Friday, March 27, 2009

The Way

Rainbow six mile cypruss slough


"Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." — John 14:6


Many people are put off by the exclusivist of Christianity. They are angered that Jesus is the only way. God sent His only Son to die the death of a criminal. The Son took all the sins of the world upon Him as he died on the cross. God the father, dearly loved this only son. If there had been another way, would God not have chosen that way. We cannot diminish the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus. His sacrifice was for us. His sacrifice was the only way. Salvation is through Jesus alone. "No one can come to the Father except through [Jesus.]"

I am reminded of a story told by J. Vernon McGee. He spoke of his love for school at an early age. He quickly learned to read. Math was another subject he enjoyed. He learned that 2 + 2 = 4. This was one simple law of math. The teacher would accept no other answer for the question. 2 + 2 always equals four. The teacher would not accept 3.99. 4.01 was not acceptable. The answer for 2 + 2 was always four and only four. As he grew older, the answer did not change. The answer for 2 +2 was the only answer accepted. When he balanced his checkbook, the bank only accepted this answer. When he filed his income tax, the IRS only accepted 2 + 2 = 4. There is no exception. The exclusive answer to 2 + 2 is 4. It is true, 2 + 2 = 4 and only 4. It is the truth and it is exclusive.

The truth is exclusive. If it is the truth, if it is a fact – there is one exclusive answer. Jesus is THE answer. He is THE way, THE truth and THE life. No one go to the Father except through Jesus. There is nothing wrong with being exclusive. The way to God is a fact. It is an absolute. Believe it, it’s true. You wouldn’t want it any other way. Jesus is not A way but the true and ONLY way. We cannot be ashamed, or surprised, by the exclusiveness of this truth. We cannot afford to allow ourselves to believe differently. We cannot risk letting our friends and family believing anything short of this truth. We must boldly proclaim this fact – this truth, Jesus is the only way to the father. Just as 4 is the exclusive answer for 2 + 2, Jesus proclaimed himelf as the only way to the Father and eternal life.

If you have not accepted Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life, why not do so now. Enjoy your first breath as a new creation. Take your first joyful breath in eternal life in Jesus.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Weaver

Fern fronds


He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:27-28 (MSG)


The Weaver

My life is but a weaving,
between my God and me.
I do not choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.

Offtimes He weaveth sorrow,
and I in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
and I the underside.

Not 'til the loom is silent
and the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
in the weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned.

Author Unknown

Monday, March 23, 2009

Believe

Fall frost on Dogwood leaves and buds


Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. — John 20:29 KJV



Seeing is not necessarily all that is needed to believe. Some people are sure that if they could just actually see Jesus, they would believe. If we cannot believe with the words of the Bible, and the testimony of other believers, actually seeing Jesus would not make Him any more real to us.



Belief is a truth held in the mind; faith is a fire in the heart. — Joseph Fort Newton

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Commanded to LOVE

opening soon


My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. ~ John 15:12 NIV


If you allow someone to love you, that love will take you to painful places. - Henri Nouwen, Leadership, Vol. 3, no. 1.


Love isn't easy, but it is a requirement. Love has "everything" to do with it. Christ loved us - look at how much pain he endured because of it. Are we willing to love someone this much. Are we willing to love Him this much.

Friday, March 20, 2009

God is Near


Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.— Psalm 116: 7-9 NIV






God is always near to us. We can depend on him to deliver us in all situations.
Even in death God is with us, and will deliver us.




I do not know how the loving father will bring out the light at last, but he knows and he will do it.— David Livingstone

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Astonishment!

At this they were seized with astonishment. Full of awe, they gave praise to God, saying, `We have seen incredible things today! — Luke 5:26





What awesome things we have not seen and heard because we take so much for granted. When one of my sons called me long-distance and told me he had been in an accident, it was at that moment I realized how much I cherish him. But why does it take such gut-tearing news for us to realize this? Can't we praise our God and treasure our loved ones now, at this very moment?

The miracle is already here. We see and hear stirring things every day. Nature is filled with visual and auditory delights, and our homes are havens of delight and security. We hear sobs, too, for these are the compensations of life, strange as that sounds. Our lives report wonders already, while we wonder why we are filled with wanderlust and a constant search for the Incredibles of life.

In this verse these people saw Jesus tell a lame man to get up and go on with life, and they were amazed. Is it any less amazing that he tells us to get up and go about our daily duties--and while doing so, to see and hear his daily miracles?

– Lk 5:17-26 Is 35:1-10 1 Thes 5:18 Jb 9:10 Mk 6:5,6 - Pat Nordman

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Helping Others

Share with God's people who need help. Bring strangers in need into your homes. - Romans 12:13 NCV





Success does not mean standing victoriously over a fallen enemy. It is standing side by side with persons you have helped. Success is a matter of raising not only your own water level but the water level of all around you so that all the ships in the harbor can embark on prosperous voyages. — Denis Waitley – Timing is Everything Adams

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Affliction - life is a miracle.

For hardship does not spring from the soil,nor does trouble sprout from the ground.Yet man is born to troubleas surely as sparks fly upward. — Job 5:6-7 NIV





By affliction God is spoiling us of what of what otherwise might have spoiled us. –When he makes the world too hot for us to hold, we let it go. — Sir John Powell





Life is a Miracle


Life is a miracle, don't let it slip away,
Open your heart to others; give of yourself each day.

