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Archive for June, 2005

Security


These are scary times if you don’t have something to anchor you life. The news is filled with things that make you wonder how much longer this world will last. Jesus said these things would happen in the last days. Jesus told them;

"Don’t let anyone mislead you. For many will come in my name, saying, `I am the Messiah.’ They will lead many astray. And wars will break out near and far, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won’t follow immediately. The nations and kingdoms will proclaim war against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come." Matthew 24:4-8

Sounds like today’s headlines doesn’t it? If I didn’t know there was a hope, I would be pretty scared! But there is a hope! As a Christian I know that my hope is not based upon what I hear and see, but on the promises that Jesus gave me and all other believers. You see Jesus promised us that He would never leave us and that He would be with us even to the end of time. Matthew 28:20 He also said in John 14:17; "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

"Listen to what awaits those who know Jesus as there personal Lord and Saviour. "

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a beautiful bride prepared for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, "Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever. "And the one sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making all things new!" And then he said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true." And he also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega–the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give the springs of the water of life without charge! All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children." Revelation 21:1-7.

Do you want to be free from fear? Do you want have that security and peace that Jesus has promised? You can, simply by confessing that you are a sinner and asking Jesus to come into your heart. It’s that simple. I promise you that you too will have that security and peace He has given us.

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog. Turn your space settings from private to public.

 

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A Cloud of Witnesses


Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

I have always been fascinated by the marathon run in the Olympics. The runners run for very long distances to obtain a medal. All along the way there are those who cheer them on. The crowd rises to their feet as each one enters the stadium and applauds them. Even those who don’’t come in the top three are applauded. The marathon is a grueling race and some never finish, they drop out because of exhaustion. I remember seeing films of men who were so determined that to make it that they would almost have to crawl to make it across the finish line. To be a marathoner requires discipline and training. Without those 2 essentials they won’t last.

Being a Christian is like being a marathoner. It requires discipline and training. These come from spending time in God’’s word and in prayer. Without those 2 essentials it can be a long and agonizing race and many wind up dropping out. But for those who endure there is as the bible says a cloud of witnesses cheering us on. Those who have gone before us and obtained the crown.

Are you willing to do what it takes to win that race? It requires as Hebrews says that you lay aside every weight, and the sins that so easily ensnare us. What are the things that ensnare you? Are you willing to let them go? The prize is eternal life. It is ending that race by running into arms of Jesus.

Mark Schultz wrote a song called Cloud of Witnesses. It’s about a group of friends and their walk with the Lord. The last verse and chorus says; So when it comes the time that Heaven calls, they’’ll come running, to see the ones who’’ve gone before. Who ran the race and made the journey home. To find them waiting at the finish line cheering happily. They will run and they will see, a cloud of witnesses lined up on a street of gold as they run the final mile that leads them to the throne. And through that cloud of witnesses, they can see God upon that throne and as they fall into His arms they know their home in a cloud of witnesses. Lord Jesus we long for that day!

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog.

God bless

Gerry

 

Watching Our Tongues


A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, But perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, and from the opening of my lips will come right things. Proverbs 8:6

Do you realize that we shape our children by the way we speak to them? The Jews know this and bless their children everyday. That is why many of their offspring have gone on to become successful. When you look at many of the people who changed this world you will find that they were Jews. Some examples of them are Alfred Einstein, scientist, Henry Kissinger, politician, Mark Spitz, olympian, Sigmund Freud, doctor and many others. They have learned to speak blessing into their children’’s lives every morning.

In today’’s world it is common to hear a parent calling their child an idiot or telling them they are stupid. Children have become a burden to a parent’’s career. Parents curse their children instead of encouraging them and then they wonder why these children turn to sin, drugs and crime. The Word of God says that children are a gift and a heritage from the Lord. Psalm 127:3 Every parent will have to answer one day for the careless words they have spoken to their offspring.

