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Friday, November 20, 2015

Latte Art in Gresham, Oregon

I tried a new coffee shop in Gresham, OR. Ordered a Latte and was surprised by this clever design followed by some of the tastiest espresso I've had in months. Thank you, Origin's Coffee/Tea.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Manipulating God

"You, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth" Psalm 97 

Lawrence beamed at the capacity audience in San Francisco; the sixth stop of his Worldwide Evangelical Movement tour. "God is sitting on his throne, waiting for you to give him a hint. That's right, God is leaning forward, anxious to hear your requests so he can give you what you desire in the deepest place in your heart. He made you to abide with him some day and until that day, he wants to make you happy and satisfied. 
"Have you been passed over for that promotion? God knows and wants to release the blessings of that new job to you. Can't find that special person to complete you? God is aware of that missing piece in your puzzle of life as well. What about the home you keep driving by, wishing it was yours? Yes, my friends, God is fully aware of your needs and he wants to fulfill them, make you happy and give you the greatest, most fulfilling experience that life has to offer. 
"I know some of you are thinking something like, 'How can I ever afford that home I truly want? I need a better job and less debt.' Friends, God is the God of satisfaction and delight. He made you and knows how to make you satisfied and content on this earth as you prepare for eternal life with him.  
Lawrence became silent, walking back and forth on the platform, scanning the audience as he moved. And then, "What is the key to unlocking God's blessings, you ask? Sacrifice. Yes, it is sacrifice. Think of how he showed his love for us. Sacrifice! He sacrificed his own Son so we could have this wonderful life. And now he expects us to learn that same sacrifice. God GAVE so we could live and now it is our turn. We must sacrificially GIVE to release those blessings from heaven."  
By now Lawrence was commanding the audience with his fine-tuned and powerful voice, it was as though he hypnotized them...Give, give give. Sacrificially give. Give when you don't think you can. God is waiting. Release those blessings from the throne of God." They were on their feet as the army of ushers passed buckets across the rows of excited, believing people. 
Does this scenario sound familiar? Do you have, perhaps secretly, desires that you hope God will bring to pass to make your life better? Desires of more money, better job, better marriage, better body, bigger house? If you do, admit it to God. As the famous southern pastor, J. Vernon Mcgee once said, "You might as well tell Him because He knows anyway." 
God does understand our secret desires of wealth, health, homes, trips, etc. But what he wants for us is far better. Does anyone really believe that God sent his only Son, Jesus, to live and die for us so that we could have more money, bigger homes, better cars, and more fun? Jesus did give sacrificially, didn't he? His sacrifice was given freely so you and I could experience redemption and forgiveness of sins. Surely we can see clearly that Christ did not experience such an excruciating torture and death so we could accumulate more stuff on earth. 
Psalm 97:1-5  The Lord rules! Let the earth rejoice! Let all the islands celebrate! Clouds and thick darkness surround God. His throne is built on righteousness and justice. Fire proceeds before him, burning up his enemies on every side. His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees it and trembles! The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of the whole world! 
Our lives are actually spiritual. As such our warfare is taking place in the spiritual realms, every day...every hour. God's great sacrifice has made it possible for us to walk in the spirit, guided by the Holy Spirit. As we gear up each day with the Armor of God, we engage in the battle prepared and protected by God. Do you see material things as important in this daily battle for souls and lives? 
Ephesians 6:10-17  In conclusion be strong—not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his boundless resource. Put on God’s complete armour so that you can successfully resist all the devil’s methods of attack. For our fight is not against any physical enemy: it is against organisations and powers that are spiritual. We are up against the unseen power that controls this dark world, and spiritual agents from the very headquarters of evil. Therefore you must wear the whole armour of God that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground.  
Take your stand then with truth as your belt, righteousness your breastplate, the Gospel of peace firmly on your feet, salvation as your helmet and in your hand the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. Above all be sure you take faith as your shield, for it can quench every burning missile the enemy hurls at you. Pray at all times with every kind of spiritual prayer, keeping alert and persistent as you pray for all Christ’s men and women. 
Men and women who claim to speak for God but seek to gratify their flesh are, in truth, serving the enemy of our soul and feeding their own flesh. The Bible tells us to die to the flesh: 
Romans 8:12-16  So then, my brothers, you can see that we have no particular reason to feel grateful to our sensual nature, or to live life on the level of the instincts. Indeed that way of living leads to certain spiritual death. But if on the other hand you cut the nerve of your instinctive actions by obeying the Spirit, you are on the way to real living. 
All who follow the leading of God’s Spirit are God’s own sons. Nor are you meant to relapse into the old slavish attitude of fear—you have been adopted into the very family circle of God and you can say with a full heart, “Father, my Father”. The Spirit himself endorses our inward conviction that we really are the children of God. Think what that means. If we are his children we share his treasures, and all that Christ claims as his will belong to all of us as well! Yes, if we share in his suffering we shall certainly share in his glory.    
A man left his house early one morning to attend a Bible study. It was then he saw an obstacle! A flat tire. Not low but dead flat. He had no time to change a tire. He pondered his situation and felt God nudge him to have faith that He would take care of the tire. So, he prayed and believed that God would do the impossible. 
He drove three miles to a gas station, filled the tire with air and drove to the study. The tire never leaked or deflated again. Life is spiritual! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Statement of Faith

I believe in One God, the Creator of all things, visible I believe that within the nature of the One True God, there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are coequal in power, nature and eternity.

