boyradd

Forgiven…Loved…..Transformed!

The End of an Era

Acts 20:24 – But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

A few years ago Pastor Christian, one of the pastors at the church I attend, preached a sermon on “finishing well.” At the end of it he sent the trustees around the sanctuary with baskets filled with little finishing washers to remind us to finish well.

I immediately put that on my key ring to remind me every single day that I need to finish this life well.

But it isn’t just with life.

In everything we need to prepare for our final curtain call.

When I left the grocery chain I worked for almost 10 years at to start a franchise, I stared long and hard at that little finishing washer. I wanted to leave my region in a better state that it was started in.

That is called a legacy.

Every job, every ministry, and aspect of our personal lives we should strive to leave a positive lasting legacy.

The legacy I want everyone to see when I step away from this life and move into my time with God face to face is Jesus. When people think of me, I want them to think of Jesus.

2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

That brings me to my point for this blog. It is time to step away from blogging for a while. I need to begin to simplify my life so that Christ can shine through the simplicity.

I don’t want Christ to return only to find me busy to be busy. I want Him to find me busy creating that lasting legacy that will have people saying, “I have no clue what his name was, but I remember him always talking about Jesus.”

Over the life of this blog, I have posted 218 times. I tried to post weekly, but realized that as the blog became more mature, it was difficult to find inspiration to write so I had some weeks where I posted nothing. I also had some weeks where I posted daily.

My very first post was on May 13, 2012. At that time my Twitter was sitting at 218 followers, mostly friends. Also at that time I labeled myself a “Christian apologist.” The dictionary defines an apologist as someone who “offers an argument in defense of something controversial.” In Christian terms, an apologist is someone who gives a reason for the faith which they have.

Today, my Twitter account sits at 1,858 followers and my blog is in front of potentially 2,800 people weekly. I am sure my Twitter numbers will drop now that I am not blogging any more, that seems to be how this game of social media works. The more you are on it, the more people want to know about you and scope you out. When you step away, you fall back into the mists of commonality.

Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

I have covered topics on this blog that were very important to my journey at the time I posted them. I spoke a lot about divorce, seeing as how I got a divorce not long before I started blogging. I wrote about the image of God, predestination and election, farting, missions, tears, politics, masturbation, my late dog Mocha, the mission journeys I took to Peru, Christmas, single parenting, strippers, gay marriage, heresy in the church, being a dad, and many many other topics.

Some of my favorites (and also some of my readers’ favorites) included:

I also made a few mistakes along the way. In the post “Minding your P’s & Q’s,” I was discussing some of the original Biblical texts and throughout the post I kept saying the P75 and Codex Vaticanus were one in the same. They are very far from being the same thing. There is a matter of about 1,000 year difference. But if you really want to know where your Bible came from, start researching those 2 documents.

Next, I ranted about some poor customer service I had at Comcast. Now I believe everyone allowed to get frustrated and go on a rant from time to time. But those rants should never be on social media. The next post I apologized to Comcast for my poor choice of words about them.

I am sure my theology was not always lining up with the top theologists out there. I bet if Pastor Brit (one of the pastors at the church I attend and also THE toughest theologian I know) read my posts he would have a laundry list of theological fixes I need to make.

But that is the thing about theology. We need to internalize it and make it our own. Yes, we need accountability to make sure we are learning it properly. Theology is not some nebulous thing. It needs to be learned to be properly used. But we do need to make theology our own.

Philippians 1:6 – I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I have completely filled my schedule with an abundance of tasks. Everything from buying a house to starting a business to leading several ministries to (in the near future) potentially planting a church.

In order to perform well at the important ones, I need to remove the ones which are simply there as either an ego boost or to be busy, including this blog.

So I thank you for reading this blog over the years and I pray we can stay in touch. The site will remain open, it just won’t have any new posts on it.

God bless.

Many Regrets, One Hope

Luke 2:14 – “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Being 45 years old, a lot has happened in my life. Some things I am very proud of.

In high school I did very well in the science fairs and received a decent amount of college scholarships because of it. I was really into robotics and my senior year I built a robot butler that ran off dual motorcycle batteries and was about 5’ tall. It poured drinks and vacuumed.

