March 31, 2012

The Tiger, The Man and God

I John 2:15-17
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever."


A man was being chased by a tiger. He ran as hard as he could until he was at the edge of a cliff with the tiger in hot pursuit. The man looked over the edge of the cliff and saw a branch growing out of the side of the cliff a few feet down. He jumped down and grabbed the branch just as the tiger reached the cliff. The tiger growled viciously as the man sighed a great sigh of relief.

Just then a woodpecker lighted on the branch and began pecking furiously. The man looked down to what was a drop of a thousand feet and sure death and looked to the heavens and yelled out, “Dear God, if you are there, please help! I will do anything you ask but please help!”

Suddenly a voice came booming down from heaven, “Will you do anything I ask?”

The man shocked to hear a reply to his plea yelled back, “I will gladly do anything you ask, but please save me!”

The voice from heaven then replied, “There is one way to save you but it will take courage and faith.”

The branch began to weaken and creak from the woodpecker's tapping and the tiger was still growling a few feet above the man, pawing at him, “Please, Lord, tell me what I must do and I will do it! Your will is my will!”

The voice from heaven then said, “All right then, let go of the branch.”

The man looked down to a fall of a thousand feet and certain death. He then looked up at the hungry, growling tiger a few feet away and saw that the woodpecker was still pecking away on the branch.

Then he looked up at the heavens and yelled, “Is there anyone else up there?”


* * * * *

Isn't it something: When there's a crisis or tribulation, we cry out to God. When He answers our prayer in a way we're not expecting then our reaction is typically the same type of reaction we see in the joke you just read.

God is sovereign, which means He's in control, which means He calls the shots, which means that even when things appear out of control (to us) they're all part of God's plan, which means that we may not understand at all what's going on upstairs in heaven.

We may even secretly ask in our hearts, "God, what are you doing?" when things are falling apart.

I don't know about you, Mr. Christian, but I've never gotten an answer from God outside of His word. When the Lord has answered me, it has been through the Holy Bible. In fact, the Scripture that has spoken to my heart and bears worth noting comes from Romans 8:28:

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Thus, God's working it all out for me because I love Him and He loves me. But, why should I go through hardships? Romans 8:29 continues by explaining that the purpose to be conformed to the image of His Son.

Also consider James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations."

Notice the 3 keywords: "When" and "joy" and "temptations"

Point #1 - Temptations will come and knock on your door. It's not a question of if, but when. And, you'll get a variety of them, kinda like assorted nuts, to keep things interesting.

Point #2 - When temptations arrive, count it, reckon it as joy. Don't sulk, whine, complain or suck your thumb. God hates complainers. At my job, there's a bevy of grumblers. Their litanies drain the lifeblood out of the workday, which is why I avoid them at all costs! So, why be joyful? Hold on and you shall see the dividend and pay off.

Point #3 - There will be temptations that you and I as believers will fall into. Here's the good news: Falling into temptation is NOT the sames as falling into sin. Therefore, rejoice because temptation does not equal yielding to temptation.

In I Corinthians 10:13, it states and promises: "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

By the way, in case you're wondering how to fight temptation, prayerfully read over and study Matthew 4:1-11. This is how Jesus fought the Devil and this is how you should do as well.

You might still be wondering: What's all this got to do with joy? Well, James 1:3-4 clarifies:

"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

Isn't that reason to rejoice!? God is conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ and He's perfecting you! An "Amen!" goes right there.

Therefore, do the right thing, obey God, trust Him and take Him at His word. After all, obedience brings blessings (James 1:22-25). Plus, if you've already trusted Him with your soul in eternity, why aren't you trusting Him with your life now?

Continue here: I Want to Trust Jesus!

March 29, 2012

Sign of the Times, Pt. 2

Revelation 6:13-17

"And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"

People think that they can outsmart God. I'm here to tell, it's not possible. God's word says that He will not be mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap (Gal. 6:7).

