Sunday Morning Forgiveness

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View from our kitchen window. That is Pike’s Peak! The line “purple mountain majesties” from the famous song “America the Beautiful” is because of that mountain! In 1893 Katharine Lee Bates visited Colorado, and she found her inspiration for that song on top of Pike’s Peak! The song was actually originally a poem titled Pike’s Peak. I never take for granted the inspiration right outside my window!

It is Sunday morning here in America!  It’s a big day today!  Why?  Just because it’s Sunday!  It’s a morning for pancakes, waffles, and bacon (mmmm bacon)!  It’s a day for family and rest!  I love Sunday!

All across America Pastors are getting ready to preach their sermons and millions of Americans are getting their families together for church.  I am praying for you Pastors!  Don’t forget to pray for your Pastors, they need it too!

It’s also the early start of fall right now, which means the start of football season!  No, not the world cup “bend it like Beckham” kind of football (although I like that too).  I’m talking head cracking, bone crushing American football!  Sunday used to be a time when we would all come together.  Together for church and together for football.  Republican, Democrat, rich, poor, white, black, cop, civilian, it didn’t matter!  Fire up that grill and let’s watch some football!  I know, I know, a lot of people in America are mad at the football players right now.  Not many people watched the games last year.  It got crazy on all sides.  Folks, please listen, we must move forward together as a country in peace.  We have all had our say and everyone knows where everybody stands on every single issue we could have ever talked about in politics, and we will continue our individual and collective struggles until Kingdom come.  Politics in this country swings on a fickle pendulum.  It goes left, it goes right, and sometimes it kind of swings in the middle.  Politics in America is like the weather.  If you don’t like it at the moment, don’t worry, it will soon change.

So, please, for the sake of everything good and right in this land, let us respect each other’s differences and viewpoints and move forward together.  From my Christian perspective, what is the alternative?  Hate?  That is an awful choice, and we all know it.  When all is said and done, men are still going to play football despite the risk of CTE brain injury, people are still going to watch football despite kneeling players, and players are still going to kneel even though the owners forbid it.

I don’t respect somebody disrespecting my country’s flag or any other country’s flag for that matter (there are better ways to prove your point), but I do respect their right to do it.  That is America folks!  We can disagree, and we can blog about it, write about it, preach about it, protest about it, and say whatever we want to say and I love that!  There will be people you don’t agree with.  I say this with all love, we have to learn to get over it.  I call it strong fellowship like when you have an argument with a loved one.  It hurts, but as long as we learn from each other and respect each other, then real change can come through mutually beneficial understanding, and life will get better.  There has been a lot of good that has come out of the last several years of real strong fellowship we have been having in this country.  People are awake and listening to all types of issues they never knew about before on all sides.  That is the beauty of freedom.

People have their right to free speech here, and I love that!  I am a writer.  I can’t imagine living in a country where I didn’t have the freedom to speak my mind!  Take note of that Google, Facebook, and all the other big tech companies, and stop trying to censor people you don’t agree with!  You will never take our right to speak freely without fear!  The human heart is unstoppable with all its passion, desire, and wildness!  Even if they killed the internet, people would start printing presses in their basements and the truth would still get out!  Amen.

Why am I writing about Sunday, church, football, and free speech?  Bit heavy for a Sunday morning, I know.  Well, I have been up since 4 a.m. due to issues with Celiac Disease and I have been praying and thinking a lot since then.  Our country is broken right now.  It has been for quite some time.  I love my country deeply.  I was born in the Heartland near the Mississippi River where Huck Finn floated down for miles on his wooden raft, and the humidity is so thick you can spoon it right out of the sky.  I am a country boy at heart!  I grew up in Littleton, CO though near Santa Fe and Littleton Blvd.  I had friends of every color and religion.  I even had a friend who was from Native Aztec lineage, and I even knew some gang members.  The schools were tough and I grew up learning to earn and show respect.

It hurts my heart to see my country so angry and hurting.  It hurts to see the constant hate baiting comments recycled 24 hours a day non stop through our media networks.  Most of it is not true, and only serves to fire up whichever side it is written for, but I digress.  What is my point here?

My point is that we all desperately need forgiveness.  We need to forgive each other, and that is not easy to do for most human beings no matter what race, color, creed, or religion you are.  The number one thing that has helped me be forgiving more than any other thing in life is one simple verse from the Bible.  The Book of Ephesians is a letter from Paul to the church at Ephesus, which was an ancient Greek city.  Paul is writing the believers there to encourage them in their faith and give them wise advice on how to live a righteous life and be imitators of God.  In chapter 4 verse 32 Paul writes, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

That verse stops me dead cold every time!  “Just as in Christ God forgave you.”  That is how much we are to forgive!  It doesn’t say forgive if you feel like it, or if it is easy.  He says to forgive like Jesus does!

Let me help put this into perspective by explaining how Jesus forgave us and what He had to do to make that happen.  This is one of my favorite sections of scripture and it is fitting for this fine Sunday morning:

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:6-11

Intense huh?  What that means is that God came down to earth and made Himself a man, His Son Jesus.  Yes, I know that is weird.  How can somebody be two people at once?  Well, the simple answer is because He is God and all things are possible with Him (Matthew 19:26).  Also, it’s not just two in one, but three in one, the trinity.  Don’t forget about the Holy Spirit.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work together and are all part of who God is.  God literally came to earth to die for us, so we could be with Him forever in Heaven.  That is how much He forgives and loves us!

