How Covenants work

Throughout the history of man there have been covenants. Covenants have been made between individuals as well as nations. They are made for many reasons. Some are mutual protection or commerce or just to keep the peace. They can be as simple as a wall or as complicated as a garrison of troops. Because of the hostility of man and the uncertainty of life, covenants like NATO were established. Usually there is a stronger member of the covenant. This will guarantee the protection and commerce needed to survive. And if you break the covenant there are consequences. Sometimes it is catastrophic for the small member. When a covenants was made in ancient times, there was always the shedding of blood to seal the deal. Animals were sacrificed as part of the agreement, signifying what will happen to the person who breaks the covenant. Also to make the bond stronger between the 2 parties. Most people don’t understand what happens when they break a covenant. Divorce is the breaking of a covenant. And the consequences to the 2 parties are real and lasting. God made a covenant with man and sealed the deal with the blood of Jesus Christ. Anyone can enter into the covenant. God has opened it up to everyone. Again those that break the covenant with God the consequence is death. But God has made a way back into His good graces by asking for forgiveness. Man is the only one that God gives a second chance too. As it says in the bible in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV). Because of this we have a chance to not only survive but prosper in the covenant of God.

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Changing Values

I was over at my brother’s house last night. It was a birthday party for a friend. My wife couldn’t go so I went alone. It is always interesting to go to my brother’s house for an event. We gather for football games, birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and any social event we deem fun. Last night was typical as any event I have gone to. Most of the people there know I am a conservative Christian. But that doesn’t stop anyone from speaking out on most any topic. We are the most diverse group of people you would ever want to meet. The spectrum is from conservative to liberal. We like each other and respect each other’s view. But that doesn’t mean we won’t discuss a hotly contested topic with passion. But we will walk away being friends. They are very sweet people and care deeply about the world around us. But they are still a crazy group of men and women. There is every age there. But I have noticed how people’s values have changed over the years. Due to circumstances and other disasters in their lives. It has forged certain ideas. I don’t agree with them all, but some have merit. I love my brother and sister-in-law and want to be with them. No matter how crazy their ideas get.

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Seize the Day!

A famous quote from a very popular story, Peter Pan, written by the Baron James Barrie in 1904. It is a fantasy about what children dream of. It shows how that dream can be turned into reality. It can happen if you believe. Isn’t it funny that a children’s story can effect so many people for so long. The story is as popular today as it was a 100 years ago. It is popular because it touches a nerve in us. We can see ourselves in that story. And see how we believed as children and saw the many possibilities that exist in the world for us. So what happened? What has changed in your life? Why don’t you believe anymore? The opportunities are still there. We still can go out and make those dreams a reality. I see it over and over again. How reality beats people down and they forget about the dream. To obtain greatness doesn’t take a great person. It takes an ordinary person who believes that they can obtain a goal. All those people who are successful in whatever they do, started out just as an ordinary person with a dream. And they turned their dream into a reality with hard work and persistence because they believed in what they were doing. Each of our lives are meant to succeed and fulfill the plan that God gave us. Yes sometimes you have to walk through the valley of death, but if you believe God will see you through. So what is stopping you from obtaining that dream of yours? As Peter Pan said, Seize the Day!

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Jackass or Prophet

Which is which? Balaam was a prophet of God in the Old Testament about the time that Moses came through the Middle East. Everyone knew who he was. Whenever someone needed help they would go to Balaam to ask God. He was a rich man, but God provided Balaam all of his needs. Moses and the children of Israel were passing Moab to reach the Promised Land. The king of Moab was Balak. He was afraid that Israel would turn and destroy them like Egypt. The funny thing was that Moab and Israel were brothers. The Moabites were the children of Esau. Balak offered Balaam riches to curse Israel to defeat them in battle. Balaam agreed and went. But when he spoke he blessed them instead of cursed. Balak was angry with Balaam, but he couldn’t do anything else. He spoke the word of God. Balak offered him more money to curse Israel. Balaam head was turned by money. He got on his jackass and went to curse them. On the way, the jackass saw the angel of God waited to kill Balaam. The jackass ran off the road and fell down. Then Balaam began to beat the jackass. Until the animal spoke to Balaam. He told him on the angel sent to kill him because God wouldn’t let him curse Israel. Balaam came to himself and turned around. What does this have to do with anything? I have known many Christians that have become jackasses. And many jackasses that have become Christians. The jackass became what God wanted him to be. And Balaam became a jackass, leaving his position with God and going to the world. I am speaking to brothers and sisters. Which are you? What have you become because the world is calling to you? Are you a jackass or Christian?

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The Need for Hero’s

Mankind has always been needy. Man isn’t completely whole. There are needs that must be satisfied. The 3-basic need of food, clothing and shelter are just the beginning. Man strives to fulfill these needs by going to school to either learn a trade or college degree. Then it is off to work to earn money to fulfill the basic needs. it is unfortunate that so many people focus on money rather than being satisfied. Their life becomes lopsided. They miss out on the relationship needed to satisfy our souls. Yes, there are other needs besides money, food, clothing and shelter. Everyone has a need to love and to be loved, companionship. Just look at the divorce rate and the small percentage of marriages. People are living together. So, if it doesn’t work out, they can split up without divorce proceedings. It is a vicious cycle that doesn’t improve. There is a definite reason why mankind is so needy. It is so simple that people reject it. God put the neediness in us. So, we could find God. There isn’t one person on this earth that can say they don’t know about God. And they will be judged accordingly. All you have to do is to turn toward God and ask.

