“Build Your Road”

Each day we roll out of bed and make our way (half awake) through the house to start our day.  First it is to the coffee pot or in my case downstairs to let the dogs out of their kennels so that they can start their day.  I must admit seeing their wagging tails does perk me up a bit.  As far as this scenario plays out I think you know the rest, because eventually I get into my vehicle and head to work.

As that day begins each decision we make no matter how small builds upon the path we are on.  For those who believe in God we believe that no matter our thoughts, it is He who guides our feet.  Now this does not mean we walk around like zombies waiting for the next message to come down from God and then act upon it.  This merely means that for us there are little clues or even large ones that help guide our feet; the rest is up to us to make the right decisions.

When I look at the things I decide to do, each one is a pebble to be placed in front of me that will create the road I walk on.  Some pebbles are bigger or smaller, but each one nonetheless causes the road to be built.

For some people the decisions they make will be some of the hardest of their lives and it might seem like that pebble they have to place down in front of them weighs a ton.  Regardless of its weight it must be put down; we are the builders of our road and at times we will have to ask for assistance.

If you find that the pebbles to be placed on your road are too heavy, know that God sent down a stone that is the bedrock your road is being created on.  Jesus Christ is that foundation and with Him all things are possible.  Knowing this we must also see those times when we are too weak and must ask for help; it is okay.  This is exactly what God expects from us because He has already directed someone to be on your path to be that blessing.  Allow them to be the instrument God has intended them to be by receiving the blessing God has intended for you through them.

So think for a moment about all the pebbles you have laid down to build the road you are on today.  Is it wide enough?  Is it smooth enough?  Does it have a lot of curves or is it simply straight?  Is it built on flat land or in the mountains?  Whatever the attributes of your road; no one road is perfect.  Each are unique to the builder which makes them all the more interesting, thereby making the travel on them a wonderful adventure with God.

Don’t worry about the width of the road too much because God will always make sure that there is enough room for someone to walk on beside you and behind you.

Have a great day builders!

The Koi Fish Christian

 

“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!

“A Prize Fighter”

Each day for me as a Christian can be like stepping into the boxing ring or octagon whichever your prefer. If we consider the challenges we as Christians face within the secular world that surrounds us, we at times will take some punches that cause us to reel or even buckle, but we still get up and face the next round.

I find it interesting that those who are either not Christian or do not share in our resilience will make comments to criticize our belief, and yet when things get a little tough in their life or they find themselves with nowhere to turn they complain, blame and accuse others for their misfortune.

One of the toughest punches I receive are when I hear someone take God’s name in vain. I have to say that these have the hardest sting, and for those who use His name as commanded otherwise i do try to correct them.  Along with the correction I also offer up a prayer for them.

So each day as we step into the ring of life we as Christians must always remember that Jesus Christ has placed before us the one and true prize of redemption through which He stood in our place to not only fight for us, but also to take every painful blow sin could throw at Him.

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already l obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: not forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Praise God in all of His wonderful 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!

“Our Public Testimony”

Today I saw something that made me think of the status of Christians everywhere.  I witnessed a young lady sit down to eat a meal at a public eatery and before she ate any food she bowed her head and folded her hands.  I am assuming that she was thanking God for her food, but it also seemed as though she was trying to hide the fact that she was praying.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t always thank God for my meals when at the table, but I do thank Him at the beginning of the day or at the end of the day.  My practice may not be in with the best discipline, but I do thank God nonetheless. So, again, I am not without fault here.

What I would like to point out concerning how we conduct ourselves as Christians in public.  Starting with what the Bible says we are to never deny Christ or He will deny us; (Matthew 10: 32 – 33) 32. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”

As we are human and prone to forgetting things I find it fortunate that through the grace of God we have Jesus Christ and the ability to ask for forgiveness, along with the ability to pick up the Bible and remind ourselves of what Christ actually said.  So being my own worst critic and quick to be hard on myself when I don’t do the things I should, I love the fact that God has a way of reminding us of what is important and that sometimes He doesn’t work in mysterious ways to keep us on track with our physical and spiritual life.

When it comes to our confession of faith in Jesus Christ we should only fear a few things; God, something that can destroy both the body and soul, and offending the Holy Spirit.  Nowhere in that list does it say to fear another human being.  In my own experience if someone is offended it is because they are trying to suppress the truth of God and are feeling conviction from God and instead of agreeing to or complying with it, they become angry or “offended”.

So to give a bit of a warning; if you happen to see me or another Christian praying prior to eating their meal, maybe as a Christian approach us and let us know that we did the right thing; everyone can use a dose of support from other Christians.  If you are not a Christian, then maybe take the time to ask the person why they pray; you might be surprised by what you hear.

Jesus Christ is the risen Savior and in this truth resides the living God that we glorify in all that we do.

Praise God!!!

 

 

“Where Do I Start?”

Not being a man of high intelligence or extreme complex thought I usually try to stick to what I understand best and will at times shy away from those things that I find too complicated or difficult for my brain to digest.  This does not mean I am not willing to learn, it simply means that I choose to live my life my way as long as it falls within the confines of what God has planned for me.

In the quest for a fairly simple life I have attempted to follow God in the best way I know how, but with all the self-proclaimed Christian denominations out there I find it difficult to discern which one I am supposed to follow or none at all. One funny thing though; I have recently learned of Theonomy and find it a curious perspective that has caused me to dive even deeper into my bible  There are many well-educated authors on the subject which also leaves me a very long reading list to tackle!

