Saturday, May 16, 2015

Healing Is The Children's Bread

I've got something to say today, which could possibly be misinterpreted, or at the very least misunderstood, and because of this I want to apologize in advance if this happens as you read my post. I feel very strongly today about talking about this subject but as always my desire is to encourage, strengthen and help others walk closer to Jesus. Rather than get upset with me, I would relish the opportunity to sit down and discuss this further with you in person, perhaps over coffee.

There are only two subjects I've ever discussed which have lead to heated debate; speaking in tongues and healing. Today I want to talk about healing. It seems if you watch any television lately, about every other commercial is for some type of new drug which is going to fix everyone. Of course the myriad of side effects a person has to deal with in order to achieve the healing is amazing, if not comical at times. Case in point, one of the erectile dysfunction drugs could cause blindness; all my life growing up, people said young boys could go blind if they played with it, now it seems it is true.

And what about Now you can go online and search for what symptoms you are having and self diagnose. And let's not forget the drug stores shall we? Have you noticed one going up on every corner in your home town? Within a mile in my town we have two of them, pharmaceuticals are big business nowadays. I met a young man who was in medical school once, I asked him why he chose it and he replied, "So I can make a butt load of money!" You may have heard it said, if you want to find the source of something, "follow the money". Well there is money in the health industry, at least until the government controls it.

I'm reminded of something Jesus told His disciples when He sent them out into the world, "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give." In Jesus Kingdom, healing doesn't cost you anything, it is truly free healthcare. If He has given us the ability to be healed for free, then why do we persist in running to doctors? Am I saying I'm opposed to doctors and medicine? Absolutely not! I'm thankful for doctors, and the medicine which helps people to get better. My question is why do we run to doctors and medicine before running to Jesus?

Now this is what I'm really wanting to say, it may make you mad, but if it does, ask yourself why? As I said, I'm not opposed to doctors, but why do so many Christians encourage other Christians to seek medical help first and help them build their faith second? If Jesus promised us healing through His death, burial and resurrection, then why are we so quick to send people to the doctor? Let's look at a passage of Scripture for a minute about a lady Jesus referred to as a dog to see something.

Matthew 15:21-28; Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to Him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly." Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to Him and urged Him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." The woman came and knelt before him."Lord, help me!" she said. He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs." "Yes it is, Lord," she said. "Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table." Then Jesus said to her, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed at that moment.

The first time I read this I was appalled at what Jesus said to the woman; after all He called her a dog. But upon further inspection and reflection of this passage, I see He was really trying to figure out where she was spiritually. She didn't get offended at being called a dog, she immediately continues His analogy to make her case. And in return, He says she has great faith, which caused her daughter to be healed. Obviously greater faith than His disciples, because they just whined to Jesus asking Him to get rid of her. 

What I'm going to say next has gotten me into trouble in the past, because I was misunderstood as to what I meant. In Scripture, if you will look closely to the Gospels, you will find Jesus saying numerous times, "Your faith has made you whole." or something similar to this. Jesus has provided the healing, but it is our faith which acquires it for us. Jesus has already provided the answer to any sickness, disease or demonic problem, it is up to us to receive it, by faith.

Healing can be acquired for every sickness or disease through faith in Jesus Christ. Sometimes I think people have a hard time with this because it is so easy. It's like Nahum who was told to go dip in the Jordan River seven times to be healed of his leprosy. He got mad because the prophet didn't come out and tell him what to do himself, and the instructions, though simple, sounded stupid to Nahum. It took his servants convincing him to go do what he was told. And the outcome was new skin for the diseased skin. 

It can be like this for us as well, we feel some type of problem coming on, but instead of trusting God at His word, and using it to build our faith, we just run to a doctor, pay money (even a small co-pay) and wait for the medicine to do it's job. Jesus provided the answer for every sickness we would ever encounter; our faith. But here is the kicker, we have to believe His Word over the word of this world. And like I said earlier, every other commercial is for some type of medicine, we are being bombarded with the world's answer to sickness; a pill.

