Sunday, December 27, 2009

Influence Schminfluence!

"But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it.' When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!'" (Matt 18:8-9).

 

What good is influence today? Some people foolishly live for it and I guess others crave it for sales purposes. Some pro athletes have uttels and uttels of it and yet they are still so unsatisfied. Others will have nothing to do with it feeling a need for more privacy, wanting to be more anonymous.

 

Why does it even matter in regards to personal evangelism or "being" a witness? None of us should ever want it more than close relationship with God.

 

Do people follow you? Do your friends respond to your pure conversation and then decide to act? You might be a humble influencer that God can use.

 

They give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will never be forgotten. They will have influence and honor. ~Psalm 112:9, nlt

 

      My attitude, while seeking to influence others towards righteousness—while fishing for souls—is more important to me than mere facts. Of course I do my best to be accurate with Bible doctrines, but my attitude matters more to me than what I learned in any school, or what others might think of me. The cool thing is that I can choose. ~kVs

 

May I pose a few more questions your way to think about ..if you don't mind?

 

OK, how do you feel 'bout pointing those would-be followers to Christ ..in hopes that they will primarily follow Him instead of you?

 

That should be our prayer and our goal for the people we love huh. I just love the confidence of Paul when he said to his hearers, "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1, kjv), or "Imitate me" (nkjv), or "follow my example" (nlt). Paul really wanted those who followed him to primarily follow Jesus Christ.. all the way home!

 

Man, when you walk in victory like Paul did, you're gunna indeed want those you love to experience the same kind of blessings and growth that you yourself enjoy! And it's only normal for any spiritual Christian to want to help his friends press in and clearly see the glorious joy involved in serving the Lord ..all the way home!

 

      "You don't have to be a 'person of influence' to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they've taught me." ~Scott Adams

 

For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not have a godly influence, but now they are set apart for him. ~1 Corinthians 7:14

 

Dear friend, don't let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God's children… ~3 John 1:11

 

Christian, you and I at any given time are witnesses, good or bad, we just is (bad English, but a good point huh). And I can't think of a more important place for your godly influence than in your home, but the results of your effective witness shouldn't stop there.

 

Do you ever feel afraid that your so called "follower" won't care to be around you anymore if you were to flat-out tell them about the Bible Jesus and His loving plan for them? How often to you ask God in faith for boldness? Do you really care ..really?

 

And hey, don't get me wrong.. some indeed might ditch you in a New York minute if you were to go public about your first love passion. But listen, your real friends won't.

 

Sure you'll want to have spiritual Christians as your closest friends, but you and I wouldn't ditch a friendship we currently have just because our friend said they believe in Budah would we? Man, I hope not. Are we in it just for a certain number of scalps? We'd still want to spend time with them just like before they disclosed that belief-info huh.

 

It's weird sometimes how people react when they see a Bible under your arm or when they hear the Name of Jesus mentioned from your lips in casual conversation. It's like you just walked into the room wearing a living skunk as a bandana on your head.

 

Why is that?

 

Well, His very Name has incredible power that makes even demons tremble in fear. You knew that! Don't you ever wonder why no other world leader or spiritual teacher from all of history makes people in our world react in such a way? I care to not ever be pushy, but I don't care if the whole world knows I love Christ these days ..especially when I think about all that He has done for me to save me from Hell, from sin and even me from my self-destructive partying self! Especially when I think about what awaits my dear friends if they never repent and believe.

 

I feel great inside that my name is now logged in the Lamb's book of life (hey, your's can be as well)—it makes me want to be a good influence on others while I can. I wanna see my name and your name inscribed in there!

 

Sociologist Tim Elmore has said that even the most introverted person ..on average, will influence at least ten thousand other people during his or her lifetime.

 

That is an amazing statistic huh. Makes me think of that movie "It's a wonderful life" and actor Jimmy Stewart wasn't even portraying a Holy Spirit filled person in that movie ..as you can be.

 

I think that stat is probably true unless the person happens to live on a sparsely populated island somewhere as the Apostle John did for a time. But then again, God used John to influence when he wrote his letters that have been read and cherished by far more than that number people. Who do you write, text, email or respond to in some social network these days? Real ministry awaits you if you never write.   

 

We must remember that we can never lead anyone where we ourselves have never been spiritually. We reproduce what we really are.

