Friday, December 26, 2008

Just A Quick Pre-New Years Deal Typed With Two Thumbs On My Cell Phone

Feelin’ really grateful inside. How ’bout you? Did you clean up on Christmas day? Did you hang tight with your homies or with family members at the crib while the ladies put together tasty meals? I sure did. So tell me how it went for you all? Did you see any good movies? Kids, did you get some new electronic widgets, and video games? Teens, did you score a new hoodie with a rad design imprinted upon it, a new cell phone, a pimped out ride, a laptop or sic mountain-bike? Adults, what did you land?
On Christmas Eve, my wife and I were headed to church with my second son Nathan who has been overseas for a couple years. He, his wife Holly and my parents were traveling in his car, so Liney (my wife) and I said a little pray about a mile away from the building... “Lord Jesus, we just pray that you will bless and impact Nathan and Holly tonight by your love to just welcome him back as they start their new home together.” It was a great time, and my lame camera wasn’t even focused (for I had no clue as to how God would answer our simple prayer. Nathan was blown away, when out of the blue Pastor Swindoll and the people where basically thanking him for his service in Iraq).
It’s now the day after Christmas. Are you sad to see Christmas go? Hey, many won’t see it go away all year long as they start getting the bills in the mail. Others will respond to Christ in faith and enjoy Christmas in a different way from now on.
We can say bye bye Zales diamond commercials for another year. Yeah! Now the world and the media again are of course so quickly tryin' to move you and me past all the wonder and awe of yesterday's focus on the most beautiful Person of all the universe.. on to New Year's resolutions, weight-loss gimmicks, health club memberships more holiday close-out sales, revelry, champagne, and partying.. and even on to more ideas of secular-progressive thinking. The Spirit being my helper.. I REFUSE TO BUDGE from the One I’m gazing upon. Got my eye's bolted on Christ the one who satisfies long after all the Christmas toys have broken or been replaced.
I purpose to rightly rebel by walkin' with Jesus into and through 2009, depending upon Him. We don't have to be next-holiday-led, TV-led, peer-pressure-led, hormone-led, or event-led.
Just had a small glimpse of the excellent things soon to come–-the splendor, the glorious majesty, O the beauty-NESS, the kickin' worshipful new and old music.
Did the wooden angels hangin' on your tree remind you of a Christmas time in the future ..up in heaven where real adoring angels will bow before God’s throne? Did the love of your family and friends make you think of the selfless penetrating pure and blazing love of God in the new Jerusalem to soon to be seen.. of the warmth of goodwill towards all men there matter their color or background or tongue. Did it make you think of the rich harmony, the strong unity, the never-ending peace, and the indescribable, unstoppable overwhelming joy up in glory with your Gentle heavenly Father?
We have the sure statements of Scripture—yes, absolute truth, and the indwelling hope of all wonderful things promised to us for a life yet to come. Perhaps you already have friends or family that have passed and yet enjoy the most perfect Christmas of all ..up above. I had a friend die this year, but I know where he went and it wasn’t downward.
Twinkling holiday lights on houses will one day be replaced by God’s bright and lasting light up there. The Bible reminds us children of the day about such light saying, “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev. 21:23, kjv). Man, are you ready for that? You can be. One day will you be a part of God’s awesome festivities in glory? God wants you there but won’t force your attendance. Reservations must be made in advance. But that kind of abundant and eternal life doesn’t have to start postmortem. It can begin today! Are you sorry for you sins? Will you confess and forsake them? Now the ball is in your court.
As Islamic nations continue to fortify themselves to wipe the little Satan Israel off the map and blow up the big Satan (America), will you be prepared? As the United Nothing does what it does best—nothing.. as anti-Semitism continues to fester and grow today in Iran, in Russia and even in a more radical Turkey today how will it go with your buddies? Their strategy is “Yes, let’s sit down and talk and talk and talk some more.. while we simultaneously build our bombs using uranium until we have nukes that will sufficiently do the job.
Do you believe that the soon coming rapture of the Church (the fulfillment of God’s promise in the Bible where the Church is caught away to forever be with Him) will be a major downfall of America in the future? Why not? Think of it.. some 10 to 30 percent of the American population (who are real Christians) will vanish in one sixth of a nanosecond.. in the twinkling of an eye. I read thee Book. The markets would plummet.. the Dow Jones would take a dive the following day.
Unbelievers and believers alike out there sense that something has changed and that the world is near closing time. We’ve seen the sexual revolution of the sixties; we’ve seen the homosexual revolution ..even their riots at churches etc and now one in four girls 15 and older has contracted a sexually transmitted disease. The Bible says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). That word “is” makes it present tense. Of course God loves all homosexuals in San Francisco as well as all types of people in all other cities, but He can not change. He still hates the Californication like we should hate all fornication (that's sex outside marriage) not matter the location. God is not at all vindictive or mean, but he does hate all sin (that severely hurts Him as well as other people), and He can’t stand other forms of perversion in any of the nations. God still judges nations for their wickedness too (so while you’re at it read Ezekiel 38, 39, Revelation and all of Romans 1 just to get the context). It’s closing time literally, and no time to play around with one foot in the church and one in the darkness! It's time to get a grasp on the holy fear of God to allow Him to change us from the inside out.
Did you know that 59% of the American population (I’m talking about Christians, religious people and non-Christian people) believe that the prophecies found in the book of Revelation in the Bible will indeed be fulfilled? I do too! Did you know that 25% of our population here has been thinking more about Bible prophecies ever since 9-11 happened? Did you know that 17% of the American population believe that they will seen the end of the world within their lifetime?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ever Rescue A Bird Crashing Into The Window?