What I am not saying here, is that if you are sick you have little or no faith in God, not at all. I remember once when I was working in my dad's shoe store, this man came in and wanted to sell me cancer insurance. First off, I was irritated this guy had come into our business where we sold shoes to people and was trying to sell me something instead. Never a good idea, but as graciously as I could I told him no thanks. Being a hard sell salesman, he asked my why I wouldn't buy it. My response was I am a Christian, and I don't plan on getting cancer.

His face contorted, and it was obvious I had made him mad, which was never my intent, I was just stating the facts as I believed them. He said, "My mom was the greatest Christian there ever was, and she died from cancer!" To which I responded, "I'm sorry, that's a shame, but she didn't have too." Okay in hindsight, maybe my last comment was a bit brutal, I was a new Christian and lacking a little bit in tact, well he turned around and stormed out. I really wasn't trying to upset the man, I just felt sad she had died of something which Jesus had delivered her from.

I think we should all spend time in God's Word and find out what it says about healing, faith and what we need to do in order to obtain what is already ours as Christians. Whose report will you believe; the world's or God's? Jesus says it time and time again, "YOUR FAITH" has made you whole. And faith is the things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) Seems the answer has been here all along, maybe we just need to focus more on what the Word of God says and less on what the world is screaming.

For the Kingdom and the King!!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Changing the World One Peanut Butter Burrito At a Time

I'm all about changing the world, and I've heard it said the way to do this is one person at a time. Well I inadvertently may have been doing this without even knowing it through a peanut butter snack. Several years ago I was hungry and decided to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but when I went to the cupboard, I realized I had no bread. Now there is nothing worse than having decided on a treat to only find out you can't have it. 

As I was putting the jelly back into the fridge with a frown on my face, I noticed a package of flour tortillas and thought, why not? Smearing the jelly and peanut butter on the tortilla and then rolling it like a burrito, I went to the living room and enjoyed my snack. What I discovered is I actually like peanut butter and jelly on a flour tortilla over bread way better. 

Move forward a few years. While at work one day I was in my office having one of my peanut butter burritos when one of my coworkers sat down to talk to me. He saw what I was eating and asked what it was. When I told him, he said, "Gross!" To which I replied, "Have you ever tried one?" Since he hadn't and I had an extra one, I gave it to him. He fell in love immediately.

I work with a lot of Mexican men, and when they heard what I was eating said it was disgusting sounding. I asked them as well if they'd ever had one, but they all said no. Well this week, one of the guys said it sounded disgusting again, so I told him I was going to bring him one. I gave it to him, but didn't see him again until the next day, when he stopped me and told me he really liked it. He told me when he told his wife about it, she also said it sounded disgusting but she made him some fresh tortillas so he could have another one. He asked his seven year old daughter if she wanted one, and she fell in love with them too.

When my boss heard about them, he too said it sounded disgusting, but when I handed it to him this morning and he ate it, he was singing a different tune. He had told his wife last night and she also said it sounded gross, but something tells me he may be having them in his home from now on too. 

It seems I've impacted three families and done so all through something I found out about through desperation, but have added to my snacking delight. If you think it sounds disgusting too, before you just dismiss it, try one and see if you don't agree how great these are. Only don't use a corn tortilla, that would be disgusting. Won't you help me change the world? Try one, then pass it on. For the Kingdom and the King!

What Would They Say About You

It is early in the morning, and I'm sitting here with my cup of coffee and laptop. I've done my daily Bible reading, had a little cake and a thought occurred to me, so I figured I'd blog about it. If you died today, and people all gathered together to celebrate your life, what would they say about you? What would you like them to say about you?

We all make an impact on the world around us; some for good, others for bad. But one thing is for sure, we all effect change of some sort to the people we come into contact with. Have you ever stopped to consider what this impact is? It's something I think about from time to time; hoping I'm making positive change in my world, but I often wonder if I am or not.

Not to be morbid, but I've thought about my funeral in the past. Oh not because I feel I'm going to die anytime soon, I've got too much left to do; my son getting married, both of my children eventually having kids of their own; my grand kids who will need me to be here to spoil, love and share my knowledge with. Not to mention my bride Cheryl and I have the best part of our lives left to live. No, I've thought about it, because it helps me to see where I am currently, and if I need to make any changes.

