3 John 9-12

johnToday at church, my pastor touched on a subject that could have easily gone south real fast. That’s because Pastor Ray covered the topic of how we should watch our hearts and tongues so we don’t hinder those who are doing good by sharing the good news about Jesus Christ. I have to admit that this very small book was a book I didn’t really pay much attention to. But after today, I figured that there is a powerful message in this letter that is addressed to Gaius.

3 John 9-12

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.

As I was reading and listening to the sermon today, I was thinking about how those who are believers and love the Lord should also love our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we show love and kindness to those who love the Lord, we are blessed.

I also imagined what it must have been like to hear Gaius warn Demetrius about Diotrephes about not buying into his evil ways and nonsense. It is like, “dude, this guy is bad news and spreading lies, you need to take care of this since they won’t listen to me!” There are many high muckity mucks that are still spreading lies and are evil to the core. You only have to turn on the news to know this. We need Demetrius in our world and even more we need Jesus.

Christians and churches could probably learn a lot when it comes to how Gaius was dealing with differences that existed among Christians. Gaius was a faithful servant that loved the Lord and helped those who needed help.  I would think it would have been super exciting to be part of the winning of souls for Christ and to hear about grace and kindness of others from him firsthand.

Demetrius was for the most part liked by all and respected. This is the main reason why Gaius sent Demetrius. He instructed them to be prepared to bear their testimony to others.

  • 3 John 12– Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.

I have found over and over again that when I have people around me that are Christian and good examples of Christ, it makes me a better person and gives me a sense of peace and happiness.  It is also awesome to know that even though I am far from perfect and I make a ton of mistakes in my life, God still loves me.

I would hate to think that my actions, words or anger would prevent someone from knowing Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savor. I also get a lot of things wrong when it comes to my understanding of the Bible. I have no doubt that when I get to Heaven, I will have a whole lot of things wrong.  There has been times I have had falling outs with fellow Christians and usually it is because I misunderstood or they did. I would prefer to say that they did, lol. I think if I would have read this small but powerful book I could have saved a bunch of heartache and hurt feelings over things.

In closing, I just want to say that we must follow that which is good since those who walk in love and are faithful are born of God. It isn’t a good idea to be selfish, proud or wanting to be all powerful.  I strive to be a good example of who a Christian is. I hope and pray that people can see that I am a believer and follower of Christ. I find it exciting to think about my connections and interactions with those who are like minded. For myself, I would have a hard time finding life pleasing and happy if I wasn’t around those who are like minded. How awesome it is going to be to see the multitudes that have put their faith in Jesus Christ.

Those who know Christ and are known to be Christians, should be willing to help those around us and share the truth and Gospel with them.

What If I Won the Lottery?

If you haven’t heard about the lottery reaching over a billion, you must be living in a cave. I have thought about what I would do if I won that much money like millions of others have done. I honestly don’t know and can’t conceive what it would be like to have that much money. I don’t think that people that live in a normal lifestyle would know what to do with a billion dollars.


As I considered what I would do with that much money, I would for sure make sure to find a reputable financial advisor and not tell anyone right away. Since most states they make you disclose who the winners are, being anonymous may not be so easy. People have been killed and had to file bankruptcy since you will have more friends than you ever had before.

I was telling a friend that I would be sure that the friends I had before would be the friends I trust. I could imagine people descending and becoming vultures when they find out who won that amount of money. You would have every scam artist, long lost relatives and so called friends coming out of the wood work.

I can’t say I wouldn’t blow any money, because I know I would. I can’t imagine not doing a dream vacation, but I would get bored if I traveled all the time and wasn’t home. Here is my list of things that I would do if I won that amount of money.

  1. Find a good financial advisor and lawyer
  2. Buy a house that is easy to maintain. It wouldn’t be a mansion. Maybe a 3 or 4 bedroom house that is about 2500 square foot with a 3 car garage.
  3. A new truck/suv for Chuck and a Ford Mustang Cobra for me.
  4. A motor home so we can go on vacation and travel a bit
  5. Of course I would donate to my church because if what I donate can make a difference to others and share the Good News with others, it is worth it.
  6. Open a Christian Book Store that has an internet café and diner attached to it. It would be a pay it forward diner where the homeless could find a hot meal through vouchers. The vouchers would be distributed via churches and the shelters.
  7. I would help my family out to an extent and trust funds would be set up for my grandkids. I believe if you give and give, it really isn’t doing anyone any good. Helping is one thing, enabling is another thing.
  8. Starting a animal shelter/rescue would be one of my top priorities also. There are many homeless animals and they deserve to be loved and taken care of.
  9. I would try to keep my life as normal as possible. I think people get in way over their heads when they win huge amounts. I would prefer not to win over changing the kind of person I am.
Now, I don’t expect to win the lottery. It would be cool I guess, but stressful. I would think that winning that amount would cause a whole bunch of other issues and isn’t the answer to all of life’s issues.
If you won the lottery, what would you do?

