Jesus’ Blood for our Freedom…

John 19:17-18a “and He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Where they crucified Him.”

Jesus’ Blood for our Freedom

There once was a man named George Thomas, a pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit.

Several eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak. “I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me, swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, ‘What you got there son?”

“Just some old birds,” came the reply.

“What are you gonna do with them?” I asked.

“Take ’em home and have fun with ’em. I’m gonna tease ’em
and pull out their feathers to make ’em fight. I’m gonna have a real good time.”

“But you’ll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?”

“Oh, I got some cats. They like birds. I’ll take ’em to them.”

The pastor was silent for a moment. “How much do you want for those birds, son?”

“Huh??!!! Why, you don’t want them birds, mister. They’re just plain old field birds. They don’t sing-they ain’t even pretty!”

“How much?”

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, “$10?”

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten-dollar bill. He placed it in the boy’s hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars, persuaded the birds out, setting them free.

Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story.

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. “Yes sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn’t resist. Got ’em all!”

“What are you going to do with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’m gonna have fun! I’m gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I’m really gonna have fun!”

“And what will you do when you get done with them?” Jesus asked.

“Oh, I’ll kill ’em.”

“How much do you want for them?”

“Oh, you don’t want those people. They ain’t no good. Why, you take them and they’ll just hate you. They’ll spit on you, curse you and kill you!! You don’t want those people!!”

“HOW MUCH?”

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, “All your tears, and all your blood.”

Jesus paid the price. He picked up the cage…
HE OPENED THE DOOR.

John 19:17-18a “and He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. Where they crucified Him.”

 Heb 9:22 “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

 John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

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Redneck Fisherman’s Ode to a Valentine…

John 3:16a “For God so loved the world…”

Use with much caution and explanation…

For you who need help on Valentine’s Day

Redneck Fisherman’s Ode to a Valentine

Kudzu is green.

My Dog’s name is Blue.

And I’m so danged lucky

to have a sweet thang like you.

 

Yore hair is like cornsilk,

A-flappin’ in the breeze.

Softer than Blue’s

And without all them fleas.

 

You move like the bass

which excite me in May.

You ain’t got no scales

But I luv you anyway.

 

Yo’re as graceful as okry

jist a-dancin’ in the pan.

Yore as fragrant as Mountain Dew

Right out of the can.

 

You have all yore teeth

For which I am proud.

I hold my head high

When we’s in a crowd.

 

On special occasions,

When you shave yore armpits,

Well I’m in hawg heaven.

I’m plumb out of my wits.

 

And speakin’ of wits,

You got plenty fer shore.

‘Cuz you are my woman.

I can’t ask fer more.

 

Like a good roll of Duct Tape

Yo’re there for yore man

To patch up life’s toubles

And stick ’em in the can.

 

Yo’re as strong as a four-wheeler

Racin’ through the mud.

Yet fragile as that singer

Named Naomi Judd.

 

Yo’re as cute as a Junebug

A-buzzin’ overhead.

You ain’t mean like no far ant

On which I oft tread.

 

Cut from the best pattern

Like a flannel shirt of plaid,

You sparked up my life

Like my Rattletrap Shad. (A fishing lure.)

 

When you hold me real tight

Like a padded gunrack,

My life is complete.

There ain’t nothin’ I lack.

 

Yore complexion’s perfection

Like the best vinly sidin’,

Despite all the years,

Yore age, it keeps hidin’.

 

And when you get old

Like a ’57 Chevy,

I won’t put you on blocks

and let grass grow up heavy.

 

Me ‘n’ you’s like a Moon Pie

with a cold RC drink.

We go together

Like a skunk goes with stink.

 

Some men, they buy chocolate

For Valentine’s Day.

They git it at Wal-Mart.

It’s romantic that way.

 

Some men, they git roses

On that special day

From a cooler at Food World.

“That’s impressive,” I say.

 

Some men buy fine diamonds

From a flea market booth.

“A diamond’s forever,”

They explain, suave and couth.

 

But for this feller, honey,

These will not do.

For you are too special,

You old sweet thang, you.

 

I got you a gift

without taste nor odor.

