Monday, December 31, 2012

Psalm 23 Fresh water

Sometimes just a large cold glass of spring water, is what is needed. Isn’t it true when working on a hot summers day. It’s refreshing! “He leads me besides still waters.” Psalm 23:2b. So last week we were in the green pastures, resting. An important part of life. But we need more than just rest, we need water; for refreshment and more. It’s a basic need we have, we can’t live without it. Now for almost all of us we really don’t have a lack of water. But that spiritual water, that flows from Jesus Christ, now here’s where some problem’s begin. As Christians we use phrases like, fill my cup, rain on me, spiritual drought…it’s true; sometimes we don’t feel God’s presence or see Him working in our life. Even when we think we are seeking Him. Have you ever read your bible and nothing, just nothing, empty words? The same with prayer, its like you were speaking… into the wind. Praise, the same emptiness. Remember, that your in the pasture, resting, you look over and there’s the shepherd. You know you can look right past Him and forget how you got there, not recognizing Him and giving credit to _____. Here’s the deal guys we do this unawares, sometimes who knows what happened. And then we go and do our own thing, even trying to find our own drink. You see it is much more than water, it’s spiritual water. A water that brings peace…that leads to eternal life, John4:13-14. Water that surpasses our understanding. The water that comes from Jesus Christ. Now are we being lead? Is it Jesus who is leading you? Isn’t it so easy to do the leading and then there we are, thirsty. So what do we do? Stop and seek Him, seeking to let Him lead us. Take the time to seek Him!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Psalms 23 The lord is My Shepherd

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” The last two weeks did we deal with this truth? Is the Lord your Shepherd? Are you satisfied with his provisions? You see if you are not, the next portion of the psalm will be a little bit of a struggle. You might not be able to realize that the Lord is leading you to a better place, or you may be fighting Him all the way to were He wants to bring you; jumping over to the other path…or even stopping thinking you are fine, happy…where you are now. Let’s be real here, it is not easy to allow Jesus to Shepherd. After all, don’t we have the ability to think for our selves? And sometimes we are too busy and we just go forward, side wards,…with out looking for the Shepherds guidance. But deep down have you and I let Jesus be the Shepherd? If we have, we also can say, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” There are several points in this statement. The first is “green pastures”. Do you believe that the Shepherd knows were the pastures are? Look it’s pastures, more than one. So as we walk here on earth, no matter where we are, what we are going through, there are pastures. Sometimes don’t we feel that they are far and few! If we trust the Shepherd, He will bring us to them and sometime when we turn around we are surprised at how close they may be. Point number 2, “He makes me to lie down”. When you get to the pasture the Lord, makes you to lie down, rest. Did you get that, rest. Oh, how we do need rest; isn’t our modern world busy? You know what’s great about His rest is that it’s in the middle of the pasture, there’s plenty of food….no worries. Even in this busy world we can have rest, knowing that God is still in control. Even when our lives seem to be upside down, we can turn to Jesus and He gives us rest. We can lay down look over, and there He is he, the Good Shepherd. Jesus says in, Matt. 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.” Sometimes when we think of rest, we only think of not having to work hard or no work. An easy life…no problems. You know, we need to find the rest of knowing Jesus. The peace that passes all understanding. It’s hard to rest if you have no inner peace. When you are trying to figure it out, life’s problems, on your own. Also sometimes we can think that being on vacation is a rest, going somewhere…but you know what’s so great about Jesus; He can give you rest while you are in the storm of life. His rest isn’t just a get a way. It’s rest on a daily bases, a peace and joy of being with God almighty, no matter what is going on around you or where you might be; you can find rest in Him.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Psalm 23 two

Have you ever dreamed or thought, if only I had…, if only I was some where…If I had better…? Then we end the dream with how much better we would be…. How many of you are like me and thought about all three of the above? Sometimes even when things are going well, we can find ourselves wanting more or better. Sometimes we look around seeing stuff and others; then start thinking if I had….Isn’t it true of us in varying degrees? The old saying, the pasture seems to be greener on the other side of the fence, fits all to easily. “ The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1. Last week we talked briefly about letting the Lord be the Shepherd of our lives. That a shepherd tends the sheep (flock). That word tends, means a lot more when put into practice. Last week we added guards, guides; now here is some more.. feeds, washes, sheers (clothes), heals (sickness), comforts and seeks. The bible tells us that Jesus is the “Good Shepherd”. He knows how to tend sheep very well, let’s say that He is the best. Also let’s say that He is so good at tending sheep no one else compares. Everyone else who does do some tending goes to Him for help (wisdom). Now here is the problem, we as people have wants; be it big wants or little wants. Let’s face it, sometimes we are not satisfied when our needs are met. O.K. an example, you are going out or invited out and there seems to be not the right type of food there; at that particular time you wanted such and such or you just didn’t care for what was being served. “I shall not want” has to do with things, being content with what has been provided, not to say we can’t pray for needs and wants…its that contentment when God answers, yes, no, or wait. Or when He provides something different. Now one more point, Sometimes as believers we can get frustrated with God. We become disgruntle and start looking for another shepherd, a part time shepherd lets say, to fill our wants and desires. Like the nation of Israel following God in the desert to the promise land and then all of a sudden wanting to go back to Egypt, captivity. Another shepherd; sometime it is us who want to be the shepherd of our lives, we start to take things into our own hand…and forgetting God we go our own way…Oh, that our true want is to want Him, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to be our/my shepherd.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Psalm 23:1

