May 31, 2017

As I was sitting in front of my computer thinking about this article, the screen saver on my computer kicked on. For the next several minutes I was taken on a journey down memory lane. The screen saver is set to randomly access all the picture files on my computer. These files go back almost four decades. In the random selection I just watched, I was connected to a variety of pets who have lived with us through the years, clan Christmas gatherings, a variety of Church gatherings and events, generational family pictures, places we have visited around the world, training events we have attended and much more.

What was interesting was the roller coaster of emotions I experienced in those few moments. There were a number of close friends and faithful dogs who are no longer living in this reality, except in the memories of those who live on. There were exotic place I never dreamed I would ever visit ,but did. There were individuals who have significantly impacted who I am today through their lives and example of what it means to live in a strong and constant healthy relationship with Jesus.

It is surprising to realize the number of different emotions which can bring tears to your eyes. I am thankful and grateful for the opportunity to have met and known these individuals. Each person had something to share and teach me, from which I am a better person today as a result of knowing them.

There will be individuals reading this article who are part of that group. To you I say, “Thank YOU!”

Jesus said, we are to influence and impact those around us in much the same way that salt and light influences and impacts the world (Matthew 5:13-14). It my desire you will come to experience the benefits and value of not just initially saying YES to the relationship with Jesus, but will follow that up with a lifetime of commitment and love to the One who first loved you. May there be those who will find you in their memory files and have a sense of pleasure and joy in their hearts because in that moment they realized the blessings they received from having known you.

May 30, 2017

Have you ever consider the importance of availability and accessibility to the value and benefits of relationships? If there are barriers and blocks to connection and communication then the likelihood of developing a strong and health relationship is diminished. Think about what happens when in-laws interfere and dump negative, doubt producing, judgmental garbage into a relationship situation. It usually does not go well for everyone, right? You might also want to consider the challenges that are inherent with those who attempt to deal with long distance relationships.

God put in place a plan to bring reconciliation between Himself and mankind before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-10). However, it was a process through which there was the need for us to understand how our personal rebellion is in opposition to God’s holiness, and how our self-centred concept of love is unlike His unselfish love.

In Exodus chapters twenty-five through twenty-seven we find God providing instructions for the building of the tabernacle. This was to be the centre of worship for His people. One of the purposes of the tabernacle was to demonstrate to everyone the state of their relationship with God. We learn from this God’s presence was with His people. But, while He was among them He was separate from them.

Exodus 26:33 tells us of a thick veil which separated an area identified as the holy of holies from the rest of the tabernacle. This space represented the place of God’s holy presence which was inaccessible to humanity in general. What this veil indicated was a limitation on the accessibility of God at that time.

The good news for us today is, when Jesus took upon Himself the punishment for our rebellion against God on the Cross of Calvary, the veil in the temple which separated God’s holy presence from humanity was torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51: Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).

This ripping of the veil means that access to God of has been made available through what Jesus did. People do not need to approach God through some form of ongoing rituals. Also the torn veil means God Himself is accessible to everyone who will come to Him. Hebrews 4:16 tell us we can now approach the presence of God directly with “boldness.” Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary says the original Greek word used here means, “all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, publicity; by implication assurance :- bold (× -ly, -ness, -ness of speech), confidence.”

The tragedy for many people is found in their unwillingness to accept the reconciliation process provided by Jesus. The result, there is a self imposed block to the potential availability and accessibility of intimate relationship with God. The access door opens wide when we are willing to say YES to the relationship with Jesus. Personally opening this door provides each person the opportunity to benefit from the potential freedom God offers to those who do.

May 29, 2017

I picked up a little booklet my daughter had purchased a while ago. Over the years she has attempted to grow tomatoes, but not with much success. The growing season in our area seems to be too short to get tomatoes to the ripened stage before frost. This year she was prepared. Doing her research she discovered a source for a variety of different types of heritage tomatoes which produce in a shorter growing season. Armed with the information from this little booklet as to what the best days to plant your seeds and transplant your plants, the process seems to be proceeding as planned this year. I was surprised to discover when I picked up this little treasury of information that it was labelled as “The # 1 Resource for Weather Watchers to Stargazers, Planners to Planters!”

