The Truth is Out There

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” – John 14:6

In September of 1993, a new television show premiered.  The X-Files was a show about an FBI agent, Fox Mulder,  that was seeking the truth about the disappearance of his sister.  In his office was a poster that stated “The Truth is Out There”.  In his quest, Mulder worked hard to peel away the lies that surrounded many intricate conspiracies.  He constantly fought against the forces of evil to destroy the lies that kept him from the truth.

Earlier this year, I was on vacation with some friends.  At lunch one day, a new friend with a different background asked me about the truth.  She stated that Judaism claims it is the, Islam claims that it is the truth, and Christianity claims that it is the truth.  How can they all be true?

As a Christian, my source of truth is the Bible.  As we read in John 14:6, above, Jesus is the Truth.  There can be only one truth, everything else is distortion of the truth.  As you read and study the Holy Bible, you will start to peel back the lies, like Mulder, and find the truth that you are seeking.

I encourage everyone to seek the Truth that is found in God’s word.

Blessings and Peace,

Brad

July 20 2010 | General | No Comments »

Are you disturbed?

I came across this prayer recently, in the funeral program for a friend.

As I read this, I was reminded once again of how complacent my faith can be sometimes.  When life is going well, and there are no bumps in the road, it is easy to take your faith for granted.

As I read through this, and I have read it many times since that funeral, I found a new frontier for my faith.  I now pray often that God will disturb me in my faith, and challenge me to grow stronger.  Since that funeral, I have had the opportunity to help others in times of need.  Each time, I felt calm in the middle of the storm.  I was disturbed physically, but spiritually grounded.

I pray that you will have a chance to be disturbed this week.

In His Service,

Brad

Disturb Us, Lord

– Attributed to Sir Francis Drake

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

March 15 2010 | General | No Comments »

Canon Fodder

In Christian terms, we call the books of our holy scriptures the Holy Bible.  This collection is also known as the canon of scriptures.  Many books of the Bible tell of the spiritual walk of ordinary men and women.  The Book of Daniel is the story of a man named Daniel

As we discussed Daniel in church yesterday, one of our teachers as a simple question:

“Do you think that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had any idea that their stance, their words, would be studied in a few thousand years?”

Our teacher’s question started me thinking.  In a hundred years, a thousand years, or more, how would people react to the Book of Brad?  If people in the future were to read the life book that I have written, created by what I say, the things that I do, how I treat others, would they find it worthy to be added to the Holy Scriptures?

Now let me be clear, I have no desire to add to or take away from the Bible.  What I am asking, is can someone reviewing my life see the spiritual walk in me that I see when I read Daniel, Isaiah, or any other book of the Bible?  Can I measure up?

This is one of the most humbling thoughts that I have ever had.  I am ashamed to say that I fall short of the mark.  I do not met the criteria that has been set forth by God.  I know that I am a sinner, and that as a sinner, I will never meet the standards that God has set for all of us.

I encourage each of you to examine your life, your spiritual walk, and see if the Book of Me would be found worthy.

In Him,
Brad

February 08 2010 | General | No Comments »

Focus

Yesterday, I posted the story about Jesus walking on water, and pointed out that when Peter lost focus, he started sinking.

I realized that I have lost focus about why I started this site.  I have not been consistent in posting, or consistent in topics.  Starting this week, I have a new focus on what I want this site to be.

I ask your patience as I start with the basics, and lead from there.

More to come…

Brad

November 08 2009 | General | No Comments »

Would you have the faith?

“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified.  “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?””

– Matthew 14:22-31

Okay, I admit it:  I am jealous of Peter.  Peter had the faith to step out of the boat, and start walking towards Jesus.  I cannot even begin to fathom how large of a step that must have been for Peter.

Peter was a fisherman.  He knew the dangers of being on a windy lake.  The waves could wash over the boat, and a person could drown.  Despite all of this knowledge, Peter goes to Jesus when He calls Peter out.

In our daily lives, do we get up and go when God calls us?  I have answered a few calls, but I have ignored more calls than I have answered.

“Sorry, God, I am busy that weekend.”

“Sorry, God, I don’t know how.”

“Get someone else, God.  I am not interested in that ministry!”

Notice what happens next to Peter.  He loses focus, and starts to sink.  Now that is a situation I can relate to all too well.  I have too often taken my focus off of God, and have found myself sinking in the midst of the winds.  When this happens, I know what to do, though.  Peter showed us how to recover.  He called on Jesus, and regained his focus.  Jesus once more reaches out to Peter, as He will to us, and catches him.

I take comfort in knowing that I, too, can call out to Jesus when I am in trouble.  My goal, however, is to not lose focus on Jesus.  If I stay focused, my feet will stay dry.

I challenge each of you to stay dry by staying focused.

In Him,

Brad

November 07 2009 | General | No Comments »

Hearing God speak

“The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.  At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ”   – I Samuel 3:10-14

Okay, I have to admit that I am a little jealous of Samuel here.  God spoke in a clear and audible voice to Samuel.   He called to him three times, and then had a conversation with Samuel.

Sometimes, I feel that when I pray, I do not receive an answer.  I know that God hears, but I sometimes feel that I do not get a clear response.  Is it because He is ignoring me?

The answer is a definite NO!!

God is faithful to hear us.  Sometimes, we just don’t know how to listen.  Read the following account of Elijah from I Kings below:

“The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”  – I Kings 19:11-13

In today’s hectic world, we are online, plugged in, and to a degree, tuned out.  We look for the miraculous and ignore the mundane.  Not to say that God is mundane in any way, just that we sometimes ignore the obvious while looking for the ornate.  God came to Elijah in a whisper, not a shout.  Elijah was focused, and therefore saw God when he needed Him.

