Christ's Love on the Cross Changes Everything!

Be Free in Christ and Thankful!!!

 “I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you, always in my every prayer for all of you, making the prayer with joy, because you participated in the gospel from the first day until now, convinced of this same thing, that the one who began a good work in you will finish it until the day of Jesus Christ, just as it is right for me to think this about all of you because I have you in my heart since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel all of you are sharers of the grace with me.” Philippians 1:3-7 LEB      Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in life's struggles and forget to give thanks to God. I know there have been times I struggled with thankfulness in my life. Before I was saved and even after I accepted Christ, I had moments where I did not thank God for the people in my life or the circumstances I found myself in. Personally, there have been times in my life where I wanted to see that unique-something about myself that God sees;

To Know!!

Seven weeks into my first Greek class at school, and if ever there was a way to a humble someone, Greek is the way to humble anyone. It is challenging not just to learn another language but to realize that my command of the English language is pretty sorry, too. Ha-ha. I admit, whatever I understand of my native tongue is more passive and comes from years of writing while in prison. Before Greek, I could have told you what a noun was, but I would not have been able to tell you the difference between an adjective and an adverb off the top of my head. The understanding that I had was just in my brain, mixed in with all the bad habits I picked up over the years from sheer laziness and texting.  But that made me wonder. As important as understanding our language is for writing business emails, newsletters, and policies in our workplaces, how many of us have a real command of the language we use? Off the top of your head: What is a prepositional phrase? When is it appropriate to use a semic

Oh, yeah?! Well...

     Blogging has gotten away from me. COVID made it difficult. When the pandemic first hit, especially when Ashley, Eli, and I found ourselves cooped up together in our house, it was really rough. Ashley is an Enneagram 8. I am an Enneagram 4 wing 5, and Eli…well, he is six years old, a super cool kid, and if I had to guess, I would say he is an Enneagram 7. To be clear, I don't know much about all of the Enneagram stuff. Ashley and I took tests from the Institute, beyond that I have Googled, and that's about it. There are usually college classes, books to read, and Eli to keep up with. Life is busy. But I keep saying that I am going to get to understanding it better, when I have the time.      Back to blogging…I tried to get back into the swing of things a while ago but blogging just didn't seem to be something that God wanted me to be doing right then. Or maybe I was only not in the frame of mind to be sharing thoughts with the world. I had things that I wanted to share.

These Questions.

“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love.” –Ephesians 1:4 LEB      This verse. There was a time I asked what it meant that God chose me before the foundation of the world? Or how I’m to be holy and blameless before Him in love? Some translations stop verse four at ‘ Him ’, and attribute ‘ in love’ to verse five, which kind of confused me for a bit. I appreciate the literal word-for-word translation of the Lexham English Bible, which can also be seen in the Christian Standard Bible. The CSB translates it as: “…to be holy and blameless in love before Him.”      The first thing God stripped from me while meditating on this verse is that I cannot ascribe what I think to God, as if I understand His ways. The notion that my tiny peon brain is even capable of considering God’s majesty or motivations outside of what He has revealed through His Word is hubris (Isaiah 55:8-9). And even if I don’t exactly un

Bless the Lord

“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”—Eph 1:3.      I have read over that word blessed a few times in a couple different books now. It always struck me as odd to say that God was blessed. Who blessed Him? Did He bless Himself? Has it ever struck you as odd? I mean, we even sing it in at least one Matt Redman song, Bless the Lord O My Soul. On some level, I just accepted it on face-value and moved on. But I finally looked up that word, blessed. I love it when something I think I know is revealed to be wrong and God corrects me. This is especially true when the correction is an “ ah-ha ” moment.            Blessed is the transliterated word eulogÄ“tos and it means: praised, blessed, worthy of commendation. Some dictionaries define it as praiseworthy. When I understood it as praiseworthy, it made so much more sense to me. Of course, God is worthy of our praise!! Look at what Pa

Peace of God? Wait...What?

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” —Ephesians 1:2 LEB       When we greet people today, it is usually with a simple “hi”. I may get fancy and say “Hey, ya’ll.” But imagine being greeted how Paul greeted the Ephesians! This was a greeting of continual blessing from God. The word grace alone means  kindness,   favor,   esteem, gratitude , and  goodwill ; but  peace from God ?! Wow. The Dictionary of Biblical Languages tells us that while we can understand this as harmony and tranquility, peace should be understood as freedom from worry. How many of us would love to have freedom from worry?      The more I have thought about that, the more it’s taken me back to what Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7, that we should  worry  about  nothing  but instead  pray  about  everything . Of, course anytime worry comes up, I can’t help but think about Matthew 6:25-34 That’s where Jesus tells us not to worry or be anxious about tomorrow because today’s

To Whom It May Concern...

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:”–Ephesians 1:1      Some manuscripts do not have “ in Ephesus,” instead, they just say: “ to the saints who are also faithful in Christ. ” Whether this was written to Ephesus or to the saints also faithful in Christ in the surrounding area, we know Paul was writing to believers who were faithful to Jesus. I do not know about you, but for me, this makes me wonder what an epistle to the also faithful in Augusta would say. Or the also faithful in any one of the cities throughout our nation or the rest of the world today. It got me to thinking about how in Paul’s day the Church consisted mostly of gatherings that were held in people’s homes. In many ways, they were akin to Francis Chan’s house church concept, or even some churches idea of home-groups or community groups. I believe Life Church calls them Life Groups , New Passion calls them Community Groups ,