Light in The Darkness

But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.
I love the imagery of a lighthouse- the majesty and loneliness all wrapped up into one.  To look at a lighthouse is to look upon a sentinel erected to protect, save, and point the way. All who pass by are shown the way; they are given a harbor in a storm. Lighthouses stand alone in a storm, or on a moonless night buffeted by the wind, pelted by the icy daggers of rain- a light in the darkness.
I liken a lighthouse to the Christian walk. Some days we feel like we have it all together and the light of Christ is shining off of us with the magnitude of a supernova and others we are standing alone being pelted by a cold and angry storm. Yet we are still called to stand.
Moses was called by God to Stand up for the Children of Israel. He was called to tell Pharaoh on behalf of the one true God to, “Let my people go.”
Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”
God had called him to do a job and yet, Moses was afraid. Scripture tells us that he had some things to be concerned about. He was not Egyptian but a Jew saved from slaughter by his mother and taken in by the daughter of Pharaoh. That would be enough to concern me. But, that’s not all. We read in Exodus 2:
So he looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
Moses had committed murder and run from Egypt. He had stayed away for 40 years and made a life for himself and here was God, saying I am going to rescue my people and I will use you to do it.  Needless to say Moses felt more than a little inadequate. He (Moses) protests, argues with God, saying that he is slow of speech and holding to his fear that no one will listen to him; not the Hebrews and certainly not Pharaoh! As we read, God will have none of it:
So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord?
God is saying to Moses, “I am in charge here.” “Now go and do as you have been commanded.”
Before we fit Moses with a custom dunce cap, we should take stock in our own walk with the Lord. Have you ever run from a call of the Lord on your life? If you say no, then you are committing a sin; you’re lying!  It is hard sometimes to stand up when God tells you to.
As I recently told a friend, it is okay to be afraid. It is a sign of our fleshly weakness; it is a sign of our humanity and, most importantly, an indication that we need God.  We can not do anything apart from God. We can’t lead our families, have productive lives; we cannot do anything of real consequence if God is not with us. Those things we do apart from the will of God are built on sinking sand and will not last. As the poet C.T. Studd reminds us:
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
 So, how do we deal with our fear? Just like Moses, we do have some things to be concerned about. The world we live in is growing more and more hostile to Christians as it moves toward a more tolerant world view. Simply speaking the truth can get you ostracized at the very least if not jailed or martyred.
As with everything Jesus is our example. First and foremost, scripture tells us that He left glory coming  and  living among us to serve and the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He paid a debit that was ours to shoulder and saved us from an eternity apart from the father and he asks for nothing in return other than acceptance of His eternal gift.
Luke 12:48 [Full Chapter]

But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
 Jesus’ sacrifice alone moves us to action, moves us to share the truth of the gospel, moves us to stand as a sentinel, a lighthouse on the rocks reflecting the light of Christ in an ever darkening world. And fear stimies our action.
Jesus, on the night of His betrayal shows us how to deal with fear: by going to the Father in prayer and trusting His plan for our lives.
Luke 22:42 [Full Chapter]

saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”


 The Christian walk can be lonely and, in these last days, there is much to fear. remember friends, just as a lighthouse is built on rock to withstand storms, we to are held steadfast in the truth of Jesus Christ. Trust in His promises.
Matthew 28:20 [Full Chapter]

teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always,even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Grace & Peace,

Peace in the Middle of a War

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
It is dark outside and the darkness is closing in. I will admit, in the wake of all that has happened since I last shared my thoughts, the world at large has become a frightening place. It is, I suppose, no more frightening than  it ever has been; perhaps it is simply in sharper focus.
As a boy growing up in the midwest, I remember the thunderstorms. Because Kansas and Oklahoma are flat you have the advantage of seeing them coming. You could literally watch the horizon and see mammoth thunder heads marching toward you and you could prepare.
Jesus spoke of being prepared for the end times and His coming using the analogy of weather:
and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.
The Pharisees were searching for a sign here. In essence they were looking for a miracle like the others Jesus had performed. They wanted another show. Instead, Jesus rebukes them for their hypocrisy:
A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
Jesus is omnius here. As usual, He cuts through the menutia and gets right to the point by using that which they know so well – the Torah (Old Testament).  God used Jonah, after great protest, to deliver a final warning to the people of Nineveh and because of that warning, there was a great spiritual awakening in that city. The people repented of their sins and turned back to God. Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and Sadducees in a language they understand and  making a point; no more signs, I am here as your last warning. Stop being so outwardly religious and repent. The signs are all around you and you’re so busy doing right you’re not being right with the father!
That is the message Jesus has for the unbeliever, the hypocrite, ” Stop worrying about looking right, sounding right, and doing right and BE RIGHT! In a world that is less and less right, a world that is less focused on the God of the bible today than at any other time in recent memory, what message is there for the believer?

