Tag Archives: Salvation

SINCERE SEEKER?

Hello all. It has been quite a while since I have written anything. Today, I received the email below and the Spirit strongly encouraged me to share with you today. This is from the website Reasonable Faith and it is the Question of the Week. The author of the answer is Dr. Craig and he welcomes any questions you may have about Christianity, etc. Below the answer I have included a link to his website and the link to submit a question.

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What about the Sincere Seeker?

Hello Sir,

I have read a big deal of your work and I am really inspired by you and your work.

But there is this one question that greatly troubles me; I always had it in mind since I was very young but having solved a lot of questions, I am concerned about this simple question that I am not able to solve or find a satisfactory answer from a scholar.

I need your views on why God will send people to hell on the basis of their Religious beliefs. A person who sincerely researches on Religion and Theology trying to find if a God exists and if so, what Religion and fails to identify the right Religion, why is he to be punished? A person arrogantly denying the right Religion while knowing the truth might deserve to be punished somehow but what about the one trying his best but failing.

You might say that its natural for one to find the right Religion if pursued honestly … but there need to be stronger arguments supporting this idea; because it doesn’t sound like all the people moving away from Religion were dishonest.

How would you respond to a hypothetical condition of a person sincerely failing?

Thanks in advance.

Muhammad
Pakistan

Dr. Craig responds:

Your question is a good one, Muhammad, and I’ve addressed it in a number of places, most recently in my Defenders lectures “Excursus on Natural Theology,” parts 1-4. I’d really encourage you to listen to or to read those lectures, since they will fully explain my perspective.

The problem with your question is that it assumes a purely humanistic, and perhaps even naturalistic, point of view with respect to finding the knowledge of God. It takes for granted that it’s basically up to us to figure out which religion is true. But whatever other religions may teach, this is not the point of view of Christianity. If God were to abandon us to our own intelligence and ingenuity to work out whether or not He exists, He would be a very cruel God indeed. As one of the students in my Defenders class remarked, getting into heaven should not be like getting into Harvard! But God has not abandoned us. The Bible teaches that God loves us and so by His Holy Spirit seeks to draw people to Himself. The self-authenticating witness of God’s Spirit will enable, not only believers, but also sincere seekers to come to a knowledge of God.

Therefore, if a person ultimately fails to come to faith in Christ, it is never just because of lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties with the faith. At root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God’s Holy Spirit on his heart. Now this convicting power and drawing of the Holy Spirit may take time. It may take years in order for the unbeliever to finally come to Christ. Nevertheless, no one in the final analysis really fails to become a Christian because of lack of arguments or evidence; he fails to become a Christian because he rejects God. But anyone who does respond to the drawing of God’s Spirit with an open mind and an open heart can know with assurance that Christianity is true, because God’s Spirit will convict him that it is true.

Look at the words of Jesus in John 7:16-17:

My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me; if any man’s will is to do His will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
Here Jesus says that if anyone is truly seeking God, if his will is to do God’s will, then he will know that Jesus’ teaching is from God rather than just his personal opinion. Jesus is affirming here that if anyone truly wants God’s will – is truly seeking God – then he will come to know that Jesus’ teaching truly is from God.

So in answer to your questions: “A person who sincerely researches on Religion and Theology trying to find if a God exists and if so, what Religion” will come to find the true God and the right religion, just as Jesus promised, because the Holy Spirit of God will guide his search and draw him to Himself. Only the person who resists the convicting power of the Holy Spirit will remain in unbelief. Such a person willfully thrusts the grace of God from him and so separates himself from God. It’s not that God “will send people to hell on the basis of their Religious beliefs.” Their false beliefs are, rather, symptomatic of their estrangement from God. God wants to save them and tries to draw them to repentance and faith, but they refuse to come and so find themselves wandering in error. So I deny your “hypothetical condition of a person sincerely failing.” If Christianity is true, then there is no ultimate (lifelong), nonculpable unbelief.

You respond, “You might say that its natural for one to find the right Religion if pursued honestly … but there need to be stronger arguments supporting this idea; because it doesn’t sound like all the people moving away from Religion were dishonest.” You seem to be saying that there is ultimate (lifelong), nonculpable unbelief, and so one needs stronger arguments to support the truth of Christianity.

Now I don’t think we’re in a good position to say with any confidence that there is ultimate (lifelong), nonculpable unbelief, Muhammad. First, as I say, God’s drawing of a person may take time, years even, so that we can’t say of someone who is moving away from God that that’s where he’ll end up. (Read the many testimonials we receive from ex-unbelievers who for many years were moving away from God.) It is particularly the case that many Muslims go through a phase of atheism after shedding Islam before they come to Christ.

