Saturday, June 27, 2009


Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

The World in rebellion against God, and the Devil, tempt our minds with sensually delightful pleasures designed to entice our imaginations with unholy fantasies and lure our fleshly desires for happiness, fun and excitement without thought of God’s Will, Word or Way. The pattern of this world is “Sin City”, where anything goes and the desires of the sinful nature run wild and free in vainglory. Julian Huxley once stated that the idea of God interfered with his sexual mores. Galatians 6:7 "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." They make a choice to enjoy the pleasures and treasures of sin for a season over obedience to their Creator. The pride of the egocentric secular humanist on the wide road to destruction rejects God’s authority in their life. Where do you obtain your joy and genuine contentment? Is it from the Lord or from somewhere else? The world will always tempt you to turn from God and join them. But Christ calls His followers to influence the world and not be influenced by the world. Jesus tells us in Luke 9:25 “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self, (his very soul)?”

2Corinthians 3:3-6 & 16-18 “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter (the Law) but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord (Jesus), the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Tom DeRosa of the Creation Studies Institute writes that as Christians, God has given us a burning desire to serve Him in some form of ministry with a passion not only to help other Christians to become stronger in their faith and become better witnesses for Jesus Christ, but an ultimate goal to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this nation and to a world deceived by false ideologies (Decepticons of our day); a world that is misinformed, confused, and headed for total destruction. Jesus Christ is our Creator, Savior and Judge. When we shine a searchlight of truth through the smokescreen, I have personally witnessed the transformation of lives of those who were once proud atheists into Christians who’ve come to the knowledge that they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).

Philippians 3:18-21 “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

The World is the “Garden of God” ripe for the harvest. As the Lord God put man in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it (Genesis 2:15), so all God’s children need to be weeding the Garden of their mind, that the good seed (the Word of God) can grow and multiply. Then we can plant and sow seed in the world, cultivate and water with the tears of compassion for His harvest of transformed souls for His kingdom in Heaven and on Earth. R.C. Sproul states that just as in the “Dark Ages”, when people were distracted from the truth of God’s Word, what is needed today is no less than what was needed in those dark days long ago - reformation, renewed commitment and revival through Jesus Christ that breaks through the darkness and brings the truth of God back into the light where the world can see it and be transformed. Psalm 112:4 “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man.”

But my wise wife says it plainly: “Why do many Christians find it easy to talk about the Lost (those who do not know the Lord), but do not talk to the Lost?” We have been blessed to be a blessing.

1Peter 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth (transformed) into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”.

Be Transformers.
Your brother Brian

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Proof is in the Pudding

1Corinthians 13:1-8 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

A young college student told me the other day, that a woman wants to know that the men important in her life (boyfriend, husband, father, etc.) think about them when they are apart. That she is in their heart and crosses their mind because they love her. I thought about how a man could accomplish that proof and verification to the woman's expectations and satisfaction, because the word "think" takes on the definition of the woman's desire of how often she wants to be thought about and how she wants to be thought of. The statement shouts the question: "Do you love me?" It implies the caring mindful remembrance, a loving desire, a choice made from the heart, and a devoted will of the man for her; but does he desire her for the "right" reasons? Not only “do you love me?”, but “why do you love me?” also. This is true in all relationships.

There are three types of love that the Bible explains: (1) Love that only takes: "I love you as long as you meet my needs and desires” or “What’s in it for me?”, (2) Give & Take Love - "I love you and you love me”, meeting each others needs – mutual brotherly love, & (3) Love that gives totally – “I love you and expect nothing in return or no stings attached - unconditional love. Obviously, when this young lady spoke of the woman's desire to know that she is thought about, she meant in terms of the third definition - "true" unconditional love ... “agape”: the deepest love there is that never fails. Does the world understand this? Do people really know how to love? How about us? Do you & I ”think” of those closest in our lives and show them that we really love and care about them, or does our lack of time and contact with them demonstrate a different message ... that we do not think about them as we should, take them for granted, take the relationship lightly, or that other things are more important than them to us. Does this not pertain to our relationship with Christ also? John 14:23-24: "Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." Actions speak louder than words, and our lives bear witness to our pure love.

