Category Archives: General

Funny Friday: OMG…I’m Batman!

OMG...I'm Batman!

Funny Friday: OMG…I’m Batman!

I love cute animal memes!  …Especially little puppies who think they are Batman. 🙂

“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (ESV)

Put On Christ: Jesus is Like a Stylish Outfit

Put On Christ....Learn How Jesus is Like a Stylish Outfit

Put On Christ: Jesus is Like a Stylish Outfit

“And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” Galatians 3:27 (NLT)

I read Galatians 3:27 this week in one of my morning bible readings. You know me and analogies! So of course my mind went reeling with the different ways we “put on Christ like putting on new clothes”.

What we wear and how we look in it tends to be a pressing topic this time of year. With summer approaching people are concerned about summer clothing…swimsuits, shorts, tank tops, dresses, etc. However, what we put on spiritually will have a significantly larger impact. In fact the bible uses clothing and “putting on” things as an analogy throughout different parts of the Bible. Today though, we’ll focus on how when we put on Christ, it’s like we’re putting on new clothes.

Jesus is like a fashionable and stylish outfit. I thought of how when we put on Christ, it’s like finding and wearing a new, classy outfit in a lot of ways…

When we put on Christ and look like Jesus, it flatters us.

Do you have that outfit that just makes you look good? You can probably picture one of your favorite outfits in your head right now, right? Jesus can make us look our best like that outfit. His character displayed in us paints us in a flattering light. We look our best when we act like Jesus.

“Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Corinthians 15:49 (NASB)

“Then you will look and be radiant…” Isaiah 60:5a (NIV)

Like a great pair of clothes, Jesus emphasizes, highlights, and accentuates our best parts. 

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Lessons from Barabbas at Easter

Learn the symbolism of Barabbas in the Easter story

Lessons from Barabbas at Easter

I’m super excited about this week’s post! Although, it’s a bit delayed due to taking some extra liberty and time with some extended research. In fact, I went all “college professor” on this one, even researching some books and scholarly articles to examine some history and expert opinions. With this being Easter Week or Holy Week, I’d like to share a bit of what I learned about Barabbas.

Not long ago Pastor Brent Troxell, one of the pastors at my church, gave a mini-message of sorts before we took communion together at church. In less than 5 minutes, he spoke something so profound that impacted me as much as an hour long sermon. He shared part of the crucifixion story, specifically about Barabbas, in a way I’ve never heard before. It made such an impact on me that I made a note to go and study it further on my own, which is what I’ve done over the past week.

Pontius Pilate was convinced of Jesus’ innocence

After Jesus was arrested, questioned, and falsely accused by the Jewish authorities, he was handed over the next day to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea (Matthew 27:1-2, Mark 15:1, Luke 23:1-2, John 18:28-29). Pilate questioned Jesus and was convinced that Jesus was innocent (Matthew 27:23-24, Mark 15:14, Luke 23:4, 13-16, John 18:38).

Paschal Pardon

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Baptism: The Reason For and Meanings Of Being Baptized

Baptism: The Reason For and Meanings Of Being Baptized…

Baptism: The Reason For and Meanings Of Being Baptized…

I’ve received several questions about being baptized on my post “How to Lead Someone to Christ”. Unfortunately, I think some readers may have inadvertently skipped the part that stated “Being saved or receiving salvation is only the first step. Click here to read more about the next steps that a person needs to take after being led to Christ” where the readers are then directed to the “1st Steps to Ultimate Success” page that instructs on the need for baptism, finding a church home, establishing/growing a relationship with God by daily quiet times/bible reading, finding a good Christian support system, etc. So, to remedy this problem I decided to write a more specific post about being baptized and then put a direct link on those pages as well.

We need to be baptized to follow Jesus’ example

Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:19 (NLT), “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”  Even Jesus was baptized. We need to follow His example.  This serves as a public example and expression of our decision to follow Christ.

“Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.” Matthew 3:13-15 (NLT)

““I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!” One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River.” Mark 1:8-9 (NLT)

“One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized…” Luke 3:21 (NLT)

Being baptized is an integral part of our faith

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It’s OK to Have Doubts and Questions About the Christian Faith

It’s OK to Have Doubts and Questions About the Christian Faith

It’s OK to Have Doubts and Questions About the Christian Faith

This past weekend I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a couple of teenagers about issues of faith. To be completely honest, I had some pretty mixed emotions about our conversation. You see these teens had some pretty tough questions, and at points during the conversation they seemed to be questioning some of the most basic and important principles of the Christian faith.

