Jesus at your Birthday Party…

Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus at your Birthday Party….

Amid all the amusement and theme parks clustered in Orlando, Florida, there’s one that is pretty distinctive. It’s a Holy Land theme park that attempts to bring some of the scenes and the stories of the Bible to life. Our daughter and son-in-law were there not long ago with our two grandsons. And the kids, who are pretty up on their Bible stories, really enjoyed walking through those stories and meeting some of the characters (actually, people portraying some of those characters). The one that impressed our then two-year-old grandson the most was Jesus. A man portraying Jesus stood in the middle of the small crowd and He spoke some of the very stories that Jesus told in the Bible. But then came the moment our little guy will not soon forget. Jesus came over and picked Him up, just like Jesus did with the children when He was here. The next day Mom and our little guy were talking about his upcoming third birthday party, and suddenly out of the blue, he said, “I want Jesus at my birthday party.”

That’s a great idea: Jesus at your birthday party. Talk about a guest of honor! Actually, when it comes to the most important birthday of all, there’s no physical or spiritual birthday without Jesus. And if there’s no spiritual birthday, there’s no life. Eternal life, that is. The most important birthday of all is the day you get born into God’s family. You say, “Isn’t everyone God’s child?” Not unless they’ve been born spiritually into the family of the Heavenly Father. They’re His creation, but they’re only His child by birth.

John 3:3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Obviously, Birth One was the day you were born into your parents’ family. No birthday, no life. Jesus is talking here about Birth Two – the day you actually begin to belong to God. No spiritual birthday, no eternal life. Without being “born again” Jesus said you cannot enter God’s heaven. Because heaven is only for family – God’s family. Anyone can be in God’s family, no matter what their religion or their background, but not everyone is, because they’ve never been born again. In fact according to Mat 7:13, 14 most will never enter God’s family.

Mat 7:13,14 “Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in that way: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads unto life, and few there be that find it.”

So how does one have that spiritual birthday?

Recognize you are a sinner and what the consequences to sin are and your need for a Savior.

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

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

It’s all about what you do with Jesus. Why? Because the only way to be in God’s family is to take care of what keeps you from being one of His kids, and that’s called sin. He’s an all-holy, totally perfect God. You and I have turned our back on Him by sinning. Even with a lot of religion in our lives to give us a sense of being okay we are destined to eternal death. You see, only those who are ‘born again’ have eternal life. Being religious is called false security. We’ve used the mouth He gave us to hurt people, to lie and to swear. We’ve used the hands and eyes and ears He gave us to touch and explore what we never should have touched. We’ve hurt most the people we love most, we’ve lusted, we’ve boasted and we’ve been selfish. All that sin has to be paid for, but Jesus died as our substitute paying for it.

Jesus is the only One who can forgive your sin, because He’s the only One who died for it and then rose again to prove He can. He’s the only One who can get you into heaven. Sin requires a pure sacrifice to wash it away and Jesus is the only One who could be that sacrifice.

But you need a birthday – a definite beginning with Him. If you don’t have that, you have no chance of being God’s child. There is only One who can be that Mediator between God the Father and sinners.

I Tim 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Have you missed your spiritual birthday? Which only comes the day you “believe in” Jesus; which means welcoming Him into your life with total trust in Him for forgiveness of your sins? If you’ve done that, you know you have been ‘born again’. If you don’t know, you probably haven’t. But you can this very day. Just ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and believe on Him.

Today’s date could become the most important day of your life if you make it your Jesus-day – your birthday. The day you receive the most awesome, most expensive birthday present of all – eternal life paid for with the life of God’s Son.

I John 5:11-13 “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

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The CHRISTian and Fishing…

The CHRISTian and Fishing….

My wife and I were just getting ready to go on a vacation fishing trip. What type of fishing do you enjoy the most? There is fishing for fish and fishing for men. One of them having eternal consequences depending upon which response you gave. In the book of Matthew chapter four verse 19 I am reminded that our Savior Jesus wants us to share about our faith so that others will come to know Him as we have. And hopefully you have. If not, this challenge sounds very foolish.If is does check this out (John 3:16, John 3:3, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8 and 10:13) and you may see why it seems foolish.

Some including me at times in my life avoid fishing for men by thinking that my life is my testimony and I do not need to speak about the most important Person in my life.  Living a life that reflects Jesus is important but that alone cannot be used as a substitute for sharing our faith. Yes, I know most of us are scared to do so but listen to what our Lord says about fear and about trials and troubles that will occur in this life.

2 Tim 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

 Mat 4:19 “And Jesus said unto them, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.”

