Michael Jackson Meets His Maker

mjThe 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.
  • Innovative.
  • One of the biggest stars of all time.
  • A Legend.
  • Passionate.
  • 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.

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What is YOUr Response?

1 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.
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)

Clutter-Free Christianity

Here’s a great summary of a book I’m reading. You may want to check it out, too!

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.

Direct Link to this book on Amazon

Robert JeffressAuthor Bio:

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.


Sad Day for Police Officers

So sad to see the combined funeral service of 4 Oakland Police Officers who were killed less than 7 days ago.

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.”

Happy New Year!

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.

Family Social Networking

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.