This is the day that the Lord has made...

This is the day that the Lord has made...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Change of Heart

 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2: 20

In my pursuit to remain in the world, but not of it, moments of clarity from prayer and conservation with the Lord have been revealed.  One of the revelations in spirit was that in giving up my life for the Lord is what leads to real change in my life.

As I live in the world and maintain a worldly viewpoint, the idea of change is that of changing the way you think.  For years I invested time and energy in learning new "techniques" of thought control, visualization and meditation in hopes of finding peace and prosperity in my life.  Struggle after struggle would appear in my life and once again I would work on focus, thought control and self discipline.  I would see short periods of happiness and success, but nothing lasting.  It wasn't until I accepted the essence of this scripture verse that real change began in my life.

True peace, joy, happiness and prosperity comes with a change of heart, not simply a change of mind.  Exchanging this earthly life of fear, worry, and torment for a Godly life meant giving up my perceived control of life.  Allowing the Holy Spirit to take residence in me began the change I have been so desperately wanting and searching for.

No way can I, alone, wipe away the years of conditioning from my MFTP by myself.  No way can I erase the effects of my poor choices, mistakes and sin.  But Jesus can.  He gave his life so that I might live! Truly live- free from my past: past mistakes, past conditioning, past traumas, past sins, past hurts and so on.  He died so that the Holy Spirit could free me from the bondage of this life and prepare me for my eternal life.

With Christ living in me, now my thoughts are changed.  My whole point of reference is changed which allows me to think, live and act differently.  Now the notion of change your thinking making sense.  With Christ, all things are possible!  Knowing that, how does your thinking change?  HUGE...if you believe...if you have faith.  And no affirmation or thought control technique can provide faith because faith comes from the heart, not the mind.

Thanks be to the Lord for the gift of life and the changing of heart he offers for those who have faith in him and believe in the change that he brought to the world. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

People Can Change

I began reading the book of Galatians this morning and was made to realize that I have been walking around with a plank in my eye for some time now.  One of my personal, dug in, deep down, long held beliefs has been that people don't change.  I've been around enough people in my life that have "tried" to change, or acted differently for a while, to know that people are who they are because of their mothers, fathers, teachers and preachers and that won't change.  I was wrong.

Now, don't get wrong, this isn't the first time I've read Galatians.  But it is the first time that this portion of Galatians has turned a light on.  I believe, or better yet, know, that the Bible is a book of truth and principles. I've known that for years.  The difference, today, is that I am different spiritually than the last time I read Galatians.  The more I study, pray, read and write, the more these truths and principles permeate who I am.  AND, when the Holy Spirit moves in, you have to change.  Praise God!

I bring all this up because of understanding how much of a 180 Paul went through in his life.  He was "the guy" to call to get rid of your "Christian Problem."  He could have had a role in the Sopranos from my understanding.  This guy was mean, nasty and had a passion for persecution!  Then...BAM!  God brings him to his knees, fills him with the Holy Spirit and...he becomes a new man!

Paul did change because he was re-born a new man.  The old Paul that was developed and nurtured by his MFTP (mother, father, teachers and preachers) was cast away so that this new, imroved Paul could come to life!  This one being born of the Holy Spirit.

I've read my share of self-help and personal growth books, many of which are good, but none can bring change in someone's life like the Holy Spirit. And for this change to happen, real change like in Paul's life, well, it's a God thing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's who ya know

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.  Ephesians 3:12

Have you ever had the chance to meet someone very famous, like an entertainer or sports figure?  I'm not talking about a casual bumping into at the mall or a "Hey, look, there's Jon Bon Jovi!"  I mean really get to meet, have a conversation with and get to know a famous individual.  Generally, to do that, requires knowing the right person who knows the right person to get you in the door to meet that celebrity. 

Let's say I wanted to get to know Tiger Woods, one of my favorite celebrities.  The first thing I would have to do would be to get to know someone who knows Tiger.  The kicker here would be that, because I want to have a meal with and get to know Tiger, the friend would have to be pretty close to him because Tiger wouldn't let just anyone come to dinner. I would imagine it might take weeks, months or even years to get to know someone that close to Tiger to get the opportunity to get in the door.

Friends, Jesus is that ticket to the head table.  In him and through him we get to see God and heaven.  We can't do it alone and we can't do it without him.  It is for this reason that building a relationship with him is so valuable. 

