Sunday, March 31, 2013

WHY are people afraid of the concept of grace? In any other context, people would be flocking to someone who promised them something for free that they could never lose. I think they are afraid of what that promise entails.
Believing in grace requires much more commitment. You would think that it would be the other way around but it is not. When you believe that you can lose your salvation, it gives you power. Instead of fully trusting God, you take your future in to your own hands as apposed to putting it where it should be, in the hands of God. You feel like you still have some measure of control in your life.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."(Hebrews 11:1). Without grace there cannot be total faith in God. By not believing in grace, you are basically telling God that you do not trust Him. You are not going that extra step and letting Him know that you fully trust Him to guide you in all aspects of your life. Or more simply stated, you are afraid of total commitment (in my humble opinion).

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I perceive my brain as the ways of the world. It wants proof that God exists. It wants proof that God preforms miracles. It always wants to question my faith. Thank God the heart trumps the brain every time. In my heart I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God exits. In my heart I know that God answers prayers and is concerned with my well being. In my heart I know that Jesus has paid the ultimate price for all of us and that He has risen.
If you really think about it, your mind is the first place satan attacks. Everything that you see with your eyes goes to your brain. Since we wear the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17), we are protected from the insidious ways of the world. Satan will try and come at us through our hearts which are fully protected by the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14) so we are able to remain steadfast. That is why we must always put on the full armor of God.

Friday, March 29, 2013

I saw a debate on another page as to whether this is really the day that Christ was crucified. It doesn't matter. They are missing the point. It is what we believe in our heart that matters. It is a wonderful day that is also filled with tremendous sorrow. The wonderful news is that Jesus has forever paid the price for our sins, His grace is upon us. It also makes me sad to think about what He had to go through to redeem us. Even knowing what was going to happen, He willingly allowed the forces of evil to attack Him. This day that we commemorate with honor and thanks is also the same day the satan and all his minions will rue throughout eternity. Praise forever to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Erick Nelson - The Misfit

Erick Nelson - Soldiers Of The Cross

Erick Nelson - Picking Up the Pieces

Erick Nelson - Set My Spirit Free

Erick Nelson - Martyr Song

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Erick Nelson (with Michele Pillar) - Love Hurts

Erick Nelson - Jimmy

Erick Nelson - Jesus Is Calling

Erick Nelson - He Gave Me Love

Erick Nelson - Flow River Flow

Erick Nelson - Fairest Lord Jesus

David Zaffiro - Stay

David Zaffiro - Spirit Of The Lord

Idle Cure - From The Heart

Idle Cure - Come Back To Me

Where is the line between "compromising your faith" and "being open to learning"? Every generation has new questions about where the line is and how we go about defining our faith. It usually boils down to why are Christians not more accepting and understanding of the evolving morals of society.
We are not out condemning people for being alcoholic or for being gay (for example), we are merely pointing out that "the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). We understand that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In that context we are doing it not as a means of condemnation but to show them the grace of God. He has taken our place on the cross as a living sacrifice for our sinful behavior.
Somewhere in the last twenty years the lines have become blurred. The bible clearly states that homosexuality is s sin (as well as many other things). In the name of expediency or trying to be accommodating, it is still a sin (according to some, maybe) but who are we to condemn or pass judgement on someone? It is not judging someone when, out of concern for their souls, you compassionately point out behavior that will keep them out of heaven.
Medically speaking, homosexuality is the most unsafe form of sex that one can have. Just from that standpoint alone it is not healthy behavior. Sin has earthly consequences. Steal, you go to jail. Eat to much, you have health issues. Drink to much, you are susceptible to mental health issues.
Some people have that I have talked to say that they don't like to bring up their objections based on faith because the people they are witnessing to will become offended. I talk to people about Jesus as lovingly and as compassionately as I can and some get offended. Should I stop preaching all together? Should I try and find a more worldly way to broach the subject? Did you ever think that they are offended because you are using the gospel to shed light on their sinful behavior? Not as a means of condemnation but to show them the grace of God. Lastly, this is not about wanting equal rights, it's about getting acceptance from society. Just my two cents (or less if you don't like my opinion).

