The clouds were forming, the weatherman warned us, and the chill in the air confirmed it. Rain was coming soon. I just finished eating lunch with my teen-age daughter and was headed back to work. The truck (which I had purchased exactly two months earlier) was a bit warm so I put the window down on the driver’s side. Then it started. There was a massive downpour of rain that came quickly and with a vengeance. It was raining so hard that a couple cars pulled off the road because of visibility. I reached over to put my window back up, and all I heard was clicking. I looked and saw that indeed the window was not going up and the water was already starting to puddle on the inside of the door. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or scream. I was angry, but it was funny at the same time. Of all times for the automatic window to not work, it happened right at the moment of a downpour.
So why I am telling you this? Because we often put our faith in things that we know we can rely on and when our reliance pays off, the faith we have strengthens. This was the first time in all of my years of driving that I was not able to put a window up, rolling or automatic, when I wanted to. It just always worked, but this time, my faith failed me. Some may not see this as an act of faith, but what is faith? According to Hebrews 11:1 faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. When we believe, and it comes to be, we believe by faith. When we believe and see failure, we lose faith. But I caution you to not lose faith in God. Because God is not a motor in an automatic window. He is not a human being that lets you down. He is not a cell phone that gets a cracked screen. He is God. He is! He simply is and always was and always will be. He is God. He is someone you can always believe in and trust in because He never fails. If you feel you have failed by putting your faith in God, you are wrong. Because God knows what is best for you and if you perceive a failure, it is simply because God had something else in mind. You simply can’t go wrong trusting God. Windows may fail and get you wet, but you will never be wet when you trust God.
Now that I have experienced failure with my window, I will be cautious about putting the window down when the weather man says “Take the umbrella today”. But one thing I know I will never be cautious about is God. I will always trust Him for my salvation, for my well being, and for my entire way of life. You too can trust God. How about you, do you have a story to share where something mechanical let you down though you have always trusted in it? Why not leave a reply and share it with everyone.Be blessed today…..
If I were to mention the term Nazi, it would probably invoke a lot of emotion or perhaps memories or even stories that you have heard. What if I mention the name Hun? Several hundred years ago, that term would have evoked the same emotions and thoughts, but now Hun is what we call someone for affection or it is what happens to the bad guys in the wild west, they got hun. Ok, sorry, that was pretty bad. But my point is that over the years words lose their power and names lose their power too. Someday,hundreds of years from now if The LORD should tarry that long, Nazi may be a food item or a children’s toy or some new electronic device.
Where am I going with this? I recently read an article about Yoga and why Christians should not partake. Admittedly, l used to tell Christians they should avoid it but it was out of ignorance of it more than anything. I knew it had either pagan or hindu roots and I was not sure which. But what is it really? If you do yoga to get the attention of hindu gods, then you are committing idolatry and that’s an abomination in the sight of God. However if you are using yoga to stretch and breathe better, then reap the benefits of such and be blessed. I mean, really? How far are we going to take this. If we throw out everything pagan, then good bye days of the week MOON day, THOR’s day SATURN day SUN day, Goodbye Christmas tree (originally pagan, but apparently rededicated by Martin Luther. See comment about Nazi above), goodbye Easter Bunny. I never really appreciated him usurping our Lord’s commemorative day anyway.
In the hands of my daughter, a golf club is a beautiful item. In my hands it is the cause of frustration and anger. In the hands of a carpenter, a hammer can build a house. For me it is the cause of a week long sore thumb. In the hands of Jesus, nails helped bring salvation. It’s all dependent in whose hands the item is. Likewise, with yoga, Christmas, or anything, it is all in how your heart uses it. I however don’t recommend creating a
statue of Jesus and worshipping the statue. I am not opening this up to satisfy the desires of people who don’t want to worship God in spirit and in truth.
