“You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith.” ~Jesus

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Here is the real deal about faith.

  • I think I need more faith. If I just had more faith, I could do X. Jesus challenges me to understand God’s goal for me.
  • Jesus knows that it isn’t true that I need more faith. Faith is not a question of more or less.
  • I either have faith or I don’t. If I believe God can do it and that he is in a good mood, I can act on my faith. God is God.

Jesus is right! It isn’t about ‘more’.

The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.”

But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.

Source: Luke 17:5-6

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“Thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must.” ~Apostle Paul

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What do I have on my to do list for the day?

What must I do?

Thanking God should be at the top of my list every day. When I thank God, particularly for others, I will love them. I can’t thank God for all the good in someone else and then hate them can I?

Nope, can’t be done.

Thanking God over and over for you is the key!

You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

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“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” ~Jesus

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What does it take to be a part of God’s family?

The answer is very straight forward. Jesus doesn’t hold anything back from me. His challenge to me is to do what God wants. Obedience is the core of everything in God’s world. Gods Plan - 01

It is not about my plan. It is all about God’s plan. He has one. Will I obey it? Jesus challenges me to do so.

Now here is some VERY good news. God’s plan is simple and straightforward.

In this day of complicated programs and books, simplicity rocks. The kids even have it on a bracelet. WWJD. “What would Jesus do”?

God’s plan is for me to do what He has in mind for me. All the time. That puts me in the family of God. Good news for sure.

For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.  (Matthew 12:50)

“Take, this is my body.” ~Jesus

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Jesus sacrificed his body for me. Jesus has set up a sacred ritual for me to remember that precious act. What better symbol than the breaking of bread?

He told us before it happened that it would. Jesus created a beautiful sacrament so can continue to participate and remember.

What a wonderful God we serve. May I never forget what Jesus has done for me.

In the course of their meal, having taken and blessed the bread, he broke it and gave it to them. Then he said,

“Take, this is my body.”

Source: Mark 14:22

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“People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?” ~King Solomon

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I find it way to easy to blame God. After all, he is in control, right?

On any given day, at any given moment, that is the easy way out.

Not my fault!

Jesus challenges me to look at my own heart. Jesus knows where evil comes from. Evil doesn’t come from God.

At a fundamental level, I need to look in the mirror.  Continue reading

“This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.” God about Jesus

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Image result for jesus transfiguration clipartJesus takes Peter, James and John with him. They will be his witness to what happens and what God says.

They were about to be present at a stunning time in our history.

God spoke and is clear. Jesus is God’s son. Jesus bears the mark of God. That mark is love. Jesus is the focus of God’s delight.

My job is to listen to Jesus.

Why? God said so! God is God. God has spoken.

God’s word is true and can’t be broken.

Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.

Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”

While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”

When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.

Source: Matthew 17:1-8

“Let her alone. She’s anticipating and honoring the day of my burial.” ~Jesus

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Breaking news! Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead so the religious leaders decide to kill Lazarus. Talk about not getting it.

OK, back to the real story. Mary spends a fortune on perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus.

Jesus knew what was going on. Jesus always does. Jesus can see into our hearts.

That is the real story here. Jesus knows. I can’t fool him. I shouldn’t try.

My focus needs to be on pleasing him.

Mary knew that is the main thing. The religious leaders didn’t know it. Judas didn’t know it.  Continue reading

“If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things.” ~Jesus

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Jesus challenges me. I must pay attention to the small things in my life. They are important and they are the precursor to the big things.

I must be honest. That starts with the small things. I build up credibility and confidence by moving from the small things to bigger things.

I can’t get to home by skipping first base.  Continue reading

“So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed?” ~King Solomon

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Wisdom is very practical. Nothing is going to happy by lazing around. We all know it but are a few who actually do it. Amazing what they can get done.

Everything starts by first getting out of bed and up and running.

I’m trying to remember all those stories about Jesus sleeping in. Hmm … none come to mind.

“So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing?
    How long before you get out of bed?”

Source: Proverbs 6:9 Continue reading

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones after all.“ –Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Laura Ingalls WilderSimplicity is the order of the day.

Jesus doesn’t make it complicated for me. His challenge to me is to love. That is it.

Love everyone I come in contact with. Love God.

“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things in life which are the real ones after all.“ –Laura Ingalls Wilder

“When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did.” ~Apostle Paul

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Things are going to get rough. I am not going “to get my way”. That is a reality and I know it is true. I may not like it but that isn’t the issue.

My job is to follow orders. That is it. I must be a good soldier for Jesus.

I have to play by God’s rules. God is God and I must accept that. Anything else will lead to failure. I must truly think on this. God will make it plain to me. Continue reading

“Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels.” ~~ Terry Lynn Taylor

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This is clear and so very true. I can always talk with God.

No matter what time of day, I have something to be thankful for.

If I can’t find something to be thankful for, there is something fundamentally wrong that prayer won’t help at that moment.

“Gratitude is our most direct line to God and the angels. If we take the time, no matter how crazy and troubled we feel, we can find something to be thankful for.” ~~ Terry Lynn Taylor Continue reading

“An evil and wanton generation is always wanting signs and wonders. The only sign you’ll get is the Jonah sign.” ~Jesus

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Jesus is direct. Jesus has no tolerance for the religious and their hypocritical ways.

I must take the warning from Jesus seriously. Jesus has given us all a sign. Jesus died, was buried, rose from the dead (the Jonah sign) and has ascended into heaven to be with God.  Continue reading

“Death is the reward of an undisciplined life; your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.” ~King Solomon

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Jesus challenges me to be careful about the decisions I make. I must be disciplined in my approach to following Jesus.

I will reap what I sow. There is no way around that.

Jesus makes that clear to me. God’s goal for me is to be disciplined in my love. I must reject the foolish way.

“Death is the reward of an undisciplined life;
    your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.” 

Source: Proverbs 5:23

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“It’s not possible for a person to succeed—I’m talking about eternal success—without heaven’s help.” ~John the Baptizer

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I like to think I can do it all myself and that I don’t need any help.

I need to change my mind (repent) because that has me missing God’s goal for my life (sin).

I can’t succeed without the help of Jesus, the Messiah. That is reality and I need to get on board with that. It is all about Jesus and nothing about me.  Continue reading

“There’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.” ~Jesus

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Image result for jesus carrying sheep pictureJesus is happy. Jesus is rejoicing.

Jesus came to rescue me. I wandered away. I got lost.

Jesus noticed and came after me. He didn’t ignore my plight. Maybe you don’t need to be rescued. I did and I do.

There is joy in heaven. God is in a good mood. I see it every day.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.” 

