Sunday, July 28, 2013

Liberty Church Sermon: Believing is Seeing 7/28/13

"... Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off--for all whom the Lord our God will call."
Acts 2:38-39 NIV

Welcome to Liberty Church, a place where the true loving caring God may be represented freely.

I'd like to discuss a variety of topics briefly today, and yes, none of these topics has to do with a zimmerman trial, a royal baby, or even a manning trial.  This is our respit from all that, for a bit here today.  So let's forget about what the world says about what's important.  And let's forget about what most people think is important.  Most importantly, lets remember who we are in the eyes of our God, not in the eyes of dollar bills and fashion.

I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father (John 15:15).

But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children … (John 1:12).

The world is very in your face.  And I know it's hard.  But as I always say, the more you include God and the Bible in your daily life the more you'll start to see through the lies.

We're taught today and from a very young age that seeing is believing.  I'd hate to call it indoctrination, but it really lines up pretty well.  We know there isn't much middle ground on this planet.  Either you're working for God or you're working for the enemy. 

Matthew 12:30 NLT "Anyone who isn't with me opposes me, and anyone who isn't working with me is actually working against me."

Seeing is believing means we need to see it with our own eyes to believe it's real.  Fairly simple, and I suppose it makes sense for the things of this world.  How many times have people tried to con you personally?  How many times have people lied to you about what actually was?

So why then, might I, seeing all the pyramid schemes, lies, and danger, choose to put my blind trust in a supposed God, right?

I'm sure it all seems very backward to "intellectuals" and those with big titles and big degrees behind their names.  But how often do those supposed brilliant minds seem miserable?  How often do they seem arrogant, and rude?  Full of corruption?  Sad and defeated, putting on a face for others?  More often than not, in fact.

Matthew 7:16 NLT You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

It's a hard thing to do.  And we can't understand it alone, we can't even approach the truth without help from the maker of all things.

John 6:44 NLT For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.

Even further compounding matters is the fact that many of us were exposed to religion at a young age, and raised on it, forced to attend church, or classes, and hated every minute of it.  How often has God been misrepresented to us?

I talk to so many unbelievers who simply refuse to give a personal walk with God a chance.  They make harsh claims against organized religion, and toss out a personal relationship with God through Christ, along with their ideas of organized religion.

I understand, I completely do.  It was portrayed badly to me as well.  I was terrified of God.  I thought God hated me because I was such a bad sinner.  I thought all the rules and regulations of the church were ridiculous.  And I watched some in my family claiming to be Godly, but actively doing very ungodly things.

And that sent me in a tailspin.  I went from religion to religion, because something deep inside me knew there was some higher force behind all of it.  I don't want you to have to go through all that.  Because in the end it brought me right back to Christianity.  All the others were false and empty.  I speak from practice, I tried very hard to make the new age thing work.  In the end, it was nothing.

So please, please, please.  Give yourself a break and open your heart.  Just let it open.  Let your ideas on organized religion stand, they're hardly wrong.  But don't don't don't lump the creator of the universe in with the failings of organized religion!

There is a God.  And he loves you with a power you couldn't imagine.  He has forgiveness for every mistake and sin you've made or ever will make.  And even when you sin, he still loves you.  I used to think that when I made a mistake, well, that's it, God's shaking his head up on the fiery throne, and he doesn't like me anymore.  God's love is unconditional.  The condition is in our acceptance of it.  God's busy loving you and you're busy judging him on what the corrupt organized religious bodies have done to forsake his name! 

Don't lump it all together.  Get to know God.  Read his book directly, and make up your own mind.  I think you'll find the New Testament, the gospel, the good news, is actually very good news.

And boy wasn't I surprised when I started studying the Bible in depth in my college courses, that it's laid out very differently than it was represented to me.  The rules and regulations my old church followed to the T had been called hypocricy thousands of years ago.  Jesus has told the pharisees, stop judging by external standards, and judge by true standards.  Honestly the modern Catholic churches seem rather Jewish in their doctrine.  You'll see the ten commandments all over the place, despite the fact that Jesus Christ fulfilled that law 2,000 years ago.  We are no longer under the law.  The law we are under is that of Jesus Christ, and he gave us two commandments:

1. Love your God with all you have.
2. Love all other humans as yourself

Why aren't the two commandments carved into any of those old cathedrals?

Maybe, because if we followed those two, we'd live in a paradise. Loving others isn't the easiest thing to do.  Loving God is hard for us too.  But once we receive the holy spirit, it works in us, and changes our hearts, so we become selfless, instead of selfish.  We become loving, with soft hearts, instead of rock hard stubborn hearts.

The point I'm coming around to here is that seeing is not believing.  If seeing was believing we'd have it all figured out and wouldn't be still searching for a God of our understanding.  But what we saw was not good.  And we didn't really understand it anyway.  All signs before our eyes pointed to the fact that humanity is really really doomed.

Seeing isn't believing.  Believing is seeing.  Is that a plug for blind faith?  No it isn't.  That is what begins the process though, a leap of faith.  Taking a courageous jump into letting go, and saying.. I don't understand this, but I'm going to trust.  And to your amazement, you find.. that Believing is seeing.  When we believe and trust in God...  When we accept the sacrifice of Jesus for all our sins, now for all time... When we receive the holy spirit within us, to guide our thoughts... When we study the Bible..

Wow.  It's like the blinders come off our eyes.  And we truly see.  We see the matrix around us, just like Neo.  We finally see the truth.  That we had been enslaved and blind, being dragged along by our own desires and obsessions.  We had been slaves to selfishness, slaves to wants, slaves to the world, slaves to the evil one.  And we are free, finally, free.

With these new eyes, powered by the holy spirit, we can now discern the troubles of the world.  We start to see from a perspective of selflessness.  We want to help others, instead of feed our own desires.  We find by serving others, God cares for our needs perfectly.  We want to be a blessing to every person we see.  We find a new peace and happiness, in close connection with a truly and perfectly loving God.  We are made complete, the empty place in our hearts is filled.  The troubles of the world no longer harm our hearts.  We wait patiently for the return of our beloved King, knowing, through and through, all will be perfect when he returns.

