The Journey

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord'”Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven .” Matthew 7:21 NIV

We are all on a journey. Each and everyone of us who are alive are on this journey to discover first ourselves, then God, and the true meaning to this life we have been given. This life is but a snapshot of the long journey we are on. Our life here is approximately 80 years. Some more, some less. But it is very brief compared to forever. We all go somewhere after this life is over. That is determined by the small life we live here. To describe eternity is difficult. Throughout this life God is always calling us. Whether you were born into a Christian Family that went to church every Sunday, or were born to a Muslim family or a non-religious family who did not go to church. You are given life by God and he loves you. Everything around you tells of his glory the fact that there is a great creator is around us daily in all we do. You will know someone who knows Jesus. And will hear about him. But whether you accept or reject these feelings is up to you. You will make a decision to believe or not. If you don’t want to think about it you have already made your decision to reject Jesus. Back to eternity. Heaven will be a wonderful place. There will be no pain or trials anymore . Everyone will have perfect bodies and perfect minds able to know everyone by sight even people you have never met. Like Moses, King David, or the Apostle Paul. It will be a perfect joyous place. Where your happiest memory on earth is just multiplied and goes on and on forever. Or darkness and isolation , surrounded by flames of fire closing in on you all around. Fire that touches and smells overwhelming you but never consuming and never ending. There will be no parties in heaven and your friends may be there but you will never know because you are isolated. No one to hear your cries. How we live our lives and where our heart lies is so important. The only way to heaven is to let go of your past, your pride, your hurts, hate, anger and reach out to Jesus he is the only way. He is already reaching out to you. He knows you are lost and since all man has sinned we are separated from God. We need a savior to forgive us. He will with just a word. Then you can know what it is to really live. Blessed and loved. Forever.

God Is Good

“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him, but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.” Nahum 1;7-8 NIVp

God is good. He cares for his children and always hears when we cry out to him. He does not like to see his children hurting. Especially at the hand of wicked and evil people. That’s how he is , He always brings punishment on those who are evil, sinners. Eventually judgement will come. Nineveh was a very worldly and corrupt city. Their reputation preceded them. That is why God asked Jonah to prophesy the destruction he had for them. But Jonah said no way and ran the other way. God sent a big storm to follow him . God always knows what we are up to. You can not hide from God. When the people found out he was running away from God they had no choice but to get him out of their ship. They still cried out to God to forgive them for throwing him overboard. But the minute he was out of the ship the seas grew calm. God is powerful. They were stunned. Well we all know what happened next. After three days in the belly of a fish yelling at God he agreed to go to Nineveh . He had not wanted to go because he knew God to be very merciful and loving. He knew if he warned them then they would cry out to Him and he would stop from sending judgement . They were so wicked that he thought they should pay. Well the minute he agreed to go, poof, he was on dry land. He headed for Nineveh and poured his heart out to the people letting them know all God had told him. Well you know what happened? They cried out to God for forgiveness and turned from their evil. And he forgave them. Jonah knew it. He was so upset he went just outside the city and sat down to pout. “Just kill me, I knew you would do that. I would be better off dead.,” he said. Well God let him sit there and fume for a while, but God sent a plant to grow up over his head to shield him from the burning sun. The next day when he woke up a worm came munching on that plant and it died. Well now Jonah was real mad. But God asked him why he was so angry? You didn’t make that plant. It was just an old plant so why should you care. You see that city is full of thousands of people that I made. Some were good and some were bad but I loved them. That’s why I had to warn them. Even when we are evil sinners. God still cares about us. If you come to Him and ask him to forgive you for bad tings you have done, even if they are really bad. If you are sorry for those sins he will forgive you.

Don’t you want to be on God’s side?

Gods Word

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NIV

It has been the number one best seller for a long time. The most read book out there. It is in more homes throughout the world and is written in many different languages. it is our owner’s manual for living a full and abundant life. When we buy a new car or an appliance they come with an owner’s manual telling you everything you need to know to keep it running at its best. Trouble-shooting tips for every problem. Things you need to do and not to do. Who knows that item better than the one who designed it. I can remember when microwaves first came out. Oh, I had to have one. Just heating up a glass of water was an exciting experience. We tried everything that book said. We read all about this new invention. Learning what to do and what you should not do. We lived by that little book. Well the Bible is alive and active. It gives guidance for our most important possession, our life! It has advice, wisdom, what things to do and not to do. Things to do to get along peaceably with those around us. The more you do what it says the happier you become. It can tell you that it is normal to want what you want when you want it. Our flesh desires many things but not all are good for us. Even if they may satisfy for a moment. From the day you are born you want food when you are hungry, comfort when you are uncomfortable, and pleasure when you are bored. We want whatever will make us happy. There are billions of people living on this earth and we all need to live happily together. We all want to be happy and loved. God has promised each of us that he wants to give us the very best life, full and abundant, but we need to listen to him to know how to have that. He knows each and every one of us. He knows just what can make us truly happy. He can show us when others need help. Living by rules and commandments seems so rigid but it is more than that. It is a loving father wanting the very best for his children. Not wanting to see them hurting or struggling. Wanting the best for them always in this scary and dangerous world. God is A God of perfect love for he invented love. He loves each of us completely no matter who we are or what we have done. He wants to really get to know you and for you to really know him. He has things we should do and not do because he cares and if we just get to know him we will want to do them out of love knowing they are what is best. He has offered a free gift to everyone that will accept it. It is the way to life. Perfect life. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I am learning more every day and happiness is ours for the asking. Power like you have never known. He doesn’t expect us to just obey. On our own we can’t. He promises to help us each step of the way. I have never known a friend so sweet.