Source: Luke 15:4-7

“Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” ~Jesus

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God’s mercy

Jesus is clear. I need to tell everyone I know how Jesus, my Master and the Messiah, has had mercy on me. Jesus is in a good mood. He doesn’t hold me to account for missing God’s goal in my life (sin). Jesus, in his mercy, casts out the evil dwelling in me.

I was in a bad state. Some days I still am. Jesus cleans me up and sets me on the right way.

I must tell my story.

That is the challenge I have received from Jesus.

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but he wouldn’t let him. Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.

Source: Mark 5:16-20

What is the suffering to joy ratio in Jesus?

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The most important thing to know and believe is that God is in a good mood. He loves me and has my best interest in mind. Jesus wants the best for me.

I do suffer a little. I know some people who suffer a lot. Jesus promised us that in this world we would have problems.

So … I suffer a little.

I have unlimited joy in the goodness of God.

The ratio isn’t even fair to compare. If joy equals 100 then, compared to that, suffering might be .0000001.

No comparison.

You paid careful attention to the way we lived among you, and determined to live that way yourselves. In imitating us, you imitated the Master. Although great trouble accompanied the Word, you were able to take great joy from the Holy Spirit!—taking the trouble with the joy, the joy with the trouble. 1 Thessalonians 1:5-6 ~Apostle Paul

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“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” ~~Carl Sandburg

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Carl SandburgGetting started, some days, is the only real option. It helps to think. It helps to plan. It produces results to do. Let’s get started doing.

I think of Abraham. God commanded him “to go” but didn’t tell him where. Abraham just headed out.

Abraham ended up in the promised land.

Abraham obeyed God.

“I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.” ~~Carl Sandburg

“Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?” ~Religious scholars to Jesus

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Religious Charade

It is sad but religious people are consumed with “the rules”. Jesus knew it very well. He encountered it all the time.

Question to myself. Am I consumed about the rules and who is or isn’t following them?

I need to listen very close to Jesus. Jesus brings clarity to what is important. Am I on the side of Jesus or the religious leaders?

After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, “Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?”  (Matthew 15:1-2)

"You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world." ~~Jesus

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Light does amazing things. It is very hard to replicate in a photo what it is doing some days.

Jesus requests that I be His light in this world. I have a mission to bring out the colors of God. I must shine like Jesus does.

I must obey Jesus and His command. He knows what I should do.

While I know that God is light, He also expects me to reflect His glory as well. I am to shine as a reflection of what He represents in the world. There is no hiding. There should be no darkness in my life.

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16 The Message)

“I must get rid of the underlying idea that I can ever be right with God because of my obedience.” ~Oswald Chambers

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Obey God

What can I do to get right with God? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not a single solitary thing.

I have the law of God. I know the result. I miss the goal God has for me non stop, every day. His goal for me doesn’t change. Yet, I keep missing it.

Jesus comes with Good News. He died for me, took the punishment on for breaking God’s law and for missing His goal for me. He delivers me from the burden of punishment. There is nothing I can do to earn it. Trying harder won’t cut it. It is gift.

God is God. There is nothing I can do to get right with him.

“There is only one way by which I can get right with God, and that is through the death of Jesus the Messiah. I must get rid of the underlying idea that I can ever be right with God because of my obedience. Who of us could ever obey God to absolute perfection!” ~~Oswald Chambers

The Law and the Gospel | My Utmost For His Highest

“We’re not hiding things; we’re bringing everything out into the open.” ~Jesus

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I like to hide. I don’t like to be transparent. There are things about myself I don’t want others to know.

Now, that is about me. It is not about God.

Jesus came that I might know God. Know him to the fullest. Know Him like God always intended. It is not about me. It is about Him.

Jesus demands that I be open and let everyone know the power of God.

God is God. God is in charge. Jesus is not hiding anything. At all.

“We’re not hiding things; we’re bringing everything out into the open.” Jesus (Luke 8)

Victory Over Sin Isn’t An Event

4th Quarter Musings

One of the blessings of being part of a community of bloggers is that I get to read some thoughts and reflections that are expressed with crystal clarity on topics that need to be brought to our attention. God is very big on remembering. On many occasions throughout the journeys of the children of Israel, God would tell His people to have feasts and erect monuments for the purpose of remembering. In the same way, reading purposefully what God has put into the hearts of others, is a helpful way of calling our attention to the truths of His word, to take back to the Scriptures which help us remember who God is.

This issue of victory over sin is a reminder of God’s grace and never ending love for us. The apostle Paul lamented that sometimes he did the things he didn’t want to do and didn’t do the…

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"I wasn’t naturally gifted in terms of size and speed; everything I did in hockey I worked for." ~~Wayne Gretzky

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Talent will only get me so far.

The most talented always work for it. They don’t depend on “the gift” to get them to the prize.

Jesus challenges us to work for the prize before us.

“I wasn’t naturally gifted in terms of size and speed; everything I did in hockey I worked for.” ~~Wayne Gretzky

It tickles Him to no end: A Poem

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There are times
that I seem to know
what I am doing.
Some times, not all times.
There are other times
I don’t.
There is no logic to any of it.
No wisdom at all some days.

I need wisdom.
I want His guidance.
When I need it,
I can simply ask my heavenly Father.
He loves to help me.
It tickles Him to no end.
AND,
I can count on His help.

I won’t be condescended to
when I ask for it.
He won’t make fun of me.

I need to ask boldly.
I want supernatural courage; His courage.
I need to believe
He will give it to me.
I can’t have any second thoughts.
He loves to help me.

“Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” ~King Solomon

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Heart’s Focus

Jesus challenges me to be vigilant. If I don’t pay attention, I will drift. Jesus has given me the way of wisdom. May I pay attention and not reject him.

I must watch over my heart. The main thing to pay attention to is my heart. From my heart comes what I think, what I say and what I do. It starts with my heart.

Life starts with my heart. It is easy to believe my heart isn’t important but it is the key. David knew it. Solomon knew it. Jesus focused on it and challenges me to pay attention.

David was known as a man after God’s own heart. May I learn enough to have that said of me. Now that is a real goal to have.

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 4:23

Am I drifting away from the new plan of Jesus?

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New Plan - 1There are important things to get a grip on. The most important is the message of the new plan.

Why? So I don’t drift off. It is easy to drift. Staying on message is tough and requires discipline. The old plan was delivered in so many ways. By angels. By prophets. By Kings. The list goes on. When that message was delivered, nobody got away with a single thing.

The new plan of good news was delivered by Jesus, the Messiah and Son of God, himself. It is a message of amazing salvation and deliverance from my enemies.

