My dog peed on the carpet!?!?

My dog, Murray, peed (sp?) on the carpet today. Frustrating. This picture is when he is nice and cute.

Murray

He is still a puppy. But it is still is very frustrating when he relieves himself in the house. For the most part, he goes outside but we still can’t trust him 100%.


Sometimes (maybe more than we would like to think) are like Murray. We pee on the carpet. Figuratively speaking.

Jonah went west instead of east. He got swallowed by a whale.

David was home instead of out fighting. He couldn’t handle the temptation.

Saul (New Testament) killed followers of Christ. He was on a rampage.

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3

You see, all of us have a ‘Murray-peed-on-the-carpet’ streak in us.

It is called sin. And sin will kill us.

But God is gracious.

The Word – Gracious

The Worth – As I have learned over the years, the word grace is complex and multi-layered in its meaning. I want to suggest to you that there are three types of grace when speaking of God and spiritual things.

  1. Saving Grace – This is the type of grace that is present for all of the human race. It is the barrier that keeps us from dying in our sin. Read 2 Peter 3:9 and you get the picture of God waiting for us to come back to Him. Surely, because of His holiness, he hates the sin and wants to eradicate it from creation. But, he also loves us so He is long-tempered (extremely patient) and is longing for us to return to Him. However, this saving grace will not be enough for the purification of our sin. It only buys us time.
  2. Sanctifying Grace – At some point, a person can make the choice to live for God. They surrender their life to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells about being a new creation. Ephesians 2:8-9 explain how grace is the saving agent, not our works. This grace will bring the change in our life that only God can work. At this point, construction begins on our heavenly dwelling.
  3. Strengthening Grace – Now that we have a new life, we need power to live that new life. This third type of grace empowers us to be the man or woman God has created us to be. But how can we live up to God’s standards? He sets the bar really high. Read 2 Corinthians 12. Paul was stating that he was weak. And really, all of us could argue that we are weak. We cannot always go forward. We stumble and trip. Sometimes daily. But in our weaknesses, His strength is made perfect. His grace is sufficient.

The Work – Can I challenge you this week with The Work?

Meditate on His grace. Think about how His grace has saved you. Dwell on the times when you felt God’s grace filling your heart and mind. You were invincible. Remember  the times when you messed up. You fell. You were weak. Did God’s grace abandon you? No. And it never will because…

God is gracious.

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Bacon and Eggs

A chicken and a pig were talking one day. They were expressing their joy of living on the farm. Specifically, Farmer Joe’s farm. Having Farmer Joe take care of them was really a joy for these animals. So much so, they decided to throw a big breakfast in the farmer’s honor. Upon reviewing menu options, it was decided that Bacon and Eggs would be served. The chicken said that he was in support of this idea. After realizing what this breakfast would mean, the pig replied to the chicken saying, “You may be involved but I am committed!”

bacon-and-eggs

 

The Word – Committed

The Worth – Does this word scare anybody? People say men are afraid of commitment. As a minister, I talk with couples about marital commitment. My dad told me a long time ago that commitment is the most important aspect of a marriage. Are you committed to your family, your job, your passions?

Did you know that God is committed? How many times does the Bible talk about His grace, forgiveness, mercy, and unfailing love? This blog would take hours to read if I put all those verses in the post. So I am going to narrow it down to two verses.

Click on the verse to read the whole chapter.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God did not do salvation half way. He didn’t just provide enough to barely pass. He was committed! So much that His own son hung on a cross for you and for me. Our sins were paid for by the blood of Jesus. Everything you and I need for life (and even abundant life!) is found in the cross.

God loves us too much to be less than anything other than 100% committed!

The Work – So how is it even possible for me to live for God in return knowing I cannot repay Him?

You can’t. Accept the gift and live for God. Do your best for Him. Daily apply grace and mercy to your situation and keep moving forward. The Holy Spirit is right along side of you. Even after Jesus left this earth, the Holy Spirit was sent so we would not be alone.

God is fully committed. Are you?

commitment-quotes

 

 

What’s in the box?

One of my favorite things to do is to open a new board game. Just taking the lid off the box is fun! All the pieces, bits, dice, cards, tiles, etc. are just so cool! This unveiling does not happen a whole lot but when I can, I thoroughly enjoy it.

game-shelf

P.S. That is not my game library! =-(

Dive in with me now as I unbox Divine Transfusion. Click here to read the full post.


Recap:

In the Old Testament, the high priest could only enter the Holy of Holies once a year. To do so, he had to sacrifice an animal and sprinkle the blood before him. He would die without the blood.

Jesus, as we read in Hebrews, used his own blood and entered the Holy of Holies. He was both high priest and sacrifice. This he did once and never has it been needed to be done again. See Hebrews 4-10.

As I have asked myself and also in my blogs…

So what? What does this mean for me, right now, in 2016?

To answer that all-encompassing question, we need to open the box.

I will begin by citing a verse from Matthew 27. Verse 51 reads,

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split.” NIV

The context is that Jesus has been crucified. He is hanging on a cross just outside Jerusalem. It is about 3:00 in the afternoon. After some final words, he finally dies. Matthew records that at that same time, the curtain was torn. I add the King James Version just because I like the language better for this verse.

