Month: December 2021

happy new year 2022

Happy Next Year!


As much as it pains me, we must say goodbye to 2021, let me wish you a happy next year. During this year, we discovered that 2020 was not a fluke; it’s the new normal. We learned that when transitioning to no-mask, “you might feel self-conscious about ’revealing ourselves again to other people at a close distance and without masks’” (ease back to ‘normal’ life)

Tortured Christians in 2021

We learned that in 2021, Christians were tortured and martyred for Jesus in astonishing numbers:

  • Over 340 million Christians living in places where they experience high levels of persecution and discrimination
  • 4,761 Christians were killed for their faith
  • 4,488 churches and other Christian buildings attacked
  • 4,277 believers were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, or imprisoned
    OpenDoors

Advance of Christian Rights in Iran

We discovered that house churches are legal in Iran – Iran’s House Churches Are Not Illegal, Says Supreme Court Justice. And we learned that there are 2.54 billion Christians in the world (Christian Percentage o`f Global Population to Increase) while Christianity is not a religion but a community of believers where each person has a personal relationship with Jesus.

Most Google Searches for Christianity by State

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Tennesse
  3. Kentucky
  4. Mississippi
  5. Alabama

Interest in Christianity in USA Declined in 2021

Whose Law is Law

We found that various states in the United States can nullify federal laws with apparent impunity – states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana and declared federal gun laws to be illegal.

Let’s pause for my head to stop spinning…okay.

It’s About Redemption

We discovered that the planet Mars keeps getting closer to colonization Forget Sci-Fi—This NREL Biotechnology Could Actually Help Colonize Mars. And we found that science keeps getting it wrong. It’s not if there is life on other planets; it’s whether the sons and daughters of Adam, here on Earth, will receive God’s gift of salvation and live with Jesus after they die.

Happy Next Year

These are but a trifle of what was discovered this year. My prayer is that the big news of 2022 is revival swept our nation, and whole households were saved daily.


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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.

Psalms 16:5

The idiom, “I will cast my lot with…” means, “To join and steadfastly support another person or group.” This phrase was often used when I was growing up. Farmers would sit around their local feed mill/store, drink coffee, and deftly pick each other’s brains to learn which seed company other farmers had cast their lot with.

A farmer’s selection of seed was often a make-or-break decision. Most farmers couldn’t afford to plant a field but reap no harvest. They indeed were casting their lot with their seed supply company.

I remember many times when I had to decide on several hundred thousand dollar capital expenditures after much research by many employees. I’d tell my staff that we were casting our lot with Vendor x. These were career-ending decisions. If I got it wrong, I might have lost my job.

Today, as I read Psalms 16:5, I was blessed and encouraged. Casting our lot is Biblical, and I’ve cast my lot (to join steadfastly) with Jesus. I am confident that Jesus cannot only save me from God’s wrath, but He will resurrect me to live with Him forever.

Of all the religions and spiritual beliefs in this world, I cast my lot with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and Abraham’s promised Seed, Jesus Christ our Lord. I pray that you, too, have cast your lot with Jesus.


Photo by Ana Municio on Unsplash

arm breaking a chain

Victory in Jesus

Perhaps it’s only me, but never before have I felt so utterly surrounded by evil, bad behavior, and lies. Leaders in our nation and the world would rather speak ten thousand lies than utter a single truth. No longer is there any restraint for them. Morality holds no sway. Ablations (surgical removals) are applied to their consciences. They withhold no evil for themselves and disregard every good thing.

On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the children of man.

Psalms 12:8

A Delicacy

Evil has become a delicacy, a thing to be desired and savored while they can bear no righteousness in their sight. But as King Soloman wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.Ecclesiastes 1:9 We should not marvel at these things for this is the natural order of humanity. King David’s Psalm remains faithful and true:

Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief [bad behavior] and gives birth to lies.

Psalms 7:14

It Doesn’t Look Good for the Wicked

What are we to do? Pray and trust the one true God. That’s what King David did, and he tells of the future of the wicked.

