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John 16:13-15 However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and will announce it to you.


As we make the many decisions that are necessary in our daily lives, we must, as Christians, turn to the Holy Spirit for guidance. If we do as we see fit we will be led astray by our own desires, influenced by the evils of the world or taken by satan.


Each crossroads, each fork in the path, requires us to decide which turn to take. These turns, however small, determine the destination of our travels. If we make each course determination without a compass, without a guide, we will never find true joy, satisfaction will elude us, and we will never be truly happy.


Our lives will be more fulfilling when we look to the Holy Spirit for help and follow His guidance.

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1 Peter 2:21 For you were not called to this? For Christ also suffered on our behalf, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps,


Follow His steps… walk in the steps of Jesus… forsaking all others… trusting in the Lord to keep and protect… knowing that He will keep and protect you from all evil… resting in His Love as you seek His will and follow His steps.


As professing Christians, what does that mean for us? As a member of our church we need to be aware of what our church does and be involved in the ministries within our congregation. We need to search for the needy and do what is necessary to alleviate suffering using the skills learned during our lives.


We each have experiences, training and life events that have honed us into who we are. God has put each of us into circumstances that have created a tool. A unique instrument that He can wield to save those in need both physically and spiritually.


Do not walk away from Jesus with your gifts in hand. Walk toward His love and be there when He calls on you to do His will here on earth. Be one of the tools He uses to save others.

We returned the day before yesterday from Yuma where we had a celebration of life ceremony for my mother. Her life was lived to serve her God, her family and her community. She was, and still is, an inspiration to everyone she met. But to me she was always just Mom. See you later and love you bunches Mom.


Live your life in service to others, love everyone like Jesus loves you and give of yourself daily. This is the full measure that the Lord expects from those who Him.


Mark 12:29-31 And Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. And the second is like this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.


Luke 10:27 And answering, he said, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

While I am doing my morning devotions I sit at the table facing the patio doors. I watch as the maintenance staff goes out to the swimming pool to prepare for the day. Every day they take at least one trash bag of litter and trash away, sweep the deck and skim the pool. They check and adjust the chemicals and line the lounge chairs back up. They do all of this to make the lives of the rest of us nicer. Sure, they get paid, but they also take pride in their work and expect no other reward than their pay.


Sometimes the face of Jesus is reflected in a job well done. Doing your work ‘as unto the Lord’ is in itself a testimony, proof that God is alive and well and dwelling in our hearts. Others will see your good work done with your benevolent spirit and wonder what you have in your life that they need. Some will watch as you attend church and give others your service and some will ask why.


When asked, will you be prepared to answer? Are you ready to freely talk about Jesus and what He has done in your life? If not, get ready because, if you follow Jesus, your life will bring questions.

As we listened to the sermon this morning, Pastor Ralph spoke on little phrase that really resonated with me. As he spoke about how important our relationships are he said, “People are eternal, and they matter.” This simple truth should be spoken frequently.


Every human being is precious in the sight of the Lord and worthy of our love. Just because they are in trouble, just because their life’s path has not gone in the same direction as ours does not mean that they are any less loved by the Lord. In fact, if we can help or guide someone onto the correct path, if we can show them the love of Christ in our words or actions, we should.


There are no living ‘lost souls’. By that I mean that no soul is truly lost until the body has died. The Lord will redeem any who come to Him at any time. Whether in the spring of their life or the last minute before death, Jesus is waiting. So be kind always, speak the gospel with every word and watch for the miracles of salvation to happen… for they surely will.

As we sit quietly in the morning, contemplating the day, we realize that each day tends to be like every other day… it is what we do with each day that matters. Every morning we are given a clean slate, an empty page upon which to write and what we write on these blank pages will determine our fate.


We can choose to use the day to be hateful, to look for ways to inflict pain on others. We can decide to be unloving and ignore the plight off others. We can ignore the consequences of our actions and walk away from the harm that we do. We can hide when Jesus calls and go our own way which leads to destruction.