My dad was an alcoholic and would often pick on me. He would tell me I was stupid and would never amount to anything. I was told it so often, I believed it. I had no confidence at all in any endeavour I would try to get into. I had trouble keeping any kind of meaningful relationship. It was only Jesus and the prayers of a faithful grandmother and mother that kept me from falling into deep sin and perversion. I have forgiven my dad today and know who I am in Christ. I gain my confidence from Him. I couldn’t care less what people say about me. I have learned from this.

Being a single dad for eleven years has not been easy, but I have never told my kids they were anything less than who they are in Jesus. Like the Jews I speak blessing into their lives everyday and as I do this I see them grow in confidence and assurance of God’’s love for them. Please love your kids. They are not a burden. They are the future. Speak well to them and teach them to do the same when they have kids of their own one day.

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog.

God bless

Gerry

Fathers


There is no other member of the traditional family that is maligned more today than the father. In society today we are told that fathers are a throw back to the old patriarchal system. On television shows and commercials, they are portrayed as being a not so bright klutz. Mom and the kids have more of a clue than he does. Even the gay characters are presented as being stronger role models than these poor guys.

Why does the media want to destroy the image of a father so much? First of all, God is the Father. He is our Creator and our perfect role model. In the last few years I have seen Him portrayed as a senile and forgetful old man, with little interest in what’’s going on here on earth. Nothing could be further from the truth.

A perfect example of God’s father’s heart is found in the story of the prodigal son in Luke

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

"When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. 
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

"The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

    "But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

"The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

" ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ "

Children need strong role models and when they can’t find it in a father, they look elsewhere. A lot of the times the role models they find lead them on a path of destruction. This is why satan and the media are so intent on destroying the image of a strong and faithful father.

The Word of God emphasizes the role model fathers are to be in Ephesians 6:4; "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."

My pastor, Paul Van Buren writes a daily devotional on the web each day. He wrote that even though not much is written about Joseph he had more of an impact on Jesus’’s life than any other human being. If you read the passages about him in the beginning of Matthew and Luke you will find a man of character. A man with a strong faith and conviction as well as a great devotion to God. In all things God asked him to do concerning his family he obeyed. He must have been quite a man for God to entrust His Son to him. A strong role model.

I grew up in a home where I was robbed from having a dad because of his alcohol addiction. I had no role model that I could look up to and when I got married and was to become a father myself, I despaired. How could I be a father? I never learned how. I remember going into Pastor Ken Bomby’s office and asking for his prayers and advise. What he told me was so simple and yet it changed my life forever. He told me that to be a father all I had to do was look to The Father and ask Him to teach about His fathers heart. Studying the Word changed  me and when my daughter was born and I held her in my arms for the first time, I knew I would never worry about being a father again. God had become my role model and because of that I have become a model for my children to follow as well. I have been a single father now for the last eleven years and don’t regret a single moment.

If you want to see God’s father’s heart fllow this link;

http://www.fathersloveletter.com/

I don’t know what happened but I lost this blog and all the comments that were associated with it. Fortunatly I had saved part of it. I apoligize to those of you affected.

 

Redeeming the Time


See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17

Our lives on this world are so short. The Bible says in Isaiah 40:6b-8; "All flesh is grass, and the loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever."

Some people’s lives are shooting stars and they leave their mark upon this world while others are more just a barely heard whimper. Their whole lives are spent trying to accumulate things. Like the rich fool Jesus spoke about in Luke 12:16-21;

And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

    "Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." 

    "But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

    "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

You can’t take anything with you when you die, especially if you don’’t know Christ as your Saviour. Time is so short and we will all be judged one day as to how we have used it. Every moment we waste in trying to build our own little kingdom is a moment we will never get back again. It is gone for eternity.

There was a secular musician called Steve Millar who wrote a song that said Time keeps slipping into the future. We promise ourselves that we will make a decision to follow after Christ or to spend more time with Him and His word. We make promises to spend more time with our spouses or children and before we know it our chances have slipped away from us and it is too late. Our families fall apart and we wonder why.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-26; "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?"

