The New Religion…

Atheism is on the rise. For millenia men have debated on who God was. On His attributes. But times they are a changing. What once was an obvious assumption… life cannot come from nothingness, has been challenged by the elite minded.

Today a college professor is getting ready for class with the agenda of dismantling your child’s faith. They are preparing themselves to challenge all things theism and bully them into believing how silly it is for them to believe in God. They can’t wait to hit them with a zinger that will try and rock the foundations of their faith.

I mean all the smart people are atheists right??

For a large part of my life I would say my beliefs were agnostic. I know the “arguments” well. Even now I don’t suppose to have all the answers.

But I have seen one thing for certain. There are blind followers on both sides. People who follow simply because they think it is what they are supposed to do.

Dear Christian it is time. It is time to get the head and the heart on the same page. Do you know why it is that you belive what you believe?? Have you even read this book that you put your faith in? Do you actually sit down and study about things that have eternal impact?

There is a fine line between debate, and being argumentative, and simply standing up for the truth. I get that. It will be hard to manage the course. It will be hard to use the wisdom of God in your life without getting puffed up about it. It has happened to me. God has dealt with it.

But we have to engage where God leads us. We have to be open to those opportunities.

The war is on. They are trying to disassemble our faith with their reason and we must stand up to them. Why?? Because the sheep are watching. I have been in discussions where maybe not the person I was talking to but someone else would message me and ask me to share my testimony. To share my faith with them.

In eight years as a Christian I have seen what the world, and satan wants to do. He wants to shut me up at all costs. He wants to get me involved in secret sins to neutralize my witness. He wants me to get lost in meaningless conversations, instead of engaging in places where Christ leads.

I have failed so much in these last few years… but I will not shut up. I will not give up on telling the world about Jesus any way possible. Every day I will tell them about your goodness. I will tell them about your grace and mercy of my sinful condition.

Dear Christian we are in a war that means to only silence us. Prepare yourself and your loved ones for the battle ahead. As the knowledge of the world grows, our knowledge of the WORD should grow right alongside of it.

It is our only defense.

Ecclesiastes 7:12

12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

2 Timothy 2:24-26

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

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Finding Love…

From a philosophical standpoint… if there was 100% certain evidence that God was there according to science. Then what would be the point of the game of life??

True love is a choice. When you choose to love someone it is the greatest gift they can receive. It is the kind of love our creator seeks from us.

If God was based only on certain evidence that we “see”…we would be bound by the “evidence” to “love” our creator by reason alone. It would hardly be a choice.

God seeks those who choose to love Him based on faith.

#apologetics #christian #faithoverreason

Where is your faith rooted…

I was talking with a guy the other day when out of the blue he blatantly informed me that the Bible was a sham. He then went on to tell me about how a lot of different things had happened through history. He even went back as far back as the third century and then this and that…it all sounded very logical. He made it all sound so right.

I said well that’s nice. So where did you get all this information?? He said oh I read it in a book. It’s groundbreaking really… And then he proceeded to give me the author and title.

I said, oh so you want to discredit my book with your book?

He said huh???

I said well that’s what your doing. You have put your faith in a book and I have put my faith in one. And not only that…but I have put my faith in the author of it. My author is God. Yours is a man.

We all gather our faith from somewhere. We all put our trust in something. But in the end there is only one credible source.

What is your faith in today??

A small miracle…

So yesterday while my wife was shopping Karis dropped her “blanky”. This satin blanket has been through makenna and now Karis over the last few years. The emotions and experiences attached to that blanket were too numerous to name. Although it is just a material object, it holds great sentimental value to us. Our greatest fear because it was so ragged, would be that if anyone found it they would simply, throw it away.

Summer had traced her steps and came to the realization that it had to have been dropped in Target. They were shopping to buy the kids a toy with their Christmas money around 4. So we called the store and there was no sign of it.

When I got home I was informed of everything that had happened. We ate dinner and I guess I thought… well maybe this isn’t a bad thing. Karis will be 3 in April and it’s probably time to ween her off of it anyway.

