ARE YOU THERE YET?

Taking Life's Journey At The Level of Blessed-Faith Instead of Baby-Faith

If you have small children, you have or will likely experience it; the family takes a road trip, and once in a while during the drive, the little one asks, “Are we there yet?” With three of my own, I can say that I’ve had my fill of that cute but mildly irritating question. But as it went, just as the older child matured enough to abandon it, the younger picked up the baton.

The obvious difference between the older and the younger child is that the older can process time and distance while the younger is still learning to. But there is another aspect of this example that is important to point out. The older child is beginning to take you at your word. You say you are taking the seven hour drive to grandma’s, and they get it and believe it. Parents, do your best with your kids to keep your word.

If you say what you mean and mean what you say, your maturing child and you will develop a strong relationship of trust. That mutual integrity will make life much more pleasurable for the both of you as a result. And the little one? Well, they will need a bit more than just your word, but as they see with their eyes the benefits the older gets to enjoy by trusting what you say, then they will also want those benefits.

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HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE?

Its GOD You Need To Show...

As we enter that time Christians celebrate as the week of Christ’s Passion where he suffered torture and crucifixion for our sakes, I am reminded of some of the lyrics of the Bee Gees hit song, “How Deep Is Your Love.”

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a music lover, and it amazes me how sometimes the perfect song, whether secular or Christian, pops into my head that perfectly fits the current situation.

One particular lyric in the song says, “you’re my savior when I fall.” Now, of course, the Bee Gees were singing about the love of a woman, but I can think of at least one possible source of inspiration for such words… Need a hint? I didn’t think so.

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DON’T BLOW THE BRIDGE OF BIBLICAL BELIEF!

Believing The Word of GOD Until The End

Attention to detail is very important when it comes to the Christian faith and the rule for the Christian life—God’s word. Imagine two soldiers being tasked with blowing up a bridge to keep enemy forces from crossing it. The soldiers are told to meet on the bridge at a particular time, plant the explosives, and blow it.

1957 Academy Award winning film Bridge On The River Kwai

They each get to either end of the bridge at the appointed time, rig the dynamite, and then meet up in the middle with their detonators in hand. But what might be wrong with this picture? Well, let’s just hope they know where they stand…

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KEEPING UP WITH THE JESUS IN US

5 Steps To Keeping Up With The Christ

From social status to consumerism, from materialism to outright hedonism, people, the world over, are still deeply concerned with “keeping up with the Joneses”. And thanks to the ease of access of social media, it has exploded to the almost impossible level of “keeping up with the Kardashians,” “the Kim and Kanyes,” “the Jay-Z and Beyonce’s”.

We are living in a world that is spiraling downward into a chasm called “enough is never enough.” That is simply a place that God never intended for you and I to be.

A James Bond movie bears the title, “The World Is Not Enough”. And that is precisely the mindset that got the world into all of the trouble it is filled with today. Adam and Eve were given everything, but with one little prohibition. The world was not enough for them, and they sinned, thereby starting the spiral.

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The Labor of Waiting Patiently on The Lord

Taking a Regular Spiritual Pit-Stop

At Mount Sinai, (Exodus 24:15-18), Moses went up alone to meet with the LORD.  It was only after patiently waiting for six whole days in a thick mist that covered the mountain that on the seventh day God called to Moses from the cloud.  Then Moses spent another forty days in solitude with the LORD!

The result was the production of arguably one of the most influential written documents ever known–one that every civilized society since has in some way been effectively governed or somehow positively impacted by. We know it as The Ten Commandments.

We live in a very hurried world today where people find it almost impossible to wait for things. They sacrifice so much of the precious gifts of peace and quiet meditation for the quick response or result. By trying to keep up with everyone else, they miss much of what is most important in life. That is not the pace at which God intends His children to exist.

Taking regular spiritual pit-stops will dramatically increase your effectiveness at running life’s race. There is infinitely inestimable value in getting alone to quietly and intentionally wait to hear what the LORD might want to say to your heart.

So here’s your challenge. Sometime during your day, take fifteen minutes to a half-hour to get somewhere that is as quiet as possible to disconnect from everyone and everything (especially electronic devices). Yes, I realize that swiping the off-button on a smartphone is hard for most people to do. But do it. Try this challenge just a few days a week for the next few weeks, and see won’t it begin to change your world for the better! “Wait, I say, on the LORD.”

You may feel like you are losing ground in the rat-race as you make those precious pit-stops for God’s guidance. But don’t worry about falling behind; life will be right there waiting for you when you’re through. Besides, the Lord said the last shall be first…

YOUR BEYOND VERY GOOD

Sin Wants To Make You Settle for a World Passing Away

In the beginning, God made everything and everything was “very good” (Gen. 1:31). But the significance of God’s word not using the term “very good” until the sixth day—and after He created mankind—should not be overlooked.

