Casting My Dice with Jesus

Casting My Dice with Jesus

Casting My Dice with Jesus

This may sound a bit corny, but you only have one chance at eternal love.

You know that any human that you love will eventually die, but the only other option that I have seen offered by anyone or anything is an Eternal God who loves you, who created you and who wants to have a relationship with you for the rest of eternity.

That is your only good option. All other options are finite and temporary. I believe that Jesus Christ took on the form of a finite human man so that he could unite us to the possibility of infinite love in Him.

Imagine having a relationship that only got better and better and better for the rest of eternity.

I’m casting my dice with Jesus.

I’m putting all my eggs in one basket.

I am willing to choose Jesus.

It’s like winning the ultimate lottery and Jesus’s work, obedience and sacrifice made it possible.

When they had crucified him, they divided up His clothes by casting lots.

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Every Good and Perfect Gift

Every Good and Perfect Gift

Every Good and Perfect Gift

The Book of James 1:17“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

 

Every good thing is given and every perfect gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of lights (the Creator and Sustainer of the heavens) in whom there is no variation (no rising or setting) nor shadow cast by His turning (for He is perfect and never changes).

Humans are a funny bunch.

For the most part, they don’t know what they have until they lose it and they don’t have a real appreciation for the value of something until it’s gone.

I believe that in our walk and relationship with the Lord Jesus there are times that He must withhold certain things to teach us this lesson. 

Getting right to the point, I have seen this withholding in my life especially in my relationship with Him. I have experienced His intimacy morning after morning during my quiet time hours. 

Just like the story of the manna, you must feed on the Lord Jesus Christ daily to stay alive spiritually. It’s like being awakened from sleep or having a fog lifted from your being. 

When He comes in His is manifest presence your mind, body, soul, and spirit respond to Him.

You receive from Him life, light, energy, love, and a host of gifts. You become one with Him and become more like Him.

I believe that He honors your willful choice to see Him, ask of Him, and knock on His door. This must be a constant daily practice. He has been so good to me in this regard over the years. 

Randy is not only a great author but a great photographer. He takes all the images on his blogs. 

Fellowship with Jesus is life itself.

But what happens when you go into a period of soul darkness? You may experience a valley of the soul when things seem dead or dark and the Lord seems far away.

You ask, where is the intimacy, the presence of the Lord, the joy, the supernatural power?

My personal experience has been one of a very challenging life, many difficulties having to do with mental peace and tranquility. 

I have at times felt and experienced great mental and emotional turmoil, depression, loneliness, confusion, despair, extreme shame, and unstableness. There have been times in my life where I could barely cope with being here on this Earth.

This has been true for me from the early age of 5 and 6 as I have struggled with self-rejection believing that I was an outcast and different and that the world would never accept me, nor would I be accepted by society. 

The lies of the enemy can start at an early age. 

He is not respectful of any human.

My only way out of the turmoil of being a human and in practice the only thing that has made any sense to me was pursuing an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. (God the Son and my Creator). The grace that He gives overrides so much of the frailty and what lacks in me.

It most definitely reflects best in the idea of being a new creation in Him. All of this comes from being in a close intimate relationship with Christ.

And so, when I am in a dry spell spiritually and lack these daily graces,

I do have a greater appreciation for His grace in every area of my life including my heart, my soul, my mind, my spirit, and my physical existence.  

He sends grace on your relationships, your work, your ministry, and even the seemingly insignificant things.

I choose to keep pursuing Him and know that His intimacy and those daily graces will return if I wait on the Lord and have faith in His love.

Every Good and Perfect Gift

Examples of God’s Grace in My Life

 

1.) Waking up empty, cold, hard, distracted, passive spiritually and when you meet with God, coming before Him in whatever state, He comes to you in manifest power and His presence purges, cleanses, and enlightens, makes alive, energizes you (physically, spiritually, mentally) and you get to enjoy God and His goodness! “The chief end of man is to know God and to enjoy Him forever”

2.) He blesses your relationships with other periods you can always tell because the supernatural love and intimacy in possible without the Lord elevates the human relationship. It becomes a cord of 3. When I am away from the Lord, living and selfish sin, and being disobedient my relationships suffer.