How's it going for you? Have your holidays and all that goes with them met your expectations this year or have you felt a little empty? I so hope it has gone well for you and yours! Got tons to be grateful for this year (and if you really knew me, I don't deserve any of it).. but the best of it all is a loyal Friend of mine who is sometimes kinda quiet, but He listens real close. "Aw Kurt, you sound like a broken record!" you might say. Well who can you get real with in a pinch or out? I wanna be close. Others can talk love non-stop, but He is love. What king do you know that has left his throne... what lord have you read about that has abandoned his home.. what boss have you had worked under, that chose a cross.. for you? What grave have you seen that was ditched by its occupant? From a crib in a barn, to bleeding and scars to heaven to pray. Hey, things don't always go my way, but He's there for me.. and for you. Got health issues? Hopefully not today. Got relationship or finance issues? Got Christmas party issues? What rich landowner have you met who even gives a flip about your situation? Which one could permanently do anything about it to make things better ..forever?
"Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. He made Himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form" (Phil. 2:6- 7, nlt).

"Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, if He’s not born in thee.. thy soul is still forlorn." ~ Angelus Silesius

"Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts: the Gift of God to people—His Son Jesus; yes the Gift of God to man—when we first give ourselves to God." ~ Vance Havner

I do love celebrating the birth of Jesus! They're singing our songs out there (..much better than I could too)the best songs in all the world. This is such an enjoyable time for us here in Texas for sure ..especially when my parents come out to visit us from California. It’s a time when we can give gifts, catch up on beach news, look at photos (my mom takes more than I do..), show visitors around the town (like there so much to see..) and take part in old family traditions (simple ones, nothing spectacular, but we enjoy being with each other and with Him).

I thought it was funny how earlier today on their way to our place (my parents driving on the road ..I mean) from the south near Waco; they were directed towards the exit gate by some big secret service men after they drove on up the entry way of the Bush Ranch down in Crawford. They wanted to take a photo there. Of course they knew they’d be stopped at the guard gate too, but it was worth the risk to them and it confirmed to them that they actually found the place in that nothing of a town.

Later this week I plan on showing them where the Bush family will move to in Dallas real soon (it’s very close to where my wife works and George W is a patron there). We’ll play it by ear and try to create some fun during the entire week for sure.

