Prayer and Faith!

I am a Christian. I am not religious. I don’t live my life as a Christian on only some days of the year. I pray to my Lord when the mood hits me and sometimes it is a simple “I love You Lord.” prayer. I don’t always go through a 20 year prayer (you know the kind..they go on and on and on and on!) I don’t do what other Christians do cause well I want to love My Lord not make him into a Santa Claus.

Unlike a lot of religions in this world, I don’t bow before my Lord nor do I have to address Him like I would a leader of a country or a king. I talk to Him. I don’t lay a rug down nor do I face a wall to pray. I don’t have to. I can be sitting in a chair as I am right now and offer up my prayers to Him, laying them at His feet.

So many religions have way to many rituals. They have to do this and they have to do that. They have to sit or kneel or dance in a certain way. They have to say all the right words and in the right way. Everything has to be perfect. If it isn’t perfect then it isn’t right. Now don’t get me wrong, I respect that. They have their ways and have been doing it for centuries that way. But that is not my way.

Sometimes I go through the formality of proper prayer. The invocations and the ritualistic words. Most of the time I just just say something normal. I don’t pray to my Lord, I talk to Him. I don’t ask Him for things, I let him know what I need. It’s not material things normally. I ask for healing for myself  or friends or family.  I ask for Him to touch someone or put me in their path so that they might know that someone is praying for them.

Prayer should be offered in such a way as to not be boastful. Prayer should be humble and gentle. It’s good to ask for those things that you need but do so in a way that is not prideful. Do not go to church and stand in every one’s view and show what you have and how good you have had it. Rather be mindful of where you are. Be not like the Pharisee that got all dressed up and stood showing off what he had. Rather be like the tax collector, a sinner and cry out to the Lord! (Luke 18:9-14)

We all do it. We all pray in a boastful way and the funny thing is is that we know that is wrong but we do it anyways. It’s hard to stop when it is human nature to boast. It is even harder to be humble and ask for little or nothing. I have prayed often for things that I needed, not wanted, and received them. It might be that day or the next but they did come. The Lord does hear and does give us the things we need. It is just on His time not ours.

Jesus said “Ask anything in My name and I will give it to you.” (Matt 7:7, John 14:14). Ask and it shall be given but it may not come in the manner that you expect or the time that you expect. “Lord I need a new car.” Nothing wrong with the car you have,  sure it is not as classy as the neighbours car but you asked for a new car. You shall get it when the Lord thinks it time. “Lord I need money for gas.” You don’t have a dime on you but you search your pants that are to be washed and you find twenty bucks. To some it might be coincidence but a man of faith will say “Thank you Father.”

Faith is a big part of prayer. It is important because without faith, the prayer is just talking. Without faith the prayer falls on dumb silence. It falls onto the ground with a thud. But the same prayer, lifted up in faith and love, falls on the ears of God and He listens. Faith is the acceptance of things not seen yet hoped for (Hebrews 11:1).

As Christians, we walk by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). We could walk like others walk but we would get lost. We would wander from the path and find ourselves in so much trouble but asking in prayer, the Lord brings us back on the path of righteousness. It is so easy to fall off the path, specially in the world we know today. We walk the path and then…ooooo something shiny catches our eye. The problem is the shiny thing gets us into trouble.

Prayer is so important in a Christians life. It is the glue that holds our lives together. We fall and we reach up in prayer to the Lord and He reaches down and picks us up. He dusts us off and kisses our forehead, tells us that He loves us and sends us on our way. We fall off the path and He does it all again. He does so in love and patience. He is so patient and so understanding. He loves us as if we were the only ones. Just like any earthly father.

Faith and prayer work hand in hand. They help us come to an understanding that we need them both. Prayer is our direct line to the Father. We don’t have to go through anyone else. No high priest or priestess. We don’t have to bow rather we can walk right up to God, climb into His lap, get comfy and talk to Him. He pulls us close and listens with love and patience. He doesn’t have to write anything down. He already knows what we need but He also knows that we need to ask.

I started off this little tirade with the words “I am a Christian.” but I am more than that. I am a treasured child of the Most High God. I am His and His alone. He holds me when I cry and rejoices when I am happy. He scolds me when I am bad but loves me still. He watches over me and guides me even when I don’t want to be guided.

I offer up my prayers to the Father and He doesn’t go “Oh it’s him again.” He listens with patience and love. He smiles as I tell Him what has been going on. He nods His head and smiles as I ask for those things that I need. Not want. As I said before, He doesn’t have to write anything down cause he already knows what I need. When I am done, I walk away knowing that He is my God!

“I’m not religious, I just love the Lord!” I am in love with my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!. Am I perfect, nope. I’m forgiven. You can be too!

“Keep Looking Up…His Coming Is Soon!”

Fool’s Gold!

“Some may call me foolish, some may call me odd
But I’d rather be a fool in the eyes of man than a fool in the eyes of God!”

1 Corinthians 1:21-25

21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

A man walks down the road and sees another man preaching the word of God. He calls that man a fool and the man preaching smiles. He was called a fool and takes it as a compliment. The man who called the other man a fool, looks at him. He stops and asks.