3.) He makes your life significant by supernatural using you to love others and share him and his truth. He makes divine appointments that you would never experience on your own.

4.) He may bless you with little acts of kindness, delights and special moments as you live your life. You also get to enjoy the goodness of others prompted by Him. You just know in your heart that these blessings are from Him.

5.) Physical blessings of healing, health, and the ability to exercise enjoy exercise. And of course, mental health and intelligent thought.

6.) The grace to enjoy his creation, nature, beauty, and all of the arts.

7.) The resolution of differences in our relationships most often is a blessing from the Lord and impossible without His intervention.

8.) Correcting misconceptions, deception, and perceptions in our minds.

9.) Allowing us to have jobs or means to make a living that are satisfying and fulfilling, giving us purpose and significance.

10.) The continual process of sanctification – being made more like Jesus in His mind, His heart, His Spirit, His emotions, His purpose, His character, and His love.

And of course, many more!

Hope, forgiveness, our worth, prayer to change the world.

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Every Good and Perfect Gift

Every Good and Perfect Gift

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What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?

What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?

What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful? 

When I had set out to write this article, I already had some idea of my limitations about this subject of being grateful. Gratitude has not come easily to me.

I have never really had a mind set that would help me to think this way. You see, I was an atheist until I was 30 years old so being grateful was an abstract thought for most of my life. If I worked hard and fulfilled my dreams my accomplishments had nothing to do with anything or anyone else but me.

Once I became a Christian that changed but I was still not in a good mindset of being grateful. Maybe I expressed gratitude when I prayed but not in my daily dealings with life, and certainly not when I was angry, in a bad mood or depressed.

A very good friend of mine opened this bag of worms (bag of gratefulness) in a phone call a month ago. He said he suffered from sadness or depression most of his life and was trying to kick that habit.

As we talked, I think God spoke to me and said, “How can you be sad or depressed when you are grateful?” I told my friend this and we talked at some length about the subject.

A few weeks later my friend Randy was leading the Men’s Hope Group at our church that I belong to and his subject for the night was being grateful.

He opened the discussion for everyone to participate in.

Listening to the different men explain their thoughts was eye opening but one thing that was repeated many times was that the other men were also having the same problem of being grateful as I was.

My cousin Ellen said to me when I told her I was writing a blog on this topic.

“We think of our struggles as punishments. Could it be that God is trying to help us grow beyond our finite perspectives? Gratitude during our trials helps build character from God’s perspective.”  

We Think of Our Struggles As Punishments

That response from her was very powerful and hit the nail on the head.

I then decided to contact family and friends and find out their thoughts on being grateful. I wondered if, perhaps, we all could learn from each other.

Below are many of the comments they wrote me when I asked them What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful”

What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?

Blessing & being content!!!!” — Rosie

Gratitude makes you believe you have a responsibility to give back to the others. Entitlement makes you believe others have a responsibility to give back to you.”

AND

“You could also argue all worship is a form of gratitude for what God has done or is doing. At the very least, gratitude is one of if not the primary vehicle of worship.” Justin

Gratefulness is a gift from God. It rewires the human brain for good, lifts the spirits, cheers the heart, cancels greed and entitlement mentality and brings a sense of peace and well-being to one’s soul. Gratitude acknowledges the goodness of God.”Randy

Being grateful to GOD should in turn make you more humble and then turn into obedience to His will in your life.”Erik

Gratitude is an open awareness of our finite abilities and God’s ultimate authority and sovereignty. It is the recognition of God’s renewed mercies every day. Gratitude is also having the ability to pause and give thanks for all of God’s creation both large and small, and our interactions within it.  It is a form of surrender and appreciation of God’s influence and work in our lives. Gratitude means taking nothing for granted, or seeking from an entitlement perspective, as no living thing is worthy or deserving of God’s love and mercy, yet He gives it freely. Every day we have the opportunity to be grateful for each breathe of life we are given, and the fact that God sustains all things.”Ellen

The more grateful we are, the more people see Jesus shine in you. The more grateful we are, the joy of the Lord is in us. A grateful heart is a humble heart.”Connie

Gratefulness reflects appreciation. It reflects humility. It acknowledges the giver. It also reflects graciousness. Who doesn’t like the person who lives their life from a place of gratefulness?” — Lynwood

What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?

