Now ya know!

Now ya know!

It was probably about 22 years ago, that I started homeschooling our oldest son. When I started homeschooling him one problem I never expected was how frustrated he would get because he didn’t know what he had not been taught yet. Yes, you heard me right. Lee for some reason put so much pressure on himself that he got very upset when he didn’t know what he hadn’t been taught yet. I finally sat him down and said “Lee, this is school, you aren’t suppose to know what to do in your assignments before you are taught”. I had to remind him that was why he went to school was to learn. He didn’t need to come to class knowing everything before he got there.

You know that reminds me of some people, who think they need to know everything in the bible, before they come to church. Some think they need to clean up their life before they give their life to Christ and none of that is true. They are confused like our son. It’s what my daddy use to call “Getting the cart before the horse”.  You would never put a cart in front of the horse and tell him to pull it.

This week we celebrate the most Holy Week in the Church year. This week started off with remembering the triumphal entry of Jesus into the city we call it Palm Sunday, and through out the week we are encouraged to reflect on many things that happened the week before Christ gave His life for us. In fact in the Old Testament, that was written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, it contains over 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled through His life, death and resurrection.

Mathematically speaking, the odds of anyone fulfilling this amount of prophecy are staggering. Mathematicians put it this way: 1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies: 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies: 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies: Only Jesus!

Isn’t it wonderful, you don’t need to know these facts and statistics before you come to Christ? In fact all a person needs to know is that, they are a sinner and that Christ died for those sins. But most of all I hope you know the Creator of the Universe loves you. I hope you see that love in people who claim to follow Him everyday. I pray you are shown the same grace by those people that was given to them.

See because that’s what Christ did for us as He hung on the cross. We were not deserving of His love and forgiveness. But yet the bible says, While we were still sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. We were shown undeserved favor. Christ knew we would reject Him but yet He still gave His life for us. The bible says we are all sinners, (Romans 3:23)

Lee had to learn that I didn’t expect him to know everything before coming to class and I hope you know that the most important thing that Christ’s wants you to know is that He loves you. Just like I loved Lee, I wasn’t going to punish him for not knowing. In the same way God doesn’t punish us for not knowing everything in the bible before we come to Him. But what God does want is a relationship with you. He wants one so much He sent His only son to die for us. So we would be able to come directly to Him. His son died and rose again 3 days later so we can be with Him again one day.

Are you ready for that? Now that you know, are you assured that if you took your last breath today or if Christ came today you would be caught away with Him? I encourage you, to make sure. Make sure you have admitted to God that you are a sinner as the bible says. Believe on the Lord and His word says you will be saved. (Acts 16:31) Then find a church, (this Sunday is a great time to start) and get involved. The church is a place for you to grow in your relationship with Him, it gives you 2 opportunities. First to grow in your understanding of the bible which is His last letter to us. Second it should be a place where you know you can go, when you are not okay, because there are people there that will hold you up and encourage you.

The Bible also says “…… From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48 in essence it says  “Much known, Much required” and today you have read what God requires from you.

So now ya know!

And now that ya know, are you going to do something about it?  Because when you do, this Sunday is going to be more special to you than you ever thought it could be. Because the God we serve, is not dead. “For He Is Risen” Matt 28:6. Maybe you already know Him, if so then you also know, He as called you to go and tell others. (Matt 28:7, Mark 16:15, Luke 14:23, Matt 28:19-20 & Acts 1:7-8)  and since He said it so many times in His bible I am pretty sure He was serious about it.

My oldest soon learned how to learn and went on to get his Master’s Degree in Family and Marriage Therapy. He learned it so well, He became the student academic adviser for his college campus, I am talking the student over all the other student advisers, they gave him an office and everything. Why? because he learned it was okay not to know, but it wasn’t okay to stay there. He learned how to learn and then went on to helped others do the same.

So now that ya know, What are you going to do about it?

