News Flash! News Flash! There Is Women In The New Testament! In Fact, A Whole Book Is Written On Them…

Christian Women, did you know that a whole book was written about you in the Bible? In actuality, it is one of the most important but nevertheless neglected books of the Holy Scripture. Although it is helpful to find out what John said to “to the lady chosen by God and to her children” (2 John 1:1 NIV), we don’t get to read, listen, or mull it over in our brain so we can find deeper meaning to it, there is something that women have that men, for the most part, struggle with, intuition.

Intuition, by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, simply means quick and ready insight. Most women are incredibly blessed with this ability. Some of the synonyms for this word (found on Offline Thesaurus Free) include discernment, hunch, gut reaction, perception, premonition, second sight, and some others.

Let us delve into the book of 2 John.

Verse 1,2 and 3:

The elder,

To the lady chosen by God and her children, whom I love in the truth-not I only, but also who know the truth-because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. (NIV)

This is the letter’s (or the book’s) introduction. Obviously, the writer, John, has high esteem for the older woman to which he is writing.

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as our Father has commanded us. Now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. (vs. 4-6 NIV)

What command and God have given this to women to exemplify it. For in my years, years in the past, and years in the future (whether it be little or great) women have that special ability to love whether it be through intuition or some other way. Most women find a way to get “it” done whatever task is in front of them, all the while appearing to be “sweet, innocent, and demure” as my mother would say.

I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is a deceiver and is the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work. (vs. 7-11 NIV)

WOW!!! That is a big responsibility placed on women! In combination with Christian men who have one responsibility in the home (to provide spiritual development in the home), I would say that women are the spiritual watchdogs of the home.

A little over ten years ago, Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, made a comment that the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull is lipstick. Well, I have been married for almost 24 years with two children; one is almost 21, and the other just turned 16 at the beginning of the month. And I could say without a shadow of a doubt, that statement is true just about 99% of the time. But what is even more astounding is that something just happens to women when they become mothers. It is innate, and something men don’t have. Oh, sure. Men can show moments of intuition and innateness, but just about all of the women have this.

I have much to write to you, but I don’t want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings. (vs. 12-13 NIV)

Men and women alike wish there was more; however, it is evident that Jesus Christ wants the souls of women too. Even if God did provide women rules as in the Old Testament, women would be focused on the rules instead of the relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s Son and God the Father who is Spirit. Women would fall into the trap of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, etc…

Yet, there is the issue of faith.

For faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)

Not either one of the sexes has a corner on this market; rather, we all struggle with it. For the Scripture says,

Without faith, no one can please God. Anyone that comes to God must believe that He is real and He rewards those who truly want to find Him. (Hebrews 11:6 NCV)

To Christian women out there, you have a challenge ahead of you no matter what stage of life you are in. however have this one encouragement for you: by and large, men could not make it without you living as Christ would want you to live, according to the notes in 2 John. I know that each woman is different, and partly that is what attracts us to you. Yet find out what makes you different with help from Jesus Christ and expose it to the whole wide world in keeping with Jesus Christ. See, there are many voices that put you on a path headed for destruction, but only One voice of TRUTH. Listen to it!

“Voice Of Truth”-Casting Crowns

True Forgiveness…

Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you” (NCV).

Now, this seems simple to do in theory when you have no one to forgive in the present. However, forgiveness is tough when it gets personal. Maybe you said “I’m over it. That guy (or girl) hurt me years ago, ” or “that group hurt me (or that group of people)” but it has been a long time since “it” happened, falsely believing that only time could heal all wounds (both physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually). But sadly, that is not true. That hurt only stays dormant at best.

Yet how is the Lord going to relate to us, people in the world, people saved by His blood? Unfortunately for humanity, the answer is quite simple and hard to put into practicality. That answer is to forgive in Christ. Why do I add “in Christ”? To TRULY forgive, you must have Christ within you which opens Christians up to anything including being hurt over and over again.