“The Lord is my shepherd,”; last week we talked about who/what do you believe. The Lord, Jehovah, is He the one you believe in? Is He your God? Now all of us need to answer that question. You see this is a statement, “The Lord is my shepherd“, this is what he believes. The psalmist is not wishy washy or maybe he believes, on some days, but on other days not so much. Our God is Lord over every thing, even time…; all the time, so for us we need to recognize this and also recognize the 3 persons of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Then also we can say this, the beginning of Psalm 23, “ The Lord is my shepherd”. Now there is also the word, shepherd, that we need to associate with God in this statement. What is a shepherd? One who takes care of sheep; I just said that off the top of my mind. Not to far off, a shepherd is one who tends sheep. Also has the idea of, guiding and guarding…Before we go too far let’s see the word picture (allegory) that is being revealed. That is that God is a shepherd; which makes us sheep. Now sheep need the shepherd, they are lost without Him. They tend to wander and get in all kinds of predicaments. Isn’t that true of sheep? Isn’t that true of us? So we must recognize in our own lives, deep down, we need the shepherd, we need Jesus Christ. If we really think about it we all know that we can’t do it on our own…but more than that, that people and things can’t take the place of being taken care of (tended) by God, His son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. So again, are you going to let Jesus be the shepherd of you? It is some times easy to say that phrase, but is it your desire, my desire to have the Lord as our Shepherd? In John 10, the parable of the good shepherd, verses 11-14 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me.” He is good!!!

Into Psalm 23

What I would like to do, is to start a new series on Psalm 23. Yes I did some of this a while back but it would be good to go through the whole Psalm. The first would ve an introduction if you will and then we will start the Psalm 23. What do you believe? And with that we can also ask the question, what don’t you believe? Why are those 2 questions so important? Well the first is important as to believing in truth, facts….versus not believing in truth, facts…Or secondly we could believe in things that are not true, facts.. and not to believe in the truth, fact…Sometimes it is very easy to get confused in what we believe and what we don’t believe. Sometimes we believe something, a truth, but in actuality we don’t believe all of what it means…and sometimes we want to mix the truth with non-truth to fit our own desires or reasoning. Sometimes we compromise the truth, to fit in with society…compromise in some areas is not good. In Ex.3:16 “The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob has appeared to me” God tells Moses to say to the elders this; the history of the one true God. It is important that we also believe in the one true God. So often in the Old Testament we see the phrase God of Abraham….This is the God we believe in. Now let’s go forward to the New Testament and also look at the Lord Jesus. In Matt.3:17 “and lo a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” Now we can read a lot more in the Gospels about our Lord. We must remember that He is the Son of God, He is God….and we must never diminish His position of God and the things He said or the things He has done or the things He is going to do. If we look around today we don’t see a lot of idols (statues) around; some but not many. But there are a lot of religions around pulling or trying to pull us into compromising our faith; that is to accept that there are other god’s just like the one true God. Now I’m not talking about being radical…but rather to be on guard, to hold fast to the one true God and His son Jesus Christ. To follow Him and Him alone.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Along the way

As we go through life it is important to learn things, ways... that help us to live life. Last week we talked about, yes and no, how it is important to grasp this concept. For if one has a problem with that one, more than likely they will have trouble with this or these next sections. That would be to follow the rules. When we were young we grew up with rules, for the most part we did not see them written on paper... that we had to sign but more they were general knowledge...things we learned through life, at home, school and ... O.K. let me step back a bit. When we were real little we had to ask for this to do that.... Mom can I ____? Dad can i___? As we get older there became more freedom... Mom I am going... Dad I am doing... more of the sense of communicating of were or what one was doing. Let's call this the high school years. The yes and no's of earlier should have taught us some of the do not do...for later in life. How to act in school, around adults.... Now that we are older how to act at work, how to play, how to be responsible... For the most part when one turned 18 no one gave them a list of rules, or a book of rules that needed to be followed... now I am not talking about getting a bible. You see as we grow up, we all should learn some basic rules or ways of life, along the way. Yes we should learn ways of life from our parents... hopefully. Proverbs 1:8 "Hear, my son, your father's instruction And do not forsake your mother's teaching." Also read Proverbs chapter 4.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Trust