Isaiah 41:10 [Full Chapter]

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
 God tells us not to be afraid. But, you might say, as I have recently, “I am afraid!” When we are afraid, we must return to the truth of the scriptures. God’s promises can be trusted and leaned on as rock stands against the storm. So, as this unrighteous generation sinks deeper into the mire of sin and debauchery,  know the truth. God is in charge and he will help us, protect us, and indeed uphold us for He is righteous.
The storms come as the world system tightens its grip on the imagination of the people. Take rest in the truth that the world system is not in charge. God is and He has given us our marching orders. We are to go not stay, pick up our cross, not stand idly by. for those of us who are saved can not have our salvation taken from us; what of those who remain lost? Are we to forsake them to the devil and eternal damnation? No! we are to go forth with no fear.
Matthew 28:19 [Full Chapter]

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
 This course of action is neither easy nor safe but the consequences of inaction are dire. In  these last days, we who believe must proclaim the truth to all who will hear it Safe in the knowledge that God is with us. Scripture tells us in the book of John:
John 3:18 [Full Chapter]

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
If you are reading this today and your heart aches for the lost then take solace in Jesus and the peace that he brings. Though it has been said before, I will echo it again. ” I would rather go through a storm with Jesus than sail through life without Him.”  If you are afraid, know that I echo your fears but I also know that the promises of scripture can be trusted. As the storm gathers I leave you with this:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Grace & Peace,

Much Ado About Nothing?

Isaiah 9:6 [Full Chapter]

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
“Christmas is here and the world is in turmoil.” I heard that quote on Monday of this week and it stopped me; it made me think. isn’t the world always in turmoil? After all, the world is a broken place, separated from God – ergo, turmoil?
For those of us who have been saved, the above logic makes sense. But what of the world? When I say, “world,” I am not speaking of the globe but of the world system. A system that has turned its back on God; a system that would have us place faith in ourselves and the spirit of the holiday season. A system that goes out of its way to say happy holidays, season of giving, anything but Christmas.
The question becomes, who is right? As we watch the world work its way around the meaning of Christmas, and couple that with the state of the world at large; we ask ourselves is CHRIST still in Christmas or is the world right? Is our existence just about us? Is all this Jesus talk old and outdated? is it truly much ado about nothing?
Answering this question comes back to where we stand on the bible itself. Is the bible the complete counsel of God; divinely ascribed by human hands or is it simply an old book full of fairy tails and some good ideas for life? The world system believes the latter while followers of Jesus Christ believe the former.
If you are a Christian reading this today, I ask you to answer that question for yourself. ask God to search your heart this Christmas and show you where you stand on the question of Jesus, the bible and your walk with God.
The announcement of the birth of Christ broke a 400 year silence between God and the children of Israel.
For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
From that point forward, Jesus has been asking all people, Jew, and Greek, slave, and free to make a choice. It is a choice between light and darkness; salvation and damnation. That truth makes some people, even some Christians uncomfortable and that is is it is to be. Jesus said Himself that he did not come to the world to bring peace.
[ Christ Brings Division ] “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
Jesus came to force us to decide what to do with Him. He made the ultimate sacrifice. He gave up His glory to come to this cold dark place and shine a light in the darkness.
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
The world does not comprehend the Christ child. Nor does it comprehend His sacrifice for us; the truth that He who had no sin hung on a Roman cross and was judged in one moment for all of our sins. So the we would live. This is the gift of Christmas that the world makes less and less room for. Jesus and His persistent question make the world uncomfortable so the world shuts Him out.
There is only one way to God, through acceptance of Jesus Christ and His gift to you.
And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
You can have everything this world has to offer and without Jesus you have nothing but condemnation. So, is it much ado about nothing or is it a truth that the world must hear and decide upon? If you are not a believer today you have a choice to make. If you are a believer today you’re not off the hook you must choose as well. What do you do with the truth. You must choose to stand on the side of righteousness for any other choice has eternal consequences.
But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father Who is in heaven.
So we celebrate Christmas both believer and unbeliebver have a chocie to make. I have made mine.
Joshua 24:15 [Full Chapter]

