“Rolling Up Our Sleeves for God; it’s not a fashion statement”

I am going to make this one short and sweet.  Jesus Christ has called us to service by asking for our lives if necessary and there are many who truly live their lives for Him.  Giving up our lives is much easier said than done when you think about all the things we have going in our lives.

If we had lived during the time of Christ I wonder if many of those He encountered felt the same?  I know that we do have an example of the prince who could not leave his wealth or those who Jesus challenged when He spoke of giving up their lives for His sake.  With both of these examples I think it is very obvious that we today in our “modern” time are no different.

We are to be working in God’s Kingdom now, not later, so how do we start?  First we believe, then we love, then we roll up our sleeves.

Praise God for all that He has given both great and small!

Here is a link to a great discussion concerning God’s Kingdom.

“Kingdom of Heaven on Earth?” at (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAKOfGZ3a8U) from Apologia Studio & Radio (http://apologiaradio.com/)

“Everyone is an Expert”

Finding Facebook very interesting lately even though we all know most of the political or religious topics are really shared to pour gas on a fire so I will make this brief.

If you are preaching or attempting to preach Christianity to someone, be sure you have done your homework first. This is not in response to anyone in particular, but lately with the new federal law legalizing gay marriage all of a sudden all the preachers of love have come out of the closet and some of the comments I have read make me seriously doubt that they even own a bible or even read one in the last ten years.

First of all understand that the love Jesus Christ is talking about has nothing to do with wallowing in our sin and making others do the same with an absurd notion of what God wants for the world.  We are here for one thing and that is to serve God and to do everything to His glory.

God is selfish as He tells us in the bible so I am a bit perplexed by the idea that we somehow forgot that.  His word is given for us to follow, not make it up as we go along.

With this being said I am no way condoning mistreating someone based upon the struggles they have with sin.  Sin is sin whether it is homosexuality, stealing, murder, lying, etc…  We all have sin we deal with and none of us are better than any other as we are all born into it; only through Jesus Christ can we shed that sin and have hope for an eternal life.

I personally may not agree with homosexuality based on my beliefs, but I will not treat that person any differently than I do anyone else; unless you give me reason to give an apologia for my faith and then I will stay on my side and you can stay on yours with no ill will.  The love I would offer would be through Jesus Christ and His saving Grace, not of my own as I have nothing without Jesus Christ.

For those who are lost, have your eyes opened and from that light you see the open arms of Jesus Christ waiting for your return.  Repent and claim Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  The message has not changed for 2000 years and it is with good reason that it has not; God has not changed – we have.

Praise and serve God with all your heart and all your mind; in this you will find your burdens removed.

“A Story of Two Bobs”

This is one story about two men named “Bob”.  In my life I have had the privilege of knowing two men who unknowingly have impacted my life like no other.  The first “Bob” I will introduce is Bob Nordeen; he was a member in the church I attended in Oklahoma and we used to visit door to door witnessing to anyone who would listen to the Gospel of Jesus or others who were Christian, but just wanted to fellowship.  Bob was a retired Sergeant Major in the U.S. Army, a Vietnam Veteran and Korean War Veteran/P.O.W.

On every trip we took each week through the Lawton neighborhoods, he would always surprise me by his patience and tender heart.  He taught me how to not only try to understand people, but to take time to understand myself.  The more time I spent with him the more I realized that life will not always be what you think it should be and when we find ourselves facing tough times we must always maintain our faith in Jesus Christ, giving God the glory regardless of our circumstance.

Bob Nordeen went to be with our Lord before we left Oklahoma and it was both a sad day and a happy day because I knew how much he wanted to be with Jesus.  Sad, because I would no longer see his smile or listen to his wisdom.  I still miss him greatly to this day, but I am comforted to know that he is doing God’s work getting his instructions directly from God and joyfully getting them done.

