BREAD OF LIFE MINISTRIES

DEVOTIONS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE, EDIFY & MAKE YOU THINK!!
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Stop by and check them out from time to time to see what has changed. May God's blessings to you be abundant. rlkeller


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Saturday, October 29, 2011

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 2

When you are wronged by someone after you had wronged them, is that justice or two wrongs not making a right? God forgives and Christ instructed his disciples to forgive not 7 times, but rather 70 x 7 times (which is symbolic of an infinity number of times … because truthfully, when has anyone besides God Himself ever forgiven someone 490 times.). We have a hard time forgiving when we feel we have been wronged. Our hurt burns inside us and we allow anger to rule the day. We do everything in our power to protect ourselves, even at the expense of covering up our own faults and failings. We put on an air of superiority, while carrying a multicolored banner stating the offense and the offender by name. Instead of looking inside and finding the forgiveness that Christ had freely given us, we cling to retribution, as if it were something we had the authority to dole out. We could take a piece of the forgiveness Christ so liberally gave out and administer it as a balm to the offender, and thus help restoration take place, but we would rather wallow in self-pity, exclaiming to the heavens how severely we had been wronged.

Humanness is a frail quality at best. Not something to boast about, but rather a thing we should try to repair. I have been the offender and the offended more times than I care to remember. If it were not for the loving, infinite patience and love of God only He knows where I would be and my end would probably not have been very pretty. God knows what He is doing. Why don’t we trust in Him more? God has never failed us. Why don’t we rely on Him more? We want so badly to take justice into our own hands, as if meeting out punishment would sooth our souls. Revenge is never sweet. No matter who says it is, it is not. Revenge only stokes the fires so that next time, and there is always a next time, revenge will come quicker and with less provocation.

We need to leave the past in the past. History cannot be changed. We do not live in a never ending episode of “The Time Tunnel”*. We do not have the ability to turn back the clock or right a wrong done. If we are the offender, we can seek forgiveness and hope for leniency from the offended party. But in the end, the offended party holds all the cards. How will they play them? God needs to be consulted, but often is not. The pain and angst felt by the offended overshadows reason and compassion. And the offender oftentimes does not deserve forgiveness. Not one bit. But neither did us. We must seek God and His wisdom so that restoration may begin.

I have been the offender and the offended throughout my life. Life isn’t fair. It just isn’t when you are dealing with so many different personages. Everyone doesn’t think like you do. We are all unique by design. God wants us to become more like Him each and every day. The devil is bombarding us constantly with temptations and whittling away at our mercy. We must have retribution. We must have our wrongs made right. Says who? God knows all about it and He will make all our wrongs right in His time.

There have been times in my life, now is one of them, when I don’t happen to think of myself as a very good man. I think, say and do some of the most careless and hurtful things. They cause me to step back from myself and say “why Rich, why”. I am painfully human. I say that not in any way as an excuse, but rather as an explanation. God forgave me before I ever asked Him. Others I have hurt deeply may never. I regret some things in my life and will never forget the pain I have caused. God’s forgiveness will have to be good enough for now. It is time to move on … try to step away from the past.

Do you feel this way too? Do you feel that somehow you could never recover from the pain you have either caused in others or had inflicted on you? Over time it will pass. Oh there will always be a scar. We all have our fair share of scars. But we must learn from each experience and do better next time.

Father God, You know our hearts. Forgive us our iniquities and place a salve on the hearts of those we have hurt. Heal our hearts as well, Lord, for even offenders feel pain. Use us all once again for Your glory. Teach us from our mistakes and keep reoccurrences far from us. We ask and agree in the name of Jesus … amen.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

ANGELS

Hebrews 1:14 (NIV) “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation.”

Amy Grant had a hit song on the Christian pop charts from 1984 (wow, was it really THAT long ago) by the name of “Angels”*.

“God only knows the times my life was threatened just today
A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way
Near misses all around me, accidents unknown
Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home
God, I know they're all around me all day and through the night
When the enemy is closing in I know sometimes they fight
To keep my feet from falling I'll never turn away
If you're asking what's protecting me then you're gonna hear me say … Angels watching over me …”


I believe in the existence of a spiritual realm. I believe in angels and demons. I don’t think of cherubs with little fluttering wings when I think of angels, but rather of mighty warriors, clad in golden breast plates and helmets, their loins girded with truth, tremendous shields to ward off attack and powerful swords to go on the offensive. If you’ve never read a Frank Peretti book, I highly recommend it.**

I recall a time about 25 yrs ago in northern New Jersey, when my wife and I were driving down a slick serpentine road after a snow storm. I took one of the curves a little too fast and skidded off into an open area on the right that was covered with roughly 4-5 inches of wet snow. We were stuck. Well, a tow truck came around the corner several minutes later, stopped and pulled us out of our dilemma. When I asked him how much I owed him, he said nothing … you don’t know who I work for, smiled and strode away to his truck. Within a matter of seconds he was down the road and out of sight. My wife and I were dumbfounded. As believers we knew exactly what he meant by you don’t know who I work for.

I don’t happen to believe in coincidence. I don’t believe in happenstance. I believe everything happens for a reason and I believe that if God has the hairs on our head counted (Matt 10:30), then it is not too farfetched to believe that He is aware of all of my comings and goings. I believe that God is in complete control of all things, which to me isn’t hard to believe if you believe He is the Creator of all things. That is why I say “God knows all about it”; because He does. Nothing escapes His ever watchful eye.