 

I think that it would also be safe to say that ..right now.. you and I are more than likely being influenced by some people that we run into, as well as influencing others.

 

We can also be rightly influenced by Bible or Christian music CDs or radio, by edifying books, by MP3s and by church or small group participation (if it's a healthy church). Yes, I double dog dare you to sow to the Spirit regularly and aggressively. Ask God to give you a hunger for this stuff. How can you export what's good if you never import it first? Our puter-friends always warn, "Garbage in mean garbage out" and yet so many of us in the western world can watch the lamest movies, hour after hour.

 

"The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things." ~2 Timothy 2:6-7

 

I think hardly anyone, if any, that are occupying space on God's planet here, is excluded from this thing that we call influence. And we each must accept the responsibility that comes with this.

 

People are more than likely watching you and how you live. You might not feel like anyone values your decisions or opinions, but some do I'm sure. Unbelievers are wondering why you now loath what you used to love (full-on sinning until noon then next day with people you hardly know) and now love what you used to loath (prayer, Bible study, church fellowship, explaining the Gospel to anyone that will listen).

 

Questions: Is your opinion the most valued in your group? Hey, it might be in some groups that you frequent. What a blessing if you've already earned the right to be heard! When an issue is being rehashed in your group, who is the one that others watch the most ..or come into agreement with the fastest? Why is that? Is it just because the man or woman is wealthy, or is it because they have character or a gift?

 

I know we are not to compare or compete with other Christians (unless we are competing in say.. volleyball), but it is true that some people seem to be more gifted, more talented, or have more influence than others and we each will be accountable for the influence we have had?

 

I went to lunch with a great influencer and best selling author one day. He seemed to be godly man as well. But he told me that a Christian will influence some three people per day on average ..and that a Christian leader will influence some twelve people per day on average. Not sure how he got those stats, but it made me think some. We all need to feel a concern for people and witness intentionally. There needs to be a sense of great urgency, of stupendous joy, of authentic love and of supernatural peace about you daily! There are potential fishers of men and women around you that God wants to use you with, to encourage and who really need encouragement.  

 

Influence ain't about me makin' anyone into what I desire them to be! I don't convert anyone. If I did, I think they'd be an uber-horrible convert. I'm responsible for my own choices, and I can't even make myself into what I fully wish to be—graciously fruit bearing. If any good has come out of my life, the Lord gets the credit. I've decided to look to Him to change me and to also help my neighbor become all that they need to become. ~kVs

 

Let Christ influence you today and then go look for an unbeliever worse off than yourself to help. As you abide in the Vine, and His Words abide in you, Jesus will constantly influence, lead and guide you! Sure He will, because He's more concerned about your friends, fellow students, family members and coworkers than you are. He will literally send His nutrients though your branches if you will, until you reproduce. Enjoy Him, praise Jesus in this and give Him all the glory!  

 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fishin’ And The Fire

"..the godless are at their wit's end: 'Who among us can survive this firestorm? Who of us can get out of this purge with our lives?' The answer's simple: Live right, speak the truth, despise exploitation, refuse bribes, reject violence, avoid evil amusements. This is how you raise your standard of living! A safe and stable way to live. A nourishing, satisfying way to live" (Isa. 33:14-16, mess).

How could people like us even deal with something like the fire of God—how could we survive it? We really want to tactfully influence people to get right with ..and to get close to the Lord, but if we don't live right, we can totally short-circuit what God wants to do. His fiery love should motivate and control us! I often think about motivated Mo standing before the burning bush in the desert before he went back to Egypt. I think about the three Hebrew children who were loyal in the fiery furnace--they emerged without any bondage. I think about their character more than their talents or gifts. What do you think of?

How can people like you and me live long-term real close to the Holy Lord of Heaven? You know, I do my best to avoid sinning, but once in a while I still blow it attitudinally or in some other way. And I just hate that. I desire to be holy like the Lord and stay red hot for Jesus. Man, I need His help every single day—every moment. I'd rather be quick to judge myself, to confess and to forsake all wrong doing than end up being judged by the One I love most. There's something so good about running to God to tell on myself.    

How do we make it down here with the fire of God?

