Christian Ramblings

Each of us are a temple unto God and wherever two or three or more of us are gathered in his name is a church… I mean Jesus is attending, so I would call this as holy a place as a Church.

And God told Moses that you can’t perfect the stones leading to the alter any more than they already are. So by you and I conversing about the Lord we may have Jesus looking over our shoulder… but just to make sure — go get anyone else and get ready to gather in his name… and he will be there with you. Beautiful. But to make this a true gathering in his name, take turns, or have the person reading my letter, read it out loud.

Peter taught us that we are to facilitate baptisms of the Spirit, and that a public baptism in water can be done at the same time but the water represents your sins being washed away, and perhaps obedience to God before others. (It is a fantastic way to get a group of believers who believe as you do together for your Baptism… which will have their faith surrounding you which will greatly bolster your faith… and that is what it is all about.)

The baptism of the Spirit can indeed happen anywhere at anytime, for the Holy Ghost can light upon us in a baptism of the Spirit when we are ready for the Lord to take away our sins and to lead a truly Christian life where you do all you believe you should do as a Christian and follow the two commandments as best you can. For this is indeed a belief system and if you do not do what you believe the Lord would have you do then you either don’t care, are slipping at the moment or you don’t truly believe for this is the proof. Doing what you believe the Lord would have you do is proof of your belief and what makes many say that a saved person will be known by their fruits. They can not help but to listen to the spirit and do good for others once they are saved. And Peter taught us this at the house of Cornelius.

And what a gift. To have all of the sins which weigh us so terribly down, just cast aside and forgotten and then all we are asked to do is to live a life filled with love. No wonder all these people are always trying to share what they have. And sharing the word with folks who decide to make the Lord their Savior and give up the weight of sin they carry creates the fruit… for we are the fruit!

So important in fact, the Lord himself, would break the Sabbath to come find you if you are lost.

You see, the Law was a set of actions for us to follow to be one with God, but actions do not prove our faithfulness, only how much we wish to be seen as pious, thus works do not save you. And the Law was insufficient. Salvation is derived from faith first and then good works will surely follow.

For Jesus saw our frailties and knew that our greatest challenge was true faith. Faith in the grace is what we need. Jesus did not come to change the law one bit or ‘one tittle’. In fact if you think about it he came to make it harder to become a disciple of the Lord than it was to be a follower of the Law of Moses. For we must love God with all of our might, and love our neighbors as we do ourselves (or as much as we love the Lord) and then Jesus went on to teach us we need to love strangers and our enemies this much too.

We have to hold our families safe from the world and shun sin… but yet we must go into the world everyday (amongst our ‘loved ones’ and forgive, edify, and build one another up in the right manner.)

The ten commandments and then a pretty long book on the Law called Leviticus can not cover what these two basic laws from which Jesus said all commandments come from covers. As a true disciple of Christ we are asked to do much more… and hold ourselves responsible for sinful thoughts too… for we have been taught that to think of a sin is a sin too.

Yet. You do not have to change to get saved, getting saved will change you. Once convicted and asking the Lord to come into your life, if you are sincere and are willing to follow his two commandments, as best you can… then the Holy Spirit will light upon you and you will feel a rush… it is different for so many people. But once filled with the Spirit, if you listen quietly after your prayers you will hear the spirit speak to you (really the spirit can speak to you and your heart anytime). For some it remains a whisper guiding them along their path and for others it can grow within them until it spills over and they speak in tongues… (I have never had this personal experience and there are three types of speaking in tongues but we can speak about this later).

All of us are indeed sinners and indeed we would all lie to cover these sins so that we may be saved. So a ‘Sinners Only’ line in a fellowship invitation is so appropriate… whether we like it or not. For we must realize the second half of what the Lord told us. Yes, he told us that not one tittle of the law would change because of his coming, but he also brought the second covenant with him… for we would be saved by our faith in the Grace and not by following the Law any more, yet one folds into the other quite neatly.

And he knew you could not receive (perhaps because you could not believe in the Faith as he was able to) the baptism of the Spirit believing that you held the Grace as he did. But he did know, as evidenced by those who followed and believed in him, that we could believe he held the Grace of God and afforded this Grace to us for believing in him holding the Grace. As Peter walking on the water could not occur without Jesus holding his hand… We had to believe we would receive the Grace through our faith that he held the Grace.

Now we can fully understand why Jesus is indeed the key!

And Grace is a state of bliss, perfection, love and forgiveness. Don’t forget the last word there. As long as you hold to your faith that Jesus held the Grace of God and do what you believe Jesus would have you do, Love God so you could learn how much he loves you and to love everyone else in this manner… you will be saved and receive everlasting glory in heaven.

And all we have to do is try our best. For we never attain perfection except through the Faith in Grace that our Lord held. No. For only God our Father in Heaven is perfect… as the Lord also taught us. He taught us so much more in the few parables he left with us that it could fill bookshelves.

Now many disagree on what the Lord would have us do as his Disciples, his followers, his Brides. What do we do here… we meet those who profess to be our Christian Brothers and Sisters with a Christian kiss and we do not meet them with doubtful disputations for the Body of Christ is far larger than you have ever imagined… we may have different doctrines yet we all still have the calling to spread his name as waters upon the seas.

Let us speak of one more thing here.

Who do you believe the Lord was speaking to when he asked the Apostles who he was… All of them… Right? Then a couple wrong answers were given and Peter (Petra) said you are the Lord, the Jehovah, the one and only son of God.

