Saturday, August 29, 2009

What Tools Do You Use To Fish And Catch With?

There's some tools to use that I haven't discovered yet. Maybe you can inform me. I had a great week with many types of adults. I've also met and talked with many young computer game-ers this week. What a huge subculture that is and many of them use MySpace, Twitter, digg or Facebook as well. You know most young and old people that I talk to on the streets or at the Quick Trip gas station up the road from where I live.. or in other parts of this city.. say that they don’t have anything against Jesus Christ. Imagine that! They actually like Him and are intrigued with Him and His holy practical lifestyle. It’s the strange and religious Christians they have a problem with.

Man, that’s why I want to spend time with and be more like Him.. it’s so I won’t become an impediment in God’s Way. So many need to see a no-compromise lifestyle—they need to see and hear truth from you. They need your acceptance and friendship. Are you willing to be used of God on and off the web today? Are you willing to use your social network as a net.. or as a pole with a hook and some tasty bait on the line for em?

"Anyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on Him [the Bible Jesus] to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?” ~ Romans 10:13-14

"The majority of those who reject the Gospel do so simply because they know nothing about it. They aren’t opposed... but indifferent to it." ~J. Gresham Machen

“Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.” ~Acts 8:30-31

Fact: Most people who come to have a relationship with God through Christ, have done so through an ongoing interpersonal relationship with a praying Christian who they feel respect for.. cuz they’ve watched em and heard them explain the Gospel in clean but easy to understand street terms.

The ongoing networking friendships that we in the Church each cultivate and build over time with our next door neighbors, with work friends or classmates and relatives.. they all matter to God!

The Word of the Lord was being spread throughout all the region. ~Acts 13:49

Lord, give us wisdom from above to share the Message of Christ's love;

And help us always persevere to make that message loud and clear! ~D.J.D.

Do you get excited about the new ways that we can get in touch with your old buds from yesteryear? I do. And I want to see more Christians wisely fish and reel people in for Jesus. I’m not talking about gaining a number of scalps on your belt, cuz simple obedience is what it’s about—that’s what we’ll be rewarded for. Man, it’s the greatest reward for me just to see a huge smile come on their face when they each realize that God just forgave them all their wrong-doins. WOW! Nothin’ beats it ever.

Now reading an e-tract or hardcopy tract alone can be a powerful thing for some, but without a previous or subsequent friendship with a transparent Christian who has victories and real problems to overcome by faith.. it seems to make things more challenging for the hearer. I mean when the person is thinking about repentance, surrender and all that’s involved.. some might have a harder time feeling all alone.

There must be more than cool Christian websites, and e-tracts, and literature, and campaigns—their must be spiritual Christians who care and who the unbelievers can interact with over time.

Of course the Lord can work sovereignly without us ..without any human intervention, but that would be the exception rather than the rule for Him. He has already chosen to use willing Christians who confidently or non-confidently sharing the Gospel with an open unbeliever—that’s still His primary way of saving people ..and I mean in the fullest sense of that term.

Be humble and keep your ears open. You can be too big (in your own eyes..) to be used, but you can never be to small to be used of God. I challenge you to let Him prepare you. I dare you.. I double dog dare you to go for it. Let the Lord help you get creative in this. He’s undoubtedly given you tools to use today and you probably already know how to use them pretty much.

Doin’ my best, I commit the rest. I implore you to see the need and be aware of what is going on around you.. yup, no matter what you do for a living. You don’t need to be a paid professional—don’t wait for that (that could be a liability for you). Just jump in with both feet and make an e-difference.. or a face-to-face difference with people as you go public with your faith. Be a friend as much as you can—God will help you in this. Expect Him to. Pure love and absolute truth—give it to em in the right kind of way. I’m not sure how social media tools will evolved from here, but I don’t want the Church to be lazy and asleep in the light while the cults claim the following that should have been going after Christ if we were doing out job.