Yet, isn’t that what Jesus Christ did 2000 years ago? In His 3 year of going out to make Himself known through unusual circumstances, Christ suffered ridicule on His character, His physical being was demeaned, His emotions, mental, and even His spiritual being took a beating all the way up through His death. So, according to 1 Peter 2:21 (For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you LEAVING YOU AN EXAMPLE, so that you might follow in His steps {ESV}), how do you (including myself) properly forgive?

Often times, Christians (myself included) hold onto their bad memories of when they were hurt, reliving it over and over again. If you are truly a Christian (Christ-like), then truly forgive! Jesus Christ doesn’t care if you have to forgive more than once over the same incident. He knows the intimate parts about us, and during His death on the cross, He experienced every sin known to man. Jesus Christ is offering you true forgiveness. Now, it is your turn. Offer true forgiveness to someone who has hurt you, and let the rest up to the Holy Spirit who lives inside you. 😇

“Forgiveness”-Matthew West

“Forgiveness”-TobyMac ft. Lecrae

“Forgiven”-Crowder

“Losing”-Tenth Avenue North

“The Insanity of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected”-A Book By Nik Ripken

“We finally dropped out of the sky into hell by the way of a bombed out single strip landing airport on the dusty outskirts of a city named ‘Hargeisa.’ This was the regional capital of an area known as in British Colonial days as British Somaliland.”-Nik Ripken

“Send Me (I’ll Go)”-Lecrae

“Yours”-TobyMac

“Ready Or Not”-Britt Nicole ft. Lecrae

Glenn The Turtle. How The Turtle Relates To Us? And Pictures of Our Dog…

Glenn The Turtle

As I was searching through my traumatic brain injured brain on what to blog on next, I came across some interesting topics, ones that might pass you by. Like a turtle named Glenn that was at the animal hospital.

I came across Glenn when I took our dog to the animal hospital. See, if you look at my past posts, you will find a sheepherding dog (called a sheltie for short) in my kitchen. His name is J.B., and that stands for John the Baptist. The reason why I named him John the Baptist is because of his dog hair looks like camel’s hair as referenced in Mark 1:6. Anyway, our dog had an appointment at the animal hospital.

While I was waiting, there was this turtle who was in one of those fish tanks that also double as homes for mice, gerbils, snakes, iguanas, etc… But this one held a turtle. It wasn’t big; in fact, I could fit it into the palm of my hand, although the turtle was full grown. I then began to ask the receptionist why the turtle wants to get out of the fish tank? She answered, “He has always been like that.” Then she began to explain herself further saying that Glen the turtle, even though he had free reign of the upstairs of the animal hospital, he would always try to find himself a way out to find new areas to explore.

So that got me to thinking, “So that is why God puts “rules” on us humans. Not to make it more difficult for us to follow God, but to put in place for us to avoid the pitfalls of this physical life. Yet God leaves us the option to choose whether we will obey Him or not. However, He will only accept those who come to Him in remorse over their sin and believe that Jesus Christ died on the Roman cross for everyone’s sin because an offering of blood was a condition in order for the forgiveness of sin in order to see Him in His heavenly glory. Remember God the Father wants to see His adopted children more than anything. That is why He sent His Son down to take on humanly form to ultimately die at the hands of sinners to rescue us (John 3:16-21).

It is your turn now. Will you turn to loving God with all your heart, mind, and soul, or will you be just another Glenn The Turtle scratching his way on the glass looking for something new and exciting, not The Old Reliable (see last weeks post)?