The focus on self-interests, selfish desires, self-fulfillment, self-pleasure, selfish ambitions, and selfish pursuits produces a focus on self-centered disrespect to others and God, who is their Maker. Could you imagine Jesus, who out of love took our place on that cross to pay the penalty for our sins, thinking this way or approving of those who do? Never! Matthew 22:37-39 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'." Just as the woman is hurt when she isn't shown that the men important in her life "think" (love & care) about her, the same message is true in all the important relationships of her life (Men, Women, Children & God). We all want to know that we are loved; not for how we look, our possessions, our position, or for what we can do, but for whom we are inside. I’ve read that in children: If you don't tell them, "I love you", then they conclude that you must not love them." Are teens and adults any different? We all need to love and be loved. It translates to "time" by a genuine heart as the evidence ... action to the words.

People throw around the word “love” so loosely today and many don't really know what "true" love is. What do people "really & truly" love and in what order of priority? Who do people really love and why? You can tell much about a person’s loves from where they spend their free time. There is an old saying that goes: "The proof is in the pudding", which means even though others may tell you that the pudding is good; the only way to know for sure is to taste it. In the same way, the only way to know if someone truly loves you is if they are loving you (demonstrating their love to you) – action is required and that involves investing and spending time (dedication, devotion & desire). Likewise, the proof of love for the Lord is the obeying of His teachings and commands. Where does God and "Loved-Ones" fall on our list?

People say: “I love you”, but talk is cheap! How do they "walk the talk" and demonstrate that love to you ... not only by thinking about you, which is time that you do not see, but by living out their love for you in & out of your sight perpetually, so that you may know in your heart that you are loved because the proof is in the pudding.

John 15:9-14 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” Not just "What would Jesus do?", but "What did Jesus do?".

With love always, in the love of Christ,

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Love of the Father

Psalm 103:13-14 “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear (respect and revere) him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

Father’s Day is a day set aside to honor the man that made it his life to love, care for, encourage, support, guide, counsel, teach and impart faith & knowledge to their children, for our best interest, for life and living in this world, that we improve & grow to be good kids, good students, good workers, good neighbors, faithful to God and good parents. All unconditionally, because it is the duty of every Father to give to their children these things, as God (our Creator & Heaven Father) has given. When right (not self-centered & worldly) and as it should be (self-giving & godly), our Earthly Father is a symbol of our Heavenly Father.

1Thessalonians 2:11-13 “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”
My dad worked hard to provide a balanced home for my mom and two brothers. He took seriously his role to put a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and put food on the table each and every night, but went much further than that. He made the time to spend with us, individually, to parent us and father us, so that we may have direction, discipline where needed, and purpose, all completely out of his love for his family. He taught me to respect others, to know the difference between “right” & “wrong” then choose to do what is “right”. He taught me to take care of myself and how to do it ... still does. He taught me a work ethic that I was to put in a full days work and do the very best job that I could do for my employer, but to let the door hit me on the rear when it was time to go home, because there was a family waiting back home that needed my care, time and attention. As a little boy, he taught me how to throw a baseball, catch a football, shoot a basketball and have fun doing it. He made every game that I played, that he could, and that meant so much to me. When I played Tight End in Football, we had a special sign that I would make when we left the huddle to let him know that I was going to receive the Pass on that Play. Our secret! He taught me to Water Ski and took me fishing, but also to enjoy the beauty of God’s Creation and stop to take it all in. Our family took the greatest “Road Trip” vacations and found comfort & joy in family. His concerns for faith and country are inspirational. Later, dad taught me how to swing a hammer, plumbing and electrical work, pour concrete, and on & on. He was my example to follow, and my wife can attest to that. I talk to dad (now 81 years young) every week and I could never repay the debt that I owe him, so I pay it forward. So today I honor my dad, Robert Eugene Todd – Best Father in the World. I hope that you say the same about your dad and, this Father's Day, let him know how you feel about the man that gave his all for you and your family. Thanks dad. I love you!

