Friday, December 29, 2017

New year, New you, New church!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17

In just a couple days, it will be 2018!  Wow this past year has been quick but amazing!  I could post about how this blog has now 65,000 readers or I could post the good that has happened in my life like getting baptized, but no, I want to talk about the new year, a new you, and a new church!  I want to talk about how all this can be possible!  But most importantly, none of it is possible unless you take God with you!

So let's talk about the new year!  What will it mean?  Well, it could be an amazing year, it could be an incredible year, it could be the year of a life time!  How you ask?  Well start with this, give your life to God, be baptized, and announce Christ as God's son who died for you!  When you walk with God and have him first in your life, everything else falls into place.  It is not always amazing, but I would not give my worst day with God to have my best day without Him again.  Even when things go down hill, as they will, I know I am not alone and I know that the creator of everything, well, He has my back!  The God who made me, the God who died for me, the God who was raised for me, well He did all that for you too and has our back!

This year, start it with Him and that brings us to a new you!  There is lots of resolutions that you can make, but the problem with that is they are stopped at some point only to be resolutions again the next year.  So, how do you get your new you?  Start with prayer, pray daily and make your life a daily prayer.  You know the nice thing about prayer?  You can do it any where!  No really you can!  You don't even have to get out of bed!  Now that you have prayed, read!  Just a couple minutes.  Start with reading the Bible, just a chapter!  To know how to be a new you, you have to read the book that will get you there!  Then I also include a meditation/daily devotional book!  This will only take a minute!  Yet it will open your eyes to different ways to look at God's word and help you know it better.  Now, what do you do?  Sing!  Yes, I said sing!  I personally choose songs that I have sung my whole life, but singing will help you open up and get energized for the day!  Okay, now, get on with your day.  And the good news, over the time, because you bring God with you now, you will be more apt to deal with the day.

You may be saying, how does all that make a new me?  Well simple, when you start your day with God, then you are able to continue your day with God.  And when you take God through your day, then you will be more apt to act as someone with God.  Think about it, when you are feeling God close to you, then you are more going to act in His ways.  How do you get close to God?  Prayer, reading the Bible, praising Him, and continueing it through the day!

So, now that we have talked about a new year and a new you, what is this about a new church?  Simple, we go to church to learn about God, be with His people who are the church, and grow.  Well, if you are living a new life, you may find that church becomes more too!  You may find that your church is needing to be new too!  Does it teach God, Christ, and their love?  Do you leave feeling uplifted?  Or is it pushing an agenda?  And is church being taught as being the building or is it the people?  Who is the head of the church?  Is the Bible even opened?

If you can't answer these questions, it is time to rethink things!  I am very proud of where I go to meet the church.  Westbury knows that Christ is head of the church and that the church is the people.  It teaches acceptance, love, and goes deep into God's word.  I know though, if it got into politics, if it started teaching things that are not of God, than I can go to the Elders and Ministers and voice my concerns.  Westbury Church of Christ is a new church!  I say that it is new not because of it's age as it has been around for some time now, I say it is new because it does not follow the norm.  It is an eclectic gathering of God's people that teach our job is to love God and grow in Him.  It teaches we are to tell others of Him.  It teaches that we are to be loving to all.

So if you can, change your church to look upon God's teaching again, but if that is not possible, come to Westbury!  Experience a conservative yet liberal, open, accepting, loving church!

This new year, be a new you, be a new church, and start it with God!  And so here is where I give you this, get baptized today and become a new being, being my brother or sister or what ever pronoun you give yourself.  Join a church home and belong to a community that will be there for you!  And live a life that others say, who is that?  Wow, I want what they got!

God can lead you to a new life, I can tell you how my new life happened and how good it is, but you have to choose it for yourself!  Don't go another day!  If you are ready for you life to change and be baptized, come this Sunday to Westbury Church of Christ at 10 AM and do it!  If don't want to wait till then, call me at 832-570-7023 and if I don't answer I will call you right back and we will set up a way to do it!  And most importantly, you need a community to support you, so join a church.  Though I would like you to join mine, but you don't have to, just get plugged in!

Here is to a new year and life!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Promises of God

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

As I sit in a coffee shop far from home, I am pondering God's promise to us.  What is that promise?  One of everlasting life.  Yet I get so much more from God!  I am living a life I never dreamed of!  I am able to travel, have my own place, and a job that I can do and do good.  He has given me life!

Just thinking back to a couple years ago, when I was in death's grasp from the inside out.  I had no hope.  I wanted it all over!  And now, now that I am in Christ!  I want to live, I want to share His love!  What an amazing gift He gives us!

Don't get me wrong, it is not all hunky dory and a bed of roses.  I have to do my part and work in this life.  But He has restored the wasted years, made the hard days better than the best without Him, and brought me hope!

I am free to love, so are you!  Too often we choose to ignore, disapprove without love, and hate.  Just look at those that don't approve of the leaders, they hate them, they spit out words of hate.  And vice versa.  This is not why God sent His son to die for us!

So many talk about being loving, but who really are?  Do you give love to the stranger that just cut you off?  Do you show love to the ex that broke your heart?  Do you love the one that in your eyes sins in a way that can not be forgiven?

One of Christ's commandments is to love our neighbor.  That don't mean you have to agree.  That don't mean you have to like what they do.  But love them anyways!  Let me tell you I don't like Trump, I can't stand how he acts, and I hate how he treats people, but I show love for him by praying for him.

I once heard an old saying with a twist.  You have heard, "Love the sinner, but hate the sin!"  And oh how we have gotten away from that.  We end up hating the sinner.  I then heard something much better!  "Love the sinner and hate the sin in my own life!"  And wow how that takes me off of looking at what is wrong with them and now I am able to love the human being that they are and focus on my own sins.

God promises us eternity with Him, but we still have things that we have to do!  I see it as we are to clean up our own side of the street, allow Him to change our hearts and actions, give everything the good and bad to Him, let go of control, love others, and tell others about Him and what He has done in our own life!

What better way to show someone that you love them?  To tell them of the saving grace, the forgiveness that goes deeper than any other, and a love for them that expands time and distance!  To show them of the salvation that was freely given!  God doesn't want just one person to get to Heaven, He wants all of us to!  Christ died for all!

So as I sit here, I think of that promise of salvation, if I share it with others, and how blessed I am to have it.  Miles from home, but just a breath away from God no matter where I am and people all around that I can share His love with, even if it is just a smile to a stranger.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Fear Tactic Against LGBT Community

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18

It is amazing to me how many people think that fear will bring anyone closer to God.  You know how it goes, "Repent or you will go to Hell!"  or "You are an abomination!"  And the list goes on.  People think that they are going to scare you into what they have pictured as the only right way of thinking.

Yes, I believe it is not wrong to be gay, but that doesn't mean that I am going to be cruel or drive fear of someone that believes different than me.  Christ teaches us to love one another.  He did not meet people with fear and hate but love.  Did He ever tell a sinner you are horrible?  No, He showed love and compassion.

When did we get so far from the teachings of Christ and decide we could say who goes to Heaven and who goes to Hell?  I don't remember Christ saying you decide!  No, God is the only judge!