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3 years, 3 months ago 3

 

For the past thirty years I’ve been waging a war with the dirt in my yard, trying to get it to yield grass!  I’ve spent a small fortune to get my yard to be lush and green!  From time to time I’ve gotten a great crop of weeds and moss, but no significant grass!   A couple of years ago I broke down and brought in a real expert, he has done wonders.  He had two suggestions, we had to keep the fledgling grass watered, so I had  an automatic irrigation system installed.  His other suggestions was to cut down most of the trees on my lot.  I couldn’t do it, I love the shade, the changing colors of the leaves, and the fact that some of my trees are over a hundred years old.  So I now have more grass than I ever had, but not the golf course fairways I would like.  Grass just will not thrive richly without a constant source of light.

 

Our lives as Christians requires the same.  We must have the Light of the World shining into our spirits if we are to grow and thrive.  For grass to really last, it has to not only grow up, it has to have deep roots that can pull the life giving moisture up from the soil.  If we are to grow stronger and healthier in our Walk with the Lord, we have to have life giving water, and the growth that comes from our Heavenly Father’s “Son” Jesus.  A daily relationship with Him, through the Word, Prayer and waiting for His voice in our spirit will lead to deep roots in Him and long term growth.  We need to grow constantly because anything that is not getting stronger is withering.

 

This is not philosophy or a cute illustration, the very substance of your life is held in this vital relationship.  I’ve often had people say that they are not ready for that kind of commitment to Christ, they can make on their own while they think about it!  That would be fine except for one sticking point, we can’t make it on our own.  Some people may seem to be doing great, everything may “seem” to be o.k. but that illusion never lasts.  Eventually we are asked to have more in our lives than we possess to make it through.  At that point we realize we never were in control.  God loves you so much that He will reluctantly arrange for you to see just how much you need Him in your  life, if that’s what it takes.  Don’t make that necessary!

 

I’m a bottom line kind of guy so here goes;  God loves you.  He loves you so much that He gave His only Son, to die for your sins.  He wants to have a deep and life changing relationship with you.   The offer is on the table, the next step is yours.  As a freind let me assure you, I’ve never met a single person that has given their heart to Him,that hasn’t lamented, “I only wish I hadn’t waited so long!”

 

His Light Scripture :    John 8:12


 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

 

Praying for the ultimate light to come into your life……

 

the pilgrim

 

*Photo Note; No not my yard, I could only wish, this is the beautiful Palouse Region of Washington State, Winter Wheat in June, Nikon F100 film camera, 50-135 Nikkor  f3.5 zoom lens,  Velvia film.

3 years, 3 months ago 1

 

Can we make it?  Can we endure the attacks of the enemy, Can we survive the way our world has turned?  This morning when I read Dr. Charles Stanley’s In Touch Daily Devotional i got the assurance I needed.  I’ve been walking though a difficult time in my home church, I’ve wanted to try and resolve the issues myself, but God had gently, but firmly placed His hand on my chest and said hold still and wait on me.  I want to be obedient, but sometimes I’m a difficult child of God.  In spite of my being rash at times, I know when to say yes Sir and wait on Him.  I did that late yesterday afternoon and found an immediate peace!  That peace was followed last night by a windfall of blessings.  Once again a lesson has been taught, and received.  I want to share from the devotional as I know we all need to be reminded of what it shares.

 

Matthew 28:18-20    New Living Translation (NLT)

 

 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

 

Today’s Devotional from In Touch

 

If you’re a believer, you are part of the awesome body of Christ, which is called to bring His light to the world both individually and corporately. Though many see the church as a social organization, that’s not what the Bible says it is. Sometimes we forget that our purpose isn’t simply to have fellowship, sing, preach, and worship. Jesus entrusted us with good news of the true life He offers to everyone. This calling isn’t just for foreign “missionaries”—it’s for every believer. Your mission field includes your family, friends, coworkers, and perhaps even a people group God puts on your heart, often right in your community.

 

 

Before returning to heaven, Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission, in which He promised to be with believers to the end of the age. That pledge still stands. He doesn’t send us out to do His work on our own. Vowing never to leave us, He gave the assurance that all tasks He assigns will be achieved through us by His Holy Spirit.

 

 

What an honor to be included in the Lord’s redemptive plan for the world! He invites you to have a vital part in His kingdom work of transforming what is broken and giving new life. Everything you do in obedience is an opportunity for His Spirit to work powerfully through you!

