Keeping things given to us by God simple, even though we live in a very complicated world.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Christmas Poem

This is the poem I wrote to read in church. Last night was our Food for Christmas singing and I felt led to finish this poem yesterday afternoon and read it last night.

Mary and Joseph, they came into town

The lack of room had caused them to frown

They finally found comfort inside a cave

Not made for man, but protection it gave

They came into town for Caesar to tax

Decree for a census, he wanted his facts

Not knowing that he was a part of God's plan

God's plan to bring salvation to sinful man

The Virgin Mary, she was so great with child

Not being protected from all of the wild

God provided protection for them on that day

And provided a bed that was made out of hay

The angels that night would all start to sing

Born in the hay that night was a king

Forgiveness from sin, this child He would bring

Take away from believers, death's awful sting

This was God's present to all of this Earth

The present was wrapped up in this child's birth

This child would come here to pay for our sins

And when you accept that your story begins

Sunday, November 30, 2008

God's Ultimate Gift

People are running to and fro
Shopping for gifts, the stores they will go
Showing their loved ones how much they do care
But I know of a gift, one that you can't compare

Up on Black Friday all too early
To be with some people all too surly
In the stores they push and they shove
To get things to show their love

God came from Heaven above
To show all of us His love
He came here to Earth
And had a simple birth

Was not early or late
He took on our fate
And was born here to die
For the sins of you and I

So when you give an you get
I hope you will not forget
The gift that comes from above
The gift the Lord gave of love

Saturday, November 8, 2008

If My People

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Elections are past and soon we have new elected officials taking office. Some will be happy, others will find fault no matter what happens.

I have wondered often since 1980, when I gave my heart to the Lord, why do people who claim to be born again Christians always put more faith in a political party than God? If we were to plug into the power we have at our disposal, we could all make a difference.

Michael Card Wrote the song "Heal Our Land" for the National Day of Prayer several years ago. Below are the lyrics.

Forgive oh Lord - and heal our land
And give us eyes to seek your face - and hearts to understand
That you alone - make all things new
And the blessing of the land we love - are really gifts from you

If my people - Will humbly pray
And seek my face and turn away - From all their wicked ways
Then I will hear them - And move my hand
And freely then will I forgive - and I will heal their land.

Unite our hearts - in one accord
And make us hungry for your peace - and burdened for the poor
And grant us hope - that we might see
The future for the land we love - our life, our liberty

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pray for those in authority

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

1Timothy 2:1-3 The Message

By now, we all know the next president of the United States will be Barack Obama. Whether or not you voted for him, our command from the Bible is to now pray for him. If as Americans, we pray for our leaders, we can help cause change.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gossip-Words CAN Hurt

This is scary: You can tame a tiger, but you can't tame a tongue—it's never been done. The tongue runs wild, a wanton killer. With our tongues we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women he made in his image. Curses and blessings out of the same mouth! James 3:7-10 The Message

One of the most damaging things one can do to another is spead a negative word about them. It can be done in many ways. It can be done through everyday conversation, seemingly innocent, or it can be spread through malicious gossip. We can do it by blogging also. Many times it has been done in the form of a "prayer request."

No matter what way this is done, it's just plain wrong. Just sound out the word "gossip." Doesn't the word sound like a snake hissing? And what was the first appearance of Satan in the Bible? A snake. And he was appealing to the ego of Eve. Much like repeating gossip appeals to the tail bearer's ego.

Cleveland Plain Dealer sports and faith columnist Terry Pluto has written a column in today's paper called "Gossip can be easy to spread, difficult to undo." A very well written column and his message hits home. Terry talked to several local clergy in the writing of this and has scripture references from the book of Proverbs. Take time to read this, and recommend it's reading to others. Better yet, print it out and give a copy to your pastor.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cast your nets in the deep!

1And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

2And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

3And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

4Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

5And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

6And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.

7And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Luke5:1-7 KJV

I noticed today that there was a larger than usual congregation in church,but given the current state of current events, it doesn't surprise me. I recall that around 1980 there was an increase in church attendance too, and during that time there was also problems with the economy, and this weeks grim news along with increases in unemployment arecausing people to look where they don't usually go looking. Prayerfully, they will find something and come back for more.

The above scripture was the text for this morning's message. Our pastor, Jeff Ball, urged everyone to follow the Lord's command and cast our nets in the deep. No matter what the need is, the Lord will supply.

Simon Peter had his doubts. He had been fishing all night and caught nothing. Surely human logic told him that there wouldn't be any fish out there. But it wasn't just any one who told him this. This man was just preaching the truth,as he had never heard it proclaimed before. This man was from God.

Peter then took the boat into the deep and cast his net. He then caught s much fish, he had to call another boat to help bring them in.

Jesus wants to do the same for us. If we are behind in our bills, He wants us to cast our nets. He is willing to supply all our need. He will supply these where we wouldn't expect. All He wants is for us to hear and obey His Word. The same goes for other needs we have.

Don't put your faith in politics. Put it in the Son of God.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Imitate Christ

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. Ephesians 5:1 NKJV
One of the features at Promise Keepers on Friday night was comedian John Morgan, who did a dead on impression of President George W. Bush. He gave a humorous performance, saying things like, "the republicans are represented by the elephant, the Democrats by the donkey, or as my friends south of the border call then 'burritos."