Moreover, we’re not really in a position to read a person’s heart or deepest motivations. Sin is incredibly deceitful, and we have an amazing ability to rationalize things so as to justify our behavior. Read C. S. Lewis’ provocative The Great Divorce about the self-justifying rationalizations of people in hell. If we can convince ourselves that our obstacles to faith are intellectual rather than moral or emotional that makes our unbelief respectable in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. How do you know what lies in the heart of a person who resists the drawing and conviction of the Holy Spirit until the end of his life?

Furthermore, I do think that we have good reasons for supposing that Christianity is true. First, there is the witness of the Holy Spirit. It can be an intrinsic defeater of the defeaters brought against it. Second, there are good evidences for the truth of Christianity, particularly for the historicity of the radical personal claims and resurrection of Jesus, whereby God vindicated those claims.

You did not disclose, Muhammad, whether you are one of these sincere seekers after the true faith. If you are, then here’s what I would encourage you to do. Begin to read the Gospels and ask yourself whether Jesus of Nazareth could really be who he claimed to be. In your prayers, ask God, whoever He is, to show you the truth about Jesus, whether he spoke the truth from God or was just giving his own opinion. Look at the work of Christian philosophers and biblical scholars, such as you will find at this website. Watch on YouTube some of the debates which I have had with both Muslim scholars and unbelievers and ask yourself which way the evidence points. If you are truly seeking God, then I believe you will come to know the truth.
Have a Question for Dr. Craig? Submit it here.
To read more questions / answers, visit the Q & A Archive.

 

May God Richly bless and keep you all in His tender care.  After all, He does call you His beloved!

The Song – God So Loved The World – Charles Billingsley

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THE GREATEST GIFT EVER RECEIVED

I am one of these folks that believes that everything happens for a reason and most of those things, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, are learning opportunities… or in my case learning and writing opportunities. So with that said, I want to share a couple of things from today with you.

I was in a general store today that is right around the corner from my house. This is one of those kind of stores that you can buy bird seed, bird houses, dog food, dog houses, hay, lawn mowers, weed eaters and even all the equipment and instructions to make your own wine or beer? Not sure which it is… nonetheless, they have just about everything in that general store. I have always loved going to those kinds of places. I guess that started when I used to go with my dad to the feed store in a little town we used to live in. Not that we had any kind of cattle to feed or even fed the wild birds back then, I am really not sure why we would go there… it was probably also a hardware kind of store too, because I love hardware stores too. Anyway, back to this one I was in today. I picked up a package of dog chews that I had always wondered about. Now I have had the usual dog chews and they always concerned me because my little girl dachshund got one stuck in her throat once and I had to go in after it. It was just too small for her, I guess… I should have thrown it away long before, she just chewed it faster than I thought she would. Anyway, these that I saw today are not your usual dog chew. These were Himalayan Dog Chews. indexThey consist of Yak and Cow milk, salt and lime juice. I talked to the young lady at the register and she explained a few things to me about them, so I said what the heck, I will try one package. In one package there are 3 chews. I have 2 dogs… hummm… so I will have to buy another package one day soon, I guess… lol. Anyway, I came home with my Yak milk chews and offered it to each of my pups. Now one of my “pups” is a 27 or 8 or more pound male Standard Dachshund named Zuckie. The other is a 14 pound (should be 10) female Miniature Dachshund named Liesel. The package said these chews were for dogs 30 pounds and below, I think. Anyway, I offered it to them and of course they took them right away and acted like it was the best gift they had ever received.Now my boy, the big guy, has a stash hideout under the bench that is up against the wall behind our dining room table. All of his toys are there, not that he actually plays with them anymore, but he chews on them occasionally, I think. I think he actually thinks that Liesel cannot find things there… but somehow she actually does… oh well. So, he goes to his hide-e-hole and begins to chew away. She begins looking for a place to stash it, but in a very good hiding place, under a blanket in her bed. Then she moves it to another one of her beds but stashes it under the folds of the blanket of this bed. After she stashes it in the 2nd place, she lays on the floor facing the bed and watches it. She laid there for a good 15 minutes before she even moved.b29988b7829f819c1defe101b2fa637d

Meanwhile, my boy is chewing away on his chew under the bench, happy as a clam. I have to leave for a few minutes and when I came back, mom tells me that Liesel had taken it out of her bed and put it under the blanket on the pillow on the couch. She was frantically trying to find “the best spot” to hide this chew. She had not chewed it one time! She just was spending her time hiding it.

