Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I'm hitting a wall and a New Resolve.......again for the first time

This will probably be the last SossBlog of 2011 and will have implications on 2012.
Year (or last few months) in Review......  The stress of the last several months have taken a toll on me (as I am only speaking for myself, because my family has their own stories of impact and ways of handling it).  As many of you know my parents both have been pretty sick starting about a year ago with my mom's lung cancer surgery.  My dad had continued to worsen in health with some pains causing him to take nitro glycerin and shortness of breath.  He went in for a stint and ended up with emergency by-pass.  A few months after that, he has the same cancer procedure as my mom.  This is all less than the Readers Digest version of these stories but you get a picture,  things just weren't very fun.  Then you add into the mix the friends that I have that are battling cancer as I type and it's just been a whole lot to deal with.  Then to bring the focus back to me, I am currently battling a kidney stone and have been for the past week!  So for the second week I have been hurting at times that has felt like a life threatening situation (which it's not, it just feels that way).  The kicker of the situation is I have medicine to help with the pain, and it does but I spend the next day with stomach cramps, head aches, and cob webs that I just can shake.  The truth is I have had 2 other stones and I feel I have handled them better (with the second on being in question as to whether or not I did).  I don't remember the pain medication ever making me feel this bad before.  Personally I can only figure out one clear difference between this stone and the others......  When I had the others, I was in much better physical condition. 

This is where I need some serious prayer help!
I never make New Years Resolutions, but here is one I have to keep.  I have got to get into better physical condition, point blank!  No beating around the bush, no joking, no laughs here!  I absolutely have got to do this.  I weigh more, and have less energy than I ever have in my life.  I need your prayers to be working with mine on this. 

So here is my list for 2012:

Use my Nikon more
Lose the excess weight
Gain Energy

I know some of you have similar needs.  The needs may not all be the same, but if you contact me maybe we can all get together in a support based group or maybe even an exercise group.  It's all just out there right now but the key is it is Out and not cooped up inside anymore.  This is basically a need I have to better serve my God and by doing so, better serving my family and friends. 

I just keep thinking of one of my friends right now that is in the battle of their life.  I keep reflecting how I have felt over the last while and keep realizing "if I feel this bad, how bad do they really feel"....
I also have reflected on the suffering of Jesus and the "thorn in the flesh" of the Apostle Paul....  mine is nothing compared to theirs, but it has taken its toll.....and I can't help but think it wouldn't be as bad if I was in better shape.  Any takers give me a Holla!

If I'm not on before the New Year, have a great Celebration! and if I don't see you before Jesus returns, I'll see you in Glory!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christopher Hitchens, Forest Trees Can't see etc. It doesn't require an Oxford education to know Truth in Christ

Well it has happened to Christopher Hitchens just as it will happen to all those reading (or typing) this right now....We are all going to die.  I read on Friday December 16th that Hitchens had passed at the age of  62.  Many of you are thinking what makes Hitchens a notable character that would require me to take notice of his death.  Hitchens was a self proclaimed "Enemy of God".  He was a non-believer.
Hitchens wasn't your average everyday Atheist, he was against more than just Christian belief.  Hitchens was also against Islamic and Jewish belief as well.  Hitchens also had also been someone that basically said don't believe the hype about "Islam being peaceful".  Most Atheist lean more toward anti Christian than completely anti theist.  Many other atheist come across as being intelligent but continually regurgitate a shallow barrage of one liners that question the Christian faith, but when truly engaged they continue their shallow arrogant one liners and won't or can't defend their position with any fact or personal intellectual thought.  It was often said that Hitchens was a challenging debater that would make you angry during the debate but had a personality that made you want to be his friend afterward.  Regardless of his earthly intelligence, he missed one thing. He didn't accept Jesus Christ as his savior. Now he had reasons to back up his lack of belief, but it wouldn't hold water as a defense when he was receiving judgement at his death.  That little bit of info in the last two sentences has been breaking my heart since I read the news on Friday. The thing is that just because someone may not accept God as being real, God doesn't change He remains real.  God will continue to reach out to that person and will continue to put people in their paths.

