Monday, December 28, 2009

Who are we afraid of offending?


I'm really confused folks ...

Why do we have two lists to protect the airlines from "this or that" threat? We have a no fly list (Click Here) ... and we have a terror watch list (Click Here)? Why not have one list that says if you are on it, your Visa into the US is automatically denied and you do NOT get onto a plane headed for the United States.

Who are we afraid of offending here? The bad guys? Seriously?

If anyone is on any kind of a watch or terror list, they need to be denied entry into the United States, period. Why is Secretary Napolitano spending her time making excuses for why this latest terror suspect was allowed onto a plane? Why spend time on the news programs (being handled with kid gloves of course) trying to justify your comment that the "system actually worked"? True, you were able to notify those other planes in the air and airports that there was an immediate threat ... but what if that warning didn't have to be made because of a denial of access onto an international Delta flight headed into Detroit?

Come on you fools .... change the precautions from being gentle and simply deny access across the board. Madam secretary, who's team are we playing for here? I fly once a month somewhere in the country and believe me, I won't mind the extra few minutes to remove some knucklehead from the airport because he is on this list and cannot get on the plane. How about we stop playing one move behind the bad guys (being reactive) and actually be proactive in the protection of our nation?

When will we learn????

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What was celebrated?

For weeks now (even months for some) we have been preparing for this past weekend, and now it has come and gone. The wrapping paper is all cleaned up, the new gifts are finding new homes in the rooms, and all that is left is dishes, exhaustion, and the desire to not eat for a week. However, do you hear it? Do you hear the still small voice that calls to you to remember what we celebrated? It is the birth of the Christ child, who willingly left the splendor of Heaven to come to a world that would shun Him, reject Him, and finally crucify Him ... all for you.

As we all begin to contemplate packing up this coming week, let us remember to NOT pack up the love of Jesus Christ. It is a sacrifice that has been given willingly to you, for the forgiveness of your sins, so that you would not be eternally separated from God in a place called hell. Did you know Jesus spoke about hell twice as much as He did about Heaven? He did so for one purpose, so that you would not spend your eternity there.

So, as you are packing up the stockings, the lights, the decorations, and in some cases the holiday cheer; never forget that their is a Savior who willingly laid down His life for you, to call you "friend". Jesus loves you is more than a catch phrase -- it's a truth that we must embrace today in order to be saved tomorrow. Do you know this Jesus? I pray that you do.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."
John 10:9-15

Friday, December 25, 2009

What is this Christmas?

Over the past few days I have been really trying to consider what this season means to me, and to be perfectly honest I have been coming up short trying to find words to fully explain it.

I realize that often times we all celebrate the holidays in different forms and fashions, and some don't celebrate at all - but collectively, what if we could spend time together just being thankful and grateful for what we have been given by the Lord? As many know I am an unashamed follower of Jesus Christ, and as I consider the biblical stories of Jesus and His disciples, the one theme that I constantly see is that they are always in fellowship, not spending time being divided or apart. Even in the most difficult situations, the disciples still managed to come together for a common purpose in serving one another and those they came across; with a focus and sole emphasis on sharing the message of the Lord with everyone they came across.

I wonder, if right now as the world collectively celebrates the birth of our Lord, if we would be so bold as well to join together for one purpose, and that would be to bring one another together. Of course, I'm not talking about having a "we are the world" moment where we start getting all warm and fuzzy and want to hug perfect strangers ... but what if we joined hearts for a common purpose of seeing Jesus Christ truly lifted up so that others could see Him? We all have our different angles on the holidays, and some have different views of exactly how to worship; but never once did I ever see Jesus assign different roles to the disciples to begin the Methodist movement, the Baptist movement, the Catholic movement, etc.

Jesus simply said ,"Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)

What if we got serious about these two verses and actually practiced it? What if we spent time lifting Jesus up, and telling others about who He is; instead of spending so much time trying to convince one another that our "form of worship" was the right one? How much more could He be glorified in that ... as He should be?

Christmas is not about us, friends. It never has been. It's not about Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, or even Saint Nick. It has nothing to do with our waistbands getting bigger nor does it have anything to do with going to church one of two times a year to "make your appearance". Christmas is about exalting the Christ child, who is the foretold Messiah of Isaiah 9. Can we agree on that friends? Can we lift up the One who matters?

From my home to yours ........ Merry Christmas. I pray that sometime today you would get alone with God and offer Him the worship and praise that He so richly deserves.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Who do you trust?

So, I've got a little time this afternoon ... so let's run a little checklist from what's happened in the past year, shall we?

- GITMO (prison in Cuba) promised to close ... Still opened -
- Iraq war will end ... Still fighting and Americans still dying -
- President will allow five days of public comment before signing bills - FAIL
- Afghanistan war will end ... Now surging up to 40,000 more troops - FAIL
- Health Care "Reform" ... Socialism now firmly in place and the beginning signs of a dictatorship have been voted on and approved by the Senate -

And my personal favorite:

- Decrease the National Debt ... $12.4 trillion dollars (and climbing) -

Hope and Change are coming?
When? Where? I don't know either ...