Will you get to know him through his words?

Fire Down In My Soul

“…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 NIV

This is a very comforting verse. But it is sometimes quoted as just the last sentence alone. But by doing that we are missing so much. It starts mid sentence with and. It tells us to be sure to put both sentences together. It’s important to know that when we obey everything he commands us, or strive to, that then he will be with us ALWAYS. Through the good, the bad, and everything in between. It’s easy to think we are alone in the hard times. But he tells us that he will NEVER leave us ever. He is right beside you, or maybe he’s carrying you through it. When I am faced with trials I have learned to make a fist. It reminds me that he is holding my hand. Together we are unstoppable and WILL prevail. I have been doing everything I can lately to feel his presence. It has become so important that I cry out for more of it. Going to church on Sunday’s and hanging out with good Christian friends, listening to excellent praise and worship music, and great words spoken by our church leadership is great. But when I come home to my little room all alone I want to feel that joy still. I hunger and thirst for righteousness and a song we sang comes back to me, Set a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain and I can’t control. These are great words and I have cried out for this in my own life for a while. But any time you ask for more you have to be willing to take a step forward to seeing it happen. I love to listen to praise music. The words are so powerful. It’s exciting to sing words that you feel so strongly. I am not a songwriter but it seems like I could have said them. I wish I had. I love to watch good Christian movies, read good Christian books, devotionals and my Bible. All of these things can bring me into his presence when I am alone. I can pop my earbuds in and turn the music up while I’m playing games or doing a puzzle but I hear the words and I can’t help but sing along with passion. Like right now I am listening and ‘How I Need You ‘ is on. My heart just can’t help but join in. Some of the greatest times in his presence are right here in my room all alone. But never alone. I have a missionary from my church who is in prison in India and we have been praying for his release. This morning it hit me. The reason why the Apostle Paul could have so much peace while he was in chains, was because he knew what I have found. You can be lifted up where ever you are when you are in his presence. Even if you have no radio you can sing ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and praise till you are filled with his love. It doesn’t take money or things to attain. Just a fire down in your soul that just won’t quit.

Do you want that fire?

Be Still

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 NIV

If you are following the Lord there are times you need his input. The most important place to be is in his presence. So many times when I go through changes and trials I just need to know that he is there. He is always with us but I can deal with anything when I feel he is with me. Life can get busy and complicated and at times I know he is saying, be still.

A couple of years ago I had to have a planned surgery. It was just supposed to be a couple of days but I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and I got really sick. It was touch and go and I ended up in the hospital for two weeks. When I got home I was very week so I spent a lot of time in bed resting. It also was a very dry time because I was too weak to pray and read my Bible.

I was just sleeping so much. I don’t really remember a lot of it. What I do remember is the enemy attacking my mind and trying to convince me that I was dying and even God couldn’t help me. I was on my own. Well that is not true but at the time he had the upper hand and it was tough.

I was in and out of it and really just wanted to sleep and not feel anything. When I started feeling better I managed to start praying and reading a little of my Bible . I had missed that sooo much. The words brought so much peace to my soul. But I really just liked to lay there and feel him reminding me of his love for me. Verses came to mind. Telling me how much he loves me and how much I can do for him.

When I got back home after what seemed like a month. I still slept in till 10 or 11 am every day but always spent the last hour or two in prayer over everything that mattered to me. I would just lay there listening for a while and resting, but I really started to like these times with God. When we are busy crying out to God. Whether well are trying to get him to give us just what we want or disagreeing about how to handle an area of our lives, God can’t get a word in sometimes.

We need to just be quiet. Time to hear just what he has for us. He is the supreme and mighty God of all the earth. He knows all. What he has to say is very very important. It may be as simple as, “trust me”. We usually want more info but we don’t always get it. Those two words remind us just who he is. He has told me in his word that what he wants, he gets. Nothing is impossible for him. He also promises to work everything for my best.

I know he’s got my back. I know he is very trustful. Sometimes he will give me a verse and my mind will dwell on it. So many positive thoughts will run through my mind and get me excited. Something to write about. He might remind me of things I need to do that day. Something I can do to help in a certain situation. Something I may have been worrying about.

Last week he said get your earphones out. I put them in when I got up and turned some music I had been listening to before on. While I was playing games I began listening to the words and ended up praising and worshiping for a while as the words sunk in. It was a great time really uplifting to me. Awesome morning. Thanks God.

