Worship The Lord Jesus

In Jesus Is True Joy!

In Loving Memory

2016-02-14 14.16.21 IN LOVING MEMORY

On July 8, 2000, Alice and I drove to Esparto CA, a small town near Sacramento, and purchased a white
miniature poodle named Cindy. Cindy was about 13 months old at the time and was originally bred as a show
dog.

 

When her owner brought Cindy out to us, we instantly fell in love with her and began a love affair that
lasted nearly 16 years. On the way home to our home in San Jose, we decided to change her name to Tiffany.

 

Yesterday, after a decline in health that lasted some time, Alice and I knew that it was time to say
goodbye to our loving little companion, February 25, 2016.

 

And today, we drove down to Royal Oaks, to the Loving Pet Cemetary of Monterey Bay and had her cremated.

 

Yesterday morning started like any other day with Tiffany and Suri playing while I made their breakfast,
and then, while I was eating mine, Tiffany jumped down from the couch she likes to sleep on. As she landed
on the floor, she seemed to stumble, and immediately her walking was hindered. I was very concerned and
asked Alice to keep an eye on her while I was at work.

 

2016-02-26 17.30.31But two hours later I got a call at work, “John, Tiffany can’t walk!”, Alice blurted out between sobs.

 

An hour later, Tiffany was at the vet, and barely an hour after that, we got the sad news that there was
nothing that he could do, and recommended that we put her out of her pain.

 

So, at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon, Tiffany received a large dose of a sedative drug and fell asleep in
Alice’s arms.

 

And today, less than 24 hours after we said goodbye to our baby, we began our drive home from Royal Oaks
with a little walnut box that contains all that remains of our sweet, sweet, loving Tiffany.  Tiffany always loved to ride in the car, so today, she rode home in her mommies lap, next to her heart, for one last time.

 

Neither one of us has yet to wrap our minds of the events that took place in a period of just 28 hours,
barely more than a day.

 

So, let me ask you a question. Is there someone in your life that you have been meaning to tell that you
love them, but somehow haven’t gotten around to it?

 

Tell them now! Just 24 hours can change everything you thought was the status quo. Even a brief instant,
a car crash, a heart attack, anything, can take that opportunity away forever.

 

Or maybe there is that someone who needs to hear the Goon News of Jesus Christ, but you keep putting it
off. Can you really afford to put it off any longer?

February 26, 2016 Posted by | In Memory, Mourning | , , | Leave a comment

Could This Happen In Your Church?

A pastor transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service. Only 3 people said hello to him, most looked the other way. He asked people for change to buy food because he was hungry. Not one gave him anything.

He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was told by the ushers that he would need to get up and go sit n the back of the HomelessManchurch. He said hello to people as they walked in but was greeted with cold stares and dirty looks from people looking down on him and judging him.

He sat in the back of the church and listened to the church announcements for the week. He listened as new visitors were welcomed into the church that morning but no one acknowledged that he was new. He watched people around him continue to look his way with stares that said you are not welcome here.

Then the elders of the church went to the podium to make the announcement. They said they were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce you to our new Pastor.” The congregation stood up and looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle.

That’s when all the clapping stopped and the church was silent. With all eyes on him….he walked up the altar and reached for the microphone. He stood there for a moment and then recited so elegantly, a verse from the bible…..

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me.’

After he recited this, he introduced himself as their new pastor and told the congregation what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and bow their heads in shame. “Today I see a gathering of people here but I do not see a church of Jesus. The world has enough people that look the other way. What the world needs is disciples of Jesus that can follow this teachings and live as he did. When will YOU decide to become disciples?

He then dismissed service until the following Sunday as his sermon had been given.

August 11, 2015 Posted by | Christian, God's Word, Jesus | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A New Journey – Trusting His Word

I met with an old friend and co-worker today to discuss the possibilities of doing contract work, which is new to me.  Up until now I have only worked full-time.  He was able to share many insights and to get me thinking about thing I have not considered before.  I am sure his comments will be valuable as my job search gets underway in earnest.

 

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August 27, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Faith, God's Grace, God's Word | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A New Journey – Tongues, Really?

Holy-Spirit-Fire-in-RedAs I write in this journal, I guess that I should try to define what this journey is all about.  Where is it headed, for instance?

 

But that’s just it, I don’t know exactly where it is headed, but I do know Who is directing it, my Lord, Jesus.  Literally, the only one I would trust with the direction of my life.

 

I see this journey, and what I hope to journal, as being split into two areas.  First, there is the physical aspect, which began last Thursday when I worked my last day on my job and will continue at least until I find other employment or learn of the Lord’s purpose otherwise.  But then there is the spiritual aspect which began earlier, even before my salvation, and will continue until the day I meet the Lord face to face.

 

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August 21, 2014 Posted by | Baptism, Christian, Holy Spirit | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A New Journey

ANewJourney

(See journal index at the end of this introductory post)

A little over five years ago I was laid off during the peak of the recession.  I was out of work for sixteen months, finally landing a job in August 2010.

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August 19, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Faith, Godliness | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Testimony

Hi, I want to share about a few events from my past that you may find useful.

As a teenager, I began experimenting with life, with doing things my way rather than how my parents taught me.  At fifteen, I began smoking cigarettes, and then experimenting with alcohol at sixteen. By the time I was eighteen I was using marijuana, and a year later, I was using heavier drugs, mostly LSD and cocaine, but I had experimented with others as well. I was also becoming sexually active and had developed an addiction to pornography.

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May 26, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Discipleship, Faith | , , , , , , | 21 Comments

If I Firmly Believed…

Church Building“If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences the eternal destiny of others, then religion would mean everything to me. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as folly, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I would labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay my hand nor seal my lips. Earth, its joys and its griefs, would occupy no moments of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach in season and out of season, and my text would be, “What shall it profit man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”

–Written by a professing atheist in 1787

If we are in Christ, we should share His burden for the lost and be moved out of our pews in Church and into the streets or wherever the lost are found.

April 26, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Evangelism, Faith, Great Commission | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Good Friday Reflections

Today is Good Friday, the day when Christianity traditionally remembers the passion and sacrifice of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

I have been pondering some of the circumstances that occurred around this time. First, after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, a Jewish council decided to ignore this most notable miracle and plotted to kill Jesus instead.

I thought, how tragic it is that the council could be so caught up in their own self-interest that they would decide on this course of action rather than seeing events for what they were.

And then, there was a string of events that occurred while Jesus was on the cross: The earth was darkened for three hours, and when He died there was a great earthquake. And most notable of all, the Temple veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies, was torn in two.

One might think that someone might take this as a sign maybe that something unusual, even unique, had just taken place.

But no, these events were ignored, and blind self-interest was the order of the day.

And I wonder, am I guilty of blind self-interest? And if I am, how would I know?

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139: 23-24

April 18, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Faith, Good Friday | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Church In America

Over the years, the Gallup polling organization has polled a broad swath of Americans on a variety of issues.  Among those issues, they have polled Americans on divorce rates, the rate at which Americans have affairs or have abortions, how much we give to charities, and many more.  And of course, when they do these polls they also ask if the respondent considers themselves to be a Christian or not.

As of 2013, 41% of Americans consider themselves to be Born Again.  And yet, Christians are just about as likely as non-Christians to be involved in an affair, to get a divorce, or to have an abortion, and no more likely than non-Christians to give money to a charitable organizations, even to their own Church  for those who attend services.

Many, many so-called Christians have heard the Gospel presented, either by an Evangelist or Pastor, or by a lay person sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with them individually, and have responded by saying that simple prayer we have all been told we should get a potential convert to recite, and then we convince them and ourselves that if they repeated the prayer that they are now a Christian and that their eternal destiny is secure.  But is it?  What does the Bible say?

1 John 2:15-17 says:

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

We can see from these verses that there are two types of people, those who do the will of the Father and abide forever, and those who love the world and its lusts.  We can see that he who does the will of the Father abides forever, that is, has eternal life, but those who love the world do not abide forever, that is, they do not have eternal life.

