Monday, March 31, 2008

Find A Good Church

In a comment on the blog "Random thoughts of an idle mind", Mandy said she had several bad experiences with churches and that she does not have a church she attends. I understand completely Mandy! There are so many churches out there that can make a person feel down right uncomfortable, or even unwelcome. It truly is a tragedy that this is such common place in a lot of churches these days. What ever happened to everyone welcome, come as you are and leave changed. Right? That's how it should be, but all too often these days we find that how things should be, are not how they are.

I know a guy that I happen to work with, who I am also fond of and consider it a true pleasure when we get to work side by side, that does not go to church for that very reason. He has tried some in the past and was never impressed with the ones he attended. So whats he do? He actually got some friends of his together and started meeting at each others houses on Sundays for a little church session of their own. He has told me that they sing hymns and just pretty much have church like everyone else, just without the big fancy building and "church politics" so common these days. I also believe they meet one day during the week for a bible study. I must commend him for his perseverance in the worshipping of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! He did not give up because he couldn't find a church he liked, instead he found a solution. At my other job I work among the Amish regularly and they do the same type of church, at their homes rather then a normal meeting place. Though with the Amish it is a bit more of a traditional style service and they meet every other week. Matthew 18:20 says"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" That's what it's about, having Him(Jesus Christ) in our midst as we come together to worship and praise Him in all things.

I started going to a church with a friend of mine I worked with some time ago. I loved the men's meetings/Bible study they had one evening a week and attended these for a quite some time without attending their Sunday services. Finally I decided I wanted to start going to the Sunday services and I gotta tell you, what in the world!? There was music so loud I couldn't hear myself think, good songs but way to loud. The craziness was somewhat indescribable. There were dancers who stood at the front, I'm gonna say about four to six of them and at least two had a flag of some sort they would wave around. The others just danced like in a trance or I don't know what. They would end up on stage or wherever the "Spirit" led them. I know David danced before the Lord but this is a bit different in my perspective. I gotta say right now before I go any further, I am not a "new age" worshipper if that's what you call this worship, I am strictly a Biblical worshipper. 1 Corinthian 14:40"But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way" We also see from the law of the old testament and all the restrictions that God is a God of order, not of chaos and disorder.

There were other things I saw that disturbed me and led me to my decision of not attending that church any longer. Well, once I stopped going there one of my best friends and many other good friends that go there thought it best to disassociate from me for good. They in essence "shunned" me because I wanted to find a church that my family and I could grow in the Lord and that was our style of worship. They spent an hour doing loud music and dancing, I am the type that would rather have that hour be a Sunday school setting where you dive into the word and learn God's truths. I did find a perfect church then for me and my family, though I must admit I spent many Sunday morning's "shopping" until I finally found the right one for us. The church we are at now is perfect for us and I must admit, I thank God for all the bad experiences I had because it makes me all that more grateful of the right church I have finally found. So please, to all of you out there, keep "shopping", the right church for you is out there and waiting to be found like a lost treasure. It mat not be easy but it's well worth it. Hebrews 10:24&25 "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage on another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching"

I pray for all reading this that if you don't have a "home" church that you do have a personal relationship with Jesus. I pray that God gives you that strength to take action and find a church that fits you, that preaches His word how it is written and changes not one word from it. May you all grow more and more each day in the Lord in His mercy and grace. With love prayers and good tidings always.

P.S. To any "new age" worshipper out there that may read this, I mean no offense in your style of worship, it is just not for me. Call me old fashioned. I will say, as I would to any church goer out there, in any act you or your church does know why you do or don't do it scripturally. Know God's word and be informed of the things He wants and finds pleasing and the things He don't. Never do something just because your pastor says its right, especially if it "doesn't feel right to you". Be informed, and pray without ceasing as the scriptures tell us. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Humility please

James 4:10 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up"

What is humility? I want to focus on the humility that deals with our relationship to God and His with us. The kind of humility that gives us the right understanding of who we are before God. Humility is an essential way in which a Christian demonstrates the right relationship with God.

Mark 1:7 "And he preached, saying, There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose."
John the baptist is the one who is talking here in this verse, and look at the humility he showed to Jesus, The Son of God. John had the right attitude of humility, telling the crowd around him that the One coming, he is not even worthy to untie His sandal. That's humility folks,wow. He knew who he was and where he stood in relation to the Saviour.

Romans 12:3 "For I say , through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think somberly, as God has dealt to each a measure of faith."
We are always thinking of ourselves these days and thinking way to much of ourselves. We need to think of ourselves somberly, which is the exercise of sound judgement, which will lead us to recognize that in ourselves we are truly nothing, and should yield the fruit of humility. Scripture is full of verses that deal with and command humility.

Titus 3:1-2 "Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one,to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men."

1 Peter 5:5 "Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble"."

James 3:13 "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom."