John 14:6 clearly says, " 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Then Jesus followed it up with, "7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
Many arguments state that because it's so old that it has been changed and is no longer relevant.  If we look at the different translations and compare them to the oldest available version of the same and that argument becomes irrelevant.  Or how about the argument of "the Bible is full of Contradictions".  There are stories that are the same but told differently but they are the same story, this doesn't necessarily mean it's a contradiction.  
Now I will add that many of these schools of atheistic thought are not unintelligent.  They have been well thought out and I can understand, but they are just wrong.     So I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't count out the Bible as Truth.  Before spouting off the same old rhetoric, actually read the Bible.  This World has made our focus on things that are over thought, and take away from the Bible and its content that needs more consideration.  
It's too late for Christopher Hitchens, but it's not too late for you.  
If you truly have questions and aren't just trying to pick a fight, please get in touch with me!  I have some answers, can find more and have some I don't knows but we can work through them.  I don't have all the answers (had to say it again in a different way).  If you're just wanting to change the mind of "the Christian", don't waste your time doing that won't.  I do understand that there is so much that is the hardest, easy stuff to believe and I'm hoping I can help you through some of it.  
* Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and ask Him into your life as your Lord and Savior
 This is the easiest yet the hardest thing to do, but it brings so much peace.  I hope you have a great day and will contact me.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

D-I-V-O-R-C-e Sho me some evidence!

I mentioned a while back about divorce and how it affects those around the couples involved.  I want to revisit that topic and issue a challenge.  We have been bombarded by divorce the last couple of years.  Divorce hurts everyone that has a stake in the failing relationship.  It's not just the couple that is getting divorced, it's the children, it's the neighbors, it's the friends from church... it's EVERYONE remotely involved.  What is even worse, is when some one believes the Bible is True, yet they feel that God has led them in a certain path that is clearly unBiblical.  How do you test to see if God is telling you something or if it's a deception?  You test it with the Bible, the Holy Word of God.  So if you believe the Bible is true, then what scripture is there that will hold fast to a decision to divorce your spouse... What scripture supports a decision to commit adultery?  What scripture allows us to have a god other than Yahweh?

Here is the Challenge: If You Find me Biblical reasons to support the argument of a non-adulterous or non-abandonment divorce, I'll buy you a delicious sparkly red Cheerwine!
If I had a million dollar backer, I'd put it all on the line.... because you can't back it up Biblically!  Jesus plainly said in the book of Mark, as he answered questions from (I believe) the Pharisees about divorce..."Moses allowed it because you are Hard Hearted...but then He continues and talks about how the divorcer commits adultery against the divorcee...  Other verses talk about "what God has joined together, let NO MAN separate... 
Now a little note to those sympathizers... Do Not Tolerate this kind of Behavior!  Continue to Love these people, and be there for support When the parties involved are actually seeking to right their wrong... Do Not allow your Love for them be mistaken as a sign that you support their actions.  You have got to encourage them to do what is Right!  Doing the Right thing may not always be easy, but it is ALWAYS RIGHT!  At some point we have to stand up for what is right, and separate ourselves from the situation.  Here is why I say that: What exactly are we teaching our children if we appear to support these decisions?  What jeopardy are we willing to allow our other relationships enact upon our marriages?  This in a way is like dealing with someone that has addiction issues, you have to step back and quit enabling this person, and allow them to hit rock bottom!!  We can encourage them to weigh their actions against what the Bible says, but if they are a non-believer or are continuing to pervert what they read (ie. God used that verse to tell me to do ____), then we have to remove ourselves and let their world implode... and be there to help point them back to Jesus and pick them back up to their means within the truth.

As you can tell, I am very passionate about this and am more than willing to discuss this.  If I have rubbed you wrong, if you feel like I have said something that isn't correct, if you have those scripture references that I asked for, if need help....Please confront me about this!  I have no problem talking about it.  I have a pretty thick skin and I've been around a few times, but be fore warned!  I may return the conversation at the same intensity that I receive it.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lord Help Me, I'm Falling...

