The Disrespect of Our Disillusion

Tom sat with his head in his open, sweaty hands.  How could he have done this?  What prevailed inside his mind that would allow him to do such a heinous act?  He decided to pour a drink to calm his nerves.  He got up and opened the oldest bottle of scotch he could find.  As he poured himself a double shot, the bottle chattered against the glass.  His hands could not stay still.  His mind raced with thoughts of anger toward himself.  “How could you have done this”, he thought.  “What was it that brought you this far away from reality?”

In the other room, a young lady walked in with a smile on her face and his shirt on her torso.  She graced herself over, grabbed the glass from his hand and took a sip of the scotch.  A kiss from her was placed on his cheek with these words, “That was really special”.  He tried to muster a smile, but could not as he knew he betrayed his love, his wife and the woman before him wasn’t her.

Every decision we make, every word we speak and every thought we think, has a consequence.  Whether good or bad, every action, work or thought has a reaction, a consequence.  We may not see it at the time, but be rest assured, a consequence is there, ready to peak it’s head, like a viper when it is about to strike.

Recently, I have been an observer of social media and news agencies.  I have cautiously not opened myself to a specific political view, social movement or radical divide.  Day by day, I have seen many people, good people, begin the process of drawing a hypothetical line in the sand declaring where they stand and what they believe.  Whether it is about which political candidate you like or whomever lives matter, many of us are going out of our way to declare what we believe to be the truth.  We have been convinced of our reality no matter how disillusioned we are.

This disillusionment has caused us to become a divided nation.  A nation where all conflicting  testimonies are correct, truth has become irrelevant and division among people groups are growing at a rapid pace.  Conflict is on the rise while love is declining into extinction.  All over the news and social media we see the results of this lack of love and increase of hatred and rebellion.  Many have taken to the street to protest in ways that breaks out in violence, fist shaking and gnashing of our teeth.  So how did we get here?  What caused us to be in this global predicament?  Was it a specific people group, ideology or is it human nature to destroy oneself?

Both Christian and Atheist, Buddhist and Islamic, Jew and Greek, have bought into this disillusionment, making each other vulnerable to prejudice and exposure.  We all have allowed our society to fall into an illness that can be likened to terminal cancer.  If we do not turn away from what we have become, we will ultimately bring ourselves into the chasm of death and be buried in the annals of history lost.

Unfortunately, most will exclude this writing as nothing more than someone who is disgruntled or upset with others behaviors without looking at themselves.  Let me make this disclaimer.  What I am bringing up has nothing to do with you or someone else.  It has to do with us.  We are the problem.  All of us are feeding the beast of this culture.  We all are to blame.  No matter our background, no matter our skin color, no matter who we think we are, we are all to blame, including me.

History has shown that when a nation is divided, then that same nation falls at the hands of others not of the same mindset.  Our own history shows how divided we were but the declaration of United We Stand was the war cry for change.  Today that war cry has gone unheard and ignored.  We have become the nightmare of countries and the falsehood of hatred.   Change is inevitable but it doesn’t have to be negative.  A positive change can happen, but it cannot start with us.  It cannot start with any other person from any other nation.  It can only happen when we reserve ourselves to allow the Gospel of Jesus Christ to transform our lives.

“…we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit,[b] as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth…” – Colossians 1:4-6 (NKJV)

It is the Gospel that changes lives.  It is the Gospel that bears fruit in our lives.  Only the Gospel can change our hearts and minds to unity and progress.  Because we have forsaken the Gospel, we have forsaken our Creator.  Because we have forsaken the Gospel, our lives are deteriorating into the very pit of Hell.  We have allowed sin to overtake our lives and become our slave master.  We have forsaken the freedom of loving others the way Jesus Christ loves us.  So what is sin compared to salvation in Jesus Christ?

Sin is the chain maker.  Salvation is the chain breaker.  Sin binds us to things.  Salvation frees us.  Sin tells us we are worthless.  Salvation tells us we are worth more than we realize.  Sin leads to death.  Salvation leads to life eternal.

No matter how you feel about society, no matter how you feel about the current social, economic or political environment, sin is the reason we are where we are today.  It has been used by Satan to ensure that our lives are chained to the slavery and division.  Sin has placed in our hearts that some lives matter while others do not.  Sin has told us that one person is a liar and the other is a scam artist.  Sin informed us that one group of people are to blame for the ills of our society.  Let me make sure I am very clear.  Satan is using our sinful lives to bind us, destroy us and ultimately convince us to reject our Creator.

