Leaving this world with less than you had when you entered it.

The title sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? But if you think about it, it’s true. You can spend all your time chasing fame and fortune. You can put your family on hold to gain access to chasing your rainbow. You can even tell yourself that you’re chasing that rainbow to get that pot of gold at the end, just for your family. You can work all your life to buy that million-dollar home in that gated community, but why? Wouldn’t a nice 120,000 dollar home provide you with the same comfort? A roof over your head, shelter from the weather, a safe haven. A place to watch your children grow up without sacrificing the time you have to spend with them. Time is the one thing you can never have enough of or ever get back. Just ask a dying man, which is more valuable, time or money? Let’s play a little monopoly here, let’s say you own almost everything possible. When you finally do take the time to look in the mirror, what do you see? Where did that young person go, where did all these wrinkles come from? Let’s take a stroll through the house, look at the photos on the wall. How many Birthday parties did you miss while those babies grew up? Ah, there are mom and dad, gone now for almost a decade. So many sales pitches that visiting them was always, “See you when I can.” Oh goodness sake, just look at your little sister and brother hanging on the wall, smiling sweetly at you. Now one has dementia and the other is only where God could find him.
You have worked your life away and never looked at the treasures you already had in your life. The sad thing is, when you leave this world you are poorer than when you came into it. When you arrived you had your breath and that will even be gone. What I am attempting to say is this, “There is nothing wrong with nice things, but you have so many nice things already. They are more precious than gold, I’m referring to your family. Don’t get so wrapped up in making it big that you forget what the BIG picture is.

Disrespect is eating us alive!

This generation is the most disrespectful, I have ever known. Like it or not, it is the truth! Seldom do I see parents, including me, with children who show very much respect to others.  I didn’t say they show no respect, but limited respect. I always scold my children for being out of order on what they say or don’t say. I’m often called a nag because I keep trying to push them in the right direction. I just smile and say, “That’s my job!” It is all of our jobs to teach our kids how to show respect to others, it doesn’t matter what nationality they are. I understand that some truly do not deserve respect because they give none themselves.  You get what you give is true, give respect and it will be returned to you. Respect eliminates enemies because there is no insensitivity conveyed when you give respect.  Respect doesn’t mean to bow down to everyone else’s idea of what is right. It means to allow them to believe what they believe without conflict. Jesus is the owner of judgment, him and him alone. If you greet someone with respect, they tend to allow you to make your point. But do so without judging. God will always take it from there, one single statement said with respect will linger in the ears of the listener. Respect shows wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.

Respect is more than just a word, it has power! The power to be able to sit and talk and disagree without malice, anger, resentment, or evil actions. It represents the chance to make a difference in many areas of life, even in the white house if allowed to grow.  Mutual respect can overcome adversity and create a working environment where things can be accomplished.  I listen to all the fighting between the Republicans and Democrats, all throwing stones instead of working together for the people.  Neither side showing any respect for the other! How do they suppose to accomplish anything when all they do is dig up each other’s dirty laundry and air it on TV?

It is time for those in government to GROW up, use their manners and respect each other without fighting like children. The matters at hand are not about them, but those they serve which is the people who aren’t in government, but are the reason those in government got where they are. If they can’t make peace with each other, how can they expect to make peace anywhere else? How can they expect to gain back the respect of those who put them in office? Leave the dirty laundry in the closet and bar the door, who cares what they did in their past. We all have things we did that we regret, instead, why not start a new chapter in life. Let’s call it, “Working for a living so others can live in peace and security.”

Crash and burn!

Stop for a moment and think back to third grade. That was the earliest I can remember learning my multiplication table. You know 2×2=4 and so on. Here I am at 57 and I can still do them in my sleep. I forget so many things nowadays. Things like the day of the month, what row I parked my car, where I put my glasses, things so simple. Yet, I can still remember that 12×12= 144 without even thinking about it.
Our world has become so filled with negativity that it is like watching a horror movie when we watch the local news. Our days are so crammed-packed with things to accomplish that our minds are in overload mode. Often we run on autopilot and can’t even remember turning onto a certain road to get where we’re going! Now ask yourself this, could this be what’s causing so much depression and anxiety in our lives?
The old saying, “Stop and smell the roses,” is much more than a mere saying. It’s a wake-up call for us to slow down before we crash completely. Our bodies were never intended to be in constant anxiety and stress. Why do you think the Lord said to rest on the Sabbath? How many of us do take a day of complete rest? Well, not at my house, after all, we have to eat, or do we? Silly question isn’t it? We do have to eat, but maybe a simple meal or leftovers won’t kill anyone. Slapping a sandwich together doesn’t qualify as work you know.
Now that we have the food issues covered, let’s work on our minds. In Philippians 4 the Bible teaches to be anxious for nothing, to meditate on what is good, pure, lovely, and of good report. For one day a week, shut off the news, it’s going nowhere, tomorrow will be a continuation of all the strife in our world. For one day a week, let your body and mind have a chance to mend. Then to top things off, take those things you meditated on with you throughout your week. How we see things does affect our health and that is a scientific fact!

The Bible subtraction.

Many times I have heard, how do you know the Bible wasn’t just a book that was man-made? How do you know it’s real, it has been translated so many times. It contradicts itself, reading it just confuses me!
The Bible was written by men but under the guidance of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. While Jesus walked among man, a man wrote of his activities, his demeanor, his lifestyle, and his teachings. When He ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit became the teacher and through specific men, the knowledge of the ages was written.


John 14:26Amplified Bible (AMP)
26 But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.
The same Jesus who healed turned water into wine raised Lazareth from the dead and cast out demons, surely was in control of what was left in the Bible. There has never been a man living who could control Jesus. Jesus was in control of what was placed in the Bible. When I refer to the Bible I am not speaking of one created for a certain religion only. I use multiple versions depending on the age group I am teaching. For some the King James version is confusing because it was written in a time when the language was different, however, the meaning is the same in each version I choose to use. Yes, I do check to make sure that the point being made is accurate.


How do I know the Bible speaks the truth? Science in all its acclaimed wisdom has yet to explain so many things. Nature itself has left them with questions that scientists can’t prove to be fact. One of the best ways to show you this is from a well-known revolutionary who due to a challenge from a student became a Christian. He fought his findings all the way but in the end, he could not find but one answer, there has to be a God for life to exist and not become extinct. Science’s explanation doesn’t justify their claims! The program I am speaking of is called Incredible Creatures that defy evolution and is on pureflix. Incredible Creatures that defy evolution. If this doesn’t show you that there is a God I don’t know what to say. It is the strongest indicator of his existence I have found!

The idea of serving someone, even Jesus, bothers me.

All the recent fighting among the races has filled the news with distasteful headlines. There seems to be a never-ending finger-pointing effect in this generation. The morals and standards once observed by all humanity have disappeared. Everyone wants to be served and no one wants to be a servant. It reminds me of the old saying, everyone wants to be chief and no one wants to be the Indians!
Who is to blame for all the uproar? The blame can be placed on a lot of shoulders. Parents who have forgotten to be parents, and instead rather be friends with their children. A government who has taken the rights of parents who are trying to be parents, and tied their hands so now everything is child abuse. Some bad apples in the law enforcement role who has placed the whole group in a bad light. It’s not one group’s fault, the fault belongs to all equally. For every action, there is a reaction. This said, look at it and think for a moment. Violence produces violence, hatred produces hatred, I’m right and you are wrong produces anger to the max. Then all hell breaks loose without conscious thinking about the end result.
No one wants to serve, the mere thought of it sends shivers down the spine. The first thought is “I’m not going to be a slave to anyone, not even Jesus.” What the world doesn’t understand is that it is a privilege to serve Jesus. It’s not a duty, it’s out of love. When you first meet that special someone, you went out of your way to do what made them happy. You weren’t forced to do it, you wanted to do it. So being a servant or slave to Jesus is the same way. Once you really come to understand what a hefty price he paid so you could come to him one on one, it isn’t slavery, it’s adoration. It’s because you want to be as helpful as you can. No strings attached, you simply love him so much you want to be his hands, feet, mouth, and witness. You want to save as many souls as possible, bring healing to the desperate, drown the hopeless in hope, and share the love of Jesus with the world!
If there were a few more servants instead of so many wanting to be served, this world would look a lot different. The news headlines would have no choice but to talk about what the good man has done, instead of sensationalizing the evil man has committed.

Church attendance that’s done out of obligation.

 I’ve often been told that I need to be in church. That it’s what I am supposed to do. I agree that it is important, more so for some than others. It strengthens the spirit, being with like-minded people. But there are those who can miss a few services and still hold on to their salvation. Some people have the foundations deeply embedded in their spirit. It doesn’t take encouragement for them to keep themselves from straying. No one has to push them to pray, to make them do the things that are pleasing to God. They are strong in their belief in God and their love for him. If you only show God love when you are in church, there is a problem! He should be like your first love as a human. Do you remember that boy or girl that stole your heart for the first time? Thoughts of Jesus and praises to him should be as natural during your day as breathing. I often find myself talking with God about how does he think my flowers look if I place them here or there. He is not just someone I communicate with on Sundays. He is part of my everyday life.

