Each Day…A Gift From God

With the recent death of my friend Hugo…and seeing my beloved Pastor, Chuck Obremski in his ongoing battle with cancer…I’m more cognizant that each day that we are given, is a gift from God.

Not too along ago when Chuck began his recent series “Living Life in the Light of Eternity” we prayed that God would grant Chuck the time to preach the message which God had laid upon his heart. God has been faithful and merciful and answered our prayers abundantly. He has given him the strength each week…to preach a powerful message from His Word. Chuck in turn has been obedient to God and faithful to use the gifts God has given him.

Each day is gift from God. None of us is granted another hour…much less another day. We should examine ourselves and ask, what am I doing with the gifts that God has given me? Am I faithful and obedient to do that which He has asked me to do? Do I seek His will and plan for my life? Am I doing that which is pleasing to God?

While none of us is guaranteed another day here on earth, each one us can receive that guarantee of an eternal future secure in heaven…with God our Father…His Blessed Son and the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.

As you lay your head on your pillow tonight…ask yourself if your eternal future is secure? If not…remedy that right now…and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. The Lover of your soul…has gift waiting just for you.

Amazing Grace by John Newton

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;’
Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Sometimes God Says "No"

Today I received sad news that my friend Hugo passed away this weekend. It followed Hugo’s heroic struggle to live..and much prayer uttered on his behalf. It was on the heals of some promising news that Hugo had been approved for a lung transplant. With the focus on a transplant…the news of Hugo’s death was sudden.

Just last week I was talking with Dan…about Hugo’s amazing will to live. I found it to be somewhat of a mystery and a great testament to life and love. Hugo endured so much suffering during the course of this illness. Many would have given up and died long ago. But Hugo sought life…and remained hopeful that God’s healing hand might rest upon him. I am certain that Hugo’s passion and hope for life was motivated by the love for his wife and family.

I do remember the first time I met Hugo…almost a year ago. While Hugo had worked for our company for many, many years…I had never met him. His name was well known as was his reputation…but this was my first time meeting him. Hugo was amazingly open about what he was going through…and as such invited me to share and speak freely with him. Even while so gravely ill…Hugo was caring and encouraging to everyone he encountered. He was disarmingly honest and would freely speak his mind.

Because of his openness I was able to share what had helped me during some difficult times especially with my mom’s Alzheimer’s…and that was the Word of God. Specifically my Pastor, Chuck Obremski’s straightforward, no nonsense preaching. Hugo willingly accepted some CD’s and…his hunger for the Word of God grew…and his love for God increased daily. He received a peace that passes all understanding…and knew with certainty that when that day came…and Jesus called him home…he would be there with his Lord and Savior.

So while I grieve at Hugo’s loss especially for his wife, family and friends…I am greatly comforted to know that he is home…and eternally secure. I am comforted and relieved to know that he is no longer suffering.

I guess in some respects…I was very aware that Hugo might die before he received the transplant…or even during surgery or recovery. So to that degree…I wasn’t shocked and overwhelmed. At the same…while aware of the risks Hugo was facing…I was grateful to God that he did answer our prayers and allow Hugo to be accepted in the transplant program. In some way…I think it was an affirming outward sign that God loved Hugo.

While the world seems a little bit colder these days…heaven seems more and more inviting. As people whom I love proceed me to heaven…I look forward to a reunion one day. That day, in which we will see clearly what God’s plans were for our lives and why sometimes he says “No”.

Hugo…I look forward to that day in which I will see you again. Be well my friend…and enjoy some time with Jesus.

Jesus From A to Z

Please click on the above link…and see this new posting from David Fisher. This one touched me in particular. When I find it hard to pray…one thing that helps me to focus is to think upon/dwell on the attributes of God…or his different names or titles. It quiets my mind…and help me to better focus. From there it’s easy to offer praise and thankgiving to my great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Words of Wisdom…Chuck Obremski

Satan is on a mission, looking for people weak in their faith, not in the Word of God or praying. We need to be immersed in the Word of God so we can be better prepared for the days we will be attacked. How much time do you spend in the Word of God? Studying, memorizing it, meditating on it?