I like that last verse there, (James 3:13) for Christ showed the ultimate act of humility by taking on a fleshly body to walk with us, as a great example of how to live a life pleasing to the Father, and by going to the cross to gain for us something we could have never in any way done for ourselves. Jesus came to be like us so that in the end we could be like Him, glorified and sanctified in the eyes of God. That popular line people use :"what would Jesus do?". I always try to run that through my head when facing difficult decisions or when I fear my thoughts or actions may be border lining sin. Jesus led the perfect life, and if we have constant exposure to the Word and learn His life and teachings, we are able to know more clearly what Jesus would do in our circumstances.

In society we see all too often people looking out for themselves or "number one" they say. What would Jesus do? Well He came to save the world that was dead in its sins, sounds like He had our best interests at the head of the line rather than His own. Does God need me to complete His will? No! Does God need me to answer peoples "tough questions" on religion? No! Does God need me to get things done for Him? No! He needs none of us! But He loves us and therefore uses us and pours out His abundant Grace. We need to in return listen to Him, His word ,and teachings, look to the cross and remember the love He displayed for us, love Him first with all that we are, love our fellow man second, and get rid of this mindset we have of thinking so highly of ourselves.

I pray for all who are reading this that you shed any coat of pride you may have on and cloth your self in humility as the Peter 5:5 says. Let us look out for our fellow man and his needs more and more each day, random acts of kindness are contagious so let us start that ripple effect for mankind immediately. I pray you see the Father more clearly through scripture,His children, and prayer each and every day. With love and good tidings always

Monday, March 24, 2008

Is it ok to be angry?

Well, I haven't blogged in a while. I have this back pain that will not go away, and I was fortunate enough to catch that horrible flu bug that is causing havoc all over. I won't complain though, at least my girls and wife didn't get it, and the back pain does let up here and there. I went through physical therapy for my back and learned quite a bit of exercises to strengthen my "core" muscles to keep a strong back that isn't prone to "going out" like mine does on occasion. I must admit my back problems are my own fault' being young you think you are invincible and you never listen to people when they tell you not to lift something that heavy or if you do lift like this with your legs. I never listened to that and am paying the price now. Whats the old saying "young and smart"? No that's not it, its;"young and dumb".

Now even though its my fault and I admit that, I am still a baby when it comes to pain, ask my wife, definitely when its pretty severe pain. When I'm in pain like this I tend to be testy, or grumpy with a short fuse you could say. I end up walking around with anger in me, something that I am not fond of , for I like being pain free and happy. Well I was doing some soul searching the last few days at work, and realized that this pain is putting anger in me and am I sinning against God for being angry? Well the first verse that came to mind was Ephesians 4:26"In your anger do not sin:do not let the sun go down while you are still angry 27 and do not give the devil a foothold."

The first part of this verse(in your anger do not sin) is quoted by Paul here from Psalm 4:4. So is it alright to be angry? This verse tells us not to sin in our anger, so we haven't sinned yet in being angry, oh but how easy it is to fall into the temptation of sin when one is angry. That is a trait we all must strive to achieve, to keep our cool when someone/thing really gets to us, under our skin and in our minds. You know what I'm talking about, we all as humans struggle with this. There is someone or something out there that just rubs you the wrong way even thinking about it. Its fine to get mad, its gonna happen, if you have a legitimate reason, but how you handle that anger is what leads to sin and can "give the devil a foothold" as verse 27 says. Do not be fooled, the devil will not light the match, but he will offer it to you and stand right beside you dancing as the house burns down. So what we need to always strive for is being able to control our anger rather than allowing our anger to control us. I like these two verses as well:
Proverbs 15:18 "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension,
but a patient man calms a quarrel"
Proverbs 19:11 :A mans wisdom gives him patience:
it is to his glory to overlook an offense"

James 1:19-20 "My dear brothers, take note of this,: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,20 for mans anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires" Have I mentioned before how much I love the Bible!? What a tool that teaches all the ways to live a righteous life and all the ways to please our Heavenly Father. Let us not only learn to control our anger, but let us be very slow to become angry as James writes. Let us not "sweat the small stuff". Imagine if more people did that,I bet the divorce rate would be much lower if we could let go of a lot of selfishness and not get angry over such small little things that in the grand scheme of things is nothing. You know?

Jesus got mad at the money changers in the temple and turned over the tables. He did not do this out of selfish anger, He did this because they had turned the house of His Father into a "den of robbers". He never got angry and lashed out at people because they had wronged Him. He came and lived a perfect life of which we can never do, by not sinning. Being angry at unrighteousness and unrighteous acts is a healthy anger. Its selfish anger that gets us into trouble and wrapped up in sin. God hates sin and does not and will not look upon it with favor. I hate abortion and the very fact that its legal angers me, but I cannot go shooting the doctors of these places or burning the buildings down. That would be letting my anger turn to sin and giving the devil the foothold he so eagerly longs for. Its alright to be angry at such things, but let us always take a scriptural approach to our anger rather then a carnal and selfish approach. God is the judge, therefore leave the judging to him.