Well around eight that tune had changed. Karis was heartbroken!! I thought well if I am going to have to listen to her cry all night the least I could do would be to go back down there and take a look.

So off I went. When I got there I looked through every buggy in the parking lot. Then I walked inside and talked to customer service. No luck. So I text summer and asked her to which department’s had she been in.

Electronics, toys, shoes, and make-up. Up and down the aisles of those departments I roamed for the next 30 minutes. Back and forth and up and down… no dice.

I was about ready to give up when I thought… you know I have not prayed about this. So I stopped, closed my eyes right there in the store and said a little prayer.

“Father… I know it is a small thing, I know it is not a big deal deal in the scheme of life… but I am asking you for your help in finding this blanket. And I am asking for your help in Jesus name, amen. “

I had pretty much made my rounds again and I was thinking about going back to customer service and offering a reward. Maybe it would turn up in the next few days…But as I was walking past the card section I saw the return cart for the kids stuff. Something told me to turn and go that way. I walked down that aisle to the lady and looked at her stuff.. nope she hadn’t seen it, either. By now it was near closing time and most of the associates were working putting stuff back on the shelfs.

But the shoe department was right there and I thought why not… and would you believe it as I walked around the corner, there it was!!!

Almost five hours later. Sitting on the ground in plain view!!

I will not lie and say I didn’t get all choked up.

Sometimes we are so worried about the big things in life we forget that our father in heaven cares about and loves us in all things. He doesn’t mind us asking for help, even with the small stuff!!

One Bible, coming right up…

My first trip to the Dominican was pretty awesome. So many stories to tell. I have shared a few but the other day another one came to mind.

On the plane ride there I sat beside my buddy Chris McDuffie. We were just making small talk and I was thinking out loud…man I wish I would have brought one of those Spanish to English bibles, it would have been very useful!!

Well I didn’t think anymore about it. The conversation moved on and so did we.

Over the next few days we were split into 2 teams with the other church on the trip. They were from Decatur baptist church in Alabama. We were all mixed up and Chris was on the other team. As we loaded up the shuttle bus I moved towards the back. Our “team” was headed out into the field! The ride lasted about 30 minutes and we were all making small talk and excited about the trip.

Right before we got to where we were going, Paula Carver Batchelor spoke up on the bus and said hey…I brought this Spanish/English bible if anyone thinks they need it!!

Instantly I recalled that conversation Chris and I had. I felt like God was smiling at me. Like He was saying…I don’t want any hindrances on this trip. You said you needed it, so here you go!

But the story doesn’t end there. I carried it all day with me and used it frequently. At the end of that day we were scheduled to begin discipleship classes with ones who wanted to learn more.

Our team leader, had became violently ill during the day. It really is a hit or miss thing over there. People just get sick. The food and water has different microbes than here and it’s not good or bad it’s just the way it is.

So they said hey Rob you want to teach this discipleship thing?? I was so far out of my league that I said sure… I mean when you are out on a limb of faith what’s a little more pressure??

But God knows. He knows what we can handle. So we load up and head back out. I get to the church planters house and 1 person shows up, besides the planters, for the class. It was the first day of discipleship. Milca, the lady who coordinated everything on our trip, looked up at me and said….you want to just cancel?? I said let’s give it a minute. I was already nervous anyway so I said a little prayer. I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me…

Telling me…

Maybe this one is all I can trust you with today? But is the one not worth it? How would you feel if you were that one eager to learn more and they just canceled??

So I said lets do it. And the class went smoothly. My young brother Elias interpreted and all went well. A nice young lady listened intently. She took notes and followed along. She was a good student. As we finished up we prayed and began to start getting ready for the neighborhood movie.

I took two steps down off the porch and I don’t think I’ve ever felt God move me physically like that. He stopped me cold in my tracks. The Holy Spirit nudged me…Ask her does she have a Bible?? So I walked back up and asked her. She said no I do not. I opened up my backpack and handed her Paula’s bible. By the look on her face I could tell the impact the gift had made. Tears flowed as she insisted that I sign it. It was a truly humbling experience.