As a Christian, John Morgan wondered how he could honor God while going around doing impressions of George W. Bush, and the Lord impressed upon his heart that this is a gift that He has given to John Morgan. John also challenged all of us to use our gifts to glorify God.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Most important "convention" of the past week....

In the past 2 weeks we saw the Democrats and Republicans have their conventions to nominate their choices for president. People everywhere are full of hope because they could effect change at the top therefore making Americans lives better.

Not gonna happen.

This past weekend, my son and I went to the Wolstein Center in Cleveland to participate in the Promise Keepers conference. We were with thousands of men, there because we all disire to be better husbands, sons, and men. We know that the way to do that is to put trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. We heard from 6 excellent speakers, ways to draw closer to God, ways to avoid temptation. We saw the power of God by praising Him led by Steven Newby. We laughed at comedian John Morgan, who did a dead on impression of George W. Bush. We also were treated to the comedy of Cleto Rodriguez.

I took pages of notes and in the coming days I will try to write about my experience on this blog.

I say this is most important because we have to get our men together, make us men again. Bring us to our knees. Bring us to the realization that it will not be a political party that will "fix" America. It will be the power of the Lord that "fixes" this country.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Real People, RealTestimonies

My favorite sports and faith columnist, Terry Pluto, has hit another home run. His faith column in this morning's Cleveland Plain Dealer is titled "Find powerful stories from everyday people in every church." In the article, Terry writes about going to a church in Michigan's upper peninsula that maybe was attended that service by 25 people. But there were some very faithful people there. Please read the article.

Also check out on my side bar a link to the Gray and Company website where you could order any of a number of books written by Terry Pluto.

My heart was blessed by this story, as I am small church person myself. I also think that we should glorify God in all things. God is just as much in it when I get over a cold as He is when a drug addict gets delivered. The Lord supplies when we get the money to make our house payment. He also supplies on a hot day when we scrape together enough change to buy a bottle of water.

And get this:There is the same amount of rejoicing in the presence of angels when the elementary school student comes to the Lord as when the town drunk does.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Donna Baker

About a month and a half ago I posted about a church service I attended where the special singing was my sister in law, Donna Baker. My daughter, Sylva, posted this video on GodTube. It is rather long as far as videos go, almost a half hour. Sit back and be blessed. Hit the pause on the music player.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Filthy Rags

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6 KJV

We're all sin-infected, sin-contaminated.
Our best efforts are grease-stained rags.
We dry up like autumn leaves—
sin-dried, we're blown off by the wind. Isaiah 64:6 The Message

In my last post, I expounded about those who wanted to earn God's favor. God's favor isn't earned, it's a gift of God's grace. I feel the Lord wants us to enjoy our Christian walk and if we are always trying to earn our way into Heaven, we will always worry if we have done enough.

This is one problem I have with legalistic beliefs. When have we done enough to earn our way into the kingdom of God?

I praise God for His grace and for his love of which there is no measure. And if there is no measure, how do we know how much we have to do to earn it?

We do works for God because we love God. We want to see those around us to accept His sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. Or as the song says, Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wait on the LORD

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 KJV

But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
Isaiah 40:31 Amplified

I was looking at this verse in my bible as I was waiting for service to begin. There has been a lot of opinion of the word, "wait." Some think the word means just sit and expect things to happen. Others think it means the same as what a waiter in a restaurant would do.

One of those opinions in and among of itself smacks of "easy believe ism." The other of "legalism."

Yes, we should serve the Lord by serving others, but we should also remember that God's blessings is a result of His grace and not as payment of services rendered.

We should do the things we do for the Lord because we love Him. We get blessings from God because, and only because He loves us. We are to wait for the Lord to bless us. He will in HIS time. He will give us the endurance to finish the race.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Free Byrd

In this morning's Cleveland Plain Dealer, Terry Pluto reviews a book written by Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Byrd, titled Free Byrd. The book tells about Byrd's struggle as a pro athlete and Christian.

Pluto wrote a real good review of the book, starting out discussing when Byrd would be spending long nights in a hotel room looking at his computer screen, wondering if he would give in to looking at porn, a problem Terry Pluto himself has confessed to having had.

Another part of the review I liked and one that I could identify with is Byrd being a young Christian and being too aggressive with evangelistic efforts and turning people off to the Lord.

It blesses my heart when a local sports figure professes his faith and writes a testimony about it. This is definitely a book I have got to check out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Praise the Lord

Psalm 150

1-6 Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship,
praise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of power,
praise him for his magnificent greatness;
Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
praise by strumming soft strings;
Praise him with castanets and dance,
praise him with banjo and flute;
Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
Let every living, breathing creature praise God!

This version of Psalm 150 comes from The Message.

I have no comment except enjoy the scripture and go out and Praise the Lord.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Come unto me

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 KJV

As those who read my blogs know, I have been somewhat under the weather this weekend, so I haven't been blogging as much as usual. I have however been emailing a fellow blogger, and this topic came into my heart as a result.

There are many who have gone through much in recent times. We can tell others and we sometimes get a shoulder to cry on, other times we may find we are in competition with others, as they launch into a game of "can you top this." As a result of struggles, many question their religion.

Jesus says "Come onto me." He doesn't say come unto the Pentecostals, the Baptists, the Catholics, the Lutherans, The Methodists, etc. This is where our childlike faith comes in. We are to come unto Jesus. He wants us to take HIS yoke upon us. He wants to take our load upon Himself and help us. He wants to lighten our burden. He wants to give our souls rest.