Soon, may he return.  And he will!

Truly, by believing, we come to truly see things as they really are.

Be a blessing on the people you see today, and everyday.  Ask God to change your heart and he will.  And if you haven't made that step yet, keep seeking, and when the time is right, I know you'll find it in your heart to accept Jesus Christ.

God bless you, go in peace :)


Thursday, July 25, 2013

God is good God is right God is true God is love!

God is good
God is right
God is true
God is love!

God is all things to all people.  Beyond our comprehension.  There is no load time when he thinks about something, he already knows.  His being extends into the past, present, and future.  He is all places at all times, and he doesn't need to rest, but he sometimes chooses to.

I can't describe God, I really can't.  I can edge in on some of the infinity behind it, but it just goes so much further.  It's powerful and amazing.  I really have to let go of anything I know, and approach God as a child if I want any of it to make some sort of sense.

It can be confusing at times, I'm not gonna lie.  But God always reveals himself, slowly but surely.  His secrets are ours to discover.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Liberty Church Sermon: Gratitude in a Life with God 7/21/13

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (MSG)

Hi there Liberty Church :)

I'm hoping you had a beautiful and fun week.  If you didn't, I'd encourage you to have one this coming week.  Happiness often breaks down to a choice.  Choose to be happy, believe me, it makes the tough times a lot easier.

Matthew 5:9  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

I'd like to start with some reminders for daily maintenance of our spiritual conditions.  We know that it's important to have more than spiritual beliefs, we ought to have a spiritual experience, daily.  Just like brushing our teeth, eating, working, and relationships, spirituality takes daily work.  But it doesn't have to be work.  Because as we grow spiritually in our connection to God, we have so many rewards in our lives.  We're happier, healthier, wiser, and have peace and serenity.  No matter what comes against us, and much will come against us, we will always have that foundation of connection to God through Christ.

So you'll hear and read me mention these things constantly in the sermons.

1) Read a daily devotional in the morning - We take care of our bodies (shower, shave, brush teeth) in the morning, our minds need maintenance too.  Daily devotionals can be found at Christian bookstores, or just type it in on Amazon.  Invest in one, the day ahead is always better and it only takes 3-5 minutes.

2) Pray in the morning - Thank God for all you have.  Offer him thanks and praise.  Then ask him to be with you, and to build you up as you face down the day ahead.  We need God with us always, or we fall back into mindfulness of worldly things, instead of Godly things.  Again, it doesn't take long.  For me, I go on my knees, but whatever works for you.  Just talk to him, he wants to be part of your life!

3) Listen to Christian radio, Podcasts, or Audio sermons in the car - This is a great way to study in between places.  I live a good 12 minutes from town, and I don't want to just stare blankly at the road while I'm driving.  I bring an Ipod with me and listen to my favorite Christian speakers.  There are thousands of sermons to download free on Itunes, and another great website is Sermon Index.  If you have a smart phone, try searching for Apps with free sermons on them.  If you have a Christian radio station in your area, tune into that!

4) Study the Bible - We know from scripture, and what it says about itself, that it is useful for bringing about change in our hearts.  It's not hard to pick up and read, but if you have trouble concentrating, consider listening to audio Bibles.  They are free online, and usually also available at dollar stores.  Grab a translation that you really connect with.  Some of the newer Bibles I really connect with more, like the New Living Translation, The Message Translation, and the New International Version.  These are translations that tend to be less word for word translation, and more thought based translations.  If you like word for word consider grabbing the New King James Version or the English Standard Version.  The ESV is actually a word for word type translation that I really enjoy.

5) Meditate/Pray at night - Constructively review your day at night.  Avoid judging or self deprecation, but look at where you can improve!  Meditate on what you did well.  Then pray, and thank God for a good day.  Because every day with God is a good day.  Offer him praise, and ask him for the changes you require inwardly.  For me, it all starts at the heart.  My heart has to change and then the rest follows. 

Yes, I know I've said those suggestions about a thousand times, and I'm gonna keep saying it!  If you're doing those things, awesome amazing, and I bet you're reaping the rewards!

Wonderful, wonderful.

A life with God is a wonderful thing.  I've got to say that, I've got to know that.  His love and protection is a total refuge for my spirit.  And I can only keep what I have by giving it away.  I am greatly honored, and humbled, to be able to speak to you about our heavenly Father.  This is something I do not deserve, plain and simple.  But it is a gift, and despite not deserving it, I choose to receive it.  And I need to receive it well.  Paul called himself a good slave of Jesus Christ.  He considered himself a servant.  And that's what I am to you.  I'm here to serve you.

As Paul says it in Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others

This is from the New International Version, and it makes so much more sense to me in this translation than in some others.  In another translation it says " consider others better than myself."  I really couldn't get on board with that.  But when I realized what it meant was "to value" others above myself, it made a lot more sense.  It's just basically saying think about how you can help others, before you serve yourself.  And I think that tends to quickly become our first reaction if we actively try to do that throughout the day.  And it can just start with little things, like letting someone go ahead of you in line at the grocery store.  Or helping someone lost find where they're trying to go.  Those little things build character in us, and eventually we're making selfless acts for others.

And yes, we do personally get something out of it.  We get to feel good about ourselves.  Every time we screw somebody or hurt someone, it takes another chip off our self esteem and mental health.  Eventually we're miserable misers, when we just go around selfish and hurting others.  We know that's not the way to be.  So let's be good people.  As my grandmother said: It's nice to be nice.

A lot of us have been hurt pretty bad by the world, in a thousand different ways.  We've had significant others cheat on us.  We've had close family die.  We've been physically or mentally assaulted.  We've literally watched our hope for happiness and peace fade away slowly, and disappear completely.

