Killing Christians

I recently started reading Killing Christians by Tom Doyle.  I wasn’t sure what I would find in this book, but after reading it I’m shocked, dismayed, worried, etc.  Even though I knew that persecution of Christians existed, I didn’t know the horrifying extent of it.

Living in the U.S. has an insulating effect.  I’m ashamed to say that I often just don’t think about the struggles that Christians in other countries deal with.  Like many Christians here, my biggest concern is usually isolated to concerns over the slow erosion of the Christian foundation on which our country was built.

It never occurs to me that Christians worldwide are in hiding.  That they are meeting late at night and in secret places to learn and praise God.  Just this week I walked into a nice Christian bookstore with no thoughts of being killed because I was there.  We pray before we eat out at a restaurant without worry of being seen and targeted for death.

I didn’t know that Christians are still being crucified.  I’m sorry that I didn’t pay more attention.  I’m sorry that I haven’t been actively involved in the spiritual battle to support those who are facing atrocities because they refuse to renounce Jesus.

I’m out of words.

English: Persecution of the Christians

English: Persecution of the Christians (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He’s still in the miracle business

If any of you have read any of my other blog posts, you know that I deal with complex PTSD.  I won’t go into all of the struggles that come with it, you can read some of those on other posts.  I will say that I’ve been out of work because of it for quite a while.  I’ve spent many days asking God why?  I’ve also spent a lot of time wondering if I’ll be able to work again and how.  Who would hire someone who has this medical issue to work around.  After all, it’s a condition that sometimes makes it next to impossible for me to convince myself to even leave my house.  Depending on the day’s severity, I may have trouble remembering what I did 5 minutes ago.

 

I must say though that over time I have learned many new tricks to compensate for the changes PTSD has caused.  You can equate it to someone loosing their legs and then learning new ways to move around.  I keep learning these new ways of compensation and will probably continue to do so.

 

So, now to the true point of this post.  I had started to resign myself to an unemployed existence.  Although, my wife and I have continued to pray for a miracle of some sort.  We’ve prayed continuously that He would take care of us, however that may be.

 

And now the miracle.  A couple of weeks ago, Jodi(my wife) and I decided to drive up to north Georgia.  We had no particular destination in mind.  It was just another Saturday and we were board.  As we were going I saw a sporting goods store in Jasper and we decided to stop in just to kill some time.  While there we ran into the Compton’s.  We knew of them, but didn’t know them well.  Jodi and Beth started talking and find out that they needed a project manager in their company and I have done the job before.

 

In short order I met with Ken and Beth, took a personality test to see if I was a good fit for the job and found out that I was a great fit for what they needed.  So, an unplanned trip to an out of the way place lead to a job.  Neither of us could have guessed that God would answer our prayer in this way.  In fact, it’s a set of circumstances that we couldn’t have orchestrated if we tried.  There were/are too many parts and pieces that needed to come together in a perfect way for it all to work out.  That is something that only God could do.

 

To be completely transparent, I’m not sure exactly how it all happened.  God was working too many pieces for me to even attempt to grasp it all.  In the end it’s not my job to understand it all.  My job is to trust Him and move through the doors He opens and stop trying to open doors that He has closed.

 

No matter what someone tries to tell you or how you feel, God has not left you.  He will also never leave you.  This is not prosperity gospel by any stretch of the imagination.  We had to go through some very dark times to get to today and there will be more of those ahead.  But, if you and I keep our hope and faith in the God of the universe then we can see the dark times as nothing more than a training ground.  We can also rest peacefully in the fact that God also has bright and awesome blessings waiting for each and every one of His children.

 

It’s hard for me to end this post because I don’t feel that I’ve adequately conveyed the miracle that He did.  I think I would have to chronicle most of the last 2 or 3 years for you to get that picture.  But, you don’t have the time to read all of that and I’ve got work to do.

 

 

Cold hearts or just oblivious?

    In talking about the signs of the end, Matthew 24:12 talks about the hearts of men growing colder.  I’ve always interpreted this to mean that people will become more and more violent.  I think it’s pretty evident that this is and has been happening.  

But,  I’m starting to believe that this is about more than just violent behavior.  My wife and I went out for lunch today.  Then made the trip back home.  As a former cop, I tend to notice many things in my surroundings that some may ignore.  I’m always observing what’s going on.  

What I see on the road, in a store, at a restaurant and even at church is a general isolation of one from another.  Many people are simply so self absorbed that they don’t see anyone or anything else.  They have become the center of their own universe.  Their hearts have grown cold to those around them.  

Think this scenario through for a moment.  A man, intent on killing, walks into a crowded place, completely unnoticed and opens fire on a crowd.  In some cases someone has walked into a crowded space with a knife or sword and began killing.  Have you thought about how it is that someone can walk into a crowd and start killing with no one noticing beforehand that something out of the norm was happening?  (before you argue this point, I know that there are some instances where there has been no chance to react.  But not all events have been this way.)  

      I’ve thought for a while that I was constantly being cut off in traffic because people were being asses.  That may be the case sometimes, but I now believe that more often than not those people don’t even know I’m there.  They don’t know that anyone but them is even on the road, in the store, etc.  