I simply wrote…to my number one student. Little did she know that literally…she was my number one student.

On the way back to the hotel I told Paula what had happened. In a way I was fearful because we had just met and it was “her” bible that I had given away. There was this moment where I put it out there and I didn’t know what her response would be….and then this big huge smile came across her face and I knew that I had done the right thing.

What an amazing order of events God had orchestrated to deliver a Bible into the hands of this new believer!!

Don’t Take My Word For It, Take God’s…

It has been seven years since I first heard those words. I remember coming in to church quietly and sitting on the back row. Bruised, battered and downtrodden. Taking my place yet ready to exit if the preacher said anything offensive. But on that day Pastor Joe Mckaig used these words to change my life.

“Don’t take my word for it, take God’s!”

I am grateful today that God gave him that message.

In one sentence He took the focus off of the messenger and onto the message. It changed my perspective forever. My whole life I had watched as fallen men had tried to tell me about God, but I would secretly dismantle them in my mind.

When you focus on the man instead of the message it is only a matter of time before it will leave you empty.

Do I believe pastors are inspired and called by God to be more… Yes! Please let us all pray for them because of the weight and burden they carry because of this calling. But they are still just men. They will have highs and lows. And your faith will rise and fall with them if that is your only focus.

As for me I am just a sinner that has been saved by grace through faith. I have learned a lot through a great number of mistakes in my life. Most are things I am not proud of. I write and share but my words are never good enough. If you only focus on me you will be left empty.

But I do have a mission and a purpose. That purpose is to point you towards Jesus. The reality is I am just like a guy on the side of the road with a spinning sign. Pointing you in the direction, but it’s not about me. It is about what I am pointing you to.

Read my message. Weigh it. But don’t focus on me too much. It will leave you disappointed.

And please if you are out there and you read my posts, do me one favor.

Don’t take my word for it, take God’s.

Open your Bible. Find it for yourself.

Jesus and my Georgia Bulldogs..

As I was getting ready for church on Sunday I reached for my bulldog jacket. Slipping it on brought back memories of the day before. Saturday was a rough day for my dawgs!! Man it was brutal. I mean they really stunk it up! My jacket did seem a little heavier as I slid it on and we headed out the door.

But they are my team. No matter win or lose I will always love them. I am a loyal fan.

As we were driving to church it occurred to me… now that’s just a small picture of how Jesus loves me!! Oh but how so much exponentially more!! And no matter how many times I blow it, He still loves me. Watching the game of my life unfold I am sure He wonders why I make such bone-headed plays sometimes. And oh the stupid penalties!! Why do I go backwards when I should be moving forward??

Yet He never gives up on me. He is faithful, even when I am not.

Always waiting patiently for me to reach my hand towards Him. To seek His guidance. Too many times I have found myself in a place of repentance in the last seven years. Praying in the shower till my water runs from hot to cold. Crying out to the coach of my life when I have blown the game.

But sometimes it is in that quiet place of submission where we can learn the most. I believe that’s why He let’s the other team come at us so hard. To bring us to the point of realizing we can only win this game of life through Him. It is only in Him that we can find the peace we all so desperately are searching for. As humans it is a sad reality that we learn more from our failures, than we do from our success. It is usually the pain of loss that changes us.

But He does want us to learn from our failures, and not get caught up in them. I think He takes no pleasure in watching us blow the game. Because with repeated failure comes hypocrisy.

I prayed…Lord I know you love me and for that I am eternally grateful. I know I cannot sin my way out of your kingdom. What is the real danger of becoming a hypocrite? Will you take your words away?

A few days later in the quietness of my heart, I felt the Holy Spirit reply… oh no child. I do not work that way. I gave you a gift and it will always be with you. You are a messenger of mine. (All Christian’s are btw)

The real danger when hypocrisy sets in…is that no one will listen to you anymore.

If your life does not echo the words you speak. You will eventually become neutralized and put on the bench. Your witness for me becomes useless.

Ouch. A harsh word for a player that likes to be in the game.