When I went to college, I was in a lot of different activities. I acted and did sound design for our theatre, was Production Manager at the radio station (I will forever know how to pronounce a “W” after spending years there) and my senior seminar project was producing a digital demo for a band. These days a digital demo is all too normal, but during the early 90s, digital was almost unheard of.

I became a multi-unit manager at a fairly young age with Taco Bell. Managing 3 stores, building a new one, and leading several regional task forces all by the age of 25 was awesome. That springboarded a career that led to managing 175 units across 26 states and eventually to a long, successful career at a large grocery chain and finally ending in owning my own recruiting franchise.

But along the way, I have had several moments that were not so glorious.

Because of my awkwardness in high school, I never made any close friends. Because of my busyness in college, I never really grew close to anyone there either. Because of my work schedule and strong desire to succeed (pretty much an addiction to work) I was never there for my now ex-wife and kids. My ex-wife eventually gave me up for another guy and the relationship with the kids is strained, although in some ways getting better.

But there are a LOT of days that I wish I would have done things differently.

I know what you are thinking, “But, Fred, you have an amazing life.”

You are right, God has blessed me beyond measure despite the screw ups I have done.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I wish I had changed things in my past. We all have that feeling. We have all done things that we wish were different.

But we can’t dwell on those past problems.

For myself, I need to move forward, past the issues of my lack of friends in the past and my lack of commitment to my ex-wife and over-commitment to my work.

You see, if it weren’t for those mistakes, I would not have been given the hope I have now.

It is very easy to say that in the past few years, God has turned my life around and given me more blessings than I could ever imagine. You are right, but the physical blessings are merely a vapor in this life.

As much as I love Mimi, we will both die one day and not be together.

As much as I enjoy the house we have, time will take the new house smell away and it will simply be another house.

As much as I enjoy the ministries that God has given me, all the people I minister to will disappear one way or another.

But the hope I have came in the form of a little baby.

Luke 2:15 – When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Not my own children, although they are blessings.

The little baby I am speaking of was born in a manger to a couple who never expected to be birthing the Savior of humanity.

But that little baby brought me hope.

Luke 2:11-12 – Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

That little baby was born out of love.

Not necessarily between the human parents of Jesus, but between God the Father and humanity.

For God so loved the world…

That little baby is my hope.

That little baby is the reason I have a life.

That little baby is the reason that I know that whatever regrets I have in the past, I have a future that will lead to heaven. Even though I will always feel the pain of my regrets, which will affect my happiness, my joy will always be present because my life is in Christ.

And that is more than good enough for me.

John 3:16 – For God so loved  the world,  that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

untitled

Proverbs 21:23 – Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

I have a lot of titles for what I WANT to name this.

Most of them contain 4-letter language and would be quite abrasive.

So I am going to take the wisdom of Solomon on this and tame my tongue with regard to the title.

But I do want to speak out.

I am sure we have all heard the news recently about how Donald Trump came out basically persecuting Muslims. Well, this is true. And it isn’t the first time in American history it has happened. A few different presidents have singled out different cultures to persecute over the years. It has happened on both sides of the fence, Republican and Democrat.

But I don’t want to give a political party any more press than it deserves, so I am not going to talk about Trump…or Clinton…or Cruz…or Carson…or Sanders…or any of those other idiots…um, er…candidates.

I want to talk about humanity as a whole.

And in particular, Americans.

And I want to start with a small test.

I am going to show you 3 pictures. Without even thinking about the picture, write down the first few thoughts, feelings, etc… that come to your mind.

Are you ready?

911

Great start, eh?

muslim man

How does he make you feel inside?

Ok, last one…

atheist

Hmmm….

So how did those pictures make you feel? I’ll tell you how I felt.

Picture 1: I felt sad. Not that people were dying, but that they were dying without Christ. Thousands of lives ended before they made the choice to believe in God. Am I angry at those who flew the planes? Of course, I am angry at those men who were on the planes. Not the thousands of men, women, and children in a faraway land.