Creation was made for humanity by God, and He said that it was “good”. Yet after He made us—the crown of His creation—He used the term “very good” to signify that humanity, which creation was made for, makes God’s work on earth complete.

Yet nowhere does God say that was His best for you! You were designed by God to transcend “very good”. Very good was your beginning. But it was by no means meant to be your end. When God finished creation, He gave us dominion over it, and He allowed us to choose to either settle for very good being the best we would ever know, or to eat of the Tree of Life and experience the incalculable beyond very good. Unfortunately we made the wrong choice, and became destined to rue the day we lost mere paradise. Adam is proof-positive that sin wants to make you settle for less than your inheritance.

But wait! There is a hope! You see, God had a backup plan. He would send another (uncreated) Adam who would offer us the opportunity of not just “good” or mere “very good”, “but God had planned something better for us”. So that was just the beginning! Why? Because through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—the last Adam (I Cor. 15:45)—you have the opportunity to pick up where the first Adam left off. By choosing Christ, you have willfully made the choice to experience not just what God created, but the limitless beyond. And why did God do this? Here is the answer (Ephesians 2:7):

…in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

And even now, there is infinitely more in Christ that we have to enjoy. C.S. Lewis perfectly explains another aspect of our perceived scarcity in God’s kingdom of abundance…

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

CHRISTmas Lights Are Best At Night

Piercing The Darkness With Christ's Beautiful Light

When do Christmas lights look their best?  When it is darkest outside, right? Like the reason why diamond sellers display their finest stones on a black velvet background, when Christmas lights are burning brightly in the night, the colors pierce the darkness, producing stunning displays that catch the eye and touch the heart.

And you know what? Throughout our lives, there will be times we will experience the darkness of disappointment, relationships gone bad, financial reverse, pain, sickness, and a host of other possible trials. When they come—and they will for everyone, saved or not—what will we do to reflect the glory of God?

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OEM #17: Bringing US Back To HIM

What All U.S. Christians Are To Do With A New President

Many believe that America is a Christian nation. Yes, this country was for the most part founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, but the nation as a whole was never Christ’s nation, which is what the term “Christian Nation” would have to mean.

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Jesus made it clear that His kingdom is not of this world, which means that the only semblance of a Christian nation we have is the body of born-again believers in Jesus Christ across the globe.

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WHO’S SIDE IS GOD ON IN THIS ELECTION?

The Best Position to Take in This Political Mess of an Election

This will probably be one of the shortest blog posts I’ll ever write. But sometimes you need to just get right to the point. Who’s side is GOD on in this election?

Is He on the side of the Christians who are voting for Trump? Is He on the side of the Christians who are voting for Hillary? Is He on the side of the Christians voting for one of the independent parties? Or is He on the side of the Christians who are either writing in candidates or who are not going to vote at all?

The answer is YES!

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OEM #16: An Audience Of ONE

Your Stellar Performance in Christ

There is the story of a concert pianist who performed before thousands. At the completion of every song, the audience would erupt with cheers. Yet, strangely enough, as the evening progressed, he seemed to become a little sadder.

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When he reached his grand finale, he played his heart out. In fact he played so well that the audience couldn’t contain its applause until the end. Yet when he was finished, he hung his head in sorrow and left the stage.

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OEM #14: Bad Company

Anyone Can Be A Momentary Satan In Your EPIC

There is a woman who is greatly admired and loved by many people. Ask anyone who knows her, and they’ll tell you that she is absolutely the best!OEM_Episode14_Banner

“Anything you need her to do, just ask!” She ran errands for some, she allowed others to stay at her home whenever they needed. She even withdrew money from the bank for others, as she continually put their desires far ahead of her own.

One day, at her request, the pastor of her church went to visit her… in prison!

You see, this lady that everybody so admired was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. In fact, she was so nice that she just couldn’t say “no” to people even though deep down inside she wanted to.

1 Corinthians 15:33 says that bad company corrupts good character. As you live out your EPIC, even your closest relationships must be kept a distant second to your walk with Christ.

Caring for those you love is commanded. But when a relationship demands that you compromise with sin, by contrast, your love for the Lord may even have to appear like hatred for your friend! It is the same reason Jesus told the beloved Peter to “Get behind me Satan…”

OEM #13: Laboring To Lose? Or Working To Win?

Joining Forces With Jesus To Live Out Your EPIC Life

I remember hearing the testimony of a well-known Bible teacher who gave the account of a conversation he had with his daughter who was pregnant and soon to give birth.

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One day, as he arrived at his home, he saw her standing in his driveway crying. Doctors discovered that the baby in her womb was dead. The tragic news was obcasio made worse when she learned that because of complications, the only way to extract the child would be through induced labor. She would have to give birth to death…

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