We get in Christ ..on His terms instead of ours.. and then we regularly draw upon His enabling power. We do it all according to His Word! Jeremiah walked in obedience and he really pleased the Lord. And I find it interesting how God described his holy Word to Jeremiah, "Is not My word like a fire?' says the Lord" (Jer. 23:29).

We live like strangers in a strange Land. We dwell in the middle of an unholy society here, were perversion and filth is lauded and showcased on prime time. Who among us can stand up under the thorough purification process of God so we will end up being effective witnesses?

I ask you, "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?" Answer? Here you go, "He who walks righteously and speaks what is right" (niv).

Do you consistently speak what is right? How do you walk? Do you ever gossip, fly off the handle and use expletives ..or lie? Hey buds, I'm not here to heap a guilt-trip upon, or to condemn anyone because I radically need His help too.

As we fish for souls, who among us can remain unchanged through the fire of God? Well, that is the question that Mister Isaiah in the Old Testament asked ..and then He goes on and pens-down the answer. He even laid out a brief list of the traits for the kind of people who can stand up strong through a crisis. Take some time to meditate upon, to pray about, and to freestyle think through Isaiah's description here as I have tried to do…

Integrity – The fisher's must live right. His or her life, along with motives and words must match.

Justice – The fisher rejects flakey wishy-washyness and taking bribes for they constantly yield to the Word of God. They aren't into striking and doing violence either. He or she exploits no one for dishonest gain no matter the provocation or peer pressure.

Deep Convictions – The fisher's inner values and Holy Spirit filled conscience tell him or her clearly what not to say or do (the negative).. and what to say or do as they live a no-compromise life (the positive)! They aren't given to foul and blasphemous entertainment even if good humor or acting is mixed in. They just don't allow themselves time for evil amusements of any type because their thought-life matters.

Positive focus – The fisher refuses to dwell on the destructive issues of others for they are true Christians and into sowing aggressively to the Spirit instead of to the flesh. They are Bible loyal without being nit picky about other's weaknesses.

Purity – The fisher proactively disciplines their mind to remain pure, their thoughts to remain clean and their communication to be appropriate at all times. They love to bless the Lord first! They enjoy talking to Jesus and about Him as they edify believers and also minister to unbelievers ..until they turn.  

Secure - The fisher is fully committed. He or she lives for the applause of One instead of for the praise of others. They are stable in their Christian identity, upright in their standing and in love with their Source of strength.

When it comes to God's fire and going through His holy purging, listen, having Godly character is so very important! It's far more important than having great charisma-gifts, an affable personality, or American-Idol type of talent etc. Ask the Lord for this along with firm metal-like Holy Spirit backbone! He is the most wholly loyal and He can make you loyal too.

Read More At F4S!  

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wishin' You An Old Fashioned Kinda Christmas!


"..because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David's ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was obviously pregnant by this time. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn." ~Luke 2:4-7, nlt


Today, maybe you're somewhat like me? My beautiful wife, Liney, knows that I love almost all things modern, but not when it comes to Christmas! I get all nostalgic at times so she and I are alike when it comes to Christmas.

We don't want this world's coldblooded winter solstice or moldy-regifted-fruitcake version ..or even Target's blow-up Santa and plastic tinsel version of Christmas! We want the real thang with the old old Story and an unchangeable caring God who was born into a feeding trough version. That's what it's all about!

What do you want and bottom line.. what's the Message of an old fashioned Christmas?

It's this.. the Maker of the universe Who had no beginning came down to us here—Immanuel—so that we can worship, know and serve Him having nothing in the way.

Why? So that He would not only be with us, but live as Lord inside of us ..so that He could save and lead us as we become more like Him.

Don't you want to become a blessing to Him and others?

Perhaps you've lost a loved one and this holiday that used to be so good in the past has become nothing but a pain for you as certain songs and sights tip off old memories.

Maybe you are currently isolated within some impersonal serial hospital, or a cold apartment room, or in a dank smelly ole jail or in some lonely old folk's home where you were stuck and then forgotten. Well you are not forgotten by all! There is a God who is there and is thinking about you now and you don't have to ever live alone! Let Him come in; let Him come closer and bring you comfort this time of year!

Sir, perhaps with this challenging economic situation, you feel pinched and pressured and angry as you think about the gifts that you wish you could buy people. Did you know that Christmas shopping affects men differently? Tests have revealed that the average man's blood pressure shoots way up to the same level as a fighter pilot during combat during this season. Yup, but when the women were tested, there was no change in their blood pressure. But perhaps Christmas ain't even about all the material gifts we can give, but more about the non-material One that we each can receive.

