Take 5 and enjoy the Piano Guys. An inspiring Christmas song in the setting of Jerusalem.
We anticipate a great year in 2013! I am totally looking forward to tonight when my wife, Ginger, ministers along with Linda Jackson at the her annual New Year’s Eve Concert.
What traditions do you have for the new year? Are you looking FORWARD or into the PAST? That’s always a nice question to ask around now. Chime in — leave a comment!
Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)
No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
I will never forget the late night viewing of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon. I was just inches away from our little black and white tv watching Walter Cronkite’s coverage. My dad was fading in and out of sleep. But we were WIDE AWAKE when the actual moment occurred. Just me and pops in our living room experiencing HISTORY together.
Thanks, AMERICA! And THANKS NEIL for the INSPIRATION of over 50 years!
Presidents promise hope. But so do school teachers, great explorers, and great speeches.
Throughout humanity, people bring us hope through their words. But hope without purpose is somewhat empty. You can accomplish many goals in life and it can still be meaningless. That’s why God gave us HIS WORD!
We can desire to win a race, raise good children, or move into our dream home. Ultimately TRUE HOPE in life can still be missed.
The most powerful message is out there. It is found in the SON OF GOD! Jesus came to RESTORE us to our heavenly Father — and that message comes very clear when you begin to explore the words found in the Bible.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus addressed this issue of the heart to a the woman at the well who had many questions about life, too.
John 4:13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
I encourage any reader to find out what it means to pursue a “relationship” with Jesus.
I have personally found that living my life with these Bible teachings in place has changed my life’s goals. Hope is now woven into every day of my life!
So many stories, so many athletes. Victory and defeat. Highs and Lows. But it all ends tonight. Now it’s 4 more years before some of these great people can try again — and for others, it truly is OVER.
We’ll have new stories and new heroes that will emerge, just like they have for centuries.
Fortunately, for someone who is following Christ — we do not have a 2 week time limit to finish strong. It’s interesting — NO TIME LIMIT — but there
should be is a sense of URGENCY. And although we should be constantly moving forward with DETERMINATION, we can methodically train and consistently fulfill the planned “race” for our lives.
So STRIVE for GREATNESS. Don’t wait for 4 years to move FORWARD, but MARCH AHEAD for the greatest cause that transcends any nation!
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Phil. 3:14 (NLT)
Hope this helps. Men you are NOT ALONE!
See the video at http://RevTim.com
On July 24, 2008, Greg Laurie who is the Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Riverside, California lost his first-born son to a tragic car accident. This devastating pain still lives throughout his family.
The news unfolded this afternoon. Michael Jackson is dead.
Michael Jackson is dead. The reports brought Twitter to it’s knees. The news channels are now on the 24/7 with it all.
Here are some quotes I heard.
- An American Icon.
- Another Elvis.
- One of the biggest stars of all time.
- A Legend.
- A Wonder.
- A great loss for America.
On Fox, Sheppard Smith said, “I sense that the next few days will become a true ‘American Event'”.
It is true, Michael Jackson was talented, creative, and eccentric. He was my age, so I grew up and listened to all the reports. From the publicity stunts to the tragedies of choices he made, I know he didn’t want to face death. In the 80’s he even spent time in a hyperbolic chamber in order to ensure amazing longevity.
What if you were to be surprised by your death? What if your family discovered that you were gone from this life?
Legacy, sure we all think about this. Regrets, they are ongoing in life. Do-overs? Yes, we want those, too. But the most important thing to answer is this? ARE YOU READY TO MEET YOUR MAKER? Do you know and love the God who made you to know and to love. He loves you so much. In fact the Bible tells of the peace you find when you do discover this truth. Peace in storms, decisions, relationships, difficulties, sickness, etc., etc.
Hebrews 9:27-28 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
michael jackson, jackson, thriller, death, dying, funeral, hope, inspiration, help, counseling, salvation, christian, god, jesus, hope, revtim, revtim.com, tim hohm, hohm
2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it.
3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow.
4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.
