How Far is Far?

The shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line. Mathematically it is correct, but not always in life. You have heard the sayings, I take 1 step forward and 2 steps behind. It seems that harder the task the behinder I get. It took me 2 years to research a book. The next one took me 5 years. And that’s not the longest. I took 25 years to research my best one. It sometimes get frustrating when I don’t receive the reward up front. But I know that the reward isn’t always measured in monetary gains. I am a distance runner. I am in for the long haul. I like to run also. When I began running, most people would double over in pain after a mile. I developed a resistance to pain. I wouldn’t even be breathing hard. I enjoyed running. No one could catch me. So I ask you the question again, How far is far? I was watching a movie where children were walking across a wilderness to reach to other side. They commented how far it was. And the people responded and said, what did you expect, it is the world. Do you ever think you will reach the other side? Where will your travels take you? Some people end up across the street from where they started. Some end up across the world. To get to the other side of where you are going is always a journey. I like to do that in a hurry. But it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes I receive my reward instantly. Sometimes I receive my reward after 25 years. But I always know that I will not stop until I get to the other side, come hell or high water. So how far is your far?

What Do You Want?

Some people search all their lives and never find what they are looking for. Some people don’t know what they are looking for. You can see the most obvious ones. They look like they are in a fog all the time, clueless. You would be surprised how many people actually are clueless. They walk around with the latest gadgets. They are up to date on the latest fads. They wear the coolest clothes. Some even make good money. But they couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag. It is sad, because they don’t want to hear anything to help them or change their lives. Things don’t make the man. It is who you are that really counts. You have known people that knew who they are and are wonderful people. But they were older clothes, out of fashion. Don’t care for the latest styles. And they are genuinely happy and content. It always amazed me when I met them. Many times I was jealous of them. But I wasn’t going to change even if it killed me. And it nearly did. No one wants to admit that they don’t know. But it is actually the first step. You have to come to yourself and understand that you need help. Seeking the truth is the way to begin. There is an old joke that is very true. Here it is, there was a man caught in a flood. He went up on his roof to wait for help. A guy in a rowboat comes by and offers help. The man says no thanks I’m waiting for God to rescue me. 2 other people come by and the man says the same thing. Finally the flood kills him. He wakes in heaven and asked God why He didn’t rescue him. God says I sent 3 people to rescue you. How many people is it going to take before you accept God’s help?

What God Wanted

In the beginning, God was. God decided to share all that He had. So He made mankind and a planet to live on. God gave everything to man. Adam could control the weather and the animals. Food just grew abundantly. Adam didn’t have to work to eat. God gave Adam a companion, Eve. So he wouldn’t be lonely. They were the image and likeness of God. They had a free will. God wanted them to live forever. But Adam and Eve sinned with their free will. God had no choice, but to remove them from the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve lost all the power’s they had. Adam had to farm the earth to grow food. But God promised them a redeemer. Man had other ideas. If God hadn’t intervened man would have destroyed the earth and killed himself. God has always had a people. Those who have believed God. Finally He made a covenant with Abraham. And Abraham’s descendants didn’t follow God. Finally God sent His son. And He was killed by man. But now God’s redeemer had paid the price for man to come back to God. And man can’t destroy that. What God has always wanted was to share His life with man. Man chose a different path, but God has always had a people. And for those peoples sake, he hasn’t burned the earth down. But there is coming a day when God will burn the earth down and destroy everything. I don’t know the time or place but as the bible says, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