And this same thought is stated by Jesus when He said:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”  —  Matthew 7:21

In the following passage, which is right before Matthew 7:21 actually, Jesus compares good fruit and bad fruit:

You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?   Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.   A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.   Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.   Therefore by their fruits you will know them.  —  Matthew 7:16-20

So, a tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.  In human terms, the lack of good fruit would be lack of obedience to God, and the fire would be judgment.

So, if we look at a person’s life and find it filled with immorality, adultery, lying, cheating, et al, in other words, if they are behaving as the world behaves, if we are to believe Jesus, the reasons is, they are not of the Father, but of the world.  (Look back at 1 John 2:15-17 again)

Of course, no one is perfect.  Even the holiest of men still commit sin.  So how does that fit in?

It is all a matter of attitude.  If a person sins and is convicted by God for his sin, if he feels a sense of guilt and remorse for having disappointed the Lord, that person is likely a child of the Father.  If, on the other hand, a person commits sin continually and repeatedly with no sense of guilt or remorse, that person is likely still in the world, and of the world.

So, when I see statistics that show that Christians and non-Christians commit adultery or get divorced sat about the same rate, I believe that the Bible gives ample support to the conclusion that many of those people who profess Christ do not also possess Christ.

We have a tendency to think that these thing don’t apply to us, or you may be thinking that I am being legalistic and expecting Christians to perform in a certain way to show themselves approved before God.  But that is backwards thinking.  We do not behave in a certain way to obtain or maintain our salvation.  Rather, we behave in a certain way because we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and if we do not, it may be evidence that we are none of His.

And, I think very soberly upon the words of our Lord:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.   Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  —  Matthew 7:13-14

So, what ought we to do?  I think Paul has the right advice.  This is not something that the Christian should take lightly, considering the eternal nature of the consequences.  Paul exhorts the Corinthian Christians:

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.  2 Corinthians 13:5

I look at the state of our nation, and I lay responsibility for its state directly at the feet of the Church in America.  The Lord said that we are salt and light.  Perhaps, but if we were behaving as salt and light behave, we would not be where we are today.

Let us pray together that we as a Church begin again to follow our Lord as the top priority in our lives.  And let the first person to make the decision to walk as close to Jesus as we can get be us!  

God bless us all.

April 2, 2014 Posted by | America In Crisis, Discipleship, Sanctification | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sacrament Of Life

“The Sacrament Of Life” is the title of the last chapter of A.W. Tozer’s book, “The Pursuit Of God” For anyone who has not read this book, I highly recommend it. It has provided so many blessings to me.prayinghands_6

But none greater than the last chapter. In it, Mr. Tozer describes the difficulty that many Christians have with the two areas of their lives, the sacred and the secular. As Christians we want to live in the sacred acts of prayer, fellowship, shared worship, etc. but we find ourselves living in a secular world which forces us to deal with such tasks of making money, maintaining our home and transportation, etc. Thus we are forced to switch back and forth between our inner spiritual life and our external secular one.

But Mr’ Tozer points out very eloquently how this view of two separate “lives” is nothing more than a misconception on the part of believers.

At the heart of Mr. Tozer’s argument are some of Paul’s exhortations to believers that point out how the Lord intends for us to approach our lives.

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  —  1 Corintians 10:31

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  —  Collossians 3:17

Seeing these verses, and others like them, it is clear that God never intended for us to separate our lives into secular and sacred. Rather, we are to do all to the glory of God. Every act then, whatever it may be, is to be done as an act of worship to the Lord.

Another verse that should drive the point home is where Paul exhorts bond servants and their relationship to their masters. In our day we could think of this as how an employee should relate to his employer:

Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.  —  Ephesians 6:5-6

When we go through our daily routine at work, we should give our employers the same level of service as if we were working directly for the Lord.  And, by extension, when we are engaged in any of our earthly tasks, we should look to perform them as unto the Lord, glorifying Him in all that we do.

January 23, 2014 Posted by | Faith, Godliness, Uncategorized, Worship | , , , , , | 6 Comments