If you are not happy with God’s plan and timing…get use to it. We have to adjust to God’s way of thinking and God’s timing. He is God…and we are not.

How long will it be when looking at the books of your deeds before you say, “Guilty as charged.”?

Flee to the Grace of God. The Bible warns us of the terrible judgment to come. Now is the time for some self evaluation. Are you ready for that day?

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

On Earth as it is in Heaven
Revelation 20:1-15

Notes from Chuck Obremski’s Sermon 6-26-05

The millennium is 1,000 years in length. Jesus will establish his kingdom. It’s a literal 1,000 year period…mentioned 6 times in Rev 20:1-6.

1. The Binding of Satan (vs. 1-3)

It’s wonderful and even comforting to know that there will come a day when Satan will not be able kill, devour and destroy. 1 Peter 5:8 – 8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Satan is on a mission, looking for people weak in their faith, not in the Word of God or praying. We need to be immersed in the Word of God so we can be better prepared for the days we will be attacked. How much time do you spend in the Word of God? Studying, memorizing it, meditating on it? Only one way to discern it…know God’s Word.

1 Cor 4:3-4 3 – And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Satan seeks to blind unbelievers…he deceives them. They are blinded by our enemy. Satan does not want people to hear the gospel message, to repent, receive Jesus Christ, or worship and praise God the Father. We should be in prayer for unbelieving family and friends. That God would remove the blinders and put a hedge of protection around them. We are engaged in a spiritual battle and Satan will not give up.

2 Cor 11:13-15 – 13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Those who reject Christ will be judged according to their deeds.

Satan…the slander, accusing us before God. During the 1,000 year reign Satan will be bound, thrown into the abyss. He will be shut up in the pit…no one will be able to hear what he has to say. Why will God do this, so Satan will not be able to deceive the nations during this time. God is in total control. Satan will then be released for a short period of time. Yet…God is still in total control. It must happen this way…for it is according to the scriptures. This will happen until God is through using him for his purposes.

Nothing can happen to God’s people without God being absolutely involved. It is comforting to know that nothing can happen in our lives without it being used for God’s purpose and glory.

If you are not happy with God’s plan and timing…get use to it. Make the best use of the time. We have to adjust to God’s way of thinking and God’s timing. He is God and we are not. If you approach it this way…you will have a peace you never thought possible. Just chill out and relax. Trust in God.

2. Blessings that believers will experience. (vs. 4-6)

When we see thrones mentioned…the thrones represent those responsible for judgment. Thrones = Judgment.

This is relevant for how we live our lives today. What we do today, will determine what we will be doing during the 1,000 reign. Those who die for their faith during the tribulation they will be raised and reign with Christ during that 1,000 year reign. Believers will be resurrected…we’ll be alive during the 1,000 year reign…ruling and reigning with Christ.

Luke 19:11-27 – parable about the 10 minas and the three servants. Jesus tells this parable about the kingdom of heaven. Rewards…obedience is what leads to rewards.

Are you faithful to use what God has given you? What will you be doing during the 1,000 year reign? What we do today…will determine what we will do then. It’s easy for us to get bogged down when we loose the eternal perspective.

The servant who had one mina and hide it was disobedient to what God had given him. Now is the time to think and ask yourself…will you be disappointed because of what you failed to invest and use faithfully…that which God has gifted you with?

There is a difference between the servant with the one mina who is like a believer who does not submit to Jesus ruling in his life and an unbeliever who rejects Jesus altogether.

What will you be doing during the 1,000 year reign? It will be based on what you are doing today. How is that day that stacking up for you now? Obedience now will determine what happens then.

3. The battle that reveals the hard heart of man. (vs. 7-10)

When Satan is released following the 1,000 years…he will be allowed to go to the four corners of the earth and deceive people once again. This will show the depth of depravity of man. For 1,000 years man has lived under the rule of God in a perfect world…with everything that is needed. Yet these people will still reject Christ after those 1,000 years. Man has a heart that is deceitfully wicked above all things.

