Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chapter 1

verse 5
"Through him and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith."

"Obedience the comes from faith" This phrase is very interesting and is setting up the whole letter of Romans for what it is. A message that says our faith comes not of works but grace. Paul is saying in this simple line that the school teacher is not needed anymore. The law is not needed anymore. Obedience can and must come through someone's faith. They can try to follow rules and regulations all they want but it will lead to nothing but condemnation and guilt. Because that is what the law was made for. It was made to show us how guilty we are but Grace happened to show us how (despite of all sins) accepted we are.

The other day I was helping our print center at work print a banner that said "Revival Fire or Ruin" I looked at the associate I was helping and said "They would probably get more people to stop at their booth if they said 'Grace greater then all my sin' The law is very dangerous in the hands of the breakers. It will, more often then not, be used to build a fake cast system. This system is not based on truth at all but hidden lies. The people at the top of the cast system are just as bad as those they say are at the bottom but they are better at hiding it. Their motives in some way might seem good to them but the result is not freedom.

The idea of 'Obedience by Faith' says that when we accept Christ by faith and realize what He has done for us, then we are filled with a desire, passion and love for others. What were those two commandments again......? Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself. By doing this you fulfill all other commandments.

A study in Romans

Before I start this study in Romans. I want to invite feedback, comments and thoughts. There is no corner on the Bible but God Himself.

You will have to look hard for a Bible that does not contain chapters and verses. However, the first Bible did not. The New Testament is compiled by letters and these letters were written to believers. That is very important to remember. They were not written to non-believing heads of state, just believers. I want to study more in depth Chapter 1 but before I do, I want to clarify. Remembering that there is no chapters or verses, we need to not take this chapter out of context. The beginning clarifies that Paul is writing to Christians, please keep this in mind. Because of verses and chapters, we (Christians) like to compartmentalize verses. Each verse in each chapter is meant to compliment the other. It is much like notes in music. By themselves, they make just a sound but put together they make MUSIC!

The history of the use of Chapter one is to define non-believers. Those who are of the world. Preachers use this on Sunday morning to show what people of the world look like. Unfortunately, they also use it to enforce their view to their congregations on homosexuality. In many situations it ends up degrading a person in such a lifestyle and making it seem as if they are leprous. This is one of the main reasons why I talk about chapters and verses not being there. Many of these preachers do not continue preaching on Chapter 2. All you have to do is read the first two verses and you will see what I mean.

The idea Paul is trying to get across is that we are all sinners. Not to condemn but to help people understand that we are not alone. We are in this together and together we are strong. More on this later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A poem

You might not think my story is familiar
but please read more
I grew up as a slave
A slave with no cage
my master went by the name "man pleaser"
he promised me love
he promised me acceptance
he promised me a home
a place of comfort
where I would be taken care of
but he lied
I was abused
I was stripped of my innocence
I was taken advantage of
I was told, this is what you do to survive

When I started to see
they told me I was blind
when I started to know
they told me I was stupid
when I started to hear
they told me I was deaf
when I started
they told me not to finish

Walking has become easier
one row of chain at a time
first, the truth
second, the guilt
third, the hurt
one at a time
then i started to run
running became easier
with no burden on my shoulder
there were others running beside me
grabbing my hands
at first I didn't understand what they were saying
so I started to listen closer
in soft whispers and then in loud voices
they said "spread your wings"
I looked and couldn't believe it
where did these wings come from
they told me I had them all the long
I was born with them
They said I was born to fly

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Paul Bunyan and Jesse's yellow foot

Deep in the heart of Wisconsin there is a place called Paul Bunyan's pancake house. It's a monster of a building, just like the man. A log cabin that seems like it stretches forever. Inside of the building is a picnic table that runs the whole length. It is here where you sit. It is here where you eat. It is here where you eat like a logger from the bygone days. It was also here that my brother's foot turned yellow.

We had pulled up to Paul Bunyan's with logger appetites. We were so hungry. We were very accustomed to eating pancakes. When I was a kid, my dad would make pancakes for us in the morning. He would top off your plate with 3 of them and when you weren't looking, he would add three more. I never could tell how many pancakes I ate when he cooked, I just simply lost count. My brother and I were so hungry when we got there that we didn't hear dad tell us to watch the yellow lines. That's not logger talk, if your wondering. They were painting the yellow lines in the parking lot.

When you walked into the building, there was wood everywhere. Wood walls, wood counters, wood ceilings and wood floors. Beautiful coated wood floors. You could see your face in them. We were greeted by the hostess at the end of the gift shop and we soon found ourselves seated at the long picnic table, eating to our hearts content.

Afterwards, we started roaming through the gift shop, looking to bring some key chain or postcard back from our trip and we came across 4 waiters and waitresses scraping the floor. My dad laughed and said "oops, someone stepped on the yellow line" It was after about 5 minutes that my brother came over to me and whispered into my ear "we need to get out of here and we need to go now" I looked at him like he was crazy, then he lifted his shoe. We slowly walked over to my dad and told him we had to leave. He didn't buy a postcard.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

An hour and a half to brew one pot of coffee!

An hour and a half to brew one pot of coffee! You might think that this to long to wait for a cup of coffee. Let me explain.........

Our coffee maker broke down a week ago. Yes, a week ago!!!!!! However, since the money is slim, we had to wait. Well, today, we decided to buy one. I did some research on line and found what I thought to be the cheapest but not too cheap coffee maker. The plan was simple. I was to drop Eve off at Aldi where she was to pick up the essential vegetables and I was to go to Kmart to get the coffee maker.