Discouraging at best is probably the best way to describe my experiences and none more discouraging than the lack of fellowship.  This is a difficult subject because at our jobs we are to keep those subjects hushed, but I never thought that as a Christian I would consider myself lonely as one. I am also not naive enough to think that I am the only person seeking knowledge and fellowship in Christ, so don’t assume that this my version of a pity party as it is not pity that I seek.

Through these searches and during this time of difficulty I am still thankful to God for the opportunity to learn more about Him and myself. I will also count it to joy for any amount of time I have to be in prayer and in God’s Word; through these I consider myself not wanting for anything.

So in summary what I am experiencing is nothing compared to those on the other side of the world being persecuted and killed for their Christian beliefs which leaves me in a position to be nothing less than thankful.  I am however, left with the task of prayer for them to have strength in love and perseverance through faith.

“A Perspective of Salvation”

Today the world took another spin as we attempted to keep up with the momentum of time.  Each of us sees that rotation in many varying ways, which make us the unique species on this planet.

So are we that unique?  Well I think the answer is pretty obvious; we have a soul.  Even for those who say they don’t do and according to what we know in God’s Word to us, we are held responsible for the care and welfare of this planet. That should makes us qualified to carry out God’s wishes along with His ordnances.

This might be a point of disagreement and that is okay if it is, but our lives as Christians should not be to only wait patiently for Christ’s return or even death to carry us away to Heaven.  Actually we should be very busy to take care of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth as we were left as its caretakers until His return; whenever that may be.  Christ never tells us when; only to be ready.

So if we are to be busy prior to Christ’s return, then what exactly are we supposed to be doing?  We know that we are not saved by works, so then I must assume that we are “Saved for works” as stated by Dr. Joel McDurmon.  Knowing that Dr. McDurmon is a Theonomist makes my point more interesting.

Dr McDurmon comes from the idea that God’s Law must also be the civil law and we know that it is also the basis for our moral law.  This law also tells us that we are to care for God’s Kingdom along with its inhabitants.  We already know that the laws of God are just, but some may view them as “old”, “Jewish” or “no longer applicable”.  With the degraded society we live in that claims to be “modern”, “well-rounded” or even “fair”, for those descriptions I will simply disagree.

God’s Laws were and are fairly simple; yet difficult for even the best Jew to follow.  Considering the best and perfect Jew was Jesus Christ; perfection does not fall on any human being’s resume.  With this I am simply trying to understand how I as a Christian can be a better one and a proper steward of Christ’s Kingdom here on earth.

I greatly respect those whose knowledge of God far surpasses mine and for them I am grateful to God.  From these our faith is measured in how well we receive and discern their words concerning their interpretation of God’s Word, its meaning and symbolism.  Whatever God has wished me to glean from their teaching I will use it to strengthen my faith and my stance for Christ’s Kingdom.

As there are too many to mention I will thank Jeff Durbin, Dr Joel McDurmon and my current pastor for their teaching; they bring my soul the freshness and nearness of God each time I hear them speak.

“Finding Your Humble”

There might be times in our lives when God places people or things in our path to help us in “finding our humble”.  For me, today it happened when I sat down to start working on the next blog I wanted to write today.

To start my work I normally turn to my Bible for some inspiration that connects to my day.  Today I picked up a hymnal first and opened the book near the middle and it opened to a hymn numbered #496 and named “I Asked…God Answered”.  It was written by an Unknown Confederate Soldier.

“I asked God for strength, that I might achieve; I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might do greater things; I was given infirmity that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy; I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life; I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for – but everything I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am, among all men, most richly blessed” (Schrader,2003. p.496).

After the day I had on Monday and Tuesday I thought I needed to be uplifted rather than being reminded of being humble.  After reading the above hymn I am convinced that it is being humble that makes me the most happy.  I will admit that there are times when I am in a low place when it happens, but in this case I was actually quite the opposite.

I find it very motivating that I found this hymn just by opening the book.  Not a single page was turned to search for anything else. The message was clear and understood.  I am thankful for what it contains for me, but I am also grateful that I am able to share with someone else who might also need it help them on their walk with God.

So if you didn’t find it here; get out there and go “find your humble!”

 

 

Reference

Schrader, Jack. (2003). “Sing Joyfully”. Tabernacle Publishing Company. Carol Stream, Illinois, 60188.

“Feel the Burn!”

Words from Sergeants who lovingly punished us during our physical training sessions, from the personal trainer who gets a kick out of watching you sweat and strain, from the latest and greatest workout video you bought through an infomercial.

Some days I wish those were some of the things I was encountering.  Lately it has been some pretty intense back pain that no only permeates my physical body, but also my mental state.  With the pain comes the challenge of keeping up the smiles and an image of “everything is A-OK”.

Some might say that this would be the time you need to turn to God and ask Him to help you deal with the pain.  I can agree with this up to a certain point.  As we are human we do have emotions and do feel the pain at differing levels.

So of course I am going to pose a question and it is this; “How am I supposed to approach God as it pertains to pain?”  Just when I think of asking God for help with the pain I think back to what the Bible tells us about what Jesus went through.  How can I possibly ask God for relief when he gave His own son for me in the most painful way possible?

I am in no way saying that we should not ask God for help in these situations, but should the request be more about thanks, than relief?  What I know from the Gospel is that through our suffering and sacrifice good things will come.  For whatever God’s reason I must go through this and through this I will learn or someone else will benefit.  My prayer is to simply be obedient.

Ultimately, I do believe that God’s plan is at work and where I fit in will be revealed to me when it is my time to fulfil my part.  Until then, it will be prayer, meditation in the Word and trying share Christ whenever and wherever possible.  Always forward…