden of Eden and through one man,Adam, sin entered the world.
  
John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 

 
          Psalm 14:1-3 (King James Version)


1The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

3They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:23 (King James Version)
23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

God wants ALL of us to be saved. He wants us to WANT Him! He wants us to be with Him through out all of eternity. The only way that He saw for His sinful and willful creation to find that salvation, and be worthy of a place in heaven was through the one PERFECT Lamb sacrifice. Jesus Christ! Time is growing short my friends. The time of Salvation is at hand. If you are born again then you are sealed in God's book of life and if you are NOT yet born again ask God NOW for Him to save you. Admit you are a sinner, tell Him you are sorry for your sinfulness and that you repent, Tell God you believe His Son Jesus was sent to be our savior and ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart! That is all you need to do to be born again. Jesus is the path to your salvation!