Goin’ Back To Cali

Laguna Beach

Our family is very excited this week because we are getting ready to fly out to California in a few days.  I also want to take this week and spend time with my wife and kids before the trip, so this will be my last post for a couple weeks until we get back from Cali.  I thought about blogging during our vacation, but I just need to completely unplug and be with my family.  I will be turning off comments on my site while I’m gone and I won’t be reading blogs.  I will miss everybody and I will get right back at it when I return.  I’m looking forward to sharing the trip with you all!

Have a blessed rest of June and I’ll catch up with you all mid July!  I am so glad it’s summer, praise the Lord!

Grace and peace to you all!

“A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus speaking in John 13:34-35

 

 

Bear Sighting In Our Neighborhood

Greetings from Colorado

Good morning everyone and God bless you!  Thought you might like to see a photo of a beautiful black bear that was coming through our area just before 5 a.m. this morning.  We get bears out here quite a bit (mountain lions too).  They wander down from the Rockies and once they get into one trash can, they keep looking for more.  We are getting ready this week to fly out to California on Monday.  I need to get some yard work done before we go and I will definitely be looking out for that big guy!  That is a pretty good size black bear and it looks very healthy.  The animals use the open space behind our house as a travel path, so I will be even more aware when I mow the lawn today.

Bear sighting 6-25-19

That photo was taken by a neighbor just up the street from us and she posted it on the Nextdoor App to warn everyone.  Bears can look cute and cuddly, but they need to be respected for the wild predators they are and I am thankful our neighbors look out for each other.  Thank you Lord for your creation, but please don’t let the bears or mountain lions ever hurt anyone out here, especially the little kids playing outside.  Please put a hedge of protection around our neighborhood and bless and protect all the families that live here.  Thank You Jesus for watching over us and protecting us with your mighty angels.

Even though we live in an area alongside apex predators that can hurt or kill us, we do not live in fear.  We just need to be more aware.  Like someone living in Africa.  I have never been to Africa, but my African brothers and sisters and I share that common reality.  We just need to be street smart with the wild.  We use all our senses and pay attention to our surroundings at all times and above all we trust in the Lord.

One way to love your neighbors is to look out for them and warn them of potential danger.  It’s still pretty wild out here and we all watch each other’s backs and take time to help our neighbors.  When you live in what once was the wild west, it’s still good to circle the wagons whenever a threat emerges.  We all need each other and it’s a blessing to have neighbors that care.

“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:37-40

Well, I’m off to mow the lawn.  If I see the bear, I’ll let you know and hopefully I can get some pictures too.  Have a blessed day and may we love our neighbors as Jesus said!

Grace and peace to you all!

Walk In Forgiveness

Pic quote Isaiah 1 v 18

A couple days ago the Lord whispered an encouraging word to me.  I was by myself praying about a lot of things.  I was also asking the Lord to rebuke the evil one away from me and rebuke his lies, temptations, discouragements, and accusations away from me and our family.  If you believe in Jesus, chances are that the evil one tries to discourage you about your past mistakes and sins too.  That is what he does!  The evil one stands accusing us before God day and night.  Just remember this, he is defeated by the Blood of Jesus Christ and we who believe are covered by His blood and we stand forgiven and free, fully justified by faith in Jesus Christ!  This is the word I heard the Lord speak to me like a soft whisper in my thoughts: “Walk in forgiveness.”

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the

power and the kingdom of our

God,

and the authority of his Christ.

For the accuser of our brothers,

who accuses them before our God

day and night,

has been hurled down.

They overcame him

by the blood of the Lamb

and by the word of their testimony;

they did not love their lives so much

as to shrink from death.

Therefore rejoice, you heavens

and you who dwell in them!

But woe to the earth and the sea,

because the devil has gone down to you!

He is filled with fury,

because he knows that his time is

short.”

Revelation 12:10-12

Walk in forgiveness brothers and sisters in Christ!  The evil one is defeated and he knows it!  We have overcome him by the Blood of Jesus and by the word of our testimony in Him!  Jesus has washed us and we are clean!  He stands as our Advocate and speaks in our defense when the evil one accuses us!  The Lord does not keep a record of wrongs on us.  He is not in Heaven remembering our sins and counting them–He remembers them no more!  Live in that wonderful healing grace of God and offer that same forgiveness and grace to others!

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

1 John 1:8-10-2:1-2

The reason Jesus came was to destroy the work of the evil one and Jesus finished His mission at the cross!  Be encouraged, God will crush the evil one very soon!

