Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Do You Need A Body Guard?

When you think of people who require a body guard, you'd probably think of a celebrity, members of high ranking government positions or even a sports figure who is sought after by fans. When you look at your life, do you need a body guard?

Odds are probably not. Not anyway yet.

Why is that? Why would you need a body guard?

Body guards are needed to protect the very lives of those who have hired them. Willing to die for them if need be. Not exactly the job I would sign up for.

Yet why do people do it?

Definitely something to make you wonder about. People who would take on a job, going to work one day and might not make it home because they have laid down their life for someone that they really don't know.

But it's easy to consider when it is someone you know really well. Inside and out on all levels. Perhaps even love. When you ask yourself the question then, would you be willing to die for someone you love, the question is an easy one. A no-brainer if you will.

Trust me when I say this that there is NOTHING you have done in your life that is so terrible that the death of Jesus at the cross, doesn't cover it.

It's not like you tell God what you did, and He says, "Wow! I didn't even think about that one. Nope that one is simply too great, it's not included."

No everything past, present or even future based sins are ALL covered in the death of Jesus on the cross for YOU!

Even if you were the very last and only person on earth, EVER, Jesus would have died just for you, because like you've experienced, there isn't anything you wouldn't do for someone you truly love more than anything. If it was between them and YOU, you would gladly take You over them.

Jesus can relate to us more than we think.

Why is it then, that Jesus who was the most loving man on the face of the earth, and the most loved, is the most hated?

He never laid a hand on another, never condemned or judged people based on their actions, past or present, but instead forgave them of their sins and were told to simply go and sin no more. He never killed the people who really wronged him, beat him, and even crucified him, even though He had at His disposal legions of angels that would have answered the call in a heartbeat.

Why is it when He was crucified, the first words He spoke were, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do?"

Because in all honesty they really didn't. We have no idea of the magnitude of what Jesus felt, endured, and knew in advance all that would happen to him. Yet He humbly went to the cross in our place.

Yet how often do we look upon Easter week, and fail to understand the depth of that kind of love? To remember what He did, so we can have a restored relationship with Him and God, the Father. Open lines of communications without all the rules and regulations of sin sacrifices any longer? Where have we fallen short in our day to day actions of simply leaving Jesus behind.

We ARE living in the last days. People all around the world are willing to die for Jesus. People who have less time in their faith than we do, and willingly are killed because of their belief in a loving God.

We may not need a body guard right now, but trust me, there will come a time, where you will wish you had one. When the persecution of Christians and believers in Jesus Christ will come to a full blown conclusion. Where you will have to take a stand for your faith. Will you take a stand for Jesus, or will you take a stand for this world?

Those my friends, are your only choices. Which one will you stand for? The eternal consequences are simple. Stand for Jesus, have eternal life. Stand for the world, eternal punishment.

God is providing a way for you to come to a loving place in Heaven, but He won't wait for long. We will ALL be given that choice in life, but the choice is ours alone to make, because He loves you that much, he doesn't want you to die. But you can't have it both ways, and don't think you'll always have time for that later. Death comes swiftly and unexpectedly at times, and you may not have another chance.

I challenge you today to take a stand for Jesus, for your faith. Would you be willing? If you don't take a stand for something, you'll fall for anything. Choose Jesus.

Sinner's Prayer

Father, I come to You, confessing my sin and asking for Your forgiveness. I thank you, Lord, for You have promised that if I will confess my sins, You will be faithful to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I want to turn from my sins and live in Your will. I ask that You give me the power through Your Holy Spirit to live the right way.

I thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross, paying the price for my sins, and then rose from the dead. I accept Him now as my Savior, my Lord, and my Friend. Thank You for giving me new life in Christ. I surrender myself to You; make me what You want me to be. In Jesus' name. Amen!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Are YOU Living on the Right Side of History?

( Photo: America's Providential History)

Growing up one of my least favorite subjects in school was History. Didn't matter if it was American History or World History, I couldn't get understand why we needed to even remember all this stuff that happened so long ago, much less how that might be relevant even today many, many thousands of years later. In fact, I failed some of my history classes in high school. Perhaps it was the teacher who didn't inspire a love of the past, but whatever the reason, if you know me today, it is one of my favorite subjects to study.

It has been said that those who don't remember our pasts are bound to repeat it (George Santayana 1905) and I fear that may be happening very soon. America has been reported to be on the same scale as Ancient Rome and we all know how that turned out. But did you know that there is recorded history that is applicable to all nations? It's called the Cycle of A Nation. The average life cycle for most nations is around 210 years. There are 7 different ages to a nation.

