Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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Death and Hope

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We Will All Die Soon…..

For some reason, that really hit me again last night.

Approaching 40, I’m starting to wrap my mind around how much of a blessing it would be to live to see grandchildren grow old.

Why is it so easy to forget to live  in light of the fact that we are going to die?

Why do I allow myself to get drug into apathy and wasteful activity and thought?

My prayer today is that I will live today as though I will die tomorrow. 

Last night Heather and I watched a Youtube channel where a Doctor explains every intimate detail of medical cases that he works on.  He was a high level doctor, and the cases were about severe cancers, disorders and diseases.

Watch this amazing video of a case of cancer.

It reminds me how many things are working together for us to be here. Our bodies are finely tuned marvels, the universe is a finely tuned miracle, and the forces that allow life to function are remarkable.  You know what also blows my mind, is reproduction….. the fact that our bodies can make these little animals (sperm) that would then implant in an egg, to cause a new life – the marvel of this system is worthy of reflection.

We are on a rock, spinning around in the cosmos, made up of atoms that are held together in a digital fashion, and it’s all quite the miracle in the grand scheme of things.

Learn about the miracle of our finely tuned universe

When the doctor was describing how the liver, kidneys, brain, and lungs all function, and how cancers in the lungs and skin can shift quickly to the brain as cancerous cells are brought through the bloodstream, I was reminded how absolutely finely tuned and unlikely our existence is.

Think of how unlikely it is that you’re standing here, that you’re using some sort of electronic device that literally flips transistor the size of atoms, on and off to make ones and zeros, to display this.

Reality is unlikely, and our existence may be brief and our memory may fade even faster.

All these complex systems run according to a set of instructions, physics, mathematics, biology, and our sciences study these precise and orderly systems. The fact that they are orderly, measurable, and observable, causes one to understand that it is designed.

Reality was created, and the creator has given us a reason to Hope, something to Hope in, and He is glad when we take hope in it.

Observe the cosmos & life, so that you will understand that it is orderly, it is created, and there is a creator. And then read the words that the Creator has given us to make himself known – the Bible.

These words tell us that when our physical bodies die, we will stand before him in judgement.  For those of us who have placed our faith and hope in Jesus Christ will be justified by our faith.  Those of us who have not acknowledge Jesus and placed faith in Him for salvation will be eternally separated from God.

We should fear God – as I’ve explained here.

Fear God and Take Hope in His steadfast love.

Wish you could snuggle baby Bennett? Here’s a video for you

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July 4 2018 Photos (Sony a7iii stills)

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I wanted to share a bit of our 4th of July with you.

Merlin Satrom Super Dad – Father’s Day 2018

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I love my dad, he’s incredibly wise, care, gentle, faithful and intelligent.

I’ve made it my life goal to honor God and try to be like my dad.

I figured I should share some fun photos of my dad from when he was just a new dad.

After the Storm Sony A7III Video on a 16-35 f4 Lens

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Sony A7III Footage with Sony 16-35 F4 Wide Angle Lens

I’m not a good and patient film maker.

I’m probably as much as a gear-head as I am a creator.

I need to maximize the full utility out of every gadget I have.

But this Sony A7III Full fram camera is sweet, and the other night I hopped outside and just took some handheld shots with the 16-35mm f4 Zeiss Lens.

Hand holding this lens is harder than most of the others, especially when it’s wider.  I don’t think it has strong image stabilization in the lens (or at all).

But this was after a bunch of rain, and we had just a couple of minutes before it got really dark.  I suppose if I would have sprung for the f2.8 16-35, I wouldn’t really mind the low lite.

But this video is just a hasty video I threw together with free audio from Youtube.

Soccer Practice Sony A7III Handheld Video and Photo Examples 24-70 2.8

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Hey Guys,

I’m going to start blogging a little bit more informal on this page.

I’ve got a nasty website habit – I forget to write on my own blogs!
Nothing’s more annoying than reading some un-aware person apologize for not blogging on their blog.

I’ve come to realize that life is fleeting.

Before I know it, my three girls will be grown up.

Natalie is 7 in August here, and we’re having our fourth child in October.

Today I realized that when the fourth child is Natalie’s age, Natalie will be getting her learners permit for driving…. 14 years old.

Not only does time fly, but we will all too soon meet our maker.

My childhood pastor died this past week.

My father’s good friend (and mine) is dying of Cancer.

and I’ve recently been noticing an increased frequency of deaths.

I think it’s because everyone dies, and the larger population of baby boomers are reaching the age when the actuary tables start to disfavor them.

Today was fun.

Sony A7 III Video Footage with 24-70 2.8

Here’s some example footage of very rough, run and gun footage that’s HANDHELD on my Sony A7III.
if you want to see Examples of handheld footage that shows what run and gun, flippant filming might look like (on aperture priority, no ND filter, wide open at 2.8…)

Natalie had soccer practice.  Her coach is a gal named Evan – which is the only woman I know named Evan.  Unusual name for her gender, but she’s a great coach

I fasted till 5pm again, which meant I was hungry.  We actually stopped at Mcdonalds twice.

You know, eating healthy at Mcdonalds is quite easy.  Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwiches are filling and full of protein.  I at two (and a bunch of nuggets).

GH5 vs. Sony A73 A7III Photos and Video Samples

Last week I sold my Panasonic GH5, and I’m really glad I did.

Photographs with the GH5 were dismal, and the autofocus was very dissapointing.  I traded up for the Sony A7 III which i actually bought at the local National Camera Exchange.

I’ll be doing a full review I think, but the main thing Ii’ve noticed is two fold:

1 – The Lenses are much bigger (especially the G-Series Pro Glass)

2 – The full frame low-light and bokeh effect is 10x better

Does a Panasonic GH5 have good bokeh?

The answer is no. I’ve watched video after video – but the deal is that the crop factor and small sensor translates into a more difficult situation to get the equivalent bokeh.

Here are a number of photos I took today on Aperture priority on the Sony A73, in Jpeg, without ANY post processing.

The Operating System & Its Programmer

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reasons to believe in God

Another Reason to Believe in the God of the Bible

I have doubt.

Every single day I attack what it means to believe in the God of the Bible, to make Jesus the Lord of my Life, and I attack the reasons why I believe.

This is how I’m hard-wired, I’m a skeptic.

I have doubts, I question things deeply, but I keep coming to the same crux of the argument for the existence of the God of the Bible…. .

All of what we can measure and observe is magnificent and orderly.

All systems, with even basic levels of order, have only been observed to be CREATED, or orchestrated, by a mind.

Computer programs, music, signal.

Creation – A Digital Operating System

Creation is the equivalent of the most sophisticated computer program, by a million times over.

It is highly orchestrated, it is precisely executed, and it doesn’t have mistakes.

Existence is unfavored, unlikely, and delicately balanced.

Salinity, gravity, temperature, strong forces, etc. are all finely tuned.

Our existence holds on by a thread.

It’s been fine tuned by the Creator.

Those are facts, because…. Well, SCIENCE.

But just because something is fine tuned, doesn’t mean there’s a God.

It goes deeper than that, and you need to start to fathom information & the execution of our reality computationally.

To an extent, our universe is computational, and it’s running a “code” for reality.

Creation is the equivalent of both an instruction manual FOR, the creation of, and the fruit of, the most sophisticated computer program.

No computer programs have come outside of a highly orchestrated plan from a mind.

The mind is behind every single bit of highly orchestrated information.

Let that sink in.

There are no books, let alone books of operational code, that have come into existence outside of an intelligent mind. Sure, it might be argued that information has existed without a mind, but there is no reasonable approach about orchestrated and finely tuned information coming from anything but a mind.

Computer programs have given us insight into what it truly means to be the creator, author and sustainer of something, while observing it as the end user.

