You are NOT who YOU Are


Verily verily I say unto you that a man must be born again…

By the very nature of what Jesus explains to us, we must become new or a new creature in order to inherit the kingdom of God.

Perhaps the completion of this birthing process will be finalized once we receive our gloried bodies, but really we aren’t told.

It seems the regeneration process Paul speaks about is not a total one as none of us are 100% transformed repeatedly over and over again. In fact, the core of US is always there just as we were way back when.  Our attitude towards God is changed, but the overall ingredients of our selves remain the same.

That is why we are not who we are.  In fact, you could say that in very real terms we are somewhat impostors.  At least we have what I would refer to as a rent-a-suit physical for the here and now, but will be vastly different in heaven.

Check it out if you will.  A spiritual body, if you will doesn’t require food.  Yes, we know that Jesus ate but that doesn’t mean that he required it. Aches and pains will be no more nor will we feel the longings or urges presented to us by our bodies. IF the Holy Spirit is anyway similar then we know that we will be able to ‘feel’ as the Holy Spirit can grieve and certainly we know that in our spiritual body that we can experience joy and peace.

Okay then.  So we are here in this world only temporarily with a ‘rented’ physical body and for now, we are only somewhat of a trainee so as to get ready and fit to enter the kingdom.

That does make me wonder how I will know you when we enter and join God’s family.  What traits of us will there be in order to tell us who is who?

Too, in a way, WE will cease to exist as the person we will BECOME will be far greater than we could have even imagined while dwelling here on earth.

In the meanwhile I’ll accept ME for whoever I am and you as well. The hope of the future is that we are able to commune and fellowship with those too that we came to know here on this earth. I know we can trust God in knowing who we are in whatever meta-morphed shape we are in:  either here or in heaven.

 

 

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Playing the Part of ‘Left Out’


Some of us will remember as kids playing ball of some kind where they had to choose up sides. The worst guys around were never chosen as the good parts went to the talented kids.

The identical scenario would occur at school for say the Spelling Bee or Math or a school play or perhaps even, a school dance.  Once again your ‘role’ was ‘left out’ as you were never chosen.

Everyone knows that kids can be painfully cruel.  And when a child is ‘left out’ it hurts and hurts badly.  Some untalented kids are locked out of everything.

Compassion is the ability or at least the attempt to care and understand other people’s pain.  Sadly many do not have compassion and those many children who are ‘left out’ are force to fend for themselves.

As an adult you continue to carry that scar over the tribulations of your youth.  You still harbor hurt and grief over how you were treated.  And to our delight we all know Jesus never plays left out for he is all inclusive.

And this is where the Christian steps in to also call all those on the outside off the perimeter into the fold of the flock.  No one should ever be ‘left out’ among Christians.

So then, when I am that creep that did that to you or do so even now, then I ask for forgiveness.  Our hearts should always extend outward to others to invite them into our own personal spirits.  And those spirits should be loving spirits and one that never pushes away.

The world as we know it will continue to leave many out of their inner-circles but this should never happen among the saints.  And while we can’t erase your past and remove all the harm that was done to you, we can provide opportunities for fellowship in the present tense and in the future.  Our goal should all be the same:  We should ensure that everyone is part of the ‘in’ crowd, leaving no one ever ‘left out.’

Straightening out God


Now then, this opportunity is irresistible. The honest truth of it is that all of us have issues with God and if we were free to do so we’d all straighten Him out, you know, helping out the ole boy.

The first thing I’d straighten Him out on would be in the creation of our backs. Come on, now.  God created a top-heavy torso and placed it on a spine and backbone that pivots on a weak suspension system.  I’d strength that up.

One way or another I’d also lengthen the weekends.  Presently two days are not enough.  I want perhaps as many as 4 days for a weekend.  I realize God would have to change all the planets in the universe to do this, but after all:  He’s God and can do that easily.

I think while we’re at it we could make headaches a thing of the past as God could wipe those out.  Cancer should also be out of there as it’s not necessary.

Kids and old age are also getting to be a pain in the butt so we might want to consider getting rid of those as well.

Some places are way too, too hot and others…well, just too cold.  God could cover that one for us and make earth a friendlier environment.

So then, after all the suggestions I’m sure God would appreciate all our constructive criticism.  After all, being God is a most difficult job and I’m sure He can use all the help He can get.

And as silly as all my suggestions are, I’m also sure that all of you have come up with your own from time to time and during our trying moments really believe we could help God out.

