The letter N stands for…

“Behind!”

This is something I hear and say every day at the Olive Garden. When I am carrying a tray of pasta, salad, and bread sticks, I need to let people know that I am walking through the dining room. They do the same for me as well. We all let each other know that we are literally, right behind when we shout out, “Behind!”

dropped food

Saying “Behind” serves a purpose. It lets the hearer know that they have someone directly behind them. We don’t have eyes on the back of our heads so this is a good thing. Now, I am aware of the presence of that person.

Trust me, it is no fun when a 15 or 20 pound tray of food crashes to the ground because someone was not watching what was happening around them!

dropping a tray


The Word – Near

The Worth – God is near. Near to me and near to you.

The Bible is filled with examples of how God has chosen to be near His people from the very beginning.

Genesis – He walked with Adam and Eve

Exodus – He gave Moses blueprints for a tabernacle to be built.

The Prophets in the Old Testament – They spoke the message that God desired relationship with His people.

The Gospels – Jesus being born as a baby. Immanuel means “God with us”.

Acts and the New Testament – The Holy Spirit is given to all who seek Him. The authors describe how we can have a relationship with God.

Revelation – God will take His children to be with Him.

All because He loves us. And He is near to us because of that love. All through time, God has proven His love because He keeps making arrangements to be near us. We can’t get away from Him! Even if we tried, there is nothing that can separate us from His love.

See Romans 8 for a deeper look on this idea.

How is it that we can be so distracted that we miss the fact the He is near?

The Work – As for the practical application of this blog…it really seems simple.

In a word, relationship. God wants a relationship with us and He has taken the first step to be near to us. God is doing this so we would be aware of His presence.

But what then, is our part?

Look for Him. Take the time out of your day and look, listen, search, and seek out this one who loves you so much. The bible says that if you seek, you will find.

After all, He is near you saying “Behind!”

 

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Page 715

Page 715 in my bible only has three words on it. It is blank on the back.

All it says is “The New Testament”. Here are some pics.

Page 714 ends with the last verses of Malachi. Page 718 starts with Matthew.

Think about the bible for a moment…

It covers thousands of years of history. There are many genres and writing styles used by 40 some authors. Can you count all of the people of which the bible speaks?

But yet, in all of that amazing stuff there is a period of silence. Page 715 

That single page represents silence. History tells us that the silence between Malachi and Matthew is 400 years. 400 years of nothing.

No prophets. No judges. No stories. No wars. Just…nothing.

Where was God?

Is your life stuck on page 715? Do you feel like God is not there? No voice? Nothing happening? There is silence and it is deafening.

But, (and there is always a But), God. Yep, He is still there. 

Let’s jump to page 867 in my bible to Galatians 4:4. This is my favorite Christmas verse.

Here is the first half of the verse in various translations:

New International Version
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son,

New Living Translation
But when the right time came, God sent his Son,

Berean Study Bible
But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, 

New American Standard Bible 
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, 

King James Bible
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, 

International Standard Version
But when the appropriate time had come, God sent his Son, 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But when the end of time arrived, God sent his Son

GOD’S WORD® Translation
But when the right time came, God sent his Son [into the world]. 

 

After 400 years, God sent His son.

From silence came the Word.

From nothing came a Baby.

From darkness came the Light.

my-bible-3

 

Have hope this season. Christ is alive and well. You don’t need to live on page 715.

So turn the page and keep reading! God has great things for you this December!

Stay tuned next week for another Christmas post.

Have a fantastic day and Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

Why do I blog?

Good morning friends. Two questions for today. I will answer the first one for you.

Why do I blog?

Why Blog Concept

People have asked me that before and my answers have not always been consistent. I have been blogging for two years now. In 2016, my schedule has been one post every week. Now I have a solid answer for that question.

The answer actually comes in a few parts so I hope you don’t mind if I outline them. It helps me to communicate better. =-)

B – Bible Dissemination – I love the Bible. It is God’s written word to us. More people would come to Jesus if they heard the Word more. I am trying to help that process.