Risks involved? Sure there will be with any noble work, but remember the life of the apostle Paul who pointed out that bold witnessing for Christ is neither easy nor vogue. It’s never that popular. In his case, he was sometimes told by high ranking city officials and opposing groups to shut up and get out of town. Yet Paul didn’t quit. He still found a way to tell the story of Jesus—even at the loss of his personal freedom. Let’s do it smarter and in a straightforward manner. Let’s adjust to our times short of spiritual compromise. The Message must never change though the language and methods will. Let’s stay tight and in-touch vertically as we lovingly go tell it in regions beyond the places we’ve been before.

Here’s a vid that addresses what is going on. It’s kind of interesting to get you thinking…

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cain Away From The Presence He Needed Most

So what have you been doing lately? Do ya got stuff to deal with or are you doing fine? Things have been kinda normal around here.. yard work, fix it stuff around the house, getting with locals to visit, meetings. Had a great time witnessing to a very honest young person who contacted me today with some great questions about a relationship that meant a lot to her. Bethany (that's not her real name) was open and wanted some Scripture references and prayer... hurting because she basically admitted to having an idol (a guy she unwisely allowed to come first for way too long--sure we see American Idol and not so many statues worshiped anymore but everyone is bent to worship something or someone) that got in the way of her hopes of serving the Lord. I gave her some passages that have really helped me out before... long ago.

Apparently, she has wanted for a long time to get right with God, but on her own terms ..keeping him around. She heard enough truth years ago about a wonderful life that was possible and now it seems Bethany wants to make a break with the old n change for good. She said that she has tried at times to positively influence her boyfriend in the right direction and hasn't ever wanted him totally out of her life before. She was having a hard time trusting Christ enough and felt she needed to just try harder... cuz she had to see Mr Wonderful end up being helped and changed by her. But so far ..after years of him rejecting the things of God, she now feels it's time to simply move on and that he is an idol of sorts and simply in the way of her spiritual progress. "Some people just pull you down so easily." Wanna know why? It's cuz they have a dead human spirit inside. Even real Christians have an old fleshly nature inside and it says yes to what lost people like to do that's destructive.. yup it's right inside with their new nature that wants what will build the person up. Hey, that's why missionary dating simply does not work! Anyways, please pray for her--the puppy love is real to the puppy ya know and God knows all that is involved in this situation. Now on a totally different topic. I had some free time tonight and looked at another person who was having some trouble trusting and putting the Lord first. Here's a devo about Cain that I hope encourages you...

Cain.. Put Himself Away From Real Love

So Cain left the Lord's presence and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. ~Genesis 4:16, nlt

Isn't that a really sad verse to read? Man, if we don't deal with our sin, it will soon deal with us. Perhaps you remember hearing about Able's bro named, Cain, and how he struggled with his negative attitude? I think many of us have had to struggle with our attitudes at times, and it is so important to deal with this kinda thing quickly.

Take some time to prayerfully read about Cain's story in the Bible—that will help! God tells us how things went so bad for Cain because He cares about us all, but check out whose fault this mess was. It wasn't God's fault as many today would say; He amply warned Cain in advance.

The Bible clearly says, "The Lord accepted Abel and his offering, but he did not accept Cain and his offering. This made Cain very angry and dejected. 'Why are you so angry?' the Lord asked him. 'Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you respond in the right way.." (Gen 4:4-7a, nlt).

God created Cain with precious life beating inside just like He did with you. God valued and loved Cain just the same as every person that He has ever made. Cain was God's property. Yup, he was created for God and the Lord had a definite important purpose for Cain's life He has for you. You too belong to Him whether you willing serve Him or not. Not believing in the Lord or His Word doesn't at all make Him, His boundless love, mercy and the prophecies of the Bible go away. They all just keep being fulfilled by God with 100% accuracy. His people can let us down, but He never does so let's follow Him. So glad He didn't say, "Follow my people!"

And now we find Cain separated from a relationship with God. What a major bummer-drag! Man, I just hate unconfessed sin, people-ward-hate and rebellion—that type of stuff can rip any of us off in a big way! Needless stuff!

