Sunday, July 31, 2022

Trillions but Only Two Groups

Trillions but Only Two Groups 
by David Brenneman 

It, way more often than not, is certainly the Spirit that provokes thoughts in me that are indeed mind-blowing.  Whoa or Wow! Are my typical reactions to such things.  

Psychology teaches that there's practically an infinite variety of types of people. It's as equally understood that even without the thought of God involved people prove the Bible by pointing toward 'good' and 'evil' people in the world. Often times pointing to "chemical imbalance" or some other reason for these "behaviors". 

When you look at the 4 Gospels, look carefully at the types of people that Jesus healed, at those the Disciples were permitted to heal.  The variety isn't much. 

A great many times it was believed that sin had something to do with an ailment or injury.  Demons had a great deal of the world messed with.  

Guess what? They still do today.  

But that's not exactly where that title came from.  I was talking to a brother and it dawned on me to speak that phrase.  We see in the account that Jesus gives that there's but two categories of people, yet trillions of people in Hell.  You have those weeping and you have those gnashing their teeth.  Two. All the countless seen variations of humanity can be reduced to two types of people who rejected salvation in Christ Jesus.  

We all are or will be given an opportunity to come to Christ for salvation.  Everyone will be without excuse in regards to that.

Nobody will be able to say that God didn't give them a chance to decide. None.

In Hell, every single person there, will be exactly as they were born as.  All bodily modifications erased.  This will be the source of anger at God for some there. 
For some, simply not taking the salvation message seriously, is why they are there. They weep because it was so plainly obvious and they said no.  The world's offerings were more appealing. 

There's nobody in Hell that didn't choose to be there. By saying no to the person of Jesus Christ and His free gift of salvation, there is but one ramification of that. 

Regardless of the manor of death that delivered them to Hell, everyone in Heaven and Hell at some future point will receive a permanent glorified body. Exactly as it originally was intended to be by God at birth.  What is chosen in this life determines where you spend eternity. Eternity is coming quickly, as ironic as that sounds.  We choose our destination in the here and now. We choose. It's God who says that the choice stands as a permanent choice at death. 

Trillions of people occupy Hell.  Millions likely flood into Hell each day if not week.  People having said no to Jesus. 

Heaven has room for one more, always, to spend eternity with Jesus Christ.  

Jesus made the decision concerning salvation so easy that a child could understand it.  Adults complicate it with conditional thinking. That there's a catch. That there's unpleasant things ahead for those who do. That life loses all the fun because of choosing Jesus over the world.

Jesus spoke to that point as well.  What good would it do to gain the whole world and yet lose your soul?  It's your soul that's on the line.  That incredible part of you that makes

Painful torment awaits people in Hell as they await the final judgment of God concerning sin.  Nobody is walking around doing nothing while that day hasn't happened yet.  Sin's consequences have to be dealt with.  There are videos possible to see of people who adamantly rejected the salvation message. They gnash their teeth at God in a rage all the while crying out in pain at slipping from this world into the very flames of Hell.  

Unbelief has consequences. Rejection of salvation in Christ Jesus has consequences. Even at the end of the book of Revelation Jesus separates people into only two groups. Those who put their faith and trust in Him for salvation and those who didn't. 

There's innumerable amounts of evidences to prove the existence of God. To point to Jesus as the Author and the Perfector of life. To point to the cross shaped hole in the hearts of mankind that can only be filled with Christ Jesus alone. 

It matters not your argument against the salvation message.  God doesn't change. 
It matters not your thinking on how real all this is. God doesn't change. 

It matters not your views on the Bible. God doesn't change.

The only way to not join those trillions in torment in Hell is to get right with Jesus Christ.  To receive His free gift of salvation.  To turn away from death to a new life in Christ Jesus. 

Jesus loved you so completely and purely that He took your place.  He died in your place to provide a way for you to live. Not just in this world but the world to come.  But, my Dear Reader, He leaves the choice to you.  I hope and pray that the people who read this blog, who I have met in this life, all realize the importance of this decision.  

It matters not what your feelings are on it, you still have to choose.  Even indecision is a decision.  You may not understand the gravity of that decision, fully, but you know that a choice must be made.  

Everyone will be without excuse. 

Please don't put it off anymore if you haven't decided to come to Christ for salvation.  I know of people who thought they had a 'today', who stood up to get a cup of coffee and fell both dead to the ground and into Hell. 

There's only two groups in Hell. Those who rage at God for His sentence concerning sin and those who weep because they didn't take what was offered seriously.  All humanity that is in Hell is paying the price for their sins with unending painful torment. Jesus is telling you today that He paid that price if you would just come to Him for salvation today. 

The horrific thing is...even eternity isn't  going to be long enough of a time to erase the consequences of a single sin, let alone the millions each who are in Hell has against them. 

"but just as it is written: “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the human heart, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”" 1 Corinthians 2:9 NASB. 

You simply aren't going to know until you trust God. 

You just can't know the life that awaits you until you step out in faith to receive the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

They Will Be...Lovers of Themselves

They Will Be...Lovers of Themselves 
by David Brenneman 

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these." 2 Timothy 3:2-5 NASB 

As the title of this post eludes to...this passage...tells us of things to look for in people. 

The first in this list has been something that I have been dwelling on for a few days.  What exactly does a lover of themselves look like?  What does it encompass?  What can it look like?  Do I possibly exhibit signs of this?  Do I see it in those whom I interact with each day?

One site I found said the following: "Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others."

It's interesting to see some of the synonyms of lover: addict, aficionado, buff, bug, devotee, enthusiast, fan, fanatic, fancier, fiend, fool, freak, habitue, head, hound, junkie, maniac, nut and sucker as per the merriam-webster website. 

Infatuation seems to also fit in these descriptions.  An oversized sense of self.  

I had heard someone tell me the kind of trap bodybuilding was.  You can get so consumed by it that you actually do more harm than good.  It can lead towards drugs and other things.  

We can be lovers of self very easily and probably don't recognize it as such.  

It was very interesting to read these verses as the verse of the day on "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:14,16 NASB. 

If we look at both the focus if these verses and look at a lover of self...we can see two distinctly different people. 

When we walk in our journey called life, we decide who we are following, ourselves or God.  

Who we promote in life is who is more important, ourselves or God. 

Jesus said for us to take up our own cross and follow Him. Crucifying self. 

"And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, this is the one who will save it. For what good does it do a person if he gains the whole world, but loses or forfeits himself?" Luke 9:23-25 NASB 

"Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every person according to his deeds." Matthew 16:24-27 NASB 

Oh the contrast...we are shown in this world how to lift up self.  How to pour our energy into self.  How to puff up self.  That the image you project is what's important.  That everything. 