Last week we talked about learning, no. We really only talked about obeying when we are told no. Obeying is only one part of learning no. The other would be to have respect for the one saying no; or even a trust for the one saying no. We use the example of Moses in Ex. 33; What if Moses disobeyed God and took a peek. Let me offer up the three reason's he might have thought of why it would be ok to take a peek. The first would be that rebellious spirit; no one is going to tell me what to do! Did you get that; we want to do what we want...yes it is true think about it. The second would be that you did not respect the person saying, no. It could be for many reasons. For example a dislike or political difference or religious difference or race or place you live or ... Now to the 3rd, the lack of trust. For us this is big. If you take the time to think about it, we are not really trusting people. When we were little we trusted mom and dad.... but as we grew up we saw their weakness, faults... and we started not to trust them like before... Now I know I am not the only one with imperfect parents... or parents that have disappointed... A funny thing happens as one get's older they have a hard time to trust their children to do things...we even have a hard time trusting other people...
In Gen. 3:1-6 We have the account of "the fall of Man". How did that happen? How do we fall in our modern lives? As we look at this passage, the "serpent" goes to Eve; his main objective to have Eve to start to question what God has said. Then to put an idea before her, that God is with holding... if you will, something that she needs...In verse 6 we see that the damage is done, Eve is rationalizing on her own... What has just happened? Satin persuaded Eve not to trust God... You see Moses could have taken a peek but instead he trusted what God said...and stayed in the cleft of the rock. We today need to trust God; to rely on His word the bible. Most important not to read between the lines and add or subtract from God's word; to make it say something or imply something...to fit our situation, thinking... that is what the serpent did to Eve. Fast forward 5 thousand or so years and we see Satan(the serpent) trying to do the same thing. This time He fails, thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ. That would be in Luke 4, known as the temptation of the Son of man. Fast forward another 2 thousand or so years, Satan is still trying to do his work, getting people to not trust God. Are you standing strong against him, like Moses and like our Lord Jesus? Trust God!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No looking


As we go through life there comes points in time that one will learn something that he wished he learned earlier in life. Now some of those things were things that we were made aware of, taught.... but for some reason or another we just didn't get it or we just fought against the principle... Seriously, think about it! Don't we all have things that are just hard for us to learn...or put into practice.... Or things that we heard about and thought "that doesn't apply to me." I will not do that... That is for so and so or for people like... The list goes on and on...
Now before we go too far let me remind us all that we are talking about "good" principles... and that we use the bible, Gods word, as the final test if you will. Now where do we begin. Let us go back to our earliest days. For all of us let's say around or before the year of our 2nd birthday. As a parent have you heard the expression of the "terrible 2's"? So that is where we will begin. Now in those early years one would think that a child so dependent would learn things easily or fast. Well they do. So what is this that some of us or maybe all of us have a problem with? When one says no, it means no, and yes means yes.
Think about it. That more and more that in our society when parents say, no. More and more it seems to mean maybe. Or even that if you do it that no means yes, because you have done it. Now as we go through life this conflict of "no" seems to reek havoc with us. We tend to fight with it and this fight comes unaware, that is that we don't even realize that we have a struggle. That as we get older this struggle affects so much. As I was thinking how to write this devotion let me close with 2 thoughts. The first would be the struggles that I have with this concept of "no" and how inadequate I am to talk about such things. The second was were in God's word did He say, no, or did He imply, no. Some come to mind, what I would like to use is Exod. 33:20 "But you cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live." This is when Moses is on Mount Sinai to get the 10 commandments. So here God says, no; but allows Moses to see His back side. What I would like us all to notice is that when the answer is no, there may be a good reason behind it...or even a protection... Think about it what if Moses took a little peek? No looking...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Marriage to be honored

It's been a few months! But here we go again. Do you all remember our theme? "We are men and we do what men do! So what do we do?" Now we have been talking about honor. Now I would like to address one more topic dealing with honor. Even today I have heard of a situation that warrants this topic. Now this topic will equally address both men and women. I would like to say that this topic was something that needed not be addressed 20-30 years ago but that is not the case. But at the same time it seems that now, it needs to be talked about even more. So what is this last topic dealing with honor? That will be to honor marriage.
That us as men and women will look at the institution of marriage in honor. That we would not be the one to break up a marriage. That as a man you would not get involved with a girl who is married or even with one who is engaged...that also a women would also do the same. It is a shame that you hear of a married man going after another women or a married woman going after another men. It seems to be a common thing. I mentioned that even today, I talked with a man who just got back with his wife; leaving his girl friend.
That even the ones who are married would not give up so easily. Yes I do mean so easily. I was watching a movie the other day, a sci-fi , in the movie there were good aliens that were just like humans...to make this short I will try to quote the line that an older one said to the younger; " We are not like the humans, when we marry it is forever." Now that is the thinking that we all need. How does one fall out of love after one, two, twenty...years? Let's not think that it does not happen. We all need to be working on our marriage all the time... that we will have the resolve to honor marriage. That we would have a resolve to honor our own marriage; to do those things that will make it better and better... For us men to love our wives... to appreciate them.... to do things...Now one more thing, you do not honor marriage when you are living with someone(not married), seeing if you like each other...Marriage is marriage and it is not o.k. to do the things of marriage without being in a marriage; for those things are reserved for marriage. -------Hebrews 13:4 "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled"