I began to think… hummm… maybe it was too fat for her to chew.  Maybe she would begin chewing on it if, say… I traded her the one Zuckie, my boy, was chewing on and gave him a brand new one… the one she had been hiding. Oh that worked beautifully for her…. But Zuckie was none too happy with mommy. He wouldn’t have anything to do with the new one… or the one she kept hiding… and he proceeded to his bed and pouted.day_Lordmade

Meanwhile, Liesel is sprawled out just chewing away. I take the new chew over to Zuckie in his bed and he would barely even look at me. Oh My Goodness… he gets his feelings hurt so easily. Really he does. So, I pondered it for a while. Then I looked down and Liesel had quit chewing on her chew and she was under her blanket in her bed. So I took the chew back to him, this is the original chew he had.   NOPE! He wouldn’t have anything to do with that one either! Oh my, I have really upset him. I felt so bad that I had done that… but now what do I do? So… about an hour later, I go over to his bed, lay down next to his bed and start talking to him. I felt so bad and I apologized to him and laid there and consoled him and even had a tear in my eye when I did. He knew it too, because he sniffed my face and my eyes. You see, we treat our dogs like family in my house. They are a part of us and we love them very much. This boy dog, Zuckie, is a very special kind of guy. He detects my mom’s high blood pressure and protects her a lot. He consoles my dad when he is not feeling well and so this guy is a very special kind of boy to us, and to have hurt his feelings, well, it just about crushed my heart. So I was very sincere when I was down there talking to him. The first time when I offered him the new chew, I was just trying to get him to take it, not really being that sincere. But this time… I meant it with my whole heart and I believe he recognized that. Why? Because this time he laid his head all the way outside his bed to touch my face and gave me a couple of big, fast kisses! Yep, he forgave me. The next thing I knew he was under his bench with the new chew and happy as a clam again. And little girl had not touched hers again but has tried to get his out from his hide-e-hole. Oh the drama we have here.small_6f5e1622db0c3444183fd3c4

Now I have said all of this to get to this… There are a couple of ways I want to go with this. One is how do we treat the greatest gift we have ever received? I guess I should ask first what is the greatest gift you have ever received? Think about it, as a Christian? What is the greatest gift? As for me, that would be the gift of Salvation because of what my Jesus Christ has done for me. Now, hopefully you understand and hopefully, if you know Jesus, that is your answer too. Anyway, what do you do with the greatest gift that Christ has given you? Do you 1) go and hide it like Liesel does her new chew? Or 2) enjoy it like Zuckie?3e5e765ec53c925b176404d6fdd23cae

So you say, well, how do you enjoy it? Well, I enjoy mine by waking up every morning and looking forward to another day to praise my God for. I enjoy my salvation by telling others about what Jesus had done for me. I enjoy my salvation by reading my Bible and telling you all what I have learned. I enjoy my salvation by recognizing things in this big. beautiful world and praising God for giving us such a beautiful world. I enjoy my salvation by sharing time with my wonderful ladies in my Sunday School class. I enjoy my salvation by singing hymns and praises to God and Jesus Christ on Sunday morning in worship service. There are so many ways I enjoy my salvation. I could not possibly list them all here on this post. But I think you get the picture.

Now my question is do you hide the fact that you have this wonderful gift of salvation or do you tell others? Do you enjoy each day and thank God for the air you breath? Do you share your salvation with friends or family? If you do not share it, how will others know about this Jesus and His wonderful gift?   We must be about telling others and living so others can see Him in us. That is what Jesus told the disciples to do 2000 years ago…

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of praise-the-lord-morning-550x320the age.” Amen.

That is enjoying the salvation that Jesus has given with His death on the cross because IT IS the greatest gift ever given or received!

Go and tell  others!

The other direction that I would like to go with this is another post.  I will do that tomorrow.  Remember God loves you so much! He calls you His beloved!

The Song – 10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman

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WHAT TIME IS IT

Oh my what a crazy past few days. I have missed writing but I have just not had the brain space or the time on the clock. Seems time goes by so fast and I think … no, I know… as I get older it is almost lightning speed at times, and… speaking of clocks and time, I think someone has stolen some of the hours off of my clock!

Also, speaking of clocks… I have always loved BIG CLOCKS. If you ever would have a chance to visit my house you would see all sorts of clocks. We have small ones, medium sized ones and large ones and then a VERY LARGE one. I had a friend tell me one time it was crazy to have so many clocks. We even have a clock that has a different bird that sings every hour. Yep… my wonderful bird clock. That one usually gets the newcomers every time. We, here in our house, have become so accustomed to the bird song on the hour that we most times don’t even notice it.

