Saturday, August 30, 2014

Okay smarty pants.... Dummy up!

New International Version
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.  Luke 10: 21

We are not necessarily at an advantage when we are smart or intelligent. Smart and intelligent is a good thing for taking tests, makes us better learners in some situations and
looks good in a resume if it has led us to success in academic endeavors. Yet, these
abilities can become a real stumbling block when it comes to our ability to accept the
miraculous, accept the things that we weren't meant to understand regardless of our
I Q score. It can become a hazard when it comes to matters of faith and our eternal

Being human, and let's assume for a moment, somewhat smart, brings the habit of
accepting only that which can be proven. Empiricists we tend to be, relying on that
which we can observe and that which can be recreated and thus proven to happen 
multiple times. "If you expect me to believe that, better show that it is true." It's 
just the nature of our educational system, the scientific method and, quite frankly,
our inability to accept the fact that there are things our there that we were never meant
to understand.

How about a virgin conception?  That doesn't happen! How about calming the winds
and waves with a word? What about being transformed into a creature of immaculate
light only to be returned to a normal state, speaking for a man dead several days to
come out of his tomb. rising from death to resurrection, ascending into the heavens
with the full promise of a similar return when all will take to their knees? 

That which is miraculous is absolutely tied to the concept of faith. One cannot
have faith without a realization that there are miraculous things that God has
designed that we, as humans, cannot, will not and shall not be able to prove.... ever.
We are hindered by our own maturity into adulthood, hindered by losing the child-like,
not childish, ability to accept a truth in the heart.  We are just too smart for our own
well-being and when that creates a block between us and God that leads to unbelief...
well that's a truly frightening thing!

So dummy up, won't you. Take to your knees and ask God to strengthen your belief
and dissolve your doubt. Your eternal existence depends upon it!

Praise God!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

If you are going to blaspheme... don't choose the Holy Spirit!

The act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk:  Oxford
  English Dictionary

Don't know about you, but the word blaspheme sounds like something one shouldn't be
doing, even before one looks it up in a dictionary. I have been reading, and greatly enjoying
the sermons of Charles H. Spurgeon. There are two sermons preached in 1855 at the New Park Street Chapel in Southwark, England, that deal with the Holy Spirit of God. They are worth the read!

So who is this Holy Spirit and what does it mean to blaspheme Him? Well Mr. Spurgeon
spends a great deal of time explaining and using scripture to back up the fact that He is God
and that He is a person. He is, in fact, "God with us" now that Christ has ascended; Jesus
promised His disciples that He would send one just like Himself, so that they would still
have Him with them. The Spirit of God, seen descending in the form of a dove at the
baptism of Christ Jesus," coming upon"Mary as Christ was miraculously conceived, is
within each Christian as a teacher and a counselor. He is one who helps us understand
the Bible, as He was present when man co-wrote the books, He is one who helps change
our prayers into a form acceptable to a Holy God and He is the one who is grieved by
our sins, striving to make us aware of them along the path to sanctification. In other
words, you need go no farther than your own heart to find this member of the trinity.

So Christ chastised and warned the Pharises when they accused Him of doing miracles
and healing by the help of the devil. He as much as suggested that one can be forgiven
for speaking against God the Father, against Jesus, but never forgiven, that is never, for
speaking against the Spirit of God. In today's world, with Christ at the right-hand side of
the Father, we are warned against the sin of disbelief: the sin of rejecting and turning
away from God, of refusing to believe. 

I suppose that shows the importance of the Spirit to us and to Jesus and God the
Father. The relationships among the members of the trinity are exceptionally
valued by each member. They all are from eternity to eternity, alpha and omega and
they all interact within the framework of a team, of a family. 

We tend, sometimes, to know and think less about the Holy Spirit of God than
about the other two members of the Trinity; we would be very smart to treat the
presence and gift of the Holy Spirit with love and respect.... and never think
about blaspheming.

Praise God!


