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Category Archives: Christianity

Shamrock or Solid Rock?

It’s hard to believe it is March already, and typically in this month we see or are reminded of budding blossoms, weather beginning to warm up, St. Patrick’s Day and shamrocks. When we think of the word “shamrock”, most of us immediately envision that green, three part clover leaf that is popular during this time of the year. However, the word “shamrock” can also be classified as a compound word, which is 2 words that come together to make one new word.

In the word “shamrock”, we see the 2 words “sham” and “rock”. By definition, a sham is something or someone that is pretended, counterfeit or feigned. When most of us think of a rock, we get a visual picture in our mind of a large mass of stone that forms a cliff or hill or perhaps a single stone of smaller size. Another definition of rock is “a person or thing suggesting a rock, especially in being dependable, unchanging, or providing a firm foundation.

Jesus spoke the following words in the book of Matthew about His own teachings.
Matthew 7:24, 25 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

The Bible, God’s Holy Word is a solid foundation upon which we can build our lives. If we are not striving to live our lives in obedience to God’s Word, then we are really building our lives upon a “sham rock”. If a spouse, loved one, movie star, super hero, etc. is #1 in our lives instead of Jesus, we are building our lives on a “sham rock”. If wealth, career, education, pursuit of worldly pleasure or some other thing is the master passion of our lives, we are building our lives on a “sham rock”. Jesus had this to say in contrast of the person who does not build their lives upon His Word.

Matthew 7:26, 27 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

So what about you? Upon what are you building your life? Stormy trials and tests will come at one time or another into your life. If it is built upon the solid foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word, it will be able to withstand those storms. May we all earnestly pray that we will hear and do the Word of God, that we might have a solid foundation upon which to build our lives and be not only blessed here and now, but in the life to come!

 

Napoleon Was Right About That One!

American Minute with Bill Federer

April 30

The size of the U.S. doubled APRIL 30, 1803, with the Louisiana
Purchase.

Nearly a million square miles, at less than three cents an acre – it
was the greatest land bargain in history!

President Thomas Jefferson commented on it in his Second Inaugural
Address, March 4, 1805:

“I know that the acquisition of Louisiana has been disapproved by
some from a candid apprehension that the enlargement of our territory
would endanger the union, but who can limit the extent to which the
federative principle may operate effectively?”

For fifteen million dollars, France sold its land west of the
Mississippi, called the Louisiana Territory, because Napoleon
Bonaparte needed money quickly for his military campaigns.

Napoleon fought in Europe, Egypt and Russia, but was finally exiled
to the island of Elba.

Napoleon returned to rule France again for 100 days, but after losing
at Waterloo in 1815 he was banished to the tiny island of St. Helena
in the South Atlantic, where he commented to General Count de
Montholon:

“Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself founded empires; but upon
what foundation did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force!

But Jesus Christ founded His upon love; and at this hour millions of
men would die for Him.”

 

The Miracle Of Spring

I love this time of year. Spring just never ceases to amaze me. There is just something special about seeing little buds and blossoms break forth on trees that looked so dead or seeing a little plant sprout up in a spot where it seemed there was nothing but dirt. It makes me realize that there has been activity going on inside the trees or underneath the ground that our human eye cannot see. God has been busy doing a work.

So it is in the spirtual realm too. I love springtime in the Spirit. I love seeing “the buds and blossoms” break forth in a life that was once dead in trespasses and sins, as the person experiences being born of water and the Spirit. (John 3:5, Acts 2:38) There is nothing like it. I love seeing saints of God begin to bud and blossom into new areas of service to the Lord. It could be teaching Bible studies, playing an instrument, singing in church, befriending new converts, ushering, helping people pray at the altar, going doorknocking or even a changed attitude.  Growth is just…………………………..exciting!

As you go through your day, may God open your eyes to behold the miracles of spring around you, and may His wonders make your heart rejoice. :-)

 

Profitable Acronym

I like acronyms, and for some reason, this one, that I learned of a long time ago, popped into my mind this morning. If you want to grow in your walk with God, this is good advice.

P -Prayer

R- Read the Bible

O-Offerings and tithes (give them)

F-Fasting (this one’s a struggle-but it works!)

I-Intercessory prayer (praying earnestly for others)

T-Testify(tell of God’s goodness, both at church and in the streets)

May you have a profitable day!

