I want to thank my older brother for the outstanding message in today’s blog. In all of my writings, only twice have I found myself in a quandary of perplexing thoughts. Once was an incident which occurred when I arrived home from work and my wife was in a dialog with the “First Lady.” She wanted to speak to me, and for once, I was at a total loss for words. Today is the second time someone dealt me an inspiration where more questions than answers came to mind – so what time is it? We are now in the year 2019 of our Lord, but is this time based on the minute Christ was born?
Non-believers try to address different calendar clocks, but I merely ask as you look at your watches, what timeframe was it before Christ was born? The answer is B.C., which means “Before Christ.” Today, it is A.D. “in the year of our Lord.” So, how in the world can you possibly not believe in God? As explicit as this dating system is to everyone, I’m perplexed because the time on our watches today are based on the original point of origin, or life, created by Christ’s existence. Why are some still doubting there is a God?
Though the B.C./A.D. system was not implemented until many centuries after Jesus’s death, its purpose was to make the life and times of Jesus Christ the dividing point of world history. It is quite ironic… while doing research on the development of our calendars, I found articles with these details from other religious beliefs:
Upon analyzing the statements above, do you see other religions have important events timed on the birth of Christ?? Even scientists, who desperately try to disprove a God, base their findings on the B.C./A.D. system. How can one question our Lord’s supremacy? There is no doubt the birth of a Savior was significant enough to develop it into a time system!
So, the bigger question is, are you now worried about your relationship with the Lord? Maybe some will be! We all need to take a closer look at where we stand with Christ for he is real and alive. Life is ticking down on our watches every single day. He is coming again, whether you choose to believe it, and it will be in His timing – not according to our time schedule!
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God howls calling all His children to come sit and comprehend His words. But, most of the younger generation pays little attention. The innocent become caught up in a triangle of apprehension while trying to cope with the ways of the world. Do they not know the Ten Commandments are a guideline for spiritual development – a oneness in God? This is an age of crime, adultery, hatred, and dishonesty; yet I want to share a positive story about a loved one who, amid his surroundings, God silently spoke to him.
This young man, bless his heart, lived a hard life. He fought his way through the damnation of a city’s streets. Along the road of hard knocks, he trudged a lost path of following the wrong crowd and perhaps engaging in activities less than moral. As a result, many disrespected him along with the family and friends who once comforted him. It’s a sad state of affairs but a prevalent trend for most youngsters today. One day, though, his situation changed in a matter of minutes.
Now married and struggling to support a household, he worked a blue-collar job. He observed stealing and lying by employees in his workplace, and a few even planned to frame him for the theft. Soon God spoke to this young man’s heart. Stealing was not only illegal and a dead-end street, but against the seventh Commandment which addresses honesty and truthfulness.
The changed man, (it is not essential to reveal his name), resolved himself to approach management about the situation. Kids will be kids, but God touched this one. His world made a huge turn after the pivotal moment of telling the truth to his company. It’s been two years since this incident, and with God’s continued blessings, he will continue his course up the corporate ladder!
See, God has a way of creeping into our lives when we least suspect it. He plants seeds in our soul and they whisper messages to our subconscious minds. Oddly enough, I don’t think this child has put two-and-two together yet for he still struggles mentally with past mistakes. Someday, however, he will connect the dots and realize it was God who saved him from an ultimate disaster and even prison.
Today, it is my greatest pleasure to watch this young man blossom into a person with great character, while holding God’s hand. He is one of God’s chosen children, selected to be an example to many others who walk a crooked line looking for their next tragic fix. When faith is lost, so too, are God’s blessings.
How can we turn this around? The first step is to become a believer again by reading the Scriptures and becoming re-familiarized with God’s Word. It requires obedience and repentance through prayer. Absorb the Ten Commandments all over again. Parents must pray for their child to discern God’s voice.
