The Bible…..A Mini Series (week 2)

Once again, I was very happy to watch part II last Sunday evening.  Learned a lot in two hours….quite a few items I didn’t understand before or completely forgot about.  What is impressive though is all the talk about it.  It is nice to come into work and have discussions about the series vice what the latest is about sequestration or gun control.  For me, gun control is all about sight alignment and trigger control….once a Marine, always a Marine.  That is an entirely different subject so let me get off that topic and back to the one you came here to read about. 

 

There is an article in the news today about the series and how Hollywood is being beat on Sunday night but a 5-part mini series on the Bible.  According to the artice, this one, two-hour episode but out any of NBC’s shows for the entire week.  Rather impressive for any show to beat every show on the network that killed Thursday evenings, “NBC Thursday” with “Seinfeld” and “Friends” for almost a decade.  If you want to read the article, here is the link.  Sacred myster: Blockbuster ratings for ‘The Bible’ confound Hollywood

 

Bottom line, if you want to learn about our Lord and Savior, it’s not too late.  The series not there yet, they are still in the Old Testament.  Episode 3, “Hope” takes us from Nebuchadnezzar, the birth of Christ and John the Baptist.    Watch it, I am sure you will learn something.

 

YBIC,

Ron

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The Bible…..A Mini Series

It all started on last Tuesday, February 26th at 7:25 PM. I was walking into the Wal-Mart located at the Central Park shopping plaza/area in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There is was, right as you walk through the second set of doors where those 4 foot tall security devices stand. You know the one that make that loud alarm sound when the checkout clerk forgets to “deactivate” the anti-theft device hidden somewhere in one of the items you bought! Normally these security devices are the location for advertisements for upcoming movie and video game releases. I always look at them to see what movies will be releasing soon. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised when I walked in and the advertisement had God in bold, capital letters three times and “The Bible” listed at the bottom. I immediately stopped, looked at the advertisement and took a picture. Of course, what better way to show my excitement than to send it out via social media. Here is a link to the History Channel website: The Bible

I set it out to a few friends and posted it to Facebook, which to my surprise, had quite a few likes in the first 2 minutes….I guess people really do use Facebook and actually look at some of my posts. Anyway, back to the reason for the post. The advertisement was for the series as well as the books Wal-Mart was carrying for you to purchase and follow along with the mini-series. The series is five parts and began last night. I watched it and enjoyed it. Granted there is a lot to cover in just two hours. The first part covered a few centuries.

It would be impossible to capture and completely represent the accuracy of the Bible in just 10 hours. I am sure many will find lots of inaccuracies and faults with the show, but the fact that the same channel that carries “Swamp People,” “Ax Men,” “Pawn Stars,” “Full Metal Jousting,” and “Sex in the Ancient World” is also broadcasting a series called “The Bible” and, to me, looks like they are being true to the book, I am impressed. To go from Creations to Moses freeing the Israelites to Joshua outside the city of Jericho in a two-hour show is not easy to do. Here is what the Wikipedia has listed on their page regarding the first episode:  Wikipedia – The Bible (TV Series)

“Noah tells of the creation story while aboard the ark; Abrahamic covenant; the Battle of the Vale of Siddim; Hagar and Ismael; birth of Isaac; Abraham is tested; Sodom and Gomorrah; Moses learns of his roots, kills a soldier, and flees Egypt; God speaks to Moses through the burning bush; Moses returns to Egypt; ten Plagues of Egypt; Moses leads the Israelites in The Exodus; Moses parts the Red Sea; Moses receives the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai; Joshua becomes the leader of the Israelites; the Israelites camp outside of Jericho; Joshua sends spies into Jericho.”

When reading about how Roman Downey and her husband Mark Burnett researched and consulted theologians and religions leaders to help insure accuracy and hold true to the Bible’s message. I wasn’t disappointed.
Like I said, quite a lot to cover in two hours and I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next episode titled “Homeland” on March 10th, 2013.

YBIC,

Ron

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Be VERY Encouraged…

February 11, 2013

Day 365

Whew…done.  I have finished the journey…for this year at least, and I have come to one conclusion….GOD DOESN’T CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF….HE ONLY CARES ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT HIM!!!  We live in a feel good society, where everybody does what his right in their own eyes, because it makes them happy.  That is about the stupidest thing that rational people could believe.  There is only one thing that matters…Jesus, and your relationship with Him!!

