The Rock At The Bottom

Posted: January 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

This week we are gonna park our thought train on the topic of adversity and why God allows stuff that we don’t like or want, to happen in our lives.

If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat. Obviously ‘getting out of your boat’ is just a metaphor for getting out of your comfort zone.

Sometimes God uses adversity to make us get out of the boat. I don’t know about you but if I’m chillin’ in a boat and it starts taking on water and sinking, I’m getting out quick like, you hear what I’m saying?

Sometimes we are so stuck in our boats, God has to poke a hole in it to provide the necessary motivation to get us on our feet and getting out of the boat.

So when something occurs in your life that seems like a negative thing, before you pray and ask God to fix it, take a moment to first ask him why he is allowing these circumstances in your life. Ask him what he is trying to tell you and what he wants you to learn from it.

Just because you go through trials does not mean God has forsaken you.
God allows us to experience adversity to bring about a change in us that will move us closer to him.

Sometimes God allows us to hit rock bottom to show us he’s the rock at the bottom.

Another reason he brings adversity into your life is to bring glory to Himself and to accomplish his plans. Joseph is a perfect example of this:

Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery and landed in the house of a man named Potiphar.
While a slave he found favor in the eyes of his master and scripture says, the Lord was with Joseph. Isn’t that nice?

When Potiphar saw that the Lord was with him, Joseph found favor in Potiphar’s eyes and put him in charge of his household and everything he owned.

Eventually Potiphar’s wife developed a thing for Joseph, ick, and tried to get with him.
But Joseph refused by saying, “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”
What a good boy. I’m sure he was rewarded.

NOT

Joseph’s reward for doing the right thing….She screamed rape and he was thrown into prison.
But have no fear, scripture says that while he was in prison, “the Lord was with him.”

While in prison, Joseph found favor in the eyes of the warden and was put in charge of all the other prisoners. Yeah!

The Warden worried about nothing in Joseph’s care, say it with me boys and girls, “Because the Lord was with him.”

Joseph spent several years in prison…while the Lord was with him.
I don’t know about you, but I’d be thinking… ‘My brother’s sell me into slavery, but the Lord says he’s with me. My master’s wife falsely accuses me of wrongdoing, but the Lord is still with me.
Then I get thrown into prison for several years and forgotten about, but yep…the Lord is still with me.’

I’d be thinking, Hey Lord, could you go be with my brother’s for awhile? You feel me? I be like, ‘No no Lord I know you busy. I’m cool if you got to go for a bit. You know, be with somebody else and all. I’m cool. I’ll be alright.’

Joseph had to be wondering what the heck was going on, you know?

But eventually Joseph was freed from prison and became second in command in all of Egypt.

This led to him being in the right place at the right time, God’s timing, to save the 12 tribes of Judah.

And this is what Joseph said to his brothers, so listen up and get this:

Am I in the place of God? (He was saying I’m right where God needed me to be) You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
(Genesis 50:19-20)

If Joseph had not faced adversity, Israel would have died out due to a severe famine.
God orchestrated the whole ordeal to bring about his will and plan.

And this was not a quick thing. Joseph did not suffer for a hot minute, then everything was cool. This went on for years.

We immediately get upset if things don’t go our way. We get mad at God or frustrated. We feel like he has forsaken us. That maybe we’ve done something to cause him to stop loving us.

But God allowed adversity in Joseph’s life to go on for years because he was going to do something really big out of it, as in save a whole nation.

So if you have been facing adversity for a long time, just rest in the knowledge that God is orchestrating something big that he will accomplish through you.
At remember this….God is with you through it all.

The second thing to remember is that Jesus never promised you that you were going to sail through this life unscathed. As a matter of fact, he promised the exact opposite. Chew on this for a minute:

Jesus said, “In this world you WILL have tribulation,
But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33)

Translation: Jesus is saying,
“Chill out man, I got this.”

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Did You Get Your Free App?

Posted: January 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

Did You Get Your Free App?

This week my wife and I took Kathy, an older friend from church, out to lunch. She emailed me her address followed by an extensive list of directions to her house, like people used to do in the dark ages.

