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Saturday, December 31, 2005

What We Were Made For

Our lives serve several purposes.

I had a talk with an epicurean friend. He said he was smart enough to know there is a God, but selfish enough to experience all the sensual things the world has to offer. His defining statement for his personal philosophy was "I am a greyhound bred to run, Christianity would be a cage that would limit my real being.

The Lord gave me the proper response. My friend was more like a fish, born to one medium, but desiring another. He was flopping on the shore in the "freedom" of air; denying the reality of his design.

Fish were made to swim in water.

Birds were created to fly through the air.

Man was made to share a relationship with God.

Secure that relationship right now.

Once you have that personal relationship with the living God, you will find he has a plan for your life that suits you perfectly. You may have several specific purposes on this earth, all of them within God's plan.

You can only experience fullness of life when you are doing
what you were made for.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Internal Conflict - Cognitive Dissonance

Trained expectations, absolutes, cultural mores, educational indoctrination, anecdotal evidence, lack of congruence.


So am I.

I pray and seek the Lord on an action, than do as I am lead; that should be the end of the matter.

Instead I am disquieted as the action is at odds with training and perception that have been culturally fixed since birth. I know it was the right thing to do, and it was done the right way at the right time. What raises the internal confusion is that I feel I
should be doing what I have always been told I should do.

You think that is confusing listen to Paul: "For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do."

So I have my sinful nature in charge sometimes. I have my indoctrination into my society in charge sometimes. What I truly want in charge of my life is God's will. When I succeed in following the Holy Spirit; my nature and my education rebel against it. I am at war within myself.

I am working through this, and probably always will be.

My first step has been to realize that as a child of the living God, Earth is not my home. - My country is Heaven. I am just a visiting ambassador here - it is the rule of Heaven that I want to control my life.

Notice this is my

We will serve someone -

  • our country
  • our boss
  • ourselves
  • all of the above and more

The choice is yours. You are a servant.

Enjoy it.

God - loves - you. God is smarter
and wiser than you are. If you want the best for yourself and everyone, serve God.

The next thing to realize is that much of what I "know" is wrong.

Shakespeare: "He is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature"

Today the barbarians exist in the political blogs, and in many religious writings also. Those that believe everything they heard at home, were taught at school; everything they have shouted as fact ever since. They ever wait to inject digested opinion into conversation as if it were a proof. They never read or listen to anyone contrary to their opinion; except to criticize based on their opinion and to have an opportunity to shout back. They believe the pronouncements of their party or church are the laws of nature.

The pronouncements of God are the laws of nature.

I am sometimes that barbarian. Years of public school have taught me a great deal about how to be good for those that control the public. Be polite, raise your hand, sit still, be obedient to those in charge, etc. Over half a Century of life in mostly one country has taught me to view the world the way those of my tribe and island view the world.

I read the Bible and find a different view. I read the Bible and find a freedom of choice not offered by my education - but it is hard to stop being a barbarian.

The point of this is that we, as intelligent, God loving and God loved people, must set aside our earthly training. There will be emotional discomfort at realigning our lives with God in control.

Our professions, our families, our countries, our "social class," our emotional ballast must all be relegated to a minor role.

That is if we seek to serve God.

As we serve God we can count on him leading us to do what is best for our families, our professions, the Earth. God loves us. God is smarter and wiser than we are.

Seek God.

Seek God's Will.

Do God's will.

Become a bit less the barbarian.


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Jesus Birthday

Yes I know it is probably the wrong day.

This day has become a day for family and fun, and those are good things.

Remember through this whole holiday season that to be born is a start on the road to death.

It is Jesus Christ's death and resurrection in power; not his birth, that gives us abundant life.

Celebrate Christmas.

Celebrate the pleasure of a personal and eternal relationship with the living God that it precedes.

For those that will accept the relationship brought to them by the babe in the manger.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Traditions of Men

Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition. - read Mark 7

This is a good time of year to look back and see what has been done for the kingdom of God.

