That’s Bizarre

Some really bizarre things are happening all around us!

Honestly, the Corona virus is just another reason since 2020, we keep hearing the term, “ That’s Bizarre.”

Synonyms for the word are odd ball ,off the wall, outrageous, strange and unusual. These accurately describe the times we are currently navigating.

I’m sure we all have our circumstances that fall under the description, Bizarre! It’s more or less a ‘given,’ for what we have been encountering this year.

Times are changing and we will have to adapt rapidly. The one thing that will keep us upright and standing is integrity.

Integrity is a state of being whole and undivided.

We must ask ourselves today are we in position to adapt and stay upright in times of great change and chaos?

Why don’t we run our own background check?

Background Check Questions:

1. Do I have integrity?

This is the only question I am going to elaborate with my thoughts. You do if you are a child of God operating under the New Covenant.

The Old Covenant was fulfilled in the New Covenant. It’s whole and undivided. Under Jesus who is the first born of many brethren, we are of the same womb. The Bible says it like this; “ If the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; so are the branches.” We are reconciled to God. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

When we think about the branches, the words of Jesus comes to mind in John 15: 1-8.

It is a passage that describes Jesus as the true vine, and those who have become disciples as the branches. By remaining attached to him, the Source of life, they produce fruit. God is the gardener. The gardener inspects the branches to insure they are bearing fruit.

There are 2 types of branches in this passage, fruitless and fruitful.

The fruitless are those who do not maintain union with Christ, through enduring faith and love. These branches are cut off. That means separated from the vital union needed to live.

Jesus says in verse 4, “ Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

You must be in vital union with Christ to live as his disciples.

Integrity is a fruit. It shows you are fruitful.

Being fruitful means maintaining integrity.

I hope you answer yes, I have integrity as you do a background check on your life.

Next, we can ask ourselves; “ Am I determined to choose honesty in all things?”

3. Do I put a premium on my life and the life of others?

4. Do I consistently practice kindness and reliability in my actions?

5. Do I practicing doing the next right thing daily?

These questions are a good jump start to keeping the integrity given to us upon salvation by the Grace of God.

Integrity is vital in navigating through bizarre circumstances.

I will write more soon on how we as believers must show up in times of chaos.

Integrity does not give you favor with man. Integrity gives you favor with God.

Background Check

Stay Gold

I recently did a background check on some of Gods faith filled servants. One in particular stood out to me. A entire book in the Old Testament will benefit us concerning how to remain faith filled in bizarre times. It is in the book of Job.

The book of Job begins by telling us that this man Job was blameless and upright and shunned evil.

The word blameless refers to moral integrity. It paints the picture of Job having a whole hearted, undivided commitment to God.

That’s what the word integrity means, whole and undivided.

I find the book of Job a very present help in the bizarre times we are now experiencing.

Note: Please, read and meditate on this scripture with the view point that Job was a ‘type of Christ.’

I have preached on this subject with the title being, “ Stay Gold.”

Like Job when the enemy undermines us , we should mine for nuggets of truth.

Job said in 23:10 “ He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as pure gold.

It’s hard, these trials. I admit reading the suffering Job endured, tough. But, thanks be to God, we can now see how the enemy works unseen by us, to destroy our commitment to God.

There is a concern in our time, mankind is failing to see the beauty of the creation of God. Man not realizing the power of the God given will to choose life.

Even those believing and trusting God may use the power of their will to choose to prioritize their own agenda.

Job teaches us that Gods word is above all. We often do not see the truth. Also, when we don’t believe the truth of Gods word. That can only be the pride of life operating in our lives.

True believers will have integrity and that draws a target on our backs. However… we have spiritual armor that protects and preserves our lives. We have all we need to live for God. Jesus is our Messiah!

Integrity is whole hearted and undivided focus that exhibits the character of God.

When you have integrity you are going to attract the observation of others. Job did! Some people will want what we have and seek us out. Some see the pattern our lives to the glory of God.

