True North Trek : Luke 4:16-21 and Isaiah 61:1-3 Part 2

Happy Mothers day again!

Lets continue on in Isaiah 61 the second half of verse 1:

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,”.

As I was saying the other day we as Christians have tremendous resource to positively effect the lives of the people around us when we share the Gospel. The Good news of Christ is powerful, freeing, and life giving, as a person who knows this, it is selfish not to want to share it. Please share what you know, you may be the one that changes a broken and hopeless life eternally. What an honor to be able to introduce someone to the God who created the universe “Jesus”. Amazing!!! don’t you think?

There are a lot of broken hearted people out there. Most of us have been there at one time or another. Some people are so down that it’s all they know, no hope for anything to ever change. God alone has the power to truly heal broken hearts. We can not heal a person, but with the power of God’s word and a compassionate heart, we can bind there wound and help them to the one who can.

If you are in the woods hiking and you come across someone who has fallen and broken a leg. Do you have the knowledge and ability to heal that leg? I’m going to say no. You do though have the ability to find some sticks, some rope or clothing and then bind the leg in a stable position. This will protect it and prevent further damage so you can help the person down the hill to someone who can really help them. It seems so obvious to help this person and yet daily we don’t notice the multitude of terminally broken hearts all around us. God has given us the power in his word to bind the wounds of the broken hearted, don’t waste this gift.

Proclaim freedom to the captives! Many people have fallen into captivity to the snares of the devil, in other words “sin”. Christian and non christians, Satan is an equal opportunity deceiver. Alcohol, drugs, pornography, greed, adultery (the list goes on and on and on) hold so many people captive without the ability on their own to be set free. Sins first taste is usually pretty sweet and by the time you taste the bitterness your captive to it.

Like Pinocchio and the lost boys on pleasure island, everything was great in the beginning but before they figured it out, sin had made an ASS I mean donkey of them. They were captives. The Gospel of Christ has the power to set people free, YOU have the power to share it with them! Once again my favorite word AWESOME!!! isn’t it?

A release from darkness for the prisoner. A prisoner is a little different than a captive, usually a captive is not were they are out of judgement or punishment. There are so many people that are in such a dark place, because of who they think they are or what they have done, they think they deserve the prison they are in. There is no hope and no expectation of freedom from whatever it is that has them bound.

In Isaiah’s day and even in the time of Jesus if you ended up in prison you usually didn’t expect to get out accept by death. Prison was a dark, damp, diseased and filthy existence and I’m sure after years of this, your concept or hope for freedom would  completely disappear. We  have neighbors, relatives, coworkers and so many others that we come in contact with that have been prisoners of darkness for so long they no longer expect to see the light of freedom. We can shine the light of the Gospel into their lives and the power of God can tear down the prison walls.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful beyond anything I can explain to change peoples live eternally. For some reason God has given us the privilege to share it with the humanity he so dearly loves. Don’t miss the opportunity when it comes.

Well I guess there will be part three. I love this stuff! I hope your getting something from this to.

As always

GOD is GOOD!!!

comments welcome

Don’t Forget the Moms in your Life!

If your like me you are surrounded by Moms, of course only one of them is “The Mom”, but they all are a great blessing in my life. Thank all of you!!

My mother is an amazing woman, 78 and still very active, she works part time at two jobs and active with the local Fire Bells. She has four children, five grand children and three great grandchildren. Thanks mom for always being there for all of us! It is awesome to know that my grandchildren will be able to tell thier children about great grandma Leavers, what a legacy. Thanks again MOM!

My awesome wife and best friend is the next mom I want to Thank. She has given me three of the most amazing children. They all have her beauty, both physically and in spirit. I am such a lucky man to  have found this beautiful woman to spend my life with. Thank you Baby!

I also need to thank my daughter Jessica for being such a phenomenal young mother to my grandbabies (not so much babies anymore). She is so dedicated to thier happiness and teaching them to be good and respectful children. I like to think she might have gotten some of that from her mom and I. Thank You Little Girl You are amazing.

Just a general Thank You to all the other Mothers that have been part of mine and my childrens life. Being a mother is not easy, God picked the roles we play so well. As obvious and stupid as this sounds, men would make really crappy moms! God Bless all you Mothers you are not only a blessing to your children but a tremendous influence in the course of society. Without good moms the future suffers!!

