Wednesday, December 22, 2010

You can get anything you want at Alice's Restuarant......

This time of year thoughts all come to a head from deep with in me. I have always had a sense of guilt during the holidays. I have always felt just depressed by the receiving of presents. Now I love to give, but I feel bad about receiving. That could explain the prayers I have prayed for the homeless since I really started to take being a Christian serious. My very first blog on here was about a young man I met through a homeless ministry, and I really have to admit that he was there to change my perspective. My friends name is Russell. In 2008 he was 6 months old so I imagine he is 2 1/2 years old now, if he's still alive. I always think about him when the weather does some of the strange things that it will do here in NC. It doesn't matter whether it's extreme heat in the summer or the first bite of cold in the fall, it always makes me think of Russell.
Tonight I talked with the Salvation Army bell ringer as he waited for the Salvation Army bus to pick him up. He told me about how a little girl got him a cookie from the free cookie bin and did the same thing when they returned a couple of days later. He told me how that cookie from a child meant more than money to him, because she shared her heart. We talked Faith a little (you know if I'm talking, it's going to come up!) and talked about the heart of man. I didn't have any money on me that I could drop in the bucket, but I had a way to show just a little bit of love.
But ya know, how many times to I drive by someone holding a sign that states "will work for food"? Who am I to say they aren't really hungry? Maybe I'm passing by the one that really is hungry! I've really been thinking about this for the past several weeks and it just gets in my mind and works me over.
I've thought about how God has provided everything we need and many things we want, yet I repay Him by not living a holy life? How can I receive so much from my Lord and in return, Reject Him?
I stopped to fill up the old blue pickup, shortly after talking with my new friend from the Salvation Army. I had been pretty deep in thought and my heart had been praying up to this point of the night. As I stood pumping gas in my short sleeves and shorts, the cold wind blew as if it were attacking me.......but I took it as a reminder of all the good God has done in my life alone. He has protected me time and time again from the cutting winds that I would never be able to handle without Him. Just then a cute little BMW SUV pulls up to the pump across the way, and 3 teens jump out all looking to be about 17. Any of you that really know me know that I can watch someone and know more about them in just a few seconds than they would care to share. They weren't bad kids, although one did look like he wanted to be Flava Flav, they were just ungrateful. God had given them a blessing that in turn allowed them to drive this Beamer but they didn't really appreciate it. My thoughts immediately turned back to Jesus...... He came and we put Him in a barn! He taught and was persecuted. He Loved and He was hung upon a Cross to Die......... The World rejected Him, but the hearts of believers are still loving Him.
This is the time of year where we celebrate His birth. Yeah I know Jesus wasn't really born on Dec. 25th, but you know the date doesn't really matter. The only thing that matters about this Holiday we call Christmas is that Jesus Came.
I hope everyone takes time to clear their minds this year from all the frivolity and celebration to contemplate what it means for God to come to us as Jesus. Think about what it means when God comes to His people in the form of a meek and humble baby.....I think He has reached out to us as gently as possible to tell us He Loves Us! I'll leave it all with you as I re-write one of my favorite stories that Paul Harvey used to read at this time every year. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and I hope God Blesses you all real good!

Merry Christmas,

Story about the Birds and the Farmer
(read annually by Paul Harvey, author unknown)
One very cold winter night, a farmer was sitting inside listening to his radio.
The Broadcaster warned that it would be deadly cold that night and to make sure all living things were protected from this weather.
Just then, the farmer heard a thump at his window.
The Farmer looked out only to see several little birds hoping around on the ground.
The farmer heard another thump, coming from that same window.
He looked again and there were the same little birds.
The radio then mentions that this could be the worst night on record, to protect all living things from this cold.
The farmer started to think about those birds and how he could let them stay in his barn for the night.
The farmer went outside and tried to sneak up on the birds so he could catch them and put them in the barn, but everytime the saw him they got scared and flew away.
The farmer didn't give up that easy.
The farmer walked over to the barn and opened the door just a little. Then he took bird seed and spread it from the door of the barn out into the yard where the birds were.
The little birds would eat the seed right up to the door, but wouldn't go in.
The farmer tried to shoo them in but they flew away.
By this time the farmer realized the effort and time he had spent trying and failing to get these birds to safety.
His heart ached at the thought that they wouldn't be safe on this dangerously cold night.
The farmer thought "I have done everything I know to do and it only scared the little birds away." "There has to be a way that I can get them to understand that I'm not trying to hurt them."
"If only I could become a bird"..........

