Thursday, March 07, 2013

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking

When You Thought I Wasn't Looking
 

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew there is a God I could always talk to and I learned to trust in God.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, "Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking."



Who are you when you think no one else is looking? True character comes when no one is around to recognize you for the things day you do. Remember that you may be the only Jesus that people see. Don't blow the chance to show them how to live the good life. So next time you think no one is watching, someone just might be.

Monday, February 11, 2013

What Is Your Potential?

Pace vs. Potential

Have you ever noticed a strange thing when you get off the highway onto an off ramp or side road? On the highway you're doing about 100 miles an hour, and the speed limit on the side road says 60 miles an hour. You hit the brakes, and think you may have slowed down to 60mph. Yet, you're still doing 80mph. Horrors! You were sure you'd slowed down enough and yet you haven't.

You're experiencing pace vs. potential.

If you were driving at 60mph before you hit the off ramp, you'd do 60mph quite easily. It's because you were oh-so-fast, that you ended doing an 80. But how the heck are you going to ever do an 80 in your life, if you don't hit 100?

Because when you're on 100, even your hit-the-brake speed is a good 80.

People hate to be pushed

They want to go at their own pace. They believe they know what's good for them. Yet your life is like a car. You don't know your potential till you really hit the accelerator. You don't know how far you can go unless you hit feel the tires steaming up.

Look around you. The little ol' lady in the next lane is still getting to her destination, but she'll get there whenever. At her own pace. Pace is great. But potential, ah...now that's when you really know the stuff you're made of.




Which is why Tiger Woods has a coach

Which is why Tiger is the best golfer in the world. Because his coach knows the pace of Tiger. But the coach pushes Tiger to his potential.

The difference between pace and potential isn't always a big gap. Try it. It will make a world of a difference in both your business as well as your personal life.

Summary:

  1. Pace is good. But pace is you. And goodness gracious, you don't really know yourself as well as you think you do.

  2. Potential is when you hit the accelerator. When you find what is really possible to achieve. Once you know what you can achieve you're breaking the speed limit.

  3. Tiger is naturally talented. Yeah right. So are a squillion other golfers. The difference between Tiger and the others is Tiger doesn't keep to the pace of the others. He keeps stretching his own potential. You should too.
--- Copyright © 2001-2008 Psychotactics Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Scripture Study: Matthew 3

 Welcome to Matthew 3, we will read and give a summary and explanation, and give you meaning to the scriptures you are reading. Remember! this is a basic summary to give you an idea of what you are reading, if this interest you I encourage you to read commentary on scripture for much more in depth analysis but if you are looking to just understand what it is you are reading you have came to the right place.


The Preaching of John the Baptist
    1Now in those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
3For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,
  “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS,
  ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD,
  MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’”
4Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.5Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan;6and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.
    7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?8“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;9and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.10“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
    11“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.12“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
    13Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”15But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him.16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”




What is going on here?
This is a very pivotal part in the religion as a whole! This is the beginning, of the beginning of the ministry of Jesus. This, in a quick summary,  John the Baptist began to grow in popularity among those in Judea baptizing those who were willing in water, (before Christ water was the best thing to be baptized by because the Spirit had not yet come). Jesus comes and allows John the Baptist to Baptize Him because He was the closest thing to Christ at that moment. Even though John the Baptist felt that he was not worthy of the honor.

This can chapter can be broken into three basic parts: A call for repentance, condemning of those who do not listen, and baptism

It begins with a obvious and blunt statement “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” this needs no explanation, but yet it is one of the most difficult things for us to grasp, even after being told to repent we cannot, we ask for forgiveness but we don't repent, because repenting and a 180 degree turn in our lives, our lifestyles, our hearts, our motives and thoughts. Yet we ask for forgiveness but instead of stopping, we constantly find ourselves spinning in a 360. When we first decide to try and repent we have a fire burning inside of us to change, but as we continue to spin that fire slowly dwindles and Satan seems to be waiting right at that 179 degree mark. Waiting to give us a push and spin us right back into the position we were first in. And this is the dilemma of most Christians today. John the Baptist covers this and tells us how we can solve this problem.

