Sunday, June 27, 2010

WHAT IS THE SCANDAL OF THE CROSS?

For a decade now, the Lord has shown me time and time again, that my purpose in Life is to study, understand and proclaim the Cross for the rest of my life. In visions, images, dreams and moments when I was totally awake and alert - It's Still the Cross!!

Theologians, preachers, serious Bible students - mere mortals we all are - will never grasp the Full Meaning of the Cross until we get to heaven! To those of the Day (33AD) the Cross was a scandal! The word scandal means "a disgraceful event" among other things. Before and after the Death of Christ on the Cross, the Cross had a violent and evil reputation as an execution device of the Romans that only common criminals and troublemakers died on.

Space and brevity do not allow me to explore fully this Scandal, but suffice it to say, what was disgraceful to the Religious and Elite classes of Jesus' short time as a human on earth was the Surprise Gift to all mankind from Adam to the last saint saved during the Tribulation. The Pharisees and other elitists have their counterpart and WORSE today in Academia, Science, Government, politicians, media and not surprising - THE CHURCH!

So if you have a few minutes to spare, and watch the video above, it will hopefully set you thinking of the disgrace and shame (the scandal) of the way of God's Choosing to sacrifice His Own Son for us. Not only that, but as you study the Passage below from Philippians 2 on the amazing Descent of Christ from Eternal God to one time Bethlehem-born Baby, meditate on the word "form".

Jesus assumed the FORM of a human or a man, so He could identify with us. The word form is the English translation from the Greek word "morpho"! In other words, as the video explains, Jesus "morphed" Himself, at the request of Abba Father, from the Ancient of Days and Creator to an extraordinary sinless man, who could feel, eat and have the same emotions as you and I! Now when you contemplate the enormity of that, all you can say is "WOW!!!!!
PHILIPPIANS 2:5-8 (AMP): Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] 6Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [b]">[b]possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not c]">[c]think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped d]">[d]or retained,

7But stripped Himself [of all privileges and e]">[e]rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. 8And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO US ALL!

Many years ago, I sang this song in church, every Father's Day. It meant a lot to me as a man of God and a father. My eldest son, Bernie III, was only 3 or 4 (now almost 18) and we had a newborn son (Sam). Having grown up without a father since age 11, I was totally new at all of this.

My only recourse? Turn to my Heavenly Father. This song, back then, spoke volumes to me. While I will and have not been a perfect father, it never stopped me from trying. I hope one day, all our kids will see in me, a father who always recognized that I was nothing without the Real Father - Abba - Jehovah God. On my dying bed, I would like to know, even if not in words, that my kids wanted to be like me because I wanted to be like my own Father in Heaven.


SILENCE IS GOLDEN BY NIKOLE HAHN

OUR FAVORITE GUEST BLOGGER!

The bees are buzzing around my Russian Sage. A spider is busy spinning his web to trap lunch. A bird just landed on my Cherry Blossom. He’s calling to his friends, “Hey! Are we going to meet again for lunch today?” The crows are squawking and the whoosh-whoosh of their wings as they fly over the roof of the house make me smile.

Silence. It is golden.

You can open your ears when your lips aren’t moving. You can hear things like the above because it never really is silent, unless, of course, you count 9/11 when all the planes were grounded. That will be a story I’ll tell the not-yet born of the future. In my cranky voice, I’ll tell in detail all about that historic and somber day while I am sipping jello through a straw.

We don’t always use silence. We feel as if we have to fill up our prayer time with God in words when words really aren’t needed. Silent time with God speaks volumes. Just be still, clasp your hands together and listen to Him.

Silence is never used when around friends. We fill it up with advice. I do. I get that from my mother. It’s an annoying habit. My helping heart tends to trip over the volumes of advice wore out from too much use searching for the perfect words. In Duane Scott’s blogcalled, “Returning The Favor,” he used silence to listen to his dad’s rant. Our friends may only need our ear, our love, acceptance and our presence to let them know they are not alone. My friends are used to me. They know I mean well and I hope some day I can return the favor of their friendship by listening well.

As the bees buzz, the crows fly and the birds sing, I sit still in my living room with my book resting on my lap, a finger saving my spot, and I listen as the wind trickles through the wind chimes by my front door. Some children are playing down the street. Their laughter is like the harp I hear sometimes during service—gentle, loving, and relaxing. Silence is truly golden.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

THE COMMENCEMENT SPEECH YOU WILL NEVER HEAR @ THIS YEAR'S GRADUATION: CLASS OF 2017



We are not only living in troubled times, but the future looks even bleaker. The generations coming up behind us, who are within 25-50 years of passing from the scene are lost, hopeless, selfish, corrupted and full of nothing but empty knowledge. Never have so many, acquired so much, that cost so much, that will count for nothing, in this life and the next.