1. The Age of a Pioneer ( Vision, Passion, Simplicity of Self Rule)
     This is the beginnings or birth of a nation. It contains the vision for what it may become and laws are established to help it grow.

2. The Age of Conquest ( Expansion, Development, Growth)
     As a nation begins to grow, it needs to expand as the population grows. Cities are built that all fall under the growth of this new nation.

3. The Age of Commerce (Wealth and Influence)
     As a nation grows it begins to prosper and others are drawn to it.

4. The Age of Affluence ( Leisure and Pleasure)
     The nation now begins to ensure some of the fruits of all the hard labor. We begin to realize how profitable we have become and realize how much we have done for ourselves.

5. The Age of Intellect (Self Reliance and Arrogance)
     The nation now has no need of God. They begin to self justify all that they have done for themselves. They begin to push God out of the equation.

6. The Age of Decadence ( Tolerance and Acceptance)
     The nation now has compromised on some of the laws in order to accommodate the needs of others that don't necessarily believe along the same lines as they had in the past. New generations have risen up that don't accept the beliefs of those before them. They make concessions so that everyone is happy don't whatever is right to them.

7. The Age of Decline and Collapse (Greatest Amount of Rule and Law). 
     Because the nation is now struggling in economic, political or judicial ways, they decide that the only way to make things better is by changing existing laws or making new ones in order to fix things. People are slowly getting out of control as they struggle to find ways to fix what is broken.

This is now when a nation will fall and be taken military by another nation. When it will go into captivity of another nation.

Do you see where America might fall in any of these cycles? Are our current leaders not pushing for more government control, more laws or even changing the very laws our nation was founded on because they are out dated? Is America on the brink of falling into the captivity of another nation?

I believe we are. We have grown too apathetic as a nation. We have slowly fallen into these very same paths and have now gotten ourselves in such a fix, we are scrambling to find ways to fix things before it's too late. We have enemies that have a sworn hatred towards America, once a very blessed nation. We have removed God from the equation at every stage and now wonder why things are broken.

We have shaken our fists at God and said "We're fine thanks, we've got this! We don't need YOU or your outdated laws from the Bible to order us around anymore."

I mean what laws don't people agree with? No murdering, not lying, not stealing, not cheating, not worshiping God?

Yeah I think it is that one right there. We don't want to be told what to do and we have forgotten our Creator. The Great I AM!

Our nation wants Kings and gods of our own choosing. They want a god on their terms, their own selfish desires. They will simply reject God if He doesn't respond the way they want him to.

But they fail to realize that God is not a product. He is not a genie that answers to the whims of the people. What happened to Israel prior to its destruction in 70 A.D. is exactly what is happening in America today.

If history repeats itself, will America not suffer the same fate as Israel, God's chosen land and His people? What makes us think we are above it all?

We need to simply realize that what is happening in America today is not a political problem, an economic problem, or one that the government can fix, but it's a spiritual problem. I believe it's time to clean house, and get right with God again.

No matter what has happened in your past, perhaps God didn't save your loved one despite your prayers, perhaps God took away all you had, and now you have nothing or are on the threat of losing everything. remember this. God is a God of restoration. If your loved one is dead, if they were a believer is Jesus, you WILL see them again. This is just a temporary absence. They are waiting in heaven on the other side. Stop blaming God and start living for Him.

God is a wonderful loving father who wants only the very best for you. You might be losing everything so when you get to rock bottom, you have nothing left but trusting God. All YOUR efforts have failed up to this point. Now it's time to turn to God who has been patiently waiting for you to look up and let Him help.

Won't you consider what God offers instead of what the world does?

Trust me God's retirement plan is way better than anything Wall Street or your 401K plan offers!!!

Eternal life awaits. But it won't wait forever for you to make that choice to follow Him.

The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." Don't you want to spend an eternity with God over being eternally tormented in judgment? I'm sorry but those are the only two options waiting for you when you die. Choose life, eternal life. It's a decision you will NEVER regret.

It's really simple. Say the prayer below and believe it in your heart. You may not feel anything different after you do, but trust me, the Holy Spirit coming to live in your life after this prayer will begin to work in your life. Your former life will now try to battle the ground it lost when you made this decision. That's how you can tell Your a child of God's now, but it's one with the best benefits ever!

Father, I come to You, confessing my sin and asking for Your forgiveness. I thank you, Lord, for You have promised that if I will confess my sins, You will be faithful to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I want to turn from my sins and live in Your will. I ask that You give me the power through Your Holy Spirit to live the right way.

I thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross, paying the price for my sins, and then rose from the dead. I accept Him now as my Savior, my Lord, and my Friend. Thank You for giving me new life in Christ. I surrender myself to You; make me what You want me to be. In Jesus' name. Amen!

Father, I come to You, confessing my sin and asking for Your forgiveness. I thank you, Lord, for You have promised that if I will confess my sins, You will be faithful to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I want to turn from my sins and live in Your will. I ask that You give me the power through Your Holy Spirit to live the right way.

I thank You that Jesus Christ died on the cross, paying the price for my sins, and then rose from the dead. I accept Him now as my Savior, my Lord, and my Friend. Thank You for giving me new life in Christ. I surrender myself to You; make me what You want me to be. In Jesus' name. Amen!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Is God Calling YOU to be a Prophet?

I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy and now even the addition of The Hobbit in all of its three parts as well.

It is the classic struggle of good versus evil. The battle is on to rid the world of the evil of Sauron and Saurman as they team up to bring the world in all its races to the brink of war for the destruction of all that is good. We have our Fellowship who have banded together with their different diversity of races from human, hobbit, elves and dwarves to escort Frodo to Mount Doom to toss in the One Ring that would guarantee that whoever possess it controls all the power. Almost like a ring of God's power right?

But greed gets the best of them and Frodo realizes the incredible draw of people to want to possess the ring. Even the rules of the Elves pass on possessing it, so Frodo parts company with his sidekick Sam to go it alone.

Isn't that the way of evil?

To get us to give up being around those who are there to help and instead get us to go it alone? Aren't we just more vulnerable alone? More inclined to temptation or in this case for capture from the enemy?

Even today, this same evil is attempting to replay history from the days of the prophet Isaiah. In those days Isaiah was facing his greatest challenge. He was coming on to the scene where Israel had turned their back on God and was now participating in every kind of imaginable idolatry and evil.

They had previous kings that introduced those Babylonian practices and worshiping of false gods of every type. They wanted to make sure that everyone was happy doing whatever they wanted. They didn't want to appear to be too judgmental over what someone else believed. Sound familiar?

Whenever a nation struggles economically, they will want to go to war. It helps revive a nation financially, just like what was going to befall Israel and Judah. Did you know that the city of Ninevah is the modern day city of Mosul? Did you know that it is the oldest dwelling place for Christians and that ISIS has wiped out every single Christian living there today? ISIS' goal is to control all the current kingdoms north of Israel today which include Turkey and Baghdad. ISIS is like the Orcs. They are building an army that will not stop until it has taken over the entire world.

Demonic powers are stirring countries to war again. Look at what is happening in Egypt and the Middle East even as you are reading this blog post.

The message is simple. Whenever God's people turn their backs on God, He will attempt to send them warning after warning. If we fail to listen, He will lift His hand of protection from us. When the Glory of the Lord departs, you're on your own. Not a place you want to be.

I believe God has lifted His hand from America.

Our military is making blunders and bombing targets that are useless. Generals are turning on our president.

When's the last time it has rained in California? We are currently in an 8 year drought!!!

Our entire nation is hurting right now.

God is waiting to bless America again, but will we turn to Him in time?  We are IN the end times!!!

We really have to know our Bible in the last days. We have to realize that the Bible contains the answers for any issues we face in life. America is living in a world where the problems we are facing are spiritual. We need to turn back to God and call upon Him. The Bible says that "we need to call upon God in our days of trouble and he will rescue us, and we will give Him the glory." ~ Psalm 50:15

So here is the answer to what will dramatically change what is happening in America today!

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

God is calling us as believers in Jesus to tell people the truth. When God's prophets of old spoke to the people, things changed, either as a curse or a blessing. People didn't like what the prophets had to say, and prophets were rejected, mocked and killed because people wanted to shut them up. Since they could shut God up, they silenced the people. 

Isn't that what is happening today to Christians around the world? People can't silence God so they are silencing his people. The name of Jesus provokes a reaction in people and it shows spiritual reality. We are living in the days of Ezekiel, and it's time to wake up. 

We need to turn back to God as individuals, as families, communities, states and as a nation, before it's too late. Look around, the signs are literally everywhere. Just because it isn't happening here yet, doesn't mean it won't. We can't wait until it does. 

Oh how things are evolving in the world today? Seems like we thought we had seen the worst of things yesterday only to wake up and see that they have gotten worse.

But I encourage you to NOT lose Hope! It is the greatest gift we have in this troubling world today. We can bring back the light into a dark world again!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Don't Worry About Israel, Pray for America!

Last night changed everything for me.

For so long, the fire within my Spirit has been dampened, the embers still alive but not knowing what to do to cause the spark that I had when I first became a believer.