Inward faith and commitment is different than an outward submission in which we do what we are told to do. Do you have a heart for God? Without a heart transplant…you will never be right with God.

Vs. 9…God will destroy all. God will do what he says he will do. Following the 1,000 years…Satan, the beast and the false prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire will the will be tormented forever and ever…for eternity.

4. The books that judge the dead. (vs. 11-15)

Great White Throne Judgment. Judgment of all unbelievers. They will finally see Jesus for who he really is…holy and perfect…righteous, fair and just. It will be a just judgment. There will be no place to flee. Doesn’t matter what you’ve accomplished or who you are. Unbelievers will be judged.

How long will it be when looking at the books of your deeds before you say, “Guilty as charged.”?

Believers are judged for rewards…for works done after coming to Christ. Unbeliever are judged…their deeds determine the level of their punishment. Judged according to their deeds. Can’t escape the judgment. Life continues on after you die…what you believe now…determines where you will spend eternity.

If anyone’s name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life…they will be thrown into the lake of fire.

Flee to the Grace of God. The Bible warns us of the terrible judgment to come. Now is the time for some self evaluation. Have you committed yourself to Christ? Are you ready for that day?

Celebrating 50 Years…Congratulations

Congratulation to Mr. and Mrs. Egan on their 50th wedding anniversary.

This weekend my friend Joe Egan’s parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

That is truly amazing…and Congratulations seems wholly inadequate for such an accomplishment. They are parents to twelve children. Of whom I am privileged to know their son Joe. If Joe is any reflection on his parents…they are wonderful indeed.

This weekend Joe is back in Boston visiting his family and joining in the celebration. I love to hear Joe tell stories about his family, parents, sisters and brothers…and about past adventures.

One of Joe’s favorite treats are his Mom’s homemade biscuits. After a visit back home…he speaks fondly of his mom’s cooking. If fact the dear boy…has got me hooked on biscuits. I have no doubt that they pale in comparison to Mrs. Egan’s homemade version…but there’s nothing like a warm biscuit with a little butter and honey. In fact my two kitties, Nathan and Moss…like to partake as well.

I don’t get to see or talk to Joe too much these days…he’s one busy dude…and too far away in Boise. But I wish Joe a wonderful visit with his family…may they have a wonderful weekend celebrating their parent’s tremendous accomplishment of 50 years of wedded bliss.

A Fellow Pilgrim

Please check out my blogger buddy, David Fisher’s website Pilgrims Scribblings. He has some wonderful new posts there this week.

One is “Angel at the Wheel”…where David shares a story about God’s hand of protection upon him.

Also…David’s gone audio on us. He has a couple of audio clips…that are a true delight.

David’s website is one that I have flagged as a favorite…and visit each day. He has a real feel for encouraging, moving and touching writings and pictures.

As Christians we live in an amazing times. The Word of God is plentiful today…in many places…but especially around the world on the web. We get to share in many fellow Christian’s experiences. David has some wonderful links from his site that should be explored too.

Enjoy…as you drink from the Living Water.

Praise & Thanksgiving

I give praise and thanksgiving to my great God and Savior Jesus Christ…for the grace and mercy which he has extended to my friend Hugo. Hugo was hospitalized last weekend because his already weakened lungs were overwhelmed by pneumonia. While still in intensive care…Hugo has been stabilized and has shown some improvement. As soon as an opening becomes available at Cedars…they’ll be transferring Hugo there.

When a lung becomes available..Hugo will be able to have the much needed lung transplant that has been an answer to prayer.

I am grateful for your prayers on behalf Hugo and his wife Maria. I pray that God will comfort them and strengthen them each day. That His love will shine upon them and be witnessed by all. That God will go before them and work out the details for Hugo’s upcoming operation. That he will give great skills and ability to the doctors…and enable Hugo’s body to heal quickly. That He will uphold and sustain Maria and their family.

In the name of my Rock, my Good Shepherd, my Salvation…Jesus Christ my Lord…I humbly pray.

