Tag Archive | Jesus

Beginning of June 2017

Does it simplify the Gospel for you if you hear, “You’re not going to hell because you do (fill in the blank), but you’re going to hell because you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?” Well, that’s what it comes down to. We all sin, we all fall short of God’s standard. Yes, He loves all of His children, but if you don’t accept the gift of salvation through His Son alone, you have no one to take the punishment for your sin, and you go to hell. God is holy, and we on our own cannot exist before Him because we’re covered in rebellion against His standard. Jesus’ blood, as weird as it may sound, washes us clean of that sin. We are made holy through His blood, blood that He shed on the cross at Calvary. The Good News – He us loved so much that He came to Earth as a frail human to take the punishment for our sins so that we could spend eternity with Him. Him – a perfect Father, lover of our souls, not a mean tyrant or someone so different from us that He can’t be around us. We were made in His image, God’s image, originally designed for companionship with Him. Rebellion came into the picture, we fell away from Him, but He had a plan for our redemption. We just have to accept the gift. You don’t have to clean yourself up first, He takes us as we are. It’s His job to clean us and give us faith after that… we have to choose to obey Him though. But when you fall in love with the Designer and Lover of you soul, obedience should be easy.

But that obedience doesn’t always come easy though. I walked in disobedience for a long time recently. But things are so much better on this side of obedience. Yeah, the decision hurt, but the blessings of listening to Him and doing what He said are amazing.

On that, does He talk to us today? That’s a huge theological debate in Christianity. But I know this, yes, He does. He speaks to me through His Word, the Bible. He speaks to me through other people. And through His still small voice in my spirit, which never goes against anything in the Bible.

Anyway, that’s my preaching for the day 🙂

Beginning of May 2017

The sun is shining! It has been raining so much lately! I’m sure if you’re from the Midwest or know someone from here, you’re probably tired of the rain, and even tired of people taking about the rain! But its nice to have sunshine again. Kind of reminds me of the commonly used illustration where someone is in a plane and sees the sun shining above the clouds, reminding them that the sun is always there. Like life, it may seem stormy down here, but God’s still there even when it seems like we can’t see Him.

Seems like I’ve been going through revolving times of storms and sunshine in my life. My boat gets rocked around and overfilled with water, then the sun comes out. When the sun’s out, I repair the boat and let the sun dry up the water. A lot of times I can see the storm in the distance, other times it sneaks up on me. One thing I’ve been challenged with is to keep my anchor down, even in the still times. Jesus is my anchor in life, and I need to keep my foundation in Him and His Word. Even in still times a boat can drift off its place. I have a goal to increase my worship and devotion time. That kind of leads me to…

Made a hard decision recently. I don’t want to put all our business out there, but Mike and I are officially broken up. I truly feel like God’s calling me to singleness. I’ve been so comfortable with his companionship, that is what has made this a hard thing. But I feel like God has something even better in store for both of us. So yeah, there ya go.

I’m learning (always will, right?!?) who I am. Specifically who I am in Christ. I’m set free from sin, not just in eternity, but He gives me the power to live free NOW. Letting that settle in my heart and head, praying that I become more like Him all the time. I don’t want to be overly religious or legalistic, I just want to be like Jesus. Righteous and loving. Faithful and obeying. In the storm and in the sunshine.

Beginning of November 2016

November, my favorite month! No, my birthday isn’t until January, so that’s not why! I just love the cooler temps, changing leaves, bonfires, Thanksgiving, and getting ready for Christmas!

Been a little difficult lately though. Things are changing so fast around me, especially over the past year or so. It kinda hit me the other day how much I miss my old job, I miss my cat, I miss my house, I miss my dad’s health, and to a certain degree, I miss being single. Just being honest. Can we go back about 2 years and pause things a little so I can enjoy them a little longer?