Unfortunately, some want what we have but do not want the cost of maintaining integrity.

Many want the glory without the worship of Jesus Christ, the son of God.

The cost for Job was the worst, extreme, bizarre attack possible.

The cost for believers today for this type of integrity?

Believe in the son of God. Believe in the birth, the death, the resurrection of Jesus. We must accept it all and worship Jesus. He paid it all, once for all.

What Job saw in the future in Job 19:25 he said: “ I know my redeemer lives and one day he will stand upon the earth.”

What Job saw, we can have.

Our redeemer lives! We have been given the ability to exemplify his character by the choice of our will. He gave us the righteousness of God through the cross,

1 Peter 2:24 -25 He, Himself bore our sin in his body on the tree so that we might dies to sin and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray but now you have been returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul.

Praise God! We did a background check on Job! We know the background of our redeemer! We know the gospel! All that remains then is to do a background check on yourself!

Are you maintaining your inheritance? Are you maintaining your gift of salvation?

If a background check was done by satan today on you, will you maintain your integrity.

Will God say, “Well done my good and faithful servant?”

Theses crazy times are a test, but not for God. He knows! He is for you, not against you!

Do you know when Jesus comes he will find faith alive and well in you?

When following Christ Hurts

That title hurts. I didn’t want to write it. And yet, it’s true that following Christ hurts at times.

Having read the sayings of Christ that begin with, ” He who has a ear let him hear,” I researched to find what it means in the Hebrew language. It means we should hear to obey.

When we read a scripture why don’t we obey it?

I can only speak to my experiences and what I observe around me concerning this subject. We suffer hurt when we fully follow Christ.

When we read the scripture and hear to obey, it can put us in the cross-hairs of others. It can put us on the front line in a war zone.

Many of us fear man more than we fear God. And when that happens we find ourselves in the atmosphere of unbelief. Let’s just call it what it is. Because if we believed what the word of God is truth, then we would do it.

Standing in the light fully, makes us transparent. That’s hard for mankind. We want to fade to black, get out of the limelight. Hide in the bushes.

God though, isn’t into hiding. He calls us out of darkness into light. He does roll call.

Where are you? Who have you been talking to? Whose garden, and what tree are you eating from?

Following Christ cost us our lives. When we surrender, many choices are no longer ours to make.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m good with that. My will not thine is my prayer.

If aligning with his word cost me friends, family, popularity, I’m good with that too! His love is greater than life!

To follow Jesus, you unfollow the world.

Truth and the Light is always Shining

Psalm 43:3 (ESV)
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!

As we travel through the States of Montana and Wyoming you can’t help but remember our God.

Genesis says: He created the universe in six days!

If you ever been to Yellowstone Park through Bear tooth Pass, Glacier Park, and the ride to the sun to Logan’s Pass, you can get the understanding. So many mountains, lakes, canyons. From the foot of the mountain to the snow on the top, you see the beautiful scenery, summer, spring, and fall! You can see uninhabited, wide open spaces that blend seamlessly into the unlimited big sky.

The revelation of what a awesome creator my father is rushes to the forefront of the mind!

Easy to see how man partnering with God, has the ingenuity to build the roads to this beauty, and it causes thankfulness to God!

Thankfulness for his invitation to be a part of Him!

I don’t care who you are and what you believe or don’t believe. Man couldn’t even create one mountain in six days!

Impossible with man, but all things are possible with God!

Ingenuity! Creativity! Let’s accept his gracious offer of life with him! Partnership with God!

Perhaps Today

I took my title for this post from Grant Jeffrey, a man that I respect, especially for his study on end time prophecies.

I asked him to write one of his favorite sayings in my bible. He so looked forward to the coming of our Lord, Jesus, he wrote, “Perhaps Today!”

I am happy to say he has made it home already. I am grateful for access to his studies through this Prophecy Study Bible.

“Prophecy is vital to us in this hour.