Life is Complicated… Not God

Today’s sermon touched on a blog post I started some time ago, and I pretty much left it in draft format. With today’s sermon I figured I should finish up that blog.  Basically the post is on how we make things much more complicated when it comes to our faith and belief in God. I don’t think God intended things to be so complicated. Pastor Rays sermon touched on this today.

I was born in Indiana, my grandparents and our family didn’t live far from Nappanee Indiana where the Amish are all over the place.  My grandparents lived off the land and they raised their own livestock.  One of the many positives about living the way we did and the area is that my views of Christianity are still like they were then.  My views when it comes to my faith and belief in Christ is simple.

My grandma was a Sunday School Teacher at a Methodist Church. In our area besides Amish and Methodist, there were Pentecostals, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Catholics, Mennonites and Baptist. At least those are the ones I was aware of. She would read from the Bible at night and that was it. There weren’t other books. The Bible was the Only book that mattered.


Now days, there are hundreds if not thousands of belief systems. I can imagine what my grandma would say about all of the nonsense going on these days. She would be rolling in her grave if she knew. She would be sure to tell us all what she thought and she wouldn’t care if someone got offended.

I’m not sure if the name on the building is as important as Who they believe in and that they believe in the whole Word of God, not just a part of it. To many people like to pick and choose what they like or not like. There are many churches and communities that say they are Christian, but are they really?  Churches and belief systems differ just as much as humans do.  Has Christianity become to complicated or is it us that complicates Christianity? Life is complicated, not God.

  • I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)

I can’t help by wonder how many people who goes to church really understands what it means to have a personal relationship with Christ. How many people sit in pews and goes through the motions of playing church? Is God real to everyone at church?  Or He this big spirit in the sky that is going to send lightening bolts down to earth? OK, I guess He could send lightening since God could if He wanted to.  I also wonder if everyone who goes to church have a hunger and longing for God?  I don’t think that everyone who goes to church is a Christian. I also don’t think that all Christians goes to church. The reason I can say I know this, is that I have friends, acquaintances and family that goes to church and they don’t get it. I also have friends who don’t go to church regularly and they have more faith in their pinky than some have in their whole body.

Anymore many are choosing their own paths when it comes to God.  It isn’t hard to realize this in this generation of technology.  Nevertheless It amazes me when I hear people talk about how as long as they believe in God, nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter if they believe in the same God as in the Bible.  As long as they believe in someone or something, it doesn’t matter.

A lady that I know says that she is a Christian. The reason she says that is that she “thinks” there is a higher power and that she is a good person. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone and does good, then she is all good in the “God” department. She told me that she use to go to church, but it was full of people who weren’t who they say they were. They had just as many issues and problems as she did and she wanted nothing to do with any churches or “God”. She also said that “she doesn’t need to have someone save her.” Let’s say, I was about to get a mallet out and hammer her with some truth.  But, I can’t make people believe unless they want to. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I have a hard time when people don’t use common sense, lol. Makes no sense to me, but I guess that’s why we have “free will.”

I knew I couldn’t hit them with a hammer, but it did get me thinking about what is it that keeps people from believing in the “One True God.” As a Christian, it broke my heart that she felt this way.  I then asked myself how is it that as a Christian, that I have somehow missed the golden opportunity to witness to my friend. Since I am a Christian, I want to please God and I want to share the Good News that Jesus paid the price and we can all live forever.

I gave my life to Him a long time ago and my faith is everything. The more I think on things and I do a lot of thinking,   I have come to the realization that we have many rules and regulations that doesn’t need to be there when it comes to our relationship with God. Maybe that’s because we live in a world full of rules and regulations.

Finding the right church isn’t easy. It can be quite complicated, which is what it seems Satan enjoys. Believing and trusting in God isn’t intended to be complicated like I said, we complicate things.  I think Satan is enjoying the smoke screen and wants us to believe that is difficult to be as perfect as we “think” we should be when it comes to being believers in Christ. Let me get this out of the way right now! There is NO WAY you are going to be perfect. God knows we can’t be perfect. He sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins because only because of Christ can we live forever.