It's good to grieve these things, it's OK to be sad for a while.  But don't live defeated forever because of troubles.  Two verses I'd like to look at:

(NIV) 1 Peter 4:12-14 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Constant troubles and trials and despair and struggle are common-place in this world.  But I don't think at any point, do we have the right to get all resentful at God about it.  Most of the people reading this live in the United States, and even if you don't, you're sitting in front of a computer.

Do you know that most of the world lives in mind numbing, soul shattering, body crumbling habitual misery and poverty?  Oh, you didn't.  Well, it does.  

Check out some very eye opening statistics here:

Did you know approximately 22,982,474 children have died due to abortion this year alone? They have a word for that, genocide.

So before we go into how tough my life is, or how tough your life is, and what a raw deal we got because our ex cheated on us, well.. just under 23 million people never had a chance to live at all, just so far this year.  And 20,000 people died today, God's children, people, died of starvation.  How many of them never knew Christ?  And it's only 6pm as I write this, still got 6 hours to go.  The ticker keeps rising.

I'm not trying to be a downer, in fact, I'm trying to build you up.  I'm trying to remind you just how lucky you are.  Gratitude my friends, gratitude.  The more we are grateful for, everyday, the more peace we will have.  The more we will come to cherish our lives, and cherish others.

I'd like to leave you with these verses from John chapter 14.  This is The Message translation, probably my favorite translation of all.  Read it closely, let it jump off the page for you, and realize just how powerful and epic this Christian journey is!

John 14:27-31
The Message (MSG)
25-27 “I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

28 “You’ve heard me tell you, ‘I’m going away, and I’m coming back.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I’m on my way to the Father because the Father is the goal and purpose of my life.

29-31 “I’ve told you this ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me. I’ll not be talking with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world is about to attack. But don’t worry—he has nothing on me, no claim on me. But so the world might know how thoroughly I love the Father, I am carrying out my Father’s instructions right down to the last detail.
“Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.”

Have a wonderful week, go in peace

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Liberty Church Sermon: Identity in Christ 7/14/13

Hi there Liberty Church!

So here we go.  Let's get right into it, my Christian brothers and sisters.  The war is on, and this is a war, a war for the souls of humanity.  We're at the ends of the Earth fighting a monstrous evil.  Fortunately we have the power of God behind us, and that puts us on the side that has already won.  But we're still called daily to fight the good fight as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Last week I know I got somewhat political in the sermon, and I'd like to apologize for that.  I'm not here to share politics with you, I'm here to share the truth of God.  I'm here to share what I'm learning in the Bible.  And we're always learning.  So I apologize for that, and I'll try to keep politics outside of the scope of these sermons.  Thank you for your understanding!

I'd like to talk about ironies of life today, some that I've learned over the years.  During my short time on this planet, I've started to realize that the answers to questions tend to be.. the opposite of what most of us might think.  So let's talk about that, let's go into that and figure out what's going on here.  Sometimes I think of my life like an RPG video game.  You know, level up, gain skills, get good at it.  But a lot of the time the answers to a lot of the biggest questions aren't so easy.  In fact a lot of us tend to bump our heads against the wrong solutions until we end up... giving up.  And just take our candy and head home.  I don't want that to be my walk, or your walk.

So here are some truths, and these don't come from me.  These are things I've learned from others.

I always thought the secret to being victorious was striving for victory at all costs on the power I have.  Turns out that wasn't the case.  The secret to victory is in fact, complete and utter surrender.  I surrender, admit I can't do it alone, and rely on God as my power.  Then I can be victorious.  I learned this from a guy named Bill.

So what's the secret to living and growing?  A guy named Paul said that the secret to living was dying daily.  He wrote some letters, from jail, about two thousand years ago.  Give or take.  So what does that mean?  Paul is making reference to the fact that we die to ourselves, and keep applying more and more to our new selves, our selves as we ought to be in Christ.  So everyday is out shutting off the spout on more bad decisions and mistakes we regularly make.  So our old self dies more and more daily, and the new is taken on.

Paradoxically, as we talked about last week, growing and learning for me wasn't a process of slowly learning this, learning that, and stepping up the ladder.  Growing and learning for me, was complete and utter destruction of everything I understood, knew, or thought I knew.  It was only by utter disaster and pain, that I was capable of being willing for true growth and learning.  Willingness is really the key.  And some of willingness can be learned, but a lot of it has to come from a sense of failure in the past.

That one isn't easy or fun to swallow.  It may not even be everyone's case, but for me, it just so happened to be quite true.

So whats the meaning in all this?  It's all so hard, so difficult.  It's tough to swallow, all these bittersweet truths.  We can end up walking to the ends of the Earth and realizing we've gone the wrong way the whole time!  It's not easy being human, is it?  So what's the meaning here?  Well, we don't know exactly what everything in life means.  But if we've taken the step of giving our lives to Christ, that has to be lived.  So our meaning is found in doing God's work, his business. 

The business of saving souls.  

Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Our business is doing God's business. As long as we do God's business, whatever happens to us is none of our business. That's God's business.  

What do I mean by that?  Well, I don't have the power to control my life and where it goes.  I really don't, let's just be real.  I may have the illusion of that control at times, but it's really up to God where hes going to put me and use me.  I can either fight tooth and nail against that and fail, or I can rely on God day by day.  The idea here is that if I do some basic things daily, to make sure I'm right with God, and walking with him, then he's going to keep me in his special care.  I'm gonna find a lot of special attention from my creator if I can just maintain the basics, and see if I can't grow at the same time.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.

We walk by faith, not by sight.  That's scripture, but what does it mean?  I'll put it another way: Some say seeing is believing, I say believing is seeing.  When we find that spiritual connection to God through Jesus, we start to see the true reality of everything.  We see "the matrix" of lies around us, and start growing in discernment of evil.

When I was in basketball, the first thing they taught us was having good form.   For defense, bend the knees, wide stance, both hands down, palms open at the knees, focus, attention, footwork, all of it.  So as soon as we were on defense we'd "form up" and be ready to properly defend our hoop from the opposing team. 