What do I want people to say after I'm gone? What legacy will I leave behind? Will people even miss me? These are just some of the things I wonder about. I hope people will say, "He loved his wife and kids unlike any other man I know." "He was a man who loved people, and gave his life trying to help others." "He was a lot of fun to be around, he made me laugh." 

As I was writing this, this thought occurred to me, in order for me to have people say things like this about me after I'm gone, I need to know who I am in order to live my life in such a way as to give people the ability to say these things.  Because, if I don't know who I am, how can anyone else know? It made me think of a scene from the movie "Second Hand Lions", check it out.

Now what I really like about this scene, is not so much the fighting exactly, (although it is great) but the fact Hub McCann knows who he is, and there is no doubting it. I can't wait for others to define who I am, I have to do this. This is one of the problems men face, trying to define who they are exactly. Oh you'll here them say, "I'm a doctor." or "I'm a ditch digger." but this is really not "who" they are, but what they do. For many years as I ran a retail shoe store, I referred to myself as Dave the Shoe-guy. And I am still called this years after stepping out of the shoe business, but this is not who I am.

I'm David, the guy who loves his wife, is proud of his kids and works hard to help those around him find the better life in Jesus. When I keep this as my focus, and not what I do, then I think it will be easy for people to say what I'd like them to say after I'm gone. I just want to leave my mark on the world and those around me.

For the Kingdom and the King!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What Is A Baby?

Here is the second in a series of guest blogs written by my mom April Felts. These were written about fifty years ago too.

A baby is happiness, happiness for worried mothers, proud papa, unaged grandmother, and experienced grandpa. One gurgle can panic his  mother, confuse his father and bring mist to grandparents eyes. A smile can create laughter from anyone and baby talk from most everyone.

A baby is fun. Fun for daddy who hurries home from work to pick him up, toss him in the air, and create a stimulus that takes mother 15 minutes to calm down. A baby is fun for grandparents. They know just what to do to spoil baby and make him happier than anyone else. He is happiest on grandpa's knee listening to his deep laugh and cooing with pleasure at the big man talking and making faces. A baby is fun to aunts and uncles. Aunties kiss and cuddle him while big uncle John tosses him aloft to make him laugh. A baby is fun to mother, she is his happiness at eating time; companion all day; understanding when he is tired and the stubbornest person when it's bedtime.

A baby is work. He is constantly wet, fussy or wants attention. He demands his breakfast at a certain hour, his lunch prepared immediately and his supper warmed and ready when he is hungry. A bottle should be prepared and ready at all times, and his water a constant temperature of 98.6 degrees.

A baby is love. A baby's smile can bring a rush of hugs and kisses from daddy. It can create an emotion from mother that is communicated softly in her warm caresses. A baby can bring mother and daddy more love in one laugh than all the money could.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Letters From My Mom

Today I received a package from my mom, and inside was a booklet of hand written stories; some of them to me from my mom when I was a little tyke, and others are just stories she wrote. For the next few days, I've decided to have a guest writer on my blog, my mom. I'm not going to edit them, but just copy them the way she wrote them way back when.

Dearest David,

One of these days you may want to read these. They are full of all the emotions I felt when you were first here. I know one day you too, will have a "first born" and you will know the feelings I had when you were young.

I once wanted to be a writer as you can guess from the stories I "attempted".

Enjoy thee and pass it on as something your grandmother wrote when she was young, it is one of the most personal legacies I can leave for generations to come.

I love you,


Want To Change The World?

