Is not obeying as bad as sinning?

 

 

Sometimes, I get questions that I sorta think I know the answer to but wonder exactly how right my opinion is on the subject. Some of the questions that pop into my head don’t have a good answer. Such as, why is it a fine one pays for getting a speeding ticket? It aint fine, it is awful, why not call the payment an awful? Besides silly thoughts and questions I do sometimes have profound thoughts and questions, much to the surprise of a lot of people. But, thinking on times God has put a burden on me to do something; talk to someone about Christ; do something for someone, help them somehow, or other things He has made me feel lead to do. Sometimes I do them but other times, despite knowing that He was speaking to my heart and knowing that I should do something because He wants me to do it, I don’t and later I feel guilty and convicted for not doing so. At times, not listening to Him results in me getting into, or staying in, an unpleasant situation. Sometimes I get myself into spots, I may not have sinned, but something in me told me it was not what I should do (yeah, it was God telling me) and I didn’t listen to His still small voice, so I blunder on my own and even though He doesn’t stop me, He does not reward me either and allows me to deal with the consequences of not obeying.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.    James 4:17

AND….that is the question of the day. Is not obeying as bad as sinning? Is knowing what He wants and not doing so as bad as committing a sin. Well, intuitively I want to say, yes, not obeying is sinning. I can be doing nothing wrong, I may not be disobeying God’s will, I may not be doing contrary to Christ’s teachings, but then again if I am not obeying God then, well, sadly I am sinning. Like when I was a child and my parents told me to do something, clean my room perhaps, and I played dumb later when it wasn’t done and even though I didn’t misbehave, not obeying them was disobeying and that is misbehaving. The same applies to with what God tells us. If we pretend not to hear, or due to pride, fear, thinking we are too busy, or some other excuse/reason we fail to obey, we sinned.

But he said, Yea rather, blessed [are] they that hear the word of God, and keep it.   Luke 11:28

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.    Romans 13:1

Well, so far, yup, He is telling me I am supposed to do as I feel He leads me and that not doing so is wrong in His sight.

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  Luke 6:46

And, there it is, He tells us to obey Him and that if we know what is good but fail to do it, that is a sin. Seems to me I need to be better about obeying. I have been working hard on not sinning other ways but still through whatever stubbornness, insecurity, fear, pride, or what ever excuse I try to make up as an excuse to not obey when He speaks to me, I am not obeying and therefore I am sinning. If you hear or feel God speaking to you, do as He leads you. Such a simple concept, but sometimes, the simple things are not so easy.

 

Lord, I thank You for the forgiveness and mercy You give me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me better hear and listen to Your voice and that I get better about obeying what I know is Your will for me. And that when I hear that I follow without trying to find excuses not to obey. I thank You for teaching all the things You have taught me and ask that You help me hold all the lessons to heart and incorporate those into my life. I ask that You continue to work with me to make me a better Christian. I ask that You draw all my loved ones closer to You that we all know You and the salvation You give us that was paid for by the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus who died for my sins. I pray You help me be a better example for Christ.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. I hope all are blessed today and have a chance to be a blessing to someone else as well.

 

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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

 

free

My mother would quote this scripture when I was a child and she thought I, my brother or someone else was lying about something like when someone broken something or maybe got into some candy without permission or whatever other mischief kids are prone to get into. She would start out asking us as a group, then as individuals. She would usually quote John 8:32. Eventually someone would confess or tattle on the guilty party at risk of getting into further trouble. And, because of when she used it, I often thought back then that it was essentially a scripture for use with guilty parties to “force” a confession so they would have less punishment and, to an extent, that is true. BUT, the truth that sets us free is the truth of Christ, the Son of God, who died for our sins and was resurrected. Defeating death and earning us forgiveness and salvation that we don’t deserve. AND….we escape all punishment for our sins.