Such sin in the heart makes a person so miserable inside in the presence of a holy, righteous just God that their specific sin must either be confessed and forgiven ..or the sinner refusing to receive God's conviction and free cleansing will be soon out of God's presence. Did you know that there is not one Bible prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the rapture of the church takes place?

God is here with us now and His grace is so available for ..whom so ever will just take hold of it. But many hardened people will sadly view God wrong due to someone falsely influencing them, reject such grace, an find themselves in HE-double-hock-sticks ( know what place I'm talking about here that still brings sharp mocking of scoffers—"How could He?").

My simple point is that God does His very best to solve the sinner's (you and me—all of us) terminal situation, but He will have no one unhappy to be in His holy Heaven. He won't make you break fellowship with spirits of darkness to get right with Him, or make you come home to your loving Father. And to be outside of Christ leaves us only one other sad alternative. Yeah, I don't mind tell you like it is. Please act now! We all must choose Jesus while we're on this side of the sod.

But it's an interesting story huh. Sin was lurking ..temptation was waiting… to attack Cain if you will, and he was instructed beforehand by a merciful God to subdue it. But Cain failed to respond appropriately. Was Cain merely religious and Able was not? I'm not sure, but I indeed want you to know assuredly that God is clearly not religious and there is a big difference between being that way and being truly righteous though it sometimes can be hard for us to tell.

We do know that Cain offered God farm produce and Abel brought several choice lambs from the best of his flock (where of course these lamb's blood was shed).

Then afterward, you remember.. Cain lured his trusting brother off into the fields and then violently murdered him there (vv. 4, 7, 8).

Yeah, you know how killing isn't always wrong (think about war or our police authorities properly doing their job to protect innocent people), but hating people and committing homicide as Cain did.. that is always wrong! Duh!!! What an avoidable tragedy—this guy literally crushed God's heart! Heart broken to the max! Many father's and mothers know somewhat how that feels when their kids make horrendous decisions, maybe not to this extent, but it should give us some compassion for what we fallible humans have put God through over the years. In the 70s I remember seeing Mick Jagger sing sympathy for the devil (what stupid lyrics..), but think we all should sing sympathy for the pain we caused others ..starting with the crucified Lord!

Cain's catastrophic life clearly illustrates a vital lesson for us about guilt being our friend.. about the importance of denying our fleshly nature, about denying our ego, jealousy, animosity and pride. Yes, guilt and sweet conviction of the Holy Spirit are indeed our friends if they drive us to God. I'm so thankful for these gifts!

However, if you or I refuse to turn to our heavenly Father in repentance and full confession ..feeling sorry when we're blowin' in inside ..or outwardly, then guilt will merely drive us away from God ... and eventually to our own eternal destruction. LISTEN, YOU DO NOT WANT THAT—YOU DO NOT WANT TO HATE HIM OR PEOPLE! BELIEVE ME.

"Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You. You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger; the Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them" ~Psalm 21:9

When being ticked-off at peeps is in your heart, it'll poison all you'll think and do; but when biblical faith is in there, it'll find a way to demonstrate love and it'll keep your heart strong and true.

Have you let a root of bitterness or maybe resentment get in and smolder inside you? What besetting sin of omission or commission in your life ..if left unchecked by you.. will end up ill-effecting and destroying you along with those lives in your family? Any sin can destroy people and so many innocent of it get hurt too.

We've all gotta keep short accounts with Christ regarding any and all sins! And we don't need any other mediator other than Him in dealing with em. We just run (not walk) to God! We never need to treat a sin-habit like it's a cute little puppy or kitten—no it would be more like a rattlesnake goin' for your throat with venomous fangs!

Again, Thomas Brooks taught well that all human acts basically strengthen habits (and I'm sure you already know how quickly a personal habit can be formed). But the more sin is acted on, the more it will be strengthened with you.. bottom-line! Is that what you really want? The good news? Well, it can be that way with our gifts and graces in Jesus as well, Christian. So start up good habits of ministry today instead of in wrongdoing; first in ministering directly to the Lord in worship (for the applause of One) and then minister to edify the saints. Why not? Got a better use of your time?