Here is 3 music videos that speak to this:

“Stay”-Big Daddy Weave

“Guilty”-Newsboys

“Jesus Paid It All”-Newsboys

“Rule”-Hillsong United

“The Insanity of God: A True Story Of Faith Resurrected” – A Book By Nik Ripken

“… But the beginning was a plane trip to hell. Of course, I was unaware of the destination at the time. No one had written ‘hell’ on our official flight plan. In fact, there was an awful lot I didn’t know when I walked onto the tarmac and climbed into a twin-engine Red Cross plane at Nairobi’s Wilson Airport.”-Nik Ripken

“Alone, Yet Not Alone”-Joni Erikson Tada

“Walk On Water”-Btit Nicole

“Tremble”-Mosaic MSC

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected”- A Book By Rik Nipken

“Would He really allow people who dearly love Him (Jesus Christ) to fail? And if so, is this a God who can use Holy failure to accomplish His purposes?”-Nik Ripken

“Follow You”- ft. Mac Mac & Miseal

“Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”-Hillsong United

Getting The Greatest Valentine Day Gift… LOVE! (The Old Reliable)

I tell you, Valentine’s Day, sneaked up on me this year partly due to procrastination. I am usually right on top of this one, in particular, (non) holiday, usually planning way in advance what I am going to get for my wife. However, this year it is different. Valentine’s Day is here in America, and I have decided to go with “the old reliable” in the pressure cooker of time. My wife is beautiful, sexy, and intelligent to match my personality. What’s wrong with me?

Although the answer to that will take up to much of your time (and it comes from a one-sided perspective) the question still arises, “What am I going to get my wife for the 2019 Happy Valentine’s Day that I haven’t given her already?” Probably, I will give her “the old reliable” gift of a Valentine’s Day card, red roses, and chocolate.

Yet, what is wrong with “the old reliable?” To me, it can become just old hat, something that you get when you’re running out of time with no real emotion attached to the gift. I don’t want that to happen between my wife and I, so I usually start way in advance. For I like to plan things for this Valentine’s Day, but due to procrastination, procrastination has robbed me of that. Yet, maybe “the old reliable” will work giving that “the old reliable” consists of a Valentine’s Day card, red roses, and chocolate (all the things my wife loves)?

Spiritually, maybe “The Old Reliable” will work for you by starting a new or refreshed relationship with”The Old Reliable” (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit)? If you can see what all 3 of Them (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit) did for you as a tandem unit, then I am sure you will be convinced.

As a challenge, study John 3:16-21 and John 17 for the red letters contain the words of life forevermore. Then move on to Matthew 16:24-25 and Luke 9:23 because there was this lie (and maybe it still exists) permeating through American society that said: “if you become a Christian you have voluntarily decided to become a wimp.” That is definitely not true. Furthermore, if you decide to go for starting a relationship with God, “Getting The Greatest Valentine’s Day Gift… LOVE!” there will be ups and downs like any human relationship; however, there will be only one difference: God is correct, and you are wrong.

If you don’t have access to a Holy Bible and have internet access, you can use http://www.youversion.com to download the app on whatever device you have. That way you can see for yourself what I am saying is TRUE.

For I know one the ways to further you on your spiritual walk is through music. Click on these artists if this is one of the various ways in which you are encouraged:

Red Letters”-DC Talk

“Red Letters”-Crowder

“The Insanity Of God: A True Story About Faith Resurrected”-A Book By Rip Nipken

“Does God, in fact, promise His children safety? Do things always work out for those who are obedient? Does God really ask us to sacrifice? And to sacrifice everything? What happens when our best intentions and creative ideas are not enough? Is God at work in those hard places? And does He expect us to join Him in those hard places?”-Rip Nipken

“Go Hard (or Go Home)”-Lecrae ft. Tendashii

Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”

Trying to bring God into this new era, is not easy, for Jesus Christ prayed to His heavenly Father this prayer for believers regarding this:

I am not asking You to take them out of the world but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Make them ready for Your service through Your truth. For their sake, I am making Myself ready to serve so that they can be ready for their service of the truth. I pray for these followers, but I also pray for all those who believe in Me because of their teaching. (John 17:18-20 NCV)

I never expected God to use me in the way He did. Yet my prayer ever since I was an early teen was for God to use me in the way that would most benefit His kingdom. And it was on a cloudy but not raining autumn day, right after school that I received His calling on my life. But calling to what? In my stupidity, I thought God was calling me to be a youth pastor because God wouldn’t call me to be something that I would find too difficult. Would He? Besides, I was having to much fun in the youth group; why not make a career out of leading the youth?