But, I also realize that like many scriptures there is more than a simple meaning to it. Yes, there is always a simple understanding of the scripture, but there is often a deeper, more profound, meaning to many verses and passages. Now I have come to realize that the truth of Christ is not the only truth to set one free. Sometimes in life a person is accused of some sort of wrong doing but the truth comes out, the falsely accused will be found innocent. Such a situation occurred at work not too long ago, one nurse accused another of not doing some things at work she was supposed to do, and also claimed the accused nurse did some things she didn’t do, issues with patient treatment that came up after the patient complained that something was done wrong. Well, nurse A accused nurse B, because nurse C made statements to the effect that nurse B did not splint a patient as they were told, and that they gave them a wrong medication. Confusing? Hang on, because it gets worse.  But anyway, one nurse accused another because of what a third nurse told them because of what yet another nurse said that they heard. Well, it was a few days after the fact before it was reported and the supervisor started to investigate the situation. At first, the nurse that was accused by another nurse that was not even working the day it supposedly happened but said “she was told” that the nurse didn’t know what she was doing, splinted the patient wrong and then did not check the medication that she gave the patient. Well, she didn’t say who told her but did admit it was what she heard but did not know for certain. Well, the accused nurse was on duty the day in question, but after reviewing all the information she was not the nurse that was taking care of the patient involved and after they determined what nurse was actually taking care of the patient they talked with her and she initially denied, but then later admitted that she did not know how to apply the splint she was supposed to put on the patient. Now, she could have asked and someone would have helped her or done the splint for her. In addition to that, she said that she was stressed because of the splint and “may have grabbed the wrong pill bottle.” Well, as it was she only gave a lower dose of the prescribed medication but not a wrong medication. Still, too low of a dose and the patient did not get the pain relief they should have gotten. There was a lot of conjecture about who told nurse A about what happened and most seemed to believe that the nurse that actually started the rumor and almost got the initially accused nurse into a lot of trouble was likely the one to start it. All done by a different nurse to try to keep herself out of trouble.

A few lessons in this case, if one doesn’t know something they should ask for help; if one does something wrong then admit it. Because as it stands, the truly guilty nurse had more problems after all this than if she had fessed up in the beginning. Nurse B who was falsely accused and had to deal with a lot of the fall out was in the end, exonerated. Although, put through a lot of stress unfairly, because of the unsubstantiated allegations that were made and some “judgement” of being guilty until proven innocent was applied. All in all, it was a mess for a while. Because someone would not admit to a mistake and because of the effect of the rumor mill.

BUT, the truth, when it finally came out, did make nurse B free. Not the freedom from sin and eternal damnation from which they who believe In Christ receive but freedom from the repercussions of someone else’s wrong act.

Well, thinking about the times my mom would quote John 8:32 she would often also quote:

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23

She would try to get someone to confess and if the guilty party did confess they would probably get a lecture about being more careful, but if they did not admit to whatever had happened she warned she would find out and the punishment would be more severe. Well, the same thing applied to the nurse that initially messed up. She apparently tried to cover up her wrong doing by causing scrutiny of an innocent person.

As I think about this situation, there are a lot of lessons to be learned, on a day to day, real life situation it is better to admit shortcomings than to try and cover them up. It also reminds me that if one sins and does not confess to Christ that they are a sinner and ask for God’s forgiveness, they will have a price to pay for their sins. BUT, the truth and glory of God’s mercy and grace is that He sent His Son, Jesus, to stand in the gap for us, to take our sins upon Himself and obtain forgiveness for us.

 

Lord, I pray that I remember the truth of Christ and His sacrifice for me. That my forgiveness is not earned by me, but bought by Christ, the true Son of God. I ask in Jesus Name that You help me avoid sin and to live as You wish so that I can be an example of Christ on earth. I ask that You forgive me of any sins and that You help me see the truth in all situations before I subject someone to unfair scrutiny and false accusations. Teach me to not judge others and to not gossip and cause others to suffer needlessly. Draw us all closer to You and teach us all to be the Christians You wish us to be.

Amen

 

I hope all are ready for a great weekend, that you are blessed and also that you have a chance to be a blessing to someone else.

His love endures.

god loves

 

God is so amazing! I think about things I have done, and while not as bad as some, worse than others. BUT, really doesn’t matter how one sins, since sin is sin, and we are all sinners.

