I always enjoyed Jim Croce; hope you do too...
What is success? How do we measure it? To some it is great wealth; to others it is a 401k that will guarantee some comfort when they retire. There are those that consider a big house, a big career, or a fancy car. We seem to measure success based on material things.
Using that standard, Jesus, would not be considered a success. Born in a manger, worked for a brief period as a carpenter, then hit the road with a gang of guys. He had no home, no wealth, had to borrow transportation, He wasn’t very popular, died poor, and was buried in a donated tomb. Hardly a success story.
We spend so much time chasing success, but we can’t define it. In a way chasing success is like chasing the wind; you never really catch it. There is always a newer car, bigger house or promotion that we need to feel more successful. There is something in us that longs to be complete, a success, a respected individual, and satisfied. The problem is, we are looking for the wrong things to fill the hole in our lives that no amount of success can fill.
Jesus told us, “Do not lay for yourselves treasurers on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay your treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For here your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21.
The difficulty in living a Christian life in a secular would, is we struggle with the present, and how others perceive our success. No one wants to be seen as a doormat, or a loser; and it is very difficult to remember our time here is short, and our rewards wait for us in heaven. Like everyone else, we want some now; we don’t want the struggle, we want the easier life. That is when faith and trust must kick in. The focus of our success must be Christ centered, not self-centered.
Friends, family, and the world will judge your success by man’s standard and may abandon you when tough times come. Jesus, however, will not leave you, or turn His back on you. Others will block your messages, not answer the phone, and duck across the street when they see you coming; Jesus is there, always. He will listen, and comfort.
You may not understand why something has happened, if things will work out, or how they could possibly work out. Remember, life is a mystery. If it wasn’t it would be boring, and we wouldn’t need Jesus to lean on in times of trouble.
“He alone is my rock and my salvation; my fortress where I will not be shaken.”
I don't want to sound like I'm whining, but, I guess I really am.
It has been said, that hard work has never killed anyone. However, my company is trying to disprove that statement. I have been working so much lately that my dogs either, rush me as if I'm a stranger or follow me around so much that I'm tripping over them.
My very patient and supportive gal, jokes that we need to actually go out on a date for us to see each other. However, she will remind me, that even when we are out I get phone calls and text messages from work from various levels of people.
Attempts to find a new position in ministry, obviously, have not been very successful as I am still whining and complaining about my current position. I have a sense of humor about the whole thing but there comes a time when that humor humour becomes madness. LOL.
My current employer is having a negative impact on my spiritual, emotional, and relationship walk.
I especially not happy as I have no time for serious Bible study, and blog posting. Those interests, and my favorite gal, are the only things keeping me focused, and sane.
I would ask for your prayers as I'm prepared to work another very long day, and look for other opportunities to you serve the Lord any upcoming week. Pray for a spiritual breakthrough, and a positive escape from the deep rut.
Some people fear the truth; I've spent so much time over the last couple of years facing the truth about myself that I no longer fear it. In fact, I embrace it, have learned from it, and have become a better person. Still flawed, and imperfect, but better.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
Random Thoughts I
Ever notice the more you study the Bible and try to get into the Word, the more the enemy disrupts your life?
Random Thoughts 2
The more I study the Book of Revelation, the more I believe the church should preach the Book of Revelation.
Random Thought 3
We spend a lot of time trying to figure out our purpose for being here, instead of listening to God, and His purpose for us being here.
Try as we might, our past attaches itself to us, and doesn't let go. Sometimes, good, often painful, the past can be a stumbling block to our future and relationship with God. If I think of all the bad things that I did in the past, I would doubt that God could look past them, and use me to spread the Gospel, let alone accept me into His kingdom.
However, when you ask for forgiveness and take Jesus Christ as your Savior, the past is forgotten, at least by God. We have a much harder time.
While you can never forget your past, don't let it get in the way of your walk with God, and your future.
"Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago."
Not happy with your current position? Looking for a way to make a positive impact around you? Here is an opportunity that can fill that requirement.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and earth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. " Amen
James 1:19 So then my beloved brethren, be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
As we travel around the rest of this week; we need to take these words to heart as we come into contact with others. Your kindness and patience could be returned to you if you become one of "those people" to someone else.
Nobody makes a greater mistake, than he who did nothing, because he could only do a little. -Edmund Burke
It is funny, well not really, that when you choose to follow Christ, your life seems to get more difficult. I was never a big believer in the, “Happy, happy, isn’t this a Blessed day, Christian.” In fact, I often found them shallow, and fake. It was like they were pretending, hiding the struggles, for fear, that the struggles meant they were not good Christians.