 

A Passion To Fly

If you read the post before this one, you know that Paul was scheduled for a complimentary first flight lesson on Thursday. Well……………………………………………….it happened, and it was a great experience.  The man in the photo is Rashid, Paul’s flight instructor.  Rashid made a statement to us before Paul had his lesson that really struck me. He said, “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to learn how to fly. You just have to have a passion for it.” (more on that in a bit) Paul was up in the air flying for about in a hour in the yellow Cessna 15o. While he was flying we spent a little bit of time talking to our contact person for the lesson, and then we ducked out for a quick breakfast at Marie Callendar’s. When we got back to the airport, Paul had landed and was waiting for us.  Paul had actually flown and handled the controls for quite a bit of the trip. The flight instructor told us that Paul did very well, and it was obvious to him that Paul had been doing a lot of study. He said that he asked Paul a lot of questions and that Paul’s knowlege level is already where it should be to obtain a private pilot’s license.  Of course, he needs to get the actual experience of flying in a plane more, but his instructor felt he could get his license within 3 months. (He’s going to have to wait a while though, because you must be 17 to get your private pilot’s license.)

I live with Paul, and it is quite obvious to me that he has a passion for flying. He pretty much has been “stuck” on aviation since he was 8 years old, and has spent hours reading about it and doing his flight simulator. He has begged me before to take him to an airport, so he could watch the planes.  I really haven’t taught him a whole lot about aviation, and most of what he knows he learned from studying on his own. I’ve never had to push him or prod him to study aviation. Why?  It’s because he has a passion for it.

I think back to what Rashid said about flying.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to fly, but you do have to have a passion for it.  I wonder what would happen if we got as passionate about living for and working for God as we do about a career, hobby or other things.  You don’t have to have a Th.B, come from a family of preachers or have all the right “connections” to really live for God and be involved in His kingdom, but you do have to have a passion for Him. It’s easy to pray, worship and hear the Word at church, but is this a part of our daily lives too? Do we spend time everyday seeking God in prayer and in reading and studying His Word, or is it just kind of a “side thing” that we save for church or some conference we might attend? I believe God wants us to be passionate about Him. It’s okay to have other hobbies, interests, a career, but God should be the number 1 passion in our lives upon which everthing else revolves. I want to be more passionate about living for Him and helping others to find a relationship with Him. Living for Jesus has put a passion to fly in me.  I am looking forward to “flying away” one day to be with Him throughout all eternity. I may not be a rocket scientist, have an outstanding family pedigree or be a brilliant theologian, but one day, I’m gonna fly! I hope you will fly too.

1Th 4:16-18

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 

I’ll fly away;
To a home on God’s celestial shore,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

Chorus
I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

2.
When the shadows of this life have gone,
I’ll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away) 

3.
Just a few more weary days and then,
I’ll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away)

 

Maria’s Baptism

It was a great day of rejoicing when Maria was baptized in Jesus’ name this past Sunday. It’s wonderful to see the work that God is doing in her life!

Water Baptized In Jesus’ Name

 

Repentant sinner

willing and obedient

surrendered and submitted

wholeheartedly following

Scriptures holy

sins are remitted

past buried

transgression all erased

cleansed, renewed

washed, sanctified, justified

Jesus’ name called

baptized

I am

baptized

called name, Jesus

justified, sanctified, washed

renewed, cleansed

erased, all transgressions

buried past

remitted are sins

Holy Scriptures

following wholeheartedly

submitted and surrendered

obedient and willing

sinner repentant.

 

1Peter 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:  

1Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  Luke 24:47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem.   Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Romans 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  Colossians 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

 

Public Opinion Survey and Home Bible Studies

A few weeks ago, we began giving a short public opinion survey to people in our city in the hopes that it would interest some to sign up for a Bible study. Our outreach director got this idea from another church that has been doing this and seeing some good results. Here are the questions that are on the survey.

1.  In your opinion, what would be one of the greatest problems in today’s society?

2.  60% of Americans today do not attend church. Why do you think most Americans do not attend church today?