Friday, August 10, 2012

The struggle---bible reading

It has been a while since I wrote. If you want to know it has been way to long. Let me fill you all in, and maybe this will encourage you in your walk. Let's all be honest, the Christian walk can get really rough....
So I will say that these events have happened over the last 6 to 12 months. I will not put them in order but will try to put them together in a way that will be helpful. Let me start by saying that the "Stay Strong" ministry has been going on for about 3 to 4 years and like most ministries if not all there is opposition... Yes we all should know that we have an enemy(s), that he is very strong and cunning or better yet let say he is smart. He can use whoever he can; even with them being unaware...Now that in of itself is a hard thing to deal with.
Also during that time sickness came upon me. Let me put it like this I thought I was getting the flu... then I would start feeling better for a few day... then sick then better then sick...then one day the sickness hit me like a ton of bricks I could barely stand...the next day to the doctors...a bad infection where you don't want to have infections...Iv therapy... Can you believe I got a little better but I was still sick. How did the doctor put it, it is very uncommon for someone to have 2 serious problems at once. Well another specialist...and test...
You know when you get older and sickness comes and it is not the common sickness that you had thru the years... and things hurt...that never hurt before... it get's one a thinking. Then when something is found and you here those words, we will send it out to see if it is cancer... Wow, or better yet whoa, hold on what did you say? The feeling... it is hard to describe...the days seem to go by so slowly... Well I don't have cancer... What a relief! But what is with us men? Why are we so hard, so callous, so insensitive...
So during that time pain killers...it is hard to think... it's so hard to read... Let me tell you what happened one day. I was sitting there in my house, just resting...not really doing anything, recoupperating but at this time I was feeling a lot better. A thought came in my mind to read the word, the bible. The bible was there on the table just out of my grasp; I looked at it and looked at it. I just could not pick it up and read it. I would like to say that this was just a 5 minute ordeal but no it was much longer than that and I do mean longer. The whole time the feeling to read the word of God was there, but for me to get up and move that 5 feet was so hard. I was frozen. I just sat there; what a sight that must of been! Let me tell you I enjoy reading God's word. But as I recollect on those weeks it seemed that I was reading less and less without being aware of it. Then bang that day hit! You see it is a slow progression that we all must be aware of; that is we read a little less... pray a little less or quickly... give thanks a little less... forget to ask for forgiveness... then before you know it your thought's are not on God... but more on the world... and yourself... your going your own way...thinking your own way. You see for me I need to read God's word, it is a live, it is fresh, it is food for my soul... It helps through my day... it helps me to focus on God the father, Jesus the son and the Holy Spirit. It helps in prayers... It helps me to draw near to Him. So Let's go back to that struggle. The struggle of reading God's word, yes it is real! Yes, it is one that can be won. Was the struggle one that was in of itself in my own will? Or was the struggle brought on by the evil one? I'm not sure but I do know this; that this struggle and ones like it come. We all need to stand strong in our resolve to follow Jesus and our resolve to draw near to God. James 4:7-8 "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded." You see when we distance our self from God our hands(deeds) start to not be "good"... and our hearts(thinking) starts to be a miss... so let us all read God's word daily.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Honor your wife it's the right thing to do.

Can I be real with you all? Seriously! The next topic of our devotion is a real hard one for me. Let me say not a new topic but a continuance of what we have been talking about. That would be honor. Now, let it be known that I do try in this area, and try hard; but I also find that I tend to get lacks in this area. So where do we start? Let's start with the verse, 1Peter3:7 " Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the women as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life."
Wow! More to do for our wives. Yes, more. If you are like me, I am still figuring out how to love my wife, how to cherish my wife... and when I think that I'm doing well then bang. You see for us we tend to think that when we start doing these good things that we have arrived, if you will. Almost like one plus one equals two thinking. If I do this, this is what should happen... Now let me give us all an example that will help us with loving, honoring our wives. You wife's favorite meal is____. So you desire to learn how to cook that meal, in a gourmet style if you will. Done just right... to perfection. You do it out of love... or you do it to honor her on a special occasion... Well it worked out so well, you decide to do it again and again and again; twice a week, maybe more. Guess what? The impact it once had starts to diminish. It can even get so bad as to having a reverse effect.
The moral to our story is that it is not a one thing(deed) that will equate to filling the requirement of love, honor... That it is the sum of a lot of deeds that will say loudly, love. And not only that that these deeds seem to change, yearly, monthly, weekly and yes even daily. Our verse is about honor, to show honor by doing loving deeds... it is a good way to show honor. I like what it says in our verse, " understanding", to learn what see likes...and needs... Now why do we need to honor her, because she is the weaker vessel. Now we will not try to explain all that or any of what weaker vessel means. All we need to know is that God wants us to honor our wives. And I believe that this honor thing goes hand in hand with love. So us men need to step up more in this honoring thing.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Love the key to honor

Honor it is hard to give! We have been talking about honor and obeying the past few weeks. Have you found it hard to give honor? It is hard to give honor we need to think about it...Now there is a way that makes giving honor a lot easier. That would be with the help of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now let me take a step back. One needs to honor God, the one true God, the God of all creation. The one who created you and me...Why you might ask? Because He deserves it, He is the one who does great things, has a position...Never mind all that He is...Perfect, Powerful...
Now with that we need to honor what He says needs to be honored. That would include His son Jesus Christ. Yes, we need to honor Jesus! If we are to put things in order of positions, that deserve honor, Jesus would be first, for He is first. Until we can give Jesus and God the honor they deserve, giving honor to others will be hard or harder than it needs to be. What I want to do is give us a few verses to help us with this honoring thing. The first would be Rev. 4:11"Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by your will they existed and were created." John 5:23 "that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him." Yes we need to give honor to our God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We sing songs to Him, about Him... giving him honor but there is one important "ingredient" if you will; that will be LOVE. One last verse, John 14:23 "If any one loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him...". You see we obey the commandment because we love the one who gave them, by keeping them we also give honor to the one who gave them. Honor is more than "lip" service; it comes with an action too. That love is the deep, deep part of why we honor...So put love into the equation when you want to show honor, it makes a difference.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Everyone