So if we believe all the above, is it really all that implausible that God would dispatch angels to do His bidding on our behalf as ministering spirits? Did not “ministering spirits” tend to Jesus after his 40 days & 40 nights in the wilderness after his encounter with Satan. (Matt 4:1-11)

You have to be careful not to accept one thing without the other. You cannot believe in God and not angels and you cannot believe in angels and not believe in God. They are eternally joined. God can surely exist without angels, but the reverse is not true. Yet many want to romanticize angels and make it seem like being spiritual is all you need; not at all. It is not religion and it is not solely spiritual. It is relational. You can consider yourself religious, go to church and not know the first thing about God or salvation. I know. I grew up in a Presbyterian Church with all the religious trappings and robes and said all the proper religious things that religious people say and yet nary a word about Christ’s death, His resurrection or the forgiveness provided by His sacrifice was uttered from the pulpit. Oh I was religious alright; sang every Sunday morning in the children’s choir for 10 yrs.

We must have a relationship with our Creator. We cannot get into heaven without receiving the forgiveness God offers to all through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. If you disagree, go talk to God about it, because He wrote the book. Knowing “the big guy upstairs” isn’t going to cut in on the last day.

God will take care of you and will often times use very common looking folks to be His vessels.(Heb 13:2) Don’t you ever doubt His love and mercy. He WILL take good care of you because He knows all about your situation and ONE WORD FROM HIM CAN & WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING!!

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

* from album Straight Ahead, Sparrow Records; 1984.
** This Present Darkness & Piercing the Darkness, Frank Peretti; available on www.amazon.com.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

WE AREN'T ALL THAT SMART

Proverbs 3:5-7 (NIV) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding; …”

Trusting in someone or something is to rely on it or them for support, encouragement, strength, instruction … to name just a few … when we trust in the Lord, we are relying on Him more than ourselves or anything else.

We are told that humans utilize only 1/10th of their brain capacity. 1/10th! Don’t you know there are a whole lot of people who speak and act like they use 100%. Sad for them. Just because a person believes something is true, doesn’t make it true … not without evidence. So the person who believes they are superior is without evidence … they certainly don’t know everything. They may know Quantum Physics, but can they rebuild a car engine? They may be able to build a house from scratch, but can they understand Trigonometry? No one in all Creation knows everything. No one. Only God knows everything.

Would you rather put your trust in someone who literally knows everything or someone who only knows 1/10th of all that God knows. I know the answer to that one … uh, God. I would rather put my faith and trust in Almighty God. For even when I think I know something, I really only know what I was taught and the teacher may have been mistaken.

I would rather put my hand in the hand of the man who parted the waters of the Red Sea rather than rely on my own puny understanding of things. Face it, what do we really know? From birth we have had our brains washed by our parents, our siblings, our teachers, our friends, the TV, the radio, the internet, lyrics from music … the list is endless. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? If we rely on God, Who is NEVER wrong, we will win in the end.

Just yesterday I started a door knob changing process thinking I knew exactly how to remove the old door knob. Ha. Much to my surprise, the door knob was anywhere from 20-40 yrs old. For the next couple hours I fussed and fumed and banged away at that dang door knob figuring it couldn’t be THAT difficult to remove. Wrongo! So what did I do? I went online and searched for instructions on how to remove an OLD door knob. Lo and behold, YOUTUBE had a house renovator showing exactly how to remove the same type of knob I had tangled with the day before. I thought I knew, but I was wrong.
I needed the help of someone who knew more than I did.

Don’t let pride keep you from admitting when you don’t know something. Let it go and let God instruct you. Trust in the Lord. Has He ever failed you? Well, has He? I don’t think so. Things may not have turned out the way you wanted them to, but all that means is that God knew another way that would benefit you more and bring Him more glory. Jesus says in the gospels: “I am the vine, you are the branches; without Me you can do NOTHING.” (caps are mine) Fess up … don’t you know it’s about time you admitted to yourself that you are not quite as smart as you thought you were. Give it all to God.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

RANDOM RAMBLINGS 2

When you are wronged by someone after you had wronged them, is that justice or two wrongs not making a right? God forgives and Christ instructed his disciples to forgive not 7 times, but rather 70 x 7 times (which is symbolic of an infinity number of times … because truthfully, when has anyone besides God Himself ever forgiven someone 490 times.). We have a hard time forgiving when we feel we have been wronged. Our hurt burns inside us and we allow anger to rule the day. We do everything in our power to protect ourselves, even at the expense of covering up our own faults and failings. We put on an air of superiority, while carrying a multicolored banner stating the offense and the offender by name. Instead of looking inside and finding the forgiveness that Christ had freely given us, we cling to retribution, as if it were something we had the authority to dole out. We could take a piece of the forgiveness Christ so liberally gave out and administer it as a balm to the offender, and thus help restoration take place, but we would rather wallow in self-pity, exclaiming to the heavens how severely we had been wronged.

Humanness is a frail quality at best. Not something to boast about, but rather a thing we should try to repair. I have been the offender and the offended more times than I care to remember. If it were not for the loving, infinite patience and love of God only He knows where I would be and my end would probably not have been very pretty. God knows what He is doing. Why don’t we trust in Him more? God has never failed us. Why don’t we rely on Him more? We want so badly to take justice into our own hands, as if meeting out punishment would sooth our souls. Revenge is never sweet. No matter who says it is, it is not. Revenge only stokes the fires so that next time, and there is always a next time, revenge will come quicker and with less provocation.

