Perception

Consciousness: The sum total input from all our senses and our perception of what it means.

GOD provides us with the gift of our senses and the gift of our intellect; how we perceive what it all means and interpret it with our consciousness can be is dependent on whether or not we believe GOD. Since I am a Christian my source of guidance for this process comes from The Word of GOD; in particular what Jesus taught.

 

– image pixabay.com

The Bible is the lens and filter by which we Christians should examine what we do and who we say we are.

Best Help Here – image pixabay.com

Diligent study of GOD’s Word will strengthen our ability to avoid temptation and sin and live a more GOD influenced life every day.

Bad or Good – image pixabay.com

 

– image pixabay.com

If we reject GOD and choose evil or even the appearance of evil we and others will look at our lives and our existence from that point of view; Choose GOOD; Choose Jesus and eternity with GOD.

– image pixabay.com

 









Coming in July: Honoring GOD



SONG:Here to Eternity – Hillsong Worship

 


Share this blog with someone you know.


Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

 

 

Memory Issues

Memory Issues

Falling Away from GOD – image pixabay.com
Dorot Jewish Division, The New York Public Library. “Sepulchres of the judges of Israel” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Judges Of Israel Accessed June 1, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-5d16-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

When the Hebrews were settled in the land GOD promised (some of the land that is) and things were relatively peaceful the people would forget what GOD had done for them.  During the time of the Judges there became a cycle of falling away from GOD and dire consequences then GOD would raise up a Judge to lead them back and defeat their enemies. This cycle persisted for twelve judges; the period ends when Saul became King.

Stumble – image pixabay.com

Some of us Christians may be hard pressed to admit it but, we easily forget when GOD has answered our prayer(s) and drift into a carefree nonchalant frame of mind until the next crises. That behavior can be explained with this familiar phrase, “What have you done for me lately?”. We probably do not mean it that way but it still appears that way to others.

Deuteronomy 4:9 ESV

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children—

An Even Worse Attitude?

Faulter – image pixabay.com

An even worse attitude may be taking GOD for granted. Assuming that the answer to prayer will be what we think is right, sometimes relying on GOD’s Grace to cover what may otherwise be our sin.

Romans 6:1-2 ESV

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

And a Still Greater Error ?

An even greater error would be taking matters into our own hands then expecting GOD to approve and bless our action afterwards. Instead:

Repentance – image pixabay.com

1 Chronicles 10:13-14 ESV

So Saul died for his breach of faith. He broke faith with the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance. He did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.

Even Moses Faltered

Moses
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses Fountain,Washington Park, Albany, N. Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a305-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Moses struck a rock at Mount Horeb as GOD instructed and water flowed for the people during the Exodus but later GOD instructed Moses to speak to a rock to bring forth water but he hit it with a stick again: this displeased GOD  and evoked anger.

 

 

 

 


SONG: Steven Curtis Chapman – Remember to Remember

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=14&v=uJz_rv5qC4s

Share this blog with someone you know.


Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

The Carrot or the Stick

The Carrot or the Stick

Carrot – image pixabay.com
Bamboo Stick- – image pixabay.com

Some people want to portray GOD as just love while others as a vengeful god spewing “fire and brimstone”. Christians who study scriptures diligently must come to the conclusion GOD is both. To become a Christian we must admit we are sinners and repent. Elsewhere in the Bible there are numerous references to The Love GOD has for us and creation – of course Sin, Fallen Angels, Satan and Evil is excluded.

Romans 3:23 ESV

Punishment – image pixabay.com

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 10:9 ESV

Reward – image pixabay.com

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved

Salvation comes by accepting that Jesus paid for all sin: this is the “carrot”; un-confessed sin and an unrepentant attitude condemns us to hell: that is the stick.

Heaven or Hell – image pixabay.com

The Carrot is Sweet!

Sweet – image pixabay.com

Revelation 21:8 ESV

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

The Stick is Bitter!

Sour – image pixabay.com

Therefore we as Christians must speak truth: Yes God is Love he provides and has given Salvation through the sacrificial  work of Jesus Christ on the Cross but, to ignore the penalty for unrepentant sin does not help anyone and leads to eternal damnation.


SONG: Kristian Stanfill: My Reward – Official Lyric Video

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


Share this blog with someone you know.


Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

Dreams, Visions and Voices

Dreams, Visions and Voices

Holy Spirit as a Dove – image pixabay.com

SONG: Twila Paris – I Will Listen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUnk1td2sQU


General revelation (creation) suggests to most people GOD as the creator. The Bible Christians use is a special form of revelation:
Inspired Scripture – image pixabay.com
1) Holy Spirit inspired writings,
2) GOD generated visions and dreams,
3) Angelic visitation and,
4) GOD’s spoken voice. 
Let us look at an example of each:

1) Holy Spirit

John 14:26 ESV

Holy Spirit as a Dove – image pixabay.com

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

2) GOD generated visions and dreams

Genesis 37:5-8 ESV

Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Full-page miniature with four scenes” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-e9b4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Spencer Collection, The New York Public Library. “Small miniature of John and full-page miniature of the First Vision” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-eca0-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

Acts 16:9 ESV

Apostle Paul – image from pixabay.com
And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

3) Angelic visitation

Luke 1:19 ESV

And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
Angelic Visitation – image pixabay.com

4) GOD’s spoken voice

 

1 Samuel 3:10 ESV

The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses receiving the Ten Commandments” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 17, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/b0d728c0-e148-0132-1904-58d385a7bbd0
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”

Share this blog with someone you know.


Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

 

Why the Fisherman, Sinners and Tax Collectors

Why the Fisherman?

The-Fishermen – image pixabay.com

Jesus was not starting a new religion, he came to lead the Hebrews back to GOD. All the people of Jewish hierarchy  were well in trenched in the dogma they established and perpetuated.

Fisherman – images from pixabay.com

Most of the augmented law of  The Pentateuch had been corrupted to benefit the religious and secular Jewish leaders. The Jewish fisherman and other laymen understood “The Law” and traditions but were open to what a new Rabi (Jesus) had to say.

Matthew 23:1-39 ESV

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, …

Sinners and Tax Collectors?

Matthew 9:11 ESV

And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Mark 2:17 ESV

And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jews Seek to Attack Jesus The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The Jews Seek to Stone Jesus” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 10, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/6728e710-a397-0134-6963-00505686a51c

OK John the Baptist offered a way for the Jews to repent and regain favor with GOD and apparently most rejected him. Jesus came to offer the same to all the Jewish people but it seems only sinners and tax collectors heard and obeyed. Only a very few leaders responded as Nicodemus had. Eventually the hardened hearts resulted in the Crucifixion of Jesus and the offer of salvation to all people (including Gentiles).

 

 

 

 


SONG: Open the Eyes of My Heart by Michael W. Smith, lyrics included.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idQ1n3cdgfo

 


Acts 28:28 ESV

Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”


Jerusalem – image pixabay.com

Share this blog with someone you know.


Christ has Risen and Lives in Heaven – images from pixabay.com

Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

https://www.calvaryleh.org/live-stream

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

https://www.calvaryleh.org/audio-sermons
 

Evil Redux

Evil Redux

About Evil – image pixabay.com
Evil Personified – image pixabay.com

Yes I wrote about evil before however, I thought it worthwhile to reiterate aspects of this seemingly ubiquitous aspect of life. If we just focus on The Ten Commandments and select those that instill an immediate threat to humans we should gain a bit more insight concerning evil. So, if I avoid debating social or cultural dilemmas head on cool heads may allow why sin is the source of evil. When GOD created the Heavenly Hosts they misused their Free Will as humans eventually had done later on when they were created. Satan and his demonic supporters fell from grace and influenced, and still influence, humanity: tempting us to give in to our sin nature thus perpetuating the influences of evil upon our world.

Isaiah 5:20 ESV

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Self defense,  defending good, defending your family may lead to killing because there is little choice; possibly self sacrifice if it can do good is possible, but:

Ten Commandments – images from pixabay.com

Exodus 20:13 ESV

“You shall not murder.

Rather than go through every possibility in a short blog I will point out how  two more sins cause evil to linger on the Earth.

1. Untruth: lies, omission, deception, manipulation . . . These cause the innocent harm; rob the innocent of what is theirs; encourages and enables a perpetrator to continue in these sinful ways.   2. Greed: How much does a person really need of anything? If a selfish person acts greedily innocent people loose out: food, clothing, healthcare, . . . . . employment doing honorable work.  