By the way, fishing for men is not reserved for the professional fisherman (evangelist or church leaders) only!!!!!  We all can enjoy the ministry of sharing our faith and the blessings that go with it!!!! It is like the spiritual gift of giving and some of the other spiritual gifts. With the spiritual gift of giving some you desire to and will give more than most believers but all believers are to give so that our Lord’s work is properly funded. Witnessing is the same. The person with the spiritual gift of Evangelist or Pastor will have the greatest desire to lead lost folks to a knowledge of Jesus and His sacrifice of our sins but all believers are to share their faith with a lost and dying world. That is why you live, work and play where you do. God knew you before you were born and place you where you live, work and play for a reason. The reason is to be light and salt for His names sake. Those locations and acquaintances are not of your design if you are following God’s will for your life.

Eph 4:1 “even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love:”

Rom 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation, for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.”

The Concert and God’s Love…

Mat 11:28-30 ” Come unto me, all you 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 you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light .”

The Concert and God’s Love….

Wishing to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano, a mother took the small boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and Walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked “NO ADMITTANCE.”

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her son was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the Impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.” Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a Bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a Running obligation. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.

That’s the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren’t exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, Our life’s work truly can be beautiful.

The next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, Whispering in your ear, “Don’t quit. Keep playing.” Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are playing the concerto of your life.

Remember, God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach Of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.

Author Unknown

While the first story probably did not happen the lesson given after it is 100% true! If you trust and follow Jesus!

1 Cor. 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Philosophies on why the Chicken crossed the Road…

Col 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ”

Philosophies on why the chicken crossed the road.

KINDERGARTEN TEACHER: To get to the other side.

PLATO: For the greater good.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross roads.

KARL MARX: It was an historical inevitability.

TIMOTHY LEARY: Because that is the only trip the establishment would let it take.

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.

HIPPOCRATES: Because of an excess of phloem in its pancreas.

FOX MULDER: You saw it cross the road with your own eyes. How many more chickens have to cross the road before you believe it?

MACHIAVELLI: The point is that the chicken crossed the road. Who cares why?  The end result of crossing the road justifies whatever motive there was.

DR SPOCK: Leave the poor chicken alone. If you question his actions you may stifle his creativity.

FREUD: The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

BILL GATES: I have just released the Chicken Office 2009, which will not only enable companies to cross the road more efficiently increasing profits, but will lay eggs automatically, file documents and balance accounts. This software can only be used on certain computers and companies not using the new road crossing system will be.

OLIVER STONE: The question is not, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” Rather, it is, “Who was crossing the road at the same time, whom we overlooked in our haste to observe the chicken crossing?”

DARWIN: Chickens, over great periods of time, have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to cross the road.

EINSTEIN: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road moved beneath the chicken depends upon your frame of reference.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON: The chicken did not cross the road. It transcended it.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die. In the rain.

COLONEL SANDERS: I missed one?

HANS BLIX: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

RALPH NADER: The chicken’s habitat on the other side of the road had been polluted by unchecked industrial greed. The chicken did not reach the unspoiled other side of the road because it was crushed by the wheels of a gas-guzzling SUV.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: I don’t know why the chicken crossed the road, but I’ll bet it was getting a government grant to cross the road, and I’ll bet that somebody out there is already forming a support group to help chickens with crossing the road syndrome. Can you believe this!!?? How much more of this can real Americans take? Chickens crossing the road paid for by their tax dollars. And when I say tax dollars, I’m talking about your money, money the government took from you to build the road for chickens to cross!

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I deny knowing about it and if I did I am sorry. I think I know of a standing order at the Farmers Market to sell their eggs when the price dropped to a certain level.

Dr SUESS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed the road I’ve not been told.

GRANDPA/GRANDMA: In our day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, we trusted them to tell the truth, and we believed it.

ANDERSEN CONSULTING:                 Deregulation of the chicken’s side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop profitability at the trough and develop the core competencies required for the newly competitive market. Andersen Consulting (AC), in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy, its Parts Development Processes (PDP) and it’s (OFT) Manufacturing Processes.

Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM), Andersen helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge, capital and resources to align the chicken’s people, processes and technology to support the overall strategy within its Program Management framework.

Andersen Consulting then convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and the top chickens available along with their own consultants all having doctorates in the transportation industry. They held benchmarking activities with leading manufacturers and participated in multiple day long brainstorming sessions and held and developed a process to leverage their personal knowledge both tacit and explicit, capital, which enabled them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully designing and implementing an enterprise-wide value   framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median logistics processes.

The session was held in a park like setting enabling and creating an environment which while holistically based, industry focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the chicken’s mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. Andersen Consulting helped the chicken change to become a world class traveler.

In summary: KINDERGARTEN TEACHER: To get to the other side.

