Eternity is closer than you think.
For some it is only an hour away. Others will enter it tomorrow. Some will wait days or decades, and statistically, about 300,000 will experience eternity today.
No one knows the day or the hour when time will cease for him or her, but each of us will pass through that door sooner or later. It is inevitable. The only question is where you will spend eternity.
Jesus prayed to His Father: You have given Me authority over all flesh that I will give eternal life to as many as You have given Me. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:2-3).
Posted in Bible, Christian, Christianity, Inspiration, Ministry, News, Religion, Science, Spirituality, Theology, Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tagged Bible, Christ, death, die, eternity, everlasting life, faith, Father God, God, hereafter, how many people die each day, Jesus, John 17:2-3, salvation, trust
Some people mistakenly seek guidance by fortune tellers, horoscopes, chance or prophets.
God led the Israelites through the Wilderness by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
Today, the children of God are led by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit as He works through His written Word, the Bible.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).
Posted in Bible, Christian, Christianity, Inspiration, Love, Ministry, Prayer, Relationships, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tagged believers, Bible, chance, children of God, Christians, direction, feet, fortune tellers, future, God, God's Word, guidance, Holy Spirit, horoscope, indwelling, Israelites, Jesus, light, path, pillar of cloud, pillar of fire, presence, prophet, Psalm 119:105, saints, saved, Scripture, what to do, wilderness, will of God, word is a lamp, Word of God, written word
There’s a plague that has struck Christians – it’s the plague of materialism. We’ve lost sight of the truth that this worldly kingdom with its alluring wares is not our home.
Ephesians 1:3 reminds us that Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
Note two things: (1) God has already – has blessed us - given His children every possible blessing He has to bestow; and (2) these blessings are spiritual in nature, not physical.
This doesn’t mean that our Father doesn’t meet our material needs. He knows that we have necessities for physical survival, but His great undertaking of salvation and provision for us is spiritual in nature. While many Christians plead with Him to meet physical needs, they neglect His abundant outpouring of spiritual wealth already received in Jesus.
Posted in Bible, Christian, Christianity, Economics, Finance, Money, Prayer, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tagged abundance, blessings, Christ, Christians, Ephesians 1:3, every spiritual blessing, father, God, Heaven, Heavenly Places, Jesus, materialism, necessity, needs, our home, physical, plague, Prayer, salvation, spiritual, spiritual wealth, survival, worldly kingdom
“It’s easy,” they say. Yeah. Right.
Driving is easy. You just turn the key and go.
Knitting is easy. You just knit one and pearl two.
Being a house wife is easy. You just take care of the kids and husband and keep the house clean.
Algebra is easy. You just … well, whatever.
Easy is never simple. Driving a car isn’t easy. There are rules of the road, technical skills required, and a thick set of nerves helps.
I’ve tried to knit. I couldn’t keep track of the stitches, or how many times my needle went around and through. It’s all I can do to clap my hands!
And being a housewife? I challenge any feminist, bachelorette, or chauvinist male to take care of a family for one month and then say that the 9 to 5 office job is easier.
I’m not even going to say anything more about algebra except: how do two letters of the alphabet become a number?
There’s a simplicity to the Word of the God and His plan of redemption, but to say that following God is easy is the statement of an idiot. Obedience isn’t easy. Discerning truth from error isn’t easy. Knowing God’s will in every circumstance isn’t easy. Understanding the nuances of Scripture isn’t easy. It’s easy to say, “Well you just do it.” But easy isn’t always simple. However, for those who strive to know more, to follow harder, to reach further, to grasp tighter, the effort and result are worth every moment.
Jesus said, Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able (Luke 13:24).
Posted in Bible, Christian, Christianity, Humor, Inspiration, Ministry, Relationships, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tagged algebra, Bible, chavinism, discernment, driving, easy, easy isn't simple, error, feminism, following God, God, God's will, hard, housewife, idiot, it's easy, Jesus, knitting, knowledge, Luke 13:24, narrow gate, obedience, redemption, religion, salvation, Scripture, simple, simplicity, truth, Word of God
In February of 1984, I took part in a wonderful program called the Oregon Youth Legislature. For one week during the spring, high school students from around the state gathered in our capitol building to put on a mock legislature. Students wrote bills they wanted to see enacted into law, walked them through the committee process, and if they survived, presented those bills on the floor of the State Legislature to their fellow students.
I was appointed to serve as a state senator, and with my friend Rob Brabish, we wrote a bill requiring public schools to present creationism as an alternative if evolution was also presented in the school. The bill passed committee, I gave an impassioned speech for approval from the senate floor, and after a standing ovation, the bill was passed. Then our youth governor, Jay Goldsmith, vetoed it after heavy lobbying by several other students.
There came a time in the process, when all the members of the senate made a dignified procession to the house chamber to hear the student governor explain his agenda for the session. Both chambers in the Oregon Capitol Building are separated by polished marble stairs, and we made our way across the rotunda. About half-way down the stairs I lost my stride on the shiny floor and tumbled head-over-heels to the rotunda floor. So much for dignified.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).
There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in our accomplishments and achievements. The problem comes when we think of ourselves more highly than we ought (Romans 12:3). God has a way of bringing us back to reality when we fail to keep a humble heart about ourselves. He wants us to think of ourselves not more than – nor less than – He thinks of us. That day in Salem, God humbled me. I wish it had been the last time He had to humble my proud heart. It wasn’t. God will have to keep working on me.
