When Each Day Becomes Precious

Lyrics – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 

 


Grand Farm – images from pixabay.com

Luke 12:16-21  (ESV)

New Barn – images from pixabay.com

16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to

Silos and Barn – images from pixabay.com

my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

When You face the Day of Reckoning

Justice – images from pixabay.com

I am old enough to share that most of my family, some of my friends and many peers succumbed to one of life’s ultimate realities: death.  Some suddenly others slowly; some in peace some in pain. This is our fate even as Christians unless, Jesus returns and spares us this transition. So, in the mean time if you experience a serious injury or illness and survive like almost everyone we learn just how precious life is and make some plan to change something about our life.


Near death experience inspires a new song with lyrics 2015  by Matt Norton

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAhgJ6T9_fY


New Born – images from pixabay.com

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …

Last Ride – images from pixabay.com

Maybe you have learned this the easy way . . .

 

Almost – images from pixabay.com

. . . you look to GOD for the way to live, treat others accordingly and prioritize your goals by GOD’s standards. That would be wonderful.  If not consider not waiting for calamity to push you to make that decision.

 

GOD will accept your repentance at the last  breath; just accept Jesus into your heart.

 

You still can be saved – images from pixabay.com

Some people are taken aback when they learn this: whether you accept Jesus as a small child or as an elderly person on your death-bed you are still saved for eternity.  There are heavenly rewards if you have a chance to earn them but salvation is a free gift from GOD because of the work of Jesus Christ.

 

1 John 1:9 ESV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Next Week: Misplaced Fear

ESV: English Standard Version – Crossway

Join a Church, Bible Study . . .  read the whole Bible in order to learn the full meaning of GOD’s Word.

Police States?

Lyrics – images from pixabay.com

 

 

 


The Roman Colosseum – images from pixabay.com

GOD Provides us with Governments to Serve the People not Themselves.

Matthew 20:28 ESV

Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

Sinful humans abuse this power for selfish gain and power. The struggle initiates violent conflict, abuse of human rights and persecution. Jesus

Catacombs – images from pixabay.com

advocated peace, love and forgiveness. This philosophy left aggressive violent people with the impression Christians were meek and docile and easy prey: Persecution followed.  What these  perpetrators did not realize, long after they were to be gone Christianity would prevail.

Matthew 22:17-21 ESV

Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Roman Republic – images from pixabay.com

Slavic Christian Community- Famous Song about Persecution by Brandon Heath: Dmitri’s Song

Todd Smith (Video)  – “Dmitri’s Song (Jesus Is Alive)”

https://youtu.be/GD4EYlGXZkc

Recent News Indicated Persecution Still Occurs

Yes even today:

https://factsandtrends.net/2018/01/29/quarter-billion-christians-face-major-persecution-2018/

San-Sebastian – images from pixabay.com

Governments limit, forbid or attempt to annihilate Christians even today. The negative forces have the opposite affect. When Christians face these most dire conditions they go underground and there Faith grows stronger and their numbers increase.


Police States May Oppose and Control Humans of a  Race, Political View, Ideology, a Creed or Religion.


Though the USA is considered a police state by some that is hyperbole – having over a million law enforcement personnel may make it seem so, but our population is over 325 million .

These are the current police states in the world according to Business Insider magazine:

https://www.businessinsider.com/police-force-per-capita-2011-5


Icon – images from pixabay.com

 

THEY MAY HAVE BEGUN BECAUSE OF LAWLESSNESS – Crime, Corruption or violence.Then Absolute Power Corrupted the Good with Evil making matters worse.


2 Corinthians 11:13-15 ESV

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Next Week: The Value of Humans

ESV: English Standard Version – Crossway

Join a Church, Bible Study . . .  read the whole Bible in order to learn the full meaning of GOD’s Word.

Still, You Can Pray

Praise – images from pixabay.com

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Tranquil Waters – images from pixabay.com

Reality: One side wonderful the other dreadful.

When Storms Come – images from pixabay.com
Praying Hands – images from pixabay.com

Easy to count our blessings in good times and times of plenty but, in times of lacking, trials and painful destructive experience what can we do?  We may feel helpless and tired and impotent . . . what can we do? Pray. No matter what, we have, a GOD of Love to pray to, in The Name of Jesus Christ.  GOD hears and GOD answers according to GOD’s will. There is always an answer from GOD: No; Yes; Not Now. Remember GOD is not human and we are not gods.

Prayer Calms Us – images from pixabay.com

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

If an answer to our prayer is yes there is little room for doubt but if it is no:

SONG: Andrea Bocelli – The Lord’s Prayer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEplqV0scyo

Song: Unanswered Prayers – Garth Brooks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze4gFWuYh50

Psalm 66:18 ESV

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

When GOD says maybe (not now later) how do we respond?

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Like the soldier’s motto, “Ours is not to reason why; ours is just to do or die”. Leave it to GOD.

