Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This is one of my favorite interactions in the bible with Jesus. It shows how merciful our Lord is and how important it is to forgive not only ourselves, but others. But this isn't about forgiving other people entirely. Although it is very important that we not hold anything against another person, unless we want God to do the same for us...I get more excited about the Father's forgiveness.

''The Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. For this reason, the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king whoe wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he has begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, hi lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.' "And the lord of that slave felt compassin and released him and forgave the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and begun to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' "But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?' "And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the tortureres until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."' Matthew 18:21-35.

The Father will forgive us EVERY TIME we come to him and beg for mercy! Do you realize how amazing that is? I know people "know" this, but do they KNOW this? If something you've done is so terrible that no one could possibly forgive you, even yourself, the Lord is WAITING to forgive you! That's as true as what Jesus was telling Peter. The Lord WAITS for us to come to Him and ask for forgiveness, He doesn't just give it to us. We don't have to pay for His forgiveness, all we have to do is call Him Lord and love Him. Jesus paid for the Lord's forgiveness when He died at Calvary's cross...and He paid for our communication with God when He rose from the dead.

We have to forgive others for our OWN salvation. If you don't want the Lord to hold your sin against you, you CAN NOT hold someone else's sin against them. People are as imperfect as you are to Christ. Just as we hurt the Father, people hurt us and we hurt people. It's not about what you did to hurt the person, but what THEY did to forgive you. And what YOU DO to forgive yourself. And what you ASK God to forgive you for. Crazy things happen in life and bad decisions are made DAILY! But the BEST decision you can make, is to give it over to the Lord, ask for forgiveness and GIVE forgiveness.

In a way, we all control our "destiny." Not like we decide the ultimate course, but we decide if we are a FORGIVEN people or a UNFORGIVEN people. You are completely forgiven as soon as you have forgiven completely. So stop holding out on your forgiveness because you won't forgive someone else. Your grudge will NEVER be worth your salvation! And your conscience will never be lifted if you NEVER ask the Lord to help you. With God, comes freedom! Without God, brings slavery.

Hope this blesses someone! :o)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

We Are The Prodigal Son

"And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' "But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they begun to celebrate. (Luke 15:21-24)

This story of the prodigal son is amazing, and it pertains to every one of us. We are this son. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory. I know I've gone on my own path, believing I knew what was right and what was wrong. But even my moral compass isn't enough truth. The Lord wants us all to come to Him. He's not keeping a tally of all the sin we commit. He's waiting for us to come alive, AGAIN. We need to be redeemed. The son in Luke believed that he could get a job as a slave for his father, and be able to earn food and shelter. The son was sleeping with the pigs and had nowhere to go. When he came to his father, he had no idea his father would bless him with a celebration and give him the rights to his wealth, AGAIN. The father redeemed his son.

God is the same. We are ALL His children and He loves us all EQUALLY. He wants to redeem us, put fine robes on us, and give us His best...but we have to first seek Him. We have to come to Him. The prodigal son's father thought his son was dead. He didn't know any better. All he knows is his son squandered the wealth, and left; never to hear from his son again. And then his son came to him, and the father redeemed him. I know the Lord is omniscient. But, we still have FREE WILL. Although the Lord knows you aren't physically dead, to Him, you're spiritually dead. And He CAN NOT save you. Because we HAVE to come to Him. He is more than willing to receive us and give us His best, but we have to come to Him to be received. To be RE-born, we have to first be found. And to be found, we cannot be lost. And to not be lost, we have to find our Owner. And to find our Owner, we have to believe Christ bought us with His blood and obedience. And when we believe that, we are not only found. We are redeemed.

"But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.' "And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found." (Luke 15:28-32)

This is a problem that us believers face. We are like the prodigal son's brother sometimes. We tend to hold ourselves in favor when we do what the Lord asks us to do. We think that because we have done His commands, we are to be held at a higher blessing. But this is simply not true. The older brother was jealous that his father gave the younger son the fattened calf, his best, and celebrated his return. All his older brother could see was an outcast from the family, coming back from squandering all the wealth he took from his father. But that's not what OUR Father sees. He sees His son coming back to Him, and He's ready to bless him.

As followers of Christ, we cannot condem the sinners. We cannot get upset when someone that has led a sinful life, comes to the Lord, and recieves blessings. We cannot be upset when a sinner comes to the Lord, and is favored and loved equally to us. Why? Because like the father of the prodigal son said, we ALREADY have the blessings. When the Lord rejoices for the return of His lost sheep, we are not to be jealous, but to rejoice with Him. Everything the Lord has, is ours. And everytime someone NEW comes into the Kingdom, they have just as much right to His blessings as we do. Whether we have been saved for 20 years or 20 minutes, we are all redeemed and we all have the same right to the Lord's blessings.

