Why this World’s Not Enough

Everyday we wake up. And to what? The world- it’s passions and desires. We get a feeling of something not quite right. We are  not satisfied. There’s something in us that desires for something bigger, greater than ourselves. We were made to be in relationship with the Creator. Many people are missing out on that in this life, not to mention not living or believing the many promises of what God has for us in the Bible. Not just on their God given calling, but in a relationship with God. Many people don’t believe in God or search him out.

“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29

God didn’t just make us to sit in a pew and worship him every Sunday. God is the Lord over our lives all of our days. Many Christians need to realize not to get too caught up in the things of this world or what’s going on here. What’s the latest gadget to buy? What is the coolest thing I need to buy that everyone else has and go into debt for it? Scripture talks about 3 temptations we have in this life- our flesh, the Devil, and the World. But what composes the world? I would say the world composes of the attitudes, desires, and attributes that lead us to sin and fall short of the glory of God, replacing our relationship with Him. Let’s not forget who controls the world. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Satan promised to give him all the authority of Earth’s kingdoms if Jesus worshiped him. The glitz, glamor, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, here and popular today, gone tomorrow.  You know something is wrong with creation and it began with the fall at the Garden. We work everyday and have to sweat for our labors. Believe it or not mankind was not originally made for that, but living in the presence of God.

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17

Humans were made to be in a relationship with God. We weren’t meant to live for ourselves. We were meant to love and serve God and love and serve others.  I think a variety of problems from self-image, depression, anxiety could easily be cured if we take the focus off ourselves and onto others.  Humans were made with an unquenchable desire to know God. Desire, crave, and know our true heavenly father. Many of our Earthly fathers have abandoned us (mine included), but we all have a Heavenly Father who cared enough about us to send his only son to die for us. As Christians living in a sinful fallen world it’s hard to be a Christian sometimes. Keeping our eyes and ears alert and sensitive to what’s coming on tv, and what is being spewed from the internet. We don’t need to marry the world to change the world.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Matthew 5:13.

My biggest fear is that many Christians and the church are marrying the world and living the life style that emulates it. So much so, you can’t really tell the difference between the world and even some Christians. Churches today don’t want to talk about  immorality, materialism, covetness, idolatry, because the church is beginning to be the same in such matters. I know that we have to reach people far from God, desperate people that need the Gospel, but what are we offering them if we aren’t much different than the world?Surely as Christians we should have something inside of us that exictes unbelievers about being a Christian. Christ died for your sins!!!! Whoo hoo! You know what that means? I am free from all shame and condemnation if I believe in Christ, and guess what if I repent and ask for forgiveness I am forgiven. Not only that my name’s written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and I get to spend eternity in a much nicer body than that one I have! A body that doesn’t sin, hurt, or die.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2.

Whenever things get bad here on this Earth realize that Jesus has overcome. And our story, the story of being a believer in Jesus Christ, a Christian and trusting in him is just the beginning. Don’t get too carried away by theatrics, or the newest and latest app or what someone did on facebook on twitter. Stay focused and concentrate on what God has in store for us for eternity not the affairs here on Earth. Not the nightly news, the latest gamescore, or the newest hit album. Remember this life time is short- remember stay away from worldly things and even worldly Christians. And if you see another believer fallen help them back up.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.” Philippians 3:20

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sisterbut is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” 1 Corinthians 5:11

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How Big is God?

Okay for those of you who aren’t into astronomy I get that. But this post is for those that aren’t, while also telling them how big God is in layman’s terms.  This is how Big God is and where the Human race fits in. Most Humans don’t even grapple with how big our own world is- expanding 7 continents, including the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic Oceans, Earth’s population is close to 7 billion people.  Hundreds, thousands of Cities and towns. Can you imagine during the first moon landing how the astronaunts felt about Earth looking at it from space? “He’s got the whole world in his hands…….” Wow. I mean imagine that everything, our being, our existence, our planet looking at it from that view. Someone made it and put it there. That someone was God. Even the scriptures talk about how he made the universe and points that all of it centers on God and bringing glory to him.