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Grace & Peace,

Faith of Our Fathers

I am angry. How much more are we the people going to accept before we stand up and tell our leaders we will have no more? How much more are we going to take before we call evil by its name? For those of you who would say that Islam is a religion of peace, I ask you to prove it. To those moderate Muslims who have no part in the violence, I demand that you stand up and speak out against the atrocities. If you do not, you are complicit in the acts by your silence. I ask of the man occupying the Oval Office, please, sir, for once in 7 years, do what is right for America…..LEAD! Lead with our best interests at heart, not those of the rest of the world. The American people elected you. Although you are the leader of the free world, you, sir, are accountable to the will of the American people primarily and not the will of the world at large.

The world is a safer place when America leads: morally, politically, and yes when necessary militarily. While it is true that we are weary of war, those that stand opposed to us are not weary of killing us.

I believe that God almighty designated America to lead, not follow, sanctified us to be a light in a darkening world. I pray that at this moment we would find the faith of our fathers, the faith to do what is right and required. May we have the fortitude to do what is right, not because it is easy but because it is hard. God bless the people of France and God bless America.


9/11 Reflections


Fourteen years ago today the world changed; none of you need me to tell you that because you are all old enough to remember the world as it was. You were there.

Most of us led vastly different lives. Our children were young, our dreams were new and then, in a moment, like the New York City skyline, everything changed. Looking back at what the world was on that beautiful bright September morning all those years ago with its hope and promise and contrasting it to what it is today I remember the words of then president, George W. Bush who said, in a speech to a joint session of congress on the Tuesday following the attacks, “we shall not falter and we shall not fail.”

I wonder, on this 9/11: have we lived up to that pledge? Sadly, I don’t think so. What 19 Muslim terrorists set out to do that day, they accomplished. Oh, not right away to be sure. On the contrary, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks Americans stood united, resolved, it was something none of us had ever seen in our lifetime. There was no road rage, strangers greeted on another on the streets, our churches we’re full and the world stood on notice; America was that shinning city on the hill. But like steam escaping from a pot of boiling water, soon the pot was empty its bottom forever scorched by the heat.

I fear that is where we are today, a people whose hearts, like that empty pot have been forever scorched by the heat of a single moment it time. Looking at America today, 14 years later, as we prepare to sign a treaty or agreement with the world’s leader in state sponsored terrorism I must conclude that the Muslim terrorists have won. It took time to be sure. But that scorch mark, that wound, moved like a cancer through the foundations of our country weakening them until they eroded away on their own or were removed all together by well-meaning, or maybe  not so well-meaning leaders. In short our country looks like America, on the outside but on the inside she has rotted away and at its center – that wound that is 9/11.

I chose the picture below to accompany this post because it represents hope. America can rise again just like the flag but we must remember who we are. We are here because of God’s divine providence. In the words of President Regan, “if the light of freedom goes out here, there is nowhere to run to. America is the last best hope for the world.” We can not look to politicians we must look to ourselves. Kiss your children, teach them the truth and pray. Turn to God and ask for healing. We the people still have a voice but the hour is getting late – speak now. Change starts with us. We must resolve not to allow the great experiment that is America to be swept into the dust bin of history.  As long as there is one person who will humble himself, fight from his knees and then stand and be counted among the righteous we will rise up from the ashes, the scar tissue of the scorch mark stronger than the original tissue. How do I know? Because God promised it.

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
II Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

Grace and Peace,



Do What You’re Told!

