A True Christian??

Just reflecting.. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
When I began following Jesus FOR REAL, some 18 years ago, there were a lot of changes I had to make. I had to review much of what I was taught as a child and put it behind me. It was not bad, it was just childish beliefs that were no longer necessary in a maturing relationship. There were also many ideas and ideals that I thought were cut in stone for believers, that I discovered were not, and I had to turn loose of these things as well. Some of the beliefs I held, I believed were foundation stones holding up the Christian faith. I also had to lay these aside as Jesus became more and more real to me!
None of these things were wrong, in and of themselves, they were just stepping stones to allow me to get to where my Lord was leading me today. They were never intended to be burdens I had to carry with me on my journey. Today my burdens are easy and my way is light, not because I am smart or spiritual, but because I was willing to let go of some of the things I thought were so necessary to being a Christian. I have found the One Who is important for being a Christian, actually He found me buried under all the burdens of belief and performance commonly associated with being a true believer.
No one can convince me any longer of what is important or required for being a true follower of Christ. I know Him now and He is the only reason for being a Christian!
Have a Happy New Year!
Love in Him!

When you have nothing Good to say.. say nothing?

Matthew 5:36-37

New International Version (NIV)

36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

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I am so thankful today that our Father has put me in a position where if I have nothing good to say, I do not have to say anything. I think, much too often today, what we hear preached from the pulpits and what we see in the church are the results of fulfilling expectations, our expectations of one another, and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with God’s purposes or plans for His Body and Bride in His world…

Congregations have expectations for their pastors and pastors have expectations for the congregations they serve. Sometimes as I served a congregation as their pastor I felt that the Lord was leading us in a very different direction than the direction we were heading. We had had all the committee meetings, business meetings and congregational votes and consensus’s and were agreed we were heading in the right direction, on the right path. Then as I prepared messages to lift up and lead the congregation in our chosen direction to our chosen goal, I sensed we had made the wrong decision and were heading in the wrong direction. Most of the time I just put off these feelings of uncertainty as an enemy attack because we were doing the Lord’s will in enemy territory as I believe many of us do today. I continued to prepare messages to lead us in our chosen directions and to uplift us along the way, after all, are we not suppose to encourage and exhort each other?

I quickly learned not to discuss any doubts or uncertainties I had with those I was supposed to be leading; because, we had prayed, and sought the Lord’s will and directions in whatever our endeavor was at the time. As their leader, I felt I was expected to ignore any signs or warnings that we may be moving contrary to, or not in time with or in line with the Lord’s leadings. We were all united in the task we had chosen to take to  make a difference in this world…

I was afraid of not meeting the expectations of the congregation…

I have found out since I am no longer leading those congregations, or any congregation now, that some folks in those congregations also were not so sure of our directions or our plans at the time. They have confided in me since, that they too were suspicious of making bad decisions or taking wrong turns, but didn’t want to seem disagreeable or not enthusiastic about the endeavors we were undertaking.

They were afraid of not meeting my expectations or the expectations of the majority rule…  

I will not go into all the details or even make judgments concerning whether or not the choices and endeavors were correct or not. ‘God makes all things work together for good, for those who love Him, those called according to His purpose.’ …So, even bad decisions and wrong directions will eventually work out for good… not because they are or were good in and of themselves, but because of God’s goodness towards us, even when we are in the wrong!

I am just thankful that for the time being, I am not in a position where I have others looking to me to meet their expectations and I don’t have any expectations of anyone which I am expecting them to meet. Life is much, much simpler this way!

Love in Him!

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Romans 8:26-29

New International Version (NIV)

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

        

      


Going to Church vs. Being the Church

Matthew 28:18-20

New International Version (NIV)

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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 In my opinion, America for the most part has been taught to go to church instead of being the Church.

We see from the text above that Jesus instructed His disciples to Go into all the nations and ‘make disciples.’ We have gone into all the nations and built church buildings and planted congregations.