This generation must understand their wicked ways has a ring leader named Satan. They should realize the confusion and feelings of anger stem from Satan’s presence. If only they would listen to their inner voice when they know something doesn’t feel right because it is the Holy Spirit speaking in their ear. God howls to them through the blackness for he hates the evil penetrating their being.
Let us pray today for our younger generations –
The picture above is such an appropriate scene for many of my followers today! I took this snapshot five years ago (sorry, it’s not the best of quality). Complacent as it is though, my thoughts run deeper. I never realized, until this morning, how much it says about life. The heavens were so blue and tranquil. Yet the beauty of the landscape hid a time when my spirit was riddled with frustration and hope. In all the luster and calmness of the frozen and packed ice, I traveled the road with determination. Living in a house of selfish people who cared more of fulfilling their own desires, I only had God on my side. He knew the truth of my anointing to be His messenger. I was headed home to a world full of doubts and far from harmonious. Slippery promises of change, like drifts in the snow, laid heavily in my mind.
But, in this photo, there is another obstacle not readily observed by the naked eye – faith. You must succumb to life’s icy patches to make sure you’re qualified for God’s blessings which He has in store for you. I was never really alone on the treacherous road. You see, faith is tested more during times of trials and tribulations. Things may not always appear to be as you wish, but pray for strength and guidance, and God will protect you. Reminiscing those scary road conditions, it’s obvious He watched over me. He made sure nothing obstructed His view of me. Our Father never deserts His children!
I learned many family members doubted me because not one soul witnessed me being touched by God. But I didn’t care who believed or disbelieved me. My decision to be a writer of our Lord’s messages would honor Him. I trusted God implicitly to guide me through my passages of a thousand words, and He has never failed me.
This morning, over breakfast, I told my wife, “Thanks, honey, for believing in me.” She, to this day, has a hard time comprehending she is the first person to believe God touched me. As our miracles continue to mount, there is little doubt. Even the picture above mysteriously appeared while writing this blog – a clear sign He acknowledges this message to you.
It is important to remember this… when life hands you an icy road to drive, don’t stop looking up to the heavens! You may not understand immediately the “why,” but one thing is for sure, God wants to use your hardship to draw you closer to Him. Stay connected in prayer for He is testing your obedience. Our Father will always be with you on those snowy back roads of life!
The giant oaks turned golden in the fall, shading the avenue of homes trimmed of gold. The walkways of washed aggregate and stained concrete floors in the garage smell of money. An oriental rug lies squarely beneath the oil plug of the minister’s Rolls and Bentleys. It’s a lovely life – a weekend cabin in the foothills of the Castiles, a yacht swaying at the dock of their favorite country club. Their lifestyles are of the rich and famous. Do I need to tag them with names for you or the descriptions of these church leaders who appear on TV and radio, bearing witness?
Have you ever tried to contact these evangelists personally even if you are a member of their congregation? Several of these ministers started following my blog last year. I tried to respond to some of their emails, but a computer-generated nonresponse system returned it. One such minister put an email address at the bottom of his correspondence with an enticing note to always feel free to connect with him. Are you kidding me? This is a man who is a public servant of God, and he lies about his contact information on his website and newsletters! It makes me wonder…
I used to collect mail from a rather sizeable religious outfit who films daily television and documentary shows. I’d call it a church, but it was all about money. I never met the soft-spoken old man who read from the pulpit, though he wasn’t there when I entered the building. He hides behind the silver screen while anointing his son to be the Senior Pastor.
Another younger notoriety wears his sacred cross, but is more concerned of the welfare of his structures, which he owns, than of those whose dollars helped to build it. An example of his personal greediness was during a hurricane which hit his area two years ago. Homeless people, seeking comfort from the storm, stood outside in nature’s wrath because he wouldn’t open his church doors. Perhaps he was afraid of damages incurred – a chunk out of his own pocket which might affect the mortgage payment on his $10.5 million home.
