Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ever Landed In What Feels Like “The Penalty Box”?

"..he [Pharaoh] gave orders to have Moses arrested and killed. But Moses fled from Pharaoh and escaped to the land of Midian. When Moses arrived in Midian, he sat down beside a well. Now it happened that the priest of Midian had seven daughters who came regularly to this well to draw water and fill the water troughs for their father's flocks… 'Go and invite him home for a meal!' Moses was happy to accept the invitation, and he settled down to live with them. In time, Reuel gave Moses one of his daughters, Zipporah, to be his wife." ~Exodus 2:15, 20-21

Interesting, the turns life can take huh.

Do you feel stuck? Have you ever been divorced, or maybe gone AWOL, or been kicked out of school, or been written up and put on probation at work, or worse yet….. fired?

Are you incarcerated behind bars and feel totally forgotten? Please know that you are not.

Do friends talk about you being on the shelf, Christian? Is your existence kinda like a bone-dry desert or more like a gushing oasis satisfying the thirst of others? Do you currently feel locked away in the penalty box of life? How can you know for sure that you really are?

If Moses was here, man, I know He could relate to you! Jesus would also understand. Weird religious leaders tried to put a halt on is activities and make Him wait it out. Christ never did any wrong, but He too had his periods of waiting in submission to the real Ref's (His Father's) plan. To some He probably appeared to be getting sidelined / benched by men wanting control. Hey, He's had his own desert experience.

His cous, John the baptizer, even lived in the desert.

Hey there, let's talk about it. So what do you remember of Moses and his special training out there on the backside of the desert? Why was he there?

It was because of manslaughter that Mo found himself in what appeared to be a major penalty box. And it appeared to be no one overnight cushy slumber party out there. God had some things for him to learn.  

But how did the Lord work in that situation?

For one thing, it sure seemed like God took His sweet time in grooming Moses to become His key man to lead the Hebrew children out of the Land of Egyptian oppression. I could never be anything like Mo.. can you even imagine how that accompanying bondage was? I'm sure it was the kind that makes a person want to earnestly cry out until the Lord would raise up a deliver of some sort (2:23).

I'm sure you've already heard how Egypt in the Bible is a type of the world? And I'm sure you also know that God wants to use you to help people in the world ..and lead people to faith in His Son and out of the darkness of this world's system? Sure, that's our calling—the duty of every blood bought child of God!  

Yup, it didn't take like one whole day, one whole week, one whole month or even one whole year to prep Mo—God did His work in his life over 40 long years.

Was it due to he feelings of shame, condemnation, and reproach? Man, I just wonder if Mo ever felt like a worthless, hopeless wooden-like vessel of dishonor that was placed upon a dusty lonely shelf in a dark corner. Did he feel like an athlete who would never get off the bench to actually go play? Perhaps you have felt like that at times as you ponder all the inequities of this life?

Do you ever feel too old or un-gifted to serve the Lord? Think about Moses' age. He spent the first 40 years of his life somehow learning that he was somebody, the next 40 years learning that he was nobody, and then the next 40 years learning what the Lord can do with a nobody, who is fully submitted to a God who delights to make a real somebody out of a nobody who is in close relationship with Himself. Was Moses like young ..at 80 (maybe ..in the light of eternity) when he started his POWERFUL supernatural ministry. What were some of the things that He learned in the Penalty Box? Well, he learned…

1.) Servanthood – he drew water for others who were thirsty (2:17), he was regularly tending the flock like a shepherd,
2.) Alien and parental existence – Mo learned how to be a stranger in a foreign land and even a father figure after he received a son that he named, Gershom (2:22).
3.) To hear the voice of the Lord ..which is always very important for any shepherd (3:4). Until you've heard the voice of the Lord (probably non-audible), you really have no ministry at all.
4.) The lesson of obedience. Take another look at Mo standing there on the holy ground just flappin' his gums and arguing away with God about his inability to communicate (4:10). Actually Mo was using five excuses about why he didn't want to go back there. No, no, he didn't wanna go (4:13)! You'd kinda think that after all that time, he'd be a little bit eager to return and help his kinfolk out by now huh.
5.) Vertical trust – it had been many days since that Egyptian died–yup, 40 years–but the Lord fed Moses and his family. God met all his needs even when things looked monotonous, unchanging and even hopeless. Moses learned that just a little bit of trust and obedience in faith would bring a whole lot of supernatural blessing (4:7), and that when God blessed him, God also had others in mind (4:29). 