How do I come to that conclusion?  The bible makes it clear.  It is no surprise in my bible readings I couldn’t seem to get out of the Old Testament.  The theme of the Old Testament?  God is God….period.  We are to repent and return to Him…and we will be blessed.  That is far different from living the way that  we “want” to live and telling ourselves that it is good as long as we are happy.  That is a lie from the Pit of Hell…

It is also no coincidence that my readings today were Psalm 34 (the first Psalm that I memorized in 1987, when God first started to get a hold of me ), Proverbs 3 (which has governed my life in my walk with God for the past two years), and Acts 1 (which is the first Christian talk that I ever gave to a group of Christians)…..here are the verses that really stood at at me…

  1. Psalm 34:8 – Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! (NKJV)
  2. Proverbs 3:27 – Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. (NKJV)
  3. Acts 1:11 – “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (NIV)

I think that these are 3 really hard hitting verses (of the 2000 verses that I could have chosen from).  And here they are in my paraphrase….

  1. Try God out and see if He doesn’t come through.  What do you have to lose? Nothing…  What do you have to gain?  Everything…
  2. Always look to the left and the right and see if there is anything that you can do for anybody.  ESPECIALLY when they are people who are always doing good for others.
  3. Oh for crying out loud…..get to work.  Jesus is coming back…now you have work to do!

We live in a very dark world….if you doubt it; read the paper, listen to the news, listen to everyone complain about how bad it is.    Just consider this sample of things that exist in our world….

  1. We murder over 4000 unborn children everyday, and call it our moral right to choose.
  2. We have a President and Secretary of Defense…and many of our legislators and judges that say one of our most important issues in this country is that we need to do everything in our power to encourage people to feel good about their homosexual lifestyles….and encourage them to continue as long as they are happy.  And despite the many voices of African American Pastors that say NO….and decry the comparison….they call it a civil rights issue.
  3. We have churches that despite their silence on issues 1 and 2 feel that the number one goal of the church is to engage on “gun control.”
  4. We have thousands of people arrested for child pornography charges daily….by the way, whose kids do you think they are taking pictures of?  Ours!
  5. We have our National “Leadership” that is telling us the best thing for our nation is for women to be on the front lines of combat.  Despite the fact that women who work “in” the home and take care of our precious resources (our children) are almost vilified  and our birth rate is so low that we can’t even sustain our population.
  6. The “greatest generation” who did so much for this country are silent…instead of warning us that we are on a collision course with total destruction.
  7. We have over 340,000 people returning from the war dealing with PTSD, and we don’t want to tell them that God has a plan for their lives…because we want separation of church and state.

But with ALL of this…here is what God says to us…

  1.  Isaiah 1:18 – Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. (NASB)
  2. Acts 3:17 – And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. (NASB)

And what do we need to do in response?  It is SO EASY!!!  PLEASE…PLEASE…REPENT!!

  1. Joel 2:13 – And rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. (ESV)
  2. Isaiah 44:22 – I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you. (ESV)
  3. Matthew 4:17 – From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (ESV)
  4. Luke 5:32 – I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
  5. Acts 2:38 – And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

And why?  Because He loves us…and He wants us to be with Him forever….and why?

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

Be very…very encouraged.  Jesus didn’t come to this world to save the righteous…but the sinners.  Sinners like you and like me.  Our world has done the best it can to choke God our of our lives and to make Him seem evil…but that is a lie!  He is a good God who desires the best for us.  And all He wants in return is for us to desire to be with Him.  He will take care of the rest.

Put God to the test…and see if He won’t shower you with blessings…and make your life meaningful.  The world promises nothing but despair and darkness.  If you think I am wrong just look at the tragedies that we read about in the news of the rich and powerful and famous.  All of those things are worthless…Jesus asks us this question…

Mark 8:36 – What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (NIV) 

So please…please….don’t let the world steal the joy that God desires you to have.  If you haven’t accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior…then none of these promises apply to you.  The world is all that you have…take a good look at it, and see if that is where you desire to place your hopes.  OR…would you please….please…please…place your hopes in Jesus, who tells us this…

Revelation 3:20 – Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Do I really believe this.  Let me put it this way….yes.  If you still don’t understand, or have questions…email me at:  dgrieck@gmail.com.  Please don’t read this and then do nothing….Jesus is knocking, and all you have to do is open the door.  Your life will never be the same….and you will be so amazed at the transforming power of God in your life that you will want to tell everybody.  And YOU will want to be an encourager to everyone you know.  That is why I spent the last year doing this…

I know this is long…but that is what 365 days of writing will do to you…but I would be remiss if I didn’t say thank you to my wife, Anne Marie…who gave me the greatest blessing of all by telling me that she read this blog often (with no coercion), my friend Ron who manages this blog and called me if I didn’t write early just to make sure that I wasn’t dead.  Chuck, Paul, and Chris, who I have shared many cups of coffee with, and prayers with this past year…and all of which inspired me to keep going…even when I wanted to quit.