Gratitude promotes a feeling of kindness and love for the giver and receiver. In other words, when someone gives you a gift or shows you kindness, you both walk away with a warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy.”Tom

Being Grateful, helps keep you humble and thankful for everything and everyone in your life!”Shaun

Becoming grateful – or looking around for things to appreciate & be thankful for – brings incredible amounts of joy & peace & fulfillment, where there used to be misery, cynicism, restlessness.”Ariel

When you are feeling truly grateful, it pushes all sinful attitudes out. There’s no room for feeling bitterness, covetousness, anger, jealousy etc. —  It re-focuses our hearts on the gifts that God has blessed us with and helps us to truly love God and the people He has placed in our lives.”Candace

The main benefit of being grateful for me is to concentrate on something that is good in my life and not think so much of what is negative.”Kathy 

Being grateful….

  • Feelings of dissatisfaction with what you have.
  • Lends to being a more forgiving person.
  • Improves appreciation for the blessings frequently taken for granted
  • Reduces stress and improves your health.
  • Grateful people are more cheerful.
  • Grateful people handled success better.
  • Being more concerned for others than yourself is a byproduct of gratefulness
  • Grateful persons are a joy to be around
  • Being grateful supports other fruits of the Spirit
  • Grateful people are less condemning of themselves and others
  • Grateful people are not bitter people”
  • Steve

Being grateful is one of the few times you get to understand the value of anything, if you are never grateful then you can never understand what it is you have or what someone else has done for you. It means your outlook on life will most likely be pitted against you instead of for you. Being grateful provides not only a happier moment but a much stronger and durable guide to happiness, don’t we all want to be happy? Then we should all also be grateful no matter how little we feel we have.”Jacob

Benefits of being grateful is that it helps you to be happy and content with what you have. If you are always looking at what somebody else has that is better than what you have, you will not be satisfied. It keeps you from allowing yourself to be happy.” — Jason 

What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?

I can’t see God clearly unless I am grateful. I am only truly grateful when I am humbled. I am only ever truly humbled when I recognize the depravity of my heart. I only see the depravity of my heart when I am transparent and in community. When I am transparent and in community, I see my need for God which brings me right back to being grateful!”Paul

Hope in the future is built on a foundation of recognizing our blessings and being grateful for them.”Pam 

One benefit of being grateful is an attitude change. If you are grateful your attitude is positive, and it will affect those around you.”Freya

Early in our marriage we sat under a much-loved pastor who constantly admonished his flock, “Have an attitude of gratitude,” and he consistently modeled that in his own life and speech. Another good friend speaks of the difference between an “abundance mentality” and a “scarcity mentality.” When we recognize that God’s provision for us really is enough, we will respond with gratitude, and that gratitude begets generosity.”Rhonda

Everything I have is a gift from God, my life, my family, my next breath. In living with this knowledge, I have peace that God provides.” Jim

Some of the benefits of being grateful: a more positive attitude and outlook, and helps my relationships go better too.”Jack

When thinking of this I was overwhelmed at the benefit of having a grateful heart. The first thing that came to mind was the overwhelming feeling of peace. A peace that only God can give and is the One to whom having a grateful heart belongs… His constant love and care in my life is only a portion of the gratefulness because the benefits are for me, too numerous to count. Hope being one of them. Joy and a sense of well-being. Sensing His constant care and concern for my life always keeps me in a mindset of gratitude on a daily basis, which for me, is life sustaining. I am so GRATEFUL for the benefits of GRATITUDE as it is also from the very Heart of God.” Monica

Being grateful stings the devil and takes him out of the equation.” — Keith

 

What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?

What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?

