What does it take?

What does it take to do the will of God? How much does it cost? These are questions asked by most everyone concerning being a Christian. Before I came to the Lord, I had questions I wanted answered. There were so many conflicting stories out there. It’s funny, because most of the people I asked really didn’t know God. And in this case, ignorance isn’t bliss. I had a strong desire in my heart and it kept prodding me on. I had to know what it meant to be a Christian. I looked at the barely committed to the fanatical Christians. Then I looked at those who made a pretense of being Christian. I knew that I didn’t want to be half-hearted about anything. If I couldn’t give myself 100%, I wouldn’t do it. People would say how violent Christianity is. Just look at all the wars, over the last 1000 years that Christians have waged. But that isn’t Christianity. Christianity is a belief system. There are rules and regulations that you must follow to be called a Christian. The name Christian refers to gentiles. The Jews are called believers. This is a more appropriate name for the followers of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. My concept of God came from the world and was skewed. The world doesn’t know God at all. When I decided to trust God, my opinion changed. It was like day and night. I saw a loving Father, who wants the best for His children. There is no parent that doesn’t set boundaries for their children to keep them safe. As a parent, I helped them to make the right decisions. As they grew older, I gave them leeway to make their own decisions. But I always left a door open for them to talk to me about problems, mistakes they made. God gave us a free will to choose our life. And He always has a door open to talk to Him. Do you know the name of that door? Jesus is that door.

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God’s Providence 2

I have seen people pray and think that God didn’t answer them. I have never seen God not answer a just prayer. God may not tell you the answer but one will come. When I was younger, I had a roommate 1 summer. He kept asking God for answers and he said he hadn’t received any. That summer he was inspired to write 25 songs. He was a musician. Take a wild guess where the answers were to his prayers. This is the 3rd story about God’s providence. This story is from the 1970s and 1980s. This story is about a young black man born in poverty. He went to a public school and excelled in basketball. His mother was raising him alone. She prayed that the inner city wouldn’t take her son away. The city was going to move the family into the projects. She knew that her son would have no chance to survive. She went to mayor of her city and asked if she and her family could stay out of the projects. The mayor knew who the young man was and agreed. Not only did he agree, he help this young man to get into a private high school. The only problem was this young man’s education was poor. He had to build his vocabulary. He had to learn 5 new words every day for a year just to catch up. He did. In his junior year, he led his high school team to the state championship. In college, he did the same. He was drafted into the NBA in 1981. He was the #2 pick in the draft. He went on played in the NBA. And final ended up coaching. Of course I am talking about Isiah Thomas. Without his mother’s prayers and God providing for his family, you would have never known about him. God takes what you have and uses it to provide for you and your family. It doesn’t matter what we think, God is always there and working in our behalf. It is part of God’s inheritance for His children.

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God’s Providence

There are 3 stories about God’s providence I want to tell. I don’t know if I can tell them all in one blog, but I’ll try. They are all true stories. My first story happened about happened about 2800 years ago. One of the preachers in the school of the Prophets suddenly died. He left a wife and 2 sons and vast amount of debt. The creditors weren’t going to take his house, they were going to take his sons as bondsmen. Literally they would be slaves unto the debt was paid. His widow went to the head of the school, who at that time was the prophet Elisha. She asked Elisha for God’s help in this situation. Elisha asked her what she had left in the house. She said all they had left was a pot of oil. It was about 1 or 2 gallons of oil. Elisha told her to go to her neighbors and borrow pots. As many as she could get into her house. Then he said, shut the door with your 2 sons and pour the oil into the pots. She did exactly as Elisha said. She filled all the pots she had. When there was no more pots the oil stopped flowing. Elisha said sell the oil and pay the debt and the rest you can live on. And so she did. God took what she had and used it to provide for her and her sons. My next story happened in the 1950’s. This was a very similar story. A young woman lost her husband. She had three young children at home. Her husband was the bread winner. She was a housewife. After the funeral was over and the family had gone home, she didn’t know what to do. She was praying, asking God for help. Every time that friend or family would come over to see about her, she would bake a pie for them to eat. She was a very good cook and her pies were delicious. Friends and family started asking her to bake pies for them. They paid her for the pies. At first it was just to help out financially. But the volume of sales of the pies began to increase. Until it became a business. God had answered her prayers. God took what she had and used it to provide for her and her family. I’ll tell the 3rd story next time.