The truth is Jesus loves us so much more than we could ever love any team. And while our loyalties will wax and wane, His love for us never does. Praise be to my king who loves me way better than I could ever love Him!!

Which leaves me with one profound thought…

I wear my bulldog jacket proudly every day…but how well do I wear the cloak of Christ??

Freedom Has A Price…

On this Veterans Day I think about our freedom and how much we take it for granted. Simply put, freedom isn’t free. There is always a price. But just who is willing to pay the price for our freedom? It seems like the reality of it is far from our perception of it… And we can all sense it. Somewhere beneath the surface of our society. Evil is slowly dragging freedom from below our very feet. Maybe we have just confused free stuff with freedom?

And it is our inability to pay the price. To stand up for our beliefs. Our country and its lack of a backbone is in a state of moral decay….We all want the easy job while someone else works in the field. But it’s not just an American problem. Inside of that one is the Christians who let it happen. We rush headlong down the aisle to get our own salvation. But for most of us it stops there. A little behavior modification. Sunday morning in and out for an hour… and we’re done. We got our ticket to heaven so we are all good!! But is that it? Really ? Jesus went to the cross and died for you, just so you could feel better about living your sinful life? Is that it?…

We were all bought with a price. Remember that. Nothing is free. It is time to stand up for what is right in this country and in our Christian lives. Just like I would assume if a foreign power invaded our borders, every man and woman would protect their homes the best they could. THEN they would pay the price…But you see we are under attack. There is a war going on right now. And its a slow deliberate one. And our inability to act has made us our own worst enemy. Our freedoms aren’t being taken away…We are slowly giving them up because we all refuse to stand up for the things we believe in. We refuse to get out of our comfort zone. To leave our circle and engage others.

And as Christians our pastors and teachers are likened to the soldiers aren’t they? They end up on the front lines. Carrying most of the burden of the war. Isn’t it time for us all to step up and get more engaged? To help pay that price? As an American I have the luxury of not serving and letting others fight to preserve my freedom. But as a Christian I do not have that same right. We are all called to spread the gospel. And it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Just simply open your heart and engage the wounded people all around you. Show them the love of Christ that is in you…

Choose Faith…

I was in class the other day when someone posed a question. It was “their” question. Something they ponder about in the quietness of the mind. A pebble in the shoe about things we just don’t understand. We all have one, or two.
It was a good question. I am not discounting that. As a group we tried to talk it out. It was something along these lines…
Why did God do it this way?? Or

Why does God allow??

Or maybe it was my personal favorite, but what about those people??
This is our struggle. The human condition. But we must realize all the knowledge in the world will not get us to the place God wants us to go. Because if this life was just about knowledge… then where would the trust and obedience come in??
Where would love come in? Why would we ever need such a thing as faith??
If we logically surmised each and every circumstance…how could we ever get to the place where God ultimately wants us? The place He wants every believer. To simply trust Him at His word. After all…

Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
When my wife and I first started dating she hit me with an interesting concept. She said love is a choice. I had never heard of love being put that way, because I had always chased emotion. I had always chased my feelings. But we choose to love. And how much sweeter that love is when we wholeheartedly make that choice! To choose to love someone despite all their flaws and imperfections. After all, isn’t that the way Christ loves us??
Our faith is also a choice we have to make. There will always be questions that will not get answered in this life. But the reality is.. it is my pride that demands them. My need to think I am on the same level playing field as the creator of the heavens and the earth. When He has already declared that I am not.
Job 38:4
4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Ultimately on the balances of our lives there will always be the weighing in of the evidence of our hearts, versus the evidence of our minds. It is Faith that bridges that gap. That bringing together of hearts and minds. We cannot have either/or. We must have both in our pursuit of God. And it is our faith that reconciles it all. That choosing God. Even though we do not understand some days. Even though we do not see all the angles. That submission into a higher power that says…I do not have all the answers, but Jesus I know that you do. And then something amazing happens on the days when you begin to make that choice. When you start to grasp the notion of having a child like faith.
It is then that God truly begins to reveal Himself to you.

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