      I think this is a part of the coldness that has infiltrated the hearts of men.  A coldness that leads to an amazing level of blindness.  I wish I could suggest an answer to this problem, but this one is way above my pay grade.  This is an issue only God can handle.  Are we nearing the end?  Nearing the return of Christ?  I’ll answer this question in two ways.  First, I hope so because I’m ready to go home, my true home.  Second, I’m afraid we are and I don’t know how to reach the lost before it’s too late.  

      What do you think?  Have things changed or is the world running along as it always has.  

The best devotional books of all time!

1631 Book of Psalms

1631 Book of Psalms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

There are a lot of great Christian devotional books out there.  Some old and some new.  I’ve read a few and still re-read one or two of them.

 

But, there are two books that comprise the best devotional set of all time.  They are the book of Psalms and Proverbs.

 

Have you ever noticed that if you pick up a copy of the new testament that Psalms and Proverbs are always, at least almost always, included?  The reason is because they contain life guiding information that every other devotional in the world is based on.

 

Psalms leads us through the ups and downs of life and how we should react, namely by turning to God no matter what the circumstance or how we feel.  Whats more, Psalms shows each of us that being absolutely open and honest with God is not just good, it’s expected.  There are times in Psalms where King David says things that honestly shock me at first.  My first thought is “why is David talking to God that way?!?  Does He want to get lit up by lightening?”.  The answer to those questions is no.  He doesn’t.  What David had figured out is that God loves him not because of what he’s done, but rather in spite of it.  God invited him to be open, honest, brave, repentant and dependent.  And David took Him up on the offer.

 

It’s not easy for me to pray to God in this manner.  Being raised in a violent home, it is not in my nature to cry out in David’s manner to God.  At certain times it seems that David is nearly accusing God of not holding up His end of the bargain.  When I read these things I’m almost shocked by His audacity.  Does he want to get struck down by lightening or something?!?

 

But with a little more study you’ll learn that this manner of relationship is what God wants.  He wants honesty.  He wants us to know that He’s more than big enough to take it.  After all, no relationship can succeed without honesty.  Even if it hurts sometimes.  He want’s to hear our cries and our anger.  He also wants to hear our love and praise.  All are necessary to a healthy relationship, with God or anyone else.

 

So, I’m inviting you to give it a shot.  You don’t have to ditch your current devotional reading habits.  Just incorporate daily time in these two books.  And then practice what you learn in your communication with God.  Personally, I’m not interested in a Father who will strike me down if I mess up and say he wrong words or say them in the wrong way.  Lucky for you and me that God is not that kind of Dad.  He is one that loves each of us individually in a way that we will not truly be able to fathom until we see Him face to face.

 

Always remember that Jesus, who had the power to obliterate every enemy who crossed Him, instead chose to submit to ridicule, torture, and murder so that you and I could find the path to forgiveness and salvation.

 

Brodie

 

Being prepared is more than beans and bullets

Soldiers wearing the Army Physical Fitness Uniform

Soldiers wearing the Army Physical Fitness Uniform (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I, like everyone else, have been seeing and hearing more and more about prepping.  Meaning preparing for a “meltdown” in the U.S..  I must admit that many of these prepper people have some cool stuff.

 

But, there’s typically something missing in what I see in their preparations.  Specifically the missing item is often physical fitness.  Anyone that has spent anytime in the military knows that body preparation is as important as anything else.  In fact, it is crucial.  A person can have all of the coolest new gear, bags, plans, etc.  But, if they can’t physically move when the situation dictates a move then the boxes and bags of stuff are worthless.

 

I’ve been in the ‘get moving now’ situations.  It is physically and mentally taxing.  Having all of the ‘stuff’ packed and by the door is great.  But, let me say it again:  if you can’t carry it more than 100 yards then you’ve missed the most important key to survival.  A person in a survival situation must, MUST, be prepared on all levels.  IMHO the physical and mental aspects are the most important.

 

This brings me to the most important aspect of being prepared for any situation.  Be it some catastrophic event or just the normal twists and turns of life.  The most important aspect in prepping is my connection to God.  The promises from God in the bible are more than clear that He has your back in every situation.  He may not keep you living in a luxurious situation, but He will keep you.

 

Let’s think about this with extreme clarity.  If you are a Christian, meaning you have accepted Jesus Christ as your lord and saviour, then you have the creator of the universe by your side.  This is the absolutely most important part of being prepared.

 

 

Finding the perfect light

English: Public path near Fiddington I was goi...

English: Public path near Fiddington I was going to go for the shot of the Motorway, but the colours in the bushes caught my eye. The light wasn’t perfect however the photograph captures the feel of the path drawing you in… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I make and sell bullet jewelry.  You can find my site at https://www.etsy.com/shop/Browntreedesigns if you’re interested.  But, I’m always trying to find the perfect lighting to take a picture of something I’ve made.  I don’t want to spend the money on things that are made for this, so I continue to hunt.