(this is a paraphrase of what I can remember of the original)
Thanks for reading my Blog! God Bless You!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The God of the Universe DID NOT call us to be Tolerant! He called us to be Loving!

The Title of this posting of the SossBlog, "The God of the Universe DID NOT call us to be Tolerant! He called us to be Loving" is a quote from Josh McDowell whom I heard speak last weekend at The National Conference on Christian Apologetics. As I quoted Josh as a Title, I will also be using some of his quotes in this writing simply because they are eye opening.
If you are 25 years old or older, did you know that the meaning of Tolerance has changed from when we were kids? No, Really!!! Tolerance is no longer the act of Tolerating someone or some action. Tolerance is acceptance of another belief or action as having equal validity of your own. Even further, Tolerance has gone into even promoting another's belief above your own...... STOP THE MADNESS!!!! Now I have some friends that don't believe in my Faith, or have different lifestyles than I do. Many of those lifestyles are sin-full and actually celebrate in their sin, but I do not discriminate against my friends because of their chosen lifestyle. My friends that have decided to pursue another Faith, I don't discriminate against them either. The fact is that although I do not agree and have absolute Truth as evidence that their choices are wrong, I pray for them because I do love them! Many of my friends know I think they are living a sin-full life because I am intolerant. You see, Josh McDowell pointed this out, Tolerance is an excuse to ignore and be hands off, but Love actually calls you to pray for people and help them find their way from a path that is leading them in the wrong direction. The Truth is that other Faiths will not get you where you want to go. Christianity is the ONLY Religion that provides a SINLESS SAVIOR. Erwin Lutzer used this in his sermon, "God Demands us to be as perfect as He is! God supplies a way to fulfill what He demands".....and that's through the Blood of Jesus Christ. There is only ONE Faith that provides a Savior to make us pure. Only One Faith that has a Savior that can make us as Sinless as God. So does enlightenment really move you like the statements I just made? Do the Strip Clubs or Pride Rallies really move you in a good direction? or are they just celebrations of the disease known as Sin? Does the Drunk Fest at the Sandbar give you the Soul Satisfying Salvation that you are looking for or does it only provide a temporary enjoyment as you celebrate in your sin, and have to come back next week for more? The Bible says, Sin is Fun for a while! What do you do when it's not really that fun anymore? Look for new sins? Bigger and Better sins to satisfy your urges? You see, we hold the TRUTH in the Christian Faith! That is why the World insists that we Christians are tolerant of bad behavior and False Religions, Yet the World refuses to be Tolerant of the Christian Faith. We are warned of a False Prophet in the Bible. The more I read and Learn, That False Prophet seems to be named Muhammad! If you do the same studying, you will find that Allah and Yahweh ARE NOT the same!
Here is my Challenge to you! I know many of you have learned the Bible stories as a child, but have you Truly Studied them as you've become an Adult? I challenge each one of you that will read this post to make a commitment to do a 21 day study that only takes about 10-15 minutes a day. Read the Book of John, 10-15 minutes a day for 21 days. I extend this to my Christian brothers and sisters as well!!! Have WE really read the Book of John as an Adult? If nothing else try to think about what John believes about Jesus. Who does John believe this Jesus guy is?

Thank you for reading my Blog, and for accepting my Intolerance!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Road Goes on Forever and The Party Never Ends.....