“I just called you a fool and you smile. Why?”

“You call me a fool and yet you are the fool for you speak to me and understand what I am saying. You call me a fool and yet through that foolishness, men have come to know the King of Fools. The one who died and rose again. He did so that when the time comes, you will become the same fool that you just called me.”

The man stood in dumb believe. He looked at the ground and then back up.

“How can I know this King of Fools that you speak of?”

The fool smiled and sat with the foolish man and in time..they both became fools. Fools for the same man who died for both of them.

When Jesus was dying on the cross, the Jews mocked Him and asked for signs. They asked that if He was the Saviour, that He save himself and them. They begged to be shown proof the He was who He was. They need to be shown that and yet He had said it over and over again. Thomas was one that had to have proof.

John 20:24-25

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called [a]Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Thomas had to have proof. He had to see a sign. Yet blessed be the one that believes and yet has not seen.

The Greeks on the other hand searched for wisdom. They picked a part everything and had to see the wisdom in the passage. They couldn’t take the passage at face value, which in some cases is not a bad thing.

The gospel of Christ to the Jews is a stumbling block cause again they needed proof. To the Greeks, foolishness. It was folly to preach the teachings of a dead man. They didn’t see the wisdom in it. To God it was foolishness as well but foolishness in a different way. It was so simple and so humbling. A man that didn’t do anything wrong. That taught the Kingdom of God and taught love for mankind was killed because it didn’t make any sense. These people stood around and waited for signs and understanding. The understanding and the signs were right there. Jesus died for fools such as I. He didn’t do it cause He had to. He did it cause He wanted to. The signs that the Jews needed was right there hanging on the cross.

The wisdom of the cross is easy to receive and it really is. But then you need to understand it and to a certain point that is pretty easy as well. What is the wisdom of the Cross….that a man who did no wrong, died for you and me. Period.

I am a Fool For Christ. I am proud to be the Fool.

Someone will read this and go “only a fool would believe in a Dead Man.” The difference between me and him or her is that I have proof that Jesus is not dead and that He reigns on high with the Father. The bible tells me so.

Acts 2:33

33 Therefore having been exalted [a]to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

1 Peter 3:21-22

Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God [a]for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.

Luke 22:69

Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

The Cross is pure foolishness to those who choose not to believe.

Through these blogs I preach the Gospel of Christ. I present Jesus and pray as I do so that you , the reader, might, if you have not already, come to know the Jesus that I know. The Man that laid down His life so that you might live!. In centuries gone by, they didn’t have the net or the ability to reach the masses like we do today. They didn’t have television. They didn’t have the wonder of radio or the telephone. These are all relatively new inventions. They had to go out and preach the gospel. They had to do it on their feet. Now we can do it through blogging.  We reach millions through the wonder of television. The ability to spread the gospel has become so much easier.

We spread the gospel through music and movies. Live concerts and even recorded ones. Things have changed since Jesus gave that command.

Matthew 28:18-20

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [e]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [f]always, even to the end of the age.”

But the command stays the same. To preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone that will listen. To preach the love that He had for all mankind. To present the only One worthy of our praise. To take the name calling. To smile when someone calls us a fool and to acknowledge that the gold waiting for us is not the gold we can’t afford but fool’s gold. To stand proud and say

“This fool will put his faith in a fool’s errand. To preach the foolish cross of Christ. To stand firm in the belief that Jesus is the only one worthy of praise and glory. He is the only one that showed His love for us, that when He died for you and me, He did so with a love that is so unconditional that He did it for everyone. Not just for the Jews but the gentiles as well.

When you present Christ and they call you a fool. Smile, and say… “I would rather be a fool in the eyes of man, than be a fool in the eyes of God!”

“Keep Looking Up! His Coming Is Soon!

One Father.

Father of One Please!

Will the real Father please stand up. Seems we have so many fathers that we can’t swing a cat without hitting one or scratching one. We have our natural fathers, those being the ones that helped make us and reared us and that we call dad. Then we have those fathers that are friends and that for no reason at all we call dad cause they mean something to us. Then we have those fathers that we call father cause we are expected to for they are priests. Then we have the original Father. The one that by creating the universe and our galaxy and solar system then us, is our Father in Heaven.

Jehovah, Lord God, God, Adonai, Father God. Whatever you call Him, He is the Father of us all. So why am I writing this. Well, something has always bothered me about calling someone who is not your father, father. We call a priest in the Catholic Church Father but it is not a biblical title. People say that we call them that out of respect. Poppycock. So now that I have managed to insult the Catholic Priesthood, let share something that for some, they don’t know about.

First let’s have a dictionary lesson.

Hyperbole is a word that is often misused. It is used to explain something that someone either doesn’t understand  what the word actually means or to use the word so that they don’t have to agree with you.

Hy·per·bo·le.
 
(noun)

“A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect, as in I could sleep for a year or This book weighs a ton.”