 

 

 

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The Whole Earth Will Sing………

The Whole Earth Will Sing………

So this past Saturday our Church was hosting a special event where we were planning to feed about 50 people. I had done a lot of prep the 2 weeks prior and, since I volunteered to cook for the whole event; I knew I had a great group of people coming to help so I wasn’t worried, but in the same aspect I couldn’t just stay in bed all day so I was up at 6:30 am because I knew people were going to start arriving by 9:30 am and I had 35 lbs of Salisbury steak to cook and a roasting pan of green beans, as well as 20 lbs of potato’s to mash!

As the alarm went off, I got out of bed and headed to my kitchen, I put the potato’s on to boil and headed over to the church to turn the other items on to begin cooking as well. When I returned from the church, the potato’s were soft and it was time to mash them. I was super excited to use my new Kitchen Aid mixer I got for Christmas to mash them, so lifted the 2 heavy pots with  about 10 lbs of potatoes in each to drained the water off, then transferred all that would fit in my mixing bowl, I attached the beaters and added the butter and milk to them then slowly started the mixer gentle increasing the speed till the were whipped perfectly. Then I went to twist the mixing bowl off the stand, so I could pour the now perfectly mashed potatoes in another container to allow me to start another batch because lets not forget I have 20 lbs to mash here, and the bowl would not release, I twisted the bowl to the right and it wouldn’t come up, I twisted it to the left and it would still not release. So desperate times call for desperate measures, I grab measuring cup out of the cabinet and started scooping. I scooped out most all of the potatoes into the roasting pan I had waiting and ready to keep my potato’s warm till we ate at noon. I had to repeat this process several times just to finish. Although, it was aggravating I didn’t have time to complain or whine, there was to much to do.

Now mind you it isn’t uncommon for me to be awake at 6:30 am but I will admit I am not usually out of bed and I am rarely ever outside at that time of day. But on that day, as I had walked across the 1/2 acre or so between my home and the church, the sun was rising and as it was rising, it seemed the earth came alive! The birds were chirping, the earth was a buzz with all kinds of sounds from nature and the creatures God had made. I have to say it reminded me of the scripture that says “All the earth will worship You, And will sing praises to You; They will sing praises to Your name…..” Psalms 66:4 NASB. I just stood  there in the middle of that wide open space for a bit and just took in the majesty of it all. It really felt as if I was listening to a heavenly choir! I could almost imagine as the sun rose the birds sitting in their nest and them raising their heads and voices in praise to the Savior that made them. See because they don’t have a choice, they have to praise Him. But God the creator of the universe, gave us a choice.

It was later in that day that I stood again in the wide open space of our church and gathered was a group of people all probably over 55 and most closer to 70. Then we began to sing the old hymns and as we did that, again the I heard “All the earth will worship You, And will sing praises to You: they will sing praises to Your name….”  Not only did I hear the praises for the earth but I heard my momma’s voice. Oh! it was coming out of me but I heard it! I could see here sitting at the organ as she played and worshiped the Lord so many times as people gather around and old fashion alter. Those people there knew how to grab a hold of what we use to call, “the horns of the alter” and not stop praying till they felt a release.

It is being raised in a home that “Declared the praises” Isaiah 42:12 is the reason I couldn’t give up when my mixing bowl didn’t release, I couldn’t get mad and walk away because something didn’t go my way. I knew I had people depending on me and there was a job to be done not only in the physical realm but in the spiritual one as well. I was not doing anything that day for my praise, but it was all to honor God. That day, I believe I heard not only the people, but the all the earth praise God when I walked across that yard, and He also gave me a quick peek at heaven where I am sure my momma is singing His praises as well.