A few days ago there was a news article from The Independent (click here for more: Hippies Plan to Be Rescued by Aliens). Here's a tidbit -

"Thousands of New Agers descend on mountain they see as haven from December's apocalypse. A mountain looming over a French commune with a population of just 200 is being touted as a modern Noah's Ark when doomsday arrives – supposedly less than nine months from now. A rapidly increasing stream of New Age believers have descended in their camper van-loads on the usually picturesque and tranquil Pyrenean village of Bugarach. They believe that when apocalypse strikes on December 21st this year, the aliens waiting in their spacecraft inside Pic de Bugarach will save all the humans near by and beam them off to the next age."

You think people would see this snake-oil philosophy a mile away, but that's the problem. People have veered away from the Truth because it doesn't fit their immoral, godless lifestyle.

Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:36, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

So, scratch 12/21/12 off your day timer. It isn't going to happen.

Besides if these Mayan savages were so savant, why didn't their divinations foretell them of their own untimely demise? I guess they didn't see it coming, but God did.

One thing about New Agers, though, is that their are not new to the Belief Scene. They'd like to think so, but their ancestors can be found in the Bible. The tree-huggers of the 21st Century can be traced back to the nature worshippers of Ashtoreth, who danced around a wood pole. Today's star-gazers were the Baal worshippers of yore. And these animal afficionados who are overly fond of four-legged creatures can be linked back to the olden days of the pagan gods of Chemosh, Molech and others. Truly, there's nothing new under the sun.

Jeremiah 10:2 states: "Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them."

You see, the problem with astrology is that people are trying to get answers about life's questions from a source other than God. Many people believe that they can know the future through the location of the stars and planets. However, apart from God's revelation, there is no wisdom or guidance, only the blind leading the blind.

Let's read on and continue with the news article:

"As the cataclysmic date – which, according to eschatological beliefs and predicted astrological alignments, concludes a 5,125-year cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar – nears, the goings-on around the peak have become more bizarre and ritualistic.

"For decades, there has been a belief that Pic de Bugarach, which, at 1,230 metres, is the highest in the Corbi̬res mountain range, possesses an eery power. Often called the 'upside-down mountain' Рgeologists think that it exploded after its formation and the top landed the wrong way up Рit is thought to have inspired Jules Verne's Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Since the 1960s, it has attracted New Agers, who insist that it emits special magnetic waves."

Isaiah 47:12-15 clearly warns: "Stand now with thine enchantments, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, wherein thou hast laboured from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit, if so be thou mayest prevail. Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee."

The news continues, "Upwards of 100,000 people are thought to be planning a trip to the mountain, 30 miles west of Perpignan, in time for December 21st...Masking his fears of what might happen on December 21st, Mr. Delord jokes that he will throw a party and supply vin chaud and cheese. 'I'm sure we'll have a little fete to celebrate that we're still alive,' he smiles. 'I suppose it's up to each of us to find our own way.'"

Tragically, that's the attitude of many today, thinking that they can find their own way. Once again, the Bible states, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (Jer. 10:23)

Please heed God's admonition found in Prov. 16:25 -

"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Don't take that route, Friend. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no cometh unto the Father but by Him (John 14:6). Make your decision today to trust in Christ: I Have Decided to Trust In Christ


March 28, 2012

The God of Another Chance

Romans 5:3-6

"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

Sometimes your burdens may seem endless. You repeatedly go through the same trial, making the same mistakes. The last time through, you thought you had truly mastered this area of your life. However, now you realize that it continues to cause you pain.




You question if God has abandoned you or if you have displeased Him so greatly that He would allow this suffering to persist. You wonder if you will ever learn the lesson God desires to teach you. Take heart; the Lord loves you, He is with you, and He will never forsake you (Heb. 13:5). He allows the trials in your life because He desires to give you freedom through them and show you His love.