And then who was Jesus talking to next… there is more than a little contention here but if we keep an open mind we can see the reasons for all of this. Then Jesus said “Yes, and on this Rock (Petra) I will build my church.”

What he was saying is… “You are right Peter and upon this amount of faith I will build my church.”

Now who was he speaking to next? For what he said next and who he was speaking to makes a world of difference.

“Whatever you make law on earth will be made law in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be made loose in heaven.”

Now we are getting pretty deep here and I did not wish to go too far. But when Jesus said this he was speaking to all of the Apostles as proven by what he also said. ‘Last time I sent you I said to not worry about shoes, a coat, money or a sword… This time I ask that you get these and if you have the money… buy a sword.’ For he meant for each of them to strike out in different directions and start his church.

And Peter, now having a sword, cut the ear of the soldier who came to collect Jesus… and Jesus performed his last minor miracle… he cured the ear of the man who meant to take him for what he knew would end in his crucifixion. Now, surely this is the true calling of the army of the Lord.

And if we remember that he said each of the Apostles would be judging over their tribes, then you can understand why they would be allowed to create the laws for those churches they created in his name. And we can only wonder about the many mansions he is preparing in heaven and his statement when his followers forbade others from preaching in his name… ‘If they are not against us… they are for us.’

All of this. 5,000 years of tradition and prophesy from the people God said were chosen to bring about the salvation of the earth. Then two thousand more years of Christianity making it through to these times tells you why he said ‘If they are not against us they are for us’… for the Word and our Christian faith had to make it through the thousands of years until his return. (Which I personally believe and must always believe is eminent… so I keep my/our oil cans full, feeding my family and whoever will listen to the Word whenever I can share it with others to keep our lamps lit upon the hill.)

Sometimes man did much wrong in the name of our Lord, but ‘Mission Accomplished’! And the Churches now each seem to continue to perfect themselves so they can match the mission which our Lord calls each of us to complete. Share the love.

The Apostles each taught pretty much the same exact lessons as evidenced by the three gospels written by Apostles. The Bishops or caretakers of their churches slowly changed the doctrine and dogma of these churches. Sometimes to benefit themselves, some their country and sometimes to benefit the people and their relationship with the Lord.

Those who misdirected their churches or started new churches which purposefully taught bad doctrine and knew they were leading people astray, they would pay the ultimate price for this is taking the Lord’s name in vain and denying the Holy Ghost. But later members and congregations of these churches, who wholeheartedly believe in these things would not be judged by these things as they are blind. Wrong perhaps on some things, but blind to the doctrine which was added to benefit someone earlier in their Church. But later when doctrine became rituals believed in the Churches and no one practiced it to go against the Lord then they were added to the beliefs they held, and therefore they must follow these rituals – these different doctrines – to be a true Christian believer.

One exception here, if the doctrine practiced goes against the two commandments the Lord gave us then it is our own responsibility to understand this and to act accordingly for we are each personally responsible for our salvation in a religion which mandates that there be freedom of religion so we may come to the Lord on our own through our desire to be one with the Lord.

Thus it takes a heart wide and great to pass through the narrow gate. And through what I call G.E.T. – Glorifying, Edifying and Testifying we can bring people back to the basics which our religion is truly based upon. We can all G.E.T. the Word out concerning our salvation and ‘Loving God and our Faith in the Grace’. Loving one another and understanding that we are each made in his image with an overwhelming ability to love.

We must read and hold close to our hearts the chapter of Romans 14, which I believe speaks to this generation of people very well on these topics. But I also believe that warnings of Malachi will come to pass if his warnings are not heeded. In essence he says that one day we will come to understand these truths and when we do the father will come to the son and the son to the father as their religions unite again. (The splitting of the veil was the division of Jews from Christians.)

Then when we think it simple to be a true disciple of the Lord… we need to go back and read Romans 12… then for the calling out – read Romans 13… Three simple chapters which say so much. And with these basic tenants held, the faith will build as your love grows… as the Spirit within you grows… and we will all benefit greatly from this.

I apologize for rambling on… I do that.

Posted in Christian Messages | Leave a comment

Works Versus Fruit…

There are many who believe that by doing anything they will increase the Lord’s love for them and this is simply not true.

Once saved, or even before you are saved, works can do nothing to help you attain the righteousness required to enter heaven or even make the Lord love you one bit more as he loves us completely already..

We need to be forgiven our sins. And as how any sin can block you from entering heaven… any sins we carry with us are as bad as the worst sins which we could imagine.

We need to be cleansed of our sins… and the only possible way to do this is to invite the Lord into your life, for Jesus said knock and I will answer.

We must be convicted in our faith that Jesus was indeed Lord and held the Grace of God. We must believe he had the grace and then we must act upon our faith by submitting to the Lord as our master and ask for salvation… follow his commandments to love God with all our heart and to love one another always… then comes the wonderful part… for we then find out our sins have been cast away, we are then filled with the Holy Spirit, or our friend and comforter as the Lord described the Holy Ghost. And to top it off… we only need to keep the faith and allow the spirit to guide us whenever we feel the Spirit move us… and of course the amazing gift is we get to live a life filled with love for God and all that we meet.

But producing fruit for the Lord is a whole other story, showing love to all we meet, Christian charity and bringing a lost one to the Lord being chief among these fruits.

