The Faith of One…

or just his own beliefs…

Posts Tagged ‘Love’

Cursed Or Blessed…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on January 25, 2010

It was around October of last year that I decided to fast all cable news programs.  Well, all except for the Weather Channel.  Let’s face the facts, the music played during “local on the 8’s” can be quite enjoyable.  Okay, back to the cable news programs…

The reason for the fast was my sanity.  At the time, I was working 11pm to 7am three nights a week and the only thing on during these hours are the aforementioned shows, Sportscenter and infomercials.  I don’t care how much one likes sports or information, a human being can only handle so much Sportscenter or infomercials.  That leaves the cable news programs as my only choice and they were hour after hour of hysterical name calling.  They were void of civil discussions or possible solutions required to turn this country around.  They just cast a net of blame over anyone or anything in direct opposition to their beliefs.  All networks were guilty of this and all of them were making me crazy.  The only solution was to fast, cold turkey.  And you know what?

It worked…

I have recently eased in a news program or two and have been able to stay sane in the process.  Not that anything about the programs has changed, I just have a different perspective.  Why?  I’m glad you asked.  I was allowing those things being said to affect/effect (I type you decide) my outlook.  During my fast I realized this was not helpful and could be harmful to me.  See, the major theme in all these news programs is not about “what” is going on, but “who” we should trust to fix the issues concerning us these days.  There are many men anointed, by the media to fill the position of “who” and our trusting in them only leads to our demise.  My reason for this is found in…

Jeremiah 17:5, “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”

Sadly, none of these news programs point us to the only “WHO” that can help us.

Jeremiah 17:7, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”

It is the Lord that can help us.  The Psalms are full of His Word regarding our (His) deliverance, redemption and salvation.  We should not let His work go to waste while we struggle in this world to just get by, if that.  We need to put our trust in Him and rise above the issues of this present life.  Jesus tells us in…

John 6:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Because Jesus has overcome the world we can be world overcomers too.  Paul tells us how in…

Romans 8:35-39, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

All the problems we face as a people and a nation have only one solution and…

The answer is the Love of God.

He will also help you watch cable news programs without going crazy…

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How Can I Know That I Am Saved?

Posted by onemansbeliefs on January 13, 2010

I remember right where I was when I gave my life to Jesus.

I was on my knees…

Next to my bed…

It was in the spring of 1996…

I don’t remember the day, the hour or the minute it took place.

I didn’t think this was a bad thing, until I started to hear others talk about their moment of conversion.  They told tales of fireworks (figurative), warm feelings, immediate deliverance from drugs (or any other thing that held them captive) and countless other things that made it a moment they would never forget.  After hearing all these wonderful stories I started to think that something was wrong with me.  Maybe I wasn’t born again.

Then I had a dream…  Not the MLK kind, but the I’m asleep and having a dream kind.

In the dream, I was sitting on a small stool.  The kind you would keep in a kitchen to help you reach the top shelves in the cabinets.  I sat there looking up at a man who was sitting at a table.  He was alone and I knew he was waiting for me to ask him a question.  I was aware this man was Jesus and I could only ask one question.  I was taking my time to make sure my one question would not be wasted.  Then it came to me and I asked…

How can I know that I am saved?

He lifted his hand and made a gesture of dismissal (but not) and an intense weight or pressure came upon me.  It knocked me off the stool to the floor.  The feeling I had was immense joy or happiness and it was far greater than any feeling I have ever had in my life.  Then I awoke.

As I was lying in bed thinking about the dream a still small voice said to me, “That’s how much I love you and that’s how you can know you are saved.”

This alone was enough to put me in a place to never question my salvation.  However, I serve a God that does exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.

The Mrs. & I were in New York City attending a student recital at the Juilliard School when God showed up and did a repeat performance.  I was in my seat enjoying the music and all the sudden a force just pushed me deeper into my seat.  Tears of joy and happiness began to flow and I could not stop them.   This experience lasted for about 3 minutes, but the memory has remained.

A number of years have passed and my walk with God has continued.  Each time I read his word I am reminded that He loves me.  I know this to be a fact, but sometimes I must make an effort to remember…

How much God loves me!!!