What a great movie this would make if they could just get all the special effects right huh! I just love how God patiently reasoned with Mo saying, "'Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.' But Moses said to God, 'Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?' So He said, 'I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain" (Ex. 3:10-12, nkjv).

Take courage, for you will not always be in the "Penalty Box" ..if you are in there at all! God knows. Take all the things that you do not yet understand and put them in a "I don't get it Lord" container if you will.. all the tears and frustrations. Give em to Him. Just pray something like, "I trust you and one day face to face You can explain it to me, if you even want to. I surrender and that's totally Your deal Jesus." Don't give up yet! God's got a plan and you are very loved! Never doubt that! 

GOT A MOMENT TO READ THE ENTIRE ENTRY?

**The “penalty box” a.k.a. the sin bin, the bad boy locker a.k.a. the bin briefly defined. Huh? That’s the learning area in ice hockey, rugby and in a few other sports where a player sits to serve out the time of his penalty that’s not really severe enough to merit outright expulsion. Teams can not replace any player in the box, but the contest goes on.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Will Net Castin' For Peeps Look Like Tomorrow?

Have you discovered yet that second only to the blessing of experiencing Christ in biblical worship first hand, comes the great J-O-Y, fun and priviledge of tactfully sharing Jesus with another person? I say go for Him full-on and for sharing Him (see Mark 5:19)? Use whatever you appropriately can! Hey gang, I've got some questions for you ..if you don't mind. How will you be involved in God's plan? What will the web and fishing tools of tomorrow look like.. yeah, if those tomorrows arrive pre-rapture? Can U adapt to all the changes that are happening around you? Can I? An old Message with new trends n guidance—can such a combo glorify the God who through it all wants more kids in His is family?

Do you use the net to fish with or people to walk on? Do you care about high tech gadgets more than the peeps they were designed to help? I like and find some gadgets pretty helpful, but I still haven't caught on with the GPS devices yet.

What are you into, after, about and why? I feel like engaging people while I can. I want to be with em long enough to hear their hearts and see their needs. Where are they hanging out today ..on networks? I never knew so many of my cool friends were into e-farming and the Mafia, did you?

In these upcoming decades, I am totally looking forward to some more face to face and cyber-interaction minus the mouse and keyboard aren't you? I'm looking forward to better tools—more drag-n-drop evangelistic tracts, clear-vid-tracts, insightful literature and relevant audio Gospel e-tracts that don't smack of tacky boring dead religion.

Of course ya gotta know that e-fishing will never replace face-to-face fishin', but why not prayerfully be involved in both starting today ..zealously pointing-em to Christ and then to your sound Christ-honoring church? Friends and maintaining right priorities is so crucial in these times!

Fishin' tools, people or even "the ministry" aren't really worth bowin' to when Jesus alone is! We should love the Lord most and then others, but wisely use technology for em rather than love technology and use the Lord or people!

"Then they will worship their nets and burn incense in front of them" ~Habakkuk 1:16

Are you over-enamored with your PowerPoint, Blu-ray, flat screens and social widgets? Man, do wanna go from a rustic hand sickle to big fat well-oiled combines for harvestin'! I do want to employ tasty up-to-date non-religious bait that the fish actually like! Do want to drop more appropriate lures n stuff in the water that righteously attract rather than scare the people away. Hey, the more wisely you prayerfully prepare, the more confident you'll be and communicate! The more hooks and nets you use in the right locations, the more fish you'll more than likely catch! With all due respect pastor, how many relevant Bible-loyal services do you.. or can you offer—the AMC Grand Theater in the hood near you offers many worship services with a wide range of appeal from morning to late night. Is it too hard business person for your clients to discover who you are committed to? I challenge you to trust the Lord. It doesn't cost a fortune to get creative with excellence! Do you put a Gospel-hook in every Message, a sly tract in the crack, or do you allow services to elapse without any form of salvation appeal to be presented?

