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!”

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The Love Of My Life!

 rosie

On Feb 25, 1955, the love of my life was born. She was given the name Rosemarie Dawn Archer. She lived 40 years. She was in her 41st year when she died. That was the day that my heart got a hole so big in it that you could drive a tractor trailer through it and even after 20 years (this year on November 11) that hole is still there. Nothing and no one can fill it. They say that no matter what you think, you only get one true soul mate. Rose was mine.

We met at a bible study in 1979. She was shy and quiet. She was sweet and cute and she made my heart skip a beat. We went to see the movie Jesus and sat beside each other. I took her hand in mine and we sat like that the rest of the movie. We started dating and I fell in love. We went to the same church and we were almost inseparable.

We moved in together in 1980. We were happy and truth be told, she was my first. We lived in this basement apartment that I constantly hit my head on the pipes. One day when she was sick I proposed. I was on my knees peeling potatoes and she was on her third cup of hot chocolate. She came out of the living room and asked for more. I took the cup and asked her if she would marry me. She giggled and said yes and went back to the living room. A few minutes later she came back and asked me if I had proposed and I said yes and that she had said yes and she skipped back to the living room and got on the phone to tell her sisters.

August 29th, 1981 at 12 Noon the wedding took place at Knox Flox Presbyterian Church in Crossland Ontario. It was so black that we were sure that it was going to storm and make it miserable but the rain stayed away till after the wedding and a few pictures were taken before the reception. It is a day I will never forget. Some of the names are foggy but the sight of seeing her walk down the aisle brought me to tears. I was about to marry the love of my life.

We had our honeymoon at the Barrie Continental Inn and it was a wonderful time. I even carried her across the threshold.  We started on a journey that would take us from living in Toronto, to moving back to Barrie. From cheating on each other to fixing it and realizing that we couldn’t live without each other. We went through a battle to keep our apartment and won. We went through a number of landlords and finally got one we liked.

In 92 my dad died and I got the call from Rose and I cried, not for long but I did cry. He was my father and even though I was not his biggest fan, I had enough respect for him to cry. A week later I was at my church’s office and I was trying to fix their computer when I got another call from Rose that they had found something wrong with her blood.

That started a 3 and half year battle with Leukemia. Inside I wanted to scream but on the outside I had to show strength cause I knew that Rose would need me to lean on. She was strong but knew that she had me to hold onto and I was her sounding board, her slapping post. More than once she hit me not cause she was mad at me but because she needed to release some tension and some anger. I was there for that, not because I was a wimp but because that is what a husband is suppose to do.

I held her hand while she went through chemo. I was there when she had to spend time at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto for a few weeks. I would go down and stay at their family building, free of charge, and be able to see her. She was despondent one day that she wanted to die. I was very honest with her. I told her that if she wanted to die then she best get on with it and get it over with but that while she did that she should think about her family and me. How that would make us feel and that I would be alone. A week or so later, she was out of isolation and in a normal room. No more gowns and gloves.

She was to going home soon  and I couldn’t wait for her to come home. I was so tired of sleeping alone and not hearing her snore beside me. Yes it’s true, if you just hold on, the snoring becomes normal background noise that is so important to your life. We spent the night in the guest services building and had one of the rooms to ourselves. We made love for the first time in weeks and it was wonderful. We cried and laughed and enjoyed each other. 

The next morning she noticed  little white spots on her body. What we thought was Host vs Graft disease, turned out to be chicken pox. That was on a Tuesday. On Saturday November 11 1995 at 11:20ish PM I got the call from the hospital. The love of my life was gone. All that strength I had had crumbled and I was standing in the kitchen stark naked and I screamed. I cried out and I was crushed.

I was surrounded by family and friends. We had the viewing, closed casket, and we talked about her. All the time all I wanted to do was crawl in the casket with her. To be cremated with her so we could spend the rest of eternity together. As far as I was concerned, my life was over. I had no reason to live anymore.

Rose was my world. I have to admit that I loved her more than I loved Jesus. I woke up to her every morning and went to bed with her every night. We made plans and even went through adoption proceedings only to have them dashed when she was diagnosed. It killed me to tell her that we had to stop them. Maybe we should have kept going. Maybe I would have had the child I had always wanted.

That was then this is now. For twenty years I have, in one way or another, mourned the loss of my love. The woman that I gave my heart to and my virginity. She held me and smacked me. Loved me and hated me. Made love with me and we enjoyed each other. Through it all, if I had to do it all again I would in a heartbeat. I would go through it all again if it meant I could have Rose back.

She was my 4 foot ten and half inch dynamo that loved her friends and family. She loved her husband more and even through all the trouble, she was happy. One day I know that she will be in my arms once more and that we will be together for the rest of time.

