Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Sk8 or Die


Hosea 4:1-6 Hear the word of the LORD, O people of Israel!  The LORD has brought charges against you, saying: “There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land. 2You make vows and break them; you kill and steal and commit adultery.  There is violence everywhere—one murder after another. 3That is why your land is in mourning, and everyone is wasting away.  Even the wild animals, the birds of the sky, and the fish of the sea are disappearing.

4“Don’t point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame!  My complaint, you priests, is with you. 5So you will stumble in broad daylight, and your false prophets will fall with you in the night.  And I will destroy Israel, your mother. 6My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me.  Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests.  Since you have forgotten the laws of your God, I will forget to bless your children.

Spiritual Veterans


I spent 4 years serving in the Navy and this was a talk I shared for Veteran’s Day.  It’s interesting to consider what people think of when they read the warfare metaphors in the Bible.  Warfare and military service is much different today than it was in Jesus’ day.  So the pictures that come to mind for us when we “put on the whole armor of God” are different than even a generation ago, much less a couple millennia ago.  But what’s great is that the Spiritual strength we get from God has never changed!

In God We Trust


So we’ve got this amazing new idea that we formed our government on called freedom–at least it’s a new idea compared to the history of government on our planet.  The only problem is that a government run by the consent of the governed really depends on the governed being willing to govern themselves–in other words practicing self control so that the official government simply has to provide a safe environment for private contracts.  But when people stop taking responsibility for their government and themselves, then the government naturally tends towards tyranny.  Fortunately we’ve got a long way to go before we have that kind of government, but at the same time we have a lot less personal freedom than we did even 100 years ago.  So the question is will we the people allow our freedoms to erode completely over the next decades or will we wrestle back control from the “ruling class”?

Be Worthy


I like at the end of the movie Saving Private Ryan how the main Characters have sacrificed so much to save and protect the life of Private Ryan.  Several have died in the course of finding Ryan, including Captain Miller–whose dying words to Ryan were “Earn this.”  In other words, people have given their lives to save yours, so honor their sacrifice by how you live your life.

The same goes for anybody whose life has been saved by Jesus Christ.  So much has been sacrificed to save people from an eternity in Hell.  And that gracious gift should be honored by the way we live our lives every day.  All true Christians should be living completely pure and dedicated lives, and do everything we can to bless God because he has blessed us so much!

One Man’s Garbage


Have you ever driven by somebody’s house and seen something they had put at the end of the driveway to throw away and thought that would be something you’d like to have?  Or maybe you’re a garage sale pro.  Isn’t it amazing how many things some people want to get rid of, and how many others see a treasure in that item?

What’s even more amazing is how that happens in so many people’s lives.  They do things to mess up their lives, and they end up thinking they’ve become no better than garbage.  In fact, some people have even ended their own lives because they’ve lost all hope in themselves.  But the good news is that there is a potential treasure in every life.  It doesn’t matter how much we have fouled things up or wrecked our own lives with sin, God can turn any life around and make something wonderful out of what was once worthless…including you!

For His Name’s Sake


Have you ever thought about what it means to have the Lord as your shepherd?  Jesus said “I am the good shepherd.”  He said other people might play the part and pretend to be like that.  But nobody will ever care for you like Jesus, because they’re only like hired hands.  When trouble comes they’ll take off and leave you to fend for yourself.  They’ll let the wolves eat you because they’re just in it for the money.  They’re not willing to put their lives on the line for you.  But Jesus already gave his life for you.

It really is good to have a Good Shepherd.

Live Like You’ve Got a Purpose


There was a book written almost 10 years ago called “The Purpose Driven Life” by a guy named Rick Warren.  And it was a best seller.  Millions of people flocked to buy the book.  And unlike so many other “self help” books, it starts off by telling the reader that the purpose of life isn’t all about you.

There’s something bigger in life than just you.  There is purpose that goes beyond our own wants and needs.  There are things much bigger then our own lives at stake here.  But there’s a really interesting twist involved in dealing with that truth.  You can spend your life trying to find self actualization and fulfillment and wind up completely lost and empty.  But if you devote yourself to the purpose that you were created for, you will gain fulfillment and a contentment as a natural byproduct of focusing on what is most important–in fact that’s the only way to find true life.

Jesus put it this way “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul in the process?”

America Bless God


Don’t you think it’s ironic that so many politicians end their speeches with the words “God bless America” and then they go on to lie, cheat and trade votes for pork and basically do the opposite of blessing the country themselves.  It’s like praying to lose weight and then eating nothing but greasy junk food.

Doesn’t it make a lot more sense, if you want God’s blessings, to do things that are conducive to receiving his blessings.  God isn’t going to rain down blessings on a sinful, narcissistic, and atheistic nation.   If we truly want to be blessed it requires humility, prayer, turning away from wickedness, and truly seeking the face of God.  And if we as a nation will do that, God promises to forgive our sins and heal our land.

A Walk Through the Book of Romans: Chapter 14


CHAPTER FOURTEEN – A Strong and Healthy Body

A virus can actually use your own cells to reproduce.  It will infiltrate the cellular structure in your body, reproduce inside a cell, and then destroy the cell as it releases itself after multiplying.  So it not only grows in number, but it wreaks havoc with your cells to do so.

The same thing can happen in the church.  Wicked people can move in, start causing division and wreck a church.  So it’s wise to be very careful about how people in your church deal with things like disagreements, gossip, etc.

After all we are supposed to be one body.  And we don’t want our body weakened because people weaseled their way into church and started causing problems.

The Main Event


What’s life all about?  The things you do?  The places you go?  The people you know?

Or is it who you are?

Or does it go even deeper than that?