Thursday, April 7, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Hello! Class. Let's begin...
Jesus. What is the very first thing that pops into your mind when you hear that name? Joy? Peace? Patient? Love? Healer? Many things pop into my mind but the one that stands out the most is, SAVIOR. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, that is who He is. He wants to save you today from yourself, He wants to wipe away all of your sin, and welcome you in His' Kingdom. Does that really sound bad? I laugh at the people who think serving God is boring. Those of you who don't have a relationship with Jesus -Are seriously missing out. You can go ahead and have all this world...all I want is Jesus.
Jesus and Nicodemus
1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,f that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.g 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”
When did you first meet Jesus? How? The entire gospel comes to a focus in verse 16. TRUE love is NOT self-centered; it reaches out and draws others in. God sets the pattern of true love here, the basis for all love relationships: If you love someone dearly, you will be willing to pay dearly for that persons love. God paid with the life of his Son., the highest price he could pay. Jesus accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and then offered us the new life that he bought for us. When we share the gospel with others, our love must be like his--we must willingly give up our own comfort and security so that others might join us in receiving God's love.
One heart at a time,
Monday, March 7, 2011
The Gold calf
1When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, "Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." 2So Aaron said to them, "Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." 3So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!" 5When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD." 6And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.
7And the LORD said to Moses, "Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, 'These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'" 9And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. 10Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you."
11But Moses implored the LORD his God and said, "O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, 'With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. 13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, 'I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.'" 14And the LORD relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.
15Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp." 18But he said, "It is not the sound of shouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear." 19And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.
21And Moses said to Aaron, "What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?" 22And Aaron said, "Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. 23For they said to me, 'Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' 24So I said to them, 'Let any who have gold take it off.' So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf."
25And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies), 26then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, "Who is on the LORD’s side? Come to me." And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. 27And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.'" 28And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. 29And Moses said, "Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day."
What distracts you from obeying God? Idols again! Even though Israel had seen the invisible God in action, they still wanted the familiar gods they could see and shape into whatever image they desired. How much like them we are! Our great temptation is still to shape God to our liking, to make Him convenient to obey or ignore. God responds in great anger when His mercy is trampled on. The gods we create blind us to the love the living God wants to shower on us. God cannot work in us when we elevate anyone or anything above Him. What idols are in your life?
One heart at a time,
Friday, March 4, 2011
Do you ever question God's power? Has there ever been anything in your life that seemed impossible to overcome, or obtain? On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your trust level towards God? How much do you trust in Him daily? Do you trust Him? It doesn't matter where we may fall on that scale. It doesn't matter if you rated a 10, 11 12 for that matter! It doesn't matter much...because there is always room to trust Him more. We must. We live in a world where (without God) everything is unsure. Everything is turmoil everything is chaos. Life without God is no life at all. Life without God is like having know law. Imagine if there was no law. There would be more and more wrecks occurring, drug busts, shooting, stabbings, rapes, etc. etc. you name it! In all honesty...the world could never rule itself. If it tried, it end up dead. That is why we have Jesus. He sets things straight for Christians and helps them live lives that are upright so that they won't die, but have everlasting life with Him. ("The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10). If you are not a true Christian, a genuine follower of Christ, then you are NOT living life to it's fullest because, a life without Christ is no life at all. For, God is life and life is living for the Almighty God. "But, how can you say that Jesus is the only way to have a great life, that he is the only way to Heaven, how can you say such a thing when there is so many other different religions in the world?" I can say such a thing because, I know it's true for the Bible tells me so! It's right here in: John 14:6 clear as day, it reads, " Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (Emphasis added). You belong to Christ! He made you He loves you! He desires to have a relationship with you and give you life! And life more abundantly! Don't be deceived any longer! Jesus is coming soon and you must make things right! "Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38. Allow God to free you from sin and darkness...allow God to carry you into the light and heal you! Why wait to have a better life when you can have a better life now? It's a sad thing that one would rather sleep in there own urine and vomit, wade in the power of darkness, spend half there days hanging over a toilet bowl and call it "A fun hangover". Or, go off and have premarital sex with a guy or girl they barely know just to find out they got pregnant, had an abortion got aids and separated, you call that love!? Wake up! Why are you torturing yourself to be 'popular'? "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." God is right there in front of you waiting to pull you out of your broken life. We can't just say we believe in God we must do something about it! Have faith! God is more powerful than you think! He CAN DO ANYTHING! (That is not an exaggeration). Are you living in darkness today? Do you feel like there is no hope? Do you feel like there is no way out of the misery that you got yourself in? Well if you said yes to any of those questions, than know that 1. you did not run across this website on accident, 2. You do have a purpose in life and there IS hope in Jesus 3. Jesus loves you and He wants you to trust Him and live for Him. God has already taken the initiative to reach down and help you. Christ has always been there, even in your darkest hour. Now, it's your turn to reach up and take His hand. Will you do that today? Will you decide today to put your hand in the hand of the man who calmed the sea? He can calm your sea today. Your problems aren't too big for God to solve. Your life is not too dark for God to heal. HE KNOWS YOU. HE MADE YOU. Never underestimate the power of Christ. Do you today? Do you not trust God, and believe in Him and what He says He can do? If so, take the time to read below. I pray you are touched by truth and made free by the great power of the Almighty God.