Works are done to build ourselves up. Fruit is what naturally flows from us as Christians once we have been saved and who are strong in our faith and dutiful to what we believe the Lord would have us do.

So as Christians, how do we know when we are doing works or we are just producing the fruit which naturally flows from a Christian?

Pride!

It is one thing to receive accolades for the fruits you produce as a Christian for your Church or Community. Humbly received with praise to the Lord for bringing the fruit to bear through your actions is one thing. But to proudly espouse your actions or to use them to advance yourself in any way turns the fruit into works you have created.

Of course sometimes we create something which produces fruit. In this case the fruit is still fruit which the Lord cherishes but should the initial action be done as a work by an individual, then the spirit worked through the person to bring about the fruit produced and yet it is still considered a work done by this person for the way they handled the praise and recognition for these great works which produce fruit through others.

Profit!

Should anything be done as a way to increase your business through the congregation… then this is considered works too. But to give your business to someone in your congregation because you know them to be a good person whom you can trust, and knowing that giving them your business is actually producing good fruit for the Lord and to add to this… it is also considered as almost a mandatory part of tithing to your Church… but that is another story.

There are many religions which require works to be performed before a person may join their congregation, whether it be to stop some practice or to begin tithing to the Church first… this is placing works before Faith in the Grace. And they have no effect on the eventual salvation of the person doing these works for it is only when they become fully convicted that our Lord is the key to our salvation and place their trust in Him completely… or have true faith in the grace will they be saved and filled with the spirit.

Although there is one catch here. To believe completely in the Lord in any denomination, to join their Church you should be fully understanding and become committed to the practices of their doctrine.

For as it says in Romans 14, we must do what we believe the Lord would have us do to prove our full belief in him. Thus if the religion says you must commit a practice (which is not against God or man) before the spirit will light upon you then you must do this thing as it is what a true believer in that denomination would do.

And remember the fault of bad doctrine implemented for personal gain by the founders of the church will be considered as sinful… in fact this may be one of the most sinful acts any one can do. For they have taken the Lord’s name in vain, and they have denied the Holy Spirit in creating unnecessary doctrine in their Church.

But the congregation which practices these doctrines due to their involvement with these churches will not be judged in this manner… in fact if the extra and unnecessary doctrine they complete in the practice of their faith, therefore becoming necessary to fulfill and  their faith and what they believe does not injure their love for God and their fellow man… or cause others to do so… then following their doctrine is actually expected of them by the Lord.

But back to the ‘Works’ versus ‘Faith’ issue. What we have found is that works are the opposite of faith, for they lead a person in the wrong direction when salvation is but a prayerful request away. But many works done by people are actually bearing fruit so in this aspect they are producing fruit whether the thing which caused the fruit to come about was considered a work or a fruit on behalf or the person who did this.

So remember that giving cheerfully and humbly are two of the indicators that what you are doing is a creating fruit or a work done for the Lord. And remember the chief of fruits which will carry on into the next life is, bringing others to the Lord, showing love in all that you do and of course Christian charity.

May you be blessed in every way possible.

Your Brother in Christ!

- mike

Posted in Christian Messages | Leave a comment

Our Christian Body… Sharing The Faith!

My friends… My brothers and sisters in Christ… My loved ones,

This is both a great and terrible time which we live within.

Many of us believe we may be living in the end times as foretold in the Bible.

Some are looking for the prophets who will come during these times, and yes even Elijah who will herald in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But there are so many warnings against false teachers and prophets that many of us feel we are left without any way to discern the true prophets who will come in this great age which culminates in the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many have trusted a preacher before who speaks of these events and then these preachers are proven to be wrong and to be leading their flock astray. Many times this happens with television evangelists. Sometimes with a charismatic preacher who says they have answers about these times and certain evidence of these things.

And in many of these occasions the preachers are proven to be charlatans who are just in it for the money, taking the Lord’s name in vain in the worst possible way… and proving themselves to be false teachers and prophets.

Thus many have decided not to ever follow a person who preaches the word without trying to discern what they learn and can prove is true from the Bible themselves. This is very hard for a layperson and sometimes they will take a verse, passage or chapter out of context and miss the true meaning of the lesson. This is too sad for the Bible tells us to take those who are learned in the Word and to make them our ministers.

Take these verses for example:

Romans 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Romans 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

Romans 14:22  Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth

They sound like you can do just about anything you want and God will not take exception to it… when in actuality it means something quite different. For example Romans 14:22 means that should you only do these things you believe are allowed and you will be happy.

The rest means to follow your faith as you believe the Spirit would have you do. Feel the conviction which the Grace affords you. Glorify, Edify and Testify about the Lord when the Spirit leads you to do so.

Remember all the Christian Churches originated with the teaching of Christ and the core teaching of most Christian denominations hold the same basic beliefs, especially when they use the Word (the Bible) as their ultimate truth, and the Holy Spirit as their guide.

Some churches are taught to remove all things from around them which may cause them to stray from the path, while we are taught to learn temperance, which most believe we can not learn by removing these things but by learning to either not do these things or learn to do everything in moderation… or by learning personal temperance. But this doctrinal choice for a Church to decide its members should eat whey, so to speak, about these things is the right of a congregation to add to their doctrine.

Then there are those who are seeking the great enlightenment or great awakening which will occur in the end times. Some believe this will come through a great revival and they seek revivals hoping to see them grow in power to become the greatest of revivals which sweep across the world… as the light of the Lord becomes so great that it enters every heart and the movement becomes so great that it reaches critical mass and we find that like an avalanche the movement can not be stopped and we find we are surrounded by Christians everywhere around the globe.