There is a silly little thing that I started doing not long after mom and dad moved in with me. Let me say this first… they brought this clock with them when they moved in but didn’t have the bird songs working. I was tasked with the job of figuring out how to make the bird songs work …. AND … how to set the clock to coordinate the bird song with the correct picture of the bird. How to make them work was no big deal, just a battery. Picture3However, coordinating the right song with the right picture is a different matter. After all, you wouldn’t want a Mourning Dove be cooing with the picture of a Blue Jay, or a Black Capped Chickadee chirp with the picture of a Cedar Waxwing now would you? I wouldn’t want that anyway. So, I figured it out and it works beautifully now…. Except when Daylight Savings Time kicks in… then when I “fall back” or “spring forward” it always throws things off a bit, but I am up for the task. It just takes me a bit to correct it.

OK, back to the silly little thing I do from time to time. After I got laid off and before I went to work again, I was home at lunch with mom and dad a lot. The 12:00 bird on my bird clock is a Nuthatch and it has a funny little sound. Although it can have a very pleasing song this clock doesn’t have that particular sound happening at 12:00. So when it would go off I would pretend to be making the funny sound and be very animated. It always guaranteed a smile from my mom and usually a laugh from my dad. It is a silly little thing that I still do sometimes at any given hour. Just depends on what time of the day it is and if I am home and mom is in the room. I can always count on a smile across her face if I do it so I will probably always do it because she has a beautiful smile and I love to see it.

While I am typing this post I am listening to a You Tube video of bird songs entitled Nuthatch Bird Song and Sounds Relaxation Video – One Hour of Beautiful Nuthatches Singing. This is one of those “rabbit trails” I tell you about from time to time. I begin looking for something and I find something that captures my attention and I get way side-tracked. Picture4However, this is a good side-tracked this time. The video is a very wonderful video of these beautiful little birds and many other sounds in the background. If you like birds, you will love this video. I am a bird lover and feed the wild birds. They bring me a lot of relaxation time in the spring and summer especially. We usually have 3-4 nests of baby House Sparrows in our front feeder every summer.

There is usually a story behind every clock in our house. There is the 100+ year old mantle clock that was my great grandmother’s. Picture5Then there is a clock that my brother brought my mother from one of his mission trips to Ukraine or Czech Republic (not sure which one). We even have a wonderful Train clock. It doesn’t really have a sound like a train, or it is not supposed to make a sound but the clock works in the train has always sounded like a train to me. IMG_2678Then there is my absolute favorite. My BIG CLOCK. A friend found it on a trash pile and brought it home for me.  It was not working and I took it to a clock shop here in the area and they got it working for only $35.00. Now that is a great deal, because I looked it up on the internet and it is a $250.00 clock. I love that kind of deal, and I LOVE my BIG CLOCK!

Picture2As I a typing this post, I have been wondering where God is taking me, actually. I was excited to be able to sit down and actually type a post tonight and when I first thought “what am I going to write about tonight?” for some reason I heard in my spirit “write about clocks”. We had a dinner guest over last evening and the conversation turned towards clocks at one point and it stuck in my mind. Then I sat down to type and the first few sentences just flowed out of my fingers and then the next and next and before long I am writing about clocks and all the different ones that we have in our house. There are no less than 10 different clocks between our kitchen and living room. Now this area is an open area and one space just flows into the other and they are scattered around at various locations, of course. Like I said, I had a friend tell me that it was crazy to have so many clocks. Oh well… which is what I say a lot sometimes. Because, who is to say what a lot is? There aren’t a lot to us, but this person is very much of a minimalist and of course they would not understand. Nonetheless, we love all of our clocks and the story behind each one.

Now this has all been said to say this…. What time is it in your life?now the right time concept clock Is it your youth? Just married? Turning 60, 70 or 80? Maybe you are younger or older, it really doesn’t matter except for one thing. When time flies so fast and time is of the essence, you need to consider one thing. Have you made a decision that will ensure that your time in eternity is safe? By that I mean have you ever thought about what happens when you die? If you are a Christian, then you probably have and have decided that eternity without Jesus or God would not be where you want to be. If you are not a Christian and haven’t really thought about it, now is the time. The days are getting more fragile as time goes on. The crazy days that a gunman walks into a school, business, church or a home are upon us. You never know if when you get in your vehicle that you will get out of it alive. There are so many factors and so many things that can go wrong at any given moment.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2Today-Is-The-Day-UTRM

We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says:

“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Now I am not one to dwell on the drastic nor am I a “dooms day Delilah”, but I am a Christian that knows how fast time goes and how quickly it can get away from us. It was absolutely amazing yesterday when I realized that I had so many things going on and not enough minutes in the day to complete all of the things that “had” to be done. It was quite disturbing to me. Now those things that didn’t get done were not life or death type things but some things are in this life. And if you don’t take time to make the decision as to where you will spend that time… in eternity, it may be quite a shock as to where you do spend that time.

