Category Archives: Hope

Bake me a cake as fast as you can?

Son, I am still trying to understand this whole religious freedom controversy here in the U.S.A.  We have the bakers who refuse to bake a cake for a gay couple.  We also have the flower lady who refuses to provide flowers for a gay wedding. There are many more examples like these.

I have a few questions first before I get into this:

What if the gay couple were Christians?  Does that matter?

Do these business owners ask what a person’s religion is before they offer their services?

What about Atheists?  Do they get the cake and flowers?

Divorced people who are seeking to get re-married, are they ok?

What about the customer who just moments before entering the flower shop lied to their boss about being sick and needing to miss work?

What about the straight couple who wants to get married, but already had pre-marital sex?  Do they get their cake and eat it too?

If faith tells you to not serve homosexual couples, does your faith also tell you not to serve ANYONE who believes in God and the Bible but lives a life contrary to their teachings?

I keep trying to think of what Jesus would do. I think he would show compassion.  I think he would take any chance he could to help people understand who He is, what He has done for us, and how we can get closer to Him.   Yes, like the story of the woman caught in adultery in the Bible that was about to be stoned to death, Jesus would forgive and tell them:  ”go and sin no more”, even though he knows that is impossible for them or any of us. (John 8)

I think if Jesus the man was still walking the earth today and just starting his ministry he would go straight to the LGBT people to let them know there is a place for them.  Just as in the Bible, Jesus didn’t go to the priests and religious people first; he went to the poor and needy and the sinners.  I think if Jesus were here, he would say something like “They have it wrong.  How can someone who sins everyday against me and my Father also condemn you who sin?   I think Jesus would assure them that there is room at God’s table for them if they believe and repent of their own sins; whatever sins those may be.

Jesus wouldn’t  turn anyone down.  Do we really think God looks down from heaven and says:  only help those who are blameless and sin-free?   If that was the case, there would be no one to help.   I get that the Bible says homosexuality is unacceptable and a sin.  However, it also says lying is a huge sin.  It also says having sex before marriage is a sin.   It also says knowing God, but not living the life he expects from you is a sin.  Can you imagine how horrified the people were when they saw Jesus touch the leper?  (Matthew 8) They were probably disgusted by people like that, but Jesus wasn’t.  He loved him, accepted him, and made him clean.  In fact, many people that others found repulsive or annoying Jesus made a point to help and tell us about in the Bible. There weren’t many people who thought anything was worse than being a tax collector back then, and Jesus made one a disciple.

When I think of tyranny and lack of freedom of religion, I think of the Christians being beheaded and thrown in jail just because they believe in God.    I think of what happened to Daniel when he was told anyone caught praying to any God other than the King of Persia was to be thrown in the lion’s den.(Daniel 6)  I think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  They were 3 believers who were thrown in the fire because they did not bow down to the gold statue of the King of Babylon.(Daniel 1-3)  These are acts of real religious persecution.    By forcing someone to make that cake, or arrange those flowers, how are we losing our freedom of religion?

Adultery used to lead to death.  Does it anymore?  Working on a Sunday would lead to your banishment from your people, does that still happen?  Women who became pregnant before marriage were disowned and stoned to death, does that still occur here?  Are we to believe we are sinning by allowing our services to be used by anyone who considers themselves LGBT?  The money they pay us and we use to help others, would God blame us for that?  Does putting the flowers together for them drag us away from God?  Will God punish us for making that cake?  I say NO!

I believe from what I have read in the Bible that all sin can lead to death.  I believe God sent Jesus to die on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins; knowing we could not conquer sin ourselves.  In doing this He assured those who believe in Him and ask for forgiveness  will not die, but have everlasting life in heaven.

As I stated before when I wrote about this a year or so ago; my position has changed from how I thought most of my life.  Through God’s word (the Bible) and prayer for understanding, I have completely reversed the way I used to think about this issue.  How could I ever point a finger at someone else when I have lived the way I have?  I am grateful enough that God forgives me every day I admit my own sins to him.  I couldn’t imagine trying to condemn someone else for what they do.  All I can do is continue to learn more about how Jesus lived and always try to figure out WWJD!

I believe he would want us to show compassion and let his light burn bright in us for EVERYONE to see!

I love you son!