We see above, that we were told to go and baptize (immerse, instructing) them in (into) the name of (character, essence) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We have baptized them in water, neglecting to instruct them in the essence, power, and character of the Triune God.

We see, we were asked to teach them to obey (do) everything He, Jesus taught His disciples to do in their/our ministry to the world. (heal the sick, cast out demons, declare the good news of the kingdom to the poor) …We have taught them to concentrate on one aspect of Jesus’s mission. Our personal salvation and relationship with God.

We see that Jesus told His disciples; He would be with them in all His Authority (power, provision) as they went on their missions out into the world. We have taught them their mission is serving in the church; to support the work of God throughout the world; to work on church projects and church programs and church councils, etc. That when things get so bad and too hot to handle to lookup and search the clouds for Jesus because He will be coming back to snatch us all away from the cruel world which is to suffer the wrath of the Almighty…  

I often wonder how much different the world would be today if we were truly doing what He did and told us to do in this world. How much different would the Church, His bride look to the lost if she were really healing the sick, casting out demons and caring for the poor and outcast of society? I suppose we will never know for sure how things would have turned out had we really followed the Great Commissioner and not just taught others the Great Commission?

I hope it is not too late for Americans to stop going to church and start being The Church and Bride of Christ in this fallen world… What do you think?

Love in Him! 

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 John 14:11-13

New International Version (NIV)

11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

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Just Sayings on Just Thinking!

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All believers believe that they know and have a personal relationship with Jesus until they meet Him Face to Face in His Glory…

(John’s vision of Jesus)

 Revelation 1:17-18

New International Version (NIV)

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

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For some reason today’s Church and bride of Christ believe we have been entrusted with the truth of God’s word, when in reality, The Truth and Word of God, Jesus Christ has been entrusted with His Bride and church..

John 14:1-3

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

New International Version (NIV)

14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

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It is possible to know more truth than the Bible reveals, by knowing The Truth who revealed the Bible… Praise Him!

John 21:25 (NIV)

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

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Love in Him!


Halloween… A Wedding Day?

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Genesis 2:20-25

New International Version (NIV)

20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones     and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’     for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

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Today my daughter will marry… It is Oct.31, a day she has always loved. She loves to dress up in costumes, she loves to make-believe, she loves to be a clown and make others smile. She has chosen this day to be her special day, the day she becomes a wife, a clown, a mother and a special character in other people’s lives… Today, I will not only give her away to another man, I will also perform the ceremony and legalities to make their marriage acceptable in the eyes of the world.

I know Halloween gets a lot of media attention in the Church. Is it a pagan holiday that has been Christianized? How do we handle it to allow Christians to participate, without compromising with the evil in the world? ..and such and so. …As with most things man tries to decide for himself, we are left with more questions than answers and no agreement one with another. This is not really a post about Halloween so I will not attempt to answer those questions. I will say this, we spend many hours in the Church today discussing and considering subjects that the Bible and therefore God is silent on in His instructions to mankind. We spend much less time reviewing and discussing the subjects that are addressed and revealed in God’s word.

Marriage is one of those things which deserves much more thought and attention than it receives. It is one of the Great Mysteries of Heaven and Earth. Very misunderstood and mistreated by the modern world and a secularized church… most of it’s original symbolism, intentions and messages lost and forgotten, in ceremony, prompt and pageantry… Marriage is a symbol, a picture of God (Jesus) and His union with His Creation Bride (Church) much more than it is about the union of one man with one women… It is more accurately a picture of division and reunion than it is about human love and procreation.

We often miss the point that before there was ‘man and woman’ there was the One Man (Adam or Ish) who was divided into two entities, male and female,  Ish and Isha in Hebrew, who were then rejoined or reunited by a Divine Father figure.

Maybe they were twins? One cell divided into two parts or two individuals in one womb? I don’t really know and that is why marriage is a mystery.. much, much more to it than we see!  

As with most spiritual mysteries we tend to put our focus on our (man’s) part in the mystery and then we ritualize it and write our own version of it and our own laws to govern it and we overlook God’s part in it altogether except to ask Him to bless what we have turned it into.

