Monday, January 30, 2012


Psalm 7:8-10 “The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me. Oh, let the evil of the wickedcome to an end, and may you establish the righteous — you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.”

Many know that my favorite movie of all time is the 1939 American musical fantasy "The Wizard of Oz". It's a classic "good verses wicked" movie of colorful characters and exciting adventure that I enjoyed all my life. It was just last year that I discovered that this novel (written by L. Frank Baum and first published in 1900) was an allegory or metaphor to the contemporary political interests of the day; actual political personalities, events and ideas of the 1890s. Dorothy represents the American people - naive and simple, led astray and seeking the way back home, following the road of gold that leads only to the Emerald City, which symbolized the fraudulent world of greenback paper money that only pretended to have value. The "Yellow Brick Road" represents the gold standard in the united States of America. Oz: an abbreviation that stands for gold, a hot political topic of the day. The Scarecrow: represents western farmers. During the time that the story was written, American farmers were suffering from the effects of federal deflation. Their debts were growing larger as they were getting less money for their crops and other goods. The farmers wanted the dollar value to have fixed ratios of both gold and silver. The Tin Woodsman is a representation of the industrial workers and the Cowardly Lion of politicians in general. Here I thought that the story was just a nice little fairy tale with a happy ending and a silver screen classic.

Romans 1:16-20 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Saturday afternoon, we made the traffic-jammed drive with our good friends, Robbie & Marcia from the "couples ministry" at the church that my wife was the Secretary at for nine years, to Hollywood the see the "On Tour" production of the Broadway musical Wicked" and the Pantages theater. It was well worth the trek, as this Play was hilariously entertaining. The synopsis says that "Wicked" explores the concept that the Wicked Witch of the West, here known as Elphaba, is a misunderstood outcast, a victimized person whose behavior is merely a reaction against the charlatan Wizard's corrupt government. It also displays her relationship as "best friends" with the beautiful, popular and ambitious Galinda Upland, who ultimately becomes Glinda the Good Witch of the North. The Grammy award-winning songs ("I'm Not That Girl" & "Defying Gravity", my favorites), outrageous stage effects, and an outstanding cast made for an evening to remember. I highly recommend that you see "Wicked", if you get a chance. Yer, here too, was an allegorical message and a metaphor to the contemporary political and social interests of our day. (godless struggles with prejudice, popularity, position, power, prestige, pride, mis-treatment of animals, taking advantage of others and government corruption ... wickedness). The common hidden message ... the problem of sin.

Romans 6:13-22 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments ofwickedness, 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. Slaves to Righteousness. 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? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

What is wicked? By definition “wicked” means iniquitous, nefarious evil in principle and practice, sinful, immoral; vicious, harmful; destructive; vile; bad. But what defines “wicked” and what is “wickedness” measured against? Answer: The standards, the statutes, the commandments, and the words of our just and holy creator God. Virtues are “of God”, while vices are “not of God”, but sins against God. So the question is: “Who is on the throne of our heart?”, because everyone obeys who is on that throne of our life. We have to realize that when it comes to being “wicked”, I’m not that girl … or guy.

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Letter from Chris

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Today, my youngest son Christopher Michael, with wife Jamie and cat William left my house with U-Haul trailer in tow, and headed for their new home in Nashville, Tennessee. Tear-filled hugs repeated before they turned the corner of his childhood home for the last time and began the next step in his young life 1800 miles away. Never take for granted a single second of the time you have with your children. Do everything within your power to parent your child properly with Christian values that they may grow into responsible adults. You may not know it, but your children listen to you, learn from you, and carry those teachings with them. May they be lessions of love, joy, & peace.

Deuteronomy 11:18-19 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

This morning, as I left for work, I found a letter from Chris on the dining room table. This is what it said … Dear Pop,
To me you will always be pop, always have been and always will be. Moving from California isn’t hard at all … it’s moving away from you that’s the tough part. Ever since I can remember you have done anything you could to make a great life for us. Even though you worked so hard to give us a home and put food on the table, you always had time to be a great baseball coach, mentor and leader. Teaching how to be a respectable member of society and knowing the difference between right and wrong … and choosing right! I think I will always remember you saying that. I’ll have to use it on my kids as well. Indian Guides, camping, fishing and countless other life lesson activities we learned from you and you only learn later in life how much these things really mean. I owe all of my character and determination to you and you’ve taught me how to be a man. Learning from you has helped me become a man of my own and given me the tooled needed t be the husband and father that I should be.