7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.
9 And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. Matthew 28:1-9 (NLT)
When did the Christian life become so complicated?
Your greatest desire is to please God, but with each passing week, your spiritual to-do list grows longer. As you strive to fulfill a never-ending inventory of requirements for being a godly parent, spouse, voter, employee, and more, you feel increasingly disconnected from the God you’re trying to serve.
It’s time to cut through the clutter and get to the heart of what it means to please God. In this liberating look at the core principles of faith, Dr. Robert Jeffress reveals the truth about what God really wants from you–and what He wants to do for you.
Through solid biblical teaching and practical insights, Dr. Jeffress points you toward a revitalized faith centered on becoming more like Jesus in action, attitude, and affection. You’ll learn how to partner with God in the process of spiritual transformation as you choose to follow Christ in forgiveness, obedience, trust, contentment, service, and prayer.
Through a renewed focus on experiencing the kingdom of God right now, you’ll find your to-do list shrinking and your spiritual life deepening. It all comes with embracing Clutter-Free Christianity.
Includes a Bible study guide for personal growth and group discussion.
Dr. Robert Jeffress is the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the most historic churches in the Southern Baptist Convention. The author of sixteen books, he is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition, live broadcasts of Dr. Jeffress’ weekly messages reach millions of listeners and viewers each week, while his daily sermon series airs on 1,100 television stations and cable systems nationwide. Dr. Jeffress and his wife, Amy, are the parents of two adult daughters.
By “4 Oakland Police Officers” I mean, Mark Dunakin, John Hege, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai. You see they have names, family, dreams, and stories. Stories of a desire to stand against crime and for the law … and for justice.
When tragedy strikes, people may or may not come by the side of the hurting. We are all challenged by such events to remember that life is but a breath, and we should live it for the good of others. That standard of good I have learned comes from values that matter, too. These values are constantly confronted by opposition. Opposition to what God has intended for us all.
Through the good times, hard times, and even the terrible times, I am centered in my life by the example of one much better at this than I will ever be. That is my Lord and Savior, Jesus.
To the families, friends, and to the City of Oakland and beyond … My prayer is that you too will know this peace from Christ. Our prayers are with you!
John 16:33 (the words of Jesus) I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Mark Batterson who wrote “Wild Goose Chase” sent this message to me about the upcoming series that will begin January 18, 2009. More details at Central Assembly’s website.
Evaluations and lists are everywhere today. Have you checked in to see what your goals in life are for the next year?
Oh, here’s a link to an article placed in the Mechanics Bank “Closer to Home” newsletter about Christmas on the Avenue. We had a standing-room only crowd as the City of Pinole opened up one of their empty store fronts. Ginger Hohm, Evie Haskell-Herndon, and Martin Cantu gave a gift to the city of Christmas music.
God meant us to be connected. We are very social. In fact He made us to love Him and to love each other.
Perhaps your life hasn’t exactly worked socially as strongly as you would have liked. For some, it may never truly change. People may or may not love you back.
I’m in the air flying to see my dad as I write this. For the past — over 20 years or so — we have not lived near each other. He’s in Texas, my family is in the San Francisco Bay Area. But there is a longing to connect, to share our hearts and to reach out to him.
I’m praying for that connection with him — from 41,000 ft. Check back. I may be sharing more of my journey about this soon.
The reason is this — making the connection — with a LOT of other people I haven’t talked to or communicated with in a long time. And you know what? I still like them!! 😉
God created us to love Him and to love others. One small way to BEGIN to love someone is to connect, interact, communicate, pray, and have conversations. In MY conversations, I want to bring hope and inspiration and to be transparent.
But when it’s all said and done
The election, at long last, is over.
As fellow believers, we offer to our new leaders the pledge of our prayers and our commitment to be good citizens in this wonderful land that the Lord has privileged us to live in.
In this moment as I talk with you, I do not know the results of the election because this was recorded prior to the election. I wanted to bring these comments to you without knowing who won – because our responsibilities as Christians transcend politics – and we must be who we are regardless of who wins.