Left Out of Prosperity – image pixabay.com
There is no such thing as a victimless crime according to the Laws of GOD. Jesus paid for sin and fulfilled the penalty for sinning but He did not do away with GOD’s standards and definition for sin.
Our Hope – image pixabay.com
Accept Jesus’ sacrifice and gain eternal life.

SONG: I WILL FEAR NO EVIL / Worship Song by Pastor Daryl K Williams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8ChhXg8E-k  


Share this blog with someone you know.


Christ has Risen and Lives in Heaven – images from pixabay.com

Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

https://www.calvaryleh.org/live-stream
 

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

https://www.calvaryleh.org/audio-sermons
 
 

 

Free Will

Is Free Will an Illusion?

Fork in the Road 2 – image pixabay.com

We go about our lives thinking we are deciding what to do, where and when to go; what to eat; who to marry; what job to take. Yet when any of these decisions turn out negative our minds may go into overdrive attempting to figure out what happened (a consequence of free will?). Philosophers have wrestled with this question for a long time and I myself confronted baffling outcomes to my choices. First, GOD blessed us with free will and had also blessed the angles with free will resulting in some rebelling introducing evil to creation.  

2 Peter 2:4 ESV

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

God does not allow Satan (a fallen angel) free reign:

Job 2:3 ESV

Satan
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Then Los & Enitharmon knew that Satan: is Urizen.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 26, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-b5e1-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”

If you read Job you will see a great struggle because with permission Satan tormented Job and still he held up to the onslaught.  

Job:
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Job Conversing with His Friends” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed April 26, 2019. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/c26b7a20-64a3-0133-111b-00505686a51c


 



 

 

 

 

 


I Surrender – Hillsong Worship

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7jXASBWwwI


Job 42:16 ESV

And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations.

Bottom line: GOD gave free will because when we choose GOD it is on our own accord not a forced choice.

Share this blog with someone you know.


Christ has Risen and Lives in Heaven – images from pixabay.com

Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

https://www.calvaryleh.org/live-stream

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

https://www.calvaryleh.org/audio-sermons

 

Why Character Matters

Why Character Matters

Mutual Faith – image pixabay.com

In some places in the world trust is a rare commodity. It is difficult to trust leaders, police, military, neighbors or even friends. When you need something people in these palaces are never sure they are getting what they are paying for or, they expect that in order to receive the correct goods or services they often must be prepared to bribe someone.    

Philippians 4:8 ESV

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Our Society Honors Success Often Above All Else

Honored – image pixabay.com

We often value people with more material success more than others. This can lead to tolerance of sin, evil and abuse of less privileged people.

1 Timothy 6:10 ESV

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Trust in Prayer – image pixabay.com
As Christians we know our salvation does not depend on earthly things so we should focus on our future in heaven

 

Luke 12:33 ESV

Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.

Strong Bond – image pixabay.com

Song: My Reward video by Ronald Nard feat vocalist, the awesome Jermia Cannon. This video put’s a visual perspective to the song. “My Reward” is in Heaven. Lead by Jermia Cannon and background vocals by Kacy Harvey & Sound Of Praise. 

https://youtu.be/i6I2m-Djn0s


Share this blog with someone you know.

 


Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

https://www.calvaryleh.org/live-stream

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

https://www.calvaryleh.org/audio-sermons

Passover aka The Last Supper

We Christians Must Understand Jesus as a Hebrew

The Last Supper – image from pixabay.com

Exodus 12:21-28 ESV

Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. …


The Passover meal was the last supper we recognize: The lamb sacrificed at the Passover foreseen Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice for all sin.

SONG: He Let the People Go by James Halifko

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql9HaPJmzxo  


Moses
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. “Moses Fountain,Washington Park, Albany, N. Y.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed March 24, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-a305-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Share this blog with someone you know.

 


Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

https://www.calvaryleh.org/live-stream

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

https://www.calvaryleh.org/audio-sermons

Palm Sunday

Hosanna on the Highest

Palm Sunday – image pixabay.com

The Hebrews welcomed Jesus on Palm Sunday because they thought He was about to become a conquer and a king in a way that would throw off the rule of Rome. The people hoped for this although Jesus arrived as a Prince of Peace.

John 12:12-19 ESV

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him. …


Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) – Paul Baloche (Best Worship Song with Lyrics)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAaQ5EEXidc


Live or Archived Sermons (to learn from):

https://www.calvaryleh.org/live-stream

Audio Sermons too Learn by:

https://www.calvaryleh.org/audio-sermons