Willing-all-out-Christ-worshipin' hearts are needed badly today unlike in any other day in history! Real-sinner-concern is a must-have for all Christians. Passionate-heart-to-voice-to-text-to-unbelievers kinda technology is also needed in our day, but not all the techy-distractions that are barraging us all! Methods seem to change fast (will we also quick enough?), but the Message never does! 

Qs: Is it possible in this online culture that you can pray and be a servant of all.. seeing exponential results for God's glory? If your friends and their friends really do matter, how can we best reach them with the Gospel? How can you, with the same effort as you now employ one-on-one, edify, witness and win more people with truth and love simultaneously?

Consider it; knowledge shall be increased near the end! The Internet we know—that complicated series of protocols, the interconnected networks of various types, the now smaller than ever servers, the colorful cables, the slim laptops and desktop computers—it has all advanced so quickly in almost 20 short years since the first site was created ..to what we use daily now to interrelate with other by via browsers, email, youtube, hulu, linkedin, twitter, facebook etc. You've heard the story of how that U.S. Department of Defense research project into the foundation for the www (world wide waste of time.. no I mean the World Wide Web).

After the 4G wireless network craze starts to fade the web will become accessible almost anywhere if they Lord tarries. Now the embedding of the web will happen outside of your computers and all your TV and Media-Centric puter stuff will gradually merge into one. Your car, your city, and then America will more than likely become Wi-Fi hot spots in the next couple decades (Lord willing) and almost every appliance and wall in your house could become a useful touch-screen interactive interface (or probably a talk at screen interface). So how will the Church prepare for this more social world coming upon us, keeping others in mind and prayer? I say we, the Church, safely jump in to learn and minister now! 

Pastor, the primary key to your church's growth aint Social Networks and other tech junk, nor has it ever hung on door-to-door or e-marketing. Undoubtedly, the so called sheep near your locale are already supplementing their fellowship and witnessing with great e-tools now, but the Key actually hung on the Cross. Yes, a Person who cares more for the lost than any state of the art buildings or wired and wireless infrastructure—Jesus brings the increase spiritually and numerically (and the later will follow the former, if the former is aimed at right)!

You know all this, but still do we spend enough time alone away from technology ..talking with Jesus about this? Are we listening attentively and hearing the Lord's specific directives for each unique fellowship and congregation? Do we still ask the Head many pointed questions and wait on Him for a flock's guidance sake? He doesn't mind tons of questions.

You know that Christ has a specific roll and calling for each person, each family, and each local church to fulfill, so merely mimicking the cutting-edge cyber tactics of sheep-shed-B in your home town ..won't automatically bring God's favor, touch and blessing within the four walls where you are.   

Sure, we are to still rely more upon Jesus than on good tools, other's methodology or on our own minds in world evangelism today!

But remember that every year old fishermen fill boats with scaly, slimy, gilled, flopping creatures at real lakes near you by simply practicing ..and by becoming more tool and bait savvy. Can we learn from them too? Ya gotta know what the Lord wants you to apply, work with, and then gain good proficiency with the tackle box and contents that He give to your flock. Why not trust God to show you exactly which tools to invest in, and practice with. Why not expect God to use you as you utilize these things for net casting and even building His Kingdom up (instead of yours) short of sin? 

"..O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" ~Daniel 12:4

THINK before ya flap your gums, shoot and send your pic, or click-clack your fingers: T – Is it truthful? H – Is it Helpful? I – Is it Inspiring? N – Is it really Needed? K – Is it Kind?

Churches grow when Christians pray, obey and go..  
when we each sow, water n know that it's God who answers every prayer and thwarts every foe!
Every member can still share n care and be fair, instead of just be bored n stare. Hey God might say No, or Slow.. Grow or Go, but He gives the increase after prayer ..yes n much better than any pro!
It's directed-service from above that guides us like a gentle dove. That's what motivates pastors to preach n teach n live the Word ..and to reach out those who have not heard!