What I was also surprised to discover, I was holding in my hand a Special Collector’s Edition, the 200th Annual Edition of the Canadian Farmer’s Almanac. This publication had history. It certainly has had staying appeal and a loyal following. There was a certain energy connected to what it represented. Even in a world where a significant percentage of the agrarian society and culture has been lost, it has managed to stay relevant to continue to move forward and influence people in decision areas of life.

I thought about another publication that has even a much longer history and how it is perceived by people in our world today. This book is known as The Bible, Scriptures, or the Word of God. While many consider it archaic or irrelevant to today, there are still significant numbers of people who have invested time in learning to discover its secrets and the power it contains to influence and benefit their life on a daily ongoing basis. It has incredible energy and power that has the potential to provide insight, guidance and wisdom for those who will make the effort and take the time to discover what it reveals.

While “The Farmer’s Almanac” may be able to help you decide when is the best time to plant tomatoes, or something else, God’s Word has the potential to help you become the best version of yourself possible. It’s Source is the One who created all things. Psalms 119:105 reminds us, God’s Word is light for our feet and lumination on our path. We receive enough light to brighten the path ahead of us. Therefore the need to stay connected to the Source of our light for the next steps in our journey.

It is about staying in relationship with our Source. Saying YES to the relationship with Jesus and putting the time and effort into that connection so it continues to grow and develop.

Find out for yourself the value and benefits contained in the Book that reveals life and freedom.

May 28, 2017

Have you ever found yourself experiencing a situation where when you do something (A), followed by something else (B), you achieve a result (C)? So every time you do A+B=C. In the process of following this formula you achieve your desire and goal. Then for some reason, or maybe because of a variety of distractions, you find yourself only doing A or B, or A+D, or B+F and eventually you come to the realization that C is no longer a part of your life anymore. The achievement which meant so to you is no longer there.

What happened to the passion of the process? Did it become mundane and lose its attraction? Did you allow distractions cause you to lose focus and forget its value and importance to you? We are all vulnerable to this hazard in life if we are not careful.

It would be good to realize relationships are often victim to this challenge. I heard a story which has stuck in my mind for many decades. It is about a young couple who began to date in their late teens. In those days, cars, like trucks still today, had a bench style front seat. As the relationship between this couple grew you would often see them sitting close to each other as they drove along. Quite often, the fellow would have his arm around the shoulder of the young lady beside him. Even after the were married this was a common visual sighting. But as the years passed, things happened and there came a day when observers witnessed they were sitting about as far apart in the car as they could get.

One day, in an attitude tinged with a touch of anger, resentment, and bitterness, the wife turned to her husband in frustration and asked, “What happened to us? We used to be so close. There was a day when we sat close to each other as we drove and you used to put your arm around me. You don’t do that anymore.” There was silence for a moment, and then the husband replied, “I wasn’t the one who moved.”

If your spiritual life is not what it once was. Realize God is not the one who moved. Deuteronomy 31:8 declares, ” Yahweh is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” If A+B=C and you are no longer doing A and B together you cannot expect to achieve C. There is a formula that works and it only works if followed. Relationships must involve two individuals working together to have that which is strong and healthy.

If you do not have that kind of relationship. If you are lacking the freedom which comes with it, then I invite you to say YES to the relationship with Jesus. If you need to rekindle the flame for what once was, begin now and reaffirm your YES to the relationship with Jesus.

May 27, 2017

Today’s article was inspired by something Napoleon Hill wrote about in his book, “Positive Action Plan.” Hill wrote, “Christianity is not a passive religion; it is the active application of your beliefs.” While there are those who have attempted to identify and make Christianity into a religion, this was never God’s plan. It has never been about understanding and following a set of rules and regulations. God’s desire was always about following through and developing the character which builds strong and healthy relationships with others and with Himself.

This will involve acknowledging the need for good choices and then taking action to follow through to achieve the desired results. God’s Word, the Bible is full of guidelines and instructions to help your journey be successful, if you are willing to be teachable and willing to implement the transformational changes possible.

How committed are you to the development of your character to build strong, healthy relationships? This will not happen by accident. You must have a burning desire for its achievement.

Napoleon Hill concluded, “In the final analysis, you will be measured not by the depth of your beliefs, but by the actions you take because of them.”

Begin by saying, YES to the relationship with Jesus and follow it up with the actions to build a strong and healthy relationship.