Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Dave Wells:

Wonderful article. Thank you for sharing the story. God’s blessings to you!

Originally posted on VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED:

Mall

New Jersey: David Wells, a former Long Branch police officer who was charged with defiant trespass for handing out religious pamphlets at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, New Jersey, will again have to wait for his day in court. The court case was originally scheduled for Dec. 5, 2013, but has been postponed—for the fourth time.

APP is reporting that Eatontown Borough Prosecutor, Sean T. Kean asked for the case to be adjourned because Mall representatives were unable to attend. Judge Robert B. Thompson granted his request.

“There are a lot of constitutional issues. It’s a little bit more complicated than the average case we see in this court,” Thompson said, adding that both sides have used up their postponements and he won’t grant another.

Wells, was initially charged by Eatontown police officers on Nov. 5 when he refused to stop talking to people and engage them in conversations at the Monmouth Mall.

Mall…

View original 758 more words

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15
Bummed
Have you ever had one of those days? Today is not one of them for me, but I’ve had bummy fill. I remember a one time waking up really  bummed. I won’t say that I was depressed, I just
wasn’t happy. I rose from bed in a foul mood and it carried throughout much of the day. As far as church and worship went, I just wasn’t into it. But in a moment of discernment, I found myself praying to the Lord that [ironically] I had earlier lagged to praise, and wouldn’t you know it, Jesus responded. God is faithful even when I am not, and accordingly, He provided me a Bible study which focused on continual sacrificial praise. As a result I came away with a renewed appreciation for sacrificial giving, whether it is in regard to worship, service, or benevolence.

Seasons

Seasons (and the feelings that accompany them), will always be with us; there will be always be rain in spring, growth in summer, harvest in autumn, and stillness in winter. Changes occur over the course of a lifetime or in a moment in time, with the only certainty being that there will be change. Having said that, Christians know (or should know) that we are a people led by the Spirit and not our emotions.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9

God Knows

The fact that we have emotional ups and downs is no secret to God. He gave us the emotions to begin with, but He also gave us choice. As a result, God has provided a way by which we can give sacrificially; praising Him in spite of our emotional or physical condition. Anyone can praise God when there is spiritual growth or harvest, but when the rain pours or our hearts are cold, we’ve been given an exit strategy divine — it all boils down to the choices we can make in the light of any affliction. I suspect that the widow in Mark 12 had some impassioned feelings regarding her poverty, yet she still chose wisely. Is this not of God? Is this not praise?

This poor widow has put in more (praise) than all those who have given…for they all (praised) out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had (Mark 12:43b-44, paraphrase mine)

I Missed Out

God’s message to me was timely and I found myself that morning praising Him for His faithfulness to me in my times of faithlessness. He had lifted me out of an emotional pit and had placed me on higher ground, able to praise Him with abundant joy where there was done previously. However, I also realize that I had an opportunity to praise Him sacrificially (in my emotional poverty) and let that chance slip through my fingers. That knowledge might be depressing to me if not for this truth:

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1

(If you enjoyed the post please ‘like’ it, share it, subscribe to the blog, or leave a comment below and keep the discussion going. God bless).

For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. 2 Timothy 1:12
How Do You Respond

There are essentially two ways to answer any question regarding Christianity. One is logical and matter-of-fact and the other is compelling and personal. One clearly sheds light on the what of Christianity and the other the Who of our faith. While both are fine and have a place in our witness, the latter is decisively better. I suspect this is likely the reason why the Apostle Paul opts here to share about Who he knows rather than what he knows.

“Whom I Believe”

I’m treading gently here, but nevertheless, our faith has less to do with what we believe and everything to do with Who we believe in, submit to, and rely upon. Therefore, our most effective witness occurs when our focus is kept on Jesus and our relationship. Similarly, if you were telling someone about marriage, the better account would come not from a dictionary, but in the sharing of your personal relationship you enjoy with your spouse. This of course in no way diminishes the importance and vitality and truth of Biblical data.