Jude 1:24-25 – To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Grace, and the Peace of our Lord be with you all.  Dan

 

 

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The question is simple…the answer is critical!

February 10, 2013

Day 364

As I almost close this “Year of Encouragement”, I realize that I have been the one that has been encouraged….and that is because when you have to focus on encouraging someone else….you consistently have to come up with encouragement.

I have found…that can only come from the Bible.  Period.  You can listen to all of the self help people on TV, and anybody else that wants to give you things to smile about…but unless it is focused squarely on God and His plan for your life then it will fall short.  Because there is only one thing that matters….Jesus.

The whole “What’s Your Dash” website started with me focusing on two questions:

1. What happens when you die?

2. Knowing the answer to question number one, how do you live your life?

BUT…you can narrow it down even further…

WHERE DO YOU STAND ON JESUS CHRIST?

Who is Jesus?  He came to the earth for the following reason…

Luke 4:18-19 – “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.  HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,  AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, 19TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”

In my paraphrase Jesus basically said, “I am God”…” I am the fulfillment of this prophecy”….”I am the one that you are waiting for.”  “I am the One who will free you all from your captivity of sin.”

Wow…so when you get down to brass tacks…He either is….or isn’t who He said He is.

So be encouraged….He IS who He says He is…He DID what He said He was going to do…and He WILL return to do what He said He will do.  And if you believe it, and have trusted in Jesus…it will be a WONDERFUL day!!

Grace and Peace, Dan

 

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You have two choices when you are dead…

February 9, 2013

Day 363

I have some friends of mine who are alive….and some friends who are dead.  And you know what, there are not many options in between.  BUT…when you put God in the equation there is….think about this…

When Adam was created….he was dead.  Just some clay that looked like a man.  Until…

Genesis 2:7 -Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (NASB)

You see that is the way it was from the beginning.  Without God, we were dead.  And without God we are dead.  But you say Dan, I am reading this therefore I am alive.  Really?  Well what about this passage…

Genesis 2:17 – but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die. (NASB)

But Adam lived after he ate.  Well physically yes…but he died Spiritually.  That is why Jesus came to give us life.  But you say, I have life.  Really?  Without God?  You may be breathing…but you are dead spiritually.  Okay…let Jesus explain it…

John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (NASB)

So be encouraged…you don’t have to stay dead.  You can come back to life if you will accept Jesus’s sacrifice for your sins…see how easy it is?  And notice that Jesus doesn’t just want you to come to life…he wants you to HAVE life, and have it abundantly.

Grace and Peace, Dan

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Thinking back…it is starting to make sense…

February 8, 2013

Day 362

As I near the end of this 365 day journey, I realize that I have learned a lot about me.  Some days you want to write a lot,  and some days you just want to hit your computer with a brick and wish that you never started this commitment.  But that is what this has been.  God really laid it on my heart that we need encouragement in life…

Now don’t confuse that with feeling good.  Encouragement is totally different.  It is what keeps you going….because let’s face it, there are a lot of days when you just want to curl up in a cocoon.  But we don’t have that option.  Life goes on…and it is either meaningless or meaningful.  Like the writer of Ecclesiastes….life without God is chasing the wind…which if you think about it…is a waste.  But if you are following God’s lead, life is meaningful.  That doesn’t mean that you get up every day and sing the hallelujah chorus…but that means that you tell God that you have no idea what His agenda is…but that you are available.

BUT….God doesn’t let you be stagnant…because He wants you bearing fruit with your life.  And to bear fruit, you have to be pruned.  I HAVE BEEN PRUNED THIS YEAR….and there are a lot of days that I was asking God if it would ever end.  I had some junk in my life, and in my past that He wanted me to deal with….and here is why.  If you don’t understand what repentance is…you can’t understand grace.  And if you can’t understand grace….you can’t really realize the gift of redemption that God has given us.  And if you don’t understand the gift of redemption…you don’t realize how worthy it is to follow God’s will for you life.  You don’t “have to”…but you will want to. Here is how Peter puts it….

2 Peter 1:1-4-To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (NKJV)

Grace and Peace be multiplied to you…in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  Get it?  Grace and peace is multiplied as we understand more about God!!  And Peter goes on…this is how God gets us ready….