The next “Bob” I will introduce you to is the man I now call “Dad”.  As he is married to my mother I guess you could say that I have to, but I use it more out of respect than because of marriage.  Technically he would be my Stepfather, but I consider that irrelevant.  Bob Larson is the most giving man I have ever met.  He will do anything for anyone at a moments notice if he is able and by this example I have learned that sometimes giving will hurt, but it is nothing permanent so just do it.

Bob is always concerned for others and is not afraid to let it be known whether by his words or actions.  The other thing I admire about him is his ability to share his feelings about his family and it is obvious that these feelings run very deep.  He is also found to be gentle yet strong, wise yet cheerful and patient yet passionate.

Not only is Bob a friend, he is a Dad to my wife, a wonderful husband to my mother, along with being a loving and kind grandfather to my daughters.  So again I will say that in my life there have been two men named “Bob” who have brought such a positive example into my life, which now greatly influences me.  Both are and should be the men that other men model their lives after.

I thank and praise God for these men who have given me the example to follow.  My prayer is to set the same example they did while still walking with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“To Be PC Or Not To Be PC?”

Can’t believe I turned to Shakespeare for this one, but when tough topics come up we have to be honest with ourselves and each other. In the news all we hear about is being politically correct. What does that mean anyway? Of course the answers some learned in their secular college course somewhere will come out, but to be honest, I think this is what got us into the mess we are in now.

My intent is not to pinpoint a college for a fault, but what I am referring to is the idea that political correctness was taken to levels unseen by everyone. Now, we are stuck with it regardless of how far it has come and I have an idea that many of those who raised banners for it are now stuck eating “Crow”, but in order to save face are unwilling to upset the status quo they find themselves in. Why? Because quite frankly it could mean losing jobs, friends and their livelihood.

It seems to me in my simple mind that if I am being honest, it is a better quality than lying to myself and everyone around me about my feelings and what I consider to be right or wrong. If I give up my beliefs and betray my feelings I have just handed who I am over to someone else; something I refuse to do regardless of the consequences. Anyway, I am not mine to give away as I belong to God.

For those who are struggling with choices they know they must make to save themselves; make the choice you know your heart is telling you.  God has put His Law on your heart and by this you will know that the choice you make is the right one. Do not let sin cloud your heart and repent.  Let God in so that you can honestly and clearly examine yourself; remember God have given you grace through Jesus Christ – He is your gift so honor and cherish it.

For those around you who claim there is no God or God’s Law does not apply or other absurd claims; they too know that God exists.  If they truly thought that God did not exist they would not fight so hard to prove otherwise. For those who would challenge you in this our foundation comes from the book of Romans 1: 18 – 25. Although you may come from a biblical world view it is simple. Do not let anyone be the judge over God and His word, but remember that our example is Christ and it is with Christian love we approach the lost; not free love as they might have you believe.

As Christians we are constantly told that we have to prove that God exists so I will simply reverse the table and use the same weighted balance; prove that He doesn’t.  Theory and hypothesis do not count as fact or truth. Remember that the Laws of Nature are used by science which also agrees with Laws of Logic, so just because I believe in something that cannot be considered tangible does not mean that I am the only one in the room that uses faith as my foundation.

Praise and Glory to God as He continues to use those who know Him and those who claim otherwise – All for His Glory!

“His Will or Yours?”

As I wade through my day and think of other things I would rather be doing, I also think of; what is it that God wants me to be doing? One thing that reminds me of how small my plans are is when I read in the book of Proverbs how man’s heart might direct his plans, but it is God who guides his feet.

Maybe what we as Christians should be concerning ourselves with is those who are out in the world standing up for Jesus, risking all for His glory.  It is easy to wrap our prayer lives up in our own little world, especially when we are continually asking for things that maybe we should not.  A better question to ask ourselves is; is what we are asking God for within His will for us or our will for Him?

Whatever we do it is our prayers and time studying the Bible that prepares us for each day; giving us the spiritual nourishment and strength to do what God asks of us.