What vs. Who

Reflect on what you know about the Bible and chances are you fall into one of these two categories: a) You are not very knowledgeable and feel hindered by the fact that you do not know a lot, or b) You study the Bible a lot and have come to the realization that the more you learn the less you know.

Don’t fret…

This is a wonderful position to be in and Paul, the biblical scholar, would agree (although he would never counsel anyone to not study the Bible. That would be ludicrous). The formerly blind man would also agree — he knew very little (if anything) of God‘s word. However, he was more than willing and able to share about his relationship with his Savior Jesus.

Sometimes all you have is all you need.

“One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:25

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)

How many sermons on salt have you heard?

Me too.

Frankly, I’m a little salted-out. What really salts my wounds is when the sermon-ator gets all caught up in his saliferous illustration and dismisses all other analogies as savor-less stepchildren.

saltI found a solution! 

Lets call it a “Make-Your-Own-Sermon” kit. From the list below select a singular salty trait and meditate on it. Allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind the briny, and of course Bible-ly similarities. For example, take the first word from the list below and ponder the ‘preserving’ aspects of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. To complete the exercise, discover (or rediscover) a portion of Scripture using the concordance in the back of your Bible, an online Bible search tool, or Google inquiry that will enhance and support your supposition.

Preserves ~ Purifies ~ Flavors ~ Heals ~ Penetrates ~ Melt Ice ~ Gives Traction  
Trans-cultural ~ Works in All Temperatures ~ Unbiased ~ Stimulates Hunger
Quietly Works ~ Cleanses ~ Lingers ~ Promotes Thirst ~ Provokes Interest
Necessary for Life ~ Readily Available and Usable ~ Inexpensive ~ Valuable
Gives Identity ~ Absorbs Moisture ~ Irritates ~ Does Not Go Bad (ever)
Misunderstood ~ White ~ Pure ~ Set a Part (Holy) ~  Created by God

Let’s remember that individually and corporately, the church is likened to common salt. Since salt does not rot and Christians cannot be plucked from God’s hand, they share eternal qualities. The only way salt (or a saint) can lose its flavor is if it’s polluted; that is to say watered-down. Think about that as you meander the narrow road of faith.  Are you picking up contaminates along the way? Are you keeping your flavor Holy? When you share the Word of God, are you adding to Scripture things that dilute and weaken the message?

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Revelation 22:18-19

We have been entrusted and blessed with a priceless commodity. Let us be mindful to protect it and share it liberally.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)

 

One For the Boys

Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them. Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:5-6

We’ve had this discussion before, at least in bits and pieces, but it’s worth repeating – I let you guys down. I’ll try to explain and keep it short at the same time. Forgive me if I repeat things I have already shared with you.

In 1984 I became a Christian, but not a very good one. I either was not being taught well (at the church I was going to), or I wasn’t listening well (probably the latter), boysand I soon fell away from my faith because of my discouragement. In 1988, when you guys were born, I still considered myself to be a Christian (and maybe I was), but I sure wasn’t acting like one. For the next 12 years, I behaved worse and worse. As a result, for the first 12 years of your lives, I was not raising you boys in the ways of the Lord. Sure, we did other things and had some good times (I don’t think I was a total jerk), but I dropped the ball entirely by not raising you in a solid Christian home. By the time your sister came on the scene in 2000, I had rededicated my life to Jesus. From then to now, I’ve been trying to play catch up with you guys — what I should have been teaching you since you were toddlers, I started teaching you at 12 years old. I had essentially allowed the world to raise you for those first 12 years.

I noticed your resentment, even though you never really said anything. I tried to teach gently, but often pushed hard, trying to make up for that lost time. To make matters worse, I’d tell you to do one thing and then do something ‘extremely’ hypocritical, completely undermining whatever the ‘good’ message was. For these things I am sorry. I wish there was a way to go back, but there is not. Because of these failures on my part since your birth, you have been scarred. You are who you are, at least in part, because I failed in the role of ‘Christian Dad.’

