Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My “Inner-self” Talking to Me

Psalm 23 The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

For the past few months, I have been teaching a “Foundation of Faith” class on Wednesday evenings at our church here in Anaheim, California. As the last couple classes on the subject of Creation verses Evolution close the series of basic doctrines of the Christian church, one of the students asked if I could read a “letter to himself” that he wrote some thirteen years ago, one early morning when he couldn’t sleep and struggled with the arguments of the reality of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, sent to be His personal Lord and Savior, if he would accept, believe, and trust in Him with all of his heart, all of his mind, all of his soul, and all of his strength in pure and complete love of God. (Mark 12:30 & Luke 10:27)

John 6:67-69 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

After reading Scott’s letter, I asked and received permission to post what he wrote on this blog, so it is my prayer that you be blessed by the open and sincere conversation between a man and his heart for Christ. Written shortly before his conversion, Scott wrote: "So, what if I said to you?: Jesus is here. Have you accepted Him as your Savior? Can you truly imagine death without Him in your heart? Do you really believe that without His help, you can achieve a truly meaningful and real happiness? How important is your spiritual existence and awareness right now? What could you stand to lose by asking for and accepting His guidance and love? Do you recall ever hearing of any negative testimonies from any individuals who believe in and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ? How many accounts of healing and “miracles” heave you heard of? Can you discredit any of them? Would you, after considering all of your answers to these questions, be willing to try following the path of Jesus yourself? The ultimate dare is to tell the truth; the ultimate existence is to follow it. Jesus is leading the path to truth and glory. Follow Him and rejoice in His splendor! I dare you." Scott Evans – 2:30am on April 23, 1998

John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
In Christ, Brian

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Balance Between Idleness and Busyness

Psalm 39:5-7 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you.

The 1602 proverb from W. Perkins 'Works' states “The Devil finds work for idle hands to do” or also stated “The idle body and the idle brain is the shop [workshop] of the devil.” I totally agree, but, I wonder about “busyness” also. Over the last few months, I have taken on, obviously, more than I can handle in activities and obligations. Another cliché is that I had “too many balls in the air” that I was trying to juggle … and I “dropped the ball”, so to speak, in either getting all accomplished or getting what I did accomplish done to the best of my capability in a quality manner. Not only that, but busyness in our long list of “Things To Do Today” can lead to distractions (moving shadows) from the true beneficial priorities in life and being where the Lord desires and designed us to be and living. When we’re out of balance and doing too much, things will be missed or outright neglected, because something has got to give. I saw the situation with myself and now cleared that tunnel that I was in.

Many times, someone is hurt and a relationship is damaged in the process; sometimes it is our relationship with the Lord, who loves us. This world throws many demands upon us and our time (even in volunteering), which pulls on our precious hours, our attention, and affects our own joy & peace, if it is not checked and in balance. Not to mention, it's tiring; mentally, physically and spiritually. We need to be neither idle nor over-extended, but find that “happy” medium of proper priorities matched with quality performance. And most of all, praise the Lord; the Giver of life and life eternal! Keep your hearts and minds upon Jesus.

Revelation 19:5-7 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

In Christ, Brian

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Take Sin Serously

John 5:36b-46 The Father gave me these works to accomplish, and my teachings and my miracles prove that he sent me. And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you. “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. “Your approval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. Yet if others come in their own name, you gladly welcome them. No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God. “Yet it isn’t I who will accuse you before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, in whom you put your hopes. If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.

Jesus Christ is life. In John 14:6-7 Jesus told Thomas, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” Not just the breath of life in our mortal being (Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life), but in our immortal being for eternal life (John 3:14-16 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” 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.)

Far too often, we forget about the seriousness of sin. That the Holy Scriptures, the moral compass that God provided us in the Bible, tells us in Proverbs 10:16 The wages of the righteous is life, but the earnings of the wicked are sin and death. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We tend to think in human and earthly terms that we aren’t too bad compared to others, but fail to see sin in our lives as God sees sin and who we truly sin against. The Word of God says in Isaiah 42:24 “Was it not the LORD, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law.” Psalm 143:2 “Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you.” Romans 3:19-24 Now we know that whatever the law of God says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

By our Creator Father God’s Plan of Salvation, His Son the Lord Jesus was sent from Heaven to live a sinless life in order to be the perfect sin offering for all sin, past, present and future. The only One not deserving death for sin, died for our sins that we may live – not experience ignorance of the Lord’s ways or spiritual blindness any longer, nor eternal separation and torment in the ‘second’ death in the fiery lake of Hell, but spiritual life today and eternal life in Heaven forever. Redemption, forgiveness, salvation, regeneration, restoration and eternal life. It's a big deal; rejoice in it!