We are foolish beings and our hearts will always find ways for us to squander the time we have. The only way to use time wisely is letting someone else teach us how. That happens first by coming to Jesus and confessing you are a sinner. Then recognizing Him as your Lord and Saviour. Ask Him to show you how to use your time best. He will direct you through the Holy Spirit and His Word

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog.

God bless

Gerry

Motivation


According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Cor. 3:10-15 (NASV)

What is your motivation? What drives you? Do you strive to be the better in every area of your life than your peers? Is it your desire to be noticed by others, to be recognized for your achievements in life by men?

At one point in my Christian walk this is the way it was for me. I had recorded a cassette and I’d love hearing it played on the radio or hearing my name announced on it. I loved being in a position where people could see me. I would get angry or upset when others were chosen over me. My motivation was for self. Was Christ Lord in my life? Yes in most areas, but I held back in this area of my life. I craved attention. Jesus had to take me through some hard lessons in order for me to give it up.

I remember singing in Pennsylvania at a talent search. I knew in my spirit God didn’t want me doing this and yet I went ahead with it. I sang my best song and bombed badly. I couldn’t seem to sing in tune. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I thought I could win that contest hands down. Oh boy was I wrong. In spite of myself God still used me to touch people’s lives in the many of the concerts I sang in. I sometimes wonder how many more lives could have been touched had my motivation been different. Will the works I did during that time burn up? If they were done in the flesh, definitely they will. All I’ve done will be judged one day and only what I’ve done for the furtherance of God’s kingdom will stand. It will be terrible thing to see all that you spent your life trying to attain burn up before your eyes while others receive rewards because what they did was for Christ. So tell me, what is your motivation?

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog.

God bless

Gerry

The Servant


He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. if anyone serves Me, him My Father will honour. John 12:25-26

Many of us are familiar with this verse. But what exactly was Jesus talking about? First of all we have to look at Jesus Himself. What does the scripture say that he did? Philippians 2:7 says that Christ made Himself of no reputation, taking on the form a servant. Jesus said Himself in Matthew 20:28 that He did not come to be served but to serve. Jesus Christ is God incarnate and picture this, the God of all gods, the Majesty of heaven, the Creator came and took on the form of a man to serve His creation. Willingly washing His disciple’’s feet and then allowing Himself to be punished in our place. He freely gave Himself to us even to the point of dying on the cross. He said no there is no greater love than this, than someone lays down his life for his friends. John 15:13 It was the ultimate act of being a servant.

When we come to Christ, we become His bond-servants. In the old testament when a slave gave himself willingly to a household, the master took that slave to the doorpost of his house and drove an awl though the servant’’s ear. The shedding of the servant’’s blood on the doorpost signifies what Christ did for us by shedding His blood. We are saying to Jesus we no longer want to be a slave to sin but His slave. His bond-servant. We bind our selves to Him willingly because of what He did for us. We give up our right to freedom and become His servant for eternity.

Thinking of being a servant sometimes bring up images of a tough master but in the Christians case this is not so. He promises us rest in serving Him. Jesus said "Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

Being a Christian means to serve. It means putting the needs of others ahead of yourself. It means doing the lowliest of tasks without complaint. A true servant will do the jobs that no one else wants. It means doing things for God that no one sees except Him. He is humble and does not boast in the things he does. They follow Christ’’s example as in Philippians 2:5-11 True servant’s of God know that their real reward for service is in Heaven. A crown of righteousness.

I once attended a church with about 800 members where only less than 5 percent were servant’’s. The rest just sat back and wanted to be served. Imagine what that church could have done if all of them were servant’’s like in Acts 2:42-47. They could have turned this city upside down. Will we allow your church to become like that? I pray not. I pray that each of us would find an area of service. Find out what you can do. Your church has many areas in which you can serve. Ask the pastor where you can help. You may be asked to do some tasks that don’’t have any earthly reward, but if you have a servant’s heart you will not grumble or complain. That is the true test of a real servant.

Thanks to Launa of Launa’s Little Piece of Heaven for creating the Take a Stand For Jesus banner for me. Let everyone know you are taking a stand and copy and paste it into your latest blog.

God bless

Gerry