In the meanwhile and after careful consideration we’d probably also all agree that we had better leave the God business to God and keep our opinions to our self. As mess up as the earth appears from time-to-time, I’m sure that God knows what he’s doing and has it all under control.

 

What Would You Say If You Met Jesus Walking on the Street?


Now this is really, really, really a hard one.  It’s not exactly as if I’d ask Him for His autograph or anything. I’m sure I wouldn’t ask Him about His wife and Kids or any other ‘human’ type of salutation

In fact, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t even say anything at all and would probably simply rush out and hug him. I would think Jesus would think I’m some kind of crazy guy out meeting some kind of ‘rock star’ or another, but in real terms, meeting Jesus isn’t exactly a normal occurrence.

With prep time, I’m sure I’d approach Jesus with more in mind for listening than for saying anything at all. I’m sure of that.  But for those of you like me I really have a ton of questions I’d like to ask Him.

I’d like to know where he has been for the past 2,000 Years

I’d also like to know if he could now fill us in on about how long this world is even going to be around.

I’d like to know how long he was staying this time.

There’s about another 2 million or so questions I’d have, but I’d be too timid or fearful about asking.  After all, this is the Son of God and here I am a mere lowly person taking up His time with stupid questions.

Now then for all of us who are actually grateful, I’m sure we’d all like to THANK Him for giving up His life for us.  Jesus forfeiting his life was in fact a biggie.  That was really no small task.

I guess it might be warranted to ask if He was either hungry or thirsty or even had a place to stay.  I’m sure He doesn’t hang around church very much so He probably would really need a place to hang out.  I hope he’d feel welcome with me and my friends.  I’d also hope you’d want to come along as well.  And for now whenever I really want to meet Jesus I have to go to the LEAST OF THEM in order to find Him.  I hope that in the process, I remember too to HUG them as well.  And to think that we can meet Jesus every day of our lives.

The Enemy Within


Where today’s world loves the blame game on the Devil, the environment or child-rearing, I believe the real evil is that which dwells within me. I realize that it’s convenient to blame exterior forces for the sin that I do, but I believe it is just that: convenient and nothing more.

As yes, I’m aware of the scriptures in reference to the roaring lion and all that:  but I’m addressing the dark forces, the part that drives us. This ‘hidden’ agenda within us is our own desires.

This fleshly desire realm is the intricate aspect of man as this is where we hide our true pursuits. Naturally, desires can be either good or bad.  In this reference I’m only examining the bad.

If we were speaking of animals, we’d say that they are programmed that way.  We’d say they were hard-wired as such.

And so it is also true for us as we are born that way only to serve our own self interests.  In other words, we are selfish pure and simple.

Resultantly, we then must first owe up to the real enemy and the real enemy is us.  It lies deep within us for our own person is the one that must be conquered in order to serve God.

When it comes to our salvation, it won’t be the devil or anyone else that will answer for us.  It will be us answering to the Lord and Him only.  And he will judge us in accordance to our heart.

Thus, in renewing our mind, it is helpful to identify the enemy.  We are that enemy and must surrender in order to made perfect or at least the process of perfection.  And in killing desire…this is a long hard process when it comes to the nature of man as our nature is to serve only our self.

When You Really Screw Up Big Time


Let’s face it.  There are times when we really screw up so bad that things will never be right.  That would be the case, say if in anger you were to drive off in a huff and tear into another car and kill someone.  Or say while half drunk you accidentally fire off a round from a 30.6 into the foot of another and it results in an amputation.

I’m expressing situations here where simply saying you’re sorry doesn’t rectify the bad situation. Here, the damage we inflicted can’t be reversed.  Sure you tell someone that you’re sorry you killed their mate or kid in a car tragedy, but somehow that just doesn’t cut it.  The same is true where you blew away his foot.  A simply apology just doesn’t bring back the poor man’s foot.

But also true as in all cases of forgiveness somewhere along the line a point of repentance should be in order.  A simply apology just doesn’t mend things.  Generally speaking change is in order and that change should be effectuated by the offender.

We can look to the Apostle Paul as an example.  Here is a guy who killed Christians but went on later to be the largest Christian advocate ever.  No, he couldn’t reverse the damage he had inflicted on the lives of Saints, but his repentance did result in a complete and total reversal of behavior.

Chances are though you and I aren’t going to become an Apostle Paul due to our screw ups. And thus, we should attempt to avoid screw ups with all due diligence. And when we do eventually mess up, we should immediately pray for guidance and forgiveness.  If we are lucky our contrite heart will force change upon us.