Can you call Jesus a friend?  I can because I visit him nearly everyday, some days multiple times.  But I can, because I know him. I've read and studied his work, I've reached out and asked him to be my friend and I've worked hard at being a friend to him. 

Not everyone is going to get to meet God because not everyone knows the right person.  There are many super intelligent, wealthy, popular and powerful people that won't know the sound of God's voice or see the glory of heaven because they don't know Jesus.  He is the one man I pray that all my friends, family members and acquaintances get to know for he is the greatest friend any one of us could have.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Not so with you

Not so with you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.     Mark 10: 43-44

Unfortunately, alone, this verse can be misconstrued and lead to a huge misunderstanding of one of Jesus' primary principles of service.  So, let's set the stage here.  James and John have just asked Jesus if they could have a huge position of authority with him.  They asked if they could sit at his right and left hand, meaning, they want power.  It may seem like a unique request, but in those times Lordships, and the power that comes with them, were passed along to the next generation "in line" to receive them.  James and John were merely asking for what they believed they might have a "right" to.  And here is where Jesus says, "Not so with you."

In the new life that Jesus delivers us to, there are not "rights" to power.  He tells us plainly here that if anyone of us wants to become significant, to be a leader of men and women, to have an impact on communities large and small, then we must learn how to serve.  Not just a few, but all.  We must be willing to serve our brothers and sisters without judgement and condemnation. 

A servant's heart is filled with unconditional love.  This is a very challenging principle to uphold.  If you don't think so, look around at the leadership we have in our country and ask yourself, "is he/she leading with a heart filled with unconditional love for all the people?"  or are they serving themselves, fulfilling their selfish desire for power.  Our leaders need a little more servant in their hearts for the good of our people, don't you think?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

No, Know

A man's steps are directed by the Lord.  How then can anyone understand his own way?  Proverbs 20:29

Along the path of life, I have made many choices on my own.  To my knowledge, none of them brought peace, joy or abundance.  In fact, I would say just the opposite.  My experience of trying to run my own life, to be the creator of my own experience, brought shining moments of splendor and grandeur, yet, has resulted in nothing but pain, suffering and loss.

That is the lure of the enemy.  The prettiest and most beautiful of the snakes are the most deadly.  Just like a crack addict, once you get the high of believing in self-accomplishment, there becomes a permanent desire for it.  Once you buy into what he is selling, that YOU can do it, YOU can make that happen, well, let's just say the landing from that fall is very, very painful.

To know that God is on your side, that he is in your corner, with you and not against is freedom.  How often does a Father push his children over a cliff or play with them in traffic?  No!  No one does.  Our Father in Heaven cares for us even more than we do our own children, which in turn, allows me trust him and trust in him.  That is freedom- knowing that someone loves you so much that he would give his only son for you so that you might have life...and life more abundantly.

No Jesus, No freedom.  Know Jesus, Know freedom.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Present

To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life which is in the paradise of God.  Revelation 2:7

There is a reward for the choices we make and the resulting life we create through those choices.  For each sin that we stand firm against and every temptation we overcome, the closer are our lives to that of Christ.  After all, that is what Christian means, to be Christ-like.  It doesn't mean to be perfect, to be judgemental or to be God- simply, to be Christ -like.  Our reward for our efforts is more than our mind can comprehend, more than our nervous systems can compute and process. 

So many times I lose focus on the magnitude of eternity, for the immediacy of the present.  How would my life be different today if my decisions were based on eternal consequences  rather than immediate needs, wants and desires?  Have I been a slave to sin, allowing my choices to be manipulated by selfishness, anger, laziness and the like? 

I am thankful everyday that the law has been overcome by the blood of Jesus.  That he has gone before me, to represent and prepare for me, a place in Paradise, where there are no more tears and no more pain.  Where joy and love abounds, and where peace is all there is.  Let this day, today, be one focused on the enormity of eternity so that the gift of life, the present, today, may be more full of joy and peace and abundance.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Law vs Grace

I began this blog several months ago as I began a spiritual journey of truly committing myself to the Lord and the principles by which he has shown we should live.  When I began writing, I thought I had a good idea of where this would take me, what I would be learning and what I expected from life.  What I didn't expect by living spiritually inclined, was to have my whole theological-philosophical foundation shaken and repositioned.