Well, I really must go now. I would love to stay and discuss this mysterious sacrament that has been handed down to us from the beginning of the world as we know it, but I must go and prepare for a wedding with trick or treating and a New Family Fellowship meal afterwards. I know it is not traditional but hey, do we know that for sure? Anyway, one thing we can know for sure is this, God blessed them and commissioned them to increase and multiply and fill the earth, so let’s get on with it…

Love in Him! 

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Genesis 1:26-31

New International Version (NIV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,     in the image of God he created them;     male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

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 mybaby wedding feast McCordfamilyreunionbrad 32 mccords.phillip's

CONGRATULATIONS …. I love you BOTH and all your new family too!


Just Good Stuff… Watch Out!!

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Jeremiah 6:13-15

New International Version (NIV)

13 “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. 15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.

So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,”

says the Lord.

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I really have nothing pressing on my mind today to report.. I have been on Facebook all morning and am surprised by the positive post and status reports I am seeing there.

I don’t want to become too optimistic, I much prefer to be skeptical or maybe cautious would be a better word. I have seen this before and when everyone seems to be content and at peace, the earth begins to shake… Do you know what I mean?

Humans are funny creatures, trusting for the most part. Easy to fool and rather easy to herd as long as there is nothing to frighten them and cause panic or distress..  The Bible is correct when it refers to humanity as sheep. We are in general, pretty gentle and easy to handle and Evil not only knows this, but loves to take advantage of this characteristic in humanity…

When I say Evil I am not identifying and individual, organization or institution. I am referring to a spirit or entity for lack of a better term. There is something or someone in this world who seems always to be looking for an opportunity to pounce on us when we are content and peaceful… Do you agree?

The Bible says that it is the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour us. We call it Murphy’s law, bad luck, negativity, happen stance and so forth.. No matter what we call it, the fact is, it is a force to be reckoned with and we should not ignore it or be blissfully unaware of it.

I am not going into a lot of detail on this.. I am a technical person by nature and an electrician among other things by trade, so I will try to make this as simple as possible. Not so much for you, as for myself, I have a tendency to over-think things at times. I didn’t design the universe but I have designed many electrical systems and control schematics (schemes) and I know we need both positive elements and negative elements in order to produce flow or current in the electrical world. Power, electrical power… provides light in the darkness.

My belief is that although evil is undesirable it is necessary in this world in which we live… Why? Because there could be no power flow without it. It is a result of the fall of Satan and of man.. I did not exist prior to the fall nor did anyone I know, except God, so I have to take His word for it that things as you and I know them today is not the way it was originally.. Can we agree on that? I believe that things are being restored to their original condition by a loving Father/Creator. I believe Evil (negativity) entered the world when Satan tripped up mankind by causing us to think negative thoughts about God… He did this in the Garden when he asked… “Did God really say?” This one simple act of rebellion short circuited the universe as it produced doubt and negativity in God’s power plants on the Earth, Adam and Eve. All mankind was elected and selected to display the light of love of Almighty God in the darkness produced by Satan’s rebellion and fall from glory… [Rev. 16:10]

If you read and study your bible carefully you will see that we are to be Lights in the darkness. We are to shine like stars, candles, lamps and fire… etc. You will see that it is us, you and I who are to provide the light that leads those who are in the dark, into the Light and Love and Life of God; out of the darkness and into the kingdom.   We cannot do this without power and we cannot produce this power on our own. We must be connected to the Source who generates the power.

Example: A battery is a source of power, it cannot do anything on it’s own except store power. The battery is the storehouse so to speak. Then we have a light blub. The blub is designed to produce light, but cannot produce light without the power to do so. For the blub to do what it is designed to do, it must be connected to the battery and for the battery to do what it is designed to do it must be connected to the blub. …Are you getting the picture? …Of course there needs to be some wire and maybe a switch and other good stuff to complete the project and make it look good as well as work properly but when all the good stuff is assembled correctly and in the right order or sequence the final result is an object that will produce light in the darkness!