There are no better than the lost sheep that has yet to find the Lord. We have nothing to boast about. It isn't how long we go without sinning that saves us, but the grace we receive after we sin. It's hard to accept sometimes, the fact that we cannot earn our way into heaven. The world we live in has accustomed us to working for what we have. But God is not the world. He is God. And we must accept that the ONLY reason we are saved, is because He let Christ become our sin so we could be forgiven. We are redeemed and we are forgiven. We are not perfect, and we have no works good enough for the Lord to save us accordingly.

Love the lost and the found equally. Because when the lost are found, you will be at their celebration! Be blessed! :o)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Investing In the Future

So much has been on my mind lately...and I've listened to many great sermons, and some good sermons. Something that really sticks out to me, especially in down times with our economy, is investments. On occasion, there is nothing better we can do with our earned money or given money, but invest. Which investments do we choose? Which stock? Which company? When searching for the greatest option, we look at production. It is wise to invest in a company that has a record of good production, positive increase in wealth, and a good return on investment. Right? Any half-intelligent person would look for success before investing into that company.

What about loans? I know being the lender is a different position than being a borrower. If you were the lender, what would you look for in a borrower? If I were to lend money that I earned to someone, I would make sure they are credible. I would want either a personal relationship with that person to where paying me back is something that is understood. If I owned a business that offered loans, I would do things much different. Such things would be, demand a record of payments the borrower has made within several past years. Check the credit report. And a number of other things I would check to make sure I wouldn't be lending money to someone that couldn't afford to pay me back or that wouldn't pay me back in general.

Well, this is all very obvious statements that anybody would agree with. So, why do we have faith in the opposite? In the world, the afore mentioned budgeting schema is not only accepted but expected. But in our faith with the non-visible realm, we not only accept different but expect different too. What do I mean? Well, God gives everyone talents. Matthew 25:14-30. Jesus uses the parable of the master and his 3 slaves. The master gives one slave 5 talents (which in these times meant currency), to another he gave 2 talents, and to the last he gave 1. The slave with 5 talents made 5 more, the slave with 2 made 2 more and the slave with 1 made no more. The slave with 1 instead buried the talent in order to escape the risk of losing the talent and upon his own 'priniciple' saying "Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground." (Matt 25:24-25). This is especially important. Jesus used this parable to explain how His Father works.

God gives everyone talent (in this meaning I mean actual talent, not currency). With our talent, we earn currency. Athletes that harvest their talent get a free college education and some even use that talent to earn money after college. Shrewd businessmen use their talent to get ahead, and make wise choices. Intelligent peoples strive for excellence and climb the economical ladder. And so on and so forth. But it's not what you do with your talent that I am addressing, but what you do not do with your talent. The Lord will NEVER give you anything you cannot handle. Everyone has a different talent. If we all had the same talent, we would never experience growth because we would only be a nation that is great at 1 talent. (ESPN would be out of a job).

For those peoples that have yet to harvest their talent, or complain of having too little currency, I ask you this: What are you doing with what you have already been given? If God gives you $100 and you squander it, why would He entrust you with more? If you are given money and never give back any money, why would God bless you with more money? If a promotion is what you are in search for, what makes you deserving? Don't you think if God was receiving a portion of you earnings, He would bless you with more knowing you will GIVE Him more?

This brings me back to the investment. God will invest in those who will give Him a return on HIS investment. When you want a 'loan,' the Lender wants to see a record of payment. Are you giving what is not yours? I know we are used to earning money and saying "this is my money, I'll spend it how I please." But, you forget, God GAVE you talents. And He WANTS to be given a return on His investment. Yes, you are a shrewd businessman. But, no one can be more shrewd than the ORIGINAL Businessman.

Are you taking what you have been given and using it on yourself for your own benefit? Not giving God what is His is the same as burying it in the earth. I mean, when you die, you cannot take what you've gained here on earth with you. So yes, ultimately, you are burying your talents. On the other hand, if you are a good investment, will you not receive a promotion? If you give the lender their money back, plus interest, will they not lend you MORE? "For everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he has shall be taken away." (Matt 25:29).

If you are waiting on God to bless you before you give Him what is rightfully His, than you will not see a promotion. Because He needs to see a positive payment history in order to make a WISE BUSINESS DECISION. Do not make a bargain with God that you have yet to prove you can accomplish. If you aren't willing to lend your money to someone based on their word alone, don't expect God to be so foolish.