The last few weeks we looked at obeying and honor. We started with obeying our parents and then moved to honoring people in positions. That will also include honoring our parents too. As mentioned before there is a lot to the word honor, and there are a lot of ways to demonstrate honor. But who are we to honor? Only the ones in positions, parents, the ones who have done something great... Special people! Yes, that is the way we think, believe it or not. Now in the bible there is this verse; 1Peter2:17 "Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."
" Honor all people"; that puts a whole new perspective into our lives. If you are like me it gives me a lot to think about. We are to honor everyone. Doesn't one need to do something to be honored? Seriously, did that question come up in your mind? Yes, everyone deserves honor. Not because they are so and so or did such and such, but because they are a person. Or better yet a person created by the one true God. Now some that we honor are children of God, "believers". We even have a hard time with that. Think about it we have a hard time showing honor.
Like holding a door open for someone...helping one in need, letting another go before you; saying thank you; welcoming each other; being happy for someone; crying with someone; giving to someone...but the most would be in our minds to think, everyone deserves honor. From the "lowly"--to the "highly" and we must be aware not to get caught showing partiality. Everyone deserves honor. Yes, I too need to work on that. James2:1-4 "My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, 'You sit here in a good place', and you say to the poor man, 'You stand over there, or sit down by my foot stool.'"
Let me say it is not only limited to the rich and poor. It reaches over to all aspects of life; race, culture, countries, towns, cities....Showing honor is a hard thing to do. We must begin showing honor more and more to everyone.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Honoring positions

Honor it is hard to give. Think about it, when we do give honor it is only for a moment, a hour, a day, a week...Seriously we tend to give honor for a short period of time. An athlete maybe the best at a certain time but the next year he doesn't perform as good...or didn't win; well he loses all his honor...Think about it, the best of the world come together every four years to compete. The best of the best but if one doesn't win the gold; for the most part he/she is looked down upon...they let us down... and sometimes we tell them, from the stands, how bad they are...sometimes people act like they could do the task...or play better. You know for the most part these people trained, studied...to be where they are. Think about it some of these people are one of the best in the world for what they are doing, and we don't give them honor for the great achievement they have done; even if they never become number one.
In our society we need to honor those who are in a position that deserves honor. Be it a president, vice president, senator, congressmen, mayor, judge, policeman/women, fireman/women and ...Yes, I know there are good ones and bad ones of the above but the fact is that we honor the position that they hold. It is easy to honor someone when they do an outstanding deed... but we also need to honor when they are doing the routine deeds. How about when they are trying hard and it does not work out the way it should have...when things...just seem to go wrong. So we need to honor people in positions be it in government, at work, people doing special things...Yes, we need to give honor. Now let me use one more word that is part of honor, respect. Respect- to consider worthy of high regard. Rom.13:7 "Render to all what is due them: tax to who tax is due, custom to whom custom, fear to whom fear, and honor to whom honor.
Think about it sometimes the ones we honor is not that they did something...but rather that they have a position, a title...that brings honor. At the same time we also must remember the ones who have done something...that deserve honor.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Honor, let's start

Last week we talked about obeying; children obeying their parents... Hopefully as adults we also learned to obey. For if we do not learn, or have a good grip on the obey thing, we will also struggle with the next topic. That would be honor. Honor is more involved than most of us think. So we will take a look at what honor means and how do we apply it in our daily living.
First let's look at one part of the definition of honor: an exalted title or rank. Last week we mentioned that we need to learn to obey; we used as our example obeying our father and mother. But in scripture it also tells us to honor our parents. Deu. 5:16 "Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days will be long , and that it may will go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." What does it mean to honor? That is the question we all need to figure out. It means more than obeying. Even though obeying is still part of the answer.
Before we continue, let us all recognize that there are types of fathers and mothers. Good ones, alright ones, o.k. ones, bad ones, real bad ones, out of the picture ones, ...But let us all remember that just like our fathers and mothers we all are with our short comings in some way. There is also one common thing that we all have; we all have a father and a mother. With that we all need to bestow on them honor. It is not a question of if they deserve it...or if in our eyes they have earned it...They are your parents and with being your parents they deserve honor. It is not a choice, it is a command of God. As in following the obeying thing helps us in our lives so does giving honor to our parents. Oh, but you do not know my father/mother...Yes, I do understand some situations(not all) that it wasn't good. The point is if you are willing to do what is right. To make a difference. How do we honor them? Father's day, Mother's day, birthdays...inviting them to things...now here is the deal, loving them. Yes it is hard for some of us. We are hurt...in all types of ways...but giving honor maybe the beginning of healing....making the difference.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New series