We see in verse seven the mentioning of Pharisee's and Sadducee's, this is the first of many times you will hear of these to sects (groups). They are the two largest Jewish sects at the time and you will find as we continue read that these sects are not too fond of the change Christianity will begin to bring to the world (even before Christianity officially comes into existence). In this part in summary, He speaks of these two sects, coming along with others except they do not come to be baptized as everyone else does, but they come to simply watch, possibly for amusement or to figure out a way to put a stop to it. This is also a warning to come of what the sects will be like to Christ and those who believe in Him. In verse eight it shows how the two sects feel as if they do not need to repent because they are the children of Abraham, but John tells them that basically the family of God has been created but the requirements have increased from what they originally were and God is asking for His children to repent. And if they do not repent they will be cut from the Tree of Life or the family of God.

Finally John goes into baptism, he explains how he is baptizing is of water not of the Holy Spirit because that is only something God himself can grant. He speaks of the one who will come and soon be able to do that. And he humbles himself showing how great this man will be. When Jesus comes for baptism John proves all that He said when he tells Jesus that Jesus should baptize him. However Jesus allows John to baptize him to fulfill the requirement that righteousness that meant justifying sinful men, leading by example. Also it fulfills the requirements of any "servant" of God to be submerged in water and come up a new man. With this God began a public acceptance of His Son and with this very moment The Holy Spirit made it's first appearance into this world and little do we know that once Jesus ascends back into heaven this is what we will be left with until His return.

What Does This Mean For My Life?
This should either be reassurance for what you are trying to do or a wake up call for what needs to be done. If Jesus himself submitted to baptism and coming in a newness of life then there should be no excuse for any child of God. With this baptism we just as Jesus experienced can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is only with this gift can we finally escape the rotation after rotation of 360 degrees we continue to spin in. The cycle of sin. So this is something you must ask yourself, "Have I been baptized" have you went down a sinner and came up a new person?

Why should I continue to read?
Because it only gets better from here! We begin to read about Jesus and He begins to give us His wisdom we get to learn about the life of Christ, His ministry and His teachings. And even to this day thousands of years later, we are still in awe of the wisdom of Christ. And in reading what He has to say your faith in God will increase higher then it has ever been.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Get Up



All of us have had traumas in our life. Granted, some seem much bigger than others and we can all sing the "Somebody Did Me Wrong" song.

I believe these challenges are sent so we can learn how to get back up. They are to show us how much courage we do already have within us.

Some people have huge stumbling blocks or traumas at a young age, some in later years. If you look back in your life and see darkness, I implore you to look more closely.

You are able to look back - aren't you?
You are still here,
living, breathing PROOF that you were ABLE to Get Back Up.
Bless the dark areas and thank them for the strength that you now have within you to face the next one. Without darkness we cannot recognize the light. Walk in the light and bless the darkness. This way the new light will touch everything past and everything yet to come…

Burdens can weigh you down if you let them engulf you - so don't.

Always remember you Are Still Here so
YOU
Are Able to Get Back Up.
 


--- Copyright © 2006 Vicki Muller 
    

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Have a Child's Mindset

When you think about children of the toddler age, or are blessed to experience them yourself, you come to a realization that they are always on the move, never wanting to stop. They go through each day with more enthusiasm than a grown up can ever imagine and never tire. They coast through their early years often with no real trouble and usually with a smile on their faces.

Children seem to have something about them that we as grownups lost somewhere along the line. They have the ability to forgive quickly, not really worry about things and get frustrated over things, and just enjoy the simple things in life, while never taking them for granted. They never hold grudges and never hold resentments against someone, and if for some strange reason they do, they are playing and interacting with them the next day on the playground.

I had experiences with my two daughters when I walked in their room and they were in their cribs. They would jump up and down, screaming with happiness and great big smiles on their faces. I often wondered what they were smiling and happy about? Was it their birthday? Was it Christmas? Were we leaving on vacation to Disney??

The answer to those questions is No... It was not their birthday, nor was it Christmas and we were not going to Disney... They were just excited about the dawning of a new day. They are happy to embrace a new day and cannot wait to start it! That is where I started to think... I thought to myself...

Why can't adults behave like this?

When did we lose this zest for life?

Can we get it back and keep it?

Too many times as adults, we forget how to live our lives happily and the days seem to slip on by. Sometimes people tend to mope around, sadly to say, over a variety of things that are out of their control like the weather, or something that happened to them in the past, or even something as silly as someone talking about them at the water cooler. Sometimes, people live not just one day like this, but many. They do not know that they cannot get that day or days back... Ever! They repeatedly sob and sulk and in the interim, try to bring others to their level.