I personally thank each and every one of you that participated with this important question. I am Very Grateful (I knew I would get that in there at some point) that you took time out of your busy schedule to sit and reflect on this topic and then send me your answers.

I know many of the quotes are similar, but people did not have access to what others have said until now.

One last thought as I close.

I am personally grateful to the Christian God that created me and that He has the character qualities that He has, and that Jesus exhibited throughout His life. Loving, forgiving, humility, compassion, gentleness, self-control, patience, obedience, honesty and prayerful are just a few. 10 qualities of Jesus.

His amazing patience with me before I accepted Jesus into my heart and also the years afterward.

All my gratefulness radiates from Him.

If after reading this blog, if you would like to contribute to this discussion, please comment below so everyone can see what you have to say or maybe go to our Facebook page for a lively discussion once this blog is posted.

This is what Two Measures Foolish is all about—digging deeper into the things of God and our world that He made for us to live and grow in.

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What Are the Benefits of Being Grateful?

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Christian Thirty Points of Prayer

Christian Thirty Points of Prayer

Christian Thirty Points of Prayer

A list from my heart of things I believe from the Bible that are undisputed concerning God’s will for you and me.

 

I use these in the morning as points to pray for you and me. I am absolutely convinced they are a part of God’s will for us.

 

  1. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Salvation – soften their hearts, give them light, open their eyes to see You Jesus.

 

  1. For Your will to be done in them.

 

  1. That they would love You with all their hearts, soul, mind and strength.

 

  1. To love their neighbors as themselves.

 

  1. Keep the Biblical moral commands and have supernatural grace to do that. 

 

  1. Come to the knowledge of truth and see everything from Your perspective. 

 

  1. To bring glory, honor to God and reflect His life to the world.

 

  1. To be filled with and controlled by God’s Holy Spirit. 

 

  1. To learn and be self-controlled.

 

  1. To listen to and obey the promptings of the Lord.

 

  1. To spend quality time with God and recharge in His Word. To absolutely see this as a matter of life and death. 

 

  1. To take God up on His gift of prayer and actually be a prayer warrior. 

 

  1. To have a soft heart to share Jesus with others motivated by His love. 

 

  1. To be sanctified and become more like Jesus Christ. 

 

  1. Be in a fruitful holy covenant marriage relationship.
Christian Thirty Points of Prayer
  1. To be a responsible steward over all God has given you and honor Him.

 

  1. To always be thankful and grateful. 

 

  1. To choose by an act of your will to seek, ask, knock  in your  pursuit of God.

 

  1. To have strong Christian friends and be involved in a fellowship and serve and disciple others the Lord brings.

 

  1. To overcome the world, the flesh and the devil through Christ’s risen power. To be an overcomer at the end.

 

  1. To keep a short account with the Lord regarding your sins.

 

  1. To risk loving deeply, even if imperfectly. To have a circumcised heart.

 

  1. To take care of your body as it is a temple of the Lord.

 

  1. To have no others gods before you especially the little idols of the world. 

 

  1. To live righteously by faith, not in unbelief. 

 

  1. To understand spiritual warfare and use the authority Christ has given us to win the battle for ourselves and others.

 

  1. To bear much fruit for the glory of Christ.

 

  1. To bear up under sufferings, trials and temptations.

 

  1. In order to beat addictions and literally rewire your brain with the help of the Holy Spirit.

 

  1. To know God and enjoy Him forever.

 

Christian Thirty Points of Prayer

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Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

It seems like every time I turn around our news media is promoting a new thing to fear.

Now that we are neck-deep in the Coronavirus scare (real or otherwise) the news media has 24 hours of coverage from all over the world. Statistics are showing how many people have gotten the virus to how many have died with many showing supermarkets’ hoarding of food and of all things, toilet paper.

The US government, as well as local towns, are putting their people on lockdown and are told not to meet in large groups. Movies, restaurants, coffee houses, as well as churches, are being closed for a time.

I do not remember a period that so much fear emanating from the far reaches of the globe and right here in the United States.

What has happened?

Social media has had a great impact. The speed at which the news travels is another one along with the harsh realities of political discourse.

