A Christian response to those who say they want more than “Thoughts and Prayers” after school shootings.

Do you want more than thoughts and prayers? Then get out of our way.

Matthew 23:37
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

It seems that an increasing number of politicians and public figures say they are tired of hearing that “our thoughts and prayers” are with the families of school shootings. They say that more needs to be done. I agree.

Prayer is part of the solution. I believe in the power prayer. It moves the hand of God in the world and the heart of those who pray. We will continue to pray for the families affected by these tragedies. It is our right and privilege to do so. However, the same people that say they’re tired of our thoughts and prayers are usually the same people that are keeping Christians from doing more to help.

It is well-documented that the secular coup of the public school system has been disastrous. Public schools began in church buildings. The first school books were filled with Christian concepts and Bible verses. There has been a concerted effort to remove God from the classroom and public arena. In 1963 the Supreme Court established a prohibition on “state-sponsored prayer” in US schools. That decision has been the foundation of the continued effort to remove any positive influence of Jehovah and His Son in schools. The school system has been in decline since they kicked out the Bible and prayer. The US school system is now a mission field.

Some of you are jumping out of your seat right now citing the Establishment Clause. Sit back down. A nonsensical and unhistorical interpretation of the First Amendment of the Constitution has become the weapon of choice among the enemies of God to remove His influence from our government. Study genuine US history. This amendment was not added to protect the government from churches, but to protect the churches from the government. Christianity was not only allowed in American government; it was clearly preferred over other religions for much of our history. You don’t hear that very often do you?

We would tell children God loves them, but you insist on teaching them that there is no God.

God cares more for these children than we can conceive. He wants them to be protected. Yet, He has been (more…)

16 Characteristics of God’s Agape’ Love

Christ commands us to love one another.  But he is speaking of a much different love than the world exhibits.  The Greek word agape’ (ag-ah´­pay) describes God’s unconditional and sacrificial love that He has for us and expects us to show to one another.  What does agape’ love look like?

1 Corinthians 13:4–8   Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

The word agape’ is translated into the word “charity” in this chapter of the King James Bible.  This is the perfect English word to describe God’s selfless & unconditional love.  Learn why God’s love is the Greatest here.

John 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Our Lord not only gave us a  command that we should love one another but also how to love one another.  The Greek word agape’ is used here for the quality of love that we should display. Ask yourself the following questions.  Are you exhibiting God’s agape’ love?

1. Suffereth Long

Are you patient with others or are you quickly frustrated with them?

2. Is Kind

Are you kind or harsh in your actions and attitudes?

3. Envieth Not

Do you take pleasure the blessings and accomplishments of others or are you jealous of them?

4. Vaunteth Not Itself

Do you notice and fulfill others needs or do you promote yourself and your needs above theirs?

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Should I Tithe on My Tax Return?

You don’t want to rob God, but you’re not sure how to handle your tax return.  What does the Bible say?

Proverbs 3:9–10 “Honour the LORD with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”

Dedicated Christians tithe. We tithe by returning 10% of our increase to the Lord through our local church. This is a straightforward calculation for your regular paycheck. As a pastor, I have been asked many times how to tithe off of a tax return. Here are my thoughts on the subject.

Tithe off of Net Pay

If you have been tithing off of your net pay (this is the amount you receive with taxes removed), you have not tithed from all your income. Even though the government takes tax out before it gets to you, it is still part of your increase. You must tithe off of your entire tax refund.

Tithe off of Gross Pay

I recommend tithing off of your gross pay from each paycheck. This is the amount you are paid before taxes are taken out. Furthermore, I urge that you tithe off of your entire (more…)

10 Things Worth Striving For

You are spending your time, talent and treasure toward something. Don’t waste your investment. Make sure the end is worth the effort. Here are ten things worth striving for.

STRIVE
1. To make efforts; to use exertions; to endeavor with earnestness; to labor hard; applicable to exertions of body or mind. A workman strives to perform his task before another; a student strives to excel his fellows in improvement.
Strive with me in your prayers to God for me. Rom. 15.
Strive to enter in at the strait gate. Luke 13.
2. To contend; to contest; to struggle in opposition to another; to be in contention or dispute; followed by against or with before the person or thing opposed; as, strive against temptation; strive for the truth.
My spirit shall not always strive with man. Gen. 6.
3. To oppose by contrariety of qualities.
Now private pity strove with public hate,
4. To vie; to be comparable to; to emulate; to contend in excellence.

Each of us is striving towards something. We get up in the morning to do it. We spend our time and money towards it. We think about it in our spare time. We go without preferences and sometimes necessities to attain it. What is “it” for you? What are you striving towards?

Some people are striving to survive. Working day to day to pay the bills, keep a roof over their heads, and feed the family. Others strive to be rich. They have enough for their basic needs and most of their wants, yet they hope to reach some financial number that will bring them freedom from the rat race. Many strive to be the best in their profession or sport to attain fame and fortune.

Have you ever thought about what would happen if (more…)

Temperance – A Bible Word Every Christian Needs to Know

The Power of God to Do What you Know you Should Do

Temperance is more than moderation.  It is the power of God to do what you know you should do.  Learn how to get it here.

We live in an interesting day. We have many more conveniences and comforts than any generation in the history of the world, yet people are more unhappy and unfulfilled than they have ever been.

We have come to expect instant gratification in every area of life. Need a meal? Fast food or a microwave oven will have it for you in a flash. Need a friend? Create an account and start collecting them. Have a thought? Post it online and watch the likes and comments roll in. Someone make you angry? Give them a piece of your mind. Then tell anyone who will listen what they did to you. Want something you can’t afford? Swipe the credit card. The problem is that any joy from instant gratification is short-lived usually followed by lingering guilt and hardship.

Modern comforts have given us an insatiable craving for pleasure. No need to wait, to work, to hope, to save, to dream, to strive. Many believe happiness and comfort are a birthright. Pleasure at any cost is the cry of the masses. “If it feels good, do it; if it’s not fun, don’t” is the motto of this generation.

We are blessed to live in this era of time with its conveniences and comforts. We should thank the Lord for all the tools and opportunities that are available. However, if we are to serve God and follow Christ, we must be able to sort through the noise cutting out what will hinder our divine relationships and service. Not every opportunity is (more…)