Jesus is here for us when others aren't. When we are alone and afraid, He is the still small voice in the night that gives us comfort.

There are many good Christians, but we all are human, and as such, we may fail. We are to be like Christ and reach out to others. We are to help others carry their load.

I am going to end this post by giving the same text, Matthew 11:28-30, from the version known as The Message:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

How do you handle hard times?

Hard times. We all have them. This year my brother passed away and my father in law is having some health problems which are making my wife feel helpless.

We read about people losing their jobs, their homes being foreclosed on. People around the country are dealing with natural disasters. And the future could be cloudy to us.

But we serve a Lord who cares for us. He knows tomorrow because he created tomorrow.

My favorite faith columnist, Terry Pluto, has written a column in this morning's Cleveland Plain Dealer called "In hard times, trusting God means trusting yourself."

I suggest you give the story a read. If you've not been through hard times, you probably someday will.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

End of a very busy weekend

This morning, we went to church at Triangle Baptist Church, located in Chippewa Lake, Ohio.

The pastor there is Bobby Wheeler, the man who married my wife and I. He was also the preacher who baptized me in June, 1980.

The very talented singer pictured at the piano is Donna Baker, my wife's sister. She blessed the congregation with her singing this morning. She sang for about 1/2 hour. Cliff Note: My daughter video taped the song service this morning and at the current time we are trying to get into the 21st century. We will get this posted on YouTube when we figure this one out.

Bobby preached on the security of the believer and the fact that when God saves the believer, it's not just for a day or two, but it's for eternity. It was a good message and well received.

There was also dinner after the service. That was something I could participate in.

Like I have previously stated, I have a personal history with both the singer and the preacher.

Donna, my sister in law, and her husband Phil, have had a rough last few years. They had a thriving business going when Phil had to have open heart surgery. They had lost their home, as a result of the work Phil wasn't able to do. And there was other personal struggles as well. But through all this, they have been able to look up and thank the Lord for what they have.
Their son Josh and his wife Torrie will be presenting them with their first grandchild this coming November. They are both active in service to the Lord.

Their daughter, Alicia, started life with her own challenges. She was born with a major heart defect and required open heart surgery at a very young age. Alicia is also married and active in service for the Lord.

Bobby Wheeler has served the Lord since the 1960's and is still serving, despite having had open heart surgery, cancer and other heart problems. His preaching style now in 2008 is still the same as it was in 1978. His style is hellfire and brimstone, and he preaches the Word clear as crystal.

Donna and Phil were up from their home around Columbus this past few days helping my in laws, painting and doing yardwork. Phil has been in ministry for the Lord as an evangelist and has had a homeless ministry in the past. Lord willing, I am going to get Phil up and running soon with his own faith based blog.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Judge not

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Luke 6:37 KJV

This post was originally inspired by my friend Cathouse Teri. She had wondered on her blog about those who visited there and cast judgment on her. Click here for blog post but be advised, adult language is used there.

Teri's blog does have adult language and some sexual content, but those who arrived there are forewarned about it.

One thing I have learned as a result of my online friendship with Teri is about judging others who blog. Quite often we get the wrong idea about someone from what we simply see from them on their blogs. A title or name may sway some opinions.

Same thing happens in the real world. We might look at one who is dressed differently than us, or may have some body markings we don't have, and we form our opinion of their spiritual state based on that. That ain't right.

As Christians we always have to be able to give a quick, wise answer to any who might have any questions. But the question has to be asked before the answer is given.

Only thing we can do at times is show another love.

I once heard that when we get to heaven, we may be surprised to see some there, and they may be just as surprised to see us there too.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mansions, Rooms, or Dwelling Places?

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 KJV

In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 NIV

In My Father's house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 Amplified Bible

Having spent many years thinking that if the translation wasn't KJV it was "of the devil," I always was confronted with this verse, John 14:2. As I get older I wonder what difference it makes what we dwell in when we get to Heaven. The importance is that we will be in the everlasting presence of the Lord.

We won't need the protection we have on Earth from the elements or from thieves. We won't need banks or safes. The roads we will be walking on are made of gold.

There won't be night and we won't need bedrooms. There will be no sickness so we won't need a medicine cabinet.

No matter what my dwelling place is, I will be living in the lap of luxury. So will you. I will love everyone there with the purest love, the love of God(agape) Why would I want to have walls separate me form you?

If I do have a mansion, don't knock on my door because I won't be there. I will be in the presence of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

About using God's name in vain.....

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. Exodus 20:7 KJV

No using the name of GOD, your God, in curses or silly banter; GOD will not put up with irreverent use of His name. Exodus 20:7 The Message

It's been said that as Christians, we have to pick and choose our battles. Language is one of these things. Some people can get too legalistic when it comes to listening to others.

A topic on other blogs have centered around one of the seven words you can't say on television and body parts. As a rule, I try my hardest not to say some of these words. A good part of the time, the flesh prevails.

I used to be one of the types that would cast judgement on those who would say "shoot" or other substitute swear words. I felt that that was just someone's attempt to "legally swear."

My biggest problem is with those who use God's name in vain, or a thoughtless manner. Jesus Christ is my Lord. To me, He is not a swear word. People don't realize what they are asking when they ask God to damn something. And while we are at it, I don't like it when they refer to the Lord as "the man upstairs."