“It is the LORD who created the stars, the Pleiades and Orion. He turns darkness into morning and day into night. He draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The LORD is his name!” Amos 5:8

“For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:28

“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands.” Hebrews 1:10

View of Italy from space. Wow!

Now lets go a little further than that. Let’s look at our solar system. Wow. The sun moves, and radiates light and it takes 8 minutes from the light from the sun in space to penetrate our atmosphere. Look at the seasons, look at the way we live. There are exactly 24 hours in a day, and our bodies are meant to sleep for atleast 8 of those hours.

In our own solar system we have 8 planets. Mercury is so close to the Sun that it has extreme temperatures of 800 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and -300 Fahrenheit at night. Not to mention our solar system has 4 gas giants. Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus, are all gas giants. Meaning there is no solid Earth foundation of soil or solid rock. Jupiter’s great red spot is so big you could put a minimum of 3 Earths inside it. Wow that’s just the solar system.

Now let’s move beyond our solar system into our Milky Way Galaxy.  Scientist estimate there is a MINIMUM of 100 billion planets just inside our own Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light-years across. Meaning any light from one end of the galaxy to reach the farthest other end would take up to a minimum of 100,000 years to reach each other. Wow.

Our Milky Way Galaxy- approximately 100,000 light-years. Earth is 26,000 light-years from the center of the galaxy.

Lets go even farther. The Universe. How big is the universe? Scientist predict it’s around 14 billion light-years long. Meaning from one end of the universe to the other it would take that long for light to reach it.  Scientists estimate there are billion(s) of galaxies. Billions.

Whilrpool Galaxy- it is projected that the center is so densely packed with stars that it would be constantly be bombarded by light day and night if you lived there.

There are more STARS in the universe than grains of all the sand on the Earth. Wow. Can you imagine that? That’s mind boggling. It just shows you how little Earth is compared to everything else. Sometimes when I think about my own problems, or the issues we have here on Earth it’s nothing. It’s minuscule, compared to what’s out there. How can God NOT have anything under control? He has all the galaxies that are aligned with each other, containing dark matter, an element unseen by scientist, but believed to hold everything in place. God is bigger than your problems, he’s bigger than your worries, fears or concerns. He’s God. And he is to be feared and glorified. And looking at the night sky, and looking far into space to see what else is out there, he gets all the glory-Amen.

The Virgo Cluster of galaxies. These are not stars but billions of galaxies.

“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” Psalm 147:4

Andromeda Galaxy- our closest neighbor 2.5 million light-years away. Expected to collide with our own Milky Way in 3 billion years.

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What is real Worship?

This post if for all you who worship. Yes you. And believe it or not you do actually worship something. Is it your car, career, clothes, relationships, or is it something higher-i.e. God? What does it mean to really worship, what’s the bible’s interpretation on this? There are many different denominations in the body of Christ that have different styles, meanings, and interpretations. Sitting in pews reading hymn books, chanting or reciting if you’re more liturgical. More dancing in the aisle and freely worshipping if you’re charismatic. Or like me contemporary where the words are on the screen and you can lift your hands up in worship. I think we can get too bent out of shape how it’s done and many churches can argue and split because of differences in the carpet. But one verse sits out above the others.

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:24, ESV.

This verse makes it clear how God is to be worshipped and I think no matter what your style or taste or flavor it’s all the same- worship God in Spirit and Truth.

“What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” 1 Corinthians 14:26.

Paul is exhorting believers to come together and to provide their natural abilities whether that’s to sing, prophesy, teach, or encourage and build up one another all is the same in the same setting with. God is interested in you and the natural gifts, talents and abilities the Holy Spirit has gifted you with and to use them to glorify God. True worship is giving your heart to God, in complete surrender and it’s not about you about Him. Prayer is another form of worship and it shows we are wholly dependent on God and it’s a form of surrender. Many of us can get caught up in worship and where to go; this was clearly evident in Jesus time and ministry on the Earth that the Jews worshipped in Jerusalem and the Samartians claimed to worship on the mountain, here is the verse in proper context: John 4:21-23:

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.”