The message has been passed down to us faithfully by so many starting with those who heard it directly from Him. We know it is the true message of good news because it is validated with gifts through the Holy Spirit. All sorts of signs and wonders come with it.

So … may I never drift off. May I stay anchored in the good news of the new plan.

“So be careful that you don’t become misers of what you hear.” –Jesus

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I guess there are some things to be a miser about. Jesus suggests, however, that God’s word is not one of them.

Jesus expects me to proclaim the good news of the Message He has given me. I should be generous with what Jesus tells me.

Jesus is generous to me. Jesus demands that I be generous as well.

God is in charge of His country. He is generous with His message to me. He expects me to be the same.

Something to be careful of for sure.

So be careful that you don’t become misers of what you hear.” –Jesus (Luke 8 )

"Invest yourself in everything you do. There’s fun in being serious." ~~John Coltrane

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Jesus wants us to invest ourselves. I am to be “more than committed” to him and his way. I need supernatural courage and boldness. I must invest myself in Jesus.

It is always serious but it is also fun. It is pure joy to see what God can do. It makes me sing and dance. I laugh out loud.

Invest yourself in everything you do. There’s fun in being serious. ~~John Coltrane

“This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders.” ~Apostle Paul

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We have a home that God is building and we are the bricks He is using us to make His building magnificent.

Jesus is making it in His country of supernatural courage (faith). What is amazing is that He is using us to create a place for Him to dwell.

We all have a place there and He wants to live in it. He has given us great gifts to benefit His people.

So … In God’s country:

  • We don’t have to wander around not know if we belong. 
  • His country of supernatural courage is where we fit in. 
  • We all have a place of honor in His world.

That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with the Messiah Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home. Ephesians 2:19 -22

 

May I find my place in His building and fit in the right place.

“Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within. ” ~~King Solomon

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A man after God’s heart

God’s goal for me is to know what is right and to store it up in my heart.

I must constantly contemplate on what Jesus tells me. I must store up the words of Jesus like deep water. The drought will come. The river in my heart will help me through the days and weeks.

When there is trouble, where does my strength come from? It comes deep with the treasure of Jesus’ words, hid deep in my heart.

Knowing what is right is like deep water in the heart; a wise person draws from the well within. ” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 20:5)

Unveiling clock showing 8,411 days left for Israel, Iranians rage against Jewish state 

Thoughts on culture, politics and more

Iran held major anti-Israel rallies across the country Friday, with protesters chanting “Death to Israel” and declaring that destroying the Jewish state is “the Muslim world’s top priority.”

Iranians participating in Quds Day rallies also called for unity among pro-Palestinian groups against the “child-murdering” Israeli government, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

So what does God say about all this? Consider Numbers 14:6-9 – “Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, members of the scouting party, ripped their clothes and addressed the assembled People of Israel: “The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land—very good indeed. If God is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he’ll give it to us. Just don’t rebel against God! And don’t be afraid of those people. Why, we’ll have…

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“Watch what God does, and then you do it. Mostly what God does is extravagantly love you.” ~Apostle Paul

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Jesus said He only did what He saw the Father doing.

So, what is the Father doing?

Mostly just finding ways to love me. The more I keep company with Jesus, the more I will learn a life of love.

What I see Jesus do, I will do likewise. I will not be selfish or cautious in my love. I must be extravagant in my love. That is His way.

So, what do I need to do to learn to love more? Spend more time with Jesus.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is extravagantly love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how the Messiah loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. Ephesians 5

“I’m up again—rested, tall and steady, fearless before the enemy mobs coming at me from all sides.” ~~King David

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In God, i have rest. Even though i know i am  at war, I rest, confident that God will see me through.

Perfect love brings me peace. The is no fear in His world. He is in charge and I can rest.

What a gift from our Father. His goal for me will be achieved. My enemy can’t touch me when I trust in Him.

So … I go to bed confident. God is God. God has put Jesus in charge of everything. I can be fearless.

I wake up rested and strong. I wake up fearless in Jesus, my Messiah.

I stretch myself out. I sleep. Then I’m up again—rested, tall and steady, fearless before the enemy mobs coming at me from all sides.” ~~King David (Psalm 3:5-6)

“So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.” ~James

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Do I want God to have His way in my life?

Of course I do. As I follow Jesus, that is what I want the most.

But it’s not like I don’t have a choice. I have a choice. God has a goal for me. I must seek it out and do it no matter what.

The Devil is presenting alternatives to me all the time. So before I can say yes to God, I have to forcefully close the door on the evil alternative by saying no to the Devil.

This is about my  inner life. There is a struggle. I need to make the choice. I need to make it now.

So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. James 4:10 MSG

“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.” ~Jesus

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Jesus on the cross

When Jesus was on the cross, redeeming me, he cried out it is finished. Here he tells the crowds, before that happened, that now was the time for judgement and how Satan would be driven out by His death.

What He said and did is very clear. It is not the future. It was taken care of and finished. Faith compels me to believe it. Not just “kind of” believe it but really believe it.

May I continue to experience His victory.

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. John 12:31-33

 


“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help.” ~James

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James knew this. If I’m honest, I can admit it as well. I don’t always know what I am doing. I may be doing what I think is “right”. Do I know that is what God wants me to do? Not really because I haven’t asked. 

The key is to talk with God about it. The good news is that Jesus doesn’t turn a deaf ear. He actually loves to help.

God is in a good mood. He really cares and He wants the best for me.

Our side of this is when I know God’s plan, I have to act on it.

I have to believe it is the right thing. Worry and unbelief will kill my  direction. I can’t be double minded. Focus is so very important.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open. James 1:5 MSG

The “God” of Al Gore is not the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob

Thoughts on culture, politics and more

Climate Change and Global Warming are not God’s and cannot be a religion.

Of course the climate is changing. Remember the Ice Age?

Jesus challenges us to live for God and no one / thing else. That is our goal.

Al Gore is proving that the only sure things in life are death, taxes, and cheesy sequels.  An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power picks up where his 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth, left off. His original climate change “documentary” was chock-full of false predictions, e.g., global warming would melt enough ice to cause a 20-foot rise in sea levels “in the near future.” This time around, Gore is relying not just on fake science but also fake religion, some of which he shared in an interview published Thursday: [I]f we choose to use the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet as an open sewer…

Source: The “God” of Al Gore is not the God…

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"If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?" ~~Steven Wright

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Jesus challenges me to have true friends in him. It starts with God. My love for him should be overwhelming.

Jesus wants to be my friend.

Jesus challenges me to love others with unreserved passion. Friendship develops out that.