Let’s dive a bit deeper into God’s forgiving character.

1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

 

Hebrews 8:12

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember there sins no more.”

 

Ephesians 1:7

“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.”

 

Psalm 103:10-12

“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

So, what do we learn about God’s character and how He forgives?  If we ask for forgiveness, he will forgive us and purify us completely.  He will remember our sins no more (1 Corinthians 13:5 reminds us He keeps no record of wrongs too).  He lavishes us with grace as he forgives us and we are redeemed.  Finally, He removes our sins from us completely and we are completely forgiven!

Next time somebody wrongs you or you wrong somebody else, remember how much we all need forgiveness.  Let this Sunday morning be a morning of forgiveness.  Tell shame to pipe down!  Tell regret to go home!  Today is today.  It is not yesterday and it is not tomorrow.  Take a deep breath.  You know what that really is?  A fresh start, a new beginning, and another chance!  Don’t waste it being bitter.  Our time goes way too fast down here for that.

Here’s to Sunday morning sermons and Sunday afternoon Football, and here’s to forgiveness for everyone!  Cheers!

Bless you all!

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

John 1:29

 

 

Real Love

Love deeply verse

I love you.  We say that a lot don’t we?  Not many of us truly know what love is though.  Love is not as complicated as the world says it is, and most of us have a very distorted view of what love really is.  So, what is love and what does it look like in action?  I would like to share with you the number one definition of love.  It is found in the Bible in the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verses 4 through 8.  In verse 1 of that chapter the Apostle Paul writes, “And now I will show you the most excellent way.”  Let us read what that way is:

“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.”

If you have never read those words before, or even if you have read them for years, let all that love wash over you!  That is real love folks and that kind of love can only come from God.  You might be thinking, how could any human being on earth really love someone like that?  Great question!  The answer is found in Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit!  He empowers us to love each other like that.  When you give your life to Jesus, He actually fills you with His Holy Spirit, which gives you power to love like He does.  Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”

In 1 John 4:16 John wisely writes, “God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  Verse 19 reminds us that, “We love because he first loved us.”  We can extrapolate from these verses that if God is love (and He is), then the character of God is described perfectly in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8!  That is how He loves us!  Me, you, everyone!

Since God is love, then God is also patient, kind, He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud, He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered (I praise Him for that!), He keeps no record of wrongs (praise God!), He does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth, He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and God never fails.  He is not up there hovering over us with a lightning bolt like mythical Zeus!

God’s love my friends is perfect love.  That is how He loves the whole world.  2 Peter 3:9 says, “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.”  Do you realize that?  God loves you and He does not want you to perish!  He wants you to go to Heaven and be with Him.  In fact, He proved His love for us by stepping off His throne and coming to earth to die for our sins Himself.

1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”  John 3:16 says, “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.”  Are you seeing the pattern?  God did it all for the glory of love!

So, when you say I love you or you hear someone say I love you, please remember where love came from, who love is, and how we are truly supposed to love and be loved.

I love you all in the glorious love of God!

Grace and Peace to you all!

“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.”

Romans 10:9-10

The Maiden Voyage

Hello World!  Welcome, and grace and peace to you!  This is my first ever blog and first ever blog post!  I recently published my first book on Amazon.com called “One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life.”  Colorado, USA is my home base where my wife of 17 years and I raise our two awesome kids together in peace.  I am an Independent Christian Author, Evangelist (meaning I share the Gospel any chance I get), Minister (meaning I love and help people), and Freelance Writer.  I created this site in order to connect with readers and seekers of truth from around the world.  My prayer and purpose for this site is to reach out to a hurting world and be available as an online minister to anyone in need.  My passion in life is to help people come to know Jesus, and help people understand the Bible and apply it in their every day lives.

I have had a very strange and supernatural life, and that is why I have dedicated my life to serving the King of kings and Lord of lords.  My book is a memoir and my testimony of how I came to know Jesus.  It is not your typical Christian testimony and I am definitely not your typical Christian (if there really is such a thing).  I came to Christ in October of 1996 after living through my High School years engaging in drug and alcohol abuse, and living in absolute terror in a house in St. Charles, IL.  I learned the hard way at a young age that everything the Bible talks about is true!

After I accepted Christ, the supernatural events continued, but they were different with Jesus.  This time it was much more peaceful and beautiful than anything I could have ever imagined I would live through.  The Lord showed me clearly that I belong to Him now.  I have been walking with Jesus for almost 22 years now, and it has been an amazing journey!  He is alive, He loves us, and He is moving in power among us still today!

I wrote my book and I am writing this blog because I have a great burden to tell people the truth!  You need to know that the spiritual realm is real.  You need to know that our souls are eternal.  Most importantly, you need to know your Creator and your Savior, and I am telling you right here and now that I am living proof that God exists and His Son Jesus is alive!

I invite you to contact me.  If you need prayer, have a question about my testimony, God, faith or anything at all, or you just want to comment, I am available.  It is my hope and prayer that this blog shines the light of Jesus so brightly that it cuts through the darkness that is so prevalent down here in the valley of the shadow of death.  Jesus rescued me and my whole family from that darkness, and He will do the same for you!

God bless you all!

Romans 1:16

Unashamed for Life!

 

“I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?” -Jesus

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