GIVE and you will be GIVEN MORE! And this isn't just monetary. Give your time, talent, money, attention, etc. Whatever you have, you are meant to share.


Monday, February 14, 2011

To Some People, You Will Be the Only Bible They Read...

This morning on the way to work, I heard this statement: "To some people you will be the only bible they read." And it really stayed with me. And it's very true. Christ said we are to make disciples of all nations. The only way we can do that, is to first fascinate the non-believers into wanting to know more about us. As followers of Christ, we should look so different that people ask us why we are the way we are. One thing I'm learning, is to be an example of Christ in times of adversity. It's easy to preach the Gospel when everything is going your way. But the moment things happen differently than expected, can people see Christ in you? Are we still praising the Lord when He hasn't given us the blessings we've prayed for?

If you are the only bible to some people, you can only save them if they want to read it after reading you. To know the love of the Lord without opening the bible, now that is a task worth searching for! If we can show non-believers the love we receive from the Lord every day...they will eventually be curious. And that's all we can hope for. We cannot change people; we are not God. But, we can plant seeds and pray that the Lord waters them. Pray that the Lord calls them to Him and that they follow. On the contrary, if we are the only bible some will read...what about the people who have no interest in the bible?

If someone can watch you, even when you are unaware, and learn to not need God or love Him or be curious about Him...then you aren't following Christ. Christ had people leaving everything they knew just to follow Him and see what He does. I'm not saying you should have a Twitter following that beats Justin Beiber...but you should have people that watch you. And when they do, what are they seeing? Are they seeing care? Generosity? Love? Integrity? If people aren't drawn to you, then you aren't spreading the love of the Lord. Because people are drawn to good, regardless of their personal state. People are drawn to kindness. Either because they want to be around the kindness and love or they don't understand it and want to study it to ridicule it. That's why what we do when we know people are watching is just as important when we don't know if they are watching.

Perfect example. My niece. She is almost 2 years of age, and she does the most peculiar things. And I always ask, where did she get this from? Surely she didn't manifest these things on her own. She's brilliant, but some things have to be learned. Monkey see, monkey do. And it is so true. She wears heels around the house because she sees her mother and I wearing them. She does things she sees people do, especially when they are unaware. We cannot be good examples of God's love when we want to, and then slack when our friends aren't around. It's not the people we already know that's the most important...it's the people we haven't met yet. It's the people we haven't influenced that matter the most with what we say and do. Because that's the difference between future friends and possible fellowship and lost non-believers.

So if there is anything we should keep on our mind it is...are you a true rendition of the bible displaying God's love and grace? Or are you portraying the bible that every unsaved "Christian" displays that says..."do what you want. God is not to be feared. Don't take Him serious, because I don't."

Happy Valentines Day to everyone! It is a nice day to share love with friends and family! :o)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Humbleness: State of being unimportant

Finishing up 1 Kings, the story of Ahab is very prominent. This man wanted a vineyard near his castle and the owner would not sell it to him. So, he whined about it and his wife, Jezebel had him killed. She had two guys lie about his loyalty and he was hung. Ahab knew of this, and took the now occupied vineyard. 'There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.' 1 Kings 25-26.

After hearing what the Lord thought of Ahab, he humbled himself. A king, with many riches, wore a sackcloth, fasted, and walked around meekly. He was submissive to the Lord and everyone around him. To show no signs of wealth and walk around like a homeless man where all can see...that is humbleness. Instead of showing everyone how important the king was, as he did always before, he now made everyone more important than him. He fasted...meaning he wouldn't even eat.

The purpose of the message today, what it meant to me, is that no matter how much evil you do in the eyes of the Lord...all He wants to see is that we submit to Him. The Lord is a forgiving God...even in the Old Testament He forgave people. 'Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: "Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son." 1 Kings 28-29.

Granted, his son will reap what his fathered sewed, but the Lord always brings His people back to Him. It's not that the Lord cursed Ahab's son...Ahab's son already worshiped false gods...and so the Lord took out His anger on the son, because his father humbled himself. The son never humbled himself. The point is, we ALWAYS have a chance to humble ourselves. I'm not saying we need to walk around with a sign on our front telling people of all the sins we have committed. Mainly because there aren't signs big enough and words small enough to fit on our bodies that would reveal all the truth.