It isn’t about popularity. It is about love.

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends? ~Steven Wright

“Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need.” ~Jesus

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Is this a game to be played like cat-and-mouse or hide-and-seek? When I need something, should I try to bargain with God?

No. Jesus is clear. He demands that I be direct with God.

God is love. If I ask Him something, He will give it to me.

If we seek an answer, He will give it. If I knock, He will open the door. Our parents, while not perfect, have our best interests at heart.

God is God and God is good. His love is perfect. Compared to our parents, how good is God’s love for us minute by minute?

Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? Matthew 7:7-8 MSG

“Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God.” ~Apostle Paul

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Am I making a fool of God?

No. It can’t be done. God is God. I can’t make a fool of God but I can be a fool.

God operates under certain principles. It is essential, if you do A, you can expect B.

Paul wants me to let God’s Spirit work in my heart. That produces the results God wants, not the results I want.

That is the focus. Focus on love and obeying God. Focusing on God brings life that lasts forever.

Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 MSG

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” ~James

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Really James? A gift?

Somehow I think he is serious. This isn’t the way I normally think.

Tests and challenges don’t usually feel like a gift from God. But James is onto something for sure. He knows what the goal is.

So what is the goal?

The goal is to be mature and well developed. God has something in mind for me. It doesn’t involve being a child the rest of my life. He wants me to grow up. He wants my faith to grow.

Without challenges it won’t.

Period.

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-3 MSG

“In the world you have tribulation, but take courage ; I have overcome the world.” ~Jesus

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Difficulties are a natural part of the world. Jesus brings me peace and offers courage.

In fact, Jesus promised us me I would have tribulation. That is life in this world.

In Jesus I have peace.

How can Jesus do this? He has overcome the world and I am a new creation that shares in His resurrection.

I can take heart. Jesus is risen and I am seated with Him. The victory belongs to the LORD!!!

May peace be mine. May I have courage today. Why worry?

These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage ; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

A tribute to my brother Jerry Wright. First said “Why Worry” to me in 1973. He has been right all these years.

"The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath." ~~Jesus

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Jesus directed a lot of comments to the religious scholars of the day. On this particular day they were upset Jesus’ disciples were breaking the Sabbath rules about not working. They were nit picking. Jesus saw right through this.

They had it all wrong. It wasn’t about rules and regulations. God’s love is expressed in His word. We need to get it.

It is all about loving God and loving everyone else I meet during the day. The law is love. It is here to serve us.

The final thing Jesus makes clear is that He is in charge. Period. End of story.

Jesus is God’s son and God alone has put Him in charge. That must be dealt with. No hiding from it.

The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He’s in charge!” ~~Jesus (Mark 2:25-28 The Message)

"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere." ~~Dr. Seuss

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It helps to have a sense of humor. King David wisely said (Psalm 9:1-2)

I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart, I’m writing the book on your wonders. I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I’m singing your song, High God.

We are on a difficult journey. God is in a good mood. Why not be thankful and laugh a little?

From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere. ~Dr. Seuss

Who is going to set up the chairs for the Bible study?

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Somebody has to set up the chairs. In God’s world, it is not about who gets credit and gets to do the glamorous jobs.

Those who are last will be first. Being last is the attitude Jesus demands of me.

If we’re honest, we’ll admit that many of us prefer to be the one “on stage,” the one in the limelight, receiving the accolades and praise and attention, rather than the silent one in the background, setting up chairs so others can come and rest as they listen to God’s message. But if we truly believe we are all one Body, here to serve God and others, then setting up chairs at the women’s Bible study is just as vital as giving the keynote address at a national gathering. And caring for those who cannot care for themselves is a great privilege, bestowed upon us by the Creator of the Universe, the Author of Life.

-by Kathi Macias

Embrace a ‘You-First’ Lifestyle in 2009

“I try to be as true to my word as God is to his.” ~Apostle Paul

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Oh my goodness. Am I as true to my word as God is to His?

God doesn’t flip flop when He promises me something. God isn’t glib in His approach to what He says to me. God doesn’t waffle or waiver. Not at all. Not ever.

God is always faithful to His word. God is God. Jesus is his Son and in charge of God’s world.

May I be as true to my word as God is to His.

Are you now going to accuse me of being flip with my promises because it didn’t work out? Do you think I talk out of both sides of my mouth—a glib yes one moment, a glib no the next? Well, you’re wrong. I try to be as true to my word as God is to his. Our word to you wasn’t a careless yes canceled by an indifferent no. How could it be? When Silas and Timothy and I proclaimed the Son of God among you, did you pick up on any yes-and-no, on-again, off-again waffling? Wasn’t it a clean, strong Yes? 2 Corinthians 1:17-19

"Your task is to be true, not popular." ~~Jesus

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Being true to Jesus runs counter to our culture. Of course, being true is exactly how Jesus lived. Jesus calls for a radical commitment. He is truth.

Jesus knows that there’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests.

Jesus challenges me to live and say the truth. He does not demand I be popular.

May I win the truth contest.

Your task is to be true, not popular.” ~~Jesus (Luke 6:26 The Message)

“And in Thy sweet breathing full of grace and glory how tenderly Thou fillest me with Thy love.”  ~~St. John of the Cross

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These words, penned by St. John of the Cross in his book Living Flame of Love, capture the heart-cry of every soul for intimacy with God.

For this we were created and for this we were rescued from missing God’s goal (sin) and death. In Ephesians, Paul lets us in on a little secret: We’ve been more than noticed. God has pursued us from farther than space and longer ago than time.

God has had us in mind since before the Foundations of the World. He loved us before the beginning of time, has come for us, and now calls us to journey toward him, with him, for the consummation of our love.

O Living Flame of Love . . . How gently and how lovingly Thou wakest in my bosom, where alone thou secretly dwellest; And in Thy sweet breathing full of grace and glory how tenderly Thou fillest me with Thy love.  ~~St. John of the Cross

Does God Exist? 4 New Arguments that science can’t explain

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Thoughts on culture, politics and more

Science tells us that the universe came into being via The Big Bang. But how do you get from energy and matter to a self-aware human being? That takes three additional Big Bangs that science cannot explain.

Noted theologian, Frank Pastore, unravels this compelling mystery and, in the process, poses the ultimate question that every thinking person must face.

Source: Does God Exist? 4 New Arguments | PragerU

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“Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse; all they do is run off at the mouth.” ~King Solomon

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Fools

I am a fool. Many times I run off at the mouth. I think what I have to say is important and I don’t care what others have to say.

Discourse involves asking questions (wise ones) and listening.