 

 

He is still speaking His message of assurance to us: You’ll have Me as your companion, your captain, your victory. You’ll have Me as your resource, your energy, your anointing. Everything you need, you’ll find in Me. How does recognizing the greatness of your calling change the way you see your daily life?

 

I used to be an NFL photographer and even served once as the Washington Redskins official photographer!  I love football and played an coached myself.  I have never stopped wanting to be “in the game” !   I still dream of suiting up and going in!  As a follower of Jesus Christ I can be in “the” game!  I can run the plays he calls, and now because of His strength, wisdom, grace, love, and compassion, I can be a part of His wins!  I’ve lived to see many great adventures and done remarkable things, from photographing my favorite game, football, to flying an ultralight airplane over many locations from coast to coast, but nothing has been as thrilling as serving my Lord, no matter how small or large the task, He has never failed me, and I know He never will.

 

 Remember Jesus said,  You’ll have Me as your companion, your captain, your victory. You’ll have Me as your resource, your energy, your anointing. Everything you need, you’ll find in Me.

 

Thank you Father for putting me in the game!  ………………………and Yes, we “can” make it, with Him!

 

the pilgrim

 

 

Photo Note:  Houston Oilers Vs the Cincinnati Bengals.  Number 34 is my Christian Brother, and great running back,  Earl Campbell, shot wiht a Nikon F5 film camera and  Nikkor 400 mm f 3.5 lens, manual focus!

3 years, 3 months ago 1

 

I have a favorite song, from a Christian singer I really enjoy.  It’s a powerful song, and it, “tells it like it is!”  Read the words and then let me share some thoughts with you.  Buckle your seat belts, I’m going to preach, something heavy is on my heart!

 

Not For Sale

by Michael Combs

 

What happened to that Preacher, Who used to Preach so strong.
What happened to that singer,Who used to sing our song.
The Preacher’s out selling Amway, That singer’s now singing country.
They sold out what is right for what is wrong.

 

 

What happened to the church, That used to be on fire.
What happened to the voices, That sang in the heavenly chior.
Oh, The Church has now grown dead and cold,
The chior is sligent, Cause nobody goes.
They sold out to the world and their own desiers (Listen To Me)

 

This heart belongs to Jesus, Cause he saved my soul from Hell.
This heart belongs to Jesus, This heart is not for sale.
Not for sale, Not for sale, No way no sir.

 

Well a man from California, Called a few months ago.
He said boy with your talent , We acn make alot of dough.
I said thanks for the offer it all sounds swell.
But I belong to Jesus, And I’m just not for sale.
Not for sale, I’m not for sale, No way no sir.

 

 

Well, If you’re living for Jesus,Friend, They’ll come a day.
That old Devil’s gonna try to get you some way.
He’ll try you, And temp you, with his lies straight from hell.
Just say I belong to Jesus, And Devil I’m not for sale
Not for sale, Not for sale, No way no sir.   

 

 

I belong to the Lamb Of God,
He purchased me with his precious Blood,
I don’t need popularity, I’d rather have what he gave to me.
I belong to the King of Kings,
He’s my hope,He’s my joy, He’s my everything.
I belong to the Lord God Almighty,
I belong to the one who gave his life for me.

 

 

I belong to the Lamb Of God,
He purchased me with his precious Blood,
I don’t need popularity, I’d rather have what he gave to me.
Some sold conviction’s for compromise,
Some have sold the truth for a pack of lies.
Some have sold Testimonies for fortune and fame.
I just want to Glorify and Magnify his name
This heart belongs to Jesus,  He saved my soul from Hell.
This heart belongs to Jesus, Oh this heart is not for sale.
Not for sale, Not for sale, No way no sir.
Not for sale, I’m Not for sale,
I’m not for sale, No way no sir, I’m Not for sale,
I’m Not for sale, 

 

 

 

The enemy wants to buy you out.  He wants you to give up on God.   He wants you to accept less than God would love for you to have.  He tempts us with power, fortune and fame.  It all looks good until we trade a relationship with Christ for something that is useless!  Someday each and everyone of us will stand before Jesus and all the junk you traded your life and soul away for will be left behind on this earth.  If you were a king, a ruler, a president, or super star on this earth, none of that will carry any weight with Him.  If you are the poorest soul on this earth but you’ve given your heart and life to Him, you will stand before Him with nothing to hide or be ashamed of.  If He owns your life now you will stand before Him then as one of His Children, a member of His family!!  You can’t fool Him, he is no respecter of persons, He will know all your secrets, your thoughts speak as loud in heaven as your words do here!  There will be no where to hide when you face Him.  What will you take to that meeting?