The first century Christians lived in a time far different than ours. The government was a repressive dictatorship. Life was cheap. Slavery was practiced. Infanticide was common. Romans chapter one outlines the steep and deep degradation morally and ethically in the prevailing culture.
Christians then, unlike us, did not have the right to vote. In fact, throughout the first 200 plus years of the Church, Christians were a persecuted minority.
Yet, those early Christians turned the world upside down and right side up. How did they do it? Through the ballot box? No. Through electing leaders that were preferential to their point of view? No.
They changed the world by being what Jesus called them to be – salt and light.
I must confess that during these past long months of electioneering, I let the externals of politics take too much of my time and interest. Perhaps you did as well. It’s easy to get so overly absorbed in politics that we lose sight of the fact that our citizenship is really in heaven – that governments, presidents, senators, and political leaders come and go – but the kingdom of God lasts forever.
I am not saying that we should not be involved, as citizens, in political issues; but I think it is vital that we keep perspective. Our focus should be more on winning people to Jesus than winning elections. We need to be more concerned about the progress of the Gospel than the progress of a political party.
I want to call you to refocus on the health of the church – that the real answers to eternal issues lie not in the government – but in a revitalized body of believers that transforms neighborhoods and communities through our witness in word and deed.
The apostles told the first century Christians five things.
1. God is the sovereign Lord over human history and government. In Romans 13, Paul wrote: Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
This admonition applies to any Christian living in any country at any time period – whether in China, Uganda, Cuba, Russia, India, Nigeria, or the United States.
But, what does it mean that the authorities that exist have been established by God? Exactly what you think it says. God raises up nations and leaders.
The results of this election did not catch God by surprise. Although we voted, nothing happens without God’s permissive will. He allows us to choose good or evil and, in a democracy, the government He gives us is the one we choose. Sometimes our vote results in leaders who fail us and they become a means of God’s judgment; other times leaders follow after God’s heart and they become a means of God’s blessing.
Daniel said to the unrighteous world ruler, Nebuchadnezzar: the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men (Daniel 4:17). To the unrighteous ruler, Pilate, governor of Judea, Jesus said: You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above (John 19:11).
So, as we come out of this election as Christians, we must catch our breath and pause. We must put on our Biblical glasses and see Jesus as the Lord of human history. If the early Christians could flourish under a persecuting totalitarian government, then in America we Christians have even more reason to flourish because of the democratic system that gives us the freedom of speech, assembly, and worship.
2. The second advice the apostles gave was that government is designed to restrain and punish those who do evil.
Read Romans 13:3-4 or 1 Peter 2:13-17. In fact, Paul calls human government God’s servant to do good by bringing punishment on the wrongdoer. The word he employs for servant is the same word that elsewhere is translated as deacon. Those in civil government are meant to be God’s deacons. They are to approve what is right, and disapprove what is wrong; and thereby serve the cause of justice. Of course, if they fail in their task then the society and culture that they represent crumbles. Paul’s view was that the Roman dictatorship, as bad as it was, was preferable to anarchy.
When there is no government, everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes.
If you don’t believe that, then remove government totally from your community for just seven days – all kinds of mayhem to person and property would occur.
3. None of us necessarily like the third counsel given to early Christians – but, if you look in Romans 13:6-7 you’ll find it: if you owe taxes, pay taxes! Need I say more? Without taxes, the government cannot provide the duty it owes citizens to keep them safe from harm.
4. That brings us to the fourth counsel the apostles gave to Christians living under any desirable or undesirable government – pray! Paul writes this to his younger colleague, Timothy: I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – the kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
So let’s do what Paul asks. Let’s offer to God both intercession and thanksgiving for those elected to office. Why? Not because our candidate lost or won – but because, the Lord hears our prayers and it’s His desire that we have the kind of governmental climate which permits us to flourish as the followers of Christ. Look at what Paul says in the next verses from 1 Timothy 2 (verses 3 and 4): This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. In other words, a government that provides peace for Christians makes for an environment in which the church can multiply.
