Archive for July, 2014

Who's Really to blame?On first reflection, I imagine this graphic, found in an atheist internet community, might strike a chord with some folks.

I mean, isn’t the world grossly unfair? Why do some people have so much while some have so little? And why does God appear to sit on His hands and do nothing about it?

These are valid, important questions. I asked them all before becoming a follower of Jesus of Nazareth at age 42. Once I decided to follow Jesus (who many people believe is God’s Son), I thought long and hard about these questions from my new perspective, because I still needed them answered.

So, consider this:

Some people have a lot and some have very little because of where they live. It’s a lot easier to make a go of it when you’re not struggling to survive drought, typhoons and earthquakes.

Now before you blame God for natural “disasters”, ponder the notion that the world’s rich nations could take in far, far more immigrants. In addition, they could work through agencies like the United Nations to move people away from disaster-prone areas.

The fact that these things don’t happen isn’t an indictment of God. It’s an indictment of US in the developed world. And it’s an indictment of people who won’t move, no matter how bad life gets.

Who says God won’t give them food? Does God give rich people food? Do you really think that’s how the world works?

Furthermore, God DOES give hungry people food. That’s what organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Compassion Canada, Feed The Children, Oxfam and many more do. They provide opportunities for you and me to be the hands and feet of God by using our riches to feed people AND help them feed themselves.

Consider what Jesus tells His followers: “The truth is, anything you refused to do for any of my people here, you refused to do for me” (from one of the original source documents of His life). And please know that Jesus considers ALL people to be worthy of being His.

So, are YOU part of what God is doing to help the hungry? Before I decided to follow Jesus, I was not. Now I am. That’s no credit to me; that’s credit to Jesus, who I invited into my life to make me more like Him.

There are more results from having Jesus in my life.

I’ve become more aware of my many shortcomings and know that through my wife and other Jesus followers, God is working to change me for the better.

I’ve become aware that this world is NOT how God wants it to be. Since deciding to follow Jesus, my ugly ego has been reduced enough to realize that I’m part of that problem. I seek forgiveness from the One who I believe is the only valid judge of humanity. And because I follow Jesus, I know that His sacrificial death and resurrection makes up for my moral crimes. I receive that forgiveness!

Does this sound attractive to you? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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WHEN LOVE MAKES A DIFFERENCEIs loving God a waste of time? Certainly that’s the opinion of the atheist person who posted this graphic on the internet. And there are occasions when that person is dead-on right.

If loving God makes no difference in your life, then it’s a waste of time.

If loving God doesn’t cause you to love your friends and family more, then it’s a waste of time.

If loving God doesn’t encourage you to love yourself, then it’s a waste of time.

If loving God doesn’t make you want to do more for a world that’s clearly sick and broken, then it’s a waste of time.

Serious followers of Jesus of Nazareth (and I’m one of them) know that despite this world’s horrible problems, God still loves it. In fact, God sent Jesus — who many people believe is His Son — to this world to help fix it.

I can hear some of you saying “How did sending Jesus making one bit of difference? This world is still a mess.” Yes, this world is still a mess. And sometimes, deeply misguided followers of Jesus have contributed to that mess.

That said, consider this: serious Jesus followers believe He died to wipe away ALL the wrongdoings of people who believe in Him. And by rising from the dead, as the original source documents of Jesus’ life describe, He also wiped away the permanence of death.

How does this make any difference? It’s already made a HUGE difference. Energized by what Jesus has done for them, serious Jesus followers have gone on to build hospitals, start universities and do charity work in some of the world’s most hopeless places. That includes treating victims of the Ebola virus in Africa, helping typhoon survivors in the Philippines and building shelters for earthquake victims in Haiti.

All of this happens because people who follow Jesus know that God loves them (and every other person on this planet) beyond all measure. Allowing His divine Son to die on a Roman cross, then bringing Him back to life, is absolute proof of that love.

  • Because I love God, I love my wife and stepchildren MORE.
  • Because I love God, I care about what’s happening in HIS world.
  • Because I love God, I turned away from my insecure greediness and make regular contributions to charities that do amazing work in the name of Jesus.
  • Because I love God, I maintain this website to tell YOU about how loving God and His Son can change your life just as it changed (and continues to change) my life.

Do you see value in loving God and accepting His gift of Jesus? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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sheep-1I’m just dying to know: who is NOT a sheep? That’s the first thing I thought when I saw this graphic on an internet atheism community.

The graphic refers to a number of original source documents which describe followers of Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is God’s Son) as sheep. Here’s an example:

I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. (The words of Jesus.)

This hardly paints “sheep” in a negative light. But let’s leave that point and examine the motivation behind the graphic.

Like it or not — and obviously, the creater of this graphic would NOT — every single one of us are sheep. We ALL follow after something or someone. And often times, we are happy to put on blinders to make sure nothing distracts us from being sheep.

There are endless examples. Here is but a taste:

Some of us blindly run after power (the shepherd) and we’re such sheep that we’ll do anything to keep it. Just look at all the people who’ve achieved great political power — former U.S. president Richard Nixon and former Italian prime minister Enrico Berlusconi are two recent examples — then crashed and burned as their power (shepherd) corrupted them.

Fame is another shepherd and its sheep pursue it with unbelievable passion. They’ll sacrifice years of their life to achieve fame, then watch helplessly as our microscopic attention spans aimlessly drift to someone else. In just a few years from now, will anyone remember reality TV stars Kim Kardashian or Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi? Their ‘shepherd’ has already thrown them under the bus.

Then there’s money, an infectious shepherd that bids even the most unsuspecting person to follow. Consider businessman Bernie Madoff, a sheep who followed his shepherd so religiously that he defrauded thousands of investors out of about $65 billion. Madoff spent his final 12 years in prison.

Perhaps the most tempting shepherd is sex. It whispers sweet nothings to pretty much everyone, turning all kinds of people into sheep who will do its bidding until it destroys them. Remember televangelist Jimmy Swaggart? He was twice caught having affairs with prostitutes. Where is his shepherd now?

So, can someone tell me why it’s so terrible to be a sheep to the shepherd of Jesus? When I follow Him passionately, He enters my soul and helps me become a wiser, more generous and thoughtful person.

And as a sheep to Jesus the shepherd, I come to understand that through His sacrificial death and triumphant resurrection, all the bad things I’ve done (and the good things I’ve failed to do) are wiped off the books. God sees me as He sees His son: perfect, without a blemish, and worthy of spending eternity in Heaven.

Does this make sense? If Jesus isn’t your shepherd, then who (or what) is? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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