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Man is ANTI- GOD

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Romans 3: 23

In this short blog I am using ideas which I have been hearing from an Alistair Begg sermon
series entitled "An Extraordinary Encounter." I am using them out of context and mixed throughout these fine sermons because the general idea expressed above hit me like a ton of bricks due to its obvious truth.

Man does not seek God; Man runs away from God. Now this may be something that
many of my Christian brothers and sisters have known for a long time. Want to know why
evangelism is so very difficult? Want to know how people can hear the wonderful news of
the gospel of Jesus Christ and oppose talking about it with a myriad of excuses? Want to know why those you love and cherish may refuse the Word and end up in eternal damnation? The answer, as Mr. Begg expressed it, is that Man has, from birth, within him a dispensation to reject God.  It is part of our sin nature, part of our genetic makeup having been related to the first man and woman who sinned against a Holy God.

So we are faced with an amazing reality; if left to our own devices, we will not reach out
to God. We will actively oppose Him. It's human nature to wish to be separated from
God, to treat ourselves as beings not in need of our very creator. We can get by on our
own, fix things that need to be fixed and figure out our existence through education, science,
material wealth, idols.....  I could certainly go on. But the amazing part? GOD reaches
out to us.

The very God of the universe, the one who saw our coming into existence within the
womb, the one who, within the Godhead, devised a plan, the only possible plan, that
would lead to salvation for His created,  He initiates our acceptance of the plan! 
He woos us, He reaches for us, He sends His son into time to die upon a cross so that
we might share in His fatherhood.... yet, without His initiative, we will run the other
way and come up with a million trite excuses to ignore the good news. 

It's truly an amazing fact that this loving, Father God, who will not overlook our
sinfulness and who is prepared to bring it to full account, has done what only this Loving
Father can do, He has become the initiator of the only means to avoid condemnation
and be reconciled.

Praise God!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The happiest people you meet should be.....


Isaiah 12:6 “… Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
  It always seems odd that various preachers, both local and national, frequently mention
the long faces they encounter on those in their congregations. Does it seem strange to anyone else that people who have encountered the grace of the Lord Jesus would be
characterized by anything other than an extremely positive outlook on this life we lead?
Those called by a loving God into adoption as members of His family have real answers to
the basic questions that all people ask: Where did I come from? Why am I here and where
am I headed? We have been given the gift of forgiveness, our sin accounts have been
erased by the once and done sacrifice of God become man. Our future is eternal, hopeful,
blessed and certain. Yet.....

I am reminded, here, of my favorite Wendy's commercial from bygone days. A lovely
old woman sits in front of a plate staring at a hamburger about the size of a large lima
bean and asks, "Where's the beef!"

Well...Where's the joy? 

We are still struggling with life! Becoming a Christian, unlike what some modern
preachers seem to suggest, does not promise an end to the issues we all face in this
messed-up world. We certainly have support but the challenges continue.

We still sin! If anything, we are now much more aware of this sin and that can cause
us to be troubled and depressed if we do not remember that we have been washed by
the precious blood of Christ once and all for sins past, present and future. The sins are
not overlooked; they are forgiven.

We have to earn our salvation, don't we? There it is. That issue with being
certain, underneath, that there is still a scorecard. What if we draw a "go back three
spaces" card? What if we aren't actually good enough to be called righteous. Aren't
we supposed to be working toward our salvation?

God may have forgotten me! He's busy, you know. I haven't heard from Him
in awhile. I'm really pretty insignificant in the scheme of things. NO! God took
the time to woo you, brought you to justification through the work of Jesus Christ
and you are therefore His. He will not forget you, He will not relinquish you, and He
will not be unaware of you at any time.

So, c'mon. One of the major forms of bringing others to Christ is in the way we
live. Evangelism is often wordless. People can sense and see real, not feigned, joy
in a person's actions, even in a person's countenance. 

Forgiven? Without a sin account? Adopted into the family of your Father Jehovah God? 
Preparing for an eternity in His presence? Aware of why you are here, what you
are doing and where you are going? JOY! JOY! JOY!