Dad

BENT ON LENT

Son, in my spiritual walk I started to read up on Lent.  It is known most commonly out here as the 40 days (not including Sundays) before Easter when Christ arose from the dead.  It is  a time to fast and bring one closer to God.  Although there is no mention of Lent in the Bible, there are stories in the Bible when 40 days and 40 nights worth of fasting occurred. There was the 40 days and 40 nights Christ spent in the wilderness being tempted by the devil; devoid of any food or water. Moses also spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt Sinai without food or water while he spoke with God and received the 10 commandments.  When the prophet Elijah escaped from Jezebel he traveled 40 days and 40 nights without anything to eat or drink.

 

I have also been studying up on fasting after reading about it so many times in the Bible.  I even heard our pastor talk about it a few Sundays ago.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say fasting is something you are “required” to do, but the effects of it when done right, are something we should all “want” to do.  There are many wonderful stories of fasting in the Bible, and the main purpose is to help us focus on worshiping and getting closer to God.   Fasting isn’t always giving up on food and water.  The Bible also tells us fasting can include giving up anything you find is taking up time that could be devoted to God.  Different religions fast from different things over these 40 days of Lent, but the main reason is to get rid of stuff you normally spend or waste time on and devote that time to worshiping, reading the Bible, praying, and helping others.
Well, how can that be a bad thing?  Fasting is a way to bring us closer to God; something I have been striving for over the last 2 years.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.  It ends the Saturday before Easter.  (Sunday’s don’t count).  I am going to fast. To kick it off I am going to abstain from eating food for 2 days. I am also  going to give up my games. No more poker, blackjack or bingo.  Neither will be easy, but I plan to replace these hours per day with prayer, Bible study, and helping others less fortunate.

The biggest event in Christian history is only 40 days away!  What better way to prepare than by abstaining  from things that get in the way of worshiping Him.

Pass it down

“He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.”

Son, imagine being surrounded by enemies everywhere. Imagine having to build monster high walls to protect you. Imagine going to war against armies that are triple your size.

This happened to the Israelites after God rescued them from Egypt. When you read the books of Joshua through Chronicles you will see one overwhelming theme:

Those who trusted in God and did what was right in the eyes of The Lord were taken care of and given peace during their life. God gave them wisdom and riches. The ones who did not try to please God were always met with disaster. Their lives stunk big time!

Same rule still applies today bud. Think about that verse in 2 Chronicles 29:2 when things aren’t going well in your life. Are you living like David, or like one of the foolish kings?

Dad

Son, take a look at this picture. It would be hard for anyone to believe this man just tragically lost his son a few weeks ago.

This is what the power of God in your life can do. Even if for a moment, this day there was extreme joy!

What I have seen this great friend of mine accomplish over the past month has been nothing short of amazing! I hope you will understand that it is easier to cope with a loss when you know that person is still with you. It helps so much to know we will get to spend eternity with them as well.

Feel bad for the atheists out there who think our time on earth is all we have.

Faith my boy. Faith!

Dad

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Alive and kicking

When I was in college, (or when I was supposed to be in college) I used to tell my buds that I would be lucky to make it to 40 with what we put our bodies through night after night. I made a bet with Abe, my good friend’s dad. He said he was going to live longer than me. I thought he was nuts, kind of.

I am still here! I know why. I have a purpose. There is a plan.

This week I was reminded that life is in the journey, not the prize I was seeking as a result. I realized I started getting back into bad habits by thinking and stressing about tomorrow.

Then, the switch flipped. I started to remember how great every day was when I was living in the moment. I woke up the next day and started over.

You can’t worry about tomorrow. Stress is a killer. That is probably the reason that deep down I am surprised I made it to my 40s. Deep down I wasn’t going to be surprised if Abe won the bet. I put my body through a lot of stress from age 18-40something.

Live each day like it is your last. All it takes is consistent prayer and faith. Then, sit back and watch God work in your life.

Read my blog if you want to see what it has done for me.

Happy to be alive!

Bill

Nothing is by chance

Nothing is by chance

Zach Bruno
I was trying to figure out what we could do this weekend to help others. It has been a few weeks and I have to get out of this house! I opened my Facebook page and saw a message from a good friend I recently connected with on Facebook. I haven’t seen her in a very long time. She has seen my posts and knows that you and I have been giving out water bottles and food. Her church has some leftovers from feeding the homeless and she offered them to us.

We now have something to do! Time to make some burritos!

Watch for those signs buddy!

Dad

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