Many people don't realize that a church-habit can actually be dangerous for the stubborn of heart. To sit week after week under the clear preaching and teaching of the Word of God will only make your heart grow harder and harder .. if you won't take heed or respond in the affirmative. The same sun that melts the wax can harden clay. And the same rain that drowns the rat can make the wheat grow. Solution? Form the habit of regularly going to a Bible teaching church with a humble God-fearing heart (you know there's both good and bad types of fear).

I believe that Cain's bitterness was literally rooted in deep resentment and outright mutiny which outwardly bore sticking rotten fruit ..even in his relatives for generations to follow. Today nations, especially this nation of America abound with fratricide and wrongful killing. Cain's sin of murder, left to run its own course, has only seemed to intensify with each passing generation the middle east is about to explode in war.. until gangs are growing in our cities.. until our babies and the elderly are now in harms way even in America due to "reforms."

Resentment comes from pridefully looking at others; contentment comes from looking away from all the distractions to God.

He was angry and would not go in. ~Luke 15:28

At times our path is rough and steep, our way is hard to see; we ask God, 'Why is life unfair?' He answers, 'Follow Me.'" ~DeHaan

Christian, how do you ever expect to positively influence any sinners or win them to Christ if you stay filled with resentment and hate? Let it all go: forgive from the heart.

Got Qs? Ask at F4S!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What About Those Inconvenient Americans?

Abortion.. it's still a very heinous act no matter how many in your house or in the White House are for it!

Would it bother us a bit more if they used guns?

Would we view it differently then.. you know, for what it really is? If you think about it with an open mind for a moment, wouldn't that be less painful than many partial birth methods that are used today?

Perhaps you are now a parent with an inconvenient American on the way and need more info on this subject?

Liney and I just watched a group of passionate people out protesting. They were picketing McDonald's yesterday for how this company treats the animals that they serve under those golden arches.

It was interesting. This secular group used really gory looking bloody pictures on their placards that they held up and they probably even hurt their own cause that's totally in favor of protecting little animals. How? By scaring some little hungry children.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have all the facts about Ronald's hang out. I'm not sure how humane McDonald's and their partners really are with that whole process.. they probably could do it all in a much better way. Dunno, but how about with little people on the way in this Land and what about the old people these days? It just made me stop and think.

If we are so "for change," n "choice" and the care of all people in this country.. then I have a basic question? What rights do unborn Americans have? What rights do the elderly have with their future medical treatment? What about you when you get old? What will the government allow for you and how will they counsel you n your family regarding your future welfare?

Should we be more concerned about chickens headed to the fast food restaurants in our neighborhoods than the people living there? Do very small (preborn / halfborn) Americans and older Americans have any rights that will protect them? What does God have to say about all this? How can the preborn people even get the opportunity to choose?

Woe to the country that calls what’s whacked, right.. that turns it's back on the weak of it's own land! The Bible affirms what I’m talking about saying, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” (Isa 5:20-21). What about adoption when so many parents are waiting to adopt? Why do obvious simple solutions for the issues at hand ..that we try to over-complicate, need to remain above our pay grade to properly address? HELLO! Isn't this almost 2010? Wanna know where change needs to start?

Doesn’t all this vehement debate today stem from a root problem that’s intentionally being overlooked? Isn’t it because we Americans (for the most part) are not right inside our hearts? We in this country (yes, for the most part) have long since bailed from a meaningful and right love relationship with God.

We've become so hardhearted, we are distracted with busyness, we are still impure—we love pleasure, self, entertainment, the famous, youthful beauty and sex way too much in this society. The fornicators, porn n sex addicts, the family breakers.. all of us sinners need to hear that Christ is still fiercely holy, that Hell is still a real destination and that God cares about the weakest among us! He alone has and is the Solution.

Muse over this some: All acts of humans strengthen habits. The more temptation is wrongly responded to.. I mean the more it is acted upon sinfully, the more it will be strengthened with you. And it can also be like that with our gifts and graces in Christ if we would only turn.. yes, but for the good of many instead of the destruction and pain of many.