Jesus was seeking those whom the Father was seeking for true worship. Give up your idols- Iphone, Ipod, crackberry, and other gizmos for Jesus who will never fade away. I leave below the lyrics of a great song- Heart of Worship, popular, sung by many churches:

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart

I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart

I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You
It’s all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath

I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song
More than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song
You’re looking into my heart
Looking into my heart
You’re looking into my heart
Into my heart
I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song

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Getting out of the Boat

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Tonight I was reflecting on my life and what it all really means on Earth. Have you had one of those ‘ah hah’ moments? If you haven’t read previous blog posts or ever heard me preach you will hear how I always say that life is too short. We hear someone on the news who dies everyday not to mention you might have had someone close to you die. I was thinking about this passage,

Matthew 14:22-33:

Jesus Walks on the Water

 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

   29 “Come,” he said.

   Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

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              I have herd this passage over analyzed and what this means and that. And I want to fit this passage into my life right now and even maybe yours.  You know if I never took a leap of faith to get into ministry and leave politics behind and pursue the Army Chaplaincy I don’t know how things might have turned out. If I didn’t crawl out from under my rock what might happen. I would have missed out on the very best God had in store for me. It’s still a leap of faith…. how will I finish seminary? How will my marriage to my future Robin work out? I don’t want to re-live being broke, and divorced like my parents were, how do I believe God has the best for me? Does God want me to work on a church or do missions and evangelism down the road? I don’t know. But it got me thinking why aren’t we getting out of the boat? Is it fear of change? Fear of the unknown and how that could affect our circumstances? I think many mundane Christians are missing out on the best God has in store for them. 

               It’s interesting how Peter used his faith at first- then it wavered when adversity hit and the waves began to roar. Are we going to run from what God called us to do, when we meet a little resistance or have faith that we are doing the plan God called us to do? I think the real story is sticking it out toward the end no matter what the results are. Why do we doubt God has our best interest in us? Why don’t we think that he plans to harm us but not help us? This passage can be interpreted in many ways to mean different things. Peter had to use his faith- to get out of the boat, walking on water, and believing Jesus was not a Ghost. Notice that God did all the heavy lifting. All Peter had to do was just believe and act on that belief. It’s so easy to give up. It’s so easy to have a pity party. It’s so easy to listen to the Devil’s lies and our own emotions. But we will never mature, never grow, never fulfill God’s calling in our lives unless we step out of the boat in faith. 

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He is Risen!!!

Before letting your kids gobble down a whole Easter basket of Reese eggs and throwing up later (like what I did when I was little in church), it’s more important to let them know what Easter is TRULY about. No it’s not about the dyed Easter eggs, malt chocolate or Skittles jellybeans. Oh no no no although those are good to eat. Unfortunately in America every holiday (Christmas, Halloween, Valentines, etc) have all been Hershey and Hallmarked out. That’s the sad thing the secular world has made up their ‘traditions’ of what a Christian holiday is really about. Easter is in many ways the fabric of what Christianity and what Jesus mission was here on Earth- to redeem mankind, establish the church, give the Holy Spirit, and to foretell his Kingdom’s eternal reign as yet to come. Jesus came to the Earth to do his father’s Will, “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:34. Jesus never came to do his Own Will but the Will of God.