The apostle Paul gave the counsel to pray in the face of a looming threat of persecution. He asked the church to pray that the oppressive and persecuting hand of the government would be stayed. And, early Christians kept praying for that even in the midst of fierce opposition and martyrdoms.
We may be inching into a day in America when Christians no longer have the favored status they have enjoyed. Increasingly, the secular culture seeks to marginalize followers of Jesus, hold them up to caricature, and portray them in the most unfair manner possible. There may come a day in America when believers face outright persecution. So, we must continue to pray that the Lord will help America to preserve its freedoms; and that, resulting from our freedoms, we may continue to see Christ’s kingdom grow in America; and, that from our land will come a powerful awakening that results in world-wide revival.
5. We are to show respect for those who hold office – whether executive, judicial, or legislative; whether national, state, or local; whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, or other parties. The New Testament explicitly tells us to do that. Hear the Apostle Paul: Give everyone what you owe him . . . if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor (Romans 13:7). Hear the Apostle Peter say the same thing: Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king (1 Peter 2:17).
Obviously, in America we do not have a king. But, we have a president and we have a governmental system that has three branches nationally – and these three branches also form state and local governments. We are to honor those who hold positions of authority.
As Christians, we must set the example for being respectful to those in office – whether executive, judicial, or legislative. The recent campaign at all levels and all parties was often filled with bitter rancor, distortions,
smears and lies. That must not be a part of Christian’s behavior. We must not lose our principles
when fighting for principle.
As believers, we can help set a better tone for the national discussion. We can hold to our views without being unkind, without rancorous voices, without becoming filled with anger or hatred toward those with opposing views.
Our ultimate goal as Christians is not to win an election, but to win people to Jesus. We will only win those whom we clearly love, and for whom we show love.
Now that the campaigns are over, let the real campaign begin. Let’s win America for Jesus!
Let’s pray that the Lord will send to America a Great Spiritual Awakening – that from sea to shining sea, the glory of the Lord will break forth in the lives of our fellow citizens. May God bless America as America blesses God!
Arguments, politics, discussions, conversations. Many times we have such pride wrapped up in these things that we MUST win no matter the cost. And, believe me, many times we are wrong!
That’s why it is important to me when I read the Bible to try to understand the context as well as the message. Is it historical information, is it a moral principle, a promise, a challenge, or is it inspirational?
I don’t want to get so caught up in ARGUMENT that I miss the MESSAGE. Hmmmm….
Oh, check out Proverbs 16:18.
Have you ever wanted everything to be new again?
Do you have regrets and find yourself trapped by your circumstances?
That’s the way a young couple that come to our church felt. Both had relationships that failed. Both had a child.
Several months ago they came to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It changed them. Did their problems go away completely? Of course not. And if you read the pages of the Bible, you would see that forgiveness of sins do not equal an escape from life’s problems and difficulties.
But it does promise a brand new life! So a new heart is a fresh start.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
So today, being followers of Christ, they wanted to make their lives right before God. It involved commitments and promises — a much more serious word would be covenant. They made a covenant before their friends and family, before each other, and before God — IN MARRIAGE!
A surprise wedding for our church!!
A man and woman were joined together and WE ALL CELEBRATED! What a great day!
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does .The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
WHAT LIES HOLD US HOSTAGE?
LIE: GOD CAN’T CHANGE ME
TRUTH: …we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation ; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
THE STRATEGY of THOUGHTS AND OVERCOMING LIES
1. CAPTURE WRONG THOUGHTS.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5
…whatever is true…noble…right…pure…lovely…admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Philippians 4:8
2. SPEAK TRUTH.
The tongue has the power of life and death… Proverbs 18:21
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalms 19:14 NLT
3. DON’T GIVE UP.
To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.
…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Inspired by Lifechurch.tv
In my devotional time today I heard this statement:
“We are not philosophers living on man’s explainations;
We are Pilgrims living on God’s PROMISES!”
