Friday, June 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, America



This month we are celebrating America’s Birthday.  A lot of people think that the USA is in trouble and on decline.  They point to the economic woes, the corruption in government, the moral decay, and many other reasons that indicate we have seen our best days.  It may be for me, wishful thinking, but I do not agree.  I certainly see all the negative things going on, especially the moral decline, but I still think we are a good nation that God will still bless.

If I am wrong and the doomsayers are right, it’s OK.  Of course, I hate it for my children and grandchildren but my citizenship is not in this world.  Believers in Christ are citizens of Heaven(Philippians 3:20).   I am glad and proud to be an American but my hope and destiny is in a more lasting Kingdom(see Hebrews 11:8-16).  Abraham looked forward to a city with eternal foundations whose builder and maker was God.  And because He longed for a heavenly homeland, and lived as a nomad on earth, God is not ashamed to be called his God.

Wherever Abraham went he tried to make his world a better place.  But He knew where is really belonged and never gave up on it.  If the USA and all of the west should suffer decline the church will still be here and Jesus will still be the King of Kings.  I want to be the best American I can be.  I love my country.  But I belong to Jesus Christ and my ultimate allegiance is to Him and His Kingdom,  It only would have taken 10 righteous people in Sodom from being destroyed.  I believe that  we have enough righteous people to keep us safe.

If we are diligent to do what we can for America our grand kids will enjoy a wonderful nation.  May it be.  Let it be. Dear God, let it be.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Citizenship in Heaven



Pastor’s Heart

This month we are celebrating America’s Birthday.  A lot of people think that the USA is in trouble and on decline.  They point to the economic woes, the corruption in government, the moral decay, and many other reasons that indicate we have seen our best days.  It may be for me, wishful thinking, but I do not agree.  I certainly see all the negative things going on, especially the moral decline, but I still think we are a good nation that God will still bless.

If I am wrong and the doomsayers are right, it’s OK.  Of course, I hate it for my children and grandchildren but my citizenship is not in this world.  Believers in Christ are citizens of Heaven(Philippians 3:20).   I am glad and proud to be an American but my hope and destiny is in a more lasting Kingdom(see Hebrews 11:8-16).  Abraham looked forward to a city with eternal foundations whose builder and maker was God.  And because He longed for a heavenly homeland, and lived as a nomad on earth, God is not ashamed to be called his God.

Wherever Abraham went he tried to make his world a better place.  But He knew where is really belonged and never gave up on it.  If the USA and all of the west should suffer decline the church will still be here and Jesus will still be the King of Kings.  I want to be the best American I can be.  I love my country.  But I belong to Jesus Christ and my ultimate allegiance is to Him and His Kingdom,  It only would have taken 10 righteous people in Sodom from being destroyed.  I believe that  we have enough righteous people to keep us safe.

If we are diligent to do what we can for “American we can do, our grandkids will enjoy a wonderful nation.  May it be.  Let it be. Dear God, let it be.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Abba, Daddy and Phil Mickelson

Jesus called His heavenly Father, "Abba"(Mk. 14:35)  Abba is best translated into English as "Daddy".  Obviously, Jesus had a special relationship with His "Daddy" that they both enjoyed from all eternity.

The amazing thing is that the Bible tells us that we also can refer to God our Father as "Abba. Daddy."  We read in Romans 8:14 that we have received the Spirit of Sonship   "And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'"  What does this mean?  Well, for sure, it means that we can also have an intimate personal relationship with God.  He is awesome.  He is Holy.  He is Other.  He is Almighty.  But He is also the believer's Daddy.  But we also have all the rights and privileges that come with being a son of God.  We learn in Romans 8:17 "Now if we are children, we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ..."  That really says it all! 
 Because of God's love and the sacrifice of His Son we have all the rights and privileges of a child of God.

Apart from God, there are no perfect fathers.  There are some men who express very well what God the Father is like.  One of those fathers is the golfer Phil Mickelson.  Several years ago he was expecting his first child while playing in the U.S. Open which he had never won.  He told his wife to call him when she went into delivery and he would walk of the course, even if he was in contention, and come home.  The baby was born the day after the tournament and Phil lost by one stroke.   Fourteen years later that baby girl was graduating from middle school.  Phil was going to be won the favorites to win the 2013 U.S. Open in which he had finished second five tines but still never won.  With the tournament to begin on Thursday in Philadelphia, Phil was in California on Wednesday night to see his daughter graduate.  After the ceremony he took the red eye back to Philly just in time to play in the Open.  The tournament ended on Fathers' Day and it would have been a perfect ending had Mickelson won.  Unfortunately he barely missed winning again.

I am sure Phil Mickelson is heart-broken  But he has already shown the world and his family what his priorities are.  Yes, he wanted to win one of the few titles he has never won.  But his family clearly comes first.  He gets my vote for Father of the Year.  He demonstrated to his daughter that she is loved and he will always be there for her.  He has also(perhaps unwittingly) demonstrated the how our Heavenly Father cares about us.  God loves us and is always there for us. 

I am sure that after Phil gets over this tough loss, he will realize that he is really considered a great man, which, for sure, trumps being a great golfer.  He should know that he has encouraged all of us and reminded us of a God who loves us enough to make the ultimate sacrifice for us.