Angels’ Chaplain Has No Quit in Him

When you read this article by Diane Reed…you’ll understand why I feel ever so blessed by God that he has allowed me to sit under the Bible teaching of Chuck Obremski. Not only is Chuck an awesome Bible study teacher…but he’s a man that each day walks out his unwavering faith and trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Angels’ chaplain has no quit in him Pastor Chuck Obremski, who serves Anaheim’s baseball and hockey teams, battles cancer.
By DIANE REED The Orange County Register

Growing up on a dead-end street, in the shadow of a steel mill, in a sad, sooty section of Pittsburgh, Chuck Obremski awakened daily to the sound of prizefighters punching a heavy bag in the basement, where his stepfather ran a boxing club. It was a tough town, in even tougher times. “People in Pittsburgh mask their memories with shots and beers,” Obremski said. It wasn’t the best foundation for family life, but sports provided a positive force in his hardscrabble youth. Still, he didn’t dare dream that one day he’d have Angels in his corner and a World Series ring on his finger.

The kid who went to Forbes Field to watch Roberto Clemente play would go home later and fire rocks at phone poles, pretending to be the Pirates legend. Now 48, Obremski – the chaplain of both the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Mighty Ducks – is battling pleomorphic soft-tissue sarcoma, a rare and deadly cancer. He’s firing everything available at it, but doctors say this may be his final inning.

Reeling from chemo cocktails and transfusions, and coughing up blood, Obremski still ministers to his athletes, missing just one service at the ballpark since his diagnosis two years ago. Before each Sunday home game, he prays with the Angels and their opponents for 20 minutes. “I can’t tell you how many times, out on the field, guys I’m playing against tell me, ‘Oh my gosh, chapel was awesome today. You are so lucky to have Chuck,'” Angels right fielder Tim Salmon said.

Obremski continues to serve as senior pastor of Kindred Community Church in Anaheim Hills, too. He hasn’t missed a Sunday there, despite five surgeries and a litany of treatments. Doug MacGinnis, a church elder, marvels at the courage: “On a Monday they had to cut through his ribs and remove the lower lobe of one of his lungs … the next Sunday he was back in the pulpit.”

Obremski is upbeat. “A year ago, I wasn’t sure I would be here now, but I got up today, and everything after that is a bonus.”

That positive attitude wasn’t inherent in the kid from Pittsburgh who pretended to be Clemente. Obremski was a pretender in other ways, too. At 18, he married Linda, pretending to be a man – though still a boy. Because he was baptized and married in a church, he pretended to be a Christian, too. When his first baby came along, Obremski pretended to be a father, but was unprepared. Problems plagued his marriage.

Seeking a fresh start, the Obremskis moved to Southern California. Looking back, Obremski recalls that somehow his problems got packed inside the U-Haul that he pulled West. When Linda found work in a Christian company, they began to see those problems in a new light. Chuck took a job with the same firm. There, he saw people operating in a highly ethical, Christian environment. He found it weird.

Then, at a Valentine’s Day dinner in 1978, he found Jesus on the menu, and ordered up a new life.

Soon he was teaching Sunday school and serving as chaplain for the Los Angeles Rams. Eight years ago he became the Angels’ chaplain and later added the Ducks to his ministry. Former Rams linebacker Kevin Greene credits Obremski with saving his soul. “Oh Chuckie …,” he said by phone, as a hurricane bore down on his Florida home. “There’s not too many men that I’ll tell I love them, but I tell Chuck. Says longtime Angel Salmon: “As a Christian ballplayer there’s only a few people I can really open myself up to. Chuck is on the short list.”

Obremski is so dedicated to his sports ministry that he schedules his cancer treatments and his church services around it. “He has chemo on Mondays and other procedures early in the week just so he can be in the pulpit on Sundays and at the stadium right afterward,” his wife said. The athletes appreciate it. “I have a peace in knowing that some things that happen aren’t in my control, and I’m OK with that now, because of Chuck,” Angels left fielder Garret Anderson said.

The team showed its appreciation on Easter Sunday 2003, by presenting the chaplain with a World Series ring. “I was overwhelmed, shocked and humbled, but appreciative,” he said.

“Chuck’s true character has been revealed through this disease and suffering,” Linda Obremski said. “There’s no anger or depression. It has just put everything into perspective.”