Think about sensual suicide for a moment. God says, "He who commits adultery destroys himself" (Prov. 6:32). It ain't like shaking hands or kissing people and others are ill-effected long term.

God says, “Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore. For the Lord loves justice” (Ps. 37:28). Hey gang, Jesus Christ was a busy Man as he walked on this planet, but He never got too busy to take time for the weak individual and how to protect that person. He took the time to even teach small groups about what to all-out go for and what to totally avoid for safety's sake. Why do we view Him as such a kill joy? Don't we set boundaries for our kids at the park?

A Christian's whole life should be in connection with and drawing upon God's strength to stand against what's clearly wrong.. to stand up for all that's right! It ain't about being pleasured all the day long or being popular! Your life should be nothing but a visible representation of Christ who is radically holy!

Just think something ought to be said for people even more than for mere cows that end up in a Big Mac! Yup, REAL men and women hate evil and they prayerfully fight to protect others but in a right kinda way. They hang in there with the Lord and with their family avoiding all that hurts em. They go the distance with Jesus and loyally serve Him wholeheartedly—no excuses. Why? Cuz the old, the young, the middle-aged and you matter more than you know!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Always Smooth Sailing Or What?

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” ~James 1:4

Have you heard something like…

If Jesus loves you dearly ..Christian, then you will never grieve over a loss. You will never have difficulty in this life.. and you will never have really tough days to endure.

I say: Not! But perhaps you too have heard...

Faith filled believer, if Jesus loves you a whole Whole WHOLE bunch, then you will always have a decent job with lots of respect and nice pay checks coming into your bank account regularly.. the sun will always shine.. you will never feel pain… you will never shed tears.. your kids will honor you and you’ll never feel deep sorrow inside your heart .. you simply will avoid all suffering while on this planet as you continue to think positive thoughts.


You’ve heard that sort of teaching right? Yes, you know exactly what I’m talking about.. all will be absolutely perfect for you with a thick wad of cash in your pocket even ..if we can just confess it and believe right.

Why do we feel so unloved by God when life goes bad on us? Don't get me wrong... I personally like to think positive thoughts and be realistically practical too—nothing wrong with that. I also love to hear about the cross, suffering and how to endure trials.. how to control my thought-life and how I am to die to my selfish fleshly nature.. I wanna hear more about how to resist the devil during time of temptation, and how to walk in the Spirit without going off on my neighbor in excessive anger while driving down the highway. Man, I wanna and love to hear simple verse by verse Bible teaching that majors on love, prayer, denying self, knowing Jesus intimately and on how to rightly apply all this stuff. How often to we hear about mortifying the works of the old man? We know more about our inner child today! I don’t know about you but I need to hear about the stuff that is rare to hear about from the Bible.

I know that God has blessed my socks off before and there have been occasions when He’s even healed me before. I’m grateful and filled with joy unspeakable! I enjoy all the goodness and kindnesses of God, but I don’t deserve them in this sin-cursed world. Don't ever want to feel that I do! Things go bad on me sometimes too. Together, God and I can handle it.. that’s life in the city.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials. ~James 1:2

Our loving God transforms us and makes us like His Son

By using trials and testings until His work is done. ~Sper

All of us were designed and meant for so much more Christ. One day when we reach room temperature here..when we become worm food.. we won’t leave home, we’ll just go home a perfect environment with God! It’ll happen. Trust Him. Are you ready for that?

But until then, this bogus-environment here is indeed whacked n twisted out of shape ..due to all our wrongdoings. Hey, I won’t blame my situation and deeds on my environment or on my parents. Why are so many playin' the victim to excuse themselves? I’ve blown it before and it was 100% my fault, so I am partly to blame for this cumulative environment weirdness around us.