You remember how it was, you were super excited to share your experience with others, to read your Bible, and you couldn't wait to get to church.

Well I got that back!!!

It came from a simple, powerful message that CAN NOT be ignored. The very future of America is sitting right on the precipice of death.

You've seen the signs right?

Or are you like I was, sitting on your couch, watching ISIS behead Christians and thinking to yourself, "You know that kind of thing should be stopped. Why isn't anyone doing anything to put an end to this?" Do you even know what ISLAM means?

Perhaps you recall a man named Hilter who attempted to wipe an entire race of people off the map! We vowed that if something like that should ever happen, we, as the United States, would not let that happen again!

But are we doing anything? Why are we letting a terrorist organization known as ISIS slowly creep ever closer and stand idly by and do nothing. Say nothing.

The one thing I will do is to please watch this moving video from Pastor Jack Hibb's of Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills who clearly spells out for ALL AMERICANS what WILL happen if we don't wake up to what is happening in the Middle East.

There is a reason why the United States isn't mentioned in the book of Revelation and I urge to to watch this. It was what our pastor opted to show up last night so we could wake up from our apathetic and complacent place and begin praying right now for a revival to come to America.

Will YOU watch it? Will you share this post or link with every single person and ask them to watch it for themselves and decide if it's worth doing anything about? It runs almost an hour, but trust me when I say it will be the best hour of your life ever spent!

We CAN NOT sit back and wait for our government to do something, WE all need to do our part to make sure our leaders move in the right direction. Look around, the enemy is running out of time, but he's moving swiftly for the harvest is ripe.


Remember YOU have been warned! Only we can save this country!
Ezekiel 33: 1-6 NIV ~ The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Race Time!!!

It's that time again and yes, our family is officially a NASCAR family. Who would have ever thought we would want to sit and watch cars race around an oval track for almost three hours? Definitely NOT us.

But I have to say that this is truly a great sport to watch. I guess the one thing that I really respected about NASCAR was their commitment to faith in God and that they really support our service men and women. Not sure of many others that open their events with a word of prayer like NASCAR does but I absolutely LOVE it.

Steve and Kailee got the rare opportunity last week Friday to attend the races and they both arrived a bit early. Steve's job this year is working with the Motorsports division as a Senior Construction Manager that is working to upgrade the carriers like Verizon and AT&T to provide additional coverage for wireless device users and even to run fiber networks for NASCAR and the media when these events are televised live.

Trust me after Friday's experience, Steve has been elevated to a whole new level by our youngest daughter Kailee. She thinks her dad has the best job in the world now. She was invited by her dad to visit the AutoClub Speedway in Fontana to see some of the work he's been doing and while they were there, they got the very rare honor to meet some of the NASCAR drivers like Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and even Kyle Larson as they were getting to practice.

Just for Kailee to get the opportunity to talk with Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car who is retiring this year and get his autograph was a true blessing.

Kailee will say her best part of the experience was one that brought a true smile to her face and that of her dad. After working on the NASCAR tracks for over two years, Steve has never met any of the drivers, much less his favorite, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 car. Until last Friday. Kailee managed to capture this moment on her camera. Needless to say, she said her dad smiled like a kid at Christmas the entire day.

They were even nice enough to capture pictures with my favorite driver, up and coming rookie driver Kyle Larson who drives the #42 car sponsored by Target. They got autographs from all the drivers they asked and said they were truly great people to talk with.

Was I jealous I didn't go with them? Not really. In my mind, it's times like this that create lasting memories for both Kailee and her dad and there will always be other times in the future for me to go to. Just knowing that either one of them can look back on this day with fondness is a true blessing for me.

I did get the opportunity to join them for race day on Sunday, March 22 and thanks to Steve's credentials I got the opportunity to sign the start/finish line along with Kailee in the backwards ballcap and enjoyed the race as well.

While none of our favorites won, we were still blessed with treasured memories that will outlast this day and we got to cheer on our favorite drivers anyway. We were winners all the way!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Living in a State of Readiness

Here is California, we are always being told that the "Big One" is slated to come at any moment. Living in an earthquake prone state, it's a fact of life to experience one. In fact, you can almost tell if you're a native Californian from a tourist by how one handles their earthquake experience. If you're a lot like me, we've had so many in our life time, we will sit when we feel one happening, and wait to see just how strong it will be. Most of the time it's the chandler rocking from side to side or a rolling wave-like motion, or even what can feel like a large truck passing in front of our home. Most of the time they are over within 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.

