Personal

“Unconditional Love Found Here”

Let’s begin with a look at the most fundamental of questions:

Should I choose to follow Jesus – or Man?

There is a distinct difference between following Jesus, our Savior, and following Man.  If evidence is any guide, choosing Man leads to disappointment, sinful behavior, mental and physical pain and sometimes even destruction.  On the other hand, choosing Jesus leads us to happiness, fulfillment and everlasting life. It’s a choice and the choice is yours. This choice is more important than whom you marry, or what you do in life, or what you accomplish.  If God exists, the choice will affect your life now and for all of eternity.  If He does exist, His plan for living in peace and fulfillment is true.  For this reason, we recommend that you take the time to study the Word, learn about Jesus and choose wisely.  Below is our amplification of the choices:

If I choose Man, I will be repeatedly disappointed, as I have been disappointed many times before. I know in my heart that Man always falls short, because sin and lack of repentance keeps him from perfection. For these reasons, following Man is following a false god, a folly that will lead to corruption, disappointment and sorrow.  On the other hand, I know Jesus is perfect, because He is the Son of God, and God is perfect and omnipotent.  If I follow Jesus and try to live as He did, I will love and honor Him.  I will find truth by the words in the Bible and it will provide true meaning for my life. I will place treasures in heaven for the day of my judgment, when I will be called to account for my sins. But because of my faith in Jesus and my repentance, I know my sins will be atoned.  Jesus will stand between God The Father and my sin. Jesus alone will sanctify my life through His death on the cross, and He has already paid the ultimate price for my salvation.      

Whether or not I choose Jesus, I will no doubt be held accountable for my actions by the One who created me.  If I choose Jesus, I may still have challenges in my life, but I know because I submit to His supreme authority out of simple faith, I will find peace and eternal life.  His kingdom is not of this earth, and I will go there if I submit to His authority. In the meantime, I can live in harmony with Him and promote living in harmony with others. My life will have meaning as I glorify God and be a blessing to others.  

http://www.openbible.info/topics/following_man  Bible verses on Following Man.

Why is God our Creator?

Since the beginning of time, Man has wrestled with the origin of his being. The “humanist” would have us believe that Man is in control of his destiny, yet no one can add a single day to life, or change a future event.  The “Darwinist” would have us believe that Man originated from organic slime and apes, yet with all of Man’s study of prehistoric life here on earth, not one example exists of a species crossing to another species. Each species is precious and unique, just as you are.  This irrefutable fact includes that species called “homo sapiens” or simply “modern man”.  The so called “missing link” is still missing and for good reason – it never will be found.

As we search for the truth about the relationship between our Creator and us, let us open our hearts to God’s truth that we came from the One who created the universe and all things in it. That Creator is God and in His divine wisdom, He gave us the ability to also create, so we could change the quality of our lives and express ourselves using words, art, dance, inventions and song.  

The irrefutable truth that God is the Creator of the universe is undeniable. The problem for humans is our limited knowledge and feeble attempt to understand something beyond our perspective. This limited perspective does not allow us to see the universe from God’s perspective. His perspective is all knowing, all seeing and ever eternal.  We simply cannot understand something which exists beyond our ability.  Instead, if we believe in the one true God, we can see the beauty and the incredible power of His creation.

http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God,-The-Creator  64 Bible verses which define God as the creator.

http://biblehub.com/isaiah/40-28.htm  Isaiah 40:28

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvVt4lDSPeY  Science proves God is the creator.

Why was Man created?

Man was created by God from His own image. This means that each of us is indeed special and unique in His eyes.  We need only look at the complexity of our bodies and the complexity of the world around us to know this is true.  Man did not create the matter around us. In our largest complexity of possible design, we cannot create even the simplest of things; a plant, an animal, or a rock.  God provided the ability to have dominion over the earth and we have learned to change what is already present, but we cannot make the building blocks of life. Only God can do this miraculous wonder.

http://biblehub.com/esv/genesis/1.htm  What the Bible says about the creation of Man.

http://www.truthinaction.org/sermon/GLORIOUS%20CREATION-THE_104941.pdf D. James Kennedy gives meaningful insight into creationism.

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Bible-Verses-About-Why-God-Created-Man/  Verses in the Bible about man’s creation.