 

One of the agonizing things about living as long as I’ve lived is that I’ve watched, through tear filled eyes, how many have sold their precious lives and souls for nothing at all.  Man’s best efforts are as filthy rags compared to Him.  Don’t let the enemy sell you a bill of goods.  If your efforts don’t glorify God they will be wasted, and lost in the end.

 

Ask yourself these questions before you act;

 

Will my actions lead others to Christ or run them away?

 

Do I want to follow Him more than acceptance, praise, power?

 

Do I know that no matter how hard I work, or how much I accumulate here, that it will all turn to dust someday?

 

Are you determined to live for Him and change the lives of others for the good, or get as much as you can, for yourself?

 

Please don’t throw the precious life you’ve been given away, make a difference, Ask God to help you be a part of His plan.  Anything else is a waste.

 

“This heart belongs to Jesus, Oh this heart, this hearts not for sale.”

 

the pilgrim

 

 

 

3 years, 3 months ago 5

O.K. yesterday I lashed out with a “take no prisoners” rant, meant every word of it, but in my quiet time, I came to the conclusion that I know I need to forgive a bunch of people.  Let me clarify something about my reactions to various circumstances.  I don’t hate any of the perpetrators mentioned yesterday, I do hate their behavior, and it is possible to separate the  behavior from the person.  It’s easy to get really angry at what someone does, it’s a lot harder to understand that behavior is not necessarily the person themselves.  Constant repeated behavior can change a person, but we all have our bad moments.

Let me offer a few suggestions on how to deal with behavior that runs your emotiuons up the wall!

1. Walk a mile in their shoes.  Sometimes if e take a little time to look into a situation we can see that there is a great deal more to a person behavior than meets the eye.  I’m not suggesting that if a person grew up under difficult circumstance that they are free to go out and take it out on society.   No, we need to deal with, and grow out of our difficulties, but for some, under some circumstances it’s a great deal harder than it sounds.  I’m not turning liberal, just trying to consider that things are not always as cut and dried as we may want to think they are.

2.  Remember that Christ died for all of us.  This is a hard one for me, to think that Jesus death on the cross was also for some of the most evil people that have ever lived, but it’s true, if they had turned to Him and asked for His forgiveness we would spend eternity with them in Heaven.

3. God sees all sin as sin. (Period)  We have a tendency to rank sins as small, medium, large and extra large.  God sees all sin as sin.  I can’t plead to him that my sins are less than your sins.  He doesn’t tolerate any sin.  No, it’s best to simply confess, and ask fro His loving kindness and forgiveness!

4. We do not have the right to hold on to our anger, that’s a sin that grows worse with time.  Refusing to let go of the hurts and anger we build up, hurts us more than the one we hold that grudge against.  I was once praying and said to Jesus, “But you don’t know how much they hurt me!!”  It had not even left my heart and mouth before I relaized what and insult it was to tell the King of  Kings, the very Son of God, who was spat on, and mocked and then crucified,  that He didn’t understand.   No one knows more about pain, agony and hurt than He does, and yet hHe tells us forgive.  Remember that while hanging on the cross in unbelievable pain He asked His Father to forgive those that had placed Him there.

5.  God didn’t ask us to punish the sinners, He asked us to love them into His arms!  God’s job is to deal with sinners, ours, as hard as it is, is to love them.  Nothing will turn the heart of lost soul like being loved and knowing it is undeserved,  it worked on me!  God does not want to condemn a single soul, and He certainly has not given us permission to do so.

6.  Don’t throw the first stone.  When Jesus found some releigous leaders condemning a  woman that they had caught in the act of adultry, He told them, “Yes she has sinned, let he that is without sin, throw the first stone.”  They all walked away.  In life, we often should choose that option, just walk away.

Getting emotional and feeling anger is normal, holding onto it and letting it turn to rage and hate is fatal mistake.

Father, Forgive me for my being quick to judge, and slow to remember that you love them too.  I pray for those that have hurt others, and are hurting themselves.  I pray that they will find their way back to you. Remind me,  through the Holly Spirit,  to take a deep breath before allowing my anger to grow, to let it go, and give it to you, and to forgive those that have sinned against me, just as you have forgiven me for my sins.  Thank you Father,  for loving me.   Amen.

Blessings,

the pilgrim