So if you have a mom, that probably includes you, don’t forget them. They may not be perfect, but niether are you. Honor them for the life they have given you and all the oportunities that life has to offer.

God thank you for moms. Bless them and fill thier lives with joy!

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!!!

GOD is GOOD!!!

True North Trek : Luke 4:16-21 and Isaiah 61:1-3

A little side step from John, I’ll get back to that after this post, but I wanted to share a teaching I did several years ago that I really like and hope you do too.

The verse in Luke references the verse in Isaiah. Here is Jesus shortly after being tempted in the desert (not tempted by the dessert) he has just returned to Nazereth where he grew up. He walks into the synagogue, takes the scroll of Isaiah and reads Isaiah 61:1-3 rolls it up and then sits down. Everyone looks at him like “yeah! and?” kinda of confused like they were expecting a little more. They had heard of Jesus, they had heard of his teachings, by now they had heard the claims that he was the Messiah, they expected more. Then Jesus states “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”. Basically he is saying this is another prophecy of who I am, I am the Good News Isaiah is proclaiming. If you read on you see it doesn’t take long for the Nazerites to start questioning Jesus’ credientials until he has to rebuke them and move on, but that’s for another time.

 Luke 4: 16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18″The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”  20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Now I believe that Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of the verse in Isaiah, some would disagree, but o-well what’s new. The reason I love this passage is, as people born into Christ, this is also talking about us. Look up Isaiah 61:1-3 and I’m going to walk through this passage and how it applies to every Christian who proclaims the Good News.

“Isaiah 61:1The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. ” If you are a Born again believer in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on you, it’s promised, it’s a fact, beleive it! As beleivers we are anointed (set apart for a Holy use) to preach the Gospel, The Good News of Christ, to the poor. Now today in our warped since of priorities when we here “poor” we instantly think money. Poor is just a word to describe a lack of something you need. It could be money but it could also be health, memory, sight or Good News. If people don’t feel they are missing something or need something, even though you think they are poor, they probably don’t feel poor.

Everyone is poor who doesn’t know Jesus! We are called to share Jesus with the poor and there are a lot of poor people out there. Some don’t know they are poor and will reject it, but some day they may realize their poverty and remember your words, unless of course they never heard them. Others (most people) know they are missing something in their lives and will receive the Good News when they hear it. Maybe not imediatly but if they are truely seeking, then God’s word will not come back void. What an awesome ability God has given us to make poor people excedingly rich beyond their dreams!

 The comercial claims “You can become RICH RICH RICH in 3 easy steps”.  We can proclaim ” You can have everything you ever possibly could need in one easy Verse JOHN 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

How awesome is that! Go make some poor person, maybe that neighbor that has everything, very very rich. Remember you are anointed all that is stopping you is excuses.

Well this is going to take longer than I thought. So part two and maybe three are coming!

As always GOD is GOOD!!!!

comments welcome:)

Amazing Story! Human determination and inginuity

Take a look at this link:

Paralyzed Claire Lomas completes London Marathon

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/athletics/london-marathon/9252205/Paralysed-Claire-Lomas-completes-London-Marathon.html

(copy and paste to view if link doesn’t work)

I was doing my morning scan of the news and came across this story on The Drudge Report. It is amazing what the human mind and the spirit of determination can accomplish. Here is a lady who refused to allow her circumstance to define her life. It would have been news worthy for her to walk around the block, but too spend 16 days to complete a marathon when she shouldn’t have been able to walk at all “WOW”. She is showing to herself and the world tragedy doesn’t have to determine who you are. I have two good legs and I don’t  have enough commitment to do a marathon.

I am so impressed by people like Claire and all the military vets who are missing limbs who don’t accept there situation as who they are. I get all “woe ease me” about the stupidest little things that come along. “I don’t know if I can do that cause my back hurts” “Oh! if I do that my knees will ache for days” “I should really start exercising more, but I just don’t have time, and I don’t feel that good” kind a pathetic comparatively don’t you think!