[ Behave Like a Christian ] Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
Have you ever gotten angry? I’m not talking about ticked off or irritated; I’m talking about angry. The rage that boils in the pit of your stomach and becomes silent indignation so palatable that you can taste it angry. I have and it is not a fun place to be. I will admit that this week was one of those weeks for me. I began to truly notice the world at large around me and the picture it presented was less than pretty. The picture is that of a divided world. It feels as though the forces of evil are closing in on every side, leaving those of us who are called to stand with nowhere to turn.
It is in those moments of desperation that believers so often turn to the flesh; allowing their anger and frustration to win the day, they lash out. Let me say that this weeks post is in no way intended to be a reprimand or a rebuke, simply a reminder. As the world spins out of control, the words of Jesus echo in our ears:
[ The World’s Hatred ] “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
I believe this is more true today then it has ever been in modern history. Christians around the world are being persecuted and, by and large, their strife falls on deaf ears. When that fact is coupled with the random acts of violence that overload the evening news, the hate speech, and “Political correctness” that drown out the truth it is easy to see why we are frustrated as a body of believers. The devil is definitely on the march:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
How does the evil one do it? How does he frustrate us so? He makes us take our eyes off of Jesus. it is really that simple. When we do that we fall into his camp; we start arguing politics, we fall into senseless situations where winning the argument  is more important than being an  effective solder of the gospel and bringing the lost to the cross of Christ.
It is hard, of that there is no doubt. there are many times when it would be much easier to just give in and follow the crowd and many times we do. It is interesting that throughout the bible God refers to us, His people as sheep. a reference to sheep is made 200 times in the bible, 45 times in the new testament. 39 of those references are made in the gospels. We are the sheep and Jesus is our shepherd.
[ Jesus the Good Shepherd ] Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
Without a shepherd, sheep would graze in the same field until its resources were depleted and then starve; never having the sense to move to the next field over. The sheep need direction. Without the shepherd, when one sheep walks over a cliff the rest of the flock will follow unless told otherwise. Sheep need correction. Wow! that sounds just like people! We people all need Jesus!
The truth of the matter is, not everyone will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Jesus said as much Himself:
[ The Narrow Way ] “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because[a] narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Friends, we are in a select group and we have orders. We are told in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations. We can’t do that if we are busy allowing our flesh to have dominion over us and follow the lost souls over the cliff. We must endeavor to do what we have been told, pray always and keep our eyes on Jesus.
Grace & Peace,

Bittersweet Truth

So I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”
I was told once that is not a bad idea to watch the news with the remote in one hand and the bible in the other. It isn’t a bad idea. in fact when done in the spirit (with our eyes on Jesus) it can be a powerful tool in the prayer life of a believer.  As Christians watch world events unfold, it is easy to become discouraged and even disinterested. There is so much wrong with the world today that it often is overwhelming to see it played out in our living rooms on the nightly news. But I am dating myself. No one watches the nightly news any longer now, with the advent of the twenty-four hour news cycle, the news is delivered up to the minute. It is delivered on every device imaginable. In short, we can’t get away from the flow of information.  This has been prophesied by the Lord.
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
God had just put before Daniel a vision of the end times. He  then tells Daniel to seal the book; to seal what he has just been told because people of His time could not understand what God had imparted to Daniel. God then tells Daniel that in the end, many shall run to and fro and knowledge will increase. Does that sound familiar? As the old saying goes, “I meet myself coming and going.” Knowledge and the speed with which we live our lives has increased one hundred fold and is increasing by the minute.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I am in no  way attempting to predict the end. i will leave that to the prognosticators. Scripture tells us that is not for us to know the day or the hour.
[ No One Knows the Day or Hour ] “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
It is clear by the words of Jesus that no one knows when the end will come. God has not told us period. What He has done is given us signs, markers if you will. he has told us to be ready and watchful. If you wish to dive more deeply into the signs of the times, here are some scripture references to get you started: Matthew 16. Matthew 24, Matthew 25, and Daniel 9-12.
The question is, what do we do with that which we know? In my bible Revelation 10 is titled: The Mighty Angel With The Little Book. The Apostle John is told to eat the book held by the angel. He is told that the book will make his stomach bitter but taste as sweet as honey in his mouth. I believe the little book is the word of God and as we christians eat it ( read it, study it, pray through it) It should have two distinct effects on us. First it should thrill us. The truth that the God of all creation loves us sinners so much that He sent His Son to die so that we who believe may live and that our savior is coming back to rule and reign with us in His millennial kingdom should make our heart beat forth from our chest! That truth should give us hope and joy. It tastes like honey in our mouths. Second, it should bring about an urgency to reach the lost.
I speak often about the lost. Who exactly are the lost? The lost are anyone who has not come to a redeeming faith in Jesus Christ. The lost are non-believers. As believers eat the word of God if you will, we understand that there will come a time of judgment for those people who have rejected Jesus Christ. This is not popular today. but it is true. The knowledge that we as believers have of what is to come for those who do not believe should turn our stomach.
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
As I write this I am acutely aware that it is hard to read. When I tell you that it is hard for me to write, believe that. I know that there are many of you out there that have loved ones who do not know the Lord or they know Him but time and time again reject the gift of salvation. I know how painful this is and pray for all lost souls regularly and specifically for those loved ones in my own life.
For those of you who live through this daily; let me encourage you. God is with you. He knows your heart and the hearts of those you love. His word reminds us that it is not His heart that anyone should perish but that all should have everlasting life. Remember that God hears our prayers so PRAY!!
pray without ceasing,
Prayer is an amazing weapon against the evils of this world, use it! Pray for those you love to come into a right relationship with the Father and ask for Him to use you to that end. God bless you all!
Grace and Peace.