15 He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. 16 His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends. 17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

Psalms 7:15-17

Good News

Oh, victory in Jesus, my Savior forever
He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood
He loved me 'ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
- written by E M Bartlett

Will we see these judgments? Maybe yes, maybe no, but we can rest in the Truth of God; Jesus is the Truth. These judgments will come upon the wicked. But we cannot find comfort or joy in them. We must find our victory in the God that cares for us.


Image by Comfreak from Pixabay 

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Be Real

To be used by our Lord we must be new, be alive, be real. To have true joy, we must be obedient to Jesus, and we must not be afraid to tell other people about our faith in Jesus. Here is a fascinating Scripture that demonstrates this point:

 Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

2 Kings 5:2-3

So Naaman goes to Elisha, the prophet of God in Samaria, to buy a miracle. Elisha would not sell God’s gift to Naaman, yet healing was offered and received for free by God’s grace. Then Naaman says:

Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel…” 

2 Kings 5:15

In Mere Moments

God took the words of a young slave girl, spoken in faith, and He carried them to two kings and a general. All this because she hadn’t forgotten her LORD, and she spoke up. Here’s my point: These opportunities in our lives to share our faith occur in mere moments; the blink of an eye. Our faith must naturally and continually flow out of us. If we have to think about it, we will miss the opportunity.

If our faith is a natural component of our conversations, Jesus will take our simple words, spoken in faith, and affect kings, generals, and people in high places. We are simply called to tell the good news. It is God’s job to change people.
You can read the full account of Naaman in 2 Kings, chapter 5

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


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Creche

Let Us Celebrate Christmas

The word for Christmas in Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ. This phrase was first found in a manuscript written in 1038 AD. A word closer to our word, Christmas, is Cristes-messe, found in an 1131 AD manuscript. In Dutch, the word Christmas is Kerstmis, in Latin, it is Dies Natalis, and from Latin comes the French Noël. In Italian Christmas is Il natale, and in German Christmas is Weihnachtsfest which means sacred vigil. 

Controversies

The celebration of the birth of Jesus has a long and messy past. The first evidence of the feast came from Egypt in 200 AD. Egypt played a very important role during the early Church. Still, there has never been any agreement on the year or day of the birth of Jesus. Christmas has also long been a controversial celebration. In England, Christmas was banned by an Act of Parliament in 1644. People were forced to fast, and shops were ordered to be open. [1]

Nevertheless, Christians, regardless of edicts, and theological proclamations, have felt in our souls that we should join together around the birth of Jesus, independent of denominational differences. All of us should thank God for begetting His One and Only Son. So, let us do so. Let us set aside all malice or contempt, and corporately humble ourselves, worshiping God and celebrating Jesus for being the pilgrim that made the only way of salvation for we are all sinners saved by grace.

Rejoice!

Today is the day we jointly celebrate the birth of God’s Beloved Son, born in a manger. Let us rejoice in God’s prophecy of Jesus in Isaiah 9:6 (ESV): “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Merry Christmas!

Photo by Chris Sowder on Unsplash

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[1] http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm

Creche Christmas

Between My Ears


Merry Christmas!!!

10 My shield is with God,
who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
and a God who feels indignation every day.

Psalm 7:10-11

How puny (inferior size, strength, or significance) I am when I choose to stand alone against the temptations, trials, and tribulations of this world. But when I put “My shield” with God then He changes time and circumstances for my good!

Verse eleven reminds me that God has not become callous to evil. It’s not just me that feels righteous indignation against the plans and actions of ungodly people; God, Himself, feels indignation every day.


Photo by Ana Municio on Unsplash

Gramma and grandson making a cake

God’s Still Crazy About You

A little boy is telling his grandma how “everything” is going wrong.  School, family problems, bullies, and so forth. Meanwhile, Grandma is baking a cake. She asks her grandson if he would like a snack, which of course he does. “Here, have some cooking oil.” “Yuck!” says the boy. “How about a couple of raw eggs? “ “Gross, Grandma!” “Would you like some flour then or maybe baking soda?” “Grandma, those are all yucky!”