But specialists have been telling us, that one day, we will experience what is known as the "Big One." Something along the lines of 7.0 or greater that will cause quite a bit of damage and mostly impact our commuter freeways since most of us, drive a considerable amount from home. There is Earthquake insurance you can buy as a rider on your homeowners or renter's policy that will insure your personal property against earthquake damage that is often times not part of your insurance policy. There are Earthquake preparedness kits that promise food, water, and medical supplies for about 3 days or more in portable back packs you can store around your home, office or in the trunk of your car.

Yet, here I sit at 51 years of age, not the slightest bit prepared. Why? Part of me, doesn't believe it will ever happen, so why bother. Another part of me, wonders if one goes through all that preparation, what is the likelihood that you will even be in a place to be able to access your earthquake kit anyway. If you're at home, what if it's buried under debris? Same goes for the office or your car. So why don't we take these threats with the seriousness they were meant for?

I guess the same could be said of the reason a lot of Christians and believers in Jesus Christ are told to be in a state of readiness for the day the Lord will return for his chosen believers, known as the rapture. Why don't we take that as serious?

Is it because we have heard the rumors for so long yet nothing has happened so far? Is that seriously something we want to be waiting for the last moment to make preparations for?

I mean I know where my future home will reside in eternity whether I am raptured out of this life or are taken out through physical death. But isn't that an apathetic way to live my life? Believing I will have more time to make some major changes?

It's like telling yourself that if you win the lottery, you will do more to help those less fortunate than yourself. Only why is it when we get a slight bump in pay, don't we take that additional money and use it to help those people out in whatever way we can? Why instead to we add a few more luxuries or vacations to our ever growing pile of stuff we won't be able to take with us anyway. In fact, if we were to die right this moment and we had no living relatives, all that stuff would be given away or thrown out. That is how important all that stuff is.

We need to be living like Enoch did at the ripe old age of 65, in that he lived his life so closely connected with God that God simply took him away. Perhaps it was based on the name of Enoch's son, Methuselah which meant that judgement would come on the earth when he died or "one who has brought death into the world", so poor Enoch never knew when that day was coming. Every little sniffle or sickness that child had, kept Enoch on his toes because he never knew when God's judgement would come. Little did he know that Methuselah would live to be 900 years old before the flood came.

We need to begin to make changes right now, at whatever point we are at in life right now. The Bible has foretold that the generation that witnessed the Jewish people returning to their homeland in Israel in 1948 would not pass away without seeing the return of Christ. Does that mean that Jesus isn't coming until the very last person who was living when that event dies? The Bible doesn't say, it simply warns of a generation that would not pass away, and my dear friends and family, that could very well mean our parents or grandparents generation.

Do you realize where we sit on the cusp of the end times?

Does the fact that in all of earth's history there have only been 4 blood moon events and the last one is occurring this September 13th?

Does it make you wonder what the significance is between these 4 blood moons occurring on each of Israel's festival days like the Feast of Trumpets? Not to mention an eerie solar eclipse that has happening right in the middle of these blood moon events?

Is God announcing something coming very soon?

It's possible. The Bible warns what the end times would look like. That there will be signs in the sky and none more observable than what has been happening while people go about their days as if nothing is out of the ordinary.

Luke 21: 10-12 NIV - "  Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
“But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name."

With the threat of ISIS and the recent beheadings happening all around the globe, are we not seeing such signs of people being persecuted for their faith in Jesus? The Bible predicted this is when the rapture would occur, when people least expect it. So what should we be doing?

We should be doing all we can to make sure we are living up to whatever plans God has in our life. If He has called you to do something, you need to be answering that call. Whether its  helping out in the mission field, helping out in the church or ministering in your own way to the "church" that you are responsible for, stay at home moms, working moms and dad, we have an important impact in our families and we will be held accountable for how we spent that time.

Just like the parable Jesus told of the worker in the vineyard in Matthew 20, who paid his people the same whether they worked a whole day or just an hour. Everything we have belongs to God. It's all His, we need to make sure we are being the very best stewards with everything He has blessed us with. We need to make sure we are making plans with God's will in mind, not merely asking God to bless our plans.

The clock is ticking, and it's time to wake up. Will you answer the call and begin to prepare?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Heavenly Minded?

I remember a conversation I had read awhile back when someone referred to me, in a generic way as being so "heavenly minded, but no earthly good." At first, the comment really made me pretty upset, but the more I thought about it, I realized that it was probably one of the best compliments I could have ever asked for in a back handed way.

I know the person who wrote it was basically saying that I was too judgmental on my stance as a Christian and again, it should be something I could see as a good thing. It means my faith in what I believe is pretty cut and dry and I'm sorry if that offends people but I have found in today's ever changing culture, that too many people want us to sugar coat things or water them down as to not offend anyone. 