But along with what Romans 14 says, I say if you are doing yoga for your health, enjoy it. If you are
Let me know what you think…. If you think I am wrong and yoga should be performed by Christians, let me know why you think that. I am open to learn from anyone that presents a logical argument.doing yoga to find that inner light and reach a level of enlightenment, then let’s talk about changing that. Whatever you in this life, do it for the service of The LORD and you will do well.
God Bless you for reading
In 1 Samuel 24, we can read an interesting story about our conscious. It’s something we all have and we all should use, but don’t always use. It tells us when something is right or wrong, it warns of danger. Sometimes we call it a “check” in the spirit or a red flag. But it is the way the Holy Spirit within us is warning us.
In the passage, David is hiding with all of his men from Saul in a cave. Suddenly while hiding, who walks in, but Saul himself. Saul, according to the Bible, is relieving himself and David sneaks up and cuts a corner off his robe. It’s likely that Saul had disrobed and that is how David was able to cut it. Regardless, David could have killed Saul. Imagine how Saul’s men would have reacted if Saul walked into the cave and came out as David. But David realized that he was dealing with the anointed king. He had a red flag go up. The Bible says that his conscious bothered him (verse 5). So instead of killing Saul, David let Saul live.
In the end, David walked out of the cave after Saul and announced that he could have killed him but has decided to let God judge between the two of them. That is exactly what happened too, God chose David to be king over Saul. Have you ever had a check in the spirit like that? Have you ever had a red flag go up and warn you to not proceed or even in some cases, proceed and investigate the matter more? If you rely on the Holy Spirit for the little things in life, you will learn to rely on Him for the larger things in life when you may need His guidance more. So what do you think? Do you want to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading today? Call it conscious, a red flag or a check, it doesn’t matter. It’s God’s way of communicating to you in a personal way.
Be blessed this day
Wow! That’s all I can really say is wow! How far God has taken this man from a self-centered, unloving, selfish individual to now being the pastor of a church once again. I spent seven years as a pastor in the United Methodist Church (1999-2006) before stepping down to spend more time with my family. In that time between July 2006 and September 2012 however I filled the pulpit many times in many churches. I guess it was God’s way of saying I will give you a breather, but you will be back. And now I am. Today, September 1, 2012 starts a new chapter in my life as pastor of the Smithfield Evangelical Friends Church. God doesn’t have to use us for anything, but He chooses to use us because we are His children and He loves us. Oh how He loves us. I am blessed to be loved by God and you should be too. You too are loved by the almighty creator of heaven and earth. Believe me, I have a past of broken pieces and uprooted blacktop. It has not been a smooth road, but who can really say their past is? No one that is truly honest with him or herself can.
For the people of the Smithfield Evangelical Friends Church, I am truly honored to be your pastor. You have all shown me tremendous respect and love and I can’tank you enough. Let’s hope this is the beginning of along relationship together. For those of you who are possibly just stopping by, please know that the Smithfield Friends Church is a church of talented and loving people. I promise anyone of any size, background, stature, or any other word we use to describe our lives will be welcome here. This is a group of people that love God and love serving Him.
A golf ball can sore a few hundred yards if hit properly with a golf club. But what if the ball was hit with an aluminum baseball bat? What if it was hit with a bat toward a house? What if it was hit toward a house with a bat and ended up in the living room of that house? Then you would probably hear what I heard that summer day in 1984: ”Wait until your father gets home”
But I was not intending to hit the house. I intended to hit it away from the house, but I came around on it a bit. The bottom line however is that I was not thinking. My dad utter his famous words to me that day: “Use your head for something other than a hat rack”
In Philippians chapter 4, Paul tells us to think on things that are pure, honorable and lovely. When we do, our minds become trained for good and we are less likely to sin. When we train for something, we learn to simply act in a given situation and don’t have to think real hard about what to do. For example, a fireman trains to check all equipment and have it ready for when there is a fire in case a person need saved. The fireman doesn’t have to think “Do I have the equipment ready to run into that building” before running headlong into a burning building to save a child.
So today, I challenge you to train your mind to think on these things that Paul told us about. Think on what is pure, honorable, lovely, true, honorable, admirable, and just. Think on these things constantly and you will push out those things that don’t bring about a good training regimen for your mind. Think on these things and you will act on these things.
