Almost

Today is Wanda F’s birthday and while she may never get to read this; it is to say, for her dedication.

I hope you’ll indulge me today for this post. I sincerely hope she can one day find peace and walk in forgiveness. In honor of her however, I post this.

And,….maybe, just maybe if you are reading this, “Almost” will not be part of your vocabulary, part of your life, part of your future; because if it is…….you’ll be totally lost.” –Moraldiplomat

Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” (Acts 26:28)

The Bible records numerous accounts of people who were close to the Kingdom. They had great opportunity to come to God, but they chose to turn away; and walk in their own understanding.

The heavier statement in Acts 26:28 was made many years ago by King Agrippa. How many times since has Agrippa profoundly regretted his “Almost” in his life? Felix (Acts Chpt. 24) knew what he should do, but as far as we know, he never was fully persuaded. Almost, Felix was saved.

The five foolish virgins (Matt. Chpt. 25)were with five wise virgins when the cry came. They took the proper steps to get more oil. They answered the call, only they were too late; they later heard the whisper within saying, “I know you not” (Matt. 25:12). Almost, they were ready.

Judas who followed Jesus and later betrayed Him to the Jews; he too heard the teachings of Jesus. He too though lately realized He betrayed the Son of God. Judas was one of the twelve disciples at the Last Supper, but after selling out Jesus for money, went and hanged himself. Almost, Judas was saved.

Ananias and Sapphira were with the disciples who had walked with Jesus. They witnessed the beginnings of the church of Jesus Christ on earth. But because their covetous heart, and lying to the Holy Spirit, they decided to act deceitfully, and tragically lost their lives (Acts 5:1-10). Almost, they met God in peace.

Are we satisfied with “Almost?” We are told to “give diligence” in 2 Peter 1:10 and to “earnestly contend for the faith” Jude 3. To give diligence and to contend is to put away the “almost” in our lives. How sad it will be to come one day to judgment and find out that we are “almost saved” but really we were deceived, and really very lost! Let’s make sure of our salvation, today is the right day; cause “almost, just isn’t good enough.

* Hope you’re happy and healthy Wanda. Happy Birthday.

Want to avoid “Almost?” CLICK HERE 

 

Ten Things That Can Distract You From God

Isn’t it hard to keep focused on God? I have tried so hard throughout my life to stay focused on Him. I so often say “this time I won’t fail”, but at one point or another, something always clips me from behind, and keeps me from exceeding!! Why?!

Well, I think it has to do with what we allow into our lives that can distract us from God. Not all of these things are “bad” in their nature…in fact, a lot aren’t, but they become a problem when we allow them to distract us from looking at, and to God. You know those things I’m talking about; they can be anything from a job, car, or movie, to fantasy football, Xbox Live, a magazine, or even church. There are so many things in this world that fight for our time…and when we allow them to take too much…well…we lose our focus. The answer is not necessarily to cut these distractions out entirely (in some cases it is), but to realize that they can distract us…and we need to keep them in check.

In the following paragraphs, I have listed 10 common things that can interfere with our walk with God.

1. Money

Money. I’m sure you all could have guessed this one would be on this list. Unfortunately the world and those in it believe we need it to live in this world. If you thought hard enough, you’ll know that this is not true. We must not however, be owned by it if we are to be not of this world. Money itself is not an interference in our walk with God…the love of it is. I think the following passage sums this up quite nicely (its long, I know…but when I read it, I felt all of it applies to this topic): Matthew 6:19-34

19 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

So in a nut shell, if we trust God, He will take care of us. That doesn’t mean we should quit our jobs UNLESS God directs you…we just need to realize that God is more important, and is far more capable of taking care of us than we are. Money might be the blood flow of the world, but it is not the blood flow of those who are in Jesus…faith is.

2. Media

Another big one; the media. This is probably one of the biggest distractions for me personally right now….I mean, just the other night, I realized I haven’t spent that much time praying this week…but instead of going and praying, I said to myself I’ll do it later because Star Trek (re-runs) are on and Perry Mason comes shortly thereafter.

