Monday, August 18, 2014


As I ponder the American perspective on Christian blessing, I suspect many of us in the church have missed the point.  When I think of blessing, my mind goes to the idea of getting something.  I so often associate God's blessing with receiving material gain or that which will ease my life in some way.  Seldom am I not pondering what would make my life easier.   If I only had more money, if I only had more time to pursue my interests, if I only had more.... it never ends.  This is because my perception is warped and tainted by the idea of the American Dream.  I love America and consider myself a patriot, but I also recognize that I have to be a Christian first.  My spiritual life cannot be shaped by my perceived right to the pursuit of happiness.

I have been mulling over the idea of blessings and the purpose for them in the life of a believer.  I truly believe God loves His people and wants to bless us, but maybe not in the way we might think. God's blessing is not meant to enrich us or make our life a cakewalk, it is designed to provide us for service in His kingdom.  Enrichment and leisure can be as much as a snare as it can be a blessing, depending on how they are utilized, blessing is always meant to benefit us in serving God.

Blessing is ultimately tied to obedience.  As we seek to do the will of God in our lives, He provides us with the resources and training to accomplish His will.  Following God's commands is not a matter of what we can or cannot do as much as it is being where God wants us when He wants us there.  I envision this as when a soldier arrives at boot camp for the first time.  Everything that soldier needs to be successful is provided to him, he needs only do as he is directed to receive all he needs.

As followers of Christ, we are indwelt by the Spirit of God.  The Spirit is our counselor, our instructor, our guide and our conscience.  All that we need to serve God is made available to us, we just need to do as we are directed to do by the Spirit.  This eliminates the endless "what if" scenarios that we waste so much time debating.  This helps us to see clearly the line between obedience and sin.  There are things that are always sin, such as stealing, murder and immorality, but the so called gray areas are what often trip us up.  The Holy
Spirit acts as our guide to lead us where we need to be to receive the training and provision to accomplish His mission for us.  We get distracted seeking fulfillment in pleasure, leisure and accumulation of stuff and that fulfillment is short lived and often plain elusive.  True fulfillment is always found in discovering who we are in Christ and operating according to the gifting which He has given(blessed) us.

Monday, August 11, 2014



Comic actor Robin Williams died today at 63.  His death is a suspected Suicide.  This is a tragic loss for his family and loved ones.  The press releases claim that Williams was suffering from depression and had recently been in an alcohol treatment program.  Robin Williams has never claimed to have faith in Christ and often mocked religion and godly principles in his act.  What could life have been like for Williams had he embraced a relationship with his creator?

I have not been much of a Robin Williams fan since his Mork and Mindy days, due to his profanity laced comedy and ultra left leaning viewpoints.  Nonetheless, it is truly tragic to see someone choose to take their own life.  From the outside looking in, one could ask the question: "What would make you happy Robin Williams."  On the surface, it appears that Robin Williams had everything life could possibly offer.  Everything except peace...  Depression and substance abuse are serious issues that rob not only from the person struggling with these issues, but those closest to them.  William's story sadly reminds us that money, fame, and power are no substitute for peace and contentment.

Williams, like others who pursued fame and fortune attained wealth beyond his wildest dreams.  His addiction to alcohol and struggle with depression would suggest that what he once believed would fulfill him did not.  Sadly, Williams took what he saw as his only option without having given Christ a chance to deliver him.  There is a lesson for others in this tragedy, having it all can still leave us with nothing.  Williams, like others before him, attained all the pleasures and wealth that this world has to offer and he found it was completely unsatisfying.

King Solomon came to the same conclusion toward the end of his life, as demonstrated in the book of Ecclesiastes.  The difference between Solomon and Robin Williams is that Solomon recognized the supremacy of God and realized that the only pursuit that could fully satisfy a man was the pursuit of God.  Solomon realized, after having experienced all that the world had to offer, that only God could fill the void in a man's life.  Sadly Robin Williams never discovered this truth.

As believers, we need to realize that people around us may seem to have it all and may seem to be on top of the world, but are secretly struggling with deep and dark issues.  Part of our quest to be salt and light is being sensitive to people and their struggles, loving them where they are and taking opportunities to share the love of Christ with them.  It seems cliche to say "Jesus is the answer" but the fact of the matter truly is: Jesus is the answer.