Freedom’s Responsibility

For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Have you ever been called out by a non-believer? I have and let me tell you, there is no interaction I can think of that is more uncomfortable. There you are on the highway taking you non-believing friend to church and suddenly someone cuts you off. Your blood instantly reaches the boiling point, you yell at the person in front of you; even though they can’t hear you and ride the horn. And then you sense you’re being watched. You look at you friend and see their face awash with judgment. While shaking their head in that slow disapproving way they say in the most sickening sweet  voice they can  muster, “Love thy enemies.”
As believers we are going to make mistakes; it is human nature. By nature we are sinful beings and as such we are continually tempted by our flesh. Flesh used in this context means human desires. When we as believers give in to lust, greed, pride, or in the above example, anger we are giving in to the desires of the flesh and not living in God’s will for our lives.
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
When we live in the flesh, in sin, we are no different then a non-believer. And yet, as believers, we are different. We are different because we know the truth.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God was there when man fell (See Genesis 3) at that moment we were separated from God and it was for eternity, except that our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally with a deeper love than our human minds can conceive. He told satin how it was going to play out:
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, believers, though we don’t deserve it, have freedom from our sin. We are covered and washed by the blood of Christ. While that is amazing to the point of blowing ones mind; use caution. The covering of Christ is not a blank check to live in the flesh Monday through Saturday and show up on Sunday for absolution.
This is a core complaint of the non-believer: the hypocrisy of the church. They will point out every failure that they see and say, “don’t judge me man. Take a look in the mirror.” As painful as it is at times to admit they are often correct. We are not living what we preach. I believe that this simple truth, is  the biggest hinderance to the gospel today. When a non-believer, someone who might be on the fence, struggling with eternal truth views their Christian friend does the life of the Christian live up to the words and call to repentance that spring forth from their mouth?
Is that too close to home? I know it is. There might even be some who would say I’m not being fair. After all, no one is perfect that is the reason we need Jesus. Followers of Jesus understand the freedom we have been afforded by His sacrifice. The point is, don’t  abuse the privilege. Think of it this way: if you were caught stealing and when you went before the judge; although the evidence against you was overwhelming, He found in your favor; you were exonerated. Would you go out and steal again? Maybe, but hopefully you would have learned. God wants us to use our liberty, our freedom from condemnation to serve others, not as a blank check to do what we want in our flesh.
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Are you a reflection of the spirit of God to this hurting broken world? We are called to be like Jesus, which is to serve and not be served. If this message has struck a nerve settle it with God. Then  turn your face toward the Lord, keep your eyes on Him and see what is in store.
Grace & Peace,