There is the Church, those that have a relationship with God and each other through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

There are churches, made up of people, some with those relationships, some without. Some church goers do not know the joy of a relationship with God. Some churches are as Jesus Christ called the scribes and Pharasies; hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead bones.

Sadly, if a hypocrite is getting between you and God, by definition he is closer than you are. Look at God, seek his help, he will respond where people will fail.

Unless God has specifically called you to a dead church, it is time to leave it and join the Church and fellowship with the body of believers. Pray, and see where God would have you go.

I can give you a list of the ways to tell a church is not connected to God, but it is better if the Holy Spirit leads you out, and then into the Church.

Get your relationship right with God. Take some time and take your Bible and pray.

Let God guide you, not the traditions or teachings of men.

The laws and traditions of men may be a comfort for a short while, but they tie you to a false value system.

The joy of a relationship with God is eternal.

Jesus is Lord.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

Open Your Heart To Jesus

You may have to open your mind also.

It is time to take a big step back.

We all have a lot of things we hold to be true, that are not true.

I spent my early years in a church. There were some fine folks there, some strong believers there, and a lot of social activity.

In my teens I left church, and drifted through various religions and philosophies. I was too smart to believe all that Christian stuff.

In college I was at my peak of ignorance, because I thought I was so knowledgeable.

I found when I decided to check out the church again that much of what I had learned did not line up with the Bible. I had to do two things to find God.

I had to open myself to instruction, reading the Bible and asking God to instruct me in it.

I had to open my mind to new thoughts, I found the "facts" I had been taught in school did not necessarily line up with reality. Again I asked God to instruct me.

The questions have been answered. Of course now I have new questions.

But I know that Jesus Christ lives, I converse with him frequently, I have been involved in miracles with him.

An atheist might as well try to convince me I do not exist. I err, therefore I know I am.

If you honestly want to know if God exists, grab a bible, head for a quiet spot, and ask God to help you read it. The Bible is straightforward, the Holy Spirit will lead you into understanding.

There are things I know to be true. There are things I believe to be true. There are things I will discover I was wrong about.

We will be as surprised in Heaven by who is there, as by who is not there.

This I know for sure.

Jesus Christ loved you enough to die for you, he loves you enough to instruct you if you will ask.

Open your heart to Jesus.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

An Agnostic Seeks Answers

How do you prove God exists to someone that doesn't believe God can be proven to exist?

I have just received an email from an agnostic fellow (MM) that asked me if I could help him find God.

Let us assume MM is honestly an agnostic, and not just another atheist out to make sport of other's beliefs. I do not mind the atheist darts mind you, they do give a direction for prayer, and sometimes they do hit a worthy target.

Scripture is plain that someone plants, another waters, and the Holy Spirit brings forth the harvest.
The pressure is on God to create the harvest - we just play gardener.

A first step then is to pray that God will send other workers to
this particular field. God knows MM's heart, God knows MM's needs, God knows how best to reach MM; if MM is receptive.

Agree with me right now for God to reach MM.

A second step is to pray and ask Jesus what he would have us do; then we need to do it.

Although I will continue to pray for MM, regardless of his sincerity, I will request one action of him - to keep an open mind.

A reasonable test of his openness is to read my opinions page. Nothing there is absolute, but if MM's preconceived opinions cause him to not even consider alternate opinions, there is little my scant knowledge alone will be able to do for him.

That leaves the third step; turning MM over to the Holy Spirit to convince him of his sin. If he will respond to that, the little water I've added to the soil may help his faith to sprout.

MM, this Wednesday message is just for you.

MM, we are praying for you.

Jesus is Lord!


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Everything Within Christ Is Ministry

This is the other side of the post on sin.

One part of the Christian walk is waiting. - That can be wait as standing by, or wait as a servant waits on a table.

When we are waiting, it seems like nothing is happening.

We can wonder if we are doing what the Lord wants, if we are missing the opportunity to serve God and his kingdom.