It is easy to get caught up in the media. And when I say media, I’m referring to the Internet, TV, movies, music, video games, newspapers, magazines…all of it (broad, I know…but hey, I’m only making a list of 10 things here, so I can be a bit broad, right?). Like I said before, the media is dangerous because it is so easy to get consumed in it. Everywhere we turn, some sort of media is right in our face. And the worst part; it’s littered with filth.

Almost every commercial on TV, and every advertisement on the Internet is trying to convince us that we are missing something, and they are the ones that can fill the need. Our young girls and women are bombard by the media with how they should look, feel, and act…movies, music, TV shows…they all are horrible influences on us because they can subliminally tell us how to live, whats right and wrong, etc.

And video games…ahh, video games….give people the right one on the right week, and they won’t spend a free second with God.

I could literally go on and on about the media, and how distracting it is. The key to overcoming the media is to be wise in what we watch, read, play, etc, and in how much time we spend with it. We should always be willing to give it up, and quite honestly, some of the things we indulge in (in the media), we need to give up. If something is pure filth, we shouldn’t be giving it any time to influence us, no matter how funny, sexy, or “cool”, it is.

3. Church/Religion

Church, or religion. Believe it or not, these can be HUGE interference in our walk with God. Church does not do this intentionally, (Albeit, there are exceptions) but we can easily let it hinder our relationship with God. Why? The main reason I see is that it can be easy to pursue church, and beliefs about God, but forget to pursue God Himself. It is easy to go to church to…well…go to church, when the real reason we should be going church is to refuel for our week by coming together with fellow believers to worship and meditate on God hopefully on the same page about things.

Also, somewhere along the way, at so many churches, people have gotten the idea that we need to pretend to be perfect at church. That if we show our weaknesses and struggles, we’ll become outcasts…and since so many people parade around in this stained glass masquerade, if one person does reveal their weaknesses, they’re easily looked down upon. This is opposite of what church is supposed to be. Church is really the body of believers. We are supposed to help each other, hold each other accountable, pray for each other, and love one another!

To keep church from becoming a distraction from God, make sure you are pursuing God before pursuing “beliefs” about Him, or church/religion. We need to get past religion and into a relationship. It starts with you! Love your brothers and sisters, be open to people, and DO NOT CONDEMN others when they fail!! Condemn the sin, not EVER a repentant brother or sister.

4. Relationships

Relationships. I’m sure you knew this one would be here. Every kind of relationship falls into this category; friends, parents, siblings, spouses, girl/boy friends, children, co-workers, bosses, etc. We can allow any of these relationships to distract us from God. It is our relationships that are our connection with the world, and it is our human nature to have them, but when we allow any one of these relationships threaten to become more important to us than God…well, they become a distraction. Remember, God calls us to love one another (1 John 3:11), so when we do, it is an act of obedience to God. But don’t forget about God in the process. We need to make sure we are giving God ample time everyday. We were created for His pleasure, not our own.

I would have to say the relationship with the most danger of becoming a distraction from our walk with God would be that of a boy-friend, girl-friend, or spouse. These relationships in their nature, demand the most time, and that is why it is extremely important that they are centered around God. If they aren’t, you will see your walk with God spiraling downward. In a dating relationship, don’t compromise your morals.

In a nut shell, relationships are extremely important, but our relationship with God is of the utmost importance. Remember that!

5. Routine

Routine. This is a common thing I allow myself to get distracted by all the time. The most important thing is that spending time with God should be in your routine! Far too often do we just squeeze God in when we have down time (I am extremely guilty of this). Its so easy to get caught up in all the things we have to do, like work, posting (blogger) on the internet, eat, sleep, etc. I often find sleep getting in the way! I mean, if I didn’t spend that extra hour sleeping in, I would have a whole hour with nothing to do but seek God!

So make sure spending time with God is a part of our routine. And also, make sure you are willing to abort your routine, and let God have complete control.

6. Work

Work, work, work. What a distraction this can be! And I’m not just referring to a job, I mean everything from a job, to leading worship, a bible study, or anything! I personally have often allowed this site and my websites to become a distraction from God. I want it to bless people, I want it to look good, I want it…I…I..I…but all that I should really be worrying about is that I am doing it as God wants me to, if I do that, He’ll take care of the rest. I love this following Scripture:

38 “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” -Luke 10:38-42

It is easy to get caught up on our duties, but the most important thing is that we do it entirely for the Lord. They are to glorify God, not ourselves. That being said, sometimes the duty we have is not as important as doing something else. We always need to be flexible! This falls in line with routines as well. We can have great motives behind our work, but sometimes we let the work become more important then “listening to Jesus”. Listen and be flexible!