Then you will certainly be using your head for something other than a hat rack. What do you think? Is it possible to train your mind to do what is just and what is right? Or are we so sinful that we cannot do these things? Let me know your thoughts.
I have not posted anything here for quite some time. In fact, Easter came and went and I didn’t have a nice little Easter post either. The truth is, I wasn’t in the mood for it. How could I not be in the mood? Well, I am
human. That’s why. We as human beings go through this life and are faced with changes of all sorts, every day. Changes to financial matters, work-related matters, health matters, relationship matters and the list goes on. It’s times like these that try men’s souls. I always hoped that in my life I saw my deepest and most difficult trials already. If they were behind me, then the rest of my life was going to be great. At 42 years old, that was a good feeling too. But unfortunately, life is not that fair.
My friends, I am facing the biggest trial of my life right now. When I look down, I no longer see two sets of footprints, I see one and thank the Almighty God of Heaven that I still see that one set, because I know my feet are not on the ground. All I can ask is that you pray for this trial in my life. No details will ever be given here, but I may someday start writing again and I may someday just shut this blog down. I am at a crossroads and it’s no longer my decision which road to take. That is all in the hands of the one carrying me through the sand. God Bless
In Joshua ch 6, Joshua is instructed to walk around the walls of Jericho and have seven priests blow their seven trumpets and when the time came, they were to blow a loud blast, the army was to shout, and the walls would come down. This miracle of God is used in many Sunday School lessons and spoken of by those that have never read the Bible. The story is for all who wish to hear it.
Isn’t it too bad that many churches build doctrinal walls for themselves? Many denominations think they are “it” and too often fail to realize that we are all “it” in God’s eyes. Don’t get me wrong, we need doctrine. Without it, we would all be new-agers or budhists or some combination or hybrid of all attempts to reach God. But doctrinal walls should come down if churches want to grow. The single biggest reason I never went to church when I was younger was because I didn’t feel that I would be welcome. Finally, when God pushed me enough and I knew I wanted to know Him more, I went, but it was never because the church I went to was inviting and had an open door for me. It just so happened that on that day, the trumpets blew and the walls came down and I entered in. God was behind me going, God was behind the members welcoming me.
As it turns out, that day in the summer of 1994, I went to a fantastic church and they did not have the doctrinal walls, but the church walls were enough to keep me out until God pushed me. I praise Him for doing so; it changed my life.
So what should we do? We need to meet the people where they are, just like Paul did as he speaks about in 1 Corinthians 9. We need to eliminate any doctrinal walls so that if a baptist comes to you in your Christian church, welcome him. If a Methodist wanders one day into the land of the presbytery, welcome her. If a friend meets an apostolic, they should converse. We are all flesh and blood, carbon and oxygen, synapses and electrical currents. We are not separated in the eyes o
f God and most importantly, neither are the people that are not labeled as any of the above.
Jesus came to establish relationships, not doctrine. He came to save, not separate. He came to show us the way, not tell us to have our own way. What do you think? Isn’t it time we return to the Lord, especially in lands where we are? Shouldn’t we return to the Lord, seek His grace and invite others in to share the love we have found? Give me your thoughts and learn more about Jericho here
My daughter had a friend when she was younger. Her name was Cursey Wheely. At least, I think that is how you spell it. Cursey Wheely would come to play with my daughter whenever there was a need for a friend. Cursey Wheely never let her down and always showed up the instant that my daughter desired to see her. Cursey Wheely, you see, was make-believe.
No, my daughter was never diagnosed with a mental disorder and no, she doesn’t still play with Cursey Wheely. In fact, everyone in the family had forgotten about her until we found a book that had been filled out by my then four year old and my wife, asking who her friends were. Cursey Wheely made the list along with a few other solid organic humans. Many children have a make-believe friend at some point in their childhood. It’s the sign of a good imagination and it helps to fulfill the need for belonging that we all have within us.
