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May 14, 2018, 10:55 AM

Simple Mechanics


In life, there are things that inevitably come up at the worst times. A pimple before prom, an upset stomach on a long road trip, or a sick child when mom and dad are finally going to get that date night. For me, another great frustration to add to that list is car trouble. It frustrates me almost more than anything when my vehicle begins to have mechanical issues. First of all, it’s a huge inconvenience to have to work around busy schedules with only one vehicle. Secondly, I know it’s going to cost me some money to get the problem corrected. Perhaps the biggest issue for me is that I can’t fix it myself and I have to trust someone else to do it for me. I remember one time when my car developed an issue and because I had been able to fix some things on it before, I was confident I could do it again. However, I quickly realized I was over my head and needed to seek professional help in order to have it repaired correctly. When the mechanic fixed the issue and called me to come pick it up, he explained that it would have been less expensive and completed quicker if he had not had to first undo what I had done thinking I was fixing the problem. (Thankfully I use a mechanic who is honest a does great work.) My thought is this; how many times do we try to fix the things in our lives before we finally give up and go to God? He is the only One who can repair what is broken about us. How much damage do we do when we take things into our own hands rather than trusting in the God who has created us and provides the only source for our healing. When we attempt to fix things on our own, we often only make matters worse and create more issues that will need to be undone, that will cost more in pain and grief and take longer than we would want. Jesus Christ died on the cross and was resurrected so that we might have healing and redemption, not of our own doing but in what was done by God for us. We don’t have the ability to fix what’s broken about us, it’s only the power of God in us that gives us the strength to overcome. It’s the Spirit of God that draws a person to the Son of God so that they might receive the fullness of the grace of God. Stop trying to fix things on your own and go the One who can reconcile all things through Jesus.

Robert

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdUu6ZsdVfM




May 4, 2018, 9:01 AM

May the Force…


So today is May 4th, a day appropriately recognized as Star Wars Day. I’m a fan of the movies and have shared my enjoyment with my children and they have grown to like the movies as well. The whole idea of two sides of a “force” that battle for dominance over the other, one good and one evil, those who live by a code of honor and integrity versus those who seem to live according to their own standard, is captivating. It always seems that the “Dark Side” is never fully extinguished and the Jedi never escape without casualty. This storyline on this day draws my mind to the battle that Christians face every day. Within one person there are two natures that war with each other. As Paul said, I often find myself struggling to do the things I know I should do and not do what I shouldn’t. The Spirit of God versus my human nature. By the power of God’s salvation, victory is already won but the battles will continue as long as I’m in the flesh of humanity. As if that struggle wasn’t enough, there is the interaction with those around us that can often be difficult. It may strike you as odd when people seem to love causing misery in the lives of those they dislike. Proverbs 4:14-17 describe a wicked person who can’t sleep at night unless they have done evil to someone. Those types of people exist today just as they did in the days of Solomon, and unfortunately, they sometimes operate under the claim of being a Christian. The Bible tells us that there are angles of darkness that masquerade as angels of light, just like that, not everyone who claims to be a Christian really is. The truth of a person’s position in Christ is evidenced by the fruit they produce. However, believers should be mindful of the verses found in Psalm 125. God is faithful to those who truly belong to Him. He will protect and provide for His people and no enemy or wicked person shall be able to stand against Him. In conclusion, on this special day of May the 4th, I say May the God of all creation be with you, and cause His face to shine upon you, and be gracious, and bring you peace. He is a personal God and not some figment of man’s imagination that resides in a galaxy far, far away.

Robert




April 20, 2018, 9:39 AM

Be Strong and Courageous!


After the life of Moses had come to an end without the crossing into the Promised Land, I can almost hear some of those grumbling people shouting from the top of their lungs, “I told you so! We should have just stayed in Egypt!”  Maybe that wasn’t the case and maybe the people were fired up and ready to go after they mourned the loss of their great leader.  Either way, the task set before Joshua would be difficult none the less.  He was charged with being the successor to a man of whom the Bible says, “And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face,”(Ex. 3410; ESV). Not only that, he was to finish the journey of leading the people into the Promised Land.  This would involve fighting battles and establishing monotheistic worship of the one true God by removing all remnants of the pagan societies that were there.  Maybe the struggle set before you isn’t the same as Joshua’s but it’s still quite daunting.  Take courage in being reminded of the words God spoke to Joshua as He was preparing him to go out before the people.  The instructions to Joshua to be strong and courageous get most of the attention, but they become weakened words of motivation with the absence of why Joshua should be strong and courageous.  God declared to Joshua that the land already belonged to the Israelites, “every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have already given to you,”(Joshua 1:3;ESV).  Secondly, the inhabitants of the land would be no match for Joshua and the Israelites.  God promised that no man would be able to stand against Joshua, because God would be with him as He was with Moses(Joshua 1:5;ESV).  In this, Joshua would be able to rest on the assurances of what he had seen God do before and therefore believe He would do it again.  Thirdly, God gave Joshua a promise for the future, he would never be forsaken or left alone by God.  It’s for these reasons Joshua could be strong and very courageous.  When you are facing trials, tests, and temptations remember that, in Christ, you have victory over the enemy, you are never alone in the struggles of this life, and you can hold confidently to the assurance of entering into the Promised Land, God’s eternal heavenly kingdom.