Praise God!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The I AM's

The seven I AM statements from the Gospel of John:

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. (John 6:35 ESV)

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 ESV)

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9 ESV)

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11 ESV)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25, 26 ESV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. (John 15:1 ESV)
These wonderful Bible verses were sent to the members of Crossroad Christian Church
in a Bible verse share that we are conducting. I am hoping that my friends will be
okay with my sharing them with you. They present a wonderful picture of the presentation
of self that characterized Christ Jesus' short ministry. Of course, in these self-descriptions,
He was also describing the attributes of the Father.
What about you? What would you list as "I am's?"
For me....
I am a sinner in need of a savior.
I am forgiven. Once and for all. Reconciled through the precious blood of Christ Jesus.
I am in grace and have been given what I do not deserve rather than that which I do deserve.
I am God's creation and therefore He is my LORD and King. My life I give willingly for
His good purposes.
I am blessed each minute that I am alive. I have been wonderfully formed from dust, to
which I will return only to be resurrected with a new body into loving arms of Christ.
I am whatever name is emblazoned upon the palm's of Jesus' hands. That is my name!!!
Praise God! 

Monday, August 18, 2014 need doubt no more!

John 20:2424 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Ah, faith!  It's very easy to talk and write about, but it isn't all that easy to have. As an
English teacher, one of the things that I stressed in research and just knowledge-searching
was the need to use primary sources. These would be sources of information that were
actually present, that actually saw or experienced events first hand. The internet is full
of sources, but primary sources are preferable even though they decrease as time
separates the event from the present.

My namesake, Thomas, was one who, despite the joy and excitement of the other
disciples, found it very hard to believe what they were telling him. How could his
Lord, who hung lifeless and seemingly defeated on a cross, suddenly have reawakened
and come to see them. No... Thomas would believe only when he was able to see,
first hand and touch with his own hands. Of course, that is exactly what transpired,
giving life to that famous expression, "My Lord and My God!"

Jesus would go on to define real faith.....
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

That's the key; believing that which cannot be seen or touched through faith granted,
honestly, by the Holy Spirit. We, being human, want desperately to hang onto that
empirical crutch; we want to see, touch, experience before we believe. The process
of becoming less dependent is one that happened, to me, gradually. But when it
did happen, I knew that I believed. No more doubting, Thomas.

Oh the joy of knowing in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your salvation,
eliminating sin as your life force, changing you into an adopted son of God,
emancipated from the condemnation of God. The veil is torn, access is
granted all for the sake of asking Jesus into ones heart. Reconciliation from

How glorious is our God! 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Amazing Propitiation

"Propitiation means the turning away of wrath by an offering. In relation to soteriology, propitiation means placating or satisfying the wrath of God by the atoning sacrifice of Christ." Charles C. Ryrie (1999-01-11). Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth (Kindle Locations 5503-5504). Moody Publishers. Kindle Edition. 

English Standard Version
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2: 2

Had someone quickly said, "propitiation" to me until several years ago, I might have answered with, "Gesundheit!" What an unusual word; yet, in the understanding of what
God has done for His adopted, it is a word with few equals as far as importance. Alistair Begg, in one of his wonderful teaching sermons, mentioned something that almost sounds
like a brain teaser. Let me see if I can paraphrase...  The one who needed to be propitiated provided for His own propitiation. That's close and it is both tough to sort out and miraculous at the same time.

We all know that a just, righteous and Holy God cannot abide by sin. It must, by His character, be unaccepted and it must be punished. Those who sin, and the last time I
checked, that would be all of us, were therefore under condemnation, separate from God,
dead in sin.  This is the major dilemma facing mankind. So what could be done?