Surprise

One emotion I experienced was that of surprise. These two teens had grown up in church and had been raised in a Christian home. Were they bringing into question everything that they have been taught all of their lives? Were they questioning the validity of the bible? How did they get to this point?

Then I almost talked myself out of the feelings of surprise as I reminded myself of the environment and culture that these teens and other teens are growing up in. The voices of the world are becoming louder and louder. They are surrounded on all sides and bombarded with attacks against Christian faith through culture in general, media, school systems, and even peer groups. How could they NOT have questions?

In the Bible, even the people in Berea were commended for questioning the teachings of Paul and Silas to make sure they were true. Their questioning did not surprise nor offend Paul.

“And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.” Acts 17:11-12 (NLT)

Fear and concern

Another emotion that arose was one of fear and concern. Questions began to flood my mind. If they are Christians and they have these questions, what must kids that weren’t raised in a Christian environment believe? If they were raised in church and in a Christian home, do all kids raised in a Christian environment have similar doubts and questions? Will my own kids have doubts and questions about their faith too? Am I equipped as a parent to raise kids who won’t have doubts? Is our future doomed if this is the common belief system of the current generation?

Then, as He always does, God started to ease my fears and concerns. Continue reading

Top 10 Posts of 2016

Top 10 Happy, Healthy & Prosperous Posts of 2016

Top 10 Posts of 2016

“Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered” Psalms 105:5 (ESV)

This week I’m sharing the Top 10 Posts of 2016.  I always like to take the first of the year to recount some of the top or most popular posts of the previous year.  I like to share them for a few reasons…

First, there are several new subscribers/followers who may not have seen or read these posts and might find some of them to be helpful.

Secondly, looking back also helps me to remember what God has done and is still doing through this website. I continue to hope and pray that I am making an impact with what I write and share.

Lastly, it helps me (and hopefully you too) have ideas of how to pray based on what the current need or demand is, and when I know that I know how to continue to pray for others.  What people are frequently searching or clicking on can be an indicator of some of their needs. Whether it’s a need for spiritual growth, leading others to Christ or overcoming personal struggles, I can pray more specifically based on these posts and their popularity.

Take Some Practical Steps:

  • As you look through this list of most popular posts, please stop and take a minute to pray for one or more of the topics that stand out to you.
  • Please click on and read or re-read one or more of the posts from which you feel you may be able to receive some benefit or of which you might need some reminding.
  • Pay it forward…if one or more of the following posts has benefited you, please consider sharing the post on Facebook and/or your other social media channels (sharing links are available at the end of each post). You can also forward posts to specific people you know who might benefit (you might prayerfully consider who to share them with).
  • Lastly, please pray for me this year to #1-continue to help others, #2-for me to have to right words at the right time, and #3-for the right people to be directed to my site for God to help them.

Top 10 Posts of 2016

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Whether Happy or Hurting Remember Immanuel

Whether Happy or Hurting Remember Immanuel

Whether Happy or Hurting Remember Immanuel

This week I would just like to share with you a short and sweet post and reminder that Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.

I learned of some very sad news a couple of weeks before Christmas. Denise McGee had passed away (see a Celebration of Life for Denise here). Denise was the wife of Joe McGee, one of my favorite Christian teachers/speakers who I’ve referred to here on the blog on a number of occasions. My heart just broke for Joe and their 6 children and grandchildren—especially at Christmastime.

I was thinking, “How hard it must be to lose a loved one at this time of year. Will every Christmas be a negative trigger for them now?” However, one morning as I was doing my daily quiet time and devotions, I was reminded of something. Part of Christmas, the celebration of Jesus’ birth, should not only be to celebrate the human birth of Christ but to recognize and remember his deity as well.

We need to remember that one of his names is “Immanuel” which means “God with us”. God came to be with us. We are not isolated and alone. In a lonely, hurting and isolated world God said, “I want to come be with you. I want to help you. You’re not alone.”

God is Immanuel to the McGee family in their time of hurting. God is with them. So maybe Christmastime can be less painful with that in mind. God knows they are hurting and what a good time of year to remember that God is Immanuel; God is with us. Maybe He will say to them and remind them this year and every Christmas hereafter, “I am with you. I am here.”

At Christmas and all year, Jesus is Immanuel

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).” Matthew 1:23 (NIV) 

Take Some Practical Steps To Remember Immanuel:

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