Heavenly Father, Thank you for the gift of a wonderful and godly Father. Amen.

Hebrews 12: 5-11 "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

1John3:1-3 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”
Happy Father’s Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Word of God

I am constantly writing notes, as I see, hear and read different things during the day. I’ve realized that there is more to learn about the Kingdom of God then I have time, in many life-times. This actually helps me trust and depend upon the Lord to direct my steps each day, to learn and serve, to love and live the abundant life. I’d collected bits and pieces on the subject of the Bible (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) and will start today to speak on a piece of the importance of the very “Word of God” in our lives. The Good Book.

Sola scriptura (“by Scripture alone”)

2Samuel 22:31 - "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” Proverbs 30:5 - "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

Matthew 4:4 - Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Luke 11:28 - He (Jesus) replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

It’s true that going to church makes you a Christian, just about as much as walking into a garage makes you a car. I had to realize the lost state of affairs that I was in and, accepting his death for my sins and resurrection to conquer death that I might rise with him, I asked the Lord to come into my life, change my heart and take control. We all start the journey, from spiritual blindness to eternity in Heaven, with a spiritual eye-opening to the infinite Divine knowledge and truth of God and a thirst to learn and experience everything possible by the will of God, our Creator, who loves each and every one of us. The Holy Scriptures, the living Word of God, reveals that knowledge and truth as it speaks to our heart and soul, to help us grow and mature as Children of our Heavenly Father. Not words written by mere men, but God breathed (2Timothy 3:16), inspired and given by the Holy Spirit (John 14:25-26). They are the words of life – Scripture alone.

Hebrews 4:10-12 - Anyone who enters God's rest (salvation-rest through the gift of God, in the finished work of Jesus Christ for atonement & redemption) also rests from his own work (trying to earn your way to heaven by their own efforts), just as God did from his. (“It is finished.” - John 19:30). Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

We are not to bend or twist the Bible to fit what we believe, but change what we believe to fit the Bible. God meets you where you are today, but he doesn’t leave you where you are. A changed heart creates a changed person. I’ve heard it this way … we must guard ourselves against lowering the standard of God’s Word to our understanding or political correctness. And we must guard ourselves against raising our standard of tradition above the standard of His Word. The Bible is not meant to be paraded past the judgment bar of your mind. You can argue with it, but why? You can pick up and read any other book, but this is the book that reads you. It pulsates with life and power. It cuts, burns, crushes, and wields mountain-moving power. His Word has life. It is the voice of God to you. From our Lord, God Almighty, you cannot refuse it, deny it, distort it, or dilute it. You can only bow before it. We need to get the “L” out of the “World” and get more into the “Word”. It is freedom from the bondage of Sin and the instructions for purposeful joy in life.

2 Corinthians 3:17- 4:6 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

2Timothy 2:15 - Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

Read any “good” books lately? We need to spend more time reading and learning from “The Good Book” – The Holy Bible – The Word of God. Sola scriptura!

Blessings in Christ. May His name ever be praised.


Monday, June 15, 2009


James 3: 5-10 “The tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”

Yesterday, after watching our Los Angeles Lakers win the NBA Championship Playoffs, I sat out on our front porch swing to enjoy the peaceful late afternoon of a beautiful Southern California Sunday. The tranquility was soon vanquished by the loud and vulgar language that was approaching rapidly from down the street. “F” Bombs were being dropped, seemingly, every other word from a young man celebrating the Laker basketball victory. He was putting on quite a show of counter-culture, gang-style rhetoric. Samuel, who lives down the street at the house at the alley, yelled out his rude and offensive words to the neighborhood where he lives, not out of joy of a fan, but as an aggressive and challenging act of defiance to the God-fearing, law-abiding and peace-loving society that is America. The America that values godliness, manners, morals, integrity, loyalty, courteous, kindness, character, respect, charity, honesty, fairness, and care for your fellow man. I found and read a 1890 Primer of Ethics that was taught in our American schools with subjects as truth, obedience, industry, honesty, fidelity, justice, politeness, conscientiousness, forgiveness, gratitude, purity, duty to God and profanity. The chapter on profanity states that the habit of profane swearing is a most detestable one, and adds no force to language. Profanity is one of the most vulgar, vicious, and wicked of all vices. There is absolutely no reason or justification for it. Remember that God hears every word that you say. Why did we stop teaching this to our children?