I'd like to encourage you to have a form up position within your own mind.  When we minister to others, field questions, face difficult situations, come against temptation, and desperately need discernment on critical issues.. well where do we look?  Is the first thing you turn to your own intellect?  "If I can just figure this out" mentality? Or is it God?  God loves it when we acknowledge our dependence on him.  I have to remember that the first place I need to be when I'm faced with a difficult challenge, is on my knees in hard prayer.  

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13—NIV)

 And people make it seem like prayer is such a hard thing to do.  Just talk to God!  I'm not going to tell you how to develop a prayer life.  Just start doing it, talking, say anything!  Eventually you'll develop a solid prayer life.  The Our Father is a beautiful prayer, if that's your way, but let me encourage to think about what you're saying and put emphasis on it: 

Our Father, not far off distant God, but my personal Father!  
Hallowed be your name!  Your name is powerful it has meaning to me!  
Your Kingdom come!  Please, please, please come, please bring it Father!  
Your will be done!  Not mine, yours!   
On Earth as it is in Heaven, yes please Father make Earth as Heaven is, perfect and holy, 
Give us this day our daily bread.  We acknowledge that you've promised to care for our daily needs and thank you for that.  
 and forgive us our trespasses, please forgive our sins father, 
as we forgive those who trespass against us; Help us to be forgiving to our friends and family Father, fill us with compassion and forgiveness, 
and lead us not into temptation, please Father as Jesus prayed to protect his disciples from temptation, we also ask that you keep us on the path of peace,  
and deliver us from evil, please keep our spiritual defenses strong against the evil one, 
In Jesus name, your precious son who died so we could be reconnected with you,  
Amen. I agree Father,  I agree with all that I've said.

Prayer fortifies our form up position.  It reminds us who we are.  And that's probably the most important thing about being formed up in the face of evil: Knowing our identity in Christ.  What does God say about us?  Am I going to accept that I'm a child of the most high God, or am I going to believe what the world says about me?  That I'm weak, I'm too fat, I'm too skinny, I'm too poor, I'm too wealthy, and so on.  Don't let this world define you.  Remember powerfully who you are in God.  You have authority from Jesus the Christ, the son of the creator of the known cosmos and BEYOND!  ACT LIKE IT ALREADY. 

This is what the holy, true word of God the Bible says about us:
There is no condemnation for us (Romans 8:1)
We can never be separated from God’s love (Romans 8:39)
We who are many form one body (Romans 12:5)
We have wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:30)
Our labor is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58)
We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We become God’s children (Galatians 3:26)
We have every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
We have the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7)
We were also chosen (Ephesians 1:11)
We are for the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:12)
We have been seated in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)
We’ve been given the incomparable riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:7)
We who were once far away have been brought near (Ephesians 2:13)
We are built together as a holy building (Ephesians 2:22)
We may approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
We are light (Ephesians 5:8)
Our joy overflows (Philippians 1:26)
All our needs are met according to his glorious riches (Philippians 4:19)
We are holy and faithful (Colossians 1:2)
All things hold together (Colossians 1:17)
We have our hope of glory (Colossians 1:27)
We become fully mature (Colossians 1:28)
Are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge for us (Colossians 2:3)
We are rooted and built up (Colossians 2:7)
We have been given the fullness of the deity (Colossians 2:9-10)
We come into reality (Colossians 2:17)
Our life is now hidden (Colossians 3:3)
We will rise from the dead (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
We can give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
We have faith, hope, and love (1Timothy 1:1, 14)
We can gain an excellent standing and great assurance (1 Timothy 3:13)
We have the promise of life (2 Timothy 1:1)

How many times does God have to tell us who we are, before we'll just believe him?  I know it's hard.  But stay in his word, and constantly recall these verses and many others!

Be formed up against the world around you.  It's not as easy as it sounds.  The world is right here, in our faces everyday.  It's easy to see the job, the house, the family, the car, the ads, the tv, the internet and start to think that this is all we have.  Well it's not!  It's not all we have and it's not all we are.  More will be revealed, but for now, remember who you are under God.  You are chosen.  You are loved.  You are special.  You are being made holy.  You are saved.  You are redeemed. 

So let me encourage you to have a strong prayer life.  Have a prayer you say every morning.  Have a prayer you say every night.  Do little things to remind you of your true identity in Christ.

 I was studying some things on prayer earlier this week, and I found a wonderful morning prayer.  Use it if you like it:

"Dear Lord, my allegiance to You will be tested today. Right now, I am stating my faithfulness to you. You are the One I love forever. At the same time, I will clearly state that I want nothing to do with serving my self. I have had enough to do with that selfish ego of mine that tries to get all the attention it can. Your principles of love and giving are what I want. Radiate in my life through acts and words of kindness. Forgive me of my sin and cleanse me. I make myself totally empty of self so that You can fill me with your precious Holy Spirit. Lead me forth. I will follow in your humble paths of love."

 Don't be surprised when you face difficult times.  Scripture tells us not to be surprised by these things:

1 Peter 4:12-14
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Smile in the trouble my friends, just smile.  Keep calm and smile, because you're suffering as Jesus Christ suffered.  Oh the reward that awaits you, it's wonderful.  I can't say I understand what that reward is, but I trust God, and I know his gifts are mind blowing.  So remember to witness for Christ in the world.  Do anything and  EVERYTHING YOU POSSIBLY CAN! 

It's not hard.  You don't even have to talk to people at first if that makes you nervous.  Instead, if you're a quiet type (like me) buy some clothing that ministers for Jesus.  I just found a cool one online for twelve bucks and it just says "got jesus?" on it.  See it's just that simple.  There are a lot of little things we can do to push forward the kingdom.  It's not like you're giving them a sermon or ministering to them, but you're giving them a little nudge.  Hey, that person loves Jesus, they might think as they see you walking by.  Well, maybe I should look into that more.  Fast forward to five years later and they're being baptized, because they got a little nudge from you at the right moment, reminding them of who the king is!  God's ways are not our ways.  God can have a person who is really depressed walk by you at the exact right moment where they see that, and it triggers an investigation that will eventually lead to a total conversion.  All from a t-shirt, or a bumper sticker, or a share on Facebook or Twitter.  Think about the little ways you can minister. 