I don't sing the blues at this time of year, but I do want to experience an old fashioned kinda Christmas if I'm allowed to choose. How 'bout you?

Do you like to sip hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick, or maybe have some cranberry juice or a Christmas Latte with love from above? What would it be like without taking time for people?

On Christmas, I wanna pray like I mean it with those who care ..to this Holiday's Jesus and then expect miracles! I always do don't you? I wanna sing some carols enthusiastically ..like I'm good at it.. with ole friends and children and family members and neighbors ..the kind I hardly even know but turn out.. but not for show. O no!

We can keep it simple! Next to a warm cracklin' fireplace all decked with ornaments and pine, we can skip the wine n look at what's fine.. like colored lights and holly wreaths and candy canes or some snow on the window panes! I wanna call together the crew and go to Luke chapter 2. How 'bout you?

Man, you don't have to be old fashioned to want an old fashioned Christmas!

While the masses are out using plastic and hustlin-bustlin-busy.. shopping for widgets and trinkets and gifts to give.. don't cha just want to pause and take the time to pray today?

We got through another year, so why should we turn to another beer and then sneer? 

I wanna light some nice candles like my German friends still do and enjoy eggnog's spice ..while in my PJs and clogs!

We wanna go to church to listen and love, fellowship and glisten from above (I know, sounds corny but you know that glow that I mean) ..all together and see the manger and hopefully a stranger ..and hear the horn getting out of the storm.. along with the drummer boys, violins and bell choirs—of that stuff we'll never tire'!

I wanna see His Light, that's O so bright and get some shots of people huddlin-in tight out of that dark of night ..by the tree ..without a fight.

Nope, can't find any Inn Keeper mentioned in any Gospel account. Can't find those Wisemen from Persia arriving to visit a baby in that feeding trough.. but do see em stopping by a house later on to see a child. So many things to discover along with my Lover!

I wanna look at the old old story and follow it up to where it gets all gory. Wanna see what I haven't yet discovered. Wanna notice all that the Bible doesn't say and does say and then ask new questions ..and give Him all the glory! It's not learnin' for learn's sake.. oh No! It's learnin' for livin's n givin's sake!

In fact this year, you can do more than merely learn or observe an old fashioned Christmas! You can firsthand.. experience CHRISTmas?  

Got some questions for ya...

What are you waiting for? Don't wait any longer to dive in!

Do you know what the three reasons for Christmas are.. according to the angel of the Lord (can't be certain, but I think this was Gabe) in Luke 2 who first announced it?

Give up?

OK, here they are: 1. Joyous celebration! (v. 10), 2. Salvation in the Lord! (v. 11), 3. Horizontal reconciliation ..as a natural outworking of righteousness. Yup, after receiving the free Gift of salvation in Christ, Christmas is about having and expressing good will towards men (v. 14)!

You already know, but now you can experience all this!

Hey there everybody, got any unaddressed bitterness, any jealousy, envy or anger towards anyone? Do you still pray for your president?

Perhaps you've been taken advantage of at home, at work or at church, or been slandered, verbally abused by a loved one or even physically abused ..and now you are estranged and marginalized or shamed.

Maybe like those lowly shepherds out watching their fuzzy animals by night (probably temple sheep to be offered), you're anonymous out there in obscurity? Well Christ wants you to know that you matter to Him! Who did God have that angel visit, puffed up exclusive kings and queens? Nope.

Tis the season to conspire by the fire (not evil stuff) and fervently pray for all kinds of people! We can love those who hate and slander us.. at first on our knees! And the feelings might eventually line up with our prayers but who cares.. what feelings say!

Some of you might need to go to some, or contact one down in his own slum. Tis the season to go share this Jesus with those relatives who are at odds with their Maker, yes, for the purpose of being a sort of saltshaker ..and seeing em reconcile upwards! Sure, God wants to save them and He still uses Christians in this. Ask what He'd have you do or have you say today!

Almighty God became a man by lowly, humble birth;
And Mary treasured in her heart this Gift of boundless worth.
~Sper

Tidings, glad tidings! God is love, to man He sends His salvation!
His Son beloved, His only Son, the work of mercy hath begun. ~ Montgomery

God came to live close with us so that we could live close with Him!