If you haven't noticed yet, the World is in trouble.  Have you been moved by the crash and then roller coaster ride your investments are on? Did the whole "debt ceiling crisis" make you worry?  Does it seem the Natural Disasters are continually getting stronger and more frequent? 

Well folks those are not the problems, they are but symptoms.  They are the signs of the times.  If I didn't Love y'all, I would completely turn my back and not mention it.....but I just can't turn.  I know that we all need to seek Jesus.  I know we all need to ask forgiveness of our short comings.  In no way are you to come to Jesus after you get your life straight.... You are to come to Jesus to get it straight.  Funny how that works eh?  So many people feel that they aren't living exactly right, so they have no place in the Church.  That's just not true!  Then you hear folks talk about the hypocrites in church.... where is there a better place to seek help than at the foot of the cross?  The Truth is, Christians still sin.  That's not saying that Christians continue to live the same life as before the became Christians.  It's saying that they still mess up, and regardless of how unintentional the sin was, it was still a sin.  So what is the difference between those that have chosen to be Christ followers and those that have chosen against it?  Both have sin, check.  Both have been given the free gift of salvation, check.  The Christian accepts the gift, and repents of those sins.  There is a reason that the Christian Life is often called a walk in faith.... Although I have made a decision to follow Christ, I do mess up, but as a follower I am convicted and pray for forgiveness.  The longer I am on this walk, and the closer I build my relationship with Christ, the more proactive my decisions will become.  Will I ever not sin? No, but I may sin less.  If you are currently feeling like you could never measure up and just don't belong in a church....  Get up with me.  You're right that you'll never measure up, except through the Blood of Jesus Christ.  Through Him we are made sinless in the eyes of God.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Ho on the Corner Revisited

Several months ago I mentioned the Ho on the Corner.  I was getting lunch at the time and was thinking about how would someone ever be able to help The Ho.  It would be near impossible to do with out risking arrest.  Well, tonight......LOL!!! No I didn't get locked up!  I was confronted in the local Food Lion parking lot by a Crack Ho.  The first words out of her mouth were Hey (long drawn out hey might I add), where you going?  I just laughed a little bit and replied, I'm going home to feed my dawgs.  (I don't have but one dog and I've been feeding him in the mornings before I's just been working out better that way.)

Now I wasn't ugly to her, but I wasn't as receptive as she was hoping either.  In other words I was just Not friendly enough that the conversation ended right there.  Then I got in the truck and got to thinking.  Then I said to myself, "Self"  you've been chomping at the bit for an opportunity like that one where you could share just a little bit of Jesus.....and you were too busy to do it.  Wow!  Talk about a slap in the face!  But my wife was waiting to go to Target......How much time is a Soul worth? mmm....  See that's just the thing about trying to follow Christ, when you don't, you're convicted.  The guilt didn't last too long, because another thought entered my mind-- What if that woman at the well was trying to pick up Jesus?  Jesus told her to go home to her "husband".  Then you know what she said, "I'm not married"....but Jesus knew because he asked about the one she was currently with.  This whole thing was like a revelation, Jesus didn't walk away or turn His back.  Jesus, when talking with the woman at the well, gently guide the conversation.
Now I'm looking back figuring I missed an opportunity, but the encounter may have been set up so that I would think about the Bible story in the light I did.  I have to remember that a lesson learned is valuable too.  Maybe instead of taking a chance to share, I needed to take that time to listen.
Yes, God is Good All The Time!