But perhaps you’ve heard that word-faith TV jive about God’s love that is proved by the perfection He puts in your life here on earth now and that somehow you don’t have enough faith if things are not peachy yet? Have you heard about lining up your confession to see all become flawless here? It’s flat-out erroneous! God loves you regardless and I want to encourage you in His love!

Have you felt really bad lately because God doesn’t seem to answer your prayers the way you want.. when you want? Does it feel like He is late? Have you felt forsaken, ignored, abandoned, uncared for by God ..or unloved, because of all those harsh difficulties in your life that haven’t gone away though you’ve tried so hard to do what is right? Have you felt like God is cruel cuz leaders or other people have been that way? He ain’t! God is good and fair!

Isn’t believing that everything in our lives is suppose to be nothing but “smooth sailing” all the time ..the very reason why so many people end up so discouraged or mad at God and then end up ditching Him and bailing out from their church? Don’t ditch God; He agapes (loves) you dearly in spite of what has been playing out before you.

When ya get hurt you can either go closer to Jesus or farther away from Him.. you can get closer to healthy Christians in a sound Bible teaching church or you can say no to the Spirit and isolate yourself away from them. Hey, go closer! Don’t wait for a sign or a prophecy or a dream or an attractive date to take you there young man!

Now, if you are in a dead or a spiritually anemic church with a worldly, hyper-religious or carnal pastor who is not open to the truth on the other hand.. then ditch that church and go look for a healthy one.. until you find it! Why waste your years trying to resuscitate a dead body that God wants you away from ..before you start to decay? Yup, you become like those closest to you, so get with the wise and on-fire Christians and limit your time with the dead people and carnal Christians.

And when fierce storms, trials and tests come into your life, Christian, please know that God is so there for you and deeply ..intensely cares! He ain’t passive; He is indeed working. Christ basically said He’d build His Kingdom and no dweeb from the pit would block Him in this good work.. nothing nowhere would impede Him in this! You remember how Jesus suffered and was rejected—He told some Jews who were out to murder Him, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (Jn. 5:17). Did Jesus doubt the Father's love for him when He was hurting? No! And...

God's love for His Son was never a shield to keep Him from Calvary's cross; God's love for His children demands that we yield to trials that burn out the dross. ~Gustafson

Listen believer, your afflictions have also been working for you in a sense.

Check it out; Paul suffered a lot but never doubted the love that God had for him. He said, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen” (2 Cor. 4:16-18, nkjv emphasis mine).

Of course I think that we each should have and express biblical faith during and apart from all hard times we continue to walk in the Spirit. And the Bible is blunt with us saying that, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22, nkjv).

Paul said, “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews..” (Acts 20:18-19).

He also went on to describe this sort of hardship to those in Thessalonica explaining, “For our Gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction; just as you know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth..” (1Thess. 1:5-8, nasb).

Pete agreed with Paul saying, “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully” (1 Pet. 2:19). It was said as if suffering was a normal part of the Christian experience. Do you still feel like things are out of control? Well...

God chooses what we go through; we choose how we go through it. ~Anon

The next time you face a trial of some kind, make friends with it and allow God to use the situation to make you more like Jesus. ~Joanie Yoder

Personally, I hope that you beat all the odds and will enjoy a long trouble-free life, with health and perpetual prosperity for all your smart labors of love ..that meet people’s real needs. I really do. Many Christians expect perpetual blessing and ease and when blessed, it just stops with them. When God blesses us, He wants us to thank Him but He also has others in mind. The blessings of God should never terminate upon the recipient. Spread the love and Good News!

Jesus commanded His disciples to “..go preach, saying, 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt. 10:8). Livin’ to wisely give rather than to merely be out on the take some Christians and even some preachers have been on the take.. will be much better for us.

Yup, instead of having.. like so many today.. feelings of entitlement and graspyness, let’s be different and work hard to bless other people when we can. Why bring on your own level of poverty for merely existing in the Western world by being lazy? Lets remember the work ethic of that great generation .. a generation that was always ready to lend a hand to help another.. a generation that is now passing off the scene but made this nation so prosperous. Why choose to be selfish and let the prosperity they fought and worked so hard to give this country (while wrestling with their own personal problems..) become a curse of sorts and merely go to feeding a covetous spirit within us?

