Eternity In Our Hearts

Photo by Ryan, Private lake in our neighborhood

With everything that has happened with the intense turmoil we have all gone through the last two years, people are aware of their mortality perhaps more than ever before. Anxiety and fear are plaguing the whole world for one reason above all else; people are afraid of death. This truth confronts and tests all of us, no matter who we are or where we live. None of us want to die, but we all know that someday we will take our last breath. We also know that when that happens we will step into eternity, and deep down we know that we need a Savior. Deep in our hearts we know our souls are eternal and we know we need to be saved. We can only be delivered from the fear of death and have peace with God when we accept this truth and come to know our Savior.

Although our bodies are mortal, we all inherently know our souls are eternal because God has placed eternity in our hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says:

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

We instinctively know that when we die our souls will live forever somewhere in eternity. All of us want that somewhere to be Heaven. God’s Word, the Bible, teaches us that there are only two places in eternity: Heaven or hell. It also teaches us there is only one Way to Heaven, and we must be forgiven of our sins to get there. Our sins separate us from God, and the only Way to be forgiven and enter Heaven is by knowing our Savior who died as a sacrifice of atonement to forgive our sins, and reconcile us with God. The only One to ever do that for us is God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Only through believing in Jesus can we be forgiven of our sins and made righteous before God.

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” -Romans 3:22-24

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

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

We can only be set free from the fear of death by knowing Jesus. People are afraid of death because the devil holds the power of death. That is why death is terrifying. We all know deep in our hearts that there is something very real to be scared of in death unless we have a Savior. Jesus is the only One who ever defeated the devil, and He is the only One who can rescue us and save our souls. Only Jesus can break the bonds of slavery to the fear of death. Only Jesus can give us freedom and eternal life!

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” -Hebrews 2:14-15

This great salvation is a gift from God that can never be earned. Eternal life in Heaven is by God’s grace alone, and can only be received through faith in Jesus Christ. No amount of good works will ever be enough to achieve Heaven because our sin separates us from God. We must have our sins washed away, and that forgiveness can only be attained by believing in Jesus. His blood shed on the cross is the only blood powerful enough to cleanse us from all our sins.

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

“He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” -Hebrews 9:12

“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

Please heed the warnings of Jesus, and accept His invitation to eternal life! You do not need to die in your sins, you do not need to fear death, and you do not want to lose your soul! There is no condemnation in Jesus. Jesus loves you, He will forgive you, and He will give you eternal life in Heaven!

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” -Jesus speaking in Matthew 16:26

“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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” -Jesus speaking in John 3:16-18

“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 speaking in John 5:24

Again, you can only receive eternal life through faith in Jesus. Believe in Jesus this very moment, and your sins will be forgiven, and your soul will be saved! Once you place your faith in Jesus, God will fill you with His Holy Spirit, which will give you power and guidance to live a holy life that pleases God. The Holy Spirit is God’s seal on us guaranteeing our redemption. This is not a metaphor. It is a beautiful miracle and gift of God. Everyone who believes in Jesus is literally filled with the Holy Spirit, and is blessed with the fruits of the Spirit in their lives.

“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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” -Romans 10:9-13

“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.” -Ephesians 1:13-14

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” -Galatians 5:16-18

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” -Galatians 5:19-21

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” -Galatians 5:22-24

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” -John 7:37-39

You don’t have to be afraid of death anymore! Come to Jesus, and He will set you free!

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” -Jesus speaking in John 10:27-30

Grace and peace to you all!

A Decade Of Suffering, Faithfulness, & Forgiveness

Photo by Ryan, Venice Beach Pier

Hello friends and family, and God bless you all. Today is January 6th, 2022. Ten years ago, on January 6th, 2012, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. To say it has been a long road and a difficult journey over this last decade would be an understatement. It has been absolutely torturous at times, and many of the lessons I have learned along the way were learned the hard way, but the last ten years have also been filled with the Lord’s faithfulness and forgiveness. Jesus has been with me through every step of this broken road of suffering, and He has never left me nor forsaken me. My prayer is that this post will bring Him glory, and encourage others who are living with chronic illness and pain.

When Christians think of suffering, many of us immediately think of the story of Job. I wish I could say I was as faithful as Job was through his suffering. Sadly, I was not. When I speak of faithfulness, I am referring only to the Lord’s faithfulness to me. After being diagnosed with Celiac, I became angry and bitter. Even though I had walked with Him since October of 1996, I fell away from the Lord for a time, and that bad decision just caused more pain for me and my family. Thankfully, the Lord is gracious and merciful and He never gave up on me.