Monday, April 4, 2011

A Fathers Love

For 14 months now I've been a Daddy.  It's better than I could ever describe.  The last few weeks my babies have been sick.  They've had ear infections,  rashes, teething......and you name it.  Well this morning my little man wakes up with a 102+ fever.  We take the two to the Doctor this afternoon and come to find out he has an ear infection in each ear now.   As I got the twins ready for bed tonight I changed my boy into his pajamas.  Instead of the usual scuffle, he just whined a little then laid there barely able to keep his eyes open.  I just rubbed his head with a cool wet wipe and he was just wiped out.  When I took his temp at that point he produced a 101.3 on the ear thermometer which would be about 102 on the rectal.  I was completely heartbroken by the pain my little man is going through.  Just thinking about the heartache this is causing me, I can't help but think about the heartache involved in Jesus' suffering.  Knowing how much I love my children and how I don't like to see them suffer, and then thinking about how much more God loves us and loves His Son......How heartbroken was He on that Easter when Jesus hung from the cross?  Imagine watching your only son being beaten, being cursed, spit upon, degraded, and slowly suffocated....... That's why we are not God (regardless how important we think we are),  because we would have done away with the whole of humanity right then.  I just can't imagine how He kept His plan together and didn't just cut it all loose because of the treatment of His son. 

Not only did Jesus come to teach us, He came to save us.  He came to save me and He came to save you too.  So when you kiss your babies and put them to bed tonight think about how much you love them, then consider just how much more God loves you and them.......more than we are even capable of loving....

It's just overwhelming.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

2012, Apocalypse Now, and Stetsasonic "talkin all that jazz".....

1John 2:15-18

Do Not Love the World

15  Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
17  The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.18  Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

We are closer right now than we have ever been to "The End".  I had a friend make a comment about how he had watched 2012 (the movie) and just wasn't really impressed.  See he's a brother in Christ and 2012 doesn't stir him because he knows The Truth.  My friend knows about God's Kingdom and that when it does all go down, he'll be Kingdom bound.  

Here's the thing,  as you read the scripture above I hope you noticed verse 15 especially the first part.  "Do Not love the world nor the things in the world." Now the weather will be warming up soon enough and people in this formerly humble town I live in will be flocking to spend Sundays on the lake instead of heading to church.  The excuses will be flying high and loud about " I can worship doesn't have to be in a church all the time"......yeah but what are you worshiping?  I know you deeper than you would care to believe.  Right now you are reading this and you know that at this point I am talking directly to you!  I have been there and used the exact same excuses for the exact same reasons.  The "World" has you fooled just as I was fooled.  Don't let the same BS control your life anymore.  Some how drinking a 12 pack of beer, lusting over someone just a few feet away that is half naked, and cussing like a sailor just doesn't seem too much like worship.  How is that honoring God?  I used to use that same excuse almost every weekend.  I talked about all the hypocrites in church, not realizing if church was where hypocrites were then I should have been on the front row! but I was on top of a mountain somewhere.  That was the hypocrisy of the whole scenario.... I was in the middle of some of God's most wonderful artistic designs, using that lame excuse about not needing to be in church to worship, but I wasn't worshiping!!!  Like the nights I spent hanging out in bars and clubs, then on sunday mornings I just couldn't make it to church.....I did that more times than I wish to try and remember.  I was "in the world" and was blind to the truth because of my position in the world....I know you are in that same spot.  Get in touch with me and let's get you moving to an eternal kingdom instead of being a slave in a world that is "passing away".  God has put this on my heart tonight for YOU!  I really do know you and I know this was written for you.  I don't know your name yet, but I do know God moved me to reach for you.

Thank you for reading my Blog and pass it on at will.

To God be the Glory,

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Take time to pray and meditate on this one.....

John 14:6  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

I have been breaking this verse down in my head for a while.   A local pastor was quoted as saying something to the effect of "too many people get hung up on this verse, and act like this one verse is the whole gospel....well it's not!"  That's not an exact quote because I refrained from commenting too much when I first found out about it.   There was also a comment about Jesus being "A Way....", and I've chewed and prayed on this for a while.....
Let's just break this verse of Scripture down and look at the parts of it.  First it says, "Jesus said".  Okay this one part eliminates my personal opinion and gives direct authority to Jesus because He made this statement.  Next, "I am the way".  This is where Jesus claims to the "the way" not a way.  But wait what is He "the way" to?  Jesus also said "and the truth"  or I am the Truth.... so that gives accountability and authority.  Who was Jesus to make this statement?  He is the Truth, therefore His statement must be True.  Back to the other question, Who or What is Jesus the way to?  He is the way to The Father.  Wait there is more, and this is the kicker!!!! Jesus said, "no one comes to the Father but through me".....  That means Jesus IS the ONLY WAY to the Father...Right?  