One, a true prophet will be known by their fruits. A God inspired prophet will have no evil intent in their heart. They will not be interested in profiting personally from their work, but they will wish to spread the message within their prophesies in the manner which will best reach the most people these messages are meant for.

The best advice here is to let the Spirit within you guide you in these things. Let the Word be your guidebook and follow your heart. Remember the enemy can disguise himself as the Angel of Light, so in all things we must pray. And for an even more spiritually powerful means to discern these things or to best use the gifts of the Lord… as Jesus taught us we must fast and pray. And the enemy will expose themselves. The wolf in sheep’s clothing will be known. The false prophets will fall and the false teachers will be set aside.

Two, the great revival, enlightenment, or awakening is taking place as we speak… for the truth of this we must read Romans chapter 14 and increase our understanding that there are many Christian walks which are true to the word and only encumbered by their own doctrine.

The trouble is many of us as one denomination do not accept those of other Christian denominations as true Christians when we should be letting their master judge them (especially when he is our master too), and we should not hold them to doubtful disputations but rather greet them with a Christian kiss and edify them when we can, share fellowship if we can and all grow together as one body of Christians doing our best to meet the call of the second covenant as described in the Lord’s prayer.

Now many will find it very hard to understand and accept what I have just said as being true… but for the truth in this we must look at the event where the Apostles found a man preaching in the Lord’s name who was not part of their group and they forbade him from teaching these things, testifying and preaching the Good News of the Lord’s coming.

When they told Jesus of this he told them not to forbid people from doing this… adding this statement… those who are not against us are for us. And then Paul expands on these understandings in Romans chapter 14.

As far as seeing so much evil in the world today… we are supposed to have our eyes opened in this age. As today’s Christians we have been sanctified and prepared for this new responsibility… we only need to keep the faith and understand that the mission never changes. We are to be as lights on the hills for the Lord until the name of the Lord is like unto the waters upon the seas.

Remember. If we love the Lord, we are to feed his sheep. This means we are to testify and share the good news and the truth of the word.

And finally. When we come to understand that Jesus taught us to first Love God with all of our hearts, minds and soul… and then to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and then to love strangers we find may be in need, and then to even love our enemies… we will know the way of the Lord… for to be a part of the body of Christ is to love and be loved beyond measure.

And this is why I always say that it will take a heart wide and great to pass through the narrow gate.

‘We are the fruit!’ And bringing one another to the Lord is the greatest fruit we can produce.

We are the great awakening! We are the generation which will spread the Word and the Light and the Love of our Lord far and wide. We are the ones who will come together as one body of Christ and make all these things possible… and this is what will bring about the culmination of the second covenant… whether the end times happen now, in the near future, in the next generation, or even much further in the future.

So whether you are of a denomination which eats meat or whey, a denomination who considers there to be one day to be set aside for the Sabbath or that all days should be revered as the Sabbath, we are still all a part of the body of Christ, and we will each be judged according to our faith and how we followed what we believed the Lord would have us do to follow Him.

So if we are indeed the generation which the end times will occur within, we are indeed placed with the greatest responsibility which mankind has ever known.

We will spread the word. We will increase the body. We will benefit from this and we will work to increase this always. And in this manner we will keep our lamps full and be prepared for the Lord when he comes to take us away.

One more thing to consider…

Sometimes I find myself at a loss by the actions of my Christian brethren who use the Word to set upon their fellow Christians because they do not accept them as fellow Christian who are following what they believe the Lord would have them do.

But my actions and my words are restricted and yes, even guided by the temperance of what the Lord would have me do. I must love them and understand that even in their pretenses to be supported by the Spirit in their endeavors, they are indeed also strengthening the cause with their quoting of scripture in their attempts to cast doubt upon the righteousness of other professed Christians in our midst.

Yes, against even myself. This reminds me of Paul’s experience with those who preached the word in many ways while they knew he was in prison.
Phillipians 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

Phillipians 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Phillipians 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Phillipians 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

Phillipians 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.

Phillipians 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Thank you for allowing me to share my opinions with you. We really do have our work cut out for us. May you all be truly blessed.

Your brother in Christ,

- mike

Posted in Christian Messages | Leave a comment

Jesus Asked For More!

Jesus asked for more!

To become a true disciple of Jesus, we must follow him and his teachings. Jesus made everything simpler. Jesus made everything easier to understand, yet Jesus asks a lot more of us than the chosen people ever had been commanded to do to be righteous in the eyes of the Lord.

Jesus came and set aside the law for the Grace. He set aside the law, the book of Leviticus and the ten commandments with two simple commandments from which all other commandments flow.

Love God with all your might, and love your neighbor as yourself… then he expanded the love we are supposed to afford others to everyone we know or meet… even our enemies.

And then he said from these two commandments all other commandments flow. Wow! When you think about it, he actually expanded the law to include all that is against God and our neighbors… all people as a matter of fact.

He also expanded upon what we are to give. We are supposed to tithe when we can but we are also supposed to also tithe with our actions in matters of law, judgment, mercy, faith and love. In fact this is the only time he actually mentions the word tithe.

He speaks about giving though, and he speaks about this greatly. Giving when we can. More than others may ask for, like when he says to give your cloak as well to a man who asks you for your coat. Giving all that we have if it is necessary… in fact giving all that we have to the poor and following him is the ideal amount we should give.