Yet, I say we can’t just rest on those thoughts. Messing up is bad enough and harming people in the process is terrible.  So insomuch we can achieve forgiveness through Christ, we must also acknowledge our long lasting consequence of damage we inflict on others.

Voices of the Past


Her life wasn’t about drugs for she never fell upon that scene. Neither was it about alcohol nor willful neglect. No, for Athesia Greene hard times crashed upon her as a result of uncontrollable depression, an illness that teetered on the borders of maddening psychosis. She felt she wasn’t completely crazy yet, but was getting there day by day, pushing forward into a scary world of horrific dreams and voices. There were voices from the past. Voices from her daughter during her auto accident as it was t-boned by a semi-truck at a stop light. She could still hear the screams as she was ejected from her car and witnessed her car and her child burn while begging for help from her mother. However, there was to be no help. Her vehicle exploded into a raging inferno that destroyed her beloved daughter. There was nothing she could do but watch and witness the terrible aversion and now relive the event for the tragedy was inescapable from her memory. Athesia wished it had been her rather than her child who was dead.
And though today was Christmas Eve, she didn’t feel anything special about it. Even the Florida Times-Union, a local paper omitted the fact the day was anything special, listing only that it was December the 24th, nothing otherwise in particular.
By two that afternoon, a nor ‘easterly pushed in; the gusty winds drove a chilling rain that permeated the very core of her bones. More bad news arrived when she discovered her stash of canned goods and clothes had been stolen from her secret spot.
As darkness creeped in after three that afternoon, the stinging wind from the advancing storm clung to her wet goose-pimpled skin. Pushing home the point of agony, the odorous dirt from surrounding buildings cast a tormenting glare from the blazing headlights of travelling cars near Main Street. Even the vibrations from the pavement felt like stabbing pangs and the garbled sounds from hurried people leaving their office buildings seemed brutal and uncaring. Truly for Athesia Greene, life sucked.
Behind her, she felt a howling wind rush by and then just as ominously, a heated lightning bolt blasted her prone to the ground.
Minutes later, a small voice spoke to her, “Are you alright? Are you okay?”
A trickle of warm blood dripped from Atehias’s mouth, but otherwise, she felt uninjured.
A little girl who had spoken to her said, “The lightning took out the power. Everyone’s coming outside for fresh air.”
Now the atmosphere was calm. The air was clean and crisp and no longer harsh-more like the drying, cool effect of air conditioning. An early bright moonlight lit the area and there: a little girl’s dark brown eyes, radiant as they were, stared lovingly at Athesia.
“Let’s get you up off the sidewalk,” said the little girl.
Standing and gathering her bearings, Athesia said, “Where’s your parents? Who are you?”
“My initials are AG” said the girl.
“No, that can’t be true. I’m sure of it for that’s what I called my daughter,” said Athesia. The girl stood silent as Athesia traced her unbelieving eyes over the outline of the girl.
Her hair was well-groomed, black, long and wooly, unusually long for a girl only perhaps eight years old. She possessed a sweet and innocent cherubic face that glowed a magnificent sparkle, a sparkle noticeable even in the contrast of the yellow hued light of the bright emitting moon.
As people began gathering around the sidewalk, they conversed with one another. Athesia noticed they were now different-different now they endured the absence of electricity. Now, they were actually forced to swarm together, talk together, something rare for the times. Sure, some remained glued to their smart phones, but most interacted with each other and discovered life beyond their normal routines as now, they were no longer just strangers, but people. Real people.
“You were a good mom,” the girl said to Athesia.
Athesia was taken aback by the comment. “But, but how could you know that?”
“Because you were kind and good to me,” the girl said without hesitation. “I love you.”
“Who? What is going on?” Athesia begged as she sobbed with uncontrollable tears.
“It’s Christmas Eve.” The girl spoke. “This is a special night and I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas.”
Athesia’s nervous spirit, overcome with shock and awe began to understand. Sure. She was hearing voices, but now these voices were good voices, not the normal voices, the horrors from the past. Clearly, and impossibly, her daughter was standing there before her and now, Athesia cared about nothing else. This was good.
“How long has she been laying there?” a policeman asked a witness.
One lady suggested her death was caused by lightning as she pointed to the sky and others who were gathered outside agreed.
Moments later, the power returned and the workers began to return to their duties. On the way to normality, one to the other broke their habits of cold seclusion and embraced their new founded friends on the sidewalk, and as they slowly exited back into exile, they joyfully wished each other a Merry Christmas.