"And He [Jesus] said to them, 'Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.' So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish." ~John 21:6

"Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; But much increase comes by the strength of an ox." ~Proverbs 14:4  

Qs: What's your objective with following, friending or subscribing to someone in Social Media? Why do ya or don't cha? Are you merely money motivated, lonely and want to make a love-connection, want to make a sale for your company, want a position, or want to become more "popular"?

Do you long to enlarge your circle of holy love to take in more needy people for the glory of God? Do you primarily hope to see the ones you friend one day regenerated inside and then grow on multiple levels as they listen to and respond to truth ..or do you yourself want to grow as you listen to and apply the truth that you read or hear from them? Do you pray for and encourage the people you friend?

Christian, "friending" people doesn't mean you make everyone—even closed-minded full-tilt reprobates—ur close friends (we need on-fire balanced Christians and those wanting to be.. as close friends). It does mean that you are willing to wisely risk, to give some people a chance, that you're willing to hear them out while wisely protecting your family and existing friends.. that you're willing to reason with em in the Spirit for an eternal purpose.

It should mean that you primarily have an aim to give rather than to get.. I mean to help and add value to people's lives rather than to be like a leach. Leachy people fixate on people and are unwilling to look to Christ to meet their needs as He promises to do. They have a hidden deficit that other people are expected to fill.

Please be on the give rather than on the take and let the Word, not others, define you. Jesus was and still is inclusive, but we are not to allow others to pull us downwards morally and spiritually. Following everyone back automatically defines you as an autofollower.. someone who can be easily influenced. Why follow instead of block a stubbornly committed pervert? Jesus said follow Me. Sure people you follow can change for the worse and then post the wrong photos etc (it has surprised me at times who I needed to confront and sometimes block). But following many of your new followers back could mean that you are someone who wants to positively influence many in love ..by planting, watering and cultivating seeds of truth in them. Do you boldly pray for God to reap others through you?

Listen, you define yourself by who you Friend, close-Friend, block or subscribe to ..virtually or face to face. Some will reject becoming your friend by seeing who you friend. Have you made Jesus, Facebook, Twitter, a peer or a puter-game your very best friend? Who do you talk about the most? Where do you spend most of your time and money? Have you made your spouse your second best friend? And then do you graciously keep em in that second slot? Who or what do you put ahead of them or ahead of your relationship with Jesus? With social networks, do you sit, stand or walk in the counsel of the ungodly? See Psalm one.

"They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship… So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" ~Acts 2:42, 46-47

A church or fellowship whose members Worship Jesus in public and in private, Evangelize on or offline, Learn from every verse and situation, and Love God and all kinds of folk.. will be a WELL church, rad-effective in the community, and much appreciated by all those in the neighborhood!

"I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase." ~1 Corinthians 3:6

Those are some words that you and I can meditate upon for awhile ..within their own context huh. May God give us keen insight and fishing courage!  
RU inChrist? Ynot? UcanB2day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Word—Living, Powerful, and Sharper…


How was your weekend? As of a couple minutes ago, I discovered that it will be the Colts and the Saints in this year's Super Bowl game—my wife kept me up on both teams progress today. She goes nuts over football. It can get loud and crazy quick around our home when a game is on. Lookin' forward to when the saints go marching in.. for the first time ever! Don't you want to be in that number? You can be!

Qs: Do you have a devotional life in the Word? Specifically what's it like and what does this life include?

Had a great day praying with my awesome wife, then enjoyed fellow-shippin' (btw: that term is a verb) with old friends in Frisco Texas today and with that.. being strongly challenged ..I am stoked out to the max! That's what I love about Dallas (and about orange county California where I came from)—these are two places have a whole lot of real Christians who are sold out! And if you want Bible-based fellowship (which is to be an iatrical part of any Christian's life for God's glory and growth's sake), then you can always find this in these two locations.

Ya gotta visit here sometime! I find that the more Christ-centered fellowship I get, the more I want to pray and the easier it is to apply the Word in my everyday life.  

There are sick fellowships and churches to avoid too, but I feel so grateful for real-peeps who make me think right—who say it like it is. Do you have friends like that who want to see you balanced, grounded and established in the Word?   

Hey, I still am a learner that hates ignorance, especially in the area of how to live. Personally, I was raised in a so called church organization that was so stiff and formal.. I do not want to deprecate or blame anyone there, but they unfortunately did not teach God's Word.