It had been the thing of recent years of what people identify as.  This too is an indication of lovers of self.  

We cannot share the throne of our heart. It's for God alone. The Psalms are replete with one after another of how God alone deserves our everything.  

Philippians 1:21-26 NASB "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sakes. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy in the faith, so that your pride in Christ Jesus may be abundant because of me by my coming to you again."

Isaiah 42:8 NASB "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to idols."

Christ, not any aspect of us, is to be the center of our lives. 

We as humans can be the most obsessive of God's creation.  We can easily get wrapped around the axle on anything or anyone including ourselves.  We can convince ourselves of practically any thought or concept.  

We who are in Christ Jesus have a calling. 
We are placed in the body of Christ for a purpose. 

It's not about us.  It's all about His glory, His honor, His majesty. His Name, not ours. Our lives lived in such a way that people see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Not a life that promotes us AND Jesus. Just Jesus. 

We are to be His workmanship. What is this?  It's Romans 12...being transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus. Leaving self for a life that shows people Jesus. 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit.  Which by definition doesn't mean lovers of self. Paul defines life as living for Jesus.  

To say the least this has been an interesting post today in both looking at who am I promoting in my life and what I see in others. Is there any promoting of me AND God evident?  Me trying to share the stage with Jesus?

We have a calling in Christ Jesus and the absolute most important thing is to be true to that calling.  We are to be set apart. Psalms 4:3 NASB "But know that the Lord has set apart the godly person for Himself; The Lord hears when I call to Him."

Was given advice a long time ago when asked to preach. "Preach the Word!"

2 Timothy 4:2 NASB "preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction." When people want to hear it and when they don't.  

We must take great care to not be lovers of self.  We must indeed, as Dr. John C Whitcomb was fond of repeating from Scripture "Let God be found true and every man a liar.". 

Friday, July 29, 2022


By David Brenneman 

I got up today as I normally would for a typical work day, got ready, made my coffee.  Read my Bible reading and various verses of the day on various apps.  Reading through what Facebook decides to let me see of the hundred or so people it says that I am connected with.  

It dawned on me to consider who it is that I lift up when I write something not in a blog type format.  Who do others lift up?  We all do in some way.  We make attempts at selling people on ideas or products.  

What's interesting this morning was thinking on that and being in Psalms 49.  It speaks to the folly of trusting in riches.  Of wealth and possessions.  I constantly laugh to myself when driving up State Route 83.  A business owner put a sign on the corner of his or her business property that speaks to storage units and vehicles available.  The other side of the property is a cemetery.  Almost looks like it's a gimmick to want to be buried there, giving you the idea of taking it with you!

Who do you promote in your life?  Is your life not supposed to be an example of Christ Jesus in you only?  

Me, personally, I cannot really in any good conscience promote the idea of putting companies high on a pedestal.  Putting a name out there to point to it, yeah, I have done that. I don't know if it's just that I have observed enough of this world to realize the foolishness of it or what.  All man made things, businesses, ideas, thoughts, etc. are flawed. The only thing that mankind had a hand in that isn't is the Word of God, the Bible.  It says of itself that it is God-breathed. It is inspired by God, profitable for everyone and in every way.  Nothing and nobody else can claim that. 

Who do you lift up and promote?  Do you put companies or other people in the same sentence as Jesus for the same reasons? Do you put Jesus's name above all other names?  

Jesus said He would give His glory to no other.  Isaiah 42:8 NASB "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to idols.". 

We easily boast in many man made things and other people. Yet it's foolishness to do so.  Nothing lasts. If things did, we would not have an overabundance of landfills. If we had perfect this or that in businesses we would need so many in this world. There would be no competition possible. 

Vanity of Vanity all is Vanity as the writer of Ecclesiastes says.  

My further reading today was in Romans 1. Paul talks to many things in the book of Romans.  It's a very interesting and intense book.  After his introduction he starts right in speaking to unbelief and its consequences.   

I see posts promoting all kinds of things, both from those on my friends list and sponsored ones from Facebook.  It's often shocking to see people promote a love for Jesus AND this or that.  

It was a personal conviction that I extremely limit what's on the shirts that I wear, even my hats are unbranded.  My life is supposed to be of the light of Jesus Christ in me.  Living life in such a way that people see the works of God and glorify God because of them.  Fulfilling the work that I have been called to be doing. Not getting caught up in the world.  That's a portion of why Colossians 3:23-25 means so much to me.  "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For the one who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality."

Add this thought to that: "I solemnly exhort you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and exhort, with great patience and instruction." 2 Timothy 4:1-2 NASB. 

And "All Scripture is God-breathed [given by divine inspiration] and is profitable for instruction, for conviction [of sin], for correction [of error and restoration to obedience], for training in righteousness [learning to live in conformity to God’s will, both publicly and privately—behaving honorably with personal integrity and moral courage]; so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, outfitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB.  

Publicly and privately.  God's will is our sanctification. God's will is to be working in His Harvest. God's Will is "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.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 NASB. God's Will is "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever." 1 John 2:15-17 NASB. 

Gives a whole different perspective on what's really important in life doesn't it? 

What or who have we put either on the same level of importance as Jesus is to be in our lives?  Where does our excitement go? What gets our attention? Who gets our attention?  Are we honest with ourselves as to who is getting promoted in our speech love and conduct? 

Paul, in writing to Timothy said "Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe." 1 Timothy 4:12 NASB. 

When we stand before Jesus and the deeds we have done in the body are tested by fire...what will remain?  

Just some food for thought for today. 

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Ways We Replace God

The Ways We Replace God 
by David Brenneman 

We indeed do softly replace God in life by the choices we make to place our peace, our enjoyment, our efforts into things that belong to God.  

Many even today do not really wish to hear it because they indeed are like what I had been reading in Acts 28:26-27 "saying, ‘Go to this people and say, “You will keep on hearing, and will not understand; And you will keep on seeing, and will not perceive; For the hearts of this people have become insensitive, And with their ears they hardly hear, And they have closed their eyes; Otherwise they might see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.”’

People don't realize how they sound to others or themselves when they lavish accolades that rightly belong to God alone onto others or other things. 

Isaiah 45:5 NASB "I am the Lord, and there is no one else; There is no God except Me.
I will arm you, though you have not known Me,".

Of course there is also "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.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 NASB. 

If there is a great temptation that is higher than most it probably is in taking what belongs to God and placing it with other things or people.  Taking His glory and honor and praise that rightly only belong to Jesus and even placing it side-by-side with Earthly stuff.

"Love not the world nor the things of this world". 1 John 2:15.

Where do you place your love?  It's going to be placed somewhere.  It will garner your attention. It will be what you glorify. 