No Jesus said “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” John 8:58. Jesus was awaiting the right time in Humanity to come down in Human form, redeem and rescue the Human race, a race that has slid into sin and disappointed God from the moment Adam fell in the Garden. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7  Jesus died over 2,000 years ago- for you, for me, for the whole world’s sins. I think that’s mind boggling and many people can’t accept it. You mean Jesus died for me? I can’t think of anyone dying for my sinful self, but no he had you in mind when he was carrying the cross. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10. We are all lost, none of us are good. He came to save you and me from God’s eternal wrath and judgement. Can knowing God be that easy huh? In Islam you have to follow the 5 pillars of Islam with strict adherence. In Judaism, you have to be a Jew and to follow the law to the guideline. In Hinduism and Buddhism, which is more philosophical, it’s centered on ‘self’ and not God. What separates Christianity from all others? As C.S. Lewis said that’s easy it’s Grace. Isn’t it nice to know God loves us? That he truly cares about us, and that his scars prove that. Whatever you are thinking today, whatever person is giving you trouble, and whatever issue you face, know that Jesus is there. He’s not dead. God is not some distance far away entity. No he’s here with us now. God died so we could be in fellowship with him. Jesus promised the Church he would be back. When he comes are you ready? Jesus promised his believers new life in Him by Giving us the Holy Spirit. Do you have it? Jesus promised that we would have life to the full and have it abundantly, are you living it? Most important Jesus died for you, to have a personal relationship and not just pray on Sundays and Easter- are you being faithful? Easter and Jesus Death and resurrection did much more:

  • Crushed Satan’s league of demons and their power
  • Destroyed death and the grave
  • Paved a way for man to be in eternal fellowship with God
  • Forgive ALL sins to those who believe in Him, and accept him as their Lord and Savior

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” Matthew 28: 6

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God is Near to You

You know when I think of the trials, and tribulation life has to offer I have to realize we aren’t alone. I know that is hard to say and even to believe at times. For me when I am traveling alone, or studying alone it’s hard to sometimes know that God the ever loving, ever present God is with us. ALWAYS. Not sometimes but always with us. Sometimes I think that’s creepy…. you mean God sees me when I am showering, going to the bathroom, jamming out to whatever your listening to in your car, and perhaps doing something I shouldn’t be doing…… Yep.  So if we know God is watching and is with us (if you’re a believer in Jesus Christ) then why don’t we expect he won’t help from God or know he’s watching when we have other issues arise (family related, financial, emotional, etc)?

“And this is the message I proclaim–that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.” Romans 2:16

Traveling in many states and throughout the US and going to different churches I realize that God is always there and he shows himself in different ways, but he is the same God no matter where you live or where your upbringing is. God is with you when you have that bill you can’t seem to pay. God is with you when you have that family member who is hurting, blaming and turning a deaf ear to you. God is with you when you an accident that seemingly seems immeasurable to solve and resolve. When you are a believer with Jesus Christ, you are indwelled with the Holy Spirit and below I am going to give you some scriptures showing how we are never truly alone.

Sometimes we think we sin too much or we are undeserving of God’s grace, forgiveness, and that he does not want fellowship with us. Don’t get me wrong sinning will hinder that- but God never gives up on us and that he didn’t create us to be living a life in condemnation.  Isaiah talks about the judgment of God on the sinful people of Israel through their exile but also speaks that God returns to them and will not banish them altogether.  He talks about their need to rely on him and solely on him for their provision and protection.  Wherever you are today know that God is near to you no matter what you’re doing and we don’t worship a distant, far away God but one who is a live, actively working in our lives today.  Whether you are at work, at home, or whatever situation or problem you’re facing and going through know that you are not alone.

23 He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.24 The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder and mash, spread out with fork and shovel. 25 In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill. 26 The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted. Isaiah 30:23-26

“Be Strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“…….Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” Revelation 2:23

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18

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You’re NOT Superman

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 Corinthians 10:12

As Christians I think sometimes in our relationship with God we can get cocky and arrogant. Not only that we can think that we cannot be penetrated or that nothing can stop us. I would think with that statement it couldn’t be farther from the truth!  As Christians and even myself (whom by blogging I need to re-examine myself) I would like to say that we can easily slip away from the truth and that we have to rely on God’s grace every day. We all have weaknesses, and struggles. But God overlooks our shortcomings and sees his Son in us. God does not excuse sin and as Christians we need to confess and repent and always rely on God that his promises are true to forgive as the Scriptures say.  I think that as believers we all need to look at ourselves and examine our are level of faith.