It wasn’t too long until I made up in my own mind that I was going to stay being a youth pastor no matter what opportunities came my way. See, just about all Senior or Lead Pastors had their turn at being a Children’s or Youth Pastor. But I wanted to be different, something that you will take notice of. So I didn’t want to waste any time, so I told my youth pastor. I remember my actions around the church being watched, not only by my youth pastor but also by the Associate and the Senior Pastor. I did not care since I was doing what God wanted me to do, and I began to enroll myself in youth preaching competitions-during youth retreats, regionals and summer camps. The important people in the Northeast Assemblies of God began to take notice. I even won at a summer camp that hosted over 300 teens as I knew how God hates pridefulness, so I directed all of the glory to Him. But at the same time, I used it as confirmation of my calling.

A few years had passed, and I was all ready to go to college. The only thing for me to do was graduate from high school; however, about 2 weeks before my graduation, I had a dream. In this dream, I experienced similar things I did in my one-month coma, for I did not know that nearly 5 weeks from that dream, I would experience a near-fatal car accident that I was near death for the first 3 days in the intensive care unit in the hospital.

You might be wondering why I chose the picture of a 1985 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo for my cover of this blog? The reason I chose the photo of a 1985 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo was that was the car that I got into the nearly fatalistic accident with. It had been 4 weeks since I bought it used. I was flying high. Picture this if you can- a new (used) 1985 Dodge Charger Shelby Turbo (although the colors were reversed on the outside since silver was the main color with the turbo in black) purchased just days before my graduation from high school, my high school graduation, parties to celebrate graduation, my best friend’s graduation and party at his house, plus working all sorts of crazy hours to support my car and other things. I was confident beyond belief that God would take care of everything. My college I didn’t have to worry about that either, for I knew if it was God’s plan for my life I didn’t have anything to worry about. Everything in my life was pointing to satisfaction with God, for I wanted for Him to be satisfied with my life that I tried to live for Him.

Yet, on the early morning of June 28, 1989, I apparently swerved off the highway since I was too tired coming home from a full-time job. However, that didn’t cause my crash; my over-correction, although, did send me into a ledge made out of granite rock. As I said before, 3 days of not knowing whether I was going to make it or not in the ICU unit, 30 days in the ICU in a coma, 3 weeks in the ICU Step Down Unit before I got transferred via ambulance ride to Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital as I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Countless pieces of broken glass filled my bloody, left front skull that was shattered beyond belief. As the left portion of the brain controls the right side as I was paralyzed on my right side throughout my stay where I received life-sustaining treatment in the ICU Units to keep my physical body alive. Then, I remember being transferred from the Elliot Hospital to the rehabilitation hospital that specialized in brain injuries.

There were several moments where the doctors could have given up on me, and almost did. However, through the persistence of my mother (yes, that is what I call her out of respect) God used her to make possible my tremendous recovery.

So, I have a supernatural experience that I can point to, saying:

“… With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 ESV)

I really hope that you do not have to go through pain in order to experience God, but even in the pain of this physical life, you can find God more clearly if you take the time and not wallow in your own self-pity.

“Supernatural”-DC Talk

“God Of The Impossible”-Lincoln Brewster

“Supernatural”-Planetshakers

“The Insanity of God: A True Story Of Faith Ressurected”- A Book By Rip Nipken

“Like Job n the Old Testament I knew that my Redeemer lived, but I couldn’t figure out why He was being so painfully silent. I was desperate for answers, but my questions just seemed to hang in the air.”-Rip Nipken

“The Book of Job Explained”-Inspiring Philosophy