Picture 2: At first, I thought this might be one of the terrorists that was on the plane in the previous picture. But it isn’t. It is a Christian from the Middle East. It is very easy for us to profile someone based on their looks. But if we would do that, if I would do that, then the risk of missing some amazing Christian men and women is very high. I think about Naeem Fazal, pastor of Mosaic Church in North Carolina. He converted from Islam to Christianity simply through a Christian friend who loved him. And then there is Walid Shoebat. He is a former PLO operative that turned to Christ and became a peace advocate. He believes, as do I, that Jesus is compensating for the weaknesses of the Western church, succeeding in many places where the church fails.

Picture 3: This one saddens me even more than the other two pictures combined. This shows how America, and in particular the American church, is failing. There will always be people who run counter to our beliefs. That is one guarantee we see in Scripture. But the fact that more churches in America close every year than open leads America to be a very secular nation.

What saddens me the most is just how much I have failed.

If I as a Christian believe it is the most important thing in all of my existence to proclaim the glory of God’s kingdom and worship Him, then why don’t I have a worshipful heart?

Isaiah 29:13 – The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

If I believe, as a Christian, that evangelism, not hatred or fear, is my primary job on this earth, then why don’t I spend more energy evangelizing and less energy being filled with hatred or fear?

If the Christian life is supposedly filled with joy, even in the face of suffering, persecution, and spiritual warfare, then why am I not constantly joyful?

And then something happened.

I was convicted.

Our church hosted the Children of the World choir. About a dozen kids, made up of children from various countries, all with high risk backgrounds, came to sing. My wife and I had the opportunity to house 4 of the boys while they were in town for the 2 days.

boyz2

At first, I was wondering what we got ourselves into. 4 boys, high energy, coming over to our house where we already have a dog with high energy and we haven’t even completely unpacked yet. It was a recipe for disaster.

But God provides.

We ate dinner with them the first night and then watched a movie with them. We learned a little more about them. It was fun.

boyz

The next night the kids sang and we watched videos of their lives before they were allowed in America to share the gospel.

isaac

marcio

And that is the key, these 8,9 and 10 year olds were here to SHARE THE GOSPEL.

They have already seen the effects of a life without God.

Here were orphans, refugees, and the outcast given a second chance at life because of Christ. Their lives transcend cultures.

One of the boys was talking to Mimi and I about his “caste” tonight and how his caste is different from the caste of one of the other boys staying with us. And here are these kids, saved from the issues of the caste system, and a fallen world, and given a hope and a love in Christ.

But as these kids were singing, I was amazed at their joy. Sure, on stage they have to show a happy face, but even when these kids were at our house or in our car, they were filled with joy. they weren’t always happy, but they had joy. And peace.

I want that!

These boys were missionaries. They were not just sent here to sing to a church full of believers, they were sent to convict the life of a single believer by simply being used by God in such an innocent way. During that time there was no death at the doorstep, there was no politics, there was no gay marriage debate. There was only Jesus. There was only peace. There was only joy.

So now I go back and look through those pictures again that I showed at the beginning of this post and my answers have changed.

Picture 1: I am still saddened by how many people died that day. But I am also seeing a moment in history where hope can come alive. If the Christian church can unify and remove fear from our vocabulary, we will be able to storm the gates of hell. When Christians storm the gates of hell and not the gates of some country that believes differently than we do, then moments like 9/11 will stop happening.

Picture 2: I see a person, formed in God’s image. Yes, it may be a Muslim. Or it may be an atheist. Or an agnostic. Or…or…or. But these people were formed in God’s image and they have a desire, even if they don’t realize it, to know the true God of Creation. It is the God-shaped hole that C.S. Lewis speaks about that is in all of us.

Picture 3: I see an opportunity to pray. Tell me something, how much will happen if Christians sit around on Facebook complaining about the problems, which takes away from the time we have to pray about the problems. Problems get fixed through prayer, not complaining.

Philippians 2:14 – Do all things without grumbling or questioning

So here is your, and my, homework. When you feel the urge to complain about something that is happening in the world, in your life, in your marriage, etc., then I want you to stop the complaining and pray about it. And don’t just pray to get YOUR way. Pray that God will open your heart and eyes to what HE needs done.