We all sin and we have all disobeyed the Lord. But we don't have to keep falling and keep disappointing Him. He doesn't want us to work our way into His grace. We could NEVER earn our way into heaven. It's impossible. For every good thing we do, we do three more bad things. Whether it be through thoughts or words, we cannot escape imperfection. And that's fine. Because of Jesus Christ, we don't have to live the perfect life and die the perfect death. He's done that FOR US, so we can live with Christ here on earth. The Holy Spirit is here with us! And it's FREE! All we have to do is, SUBMIT.

How do we submit and humble ourselves? We have to admit that our lives are not as important as God. Our life plan is unimportant if God isn't directing it. We have to admit and believe that we cannot earn God's love. We don't deserve it. How could we earn something we cannot work for? If something is GIVEN to us, then we cannot work for it. Christ did the hard work for us. Let's humble ourselves, and thank Christ, instead of listing all the good things we do, thinking it will get us into heaven.

As a believer and follower of Christ, we do good works because that's what we saw our Father doing. 'Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the son also does.' John 5:19. Meaning, it is our right as children of God to do good works. But this does not EARN His love. We cannot earn the love of our earthly fathers, and they are imperfect. So why do we believe we can earn the love of our PERFECT Heavenly Father? Is the Creator not greater than the created? We have grace by loving and submitting to Christ!

So, all we have to do is humble ourselves. It doesn't matter if we do more than others or make more than others...because only the world evaluates success by what we have or do. The Lord is not binded to the world's standards. He is His own law...and His law states that we are saved by the confession of faith that Jesus is Lord and by submitting ourselves to Him. Thank God. Because if I had to work for the love of Christ and for my place in His eternal presence...I'd always come up short!

I love you for believing this! Because that means you aren't afraid to admit you're human and you aren't working for something that is given to you! :o) Be blessed!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Widow At the Well

So...I was reading 1 Kings this morning, and I got to the chapter about Elijah running off into the woods away from Israel. God told him to find a woman at the well and ask her for food and water. The woman was a widow and had a small boy. She told Elijah that she was taking the last of the oil and flour to eat and then die. Elijah told her to first feed him, then herself and her boy and that they will have enough food and water to last the drought. You see, Elijah told the Israelites that there would be a drought because they were worshiping false gods. Anyway, the woman did as Elijah said and they went through the whole drought with bread and water.

The point I'm getting at about this great story is...can we claim to have as much faith as the widow? If a prophet came to us and said to trust in God...give him the last of our food and water...and that we will not run out...would we rely on our faith and help him? Or would we rely on the world, and just eat what's left and die?

The bible says we must walk by faith and not by sight. The woman saw the last portion of bread and water to be consumed by herself and her dying son. She saw a drought. And she saw a beggar, worse off than herself, asking to be served before she and her son had been served. What her faith saw was a prophet sent from God, speaking God's will, and being rescued from death. The Lord doesn't just rescue us from death by feeding us and quench our thirst. The Lord rescues us, now, by sending His only Son to die for us so that we may be saved. Just like the widow at the well, we have to follow by faith and not by sight. It would be easy for her to see that the drought has been on going and that she hasn't the supplies to make it past this last meal. It would be justifiable for her to tell Elijah she doesn't have anything to give. Because she would be right in saying she has nothing EXTRA to give.

But the Lord doesn't want EXTRA. He isn't asking for you to give Him what you have left. He's asking you to give Him what you have NOW. Don't give Him the lame offering that you yourself wouldn't keep. Give Him your prized cattle. Give Him your LAST OIL AND FLOUR. Give Him your LAST DRINK OF WATER. The beggar woman who gave Jesus an offering equal to our penny, was praised more than any man who gave Jesus riches. Because, the rich man still is rich after giving Jesus riches. But the beggar woman gave Jesus ALL SHE HAD. It's not about how much you give. It's about how much you DON'T have left after you give that shows your faith in God.

I'm not saying sell everything and live in a box. Although, Christ did ask the rich man to sell all his belongings and follow Him. Not because the Lord doesn't want you to have riches, but because the man worshiped his riches SO MUCH, he walked away depressed that he couldn't keep his wealth. JESUS CHRIST asked this man to walk with Him and HE WAS DEPRESSED? His avarice nature made him feel as though he were missing out to follow Christ LITERALLY. The point of this blog, is to say this:

We must have the faith of the widow at the well. We must trust in God so much, that we give our LAST BIT to Him, knowing that He will give us His everything. God asks for SO LITTLE in exchange for ETERNAL LIFE. We cannot hold on to our flesh, our possessions, and our life here on earth in spite of what God has in store for us. If the Lord asks you for your last dollar, it is only because He will give you an unlimited supply of dollars in return. If you don't believe that, ask the widow at the well. Sure, she didn't give Elijah a dollar. She gave him bread and water. But, the dollar wouldn't feed Elijah or her and her son and keep them alive. Instead, the Lord gave her and her son an unlimited supply of bread and water to tide her and her son through the drought. The Israelites had money and that didn't give them water.