What Jesus Wanted

God made a covenant with Abraham. Abraham’s part in this covenant was sacrifice his son Isaac to God. Abraham knew he had to believe that God was going to take care of the only son that God gave him. This was the test of Abraham’s faith. Abraham built an altar, tied his son and put him on the altar. He raised the dagger to kill his son, when God called out. He stopped Abraham from killing his son. By faith, Abraham was justified before God. Now it was God’s turn. Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit. He was born free from sin. He was and is the Lamb of God sacrificed for our sins. Jesus grew up in a normal home with a mom and dad. Went to school like the rest of us. He grew into a man knowing who He was and what God required of Him. Jesus had friends and family. He enjoyed life on this earth. When it came time for His death, He prayed not to die. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus sweat blood praying not to die. But He knew why He was here and what God wanted. God gave Jesus a choice. But Jesus knew what His father wanted. So at the end of each prayer, He said, not My will but Yours be done. The bible says that on the cross His image was more marred than anyone. Jesus didn’t look like a human being. He was beaten to pieces. But Jesus went to the cross with joy to fulfill the covenant that God made with Abraham, mankind.

What I Wanted

As I looked around at my life and saw things happening to me, I wondered how I survived. Sometimes I felt so lost and that I was drowning. Then I won a victory and I was back on top of the world. I understood how vulnerable I was in this world. I tried for a long time to do everything by myself. I became so angry and bitter about the loss in my life. God was trying all along to bring me into His family but I resisted. I was looking for someone to love me for who I was. But I was so angry no one wanted to be near me. It was a vicious circle. Until one day 2 men invited me to join in on their business. We would met at a local cafeteria for coffee. Before we would started discussing business, they would talk to each other about what Jesus was doing in their lives. They weren’t preaching at me. They were preaching for me. It took 3 months for me to catch on. But when I did, I wanted what they had. They showed how real God was and that He loved me. And I found someone to love me just as I was. Jesus accepted me just as I was. He began to show me His world and the kingdom of God. All the things that were wrong with me began to fall away. I became a son of God. The bible says, “but as many as receive Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” John 1:12 KJV.

Not of Ourselves

What is it that we have that makes us believe that we did it ourselves? I always heard what “I” have accomplished. It seems that “I” always gets in the way. Pride is important to your self-worth. But remember that pride goes before a fall. The bible says that great is the fall from pride. We have to temper our ego to be effective. I worked for a Christian radio station and interviewed many Christian leaders across the country. You know what attracted me to them the most, was their humility. They were easy to talk to. They were normal people who had achieved prominence in the Christian community. They had kept their prospective on life. This quality had endeared them to people around them. And that is why the people around them chose them to lead. There are people that achieve greatness in this life. Some think that they did it by themselves. That is the kind of people you steer clear of. We are a community of social beings. We depend on each other for our needs. God made us that way for a special reason. So we would communicate with each other. Communicating not only our interest, but compassion and help. This is how God shows everyone who He is and what He is willing to do for us. God made us in His image and likeness. It is not what you look like on the outside. It is who you are inside. You may not think that you are worth much, but as they say God doesn’t make junk. When each person is born, they are perfect in the eyes of God. What each person learns is up to the people who raised them and themselves. Each person has the opportunity to learn of God. Then they will know who they are and what their purpose is on this earth. As the bible says, it is not of ourselves, but it is the gift of God.

Winning the Battle

How many people have waged a battle against whatever? Everyone has waged a degree of war against an enemy. I ran track in high school. I had to run for endurance. I practiced daily until one day I ran the hundred yard dash in 10 seconds. I also was in the choir. We practiced every day to train my voice. There were many battles that I fought. When it came time for to serve in the military, it was no stretch of the imagination. I had been fighting battles all my life. But now the battles were serious because I was putting my life on the line. I have fought many enemies but my driving force was always to win. Until I came to God the battles were minor. As I learned of God, I became aware of how serious His battles are. They were always for someone life. I can’t tell you that I have won every battle. But I have won the majority. The cost is too high to do otherwise. It has taking a toll on me. I won’t tell you differently. I have trained as a soldier and have offensive weapons. These weapons are mighty and very powerful. I have prayed for hurricanes that were headed to my home on the Gulf Coast. They ended up in the deserts of Texas. I have prayed for electrical storms that never hit anything. But the biggest battle was against death itself. The battle lasted for 7 hours and the man lived. But the goal was always winning the battle. It took time and effort to get me to that place. I has been worth the effort to see God’s will come to pass. Anyone who is willing to put time and effort into developing their effectiveness in the plan of God should do so. I don’t know how long this world will last. But at the rate it is going, it is no hold barred.