The Lord drew close to me, even when I shook my fist at Him and wrestled Him with disappointment and bitterness in my heart. He met me right where I was in my darkest hour and let me pour out my heart to Him. He held me in His loving arms as I foolishly fought against Him, and struggled to come to terms with my new reality. And finally, with His deep unending love and forgiveness, He lifted me up, helped me arrive to a place of peace and understanding, and graciously reinstated me to continue fulfilling His calling and purpose for my life. It was astounding and amazing when He called me to publish my testimony and start blogging in 2018, and I am forever grateful.

One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life

Those years from 2012 to 2018 were the hardest and most painful years of my life. So many regrets and so much time I can’t get back. However, they are also years the Lord strengthened my faith and caused the roots of my trust in Him to grow deep. I will never forget the miracle the Lord performed to save my life when I stopped breathing on April 28th, 2012. Talk about a faith builder! Many of you know what happened that day. If you don’t, please read my post titled:

My Lazarus Moment

I quite literally died that day due to anaphylactic shock, and the Lord brought me back in the power of the Holy Spirit. The mighty wind of the Spirit was all around me, and my wife heard it rushing through our room just like on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts! It was the most excruciatingly painful and the most miraculously glorious day of my life, and I am only alive today because the Lord had mercy on me. Thank You, Jesus!

The greatest lesson I have learned through a decade of suffering is that the Lord’s grace is truly sufficient for me. No matter what you are going through, please don’t give up. Dig deep into your faith and cling to Jesus with all your heart. Even if the pain is so bad that you are barely hanging on by your fingernails, don’t let go! He is there with you even now, and He will never abandon you!

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9

I have wanted to give up so many times. Those first few years when I couldn’t stop throwing up and going #2 eight times a day. The endless days, weeks, months, and years of burning pain in my gut that would drop me to my knees. The horrific weight loss down to 128 pounds, and the torturous pain of a damaged small intestine so bad I could barely walk. The terrible pain of starvation as my body struggled with digestion and a severely restricted diet. So many times I cried out for God to take me as I lay face down on the floor barely clinging to life. So many times I just wanted it to all be over.

Jesus never stopped comforting me. He never left my side even for a moment. Every day He picked me up off the floor, dried my tears, and gave me strength to press on. Even if I could barely sense His presence and all I could muster was whispering His Name to help me, He was right there with me. Even when horrible thoughts of taking one last walk in the woods with my pistol in hand plagued my mind, still He protected me and fought for me. Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and I love Him with all my heart! Keep loving Him and rest in His love for you!

This life on earth can be so painful for so many of us, but there will be a day when He wipes all the pain and tears away. Don’t ever forget that! He is coming back soon, and He will make all things new! Jesus loves you so much! Run to Him, fall in His arms, and never let Him go!

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” -Revelation 21:4-5

I was 33 when I was diagnosed. I am 43 now. After all the pain and despair I have lived through the last ten years, I am still standing victoriously in the Lord by His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love.

Since having the emergency gallbladder surgery last April, I am no longer suffering the excruciating gut pain, and I have even stepped out in faith to enjoy going out to eat at a few restaurants. I still have to be careful about cross contamination, but there are many options for those of us who can’t eat gluten, dairy, eggs, or soy, and it has been a huge blessing. We took our kids to Disneyworld on January 1st, and I was even able to enjoy lunch and dinner at the nice restaurants at Epcot. I hadn’t eaten out since being diagnosed, and it’s something I never thought I would do again. Even now as I still have days where I struggle with pain due to intestinal and colon trauma, I have hope that things are getting better and the Lord still has good plans for me.

Photo by Ryan, Fireworks show at Disneyworld

Nothing is impossible for God. Keep hope alive and never stop believing He can do all things! His love is greater than any suffering on this earth!

Grace and peace to you all!

Bless The Lord In 2022

Photo by Ryan, Sitting by the pool

Hello friends and family, and God bless you all! Well, we made it to the end of 2021. We are sitting by the pool enjoying a sunny 80 degrees this beautiful New Year’s Eve afternoon. Such is the blessing of living in tropical Florida. It’s always encouraging watching our kids be kids living free and having fun swimming. As I sit here pondering the ups and downs of 2021, and the hopes and dreams of the coming new year, one thought stands above the rest: we must bless the Lord in 2022.

