Greetings from Uzbekistan

1/22/2016 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Mike Samarkand 1024x768
Greetings to you from their great capitol city. This place is taken right out of the history books of Central Asia going back 1000’s of years before Christ.
The known history began in the Bronze Age when metallurgy developed the bronze bit, enabling horse riding. Mounted tribes developed contacts between the farming south and the livestock breeding north.
An Aryan Indo-European race from the north first migrated to this land.

From 800 BC their successors, the Scythians (to the Greeks) or Saka (to the Persians) swept before them into a loose dynasty from the Ferghana Valley to the Khorezm oasis. These tent dwellers evolved during the iron age into skilled craftsmen. But the chief legacy for them would be the horseback archery. This gave them a great military advantage that set the standard for terrorism of the barbaric waves that swept through the centuries. Victories were celebrated by drinking the blood of their enemies from their skulls.
(I know, creepy!) Cyrus the Great of Persia sought to end their raids and rule over this land.

Zoroastrianism was begun here, the worship through fire offerings for their all-powerful god. The mysterious prophet Zoraster was the fabled leader of this movement that began on these desert steppes. Some believe that the three wise men who came to see Jesus were from this movement of astrologists.

In 329 BC their capitol Samarkand, fell to Alexander the Great. Then came the Parthinians, and then the Huns from Mongolia, the scourge of the Han dynasty. Slowly the fledgling Silk Road, from China to Rome, wound its way in the mountains and deserts, through the heartland of Uzbekistan. It was an incredible sunset as I walked on the Old Silk Road one week ago today.
I could imagine those camel caravans moving across the horizon.

In the early centuries after Jesus, Nestorian Christianity blossomed in this land and 100s of 1000s came to faith. While Europe struggled with a corrupt and heretical church that had succumbed to materialism, true Christianity was alive and well in Central Asia, all the way into China and India. They held sway unit the Islamic invaders came. At first they tolerated Christianity, as long as they paid the tax. But as soon as the Crusades from Europe began, the Islam horde turned on the Christians and literally wiped out all evidence of their presence here. Only lately has archeology opened our eyes to the great influence of Christianity on this land, it’s people and culture.

The Uzbek people were dominated by Islam until the 1200s AD when Genghis Khan swept down in a fury with his Mongol horde. From day after day & into the nights they would ride, sleeping in their saddles, nourished by the blood of their powerful mounts. From Germany to Japan, the greatest land dynasty in the history of the world, led a century of peace which allowed for the safe travel on the Old Silk Road for historical figures like Marco Polo. Tamerlane (Timur) was the last of the great Mongol leaders to rule the land. From Samarkand, his capital, he left his great mark on Uzbekistan and the world. He was a legendary hero of the land and still is today amongst the faithful Uzbeks. He is like George Washington to us, but combined with the minds of Benjamin Franklin & Thomas Jefferson.

The Czar of Russia came during the 19th century at the report of great gold in the land. Soon the communism of Lenin ruled in this country. It held sway until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR. As a result, Islam here is more cultural & not practiced religiously as in other Islamic cultures. I have yet to see one Mosque.

But Mother Russia has left her imprint on the land. Everywhere, you see the old cold look of the Russian sterilizm. Everything is the same, dark, grey, gloomy, box like. But now capitalism is blooming in the land & new buildings, bright and beautiful are springing up. I can see a lot of western influence (some good and some bad). Now people can own their business and land. More and more, the people are prospering. You can see the generational differences. The old timers wear the traditional Russian clothes. But the new generation is fighting against the old culture and trying to join the style of the west. Limited freedom is igniting new life and hope.

In the fall of 1991 a revolution left Uzbekistan to be its own country for the first time in history. It has a communist style government, opposed to religion. It tolerates a registered church, but controls them. The true church is underground. They are first generation Christians planted by Korean Missionaries who were deported by the turn of the century.
(These are the Koreans who founded InterCP) The Christians left behind have taken up the torch for Christ and are burning for His Glory and Kingdom.

If you don’t like history, you are probably not reading down this far. But just in case you are, I want you to know that next week I am to tell you about these incredible followers of Christ.

