Happy New Year!

Ye-haw! We’re off to a party. Ours is not your typical party. There will be no alcohol, no hangovers the next day, no fights, no regrets. I don’t know if we’ll stay to see the new year in or not. We’ll see how long our stamina holds out.

No, we are going to have a chili celebration! It’s a cook-off, folks, and I hope our church gets lots of visitors to participate. We’ll start with a short devotion from the pastor, followed by the chili cook-off and lots of other good food. Then we’ll go back into the sanctuary for popcorn preaching. That’s where everyone who wants to participate draws a scripture out of a hat and preaches on that verse for five minutes.

We will have singing and laughter, good food, and great fellowship, praising and thanking our great God for another year of health and life, for the gift of salvation so we’ll only have to die once (the body will die but the soul will live forever with God and the Lord Jesus Christ; those who choose not to believe will die the second death as they spend all eternity dying in the torments of hell).

I’m already singing my theme song as sung by Rich Mullins twenty years ago: Our God is an Awesome God. He reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power and love: Our God is an Awesome God.

May all of you have a safe night with no regrets tomorrow. Drive safely. If you drink please take a cab or call AAA to tow you and your vehicle home for free. Don’t ruin your holiday or anyone else’s. Take care of yourself. God sees you as a VIP.

What Is A Christian?

I’ve been reading a number of posts on other sites lately that leave me disappointed and fighting discouragement. There seems to be a large number of people who had faith in God/Jesus at one time and now feel that it is all a lie, and that there are no true Christians in the world.

I have to ask those people: What are you looking for? How do you define a Christian? Is it someone who is perfect? Sorry, not in this life. Our souls are saved from sin when we repent and ask Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, but our flesh is still weak. The apostle Paul said he was the chiefest of sinners and that he continually did those things contrary to what he wanted to do, and didn’t do the things he should. Every church I’ve ever been in, every Christian I’ve ever met has believed that Paul was the greatest Christian that ever lived. We are instructed to “die to ourselves daily.” If we were perfect we wouldn’t need to do that. Isaiah said that “all of our righteousness is as filthy rags.”

We can’t earn salvation because there isn’t a human being who ever lived, or who ever will live who could be good enough. We are all born sinners. We are not born wanting to do right. No one has to teach a child how to lie, steal or be selfish. It is inherent in their nature, and becomes more dominant as they grow. My best efforts to be good fall so short of God’s expectations. But He has graciously paid the penalty for my sin, has taken my punishment. He knows I can’t be perfect. It’s why He continually offers me His love, grace, and mercy. I need it.

That is not a license to go out and do anything I want to. Salvation is not a “get out of hell free” card. It is not fire insurance. God is not a celestial Santa Claus, or a benevolent, spoiling grandfather. He is not “the man upstairs.” He is God. He is almighty, all powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, and everywhere present. He is just and holy. He is righteous. He is jealous. We are not to worship anything or anyone other than Him. He alone is worthy.

As Christians we have a responsibility to do our best to obey Him, to ask His forgiveness when we fail, to seek His help to become more like Him because we can’t do it on our own.

So if you can’t see any real Christianity, maybe it’s because you’re looking for reasons not to believe. Maybe you’ve been let down. Maybe you’ve seen hypocrisy. But do you disown a baby because it stumbles when it is learning to walk? We are all at different stages of our Christian growth and walk. Some Christians are not being taught (discipled) how to live a Christian life. If no one teaches them they won’t know what’s expected.

If there are hypocrites in your church, praise the Lord! Where should they be? At least they (hopefully) are hearing messages that may help them change. The church is not a museum for saints; it’s a spiritual hospital for growing, struggling Christians. It’s not a carnival where you go for a weekly spiritual “happy hour.” It’s a place to grow and learn in your walk with Jesus.

The Bible is God’s holy Word. If you choose not to believe it, if you choose to believe it’s a lie your end will be hell and there is no way out of there. If you’re wrong you have everything to lose. If God is real and you put your faith, hope and trust in Him, and it turns out not to be true, what have you lost? The end is the same then.

A Christian, a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, is by definition, a follower, a learner, a student of Him and His ways. It is not perfection; it is growth. Don’t let the devil deceive you. Remember that the Bible (Ephesians chapter 6) tells us that he is our enemy, presenting himself as an angel of light, and “roams about a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.” Don’t listen to him. He came to destroy you and your faith. He wants you to give up and look at all of the negative, and the bad examples out there. There will always be bad examples. Just keep your eyes on Jesus. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He’s a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Hang in there, struggling believer. Ask God to help you stand strong. Don’t let the devil win.