I could continue with my tirade, but Christians are smart enough to observe who indeed professes to do the Lord’s work. There was only one minister I knew who was genuine and a spiritual adviser to many Presidents. His money filtered through to the crusades he conducted in 185 countries on six continents. He passed away last year and now works for Christ in a different capacity.
I see the actions of these Bible scholars, who can’t live what they preach in front of millions. Most believers are aware clergy are the amongst the lowest-paid occupations. So, how are they living in mega mansions and in the lap of luxury? Do they ever use their personal income from TV appearances and other sources to give back to their communities? Or is preaching the Word of God just a business designed to make them a millionaire?
As I look down Ego Avenue and observe its evilness, I thank God for my health and my wife who keeps me in check. A simple Christian writer and life, I am blessed by the Holy Spirit, and I have peace in my soul. A few friends asked me if I was afraid of giving out my cell phone number which is written on my business cards. My honest reply was why? I’m no better than the mentoring I try to give to others. I meet many wonderful people from around the world – some famous, but most are common folk. I treat everyone the same. Spiritual leaders should be receptive and have personal contact with believers, especially with individuals they follow on social media.
To those who live on Ego Avenue and read my blogs, are you better than our Lord? After all, Jesus was a dirt poor man, and he was always reachable in desperate times. He laid the foundation for your obligations as a clergy member – to provide spiritual, moral guidance, and assistance to believers. If I’m wrong, then please correct me.
My examples of hypocrites and false witnesses, in the name of our Lord, only touch the surface of the United States. I’m sure dozens more exists in countries worldwide. Some may say security issues are dilemmas facing the famous religious leaders, but I highly doubt this. Too many other upstanding clergy submerge themselves in others’ lives unharmed. I think the root of the problem is simple – the love of money. Perhaps it should be explained as “delivering God’s word in order to become a millionaire.” Call it greed or narcissism; either way, God will place a harsher judgment on them. As someone once said, “Knowledge is a dangerous thing!”
Are there any “amens” to my point of view?
An unknown truck pulled up in front of my home, and I wondered about their intention. A young man stepped out, introduced himself and said, “I’m here to mark the ground for electrical lines, do you mind?” Our conversation quickly moved from generic to personal all in the same sentence. One thing led to another, so I invited him inside to meet my wife. Marking the yard was the least important topic to talk about at that moment. We found significance in our impending dialog because he saw we were new to the area. He knew nothing about me but he still kindly invited us to join him at his church along with his family members.
Our conversation deepened as he told us about his father who spent time in India doing God’s work for seven years. He and my wife swapped mission stories as she, too, served in Africa. You see, when you’re in God’s grace, things just seem to generate for the best. He places people in your path, shining His grace and approval.
I ponder now about Moses in the book of Exodus of the Old Testament. He was an arrogant and stubborn man who murdered another person. He constantly doubted God’s word. Though Moses failed to trust God by not speaking to a rock, the Lord nevertheless guided him. How gracious was this? God’s grace is perpetual, even to the unaware.
Do you know if you’re in God’s grace? I can describe grace, in a biblical sense, as God’s unmerited favor – a blessing we don’t deserve because we are sinners. To be in His grace is a gift.
Like Moses, grace is redemptive. How many of us follow our own path in life, ignoring God’s requests? Do you drink, experiment with drugs, have sexual taboos, gamble, or struggle with eating disorders? Because some choose the wrong path doesn’t mean God isn’t willing to take your hand and lead you to a better way; but you must allow Him to do so. He will do this through His personal love and grace for you. But remember, God’s grace is conditional so we should pray often but also refrain from repeating our immoralities. The Bible contains repeated warnings against using grace as a pass to continue in sin.
If you are in our Lord’s grace, take a sigh of relief for you are right where you should be in His eyes. Realize life is truer than fiction. Just like this young man’s visit to our home, you will feel God’s love showering down on you. We serve an amazing God. Sometimes, standing still is all that is warranted to receive His guiding messages and ultimately His gifts. God is ready to extend His grace to those who are called to follow Him in the name of Jesus.