We are living in the operation of our creator’s universe, much like someone uses a windows computer machine – you’re not confronted with the MIcrosoft employees that have orchestrated this environment.

In fact, the users of windows don’t have any clue about what goes into the creation of, and operation, of the entire operating system. And they know even less about the Intel processors running the programs, which are merely rocks that have been formed to fire switches on and off by utilizing electricity.

We don’t fathom that – we simply have the user experience of opening windows, editing photos in Photoshop, and answering emails through outlook.

This analogy is not glib, it is quite relevant in my estimations.

Orchestrated, organized, and useful information, has never been observed to be orchestrated by anything other than a mind.

Claiming that creation is the result of anything besides the God of the bible, is the equivalence of claiming that the cosmos could write the Harry Potter book series.

It’s utter nonsense.

Atheism is not a reasonable conclusion when observing the evidence.

Science does not support the theory that computer programs write themselves and then run themselves.

And that’s the thing.

Our existence is more akin to a computer program than it is to anything else.

We are in a digital simulation of information – where DNA and physics are working in great orchestration to allow existence.

IT’s only in the last 75 years that we’ve been able to pierce into the digital nature of life and physics, but we now know that the building blocks are digital, and that life is the result of codes.

Codes have NEVER been observed to write themselves.

The universe creates disorder, chaos, and cacophony.

ANd yet, we are experiencing the music of creation.

One must fathom the existence of instruction codes inside DNA, and then fathom how instructions can be written , except by an outside mind, programmer, or author.

Atheism is not a reasonable conclusion when we observe nature and science.

The reasoned and rational response to seeing a program being run, is that it was authored by an organized mind – the logos.

So here we have the most intricate and absurdly precise orchestration of information and digital instructions in the genetic makeup of life and the physics of our solar system, and atheists somehow claim it could be brought about without an author?

Intelligent Design makes the MOST sense.

But what evidence do we have for God?

Seeing the computer program running, being the results of the computer program, ought to be sufficient.

In other words, we are using the creation app, we MUST then know there was a development team behind it.

The user experience is sufficient evidence of a programmer.

IN fact, God has told us through His word, delivered through Paul in Romans chapter 1, that this sufficiency means that we all know God exists and it’s why justice, even to those who have not heard the gospel, will befall humanity.

We see creation and we can know there is a creator. If we fall in repentance to that creator and SEEK him, we will find him.

Not only is participating in the user experience of creation’s programming evidence that there is a programmer, but the programmer has come down and revealed himself to us.

We are a self aware program – and He interacted with us.

Those revelations, as miraculous as they are, have been recorded in writing.

We have the accounts, and the programmer made darn sure that his message would be left as a hopeful streak throughout antiquity.

Against all odds, the message from the programmer provides users the fruit of his pure instructions. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control.

We have the testimony of those interactions, which are the revelation of the God of the Bible.

If there was a computer program that created self-aware computer simulations, would it not also create hope, love, and provide a route to such an existence?

You see, the programmer is perfect and holy, none are like him. Which is why he was able to create the singularity.

The one thing that brought about existence.

He is Holy, completely set apart.

He tells us he will create a new heaven and a new earth some day, and who knows what comes after that.

It would stand to reason that there is but one of these beings, and that He would have revealed himself to creation.

Not only would we find evidence of him, but his word would be around to show us.

All his ways would be perfect.

His justice, love, mercy and other attributes that exist, would be totally perfect, but corrupted by misapplication and broken code.

If I found a Harry Potter book on a distant planet, I would correctly assume it had an author.
If I found a painting on an uninhabited island, I would correctly assume it had a painter.
If I found a building on a planet, I would know there was a builder.

And when I see the creation, I know there is a creator.

Doubt your faith.

Doubt your faith in atheism, agnosticism, or your faith of nothingness.

But attack your faith with science, the biblical account, and everything else you can get your hands on.

You will be pointed to the God of the bible eventually.

He promised that if you seek Him with all your heart, you will find Him.

My logic and reason brings me to the conclusion that there is a programmer.

Because I’m participating in the user experience of creation, it stands to reason that there was a programmer for this. Not only does it stand to reason, but there happens to be a perfected message of revelation, sprinkled into the program so that us, self-aware beings, could find the programmer and trust that there is life outside of this exact dimension.

Here’s why I believe in the God of the Bible

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Proof that God Exists

Over the last year, I’ve really been attacking my faith.

I hate coddled ideas – I like gut-checked, rigorously attacked hypothesis.

I’m also a man of faith; and it’s the faith as described by Paul (probably) in Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

I attack ideas, I let others attack them as well.

I’m Absolutely Confident in the God of the Bible

The other day we had a bit of a scare with my 5 year old daughter Hope.  She fell and broke her arm in a pretty nasty way – the drive to the hospital with so many unknowns provides perspective on your mortality.

A family friend of ours, who is in his early 50’s, has now wrestled with a terminal cancer and we’ve now learned he’s losing the battle quickly.

These, and dozens of other times, I’ve really asked myself “do I REALLY believe that there is a God, and that I’ve found the right one?”

Do I have a faith in the God of the Bible just because it’s comforting, or because I actually believe in my bones that it’s precisely true?

I’m not going to sit and list out the greatest arguments for God.  Every piece of evidence and hypothesis is examined by a person with an existing world-view and set of pre-existing biases.

And this whole preposterous idea that Science has proven there is no God is just ridiculous.

There are other places that will source the material stronger, and argue the nuances more fully than Rob’s personal blog.

Here’s Why I Believe in the God of the Bible:

Many will roll their eyes, but this argument is quite strong when you dwell on it.

When you see a painting, you know that there was a painter.

When you see a building, you know there was a builder.

When you hear music, you know there was a musician/singer.

If you found a book or complex story, you know there was an author.

This comes down to the Genesis of things.

There is one thing in all matter, and even more abundant in life, that points to an “author” of it all….

Information.

The Genesis of Cellular Information

Think a little more about the book example.

Nobody in their right mind would look at a Harry Potter novel they’ve found on the ground, and conclude that unguided, natural processes have brought this story together.

In a story, you’ve got characters, settings, protagonists and antagonists, love interests and villians.  A story is quite complex, and only skilled authors are able to weave together a captivating story that truly “works.”

We now know, that inside of all life, is a book infinitely more complex and precise than a novel.

Inside every cell of DNA, is incredibly sophisticated data – and extremely large amounts of it.

In fact, scientists are looking to DNA as a solution to store data, and the field of science has crammed 700 terabytes of data, into 1 gram of DNA.

The most complex schematics for a supercomputer microprocessor inside of a drone is NOTHING compared to the glaring sophistication of our body systems.

Our bodies are filled with the information in the forms of instructions, schematics and operating instructions for the most sophisticated thing ever fabricated EVER – a Human being.

Natural processes DO NOT organize information, it disassembles it and creates disorder and choas.

All systems deteriorate.

Scientists often scoff when Intelligent Design or Christians highlight the complexity of a system like the eye or brain, saying that it’s the ‘God of the gaps” type of faith.

THey claim that inserting God where we simply havent yet understood is silly.

They say that us pointing to God in light of the comlexity of a system is like the catholic church claiming the earth is the center of the universe and not the sun.

They rightfully point out that using areas of ignorance and seamingly “amazing” things to prove there is a God is a very weak argument

But this is not the same argument at all.

I’m saying that I believe in a MIND that has created and organized all the infinitely spectacular data in our universe, not because it’s complex – but because a Mind is the ONLY thing EVER scientifically shown to produce any organized information ever.

To believe that anything other than a mind created the information we now see is at worst very unscientific, and at best just unlikely.

And yet, we’re supposed to believe that naturalist atheists are the scientific voice in the arguement of origins?

Rather than try to scientifically tackle the problem of the genesis of information, atheists simply sprinkle more magic fairy dust (which is what I call unfathomable time scales).

