I am shattered. Tears fill my eyes so I can barely see. I blink them away quickly; still they run down my cheeks unchecked. I think my heart is breaking. I am shaken by the news – the news that I can hardly believe. What are they saying? How can this be? Are they blind? Yet another high profile Christian, not fallen, but walking into the darkness of atheism willingly, declaring Christianity a sham, a weak crutch full of lies and manipulations designed to ensnare the unsuspecting. How can this be? There is a pain in my chest; I feel like I cannot breathe, and I grieve for the deceived. So many thinking they have real life, real salvation, something to really live for. Suddenly they stand and walk away from God as if He were never even there. He’s there because He’s everywhere, but they can’t see Him. It’s a tragedy, yet no one even knows it. The unsaved call it liberation. The religious call it back-sliding. The savedContinue reading »

Forgive us our debts as we have also forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12 (NIV) A debtor is someone who owes something to someone. Therefore “our debtors” are people who owe us something. The New Living Translation replaces the words “debt” and “debtor” with “sins” and “sin against us.” This clears up the question of “what do they owe us?” If someone sins against us what they owe is variable. They probably owe at least an apology, but perhaps they owe a great deal more – more than they can repay you, if they even care about repaying you at all. Our sins against God are much greater than we can ever repay; therefore, Jesus became a man and bore our sins against God on the cross to repay all of our “debts” that we could not pay. Still, even in the light of all that we have been pardoned for, we often times refuse to forgive wrongs done to us by other people. The Bible tells us that God forgivesContinue reading »

“He has endured the Cross. . . and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God” – Hebrews 12:2 With this declaration the Letter to the Hebrews announces that through the Cross, Jesus has brought about a new relationship between humankind and God. We have been reconciled to God, ransomed from our enslavement to sin, freed from the barriers which separated us from God, and redeemed in the eyes of God. Jesus lifted up on the Cross is now lifted up to the throne of Heaven and it is from this throne that he allows us to enter into the home of His Father. We no longer are limited to worshipping God through animal sacrifice, downcast eyes, hushed tones, and repetitive rituals. These things have been rendered to the trappings of faith, not its substance. Our worship is now based on faith and the actions which are manifested from this faith. Jesus has revealed the Father’s will and power to us and has paid our price;Continue reading »

Now that we know what we have – Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God – let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all – all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. Hebrews 4:14-16 (MSG) Why, when we petition God for something – an earnest prayer of need – and we see the answer clearly, do we question the result? When we’ve been on our knees, and on our knees, and on our knees, praying, petitioning with tears and desperation, asking God to intervene, interfere, release, and restore, do we doubt? Doubt what? Doubt it all. Oh, not the reality of God, or His ability to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. We just can’t imagine it happening to us. We sayContinue reading »

“I make all things new” – Revelation 21:5 This is a time of power and a time to be empowered in our world! The created world has just worked through another cycle and the Winter Solstice has occurred, a natural marker that the long and cold nights are now becoming shorter and the earth prepares for new life. Humankind has completed another cycle as well, we have turned the calendar to begin a new year. Hopes are high, businesses are now moving past the holiday season, ministries can now renew themselves, and now we can call upon ourselves to be better than we have been in the past. In the world of the Bible, new things were thought to have had a special power that was almost mystical. The properties of something that is “new” gave it particular effectiveness. When something is new, it has not been strained or weakened- power is new in the object. The new person or thing is at its fullest potential and strength. We see this belief inContinue reading »

Writer George Bernard Shaw once offered some advice at the threshold of the New Year. He said: “What life is all about? It’s about having a goal; an ideal. Your life must have purpose and a dream. There must be something that makes you get up in the morning; something that takes everything out of you and that burns within you. Then you will be a positive force in this world. Then you move things and you will no longer just be a piece of mud in the mire that complains and murmurs because the world doesn’t seem to be concerned about your personal happiness.” As children of the King we have such a goal. Because of Jesus, our lives are filled with meaning and excitement. One moment with the Savior and everything sparkles and shines. And now we are standing with Jesus on the mountain top of the old year and look back at the year that is past. Our eyes scan the old dusty roads that we travelledContinue reading »