7. Our Hobbies

Hobbies. I love hobbies! I have a huge rang of them; from fixing things, doing research, to cooking, and watching movies, digital photos, and numerous other outdoor enjoyments. The dangerous thing about them is that they can consume a lot of our time. A great way to keep them in check is to do them with God in mind! Like worshiping God with music. Also, we can play video games or sports, etc. with people to develop relationships. Having hobbies is a great way to get yourself around people to be a godly influence…so keep that in mind.

8. Desiring a blessing from God, more than God Himself.

Desiring a blessing from God, more than desiring God Himself. I have to be honest, this is easy to fall into, at least for myself. It can be real easy to pray for a specific thing over and over again, but forget about spending time with God. And FYI, we should NEVER ask God over and over about a topic, everyone that asks, receives. When you are repetitive, that doubt.

Anyway, and example: would be like a husband wanting that special “perk” he gets from his wife, without wanting to give any time to other parts of their relationship. Remember, its “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. ( Ref Matthew 6:33), its not “first seek all these other things” Amen or oh me?

9. The Pastor

The Pastors! What!? Whats this doing on the list!?…Well, to your relief, I don’t mean your pastor exactly (at least I hope not). What I’m referring to is becoming dependent upon your pastor- this includes the TV ministers; that for the most part, as I have seen are not teaching proper doctrines. See the following video here > V I D E O 

This can be a really deadly interference in our walk with God. It is not our pastors responsibility to feed us all we need to be spiritually healthy…it is our responsibility. A lot of people fall into the habit of only giving God Sunday morning and those false ministers on the boob tube. This would be like only eating once a week! If we did this, we would be horribly malnourished! And sadly, this is the case for many spiritually. The pastor is a, or should be, great leader, but he should only be that…nothing more.

10. Ourselves

Ourselves. Us. The last one on the list of distractions, and possibly the most likely to distract us. We are, by nature, sinful (the old man’s left over resin), and if we live by the old man’s nature, we will not get close to God. That is why we need to die to ourselves, and live in Christ (Romans 6:11). But no matter what we do, there will be a constant battle within ourselves between Spirit and flesh (Romans 7:15-21). That is why we need to constantly allow God to search our hearts, and purify it (Psalm 139:23-24). The first step to overcoming ourselves is being aware.

So there we have it. A list of 10 common things that can distract us from God. There are more that could be added to the list, or somewhat in the lists here already; but suffice to say, these are the BIG one’s.

It is a constant struggle to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, and to not become distracted by the passing concerns and things of this world. But if we are aware of what can, and does, interfere with our walks with God, we can begin to take the necessary actions to prevent them. Remember, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you (Matthew 6:33), let God take care of the rest. Do your part, and I know He’ll do His!

Have a great Sunday!

 

 

 

Dark Clouds (it’s no secret)

*Survival thoughts

Today, millions of Americans say they believe the United States is on the verge of a major economic collapse and will soon be entering another Great Depression. But only a small percentage of those same people are prepared for this to happen.

The sad truth is most Americans would last little more than a month on what they have stored up in their homes. Most of us are so used to running out to the supermarket or to Wal-Mart for whatever we need that we never even stop to consider what would happen if suddenly we were not able to do that.

Already the U.S. economy is starting to stumble (thanks to the hidden elites) about like a drunken frat boy. All it would take for the entire U.S. to resemble New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina would be for a major war (or an ongoing war to increase), a terror attack (false flags), a deadly pandemic (CDC controlled release) or a massive natural disaster (or HAARP weather manipulation) to strike at just the right time and push the teetering U.S. economy over the edge.

Just how would you survive if you suddenly could not rely on the huge international corporate giants (big box stores, grocery chains, etc) ? Do you have a plan? What is plan “B” for you and yours? Who are you trusting now for your needs?

Unless you already live in a cave or you are a complete and total mindless follower of the establishment media, you should be able to see very clearly that regardless of how many positive thoughts you think or meditative moments you have, society is more vulnerable now than it ever has been.