Tis the season to be jolly by golly! Bur for too many Americans it's just another reason to all-out party uber-hardy (..and then hit the roads to drive home).

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Like That Song Goes.. "What's It All About?"


What's it really all about? What exactly is biblical Christianity all about?


Glad you asked! Let me tell you. It's about real satisfaction plus! Christianity is so much more than you or I merely giving mental assent to a group of "doctrines." It's more than some pious cognitive high-brow intellectualism or rule-keeping. It's about lasting spiritual satisfaction.. but not such that would leave your physical needs un-addressed cuz God died for and cares for all three parts of you—spirit, soul and body!


As a young boy I used to think that "Christianity" was one big boring hyper-formal stiff religion that would maybe give me lasting fire insurance instead of any satisfaction. I remember doing as I was told about sacrificing—throwing my favorite decent toys away into the trash can during lent just to gain favor or points with the Father. That was stupid! He wanted me, not my toys. I thought it was about me agreeing one hundred percent with all the extra-biblical tenants, rituals, and vain practices that my religious leaders taught me to rigidly obey and also about me involving myself in every Sunday service that they held (my family almost never missed). But it ain't about all that! God isn't religious.


Yeah, let's talk for a moment about what it really is about...


Here's what it is.. it's a fulfilling love-relationship of vertical trust. It's the warm caring affectional embrace of a big-hearted God—yes of Jesus Christ as more than just some close uber-familiar friend that we treat like some chummy bellhop to do our bidding, rather than our strong Lord and Redeemer-Friend. Some relationships just feel right, but this One is so much more than that. It simply is right all the time!


Christianity is about being and walking in Christ constantly because we are so intrigued with Him—yes, walkin' in His love and truth daily and totally looking to Him to address our deepest longings and real needs.


Lots of Children can talk about what they feel they need and still be so far off. Jesus knows what we need most, what we need least and what we need in the middle. He also knows when we need to receive what we need most for each moment we live. He's got it all covered if you're covered by His blood! Sure some dreams we deeply desire will be fulfilled later on in His holy heaven, but there is never a time to distrust Christ's wisdom or timing even a little bit in all of this!


Your nine months or so in your mother's womb were all on purpose, to help prepare you for your future life outside of the womb here on earth. Your time in there wasn't simply an end in itself or meant to be ended by another's choice—you've always belonged to God not to your mother or earthly father! Now this life for you hear on earth is simply prep for the next (and I don't mean reincarnation here). It's a time for you to learn to know God well and then make Him well known.. worldwide, starting from home where the rubber really meets the road.
  

Today, some genuinely born-again Christians look partly to this world system to meet their needs. Sad! Some look to themselves or to their company and then partly to Christ to meet their needs. Sad! And I'm not talking about that kind of half-baked kind of trust when I speak of normal Christianity! That's not what biblical Christianity is all about at all—putting one eye here on your boss, girlfriend, government etc and then one eye on Jesus to come through for you. Christ alone is your Source. That kind of thing would just make you most miserable and also make your vision worse than cross eyed. You'd have too much of Christ to be happy in the world, and too much of this world to be happy in Christ. You'd lose your saltiness and not shine brightly in the dark. But there is a certain cross-eyed you need to maintain.


You and I are called to be one hundred percent satisfied in Jesus all the time, in an unbroken beautiful union of passion where we aren't one thing in public and another way in private! God hates hypocrisy, but loves hypocrites!


It's because He designed us for this type of straight forward no-secrets-withheld enveloping of relationship with Himself. "Satisfaction guaranteed" on this extremely elevated level, ain't to be found anywhere else! We search here and there to fill up this inner hungry void inside but nothing quite fits just right. Nothing and no one on earth can even come close to filling the bill so to speak.


Man, that's why the divorce rate is as high as it is. A primo job, bank account, car, vacation, massive home media center, exotic sexually perverse experience trying to live out the porn-lie, beefed up computer network, respected religion, house with a drawbridge, tall lanky snotty spouse ..or harem—friends with benefits etc ..will simply not satisfy you. Hollywood and handsome politicians have lied to you big time—many times. The attitude of today is; Get all you can, can all you get and spoil the rest.. and then sit on the can. But he who dies with the most toys from say shoppin' til they be droppin' doesn't necessarily win here. Ask the up-and-outer yuppie King Solomon who had it all. Man, just ask Tiger Woods or his beautiful young wife ..or some of the other very popular and skilled pro athletes ..or A-list actors or super-models who feel majorly flawed ..or dancers or American Idol singers etc. Jesus Christ is the One you need to find peace and fulfillment!


