Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: October 2014

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Picture Jesus

Hello All,

What’s your “perfect dream job”? That thing you know you’d be good at but also have a lot of fun doing. In another life I think I could’ve been a pretty descent Marketing Rep – specifically, in Advertising. We can all picture ourselves in a job where our potential would be maximized. If you’re anything like me, it’s funny, ‘cause when watching TV and seeing people doing your dream job, you can’t help but imagine what you would do, or you give a nod of approval when someone does it well. Maybe you’ve seen the Corona commercials where every situation that involves a Corona, automatically is considered “a beach”. I think that’s clever, and on another level, very thought provoking.

Let’s take that concept and make it spiritual: Whatever thing is closest to your heart, that’s your “Jesus”. You immediately get it right? So many people have SO many different Jesus’; for some, it’s their job, for some it’s their family, for some, it’s their hopes for the future that they’re feverishly working towards now…the list is endless. I imagine that for believers, we all believe that Jesus is the closest to our hearts. But is He really? Is The True Jesus, the Jesus of your heart? Is He the closest thing to it? It’s too easy to answer and say “Yes” but I believe I can also say confidently, that Jesus isn’t fooled. He knows exactly where He is among your list of things that occupy your affections.

Here’s The Word;

Luke 14: 26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

I understand we’re all growing and are at different levels all that; but in all seriousness, I think basically He’s saying that if you’ve picked a different Jesus, then you’re probably not where you think you are. None of us will ever reach perfection here, but is your heart in such pursuit of Him, that it’s your primary concern?

The sad thing about our culture is that we make allowances for other things to be our Jesus. If your married ,courting, dating or just interested in someone, it’s not uncommon to hear “They’re the answer to all my prayers” – You’re less likely to hear someone chime in and say “you’ve got quite a catch, just make sure you keep Jesus, your Jesus”. Even in marriage, we have this thing we say – Your family is your first ministry. And trust me, I get it; we hope we’re saying that priority be that their house be spiritually lead before they start trying to tackle a bunch of other extra-curricular activities (ministerially speaking). However, we also assume an obviousness to these situations without regard for how easily our vision can be distorted. If you’ve got a job making good money, that’s a blessing right? It IS a blessing but it should not be as close to your heart as Jesus. Even working in ministry, the position begins to take center stage. This is terribly dangerous because it starts so innocently and usually from proper motives.

Well, I think I’ve made the point. This is not about condemnation; it’s about encouragement to take a long look at your heart. Write down a list of things that are important to you and then look at where you spend a typical 24 hour period – even look at a full week. We may wholeheartedly say that we love Jesus with all of our hearts but you’re the time you spend may paint a different picture…it’ll also help you see who you picked for your Jesus. Picture Jesus when you pick your Jesus.

In Him, Cros

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Here Comes Trouble!

Hello All

What’s the last scary movie you’ve seen? At this time of year, the things that scare us take center stage and I must admit, I used to be a big…I’m talking BIG fan of horror movies. Something about the creativity of it all really intrigued me. The idea of some scary thing; a house, a car, a ghost, zombies, deranged killer, family pet, or a possessed doll being brought to bear on people’s insecurities. These have all been made into creative presentations that would make you want to leave the lights on at night. If you’ve ever watched a horror movie, you know that the setting is as important as the ‘scary’ thing itself. It’s almost always dark and the misty fog shows up on cue along with the change in music to something obviously unsettling…they’re prepping the stage to scare you out of your wits. Somehow they want you to start anticipating….here comes trouble!

Here’s The Word:

Matthew 8:28-29 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. 29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Now when it comes to scary movies, your usual ax-wielding creepy clown, or deranged hitchhiker can truly deliver up some terrifying situations, but when it comes to portraying the real horror that indeed exists in the spiritual realm, that’s a whole ‘nother level of unsettling.

On the one hand, this is a sobering demonstration and authenticating realization of Jesus as Eternal God, but on the other hand, somehow, the way this Biblical scene plays out is kind of humorous to me: Here we have the town’s people who are obviously very familiar with these two. I imagine that previously, anytime they had some need to pass this way, the background music would change and things would slow down as their eyes darted and searched for any hint of movement to alert them to the “coming trouble”. And without fail, these two characters would live up to their reputation, instilling bone-rattling fear into anyone who thought themselves brave enough to give it a try. It makes me wonder if on some level, the demons enjoyed watching the people flee in terror.

And then we have Jesus! I wonder if as the demons saw Him, did the music change for them? Did they suddenly begin to focus on His hands to detect any sort of sudden movements? In trying to hide their fear, did they avoid eye contact? From afar off, when these two ‘exceeding fierce’ characters beheld Jesus – I see them looking at each other thinking, “Here comes trouble”. Look at how the tables have turned. Here, we have the ‘monsters’ crying, saying “What do you want with us? Are you going to torture us? I’m not one to “meddle” with the demonic realm but only because of who I am in Christ allows me to enjoy this on the level of Christ is SO AWESOME!

I will never preach that it’s our job to do any kind of battling with devils and demons; This aint that kind of message. If you believe you’re called to that sort of thing, you better be DARN sure! I see in Acts 19:15 where a certain demon knew Paul and seemingly had a respect for him (as opposed to the seven guys he didn’t know and commenced to givin’ them the business.) But it should do our hearts well when Jesus says to take courage in the midst of the troublesome situations we face, because HE has overcome the world…demons and all. We may become shaken and stirred when our problems come, but as we cast our cares on Him: As sure as His unshakable Truth, we should stand firm in the realization that when problems see Jesus - they say “Here comes trouble”.

In Him,