I am quoting 4 major reasons that he wrote:

1. Fulfilled prophecy authenticates the Bible as the inspired word of God.

2. The message of the Prophet calls the church to live in purity and holiness.

3. The prophetic message of the imminent return of Jesus Christ, motivates us to witness to those around us.

4. The message of prophecy is a vital evangelistic tool for reaching the lost.

God can use prophecy to help convince unbelievers that the Bible is the inspired word of God, thereby bringing them to a place where they may consider the truth of the Gospel.

I love these reasons to study prophecy and I truly believe prophecy is essential to our lives as believers.

We are also reminded as the church , we are called to live in purity and practice wholeness.

As we travel we are carrying the good news and we are prophesying over these states.

God Bless America!

When a Dream Becomes a Legacy

In the picture above this Pastor is encouraging the family of a dreamer.

Their family member dreamed of this beautiful addition being built at Burns Assembly Of God in Slocomb, Alabama.

It was a touching moment, as their loved one was was unable to be at this dedication service. He was instead celebrating in heaven with Jesus!

This dreamer left a legacy.

A legacy that will live on as this beautiful building will be used to encourage others for many years.

As members of the RV Maps Volunteers that worked on this project, we did not have the pleasure of meeting the person who dreamed the dream.

That’s okay, we have a relationship with the same God.

We have the same faith in the hope that whatever we begin and entrust to God, will be finished by God.

This work is now finished and dedicated to our Lord Jesus Christ!

We, RV Maps volunteers were blessed to be Gods vessels! We were and are excited to be a part of the dream!

The In-between Day

Today is the In-between day.

The day after the day, we remember the death of Jesus. The day before we celebrate his glorious resurrection.

The day between the cross and resurrection of Christ.

The Saturday, we remember as the day hope died for most of the followers of Jesus.

It’s the day after the torturous death of Jesus on a cruel Roman cross.

The depravity was beyond murder. It was shocking, criminal behavior against someone widely known, as ‘going about doing good.’

Have you ever thought about the in-between day? What it was like for those who loved Jesus?

Was it the day that hope died?

Grief was the overcoming emotion of the hours in between the cross and the resurrection.

During this time many forgot or never really understood that he promised to rise again.

They got the dreaded report. A loved one died. Except it was worse, the loved one did not die peacefully. He didn’t die quickly and by accident.

He died by the hands of sick, calculating Roman soldiers who did the unthinkable to a innocent man. They nailed his hands and his feet to a old rugged cross.

In broad daylight.

They weren’t just doing their duty. They spit on him, they mocked him, they did their best to humiliate him. They gambled for his clothes. It was to them a cruel game. It was morally corrupt, indifferent.

It must have been a sad relief for those who loved Jesus, when he took his last breath.

The suffering they felt, as he suffered, must have been beyond their ability to endure. Yet the love that kept him on the cross, kept them under the cross.

Then the next day, the in between day, when the shock is wearing off and the grief is unbearable. When the waiting, the unknowing of ” what happens next,” is the question.

What was that like?

As they waited in between times, when many felt all hope was gone, did they remember what Jesus said?

Did they remember all he did?

Did they remember the death of Lazarus, and the fact Jesus wept but he did not lose hope?

Did they remember how Lazarus came out of the grave?

As I reflect I see it.

It was there, smoldering beneath the surface. The love, the hope, faith.

It was a power instilled in them as they followed him. It was dwelling in each of them, rising, strengthening, empowering them.

It was Jesus with them, pouring love into their hearts. He had taught them faith, he had inspired hope. He had prayed for them. And, though they suffered for awhile, their hope revived.

That is what happened in the in-between day!

We know, because we also will have days of in-between.

The days when the worst happens. We lose loved ones. We experience set back after set backs. Dreams die! Life hurts!

What we can’t forget, is the in-between times are important for us.

We have to remember what God said. What Jesus did! We must know that Biblical hope is powerful! It is founded.