His promises never fail.
Merrium-webster.com states the definition of rhetoric this way:
Main Entry: rhet·o·ric Pronunciation: \ˈre-tə-rik\
… 1: the art of speaking or writing effectively: as a: the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times b: the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion 2 a: skill in the effective use of speech b: a type or mode of language or speech ; also : insincere or grandiloquent language …
In a time where politicians parse words, we must skillfully listen, analyze, and use wise judgment. Context is EVERYTHING and historical evidence aids us in decision making.
That’s one reason I love God’s word, the Bible. Even though it is not a history book, per se, it is filled with history. But even then, the context of the writers point to one thing. It leads to the plan of salvation, how to be forgiven from our sins.
I challenge anyone reading this blog to explore the words of the Bible — in CONTEXT. You will learn that Jesus lead a sinless, blameless life and took upon Himself the sins of the world for our forgiveness. Through God’s plan we can be forgiven.
This fundamental message has changed my life. I’m far from perfect, but my journey is AWESOME — because by being forgiven, my faith keeps me moving forward with a perspective on life that has a promise.
Read John 3, read Romans 10, read 1st John, then go to Jeremiah 29:11. You will find that Jesus has a love beyond our pre-conditions — in fact it’s unconditional.
If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you… Genesis 4:7
“…but you must master it.” Genesis 4:7
HOW TO MASTER YOUR ADDICTIONS
1) TURN TO GOD.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires…but rather offer yourselves to God…For sin shall not be your master… Romans 6:12-14
WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR LORD?
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19
2) SHARE THE FINAL 10 Percent — in order to become fully accountable. Don’t just give 90 percent.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed… James 5:16
• FIND ACCOUNTABILITY.
• CREATE A CLIMATE OF ACCEPTANCE.
• KEEP IT IN THE ROOM.
3) FIGHT FOR FREEDOM.
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-4
WEAPONS FOR FREEDOM:
• IRRATIONAL OBEDIENCE
• CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S WORD
• MILITANT PRAYER
“No temptation has seized you except that which is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
It makes sense that you can gain wisdom through research. That research becomes overwhelming and seeming infinite when it comes to the World Wide Web. We have Wikipedia, Google, Yahoo! search, and many ways to find information.
This is what millions of people do on an hourly basis throughout the world.
Economy in trouble? I’m sure you can find a lot of opinions and answers. What about grilling a steak? Yes, you can find that too. Philosophy? Psychology? Scientific research? Sociology? It’s all out there.
What about how to discipline or raise a child? You can find that, too. How to survive a divorce? 5,890,000 results on Google today.
But what about the wisdom that comes from God?
First, no matter what, if you want your faith to increase and to get solid foundational answers about God, you should read the Bible. Wisdom and information pours out of it. Although it is historical, the Bible is not a “History” book, per se. (I think that’s the first time I ever wrote out the phrase per se 😉 )
The intent of the Bible was to point to Jesus, the one way to be made right with God. See Romans 10 and Hebrews for more clarity about that. Anyhow, we can gain wisdom by spending time in God’s Word, the Bible.
Second, we can ask God for wisdom.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. – James 1:5 (NIV)
Don’t be afraid to pray and ask God to help you … and us as a nation. We could all use a little more wisdom. So take a little time and invest your life in learning — and — asking!
On September 28, 2008 learn how to BREAK FREE! Or help someone else BREAK FREE from addictions. More information at RestoringHope.com, the Central Assembly in El Sobrante, California website.
Here’s a very brief excerpt of the message notes from the September 21, 2008 message on WORRY:
Perhaps they will be a help to you or a friend you have. Remember, ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE with God!
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
…Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matthew 6:25
STOP THE STRANGLE-HOLD OF WORRY
1) I WILL DO WHAT GOD ASKS ME TO DO.
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
• Think on the right things.
• Do what is wise.
2) I WILL GIVE GOD WHAT I CANNOT DO.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
3) NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, I WILL TRUST GOD.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself… Matthew 6:33-34
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6