Friday, November 25, 2016


     I have always heard it said if life gives you lemons make lemonade, meaning make a negative that is in your life into a positive. But I have to say, from where do you get your sugar to make your lemonade? Lets say your perfect condition in life would be to have a wife, children and friends who love you. Now if a negative condition came along in your life, you could rely on your family and friends for the support that you need to help you with your problem. Their love and positive support would be the sugar for you to make the lemonade.
     Now lets say your life is less than perfect and you are in a bad way with little to no support, maybe even alone without many in your life to love you. Where will the needed sugar come from to make your lemonade from the lemons that life has handed to you? A man or woman with a good support system can fall but he or she has people around who will reach out and catch them. They will never fall to the bottom. But someone who has no support in their life have only themselves to rely on. They must stop themselves from falling to the bottom.
     I want to think about what kind of support does a person alone have when feeling down. Where can they get their sugar from to make their lemonade? I thought about the trials and tribulations of the apostle Paul, what he had to endure while trying to spread the word about Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul told us what he went through while spreading the word. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 he said that he had countless beatings and was often near death. He said five times he was lashed with forty strokes less one, three times beaten with rods, once stone and three times shipwrecked. He said that he had to endure hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. It look like life was handing the apostle Paul a basket full of lemons while he was on his mission.
     Even though the apostle Paul had a basket full of lemons, he did not give up. He said in 2 Corinthians 4:8,9 "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;" From where did the apostle Paul get his strength and support to carry on? He said in 2 Timothy 3:11 "my persecutions and suffering that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra--which persecutions I endured; yet from them the Lord rescued me." The apostle Paul relied on God for his strength and support.
     The apostle Paul said he learned to be content in every situation. Philippians 4:11-13 "Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me." The apostle Paul look to God for both his strength and support. Even though the apostle Paul had a basket full of lemons, God supplied him the sugar by means of his Holy Spirit so Paul could make his lemonade.
     So we can see by the apostle Paul's example even though we may be alone, God can be relied upon for our strength and support in our time of trouble. We do not have to be in a state of constant despair, we can pray to God for our help. Psalm 34:17 "When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles."If we are alone and in trouble, we do not have to drink sour lemon juice, God can and will help us to solve our problems. He will supply the sugar that we need to make our lemonade. In our darkest hour we can still look up and see God's light shinning through. We can lift our head up and be joyful in the LORD.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Our Thread of Comfort

     What makes us feel comfortable around each other? For example, If you are married, why do you feel comfortable around your wife? Because you feel that you can be relaxed and just be yourself around her. There is also a trust between you and her and you feel that you can let your guard down. And above all else there is love, making your home a place where you feel accepted and belong.
     There is a common thread of comfort that gives you comfort with your children as with your wife.There is a strong bond of love between you and your children. Just as with your wife, you can be relaxed around them and just be yourself. You also have a feeling of trust, acceptance and belonging when you are with them.
     I have just skimmed the surface of the topic of the feeling of comfort. I was just looking for the common threads of what makes us feel comfortable around each other. I have asked this question to myself, if I have a feeling of comfort within my family, cannot this feeling be expanded outside my family's home? What can make me feel comfortable around strangers?
     If I were to enter a new church where would my comfort come from? In the beginning, the common belief that we share (our belief in Jesus Christ) would make me feel comfortable. Through him we are connected to each other and this brings us together in worship. When you are united in a common cause, you see each other as more than just strangers. When we are united by a belief, this gives us a sense of belonging and acceptance among other believers.
     In time, trust can be established and you can start to feel comfortable around the new people that you have met and hopefully, you will start to feel that you can just be yourself while you are around them.  And the more you get to know them your connection to them will grow. Together, with your new friends(who were once strangers) you can have that comfortable family like relationship.
     My comfortable family like relationship for me is to feel relaxed, to feel accepted, to have trust and made to feel that I belong, also to be loved and to be able to be myself without many judgments. This is my comfort thread but others I believe may need or want something else to make them feel comfortable. The more we know about ourselves the more we can find comfort and be comfortable in our world. But our true comfort comes from God, 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17 "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word."

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The illusions of the Dark Light

     2 Corinthians 11:14,15 "And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:3 "But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:4 "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
     Our world is under the dark light of Satan. He is trying to make us believe that his word is the truth and his way is the right way. He is the master of manipulation and deception and he wants to have total control over us. Control over the way we communicate with each other or the lack there of by isolating us then dividing us to make us easier for him to control..The illusions of his dark light is many, it looks like light but in truth it is just only another form of darkness.
     In Satan's dark light, he keeps us away from having security and happiness in order for us to stay in survivor mode so to attack rather than to embrace our neighbors. He wants us to view security as living in a fortress surrounded by weapons. He wants us to see our lust as love. He wants to disguise our want as our need. He wants us to get rid of our self sacrificing ways and just do what we want. He wants us to put ourselves above all else, above our God, our family and our friends.
     We wonder why our world is so evil because people are looking to the dark light to light their way. It looks like hope but it never delivers. It looks like warmth but it is so cold. You believe that it has answers but it has nothing but lies. In this dark light, kindness is a form of control. It is given out of a hidden agenda so to create dependency and enslavement. In a dark lit world little is given and much is taken. Gifts are not given out of unconditional love but from a selfish desire.
     In this darkness, progress is viewed as having many material things and not as having a healthy mind and spirit. Community is lost because isolation equals control. Shallow pursuits are encouraged over deep spiritual endeavors. This darkness is trying to get us all to climb over each others backs in order to get a prize that is not worth the cost. All in all, the dark light is telling us to trust in no one and to keep on fighting with your neighbors because they are out to get you. The devil is trying to make you believe that survivor of the fittest is your best philosophy to live your life by.
     In a dark lighted world, you are surround by a deceiving light. It is a controlling light design to keep your mind on yourself and away from God, our true source of light. The darkness clouds our mind and creates doubts about our true existence. We become so trap in our own way of life that we cannot see another way to live and that is exactly what Satan wants. 2 Timothy 2:26 "and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." Satan design our world system to trap us and to make us to do his will, not our will or God's will but his will. Without God's protection and guidance, Satan will thoroughly manipulate us and deceive us, making us believe we are doing our will but we are in fact doing what Satan wants.
     Jesus came into our world and he saw the dark light of Satan. He saw through Satan's lies and deceptions. The devil tried to tempt Jesus and Jesus rejected him. Matthew 4:10 "Then Jesus said to him, Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve." Jesus did not given in to temptation and he remained loyal to God. We are now being tempted by the illusions of Satan's dark light and all of us will have to make a decision whether or not we are going to follow in Jesus Christ's footsteps and reject the devil or are we going to continue to remain in the darkness to be deceived and be used by him?