"I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to idols." Isaiah 42:8 NASB. 

Look what Proverbs 4:23-27 NASB says "Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life. Rid yourself of a deceitful mouth And keep devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right or to the left; Turn your foot from evil." 

Devious speech. Wow.

Our hearts were never meant to be split in our lives.  Never meant to honor God AND anything or anyone else. 

All means all and that's all all means.  Love not the things of this world. Love the Lord your God with all...

Matthew 15:18-19 NASB "But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and those things defile the person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, acts of adultery, other immoral sexual acts, thefts, false testimonies, and slanderous statements."

We easily are taken in when we are weakest to this or that in life.  As someone once wrote "A tired body means a tired mind, a tired mind makes mistakes".  We often make rash mistakes when we are vulnerable. When we are looking to something else to fill a void that entirely belongs to God. 

I like what I do as a job. I refuse to love it.
I like where even my health is, I refuse, as weird as it may sound, to love it.
I like my various hobbies, I refuse to love them. 
I like many thoughts and ideas of others, but I refuse to love them. 

I love Jesus Christ and nothing will garner what belongs to Him in my life if I can help it.  I will not place what belongs only to Him and place it side-by-side with Earthly stuff.  I will not love my job. I will not love a vehicle, a house, a this or a that.  

My goal is to point people to Jesus alone. To do as Andrew did. 

Worker's in His Harvest have but 1 job.  To point people towards Jesus Christ for salvation, so that the Spirit of God may save them.  

We really really need to guard our hearts and minds as the Bible says.  The helmet of Salvation protects the mind.  The shield of faith takes that protection farther. Read Ephesians 6 and see each area of you that the full armor of God is doing for you. 

It's horrible to hear Christians lavishing their joy and zeal that belongs to God onto people.  For me, personally, it's why I walked away from sports a very long time ago.  It's why I walked away from many things and to this day the Spirit shows me more baggage to get rid of.  

A transformed life as Romans 12 says means a life that leaves what's important to me and replaces it with whatever is important to Jesus.  

My hope and prayer for all who read this isn't necessarily a guilt trip. But if what's said stirs up you by way of reminder, then so be it.  If conviction comes, because you were reminded to return to your walk with Jesus in earnest, so be it.  What you surround yourself with certainty says more about what's important to you than anything you will say with your mouth. Where your money goes speaks volumes. 

Philippians 4:7 NASB "And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."  

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Seasoned Means Carefully Considered

Seasoned Means Carefully Considered 
by David Brenneman 

The following was a recurring story passed along on Facebook: 

"My daughter starts middle school tomorrow.  We've decorated her locker, bought new uniforms, even surprised her with a new backpack.  But tonight just before bed, we did another pre-middle school task that is far more important than the others.  I gave her a tube of toothpaste and asked her to squirt it out onto a plate.  When she finished, I calmly asked her to put all the toothpaste back in the tube.  She began exclaiming things like "But I can't!" and "It won't be like it was before!"  I quietly waited for her to finish and then said the following:

"You will remember this plate of toothpaste for the rest of your life.  Your words have the power of life or death.  As you go into middle school, you are about to see just how much weight your words carry.  You are going to have the opportunity to use your words to hurt, demean, slander and wound others.  You are also going to have the opportunity to use your words to heal, encourage, inspire and love others.  You will occasionally make the wrong choice; I can think of three times this week I have used my own words carelessly and caused harm.  Just like this toothpaste, once the words leave your mouth, you can't take them back.  Use your words carefully, Breonna.  When others are misusing their words, guard your words.  Make the choice every morning that life-giving words will come out of your mouth.  Decide tonight that you are going to be a life-giver in middle school.  Be known for your gentleness and compassion.  Use your life to give life to a world that so desperately needs it.  You will never, ever regret choosing kindness."

"Your speech must always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person."  Colossians 4:6 NASB 

This directly plays into the reasoning behind this passage as well: "Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity." Ephesians 4:26-27 NASB. 

I have been really impressed by people who I have run across who really do earnestly make themselves consider their words before speaking.  I would be even more impressed if my own mouth would do so half as much as what it does.  It really not a natural inclination of the mouth to stop before the brain is fully engaged. 

We are further instructed to use our words wisely. Ephesians 4:29 NASB "Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear.".

It's an extremely saddening thing to hear people talk and know that no real thought was behind the rant that just came out of them. 

Fatigue is a leading cause of ill spoken words.  We are tired so less thought is given towards what should or shouldn't be said.  

We are indeed inherently selfish due to our sin nature.  To consider one another as more important than ourselves isn't a natural inclination. We really don't want to do it. Yet, "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4 NASB, says how our thinking ought to be. 

It's interesting to watch others. Much of my life as an introvert is spent observing others before deciding on interactions.  I sort of describe myself as a selective introvert. It really depends on the environment, the audience and the topic as to how all in I can be socially. There's times when I would much rather be cleaning litterboxes than be in some social situations. It's a very true statement that it's been an act of God that I haven't run away from many socially to me awkward moments.  

Seasoned Words are a necessity. Jesus always chose His words before speaking. If you look at some of Paul's various court appearances he careful noted his accusers and chose exactly what to say to get a desired result. 

We are also taught to speak the truth in love. Ephesians 4:15 NASB "but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ,".  

There's a lot to consider in choosing words.  There's much that can be said in regards to even advice, but, we need to take care because words, like that opening story of the toothpaste tube, you cannot take them back. 

Proverbs tells us: ""Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in an abundance of counselors there is victory." 11:14 NASB.
"Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed." 15:22 NASB 

Job was a man well thought of by those he lived with and near.  

We are also told in Proverbs 3:7 to not be wise in our own eyes.  

Seasoning is used to adjust the taste or texture of food to make it more palatable. To increase its enjoyment to both the preparer and the recipient.  The preparer wishes to see enjoyment in the recipient. 

I confess that in many of my darkest years I really wasn't considering my words well.  I still pray for those who's lives that I may have and probably did alter in negative ways.  Not drawing them towards a relationship with Jesus but rather farther away from Him.  This isn't an easy lesson to learn in life.  I am very thankful when I honestly hear my mind telling me that silence in a moment is far better than anything I could put into words.  What I would say wouldn't help.  Prayer in those moments brought what was needed because only the wisdom of God can see into the hearts of others, where we cannot go. 

Remember the toothpaste tube. 

Situations come up and we take them personally.  This leads to ill spoken words. 
Situations come up and we are tempted to think only about ourselves rather than the person before us.
Situations come up when it's honestly the Devil wanting to discredit you in front of others. 
Situations come up because whether or not you agree, we are in a Spiritual War. Souls are in the balance. The wheat in God's harvest is people not things.  Things are replaceable. People are not. Jesus didn't die for things. He died and yes arose again because of His love for people. 