“He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”

1 John 3:8

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

Romans 16:20

Walk in the beautiful forgiveness of Jesus every day!  If you fall, get back up immediately, repent, and keep moving forward with the Lord!  If you believe in Jesus, then you are redeemed, justified, and completely and perfectly forgiven and no amount of accusations from the evil one can ever come against you!  Jesus stands by your side and He is all the defense you will ever need!

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”

Ephesians 1:7-8

“For I will forgive their wickedness

and will remember their sins no

more.”

Hebrews 8:12

“The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this.  First he says:

“This is the covenant I will make with

them

after that time, says the Lord.

I will put my laws in their hearts,

and I will write them on their

minds.”

Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts

I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 10:15-17

Just like it says in 1 John 2:1, when you believe in Jesus, He speaks to the Father in your defense!  Other translations of that verse say we have an advocate.  The word “advocate” comes from the Greek word “paraklétos.”  It literally means “called to one’s aid.”

“Strong’s Concordance
paraklétos: called to one’s aid

Original Word: παράκλητος, ου, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Transliteration: paraklétos
Phonetic Spelling: (par-ak’-lay-tos)
Definition: called to one’s aid
Usage: (a) an advocate, intercessor, (b) a consoler, comforter, helper, (c) Paraclete.

That is what Jesus does for us!  He comes to our aid and He is our advocate, intercessor, consoler, comforter, and helper as He speaks in our defense!  He stands up for us and stands by our side!  Praise God forever!

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time.”

1 Timothy 2:5-6

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.”

Romans 5:1-2

“Blessed are they

whose transgressions are forgiven,

whose sins are covered.

Blessed is the man

whose sin the Lord will never count

against him.”

Romans 4:7-8

Rejoice in the hope you have in Jesus!  Rejoice!  Rebuke the discouraging accusations from the evil one regarding your past in the Name of Jesus!  Take hold of the victory and authority you have in Christ and stand strong in His grace as He stands by your side protecting and defending you!

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

Jesus comforting us in John 5:24

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:1

“What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:31

If you believe in Jesus, you are forgiven and you will never be condemned!  You have crossed over from death to life!  Who can be against us?  No one!  Not even the evil one with all of his sinful accusations!  We who believe in Jesus have overcome the evil one and we have overcome the world!  Thank You Jesus, we glorify Your Holy Name!

“for everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

1 John 5:4-5

We are victorious in Jesus!  Walk in His forgiveness!

Grace and peace to you all!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Jesus comforting us in John 14:27

 

Our 18 Year Anniversary

Wedding 1

On this day 18 years ago, my wife and I got married!  Happy Anniversary honey!  We have been through it all together!  It is so awesome to be raising our kids together and I am so thankful for all that God has done!  I love you with all my heart!

We got married June 23, 2001 down in Denver at the historic Whatley Chapel on a beautiful Saturday morning in front of our friends and family.  Our friend, who is now a Pastor here in Colorado, performed the service for us.  Watching my wife walk down the aisle was a beautiful moment in time that I will never forget!

Wedding 2

After 18 years of marriage, we have had our share of challenging days.  Marriage is not easy.  It is a lifetime commitment to love each other under God’s holy covenant between a man and a woman!  It takes all of your heart and your very being to love someone.  Believe me, you will need God’s help!  Through all the trying times, we must forgive and keep loving each other!  One thing I have learned that is so very true is that you will grow closer to each other when you both grow closer to God.  Jesus is the reason my wife and I have a thriving marriage full of love!  Jesus is the reason we became one and Jesus is the reason we will stay one forever!

Wedding 3

Through our marriage, the Lord has never let me lose sight of one particular verse.  It is a verse that all husbands should remember.  I have not been perfect in loving my wife this way, but this verse burns brightly in my heart and I pray and seek to love my wife this way for the rest of our days.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”

Ephesians 5:25

Wow!  That is incredible!  Paul exhorts us to love our wives just as Christ loves His church!  When we got married, my wife was 20 and I was 22.  That was a huge responsibility to me and I took it very seriously, and I still do!  In order for me to love my wife as Jesus loves the church, I need to love and follow Jesus with all of my heart!  It is only through Jesus that I can love my wife the way God wants me to love her.  It is by the power of His Holy Spirit that I can give myself up for her and love her like He does!