Christ is more than a thought or a principle. He is more than a make-believe friend; He is more than someone that we talk to in belief alone, He is real. He is alive and He lives today. But for too many people, Jesus is like Cursey Wheely. He is just someone that we make up and use when we feel lonely or are in a tight spot. But for those that know Him, He is so much more. He is a true friend and an engagement of the spirit and soul. We as humans however, want something larger and more tangible. We therefore try to satisfy that longing for belonging and that need for true relationship by looking for something we can see and touch. We turn to that which has substance and purpose. The problem with is that substance is temporary and purpose is fallible. We need a relationship with Jesus, and yes, it is possible. But you must meet God where He is. However, He is not far away. No, in fact, He is right here, right now. With you this moment. He is reading what you are reading, He is in your thoughts, He is in your life. He is in the world today. We can’t find Him in drugs or alcohol, in television or the internet. Jesus doesn’t have a facebook page or a twitter account, He is not there so don’t look for Him there. He is only a prayer away and He wants, oh so much, to have you know Him more.
Cursey Wheely was an invention of an young girl. Jesus Christ is a fulfillment of a divine plan. Cursey Wheely has been lost in memories and pages of a journal. God wants you to be found in His Son, because without Him, you too will be lost, a fading memory. Know Him! Don’t just believe in Him. KNOW HIM!
How about you? Did you ever have a make-believe friend? Do you have something in your life that you are using to try to replace Jesus? I also encourage you to listen to this podcast which was the idea for this blog post. The God Journey
Fire and brimstone may have been effective in previous centuries, but I have come to believe that preaching someone into hell is not an effective way to spread the Gospel. In fact, the one and only time that Paul speaks of hell is in 1 Corinthians 15 when he claims that Jesus overcame it.
So why do so many church signs say things like “Stop, Drop, and Roll won’t work in Hell” or “There are no fire escapes in hell”. Even a popular Christian rock band known as Newsboys sang a song about it. ”They don’t serve breakfast in hell”. Let me be clear, I am not trying to preach universal reconcilliation, I am not trying to say hell was a doctrine made up by Catholics. It’s in the Bible, but neither Jesus nor Paul preached people into it.
In fact, Jesus said “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Why didn’t He say “if you don’t believe me, I am going to throw you into the fire?” I say it’s because when He did speak of people in that regard it
was for those that had already rejected Him.
My point is that if we are going to witness to someone, it would be better to witness God’s love. Speak about what God has for them and not the punishment. Research has shown that people revolt in the face of punishme
nt, but are drawn to love. If you explain what a friend the Lord has become to you, instead of explaining how you have purchased “Fire Insurance”, then the person just might listen. Unless of course you really don’t have a relationship with the Lo
rd and are trying to preach yourself out of hell. In that case, stick around as I speak more on this
Let me know what you think. What are your thoughts on hell and if it is an effective evangelical tool or not.
FoxNews recently reported that Miley Cyrus tweeted a photo of physicist Lawrence Krauss that had a controversial quote on it. The physicist stated that we should all be thankful for a star dying instead for Jesus dying. You can read the article yourself by clicking the link above.
That’s not the outrageous part though. What is outrageous is the reaction Miley Cyrus got from Christians. Someone actually tweeted back to her “Go to Hell”. Really? If that was a Christian, then I would like to remind that person what Jesus said in John 13:35 ”By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” and that’s not showing love.
Sure, Ms. Cyrus may have some misunderstanding. Or perhaps her followers had some misunderstanding. Maybe she meant the physicist was Beautiful? Probably not, but we don’t know. We are not God and we don’t know what is in the heart or mind of another. Not the way He knows anyway.
We need to remember that God doesn’t need us to defend Him. He has been around a lot longer than anyone alive today and He has done well for Himself. When we take our apologetics beyond the scriptural evidence and into an area that is human expression only, we have gone too far. In my opinion, the reactions of “Christians” is all too often far worse than those that offend Christianity. That’s sad.