Believe me, my friends, good Christians struggle; look at the apostles, and the early Christians. If you look at the news you will see that many “good Christians,” are suffering, and dying around the world. As we get closer to the end of this world, the struggles and suffering will only increase. When the believers are Raptured up, those that become Christians during the time of the Tribulation, will suffer more than we can imagine.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:2-8)
It is difficult to be joyful during times of trouble, trials, and testing, but if we remain faithful, and have patience, everything will work out in God’s time, according to God’s plan in your life. It is important to remember that your plan, is not necessarily God’s plan for you. I’ve been down that road, and while I learned some valuable lessons, and I have wasted years of valuable time.
When in doubt, ask God for direction. The answer may not come as fast as you wish, it may not even be the answer you want, but trust that God knows best. The answer may make sense, seem crazy, or impossible, but take that step of faith, get out of the boat onto the seas, and know that God can do the impossible with the most unlikely vessel.
Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
Paul, in his final letter to Timothy, encourages him in the importance of passing on the message he received from Paul. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2, NIV). In an age of change, the biblical mandate of Matthew 28:19−20, to “make disciples of all nations,” still applies.
As we learned in the previous lessons, the Good News has the power to bring forgiveness to fallen people, to restore a personal relationship with God. The Gospel is the only message that can change a life for eternity; this is why we must share it with the entire world.
The church must place renewed emphasis on these all-important words of Christ, or the Great Commission will become the “the Great Omission.”
Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!
How often do we take time for granted? Even the richest man in the world cannot by more time. If we were to picture a football, and we are standing in on the one-yard line, needing to go the length of the field, and before us standing, scattered on the field are family, friends, and acquaintances. You look at the scoreboard and the time is ticking down. The two-minute warning has passed, and you’re out of time-outs.
They turn to look to you for the answer, but you’re afraid. They may not like the play, or don’t want to hear the play, or think the play is too easy to win the game. You stand there doubting yourself, lacking the confidence to lead the others to victory, and that hesitation costs everyone on the field for eternity.
I believe that when it comes to soul winning the church has failed miserably. The church has become an enclose society, not reaching out, or inviting in. For whatever reason, we feel that evangelism is someone else’s responsibility or gift. Does the Gospel message of Salvation only belong to missionaries and evangelists?
No, the responsibility of spreading the Good News belongs to us all We can’t be everywhere, but we are always somewhere, and we must make the most of those opportunities when they are presented to us.
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’-Matthew 10:34-36
As Christians we often look at this passage, Ephesians 6:10-18, and think of it as a lesson on defending the Word of God. As I look around at the condition of the world, I wonder if we should consider this passage as more a call to arms and engage the enemy.
As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Let’s look at this passage in that light.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the Devil’s schemes.
As we prepare for battle, we are given a pep talk and the tools to do battle. Being strong in the Lord and his power, should give us heart to engage in the fight. The war has been won, and we are engaged in daily battles in which we try to win souls and keep ourselves on the right path. Taking a stand means more than passively guarding the gate. We need to step forward and prevent the enemy from gaining ground.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
If only we could see the enemy, he would be so much easier to fight. Unfortunately, he hides in plain sight. He attacks us, and we don’t realize it until we have lost the battle, a skirmish that came at us from nowhere. The enemy knows are weak points, our desires, and our needs. He sets them before us, temptingly; we struggle, and sometimes succumb to the temptation. We are weak without the Armor of God to protect us.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Once you have put the armor on stand your ground against the enemy. As you become stronger in the faith, and hone your skills, step out and meet the enemy before the attack. Witness to others, be an example in your workplace or community. Study the Bible, pray for strength, and always be on guard. Use the tools that the Lord gives you to fight the good fight.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
In closing, verse 18, gives us our command to pray. Pray, for yourself, and others. Pray for strength and protection of all engaged in the battle for the lost souls, as well as, those that have been saved. As we step into the world to battle the powers and principalities of darkness we must pray for our fellow soldiers for the Lord, and for the Lord’s blessing in our endeavors.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
“Camp Pride is for members of the LGBTQ community and their allies. Some people will have been “out” for years, loud and proud, and others might be in that process, and others still thinking about it. And others will be allies! Camp Pride is for everyone working on their own personal journey, whatever that means.
We are an interfaith camp, not a secular camp. This means that multiple times a day, we have times to consider spirituality and celebrate different faiths through an LGBTQ lens, including but not limited to Protestant and Catholic Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Wicca, Bahai, and others. There will be no efforts at conversion to any of these faiths, and we ask that each camper come with an open mind and questions to share. Pilgrim Lodge (the host camp) is a Christian camp, so there are Christian symbols (crosses, fish, prayer banners, etc) around the camp. We welcome campers who are Atheist or do not practice a given faith but reemphasize that topics of faith and spirituality will come up on a daily basis over the course of the camp.”