Since they cannot scientifically proclaim that information would have come from anything besides a mind, they simply push back the beginning of time further, and then throw in some multi-verse type theories so that the cosmos is given infinite tries to produce the result we see CLEAR AS DAY.

You think I’m being silly here? Go learn what the cosmologists are coming up with because the EVIDENCE requires a mind to have created it.  Watch “The God Particle” and realize the conclusions they’re making because they will not attribute the system to a mind.

I believe in the God the Bible because there is incredibly sophisticated, GOD-SIZED information inside of all life, and all of science, and the word of God, and it tells us that information needs a MIND to organize it.

Organized Information MUST have come from a mind.

Unguided processes don’t write books, let alone books upon books inside a cell.

The conclusion is one of two things:

  1. God is exactly who He claimed to Be.
  2. or The Universe is god

Ultimately one of two options become clear.

This SCIENTIFIC fact remains: A MIND is the only thing ever shown to create and orgnize information.

I Believe in God Because Information Requires a Mind to Create

Therefore, the God of the Bible is the most rational conclusion I can come to.

Best Argument for God

How Much Data is there DNA?

700 Terabytes per gram learn here

One of the main reasons why I maintain a belief in the God of the Bible, is because one side is darn-near silly in their blind faith.

All things have a beginning. Except for the singularity.

Is it rational to accept that the singularity is unguided and from particles have come people?

Or is it more rational to believe that creation was authored by a creator?  THat the organized and functioning systems guided by precisely organized information, was put together by the mind of God?

Is it rational to believe that every molecule in the cosmos was wound up with energy and then digitally held together through chance and unguided processes? or is it more rational to believe the order we see was organized in an orderly fashion by an orderly Mind?

Here’s an argument against what I’ve said.

What is rational?

We’ve found the equivalent of a super-Harry Potter Novel that builds, runs, and governs things more complex than a fleet of modern figher jets…. and we’re supposed to believe that thise highly FUNCTIONAL and ORGANIZED information (that works in a perfect way) is possible with unguided processes?

The more I watch the arguments made by atheists, the more convinced I am that they are delusional, and have decided that anything but God can be an answer.

A Dirty mouth – Gods standard is much higher than mine

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rob satrom

“Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Man do I struggle with that, especially when you look at the Greek meanings of those words…

Neither filthiness – Αισχροτης· Any thing base or vile in words or acts.

Foolish talking – Μωρολογια· Scurrility, buffoonery, ridicule, or what tends to expose another to contempt.

Nor jesting – Ευτραπελια· Artfully turned discourses or words, from ευ , well or easily, and τρεπω , I turn; words that can be easily turned to other meanings; double entendres; chaste words which, from their connection, and the manner in which they are used, convey an obscene or offensive meaning. It also means jests, puns, witty sayings, and mountebank repartees of all kinds.

Which are not convenient – Ουκ ανηκοντα· They do not come up to the proper standard; they are utterly improper in themselves, and highly unbecoming in those who profess Christianity.

But rather giving of thanks – Ευχαριστια· Decent and edifying discourse or thanksgiving to God. Prayer or praise is the most suitable language for man; and he who is of a trifling, light disposition, is ill fitted for either. How can a man, who has been talking foolishly or jestingly in company, go in private to magnify God for the use of his tongue which he has abused, or his rational faculties which he has degraded?

Wow – that’s the stuff we should work to root out in our lives.

You know, I don’t need any help at all swearing and using my mouth for bafoknery and teasing.

This verse is a great reminder about the high standard God has for our words.

I have so much room to grow here!

I make rude and crude jokes, I lighten my mood in a frivolous way, and I really have an old nature that will balance on a tight rope of crudeness, shameful humor in order to get a rise or laugh out of people. Reading this really struck me as pretty compelling. THat if I am operating this way, I WILL NOT Inherit the kingdom of heaven!

I also read the way that C.S. Lewis talked in “Screwtape letters” about jokes, that they are useful in making people lose their sense of shame.

I have partaken in this evil, I allow myself to do this, perhaps not in the manner that is completely destitute and deplorable, but I do partake.

So again, the response which I should take, is THANKFULNESS. A sober minded thankfulness to God, yet a real honesty about “where my mouth has been” throughout the week will lead to a step closer to holiness.

So lord, please make my crude humor, and EVERYTHING that this Ephesians 5:4 points out, be offensive to me, restore the sensistivity I once had to the things that are dirty and crude.

Verses about focusing on your own problems

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This was found on ancient documents that were written from about 1100 b.c.e. In the levant.

It tells humanity not to worry when you feel stuck and in-blessed compared to wicked or foolish people.

Instead of worrying about that kind of stuff, do this:

  1. Trust in the Lord & you’ll prosper.
  2. Take delight in the Lord and He’ll give you you’re hearts desire.
  3. Commit everything you do to the Lord & Trust Him fully, and he will give you you’re hearts desire.

This is all predicated on taking your confidence that God exists, and that he rewards those who obey Him, and telling Him what you need through conversation.

Actually count how often you pray! If I were honest, my sinful self can sit and watch hours of Netflix shows without even trying, but it’s hard for me to pray 5 minutes a day consistently.

Ask Him and He will respond!

“Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.

Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:1-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

What I learn about fearing God – and the best analogy for the Bible I’ve ever seen

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Rob Satrom

We should be intrigued enough by the claims of God’s promises to try to seize them. 

Particularly when we realize that God’s promises are gifts, that come from obeying His loving commands that produce both temporal and everlasting goodness in our life.

Take a look at some of the promises of God concerning the gifts He’ll give us: Longer life, wisdom, bountiful goodness, rich relationships, wise children, healthier marriages, and the conquering of death to name a few.

Our lives are meaningless & unproductive until we start to obey God and allow His power to work within our lives.  We might have a slight glimpse of an everlasting hope and flourishing life without Him, but death and hopelessness shatters the godless.

One key way is to seize His promises is to study the meaning of the proverbs, and to apply them to our lives.

The purpose of proverbs is to:
* Teach people wisdom and discipline
* Help understand the insights of the wise
* Teach us to live disciplined and successful lives
* Help us do what is right, just, and Fair
* Give simple people insight
* Knowledge and discernment to the young

The proverbs are meant for all levels of intelligence, experience and capabilities.

If we let the proverbs become the instructing code for our life, it will come from exploring the meaning in each proverb.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is understanding the future position we’ll find ourselves in.

We will stand before Him, and every single secret and idle word or action will be brought to light in a public way.

We will all be guilty – but declared justified by our faith.

Sin robs us of some of the eternal gifts God wants to give us.

But sin will rob me of things for my eternal life.

My sin, and poor stewardship with the little things, will rob me of eternal rewards

Why allow the temporal things to mar the eternal?

It happens because we lose sight.

I lose sight – because of my sinful desires.

EBC preached about how all the fighting and quarreling around us is caused by our evil desires.

Evil desires produce sin.

Sin will sacrifice eternal for the temporal. It sells what is everlasting to obtain what will disappear.

our sinful desires set a trap for us, to drag us away from God, from seizing the promises in His word, and from goodness.

We are trapped by our sin and desires, and yet when a bird sees a trap set, it knows to stay away.

Greed for money is one of many selfish and evil desires that ensnares us into sin that robs us of rewards that will be everlasting.

To usher in goodness to our lives, we must start with accepting the truth, and being confident in the unseeable future that awaits us – being before the judgement throne of God.

The fear of the Lord is the prime executive command which allows us to Siede the promises and experience the rewards and gifts He gives.

The Best Analogy of the Bible

Francis Chan Wrote a children’s book called “The Big Red Tractor.” It’s the best analogy for the bible you could ever see.  It’s often difficult to help people understand what God’s word, God’s commands, and fearing the Lord means to our lives.  Which is why I really like this analogy and lesson by Francis Chan.  Watch the video, it’s definitely worth watching.