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The Uncertainty Principle

It is a theory in quantum mechanics that states if you observe anything, it will change the variables of the observed object. Thus changing the end results of the observed. It’s a theory that kind of loops in on itself. It is also about the uncertainty of people. There are so many variables that affect our lives. Some of these variables are simple and some difficult. It is certain that we are changing every day and every minute. We don’t know what the end result will be even if we observe the changing effect. A meteor about a foot width hit the earth and created Crater Lake. A grain of sand in space can hit an asteroid and move it out of it orbit. Let alone the Wall Street stock market falls and all hell breaks loose. Or our country loses industries because they are going to overseas locations. And 13 million people are out of work. There are 35% of the American population on welfare. 53% of Americans are working and paying taxes. The American population has declined in the past 60 years by 20%. There are 76 million people who are baby boomers. These are people born between 1946 and 1964. They will all reach retirement age in 14 years. This is the majority of American people in the US. This is the uncertainty principle. What will happen to America? When the majority of people working retire from working and paying taxes. Economic collapse comes to mind. The Federal Government is spending money like there is no tomorrow. Guess what if they continue there is no tomorrow. It is time for a revolution in this country and I am afraid it is going to be violent. I personally think that the uncertainty principle needs to be applied to all elected officials everywhere, local, state and national. What are you going to do to change this world today?

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Cooking

My wife says I need to write about something uplifting. I can’t of anything more uplifting than eating, on a physical plane. When Adam and Eve had to leave the garden of Eden, they had to grow their own food to survive. In the garden, everything was provided for. Food grew on its own. All they had to do was pick it or pluck off a tree to eat. Now, we have to work or grow our own food. And then prepare it like we want. My mother would cook for my dad. He only liked meat and potatoes. As I was growing up, the same old food got very boring and I hate pimiento and cheese sandwiches. So, I began to watch cooking shows on TV. I began to try new recipes. Surprisingly, they came out well. So much so, that my mother, a school teacher, asked me to begin cooking the evening meal. At first, my dad objected to it. But if he didn’t know that I cooked the meal, he liked it. Finally, we told him that I was cooking and he accepted it. I have learned so much about cooking from those shows, that my wife, when we were first married, asked me to cook for us. Don’t say anything, but at her first try at cooking, she burnt water. Over the years, she has learned how to cook. There are certain dishes that she fixes, that the boys love. I am more into baking now. I love making cookies, pies, jams and jellies. Also, I like to make cheesecake. But think if we were still in the garden of Eden, how simple it would be to eat and live. So, God has made a way for us to go back. Not into the garden of Eden, but into heaven itself. And all we have to do is to ask Him and God will respond.

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Husbands and Wives

The Word of God has a lot to say about husbands and wives. It was the first covenant that God made with man (husbands and wives). God said that a husband was to leave his family and be joined to his wife. God was using the husband-wife relationship to show what it is like between God and man. God knew the difficulties in forging a relationship between a man and a woman. They became the two halves of one person. Where each isn’t complete without the other. They aren’t two individuals anymore. They are one person in the marriage relationship. God asked, would you hurt yourself or take care of your own body? A husband and wife are one body. As a husband, I like to quote the scripture from Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Then in the same breath He says, husbands love your wives as Christ loves the church. Then turns around and says, wives reverence your husbands. Then when children come along, it is a game changer. God has a lot to say on raising children. But that isn’t the point of this blog. The relationship between husband and wife is sacred before God. And He put a warning in there saying, let no man divide this asunder. In today’s world, where good is considered evil and evil is considered good, people are doing just that. God is against divorce and has a few choice words for those who do. He condemns it. There is nothing that God can’t do. Including, fixing a marriage. If the husband and wife will seek Him, God will heal any wounded heart. You must first come to yourself and understand the need. Then God can fix your broken heart.