The questions is, are you singing His praises today? In just a couple weeks we will be remembering the day our Savior gave His life for us, and I am pretty sure according to His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. The man side of Christ wanted to be doing something else, but He didn’t,  when times got hard He didn’t quit! He didn’t give in! He honored His father while He hung on the cross. That is what God calls us to do. He calls us to worship Him in everything we do. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” Col 3:23 NIV 

So what is your attitude today? When something goes wrong or it’s just not going the way you planned, are you ready to give up and forget it? When it comes to that point remind yourself, “Do it for God!” If it isn’t at that point still do it for God! It’s important for us to remember everything we do from our attitude to our actions need to reflect Christ. If we are truly going to call Him our father, then we need to reflect our father. We just can’t call Him our Dad, if we don’t act and look like Him.  Cause the person you see in the mirror might not be the person everyone else is seeing if we aren’t reflecting who He is!

So whatever you do this week, do it as unto the Lord. “Sing His Praises” with your attitude and actions!

 

You have the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone!

You have the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone!

So recently CNN and FOX news reported, there is a coffee shop in Oakland California that is refusing to serve the local policeman. The owners of Hasta Muerte Coffee says they asked the officer to leave their restaurant for the  “physical and emotional safety” of customers and employees. The officer who was refused service, walked out without any incident. CNN reports that “The coffee shop is accusing the police department of having a history of “corruption, mismanagement and scandal” along with a “legacy of blatant repression.” The owners also said the shop needs the support the community, not the police, to keep their business safe.”

News reports also stated that later the department tweeted that it “respects business owners right to serve anyone they choose” and that they “are reaching out to the business to have a constructive dialogues in an effort to unite their community” Now I don’t know anything about the accusations.

But I do know that I was totally shocked hearing something like this. (As I usually am anymore these day, it seems the older I get, the crazier this world gets) I mean the police are typically there to protect the community. These are the people we should be able to trust and should want around us. So hearing this story seems absolutely ridiculous to me. But as ridiculous as this story sounds what is more ridiculous is that we push God away. Just like these owners/employees,  only ours choice has eternal consequences.

We push away the Creator of the Universe, Who has given His only son for us to die for our sins. The one who wants the best for us and loves us with an unconditional love,  is often asked to leave our lives. Oh! Not verbally, but we leave Him out of our everyday life. We push the thoughts He places in our head away that tells us to change our ways,  for what some would say their “physical and emotional safety” It seems that these days anyone who doesn’t agree with us, or suggest we need to do anything less than what we want, is suddenly a threat. We accused God of trying to control us, we accuse Him of “mismanagement” of our life and “blatant repression” of our wants and desires. See, because we are unwilling to give up our will and our ways and follow God’s.

We believe that we are better off with the “The support of our community” than with the One who knows us best and knows what IS best for us. We’d rather hang out with the friends that our like us and agree with our ideas, than have to change and do what we have been told what is right,  from the book with the only absolute truth in it, which is the bible.

But see we have a God who is a gentlemen. He gave us a will of our own to choose who we will serve all the while “respecting our right to serve anyone we choose”.  He won’t force Himself on us. But all the while He is reaching out to us to have “constructive dialogues in an effort to unite us to Him”. Christ tells us in the bible that “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him……” Rev 3:20 KJV . It tells us in Romans 5:8  that “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

So let me ask you. What are you doing to invite God into your life today? Are you inadvertently or purposely pushing Him away? Do you think He is to busy to worry about you? Have you just decided you don’t need Him in your life because you can handle it yourself? Do you feel hurt because He didn’t answer a prayer that you prayed so you have given up on Him? Or is it that you don’t want to be repress your feelings, wants and desires, because you want your own way! Maybe you think, God is only someone you talk to when you are in Church?

Let tell you that God is wanting a relationship with you. He has plans that are so good for you. He doesn’t want to harm you. So, yes it might require you to change somethings you do, but that is only because He cares about you and wants His very best for you. He reminds us in John that “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 and He also tells us that, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

So won’t you choose to follow Him today? Won’t you decide to make Him part of your everyday life?  Because pushing Him away is as crazy as someone pushing the police away and simply choosing to rely on yourself.

Do you really want to be the God of your life? Or worst yet, follow another human being who is no wiser than you? If you are going to have a god, in your life don’t you want one that’s ways are higher than your ways.