Think about how you interact with people. 
Think about your level of selfishness. 
Think about how you speak to others. 
Think about these passages we read today.  Is God telling you anything?

My prayer most often for me is to be better today than I was yesterday. To ask forgiveness for the sins that I have committed that I know of and those that I am not aware of.  That my mind be as guarded as my heart by Jesus. 

Was reminded yesterday about Philippians 4:6-7 NASB "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." 

Anxiousness causes me not to think before I speak. Stress as well.  For whatever reason ever since moving to our new hometown I have struggled with anxiety more than I had before moving. I don't know if it's the absence of background things that I was used to dealing with or the introduction to new or if it were something else. 

We can also spread God's blessings to others in how we treat each other. We can withhold blessings or distribute them. 

Choose how to speak. Consider others. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

What You Used to Do

What You Used to Do 
by David Brenneman 

Was reading in Psalms this early morning hour and found myself in Chapter 42. The early parts we probably have heard more than the rest of the Chapter.  Many songs and graphics artists have created images and artwork about the beginning verses. But what came to mind after reading it was just what the theme seemed to be.  What he used to do. 

Sadness permeates the rest of the chapter.  He misses what used to be.  I had visions of earlier points in David's life where boldness and excitement concerning the Lord was at the forefront of his mind and his actions. 

We read of his wanting a return to that if you take the chapter as a whole.  We too often drift away from the early excitement of a life in Christ.  It's never Jesus who moved, He can never do that. It's never the level of problems because He's bigger and better than all of those.  It's never anything but the worries of this life and our stubbornness in wanting things in this life doomed to perish or have no lasting meaning. 

We see that leadership didn't really stay the way it began with David.  The pressures of it caused his values to change.  Caused room to have too many "I got this" moments that were not filled with reliance upon God.  Solomon followed in these very footsteps and even being the wisest man ever, fell to sins he shouldn't have. 

"As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
I remember these things and pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go over with the multitude and walk them to the house of God,
With a voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude celebrating a festival.

Why are you in despair, my soul?
And why are you restless within me?
Wait for God, for I will again praise Him
For the help of His presence, my God.
My soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;
All Your breakers and Your waves have passed over me.
The Lord will send His goodness in the daytime;
And His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries taunt me,
While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
Why are you in despair, my soul?
And why are you restless within me?
Wait for God, for I will again praise Him
For the help of His presence, my God." Psalm 42 NASB 

We all too often mourn our loss of relationship with Jesus, but do we do anything about it?

If we are as real as David was in writing his feelings, would we dare to attempt the same?

Do we look back over our lives and ever, as David did, long for those times when we were indeed closer to God than we might be today?  

It's so easy to get wrapped up in today's world. Careers, home life, sports figures, movie, the news that's not really news. The pressures of family that seem to keep expanding away from God not closer to God, which is exactly what the world wants.  Satan hates the structure of the family because God created it.  Satan hates the things that God loves and gets people to celebrate the tearing down of what God loves. Even calling it things like rights and privileges. 

What we used to do.  

It's not too late.  Really, if you are showing an ounce of concern, it's not too late.  In Psalm 42 we see a resolve to try to push back on what life does in order to enjoy what he had.  

Would you push back?  Would you put in the work to make more time for what is important to Jesus in your life than you are in your today?   What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul?  What can a man give in exchange for his soul? Jesus Himself asked these questions. 

What honestly, Biblically speaking, good does health, wealth and prosperity get you if you have no right real relationship with Jesus? 

What good is knowledge if knowledge isn't helping in your life and through you, the lives of others if God's not in it?  

What good are constant hours at a gym to care for your  body when your soul is starving?

What good are hours watching games, knowing most of the athletes, when people are pouring into Hell?  

What else in your life isn't doing anything to grow you in your relationship with Jesus?  I mean I get it that things have to happen in life. Stuff breaks stuff needs fixing or replacing. Stuff outside of the need to provide for you and your family. That stuff, what's the percentage of that time that's spent on Biblically defined worthless things?  Worthless thoughts? 

While it's easy to point to a point in life when something critical happened, we often miss the point that there was a gradual build up to that point.  

People just don't decide in a whim to walk away from a close relationship with Jesus.  They neglect to remember the passage about sin that so easily entangles. That these sins gradually become chains when not confessed and handed to Jesus to handle.  

Today verse of the day in at least one app that I use was simply "pray without ceasing".  We can see in David's writing that there were gaps in his time with God. 

Another app had the verse of the day as "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."  

We often think in wrong terms when it comes to our relationship with Jesus.  We can pray at any time, in any place, for as long as we want or need to. We learn through praying to bolster our faith. To exchange what's important to the world for what is important to Him. 

As someone pointed out recently you can't only remove bad habits. You leave a void that hungers to bring that bad habit back because the bad habit was better than the perceived emptiness.  You must replace a bad habit with a known Godly habit.  

We indeed can turn things around with a prayer as well.  Praying that God does what needs done to restore our relationship with Him.  Now here is the hard part. That He do whatever needs to be done.  We in and of ourselves aren't able to be strong enough to face the winds of temptation to stay in our bad habits. We need the power of God to overcome and to grow in Christ Jesus. 

We aren't too late to deal with things if we can still pray honestly about wanting what Jesus wants in and of us.  

As long as we are breathing then the work of God will continue in our lives.  We either prolong or shorten the lessons of God in our lives by way of our obedience to Jesus Christ.  

How much room is left in life when you "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit"?  Doesn't all mean all and that's all all means?

We can mourn and lament what used to be or we can resolve to get it back.  We can but will we?  Yes it indeed may mean a change or two or three in what is in your life.  It may mean moving. It may mean a job change. May mean selling off stuff or donating it. May mean this or that being different going forward.  Jesus counted the cost of saving you and it was His life. Isn't that more important than what we hold onto as important in this world?

Monday, July 25, 2022

My Anchor Holds

My Anchor Holds
by David Brenneman 

Oh the promises of God when life has a lemon sale and you've got plenty!  

It's easy to complain. To ourselves, to others, even to God.  

It's not difficult to see that in ourselves and others of the real problem that began with the birth of sin. That Jesus told Adam that it would be by the sweat of his brow he would get the Earth to bring forth it's produce.  That it would no longer give it to him working for it.  

Life often takes twists and turns, often at what seems to be the worst of times.  That wording got me thinking of a book titled "It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times", a book that I have never read. 

In and through all the parts of the book of Psalms we see David writing about what was on his heart. He indeed knew how to graphically tell someone something.  Ever want something new to experience, listen through the Bible.  Close your eyes and listen and watch visions of things you listen to come alive. It's one thing to read a novel and TRY to get it to come alive in your mind, reading the Bible by listening and it does it for you.