For [there is] not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Ecclesiates 7:20

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  Romans 5:12

And, because of that sin, we deserve punishment, we deserve eternal damnation, but God does not want that for us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

He gave us Christ, so that we don’t have to be punished for the sins we commit, IF we confess those sins and ask for forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:23-26

We are justified and made righteous. Not because of us, but in spite of ourselves, through the forgiveness, grace and mercy Christ paid for on the cross. Its there waiting for us…..all we have to do is ask for it. Once it is asked for, it is given….and we are made new and perfect in His sight.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalms 118:29 (KJV)

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.  Psalms 136:1 (ESV)

Now, if that is NOT AMAZING, nothing comes close. He loves us with a love that endures forever. His love does not falter because we fail. He loves us in spite of our sins and has gone to the furthest of measures to give us a way to be forgiven. I stand in awe of our Lord. A love that endures all the pain we cause Him; a love that persists no matter what we do; a love that will forgive us even though we turn our backs on Him.

How would the world be if we all had that kind of love or even a fraction of it? Definitely would be a better place. I aspire to have that kind of love, that kind of forgiveness. I will strive to love the way God loves us.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  John 13:34

 

Lord, I thank You for the forgiveness and love You give me. Things I don’t deserve, but You still give it. I praise Your Holy Name. I pray in the name of Jesus that You work in my heart and help me to have that kind of love. I ask that You teach me to know and live the heart of Christ. Please, draw me and my loved ones closer to You. Teach us all to have that kind of love and to have the forgiveness that You give us. Draw us all to You that we may all know the salvation You have for us.

Amen

I hope all have a blessed day and weekend. And, as always, please try to be a blessing to someone else.

Thank you for your visit.

 

He forgives!

 

forgive

Well, it may seem weird, but bear with me. I was flipping channels and came across the movie Tombstone. It’s several years old, about, surprise, surprise, Wyatt Earp and his time in Tombstone, AZ. It was a dramatized, historical telling of the events. We all know that Hollywood takes some liberties with the facts, but the big points about things were pretty accurate. But, one of the scenes I can’t say is, or is not, based on fact or just Hollywood’s way of telling about a relationship that Wyatt Earp had with a woman. But, in one scene there has been some gunfights with an outlaw gang and the woman he was in love with was on a stage coach that was robbed and a friend of hers was killed, shortly after that the stage coach stopped to water the horses at a ranch where Wyatt and his friends were staying. He saw her and went out to talk and he said, “I’m sorry about your friend. I…..” as he started to try to come up with an excuse or reason but she interrupted him and said, “I forgave you as soon as you said it.” Now, that got me to thinking how God forgives us instantly, just like that, as soon as we say we are sinners and ask for His forgiveness, He gives it to us. We don’t need to explain or rationalize; we are just forgiven. In addition to that, we are given salvation, redeemed of all our sins, and granted life eternal through the sacrifice Christ made on the cross.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

As a human, it is sometimes not easy to forgive that quickly, the human in us likes to hang on to the slights and hurts for a while before we forgive. The human in us wants to hold a grudge, at least for a while, to somehow make others pay for the wrongs they did us when they apologize. That is not what Jesus would do, or wants us to do. He wants us to be like Him and forgive, instantly and unconditionally. I wish I could say I have always been exactly how He wanted to me in that regard (and in other ways as well) but I am human and because of that, I have in the past, held onto the hurt caused by whatever action and not forgiven immediately, fully and unconditionally. I am much better than I was in that regard because I have learned that the feelings that keep me from forgiving unconditionally hurt me more than anyone. Those feelings interfere with my walk with Christ. So, I do better than I once did.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  Ephesians 4:32

All that being said, I hope anyone out there that may have done me wrong, before you say it, or if you never say it, I forgive you. I pray that any that feel that I did them wrong, forgive me as well.

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  Mark 11:25

 

Lord, I thank You for the forgiveness You give so quickly, even though I don’t deserve it. I thank Christ for His sacrifice that made it all possible. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me better learn how to forgive as You forgive, immediately and completely. I thank You for helping me be better at it and helping me understand the benefit it gives me to forgive as You instruct us. I also ask that You help others understand forgiveness as well and that You help them forgive as You do. I pray that You draw loved ones to You and help us all learn to serve You better and to be more like You.