Bald, frail and hollow-eyed – his clothes clearly too big for him now – Obremski is realistic about his fate but making the most of life, relying on his faith and sense of humor. “I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death,” he said, grinning. “And now I know why you never see a U-Haul behind a hearse.”

To hear fist hand…about Chuck’s experience on the “cancer coaster”…I recommend you get a copy of “Desperation to Dependence” CD set. See the contact info below. Kindred Community Church is at 8712 East Santa Ana Canyon Road, Anaheim Hills. Call (714) 282-9941.

Mr. Durbin…Now That Was Pathetic

Mr. Durbin…your so called “apology” was truly pathetic…and made even more so by your manufactured tears. Let’s take a closer look at what you said…to see if we can have a more accurate rendering of your remarks.

Durbin, “I raised legitimate concerns that others have raised…about the policies of this administration, and whether they truly do serve our needs to make America safer and more secure.”

I think maybe we need to look at your remarks and see if they served to make America safer and more secure. Your comments have already been employed by our enemies. Your comments were used to sow seeds of hatred towards Americans. These are the same people…who believe that their god will reward them in heaven for killing us…and would like nothing more than the opportunity to do so.

Durbin, “Whether, in fact, some of the policies might, in fact, endanger our troops, or in some ways, disparage the image of America around the world.”

Actually Dick, I’m more concerned about left wingers who hate America throwing out these comments so they can be used by terrorist. Terrorist who want to inspire fellow fanatics and embolden them with hatred…for both the US and Israel. These remarks are the kind that feed the likes of the 19 hijackers who killed 3,000 of our fellow Americans almost 4 years ago. Or drive Al-Zarqwi and his butchers who literally slaughter innocent human beings in the name of their god. Or the terrorists who seek to kill our soldiers over in Iraq and innocent Iraqi people who yearn for nothing more than freedom and liberty.

Durbin, “During the course of that presentation, I read an e-mail from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

Oh…so it’s not your fault…you were just doing what someone else had done. Did you give it any thought before you spoke out? Did you try and find out if it was accurate and a genuine document?

Durbin, “After reading the horrible details in that memo…I then, on my own, my own words, make some characterizations about that memo. I made reference to the Nazis, to the Soviets, and other repressive regimes. Mr. President, I’ve come to understand that was a very poor choice of words. “

Poor choice of words…now that’s an understatement. Are you truly that ignorant of the facts about what the Nazi’s and Soviet’s did in their concentration camps and gulags? What is happening at Gitmo is not even in the same universe. Mr. Durbin…if you even remotely believe what you said…you are a moral idiot.

Durbin, “Last Friday, I tried to make this very clear, that I understood that those analogies, to the Nazis and Soviets and others, were poorly chosen. I issued a release, which I thought made my intentions and my innermost feelings as clear as I possibly could. “

I think your intentions and innermost feelings were expressed in your original statement. Let’s also please note…that no where do you mention anything about thought…it’s all about how you feel. Whatever happened to thought and reason?

Durbin, “I sincerely regret if what I said caused anyone to misunderstand my true feelings.”

We didn’t misunderstand Dick. And by the way that is not an apology for wrongdoing. You are blaming the person whom you allege has misunderstood. You are not acknowledging that you were wrong in what you said.

Durbin, “Our soldiers around the world, and their families at home, deserve our respect, admiration, and total support. ”

Well let’s see where do we begin? If you truly believe that our soldier’s actions are comparable to what the Nazi’s or Soviet’s did…why would you respect and admire them? Would you give total support a Nazi?

Durbin, “Mr. President, it is very clear that even though I thought I had said something that clarified the situation, to many people, it was still unclear.”

Here we go again…blaming the person who “misunderstood”. Besides that, your original comments were very clear…in fact, all too clear.

Durbin, “I’m sorry if anything I said caused any offense of pain to those who have such bitter memories of the Holocaust, the greatest moral tragedy of our time. Nothing, nothing should ever be said to demean or diminish that moral tragedy.”