Over the past few months I have studied many chapters in the Bible and expressed my feelings, opinions, insights and, many times, this was done through the Spirit rather than through the mind.  While I know, and can feel, that I have grown spiritually over this time, there has not been a significant "A-Ha!" moment in my studying...until now.

I didn't post on here at the end of last week because during my study and writing time the Spirit nudged me to continue reading in another book that I had started several weeks ago, but had put down.  As I began to read, the Spirit revealed a paradigm shift that shook me to the core. It was an incredible moment of revelation that will have an impact on the rest of my life.  I truly believe what was revealed to me is why my life has been such a struggle, and why, too, many Christians struggle as I have with this same issue of trying to "save ourselves."

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.  Matt 16:25

Jesus came, and died, so that we could have grace and not live under the consequences of the law.  We have been given the opportunity to give up our natural life, the one that is ruled by law- which says that you get what you deserve and God will punish you for making mistakes- for a life of grace, living spiritually inclined. 

When we live according to the natural law, all responsibility for success and failure, happiness and sadness, pain and comfort, are a result of thoughts and actions in so much that we have "earned" whatever it is we are experiencing.  This belief system is great when things in life are going smoothly because our ego can stand up, look around and say, "See, look how great I am!" But, when the wheels start to fall off and your world begins to collapse, there is no one there to step in because the ego continues to deny any shortcomings or mistakes.  When we live under the law and continually attempt to "save ourselves", over time, it will lead us to a point dark despair, pain, loss and eventually (if we are lucky!) death of the ego.  This is what Jesus refers to in Matthew 16:25.  We have to be willing to give up living according to the natural law, to lose this life of "you get what you deserve" and that you "earn" everything that you have, in order to find your true life, life as God intended with his favor.

Therein lies the struggle of my life for the past 10 years.  Somewhere along my path I bought into the belief system that "If it is to be, it's up to me!"  Living this way puts an incredible amount of pressure on yourself to literally "be" God and make things happen.  I could look around my life at any given moment and believe that I had created everything in it.  My successful business was a result of my hard work, focus, talent, energy and enthusiasm.  My great lifestyle was based on the result of my successful business.  My families success and happiness was a result of my teachings and the experiences and opportunities that I gave them.  That was when things were good.  When things were bad, it was because I was bad.  I wasn't focused enough on the right things, I wasn't working enough hours, I wasn't spending enough time at home, I wasn't getting enough sleep so my energy was down. ( Geez!  As I write this I can hardly believe that anyone could put up with me!)  This is the story of a man trying to save himself.

Living according the law provides the opportunity for huge swings in emotions.  When success and failure are "controlled" by the individuals thoughts and actions, then highs and lows are inevitable.  There are going to be days when your focus, energy and enthusiasm for life are off the charts.  Then, there will be days when they are no where to be found.  This creates a huge mood swing in the individual who looks around and takes credit and blame for everything in his life.  And, a big AND here, he feels like he has either "earned" God's favor when things are going well, or has "earned" his wrath with things are not.  Therefore, he continues to try to "please" or "appease" or win God's favor. 

Jesus came and willfully, not forcibly, died on the cross for you and me.  That willful gift of his life gives you and me the opportunity for a "new" life in him- a life without the law- a life of grace. I would consider myself a PhD on the merits of a life under the law, but a life of grace, I know very little and have experienced even less.  I do know what I have read and studied and that is that grace is a gift, given freely to those willing to accept it.  Living under God's grace simply means God is on your side, he is in your corner and you are going to experience a life of favor that in no way, shape or form could you have "earned". 

Grace is more than just forgiveness and acceptance.  The analogy that comes to mind that helps me get my arms around this new idea is this:  God can put you in a classroom, give you the greatest drivers education instructor in the world, give you the most high tech classroom resources, provide you with the safest car for training, give the most training in situational awareness-yet, YOU still have to drive the car, he won't.  God will give us all the provisions for life. In fact he even says that we will have it all in abundance, if we live in his grace.  But, we still have to take action.  We still have to do the work.  We have to use those provisions, i.e. the drivers training, etc, to go drive the car.  And, we must recognize God's provisions in our daily lives and use them to move us forward along the path he has created for us.