Over the years I have watched the Christian culture crumble in our country, but it has also disintegrated all across planet earth. I do not mean to say God is not working in different places BIG time like in China, Africa, and South America but in places that Christianity stuck its flag of salvation through Jesus Christ in past centuries is now history.

The gospel has become week and almost unrecognizable in a place like the USA and Europe. The very places that Christianity sprang from to reach the rest of the world through missions and heavy-duty reading of scripture and the many powerful preachers and teachers of God’s Word have dwindled.

The Bible is not being read with as much passion as it once was. Certain aspects of God’s Word have been jettisoned like the teaching of Hell and Homosexuality and many other parts of scripture that people have deemed old and outdated in our modern-day. Human opinions have trumped God’s perspective.

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

Our churches are a confused bunch in many ways.

We have been sucked into this present culture because it seems to be more exciting. Our worship has become a performance-based and entertaining as you would encounter at a rock concert.

The preachers are afraid of talking about hard subjects like hell and homosexuality for fear of alienating the people that sit in their pews or criticism from the outside world

God’s Word has become just another bunch of words to be endured and Jesus is just another smart holy man that lived many years ago.

Who needs God when we have science?

Many Christian much less the rest of the culture we live in really do not believe much of the bible is the inspired word of God. Evolution is where many think life sprang from and not God’s intervention in our world. Most people do not have an understanding of evolution itself but blindly follow what atheistic scientist say.

To this day scientists have not produced life from non-life in laboratories with all the perfect conditions. Many of these scientists have come to believe life itself is just too complex to come from the primordial ooze so they have come up with alternative idea’s like the multi-universe and seeding of life from space.

It does not stop them from promoting alien life somewhere else in the cosmos or that we have been visited by these beings. Every other day we read in the news how astronomers have discovered a new planet that has all the right conditions for life.

I had to come to terms with what the Bible said where mankind came from in Genesis. How could I believe in the rest of scripture and what Jesus said in the New testament if I did not believe where we came from in the first place. My whole belief system would unravel.

Fear not!

Fear is the single most driving force in our lives. When you take God out of your life, fear can be an overwhelming. You are left to your own devices to figure everything out. You begin to put your faith into humans, governments or even yourself to figure it all out.

Fear in the news media has not just come from this Coronavirus but Climate Change before that. We needed the right president to deal with racism or homophobia. How many people became so fear-based after the 2016 election that it seemed like it changed politics in the country overnight.

Abortion has become the word and practice of the day. It is if God made a mistake by having a human growing inside of another and we need to correct his mistake because as all-knowing humans, we know better.

When you take God out of a culture fear begins to reign. Humans are very short-sighted and do not have a basic understanding of unintended consequences.

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

How can we?  

We do not know the future nor were we around when God made it ALL and put it into motion. We have no idea what His intentions are. The one place that He spelled it all out for us to have even the smallest understanding has been rejected or given a distant second place on the self.

Our modern culture has become increasingly godless. It believes that if you believe in God then you are believing in a fairy tail. We know better because we have come to understand that humans do not have the answers deep in our hearts. Just look at the history of mankind. The Coronavirus shouts it out to us.

Fear not!

“Fear not!” is the most repeated command in the Bible. It’s been said that there are 365 “Fear not” in the Bible — one “Fear not” for every day of the year! … God doesn’t want us to go a single day without hearing his word of comfort: “Fear not!”

I wrote an article about fear and climate change a couple of months ago that you might like to read that goes into depth on this subject. Climate Change: Is God A Fool.

Like I said at the end of that blog:

Do not get all caught up in the hysteria and fear. Do not let mere humans with their narrow incite and opinions shout over God’s voice of reason.

He created you and me and has a hope and future for each one of us. He also created this time and space called a universe and is not surprised by anything. He knew it would come down to this in the end.

Do not let fear rule you!

Jesus walked on this planet, died and rose again so we could have a future.

That you can take to the bank!

 

Fear: Coronavirus and Climate Change

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Two Measures Foolish: Foolish to God for we sin – Foolish to the world for the cross.