It is when the church prays, that we find that our greatest moments and spiritual awakenings happen.

So pray.

And watch what happens.

Time to Upgrade

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

stress

I am 45 years old.

45.

Forty.

Five.

I am one old dude.

And my body is showing its age.

A few weeks ago I got an MRI and found I have some blown discs in my back so I just started physical therapy. Today, I went to the dentist and he is in the process of taking all the old silver fillings out of my mouth (and I have a lot from when I was a kid) and replacing them with fillings that will not destroy my teeth.

My body is falling apart.

And, if I can be honest for a minute, I don’t do my body any favors.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 – Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

The last time I was in a gym was, well, never. The majority of my lifting comes from lifting an ice cream cone to my mouth. And don’t even get me started on my diet. My breakfast, for at least 10 years of my life, consisted of a Hershey bar and a can of Coca-Cola.

And I like red meat.

A lot.

Getting married recently, I want to be able to be around for my wife and family for a long time to come so I need to start doing something. I never plan on doing MMA fighting or power lifting (or, even flipping tractor tires like one of my good friends and pastors). But I would like to be able to at least run and keep up with my kids and step-kids. I’d like to be able to play a game of soccer without feeling like the ball. And, honestly, I want to be more of a man to my wife and look like someone she deserves.

I know we are early for New Year’s resolutions, but I truly am setting a goal for 2016. I plan on getting my back fixed first.

But after that, getting my first ever gym membership.

I plan on losing a little bit of weight (I am not significantly overweight by any means) but I really want to get my core in shape. It will help my future back issues but moreover it will give me an opportunity just to feel better as I go through the day.

I’ve never been vain about my looks. That has never been an issue for me. If people don’t like how I look, they can stuff it.

But I do care about how I look for Mimi. If there is a remote chance of going out on a date with her or even spending time alone with her, I will jump in a shower and make sure I am smelling good, looking good, and feeling good before I head out on the town with her.

But beyond that, caring about my body is honoring God, who gave me that body. And treating it well for my wife and family is also biblical as we are called to take care of our families or we are worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8 – But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

So by the time 2017 comes around, expect to see another post about how much healthier I am. And hopefully, everyone who reads this will help hold me accountable. It is time for me to take action.

New Church Central Post

Here is the link to my latest post on Church Central.

What does multicultural mean?

http://www.churchcentral.com/blogs/what-does-multicultural-mean/

 

Thanks for reading.

On Giving Thanks

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Coming up this week is Thanksgiving. It is the one time each year that we are supposed to give thanks for that which we are blessed to have.

I wanted to share a few things that I am most thankful for this season.

  • My growing relationship with Christ. I will never perfect my walk with Christ. I can only be hopeful of my faith and be prepared for the day that God calls me home. I am thankful to have that relationship. Many people see the Christian life as an adversarial one in which we need to scream at the world about what we are against. I would rather show the world what it means to be truly in love with the Creator of the universe.
  • My past. My past was very easy until about 5-6 years ago. Then it was turned completely upside down. For the longest time I blamed God for my life. What took me a long time to realize was that God was right there with me helping me to make sense of the predicament that my poor life choices put me in. Without those life choices, I would never had grown into the person I am today. I am so very blessed.
  • My wife, Mimi. Anyone who knows me knows just how against all odds it was to even meet Mimi and even more against all odds to get to the point of marriage. This journey has not been easy at all. But true love never is easy. Mimi has been a great influence on me and a huge supporter of me. I love her and am truly blessed to be married to her.
  • My kids and step-kids. This has been one of the toughest parts of my present life. My kids don’t really get along with my wife and step-kids. Because of that, I have lost a lot of time with my biological kids that I truly miss. But I am thankful for this opportunity to show them Christ. Throughout all of the trial and struggle of being without them, both my biological kids and my wife and step-kids get to experience me showing Christ. While this has led to a lot of frustrating times, it has also led to a lot of growth in myself and my family.
  • My church family. I have been going to Chesapeake Christian Fellowship since 2002. I have grown as a Christian and human while there. I don’t know if I would have experienced that same growth if I had gone to a different church. Pastors Pat, Chuck, Christian, Britt and Sam have become great friends and mentors along the way.
  • The ministries that God has given me. I have been blessed to minister to the young adults at church. I also have been blessed to help plan missions for the church. Because of that, I have learned so much about young adults and missions.
  • My parents. I can’t believe just how blessed I am to have parents as good mine. I wish I could bottle them up and give a little bit of them to everyone because they have given me so much in this life.
  • Noble Recruiting. The business I started 2 years ago has been a huge blessing that allows me to be present for my wife, kids, and step-kids whenever they need me. I am also available to spend time in ministry.
  • The opportunities that I have yet to experience. Some will be pleasant. Others will not be. But through them all, God will be right there with me, giving me the love and support I need to make it through whatever struggle I confront.