We need to leave the past in the past. History cannot be changed. We do not live in a never ending episode of “The Time Tunnel”*. We do not have the ability to turn back the clock or right a wrong done. If we are the offender, we can seek forgiveness and hope for leniency from the offended party. But in the end, the offended party holds all the cards. How will they play them? God needs to be consulted, but often is not. The pain and angst felt by the offended overshadows reason and compassion. And the offender oftentimes does not deserve forgiveness. Not one bit. But neither did us. We must seek God and His wisdom so that restoration may begin.

I have been the offender and the offended throughout my life. Life isn’t fair. It just isn’t when you are dealing with so many different personages. Everyone doesn’t think like you do. We are all unique by design. God wants us to become more like Him each and every day. The devil is bombarding us constantly with temptations and whittling away at our mercy. We must have retribution. We must have our wrongs made right. Says who? God knows all about it and He will make all our wrongs right in His time.

There have been times in my life, now is one of them, when I don’t happen to think of myself as a very good man. I think, say and do some of the most careless and hurtful things. They cause me to step back from myself and say “why Rich, why”. I am painfully human. I say that not in any way as an excuse, but rather as an explanation. God forgave me before I ever asked Him. Others I have hurt deeply may never. I regret some things in my life and will never forget the pain I have caused. God’s forgiveness will have to be good enough for now. It is time to move on … try to step away from the past.

Do you feel this way too? Do you feel that somehow you could never recover from the pain you have either caused in others or had inflicted on you? Over time it will pass. Oh there will always be a scar. We all have our fair share of scars. But we must learn from each experience and do better next time.

Father God, You know our hearts. Forgive us our iniquities and place a salve on the hearts of those we have hurt. Heal our hearts as well, Lord, for even offenders feel pain. Use us all once again for Your glory. Teach us from our mistakes and keep reoccurrences far from us. We ask and agree in the name of Jesus … amen.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

ENDLESS LOVE

1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV) "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; His love endures forever."

The love of God is an infinite thing. Infinity. Endless time. Think of falling into a large hole with no bottom and never landing, yet you are not afraid, but feel peaceful and contented. Eternity. Time without end. Not just time without end, but time without end in the presence of God, your Heavenly Father.

Love. 1 Corinthians 13 is the only detailed, concise definition of love that I am aware of. Wrapped up in that chapter is all the attributes love is to exude. Without an example, how would we ever know what love was. The bible tells us that God loved us before we even knew Him. How is that possible? It is just like parents love an unborn baby in the mother’s womb before he or she is ever born. How is that possible? Because both parents created the baby through an act of love. God created man through an act of love as well. Simply put, that is how He could love us before we ever knew Him.

Endurance. An athlete trains endless hours to build up his endurance. If he cannot make it to the end of the multi-stage race, then he has failed. While there is many a correlation between any type of foot race and our Christian walk, in our case, endurance would be more like ‘Standing the test of time’ Never wearing out.

God never gets tired; He never gets bored; never gets frazzled; never gets impatient; never withdraws His love. He is our shining example of how life CAN be if we would only step out of ourselves and think of someone, ANYONE else besides ourselves. Face it, we are a selfish creation. I am. I know I am. Not all the time. Not every moment of every day … I tend to be very giving, very unselfish at times. But my natural proclivity is to think, say and do that which will benefit me the most. Cover my hind end. Act in such a way as to give the appearance that I was in this game all by myself, left to my own skills and devices. Not true. Oh I can tend to rush ahead of God and do at times, but is that what I am SUPPOSED to do? Nope. And you know, deep down inside I know that … but the draw to be my own person and grab life by the throat to succeed can be over whelming at times. It is why I write these entries each day. It is why I pray. It is why I go to church. Because in the end I realize that I cannot do any of this by myself. And if you are honest with yourselves, you know in your heart of hearts that you cannot either.

So what is the solution? Praise God. Praise Him for who He is. Praise Him for the life you have. Thank Him for His patience with you. Ask Him to guide and direct you in the way you should go. Seek to be more like Jesus. Strive to think, say and do everything with Christ in mind. It is a challenge. Our current society seems to dictate another way, but in the end we are the losers. God knows what He is doing. He loves us with an enduring, steadfast, unconditional love that will never fail and never end. Rejoice in the fact that even though He knows all your faults and failings, He chooses to love you in spite of yourself, because you are His child.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

RANDOM RAMBLINGS …

Life is a funny thing. Not funny HA HA, but funny as in peculiar. Some things work out so smooth, so seamlessly and other things don’t. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for it. All your best laid plans go awry without warning. The people you thought you could rely on fall through. Even your own sensibilities leave you at key moments. There appears to be no rational explanation. No way to monitor its progress or severity. Life just happens.

Through it all there is a silent watchmen … a spiritual entity who knows all about it. He is called Yahweh … He is called Jehovah … He is called I AM … He is the creator of the universe … He is the Almighty … He is all knowing … He is everywhere at one time … He is all powerful … We call Him our Heavenly Father … we call Him God.