Amen

Thank you all for your time. I hope all are blessed somehow today and have a chance to be a blessing to someone else too.

The Christmas Gift!

Christmas gift

 

As I am thinking about Christmas gifts, those I have bought, those I have received. Some I received, I really loved, some, not so much. Some were fun to unwrap (aren’t they always fun to unwrap?) but once you saw the gift, it wasn’t as good as you expected. Others were fun to unwrap, and even better than you expected. I have watched as others opened gifts, with the expressions on their face telling exactly their thoughts about the gift, whether happy about it or disappointed. I watch a little closer on gifts that I bought, hoping that the recipient enjoys it and is pleased.

But, as I think about Christmas gifts that I have both given and received, some will forever be burned in my memory, some the unwrapping seems a blur but the gift is remembered in marked detail, others I remember unwrapping but don’t remember the gift, and, even others I can describe in detail the wrapping, how I unwrapped it, either tearing the wrapping off quickly or taking my time and unwrapping slowly to somehow prolong the joy. I can also describe in extreme detail some of the gifts, who gave it to me, the year, exactly where I was when I received the gift. I can remember similar details about others opening gifts I gave them.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.         James 1:17

For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

Yet, as important of a human interaction as gift exchanging is for people, I think about the greatest gift I have ever received, my salvation. What a priceless gift that is and it was paid for in a currency that I can not even begin to put a true value on, the blood and suffering of Jesus. But, He bought me the greatest gift of all time. Yet, in the gift exchange, I cheated Him. I gave Him my sins, my failings, my hardships and He took them gladly. WHAT AN AMAZING GOD WE SERVE!

 

Lord, I cannot find the words to thank You enough for the gift of salvation that is the most wonderful gift I could ever receive. I praise Your Holy Name. I pray in the name of Jesus that You help me always remember that costly gift that I was given in exchange for giving You something of no value. I ask that You work in the hearts and minds of loved ones that they remember the gifts of true value and forget all the meaningless gifts that are temporary and of this world. Draw us all closer to You that we all enjoy the fullness of Your gifts.

Amen

 

Well, it is Christmas eve, I pray all have a blessed day and share their blessings with others.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

The sights are off.

 

crosshairs

 

I decided to do some target shooting. Just to double check that my scope was adjusted properly and to make sure I could hit what I was shooting at and, as I lined up the cross hairs on the target and pulled the trigger….I MISSED?!?!?!? I was stunned to say the least, well, except that I had bumped the rifle scope recently and was a little concerned that my sights were possibly off. So, I make some adjustments, another couple shots, still not there. A few more adjustments and a few more shots and finally I was back on zero. Now, if I aim, then I will hit what I shoot at and that is pretty important.

Great! You may be thinking, but why do I care? You ask yourselves.  Well, as I realized that even though I thought I was on target I actually wasn’t and despite my efforts I was missing the mark. That made me think about times that I thought I was missing the mark in my life. THINKING I was doing the right thing, that I was doing all the things right to reach goals or targets, I sometimes didn’t make it. And, that applies not only to my life, but also to my Christian life. OK, I should say semi-Christian as I was “only sinning a little” and still believed in God, Jesus as the son of God and that He died for my sins, but I was not living a proper Christian life. I was allowing worldly measurements to set my goals. I one uses the wrong measuring system, they will not hit the target at which they are aiming. Oh, they will hit a target, but not the one that they should have hit. Even though one THINKS they are aiming well and proper, if one’s sight is not on Christ, whatever they hit will not be what God intends. If one is seeking something, but not the right thing, they won’t be truly blessed, even if they get what they think they want.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33

If one’s sight/vision, one’s eyes, are not on the right target or if they are not seeing things in the way Jesus would have us see, then we are full of darkness, we do not hit the target He plans for us.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Matthew 6:22-23

 

3 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Philippians 3:13-15

God has a plan for us, to see things properly and not through worldly eyes, to have our sights properly aligned on the RIGHT target. We need set our sights on Christ and we will hit the bullseye every time and in accordance with His perfect plan.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  Jeremiah 29:11