Love and Blessings, Pastor Mike


It’s About Time…

 
timingI believe that by the time we are adults we learn that timing is everything, and also that no matter how much we pray, beg, wish and plead for things, it is out of our control.  Everything is done in God’s time, and in God’s way.    For He is the Way and His Time is always the best time.  The Bible assures us that God always acts in the right way and at the right time.

Romans 5:6

6  For while we were still helpless, at the right time  Christ died for the ungodly.

 

Mark 1:14-15

14b   Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God,

15     and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Later in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus heals a man who had leprosy. Jesus sent him on his way but with a warning.

Mark 1:42-45

42     Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

43     And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away,

44     and He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

45     But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere.

It is hard not to be sympathetic with the man who was healed.  He had been an outcast for who knows how long.  He couldn’t be with his family and friends, those that he loved. He was unclean, a pariah. No one would come near him, let alone touch him.  Do you know what it feels like not to be able to hold and touch the one you love?  You couldn’t be together, eat together laugh together. It was a living death for the ones trapped in clutches of that horrible disease.  Your heart aches and yet you are powerless.

Who could blame him for rushing to those for whom his heart longed.

But as painful as it would be for him, it wasn’t the right time.  As a result of his disobedience the kingdom of God was set back.  The plans that Jesus had to be in those towns in order to preach and teach were thwarted. Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places where throngs of people would come to Him. But they would come to be touched and not to hear.  O how humanity longs for the loving touch of the One who could heal their lives.

Sadly, it is still true today.  People long for Jesus’ touch, for His miracles and for His power.  But they do not want to hear His Word.  “Help me Jesus, but don’t interfere with my life.  Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do.”

I am convinced that because of God’s love for us, He has great plans.

But He also is the Lord of time and knows what is best and when it is best.

Sometimes the waiting can be painful.  I find myself being so impatient with God.  I am truly like that leper.  I have my wants, my desires, my dreams for my life.  There are things for which my heart longs & at times and I get in God’s way and mess with His plans and His timing.  I can’t help but think back on how much I have frustrated the best plans of God for my life, and settled for something much less.

How often has Jesus not been able to move in your situation because you have failed to honor God’s plans and God’s timing. Perhaps you have moved ahead when you were not supposed to move.  I think sometimes we do the right thing, just at the wrong time.

I have often preached at funerals, how that when Jesus had heard that Lazarus was sick He did not rush to his side to heal him. (John 11:6) He delayed his return allowing Lazarus to be buried.

Delays in our life are not always easy to handle or to reconcile in our minds. Often, when God does not answer our prayers in the time that we feel He should, we are often disappointed with Him.  Such was the case with Lazarus' sisters.  When Jesus arrived two days later, Martha shamed Him by saying, "If You had come he would not have died." She implied that He didn't care enough to come when sent for. It was a matter of priorities for Jesus, not lack of love.

God often has to delay His work in us in order to accomplish something for His purposes that can be achieved only in the delay. Jesus had to let Lazarus die in order for the miracle that was about to take place to have its full effect. If Jesus had simply healed a sick man, the impact of the miracle would not have been as newsworthy as resurrecting a man who had been dead for four days. This is Jesus' greatest "public relations act" of His whole ministry. What many do not realize is that the key to the whole story is in the next chapter.

In John 12 we see that many people, because they had heard that He had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet Him. So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after Him!"  If Jesus had not raised Lazarus from the dead, there would have been no crowds to cheer the Lord when He came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.  There would have been no urgency for the Pharisees to carry through on their plans to kill Him. If there had been no cross there would be no forgiveness of sins.  If there was no cross there would be no Resurrection.   And if there were no resurrection, we would be as Paul said, “most to be pitied”.  God had a plan and a time through it all.

God often sets the stage so that His glory is revealed through the events that He orchestrates. He did this with Moses and Pharaoh, allowing delay after delay for release of the Israelites from Egypt. He did this with Abraham and Sarah for the promised child, Isaac. God granted Sarah a baby past the age of childbearing in order to demonstrate His power.

I am so very glad that God is so very patient with me.  He even takes my mistakes & my poor timing and uses them to bring honor to Himself and do good for me.  What an awesome God we serve.

My fervent prayer for this year is “Help me Lord in this new year to be sensitive to Your will and understanding of your 
time.  I want to follow you more faithfully.”