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I returned from another morning of pedaling mail. The chill in the air reminded me of fall’s arrival. A simmering glare ignited the ominous sky. The rains of yesterday disappeared and a patchy dew laid low to the ground. I think God reveals the loveliness of this season to help us remember life is a beautiful journey.
They predict a perfect weekend, but for now, it’s tranquil. Suddenly, I smelled something cooking. With my wife’s back to me, she was intently preparing a hot meal for her wayward stranger. It was a pile of pancakes waiting to be devoured for breakfast; the eggs and sausage shared a skillet. Breakfast was almost finished, so I hung up my jacket on the hall tree. It’s a pancake kind-a morning!
I fixed a cup of caffeine hoping to stay awake and share my morning with her. God’s got everything under control. Our home became the International House of Prayer; for even though a mess scattered about the kitchen, the fluffiness of God’s love shined ever-present.
Lighting a candle, we thanked God for my morning’s safe journey. It’s a wonderful time to be alive! We’re living the dream, her and I, together once and for all. Against all the odds, we sat at our farmhouse table with God at the head, sharing our morning meal. This is the secret to a happy marriage – He is always between you. He is the butter and flour which raises a perfect round of deliciousness. Just add the syrup and life becomes even sweeter!
Invite the Lord to your next breakfast and listen to His blessings sizzle. You will be amazed at the beauty of your pancakes!
Doing a thoughtful deed for others has such high rewards, but when it happens unexpectedly to yourself, it dramatically changes the credence of kindness. I’ll never forget coming home one day to find a neighbor who lived across the street, mowing my front yard. How do you put a value on their thoughtfulness? The most significant action is the act of giving! It’s the only thing our government hasn’t figured out how to tax either. A simple smile, a ‘hello’ or ‘good morning,’ means so much and it costs so little to deliver to the receiver. It is the sweetness of Christian life – care, love, and consideration.
Thoughtfulness denotes good character and earns respect. God expects us to model His love to others for it shows we have Him living inside us. Giving unconditionally is the value of thoughtfulness, and it becomes a domino effect. It’s the priceless heartfelt feeling when you witness someone smiling over such a little act.
I am blessed to remain in these rejoicing moments. God promises to honor us tenfold when we give to others out of consideration and love for one another. It is my calling, too, to walk blindly into the valleys and spread His good news to the confused. Making others feel like they matter in a sometimes cruel and unrelenting world can be challenging, but the reward is so great. Be not afraid, our gracious God has a gentler side.
The value of thoughtfulness goes a long way in making so many people happy. It restores the faith in humanity. Christians, we have a calling to give with a free spirit. It will shine in heaven’s armor, trust me! Let us follow God’s path.
Recently, on social media, I read a post which sparked many emotions. This man, an apparent atheist, commented, “many founding fathers were atheists. This country was not built on religion”. I am setting out to discredit his ill-fated theory so dust off your history book and bible.
IN THE BEGINNING
Christianity grew out of Judaism and began as a sect in the mid-1st century. It quickly spread throughout Syria, Europe, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, South Caucasus, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Asia. In the 15th-17th centuries, it expanded to the Americas, Oceana, and areas south of the Sahara Desert in Africa. But, its main roots have always been deep seeded as Roman Catholic. Off-shoots include the Catholic religion, Protestantism, the Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodoxy. These deities spread like wildfire with various degrees of resemblance to each other. But regardless of the divisions in religion, they all stay consistent to the same beliefs – Jesus is the Son of God, the savior of humanity whose coming as the Messiah (Christ) was prophesied in the Old Testament, and as described in the Bible. So the world grew based on standard spiritual beliefs.
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
The founding fathers of the United States wrote the Declaration of Independence based on biblical principles. In fact, it was so controversial it could not be read aloud in public schools. Let’s briefly examine some of this document, and it’s coinciding history with the bible.