I used to almost effortlessly collapse in the face of troubles in life.  A problem arises and just about instantly hope of a solution vanishes.  Jesus never had left me, but I chose to embrace despair rather than Him.  

In one of my times of complaining to Jesus on one of my trips between here and where we used to live, I poured out my heart, and in my despair got honest with Jesus about a few things.  I talked about many things to Him on my way since the drive was so long. Problems arose and sometimes I even cried while driving because of the stress, anxiety and pain of what life felt like.

In at least one occasion of one of these trips Jesus unequivocally grabbed my hand and pulled me through an extremely harrowing driving experience.  

To this day I consider life in light of that experience.  I indeed don't always have the answers to things when they break.  That's certainly a hard confession. As one who has felt hardwired to troubleshoot things to stop before getting started at a particular problem isn't easy.   To trust that God already knew in advance of the difficulty that I am facing, that He's already seen the solution, it's only on me to pray and proceed.  

Psalm 23:4-6 NASB "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life, And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever."

I noticed this time reading through these verses just how quickly the transition is from I to You.  It begins with I walking, and David immediately sees that Jesus is right there in the mix with him. 

It's easy to throw in the towel when we want one thing and God does something else instead.  We wanted this to happen and that happened instead. 

We often still forget that it's His Will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  His Word cannot and will not fail to come about.  It can't.  In both the lives of individuals as well as the human race, God's Will, WILL come about.  We often prolong things because of our poor choices and decisions, often as well God takes the opportunities from us and gives them to others due to our unbelief and His need to be on time to His clock. 

In even the last 24 hours life didn't go as I hoped it would.  Plumbing problems and several nights of less than stellar sleep seemed to happen.  But God didn't go "Wow! Didn't see that coming!  My bad!" He easily was at my side assuring me that I could go to sleep knowing that it will be handled.  

An anchor is a device designed to keep something extremely big from moving in bodies of water. On land an anchor is a device designed to afix something to something else on a permanent or semi-permanent basis.  Such as a wall anchor is used to secure a shelf.  

In Spiritual matters Jesus is the Anchor.  He is immovable when not moving is what's necessary and best. He is imminently able to know what's best and when.  He is all knowing in all things. Knowing every single possible outcome. 

He is easily better to hold onto than fear or anxiety or stress.  What we do in those times reveals a lot about where our trust is.  

Often my reactions seem to be panic attacks or panic reactions. I can honestly say that in recent months that's not what is happening.  It's relying on God to use others abilities to work out what needs done because He never intended for me to handle everything for every single situation.  I indeed know a lot about a lot of things but I rob others of a blessing by saying "oh I got this!" all the time. 

I may be walking through, but it's HIS rod HIS staff that comforts. It's still, no matter what my eyes see, or my ears hear, or my heart understands, going to be His Will being done when I leave the choice to Him. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.  

Our way is always fraught with insane ups and downs.  Like an audio signal on a oscilloscope. His way is far smoother. 

He indeed promised life, life more abundant.  It will indeed have ups and downs but the path will be smoother. 

We can and will still complain. David did too at times.  But we can choose to complain less.  Can choose to sit at His feet more, trusting ourselves less. Giving others the opportunity to help when that's not just what we need but those doing the helping need.  

Our "I got this!" attitude isn't as constructive as we want to believe. For several decades I took the long hard way back to where Jesus wanted me because I thought I knew what God wanted and jumped ahead of Him.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Battle Isn't Ours

The Battle Isn't Ours 
by David Brenneman 

It's often been a long road to get to the other side of things in life.  Quite often it's not measured in miles, or distance, but in days, months or even years.

Sometimes it's only for us to see and watch God do what only God can do, other times it merely could be that we are to know in order to pray more effectively.  

Sometimes we do indeed have to engage people.  It's been an interesting week to be sure.  Have had battles without, battles within.  Have been encouraged along the way by Godly men not to listen to those who would speak negativity to me about me.  

I had asked one such Godly man about a verse that had come to mind at the time. His interpretation was indeed good, but I have to wonder if God meant for me to see something else in it. 

It's in Proverbs and was 27 verse 6. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy."

I have been forced throughout much of my life to have to deal with how deeply a weapon from people I allow to get close to me can get.  I sort of self-describe as a selective introvert. If the setting is favorable I can easily appear to be an extrovert.  If it isn't, well, it's basically "Shields Up!".   If indeed someone is allowed into my inner circle, at the time, there must have been good reason to allow them in.  Sometimes, like what I discovered in 20 plus years, time tends to show people differently than at first expectation.

I don't have a perfect relationship with Jesus. I have an ongoing relationship with Jesus.  I don't know all there is to know about my faith in Jesus because it's an ongoing thing.  My hope and prayer is that I am closer to what it should be today than it was yesterday.  Than it was last week, last month, last year.

I would like to say it was a hard lesson to learn but it wasn't.  Stepping back to allow God to deal with excessively problem people in my life.  Early on in my working life God easily manifested Himself as my Protector. I could easily share stories that I would call of "Biblical Proportions" that happened to people whom chose to not be stellar examples of humanity towards me.  God's Word says to not to take our own revenge.  Romans 12:19 NASB "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written: “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.". Right before this it says "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all people." 12 verse 18.

It's easily spelled out that it might not always be possible.  Being ready for those moments can be a challenge.  

I don't pretend to know what others who are more learned in theology know.  I have been taken down a different road in my learning than they.  Not that I compare myself to any who were, but many a fantastic Preacher men weren't schooled at seminaries. 

Jesus Himself said the Helper, the Spirit of God, would come and teach us all things.  He said nothing of opening new schools to do so.  Nothing in the Bible actually points to any such institutions that I know of. 

When to step away is where wisdom comes in.  When people attack in Spiritual matters I tend to go to known Godly men to be a sounding board concerning those matters and people.  God, in this, has never left me alone in having a surplus of Godly men in my life.  At times it may have been as few as two or three, but never ever been without.  

I was never taught to always fight back.  Knowing your enemy, should you have one, requires some semblance of a level head.  Knowing how to approach people can be tricky.  The only One who knows the thoughts and intentions of the heart automatically is Jesus.  We have to pray and make an educated decision.  

We often need a strategic withdrawal in order to get ahead.  Look at Paul's imprisonment.  It was years long in its litigation. Year after year of court dates that did ultimately end in his death, but not until he wrote a great deal of what is now the New Testament.  Satan meant his imprisonment for evil and God turned it for the good to benefit trillions of people. Even the parting words of Paul are inspirational. 

If I can point to difficulty in hard situations it is in learning how to measure my words.  To think before speaking and before reacting.  