Isaiah 30:18

18     Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.

Isaiah 40:31

31     Yet those who wait for the LORD  Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run             and not get tired,  They will walk and not become weary.

If you have been asking God why things aren’t the way YOU want them to be, right now, please read these passages and instead pray for patience.  Remember, He wants you to be happy and He knows what is best for you.

 

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Maranatha Lord, come quickly,
 
- Pastor Mike

 

 

 



THE Name Above All Names

the_name_above_all_names_christ_jesus_by_fadlydante-d4rcfjlIsaiah is a towering book of prophecy & one of the most beautiful and significant of Old Testament books. Its messages of judgment are balanced by matchless words of comfort and hope. And its vision of the Savior is the most moving as well as the clearest of all Old Testament portraits.

Its 66 chapters make it the third longest literary work in the Bible.

One of the book’s greatest values is found in its unforgettable images of God. Isaiah’s distinctive title for God, “the Holy One of Israel,” is used 25 times and captures something of the majestic glory with which He is displayed. He is Creator, King, and Savior for His people, the “Mighty God” who sends His Servant, the Messiah, to rescue them at a terrible personal cost. Isaiah 53’s graphic study of the Servant’s suffering is an unmistakably distinct portrait of Calvary, penned some 700 years before Jesus’ birth.

We would know nothing of God except that He revealed Himself to us in His word. Some of the greatest revelations of our Infinite God comes through His Names.  The name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. There around 420 names of our God in three persons.

In the Old Testament there are 223 & in the New Testament there are 195.

To the Old Testament saints the name Jehovah was an ointment poured forth shedding its fragrance over all.  When God spoke with Moses, Moses asked Him what is the name that should be used for Him.  God responded

“I Am Who I Am”.  In the scriptures all we have is the 4 letters of that name,  “YHWH” – it is known as the tetragrammaton.  They only wrote the consonants because they did not want to break God’s Command by using His name in vain, so they simply omitted the vowels.  Then no one would really be saying His name.  Thus the original pronunciation was lost.  The name of God is represented in the Masoretic Text as being the 4 consonants & adding the vowels from the word Lord (aḏōnāy).  From this the sixteenth century translators give us the word “Jehovah” or “Yahweh”.  It is found in one of the words that is the exact same in every language of the world, “Hallelujah!”

New Testament saints think of Him as Jesus.  In the Old Testament Hebrew this is the same name as Joshua, who led the children out of the wildnerness into the promised land.  He as a type of salvation for the people.

The ultimate Savior is our Lord Jesus the Christ.  If ever there was a name that, as ointment poured forth," shed a fragrance over all of human life it is the name of Jesus!

The Name of Jesus is the saving name: "Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

The Name of Jesus is the sanctifying name. We are to do all things, in word and deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus (c.f. Colossians 3:17).

The Name of Jesus is the sovereign name. "At the name of Jesus every knee should bow" (Philippians 2:10). It is the name that charms our fears and bids our sorrows cease." It is the name that, as "music in the sinner's ears, brings life and health and peace."

This is a name that has no bounds. It cannot be mortally defined.

It is above all names.

Ephesians 1:18-21 NASB

18      I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened,

so that you will know what is the hope of His calling,

what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

19      and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us

who believe. These are in accordance with the working of

the strength of His might

20      which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead

and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

21      far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every

name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

No where do we find more names of our promised God the Son coming to save His lost creatures, than in Isaiah.   For a world sitting in the darkness of terrorism & death, lost & hopeless, to our world that name came.

It was a dark hour in Israel about 730 years before Bethlehem's babe.

But what about His name?  What will this coming one be called?

Four pairs of distilled divinity are given to us in Isaiah 9:6.

Let's savor them as we herald our Savior who came and has come to our lives and is coming.... Who is He?

Isaiah 9:6 NLT

6      For a Child is born to us,

a Son is given to us.

The government will rest on His shoulders.

And He will be called:

    • Wonderful Counselor,
    • Mighty God,
    • Everlasting Father,
    • Prince of Peace.

    This Sunday I will be expounding on the meaning of this verse.