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Let's say, just for arguments sake, that I am completely wrong about there being a God (I know it's hard to believe that I might be wrong but it does happen. Just ask my wife ツ). That will mean that I "wasted" my entire life feeling a tremendous amount of peace, joy, and love. It will also mean that I will "waste" all of my efforts in caring and helping out others. Then, after a happy and fulfilling life, I pass away and discover that there is no God. It wouldn't really matter because I would be dead and I don't think my disappointment could trump that!
Now, let's say that I am right about God and Jesus (which, in this case, I am). You die and discover that there really is a heaven and a hell. Not Good. Of course, you will have the rest of eternity to regret it (and I don't say that lightly). If you want to talk about the scenario of nothing to lose but the whole world to gain, then this would be it. For me personally, I don't see this as a real difficult choice. Think about it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Idle Cure - Come Alive

Mylon Lefevre & Broken Heart - Waitin' On Heaven

Mylon Lefevre & Broken Heart - To Be Real

Mylon Lefevre & Broken Heart - The Light

Mylon Lefevre & Broken Heart - Broken Heart

Mylon Lefevre & Broken Heart - You Comfort Me

I wish I could convey to people the sense of joy and peace that I feel from God since I truly accepted Jesus. The human language doesn't even have words that could adequately describe it. People who have known me are probably thinking that I have always been kind of "out there" (well, let's be honest, downright nuts) or that I am just turning to God because all of the things that I have gone through in the last couple of years. They couldn't be farther from the truth.
The truth is that I have acted out because I knew deep down that even though I professed to be a Christian, I had not really dedicated my heart, soul and mind to Christ and I was miserable. I am not one for half measures. I am not ashamed to admit that I was scared that if I really turned to Christ I would be like an avenging angel castigating all around me for their lack of belief (OK, I was a bit of a fool as well). God has taught me humility as well as the tremendous power of His grace. Now, my only purpose in life is to bask in His love and try to do what I can to share what I have found with others. ♡
Why do anyone have to pay to go to college? It is no great secret that the vast majority of college professors are liberal. These same people who pull down big salaries will talk about how important college is, how the rich are ruining this country and how we need more people to be taught (indoctrinated) so that our country can grow. So I'll ask one more time, why isn't college free? If it's that important, and they truly believe in their lofty ideals (which they will gladly sell to the highest bidder), why are these bastions of society not teaching the uneducated masses (as they perceive it) for free? Can they spell HYPOCRITE?  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's funny that when I believed that I had to ask for forgiveness everyday for the sins that I committed I was miserable. I felt like a failure when I was listing all of my transgressions and I was constantly battling with my sinful nature. Then I heard the message about grace.
Now, I am at peace and I don't feel like I have a "license to sin" as some would have you believe. The exact opposite is true. I feel renewed and my inclination towards sin as not nearly as strong (not that I am saying I am perfect by any stretch of the imagination).
To me, asking for forgiveness every night was a license to sin. When you sin, just pray for forgiveness and everything is better. Now that I know that Jesus has paid the price for all my sins (even the one I have yet to commit), sin is much more repugnant to me. As usual the bible says it best "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Mathew 11:29-30).

Sunday, March 17, 2013

How can I re interpret the bible so that it is more relevant to me? A lot of people, whether they know it or not, are asking this question. If they are not satisfied with their actions or don't believe that they are walking in the spirit, they assume they are not doing enough good works. Or they assume that they must not be reading the bible correctly. They are looking for some magical phrase to say in their prayers as if God were a genie waiting to fulfill all of their wishes.
The only thing that they are lacking is a complete understanding of God's grace. He has done everything for you. When He said "It is finished" on the cross, that is exactly what He meant. Accepting His grace means that all you have to do is accept and acknowledge the sacrifice that He has made on your behalf. Reading the Bible and doing good works are fruits of the spirit when you truly accept Christ, but they by no means make you anymore saved. Nor do they contribute to some magical account that you have to accrue before God answers prayers.
When you have complete faith in God, that is when true understanding begins. I know that He loves me, and that enables me to trust Him with my life. Even though I cannot understand why he does or doesn't answer certain prayers, I completely trust "That in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)." So when you are beset by doubts because things don't seem to be going well for you, just remember ""My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Saturday, March 16, 2013

When something good happens in your life, it is solely God at work. When something bad happens in your life, it is always Satan at work. I used to believe that. Now? Not so much. Does God answerer prayers and lend a hand in times of trouble? Absolutely. Does Satan do everything in his power to cause evil and test the faith of Christians? Most definitely. The problem with attributing every action to God or Satan is that it negates free will. If I decide to go out and steal, I listened to the voice of the devil but my actions were my own. That is why God can rightly judge us for the choices we make (listening to God or Satan). 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Face To Face - A Boy Like You