Thank you for keeping our family in church and learning the way of God’s teachings. Those types of things don’t get appreciated always as a young child, but now I think back on them as priceless tools now that I am older. Your complete and full support of our move to Tennessee for a better opportunity has been tremendous. I don’t think I can thank you enough for that. Without your love and support we could have never made this move possible. You opened your home back for me and my wife and I can’t thank you enough for that. Everything in the wedding was a great success; we couldn’t have done it without you, Portico church and Pastor Jason. Everyone at Portico has been so nice and loving to us. It’s been great to have met them all. We will see and hear from you lots I know. I love you so much. Just typing the words doesn’t convey how much I mean that. Without you being a strong figure in my life, I have no idea where I would be now. Your guidance has got me to this point and now it’s time for me to lead my family. I can’t thank you enough for that.
Love always, your son Chris

Matthew 19:4-6 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Isn’t this what every parent wants to hear from their child? Praise be to God! Never give up on your children. God doesn’t.
In Christ, Brian

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Holiness - Walking in the Light

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”

Wrapping up our home Bible study on holiness and living like we belong to God the focus centered on, not only practicing holiness, but on what it means to be a child of God. 1 Corinthians 6:19 asks us, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” We saw in John 14:15-17, Jesus tell us, “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” Those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus are not only set apart from sin, darkness & unbelief in devoted service by God for the kingdom of Heaven purposes, but given the Holy Spirit of God to indwell our bodies, therefore making it sacred ground … the holy temple of God.

1 John 1:5-7 “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

I once heard someone ask: “If God created everything, why did He create “evil”? The same can be asked about darkness, but the answers are similar. Evil is the absence of “good”. God is “good”, so the absence of God is evil. Darkness is the absence of “light”. You can bring light into a dark room and the darkness is gone, but you can not bring darkness into a lighted room and the light leaves. God is Light, so the absence of God is darkness. God does not create darkness or evil, they are both the absence of God. So we are to walk in the goodness and righteousness of His Light. The Lord said in John 8:12, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” This points directly to Jesus’ words to the Pharisee Nicodemus in John 3:19-21, saying “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

1 Peter 2:9 “But, you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” It is as plain as black and white. Our practice of holiness is to be God-centered and will only become reality in our lives when we care more about God than we do about ourselves. We are not to be distracted by selfish concerns. As we take daily steps to glorify God, His holiness is seen in our separation from the concerns and distractions of this world, in our separation to our holy God. Are we living every moment of every day to glorify the God of glory? Is He the most important thing in our life? Matthew 5:16 tells us, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Ephesians 5:8-13 “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light." We are to be holy as He is holy, and walk in the Light.
In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wedding Bells are Ringing

Genesis 2:23-24 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Today, January 18, 2012, our youngest son, Christopher Michael Todd is taking his fiancée Jamie Leigh to be his lawfully wedded wife. A new chapter of life shall begins, and the exciting start of a new family takes the first step in their pilgrimage and sojourn here as children of God. They leave next week to begin a home in Nashville, Tennessee and start a family of their own. May God richly bless them all the days of their life. May their love and joy grow and mature, and may they serve the Lord in adoration and faith always.
Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Todd.

Ephesians 5:22-27 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

In Christ, Pop

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Practicing Holiness - Part 2

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
By the phrase aliens & strangers, Peter is saying that this world is not our home. Our real home is in heaven. As Believers in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, dying for our sins, repenting & accepting Him as Lord and Savior, we become children of God and citizen of the kingdom of heaven, as confirmed in John 1:10-13 “He (Jesus) was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, 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.” So Peter is saying that in holiness we should leave the sinful life behind and act like your Heavenly Father, reflect the light of Christ in righteousness, and walk in the Spirit that does not gratify the desires of the sinful nature, though we are in the god-rejecting world. Remembering that we do not do good and righteous works to get saved, but because we are saved by grace and the purpose is to glorify God. Every kingdom has a king. The kingdom of Heaven has a King. Citizen of Heaven, who is your King? Who do you obey? To say, “No Lord” is disobedience. God’s holy Word, Will & Way is our standard for behavior to model; the measuring stick to govern life, the prototype to evaluate everything against. Is what we think, say and do pleasing in the sight of God?

