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.
I like to take comfort in my faith. Of course, I believe in God and Jesus. I have for a very long time.
But what do I think of others? Perhaps even some family members?
Consider the insight from Jesus. It is one thing to trust in God. It is another to trust in myself. Do I think, because “I am a good person” that I am righteous?
Big mistake! Continue reading
Jesus is risen. Hallelujah! Easter says you can put truth in the grave but it won’t stay there. ~~Clarence W. Hall
Martin Luther King’s rationale for love and nonviolence was an attempt to follow in the steps of Jesus. Throughout his life, he reminded himself and others about Sermon on the Mount’s (the Jesus Manifesto) call to love our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) and the arrest of Jesus (Matthew 26-36-56), which calls people to a nonviolent love in search for justice. Continue reading
We all know what Jesus said. Or do we? Do we serve an “angry God” who is out to do me in? Or is God good? I must decide and it makes a difference.
For God so loved the world …
We know that God is good. God is also in a good mood.
We also know there will be justice. There will be a judgement day. We will have to give an account of ourselves.
“God, Who is by nature good and dispassionate, loves all men equally as His handiwork. But He glorifies the virtuous man because in his will he is united to God. At the same time, in His goodness he is merciful to the sinner and by chastising him in this life brings him back to the path of virtue. Similarly, a man of good and dispassionate judgment also loves all men equally. He loves the virtuous man because of his nature and the probity of his intention; and he loves the sinner, too, because of his nature and because in his compassion he pities him for foolishly stumbling in darkness.”
— Maximos the Confessor
Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν
Translated “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner”
Jesus compels us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Jesus isn’t having any of our “Use and toss away” culture.
It just won’t do at all. There is going to be a day of judgement. Jesus has been given the authority from God the Father decide who will spend eternity with Him and who will spend eternity in the eternal flames of hell. Don’t think so. From Matthew 25 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [e]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
“We ought not to treat living creatures like shoes or household belongings, which when worn with use we throw away.”
Jesus told we must be born again. Jesus did not suggest we be barren or be in labor forever.
Jesus is clear. We can’t see the Kingdom of God in our current state. We must die to ourselves and be raised to new life.
Our current focus of our educational system leads us astray. It gives us false hope of wisdom and knowledge.
Jesus is clear that we should not worry about the speck in brothers eye when we have a plank in our own. Jesus despises hypocrites.
“Criticism of others is thus an oblique form of self-commendation. We think we make the picture hang straight on our wall by telling our neighbors that all his pictures are crooked.”
~Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!
We all know the saying, “Life is short”. Indeed it is if we do not know our Messiah Jesus who has promised us eternal life. We shall all die. We won’t all spend eternity with God. Some will go on to the eternal fire.
Eternity is a mighty long time. Imagine trillions and trillions of years.
And then trillions more.
And then quadrillions and quadrillions.
On and one it will go. Will it be with Jesus?
“We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away, and all that floats on its surface, rubbish or beams of trees, all pass by. Christian! So does our life. . .I was an infant, and that time has gone. I was an adolescent, and that too has passed. I was a young man, and that too is far behind me. The strong and mature man that I was is no more. My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that too passes; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh. I was born in order to die. I die that I may live. Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!”
— St. Tikhon of Voronezh
Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!
Jesus is clear that what we do for the poor we do for Him. He is equally clear that if we don’t do for the poor, we have ignored Jesus. Hell is waiting for us if we don’t.
Consider “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” Continue reading
Jesus challenges us to live a life of mercy and to work for justice and mercy. Jesus uses harsh language calling out the religious leaders as hypocrites. Jesus is not happy at all. Jesus is clear. Justice and mercy are not to be ignored under any circumstance.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” (Matthew 23:23)
I was 9 years old during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. I was living in Atlanta, Georgia. The deep south was clearly a racist world at that time. It wouldn’t stay that way. Change was on the way.
We celebrate Dr. King’s vision and the speech he gave that galvanized our country. It is stunning and still rings home today. Continue reading
I am a great fan of “Leave it to Beaver”. Leave It to Beaver ran for six full 39-week seasons (234 episodes). The series had its debut on CBS on October 4, 1957. The following season, it moved to ABC, where it stayed until completing its run on June 20, 1963.
It is interesting that several adult candidates auditioned for the role of Beaver’s father, Ward, but they finally signed Hugh Beaumont, an actor and Methodist lay minister who had worked with Mathers in a religious film.
Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed the crowd at the end of the Selma to Montgomery march. Here is part of what he said. Great question. “How long will it take?”