Praise God and may the Kingdom of Jesus Christ reign on earth as it does in Heaven!

“In My Tribulation God Waits, In My Heart He Lives”

There has been a cliché I have heard lately that has not quite hit the mark. There may those who agree and there of course will be those who disagree. I am not the first to think of this and more than likely, not the last, so here is the cliché I am thinking of;

“God will never give you more than you can handle.”

I would actually disagree with this. To be honest I think God does give us more than we can handle so that we can be nearer to Him. Think about it, when do we call on God the most; when we are in great need or tribulation.

When it comes to our happiness or feeling of fulfillment I believe that God wants the best for us, so much so that He gave His only Son for us, but at the same time God has told us through the Gospels that our tribulation and trials are there to make us stronger not weaker.

Romans 5: 1 – 5: “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” NKJV

Of course many of us have been there when we have called on God to help us through the challenge each of us had in front of us and in some cases promises were made or pledges said. Therein lies the topic of how we act towards God after we get back to what we consider a sense of normal or comfortable. How did we carry out the promises made or did we soon forget what we even said because the situation was so bad?

God has given in each of us the ability to overcome tragedy through the promise He has given through His Son Jesus Christ, by whom we have a hope that no other has or ever can offer. With the connection we have to God through His Son, we know that no matter the consequence it is by divine promise and plan that we go through the challenges in our life, each in their own category and way. Each of us has our part to play and through love, fear and obedience to God the victory will be ours.

So looking back on my own life, turning to God through the good and bad is what we are told to do; it is that simple. God wants that relationship with us, but we must understand that the path may not be the smoothest and that we are to always be prepared by placing ourselves into prayer and study of the bible regularly. These are the tools by which we shield ourselves from the world and the stress it daily throws on our shoulders.

So to bring a solution to the table I will provide you with a new cliché; “In my tribulation God waits, in my heart He lives.”

“A Morning With God and Good Coffee”

Each morning as many Americans get up out of bed and head out to the kitchen, one of the first things that they reach for are the ingredients used in making one of the most popular morning beverages found in this country and many others; Coffee.

For many of us we cannot even think remotely close to straight until the first cup of coffee has been consumed. With some of the fumbling around witnessed by many a spouse or significant other, we could probably come up with some pretty funny episodes for a comedic stage-play.

Next after the coffee might be some sort of breakfast, whatever the makeup or even none at all.  Whatever the order, Coffee is used to start the day off. I believe there are also some studies out there that prove the fact that most people on the highway going to work are compared to being “buzzed” from alcohol because of their morning fogginess even after drinking coffee. Fact-check anyone?

Now that many of you are shaking your head north and south I want to take this to the next level.  Should we be starting our day with God first, before the Coffee?  By now some of you have caught on to the fact that I have been capitalizing the word Coffee.  Why?  Because we capitalize the name of God.  Has coffee become our god rather that the God we all know and serve?  Believe me when I say that I am right there with you.  My body’s first actions or muscle memories are to go straight to the coffee pot so I must also ask the same questions of myself and I am.

So as a Christian living today what tells us that God should come before my morning coffee? Now it might easy to turn to the Ten Commandments and recite the First Commandment, but there are some verses in Matthew that make it pretty clear where God and coffee are prioritized for Christians.  Matthew 22: 36 – 40 “36. ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ 37. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. 38. This is the first and great commandment. 39. And the second is like it; ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. 40. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (NKJV).

My challenge to any of the followers of this blog is to first pray and worship God in the morning before our morning coffee. I would even offer that our morning coffee will taste much better after recognizing God in our lives first and it will also put our soul, mind, and body in a state ready to go through our day glorifying God.  The by-product of that being joy.

Tomorrow in my coffee I will be adding a heaping spoonful of joy because a good cup of coffee does not contain sugar, creamers or any other worldly additive; it takes God first to make it great.