Okay let's see if this makes sense.  Jesus said I am The Way.  Jesus said I am the Truth.  Oh yeah, Jesus said I am The Life.  Jesus said No one comes to the Father but through me.  If Jesus made these statements what does it matter that my opinion and your opinion may not meet in the middle?  Our opinions don't really matter at all.  What matters is that Jesus SAID these things and completely shoots a hole in our opinions.  As much as I would like to believe that there is another way to God so that we can have Life....but Jesus addresses that issue, He is the ONLY Way.  Why did He become a sacrifice on the Cross?  to give us Life.  

Unfortunately we have lost our focus here in these wonderful United States of America.  We're obsessed with the latest and greatest gadget and who has what, even in times when the economy is in the toilet.  We still have a couple of weeks before Lent, Please pray on this with me, that we as a Country will regain our focus with this verse being a huge part of that focus.  We need to remember He is God and we are not.  As the speaker I heard last month stated, " We are on the verge of the next great awakening, and our churches are not ready!".  We have got to get ready! We have got to get off the milk and start eating some meat, so we'll be prepared for the next harvest of new believers that will be feeding on milk, as they will be the infant Christians that we once were. 

God Bless You and thank you for taking the time to read my Blog!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Are you feeding the Flock milk and soaky bread? aka Where's the Beef?!?!

Went to a Conference on Saturday Before I broke out with a 102.4 degree fever and was down for the count for the next several hours.....but hey the devil will get you when and how he can! Any way one of the sessions I went to was on Evangelism. I agreed on most of the stuff that was said, but this whole attitude of casting out tradition from church needs to be nipped! I got what the man was saying, but it did sound like he could have been saying exactly that....get rid of the traditions in the church and it will I said that's not what he said but I think it could easily be interpreted as such. I think tradition for the sake of tradition IS worthless. It might be fun and a neat activity, but if it's just something you do because you've always done it then it needs to be evaluated. One of his points that poked me a little was the singing of the Doxology. Now if you know the song you'll know that it is a great song. "Praise God from whom all Blessings flow.......". Now his point was about how churches get into a set routine where they do the same things over and over every week, they have the same offertory the same benedictions the same this that and the other and on the third sunday of each month they sing Old Rugged Cross.
Now the church this guy is preaching at has had great growth, but he claimed something that kind of made me cringe....."We are a mile wide, but only an inch deep"......."We have a Church full of Baby Christians". From there he glazed over those two statements and went on to talk more about how they attracted people. The question I really wanted to ask is, "After you aquire all these baby Christians, then what?" When the music fades and the lights grow dim and they figure out that times don't miraculously become rainbows and moonbeams, Do they have enough substance from your ministry to remain in The Faith? I guess the Biggy is Are your members coming to see the production of How the Easter Bunny arrives for the Egg Hunt this year or are they coming to Build their relationships with Christ?
Does the Church need an overhaul? Yes, but we need to watch our focus. Don't get distracted by the smoke and mirrors and allow your members to parish! Keep your focus on Jesus and your Study in Scripture.
Now this guy did have good points too, so don't think he just came in to bash Traditional Services. He talked about several things his church does that is different from what most dying churches just arent doing.....and he admitted "Just because they work for us they may not work for you". Regardless, we have to try something but we can't lose focus on what we are really about.

Chew on that a little while and take what ever you come up with to your Pastors, your Christian Educators, Youth Pastors, and Committees! Remember who you're working for, and keep the focus on Him!