Today is September 11 2010, It's been 9 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the world has changed. My life has changed so much in the past 9 years it makes my head spin. I've been married for 7 years and now have twins 7 months old. When the attack happened, I was dating Steph and selling Beer for a living. I was living a life that could possibly been leading me straight to Hell....but how easily we forget that God will make all things good if we let Him (ask Him). You see I have been on this walk for a while now and my sins have been revealed to me, and I've sought forgiveness. Believing that the Bible is TRUE, I know that Jesus has forgiven me of my sins and now I try to live in a way to give Him the Glory. I fail miserably sometimes, and sometimes I am broken hearted by other peoples sins. I try not to be judgmental or even a hypocrite, but it doesn't always happen the way I intend or even appear the way I really feel. Sometimes I am judgmental, most times I've just wanted to motivate someone or help them find the right path, but that too can seem not exactly how I really intended. I hope by continuing to work on my short comings, I can help someone else along the way.
In the Book of James (James 5:19) we are told, " My Brothers and Sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, 20 you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner's soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins."
I want to be one of those people that help. I have wrestled with God for most of my life. As a child I felt a calling and pushed it away. As a teen this same calling would pop up at a most us suspecting time and again I would push it away. When I flunked out of college and was really down on myself I felt it again.....but guess what, I pushed it away. Numerous times I've ignored what God has been telling me because I was living foul, and there is NO WAY God would be calling someone like me! I can no longer ignore Him.
In spring of 2003 I married a Saint! She has been a huge help in my walk. She has loved me when I have been unlovable. My return to the Lord began when we got married. We started helping with the youth that following fall and the snowball was rolling! The Summer of 2004 we went to a youth retreat at Lake Junaluska and a significant change was made. The preacher had an alter call at every service. This was new for this life long Methodist. During this weekend the preacher gave one alter call in particular that changed my life. A little boy that I had not seen during the whole event moved out close to the end of the row and was on the edge of his seat waiting for someone to ask him if he wanted to make a commitment to Jesus. In fact, the preacher said something along the lines of, " if someone is near you, ask them if this is the Jesus they want to know". As I watched all of our youth go up, I just felt really good that our youth were making an important step in their lives. Well, in the mean time this little boy covered the ground from the end of the row all the way down to me...... and I didn't even notice. That's when the Saint that I married leaned over and said to me, "well are you going to ask him". My response was quick, "Ask who?". As I turned to my right, my eyes met his.... I turned back to my left and replied,"I cant remember what he told us to say"....and my dear wife instructed me to ask him what came to my heart. I turned back to this random, never before seen kid and asked, "is this the Jesus you want to know?" and I was met with a tearful reply of YES! We walked together to the masses of the alter call. When we were instructed to break into a smaller group and discuss this decision, his parents met us and took over from there.....which I was glad because I was ill equipped for that conversation. That's when it all became Real to me. I made a decision to try to walk the walk. If I was going to help with the youth and someday have children of my own, I needed to be Real in my Faith.
From that point God has continued to surround me with godly people. People that have ministered to me and may not have even realized it.
In the summer of 2005 I began to move in a way to explore "The Calling" and have been following the direction God has been leading me ever since.
Just a few days ago I posted on Facebook a request for prayer. I am continuing to request prayer as I follow my Calling and move closer to where God is leading me. I hope my life can prove helpful in someone else's walk and discovery of their calling.
Thanks y'all,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer, The Line in the Sand.....