  • The word “perfect,” in the Bible  mean “complete” or “finished.” Jesus was made “perfect” through suffering (Heb. 2:10; 5:8–9). He completed or fulfilled God’s plan for Him as our Savior by suffering for us.

We put God in a box and we want to throw in the things we like here and there. I wondered why there are so many churches and divisions. It makes it easier to justify what we feel comfortable with. Like my friend who said, she believes in a “higher power”. A higher power is in my  way of thinking a “do as you please” kind of mentality.  Everything is all good, no matter what. My friend once told me that while Christians want to believe in “this God”, they didn’t want anyone to rain on their parade. I don’t honestly get how people believe this way, if they do, why believe in anything at all?  That’s a whole other topic though.

When I think about my own faith in Christ, I have come to understand over many many years that faith is more than just going to church, my faith is a way of life. My faith in Christ is more of a personal relationship instead of being impersonal. When a person believes and puts ones faith in Jesus Christ we have assurance in our own salvation.

  • I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

In closing I just want to say that for me, Christianity is simple. It is more than a religion it is a way of life that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. When someone believes in Jesus Christ, lives are transformed. Good feelings and deeds aren’t needed to have eternal life. When you trust in Jesus Christ, admit you are a sinner and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that is all that is needed. It’s that simple.


Not Of This World

My cousin George is a pastor of a little church in Knox, Indiana. He posted a status on Facebook today that was is simple, but at the same time powerful. The question he posed is, “Do you try harder to spend time in the world than you do with God.” It doesn’t take a whole lot of words for me to get thinking about things. Thanks for the thought for the day George, it’s always a good reminder to stay focused on Christ.


So, here are some of my thoughts when it comes to his question.

  • In 1 John 2:15 it says,Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

If we look at what this verse says, it is telling us that we are suppose to be “lovers of this world.” If we love things of this world, then we are enemies of God.

I had to go look up what it means when we are told to “not be part of this world.”  The word world refers to a world system ruled by Satan, we can more readily appreciate Christ’s claims that believers are no longer of the world—we are no longer ruled by sin, nor are we bound by the principles of the world. In addition,

  • (John 17:14) “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

Simply put, Jesus is telling us that we shouldn’t become attached to the things of this world. This isn’t something that we should take lightly. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be an enemy of God. It’s easy to fall into the ways of this world if we aren’t careful.  This is a serious matter.

Since I am a believer in Christ, I know that as a Christian I am set apart from the world. For those who are believers this means that we should be living a holy and righteous life. We shouldn’t take part in sinful activities that are condoned by the world. I’m not saying this is easy, because it isn’t. It’s something I strive to do each and every day.

It’s difficult to understand what it is that we have to do when it comes to living in this world and still not being a part of it. The best way I can think to describe what it means is that we need to be living examples of Christ. I make it a point that I do things that are pleasing to God. I want people to look at me and know that I am a Christian. If people look at me and don’t see Christ, then I am missing the mark and not doing what God is wanting.  As a believer in Christ, I have the desire to live my life for Christ.

  • (Romans 12:1-2)  I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

There are times people will say that in order for a person to be a Christian, you can’t have fun. There are too many rules and regulations. I guess I don’t see it this way.  I don’t miss the things of this world. Material things are temporary. I don’t find joy in going out partying or in activities that are for the moment. I find joy in helping others, praying and doing the things that make a difference to others and to God.  All of the things of this world will pass away. My life and the lives of all mankind will pass away, but because of Jesus dying for my sins on the cross, I know that this life is temporary.

  • (Matthew 7:16-20) You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.

Toby Mac has a song out called “Lose my Soul”.   The song simply say’s, “I don’t want to gain the whole world and  lose my soul.” This is one of my favorite songs out there. If you haven’t heard it, you may want to take the time to really listen to the words.

The Chorus to “Lose my Soul”

I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul
Don’t wanna walk away let me hear the people say
I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul
Don’t wanna walk away let me hear the people say

In closing I just want to leave you with a few questions. You are more than welcome to comment to this post and share our thoughts and answers if you like.

  1. Is losing your soul for worldly possessions, lusts and wealth worth it to you?
  2. At the end of the day and the end of your life, who or what is more important to you?
  3. How does the world influence the way you live your life and resist temptations?
  4. How have your choices and actions affected those around you?
  5. Can people tell that you are a believer in Christ? Or are you just going through the motions?