In the words of the famous theologian Francis Schaeffer “How then shall we live?”

“…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, 12 so that you will [i]behave properly toward outsiders and [j]not be in any need.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

“19 [a]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” – Matthew 28:19-20

These two passages show us what our lives are really about.  These passages show us that our goal is to live a quiet life, mind our own business and work with our hands.  We are to be productive, kind, loving and ready to serve others.  We are to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ by our testimony.  We are to make disciples, not division.  We are to do the work that has been commanded to us.  Did you notice that?  Both of these were commanded.  They were not suggestions.  These are things we are to do.

What I will say next is for those who claim to the servants of Jesus Christ….

WAKE UP CHURCH!  We are not doing what God has commanded us to do.  We do not love others when we bash our government leaders and others via social media.  We are not living how God commanded us to live when we shout from the mountain top about our rights and forget to love those who are lost.  We are living in sin if we do not do the things commanded us.

Our goal in this life is to spread the love of Jesus Christ and make disciples.  That’s it!  We may have the “American right” to speak our peace, but is that the way Jesus handled it?  He didn’t go after the political leaders, he went after those who claimed to be His.  He toppled the tables and drove the money changers away because they had no respect for where God’s people gathered.  He didn’t go after the Roman government or voice his discontent with Caesar.  He simply served others, drew people to Himself, showed them compassion and reprimanded the religious leaders who were enslaving their own people with rules and regulations.

The good news about all of this, is we still have time to turn to God.  We NEED to turn back to God and repent of our lack of love.  We NEED to repent of our sin of division and disrespect.  This country CANNOT change unless Jesus Christ is involved and this country CANNOT change unless WE (the Church) repent of our sin and change how we do things.

If we (the Church) do not change, our country will run the high risk of extinction.  The United States is not mentioned in Scripture nor is it implied.  The United States is not the center of this world but God has used us to further His Gospel all over the world.  His Gospel is the center of all creation, not us.

I hope you understand the tears I shed for us.  I pray that we all change our current travels on the wide path (which leads to destruction) and turn toward the narrow path (which leads to life eternal).  Only Jesus Christ and His Gospel will change us.  Please join me in repenting of our sin and making a positive difference by refraining from passionate division and disrespect.

May God have mercy and grace on us as we all seek to change the direction of this country toward Him.  God bless and encourage someone today.


What is Your Greatest Passion? – Greatest Life Series Pt. 2

When you think of the word “passion”, what do you think of?  Do you think about the movie where two people have a “passionate moment”?  What about business?  Have you ever heard of someone pursuing their “passion” and being successful?  Now think of those who are in the news yelling and screaming about change.  Aren’t they described as being “passionate”?  In my opinion, the word “passion” is grossly overused and totally misunderstood.

Recently, I was speaking with someone regarding a situation where they upset me.  As loving as I could muster, at that time, I asked the individual several questions, asking them to explain their actions.  Their response to me was, “I can hear your passion.”  After think about this for a moment, I thought to myself, “This isn’t passion.  This is being pissed.”   If it was “passion”, my strong desire would have led me to do something that I would probably regret.  Luckily for everyone involved, we were able to come to an agreement that we would never agree.

The term “passion” is used for so many things.  When someone voices their anger, we call it passion.  When someone pursues their dreams, we call it passion.  When someone is in “love” or “lust”, we call that passion.

So what is passion?  In the simplest of terms, passion is an overwhelming desire that leads one to action.  This could be negative or positive action, but in all cases, the overwhelming desire leads to action.  What is your greatest passion?  What are you so excited about that it led you to action?  Not just saying words, but actual action?

In Scripture, we see a verse that so many people in our culture have become familiar with…

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son.  That whoever believes in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

Have you ever thought about this in detail?  Have you ever considered its implications?  If not, let me share some quick thoughts.

First, this verse says that “God so loved the world…”  In the Greek, the word “loved” translated from the word “agapos”.  We get the term “agape” or “unconditional” from this word.  It is a form of decided unconditional love.

Second, what did this “agape” love trigger?  “…that He gave His only Son.”  Did you catch it?  The God of the all creation unconditionally loved us so much that it led Him to action, to send His only Son.  God was so passionate about us, that it led him to act accordingly.  What’s even more mind blowing is this verse:

“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.  This command I received from my Father.” – John 10:17-18

Isn’t that amazing?  After John wrote how much God passionately loved the world, Jesus confirms this with stating, “No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”  Jesus was so obedient to the Father, that He too passionately loved the world.  So much so, that He gave His life up for us.