A local radio host overuses the phrase, "my God in Heaven." That usually has me reaching for the button to change stations.

Another way I have the name of our Lord used in vain was several years ago when I worked overnights stocking shelves in a grocery store and one of the other stockers had a bad habit of using the MF word. We would go into the break room and he would then be telling someone that they should accept Christ as their personal savior. That would really offend me because that cheapens salvation.

Our attitude and mention of God and all His names, should be very holy.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Keep this in mind

Since this is Sunday afternoon as I write, I want to remind all churchgoing people this as you are enjoying your Sunday dinner. It's okay to have the pastor for dinner as long as he's there eating with you. Think about it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Strength in numbers

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.Hebrews 10:25 KJV

Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 Amplified Bible

People are always saying that they can worship God as well at home as they can in church. According to the Word of God, that's just not so. But what constitutes a church? The word "church" means "called out assembly." Where does this assembly of believers meet? Ideally we meet in a building maybe several times a week. I know several of us meet at various blogs and through email.

Why should believers meet? To help one another, to give each other strength, and to pray for one another. As Christians we should serve each other spiritual food.

If one has a burden, they should go to the brethren, and seek prayer. We should lift those burdened up to the Lord. It's a lot easier to lift someone when there are several helping lift.

A match will burn quickly. A match put to some kindling well placed between logs in a fireplace, will start a fire that will keep many warm.

God gives us all a role in helping one another. If you can't be in church as often as you like, seek fellowship among us. You may find something that will benefit you in your Christian walk. Or you may have something that may benefit the rest of us.

But by all means, seek out folks that you can have some physical fellowship with. People that will love on you when you have a struggle. And people that you can love on when they are hurting.

Cliff Note:While I was making my comment as a followup to Suzanne's comment, I was checking out The Message's translation of the verse I quoted. I want to share this with everybody: "And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there." Matthew 18:20, The Message.-Very powerful!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

On translations

In the last post here, I used verses from "The Message," Eugene Peterson's translation of the Bible. I regard this as a study aid, to enhance my reading of the King James Version. At one time, I felt that the KJV was the only reliable version. I still take the KJV to church with me.

There are some who feel that newer versions are corrupted, and others who feel that you cannot be a Christian if you don't use the KJV exclusively. I now have a problem with that thinking. I want people to be able to have God speak to them.

Any thoughts?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Forgiveness to others has benefits

23-24"This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.

25-26"Or say you're out on the street and an old enemy accosts you. Don't lose a minute. Make the first move; make things right with him. After all, if you leave the first move to him, knowing his track record, you're likely to end up in court, maybe even jail. If that happens, you won't get out without a stiff fine.

Matthew 5:23-26 The Message

14-15"In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can't get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God's part. Matthew 6:14-15 The Message

I want to look at the other side of the forgiveness issue and that would be our forgiving those who do us wrong. The Bible commands us as Christian to forgive those who do us wrong. And if we do not find it in our hearts to forgive we cheat ourselves as God will not accept our offerings nor will He hear our prayers.

14-16Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down. Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.

17-19Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you've got it in you, get along with everybody. Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."

20-21Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Romans 12:14-21 The Message

As you can see by the verses I have taken from The Message, there are many benefits from having a forgiving heart.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:12-22 KJV

One thing that really breaks my heart is when I do something wrong to someone close to me, and no matter how many times I try to apologize, they will not forgive me. How many times are you required to apologize before someone else is required to forgive you?

According to what I read in the Bible, you are required to forgive immediately without the person apologizing to you. Our prayers aren't even going to be answered if we have anything against our fellow Christians, which is one of the reasons the Church has very little power nowadays.

Churches and families have split over some of the dumbest reasons and people not willing to forgive over things. Whether it's a church or a family the hurt over this never heals and there are some very ugly scars left, usually in the form of appearance in the community.

Forgiveness doesn't change the past, but it sure does make the future easier.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blogs of Note

I noticed as I was reading the prayer requests here that I had a new visitor. Elizabeth, or ekelly, has a relatively new blog, called Elizabeth'sChristianBlog. I would guess, by reading her words, that Elizabeth is a relatively new Christian. She seeks fellowship with other believers, so go on over there and give her a look see.

Elizabeth came here through Kathy's Klavier. Kathy has a guest poster right now, her husband, Eddie. He is sharing his testimony with all of us, how the Lord helped him through disease when he was in his early 20's. This promises to be a very inspirational series. Kathy has also left a couple of prayer requests here.

If you have a prayer request, let us know and all who read them will take them to the Lord on your behalf. If you feel a burden to pray for the requests, click on the link on the upper right on the side bar.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Do you work to please God?

The "Faith and You" column written by Terry Pluto from this past Saturday's Cleveland Plain Dealer is titled "The way we work says something about how we live." Terry touches on things we do at work and that we should be glorifying God in the way we work. One of the examples Terry uses is when we are trying to show how spiritual we are by reading our Bibles when we should be doing our jobs. Workplace gossip is also touched upon in this article. the story is well worth a read so check it out.

Cliff Note:Also remember Terry Pluto is the featured author. He has written many books about sports, as he has been a sports writer for the past 30+ years. He has been a Christian since 1997 and has written two faith books, "Everyday Faith" and "Faith and You." click on the links on the sidebar for more information about how to order these books.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Seek Him First Prayer Request List

This is something else I had thought about this weekend.