The best conversations are where I ask lots of relevant questions and really listen. God’s goal for me is to be wise. That requires “wise” listening.

That is wisdom.

Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse;
all they do is run off at the mouth. ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 18:2

"I’ve found you’ve got to look back at the old things and see them in a new light." ~~John Coltrane

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There is the old and there is the new.

Jesus challenges me to leave the old. Jesus challenges me to be “born again.”

Jesus is the light and challenges me to be light.

In Jesus, the old is the new. Now that is some good news.

I’ve found you’ve got to look back at the old things and see them in a new light. ~John Coltrane

“You’re more than happy when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.” ~Jesus

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I love to eat. Almost anything, anytime. There is nothing like a great meal with family or friends. I have never been accused of not having a good appetite.

So, how is my appetite for God?

Do I hunger for Jesus the same way the same way I do for a great meal?

Do I long for Him like no other?

I will be more than happy when I work up a good appetite for Jesus!!

You’re more than happy when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” Matthew 5:1-12

“So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well.” ~Apostle Paul

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Love

I know I tend to think that either I love or I don’t. Paul points out that there is another way to see it.

I can love and I can have a lot of love. But beyond that I should love well.

There should be a quality to my love. Love is not about quantity but it is all about quality. How well do I love? Something to think, pray and act on.

So I pray, may I love well!!

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well.”   Apostle Paul (Philippians 1:9-11 The Message)

“We’re not keeping secrets; we’re telling them. “ ~~Jesus

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Jesus is Life

Jesus was into full disclosure and transparency. What He saw His Father doing is what He did. No cover ups. No secrets.

In fact, Jesus came to reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom (Government) of God. His Message is all about revealing secrets. He calls on me to do the same.

God’s goal for me is to make known what God is up to. Let everyone in on the secret. I am to be a light for Jesus. Jesus is life!

We’re not keeping secrets; we’re telling them. “ –Jesus (Luke 8)

“It’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” ~Author of Hebrews

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Jesus challenges us

Training isn’t fun. I may look forward to it in a certain perverse way but it isn’t really fun. I endured training, in sports, because it was the only way I could play the game, which was the point of the training. I couldn’t get to the game without going through the training.

It could be cruel and what we endured is unusual. It is the training that makes us “mature players”. God’s goal for me is maturity. I need to grow up.

So it is with Jesus. I don’t get in the game unless I  go through the training that Jesus has in mind for me.

But the training pays off. That is God’s way.

I must look for the training opportunities so I can learn ways of Jesus.

At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. (Hebrews 12:11 The Message)

 

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.’ ~~Plato

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Light shines

Jesus is light. Jesus shines his truth on the whole world. Jesus said: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”

Jesus challenges me to live in the light. Jesus challenges me today.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. ~~Plato

“Master, the one you love so very much is sick.” ~Mary, sister of Martha

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Love of Jesus

With Jesus, it always starts with love. Jesus loved Lazarus. Everyone knew that.

Lazarus was sick. It got worse however. Lazarus died. Jesus knew that and allowed it to happen. He wasn’t in a rush to go see him.

Jesus knew how it would end. Jesus knew the power of God. Jesus knew he would raise him from the dead. Jesus believed in the power of God. He was okay with everything.

Jesus loved Lazarus. Jesus would take care of it.

Jesus knew what was happening. Jesus was the only one who knew. Everyone else freaked out.

May I live in the power God and confidence of God’s love. God is in a good mood. I am the one Jesus loves so very much.

A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. This was the same Mary who massaged the Lord’s feet with aromatic oils and then wiped them with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.”

John 11:1-3

“Real help comes from God.” ~King David

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There is help and then there is real help. Real help comes from God.

I don’t know about others, but I don’t like to ask for help. I don’t like to feel like I am putting others out of the way.

I like to “be in control.”

I am reflecting on whether this carries over into my relationship with God. He loves to helps like a father loves helping his children.

Real help comes from Jesus. I need to seek His solutions, not mine.

His blessing is all I need. It clothes me in His eternal glory. He is good all the time.

May I look for the help that comes from God.

Real help comes from God. Your blessing clothes your people! Psalm 3:8

“Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own?” ~Apostle Paul

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I don’t own Jesus. No church owns Jesus. Jesus hasn’t be chopped up into little pieces called Baptist, Catholics or Pentecostals. We have all been baptized in the name of Jesus.

We belong to Jesus. We ought to reflect that in what we say and do.

I ask you, “Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own?  Has Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul’s name?” I was not involved with any of your baptisms—except for Crispus and Gaius—and on getting this report, I’m sure glad I wasn’t. At least no one can go around saying he was baptized in my name. (Come to think of it, I also baptized Stephanas’s family, but as far as I can recall, that’s it.) (1 Corinthians 1:13-16 The Message)

 

May I belong to Jesus. May all see that is true.

“The one who won’t practice righteous ways isn’t from God, nor is the one who won’t love brother or sister. A simple test.” ~Apostle John

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Some tests are hard. Others are simple.

This one is VERY simple. Loving others deeply and the way Jesus the Messiah does is the test of right living.

Right living in God and right living with all who are a part of my life. It is all about the relationships. Acting right equals right-living with God.

If we are not God’s child then we are the Devil’s child. This is a start reality. There is a clear difference between the two. The test is quite simple. Which am I?

Loving God and loving my neighbor is the test.

So, my dear children, don’t let anyone divert you from the truth. It’s the person who acts right who is right, just as we see it lived out in our righteous Messiah. …. Here’s how you tell the difference between God’s children and the Devil’s children: The one who won’t practice righteous ways isn’t from God, nor is the one who won’t love brother or sister. A simple test.1 John 3:7-10

"You’re happy when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for." ~Jesus

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Am I caring enough? Am I full of care?

That is what it is all about. Jesus had this focus. He cared all the time. His Father focused on caring for him. That is what love is all about.

God’s goal for me is to be full of care. Jesus challenges me to love everyone.

You’re happy when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” ~Jesus (Matthew 5:7 The Message)

Is there more going on than meets the eye with what Jesus is doing right now?

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New Life

New Life

Looks can be very deceiving. Sometimes, on the outside, it can look like things are falling apart. But God is working on the inside.

Jesus is making, in me, a new life. Every day His grace is working. It is a gift, His doing, but He IS doing it. Not always seen, but real nonetheless.

The same is not only true for me but others as well. A good reason not to judge for sure. So any turmoil I am going through right now is small potatoes compared to the good times that He has in store for me right around the corner.

Todays mundane, ho hum stuff will turn into an amazing celebration when Jesus completes what He is doing in me.