The Bible tells us that if we don’t work we shouldn’t eat. it says, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex. 20:17). It is written, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Deut. 5:21). Forced wealth distribution (other's wealth) is not biblical at all!

We are so blessed already, but do we ever stop to say thank you Lord? What have we become as a nation? Why are we so graspy, greedy and inverted? Why are we so focused on the Government to replace the role of our real Provider, the Jesus of the Bible?

Did you know that more than half of American Christians believes that they “never have enough money to buy what they need.” I'm not talking about those who have recently lost their jobs here. And approximately two in five evangelicals “deny the possibility that pain or suffering could be a means of becoming a better, more mature individual.” For real! Check it out; three out of ten Christians agreed that “nothing in life is more important than having fun and being happy.” Why are we such friends with this evil world system? Why do we aggresively seek fun so much? Why do we allow Hollywood’s perverse, base, sex-monger attitudes to influence us downwards? How did we become such pleasure and entertainment seekers ahead of all else? Are trials and suffering things to avoid at any cost? Now way! Where in the world did we get all that jive from?

News Flash Everybody!

* Statistics show that real Christians have about as many health issues as anybody on their block.. as many work issues, and family issues as anyone as well (see Ps. 73:1-16). It’s time to face the facts rather than fight all problems off by simply going deeper in debt.

* Even if it were true that our vertical faith was some kind of sham as secular thinkers say, what believer would regret having been a Christian at the end? None that I know. It's because of all the cool ways our life on earth has been totally enriched by serving Jesus (see Gal 5:22-23). Man, I just celebrated my 27th wedding anniversary yesterday and it’s because of God’s love and His grace, not because of my intelligence! I have a lot to learn about marriage. I've made mistakes but the Lord has helped me. People in the world are breaking up daily (it's so sad to see the current stats on divorce). It's so terrible that the love of many is waxing cold ..that hearts are getting harder.. but Christ can help those people as well. Paul said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Cor 15:19). Why? He knew that the church has irrefutable evidence that Jesus is alive and that what He said was all true! We have hope for a live beyond the grave.

* In spite of what happens during our earthly existence here, total well-being in the life to come ..while we rejoice with full-tilt-worship of Jesus in close friendship with the Father.. will soon be all that matters to us (see Ps. 73:3-5, 13-14, nlt).

* Even though there have been times during my walk with the Lord where a few church folk have gone sideways on me or gotten mean or weird ..or worse yet, when I have really let not only God down.. but myself down as well (, it can be so radically embarrassing when I’ve flesh-out thinking only of myself ahead of others). But I still can quickly find encouragement because Jesus remains so steady and loyal and quick to forgive when I/we turn. In fact the Bible affirms this saying, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13). That’s why I wanna be quick to run to Him.. to confess and repent.. to keep growing. When I remember how Christ really is, I then forget about blowing it all off ..ya know.. this walk of faith with the Lord.. and I’m much more inclined to run my entire race with patience forgetting what’s behind and pressing on ’til the end. Perhaps you’ve blow it before too. Well check out how Pete let himself and God down and then how he got back up on is feet again to follow the Lord all the way home (see Lk. 22:55-62).

* Even if we aren’t better than others (due to our excellent choices and moral determination), we are still way better off than others outside of Christ, because we have entrusted ourselves to the only One who didn’t seek pleasure first, but rather suffered, died, and rose again from the grave for our full rescue (see Rom. 7:14-8:1). Yup, He did it for you too so whatcha gunna do 'bout it?

Having all the Bible answers upstairs would be great for us (God does. Hey, I’m still a learner in this area—got a lot to dig for at times still..) but having those answers …and all the benefits that God can bless us with as we wisely apply the Word of God.. it still won’t make us immune to many everyday pains or issues that unbelievers also have to endure or deal with.