See the beauty in everyone regardless of where they've been, Some have a difficult journey and really need a friend.

Share your gifts and talents; listen with your heart.
Do the things you dream about but don't have time to start.

Pick a bouquet of flowers; show someone that you care,

Be gracious and forgiving; life is never fair.
Hold on to your courage, you may need it down the road,

We all have a cross to bear; it could be a heavy load.

If you practice all these things no matter where you roam,

You may find both sun and rain, but you'll never feel alone!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Some thoughts on Easter


Morning Sanibel beach, originally uploaded by Ransome.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

Opened By a Seed 


In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, is a grave on which were placed huge slabs of granite and marble cemented together and fastened with heavy steel clasps. It belongs to a woman who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. Yet strangely, she directed in her will that her grave be made so secure that if there were a resurrection, it could not reach her. On the marker were inscribed these words: "This burial place must never be opened." In time, a seed, covered over by the stones, began to grow. Slowly it pushed its way through the soil and out from beneath them. As the trunk enlarged, the great slabs were gradually shifted so that the steel clasps were wrenched from their sockets. A tiny seed had become a tree that had pushed aside the stones.

The dynamic life force contained in that little seed is a faint reflection of the tremendous power of God's creative word that someday will call to life the bodies of all who are in their graves. He will also bring back every person drowned at sea, cremated, or destroyed in some other way. This is no problem to the One who made something out of nothing when He spoke the universe into existence. Unbelief cannot deter the resurrection. But faith in the risen Christ opens the door to blessings that His resurrection guarantees – a glorious new spiritual body and a home in heaven. In new bodies we will be reunited with saved loved ones to live with Jesus throughout all eternity. – Unknown


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Experience God




Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34:8 (ESV)


Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see— how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him. — Psalm 34:8 (MSG)

By experience you will see that the Lord is good; happy is the man who has faith in him. Psalm 34:8 (BBE)





A young boy went to the local store with his mother. The shop owner, a kindly man, passed him a large jar of suckers and invited him to help himself to a handful. Uncharacteristically, the boy held back. So the shop owner pulled out a handful for him.

When outside, the boy's mother asked why he had suddenly been so shy and wouldn't take a handful of suckers when offered.

The boy replied, "Because his hand is much bigger than mine!"

Citation: Brian Harris; Mt. Roskill, Auckland, New Zealand

God's hands are much bigger than ours. We cannot even begin to conceive of His greatnes and His love for us. Just taste Him and see how good He is. You will be blessed more than you can imagine.





This is a warm invitation: "Try this; I know you'll like it." When we take that first step of obedience in following God, we cannot help discovering that he is good and kind. “You have taste buds in your soul for tasting, for experiencing spiritual things. Taste and experience that God is good!” As we trust him daily, we experience how good he is.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Don't be Anxious

Luke 12:27, originally uploaded by Ransome.

Look at the wildflowers in the field. Not one of them ever picked up needle and thread to make beautiful clothes for themselves, Jesus pointed out. Yet who has clothing as beautiful as theirs? Not even the fabulously rich Solomon!  1 Kings. 10:4-6, 23  What is going to happen to these beautiful flowers? They will dry up and be burned for fuel in a day or two. If God does such an elaborate job for such fleeting flowers, what will he do for you? You are worth so much more than fragile flowers. Where is your faith? Trust God for what you need. Quit worrying! -  Holman New Testament Commentary – Luke.



The word "worry" is derived from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning to strangle or to choke. How well-named the emotion it has been demonstrated again and again in persons who have lost their effectiveness due to the stultifying effect of anxiety and apprehension. A certain well controlled carefreeness may well be an asset. Normal sensible concern is an important attribute of the mature person. But worry frustrates one's best functioning.    
 — Norman Vincent Peale

Friday, March 6, 2009

God is Near

Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.

Psalm 116: 7-9 NIV

goldbar.gif (418 bytes)


God is always near to us. We can depend on him to
deliver us in all situations.

Even in death God is with us, and will deliver us.



goldbar.gif (418 bytes)


I do not know how the loving father will bring out the light at last, but he knows and he will do it. — David Livingstone




Thursday, March 5, 2009

Life Passes Quickly

From In My Garden



The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength;yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. — Psalm 90:10 NIV



"What is life? It is a flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset." ~ Crowfoot

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Isaiah 40:28



God is the source of strength, power, and refreshment. They all come from our relationship with God, He gives them to us as a gift of His grace.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Motive

People may be pure in their own eyes,
but the LORD examines their motives. - Proverbs 16:2




Cookie Jars

A little boy told a salesclerk he was shopping for a birthday gift for his mother and asked to see some cookie jars. At a counter displaying a large selection the youngster carefully lifted and replaced each lid. His face fell as he came to the last one. 'Aren't there any covers that don't make any noise?" he asked. . . Right motives should accompany right actions.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Do not Lose Heart

New England Aster


Isaiah 55:12, originally uploaded by Ransome.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16 



Christianity is not devotion to work, or to a cause, or a doctrine, but devotion to a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul refused to take anything or anyone seriously but Jesus Christ. — Oswald Chamber