How do I get to Heaven

And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
There is a running joke in my house. Every once in a while, I’ll look up and say, usually in response to my wife or daughter saying that I’ve lost it, “It’s no wonder I’m a bit challenged, do you realize that the never told me how to get to Sesame Street?” With out taking up to many column inches on the subject,let me just point out that it is true. Millions of children watched that goofy bird lead all these kids and adults to this place. All the while, that song is asking its question, “Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?” It is a question that was never, ever answered.
All kidding aside, I see and meet many people who are desperately trying to get to heaven. they are searching for the way. They need directions and don’t even know it. They call it the path to enlightenment, spiritual wholeness, or intellectual empowerment. There are also those who don’t have a name for their journey; they just figure it is going to end in heaven. They say things like, “When I meet the man upstairs,” or, this is my favorite one, ” If the pearly gate is closed, I’ll go all commando, kick it down, and plead my case.”
The question is, do we know how to get to heaven? There are those who are searching for the way, those who assume they will arrive, as some sort of forgone conclusion, and those who have the map but haven’t locked in the address on their GPS. They are therefore wandering aimlessly about.
Unlike our friends at PBS, who left us searching for Seaseme Street; God has answered the question, how do we  get to heaven? The amazing part is there is nothing we can do to get there. There are no amount of miles to travel, we don’t need to map out the best route (because there is only one) and once we have accepted the GPS upload we are guaranteed to arrive!
Jesus tells us that He is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the farther except through Him (John 14:6). As I said, you don’t need to map out a way to heaven, there is only one. Someone wanting to ensure their passage into heaven must believe that Jesus lived on this earth, died for the sins of the world and rose again conquering sin, death, and the devil.
It occurred to me during a discussion with a dear friend recently that the there is a difference between knowing and believing and only the latter will result in heaven. during theses last days, I see many “Christians,” who are going through the motions: they attend church because their parents did, they think it’s a good idea (which it is) but there is no proof of the spirit in their lives.  These people may even be good people! That in itself is great! In this broken and often dark place we live, we need as many good people that we can find. The problem is, good people and church going folk don’t go to heaven; saved people do.
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
When we accepted Jesus as our savior, there was a transaction that took place. We came to the end of ourselves; meaning that we realized that we could not live in this world by ourselves anymore, we understood in a moment that alone we were powerless against the wiles of this world. There is a bible word for that: humility. Once we accept that without Jesus and His mercy and grace we amount to nothing; once we humble ourselves before the Lord of the universe we are saved by the cleansing of the Holy Spirit. From that point forward our lives are changed.
So, how does one get to heaven? We get to heaven not by doing as the “religions” of the world instruct. For the Christian there is nothing to “do” because it has already been done. Jesus has done it all in an effort to ensure that no one should perish. It is incumbent on us to accept the gift of salvation; just as the thief did in the account from Luke.
Luke 23: 40-41:
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord,[k]remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
In this passage we see the humility required to come into a relationship with Jesus. the thief recognized his sin and with a contrite heart comes  to Jesus as his only hope for salvation. Dear reader, if you have not done that yet, will you pray and settle your eternity today?
Grace & Peace,

Resting in the Arms of God

Psalms 31:20: 20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence
From the plots of man;
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion
From the strife of tongues.

There are moments – moments when we are so in awe of the Lord that we are afraid to move, afraid to speak, afraid to do anything but fall on our face in abject humility because, if we do anything less than completely surrender, we might mess it up.I am blessed to have several distinct moments like that in my walk with the Lord. The latest such instance when the presence of God was palatable, occurred a few nights ago while studying scripture with my 15 year old daughter.

As I watched her, she read scripture and took solace in it. She highlighted with perfect green lines, wrote in her bible, and asked questions. Then as we prayed together, something I’ll admit we don’t do as often as we should, there was a peace and understanding – all was well. Followers of Jesus rest in the presence of the almighty. No matter the storm, Jesus is there to care for our needs. It is such a blessing that the God of the universe would care for us enough to grant us His peace.  When I think about the sovereignty, grace, and mercy of God I am brought back to Romans 5:8:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We are separated from God by sin. This is an affliction that we can not resolve. God knows that and therefore sent His Son to die a horrific death so that all who believe would live. The peace we have in the Lord is a result of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. it is a sacrifice that we do not deserve and yet the God of the universe made it freely that we might come into a relationship with Him by His Grace through faith.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
What of those who do not believe? What of those that we all know who despite hearing the truth again, and again still walk away unmoved, unchanged. How do they make it through this life? it is interesting. Those who do not call on the name of Jesus still believe in something; even the atheist still believes in nothing. There is a bible term for that: Stiff Necked. 
[ Israel Resists the Holy Spirit ] “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Stiff necked refers to those people who have been told about Jesus, those people who have had the truth shared with them and refuse to believe. They refuse to accept the truth of the gospel. to put it in today’s terms these people are stubborn and while it is not God’s heart that anyone should perish.
2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
God is longsuffering. This is a wonderful promise for those of us who have loved ones that have not come to know the Lord. We rest in the arms of the almighty and pray without ceasing.
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,
Time is short and we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Trust in the Lord, hide His word in your heart. Carry on and share the good news with all people.
Grace & Peace,