It's rather long, but read what Paul said in Ephesians 4 NASB "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as you also were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,

“When He ascended on high,
He led captive the captives,
And He gave gifts to people.”

(Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) And He gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of people, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

So I say this, and affirm in the Lord, that you are to no longer walk just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their minds, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves up to indecent behavior for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former way of life, you are to rid yourselves of the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you are to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Therefore, ridding yourselves of falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, because we are parts of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.  The one who steals must no longer steal; but rather he must labor, producing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with the one who has need. Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

How we are to relate to other in Christ is spelled out here.  When people who claim to be Christians aren't behaving in this manner we indeed still have an Advocate in Christ Jesus.  We take such individuals to the Throne of God to ask Him to go where we cannot.  For His wisdom to prevail in our lives and the lives of those having a problem with us.  

The Scriptures say that the battle belongs to the Lord.  2 Chronicles 20:15, Proverbs 21:30-31 NASB "There is no wisdom, no understanding, And no plan against the Lord.The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But the victory belongs to the Lord."  

We are told we are His workmanship. The plan for us is by and through His hands and His will WILL be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Jesus is also the Good Shepherd. He will always defend His sheep.  

It's not always easy to step away but I have found that when I leave it to God, amazing, interesting, fascinating, things happen that are always beyond what I could ever have come up with. 

Praying is always the first thing.  The Nehemiah prayer is often the quickest and best. No time for long extensive prayer go straight to "Lord help!".  The battle becomes His. We will either be an instrument of whatever happens next or we won't. 

Praying is the second thing.  We can see in Jacob's turmoil at knowing his brother Esau was coming with a not so small army, he had to pray in a bit more than Nehemiah did.  That prayer changed him and his brother. 

David's writings in Psalms were often about battles.  Asking the Lord to deal back on the heads of those pursuing him what only God can do.

I pray daily for those whom I know have recently voiced things to me about me.  In His time, God indeed will work through this.  As I was reminded in someone's post on Facebook, God tells us we don't use the same clock. 

Lastly, pray.  Because indeed as said, it will change you and those with things against you.  We need to make sure we are right before God ourselves before He will work in what needs to be done.  

Saturday, July 23, 2022

As Children

As Children 
by David Brenneman 

"But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”" Matthew 19:14 NASB 

Oh how we can complicate the life in Christ Jesus we have!

So many voices trying to unwittingly be telling people this or that about what's necessary in Christ when He is the head of the body, not them. 

So many in the last few hundred years for sure are the most known about where Christianity is concerned but its arrogant presumption to believe those voices are greater.   Greater than what?  Greater than the Bible itself.  

For most of my life I have been an observer of people.  As a peculiar introvert, social interaction isn't my forte.  It's not me in most cases or incidents.

Watching people who essentially are worshiping the people of recent decades in the faith is honestly saddening.  

Watching people elevated to the same as the writers of the Bible is very saddening. 

The Bible is the inspired Word of God. 

While yes great things have happened in regards to the Church and the lives of millions, it's only by way of the invention of the printing press, by way of future documentation processes, has the false illusion that's happening has come about.

The Bible is the only authoritative Word of God.  It's the only thing that's sharper than any two edged sword.  Able to divide soul and spirit.  It's the only thing that's profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness that the man of God would be equipped for every good work in Christ Jesus. 

The Father's will, as evidenced by Jesus's confession, was simplicity in regards to how the Plan of God for mankind.

Matthew 11:25-27 NASB "At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son determines to reveal Him."

We come to Christ with simple child like faith.  We often can be caught up in the same things that are recorded as happening in the early Church.  Proof positive of Ecclesiastes. Nothing new under the sun.  What Satan uses today is what's worked in the past.  Why reinvent the wheel?  Why is the warning in Romans about not thinking more highly about ourselves than we ought?  Because given the opportunity, we will.  Satan's used it on countless millions before us, he will entice millions more until Jesus reigns Himself. 

As Children, belief is simple.  It just is.

We as adults complicate things because we have to believe that complex things must be better.  A nail gun is more complex than a hammer therefore it must be a better device.  There are a great many occasions where that hammer is superior. But look at the savings of time, energy and effort! Yes, but what if you are some plce that cannot power it?  Ahhhh....

Jesus loves children which is why Satan does so much to try to destroy them physically and psychologically.  Satan wants life in his own image, thus the creation of artificial intelligence. Thus the reason that he has coerced civilization to embrace methods to alter children at the biological level regarding gender.  The world goes after what pleases Satan.  Tis another reason why we are not to love the world nor the things of this world.  It means embracing what in many respects isn't of God. 

Children take the simple route to get from A to B. Children tend to trust unconditionally. To love unconditionally.  They have fewer doubts. 

This week was filled with interesting and often harrowing things.  From personal attacks on my character and my love for Jesus to physical problems to so much to prepare for a family gathering at our home.  

The most hurtful was the attack on me concerning whether or not I had left my first love, which is Jesus Christ. 

I came to Christ in 1974 as a child.  I may indeed have been through Psalm 23 in my life more times than I care to know about, but Jesus has never left me.  I may indeed have been a Prodigal Son more than once, but Jesus has never left me. 

My desire today is what it was that first week after coming to Christ in 1974. To tell others of what my Savior did for me.  To point them to Jesus.  This blog exists to point people to Jesus. To point them to the Bible, God's Holy Word.  It is nothing without the endorsement of God to continue.  He spreads it throughout the world.  He draws people to what's said in impossible situations in other countries. 

I love my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I do not have any formal theological training. I lean towards telling things on a childlike level.  Keeping away from most modern things because what God wrote in the Bible is what's best. Has been for thousands of years. 

Jesus loves you and wants a right, real, relationship with you.  He wants today to show you why you need to be saved and to say that by believing in Him, trusting in what He already did, you can enjoy a right relationship with Him.  Simple. 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Seasoned Words Not Raw

Seasoned Words Not Raw
by David Brenneman 

It's a fine line between speaking beneficial words and those that are not.  The Bible indeed is that which is the sword of the Spirit. Able to do things that the word of man cannot accomplish or appreciate.

In our daily living our words have the ability to build up and tear down people. 

Scripturally we are to seek God's truth indeed, an in our case, to only speak the truth in love.  Seasoning our words as though with salt that it might give grace to those who hear.  We aren't to be brutal with our words but to seek the edification of the hearer. 

In this last week I was subject to some raw words.  Words that were not beneficial to my walk with Jesus nor my life as it pertains to others.  

Some out there weilding their words like a sword, in all observable ways, cutting people rather than speaking well or edifying others with their words.  They do not build up the body.  Showing no sense of the compassion of Christ Jesus in their speech love and conduct.  