“Then in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” Declaration of Independence
The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God was the exact expression of God’s will for all of creation in the bible, Romans 1 and 2.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of Independence
God is our Creator and this is found in Isaiah 40:28; 1 Peter 4:19; Genesis 1:1, 27. He is the one who gave mankind all of their rights. Our forefathers believed in the book of Genesis and its underlying ideologies.
God is the giver of liberty:
“Now the LORD is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
God gave to mankind the pursuit of happiness:
“That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil-this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:13
“We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions….” Declaration of Independence
The statement above was taken directly from Judges 11:27. Only God can judge man when in the state of war:
“I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the LORD, the Judge, decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites.” Judges 11:27
“With a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives…” Declaration of Independence
The term ‘divine Providence’ is one of the oldest Christian teachings- it represented the heart of their belief in God; an ever-active, moment-by-moment governor of the universe.
“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Declaration of Independence
God blessed mankind with rights, but governments are “instituted” among men. The Bible makes this distinction:
“When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, “Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us,” Deuteronomy 17:14
In stark contrast to the atheist’s beliefs of our country, the Declaration of Independence reeks with the truths of the Bible. America is facing socialism today because many anti-Christians refuse to believe the underlying nature of the political platform the United States was built on in 1776.
THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
One final little piece of information I think is worth mentioning about the religious background of the United States. Francis J. Bellamy, 1855 – 1931, was a second-generation minister of the Christian Socialist Baptist Church. He penned the original Pledge of Allegiance for America. Though it had minor changes over the years, it remains the same as when Bellamy wrote it in 1892. The most significant change, however, was in our own generation of 1954. In response to communist threats, President Eisenhower urged Congress to include, “one nation under God.” He felt these words would add “spiritual weapons which will forever be our country’s most powerful resource.” Unfortunately, in this country’s diversity, the words are now disputed by those defending the separation of Church and State.
As I am barraged with atheist quotes and antics daily, let me ask everyone to pray for our government and its people who vote these dignitaries into office. Clueless of God’s existence, they play a large part in our country’s fundamental foundation today. Our administration passes new laws absconding God’s laws set forth in the bible, those which built this country into the great nation it is today. Though our founding fathers could not practice religion openly, they were not classified, atheists. Like it or not, they founded this country on Christian values and by the grace of God, it will stay that way.
IT’S ALMOST THAT TIME OF YEAR!
In the quiet, a reverence silently proclaims a mysterious night. The darkness is haunting as the glimmering lightning echoes in the heavens. Every breath you take cuts like a knife. Alone, you contemplate, what if Satan steals your thunder? Does God really hear my thoughts or is Satan interrupting the prayers?? More questions than answers plague your spirit. Your conscience decides it’s time to play games. You wonder if this direction in life is what you want or could there be something better.
You can never predict where, when or how God wants you. There are lessons only God plans and sometimes preparations we make for ourselves are unwarranted. You can’t predict your life, but you can be ready if God wants to anoint you to serve His kingdom here on Earth.
Living in this world is a war zone headed up by Satan. The evil one rages the battlegrounds in our head’s. He’s deceitful and wants to murder us with his lies. Life looks so confusing when God’s gifts are clouded over, doesn’t it? But as the lightning creeps closer, God calls us nearer as Satan is trying to steal your thunder.
You must lie in state and pray. Ask God to receive your spirit and abolish the satanic strongholds that imprison your soul. Allow your emotions to fill with the Holy Spirit. Your harmony will beacon in the still of the dark. God is mankind’s only power, and Satan will run like rain into the storm sewer. Make no place in your heart for filthy water.
The downpour turns to a cymbal-sounding sprinkle. God tames the savageness of Satan once again and reminds him the power of the world is in His hands. You stood firm in faith!
Graciously, we drift off to sleep while something calms our hearts, and the stolen thunder is replaced with peace. God is always with you even if Satan steals your thunder.