Jesus Pays for Sin – images from pixabay.com

Mark 14:36 ESV

And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

Jesus paid the price for sin including ours and believing in Him achieves an eternity in Heaven. Yet until in the fullness of time the things of Revelation come to pass and Jesus returns, the world we live in remains flawed. Still, you can pray.

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do; demonstrate the Love of GOD teach others about Jesus and Salvation.

Next Week: Can You Escape from Reality?

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Who is Your Shepherd?

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String instrument – images from pixabay.com
Shepherd – images from pixabay.com

 

Secular Leaders – images from pixabay.com

 


Matthew 6:24 ESV

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Whom do you follow?

Seek God – images from pixabay.com

Will he or she lead you to good, evil, life or death? Do they appeal to this temporal life: pleasure, riches and luxury. Or, do they lead you to eternal life with GOD? There is much wisdom accumulated from the most ancient of times but not all pertains to your eternal welfare.  Maybe it is just good for a time ; the time of our lifetime.

SONG: Chris Tomlin – I Will Follow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ohvhmGSfxI

 

1 Corinthians 10:21 ESV

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

Pray for Guidance – images from pixabay.com

What seems good to a child will not seem good when you are an adult . . . we all live an learn.

1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

Sands of Time – images from pixabay.com

Why not avoid some of life’s painful lessons by giving your parents,  teachers, elders and religious mentors a listening to.  Why not closely pay attention to the wisdom of the Bible – GOD’s Word. Stories, parables, allegorical example and literal truth from thousands of years of experience but, more important, from GOD.

 

My first extensive reading of the Bible was Proverbs and followed by Ecclesiastes.

Bible Wisdom – images from pixabay.com

Proverbs 12:15 ESV

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

Proverbs 19:20 ESV

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.

No, at first I did not understand it well nor did I get the messages however, when calamity overwhelmed me and GOD got my attention I accepted Jesus.  From that moment The Holy Spirit helped me to understand and change.  Christians seemed to appear from nowhere and they helped me is so many ways.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 ESV

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …

Facing the End – images from pixabay.com
New Life – images from pixabay.com

Church revival and church growth starts with you and, you will make a difference in a troubled world if you do so, by demonstrating love and good to a troubled world.

Next Week: The Love of GOD vs. Human Love

 THE BIBLE SHOULD BE STUDIED AS A SINGLE UNIT; UNITED IN CONCEPT AND CONSISTENT WHEN CONTEXT IS UNDERSTOOD. 

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Have You Reached Your Last Straw?


Music” is a Link to Christian Music – images from pixabay.com

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Destruction – images from pixabay.com

Universal Suffering

Nothing Left – images from pixabay.com

Homeless, Jobless, Severe Injury or Illness, Addiction, Loss of a Loved One or Loved Ones?

Slave to Booze – images from pixabay.com
Even RX Drugs – images from pixabay.com

All of us have faced challenges or will in our lifetime, how will you cope with them?

Drug Addiction – images from pixabay.com

Christians are not immune to calamity, injury, loss, illness and death, why? How do Christians claim to be at peace in the most trying circumstances? How is it that some Christians are able to even face death without loosing their faith? (all Christians are saved even if they falter in their last hours.)

 

Jesus – images from pixabay.com

First: They (Christians) have eternity guaranteed by Jesus.

John 5:24 ESV

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

 

Wisdom

Second: God uses worldly challenges in order to demonstrate grace and faith to the unsaved; the power of Christians when tempted to yield has a limit.

2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me

 

Prostitution- image from pixabay.com

Last: All people are tempted to sin in the same way – this includes Christians denying Christ under threat – this is why everyone needs GOD and can see GOD in eternity when trusting in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

GOD is Good – images from pixabay.com

Having Christ sets you on a path to recovery now and for eternity. Life will not be perfect but it will be better.

Romans 8:28 ESV

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

We are Free – images from pixabay.com

 

 

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Difficult Questions

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Should I use Violence to Defend

Use Martial-arts? – images from pixabay.com

One of the most difficult dilemmas you may be faced with is whether to use violence for defense.

Carry A Gun? – images from pixabay.com

Some of you may mumble, “that’s a no brainer; of course I would”. There may be a small minority who would choose death before causing harm to anyone for any reason.  Scanning my morning digests of articles in academic journals I spotted one that read: Modern civilization doesn’t diminish violence

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171027104843.htm

Another article read: Does population size affect rates of violence? The bottom line read:  . . . Ultimately, Falk and Hildebolt found that people living in small-scale societies are not inherently more violent that those living in “civilized” states, and that war deaths scale similarly with population sizes across all levels of human society.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171026164552.htm

Use Weapons? – images from pixabay.com

As a Christian these suggested findings point to the nature of humans truthfully described in the Bible.