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.- Matthew 18:19 KJV

Many of us, including myself, have prayer requests which we share with other bloggers. It may be on our blogs, or it may be via e-mail.

I would like to use the comment section of this post for prayer requests that you may have. I will also link this specific post to both my blogs and invite anybody else to link this specific post to their blogs as prayer reminders.

So use the comment section to record your prayer requests. Please, nothing else but prayer requests. If you record one here and like for it removed later, contact me, or if you are logged in just click on the trash can which would appear on your comment.

Perhaps there will be a follow up post on answers to prayer where we can all praise God for His answer and to give Him the glory.

May God bless you for your faithfulness.

Awesome Responsibility

Yesterday I was going through my email and get this note from Annie, who writes a blog called Annie's Antics. Like this blog, she uses hers to glorify God. She stopped here as a result of a Google search and landed on a post I wrote on January 20 of this year, called Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. Annie told me that this post had spoke to her and wanted to tell me how much this blog had blessed her.

I originally wrote that post because a friend was going through a real mess. I had thought of her when I wrote that, but the comments bore the fact that it touched others too.

It's an awesome responsibility when God uses your efforts to touch others that you don't know.

One of the reasons that I changed my template here was to make these words easier to read. I will look for other things here to change to make things easier.

I don't want to be fancy, just faithful.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Seeking God, Making Changes

Cliff Note: I have some changes in mind for this blog and they are under construction in my head. I will proceed as the Lord directs.

Today is the day I will go see Terry Pluto at the Wadsworth Library. Chances are when he gives his talk on his latest book I will have to view it on closed circuit television in another room in the library, but afterwards he will sign some of his books. I bought one last night to mail out. I also have one for him to sign for me. The book is special because it belonged to my brother.

Last week, in Terry's "Faith and You" column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer Terry's topic was Trusting God's will can stir big changes-inside of us. Terry writes about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, in a very intense prayer session, asked God three times, to "take this cup from me"-if it was God's will. Jesus was getting his heart ready to fulfill the mission he was sent to the world for.

Terry then writes about people who pray to God and expect God to change. But effective prayer will be to have God change us.

One thing that was touched on briefly was Terry taking care of his father after he had suffered a debilitating stroke. To those who reside out of the area, I would like to suggest a book called "Our Tribe." It tells of the relationship between Terry, his father, and their shared love for the Cleveland Indians. No matter which team you root for, you will be touched by the story of Terry Pluto and his dad, Tom.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Music player now here

I have a music player with all Christian music on this blog.

I have received some concern that my player at WIXY's Gone Bananas didn't have enough praise and worship music.

I use this blog mostly to glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the music player will also Glorify God.

I hope it's a blessing to you.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Please let me sing in the choir, in the choir...

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
Psalm 95:1 KJV

I decided that this part of the tribute of my brother, Ricky would be better suited for this blog,

While he was growing up, Ricky always liked going to church. He got into everything that was going on there. And he liked to sing hymns- very loud. This is one thing he did despite the fact I wasn't going since I was sowing my wild oats at that time(don't worry, that crop wouldn't have a decent yield).

We would go to church on Sunday, St. Mark Lutheran Church Brunswick, Ohio. Ricky was in the choir. This choir would let anyone sing with it, only requirement was a desire to sing. Ricky had that, but no talent. We sat in church and when it was time for the choir, his voice could be heard over the others. I'm sure folks were cringing listening to that, but these people were probably as spiritual as I was at the time as I wasn't saved then.

In later years while he was able to, Ricky would help out in whatever capacity he could in the church, first St. Mark then St. Paul Lutheran Church Cleveland, Ohio. People in the church took an interest in him, taking him to movies and ball games. And he still sang, very loud and extremely off key.

The reason I bring this up on this blog is I want to give one of my observations. Sometimes we don't someone to sing in "our" services because they either don't sound or don't look like what WE feel they should.

If someone who sings off key affects the way we worship the Lord then who is closer to God? The one who can't sing but tries anyhow, or those who have the talent but won't?

The Bible says to make a joyful noise, not a perfect one.

By the way, Ricky is singing with the angels today. He is singing all the right notes and blending in perfectly.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Repost: About This Blog

Cliff Note:As I am working on a series of posts about my recently deceased brother at my other blog, WIXY's Gone Bananas. I thought I would repost my debut musing on this blog.
This post is from December 19, 2006. If you are unfamiliar with my other blog, go on over and read about the memories of one who thought the world of his big brother.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.-Matthew 6:33

I thought of this verse this morning as I was driving to work. I was trying to give my son some counsel last evening about a struggle he has had for some time, and I could not think of what to tell him. I feel that the Lord had given me the verse, which I was meditating on for a good part of the day.

Another thing that this verse inspired me to do was to start this blog.

For those who have just happened by here, let me introduce myself. My name is Cliff Feightner, from Rittman, Ohio. I am the author of another blog which is called "WIXY's Gone Bananas". That blog is about my life, my family, my interests, and my faith. Most things I write about there center around my home town of Rittman.

I hope to dwell a little more about my faith on this space. I was invited last week to join I made mention in WGB last week that that wasn't necessarily a Christian blog, but I was a Christian with a blog. This one will be, I hope, a "Christian Blog".