What is Faith in God?

Has anyone seen faith? Can you feel it or taste it? Can you place it in your hands? Is it tangible? You know it is funny but the answer to all the questions is yes. How can all these questions be answered with yes? Just like time has substance so does faith. I have seen faith working in people’s lives. Faith is the substance of things not seen and the evidence of things hoped for. Now that is a direct quote from the bible. The bible has many stories of people changing circumstances by faith. Not only circumstances but winning battles, healing people or delivering a nation from captivity. How do you get this faith? It is the gift of God. For God has given the measure of faith to every man. And even if your faith is small, it still can move mountains. Did you know that faith and unbelief are different sides of the same coin? You can use faith for good or you can use it for bad. It is up to you what you do. Of course God wants us to use faith in His cause. Did you know it is the only power the devil doesn’t have? He has to go to man to get the power of faith. This is why God discourages us from giving in to the devil. We become his servant when we do. Faith is a tool that God gives to us. We have to use it to become proficient. How many times have you hit your finger with a hammer? And of course the greatest reason to have and use faith is that we are justified before God by faith. This is the only way into heaven. There is no other way. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. Now you have seen faith at work.

The Promised Land

For almost 4 centuries, people have poured into this country. With what they could carry on their backs. Most people today don’t even know what their names were. Many died on the voyage over here. Many died of trying to find land for themselves. They struggled to make a living in this new land. It was a land they called the Promised Land. They saw hope for a good life. They wanted a chance to live a better life for themselves and their family. They were willing to risk their lives to make it happen. That attitude built this country. It has always been one of self-sacrifice and hard work. People from every corner of the world came to this country to find a dream. That is why they call this country a melting pot. For good or bad we have become Americans. A people with our own language and customs. There was another group of people who struggled in the same way to become a nation. They left a country that had literally enslaved them. They were 2 million strong when they began to walk across a desert to the Promised Land. It took them over 40 years to make that journey. And all the people that started never saw the land. Their children entered into the land by the grace of God. Finally they came and crossed the River Jordan and entered the Promised Land. But their struggle was just as hard as the people who came to this country. The only things worthwhile are those that you struggle for. My family has been here in America for 9 generations. They never gave up hope in the end result. They knew that God was in control. And He was directing their steps into His paths. For without hope you are truly lost.

We Three Kings

When Jesus was born, there was in the night sky a star. It wasn’t a star particularly. It was an alignment of planets. Scientists today have studied the alignment and have said it was the moon, Saturn and Jupiter. The scientists of Jesus’ time also studied the alignment and determined that there was something great about to happen. The three men or kings from the east where Parthians or Persians. They had studied the night sky for years. It was their scientific study. They knew that the star was aligning over Israel. It took them months to reach Jerusalem at the right time. How they knew that a king was being born no one knows. When they reached Jerusalem, they went to see King Herod. He knew nothing about the star or the new king. They asked the religious scholars to read from the ancient text, the bible, to tell them where to go. Herod pretended to be interested to find out where this new king was. He intended to kill this person. Herod instructed the three kings to tell him where the new king was when they found him. The three kings knew that Herod was lying. They went to Bethlehem and found Jesus and His parents. They gave Him gold, frankincense and myrrh. The English translation of the Hebrew text called the three kings wise men. They were intellectuals of the day. But what they found was more precious than gold. God warned them not to go back to Herod. They took another way home. When Herod found out, he was enraged. He sent an army to Bethlehem. He had all the children up to 2 years old killed. Joseph warned by God, took his family and went to Egypt until Herod died. Thank God, He intervenes in the affairs of man.