Think of it this way.  God (Father) passionately loved us so much that He gave His Son (Jesus).  Jesus passionately loved the Father and the world that He gave His life up by his own willingness.  He wasn’t surprised to see Judas and the soldiers when they came for Him.  It wasn’t unexpected when they beat Him and cursed at Him.  He wasn’t surprised or shocked when He hung on the cross and suffered.  In fact, it was Jesus who asked the Father to forgive us, because we didn’t realize what we were doing.  Jesus was passionately in love with you and I.  His love led Him to action.

So, what is your greatest passion?

Maybe, you love your career so much that you work as much as you can.  Is it possibly your kids or spouse?  You desire to spend as much time with them that even your work schedule revolves around them?

Whatever, your “passion” is, may I suggest that if you are not passionate about Jesus Christ, you are not living your “greatest life”?  We all have dreams and goals.  We all want to achieve the best for our families.  We all desire to be the best, but without Christ, our lives won’t be the greatest they can be.

As I stated earlier, Jesus was so passionately in love with the Father and us, that He gave His life for us.  It is because of Christ and Christ alone, that we can go to the Father and worship.  It is because of Christ alone, that we can pray with confidence.

We call the time surrounding Easter, “The Passion of Christ”.  This proves that our understanding of what passion is, is correct at times.  Those who termed that time of the year understood that His love for us was so great, so real, it led Him to take action.

We didn’t deserve His passionate love and still don’t.  Yet, Christ in all His understanding decided to love us with action.  So what should our response be?

I don’t know about you, but for me, our response is logical.  We should respond to Christ by accepting His free gift of eternal life.  Then once we do that, He places a “passion” in us to serve the Father.  That “inserted free passion” allows us show the love of Christ to others through action.

“Faith without works, is dead.” – James 2:17

Are we acting in a way that shows the passionate love of Christ?  Do we say things that show others how passionately in love He is with them?  When we take this perspective of Christ’s passion for us, we see the world differently.  We see what others can be in Christ, rather than who they are.  We act in love toward others, caring for them in every way.  Not just those we like, but also to those who hate us.

Living your greatest life, must include the passion of Christ.  Living your greatest life must include loving others like Christ loves us.  Living your greatest life must include a living, breathing, action packed life that displays the supernatural change that only God can do through Christ.  Live your greatest life and make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.  He passionately loves you.  What’s your action toward love going to be?

The Totally Tolerant Turmoil (Thinking Challenge #5)

It’s all over the news.  No matter where you turn the “tolerant” are claiming intolerance for those with opposing views.  In recent days, the upper management of Chick-fil-A was explaining his view on marriage.  Suddenly, the torrents erupt, the hillsides crumble and everyone cries, “Intolerant fools!”  However,  what is tolerance how is it used today?

If we look in the dictionary, one of the definitions of tolerance is the following:

  • a sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.

Basically, it is a mutual respect to allow others to disagree with each other.  It is not about right or wrong but simply differing / opposing arguments.  Can this deal with right or wrong issues?  Absolutely.  So what’s with all the intolerance with our society?  In order to understand our current society, we must also see where “tolerance” is preached.


According to the Human Rights Campaign website, they state the following:

“HRC advocates on behalf of LGBT Americans, mobilizes grassroots actions in diverse communities, invests strategically to elect fair-minded individuals to office and educates the public about LGBT issues.”

Did you see that?  They mobilize grassroots actions in diverse communities.  However, when Chick-fil-A made a statement about marriage, they were one of the first organizations to boycott the restaurant chain.  They claimed Chick-fil-A stated hateful words toward the LGBT agenda.  You mean they have an agenda?  Sure, it’s on their website.  It states that they “invests strategically to elect fair-minded individuals to office and educates the public about LGBT issues”.

Their entire purpose is to ensure that elected officials are on their side and their cause.  Is that truly tolerant?  If the HRC would have actually read what the Chick-fil-A management said, they would have understood the true context of the statement.  

Here is a link to the actual article:

So, what was actually said?  According to the Baptist Press, Chick-fil-A started a college scholarship that encouraged people becoming winners in life.  It then “”That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries”.  When asked about their view on marriage, Dan Cathy stated his opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Dan Cathy also stated that he was proud to live in a country where we can all express our views.  So I ask you, which organization sounds like one who is tolerant?  Which organization verbally attacked who?  Which organization is going out of their way to boycott another opposing view?

The LGBT agenda states to have a view of tolerance, but I think it is very clear that their tolerance is lacking.  They oppose anyone who states an opposing argument to theirs and goes out of the way to ensure that elected political figures see their point of view.  Any other view is considered hate speech.

In fact, several news agencies have publicly stated that politicians can block other openings of Chick-fil-A because of their view.  Now I ask, who is tolerant of who?

There is no such thing as tolerance in our society mainly because of the intolerance of organizations that promote hatred toward another’s beliefs.  Have some Christian organizations shown that in the past?  Sure, but they are few and far between.  However, no matter the LGBT organization, the instant someone says, “Marriage is between one man and one woman”, the dragon is let loose and fire is rained upon anyone who believes otherwise.

I suggest that ALL NEWS AGENCIES that report about Chick-fil-A, better have a solid, well-rounded article.  Otherwise it is they that are part of the intolerance and hatred toward Christianity.  May God have mercy on us all.

God bless and think today.

The Irrevocable Promise…

When you were a child, did you ever make a promise?  Did you say, “If you do this or that, I promise to repay you”?  Maybe you said to your parents, “I promise to clean my room”, even though it was just because you wanted to go out with your friends.

This habit typically continues in our adult life as well.  We promise our bosses to do better, when they say we aren’t doing a good job.  We make promises to God in fear that He might discipline us so harshly that we may not be able to handle it.

The human condition is one that protects itself from danger.  It is a condition that we inherit from our parents.  In fact, if you watch how children interact, you will find out that as soon as they are able to communicate in sentences, they will say, “I promise….PLEASE” for almost everything just to get what they want. So how does God feel about promises?  Does God promise us things just for His wants?

Romans 11:25-32 speak about promises that God made that are considered irrevocable.  This basically means that no matter what people think or what they do, these promises do not and will not change.  Here is the passage:

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

‘The deliverer will come from Zion;
    he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
 And this is my covenant with them
    when I take away their sins.’

As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.  Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”

Why would Paul write to the church in Rome about Israel?  At that time, the Gentile believers were being inundated with various teachings.  One of those teachings was about circumcision.  There was a group of Jewish believers that taught circumcision was required for salvation.  Another group taught that the time of the Jews salvation was over and only Gentiles could be saved.  Yet another group taught to follow the teachers rather than the Scriptures.  All of this caused confusion and tension between various believers.

Paul was not only taught by Gamaliel (still considered to be the wisest of all rabbis), but was also a Roman citizen.  Paul had gone to Rome to spread the Gospel.  As Paul understood Roman law as well as the Mosaic laws, he was in the best position settle this argument.

He starts out by mentioning that no one should be ignorant on this subject.  Everyone needs to understand what he was about to teach.  Paul wanted to ensure all people had a clear, cut understanding of the position of both Israelites and Gentiles.

Israel has been hardened to the Gospel “for a time”, not forever.  One day, Israel will recognize her Messiah and return to Him.  When will this happen?  After the last Gentile becomes a believer.

“Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” – Romans 11:26a

There will come a time when Gentiles will no longer become believers.  Only God knows how many and we must recognize that our time is short.  Therefore, it is essential for all of us to share Christ with those who haven’t heard yet.  We know from Scripture that there will be representation from “every nation and language”and that the number of those people cannot be counted by man.  However, there are a specific number of Gentiles that will be saved.  Once that occurs, Israel’s eyes will be cleared and she will understand who her Messiah really is.

What I found interesting in this passage was the fact Paul says, “…for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable”.  WHAT A PROMISE!  No matter what we think or do, God’s gifts cannot be returned, destroyed or forgotten.  They are irrevocable!  But it gets even better.

Paul explains that God allows the evil in this world to happen because He desires to show His mercy.  “Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their (Israel’s) disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you.  For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy n them all.”

When we sin, we prove this Scripture over and over again.  Is this to say we should continue in sin?  Absolutely not!  In fact, understanding this and taking it to heart should draw us closer to the Scripture and away from sin.  In fact, when we see the sin happening around the world, we should rejoice because God is showing His mercy by not annihilating everyone of us.

One day Israel will recognize who their Savior is and we as Gentiles should not think of ourselves any more highly than them.  We should desire to share the Gospel with those of Abraham’s decent as to complete the task we have been given…to share the Gospel with everyone.

