Month: May 2014

Hold me

There was a popular song sung by Bette Midler “From a Distance” that describes a God that loves us from a distance.  I don’t think she has read Psalm 139.

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

africa

Sometimes your river moves

There is a bridge in Choluteca Honduras.  The bridge was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1930’s and was a fine bridge without problems.  In 1998 Hurricane Mitch came through and dumped 75  inches of rain in a few days.  The bridge survived but the roads leading to it on either side didn’t.  The most striking thing about the situation is that the river moved.  It is no longer under the bridge.  It was and is a great bridge but the river moved.

Isn’t this like life sometimes?  We build a great life.  We have everything going in the right direction and then life moves.  It could be our health or a relationship.  We could have a great business and then technology knocks our service or product in the trash bin.  Our river moves and we are left with a worthless bridge to nowhere.    We weren’t bad bridge builders.  Life changed.

Be encouraged.  Life will continue – just different from what you expected.

Exodus 14:19

Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them,
River-that-moved

 

I found it, lost it and found it again

For you Millennials who weren’t around in the 1970’s Christianity had a popular campaign in America.  Christians bought bumper stickers that said “I Found It”.  That’s it.  “I Found It”.  It caught a lot of attention.  Everyone wanted to know what was found.

That was the purpose.  Put the bumper sticker on your car and wait for people to ask what you found.  At that point you share the gospel – I found Jesus!

It was catchy and became very well known as these bumper stickers appeared everywhere.

And then the mockers appeared:  “I Lost It” bumper stickers began appearing.  The stickers finally wore off and people forgot about it.  I’m sure that some people found Jesus during this time.  Some may have lost Jesus during this time.

Me personally – I have found and lost Jesus many times in my life.  I don’t know if I ever re-find Jesus after losing him.  I think he finds me.

Luke 15 – the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

 

 

bumpersticker

What Would Jesus Do?

Every day.  Every news broadcast, print, blog and internet post in 2014 has a news article about LGBT.  Every day.   Some day we will turn to news and we won’t see this but in 2014 it’s not going to happen.  It’s in our face like no other topic.  What was a joke 20 years ago is now reason to be fired, discredited, hated, persecuted and punished.

What would Jesus do?  One comedian recently said, the one thing I know Jesus wouldn’t do is wear those stupid WWJD bracelets!  I had to snicker a little at that one – can you see Jesus walking around with it?  What color would he pick?  How about a “Jesus” t-shirt?  Would he have bumper stickers on his car?

I posted before that I don’t have the answers to the dilemmas facing our walk with God.  I read the Bible and read the verses against this behavior.  I also know people who truly love their same sex “partner” far more than some heterosexual couples do.  I read how Jesus had compassion for sinners.  I also know a God that judges by our hearts and not by out outward actions.

What would Jesus do?

What will I do?  I won’t buy a WWJD bracelet.  I won’t buy a bumper sticker demeaning gays or the government. I will continue to pray and seek wisdom.  I will continue to love those around me – regardless of who they love.  I won’t just accept this as “God’s way” as some want us to.  To me that is just as wrong as those who fight against it without any openness.

Jesus wept over the death of his friend and then prayed for him to be risen.   Jesus later wept as He died and God raised him from the dead.   I sense that Jesus may be weeping now for both sides of this issue.  I wish we heard about Jesus everyday but for now we will hear about . . . well you know.

Mark 15:37  With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

Jesus died for somebody’s sins . . .

There are many reactions to Jesus.  I can only imagine the extent of beliefs over the past 2,000 years.

Here was one that I found very sad.  It is quote from the singer Patti Smith.  I didn’t expect her to be a Jesus follower but it still made me sad.

 “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” 

Mark 2:16-18

New International Version (NIV)

16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

 

Earthquakes

Earthquake warning issued in Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The United States Geological Survey says the rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma has increased by about 50% since October 2013, significantly increasing the chance for a damaging quake in central Oklahoma.

In a statement by the U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma Geological Survey, the agencies reported that 183 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater occurred from October 2013 through April 14. This compares with an average of only two magnitude 3.0 or larger earthquakes per year from 1978 to 2008.

A senior adviser from the USGS says he hopes the new advisory will become a crucial consideration in earthquake preparedness for residents, schools and businesses in the central Oklahoma area.

The statement indicates that a likely factor in the increase in earthquakes is waste water injection.

Mark 13:8

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

Singles and Adoption

Christianity Today – Adoption

Home > 2014 > April
Six Ways Single Christians Can Help the Orphans

ROCKMIXER / FLICKR

Six Ways Single Christians Can Help the Orphans


APR 282014
You don’t have to be a parent to care for children in need.

Faith-based organizations, church leaders, and Christian families across the country have propelled the orphan-care movement in the past decade, inspired by the repeated biblical command to “father the fatherless,” to take care of children who need our help.

Often, though, we associate orphan care with married Christians who can adopt children, who can welcome foster kids into their home, and who can afford to send hefty donations. Single Christians, even those who feel the issue of orphan care weighing heavy on their hearts, may resign to wait until they’re ready to start a family before they can live out this biblical call.

If you think you’re too young, too single, too inexperienced to do anything, I’m here to say: you can help right away.

While much attention has been given to the work of international adoption and setting up in-country orphan care overseas, we also have approximately 400,000 children in foster care in this country. The Christian Alliance for Orphanscalls them “social orphans,” noting that during the time children are in foster care they are without the support, protection, and provision of their biological parents.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/women/2014/april/six-ways-single-christians-can-help-orphans.html

His Presence

To have the LORD pass in front of me. . . I can’t imagine.  I can’t fathom Him standing by me.  His presence would be overwhelming.  We see people get slain in the Spirit and acknowledge is presence but . . . to have Him stand beside us or pass by us and feel Him physically, spiritually, mentally.  Wow!  That would be amazing.  I hope He comes soon!

Exodus 34:5-7

New International Version (NIV)

Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

rapture

Jesus not coming back?

“Jesus Not Coming Back By The Looks Of It” Admits Vatican Cardinal

Posted on 4/25/2014 by 

Cardinal Giorgio Salvadore has officially announced that this years 1,981st anniversary is to be the Vatican’s last in regards to waiting for the Lord to return to Earth. But he urged followers to still continue with their faith, regardless of the news.

6

Cardinal Salvadore said, “We just feel Jesus is not coming back by the looks of it. It’s been ages like. He’s probably flat out doing other really good things for people somewhere else.”

In chapter John 14:1-3 of the Bible, Jesus promised his disciples that he would come again: “There are many homes up where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with Me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly.”

Cardinal explained Jesus’ broken promise saying that he was probably drinking wine at the time when he made the comments. “Having the ability to turn water into wine had its ups and its downs. We all make promises we can’t keep when we’re drunk. Jesus was no different,” added Cardinal Salvadore.

The church said it will now focus attentions on rebuilding its reputation around the world, but will keep an optimistic mind for the savior’s second coming.

http://www.jewsnews.co