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Monday, January 27, 2014

A.R.K. Building 101

According to Better Homes & Gardens Feb 2014 issue, February 10-16 is Random Acts of Kindness Week (or as I like to say Acts of Random Kindness-ARK).  It's a great idea to get people to be more aware of others around them and to help them out, pay it forward.  Wonderful for non-Christians but for the Christian  I have a question.  Why are we not already doing this on a regular basis?

In the bible we are told things like "love your enemies", "love your neighbor as you love yourself" and "what you do for the least of my brethren you do unto me".  We are to be living in a way that honors God and to follow the example given us by Jesus.  How can we tell people that we are followers of Christ if we are not setting the example to them?  Seriously, would you want to follow the belief system of somebody who shows you no respect or won't even say things like thank you, sorry, please, and your welcome?  Or instead somebody who apologizes when they bump into you, holds the door open for you, and smiles and says hi to just about everyone they come in contact with?  You could very well be the only bible they read, what are you telling them about God through your actions?

Another point is there are a lot of complaints about how the world is, governments, finances, crime, and the list goes on and on.  One of the sayings that I live by is "everyone is either part of the problem or part of the solution, which do you choose to be?" and that is my question to you.  For those in America, are you blasting Obama on Facebook every chance you get or are you praying to God to heal our country?  Do you complain about how this world needs more compassion or are you showing compassion on others?  In other words, less talk, more walk.  BE THE CHANGE THAT YOU WANT TO SEE IN THIS WORLD!  No matter how small it may seem to you, everything that you do to help another will make this world gentler.  And God doesn't measure things the same way that we do.  Think about it, wouldn't it be great to be rewarded in Heaven for things that we forgot that we even did.  Every action, every step either advances or hinders the Kingdom of God, there is no neutral ground.

So the two big basics of starting to build your ARK.  First is to desire to honor God with your life.  You won't be perfect but that is no excuse to not do your best.  Easiest way to do that is to keep it REAL.  R-Read your bible. How are you suppose to know what is expected of you if you don't take the time to find out?  It's more than just your Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth but also the most amazing, fantastical love letter of all time.  And it's from God to you.  E-Encounter the author.  Pray, communicate. Jesus isn't a religion but a relationship. Every relationship needs open two way communication to work.  Pray to be the change that the world needs, pray that He guides you in becoming that.  A-Assemble with other believers, attend church.  Watch the examples around you at church, engage with them, join a bible study.  Make those that are speaking and influencing your life be those with a heart for God.

Second is the L-Let others know.  I don't mean with lip service but through your life.  Hold the door open for the person behind you, say thank you to your waitress, compliment a stranger, you are allowed to start small.  Ask God to show you ways in which you can serve and then do it.  When somebody isn't receptive to your kindness or they are flat out mean/rude don't let it stop you from continuing reaching out.  Noah had a lot of ridicule thrown his way when he was building his ark.  God will reward you and that is the only reward needed.

Yes, I have seen Evan Almighty, that's why I prefer ARK over RAK.  This is something that everyone has been called to.

God Bless and Remember to be a Snakebird.
God's Cole

Friday, January 17, 2014

Those with a bible falling apart...(or a tribute to my bible)

are said to have a life that isn't falling apart.  That's how the saying goes.  But when it comes time when you know that have to replace it, that's when it gets tough. 

Now don't get me wrong, I do own more than one bible. I have a KJV, NKJV, Messianic Jewish, and a few others but only one hard core study bible that I use all the time.  Only one that has notes written in the margins, passages underlined, even a few tear stains when something really hit too close to home.  It's a part of me.  In this bible is my history, a spiritual growth chart. 

This particular bible has been with me for over 7 years.  It was 7 years ago I left my ungodly lifestyle and decided to live for Him and not for me.  It was also 7 years ago that a young couple and their friends moved to Montana with a vision to start a church.  A church that I have been blessed to be a part of since 2009.  For those seven years I have been using this same primary bible repeatedly.  Most baby books also go up to the first seven years of a child's life, perhaps I have outgrown my eternal baby book.  Both of those events took place in January and here in January my bible has fallen apart, seven years later.  Completion.