They preached about being moral to gain God's favor and falsely to gain salvation. Sometimes they sermonized in a dead foreign language and other times in English. They told me that a lot of stuff I just couldn't know about (referring to stuff that God really wanted me to know about that He already made plain in the Bible), because it "was a mystery for all."

Don't get me wrong, there will be things that happen in our lives that we just don't understand until we get to Heaven, but I'm not talking those things. I'm talking about all the truth that God did reveal for you and me. I'd hate to go on without knowing ever the basics of what God really wants every Christian to know about ..in how to live in right relationship with the Lord down here. I did for years though. How about you? When the Bible talks about mysteries, it's because God is wanting to reveal a mystery to you!

Man, you know, it was a dark day in history when preaching n teaching the Bible took a back seat in the Church! These disciplines are always to be top priority in the church and done passionately as unto the Lord instead of done in a boring fashion.  

When there is a mist in the pulpit, there is a fog in the pew. ~Howard Hendricks

When local churches get away from the Word, they quickly lose authority and significance in a community. What does your church give preeminence to in the services? Lots of churches are merely employing philosophy, political propaganda, religious opinions, rituals, traditions, entertainment, or strict moralizing in place of expository through the Bible verse by verse teaching. But listen; there is no spiritual growth apart from the Word of God.

God's Word shows us our personal sin and its serious consequences: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (See Rom. 3:23); "the wages of sin is death" (6:23). God's Word tells us of the Lord's great love and of his true salvation: "God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, . . . made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)" (Eph. 2:4-5). And then the Word grants us wisdom for daily living: "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Ps. 119:105).

Yes, no one can get saved independent from the Word. The person of God in faith shares the Word of God and that in turn produces the child of God. Are you His child yet? Do you have faith? Have you been made new inside?

Have ya really "been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever"? See 1 Peter 1:23. Do you really know Jesus Christ and love to talk about Him.. "His name is called the Word of God" (Rev. 19:13).

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." ~Romans 10:17

I have a companion, a wonderful Guide, a solace and comfort whatever betide;
A friend never-failing when others pass by, Oh, blessed communion, the Word and I. ~Knobloch

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." ~Ephesians 6:17

"Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith." ~Acts 6:7  

The Bible stands like a rock undaunted 'mid the raging storms of time;
Its pages burn with the truth eternal and they glow with a light sublime. ~Lillenas

"For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." ~Hebrews 4:12

"Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven." ~Psalm 119:89

I'm not into Lordship-salvation at all, though I do believe that all Christians need to make Jesus Lord. Why? Cuz a sinner can not trust in the Bible Jesus as Lord, until he or she first trusts in Jesus as Savior.

You have not really believed until you've really repented, and you have not really repented until you have really believed in Jesus the living Word of God—biblically, repentance and faith always go together. 

Don't ever try to make a gift cost anything—it's free! ~Chuck Swindoll
  
The psalmist said of the Word of God, "Your precepts . . . have given me life" (Ps. 119:93). Not "sold me life." Faith plus good works that are so called, meritorious, all combined together will not gain  you any points or get you into heaven one day (I was false told this mixture would get me in, but I could never be sure until I was in). Have you been falsely hoping that your good deeds would, in the end, outweigh all your bad deeds so that God would somehow have to let you gain entrance into glory? That type of religiously earning-it-jive would make the bloody cross of Christ on Calvary be totally in vain, Amigo! Let it go.

Can't buy it, can't sell it, can't earn it!

Salvation Is Still By Grace Alone Through Faith Alone In Christ The Word Alone.. yup, with nothing added to it! Free, free, FREE!

Friday, January 22, 2010

End Times? Come On, Give Me A Stinkin' Break!

"For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now." ~Romans 8:22

What do you really think about Tsunamis, hurricanes, city-wide floods and earthquakes? (BTW: I encourage you to continue praying for those in Haiti). 

What do you think when you consider the devastating natural disasters that are killing more and more people these days with seemingly increased frequency?

