September 11, 2018
The Day The World Stopped Turning
As I woke to my alarm clock, as usual I rolled over and hit the snooze. My alarm played the local radio station when it was time to alarm. School started that senior year at 8:55 and my alarm was scheduled to sound at 7:55. Being on the west coast this equated to 9 minutes after the first plane crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. As usual my brain was not completely engaged when I heard my alarm sound and the DJ on the radio was speaking about a plane that crashed into a building in New York. I thought “huh, how sad” as I pushed the snooze button and rolled back over. Just then Mom came into the room and told me to get up and come see what was on the news. As I stumbled into the living room I remember seeing one building billowing smoke as we all stood in front of the t.v. wondering how such a disaster could happen. As we watched in wonder the second plane crashed into the south building right before our eyes. That moment everything changed. It was now something we realized as well as the rest of the world that this was on purpose. The rest of the day in all of my classes we watched the news as they replayed that mornings events. I remember walking outside and staring up into the sky and seeing not a plane in the sky. Like Alan Jackson sings, “the world stopped turning” that day. and at the end of it all it was the last morning on earth for 2,996 people.
This life is fragile. No one wakes up in the morning and thinks to themselves, “ this is my last day here.” Tomorrow is not guaranteed. 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 speaks about the day of the Lord coming “like a thief in the night,” “like labor pains upon a pregnant woman.” (1 These. 5:2,3) We do not know when it will be. So what does that mean for us? How do we live knowing this could be our last or the last day for the person sitting next to you? If you had one last thing to say to somebody what would it be? I listened to the audio phone calls that were made that morning of September 11th. People saying “I love you,” “goodbye,” “I’ll miss you” and “take care of the kids.” First, don’t know forget to tell people we love them, tell them how much they mean to you, don’t just assume they know. Second, more importantly tell people about the love of God. tell them how much He loves us, enough to send His son to be put to death in order that we might live (John 3:16).
Tomorrow when your alarm goes off remember it will be somebodies last day, and you could be one who makes a positive impact on their life by telling them “I love you” and about the love of God.
– Dustin Campbell
In The World But Not Of the World
Have you ever walked into a candy store and seen all of the caramel apples sitting neatly in the glass case? They look so inviting, dripping with gooey caramel. Some are topped with nuts or chocolate chips others lathered in caramel and chocolate. They look so inviting and they have the makings of being something incredible. So you break down and purchase that beautiful caramel apple and then the real challenge begins. As you bite into the crisp apple covered in gooey caramel you quickly remember why you don’t normally purchase such a delicacy. The caramel begins to stick to your teeth and the nuts are falling everywhere making a complete mess. The juices of the apple run all over your face and now you are quickly grabbing for that napkin you were given when you purchased this beautiful mess. If you are like me I never seem to eat the entire thing because I am so frustrated with the mess I am making. The world is like that caramel apple, it looks great and the things of the world often look so appealing so we give in and before long we are making a mess of our lives. As Christians we are to be careful in our interaction in the sins of the world. We know that we are to be evangelistic and in order to be evangelistic we are to be around people of the world. This is why we have scriptures such as Ephesians chapter 6, explaining the whole armor of God, but we need not to love the things of the world. In 1 John, John writes instructing us not to love the things of this world. “If anyone loves the world the love of the father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). The desires of the world are not from the father but they are from the world. Like the caramel apple they may look good at the time and we simply cannot resist them so we give in to the temptation and we find ourselves in a big mess. Let us be encouraged to stay away from the desires of the world no matter how good they look and focus on the Father and his guidance.
Abide By The Rules; It’s A Matter of Life or Death
How many times have we been driving down the road and noticed the speed limit sign displaying 35 MPH? As we casually look to our speedometer we notice our speed slightly over. Often times we slow down to abide by the law and carry on with our travels. We understand that any speed over the posted limit is grounds for a ticket because we are not abiding by the law. There are forms of punishment enforced for those who do not abide by the laws given. We understand this concept; so, we as responsible citizens abide by the laws. Do we mess up and exceed the speed limit a time or two? Yes, but we understand the law is the law and anything outside the law is punishable. In Genesis 4 we have the familiar account of Cain and Able the two sons of Adam and Eve. Both gave sacrifices to God. Able gave a sacrifice pleasing to God and Cain did not. They knew the type of sacrifice that was acceptable to God, yet only Able abided by the rule. We see that God had no regard for Cain’s offering (Genesis 4:5) thus leading to jealousy and the first murder. Tragedy struck because Cain chose not to abide by the rules. Why then do we as Christians have such a hard time abiding by the rules that are recorded for us in the pages of the Bible? We tend to take what we want and leave the rest. We take the easy and leave the hard. We sometimes overlook the commands and examples given in the Bible. We need to be encouraged to devote time to personal Bible study; so, we can know for ourselves what God demands from His children. It is a matter of life or death. Let’s be encouraged to do exactly what He wants; so that, one great day when Christ does come back we are ready as faithful children.