Let me start by saying that people have complicated, what should be a very simple salvation. Let's keep it simple.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Repost: Arrogance is not a Spiritual Gift

Cliff Note: This post was originally on WIXY's Gone Bananas October 12, 2006. This was the last of a three part series that I dealt with some spiritual issues, mainly music. The reaction from this led to this blog being started.

Two books of the Bible immediately come to mind when I think about arrogance. 1 Corinthians and James. I imagine that the apostle Paul probably had his fill of know-it-alls around during his time. And James was handling the holier than thou crowd.

We see the same problems today.

If you are expecting an expository message, don't. I'm just sharing my heart.

You have people nowadays who think that if they have been saved longer, go to the correct church, make more money than you or come from the right region, they are more spiritual than you.

Oh, and if you listen to the wrong music, you can't possibly be spiritual at all.

Some of the worst name calling comes from folks from different denominations. Baptists call Pentecostals a bunch of "snake handling holy rollers". Freewill Baptists tell Southern Baptists, who are Calvinistic that they believe they "are going to Heaven whether they want to or not." Southern Baptists tell Freewills that they can be "saved today and lost tomorrow"

I've heard that eternity is going to be so long because God has to straighten us all out.

I once took part in a discussion in Sunday School. A question was asked, and I volunteered an answer. I knew the split second the words got past my lips that I was wrong. An elderly saint in the back of the sanctuary proceeded to say that "that was the view of narrow minded people". Imagine that. I was rebuked and insulted at the same time. So much for a soft answer turning away wrath(no I didn't get revenge. But I don't attend that church anymore)

A poster on the listening party forum today, stated that "everybody he has known that's been saved, has been pretty screwed up." That's another arrogance problem I've ran into the past twenty-five or so years. We always wanted to hear the testimony of the drug dealer, prostitute, porn star, prison inmate, etc. who has gotten gloriously saved. Heck, I smoked a little dope, drank some, and did a few other things I'm not proud of before I accepted Christ as my personal savior. But who are you going to church to hear the testimony of? Nikki Cruz or Cliff Feightner? Thought so. I doubt if my story will be on "Unshackled" soon.

My point on the above paragraph is that any who read this who are saved, no matter what you did before accepted Christ, you are just as saved as me.

And another bit of good news is this: you have the same access to the throne of grace that I do. It's not what I've done but it's what Jesus did on the cross for me.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Repost-Holy War part 2

Cliff Note: I reposted the first part of what was originally a three part series over at WIXY's Gone Bananas. I thought I would at least repost this one here. It was the reaction from this three part series that got me to thinking about starting this blog.

Cliff Note part 2: Recently, Kathy's Klavier had a post titled "Music and Christianity." She has posted several scriptures to go with it. I think that would be a worthwhile read if you haven't already seen it.

I once heard an evangelist say that music is the most carnal part of worship, and in some ways I agree with him. As human beings we sometimes are too selfish to see ministry opportunities in front of us because we don't think God honors "their" style of music.

The church my wife grew up in split one time mainly because of musical preferences. Those who founded the church were southern of origin(the founding pastor of the church was from Georgia), so the members for the longest enjoyed four part harmony, quartet singing with just the piano. Well time marches on, people come, others move, some go on. The biggest struggle in life, it seems, is change. Well the pastor the church elected was NOT from the south. The people he reached out to also were not from the south. The music they liked was traditional. A house divided against itself shall not stand. That church to this day has not had a powerful influence on the community.

It's been said that "Christians are the only one that shoot their wounded." I feel that this is especially true when it comes to a singer or preacher who don't specifically ministers to our tastes. Some have fallen. I've heard some defended, and others condemned by some of one preference, and the other way around with those of the opposite preference.

The sad truth is this- Jesus told the disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature. It's easy to talk to those you like and whose tastes match yours. It's not as easy to go to those that you may not like, especially those who think that the music you listen to is "of the devil." Most of those people are our elders. We get past personal preferences, and maybe they have something for us that might help our personal walk with the Lord.

May God richly bless those who have read this message, and may we all have patience toward those we may meet.

The first part of this series, Can't We All Just Get Along? is reposted over at WIXY's Gone Bananas.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Now I know!!

And Joseph said to them, Fear not; for am I in the place of God? [Vengeance is His, not mine.]

As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are this day. Genesis 50:19-20 Amplified Bible

We spent the weekend very discouraged. Kathy was expressing many bad thoughts. We had other problems within our family and could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. And to top it off, Kathy had to take one of our cats to the vet this morning. It turned out the cat had feline lymphoma and had to be put down.

With all of what my family had gone through in the past couple of weeks, I was at wits end.

Meanwhile Liquid, who recently has gone through things I wouldn't want, to is flying high. Not drunk, not high on drugs, and not in an aircraft. Suzanne had taken all she could and yesterday left it at the altar, as she had rededicated her life to the Lord Jesus Christ. She couldn't wait to email me about it. PRAISE THE LORD!!!

We got to emailing each other and I told her about the cat and wondering on our keyboard why all his was happening, having a mini pity party for myself.

Suzanne's reply was that we all are making Satan angry. He's upset that several of us are using the internet, something he likes to claim as his playground, for witnessing and fellowship.

Believe me when I say I enjoy it when I hear someone has been blessed by something I post here. It is an awesome responsibility that we all have to uplift others while using our blogs as a witness to a hurting world.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Why do bad things keep happening to my family?