Face To Face - Never Had A Reason

Face To Face - The Grass Grows Greener

Face To Face - The Day I Was Born

Face To Face - Some Stories

Face To Face - She's A Contradiction

Face To Face - I Believe In You

Face To Face - Ever Since Eve (Blood Gone Bad)

Face To Face - Change In The Wind

Face To Face - A Place Called Home

Iron clouds are shadows of the days to come,
when all lives will be judged or rewarded by God.
Days that have gone by are the days that are least remembered.
Time that has passed us by are times that will never be again.
A shadow of the future that is lost when we live for nothing.
A shadow of what will be is hope when we live for the King.
In Him we are one and in Him we are called to be His children.
Past, present and future times are only relevant when guided by His love.
When the skies will open up and all will rejoice,
In His wisdom and foreseen grace as all will abide,
When we forever and anon continue to seek His face.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Phil Keaggy - Strong Tower

Phil Keaggy - Be in My Heart

Richie Furay - Stand Your Guard

Richie Furay - Dance a Little Light

Richie Furay - Ooh Dreamer

Richie Furay - Someone Who Cares

Richie Furay - This Magic Moment

Richie Furay - You Better Believe It

Richie Furay - Your Friends

Richie Furay - Yesterday's Gone

Science is always good for a laugh. So they are sure they found the "God particle". As soon as they can tell us what created this particle in the first place, then we will be making progress. Of course, Christians already know the answer to this mystery. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1 NIV). This single verse describes the actual transformation of invisible energy into all of the fundamental physical matter (as summed up in Albert Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation) that would be formed into stars, planets and everything else - including us.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This is not the America that I grew up in. With every passing day our government grows bigger and our freedoms get smaller. We are just a means to an end. No matter what side of the aisle you are on, our politicians make vague promises to get elected and then break them the instant they get elected. I sincerely pray that this country has a revival of faith and we get back to our Christian roots. Then and only then do we stand a chance of reasserting the greatness that we once had.  
One thing I have found (as of late) is that I have little to no interest in politics. I just don't see the relevancy to me as it relates to my daily walk with Christ. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with people that do, but I have noticed that political interests have a way of interfering with my relationship with God. I noticed that people (even those of us who are Christians) almost take on a different personality when they start discussing politics.
Some of the most kind and loving people that I know can become very hostile when talking about political affiliations and issues. I have seen family members who won't talk to their own siblings because of which candidate they endorsed. It is MY belief that it is not beneficial to get so involved in politics that it interferes with our mission to witness to the unsaved.
Don't get me wrong, I thank the Lord that I was born in a country that allows us such great freedoms. I love my country and pray daily for all of our brave men and women who protect it. That is not to be confused with my disdain for our current political landscape that is filled with rancor and hate. Unless one is specifically called to get involved in politics, I just find it to be to divisive of an issue to be of any use in our daily walks.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Christianity is really the only thing that makes sense. It is the only thing that can answer the question "Why". Why are we here. Atheist's will claim that we were all just created as a random act of nature. Why then are we the only beings on this planet that are capable of rational (sometimes) thought. Out of all the living creatures on the earth, wouldn't it stand to reason that some other form of life would have the same capabilities for critical thinking that we have? It's almost as if some higher intelligence gave us guardianship over this planet (sound familiar?). "You [God] made humans ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under our feet: All flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas," Ps 8:6-8.
There is a purpose for everything. Nature works as an harmonious unit. If you change one thing in an ecosystem, you can forever change the environment and possibly destroy it. What is man's purpose as it relates to nature? Anyone? None that I can think of. The only thing we contribute is death and disorder. We are the modern day version of the Dodo bird. Or in the Star Trek vernacular, a dunsel (useless part).
In nature, if a species becomes to populous, it starts dying out through lack of food or some other natural phenomenon. If we were indeed just part of a natural occurrence our species would have died off long ago. We are beset by plagues, wars, drought, famine, and yet we persist. It is obvious to me that we cannot possibly be just a random collection of molecules that happened to spontaneously appear. It makes no sense whatsoever. Common sense tells you that we have to be part of a grand design. To think otherwise is to deny all reason and sensibility.    
Oh you vain and foolish people, why do you turn from me? Don't you see how much I love you and what I sacrificed for you? Your wisdom is consumed by your passion for your sinful ways. How long must I suffer your abuse? When will you see that all the earthly things that you strive for are destined to fail and dissipate on the winds of time?
My love is eternal. It will never grow old or fade away. It will guide you through the deepest ocean and light your way when darkness is upon you. It is a gift for all that chose to accept it. I paid in blood to take away all of the things that separate you from God and free you from your bondage. The only thing that I desire from you is to come back home to the one who will always be there for you. Waiting patiently, with arms wide open, to embrace you as I take in all your worries and turn them in to joy and peace.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

