Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
What does it mean to be “Pure in Heart”?
Dictionary.com defines pure as: free from anything of a different, inferior, or contaminating kind; free from extraneous matter: such as pure gold or pure water. I rather like their alternative definition: free from foreign or inappropriate elements. Continue reading →
So the 2011 NFL season is almost over and we have seen some amazing play by some great players this season. Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to 13 straight wins before losing 1 to Kansas City, then won the next 2 to end the season in first place at 15-1. My favorite team the Steelers finished the season 12-4 with the leagues #1 ranked defense as has become common place these days. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are still rolling in the playoffs after a 13-3 regular season in which they topped the league in offense. Topping the rankings in offense were also the Patriots, Eagles and Lions. The Ravens and Jets made their usual showing in the top of the Defense rankings along with the Texans and 49ers. All these great teams and great stats yet the big news this season has been about a player who didn’t even have a starting job. Indeed he was the 3rd string quarterback. He was a backup to the backup.
Free will… It’s what allows a follower of Christ to proclaim his love of the Savior and an atheist to deny He exists. It’s what allows one man to live a wonderful life of innocent bliss while another lives in poverty praying for his next meal. Free will… God’s greatest gift to His creation and also His greatest enemy. It’s also the answer to many of life’s most puzzling questions:
Lately there has been a lot going on in my life. Some things have been really awesome, some things have been really stressful, and some things have been downright painful. I have experienced times like this in the past but this season of my life is different and I think it comes down to focus. Not just any focus however, focus on our Lord and Savior.
Have you ever wanted something so bad that you asked God that if He would just make it happen you would be the best Christian you could ever be? How many of those things worked out for ya? There’s even a country song called ‘Unanswered Prayers’ about it. We’ve all had those times where we look back on life and realize that God had a bigger and better plan, but that didn’t stop us from asking or praying for Him to make things happen.
So the summer is coming to an end and the kids are heading back to school. Parents are running around frantically trying to get everything they think their kids will need to start school. Things like paper, pencils, prayers, proverbs…wait, did I just say prayers and proverbs? Yep! You see, while public schools may not have organized times of prayer (for those of us who are still in a position of sending our kids to public school) there is nothing that prohibits us from preparing them to live for Jesus throughout their school day. When we are buying our daughter’s school clothes we try to buy some of her shirts from stores like C28 in the mall or online so they have bible verses that represent her faith on them. We also let her pick out folders and composition books with similar messages on them. Last year we found them at a local WalMart surprisingly. This year she found some folders at C28 that she really liked so we bought those because when your child is showing a desire to express their faith among their friends who are not necessarily regular church attendees it should be encouraged.
Today I am with my family at San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura, CA. Now I am not a huge fan of the beach, which is odd since I was born and raised in Southern California. I prefer lakes and rivers to the sand and salt water but there is something very special about this beach. You see, this is where my family and I were baptized a year ago and today is the annual Shepherd of the Hills Baptism at the Beach event. Today we are celebrating our demonstration of faith by watching over a hundred others do the same. Continue reading →
If I came up to you while you were working and said follow me…would you? Probably not. In fact, you’d probably laugh and go back to working and wonder when the men in white suits were coming for me. So what made it so easy for common fishermen or a tax collector, who were hard at work, to drop everything and walk away from their jobs and follow a man who was claiming to be the same thing that thousands of others were claiming to be, The Messiah, (Emmanuel) without reservation or doubt. Continue reading →
A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target. Continue reading →