 

Dear Lord,  I worship You and praise You for all You have done for me. I thank You for the blessings I have received, for the better understanding You give me on how You want us to think and see. I pray in the name of Jesus that I keep my sight true, that I seek the proper target and that I do not miss the mark. That I remember the target, the goal and that I stay on the path You want me to follow and I not get my vision, my sights off and You guide my steps as You wish to get me to the expected end, the bullseye, life eternal with Christ. I pray You draw us all closer and teach us all how to keep our sight true and on You. Please, help my loved ones see Your truth and to come to know You, Your will and Your way for them. Help them turn away from the wrong goals so that they may live the way You wish them to live and to serve You. I thank You for helping me better understand You and your wishes for me. I praise You for caring so much about me that You sent Your own Son to suffer and die on the cross that I have forgiveness and salvation.

Amen

 

My apologies for sparse posts recently, seems there has been a lot going on and  no matter how I try, I haven’t been able to sit down long enough to write a good post. Sometimes, I wonder if they are good. I know they are good for me to think things out and putting words on paper (so to speak) helps me better organize my thoughts. I hope somehow they are a blessing to someone else as well. Please, have a blessed day and try to be a blessing to someone else too.

 

 

Waiting for the trophy.

 

220px-Trophées_des_Coupes_d'Algérie_1963_et_1964

Well, deer season in one state I hunt came and went. I saw some deer but didn’t shoot any as I kind of wanted one with big fancy antlers. Now I have no issue hunting for food and have in the past harvested does or smaller bucks. I like the taste of venison but am also at a place that I don’t HAVE to have it so if I don’t get a deer I really don’t worry about it. I enjoy just getting out in the woods so enjoy the time in nature. I hunt with an army buddy with whom I stood side by side during some pretty terrifying moments. We, and others we were deployed with, watched out for, took care of, one another. We had trucks blown out from under us and have been in multiple gun fights together. He is more a brother to me than any of my own kin. We talk some, about families, jobs, plans for future and such. Rarely about Iraq and if conversation goes there it’s never about the battles but about stupid situations that were funny.  And, just being able to spend time together doing something is good. We talk about church, his and mine, and how God did more for us than we deserve.

But, I digress yet again. While we were hunting, we texted checking to see if the other was seeing any deer. I saw several, mostly does, but he saw none. Now, he was hunting for meat and would have taken one while I was, as I mentioned, wanted some venison but also wanted a deer with nice antlers. I thought about others I had hunted with in the past who talked big talk about how they were going to bag a huge trophy buck and they would never shoot a doe. Yet as soon as they saw a deer, they shot it. While there is nothing at all wrong with that, they started complaining about using their deer tag on a doe. They got in a hurry and shot the first deer that came along. I remember one hunt, the guy had been scouting before season and there were some really large bucks in the area. He had one in particular he wanted to get. First day, he saw it, had it in his sights except the deer was inside the woods a little bit and he did not have a clear shot. He watched it as it moved around, but did not come out to where he could have a good shot. For 15 or 20 minutes he watched it, then another buck, much smaller, with very small antlers stepped out not too far away so he quickly took aim at got that one. Well, sometimes animals do strange things and as soon as he fired the other deer stepped into the open. I already had a deer but had hung out with him some. We go to the deer so he can clean it and all he did was complain, talked about how he made a mistake by not waiting for the one he really wanted. He could see it, but was not patient enough or willing to wait any longer, he was getting cold and decided rather than take a chance on not getting a deer at all he would take the easy way instead of trying harder to get the one he wanted. He had planned and worked hard to almost get what he wanted, but did not have the dedication to see it through. He seemed almost embarrassed about the one he got, knowing he had blown the chance, at least for that season. Would the chance come again the next season? I never found out as we never hunted together again after that year.