Start a blog even!  And I'm here to tell you that you're qualified if you know Jesus Christ is savior and sovereign Lord. 

As I grew up in my walk toward ministry I found myself against so much opposition.  Ironically, the opposition wasn't from the secular world (non-saved individuals), it was from members and leaders in the church.  The people claiming to want to obey the great commission, claimed believers in Christ, and I received the most discouragement from them!  It's insane, I know.  I don't know if they were threatened, or worried, or just plain cruel, but there it is.  I encourage everyone to write, read, speak, do anything to make Jesus known!  What's the worst thing?  You get a few details wrong here and there?  It doesn't really matter, as long as you're telling people Jesus is the way, and the Bible explains the walking.  God is your qualifier, not me, not the Pastor or the Pope, just God.  So take your cues from him.

So yes, let's be real, true Christians.  No judgement.  Full of love.  Full of encouragement and compassion.  Full of forgiveness.  Full of kind acts.  Full of ministry to others.  Just full of God.
Galatians 5:22-24 (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
And how do we do those things, when are hearts are accustomed for sin?  Well, we remind ourselves before the day starts, and make conscious effort to be selfless instead of selfish, caring instead of cold, friendly instead of rude, forgiving instead of judging, and so on and so forth.  As we actively do the good things, we become the good things.  Isn't that cool?

I know the word Christian turns a lot of people off.  The word Christian has come to mean "judgmental hypocrites who go to church every Sunday but don't follow the ways of Christ."  I don't adhere to that.  The secular world can't have my word.  I like the word Christian.  To me the word Christian means the holy remnant of today, true friends of Christ in the world, as the secularists stampede toward disaster and the modern church completes it's walk toward being utter modern day pharisees (religious leaders during the time of Jesus who condemned and killed the son of God).  I'm not interested in sugar coating any of this.  Let's just be totally real about the situation.

It's tough.  But your Savior has already won, my friends.  Jesus lives!  The cross is empty, and all is well.  All is well with you.  So relax, just chill.  Stay strong, and stay serious, but laugh and enjoy life as well.  Recall your identity.  Be courageous in your faith.  Stand alone if need be.  Remember money is nothing, you are what's important, under God.   Take up your armor and sword, and be a good soldier of Christ in these last days of humanity. 

God be with you, and he is, he is with you right now, lifting you up.  Believe it.  Take care and God bless!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blessing after blessing

Honestly, it's just blessing after blessing these days.  I've learned that when I do some basic things to maintain my faith, God in return showers blessings, wisdom, and love.  He's awesome like that.  I wonder at his creation, I look up at the stars and I want to shout in joy, but I don't yet know how.  He will teach me, and he makes himself known to me.  The cool thing is that he offers me reconnection to him through Christ.  To all he offers this simple deal, and I choose to take it!  I mean wow.  That's really mercy.  I mean come on, how many times have we all made terrible decisions and caused trouble in the world and in others, and harmed our family, and harmed ourselves.  It seems like we tend to think of ourselves as decent people, but we just aren't perfect. 

What's amazing to me is that once I accept the sacrifice of Christ for my mistakes and regrets, I'm still lost and confused about how to be connected to God.  God doesn't leave me at that point though.  As long as I'm daily walking with him, doing basic things, he teaches me experientially and through his word, how to consciously connect to him.

Because that one I never understood.  When I was an angsty teenager (oh I was) I remember looking for evidence of God when I would call out to him when I was depressed.  And I felt empty, I didn't feel him there.  Well, that's because it's a life long process of cultivating conscious contact with God.

It doesn't happen overnight. 

The blessings just keep coming.  The beautiful service at the 400 block for Downtown Mission Church.  It was just incredible.  The music, the testimony.  It was just amazing because.. I saw people, from four different churches that I've been to, and sometimes attend groups at.  And they were all gathered together on the 400 block of Wausau.  And we were just rejoicing and singing out to the Lord.  So many have been praying for changes in Wausau, and now.  I mean wow.  The coming together of the churches, the breaking of those barriers between congregations is just beautiful and mighty to me.  It's a unifying of the community really. 

I saw Jeff, Jim, and Betty from Highland Church in Wausau.  Beautiful, wonderful people who have helped me so much.  I saw a lot of the congregation from my home church New Day praising God as well.  I saw Matt, Eric, his wife, and others.  Once again, awesome people who I look to for strength and inspiration.  I saw my friend Dave from the groups I attend as well, he was sitting there in his lawn chair hanging out, enjoying the music.  I saw Pastor Dan Mandigo, a gifted man with a powerful message.  He's starting The Edge church in Wausau, which is ministering to metal music and rock music guys in that area!  What a powerful thing to bring into the area!  And Downtown Mission Church was running it, I saw Pastor Charlie a man whom God called to his purpose share his testimony.  Truly a message seething with honesty and passion.  My dear friend Lucky led the worship team and just sung his heart out to God.  So rewarding to see God working in his life.  I saw Luke, Joanne, Chelsey, all good people I knew from the thursday and saturday DMC cafe nights.  So amazing!  So wonderful.  All according to the living God and his wonderful purpose.

It's just been great lately.  My studies at Liberty university are really giving me powerful insight into the great and almighty God.  And what's so cool is that I enjoy the subject material so much studying isn't much of an issue.  I struggle with it sometimes, but I just ask for God to help me and he does. 

You know it's not always wonderful in the world, it's often very challenging.  But the moments when you see and feel God working... I just live for that.  It reminds me of all the experiences in my life that guided me to the moment of accepting Christ.  It was a long, winding journey of learning, insight, struggle, and failure.  God really had to allow me to get really low, rock bottom, until I could just give up and reach out for him.