Listen, free repentance, faith, joy and a righteous relationship with forgiveness included at no extra charge ..can be received today! This is what it's about and what you've been longing for! Then you can learn to walk in real victory over temptations, sin and the flesh (I mean all that your old nature inside craves that isn't good for you and would literally tear down the work of Christ in your life). You were meant for so much more—a practical and tight walk with your First Love—Christ! This walkin' can be rightly learned by any of us because His Holy Spirit will come inside of you to teach you along the Way.


Following Jesus indeed can be very satisfying for any human being to enjoy, as we worship God alone, as we humbly serve God uncompromisingly and as we candidly pour out our hearts to Him. Sure, this Bible Jesus I'm telling you about promises to meet all of your needs instead of all out greeds. Yup, some people are literally wrecked when they are given too much, so we can't stop depending upon the Lord's wisdom and guidance!


Hey, I say go to Him as the living water you've been thirsting for today.. as the living Bread from heaven that you've been ravenously hungry for.. as the light of the world that you've been stumbling around trying to find and walk in!


It's a failure to seek first anything else as your satisfaction when knowing Christ alone is it. PERIOD! I plead with you.. cease being His enemy and be reconciled to Him. Everything and everyone else is vastly inferior on every level ..to Jesus! Say, no more idols (any other priority put ahead of Him in your life)!
 

Christ's love runs deep enough and strong enough and wide enough to perfectly satisfy you, me, and everyone else on this planet! Unfortunately not all will hear this in time and not all of them will trust Him and believe.


Listen, when you or I are tempted to go in a sinful direction to imbibe in or to indulge an appetite. You know, an appetite or desire for say, companionship or for food, for drink, for clothing, for housing or for sex (a very normal desire) ..I indulge in these independent of Christ's leading and will for you or I (as we find clearly spelled out for us in the Bible) we just won't come up with lasting satisfaction. Are there some grey areas that might not be so simple to figure out—not so specifically addressed in the Bible—regarding personal convictions? Sure, but the Holy Spirit's mouth still works. Jesus told us that His sheep hear His voice.


Are you sure I can't find it here by some other way, Kurt? Well just ask wealthy businessman and entertainer, Mick Jagger with the Stones, who countless times sang "I can't get no.. no, no, no. NO satisfaction!"


Hey gang, why suffer under the curse of sin another moment? Why go on suffering the consequences of the bad choices that people make these days trying to use their heads to the best of their ability in tryin' to meet their own needs, yeah, but doing all this in a way that breaks the heart of God and the reasonable commandments of God's Word?


"The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil." ~God, Prov. 19:23.


"There is forgiveness with you that you may be feared." ~God, Ps. 130:4.
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." ~Jesus, Matt. 6:33.


"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love." ~Jesus, Rev. 2:4.


Why continue to let real Christianity remain outside the circle that represents the sum of all your personal life-experiences ..to your own long-term dissatisfaction? Isn't eternity a long time to discover that you were wrong on this Issue? Why not intimately know, heartily worship, zealously serve and fully enjoy the satisfying One.. like say ..forever more? Like ..and they both lived happily ever after.
 

Got a few minutes to read the entire entry at F4S!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas to you and yours!


Dear Fishing Friends,

Thank you so much for your prayers and for being there!

Time flies huh. Can you believe it? We are well into December again!

Man, I feel so good about what God has in store for us ahead.. during this day, this week, this year and on into the first quarter, regardless of the economy. He's blessed His people before even during hard times.

Hey, this is the right time for you to really get in the CHRISTmas Spirit if you are not already.  

Why miss Him, the Reason, the greatest Gift during this holiday season? Think about it; the default of saying "Maybe tomorrow" ..or not saying "Yes" to making Jesus your Lord and Savior is basically giving God a big fat "No."

Well, not to say yes Lord, is to say no ..in reality. That's how it works—He said you're either for or against Him (Lk. 11:23). So whatcha waiting for? Jump in, full commitment.