Now you may say that when you die, you just die and there is nothing else. OK, you believe that and then “what if?” What if you are wrong and what if I am right in that when you die, you either go to Heaven or Hell? What if?

John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

What if God does exist and Jesus Christ really did die for our sins and rose again on the third day and is in Heaven seated at the right hand of God… waiting for “That Day” when God says… “Son, go get My children.” I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt… you will have run out of “time” at that point. There will be no more time to decide if you want Jesus in your heart and life. Time will be over, as we know it now.SalvationBanner

I don’t know most of you personally that are reading this post, but I do know that I do not wish anyone to spend eternity in Hell. I do know that I want my loved ones… friends and family… to be in Heaven with me, and the only way to ensure that you will be there is to tell you about my Jesus and pray that you find out more about Him and ask Him to come into your heart as your personal Savior. Time is ticking and running out and someday soon it will be over. Time will be no more and we will not be on this old earth. We will be one place or the other… that is my belief and hopefully yours as well. What time is it in your life?

If you haven’t been introduced to Jesus yet, here is a link to a website (Bible.org) that tells you what it means to be a Christ follower. The website will explain to you that God loves you so much that He sent His only Son to earth for you. Why? Because He loves you so much. It also tells you about a simple plan of salvation that can ensure your time in eternity will be spent in Heaven. I pray that you meet Jesus soon. He is waiting to hear from you. Do you have time for Jesus? After all, He calls you His beloved.

The Video – What If – Nichole Nordeman

 

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PRAYER – ABRAHAM AND GOD

In this next couple of posts, I will explore the wonderful conversation that Abraham and God have regarding the destruction of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah. There is so much rich prayer time in this dialogue that I want to spend a couple of days on it. I found this wonderful video that shows the actual sites of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah. Yes, there were actual cities and they were actually destroyed by “fire and brimstone”. You have to see the video. It is about 27 minutes long, but so worth the time to watch. I want to post this first about the cities and the destruction of them with this video before I get too deep into Abraham and God’s conversation. The reason behind this is to show you the actual result of God’s wrath and judgment. Here is the initial scripture that sets up the scene.  This scripture is God deciding to tell Abraham of the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and why He is going to share with Abraham.  wrath-of-God

Genesis 18:16-21

16 Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. 17 And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”abraham-sodom-300x243

Now, God Himself didn’t have to “go down” to the cities to know. He knew exactly what was going on. I believe he used these words so Abraham might understand. He was sending His angels to go down to the cities to see the debase, immoral, horribly evil things that were going on in the cities. Then we learn later, they were also there to save Lot and his family.

So this conversation is quite interesting. It is initiated by God and Abraham feels quite comfortable in approaching Him with his many questions. I will get into the conversation tomorrow. However, this initial prayer initiated by God is so wonderful. God considers Abraham a friend and talks out the reasons He will share this with “His friend”.

God loves His people so much and yet does not allow evil to continue among them.  He will take out the evil in mankind when it reaches a point of total and complete wickedness and depravity.  Thank God that He sent His son Jesus to save us from ourselves!  Mankind can becJESUSome so wicked, as today’s society is quickly becoming, that they are simply past the point of redemption.  God is watching and waiting.  I believe there will come a day when the earth will see and feel the wrath of God, as did Sodom and Gomorrah.  In that day, those that know Jesus and His saving power of Grace and Mercy will not taste the wrath that is to come.  Those that have not accepted Jesus as their Savior, unfortunately, will experience the full wrath of God.  God loves you and wants you to experience His love and mercy and not His wrath.  That is why He sent Jesus 2,000 years ago.  If you don’t know Him as your personal Savior, here is a link to Bible.org for a simple plan of salvation.  This will guide you into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and you too can experience His Love, Grace and Mercy.  God loves you so much, He calls you His beloved.