Be very careful in what topics you make complex…………..

Luke 18:17   ” Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein “

God’s Mercies are new every day – Give Thanks…

Psalm 118:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; because His mercy endures forever.”

God’s mercies are new every day – Give Thanks…..

Thanksgiving week is here and for the believer, this time of the year has special meaning. Our Lord said.

Psalm 118:1 “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good; because His mercy endures forever.”

This is one of the hallelujah Psalms that was a part of the Passover celebration. For Israel, this was thanksgiving for deliverance from Egypt and death at the first Passover. All believers are to be marked by a spirit of thankfulness, all the time, not just on Thanksgiving Day.

May I suggest that this Thanksgiving you ought to be thankful that we already have Thanksgiving! Think of the difficulty we would most certainly face today in trying to start a day of national thanksgiving to God for His bountiful blessings like the Pilgrims did in 1621. It might be impossible! And surely would be a political war when you express Who you are giving thanks to.

The first thanksgiving feast was held in a public place and the A.C.L.U. and People for the American way, who consider themselves the self-proclaimed protectors from all things religious, would certainly object. The menu would even present greater conflicts, with so many turkeys, deer and other animals prepared for eating.

The original Thanksgiving holiday lasted three days. Given all these factors and most importantly given Who is our God and what He means to our lives, we ought to first be thankful for all the blessings from God and then be thankful that we have a day set aside in our nation for giving thanks. Based on current state of affairs if we tried to do it over again, we might not succeed.

I trust that your Thanksgiving Day will be a blessed time of reflecting again on the gracious goodness of God and for His mercies that are new every day.

Remember to stop before you dig into that meal and GIVE THANKS!!!!!

I Thes 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore, Pray without ceasing, In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

Give Thanks to God…

Proverbs 3:21 “My son, let them not depart from your eyes- Keep sound wisdom and discretion.”

Give Thanks to…

“Shall I thank God at this Thanksgiving and all year long? Why was I born at this particular time in the history of the world? Why was I born in a spotless delivery room in an American hospital instead of a steaming shelter in the dank jungle of the Amazon or a mud hut in Africa? Why did

I have the privilege of going to school with capable instructors while millions around the world, without a school book, sit or squat on a dirt floor listening to a missionary?

“How does it happen that my children are tucked into warm beds at night with clean white sheets while millions of babies in the world will lie in cold rooms, many in their own filth and vomit? Why can I sit down to a warm meal whenever I want to and eat too much when millions will know all of their lives the gnawing pangs of hunger? Do I deserve to share in such wealth? Why me and not other millions?

Why was I born in a land I didn’t build, in a prosperity that I didn’t create and enjoy a freedom that I didn’t establish?

Why am I an American sitting comfortably in my own living room this Thanksgiving rather than an Indian squatting in the dark corner of some infested alley in Calcutta, shivering in the cold, or a Cambodian in the rubble of what used to be my home, or a terrified, running Nicaraguan in the jungle, or wondering if I will be alive for tomorrow in Afghanistan or Syria?

Do I deserve it? By what right do I have it?”

I Peter 2:3 “if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

GIVE THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rev. 7:12 “Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Ice Cream for the Soul…

Luke 6:27-29 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you, bless those who
curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use
you. To him who strikes you on one cheek, offer the
other also. And from him who takes away your cloak,
do not withhold your tunic either.”

Ice Cream for the Soul
Author unknown

Last week I took my children to a restaurant. My
six-year-old son asked if he could say grace. As we bowed
our heads he said, God is good. God is great. Thank you
for the food, and I would even thank you more if mom gets
us ice cream for dessert. And Liberty and justice for all!
Amen!”

Along with the laughter from the other customers
nearby I heard a woman remark, “That’s what’s wrong with
this country. Kids today don’t even know how to pray.
Asking God for ice-cream! Why, I never!” Hearing this, my
son burst into tears and asked me, “Did I do it wrong? Is
God mad at me?”

As I held him and assured him that he had done a
terrific job and God was certainly not mad at him, an
elderly gentleman approached the table. He winked at my
son and said, “I happen to know that God thought that was a
great prayer.” “Really?” my son asked “Cross my heart.” Then
in theatrical whisper he added (indicating the woman whose
remark had started this whole thing), “Too bad she never
asks God for ice cream. A little ice cream is good for the
soul sometimes.”

Naturally, I bought my kid’s ice cream at the end of
the meal. My son stared at his for a moment and then did
something I will remember the rest of my life. He picked up
his sundae and without a word walked over and placed it in
front of the woman. With a big smile he told her, “Here,
this is for you. Ice cream is good for the soul sometimes
and my soul is good already.”

The End

Mat 6:6, 7 “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”