This is only a small list. There is still so much I want to share, but that would take every waking moment for the next 30 years to explain how thankful I am.

Psalm 106:1 – Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

New Church Central Post

DSC02294What is wrong with my pastor?

 

http://www.churchcentral.com/blogs/what-is-wrong-with-my-pastor/

 

Thanks for reading.

Blowing in the Wind

James 1:6 – …the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind

There is a LOT going on lately in Christendom.

If you are a “good” Christian, then you stand with other “good” Christians against Starbucks, with Donald Trump, with the NRA, with One Million Moms, with the Republicans, and against other Christian groups that don’t believe what you believe, therefore also known as the “bad” Christians.

But let me explain something, Christian…

You are an idiot.

Satan is pretty darn sneaky and I am willing to bet that it is Satan who is getting you all riled up with all of these things that have absolutely NO eternal consequence. It is easy to think that saying “Happy Holidays” will send you to hell, but guess what…

It doesn’t.

Have a happy holiday! Feliz navidad! And you might even hear me say to my Muslim friends, “As-Salam-u-Alaikum” (Peace be unto you). I might even spin a Dreidel or two.

There is not one instance in the Bible where the Christian population expects the non-Christian population to behave as the Christian population behaves.

Not one.

Romans 12:2 – Do not conform 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.

Yet we not only expect it, but we get all bent out of shape if it doesn’t happen, thus making us a heck of a lot more like the world than like Christ.

What does James say? The one who doubts will be like the waves of the sea, tossed by the wind. Do you doubt that God is in control? When we doubt God’s control in a situation, we do everything in our power to take control. That means we get on Facebook and tell Starbucks that all Christians are going to boycott them. That means that we get on Twitter and tell @BarakObama that he is really a Muslim and that it is evil to allow a Muslim to have leadership in a “Christian” country.

*Side Note*

Do you realize that one of the reasons that Islam still exists today is because a Christian king took in the fleeing Muslims and gave them sanctuary against their Jewish hunters (kind of reminiscent of the Jews fleeing Pharaoh across the Red Sea).

But I digress.

Now I am not saying that we shouldn’t voice our beliefs. But we should NEVER take to the public square with our beliefs just to win an argument. Our focus and our goal should always and only be to share Christ. Never to win. Remember, the first will be the last and the last will be first.

Here is where we can take a major lesson from those in the missionary field.

When a missionary enters a new environment, they very rarely go in with Bibles blazing spewing verses from their mouths. Missionaries typically go in and learn the culture before they counteract the culture. They immerse themselves in the culture. Only after time will the culture allow them to speak about Jesus

We need to be approachable. We need to be available. We need to be there for people.

1 Peter 3:18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit

FOR people.

Not against them.

God has NEVER been against people, even the ones who nailed Him to a cross. Why should we be against people who make a plain red cup?

So Christian, please, for the sake of everything eternal with the hopes of bringing more and more people to know Christ, please stop being an idiot.

Shut your mouths and listen to God more than you listen to your Facebook stream, the media, or even the “Christian” next door.

Proverbs 17:27-28 – The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.