I so look forward to studying, learning and living in God's grace.  I truly believe this blog has been a provision for me to see and recognize God's grace in my life and to live spiritually inclined.  I thank all of those who have been following my journey of spiritual growth and renewal.  Hang in there with me.  There is more to come.  God's not done with me yet!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Powerful Prayer

How many times, when praying, have I had the thought run through the back of my mind, "oh man, that will never happen"?  Plenty, that's for sure.  And for a while I didn't think anything of it.  I was under the assumption it was normal, or okay to have those thoughts. I mean, isn't the whole purpose of prayer to ask God for help, or support or guidance?  Yes, of course it is.  But I've learned through the years that there is more to prayer than just folding your hands and asking God for a million bucks!

Never in my life have I had more answered prayer than in this past year and I believe it has nothing to do with luck or favor, rather the strength of my relationship with the Lord and, what I call my "prayer attitude."  It's laid out for us pretty clearly in the Scriptures that prayer must be a cornerstone in the building of our faith.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.       Ephesians 6:18
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.    Phillipians 4:6
Prayer is to be a part of our daily life, not only praying for ourselves, but especially praying for others. It's easy to get tunnel vision and focus only on our own lives, however, this not as God has instructed.  We are to pray in the Spirit, continuously, in and for all aspects of our life and for the world around us.  Taking the focus off me, at times, is part of having a servants heart.
Beyond that, though, is what I, and I know many others, feel to be the key ingredient to having a powerful prayer life.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.    Mark 11:24

But when he asks, he should believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.   James 1:6

Believe in what you are asking of the Lord!  It's not simply good enough to ask. For prayer to be powerful requires a faith of insurmountable proportion so that you can truly see, feel and experience the answer to the prayer as, or before, you pray.  Herein lies the fundamental paradox of prayer:  while prayer builds faith, faith builds prayer.  To have powerful prayer you must have powerful faith. 

And finally, be thankful for the answered prayer before it is answered.  Giving thanks prior to the coming of the answer builds faith and strengthens the foundation of belief.  You certainly wouldn't give thanks for something you didn't receive, therefore, giving thanks builds faith, confidence and belief in God and your relationship with him.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No Control

Once again this morning I am reminded of how little control I have over life, and, how most of the things I thought I was in control of, really, I wasn't.  And thank God I wasn't because the course that I was taking was not nearly as amazing as that of God. 

I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.  Jeremiah 10:23

I feel, or more appropriately, know that at the top of the list of challenges for all people, including myself, is that of giving up the reins of life.  Knowing that God loves me and always has my best interest, now but more importantly, in the future, in mind when he laid out my life path.  However, when you're standing in a room full of horse manure, many times it's hard to recognize that somewhere there is a horse!

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self controlled; set your hopes fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1Peter 1:13

It is in the mind that the battle for control takes place and 1 Peter says it eloquently.  Open your mind to see what is possible for your life and be prepared to take action on the nudgings and directives of the Holy Spirit.  Take control of the one thing you can control, your mind, so that you might live according to the greatest commandments.  And lastly, keep your eyes focused on Jesus and the unending, undeserved blessings that he has for you.

While control of life and the circumstances set before us can never be controlled, I often feel that the Lord is watching my response to them.  For when I live, controlling my thoughts and actions accordingly, even the darkest, scariest and most fearful of circumstances can be survived by keeping our eyes on the Lord and our mind open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, January 10, 2011

One of the more difficult concepts for me to understand and comprehend, yet is what makes me hold to faith even stronger during challenging times, is that God chose me to be in his kingdom before I chose him.  To know that I matter, that I count, that somebody wants me brings joy to my heart and peace to my mind.  For so many, including myself, it is important to be and feel like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

The feeling of being alone in this world is scary and depressing.  With all of our abilities to make this world a smaller place through media, communication and the internet, there are still friends, acquaintances and family members that go through daily life disconnected from everyone- feeling all alone.  Somehow, some way, these people are to be introduced to Jesus and to know that they are a part of something bigger than them, more powerful than they can imagine and more perfect than they can dream.

"To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout..., who have been chosen according to the foreknowldege of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and Peace be yours in abundance."

Being a part of the chosen family God has perks- grace and peace.  And not just some, or a little, but an abundance of it.  What does that mean though-grace and peace?  Grace is a reflection of God's love for us in that we receive more than we deserve.  God, through his Grace, gives us all that we require and then some, no matter what type of situations or challenges that we may be facing.  God is enough.  And peace is a state of unlimited balance and harmony.