This is not ten percent. In fact many times it is much more.

The New Testament does speak about what we should give though.

We should give what we can give cheerfully, so we do not regret giving what we do, and then giving what we can in humility or without any recognition for the gift you are making.

Now some say that the Church should not be rich. But these people are wrong. God set it up with the chosen people that the tribe of Leviticus would receive ten percent from the other 11 tribes in order for them to do the work of the church. This meant the Church had 110% and each of the tribes had 90%.

The way the money is spent should be wisely considered by the Church and it is the congregations responsibility to choose the proper elders to use these offerings as best they can to meet the objectives of the Church.

Now some Churches are rich and some are poor. But we should not allow ourselves to forget to also tithe with our actions and our love as the Lord commanded us to do the one time he mentioned tithing.

Thus we now see that to be a true disciple of the Lord, He asks a lot more from us than the law and the old testament ever did.

Give what you can cheerfully give with true humility. With time you will give more… and if anyone is counting I am sure we would soon be giving more than the Chosen people ever did when they were under the Law and the old rules for tithing.

Now for the one thing which indeed did get more simple… Before the Lord came it took eleven rabbis, teachers or church elders to come together before the temple was considered to be in session so to speak. So a church capable of communing with God could only be possible in these circumstances.

In our age, all it takes is one believer talking to another person about the Lord and the Lord will be there in the midst and this can happen anywhere, for where ever two or more are gathered in His Name there He is in their midst. Now that is exciting.

So in closing.

Go out and give by starting churches wherever you can by speaking to others about the Lord and then invite those interested to join your congregation… the rest will indeed follow.

Amen.

Posted in Christian Messages | Leave a comment

Living And Loving

Just the other day I was out and about,
When I saw a cold man preaching to a crowd,
So I reckoned I’d listen in for awhile.

He told us of bad men and their evil ways,
Then he let us know he knew their final fate,
Shouting his moral judgment so cruel and vile.

You see he hated everyone he knew,
Seems it was cause they were not perfect or true,
So stunned I just stood there with my jaw agape,

As this cold preacher man went on to explain,
How all of us were going to hell in pain,
‘Cause sin was something we could never escape.

Now we have all heard moral judgement before,
But something here was just rotten to the core,
And yes, I’d about had all that I could take

Asking for money he told us to follow,
But this was just too much for me to swallow,
So I yelled out, “You’re full of it – you’re a fake!”

“If people can’t escape sin, why even try?
People, can be perfect and I’ll tell you why!
In simple language we can all understand!”

“You see even our Lord was wrong and changed his mind,
Look it up in your books, I’ll give you the line,
Turn to Exodus thirty-two fourteen man!”

“And, furthermore you teach hate instead of love,
Vainly taking the name of our Lord above,
When you should have shared your great faith in the grace.”

“We were told we should love God with all our might,
And loving our neighbors was the second line,
And from these two – all commandments generate.”

Well, I looked around and people were nodding,
Yet some looked angry, as if they were plotting,
So I turned and continued my soap box show,

“Some of you here today may not understand…
you might believe just as fiercely as this man,
that we do not have a choice of where to go.”

“Get a grip people and just hang on a sec’,
I have said nothing over which you should fret,
For there is still hope for all of us, you see.”

“Don’t worry about God and evolution
For faith in God above is our solution,
And arguments can damn us eternally.”

“Your salvation is completely up to you.
Its your faith, its your belief, its what you do,
Which discerns whether you’re on the righteous path.”

“So smile right now and know that you’re truly saved,
and always build upon your faith in the grace,
for living and loving is all that we have.”

As I left the crowd that bright and sunny day,
A hand grabbed my shoulder as I turned away,
Turning I saw that it was the preacher man.

I looked at this poor soul so cold in spirit,
He shivered so much I could hardly bear it,
So silently I prayed for another plan

Holding my shoulder tight, this is what he said,
“Your words have shamed me and my face is still red,
but I must tell you that you have brought me hope,”

“For I see the love of the Lord in your eyes!
Will you please forgive me my failings and pride?”
I answered with a smile and offered my coat!

- mike

Posted in Christian Poetry | Leave a comment

Does God Change His Mind?

Does God Ever Change His Mind? … Do your prayers and actions effect true change in the world around us?  The answer is yes… and it is up to you whether to change the world around you, for it takes action on your part to get the Lord to draw you in. It takes action on your part to receive the most blessings possible from the Lord.

No I am not talking about a prosperity doctrine… but this is where these preachers get this premise from which is actually true if not abused.

I don’t see where anyone claims God would change because of prayer… but if him changing his actions means he has changed then perhaps He does change because of prayer, blessings, laying on of hands, and our listening in the still of the night.

Ask and you shall receive… God does listen and he will change the circumstances around you… every time a new soul is brought to salvation through personal conviction, repentance and letting the Lord become their master, God’s will is being done and this brings him joy… therefore everything changes here and thus God’s outlook on us and his opinion about us changes.

What about Isaac… What if God had not stayed Abraham’s hand.

After Noah disembarked from the ark God promised he would never punish us like this again.

Just think what the world would be like if God did not change his mind and Exodus 32:14 never occurred.

When Jesus was Baptized, God said that this made him ‘Well Pleased’. This event made God speak openly to the people there.

But you are also absolutely correct when you say that God does not change.