Good vs. Evil

The dichotomy of this world is the epic struggle between Good and Evil.  We see evil every day and experience it at some time in our lives. We read about evil that has occurred throughout the ages.  Each day we see this classic struggle play out in today’s news.  Evil happens all around us – and it can happen within each of us with unclean thoughts, foul attitudes and acts of unkindness.  People killing people, babies killed in the womb for convenience of the mother, famine, mental abuse, physical abuse, war, and the list of evil goes on. Sadly, social development for such an advanced industrialized society has not moved much past our collective barbaric past.  The pictures streaming across our TV screens and across the Internet are numbing society and children to evil. By the time our young children reach maturity, they have seen more images of evil than men would see in a lifetime of fighting war.  The condition is appalling and a cause to seek a better truth and way of living.

Science is just beginning to understand the physical differences of evil people such as chemical distortions occurring in the brain and early childhood development issues. Child physiologists are learning evil demonstrated in early adulthood is a reaction to adjunct failures in the early development of the child. Foundations for a normal happy adult life are routinely missing in children who grow up in abusive and neglected homes. Then, there is the wave of teen shootings for no apparent reason.  Studies now suggest the wave of drugs like Adderall™ and Ritalin™ given to children for so called A.D.D. and anxiety conditions over the last decades have a direct link to socially destructive behavior, including being part of the makeup of some of these shootings.  One does not have to look far to see that the side effects of these drugs are irrefutable; as is the quasi-collusion of doctors, drug companies, parents and teachers to seek to control normal childhood behavior with mind altering drugs.

Is science promoting evil? You bet, mainly out of greed and ignorance !

Is this God’s plan? Absolutely not, for He teaches us to love one another as we love ourselves.

Is this Man’s plan?  You decide. It may not be the plan, but it certainly looks like one.

We each have a sense of “what is good” and “what is evil.”  God in His infinite wisdom provided us with an ability to recognize evil and gave us lessons to avoid it.  Unfortunately for some people, evil is the way they seek to deny God and disobey His teachings.  Our prisons are full of some of the vilest people on the planet who have demonstrated they cannot be released into society. Their reformation is almost always unsuccessful, except when God is at the center of that reformation. We live in a world of mental disorder created by Man. We can change it by living in God’s world and practicing what the Bible teaches.

In Ephesians 6:10-12, the apostle Paul writes: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

God is the perfection of good and Satan is evil, so says the only real everlasting truth, the Bible.  The Bible states clearly that “evil” comes from dark sources and must be avoided at all cost.  Therefore, it leaves a few questions to be answered.  If we are such an advanced civilization, why has man not been able to end evil once and for all? More importantly, what causes evil and why does God allow it to happen? Check out these biblical answers to these questions and the subject of Good vs. Evil.  Ultimately, the answers will begin and end with the lessons and instructions contained in the bible.

http://www.christianbiblereference.org/goodevil.htm  A sound narrative with scriptural references about good and evil.

http://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_on_the_psychology_of_evil.html Serious video on the subject of evil from a sociologist’s point of view. (Caution: Graphic Pictures Shown)

http://www.worldtransformation.com/good-vs-evil/  A biologist’s narrative on the subject worth reading.

http://www.prageruniversity.com/Life-Studies/Human-Nature.html#.Ui8OxfX9Wa4 Evil is a breakdown of values.

If I am a sinner, can I live a truly righteousness life?

The simple answer is Yes.  It does not mean that you will not be tempted, or that you will not sin along the way. It does mean that if you seek God and understand and apply His word as found in the Bible, you can live a righteous life in the abundance of His grace.  We can refuse temptations because we learn that if we put on the suit of armor of God, God will protect us from sin. Paul writes it this way:

Ephesians 6:14-17.  “Stand firm. . . with your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness, and with your feet shod with the equipment of the good news of peace. Above all things, take up the large shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the wicked one’s burning missiles. Also, accept the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, that is, God’s word.”

We learn that the more we are filled with the Holy Spirit, the greater our ability to withstand temptations. In spite of the strength of our convictions and because Man is a sinner, we must repent (reverse our ways) and ask for forgiveness from the One who created us, God. This simple yet profound act, moves us closer to God and through the blood of Jesus, we are washed clean in the eyes of God.

Living a righteous life is not impossible, but it does take work. Our walk becomes easier the longer we walk with God at our side and the closer we get to living our life as Jesus did. No matter what you have done, you can find salvation and can reverse the direction of your life from sin to righteousness.  Let’s find out more about this, since it will matter when we are judged by God upon our death.

http://www.abideinchrist.com/keys/imputed.html Wil Pounds writes a good essay on the subject of sin and righteousness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngA2nNbygI8  Creflo Dollar gives a good sermon on righteousness.

http://www.josephprinceonline.com/2012/08/jesus-righteousness-is-greater-than-adams-sin/ Joseph Prince amplifies the issue of sin and righteousness.

Viewing the universe and myself through God’s eyes

When we look at something as simple as a small box, we can see the six sides because we can rotate it, look at each side and measure them to get their size and proportions. We look at the box from the outside and we can even look inside with a mirror or small video camera.   On the larger scale, when we look at the universe, we begin to see how small we really are in relation to the ever expanding knowledge of just how big the universe really is.  At last estimate it is over 93 billion light years in size. That’s roughly 6 trillion miles for EACH light year. Multiply that times 93 billion and you get a sense of the size of God’s universe. It’s very large indeed and our home planet, Earth, is incredibly small.

How can anyone comprehend the magnitude of what they cannot see, let alone imagine? How can we comprehend the size of this scale? Recently, some scientific theorists believe in the concept of Multi-Universes – Multiple Universes that may exist in the order of physical space.   So is the size of our God, Creator of heaven and earth!

As large and complex as the universe is, we know from His word that as part of His creation, each and every one of us matters.  How great it is to know that the One who can create the many wonders we see in the night sky, can love us individually and guide us during our short time on this planet we call Earth.  His promise is that he knows each star by name, and yet He knows what each one of us has on our heart and in our mind.  What an awesome God!  We are comforted to know we are His gifts and He is our God.  We don’t need to understand his reasons for we cannot comprehend them. We only need to know His will. That is our purpose and He will reveal it to us if we listen and obey.  Come see how big our God is and why we matter to him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njXUmDuONVw Dr Lyle’s incredible video of God’s Universe (Part 1)

http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.5502887/k.FCF/Are_We_Significant_in_This_Vast_Universe.htm The awesome expanse of God.

http://twistedsifter.com/2012/10/putting-the-size-of-the-observable-universe-in-perspective/  Photos of the universe in an ascending order.

http://mppc.org/sites/default/files/transcripts/071028_jortberg.pdf  Sermon: “Big God / Little God”

Problems seen from a personal perspective

Problems are always seen from a personal perspective. We measure external events, even world events, on how likely they might affect us on a personal level. Personal problems are, of course, personal. This means they directly involve us on an individual level. We are either the Actor causing the problem, or the Reactor in the so called “story.”  As an Actor we are the cause of the problem. As the Reactor, we feel the effects of other Actors and provide reactions to those actions.  The severity of reaction ranges from a slight annoyance, to a full scale fight for survival.

Problems can also appear to exist when there is no problem at all.  Our conclusion of a problem existing is routinely based on a lack of information, a lack of understanding, or in some cases, a delusional dysfunction.  We feel as if we are part of the problem, if not the actual cause of the problem, at some emotional level. Since problems will always exist, even between siblings and mates; it’s how we deal with life’s problems which determines the likelihood of our success and social function.  Luckily, God provided a manual on how to resolve problems and how to avoid them entirely.  It’s called the Bible, and it contains the truth of God and the peace of God.  Let’s explore this first from a scientific point of view and then from a Godly perspective.

Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher then the earth, so are my ways higher then your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/problem-solving.htm A physiological discussion on problem solving.

http://www.tmewcf.org/files/Studies/4-GODS-WAY-SOLVING-PROBLEMS.pdf  Becoming God dependent.

http://www.faithinwriting.com/Evangelism/personalproblemsol.htm Good narrative of Personal Problem Solving.

Faith in God vs. Faith in Man

If you live on this planet, you have already decided to put your faith in God, or in man. To find out which one is the real truth, read on.

We all have “faith” in something – or someone.  Faith happens at a very early age, when our mental and physical needs were met by someone who cared for us until we could learn to provide for our self.  We also learned to communicate those needs to the world around us, sometimes loudly. Faith, like trust, bridges the gap between the known and the unknown. We have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow. We have faith in parents and in our leaders, even though they might not deserve it sometimes. Real faith is a powerful thing which cannot easily be shaken.  Faith should be something we can hold on to, when all else is lost.  Faith in man is often disappointing. Faith in God is never disappointing.

Calvin defines faith as: “A firm and certain knowledge of God’s benevolence towards us, founded upon the truth of the freely given promise in Christ, both revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (John Calvin, Institutes III, ii, 7, 551, quoted by Plantinga (2000, 244)).

That definition really amplifies the meaning of the word “faith” and how it can relate to us on a personal level.

Prayer: I believe in God, in His Son, Jesus Christ, and that the truth of the bible divinely inspired by God is everlasting.  I believe with my heart and mind for I know He is God.  I believe that His gift of eternal salvation is indeed free and that it applies to me. I believe that the Holy Spirit is an incredible power and it resides in those who believe.  Because I believe in Jesus Christ and through the strength of the Holy Spirit, I will share the Good News of Jesus Christ and bring that message to the lost, the broken and the un-churched, for I was one of them.