The other thing that blows my mind is how we have found ways to fix things that just 20 years ago meant a life in a wheelchair, being bed bound or death. God has blessed the human mind with a tremendous capacity to solve even the most complicated problems. Every year medical issues that where once terminal or permanently debilitating are being resolved with cures and fixes never before thought possible. Of course there is so many other diseases and disabilities that still need cures: cancer, aids, heart disease, stroke the list goes on, but again every year advancements in almost every area are happening.  The human mind and will are extremely powerful forces when focused on bettering the human condition and of course, without God’s guidance can also be pretty darn destructive too.

The next time you think you can’t accomplish something, just stop and look around. It won’t take long for you to find someone who has already conquered that obstacle and even more. God is with you, in every trial, He may not take it away, but he will take you through it. Whether it’s a miraculous healing, or the ingenuity and determination of the God given human mind, He will be with you.

Remember the ultimate healing is in the heart. A heart turned to Christ, is a body eternally healed. This life is temporary, no matter the trial, keep your eyes on True North!

GOD is GOOD!!!

Psalm 33:1-3

Psalm 33:1-3

1.Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.

2.Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.

3.Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

This verse brought me back to the concert I mentioned the other day at our Church by the Williams Family. They have a very interesting ministry traveling from church to church putting on concerts for love offerings. Trusting God that they will get enough money to get to the next town and food to eat. What Faith!! They played multiple instruments, all stringed, many of which I had never seen or heard of. Talking to the mother, I can’t remember her name, she said that a lot of their instruments were given to them by people they have met in their travels. When they get something new they figure out how to play and teach themselves. This is quite amazing to a guy who’s greatest musical talent is listening. They also added a little puppet show for the kids and a very impressive acting skit by the daughter. Very enjoyable evening!

The scripture and the concert have little to do with what I want to share today other than it was what got me thinking. I do that sometimes!

Service, following God’s call, not looking at the cost but working for the goal. That’s what impressed me about this family. They where so faithful to the call of God on there family, two generations, doing what God led them to do. They aren’t doing it for the high tech comfort of living in an old bus with no running water. They aren’t doing it so that they can look at the offering and decide whether to buy groceries or gas. They are doing it to serve the Kingdom, to bring Christ to a world that desperately needs to hear of Him. What a testimony of obedience.

Not everyone is called to be missionaries, whether it’s in some third world country, or driving from church to church spreading the Gospel. But we all are called to do something, and we should do whatever it is with just as much commitment as this family shows.

I don’t know what God has put on your heart, but I do know if he is calling you to something he will give you the means to accomplish it. There have been many times throughout my Christian walk when I have felt God guiding me to do a particular thing. Sometimes I’ve done it (with great blessing), other times I’ve complained, made excuses, said “I think I’ll pass” or just plain ignored God’s voice. I have learned that God very seldom makes you do anything. He will call you, lead you, put people in your life to affirm that call, but he doesn’t make you do it. What he does is find a willing heart in someone else and accomplishes his work through them. They get the Blessing, and you, well maybe you’ll listen next time.

God Loves a willing heart. God has chosen us to be his body here on earth. We are called to further His Kingdom, preach the Good News, Love are neighbors and yes our enemies. There is so much to do, we all aren’t preachers and evangelists, but they can’t do there calling without help and support from the rest of the family.

Pray, Listen, Seek out God’s will for your life. What ministry, service, gift is God placing on your heart. When you hear God speak, don’t say I can’t do that, (God already knows you can’t on your own) but say “God show me how!” Then walk the path he lays out before you!

Till next time.

GOD is GOOD!!!

ODG Monday Samuel Cavert

        “The worst moment for an atheist is when he feels grateful and has no one to thank.”

Samuel Cavert

I found this quote on the internet and just had to write about it. Samuel Cavert isn’t one of the traditional ODG’s I would quote in that he is not well known name in the history of the church.  I really don’t know a lot about him other than he was a minister in the Church of Christ and was very vocal against the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II. That being said I really like the quote so here goes.

It is interesting to me that an atheist can be so condemning of faith, when in reality no matter what you believe it requires faith. When you don’t believe that there is a God, you have to have a lot of faith that there isn’t a God, or else your really screwed. I guess there is one exception to my first statement, you could be an agnostic and not have enough commitment to believe anything. It’s hard to have faith if you can’t even pick something to believe in.

