Archive | January, 2019

The Cup

27 Jan

The Cup…

One evening while sitting by the campfire, along with a group of others, Grandfather was holding a cup. An empty cup, he said, how do you get rid of its emptiness? There’s only one way, you fill it.

He then went over to the well and filled the cup with water. We have successfully removed the emptiness, he said with a slight smile, not by focusing on the emptiness or by concentrating on removing it. We removed the emptiness simply by fulling the cup with water. A Simple solution, yet profound, even revolutionary when you apply it to life.

How did God accomplish salvation? By removing evil from the world? No, by His presence, by coming into the world, by becoming God with us, Immanuel.

By pouring water into the cup, I said.

Exactly, He didn’t take away our problems or remove them from the world. He did something better, He gave us the answer. He poured the answer into the world. You see, salvation is not the absence of sin. It’s the presence of God. Salvation is not the removing of the world’s darkness. It’s the shining of God’s light into the darkness. And by the light, the darkness is driven away. Salvation is the incarnation of God. It’s His presence. It’s the Immanuel solution. So what does it reveal?

You don’t overcome darkness by focusing on the darkness. You overcome the darkness by focusing on the light, I replied.

Correct, and you don’t overcome sin by focusing on sin. You overcome sin by dwelling not on sin but on God. You overcome emptiness by dwelling on His presence. You solve your problem, not by dwelling on the problem, but by dwelling on the answer, by being filled up with the answer.

You overcome sorrow by the presence of joy and hate by the presence of love and evil by the presence of good. Try this secret and it will change your life. Overcome the absence by the presence of its opposite. It is as simple and as deep as pouring water into the cup, the Immanuel solution.

Apply this to your everyday life. Overcome the problem with the Answer, the bitterness with Forgivness, hate with Love and evil with the Good.

How will you fill your cup?

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Colors Of Heaven

26 Jan

The Colors Of Heaven…

It was a sunny afternoon when Grandfather led me into one of the most beautiful gardens just outside the school. It was a garden filled with every variety of flowers and of every color. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of colored glass. He handed it to me and said now look at the garden and tell how many colors you see.

Just one, I replied, everything is red.

That’s right, Grandfather said, the glass filtered out every ray of light except the red. Even though the garden is full of colors all you can through the glass is red.

The world, like this garden, is also a mix of colors. What God created is good, but the creation has fallen and is now a mix of good and evil. It will be your glass that will determine what you see and what you receive of the world. The things you take for granted will become the filter of your glass.

If you live requiring or expecting to get from this world heaven or perfection, as one who deserves to be blessed, and thus taking the blessings for granted, you’ll blind yourself from seeing those blessings.

I would have thought the opposite I replied.

Grandfather said, No, what you take for granted is that which you blind yourself from seeing, and that which you will end up losing. If you take the good for granted, you will lose or filter out the good. The only thing you will see is all that is not good, the wrong, the imperfect and the dark. To require heaven of this life is to filter out the heavenly.

Then he handed me a second glass. When I lifted it to my eyes, I saw all the other colors, everything except the red.

This, he said, is your lesson in life. If instead of taking heaven for granted, you take hell for granted. In other words, that you deserve judgement, but have been given grace instead and that no blessing is deserved and no good thing is taken for granted what then will happen? The opposite.

Your Heart will see only the good and every blessing. Everything will become a gift from God, and every moment His Grace. You see, compared to hell, life is heaven. So learn to see your life through the second glass and you will filter out hell.

What will remain? Heaven and a heavenly life. Then you will see your life in heavenly colors.

Take judgement and hell for granted and the fact that you’re saved from it, and every other blessing in your life as total undeserved grace and by this live a heavenly life.

I was blessed to have Grandfather as my mentor and best friend. He taught me many life lessons. I feel he is watching over me yet today and smiling at how I am sharing his words and lessons.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Brains vs Prejudices

21 Jan

Brains vs Prejudices…

Prejudices, everybody has some, even though they don’t like to admit to it. Some work very hard to show theirs while some work very hard to lock theirs up. I fall in the latter group.

As a Christian, I try to put God first and think before I engage my mouth. Sometimes I fail, especially when it comes to someone degrading another over something petty.