Now Dick…that’s not really acknowledging that your comments were wrong. You are not apologizing for what you said. It’s kind of throwing it back on the person who was offended.

Durbin, “I’m also sorry if anything I said in any way cast a negative light on our fine men and women in the military.” (Time for tears) “I went to Iraq…When you looked in the eyes of those soldiers, you see your son. You see your daughter. They’re the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them. “

What did you think your remarks would do? Nazi’s and Soviet’s were not really good people. Would you want to be compared to either of these groups? I wonder…if you had a son or daughter fighting in the military…is that how you would want their service and sacrifice recognized?

The tears thing…was totally uncalled for. My goodness you are apologizing…and then try to manipulate it so everyone feels bad for you now. “Ah look at Durbin…he’s not so bad…look, he’s even crying”. Ohhhhh.

A real apology would be given like a man. Something to the effect of: “I’m sorry, I was wrong. I was wrong to minimize the horror of what happened to victims of the Nazi’s and Soviets by comparing it to abusive interrogation techniques applied toward terrorists who were seeking to kill Americans. I’m sorry I spit upon the sacrifice of the great men and women of our military. I was wrong, please forgive me.”

Now that would have been a little more gratifying. From you…it wouldn’t have been believable. But from a man, able to acknowledge when he’s erred, that would have been a much better apology.

Mr. Durbin…save your breath next time…we don’t need an insincere apology from someone who is morally confused at best.

(A note of thanks to Radio Blogger http://www.radioblogger.com/ for posting the full text and audio of Durbin remarks.)

God’s Will

Have you ever had a decision to make…and didn’t know which way to go? You prayed and sought guidance from God as to the course you should take. Well I’d like to be one that could say that each time…God gives me that clear understanding and picture of what I should do. However I would be lying if I said that.

During BSF one year when studying the Life of Moses…some of us commented on how nice it would be to have that cloud by day and fire by night to follow and make the path clear. Our teaching leader pointed out that while that sounds desirable…we are much better with the Word of God, the Holy Spirit within us and guidance from a multitude of counselors.

The Jews when going through the desert were subject to moving and staying whenever the cloud or fire moved. Perhaps they were tired and wanted to stay a while…but God said otherwise. Or maybe…they were anxious to be on their way…and God chose to have them remain a while longer. After hearing that I realized that perhaps we do have the better thing now.

However…I’m in the midst of a decision. Not sure which way to go. I’m anxious to just act…but history tells me the direction I’m thinking about moving would not be a good move. Seeing others in similar circumstances…tells me to wait. And I know my God…is never one to act quickly. He does act suddenly at times…but is never in a rush to make a decision and act quickly.

So…I guess I must wait…unless of course God brings a sudden revelation as to what I should do.

Just a side note…I do give thanks and praise for Stand to Reason and their teaching series on Decision Making and the Will of God. It was a huge relief to realize that I was not alone in not receiving personal direct revelation from God. It has helped me to use those resource that God has already made available when making decision.

Alzheimer’s…The Winding Road

On today’s visit with my mom…she was not very verbally expressive. She was making a lot of sounds when not napping but it was mostly confined to “hummm,” “umhummm” and so on.

When I asked her specific questions about her name, about her parents and where she was born…she had the answers readily available. That surprised me…usually she struggles to say that info. Her normal counting as she walks to her room was replaced with “hummm’s” as she touched the chair rail.

She slept a lot today. Didn’t watch more than a couple of minutes of the movie I put on.

Mary…one of the Alzheimer’s residents who shares my mom’s table…expressed concern about Gayle. Mary said Gayle seems to be having problems lately. Mary is very observant…but Alzheimer’s is robbing her of the ability to verbally state what she’s thinking.

Overall Gayle was in a good mood…and for that I am thankful. She was very sleepy today…and I ended up slipping out late in the afternoon as she napped.

Several Ways to Earn God’s Rewards – Chuck Obremski

Notes from Chuck Obremski’s sermon 5/19/05:

If we are absolutely convinced that things will happen as the Bible states shouldn’t that change/effect how we live? If we truly believe in hell…wouldn’t one repent and receive Jesus to avoid a future eternal judgment? Shouldn’t it also convince us to share the message of God’s salvation with the unsaved? Kind of like warning others when there is a bridge out on the road ahead. Certainty of future events, future secure, abundant life and peace with God now. Why not receive Jesus today?