Remember, God’s promises are irrevocable.  They can never be changed.  God bless and encourage someone today.

I’m Right Because I’m the Dad!!!

In the daily walk of life, rearing a teenager is a difficult task.  Many times, it appears that no matter what you do or say, the lessons of life never seem to enter the sponge-filled teenage mind.

If you are like me, I have a teenager who is very typical.  He wants to be accepted by his peers, impress girls and be electronically connected to his online social world.  However, many times, these outlets are the very things that get him into trouble.

Recently, my son lied to me the night before regarding his iPod.  Our normal routine is to store his iPod at night so that he isn’t up until all hours of the night and gets a good night rest.  When I got home from work the next day, my son apologized to me without me having to say a word.

I explained that I was upset but accepted his apology.  I asked him for his iPod.  He then argued (a bit) and did not comply with turning off his iPod.  My wife and I confiscated the device when he blurted out, “Oh there’s a picture of something that I need to delete from my friend.”  Immediately, I knew what it was.  Without getting loud, I said to myself, “I will be a better dad and not yell.”  I turned to him and actually said, “No worries.  Just do what you need to do.”

My wife and I were both curious as to what he had a picture of.  I got the iPod and started my regularly unscheduled inspection.  As I went through the pictures, I didn’t notice anything that was out of place.  It was the usual pictures of sports figures, sneakers and snapshots of games that he has played.  Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary.  We both thought that we were wrong in our assumption.  During the inspection, I accidentally came across an area where a number of web pages were showing open.  It was there that I found the picture he so desperately wanted to erase.

I confronted him and told him that he was being cut off from the iPod and would not be able to go onto the Internet unless he was in a “public” place.  He knew he had done wrong.  The look on his face said it all.  I explained to him that I must follow through with what I told him on previous days as I am the dad and am responsible for teaching him how to live life correctly.  So far it all sounds good right????

After reprimanding my son, my wife pulled me aside and said, “How could you give him such a harsh punishment when you, yourself have had issues in this area?”  I said, “I have to follow through and show him that I mean what I say.”  She turned and said, “Okay, but just remember that when you fall into temptation.”

It didn’t take long.  That night I allowed sin to be in command of my life.  As I sat wondering what was going on, God said to me, “Do you remember the story of the unforgiving servant?”  I responded, “Yes.  It was where he was forgiven for a debt he couldn’t ever pay yet didn’t forgive his servant who owed him a small amount of money.”  Gently the Lord then said, “Do I need to say more?  You are doing the same thing to your son.”

Here is the story I was reminded of:

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.  “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.  When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.  And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.  So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’  And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.  But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.  And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’  And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” – Matthew 18:21-35 (ESV)

God had taught me that night that He forgave me for a debt that I could never repay.  No matter how hard I work or how hard I try, the debt of sin could never been repaid by me.  God forgave me of this insurmountable debt.

The next evening, I pulled my son aside and said, “Son, God reminded me that sometimes I do the very things that I tell you not to do.  That makes me a hypocrite.  He also reminded me that He forgave me of my sin, so I need to forgive you.  If God disciplined me for every sin I ever committed, my life would be miserable.  I am giving you the iPod back with the understanding that you need to work on this area in your life, just like I do.”

His immediate response was, “Dad, I don’t want it back.  I don’t feel like I deserve it.”  I knew at that moment that he was truly sorry for what he had done.  I said, “That’s fine, but when you want it, it’s here.”  Later that night, he said, “Can I have my iPod back?”  Without hesitation I gave it back to him for a couple of hours.

God showed me over those few days, that I need to forgive my son just as God forgave me.  He also taught me that I have areas I need to work on before disciplining my son in those areas as well.  I thought to myself, “I’m right because I’m the dad.”  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  I wasn’t right.  God took that opportunity to humble me and remind me of the forgiveness He gave to me.

I am glad that God doesn’t discipline me every time I sin.  If He did, my life would truly be a horrible existence.  There are times God disciplines me, especially when I am not listening and I discipline my son for that reason as well.  However, as a parent, I wonder how many times we do “hurtful” discipline rather than “forgiving” discipline.

In life, disciplining our children is necessary.  However, as they get older, I am finding that discipline changes.  When they are small a smack on the hand or butt usually does the trick.  But when they are old enough to reason, then discussing the situation and finding a solution may be discipline enough.  As parents, we need to remember the forgiveness that God gave to us as a gift and treat our children the same way.