In it, a small farm community uses a tractor to farm. They get teams in the field to push and pull the tractor, powering it by man to accomplish work. It doesn’t go well, and they barely survive.

One day, a farmer finds the instruction book for the tractor, which describes a tractor that works on its own and can accomplish infinitely more than they had ever dreamed.

The farmer tells the village, but they scoff and tease him “that’s nonsense!” They say.

But each night, the farmer works on the tractor.

One evening the tractor starts up – so he heads out to the field and does 3 months of work in half an evening.

The villagers all change their tone, and the farmer starts to bless the entire region with the fruits of the tractors labor.

They share this news with other towns, and they all experience the same thing – their tractors work when they’re put together and ran according to the instruction manual.

This is a perfect analogy for our lives in respect to Gods word.

We come alive and flourish when we live in obedience to Him.

Jesus Even purchased victory over eternal death by justifying us with His blood.

In the example of the big red tractor, it is the confidence that the farmer has concerning the instruction manual that he found.

The beginning of all good things is exactly like the big red tractor.

The fear of the Lord – does it require actual fear?

Is this verse saying that fear is what should motivate us?

Are we to be motivated by a fear of the Lord, or are we to strategically nod to the Lord concerning His power and justice, then be motivated by something else?

What things can we be motivated by? Both Godly and ungodly motivations.

Must all motivations be subservient to the fear of the Lord?

Again – am I to understand that we should be motivated by a Fear of the Lord to obey, or is it simply one motivation among many?

We can be motivated by:

God’s love
God’s goodness
Eternal rewards
Blessings on earth

As I write this, it seems any other motivation, but to please God because of our future reckoning, is ultimately temporal.  Any motivation that doesn’t have a foundation in the fear of the Lord, is ultimately going to be a selfish desire.

We must want to please God because He is worthy to be praised, adored, and feared.

Is there any negative repercussions to fearing the Lord and living a life that’s motivated by fear of the Lord and the future reckoning?

It seems to me that there is no disadvantage, either for today, or for the future, to fearing the Lord.

Why is there no disadvantage for living life out of fear of the Lord? Because His command is to fear not.

We are to fear nothing but God.

And when we fear Him, we then must show our reverence by obeying Him.

God has promised, and our observations confirm, that lives are always blessed when they are lived in obedience to His ways.

His ways are not burdensome, and they lead to eternal and temporal life.

In the book the big red tractor, it might have not specifically said that the farmer read the tractor manual and applied it to the tractor out of a fearful motivation, but because He saw an opportunity to have a better life by making the tractor work according to the designers instructions.

In other words, if the tractor had the possibility to work and run like the manual describes, then isn’t it worth attempting no matter what?

In a sense, what would the farmer have to lose?

It is the same with our life.

God is to be feared, respected and obeyed.

He has the power not only to end our life, but to cast our souls into eternal oblivion.

It is good to use the fear of the Lord as a safe-guard for our life and soul.

Our inherit disobedience to God concerning who He is and His majesty means we cannot place our faith in Him on our own accord, and we also cannot experience victory when we stand before the judgement throne without His justification.  On our own, we are doomed to death & eternal suffering.

“a life motivated by the fear of the Lord is not incongruent with the commands to fear not.”

So fear of the Lord is necessary, and a life motivated by the fear of the Lord is not incongruent with the commands to fear not. We are to fear God, and trust His word, which promises us Love, forgiveness, justification and blessing as we love Him.

Therefore, I conclude that we must fear God, live life out of fear of being cross with Him because we know that it’s the path to goodness, and abundant life.

The fear of the Lord is the outer boundary, the absolute respect for the chasm on the other side of the guardrails.

Fear of the Lord is acknowledging the fact that life outside of Gods’ ways will lead to both temporal and eternal death.

We are instructed to fear only God – but show wise respect to all other things – but not to fear them.

This is why the command is so often given to fear not, because when we fear other things we are not trusting that God will guide us and protect us, since it’s all controlled in a sovereign way by God.

All things work together for the glory of those who Love God and are called according to His purpose.

My Prayer:

“Lord, give me both the desire and the power to live according to your ways. Forgive me Lord.”

Something to Remember:

For it is God at work within us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

Jesus said – “come to me, all who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and let me teach you for I am humble and gentle at heart, and I will give you rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light”. (Matthew 11:28-30)

This means that fearing the Lord and obeying Him is meant to utilize the power of God, not our own power.

By man, things are impossible, but with God, all things are possible.

Verse About Camel Through the Eye of a Needle & Rich people in heaven

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Do any of us consider ourselves rich?

Do we think that we’re “pretty good” people, and that it’s not a stretch for God to let us into heaven?

Aren’t modern people far more rich than those during Jesus’ times, and wouldn’t we then face even more trouble to enter into the kingdom of heaven?

Rich People Entering Heaven is as probable as a Camel Through the Eye of a Needle

You know what’s weird?

In the teaching where Jesus says that it’s nearly impossible for a rich person to enter heaven, the disciples all considered themselves part of that group.

This makes me realize that God’s power worked in them because they recognized they were sinners and in need of His power, rather than having a hard heart that saw no need for forgiveness..

Occasionally we’ll hear someone try to use Jesus’ words “But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

I was reading Matthew 19 and 20 today – where Jesus is quoted saying this twice.

In chapter 19, Jesus tells the disciples that it’s “only with difficulty, that a rich person will enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.”

In response, the disciples are greatly astonished and they throw up their hands and ask Jesus “Well, WHO THEN CAN BE SAVED?”

Jesus reminds them – that with man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.

All of us are going to be drawn towards selfish pursuits, and it is only because of God’s power and goodness that we would be able to enter into heaven.  Our own strength and merits don’t get us into heaven, it’s ONLY by faith in Jesus, through His grace and atonement for sin, that we can be declared innocent before God.

In other words – of course we’re going to screw it all up, but this shows the power of God.

The Disciples Felt Lumped In With “The Rich”

Peter and the disciples try to remind Jesus all that they’ve left to follow HIm, looking for reassurance that they’re not going to be left out of God’s kingdom.

NOTE – this makes me think that the disciples would have considered themselves rich. When Jesus says that it’s going to be difficult, they are astonished.

Astonished and then they blurt out “who can get in then?”

Perhaps they knew how God has given wealth to all of us if we take a humble perspective, or perhaps they considered themselves rich.

The disciples might have been rich, or maybe it was because their families and loved ones were rich. For whatever reason, the disciples seem to consider themselves under this quasi-condemnation concerning the rich.

Do any of us really consider ourselves rich?

We can only be slightly aware of our blessings, and sin causes us to live in a comparative manner. We don’t count our blessings until something aweful happens.

For example, it wasn’t until I got by eyeball scratched for me to really really appreciate my eyesight.

Think of how many days we go about our life in a bad mood, when there could be the alternative of having our eyes feel like they’re being gouged out contsantly because of a scratched cornea.

Or it wasn’t until I had a major neck injury, before I realized how good it is to go about days without such an injury.

Our level of richness, or blessing, is percieved and self-realized, primarily in comparison to others.

Here in the post-modern west, even our poor people are amazingly wealthy compred to so many alternatives – and yet political parties claim that the poor are disenfranchised.

My point is that it’s interesting here that the disciples respond as identifying with the group that would face the impossibility of going to heaven.

In another part of the Bible, Luke 5:32, Jesus tells us all that He “did not come to save those who think they are righteous, but sinners.”

So Jesus says taht it is ONLY the power of God that can get us into heaven, and then when we overlay that He came to call sinners – we see how to tap into God’s power.

God’s power to save us, both eternally and in our daily walk, is tied to our ability to recognize the sinfulness within us.

Jesus tells us to take up our cross daily, and follow HIm.