The Longest Day
1 Now Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard that Joshua had taken Ai and totally destroyeda]">[a] it, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and that the people of Gibeon had made a treaty of peace with Israel and had become their allies. 2 He and his people were very much alarmed at this, because Gibeon was an important city, like one of the royal cities; it was larger than Ai, and all its men were good fighters. 3 So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem appealed to Hoham king of Hebron, Piram king of Jarmuth, Japhia king of Lachish and Debir king of Eglon. 4 “Come up and help me attack Gibeon,” he said, “because it has made peace with Joshua and the Israelites.”
5 Then the five kings of the Amorites—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish and Eglon—joined forces. They moved up with all their troops and took up positions against Gibeon and attacked it.
6 The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: “Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us.”
7 So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. 8 The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”
9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. 10 The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.
12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself onb]">[b] its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
15 Then Joshua returned with all Israel to the camp at Gilgal.
How do you know God is powerful? How did the sun stand still? Of course, in relation to the earth the sun always stands still, but the wording should not cause us to doubt the miracle. After all, we are not confused when someone tells us the sun rises or sets. The point is that the day was prolonged by a miracle, and God's intervention turned the tide of battle for his people. Do not be afraid to ask God for what might seem impossible. If it is in His will, He has the power to do it.
One heart at a time,
Galatians 2:20 " I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Philippians 1:21" For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."
Monday, February 28, 2011
What? Did the title catch your attention? Well I'm glad it did. Below is a post that was not written by me, it was written by one of the gifted writers over at the, "Unlocking Femininity Blog". (Link: http://unlockingfemininity.com/ )
--Pop icon; noun; a celebrity, character, or object whose fame in pop culture constitutes a defining characteristic of a given society or era.
Since her 2008’s debut album, The Fame, our entire culture has gone Gaga! In a matter of months the 24-year-old native New Yorker, Stefani Germanotta (just don’t call her that!) skyrocketed to becoming one of the world’s greatest pop stars, being dubbed the title “The New Queen of Pop.” With shocking outfits ranging from bubbles to beef, envelope-pushing prime-time performances and lyrics that leave you guessing at their meaning, Lady Gaga has surpassed the world of pop singers to being a pop icon. With two Grammy Awards, 10 singles, 55 million record sales, and even her own perfume line (coming Spring 2012 – a fragrance smelling like semen and blood…no seriously) she’s an international superstar.
Her new single Born This Way hits airwaves tomorrow and, unlike some of her other lyrics, its meaning is clear:
I’m beautiful in my way, ‘Cause God makes no mistakes,
I’m on the right track, baby I was Born This Way.
Don’t be a drag, just be a queen, A different lover is not a sin,
Whether you’re…black, white, beige, chola descent,
You’re lebanese, you’re orient, whether life’s disabilities,
Left you outcast, bullied or teased, Rejoice and love yourself today,
‘Cause baby, you were Born This Way
No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life,
I’m on the right track, baby, I was born to survive,
‘Cause God makes no mistakes, I was Born This Way
Religion; noun; a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with arder and faith
Deep down, what Lady Gaga is looking for is what we have all looked for – acceptance. “I want to create a space for my fans where they can feel free, and they can celebrate. I didn’t fit in at high school…I felt like a freak. So I like to create this atmosphere for my fans where they feel like they have a freak in me to hang out with, and they don’t feel alone.” As a bullied and teased teen, the self-titled “Mother Monster,” sees her concerts as her community. Stefani Germanotta was a social outcast who wanted to be accepted. So Lady Gaga created a different world where she and other “outcasts” could be accepted. “The Monsterball is by nature a protest: A youth church experience to speak out and celebrate against all forms of discrimination (and) prejudice.”
For Lady Gaga and her fans, concerts (aka “Monster Balls”) aren’t really about being entertained as much as they’re about finding an identity.
But for Gaga and for us, an identity wrapped up in the attention of others is like trying to fill an empty stomach with sugar-free candy – it just leaves us hungry for something more. Behind the crazy costumes and head-scratching quotes is an artist that nurtures loyalty, approval, and a sense of family among her fans. She loves them, works for them and speaks on their behalf. In the world that she’s created, she’s influencing the perspective of an entire culture.
Coming from a Catholic home, she shared, “I believe in Jesus, I believe in God, I’m very spiritual, I pray. But at the same time there is no one religion that doesn’t hate another racial group or religious group or sexual group. I suppose you could say I’m a quite religious woman that is confused about religion and I dream of a future where we will have a more peaceful religion.” As a gay rights advocate, her YouTube video calling for the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Act has over 2 million hits and got the attention of Senator Harry Reid. At one of her “Monster Balls” she told the audience, “Does everyone know what I hate more than anything? I hate the truth, in fact I hate the truth so much I prefer a giant dose of bull any day over the truth.” She reads the Bible, condemns prejudice, and encourages her LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender) fans that they were “born this way.” Meld it all together and you have a belief system.