This world just keeps getting crazier and more sinful every day. If 2021 taught us anything, it is that there is nothing we can place our trust in outside of the Lord. Placing our trust in worldly things is futile and fickle. Governments, economies, societal fads and pleasures, and our health can all be toppled and overthrown in a moment. The only One who is worthy of our trust, hopes, and dreams is the Lord Jesus who died for us.

This goes for all countries in the world, but since I am American I will speak specifically regarding my country. If we want to remain blessed by the Lord in 2022 and beyond, then we must bless the Lord! We must turn away from all the sinful agendas and wickedness that have been destroying our country. Turn to the Lord while we still have time. Repent of our sins, and truly bless His Holy Name.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance.” -Psalm 33:12

Enough with mocking God and His Word. Enough with the slander and blasphemy of His Name. Enough with the sickening agendas of murdering babies, and distorting God’s design for gender, marriage, and purity. The Lord will bless the nations that revere and bless His Name, but those nations that curse His Name and do evil will not be blessed. They will reap what they sow.

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” -Galatians 6:7

Now is not the time to shrink back. We must keep pressing on in faith and righteousness. Ask the Lord to have mercy on your nation, wherever you live, and cry out for revival and healing. As we give our hearts to Jesus, and turn away from evil, we will experience a great outpouring of blessings. God is merciful, gracious, and forgiving to all who repent and call on His Name. May 2022 be the year that billions of us cry out to Jesus with one voice, and witness Him turn the tide of destruction we have all been witnessing and suffering. It’s not too late, and nothing is impossible for God!

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” -2 Peter 3:9

“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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” -Romans 10:9-13

“If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O LORD, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared.” -Psalm 130:3-4

Keep your hope in the Lord strong! He is our rock, our fortress, and our deliverer! Jesus is Lord, and He alone is our Savior and strong tower! Keep your eyes fixed on Him, and never give up! Lift Him up and bless His Holy Name! He is coming soon!

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” -Psalm 18:2

Grace and peace to you all, and may your New Year be blessed, healthy, and filled with joy in the Lord!

“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.” -Jesus speaking in John 3:16

The True Light Of Christmas

Photo by Ryan, Our home

Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year. It is such a blessing seeing our neighborhoods and towns all lit up in wonderful light. Everywhere we go those lights remind us that this time of year is a very special celebration filled with hope, joy, and love. We feel that way as we enjoy the beautiful lights not just because they are pretty, but because of who those lights represent. The Bible teaches us that Jesus is the Light of the world, and His Light shines in the darkness. Christmas is all about Jesus, and He is the True Light of Christmas.

If you have been reading my blog since I started blogging three years ago, then you know I always show photos of the Christmas lights on our home. This is the first year I have ever strung lights on a palm tree. It definitely felt different putting up lights in 80 degree weather instead of snow and cold, but the joy of it was just as blessed. Those lights remind us that Jesus is the Light shining in this dark world, and we should shine His Light wherever we go.

Photo by Ryan, Our street (check out the stars too)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” -John 1:1-5

The “Word” the Apostle John is talking about is Jesus. Jesus has existed since the creation of the world. He was with God in the beginning because He is God in human flesh. This whole world was made through Jesus. He is the Light of life!

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”-John 8:12

How truly blessed we are that God became flesh to dwell among us on earth! That is the true glory and light of Christmas!

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” -John 1:14

“The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”-Matthew 1:23

There is absolutely no darkness in Jesus. He is Light, and His Light will always pierce the darkness. Those who believe in Jesus have the light of life, and have overcome the darkness through Him.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”-1 John 1:5-7

Do you want to have the light of life, and be purified from all your sins? That is the true hope, joy, and peace of Christmas! Jesus is offering you forgiveness and salvation this very moment. Will you receive that most precious gift of God’s grace today? I pray you do! Please do not reject the most amazing gift you will ever receive, the gift of eternal life in Heaven! Come to Jesus by faith, and let His love and light shine in your heart!

“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.”-1 John 1:8-9

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”-Romans 3:22-24

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

“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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”-Romans 10:9-13

Accept the True Light of Christmas this year. Believe in Jesus, and your sins will be forgiven and your soul will be saved!

Grace and peace to you all, and Merry Christmas!