So why am I telling you this now?

Well first let me tell you that I’m not beating myself up in an effort to make you feel a little better. I know what I did (or didn’t do) was wrong and I’ve made my peace with God. I don’t have to hang my head in shame for the rest of my life. Jesus has forgiven me, and I (we) can learn from the experience. No, I’m sharing these things for another reason – you need to move on. By that I mean you need to accept that there is a reason for your personalities and behaviors, and not let those reasons prevent you from being the men that Jesus wants you to be. You must make up the lost ground that I allowed to slip by those first 12 years, regardless if you blame me or not. In other words, you cannot use as an excuse that you had a lousy Christian dad and that for the first 12 years of your life you were taught little or anything about being a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is the hand that you were dealt, and rather than continue to play a bad handful of cards, it’s time to fold and get a new set of cards.

It’s time to put away the old and put on the new.

It’s time for Jesus, full-time.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Finally, you may be wondering why I am airing our dirty laundry. Well don’t worry too much, nobody really reads this blog. Second, I’m a firm believer that ‘experience is the BEST teacher, but it doesn’t have to your experience’ (maybe somebody can learn from this without actually having to go through it).

I love you both and I want nothing but the best for you — and the best for you is Jesus. Talk to you soon!

Dad

Look upon me and be merciful to me, As Your custom is toward those who love Your name. Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me. Redeem me from the oppression of man, That I may keep Your precepts. Psalm 119:132-134

When Unforgiveness is a Good Thing

mvLet me be clear about one thing – being an unforgiving person is not a good thing, it’s a bad thing. However, it’s a bad thing from which we can discover a couple or three good things. What redeeming trait can come from evil, you ask? First, the recognition that you might be merciless. Are you a Christian who hates Michael Vick for what he did to animals?

Good.

We can fix that.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15

Of course when I say ‘we’ I mean Jesus. Did your read the Bible passage above? Jesus said it and He wasn’t just waxing poetic; He was laying down doctrine for believers to learn and employ. There’s no getting around Christ’s instructions to His church; there’s either obedience or disobedience.

But it’s hard!

If you think the Christian walk is hard, you’re not doing it correctly. More accurately, you’re probably walking out your Christian faith in your flesh rather than the Spirit (click on those terms if you’re not familiar with them). Believe it or not, this is a good thing too! It’s good because you just recognized why you can’t forgive Michael Vick and why your walk with Jesus seems difficult at times! Jesus said that His teachings are easy and that the burdens we are to carry are light. Was He lying to us? Of course not! Jesus set into motion a practical way by which the children of God can easily identify a hitch in their giddy-up.

Still not seeing it?

Good!

Do you know what that means? Your flesh, or more precisely, your fleshy heart, is hindering you.

Consider this truth:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah 17:9-10

The heart, that emotionally driven component of our flesh, is deceptive, but emotions in themselves are not evil. They are the God-given vehicles that bring us to places of decision. Sadness, anger, happiness, they all eventually lead to a choice, but what choice? In the teachings of Jesus, we have been given the right responses for every circumstance, but left to ourselves we have sin. It really is just that simple. The Christian must recognize that only God effectively searches the heart and tests the mind, otherwise our emotional paths will misguide us. Hopefully it’s clear by now: Christian folks who harbor hatred towards Michael Vick are being driven by their emotions rather than Jesus.

But I’m Not a Christian!

Good!

Let’s fix that! Hatred and sin eat people alive, and ultimately destroy, but thankfully there is a cure: salvation found in Christ Jesus. God the Father is the Mastermind behind absolute forgiveness! Through His Son Jesus He provided a way by which all humanity can be saved.

Are you human?

Good, than you qualify.