1 Corinthians 10:23-24; "I have the right to do anything," you say - but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything" - but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
Do you want to change the world? Here is the way to do it. We don't have to have committee meetings, conferences or take a lot of time either; we just have to seek the good of others instead of looking out for number one.
The problem is, most people are too busy looking out for themselves. There is one instance I can think of where it is in your interest to look out for number one first; and this would be in the event of a plane cabin depressurization. When this happens you are instructed to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping those with you, this way you both don't die. But in pretty much every other area of life you could look out for the well being of others first.
What it basically boils down to is selfishness. The definition of selfishness is: 
Concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.
Arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others.
Selfishness is something we don't have to learn either, it is inherit in our nature. You see it in children all the time, followed by the phrase, "Mine!" Most of us should have been taught growing up how to overcome these selfish tendencies, but unfortunately a lot of people didn't. How many of you had to share your toys as a child, and liked it? I know I didn't, but with two brothers I was forced to learn. And even though it wasn't fun as a kid, just the simple act of learning to share helped me grow up and not be selfish as an adult.
Jesus even said something similar to what Paul was talking about when He was explaining the greatest commandment. He said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength. And a second commandment is also important, Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:39. So we should strive above all else to look out to for the good of those around us, and not just looking out for number one if we're going to see change take place in our world.
Today, go look for a way you can help someone else, putting your desires to the side, and let's change the world one person at a time. Well there's that, for the Kingdom and the King!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Life After Death

This clip is from The Lord of the Rings; one of the best movies ever filmed in my honest opinion. Watching it years later, after having buried my youngest son five years ago, it has a more poignant message to me than it did when I first saw it. But one of the the things Gandalf told Theoden in this clip captured my attention this morning "He was strong in life, his spirit will find its way to the halls of your fathers."

Life after death, what does it mean to us as a people? The people of Rohan in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings remind me a bit of the Viking people. And when Gandalf says his spirit will find its way to the halls of your fathers, I can't help but think a little of Valhalla; the place all Vikings hoped they would go after death. Even in the Disney animated movie Brother Bear there was mention of a spirit realm where you went after death. And in the Bible, Jesus said, "In My Father's house are many rooms, I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:2)

Obviously there is somewhere we go after we die, this life isn't all there is. The Bible teaches humans are a three part being; we are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body. The spirit of man is the real you, who you are as a person, and according to the Bible this is the part of you which will live forever either with God or cut off from Him. Your soul is made up of your will, emotions and your intellect. And of course your body is the house you live in a"nd it is this part which your five senses use to relate to the world around you.

For all of our enlightenment and the vast changes which have taken place in the human race due to technological advances, death still comes to us all. It is a fact, human beings die. But the question you've got to ask yourself, is what happens afterwards? I've met people who say nothing happens after you die, you just die. This must be an awful thing to believe. It saddens me to think there are people who don't realize there will be something after this life. It reminds me of another clip from The Lord of the Rings; actually, I want this clip played at my funeral I like it so much.

"And then you see it..."
"What Gandalf? You see what?"
"White shores and beyond."

I think all of this talk about life after death gives us hope. And we need hope, I mean if all we do is live on this planet and then cease to exist, what is it all for? I mean why do we even try to live a better life, or teach our children to be good people if it is all for nothing? Why worry about carrying on our family lines, or building anything of value? If we just die, then we should live every day as a hedonist, not caring about what we leave behind right?

But thank God there is more to life than just ourselves, and there is a reason to build something to leave behind. God wants each and every one of us to spend eternity with Him, but unfortunately there will be those who choose not to. I hope you're not one of them. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for each of us when He died on the cross, was buried and raised back to life on the third day, all so we could be saved, and live in eternity with Him. And He made it so easy to do too! All you have to do is accept what He did for you, and like Romans 10:9-10 states; believe in your heart God raised Jesus from the dead, and say with your mouth, "Jesus be my Lord." It's just that simple.

The really sad thing, is just because you don't believe in life after death it does not mean it's not true. The worst thing would be for you to spend eternity in hell because you chose not to believe God's message of saving grace in Jesus. There is life after death, but you get to choose which life it will be; eternity with Jesus, or eternity without Him, won't you choose Jesus today? 

Pray this prayer:
Dear God, 
I come to You in the Name of Jesus. The Bible says, "...him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37), so I know You won't cast me out, but You take me in and I thank You for it. You said in Your Word, "Whoever will call upon the Name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13) I am calling on Your Name, so I know You have saved me now. 

You also said "...if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and will believe in your heart God has raised Him form the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and wit the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10) I believe in my heart Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification, and I confess Him now as my Lord.

Because Your Word says, "...with the heart man believes unto righteousness..." and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21) And I am saved! Thank You Lord!

For the Kingdom and the King!