 

Love Is…….Jesus

His Love!

God is a God of love. He is not a god of Hate.

His love was shown in more than one way. It was shown in so many ways but He showed His love no more than when He spread His arms and died for mankind.

The Lord’s Supper Instituted

Matthew 26:26-29

26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

Jesus’s ultimate show of love was when He was nailed to the cross but even before that. He told the disciples that this would happen. He tore the bread and told them..”This is My body. Eat it in remembrance of Me.” Then He took the wine and said “This is My blood poured out for you. Drink it in remembrance of Me.” He loved us enough to instruct us to remember Him. He instituted something that Christians have been doing for over 2000 years. Remembering the One who died for us.

By this time Judas had already gone to lead the chief priests and Sadducee’s to where only Jesus knew where they were going. Jesus took them to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to God and wrestle with His doubts for the last time. He prayed that God would take the cup of poison away from His lips but instead of saying no, He said “Not my will, but Your will be done!”

In the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, it shows them in the garden. The last supper didn’t actually happen there but hey, they had a limited budget. From the supper Jesus goes and prays. In the movie He is played by Ted Neeley and through song, lets God know about His doubts. At the end of the song Jesus says

” God, thy will is hard,
But you hold every card.
I will drink your cup of poison.
Nail me to your cross and break me,
Bleed me, beat me,
Kill me.
Take me, now!
Before I change my mind.”

In Matthew 26:39, 42

39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

42 He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

Jesus could have said no. He could have walked away but He was an obedient Son and did what His Father asked of him. Even in the movie, Jesus did what His Father asked of Him.

His love for his enemy was so strong that when Peter sliced off the guard’s ear, Jesus healed him. Even in all the turmoil if an arrest, Jesus showed love.

Luke 22:49-51

49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

His love for us was so strong that when He was taken to Pilate, the first time and after He had been humiliated by not only Caiaphas but also Herod,  He was taken to Pilate a second time. Pilate still wanted nothing to do with Him but knew he had no choice. Pilate ordered Jesus to scourged. 39 lashes Jesus would take. Each one was counted off. Jesus, according to the Bible, made not a sound. Did He cry out in pain, I don’t know. He might have. It is not mentioned in the Bible but that doesn’t mean that He didn’t.

The historian of the day said that by the time the guard was done with Jesus, His back was like raw hamburger. He was beaten and battered. Bruised and hit so many times that His face was all but recognizable. Yet He carried a half ton cross up the way of sorrows till He could carry it no further and Simon of Cyrene was pulled out of the crowd to carry the cross the rest of the way. Meanwhile Jesus was expected to walk up the rest of the way. Did he cry out in pain. Maybe, I think he did but the Bible records that He only said a few words as He walked up the way of sorrows.

Luke 23:27-30

27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Even then He shows love by telling them not to weep for Him but weep for the babies and the little ones and themselves. Not to worry over Him.

He showed more love than any other man once He got Golgotha. The place of the skull. The mountain had caves that formed the face of a skull. It was there that the ultimate show of love would be revealed. With each hammer blow on the nails, shock waves of pain would pass through His body. He screamed, I am sure of it. He was after all a man. He felt pain. Each blow on each nail, slicing through skin and into muscle and sinew. Tearing apart blood vessels. His body racked with pain and yet it was not over.

After Jesus had been nailed and then roped lashed around His arms so that they would not rip away, the cross was lifted up by winches and more rope, the cross was dropped in the ground with a thud that would have racked His body with so much pain that I think I would have prayed that they just kill me and get it over with. But I am not Jesus.

 Like a lamb led to the slaughter is dumb, Jesus stayed silent for most of the pain and suffering but he did utter some words.

Jesus said 7 things while hanging from the cross. Each time He had to lift himself up by his feet so that he could get enough air to do so. The pain would have been excruciating!

First Words

Luke 23:34

The Jesus said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Jesus could have spit vile at them and cursed them. Treated them like scum, as most of Israel thought of them but He didn’t . He showed them compassion and forgiveness. He loved even the people who were trying killing Him. He cried out to the Father to forgive them.

Second Words

Luke 23:43

And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Jesus was crucified with two other men. Both thieves. One joined the crowd and shouted arrows of hate at Him but one didn’t. He knew that they deserved everything that they were getting.

Luke 23: 40-41

40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”

The second thief knew he had done wrong and repented for it. He was ready to pay for his crimes. The he said the one thing that gave him salvation.

Luke 23:42-43

42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Jesus knew that this man was repented and knew that he was sincere. He promised this thief eternal life. Jesus showed His love to this man.