That's really what it was, I just reached out, and he reached back.  I didn't have anything left in my own power.  I had tried everything, and it just wasn't working.  I had given up, and I called out to God.  He saw me in my trouble, and pulled me.  Kinda like when the disciples were out fishing, and a storm started.. and then they saw Jesus walking on the water toward them.  And the storm passed, and they reached the other side.  What a metaphor.  Jesus coming for the lost people of Earth, walking on the water toward us.  And we didn't expect him to come.  We saw the storm.. and eventually resigned to death.  The storm is our sin, the chaos of this world.  We did nothing to deserve it, but miraculously, our loving God, sends Jesus the Christ, this powerful perfect human, walking out toward us in our disaster.  And we take him into us, onto the boat, and he leads us across.. and the storm passes.  It gives me chills to picture it, I have a cinematic mind like that, I picture the scene in The Gospel of John movie.  Really hit home with me. 

It's always a struggle though.  On good nights like tonight, I can sing the praises of my merciful Father.  And on the rough days, when I'm swamped in worldliness and sin, I just kind of curl up and rest on my God, until it passes.  Peace grows, and faith grows, and as a result I grow.  It all starts with the connection to God, all flows like milk from it. 

So if I can suggest one thing, cultivate with all your effort.. that connection to God.  Ask him to show you how, ask him to explain his word, ask him anything, God is good and just, and he answers, and gives out love and mercy generously. 

God bless you all, and have a wonderful night


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Liberty Online Church Sermon 7/7/13

Link to Liberty Online Church FB Group

Good day Liberty Church!

It's a beautiful summer here in middle Wisconsin.  I love summer.  I always feel really on top of my game during the summer months.  We only get three here by the way, the rest is cold, brutal, unending snowy wastes.  The seasons that the world goes through are pretty interesting, don't you think?  Here in Wisconsin are winter is a bit longer, but there's always four seasons: summer, fall, winter, and spring.

I find that very interesting.  But, my head is always going you know?  Hopefully we can keep it going a good direction today.  Summer is like the way the garden of Eden was probably.  It was beautiful, bright, warm, comfortable and alive.  Humanity failed to keep it together in paradise, as we all are painfully aware of.  So God sent humanity out.  That's kind of like Autumn don't you think?  Everything dies, and it gets cold.  Yet it's so beautiful.  Then you have winter.  Which is kind of like man's time of testing, here on Earth.  It's through these trials and struggles we go through on Earth, the hard times, like in winter when it's cold and difficult.  Maybe it's also in our struggles that are sins are made as white as snow.  Like, through suffering and turning away from God, we learn we need Jesus Christ in our lives.  And when we accept that sacrifice as sufficient to pay for our sins, then spring comes.  And we grow from the ashes into the human being we're suppose to be.

I'd like to start out today by talking about fruit.  Nope, I'm not talking about apples or the Alex Jones radio show (sorry Alex) I'm talking about fruit the holy spirit produces in our lives.  When we accept Christ, we receive the gift of the holy spirit, and through this force, God works on us.  Maybe that's what Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker were talking about on Dagoba. 

Galatians 5:22-23

New International Version (NIV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

So we can rely on the holy spirit to add these things to us.  But we can't just sit back and wait for it to happen.  There are plenty of things we can do to help it along.  But the powerful work is done by God in changing us, it's one we have it that we have to maintain and grow those changes into a lifelong lifestyle of these things mentioned in Galatians.  

How do we fan the flames once God is working on us?  Well we can read our Bible regularly.  We can get to church regularly.  We can listen to audio sermons regularly.  Those are some great things to do in a daily manner.   Unfortunately there may not be a truly scriptural church in our area, but then we can find plenty online to keep us Christ-centered.  And no joke, it's hard to stay centered in this world.  Don't underestimate the power of listening to audio sermons, reading the Bible, or doing daily readings.  Our minds need maintain just like our bodies.

The stories in the Bible show us important character traits to have. I look to the great heroes of the Old and New Testament for how I should be as a man.  Let's take a look at some characteristics of Biblical heroes.  These are the traits I want to carry with me on my walk with Christ:

I want to have a singleness of purpose, like Joshua had when he lead the armies of Israel to victory after victory in the conquest of the promised land.

Joshua 1:7-9 NIV  “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I want to have the trust in God that Abraham carried with him.  All he had was a promise from an angel that he his descendants would be as numerous as the stars.  And he had to wait years and years for that to come to fruition.  But he trusted God, and it came to be.

Galatians 3:6 NIV So also Abraham "believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

I want to have the utter wisdom King Solomon had.  God told him he could ask for anything, and he asked for wisdom and discernment.  God was impressed, and awarded it to him abundantly.  People from all over the world went to him for wisdom, and leadership advice.  I want that.

2 Chronicles 1:10-12 NIV 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?”
11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, 12 therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you. And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have.”

I want to have the peace of Paul.  Paul was once named Saul, and persecuted the followers of Jesus the Christ.  Then Jesus came to him and changed his heart.  He went on to write more than half the New Testament.  In the end he was persecuted and thrown in jail.  Many of his writings came in letters that he sent from the jail where he was held.  The peace of his mind can be seen in these letters.  I want that kind of peace in my daily life.

Acts 16:25 NIV About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

I want to have the passion for God that David had.  David was brutal and intense and raw with his love for God.  It was complete.  He danced before the ark of the covenant.  His psalms are some of the most beautiful poetry ever written.  

Acts 13:22 NIV After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'

I want to have the integrity that Jesus the Christ had.  The son of God, who never made a single sin in his life.  Of course I won't find perfection in this life, but it's something I can aspire toward.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

And those are things we can ask for in prayer.  I like to look at the mistakes I've made over the day and ask God to remove the defects behind those mistakes.  What are my motivations?  Am I working for God in the world or am I working for myself?  Am I being selfish?  Then I ask God to make me selfless.  Am I being inconsiderate?  God, please make me considerate and compassionate.  Step by step, day by day, God changes my heart.  And that's really where my actions start, at what's in my heart.  Let me encourage you to pray for God to change you, one thing at a time.

"O Sovereign Lord! You have made the heavens and earth by Your great power. Nothing is too hard for You!" (Jeremiah 32:17).

Is there anything too hard for God?  