Gene.Sys – Aaron Denius Garcia

Just discovered this author. Clicked on the Amazon link. Plan to get all three of his books. Check it out for yourself.

booksandopinions.com

A spectacular YA novel, this Dystopian story will have you waiting anxiously for the next book by Aaron Denius Garcia.

Gene.Sys cover image

Being a fan of religious fiction and biographies (do NOT panic if you are not religious, this story is not either) I was immediately drawn in to read the story about Atom and Ev, and how they were created to create a new life for everyone, in E.D.E.N.

Created much like I would assume a test-tube-infant was created (no offense intended here, I am not a Science or Biology student), Atom and Ev live in a secluded, monitored, high-security environment.

They are on the ‘inside’; the rest of the human race is on the ‘outside’. A select group of Doctors and Scientists are tasked with creating a new race of humans, whatever the cost. The humans on the outside are barely alive, fighting wars, famine, and plagues.

There is a…

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What Is The Value Of Your Life?

I drove to Walmart Monday, about a 25 mile stretch of mostly three-lane highway. On the way there I passed an accident on the South-bound side of the road. One lane was blocked. On my return trip two hours later, what appeared to be that same accident, which appeared to be a two-vehicle incident on the way to Walmart, was now a three-vehicle death scene.

The area where the accident occurred was an intersection with a shopping center (strip mall) on the South-bound side of the highway. I heard that it had been a head-on collision. Apparently two vehicles were trying to cross the highway at the cross section without slowing down. I don’t know how the third vehicle got involved unless it hit one of the other vehicles while it was engaged with the other. Jaws of life lay on the ground beside the vehicle shrouded in drapes.

Once I got through the traffic on the way home another vehicle, a small burgundy colored vehicle, which had obviously also been held up in the traffic jam awaiting the opportunity to get around the accident, went flying by me, doing easily fifteen to twenty miles an hour over the speed limit. What? Did that driver not just witness the horrible aftermath of being in too big of a hurry? Did his/her life mean so little that he/she was willing to risk the same result?

For the love of your own soul (not to mention other motorists and motorcylists), please don’t fool yourself into thinking that kind of accident could never happen to you. I’m sure none of the drivers involved in the afore described accident were planning to have one. They all probably thought they were good drivers. Maybe they were, but now at least one person is dead. What difference did it make whether or not that motorist felt capable? Please keep yourself and others safe by driving within the speed limit (whether or not you agree with the posted limit is a moot point; it’s the law) and be alert. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted while driving. It can end in death in an instant.

Help For Sun-Sensitive People

Just discovered (been in my email since Nov. 29), finally getting back to that date): Sunny Sleevez. These are products developed by someone who does have sun-sensitivity. The products come in different sizes and cover arms, legs and head to protect from harmful UV rays while enjoying the outdoors. Prices are reasonable and pleasing to the eye. Here’s the link to their website:

http://www.sunnysleevez.com/

The ANSWER questions

Imanikingblog is right: the ball is in your court, oh reader. What will you do with the gift God gave when He sent His ONLY begotten Son to take the punishment for your sin? Will you choose to take the consequences anyway and spend eternity in hell, or will you accept the Gift, and ask Him to make you over in His image, so you can enjoy real peace, joy, and love, and spend eternity in a happy place with no more pain, suffering, death, sin, or hate?

imanikingblog

Amidst the many wonderful and out-of-this-world-names that we call HIM or address Him as – trying to understand an Infinite God through our finite minds and limited abilities, I also call Him THE ANSWER.

How do you handle your confusion when The Answer asks a question?

Is it that, He doesn’t have answers anymore?

At what point did He lose that ability?

My mind ponders on why The Answer would have questions and dare to ask them…ask me a mortal. What does He expect of me? How do I defend this “inadequacy”?

I wonder and ponder.

Yet at the same time, it occurs to me that these Questions are aimed or fired at my faithlessness or loss of what I once had. He is questioning the new found friend that I have chosen to listen to called DOUBT. Not something I did willingly (I think) but by not…

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When It Seems All Hope Is Lost

What does Christmas mean to a little child? The answer would depend on his or her life situation. A child living in a family that has everything they need would probably be filled with anticipation of lots of presents, toys, candies, family gatherings, and all the food he could want.