In the dawn’s early morn, the pain of yesterday’s yearnings claim a broken spirit’s aches. Our skeletons hang in mirrored closets as we armor ourselves against prosecutions. Oh, the stories our hearts and souls could tell, for no one is beyond reproach. Living in a transparent world, we only share what’s visible to bystanders. Isn’t it a God’s blessing life has no reverse?
It’s the third week of August, and our cooler weather is so out of character for Arkansas. Even a nearby chameleon notices the change. He lays in the flowers changing colors so as not to be seen by enemies. I asked God, “Is he acting or is this his character?” I chuckled at God’s humor. Now, my mind wonders to famous, well-known actors, like the John Wayne’s and Clint Eastwood’s, which we gravitated to in their popular years of movies. Were they acting or were some of the characters they played honestly their personality? Were these stars the same both on and off the silver screen? Did their colors change when they were out of sight?
My thoughts run wild as an acquaintance tells stories, squandering the paths led to by God, of brothers in Christ. I’ve sat amongst those groups of finger pointing who is always asking, what gives you the right. Speaking for myself, I gather much wisdom from the stories of these men who have crosses to bear. The paintings etched in their fragmented soul of the past’s pain, still relay its toll. Respectfully, I pray God, our great Father, will heal the life which destroyed your soul.
There comes a time in life when we seek to find an inkling of a message, perhaps a tiny bit of hopeful inspiration. Some search the stars, some search scripture. There are a few answers, though, so blatant you have to laugh. I look no further than my lovely bride. She searched for thirty-two years to find me again. Pardon the pun, but God only knows why. But my point is some search forever to find what they want in life. In reviewing my past and its missing parts, there are things I wish happened differently, but God had His reasons. He wants us to experience the storms. They strengthen us and draw us closer to Him. Every now and again, messages become billboards, so self-explanatory of His signs. Like this ……
In matters of the world today, the Golden Rule is better pronounced, those with the gold make the rules. It’s sad, but true, and not very Christian-like nor Godly. How did this uniting principle, which Jesus taught on the Sermon of the Mount, evolve from “do to unto others what you would have them do to you” to the least respected and most changed scripture in our sovereign nation?
As day breaks, I meander my way through the carved paths few traveled along the mountainsides. Thousand of years ago, God arrived and planted trees to hold the hillside, and His flowers bloomed adding to the beauty of nature. A river bends through the swaying trees where barren life once existed on earth. Valleys burned from heaven’s thunder as God cleared the land to rebuild the forest. Life is so unrehearsed.
I’m looking forward to attending a fifty-year high school class reunion soon. Together we will gather, once again, from different walks of life. We began as one student body at a tender age and played hard, but eventually, we spread our wings and flew away to a new life. But beyond the aforementioned, my thoughts look forward to the gathering of this event for united we should stand. Thank God for these memorable moments! Our heritage draws us together, forming deep inside, love and pride we can rest on our shoulders.
My thoughts now divert… what if our political force reigned with the same enthusiasm? Imagine the vitality of men and women working together instead of belligerence.
A little boy sat in the corner with his nose against the wall. He never realized how disruptive he was to other students. The class frowned at him, but he still didn’t understand his misbehavior during the lesson. A bell loudly rang, and kids jumped up from their desks to run to the cafeteria. Yet, a little boy deprived of lunch sat in his confusion of tears.
Written by Anne L. Bicks, Editor
It’s a breakdown in communication; a text completely misinterpreted, perhaps to ease a conscience and conform with desires. How many of us spew a bible verse to defend our actions yet we’re not able to tell the rest of the context of His message? Yes, the Bible is so misunderstood by many Christians because it is changed to fit our beliefs instead of allowing it to change us. If we pick and choose single phrases and misinterpret them according to our needs, we reduce the meaning of God’s living word. Maybe it’s time for an “oops” moment – a time for self-reflection. Let’s drop our guard now and examine some of those verses….