I know you are asking today, “How long will it take?” Somebody’s asking, “How long will prejudice blind the visions of men, darken their understanding, and drive bright-eyed wisdom from her sacred throne?” Somebody’s asking, “When will wounded justice, lying prostrate on the streets of Selma and Birmingham and communities all over the South, be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men?” Somebody’s asking, “When will the radiant star of hope be plunged against the nocturnal bosom of this lonely night, plucked from weary souls with chains of fear and the manacles of death? How long will justice be crucified, and truth bear it?”
I come to say…
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I talk with God. I ask for things. I want stuff to happen.
- I am like a typical child. Gimme, gimme, gimme. Some times all day long.
- God is in a good mood. Like a great Father, he ignores a great deal. He smiles. He ignores me some more. Good thing God is patient.
- Jesus knows what is good for me. Now that is some good news. Jesus has a plan. He knows what the goal is. I need to sync up with Jesus. What would Jesus ask for?
“Keep praying, but be thankful that God’s answers are wiser than your prayers!” ~~William Culbertson
- Who am I working for? George knows who he is working for. He is clear it is Jesus. Just ask him.
- What do I get out of it now? While George is very successful, he is clear where his treasure should be.
- What is my future reward? George knows God has a tremendous “retirement program”. Do I know that our God is in a good mood?
I’m working for the Lord, and even though the Lord’s pay isn’t very high, his retirement program is. ~~George Foreman
Here we go.
- We are all in the same boat. Saint and sinner alike. I have a past and I have a future.
- Jesus challenges me to not get too carried away with myself. God is the judge, not me.
- It is God’s gift that redeems me not anything I do. Obedience is my reaction to God’s gift.
“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. ” ~Oscar Wilde
- God has a plan. What I can conceive is puny compared to God. Jesus challenges me to “think God”.
- Jesus wants me to believe that nothing is impossible with God. Jesus knows it. Faith compels me believe it.
- God’s word will come true, regardless of what I believe. God is God. I am not. I need to understand that and be clear on it.
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” ~~Napoleon Hill
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
Jesus challenges us to know that nothing is impossible with God.
It is my goal to live that way. Today and everyday.
Will I listen to the opinions of others to what Jesus is saying?
Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. ~~Muhammad Ali
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
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
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
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
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
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
It is way too easy to think about what others ought to do and what they ought to think. The spirit of criticism and judgement pervades my world.
Jesus challenges me to not judge. Jesus is the Supreme Judge. I have no role at all.
If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. ~~Max Lucado
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
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.
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
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.
Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
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 put Jesus in control. My status is up to Jesus.
My status is, however, not based on how much I try. It is entirely up to God.
Of course I miss God’s goal for my life (i.e. sin) but is that how Jesus sees me. Surely not based on the gift he has given me.
I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” ~~Nelson Mandela
Jesus is the way to wisdom. Without him I wander around trying to find the right answer.
Jesus challenges me to trust him. Jesus is the way.
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. ~~ Paul Anderson
Jesus calls on me to look forward. I must keep my eye on the goal of eternal life that is mine through Jesus the Messiah.
I can’t get distracted. I can’t look back on the life I used to have before Jesus.
I must remember what happened to Lot’s wife when she looked back to Sodom. If I grasp and cling to life on my terms, I’ll lose it, but if I let that life go, I’ll get life on God’s terms.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. ~~Henry David Thoreau
Jesus challenges us to do what God wants us to when he wants us to do it.
God gives us opportunities and seasons. It is not wise to ignore them when they are at hand.
This is the way of God and of Jesus.
The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining. ~John F. Kennedy
Jesus challenges me to love. That is it. Love God and love everyone else I know or meet.
The alternative is to hate. That is a choice many of us take. It doesn’t work.
There is no other way in God’s world. God is love and we must love.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Comparisons aren’t helpful at all. Jesus challenges to see into our own heart. We need Jesus and we need redemption. That is what we see.
Through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, we are born again and become children of God.
That is what it is all about.
Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” ~~William Faulkner
If it doesn’t happen, then something is wrong. I can count on it.
Author and counselor Sara Dormon believes it’s time for Christians to collectively take Jesus more seriously, arguing in an interview with “The Church Boys” podcast that she believes many faithful have simply become too complacent.
Dormon, who recently released a book titled, “If You’re a Christian and Everyone Likes You…Something’s Wrong,” also said she believes Christians are too willing to compromise their beliefs, and that they often allow themselves to be known more for what they oppose than for what they’re for.
“I would rather honor God and be loved by God than be loved by man, and I think that’s the mess we’ve fallen into as Christians,” Dormon said. “We’ve learned to compromise our faith, we’ve learned to not rock the boat…don’t step on toes.”