To be chosen by God to live with his favor, with his strength going before us and with harmony and tranquility- all overflowing and more than we can comprehend- is what belonging to the Lord brings about.  Praise him today for his grace and peace in abundance in our lives.

Friday, January 7, 2011


I sat down yesterday morning to continue writing about needs, wants and desires and the Holy Spirit rebuked me.  "What makes you think you know more about this than I?" was the message I was given.  For a few minutes I continued to search scripture for verses and dialogue that supported my points, and, in the end, I could not find any.  I got it Lord. Loud and clear.  So I prayed instead of writing yesterday.

When I finished my quiet time with Lord, I wanted to read scripture for a while.  I had just finished the book of Acts and was needing a new book to study.  Earlier, while searching, I ran across a verse from 2 Timothy that caught my eye so I decided to start with that small book.

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.  2Timothy 1:7

It is easy to get excited thinking about having more power and more love in our lives through the Holy Spirit.  It's the self-discipline that's the kicker.  Self discipline is having the ability to listen to the spirit and follow his lead, rather than going on your own.  Self discipline is about not giving into the wants, needs and desires of the flesh of this world in return for the salvation, glory and honor of Heaven. 

What do you think, how do you act, where do you go, who do you hang out with, etc when no one is watching?  If you knew no one would find out, would you skip your morning reading for a few minutes of extra sleep?  Or, if you were in private, would you find a XXX website?  If you've been told, and you know that certain people are trouble, would you still choose to hang out with them if you could?  Self discipline is having the internal fortitude to the stay the course, follow Christ and live according to his will EVEN when no one is looking.

I could have continued writing on my previous topics and no one would have known about my scolding from the Holy Spirit.  But I would, and, in the end, that is what matters.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Resolution of Needs

Yesterday I was focused understanding needs and how, when fully committed to the Lord, our needs can be met naturally, and, supernaturally.  I've decided to continue delving into these topics of needs, wants and desires over the next few days of writing, in an effort to gain more clarity in my thinking and understanding.

Living life in a constant state of lack, whether it be emotionally, financially or spiritually, forces the heart and mind to act in an unhealthy and unloving manner.  Living in perpetual state of need causes the focus of life to be on you, rather than on serving God (and others), which is where he has told us we should focus.

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.    Mark 10:45

When the focus of life is you, it is easy to look around and see what is "missing" in your life compared to "what's available" in life.  This in turn creates needs, which are nothing more than the manifestation of the lack of faith in the Lord.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.   James 1:2-8

Resolving needs arises from returning our focus of life to the Lord.  For we know that he is mighty, powerful and has the will to bless us beyond our comprehension, when we lay down our life, and pick up his.

One who uses the word "need" inappropriately, as in using it to state a directive or desire, has lost focus in life, and, consequently, if you look and dig deep enough, will not have the level of love in life that they desire.  "I need you to do...", "I need a new ....", "I need more..." are all phrases used by someone living in lack. 

Yes, I know, we do have needs, and unfortunately for some, they are not being met.  Yet needs are basic, fundamental necessities for existence- things like food, shelter, clothing, family, love.  This, however, is not the level of need that we are discussing.  For individuals living with lack mentality or "poverty consciousness", the conversation in the mind is always the same...."I need....".

So, how do I change?  How do I lose the focus on me, on what is lacking in my life?  How do I stop saying and thinking "I need..."?  I wish I had all the answers, but I don't.  I leave all the answers to the One who does have them all.  Which, I feel, is where the change starts: by changing your focus in life.  Get off of you and onto Him and I can promise an immediate change in the quality of life and love in your life.  When I focus on the bigness of God and all that he controls, it's easier to see how perfect my life is...for me.  Focus on God.  Who cares what the Anderson's "have" or "don't have"!  Turn the focus upward and inward. 

Along with that, start paying closer attention to the words you use because words have power and meaning both to you, the speaker, to God the observer, and to the receiver of those words.

For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.  Matthew 12:37

Substitute higher, positive energy words into your vocabulary when speaking of things you perceive as necessary in your life:  "I would love a new car",  "I would like a vacation right now", "Would you please (insert action here)".  By changing the words you choose you can change the way you think.  And, we all know that our mind is constant battlefield.