Through all the peculiarities we endure in this life stands our God … watching, guiding, advising, healing, convicting, and judging … He knows all about it. Nothing escapes His gaze. Nothing catches Him by surprise. Nothing is so unforgivable that He will not forgive. No prayer goes unheard. No hurt goes uncomforted. No trial continues forever. He is capable of changing any situation, no matter how bad, into a glorious victory for His name’s sake with just a word.

No one this side of heaven is capable of such things. No one can do what God can do. Those that dispute His existence only wish to be in control of their own destiny without repercussions. God allows us to do as we please; however, a Biblical principle always comes into play. The principle of sowing and reaping.

If you plant sunflower seeds, you will reap a harvest of sunflowers. If you sow wheat, you will harvest wheat. So why is it that so many people honestly believe that it would be any different in their daily lives. If you smoke, you will kill lung cells that will not re-grow. If you break the law you will go to jail. If you lie, your integrity will be destroyed. If you cheat you will be branded a cheater. It stands to reason that we should know this. It makes perfect and logical sense. Yet so many of us continue to ignore the warnings that are flashing in neon all around us and with callous indifference, make dumb decisions.

When you know God personally, when you seek His face regularly, life isn’t really all that peculiar. In actuality, it is sad. Whenever we find people struggling to make it on their own, when there is help within their grasp and they refuse to see it, it is sad. May God enlighten us … may He help us be His hand extended to plant seeds of salvation in a peculiar and dying world. May we stop judging others by their appearance and start to see them walking on a tightrope above hell … then, perhaps we will take our walk with God a little more seriously.

Lord, forgive us and save us from ourselves so that we may live lives that are pleasing to You. Amen.

Friday, October 21, 2011

WHERE'S THE LOVE MAN?

Psalm 26:3 (NIV) “… for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.”

Emotions are a crazy thing, aren’t they? Sometimes they are under control, sometimes they control us, sometimes they are out of control. Most of us display a wide range of emotions. Some keep our emotions in check at all times. And then there is the supreme emotion; the one emotion that is above all others … love.

It shouldn’t be a frivolous thing. It should be meaningful and thoughtful. It should encompass all the attributes that 1 Corinthians 13, dubbed “the love chapter”, has listed. The Bible says that God IS love.

1 John 4:8 (NIV) “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

1 John 4:16 (NIV) “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

Love is something you feel deep down inside. Love is found in your core. It is not just being with another individual, but rather being with someone with whom you connect in a profound and passionate way. God desires profoundness and passion in our relationship with Him. His word is profound and filled with wisdom and directives. His spirit elicits passion for our Maker out of the depths of our being. With spiritual eyes we can truly see God for who He is, if we take the time. It requires discipline and concentration, two qualities I am severely lacking in. The Spirit of God is there to give aid when you need it the most. All you need do is ask.

Now lets look at the word ‘unfailing’ …

UNFAILING (def): Always able to supply more; inexhaustible: constant; unflagging: unfailing loyalty; incapable of error; infallible.

Just like the word ‘unconditional’, which essentially means without conditions, limitations or boundaries, ‘unfailing’ tells us that the love of God never runs out. It is never in short supply. It never changes.

RELY (def): To be dependent for support, help, or supply; to place or have faith or confidence.

We are to rely on His unfailing, unconditional love and faithfulness. What a gift. What a wonderful blessing. No matter what we are going through, no matter how difficult things may be, God is always there watching and His feelings for us never, ever change. No matter what we ever think, say or do. I believe the one main reason we should have God in our lives aside from the obvious need of forgiveness for our sins, is that He represents the only constant in our world and in our lives. He never changes. Everything around us is constantly changing. Our own moods tend to change from circumstance to circumstance. But God is influenced by none of that. None. He is the standard by which all things shall one day be measured. God is the one that all things NEED to be measured by now, but because of free will, too many of us choose to go our own way. Let God into your world. Let Him into your life. Feel His love. Feel your guilt and sorrow dissipate. Feel love and forgiveness flow over and through you. It is real, but only you can invite it in and only you can feel it for yourself. It’s up to you. Feel the love.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

THIS IS WAR

Ephesians 6:11 (NIV) “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

God is good all the time, whether we are or not. It is in His nature to be good. It is THAT nature that He wishes us to emulate. With all He has done for us it is astounding how many times His children strain against the leash. We feel we need and must have certain things; some material, some physical. God understands this … don’t think for one second He doesn’t. It’s as if we don’t trust Him to do what is best. But if the truth be known, it is truly because we know that which we seek is NOT in His plan for us.

God loves us and knows what is best for us. He made us in our mother’s womb and knows us so much better than we could ever know ourselves. Yet we continue to strain at the leash. We so want our own way. We want all the good things that God provides, but also want to do whatever we want to do; whatever feels right and good to us. It is our old man. It is the sinful nature that is within us. It isn’t dead, just asleep. The devil sends those things meant to wake him up.

We are at war. It is a spiritual war. God has provided armor and a weapon for us to use to combat the enemy; however, so many times we refuse to put it on. Instead we become mesmerized by the bright, glittery lie that the devil dangles in front of us. Understand this: he doesn’t play fair. He will aim for the weakest trait in your character. He will be subtle, yet relentless. If he sees an opening he will attack.

God knows this. He knows our weaknesses. He knows we need Him. He offers us assistance through His Holy Spirit. Yet we strain at the leash … and to strain at the leash is to pull away from our master. When we are given choices, we historically make the wrong ones. Yet He is a fair God … we all have choices. We justify. We explain away. We make excuses. Anything to get our way. All we have to do is do it. God won’t stop you. And God will be there to pick up the pieces when it all falls apart. Some of us have to learn things the hard way. I cannot explain this phenomenon, for you see I fall prey to it myself.