 

I was thinking about that issue this morning when God gave me a new thought.  He has provided the perfect light for all of us.  A light that guides our paths in the right directions.  It may not feel like the right direction sometimes.  Life happens and occasionally it seems as if we’re totally in the dark.  If you know Jesus, then I promise you that your not in the dark.

 

You or I may not be able to see past what’s right in front of us, but God can and does.  He knows where He’s going.  He knows the right ways.  All we have to do is follow.  I know what you’re thinking, because I think it too.  It’s easier said than done.  And that’s true.  But, the truth remains that His ways are better than our ways.

 

So, how do we stay on a path that we don’t always see?  I guess trust and faith are the only answers.  Trust that God is guiding your steps.  We may misstep sometimes.  That’s to be expected from a blind creature.  But God also knows this fact.  He’s not setting by watching you or I like a hawk waiting for you to make a mistake so He can pounce.  He’s guiding and teaching.  Sometimes from a distance, and sometimes He just picks us up and carries us along the right ways.

 

I don’t like missing the path.  In fact I hate it.  But, I’m glad the my Dad is there to pick me up when I fall.

 

 

 

 

 

God never quits

God never fails you or quits on you. It may feel like He’s bailed at times. But He has not. These are the times when you and I must trust Him. These are the opportunities to test your reliance on Him.
I fall short on this trust more than I’d like to admit.

Christian and afraid of the end?

I’m often confused when they say something like this: “I’m not ready for Jesus to return. I’m too young, etc.”. My only response is “huh!?!?!?”

If you’ve accepted Jesus, but don’t want Him to take you home yet then something’s wrong. I can see hoping for a delay if you have loved ones that are not saved yet. But other than that, nothing on this earth can match eternity with God.

This is a short post, but else can I say? What about you? Do you dread Christs return?

Are we racing to the end?

     I know that I’m not the only one that has a funny feeling about the conditions in our country and the world as a whole.  I’m not just talking about the big things, like the possibility of war in Syria.  I’m talking about even the actions and attitudes of individual people.  

      Something’s wrong and everyone knows it, even if they aren’t willing to admit it.  I know the world has had many wars before.  Many times of strife and upheaval.  I’m thinking more about the general attitudes and actions of the average person on the street.  Very few people seem to care about whose around them as long as they get what they want.  That could be money or just the closer parking spot.  It’s not pretty.  

     I was hoping for a while that it was just me.  I hoped that I was just letting things get to me.  But, the more I look and listen to everyone and everything, I see that I’m not alone in this feeling.  Things are out of whack.  Many Christian churches are no longer strong in the spirit.  Many individual christians aren’t faring any better.  Please don’t be offended by this if you are a Christian.  I am one too.  Rather than be offended, open your bible, go to God, and ask Him to show you where you may be falling into this trap.  Ask Him to make you stand out in the crowd.  That every person with  an open heart will meet Jesus through you.  

     I’ve never been one to think that the end is near, until now.  I know that things could still be much worse than they are now.  But how much worse will it get for Christ returns?  That is a question that neither you, nor I can answer.  If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your savior, then now’s the time.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.  

Time is running out

I think that most people would agree that things in the world are changing.  Rapidly.  I’m not just talking about environmental issues.  I’m talking more about the heart condition of men and women around the world.  There is a coldness that wasn’t there before.  At least not to the extent that it is now.

Yes, there has always been violence and other depraved behavior.  But today is different.  The coldness that exists now is more pervasive.  It has reached into every corner of the world.  Every country, state, city and suburb.  Have you noticed that most people would just as soon run over you as let you go in front of them in line at the grocery store?  Do you wait forever and a day to turn onto a road because every driver is so absorbed in their own activity that they don’t even see you?  Have you noticed that the news, any news, is about things that you never thought would happen?  People of all different races and backgrounds are angrily trying to remove any reference to God out of public view.  News organizations that once prided themselves on dedication to the truth are now perverting the truth to suit their own needs and philosophies.  There are more murders on any given day than any one person could keep track of.  Wars and rumors of wars that have no end in sight.

God is allowing more and more of the wrong in the world to come into full view.  From the top leaders to the lack of common courtesy things have changed and it cannot be denied.  A country that was extinct for nearly 2000 years suddenly is reborn.  This happened just in 1948 and already most have forgotten, or no longer care.  Here’s what I don’t know:  I don’t know how much time we have left here and I don’t know how to make those that are blind to the truth see.  God has been proven to exist over and over again.  Things have happened that have no other explanation other than by the hand of God.  And yet the hearts of many only grow colder.  This too was predicted in the Bible and it’s growing more pervasive by the day.

Here’s the bottom line:  I am not a great orator.  I’m not a bible scholar.  I don’t know how to get the lost to believe.  I do know that God has placed it on my heart to do what I can with the tools available to me to sound a warning.  To sound a warning that time here on earth is drawing to a close.  My particular tool is social media.  There are many like me that are issuing the same warning.  Some online, some on the street, some in writing, some on a stage, some person to person.  Please accept Jesus before it’s too late.  If you don’t know how, then find a Christian that can lead you.