But, how many times do we all do that sort of thing? We plan, hope, dream of something, then after long effort stop short of obtaining what we want. I remember a couple people in my medical school class that had spent years getting into medical school; they studied hard in high school and college; they spent hours and hours preparing for the admission test; they applied to and were interviewed at multiple schools. Then, one towards the end of the second year dropped out. It wasn’t the grades, they were getting good grades, it wasn’t health or family issues, they just finally realized that it would be two more years before graduation and then 3 or more years of residency before they were a practicing physician and they didn’t want to wait that long, plus they had an offer for a job with a pharmaceutical company with good pay, not nearly what they would get as a physician, but better than average. They decided to go the easy route, forgetting all the effort they put into obtaining their dream. The other dropped out after the end of the third year. He didn’t like the long hours in hospitals and clinics, with the additional hours of studying afterwards. He had spent 10 years certain he knew what he wanted, he still said that was what he wanted, but he just did not want to put quite enough effort into fulfilling his dream. So, he found a job that he thought paid enough and quit.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

 

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.                                        1 Corinthians 9:24-27

People work hard, strive for something, dedicate hours, months or years to achieve something and when it is in sight but still not quite obtained, they give up, they take less than they not only want, but have almost obtained. Leaving themselves in a spot where they still have to, one way or another, pay for what they wanted but even though they had the opportunity to obtain their dream, their goal, get their trophy, they gave up on themselves and their dreams. It’s sad to see that happen, regardless of if it is a dream for their lives, trophy deer, maybe it’s something else, but when one dedicates time and effort to something, yet are not willing to see it through, it makes me think of how many times Christians turn their back on God because they are not patient, because they feel they have put all the effort into something for God that they can and are not willing to work harder or longer. Yet, they were, for all intents and purposes, steps away from the blessings God had in store for them. Maybe they don’t turn their backs on God, but instead of achieving all they could, for themselves and for God, they quit doing as much.

But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.   James 1:4

Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.  James 5:11

I suppose to me it means that one should know what they want, and if they made a decision to work for it, they should stay the course. Oh, there may be extenuating circumstances, but tossing aside one goal for another, over and over, as the one guy did, saying he was after a trophy buck and would never settle for less, yet every time he would shoot the first deer that came along and later complain about it. When you set your goals, work hard to reach them and He will reward us. Just because one faces hardship at times, does not mean something can’t be done. Nothing that is of high value and precious is easy. A Christian walk is not always easy but it’s not difficult, it takes dedication, faith, sacrifice but oh, the rewards are valuable beyond anything.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.   James 1:6

A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.  James 1:8

12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

1 Peter 4:12-13

 

God inspires us to strive for things to make ourselves better people, better providers for our families, better Christians and servants for Him. He doesn’t promise all things will be easy, but that if one loves God and remains dedicated that He will deliver. He tests our patience and dedication to achieving goals and to serving Him. He knows that if we give up on a challenging task because it will take more patience, more waiting, that we will give up on Christ in some manner.

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and am amazed at how You teach me things, how You never forgot me regardless of how far I wandered from the path You had set for me. I thank You for seeing better in me and for drawing me back to You. I thank You for the struggles and hardships I have endured over the years that taught me patience, endurance and dedication. I ask in the name of Jesus that You continue to help me remain dedicated to things I feel lead of You to strive for and in my Christian walk. Help us all know the true prize that awaits us and to help us reach the fullness of Your will and grace. Show us all the walk You plan for us and how we must remain steadfast in our efforts and not decide to fall short and accept less than You plan for us. Remind us that the prize is worth the struggles and that eternity with You is reward far greater than we will ever see on earth. I pray that You work in hearts and minds of loved ones to draw them to You and help them seek the salvation You have ready for them.

Amen

 

Thank you all for the time you took to read my thoughts. I hope that things make sense to others and that He uses me to bless someone else. Remember, try to be a blessing to at least one other person today.

 

 

 

 

Veterans Day

veterans day

Veterans Day is a special day for me as I reflect back on my military career this far and remember those with whom I have served. Some still alive that I stay in contact with and spent part of the day today with a very good friend from my time in Iraq. I think about others with whom I served who paid the ultimate price. Others paid a huge price and carry their wounds still. Some visible some not. I think about all those who serve now or have ever served in all the branches of the military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard as well as those in the National Guard and Reserves. They are all brothers and sisters in arms. But those who have served in combat are those with whom I have the closest bond.  Of course those I served side by side with through intense fights are the closest of all. Non-combat veterans and Civilians will never understand that bond. There’s also a bond between combat vets from different conflicts.  I have some close friends that served in WW2, Korea, Viet NAM and elsewhere who understand the experiences we all endured. Different in ways but similar in others.