We are not on this earth to be miserable. We are on it for reasons: To take each day and make the best out of it. To face new challenges and grow from them. To spill over our joy and happiness in the event that someone else will be infected by it.

We and our emotions are contagious to the people that surround us, be it strangers or loved ones. Like the children that are on this planet, we need to seize the day. We are not on this earth for infinity, but only for a short time.

Today, go back to when you were a child and live without the troublesome melancholy that can seem to swallow you up at times. When you wake in the morning, don't be grumpy and sad because it is too early. Spring out of that bed and hit the floor running like the children do. Make your whole day a game of sorts, and when tomorrow comes, play it again but this time, do it better.

Life comes at you very fast and when it does, you have to be ready. Before you know it, your children will have children and your time on this earth will be coming to an end.

I do not know about you, but I always want to have the mental freedom of a child and will play this game of life daily. I will reflect back on my losses and not fret about them, but seek the knowledge I need so it never happens again.

What can I say? I do not want to grow up.


--- Copyright © 2010 Rich Barnes 






Thursday, January 31, 2013

The "Second" Ten Commandments

Thou shall not worry, for worry is the most unproductive of all human activities.

Thou shall not be fearful, for most of the things we fear never come to pass.

Thou shall not cross bridges before you come to them, for no one yet has succeeded in accomplishing this.

Thou shall face each problem as it comes--you can only handle one at a time anyway.

Thou shall not take problems to bed with you, for they make very poor bedfellows.

Thou shall not borrow other people's problems. They can better care for them than you can.

Thou shall not try to relive yesterday for good or ill, it is forever gone. Concentrate on what is happening in your life and be happy now!

Thou shall be a good listener, for only when you listen do you hear different ideas from your own. It is hard to learn something new when you are talking, and some people do know more than you do.

Thou shall not become "bogged down" by frustration, for 90 percent of it is rooted in self-pity and will only interfere with positive action.

Thou shall count thy blessings, never overlooking the small ones, for a lot of small blessings add up to a big one.

--- Author Unknown

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Are you the Average Christian?

Welcome to today's message! I encourage you Not to be intimidated by the length of Scripture below, I promise you it is not as a long as it seems, but if it discourages you enough that you are about to click out of the page please scroll below it we will cover the scripture in the lesson. 
I do not want you to miss out on your blessing!
Haggai 1
1
In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,
2
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, "This people says, "The time has not come, even the time for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt.'
3
Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4
"Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?'
5
Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, " Consider your ways!
6
"You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.'
7
Thus says the LORD of hosts, " Consider your ways!
8
"Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,' says the LORD.
9
" You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?' declares the LORD of hosts, "Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.
10
"Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.
11
"I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.'
12
Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the LORD.
13
Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke by the commission of the LORD to the people saying, " I am with you,' declares the LORD.
14
So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
15
on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius the king.
Haggai 2
17
I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.
18
Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider it.
19
Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.
20
And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,
21
Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
22
And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
23
In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts. 



What exactly is going on here, you might ask? All I can see is there is someone yelling at people, I think I saw something about temples, and purses but I was not too sure. Well let’s first give a quick recap, Haggai was a prophet from God sent to Jerusalem to minister and prophesize to the Israelite’s to rebuild their temple that was destroyed by the Babylonians, but in the process of telling them to rebuild the physical version of the church. He also says some chilling things about the spiritual state of the church.


"Well I've clicked on this link because it at the time looked interesting. But I don't know what this has to do with me so I'm probably going to read a couple more lines and click out.” Just like at the beginning, I'm encouraging you to continue to read. We are now getting to it.


This leads me to my point today, are you the average Christian? We find in modern times, it has become very easy to call yourself a Christian. And at some points in time, it might even be convenient to identify yourself as a Christian, maybe to spark up a conversation with someone you have an interest in, or maybe to get a job that you've wanted. But does that make you a Christian? Are you an average Christian? Now a days, we see people wearing cross's as jewelry and fashion pieces, we see people with the "What Would Jesus Do" bracelets not truly knowing what Jesus did in His span on this earth. We have Christians who have not been to a church more than five times in their life and have not prayed to God in decades. This person I have just identified, is not a Christian at all. This will be explained why later down.