Robert




April 7, 2018, 8:16 PM

Who’s Your Daddy?


            I can only imagine the thoughts that were rolling through the mind of the young man as he worked feeding the slop to the pigs.  Here he was, once living under the roof of a prosperous and kind man, now longing to simply be a servant in his father’s house.  I’m sure he replayed the events of that day over and over in his mind, the day when he had taken all he could stand of living under his father’s rule.  The day he figured he was man enough to make it on his own and he knew what was best for him.  I bet those words echoed in his in ears all over again.  The way he demanded his portion of the inheritance and freedom to live as he so chose.  Having spent all of his money on women, drink, and the pleasures of the world, he now stood among the swine longing to have his belly full of the food he as feeding them.  It was at this point a glimmer of hope awakened in his heart.  Perhaps driven by desperation and a remembrance of the love of his father, he set out to return home.  As he trod the long road home, he rehearsed exactly what he would say and beg for mercy, knowing full well he didn’t deserve it.  But you know how the story ends.  While the young man was still a long way off, the father, who had been watching and waiting for the return of his son, ran to meet his boy.  The father embraced his son, dressed him, and placed a ring on his finger.  There would be a huge celebration, for the one who was lost had come home.  One of the points of this story is that it didn’t matter how far the son got from home, he was still his father’s son. No amount of distance, harshness of words, hardness of heart, lowly of circumstance could ever change the love the father had for his son.  No matter how far you have wandered away, mistakes you have made, or circumstances you find yourself in, there is a Father watching and waiting, longing for you to turn and go to Him.  In his arms you will find love, mercy, fulfillment, and forgiveness.  The things of the past will be washed away and you can be set free indeed.  The devil is the father of lies, God is a loving Father freely forgiving all who come to Him through Jesus.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKw6uqtGFfo

Robert




April 5, 2018, 10:45 AM

If My People...


Some of the most amazing images I have ever seen are those of a hurricane as it approaches landfall.  The satellite pictures from outer space that capture the massive size of a storm that encompasses hundreds of square miles with winds and rain strong enough to decimate an entire island chain.   Those who have chosen to brave the storm and take photos of a hurricane from the perspective of approaching landfall have provided us with a small amount of understanding.  The extraordinary images of ominous looking clouds as they prepare to leave a path of destruction and desolation in their wake have always captivated me.  I don’t mean to make light of the trials and loss endured by those who have been directly affected by a hurricane, I simply want to use the imagery as an illustration.  In a time when our society is in an uproar and it seems like every other week there is a group marching in the streets to defend their cause; when Easter and Good Friday are mocked by national media outlets and being a Christian is compared to having a mental illness; when kids are more interested in taking on the next foolish challenge such as eating tide pods, cinnamon, or snorting condoms up their nose than getting an education, a job, and becoming a productive member of society; when the integrity and value of the Biblical model of family/marriage is labeled as a hateful agenda and websites and apps abound promoting hookups and sex outside of marriage; when the fabric of our culture and nation that was founded in large part on Biblical principles has come to the point where “In God We Trust” is offensive and must be removed from government facilities; when millions of unborn children are being murdered every day.  It would be easy for a person to say, “These things don’t directly impact me so I’m just going to move on with my life,” I say they have a tremendous impact on all of us whether we realize it or not.  The people in the days of Noah ignored the storm clouds that gathered, the people of Sodom and Gomorrah weren’t expecting fire to fall from heaven.  The clouds are gathering and there is a storm preparing to make landfall against a nation that has turned its heart from God.  Just like the clouds of a hurricane gathering, it is obvious to many.  It’s not enough to merely acknowledge the storm and remain unchanged.  If ever there was a time when followers of Christ need to fall on their knees and cry out for mercy and revival, my friends I believe it’s now.  But, as James says, when you ask for wisdom, expect God to answer and be prepared to act accordingly.  What will be your role in seeking God’s face and being an agent of change for the sake of the Gospel?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3Rn9FOOHl8

Robert


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