“Who are my . . . brothers?” – Mark 3:33 With these words Jesus puts forth a question of family and brotherhood. While scholars debate, and renounce, interpretations that claim that Mary had other children the words of Jesus speak clearly- following the Word of God forms a bond as strong as that of blood among Christians. Jesus knew the unique relationship which exists among brothers. No one can fight with each other the way two brothers, no one can get one as angry as a brother can, but no one can help like a brother can. The connection between brothers surpasses and can not be limited by time or distance. The blood and history which exists between brothers- or sisters- has the power to overcome such obstacles. Past insults or hurts are forgiven when a brotherly connection is made. My only brother lives many hundreds of miles away from me and I have not seen him in years. We have had close times and tumultuous times in our lives. Continue reading »

The Bible is known as the Word of God. The power of the Word is found and revealed in Christ Jesus. This power reaches everyone, but is accepted by too few. A devoted follower of Christ, Miranda Hanchar, has eloquently expressed her experience of the power of the Word of God. The Holy Bible was written from many people who witness God talking to them. They saw for themselves what He has done. Even today, many have accepted Jesus Christ because of testimonies shared through written material and on media. We need to know that in the word of God, it says that Jesus Christ came for everyone, not a select few of people. From the New Living Translation is says in John 3:17, “God sent his Son (Jesus Christ) into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him”. That’s good news! Hope is found only in Jesus Christ. Nothing else can save us, only his blood that was shed for us. If Jesus cameContinue reading »

Judgement Day. The crowd was enormous…beyond what any us could count. People seemed to go on for miles, waiting for their turn. The noise of conversation was deafening, until the doors opened. A hush fell over the crowd. People looked intently at the suited man exiting Judgement Hall. Some recognized him. The gold-chained cross around his neck carrying a large stack of papers. He made eye contact with no one and seemed on the verge of protesting. The double doors opened to the left of the Judgement Hall entrance. Two angels that escorted him as guards stopped at the door frame as the man continued to walk into a room, pitch black. These doors slammed close intimidating all the crowd. I swallowed. The two angels nodded at me as I stood at the edge of a high balcony overlooking the crowd. She was next. I was assigned to guard her during her lifetime. Now, I feel hopeless. No longer a Guardian Angel, but a bystander. This, indeed, is a new age.  Continue reading »

The issue of alcohol use by Christians is hotly debated, with strong feelings on both sides of the issue. My personal opinion, derived from reading the Bible cover to cover, first the NIV, then the NLT, is that the Bible does not forbid alcohol consumption. I do agree, again on the same grounds, that the Bible does say not to be drunk. For me, drinking alcohol comes under the same heading as things Paul talked about in Romans 14:1-4: Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make themContinue reading »

We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 1 Corinthians 13:9-10, 12 (The Message) God and His actions (and seemingly inactions), sometimes, are hard to understand. Why is one healed and another dies? Why do our fervent prayers go unanswered? Why does God delay? Our minds struggle to understand. But if we know it all, where does faith come into play? If we insist on knowing the why of God’s actions, we will never reach the level of complete faith in Him. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seekContinue reading »

In Brendan Smith’s book, In His Shelter: A Christian in the British Army, Brendan recounts an incident in which he was asked why he believed in God. His answer was, “Because I have seen Him work.” (For more about Brendan see his webpage http://www.brendansmith.co.za/) There are many people today who learn of God at an early age and call upon Him for salvation. But later in life due to various influences, they begin to doubt His existence and begin to think that as a child or teenager, they were duped by childhood fables or the fantasy writings of ancient, superstitious men. Why do I still believe He exists? My answer is the same as Brendan’s – I have seen Him work. In the examples I am about to relate, His working has nothing to do with any super spiritual traits that I possess. It is not because I have received some special anointing or because an angel has appeared to me or because I have been divinely chosen above theContinue reading »

Pressing on and going forward Philippians 3:13-14 ( NKJV ) “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Forgiving and forgetting is the prerequisite to going forward. As we follow the example of the apostle Paul and echo his words of “this one thing I do,” let’s not miss the truth that in order to reach ahead and press forward it is at times necessary to forgive and forget the things of our past. Looking back keeps us from looking upward to God for help. Forgiving and forgetting are keys to true freedom in the Christian life. The hardest thing about being a Christian is keeping your eyes on God. We get so easily distracted in this fallen world. We need to have our mind set on the things that will glorifyContinue reading »

Living for Christ Colossians 3:2-4 (NKJV) “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Before you came to Christ you were living the way the world lives. You did things as the world did things. It was not until you came to Christ that your life made a complete change. Before becoming Christians we all came from different backgrounds. Some of us were at our worst end, and didn’t know where to turn. Some of us like the apostle Paul were drawn In by God. Some of us grew up in the church knowing Christ. But, it makes no difference how we came into the Kingdom of God. But it makes all the difference in the world that we start growing in Christ because we have begun a new transform life when we accepted Christ in our lives.Continue reading »

Today tattoos are more popular than ever, and becoming more mainstream. Tattoos are no longer just for bikers and gang bangers; they are showing up on prep school cheerleaders, soccer moms, and elementary school teachers. Tattoo was once taboo for Christians, but that too is changing. I am fifty and just got my first (and probably only) tattoo. It is a symbol that combines two of my passions, music and Jesus. It is a treble clef/cross. I have said for years that if I got a tattoo that would be what I would want. I never planned to get one, but one trip to the beach combined with a henna tattoo, and the rest is history. The subject of Christians with tattoos is hotly debated from both sides. The prohibition in Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord,” is frequently cited. From the other side, 1 Samuel 16:7 is quoted – “The LORD doesn’t see thingsContinue reading »

Why do we, unrighteously call the answers to our prayers coincidence? If you have a brain tumor and you pray and ask God to heal you, and your doctor performs surgery, removing the tumor and finds it to be benign, isn’t that God answering your prayer? If you ask God for healing, and healing is provided through the knowledge and the skill of a surgeon, why do we credit the surgeon and not God, who gave the skill and knowledge? Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV) We want to see blind eyes opened and the lame walk and the dead raised, and we do, but we fail to recognize it. God is the author of all good things. I once had a Sunday School teacher who said to us one Sunday morning that he always wanted to see a miracle, such as blind eyes opened or the deaf regainingContinue reading »

“For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” –Romans 1:20 Technology is amazing these days. Before it conked out on me, I was in love with my GPS in my car. I could plug in my address, my destination, and it would give me turn-by-turn instructions on how to get there. Did I still get lost? Of course. But the GPS was almost always correct in it’s calculations. This, to me, is how I look at the book of Romans. I have read this book through several times, and it never ceases to amaze me just how much wisdom and direction and life is packed into it! What Romans does is much like a GPS-it spells out the life of a Christian from beginning to end. From the initial address of who we used to be, to the end destination of what to do withContinue reading »