Jesus Secured Our Salvation

Photo by Ryan, Sunset at Venice Beach, FL

Well, we made it to December. Praise God! We are just a few short weeks away from Christmas, and this is a crucial time to tell the world about Jesus. It is of the utmost importance that believers share the Good News of the Gospel, especially during the Christmas season and especially now during these dark times we are living in. There has been something heavy on my heart lately regarding believers who distort the truth of our secure salvation in Christ. The celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, and the message of His Gospel are full of light and hope because God offers mankind salvation as His most precious gift of grace. Let us not ever forget that there is nothing we could ever do to earn salvation, and it is not by our own effort that our salvation is secured. Christmas is a time of hope and joy because Jesus was born to save us from sin and death, and God offers that glorious invitation of salvation to the whole world by His grace to anyone who will believe in Jesus.

It really hurts my heart when I read condemning posts regarding losing salvation that sow doubt and fear in people’s minds and hearts. There was a sentence recently that really bothered me due to the intensely false message it carried and how subtly the author wrote it. The post was about salvation and living for Christ, and near the end the author wrote (and I am paraphrasing here) that we need to live in a way that we “secure enough grace” to ensure our salvation. I froze upon reading that and said out loud, “What?! Jesus already secured our salvation!”

If you are a believer in Jesus, do you truly understand that you are only saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus? Do you truly understand that there is nothing you are doing or could do to earn or secure salvation by your own effort? How exactly would we “secure enough grace” to save ourselves? When would enough grace be enough? I’ll tell you, it would never be enough. Neither the shedding of our blood or our good works would ever be enough to “secure enough grace” for salvation. Jesus did that for us. Only the Blood of Jesus covers our sins, and Jesus secured our salvation the very moment He died for us on that cross!

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

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of his creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.” -Hebrews 9:11-12

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance–now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.” -Hebrews 9:15

but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” -Hebrews 7:24-25

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” -Hebrews 6:19-20

Do you hear that truth? We have this hope as an anchor for our souls, and that hope is firm and secure. Why? Because Jesus shed His Holy Blood for us and He saves us completely! There is no worry about not being saved enough or not having enough grace to be saved! Jesus is our mediator, and He always lives to intercede for us. It is arrogant and sinful to think that we are doing anything to secure our salvation. Can you enter the Most Holy Place by your blood? No, none of us can. Our salvation is secure because Jesus obtained eternal redemption for us by His own Blood. We are only saved because of God’s grace through faith in Jesus, and God’s grace is all the grace we will ever need to secure that salvation.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” -Hebrews 10:19-23

God is faithful and we can trust Him. We have confidence to enter Heaven and can live with great hope in full assurance of faith because God has promised that those who believe in Jesus will be saved. Jesus is our mediator, intercessor, and advocate. Of course we should die to sin and live for Jesus, and do everything we can to please God, but we must remember we are not earning our salvation or “securing enough grace” to be saved. Our salvation was bought and paid for in full by the Blood of Jesus. Do not ever try taking that glory and praise away from Him by believing there is something you need to add to His finished work on the cross in order to be saved, as if you are righteous on your own. We are utterly sinful, and we are only saved by God’s all sufficient grace through faith in Jesus.

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 2:1-2

Do not ever forget that God gives us His Holy Spirit when we believe in Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is God’s seal on us that guarantees our salvation. We do not seal ourselves. Our good works would never be enough to earn enough grace to guarantee redemption. We are only righteous because of the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit inside of us. The good works we do in the Name of Jesus are for His glory, not to earn our salvation.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.” -Ephesians 1:13-14

Just as Jesus promised us:

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.” -John 3:16

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” -John 10:28-30

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.” -John 5:24

If you have fallen into sin, repent and return to the Lord. Do not listen to the condemning lies of the evil one. Do not let false preaching of a works based salvation make you a slave again to fear. Do not think for one second that you are beyond God’s grace, forgiveness, and faithfulness! If you believe in Jesus, then you belong to Jesus and no one can snatch you out of His hand! Take Jesus at His Word, trust in Him, and return to Him for He has redeemed you! If you have never accepted Jesus, please come to Him today! The time of the end is drawing near. Put your faith in Jesus this very moment, and your sins will be forgiven and you will be saved!

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. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” -Romans 10:9-13

Christmas is a time of great hope and joy because the message of the Gospel is filled with great hope and joy. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. That glorious hope of salvation is firm and secure through faith in Jesus alone because Jesus is the only One to ever secure salvation for us by His own Blood. That is why the angel was sent that wonderful night to announce that Jesus had been born. Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and that is truly good news of great joy for all of us!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” -Luke 2:8-11

Grace and peace to you all, and Merry Christmas!