When confronted about his use of indecent language and asked to stop the swear words, the “F” bombs were then directed at us. But with some calm, non-emotionly charged, logical and wise reasoning by another good neighbor, Samuel came back to apologize. Where are we going wrong? By tolerating the darkness of counter-culture and being silent. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
It wasn’t until this morning that I heard what happened after the game in downtown Los Angeles: I am ashamed of the lawlessness and shameless acts of disgraceful violence taking place in our country today ... riots in LA over “winning a Basketball game”? Wrong is wrong and it is going to take God’s people to step out of the bleachers and get involved in this game of life in America to firmly expose the wrong and change that wrong to “right” for Christ’s sake, and the hearts, minds and souls going the wrong way with love and compassion. Turn this world up-side-down and make it "Right" side up by bringing God into the picture, visible in their sight, shining light into the darkness of this age.

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.”

Serve the Lord and teach others to serve the God that loves them, but they do not know ... yet!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Worthy is the Lamb

I have found that most people do not see their iniquity (Sin). They have no sense of the enormity of their crimes, guilt and rebellious insult, against Deity. One who does not see or believe that they have broken any laws against the Law-giver God, have no conviction in their heart. One who does not realize that they are lost will not seek to be rescued or welcome the Rescuer. One who does not know that they are dying will not seek to be saved or look for a Savior. It isn’t about trying to convince “good” people that they were in trouble with an angry and vengeful God, but convincing “sinful” people that they deserve the wrath and anger of a “good” God. Once we see our crimes, our acts of rebellion against the holiness, the justice, the wisdom and righteousness of God, and understand our guilt and shame, which rightfully deserves the wrath of God, we will then seek mercy, accept God’s plan of salvation and come to true repentance that leads to faith and life; a justified and sanctified life in Christ, filled with His presence. Psalm 51:1-4 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.”

But, be clear that repentance is not about escaping the judgment and wrath to come with attempts to earn or deserve our way to salvation through our human efforts. Though repentance means to change one’s ways, to turn around and go 180 degrees in the opposite direction, because of contrition in their heart; where does that conviction of wrong-doing come from? It is the light of truth, revealed by God that leads to that conviction of sin in our hearts and realization in our minds of our transgressions before Him, then leads to regret, remorse, repentance and acceptance of the atoning death of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior to pay the penalty for our sin. We receive the reward of His suffering in salvation to eternal life in Heaven as a gift of total mercy & grace, plus the restoration of righteousness before God with a new heart. Though this process starts with the fear of eternal judgment in Hell for our sins; the process of sanctification doesn’t stay there, because once we willingly surrender all and accepted the free gift, true salvation has taken place, we are safe in Christ (our Redeemer) as Noah was saved in the Ark from the flood; not hanging onto the outside hoping not to slip off nor on deck hoping not to fall off, but safely inside. We may stumble and fall in the Ark (a symbol of Christ), but never fall out of the Ark, once truly saved – the moment we first believe. Our sins have been paid for, our hearts are transformed – “born again” of the Spirit and we are safe in Christ. We know that our salvation is sure through the “finished” work of Jesus Christ - this is “blessed assurance”. Our saved souls are the reward of the sacrificial Lamb that was slain. He died and rose that we may live and have life through Him; our good Shepherd, who we follow as Lord. John 10:27-30 “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." We trust and stand firm on the promises of God Almighty, Creator of Heaven & Earth.