Posted in Bible, Christian, Christianity, Inspiration, Politics, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tagged dignified, dignity, fall down the stairs, Glencoe High School, God, humble, Humility, Jay Goldsmith, Oregon, Oregon Youth Legislature, Pride, pride goes before a fall, pride goes before destruction, proud heart, Proverbs 16:18, Rob Brabish, Romans 12:3, Salem, self-image, think of ourselves
Preaching four different sermons a week is easy. I’ve never had a problem with it. I simply open the Bible to the first verse of a book and begin preaching one verse at a time. God has already laid it all out for me line-by-line. It isn’t any more difficult than following a recipe for baking chocolate chip cookies but praying …. that’s hard.
Have you ever been stumped when it comes to prayer? We have needs and issues of our own to pray about, then we work our way through friends, family, and problems in the world. But what I’m asking is whether or not you ever get stumped as to how to pray about all these things?
I remember an incident many years ago. Each week we had a special time set aside during the church service for people who needed someone to pray with them. There was a certain man in the church who was hard of hearing, but always made himself available to pray with folks. One Sunday a woman went to him about a pain in her shoulder that had become almost unbearable. She asked the man to pray that God would take away the pain and make her shoulder better.
The man carefully listened, then bowed his head and prayed that God would give her a new job.
When the man was done praying, the dumbfounded woman walked back to her seat, disappointed and angry that the man had failed to pay attention to her request. She knew what she needed. Who was he to ignore her?
The next week she shared the story and two surprising results. Out of nowhere, she was offered a better paying job with better hours and benefits! She also realized that her shoulder had stopped hurting and was better!
I’m so thankful that even when I don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit knows exactly the real need. Now we just need to be quiet enough to listen to Him.
The Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will (Romans 8:26-27, New Living Translation).
Posted in Bible, Christian, Christianity, Humor, Inspiration, Ministry, Prayer, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tagged answered prayer, answers, cute monkey, faith, father, God, God's will, groanings, Holy Spirit, How to pray, Jesus, miracle, Prayer, Romans 8:26, Romans 8:27, trust, uttered, weakness, what to pray, when there are no words
My grandfather was a genius, but probably not in the ways most people think. He didn’t have his genius framed on a piece of paper that hung on the wall, but in a life well-lived.
He could build anything. Give the man two sticks and he’d figure out a way to make a hammer, a saw, and build a house. He’d dig a hole in the ground and install a swimming pool, cut the side out of the house and install a breakfast nook, or use his table saw to make toys for children and tables for grown-ups. He used to say, “It doesn’t need to be square, it just needs to look that way.”
Hard work was a part of his character. During the summers, I’d sometimes work with him. He’d remind me, “There will be time to rest when the work is done”, something I repeat to my own son all the time. The Bible says, Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Edward Losli lived this verse.
He was also a humble man. One morning we went to fix the water heater at the pastor’s house. He pulled it apart, installed the new piece, but something wasn’t working right. I watched while he fiddled with it for the longest time. Finally I picked up the sheet of instructions that came with the part and told him where he’d made his mistake. He didn’t get angry, dismissive or embarrassed. He simply took my direction and said, “It’s a good thing I had you come along or I’d been here all day.”
My grandfather loved his family. When I was a teenager, my grandmother went to California to visit her sister. Something happened and her time away was extended. During the day, my grandfather kept busy, but cried at night because he missed her. He wasn’t just a man with a wife, he was a man who loved his wife. He would do anything for his wife, his children, and his grandchildren.
Edward Losli was also godly. Church was a priority. No meal began without prayer. He couldn’t quote chapter and verse, but he knew his Bible and did his best to follow it. He paid attention to each sermon and Bible study. He’d sing “At Calvary” with all his heart because it was his personal experience. He knew what was truly important in life, and eternity was included.
I can’t say that “everything I know I learned from my grandfather”, but I hope that a bit of his genius rubbed off on me.
My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be graceful ornaments on your head, and chains about your neck (Proverbs 1:8-9).
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Tagged At Calvary, Bible, Bible study, build anything, character, church, death, do with all your might, Ecclesiastes 9:10, Edward Losli, eternity, everything I know I learned, experience, family, genius, godly, grandfather, grow up, hand finds to do, hard work, Helen Losli, humble, Humility, hymn, important in life, industrious, learn, love, loved his wife, Prayer, Proverbs 1:8, Proverbs 1:9, sermon, the grave, time to rest, time to work
I have friends whose skin is black and friends whose skin is white.
I have friends who are men and friends who are women.
I have friends in the Philippines, in Kenya, in Liberia, in India, Mexico, and Great Britain.
Our friendship is based on the fellowship we have around the throne of grace – not the color of our skin, our gender, or our nationality. We see our differences, but we are color blind, the color-line washed away in the blood-line of King Jesus.
A man or woman is great – not because of skin color or gender or nationality – but because of the content of his or her character.
I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named (Ephesians 3:14-15).
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Tagged blood-line, Christianity, color blind, color-line, content of character, England, Ephesians 3:14-15, family in earth, family in heaven, Father God, fellowship, female, friendship, gender, Great Britain, India, Jesus, Kenya, King Jesus, Liberia, Lord Jesus Christ, male, Meixico, nationality, Philippines, Prayer, prejudice, race, racism, redemption, salvation, skin color, throne of grace