I have been searching for a full-time ministry opportunity while I seek the Lord’s guidance in building this one. What I have found as I search is disturbing. The number of denominations that have compromised the message of the Gospel. I’m not sure if the strategy is to be a kinder, gentler, inclusive church, but the end result is souls remain lost and condemned to hell.
The italicized opening is from an actual “Christian Interfaith,” camp. By allowing these lost souls to “celebrate different faiths through an LGBTQ lens,” we are doing them a disservice. How can any so-called religious camp/organization allow other “faiths” so far removed from the message of Jesus Christ on their property? By giving the enemy a foothold in your camp, you are setting yourself and those with you up for eternal destruction.
Members of the LGBTQ community need love and compassion. They also need the true Gospel message. God loves them and does not want them to perish. They deserve to hear the Good News of Jesus and Salvation. Once it is shared, each individual can make his or her decision. To other a multitude of false choices in the hope they will find the one true God is an insult to God, and them.
This feel good, anything goes “Christianity,” serves no one, straight or gay. Sin is sin in the eyes of God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Notice it says, all. None of us are perfect enough to get to Heaven. We can not earn our way in, being a good person will not get you there, or just going to church will get you there, either. There is only one way, one road to Heaven, and we as Christians must present the truth.
Jesus said him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.-John 14:6
Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
To educate a man in the mind and not in morals is to create a menace to society.
There was a young girl tragically killed in an automobile accident a few years ago. She was riding with her father, when a drunk driver struck their car injuring him and killing her.
The drunk driver was 17. I knew him. While he was in school the teachers and parents never really disciplined him when he was bad. Perhaps it was because he was always getting in trouble and they grew tired of trying to get him to change. I kept on him and told him if he didn’t start changing his ways, one day he would be wearing an orange jumpsuit, riding in the back of a car. The boy probably hated me as I never let him slide and constantly told him about his behavior.
When I heard of the accident I felt terrible.
How many people gave up on him? How many people started hoping that one day he would get his? What would they have done differently if they knew that him “getting his” would mean the death of a 12-year-old girl?
Proverbs 29:17 tells us,
Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul.
Our responsibility, as adults and Christians, is to prepare our children and their friends for real life. To make them understand that there are consequences for their actions. We gain nothing when we turn a blind eye to bad or destructive behavior.
It seems that what was once unacceptable is now the norm, and we as a society are spiraling toward a time when everything will be acceptable, except the message of Jesus Christ.
When it comes to our young people was must not be afraid to tell them what they are doing is wrong. When they roll their eyes and ask, “Why?” We cannot be afraid to say because the Bible says so. Many will know what the Bible is, but not what is inside and that could be your opportunity to share the Gospel and deliver some “Good News” into someone’s life.
We cannot give up and hope that someone will eventually, “Learn their lesson.” Possibly with disastrous results for some innocent bystander.
We must remain committed to our young people even when they frustrate us. Do not just shake your head and wait for someone else to put him, or her, on the proper path.
Chasten your son while there is hope,
And do not set your heart on his destruction.
We are not living in a dying country, we are living in a suicidal country. The problems and issues that inflict us as a nation, are of our own creation. You can see the moral and social decay accelerating each day. We turn on each other, we divide ourselves, we communicate with tweets, instant messages and smart phone emails, yet we are more disconnected as a society than ever.
We are killing ourselves as a nation, and as a people, by removing God from the public square. No prayer in school, has led to school shootings, drug dependence, and a lack of respect for those in authority at school, and fellow students. We now have teachers and students having relationships, and children. Removing God from government buildings has led to corruption, a sense of entitlement, the abuse of intern and pages, and no fear of justice for the crimes being committed.
The removal of God, and Christian themes in Hollywood and the media ahs created a product that has destroyed the family, normalized the vilest behaviors, led to a desensitizing to the violence, sexual promiscuity, and drugs. Bad behavior has become cool and encouraged. Women long for the “bad boy, bully,” to protect them, but suffer in an abusive relationship that they seem unable to escape; and when they do it is often with tragic consequences. Men chase the “bad girl,” but become upset with her, when her past comes up before him. We live in a time when men think they are women, women think they are men, and anyone who disagrees is labeled a “Hater.”
Our society is fearless. It does not fear the consequences of their actions, it does not fear how their actions will impact others, and it does not fear God. Yes, God is love; also remember that God is just.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”-Proverbs 9:10
Please understand this, there is a just God, and there is a Hell. Both are real. You need to make a decision to turn to Jesus Christ and be saved from this suicidal world and have an eternity in Heaven. All the choices we make, are ours, we own them. As Larry Norman sang many years ago, “Why don’t you look into Jesus?”