Archive for category My thoughts over morning coffee

Morning Coffee Thoughts and Scripture

 It is enjoyable for me to talk with and share ideas with friends and acquaintances so I do it often. I am the guy that will talk with anyone that will share with a real interest. There are many topics in my conversations. One of them is Christian Fellowship and as a result, I participate in three Bible studies. I want to give a background for them. One started with a couple of guys that had morning conversations at work and decided to start a study to see what the Bible said about the things they debated rather than their religious or predetermined ideas. The next is a group of businessmen and when we meet there are typically up to six different church affiliations represented. In the third group, I meet with up to twenty-six Lutherans and I attend a Life Church which is quite different. In all cases, we have good participation. There is another group I will mention in my daily conversations at restaurants and various activities. Some even on social media.

Here is my challenge, in several cases over the last year there has been the suggestion that there are multiple ways to heaven. This coming from an audience of which 100% profess to be Christian. I am going to spend several months addressing this. I want to clarify that to me saying you are going to heaven equates to having a renewed relationship with God the Father, a relationship which was lost in the garden of Eden when Adam disobeyed the one command, do not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. You can read of these events in the Book of Genesis.

16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [n]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

This was not an immediate death of the body, (the flesh) but a death described as separation from God, actually a spiritual death. It meant that God, who had daily walked with Adam in the garden sent Adam and Eve out of the garden and separated them from Himself and they no longer could eat of the Tree of Live and they eventually died a physical death as well. Now, God was not caught off guard or unable to repair the damage that had been caused by the rebellious fallen angel we know as Satan. In the garden, he is the serpent that approaches and deceives Eve who then eats of the fruit of the tree and also encourages Adam to do the same. When Adam and Eve were faced with God and hid from Him in their shame the creation became cursed.  You can read of this in Genesis: 1-3. My only purpose of this outline is to get to this specific revelation from reading Genisis: 14-15. 14 The Lord God said to the serpent,“Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall [d]bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

In Genesis God had a solution and we see what the divide is in the world. The solution was the Son of Man, the child born of the seed of the woman. I am not trying to outline the whole of the Gospel of Christ as there is a Bible available to all. In this day of computers and pads, printed books, audio books on CD and MP3 and every Bible version and commentary you can imagine immediately available you can read the “Rest of the Story” as Paul Harvey would say.

My focus in the next several weeks is going to be on at least fifty scriptures that establish there is only one way the human race can reconcile with God. That way is an “Incredible Gift” a gift of Salvation which is available through only one manner.  Of some estimated 4,300 religions in the world, two of which are predominant in the billions, there is one who claims He is the Only way, I will be discussing that one and the scriptures in the Bible that make that claim.

There may be some slight deviations in the topic as we go but this is the course. I am disturbed by Christians having an uncertain or muted expression of their Savior and how to return to God the Father. So, with the next cup of coffee, I hope you will join me and feel free to comment.

God Bless and Have a Sparkling Day,

BOTF

 

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Where we focus determins our impact point.

We, a regular group of motorcyle riders,  went on a ride to Warm Lake above Idaho City, ID. On the ride one of the riders went down, walked away with abrasions, sore wrist and ankle, and of course, a bruised ego. I want to tell this story for some good perspective in our Christian walk. I may add the bike, an element in the story did not fair well.
 
When we joined up in the morning the leader of the ride introduced me to his son. A family man retired from the Navy, with a wife and two children. He was from Florida and owns a bike at home. His father after introducing me as we mingled and talked over coffee made a comment to myself and two other riders that he was concerned his son was a flatlander never having ridden mountain roads.
 
Of course, I commented out of genuine concern for the son. If you have not ridden this run there are a good many turns, many are rather long switch backs having a continued radius. They are not short quick turns. I told the father, the best thing you can do is have a conversation with your son and tell him that on mountain roads it is important to look thru the corner to where you are going, If you get in trouble, get your head up and look where you want to go and it will likely get you out of trouble. His comment was (some what defensive), well we all have to learn that as we ride”. I commented that yes that is true however there have been a few times I was glad I had discussed this and read about it, it got me out of trouble when I found myself a little hot in a corner. If you focus on the impending impact point, hazard, or center of the turn you will not lean and ride where you need too. You will, in fact, go where you look. That was the end of our chat and he chose not to have that conversation with his son. I was feeling the need to have it with out the permission of the father but chose not to intervene.
 
As our ride progressed, we got to the mid point in our ride, fueled and stretched the legs and then went on the next 26-mile leg. As we started going through multiple switchbacks and twenty-five mile per hour turns entering most at forty plus mph I thought we are going a bit hot for an inexperienced rider and we should slow down. I was not in a position to affect the group as I had taken up the rearward position. Sure enough, on a long and tight switchback, where you have to make an extended turn, a bike went down. Luckily, at a spot where there was a turnout rather than a creek or rocks. I knew immediately who it was even before I saw him get off the ground. I proceeded to go check his condition and then help get the bike upright.
 
His comment to me was explanatory, I saw the trees coming, I did not think I could turn anymore and had to lay it down so I could get off. It was self-explanatory, he was focused on the hazard, (Trees) and crashed. We were in a left turn and he went off on the right side. As I looked at the tire signature from the pavement to the gravel and to the point of laying down he simply drove off the road. I did not say anything to all of the others as I felt it was not my place. His wife and kids were there as well as Mom and Dad. The family had been in a car taking up the rear just behind us.
 
I think this whole incident is instructional. Not that we can’t all make a mistake but when we make one how we react is important. This applies to all of life not just riding the motorcycle. The bike is a good example as it gives you an immediate picture of process and result. Wrong focus, wrong result. It is inherent in the doing.
 
We all have needs, wants, desires and we all understand this with out expanding the definition. Food, shelter, clothing, love (affection), are some but not all inclusive. We also need direction, wisdom. strength, health and many other adjectives I could add. Where do we look to answer these needs and wants? It is multiple in the answer as we go to friends, relatives, educators, employers, spouse and of course self. We exercise various degrees of control and demand as a rule that we maintain that control. This is often how we begin to look at the wrong place as we seek results. Self is limited by experience and knowledge, the teacher may not cover the need, the motive of others may not be in our best interest and we often just take the risk to the best of our ability in these sources. Yet, we have a sure and perfect source but we must look to it. It is best to look before you get in trouble as with the bike rider which crashed.
 
In Matthew 6 (read all of the chapter for context) when we come to verse twenty-five we read “For this reason, I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink, nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace. will He not much more clothe you? Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘/what will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all of these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself, Each day has enough trouble of its own. 
Did you read that, vs 33 and 34 I have put in bold print. In all of our doing, in all of our worry, in all of our anxiety where do we look? We tend to look at all of the afore mentioned places first; yet, God said he is aware of all of these things. We need to first seek His kingdom.
How do we do that, as Christians, we first look to Christ, he is our focus, and all of these things will be added unto us. It is not all about me and you, it is not all about our ability or our effort and certainly not about our control. It is all about the love and the goodness of our heavenly Father who first sought us through the gift and presence of His Son, Jesus the Christ. He desires to be our provision and we need not despair.
In riding a motorcycle it takes a conscous effort to focue in the right place. It has to be done all of the time, every time we ride. There is not room to error due a poor attitude or lazy manner. How much more than in life? In all honesty, there is only one real focus point In life, that point is our Lord, our savior and redeemer, Jesus the Christ, 
 
Make Him your focus, all of the time, in every turn of life, for this is the only sure path.
God Bless,
Mark

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