So it is now the time for the very uncomfortable task of finding it's replacement.  It won't be easy finding the right fit for the next seven years.  This is something that will require prayer to be guided to my next growth chart, for the new beginning.  Every beginning is also an ending of the old, a time of mourning.  To some it may sound extreme but every time I open this bible and read not only God's word but to see through my own notations how He has been with me through every hardship and trial, through every blessing and every lesson learned I will miss.  It is time to retire the old and put it in a place of honor.  It is my altar of stones in the Jordan.

New believer counselors refer to the bible as a Love Letter from God.  I pray that not only in my old primary but in the new primary that I will be getting sooner then I would like that I can also make it my Love Letter to God as well.  And not just my bible but in my prayer life and by the way that I live life-all of it.

My prayer for you is that you also become attached to your bible, that when it comes time for replacement that a part of you dreads it.  That it is a testimony of how God has grown you in Him. Write in it, mark it up, let tears stain some of the pages.  God exposes His heart to us, lets expose ours to Him as well.  And may you have to replace it sooner then you would like.  It is said that those with a bible falling apart have a life that isn't.  Read it and let it burn into your very being.  That's my prayer for you.

God Bless and remember to be a Snakebird.
God's Cole

Monday, January 13, 2014

No piggybacks into Heaven

As a kid, sometimes we would get piggyback rides from one of my cousins (actually my mom's cousins) or uncle and where ever they would go I would get to go too.   Didn't even have to work, just hold on and hope that I don't get dropped.  However I have discovered one place that nobody can piggyback into and that is Heaven.

Salvation is available to everyone but each person has to choose for themselves whether or not they want to accept it.  There are many that assume that they have instant access to Heaven due to the works or actions of others.  I had actually dated a guy that once told me that he knows he is going to Heaven because his mom had him baptized as a baby.  He doesn't have to do anything, his mother did it for him.  Some people say that because their parents believe or they were raised in church that makes them saved.   It ancient culture, many Jews believed that they had an automatic pass because they were the children of Abraham.  Even after John the Baptist told them "And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.'  I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham" many still held to that belief.

Accepting the gifts of salvation and forgiveness is an individual thing that only you can do, nobody else can do it for you.  As a mother, I do wish that I could reserve seating for my nonbelieving children.  At the same time, they have to make that decision on their own.  God won't force anybody to love Him.  It's a simple concept but one that many miss.  It's another way that Satan screws with peoples minds, give a false sense of security.

It's interesting how many people I've heard say that they have been saved their whole life.  The day you give your life to Christ should be a day that you remember, for me it was in January of 1980.  Even when I was attempting to run from God He had me on a rubberband and I sprang back to Him in October of 2005.  It's extra birthdays. 

Just something to think about.  Do you remember making a decision of opening the door of your heart to Jesus or do you just assume that He is already there?  Nobody else can do this for you, it's a one person ticket.  Can't pick up extra for those that you love.  However, you can pray for those that aren't saved that you love, continuously pray for them.  I do.

God Bless and Remember to always be a Snakebird.
God's Cole

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Beginnings

One beautiful thing about a new year is that it is a great time for a fresh start.  Reflect on the last year, learn what works, what doesn't and make adjustments. Or in the case of the majority resolutions that will be the same next year because most people quit after the first week if they make it that long.  Instead of resolutions, I decided to try something different last year and my success rate went up enough to continue.

My goals have been separated into eight different categories (spiritual, physical/health, finance, family, home, job/career, leisure, and personal) and each month starting in January I focus on a different category.  That way I don't overload myself and I am achieving more then I was before.

Some of the things accomplished last year was moving into a bigger apartment, getting two cats (more than the original goal but it's extra blessing),  lost some of my weight (over 25 lbs. still have 84 lbs. to go), and started the application process for college.

Going forward (for January/Spiritual) my goals are to make my prayer journal a habit and not hit and miss, study one chapter of the bible every day (I estimate over 5 years to read the whole bible which is my ultimate goal), and to blog at least once a week.  So far, so good.  For Chapter a Day I started with the book of Matthew and am learning and being reminded of so much it feels almost like overload.  But in a good way.  Many topics for future blogs. 

But I must go for now.  Judah has decided that I need to give him attention NOW and after all, I am his human (dogs have owners, cats have humans).  Be praying for you.

God Bless and remember to be a Snakebird.
God's Cole