Scary

“Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” – Revelation 20:15 NIV

Does this scare you, or do you look at it and scoff? It scares me! If I have the choice to walk into a burning lake for eternity – think oil or gas burning on top of the water – or to spend eternity with my LORD, well, it’s an easy choice for me. I’ve seen water burn, where natural gas escaping naturally from the earth had been lit to watch it ‘burn’. (Weird!) I’ve seen water burning in photographs and movies of Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attached our ships. It’s horrific to watch. I really have no desire to experience it first-hand! I’m going for the escape clause that JESUS provided us through His incredible Mercy:

“If we confess our sins, He is Faithful and Just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 NIV

Thank you, JESUS, for coming to our aid; for being our Advocate to the LORD! I don’t claim to be a prophet or have a perfect life and relationship with GOD; far from it! The only thing perfect about me is that I am perfectly imperfect, perfectly flawed and broken. All that I can do is proclaim the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST, and how He has Redeemed me.

“We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the FATHER and with His Son, JESUS CHRIST. This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: GOD is LIGHT; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of JESUS, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:3‭, ‬5‭-‬7 NIV

HALLELUJAH. What a powerful statement that last sentence gives. “…. and the Blood of JESUS, His Son, purifies us from all sin.” Does it get any better than that?

Photo credt usiter.com

God Bless America

“Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the HOLY ONE results in good judgment.” – Proverbs 9:7‭-‬8‭, ‬10 NLT

America, and in fact, the world, is sadly lacking in good judgement. Making fun of other people has become a major entertainment choice, especially if those people being mocked have a strong belief in the Almighty GOD. Believe in Mohammed or John Smith or Buddha or Krishna, but never JESUS. It’s de rigueur to support abortions of human babies, but don’t mess with any baby animals or pregnant animals! Teaching kids that any kind of sex is okay (“just use a condom”), but teaching them to be abstinent is cruel and unusual punishment. Be as intolerant of Christians and conservative lifestyles as you want, but every other belief system is off limits to sensor or deride.

I don’t get it. How is it okay to kill a human baby because they are inconvenient, but it’s wrong to eat veal or other meats? I get that there have been some pretty disgusting and cruel methods used for producing some meats, but how is a calf more valuable than a human? Personally, I’ve raised and butchered animals for food, and I liked knowing where they had been and what they had eaten. We named them and petted them, and they tasted better because of it.

Recently I posted a question on a neighborhood app asking how others felt we should deal with people who leave tattered and torn flags flying in all weather and at night. It was a generic question, and since it was my post, I said it was a pet peeve and that I felt it was unpatriotic. Certain people took it very personally and were offended, even though it wasn’t directed to them. The verses from Proverbs were right on target with the responses. I could have said that (in my opinion) they were mocking our flag and our country by not honoring the flag, but even without that, the responses were insulting and hurtful against me personally. The same thing often happens when we stand against abortion and other liberal agendas. No matter how rationally or how justifiably we present our case, we will be met with mockery and derision.

Our GOD, The ALMIGHTY GOD, wants to bless America and the world and all of His creation. Until JESUS returns, however, the ruler of our world will remain to be Satan. He has created an atmosphere of selfishness and self-love that is bright and shiny and enticing and provides immediate gratification, and we get sucked into his whirlpool of lies and entrapment. We – followers of Christ – have just begun to see and experience the persecution and oppression of the last days of earth as we know it. There’s much more coming. I still want to rebuke those who mock my flag and my country. I have a human need to correct the people who make fun of my beliefs…. and I really do need to refer myself back to these verses, especially verse 10: Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the HOLY ONE results in good judgment.”

“Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.” – Ephesians 4:18 NLT

Love GOD, learn His Word, and put it into practice. Best advice ever.

Practice What You Preach

C.S. Lewis said “What we practice (not, at rare intervals) what we preach, is usually our great contribution to the conversion of others.” (#CSLEWIS, Letters of C.S. Lewis)

Paul said “Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” – Colossians 4:5‭-‬6 NLT

He also wrote “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” – Romans 7:15-19 NLT

Sin is present and prevalent in the world. Until JESUS returns, it (sin) will continue to be a dominating presense in the guise of self-gratification and selfishness throughout the earth. Until that day of the Glorious, Triumphant Return, Satan will continue his persecution of Christians through any and every means we can imagine, and more than we can fathom. Whether in the United States or the most backward, most primitive country, he has his agenda, and that agenda’s sole purpose is to wipe out the Truth and the spreading of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST. For believers, it seems that we are truly in the last days before the Second Coming. JESUS lays it all out for us here:

“Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in My na3me, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are My followers. And many will turn away from Me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the GOOD NEWS about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:4‭-‬14 NLT

Straightforward, easy to understand; difficult to comprehend. We / Christians, followers of CHRIST JESUS, should be living the Gospel message on a daily basis. My life should reflect the Love of the LORD so brightly that anyone who looks can see JESUS in me. BUT ……. does it; does it really? Is there anything that people can see that tells the story of my salvation, or does my sinful self shine through more brightly? That’s a question I should be asking myself with every thought and action I take. I pray that at least a little of the Living Light shines through all of my cracks and flaws…

Praise for all of my blessings (I was able to get up today; I have food to eat and a home to live in, a vehicle to get around in). I don’t have everything I want, but my needs are taken care of. How many people in the world are as blessed as we are, here in the U.S.A. We are coming up to the 242nd anniversary of this great country, the country of tremendous personal freedoms and the example to the world of a free society. As an individual, it is up to me to spread the Gospel wherever I am. As a country, we need to be the example of the Christian nation we were founded to be.