May 18, 2018
Not Our “Own Thing” But “God’s Thing”
It seems like each generation of people have their “own thing” rather its a sense of pride, power, prejudice, or something else. It seems though we have a new generation of people who seek to be all about self. If it doesn’t benefit them its not worth the time. This type of thinking has led to a lack of respect for authority and really anybody else that is not themselves. There has been a growth of racism due to this thought, a growth in children who are not being raised or trained as they should and a decline in morality.
After Joshua’s death and the death of the next generation which he influenced, the scripture says, “There arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10).
Because they did not know God, twice the writer of Judges tells us the degree to which that society deteriorated – “Every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; 21:25).
Are we doing right in our own eyes or doing right in God’s eyes?
Doing right in God’s eyes will be in accordance to the scriptures. Obedience, faith, and commitment is and should be our main focus. We must continue to have an influence for good so that people will know there is a God, the authority. This encourages people to not do what they think is right in their own sight but to do right in God’s sight, who knows best. When there is no God as an authority there is anarchy. Let us strive to do what is right in God’s eyes and have a Godly influence on others.
May 14, 2018
We Are One Nation Under God
George Washington once said, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of the Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.” Our Founding Fathers understood the importance of God in our country. They understood the protection that God would provide and the morals that would be established through His word. Over the years we have seemingly retreated as a nation from that idea. We have become a nation who believes we can accomplish all, on our own. We must flee from this idea and once again find protection within the arms of God. In the book of Joshua as the children of Israel were coming out of the wanderings in the wilderness, they began conquering nations in order to receive the promise, the Promised Land. God laid out commands and statutes that they had to commit themselves to; so they, could continue defeating much larger nations than they were. As sin entered into the nation of Israel, their trust turned from God to other objects and their strength in battle was taken. The Children of Israel were defeated at the battle at AI (Joshua 7:5) because someone had gone against what God had commanded (7:10). The people’s faith had faltered and they lost the battle. We must remember that our trust must be in God and without our nation’s trust resting with God we too will perish. Ronald Reagan said, “If we forget we are one nation under God, we will be one nation gone under.” We must come together as a country and restore the Nation under God.
May 2, 2018
The Importance Of A Signature
If you have ever walked through an art gallery it is amazing that amount of talent that is expressed through the stroke of a brush. An artist that I always enjoy is Thomas Kinkade He has such away of really encapsulating you into his paintings. The light he paints literally looks like there is light shining from the oil based paint he uses as media. Since Kinkade began “painting with light” there has been many who have come after him and try to replicate the style. There is nothing like a real Kinkade. Thomas Kinkade includes his signature in two ways when painting such a masterpiece. His first signature is his style and the second is deeper than just the on the surface. As Kinkade became more and more popular he decided to do something very different. He took a strand of his hair to someone who was able to extract his DNA, they mixed his DNA in with the paint and then he would use that paint to sign his paintings. Therefore his paintings were authenticated with his style and his DNA thus making forgery impossible.
As Christians we need to be genuine children of God. Our signature needs to be pure and complete as God would desire. There are many people in the world who are not genuine Christians but do it simply for show, what separates us? Just as one walking through an art gallery is able to quickly recognize a Thomas Kinkade painting somebody walking through our life should recognize us as a child of God. What is our signature? What do people know us by? As we walk this life, day by day we build a reputation for ourselves. The reputation that we are building should be that of one who walks in the light “as He is the light” (1 John 1:7). Thomas Kinkade made a living painting light, we need to live our lives in The Light!
April 26, 2018
What Can An Atheist Be Thankful For?