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Halves or Quarters?

Posted by onemansbeliefs on June 5, 2009

Many years ago the Mrs. was making me a salad for dinner and she was almost done, but there was one final detail that needed to be ironed out.  She asked me if I would like the boiled eggs cut in half or quartered.
 
Before I get to my response let me explain some things about salads at our house.  They are not an easy way to avoid cooking meals.  They are creations which involve great amounts of time and effort.  Preparation time can easily reach into the hours (so grateful the Mrs. does much of this).  I’m not talking about wimpy salads like egg, tuna, 3 bean (relax, I like these, but they have no place in this blog) or even that party favorite , the dreaded 7 layer salad (too Martha Stewartish).
 
The 2 versions of salads that dominate in our house are lettuce and pasta.  These creations are very similar in design and construction.  In fact, they are identical except for 1 ingredient.  The 2 interchangeable items are romaine and fettucini.  The remaining constituents are chosen for a number of reasons including taste, color and texture.  Allow me to list some of these here (in no particular order): red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, garbanzo beans, green peas, water chestnuts, broccoli, spinach, boiled eggs, cheddar cheese, monterey jack cheese, dark red kidney beans and a ground up mixture of almonds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds (it adds a nutty flavor and is healthy (the Mrs. choice)).
 
Should we be having the pasta version of this dish, we make the pasta the day before.  It is cooked, covered with generous amounts of ranch dressing and allowed to cool in the refrigerator over night.  The next day all the items are mixed together with additional ranch dressing for flavor and as a gluing agent.  All this takes time and effort, but is well worth the end result.
 
Okay, back to the question about the boiled eggs.  The Mrs. was just about finished with the salads and she asked if I would like them cut in halves or quarters.  I responded halves.  There was no effort on my part in formulating a response to this question.  If she asked if I would like them in quarters or halves, I believe quarters would have been my answer.  A few minutes later, I received the salad and the eggs had been cut in quarters and placed nicely in the dish.
 
It seems that the Mrs. and I had a failure to communicate.  Sure, we used words and understood what each was saying, but the final product failed to represent what was expected.  When asked, she stated the salad was more aesthetically pleasing with the eggs in quarters and she didn’t think I would mind.  I didn’t.  However, this got me to thinking about details.
 
Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not therefore: Ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
 
It has been said that God is in the details and I believe this to be true.  If details are important to him, they should be important to me.  The Mrs. and I paid attention to the details where the salad above was concerned, but failed elsewhere.  We failed to consider each other.  I failed to think before answering a question she posed to me.  She failed to honor the answer I gave.  In some marriages this would be enough to start divorce proceedings.
 
This one insignificant moment in our lives has been a great learning experience of us.  It has given us a perspective that has made our marriage even better.  In this case, which is more important, the salad or the one making the salad?  Simple?  Maybe.  However, I believe that if more people had learned this lesson early in their marriage they would still be married.
 
The Mrs. and I continue to enjoy our moment of halves or quarters and are extremely grateful that we learned this over a couple eggs and not over a weekend with strippers and cocaine…

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What Love Did…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on April 9, 2009

I’ve been pondering for a number of days about what I should write in celebration of the resurrection of my Lord and Saviour. I’ve had different ideas about the subject and thought about the ways to approach the subject of Jesus’ death and resurrection. However, the words would not come and I couldn’t get beyond the title. As it turns out, even the title has been forsaken for the one you now see.

So, I’ve decided to use the words of the Bible to share what Jesus did for me.

Isaiah 53:3-5 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Isaiah 50:6 “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Galatians 3:13 “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

Hebrews 9:12, 34 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”

Matthew 27:29-31 “And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.”

John 19:34 “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.”

Psalm 16:10 “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”

However, there is good news…

Matthew 28:5-7 “And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.”

I have heard many ask, “Why would a loving God sacrifice His own Son for us?” Those people do not realize they are answering their own question.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

This is where Love comes in… He did this while I was still his enemy!!!