There is far more going on than meets the eye. I know that things are here today and gone tomorrow. The unseen things that God is doing are going to last forever.

And that is a VERY long time.

 

There is a thief in our midst. He is stealing our peace and happiness. He is ingratitude. Be grateful now.

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There is a thief in our midst. He is stealing our peace and happiness. He is ingratitude. Be grateful now.

Gratitude is the attitude that God loves. God is in a good mood. Jesus challenges us to be grateful and in a good mood ourselves. Jesus knows that every thing that God does is what we should do.

We must realize that there is a thief who wants to steal our peace. We must be grateful for what Jesus has done for us. That puts the enemy on the run.

“A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring has nothing to harvest in the fall.” ~~King Solomon

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Harvest

God created a world where one thing leads to another. It is not always immediate but eventually planting will produce a crop.

The reverse is also important wisdom. If I don’t do something, nothing is going to happen. Zip, Zilch, Nada, nothing.

There is wisdom in being industrious and not lazy.

God is God. His ways are firm and I can’t change them.

May I plant the right seeds to produce a great harvest.

May I be patient to wait on the results

A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring has nothing to harvest in the fall. ” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 20:4)

From start to finish, Jesus is absolutely amazing

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Jesus came to us where we are. He moved into the neighborhood. Not in a distant way but near. The everlasting Son of our Father became like us.

Jesus became flesh and blood. He had feelings like us. He was tempted like us. He succeeded and establish a whole new government on this earth of ours. His new plan is so superior.

Jesus became a one of a kind glory. Absolutely perfect. No defect or missing the mark at all.

Jesus was just like the Father. Everything He did was what He saw His Father doing. He is generous in and out. From start to finish He is absolutely amazing.

“You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.” ~James

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My dad had a saying that summed this up pretty good. “Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise”.

That is what God wants and there is a lot out of my control. This is a hard to get some days. It takes faith and supernatural courage. It is all about what God wants and not what I plan.

Now I love to plan and I love to be spontaneous. But either way, I don’t know what our Master has in mind for tomorrow.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”. I can know what he wants me to do right now. Tomorrow is a whole different story.

So what James has to say is radical. Jesus was radical and James knew it first hand from him.

Do I know what to do? Do I do it? If not, why not?

May I be thankful for today’s bread!

May I press in to know Him better.

And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, ‘Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.’ You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, ‘If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.’ As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil. James 4

Have a mind unafraid to travel with Jesus even though the trail be not blazed

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Get on your knees and pray

A  Prayer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anonymous

Dear Lord, please give me…

A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;

A work to do which has real value,
without which the world would be the poorer;

A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;
An understanding heart;

A sense of humor;

Time for quiet, silent meditation;

A feeling of the presence of God;

The patience to wait for the coming of these things,
With the wisdom to recognize them when they come.

Amen.

“The lasting characteristic of a spiritual man is the ability to understand correctly the meaning of the Lord Jesus the Messiah in his life.” ~Oswald Chambers

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I have a passion for the Good News of God!! I want to be a man after God’s own heart. I want others to know what Jesus, the Messiah can do.

That is all there is to it.

The lasting characteristic of a spiritual man is the ability to understand correctly the meaning of the Lord Jesus the Messiah in his life, and the ability to explain the purposes of God to others. The overruling passion of his life is Jesus the Messiah. Whenever you see this quality in a person, you get the feeling that he is truly a man after God’s own heart.” ~~Oswald Chambers

“We have short memories in magnifying God’s grace.” ~John Calvin

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John Calvin correctly observes that most of the time we are very quick to forget the great things God does for us.

What if all day I actively focused on thanking God for all the great things going on? What kind of day would that look like? Different I am thinking.

What should I do more of? Pretty simple and straightforward.

More thanks to God for the grace he has shown me through the Messiah Jesus!!

We have short memories in magnifying God’s grace. Every blessing that God confers upon us perishes through our carelessness, if we are not prompt and active in giving thanks.

—–John Calvin

“Don’t stop him. If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally.” ~Jesus

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Jesus the Messiah

Many people do things in the name of Jesus. They may not be a part of “our group” or our Church.

I need to be careful. Someone who performs the work of God in the name of Jesus is not an enemy. God’s country is not divided against itself.

God is God. God will judge. Good work in the name of Jesus is not my concern.

I have an enemy. His work is clear.

They started arguing over which of them would be most famous. When Jesus realized how much this mattered to them, he brought a child to his side. “Whoever accepts this child as if the child were me, accepts me,” he said. “And whoever accepts me, accepts the One who sent me. You become great by accepting, not asserting. Your spirit, not your size, makes the difference.”

John spoke up, “Master, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn’t of our group.”

Jesus said, “Don’t stop him. If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally.

Source: Luke 9:46 – 50

"I would rather be accused of breaking precedents than breaking promises." ~~John F. Kennedy

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God’s Promise

Jesus challenges us to make sure our yes is yes and our no is no.

When we say yes we need to follow through. That is the core of character and the goal that God has in mind for us.

God is faithful to his word. Jesus wants us to be the same way.

God doesn’t enter into a contract with us, written by a crafty lawyer. A contract drawn up by a hard-nosed lawyer and with plenty of fine print only makes sure that you will never be able to collect. But if there is no contract in the first place, simply a promise—and God’s promise at that—you can’t break it.

This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them.

I would rather be accused of breaking precedents than breaking promises. ~John F. Kennedy

 

“Don’t you know there’s a King in Zion?” ~God

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Victory in Jesus

Our leaders don’t always get it. They plot, the connive, they think they are in control. They defy God and think they are free from Jesus.

God has shut them up. Jesus came and established His rule and authority. God’s world and government has triumphed the present world order.

Nothing is impossible for Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus is in control. Jesus has been inaugurated already. Jesus has already won the victory.

Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples?
Earth-leaders push for position,
Demagogues and delegates meet for summit talks,
The God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers:
“Let’s get free of God!
Cast loose from Messiah!”

Heaven-throned God breaks out laughing.
At first he’s amused at their presumption;
Then he gets good and angry.
Furiously, he shuts them up:
“Don’t you know there’s a King in Zion? A coronation banquet
Is spread for him on the holy summit.”

Psalm 2:1-6

"If an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him.." ~~Jesus

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Jesus is Life

I have enemies. Jesus knows that and is clear on it. I have done things to offend others. They don’t forget.

They may not know we are different now because of Jesus. They may know and not care. They are out for blood.

Jesus lets me know it doesn’t matter. It is up to me to make things right. I must make the first move.

That is my job. That is God’s goal for me. The focus is on “making things right”. That is the criteria.

In God’s world, I can’t sit passively by waiting for the other person to make the move.

If an old enemy accosts you. Don’t lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him..” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:25-26 The Message)

“John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of missing God’s goal for us.” ~Apostle Mark

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John paved the way for Jesus. He set the stage. It is all about life-change. I need to change my mind (repent) about the kind of life I can live.

I know I have missed the goal that God is mind for me. I need to make it clear that I understand that.

Being baptized with Jesus into death and resurrection gives me a changed life. It is His new plan for me. I can reach God’s goal for myself.

I don’t have to live a life that misses that. He is in an amazing mood and gives me this gift simply because He loves me.

Now how great is that?

John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of missing God’s goal for us. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their knowledge of missing God’s goal, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey. Mark 1:4-6

A tribute to my mother (Dorothy Wilson — 1922 – 1967)

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Mother’s are so special to us. Of course, my mother is no different.

Dorothy and Everett Wilson wedding photo

Dorothy and Everett Wilson wedding photo

My mother, Dorothy Mae Frey was born on December 30, 1922, in Atlanta, Georgia, the only child of Glenn Thomas Frey and Gracie M. Frey (maiden name Bingham). She married my dad, Everett Wiley Wilson,  on January 21, 1943, in her hometown of Atlanta. They had three children during their marriage. She died on March 5, 1967, in DeKalb, Georgia, at the age of 44. Way to young for all of us kids. I was 12 at the time.

My mother’s mother was Gracie M. Bingham who was born on September 21, 1901, in Atlanta, Georgia, her father, Thomas, was 24 and her mother, Addie, was 20. She died in January 1967 in Atlanta, at the age of 65. In 1910, Grace  was 8 years old and lived in Marietta, Georgia with her father, mother, brother, and 2 sisters. In 1920, Gracie was 18 years old and lived in Atlanta, Georgia with her father, mother, brother, and 2 sisters. In 1930, Gracie was 25 years old and lived in Atlanta, Georgia with her mother, brother, and sister. On the April 1, 1940 census, Gracie Frey was 38 years old and lived in Atlanta, Georgia with her daughter and mother. There is no mention of her husband Glenn. 

My mother’s grandmother was Addie Viola Entrican who was born on September 8, 1881, in Austell, Georgia. She married her first husband in 1897 in Georgia. In 1897 she married her second husband in Georgia. She died on December 28, 1969, in her hometown, at the age of 88. According the 1900 Census, Addie married Thomas in 1897. They had one child during their marriage. In 1900, she was 19 years old and lived in Powder Springs, Georgia with her husband, Thomas, and a son. By the 1910 census, In 1910, Addie was 27 years old and lived in Marietta, Georgia with her husband, Thomas, son, and 3 daughters. By 1920, Addie was 39 years old and lived in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Thomas, son, and 3 daughters.

All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” ~~Abraham Lincoln

It is true I am a product of my mother’s love. She cared so much for us all. I always felt her love. I owe her so very much. I wish I could thank her in person. Some day I will. I know she believed that.

Wedding announce for Dorothy and Everett Wilson

Wedding announce for Dorothy and Everett Wilson

Her mother was Grace Frey. I don’t remember much about her. She passed away about a month before my mother.

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” —Robert Browning

When my parents wed, my dad was defending our freedom during World War II. My mom knew the importance of what he did for us.

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ―Washington Irving

My mother always defended me no matter what. She could calm me down. She would sooth the hurts like no other.

If I have done anything in life worth attention, I feel sure that I inherited the disposition from my mother.” —Booker T. Washington

So who do I owe who I  am to? It is my mother. She showed me how to love. She showed me how to be strong. She showed me how to work. She showed me how to care.

Mom's love of country

Mom’s love of country

Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; A mother’s secret hope outlives them all.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes

My mother was a woman of hope. We would talk and she would share them with me. Mainly they were hopes for me. She wanted a “better world” and she wanted it for her children. Born in the middle of the great depression. Everyone, including her husband, off at war. Surely there was a better way. She worked hard to make sure we could have it.

My mother is my root, my foundation. She planted the seed that I base my life on, and that is the belief that the ability to achieve starts in your mind.” —Michael Jordan

A tribute a most amazing mother — Dawn Wilson

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Angel, I have so much respect for you. You are an amazing mother and I stand in awe. Your love, sacrifice and service to your children deserves a shout out on the highest roof top.

You sacrifice so much for them every day. You constantly drop what you are doing to make sure they are taken care of. Your ever abiding thought is how to serve them and make them happy.

And … happy and successful they are. From Sarah Jo to Nate.

You think of them all the time and always want the best for them. No little or big thing is too much in your eyes.

You create so many special and fun experiences for our family. We all have so many fond memories today and will down the road.

Your patience is stunning.

Your encouragement is overwhelming.

Your generosity is superb.

Your words of wisdom are a special treasure.

Your strength is an inspiration.

I love you!

Mothers Day

"Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. " ~~Jesus

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Jesus knows that God is all about life. He is our source and it will last forever. Jesus also knows that His Father has given Him the same gift. Jesus gives it to us. All life is ours in our relationship with Jesus.

There is an urgency in understanding that when we know and believe that Jesus is the source of life that he can confer life on us.

Jesus can resurrect us, right now, with the same power that brought Him back to life at the resurrection. Jesus is life!!!

Just as the Father has life in himself, he has conferred on the Son life in himself. ” ~~Jesus  (John 5:25-27 The Message)

Subtle Influences

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There is truth. We can know it. Psalm 119:11 says “I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.” A good place to start.

4th Quarter Musings

C.S. Lewis wrote in the Screwtape Letters, “The safest road to Hell is the gradual one — the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” Letter XII

Most of us have heard the term “slippery slope.” We hear it and, in today’s world, we Image result for discerningallow ourselves to become distracted because we know whatever follows is someone’s projection of imminent disaster at some future point in time. There are voices from all aspects of the political and sociological spectrum forecasting the demise of society as we know it resulting from an initial tiny step being approved today by some arm of our government. The fact that God is in control gives us great comfort, but we must also deal with the reality that He gives us great latitude in determining our own, and society’s, pace of ethical and moral decline. Refusal to acknowledge the broader and long term…

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Jesus freed us all from death and destruction.

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We are made of flesh and blood. Jesus, the Messiah, came in flesh and blood, just like us, to rescue us from the curse we have on us.

Jesus came to rescue us from death. He actually embrace death for us. He took it on Himself. He made it His own.

Because Jesus defeated death, He destroyed our enemy Satan’s hold on death. He freed us all who have been scared to death of death.

