Friday, December 28, 2018

How did it go, and how will it go.. in 2019? Thinkin' about King Saul and how he wasted so much time -- he failed and early on failed to inquire of the Lord. 1 Chronicles 10:14

So, how was your Christmas? Did you get all you needed or wanted? 

Grateful and content! I feel amped and upbeat. Are you going to make any New Year's resolutions? Question for you. Are you going to follow Jesus this year or want Jesus to follow you? Sounds kind of crazy, but many people do that.. even asking Him to do that with so many words. We do what we want to do and sometimes we ask God to bless it. Been there, done that.
Are you going to inquire of Him for direction?
God chose to send Jesus to earth to save us from the penalty of our sins. But why did He do it the way He did?
Jesus submitted to the Father's plan; He chose to go with the Message that all people really need -- the Gospel. Need even now, and through this new year. The Spirit led Him all the way to the Cross.
"My soul magnifies the LORD, and my spirit rejoices in God my SAVIOR, for He has looked on the HUMBLE estate of his SERVANT. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done GREAT things for me..” ~ Mary, Luke 1:46-49 #emph.mine
Mary said, “Behold, I am the SERVANT of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word." Luke 1:38a
Not a rebel or selfish. Mary submitted to and really loved the Word -- she was godly and blessed! Stoked! Let's all of the Word and live enthusiastically! She saw herself as a saved servant of God instead of being prideful about being chosen to carry Jesus to term. She pointed people to Jesus. She never wants prayer directed to her -- don't do it. Glorify God like she did. 
All need to be forgiven, saved, and humbly obedient -- daily led by the Lord. You can make it right and inquire right now. 

How should we view Him, and ourselves in 2019 if God gives us really important directives and tasks? You know he has a good plan for you!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

"It's somehow gotten complicated and so confusing." We hear that a lot these days. So, why not make clear and uncomplicate things for this new year? “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” ~ Ronald Reagan

Ever been in a relationship that somehow got complicated? Hate that. So, what do you do? You simply uncomplicate it. 

Listen, the Bible helps with that. It is the most fascinating and spectacular Book -- the greatest read there is. Yep, that ever existed. Really great stories that equip and more! I ain't going to lie, it is. The best Book to pull from the shelves. 

No book has been translated, copied, or read as much as the Bible. Cultists and other religious sort of people still twist and selfishly use it sometimes to do their own thing even within some so called churches. Strange -- it's not helpful, but there are some healthy Bible teaching churches you can find. And if the words of the Bible are taken at face value, within their context (so important), then good will come to this world. To you too! 

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore You, and blessed are the breasts that nursed You.’ But He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’  Luke 11:27-28

Now therefore, my sons, listen to me, for blessed are those who keep my ways.  Proverbs 8:32

Hear it, God’s voice as you muse over the words in the Bible. Pray it -- Scripture in a non-spooky, practical sorta way.  Why act hyper-spiritual? Rehear it. Study it. Ponder it and how to act on it. Memorize the words of verses or passages of the Bible. Live it. Be blessed by it -- God does that cuz He delights to see the truth of the Scriptures dwelling in you richly with all wisdom.. for His glory.

He who keeps a commandment preserves his soul; but he who is careless in his ways will die.  Proverbs 19:16

But He replied, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and carry it out.’  Luke 8:21

If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:17

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and obey what is written in it, because the time is near. Revelation 1:3
I say we wisely apply it instead of foolishly, the great principles found in the 66 books from 35 those authors. 5,000 years of history and every single human problem there has ever been or ever will be.. can be answered in the Bible.
So why aren’t students being taught the Bible? Why are Bibles still catching dust? Why aren't more Bibles on devices like iPhones? Why aren't parents being taught the Bible? Why do so many politicians and other leaders avoid it like the plague?
I just heard of another very creative artist who got depressed and committed suicide. Why? Well, cuz he ran out of Hope which is like an oxygen of sorts for people. So sad!!!
"For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might HAVE HOPE. Rom. 15:4 #Emph.Mine

We are now on the threshold of a new year. Read through the Book. And need some excellent memory verses to prayerfully meditate upon?