Now I know that Jesus did use hyperbole at times to explain Himself. That is why He spoke in parables but this passage is not a parable or a sort of thing. It is a command. He didn’t say the word “sorta” anywhere in the passage. He meant what He said. Jesus never minced words. He never said anything that He didn’t mean. When He said something, everyone could understand it.

“Call NO one Father but the ONE who created you, which is in heaven.” Matt 23:9

That is a very clear statement. We have ONE spiritual Father, which is God Himself. We are to call no one else Father. Not Ministers, Priests, Bishops or Pope. They are not the One that created us. They are not holy or perfect. None of them.

All through the news while the Pope was here, I kept hearing that he was the Holy Father. Have you all forgotten there is only ONE Holy Father. The One that sent His only begotten Son to earth so that He could set us free. He created you me and everything living thing on the planet. He did it so that His ultimate creation would have a place and a reason to live. HE created us. HE is our one and only Holy Father. NONE other.

“Call NO one Father but the ONE who created you, which is in heaven.” Matt 23:9

Jesus commanded it. He did not make it a suggestion or some kind of advice. He didn’t say, “Call NO one Father but the ONE who created you, which is in heaven but it’s okay to call your earthly spiritual leaders father.”

“Call NO one Father but the ONE who created you, which is in heaven.” Matt 23:9

That was what He said. It’s sad that we have forgotten who the Creator is. It’s sad that He has been pushed aside for a man who is flawed. A flawed man who is called the Holy Father. He is given the same position as the Lord God. Well hate to tell you folks, I have one Holy Father. He is not a man who lives in some castle made of man. My Holy Father, lives in Heaven and is there to comfort me. I don’t have to go through this person or that person or that ceremony. I get to go to Him directly. I get to stand before Him with all my warts and scars and call him Abba Father.

When Jesus died the veil that hung between the sanctuary and the Holy of Holies was torn in half. It’s too bad that some have erected that veil again and made it that we have to beg for an audience. I am free to God directly.

“Keep Looking Up, His Is Coming Soon!”

The Defiant Child!

I am God’s defiant child. One of many actually. We all fall down and He reaches down to pick us up. He tells us that He loves us (even with all our scars) and brushes us off and sends us on our way. He loves us with a never ending love that is unconditional. He comforts us and disciplines us just like any other Father would do.

Romans 3:23 -24

 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”

I am a sinner. No doubt about it. I do it everyday. I do it without thinking and sometimes I do it with full knowledge of what I am doing or saying. I fall short of the glory of God everyday. We all do. We say things and think things and do things that we either know or don’t know that we are doing.

We see a pretty lady walking down the street. We say, “oh she’s pretty.” but instead of moving on we look back as she walks away as that thought pops into our head. We have all done it. Male and female. It’s not the first look that gets you it’s the second. That infamous second look. There we go, we just committed sin and we know we did. We don’t think another lick about it. We sit and then we realize that we just did it. We beg forgiveness and we get it.

Romans 24 goes on to say “But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.”

The free gift is salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus died for us and did so willingly. For a sacrifice to be a true sacrifice, it has to be done so willingly. So does that say that the sacrifices of the old testament are not the same. No. What it says is that Christ’s sacrifice was the last one. God sacrificed His Son so that we might be free. Free from the slavery of sin.

Does this mean that we, as Christians, have free reign to sin as we like. Not on your life. Does it mean that we can do what ever we like. Not on your life. What it means is that although we are sinners and always will be, we are not perfect, just forgiven. We follow the path that Jesus walked and sometimes we lose sight of  that path. Sometimes it is an accidental walk off the path and sometimes it is purposeful.

As Christians, we have a Living GOD. A Righteous GOD. A perfect GOD. God is is omnipresent. He is all knowing, All seeing and all powerful. He leads is in His path and yup, we sometimes stray. He doesn’t threaten us or beat us or even treats us like crap. He loves us. He welcomes us back with open arms.

Just like the father that took his son back, even though he had spent his inheritance on wine, women and song.  He could have sent him away but instead he ordered the fatted cow to be slain and cooked. The best wines and the best foods were served at a party. For his son was lost and now found again.

Putting it simply. God sent His only begotten Son, to die for us. Jesus was born to die. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. The innocent lamb. John the apostle called Jesus the Lamb of God. For the sins of the world could only be washed away by an innocent Lamb.

I took Jesus as my own almost 40 years ago. I have walked with Him and talked with Him. I surrendered my life and soul to him. He washed away my sin with His precious blood. He made me clean but I am still on this earth. I still sin for I am human. I am faulty but I have joy in the knowledge that when this earthly body is done and buried in the ground. My soul will go to be with the Father and I will sing His praise forevermore and I will do so with such gusto.

If you don’t know the Jesus I know, give Him a shot. You won’t be disappointed. He loves you!

I once asked Jesus “How much do you love me?” He said “This much.” Then He spread his arms and died for me.

Don’t let the free gift of salvation slip through your hands. Once you have it, it will be yours forever. He will never take it away from you.

“Keep Looking Up, For His Coming Is Soon!”