One Step

Climbing cliffs and mountains appears to be a great sport and pastime for many people over the years. They usually plan for the escapade for months, watching and learning weather patterns, the elements, knowing a great deal, as much as possible from earlier climbers, or their own experiences.

Going through regular life daily gives us experiences as well. Physically these experiences are not as invigorating, stimulating, or dangerous, but they certainly can be on the emotional and psychological sides of life, as well as Spiritual, if we consider all things.

Experienced climbers know the importance of safety, with the proper gear, good partners, and always aware of weather, as well as other situations around them.

Even though the hope is for no emergencies to arise, they do carry some equipment and tools in case one does.

In our hike through daily life, on the many different courses we may find ourselves on, there are precautions necessary to take as well.

Do we take care of ourselves in every aspect of life, and for the after life? Or do we keep on planning or businesses to get bigger and better, our lives to be total enjoyment, with only having tunnel vision?

A man in Scripture had tunnel vision for his business and the growth of it, never considering the important long term future ahead of him.

Luke 12:18-19

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

This man had lots of plans, his plans only, never considering what may happen.

Luke 12:20

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

This man may have put in many hours of work, in his mind planning things out, but giving no consideration to God at all.

As Jesus tells this parable, He does not say the reason for the death of the man, but perhaps it was overwork, stress, striving for more, competition to be better than others, perhaps his entire life was also eating, drinking, to be merry.

We will never know. But we do know that many people in our day live their lives in any one, or more of the above mentioned ways.

Jesus did have a statement though, for all who heard Him.

Luke 12:21

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Everything a person is able to accumulate on earth, in this life, will not give anyone Eternal Life with Jesus Christ. No accumulation of things will bring True Joy, Peace, Contentment. Only a relationship with Jesus Christ as Saviour, is able to do that.

Back to the climbers, to see how they are doing. As they continue to maneuver their way up the cliff or mountain side, they also need to be continually aware of their surroundings and situation, if the wind changes direction or gets stronger. They need an awareness of the fatigue factor of themselves, and their teammates.

On the climb, they are probably enjoying the challenge, enjoying the camaraderie with one another. But at all times an awareness needs to be had of all surroundings, and the situation of one another.

If, a big IF, one of the team slips, at the wrong time and place, or has a sudden injury or health issue, one bad step could take them for a tumble or slide unplanned and unprepared for. That one step, could cause major problems, or death.

With all the preparation put into the excursion physically, mentally, even emotionally, there is a need for individual Spiritual preparation as well. That preparation means having our life right with Jesus Christ, having Him as Saviour by asking forgiveness of our sin, and surrendering our life to Him.

Now to the rest of us who are living regular lives, working, going to school, being Moms and Dads, it is important to have our Spiritual feet on the Rock, Jesus Christ also.

We never know when our life in this body will end. We are also only one step away from death. Health issues, accidents, can come upon any of us quickly.

We can be hit by a vehicle, while innocently walking down a sidewalk, or through a mall parking lot, such as happened twice recently in our area of the province.

A heart may suddenly stop functioning properly. With any of these we are one step from the end of life as we know it.

Again, Eternal Life is available for all, Jesus Christ came to earth, to suffer and die, because of the great Love of the Triune God for each person ever born, His creation.

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

This Salvation is available for all. None of us know when our “Last Step” will be taken.

God Bless

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Choices. (Republished from an earlier year)

Every day we all make a number of choices, some are good, perhaps some are not so good, and some are neither good nor bad, just choices. For some people, choices are made that are life changing, positively or negatively.

There are many people who have been taught by example of bad choices or decisions since they were young, so that seems natural to them. The examples that many children see and are exposed to during their formative years determine the direction they choose as they grow older.

Imagine a child who lives through the experience of being told to do things that hurt others, or they are taught to steal from other people, or commit other acts that are illegal.

As these young children grow through their youthful years into adulthood, they are not taught nor do they see how to respect others. Also, they have not learned how to respect themselves, so most actions are to fill a perceived need or want.

Now there are situations when we need to make choices. When a person is seen sitting in the Downtown area panhandling, or shuffling along the street, what thoughts run through our minds? Do we see a person in need, a person who has been created by God, in the image of God, or do we see an undesirable whom we don’t want to get near?

When Jesus Christ walked on earth He cared for and had compassion on all, even the people whom others would not go near.

Matthew 1:40-41

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”

Matthew 16:24

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me

When Jesus said “Follow Me”, I believe His desire is for us to follow His example in caring for others, in making choices to benefit others, even when it is the opposite of what the majority of the population would do.

Imagine a child living in a family and being told continually he is not wanted there, and never receiving any love or affection. In many cases, while still young he looks for love and care in other places, or he becomes a “loner or misfit” in society, with no social skills and not bothering with anyone. Either of these choices are not good, but what else would he know to do? This could be the story of a person we see pushing a grocery cart down the main street with all his belongings, not trusting anyone because those whom he should have been able to trust hurt him and didn’t want him around.

As we make a choice to be kind to this person, treat him with respect, and have compassion, over time trust may be built up and we will see beyond the walls and tough exterior. We may see who that person really is, a creation of God, made in the image of God.

In closing I am repeating an earlier paragraph.

“Now there are situations when we need to make choices. When a person is seen sitting in the Downtown area panhandling, or shuffling along the street, what thoughts run through our minds? Do we see a person in need, a person who has been created by God, in the image of God, or do we see an undesirable whom we don’t want to get near?”

The choice is ours, are we going to obey Jesus when He says “Follow Me”.

As Jesus is a world changer, He will be a world changer through us.