As Christians were in a pretty good position, first the obvious, we’re saved by the blood of Christ and our eternity is sure.  But even by the impossible chance that there is no god, what possible harm can come from our faith in God. Of course there’s the “fact” that we are brainwashed mindless simpletons taught to Love each other, care for the poor and elderly, not to do harmless things like kill, steal, lie, slander, you know that long list of don’ts that we stupidly claim is the will of God. The more I talk about it I just don’t know how we could possibly fall for such deception.

I am not at all claiming that Christians are perfect and just because God expects it doesn’t mean we always or even most of the time do it. What’s amazing about are God is he already knows we are going to fail! That’s why he fixed that for us also, his name is Jesus. We can’t screw up more than God’s Grace can cover us through Faith in Christ.

What does an atheist have? Evolution, the prospect of eternity as worm food, reincarnation through the process of decomposition and fertilization, it would sure make me want to get out of bed in the morning! I am amazed too that a lot of atheist are also naturalists, which to me is baffling. How can you be so into nature and not see God. I recently hiked up to Wiskeytown Falls. Amazing, how many different shades of green can there possibly be? Everything on that two mile hike screamed “Hello my child this is my creation! I Love you so much I made this just for you!” I don’t understand what an atheist sees.

Thank you Lord for your Grace! Please help me to be an example that might help break through the lies and blindness that has condemned so many’s hearts. Touch them with the grace you have shown me.

God is Good!!!

Comments welcome and appreciated.

The True North Trek John 1

So today we are going to get started with the Book of John. It was the last of the four Gospels to be written by none other than John. Some day I will tell you who wrote Mathew, Mark and Luke, see how beneficial this is going to be! The book of John is a little different than the other gospels in that it’s not as chronological as the others. John wants you to know who Jesus is, that he is indeed God, always has been from eternity to eternity and that he is our source of life. The other Gospels definitely point to Jesus but are more focused on his life and what he taught.

If you go to toward the end of the book John states just that: John 20:31 “But these are written that you may  believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”  Amazing that we have been chosen to be so blessed!

Lets get started: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

I was pretty ignorant as a baby christian, a little less so now, but my thought was if your talking about Jesus why not just say Jesus. Well, John had a pretty wide and complicated audience both Jews and gentile Greeks. The Word had different meanings to both and John kind of threw them a zinger by pointing out that Jesus “The Word” was what they were both looking for. To the Jews “the Word” was God, one of the ways they referred to God  was as “the Word of God”. The Greeks saw “The Word” or “the logos” as the power that brought order out of chaos. The ultimate reason that controlled everything, basically GOD! So John is speaking both their languages to help them realize “Hey guys you know that Word you’ve been talking about for centuries, I know who He is, let me tell you about Him.”

This first verse say so much about the deity of Christ.

  1. By calling him “The Word” he is stating Jesus is God
  2. By stating that he was in the beginning, that’s before the beginning began, he is stating that Jesus is God
  3. By calling “The Word” God, he is stating that Jesus is God
  4. And lastly by stating that he was with God and also God he proclaims that Jesus is equal and the same as God. Different parts of the One God! (It’s not as complicated as it sounds but we will get into the Trinity at another time) and by this, you guessed it, he is stating that Jesus is God.

So I think what John is trying to get across here is “Jesus is God!!!”. I believe it!

John goes on to talk about Jesus’ part in creation, basically if it exists or ever existed Jesus made it.  John 1:3 “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” This also goes back to the fact that Jesus has always been. He was here before anything, there was no beginning before Jesus. Our minds try to make that complicated “How can this be?” simple answer He is God! We will never fully understand what it is to be God, because contrary to what some might teach we will never be God, even with a little g.

This next verse is amazing (you’ll find I say that a lot). John 1:4-5 “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” Jesus was not only the original creator of life, the one who breathed life into existence, but as the Christ he is the giver of life to all that believe. We are in darkness without Christ. Sometimes we are to stupid to realize it, but it’s darkness just the same. Christ is the Light that shines in our dark world, and when we accept him and are obedient to his calling we become that light. Darkness doesn’t like light. Darkness kind of has an identity problem when the lights are turned on. Next time your in a brightly lit room  take out your flashdark and turn it on, does the room suddenly become dark? Darkness cannot overcome the Light. Do Not forget that! The Light that is in you is greater than the darkness that surrounds you. Never go anywhere without your Light.