I know in my prayer life, I sometimes forget to switch the channel from ‘broadcast’ to ‘receive’.  I await the trumpets, and forget to listen for whispers.

I will be quiet now.  I think I hear someone whispering to me.  Let’s listen and see where this takes us.

In Him,

Brad


May 26 2009 | General | No Comments »

Questions from a new friend

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” – Matthew 28:19 (emphasis mine)

I met a new friend recently.  He emailed me last week and asked a question:

“How can three persons exist in one?”

Here is a portion of my response:

The three persons living as one, what we refer to as the Trinity, is a little harder to comprehend.  The simplest way that I can think of to explain this is to picture water.  Water can exist as water, steam, or ice.  Each is a distinct representation of water, yet they all are made of the same hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

While this is an example that I have heard used, and I have used many times over the years, I have come to realize that this may not be the best example I could have used.  Water has to have an external stimulus to change, and the water actually changes.  God does not change.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

As I struggled to provide  a better example, it finally dawned on me.  Answer the question with a question:  Who am I?

As I answered this, I had to start a list.  I am:

  • a husband to my wife
  • a son to my mother and father
  • a brother to my brothers and sisters
  • a friend to my friends
  • an employee to my boss
  • a coworker to my fellow employees
  • a leader in my church
  • a follower of the teachings of Jesus
  • a sinner who needed the blood of Jesus for redemption

I am all of these things, and I am so much more, yet I am still one person.  God is so much more than this.  God is

  • God the Father – a loving, but just, parent who attends to our needs.  He loves us in all situations, but will discipline us when we need it.  God is a God of love, but he is also a God of justice.
  • God the Son – Jesus Christ is God incarnate.  Jesus is also called the Word.  In John 1:14, we read “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” God became a man to die for our sins.  For every sin, a sacrifice must be made.  God became that sacrifice.
  • God the Holy Spirit – After the death and the resurrection, the Son went to be with the Father.  Jesus promised His disciples a Counselor to be with them.  This same Counselor is still available to all who believe in Jesus, and ask Him to be  apart of their lives.  This Counselor, the Holy Spirit, will guide you in Truth.

God is:

  • Who you need
  • When you need
  • Where you need

God will meet your needs, if you will let Him.  All that he asks is that you trust in Him.  Accept the Gift that he sent in His Son, Jesus Christ.

This is how three people can exist in one.

Peace in Christ to you,

Brad

May 12 2009 | General | No Comments »

Be prepared

Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:4-6

People find me approachable.

My wife will confirm this for you.  Strangers will seek me out and start up a conversation. It has been this way all of my adult life.  People will come up to me, and start a conversation.  Before I know it, I have been given details, sometimes too many details, about their lives.  For example, I was sitting in a restaurant one day eating breakfast and doing my Bible study.  A vendor, dropping off linens at the restaurant, asked my advice on dealing with his wife who spends too much money.  He described a long pattern of overspending, and how this had placed a strain on his marriage.  I gave him the best advice I knew, and he left happy.

In the past, I have tried to shy away from these encounters.  Those that know me will find it hard to believe, but I am an introvert.  I can be alone in a sea of thousands of people.  I have always been this way.  I can be slow to warm to people.  Once I do come out of my shell, it is with a BANG!

I say that I have avoided these conversations in the past, because I am changing.  I am evolving.  I have made a commitment to embrace these meetings.  I have finally realized that this is a gift that God has given me.  I can use this as a ministry.  I can influence others.  I can tell others of the Love of Christ.  I can be a witness:

  • where I am
  • as who I am
  • with all I am

Pray that I can be full of Grace and seasoned with salt.  Pray that I can always have an answer.  Pray that the questions will be asked.  Pray that you will do the same.  I ask that you lift me up, but do not forget to lift yourself up in the process.

Together, we can reach more for the kingdom.

February 23 2009 | General | No Comments »

Scariest passage in the Bible?

“O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.” – Psalm 139:1-6

Do you remember doing something wrong growing up, and fearing that your mom or dad would find out?

In Psalm 139, David talks about how God knows us.  He knows us intimitely.  We cannot think, say, or do anything that God does not know before we do.

As a Christian, I try to lead a moral and righteous life.  I know that I fail.  I have been forgiven by Grace, saved by Faith, but I still mess up.  I say the wrong things.  I hurt others with my quick temper and sharp tongue.  I despise myself for it, but it still happens.  God knows before I do it, yet he still forgives me.

David pleads with God to “search me and know my heart”, and asks God to lead him in the correct manner.  I ask that same thing each day, and would encourage you to do the same.

Read the rest of this passage here.

February 20 2009 | General | No Comments »

Solace in a storm

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

– Mark 4:35-41

When do you seek God?  Is it in the quiet of a peascful sunrise?  The crispness of a star-filled night?  Or do you only seek Him in a frantic storm?

The disciples were in the presence of the living Son of God, yet they took him for granted!  They paid no attention to Him, until they were in trouble.  When they called, he calmed the storm, and their fears.  Yet even as they watched him calm the storm, they still did not believe the full truth.

Does this parallel your own life?  Do you ignore God until you need him, and then watch in amazement as he works?  How many times have you asked God for help, and when he answers, you respond with “WOW!  I didn’t know He could do THAT!”  I know that I have found myself in that same boat as the disciples on many occasions.  I go along with the journey, ignoring the presence of God until a storm hits.  We must remember that the same Savior that is the God of storms, is also God of the still waters.

I urge to call on God daily, whether in stormy seas or still waters.  Humbly beg God to be with you in all journeys, and watch in amazement as he reveals His plan in your life.

In Him,

Brad

November 09 2008 | General | No Comments »

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