The Bible is pretty clear however when it comes to the truth and that, my friends, is where I get my definition of what is right and wrong. If God considers it wrong, guess what so do I.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going around with my Bible, thumping people on the head, but I try and convince people of my faith solely based on my actions. There are some that don't want to be told what is what, and most of the time, I don't say anything. I simply chose to say nothing.

But there does come a time, when I simply can't sit idly by and let people go around thinking that my silence on the matter is acceptance. That is when I have to clarify things even if it means I make a few people a bit upset with me. Again not my intention, but if you don't like what God has to say, I'd advise you to take it up with Him when you see Him. You will see Him someday. We all will.

So back to the compliment I received, the part about being too heavenly minded to do any earthly good. Well let's see what the Bible has to say about that in context.

If you go to the Bible and find Colossians 3: 1-2, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." (NIV). 

I think the Bible is pretty clear on that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are not to be concerned with the earthly things, material possessions. What it means in a nutshell, is I am not here to seek pleasure or happiness but only by seeking God. 

We need to keep eternity in focus at all times. What happens in heaven should affect me on earth!

So what is our purpose as believers during the time we remain on earth? We are here to bring glory to God, to worship Him and to seek Him daily. 

We want to make sure that we don't pursue such sins that will keep up bound to the earth, any sexual sin that goes against God's definition of marriage, which is one man/one woman only. Even if this goes against what is becoming increasingly politically correct in the world today. 

The sin of idolatry and coveting, the need for more basically. Someone who wants more is never satisfied with what they have. Getting something that someone else has is always on their minds. It's all about the hunt. Reference Hebrew 13:5 ~ "
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

Be content, not in what you have, but in who you know. More of God. 

Thirdly the sin of anger, meanness, slandering others. Anger with the thought of revenge, "I don't get mad, I get even!" mentality. An unsettled anger, speaking ill of others. So what can you say? How about referencing the acronym T.H.I.N.K. Means T = is it truthful? H = is it helpful? I = Is it inspiring? N = Is it necessary? K = Is it kind? 

If not, don't say it or share it. 

Before we know it we'll be standing before God. Heaven is not the default destination of every person, but only for those who have the ticket to get there, and that is ONLY by putting your faith in Jesus Christ only!!! Bought and paid for by what Jesus did, lived, died and rose again. 

Would love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to share them below and if you would love prayer, please email me at Stevenkat27@gmail.com. It would be an honor. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Makings of A Whimsical Garden

We've rented the home we are currently in almost two years now and we have had this side yard that measures about 12 feet by 40 feet. There has been nothing there since Google Earth took images, which we all know is quite up to date. NOT!

Many of you know that my oldest daughter is getting married in 2016 and she wants to have her engagement party at our home. So we decided since we plan on staying in our current rental for at least another 2 1/2 years, we might as well do something with the side yard.

Now I am sure some of you are questioning, why spend the money if it's not your home, and our reason is that while we are paying rent, why not really enjoy the space. As Christians, we always want to set excellent impressions on the people we interact with and it's always nicer to leave the home in better condition than when we first moved in.

We have an amazing covered patio that runs the width our home, almost, and this side yard would make for a fun project where we could extend the benefits of an additional outside living space. We've always wanted a fire pit but the only place we could use one might be if we added one to the side yard.

My husband and I, are pros now at laying concrete paving stones and decided on a perfect color, tan to match the dirt that is underneath it all. Plus it's such a neutral color, anything we add on top of it will match 100%. So that is where we decided to add 162 pavers to create a patio that isn't permanent, just in case the homeowners hate our vision.

My husband Steve decided that adding a little focal point of using 9 red pavers would be the ideal place for our temporary fire pit, one that will go with us whenever we decide to move. To add more dimension and to make use of a slanted dirt mound, we added wood planter boxes, that yes, are also temporary if the homeowner wants them removed. They are simply screwed together. We added quite the assortment of 6 different color hybrid tea roses to the planter for both color and fragrance.

For color we added some colorful Adirondack chairs in turquoise blue and corral, to compliment and draw others into the space for conversation or just a place to get away from it all.  We also added some lavender into pots and African daisies in colored pots. My daughter Kailee wanted Tulips so we added one in a colorful pot as a focal point on the patio. We are encouraging bees, butterflies and other pollinators into our space and are planting things that we know will draw them in. We refuse to use pesticides as we want natural predators to keep things neat and tidy.

We have added two apple trees into the remaining dirt space to create a barrier between our home and the house next door. It's two story and we always feel like they are looking down from their windows and it doesn't create the privacy you would want when sitting out there. We are currently looking for a lemon tree to complete the space.