James 1:2-4 teaches, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

Through your troubles, God develops perseverance, character, hope, and the ability to accept His abundant love. It is said that those who were closest to Christ our Lord were those with the greatest trials.

He is drawing you close through this repeated problem. Do not despair. Cling to Him and He will fill you with His love.

Consider this illustration:

A lecturer raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 20 ounces to 100 ounces.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

And that's the way it is with a burden. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on.

A word of caution, you can put the burden down for a while and rest before holding it again. You may feel refreshed momentarily, but the weight of the burden will continue. Imagine carrying that burden with you month after month, and year after year. I dare say that some of you have been doing exactly that. Now imagine that what you're holding in that glass isn't water but poison; you may be nursing it, sipping it, gulping it and refilling it. And that's exactly what's happening when that burden is anger or bitterness.

You can carry on with the burden alone or you can turn it over to Jesus, who said "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”  Matt. 11:28-29

Other Scripture to encourage you includes,

Psalm 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”

and,

I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

So, Reader, put down anything that may be a burden to you right now. Be still and know that He is God. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. In a world of inconstancy, it's good to know that Jesus is the Eternal One who changes not.

Come to know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour: I Want Jesus to Give Me A Chance

portion of this post courtesy of Dr. Charles Stanley

March 27, 2012

A Lullaby for Believers

John 15:1-5
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

These verses are among my favorite verses in the Gospel of John. It references our inability to fight the good fight and live for the Lord in our lowly, sickly flesh. And, yet, it also encourages us to live and walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16). Plus, obedience brings blessings (James 1:25).

So, if you're struggling in your Christian walk, all I can say to you is, Welcome to the club, Pilgrim!

The poem below highlights the Christian's daily struggle. And, if you aren't struggling, dear Believer, then it might be you aren't walking straight!


In the Stillness of the Night

In the stillness of the night
As I lay in bed and try to sleep,
I remember how I blew the fight
And all Your commands I didn’t keep.


I tried, O God, I tried
To strengthen my soul against the dark.
I felt so confident that I would abide.

But when temptation came, I had missed Your mark.

But then as I slept that night
You came to me in a dream.
You said to me, “Try as you may, try as you might,
You will fail, despite what it may seem,


It is not your job to see you through,
It is not your job to feel strong.
I just want one thing for you to do:
Give Me what you tried to do all along.”


So that morning as I awoke
And I knew my sleep was worth its while,
For as I remembered the words that You spoke
I gave to You my temptations and my trials.


I finally admited I was too weak
To face the day without making a mistake.
So to You I lay my life so meek
And I asked You that me You would not forsake.


Day by day You guide me on
And my strength I get from You alone.
All my battles have been won
For in Your strength I have been sewn.


by Geoff Lemke


And, II Corinthians 12:10 rejoices in this Biblical fact: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

When Christ indwells in you (Gal. 2:20), He does all the heavy lifting and you're just doing all the believing.

Finally, Christ said, "...[B]e of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Jesus has indeed overcome the world because He is risen!

Look no further than I John 5:4-5 to settle all your doubt, worries and fears:



"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"

You see, Reader, faith is the victory:

On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.


Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world!


It's up to you to believe what Jesus said and did. Do you trust Him today? If you don't, why don't you, Reader? You've read and considered other religions and philosophies. Instead, why not try a relationship with the the Prince of peace, Jesus Christ? Come and see what hope, love, peace, truth and mercy is all about!

Read all about here: I Want A Fresh Start!

March 26, 2012

Vox Populi, Vox Dei

Psalm 24:10
"Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory."


The biggest cost of ObamaCare is not the increasing cost of health insurance or providing coverage to every American, it is the loss of economic freedom. Coercing people into making economic decisions and being obligated to enter into legally-binding contracts (by purchasing a government approved health insurance plan regardless of personal want or need, or facing a fine) forsake the values that our Founders established as inalienable.