Check out my new post on Church Central

As you know I post some stuff on the Church Central website, hosted by Thom Rainer and his group. Check out my post over there about what short term missions and leave a comment for me there.

http://www.churchcentral.com/blogs/reasons-for-supporting-short-term-missions/

Thanks

Here Comes the Judge

What would America do if we were sent a “judge?”

Judges 10:11-12 –  The Lord answered: In the past when you came crying to me for help, I rescued you. At one time or another I’ve rescued you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites.

In the Old Testament, when Joshua died, the Jewish people were independent and in their own land. It was also a time where there was not a single strong leader in the land at all. This led to a leadership vacuum.

Joshua did some amazing work right before he died. He took over almost all of the land, divided it among the tribes, and then disbanded the army that was assembled to conquer the land. For lack of a better term, it was the United States of Judaism. There were 12 tribes with only a loose connection to each other.

During this time, there was no central government. The only thing holding them together was the Tabernacle. But Jews were deciding not to go to Tabernacle anymore. They were performing their own sacrifices on their own private altars.

Over the next 300 years, there would be 15 Judges that would come along. Since there was no central government, enemies would sneak, and sometimes walk in brazenly, to infiltrate the tribes. Over the 3 centuries, all of the men over those ages would have to step up to protect their families and friends. At the end of the day, a man just feels beaten down when non-stop enemies are coming at you.

While they were able to destroy the armies to the east and the west, the armies to the north had allied with the strongest military leader of the day, Sisera, and created multiple new technologies (chariots and steel weapons) that the Jews simply could not defeat.

Judges 4:4 – Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.

Deborah, the 4th Judge, would rally an army from one of the tribes and defeat Sisera and his amazing new technology. While he escaped, he was eventually cornered, seduced, and killed by the woman who seduced him when she drove a nail through his temple. After Deborah defeated the northern army completely, they found a short 40-year peace.

The next 8 Judges ruled over Israel for 120 years. Some were good and some were not-so-good. After 12 Judges, it was time for Samson to step up. By this time, the Philistine army to the west had started to get active.

Samson was interesting. He was not one who would rally the troops as other Judges had done. Samson was a Lone Ranger kind of guy. He was also very unorthodox in his approach to leading. He married Philistine women. One of them, Delilah, eventually led to the capture of Samson. On the day they were to make a public spectacle of him, he garnered enough strength to bring the entire area, filled with 10,000 Philistines, down around him and those who were there killing everyone.

1 Samuel 3:13 – For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.

The second to last Judge, Eli, made the mistake of losing the Ark of the Covenant during a battle. The Philistines, who seem to have caused a lot of problems over the 300 years, stole the Ark and tried to incorporate it into their pagan worship. What they found is that the Ark caused a lot of problems to occur. The pagan idols would collapse. The towns they put it in would break out with plague. Finally, with all of the Philistine cities refusing to take the Ark, they sent it back to Israel.

The final Judge, Samuel, was raised by Eli and turned out to be one of history’s greatest prophets and equal to Moses in many ways.

Not many Christians speak about or preach on the Book of Judges. It is really a book on the military leaders of Israel. But it is more than a military journal. The book explains the 300 years between Joshua and 1 Samuel and it also sets up the book of Ruth. More importantly, it sets the stage for the Jews to be shown as simply human, as we have seen throughout the entirety of Scripture.

They did what was right in their own eyes. This means they disregarded what God had declared to be right according to the Law.

Judges 17:6 –In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

Modern day America can easily be seen as a country that is dire need of a Judge, although war has changed since the days of the Old Testament Judges. Our country is not, nor has been for some time, under the control of a strong leader. The country is doing what is right in our own eyes. And the unified states are only loosely related.

But what would happen if a Judge appeared?

Typically, Judges led up to a time when the people would come closer to God. The 300 years the the Jewish people were under the leadership of the Judges led up to Samuel, easily one of the most amazing men since Moses.

But to get to that point, for Israel’s heart to be softened to the point that they accepted the rule of the final Judge, it took a lot of struggle, demoralizing times, and pain.

I think about my own life.

Many times I find myself calling for Jesus’ return. I find myself asking God to please make this the final breath for our current world.