I got to the coffee maker aisle and started to look at all the different coffee machines and found an even better buy! This was a Black and Decker coffee machine that had a pot that felt good to hold. You know what I speak of. There are those pots that are so cheap that you feel it. I was also in Luck because the maker was only 19.99! ON SALE! How could I go wrong............
they had none in stock.

I proceeded to try to find an associate, and proceeded, and proceeded until at last I found one. I was hoping to capture his pot of gold but I digress. I asked him if on the shelf was the only stock they had for the coffee pots. He said he thought so. I told him I was looking for the Black and Decker that was on sale. He told me he would be back and a couple minutes later came with a telxon gun. I was wondering what he was going to do with it since Kmart labels don't have scan bars. He proceeded to FAKE SCAN the label. FAKE SCAN!!!!!! I didn't mention to him that I have worked 13 years in retail and use one of these guns every day. He said "it's not reading" I said "the numbers are printed on the label" He then proceeded to take his cell phone out and take a picture. He told me he would have to check the main computer. 5 minutes later he came back to tell me that they had 5 in stock. "Where are they?" I said, "I will have to talk to a manager" was the reply. While waiting for him to find a manager, which I know from experience takes awile, I walked further down the aisle and low and behold, right in front of my eyes, was a top of the line Hamilton Beach coffee maker on CLEARANCE for only 4 dollars more!

An hour and a half later, I am enjoying the best tasting cup of coffee in a long time.
The lesson............we think we know what we want, we go to get it, we face trials and tribulations, we become discouraged, we search for an answer, find something we didn't even expect, it is actually better then what we planned and in the end we come out smelling like fresh brewed French Roast.
God Bless

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

because I am not enough

I read somewhere that today will bring trials
That I would face temptation
I heard that I would find troubles
come face to face with tribulation
I saw that I would need patience
and the strength that God gives
because mine was not enough

I read somewhere that today will bring joy
That at some moment I would smile
I heard laughter would fill MY heart
and stay for awhile
I saw that I could hope, that I could dream,
that I could love
because He is enough

I read somewhere that I have the victory
That it is I who will win
I heard the trumpet sound the entrance
and my march was to begin
I saw all those that shared my trials
and gave me strength to overcome
because mine was not enough

I read somewhere that I will rest
my breathing will become light
I heard that I will be avenged
and all will be made right
I saw the seat that brings judgement
but also righteousness flowed from its throne
because mine was not enough

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Break Down

My lawn mower broke down in the middle of mowing yesterday. I tried to fix it but it was getting dark and harder to see. I had to give up. I then proceeded to think about how I have two mowers that are both broke down, a car in the driveway that's broke down and if you could believe it or not, I broke down. It was like I blew a gasget. I started swearing at the lawn mower. Swearing! I barely ever swear. I made sure to slam the door on my way in and then started to complain to my wife about everything that is going wrong with the vehicle and the lawn mowers. I was surely in the pit all night. I called a friend later last night to get his address and started to talk to him about what I was frustrated with.

Here's the funny thing. All night, when I wanted to have my own pity party, about all the things that were going wrong. It was like the Lord kept reminding me of my wife. How could I really have it that bad when I have Eve. Like the stubborn Judy man that I am, I continued to force the pity upon myself even though I didn't have a leg to stand on but I did ruin what could have been a great night with my wife. I could have enjoyed conversation being guilt free from how long the lawn was because the mower was broken. I had an excuse to spend more time with Eve and I squandered it in unearned self pity.

Just goes to show ya.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Colossians 1

We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less.

There are thousands of pastors and priests. Evangelists and missionaries. Monks and nuns. Professors and teachers. All of them to some degree having had some schooling. They attended some college or internship to learn how to do their positions. They might even have had to pay thousands of dollars to get their degree. The question I am proposing is “For What”?

The gospel is simple. To simple for some. There are those who struggle and might even not accept it because it sounds to simple. This is why scripture says that it is a stumbling block to the well learned. The gospel was so simple that Jesus entrusted it with fisherman and tax collectors and prostitutes. No pharisee was part of the 12. No king or priest. Just the unlearned. Those who had been rejected. Those who were not considered as the wise.

It is quit certain if you look throughout history that it doesn't take 4 years of college to be one who understands the mystery of God. That mystery being Christ! It is no kept secret. God makes it available to those who are closest to His heart. The poor!

Diplomas are for walls. Education is for respect. College is for profession. Profession is for stability. The idea of college for those who would like to be in ministry is to bring validity to them being paid for what they do. Why would you pay thousands of dollars to go to a college where you learn to minister to people for free and never be able to pay it back? Is Christianity a profession? Here, I believe, we have gone awfully wrong. Hurting people, the poor, the stranger, the widow, and the orphan don't need educated answers. They need LOVE! No matter what kind of answer you give me, you could never convince me that you could learn Love at a college. No matter what kind of college it is. Shall I quote 1 Corinthians 13 here or refrain? It is time that we start dealing with this issue as the church. It is time that we stop paying people to do the work for us. That is what we are doing, aren't we?

We will go on living our lives the way we want to and feel good about it, as long as we pay our tithe, which in turn pays the pastor so he can go and visit the sick in the hospital and prepare a message for Sunday and read and pray for the rest of us because we just don't have the time. What a great arrangement. We pay money so that we don't have to be spiritual all the time! Shall we flip the coin over? The pastor continues to preach every sunday messages that challenge the congregation to become more spiritual. To read their bible more and to pray more. He sees that they are not doing it as much as they should so he continues to validate in his mind the importance of them paying him. They need someone to watch over them. They are children and he the nanny. This silent agreement happens twice a week all across America. They are satisfied with the status quo. The people expecting the minister to be spiritual because they pay him and the minister expecting the people to be ignorant because they pay him. This, I don't believe is right and it is time for God's people, His body, to grow up.