These 3 days of hearings are the most significant in terms of constitutional challenges. We're at a critical juncture in American history and that's no hyperbole. The ruling from the SCOTUS will be momentous when it comes later in the summer. Whether the citizens of the United States take this sitting down or go to the polls to express their outrage remains to be seen. Truly, freedom is at stake. What this nation - and the world, for that matter - is witnessing is the formation of government control the likes of which have not been seen beforehand.

And what the world is witnessing is the clash of ideas of economic, political & religious freedom versus ideas of collective, technocratic fiat with no center. That is, a godless center is no center at all. You see, without God being the center, there is a void - whether it be in a person's life; family's life, civic life; or the governance of a society - and it is easily filled up by man, who takes the place of God.

Good luck with that.

The Latin phrase, Vox Populi, Vox Dei means: The voice of the people is the voice of God. When people have Jesus Christ in the center of their lives, it would be easy to see how this Latin phrase would be applicable to the government as well as to the governed. Sadly, the voice of the people is not heard, not heeded; instead, it's ignored or worse, distorted.

When people seek relief through the court systems, the cases end up (if accepted) at the Supreme Court of the United States, which is called the Highest Court in the land.

I beg to differ.

The highest court is the holy throne of God where children of God, who are born again by Christ's atoning work at Calvary, may approach (Heb. 4:16).

Americans find themselves in troubled times, but not hopeless times, so long as we keep looking up beyond and above man's institutions, because our hope is a living hope. His name is Jesus Christ, the King of Glory!

Remember this: One day every knee shall bend and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:9-11).

To find out more about how to possess the living Hope, click here: The Living Hope

March 25, 2012

A Stranger Comes to Town

Romans 12:2
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Unperceptive men exist and interpret reality only by means of sensory experience. The only real and true things for these men are their physical experiences. This certain breed of man excels in existentialism; that is, they suscribe to the idea that there is no “higher” meaning to the universe or to man’s existence, and no rational order to the events of the world. It is all coincidental, happenstance and circumstantial. Human life is not invested with a redemptive or affirming purpose. There is nothing beyond man’s physical existence. Therefore, the modus operandi of these men is a gentle indifference of the world. Live and let live, as it were.

Ironically, these men are unperceptive because they are not introspective. They perceive, but do not comprehend. It is only when they are confronted with something beyond their immediate interpretation or carnal appetites that they are compelled to become introspective about life, its meaning, and all the while contemplating about their impending death. This kind of man only becomes perceptive after he acknowledges his mortality and responsibility for his own life. In Hebrews 9:27, man clearly has a reckoning beyond meaninglessness: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

After apostasy, the greatest threat to a Christian is apathy, the so-called gentle indifference that takes root as a consequence of living in the world and cooperating with it. Please read all of I Corinthians 3 for further convincing.

To illustrate this threat of indifference, I've included a story I came across somewhere on the web. Please seriously consider where you're at in your walk with Christ as you read.
A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche.

My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. Both read the Bible and shared its wisdom with me. But the stranger was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and funny stories.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future!

He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, and Mom submitted to Dad's authority without complaint, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor these convictions.

Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home, not from us, our friends or any visitors. The stranger, however, got away with four-letter words that burned in my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and smoking pipes distinguished. He talked freely - much too freely - about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. Over time, he only got worse.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked. And never was he asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first.
Still, if you could walk into my parents' home today, you would still find him sitting over in his special corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?

We just call him TV.

Now, the stranger has a wife. We call her Computer.
"I  know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. "   Revelation 3:15-16
Please be prayerful about your choices as they relate to time spent watching TV or on the computer. They are powerful tools. Without godly purpose, they are the Devil's toys to take us away from God's will through distraction, doubt, and indifference. In godly endeavor, they can reach a lost and dying world. Choose wisely!

Here's a choice you can't afford to ignore: The Plan of Salvation

March 24, 2012

When All Else Fails, He Will Never Fail You

Psalm 27:10
"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up."