Third Words

John 19:26-27

26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He *said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

Jesus loved His mother so much. Mary was his world. He made sure that she was taken care of. He even gave her a new son. John, the disciple that Jesus loved the most, took Mary into his home as his mother. I am sure that Jesus was smiling when He said those words.

Fourth Words

Matthew 27:46

46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

He cried out to His Father. He cried out in pain and suffering. He cried out in need. He cried out in love to His Father and yet His Father turned his back on Him for God can not look upon sin. He cried out and yet nothing happened. He could have called the angels from heaven to come and save Him but it was not to be. This is what was supposed to happen. It was His destiny.

Fifth Words

John 19:28

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, *said, “I am thirsty.”

Jesus knew that everything was ready. His death was near and that no one could stop it now. He has fulfilled scripture and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that He was who He said He was. He had stayed on the path and walked the walk that He had to. All this pain and suffering to prove WHO HE WAS!

Sixth Words

John 19:30

30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

Jesus chose the time death. He always knew where it would happen. That had been laid out long ago but He chose the time. He waited for it all to be in order. He then spoke the words that needed to be said. “It Is Finished!”

Seventh Words

Luke 23:46

46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.

The last phrase was the most important. Even in death Jesus had trust in God. He knew that God loved Him. It takes absolute trust to trust someone with your soul. Jesus had that absolute trust. At that very moment of Christ’s death, the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from all of man kind was torn. Split right down the middle. Allowing for the first time for a normal man to be able to go and talk to the Father without any fear of death.

Jesus’s love touched so many people. It touched a Roman Centurion whose child was healed (Matthew 8:5-13). It touched a woman who was too afraid to speak to Jesus directly, but rather said “If I can only touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed.” (Matthew 9:20). The blind man who was given back his sight with the use of mud (John 9 4-11).  The adulteress that was dragged out to be stoned. They were well in their rights to stone her. Jesus could have said yes, stone her but he didn’t He showed compassion (John 8:1-11).

Jesus love was so strong that not even death could stop Him. He defeated death and corruption. Jesus was as dead as a door nail. He rose from the dead to fulfill the prophecies and to show that His love was so strong. Jesus loves you. He was born to die. He lived to show the way. He died to provide the way to the Father and He rose again to prove that we can defeat death! Jesus did it all!

Jesus is Love and Love is Jesus!

 

 

Let’s Talk About Sex…..Baby!!!

Got Ya!!!!!

We aren’t actually going to talk about sex folks. We are gonna talk about something more important……God!!!!! What does He have to do with SEX!!! Personally…everything. In a relationship..everything. In our walk with God….everything. He created sex for us to enjoy each other (male and female). We have sexual needs, each and everyone of us. To put it in the vernacular of today…we all need to get off sexually. We need to have that sexual release that make us feel loved and enjoyed.

So what does that have to do with God, Jesus and the bible. The bible is a treasure trove of knowledge. Sex was created by God (Gen 1:27-28) 27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”…

Now before you go off and think, he is going to bash Homosexuals, not gonna happen. We is talking sex not sexual orientation. That is not why I decided to write this little item. I actually don’t care. well I do care but we can save that for another time.

God created sex so that man would multiply and spread all over the world and to His great delight, it worked! Man reproduced like bunny rabbits and we spread like wildfire. We covered the entire world and we did it with such glee and gusto.

God created sex not just for reproduction. He created it so that we as humans could form a union with our partner. (Gen. 2:23-25)

“23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because [c]she was taken out of [d]Man.”

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”

So sex creates a union between a man and a woman. A bond that is strong and good. Leon Patillo said it best in his Song “Flesh Of My Flesh.” You can check out the song here by Leon Patillo.

God also created sex for help. As humans not only are flawed, we are also in need of a good helper. Be it a man or a woman. (Gen 2:18) “18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Now I know that this verse actually concerns the woman. She was created to help man. But I think that we can use it for both sexes. Truth be told, we both need help from time to time. When we are sick or laid up with a injury. Man might be strong but (and as i am a man i can testify to this) men are wimps when we get injured or are sick.

As I said before, sex was created for procreation. (Gen 4:10) “Now the man had relations with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the Lord.” We have sex to increase the population of the earth. We do cause we are driven to. We do so because we need to.

God created sex so that we might calm our needs. Proverbs says in Chapter 5:17-19

17 Let them be yours alone
And not for strangers with you.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 As a loving hind and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
Be exhilarated (intoxicated) always with her love.

The same can be said of woman. Let her rejoice in the husband of her youth. Be intoxicated by him as he loves her in the only way that he can. Let her rejoice when she is taken by her husband and let her feel the joy of their union.

So sex is between a man and a woman. For reproduction, enjoyment, fulfillment, for the joy of it.