How serious did our Lord Jesus take sin? Christ tells us in Mark 9:43-48 “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where ‘ Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire— where ‘ Their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’” Yes, the Lord understands that if you remove one hand, or one foot, or one eye that you still have the other one to sin with. His point is the seriousness of our sin and the sense of urgency that we need to have in both consciously monitoring and policing our sinful flesh desires, the schemes of Satan and the temptations of this God rejecting world upon ourselves, and telling those in our sphere of influence that they may come to a “saving” knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to experience life in Him, that only He gives through Himself; spiritual life and life eternal. Let us never take sin lightly for our Lord died for our sins!

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Lord is My Support

2 Samuel 22:18-20 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support. He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

I just want to take a moment to ask everyone to say prayers for all the tornado & flood victims in the southern United States. Say prayers for the earthquakes and tidal wave victims also. And prayers for all the world nations that are experiencing civil unrest and violence. God is love and our support. The Lord is our strength. The Lord God is our Providence.

Psalm 18:17-19 He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the LORD was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.

In Christ, Brian

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Exodus 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”
Deuteronomy 5:16 "'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”
Psalm 22:9-10 You brought me safely from my mother’s womb and led me to trust you at my mother’s breast. 10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth. You have been my God from the moment I was born.
Psalm 139:13-14 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Today, being Mother’s Day, I sat down and pulled up Bible verses that spoke to us children about our mothers. Our Lord God created pro-creation through the family system (Genesis 2:24), and the relationship of a child to their mother is in focus this special day as they are honored. The Word of God (All Scripture) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) What does the Lord speak through the Bible to guide us in an outstanding relationship with the one who gave us life? The love of our mother, and her godly instruction, is not to be forsaken or neglected.

Proverbs 1:7-9 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.
Proverbs 6:20-23 My son, obey your father’s commands, and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. Keep their words always in your heart. Tie them around your neck. When you walk, their counsel will lead you. When you sleep, they will protect you. When you wake up, they will advise you. For their command is a lamp and their instruction a light; their corrective discipline is the way to life.
Proverbs 23:24-26 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him. Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

I lost my mother in 2001 and miss the ability to see her, to talk to her, to hear her voice, to hug her and to see the joy on her face. Like the Football player’s saying “Hi mom” on national television, the heart of a man naturally desires to love and honor the one who has always been there for them since the beginning, caring, nurturing, protecting, guiding, raising, instructing, counseling, listening and trusting because we know that we are her’s and she is ours alone. I love to hear when daughters say that their mother is their best friend. That's our mom. What a wonderfully unique relationship the mother/child relationship is.

Matthew 19:18-19 And Jesus said, "Honor your father and mother.”
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3"that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land."

Time goes by so quickly and we get use to the daily routines of life, sometimes to the point where we take things for granted, like mothers. We naturally think that they will always be there, because they are always there for us. We wouldn’t want it any other way because, when it is right as God intended, that mother/child experience is the best and nothing else gets any better then that here. I am not devaluing the relationships that we have with our God, our fathers, our wife or husbands, or our children. The Lord designed and made them all for us to enjoy life and grow. Today, though, we take a moment to single out our mothers and what our moms mean to us. What is always in the heart every day is celebrated and our loving gratitude expressed. Honoring our mother is one of God’s “Big Ten” because this is how the Lord intended life and love. By honoring our mother, we honor the Lord. Happy Mother’s Day all you moms out there. May your day, a day that the Lord has made, be filled with blessings.
In Christ, Brian

Sunday, May 1, 2011


1 Corinthians 11:23-31 I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.

Today, being the first Sunday of the month, our church celebrates and receives in Holy Communion. Other Christian churches & denominations may also title Communion as the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the breaking of bread, or the Lord's Supper, but all are proclaiming together, with thanksgiving, the atoning sacrifice of our blessed Redeemer Jesus Christ. Communion is a translation of the Greek κοινωνία (koinōnía) meaning "participation", "sharing", and “fellowship". Eucharist is derived from Greek "εὐχαριστία, which means thankfulness, gratitude, giving of thanks. For this is a “holy” occasion, instituted by the Lord; a sacred observance, dedicated and devoted to Christ, for by the breaking of His body and spilling of His blood, the wages of our sin was paid and Believers are found innocent in the eyes of God.

To “Commune” means to confer together, engage in intimate conversation in the context of fellowship and companionship, where it is an association of persons with common interests and activities. This is the relationship that was restored between us and our Heavenly Father by the finished work of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ on the cross. Think about that child of God and rejoice with thanksgiving as you participate in Communion at your church, no matter if it is weekly, monthly, bi-annual or annually. The elements of the bread and the wine are consecrated, hallow and sanctified, so examine yourself and do not take them lightly for they are of the Lord and must not be taken in an unworthy manner. This we do in remembrance of Jesus, who died for our sins, that we may have eternal life.

Acts 2:41-42 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. 42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

In Christ, Brian