A mother is estranged from her son, whom she has not spoken to in over a year. She finds him on Facebook and requests to be a friend. He refuses and she sends him an e-mail, "You're a worthless piece of ----. I never should've had you." The young man gets angry, but quickly resigns himself to his state, reasoning, My mom has always been this way. She hasn't changed one bit.

Even though a person you love might have abused you, mistreated you, or given up on you; even though a parent may have disowned you; even though you may be out on your own, alone and without friends, I want you to know something. Jesus Christ loves you.

But, you say, I've made a mess of my life. Jesus knows, but He still loves you.

But, you say, my family disowned me because I stole from them, abused them, mistreated them, took advantage of them. Jesus knows, but He still loves you.

But, you still don't understand, you might say, I am a drug addict and have burned many bridges. Jesus knows it all and He still loves you.

But, you say, I'm not worthy. You might even think you're a worthless piece of ----. Jesus doesn't think so. He sees your worth. Why else would he die for you on the cross at Calvary?

There are so many "But's" you could interject to keep you from coming to Christ. Here is a truth: "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Roman 5:8

That means Jesus didn't wait for you to get your life together and make things right. He took the first step by dying on the cross for your sins. All you have to do is take the next step and believe by faith that what Christ did at Calvary was for your sins and ask Him into your life (Rom 10:9-10).

Then what happens next is another miracle: Christ's Spirit comes to indwell in you (Acts 2:38)! How incredible is that! And to think, you did nothing to warrant this wonderful gift. God not only saves us from our sins but equips us to live for Him through His Spirit (Gal. 2:20).

Indeed, according to God's word, we who are born again in Christ are new creatures (I Cor. 5:17).

To wit, Galatians 4:4-6 states, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father."

Don't you get it? Once you are His, He is yours as well.

Therefore, comfort yourself in knowing that when you think no one else cares for you or loves you, think on this good report: Jesus loves  you with an eternal love that cannot snatch you away from Him once you are His. Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Only trust Jesus Christ.

Come, every soul by sin oppressed,
there's mercy with the Lord;
and He will surely give you rest,
by trusting in His Word.
Only trust Him, only trust Him,
only trust him now.
He will save you, He will save you,
He will save you now.



To God be the glory!

March 23, 2012

Christ Alone Is the Way


Ephesians 2:8-9
"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."

Henry Gregory Adams was born of Roman Catholic parents in Saskatchewan, Canada and brought up strictly in that faith. Read his testimony here about how he found the Lord Jesus Christ:

"From early youth I was trying to be good, yet falling progressively into sin. With the rest of the crowd I was heading into perdition. I was told that by becoming a monk and priest I could avoid sin and be more certain of my salvation. Because I was sincerely seeking salvation, I entered the Basilian Order of Monks, received the long black robe and an adopted monastic name of "Saint Hilarion the Great" and made my vows. Among the studies for the priesthood, we had three textbooks on the Bible but not the Bible.

"I was eager to serve the Lord Jesus Christ! By leading a monastic life I thought I was doing just that. I performed all my monastic duties to the last rule. I whipped myself every Wednesday and Friday evening till my back bled; in penance I often kissed the floor; often I ate my meager meal kneeling down on the floor or completely deprived myself of food. I did many forms of penance for I was truly seeking salvation. I was taught that I could eventually merit heaven. I did not know that the word of God says, 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.

"After I was ordained as a priest I served five parishes in the Alberta area. I said Mass every day, heard confession, recited the rosary to Mary, had devotions to many saints and performed my penances more fervently than ever. Yet these did not satisfy my weary soul. I was heading into even deeper distress of soul than when I was a boy.

"I became acquainted with the Roman Catholic version of the Bible and in it were striking verses that contradicted my very belief and practices. God's Book said one thing, my Church another. Who was right? The Roman Church or God? I eventually believed God's word.