Perhaps you are troubled about the growing population issues, global warming and a polluted planet? How green do you want to live? Does the massive debt with more radical spending here get you down or is it merely family tensions at home that challenge you?

Whatcha think about all the radical instability (on more than one level) and the so called birth pangs in the world today? Do ya blow it all off feeling like, Hey, I don't have time and I'll leave that stuff for the paid experts to address and decipher?

I've noticed that many people have stopped reading the newspapers feeling all depressed. They tell me that it's such a downer and boring. And yet others watch such radically biased news channels on TV that largely put out twisted propaganda that taints minds. What sources and text should we trust?

My question today is: Does this present day turmoil bug you much? Does the threat of jihad-terrorism with planes and diaper-bombers scare you any? Do the hostilities that happen within our own western boarders and the predominant let's just show em we are nice people policy—the appeasement-mentality of our preoccupied leaders ..does it ever get you to drop to your knees for prayer? Do these real End Time events, as many (including me..) call them, make you curious enough to start studying the Bible at all?

One thing is for sure, Jesus doesn't want you to worry or to be afraid. Instead, He wants you secure in His love and obedient in His direct will. In spite of it all, there is still hope, joy and laughter for you in Him!

"For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows." ~Jesus, Mark 13:8

"And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven." ~Jesus, Luke 21:11

"…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." ~Jesus, Matthew 6:34

You might not personally believe in "last days events" but you and me are indeed living in our last days. We've got to make the most of em!  

Will you be ready for what's coming next?

Back in the day, a couple thousand years ago, the disciples posed a good question to Jesus Christ about the end-times. Why? Man, they were so desirous that Jesus explain some about the signs of His future return and they knew that He had answers.

Yeah, they basically wanted to be tipped-off in advance as to when it would all play out. Do you ever wonder when His return will happen?

Think about it a moment. If these Bible guys back then were curious about such things in the first century, shouldn't we also be a bit curious in this 21st century? I think we should be.

How come Bible prophecies have thus far been fulfilled with one hundred percent accuracy while other so called holy books from the other world religions don't even come close in this department?   

Now sure, we've all seen tattered street folk in big cities wearing sandwich board signs or holding strange looking religious placards about the "last days." I've even seen em commandeer whole bus stop areas downtown. And sometimes it gives you the willies as they come off so angry or condemning in how they preach at the business people there. I wish religious folk and the real Church of Jesus haven't done it wrong or messed up as much as we have. I apologize to you for this.   

Personally, I don't think I have always done such a great job on the street or in the venues that I've spoken in before as well, so I'll leave all that alone for now. But your personal Bible study times alone with Jesus should spawn some good questions that motivate you to the core of your being ..and into further exploration regarding prophecy—what God has to say about how life will be in the last days! His opinions matter, ours are perhaps worth about about a nickel or so. 

Yes questions like:

-      What are a few important and valid signs of the last days and real judgment?

-      Why are we obviously headed towards a cashless society?

-      Will there really be a one world government?

-      Will the Anti-Christ be a real person—do you think that he is alive today?

-      What about the significance of Israel suddenly becoming a nation again in 1948?

-      Why can I not find the most powerful nation on earth—the United States of America—in the prophetic passages at all?

-      Will we even be a nation by the time when Christ's comes in the clouds—where will be even be?

-      What is the difference between the "catching away" (the Rapture) and Christ's Second Advent?

-      What's up with the real non-Hollywood version of the battle of Armageddon—doesn't that happen before the Second Coming takes place?


Perhaps you didn't know..

-      That there are more than 300 passages in the Bible that are dealing with Christ's return.

-      That statistically, one out of every 25 verses in the Bible mentions Christ's return.

-      That Jesus spoke of His return at least 21 different times when He walked on this planet.

       

-      Why is there so much hostility and bloody violence in the streets of Jerusalem?

-      Why do the hateful Muslim leaders in Iran say their goal is to blow Israel off the map?

-      What exactly does their Koran tell them about us "infidels" and does it really command them to drive all Jews into the sea (It is filled with error! Islam is the fastest growing enforced religion in the world. "There you go, Kurt, quit being a 'my-way-or-the-highway' Jesus freak fanatic." I write cuz I do love Muslims - See vid)?  