Yet, over the years I have found that very few people take the trouble to use their brains as long as their prejudices are in working condition. Is it because of the way they were raised or just peer pressure to be one of the gang?

Either way, it is wrong if you are a Christian. It shouldn’t matter if their skin is a different color, their ethnicity is different or if they believe differently than you do, you are God’s representative here on earth and as such should embrace all He stands for in your relationships with all who cross your path. There are no coincidences in life, God places these people in your path for a reason and I’m pretty sure it isn’t for you to downgrade them or to turn your back to them.

Did you ever consider that He just may be testing you to see how you would react? What would you say if that stranger you just placed judgement on, turned around and said let’s have a cup of coffee because we need to talk and that person just happened to be God?

The problem is too many Christians fail to engage their brains before they open their mouths and in doing so makes the whole Christian community look bad. God gave us a brain and the power to use it to meet any of our goals. Yet we seem to find it easier to put our prejudices in front of our brain like it never exists. As Forest Gump said… Stupid is as stupid does.

Let us remember that on the sixth day God said let us create man in our image… and in the third chapter of John it says Jesus came to redeem all men… The time has come for all Christians to live up to their commitment to God and follow His commandments. Love your neighbors as yourself and as I have loved you.

Grandfather always preached the golden rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. Respect others and they will respect you. Then he added this statement: No matter what you do or no matter what you say, love isn’t love until you give it away.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Beginning And The End

20 Jan

The Beginning And The End…

A typical day in my life with Grandfather.

We were sitting on the shady plain just beyond the school grounds. Using a stick Grandfather began drawing symbols in the sand. The first looked like a capital A. The second looked something like a horseshoe.

In Isaiah 44, he said, it is written “I am the First and the Last. Apart from me there is no God.” God is the First of existence and the Last. And this, he said, pointing to the first symbol, is the Alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet. And this is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, the Omega. These are the symbols of God. God is the Alpha, the Beginning of all things, and the Omega, the End of all things. The Alpha and Omega, the source of all existence. So in the last chapter of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, it is written, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.

As in Isaiah I said.

Yes, but in The book of Revelation the words are specifically referring to the Messiah. He is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega.

So what would happen if the Alpha and Omega came into the world? He would become the Alpha and Omega of the world? I asked.

He would become the Alpha and Omega of history, of time. His presence would cause time to divide and history to split in two. He would become the Omega, the End of one age and the Alpha, the Beginning of the other…BC and AD. The Omega of BC and the Alpha of AD. He becomes the Alpha and Omega of all who find Him. He becomes the Omega of our lives, our BC, and the Alpha, the Beginning, the new Beginning of our AD…the new birth.

Grandfather then drew a line joining the Alpha and the Omega. All time proceeds from the Alpha to the Omega. So the secret is to receive each moment of your life from Him the Alpha and live each moment to Him the Omega. For He is the Alpha and Omega of all existence and the Alpha and Omega of you.

Grandfather always had a way of making his point. Here he pointed out that we exist by the grace of God and it is by His grace that all things happen. He gave me lessons like this everyday we were together and I was very fortunate to have him as my mentor.

Our purpose in life is to live it to the fullest of every minute He gives us sharing His grace with all whose paths we cross and leading them to Him.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Karma… Or Is It Grace?

14 Jan

Karma…or is it Grace?

Grandfather always taught me to love others and used the Bible to reinforce his words. He told me never do wrong to a person, for any reason, because it will always come back and bite you. It may take a while, he said, but sooner or later you will pay for the wrong you did. The Bible teaches us that we reap what we sow. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. Galatians 6:7

This is what some people refer to as karma. Karma means action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deeds contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deeds contribute to bad karma and future suffering.

In other words every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Newton third law, except in this case the reaction may take a long time to come back and bite you. Though Karma had it’s start in the far Eastern religions, it does appear to have seeped into the Christian world also. The Bible does not teach karma. It teaches grace. Grace is where you get what you don’t deserve. Grace is unmerited favor. It is love and mercy bestowed upon us by God because He desires us to have it. As you can see, very different to karma. More like polar opposites. It was grace, not karma, that rescued the baby Moses from death. It was grace that allowed Queen Esther to plead for the survival of her people. Grace helped Nehemiah rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Grace appeared face to face with Saul on the Damascus road.