"The monastic life and the sacraments prescribed by the Roman Catholic Church did not help me to come to know Christ personally (John 14:6) and find salvation. After twelve and half years I escaped from the monastery, a lost sinner, without peace in my soul. I realized that man-made sacraments of my Church and my good works were in vain for salvation.

"Soon afterwards I believed that Christ died for me because I could not save my soul, and I trusted Him alone for my salvation. When I repented of my sins and received Him into my heart, believing that on the cross He paid the complete penalty for my condemnation, I knew that my sins were not only forgiven but forgotten and that I was justified before God."

Henry Gregory Adams' testimony excerpted from "Far From Rome, Near to God" (Richard Bennett and Martin Buckingham)

Reader, if you're thinking religion can save you then you are wrong. I too was raised as a Roman Catholic and knew when to kneel, stand, and sit during Mass. On Saturdays, we stood in line along with our friends and their families as we gave our confessions to the priest. As a kid, I was always amazed that the priest knew the exact number of "Our Fathers", "Hail Marys" and "Apostles' Creeds" I should pray for my sins. I thought that maybe they had charts like those found in a math book. Or a Catholic calculator. But, Catholicism left me empty in spite of - or because of- all the rituals.

It wasn't until I understood that I was a sinner and that I had sinned against God that I truly comprehended in my heart why Christ had to die for my sins. You see, it's not until you personalize Calvary and that you acknowledge that your transgressions and sins put Jesus up on the cross, it's not until then that you open your heart to Jesus and ask Him to be your personal Saviour and Lord.

I hope you undestand this basic truth: Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died on the cross for your sins (John 3:16). Why? Because He loves you (Rom. 5:8)! Don't delay the decision any further. Surrender to Him today and experience love and newness like you've never known before. Follow Him here: The Plan of Salvation

Happy day, happy day,
when Jesus washed my sins away!
He taught me how to watch and pray,
and live rejoicing every day.
Happy day, happy day,
when Jesus washed my sins away!

March 22, 2012

The Whisper Test




Mary Ann Bird was born with multiple birth defects. She was deaf in one ear, had a cleft palate, a disfigured face, a crooked nose, lopsided teeth, and garbled speech. She suffered not only from her physical impairments but also from the emotional trauma of being different from others.
"I grew up knowing I was different, and I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I looked to others: Just a little ugly girl."

"When schoolmates asked, 'What happened to your lip?' I'd tell them I'd fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one outside my family could love me."



One of her worst experiences at school, she reported, was the day of the annual hearing test. The teacher would call each child to her desk, and the child would cover first one ear, and then the other. The teacher would whisper something to the child. This was the whisper test. If the teacher’s phrase was heard and repeated, the child passed the test. To avoid the humiliation of failure, Mary Ann always would cheat on the test, secretly cupping her hand over her one good ear so that she still could hear what the teacher said.

There was, however, a teacher in the second grade whom the children adored: Mrs. Leonard. She was short, round, happy, a sparkling lady. Something about her made children feel valued and special. They wanted to please her.

"Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everyone in the class, and finally it was my turn. I knew from past years that as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something, and we would have to repeat it back -- things like "The sky is blue" or "Do you have new shoes?"

I waited there for those words that God must have put into her mouth, those seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper, "I wish you were MY little girl."


It was a transforming moment for Mary Ann. It changed her life. She began to see herself in a new light. Later she would go on to be a teacher, seeing herself no longer as deformed but as a person who has inner beauty and love to share with others.

Imagine the power of words that you use. Do you use them for life or death?

Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."

Indeed, words do make a difference in a person's life. They either edify or tear down. What are you saying to your spouse? Children? Friends? Strangers?

In John 6:63, Christ goes even further in talking about His Father's words:

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."



Peter wisefully recognized who Jesus Christ was. When others were abandoning Him, Christ turned to him and asked if he planned to leave Him as well.