    Corem
    Deo,  Pastor Mike


    Remember when…

    During the Holidays, I always turn a little nostalgic. One of my very first320857fcaa3e147d2dfd00f06f83d6d1
    memories is being in Virginia for a brief time after Dad left the Navy.  I must have been 2, maybe a little more.  But I remember walking down the street with my Dad and Mom.  We had gone down town in Hampton to do a little shopping.  I was all bundled up in my winter clothes, and a light snow was coming down so slowly that you could reach out a catch a big snowflake for a second before it desolved.  All the stores had their Christmas lights on.  Obviously I can’t remember everything of that event, but in my mind it was like a Normal Rockwell painting.  That memory has brought me wonderful feelings about the holidays ever since.  It was one of those picture book memories that shapes my attitude and feelings about Christmas.
    Maybe that is why I am obsessed, (Maybe a little too strong a word – depending on who you're talking to – if you talk to my family, it is spot on),  obsessed with capturing the past so that I will remember the wonderful events of days gone by.  I guess that is why I love decorating our Christmas tree to the music of the Messiah every year. As a youth, I would buy a big calendar to put on my wall beside my desk in my bedroom.  Each day I would write down what happened – just the high points & the things I did not want to forget.  Later in college I would graduate to a journal, at first hand writtpen-and-journal (2)en.  I have boxes of stuff out in the garage, keep sakes that take me back in time.  I have things that I have purchased from all of the world on my journeys, decorating my office at work and at home. Some things especially have deep meaning & I connect them to some important event that took place.  
    My memory is so poor, & getting worse.  So these things help me keep in touch with my past.  Especially my photography – I can look at those old photos, and recapture the days gone by.  They help me to remember the blessings of God and the great joy that He has allowed me to have.
    There is a flip side to this.  During a very dark period of my life, that came and went for about 10 years (mostly dark) – I kept a very detailed journal of the events, my failings and my feelings. It was much easier to do since I had joined the computer age.  So I wrote a lot.  I was struggling with depression during those years.  Finally I started to get well, thanks to therapy, my wife and some very loving people at Pathway. But I wouldn’t let go of that dark past.   I would occasionally go back and read about what I had gone through and how it had such a devastating effect on me.  The worst part was not so much what had happened, but what I thought about those situations and how they affected feelings and my self-image. For years I hung on to those writings – going back to visit occasionally.  It was like going back to a garbage dump.  It was smelly. It was awful.  And it would drag me back down into the darkness.  I couldn’t really break free.  God had forgiven. I had forgiven.  But there it was, always waiting for me to return & recapture the pain, the hurt and the evil darkness. Finally I did what Jan (my wife) had kept telling me to do. (Sometimes we men don’t always listen right away to those who love us.)  I deleted it all, and threw all of the hard copies into the shredder.  I would never be able to go back now. It hurt when I did it.  But now they were gone.   It was like cleaning a wound, hurtful and yet the only way for it to heal up.  Over time, those things began to leave my conscious memories.  Then I began to experience the real healing that I so desperately needed from God. There is a great spiritual lesson in all of this.  There are things in life that God wants us to remember.  He wants us to look back and count our blessings.  He wants us to remember just how good and faithful and loving and forgiving and wonderful He really is.  Hence, we need to remember His kindness for two basic reasons. The first, so that we know where our blessings come from & can praise Him. Second, so that we can heed his warnings, and not go “off-roading” from His plan.  He wants us to keep our lives in His circle of love. The good memories keep us on track. And then there is the matter of the brokenness of our lives, the results of the darkness.  He wants to forgive them.  We need to forgive others and ourselves.  And then we need to bury those events in the graveyard, never to go back.  Not even to lay flowers.  There will come a time, when you are so healed, that you can share them with others to help them in their despair. But this is always from the side of victory, not defeat.  As a result we praise God all the more. Worship Man In the coming “holidays” focus on the good memories and try to banish the hurt and pain of things forgiven.  God has forgiven them, and buried them. We need to do the same, and then move on in the Love, Joy and Peace, that comes when we remember all the great things God has done for us, in us and through us.
    Mike-e1342678172131-150x150
    In Christi Gloriam,
    Pastor Mike