How I wish that Robin Williams could have found peace with God before his struggles overwhelmed him to the point of taking his own life.  Williams, apparently, saw no hope.  God is the author of hope.  It may be too late for Robin Williams to find the peace he so desperately craved, but there are people we know who are experiencing similar struggles.  We need to care enough to reach out and gently and lovingly guide them to the Author of peace.  People who are struggling do not need to be beaten over the head or dictated to, but rather befriended and loved.  People who are searching for peace need to see God's love, care and patience demonstrated through us.

My prayers are with Robin Williams' loved ones and others who are struggling with similar issues.  I pray that they may find the peace and love of God that seemed to evade Williams.  I pray that as a believer, I can be sensitive to others who are finding the struggles of life overwhelming and be empowered by the Spirit of God to share the good news concerning the Prince of Peace.

Monday, August 4, 2014


In an isolated land, a young man found a book, detailing a vast kingdom, far away.  The kingdom was very different from the young man's own home and the lad yearned to journey to the strange and wondrous place.  The young man told others in his village about the book and the kingdom, but they only scoffed at him, yet he believed it must exist.  The young man studied the book night after night and finally, he decided to find out, once and for all, if the kingdom was real.  The young man gathered up his meager resources and set out towards the setting sun, as he had read of an ocean sunset, in the book.

Many would say that the young man in the above story is a fool, but in reality, he demonstrated bravery by not fearing the unknown, and wisdom by seeking truth, in essence, he exercised faith.  We have a book that details a wondrous kingdom, ruled by a mighty and loving king.  Our book tells us the way to that kingdom and what we must do to be counted as part of that kingdom.  The Son of the King has provided us with all we need to make our journey.  We must also exercise our faith to embark on this journey, and that faith is given to us by the King.

 Many years ago, I embarked on a spiritual journey to seek the Kingdom of God.  I have a Book that tells me to "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you."  At first, my journey was met by some opposition, one friend, in particular, had a difficult time with the changes I was making, nevertheless, I continued on my journey.  Now, over 20 years later, I have never regretted embarking on my search for truth.

I believe that the Bible is the infallible and literal Word of God.  Many so called scholars of academia have attacked the Bible, calling it foolishness. The Bible says that God will use the foolish things to confound the wise, and those who would attack the Bible from an intellectual point of view are demonstrating the greatest of foolishness, indeed.

I do not claim to fully understand everything in the Bible, in fact, the more I learn, the more I realize I do not know, but I have found that the Bible is able to stand up to any challenge that is thrown at it.  I have found amazing truth and astounding events in the pages of scripture, and never once has any archaeological, historical, or modern evidence been found to disprove anything found in scripture.  In fact, quite the opposite is true, the more archaeological and historical material that is found, the more evidence for the truth of God;s word is presented.

Believer, we are in a world that is the domain of Satan, and he is bent on destroying the work of God.  One of Satan's favorite ploys is to debunk the Bible.  As the world around us becomes increasingly hostile toward the things of God, I believe that a concerted effort will be waged to discredit God's holy Word.  In the coming months and years, we will see increased attacks on the Word of God, but we must stand strong.  We must study, learn, memorize and not be afraid to ask the tough questions now, before we are challenged and find ourselves outgunned because we did not do our due diligence.

If a person is truly searching for truth, they will find it in the Bible.  Though many campaigns have been attempted against the Scripture, none has succeeded.  As believers, we no longer have the luxury of half-hearted, lackadaisical, Bible study.  We no longer have the luxury of letting someone else exclusively tell us what the Bible says, we must learn it for ourselves.  When your faith is challenged, it is God's word that will  help you stand on truth.  If you do not know the Word, or understand what it is teaching, you may find yourself in a very difficult position.

Society and culture are increasingly becoming hostile to Biblical truth, it will only get worse.  The time is now to prepare and fortify your faith and to make sure believers around you are doing the same.  Spend time daily in the word.  The Kingdom is real and many will try to convince us that it is not and many will call us fools for believing.  Prepare now and know what you believe and why you believe it, that you may stand strong on your journey and that you may help others on theirs.