One thing I don't want my blogs to be about is my problems. Right now though, I feel like Job. Today, right before 11:00am I get this call from my wife. She had just gotten into an accident where she pulled out in front of this car. Fortunately the speed limit where she was at was 25MPH.I was an hour away, but I probably took the WIXYmobile faster than I should getting to Wooster Hospital. Thank God it wasn't anything more serious than a concussion.

The car is not drivable and the appraiser will be at the impound lot early next week.

These past couple of weeks have not been kind to us.

Early last week our son was hospitalized for a week.

I had to appear in court yesterday and even though the case was thrown out, I had to miss two hours of work.

And now this accident.

You know, I should be grateful that nothing more serious happened and I am.

But financially there have been many incidents that have set me back in the past couple of years. Why is it I see some people who live less than honorable lives and don't have these things happen to them? We had a president who committed an immoral act in the White House and his approval rating shot up after he admitted to it. Things happen to me and people tell me that it's my own fault. Why?

Yes this is on the right blog. I will add scripture to this after I am done feeling sorry for myself.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blessed are the poor in spirit...

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.-Matthew 5:3

With those words, Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount. It's interesting that the first words out of Jesus' mouth was encouragement towards the downtrodden. We sometimes try to make logic of these things, but that's when it happens to someone else. When it happens to them we say that they weren't in the will of God. When it happens to us it's "Why me God?" But Jesus says "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Why are we supposed to be happy? "for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Better days are ahead. If not sooner it will be later.

After this past week the above verse had come to mind. Sometimes I have to look at the simple. God's Word isn't complicated and it shouldn't be made that way.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One thing that's on my mind

I don't have to prove how much I love Jesus by forwarding an email.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Post to check out

New friend Kay, over at Loop De Loops in La La Land, yesterday wrote an excellent post titled "Without Him." She writes about the message at her church and gives her testimony. In the comment section, several, including myself, gave testimonies.

It's worth you going there and reading it.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

First command with a promise

1Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Ephesians 6:1-3 KJV

A post on another blog really broke my heart this week. Amias had posted about the way her adult children treated her. Times like this I am convinced that adult children is not an oxymoron. It infuriates me when I see how some treat their parents, especially when parents sacrifice much for their children.

This is not an isolated event. This attitude is rampant.

Now I also read such bloggers as Kathy's who sing the praises of her children. Jessica is another who can't wait to tell how proud she is of her son and daughter. I take pride in the good parents on my blog roll. I feel that they all set good examples for others to follow.

Unfortunately there are many children who believe that they deserve the latest and greatest, no matter what it does to the budget. If they don't get it, mom and dad are the bad guys.

But what gets me is those who reach their adult years and forget that mom and dad worked long and hard to clothe and feed them. Parents who took their children to the emergency room late into the night and went to work early the next day. Parents who sacrificed to give their children a good Christmas. Parents who were involved in their activities.

My father passed away in 2000. My mother in 2004. I wish they could be around to see their great grandchildren.

My mother called me about just about everything after my dad died. She suffered from COPD, her reward for being around smokers all her life as she didn't smoke. I went over 40 miles from my house to hers to take her to the emergency room. Why? Because she trusted me. I wouldn't have had it any other way. And the reason why I did that was because she changed my dirty diapers early in my life. I didn't need any other reason.

Funny though as much as modern medicine is extending peoples lives, some will negate that by the way they treat their parents. If you don't believe me reread the scripture.

Love them while you can!

Monday, February 4, 2008

If My People

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Tomorrow is "Super Tuesday" where about 40% of the delegates for the political conventions here in the USA will be decided. Of course there is plenty of campaigning, and some mudslinging. Unfortunately some Christians place too much hope in their political parties and way too many put too much faith at the top.

Should we vote? Yes. We should also pray for our leaders whether we agree with them or not. We should also pray for wisdom as we prepare to make decisions at the ballot box.

Study the issues. If a candidate professes to be a Christian, pray that they "walk the walk" as well as "talking the talk."

But remember this-As Americans we should regard all elections, whether they be for school levies, or for President, as important.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

How much control does TV have in our lives?

In this morning's edition of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Terry Pluto gives his observation on how much television controls our lives.

It's something to think about as we are about to embark on Super Sunday, the day which has the most watched show of the year.

As he usually does, Terry gives many viewpoints and sites many several sources. It is definitely worth a read.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

New Christian Friend

I want to give a Seek Him First welcome to Melanie, who authors Monday Through Sunday, a faith based blog that reads like a devotional.

I guarantee that you will get many blessings if you check it out.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Needed: Leadership

One of the books I've read this month is titled "You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader." The author is Mark Sanborn. One of the reasons I read the book was that he was kind enough to respond to a post on my other blog after I mentioned his book, "The Fred Factor." Mark, like most who read these words, is a believer. The version of "You Don't Need a Title to be a Leader" I read was an expanded Christian version of the book.

I read the book about three weeks ago, but some of the message sunk in this past weekend after an incident on my job. In the business world, as well as the church world, there are many managers and administrators. But sadly many of these managers and administrators are not leaders.