From that point, Christianity is about loving, obeying, praising, glorifying, worshipping and serving God because He is worthy and deserves our love, obedience, praise, glory, worship and service.
Our focus is not on self, but discipleship, bringing glory to the Lord and living a life pleasing to God because they (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) are worthy. Revelation 5:9-12 "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Obey Your Thirst

1Samuel 15:22 "Does the Lord delight in offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

To say “No, Lord” is an oxymoron because the word “Lord” literally means one who rules over your life and you obey. To disobey his word or command is to say that he is not your Lord. Out of love of Jesus, reverence and gratitude for all that God has done, is doing and continues to do for us, we call Him Lord and serve Him, as we grow in grace. Don’t get me wrong, we have three enemies that want to bring us down … to get us to say “No, Lord”. They are the world, the flesh and the devil.

Judges 2:17 Yet they did not listen even to their leaders; for they lusted after other gods and bowed down to them. They soon turned aside from the way in which their ancestors had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord.

The Bible tells us that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are regenerated, born again, born from above, and given a new heart, a new nature with a bent towards a godly life. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit comes upon us. Our faith is in Christ to rule our life and we see life through a Christian world view ... through Christ, as Christ sees it. The world doesn’t change, but our prospective (the way that we look at things … our mind, will and emotion) changes. For example, instead of saying “Don’t lie or steal”, we say “Why would I lie or steal?” knowing that it is not the will of God, would let Him down, and bring pain or distress to someone. God’s Word is written on our hearts, so obedience has purpose and value. God changes our “want to”. The Lord’s teachings and commands are not to hinder or distress, but to help and produce fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) ...fruitful and joyful living in a right relationship with God and people.

Romans 6:12 Do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? It brings freedom from self, recognizing that our greatest handicap is our own self. Matthew 26:41 says: “the flesh is weak." But the power and presence of Jesus can re-create a person until they are altogether new (Romans 12:2). Obedience to God brings freedom from other people. There are many whose lives are dominated by peer pressure and political correctness; the fear of what other people may think and say. The disciple is the person who has ceased to care what people say in their decision-making, because they think only of what God says in their decisions. Obedience to the Lord brings freedom from the bondage of sin. Our sins have so mastered us that, try as we will, we cannot break away from them. Obedience through discipleship breaks the chains, which bind us to them and enables us to be the persons we know we ought to be. Justification by grace through faith makes us free from the guilt of sin, by which we were bound over to the judgment of God for our sins. Instead of walking in the darkness of sin, we walk in the light of truth and righteousness, holiness and godliness, pure and priceless.

1John 1:5-9 God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness of sin, 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. 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. 2:1 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. We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him.

We love because He first loved us (1John 4:19). We obey, because He is our King; our Lord.

1John 5:3-4 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. This is our thirst!

Love, joy and peace in Christ, Brian

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Alpha & Omega

Proverbs 3:1-7 “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”

This week, at work, I was instructed to take an “on-line” course in the “White Belt” introduction to “Six Sigma” – labeled as a comprehensive performance improvement methodology, which the company was employing and implementing. As I was taking the course, I couldn’t help but notice how ... with the changing of a few key words ... there was a Christian message there. So Six Sigma has been modified to Alpha & Omega – a comprehensive Christian performance improvement methodology.

Check out “Your Supportive Role” in Alpha & Omega!
• Understanding that ... Christ is the foundation
• Commitment to ... delivering what God requires
• Use of ... Bible-based inquiry
• Willingness to be ... an agent of the Lord for change
• Practice of ... inclusion and open communication through witnessing
• Working knowledge and use of ... God’s gift’s as tools to reach the lost
• Hunger for ... opportunities for the message of the Cross and the Gospel to be easily shared and to transfer conversation to other areas of God’s truth
• Dedication to ... continuous improvement through sanctification

Christianity looks to God’s Word, found in the Holy Bible, to define, measure, analyze, improve and control (DMAIC) the process of living aligned and in conformance with God’s will in a “right” relationship (Heavenly Father to Child of God). However, it is not about Biblical knowledge, Church Doctrine or Theology, but action; growing, maturing, and improving through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

This methodology process:
• Eliminates Worry & Fear – Romans 8:31
• Reduces Stress & Anxiety – Matthew 11:30
• Increases Joy & Love – Psalm 5:11
• Improves Life Satisfaction – 1Timothy 6:6

The Alpha & Omega methodology system; it’s right for you & me!