We have a world that is full of lunatics in positions of power, and if one of them decides (and they will one day) to set off a nuclear, chemical or biological weapon in a major city it could paralyze an entire region. War could erupt in the Middle East at literally any moment, and if it does the price of oil will double or triple (at least) and there is the possibility that much of the entire world could be drawn into the conflict.

Scientists believe a massive high-altitude EMP (electromagnetic pulse) blast could send large portions of the United States back to the stone age in an instant (that might be interesting). In addition, there is the constant threat that the outbreak of a major viral pandemic (bio-weapons) could kill tens of millions of people around the globe and paralyze the economies of the world (which is the hidden agenda from behind the scenes).

But even without all of that, the truth is that the U.S. economy is going to collapse one day; or dramatically change as so that not everyone would benefit equally. So just think of what will happen if one (or more) of those things does happen on top of all the economic problems we are already having.

If you’re not trusting God-Jesus Christ to get you through, you better have plan “B” God WILL supply our needs without bondage to the world. And what you might need right now IS the Lord; He’s still listening for a plea from you. As long as you draw breath, there is time!

Mk 13:13 “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. ”

Rom 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Credit: more so to Frank M.
Certain Additions by Moraldiplomat

Courage & Strength

It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubts.

It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to share a friend’s pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide your own pain,
It takes courage to show it and deal with it.

It takes strength to stand guard,
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on a friend.

It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to beloved.

It takes strength to live,
It takes courage to survive.

Ps 27:14 “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

Ps 31:24 “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”

You Still Have Hope

If you can look at the sunset or a cloudy day and smile, and find beauty in the colors of a small flower, then you still have hope.

If you can find pleasure in the movement of a butterfly, and if the smile of a child can still warm your heart, then you still have hope.

If you can see the good in other people, and if the rain breaking on a roof top can still lull you to sleep, then you still have hope.

If the sight of a rainbow still makes you stop and stare in wonder, and if the soft fur of a favored pet still feels pleasant under your fingertips, then you still have hope.

If you meet new people with a trace of excitement and optimism, and if you give people the benefit of the doubt, then you still have hope.

If you still offer your hand in friendship to others that have touched your life, and if receiving an unexpected card or letter still brings a pleasant surprise, then you still have hope.

If the suffering of others still fills you with pain and encourages you to pray and if you refuse to let a friendship die, or accept that it must end, then you still have hope.

If you look forward to a time or place of quiet, reflection or time with God, and if you still watch love stories or want the endings to be happy, then you still have hope.

If you can look to the past and smile, and when faced with the bad, when told everything is futile, you can still look up and end the conversation with the phrase … ‘yes, but I believe God’s Word over ….’ Then you still have hope.

Hope is a marvelous thing. It bends, it twists, it sometimes hides, but rarely does it break. It sustains us when nothing else can. It gives us reason to continue and courage to move ahead, when we tell ourselves we’d rather give in.

Hope puts a smile on our face when the heart cannot manage. Hope puts our feet on the path when our eyes cannot see it. Hope moves us to act when our souls are confused of the direction.

Hope is a wonderful thing, something to be cherished and nurtured and something that will refresh us in return. It can be found in each of us and it can bring light into the darkest of places. So never lose hope.

1 Cor 13:7 “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

1 Pet 1:21 “Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”

1 Pet 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, …”

Heb 6:19 “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; …”

Rom 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

Rom 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

Phil 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

The Most Peaceful Nations

The Global Peace Index, bases its annual assessment on a complex analysis of social, economic, and political factors, has found that the United States of America is the 114th most peaceful nation on the planet. Not a good position.

This most recent ranking sees the U.S. down 11 places from the previous year. This drop places Armenia and Rwanda in front of America, and El Salvador and China right behind.

“Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark. There was also very little change at the bottom of the index. Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, followed by Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen,” the report said.

Considering recent current events, it may come as a surprise to some that Syria wasn’t always at the bottom of the list — and we have the 114th most peaceful country to blame for this dilemma. In 2008, Syria was ranked 75th – following eight years of Bashar al-Assad’s rule, as well as the rule of his father for 29 years beforehand.

The other countries at the bottom of the list (including Syria) are actively being bombed into oblivion by the United States.