By the way if you actually have a flashdark I just want you to know it has very limited uses.

Till next time.

GOD is GOOD!!!

 

 

Back on Track

Hello again this is kind of my post before my post. Just wanted to apologize to you all if you were expecting posts the last couple of days. I was planning several posts I’ve got a lot to write about but like I said the other day “Life would be easier if life didn’t always get in the way”. It has been a very busy week short handed at work and my schedule was different days than it usually is. Threw my whole week off!

As busy as it was it was also totally awesome too! I had the privilege of performing a wedding ceremony for an amazing young couple on Saturday. It is such a blessing to marry a couple that you know are going to do well. Christian families, lots of prayer and support they can’t help but succeed. Zach and Kyleigh God Bless you!!!

I was also blessed on Thursday night at our church. We had a family come and perform for us, The Williams Family, that was just amazing. They travel from church to church performing and relying on love offerings for the means to get to the next performance. What an example of following Christ and relying on him for all your needs. That alone blessed me more than anything, also kind of convicting.

There performance was great, everything they play is stringed, I didn’t count but it was close too 15 different instruments that the three of them played. Such tremendous talent to be used for the Lord. On the grand scale of high tech performances they probably would not get noticed, but their love for Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit, was evident in every song they played. Thank you Williams Family you are a Blessing!

God is Good!!!

 

Hello Everyone!

Sorry I have missed a few days. Been working on some other content for the website and facebook plus my real job has kinda nailed me this week! Short staffed have to pick up the slack. Anyway should have a real post later today or tommorrow and then back on schedule. Life would be so much easier if life didn’t get in the way.

Talk soon!

GOD is GOOD!!!

ODG Monday wisdom from Augustine

    ” If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”

Aurelius Augustinus
354-430

Augustine was one of the original ODG’s post Christ not counting of course the ones who are in the Bible. His works have been foundational in the forming of the Christian Church as it is today. This quote written roughly 1,600 years ago is so relevant to human nature still today. Take what you want out of the truth,change the wording to fit your need, flush the rest, and then call what you have left the whole truth. I really don’t think that’s how it ‘s supposed to be. It’s still deception even if your the one deceiving yourself!

By the way cool names back then don’t you think! How does Ralphinius Leaversius sound? EH! maybe not! Don’t ask me where that came from.

Any how back to my thoughts! Have you ever been making a recipe and didn’t have an ingredient? I love to cook and sometimes I will see a recipe on line and think lets go make that. I’ll look down the list of ingredients, have that, have that, don’t have that it’s okay don’t need it, have that, don’t have that I’ll use this instead, have that, great! I have everything on the list I’ll make it for dinner. A half hour later (cause you really don’t have to let it set for 45 minutes) it’s ready to go in the oven. Every once in awhile this works, it taste great, and my wife is amazed by my culinary expertise. Most of the time she looks at it and politely says “it looks great honey but my tummy’s a little upset so I’m going to eat something light tonight.” Usually I end up wishing I had eaten a bowl of cereal too!

The Bible, all of it, from Genesis to the period at the end of Revelations is complete! All of it is truth all of it is important. Some of it is hard, convicting, goes against what we want God to be saying, but all of it is essential to our faith and understanding of God. Our understanding may change as we study and soak in the wisdom of the Lord, but believe me, the change is in us, not the Word. I don’t hold to some of the believes I had 25 years ago as a baby christian. I have studied, listened too, experienced God in so many ways that have changed my understanding, but the Word never changes. It is the same yesterday, today and forever God and his Word never change. We need to be very careful if we decide to change it to fit our design. Trust that He knows what is right and true. Deal with the hard stuff, and take comfort in the glorious promises that he has prepared for you.

If you have a question or comment about anything I write or something you want me to write about leave me a note. Just click on the little cartoon balloon at the top of the post.

GOD is GOOD!!!