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. - Luke 12: 35-37

If you are committed to Jesus Christ, If you are willing and anxious to follow his lead, you are serving God.

God loves us more than we love ourselves. God loves the lost more than we could ever love them. God is wiser and smarter than we are. If we are to serve him it is best for everyone that we do it how and when he directs.

If you act as God leads, everything you do is ministry unto God. If you are shopping, working, or just being lazy, be ready to answer Christ's call. That readiness is ministry to God.

You are called.

To be what you are called to be, follow God.

He may change your direction once in a while, keep following.

Our life is like a giant chess game and the other pieces are able to move themselves. God is the chess master, he will move with you as the board changes, be ready for change.

God is love.

Live in that love and all you do is ministry.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Liberty and the Church

Freedom to preach as we are led.

Just a quick note.

Over at Bastiat Free University they are providing access to a free DVD with over 500 books, articles, and letters about Liberty. Get yours free.

We have referenced this portable liberty library here before with the Pufendorf essay from 1687 on separation of Church and state.

Our article on the Free Church also draws from this material.

Check it out, get your own library of liberty, at no charge.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Find Joy In Your Life

If you do not know Jesus as your savior and lord, you are missing the great joy of this life.

Yes, there will still be difficulties, but you will have someone to share the load. Traveling with the companionship and support of God can make your entire life journey a wonderful adventure.

A few temporary pleasures are no replacement for living in joy.

Start your walk with God now. Ask Jesus to forgive you and adopt you into his family.

That's it.

Now it is time to learn how to live in the abundant joy he promised.

Find a local Church that teaches God's word according to the Bible.

Get involved in a regular prayer service.

Remember at all times that your new relationship is with Jesus Christ, everything else is secondary.

Don't let service to or with a group of believers become more important than following God's will for you.

Go straight to the Bible for direction. Start with the books of John and Acts in the new testament.

You have begun the great adventure.

Enjoy it.

Jesus is Lord!


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Everything Outside of Christ is SIN

Kind of tough isn't it, everything is sin?

You give a bit to the poor, you work hard, you talk up your political party. - How can those good things be sin?

An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin. - Proverbs 21 :4
The plowing of the wicked is sin.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. - Ephesians 2: 8, 9

Grace, the love of God that you did not earn, is the source of a relationship with God.

Any sin separates you from the just and holy God, once separated nothing you do has the blessing of God upon it. Even plowing a nice straight furrow to grow crops is sin.

The only route to salvation, to a fully rewarding life, is through Christ Jesus.

That is why it is so misguided for Christians to harp on gay marriage, they might as well ban hard work marriage, and give to the poor marriage. A civil marriage is outside of the Church, and is in sin regardless of who is involved. To ban gay marriage is to select one sin and say it is hideous, all sin is hideous, for it destroys. Ban any marriage in the Church that has its focus on sin; ignore all marriage outside the Church as just one part of a world in sin.

If you are looking for a relationship with God, know he will require change in your life, if you are gay or straight.

If you are part of the Church, know that God requires change in us, we need to get ourselves straight before we look at others. We need to preach on the quest for holiness to believers before we condemn those outside the Church.

They are already condemned.

We need to show them the route of escape.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. - John 3:17-18


Saturday, December 03, 2005

Prayer is conversation with God


Why don't you pray?

Think about that, even if you pray just a little bit.

If our best friend calls, do we talk with them? - Usually.

If we have a problem do we feel free to ask an acquaintance what they might do? - Sometimes.

If an opportunity comes to us do we seek out knowledgeable and competent help to analyze it. - If we are smart we do.

Why don't we seek out God first.

Is God not your friend, concerned about your problems, and with the wisdom to understand complex opportunities?

Perhaps you say this, but don't really believe.

God is Love. God loves us more than we love ourselves. God is smarter and wiser than we are. If we want to be effective in our lives we need to seek and talk to God.

He will answer.

He wants to converse with you.