2 Peter 1:5-7 –But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. (NKJV)

I think I want to write a book someday…not that anybody would read it.  But I want to talk about these passages….the crescendo.  You see, these are the building blocks in your life in Christ.  He wants you to first have faith, and then to your faith to be virtuous, and then grow in your knowledge, and then learn how to control yourself, and then learn to persevere, and then learn to be godly…and then be kind….that then add to that love.  WOW….that is a lot of learning…but it is at that time that God can use you!!!  And each of those steps requires some pruning…so that you will bear more and more fruit.  And why?  So that more seeds will get sown for the kingdom….and that more people will come to Christ!  Get it?

And why do we “want” to do this?  Because if these attributes are coursing through our veins….they we will remember that we are clean, and new creations….and ready to work for the kingdom!! Okay…back to Peter…he is much better than me.

2 Peter 1:8-9 – For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (NKJV)

So be encouraged….pruning just makes you more fruitful.  You are designed to bear fruit!!!  NOT chase the wind.  So let God in, and let the Holy Spirit push the world out of you.  It may hurt for a little bit, but some of those branches have been growing for a while.  AND…the rewards are eternal….and your life will have meaning!

Grace and Peace, Dan

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Rules, rules, rules…

February 7, 2013

Day 361

We are studying the book of Leviticus…and at face value…it is a book about rules. In fact, the only rules that anybody seems to know in the book are the ones that make God look cruel or foolish.  And then people snicker and laugh at how silly God is and how silly anybody who believes in Him is.  Let me put it bluntly….

WRONG!  Like any book of the bible, or anything in life for that matter, you need to look at things in context.  The Men For Nations Leader, Dick Simmons gives a GREAT expose on the importance of Leviticus…  And by the way, I don’t think that Jesus will snicker a whole lot when you meet Him face to face without the atonement of His sacrificial blood…

Here is how God puts it…

Leviticus 11:45 – I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy. (NIV)

Leviticus goes in to great detail about a LOT of things in life….and God does that so His people will be set apart…and holy…and pure.  And by the way, many of the “rules” in the book, and especially concerning diets are found to be excellent for us physically.  A kosher diet is very healthy.

The rules concerning sex are for OUR benefit…because God knows that deviant sexual behavior is destructive physically for us.   Ask anybody with a STD… And deviant sexual behavior is destructive for us mentally. Ask anybody who is in a homosexual relationship…they are not happy…because true joy only comes with doing things God’s way…  Anyone living in that relationship may want you to not accuse them so they feel better about themselves, but they are not happy.

The rules concerning sickness, leprosy, etc…are to prevent the spread of sickness to everyone else.    Pretty impressive since it was written thousands of years before the invention of a microscope and the understanding of germs….

Ignaz Semmelweis is the founder of the germ theory around 1847.  If he, and many doctors would have read Leviticus …think of the billions of lives that could have been saved.

You see, Leviticus isn’t a book about rules for the sake of rules…but it is a book about rules that will make your life good, healthy, and complete.

BUT…the really important part of Leviticus is that all of those rules were required….because of our desire to say yes to sin, and no to God.  And STILL…STILL….in light of all of that, Jesus willingly gave up his life an an atonement for our sin…so that we may live for Him on earth, and with Him for eternity.  Don’t believe me?

John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (NIV)

Oh yeah…and be encouraged that when you make a stand for Jesus, and tell others about the love of God….they will make fun of you, and laugh at you, and think that you are silly….and will hate you and ostracize you.  Why do I say be encouraged?  Because Jesus told us that it would happen…

John 15:18-25 – 18“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.25But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason. (NIV)

BUT….BUT….keep at it and keep telling them.  Because their fate for eternity depends on it.  And no matter how much they scorn and ridicule, Jesus still died for them….so that they may have life.

Grace and Peace, Dan

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How did you spend your day?

February 6, 2013

Day 360

I am writing a short one today, because I had a long day driving to and from Virginia Tech….and frankly I am exhausted….but you know what?  There is nothing that is better than spending the day with my wife and kids. One of the great things about a long drive is that you get to communicate whether you want to or not.  I don’t say that with any hidden agenda…it is just that sometimes we are silent when we need to talk.  But on a long trip, it opens up the door for great conversation.  For some reason we allow the fatigue of life to prevent us from conversing….

And…you get the opportunity to listen to some great messages by great Christian teachers….if you are smart.

What that means is that you have two options when you are going down the road…..either veg out and listen to your favorite oldies….or spend some time with the God.  It is worth it…

Psalm 1 – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Be encouraged…..spending time with God is worth it.  AND….spending time with your wife and kids is precious.

Grace and Peace, Dan

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Why can’t I get through to God?