Here is where God, as only God could, stepped in, long before creation and brought
about the plan for salvation. Man was not able, due to his very sinful nature, to exact
forgiveness from a Holy God. The Godhead brought about the one and only possible
solution to the problem- an atoning sacrifice involving God incarnate. The eternal God
was to come onto the earth and, "die for the sins of all!" God offered up His precious
only Son so that He could be satisfied. A solution for sin was created by the creator
that would allow those who believed on His son to stand before Him in the
righteousness of Christ Jesus.

It's almost more that a humble person can imagine, but what else or who else could
have provided such a loving, miraculous astounding gift. I am still trying to wrap my
brain around it. 

We must praise our God for His grace, His love and His ability to do all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Behind the joke and smile...there's a bit of Robin in us all!

I love to laugh! It feels good, especially when it isn't making light of someone else or
hurting in its nature. I always enjoyed my teaching profession because there were so many
situations and people that made one laugh. Yet, oddly, behind the smile, the joke, the laughter, one often finds a masking of problems.

There's that clown syndrome. One looks at a clown and comes away with an odd feeling
that something is being hidden. Now we don't all have cocaine issues. Statistics would
suggest that most of us aren't alcoholics, severely depressed or alienated to the point that
we consider suicide. But there may be a serious lesson, here. I know that whenever someone
asks me how I am doing, I am likely to too quickly answer with a smile and a "Fine."

My daughter had this habit, when much younger, of starting to laugh, continuing to
laugh..even harder, and ending up crying. It was such an odd progression, but there may
be something to it. Underneath,  down where we don't frequently like to dig, all of us
have a lurking sadness. Most times we can either be unaware of it or cover it with a
veneer of lightheartedness. 

Robyn Williams was a very successful comedian and actor. By all accounts he was
very proficient at his craft, always showing up for work and very dependable. He
was in the midst of up-coming work, including a proposed sequel to the Mrs.
Doubtfire role that was so successful. He was undergoing treatment for depression,
which along with the drug and alcohol history, were constant problems in his life.
Now, suddenly, he is gone.

So what is the lesson, here? I think it is one that shows the reality of our lives; we
struggle in this lifetime. It isn't all a bed of roses for any of us. We can be wealthy,
have much "stuff," successful in our family and work lives, and still battle to be
happy inside. We have a difficult time depending upon ourselves to keep things
steady, to find fulfillment and purpose, to keep the smile realistic.

Doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the answer, here. The answer is the truth.
The truth is  Jesus Christ, who alone, can bring peace internal, purpose to our
lives, assurance about the future and love that is unequaled. Once you know Him,
once you are in Him, no one can separate you or take you away. The smile is now
upon your heart. Struggle though you might, those things at the core of your existence
are now the Gospel of forgiveness. Acceptance. Peace. Contentment. Rest. Joy.

He is waiting for you to ask and call Him.
Praise God!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Precious Savior...from what have I been saved?

sav·ior   (Definition)
noun: saviour; plural noun: saviours; noun: savior; plural noun: saviors
  1. a person who saves someone or something (especially a country or cause) from danger, and who is regarded with the veneration of a religious figure.
    synonyms:rescuer, liberator, deliverer, emancipator; More
    champion, knight in shining armor, friend in need, good Samaritan
    "he was hailed as the country's savior"
    • (in Christianity) God or Jesus Christ as the redeemer of sin and saver of souls.
      noun: Saviour; noun: Savior
       Luke 2:11 - for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
      We all, being Christians, have agreed to believe in our Lord Christ Jesus as our
      Savior; He has indeed rescued us from lost to found, from dead in our sins to
      alive in His loving care. What has He, in actuality, saved us from?
      The wrath of God the Father.
          The odds of our dieing are 1 in 1. When we die, we will stand before God
      either in the righteousness of Jesus Christ or in our own sinfulness. God, it
      is clear, cannot abide by sin, not even one. To be true to His nature, He must
      punish that sin. In His graciousness, because He loves His creation and His
      son, He provided one, and only one, means for standing before Him sinless-
      due to the work of Jesus on the cross. The sins of the world were piled upon
      His back on that cross as He became the permanent and sufficient sacrifice
      for sin.