The next topic I would like to talk about is going to take a long time. Yes, maybe even longer than the last; dealing with sin. What is this topic you ask? Well it is best described in a statement...or a title. "We are men and we do what men do; so what are we to do?". Stop and read that over a few times. Did you get questions in your mind of what are we to do? Did you wonder if what you are doing is the right thing/way...to do things? Or did you go right to the things that men do for fun, sports... As you can see it is a big topic! With that let us all understand that we will more than likely only cover some areas of this topic and that even these areas may be covered in a small way. The goal is to help us to act more as real men.
Where do we start? I believe that we need to go all the way back to when we were young. How young? Well let's not get caught up with the age thing, it will be more important now to grasp the principle. The principle will be obedience or to obey. Eph. 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." This principle of obedience will never end for us. So it begins for all of us as children, we are to obey our parents. Some of us did well here, some not so well and some of us started well, then lost ground during the teen years...some who started off not well, turned during those teen years to do well; and believe it or not some just have a hard time for a very long time. But if we look at our lives most of us will probably see an up (obeying) and down (disobeying) imposing thing. Something that our parents used to keep us from...fun. As we get older this obeying thing does not go away. If we take the time to think about it, as adults we have to obey even more. As we get older we need to be more responsible. Have you heard those words before? They are true, the older we get the more choices we have. And with the more things we can do... there seems also to be laws and rules that we need to obey or follow. How are you, how am I with obeying the rules...How are you, how am I with obeying the one true God and His laws..?pattern. We do good then all of a sudden were not doing good, in this obeying thing. Really, it is hard!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Illness

It's been a few weeks since I posted. Well illness came upon me. The past few weeks... the flu has been around. Every so often I thought I had it... but I would get some what better. Then bang! Guess what it was not the flu. So now I am on the road to recovery and will be posting weekly(or some what) again. Hopefully this ministry will be helpful to you all and a blessing. Thanks for being patient, Peter Dee

Friday, February 17, 2012

True friend / true brother

Some things are just hard to do! When we are doing a physical task, it is easier when you have help. When I was in college, we would sometimes form study groups, each of us helping one another to learn...I had a group of friends that we encouraged each other in doing our studies...We kind of help each other along.
Sometimes we need to have friends to help us along. To encourage us to be better, to help us in our time of need...It seems that in our society today most of us men are non dependent or independent. That most men do not have close friends or a friend that they can go to with, let's say, "disappointing news". News that will make one wonder why am I your friend, if you did or do that, or what kind of a man are you?... As men, that thought or feeling is a real stumbling block. Yes it is true, no one wants to be looked down upon...the feeling of shame. Seriously, when one is looking for help...a friend needs to help! When a brother is looking for help, a brother needs to help. We forget what our Lord has said, "He who is without sin cast the first stone." We forget that we to are sinners saved by grace. We forget that there is a battle going on and that the battle is at your friends/brothers front door and he's not doing good, he's getting beat up...He needs help. We forget that just maybe the battle will be at our front door and we will be the one calling for help.
What do we do as friends, prayer, prayer. That would be the first! You notice prayer twice; that is to represent continued prayer... Helping him with the issue, be it taking him to work...to avoid. Helping him to understand the better way...showing him the better way, example. Bible study... It can get pretty deep. But what if it is beyond you? Well there are groups that help with special issues. For example the For men's only group. Dealing with sexual sins...but here is the deal brothers are you willing to take a brother there, to go with him...People may see! People may hear! That you are there. You see that is the biggest problem, that others see...and other_______________. They do not see the good picture.; that a brother or even sister is going to be healed! It's a good thing.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Trusting to pray

Now sin has a desire for us, it is powerful and it is used powerfully by the evil one. You may ask, is he still talking about how to deal with sin? Yes we are. Let us never forget that this battle will last a life time. Now we have been talking about the tough sins, hard sins, the sins that plague us. You know the sin that we just have a hard time to let go of. You tried all the ways...mentioned...and it still is plaguing you. Sometimes you lose hope, what can I do now...
Well there is still another principle for us to grasp to help us deal with sin. James 5:16 "Therefore, confess your sins one to another and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." Now let me go back a few verses and say this, "there are here in James 5 two more principles/ways to help us to deal with sins." The first is to go to the Elders for prayer, which we see in verses 14-15. I know it is dealing with sickness, but if you read on it deals with sin. Believe it or not sin can also cause sickness. Now in verse 16 it tells us to confess to one another. Yes that does mean to tell on yourself. Tell someone that you are dealing with a sin...Now here is the important part, so that person will pray for you. Just like going to the Elders, it is so that they will pray for you. It is that we need help! The help of a godly man who will pray for us. For our church leaders who will pray for us. For us who have this problem that we cannot handle on our own, that we are willing to reach out for help. That help being prayer, intercession. Let me say this, it is hard to confess a sin to another, a sin that plagues you, admitting a weakness; admitting a strong hold, admitting something bad is wreaking havoc in you.
With that, for the ones who are being asked to help, it is a great responsibility. Another brother is coming to you for prayer, for continued prayer if you will. He is trusting you to pray for him. He is trusting you not to be judging. He is trusting you to help him be healed. He is trusting you because he sees you as a "spiritual" person. Or better yet the word, righteous, is used in our verse. Oh that we will be willing to ask and that we will be willing to pray for each other.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Clean clothes