I was thinking, that’s weird, why would she write out all these directions when everybody has GPS on their smartphones?

I used my GPS to get to her house without a problem. When we arrived, she asked me, “Did you get here alright? Were my directions good?”

I informed her that I just used my GPS on my phone. She told me she had gotten a smartphone but did not get the GPS. I told her all smartphones come with GPS. She had the smartphone with GPS but she had no idea of the power in the phone to get her to her desired destination. It could help her avoid accident scenes and get around traffic, but only if she utilized it.

Same For You

You have the ultimate GPS built right in you. The free app was installed immediately when you surrendered your life to Christ.

Your GPS is God’s Personal Spirit. But if you forget that you have it in you, you fail to utilize it. You will be like me, directionally challenged.

When we got to the restaurant, I told Kathy to let me see her phone. I pushed one button and her GPS popped up. I punched her address in and tapped the Go icon. A woman’s voice immediately started speaking to us.

On the way back to her house from the restaurant, Kathy began to tell me which way to go. I politely told her I already had my GPS going. She said the way I was going was not the way she normally took.

But then, remembering what I had told her earlier about the GPS having the ability to provide us with alternate routes to avoid traffic and accidents, she said, “Maybe there is an accident ahead that we can’t see but it can. Maybe it’s taking us around it to avoid it.”

We can trust the GPS to get us to our desired destination by directing us around things that would normally hinder us. We can only see what is right in front of us but the GPS can see everything. It knows what is 5 miles down the road. It can show us how to avoid these obstacles.

It has this ability because there are satellites thousands of miles above the earth that see the big picture. We might not understand why it tells us to take a road we don’t know, but it has its reasons.

When the GPS says, “In 500 feet, make a right,” I could choose to go left, right? I don’t have to follow the direction of the GPS. But because it knows I’m heading the wrong way, it will try to guide me back onto the right path.

It will politely say, “When possible, make a legal u-turn.” It will continue to say this if I ignore it. Eventually it says fine and gives me the route I’m heading in. It recalibrates the route.

My way may lead me into traffic or even take me the long way. My GPS always says, “You are on the fastest route”, whenever I type in an address and then follow the directions the GPS gives me. If I realize I’ve made a mistake I can deviate from the way I was going and the GPS will get me back on track again.

I told Kathy that’s how God works. We don’t always understand what He is doing or why He is sending us in what appears to be the wrong direction or out of the way.

We need to realize that God sees things we don’t. We see the circumstances right in front of us, God sees the big picture. We can choose to follow God’s direction but we can also choose not to.

He gives us the freedom to deviate from his direction. When we find ourselves in a jam and turn to him again, he is gracious and reroutes us to get us heading, once again, in the right direction.

God invented the first GPS thousands of years before the first Garmin, TOM TOM or  smartphone and it was way cooler than yours will ever be.

Check this out:
By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud
to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day
nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
(Exodus 13:21-22 NIV)

Don’t let the wonder of what you just read be lost on you. Can you imagine how other drivers would respond if you were driving down the highway with a pillar of fire a hundred feet out in front of your windshield?

They would probably want to follow you to see what was going on. When people see the Holy Spirit, God’s GPS guiding you, they may want to follow just to see what is going on.

Do you have this free “app” installed? Have you surrendered to Jesus Christ yet? Maybe you did but you’ve stopped listening to his direction and now you are in a jam. He can fix that.

Maybe you’ve just never realized you had it. Maybe you’ve failed to utilize it. He can fix that too.

Tell God you are lost
Ask Him for an alternate route

Stop Trying To Stay Safe

Posted: August 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Moses and the Red Sea. The Israelites were being pursued by the Egyptians. Their escape route brought them to the Red Sea.

Dead End

The Red Sea before them, blocking their escape. The Egyptian chariots behind, retreat not an option.
The Israelites no doubt, upset with God. You led us to our deaths. We were better off as slaves. At least we were alive.

God tells Moses, raise your staff and check this out. Moses obeys and Boom, the Red Sea literally parts and provides a supernaturally dry path right through the Red Sea. Shut up! Are you kidding me!