I have really started to ramble on this one, but anger is something we see and might even experience everyday. I will sum this up by saying what I did earlier, let us avoid becoming angry at all times possible, but when we do become angry let us have control of it rather than it control us. We not only represent other Christians in the way we act, but also our Lord Jesus Christ. So let us act in a manner worthy to be called His friend, His disciple,His child.

My prayer for all who read this is that God will help you draw closer to Him every day. That He will give you strength in all your trials and that you will give Him praise no matter what or where you are at in life. May we learn to control our anger in a way that pleases Him whom gave us the breath of life. With love and good tidings always.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Unfortunate losses

It's not a new thing to look around at society today or pick up a paper and read of tragedy. One that really touches home to me is people losing their children. I sympathize and feel completely for those parents this tragedy touches, for I know not that I could handle such a loss. I love my girls so much and just couldn't imagine losing them to deaths never ending hunger. Whatever happened to the fairytale life of your kids burying you and not the other way around? It seems so simple, yet many times it does not work out this way.

I am not writing this to try to tell people who may be going through this tough ordeal how to cope or handle it. I merely and prayerfully write this that anyone who may be going through this tragedy may find comfort and hope in my words or in the the words of scripture I may use. As I have stated, I know not that I could go through losing one of my daughters, I fear that that sting of death would be too much. I do not fear my own death, yet I must admit I fear the loss of my wife or kids. I know I should not, for ultimately God is in control, and it is His will that will be done. I would not blame Him or hate Him as I see some have done in such circumstances. I know I see only a tiny piece of the puzzle of which He drew and orchestrated into perfection.

In the sermon on the mount Matthew 5:4 says " Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." What a thought, those who mourn will be comforted! Comforted by who? The Holy Spirit! It is only natural that a Christian will mourn at some time, we will all lose family members and those we love and hold dear. I urge you though, don't go through that alone. God is there, His shoulder is huge and soft and always there when you need to cry upon it. Call upon Him who knows exactly what you're going through. He sent His own Son to come and die, He heard His own Son say "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me", and He also heard His Son cry "Father, father,why have you forsaken me.?" He knows your pain. Lean on Him.

In the book of Daniel, his friends are to be thrown into the fiery furnace for disobeying the king. Daniel 3:23-25 "And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego,fell down bound in the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors,"Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True O King" "Look!" he answered, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the forth is like the Son of God""

I wrote out that scripture so we could read and get a powerful message from it. You see even though we may not be spared from the fiery furnace or whatever we may encounter in life, at least we have Jesus, The Son of God there with us going through it. Call on Him now, whether your deep in the fire or actually doing good right now in life. He will meet you where you are.

My prayer is that anyone who does have to go through a difficult loss in life knows Christ and leans on His love and mercy. I would be devastated to lose a child, yet it would be truly unbearable beyond belief without His hand and love in it. May you ever increase in the love of God each day and His abundant grace. With love and good tidings always.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Should homosexuals be ordained?

What a subject we have here, that was brought up in my Sunday school class. It amazes me that the Methodists, the Episcopalians, and even the Presbyterians are troubled over this issue. Cant we simply read the Bible and do what it says anymore? Cant we do our best everyday to walk the path Jesus did? Why do we only recite, remember and apply the parts of the Bible we like rather then take it as Gods inspired Word profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)

I am not a gay basher at all, but I will not sit here and say its not a sin when the Bible says it is. Many are doing that, we are taking a carnal way of thinking on the matter rather then a scriptural one. I truly invite all gays out there to come to my church or go to a church near you. That is where we all need to be for we are all sinners. Gays, liars, murderers, gossips, drunkards, drug addicts, and on and on, we all need to be in church drawing closer to our Redeemer and Savior. 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance"

That last word is the one that sticks out to me in this topic, repentance. The definition of repent is to turn away from, and repentance is a major theme in the entire Bible. God wants us to turn from our sins, he wants us to strive towards holy lives for not our glory but His, so that we might shine like stars to the world for Him. So if this is the case, why is the Church bouting over ordaining gays? It is a sin, I will get to those verses in a minute, just as drunkenness, drug addiction, compulsively lying, etc... So are we to ordain someone who drinks like crazy and will not get help? Should we not also ordain a drug addict who refuses to quit because his mom did drugs pregnant with him making him "born that way"? A bit ridiculous I know but I am merely trying to make a point. We will slip up here and there, the recovered alcoholic might take a drink here or there in a time of weakness, or likewise with the drug addict, but before they are ordained as a minister/deacon/bishop shouldn't these problems be under control and addressed? So I ask, what gives a gay person a special pass to not repent? A sins a sin to God. This day in age the church is making God out to be tolerate of sin and the Bible says quite the opposite from beginning to end. God cant and wont look at sin with favor.

