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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Tears of Triumph

Jesus’ tears in His triumph show me.....


Mathew 21:1-17

As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead.  “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”

This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,

“Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you.  He is humble, riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt.’”

The two disciples did as Jesus commanded.  They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.

Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.  Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Praise God for the Son of David!  Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Praise God in highest heaven!”  

The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.  And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.  He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”

The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.  The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.”

But the leaders were indignant.  They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”

“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’”  Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.

Luke 19:28-48

After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples.  As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead.  “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.  If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said.  And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”

And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.”  So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.

As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him.  When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

“Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”

He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep.  “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.  Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side.  They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.”

Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices.  He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him.  But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.


I would like to point out that Jesus’ followers put their coats on the back of an unridden colt, and Jesus rode the colt.  Folks, that is another miracle.  It just doesn’t happen, I have rode colts most of my life and have never had one I could just get on from the get go.  Isn’t it amazing how God can relate to everybody!

 God has given us two beautiful daughters to raise, I claim them as mine; but I know they belong to God.  I just get the pleasure of raising them here on this dirt ball we live on.  When I can see them making mistakes that I know will lead to failure, I want to step in and help them.  Sometimes these mistakes have consequences and it breaks my heart to see those consequences lived out.  But, to be honest, that’s how we learn.  At times they make decisions that are contrary to what their parents have requested, these actions have consequences too.  As a parent, we want to protect our children.  When we do not allow our children to learn from their mistakes and always bail them out of bad decisions, we raise up children that grow up to be bad adults (as in adults that are unable to cope with failure).  Not everybody deserves a trophy.  Let me say that again, NOT EVERYBODY DESERVES A TROPHY!  As parents, we have an opportunity to teach our kids to work harder for something better after they have lost; or are dealing with the consequences of a bad decision.  Does it break our hearts to see our kids go through this?  Heck yeah!  Will we weep over it?  Yeah, sometimes.

 So, you ask yourself, what does this have to do with today’s verses?  Here’s the sitch; when Jesus saw the city of Jerusalem, he began to weep.  I don’t believe that He wept for what He saw in His future, but rather He wept for what His people were going to go through.  He saw their future and it broke His heart.  Like willful children we have chosen other things and other people ahead of our Lord.  And when I say we, I mean me.  How many times have I chosen to go into a pit of crud, just because I wanted to?  A LOT.  But God....

 Jesus didn’t love those that were about to crucify Him any less, just because they were about to crucify Him.  They were the children of God and they were about to make a bad decision.  They were about to reject the love and salvation of a great God.  God loves us despite our bad decisions.  Jesus chose to allow Himself to be crucified because we separated ourselves from God with our sin.  I define grace as somebody else paying for our mistakes.  So Jesus, in His grace, paid for our sins (kinda feels like everybody got a trophy, doesn’t it?).  But don’t be mistaken, when we accept the grace that is Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins; our old self should be taken away.  1 John 3:6 says, “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.”  The problems lies in our commitment, I know that I don’t get up every day and put on the full armor of God.  On those days, I make bad decisions.  Those decisions have consequences that I have to deal with.  God still loves me, Jesus still went to die on that cross for me personally; but on those days I have pushed God behind me.  My day is about me and me only!  That has to change, the story is never about me; it is always about Jesus.

 This is what I do know; I know Jesus loves me beyond all measure.  I know that He chose to let Himself be crucified for my sins.  I have accepted that I am a sinner, but my sin debt has been paid by Jesus’ crucifixion.  Unfortunately I am a flawed, imperfect, vain human being; but my God is working on me to act more like Jesus.  Am I there yet?  Not by a long shot.  I make mistakes and bad decisions; and have to deal with the consequences that arise from them.  But God....STILL LOVES ME.  WOW!  He is a good, good Father and He loves you as much as He loves me.


Loved by God,


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Abortion - Alicia Johnson

It has been a while since I have posted, life is busy and so am I.  At some point I will get back to this, got some good stuff coming!  But, for now I have a guest blogger.  My daughters are pretty smart (smarter than me, most of the time), so here is a paper my daughter actually wrote last year, I am just now getting around to posting it (procrastinate much, Cory?).  Needless to say, I am proud of my kids!  Without further adoo, here's Alicia:


 The Noah Webster Dictionary defines abortion as “the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus.” There are a few different types of abortions but the one that is most common is saline abortion, where they basically pump a chemical solution into the womb.