The Message is a paraphrase that, much like The Amplified Bible, shines a light on scripture in a new and fresh way – opening our eyes to see new insights we hadn’t before. I know some people don’t agree that the Message is appropriate, and I personally don’t think it is necessarily good for in-depth study, but I believe that anything that brings you closer to God – that helps you understand scripture more – is a useful tool. To me, The Message is like unto books, such as those by Max Lucado, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, and others. It takes concepts of scripture and expounds upon them in a way that we may not have thought of, but boosts our love for, and understanding of, God’s Word. Do not call common what God has called holy. I have read both the NIV & the New Living Translation and I know how it feels when God’s Holy Spirit moves and reveals Himself, and I feel that when I read TheContinue reading »

Do not quench the Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 What does it mean to quench the Spirit? The dictionary shows many meanings and nuances to the word “quench.” One meaning is: “to put out the light or fire of.” Merriam Webster online goes on to further define the essence of this process (quench). Another meaning is “to cause to lose heat or warmth, to bring (something immaterial) to an end…by…damping, cooling or decreasing, and to terminate by or as if by destroying.” http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quench When we quench the Holy Spirit we are, in essence, rejecting, and thereby bringing to nought, something God either wants to give us, or request from us. But the Holy Spirit will not, cannot (because of free will), force us to do anything. The unfortunate part is that as we become more practiced at rejecting the Spirit, it becomes easier to do (no internal struggle to resist at all), and if we persist long enough, we will cease to hear Him at all. Ten years ago, when IContinue reading »

The love of God; who can measure it and who can fully fathom it? It goes further than the stars and crosses from the East to the West. As Dutch evangelist Corrie Ten Boom once said, after she was asked about her experiences in a Nazi concentration camp: “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” That’s the love that carries us through this life and that’s the love we should share with others. *** Once a chaplain knelt down by a wounded soldier and offered to read him the Bible. But the soldier whispered that he preferred some water to quench his thirst. The chaplain promised to get him some and went about looking for clean drinking water. When he returned the wounded soldier asked if there was something to cushion his head with. The ground was so terribly hard for his aching head. The chaplain did as he was asked. But there was more. “I am so cold,” shivered the young soldier. TheContinue reading »

“The shepherds . . . went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger” – Luke 2: 15-16 With these words of Luke, a picture of simplicity and power is painted. The shepherds were told of the birth of the Savior by an Angel and were shown a multitude of the Heavenly host, who gave praise to God. The sight of shepherds was common in the time period; they were working men who lived hard lives. They sacrificed much to protect and keep their sheep. Yet, these men were, in a way, heirs to David. David, the first true King of Israel, was a shepherd who protected his flocks from both lions and bears (1 Samuel 17: 34-37). Herein we see the shepherds, those that followed in the steps of David, being told of the birth of the Son of David; Jesus, the Messiah. These men were among the working poor, toughened from their arduous and nomadic life, and among the peasantry. It is to these men that theContinue reading »

Emily Connors is known as the neighborhood crank. Regularly, she’s in a bad mood. Most folks in the community steer clear of Emily’s grumpy demeanor. There’s a group of friends, Martin, Gordon, Philip and Peter. They like to tease Emily and routinely go by her house hurling loud taunts and cruel expressions. Sometimes she comes out in her threadbare robe, curses and shakes her fist at the rowdy boys. Emily has lived at 101 Crescent Drive for more than fifteen years. No one in the neighborhood has bothered to learn her story as to why she’s so often unpleasant. Years ago, Emily’s husband, Ed left her for her cousin, Martha. Emily never recovered from that matrimonial and family betrayal. She and Ed didn’t have any children so Emily is much alone in her misery. Suicide has been a consideration on more than a few occasions. Emily could never, though, muster up the “courage” to go through with her self-inflicted exit from this life. She continues existing — but living —Continue reading »