               People often think that if they don’t make every church service God is going to be angry and send something bad into their lives. This is attendance based on fear, not out of love. They gripe as they get dressed to do that once a week appearance and think God is happy with this? He wants you to make an appearance to better yourself, he doesn’t need improving. If you go just to ease your conscience, you might as well stay home. He doesn’t need anyone to go on his behalf. He wants you to go so you can learn his ways, so you can fellowship with believers. He wants you to go to have your spirit lifted and see that there is always hope. Hope comes before the manifestation of anything. If you have no hope, you cannot anticipate what awaits ahead.

Sloppy seconds.

If you paid someone to clean your car and it came out half done, what would you think? You’d be disgusted and would have a talk with the man. No one wants half done jobs! No one wants to have to point out every move that needs to be made to do a satisfactory job. No one really wants just a satisfactory job either, they want an excellent job. When you are doing a job in the church, don’t give God your sloppy seconds. You’re not just a body doing a job you’re a reflection of Christ. If you half do your job, then everyone will say, “That person needs to be replaced.”


I ran the website for a pastor in Oklahoma. If I didn’t do as much as I was capable of, it reflected on the church and the church reflects Christ. When I first started doing Evangelist Charlie and Shelly Rogers website, he knit picked everything. He asked me one day, “ Do you ever check your work?” Now I could have taken offense to this since I did this free of charge, but I didn’t. His knit-picking made me take notice of what I was doing. Before I knew it, I found myself becoming picky about my work.  I had one woman ask me for help with her site and I did, she said you can put your name on my site. I said, “No thanks, that site is terrible and I won’t be associated with it.”


In case you don’t know it, whatever job you have in the church, your name is attached to that job. Everyone is watching and expecting you to put your best foot forward. Don’t watch those beside you, don’t watch the kids, don’t play with your cell phone. Focus on your job and being the best you can be at it. God is watching you. Can’t you imagine him looking down at that second-hand sloppy job you’re doing and shaking his head? You are his only way to show others what he is about. Is he sloppy? He is not going to give you his sloppy seconds. So what are you giving him?

Use it or lose it!

As we go along in our daily lives, how often do we stop and look around us? Do we listen to the birds singing, watch the branches of a tree swaying in the wind? While we sip on the morning cup of coffee do we consume a dose of fresh air that is provided by our maker? Have we really lifted our voices in thanks for all the simple, yet precious things in our lives? Life is filled with stress and many times that is all we focus on. Why do we do this?

God has said to cast our burdens on him. Why do we continue to do everything for ourselves? Is it because we think he can’t take care of them? Has society convinced us that he no longer exists? They have tried, that is for sure. But those who have a relationship with him know better. He is as much alive today as he was in the Old Testament. He hasn’t changed, we have! He didn’t tell us to stop putting faith in him, men told us to do this. He hasn’t stopped providing for us, we just find it easier to let the government do it. Our faith has grown weak and our time has been consumed by the constant push for our attention. Our children and their activities, our friends whom we can’t say no to. Everything has replaced God these days and for it, our world suffers greatly. Fathers are no longer the head of the household in most families. In some homes, there is no father at all.

Every ounce of God that can be taken from our children has been done so by every means possible. Every ounce of respect for others has been thrown out the door. The generation has become a “ME” generation. A microwave society where everything has to be given now instead of waiting on God’s timing. Sometimes what we want at the time, isn’t what we were able to deal with at the time. Sometimes what we want will lead to our own destruction. What then? Then society wants someone else to bail us out or deal with the problem we are in.

The Bible that sits gathering dust on a table may one day be something that is a priceless artifact. Why? Because one day, those, like many of our freedoms may be taken away and forbidden. Use it while you have it, teach your children, don’t pass up the chance to get to know the only real truth while you have the freedom to do so.

Someone said to me, well what if there is no God? I replied, would it make a difference? Is there something wrong with doing the right thing and loving each other? Wouldn’t the world be a more peaceful place if everyone were on the same page?

Acquaintance or friend? Relationship matters!

The tree limbs clawed at the side of the house, pushed by the ferocious winds. Lightning danced across the sky and rain pounded the windows. A flicker or two later, the power was out. Feeling his way to his bed, Mr. C  climbed into his bed and snuggled beneath his warm blankets.

The front door rattled as though bigfoot was waging war against it. “Let me in, I need a dry place to sleep!” shouted a voice from outside.

“Who is it?” asked Mr. C.

“B J Black!”

“You must have the wrong house. I don’t know anyone by that name.”

“Sure you do, we meet about twenty years ago at a ballgame.”

“Perhaps but I still don’t know you, you are merely a moment in time and I can’t even remember that moment. I am sorry but I can’t let you, I never knew you!”

Being a friend is different than being an acquaintance. You recognize a friend because you spend time with them. Are you a friend of Jesus or an acquaintance?

 

John 14:23

Amplified Bible

23 Jesus answered, “If anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep My word (teaching); and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him.

Matthew 7:21

Amplified Bible

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.

If you don’t have a true relationship with Jesus, how will you know the will of the father?

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