Better than diamonds,

it’s a new trollin’ motor.

 

On the serious side. Remember everyday and especially today to tell that special one in your life; I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

The Real Spiritual Cold War is on….

The Real Spiritual Cold War is on…

Yes there is a Cold War going on right now. It is an invisible one so we cannot see it.  There is a group of books authored by God that keeps us informed. Listen up!

 Job 2:2 “And the Lord said unto Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So satan answered the Lord and said, ‘ From going to and fro on the earth and from walking back and forth on it.’

The warning and the solution to battling it.

I Pet 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour.”

The main weapon of war in a spiritual cold war!

James 4:7 “SUBMITT yourselves therefore unto God, RESIST the devil and he will flee from you.”

 All those proclaiming to be from God are not!! The word Christian has a different definition in our world than in the Bible. Some supposed men and women of God proclaim a Gospel of health, wealth and prosperity and teach many different ways to get to heaven and they sound so good. So how can we tell the difference??

II Tim. 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. “

II Cor. 11:14-15 “And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again”

John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” 

 John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 Protection comes from!”

Ephes. 6:11-12 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. “

Have a great day and don’t forget the greatest book ever written provides you with the Armor needed to do battle. Apart from God’s power you are helpless to do battle!

James 4:7″ Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

To Young to know better…

Unconditional Love. Would you give the one you love the most to remove the sins of people who turned against you?

Acts 10:34, 35 “And Peter opened his mouth and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is acceptable to him.”

 Luke 18:17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child shall not in any way enter it.”

To Young to know better…

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly eating and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, “Hi there.” He pounded his fat baby hands on the high-chair tray. His eyes were wide with excitement and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin. He wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man with a tattered rag of a coat; dirty, greasy and worn. His pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. “Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see yak, buster,” the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, “What do we do?” Erik continued to laugh and answer, “Hi, hi there.”

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, “Do yak know patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo.” Nobody thought the old man was cute.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. “Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,” I prayed.

As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to side-step him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s “pick-me-up” position.

Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man’s. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love relationship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder.

The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His
aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor — gently, so gently, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back.

No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood
awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms for a moment, and then his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, “You take care of this baby.”

Somehow I managed, “I will,” from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest — unwillingly, longingly, as though he was in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, “God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.”

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, “My God, my God, forgive me.”

I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny Child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking — “Are you willing to share your son for a moment?” — When He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, “To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children.”

Romans 2:11 “For there is no respect of persons with God.”

Luke 18:17 “Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child shall not in any way enter it.”

Jesus blood can cleanse me…

Jesus blood can cleanse me…..

Is there any sin in your life?

I know that is a concept you do not hear much of today but it has always been and is still active and sin still destroys our relationship with God. A Holy God cannot communicate with sinful people. And….

Romans 3:23 “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

 As with all of my sinful actions there are consequences.

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is Eternal Life through Jesus Christ my Lord”

So the question is how do I restore that broken relationship.

Jesus blood can cleanse the vilest of sinners and restore that lost fellowship.

But be of good cheer…

I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Isaiah 1:18 “Come, let us talk this over, says the Lord: no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow.”

No amount of works or prayers can cleanse you.

Eph 2:8,9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”

 Acts 13:39 “And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law…”

 

But Jesus can!!!!!!!!

 

II Cor 5:21 “For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God, in Him.”

 

Listen to how important Jesus sacrifice for our sins was.

 

Heb 9:22-28 “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another– He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

A Real Friend will…

Look around you this morning. Do you have any friend(s) who would
die for you so that you might live?

Sounds pretty extreme and yes it is but there is One who will!

The Friend you can ALWAYS count on.

Proverbs 18:24 “A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith,
Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising
the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

How to get closer to our Friend.

Acts 16:30b,31 … “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

Luke 9:23 “And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

Fear or Faith…it’s my choice…

Mat 11:28-30 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Fear or Faith…it’s my choice…

Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone.

He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it.

He cannot cry out for help to anyone.

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him. Maybe even some human might do him harm

The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold. It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm. We, too, are never alone.

Even when we don’t know it, God is watching over us, sitting on the stump beside us. When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him.

Heb 13:5 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”