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Coffee

Coffee was invented to replace tea. The British Empire had a monopoly on tea. Although, coffee has been around since the 10th century in the Middle East. The British went with tea instead of coffee. The Dutch brought coffee to New World. After, the British began to heavily tax tea in the colonies, the Americans rebelled with the Boston Tea Party. Then coffee became the America drink. It is not surprising that Coffee houses became the hub for news of the rebellion. You can make coffee out of coffee beans or chicory nuts. In New Orleans at a famous beignet restaurant, they only serve coffee with chicory. Louisiana coffee is famous all over the world. As we say, it is so strong, it can stain your cup. With our French heritage, we serve expresso coffee in a demitasse cup. My mother and grandmother would make in a porcelain pot, 3 cups of drip coffee with 2 scoops of dark roast coffee. If they ran out, they made more. This was a sign of hospitality. They developed strong bonds of friendship this way. As the bible says, if you want friends, then show yourself friendly.

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Frustration

It’s the hardest thing in your life. It not only stops us from moving forward, but it weakens our resolve. Our resolve is what we believe and trust. It is the guiding principal in our lives. I am not saying that all frustration is bad. There are times in our lives when we need it to make a course correction. So, our lives will come into focus more clearly. When I lost my house in the flood of 2016, this was a course correction. That correction took 6 months to happen. I awoke to a new world and direction. All this navigating was directed by God. People don’t believe the God would flood people out to get their attention. Clearly, they haven’t read the bible. There have been wars, floods, famines, captivities and every disaster known to man to get man’s attention. In recent years, since 2000, there have been multiple disasters every year, until and including today. The wise people will turn and face God and ask Him what He wants us to do. For in His forgiveness is life and security for the future. It’s time to turn.

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Snapshots

Since we pulled everything out of my flooded house. We put everything we saved into plastics totes. I have been going through these totes one by one. I have found things that make no sense. But we kept it anyway. One particular tote had pictures. Some of these pictures are over a 100 years old. I have a snapshot of my great, great grandfather and his family. He came to this country in 1855. My family is as diverse as America. They came to America at different times and from different nations. But you know what is strange is that they were all headed in the same direction. They were headed to the same destiny. And the snapshot of their lives are basically the same. They came with their families and worked hard at providing an opportunity for themselves and their families. They spoke different languages but understood each other. Because they believe that coming here was the right decision. Most of them came with no money. All they had was what they could carry. But it didn’t stop them from coming. What are your grandchildren going to see when they look at snapshots of your life? Will your life have value for them? Or will they say how sad their life was. It is all in the believing. People came to this country for freedom to live their lives, raise their children and worship as they pleased. What do you believe?

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Patience

Patience or the lack there of has been one of my biggest downfalls. I like most people want instant gratification. My mind is quick and can move at the speed of light. But it has always been getting my body and everyone else to move at that speed. I had to overcome this short fall in my life. Not all things come as quick as I wanted. It became frustrating. Learning how to be patient isn’t fun. It is a royal pain in the rear. But God knew what I needed to overcome. I was part of a small church. The pastor and I are best friends. It was a good experience for me. I thoroughly enjoyed working in that little church. There was a young woman who became part of our congregation. She was from the south and another state. It seems that she took a dislike to me from the beginning. Every time that she came into the church, she would walk up to me and insulted me. I just tried to ignore her, but that didn’t last for long. She wouldn’t stop. This kept up for a good while and I became angry. I wanted to throttle her. One day as I was praying about the situation, I was pointing my finger toward her. God stopped me and said look at your hand. He asked how many fingers were pointing back at me. I said 4. He said to me that the problem wasn’t the young woman. It was me. I was the one who was angry. I went to this person and asking her to forgive me for being angry at her. And guess what, she did and became a real blessing to me. Oh, by the way, she never stopped insulting me.

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Dispassionate

How far will you go not to feel heartache? Will you lose your humanity not to feel pain? Did you know that heartache is a physical as well as a spiritual pain? I have seen people do so many thing to avoid the reality of heartache. The most common pursuits are drugs, alcohol and sex. People are dehumanizing themselves thinking they are coping with their problems. It has always been easier to run from a problem than to face it. Of course this creates its own set of problems to deal with. Thus compounding the situation until it crushes the individual. So what do you do? How do you overcome the situation? Being dispassionate is clearly not the road to take. Yes I speak from experience. I have walk these roads before and found nothing but pain on them. I wanted to be free to love and to be loved. So I turned myself around to face the pain. I had help all along the way. I couldn’t have made it unless I had the help. First thing I had to do was to face that I had fallen short and had come to the end of myself. You have heard the expression that confession is good for the soul. This is a confession to you. But the confession that I had to make was to my Father who created me. He has always loved me and wanted me to come home to Him. As He has said in the bible in, 1 John 1:8-9 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (KJV).  This is the road where we will receive the help we need to love again.

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