I am going to ask you again, are you the average Christian? The next Christian I am going to identify with grew up in the church, or at some point in their lives were exposed to Christianity. And one of two things happened, they either went through the motions with church because they were forced to be there. Or, they genuinely liked what they saw, they really enjoyed themselves but because of something happening in the church or in their life they drew themselves away from God. Both of these people have prayed to God usually for about 1-5 minutes at a time, and sometimes even ten minutes on a good day. But they found themselves waking up for church service and going right back to sleep, and always finding an excuse not to go to church week by week. Then one day they look back and six months have passed and you haven't even said the word God from your mouth.


For the last time, I am going to ask you are you the average Christian? Some people pray, but they are not sure what they are praying for. Or only enjoy praying when it's time to put food on the table or a bill needs paid, but when everything is going well God does not hear from them, they identify themselves as a Christian and can even hold a slight conversation with someone about the Bible but deep down they don't know anything outside what they've occasionally heard in a sermon or two. This person is not completely sure they'd go to heaven when they die, at sometimes they aren't sure what happens to them when they die period. But if it was heaven or hell it would probably be a 75% at heaven they think. This person would die see heaven and say to themselves "I knew I was right"
Are you an average Christian?
If you identify with one of the last two you might just be.

In the book of Haggai when He makes the decision to speak to the Israelites, although in His case He was speaking to Jew's (Because Christ hadn't come yet). It is as if He is speaking to a nation of "Average Christians". He comes out in verse two and says  "Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built" speaking of the temple, which in modern times has become us, because of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." Haggai then goes on to say, "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?” He is basically calling the Israelites out for living in nice, "finished" houses living fairly comfortably while the temple is in ruins. It's time to call the average Christians out as Haggai did, as the average Christian it is a life being content with being incomplete, sold with being sinful, satisfied with living life stationary. Their spiritual life is in ruins yet they walk around with a smile on their face as if everything in life is okay, but deep down they always feel as if something is wrong...

So what to do next you might ask?


Haggai's got you covered, in verse five he continues with saying "Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways." It's time for the average Christians to consider their ways, consider the things that they do that God does not appreciate, the last time that they went to a party, or had a few too many drinks. The times they look at someone with jealousy and envy and covet the things that they have, the time they were lost in sexual immortality. All of the times they use God's name in vein without even knowing what they are saying. Or when they fail to show love to those who do not love them. The average Christian must consider their ways, are the things that they do contrary to those of God? Would the things they think or say be acceptable in heaven?

We come back for a moment specifically to Haggai 1:6 "Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes" This speaks of the largest problem with the average Christian. They always feel as if they have a hole inside of them, they feel empty or unfulfilled, no matter how much they eat they cannot get spiritually full. Even as they try to dabble in other religions and lifestyles to fulfill it, they try and drink, or in modern times use alcohol to drink all of their problems away but that doesn't work. They try and earn big bucks so that they can buy happiness, "maybe a nice car with a large house will do the trick for me right"? Yet they still feel empty.. Why is this?

Haggai 1:7-11 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands."

God wanted the attention of His people so what does He do? He causes a drought, He says how He called upon the land not to bear fruit under they rebuild the temple, He spoke of them sowing so much but reaping so little. The average Christian at some point in their life reaches a drought, a point where everything goes wrong, they are at an emotional low, they can't eat like they used to, conversation just isn't what it used to be, what they need they can't find, and what they find they do not need. God is putting them through a drought! Not because He hates them but because He wants their attention! God wants them to rebuild their temple to rebuild their relationship with Him, when they sincerely establish that, they'll be surprised when their drought ends. But I encourage the average Christian not to be angry that God is putting them through a drought. Be blessed that He loves them enough to want to have their attention in the first place!


Haggai 1:12-14" Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD. Then spake Haggai the LORD's messenger in the LORD's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God"

The Isrealites accepted, they said yes to the will of the Lord, and that is what the average Christian must do. They need to obey the voice of God deep down within them, as it says in verse 13 "I am with you" God spoke to them and He is speaking to You! God is with the average Christian, He was and always is, when they were out partying, drinking, showing jealousy, showing hatred or acting in sexual immorality He was there. And He has patiently waiting, to win their heart back. So what does the average Christian need to do after first examining their ways? They must say yes to the will of the Lord. Once they do that, put their faith in the Lord, your complete and unmatched faith into the Lord. Just as He did in the governor and the high priest, He will stir up a spirit in them. A spirit to help, love, pray, praise and the most important thing the Holy Spirit He will stir all of these things up in you and all that they have to do is tell Him yes!

Haggai 2:18-23 "Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider it. Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you. And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying, Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts." 