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?”2 Corinthians 13:5.

I think that we need to be sensitive to the Spirit everyday and to his Word what it says in our lives.  Examine yourself. Are you in the faith today or are you out of God’s will? I think many times that pride is a bad problem for people in ministry and anywhere else. We think if we’ve conquered a sin or something of that sort that we are ‘impenetrable’ and ‘no kinks in the armor’ but God will humble us to rely on him. Remember there was only one perfect person and he came in human form and died to perfect a lot of imperfect people. But I think as believers we need to always be on Guard from the 3 enemies- the Devil, the World, and our Flesh. But Superman had a weakness it was kryptonite- whenever it got near him it paralyzed him. What do you have that needs to be kept away from a distance? What are you doing now that’s paralyzing you? Is it fear to step out what God called you to do? Is it a weakness you have and instead of relying on God’s grace and power or do you try to ‘chain’ it up yourself? Or how about an inability to articulate and be bold? Whatever it is believe God for today and re-examine yourself so you won’t be tripped up by sin and unbelief as well. I think many Christians think “I go to church”, “I am a good person and tithe” but don’t have much faith that God can do the impossible for their lives or use them in a loving and meaningful way. And sometimes we think we are in a right relationship with God but our sinning, unbelief, and disobedience hinder that. The Israeli’s wondered 40 years in the desert- where are we wondering at? Christians should always continually examine themselves, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and obedient to his Word.

“Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12

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Death , Love, & Peace

You know as I am writing this article, my Grandmother Sandy passed away to be with the good Lord. She was a Christian, a devout follower of Jesus Christ.  I have no doubt where she is at and where her home is at for eternity. My home as well and for all believers. Despite being in the Chaplaincy, you would think we encounter death all the time which is far from the case. And when we do come up to it, it’s different than a death in your own family.  I am reminded time and again after her death that our time here on Earth is very limited. As the Psalm 139:16 say, “Your eyes saw my unformed body;  all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” What have we been doing with all our time here that is really glorify God? Everything we do is for his Glory not our own. Have we been spending too much time with video games, TV, pop culture, and getting the newest and latest of everything to really not to spend a minute to think of what God wants? I wonder what we are really spending with our time that glorifies God. And I am guilty of this myself despite being a Christian. 80, 90 years in this life is nothing compared to eternity. That’s forever. You know what that means? When you die your spirit goes either to be with God in Heaven or to Hell for those who reject Him and live for themselves. Just like Whitney Houston- the media always talks about how much wealth she had, what her glamor and fame did for her life. But she grew up singing in the church choir until Hollywood corrupted her. When the reporters and media talk about her, never once do they talk about where her soul is now.

                           I just ask that when you’re reading this article today to take a second of your time and really analyze what you’re doing today. It’s not too late to come back to God. What are you doing so that when you stand before God one day you won’t be ashamed? Not only do I have comfort as a Christian where my Grandma is at, I also have comfort that one day that Death itself will be destroyed. And its power does not reign over us. It died when Jesus was crucified, buried and rose again. He is our victory, our prize and meaning. The scriptures are a great in times of comfort and sorrow to all those that search them for their meaning and they talk about death’s destruction and it’s power. When I think of standing before Jesus I don’t think he is going to greet us with his arms folded over thinking of where we failed and stumbled. No. I think he will greet us with Wide Open arms into the Kingdom and say, “Well done faithful servant.”

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4

“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.” Revelation 20:14

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Old Era, Same Calling

 

 

 

 

Wow it’s amazing how long the Chaplain Corp goes- 1775. I some how stumbled upon this clip by C-SPAN. Imagine Ronald Reagan the actor back then who played in this film as an Army Chaplain for US Army Recruiting back in 1943 for WWII. The Film is called “For God & Country”. Wow, back then Hollywood actually supported the troops and their mission and didn’t ostracize them for what they did. Imagine if more of them could do that today? I thought this was a neat clip and showed that even back in the day that US Army Chaplains got in the trenches with soldiers and God was with them even back then.