What we see though is a perspective issue. We see life as it rolls out day by day. God is the alpha and the omega… he is at the beginning of time and he is at the end of time… so in the big picture God never truly changes… but our perception of him does… even through personal interaction with him.

As we learn more, our perspective of who God is and the role he and Jesus play in our lives changes… and indeed he does change things and people because of the prayers brought to him through our Lord.

Another question I often hear is whether Jesus was more a man or if he had all of the powers of God on earth. Well this one is easy… When the lady with the bleeding problem finally caught up to him, after following him for days, she touched the back of his robe in one of the greatest acts of faith told in the Bible… but did you catch the fact that Jesus was surprised when she touched him and turned to ask who touched him.

He was indeed a man doing his best to teach us that through our actions we become closer to God and bring His will to be done here on earth as it is in heaven with each decision we make and with every action we take.

So what does this all mean to us. Those of us trying our best to become the true disciples of the Lord. It means we must have a call to action.

This should be a loud and clear call to all Christians everywhere.

To be stronger in your faith and to be able to do great things through the Lord, he even gave us the secret to securing more of God’s power in our lives… pray and fast.

This means that we can bring more of God’s glory to earth. Each of us can. And one by one, we can unite to bring about a new call for revival and the rebirth of those who may find themselves lost.

Random acts of kindness followed by a simple ‘God Bless You!’ is a simple seed you can plant everyday… many times a day if you are ambitious.

So if you wish to build up your Church. If you wish to increase the body of Christ which congregates with you… you must have a heart wide and great to understand that all people are different and each need the same basic thing in their lives… Hope and Faith!

And it is so easily received, all they have to do is knock and the Lord will answer. Our job is to get them to knock so they can enjoy the many benefits we enjoy as Christians.

Then we must edify them and teach them the simple truth that the way of the Lord is love. Love for God and love for everyone around them, but just as important, love for themselves.

Now is the time for us to take action. We know the truth that Jesus saves… but we need to plant far more seeds every chance we get.

Yes this is a call to action… and I hope it is one that is well received for the glory is the Lord’s indeed, as he taught us the way, he became the way, and he is the way.

May the Lord bless you in every way possible.

- mike

Posted in Christian Messages | Leave a comment

Meek As A Mouse!

Meek As A Mouse! …

When I was born, I was premature, underweight, small, bald and cross-eyed. …

The carrier my parents had brought to the hospital to bring me home with was too big.

So they carefully put a baby blanket in a shoe box, wrapped me up and brought me home.

On the way home… Dad joked that I looked like a mouse… and that was the day I received my nick-name from my parents.

None of my other brothers had a nickname growing up other than the occasional ‘Go get ‘em Tiger’ from Mom and Dad.

They say I was a peculiar baby in that I did not cry… in fact I was too quiet… I am sure I quickly made up for that as I grew up.

But this is how I, the ‘Mouse’ started out… meek.

Being cross-eyed always sort of pushed me out of the main groups of children and even after an operation to fix my eyes I always seemed to hang back and not join in with the popular crowd.

I have since found out that I am also bi-polar.

It is these differences from other people which caused me to always take a back seat to others… and it was the great love shown to me when I was young which fostered in me a great love for everyone in my life… and having five kids in the family helped show me how to expand this love to more people in my life.

Being bi-polar causes you to lose your temper more easily than most… and I learned early in life that anytime you lose your temper and act out of righteous indignation… you have lost the argument and you have more to be repentant of than others not so afflicted.

The greatest way to overcome this weakness is to allow others to win, even when you believe you can win.

Thus, early in life, I embraced being the ‘Mouse’ and the many benefits which come with it.

The ability to empower and edify others without thought of being compensated. The ability to see the Grace in others… even when they may not see it in themselves. The ability to love others even when they are against you… are just a few of the many benefits I have realized when I apply this principle in my life… and to do otherwise in my life… ALWAYS has led to destruction.

I learned this lesson young, and would exhibit this meekness in ways my parents found very strange… such as taking the blame for something one of us boys did so that all of us would not be punished.

But being meek does not carry over well into living a life as a responsible grown up and parent where it is my duty to earn as much as I can to support my family.

The reason is, a meek person is not a very good negotiator and in being meek you take what is offered… and most people on the other side of the negotiation table… regardless if it was about my salary, a promotion or a raise… would take advantage of this.

Also being meek, appears to others as a weakness where you appear to not be sure of yourself when it comes to delivering that which you say you can do.

Combined… after a lifetime of not getting ahead because of the fact that business is heartless and downright cut-throat at times… I found myself working on my own… but I still do not have very good negotiating skills. 

The truly odd thing is… I wound up in marketing where I had to learn to be bold in my presentations… but I believe it is my meekness, which has allowed me to honestly sell anything on its own merits without too much puffery or exaggeration, that afforded me the small amount of success I have had in this field.

Now as a freelance web developer… I tell the truth when someone asks me how much something will cost… and then I find it is hard to ask for much profit… regardless if the services I perform are performed by others for much more. In fact most of my clients don’t pay me anything for my services… because I leave it up to them as to whether they feel my services have a value worth compensating.

And it is good that I am in a position to afford these services for free to see the good will of the people I work with. (It does not cost me much to afford these services for free.)

Now, in the past few years where I have drawn closer to the Lord and taken my mission more seriously I have come to this understanding that I am pretty meek in all that I do.