But a little girl living in a ramshackle shack with a dad in jail or prison and a mother who had to do who-knows-what due to lack of education, just to put food on the table, wouldn’t have very high expectations. Such was my situation when I was about four or five years old. I don’t know what kind of work my mother had to do back then. I know she was home with me at night. Sometimes she babysat a little boy around my age named DonnyBob. She found work wherever she could.

My father was in jail for public drunkenness and brawling. It was Christmas Eve and we had no food in the house. Our dresses were almost threadbare. There was no tree, no presents. I honestly don’t remember what my feelings were–until the Boy Scouts came. They went to the house across the street first, but those people had left hurriedly (so my mother said later).

The Boy Scouts brought us a Christmas dinner: ham, sweet potatoes, and I don’t remember what else. I do remember there was more than enough food. There was also a doll for me, so there must have been a little girl that lived across the street. There was a dress for my mom and one for me. I guess it was the right size. I remember thinking that all of those things were meant for us until Mom told me about the people across the street. It was a meager but blessed Christmas.

Contrast that to my first Christmas after Mom married my stepdad, who would have spoiled me rotten if Mom had let him. That first Christmas after they married, I got up Christmas morning feeling like Shirley Temple in “The Little Princess.” There was a small wooden table with two matching chairs. There were games, puzzles (I love puzzles), and more clothes than my mom could wrap. I remember asking who all that stuff was for. My dad had the biggest grin I’d ever seen (then or since) on his face. He nodded to me and my mom said, “Honey, they’re yours.”

Looking back, it’s not the gifts, the abundance of presents: it’s the overwhelming love that came from my new dad, love that I had not felt in a very long time from a parent. I really needed a dad, and God gave me one.

The Satanic Temple Says Homosexual Marriage is a ‘Sacrament,’

The Satanic Temple Says Homosexual Marriage is a ‘Sacrament,’.

http://rogertharpe.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/the-satanic-temple-says-homosexual-marriage-is-a-sacrament/

Originally posted on Roger Thorpe’s blog on wordpress.com. People may not want to hear the truth, but they need to. If you had cancer wouldn’t you want your doctor to tell you so you could discuss treatment options? Jesus is the cure for sin, hate, rebellion, witchcraft, terrorism, etc. The Bible says God is love, and in Him is no darkness at all.

God doesn’t hate homosexuals. He just hates the sin, the same as He hates lies, adultery, fornication, taking His name in vain, etc. God hates sin, but He loves people. It’s why He send His only begotten Son to die on a cruel cross for our sins. He took our punishment. God doesn’t send anyone to hell; people send themselves because they reject the supreme sacrifice of Christ on the cross. God made a way for every single person to be reconciled to Him. He leaves the choice up to us.

The Satanic Temple Says Homosexual Marriage is a ‘Sacrament,’

We live in a world where the majority of people think they should just be able to do anything they want without consequence. That is a fairytale. If you hold a gun to someone, you can expect, at some point, to either be killed, or end up in prison. If you hold your hand over a hot stove you will get burned. Every choice we make has a consequence. The consequence belongs to the choice-maker.

Where Is It? Where Is It? Where Is It?

There goes that human again, trying to write someone else’s story. See, that’s just wrong. It’s egotistical. Why can’t she ever think about someone else? Her husband is no better. He doesn’t write, but he doesn’t pay attention to me either. I feel so used and taken for granted.

Sometimes he goes for days without giving me any attention at all. Then when he needs me he can’t find me. Thursday was a prime example. He hadn’t paid any attention to me for three. whole. days. I mean, seriously?

Yesterday, which was Thursday, he gets up and starts asking his wife, “Where’s my razor?” She didn’t have a clue but she looked for me anyway. He was looking, too, but she’s the one who found me.

“Found it!” she gloated.

“Where was it?”

“On the shelf beside the bed.”

“You let me go to church last night without shaving,” he said. “Why didn’t you say something? I looked scruffy and felt really crummy.”

“Well, I don’t like to be a nag, and I’m not your mama. You knew we had church. It wasn’t a surprise. You dawdled all day.”

Did he clean me after he used me? No. I am so unappreciated. Don’t you feel sorry for me?