God has a plan for each of us. Some strive for it, others buck it, and still others try to ignore it. It doesn’t disappear just because we ignore it; rather it continues to stand there as a beacon. It is to be our goal to reach for it. We are to shed personal desires that do not line up with the Word of God. Is THAT ever easier said than done?

Like Paul, we do what we shouldn’t do and don’t do what we should. Lord, save us from ourselves, for we know and understand that we are indeed our own worst enemies.

After all God has done for us we all continue to strain at the leash. I am guilty, are you?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND GUARD YOUR HEART!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

GOD IS THERE

Psalm 37:4 (NIV) “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

DELIGHT (def): Something that gives great pleasure or enjoyment.

DESIRES (def): To wish or long for; want.

Life takes some pretty crazy twists and turns and before you know it you are back where you started. You make some errors in judgment; some dumb mistakes; you hurt people you love and in the end, if there is no coming back from it, sometimes you end up where it all started. That has happened to me and perhaps it has happened to you as well. We are not proud of our choices at times and seem hell bent on continuing to make them, but you know what, God is always there. He is there will open arms. He is there with no condemnation. He is there with UNCONDITIONAL love.

Us humans, God’s creation, seem incapable of that type of love. That is not a knock, it is merely an observation. We get too wound up in ourselves and our assumed entitlements. We get too full of ourselves and then come back to reality for a time. We struggle and strive for things we ought not. We brow beat ourselves and others in an effort to tame our desires. And all the while, God is there, with open arms, waiting.

I cannot speak for everyone, but I know my faults and failings very plainly and clearly. I have stumbled, fallen, gotten up, gotten tripped up again, straightened myself up, staggered forward, sat down to rest and all the while, God is there. I say God IS there rather than God WAS there when speaking of past events, because God isn’t a WAS, He is an IS. He is all encompassing. He has always been. I don’t know why or how He has always been, I just believe Him when He says He has. That is my choice.

The desires God gives us are to line up with His word. They are not a new Jaguar or a 50,000 sq ft mansion or millions of dollars. If we truly know Him and seek to please Him, then we will have desires that line up with what He knows will benefit us most. I love the Lord so very much, yet act like I don’t even know Him at times. I am no different than anyone else. We are all flawed. In this world’s economy, we are so beat up that if we were for sale, we would probably end up in the bin MARKED DOWN FOR QUICK SALE. But in God’s economy, we are priceless.

I believe there is a time coming off somewhere in the future, when time will end and a new heaven and new earth will come into existence. At that time it will be too late to receive God’s gracious gift of salvation … the forgiveness of sin, of all the wrongs you have ever done. God made us for a purpose. The world knows not of it. God loves us and desires our praise and servitude. We are created and wired to find great pleasure and joy in God’s presence. And for that He WILL give you the desires of your heart. But guard your heart, for our desires deceive us. He will allow us to stray if we insist, but in the end, when we come stumbling back to Him, He may have closed the door.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND GUARD YOUR HEART.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Life, love and cheese pizza ...

It's been a little while since my last post ... many changes ... heartache, disappointment, mistakes made and in the end, moving on. I am flawed to say the least, but in all my perfection I stand before God asking to be used again. Here is my latest entry ...

Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes there are disappointments, sometimes high exhilaration. I find that anytime is a good time for cheese pizza. It has to be GOOD cheese pizza. Nothing frozen. Any pizza named after a famous Western Town (aka, Tombstone) can’t possibly be good … co’mon, work with me here. There are times when life gives you a stiff upper cut … you saw it coming but were unable to get out of its’ way. BAM! That smarts. In times like these I fall back on scripture … and cheese pizza (preferably with an ice cold Pepsi to wash it down … hey, I’m from Jersey … Pepsi is the drink of choice up there.).

We need to "pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again.” (which are lyrics from a famous 1960’s pop tune and make good Biblical sense as well.) My friend and now former neighbor, a minister by trade, friend by choice, gave me some very wise advice just yesterday. “You’re carrying your own baggage, you don’t need to take up someone else’s too.” Wow! That was profound. It was sent from God. It has staying power. I will probably never, ever forget those words.

I have my own issues. No doubt about it. They may not be what others think they are, but they are there. I see them peeking out from around the corner of my mind from time to time. They aim to defeat me. They easily become pawns in Satan’s attempt to side track me. You see, God loves me. He loves me with the kind of love that I find hard to comprehend. It’s that unconditional kind of love. The kind of love that doesn’t leave you when you are hurting … the kind that comforts you when you are in pain … the kind of love that encompasses your heart with such warmth and provides such serenity that you barely feel worthy of it. That is the love of God. You will be hard pressed to find it this side of heaven. Oh, occasionally you will. For a fleeting moment, a few days, weeks or months maybe, but it is scarce. In a world where God is present and followers are supposed to be at least making some sort of attempt to emulate Him, it is rare to find it. But when you do, it is a truly magnificent thing. It opens our eyes to what God is truly like. It shows us in that moment, that we need Him. We need Him more than we can ever know. It is at that very moment that we understand that we truly cannot make it in this life without Him. for as the scripture so eloquently states, “I am the vine, you are the branches, without me you can do NOTHING.” (caps are mine)

So we live our lives seeking Godly love this side of heaven. We search high and low for it not realizing that apart from God Himself, or a person being used as a conduit, it doesn’t exist. This world is decaying a little more each day. There is a reason the word ‘temporal’ is used to describe everything in this world. From the day we are born, we start to die. Yet in our travel through life, we can experience all the blessings God has laid aside for us to have if we will only seek Him over our own self-gratification.

