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….

This Is Not My Home

Heaven – What a GLORIOUS home we are headed to!

This old earth is filled with breathtaking beauty, and I have enjoyed the views – and I look forward to many more years of viewing them. Spending time in the high mountains of Colorado and New Mexico, the Alps in Austria; visiting the Grand Canyon and viewing the canyons and valleys of the U.S. Playing in the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, from sandy beaches with warm water to rocks and cold ocean water (the ocean is my happy place 🏖 ) ….. from the high desserts of sage and chamisa to the eery other-worldlyness of the Saquaro “forests” of the Sonoran Desert. BUT, this earth is not my home. I’m just here temporarily, until my LORD sees fit to bring me Home.

Do you ever wonder what happens when we die? Is it just nothing? Are we reborn, as the Hindu teach, or do we ‘become one with the universe,’ as some would have us believe? Do you scoff at the idea of a heaven filled with cherubs floating around on fluffy clouds playing harps, presided over by a grouchy old man with a long white beard?

I tell you plainly, those are all FALSE.

Heaven is definitely a place, and so is hell. We call it by many names: Sheol, Hades, Abaddon, Gehenna; but eternal damnation is the same regardless of the name. I don’t know what it will be like, and if you are really curious, there are quite a few resources to help you describe it. John calls it a place of fire and agony. After the New Testament, look at ‘The Many Names of Hell’ by Dr. Elmer Towns, on BibleSprout. I just know that I don’t ever want to see it. What we call Paradise, or Heaven, that’s what I am looking forward to! Despite our continual sin, the CREATOR, the LORD GOD of the Universe, wants us to spend eternity with Him – He doesn’t want us in Hell, but it is always and forever our choice. Who would choose forever anguish over eternal paradise? Apparently, millions and billions of people would rather live their lives without Christ than with Him, and that choice is their death sentence. Listen to this conversation by a known criminal when he met Jesus on the cross:

But the other criminal rebuked [the first criminal]. “Don’t you fear GOD,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in paradise.” – Luke 23:40‭-‬43 NIV

What will Heaven be like? I don’t know, except that it will be glorious. The Apostle John was shown glimpses of Heaven, and he tried to put it into words that we can understand – but how do you describe the unbelievable, the indescribable, the unimaginable? I’m pretty excited to get to see it, and to experience it. I pray that you be there, too.

I Bring You My Tired….

I’m tired. Tired of the physical and financial struggles, tired of hearing bad news through the news media, and tired of entitled, mean-spirited people. Don’t get all freaky; I may be tired, but there’s more that I love about life than what I’m tired of!

“Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The LORD is the Everlasting GOD, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding.” – Isaiah 40:28 NLT

GOD never gives up on us, even when we give up on ourselves. Thank You, LORD!!

From “The New Colossus” (the Statue of Liberty), a poem written by Emma Lazarus in 1883:
“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

I’m proud to be called a follower of Christ, a Christian, and I’m proud to be called an American. This poem exemplifies to me what the United States is about. I’m proud that our country has been the Policeman of the world because of the aid we give countries in trouble. It makes me proud (not arrogant) that I have been able to help others in my life, and I am humbled in knowing that this what Jesus asks us to do. Whatever I have done, and in fact, a lot of what the U.S. has been able to accomplish, is because of our reliance of the LORD. Without Him, there wouldn’t be a United States of America. Without Him, I wouldn’t be alive. I believe that we, as a country, need to look back at our roots. We should study the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We don’t need more laws, we need to enforce the ones we have. We need to tighten our belts and consider our own citizens, our children, our elderly, our veterans; our country’s needs, before we send our people and billions of dollars to other countries. We must put GOD back at the helm. I support legal immigration – that’s how most my ancestors got here. American needs to be a country united, not divided over political garbage and race and money. Let’s become AMERICANS, and drop all the hyphenations. I can be an Irish-English-Delaware-Cherokee-Christian-American (I probably left something out!), or I can be an American. If I don’t like living here, I have tbe freedom to go elsewhere. Come on, America, we have some work to do.