Revelation 21:3-7 “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 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." He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Existential Philosophy

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

Webster’s defines ‘existential’ & ‘philosophy’ as the study of the causes and relations of things and ideas; the serene wisdom that comes from calm contemplation of life, of being, the universe and our place in it. A search for the “Meaning of Life” – “Who am I “?, “Why do I exist?” & Does anyone know me?” God does! King Solomon wrote of this search in the book of Ecclesiastes – read it again and comprehend the wise message and conclusion imparted from the Teacher. We all want to know the answers to those questions also, but it is where we look for the answers that affect our life, our hearts, our minds, our souls and our peace and well-being, whether our search is based on righteousness. The One, true, and living God, the all-powerful, ever-present, all- seeing, all-knowing Creator of everything loves us, has plans and purposes for us and is in control, so we can trust and believe Him completely. The danger lies when we look away from and take our eyes off God’s Plans and Purposes to buy into the lie that life is meaningless for us and we must bring meaning to it. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us: “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The universal battle in this life is between “belief” & “unbelief”; a battle for the hearts, minds and souls of each and every one of us. You may hear of this war as light & darkness, good & evil, holy & unholy, right & wrong, godliness & ungodliness, obedience & disobedience, creation & evolution, etc., but the root of all the controversy is “belief’ & “unbelief”. Oh, it is real!

I heard an interview on the radio this week of a well-known writer, who lost her faith while in college. The secular collegiate environment of “discovering yourself” through existential philosophy, outside of God, drove her to look away from her Lord and started her searching for the meaning of life down different roads. She stopped reading and studying the Word of God and wrapped her mind so completely around the deception of a search to find herself and meaning to her life on her own, that she closed her heart and stopped talking to God completely. Wikipedia tells us that the Penguin Encyclopedia says that philosophy differs from science in that its questions cannot be answered empirically, i.e. by observation or experiment, and from religion, in that its purpose is entirely intellectual, and allows no place for faith or revelation. MTP says philosophy does not try to answer questions by appeal to revelation, myth or religious knowledge of any kind, but uses reason, "without reference to sensible observation and experiments"- aka “rationality”. Haven’t you heard that everything is relative? There is a theological term for this … it’s “non-sense”.

The enemy (the world, the flesh & the devil) do everything in their power to deceive and turn our head from the way, the truth and the life and put the focus on ourselves as the sole interest of our existence, without thinking about God … living by our own will and pleasure, rather than God’s will and pleasure. The question is: “who are we going to listen to?” The famous writer, Ann, said that she bought into the lie that life is meaningless and, without realizing, began a search by herself for her lost soul and redemption. She saw that so many give their life to alcohol, sex, drugs, and pleasure, when all they truly needed was to give their life to the Lord and commit their life to Christ. Suicide is the #1 cause of death in College students in America today, and the #3 cause of death in High School students. Why? Seeking purpose and meaning in a world that says that God doesn’t exist, there is no absolute truth, morals don’t matter, we evolved and exist for self-gratification, is the path of emptiness and lawless pride; lacking spiritual fulfillment and true personal satisfaction. Ann found that a self-image and self-worth was truly found in the God that made you & me. Our life was His idea. God, Creator of Heaven & Earth, loves us and thinks about us every minute of every day, and we are a product of His loving and purposeful plan. Life is full of meaning and that life is worth living with joy. Glory be to God, the source of all life; our Father, who art in Heaven. Now that’s something worth thinking about!

Your brother in Christ, Brian