Tag Archive | Spirituality

How Much Time Do You Really Have?

Can the end of time be near? I am not a scientist or a prophet, but I read the Bible and books on prophesy. I heard that during both World Wars people expected Jesus to return at any moment. I would have thought so, too, if I knew the Nazis murdered eleven million Jews. Do you understand how significant that event became? Many times through-out history, Jewish people have been the target of hate and murder, but they still exist. What does that tell you? It tells me God loves them, and even though most didn’t accept His Son, He still loves them and has a plan for them. That’s the kind of God He is. He is a God of love.

Why do I believe the end is coming soon? If global warming is true, then why has Boston had record-breaking snowfalls? Is that global warming? Maybe it is. Maybe the weather changes are part of the birth pangs recorded in the Bible. Why have there been many more storms through-out the world lately. What about the increase in earthquakes and floods? Why have mountains blown their tops, so to speak. Birth pangs? A thought worth considering. A century ago people rarely traveled more that about fifty miles from their homes. Now a trip across the world takes less time than it might have taken our ancestors to travel fifty miles. Birth pangs of the end of time as we know it? It could be. At least think about it. Consider the present times and then consider what the Bible says:

Jesus said in Matthew 24, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these things are the beginning of birth pangs.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time, many will turn against the faith and betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of many will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to the nations, and then the end will come…For then there will be great distress unequaled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened….

“At that time the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the earth to the other.”

I believe Jesus Christ came to earth in the body of a man and the spirit of God. As promised throughout the Old Testament, Jesus signified the perfect Lamb, the only one who could sacrifice for the sins of believers. If a friend gave you a gift card for your favorite restaurant, wouldn’t you spend it? The death of Jesus became your gift card for eternal life. You can accept that truth, ask his forgiveness, and join his spiritual family or you can choose not to. For your sake, I ask that you read the Gospel of John so you will understand the truth. You can’t work your way to heaven. If you could, Jesus would not have been sacrificed on the cross. Your faith in his gift saves you, not works.

Is this true? Will you be ready? Are you willing to take the risk? What stops you?

If this blog has brought you closer to a decision to become a member of God’s family or if you have any questions, please comment.

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Tidings of Convicting Rain

Mom B's 96 birthday with Eddie 010It started out as a short morning walk down the green belt near my house. I didn’t know deep conviction was going to rain on my heart before I got home. I walk on this green belt several times a week and usually speak to the neighbors I pass. Sometimes it is a simple hello to a runner and sometimes I stop to admire an adorable child or a cute puppy. I might warn those I pass if I see a snake on the trail. That day I saw a rabbit and told the person behind me to look for it. I like to start a conversation if I am not in hurry.

At the end of the tree-lined trail I could see the black western sky. It reminded me of the color of the sky in Memphis the day the so-called Hurricane Elvis came out of nowhere. Even the local news stations missed the warnings. It tore a path of trees and power lines down the center of Memphis and many homes were without electricity for weeks. The wind was so strong the window panes in our house rattled. No one should be out in that kind of weather, so I warned the  people I passed on my way back home.

As I rounded the corner and passed the little playground by the lake, a guilt storm hit me. I find it so easy to tell others to look for a cute rabbit or a half-hidden deer, but not so easy to tell them to look for Jesus. I find it so easy to warn them about a coming storm, but not so easy to tell them accepting Jesus protects from the storms ahead. These thoughts convicted me, but I still fall back into old habits. I need to form new habits of sharing the good news every chance I get.

How about you? What convicts you?

Mom B's 96 birthday with Eddie 006

Christmas All Year Long

Every year we take time out from our busy schedules to celebrate Christmas. We decorate our homes, eat, wrap presents, eat, party, eat, open presents, and eat. At least that is true for those of us who are blessed enough to have a home and food. What if we kept that Christmas attitude all year? The first thing you might say is, “We would be a fatter nation than we already are!” That may be true, but if our hearts are in the right place food will no longer be the driving force in our lives. Why do we place so much value on Christmas? It use to be because God sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins, but that gets little press these days. Children are taught to believe in Santa Claus while ignoring the real meaning of the holiday, the birth of the Son of God. God said there has to be payment for sin, but there was no one sinless who could pay for our sins. The Bible says there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood, so God, His Spirit in human form, had to pay for our sins on the cross. Do you want to accept the most precious gift ever given? Ask God to forgive you for your sinful life. Believe that Jesus died for your sins, and pray and ask God to be your Father. You will be His beloved child and He will be your loving Father. Then you can celebrate the joy of Christmas all year.