“What I’ve discovered is that in art, as in music, there’s a lot of truth-and then there’s a lie. The artist is essentially creating his work to make this lie a truth, but he slides it in amongst all the others. The tiny little lie is the moment I live for, my moment.” ~Lady Gaga
And in those moments, Gaga creates her own religion.
Revolution; noun; a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving
“Some artists want your money so they can buy Range Rovers and diamond bracelets, but I don’t care about that kind of stuff. I want your soul.”
~ Lady Gaga
When it comes to influences like Lady Gaga, we need to listen with caution. “Test everything; hold fast to what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21).
The reason her views on spirituality and truth are so dangerous isn’t that she launches an all-out assault on God – it’s that she redefines Him.
For Gaga, a loving and accepting God is one that allows us to call our own shots. She’s created her own world, with her own rules, and her own values of tolerance and affirmation. But the problem is only those that are tolerant and affirming of her values are considered a part of her world. Different opinions, while she may respect them, are called narrow and intolerant.
Second Peter 2 talks about the kind of people whose teachings can creep into the church, perhaps even sound like the truth, but instead they are “destructive heresies.” They are bold, willful, “indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.” (vv.10) “And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed…They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed.” (vv. 2, 14). What Lady Gaga is producing isn’t just music – it’s a movement.
“To everyone who says this is wrong to feel like this say, ‘I was born this way baby.’”
Lady Gaga’s beliefs on homosexuality go against God’s design for our gender roles to reflect His relationship with His people (Gen. 2:18-25, Eph. 5:22-33). What she calls being “Born This Way,” God clearly calls sin. (Lev. 18:22). Second Timothy 3:1 describes how “in the last days there will come times of difficulty.”
If we hold to God’s Word without compromise, we’re probably going to be misunderstood, labeled as “prejudiced haters,” and un-cool outcasts of society (John 15:18).
“For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” (2 Tim. 3)
He made you perfect, Babe…I’m beautiful in my way, ‘Cause God makes no mistakes, I’m on the right track, baby, I was Born This Way.
It’s true that God makes no mistakes – but we have. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) And unless we’ve been made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ, we’re not on the right track. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23). We’re sinners, rebels, enemies of God – and we’re born this way. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12, Eph. 2:3) He made us in His image, to be beautiful in His way (Ps. 139). But we turned on Him, ran from Him and went our own way. “But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) And because Jesus provided the payment for our sin on the cross, we don’t have to be outcasts looking for acceptance. “Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13).
I was born again this way. Are you?
One heart at a time,
Saturday, February 26, 2011
When the storms of life are raging, who do you go to for help? Your Mom? Your Dad? Your Coworkers? Friends? What? Who? Do you find what they have to say helpful? Is it good advice? Well that's great. However, next time you are in a bind...go to God. Go to God first. Pray. Worship. Seek His face. He is listening to your cry and He sees every tear that you shed.
It's in times of discomfort, turmoil agony etc. that we decide to turn to God. Take for example the past earthquakes and fires in California that caused damage. Before those events occurred the people walked about living there lives like everything was fine. Things were peachy...so they thought. Then when the earth began to rumble unapologetic-ally underneath them, and the fires continued to rapidly spread it was only then -that some decided to pray and ask God for help. Why is it that so often people only pray when they are in great need? When it only involves them or, those close to them? It's only when disaster strikes that people run around in circles in panic and THEN turn to Jesus. That is a little something called, "Putting God on the back burner". Why do we? Shouldn't we be people of faith? Shouldn't we be praying without ceasing? Not only praying for ourselves but, praying for others as well. In the good times AND in the bad, shouldn't God be our ultimate source of strength?
The Concerns of Jesus
Matthew 9:27-38 says -
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
The Workers Are Few35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
How Do YOU picture Jesus caring for you? Jesus didn't respond immediately to the blind men's pleas. He waited to see how earnest they were. Not everyone who says he or she wants help really wants it badly enough to do something about it. Jesus may have waited and questioned these men to make their desire and faith stronger. If it seems as if God is too slow in giving an answer to your prayers, maybe He is testing you as He did the blind men. Do you believe God can help you? Do you really want His help?
One heart at a time,
“When the humble see it they will be glad; you, who seek God, let your hearts revive for the LORD hears the needy.“ Psalm 69:32
Friday, February 25, 2011
Hello! And welcome to Change Of Heart.com. This blog was born out of a burden in my heart for the lost. I pray that here, you find the encouragement you are looking for. With this blog, I want to reach the hearts and lives of people like YOU all over the world. My goal for this blog is to help transform the hearts of people using the message of the Gospel, and God's love. Thank you for visiting Change Of Heart.com I pray you are blessed, saved, sanctified and set apart for Christ!
One heart at a time,