How do we know that we’re sinners?

When I drift into social media, too much work, or my daily blur of stimulation – I’m not in tune to God’s will for my life.

In fact, even just listening or reading God’s word doesn’t do it for me, it’s not until I convey my comprehension through writing that I actually digest and install God’s word into my heart.

We just had my kindergarnters parent teacher conference, and she scores amazingly high in reading and understanding letters.

Natalie is a reader, and she enjoys sitting in her bed to read her own books.

But seeing the letters and reading isn’t really what it’s about – that’s just regurgitation of what’s on paper. The teacher said that the key to reaching full potential is tied to reading comprehension.

So first we have the ability to intake the content, then we have comprehension, then we have application.

Intake,
Comprehension,
Application.

From our eyes/ears, to our mind, to our heart, to our spirit and acitons.

Here’s where I think we all need help.

The Psalmist wrote in 119:11 – “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

How do we hide God’s word in our heart?

God told the Isrealites in Joshua to:

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8 NIV)

I’ve read often that the word used for “meditate on it day and night” is like a cow chewing it’s cud. We need to process it over and over.

So how can you do that?

I think rewriting what we’ve read in a summary and then how we can apply it is helpful.

Whatever it is – I just want to challenge you to take time to chew on God’s word – and find different ways to truly comprehend it.

My daughter needs to be able to truly digest what she reads, to the point of reteaching it or applying it to her life.

Remember, that God has promised that HIs ways lead to life – and are worth implementing.

TO those that don’t believe:

Even if you don’t believe in God, I’d challenge you to really chew on what Jesus taught.

I know that when I’m cynical of something (for example, socialism) I give it no foothold or chance.

But even if you don’t believe in God, you should remember that the Bible TRULY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING MORAL COMPASS ever written.

Maybe you’re hesitant about it because it condemns sexual sin, which includes homosexuality. Or maybe you’re critical because you’ve seen how sinful men have twisted and minupluated the Christian religion through the ages to do horrific things.

All the evil that’s been done in the name of Christendome has been done in disobedience to Christ.

Read what Jesus said -and read the proverbs.

I had a good friend of mine, who’s a staunch atheist that listens to the atheist experience every day, read the proverbs. His conclusion was that it was the best advice he’d ever heard – while still being an atheist.

Nothing is more truthful or helpful than the commands to Jesus’ disciples for every day life.

Love others as yourself, be patient kind, and slow to anger. Forgive, show mercy, seek justice, love mercy, pursue reconciliation. This is all the foundational teachings of Jesus.

So check it out – and I always recommend reading an NLT Bible if you want something in our modern vernacular.

How to make our world wonderful

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A wonderful future awaits those who love peace.

Psalm 37:37

Want a great family? Seek reconciliation and peace in your marriage.

Want great kids? Seek reconciliation and peace in with your children.

Want a great neighborhood? Seek reconciliation and peace with your neighbors.

Want an amazing life? Seek reconciliation with others and peace.

We all love to hit people back, to punk other people that get in our face, disagree with us, or act “stupidly.”

Our sinful nature loves revenge.

I was reading Psalm 37:37, and noticed that God promises that “a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.”

Obeying Christ is not an easy thing, because our sinful natures are usually pitted squarely opposite from His commands.

Matthew 5:43-48New International Version (NIV)

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

My sinful nature wants to savor revenge, enjoy watching my “enemies” fail, revel in the gossip about the failings of those that oppose me, and to fight back when I’m hit.

Are you like me? When a coworker seems to undercut you, gossip about you, talk smack about you, or undermine your efforts – do you then justify resentment & revenge mentality?

Jesus calls us to love our enemies, and to pray for those who persecute us.

He also says to love all, and be kind to even our enemies. There is no reward in being kind and loving only those who love you first.

God wants us to do everything possible, so long as it depends on us, to seek peace and reconciliation with everyone we know.

This is how real change happens, and this is when God will reward us.

Real change in society occurs when we truly love peace.  But when we truly love peace, that means that we die to our own rights in order to be subservient to others.

It’s really hard to be subservient to those who seek to dominate you.  When others are trying to elevate themselves above you, doesn’t it make us sick to let them do it?

Just think of when we’re driving, and our road rage can flare up about people.  The way we act behind the wheel is a little microcosm of how we act to people in comparison to the goodness and mercy of God.

If we want the world to be amazing, if we want America to be amazing, then each individual should chew on this scripture and focus on working diligently on reconciliation with all people – and loving peace.

The Lies I Tell Myself

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rob satrom

Our Lives are Guided by the Stories We Tell Ourselves

I built a business with two men – one was a long time friend and the other a bit newer.  When we started, we signed paperwork for us all to own 1/3rd of the company.  A year and a half later, I was surprised to find out that after we had built up a steady flow of business, the other two decided to cut me out of ownership, and filed the business ownership under their own names.

This has been difficult for me to react to, but God continues to teach me and provide for us.  In fact, He has rewarded our family in great ways by building even greater professional and financial momentum!

Adversity presents an opportunity to thread together either truthful, or deceptive, narratives we tell ourselves. Will we take ownership, or will we blame?

I’ve learned to trust God through company restructures, re-orgs, and unfair treatment.

I’ve also come to realize that I’m a sinner, sometimes a fool, and that God wants me to be holy – and refinement comes from difficulties.  

God tells us that “the Lord disciplines whom He loves, and He scourges every son whom He receives. “  God isn’t concerned with our comfort, but with improving our relationship with Him and the people He’s entrusted us to love.  Our sin get’s in the way of our relationship with Him, others, and our ability to do great things.

Change, hardship, and adversity are opportunities meant to teach and refine us.

Many times our hardships and adversity are caused by our foolishness and sin.

Saul’s Self Deception & Narratives

Today I was reading about Saul’s pursuit to kill David in 1 Samuel 23 & 24.  Saul is the King, and he’s essentially gone mad with jealousy, self-pity, and spite.  He’s paranoid that David want’s to kill him, when David really wishes that Saul would stop, repent, and relent.

After reading a couple of Saul’s statements today, I came to the realization that we become delusional, unaware, and self-deceived by the story we tell ourselves about things.

The narrative we allow ourselves to hold onto can destroy our ability to live rightly. 

Saul keeps saying things like “finally, someone cares about ME,” and all sorts of self-focused narratives.  He tells himself a story, which has become his truth about the facts – when it’s really his sin that’s causing a giant mess in everyone’s life.

We tell ourselves stories in order to justify our sin – and then we don’t view our behavior, thoughts, or attitudes as sinful.

Think of the stories that you might have told yourself in the past – and how those stories allowed you to delude yourself into justifying or excusing sin.

Typical Self Deception Narratives:

  • My boss is a horrible leader, so I’ll resist their direction.
  • I’ll harbor bitterness about my business partners, because they’ve cheated me.
  • I’ll revel in the failure of someone who screwed me – because they deserved it.
  • I’ll sue my former friend and partner, because they’ve legally cheated me.
  • I’m tired, so i can punish those around me with a bad attitude or outbursts of anger.
  • My spouse refuses to sleep with me often enough, so I’ll use porn.
  • My spouse always nags or complains, so I’ll try to punish them with anger.
  • I’ll spin together a different narrative than the truth, to explain why I was fired.
  • I’ll excuse my poor reaction to adversity, because of how evil and wrong my oppressors are.
  • I’ll excuse my poor decisions and foolishness on the account of the bad stuff that’s happened in my life.

There are so many things in my life that have happened to get me to where I am, and the challenge I see at every turning point is to trust God, reflect on where I was wrong, reconcile where needed, confess my sin, turn from the sin, and move forward in Christ.

What’s the best way to identify the lies we tell ourselves? God’s Word, Godly Friends, and Prayer.

The stories we tell ourselves keep us from moving forward, from living abundantly in Christ, and from building momentum in our lives.