The Bible teaches the following: all mankind has sinned (Romans 3:23) and that sin separates us from God.  The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. God demonstrated His love toward us while we were still sinners, by sending Christ to die and pay the penalty of our sin (Romans 5:8).  If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). If you believe by faith, you have been justified through faith, and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1 ). There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

You can pray right now to acknowledge and receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. The prayer does not save you; Jesus saves you. Believe that by faith.

Pray

“God, I know that I have sinned against you and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. With your help, I place my trust in You for salvation. Help me to die to my flesh each day and to walk in Your ways. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness – the gift of eternal life! Amen!”

It’s time to let hatred and unforgiveness go. It has been reported that Michael Vick is a Christian. If this is true (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), then Jesus has already forgiven him, so it’s time you did too. Do you want to know something else? It doesn’t matter if Michael Vick is a Christian or not; our Lord’s directive to the church was to forgive all men, not just Christian men.

Let hatred go

“I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.” Exodus 6:6b-7a

Did you pray to receive Jesus today? Please leave a comment below and let me know. I’d like to help you get moving in the right direction.

If you enjoyed the post please like it, share it, subscribe to the blog, or leave a comment below. Have a blessed day in Christ Jesus!

And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, “If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” Judges 11:30-31

I am appalled by World Vision’s president, Rich Stearns decision to recognize (in a 39008positive manner) same-sex marriages as it pertains to their hiring practices and as an amendment to their code of conduct. However in my dismay, it is not their decision I want to discuss – it’s yours.

Are you a World Vision sponsor?

If you made a vow to sponsor a World Vision child until such a time that child would graduate the program, then I implore you to keep that commitment. On the other hand, if you are not a World Vision sponsor, then I would recommend you seek out another ministry, one that maintains a holy and Godly standard, unless of course World Vision decides to rescind their errant directive.

Here’s why…

“This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:1-2

“When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not delay to pay it; for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you But if you abstain from vowing, it shall not be sin to you.” Deuteronomy 23:21-22

For the Sake of Clarity

It’s worth repeating, “I am appalled by World Vision’s decision,” and unless they right the course they have taken, the church proper should respond by not supporting their ministry via new sponsorships. Hopefully when they recognize the decline, they will make a correction. But, if you currently support a child through World Vision, it would be wrong to dishonor that commitment.

I am appalled by World Vision’s decision.”

I will tell you that I have made such commitments (not with World Vision, but with a similar ministry), and when I noticed that they were straying from the narrow path, I was determined to leave. However, I did not abandon the children I vowed to support. Some have since graduated from the program, and others are nearing graduation age, but I am determined to honor the decision I made before God. When that last child leaves, so will I, supporting that ministry no longer.

If you are a current World Vision sponsor, I recommend you do the same. It’s the proper response.

When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the Lord, and I cannot go back on it.” So she said to him, “My father, if you have given your word to the Lord, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon.” Judges 11:34-36

Kendall Lyons

Thoughts on Storytelling, Creativity and Faith

God charts the road

A road that represents the course of those who desire to follow God

Project R.<3.I.G.N.

Displaying Christ's Love For Mankind

The Master's Meadow

Lush pasture, living springs, and marked paths

Servants' Journal

A blog about Christian life and Biblical teaching.

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

The Blackstone Initiative

Declaring the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

One small voice cries out for the Persecuted Church!

Shouting the Message !

about the Lord Jesus Christ !

Teach Us To Pray

Daily devotions on prayer

In the Image of Christ

Teachings from God's Word that I may be renewed in my mind that I would be like Christ.

Finite Thoughts

From a young person captivated by Christ

ARISEprayerministries

Awaken, Rescue, Intercede, Stand, Exalt

What is God’s purpose for me?

Gods purpose for my life

God's Hidden Nuggets for the Endtimes

Revealing Truths from the Word of God

Jesus Christ is KING of kings!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,514 other followers

%d bloggers like this: