His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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Where There are no Denominations

Holy Spirit inside

In Jesus’ church, there are no denominations. Jesus’ church is simpler than the complex collection of differing manmade Christian organizations. Jesus’ church is the family of Spirit-filled believers.

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)


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Love Evangelizes

Love power

We were having a brief blog-chat about evangelism. My fellow Christian blogger was afraid that her efforts to introduce her friends to truthful information about Jesus would come across as preachy, and be a turn-off. I’ve experienced similar fears. Instead of pulling people toward Jesus, a preachy approach will often push them away.

Yet God doesn’t want us to be preachy to others. Jesus tells us that people should know we are His disciples by our love for each other, not by our preaching. As He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Long ago, when I told my sister about my realization that I had finally become Christian, she said, “You’re not one of those Jesus freaks, are you?” Well, I didn’t answer her, but inside I answered myself with, YES!

Yet, I think it has surprised my sister that after all these years, I’ve never preached to her. But what I have done is love her more. And it has been in my ever-growing relationship with God where I have learned to truly love.

Where preachiness pushes, love pulls. Love evangelizes far better than preachiness.


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What I’m Thankful for

relationships

I’ve noticed while reading my Jesus Calling devotional lately, that over the past few days the topic has been thankfulness. No coincidence by Sarah Young, with the US Thanksgiving holiday during the end of November. So this morning, while chatting/praying with Jesus, I said thanks for the many things I’m grateful for.

My wife, my sons, my daughter in law, my youngest son’s terrific girlfriend of many years (someday they’ll get married), my sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews, mom and stepfather, all my family, and all my friends. I’m so grateful for all these relationships.

As I gave Jesus thanks for each of these people in my life, I was almost ashamed that the last relationship to come to mind is my relationship with Him. Without Jesus in my life, all my other relationships would be flawed and frail.

Jesus adds sugar to my relationships. He gives me energy, compassion, and sincere love for the people in my life. It just occurred to me… if you have relationships that are suffering; maybe first nurture your relationship with Jesus. He will then help you heal and strengthen your other relationships.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, no matter where on this earthly home you live.


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Did God cry last night?

God crying

Ferguson Missouri. There is pain on all sides. There is suffering on all sides. There is anger scattered throughout. It mixed and boiled over last night.

It makes me sad, to see all the anger. I think it makes God sad too, looking at His children behave this way. But it’s part of who we are; broken, self-centered, childish children of God. Yes, I think God cried last night. Pain may have filled God’s heart, seeing the pain of His children.

What’s the answer? What can our society do as a group to fix what caused the pain and anger in Ferguson? I don’t know. But I know what each of us can do as individuals. Seek a close, intimate relationship with our Father God. In that relationship, we will find peace. And this peace from God can overflow us, and spill onto those around us.

The solution to the Ferguson syndrome comes from God, not man.


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A Faith Stronger than Mine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(warning: what follows is the attempt of a non-poet to be poetic… proceed with caution)

Pushed up through the virgin crust by tectonic forces. Millennia go by. Seeds appear from nothing. Or was it the tree that came first? Chicken or egg? Oh well. Life spread. Trees covering the lower slopes. Snow came and went. The river carved it’s way along the valley floor. Then fish. Then animals crawled out of the river and lakes and made home with the dry ground. And then early man arrived… from nothing?

And finally modern man is here. My vacation. Hiking. Marveling at the mountains. Rafting down the aged river. Enjoying visits by the moose and elk. And all this happened by chance? All this happened without any special guidance or planning or boost from above? All this happened without a God? I just can’t believe that. I don’t have faith that strong.


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For Wounded Christians – a Place for Healing

Wound Group cover photo

In the years I’ve spent on this blog site, surfing other peoples blog sites, and in my life outside the cyber-world, I’ve met many wounded Christians. The wounds come from churches. The wounds may come from other Christians. Or the wounds may come from inside themselves, from false ideas they believe to be true. There is no blame or guilt in all this – it’s just a result of people being normal, broken, sinful & prideful human beings.

I recently stepped out of my boat and ventured into Facebook land. It’s an interesting place. I discovered Facebook groups. I have since been inspired to start a group for wounded Christians. I just hope the inspiration came from God and not me.

This group is for sharing personal stories of suffering and confusion. Sharing stories may help others; by showing them they are not alone. Most importantly, this group is for sharing stories of healing. And this group is about sharing the truth of Jesus Christ. For it is His truth that will answer questions. It is His truth that will heal wounds. It is His truth that will set you free from pain, suffering, confusion, guilt, and many other manmade maladies.

A friend of mine described this Facebook group as “A wonderful group for those of you who love God but have been wounded by His people.”

The name of the group is “For Wounded Christians – a Place for Healing.”


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The Spirit Gives Life

holy spiirt espresso

I sometimes feel lifeless… no energy, worn out from the chaos of this world, just wanting to hide under the covers. I get tired of life. At times like these, I often pick up my bible, along with a cup of strong coffee, and go in search of inspiration, and energy. But I don’t completely find what I’m looking for in the coffee-stained pages of my bible (I sometimes spill).

As Paul said, “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)

What’s important is NOT bible literacy, but a relationship with the Holy Spirit. It’s in that relationship where I find the inspiration I’m looking for.

For me, the bible is critically important because it led me to the truth of the Holy Spirit. But that’s where the bible stops. From there, the Holy Spirit has taken over and has breathed new energy into my life, new purpose into my life. And I’m so grateful.