Jesus knew all men and wouldn't trust Himself to any.  He is the only One who perfectly seasoned His words for each and every single person He crossed paths with.   We indeed may think we know what's best but the reality is only Jesus knows what's best. Having Jesus in us doesn't automatically give us the mind of God. We grow in Christ, becoming like Jesus, but we are not Jesus.  

It's a harsh thing to be the recipient of words not thought out.  We read in Proverbs a lot about words and timing of when to speak, how to speak and if you should speak. 

The Scriptures tell us to be extremely careful of accusations towards others.  In regards to Pastors and Elders it should never be the word of one person against them.

Thinking before I speak isn't always my forte.  How I speak isn't always it either.  Social interaction isn't up there on the list of skills that I can ever include on my resume.   I struggle greatly in knowing how to interact with people because I spent so much time growing up not developing those skills. 

We indeed can think we mean well in what we intend to say, but, when the ramifications of what we do say aren't considered, oh the damage that may come!

To say we do this or that in God's name without fully considering what that means is to live life with reckless abandon.  We are not God.  We don't know where the hearts of listeners are at in this stage of their lives.  Proverbs actually says some very pointed things concerning speaking and fools.  

In writing these posts I indeed say that what I write I am told to write.  I am doing my best to remain true to the called by which I am called in Christ Jesus.  I have not written anything that I could point to and say that was me.  As my thoughts are guided by God so it's written.  I have also repeatedly said that I simply am not that good a writer on my own.  To reread what comes out each time in these posts completely amazes me.  

Jesus indeed is the Author of all Truth.  In Him there is no shifting shadow. In Him alone is the ability to accurately and completely know every single person and what every single person needs to hear from God.  We do not. 

Colossians 4:6 NASB "Your speech must always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person."  

Weilding God's Word as a hammer all the time isn't going to get others to listen.  

2 Timothy 2:15 NASB "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth."

Ephesians 4:29-32 NASB "Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Proverbs 19:5 NASB "A false witness will not go unpunished, And one who declares lies will not escape."

Be careful of how you walk in Christ Jesus.  Be careful always. The lives of people are in the balance.  Their eternity is in the balance.  Where they will spend it.

Words will either build up or tear down.  Words spoken cannot be fully taken back. 

My only concern is doing what it is that God's calling me to do to the best of my ability.  To be found by Him living in obedience.  To point others to consider maybe that indeed if God, through Christ Jesus, could save such a person like me, He can indeed save others as well.  My hope is that someone, somewhere, through these writings turns to Jesus and in faith is saved.  I have no desires to puff myself up.  I have no desires beyond to see others come to Christ for salvation. 

Jesus loves me, He died for me, He saved me. He wants to show everyone the same thing concerning them.  

What's funny, and not in a laughing sense, is that the person's words concerning me, easily apply to themselves.  My prayer concerning people's point of view is that God would deal with them.  I have not the Godly wisdom to search the minds and hearts of people.  I know not how to speak in such a way to respond to foolishness. 

Proverbs tells us not to engage in a debate with a fool. Proverbs 26:4-5 NASB "Do not answer a fool according to his foolishness, Or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his foolishness deservesSo that he will not be wise in his own eyes."  

Romans 12:16 NASB "Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation."  

Season your words, build up one another, point people to Jesus.  The author and perfector of our faith. We are His workmanship. Love God, Love others. 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

The Day is Coming

The Day is Coming
by David Brenneman 

Indeed the day approaches that I have longed for most all of my life.  The major focus of the world is shifting at an ever increasing rate towards the middle east. 

At some point there is going to be other major events that solidify the attention of the world on that area surrounding Israel.  God's plan of the ages will finish running its course.  

In the here and now the most critical thing for all is to know whether or not you are indeed placing your faith and trust in Christ Jesus alone for salvation.  It's more important than whatever is on your plate to do this day.  

Jesus specifically said that no man knows the day nor the hour, however, you will know by the things that happen leading up to it.  There will be things that are going to happen in surges akin to birth pains of childbirth.  We have seen some already. There is more to come.  As a friend aptly said "There's a baby on the way".

The world is in no little way in some turmoil about the abortion issue.  Combine that with this cancel culture idea and you can have a strong wave of thought to try and blot out any acceptance of the notion of these things that are happening being wrought in God.  Trying to abort the idea of Christ returning. To cancel out those who do believe. To water down faith until its essentially worth little to those who possess it. 

Faith is everything to a believer in Christ Jesus.  Jesus asked the question of would He find it when He returns.  Would that He return today, would He find faith alive in you or I?

The day has been sought out since the beginning of the Church.  But events that have happened since the beginning hadn't happened yet.  We look back over the 2,000 plus years and yes we can see the things that have come true from the Word of God.  We can see the hallmark prophecies that have come true such as the rebuilding of the nation of Israel into a nation again.  Jerusalem has been a city fought over since its beginning and remains a center of turmoil as the Bible said it would be. 

Good thoughts, good vibes, good feelings, will do absolutely no Heavenly good to anyone with respect to going there.  You cannot get into Heaven without salvation in Christ Jesus alone. Praying to anyone other than the God of this Universe is useless.  Nobody can pray to Mary or anyone else who has died.  Scripture says that all have fallen short of the glory of God. All have sinned and are in need of a Savior who is Christ Jesus the Lord. That means every human being who has ever lived or will be born. 

We who are in Christ ought to be found by Jesus doing that which we are called to be doing as children of God.  The Bible says that He places each person who comes to Christ for salvation as He sees fit, in the body of Christ, the Church.  We have a purpose to fulfill in this Church of God.  

Oh how I look forward to the coming of Jesus.  In many ways I am torn between two trains of thought. But not what those thoughts used to be. I am burdened with the prayers to pray for those who haven't yet come to Christ for salvation. I at the same time want Jesus to return.  Jesus is still going to return at the hour the Father has set to be.  It seems to me that it will only be after that last person who is to be saved is saved in this present age in history.  

Earlier this week, as recently as yesterday, some voices arose to try to cause me to question what I am doing with this blog. With what I even believe.  It was at the very least disturbing and disappointing at where the voice arose.  I stood by my Savior in it all.  Jesus didn't leave me for even a moment.  He brought other voices of encouragement. 

My Jesus can be your Jesus too. He loved you so much that He gave His life in your place to save you.  We are born guilty of sin by birth thanks to Adam and Eve.  We all are in needing to be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. 

My hope and prayer at all times is that at least one who reads these posts comes to Jesus Christ for salvation.  That someone believes and receives that free gift.  

We cannot afford to live like there is nothing to the belief that salvation isn't necessary.  Salvation in Christ Jesus alone is the only way. Jesus said He is the Only Way.  He is the Only mediator between God and man. 