Happy Thanksgiving 2021

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in America. We have been enjoying spending time together on our Thanksgiving break this week. It has been a rough year for many of us around the world, but there are still so many blessings to be thankful for. Thanksgiving is a time to acknowledge those blessings and give thanks to God who graciously blesses us with them. May we all remember the goodness of God this year, and give Him the gratitude and praise He deserves.

The photo above was taken by my Mom at our old house in Colorado. We have a different kind of turkey down here in Florida known as Osceola Turkeys. There were a couple in our backyard in July. They are big funny birds, and we see them all the time in our neighborhood.

Photo by Ryan, Florida Osceola Turkey in our backyard

Since today is Thanksgiving Eve, we have been spending the day cooking and preparing for tomorrow. My wife is making her famous homemade cinnamon rolls, and we will be making cookies soon too. There are wonderful scents of cinnamon, brown sugar, and maple syrup in the air, and we are all looking forward to enjoying those delicious rolls. My wife says they are more like sticky buns because of the special glaze she cooks them in, so I suppose they should be called sticky cinnamon rolls. They sure are good, no matter what you call them.

My wife preparing the cinnamon rolls. Notice the delicious sugary glaze, yummy.

God has been so good to us this year. He has given us victory over health challenges, and seen us through many trials and troubles. He is so very faithful, merciful, loving, and forgiving, and we give Him praise!

“Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.” -Psalm 103:1

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” -Colossians 2:6-7

I know many of you are suffering and are in the midst of serious trials right now. Our hearts and prayers are with you all. Let us not forget our brothers and sisters who need our support and prayers. Please pray for our good friend and sister in Christ, Vivian. Her husband Mark has been battling brain cancer for many months now. Please pray for them and their four children. Vivian has specifically asked for prayers for peace. We know God can do all things, and He can heal and perform miracles at anytime. Please lift up their family to the Lord.

You can also bless them financially through PayPal at: https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/helpoutviv

As we go through hard times, may the promises in God’s Word encourage and refresh our hearts, and may the peace and comfort of the Lord be with us. The Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. He will be with us always to the very end, just as He promised.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” -Jesus speaking in John 14:1-4

Count your blessings this Thanksgiving, give thanks to the Lord, and love each other deeply from the heart. From our family to yours, have a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

Grace and peace to you all!

So Thankful!

Photo by Ryan, Venice Beach, Sunset

Hello friends and family, and God bless you all! This will just be a quick post to follow up on my prayer request regarding my health. The doctor called me today to discuss the blood work and ultrasound results for my thyroid and liver, and he gave me good news. Everything is normal and healthy, and no further testing is necessary! Praise God!

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement! I am so thankful to the Lord for the excellent news! My heart, liver, thyroid, and all my enzyme levels are okay and functioning properly. They even checked the common bile duct and the area where the gallbladder was removed, and all of that looks great too. It is very comforting to know that my body is still working right even after all I’ve suffered with Celiac. Glory to God!

Now I just want to move forward and get back to writing consistently for the Lord. Thank You, Jesus, for all You have done for me and my family! Your grace is truly sufficient in all things!

No matter what you are going through, keep trusting in Jesus, and never give up. He’s got your back and He will see you through it to the very end!

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Grace and peace to you all!

Veterans Day 2021

Today is Veterans Day. It is the day we give thanks, honor, and respect to all our brave veterans who have served and are serving our country in the armed forces. Thank you all for your service and sacrifice in defense of our freedom and security. God bless you all and your families!

The service of the courageous men and women in our military reminds me of three Bible verses regarding what Jesus did for us, how much He loves us, and how we should love one another. These verses teach us about the character and humility of Jesus, and show us what love truly is.

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” -1 John 3:16

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” -Jesus speaking in John 15:13

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” -Jesus speaking in Mark 10:45

Jesus set the highest example of love and service when He died for us on the cross to save us from sin and death. Our veterans are the epitome of this love and service as they have laid down their lives to serve our country and protect our people. Jesus deserves all the glory, praise, and honor for laying down His life to save our souls, and our veterans deserve respect, honor, and gratitude for courageously following His example.

Grace and peace to all of our veterans! Thank you for your service and for loving our country so much you were willing to lay down your very lives for us!