February 5, 2013

Day 359

Far too often in life, we fall in to the trap of waiting for God to show us His will….and don’t ever think that He is going to.  It is because we are frequently deceived by Satan to think that God won’t answer if we ask…and that God is just some sort of detached entity that sets down a bunch of rules to make your life tedious and holds you to a standard that can never be achieved.

Nothing could be further from the truth….but it starts with us.  Do you have sin in your life that you won’t let go?  Un-confessed sin?  If so, there is NO WAY that God can talk to you, because when you try to speak with God in prayer…the Holy Spirit will convict you about it.  And then He will tell you what He wants you to do about it….

Sometimes He will want you to confess it to Him…and you are done.  Sometimes He will want you to confess it to a brother…and sometimes, He will want you to make amends.  How will He do it in your life? I don’t know…but the Holy Spirit will make that clear.  Here is what is happening if you have sin in your life…

Psalm 32:3-4 – When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. (NIV)

Doesn’t that just feel oppressive?  But that is how the Holy Spirit lets you know that you have something to deal with in your life….it will sap your strength like the heat of the summer….BUT…if you will be honest with God….here is what He will do…

Psalm 32:5 – Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. (NIV)

Now that is cool….not only did He forgive the sin…but the GUILT of the sin…that baggage that we carry around…done?  Nope….it gets better.  You see when the communication is clear and there is nothing blocking it…no hidden agenda, God makes this promise.

Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (NIV)

Wow…not only will He instruct me and teach me in what I should do at this fork in the road…BUT…He will keep His eye on us.  That means ALWAYS…this is a cycle.  When we let Him…He will take over.  And then the psalmist leaves us with this…

Psalm 32:10 – Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall surround him. (NASB)

So be encouraged….God ALWAYS wants to talk with you!!!  But He wants honest communication….because He can’t deal with you if you won’t deal with what is wrong in your life….those sins that you don’t want you to deal with.  Oh yeah…and don’t forget this verse…

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NASB)

Doesn’t that sound refreshing?

Grace and Peace, Dan

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Chasing the Wind

February 4, 2013

Day 358

As I am approaching the end of this year of encouragement, I was thinking back to why I started the “What’s your Dash blog” in the first place.  I  am in my 50’s and for some reason I browse the Obituaries occasionally.  Many times, you will see a caption that represents someone’s life.  Like, Lawyer, Doctor, and a host of other titles to make someone think that their life was significant.

One I saw said, “Redskin Fan.”  And I thought to myself…you are kidding.  That is all you got?  That is what you want your family and friends to remember you by?  That was what your life was all about?

Now I am not against sports, in fact I enjoy watching them…somewhat.

I read an interesting article about a year or so ago about professional football players “after” winning the Super Bowl.  It seems that it is a common time for them to experience significant depression after their victory.

Doesn’t seem strange?  That significant accomplishment…and it is very significant…represents the pinnacle of their chosen sport.  The crown…the ultimate achievement.  So why the depression?

It is easy to understand.   What is next?  After you have achieved it all…what next?  In other words, all of the crowning achievements of the world are really empty unless you have something else in your life…and what is that something else?  God.

Solomon spells that out very clearly for us in the book of Ecclesiastes…

Ecclesiastes 2:8-11 – 9Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor. 11Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun. (NASB)

Wow…that is a little dark.  You mean that God is going to fulfill me and my life?  Come on Dan…  Well if you don’t believe me, consider this verse.

John 15:7-11 – 7“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.10“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (NASB)

Come on Dan…you mean that if I abide in Jesus my life will be complete?  And have joy?  Isn’t that just religious jargon?

You tell me…why do rich people become alcoholics, drug addicts, and commit suicide?  They have it all!!  Why do sports athletes…the really good ones…end up on drugs, booze, and in prison?  Why do “Rock Stars” have alarmingly high propensities for drugs, booze and suicide?

Because there is nothing in this world that gives joy, and that is the desire of our hearts…down deep…the desire of our hearts is to be worth something.  The world doesn’t care anything about you in the long term…when the money runs out, and the glory has faded….

But God….is EXCITED when you are doing things for Him!  And He will reward you with Joy and Fulfillment…and the one thing that we are really looking for…an assurance of what happens after we die.

So be encouraged!  If you are abiding in Christ, your life will be rewarding and full….and He will do everything for you, and provide for you and protect you…and love you!!!

But if you want to say no to God?  Then you are on your own….and how is that working out?

But it isn’t too late….I LOVE THIS VERSE…

Revelation 3:20 – ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. (NASB)

Please….please….hear God’s knocking….and open the door. You will NOT be disappointed!

Grace and Peace, Dan

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