L – Learn More – I love to learn. And, I love to to teach. If I learn something and/or my readers learn something, I feel like that is a success.

O – Obey God – I  love God. God told me to write. Read the posts in My Haiti Experience to get the whole story. God said to write so here I am, writing! 

G- Give Encouragement – I love to preach. In most of my posts, I try to encourage people. I trust that people do have hope when they are finished reading.

If you read, like, comment, repost, or just tell people about me, thank you.

I am thoroughly enjoying this journey.  

And who knows, this could just be the best two minutes of your day. =-)

2minutes

Second Question: Why do you read this blog?

 

What?!?! Another cliffhanger?!

You know those shows. The ones that leave you hanging at the end of each episode? My wife and I are binge watching LOST right now. And let me tell you, almost every episode is a cliffhanger. It certainly wants you to keep watching! 

s517849009246626484_c326_i1_w280

And that is what got me thinking. We don’t watch much TV in our home. But we have been lately. And we are only on Season 2 of 6! Yes, we have been on a binge.

Normally, the word binge is something that is negative. People binge on food or alcohol. As you know, I struggled with a pornography addiction. There were times when I would binge on it. Binging is bad.

But what if we decided to binge on something good?

Why does it have to be bad to fill your heart, mind, and soul to the point where you are consumed with it? It consumes you. You think about it all the time. Your family and friends know all about it because that is all you talk about. You binge and binge because you can’t get enough. Simply, you are not satisfied.

Then God’s word came to mind. There are a few verses that specifically spoke to me. 

I Thessalonians 4:1-2 “more and more”

Isaiah 40:28 “his understanding no one can fathom”

Isaiah 55:8-9 “my thoughts are not your thoughts”

Ephesians 3:20 “to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”

Philippians 3:12-14 “straining toward what is ahead”

Friends, these verses talk about God being bigger than we are. Paul was describing how he wanted more of God. And there was more to have. The prophet Isaiah was explaining that we could not comprehend God or his ways.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created…” 

The world was created by God! We can’t know Him fully! It just can’t happen.

  • That is why I think binging can be good. As long as you are filling yourself with God and His word. Is it possible to get enough of God? In my opinion, no. It won’t ever happen.

Two thoughts I leave with you:

  1. We get to read the end of the book so we know how all of this ends. That means, no cliffhangers! Sure, you may not know what tomorrow holds but you can know who holds tomorrow.
  2. Even though you can’t know all of God, you will be satisfied by him and yet you will still crave for more of him at the same time. Welcome to the great paradox.

Three Ps in a Pod. part 3

Pardon. Have you been enjoying the freedom that comes with being pardoned?

Have you ever felt guilty about something? That feeling of having made a mistake is stuck with you. Maybe after some time the feeling fades. But you still know that the guilt is there.

But God changed all that. Last week, we were able to see how “one died for all.” God gave Jesus as a sacrifice for us. If you ever wonder why Jesus had to die on the cross, read Leviticus. Perhaps the most dull book in the Bible, Levitcus explains and details all of the sacrifices, festivals, and rituals that the Israelites were supposed to follow.sacrifice-priests

 

What a bloody mess! Literally everyday, animals were being cut open; their blood being poured out and sprinkled on the furniture in the tabernacle. Some of the animals were eaten by the priests while others were completely consumed on the Altar of Burnt Offerings. Leviticus 17 mentions “the life of every creature is in the blood.” The blood was important.

priest-covered-in-blood.jpg

The blood of Jesus bought our pardon.

And because we are pardoned, we can have peace.

First the pardon and then the peace. Never the other way around.

Here are verses 17 and 18 from 2 Corinthians 5, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ,”

Verse 17 gives us the Pardon. Verse 18 contains the Peace.

We need to define reconciliation. Reconciliation is the result of Christ precisely exchanging His righteousness (his blood) for our guilt.

If someone is in Christ, that exchange has taken place.

That means that you and I stand before God completely free of guilt because our sins have been covered by the blood!

Can I end with a math equation?

math-beauty-equation

Actually, I was thinking of something considerably more simple.

Being guilt free = peace.