What I do know, is that this world desperately needs to realize that
Jesus Christ is the only answer that we have ever been given that can be counted on. What we are seeing right now is the beginning of our decline and the birth pains resulting from our national rebellion for decades. God is not playing games with us, and it's high time that we realize that.

Wake up people ... the cross is your ONLY hope of redemption, not the government puppets who are slave to only their own desires.

Isaiah 9:6, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Repent and turn from your ways my friends ... Jesus is the only answer.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Who do you listen too?

Just a thought to consider this morning:

When we go to the doctor, and he/she tells us that we need to change our lifestyle immediately else we will die, have you ever noticed how fast we go home, clear out the pantry, buy an exercise bike, and quit smoking so that we won't have to hear those words again? But, when the Holy Spirit speaks to us and tell us to change our ways all of a sudden we become deaf and act like it's not meant for us.

So, who's voice are you listening too? Whichever one it is, that is the one that is more important to you. If you believe it you are living it ... If you don't live it, you don't believe it.

Think about it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Right Kind of Help

The following is taken directly from Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest", devotion on December 20. No additional words are remotely necessary friends ... just read. - TJ

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"And I, if I am lifted up . . . will draw all peoples to Myself" — John 12:32

Very few of us have any understanding of the reason why Jesus Christ died. If sympathy is all that human beings need, then the Cross of Christ is an absurdity and there is absolutely no need for it. What the world needs is not "a little bit of love," but major surgery.

When you find yourself face to face with a person who is spiritually lost, remind yourself of Jesus Christ on the cross. If that person can get to God in any other way, then the Cross of Christ is unnecessary. If you think you are helping lost people with your sympathy and understanding, you are a traitor to Jesus Christ. You must have a right-standing relationship with Him yourself, and pour your life out in helping others in His way— not in a human way that ignores God. The theme of the world’s religion today is to serve in a pleasant, non-confrontational manner.

But our only priority must be to present Jesus Christ crucified— to lift Him up all the time ( see 1 Corinthians 2:2 ). Every belief that is not firmly rooted in the Cross of Christ will lead people astray. If the worker himself believes in Jesus Christ and is trusting in the reality of redemption, his words will be compelling to others. What is extremely important is for the worker’s simple relationship with Jesus Christ to be strong and growing. His usefulness to God depends on that, and that alone.

The calling of a New Testament worker is to expose sin and to reveal Jesus Christ as Savior. Consequently, he cannot always be charming and friendly, but must be willing to be stern to accomplish major surgery. We are sent by God to lift up Jesus Christ, not to give wonderfully beautiful speeches. We must be willing to examine others as deeply as God has examined us. We must also be sharply intent on sensing those Scripture passages that will drive the truth home, and then not be afraid to apply them.

Source: (December 20 Devotional)

Friday, December 18, 2009

How bold can you be?

My Pastor, Bro J.B. Burt, spent some time a number of years ago with Miss Bertha Smith who was a missionary to China for several decades -- and probably one of the greatest heroes of the faith in my opinion (look her up sometime if you have the chance). At our staff dinner, he was telling us of a story that happened to him one day while he was in a prayer session with her and it goes something like this ...

He said that in the middle of the prayer, she said that it was time to stand up and so he thought the prayer time was over. But, out of curiousity he asked why they were standing and this was her answer:

"Well, now we're going to talk to the devil, and the devil will never see me talk to him on my knees ... so I stand up when I rebuke him in prayer."

Wow. I mean ... WOW!!!!!!

Think about the implications of that faith!!!!! Think about the simple act of faith in standing up to the evil one himself and showing him that you shall not bow down to him in prayer. Imagine if more believers caught hold of that and decided that they would take a solid stand for Christ; and that nothing in this world would cause them to bend their knee EXCEPT in the presence of a Holy and Sanctified God?

How much of an impact could we have on our own lives if we were that bold? How amazing would it be to see our own prayer lives transformed in such a way that we were that intimate with the Father, so that we could boldly tell the "father of lies" that he has NO authority and NO power in our lives!?!

Wow ... just wow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's about the Joy

Well, another week is about to hit the downhill slide and so I thought perhaps I would write a bit about some events that have been going on. Of course, everyone that I know has been preparing for the holidays in one form or fashion, but not everyone I know has really been taking a lot of time to pause and remember just what it is we are celebrating, so I thought I would do that here.