-      What really is Israel's significance in end-times events?

-      What exactly will happen during the seven years of Tribulation; that period of intense hell on earth?

-      What will it be like during the millennium when heaven and earth literally become one?

Please keep your eyes and ears open. Please let what is currently going on in Haiti and around the world get you into God's Word, into God's plan and into an on-going lifestyle of repentance, faith and prayer for those hurting around you. I dare you to get ready spiritually and look for the answers to these questions and more ..for yourself and for your family! People are depending on you.    

Monday, January 18, 2010

Primarily, Why Were You Born?


Good question huh! Ever think about that? What's the main purpose of your existence? 

Principally, you were created to evangelize and serve others…

NOT!!!

Yup, neither serving others nor verbally witnessing is your first calling. Can you believe that you are hearing that from me? Man, I love anointed personal evangelism!

Too many today think they will please God if they are workaholics in service to others for Jesus Christ ..and they only go and hurt their families and friends. It's just wrong.

You were primarily designed to worship the God who made you for Himself. It's really not to serve or witness to lost people primarily ..even though it's so good to do both of those activities in His will ..as a natural outgrowth of personal worship of Christ. If you prioritize expressing the worth-ship of God first, then you can be a more effective servant and fisher unto His glory!

He wants all of you. Yes, you where made for Him—to worship Him for Who He is, "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (Jn. 4:24, nkjv).

The Bible speaks of God, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace…" (Eph. 1:5,6, emphasis mine).


Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool—He is holy. ~Psalm 99:5

You alone are worthy, Lord, to be worshiped and adored;
We to You our tribute bring as our hearts rejoice and sing. ~Hess


What does real worship mean? I can explain this some.


But there is no reason not to worship Christ today! Read the entire entry...

Playin' Favorites Hurt's God's Favorites


Did you know that all of God's kids are God's favorites? Yup! Question for ya: Ever seen a small family business. What did you think? I like a lot of them. Gotta friend who has come to me a couple times for prayer about his constant concerns for his apparent-sick-church a couple hours south of Dallas ..where an inordinate amount of families and leaders keep bailing-out the back revolving door. 

He said these people never return again and that hurts him as a teacher there, because the seemingly PC but hard-headed lead pastor allegedly doesn't take time etc.. for the common folk there, but for years now has only built everything to suit and serve his own incompetent family members (who are in the top positions).

I guess my friend shared this with me because I'm totally outside the situation and don't even know the name of his church. 

Anyways, I was told that his lead pastor has been respectfully approached one-on-one several times (even by the one telling me this), where the leaders have asked the senior pastor why it's only family members who become elders, board members or paid staff at this church (..again, I've never been there, but I hear that in some sheep-sheds at times a carnal-half-baked family member becomes the only retirement plan there is for preachin' pop. Sociologically, this sounds like the start of a creepy cult huh).

Hey, I'm no one of significance here but I did have some other initial thoughts. A.) OK, my praying friend (I'll call him Joe) said he first went one-on-one to respectfully discuss this issue with the pastor, and he still really loves the man and this church.. even though I think he's probably stayed with this sicko-congregation too many years. I also thought about Matthew 18:15,and 1 Timothy 5:19) as well as.. B.) My friend doesn't seek to harm or split this flock. It reminds me of a better Leader: C. Jesus the Chief Shepherd, who took the time for the lowly and unknown people. He was such a good Example—"no respecter of persons" in that He didn't play favorites with certain people in His fold over others. 


"'Teacher,' [Jesus] these men said, 'we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don't play favorites. You sincerely teach the ways of God.." ~Mk. 12:14, nlt 


"..Teacher [Jesus Christ], we know how honest You are. You teach about the way of God regardless of the consequences. You are impartial and don't play favorites." ~ Matt. 22:16, nlt

New fisher (whoever you are): remember no local church is perfect—flawed people are a part of churches—but God does expect us to be active and supportive in a healthy Bible teaching church that embraces Essential Christian doctrine and has spiritually sound leaders in it. World missions, our biblical unity, and the not-yet caught who are swimming in local fishing holes, ponds, lakes, seas ..are still on His mind.