Grandma smiles and replies: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! God works the same way.  Many times, we wonder why he would let us go through such challenging times.  But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good!  We must trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!”

Just think:

  • God is Crazy About You.
  • If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
  • If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
  • He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.
  • Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen.
  • He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.
  • What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem, not to mention that Friday at Calvary?

Face it, God’s crazy about you!


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a pic full of rocks with a question mark painted on one of them

Between My Ears


In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered

Luke 2:1, 4-5

God’s Word is amazing. Today is the first time I saw the arrogance of Caesar’s decree in this verse. In Caesar’s eyes, he ruled the world. With the stroke of a pen, Caesar Augustus thought his will would be done throughout the whole world. In this decree, God chose to have a command from the “ruler of the world” bring Jesus, the Savior and Hope of the world, to Bethlehem, His prophesied birthplace. (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:4–6)

How cautious we need to be in all we say and do. As the Apostle Paul wrote, “I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think.” (Romans 12:3)


Photo by Ana Municio on Unsplash

cartoon of a man and a woman both saying that each is right

Yes, I am Intolerant

Yes, I am intolerant, and I pray that you are too. This seems to fly in the face of love! Aren’t Christians supposed to love everyone? Yes, we are. But love and intolerance are not mutually exclusive. The question is, “What are you intolerant of?” If you are intolerant of hate then you can love and be intolerant. Right?

We are an Intolerant People

Today, I am referring to the intolerance that we have towards compromising the truth of Jesus. As Christians, we are single-minded towards the life, teaching, and ministry of Jesus. We must be intolerant when it comes to what Jesus taught. We wholeheartedly believe Jesus when He said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) The same is true for what is written in the next chapter in the book of John. Jesus said:

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

John 15:18–19

A Chosen People

Jesus chose us! It’s a great feeling to be chosen. To be picked to be on a baseball team, chosen by a company to become one of their employees, to be proposed to for marriage, but none of these come close to being chosen by Jesus:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9

So, after having been redeemed by Jesus, how could we compromise His truth and His promise. God made one way for humanity to be saved and that is by Jesus, God’s Beloved Son. So we must be intolerant.

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.

Acts 4:12 NLT

An Unshakeable People

Our unshakeable, steadfast, uncompromising faith that only Jesus saves makes us an intolerant people and serves as a cause for people to hate Christians. But let us remember: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)


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Jesus Action Figure

The Brand or the Man

I’ve written on this topic before but felt that I should touch on it once again. Back in 2020, I wrote Building Our Brands. Today, I want to bring out another facet of this subject.

Son of Man

Jesus and His work resonated with the Israelites, but here’s an important bifurcation, the division of something into two branches. The people wanted Jesus to be a king that would immediately defeat Rome. But Jesus referred to Himself during His earthly ministry as the Son of Man. In fact, Jesus is referred to as the Son of Man eighty-eight times in the New Testament. This title carries great meaning. There’s an awesome post titled, What does it mean that Jesus is the Son of Man? If you want to learn about this topic, I recommend this post.

In Matthew 12:14 we learn, “But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.” and in John 6:57As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me” and in John 6:66–67, “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’

Not a Brand, but the Son of Man

In these verses, we see that Jesus wasn’t influenced by the people that surrounded Him. He didn’t live to be a brand, He lived to be the Man, the Son of Man. He lived to annihilate what satan had done to God’s creation. In this act, Jesus provided a way of escape for the children of Adam.

Fast forward to the 21st century. We see Jesus as the Brand on almost everything marketed to Christians for Christmas. I’m not judging Christmas or the traditions of Christmas. However, we can’t choose to pray to “baby Jesus” (Talladega Nights).

Jesus is not a product. His actions are motivated by love for us. Perhaps we should start using, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” as our Christmas tagline. That would draw the lost towards the Son of Man (Romans 6:23) and away from Jesus, the action figure – 9 Christian action figures you won’t believe exist. By the way, how could a kid play with Jesus the action figure? I can’t wrap my head around that!


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