In those days we must remember, that suffering will always bring glorious blessing.

In those in-between days, when things are in between the lines, we may not understand it, we may not recognize it, yet, there is his character built into us!

We have his character, and when we hold on, we will rise again from the ashes!

Suffering is not a waste in the Kingdom of God. Suffering can, does, and will produce.

Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know it produces perseverance,character; and character, hope. Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he had given us. Romans 5: 3-5

That’s how we get through and rejoice, even when the unthinkable, beyond unbelievable happens.

We have the character of God in us through the suffering of the cross.

Hope in the resurrection does not disappoint us!

We know tomorrow is coming!

We can get through the worst oppression, the worst depression, the hopeless tragedies in our lives through the hope of his Resurrection!

Because he lives we can face today and tomorrow! We can move beyond the pain and wrong, the worst that could ever happen.

Jesus did not stay on the cross! He did not stay in the tomb. He rose again by day 3!

We are third day disciples! We are third day followers!

A lot can happen in 3 days!

From the most excruciating pain on Friday, to the extreme hopelessness of Saturday, to the infinite glory of Sunday!

Sunday! The miracle of all miracles pushed through the veil between heaven and earth! What a glorious day!

The hope of all hope, the king of all kings , the savior of all mankind manifested once again!

He is alive forever more!

He redeemed us! When he came out of the grave, we came out of the grave!

It’s is the greatest story ever told! It’s not just His Story! It’s our story!

It’s the greatest story ever lived!

The cross still stands as a reminder. The in-between time helps to evaluate our hope and faith. The Resurrection is the day we celebrate!

On that day, the miracle of all miracles happened.

The best time to tell your story of redemption is today!

Stop trying to be good!

I love the passage in the Bible concerning the rich young ruler. Matthew 19:16-30

The young man had a desire for eternal life. He went to the right person, Jesus who was the way to eternal life.

He addressed him as teacher. He was specific with his question. Basically, he wanted to know what good thing he most do to get eternal life.

Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments”

Then the young man wanted to know which ones. Jesus names off about six of them.

Why didn’t he name all ten?

What did it matter? Could anyone obey them?

Jesus was creating awareness here. It should have awakened a sense of need for God’s mercy, grace and redemption in this person.

The law is great as it helps us understand the fact that we can’t be ‘good,’ enough. It’s not possible.

My challenge to those reading this, would be to name anyone in the Old or New Testament that ever obeyed all of the commandments?

Besides Jesus, there is none. That’s the point isn’t it?

We cannot receive eternal life through being good. The commandments show us that truth. Without God it is impossible.

Romans 3:10, 12 “As it is written, there is no one righteous, not even one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.

It is a worthless attempt to be good on our own merit. It is impossible.

Impossible means unable to occur or exist.

There is no possibility we can get eternal life through doing good, or just obeying the commands.

The rich young ruler could not kept all the commandments. We cannot keep all the commandments. Again it’s not possible.

If he or we, were capable of keeping the commandments, capable of being righteous, Jesus would not have had to die on the cross.

The rich young ruler told Jesus that he obeyed all the commandments, but still he was missing something.

His next question was, “What do I lack?”

Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, then go, sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come follow me.”

Want to be good? Obey all the commandments.

Want to be perfect? Sell your possessions

Want to have treasure in heaven? Sell your possessions and give to the poor.

Want eternal life? Follow Christ

The young man went away sad, because he had great wealth.

That wealth was his weakness. He was not willing to put Christ above his possessions. He left sad. He missed the truth.

Jesus made this statement to the disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”

I can’t help but wonder, what would have happened, if the rich, young ruler laid it all down to follow Jesus?

I didn’t have to wonder long because the disciples ask a good question, “Who then can be saved?”

Jesus answered “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”

God can enlarge the eye of the needle! Open wide the gate! And he did! On the cross!

Ephesians 2:8-11 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

There is such joy in following Jesus!