Grace reached out to you and me while we were sinners deserving death and took our place. And it disappoints me that we have forgotten. It disappoints me we are more inclined to look for karma than we are to look for grace.

John 13: 34, 35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

I think, if we follow this one commandment, and treat every one with love, He will bless us with his grace. If we fail to follow this commandment, He could withhold His blessings from us.

Over the years Grandfathers wisdom has come to me in dark times to remind me of the life lessons I was taught. Galatians 6:7 in particular has taught me that love overcomes all evil and as long I share the blessings and love God has given me, He will always have more for me to share.

Love is never wasted and can be contagious so feel free to give away. In most cases it comes back two fold.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Only By His Grace

12 Jan

Only By His Grace…

It is only when we realize that everything we do in life is only by the grace of God that the realization surfaces that what we do with our life matters. It matter to us, our family and most important it matters to God.

In His song Grace Alone, Scott Wesley Brown pretty much lays it all on the line.

Every promise we can make
Every prayer and step of faith
Every difference we can make
Is only by His grace.

Literally, we can do nothing without the grace of God. It is through Him we even exist.

Every mountain we will climb
Every ray of hope we shine
Every blessing left behind
Is only by His grace.

Sometimes we tend to forget that God watches over us and every move we make. Even though we have free will to make the choices we make, He is always there to help guide us back onto the right path when we get lost.

Grace alone Which God supplies
Strength unknown He will provide
Christ in us, our cornerstone
We will go forth in grace alone.

He is always in our corner, ready to pick us up and dust us off as we continue our journey. Too many times we forget that it is by His grace we don’t destroy ourselves in our greed and self promotion.

Every soul we long to reach
Every heart we hope to teach
Everywhere we share His peace
Is only by His grace.

As we reach out to others to help them learn and grow, it is by His grace and the peace He gives us that we are able to succeed.

Every loving word we say
Every tear we wipe away
Every sorrow turned to praise
Is only by His grace.

As we grow in our relationship with God, we also learn just how important love is both in our life and the lives of others, but most importantly how God’s love for us is meant to be shared.

Grace alone which God supplies
Strength unknown He will provide
Christ in us, our cornerstone
We will go forth in grace alone.
We will go forth in grace alone.

Let us all use His grace to help improve someone’s life everyday of our life. For it is only by His grace that we can…God not only orders our steps. He orders our stops.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Wondrous God…

11 Jan

The Wonderous God…

How many times in life have we started out looking to help another when we stumble over something completely unsuspected that contains the answer we were looking for in the first place?

Sometimes life is about finding something you didn’t even know you were looking for. To say God works in mysterious ways would be an understatement, for He is always at least one step ahead of you and always there to shine a light on His little surprise at the end of the path.

I’ve been writing since late 1971 and sending copies of my stuff to just about anyone who asked for it, mostly missionaries around the world. I get emails almost daily about how I touched someone because of something I wrote. God gave me the words to put down on that paper and guided me as to what to write and how.

Over the years I’ve started writing this blog, now in its seventh year, to reach out and touch people in their time of need. Little did I know when He started me doing this blog, that I would start hearing from people I’ve not seen in years to hear how my words have helped them in so many ways.

I’ve mentioned before that sometimes I am woken up in the middle of the night with urgent thoughts that He wants me to write about. Many times as I write, I feel Him watching over my shoulder, patiently making sure I word it exactly as He wishes. It is times like this that it becomes very clear we serve a very Wonderous God.

My blog posts are written to touch people when they hurt, have questions they need answers to and to help them understand what a wonderful God we serve. I encourage my readers to ask questions of me and to comment to me their feelings about what I write. I will answer everyone of them.

Email: Efchristi2@yahoo.com

Like I said before: Sometimes life is about finding something you didn’t even know you were looking for.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

Basic Instructions

9 Jan

Basic Instructions…

Like many of us, I’ve often wondered why we didn’t come with an instruction manual when we were born. Just about everything comes with an instruction manual, but not a newborn baby. It could be because as adults we have been raised with instructions, even though some of us fail to see that.