I love gardens if you know me as a friend or family member and wanted to share what we are working on currently and would love ideas for what you think would look great there. I am creating a whimsical garden that people would really want to sit in and enjoy. Here is the space remaining that I could use your input on. Feel free to comment away or even share pictures. This is truly a labor of love to be working on this with my family. It's not easy and there are definitely a lot of blood, sweat and tears going into this project.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Staying Connected

I can't believe looking back, I've been a blogger since 2009 and I absolutely love it. It began as a way to journal my thoughts into the great unknown, the internet back then, and hoped in time, I could look back and see my life as it has progressed.

Something unusual I wasn't expecting happened instead. I met some really exceptional people. Women and men, just like me, that had so many things in common, most our faith in Jesus Christ. But also struggles, trials, storms, and issues that kept us bonded in a way that Facebook and all the other social media platforms can't.

Maybe it's that you can write more in the space provided. A way to personalize, just who you are from you page layouts, music preferences and photos.

But I have also noticed when looking at my blog list, that so many have simply left.

Maybe they don't blog any more.

Maybe they simply have chosen a different social media platform to connect.

Maybe they aren't here physically any longer and have passed away. I hope that isn't the case.

That is why it is extremely important to stay connected and even to make new connections as well. So whatever social media platform you're on, let's connect. It's simple too, if you follow me, I'll follow you. I hope to see you there but if you're just a blogger, lets connect as well and join me!

Here is how to find me:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.smith.92102
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pirate2240
Instagram: https://instagram.com/reviewsfromtheheart/
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/ksmith2768/

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Living in the Last Days?

Turn on the news or pick up a newspaper and you probably aren't surprised by all the events going on around us. From countries like Iran who deny the Holocaust ever happened and instead wish to do all it can to ensure that Israel and any country that supports her, is wiped off the face of the map. Countries like South Korea and Iran testing long range weapons, groups like ISIS targeting Christians and beheading them in mass groups.

Being here in America, the land once blessed beyond measure, I cringe when I see what our appointed leader does in the face of all this adversity, he simply looks the other way. While I can certainly fault him for his actions, he isn't working alone. There are so many supporters who love the way things are going. Never in history have we been able to look around and see things that our forefathers would literally shake their heads at.

From Islamic terrorist groups abiding on US soil in training camps while our current government monitors the situation because they aren't doing anything against the law and they haven't been labeled as terrorist groups? Seriously?

When we can look at our supposed American president make allies with countries that support Muslim ways, and their terrorist ties like the Muslim Brotherhood. Where we can watch our troops go into third world countries only to be abandoned by the very country they serve when things go south like Benghazi while everyone claims there was nothing to do because they were notified too late.

Is it any wonder that I happened upon this passage during my morning devotions?

It is from Numbers 14 when the people were beginning to complain about waiting to enter the promised land of God filled with milk and honey. They wanted to believe what ten men said about their opinions when they went into the land and bring back a report on what they found, instead of listening to what Caleb and Joshua said.

"The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them."

But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. The Lord said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they." Numbers 14: 7-12.

If you look at America, which WAS founded on Christian principles, we have turned out backs on God. It has been a slow progression, but we are watching as God is slowly removing His hand of protection against this once great nation, filled with the many blessings we once held dear. We have simply asked God to take a seat for awhile while we do things our own way, right a few wrongs in our own lives first.

We don't want to be reminded that God's got some conditions for right living, so we remove those from places were corruption and sin now runs rampant, from our government offices, courts, and schools. We begin to change the laws to make everyone feel accepted instead of holding true to the truths of God's law. We have redefined His definition of marriage and family and one by one states are overturning traditional marriage standards.

Since 2001 when terror first hit home on our own soil during 9/11, have things gotten better or looking around you today, would you say things are worse?

I used to believe that in the last days during the book of Revelation when it talked about people being martyred for their faith and beheaded, they were referring to a prophetic event to happen when Christians were raptured and the Antichrist came into power, but honestly, it is happening right before our eyes and we do NOTHING to stop it.

When Israel's Prime Minister comes to speak in the House of Congress and Democrats, some Republicans but even worse our own president, don't even show up, is it any wonder that America isn't mentioned at all during the end time prophecy? I can only pray that this sleeping giant will wake up and take back the foundations that we once held dear. I pray for people to begin to make movements to stand up for our faith despite what the minority would have you believe and ask God, 'Lord, please hear this prayer and heal our hearts, and our land. Lord, please help us turn back to Your Ways, and forgive us for being a selfish people. We pray to You Lord God, to help restore us and help us to walk in our faith and bring healing back to our nation and turn our hearts back to You! In Jesus Name, we pray.