Jesus went to all of this trouble for us humans. He had to enter into every detail of human life for us. He experienced it all. Birth, life, death and resurrection. No detail missed at all.

Jesus lived by not missing God’s plan so that we can be freed from missing the mark and live a life with God. He went through all the pain and test for us.

Jesus is qualified to help when help is needed.

“If you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.” ~Jesus

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Jesus has a way of being clear. He leaves no doubt. In God’s world, God comes first. That is all there is to it. I can’t negotiate with Him. God is God. I need to get clear on that.

So, I can kiss everything else goodbye if I want to follow Jesus. Is something near and dear to me? Am I ready to give it up? Will I kiss it goodbye? That is what Jesus is challenging me to do. Will I do it?

Yes, I heard it right. Jesus said it and Jesus meant it.

Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.”  Luke 14

 

May I have the courage to kiss all my plans goodbye.

May He come first always.

"Live generously." ~~Jesus

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God is so very generous to me. Although I don’t deserve it, He lavishes me with every gift imaginable. I can’t even think of every thing He is going to do for me.

Jesus demands that I live generously. Love God; love others! That is His command in His mission for my life.

Jesus wants me to move beyond just living and to live generously. When I think about my “to do” list for the day, is “be generous” at the top of the list?

 Live generously.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:48 The Message)

"Let your gentleness be evident to all." ~~Apostle Paul

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Our Father is near. His way of running things is taking hold. It can’t be missed. His presence is right here. It is undeniable. I can feel him next to me.

I hear his whisper in my ear. His gently pat on my head to comfort me is evidence of his love. God is good and in a good mood. I need to know this in my soul.

We know this. And so, our gentle way should really be evident to everyone we know. Is it?

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5

 

Jesus has the place of honor, sitting next to God and in control of everything!

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Jesus, as Son, has the most special relationship with the Father. As Son, the Father says to Jesus, you are God. You are in control of my government for good. No one will ever take your place. Now Satan, an angel, thought he could be in control. God has put an end to that nonsense.

Jesus’ victory has made that clear. God just loves it when things are put right. And He hates it when things are out of whack. And so God is VERY happy.

Jesus started it all. He laid the earth’s very foundations. And He will finish it all.

How special is Jesus? God has never said to anyone, any created being, sit here next to me. He has given Jesus the place of honor. He is charge (King) of God’s country and government (Kingdom). That is the new plan. God has replaced the crown of thorns with one of gold.

So this is something we can count on. Jesus is the Son. Everything has been put in His control in God’s country. We are citizens AND children of His country. All is well.

"Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts." ~~Winston Churchhill

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Jesus challenges me to have courage and to not be afraid. That is God’s goal for me, every day. I must wake up thankful and anticipating what Jesus will do. Jesus has plans for me that I don’t even understand. Boldness is his way. Jesus sees what God is doing and does only that. That is what Jesus wants for me as well.

May I be bolder today.

May I see only what Jesus wants and have the courage to do what he commands me to do.

“You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.” ~Apostle Paul

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In our family, like most families, being a “member of the household” means something special!

It means you walk right into the house without knocking. It means family members wait up for you when you are out late. It means that you are cared for enough that somebody wants to know where you’re going, when you will be back and reminds you to “be safe.” It means you get a kiss when you go out the door in the morning. That’s what being a member of the household means.

The Good News is that we are members of God’s household. And it’s the very same way at His House only better. So go on right in!

And don’t forget to yell “I’m HOME!!!” Jesus is so very glad to see you!

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household.”  -Ephesians 2:19

“Something has always come up and prevented it.” ~Apostle Paul

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Paul knew how to plan. Fortunately, he listened to God and so sometimes was unwilling to follow what he planned so he could do what God wanted.

It would have given him personal pleasure to do what he wanted. It didn’t mean that God didn’t want him to see his plans through at some point. It just had to be in God’s good timing and not Paul’s.

The thing to pursue is what God wants on any given day. Jesus has ultimate goals for us and tasks to accomplish every day. That is all that really counts at any given point in time.

Please don’t misinterpret my failure to visit you, friends. You have no idea how many times I’ve made plans for Rome. I’ve been determined to get some personal enjoyment out of God’s work among you, as I have in so many other non-Jewish towns and communities. But something has always come up and prevented it.  Romans 1:13-15

“Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!” ~King Solomon

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I think I am pretty clever some days. I think I can figure it all out.

AND then I run into the wall with something and I realize I am not as clever as I like to think I am. My understanding is not what our LORD wants.

If the victory is to be His, I have to trust Him with all my heart. I have to emotionally connect with what He wants not what I understand.

May I trust him from the bottom of my heart.

May I do it now.

What is He saying?

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! (Proverbs 3:5 The Message Bible)



“Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” ~Jesus

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Courage

99 out of 100 things I worry about never happen.

And yet, I continue to be afraid.

Jesus is ever present letting me know that I need to take courage.

He says “It is I”. He is here. Do I hear Jesus? He says “Don’t be afraid”. Do I hear Him?

He gives me courage in His world. His world is here and now.

On earth, as it is in heaven right now.

 Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” ~Jesus (Mark 6:50)

May I take courage.

May I have courage.

May I hear Jesus.

"What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax." ~~Jesus

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I worry a lot. It isn’t good. I know that. I worry anyway.

Jesus challenges me to trust God completely and not worry. Life is not about how much I have to eat and beautiful cloths to wear. It is not about getting. It is all about giving.

People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over lots of things. I know both God and how he works.

Jesus challenges me to steep my life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions.

Jesus demands that I don’t worry about missing out. In God’s world, I find all my everyday human concerns will be met.

That is just God’s way. God is in a very good mood. God wants the very best for me. My job is to trust him.

What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 6:33 The Message)

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire." ~~Ferdinand Foch

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Holy Spirit

Jesus challenges us to be on fire for him and God’s government. Nothing else should matter. Not family or friends. Nothing but what does God want me to do.

Jesus is a consuming fire in our soul. That is God’s goal for me.

The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. ~Ferdinand Foch

“God charts the road you take. The road the wicked take is Skid Row.” ~King David

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There is a distinction between those that God has redeemed and those he hasn’t. Those in right standing with Him are like the tree of life replanted in Eden.

Eternal life is mine. I will never loose my fruit. I will never drop a leaf. I will always blossom.

Another way of seeing it is the road we are on with Jesus. The redeemed have our way laid out by God. The wicked are on Skid Row.

May I stay on the road with Jesus and bear fruit for His world.

You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom. You’re not at all like the wicked, who are mere windblown dust— Without defense in court, unfit company for innocent people. God charts the road you take. The road they take is Skid Row. Psalm 1:3-6