Abortion is easily one of the most controversial issues in today’s world, but is it right or wrong? Abortions wrong because it violates the principle of the importance of human life and the principle of choice.

Whether people choose to believe it or not when they choose to have an abortion they are choosing to “play God” and end someone’s life. In more than half of America a mother can get an abortion at up to 24 weeks (taken from The New York Times) into the pregnancy, that baby’s heartbeat started at 6 weeks (from What to Expect). Many clinics and pro-choicers try to numb this thought by saying that it is just a fetus nothing more, but doctors have said that the baby is alive! When a mother decides to get an abortion she is deciding that that baby isn't worth anything and that it doesn't mean anything for it to die.

The biggest push that people for abortion have is that woman should be able to have control over their own bodies and that they should have a choice; well those same woman also had the choice not to have sex, and what about that baby’s choice to live? These women can't comprehend the fact that they are destroying a whole life and that they are going to have to live with that choice for their whole lives.

Abortion also comes with its consequences, such as living with the guilt of having taken someone’s life and even the chance that the abortion did not work.

Abortion leaves scars on people’s lives forever. Four out of six women interviewed by DailyMail said that they are now suffering from depression and even panic attacks. These woman are now suffering from an action that they did years ago and it's still affecting them in today’s world.

Another thing people don't realize about abortions are that they aren't guaranteed to work. There are many babies who are born alive with damage to their brain and body due to failed abortions. One woman who this happened to is Gianna Jessen. Gianna’s mother was seven and a half months into her pregnancy when she had a saline abortion. Gianna stayed in the saline for eighteen hours before she ended up being birthed alive, but she was just thrown in a dumpster outside. One of the nurses found her and saved her, now Gianna spends her time trying to make abortion illegal and working towards not just giving the mothers their rights but also the babies theirs. If Gianna Jessen could be such voice for change, then what else could we be keeping from the world.

There were roughly 1.2 million recorded abortions in the United States in 2008 (statistic from Guttmacher) how many of these lives could have been brilliant minds that the world was unable to see because their lives where selfishly ended before they could even begin. In 2012 there were 20 children killed by a mentally disturbed man at Sandy Hook Elementary and the outcry for gun-control and the angry towards the man that killed these kids was massive. How then have we as people become so cold as to think 1.2 million deaths is ok as long as they weren't out of the womb yet. Did these children’s life not count as much as the 20 that were killed at Sandy Hook just because of the weapon of their death?

In Jeremiah 1:5 of the NET Bible it says “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.” A prophet is nothing more than one who speaks the truth, whether it in a biblical standpoint, a medical field, or just your “everyday-joe,” life is important. We all have a choice and our choices have consequences whither good or bad, and some of these choices have major consequences on other people’s lives too.

I choose to give someone the chance to make their own impact on this world.

I choose to give someone a chance at living.

I choose life.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Duel

You ever had that moment when something scares you that shouldn’t, but just for a second it does.  Once that moment has passed, you get a little mad that it happened.  You think to yourself, how stupid was that!  I cannot believe I felt that way.  It is normally this way for snakes for me, there’s a couple stories about that, but today is another story.  A story that for just a second, I was that little four year old boy again.


We have some friends that their house flooded during all of the rain in the Houston area and I was able to go over and help them a couple times to clean up, remove drywall and etc.  But since they cannot stay in their house, my buddy asked me to put his chickens up at night.  It just chickens right, no problem.  Until last night…


I approached the coop with no thought of the mortal danger I might be in.  After all, it’s just chickens.  As I walked up the rooster, I call him Gallo de Diablo now, eased out the gate.  No problem, I just eased around him and like a good cowboy…I started herding him back to the gate.  That’s when things went terribly wrong.  Diablo puffed up his chest and threw back his arms and charged me.  Now, I’ll be honest…He’s a big chicken (as in tall), but he is still just a chicken.  But for a four or five seconds I turned into that four year old boy that had to gather eggs from our coop at home and fight, what I considered at the time, a giant rooster.  My heart rate was up and my skin was covered with goose bumps (although I suppose these could be considered chicken bumps, goose bumps are for geese and that’s another story involving ropes and geese).  I yelled at the rooster (because yelling is effective when fighting off a tyrannosaurus foghornus leghornus) and took a kick at him.  He backed off a little but was still defending his coop with all the grit he could muster.  At that point, we just stared at each other, like we were in some spaghetti western; standing in the dusty street waiting for the other rooster to make his move.  I swear I could hear the theme music from all of the gunfights in those movies.


