And Jesus was Amazed

Maybe it just me? Perhaps I’m reading more into than I should? I know I’ve read in the bible where the people were amazed at Jesus for one reason or another. Amazement seems to imply to be astonished or surprised. That’s how I’ve thought of being amazed. It’s being in a sense of ‘Wow.’ 

So to read where Jesus was amazed kinda caught me by surprise. He is so aware of what goes on, yet He wondered or marveled in this instance. I have read the verse many times. For some reason it struck a little different. Here is the verse and the reason Jesus was amazed. 

“And He wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.” Mark‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭NASB‬‬ http://bible.com/100/mrk.6.6.nasb

“He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.” ‭‭Mark‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬ http://bible.com/111/mrk.6.6.niv

I would say Jesus is still amazed and for the same reason. 

Until next time,

Hoss

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NewSpring Church & Forgiveness 

Forgiveness is not selective. It is all encompassing. 

Local news and Social Media are keeping the events at the local mega church, NewSpring Church, before our eyes all week. Pastor Perry Noble was removed from his role as pastor last Sunday July 10, 2016. 

While you might like for me to get into a dialogue of the particulars of the incident, I’m going to disappoint you. I’m not interested in character assassination or dissecting a local congregation of believers. I confess I’ve not been a fan or follower of Mr. Noble nor of certain practices of the fellowship. However, I’ll tell you what I am a fan of. 

First I’m a fan of holding a person, any person, accountable for their actions. Particularly if they are in a leadership position. I commend the staff for dealing with the situation in what appears to be a loving Christian manner. 

I’m also a fan of congregational forgiveness. Regardless of the sin or what ‘level’ of sin some might consider the offense, for the congregation to stand alongside their leader in his decision to get back to where God wants him is biblical. 

Forgiveness is not automatic. It should be genuine and biblically practiced. It is to be widespread. Let me demonstrate with a true story. In the early 1990’s I listened to the Ref. Charles Stanley from Atlanta First Baptist tell of a personal experience he had in a Atlanta bus station or airport. I forget which venue it happened at. I listened with much interest because of my regard for Rev. C. Stanley. 

The very next Sunday I sat in my local church and listened to the guest speaker for that Sunday morning. He was a young high school student going into the ministry. As he delivered the morning message, he began to tell of a personal experience he recently had. It was virtually word for word with what Rev. C. Stanley had shared just a few days earlier on his radio program. 

I’ve never forgotten it. I think of the guys youth and place a level of trust in the hope he has grown to be more Carrefour in the illustrations he employs. That young man has grown up and just recently been placed as an interim leader of a large mega church. Forgiveness doesn’t need to be selective but available to all and in all cases where it is needed. Forgiveness is warranted here. It was an error in judgment. I forgive him. Even if it is remembered, I can forgive. In fact I use it as a call to action in my use of illustrations etc…

I’m also a fan of a person owning up to their sin. I commend Mr. Noble for seeking treatment and acknowledging his failure. I wish him a deliberate, ongoing, recovery showered in the grace and love of Almighty God. 

I wish forgiveness was as quickly broadcasted for others as it has been here. 

Until Next Time,

Hoss

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Fixing the baby’s bottle

I met with a group of men yesterday morning for breakfast, prayer, and bible study. It’s an accountability group. One of the men, Jon, shared an analogy of how we often react to God’s work in our lives. His analogy went something like this. A baby will fuss and whine and show his displeasure at its parents when it is hungry and wants to be fed. Little does the baby realize mom or dad is busy fixing the bottle. It’s not like mom or dad isn’t doing something for the baby. It’s just that the baby is not aware how busy they are in getting what it needs. As Christians we often whine, cry and complaine to God for not taking action when all along He is quite busy working for us! 

As a new grandparent I’ve recently watched this scene played out a few times. As I thought about this analogy I was impressed to take it a step further. For instance, some parents will try to calm and satisfy the hungry whining baby with a pacifier while working to get the bottle ready.

For some babies the pacifier does its job and pacifies the little tot for a short period. Other babies not so much. They just spit the thing out and cry and whine all the more. 

Ever wonder if we Christians ever get tired of waiting on God or just figure He isn’t doing anything to satisfy our need. The result is finding some other object to pacify us while we wait. That “pacifier” may not be what God wants for us. He may be some activity, event or preoccupation to satisfy us while we wait. It may very well be something which is really bad for us. Embracing false doctrine, leaning towards apostasy, rebellion, denial, dabbing into sinful lust and lifestyle. God is given up on and cast aside for weak unfulfilling replacements.

“But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.”” John‬ ‭6:61-69‬ ‭NASB‬‬


Just because we don’t see God at work to satisfy our needs doesn’t mean He isn’t busy. My brothers and sister, do not cast God aside and exchange Him for temporal fulfillment. 

There are some good pacifiers. What to do while you wait on God? Choose these pacifiers. Be in prayer. Be active in bible study. And be active in witnessing for God.

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:31‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Until next time,

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Discipleship, Faith, God's Favor, Jesus, Leadership, Scripture, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Lessons from the Orlando Mass Shooting

I am in no way a wise person. I am a simple person whose thoughts likely don’t reflect those of a deep thinker. I am a man who evaluates himself and situations. 