Lord, please look upon the hearts of your people even now Lord. Help us to know what to do to bring healing back to this great nation. Help us to remove people from office that are corrupt and want to walk in the path that is wide and filled with evil. Lord help us to appoint righteous women and men who will uphold your standards and your laws and give them boldness even now to begin to make changes on small levels. Rally us to hear your cry Lord, but don't abandon us. Lord, help guide us on the narrow path and heal our hearts and minds and let us stand by You and Israel now as the crisis in the world begins to dim. Help us Lord Jesus! In Your mighty and powerful name, AMEN!!!

I think now is the time for the world to rally to bring about the greatest revival in history before it's too late. Help us all to have the same passion as Israel's Prime Minister to stand firm in the face of adversity and evil and may God grant us all the power to do what we can in our own homes, communities and churches. It's time for Christians to wake up!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Changing My Perspective in Storms

With all the cities everywhere experiencing their own set of wintery weather and rain, I was hoping we might get some but alas, it is not meant to be despite the threat that appears in the sky. It seems our local weather guy can't even get it right either.

It's not to say however that others in Southern California are getting their fair share of weather and some rain and even hail in odd parts. A friend just shared a photo on Facebook that it snowed at his house which is just a block away from the beach. Yet nothing here except other types of storms going on.

While I am still, yes still, recovering from my kidney stone procedure that happened little over almost three weeks ago, I am progressing. In fact on Thursday last week, my doctor apologized for not setting some correct expectations on what to expect afterwards so at least that put my mind at ease that despite how "easy" it was, recovery is still a bit ongoing.

It brings me to where I am blogging about things today and that is blanket statements that you might post on Facebook that offends people. While you are NOT targeting any one particular person in general, people still are offended and see it as a direct attack on them, which was NOT my intention.

The issue I had was with the way some "Christians" use the word "Karma" when referring to anything that happens in life. From the way it is used generally or intentional, for me, it bothers me. I, for one, as a Christian don't believe in Karma nor do I sit back and wait for someone to get their just desserts as some would say, just wait, Karma will get you.

What this comment did generate was a healthy debate on my Facebook page about why people feel the need to use the word in their speech and their justified reasons for doing so. I hate it when it is used because if you substitute it for what they really mean, it's still wrong in my opinion. Karma for me, is a Hindu belief that shows that your actions have consequences and while you might not get it right when you deserve it, you will at some point in time. When punishment ensues, you're getting your Karma. For some in my family, they immediately felt I was attacking them personally by my blanket statement because they had just used the word on their post within minute of me posting mine. Again, it was strictly a statement to say I don't like it when people use the word and claim they are Christians. If they took it as a personal attack on their character, that is up to them and not something I feel I need to apologize for. I apologize in the same general sense in which I posted the statement, that I was not attacking any one person in particular and if someone was offended by the statement it was NOT my intent.

Facebook posting is funny like that. You can post something on YOUR page, and other people feel the need to comment as if you have personally attacked them instead of opening up a great debate opportunity. You would think it would never severe your relationship with your family over such a statement, but apparently it seems to be the case. While I have apologized for my intent, I don't feel the need to apologize over how someone took it and subsequently reacted in haste and 'unfriended' everyone in my family from their pages.

I've bothered by this since it happened and then came across this in my devotional this morning as if God was providing me the insight I simply couldn't see in the midst of all of this.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. " James 1:2-4

"I can't say that I am mature enough to be joyful when a trial arises in my life, but I have progressed beyond curling up into a fetal position with a blanket over my head, whining incessantly or crying to my friends. Okay, I still cry to my friends sometimes. But I have begun to rely on God. This is huge.

Instead of going directly into "Why me?" mode, I am beginning to be more interested in the lesson. What are you trying to teach me here, Father? I am open and willing; please help me. Once I switch gears and get my head out of the circumstances, at least enough perspective to see as far as the next step. The testing of our faith is in trusting the next step to be illuminated, and perseverance is when we continue to walk along His path. This is a lifelong journey, to be sure.

I read do want to move to the level of joy. I know people who live there. I want to actually celebrate when the next trial appears. I will start by praising God first, and then asking Him for my lesson. After all, if He sees me as a worthy candidate for more training, maybe He has an assignment in mind for me."(pg 61 - Heart of My Heart).

So for now, I have apologized for my intent because that is what God put on my heart for now and the rest is up to them to decide how to move forward. For me, I will continue doing what I believe and hope in time, differences may resolve on their end. .