Seeing that I am writing this on my faith based blog, I will deal with the church aspect of this. I was saved in June, 1980. Having been baptized some two years prior to that, I had some trying to tell me that it wasn't salvation at that time, but Satan telling me that I wasn't really saved. Some of these folks were deacons in the church that I had attended, and one of these folks was the pastor. In looking back at that, I feel that the consul coming from these "leaders" in the church was to make them look good and not from the leadership of the Holy Spirit. I've heard others get the same counsel and accept it. Some who did are no longer in church. Others heard the Holy Spirit again and came to accept Him and now are being used in a mighty way.

Sometimes a young Christian in a small established church has little room to grow, because these churches are steeped in tradition and those in "leadership" roles do not want to give way for anyone who might do things contrary to the way it's been done for years and years. The folks who can't find an area to serve either find somewhere else to serve or fall by the wayside. The small churches, steeped in tradition, eventually die of old age. Churches that don't have a free flow of leadership become stagnant.

One of my most frequent observations in the past couple of years is that some give the impression that arrogance is a spiritual gift. I've had Christians tell me that they know more about things of the church than I do because they've been a Christian longer. I don't think God regards seniority when he uses us. I think He looks at our hearts.

You don't need to be a deacon, elder, trustee, teacher, or a pastor to lead one to Christ. Peter Led many to Christ. Andrew led Peter to Christ. Which leader was more important? The answer to that one is this is a trick question, as the most important leader is the Holy Spirit as without Him, we can't lead anyone to the Lord. Without the Holy Ghost, no other office in the church is necessary because with Him we have no church.

No matter what job you have in the church, do it under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and He will help you to be the leader you need to be.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Judge Not

Judge not,that ye be not judged.- Matthew 7:1 KJV

I have mostly Christian readers of my blogs, but I also reach out to unbelievers. I like reading about peoples lives and their views on it. I enjoy the lines of communication that I make through the blogosphere, especially when it becomes one on one with email.

I get messages from people who thank me for not being judgemental. I will tell you though, that process has taken years to achieve.

I got saved in June of 1980 as a result of reading literature connected to a Christian publication. as I have posted before, I will not give the name of this publication, seeing I see some legalism and hate coming from it nowadays. I see a contradiction of the gospel message coming from it. For years I had thought that it was the authority for my Christian education. I learned a lot of Bible, but little love. I was very judgemental because of it. As a result, I couldn't get along with people from other denominations, let alone those who didn't profess to be believers.

We as Christians are to follow the example of Jesus, not other people. The best way to find out the example of Jesus is to read His Word and find out what He is like. We find that people we tend to shun, He embraced. He never told anyone to clean up their act, then He would associate with them. he was more concerned about the condition of their soul, and felt their life would clean up afterward. Even though we sing "Just as I am" if the anybody with a bad reputation would come into worship with us, we have a tendency to wonder about their ulterior motive.

I once heard a former pastor say during a message that we should go into the projects and win the lost there, instead of having them come into church and polluting those in service. As I say, he is a former pastor.

You can't win the lost if you don't associate with them.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord

14Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

16Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14-21 KJV

Sometimes we have to remember that as Christians, we have the Lord "watching our backs." We sometimes feel that we have to get our "pound of flesh," when we've been wronged, but that's not the Lord's way. We have Jesus to fight our battles and we have to wait on Him, as He will avenge us in His time, which would be the perfect time.

In the interim, we are to "live peaceably with all men." If someone does us wrong, my mother used to say, kill them with kindness- "if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."

Sometimes people do things to hurt us and it's human nature to want revenge but , as Paul wrote in the text for this post, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

Easy to say, easy to read, but hard to do.

Dear God, please give those who are wronged the strength to let you avenge those who wronged them. Help us all to be an example to those who do others wrong by following the example of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

White as snow

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18KJV

This post was inspired in part by a post and comments at Amais' Liquid Plastic blog.

Winter is here in Ohio and I got to remembering some thoughts I had some 25 years ago as I was driving to work one winter morning.

There was a light, but fluffy coating of snow on the ground. The snow was a very bright shade of white. I was on a spiritual high and I got to thinking about the goodness of the Lord.

I thought about the fact that the snow covered the ground and the marks that man left on the Earth during the other three seasons. The snow is helping prepare the Earth for agricultural use for the following seasons. Snow also replenishes the water table.

Snow is similar to the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

The blood of Jesus covers our sins, and renews us for eternal life. The blood prepares us to be fruitful in our Christian walk. If we have the blood on the outside we have the Holy Spirit on the inside.

God took our black hearts,
Covered them with red blood
Made them whiter than snow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Follow up from my other blog

For those who just come over to this blog, Happy New Year.

If you read my post over at WIXY's Gone Bananas yesterday, you know that I mentioned a book called The Fred Factor as recommended reading. The book's author, Mark Sanborn, left a message in the comment section thanking me for the recommendation. We had an exchange of emails on the topic. Mark told me that he gets google alerts when his books are mentioned(Hi Mark). He also wrote the following:

I take from your profile you are a believer. I am as well. Don't know if you know it, but both The Fred Factor and You
Need a Title to be a Leader are available in a slightly different and overtly Christian edition from Waterbrook Press.
Both books are excellent and would be great for leadership and disciple training in an overtly Christian edition.

Check out your local Christian bookstore or go online for these great resources.

Also go to Mark Sanborn's website and sign up for his free newsletter, which is sent out via email. You can get some good resources on leadership, and everybody can be a leader. Remember Andrew lead Peter to Jesus and Peter lead many.