Just before verse 25, Paul also exhorts women to recognize the God ordained leadership responsibility of their husbands.  Keep in mind when reading these verses, that a woman will naturally want to submit to her husband’s leadership if he is loving her as Christ loved the church.  The Word does not say a man has the right to be abusive in his leadership.  Just remember that.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

Ephesians 5:22-24

This is a huge responsibility for the husband!  It is not a position of power and authority to be lorded over the wife.  It is a position of humility and love to serve our wives, protect them, and lead them as Jesus does!  Here is that Scripture again with the verses that come after it.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church–for we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

Ephesians 5:25-33

Men, when you love your wife like Jesus does, the respect will follow!  That responsibility is yours, not hers.  Salvation is a free gift of God through faith in Jesus.  Respect has to be earned!  Love your wife by washing her with the Word of God.  Love your wife by encouraging her relationship with Jesus and leading her to Him in everything you do!  Love your wife by laying down your life for her and serving her in love!

Jesus set a powerful example for us of how we should love our wives.  May we never forget that!  If you want a successful marriage folks, love each other like the Bible says to love each other!  That is how my wife and I have made it 18 years and we are still looking forward to many more as we spend our lives together in the Lord!

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails…”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

It’s all about Jesus and loving like He loves us!

Grace and peace to you all!

IMGP1442

Stand Your Ground In Jesus

Last man standing

I was reading tweets this morning and I came across a few things that really made me stop, shake my head, and ask the Lord to spread revival.  I feel so much sorrow and compassion for our society.  It is truly sad what is happening in this world.  Here in America and all over the world, people are calling evil good and good evil just like the Word says the world will do in the end.  It also says people will not put up with sound doctrine as the end draws near, and we see that in our time too.  People want to twist God’s order and they call out for more and more sin to be accepted as normal.  It seems many who do not believe in Jesus want to shake their fists at God as they march in the streets and demand for immorality and depravity to rule the day.  They are on a rampage as they try to do everything they can to stamp out God’s truth from society.  Believers in Christ, do not let it discourage you!  Jesus is coming back soon!  Stand strong in Jesus and don’t back down!

Don’t fret when you see the wicked succeed.  The Lord knows their end!  Just pray for them, speak the truth in love, and keep moving forward with the Lord!  Listen to this wise encouragement from King David’s writings in Psalms.

“Do not fret because of evil men

or be envious of those who do

wrong;

for like the grass they will soon wither,

like green plants they will soon die

away.”

Psalm 37:1-2

“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;

do not fret–it leads only to evil.

For evil men will be cut off,

but those who hope in the Lord will

inherit the land.

A little while, and the wicked will be

no more;

though you look for them, they will

not be found.

But the meek will inherit the land

and enjoy great peace.

The wicked plot against the righteous

and gnash their teeth at them;

but the Lord laughs at the wicked,

for he knows their day is coming.”

Psalm 37:8-13

The wicked would do well to consider the words of Isaiah:

“Woe to those who call evil good

and good evil,

who put darkness for light

and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet

and sweet for bitter.”

Isaiah 5:20

We should not be surprised when the world hates us.  Jesus told us the world will hate and persecute those who believe in Him:

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.  Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Jesus in Matthew 10:16

“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Jesus in Matthew 10:22

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.”

Jesus in John 15:18-19

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”

Jesus in John 16:33

The wicked plot against those of us who love Jesus.  They despise that we hold to God’s Word.  They gnash their teeth at us and they want us and the Bible banned from society.  They want us seen as backwards bigots because we speak God’s Truth.  Brothers and Sisters in Christ, do not fret!  It has been this way for followers of Jesus since the very first 12 disciples followed Him!  This is nothing new for God and He laughs at the wicked because He knows their end.  It is our calling to stand firm in Jesus no matter what!  At times it feels as though the world is closing in on us and we are standing all alone against the tide of sin and evil, but take heart!  He will sustain us and we have already overcome the world through Him!

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

2 Timothy 3:12-13

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

1 Corinthians 1:18

Think about all the persecution the Apostle Paul went through!  Imprisonment, torturous beatings, and ultimately being killed for preaching the Gospel!  Through it all, Paul stood his ground and stood up for Jesus!  Even when everyone had left him out of fear of the Romans, Paul stood unashamed for Christ!

“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me.  May it not be held against them.  But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.  And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.  To him be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.”