Lets look at Romans 1:26-27 "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even there women exchanged the natural for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in there lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was do." I also urge all who read this to please read 1 Timothy 3:1-13 It is the qualifications for overseers/bishops and deacons a few are blameless, a husband of one wife, sober-minded, of good behavior, not covetous, not violent, not greedy, not given to much wine, etc.... Gods Word contained in the Bible teaches that the act of homosexuality is sin also called sexual immorality. I don't want a drunk teaching me Gods word, nor a drug addict, nor a gay. Not because I'm not liberal and not because I think its wrong, no, because Gods perfect Word tells me it's wrong.

I pray for all of us that God shows us the areas in our life that we may fall short of glorifying Him, and that He helps us and strengthens us to repent of such shortcomings. May all things be made perfect in and through you by the love of our Glorious Heavenly Father. With love and good tidings always

Saturday, March 1, 2008


"I wish my Dad's so-called wives in the past would have left for feeling unappreciated. Haha, then again, that was a different situation altogether. Mooching and no love between them, endless whining day in and day out... I know it's against God, but I doubt I'll be able to forgive her anytime soon. I think we all learned and got stronger from it though, learned how to deal with people like that."

This is a comment to my blog titled response to controlled chaos. First of all it is from a great friend of mine who I can also be glad to call family even if merely by marriage. Tommy Tommy Tommy, it breaks my heart to read it though, mainly the point I took the liberty of making bold and red so it sticks out like a sore thumb. No one is perfect, (Psalm 53:3) however that is never an excuse to knowingly or willingly go against God (i.e.sin). I do completely understand your feelings for B. for I know alot that she put you and your siblings through. I do admit that I do not know all of what you went through with her, and I do sympathize with you for the grief, heartache, and pain that you endured from her self-centeredness.

I had a step-mom growing up that I hated with a passion, I will not lie about those feelings. She did things that no kid should ever go through, I will not get specific, it will serve no purpose, and don't feel bad for me, its just another period in my life I had to go through to become the man I am now. There are still moments in my life I find myself reflecting back on those times with resentment and bitterness still towards her and my dad of which I get mad at myself every time I do that. For really what are those feelings going to accomplish? If I feed those feelings they will just grow into evil passions and desires. Right? Whatever a person feeds, physically or mentally, that will grow. If a person feeds evil passions and desires, should he then expect to reap of harvest of blessings and good tidings? Absolutely not, he will reap a plentiful crop of more evil passions and desires. Look at porn, look at money, look at drugs, they reap nothing good but only a lust for more and more. Galatians 6:7 "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."

Now I'm not trying to preach Tommy's head off (maybe a little) but simply trying to make a point scripturally. I love the fact that Tommy's statement said that he could not forgive her anytime soon, which is great, for than there is at least that chance that he will someday find forgiveness in his heart through Christs grace to forgive her. Jesus gives us a straight forward teaching on forgiveness in His sermon on the mount found in Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.(15)But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" Doesn't leave any room for "interpretation" as some might suggest, its pretty much to the point.

The biggest benefit to forgiving others who sin against you is for you and not them. So many times we think that forgiving someone who wronged us is letting that person get away with it and it not being fair. Let us approach as the Bible tells us, and forgive them for our consciences sake. We sin so much in our consciences and many of us don't know or realize it. Not forgiving someone is so much more a burden to you then them. You have been the one wronged and hanging on to that leaves bitterness, hate, malice, etc.... inside you which will grow as we discussed earlier if you feed it. So in not forgiving a person who has wronged you can do so much damage to you and your relationship with God.

I mentioned earlier that I still occasionally deal with those feelings for my step mother of long ago, as well as several other people from my past. Don't let the enemy get that stronghold on you. It's hard to forgive, extremely hard at times when the offenses seem to "unforgivable." I will admit it is not easy, and on our own we can not do it, yes you read right, on our own we can not truly forgive someone who has sinned against us. We have to give that over to God, for without Gods hand in it, we will and cannot truly forgive. He is the author of all, definitely forgiveness.

I would like to end this by writing a verse that shows Gods love and forgiveness unto us Romans 5:6-8 "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.(7)For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.(8)But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us"

My prayer for all who read this is that you may continue to grow in your walk with God down the narrow path which leads to eternal life. Forgive much so that you may be forgiven much, no matter how hard or impossible it may seem at times, remember that the Lord is right there and willing to help his children. For as the verse we just read tells us that Christ came when we were at or ugliest in sin and died for us to grant us forgiveness, how much should we be willing to follow such an awesome example in our own lives. Forgive much, Love much, and draw closer to God every day. Good tidings and love to all.