Are you preaching, or are you practicing?

Is God Just An Archaic Idea?

Do you think GOD is archaic? Maybe you consider the Bible to be just an old, musty book, and that the idea that one supreme being could have created everything that exists is absurd; outdated and old-fashioned. The universe just began; there was a ‘big bang’ and it happened without any such thing as ‘GOD’. Because I have heard these arguments so many times, I decided to do some research and present my conclusions. There’s a whole lot of information out there on the internet, but these two caught my eye: Physicist Victor Stenger says the universe may be “uncaused” and may have “emerged from nothing.” Philosopher Bertrand Russell adopted this position in a debate on the existence of God. He said, “The universe is just here, and that’s all.”

Really? That’s the best you philosophers can come up with? How is the universe “uncaused“? “Emerged from nothing?” “Just here?” That’s so scientific …. If these statements were true, then why can’t we take a container that contains nothing, all atoms removed, and create something; anything? My Dad would say this in response to these critics of creation: Where did the materiel for the “Big Bang” come from? If we humans are indeed evolved from monkeys by way of the ‘primordial soup’ (i.e. mud), then why aren’t we still evolving? If we evolved from primates, why do they still exist? When we look at the so-called evolutionary paths, there are many different ways humans, animals, and plants have changed – not evolved. We aren’t evolving because we were created as men and women (and primates). We (humans) have been manipulating gene pools for centuries, causing tremendous changes in every creature and indeed, in nature.

Ah, but what about the dinosaurs? It has been proven that mankind lived when the dinosaurs with petroglyphs drawings and fossil history. There are carvings in temples and decorative carvings and molded examples you can hold in your hand. We have historical, paleotological, and crytozoological records. No, sorry fellas, even discounting the scriptural evidence (for example, Genesis 1:21 NAS, Job 40:15-24, Job 41), there is too much evidence supporting dinosaurs and humans.

“Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.” – Micah 1:8 KJV

The Bible has been proved as a true history by science many, many times. Why do we fight so hard to make it untrue? It begins with the Truth about how the earth, the universe, came into being, and it ends with the prophecies of John, telling us how the earth as we know it will end. It is full of stories, of historically accurate events. Archaic God? I don’t think so. There’s just too much evidence to the contrary.

“Have Mercy on me, O GOD, because of Your unfailing Love. Because of Your great Compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I was born a sinner— yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But You desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. The sacrifice You desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O GOD.” – Psalms 51:1‭-‬2‭, ‬5‭-‬7‭, ‬16‭-‬17 NLT

“I just need U.” sung by TobyMac….. love this song!

Oops.

“….. make every effort to respond to GOD’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.” – 2 Peter 1:5‭-‬9 NLT

Sidewalk Prophets have a song called “Come to the Table,” that has a line that says “Come meet this motley crew of misfits…. ” Doesn’t that just ring true for about any group of Christians coming together? I wonder, why is is that people who claim to follow CHRIST, people who are Christians, are so harsh on people who are broken? How is it possible to go from utterly broken sinner to self-righteous judgemental ‘Christian’? When we become that person; when we do life our way, are we truly in love with our Saviour? No matter how hard we try, we will always fail when we try to do life on our own. Doesn’t it mean we are taking on the role of GOD when we don’t defer to Him? If you are able, read the book of Romans, especially chapter 12, because it is laid out very clearly how CHRIST-followers should live.

“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of GOD. For the Scriptures say, “I WILL TAKE REVENGE; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.” – Romans 12:17‭, ‬19 NLT ( Deuteronomy 32:35 )

When we take on the role of judge and jury, deciding on our own what we can do to that person to punish them and get revenge, we sink to the enemy’s level. He – Satan – wants us to be judgemental. He wants us to be ugly to others, because it takes us away from our LORD. Even if we get physical revenge, we hurt ourselves much, much more than the person we do it to. Forgive them, pray for them, and rather than ‘getting even’ with them, do this instead:

“If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” – Romans 12:20‭-‬21 NLT ( Proverbs 25:21-22 )

We may not see the ‘heaping coals’ on their heads in this life, but GOD will punish them. He will also punish me, and you, for the judgement, revenge, and evil thoughts we have had on our enemies ( and I am guilty, guilty, GUILTY! ). Not a great thought, but this blog is about telling the truth, and the ULTIMATE TRUTH is this: JESUS will return and vanquish the enemy, once and for all, and then GOD the FATHER will sit in judgement of every one of us. I’m so far from perfect, and I am such a sinner, facing the ALMIGHTY GOD should – and does – have me scared and shaking. I can’t think about the judgement I should receive, or the judgement I deserve, but I can think on this: When that time comes – and it is coming, no doubt about it – I don’t have to face it alone! Because of the sacrifice JESUS made, and because I have given my life to Him, He will be my Advocate, my Saviour, showing GOD the FATHER where my name is written in His Blood in the Book of Life. Are you in it, too? I pray it is! I can’t even contemplate or consider what happens to those who aren’t represented by JESUS, with their names written in the Book. I pray that you aren’t an ‘oops,’ left out for eternity.