All the Israelites passed safely through but the same can not be said for their enemies. They were swallowed up when the waters came crashing down on them.

Here’s what I want you to notice. God provided the way out. He parted the waters ahead of the Israelites. He showed them the escape route. The waters parted and when they knew the coast was clear, they moved forward in obedience.

God miraculously delivered the Israelites because he was leading them and they were obediently following. They were depending on him. They put their trust in him. And he delivered them.

Yes there were times when they struggled with doubt but God was teaching them that they could trust him with their very lives. Follow Me and I will deliver you from the hands of your enemies.

Today the Church in America does not obediently follow God. We do our thing. We pursue everything but God. We do not see great acts of deliverance because we don’t take the road that dead ends at the Red Sea.

A second story in the Bible of a water crossing might not be as familiar.
In Joshua 3 The Israelites, led by Joshua and Caleb, come upon the Jordan River. The Jordan stood between them and their entry into the promised land.

They needed to cross but God was not going to part the water for them. At least not before they moved.
They were not going to get the Moses Package. They would not be shown the escape route first. They would not see the waters parted from a distance. They would not see the dry ground prior to stepping foot on it.
The Jordan was at flood stage. They no doubt watched as the raging muddy brown water raced by and thought, ‘We are going to drown.’

The “Trust Me” Package

Let’s check out a bit of the story in Joshua 3:11-13

See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord-the Lord of all the earth-set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.

Let’s zoom in here

First notice twice that they are reminded that this God they are following is the Lord of all the earth. God is saying yes I’m asking you to trust me but that’s because I’M THE LORD OF ALL THE EARTH, you can TRUST me.

Sometimes we need that reminder, don’t we?

Now I’m sure some of them, only naturally, said, “Um yeah about that. Why can’t you just do what you did before and part the water first. Let us see your plans first then we will decide whether or not to obey you.

Martin Luther King Jr. said Take the first step. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
Often we want God to show us the plan before we take the first step but he wants us to take the first step before he reveals the plan
We cautiously stand on the shore waiting for God to provide a boat. No boat, we don’t move. This is not faith my friends.
Walk straight into the water. Give God no choice but to show up.

The second thing to notice is that the ark of the Lord went first. God was saying, “I’m leading the way. I will not leave you. Follow me. Trust me. Keep your eyes on me.
We may get the Moses Package sometimes, but more often, we get the Trust Me Package.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says; Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight (and Dry) Okay I added the Dry but hey it fits.

You trust the Lord for your eternity, but do you trust him with your life here and now?
You can trust the Lord of all the earth.

Get in the water
It’s nice and DRY

 

Y

I knew immediately by the sight of him, he was homeless and most likely addicted to something.

He rode a much used black bike and his unruly dreadlocks strained against the dirty green bandanna tied tightly on his head

I could have let him pass. He did not even notice me standing at the top of the church steps. He could have just kept going his way. So could I

I had work to do. I was the keynote speaker at this conference. I had to go over my notes. There were any numbers of things I needed to be doing. I was here to teach people how to love people. I was going to explain that evangelism is not something you do, it’s something you live.

I was going to explain to them that they need to be the hand to help others up. So yeah, I was busy.

Dreadlocks would pass in a second and be just a soon forgotten memory. Besides, what difference did I think I could really make anyway? I was surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of down and outers here in Denver.

As Dreadlocks almost reached the point of no return, something burst out of me. What was that? Did I just say something?

I must have, because Dreadlocks looked right at me and hit the brakes. I did say something. At least I think I did. Maybe it was God using my voice to reach one of his children.

I realized as I walked down the steps that I had yelled, “Hey, we have coffee and donuts.” I met Dreadlocks at the curb. I shook his stained hand.

He immediately refused the coffee and donuts, but started quoting scripture and preaching to me. Not as a drunk or drug addict. He was more familiar with the bible than most Christians I know.

He shared with me how he had been robbed and beaten. He turned out his cheek to show me the injury he suffered to the inside of his mouth. They stole his clothes, his phone and a little piece of him. He told me he was homeless.

I asked his where he was from? He said Kansas City Missouri.