Once they say yes, Just as our God did for the Israelite’s He will do for the average Christian. The Word in verse 18 speaks a new foundation laid, the average Christian must lay a foundation of Christ, they must know what it is exactly what they believe in for themselves, not what other people have told them to believe but to go into the Bible, read and study. After doing this coming to a conclusion on their own building faith in our savior and a foundation to believe in. Once this foundation is made what did God do for the Israelite’s? He took the drought away, after speaking of the seeds of the vines and fig trees for the second time He then tells them that He will bless them and as stated before after He gets your attention the drought in your life will disappear too. It begins to wrap up speaking of the Lord overthrowing kings, destroy the strength of the kingdoms of heathens etc. All this is telling us is that if you follow through with the Lord, live the life He has planned you to live and are obedient to His word, you will have His favor, in every situation that you are thrown into, favor. He will deliver you time and time again out of situations that you thought there was no end in sight to. He will give you the blessings you feel you do not deserve, and not because you do deserve it but because you are obedient to Him.

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ" Jesus our Lord. 

 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

Romans 6:6 "We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin." 

When I told you to hold on after the first category of Christian it was for this. A lot of people do not understand what it is to be a Christian what does it means to be a Christian what is the difference between what was described and what was supposed to be. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says a new Christian is a new creation. They are out with the old and in with the new, if you find yourself doing the same things you've always done, giving your life to Christ and then going back to your old ways, or giving your life to Christ and finding yourself in a mix of newness and old ways. Then my friend you are an average Christian. Revelation 3:16 "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth". Anything less than "Hot", then a full committed life to Christ is lukewarm and will be denied passage into the kingdom of God. I do not have any intentions to scare you, only to inform you how serious and present this problem of being an average Christian as Romans 6:23 tells us sin is death, partial sin is death, if someone tells only lies in their life and someone else kills 30 people, they are both sin and they are both given death.

But it's not too late to give your life fully to Christ to commit yourself completely to Christ.

If you are interested in knowing more, satisfying this thirst you are beginning to have for Christ to your right there is a submit a prayer request button, click it. Fill it out with a sinner’s prayer and pray it. Leave your email and we will be in contact with you with ways to keep you consistent with your Walk With Jesus because we want to see all of you in the New Jerusalem. God bless you thank you for reading.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Scripture Study: Matthew 2

The Visit of the Magi

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: 6 " 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.' " 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him." 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The Escape to Egypt

13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." 14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." 16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

The Return to Nazareth

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead." 21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."



So What Exactly is Going On Here?
I'm sure as a lot of you read this you heard the cliche Christmas play story everyone hears of the three wise men. But do you know the three wise men were actually sent to disclose the location of Christ to King Herod, once King Herod found out Christ's location he would have the Child killed. Once again like we read in Matthew 1, Jesus is being attacked by forces of Satan before he is even born. But as the theme we see God stepping in and making a way, by speaking to the wise men they did not report Christ's location to King Herod, and God tells Mary and Joseph to flee the city, once again saving the day and keeping our Savior alive!

 When are we going to get to hear Jesus?
I can assure you that it is coming! We will get plenty of Jesus in the Gospels be patient and once we begin reading Him your mind will be blown!

Jesus must have really been a special child.....
Yes He was! It reads king herod killed all of the baby boys in Bethlehem trying to find Jesus, that was the sacrifice the town was forced to make for our savior. And they had no choice in it, imagine the sacrifices we face for Him today, a few hours on a Sunday and prayer at nights at the least for Him and we complain about that. Remember it could always be worse.

Okay.... So how do we not know that the three wise men already knew King Herod's intentions and simply told Mary and Joseph, and there was no divine intervention. 
Well first of all, remember from our Christ study outline lesson 1, the Bible is the inspired Word of God and remember, the Word is TRUTH, if it is written that is the way it happened, but if in your head it did not happen, notice the kings response to the wise men, he wanted to worship Jesus the king kept his true intentions to himself, it is only God who knows the motives and intentions of man. Who could see his heart not his tongue and disarm the situation before we were all banned to hell.

Why is this important to me?
It is important to you because it is the leading story to get to "meet" our Lord and savior. When you read a story, you usually have a prelude or introduction that tells you all that the author went through, to get to the point they are at when they decide to write the book, the book you are about to read. In this case in Matthew 1 and 2 we are reading the prelude of Christ, we our getting a glimpse of His greatness before He can even speak and before we have the opportunity to read anything about Him. We are learning of the spontaneous forces moving around Him that could be undoubtedly nothing but God. And in reading this we will grow a better appreciation for Him once we get to meet him later in Matthew and partake in His wisdom.