For real! Christian, we aren’t home yet. When head-knowledge ain’t enough for ya to make your fierce trials go away, Mr Saint, as much as I’d like to see that happen.. there is Jesus and He Himself ..with His loving presence is enough for you. Rest in Him and keep praying in faith inspite of the junk. I like how the psalmist prayed...

Have mercy on me, O Lord! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. ~Psalm 9:14

Don't let yourself become distracted or choked out by the cares of this world. Please do not worry about tomorrow or put off the good that you can do today. Don’t let anyone or anything rob you of your joy in Jesus. Don’t fret about health care reform, the public option, the rising political tensions, or the stimulus that is not stimulating.. for tomorrow will bring its own worries with it and God’s grace will be there for each of us to then confront our troubles (I'm not saying do nothing about these things or remain silent here). But obey Jesus today! Today’s trouble with congress, with rising the price of gasoline and food, with self-willed children, with joblessness, with bills and inflation etc.. it’s enough for us together with God to deal with today (see Matthew 6:19-34). God is still in control and can handle all of these things. Let's do our part and believe!

Stop believing the lies of Mr LuCifer who says “Hey you, look around at all your problems and know assuredly that God does not love you.” ..."You have been ditched by the God who said He was there for you and wouldn't forsake you."

No, God does love you and you are in His loving presence rigth now. He is right there next to you waiting for you to call out. And He ain’t done with you yet so it's too soon to quit!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Got A Few Moments For A Very Casual Random Poll?

What cha up to today? Done anything interesting? I just got back from a trip to San Antonio and wanted to say hi to ya. Maybe this is kind of a good way to do that ..ya know.. in order to better get to know you some. OK, so here's my poll...

1.) If you could share Christ in the best possible way ..with just one person today, face to face, who would that be? ____________ I would really love to sit down, befriend and share Jesus with President Obama’s beautiful kids, Tierra Malia and Sasha, because they are so young and might later (if they decide to) share Him with many others. Wouldn’t that be way cool!

2.) Who are you praying for these days and why? ____________ (Hey, I can join you in this too. Just DM me at @kurtwvs or in facebook if this needs to stay private OK).

3.) Do you know anyone among your friends who seems open to the Gospel Message that you can go witness to? ____________

4.) How long has it been since you shared your own story (testimony) with someone in a non-churchy kinda way ..or in any kind of way (are you a Christian yet.. with a testimony to tell)? ____________

5.) Do you ever ask God to open doors for this or that He would make it easy for you to start out? ____________

6.) What is your favorite book of the Bible? ____________ I like the Gospel of John (the whole book is a good tract to use).

7.) What is your favorite story in the Bible? ____________ I like the prodigal son story. Been there, done that.. went to the dogs, fed the hogs and homewards Kurt jogs.

8.) What is your favorite verse in the Bible and why? ____________ Romans 8:28 (check it out in context when you get a chance) which says: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Reason: I have really messed up a lot in the past trying to do what it right and sometimes not even trying to.

9.) Who is your favorite Old Testament character and why? I like Noah. I can sometimes relate to how he felt when he ran the other way.

10.) Who is your favorite New Testament character and why? I like John the beloved. He was very close and honest with the Lord knowing God would understand.

11.) Who is the most interesting person that you have ever met. I would say my wife, Liney.. a very smart person that still intrigues me.

12.) What's your absolute favorite food today? I would say it would have to be Sushi (this week).

13.) If you don't currently have a close meaningful two way relationship with the Lord, what would prevent you from getting right with Him right now?

14.) What's your favorite reptile (OK, so this is a bit off the wall..)?__________. Liney and I just saw a copperhead snake on the trail before us while out hiking ..for real. Our dog almost stepped on it too, but in this line of thinking.. I really like horned toads as well. Used to catch em as a boy during the summer time at camp.

BTW: We hope you are having a really nice weekend with your loved ones. Give em a bear hug for me (that'll throw em off a bit ..just for some fun). It's kind of hot here in Dallas and I need to go mow the lawns now. See ya! Thanks. Remember to keep on fishin' for souls and let Jesus help ya.