Liking and Sharing on Facebook Warnings

Scam AwarenessWhen you like or share a comment, picture or link with others, you may want to be aware of the dangers that are affiliated with what seems like a harmless way to make the world better. Well, at least your friends and acquaintances world better.

There are a lot of scams out there. I’m pretty sure most have seen the pictures that says “Like and Share This picture and you will become a millionaire”. Or, you may have seen the ones where they are saying that if you like this picture and share it Jesus will bless you. Lately there has been a picture of a dog that has a piece of ham across it’s face. Yet people are sharing it like crazy because a hoax is going around that this poor dog has been burned. We need to click and share his picture to show him some love.

facebook-zuckerbergOver the past few weeks or so, there has been a popular hoax that involved Mark Zuckingberg the owner of Facebook. If we like and share the picture then he will give us like 14 million dollars. The only one that was getting rich off of this scam is the ones who came up with the scam to begin with.  Those who create these pictures and pages are making huge commissions because we click and like a picture.

My daughter Jessica was talking about one of the hoaxes going around and I wish it was true for her sake since she is pregnant. She was saying how Cold Stone Creamery would give a free ice-cream to pregnant women if they are showing and looks pregnant.

These types of pictures are designed to tug at your heart strings. The way it works is that someone will create a page and they start posting inspirational quotes and images. Once you like and share the post or image, it will start showing up in the news feeds. The more we share and like a page, the more it will show up. It eventually takes on a life of its own.

Have you ever seen the pictures that says to click here and see what happens? So you click it and nothing happens.  When, actually a whole lot has happened. You just gave access to someone that you don’t know. You gave them access to your friends, family and other content that you have posted on Facebook.  When the pages begin to gain momentum and they get more and more hits, then all the sudden advertising stops popping up like crazy. It isn’t just pictures, but they also gain access through games, polls and those cute little things like “who are you most like” or ” who were you in a previous life?”

The ones that gets me is the ones that wants us to share out of support for someone else. What I am meaning is that it will say something like, “My sister thinks she is ugly, like this photo to show her how pretty she is.” In most cases, there isn’t a real sister. It is a ploy to get you to click on said image so someone can make money off your year likes and shares. Have you ever noticed how when you go to Amazon or search for a product, it will show up all of the sudden as an advertising on the news feeds or the side. When you click and share things, you may have allowed malware to be loaded into your computer. Viruses and other things have basically infected your computer without you even noticing it.

OK, So I gave you some warnings about scams, but what can we do about it? There are ways to secure your Facebook privacy shortcutspage and to not send your friends to the wolves.

If you use the “Friends” setting on your Facebook instead of “friends of friends“, then that is a step in the right direction. This setting will allow only your friends to view your posts, not everyone else. You will find these settings under your privacy settings at the top of the page.

Before you like or share a picture or post be sure who you are sharing it with. You can set up by clicking on custom on your post. If you see a globe it means that what you are posting or sharing is a public post. Everyone can see it. So make sure you want everyone to see what you are posting before you click post.  If you see two heads, that means you are posting it for “friends of friends”. If there is just one head, that means that only those on your friends list can see what you are posting.

If you have liked something and I have done this many times, you can unlike it. Go to your profile and choose the  “more” button.  You will see where you are given the option to “unlike”. This is an awesome feature since there are times I have liked something and regretted it later. I have some friends on Facebook that is over zealous when it comes to liking things. On my page, I made sure that I don’t get all the news feeds and I will let them know that whatever they are sharing is a scam or a hoax.  You may also want to make sure you don’t have your phone linked to your Facebook page. People that you may not know can now call you if you list your phone.  On my cell phone I have hundreds and hundreds of peoples names and numbers that are on my facebook page. This is possible because numbers are synced through google chrome. I had to go in and edit my info to make sure to not make it so people can call me through Facebook.  Click Here for information on editing that.

There are places you can go when it comes to making sure if something is real or not. The place I go to is “Snopes.com”. You can search for whatever it is that you are looking for. If you check it out to begin with, you may save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run.

Now, there are times when I share posts and those are from places that I know are legit. Usually the ones I share are places that are secure and known.  If you see something I have shared, I have checked it out.  If you are careful social networks like “Facebook” can do great things like connecting with friends and family. I would just recommend that you go into your privacy settings and make sure your information is secure. The world doesn’t need to know everything about you. If someone see’s my posts and pictures, that means you are on my trusted list. Not everyone can see everything I post on my wall.

Lastly, I just want to say that if you aren’t sure if someone sent you something, just ask them.