His understanding is higher than yours. So that will mean that sometimes we may not understand Him but we can always trust Him.

Won’t you trust Him today?? Because pushing God away, makes about as much since as it would, if your house was being robbed and you decide to pull the robber/murder into your house while at the same time pushing the police who have come to save you away.

Don’t push Him away, don’t ask Him to leave and refuse to service to Him today.

Who do you know Part 2

Who do you know Part 2

The other day I was driving on 54/400 highway and as I was coming over the hill an 18 wheeler blinked it’s lights at me, as he was approaching me coming from the west as I drove east. I took it as a warning,  I didn’t need to slow down as I had my car on cruise control. I use the cruise partly because my legs are almost to short to reach the petals in our car,  so when I use the cruise control on long distances drives because, it just makes it easier than stretching my ham string for an extended period of time. The other reason I like using my cruise control is because I like making sure I am driving at a safe speed. Sure enough as I went over the hill, there were two state troopers sitting over on the side of the road.  That little scenario got me to thinking.

I appreciated the truck driver, being kind enough to warn me of the upcoming possible ticket. I mean after all he didn’t even know me, we have never met, nor will we probably ever meet. But I wander just as the driver was concern enough to warn me.  Are we as concerned with people enough that we do know to assure they don’t stray from what they should be doing?

In this offense driven society we can often be afraid to speak up for fear of offending someone. But the bible says

…… if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1

…. if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20

Last week, we talked about “It isn’t about where you live, but who you know” Being that,  when we know Christ, we should want to be like Christ and what did Christ do for us, but gave himself for us. So that we might have eternal life with Him in heaven one day.

You know my husband and I have always had 2 different philosophies of ways to raise our children, one of us wants to protect them from everything and warn them from anything that might harm them. The other is happy to just sit back and them figure it out on their own. “After all that’s the way I learned” is the quote from the person who thinks it’s okay for their kids to figure it out on their own. I’ll let you figure out which one of us thinks what. Let’s just say it’s a good thing we have opposite opinions because we help keep each other balanced.

But my point here is, Isn’t that like a lot of us today as we see our friends, stubble in their walk with Christ? How many times have you sat back when see someone you know go down a road of life that they don’t belong. But because we didn’t want to “offend them” or “ruffle any feathers” we just sit back on cruise control and watch them as they are about to go in the ditch on this road called life.

See I don’t know about you but I believe God holds us accountable for those He has put in our life, we hold their eternity in our hands and yet instead of being like the driver who warned me of the impending troopers, We sit back and “let them figure it out for themselves” In fact in Ezekiel 3:18 says …. I will hold you accountable…

If we will pray to,  “See people with Christ’s eyes, Hear with His ears, and Love with Christ’s heart.” Then we will be more Christ like. Christ loved us enough to leave us a book called the bible that can guide us through this down this road of life and He left us here to share the understanding with others. In the loving caring way that Jesus did when He was on this earth.

That’s why, It isn’t about where you live, it is about who you know.  So, Who do you know that needs the love of a Savior? Who do you know that is hurting and needs a friend? The bible tells us that He loved the unlovable, He hung out with them so much that people began to accuse Him of being like them. It’s up to you to be that friend, it is up to you to come along side the hurting and be their friend. Instead of living your life on cruise control, so you don’t strain any extra unnecessary muscles. That may mean that others might not approve of you hanging out with “those people” cause they might not fit in your “group of friends”.  But that didn’t stop Jesus and it shouldn’t stop us. It is time for us to reach out beyond the imaginary walls we put up around ourselves and love everyone just like Christ did.  Keeping in mind, people don’t really care what you know until they know you care. So it may take some time to invest in the emotional bank of these people, (if you haven’t already) before you have enough in there to make a withdraw. That is why we have to be strategic in reaching out praying and asking God “Who can I bless today?”