God wants to help us accomplish this. He is waiting for us … always patiently waiting. Will we make time for Him as we rush off headlong into our day. We do this and that and allow the busyness of our day to eat up all our time, never realizing that while it seems like time is endless, the clock is always ticking and precious moments are being frittered away on so many banal trivialities.

Lord, may we re-focus. May we turn our eyes upon You, for You are standing in front of us, always with arms wide open exposing Your nail scarred hands. May we never take You for granted forever, but rather wake up to what You desire for us, the true happiness that only comes from a life immersed in You. Wake us up so we may fulfill our destiny in You, O God. May Your patience with us bear fruit this day. In Jesus name … amen.

Now go get yourself that cheese pizza; the one made by a little Italian named Guiseppe; the one that drips orange oil from the cheese and sauce mixture when you fold a slice in half length-wise … ahhh, now THAT is a good cheese pizza … and don’t forget the Pepsi. With God, things always turn out alright.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

GOD IS ALL WISE

1 Corinthians 1:25 (NIV) “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

Proverbs 3:7 (NIV) “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.”

John 15:5 (NIV) “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.”

WISDOM (def): The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.

We think in our own minds that we are wise. We devise plans for the future and lie content at night, believing in our hearts that we have done the right thing. But have we consulted God? Have we sought out His wisdom, His guidance, His plan and will for our future?

There is nothing in this world that would indicate, that would even insinuate, that we are wiser than Almighty God. Now naturally, if someone does not believe in an unseen spiritual entity Who rules and reigns over His Creation, then they are exempt from thinking in such a manner. It doesn’t make them any less wrong, it just gives them a temporary pass because they cannot see their own folly due to the blindness that has been brought on by their own arrogance.

There is a show on cable television called “The World’s Strongest Men”. It is a collection of the world’s biggest, bulkiest, strongest men performing feats of strength with the end result being a trophy and the title WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN. His strength is no match for Almighty God.

The wisest person on earth, whoever he or she may be, is absolutely no match for the limitless wisdom of the Creator of all the Universe. If it is literally true that we only use 10% of our brain capacity, think of what it would be like to have unbridled wisdom and knowledge; of using a full 100% of our brain capacity and then perhaps you may be able to comprehend the vast wisdom and knowledge that IS God.

Proverbs states that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. (Proverbs 1:7 NIV) Fear in this case is defined as ‘reverence’ … showing profound awe, respect and even love. Therefore, what the verse truly COULD say is “Showing the Lord awe, respect and love is truly the beginning of knowledge.” For we have to revere and respect God before we will pay any attention to what He has to say. We are to love God because He first loved us.(1 John 4:19 NIV) It’s really a pretty simple concept if we allow ourselves to ponder it … to meditate on its’ truth.

We serve a pretty incredible God. For those who do not yet know Him, I have one simple question … WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Monday, October 10, 2011

WHAT ARE YOU MISSING?

John 10:10 (NKJV) “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

THIEF (def): One who steals, especially by stealth; a person who steals something from another.
ABUNDANTLY (def): Abounding with; rich; plentiful.

A thief, takes that which is not his to have from another person. Could be money, material possessions such as a vehicle, jewelry, typically something of monetary value. Thieves do nothing positive and contribute nothing worthwhile to society as a whole. They take that which is not theirs, kill innocent people for monetary gain or even worse, for the sheer pleasure of doing so and destroy whatever is in their path to achieve their goal. They are in love with themselves and thrive on decadence.

Christ came to this earth for the opposite reason. He came to give and not take. He came to restore and not destroy. He didn’t just give life with His death, He gave His own life that we might know complete, utter and total forgiveness for everything wrong we have ever done; every deed that goes against God. It is Christ’s desire that we life an abundant life. Abundant financially? Perhaps. But more importantly, abundant in grace, peace, patience, love, kindness, goodness … abundant in the virtues that are part of God’s nature.

No one who has lived a life against the will of God and solely for themselves has ever prospered in the end. Oh they may have prospered monetarily for a time, but in the end their deeds catch up with them.
Satan, the enemy of our souls, is the thief John writes about in chapter 10. He is the ruler of this world. While he is the ruler, he is still subject to God, for to not be would make him either greater than or equal to God in knowledge and power and that is not at all true. If it were, then how could he have been cast out of heaven in the first place. Satan is a defeated foe (sorry, I cheated and read the back of the book).
There is nothing he can do to you that you do not allow.

So why do you think I pound home the whole idea of faith and trust; of leaning on your Heavenly Father; of communing with Him daily? Because it is the only way to ward off the tempter and live an abundant life in Christ.

In the Old Testament, to “know” someone, as in your spouse, was to have an intimate relationship with them. This is the type of relationship we are to have with God. An intimate knowledge of Him. We are told in scripture that once in heaven, we will know even as we are known (1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV). We can know Him now. Seize the moment. Seek God while He may be found. Know Him and live abundantly as a result of your relationship with Him.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Friday, October 7, 2011

MAKING IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE

Luke 18:27 (NIV) “Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”

IMPOSSIBLE (def): 1. Incapable of having existence or of occurring; 2. Not capable of being accomplished; 3. Unacceptable, intolerable; 4. extremely difficult to deal with or tolerate.