The First Time Jesus Came
He came veiled in the form of a child.
A star marked His arrival.
Wise men brought Him gifts.
There was no room for Him.
Only a few attended His arrival.
The Next Time Jesus Comes
He will be recognized by all.
Heaven will be lit by His glory.
He will bring rewards for His own.
The world won’t be able to contain His glory.
Every eye shall see Him.
He will come as Sovereign King and Lord of all. ~ John F. MacArthur Jr.

In Christ, Christmas is a most beautiful time—one of great joy and celebration.

I do feel for those who for some reason or another can not get together with their loved ones during this time of year. My older son, Stephan, is one of them this time. Been there before and I don’t like it.

For many people, Christmas is a time of stress, a time when they feel real down, sometimes even a time of conflict, insecurity and chaos. That’s how it used to be at my home when I was growing up. There was a lot of drinking and fighting going on—I hated it, but it’s so much better now that I, my dad and others in my family got right with God through Christ.

To miss Jesus at this time of year is to totally miss Christmas. Don’t do it! Spend some time alone in Matthew 2 and in talkin’ it over with God before you do anything else this season.

There are a lot of churches around helping the situation for many, and some not so much. We do what we can. But for some people it’s still kind of hard for them to understand the meaning of Christ’s first Advent. Listen, it doesn’t have to be difficult this year. Pray honest to-the-point-prayers IN Jesus' Name, asking for what you need. I once heard Paul Harvey tell an interesting story about a family up north on Christmas Eve. This family had a tradition where the Mother and children would go to the Christmas Eve service, and the Father would stay home and read the paper. When the family returns home from church, they would all gather to open up their presents.

The Father was not an evil man, but he just couldn't believe in the childhood stories anymore of God coming as a baby in a manger. As the family left for church, he opened up the evening paper and began to read by the fireplace.

Suddenly, he heard tapping on the window. It was a bird flying against the glass of his window trying to get out of the snow into the warmth of his home. The man had compassion on the bird, and he went outside, hoping to bring it in.

As he approached the bird, the bird just flew against the window even harder. Pretty soon, the bird flew into the bushes below the window, half frozen, yet too afraid to be caught by this huge man. The more the man tried to reach for the bird, the more the bird flew frantically into the snow and thorns of the bushes.

After a few minutes in the cold and seeing the bird continue to injure itself, the man yelled out in frustration, "Stupid bird, can't you understand that I'm trying to help?" The man paused and thought, "If only you understood you wouldn't fly away ... if only ... if only I could become a bird, and get you to understand."

Just then, the church bells rang, as they always have on the hour. But when the man heard the bells this time, he fell to his knees and began to cry, saying, "Oh, God, I didn't understand. Oh, God, I didn't understand."

God's Son, Jesus Christ, came in human form that we might understand from where we have come from, what our greatest need really is, how we were separated from God by sin, and how we can quickly be restored to God through true repentance and faith in Jesus. He's the only Way..there's no other. Hey there, you don’t have to be alone or lonely any more. As the Bible says, "You shall call His name Immanuel," which means "God with us" (Isa. 7:14). He came down to become more than just your best Friend.

If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator; If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist; If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer; But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.

This year it could be the most blessed holiday season of your entire life! Do respond today. Merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Have The Most Blessed Christmas In ’08!

I recently had a very enjoyable time sharing a little from the Scriptures and about Jesus.. and even about Texas some with a man visiting Dallas from Finland. His name is Christian Emil and he is not a Christian yet, but he was amazed at how friendly Americans can be (..talking about Dallasites in general).. and curious about how differently people are who live here in the Lone Star State compared to how they are back in his beautiful homeland. I hear that kind of talk pretty often from visitors so in a good sense I'm still proud of our country. And Emil now wants to become my Facebook and Linkedin friend (he told me he has accounts in these social networks). Pretty cool huh!