Not only has the system - whatever that is - failed almost all our young people, but parents, from the Baby Boomer parents up to now, have allowed schools, communities and even churches, to short change them. For decades, graduates (from high school to college) have been sent out into the world with no solid spiritual food or the knowledge of the One Who created them. For decades, young people are constantly told, by those who will one day wish they were wearing millstone neckties instead, that all they needed was to look inside themselves....and "use barricades and obstacles as opportunities" but never mind "the answer is out there" because "all you need to do is dig deeper" as "the answer is in you"!

That is the biggest pile-up since the post clean-up after the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness combined. How can someone, who has absolutely no foundation in Truth, i.e. - the Word of God, look into their empty souls for an answer? Precisely! What this post-modern thinking really is, would classify as empty, godless, cheap pseudo-buddhism and its step-child "contemplative prayer" rolled into one. Every current survey back up the "empty soul syndrome". The Pew Research Center's just released in depth survey found that Christians in America had dropped from over 78% in 2007 to 70% less than eight years later. Of course, the number of "nones" or believe nothing people has risen from 16% of the population to almost 23% in the same period.


Now those people, the "nones", have always been there. They just answered more honestly this time. Secondly, of the 70% that call themselves "Christian" because that is what an American is supposed to be, the actual number of born-again, Bible-believing Christians falls to a scary and incredible 9%! This was gleaned from several Barna and Pew Surveys from the last few years about what we called "A Biblical Worldview".  The stunning 9% of real Bible-believing Christians is equal to 28.8 million of the current US Population of 320 million!

IT IS EVEN WORSE WITH MILLENNIALS! ONLY 4% OF THEM ARE BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS WITH A BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW! WHO DO YOU THINK GOD WILL HOLD RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS ABOMINATION??!! YOU, THE CHURCH, EVERY SINGLE LIBERAL, POLITICIAN, ACADEMIC..... AND US IF WE DID NOTHING ABOUT IT.

The actual status and positional salvation of someone who calls themselves a Christian are based on what they believe about Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior; Repentance and/or change of heart, lifestyle etc from sin to living for God; what their view of God is and His Word.  A biblical worldview is the complete view of the world 
based on God’s revealed truth, the Bible, which directs our daily lives and how we think, act and interact. This sort of thing is at a premium these days.

While it may be impossible to turn this entire Titanic-sized ship around, there is no way we should give throw our hands up and walk away. Let us start here:
Each year around this time, the air is full with the sound of commencement speeches in our high schools and college campuses.

Each year around this time, comes the obligatory attack on prayer and God, by an entirely humanistic, secular, godless world.

Each year around this time, high schools and colleges would have politicians and “celebrity” commencement speakers who fill our departing graduates with such ungodly garbage, that it is amazing even 10% of them leave college with a fraction of a Biblical Worldview.

Each year one would be hard-pressed to find an invited speaker who gives a message of the real hope and encouragement, which lasts a lifetime.
The Lord Himself showed us how to live in these times. His Word is so rich and powerful, they need no explanation! So here is the “speech” you will never hear during Commencement Exercises in 2017 or anytime now or sadly, in the near future:

THE 2017 COMMENCEMENT SPEECH YOU WILL NEVER HEAR:4
CONCERNING THE DIFFICULT TIMES AHEAD:
“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:3-4
CONCERNING STRENGTH IN DIFFICULT TIMES:
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do”. Joshua 1: 7-8
CONCERNING WISDOM IN DIFFICULT TIMES:
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” Colossians 4:5-6
CONCERNING ATTITUDES OF A CHRISTIAN:
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8
CONCERNING YOUR REACTION TO TRIALS AS A CHRISTIAN:
“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:10-11
CONCERNING PLANS THAT DO NOT COME FROM GOD:
“Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil”. James 4: 13-16
CONCERNING YOUR WALK WITH GOD THROUGH CHRIST:
“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do”. Psalm 1: 1-3
CONCERNING THE LOVE OF MONEY IN GOD’S ECONOMY:
“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5
CONCERNING YOUR LOVE OF GOD:
“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise Wisdom and Discipline” Proverbs 1:7

"Fear the Lord, Keep His Commandments for this is the whole duty of man"
Ecclesiastes 12:13


“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength”. Mark 12:30

You would not hear these brief but life changing exhortations on any campus of any great or small American school/college. You may not even hear the Word of God proclaimed in some so-called “Christian” schools. However, these timeless Truths never change. They are for us all. 

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I CARRY YOU WITH ME..... BY AVA ASTON!

This beautiful original song by friend, Ava Aston, is about the loss of a loved one. I know you will like it!