He can encourage so much in such simple ways but we have to give him time in our busy schedules to just “be still”. It’s hard to just sit there. My mind has a tendency to wander but he still speaks when I’m not speaking. These times are becoming more and more special every day. At times I can’t sleep in the night and I will get my praying over so I can just rest in his presence.

The more you do it the more enjoyable it becomes. Do you remember how much it meant to just hit the snooze button when you just wanted a few more minutes before work? Well that few more minutes with him in the morning is a hundredfold better.

Will you take time today to let him talk to you?

Fear

“For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

F. False

E. Evidence

A. Appearing

R. Real

Today at church the pastor spoke about fear. This is something I would have sworn I had taken care of in my life. I had answers for how to deal with fear. I knew God was in control and always was taking care of things. Well God spoke differently to me this morning.

The pastor talked about several things we do when we are fearful. Procrastination. We tend to ignore what we fear hoping it will go away. Avoiding it just like Adam did after he had a bite of the apple and didn’t want to face God. So he hid. We ignore something we don’t want to deal with.

Well that hit home. Several things I have been facing just hit me in the face. Things I had not seen as fear but I had been pushing aside and trying not to think about. I told myself I was not going to worry about them. Whatever happened happened. Whatever God wanted.

The problem was they were not going away just because I ignored them. They just came lurking into my life more each day I ignored them. Things I wanted to do but felt I couldn’t do of myself. Things that might get better if I just sought the help of a professional. Just doing what God had called me to do because I felt inadequate.

The only way to overcome these fears is just to confront them head on. Ask Gods forgiveness for doubting. Ask for help overcoming and understanding these fears. And finally wisdom for how to proceed.

First thing was trying something I knew was going to be difficult for me. I had prayed believing God could help me do all things. But I had doubts. Doubts that he might not want that for me. But how could I actually succeed if I didn’t at least try it.

Another thing was a health issue. I saw myself getting worse in a couple areas but instead of seeking medical help and seeing if there might be a cure or a quick fix to my problem I assumed that I would just have to live with it and the negative side effects that came along with it. God showed me things I could do to help. After I realized I needed to face it.

Lastly he had called me to write a book and I was having doubts that I could do it right. So I was procrastinating. But then I felt writers block. Trying to fit everything in a certain design I wanted that just felt awkward. So I kept finding other things I needed to do first.

God showed me I needed to give these things up to him and he would help me get on with dealing with them. In his ways. Not by myself and in my ways. His help would help me do just what he wanted in each area.

Hadn’t he helped me write three successful books already. I didn’t even struggle to write them. Just the opposite. Words just flowed out of my heart. It wasn’t hard it was blessed.

Then I tried what I wanted to try doing. I got a little frustrated and set it aside. I decided to do a puzzle instead. As I was zipping through it enjoying myself I felt God say, you are enjoying yourself a lot. And you are really good at it. Yah, I thought. Doing something i love and enjoy and am really good at describes several hobbies I’ve been doing lately since my stroke.

I don’t need this one thing like I thought I did. He’s given me other things I can do and do well. These things aren’t bothering me anymore. God opened my eyes to see that they aren’t really problems after all.

‘For the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’    2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

I so much hate that people see Christians as weak and powerless. The devil is a liar. People are so deceived and I have been there. I thought at one time that it was all about me and what I could have. It didn’t matter who it might hurt if it was good for me. I was in charge of my destiny.

I had gotten away from God and his ways and focused just on me and my ways. It is not a time I am proud of. But I was blinded by pride. That roaring lion that at some time controls all of us.

We believe the lies in our minds. Lies that tell us we ‘deserve it,’ or worse yet, ‘we don’t deserve it (happiness), ‘we are not getting it’. Lies that make us focus on how bad it is. This makes us just focus more and more on us. What we want or want others to feel sorry for that we don’t have.

People can blame God, say he is not good to us. But the problem is that we have shut him and his ways out. We have not given him a chance. He is good and getting to know him personally and read about all his ways has just let me see all the more blessings and power he longs to give me.

We have been given a good mind. The mind of Christ to be exact. With this mind we have power. All the power to have a full and abundant life. Full of happiness, love, fulfillment and a disciplined life. These are things that all people want or should want.

All that we have been called to do is possible for us if we believe.

By listening to God and obeying his words this power is available to us. My eyes have been so opened and when others are hurting or struggling I see how deceived they have become and it is the lies they believe, or at least a lot of it is. We all have trials to overcome. And we can have power to do just that when our eye is on him.

Lately I have come to see just how blessed I am. I also have been given favor with man. Maybe that’s just because I am a better and more loving person. I love people and will do all I can to help the lives of others. The more I love others the more love I have to give.

It all comes from following the two greatest commandments given to man. First, love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and soul and love all others more than yourself.

When you are focused on just these two commandments in your life everything else falls into place. You may not be rich or famous but you will be completely satisfied with the life you have and sleep peacefully at the end of the day. What more could you ask for?

‘So do not worry, saying, ‘ What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’ Matthew 6:31-33 NIV