Don't pray for money and a job when there is a drought taking place. Don't pray for a new house and a new car when there is no rain for months. If you cannot eat and you cannot drink, then what good are material things? Don't pray for what you WANT, but trust in God for what you NEED!

Be blessed! :o)


Monday, January 24, 2011

The Game of Life

I decided to attach a post I've already written that is just as true today as it was then. It's crazy how alone we all are in this world. I can't imagine living in this world without God in my heart, in my ear and on my mind. There is no person in this world that will love you no matter what you do and that will support you no matter how low or high you get. It just isn't human to have love with no limits. We tell ourselves we're capable of loving beyond all circumstances...but that only remains true if we aren't tested. It's easy to say you're the best if you never compete...you don't get defeated. Here's my analogy on life...

Ok. So I was at the gym earlier today, and got into an interesting conversation with a few people. It was about their life, their workouts, eating habits, and randomly found myself going into a tangent. I was at first talking about the video game Mario Kart. You remember that game? Where you can choose a myriad of characters, each having their own special "power" or ability. And I found myself relating this game to life in general. Think about it, when you're racing, you can cross the squares on the ground and activate an ability. And when you're in last place, what are you most likely going to get? LIGHTNING! Yeah, you get the ability to make EVERYONE shrink, UNLESS they already activated their star, which is an immunity to everything, even the annoying grass and mud. So, along with that, you get the star, and you get mushrooms and a red turtle shell that will FOLLOW the person in front of you until it hits them or dies because you aimed towards a wall. Now that we got that covered, when you're in first, you get a green shell or a banana. The banana is cool I guess, but the green shell almost always hits YOU instead of anyone else, and you can't make it follow anyone like the red shell does. I went into detail, because that is a lot like life. When you're behind, everyone's there gasing you up, on your side and your friend. But when you're in first, i.e. where you want to be in your life, they hate. In my experience, people who are intimidated by me because of ex-boyfriends or because of my fitness level...have said numerous things. The funniest being I take steroids or other androgenic aids. This is hilarious, because any knowledgable person knows what a person on steroids looks and sounds like, and there's no way I could be doing such a drug. I've only tried taking NO Explode, and it made me explode all right. Explode in bloating and cramps and other uncomfortable things. Other than that, I don't even take caffine. But of course, people who see the end result hate on you. What they don't see is I'm in the gym 6/7 days a week for over an hour busting my butt, increasing the intensity, and decreasing the periods of rest. I speak on behalf of all my gym-rat family members...WE WORK HARD FOR HOW WE LOOK. Simple as that. Instead of hating, join us. Now...this leads to my next thought. Why do we hate on people? Well...let's first define "hater"- a person who is insecure with themselves, and feels the need to look better in front of others by saying hateful things, or looking better to themselves. So that pretty much explains why people hate. Girls hate on other girls, guys and on other guys, and we sometimes hate on the opposite sex. We've ALL done it. But we can also decide to become more secure in ourselves and stop participating in this game of hate. So let's stop hating on the ex-boyfriend or the ex-girlfriend. Because think about it, if you think she's so ugly or he's so stupid, what does that say about you? Chances are that guy/girl has a type, and you're it and his/her ex was it. You don't have to look alike to be alike. Thank you. And as for the successful athlete or the muscular person in the gym...you don't make it to the top by sitting at home watching others make it to the top. Kobe isn't playing NBA Live 2009 to get his practice in. So if you think someone is better than you or more fit than you...STEP YOUR GAME UP. Because obviously they set the bar, and are doing fine. It's lonely at the top people. And I'm sorry, but you should be in FIRST PLACE in your own life. Stop worrying about what place you are in, in the world. Because there are too many people with too many talents and too much beauty to be so worried about. You can't change how we workout, but you can change how often you workout. Control what's yours, and stop worrying about what's mine. And that goes for everyone. Again, all you first place racers...you won't get the red shell or the lightning or the mushroom. Because when you're in the lead, no one wants to help you. You have to help yourself. Only God is there at the finish line. So keep making those fast turns, avoid the mud, don't take the "short cut" through the grass because it slows you down (and hard workers don't take short cuts), and DEFINITELY watch out for that red turtle shell someone is waiting to unleash on you. And if they hit you, use your now extended array of weapon options, and take the lead back. And if you get hit by your own green shell, be more careful next time, and get back in the lead.