Because it’s up to you to blink your light (Christ’s light) and warn the person coming toward you when possible trouble is ahead for them, and not leave them to just figure it out on their own, even if it is “how you learned” !

 

 

 

It isn’t about where you live, but it is about who you know!

It isn’t about where you live, but it is about who you know!

The other day I was scrolling through my Facebook when I saw someone who’s name I didn’t recognize post how thankful she was to live in a small town because “Where else can you go out to eat and the waitress hold your baby so you can eat with both hands” she continued on saying that she was thankful she lived in a small town because her children would have life long friends.  This took me back a little bit because although she may not of met it to sounded like this, she gave the impression that only these things can happen if you live in a small town.

See I have lived in small towns of a few hundred, to big cities as large as 2.5 million. I attended 9 school in 12 years. I have attended churches as small as 5 people and as large as 5,000+.  So I think I can speak from experience that it isn’t really about the “small town” or “big city” at all.  It isn’t about where you live, but it is all about who you know.

See, in my opinion often small towns are nothing more than like living in a Middle/High School cliques fest. See school is great as long as you are in the right crowd. If you are in the cool crowd then you are accepted by everyone and looked up to in some cases. Everyone in school from middle school up is place in a invisible hierarchy depending on your reputation. If your a jock, that’s great but miss up one time or are seen with the wrong crowd then your social life is pretty much over. I’ve seen people in small towns be so completely isolated because they have made some mistakes in their life. They have been told, businesses aren’t hiring, when that very day the company had posted on Facebook they were.  Actions from these wonderful small town people, have totally devastated this persons financial life and if you don’t have any money you are stuck in the town so it just becomes a snowball effect.

So see it wasn’t about living in a small town for this young mother, it was about her hanging out with her friends (which was probably her waitress or the restaurant was so slow the waitress had nothing better to do)

Because kindness isn’t isolated to small towns anymore than safety is.

See we have been to restaurants in big cities where waitresses walked across the street to purchased a Dr. Pepper, for my husband simply because it wasn’t a brand of cola they carried. Why? Not because she was a friend but because she wanted to give good service, not just to us but to all her customers. In fact service was so good, we didn’t even realized she had left until after she returned and told us.

I have also, been to restaurants in small towns, where we couldn’t get the waitress to refill our water glass because she was to busy talking to her “friends” and we were strangers in the community so apparently in her opinion we weren’t worthy enough for her to be bothered with.

I’ve sat in small churches where no one spoke to me and I have attended large churches where I could barely get through the crowd because everyone wanted to stop and talk to me.

See none of these examples are as much about where you live as much as it is who you know.

That really needs to be our opinion as Christ Followers. “It isn’t about where we live but is about who you know.” The bible says when talking about the end of the world that “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away . Matt 24:35

If you have study anything about the end times then you know that everything is in line for the Lord to come back. Never at anytime in history have we been so close as we are today to seeing His return.

The question is, “Do you know Him well enough to get taken up with Him when He comes back to get His bride?”

Matthew goes on to tell us in Chapter 23″ 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour[f]your Lord is coming.” 

I know the bible says no one knows the day or the hour, but we can see that the prophecies have been full-filled and we need to be watching for Him . We need to be ready and while we wait we need to be making sure others are ready to go with us. Romans 3:23 says ” All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 6:23 NIV “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life” Then Romans 9:9-10 AMP says “because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].”

I like that last verse, “Whoever believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].” Did you see that “adheres to, trust in and relies on” part. Anyone can say they believe in God, the devil believes in God. But he isn’t going to heaven. We must “adhere to, trust in and rely on” if we expect to get to heaven. 

See if we are really doing that, then it doesn’t matter where we live, because it is really about who we know, and the bottom line is if we know Him, we will live like Him. So, no matter if it is a small town or a large city we will treat others as we want to be treated. We will rise above the High School hierarchy and love others no matter, what their past or present is. Because the truth is if we can’t love each other and get along down here on earth, we aren’t gonna make it up there. (Heaven)  Then, it really will matter where you live.