"Peter answered, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life." (John 6:68).

Reader, knowing that God's word bring salvation and eternal life, what are you waiting for? Turn to Christ now. Read further here: The Plan of Salvation.









March 21, 2012

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

Proverbs 27:7
"The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet."

When I read this chapter on Sunday morning, this verse jumped out at me. And, the first thing I thought about was drug addictions.

You see, people who use drugs fall under 2 general categories: those who are bored and those who are in pain.

As to the first group, people who are satisfied with life (ie, referring to the full souls of verse 7a) and all its offerings tend not to have a place for Jesus Christ. Their attitude is, "I don't need religion." Sadly, they're missing the point. What they need and don't have is a relationship with Jesus Christ. Thus, they go through life getting their fill and loathing the goodness of God's word, which is referred to as being sweeter than honey in Psalm 119:103. On a full stomach of worldliness, they hate something as simple and sweet as honey. As a consequence of their self-satisfaction, these people become bored (Proverbs 27:20). And, idleness leads to selfishness (Eze. 16:49). It's in that boredom that people start experimenting with drugs.

On the other hand, the 2nd group of people are hungry. They're starving and will eat anything, even if it's bitter. These people are in obvious pain and will go to any lengths to fill their hunger. You see, they are in pain (physical, emotional, etc.) and need to dull their ache and misery. And, if the bitter thing is what fills the hungry soul then so be it.

A telling and stark account is found in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. You see both conditions in the young man. Consider these verses:

1. "And [Christ] said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living."  Luke 15:11-13

Here we read that the young man lived it up, whooped it up and raised Cain (pardon the pun) until he ran out of funds, as it were. With his inheritance, he lived the fine life, became satisfied and delved into an ungodly lifestyle. Why? Because his soul was full!

2. "And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him."  Luke 15:15-16.

Now we find our fine young man is lacking basic resources and is so very much hungry that even the the corn husks intended for the pigs looked delicious to him. You see, friend, even the bitter things are sweet to the hungered soul!

Reader, are you struggling with some addiction today? Be free of it once and for all by surrendering and submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. He will set you free (John 8:32). You won't hunger or thirst for things of this world.

Look at what Scripture promises:

John 6:35"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."

Rev. 7:16-17
"They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."

Friend, isn't it about time for you to turn your hungry soul over to the Lord Jesus Christ for nourishment? Aren't you yet dissatisfied with life and its offerings? If so, now's the time to look to Jesus for your true satisfaction. You've been reading post after post in this blog and have heard the Good News time and again. The day is far spent and tomorrow is not promised.

Please settle this matter now. Don't leave this website without first getting right with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Here's how: The Plan of Salvation

March 20, 2012

The Big Rock

Psalm 95:1-3
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods."

 
One day a preacher spoke to a group of college kids.


As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz."


Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Next he produced a large rock and placed it in the jar.


Then he took about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.


When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?"


Everyone in the class said, "Yes."


Then he said, "Really?"


He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the rocks.


Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?"


By this time the class was onto him.


"Probably not," one of them answered.


"Good!" he replied.


And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"


"No!" the class shouted.


Once again he said, "Good!"


Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Afterwards he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"


One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"


"No!" the preacher replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is this: If you don't put the big rock in first, you'll never get it in at all."


The title of this letter is “The Big Rock”. What is the big rock of life? It’s Jesus Christ. And the jar represents your life that’s filled with the stuff of life: job, family, friends, hobbies, church, traveling, finances, education, relationships, marriage, children and so forth.


If you don’t put in the Big Rock first then you won’t be able to get it in the jar at all. In other words, if you’re too busy with life then you make no room for Jesus. However, if you put Jesus first, then everything else will fall into place.


Dear Reader, what’s holding you back from putting Jesus first? He loves you dearly. The proof of his majestic love is on full display at Calvary (John 3:26; Rom. 5:8).