The Song – God So Loved The World – Charles Billingsley

The video is very good and needs to be seen prior to my next post. Again, it is the result of the Righteous and Just God that cannot allow this kind of evil to exist forever.  It is done very tastefully and shows the land and explains what you are looking at. Please take the time to watch.

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JUST PLAIN HARD AND CONFUSING

In the past about this time of year I have upgraded my iPhone. I have a time getting everything set up and ready to use seamlessly. Inevitably I have trouble setting up something on the new phone. Usually it is the various email accounts that I have and all of the different passwords because I have been told that you DO NOT use the same password for all of your email addresses, bank accounts, etc., because it’s easier to hack by the bad guys. So… I have more than a couple of passwords and this creates a possible frustrating and confusing time for me. I remember setting one of my passwords to something like “I’mTired” and that proved to be a bad choice because I had to enter I’mTired way too many times and I just don’t think my brain needs to hear that all day long or any at all. So I finally changed that. I wrote a post about Passwords once. You might read it. It was a pretty good one. Nonetheless, when I do upgrade, there is always a bit of confusion and frustration for a day or so until I get my new phone just right.Difficult person

There are also other things that cause frustration and confusion. Sometimes there is a product on the market that is really a good product but getting into that product is just plain stupidly hard. It is a very helpful and needed product however, sometimes the cost and availability makes them a bit hard to come by. Also, when you do find it, the wrapping on it just thwarts any ease of access for sure. So you end up being frustrated in more than one way!  It’s all just plain hard and confusing.  UGH!!

In this life we need things to be a little easier sometimes. And those times are so few and far between that when we find one, we need to grab it and hold on to it! I know a man that offers something that is a most wonderful thing and it is very helpful. It is something that you cannot “live” without. He paid the highest price for this himself, but to us it is free. We need not pay any money or monetary anything for it. It is available to us by simply believing. This “thing” I am speaking of is of course Salvation through Jesus Christ. He makes it so easy. God sent His only Son to earth to walk on this earth with us to teach us and be an example for us. He also had another mission while on this earth. His mission on this earth was to live loving and die saving and rise from the dead to justify us with a just and righteous God. Jesus makes it easy to come to Him. The Bible teaches us to Believe on the name of Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16:images30-31). Accept Him as your personal Savior and live a life turning your back on the world and sin. He will accept you and you will live in eternity with Jesus.

You say that is not that easy… I will agree that it is not that easy to do on your own. It is almost impossible, if not totally impossible, to do on your own. That is why Jesus told us, when He knew He was going to be crucified and die and rise again and leave this earth, He was going to leave a “Comforter”, a “Helper” for us. The Holy Spirit is our Helper and Comforter (John 14:16-26). With the help of Him we can turn from our old ways and follow Him. Our own power is so weak and helpless.

sofI can tell you from experience that God is a good God and loves us so much. He is a just God though. He hates evil and sin. He can only be just and righteous. That is who He is. If we didn’t have Jesus, we would surely die and not live in Heaven with Him forever. Jesus died on the cross so we wouldn’t have to pay for our sins. He did all the work for us. He was the perfect sacrifice that God required. Praise God!

It is so hard sometimes when I think of what Jesus did for me. He thought of me while He was on the cross. He would have done the same thing again if I was the only one on the earth! He cares that much! Have you come to know this Jesus and accepted His free Salvation? See this link for a simple explanation for the Plan of Salvation. It is not Knowing_Jesus.6243317hard to have it and it certainly is longer lasting than anything you have here on earth! The Salvation Jesus offers is for eternity! Free and eternal. That’s a pretty good deal, I think! Call out to Him today and accept His offer of eternal life. He is listening for your voice. He loves you that much! After all, you are His beloved.

The Video – Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)

The Song – Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)

HORSE AND FAIRIES, DOGS, MICE AND DUCKS, OH MY!

I love to enjoy God’s Creation!  The other day on my way home from work I saw the coolest cloud formations.  There was one long wispy line of clouds from North West to South West and it seemed to be the only clouds in the sky..  It was so pretty and unusual.  It obviously was blown by the winds up high and it made quite a display.  I began taking pictures of it and noticed one of the formations of clouds resembled a horse… wispy yes, but still a horse.  FAIRIES AND HORSESI loved it!  I posted it on Facebook and others said they saw the horse as well… which made me feel better … lol.  Anyway, I love finding shapes in the different cloud formations.  Usually you find great things in the big white fluffy looking clouds easily.  But the wispy ones are just pretty because of the wind that blows them around so to find a shape of any kind in them is unusual.  I have always found shapes in clouds.  One time I was driving from Fort Worth to Dallas and in one trip I found the whole cast of Disney cartoon characters. I discovered Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck and so many more. It was such fun and quite entertaining… not to mention it might have been a bit dangerous to be gazing up into the beautiful blue sky with the white fluffy clouds catching my attention as opposed to watching the highway… nonetheless… I made it OK and had fun on my trek to Big D.  tumblr_lq2qgbC9P51qd602l