I asked if he had kids? He smiled and held up two fingers. “I got two daughters and two granddaughters.”

Suddenly I did not see some homeless guy but in his place, a proud grandfather. I asked him why he was in Denver? He said to his shame, he had come to smoke the legal marijuana. He said it was the worst mistake of his life.

He told me he was 46 years old and had been in the carpenter’s union back in Missouri for over 20 years.

I asked him if he was back in Missouri, would he be homeless? He said, “Of course not.” He said he had tried heroin 3 months ago and died. He came to with paramedics standing over him.

He said he had not touched a drug since but that he had a drinking problem.

I asked him why not just go home? He said he couldn’t because he did not have the money. I asked him would he go home if he could? He said, “Absolutely.”

I asked him how much was a bus ticket? He said, “$160.00.”

I asked him his name? “David.” I told him if he came back at 2pm when I was speaking, I would get him a ticket home. He was overcome. He just could not believe it was true.

I assured him it was true. He rode away smiling. “I’ll be back.” He yelled over his shoulder.

I shared with my hosts what I was going to do. They asked, “What about his bike? Is he going to take it on the bus?” I didn’t know but assured them we would work it out.

David showed up at 1pm He sat in the back of the church and cried. He told those around him he was overwhelmed by the feeling of God’s love through us.

When I was done speaking I asked David where his bike was. He said he saw a homeless man with bad feet walking slowly. He gave him the bike.

After the conference we drove David to the bus station in Denver. I purchased the ticket. We gave him $60.00 to eat on the trip. We prayed with him. We hugged. Hew said he loved us.

David asked me if he gave me a dreadlock to remember him, would I keep it? I said, “Absolutely.” But in truth, I won’t need a dreadlock to remember David.

He could not thank me enough. He asked, “How can I ever thank you?”

My friend and driver told him, “Don’t ever let me see you back in Denver under these circumstances.” We all laughed. I told him, “Go to detox, get your job back and be the best father and grandfather you can be.”

He promised he would. He was not going to waste a second chance. I believe him.

I could have stood silently on the steps. I could have let the homeless guy with the crazy head full of dreadlocks just pass by.

What difference could I possibly make? There are so many like him.

For David, I made all the difference in the world. I gave David back to his two daughters and his two precious granddaughters. I gave two daughters and two granddaughters their father and grandfather back.

I sent the prodigal son and father home. God sent me on a 14 hour round trip to let David know He loved him and I was almost too busy with the work of Christ to do the work of Christ. To be his hands and heart.

The experienced changed me as much if not more than it did David. I pray I never get too busy to be Jesus. I pray you never do either.

I leave you with these:

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrew 13:1-2)

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ (Matthew 25:34-36)

Thanks for the dreadlock David

And the lesson

Do You Suffer From DBS

Posted: July 11, 2017 in Uncategorized

Before you freak out and google WebMD, let me explain what DBS is. But first I will tell you that if you have DBS, no doctor on the planet can cure you.

So what is DBS? Is it fatal? How long do you have left to live?

Dry Bone Syndrome

DBS was first discovered in Ezekiel 37:1-2

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.

So what the heck was that about? Why in the world would God take Ezekiel for a walk through a valley full of bones?

I believe it was to teach you and me how to worship him properly.

As believers we are commanded to examine ourselves:

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith, test yourselves.

(2 Corinthians 13:5)

Paul gives no credence to whether you’ve been a church member since you were a baby. We are to examine ourselves to see if our hearts have the correct attitude towards worship.

Just because you do this church thing on Sunday, doesn’t mean anything.

I’ve had people work for me in my painting company that totally mess up the job and then defend themselves by saying, “I’ve been painting for fifteen years.”

I simply say, “Well you’ve been doing it wrong for fifteen years.” See time is not the marker when it comes to attending church. A changed life is.

Many young people, and older folks too, have made a routine out of church attendance. Like brushing their teeth or getting dressed in the morning.

Routine

I looked up the meaning of routine and found this;

Habitual or mechanical performance of an established routine. A boring state or situation in which things are always done the same way.

Habitual

I also looked up habitual;

Doing, practicing or acting in some manner by force of habit. Doing something without thinking about it.