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Living, Standing, Believing God’s Proimses for 2012

Have you ever noticed that life changes but one thing does not? The Word of God and his promises. Year after year people get married, have kids, die, birthdays and anniversaries go and sometimes our feelings change toward one another whether for good or bad. But God’s promises, the character of who God is and his mercy and forgiveness never do change.  I like to think of the whole world as like living in the Matrix (great movie if you haven’t already seen it). We are all connected to a machine, oblivious to the real war going on. The spiritual war that has raged here on Earth for centuries before. Christians, the Church and God’s plan vs Satan and his angels. I think we as Christians, need to start waking up. There’s a harvest out there. There are real people, really hurting, and really looking for hope in these economic times. But not just in hard economic times but with every aspect and level of their life where it’s been Godless at. There is so much uncertainty and disinformation it’s hard to differentiate of what is truth. But God’s truth always remains no matter what stage we are in life. There is spiritual warfare not just in the world that has always been going on but even in churches and even with other Christian brothers and sisters.  The time is now to act and to boldly proclaim God’s promises and what the churches role is now, today, in the age we live in. The needs of the people are real.

“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36

            With soldiers, we can’t get wide eye when they drop a bomb shell on us, or tell us their aches, and hurts and their sadness and look in horror. No we are to be Shepherds, and to let them know that as long as their alive there’s still hope. We are there to show them the love of Jesus, provide for their needs and do the 3 tenants that Chaplains are embolden to follow: Honor the Fallen, Care for the Wounded and Nurture the Living. The calling and oath I took for the Chaplaincy, I take extremely seriously. It’s not another ‘job’ or moving up in rank. It’s about representing Jesus Christ, the church, and being his hands, eyes, and ears here on Earth and to stand up for what’s right and true. I wish more Christians would do this. You don’t have to be a Chaplain but what are you doing the work world with your employees or co-workers? Is it a better place because of you? Or are you just wanting to get out because they aren’t like you? I wish we could rely more on God in the upcoming New Year for his promises for our lives. Many Christians are mundane and never read the bible or have a plan. They believe the Devil’s lies more than what God says.  We need to live a life of obedience to God and he will bless us for doing so.  The Christian life is not always easy and taking up our cross daily to follow Jesus never was supposed to be. What’s the cost of following and being an OBEDIENT Christian? Don’t be lied by televangelists that will say being a Christian you will be blessed beyond your wildest dreams materially. No.  That’s the world’s idea of blessing not God’s. Or to do this & that, and you will get something out of it. No. You serve and obey God because he gave it all to us over 2,000 years ago.

Like the prodigal son, true love and obedience is never forced on us, but it’s a choice about the relationship commitment we take. I think as Christians we need to be equipped and armed for 2012. We need to see things the way Christ does and really roll up our sleeves and get to work. It will get gritty and dirty. But then again Jesus came down to clean up the messes here and to do the hard work for us. We are to tell about Him. Here are some verses I want everyone to challenge themselves this year whether you are a new believer or mature, these verses are applicable in our everyday walk with the Lord. 2012 should be a year of spiritual reawakening. To know what our purpose is, and to have the Word of God guide us daily and the power of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus says, “Apart from me, You can do nothing.” Are you living apart from God or out of his will? It’s not too late to come back. God wants to use and bless you, but you have take the 1st step through the door. Here are some good verses and God’s promises that we can all meditate and pray with and most of all challenge ourselves to live up to in 2012:

“But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.” Isaiah 32:8

“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11

“Being confident in this that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’” 1 Peter  1: 15-16

“Trust In him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

“So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” Acts 24:16

“The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”  1 Timothy 1:5

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

“But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be harded by sin’s deceitfulness.” Hebrews 3:13

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:9-11

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