      The world.
          It's a mess. It is full of sin and not the creation put into existence by the
      Holy Trinity. It will remain this way until the final day of judgment when 
      Christ judges the world and the new Heaven and the new Earth come into
      existence. Without Christ Jesus, we are targets for the ego-based, pride-based
      thought that we can take care of ourselves in this world, that we can work
      things out on our own, that we are self-sufficient. He has saved us from this
      delusion through His love and understanding.
          We are our own worst enemies. When we look inside ourselves we are
      often deceived, like looking in a fun-house mirror. We see our sinfulness in
      comparison to those around us, we allow ourselves to accept sin as just a human
      mistake, we lie to ourselves about placing work, material possessions, pleasure...
      the list is a long one, before our Love for God. When left to our own devices,
      we are likely to take all the wrong turns, find all the right excuses and end up
      without hope, without purpose and without anyone other than oursleves
      at the center of our lives. Christ Jesus is the answer to all of this because He,
      and He alone, can bring real peace to our existence.
      He is, indeed, our blessed Savior. He stands with arms open, beckoning His
      sheep to come to Him. He knows them by name and they, in turn, answer to
      His glorious voice!
      Praise God!

Monday, August 11, 2014

You are NOT who you are supposed to be!

From song "One Thing Remains"  by Jesus Culture
Refrain:   Your love never fails,
                 It never gives up
                 It never runs out on me!

                 Your love!

This world we live in is not as it was supposed to be! Creation spoken into existence and
called 'Good,' became tainted. What God created was spoiled and changed by sin; from the
Garden of Eden to animals that hunt others, there is wrong and it is everywhere. One only
has to open the newspaper to the front page; there's the truth and it doesn't emphasize the
hatred, poverty, racism, abortion, illness, greed.... it isn't a real pretty picture.

Within this truth lies the fact that we, as humans, are not who we were supposed to be. We
are born into sin and our lives are full of emotions and actions that are not those that
a loving creator God intended. Did He know what was to happen? Of course; He is all-
knowing. From the moment that Adam and Eve chose to distance themselves from Him by
disobeying, sin was released. Interestingly, God's reaction could simply have been to
wash His hands of this mess. He could have simply turned His back and called it '6 days!'

What did He, in His grace, do? Genesis 3: 9  But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, "Where are you?" He sought them. He, obviously, knew where they
were; yet, He called to them. He was not about to just forget about His created that He
loved and still loves with a glory undeserved but ever-lasting. 

From even before the events in the garden, God had a plan for the redemption of all
His creation. It was a plan of personal involvement because only He would be able to
bring an answer to the chasm created between God and His created, an answer that
would involve a personal permanent sacrifice, a propitiation for all sin, a full payment 
upon a cross, a defeat of satan, sin and death. 

You see His love never fails. It is a pure, unconditional love that can never be other
than sufficient. It is a love that does not give up or give in. It is an endless love; one that
will one day end in the rebirth of creation, a new heaven and a new earth under the
Lordship of the Prince of Peace. Things, in an instant, will be made right, made just, made
righteous... made into the way they were supposed to be!

And lest I forget, YOU will become who you are supposed to be!!!

Praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Light above ALL DARKNESS

John 8:12 

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 

Darkness, in general, does not bother me.  I enjoy night, especially the quiet of the night,
unless I am in a strange place with which I am unfamiliar. On the flip side, I love the sun.
It was especially welcoming at the end of a long Ohio winter season to sit outside in the
light of the sunshine and feel its warmth. 

But there is a darkness that lurks inside of all of us. It is the darkness where sin abides,
that place where we have a tendency to go if we are not diligent and under the good care
of the Holy Counselor. It is a powerful darkness; just look at the newspaper headlines on
a daily basis. There is a spiritual battle taking place, often underneath our awareness,
where the light that is God does battle against the darkness that is characterized by His

 English Standard Version
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  John 3: 19

So what did our great God do to counteract this darkness, this powerful negative force
that "seems" to overwhelm mankind. He sent a baby!