1 Peter 2:13-17 “Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.”

The responsibility to reflect God’s holiness has been given to the church. God’s purpose in choosing believers for himself is so that they may declare His praises before others. Believers should live so that their heavenly Father’s qualities are evident in their lives. We are to serve as witnesses of the glory and grace of God, who called us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1Peter 2:9). So then, in practicing holiness we are reflecting God’s character to the world around us. All of our behavior must be pleasing to God. God has established all authority, and by respecting the office and honoring authority we show the world that we honor God. In other words, being under authority is reflecting holiness. However, we are always to be careful never to allow the law of the land to overrule the law of the Lord. Practice holiness in obedience to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

1 Timothy 6:12-16 “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.”
In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Practicing Holiness - Part 1

1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

How does holiness apply to today? True Christian Believers are called saints in the Bible, but what does that mean? The gospel of Jesus Christ describes the incredible blessings of grace & salvation, but how are we then to put into practice, to live in the light of, those blessings? Our Friday evening Small Group Bible Study examined and considered these questions on “living out” our faith in holiness as a natural and usual course of action and behavior. Deb commented on the last post, saying: “Obedience is better than sacrifice. I'm so glad God didn't create us to be mindless puppets, but that He gave us free-will to choose to be obedient out of our love for Him. Obedience brings us closer to looking and behaving and representing the Jesus we say we believe in.” So right. The Bible tells us that we can not obey two Masters (Matthew 6 & Luke 16) and that we are slaves to either Sin or righteousness (in Romans 6), the question is “Where does our obedience reside?” Every kingdom has a king, including the kingdom of Heaven. Who sits on the throne of our heart as the king that we obey? Who do we belong to and obey? Practicing holiness is being set apart from sin and unbelief for God’s purposes, and obediently doing them; not out of fear, not just out of duty, not just out of what He did, is doing and going to do, but out of love of God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit).

1 Peter 2:9-12But you are a chosen race, A royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

More on this next post.
Blessings, in Christ, Brian

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Holiness - The Great Separator

Leviticus 11:44-45 “For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. For I am the LORD who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.“

This passage of holy Scripture goes on to tell us that God’s law enables us to make a clear distinction between the unclean and the clean (aka wrong & right – holiness & unholiness). Ultimately, meaning to be set apart from sin and spiritual death unto virtue and devoted service to God as His people. Not isolated from and creating no godly influence upon the culture, the society and the world walking in darkness of sin and unbelief – engaged in the world, but of the world, but of the Kingdom of God. To be holy is to be uncommonly set apart (heart, mind, soul & spirit) by God’s sovereign authority, unto God, for God’s purposes in the world. Our Friday evening Small Group Bible Study group explored this topic.

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with the devil, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

The “Fall of Mankind” in the Garden brought sin into the world, but through God’s redemption and restoration Plan of Salvation in the blessed Savior Jesus Christ that regenerated the spirit in the repentant sinner, who accepts the free gift of eternal life offered, believers are to be different from the unbelieving world around them. Salvation should result in a holy lifestyle much different from our previous unholy one. As God’s children we should reflect His character; not the devil’s, the ignorant & God-rejecting world’s or the sinful desires of the flesh’s.
1 Peter 1:14-16 “As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Does our lifestyle look the same as before we cam to Christ? Or does it reflect the nature of the One who gave you new birth (John 3:3-6) and called us to be his own. It is said the God meets us where we are at, but does not keep us where we are at. Who do we belong to and who do we obey? God is holy and has called us to be holy and maintain holiness; to be a holy priestly nation to a watching world and reveal that He is God. Holiness is not something to be achieved by our strenuous efforts. It is a state already created and given by God to His sanctified, holy & blameless people, immersed in the Word of God, renewed in the spirit of your mind. Christianity is not a “DO” attitude, but a “Be” attitude that desires from the heart to please God and never let Him down. Ephesians 1:4-6 “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Take faith seriously, and live life in a way (holy & fruitful) that shows that we believe in Him, in holy light of truth. Double-minded Christians (riding the fence and standing one foot in the world) have forgotten all that Christ has done for them and failed to be distinctively different from the godless world around them. The result is that the church that supposed to be salt & light to the world has been influenced by the lawless world and its secular views rather than impacting the world with the truth of God. Does the body of Christ in the church look like the culture surrounding it? Has the Church become a thermometer, measuring the temperature of the world, when we should be a thermostat, setting the temperature to holiness? Let us fix our eyes of Jesus and run the race set before us. “For I am the LORD your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy.”

Revelation 1:5-6 “To Jesus Christ, who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”

In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Drink of Water

Mark 9:41 “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”

Liquid water is the foundation of life on Earth; one of the essential elements necessary for the existence of life. This is a universal fact known by all scientists … no water; no life. 70.8% on our planet is covered by water, which only 3% is fresh water that is mostly in ice and water vapor. To get a good prospective, just look at a globe, with Asia on the far left and the Americas on the far right, and get a good prospective of this. I was never taught these facts though school, church or television, and that is disturbing to me because is one of the truths that points our Creator that Romans 1:18-23 declaimed, and fuels the God-rejecting myth of humanistic macro-evolution (the theory taught as fact) that is indoctrinating the minds of people today. Science literally means knowledge. Do not blindly believe the twisted lies of unbelievers bent on, not proving the origin of life, but proving the non-existence of Creator God, who will judge and condemn them for their sin and unbelief. Believe the holy Word of God and check the scientific research of Christian Creation research scientist for truth. In the DVD movie & book “the Privileged Planet”, where I first heard about the Anthropic principle, which is the research by scientist into everything that must be present for the existence and sustaining of life on Earth. The odds of the Earth being created by anything except God being astronomically beyond possibility – that it is apparent that man was not made for the Earth, but the Earth was made for man. It’s ridiculous to waste time & money seeking life on Mars or any other planets light-years away. We need to concentrate on doing what our Creator instructs us to. Seek God.

Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” Psalm 97:6 “The heavens declare His righteousness, And all the peoples see His glory.”

In the greatest commandment which all the Law and the Prophets hang on: loving God and loving others, we need to realize and act upon the water problems that this world is experiencing today. Potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. We need to raise public awareness about what many believe to be the world’s most serious health issue—unsafe and inadequate water supplies—and to promote the conservation and development of global water resources. More than a billion people—almost one-fifth of the world’s population—lack access to safe drinking water, and 40 percent lack access to basic sanitation. Cholera epidemics due to impure water have broke out in Africa and Haiti. There is a global “life & death” water crisis that how many of us are aware of in America? The world? Seen anything on CNN, FOXNEWS, MSNBC, 60 Minutes, Talk Shows, et cetera? Where is the focus?

Matthew 25:31-40 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a]angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

I saw a sign in the California “Central Valley” farm country that said: “Where water flows, life grows”. Not just crop life, but all life. There are many Christian non-profit humanitarian organizations that are digging wells, providing water filtration devices and decontaminating plans to bring clean, safe water to save lives where needed in the world. Praise the Lord! I personally support Campus Crusade for Christ’s “Gain & Zimbabwe Water Project”, but there is other great groups as ,,,,, and more on the worldwide web that anyone check into for knowledge on the global problem, communicating crisis and need to others, and see a means to help if you can and so desire. There are ministry needs of mind, body and soul everywhere you look. But we must remember the words of our Lord Jesus in Matthew 16:25-26 “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Not only must we bring immediate life-giving water where needed, but bring the eternal life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ unto salvation that producing “living water” that satisfies the soul.

John 4:7-14 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Thank you Father God for Your rain that brings life-giving water and Your Reign that brings a life worth living, now and ever-lasting. Do you have a drink of water that you can spare? In Christ, Brian

Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let the one who hears say, "Come!" Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New You

Ephesians 4:17-24 “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Unbelievers walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Today is New Year’s day, January 1, 2012 Anno Domini (abbreviate A.D.). We measure time in years, beginning from Zero, the birth of Christ, the incarnation of God, the promised Messiah, and the Savior of the world. Anno Domini is Latin and translated means “In the Year of the Lord”. All time and events prior to the arrival of the blessed Redeemer are also measured in years designated by the words “Before Christ” (abbreviated B.C.). Every time, anyone speaks or writes the year, they acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, whether they know it or not. Every day blesses the Lord. Ecclesiastes 11:7Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning.

As another year ends, we sort of put a close on the past 365 days and start a new chapter of history. We steps back and assess the accomplishment, progress, pauses, set-back or failure of goals, then adjustments made and new ones set. Evaluation are taken by us and, also, of us by others, but a fresh new start begins. This is not only true in our lives and livelihoods, but in our spiritual walks with the Lord, our God. Have you ever wondered why we are here? Why God doesn’t just skip this life and have us in heaven now? It’s because He has a purpose and plan for us all here and now in 2012. As we grow and mature as Christians in this pilgrimage (aka “journey”) through life towards our eventual eternal home in Heaven, we make stops along the “Glory” path to take account and learn from our past, check the map with the Lord, make any necessary adjustments (trimming off the burdens and hindrances of ungodly and unfruitful behaviors & actions) renewed in the spirit of your mind and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness, then start the next leg of our adventure set before us, walking with the Spirit as the body of Christ.

Colossians 3:1-11 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”

But as the Lord Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), we are not only to set ourselves in Holiness apart from the sinful desires of the flesh, the God-rejecting world, and Satan’s lies, but to be a light of truth for Christ and the gospel in the darkness of a lost & dying world. This is what it means to be “in the world, but not of the world”. We are instructed by the Lord (Matthew 28:8-20) to seek the lost and help them find the foot of the cross and a “saving” knowledge of Jesus Christ, who all of time is separated and measured by, because He, and He alone, is God’s plan of salvation and the Savior of the world. Happy New You’s Day, in the year of our Lord -2012.

In Christ, Brian