The answer is no, there is not anything God can't do.  So trust that he can, and he will.  But he wants our trust and our faith.  That kind of faith empowers us, and he then works through us and on us.  It's really amazing stuff.  God is amazing.

Some Pastors tend to speak negative sermons, and just unleash on the audience.  Sometimes it looks and sounds to me like a wrestling match.  The Pastor is the one wrestler, and the audience is the other.  And the Pastor just beats up on the audience.  Jab, jab, jab of shame you ought to feel, kick kick of all the mistakes, punch punch of all the tragedies in the world, and wham an uppercut of guilt.  And the audience is down for the count.  Difficult messages have a place in every congregation, but what I've found during my time on Earth, is that love is the primary motivator in my life.  Love causes me to change and become better.  Guilt and shame, can at times, help me turn from sin.  But in the long run, a constant diet of shame and guilt leads me to giving up, because I just can't measure up.

Well I'm trying to be a good man everyday.  And that trying is enough for God.  Our debt is already paid in Jesus Christ.  He sacrificed himself and bore the weight of our sins on the cross.  This made us clean, and we can now approach God in his name, and he grants our requests.  We are restored to conscious contact with the heavenly Father.  

Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.

I'm not here to make you feel guilty.  I'm just not.  I'm here to encourage you to become a better and better person.  And you can.  With God, you can.  Jesus Christ made sure of that, over 2,000 years ago.  

For me, when I'm getting upset or discontented, I need to look at my basic daily maintenance.  Just like my body, which requires showering, clean clothing, food, shelter, and relationships, my mind requires maintenance, or it gets all sorts of muddy up there.  I need check and see that I'm doing my morning readings.  I need to make sure I'm praying twice a day.  I need to make sure I'm getting to my home church here in town.  And I need to make sure I'm reading the Bible regularly.  

And the last time I got discontented, I noticed that I wasn't adequately reading my Bible.  I was seeing a lot of verses on the computer, and at church but I wasn't taking the time to just sit down and read whole chapters.  So you know what I did?  I sat down and read the first three chapters of Mark.  It was a wonderful experience.  I had this epic electronic music playing in the background, and God must've been working through that because it really just jumped off the page.  It felt really epic reading it with the intense epic music in the background, and you know why?  Because it is epic.

This is a book that survived persecution after persecution.  It was secretly passed down for hundreds of years, until finally it could be in the open.  Once it was in the open though, it ended up being misinterpreted by religious leaders, who then started things like crusades and inquisitions, which I'm sure greatly upset God.  

It was like once they, and by they, I mean the powers that work against the true Christian church, once they realized they couldn't suppress it they tried to control knowledge of it.  Once the printing press was invented, they couldn't stop the spread of it, so they switched to propoganda, telling us that only Priests could read the actual Bible and intepret it.  Apparently it was "beyond our comprehension."  Well that worked for a while, but then the internet came about, and communication between individuals and groups increased.  Pretty soon the Bible was available everywhere, and true Christians were reading it all the time!  So now what do they try?  Well, it seems like their latest attempt is to hide the Bible in plain sight.  It's there, and we have access to it, but it's not "cool."  It's taboo to talk about in public.  Meanwhile the media endlessly plays on our lower nature, and tempts us at every turn.  All the while you've got an aging church in the country that has seemed to have lost all connection with reality.  

The Bible hasn't become obsolete.  However, many of the modern churches fail to apply it to modern day circumstances.  They've become the old brick buildings in town, that kind of weird people out when they see it.  People hear the out of tune bells ringing and wonder at the archaic institution of religion and how foolish people were to buy into it.  

Well, that isn't the truth.  It's just another twist of the enemy, and a way to cut God out of modern life all together.  But don't you worry, no one can keep God's people down for long.  Many new hip churches are starting, which the old Pastors immediately condemn.  But a lot of these new hip churches go straight from the Bible, instead of preaching false doctrine.  It's always good to be careful and use discernment, but watch for these wonderful churches.  There is a revival taking place.  

Christianity, the Bible, and God tend to get pushed to the side in our society.  It's quietly ignored and arrogantly looked down on.  It's kind of like during the Ron Paul presidential campaign run of 2012.  You had the news media ignoring his campaign.  You had the Republican status quo desperately trying to subdue the liberty movement.  But millions and millions were waking up to the true facts.  It was like there was a giant fire of liberty and truth burning so bright in America, and the status quo and corporate media were trying to box it in, so the general public couldn't see the glow, but it just kept shining through.  I remember those days well.  Victory after victory.  It was like God kept shining the message of peace through all their attempts to block it.  He'd win a poll, he'd speak somewhere and cause attention, he'd draw attention to an issue at the debates and it would take off, they just couldn't keep it quiet!  By the end of the campaign it was a beautiful thing.  At Ron Paul's events there were thousands of people showing up, and for the main candidates, you would see only hundreds at their events.  

I look at Ron Paul's life and I see God at work.  Ron Paul spoke on the same issues of liberty, peace, and justice for 30 years.  This was before the internet and the wide spread of that kind of information.  It was very cleverly kept quiet for all those years.  But you know what?  God saw that kind of dedication, that strict adherence to principles.  Ron had to wait all those years, struggling in the darkness.  But God rewarded that kind of determination right before Dr. Paul would retire.  Suddenly just a few years before his retirement his message took off, and with the help of activists reached millions and millions of people. 

I need to look at that and say, I'm in for the long haul.  I may not see powerful success for years and years, but I'm gonna keep being my best, and stand on my principles.  And I know, one day God will reward that righteousness with powerful victory in my life.  

Heavenly Father, please care for those who fight for the truth in the world.  Care for their hearts, and give them success in their endeavours.  Help them to spread truth, love, liberty, and most importantly the message of Christ to all the peoples of the Earth.  Grant them peace in this storm Father, please, grant them strength.  In Jesus name, Amen.  

Have a wonderful rest of your day, God be with you!