 It was no ordinary baby, mind you, it was the Son of the Living God, a baby in
form, a God in reality, come into this world to bring the light of truth. For into this
world a child was born that would fulfill the prophets and the law, bring an end to
the devil and to death, provide a propitiation for the sins of those who would heed
His blessed call.

God didn't send an army; God didn't ever need an army to fulfill His covenants. He
didn't send a mighty man of great physical strength to do this battle of the ages, He sent
a blessed, precious baby boy. Herod was nervous! The devil would be defeated and we
would be blessed for time eternal with the joy of being adopted into the family of Jehovah

Praise Him! Praise that precious Baby Jesus!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Texas U- Turn

So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 timothy 2:22

Listened this morning to Alistar Begg's August 3rd sermon entitled 'Useful to the Master.' What a blessing it is to have access to these sermons, in this case, through his Truth for Life app.  I just love listening to such a wonderful teacher.

The sermon is full of great teaching but it boils down to the need to be pursuing righteousness if we wish to be in a position to serve Jesus. To be a useful vessel for the
Lord's use, we must be striving, at all times, to avoid sinfulness.

Alistar emphasizes scriptures that use the verb Flee when it comes to avoiding sin...
an active turning away from what is wrong in God's sight, away from who it is that might
lead us to sin (the company we keep), away from all those things called temptations often
set before us by satan. In other words, getting the heck out of there as fast as we can and
turning toward that which is righteous.

This all brought to mind my amazement at U-Turns in Texas. Having lived most of my
life in Ohio, where U-Turns will get you an immediate fine, I suddenly was aware of the
fact that you can U-Turn in Texas pretty much anywhere and at any time. 

Fleeing from sinful situations can be seen as taking a personal, active U Turn away from
that which can lead to sin. We have help in the Holy Spirit, but we must be actively on
guard and aware so that we present to God a person worthy of His useage. Just as
repentance is a turning away from sinful habits, we can also avoid them by keeping in
mind the glory of being selected by our God for His good use and plan.

Alistar points out that a surgeon will not pick up a dirty surgical instrument to use 
during an operation, so we, too, must allow God access to a clean and righteous
servant. He has glorified us by chosing is; we need to thank Him by being worthy.
It's a tough task, one that will not always be sufficient, but we have God's glorious
forgiveness when we slip up. Our heart's desire should be to limit them!

Praise God!

Monday, August 4, 2014

God Isn't Bound By Our Stopwatch

“For a thousand years in Your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” 
Psalm  90: 4

Time. It's part of our "dimension," if you will. We are bound by the fact that we live within a
framework of linear time. It seems to change in its speed depending on our age, the situations we face and the way we are living, but it stays the same in actuality. One hour when we were young is the same as one hour when we are older. One hour when we are
anxious is the same length as one hour when we are relaxed and at peace.

It is clear, however, that our God is not bound by linear time. His "timing," if you will,
is not ours. Examples in our study of the Bible would include the "quiet time" between
the the final book of the old testament and the blessed arrival of our Christ Jesus on earth.
We are all waiting, alert to the fact that Jesus is to return at any time, even though it has
been close to two thousand years since His Ascension. 

Without going into a lot of detail, events recently involving my daughter and son-in-law
became quite complicated. They had moved to Florida, rented a house and suddenly that
house was sold out from under them. The typical slow-moving process of that home being officially sold, left them unsure of what they were going to do. Prayers were constant and
corporate; many folks were praying that there would be a clarification of what was going
to happen. Yet....

Anxiousness was setting in when there was no resolution. It is always easy to say that we
trust God's outcome will be right and just. Well it continued to the point where nerves were
frayed and a possible confrontation seemed imminent. Yep, that's exactly when God stepped
in and resolved the situation, in His good time and in His good way. His timing, the right
timing, was perfect and a blessing.

