Posted in Faith, Free Will, God, God's Promises, Happiness, Jesus Christ, Life, Love, Mind Power, Religious Freedom, society

Jesus — The Light of the World

Jesus made what was then a very controversial statement in ear shot of the Pharisees when he said, “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

This was viewed as arrogant by the establishment for how can this Nazarene be the light of the world? They understood Jesus as saying he was perfect and that all should follow after him. The disgust of Jesus’ “I AM” declaration was not about spirituality for those who opposed it. It was about how much would this effect the livelihood of the establishment.

You see, if people took heed to what he said and believed he was in fact “the light of the world” well then that would lead to discipleship. Jesus would then be able to accumulate more followers and more followers would mean more power and more power would mean more control.

Jesus’ statement should have been glad tidings to the people who understood that he was not only stating a fact in John 8:12, but he was giving them an invitation. That invitation, if they chose to accept it, would change their lives forever.

The only people who kick against change are those who feel they stand to lose something if the current condition are altered. This is played out on many levels from religious sects to politics to the workplace — everyone is leveraging to control.

What I hear Jesus saying is this: What you seek is within me and if you stay in me you’ll never be wanting. Outside of me are the things stacked against you. Inside of me is love, understanding, prosperity and hope. The choice is yours.

Surrender to him. It’s cool inside!

Posted in Discipleship, Faith, God, Jesus Christ, Love, Taking Responsibility, Truth

A Love Letter to Meadowlawn Church of Christ

On June 6, 2004 I officially became the ministering evangelist at Meadowlawn Church of Christ in Sandusky, Ohio.

I never wanted to preach or even be seen as a preacher. Many accept this calling and the criticism that goes with it. Living a life under a microscope for people to judge you and hold you to a different standard than the rest.

For me, Meadowlawn always seemed to fit. I remember in 2004 having the opportunity to leave Ohio and take the ministerial work in Rockledge, FL at the Fisk boulevard Church of Christ. The church was 10 times the size of Meadowlawn and had more than 400 members. Again for me, Meadowlawn always seemed to fit.

At Meadowlawn, God took me through a transformation by the things which I endured. There were many struggles. We struggled with tradition, evangelism, money, discipleship and support. As a result, we grew into a family. We fellowshipped together, we cried together and we fought together. Every problem we faced seemed to bring us closer.

I grew up spiritually at Meadowlawn and was able to make full proof of my ministry. I would not change the experience for anything.

Now it is time for me to move on and I have mixed emotions about that.

I love what we have been building and I love the fact that our congregation is not your typical congregation. Most have been able to take off traditional glasses and view the Bible, God’s people and the service we give in a purer fashion. We began to truly allow Jesus to be the author and finisher of our faith.

We grew in a way that increased our knowledge of God’s Word and allowed some of us to build a closer relationship with Christ. I cannot thank the church enough for the opportunity to serve and the patience to forbear me in areas where I needed to grow.

I want to encourage you all to continue in the fight of faith. Love one another. Laugh together often and never return to the traditional shackles that have enslaved you for so long. Support the leadership and encourage them to do what’s right. Invest in the children and take care of the seniors. Don’t allow Satan back into the church. Challenge everything you are taught to make sure it is of God and never quit reaching out to the community.

I hope that you all know how much I love and care for you and may God be with you all the way.

Now unto Him who is able to keep us from falling; and deliver us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy; to the only wise God our Father be glory, majesty, dominion and power both now and forever, amen!

Posted in Faith, God, God's Promises, Jesus Christ, Resurrection, Truth

Is there a resurrection for the dead?

This week in my life was filled with death.

Now it might sound strange for me to say that since I work in hospice, but my week was filled with death because two people that I personally knew died. And neither was over 60.

I watched at one particular funeral as the people crowded around and some seemed to be really worried about the death. They seemed to be hopeless wondering how will they go on. You couldn’t help but feel sorry for them.

As I sat there watching everything I wondered if many of these people – who considered themselves Christians – believed that there truly is a resurrection for the people of God today.

For Christians who profess their faith it seems that you should never see us hopeless. You should never see us discouraged. We should never allow ourselves to be in the position to allow our actions to deny that Christ has risen.

Maybe it’s that everyone has a hard time applying the idea at a funeral that Christ lives and that our loved ones will live, too –  if they believe in Him.

Who am I fooling?

For America to profess a faith in Christianity, we sure don’t handle death well.

We need a healthy dose of God’s word. Then we need to understand what it means and finally learn how to apply it.

Let’s try it.

In the 14th chapter of the book of Job, Job was lamenting to his three friends about his life. As many of you know, Job, in a very short period of time, was hit with tragedy. He was a rich man and lost all that he had – including his family and his health.

His friends thought he had done something to anger God and he was being punished. Job insisted that he hadn’t done anything wrong.

By the time you get to the 14th chapter, Job, in a very helpless state, wonders about what happens when a man dies. He said that there is hope for a tree (verse 7) because with his own eyes, he has seen a tree that had been cut down still grow.

In Verse 14 Job says this: “If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes.”

Now Job uttered these words with the hope that God would evoke a change in him after death.

This, for him, was just a hope – because Job never got to hear John 3:16. In fact, Job never knew God as his father in heaven.

That’s because the family relationship with us and God was a direct result of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. When he broke the bonds of sin and set the captive free, He established a new covenant with us which now saves us. This new covenant is sealed with the blood of Jesus and was in the mind of God before the foundation of the world.

For Job to have never heard this and to still have a glimmer of hope is marvelous! This is why he was known for his patience.

But to the people living on the resurrection side of Jesus, we need to tell the world about the Savior we serve and the very important fact that He has risen. The fact that he has risen brought teeth to this promise by Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”

Application: Jesus set us free from sin and this freedom is available to everyone who believes. With that said, if you are a child of God and happen to die (which is something we all will do until Jesus returns) at any age, you WILL live again. If this is not true and Christ is not risen, then our religion, my preaching and our faith tradition mean nothing.

Death does not checkmate God’s promises to us!