But then I wonder what life would look like for me and if I would truly be grateful for that to happen.

I am imagining all of the bad things that will happen leading up to Christ’s return, things that are already occurring. But then I wonder how it could get any worse. There will be no peace left on the earth. There will be significant inflation. There will be significant death from famine and beasts. There will be large earthquakes and stars will fall from the sky. Grasses will be burned, fish will die, the water will be poisoned, the smoke will get so thick that the sky will vanish from sight, plagues, and plenty more will happen before the church get raptured.

So, wow.

My life looks pretty good right now.

Yea, I don’t make as much money as I used to, but I have a lot more time with family. Yea, life is still crazy, but I am still alive and have people around me who love me.

So, yes, I would love to have Christ return. I would love to see this world get the judgment it deserves and finally live a life of true peace.

But, in all honesty…

I don’t know if I am ready for all of that suffering for me and my family.

So today I am going to simply live a life that Christ has given me. A new life, born out of the destruction I caused in my old life and given to me because God loves me. I will continue to pray that I can stay faithful to God, to those I love, and to my church. And I will work in my secular job and minister to the people God has given to me to minister to.

And eventually I will make it to heaven.

Psalm 34:1-3 – I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

Post Navigation

Just Passing Through: Missions

"Here I am lord, send me.” Isaiah 6:8

Pew Theology

Faith | Life | Society

The Minstrel's Wife

A worship leader's missus and her views from the pew

Praises & Grace

My life, My walk, My missions

PROJECT JOURNAL

Project Journal is an online publication for Project Management Professionals.

Sillyloquies

We write to remember. To see our thoughts in sentences. So we can hopefully one day figure out what all those words really mean.

The Neighborhood

It is known as a blog, we call it The Show

The Awakening

An Ordinary Man Being Awakened By An Extraordinary God

Limbiley's Blog

Life&Love Trials&Tribulations Faith&Fortitude Redemption&Restoration.

Psalm 46 Church

Jesus is Lord

Mind's Seat

Set your mind on the things above

juliansherman

Just another WordPress.com site

J.S. Park

From Devout Atheist to Skeptical Pastor: A Blog For Busted-Up, Beat-Down People (Like Me)

Disciples Perspective

Join the Conversation. Prepare for the Confrontation.

politicalconnection

Connecting the world to Truth, so that Justice can be served

116 Boyz

Born Again Christian Male Gamers

Phillybookpick's Blog

GREAT BOOK PICKS -In the World of page turning thrillers !

Jayne Surrena

Fictional Memoirs

juleseddy1

A topnotch WordPress.com site

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

missjordanlee

twentysomething thoughts on grace, life, and health

soma

positive thinking

One Salty Dawg

Recent College Grad's Quest For Meaning

Blonde and Fabulous

some girls were born with glitter in their veins.

Book Hub, Inc.

The Total Book Experience

Morgan Mitchell

• Dreamer, Thinker, Blogger • |Loves Jesus| • College Student • |Living proof of a loving God to a watching World.| • #fivecollective

valeriu dg barbu

© valeriu barbu

Love Christ.Obey Christ.Share Christ

lets connect: twitter @cbailitz -OR- facebook.com/cbailitz

Cole Ryan

A Few Thoughts On Christianity

Moving at the Speed of God

Sharing the Thoughts and Adventures of David Jackson, Church Multiplication Missionary with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware

philliphowell

Tasting and seeing that the Lord is very good!

My Blog

4 out of 5 dentists recommend this WordPress.com site

Writing Sisters

Your Story - Our Story - God's Story

Chris Martin Writes

Sowing seeds for the Kingdom

God’s truth abideth still

Life & Faith through the lens of a student

By the Rivulet

A Writing Journey on the Life of Faith

Morning Story and Dilbert

Inspiring, Encouraging, Healthy / Why waste the best stories of the World, pour a cup of your favorite beverage and let your worries drift away…

Tea Cups and Grace

Life, faith and cups of tea.

True Warriors of God

Put on the full armour of God ~ Ephesians 6:13

Write For A Cause

The Spiritually Inclined Deductions by Jenine Silos

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,184 other followers