    I Should Have Been a Cowboy…

    I Should Have Been a Cowboy

    At least that what Toby Keith sings. bf01f0378654694e73c42df259260c40

    “I should've learned to rope and ride
    Wearing my six-shooter riding my pony on a cattle drive
    Stealing the young girl's hearts
    Just like Gene and Roy
    Singing those campfire songs
    I should've been a cowboy

    I might of had a side kick with a funny name
    Running wild through the hills chasing Jesse James
    Ending up on the brink of danger
    Riding shotgun for the Texas Rangers
    Go west young man, haven't you been told
    Sleeping out all night beneath the desert stars
    With a dream in my eye and a prayer in my heart”

    That song takes me back to my boyhood days when we lived up in Eureka and the redwood forests were my playground.  We watched all of the movies with Roy Rogers, Rocky Lane, Bob Steele, Bill Cody, Gene Autry, Hoot Gibson, the Lone Ranger, Lash La Rou, Randolph Scott, Rex Allen, Tex Ritter, and of course the ultimate cowboy John Wayne. The list goes on and on.  Every Saturday we would walk to town and watch a double feature of the Western movies for 35 cents. We got our popcorn in cereal type boxes, and during the intermission, we would fold them up flat and throw them like Frisbees.  They were flying all over the theater like space ships fighting some crazed battle in the dark of the some cartoon interlude between features.  Needless to say, I was hooked.

    Jan and I began serving in our first church up in the hills above Bakersfield.  It was a little old western town called Kernville, where people would retire out of the busy cities of LA.  It was certainly in vogue to wear hats and boots.  I wasted no time.  I loved it!  And it came with a lot of nostalgia for me.  Sometimes I feel like I should have been born back in the mid-19th century as a circuit riding preacher like the famous Peter Cartwright.

    There is nothing that can match the dreams and imaginations of childhood.

    We grow up having big romantic plans for our lives. Most of the time those childhood dreams morph into something more realistic.  After all, those heroic movies of the Texas rangers were fantasies.  It was really never that glorious, or heroic, or exciting as Hollywood made them.

    But if you love the great outdoors, and can see yourself in mountains riding a horse down the canyon with beautiful stream bubbling beside, you just might have a bit of the western spirit in your heart.  Cowboys loved the idea of freedom and the opportunity to do whatever they wanted. “Don’t tie me down” with a lot of laws and regulations.  They liked making their own rules.

    They had a fondness for excitement and danger.  They liked the open land and the beauty of nature. They loved their horses and a good saddle. They were attracted to the pristine wilderness and it became a favorite wandering place.  They didn’t like to be fenced in, just give them the freedom to roam.

    If you can identify with these things, you just might be a cowboy at heart.

     

    I believe that God loves those beautiful dreams of childhood. And I do believe that if we are following His pathway for our lives, sometimes, those dreams come into reality in one way or another.

     

    Psalm 37 contains a great promise to those who choose God’s pathway for their lives.

    3      Trust in the LORD and do good;

    Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

    4      Delight yourself in the LORD;

    And He will give you the desires of your heart.

    5      Commit your way to the LORD,

    Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

    6      He will bring forth your righteousness as the light

     

    When we allow God to take over our lives, and we begin to live in His desired pathway for us, His love has a way of intertwining some of our own dreams into His Divine plan for us.  He delights in our joy and happiness.

    Many people are afraid to turn the lives over to the control of God, for fear of what their life might be like if they have to follow His leading, and submit to His rules of the road.  I want to assure you from my own personal experience, that in following God, you will have some of the greatest adventures of your life.  Far beyond your wildest dreams of childhood.

    Give it a try.  You just might discover the greatest Joy of your life.

    Nothing can compete with or even begin to come close to God’s dream and vision for us.  You will be amazed.

     

    Riding down the canyon, Pastor Mike



    Pull the Trigger

    Forgive-and-Forget-50865062_300

    I once heard a pastor tell me, “I cannot forgive & will not forget.  I will take this to my grave.”

    Although in the coming years, he seemed to have forgotten this promise, I have an inner feeling he was still holding on as he died, and I know that his wife never forgot.  How sad.  This whole idea of I can’t forgive or forget is a lie of the devil.