Being meek is not easy, as it often times means you give up much so that others may gain… but being meek does not mean you are not convicted or that you have no opinions. Being meek does not mean you will not stand up for what is right… it just adds a great amount of temperance to your actions so that what you do is carefully thought out.

The greatest gift which being meek affords us is the knowledge of what is truly important. The love of our family, friends and neighbors. That our needs are much smaller than we would first think. And the immense value of charity – because you feel as if everything you receive is a gift, regardless of how hard you worked for it.

Now I am not perfect… and I am not the most meek person you will ever meet… but I am sure grateful that I came home in a shoe box and gained the nickname ‘Mouse’, 50 years ago now, which has afforded me great and valuable lessons throughout my life.

May you be blessed in every possible way.

- mike

Posted in Christian Messages | Leave a comment

Do you remember the gift of being saved?

Do You Remember? …

Hello My Brothers and Sisters In Christ! …

Do you remember what brought you to your knees before the Lord in the first place? …

…The crushing shame… the guilt you could not escape… the terrible things in your life you could not control… the confusion… the powerful realization that you were lost and that you felt you had no where to turn…

This is what others are going through all around you and many of them do not know how they can possibly deal with all their troubles or even why these troubles weigh them down so heavily.

Many of them believe they have addressed their spiritual needs… but they are still lost for one reason or another.

Many have improperly placed their faith in something which will never afford them the answers they are looking for.

Many have found the right place to gain the answers they need but don’t know that their problems can best be answered through spiritual needs.

You have the Lord in your heart and he has done so much for you. He has lifted the terrible burden of shame, confusion and sin from you so that you may live a blessed life filled with the spirit and the very light of the Lord within you.

You have come to receive the most blessed of gifts, the grace which fills you up because you have come to the Lord in faith, bowed before him and accepted him as your savior.

But there are so many who are lost and confused in their spirituality. We walk past them everyday. They may or may not go to Church… and those that do may seem quite content in their faith. Some even seem to be filled with the spirit…

But there are so many degrees of being lost to the Lord.

We must help all who we meet to understand the great gifts we have found. We must share this greatest of gifts… even with those who claim to be good with God and yet go to a Church, Mosque or Synagogue which we know will not bring them into the full glory of walking in the light, on the path of righteousness with the Lord, where the only true and lasting joy can be found in this life.

Just because they seem to be happy with their relationship with God and/or our Lord and you may feel it is not your place to interfere in their personal spiritual walk… there are many opportunities available to help folks gain what we have received… the Grace, the forgiveness, the peace and the joy of having a strong personal relationship with the Lord and the holy Spirit.

We do not have to wait until someone cries out to us for help, there are people all around us everyday who could be greatly blessed by sharing in the loving relationship you have with our Lord.

So the next time you meet someone of a faith which is not of the Lord, or when you meet someone not concerned with their spirituality at all… don’t assume that they are satisfied and therefore you should not try and offer them something better… much better… for you have an opportunity to shine forth with the pure sweet love of our Lord and to offer them this greatest of gifts.

Love and forgiveness from the one who truly matters in their life… Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

May you have a most blessed day… and an opportunity to see the truth of what I have shared here with you today!

God Bless!

Posted in Christian Messages | Leave a comment

Christians! Come Together!

I see the wisdom of showing each religion for what it is. …

Christianity is one of love and is practiced by those who know they are not perfect but because we are Christian we continually try our best to improve the condition of man according to our faith.

I also see the inherent dangers of trying to teach a centrist form of Christianity when we must all do as we individually believe our faith requires of us to fully meet the call of our Lord. And it is indeed different for us of different denominations at this point.

We have come to the point where we meet each other with a Christian kiss and try our best not to have doubtful disputations about the faith of our professed brothers and sisters in Christ while we each try our best to share what we believe is right for Cchristians to know, believe and follow while we are also cautious to not become stumbling blocks for our fellow professed Christians.

We have come a long way, but we still have much to learn and experience before we can meet what the Lord has impressed upon each of our hearts individually and merge ourselfs back into one body of Christ with a single set of doctrine for all Christians to follow.

There is also the problems of who gets to control the religious cirriculum being taught for all Christians to learn in school.

Now multiply these issues greatly by adding all of the other faiths. How do we define what a true religion is when we can not come to a consensus on what Christian faiths or denominations are true?

Now back to just the Christian issues. I personally believe it is such a glorious thing to see the different denominations being able to share in fellowship and help support each other through blessings and prayers.

I would love to see the true universal church open its heart back up and make the inroads for all true Christian faiths to be recognized and held to be righteous members of the body of Christ… but for now we can at least do as the Lord would have us do… not hold one another to doubtful disputations and to let the master of our fellow christian be their judge in these matters.

May God Bless Us All In This Great Endeavor!

Posted in Christian Messages | Leave a comment

Who should I call my Brother or Sister in Christ?

1 Cor 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? …

This is the dividing line of whether we are ready for the spiritual lessons. Which are the meat of the word, afforded those who are spiritual in nature or if we are to only ready to be fed milk or the basic lessons of the word.

To best understand our differences as Christians; I guess we have to look at the one conversation Jesus was having with the Apostles where he announced he would build his church upon this rock. He was talking to all of them when he asked who they thought he was… Peter answered… but when Jesus replied, was he talking directly to Peter or was he making general statements to all of the Apostles.

He had told them they would sit as judges with him over the twelve tribes of Israel.