Man, I can hardly believe that there is less than one month left before this year is gone.. before it is 2010. I want to finish right!

So how are you doing? What's the plan Stan n Jan? Got anything nailed down for Christmas Eve yet? How 'bout for Christmas week, for New Years Eve ...or for the upcoming New Year? Got any new goals?

On this cold drizzly Dallas evening, I just re-read the ole Christmas story. How cool that it's wrapped around everyday ordinary people. Some with clear plans and objectives and others with not so clear aims  .. people in the Bible that we think we already know.

But what was really going on in the minds of Joseph, Mary and those lowly shepherd dudes ..as they saw and experienced what they each saw? Man, this Story still makes me want to ask questions.

Was it really cold outside and what was that stable with the manger really like (replicas in America are becoming so hard to find)? When did the wise men really arrive, cuz they sure didn't show up at the barn to see an infant. Did that inn keeper really come off like some heartless callously jerk, turning away our Jewish heros?

The pure and holy birth of the ultimate Soul-winner was such a wonderful gift to mankind—but it won't be for you unless you respond to His Gospel His way!

And for believers there's so more to Christmas than just getting and giving gifts! Based upon Luke's account, we want to…

1.) Remember the Lord's great love in sending us His only Son through a young girl named Mary who was engaged to a carpenter named, Joseph and that this was a parthanos conception (one that came about minus any sexual intimacy with a man – Lk. 1:26-27, Jn. 3:16). The Bible tells us: "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary."

READ THE FULL VERSION...


Come on fishers, it's time to celebrate and chat about His birth to more people—not hiding all this away in some dark dingy corner! We have nothing to be ashamed about! I ENCOURAGE YOU TO BE STRONG AND WORSHIP THE CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS TODAY ..in spite of all that has been going on around you. When the outlook doesn't look so hot, look upwards.

Yes, there seems to be so much in massive flux these day on the horizontal plane—so many strange changes in our country and world now, but let's just rejoice in Jesus from the heart ..all through the day 24/7/365.

Most of us can afford to let up with TV watching and entertainment, but none of us during this season of social get-togethers can afford to let up in the areas of quiet time alone with Christ, in winsome witnessing, or in the area of fellowship and worship.

Therefore, I want to encourage you believer, to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.. like never before! Simply be ready to give an answer for that hope down deep inside of you. Be prepared to edify, equip and encourage other fishers. YEAH, BE BOLD  IN GOD'S BOUNDLESS GRACE..TO FISH—taking the time to notice those around you who don't get noticed! Jesus would do that. May you have the best CHRISTmas time ever this year! Thanks again.

Sincerely,
kurt

P.S. Have a little more time? Read more at F4S

Focus On n Hear from your Solution—He still Cares


I assure you, those who listen to My Message and believe in God who sent Me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life. —Jesus (See John 5:24, nlt)

When I go over that verse it makes me wanna ask: Whatcha focused on? Have you heard Christ's voice calling you? Have ya responded to His Word? You can!

Perhaps you feel like yelling: Man Kurt, that kinda talk sounds so liturgical dude, so religiously non-practical and mysterious. Yeah man, I like.. live in the real dog-eat-dog world here not on some pie-in-the-sky clouds!

Whaaaaat? I don't' mean to be pushy or spooky at all. Those are some important questions. And believe it or not, I try to give some thought to wording these so called "ecclesiastical questions" in a more down-to-earth kinda way.. you know, away from all that comes off as churchy-foreign to normal folk. I figure, why turn people off as they think about eternity? To me it's critical. That's such a long time to be wrong if people miss decide on the most important Issue.  

Hey, talk to me here, cuz I think I might be able to relate some. I spent 18 years of my life as a non-Christian during the '60s and '70s, and during that time I was into everything I could down ..except Bible reading and prayer.

"They stumble because they do not listen to God's Word or obey it, and so they meet the fate that has been planned for them." —1 Pet. 2:8b

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." —Jam. 1:22

"The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the Word of the Lord." —Acts 13:44

"..blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice." —Lk. 11:28

But Christian, what about you.. do you regularly hear God's Word and believe? (Got time to read the full version?)


I say you and I fix our gaze and even dead-bolt our eyes on Christ! He alone can meet all our needs.