Remember, just because we are parents, doesn’t always mean we are correct.  God bless and encourage someone today.

Don’t Be an Ostrich, Be an Eagle

It was once widely thought that the ostrich would bury their heads in the sand when frightened because they cannot fly.  This belief was brought on by Pliny the Elder who wrote about an ostrich burying it’s head in a bush.  However, this was not true.  In fact ostriches are not timid creatures.  They will attack when they feel threatened.  Ostriches also have a ‘mean’ look about them when they are confronted or threatened.  In some ways, ostriches cannot be trusted.

Eagles, on the other hand, are birds of flight.  They soar high above the mountain tops, can see with their God-given vision.  Eagles have been known to see mice on the ground during a flight so high that cars appear to be the size of mice.  They place their eggs among the clefts of the rocks to protect them.  The baby eagles may not like where they are, but it is for their protection.  When a baby eagle needs to fly, the eagle takes their young, flies high above the mountain tops and just lets go.  If the mother eagle sees their young cannot fly yet, they swoop down, catch their young and try again another time.  The baby eagle is fearful but knows the mother eagle will not let them die.

The same can be held true of Jeremiah the prophet.  As I have been reading thorough this book of the Bible, I have noticed some interesting points, I never took notice of before.  In Chapter 38, Jeremiah had the job of bringing bad news to the king of Judah.  God told Jeremiah that Judah would be handed over to the king of Babylon.  The officials of the king who heard this immediately took Jeremiah and placed him in an empty, muddy cistern.

Do you think Jeremiah liked where he was at that time?  For me, I would have been so angry that screaming and cursing could not express my emotions toward those who did this to me.  Although there is an indication that Jeremiah didn’t like his situation, he also knew that God had allowed him to be placed their.

One of the officials told the king what had happened to Jeremiah and what a wicked act it was that the king ordered Jeremiah to be taken out of the cistern and placed under house arrest.

Later on, the king of Judah secretly asks Jeremiah to explain what God had told him.  As Jeremiah is counseling the king, he says, “They will not hand you over.  Obey the Lord by doing what I tell you.  Then it will go well with you, and your life will be spared.  But if you refuse to surrender, this is what the Lord has revealed to me: All the women left in the palace of the king of Judah will be brought out to the king of Babylon…”

The king of Judah was given a choice.  Obey God and live or disobey God and die.  By today’s standards it seems like a simple choice.  Most of us may even think we would choose to obey because we fear death.  Very few people would think they would choose death because of their disobedience.  However, later on, many of the officials that Jeremiah had spoken with decided to not listen.  They decided to bury their heads in the sand instead of soaring above with God.

Scripture says that when we are obeying God’s will for us, we will soar like eagles.  We will be able to see what we need, when we need it and not wonder Who is in control.  Our eyes will be opened to see what is happening around us and God will allow us to see our sustenance in ways we could never do on our own.

When we disobey God, we decided to bury our heads in the sand or attack because we feel threatened.  Jesus said, “You will be hated because of me.”  Those who don’t like what Scripture says have a tendency to lash out against those who believe.  They hate their sin being exposed for what it is.  How do I know this, because I get nauseous when my sin is exposed.  I physically and emotionally hurt when God reveals that sin in my life is stopping me from the next assignment He has for my life.  Hating what is true and right is the natural reaction because we are sinful human beings.

Our world is filled with people who need to hear about the love and mission of Jesus Christ.  They need to hear that Jesus willingly left heaven, had a real earthly life, was tortured and died a real death but also is really physically living today.  We have the authority, through Jesus Christ, to lead others to the Creator of all things.  We have the honor of bringing this message of hope, love and forgiveness to a sinful and dying world.

Gut check.  How are we doing with that?  Are we sharing the love of Christ in our words  and deeds?  Do we stop when someone is hurting or hungry and feed them both physically and spiritually?  Or do we think it is someone else’s job?

Someone once told me that if I didn’t even consider adopting a child, don’t even attempt to share the love of Jesus with them.  They refused to believe God loved them because of another child’s plight.  Although, they may have been mislead to some degree, there is a bit of truth within that statement.  People will only listen to the message of Christ, when they see the children of God doing what we have been called to do.  Are we feeding the hungry?  Are we taking care of the poor?  Are we consoling the widows and those who are hurting?