So if he was speaking to them all when he made the statement ‘what you make law on earth will be made law in heaven, and what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven’… then we have a better picture of the different Churches and how Apostles who bring new lessons to the Church help create the test for people who follow them, and therefore this is why they would be the best Judges for these certain people who follow them.

This would show us how the many paths we see being promoted in different Churches are actually one path which we are seeing through the eyes of each of our church founders or Apostles.

This would teach us the true meaning behind the lesson Paul gives us in Romans Chapter 14… where we are taught not to judge other Christians we believe to be weak in their faith for one reason or another.

And, this is the best part I think… it would mean that all Christian Churches which are still leading people to the Lord and following the commandments as taught by Jesus are all actually one body of Christ which are only being held apart by what we perceive to be differences when in reality we have no real or tangible differences which the Lord would take exception to. I believe this last part is because all of us are blind to what we are doing. And the Lord is most forgiving in matters where we are blind and do not understand we are wrong.

But having learned this and brought it to the foremost of my personal beliefs I must be guided by these principles and try to teach them to whoever may listen. For being no longer blind to this, I have learned the truth and I must apply this to my life and how I live it for my Lord.

It does not change our responsibilities as Christians walking the path of righteousness as each of us believe we should. But it does call for Christians to accept and respect all Christians who are members of legitimate Christian Churches, movements or disciplines.

I try my best to be open and accept anyone who says they are a Christian… should they go to my Church or not. I understand what is meant by the remnant and only coming to the understanding I am writing about here in the past few weeks I must admit am still learning.

I understand the lessons that we should only judge those within our congregation according to the Law and the doctrine within our Church, and I can see how this ties into the fact that the Lord may set different rules for different Churches, through different sets of doctrine, and therefore this is why we should not judge those in other Churches but allow those Churches to handle the judgment of their congregation themselves should it be appropriate.

I understand the warning that we should not idly associate with people whose sin is ‘outward’ or obvious… and how this may help us to discern which Churches are holy in the eyes of our Lord.

I also believe that while someone may have broke away from the Church for bad reasons and created a new Church with new doctrine, the ones who are aware that they have done this for bad reasons will be judged accordingly… but later the ones who are brought up in the Church or brought to the Church, they are blind to the faults of the Church and therefore are innocent as long as they teach and follow the basic commandments as afforded by the Lord. – And this may have happened within all of the Churches which grew from each of the Apostle’s missions so the body of Christ may indeed be much larger than any of us would first imagine.

Of course some of these Churches broke away when certain people of good conscious, and in good faith, felt that they needed to break away from the doctrine of their original Churches. In this case the original Churches may have had problems but only those who are not blind to the faults of the Church and did not do anything to repair these faults can be held to blame.

I am not advocating the creation of a new Church. Rather I believe I am saying true Christian Churches should recognize that other Christian Churches of other faiths and denominations may indeed be just in the eyes of our Lord too, and that no one of us should easily refrain from offering blessings to those outside our Churches or accepting that people can receive blessings, gifts or baptisms outside of their Church.

As far as my use of the term veil. I am speaking about the fact that we can not know everything from this side of the veil or while we are living this life. This is what stops us from seeing the complete truth about our self, our spirituality, and the Lord’s master plan which is being referred to when the Bible says that we see through a glass darkly or through a mirror dimly.

We can not know all the truth or this test does not work… for this life is a test of faith. And I know that we are taught, ask and you shall receive…  but there are still some aspects about our lives here which can not be known or proven absolutely… thus I believe we should also remember the lesson that we shall receive each according to our needs.

Again, I can see the wisdom of the Lord allowing the Apostles who he has chosen to be judge over certain peoples, the ability to set law for them… again each according to their needs. I don’t see where the original Apostles strayed too far from each other in their missions… even Peter deferred to James about matters concerning the administration of the Church while he also referred to Jesus’ teaching us that we would baptize by the Spirit, when we all agree that he was told that whatever was made law in heaven would be made law on earth… the only difference in understanding I am suggesting we learn is that he was also saying this to all of the Apostles concerning each of their missions.

These individual Churches created through the missions of our Apostles were then ran by Bishops and other Church leaders who may have changed the doctrine of their Church as the individual needs of these Churches changed.

Like the veil which people understand means that we do not understand some things which remain hidden from us… the lessons we learn within our individual Churches that the path of righteousness is indeed narrow remains true, but we can now see why you must have a heart wide and great to pass through the narrow gate.

I feel the reasons for all of this, is…

One, it is the only way we can experience this test without dropping the veil and letting us know the absolute truths about everything – for this can not be done because this life is a test of our faith and love for the Lord.

Two, it creates another test of our faith in that it tests whether we can come to love all people who profess to be Christian and not hold them to doubtful disputations… Or treat people with the same respect and love we would like them to offer us concerning our beliefs and relationship with the Lord.

Three, it made sure that Christianity would make it through the ages. God worked with the chosen people for five thousand years so that people would know that Jesus was indeed Lord when he came. A few of the Apostles hardly made it outside of the city, let alone the holy land, before they were murdered, but the Lord knew that each of the Apostles forming many Churches would make sure that Christianity would remain with us to the end times… even unto today.

I do not say these things to create a stumbling block for any one’s faith, but rather to edify all of us as Christians and to provide hope that indeed our family… the body of Christ, is indeed much larger than we ever imagined and affords us much reason for rejoicing while creating many opportunities for understanding how we can all share in fellowship to lift up, pray for, bless, and empower one another.

Posted in Christian Messages | Leave a comment