You see, this time of year has nothing to do with Santa Claus, or about the fact that our waist lines might be expanding, or even the desire to peek at a gift to see what so-and-so got us … but it is about celebrating the birth of this world’s Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Over the past few weeks I have had the pleasure of talking each Sunday morning in regards to the Advent season, and I actually never really spent much time focusing on the purpose behind Advent, other than knowing some candles were lit to show what each week represented. However, did you know that each week has a theme to it? For example, last week (week 3) discussed the JOY of the Lord, and I found one specific verse that just speaks to me so clearly about JOY. Interestingly enough, this verse comes from Luke 23:43 and it says, “… assuredly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” From the cross, as Jesus was fulfilling the purpose of His birth, he brings JOY to a repentant sinner who willfully cries out for the Lord’s mercy. I had to stop and really consider that. From this painful instrument of death that the Romans used, while Jesus was dying for our sins, He acknowledged that a man needed JOY and PEACE that could only come from God … and it was given to him.

So I ask you, are you involved in giving JOY this holiday season? How about PEACE? Are you focused on the HOPE that this season brings? Are you telling others that there is a WAY for us to have all of these things? Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; and no man comes to the Father accept through me.” As you look upon the celebration of the birth of our Savior, I pray that you would constantly keep this in mind and understand that Jesus was born to die, for you.

Are you willing to give your life to Him? Are you willing to tell someone else about the true reason for the season?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blackberry Curve Announces WiFi

Warning: "Technology Geek" post dead ahead ...

A few months ago, I left the security of my Blackberry Curve to enter the world of the Palm Pre, and this past Thursday I had to go back. Honestly, the Pre is a "good" phone, but it really has some issues that for me I could not look past. From a tiny keyboard, to the slow response times, to the overall 'buggy issues' that the operating system had -- I just had to return to my Blackberry Curve. Now, the main reason I switched to the Pre was because it had WiFi capability and where we live I can barely send a text without standing outside on one leg holding an antenna in one hand with aluminum foil on my head. Well, let the light shine in because I just read an article today that tells me this is all about to change!

Introducing the Blackberry Curve 8530!

According to the article I read, the "Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8530 was rumored to launch on December 18th, but new information has landed in our inbox indicating that the handset will go live on January 10th of next year (2010). The Curve 8530 will feature the same specs as the 8520, but with the addition of WiFi and BlackBerry 5.0 OS."

So, let me just say "YAY!" to this new information!! Anyway, that's all that is new here -- have a good night everyone.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

People need the Lord

Everyday, we see this world slipping farther and farther away from the intended plan that God had for us; which was for us to forever live in a place called Paradise and never be separated from Him. We were to have constant fellowship with Him, and be able to rely fully on His provision to meet all of our needs. But, we sinned - and fell from that place to the world we see around us. This is what brought Jesus to this Earth to redeem His Father's creation, and to make us pure in God's eyes.

However, there are millions who have gone to their deaths not knowing about Jesus, and from the day of their deaths until the end of time they will spend eternity in a place called hell -- simply because no one ever told them about Jesus. I want to challenge you today to prayerfully consider what it is that YOU need to do ... and then just DO IT. People need the Lord my friends ... when will WE realize it and reach out to them?


That choice .... is up to you.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009

Friends, may we NEVER forget the reason we need to constantly defend this GREAT nation of ours. May God bless the families of these men and women always, and may God continue to bless those who RIGHT NOW are defending our freedom. The following images are just 3 small reminders from December 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Above all ... LOVE each other

Over the past few weeks I have been chewing on a particular verse that I just felt needed to be shared at this time.

1 Peter 4:8 says, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." When I look at that verse, I see more information there than one could ever express in the course of their natural life. Yet, it's not about your natural life ... it never has been. Our lives our lived today to determine our supernatural life. To determine the life that we will have when our eyes close forever in death from this world and slip into the next.

We are commanded in God's Word to love one another deeply, to have respect and care for one another and to never spend a moment in hatred or raising up animosity for one another. Consider all the hate in this world that exists, why then would we as the Body of Christ have additional hatred or anger for one another? Sure, we get hurt ... I get that. Naturally, we feel resentment towards one another because of this or that. And yes, we may not see things eye to eye and so feathers get ruffled, understood.

But what do all these have in common? They are all OUR emotions being impacted by OUR actions because of OUR choices!!

When you look at the second part of that verse we see that Peter writes that "love covers over a multitude of sins." Let's consider Peter for just a moment. Remember this little jewel he released the night Jesus was arrested? "Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will." (Matthew 26:33)

Or, how about this one after Jesus was arrested? "Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about". (Matthew 26:69-70)

But even with all these denials Jesus restores Peter and says that if He loves Him, to "feed His sheep" (see John 21 for the entire reference). If Peter was restored for denying the Savior to His face ....... perhaps there really is hope for us in this world???

Now, I'm not saying that all actions, sins, fights, etc., need to wiped away immediately and forgotten; but through repentance there is an opportunity to be forever changed by the Spirit of God. Let us remember that repentance means that we take action to seek forgiveness through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and TURN AWAY from the sin. There is nothing we have to offer God that He needs from us, but when we come under the submission of the blood and the obedience of Christ our lives can be forever changed. What a wonderful time of year to come into God's presence, and seek out His Son who so willingly gave His life for yours.

So ............. that's what's on my mind tonight. God bless you.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Emmitt Otter's Jugband Christmas

You know you remember this!!


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