Don’t Be Sour, Seek

Have you given that heavy back pack of anger to the Lord? That is essential for spiritual healing. It is not a one time event. You must keep giving your anger to Him in order to stay free. Under that anger, you will find hurts that you remember, maybe from yesterday, maybe from childhood. When those old hurts are struck by new events, anger arises. If you were an abused child, please find a reputable Christian counselor. Don’t try to heal alone. The next step is to find the source of your pain. Sit quietly in prayer, feel the pain, don’t try to push it down. Follow it to a memory that feels the same way. Again, if it abuse, see a counselor. If it’s not abuse, try to remember what you were thinking in the moment of the past hurt. What misconception about yourself or the world is still keeping you in bondage? Ask the Lord to show you the truth. Listen in your spirit. Is there a thought that is new, one that didn’t seem to come from your own mind? One that agrees with scripture? That is a truth that can heal. If not, then stay in your quiet place and take out your Bible. Ask God to show you what He wants you to know. Trust Him.
Deuteronomy 4:29
“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Give God the Backpack

Are you feeling heavy? Leftover anger is exhausting, like a backpack full of books you have to carry around all day. Because it steals emotional energy that could be used more effectively another way, it handicaps you in your life. “Oh, but you don’t know what they did to me,” you say. No, but no matter what they did, your anger still doesn’t hurt them. Your behavior might, but not your anger. It, meaning they, still controls you and they are going on with their life. “I want to forgive, but I just can’t,” you say. That may be true, but with God’s help, you can. I believe that Jesus’ sweat became great drops of blood as he felt the burden of all the sins of the world in the Garden of Gethsemane –  and He forgave. Luke 22:44. If He was willing to do that for you, don’t you believe He can help you forgive if you ask? After all, Psalm 18:47a says, “It is God who avenges me.”  He can take care of that better than we can. Try this prayer out loud: “Lord, (Say name of person who hurt you) hurt me by (Name the hurtful event). I want to forgive, but I can’t do it by myself. Please take this anger from me. I give it to you freely. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Now, let Him lift the anger from you. He will take it, but you must let it go. He will not take it against your will.

The First Step to Spiritual Healing

There is a stench in your refrigerator and you want to get rid of it, but there is a problem. The refrigerator door is closed. As long as the door is closed, you can’t get the remove the spoiled turkey. You don’t smell it, so you can pretend it isn’t there. That is just like anger. Anger is a secondary emotion that keeps us from looking deeper to find the lie that is causing the problem. As long as the anger is there, we can keep the door closed on the real problem and pretend it doesn’t exist. It keeps us trapped and controlled by the person we perceive to have caused our anger. That person isn’t hurt by the anger, we are. Our behavior may hurt the person, but not our angry emotion. If we take that one step further, we find that it leads to a more serious problem: it gives control to Satan. The Bible is clear about this:
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, not give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27

The Journey to Truth

Have you ever opened the refrigerator door and found a disgusting smell? Then you searched through everything until you found a small container of chicken or broccoli hiding way in the back. Until you clean it out, you will be overcome by the stench. Life can be like that, too. As children we see the world through literal glasses. When a child hears the classic Christian song, Gladly the Cross I’d Bear, he or she pictures Gladly, the cross-eyed bear. We tend to interpret present events in light of past experiences, even from early childhood, the time in our lives when we were developing our core beliefs. Some have a pleasant aroma, but some are nauseous. Too often the facts don’t change these sometimes stinking beliefs, because they are not only in the mind, they are also in the spirit.

 In Ephesians 4:23-24 NKJ, the Bible says, “and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, … that you may put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Verse 25 demonstrates the importance of truth: “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth to his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.”