And Where is Your Heart? (We probably aren’t that Bad)


King David is described as a man after God’s own Heart.

Let’s see now.  This is a man who killed thousands of people.  This is a man who committed murder and adultery and a man who several times broke God’s laws.  This is a man just as human and frail and you and me and so then let’s see how we compare.

Obviously no one is going to suggest that David did not love God.  Not only is it obvious that David loved God, but he also explains to us that he loved his laws and his company and his Holy Spirit.  David demonstrates this in psalms and in songs and in music to include dance.

Aside from David’s courage—driven by a simple faith, but we know that David was quick to respond to God’s dictates and to also ask for forgiveness when he screwed up.

Now then:  how do we stack up.  Okay, let’s say that we fail on the courage part.  I know I won’t attack a lion with nothing but a slingshot.  The same is true in terms of addressing a raging giant. You can also cut out that part (no pun intended) for the removal of 1000 foreskins from reluctant donors In order to please his girlfriend.

Alright some of us have been divorced just as David.  Yeah, I know.  The bible doesn’t speak of his divorce but then again he had more than one wife.

Some of us write and sing and dance for God and too, once in awhile we probably do obey his commands.

Now here is where perhaps all of us come to light.

I believe we all love the Lord.  We love Jesus and hate it when he’s not around. Now then: in this sense I believe we can actually be compared to David and perhaps hold a candle to him.

And in that capacity too perhaps our Lord will speak affectingly of us that we: are a people after God’s own heart.

The Thunder of our Words Unsaid (I was timid and afraid)


I could write a dozen books on all the words I never said.  These words are those direct witness and testimonies I never gave to God’s children.

In public company, I become timid, afraid and yes embarrassed to speak up. No, I am not embarrassed for Jesus, I am embarrassed for myself for many reasons.

At least in one capacity I am afraid and fail to speak because I’m not good in quoting bible verses from the hip.  Too, I am not exactly an eloquent speaker of sorts.

At times, I stumble over words, or fail to highlight the obvious.  In short, I don’t deliver my witness as we should as I don’t boldly address it to others as such.

Thus the deafening sound of all the words I have failed to utter is devastating. There are thousands upon thousands of people that have not met Jesus.  They don’t know the glorious work of His resurrection or ascension to His Father in  Heaven.

These unsaid words fail to speak about the total forgiveness of Sin—of God’s mercy, our pardon and deliverance into the Kingdom of God.

Yes, all of these unsaid words are loud—they contain the thunder of goodness and righteousness of words—clear words that are unspoken all to the glory of God.

I suppose too what makes all of this so sad is that while I’m out standing in the crowd with my mouth shut, that I am not standing there alone.  In fact, I realize there is an entire army out there with me and all of us are the same.  All of us are silent and we together speak all the words that are unsaid only to each other.  For all the others there is nothing there but silence.

Where to discover GOD:  In search of


Most people would probably say to those searching for God for them to get on their knees and to pray themselves into salvation. And while I’m not speaking against this I believe in a more direct way and one that accounts for biblical authority.

For those who search for GOD they should really go no further than to YOU.  Your earthly body is home to the Holy Spirit imparted by our Lord Himself and thus, you are a member of Christ—a direct link to the Father.  This is NOT to say that you are GOD, it is to say that the good in you is an identical image of God and reveal through His fruits.

Think about it.  We did not become Christians within a vacuum.  We became Christians somewhere along the line due to the transfer of testimony—a transfer of testimony that can be traced directly from the disciples and the very words of Christ!

This transfer is not a result of some ethereal, creepy or hidden ‘spiritual’ ordeal.  NO. It came from direct flesh and guts—boots on the ground so to speak.  The event of Jesus is very earthly in real terms.

Jesus now is personified through you and me. If a wayward child is to be received by God then he should go through you.  There the searcher should see God beaming through your words and actions.  That is all of it in a nutshell.  Either God is there or He is not.

And for all of you would wish to escape your responsibility you can do two things as most do today:  The first is that you can direct the person to the Bible.  And the second, you can point your finger to the Heavens.

And in both cases you are more or less correct, but more importantly you are also dead wrong.

You are dead wrong as we the Christians are to be the salt of this earth.  We are to be the bearers of the Good News and we are to introduce God to the world.

You don’t feel up to the task?  Don’t feel left out.  However, we are still to obey our Lord and present Him to the world through us.  It is our task, our job, our duty and to that effect, as lowly or as bad an example that we may be if the world is to be introduced to Christ—it will be by our witness for all of those who search for GOD.