First off, I'm not sure what happened to my last post.....must've been to much truth for google to handle all at one's a conspiracy! LOL!
Anyway that's not what I'm writing about in this session.
Have any of you been a little miffed about the news stories that surround this National Day of Prayer (NDP)? First a 2 bit judge declares it unconstitutional, then Franklin Graham gets kicked out from the Pentagon's gathering. Folks believe it or not, this is persecution! This should make you want to pray that much more!!!
Franklin actually confirmed something I was thinking when he said he wanted to hug that judge! This year's NDP has gotten more press than previous years and has more people fired up than usual.
Well folks, let this year be the line in the sand. The persecution will only get worse from here on out. Take this years NDP and mold it into your daily prayer time. Most folks pray once a day, even if it's just a very short "Thank You Lord". Let's all become disciplined enough to have an intentional prayer that includes our government in all levels and the social behaviors around us.
Personally we should consider Everyday a National Day of Prayer as we talk to God. We as a praying people should not settle for one day, but make it EVERYDAY! The NDP is a good thing as far as bringing everyone together for one big corporate prayer, but it's easily made into a social event. With our ability to act as a Pharisee more often than we'd like to admit, the NDP can fuel that fire within us. Don't get me wrong with that last statement!!! I do SUPPORT a NDP but only if it's done for the right reasons.
Mark this day on your calenders y'all. Within the next few years we may be told that we can not pray and the NDP will be removed from our Federal Governments grounds. They WILL NOT keep us from praying!!! Whether it's an announced NDP or in the quite darkness of our bedrooms at night, we need to keep praying and doing so more fervantly!
That's just what was moving in me right now and I wanted to share. Thank you for reading and hopefully fighting this good fight! Remember to join in the praying today as many of your brothers and sisters will be taking prayer to heart and lifting up this nation, their local governments, communities, natural disaster relief, and topics from a broader spectrum than I can imagine.
Peace and Chicken Grease,

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In God We Trust

Saturday, January 16, 2010

What if it is?!?!? Creating more Questions than answers...aka makin' ya think!

As you all know, we've had a call for prayer and assistance for everyone in Haiti. Most of you know by now that Pat Robertson has made a comment about why the Earthquake happened in Haiti, and that many people have spoke out against him. But what if Pat's statement wasn't too far off base? No I'm not saying he was right, but I'm not saying he was wrong either. I'm encouraging everyone to just think about what he said. I didn't hear everything he said nor did I do more than skim the quotes that popped up in the media outlets this week. I look at Pat sometimes as a "Peter" type of guy, someone that has an idea and blurts it out before he thinks it all the way through. Pat has made several statements that caused a rise in the Christian and secular communities more than once, but let's really ask How far off base was he?
If we look in the old testament, we can pick out numerous stories of where people hardend their hearts against God and turned away from Him. We've got numerous times where idol worship took place. And don't forget that God would allow everyone to know that He was unhappy for a while, before He ever really made a big move to disipline His unfaithful people. Now here is the part that is a kicker, as I have found a few different articles talking about Haiti's "Deal with the Devil", would a governments actions make God unhappy? One of the articles even mentioned that Haiti possibly renewed their pact with the devil in 1991. So, God could be quite angry with Haiti right many missionaries He's sent to Haiti (kind of like how He sent Profits in the OT) to help with humanitarian and spiritual needs....if they have turned their backs....Yes He could be that angry. Now if I were to say for certain that that is why the Earthquake destroyed Haiti, then I would also be saying that I knew the complete mind of God and I absolutely do not! I can say that I know God is Just in whatever He does.
Now let's also think about this.....Are we closer to the Return of Jesus than we ever have been? Yes! we are....could this have been just another labor pain of His return? Could be. The Bible tells us of Wars and increased Natural Disasters as the return nears, and although we will not know the time or day of His return, He has given us signs that allow us to know that the time is getting closer....So that is another question we should be asking ourselves....
Still another option would be the Earthquake is a result of the evil that was introduced into the world around the time of the fall of man. Does free will in this world allow for free will of all? Even evil? Could it have happened just because it happened?
A couple of things I do know!!!!! 1) We need to Pray for the Earthquake victims regardless of the reason the Earthquake happened. 2)We need to Help the victims whether it's physically working or funding the efforts (preferably the Christian efforts, because they also bring the Word). 3) We need to ask, "How am I really living"? Are we living in a way that is truly Honoring God? Are we really making an effort or just making a mockery?

My Hope is great in Jesus. I am encouraged to be Bold for my Lord this year, and extend that encouragement on to you. Continue to move closer to His light in your everyday walk, but also share in His light with those around you. A paraphrase of Mark 16:15 would say, Go YOU into all the world and Preach the Good News, the Gospel, to all that is a rough translation but the KJV version helped move a man's heart once to start a ministry......we call him Billy Graham. Have a great day and pass the Hope that is in you!