Why should I continue to read these "Scripture Studies" 
I understand that it is hard even with the best intentions to stay in God's word you find yourself determined the first few weeks then soon you look back after a few months and your Bible is in a corner collecting dust and you have absolutely no clue why it happened. As I've posted as a status on Facebook, Twitter and etc, do not make Jesus your New years resolution!!! They are always broken, instead begin to slowly and in a controlled manner ease Him into your life, because in easing Him in you begin a habit, a habit of His word, with the habit of His Word comes a Habit of prayer. With a Habit of prayer, comes a Habit of praise, because you grow to truly love Him and He answers your prayers. Coming in with all of these habits is a complete lifestyle change built upon Christ. So be patient with these Scripture studies, if you would like more I promise you they will pick up in frequency, but in doing too many a once a lot of people get discouraged and stop reading. But take it slow, and don't forget to keep moving keep pressing, and try and be a better Christian today then you were yesterday without putting off being a better Christian for tomorrow! God bless!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

God Is Never Wrong

 
God Is Never Wrong




We all came from love. We all came from our parent's love and most importantly, from God's love - unconditional love. Then one point in our lives we come to experience something that makes life beautiful, something that makes us believe that there is unconditional love. This love is God's love for us.

Since time began, His love for us is so great that it cannot be measured. I hear some people say that there is no such thing as unconditional love. Deep inside, I disagree.

Although I can say that sometimes I do not exhibit this unconditional love, I do believe that there is such a thing.

Although we sometimes feel that we don't have it in us, we actually do. We just have to dig it up. God gave us this love to discover and experience. It is undying love.

I am now in a relationship with this girl. I am very much in love with her. She is like no other person I have met. She is the loveliest thing in the world. She never fails to make me smile and make my heart flutter. Oh, how I always stare at her and smile. She sometimes gets conscious of what I'm doing and she does the 'covering my face with her hand' thing and she says, "Quit staring!" Oh, how I laugh when she does that. I love her so much.

One day, I decided to tell her something. Something that people don't really talk about. It was a sin that I do all over again. I was so tired of sinning that I really wanted to get rid of it. I wanted to be a better man. I wanted to be this better man for her and for God. She was my best friend and I wanted to tell her everything. Also, I read in a promising book that in order to conquer temptations, one of the keys in conquering this kind of stuff is to have someone to help you, someone who will listen, accept and pray for you. I believed deep inside that she'd understand, that she'd still accept me for who I am. Man, was I scared that time. I was scared of losing her. But I had to tell her. I believed that there was unconditional love within her.

I am someone who talks to God everyday. I asked Him if I'd tell her or not. Eventually he gave me signs that I should tell her. At first, I told her that I had something important to open up with her, that I needed her help. I told her that she might get disappointed or disgusted with what I was about to share. She wanted to find out right away, but I told her that a little bit later was the time. She felt a little scared, scared of what she would feel and how she would react.

The time had come, but unfortunately she was in a strange mood. She was not sure if she was ready to hear what I had to say and that made me feel discouraged. I thought to myself, "Maybe she doesn't truly love me…maybe there is no such thing as 'unconditional love.' I told her that I decided not to tell her anymore. It was time for her Psychology class and she had to go. I had to go home because four big tests the next day were about to happen. I felt so bad at the moment. I could not look straight at her. I was trembling with confusion. Our goodbyes felt very bad. I said to God, "Very bad idea… very bad idea." My eyes were slowly filling with tears.

On my way home, I sent her a message through my mobile phone. In my message, I typed, "Maybe God is wrong sometimes. Take Care.." I cried while sending the message. My tears blurred the message. I knew that deep inside I did not mean this. How cruel of me to say such a thing. God has given me more than I ever wanted and this is how I talk about Him? I was a fool. I put my phone in silent mode so I won't be able to see her message but I could not bear it. I had to see if she replied. There was a message and it was from her. The message read, "GOD IS NEVER WRONG! TAKE CARE!" I felt so bad after reading it. I felt like the worst fool on earth.