At this point I started talking to him.  I know, I know….but I think he understood me.


Me:   “I can’t believe you just did that, what’s your deal?  Do you really want to go down this road?  Do you want a piece of me?”  (I might have yelled that last line, not sure)

Gallo De Diablo:  “Baawwkkk….” (I translated this as “oh, I want a piece of you alright”)

Me:  “So, that’s how it’s gonna be huh?”

Gallo De Diablo:  “Baawwkkk….bawk” (puffs up chest again) (I translated this as “that’s how it gonna be”)

Me:  “bring it” (again, might have yelled this)


At this point Diablo runs at me again.  And for some reason, I felt the need to yell again as I kicked at him (unleashing my ninja skills).  I missed, he missed and we both backed off again.  Again we stared at each other (I heard that music again and thought I saw a tumbleweed blow by) wondering who was going to make the first move.  We slowly started circling each other; I swear I caught myself flexing my hands at my hips like there were pistols there. 

Me:  “all right bud, if this is how it’s gonna be.  One of us might have to die”

Diablo:  “baawwkk, bawwkk….bawkok” (I translated this as “it’s going to be you, cowboy!”)

Me:  “talking crap don’t get you nowhere, back off or die…your choice”


As we circled I suddenly realized that I was now between Diablo and the coop, and he was about twenty feet away.  It was here that my sanity returned.  I had a thought that I would unlatch the gate (so I could quickly close it) and just let him go in on his own.  As I bent down to unlatch the gate prop, out of the corner of my eye…I see him.  He is coming at me in full charge mode; chest puffed, leaning forward at a dead run.  I quickly stood up; he stopped and started pecking at the ground like he was just in a hurry to reach that spot. 

Me:  “kind of a coward, aren’t you?”

Diablo:  “Baawk, baawak” (which I translated as, “nothing to see here, resume what you were doing”)

Me:  “I know what you were trying to do, you back jumping turd”


I stared at him for a moment, wondering how he would taste with some dumplings.  But he’s not mine, so I bent down again.  There he comes again, same as before.  This time I was ready.  Like some grand master cowboy ninja, I quickly stood up and kicked out a roundhouse kick that would have had made Chuck Norris proud.  There was an explosion of feathers, as I connected with Diablo’s head.  He flew through the air for a couple of feet and just sorta flopped around a little when he hit the ground.  For just a second I gleefully thought I had killed him.  That didn’t last long, because as I said…he wasn’t mine. 


Then like some scene from a horror movie where you think the monster is dead and it gets back up out of the ooze, Gallo De Diablo rose up from the ground.  I flashed back to that little four year old boy for a second, and had a sinking pit in my stomach.  But, it seems he’d had enough.  He headed further out into the back yard.  But now I have another problem, he’s outside the coop and he needs to be inside the coop.  So I walked away from the coop hoping that he would head back that way.  No chance, it seems he does not want anything more to do with this cowboy ninja.  So I did what any good cowboy would do, I thought about finding a rope to catch him with.  But alas, the flood had removed any sort of rope or string that might have been available.  So I eased around him and used my hat, which he was afraid of for some reason, and herded him toward the coop.  He squawked at me the whole time, but he headed for the coop at a high lope.  Once he got inside, he really made some noise.  The whole time he was carrying on, the hens were making noise too.

Hens:  “bawk, bawk, bawk” (I think this means “Oh Diablo, you’re our hero.  You protected us from that awful cowboy.  Are you hurt? Do we need to nurse you back to health?”)

Diablo:  “bawk, baaawwkkk, baawwkok.”  (This I translated as “I only came in here because this is where the ladies are and I wanted to be with them.  You had nothing to do with it and you just wait till tomorrow, cowboy!  No ladies, I aint hurt, that cowboy couldn’t hurt me if he wanted to”)

Me:  “Looking forward to it, can’t wait to kick you in the head again”


I’m sure I will be closing the coop again tomorrow, hoping I leave that four year old boy in my past.  Think I’ll take a rope.