It was a perfect example that the God of the Universe sees the totality of time, at the same
time, and works His good plan at the time and at the rate that He wishes. Understanding
the concept of God's time can bring us patience and peace when things don't seem to be
happening at the rate we would wish.

It is obviously important to also be aware that God's answers to our prayers, and there
WILL be answers, are also not always the results that we intended. He will answer
in His way at His time and the answers will truly be for the good. After all, He is God,
He is in control of our lives and He loves us.

Praise our Holy God!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Love Me Three Times.....

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  John 21: 15

It is called, by some, "the reinstatement of Peter." It is, to me, one of the most powerful
examples of the love of Jesus presented to us in the Holy Book of God. When one
continues to read, Jesus frames the question three times and responds to Simon Peter's
reply in slightly different, yet similar ways.

The denial of Christ, as predicted by our Lord, is one of the more painful things... just
reading it. Peter is certainly an interesting character, too anxious to speak at times but
full of love for Jesus. He refuses to allow that Jesus would die, falls asleep when most
needed for support, falls into the water after first walking upon it and, sadly, refuses
three times to acknowledge the Messiah, as it was foretold. Oh the pain that must have
coursed through him as it happened. Yet, what would we have done? It is easy to
say that we would have, under the same circumstances, ignored self-preservation and 
stood up for the Son of God, risking our lives. I know what I would wish to have done; I
just do not trust that I could follow through even as Peter did not.

So, after having denied Jesus three times, Simon Bar-Jonah is called upon to by
the risen Jesus to reaffirm his love and fealty.. three times. What an astonishingly
beautiful thing that so clearly shows the loving-kindness of God. It is a microcosm
of the entire gospel message; God walking among His creation to share the one way
of reconciliation from sin. God willing to forgive, not overlook, the fallen because
He loves them as the shepherd loves His sheep. We, in a very real sense, are Peter,
each time we fall short and deny what our Savior endured for our salvation. Yet,
we have been forgiven for all sins based on our acceptance of Jesus as Lord of our

We don't have to ask his forgiveness three times because He has forgiven us enumerable
times. We ought, I believe, to pledge our love and appreciation for Him in every
thought, word and action as a way of thanking Him for His grace.

Praise God!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Here's To You, Mrs. Robinson....

Jesus loves you more than you will know....
Paul Simon/ Art Garfunkle    Mrs. Robinson

Some things are just difficult to quantify. Being allergic to mathematics, the task of picturing
"how much's" is even more challenging. Lately I have been trying to consider the love
expressed in the life and words of Christ Jesus, a love for those He created and then chose
to die for. I think it is much easier to answer the question 'Why," than to grasp the enormity
of that love. 

Our human emotions, those things that drive our actions and thoughts, are dual in
their derivation. It seems that there are those emotions that were not part of God's plan 
for our lives must surely have come from old 'you know who.' Emotions like hatred, greed,
envy, jealousy... you know the list, are certainly not from God. They became a part of our
genetics with the original moment of sin. Emotions like love, which is not only from God
but also Is God, and the fruits of the spirit are God infused. 

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.    1 Corinthians 13: 13 

 So Jesus Christ, who is God, came to this earth to walk among his created full of the
emotion of love. His love for the Father is a major part of His message, His love for those
He came to save, is inherent in the choices He made. His walk was also characterized by
true empathy. He was called a Man of Sorrows since He grieved for the condition He
found when He lived, experienced, and walked as fully human among us. He was
tempted, felt pain and cried tears during His short time.

But, as you know, the ultimate expression of His love came when He walked steadfastly
toward a brutal end, one that left Him hanging naked on a cross, shamed and abandoned.
This was the total love package. This was the price only He could pay for our souls, and
He paid it in full awareness of the task He was to fulfill.  

There is no comparable expression of Love. There is no equal to the Kingship and Lordship
of Jesus Christ. There is no possible way to understand or measure this Love. We
can only bow down and praise Him with all our being; He is, after all, our All in All!