On top of all that, my grandma (and my last living grandparent) went into hospice last week. She’s 93 and suffering from dementia. And she’s tired. It’s OK, it’s time, but that doesn’t make it easy. In all honesty I basically said good-bye to her a couple of years ago before she got worse. I believe she’s a believer in Jesus Christ, so there’s comfort in that. I get(?) to do her memorial service when the time comes. I’m a licensed minister so I can do that kind of thing. It’ll be my first, assuming nothing else happens before that(!!). I’m a little nervous, but I’ve got good mentors to help me get ready.

Finished my most recent class with a B! Could have, should have, gotten an A, but I slacked off on the final paper. Not a strategy I recommend, but I did really well with the rest of the class and did just enough to get a B when I did the paper. Kids, do your best all the time, don’t do what I did! Into another class (they just keep coming!!) and I’m a little behind already. Having a hard time focusing (see previous 2 paragraphs!).

I’ve been a part of a Bible study recently that has opened my eyes to something. I think Christians live a life of defeat. The enemy has lied so long and so well to us that we don’t know Truth anymore. Did you know you can and should have victory over sin? That the fight we fight is against the evil forces, who are already defeated? That we can pray for people and they can be set free? Or all these truths just cliché to you now and you don’t really believe in the mighty power of the Cross? Of the empty Tomb? Of the all-powerful God on His throne?

This election and all the ramifications thereof, have not and will not take God off His throne. Regardless of who gets into the offices of power over America, God is still in charge. This isn’t taking Him by surprise, can I even go as bold as to say He had a hand in setting up the candidates? That He loves all of them (president, senators, etc.) as much as He loves you? He wants all to come to repentance and trust in His Son, Jesus for Salvation. Ugh, quit cursing those who you oppose! Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers of the heavenly realm (see Ephesians 6).  This life on Earth is not all there is! The powers of darkness have set up the issues that divide us, don’t attack supporters of those beliefs, pray down the strongholds in the heavenly arena instead!

OK, I’d say I’m sorry for the rant, but I’m not. But thanks for sticking through. I wish I could say things are rainbows and unicorns, but they’re not. Christians need to step up their game and stop letting the enemy win. If you’re not a Christian and reading this, I beg you to ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you so that you’ll put your trust in Him for eternity.

Speaking of prayer, keep praying for favor for me to get the perfect-for-me job. Had a temp assignment in October, but that ended already.  

I’d best get back to that homework I was talking about…

Beginning Oct 2016

Yay! It’s Fall! Well, at least most days. Here in St Louis, it’s supposed to get a little warm again this week, but then drop again. I love this time of year, except the allergies!

Spent last week at my denomination’s district Fall conference. It was so good! We were in Keystone, CO, which was beautiful. The conference was for pastors in the Gateway District of Foursquare. I went to the national/international conference in Hawaii back in May. I love my 4sq family!

So, God spoke to my heart and showed me quite a few things last week. I had this amazing dream (will explain in the next paragraph). I asked Him to see His face and He showed me faces of people in foreign countries and said that was how I would see Him on Earth. A friend of mine received his ordination, and God gave me pictures and words of encouragement for him. God showed me some of the areas He’s moving me into in the near (?) future. Namely becoming a disaster relief chaplain, working more with visual media, and reaching the international people in my city. All such exciting stuff. Not sure how all that fits into my future job (yes, still unemployed!), but can’t wait to see how God works it all out.

The dream… basically everyone on Earth lost their faith. They forgot Who Jesus was and started doing depraved things or simply becoming vegetable-like and just existing. People would worship a god, but didn’t know Who He was. There were 3 of us who still knew Jesus was Lord. And we learned that by speaking the name of Jesus over people or telling them about Jesus, it was like they woke up. They stopped doing the sinful things they were doing, and remembered who Jesus is. Time went by and many were told about Jesus and revival broke out. Unfortunately, over time people started picking and choosing who they would tell and started thinking maybe we had reached enough people. Some still chose not to hear about Jesus because loved ones of theirs had died before hearing the Gospel and they didn’t want to end up in eternity without them.