Jesus’ words, proverbs, and the whole word of God is what speaks into our heart, soul, mind and life, to identify the lies we’ve been telling ourselves.

In fact, the best teachings of Jesus was about confronting the lies that we tell ourselves in a sermon he gave which we call the sermon on the mount.

The most powerful tool to identify self-deception in ourselves is the bible.  

The Sermon on the Mount

The sermon on the mount is where Jesus gave some of the toughest, most radical sounding teaching the world ever heard.  

In it, Jesus was teaching that He came not to nullify the 600 laws of the old testament, but to focus them to the purpose of all of our lives – To love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to Love our neighbor as ourselves.  

Think of the list of lies and self deception I wrote above, then read Matthew5:21-48 I’v provided the whole end of the chapter below to read.

Here’s the summary of what Jesus confronts:

  • You know you shouldn’t commit adultery, but according to God’s holy standard, lusting after a woman is adultery in your heart which is just as sinful.
  • You know you shouldn’t commit murder, Jesus say that anger needs to be handled just as murder is – for it is murder in our hearts.
  • You know you should forgive those you love, and love others – but He wants us to love our enemies.
  • You know the law says that when you deserve something, you should demand restitution.  But Jesus says that we should pursue peace above restitution, and seek to make reconciliation as far as it concerns you.
  • You know you should be kind to your neighbor, but Jesus tells us to be kind to our enemies because what reward in heaven can there be for only reciprocating kindness and love.  It counts when we love our enemies.

We try to excuse lust, anger, vengeance, being unloving, being unkind, and being unforgiving, but Jesus tells us to seek perfection in these areas.

You see – Jesus provides us with some high standards that should expose our innermost thoughts, attitudes, and lifestyles – that ultimately lead to freedom and joy.

That’s the key here – Jesus tells us that we’ll never be able to be sin-free on our own, but that he’s justified us through faith in Him.  When we trust in HIm, place our faith in Him, love Him, he will pay the penalty for our guilt.

He promises that there are rewards in eternity for our obedience in these things.  He also promises in the proverbs of Solomon that when we live according to His word, we can experience a long, satisfying life filled with the fruit of the spirit.

What benefits can we experience by confronting the lies we tell ourselves?

  • Love,
  • Joy,
  • Peace,
  • Patience,
  • Kindness,
  • Goodness,
  • Faithfulness,
  • Gentleness
  • and self control.

If there’s anything in that list that you feel lacking, like I often do, make a new commitment to use scripture to identify the lies you tell yourself and change them.  

Use scripture, prayer, and other Godly friends to both expose the lies you tell yourself and to get accountability to change them. Our lies are excuses, justifying ungodly attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors – and I assure you that you’ll make headway in your pursuit of God’s goodness.  Having a Godly, wise, and biblical friend to hold you accountable is incredibly freeing, but the enemy wants us to hide our sin and self-deception. 

Read the proverbs, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – and the new testament for tips on how to live according to Jesus’ way.  Then build up your understanding of everything by reading the old testament, but be patient when it gets confusing.

If you’re new to bible reading, try reading an NLT bible, which uses our more modern vernacular.

Also, try listening to the NLT version on the Youversion bible app or on their website – this is relly helpful if you’re not a great reader.

Download the Youversion app here:

Jesus’ toughest words on sin:

““You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny. “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye —causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand —causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’ But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery. “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one. “You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow. “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Matthew 5:21-48
https://www.bible.com/bible/116/MAT.5.21-48

The Epic of the Universe is about Jesus, not me….. or is it?

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As Jesus called Rob up to the judgement seat, Moses, Noah and Mary all stood in awe at the amazing things Rob did for the kingdom….

In light of the holiness of Elijah, Rob did a pretty good job…..

Ridiculous! ridiculous! ridiculous…..

“Rob, I think that God had this conversation happen for a reason, I think He’s up to something bigger than either of us know”  You ever say something like that? That’s something that I’ve heard a couple of times, and in the grand scheme of things, I tend to discount the overall “epic-ness” of my role in God’s kingdom.

I can be really susceptible to fixing far more meaning and value to the role of my life in the Kingdom of God than I should.  In the grand scheme of things, I’m pretty insignificant, and I’m a WRETCH for sure.  But I think there’s a strange tension that followers of Jesus need to grasp.

I wanted to write this thought about this weird tension that exists for those of us elected as God’s children through faith:  It’s not about us in one sense, but it is about us in other ways.

The mindset of a follower of Jesus matters a great deal.

We are God’s children, and part of His story.  When we convert time, money, words, thoughts, and efforts to be in obedience to Christ and His commission, we are then intimately involved in God’s kingdom. 

On one hand, we see that we are nothing but dust, a speck that matters nothing in the grand scheme of things without God – but I’m valuable because, through faith, I’m a child of God.  How does my holiness, my work for God’s kingdom, and my behavior, compare to all the saints that have ever existed?  When I think like this, I’m left defeated and overwhelmed about how hopeless it all is for me.

On the other hand, I have God’s word that tells me that while it’s all about Jesus, He takes thought of me.  Read this beautiful verse written in Psalm 8:3-4:

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4

Another verse that should cause us to take note of our importance to God’s epic story:

“And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Romans 8:17

While we can sinfully make life, history, and God’s work all about our own glory, it’s important that we tension our “humble walk” (Micah 6:8) with knowing that God’s plan is for us to play an integral part in the story – no matter how mind blowing that can be and ridiculous it could sound, in light of the Billions and billions of people that have lived since Adam and Eve.

Everyone will give account on the day of judgement for every empty word they have spoken – Jesus (mt 12:36)

A couple of months ago, I had a religious experience.

I was having some deep communion with God and His word, and I was totally wrecked and convicted about the verse in Matthew 12:36, where Jesus tells us that we’ll give an account for everything, down to even the empty words we speak.

That verse is one of those that cause us to realize that we are intertwined into the epic story of Jesus more than we might think – and we need to think about what that really means.

In a way, we’re a character – with our own act – to which we are the lead actor.  We have a mission and a purpose, or a COMMISSION.  We are commissioned to go out and make disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey – to be the Church on earth.  But are we actively participating, practicing, and taking that role serious?

At the end of the age – Jesus says that our role in our personal commission will be examined.  He’s going to play the movie of our pursuit of the commission, and he’s going to call out every word that didn’t align with His commission.

In other words, the verse in Matthew 12:36 that says: “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,” part of that means we need to realize that we are in a leading role in our own commission or story, even though it’s actually all about Jesus.  He’s going to sit down in front of everyone – and I mean everyone – and we’re going to watch the video of our performance.  And every word is going to be intimately judged for it’s idleness.

This makes me fear God.  This makes me shake. It quickens me.

It’s really hard for us to imagine what it will be like to suddenly be participating in the epic-ness of being with Jesus. But we can more easily imagine what it would have been like for the disciples, because it’s found in their testimony.  Imagine how they found out that they were in the second act of the entire story of the universe!

They were talking with the author of everything – and Jesus was sometimes subtle and sometimes quite frank. Sometimes He was just a friend and sometimes He was a teacher.

The religious experience I had involved me listening to these verses on the bible app, with no distractions, in the dark, while meditating upon Him.  And I was overwhelmed by a vision.

I suddenly had a vision of what this might have looked like for the disciples hearing Jesus tell them that every word will be judged in the future.  I also had a vision of what it would be like for the witnesses to then be standing before God, watching them be told about that very moment, and how they are truly a deep insider in the whole event.  Imagine if you were the ones who were told , in person, that the most grandiose, the most epic, and the most permanent event in all the universe is going to unfold… and then you’re standing trial before God and watching that moment unfold and being one of the primary witnesses…. WEIRD!