So many voices in this world promise so much but only one voice matters.  That voice that's imploring you and I to open our hearts and minds to have a real relationship with Jesus Christ. To become Children of God.  To have our sins washed away. Remembered no more.  

We aren't pushing salvation on any, but rather to show the way to be saved.  To be like Andrew, one of the Disciples of Jesus. To point the way to the One who can save you. 

The thing is, my Dear Reader, is nobody can choose for you. 

You must choose. 

Many ask the question but don't realize who they are asking it of: is there nothing more? Is this all that there is? 

The answer to all those and more is yes, a new life in Christ Jesus awaits all who believe.  It might be a long life, it might not be, but it will be a life well lived when lived as taught by God for those who believe.

It very easy to be taken in by what this world appears to offer.  But what good is any or all of it if when you die you find yourself in torment in Hell paying for sins that had you been saved in Christ Jesus you wouldn't be paying for?  

There are no works that you can do to be good enough to save yourself.  If that were possible then Jesus died for no good reason.  He took on every sin that all mankind ever committed upon Himself on the cross in order to deal with the penalty of sin for all who would believe. This became a free gift to all who would believe.  The choice is yours. 

Quite often we get to thinking about what we will lose if we come to Christ for salvation. The thing is those things were and are things that are destined to perish with time.  What you gain in a right relationship with Jesus, through salvation, is imperishable.  It's indestructible.  Time cannot destroy it. 

Jesus loves me this I know. 
Jesus loves you, this too I know. 

Jesus isn't wanting anyone to die and be eternally separated from Him.  He isn't wanting it but the choice is out of His hands, it's in yours. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Storms About Me

Storms About Me
by David Brenneman 

One of the most harrowing driving experiences of my life was in the fall of last year.  I literally was scared to the point of almost having a panic attack. I had gotten out of work, went to where I was staying and packed up what I needed to take with me.  At the time I was working in one city but my home was in another, we were in the midst of packing up to move.  A storm was brewing, a particularly nasty one from what the radar showed.  I was thinking that I had driven in rain before this shouldn't be that bad.  Oh how wrong I was.  I was driving into the storm.  It was so hard and heavy that the best I could do was squint to look for the lines on the highway.  I couldn't get off the road to wait it out because I didn't know where the edge of the road was.  I couldn't get off the highway at an exit because I couldn't see to change lanes. To this day that storm experience still shakes me. 

In the midst of the storm I indeed found myself praying.  A lot.  That was certainly not a time to have a panic attack.  I felt beyond overwhelmed.  

The other day I seemed to have been given the message to keep praying...rough waters ahead.  Monday was rough.  Seemed like moods of people were escalating. My vehicle is developing problems in the last week that I drive to work in.  What I use to mow the lawn had been fixed, broke again yesterday.  Rough waters ahead. Work has been shall we say strained. Several that I need to deal with daily have some of their own issues and negativity follows them.  Add to it other things that are indeed insignificant in others eyes but certainly aren't to me...well...those rough waters feel worse. 

Some might chalk it up to luck. Well that's one thing that I do not believe in.  I had been warned not by 'fates' but by the Spirit of God.  I think on that song "Breathe" by Jonny Diaz.

Alarm clock screaming bare feet hit the floor
It's off to the races everybody out the door
I'm feeling like I'm falling behind, it's a crazy life
Ninety miles an hour going fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder trying to get the upper hand
So much to do in so little time, it's a crazy life
It's ready, set, go it's another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say just
Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe
Third cup of joe just to get me through the day
Want to make the most of time but I feel it slip away
I wonder if there's something more to this crazy life
I'm busy, busy, busy, and it's no surprise to see
That I only have time for me, me, me
There's gotta be something more to this crazy life
I'm hanging on tight to another wild day
When it starts to fall apart in my heart I hear you say just
Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to take it in, fill your lungs
The peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe (just breathe)
let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what's good and find what's best
Just breathe (just breathe)
Just breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need
Is to just breathe
Just breathe

This blog seems to be expanding in the midst of things as well.  Add to the physical things the added Spiritual stuff causes a two front battle.  

We also have a family gathering this weekend.  When to work in getting these things fixed is difficult.  How to do it while my Wife is having difficulties getting around.  Oh rough waters ahead. 

On top of these things is still more that I haven't really told others about yet.  Still other things are to do with missing people that we were friends with before moving. 

In all of this I am reminded that I wasn't left or forsaken, wasn't forgotten, in that storm last fall and am not forgotten or forsaken now.  I have fears for sure that others, even the closest to me, cannot grasp but my Savior who understands all things.  

Reading in Psalms you see the captions between sections of Scripture.  Read of when David wrote what he did.  The times when he was on the run.  Being chased by King Saul.  Going through one storm after another. 

I know not how any of this will work itself out.  I keep praying and trying to do what I did back in that storm on the road. Keep trying to push through. Keep remembering that I am not alone.  Keep knowing that all the way my Savior leads me. 

I know that now, like then, nothing surprises God.  As I saw in a picture...God and all of us are not using the same clock. 

I certainly have things to face with the temptation, yet again, to panic being before me.  

I have fears that I indeed need to overcome.  Some go back over 50 years that have been in the back of my mind that long.  

Indeed all this may come across as complaining or venting.  Scriptures say that we often go through things in order to comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from someone else. 2 Corinthians 1.

I know that there is possibly more to the storms that I have yet to see.  Life can be that way when you decide to follow Jesus. 
I know that He is in my today before I got here. I know He holds tomorrow in His hands. That nothing surprises God.

People today just are going so fast in the moments and indeed as the song above mentioned don't stop to sit at Jesus's feet.

Too much is being said about so many things that people today just don't know anything about concerning this belief or that belief that was taught in the Church decades ago.  The Father's plan was never to make salvation complicated. It was to make so easy a child could understand it. Adults complicate the salvation message so bad at times with useless thoughts and theories.  A child believes unconditionally and undoing the teaching of learning to be an adult takes time. To get back to that unconditional belief that God's got this, no matter what this is. 

Sometimes it is as simple as remembering that Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.  Forgetting all the so called things that have been thought up by mankind to add to what people should or shouldn't believe and get back to that starting point.  Most people today have no clue what Calvanism or Armenianism or any other ism is.  As the writers of the Bible wrote: I preach Christ Jesus crucified, risen to life, sins forgiven to all who would believe and call upon His name to be saved.  The breath of life is given to give the opportunity to be saved.  Simple as that.  The Holy Spirit teaches after salvation has come. Again, simple as that.

Storms storms storms. God is God over the storms too.  Being His workmanship means going through things to become more like Christ Jesus.  

Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Storms may come and go, but the Word of God stands forever.