2 Timothy 4:16-18

Did you catch that?  Paul was in a Roman court being tried for preaching the Gospel and they were deciding whether or not to feed him to the lions!  Nobody showed up in Paul’s defense.  No other Christians came to his side.  Paul was the last man standing and still he stood up for Jesus!  As the hatred of society against Christians got worse, he remained unashamed of Jesus.  As society persecuted Christians, cast them out of society, and became violent against them, he remained unashamed of Jesus.  Paul remained unashamed of Jesus all the way to his death because he knew Jesus is the power of God for the salvation of the entire world!

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

Romans 1:16

Yes, it is getting worse and we are seeing some crazy things in this world.  Here in America, they are persecuting us on social media and trying to destroy everything in our culture related to Christianity.  They hate us, but they are not yet burning Christians on poles to light the night as the Romans did, nor are they feeding us to the lions…not yet anyway.  There are Christians who go through such persecution in other parts of the world and may we never forget to pray for them.

We don’t know the times or dates of the end, but we are definitely seeing the signs of the times.  Just remember, God is in control and He sees us all!  Remember the warnings and encouragement Paul wrote to Timothy as we see more and more godlessness and wickedness in our time.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.  But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

2 Timothy 4:1-5

The Apostle Paul
Painting done by Kenneth Wyatt, Kenneth Wyatt Galleries

That sounds just like the time we are living in now!  Especially the part about people being lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.  When Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, persecution was raging against Christians.  Paul knew his time was coming to an end.  He knew the times were going to get worse and he encouraged Timothy to press on for Jesus.  He did not want Timothy losing his peace when he witnessed the wicked succeeding in their evil plans.  Paul wanted him to trust in Jesus and keep preaching the Gospel!

“For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

2 Timothy 4:6-8

Shortly after Paul wrote that letter, the Romans beheaded him by sword.  He kept his faith in Jesus to his very last breath and the Lord was glorified through him!  As we see the times getting darker, stand strong in Jesus!  Keep your peace in Jesus, endure this crazy world in the strength Jesus gives us, and speak the truth in love as you shine His light through the darkness!

“So do not be afraid of them.  There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”

Jesus in Matthew 10:26-27

“Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.”

Jesus in Matthew 10:32

Remember what Jesus told us!  The times will get worse, but He will never leave us and He will be with us to the end!

“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Jesus in Matthew 24:12-14

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

Jesus is Lord and only Jesus can save us and that is the truth we preach no matter how much the world hates us!  As the love of the world grows colder every day, keep His love burning bright in your hearts and keep loving people by sharing God’s truth!

“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Romans 10:9

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 6:23

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:12

Fight the good fight!  Finish the race!  Keep the faith!  No matter how dark this world gets, nothing can take away what the Lord has in store for us!  Even if you are the last one standing, stand your ground in Jesus and keep preaching the truth!  He is with us always and He will bring us safely to His Heavenly Kingdom!

Grace and peace to you all!

 

 

 

 

Praise Report For Mom’s Surgery!

Pic quote Romans 15 v 13 flowers

Thank you all for praying for my Mom!  She had her knee surgery early this morning and she is already back home.  She told me she feels great and her knee already feels so much better!  The surgery went perfectly, praise God!  The surgeons and the entire medical team helping my Mom were great to her and she was amazed at how fast and easy it was.  She was at peace the entire time and she has the big joy from the Lord!  We love you Mom and we are so thankful it went so well!  We give the Lord big praise!  Thank You Jesus!

We appreciate your continued prayers as she heals in the weeks to come.  Thank you all again for praying for her!  The Lord truly does fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in Him, so that our hope overflows by the power of the Holy Spirit!

Have a blessed weekend!

Grace and peace to you all!

Prayer Request For Mom

Pic quote Philippians 4 v 6 v 7

Hello everyone!  My Mom is having knee surgery tomorrow (Friday June 21st) and I am asking my brothers and sisters in Christ to please pray for her.  She will be unconscious under anesthesia as she will be undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.  I am praying that the Lord guides the hands of the surgeons and my Mom is completely healed.  I also pray a hedge of protection around my Mom and pray the Lord gives His angels charge over her and the medical team helping her.  God is with you Mom and He loves you and everything is going to be okay.  I pray His peace washes over you and gives you strength.  You will have a lot of Christians all over the world praying for you!

Thank you all for your prayers!  Praying to Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit is powerful and effective and His peace is all we need as He leads us to victory over the troubles of this world!

Grace and peace to you all!

Love you Mom!