    It is true that when bad things happen to us, it tends to stay front and center for some time, but by the grace of God it will fade away with time, never to be forgotten of course, but just not so debilitating.  It would be nice if we could just wipe our hard drive clean of the event, but our minds are not mechanical computers.  God made us living beings, not mechanical objects.

    But there is another truth that far surpasses any wound that we might experience, regardless of how painful, even if it remains in our memory banks.  God has graciously given us a heart that has the ability to over-ride the mind and the hurts and pains that come to us through life.  The heart is the center of our affections, the true compass of our lives, our life navigator if you will.  We do not have to hold these hurts in our hearts.

    No one has had his or her “heart” wronged more than God.  But when we reach out for His forgiveness, He puts these hurts behind Him, buries them in the deepest part of the sea and then posts a “no fishing” sign to warn us not to go there, He won’t. If God can put our sins behind Him, and we are made in His Image and filled with His Spirit, don’t you think that it might just be possible for us to put the hurts that people have caused us, behind us?  This is especially true where love comes into the equation.

    Because of God’s infinite love, mercy and grace, He chooses in Christ, to regard the sins that have been forgiven, as having never existed at all.

    That is just one of the glimpses of pure Heaven.  None of this pain will be remembered there.  That is the miracle of the forgiveness of God.  It sounds too good to be true.  But that is the essence of His love for us.  He allowed His son to bear our guilt & because of that sacrifice, He is willing to forgive, cleanse and prepare us for an eternity with Him, no guilt, no shame, no terrifying memories, no more hurt and no more emotional pain.

    Because of our status with God (forgiven and Spirit filled) we can do this, if we have the will to do it.  We can regard the sins that we have committed and the sins committed against us as never having existed.  Failure at this point robs us of the joy & peace of God.  It also keeps us from being used by God as effectively as He would like to do.  Is it risky to do so?  Of course!  But life in a fallen world is full of risks.  This is one risk that we can’t afford not to take.

    As followers of Jesus know, another world exists beyond this one.

    We can, in part, live in that world now.  The Kingdom of God has come with the 1st coming of the Messiah, Jesus.  We often forget that we can live in His Kingdom in the here and now.  There are so many promises about this in His Word. (To start check out the Psalms.)  Promises that he intended for us to inherit.  Promises that we can experience in the present world.  The final fulfillment, will come with His Second Coming, where He will literally bring His Reign into this world.

    While we live our lives in the great anticipation of His return, we can experience His heart, His peace, His forgiveness, His reconciliation, and even hearts that can let go of past hurts while living in the presence of His Glory.

    The Bible makes a direct connection between our heart and our lives. For instance, if you have a problem with profanity, that’s not a problem with your mouth. That’s a problem in your heart. If you tend to be critical and say sarcastic things, that’s not a problem in your mind. That’s a problem in your heart. If you tend to exaggerate things and shade the truth, that’s not a problem with your thought process. That’s a problem in your heart. If you tend to say things that you think people want you to say rather than what you really need to say, that’s not a problem with your fear, that’s a problem in your heart.  If you choose to live in the pain of the past, that is not a problem in your memories.  That is a problem in your heart. What you say, what you do, and what you feel has a direct connection to your heart.

    Whatever your heart is filled with is going to win the day as long as you live. If you’re filled with anger, anger is going to come out of your life.

    If your heart is filled with depression, it’s going to come out in your life.

    If your heart is filled with joy & peace, that’s going to radiate in your life.

    The Bible says in Mark 12:30, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (NLT). Another way to say this is, love God with all your talk, all your feelings, all your thinking, and all of your emotions and with all that you have.

    God’s warning is that what we say and hear is not enough!

    We also have to act. Proverbs 14:23 says,

    “Hard work is worthwhile, but empty talk will make you poor” (CEV).

    That means we’ve got to move ahead with our lives, not remain stuck in the past. We have to learn to trust others again and to love again. I know it doesn’t feel safe. Some people never get past the “thinking about this” stage. What are you doing with your life? How long have you been ruminating over it?

    When are you going to stop thinking about it and just do it?

    When are you going to stop aiming at living the full Christian life,  and simply pull the trigger?

     

    Mike-e1342678172131-150x150Veritas pro Christo et ecclesia,
    Pastor Mike