When I reached home, I was in a state of madness. I did not know what to do. I hated myself for saying such a thing. I wanted to tell her that what I said was not what I truly felt. I had no balance left in my phone and my folks were not home. I could not send her a message through my phone. I was desperate but then, my folks just arrived in time. But still, I felt that it was not enough. I felt that I should see her face to face and prove to her that she was right.

Suddenly, without thinking, a miracle happened. Deep inside my head, my heart, my soul I heard God and I said "I'm going back…I'm going back!" Suddenly, I felt new strength growing in me. Strength that would bring me back to her. I asked P20 from my mother for the fare I needed. It was the best P20 I ever received from her. I did not think twice. I did not change clothes. I grabbed my 'easy to wear' sandals and went off like a rocket. I almost forgot my I.D. and ran back home to get it. I was lucky that I remembered it before I got a tricycle.

Going to school, the ride was a scary one. The tricycle was a traveling at a speed that made you think if you'd be able to go through all of it…alive.. I was praying hard that nothing would happen to me and that she was still in school. (I had a funny feeling that their Psychology class ended soon and she went home already)

I said to myself that I would not allow myself to get hurt or die without telling her that she means so much to me and that she was right about God. I was fully determined. I arrived in school, rushing towards their designated room. As I was running by, someone called me, "Marc!" "Oh!", I said and I realized that she was a classmate of hers and I knew that big chances were that she left for home already.

I asked her where she was and she said that she left just a few minutes ago, but she was not sure which direction she went but I knew for sure that it was home that she went to. I saw other friends around and I asked them about her. They didn't see her. Outside school, just at the other side of the road, I saw her back. I prayed and hoped that it was her.

As I walked nearer, I was really praying harder. It was the same built, same hair but not the same bag. It was not her. I decided to go to where she lived. I would stop at nothing to get to her. If she were still not home yet I said to myself that I would wait outside no matter what time it would be. I would wait for her. It felt like a life and death situation. I knew that God was with me. I knew that what she said was really true and I believed that after talking to her and revealing the part of me that was wrong...she would accept me.. she would still love me. My faith at that time was so strong.

The ride again, was scary as the previous one. I prayed harder and thankfully I reached her home. With no fear, I walked into their compound. Her aunt was outside and she asked me who I was looking for. Her aunt called her and said that she had visitor - brave and humble me.

Her relatives let me in her house. She was now in her house clothes. Man, how happy I felt and how beautiful she was. She was in a good mood, a mood that was not a hostile one. She was surprised to see me. I was so excited to see her and talk to her.

She said, "Oh, what is it?"

I started talking. "I guess your teacher dismissed you early… I did not know what to do. I felt so bad. I had to do something. What I said, I did not mean it. You know that. I was at the peak of my emotions and without thinking, I just put it down. I cried when I sent that message to you. I knew that it was not true. I was a fool. When you replied, I felt at a loss. How stupid and foolish of me to say such a thing. When I reached home, I felt like I was going to die this night. It's a bit exaggerating but it felt that way. I did not go crazy though. But you know, a miracle happened. Without warning, with no reason, it just popped out of nowhere and I said to myself…I am going back!.. I knew that this was the road God showed me - the road back to you.. I had to get two things back. I had to get my faith back …and my girl…"

As our conversation went on, I eventually opened up to her and told her about the thing that I was supposed to share. I told her that I love her so much and when there are bad things that I do, I don't include her in those things. Anyway, I still was curious about her reaction.

She said, "Oh, okay." There was no disgust or discouragement in her face. Slowly my heart was beginning to smile. She said to me that whoever I was, nothing would change. She said that whoever I was, she would still love me with open arms and an open heart.

I was touched by what she said. I felt that I was loved so much. I could see it in her face. How lucky I was to have her. God really is never wrong. I'll never forget that day. I'll never forget the miracle, the unconditional love.

Right now, I am thinking about her. She is now sleeping soundly, maybe dreaming of life's wonders. We still are together and I am still continuing on my journey in becoming a better man. Slowly, I can see that I'm becoming a better person. I love her so much and I will always cherish her with everything I am.

"Treasure each moment, even the small ones, for in the small ones, great courage and big faith may be required. Treat these small moments like big ones and you'll discover that a small fragment of life means so much. You can't live life just hoping and praying. God gave us hands, feet, speech to do His will, to make his presence very much alive in this world. Fight for what you believe in, fight for love. Have the courage. Take the chance. Trust in God for He is never wrong."

--- Copyright © 2004 Angelo Duran