"The nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes." ~ Ezekiel 36:23

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jesus is the vine


"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.   Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.   If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.  If you keep My  commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.   These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."   ~  John 15:1-11 (NASB)


Jesus is the vine.  Abiding in Him, staying rooted to Him, allows us to partake of His nourishment, His roots; through His stems we are fed, watered and grow.  So long as we remain grafted into His branches and do not separate ourselves from Him, we are fulfilled and alive; we prosper in Him.

Should we become detached, by choice or circumstance, we are, for that time, no longer fed, no longer nourished and lack the capacity for growth.  Only as his "branch"  are we able to grow real fruit.  Sin separates us from His nourishment; repentance restores.

What is this fruit?   Fruit is fulfilling His purposes, glorifying him, reaching to bring others to Him, participating in growing His kingdom.

How do we remain attached?  Spending time in His Word, prayer, meditation and action feed our roots.

"Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.   But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was."  ~  James 1:21-24

This is real growth, real fruit. 

"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."   ~  Matthew 28:18-20


Sunday, June 22, 2014

"your own wickedness will correct you"



""Your own wickedness will correct you, and your apostasies will reprove you; know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God, and the dread of me is not in you," declares the Lord God of hosts."  ~  Jeremiah 2:19 (NASB)

God points to all of us who have stepped away from His will, engaged in the pursuit of our own means and sought after self rather than seeking his will for us.

In seeking after the lusts of the flesh I have become fat and distracted.  In following pride and arrogance, I have become lonely and bitter.  In pursuing the means of the world, I have become purposeless and unfulfilled.

Lost ground can not be regained, but new ground may be limitlessly plowed.

I praise God for awakening in me a new heart, and a renewed purpose.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

crazy love

  In Francis Chan's book "Crazy Love",  he makes a point about the holiness of God and of the sometimes posture of every day "Christians".
He says, " It's easy to fill ourselves up with other things and then give God whatever is left. Hosea 13:6 says , "When I fed them,  they were satisfied; when they were satisfied they became proud; then they forgot me."
"God gets a scrap or two only because we feel guilty for giving him nothing."
  Francis says, " God is holy.  In heaven exists a being who decides whether or not I take another breath.   This holy God deserves excellence, the very best I have.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

too easily pleased

"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."  ~ C.S. Lewis

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Looking at Abraham and Isaac with a simple faith.

God promised Abraham that Isaac would have children.

Genesis 21:12  And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

God tells Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, in effect, to kill Isaac.

Genesis 22:2  And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

Abraham tells his servants that he and Isaac will return.  He knew that, even though he planned on obeying God, that God would keep his promise (see 21:12 above).

Genesis 22:5  And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

Abraham fully planned on obeying God, trusting God, obeying god.

Genesis 22:10  And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

God redeems his promise.

Genesis 22:11-12  And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.   And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

Genesis 22:16-18  And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Abraham returns to his servants, with Isaac, just as he knew he would.

Genesis 22:19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

God is more interested in our obedience than in our intentions and he rewards the faithful.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Seeking after God?

The Gospel of John is an eyewitness account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.  John wrote this account with a special theme in mind.

" but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name"  ~  John 20:31 NASB

I encourage those who may be seeking after God to start here; read the Gospel of John.  If you don't have a Bible handy, check out BibleGateway.com online or as a phone or tablet app.

May our risen Lord bless your life.

I'd like to hear from you.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Texas A&M Law Professor: Time 'to Repeal and Replace Second Amendment'

"Speaking in a gun violence symposium at University of Connecticut's School of Law, Texas A&M law professor Mary Margaret Penrose said it's time "to repeal and replace [the] Second Amendment.""

I never thought I'd see the day that Texas A&M University, home of the Fighting Texas Aggies and the birthplace of the military careers of thousands of American patriots, would wave a banner of liberalism!

"Penrose said her problems with the Constitution are not limited to the Second Amendment. She "advocates redrafting the entire U.S. Constitution" in her law courses at Texas A&M."


The Holy Spirit removes our blinders ...

Sometimes I get to just look at myself and laugh! I grabbed a new pair of reading glasses off my counter and put them on to do a little reading and was confused that the vision before me was more blurry than without the spectacles.  I pulled them off and put them back on a couple of times with no improvement.

Thinking that the glasses  must have been mislabeled in the store, I put on another pair to check the label on the frame, only then noting that there was a plastic cover on both lenses!  It took one pair of glasses to see the need to remove the cover off the next pair of glasses.

The Holy Spirit works like this in those who have come into a redeemed relationship with our Lord, Jesus.  The Bible shows us that it is only by the Spirit of the Lord, that we are able to discern the deep secrets in His Word.

"So he said, "You have been given knowledge about the secrets of the kingdom of God. But to others they are given in parables, so that 'they might look but not see, and they might listen but not understand.'"    Luke 8:10

"But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"—  these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.   For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.   Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.   And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.   The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned."  1 Corinthians 2:9-14 (ESV)


The Holy Spirit has removed my blinders, and maybe yours as well.  The rest of life is picking up the glasses, putting them on and searching for deeper things.