Our immediate response to the senseless, evil, wickedness and cowardice shooting of over one hundred people of which fifty died is to ask why? It’s normal to ask why? The challenge is to ask “How.” How do we respond? How do we prevent such future actions? So many other ‘how’ questions to answer. I come away with one soul-wrenching lesson. 

Learn from this the URGENCY OF THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. 

Genuine Christianity prevents these types of events, therefore we born again Christians should be vigilant in sharing the gospel. It is urgent. How many lives left this world as a result of the mass shooting whose eternal destiny is not heaven. They never trust Jesus Christ as their Savior and sided without Him. They did not know today was their last day. 

God have mercy on our souls for not being more active as His witness. 

The passage is long but take the time to read, study and heed God’s Word.

“And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’ “Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life. “Now as for you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus you have spoken, saying, “Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we are rotting away in them; how then can we survive?”‘ Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord G OD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’ And you, son of man, say to your fellow citizens, ‘The righteousness of a righteous man will not deliver him in the day of his transgression, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he will not stumble because of it in the day when he turns from his wickedness; whereas a righteous man will not be able to live by his righteousness on the day when he commits sin.’ When I say to the righteous he will surely live, and he so trusts in his righteousness that he commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds will be remembered; but in that same iniquity of his which he has committed he will die. But when I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die,’ and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness, if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.” Ezekiel‬ ‭33:1-15‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Until Next Time, 

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Death, Faith, Jesus, Life's Lessons, Missions, Religious, Scripture, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Alarm Clock


Don’t you just love the alarm clock! That aggravating tool that tells us what we ought to do and that’s it’s time to do it! 

My wife and I use our cell phones as our alarm clock. Mine rings and I get up. I have it set for the time I need to get up and get moving. My wife on the other hand employs the snooze feature. She has it timed out to how many snooze sessions she can have before she has to get up and arrive only ten minutes late (just kidding honey). 

If you are like me your cell phone has other alarms than the time. Just this morning I woke up to the following alarms. 

A senseless killing
Racism
Domestic Abuse
Prejudice and discretion
God Made A Mistake?

These links are just a quick handful of stories in the USA Today news app. They give a glimpse into the other ‘alarms’ sounding in our days. It is a sad commentary on the wickedness and confusion of people. He desire to ‘live as you please’ has kicked absolutes, appropriateness and acceptability to the curb. 

There are few absolute right or wrongs in our day. The day is coming when those will become negotiable. I.e. Pedophilia. 

What used to be inappropriate is now deemed left to the individuals preference. For example, funeral and church attire, the vocabulary used in front of little kids, respect for elders and the lives of little children. Now, the focus is to argue not for what is appropriate but what I want because it is my decision and “Only God Can Judge Me.” Well, my friend, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God. (Hebrews 10:31) 

Society is called upon to accept what used to be unacceptable. We have not evolved but continue to devolve into greater depravity (wickedness).

The alarm clock is an aggravating tool but it serves a great purpose if used properly. The other alarm clock that serves an even greater purpose and will serve us tremendously into eternity if used properly is Gods Word. 

So what are you to follow? The World? 

The World

Or The Word?

The Word

Until Next Time,

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Faith, God's Favor, Happiness, Heaven, Religious, Scripture, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Muhammed Ali & The Forgotten Focus

Muhammed Ali was an entertaining boxer, actor and celebrity. Like millions of other people, I have watched the host of stories about him and his life being aired because of his death. Without a doubt he has impacted millions of lives with his many accomplishments in the sporting arena and in the entertainment industry. Muhammed Ali demanded attention just by his personality. He certainly had a way with words. He could rhyme on a dime! 

A great deal of focus has been on his life and especially today, his funeral service. I understand that. It is likely we have come to expect such attention given celebrities throughout their lives and a pinpoint focus at their deaths. 

With all the attention celebrities are given, the focus is vast and multiplied. However, there is a forgotten focus. Does one dare say anything about what is not focused on? The forgotten focus in the lives of celebrities is one thing they have in common with ordinary people. No one focuses on their eternal destiny. Little attention is given to where they will spend eternity. 

Why? Because it’s dangerous ground to focus on ones eternal destiny. It would mean being absolutely clear about your realtionship with Jesus. It would mean coming out about your view on how to secure an eternal relationship with Almighty God. There is a simple right and wrong here but society wants to make concessions. God doesn’t. 

I can not and will not state emphatically about anyone’s eternal destiny except for mine. I know I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior in April 1978. I am going to heaven because of Jesus. My soul was and is saved by Jesus and His shed blood on the cross. 

Just as certain as I know of my own salvation, I also know the Holy Bible tells us those who reject Jesus will also be rejected. You refuse to receive Jesus as your personal Savior, you refuse to accept eternity in Heaven. You self-impose yourself to Hell. God does not ‘damn’ anyone. Quite the contrary, He stands ready to redeem. He loves you that much. 

God is a jealous God and will not share His glory with anyone’s alliance with an idol they deem as a god. It matters little as to the pomp and circumstance of a funeral service. It can be the most elaborate of all services. Without Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you are not going to Heaven. 

It’s time to focus on the eternal destiny. Focus on where they are going and not where they have been and what they have done. That goes for any person. 

Until Next Time,

Hoss

Posted in Christian, Death, Faith, God's Favor, Heaven, Jesus, love, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Perceived Truth

“What is perceived as truth can become accepted as real truth even when it is not absolute truth.” 

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