See how simple it is?

Now since you understand the problem and have been shown the solution and told all the items you need to accomplish your project you should be ready to go light up you corner of darkness in the world right?

NO, you say I need more than that!!! …and I agree with you, but since I am trying not to get too complex and complicated I could just draw you a picture and write you some instructions right? Or I could let you try the project on your own and see if you could figure it out… OR since I know how to do it already, I could come and show you how and help you complete the project and go with you as you light up your corner of darkness. Which do you think would work best for you?

Meet Jesus… He designed you, me and the universe. He was there in the beginning before the fall… He saw Satan fall like lighting! He was there when Adam and Eve short circuited. He knows how it was originally supposed to work. He is the power, the source. He is the storehouse, the Light, the Life and the Love of God. He is the wire that ties it all together, and the instructor that shows us how to get it all together… He is the Spirit who goes with us to light up our corner of darkness in this world. He is the exact image (picture) of God.. He, Jesus came into our darkness to show us the way and to help us show others the way… Oh yeah, He is also the Way!

Know Him… He is bringing it all back together the Way it should be. Our part is simple… LISTEN TO HIM!!!

Love In Him!

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While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
Matthew 17:5

                    


New Birth… Conversion… Salvation?

Mark 10:45

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

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2000 plus years ago a man named Jesus hung on a cross and died. He did not die a natural death, He was not murdered nor was He a martyr. He was God, willingly releasing His life to us, into this world we live in… He was delivering New Life to, into a world governed by sin, death and the grave.. He was pouring out His eternal divine Life into the land of mortality, death, destruction and pain.

Jesus did not pour this Life out into sinful humanity to be partaken of by any who choose it. He poured this Life out for all to be taken into it… He filled all, the known and the unknown of this universe with His Glory, His Life, the Eternal Life of Almighty God. The whole world from beginning to end received the Life and the knowledge of God.

So what went wrong? Why are we still in the condition we are in today? Why are we still dying and destroying, being destroyed and living in chaos and confusion..?

Because this Life must apply to all, before any can realize it fully. We cannot receive this Life and immortality until we have been prepared to receive it… Jesus did not commit His Spirit into the hands of men, but into the hands of God Himself..

“Father into THY hands I commit MY Spirit.” Luke 23:46

Mankind as well as men in general and individually must be prepared to live immortal, sinless and Overcoming Life!
The Bible tell us very plainly that the LAST ENEMY to be defeated is Death. This ‘Death’ is not something we do… This Death is someone who destroys us by causing us to believe we are destined to die… This Death is the lie that was told in the Garden of Eden that has worked it’s way down through human history. This Death is the DEATH that Jesus proved could not hold Him in the Grave and will not hold HIS in the Grave either…
Jesus has ALREADY defeated this Death… This Death has lost his sting (power) and is, has been and always will be defeated. His only weapon left is his lies and deceptions… These too are slowly but surely being destroyed as more and more men are being brought into the knowledge of God and the power of LIFE which exist in the Kingdom of God in this world!!! (the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, God’s People.)
We have the promise of God Almighty Himself that ONE DAY SOON the power of Satan (Death) will be crushed under OUR FEET. [Romans 16:20] Satan has ALREADY been crushed under the feet of Jesus; Jesus sits far above the rulers and principalities of this world and WE are ALREADY seated with Him in heavenly places… the problem HAS been and STILL is getting us to believe God; getting us to understand what His Word reveals; getting us to HEAR HIM above all the noise of this life and this world…
Jesus Christ Has Poured Out His LIFE For All Of Us… We just all have not believed Him yet. He DID NOT DIE, He shared HIS OVERCOMING LIFE with you and with me.
Salvation has come to the World.
Jesus is the Salvation of God…
TODAY if you hear His Voice…. PRAISE HIM
Love in Him! 
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The Resurrection Body

1 Corinthians 15

35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.

50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?     Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.