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Lying

You have all heard the old adage: O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we try to deceive. Unfortunately, lying has become the tool of the day. We use lies to get what we want. This is called selfishness. People just don’t understand how much damage lies can do. Again, telling the truth requires a certain amount of trust in your life. Being able to tell the truth, requires courage on our part. I have had confidences used as a bat against me. But I couldn’t let that stop me. It hurt like hell and I can still feel the string. But as the bible says to combat heresy, tell the truth. Most people think that lies aren’t a very big sin. Fortunately, that isn’t the truth. God equates lying with murder. The reason being when you lie, you become the servant of the devil. Who is known as the father of all lies. So, a little white lie is a battering ram for the devil. For those who have been called out of this world’s darkness, there is no reason to go back and serve the devil in darkness. For those who don’t know the truth, Jesus, God is calling everyone home. God said if you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. So, we must make the first step toward God. Then God will swing into action and deliver us from darkness. Lying is serious business. As the bible says, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Meaning, lying will kill you, both physically and spiritually. All you have to do is turn toward Him and ask.

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The Song of all Songs

There are many romance novels that are read by lonely hearts looking for that connection. People want to make a connection with people to feel whole again. Some look their whole life and never find it. Some find the love they need immediately. I had a father, mother, aunts, uncles, grandparents and brothers. Yet I didn’t find that connection my heart was looking for. My heart was always heavy. I knew that there was a person out there for me. I just had to find that person. I dated all through college. There was one young women that I wanted to make my wife. But my stupidity got in the way. So I carried around a pain in my heart that never seemed to go away. One summer a friend ask my brother and I to join their business. I agreed and began going to a business meeting each morning at this friend’s business. Each morning this friend and an associate would talk about the strangest subject, Jesus. They would talk about how He helped them solve problems. They would talk about how real He was. After 3 months they asked me if I wanted to meet Jesus. I said yes. The day that I met Jesus, I knew that this was the person I had been looking for all of my life. As I began to read the bible, I wanted to find out who this person was and why He loved me. As I read I came to a book in the Old Testament, The Song of Songs. I began reading and discover it was a book about the intimate relationship between a man and a woman. I couldn’t believe God had put this love story in the middle of the bible. He put the book in for a very important reason, to show how much He loves us. And to what extent God will go to bring us home. I found the person that loves me for me. Have you found that person yet?

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The Root of Bitterness

It says in the bible in Hebrews12:14-15 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many are defiled.”

With the rood of bitterness, the issue is about trust and pain. How much trust do you have and pain can you endure? With friends and extended family who betray your trust, you kind of expect it. They are human and not perfect. But then, it is about issue of pain and how much you can take. When it is someone closer, it is even harder. I never have backed down from a challenge. I am ready to march through hell, if necessary. But the issue is trust. Can you trust the person, you are going through hell for? Pain can change your heart. Sorrow is a difficult burden. You will want to get rid of it as fast as you can. In the bible Jesus talks about this very thing. In Matthew 11:29-30 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Even if you dig yourself into a hole, God can get you out. It is all about trust.

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In One Mind and One Accord

The people of Ancient Babylon spoke one language. It was the language of the world. Everyone spoke the same language. The King of Babylon was a powerful man because of the people he ruled. The Babylonian people were very smart and figured out how to build a beautiful city, the hanging gardens of Babylon, in the middle of the desert. They were a very advanced civilization. They were so smart they figured out that they didn’t need God at all. So they began to build a tower high enough that the king could shoot an arrow at God and tell Him that they didn’t need Him. God looked at the Babylonians and said nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined God scrambled their languages so that they couldn’t understand each other. In 1775, 77 men and boys formed their militia on the green at Lexington. 400 British Regulars marched into town. They ordered the militia to go home. But they wouldn’t. No one knows who fired the first shot. But when the shooting started, 7 militiamen fell died. The rest ran for cover. The call went out to the Massachusetts’ militia. The British had about 1500 troops and were marching on Concord. 3900 Massachusetts’ militia came out to face the British. They fought the British Indian style and chased them back to Boston. The British causalities were over 200 men. When all the British troops reached Boston, the militia surrounded the city with bonfires. It was known that the British General Gates told his subordinate that they were defeated by an idea. Being in one mind and one accord was how the American people became a nation. God was not against us being in one mind and one accord. He was against people using it to fight God. Today people need to be in one mind and one accord. It is the only way we as a people will solve the problems facing us with God’s help.

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