POSSIBLE (def): 1. Capable of happening, existing, or being true without contradicting proven facts, laws, or circumstances; 2. Capable of occurring or being done without offense to character, nature, or custom.
3. Capable of favorable development.

Perhaps you are in a situation that looks extremely difficult. Maybe it cannot be accomplished; incapable of occurring. To the human eye there is no way it is taking place. However, whoever said God saw things the way we do? God is the great I AM. He existed before creation. He created everything we can see all around us. Is there anything that could possibly be impossible to Him?

I am facing one of the most daunting experiences of my life right now. Suffice it to say, it seems impossible to me. But I know the Creator of the Universe. I know Him personally. I know His word. I know it is impossible for Him to lie; according to Hebrews 6:18 that is an unchangeable truth. There is no falsehood in Almighty God.

Doesn’t it seem strange, even preposterous, that we would place our trust in so many temporal and inane things or people that are naturally prone to lie and yet not give credence to the maker of all things? There we go with that whole faith and trust thing again. “… without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)

Trust in God. Believe in Him to do that which seems totally illogical and impossible. He can do as He wishes any time of the day or night, for time is irrelevant to Him. Scripture says “a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day.” 2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)

That which seems impossible, is possible in the economy of God. If you will pardon the pun, you can bank on that.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

IS GOD WITH ME?



Matthew 28:20 (NIV) “… I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The phrase “I am with you” is attributed to God, the Father or Jesus, the Son in the NIV translation 18 times in scripture. 6 times it first says to “fear not” or “do not fear”. 4 times God says afterward that He will “rescue you”. As if it weren’t enough to know that the Creator of the Universe is WITH you, He also states in Genesis 28:15that He “will watch over you wherever you go”. This is incredible news to the believer.

As believers in Christ, we understand that God is everywhere at all times and that He resides within us by His Holy Spirit. Being true, it is also easy to accept the fact that He is with us no matter where we go. This is good news unless you go somewhere you ought not to go. We struggle because we have this intrinsic problem with consistently believing in what we cannot see. We fear because we do not trust. We lack hope because we do not have faith. The very nature of faith and trust is believing in the unseen as if it is seen. Even though God has never let us down, we still doubt.

What does this all mean? Essentially, it means that we are feeding from the wrong trough. This world will chew you up and spit you out in a heartbeat. The lord of this world, satan, wants you to fail. He wants you to be afraid. He doesn’t want you to read the Bible and thus feed yourself positive, uplifting, encouraging words that will instill in you courage and boldness. He wants you to become depressed and stressed and generally speaking, a mess. In this condition you are no good to anyone, including yourself.

Take heart my friends, for satan is a defeated foe. God is with you wherever you go and is there to save you from the fate that your enemy has in mind for you. Cling to Christ. Seek His face. Cry out to Him. He hears you. He sees you. Nothing catches Him by surprise. He is aware of all your comings and goings. He is there for you. There is nothing you cannot accomplish with God.

Do you understand that it only takes ONE WORD from your Heavenly Father to change your entire situation. He is YOUR Heavenly Father. He loves you. He is patient and kind. He is merciful and gracious. His Holy Spirit speaks the word into your spirit . You must understand that if you follow wherever He leads without fear or impatience, you cannot lose. It may appear that you are against the ropes, but with God nothing is impossible and even the most seemingly horrendous circumstances can be turned completely around … because He is with you. Let that fact soak into your heart, mind and spirit. When you call Him, He hears and the wheels in heaven are turning right now to bring you what you need. Trust in and rely on God. He is in complete control of all things. No exceptions. No matter how bad you may think your situation is, God is there to bring you out of it if you will only ask Him to.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

DO YOU FEEL FAR FROM GOD?



Colossians 1:19-20 (NIV) “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

RECONCILE (def): To reestablish a close relationship between.

Do you feel far away from God? If God feels far away, who moved?

Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of the Living God, shed His own blood to bring you close to God. What happened? We know from scripture that because the Holy Spirit resides in us, by His very nature, God cannot be far away from you.

Romans 8:11 (NIV) “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

Our ‘right’ standing with God was accomplished through what Christ did on Calgary, not by anything we did ourselves. All we did was respond to the wooing of the Spirit of God. We didn’t even have to do that, but if you are a true believer you decided to respond. So where is God?

He is in you and all around you.

OMNIPRESENCE (def): present in all places at the same time.

How does God do that? I have no idea. I just choose to believe it is true. There have been too many events that have happened in my life that defy logic to believe in coincidences … I believe that God has His hand upon each and every believer (not literally, of course) to lead and guide us where He wishes us to go. There is a catch to that way of thinking; you need to be listening, you need to be seeking His way and not your own.

Free will can be a wonderful thing. You don’t HAVE to do anything you truly don’t wish to do, unless there is a law that says you do, naturally. When it comes to making your own decisions regarding where you go and what you do, you can be in charge if you so choose. But honestly, how has that been working for you? As the saying goes, 'I would rather walk with God in the dark, than alone in the light.' It is important that we understand that there is very little we can accomplish all by ourselves. Our own knowledge and limited resources simply won’t carry us that far. But seeking the Creator of the Universe for advice and guidance unlocks His infinite resources to us. Nothing is impossible for Almighty God. Not one single thing. One word from Him can change everything. We are talking about a spiritual entity Who created something out of nothing by speaking a word. So where is God?