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” – Galatians 6:9 NLT


****Update: my Mom reminded me that we are German, also…. How could I have forgotten that???****

Judgemental Noise – Is It Evidence?

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” – Matthew 7:1‭-‬2 NLT

Since Jesus began His ministry over 2000 years ago, He and His followers have been judged harshly by the world. He has been/is called a liar and a crazy man. He has been/is derided and cursed and humiliated. His followers, called Christians, have been and still are persecuted and tortured and killed. The noise of all that; the people who have denied His origins, His Life, and His ministry – is just that, judgemental noise. I guess that the enemy (a.k.a. Satan, Lucifer, the devil, Death…. you get the picture) thinks that the more noise he can generate around Jesus means that fewer people will hear the Message and follow Him, the Christ. We grow up surrounded by noise. By the time the Baby Boom began at the end of WWII, we’ve polluted our lives with noise. Radios blaring, televisions on, rock and roll music, concerts, huge stadiums filled with cheering…. bullying, jeering, rallies – it all adds up, and the noise of our lives often prevents us from hearing Jesus. Pushed by the enemy, we seem to believe that everything and anything, EXCEPT Jesus, is acceptable. Satan uses judgemental noise to drown out the Gospel story. It’s “good” to believe anything you want to, as long as it’s not belief in our LORD JESUS. To be PC, we have to deny that JESUS CHRIST is indeed the Son of GOD as He claimed to be, and ‘O. M. G. You cannot believe this man actually came back from the dead????’ (Yes, that was sarcasm….)

This passage from Right From the Heart 1-Minute Devotions, Day 126, says it so well:

All through the ages, man has speculated about life after life. Dante’s Divine Comedy seeks to describe it. Modern medical science has added to the speculation with its study of near-death experiences. Now all kinds of religions offer their theories.

But the greatest evidence of life after life is in the historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. Christianity is the only faith founded by a man who died and came back to life. No other religion makes that claim.

Historical accounts of His appearances to His disciples and over 500 at one time, were written within twenty years of the event. His disciples faced martyrs’ deaths for refusing to quit preaching of His death and resurrection.

People don’t willingly die for something they know is a hoax. The one thing that would have stopped Christianity in its tracks would have been for Rome or religious authorities to produce the dead body of Jesus. They never did. The best evidence of life after life is the historical evidence of Jesus’ resurrection.

Noise, especially judgemental noise, has a way of finding Christians. The enemy does his best to cover up our witness that JESUS CHRIST is indeed the Son of the Living GOD, that He rose from the grave; and that He was resurrected in order to show all men and women, all of humanity, the Truth. The Truth about JESUS transcends all color lines, all ethnic, social, and political lines. Our LORD Loves every man and woman the same. Satan will use the busyness of your life to create the noise that keeps you from hearing about Salvation. Can you hear Him calling you over the noise? “Be still, and know that I Am GOD! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” – Psalms 46:10 NLT

Will L. Thompson wrote these words in 1880. They are still true. “Softy and tenderly, Jesus is calling….”

 Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.


Empty Minds, Empty Lives

Listen to Me, listen, and pay close attention.” – Isaiah 28:23 NLT

When the prophet Isaiah spoke those words to his people, they weren’t Isaiah’s words, they came straight from the LORD. Since the very beginning, God has wanted us, His creation, to listen to Him; to hear Him. Why do we chose to ignore the God Who created us; why not listen to the GOD Who Loves us with an incomparable, incomprehensible Love, a Love that far surpasses anything we experience here on earth? Instead of listening to the Words of Love, we listen to the enemy, the false prophets and teachers that Satan sends.

“Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the Fullness of GOD in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, Who is the Head over EVERY ruler and authority.” – Colossians 2:8‭-‬10 NLT

Buddha taught of Nirvana, of karma and rebirth. Isn’t it interesting that he took some of the teachings of the LORD, perverting them to introduce those ideas? Mohammed was another man who twisted the teachings of JESUS to benefit himself. Joel and Victoria Olsten have their “Prosperity Gospel,” teaching that creating wealth is the most important thing in our lives. There have been hundreds of thousands of men, purporting to be prophets since the beginning of time, who have twisted GOD’s Words in order to take us away from the ONE True GOD. Their goal is Satan’s goal: take us away from our LORD. Our Creator GOD had been telling us of heaven since the beginning – live righteously and spend eternity with Him in paradise. How do you know a false teacher from a man (or woman) of the REAL God?

Test them through the scriptures. Look at their lives. Do they live as The LORD commands in His Word, or do they live as the world? Jesus said:

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? ….Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” – Matthew 7:15‭-‬16‭, ‬20 NLT

When our minds are empty of the Words and the teachings of GOD and His Prophets, and especially of the Words of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, we become susceptible to the teachings of the enemy. Listening to music that encourages being selfish, promiscuity, unfaithfulness, greed, even violence and murder leads to changes in our lives and acceptance that these things are okay. Watching the immoral lives of leaders and the so-called society elite, looking at the athletes we cheer on…. What do their lives teach us? Looking especially at church leaders and religious leaders around the world, how many do you see living lives that glorify GOD rather than man? Following any of these causes our minds to empty of the Truth, and that leads to empty lives. Without God, without JESUS, to fill that God-shaped hole, we are truly empty minded and lead empty lives – no matter how successful you are by the world’s standards. Satan is a liar; a wolf in sheeps clothing. I pray for discernment against false prophets.

Listen to “Come to the Table” by Sidewalk Prophets.

Come join the sinners who have been redeemed
Take your place beside the Savior now
Sit down and be set free…He said come to the table
Come join the sinners who have been redeemed
Take your place beside the Savior now
Sit down and be set free…

Sin = Sorrow

WARNING. This post will offend you, or I haven’t made my point.

“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of My Heavenly FATHER.” –
Matthew 18:7‭, ‬10 NLT

“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin.’ ” – John 8:34 NLT

Another horrendous school shooting. People drawing lines in the sand, screaming for tougher gun laws. Politicians slamming each other verbally across the aisles. Children bringing knives to school with the intent to harm. People using vehicles as weapons of mass destruction by driving into crowds. Christians going against Christians. The PC ‘police’ going after anything that is offensive to them (the latest: a woman ranting about how offensive the word ‘man‘ is!) Disrespect is rewarded and even encouraged. Abortion is rampant with over 3000 babies every day; that’s over 22% of all pregnancies, just in the U.S. The litany goes on and on, and that’s not even taking into account the atrocities happening in countries outside of the U.S. What are we supposed to do?

Oh God, we need to be a nation on our knees instead of lining up to throw barbs at each other.

So here is where I stand:

I am a Christian, and by that I mean that l am a follower of the LORD Jesus Christ. I believe in the Triune GOD; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe that the Bible is the Truth, the Word of the Creator GOD, literal and complete, spoken through men to be our guidebook on earth. I know that Jesus left His home and His throne in Heaven to come to earth and live as a man, to be the ultimate sacrifice; to allow Himself to be tortured and hung on the cross so that His Blood would then and forever cover our sin. I believe that this same Holy God was with our Founding Fathers as they drafted the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I encourage you to delve into the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and other papers written by those men. Let me remind you of the First and Second Amendments:

Amendment 1
– Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 2
– The Right to Bear Arms

A well-regulated militia [“A nation’s able-bodied men who are not enlisted in the regular armed forces but may be called into military service in an emergency.” ] being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms [“To carry; to be equipped or furnished with weapons, firearms.”] shall not be infringed.