Until we decide to take our heads out of the sand, people won’t listen.  When we obey God and His commands to live like we preach, only then will we soar like eagles.  This week, let’s work on living a Godly life rather than just speaking about it.  I will ask myself this question, “What do I need to change in order to live like I preach?”  What will you do to change?  For me I will have to lessen my time on the computer and TV.  This way my mind is fresh and my eyes keen to see who needs help.  Only when we sacrifice something important to us, will we see what God has in store for our lives.

Share your stories with me of how God is working to change others through you.  Don’t bury your heads in the sand, soar like an eagle.  God bless and encourage someone today.

Life Purpose in Marriage

Did you know that you and your spouse have something to do together?  Not cleaning the house.  Not washing the car.  You and your spouse have a life purpose.

Marriage can be one of the most fulfilling relationships you can have.  Think about it.  Many years ago you both saw each other, found out there was an attraction and decided to hang out together.  Then after months or years, you decided that it was time to spend the rest of your lives together.  Both of you thought, “I can’t wait to start life with my spouse.  It’s going to be so exciting.  We’re gonna do so many things together.”

Unfortunately, many marriages today end in divorce.  It isn’t because they fell out of love.  According to statistics, there are many reasons why people get divorced, but one of the biggest reasons is lack of communication.  Lack of communication about money, kids, the future.  No matter the “reason” it boils down to this – you both forgot that you wanted to do everything together.  You had a life purpose in your marriage.

To encourage you today, let me share the life purpose that we discovered.  Notice I didn’t say she or I, but we.  It wasn’t easy.  In fact, it was probably one of the most difficult things to discover and it also changes with time.

When my wife and I were first married, we were young.  Some people say we were too young.  I would agree with this to a point.  Both of us were inexperienced in life (as most newly married couples are).  My wife had just finished college and I was starting a “lucrative” career in copier service.  We had little money and I had a lot of bills.  We spent more money than we took in.  We talked a lot about little things, but never really had a deep discussion about the important things in life.  That was when the problems started.

At first it was just little arguments about little things.  Then it was bigger arguments about bigger things.  There came a point where I thought “Maybe we shouldn’t have done this so soon.”  I wasn’t holding down a job for too long.  All of a sudden, my wife was pregnant.  Now there was a child involved.  Now what?

After my oldest son was born, both my wife and I had thoughts of infidelity.  We never acted on the temptation, but they were strong.  It became so bad that my mentor, who I was working with at that time, pulled me aside and warned me that I was treading on shallow, unholy ground.  The wake up call had just begun.

My wife and I had the deepest conversation of our lives.  We decided that life was bigger than our feelings and would work out what we committed to before God.  We started communicating.  It wasn’t one of us, but both of us.  We both needed to make that decision.

As time went on, we noticed something, we were both talented in different areas.  So now, we have two different people with two different thought processes that have different talents.  How in the world, would God use us?

We started to serve in our church and found out that kids were drawn to my wife.  However, they weren’t so drawn to me, but their parents were.  Both of us decided to serve with one purpose.  We will not focus on what our talents are.  We will not focus on the individuals we are serving.  We will focus on what works when we do things together.

We tried running a youth group.  We tried running a college and career group.  I tried to teach little kids one Sunday only to realize that my wife was much better at that.  We noticed that although we have different talents and different personalities, we could complement each other by using what God has given to us.

Today, I am an Elder in our church and work with young adults as well as more mature adults.  My wife works with young kids and older kids.  We both talk with the parents and have great relationships with other adults.  We may not read or pray together as often as we should, but we do know that we are doing exactly what God would have us do.  We have a life purpose in our marriage.

Is it always fun?  No.  There are times that we need to work some problems out, but in the end, we always come back to this one thing – we will not do anything unless we are confident that God is in it.  Both of us read and pray separately and find out that God tells us the same message at different times.  This new life is very exciting but it can also be stressful.

After we purchased our new home, we wanted to start inviting people over like we dreamed of.  So we did.  Now we have our kids involved.  Our kids are involved in people’s lives by learning to care for others.  Again, not easy but exciting.

If you want to have a successful marriage, first seek God.  Read and pray daily.  Then serve where you enjoy.  Finally, communicate.  Not just talk, but really communicate.  Tell each other what you like or dislike.  Tell the other you love them, daily.  If there is no communication, there is no life purpose.  When you discover your life purpose in marriage, you will discover a new and exciting world and when you do, let me know your story.

God Bless and discover what God had planned for both of you.  Discover your life purpose in your marriage!