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Kingdom of America Psalm

A psalm written by Justin

O God - How your great cities in the land you once blessed,
Have become Babylons, one by one!
Oh Lord, my heart aches for my country,
Oh Lord, why must you be silent now?

The enemy does not approach from a far off nation
Oh Father, they have taken it from within
Like larva sins have polluted these oaks
Your great forests rot from the inside out
These forests shake in the wind, that they may fall
City by city

Oh Lord - why are you silent when we need you most?
I call on you Father, now, to redeem this nation
Turn not from cries of the holy remant!

Your people pushed aside Father,
They fear to speak your name in public,
The utterance of your voice is forbidden in the schools
Violence and chaos beset the cities

Those of the synagogue of Satan choose our leaders
They tempt us day and night with glowing screens
They take our God given liberty
These dead turn our children to their ways

Nothing is sacred in the land of the free Father
All has fallen to lust, greed, envy, and sloth
Is there no honor left in the windy city?
Is there no compassion left in the white capitol?

Your holy remnant fights for you Father
But too many battles are now losses
We are run over oh great LORD!
On every corner the wicked prosper

Our leaders serve your enemy
Our media corrupts the young
Our businesses feed on the poor
Our banks topple the world in their greed

Oh Father, we beg you to come to our rescue!
Oh Father, please, redeem these fallen children!
Oh Father, revive the last of the church!
Oh Father, restore your great nation!

In you oh God - I place my trust
You will strike down the enemies of your children
You will restore the pure of heart
You will give comfort to the lonely

You are already victorious in heaven
These things now must come on Earth

Heavenly Father, you are with your children
You will lift them up and make them strong
You will shine down on these cities
And lead judges to remind the people
That the day of the LORD is near!

I await your actions Father,
I wait on you patiently
One last revival in these last days
Rise the church in holy saving!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Liberty Online Church Sunday Sermon 7/01/13

Titus 3:5 "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit"

Good morning Liberty Church!

God bless you on your walk of faith.

Live well.  Live good.

But also, feel well.  Feel peace within.  With inner peace, everyday is a lot easier.  We can take on more when we have peace within.

It's a busy life out there.  Remember to slow down from time to time, and just listen to God.  Admire the beauty of nature.  Don't forget, life is tough, but it's also beautiful.  It's fun. It's right.  It's true.  It's God given.

I was out walking, out here in the woods of Wisconsin.  Let me tell you, for some Wisconsinites it might get old, the beauty of these forests, but not for me.  There is always some new beauty waiting around every corner.  I can't help but admire the craftsmanship of this creation.  It's beauty is powerful.  It's kind of a form of walking meditation in and of itself.  I like to just go for long walks, but always at night, or right at sunset.  That's the best.  I'll listen to far away music and imagine things inside my mind.  And it's good just to get away for a while.  I can literally get lost if I go too fast.  Let me encourage you to slow down sometimes.  Admire the moment.  And thank God, the creator, for that moment.

You know with all the problems in the world I just need to slow down sometimes.  It's easy in activism to get lost in all the negatives going on.

But our focus determines our reality.

Let me tell you, nothing in the world can make you feel anything.  Every time I see something or learn something or read something in the news, it is my decision how I choose to react to it.  It really is.  I don't have to feel awful when I learn some terrible new truth.

It really comes down to acceptance.  And heres where a lot of people get clogged up... just because I choose to accept something as reality does not mean I'm saying it's right or true.  I can accept something is real without also saying it's ok.

This is a hard teaching, but everything that is going on in the world at this very moment is exactly how God wanted it to be, right now.  That doesn't mean we sit idly by and let it continue that way.  But we don't need to feel intense heart ache over these schemes and scams going on.  All the corruption is there because that's how it's suppose to be at this moment.  But we can let it convict us to get to work at changing it.

Pain and heart ache doesn't need to be our motivator when we work to change the world.  Love can be our motivator, love for the world.  Pain and heart ache are ultimately self defeating.  After watching an episode of Alex Jones I often feel helpless.  That's not how an activist ought to feel.  An activist ought to remember that he or she has a big God who is on their side.

The cool thing is we've already won, no matter what they do.  Our savior Jesus Christ won this battle over 2,000 years ago.  How awesome is that?

And maybe as we work for better in the world we do feel helpless over some huge issue.  Well, that's fine.  We've failed for a long time to unleash our greatest weapon against the enemy.  That weapon is prayer.

Someone once told me that answer to almost every question is prayer.

If you see an injustice and feel helpless, pray for that cause, or pray for that person.  Pray hard, and pray ernestly.  If you see a corrupt leader doing wrong, pray for that person.  This does two things.  The first thing it does is sends a request to our heavenly Father.  And often if we pray hard enough and we're also trusting in God, that prayer will be answered.  And something powerful will happen.  Sometimes it doesn't, but that's ok.  The second thing it does, is it gives us peace.  As we pray for people and situations and places, our peace on the entire issue grows exponentially.

I learned recently that if I have a resentment against someone or something or some group, the best way to clear our that resentment is to pray.  I pray for them continously, and eventually that resentment just disappears.

It seems so simple doesn't it?  But it really really works.

As those working for betterment in the world, as the body of Christ, I think we can often get caught up in the big and huge issues, and totally miss day to day opportunities to help people on an individual basis.  If you see someone around work or at the store who is hurting, offer that person some encouragement.  The little things we do throughout the day can affect our entire community.  Good deeds have a powerful ripple effect.  If we can start to look to the people closest to us, and reach out to them and love and care for them, those are like ripples in the pond of the community.  Pretty soon the people we help are helping others, and those people are helping their friends and family.  Eventually we see an entire city lifting each other up, and loving doing good.  And as a result those big issues are now facing more and more people who care about doing the right thing.

God is cool like that.  God is awesome like that.  When we set that example of doing right, and being warriors of Christ, marines of truth, soldiers of righteousness, that example is more powerful than anything we could say.  People see us happy and helping, and they want that too.

Bigger and bigger it gets, until we have an entire nation serving God, and loving one another.

God bless you all, and have a wonderful week of peace, truth, and compassion.