My point in all this is that God is so good to give us beauty in the skies and the earth.  I have stated before that God’s beauty is all around us and all we have to do is stop and take notice.  Never be too busy to absorb the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, or the rain clouds headed our way.  Even the rain drops on the flowers and plants after the storm has passed is beautiful to me.  Everything sparkles and is so fresh and clean.

West HartfordI have always said that God could have given us a black and white world and we would never know the difference.  But He didn’t!  Black and White has its own kind of beauty but there is no comparison to the colorful world that He did give us!  God loves color and all different shapes and sizes of things!  He gave us the most beautiful birds, animals and fish and sea creatures along with all the plant life on this planet.  He placed us (man) in charge of it all and we really need to stop and enjoy His gifts at least once in a while.  I used to love to camp in a tent (when I was MUCH younger) so I could hear the world come to life in the morning and hear the nightfall with all the sounds at dusk and into the night.  gods-glory-300x168I loved falling asleep to the crickets, whippoorwills and bullfrogs.  It was so peaceful and relaxing. Gazing into God’s night sky with the cozillion stars… I know that probably is not a real word… but Forrest used it so I can too… lol.

We are told in 1 Corinthians 2:9  But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”  These sites that are being spoken of here does not mean for everyone to see and hear… these special, spectacular sites are in Heaven are only … ONLY… for those that love Him.  I, myself, cannot wait to see those “sites” that He has prepared for me and us!  golden-city-of-Heaven-imageIf you love God you have certainly accepted His Son Jesus into your life and allowed Him to help guide you through this life here on earth.  For without Jesus… you will not see these beautiful sites that God has in store for us.  I want you all to be there with me!  We can celebrate together and dance the streets of gold with Jesus!  If you have not accepted Jesus into your life yet, please pray to receive Him today into your heart.  This link will help you find “The Way” to God through His Son Jesus!   If you would rather talk to someone about it, call your local church or contact a Christian friend or neighbor. Also, please feel free to contact me anytime!  I would love to hear from you!  Reach out and talk to God today… He is waiting to hear from you, after all you are His beloved child.

The Song – Great And Marvelous – Scott Cameron

WORK OF ART

I pulled out my drawing tablet and began to sketch.  I was working on a picture of grapevines and the scripture John 15:5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  I would draw and erase, draw and erase.  It took me quite a while to do this because mostly I was working on it at work between calls and on breaks.  I love to draw, I just can’t seem to find the time to do it here at home… I guess I am too busy “dashing about”.  Anyway, this drawing of mine was taking shape, but still, after weeks, it was still not finished.  I would see something I needed to touch up or change and that would just lengthen the time.  But I knew that if I would ever finish it that it would be a pretty nice piece.  Now, I am by no means a professional but I do like to draw and create things from wood or other medium.  I would say this drawing took me maybe a couple or three months to complete.  It was a veI AM THE VINEry detailed drawing and understand that I only worked on it at work and then only between calls or on break.  So, it took a while.  When I finally completed it I was so very proud of it!  I have always loved grape vines and the wonderful connotation they have in reference to what Jesus said.   I gave it to a dear friend and they loved it!

The comparison here is this.  Just like my drawing is my work of art, we are God’s works of art. – His Masterpiece.  We were made in His image.  Ephesians 2:10  says For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  One thing about us though, we will not be “finished” until we see His face!  Every twist, turn and bump in the road of life, every tear that falls, every ring of laughHIS MASTERPIECEter, is making us into who we are becoming.  So just as the eraser happens on the drawing tablet and the different direction of the brush stroke on a painting changes things on that “work of art” so does life change us.
However, if we are His and we have faith that our steps are not without purpose, God can use each second of our lives, every step, every tear, every twist, turn or bump to make us into such a beautiful work of art – IF we allow Him to guide us.

Trusting and turning your life totally over to His control is probably the hardest thing for some.  Myself included.  I am a very strong willed and stubborn womaBE ENCOURAGEDn … or I used to be … God has softened (or is in the process of softening) some of those sharp and rough edges with His love, forgiveness, mercy, grace and goodness.  I have said this before, the more I know Him the more I want to know!  I am so grateful for all the mishaps in my life.  I have learned – sometimes the very hardest way – that those are what make me who I am and who I am becoming.