( Picture credit to Lamb and Lion Ministry )

Angel / Son

For God never said to any angel what he said to Jesus: “You are my Son. Today I have become your Father. ” God also said, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son.” – Hebrews 1:5 NLT

I believe that we are constantly in the company of angels, both exalted and fallen. God sends His angels to watch over us and to protect us from the enemy, who goes by many names. He was named Lucifer, the morning star and the shining star. Because of his rebellion against GOD, he has become known as the devil, the enemy, Satan. This fallen angel took a third of the angels in heaven with him when he fell from Grace, and their entire beings are eaten up in the ugliness of envy and pride. We have to constantly be on guard sgainst them, and we (humans) cannot fight them off on our own.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of GOD: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the MOST HIGH. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” – Isaiah 14:12‭-‬15 KJV

Can you imagine how incredibly angry he became over that? Being kicked out of heaven….. the closest thing I can imagine is this: born to an incredibly wealthy family, raised in opulence and beautiful surroundings, never knowing hunger or thirst or loss – to be escorted out by security and thrown out because I wanted to control it all, to take it over in my greed; suddenly thrust into poverty and pain and want. Revenge? Anger? Envy? I think I would feel all of those things and more! In this imagined place, I would want to harm the other occupants; to turn them against the Father.

That’s exactly what the enemy and his followers, the falllen angels, are doing. In the process, all the evil has twisted them into hideous caricatures of their original forms. If you think about anyone you’ve ever known who was angry and bitter, you know that it transforms their entire being. A good actor can hide all that ugliness for a time, but truth always comes out. ALWAYS. The enemy is a great actor. He can appear as a beautiful, empathetic being in order to turn you / me from the LORD. He’s been doing it for millenia, so he’s had lots of practice in the arts of deceit and persuasion; he is the father of lies.

I believe God has assigned His angels the task of guarding His Children, the ones saved by His Mercy and Grace through the sacrifice of His Son, JESUS CHRIST. I believe that the day JESUS returns to earth, He will be surrounded by His Angel Armies, and He will defeat the enemy. I want to see the defeat of the creatures who have given human-kind hell (pun inteneded!!!) since the beginning, when our Almighty LORD, CREATOR of all things, punishes them for the remainder of time. He will claim revenge and Victory! Come on, JESUS, let’s get this party for the Father started! Hallelujah!

What is JESUS to you? Angel, prophet, a good man ….. SAVIOUR?

We Are Foreigners In This World

In the parable of the prodigal son, the boy ran away from home. He turned his back on his Father, lost his inheritance, and made a royal mess of his life. When he finally admitted his mistakes to himself, he said: “I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you….. ” – Luke 15:18 NLT

The boy had become like a foreigner to his family, living in a pig pen and scrounging for sustenance, but he was welcomed home with open arms in spite of his actions. This parable is such a beautiful way to describe our relationship with our LORD. When GOD created the earth and all that is within it; when He created the Universe, it was set as the stage – and what a Magnificent stage – for mankind to live in and fellowship with Him. We blew it. We think we are as smart and as good as the Creator. Some of us think that we, humankind – are gods! How wrong we can be! Satan introduced sin to Adam and Eve, and got us thrown out of the Garden, the place we belonged. Home. Subsequently, we have become foreigners, strangers in a strange land that provides us with glimpses of original beauty from our home. Someday, this old earth with be re-formed and re-made (which is scary/exciting!) The good news, though, is that no matter how bad we mess up, GOD is waiting for us with open arms, ready to forgive us, if we will just ask Him.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone.” – Revelation 21:1 NLT

When JESUS returns, and the earth is transformed, then we no longer be foreigners. We will once again be first-class citizens, dwelling with our LORD, like the first man, Adam. Until that time comes, Christians, followers of the CHRIST, will be foreigners on this earth. In many cases, we are treated as illegal aliens, second class citizens, even criminals. We need to – have to? – rely on our LORD for our strength. Paul says it like this:

“We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the LORD. For even CHRIST didn’t live to please Himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult You, O GOD, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us Hope and Encouragement as we wait patiently for GOD’s Promises to be fulfilled. May GOD, who gives this Patience and Encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of CHRIST JESUS. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving Praise and Glory to GOD, the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.” – Romans 15:1‭-‬6 NLT AMEN.

Listen to HOME by Chris Tomlin….