Romans 5:8 “But God shows and clearly proves His love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

As I celebrate this weekend…

I will remember what the Lord has done for me…
I will remind others that He has done this for them…

I will be eternally grateful for what He endured; that I could become a child of God…

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Be Still…

Posted by onemansbeliefs on March 19, 2009

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like more and more things are happening each day. It could be that I’m just hearing about them due to the availability of tv, internet, radio, newspaper and watercooler. Each day being bombarded with hundreds or, perhaps, thousands of stories which are capturing the attention of those that report the news. Normally, this is a good thing, because *wait for it*

I like to know things!!!

I don’t have to tell things. I just like to know things. It’s odd, but knowing things makes me happy. They don’t even have to be important things, just things.

For instance, I went to a Kinks concert a number of years ago and while waiting for the Davies’ brothers, I noticed someone in the crowd. I thought I recognized this person, but wasn’t sure and not knowing started to bother me. While getting refreshments this person was in line right next to me and I apologized for bothering them and before I could ask the question they confirmed my suspicion. It was Joe Elliot of Def Leppard. I was just happy knowing and now I could focus on refreshments. On a side note: He ask me a question and we talked about 15 minutes. Nice guy.

Sometimes just wanting to know things has it’s drawbacks. With all the information delivery vehicles available I can go into information overdose. It is then I need to take a different approach. At times like this I take the advice of Psalm 46:10…

“Be still, and know that I am God”

I grab my Bible and determine to know (to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty) God.

And each time I do, I find that He is the God of:

Hope – Peace – Patience – Consolation – All Comfort – Love – All Grace – My Righteousness – My Salvation – Glory – My Strength – My Mercy – Heaven

I also find that God (the Lord) is:

My Rock – My Fortress – My Deliverer – My Strength – My Buckler – My High Tower – My Shepherd – My Light – My Shield – Good – My Defence – Upright – Great – Judge – Merciful – Gracious – Slow to Anger – High Above All Nations – Righteous – Good to All – Full of Compassion – Faithful – LOVE

Doing this reboots my brain (so to speak) and sets my priorities in order. It helps me focus on what I truly need to know and unlike previously mentioned things, this I like to tell.

There is one more thing that God is and I believe it is the most important thing to me…

He is my Heavenly Father….

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Maps Are Good

Posted by onemansbeliefs on December 3, 2008

A few years ago the Mrs. and I were in Atlanta with her brother and his wife. My brother-in-law was driving, I was riding shotgun and the ladies taking the chauffeured positions in the back. We left an event and being unfamiliar with the area we got lost. The area we were in did not seem to be the friendliest and there was a consensus not to stop and get directions. No need to worry though, we had a map in the glove compartment.

Now I do not wish to boast on myself, but I have mad skills where map reading is concerned. I also do well with blueprints and schematics, but that’s another story. Anyway, I locate some street signs and determine from the map the direction we need to go in order to get to our desired location. I relayed this information to the driver. Problem solved…

Not so fast. My sister-in-law determined that the directions I gave were not in our best interest. She believed that going in a different direction was better. How did she know? Did she have personal knowledge of the area? Did she have a map? Did she have some information of which we were not aware? So many questions and frankly answers to none.

My brother-in-law is now in the hot seat. He has to make a decision that is going to affect/effect (I type you decide) our immediate future. Should he take the information that is on the map as reliable and choose to follow its direction or does he listen to what his wife believes. Sadly, he’s screwed either way. To make a long story short, I put the map away and we drove around for about another hour before making it back to our hotel.

Before you start laughing at my brother-in-law you must know that I was in that driver’s seat for most of my life. Not literally, but figuratively…

I was taking direction from the world on how I should live my life and not from the one who created me and life itself. This decision had me driving around in circles and getting nowhere. My God provided a map for me and I chose to ignore it for many a year. His map for me and direction for my life is in His Word, the Bible. Thankfully, his patience for me knows no ends and he was there when I finally asked for help.

I’ve been following his directions for over 1o years now and have arrived at a number of destinations that He prepared for me. Those destinations include…

Peace… Love… Joy…

I’m grateful He has more for me and with His help I won’t miss a single turn.

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