To those I served with in Ramadi and to all combat veterans who put themselves in harm’s way I thank you all with the fullest depth of gratitude I possess. You honor me by including me in your ranks.

I also thank all veterans from all branches and all conflicts who were willing to put themselves in danger and to serve our nation. I thank you.

But. There is one who did not see combat during His life and least not that type of combat. The enemy He fought was a far greater danger to humanity. IS A FAR GREATER DANGER!  And He sacrificed Himself, pure, righteous and holy, for all of us sinners. So, despite not being in an Army, Christ is the ULTIMATE VETERAN!

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

 

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.  Mark 10:45

 

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:15-18

 

I have served in the Army and I’ve placed myself in harm’s way and risked my life for others. I do not consider myself a hero; I was doing what I was supposed to do and needed to do. But, I served along side some truly heroic people. But I know serve the TRUEST of heroes, Christ my Savior and Redeemer.

 

Lord God,  I praise and worship at Your feet, thanking You for so great a love as Christ had to give His life for me and others like me, for all of us sinners. In The name of Jesus I pray that all my brothers and sisters in arms come to know you and that you give them peace and comfort. Heal their wounds, the seen and unseen wounds, the physical and emotional wounds they carry. Bless them for their sacrifices. More than that bless Jesus for the ultimate sacrifice.  Please make me worthy of the price He paid.

Amen

 

Thank you all for your time. Please, thank a vet, he or she put a lot on the line for us all. Have a blessed day, and be a blessing to someone else as well.

The Chicken and the Pig.

minipig.jpg

 

A pig and a chicken were walking down the road. As they passed a church, they notice that a potluck charity breakfast was under way. Caught up in the spirit, the pig suggested to the chicken that they each make a contribution.
“Great Idea!” the chicken cried. “Let’s offer them ham and eggs!”
“Not so fast.” said the pig. “For you, that’s just a little sacrifice, but for me, it’s a total commitment.”

I was thinking about times when someone has brought up possible sacrifices. One person wants to make a donation, and they give whatever, then they try to convince someone else to contribute as well, but the one making a small sacrifice suggests the contribution by the other, which is far more than a little donation, but instead requires total commitment of everything. Now, it is not wrong to donate to various causes, churches for example and in fact, that is a good thing indeed. But, when one person is only willing to give a little, but not only suggests that another not only give a little, but to give all they have to the cause while they are only willing to give up a little, it is a completely different matter.

In this little story, the chicken wants to give a little and then can walk away feeling good that they added a bit to the feast. I wonder why, if the chicken thought it was such a marvelous idea, that the chicken didn’t instead say maybe we should contribute and then say, “you give the ham for breakfast and I will give so they can have fried chicken for lunch.” The idea that one is willing to sacrifice just a small amount without making a total commitment, all the while expecting the other to give up everything seems more than a little shallow, selfish, inconsiderate and, well, for lack of a better way to say it, pretty much double standards.

13 Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small.
14 Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small.
15 But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Deuteronomy 25:13-15

He doesn’t want us to hold others to different standards than to which we hold ourselves. Nor does He want us to hold different people to different standards. We should not expect more of others than we do of ourselves. I am not saying that all should, or even can, give equally. There are a lot of factors that can enter into that: how much one makes, living expenses, other financial obligations. But, this goes beyond that, how many times has someone said they wanted to get together and then consistently go on to specify exactly when and where they want to go somewhere with you? And, if you make other suggestions they quickly complain, say that is something they don’t want to do, not a restaurant they like, etc. Once again, expecting one person to give completely while not being willing to compromise themselves. I have seen it a lot, had it happen a lot and probably been guilty to an extent of the same. Not all can give equally, but the amount given is not what God is concerned about. He is concerned with the attitude we give and with the extent we give within our means.