I pray that the Spirit has touched you in a powerful way today and I, personally, hope that you continue to follow along as I explore wants and desires in my upcoming writings.  God is good...all the time.  He me more than my mind can comprehend, and, because of that love, I am free to serve him with all my heart, mind, soul and body.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


A word that permeates our conversations, whether you are 10 years old or 60, is the word- need.  As I am engaged in conversations with friends, my children, other family members and people I work with, I am struck by the number of times a "need" is involved.

I looked up the definition of need, and there are many, yet they all seem focus on  two concepts- lack and requirement.  For the most part, when using the word need in a sentence structure indicates that the one speaking is lacking something in their life.  We, as adults, can spend a lot of time living from the lack perspective.  Especially if, and when, we get caught up in the world and take our eyes off the goal.  When we forget to count our blessings and give thanks for all the abundance the Lord has given us, that word "need" begins to creep into our heads, hearts and words. 

A close friend of mine and I frequently discuss the concept of conscious vs. unconscious parenting.  When parenting in the un-mode, it is easy to use the word need with our children.  "I need you to clean up your room", "I need 15 minutes of quiet time", etc.  How many times have we all used statements like that?  A lot!  Need is almost the default verb or noun for most of the directives we give our children.

So why all the time focused on "need" today?  I think it is important for us to understand the difference between needs, wants and desires.  Some might say it's semantics, but I disagree.  The difference emotionally and psychologically between needs, wants and desires is huge.  The three words cannot be successfully interchanged, as so many do, and produce healthy, emotionally and spiritually-engaged minds.

Let's just understand that their is a hierarchy with these three words and the higher the chain you climb, the more inspired your thoughts and actions are.  Functioning at a needs level in life indicates that you are seeing your life as lacking, void, less than what it is.  Needs indicate desperation, lack of inspiration.  Needs are the basics of existence and if they aren't there, the survival is challenging.  The need level of living is about survival.

Spiritually, the Scriptures outline the needs of a Christian in many ways.  The basic necessities to survive as a Christian in this world are not many, yet profound.  One of my favorite verses is in second Peter:
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

We need to know Jesus, and, by doing so, we open the abundance of the entire universe that God has created.  We don't need to be perfect.  We don't  need to be blameless.  We don't need to have great wealth or power.  We don't need to be socially connected.  By knowing Jesus, we have access to all that is necessary to live a healthful, prosperous and abundant life.

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world caused by evil desires.  2Peter 1:4

Monday, January 3, 2011

Our Foundation

I often wonder if we, as Americans, take our freedom for granted?  I am amazed at how many liberties we have and at the opportunities we have to express ourselves.  So much so, that I, and I am sure many others would agree, believe we have lost touch with what life in America  is really like and no matter how tough it may feel here, it is still the best and free-est place on Earth to live.

Reading in the book of Acts about Paul and his unlawful imprisonment got me thinking about this topic today.  Here is Paul, traveling around the region sharing the teachings of Jesus and he gets thrown in jail because of his beliefs.  Not because he threatened anyone or cursed anyone, but simply because he believed in the resurrection of the dead. 

How blessed by God is our nation that we have the freedom to express our beliefs publicly and openly!  As I pray this morning I can't help but wonder the consequences of our leaders' decisions to increase the separation of Church and State.  Simple things like stopping the pledge of allegiance in schools or changing its words to exclude God have got to push our Lord to edge of his seat.  The secular society and it's over-reaching desire for Political Correctness is edging God out of our society, even though we were built on the foundations of God fearing beliefs and Christian values.

We have freedoms because men and women died for us.  We have everlasting life in Christ because he died for us.  A lot has been sacrificed for us to enjoy the lives that we have been so blessed with.  We, as a whole, must stop taking our freedoms and liberties for granted.  And even more so, we must continue to stand up for our God-centered views and the principles and values for which we stand. 

I was once told that if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anythings and be good nothing.  I pray today that we, as Christians- men and women who live the best we can according to the teachings of Jesus- continue to stand up for each other and the sacrifices of those who have gone before us so that we might continue to enjoy of freedoms, liberties and the Lord's blessing.  I fear the result of our nation losing sight of the principles upon which it was founded.  Stand up.  Praise God today.  Give him the Glory and Honor he is so worthy of receiving.  Do it today.