As Christians we will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ. If you know you will have a test in the future, when would you start to study? Our problem is…we don’t know the date of our death…and when we will face the upcoming judgment.

* Committed to be excellent today!
* Consistently…Over Time!
* Don’t put it off to tomorrow, next week or next year!

God has revealed unto us a reservoir of knowledge to tap into. Thoughts of rewards encourage us today when we are tired and overwhelmed. Frazzled and downcast? God will reward us one day in the future. Rewards provide encouragement to help others. What will Jesus be looking for to reward us? God determines what behavior He will reward…just as he determines the way of salvation.

1. By exercising HOSPITALITY with an attitude pleasing to God. (Matt 24:35-46)

Hospitality with an attitude pleasing to God. Hospitality = Entertaining Strangers. Do not look for anything in it. Do the right thing…because it’s the right thing. It’s all about the Lord, not about myself. Not done under compulsion, but voluntarily. Not to be seen. Don’t serve with bitterness and a bad attitude. God will put a burden on the right person’s heart.

2. By ASSISTING people who represent the Kingdom of God. (Matt 10:40-42)

Are you committed to help those who are out sharing the gospel? You will receive the same rewards as those in ministry..by meeting their needs (1 Kings 17).

3. By GIVING yourself or your material resources without seeking the attention of others. (Matt 6:1-4)

Give of ourselves and our resources. We will all give an account on the day of judgment.

4. By PRAYING to God without anyone else hearing. (Matt 6:5-6)

Pray…not to be a pubic display. Pray to be pleasing to God and be praised by Him.

5. By FASTING before God without anyone else knowing. (Matt 6:16-17)

Set all the time connected with eating (preparing the food, cooking, eating and clean up)…set it aside for God. Keep it private before God. If we do seek to be seen by men, that will be our only reward. We will be rewarded by Him whose praise we seek.

God knows when we should have been rewarded and others got the credit. Blessed are those who have many secrets with God.

6. By TRANSFERRING assets from earth to heaven. (Matt 19-21)

Transferring our rewards to heaven. Money is the litmus test of our loyalty. If we can’t be trusted with money here, we won’t have the future reward.

Do you love God more than you love money? Are you a generous and happy giver?

Be generous towards God, not yourself.

7. By JOYFULLY accepting injustice for Christ’s sake. (Matt 5:11-12)

Suffering injustice for God’s sake. If you are persecuted for Jesus sake you will be rewarded in due season. Not always will we be rewarded in this life for doing the right thing. Don’t expect the world to stand back and applaud you.

8. By pleasing God with your performance at WORK. (Col 3:22-24)

Good performance at work is an opportunity to earn eternal rewards. By being excellent, the best you can be, God does and will reward.

Make sure that they don’t like you because you are a Christian. Not because you are sinning and doing evil. Set the standard and be excellent. You may be the only Christian they meet. No personal business on company time.

9. By LOVING the unlovable (Luke 6:32-35)

Loving the unlovable. Devine love is dependant on the lover, not on the one who is loved. You will be rewarded in the future. Demonstrated the love of Christ.

10. By SERVING God as a leader in His church. (1 Peter 5:1-4)

Those who serve God will be rewarded and endure poor treatment. Rewards are coming one day.

Charles H. Spurgeon “It is our duty and our privilege to exhaust our lives for Jesus.”

My Dad…Tangible Love

I don’t remember too awfully much about my dad, Frank F. Bunts. He died in 1969 when I was 10 years old. He died from lung cancer not too long after we had moved to Lake Havasu, AZ. He died just a few weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer…in a Phoenix hospital. I didn’t know he had cancer and was dying…but that’s a whole other story.