So what could be behind America’s own deterioration, given it prefers to take its conflict thousands of miles away from its own soil?

“The U.S. deterioration is primarily driven by the growing intensity of internal conflict within the country, which was partly seen in the years 2007 to 2015 (during the obama administration), as well as increases in criminal activity throughout American society,” the analysis said.

[Side Note -Warmongering attitude….Americans love war and those that propitiate it. The United States, well, we just make up the reason for war as we go along; creating a “false flag” event to sell anyone and everyone on the idea. Though poorly executed, they still are useful for long and lengthy battles across the globe. Wars never bring happiness but it does three things for the PTB: One, war profits are almost unfathomable and two, it depopulates undesirable people from the earth and brings nations under the control of other allied nations. And third, a nation going to war, win or lose, brings a false sense of nation pride; and you know what comes after pride….]

[Side Note] We have more viable threats coming from the U.S. Gov’t than we will ever have coming from what many call “terrorists.” Would not much of that money (having no oversight) be better spent on other things? I can think of a few 😉

According to the Global Peace Index’s latest findings, most of America’s allies are ranked within the top 20 places in the rankings, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Ireland, and Germany. The United Kingdom is placed somewhat lower, ranking 41st.

Israel is ranked 144th (behind Philippines, Egypt, Kenya and Western arch rival Iran, to name a few).

With this in mind, will should be making better decisions and influences to thwart war? Peace may never be gained in this age, but we don’t have to be unhappy because there is one around. Leaving this unhappy America might one day prove to be a happy investment for us and our children.:) Pray about it.

Rest In Peace

*Survival in the chaos

The reason why you may be reading this is because you want to learn how to stave off disaster. In the coming years, it is not entirely certain what the time will hold for the world, and it is important to get ready. But what is the real reason why you are preparing in advance?

The simple answer is; peace of mind.

You want to know, beforehand, you and your family will be able to survive. You are beginning to prepare because you don’t want to struggle when the world crumbles; you want to know that you have as many of the contingencies you can plan for squared away because you’ve already done the majority of the work. It doesn’t matter if it happens in three years or twenty; you know that you’re going to be okay.

However, survival is more than food stores and ammo.

Survival means more than taking care of the physical body. Survival also means you still take the time to stop and smell the roses, hold your loved ones, take in a beautiful view, and reconnect with whatever makes you tick. It means that you learn to depend on God as much as you learn to depend on gardening skills, your hunting prowess, or the homesteading and back-to-basics skills you’re cultivating. You constantly need to remind yourself of why you are putting in the effort. It’s not just so you can eat another day. For the Christian, God has given us much more of a responsibility than that.

The goal is not just to prepare and survive while others perish. A larger perspective motivates the follower of God in their prudent preparations…that is to wisely prepare so that one can adequately and skillfully continue to minister and serve to the true needs of others. That is our number one obligation. God didn’t tell Noah to build a boat just so he could experience the first ocean cruise.

Our foreknowledge should not only produce a fervor and zest for life, but it should also produce peace. The health of the mind is the most important part of survival, because without the focus, the assurance, and the knowledge to get through any situation – whether man-made or natural disasters – your actions and reactions will more than likely remain within the realm of chaotic and aimless. Peace is crucial during catastrophe, and it will not only offer you calm amidst the storm, but it also offers several other advantages.

If you are cool and calm during a catastrophe, you will be able to do several things:

-You will not make hasty decisions. When riots are occurring in the streets or there is a mass evacuation, usually people make rash decisions that can cost lives. If you are at peace, then you will have the unclouded ability to think critically.

-You will not consume as much energy and resources. People who are flustered and worried tend to gather more than they need or rush more than they have to. Both take far more energy than is necessary, and energy translates to vital calories.

-Being at peace will keep you from succumbing to fear. Fear can make people do unwise things, and tyrannical governments have a knack for using fear as a psychological weapon.

-You will remain focused and steady when the world crumbles to the ground. Of course, you will not know of what is to come, but you will not have nearly the stress that others might have. Stress can lead to sickness and irrational decisions, so keeping yourself relaxed will prevent that from happening.

Credit: Jonathan C.

*Thanks Jonathan!!! Excellent work!

John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.