The one thing that is hard to explain to people who aren't Christian is the sense of completeness that you feel. I am not saying this out of some twisted belief that I think I am more righteous or better than anyone. The exact opposite is true. Just because you are a Christian doesn't mean that you are some perfect human being or that you you can claim any moral high ground. Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." No, it is acceptance of Jesus as your Savior and the realization that all of your good works are worthless as a means to get in to heaven.
When I wake up in the morning I feel just like it says in Romans 8:28 "We know that for those who love God all things work together for good." I have tried to fill that void with alcohol, the internet, video games, and a myriad of things to numerous to list. It always left me with a sense of emptiness. Now, I feel like a complete human being. I actually feel the love coming down from God in to my heart. I honestly feel a deep sense of peace in my soul for the first time in my life. A sense of purpose. A sense of belonging.
For those who are skeptical, or have tried to be a Christian, just a word of warning. This is the most important decision that you will ever make. If you try it without committing your life fully, you will be disappointed. This is not a "try it for thirty days and return it " type of deal. Half measures will only get you in to a lot of trouble. I know because I used to be a part-time Christian. After all, why should God take your commitment seriously if you don't? It is only when I gave myself entirely to Him, without reservation, that I was able to obtain the peace and joy that only He can provide.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Russ Taff - I Need You

Russ Taff - He Came Through

Russ Taff - Guiding Light

Russ Taff - Guiding Light

Russ Taff - Go On

Benny Hester - Step By Step

Benny Hester - Real Change

Reading the bible is like waking up to find that every day is Christmas morning. I am still amazed by he fact that no matter how much you read it, you will always find a passage that still has the ability to take your breathe away. Thanks to our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for always making every day a special one.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Friday, March 1, 2013

God's grace is the most wonderful gift ever bestowed upon humanity. It requires nothing but our acceptance. It is freely given and requires only that we share it with others. It makes the weak strong and provides light to those in darkness. Once you accept it, it will light your way throughout your entire life. It was given in love and that's exactly what you will get back from it. Love for others, compassion for those in distress, and the power over all of the ills that this world has to offer. There is not one thing that you have done before or will do in the future that is more important than embracing God's grace.
I never knew love before I met Christ
He set me free from all my anger and strife
He set my soul free and wiped my dry my eyes
And showed me how all of my life was a lie

Now I sing to the one who has given me all
The One who lifts me whenever I fall
On a shining path laid down at my feet
When the evil one was cast down in defeat

So lift up your voices and give thanks to the One
Who willing sacrificed His own precious Son
For His grace will lift you from sin's cold embrace
If you simply believe and give thanks for His grace.

Chuck Girard - When I Was Ready To Listen

Chuck Girard - Something Supernatural

Chuck Girard - So Thankful

Chuck Girard - Return

Chuck Girard - Old Dan Cotton

Chuck Girard - No, No You're Not Afraid

Chuck Girard - I remember

Chuck Girard - I know a lady

Chuck Girard - Callin' You

My heart is saddened by those who mock God. I wish I could share the feeling of love that I have for them in my heart or the peace I have in my soul that comes with accepting Christ. They see Christians as people who are subjugating themselves to a false idea or refusing to take acceptance for their actions by blaming them on something else. They could not be farther from the truth. We are people who have been set free by the truth, not enslaved or mislead by it. Mathew: 28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” God has shone the light of truth on my life. I have never felt more free or alive. I know exactly who I am and where I am going. That is something that you cannot buy, earn, or work for. There is no gift more precious than one given from the heart. When God allowed His only Son to sacrifice Himself on our behalf, He showed us the love He has for us in His heart. We only need to share our heart with Him as well. Romans 8:38-39 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.