Matthew 15:19 ESV

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Protect a Loved One? – images from pixabay.com

Ignoring GOD’s explanation does not change things; scientific studies can attribute this part of our nature as evolving from our more precarious primitive state. There was, and there may still be, people who believe that given the right opportunity humans will allow their peaceful traits to prevail: where is the evidence for that? In affluent societies where there is ample supplies and opportunities to be successful even the privileged can fail to manifest the “good” we humans supposedly have at our core: The recent perpetrator who was wealthy, seemingly lacking for nothing committed the Las Vegas mass murder. See: Brother says Las Vegas gunman was a wealthy real-estate investor

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/10/03/gunman-who-killed-50-at-las-vegas-concert-was-retired/

The NIV Bible expresses our nature in a more stark way:

Isaiah 64:6-7 New International Version (NIV)

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
    or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
    and have given us over to[a] our sins.

Isaiah is describing human attitude toward GOD.

 

 

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911 and What People do to Each Other

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Special 911 Issue

Pentagon 911 – image from pixabay.com

We respectfully remember those, murdered by our enemies, fallen in war and met their demise because of self sacrifice; remembrance as it should be. Today we pay our respect to those lost and damaged by doers of evil on September 11, 2001. *During the September 11 attacks in 2001, 2,996 people were killed and more than 6,000 others wounded.

*Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_September_11_attacks

We should also keep in mind those we loose in less dramatic but more personal events: illness, accidents, ignorance or plain neglect.  Here are some statistics that suggest we people can and should do a better job (be more careful) in protecting and caring for one another:

Road Danger – image from pixabay.com

Auto Deaths: *National Safety Council estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicles crashes . . . . http://fortune.com/2017/02/15/traffic-deadliest-year/

 

Ship Wreck – image from pixabay.com

Transportation other than auto: 2010 (not counting injuries) 2066 https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/by_the_numbers/transportation_safety/index.html

 

 

Bad Health – image from pixabay.com

Illnesses : 2002 all causes per 100,000 individuals =  916.1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_causes_of_death_by_rate

 

 

Neglect – image from pixabay.com

Neglect (famine) Preventable poor health care, unhealthy choices made such as smoking: Statistic complex beyond the scope of this blog. You can do some of your own research if you are interested.

 

Disaster – image from pixabay.com

Natural Disasters: “Between 1994 and 2013, EM-DAT recorded 6,873 natural disasters worldwide, which claimed 1.35 million lives or almost 68,000 lives on average each year. In addition, 218 million people were affected by natural disasters on average per annum during this 20-year period.  . . .” (Excerpt) http://reliefweb.int/report/world/human-cost-natural-disasters-2015-global-perspective

Conflict, War . . . 

War – image from pixabay.com

Humans in general cause harm to other humans in many ways directly or indirectly; sadly it is in our very nature.

Genesis 4:8 ESV

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.

Psycho Terror – image from pixabay.com

We humans cannot overcome our inherent  nature on our own no matter how hard we try.

Jeremiah 17:9 ESV

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

 Where does our hope lie? GOD has given us the way:

John 3:16 ESV 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  . . .”

images from pixabay.com

 

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Why Did I Survive

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Military Cemetery – image from pixabay.com

Special Memorial Day message

Why did we survive . . . . ?

For me Memorial Day’s Meaning has Increased with Time.

Sacrifice comes in many forms and the men and women who have served our Nation have many stories to tell.  Today we take time to especially keep alive the the memory of the fallen; express our gratefulness to all who have served and are serving; carry on the life to the fullest they swore to protect and to those who died to preserve all of what is good for us. 

As a Christian I have relied on GOD’s Word to make sense of the ways of this world especially the things that are beyond my understanding.
Bible Study – image from pixabay.com

Romans 5:1 ESV

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

KIA – image from pixabay.com

The men in my family all served in the armed forces of The United States of America from World War I up and through The Vietnam War.  My military job was with weapons not found in the Vietnam Theater of War but, many of my contemporaries did serve there and one childhood friend died there in 1968.  Setting aside politics I am convinced that war seems to be a necessary evil that must be waged from time to time (or even continue at a low-level seemingly all the time). Sadly this human activity seems needed in order to preserve what good there is in this world.  Since I served for just under four years on active duty and never fired a shot in anger I have felt guilty on occasion.

Homeless-veteran – image from pixabay.com

The Comrades I have met as well as my family veterans all have told me not to allow this destructive guilt to diminish my life.

Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen all Comrades – image from pixabay.com

Hebrews 13:6 ESV 

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

I am told all who have served honorably have contributed; men women, all.  Like some surrealistic movie I see my childhood friend’s face as we huddled in a football game and he told us what the play was.  Why did he die? He was so much better than I. He was more courageous than I. My favorite uncle who passed away last fall at 92 years old was a medic and served under General Patton,  was in the Battle of the Bulge and liberated at least one Nazi Concentration Camp; he never said much though he was the only post WWII medic from his class to survive (the other one out of a class of 32 came home only to get hit by a car and die).  My uncle did not talk much but did have medals and many restless nights.

Thank You – image from pixabay.com

GOD has a Purpose for us; when you accept Christ and study GOD’s Word you can discover why you were spared and what you are meant to do in this life.

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

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