Or… we can seek the will of the Lord. We can let Him lead us to those who need us. Wherever we go, we can watch for opportunities to bring joy to others. We can alleviate hardships through our time and our money. We can be open to the pain of others ever ready to listen and comfort.


During our days, we will be hurt by the actions of others. When this happens, we must be able to forgive… not as we can forgive but as the Lord forgives. We must be ready to forget the trespasses of others and move on.

During my late teens and early twenties, I was in college and then the military when the country was embroiled in controversy. There were marches and speeches and anger on both sides of the divisive issues. There were sit ins, marches and loud and abrasive demonstrations… and yet, the country survived. Healing occurred and we, as a nation, stepped back from the brink of self-destruction because cooler heads eventually prevailed. We had moderates with voices and we still had a sense of civility, a sense of decency in this country that kept our anger at bay. Let us pray that this will happen again.


Today I watch as normally decent people rant about the ‘other’ side and say inexcusably bad things about each other. And I have been silent, because to get involved in the controversies would put me squarely in front of one group or the other. I could alienate family and friends on both sides because my thoughts are on both sides depending on what is at issue. It is not out of fear of losing the respect of others that I remain silent, rather, it is out of respect for my testimony. The words that I write here to lift people up, to generate peace and show the love of Christ are too important to dilute them with politics.

Because we live in an apartment complex we tether our cat on the back patio rather than let him run loose and once or twice a day we walk him out front. Usually this works well but occasionally it causes him great anguish… like today. He had been for his walk (courtesy of Linda) and then went out back to watch the maintenance guys clean the pool in the aftermath of the 4th (tale for another time). After he came back in the birds arrived.


He ran to the door to go for the chasse only to realize that the door was closed, and he could only watch as the birds teased him from the chairs. They even came to the ground and approached the door. Temptation, just the other side of the glass, just out of reach and you can see the disappointment in his demeanor, his stance as he watches.


When we see the temptation of what holds us in chains, does our demeanor show others, especially our loved ones, what is on our minds? Temptation not only harms our relationship with the Lord, it hurts those we love, almost as much as our succumbing would do.


Resist temptation, keep it far away and do not tempt yourself by seeking that which will draw you to sin.

Our lives on this earth begin with our birth and proceed through time to our death. Our souls begin with a spark from the Lord go on through eternity unaffected by time or our death. It is our souls that should concern us, for they do not end in time, they fly right through the barriers of death and what happens after is determined by what happens here on earth in this time and place.


Our actions during our lifetime, our decisions now affect the condition of our souls for eternity. Will we live in blissful repose with our Creator? Just think of being with the angels living in joy with no more pain or sorrow, surrounded by surpassing beauty and the love off the Lord. Or will we live with discord and strife? Imagine agony and pain being our endless companions. Being in the company of discord and strife. Anger and spite surrounding us with no rest and no end.


The decision is ours until we reach the end of this earthly journey. The Lord has allotted us this time on earth to decide our eternity. He has given us the tools to make the right decisions and He left us the Holy Spirit to guide us on the way. Use His tolls and His guide to direct your path rightly.

Throughout the bible there are many examples of the miracles of the Lord, many times people have been saved from harm by the direct intervention of the Lord. Just as many times (or more) in the Bible comes the exhortation to fear not for your God is with you. And yet, we also are told to fear the Lord our God.


The prophets of old speak of the God of love and almost in the same breath speak of the awesome majesty, power and fearful countenance of our Lord. They speak of trembling in His presence, of being totally overcome by His magnificence.


This dichotomy speaks not of the nature of God, rather it demonstrates the nature of man and how the Lord has raised us to worship Him. As we have evolved, moving from Adam and Eve to followers of Jesus, the Lord has tended His flock, giving us glimpses of His power and His love knowing that we can only understand a tiny part of His totality.


How wonderful that we now live in His love. But, we should never forget the awesomeness of His wrath. Yes, He is quick to forgive when we repent. But, He is also quick to condemn when we refuse. So, we fear the Lord even as we love Him.

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