I believe that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but the Son of Man, who was born into this world of a virgin, lived as a man among men, suffered and died for our sins and was physically and literally resurrected from the dead, that He ascended back to Heaven and is alive today, seated at the right hand of the Father. He Himself is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the one to whom every knee shall one day bow.

I believe that all mankind is helplessly lost, separated from God, and that the only path to reconciliation with God is personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior. Salvation is therefore the free gift of eternal life, bought and paid for by the death of Christ on the cross.

I believe that Jesus Christ will one day return physically and literally to this world at the climax of the age, at which time the dead of all time will be raised and judged according to God’s mercy and righteousness.

I believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in the world today revealing Jesus Christ, convicting of sin, and empowering the Church. I believe in the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian as proclaimed in the scripture and lived out down through the ages. What the Holy Spirit did in the time of the Apostles, He desires to do today!

I believe that the Bible is a gift from God, written by men who were moved by the Holy Spirit. I can think of no better proclamation that what the scripture itself gives us in regard to our faith concerning the Bible:
“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
-II Timothy 3:16-17
I believe in One Church, comprised of all true believers in Jesus Christ, regardless of race, or denominational creed, and that Jesus Christ Himself is the Head and Lord of this Church.
Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All You Do Is. . .

We don't preach (or live) the whole gospel. Instead we live the AYDI (All You Do Is) gospel, When we share Christ, we often present the reality of the Christian life in manageable bites, starting with All You Do Is. We woo people along with the least amount of commitment, only to add more requirements the longer they walk with Christ. The progression looks a lot like this:

  • All you do is say this simple sinner's prayer.
  • All you do is attend church.
  • All you do is stop doing bad things.
  • All you do is read your bible.
  • All you do is get baptized.
  • All you do is learn how to pray.
  • All you do is memorize Scriptures.
  • All you do is learn how to share your faith.
  • All you do is attend Bible studies.
  • All you do is teach a Bible study.
  • All you do is raise your kids to be Christians.
  • All you do is make sure your marriage reflects Jesus.
  • All you do is go on a short-term mission trip.
  • All you do is give money to the church.
  • All you do is give money to those in need. 
  • All you do is become a pastor or a missionary or a deacon or an elder.
  • All you do is die to your own desires and embrace Jesus' lordship.

This progression is not the Gospel. Where it ends, "All you do is die to your own desires and embrace Jesus' lordship," is where is should start. As Western Christians, we tend to think linearly, but the Gospel is more circular, all-encompassing. The Gospel isn't a progressive list of improvement tactics.
       Taken from, Everything, what you give and what you gain to become like Jesus. Mary DeMuth

Friday, January 03, 2014

Fun With Photo Filters

I downloaded a photo editor app which came with some special filters and effects.
I got a kick out of this image and so did my wife. I guess this is the 2014 version of me.
I hope pipe tobacco is not too expensive!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Faith Not Feelings

We live by faith and not by sight!  2 Cor. 5:7

Unlike any other book, the Bible is God's living, eternal Word, filled with absolute promises that enable us to live an extraordinary life with no fear. However, because we do have weak moments when we do feel afraid, we have only to call upon the Lord, to read His words and see His promises to bask in the peace and security He freely gives.
Regardless of our circumstances, He will never leave or forsake us. Not only that, He awaits for us at the door of our mansion in Heaven with a perfectly fitted robe of righteousness, washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Hallelujah!
At a meeting, the leader, when talking about our feelings said, “Feelings are neither right or wrong, they just are!” At first some of those present stood against his description but after considering what he said, they all agreed it was true. Feelings are part of who we are but when they cause misdirection, confusion, fear, or more negative responses, we know they are to be controlled. And only God can come to the rescue. He can replace negative feelings with His promises of care and eternal salvation.
            John 11:25-26  25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
            John 10:10-11  I came that [you] may have life, and have it abundantly. 11"I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
            1 Peter 1:3-5   3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
            John 10:27-30  27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”
            John 6:35-40  35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
            1 John 4:4   4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people (false teachers, spirit of the anti-christ), because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.
            Romans 8:38  38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
            2 Corinthians 5:17  17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
            Matthew 11:28-30  28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

            The teenage boy told his father, “Dad, I don’t feel like mowing the lawn today.” To which his father replied, “Then I guess I don’t feel like feeding you dinner.”