One of the memories I do have was when we lived in Denver. It must have been Christmas 1968. We went on a shopping trip to a local mall…Cinderella City. I wanted my own little Christmas tree for my room…always loved Christmas lights…even back then. At Sears we ended up getting a small artificial tree that was about 1 foot high. I was able to put Christmas lights on it and have it in my bedroom at Christmas time. I kept that tree for many, many years. In some respects it was something tangible that said my dad loved me.

There is so much I don’t know about you…and about our family life while you were still alive. I look forward to heaven…and hope to have a better knowledge and understanding of that which has remained a mystery to me, for low these many years. Will I see you there?

Happy Father’s Day!

Thumbs Up to the Charles Stanley Institute

A big thumbs up and recommendation to the Charles Stanley Institute.

It’s a great resource for all Christians to become rooted and grounded in the Word of God. Through the studies provided you will be able to learn more fully the Biblical foundations of our faith.

In addition to the online courses for study…there are resources for prayer and journaling Also discussions with fellow believers on a variety of topics.

I had started the Faith Foundations a couple of years ago…but dropped off in my studies. As I have a break this summer from Bible Study Fellowship I decided it would be beneficial to stay rooted and grounded in the Word of God. I am not disciplined enough to do it on my own. Whether it’s BSF or another Bible study…I need a focused study to keep me going.

I highly recommend the Charles Stanley Institute to help you in your faith walk…and to grow as a Christian. You can also watch Charles Stanley on In Touch Ministries…each week and listen to his radio broadcast.

We are most fortunate to live today…when the Word of God is provided so abundantly…especially to those in the United States and to many around the world via the internet.

Click on the above link so you can get started today.

Reflections on God & Sin

A couple of reflections on God and sin…following my visit to Las Vegas.

If the sin that I witnessed so blatantly displayed bothered me (a sinful human being)…how does God feel when he sees it? A Holy, Righteous, Sinless God. One who hates sins…but loved us so very much he was willing to accept and pay the penalty on our behalf.

After believing in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior…being born again and filled with the Holy Spirit…a Christian can never really see sin again the same light. That why it’s not funny, it’s not something that I should knowingly and willingly be engaged in or approve of…or even be neutral about. It breaks my heart to see people living in a sinful unrepentant state…because I know of the high price that Jesus paid on that cross for that sin.

When I think of the agony he endured…on my behalf I see my sins as bringing that pain and agony upon Jesus.

Do I have that heart of God as I gaze upon a sinner? Do I feel the love that Jesus felt…so much so that he was willing to offer himself a sacrifice for my sin?

My goodness…I have so very far to go.

There’s no place like home…

I just returned from a brief trip to Las Vegas and I am ever so glad to be home. I thank God for his hedge of protection around me. I was able to travel there and back with a gentleman from work. He is a fellow Christian and conservative Republican…so we were able to talk work, politics and religion….thank you Kris. You get a thumbs up as a traveling companion…you are easy going and a good conversationalist.

Thank you to my sister Denise and her children for watching over my pets…Daisy, Nathan and Moss. It was a huge relief to know that they were well cared for in my absence.

Talk about the proverbial fish out of water…I was a living, breathing example of it. My goodness…Las Vegas is a modern day example of Romans 1:18-32 (click on the above link). The open sin and degradation and glorification in wickedness simply takes ones breath away.

Make no mistake…in no way am setting myself up as a paragon of virtue. I know all too well my sinful fallen state. I have been and saved by the grace of God and in no way could have saved myself from my sin. I’m well aware of the garbage that comes out California and is exported to the world from the movie industry…and the daily scandals that fill the news stories each day from this lovely state.

But what goes on in Vegas is sin taken to the “N’th Degree”. I stand with my mouth open…and that Roman’s passage comes to mind. Especially Roman 1:32b “they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be a Christian in that environment…or to raise children there.

Now my idea of good vacation…a nice, relaxing and fun place to be is a cabin in the mountains or a trip to the beach…maybe a day up in Solvang. Vegas…tops my list of worst vacation destinations.

There is so much that I could say about that place..but mostly I thank God for bringing me back home…to my home…safe and sound. Not sure what lessons God would have me take away from my days there…whether it’s lessons about me or the world or lost sinners? I kind of felt like the reluctant prophet Jonah while in Vegas.