Grace and peace to America! Grace and peace to you all!

“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.” -Jesus speaking in John 3:16

Health Update & Prayer Request

Photo by Ryan, Florida Sunrise

Hello, friends and family. God bless you all. Just wanted to give a quick update on my visit with the doctor regarding my heart, and ask for prayer again regarding some of the things we discussed.

First of all, thank you all for praying for me. The doctor gave me mostly good news about my heart and blood work results. There is a small amount of build up in my aorta showing a bit of atherosclerosis, but he said it is minor and normal for my age. The echocardiogram and stress test didn’t show anything serious. He said my heart is fine and joked with me that I could live to be 150 with the heart I have. He wasn’t sure what caused the chest pain back in March, but he thought it might have been due to the gallbladder infection and stones I was suffering at that time. Remember, I had that removed just a few weeks after the chest pain episode.

Anyway, my cholesterol and triglycerides are excellent, so the atherosclerosis is just hereditary. It’s something he will check in 2 years, but nothing he was worried about. Praise God my heart is okay!

He said my vitamin D levels and sodium were low, so I need to start taking a D supplement and adding a little salt to my diet, but my glucose, and red and white blood cell count were excellent. It’s actually pretty amazing I’m only deficient in vitamin D after 10 years fighting Celiac. He said he could tell I eat very good, and told me to keep up the good diet.

The only discouraging news was that the blood results showed my thyroid and liver enzymes were too high, so he was concerned about that and ordered more tests. I had to get more blood drawn this morning, and next Wednesday I’m having an ultrasound done for my liver. I am really tired of all these medical appointments, especially getting jabbed for blood work. Please pray for healing for my thyroid and liver. He is hoping it was just a fluke in the lab results from a little dehydration, but he wants to make sure it’s nothing serious.

The worst thing I am still dealing with is the terrible hemorrhoid pain I suffer at times. As embarrassing as it is, I must ask for prayer for that to be completely healed. It is awful and it is really affecting my quality of life. Several times a week I have to lay on my side for a few hours because I can barely walk or sit down. I’ve already seen doctors and specialist surgeons about it, and surgery is not an option for me. I cry out to God every day to heal me of it. On top of everything else I deal with, it is truly a painful and humiliating ailment to suffer.

History records that Martin Luther also suffered terrible hemorrhoids, which actually gives me a sense of closeness and fellowship with him. It also makes me respect him and his reformation ministry even more knowing the pain he was going through during his preaching and teaching. I’m sure he asked the Lord to heal him many times.

In all my suffering, I am trusting in the Lord to see me through it victoriously. I get very discouraged and feel a deep hopelessness at times, but I know God can heal me at anytime and He can do all things. Nothing is impossible for the Lord. He has done incredible miracles in my life, and I know He can heal me, restore me, and make all things new. May His will be done.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouragement. I know many of you suffer from chronic illness. I am praying for you too. Let us never give up hope! Someday the Lord will take away all the pain and wipe away every tear. May that great hope overflow in our hearts as we wait for the Lord and trust in Him. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and we will see Him in eternal glory very soon!

Grace and peace to you all!

Praise Report!

First, I want to thank everyone who prayed for me regarding my surgery today. Guess what?! The cyst has been getting smaller and healing, and when I went in this afternoon for surgery the doctor said I didn’t need surgery anymore!! Praise God!! God is so good!!

The doctor said it is resolving naturally and it will go away in time. What an awesome answer to all of our prayers! Now I just have the appointments for the blood work and the tests for my heart. I pray for continued good news with that too!

I am so glad I didn’t need surgery today! I have been so tired from all the health issues. This is a huge blessing from the Lord! I pray it completely heals and never comes back!

May we all praise God for His goodness and faithfulness to us! He cares for us deeply, and He heals our wounds. He takes our anxiety and comforts us. His love is truly amazing! We can trust Him with all our hearts, no matter what we go through!

Thank You, Jesus, for Your love and faithfulness! Thank You for healing me and delivering me from the surgery! Thank You for Your grace and mercy! Thank You so much, Lord! I love You! Amen!

Thank you all again for praying for me! Jesus hears our prayers, and our prayers in His Name are powerful! Don’t ever forget that. May we always trust in Him and believe He can do all things!

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, ‘ declares the LORD…” -Jeremiah 30:17

All blessing, praise, glory, and honor belong to Jesus! May we glorify His Name forever!

Grace and peace to you all!

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