You and I are so blessed here in America comparatively speaking ..even in spite of all the ignorant-hateful people with their inflammatory anti-God and faith signs that they place in the capital building.. yes, in spite of this economic down-turn ..and in spite of all the other arrogant secular progressives and atheists who want to abolish Jesus during His own birthday. God can give us His love, boldness and wisdom for them. You know, we used to be able to celebrate Christmas more easily a decade ago, but now it's become a real fight just to get through this season ..without getting into a fleshly fight. Even shopping can be kinda tense. We have big blessings on one hand, and spiritual battles on the other. Lets trust God for His power and remember to be good witnesses around our loved ones, our friends and those who oppose Christ. Let's remember to thank, praise and live 100% for Jesus Christ who also had to deal with people hating the Light of truth!

Remembering God’s Help During Another Year
The Bible says Samuel took a stone… and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” —1 Samuel 7:12

Do you remember reading in 1 Samuel about a very critical battle that the Israelites had with the Philistines?

The Jew's leader didn’t rely upon his own strength, but Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord did answer him.

Check it out in the Scriptures, the Israelites erected a big rock as a reminder of how the Lord helped them in that battle. Do you remember what they named that stone? They called it, Ebenezer. That name has a great meaning too—it means “Stone of Help.” They did this to create a memorial back then. Being reminded, as a people, of how God had rescued them from their enemies was very important to them (7:12).

It was a great victory that God gifted to the Jews and “the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel” (V. 13).

Have you been fighting fierce battles lately? Maybe you’ve lost your retirement or have been laid off like a few friends of mine. It’s too early to quit fighting the good fight of faith! Believe God!

Help us, O God of our salvation, For the glory of Your name; And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, For Your name's sake! —Ps. 79:9

Ebenezer is a name meant to help us recall how ready, willing, non-passive, and available God is to help us in our time of need. He certainly doesn’t sleep, day or night. Our first love.. Jesus Christ.. and all the good things about Him that we can enthusiastically praise God for.. should be our joy and rejoicing. He alone should be our main focus and passion this year ..rather than all the negatives of this world including the negative thinkers who would (unintentionally, or intentionally) pull us down spiritually. Are you lonely, alone, or need the best kind of help this season? God is there to help as you turn and call out to Him.. as you surrender all to Him. Let’s lift our gaze, remember all He's done, and full-on worship the Lord ..for it’s His birthday after all! He is our true Ebenezer.. our ever present Help in time of trouble.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Do You Get Unidentified Inner Promptings?

Get UIPs.. me?

I do sometimes, but in the Bible they're of course not called, "Unidentified Inner Promptings." That's one thing I really just love about being a Christian. I love the casual warm-hearted fellowship and friendship that I can enjoy with the Lord daily (as anyone can enjoy if they just come to Him on His terms). He still speaks to His children—how COOOOOOOL is that!

I’m so grateful for the needed inner guidance He gives me ..especially when it’s time to fish for people. I never want to flub it with such an important moment (but I never want to let those feeling hold me back from sharing).

Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (Jn. 10:27-28, nkjv).

But what are UIPs like? Well.. something like…

“Don't go there, don't say that, do go there now”—directives from Him. Is this like righteous extra sensory perception stuff; these U.I.P.s (unidentified inner promptings)? They're inner memos of compassion. We have “image” so to speak and animals do not (I didn’t say we are to live for our image. No; too much of that around!). But I mean we were made uniquethe animals merely have instincts. We were made in the very image of God; designed to have two-way loving, meaningful relationship with Him. WE ARE "FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE!" That means much for us too (Psalm 139:1-14). Thanks Lord!

God communicates in my resurrected living human spirit. He guides me speaking to my spirit by His Holy Spirit—my spirit is the lamp of the Lord. The Bible tells us this, “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart” (Prov. 20:27).

This kind of communication doesn't happen with our beloved pets or barnyard beasts. All these “hunches” that we feel, we can not quickly say they are coming from God per se. I don't even call them intuitions, or ESP, or instincts, or hunches.