3.  If you were looking for a church to attend, what would you look for in a church?

4.  Do you have a desire to learn more about the Bible?

5.  Have you ever asked yourself this question, “Why did God create us?”

6.  Have you ever asked yourself, “Why did God put the tree in the garden and say, “don’t eat it”?

7.  Would you be interested in a 40 minute Bible study lesson that would answer the previous two questions?

We have done this survey going door to door and also have given it to people in the parking lot of Wal-Mart and grocery stores. God is beginning to open doors, and there are people that have signed up for Bible studies. I had the privilege on Monday of teaching a lady who took the survey and wanted a Bible study. I was not the one who gave her the survey, so I had not met her before the Bible study. Our outreach director gave me her number so I could contact her. We had a good Bible study, and I asked her at the end of the lesson if she would like me to come back and teach more. She said yes! I’m excited about this and the other Bible studies that are going on as well. I know what Bible study did for me. God’s Word is powerful! It changed my life, and I have seen it change many lives. I’m looking forward to seeing the souls that will be saved and radically changed from hearing and application of God’s Word!

 

Servants?

The best way to tell if you have the attitude of a servant is how you respond when you are treated like one!

 

The Application Made The Difference

 

Many years ago when I was a kid, I went through a stage that most children go through where I was constantly falling down and skinning or scraping my knees. I remember one day in particular, my mom had this new medicine that she said she was going to try out on my wound. She assured me that this new stuff, which was called Bactine, would not sting like the peroxide that she usually used. I said, “Okay mom. I believe that the Bactine really works, and it will help my owie get better.” Then my mom and I sat there and just stared in wonder at the bottle of Bactine as we believed in our minds that this new medicine helps heal wounds.

NOT! That’s not what we did! My mom followed the directions on the package, took the cap off the container and sprayed some of the liquid onto my wounded knee. Did my scrape get better? Yes, it did. My mom believed, and I believed that the Bactine would be effective in healing my wound, but Bactine actually had no effect until it came out of the bottle and was applied.

From a child, I had heard the story of Jesus Christ. I believed that He was born into this world, died on the cross and was buried and rose again on the third day. This is the gospel message, and I believed it.(or at least I thought I believed it)Was it relevant to my every day life? Did it change me and give me power to overcome sinful habits and live a victorious life? No, the gospel had absolutely no effect on my life, until I came to the place(by God’s grace and leading)where I understood that I needed to apply the gospel. Jesus died on the cross, so death was the place where I needed to begin. I had to die to my sinful nature and lifestyle through repentance. I asked God to forgive me of every sin I had ever committed and to help me not to continue doing those things that did not please Him. Next came the burial. The Bible likens baptism in several places to a burial. I saw that in the Scriptures. I also saw that everyone in the Bible that was baptized was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so I followed that pattern. What was it that caused Jesus to be able to rise from the dead? It was the Spirit of God that dwelt in Him. I needed God’s Spirit to come and dwell in me so I could be raised up to walk in newness of life. This is what happened to me when I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, just like they did in the book of Acts. ( Acts 2:1-4, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 19:1-6) It was a miracle! I felt the Spirit of God in such an incredible way as I spoke in other tongues for the very first time. In Acts 1:8, Jesus told His disciples that they would receive power after they received the Holy Ghost. I found that to be true in my life. God began to empower me through the Holy Ghost to lay down the things that were contrary to the way a Christian should live.

So why am I writing this? Maybe there are others out there like me who have heard of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Mentally, you believe it, but it hasn’t really impacted your life in the way you had hoped. Perhaps you have repented and asked God for forgiveness, but this is as far as you have gone. You want to live for God, but you find yourself continually falling back into temptation or just not having joy in your relationship with God. Could it be that you have not fully applied the gospel to your life? If you’ve never been baptized in Jesus’ name, I challenge you to read and study the book of Acts, and then I dare you to obey God and do it! If you’ve never received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues, don’t sell yourself short. This experience is for you, and it will not only give you joy and power to live an overcoming life, but it will help you to be a witness for Jesus.

We came into this world with a terrible disease called sin, but God in His love and grace provided the remedy – the gospel. It is effective – when applied. The application made the difference for me. It can make the difference for you too!

 

God Gave His Very Best

Happy Easter to all my family, friends and fellow bloggers. May you be blessed as you remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

For our sins, himself he gave

That delivered, we might be

Hung on that cross, our souls to save

Praise God for Calvary!

That delivered, we might be

And Heaven, we might gain

Praise God for Calvary

And the Lamb, who there was slain.

And Heaven, we might gain

Through him nailed to that tree

And the Lamb, who there was slain

By his death has set us free.

Through him nailed to that tree

Hung on that cross, our souls to save

By his death has set us free

For our sins, himself he gave!

  Written 11-1-07

  Galatians 1:4  Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:    Galatians 3:13  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2010 in Bible, Christianity, faith, Uncategorized, victory

 
 
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