So, the author essentially advocates a balanced approach: embracing one’s truth and faith while simultaneously showing love for others. This is the very topic she covers in the book — a six-year project that started as mere journal entries after a personal crisis of faith.
Once we have our heart right, what we think and what we say can follow. That level of alignment is what we know of as integrity. As mature children, it is essential.
“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” ~~Nelson Mandela
I have a new heart. God has said it. Do I believe it? Do I act like it?
I can’t afford to be heartless. I must be like David and have a heart after God. I must live a life of passion and love for Jesus.
I must love, from my heart, everyone I come in contact with. To not do so is to disobey Jesus. And that must bring him grief. How sad.
I must be a person with heart.
A heartless Christian must be a terrible grief to our Lord.” ~~Oswald Chambers
We must step out and take a stand. Jesus challenges us and we know it is true.
What if I didn’t hear him right? What if I fail?
There is a huge risk in following Jesus.
And … there is a huge reward.
“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” ~~Frederick Wilcox
“Faith makes all things possible… love makes all things easy.” Dwight L. Moody
Jesus knows it is about who I am inside that counts. That inside character is what will come out in the long run.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
Jesus calls on us to be on the right side of God and his world (Kingdom).
This world is at odds with Jesus. Everything is upside down with the first being last and the last being first.
Being right with God is the only thing that is important. Jesus is the way.
Rule of thumb: being first helps in the short run. Being a little more right than the masses ultimately pays off in the long run. Being last is the worst of all three.
I am flawed and in a huge way. It is through my weakness that Jesus is magnified as he found a way to use me anyway.
Jesus is calling on me to be authentic. I don’t have to pretend to be something I am not.
That is good news. Thank you Jesus.
We have enough cubic zirconia Christians hungry for diamonds whose beauty was created from the pressures of life.
We live in a culture that thrives on complaints. We are all experts at seeing what God isn’t doing.
The key is to see what God is doing!
“Complaining is to the devil what praise is to God.” ~~Bill Johnson
Love is amazing. It just blots out everything else. No time to be angry, resentful or judging.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”~~ Mother Teresa
My job is to focus on what God wants me to do in His country today. Nothing else matters.
Nothing is impossible with God!
“Lack of direction, not lack of time is the problem. We all have 24 hour days.”- Zig Ziglar
Jesus had a goal. God had given it to him. Jesus is the obedient son.
Knowing what would happen, Jesus came anyway. His love for the Father and for us is overwhelming. It consumes Jesus.
Jesus knew what was coming. He came anyway.
Thank you Jesus.
If you knew that only a few would care that you came, would you still come? Jesus did.” ~~Max Lucado
How close am I? God knows but I don’t. God is God. I am not.
Jesus challenges me to have faith and move on. The goal is one I will achieve, in God’s time. It could be very close.
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~~Thomas A. Edison
I have been given a gift. I didn’t earn it at all. I can do nothing to deserve it.
I am guilty. I have missed God’s goal for my life. There is no doubt about that. It is clear. I know it about myself. Everyone else knows it about me as well.
There is good news. Jesus has paid the price for me. I am saved from that life.
It is a gift.
Salvation is not a reward for the righteous, it is a gift for the guilty. ~~Steve Lawson
What does God want me to do today?
God has a goal in mind for me. Jesus challenges me to understand it and do it.
That is the focus. Jesus only did what he saw his Father doing. That was it.
May I focus on what God wants me to do and do it with all my strength.
Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do – then do it with all your strength.” ~George Washington
Jesus challenges to keep moving ahead. Don’t stop. Don’t give up.
We are a people of hope. We know how the story ends.
I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” ~~Nelson Mandela
Is He my all in All?
Do I love Him more than life?
I slept not all night, because Thy love, O my God, flowed in me like delicious oil, and burned as a fire . . . I love God far more than the most affectionate lover among men loves his earthly attachment.”
—–Madame Guyon, a French mystic (1648-1717)
Israel wandered around in the desert, not entering the promised land, for 40 years.
Is it they didn’t know where they were going?
Israel had spent 400 years as slaves. They didn’t know what it was like to be free.
If freedom is where we are headed, do we know that Jesus is the way to get there?
You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.
It is always interesting that we focus on others so much. What are they doing?
It doesn’t have to be that way. I can listen to God and do what he wants me to.
Now that might get people talking!
The opportunity is to actually create something that people choose to talk about, regardless of what the competition is doing.
We say lots of things.
Many times we don’t know what we are talking about even if it sounds good.
When it comes to what is going to happen in the future, it is best to leave that up to God. Jesus challenges us to focus today on what God wants. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
God knows. We don’t.
There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.
~~Robert Milikan, Nobel Prize in physics, 1923