The Bible calls this a “still small voice.”
Jesus said, “He who enters by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when He brings out his own sheep, He goes before them; and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice” (Jn. 10:2-4). Today, we have many people who think they are God’s sheep if you will.. but really are not. They are instead, spiritual goats so to speak. And the Bible doesn’t say that goats (unbelievers who can really behave like goats hurting others) even hear His voice. Sin blocks the UIPs.

But believers on the other hand, if they quiet their hearts and spirit, can hear from Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets” (Matt. 12:18-19). Please don't harden your hearts and thus get your ears all stopped up.

But listen up.. “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness” (Heb. 3:7-8, nkjv).

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Monday, December 1, 2008

The Incomparable Wonderful Christ!

What do you know about Jesus? Better yet, do you know Jesus Christ?

We so enjoy having heart to heart fellowship with this excellent Person and caring Friend (you can too)! We look forward to His soon physical return for His own--we want to be with Him for ever. Can you find a better friend to spend eternity with? It will happen real soon--we can tell by what has been going on down here on earth.

In addition to Scriptures relating to His soon coming rapture (of the Church) to catch away his beloved followers and to His second advent, here are a couple more prophecies about Jesus that are yet to be fulfilled in the future, "For thus says the Lord: 'David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually'" (Jer. 33:17-18).

What do you believe about the Son of God? My wife, Liney, and I (Kurt) believe in the holy Lord Jesus Christ and are committed to Him (yes, the One and only sinless Jesus of the Bible… and you undoubtedly know that I really shouldn’t have to say that, but with so many groups ..even within so called Christendom today.. who are now customizing and creating their own form of “Jesus” who really is not the living real Jesus at all ..and often times a fake one who embraces sin etc as they themselves do as a group.. this does indeed need to be said). Yes, we hold to the Jesus who hates sins and who died for all our sins and we believe that all people who believe in Him (who are regenerated inside or born again spiritually as the Bible says according to John 3:3) are declared totally righteous because of Christ’s sacrificial death in their/our place ..and they are, therefore, in right relationship with God the Father.

We believe that the most ultimate salvation (from an eternity in Hell [a.k.a. the Lake of Fire] where people are separated from the presence of a loving God and all His goodness and blessings) comes only through this one Person who is God—Jesus Christ. We also believe that, owing to universal death through sin, no person can enter the Kingdom of God by doing any type of ceremonial, practical or ritualistic good works. Yes, they need not depend on any good works at all to gain some merit or "points", but must with true repentance, inner contrition and trust in Christ (be born again); and that no degree of personal reformation however great, no attainments in any type of morality however high, no "culture" however impressive, no baptism or other ordinance however administered, can help the sinner become clean from their filthy sins take them even one step closer toward heaven. A new nature imparted into them from above—from the Lord alone (not Mary, a saint or anyone else)—a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is absolutely essential to this great salvation, and only those thus saved are true children of God. We believe, also, that our redemption has been accomplished solely by the cleansing blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was made to be sin and was made a curse for us on the cross, dying in our place there at Calvary; and that no supernatural or any other kind of "feeling," no good resolutions, no sincere attempts, no visions, no impressions or fuzzy feelings.. no self efforts, no submission to the rules and/or regulations of any church or organization can result in such beautiful salvation with such glorious fellowship with God (Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24).

To what extent are Christians saved? They are saved completely, but each Christian will still need to contend with their old fleshly nature until they die or are raptured up and away (caught away) to heaven. We believe that when an unregenerate person exercises saving faith in Christ (instead of a mere “said faith” as many so called Christians have)—saving faith, which is illustrated and described as such in the New Testament, he or she then passes immediately out of spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new, being justified freely by grace, accepted before the Father as Christ, His Son, is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his special place and portion linked to Him and one with Him forever.

Though the saved one may have occasion to grow-up somewhat faster or slower towards spiritual maturity (depending upon their obedience) the realization of his blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through the full yielding of his/her life to God, he or she is, as soon as they are saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ Jesus (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; 1 John 4:17; 5:11-12; Romans 5:1; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23; Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10).

Want To Know More About How To Be Truly Saved?