1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

Luke 21:1-4

We all know someone that seems that person is not as loving or compassionate towards others as Christ has told us to be to one another. They are the one person encouraging others to give and keep giving constantly and while only making token sacrifices all the while pushing the other to totally commit. I have to say, the way I understand it is that what we give, how much, to which church or charity is all between the individual and Christ. For this reason or that one feels more compelled by the Spirit to give more to one cause over another. Whether the gift/donation be cash, donations of food, or donations of time and labor. It should be a personal choice based on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and not someone pushing another to donate.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

And, one should donate in a way that doesn’t bring attention to themselves. It should be between the person and God, if they do it for attention, then it is not about God, but self.

1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:1-4

As far as donating a little or making a full and total commitment, well, we should all make a total commitment to Jesus. Not always easy for humans, because well, lets face it: it is hard, as a human, to truly and completely let go and let God have complete control. I try, and I think I do well in that aspect of my spiritual life: better then some, not as good as others. But, I am trying to get better with that part (okay, okay and pretty much all aspects of my spiritual walk with Christ as I have a long way to go in a lot of areas.) But, as much as financial and other gifts to churches are important; far more important is our gift to God of our love, worship and service as well as our love and kindness to others.

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Matthew 22:37

 

Lord, I praise Your Holy Name and thank You for teaching me so much. I pray that I learn better how to give as You would have me to give but more importantly that I remember to not only give of what I have, but give myself to You. Totally and completely and without anything or part held back. I ask You to help me and others to know Your blessings and Your love. I ask in Jesus name that I and all my loved ones know how to, and strive to, give You are all and serve You totally and completely. Show us all how to give ourselves for Your glory and that we learn to not try to glorify ourselves. Teach us how to be humble for You and before You.

Amen

 

Thanks so very much for your time. I hope all have a blessed day and weekend and that you have a chance to be a blessing to others in the process.

The coffee cup

coffee_cup

The other morning I filled my coffee cup and went out to do some stuff in the garage. Well, me being me, I got wrapped up with things and when I went back into the house I forgot the cup. Then just couldn’t remember where I’d left it. I looked all over but never found it. Until today, about 3 or 4 days later. Well, I took it in the house and poured it out and rinsed it. But, after rinsing it, I looked and it was stained. I tried washing it out properly only to find that the stain didn’t want to come out. So, I filled it with water and added some soap thinking that would surely get the stain out. And……it didn’t work. I knew it was clean, well at least sanitary but it was still stained. Sometimes I have a stubborn streak and don’t want to give up and made a dilute bleach solution in the cup and let it soak. For some reason I started wondering about some of the other cups and even though they had all been washed they all had some staining just from the day to day use for coffee. Well, I figured bleach one, bleach them all. I did and all are clean and without stains.

That got me thinking about sin; how it stains or souls and no matter how much we try on our own, we can’t wash away the sins. We can stop sinning but that doesn’t remove the stain. We can go to the Lord and ask forgiveness and through the blood of Christ those sins will be washed away, the stains will be removed.

5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:5-6

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:7-9

 

But, if we continue to live in some kind of sin and continue to enjoy what we received from sinning, the stains will return. He wants us to become different people or Him. He will help us with that, but we still must make the decision daily serve Him or live with sin and allow the stains to come back.

16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:16-17

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

 

No, He doesn’t want us to continue living with sin, He wants to wash it away for us, but He also wants us to cease from sinning and give up those things we derived from sin.

 

Lord, I worship You and thank You for all the blessings You give me. I thank You for washing away my stains through the sacrifice Christ made for me. I pray in the name of Jesus that You continue to work on me, help me better avoid sin so the stains do not return. Help me recognize any sin I may be covering and to put away all evil. I pray that You work on me to help me be the Christian that You Wish me to be that I may be a proper servant for You. Draw us all to You. Help my Loved ones know Your truth and to see their stains and prepare their hearts to know You, Your truths and wishes for them. I thank You for my salvation and the forgiveness You gave me.

Amen

 

I hope you all receive some sort of blessing today and that you have a chance to bless someone else as well. Thank You for finding time to visit my blog.