Below are some references worth considering.

http://www.biblestudytools.com/topical-verses/faith-bible-verses/  Scriptural references about faith.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/faith/  The study of faith.

I feel really lost and confused.  How can I find my life’s purpose?

You’re not alone.

Millions upon millions of people are seeking to find their purpose in their lives. Being both lost and confused in the interim is a normal state of mind. Today, there are more options present for people to express themselves. People can devote themselves to many causes, both good and bad. The sad part is, most of what people devote to with a full heart is wrong. Let’s look at some examples:

Devotion to our children is a welcome cause, but even as noble as this cause is, it is just not the most important purpose of our life. Devotion to our career or work is another example. It is the scourge of many a man and woman who seek to satisfy themselves with increased material gain, accumulated wealth, or power.  How about a commitment to knowledge? Would acquiring all the knowledge in the world satisfy the one true purpose of our life? Or, what about our loving spouse? Isn’t our spouse or lover worthy of our devotion and our attention?  That might be closer to the heart for sure, but still does not reach the plateau of a “life’s purpose.”

God set out our life purpose indirectly when He created us. Once we embrace our life’s purpose, we find satisfaction in all other things.  That purpose, plain and simple, is to glorify our Creator.  Once we embrace this simple thought, all of life falls into place and we discover richness of purpose beyond all wealth, beyond all knowledge and beyond all comparison. Our second purpose in life is to be a blessing to others.  In blessing our fellow Man, we honor our Creator and we glorify Him through us in each act we take which is motivated by Him. Sounds simple to set aside all worldly things and embrace God, our Creator, and it is with some practice.  We were not born with this eternal understanding. We learn it from our parents, or we learn it on our own – generally by failing to fill the emptiness inside with worldly directions. Check out these other sources that will help you find your one life purpose.

http://christianity.about.com/od/topicaldevotions/qt/yourlifepurpose.htm Karen Wolff opens up our mind about finding our one true life purpose.

http://www.gotquestions.org/purpose-of-life.html  Gotquestions.org has done a great job of organizing truth into various questions which address this issue.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/faith_in_life/discovering_your_god_given_purpose.aspx A great resource for finding your God given purpose.

Why should I have hope?

We are firmly convienced that “hope” is a belief that a future event will come true.

Salvation is a lot like that. God promises eternal life through Jesus, which is a form of hope which cannot be shaken by any wordly person or event.

Without hope, Man dies – maybe not all at once, but he dies none the same. Without hope, feelings of “Is this all there is?” or “Why should I go on?” might dominate your emotional state.  This is not God’s intent, so says the Bible – the only real truth which has stood the test of time.  God wants all of us to have hope; hope for a better life, hope for a fulfilling life and hope for life eternal.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-hope-20-uplifting-scripture-quotes/  Here’s a  great collection of Bible verses that talk about hope.

http://www.persevering.org/hope.html  A great website which addresses hope and some truths and conditions of mental and physical abuse.

http://www.preceptaustin.org/god%27s_word_of_hope.htm  Deep discussion on the meaning of hope.

Our Prayer for You:

Dear Lord, I was weak, but Your strength is all powerful. I was lost, but You found me and directed me towards righteousness.  I was hurt, but You healed me through grace and forgiveness.  I lacked faith, but You restored my faith and gave me peace. I sinned, but You forgave me and I repented from my sins. My soul was lost, but now I have eternal life through you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, for Your tender loving mercy and Your infinite grace. Thank you for healing this broken mind, body and spirit. Thank you for the many blessings You give me that I do not deserve.  Give me a strength, faith and courage to live a righteous life, and the ability to overcome any obstacle in peace, knowing You are my God.

In Jesus’s precious and perfect name, Amen

Personal Contrasts:

“Contrasts”, in the explanatory sense, are sometimes the best way to show the differences between two or more concepts or ideas.  Each of us, at some time in our lives will face major questions and struggles, which we must resolve to find any sense of peace.  Some are personal and others are worldlier; yet, each issue reaches into our heart and touches our soul in some manner as each draws on needs and our emotions.  Each seems to challenge our way of thinking, and each profoundly affects whether we move closer to, or farther away from our Creator and Provider, God. For most, the road zigzags between some form of faith, and no faith. It’s an intellectual and spiritual journey – as man seeks to know the answer to two important questions. 1) “What is my purpose in life?” and 2), “How is my life going to be measured?”  We ask you to open your heart and prepare your mind to seek the truth, for if you don’t find the real truth, it all does not matter.