Two things really hit me about it:

1 – Imagine the epic-ness of being around Jesus back then

I gloss over this so much, because we only see the world through the lens of our own reality and time/space.   Part of why this verse hit me, was because I was vividly seeing a pre electricity, pre industrial revolution and pre second century world.

I had a vision of how intimate every conversation, interaction, and hour of day would have been back in the first century.  There was no other way to communicate with people other than hand-written letters (which would have carried a deeper cost to obtain the paper and ink than today) and personal conversations.

Everything was more intimate back then I imagine.  People were riding horses, donkeys, carriages or walking to their destination.  Which meant that their daily interactions with people were quite intimate and took on deep meaning.

This intimate connection with life, and people, was sitting in my mind, and then

I imagined what it must have been like to sit there, and have THE ONE, the one and only Messiah, that all of creation was meant to glorify, standing before you and talking to you.

Jesus knew their thoughts.  Jesus spoke truth that was foundational to the degree of every scientific law of physics.  His words spoken in conversation to these people was as foundational & perfectly tuned as music and science.  Every word spoken to the people that interacted with Him, had that creepy and eerie feeling associated with conversations with people who are hiding their foreknowledge of a situation – like when you start talking to someone about how much fun a concert was, and they politely nod their head and start asking how you liked this part and that part, only to find out that they were part of the audio production crew for the band and were like orchestrating the whole thing.

Jesus’ words to these guys were like a perfectly tuned frequency to their lives – and to the eternal truths of the universe for every life that would hear His words read aloud for all eternity..  Imagine the awe and wonder, REALLY, that would have captivated the disciples when he would speak into their lives!  The story I think of is when he calls one of the early disciples, for example, Nathanael.

Jesus’ words were like magic, and the story of Nathanael is a perfect example.

Jesus is being introduced to this skeptical jew Nathanael, and Jesus says something about seeing him under the fig tree.

“I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you” – John 1:48

Whatever in the world was going on in Nathanael’s life caused a total, epic meltdown of his skepticism.  He went from thinking that this guy was just some teacher, to suddenly blurting out “Rabbi, you are the Son of God – the King of Isreal!”

Whatever kind of freaky and epic situation Nathanael found himself in, is kind of shrouded from the story.  Jesus’ way was attuned, so perfect, that the epic narrative of Jesus was unfolding before them and they were astounded to find themselves weaved into the tapestry of the story of God.  Nathanael dropped everything and  proclaimed this guy THE ONE SON OF GOD because of a quick conversation.

There is a conspiracy out there – the intertwined epic of Jesus, which involves all humanity.

The story isn’t about any of us. In the grand scheme of saints and sinners, our story seems piled on the heap of insignificance – because the epic of the universe is written about Jesus, not ourselves.

But in Matthew 12:36 – Jesus reminds all of us that our stories are more intertwined to the epic of the universe than we might think.

Jesus tells us that at the final judgment, every person will have every word accounted for by Jesus.

That causes my heart to thump and my soul to tremble as I write that.

The idea of every person who’s ever existed EVER, standing before God and having Him examine every word EVERY UTTERED by each of these people, seems ridiculous and unfathomable.

Until we remember some truths about our God – He’s the author of unfathomable.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts says the Lord, and my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  As high as the heavens are from the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55

This means that there is a complete and utter unfathomable epic-ness to our God.  The only thing in the universe that He can even slightly use as a metaphor for His holiness, is “the heavens.” Few in the first century could have predicted, that the cosmos would be proven to be, an ever-expanding cosmos that spans trillions of light years and is actually continuously growing.  The red-shift finding shows us that the universe is expanding – which the bible alludes to many times in scripture when it says:

Verses where the Bible Alludes to the Cosmological Red-Shift, or Ever Expanding Universe:

Isaiah 42:5

Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it:

Isaiah 45:12

I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.

Isaiah 45:18

For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.

Zechariah 12:1

The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him:

Isaiah 40:22

It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

Those verses allude that God used the expansion of the universe as a key tool to show his majesty.  Anyone who studies a bit of cosmology, will come to the conlusion that:

the cosmos is faith inducing: Either in God or in the Universe as creator….

Here are these regular people talking to the creator of the COSMOS!

It’s just crazy how epic that would have been for the disciples and people of the first century, WHEN they actually believed it.  Most people didn’t know exactly how epic everything was until He rose from the dead, and appeared to them.  Ultimately, Jesus was doing miraculous things on earth in front of people.  These miracles would have startled most faithful people into baptism or deeper faith; even while much of His grandiose marvel was hidden until He resurrected.

But still – I’m dumbfounded at what it would have been like to interact with the author of the universe, who was connecting on a very personal level with these guys.

We are going to have a more-epic encounter with Jesus, and He’s going to hold us intimately accountable to our actions here on earth.

2 – The Judgement is Going to Be Brutal – even for the elect.

Now this idea is weird.  We are all guilty, but doesn’t God totally forgive us and forget our sins?  Well, yes and no.

We are taught that we are all guilty because of sin (Romans 3:23)  All have sinned, and none of us do any good at all (Psalm 14:3) that God loves us, blots out our sins, and remembers them no more (Isaiah 43:25) and then we’re told that every idle word will be judged…. (Mt 12:36)..   All that seems to contradict itself.

These concepts DON’T contradict themselves, in fact, they make total, exact, and complete sense.

We are all guilty of breaking the law.  We will all stand before God at a judgement and be found guilty.  We all have the penalty of death upon us, but Jesus pays our penalty when we turn from our sin, and place our faith in Jesus, as the atonement for our sin.

It’s not our faith, or lack of sinning that justifies us, we are justified through faith, by Christ, alone.  But we are all found guilty in the beginning – we definitely broke the speed limit, we definitely got a ticket and a fine, and we are TOTALLY guilty.  But Jesus pays the penalty.  That’s how it works.

But that’s justification through faith, Jesus paid our penalty, and He lets us have the free gift of atonement if we believe on Him and become His disciple.  That’s the first part of faith – justification.

Then there’s a second part to faith: Sanctification and living out the commission.

The Bible is filled with verses that show us how to live.  Now that we’re saved, we’re supposed to be good stewards of the time, money, and life we’re given.

What does it mean to be a good steward of all that God has given you? It means to live according to His word.  Living according to His word means to live a holy life, live at peace, seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.  It means to feed the poor, hungry, outcast and to bring about the way of the kingdom of God down to earth.  It means to live out the great commission of evangelism, and making disciples of Jesus that have mature faith.  It means showing respect, obeying God’s calling on your life, being a great person in terms of getting things done and relationships, and it means communing with God.  It means we need to have a deep and personal relationship with God – actually talking to Him and being with Him.  So when we say “it means obeying the Bible,” that statement wraps up a great deal of instruction for good.

We get to go to heaven because of what Jesus did for us, and then the free gift of eternal life is given to us because of faith.  But sanctification, is obedience and good works done for Him.

There are rewards in heaven.  The things that reward us are found in the Bible, and if we understand that we’re going to give an account for how well we obeyed, worked, and executed, we start to realize that there’s like a “heavenly financial opportunity ahead of us”

Bottom line – I’m realizing that my judgement in heaven for my STEWARDSHIP of the time He gave me, is going to be personal, intimate, and brutal.

I waste time, I sin, I definitely have idle words.

These thoughts quicken me, and I know that everyday is an opportunity to steward my thoughts, time, money, and effort toward HIs great commission.

The time, efforts, money, and words that are not aligned to His great commission, will be brought to light in heaven, and I will have lost out on the true LONG TERM INVESTMENTS into eternally satisfying rewards.

Converting all time, money, words, thoughts, and efforts to be in obedience to Christ and His commission, is like long term investing in eternally satisfying rewards. 

The primary thing that makes health care less-accessible

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Health Insurance is What Makes Health Care Expensive & Inaccessible 

We received a $1,200 bill from a well check for our infant yesterday.