Wow. Implications? Speak to people about Jesus and they become born again and stop sinning, basically. It’s odd, I’ve been having very evangelistic and spiritual warfare type dreams lately. Ones where I very boldly proclaim Jesus’ name and come against the forces of evil. Honestly, now, I can do those things when I have to, but it’s a little outside my personality/comfort level. But there’s coming a time, and may now be here, when speaking boldly about Jesus and against satan is necessary. Be bold! He is alive and real! The world needs to see His light through us believers, and we need to stop hiding it!

OK, done preaching 🙂 I’m just getting fired up!

In other news, my degree completion plan was slightly modified and now I have another semester to go through. I’ll still graduate in May of 2018 though, just have 2 extra classes to fit in, and 3 that were changed. Still contemplating my Masters, but not sure I want to go that much more into student loan debt. On the other hand, if I stay in school I don’t have to start paying the massive amount back until I’m finished.

Well, I gotta get ready to go to a new doctor. Nothing’s wrong, just that the PCP I had for years is moving out-of-state and I had to find a new one. She’s closer to home, which is nice. Not necessarily looking forward to having to go through my health history, but luckily she’s with the same health care network and should have access to most of my history already. Gotta love technology.

Have a great October, talk to you again soon!

Praying for St Louis #ferguson #stl #home

I think more than enough commentary is going on about this issue… but here’s what it comes down to for me (BTW, it’s all 5-10 min from my house)…

God is still on His throne.  We need to seek His face in this situation.  Pray for revival to come and for souls to be set free.  This can only come from Jesus and by the power of His name and blood, and from the saints getting on their needs and crying out for His will to be done.

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city… Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”  Jeremiah 29:7.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  John 14:27.

From Family Force Five’s Let it be Love:

     “I’ve never seen a soul set free
     Through an argument
     I’ve never seen a hurt get healed
     In a protest…
     It’s not about the stand we take
     But the grace we give”

And from one of my favorite artists, Chris Tomlin, here’s a video of God of this City

stuff and thoughts

seems like all I do these days is work and homework!  time for a work break

I took some time today to get caught up with a dear friend of mine.  I love her to death, and when we spend time together she usually brings up something(s) philosophical or theological.  or both.  she’s a Christian who’s digging out some religious/legalistic roots in her beliefs, so these talks get pretty deep and interesting.

Something she got me pondering on the way home, and I thought I’d write a little about here to think it all out.  She’s asking some hard questions that theologically I think I can answer, at least with answers I’ve been trained to say.  but, what do I really believe?  she’s asking questions I ask myself, I just don’t have the guts to voice them out loud.

For example, so I don’t sound so vague! why did God put THE tree in the garden?  why didn’t He intervene when Satan started deceiving Eve? or at least say something before Adam took a bite?  I’ve been taught that He wanted people to have the choice to worship Him.  But isn’t it like putting cookies in the kitchen and telling a child they can eat anything except the cookies?  aren’t they eventually going to want a cookie?  especially if a mischievous cousin comes over and tempts them?  then the parent is going to cast the child from their presences for all eternity?  and the parent is going to require animal sacrifices in hopes of being right with them again?  maybe that’s making it all to simple, but these are the types of things we talk about.  Yes, parents aren’t holy like God is.  But if God is love… ugh.  my brain hurts.

See where I’m coming from?  or am I bringing up things we just don’t talk about?  things we just take at face value because the Bible tells us so? 

What if we didn’t have the Bible?  there are thousands if not millions of Christians in persecuting countries who cannot own a Bible.  What do they believe?   Can you learn about Christ without one?  Can revelation that comes from the Holy Spirit be enough?

Stepping on religious toes, I can feel it. 

maybe I should let this rest a little before I sound like I’m blaspheming, which I’m not intending whatsoever!

on a related topic, I’ve felt spiritually dry lately.  I read my Bible, I try to pray often, I listen to worship music…  but lately it feels like I’m just going through the motions.  Trying to be good enough, so to speak. Maybe that’s it right there – trying too hard.  I just need to be.

just some things to think about, because I don’t have enough going on! 😉