Have you made going to church a routine? You go because it’s the thing to do on Sunday. You go because your parents expect you to go.

Do you go through the motions, lip syncing your way through the songs? Checking Facebook? Thinking about what you’re gonna do right after church?

You know what to say and when to say it, but your heart is not in it. It has become ritual, not worship.

Maybe you are just waiting to turn 18 so you can stop going to church. You can finally sleep in on Sunday morning.

If this describes you, you suffer from DBS

In the passage from Ezekiel 37, God showed the prophet a valley full of dry bones. God asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” God knew the answer was yes but something supernatural had to take place and it did.

In Ezekiel 37:5

This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.

If you allow god to breathe on your dry bones, He can recreate life in you.

In Ezekiel 36:25-27, God makes this promise to you:

I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Wrap your mind around that. The God of the universe, The God who created everything, the God without beginning or end, wants to put his spirit in you and then help you to want to obey Him.

How unbelievable is that? He will transform your heart to want to worship Him.

God wants to do this in you and through you. He wants to pour out his Spirit on you. He says, “I did not die a horrible death on the cross so you can come to a building one day a week and limp through a service and call it worship.

He died so that you can have an abundant life. Abundant Worship. He wants your life to be a witness to the world.

Don’t make God Routine

 

 

 

 

 

I Can’t Imagine

Posted: September 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

I can’t imagine. Have you uttered these words at some point in your life? You hear some shockingly terrible news and as you try to process the information, the only words that don’t escape you are, ‘I can’t imagine.’

You search the files in your grey matter. You come up with nothing. Your experiences thus far leave you inadequately prepared to provide an appropriate response so your mind spits out the phrase a few more times. ‘I can’t imagine, I just can’t imagine what your going through. You shake your head in disbelief. Your hand covering your mouth.

As a Pastor, I’ve spoken these words quite often, over the last 20 years, not always out loud.

I sat with people who had lost a sibling to suicide and said I can’t imagine.

I sat with people who lost a child to suicide as well and while my mind agonized over the thought of ever losing one of my children, I simply said. “I can’t imagine what you are going through.”

I’ve read stories of people being robbed at gun point and being in fear of losing their life.

I’ve read stories of people being in a life or death situation, staring down the barrel of a gun and having to make a decision to shoot someone.

Every time I read one of these stories, once again, ‘I can’t imagine’, was all I could muster.

Whenever I tried to comfort the broken people before me it was difficult because I really did not have first hand experience. Until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes you can’t fully understand.

Rough Few Years

The last few years God has allowed circumstances in my life to give me first hand knowledge of everything I’ve mentioned above.

In January 2013 my 42 year old younger brother, Rick, hanged himself.

I was devastated. We were extremely close. It knocked me down for months. My heart was fractured. I now understood the emotions of losing a sibling. I knew that as difficult and heart wrenching as it was, God would use it for good for his glory.

I have used this personal experience to minister to several people who went through a similar experience. It has made me even more compassionate.

In January 2016 my 19 year old son, Robbie, hanged himself. He could not get past the loss of my brother. That was 8 months ago and as I type these words, I’m not any better emotionally than the day I got the news.

My heart, already fragile from the loss of my brother, shattered into a million pieces. I could not get out of bed for days at a time. why was this happening to me?

What Was God Doing?

I knew I was under spiritual attack because I was on the front lines in a war for souls. Souls the enemy was not willing to give up without a fight.

I also knew that nothing touches me unless God allowed it. That was where I was having my issues. Why was God allowing it? What was he preparing me for?

I honestly shuttered at the thought of losing a child. A child is supposed to bury the parent. Burying a child is the hardest thing a parent can do. Trust me. I know.

If God was trying to get my attention, he had it. If he was trying to tell me something, I was listening.

Over the last 8 months since losing Robbie, God has opened doors and provided opportunities to minister to people who have buried their children. I knew what they were feeling. I knew what they meant when they said, “A part of me has died with my child.”

I knew what to say but more importantly, what not to say. God was using me to heal people in the healing process.