Grandfather had a book of instructions that he raised me on, it was called the Bible. The Bible, is normally called by the church the Word of God, was named something different by my Grandfather. He called the book the Handbook Of Life or “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”. Everything you need to know to live a good life can be found inside. All we have to do is follow it.

However, these are Basic Instructions, God also gave us a brain to educate ourselves to become more advanced in our life. Some have used it very well, others are still stuck trying to learn the basic instructions.

Now I realize that some will take issue with this, but look how far we as people have advanced since the days the Bible was written. These innovations didn’t just come out of nowhere, God gave them to us. He showed us the way to discover them, educated us to refine them and lead us to where we are today.

In a nutshell, life is only as good and strong as you make it. If you follow the basic instructions life can be very full. The problem comes when we choose to go in another direction. God is there to guide you, if you ask. He is more than happy to give you His love and He asks so little of you in return, love your neighbors as I have loved you. Yes, these are part of the basic instructions.

I think Grandfather was right when he called the Bible The Handbook Of Life for it does contain the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Follow the Bible and shine your light!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

What Is Truth

8 Jan

What Is Truth…

It was the summer of my 11th year when I decided to turn the tides and ask Grandfather a question. Grandfather, what is truth?

Well now, he said, that is a question men have been asking for ages. Philosophers have been asking that question since the beginning of time. You know what philosophy means don’t you? Yes, I responded it means the love of knowledge, so what answer did they come up with?

Well, they all had a different idea of what the truth is and decided they had no concrete answer. So the answer is no one really knows.

Well, I said, that is not an answer for I know what truth is. The answer is the absence of the answer… in the silence is the truth.

It is His not saying anything that said everything, in His not answering, that the question was answered. Truth is deeper than words. The truth wasn’t the truth about something or even The truth about Him… It was Jesus standing in front of Pilate’ s eyes, in flesh and blood reality. When Pilate turned to the people and said I can’t find Him guilty of anything. You see the idea of truth, the talk of truth and the study of truth is not the truth.

Philosophies and religion may be about the truth, but that which is about the truth can also blind you from seeing the truth itself. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the realm of the about and lose sight of that which the about is all about. The truth is that which is… as God is. The truth is Him. So the only way to know the truth is to know Him.. directly, personally, in His presence, face to face, heart to heart. What is truth? God is truth.

So what is the answer to all the philosophy, the love of knowledge? It is to love the truth. Therefore the answer is to love Him.

Your challenge today is to stand in His presence, be still and know He is God.

Grandfather looked at me, smiled and said you have learned your lessons well. Three months later I was presented in front of the elders of the tribe.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

The Sixth Day…

5 Jan

The Sixth Day…

It was warm Friday afternoon where Grandfather and I were sitting under a tree next to the river fishing, when he said under the Hebrew calendar this is the sixth day of the week and being the sixth day it is very important that we understand why it is so important to man.

There is something about the sixth day that we just seem to overlook, either because we were never taught its importance or never give it any thought.

Genesis 1:26-27 And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

Yes, on the sixth day God made us in His image. God caused man to bear the image of God, an image of glory and perfection.

It was also on the sixth day, the day of redemption, man caused God, through Jesus, to bear the image of fallen man, as one who had fallen, as one found guilty, and as one cast out. All that was the image of man’s fall.

2Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

So God was judged as a blasphemer because blasphemy was the sin of man. Man passed judgement on God, because man himself was under judgement. As God had made man in the image of God’s glory, man now made God in the image of man’s guilt and degradation. As God has made Adam in His Image, it was now Adam making God in the image of Adam, as one who has transgressed, under judgement and condemned to death, cursed and separated from God. When you look at the cross, you are beholding God in the image of man.

Why, you ask, would God allow Himself to be abused and degraded?

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

God allowed Himself to bear the image of man, that man might again be allowed to bear the image of God. God allowed Himself to bear the image of fallen man, that man might bear the image of the risen God.

Your challenge is to make it your goal that your life would become a reflection of His life, your heart a reflection of His heart. Allow Him to make you and form you into His Image. For God bore your image in His death that you, in your life, could bear the image of God. Live today in the image and nature of God!

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed