The Buck Stops Here

Most all of us have heard the phrase, “The Buck Stops Here.” The meaning of that phrase is Responsibility is not passed on beyond this point. Where that phrase originated is much debated. Many believed [including myself]  it originated with President Harry Truman but history proves it pre-dated Turman.

I am not sure the following is the origin of the phrase but I like it. 

Most men in the early west carried a jackknife made by the Buck knife company. When playing poker it as common to place one of these Buck knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was.
When it was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the knife were given to the new dealer. If this person didn’t want to deal he would “pass the buck” to the next player. If that player accepted then “the buck stopped there”.
While the origin of this phrase is up for debate, the meaning is clear and is applicable today.  People [the individual] need to accept responsibility for their actions. Criminals often try to pass the blame for their actions on a variety of ’causes.’ Student passes the blame for not having their homework done. (The dog ate my homework.)  Politicians, when caught in unethical or illegal behavior, will refuse responsibility and claim they were unaware of the deeds. 
 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:12
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak...  Matthew 12:36
There is not much “wiggle room” in the matter of accepting responsibility for our actions.
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There Is A War Going On

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 2 Corinthians 10:4 NLT

The Devil knows your name but calls you by your sin. God knows your sin but calls you by your name. [Unknown]

“There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split-second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan” … C.S.Lewis

Let’s Go For A Walk

Medical experts tell us one the best physical exercise is walking. It has many benefits without damaging your body. Many married couples find walking together is a great way to pray together, talk over situations that need their attention, and a way to take a break from the hectic pace of life.

Marriage is a great metaphor for our walk with Christ. Amos 3:3 asks us, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” When we invite Jesus to walk with us in this life, we become filled with His Holy Spirit and our journey together begins. He’s taking us somewhere and there will always be obstacles to overcome. We experience joy and pain, bondage and freedom, wounds and healing—but we’re on a course to victory. 

 

Image result for young couple walking

In the Bible, God uses the language of walking to describe people in relationship with Him. Moses “walked” with God, Enoch “walked” with God, Adam and Eve “walked” with God in the garden, and Jesus’ disciples literally “walked” with Him throughout His earthly ministry. They walked with Jesus through the ups and downs, knowing eternal paradise awaited them in the end.

Walking with my wife is sometimes a challenge. Either she is a fast walker or I am a slow walker! Either, often she has to turn around to see if I have fallen too far behind. But God is always right there beside us.

Anyone up for a walk?

A Pleasing Fragrance

The human body possesses five senses: Sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. I wasfive-senses-of-human-beings-sight-touch-hearing-taste-and-smell-3KjD4j-clipart thinking about how much we take our senses for granted. Rarely do we stop during our hustle and bustle of life to think how blessed we are to have these abilities.

I think we would place the sense of smell last on the list but many of our memories are associated with the sense of smell. I grew up next to a neighbor who was a SUPREME baker! She made delicious cakes, pies, and cookies. But like a bee is drawn to honey, I followed the wonderful aroma of her freshly baked bread. Of course, I had to remark how wonderful the bread smelled. (Hint, Hint) She would always be gracious and give me a slice of the bread right from the oven. As a child, there was nothing better tasting than her bread with butter and homemade jelly.

In the Old Testament, animals were offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. The priest would take the sacrifice, put it on an altar and burn it as an act of worship and commitment. What was God’s response? “… It is a pleasing aroma, a food offering to the Lord.”  Exodus 29:18

Of course today we no longer offer animal sacrifice but we offer God our prayers as an act of our worship and commitment. “Let my prayer be accepted as sweet-smelling incense in your presence….” Psalm 14:12 GWT

But not only our prayers but our lives should be a pleasing fragrance to God. Many times when you are walking in the mall, someone walks past you and you catch an essence of the perfume/cologne they are wearing. Often you think how pleasant that fragrance is. Our lives should be so Christ-like that it is a ‘sweet savor’ to all we interact with.  “For we are a sweet savor of Christ unto God, in them that are saved, and in them, that perish;” 2 Corinthians 2:15

Walking In The Light

I love how technology has made our lives easier and better. Take for example the motion sensing light. You park your car in the driveway, you begin to walk towards your home and Voila, a light comes on to illuminate your steps. I have them in my garage. When I enter at night, I don’t have to search for the light switch, the lights come on automatically. When I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, a small motion light keeps me from stubbing my toe on the furniture.

But as convenient as they are, there is a Greater Motion Light. Jesus said He was the Light of the world and promises us if we follow Him we will not experience darkness. John 8:12 Light and darkness cannot exist in the same place. (Profound huh?)

The purpose of light is a revelation. You shine a light to reveal the next step on your path. Light helps you find items in a dark room. Light reveals there is nothing to fear from that unexplained sound you heard in the dark.

The Bible calls Satan the Prince of darkness.  Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going… John 12:35 Satan will attempt to shield people from the Light lest they see the truth and are converted. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ2 Corinthians 4:4

But unlike the motion sensing light you can buy at Lowes, Jesus our Light is not fixed to a physical location. He goes with us everywhere we go and gives you light.

 

 

God With You

Image result for Genesis 39:2

 

Somewhere the Church has wrongfully presented the Gospel as the answer to all your problems. If you repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior; God will protect you and you will never face any difficulty. As they say down South, “Sorry but it ain’t so!” Country western singer Charlie Pride was right when he sang, “I never promised you a rose garden.” 

Many Christians {especially new convert} begin taking their spiritual pulse when things go wrong. Why is this happening to me? Is God punishing me for some wrongdoing in my life? Is God displeased with me? Nowhere is this fallacy seen more clearly than in the life of Joesph as recorded in the Book of Genesis. Space does not allow me to unpack this truth completely; so read the complete story for yourself. 

One phrase stood out to me as I read this story: 

  • Because of Joesph’s brother’s jealousy, he was sold into slavery but The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered… Genesis 39:2   Acts 7:9
  • Joesph became a slave in an Egyptian household but The Lord was with Joseph and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Genesis 39:3 
  • He was falsely accused of rape and put in prison but The Lord was with Joseph Genesis 39:21

If you read the biographies of great Christian leaders you will discover that many (if not all) faced great difficulties. The next time something goes “wrong”, remember you are in good company! 2 Timothy 3:12

Modesty


Image result for modestyAfter living 71 years on this earth and serving 30+ years as a minister of the Gospel, I have learned much about people just from observation and interaction. I grew up in a church that was very legalistic where keeping all the “rules” meant that you were holy and pleasing to God.

After living 71 years on this earth and serving 30+ years as a minister of the Gospel, I have learned much about people just from observation and interaction. I grew up in a church that was very legalistic where keeping all the “rules” meant that you were holy and pleasing to God. Ephesians 2:8-9

These were good people who loved God and people. I believe that in their zeal to help people; they went astray. They began teaching the principles of God’s Word but somewhere they started giving new converts “guidelines” how to apply those principles. John 16:13 It was not long before the guidelines became rules and the focus of Christian living and the principles of God’s Word took a back seat.

For years the Church taught the principle of modesty but not today. People are trying to emulate the fashions of Hollywood. We should not allow this world system to tell us how to dress. [Don’t live the way this world lives. Let your way of thinking be completely changed. Romans 12:2] The next time you go to the supermarket look at the front page of the magazines at the checkout. Almost all we tell you how you can look sexy! Why would anyone who is trying to live a godly life and please God want to be sexy? Paul thought modesty was important when he wrote “…women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty… what is proper for women who profess godliness 1 Timothy 2:8-10

This subject is too complex to fully explore it with this short blog. Therefore, allow me to share some scripture passages for your further study:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Cor. 10:31 This includes what we wear. Ask yourself, “Is what I am wearing pleasing to God?

Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute… Proverbs 7:10 The way you dress sends a message to others.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 When women dress immodestly, it places a burden on men to keep their thoughts pure.

This blog’s intent is not to judge or condemn but to instruct and encourage all it live a life pleasing to God. “Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord…” Colossians: 10