  • -- "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." -Psalm 119:105
  • -- "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." -2 Timothy 3:16-17
  • -- "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." -Hebrews 4:12
  • -- "Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching." -1 Timothy 4:13
  • -- "But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." -Psalm 1:2

  • Here are 25 bonus truths on Scripture! No charge. : ) 

    1. “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” -Charles Spurgeon
    2. “We are the Bibles the world is reading; we are the creeds the world is needing; we are the sermons the world is heeding.” -Billy Graham
    3. “We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order. The Bible tells us that God did not originally make the world to have disease, hunger, and death in it. Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power. Jesus' miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we all want is coming.” -Timothy J. Keller
    4. “It is mind-boggling to me that the Almighty power created everything I see; the Bible says that God created the entire universe just so he could create this galaxy just so he could create Earth so he could create human beings so he could create a family.” -Rick Warren
    5. “He does have surprising, secret purposes. I open a Bible, and His plans, startling, lie there barefaced. It’s hard to believe it, when I read it, and I have to come back to it many times, feel long across those words, make sure they are real. His love letter forever silences any doubts: “His secret purpose framed from the very beginning [is] to bring us to our full glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7 NEB).” -Ann Voskamp
    6. “When the world beats you down, open up your Bible.” -Lysa TerKeurst
    7. “The Word of God I think of as a straight edge, which shows up our own crookedness. We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture.” -Elisabeth Elliot
    8. “Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness.” -Helen Keller
    9. “The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.” -Martin Luther
    10. “What I see in the Bible, especially in the book of Psalms, which is a book of gratitude for the created world, is a recognition that all good things on Earth are God's, every good gift is from above. They are good if we recognize where they came from and if we treat them the way the Designer intended them to be treated.” -Philip Yancey
    11. “The Bible is the book of my life. It's the book I live with, the book I live by, the book I want to die by.” -N. T. Wright
    12. “I’ve read the last page of the Bible, it’s all going to turn out alright.” -Billy Graham
    13. “Put your nose into the Bible everyday. It is your spiritual food. And then share it. Make a vow not to be a lukewarm Christian.” -Kirk Cameron
    14. “The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” -A.W. Tozer
    15. “The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.” -Søren Kierkegaard
    16. “The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.” -Augustine of Hippo
    17. “We go from Malachi to Matthew in one page of our scriptures, but that one piece of paper that separates the Old Testament from the New Testament represents 400 years of history - 400 years where there wasn't a prophet, 400 years where God's voice wasn't heard. And that silence was broken with the cry of a baby on Christmas night.” -Louie Giglio
    18. “Don't fall into the trap of studying the Bible without doing what it says.” -Francis Chan
    19. “So great is my veneration for the Bible, that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hopes that they will prove useful citizens to their country and respectable members of society.” -John Quincy Adams
    20. “Reading and understanding the Bible involves lots and lots of interpretation. Not just in light of the world and culture around us, but in reference to other parts of the Bible.” -John Piper
    21. “Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.” -Mark Twain
    22. “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book that you can by reason and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man. It is the best Book which God has given to man.” -Abraham Lincoln
    23. “The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination.” -Shane Claiborne
    24. “Apply yourself wholly to the Scriptures, and apply the Scriptures wholly to yourself.” -Johann A. Bengel
    25. “I want to know one thing, the way to heaven: how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way; for this very end he came from heaven. He has written it down in a book! Oh, give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be: “A man of one book.” – John Wesley

    Sunday, December 23, 2018

    Why be as you were.. minus real freedom?

    Q. Why stay the same when you can be changed.. can be regenerated inside in a good way.. can become better.. can become free.. yeah, free-er than you’ve ever been before? 

    All need to be forgiven -- that's just how it is. Turn, trust, ask. What's so hard about that?
    Think about it. For real. Why stay bound to this world when really there is a better Option there for you? You must be born again cuz Jesus said, You much be born again. See John chapter 3. So many people speak of their love for spiritual growth these days, but there is zero spiritual growth apart from the word of God. That inner change that you've been craving ain't going to happen independent from Him. 
    Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. "God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us."
    Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life -- of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
    Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me."

    Friday, December 21, 2018

    We've only had a white Christmas four times where I live in Dallas, but this one.. it can be a white Christmas for you. Yup, white as snow! What a gift! Why uber-complicate it all, when really you can receive, and give out the Gospel very uncomplicated? The Gospel is simple enough for a child to grasp -- turn, trust and connect with your very best Friend.. forever. On His terms. Think about it, it's the worldly fake news haters, deceived folk including cultists, and religionists who complicate it all, but God has never been religious or confused.

    white and black snowflake print gift box on gray surface

    The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"

    Stuff called just doesn't need to stay in the way. 

    The problem is that...


    This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God, from enjoying fellowship with Him.

    The Bible says "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says "The wages of sin is death."

    The good news is that, over 2,000 years ago...


    Jesus Christ is the sinless Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. Yep, "God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us."

    Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life -- of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me." There are indeed many ways to God.. standing before His holy judgment seat, but there's only one way to get into heaven and that's through Christ, thee door in.

    God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. The Bible promises, "As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name." You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and ask Him to come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.

    IT'S A GIFT TO RECEIVE. Your heavenly Father holds His Gift out for you. 

    WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE GOD'S FORGIVENESS? Theres zero charge to you for this Wonderful gift. Yes, it's totally free, so you can walk and live totally free. Hurt people tend to hurt people, but healed Christian people can be used of Him to heal people. God uses free people to free other people.

    If you want to be forgiven inside, (can happen by faith) simply decide to receive God's Christmas Gift. Accept Christ as your personal Savior, trusting Him to help you now turn from your sins. You can humbly come to Him; you can pray asking Him to become your Savior and Lord at this moment. Would you pray a prayer something like this:

    "Father God, thanks for sending Jesus here. 
    Lord Jesus,
    Thanks for voluntarily coming here, for loving me and for having a good plan. 
    I believe you are God the Son -- the holy Son of God.
    And thanks for dying on the cross in my place -- for all my wrong-doin's, wrong thinkin's, or wrong sayin's (sins). You know what I mean.
    Please do forgive my sins now and give me the gift of eternal life.
    I ask you in to my life and heart at this time.. to be my Lord and Savior.
    Help me grow. Use snd keep me. I want to serve you always."

    Q. So..did you turn from sin to Jesus? Did you pray this (above), or a prayer like that? Great! Wonderful -- yes, congrats! Go tell someone stop this.

    Perhaps you repented and believed on Christ long ago, but somehow took a stride from your Master's side ..or just got distracted.  Come back to. Turn back to Him. If feelin’ a bit melancholy this season of Noel.. look away from Christmas.. to Christ. Give me a second chance? Return to Jesus, He fully understands you. 
    “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.“ Isaiah 26:3 
    Too many are depressed and thinking about loved ones and years gone by. If that’s you, please get some help -- it’s there for you. 
    The Bible says, “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character,
    Because he trusts and takes refuge in You with hope and confident expectation.“
    You know commercial Christmas really tries hard to deliver on its promise to you..we see so many ads and so much spent on em.. but it just can't do it. It can’t make you happy or fulfilled. It can’t fill up that empty or really lonely place inside your heart and life. Religion can’t deliver on it's promises either. Christ can, on His! Come to Him now. 
    Q. How are you doin' this season? If you’ve been feeling a pensive sadness inside, or some sorrow with no easy or obvious cause.
    Nearly 30,000 people die by suicide each year, and the rate of attempted suicide is much higher—so much so that there is an estimated one attempted suicide per minute. Worldwide, suicide claims more deaths than accidents, homicides, and war combined. And many cases of suicide, particularly in the elderly, go completely undetected and unaccounted. Get help now. Hey, if you feel like selfishly throwin' your life away (which would deeply hurt people), just throw it to Christ. He is your Living Hope. Jesus can comfort, regenerate, restore, revive or heal your broken heart and mind. Don't cut it off!

    Who patiently waited for Christmas?

    Sometimes when I'm waitin' in a line I mess around with basic colors like blue, but I sure don't feel any bit blue.

    Q. Which two waited for the first Christmas? Simeon and Anna did, full of the anticipation!

    Did they live all blue? Nope. How not? They were focused, godly and blessed! She in the Gospels simplified her life and heart.

    She was married for 7 years (until about age 23)--she could have become bitter and long term blue. Didn't. Such a short marriage.
    She could have become angry at God. Didn't, not at all. Honest with?.. yes.. she, for like 60 years, was a widow from then on, but she only wanted one for Christmas. Was it a husband she wanted? Yes in a long-term sense, the best one of all.

    And she at 84 received that one thing and was full of JOY inside! Read through Luke.

    She was satisfied and gave thanks to God for Jesus coming to earth. She spoke about that one thing -- a firsthand personal experience with Christ based on turnin' and trust -- faith.

    She shared Him; she began to boldly speak to the Jews who were waiting for the redemption of Israel.

    We too can unashamed.. clearly, tactfully share Jesus with others! Even our own story. How exciting to have this privilege.

    How did she simplify her focus and heart? She spent a lot of time worshiping, fasting, and praying--with singleness of eye. The great story of Christmas, so simple -- it's all about Jesus!

    "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning—yes, more than those who watch for the morning." Psalm 130:5-6

    What's so? Can a #holiday and more stuff make you happy; fill up that empty lonely void inside? Really? What you're really wanting more than Christmas.. is Christ. I mean the Bible One. Yup.