We serve a mighty and wonderful God!  One that loves us and wants us to live abundantly!  He wants us to know that we are a priceless work of art!  So much so that He sent Jesus to earth to live as our example to follow.  Jesus lived 33 years of a sinless life and chose to die on the cross to save us from our sins.  Then HE ROSE AGAIN on the 3rd day so that we would not have to taste death and to ensure that we will live with Him in Heaven for eternity! EVERLASTING LOVE

If you haven’t experienced the saving power of Jesus Christ, talk to God today about how you can know Him.  You can click on this link to see the plan of salvation.  Get with a Christian friend, or call your church (or a church) to speak to someone about this.  God would love to hear from you… Actually, He is waiting to hear from you.  After all … you are His beloved.

The Song – How Great Is Our God – The Singing Men of North Central Texas (my brother sings with this group)

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REDEEMED

I had the pleasure of accompanying my mom and dad to their Sunday School party this evening.  I always love sharing time with them and the folks in their class.  They are a bunch of the sweetest people I have ever met and they LOVE my mom and dad!  My dad is the teacher and mom is his helper in the class when she feels like going with him.  S????????he has been a bit under the weather lately but she wanted to go tonight – even if it was for just a little while.  So I went with them with the intentions of bringing her home early.  We ate good food – which is one of the reasons I love to go … free “good” food.  Nothing fancy, just good ole food!   Nothing like Baptists.  They know how to put out the spread!

Tonight’s party had a special group come in and sing for them!  They were absolutely a joy!  Their name was Fellowship Road Gospel Singers.  They sang some of the best old songs.  Ones you don’t normally hear.  One of my mom’s and my favorite was sung also – Beulah Land.  Oh that song brings me to tears!  I remember when I lived down in South East Texas in my grandmother’s little house next door to them out in the country, I would walk into their house sometimes and they would have The Gaither’s show on.  I loved hearing the Gaither Vocal Band and all the other ones that sang with them.  We would sit there and sing along with the TV.  That was so much fun!  I know… some of you may not think it would be but mainly, it was time spent with my mom and dad.  I loved every second of it!

Tonight the group sang a song that I haven’t heard in a very long time.  It is a song that brings a lump up in my throat when I think of the implications of the words.  It is a beautiful song about “the Redeemed” which is you and me if you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior!  They introduced it as a song that the Angels cannot sing.  The Song Of The Redeemed!  There is a song that my dad sings – that my mother loves that talks about when a reborn soul (a Christian that has been saved and is reborn into the Kingdom of God) begins to sing the “redemption story” the Angels fold their wings.  The Chorus goes like this:

Holy, holy, is angels_praisewhat the angels sing, And I expect to help them make the courts of heaven ring; But when I sing redemption’s story, they will fold their wings, For angels never felt the joys that our salvation brings.

I found a YouTube video of George Beverly Shea singing this beautiful song.  He changed one line in it but I loved hearing him sing this lovely song.  It’s an old video but one worth watching if you love stuff like this!  It’s is awesome!

You see the Angels have no way to know what it means to be redeemed!  They are already in Heaven with God and our Lord Jesus!  There are thousands upon thousands praising Him in Heaven.  They praise Him all the day and day long!  (not day and night long because there IS NO NIGHT IN HEAVEN! lol)  If you click on this link it will take you to Bible Gateway and all the scripture references about Angels praising and worshiping God in Heaven!  Anyway, we as Christians have a song we sing and only we can sing!  To be redeemed by Jesus Christ for God Almighty is the most wonderful thing imaginable!  Jesus Paid It ALL!  He died for our sins, He defeated death for us and ROSE AGAIN for us!  We are Redeemed and Forgiven! Praise God, Praise God!  So the Song Of The Redeemed is His Favorite Song Of All!

hqdefault (1)If you have no idea what I am talking about or you know what I am talking about and you have not accepted Jesus into your heart and life as your personal Savior, so you can sing this song of the redeemed, please get in contact with a Christian friend, a Pastor or me!  Ask about becoming a Christian so you can sing the song of the redeemed!  Join the chorus!  There is a whole new life waiting for you!  God loves you and wants to spend eternity with you in Heaven!  Jesus said in John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  That means you must accept Jesus to go to Heave to be with God for eternity!  Join us today in singing the Song of the Redeemed!  God is waiting to hear from you!  He loves you that much!

The Song – His Favorite Song of All – Phillips, Craig and Dean

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