Posted in Blessing,, Christian Living, Christianity, Faith, Homelessness, Jesus, Praising God, Prayer, Reaching Out, Serving Others, street people, Taking Others To Jesus, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ambassadors For The KING

2 Corinthians 5:20

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. NKJV

As Christians we are representatives of Jesus Christ in all we do. It is not just when we are in services or during organized outreach events that we are His ambassadors. When we are in the lineup at the grocery store and the cashier is having a difficult time, we are Christ’s ambassadors.

While in the restaurant and the service is slow, or the new server mixed the orders, we are Christ’s ambassadors. During a sporting event, for ourselves or our kids, and an official makes a poor call in our opinion, we are Christ’s ambassadors. While at work, school, or in a mall, surrounded by non-believers who may or may not know us, we are Christ’s ambassadors.

Whenever something negative happens in our lives, we have the opportunity to let the light and love of Jesus Christ shine through. When someone we are in contact with is having a difficult time, a few words of encouragement spoken in love may make a big difference. Those words may also open the door to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with another person, then we will be able to implore them, as the Apostle Paul wrote, to be reconciled to God. People in the world need our Saviour, and the Holy Spirit speaks through believers to draw others to Jesus. An ambassador for a country does all things for the benefit of his / her country, while an ambassador for Jesus Christ does all things for Jesus and His Glory.

God Bless, Ambassador …………….

Posted in Blessing,, Christian Living, Christianity, Evangelism, Jesus, Patriotism, Praising God, Serving Others, Taking Others To Jesus, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

KEEP THE FIRE BURNING

Leviticus 6:13

A fire shall always be burning on the altar; it shall never go out.

Matthew 3:11

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

1 Corinthians 6:19

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

When we become Christians, our body becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit, and within that temple is an altar to God.

When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire, that fire is within our temple and on the altar within us.

On that altar, the fire will continue to burn, and not go out, but there are different levels or degrees of burning. As we are serving our Lord Jesus, that fire should be red hot and should be affecting each person whom we meet. Just as when a building is on fire, the heat radiates away from the building and affects others, so should the fire within us.

The way to continue to keep the fire hot is to spend time with Jesus on a regular basis, in His Word, in prayer, in meditation, and in communion with others.

When these practices are not followed the flame stays low, and even when we think all is going well, there is not the effect on others to sense the Presence and Power of the Holy Spirit.

Many things can cool the Fire within us, even good things that we are involved in and busy with, but if they keep us from time with our Lord Jesus, it is like water dripping on the flames, and keeping them as embers.

As believers, we need to fan the flame in one another as well. This is done by encouraging one another. This is also done by sharing what we see the Lord doing in their lives, in the lives of others, as well as in our own lives. When we experience and hear what the Lord is doing, and how lives are being touched and changed, the fire within each of us burns a bit stronger and hotter, and the Holy Spirit continues to encourage us to take another step, and to listen for His voice of direction.

2 Timothy 1:6

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

Just as Paul wrote to Timothy to fan into flame the gift of God, we need to fan the flame in one another so we will each grow into the person who God has created and called us to be, to His Glory.

Let us grow together to be red hot Christians, on fire for Jesus, making a difference in the lives of others, and encouraging one another, and fanning the flames of one another.

God Bless.

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Bearing Fruit to Pray Expectantly

John 15:16
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

As I read this verse today, for the (fill in the blank) ___ time, a new thought came to mind.

So often I have heard this verse, and have even quoted it, as, “whatever you ask in My Name the Father will give you”. A verse showing us how to pray, in Jesus Name, to receive results.

The newer aspect today, is in the earlier part of the verse; we were “chosen and appointed to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last —“ so whatever we ask in Jesus Name the Father will give us.”

It appears therefore that we as Christ followers need to bear fruit, lasting fruit, in order to have our prayers answered.

So, what is this lasting fruit? During this entire chapter Jesus is speaking to His Disciples about Love, the Father’s Love for Jesus, and the Love of Jesus for His followers. It is even said earlier in the chapter that the Father cuts off each branch that does not bear fruit (vs. 2). By showing fruit, we show we are Disciples of Jesus, and we then glorify the Father (vs. 8).

Obviously then, we need to show the Love of Christ in our lives continuously, showing we are in communion with God, and that we are living our lives as Jesus lived His life while on earth. The Christian community should have such Love for one another, that the Love will be seen by the people of the world, and they will be drawn to Christ.

When we continually live in and demonstrate the Love of Jesus Christ to one another, genuinely, not for show or rewards, our Heavenly Father will be Glorified and pleased because we are living as His only begotten Son showed us. Then we can pray with expectations of the Father answering our prayers.

God Bless.

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On Pain, Fear, Bravery, and Time

An excellent read by Petedeakon.com

Captain's Log

Last post, I wrote that I believe I am an expert on defense and gave some advice on the subject due to my feeling that there is a sharp rise in falsehoods with President Trump’s election. This post is additional defense advice. Bluntly, I am going to teach you how to be brave.

Many of you know that at the end of my time at the seminary I was fortunate to purchase the full set of Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World.I have slowly but steadily been reading through the set since last summer.I am officially on book five, having skipped the two “Synopticon” volumes.

In short, I am still in the (Trojan War-centered) plays of Greek Antiquity, though through Homer and Aeschylus. One line from Sophocles’ Trachiniae furnished unto me the motivation for this post.

(These plays are always filled with great tragedy and accordingly the…

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“MONDAY MORNING GROAN” Jan. 7

An excellent read!

A DEVOTED LIFE

“And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground,for out of it you were taken; for you are dust,and to dust you shall return.”  Genesis 3:17-19

man holding hoe Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

I do not till the soil nor do I cultivate seeds. I am not a farmer.
I am not a rancher. I do not graze livestock nor do I breed cattle.
My wages do not come from agriculture.

My wages are derived…

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