Got a free moment to read the whole entry?

Need a sound church and real friends? 
Got church hurt? Please don't give up on Jesus or His Body! 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Natural Disasters and People Needing Comfort

We are called to be compassionate witnesses every single day. Love wins not ignorance!

 

It's such a lame Christian witness—it's such foolish presumption when a Christian or a Christian leader publicly says that any natural disaster that results in wounded or dead people is God's judgment on them due to the sins committed by a group of forefathers from yesteryear. Doesn't this misrepresent the Kingdom they profess to serve in and just give the Church another black eye. Doesn't this worthless blah blah just fill the scripts of late night comedians in our culture with more fodder to mock and scoff at? It's so sad when some so called leaders aren't learning from past mistakes in this area! 

 

Did our lovely Jesus do this sort of thing? No!!! Isn't it high time for many in the church to get back to the Bible and to the caring Spirit of Christ? Indeed, it's time to board the clue bus!

 

When forgiven and non-forgiven people perish together (or are about to die under rubble..) due to a natural disaster, the real Church of Jesus Christ should be the first to arrive on the scene with shovels in hand to dig and pray the living out.. to comfort, to feed, to listen and to lend a practical and healing hand. 

 

Does it prove that anyone is a great and true prophet to point a finger or to affix blame in such a situation where more will soon die?

 

This kind of whacko jive comes off as so heartless to a watching, listening world! It's bad ambassadorship!

 

It is simply non-verifiable! How does this type of thing even help the hurting, the hungry, the grieving or anyone for that matter to see God's broken heart for the lost? He doesn't desire to see anyone go to Hell nor does He send people there for the sins of others (See 2 Peter 3:9). God's judgment.. "it must begin first among God's own children" (1Pet4:17nlt) instead of with others.

 

Bottom-line: people in and out of the church will act according to what they really believe, so it is radically important for us to believe what is true (especially all Christians and leaders). We are to weep with those who weep not throw more stones at them! HELLO!

 

"My grief is beyond healing; my heart is broken." ~Jeremiah 8:18

 

"My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart's desires are broken." ~Job 17:11

 

"I weep for the hurt of my people. I am stunned and silent, mute with grief. Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?" ~Jeremiah 8:21-22

 

Personally, I've found.. even had to learn the hard way.. that when I've said my peace and taken care of my own business for the day, it's then time to go to bed ..instead of saying or doing any more.

"There were present at that season some who told Him [Jesus Christ] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.'" ~Jesus, Luke 13:1-5.

I just love those words in Lukes Gospel (above). Christ wasn't talking about the results of some earthquake or natural disaster here but just the same.. there is an eternal truth from His words that is transferable to our day.

 

Back in the day, the Galileans could get pretty hotheaded at times. It really bugged em to always be under the wicked Roman rulers, so historically most of the revolts against the Roman government came from the region of Galilee.

 

People were telling Jesus about some of the Galileans that were more than likely involved in an open revolt of sorts against Rome, and about how Herod then ruthlessly sent some soldiers to quell this "problem."

 

The soldiers arrived as the Galileans were in the process of making an offering sacrifice to the Lord, but the Roman soldiers killed em right there on the spot. What a sight; their blood was mixed in with the blood of their own sacrifices. This was heinous but to the Jew this was especially horrific!

 

It's too often that Christians and other people blow it when something uber-tragic and deadly happens in our sin-cursed world. They often make the mistake when something happens to a person or to a group by calling it God's wrath or "judgment on those sinners."

 

They easily figure "Man, those evil people are finally getting exactly what they deserve."

Perhaps individuals making these statements of accusation merely desire to be ..or to be considered as keenly insightful. Dunno, but Christ is flat out putting this thought pattern and concept down low where it belongs. Jesus asked and answered, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no.."

 

When Christ's answer is a very clear "No" like that, then none of us today should think like this either.. especially out loud and publicly where people can get the wrong idea about Christ's entire Church. Callous Indifference and mean-spirited blame won't win people.  

 

Without love we are nothing! The Bible warns, "Some prophets are nothing but windbags. The Lord hasn't spoken through them, so let what they say happen to them" (Jer. 5:13, gw).

 

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