Are you ready to do something, something different? When we talk about sin's that seem to plague us, we need to ask that question. Isn't it true that if we do not replace the wrong action, we tend to go back. Or as we mentioned if you have too much time, spare time, it needs to be focused. Is sin that hard to master? Yes, it is! If I was to ask all of us, is there a sin or sins that just keep on popping up in your life or a sin that is just so deep inside you just kind of gave up. That is you tried... you decided to just live with it.
Before you were saved the clothes that you were wearing were filthy rags, dirty and stained. You washed them but the stains still showed and even sometimes the dirt just did not clean up. When you became saved, through Jesus Christ, you were given a new set of clothes(new creation). So you are walking around on the earth and guess what you trip and fall. Now there is a brownish green mark on your knee. Some of us will continue that way for different lengths of time. But let's say you are on top of your game; you go to God. "God look what I have done, I have stained my new clothes." God replies give them to me I'll have them washed. In the back of your mind your have done this before, washed your clothes...but the stain never came out. And then God says, here you go, good as new. You look at your clothes put them on, you feel good again...You ask what kind of soap...He replies, My son uses miracle soap to wash clothes, it's powerful, no stain will be left behind. You have your clothes on and you feel good again, all cleaned up, ready to go. Now some of us we tend to play near the mire(mud), it seems to pull us. We get dirty all over...what do we do? We do the same as the example above; we ask God to clean up our mess. He does! And guess what? It feels good to be in clean clothes...
You see guys, we need to remember what it feels like to be in clean clothes. The more readily we confess that sin that plagues us and we get clean...Hopefully,we will start staying cleaner longer and longer...it feels good. We start to like that more than playing in the mire...You see sin can be fun for a season. Let's be real here some sin(s) seem to fun...if you will; but sin will get you dirty and can even kill you. Being all cleaned up in clean clothes...eventually, hopefully that will be more fun! Psalm 51:7 "Purge me with hyssops, and I shall become clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." and if you continue reading to verse 10 it says " create in me a clean heart...and renew...That is what our God is about, cleaning us up and restore, renewing...go to the Savior.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Turn around, and do something else

Last week we said that God wants to forgive; that we need to ask for forgiveness and admit the sin/wrong. And with that that we turn from that actions; repent. There are things that we do that are let's say one time or few and far between things that we confess and we feel the power of forgiveness...we have a handle on that type of action. On the other hand there are those things that we do that seem to plague us; for some reason we just have a hard time to stop. Now there are a lot of these things, some will plague one but another will have no problem with that, but with another thing it is hard...There are all types of things...and we are all different and different things effect us differently.
Seriously is there that one or more thing, issue, sin that seem just to stay on. You go before God and ask...your mournful...over what you done...then bang your doing it again. It's like you cannot stop. Or that you can only stop for a short period of time. You may even question what type of a person you are...and may even question if you are a Christian. Some may even after a while question if there is a God...Let's face the facts here sin is powerful...
Let me say one thing, I am not an expert in dealing with sin, I am not an authority, and I do not have all the answers. Now when one deals with sin before God we often refer to the word repent. Repent means to turn around, change direction. Most of us have heard this before, right! Now here is where we get caught, we turn from the thing but that is all we do. Then before you know it you are turning your head looking back...then the pull comes. Sin has a strong desire for you and some sin seems to satisfy. You see when we turn from our sin we need to do some other action that is not sin. It is more than just stopping! It is redirecting our actions, thinking...even sometimes doing something different to replace the wrong action...
In Eph. 4:17-5:21 There are a lot of good principles for us; this includes the section of put-off the old and put-on the new...and near the end it says this "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil." Are you still going back to your old self? Instead of going forward in your new self; doing righteous deeds... Do you have too much time on your hands...and not focusing on the Lord. Here is a start to help us dealing with the sins that can plague us. First replacing wrongful actions...with right(Godly)actions deeds. The other is to make the most of your time. Thinking about our Lord and Savior...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Confess, when?

We have been talking about listening to the Holy Spirit and reading the word of God... We have been doing this as part of our study of verse Gen. 4:7. Which ends saying, "but you must master it." That is we must master sin. Let's use a scenario to help us understand what happens when we sin. One is walking down the road, the easy road, and He stumbles. All of a sudden he is over there doing something he should not be doing. Now the Holy Spirit is doing what He is to do, convicting of that something...Now let's say that this person is a Christian, he may hear the Holy Spirit or he may not. So here is when reading the bible...comes into play. The word of God also does its work with the Holy Spirit...But one can still not listen...But for our story let's say that the person listens.
The Holy Spirit is convicting you of that thing. You agree with the conviction, and want to stop that thing...So what does one do? Seriously what are we to do? There is a process if you will. The first is to confess that sin to God. Now that is to do it the right way. Remember Adam and Eve when God convicted them? They played the blame game. Don't try to blame you actions on someone else...If you did the thing, take the blame. I know that there are so called bad sins and the so called little sins and the so call little white lie and the sin of neglect...guess what all sin carries the same price and all sin separates us from God. Now there are different consenquences for different types of sin... But we need to confess our sin to God. He is the only one that can forgive us our sin and that is done through His son Jesus Christ. You see He even does all the work of forgiving us, all we have to do is ask. Let me say to ask truthfully. We don't have to bring money or do some extra good works, or say some special type of prayer...We just ask for forgiveness on the merit of what God has promise, knowing that the price of our sin has been paid by Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Now the question is when? Is there a special time, a day, like Sunday? The time is right when God convicts you. That means don't wait. So many times don't we wait, put it off for the right time...Seriously we tend to wait...This will be the first part of being healed, forgiven; to ask right away. A brother told me that we have to keep short accounts with God. That we need to confess our sin daily! Short accounts with God; you see He already knows what you did, He's waiting for us to bring it up, to ask for forgiveness, He wants to forgive, He wants to restore. "The steadfast-love of the Lord never ceases; His mercy never comes to an end, they are new every morning..."Lam.3:22.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Take the time

