Archive | August 2012

FAMILY REUNION

Family reunions are a lot of fun. It’s a time to reconnect with family members you may not have seen for a while. And don’t forget all the delicious food.

There is another family reunion I’m also looking forward to. That’s the one I’ll be a part of in heaven someday.

“. . . giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”  (Colossians 1:12)

Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will become part of the family of God. We will join with all the other believers someday in heaven surrounding the throne of God.  We’ll be reunited with loved ones and gather with the saints. What a family reunion that will be!

Is this a family reunion you’ll be looking forward to as well? It will be if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. He is the only one who can make this glorious reunion happen.

DOING RIGHT

Peer Pressure – It’s a difficult thing to deal with no matter how old you are. If our peers keep nagging us to do something we know is wrong the pressure can be even harder to deal with. Example – two young boys enter a small store. When no one is looking Jimmy takes a pack of gum and puts it in his pocket. Then he tries to get Sam to take one, too. Or, you are getting paid to work from home. A friend really wants you to go with her to a great sale at your favorite store. She tells you the boss will never know you’re not working.

We face situations like these throughout our lives. What do we do? Maybe no one in the store sees the boy take the gum. Maybe your boss would never find out you ditched work and went shopping.

BUT – “You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from You.” (Psalm 69:5) God knows what we do. Do you want to live with the guilt of knowing God is very aware of the wrong you did?

You know what’s right and wrong. Stick by your beliefs and values. If the people applying the pressure are really your friends they’ll stop the nagging and might possibly admire you for your convictions. Your actions of doing right may actually prevent them from doing wrong.  Remember the popular saying, “What Would Jesus Do?”. You will never be wrong following His lead.

GOD’S PROTECTION

Mark Martin (white car) crashed into the retaining wall leading to the garage at Michigan International Speedway. You can’t tell from this picture but he hit the corner of the wall so hard that the corner broke through his car right behind where he was sitting. A matter of inches further ahead in the car and Mark probably would have been killed. Instead he got out of the car and walked to the waiting ambulance. Obviously, God was protecting Mark Martin on Aug. 19, 2012.

Proverbs 2:7-8 says, ” (The Lord) holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for He guards the course of the just and protects the way of His faithful ones.”

I know God has protected me from accidents a few times. Each day I’m on the road for work I pray, asking for His protection that day. He hears me and answers my requests.

Have you had a time when God wrapped you in His protection? I’d love to hear some of these stories. Please share in the comment section.

God will protect you when you ask Him to. It doesn’t mean there won’t be accidents or other dangerous occurances, but God will keep you safe in the midst of them. Just ask Mark Martin.

RAISED SOMEDAY

If we want to be raised into the air we need to take a ride in an airplane, go on high-rising carnival rides, maybe take a trip in a hot air balloon. We can not just flap our arms and soar like a bird.

But there will come a time when many of us will be raised into the air without the use of some mechanical contraption. The Lord will raise those who believe in Him.

 Paul said, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”  (I Corinthians 15:51-52)

Believers in Jesus Christ will be raised and taken to heaven to glorify and worship God forever with all the saints. We won’t need airplanes, hot air balloons, even rockets. We will soar to heaven in our spiritual bodies given to us by God.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”  (I Corinthians 15: 42-22)

That thought excites me. It will be fantastic to experience that transformation and be lifted up to heaven. Are you looking forward to that experience as well? You can, if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. There is no other way.

RADICAL CHRISTIANITY

A church sign in Grand Haven, MI.

People sometimes get the wrong impression of what Christianity is all about. They’ve seen people on street corners yelling, “Repent. The end is near!” Some churches are very strict where people can’t do anything that’s fun. Other churches say they are Christian, yet make outsiders feel very uncomfortable and unwelcomed.

There is only one way to be a true “radical” Christian – simply follow Jesus. Spread The Word in a calm loving manner. You can still have fun – dance, sing, go to parties, live life – keeping in mind what you do is to be pleasing to God. Jesus welcomed all kinds of people to follow Him – tax collectors, prostitutes, thieves. Even murders in the Bible were used by God – Moses and David.

Radical Christianity is not living as the world thinks you should live. It’s living as Jesus thinks you should live.  Jesus said to Peter and Andrew, “Come, follow Me, . . . and I will make you fishers of men.”  (Matthew 4:19)

“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. . . . What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 9:34 and 36)

Put Jesus first in your life. Follow His instructions and examples. You won’t become stuffy and boring. You’ll come alive and be full of joy, peace, and love. Are you ready to be a radical Christian?

OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE

In Holland, MI.

Boys and Girls Clubs are found across America. Their mission is “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.”

A Boys and Girls Club provides: “A safe place to learn and grow; Ongoing relationships with caring, adult professionals; Life-enhancing programs and character development experiences; Hope and opportunity.”

God has given both children and parents instructions on what we are to do. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor you father and mother’ – which is the first commandment with a promise – ‘that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’ Fathers (parents) do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the treaining and instruction of the Lord.”  (Ephesians 6:1-4)

The next generation is an important commodity for the future of this world. How they grow up and what kind of citizens they’ll be is crucial for the continuing existance of our planet. Are you helping your children/grandchildren mature with positive values and appropriate behaviors? If you don’t have children is there some way you can help with this process – maybe volunteer at a school, teach a Sunday School class, help out at a local Boys and Girls Club? God has blessed us with the future generation of citizens. It’s up to us to train and instruct them to become responsible, caring adults.

FAKE

When my daughter and I posed for this picture we were standing in front of a green screen. There was no picture behind us. Then when the picture was developed there was Kasey Kahne and his racecar. A fun picture with a fake background.

The Bible warns us about people who are fake/false that we need to watch out for. Jesus said, “At that time (the end time) if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is,’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible.”(Matthew 24:23-24).

Do not be deceived by these kinds of people. When Christ returns everyone on earth will know it. He’s not going to sneak back. He’ll be coming with trumpets blaring.

One way to be on guard is to study your Bible. Learn how to tell the fake from the real prophets. “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will regognize them.” (Matthew 7:15-16)

False prophets will be conniving. They can not do good. True prophets of Christ, on the other hand, will be good, kind, and tell it like it really is.

BEWARE!