Welcome to my blog! To get an idea of what this blog is about you might want to read the "About Me and My Family" page as a starting point. You can browse through the archives or head over to the "Articles" page to read on specific topics I've written on over the years. Keep checking back because I'll be posting new articals from time to time.
Two years ago I made myself a personalized stocking since my taste had changed. Sometime after Christmas it got misplaced, so when the next Christmas came around I was the only one in the family with a store bought stocking. I kept saying that I was going to make one . . . but you know how that goes. So this year, once again, we couldn't find my home-made stocking so I put out the plain ole red and white one. My family said they didn't think I was going to make one this year so I decided to prove them wrong! Here it is.
Here is a close up of my stocking holder.
Now the whole family has a personalized stocking. Today today they were talking about re-doing their's so that they look nicer, but I thought I'd show them off anyways.
"The greatest gift God ever gave man kind was conviction." - Bro. David Harrison
This past fall I went to a revival at a local church and heard Bro. David Harrison preach along with several other preachers. His preaching was some of the best I've heard in my life. After hearing him I didn't leave with a good thought or new jokes and illustrations to tell, I left with conviction and tear stained eyes. Bro. Harrison has a heart for the lost to be saved and for Christians to stay in the race and live a life truly dedicated to Christ. I still feel conviction when I think about the sermon he preached called, "Do Not Disturb" which was preached to Christians who have placed a sign on their heart that says, "Do Not Disturb". I haven't found it on the internet, but he preached a similar one called, "A Conscious Seared, a Cold Heart, and a Wounded Spirit."
Whether or not you are looking for good preaching, I encourage you to go to his website, Voice of Hope Ministries, or Old Path Sermons. I hope it blesses your heart and gives you a desire to live every day for Christ.
The other day God gave me the opportunity to talk about his son Jesus. The conversation didn't just help the person I was talking too (I pray), but also opened my mind to new thoughts and burdens. It all started when a women mentioned that the hard and wicked times we are facing is assurance that God is coming soon. While we were talking about the day of the Lord Jesus Christ my co-worker mentioned that she hopes she makes it to heaven. She said something to the effect that even if someone is on their death bed as a Christian, the devil can tempt them to sin and if they yield to that sin then they may die and miss heaven. I suppose her reasoning in this matter was that you can loose your salvation anytime you sin. My first reaction was, how sad it must be to live that way. .
I went on to tell her what the Bible says about knowing you are saved; just enough to plant a seed so that if she is interested she will dig into the Word of God and find out for herself what God says about salvation. But even tonight I keep thinking about that theology that must leave people so uncertain about themselves. I would hate to think that one day I might be a Child of God and the next I am in danger of dieing in an unexpected accident and going to hell because of a sin that I may not have repented of. What an awful way to live! .
Since this is a discussion that comes up for depate quite often, I thought now would be a good time to dig deep into the Word of God and find out why I believe that once I am saved I cannot lose my salvation.
The Bible teaches that we can not earn our salvation. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD."
Salvation is clearly a gift, not a payment for our righteousness. If I cant recieve salvation by my own righteousness, how then can I lose my salvation for lack of righteousness? By saying I can loose my salvation I am saying that God's grace isn't sufficient to keep me. Like Mr. Smith said, instead of asking "can a Christian loose his salvation?" we should ask, "Can Jesus loose a Christian?" Everything looks different in God's eyes and if we try to look at the Bible and each other through His eyes then we will see things in a completely different light.
Then I came upon Romans 5:8. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." If God loves us this much, I can't understand why he would take away his salvation when he knew we were sinners and that we would continue to sin.
I am so thankful that I know I am a Christian and nothing can seperate me from the love of God. I know that if I confess my sins he is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and to cleans me from all unrighteousness. I know that he holds me in his hands and no man shall pluck me out. ::Scriptures: 1 John 1:9, John 10:28-29::
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
"When suffering shatters the carefully kept vase that is our lives, God stoops to pick up the pieces. But he doesn't put them back together as a restoration project patterned after our former selves. Instead, he sifts through the rubble and selects some of the shards as raw material for another project--a mosaic that tells the story of redemption." --Ken Gire
For the past week I've been reading about all the miracles God did through Peter and the other disciples and the sermons they preached to the Jews. Even though I've read it before I am seeing a lot of things I don't remember. Instead of just reading the story, I'm seeing the attitudes and perseverance that I never took notice of until now. I'm seeing some characteristics that I need to adopt in my own life.
The disciples didn't have an easy road to travel being some of the first ones to bring the Gospel to the Jews. (Being the first is never easy.) Just think, the people of Israel probably thought they wouldn't hear no more of Jesus once they crucified him. Now they were hearing his name and seeing the effects of his greatness every where they went. It disturbed the Pharisees and Sadducee's to see all the sick healed and the joy that must have came with it. They were so wrapped up in the law and couldn't let loose of it. But I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about the Sadducee's because that's not what got my attention.
The apostles were thrown into prison for all the miracles God was performing and for teaching the Jews about Christ. The Bible then says, "But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught." Acts 5: 19-21a) The first thing that came to my mind was, 'Wow, they didn't even take a day off to get over their imprisonment.' They didn't sit around for a day to pray about it and see if they really were in God's will. The Bible doesn't say they questioned the angel or discussed it among themselves. They went into the temple within hours, and taught. They went right back to what they've always been doing because they knew that was what God wanted them to do. They were fully persuaded.
Of course we can always say "If I had seen Jesus after he was raised from the dead, or if I had been filled with the Holy Ghost at Penticost, and if I had been spoken to by an angel . . . I would be fully persuaded too." But we do have the scriptures. We have felt the joy of Christ in our heart and seen the things that God can do through others. We know what God wants us to do because it's written in his Word, yet we often find ourselves doubting if what we are doing is the right thing. It's time that we becomefully persuaded.
Tonight while I was driving home from work I began thinking about how sinful I am and about all the times that I really screwed up just today. At the same time I began singing a song my youth chior is learning, Mercy Said No. This was nothing unusual because I've always got a song on my lips, even when I'm having a bad day you might find me humming a song out of the hymn book or chior book.
This particular day, as I was singing along in the privacy of my car, I really started thinking about the words. Actually, it was probably God pointing them out to me, because that is something He would do. ♪ "Mercy said no, I'm not gonna let you go. I'm not gonna let you slip away, you don't have to be a fraid. . . sin will never take control . . ." I started thinking about how much I deserve to be let go. God should just say, "That's enough. If you want to be that way I'll let you live misserably in your selfishness." But instead He promised to never leave me nor forsake me. He promised to be right by my side chastising me when I do wrong and trying to direct me in the right way. He'll be right there to give me the love that I need, grace that I couldn't live without . . . and his enduring mercy.