An article was handed to me from a local news paper and it explained how a group of atheist were getting together and having a service in the likeness of our worship service. This though was different seeing as they have no God to worship, and they want it that way. They call themselves a ”godless congregation,” as if it were a good thing. A congregation that lives life day by day with not a single hope in something bigger or a single hope in an eternal life. What does a person with such a thought have to be thankful for?
Imagine living that way. Imagine living your life on your own with no Heavenly Father to pray to, to ask for help or to receive comfort from. That is not an emptiness I want to experience. They say they find strength in other places, things of this world. Christ warns us to “ not store up treasures here in this world where moth and rust destroy.” (Matt. 6:19). Thats just it, if we find ourselves pouring equity into things of this earth what happens when they are gone? Instead I am thankful for the Heavenly Father that we have and the peace and comfort that is given through Him.
As we strive daily to give thanks to God we focusing on all the blessings that God has provided to us. When we, as children of God ponder the idea of how much God has given us the results are overwhelming. It is amazing to me how much God gives and continues to give to His children, most importantly, salvation. Each and every day we can look around and simply see all that God has given to us and how much he richly blesses us. What would a life without God be like?
That is a thought I don’t even want to entertain, let alone a life that I would want to live. In Psalm 103:1-5 David writes about the blessings at that God bestows upon his children. David speaks about forgiveness, healing, redemption, love, mercy and that ultimately God will satisfy us with an eternal home in Heaven. After reading this section of the Psalms I realize that we have a God who richly blesses us. We have a Heavenly Father that we need to deeply and sincerely thank every day of our lives. Those blessings are something to be extremely exited about, something we should want to share with those around us.
April 15, 2018
Finding Your Way in the Light
We have all walked into a dark room and found ourselves tripping over furniture or those of us who have children around have found ourselves tripping or stepping on that toy that was left out. Those of us who have stepped on a little plastic car with our bare feet know it hurts. We find ourselves comfortable in the house we live in and we think we know how to make it from the door to the dresser without having to turning on the light. The thing is we cannot see the dangers that may be present when the lights are turned off. In our Christian walk this is no different in Psalm 119:105 we see the psalmist writing “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Do we truly understand that Psalm? Do we understand that God’s word is our guidance? Do we follow God’s word so we can live a better life? We understand the great contrast in light and darkness and we understand the great importance of light, humans naturally like to see where we are going. We need to follow God’s word it is the light that guides our way. We see other passages like John 12:46, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” Here Christ is speaking about himself being the light that guides our way, the light that saves us. Through Christ we have salvation, we have been redeemed from our sins and we are no longer in the darkness of sin. As we walk through this life in 2013 let us walk in the light, following God’s word and the steps of Christ. I like to see where I am going and I want to be aware of the predators that are around me, therefore let us strive to walk in the light.
April 1, 2018
He Isn’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
The Story is told of a two brothers around three years apart. The older one was a popular 15 year old and had an abundance of friends. His younger brother, 12 at the time was less popular and a little awkward around people. The younger of the two boys had developed slower than most boys his age, due to a medical issue he had. The doctors who had been treating the boy were not quite sure what was going on but the young boy would have sporadic seizures. The older of the brothers loved his younger brother and included him in everything he could. One day the older brother was going on a hike with some of his friends and as was habit, the older brother invited his younger brother to go. Even though his friends tried to talk him out of taking his younger brother he did not give in and the younger brother went. The hike was going well and they hiked all day. On the way back the older brother began noticing his younger brother breathing harder and falling behind. His friends yelling back, “keep up, come on.” The Older brother signaled his friends to keep going and assured them that they would catch up. The younger brothers breathing progressively became harder and harder and now he could barely walk. They boys sat down for a little to take a break and as the younger brother sat down he began to seizure. The older brother became extremely worried and helped control the his younger brother, after the seizure stopped the younger brother was not responsive. The older brother picked up his younger brother and began running down the mountain knowing he had to get him help and fast. As he caught up to the other boys they noticed that something was wrong, they could see the younger brother lying limp in the older brothers arms who now had tears coming from his eyes. The other boys asked to help, maybe take turns carrying the younger brother, the older brother just kept running. As the older brother passed them he yelled back “he is not heavy he is my brother.”
As Christians we have a responsibility to bear one another’s burdens. When we are struggling we need to be able to go to our church family for help. We also need to be able to help those who are struggling. Paul tells the churches of Galatia, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). When a brother or sister is struggling we need to be able to pick them up and carry them, helping them along the way.