Less than a week ago as I was returning home from a Steven Curtiss Chapman concert with my wife and 12 year old son, I walked right into a nightmare.

As my son and I exited the vehicle a man stuck what appeared to be a sawed off shotgun in my face. He threatened to kill me and my son. This was taking place on the 8 month anniversary of my son’s death.

I was determined not to lose another son. After a brief struggle, being struck in the head with the gun, my wife ultimately shot the would be robber. He tried to escape. I pursued him at gunpoint and forced him to drop his gun.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t questioned God and his plans. But then I realize his plans are not my plans. He sees the end from the beginning and he allows things to occur in our lives to bring Glory to his name.

I signed up to serve God regardless of whether or not he allowed bad things to happen to me. Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe, he died to make us dangerous.

I miss my son more than I can bear but I know that he was never really mine. He belonged to God and he gave him to me for an undetermined amount of time. I will not stop trusting in God.  I will not allow these circumstances to effect my walk with Jesus.

If you are a threat to Satan, you will be attacked. This is a fact. You cannot control this but you can be prepared.

Paul told us how to be prepared:

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.

Ephesians 6:13

There is a bunch of great stuff that follows so grab a Bible or use your phone and look up Ephesians 6:13-17

When the man that tried to rob us approached, he pretended to be crippled. He was hunched over and dragging his feet. I did not feel threatened. He did not look dangerous. My guard was down.

That’s how the devil works. When he tempts us he does it with things that don’t look dangerous. Our guard is down. Then he strikes when we do not expect it.

When I turned my back on the “handicapped” man, he stood up to his full 6 feet. He was suddenly 200 pounds and holding a gun. By then it was too late.

The devil operates the same way. He tries to appear small and insignificant. He appears as an angel of light. But when you let down your guard and turn your back for a second, he strikes. By the time you realize what’s happening, it’s too late.

If you understand Satan’s mission, you can prevent his from accomplishing his plan which is this:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

Don’t let the devil sneak up on you.

Everything that happens to me, good or bad, can be used to strengthen my walk with Christ or help someone else grow in their faith.

I just have to be willing to submit to God’s will and plan for my life.

So yes, I’ve had an extremely hard year and I honestly say I can’t imagine what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. I’m at peace with that.

Hello my name is Robert and I’ve been involved in ministry for 20 years. I want to take this opportunity to clarify a few things for you. First I want to apologize on behalf of the “persecuted Christians” who are attacking you and slinging hateful words at you. If you noticed my air quotes around the words persecuted Christians it’s because theses people do not represent the Jesus of the Bible and to be considered a true Christian you have to imitate Christ. But these people believe they can be “Christian” without being Christ-like. I know I’m as shocked as you. They want to be called followers without really following. Crazy ,I know. If they read their Bible,which is the instructions God gave us for living for him, they would see that Jesus said to love people. Everyone. Even our enemies. He told us to pray for people who persecuted us, which if taking Merry Christmas off coffee cups counts as persecution, makes you their enemy. PS it doesn’t. And if someone can afford a 5 dollar cup of coffee to begin with, they really have no idea what persecution really is. Try having your head cut off because you serve Jesus. Try watching your children murdered in front of you for not renouncing Christ. Now that we understand what persecution is, I will move on.
Jesus said that the world will know that we are his disciples by how we love each other, but they did not read that part either. Jesus commanded us not to judge people outside the church. He told us that was his job. The people attacking you did not get the memo. Sadly we are known more for what we stand against than who we stand for. For this I apologize. For this I am ashamed. I stand for Jesus. Jesus loves you. He died for you. That’s what we should focus on. But some “Christians” prefer to follow their own agenda. They are veneer Christians practicing veneer christianity. It looks decent from a distance but unlike the real thing, it’s thin and cheap like the faded Jesus loves you bumper sticker on the back of their cars. The Bible says we can give everything we have and be burned at the stake but if we don’t love, it was for nothing. But once again they did not read this either. It’s because they don’t have time to read their Bibles because they are too busy on social media writing hate filled status updates. Please don’t make a decision about Jesus based off these veneer christians. On behalf of Jesus, God bless and Merry Christmas.