Put your faith in the Rock of Ages! Here’s how: The Plan of Salvation


March 18, 2012

Falling Feels Like Flying (For A Little While)

Psalm 55:6

"No one regards what is before his feet; we all gaze at the stars."
— Quintus Ennius


"Don't let the fear of falling keep you from knowing the joy of flight."
— Lane Wallace


The quotes above extol flight by men whose ideas extended from the antiquities to the 20th Century. Anyone who has flown on an airplane can totally relate to the sensation, thrill and fear of flying.


Just thinking about what it takes to make an airplane to fly, is mind boggling. In order to get up off the ground, there is a tug of war between the opposing forces of thrust versus drag, lift versus weight.  Thrust is what proples the plane forward, usually by the engine, which is used to create alot of air. Drag is what happens to the plane when it is propelled forward; the wind runs counter to the plane, creating resistance. As a consequence of thrust & drag, there's another conflict at play: gravity hold on to the airplane while the rush of air over the wings creates areas of pressure over and under the wings. The bottom line is that the lift under wings overcomes the pressure over the wings. To understand the principle of lift in action, imagine going outside on a very windy day and sticking your hand out the window of a moving car; your arm will be lifted up a little. You've just experienced lift (information courtesy of howstuffworks.com)

Why all the talk of flight?

Sin is pretty much like the sensation of flight, appealing to all of the senses. It's addicting. And, for a season it feels good, even when you know that what you're doing is wrong. The heart indulges in sin because that's its natural state (Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:10). There's nothing we can do about it because sin comes from our sin nature. To wit, Rom. 7:5 indicates -

"For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death."

Thus, there's no way out of this free fall called sin. Not even works can save you; it's not a parachute by any means. Ephesians 2:8-9 state, "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."

The moral of this story is falling feels like flying until you go SPLAT! You cannot fight against sin in the flesh. Turn your life over to Jesus Christ and He will set you free from sin. I'll tell you how in a minute.

Reader, think on these things that are honest, true and of good report:

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles"Isa. 40:31

"And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. "  Ps. 55:6

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." I Thess. 4:16-18

In a while, dear Believer, and you shall catch a flight. A one way ticket to glory! It's not too late for you, Unbeliever, to do the same.

All you have to do is ask Jesus Christ, the Son of God, into your life. Here's how: The Plan of Salvation

May the Lord bless you today!



March 17, 2012

Ten Little Christians

Romans 14:17-19
"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."


There's nothing more disheartening in the church than to see divisions of any kind. It holds back the ministries and the work of the Holy Ghost. The only serious division should come from rightly dividing His word (II Tim. 2:15).

To be sure, every thing should be done in love. Christ told his disciples as much. In John 13:34-35, He said: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Also, consider I John 4:7-8:
"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

Please consider Scripture and the poem below. I know it got me to think about my words, actions and motives. May the Lord bless you richly.



Ten Little Christians
Ten Little Christians came to church all the time;
One fell out with the preacher, then there were nine.

Nine Little Christians stayed up late;
One overslept on Sunday, then there were eight.

Eight Little Christians on their way to Heaven;
One took the low road, then there were seven.

Seven Little Christians, chirping like chicks;
One didn't like the singing, then there were six.

Six Little Christians seemed very much alive;
One took a vacation, then there were five.

Five Little Christians pulling for Heaven’s shore;
One stopped to take a rest, then there were four.

Four Little Christians each as busy as a bee;
One had his feelings hurt, then there were three.

Three Little Christians couldn't decide what to do;
One couldn't have his way, then there were two.

Two Little Christians each won one more;
Now don't you see, two plus two equals four.

Four Little Christians worked early and late;
Each brought one, now there were eight.

Eight Little Christians if they double as before;
In just seven Sundays, we have one thousand twenty four.

In this jingle there is a lesson true;
You belong either to the Lord, or to the wrecking crew.

-Author Unknown