Now let us continue in our study. The end of the verse says 2 things, one that sin has a desire for us and two that we must master it(sin). Gen4:7. Last week we talked about memorizing God's word...This will help us to see that certain actions/behavior is not right...and when we do them they are sin. Now there are those times when we read God's word that it just goes in and right out. We see it, hear it and just as fast we forget it. But when we read it over and over...it starts to sink in. We also give the Holy Spirit a chance to work. Let me explain it is that we are more apt to listen to the Spirit of God. There is something that happens when we take the time to learn God's word and we ponder it in our mind, then in our heart. That the Holy Spirit seems to work...that His wisdom seems to come to us...Let me take the time to say it is not that He is not working...or that there is a formula that He works by or that there is a time constraint that needs to be met. But it is when we take the time to hear and when we are willing to wait to hear. Let's face it we want to hear now, we are too busy to take the time...
You see we all need to read God's word; taking the time to let it soak over us. To let it to seep inside of us and to reach in to the depth of our being...To let it reach deep, deep down where it can replace the hardness of our thinking. To reach the harden walls deep inside, washing over them and filling us with the truth of His word and the presence of His Spirit. That we change our old ways into the new ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. So reading God's word, memorizing it, pondering it, let the Spirit help you understand the word, and letting the word of God work deep down inside to replace what was not true...
With that being said above, what is an important part of reading God's word? Yes, prayer. Prayer is more than asking God for things. It is also important for us to hear God when He does answer. You ask for wisdom in an area; so God answers yes go do or don't go do...but if you are not listening. What happens? We go back to our own knowledge or our old way of working out problems. We so easily rely on ourselves and not God. So as we read our bible we also need to ask God to help us understand His word. That we take the time in prayer to be listening to the meaning of the word and How God wants us to apply it to our self. Prayer, reading the bible, memorizing, and listening to God; all that takes time. So let's take the time. reread Psalm 119:9

Monday, January 9, 2012

The right helper

O.K. we mentioned the Helper, the Spirit of Truth. How He helps us on our Christian walk. That is He wants to help us on our Christian walk. The problem is that we get in the way... which is true but also there is another one trying to act like the Holy Spirit. That is the devil. Not only that, the ways of our world fight against the Spirit of Truth. Not only that people get in the way of the Spirit of Truth.
So what do we do? How do we know if it is "Truth" or not? There are 2 points that I will be sharing, one about how the Spirit of Truth works and the other how to test if it is from the Spirit. Now the Spirit of Truth(Holy Spirit) works in two ways 1. John 16:8 "And He(Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment." He does this to all the world...His work on us as "pre-believers" this is the first thing the Spirit does. If we read on in John 16:13-14 "But, when He(Holy Spirit) comes, the Spirit of Truth, comes. He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak, and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you." The second is to guide us into all truth. That is God's truth. So how do we know if the spirit we are listening to is of God? If it is of God it will not contradict His word the bible. You see the bible is the word of God. The Holy Spirit cannot give us guidance that is contrary to His written word. God will not tell us to sin...or to allow us to live differently than His word says. So we need to be reading our bibles daily to make sure we are listening to the right spirit and also we need to be reading our bibles to discern what is of God and what is not of God. Psalm 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." It is very important to understand that the Holy Spirit will always be in line with the word of God. Let me say that one more time, the Holy Spirit will always line up with the word of God. If it doesn't put on the breaks...it is someone else, not some one good. Refute them with God's word. Just like Jesus did when Satan tempted Him.

The helper

Last week we ended with "the first good deed" if you will. We asked the question, "What did you do with the good news of Christmas? Have you put your trust...and accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? For this is the beginning and without this, no one can please God. Now what we need to notice is that this first deed, does not involve work on our part; God does all the work. Eph. 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." You see the beginning of our Christian walk is based on the works of God through Jesus Christ.
A lot of things happen when we make that decision to accept the Gift of God. Better yet God does a lot of things (works) when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord. You are redeemed, you are forgiven, you are not judged, you become a child of God, ...and the Spirit of truth comes to you. John 14: 16-17 Jesus speaking, "I will ask the father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you." God does a lot of things for us after we receive the Gift of God; He gives us more and more. But what we all need to notice is that He gives us the Spirit of Truth to help us here on our Christian walk.
The thing is that we need to let go, let go of ourselves, our ways, thinking, directing, planning...and to listen to the Spirit of God. To help us in our ways, thinking, directing, planning... You see God knows that we in of ourselves cannot please Him, that is that we miss the mark...we fall short. So He sends to us a Savior, Jesus Christ; who paid the price of our sins, to restore us. Also a helper to help us because we still need Gods help in doing what is right...You see we still live in a fallen world...there all sorts of things that draw us a stray. We need Gods help all the time. We need to learn to listen to the Spirit of God as He helps us. Now that is not an easy thing to do. What I want us all to recognize is that we have a Helper. That we must learn to listen to Him...For most of us it may mean to slow down, quiet our hearts and minds; to pray. To pray and ask for wisdom, direction....guidance. It is not easy to pray; but is easy when we take the time. We all need to choose to take the time to pray, to be with God talking. Not only asking for forgiveness, I need this thing...but to say God what does this mean, How about that? Is it alright to do_______. So let's make time to pray.