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” KJV

Behold! The curtain was ripped, torn, rent so we could now see God.

So we could now see God. Yep, the box has been opened.

I don’t really know what it looked like but who cares because now we can see God. Yes, God has opened the way for us. Notice how the veil was rent from top to bottom?

God did it because we could not. All this is possible because of the blood. No, not animal blood but the Blood of Jesus.

We now have access to God. Don’t bother with second best. Go directly to God with your life. All your problems and issues can be covered in the blood. You life won’t instantly turn perfect and peachy but you won’t walk alone. This is a greatly encouraging fact.

One more verse to rock your world. Hebrews again. Hebrews is a fantastic book.

Chapter 4, verses 14-16:

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Underline is mine.

So be bold today and go directly to God. No worries, he will welcome you with open arms.

And that box is better than any board game I will ever play.

board-game-box

Divine Transfusion

Yesterday was Yom Kippur. Actually, it started yesterday at sundown and goes through sundown today. There are many details about this Jewish holiday but I won’t (mainly because I don’t know them) explain them here.

Here is the one main thing I want to relay to you today regarding Yom Kippur:

7. During biblical times, Yom Kippur was the only day that a high priest was allowed to enter the inner sanctum of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, known as the Holy of Holies.

The reason it is listed as number 7 is because it comes from a list on this website.

This practice of the high priest being allowed into the Holy of Holies originated with Moses and Aaron in the Old Testament. Leviticus 16 describes the process of how Aaron, the high priest, was to enter the Holy of Holies.

tabernacle-diagram

This diagram show the tabernacle that Moses and Aaron would have been using. Between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies is a curtain. It ran from ceiling to floor and was thick. No light would pass through it. Here is one artist’s rendition.

tabernacle-colored

That little room that housed the Ark of the Covenant was completely dark and no one entered into it, ever. Except the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement, which is Yom Kippur. God told Moses that Aaron would die if he entered whenever he wanted to. Now there was a process.

Read Leviticus 16 to get the full picture. I will sum it up for you.

One time a year, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies to receive forgiveness for the sins of the people of Israel. He could only do this if he sprinkles the blood of the sacrifice on the Ark before he comes into the room. Only after the blood was applied could the priest seek God.

Without the blood, he would die. Literally.

Now transition with me to the present. Here is the state we are in right now.

Without the blood, we would die. Figuratively. Our sin has separated us from God. It is like that huge thick curtain is blocking our way to God. And if not dealt with, we are dead. Our spirits are dead to God without the blood and our bodies will die someday as well.

What we need is a Divine Transfusion. Our blood is tainted. It is sick, corrupt. We need the blood of Jesus to flow in our veins.

One of my favorite verses come from Hebrews 9. Verse 12 states the following truth;

“He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.”

I am going to write more about this next week so I leave you with this tidbit:

Today can be your Day of Atonement. You can receive your Divine Transfusion.

his-blood

If you already have been cleansed by His blood, rejoice and be thankful for His grace and mercy in your life today.

See you next week!

A Dream and a Destiny

Dreams. Sometimes we dream silly dreams. Others can be scary or bizarre. But then there are times when the dreams are confusing.

On my part, I don’t dream too much. Daydream? Yes. But I don’t feel like I am a “dreamer”.

To be honest, dreams confound me. They are often close to reality but certainly not real.

But for today, I am not talking about my dreams but the dreams of a cocky teenager from the book of Genesis. 

The whole story can be found in Genesis 37-50. 

coat

 

Joseph had some dreams. And as a 17 year old, he was not mature enough for the dreams to be fulfilled. His eleven brothers hated Joseph. He was the favorite. His dad gave him the best coat. Joseph was spoiled. 

So his brothers took action. And if it was not for Reuben, Joseph would have been killed. Instead, being stripped of the robe, he was thrown into a pit, sold to merchants, and transported to Egypt.

All of these things might have confused Joseph. He had dreams after all! Had not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob given those dreams?!?! So why was he now ripped from his family and in captivity in a foreign nation?

But he works hard. Promotion. He is now making a life for himself. Then the temptations. Potipher’s wife. It has been said that opportunity knocks but temptation leans on the doorbell. This woman had it bad for Joseph. 

But our cocky little dreamer has been growing up. He stayed true! Way to go Joseph!

And now back to prison. More hard work. More promotion. Dreams. And it was the dreams of the baker, cupbearer and even Pharaoh that eventually got Joseph out of prison.

Second in command of all of Egypt. Dude! These last few years have been rough, to say the least, but Joseph is finally in place. In place for what?

For the dreams to come true and be fulfilled.

joseph-of-egypt

Time does not permit me to go into the whole story. Please read it for yourself. It truly is one of the most amazing stories in the Bible.

I will conclude with a few thoughts about Joseph, the dreams, and God’s destiny.


 

  • If God gives you a dream, recognize the origin of it and then release it. There often needs to be a transformation of the dreamer after the transmission of the dream.
  • If life is not going the way you think it should or there are obstacles to your dream; you can do two things; run or remain. Don’t try to escape the problem but ask to be empowered in the problem. God’s grace is greater than the grief of life.
  • Dreams still not fulfilled? Keep waiting and keep working.
  • Only after God has done his work can we say what Joseph said, “But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Gen. 50:19-20