(Side note: the Second Amendment is what guarantees we get to enjoy the First Amendment and all of the following Amendments. )

I am a Patriot. I hold that I, as an individual, have the right to use whatever means necessary and available to defend my honor and my person against any transgressor. That translates to this: l am a Life Member of the NRA (that’s the National Rifle Association, for those who don’t know). As such, I will retain any weapons and firearms as I am able to obtain them. I will not give up my guns or ammo, my knives (kitchen and otherwise), my walking sticks, hammers, or my vehicle – all of these, every single item, is a potential weapon. And don’t forget aerosol containers, pots and pans, rolling pins…. just about anything can be a weapon. You can be just as dead by a pen or pencil in the right hands as you can be from a bullet, and a .22 kills as effectively as a .50.

This nation has lost it’s focus, and there is only one way to regain it. Turn back to the LORD. We need to preach and teach respect, and turn away from all of this PC garbage. Instead of bowing to Hollywood and their skewed vision, we need to be on our knees, begging our LORD to wash this nation clean! I am offended by PC, and I am deeply offended by all of the politicians who are diligently working to take away my rights.

Teach respect. Preserve the lives of our unborn. Provide for our weak, our children, and our elderly. Support our veterans – after all, we wouldn’t be able to exercise these rights without their sacrifices to keep us free. Stop rewarding bad behavior. Take care of our teachers! An elementary teacher should be making more than some foulmouthed, opinionated, self centered athlete or actor. Treat mental illnesses appropriately. Again, these things go ad infinitum…. but the bottom line is RESPECT. Guns are not the problem. Knives are not the problem. More laws will not solve our societal issues. We already have too many laws. As a country, a nation, we are wrapped in sin and sorrow. There is only one solution…. GOD IS THE ONLY ANSWER.

Respect me, and I will respect you. Disrespect me, and you will be disrespected by me….. but I will continue to pray for you, that God will bless you, and that He will help me forgive you. (I can’t do it on my own, but I can forgive through His Grace.)

So, to end on a positive note:

“All praise to GOD, the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. GOD is our Merciful FATHER and the Source of ALL Comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort GOD has given us.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3‭-‬4 NLTAMEN.

Listen to God’s Not Dead by the Newsboys.

Everything …. Or Nothing

“We do not wish either to be, or to live among, people who are clean or honest or kind as a matter of duty: we want to be, and associate with, people who like being clean and honest and kind.” – #CSLewis (Emphasis mine)

Whatever I do, and whatever I say, even whatever I think, I want to do because it is my choice, my decision – not because someone tells me. I am very aware of how utterly blessed I am to be born in the U.S.A.; to live in a Republic and not in a Socialist country or in a Dictatorship. Here, I can say whatever pleases me; good, bad, ugly, or indifferent. I can disparage the government without fear of reprisal; I can attend the church of my choice. America is still a land of opportunity for those who are willing to work. (Apparently, there are an awful lot of people who have made living off others and the government their “opportunity.” – but that’s another story!)

I can have the expectation that success and comfort and riches will be handed to me through no effort on my part, but for the vast majority of us, that will never happen. Those things only come through hard work and dedication. I know people who live a certain way as a matter of duty, but that is not me. I hope people who know me see that I am clean-living and honest and kind because it is my choice, my life; because it is how I want to be – not because of any rules or regulations or orders. It is not a duty that compels; it is not the ‘rules’ that require me to be this way. My devotion and my love for my JESUS, my LORD, makes me want to live that way. As the apostle Paul wrote:

“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” – Philippians 4:12 NLT

This is not an easy task, but it is not difficult, either. It is not easy, because we have to commit our lives to the Living GOD, and it is never easy as a human to let go of control. It’s not difficult, because through our surrender, we become free. Like the butterfly that struggles to get out of it’s cocoon, or the bird struggling to break of it’s shell, once we shed the confinement of our earthly wants and desires, we are free to fly! To soar with JESUS, above and beyond anything earthly. When we are with Him, it is easy to be content in our hearts, no matter the circumstance. We still need to be present in the world so that we can let JESUS shine His Light through the flaws and cracks in our earthly shell. We need to be present, both to give and to receive blessings.

Where do you stand today? Clean, honest, and kind because you choose, or because it is your duty?