He is in you. He is all around you. You are reconciled to Him by His Son and you have been given access to everything that is in His creation to accomplish that which He wishes you to do. It doesn’t get any better than that.

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

DO YOU WORSHIP IDOLS?

Psalm 96:4-6 (NIV) “For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary.”

IDOL defined: 1) An image used as an object of worship; 2) a false god; 3) one that is adored, often blindly or excessively; 4) something visible, but without substance.

It is astounding how so many people, Christians included, get caught up in idol worship. If we consider the definition above, there are so many things or people in this world that fit that description. Anything from ‘stars’ in the entertainment industry (e.g., movies, television, music) to sports icons to the medium they appear on itself (e.g., flat screen tv, iPhones, iPads, cell phones). Anything that replaces God in our hearts and minds is an idol and has become somewhat of a god to us.

It is a common problem. That which we can taste, see, touch and smell replaces that which is unseen and requires faith and trust to accept. The enemy of our soul has done a good job presenting to this world bright, shiny baubles that do things we couldn’t have even imagined as little as 25 yrs ago. Time with God has been unceremoniously replaced by watching Monday Night Football or the latest movies on HBO and you have to stay informed with current events so you simply must watch the news prior to your head hitting the pillow. The enemy has provided diversions which we have allowed to skew our priorities. And before anyone thinks I am doing finger pointing here, I want to make it clear, I am an offender as well. I would rather sit in the recliner and stare at the History Channel for hours rather than spend 5 minutes of quiet time with God.

It is a serious problem. However, I am not saying or even insinuating that all these things are intrinsicly bad … ANYTHING, from food to drink to computer time to watching the tube, done to excess, is harmful to a person. We must put things in their proper place. There is nothing wrong with watching Monday Night Football or your favorite team in the baseball playoffs as long as it doesn’t take the place of time with God. God misses spending time with us. We were created to worship Him and seek His face.

Don’t go and cut your cable or throw out your iPhone. Just temper what you do with God time. Justin Beiber never raised anyone from the dead and the Dallas Cowboys could never cast out demons from a possessed man. They have their place in this world, but they did not create this world. God deserves all praise and glory and honor now and forevermore. He gave so we could live. Jesus died so we didn’t have to. That has to be worth a lot more to us than being glued to Facebook 24/7 or Twittering our lives away with predictable trivialities. We need to balance out our lives. We need to understand what deserves top priority. In the end we have free will and can do as we please, however, Paul said it best when he said in 1 Corinthians the following, twice:

1 Corinthians 6:12 (NIV) “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything.”

1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV) “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.”

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!

Monday, October 3, 2011

DO GOD'S WORD

James 1:22 (NIV) “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

What does God have to do to get our attention?

He has revealed Himself to us … left His word as a road map to find our way through this life … provided for us and sustained us in all types of situations, both good and bad. Yet we can be so casual, so indifferent about our relationship with Him. I maintain that it is much easier to be influenced by that which can be seen, touch, smell and taste, then the reverse. Not being able to see God or hear His voice audibly is a challenge and requires something we cannot purchase at the local Wal-Mart. It requires FAITH. Jesus tells those in the room with “doubting” Thomas … “you have seen me and believe, but how much more blessed are those who have never seen and yet still believe.”

Sin is fun, if it wasn’t no one would be tempted to do the things that fall into that category. However, the fun is usually short lived and consequences surely follow close behind. The consequences should show us that doing wrong in the eyes of God simply isn’t worth it. Knowing that, we end up pursuing sin all the more, each subsequent time thinking that we will avert the reaping part of the sowing/reaping process. We never do. God patiently waits for us to get our rebellion and curiosity out of our system, but times awastin’. God has offered us meat to eat and we are still sucking on a bottle. We need to branch out.

God is trying to communicate with us and we have the volume turned up on our surroundings. We are easily duped into thinking that our lives for God are “just fine thank you” because we go to church each Sunday and play the part of a Christian. Where is our heart? What DOES God have to do to get our attention?

How do we crowd out the cacophony of sounds that infiltrate our world each day? How do we attain our spiritual equilibrium? James tells us to DO the Word of God. Don’t just read a few verses each day or perhaps even a chapter or two. If you put your nose in THE book and yet come out unchanged, what have you really done? Nothing.

James 1:23-24 (NIV) “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”

I have trouble blocking out noise when I am trying to concentrate on anything, especially God. I have even resorted to going to simplynoise.com to create white noise in an attempt to block out the sounds that surround me … put on headphones and it is blissful. Hey, whatever works I suppose. But the point is there are ways to achieve and maintain focus and concentration if you seek them and ask God to help you.

Look up the lyrics to “I miss my time with you” by Larnelle Harris. It is God telling his child that He misses the time they used to spend together. It is an older gospel song, but powerful nonetheless. Focus on God; focus on His word. Cloister yourself away, even in an open space. Know His word and do it. Don’t play church. I have. It is wasted time. God loves us so much. Let’s follow His lead and do as He instructs. Has He ever steered you wrong?

WALK WITH THE KING TODAY AND BE A BLESSING!