If I didn’t have insurance, how much would it have actually cost me?

In almost every situation, you can receive entirely different pricing if you don’t have insurance.  That’s right, if you were to start the conversation with a health care provider with “What options do you have when people don’t have health insurance?” they could come up with a set of services at a much higher value.

Using health insurance for anything except catastrophes is the primary reason health care becomes inaccessible to people.

There are two sets of pricing in health care: Insured Billing and Non-Insured billing.

Think about that for a moment…. same care, but entirely different pricing depending on who’s paying for it, how can that be?

How much should health care cost? Only as much as the buyer is willing to pay.

We have a major problem in America, we are all being manipulated by special interests in education, government, health care, insurance, and a host of other crony organizations to keep us fighting around faux “solutions” to problems which ultimately benefit the special interests.  Government bureacrats, insurance companies, and health care providers are the primary benefactors of eliminating the consumer from the decision making process in purchasing health care services.

Why is the discussion all about the “affordability of insurance?” rather than the affordability of care?  THat’s because it’s purposefully being omitted because government and crony segments of business are benefiting.  How do they benefit?  More power, more influence, larger workforces, more subsidy, and bigger budgets.

Health care and higher education are experiencing catastrophic price inflation

When the consumer doesn’t get to look a vendor in the face, and make a decision with their own hard-earned dollars, the competition for the consumer’s dollar is gone.

When you compare the increase of college tuition and health care costs to the CPI index, or the average wage increase, they disproportionally higher.

Again – while the cost of care is increasing, all our mainstream media and political talking heads are yammering about is insurance – not health care costs.  Insurance is what drives the cost of care up.

The same is true in higher education.  Rather than talking about the horrific monopoly government has created with accreditation and government monopolized student lending, we talk about “free education.”

Subsidized health insurance such as medicare, the Affordable Care act, and medicaid, is what causes prices to skyrocket because it takes the consumer out of the equation to hold the provider accountable.

When the consumer is taken out of its powerful, decision making position, and replaced by an insurance company, prices increase.

If the consumer doesn’t use their own dollars, they don’t care about pricing. Also, when competition is hindered in any manner, the prices will start to creep up.

Before the affordable care act, we had a horrific system because our insurance companies had regional protections from competition.  Because of regional bureaucracy and laws, insurance companies experienced monopolies due to the lack of national competition.  If you sold insurance in one state, you often couldn’t sell insurance in others because of the requirements.

Is a health care provider ever standing in front of a customer and trying to convey the value they will provide in competition for business? NO

The basic problem with the health care system is that insurance pays the bills, not people.

When people stand in front of a vendor such as a clinic, and they are presented with an opportunity to purchase immunizations, they should have all the data they need in front of them to make that decision – such as pricing.

If we used our own dollars, we would IMMEDIATELY demand pricing sheets, and we’d shop around for the BEST VALUE in health care administration.

Insurance payment means we no longer care about the overall value we’re receiving.

Pricing and benefits determine value.

IN fact, value is tied directly to the supply and demand curves in economics.

As supply increases, pricing should go down.  As supply shrinks, pricing should go up.

Some people may say that the burgeoning population is causing health care pricing to skyrocket – but this simply isn’t the case.  As the baby boomer generation starts requiring lots of services in health care, and as the massive millennial generation is also requiring more health care services as they have kids and families, the capitalist system would simply grow an overall economic pie, where the demand for services would directly feed into the health care sector, providing greater job opportunity.

When the focus is all about removing the individual as the economic decision maker, you’re allowing the insurance industry to forget about delivering value.

Quality, Universality, and Cheapness: CHOOSE TWO

High Quality and Universal Health Care will be stupid expensive

Universal cheap health care will be of low quality

Cheap and high Quality cannot be administered universally – but the free market is the only one that can deliver it.

When we can’t look the doctor in the face and tell him to pound sand with her pricing, we’re ultimately neutered as a society.

A Rare Earth Mineral Containing Supercomputer (iPhone) is $900, but my Infant’s Well Check is $1,200?

Basic Health Care isn’t really that crazy, but the top tiered health care is.

What do i mean?  There is no reason why it should cost an arm and a leg for me to get a doctor to check for the sniffles, a broken arm, or basic immunizations.

Bureaucracy of the FDA makes drugs super-expensive, a lack of tort reform means that providers and drug companies can be sued in massive class-action campaigns, and the litany of taxes, bureaucracy, and red-tape means that there are far too many administrators involved in health care (just like education).

If we allowed the market to price “less-proven” drugs, care from less-qualified people, we’d be able to CHOOSE with our own dollars and feet, what type of care we’d want.

Conclusion:

As long as we don’t pay for our own healthcare, and we continue to rely on insurance, we’ll see the cost and quality of care deteriorate to an undesirable position.

Facing Adversity – Advice from Psalm 22

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rob satrom facing adversity advice from psalm 22

I get crabby.

Over the last week or so, I’ve had kind of a stomach problem and a kink in my back, basically from being fat and out of shape.

Regardless of why it’s happening, I’m surprised how quickly it can cause me to be irritable, hasty, frustrated, and angry.

It’s not just that I get crabby, it’s that my crabbiness and shortness comes out worst to the ones I love most. The ones I’m usually irritable with are my spouse, my kids, and my friends or family.

I’m reminded, only through reading the Bible and prayer, how thin-skinned I am when it comes to adversity. What’s concerning to me is that my fragility concerning adversity is shown through unbiblical emotions, words, and attitudes.

Think of how silly it must look to the martyrs of old, the truly poor, the starving, the impoverished, and to Jesus, to see me get crabby because I’m tired from insomnia or crabby because I have a belly ache probably associated with over-eating.

I get crabby for the stupidest reasons, and I think that “I’m really tired,” somehow justifies my unkind behavior.

Adversity can often make us lash out in sinful ways.

I was just reading Psalm 22, when the writer is crying out to God, and begging God to save him from the intense adversity he’s facing. The writer makes the case that he’s trusted in God since birth, that he’s been just like the ancient Israelites who were rescued, and then tells the Lord how depleted he is.

You read this, and wonder what David (or the author) was going through, but then you get to verse 17 and 18, and realize that this is a prophetic verse that’s talking not only about the situation the original author was in, but it was also a messianic prophecy and it’s the situation which Jesus would eventually be in.

In other words – this is how JESUS responded to adversity.

How does the writer, and Jesus, respond to the adversity that’s come to them?

Here are 7 Responses to Adversity that we see in in Psalms 22:19-25

7 Responses to Adversity Found in Psalm 22:19-21

1 – Plead with the Lord and call out to him – with your truest voice. Ps 22:19-21

The most basic steps of faith we can show, is to ask God for help, plead with Him to intervene, and make our requests known to Him.

“O Lord, do not say far away! You are my strength, come quickly to my aid! Save me from the sword; spare my precious life from these dogs. Snatch me from the lion’s jaws and from the horns of the wild oxen (his enemies).”

The first response is to ask for what you want! Jesus taught us when He was with His disciples, that if we “ask anything in His name, you will receive it.” Matthew 18:19; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13; John 15:7

If we claim to have faith in Christ, we MUST be in constant dialogue with Him.

When adversity strikes, we need to call in the forces through prayer. Let your requests and needs be known to Him, cast your cares upon Him and He will sustain you!

But what gets in the way? Why do we often neglect the most basic part of faith – requesting God’s help?

For me, it’s the “white noise” of modern life that keeps me from having a mind that meditates on the way of the Lord.

Facebook, internet memes, Youtube, entrepreneurship, family, kids, a messy house, and a host of other things keep my mind in a “neutral position,” and less likely to dialogue with the Lord.

In Psalms 19:14, we are taught how our mindset and spirit should be throughout the day

“may the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be pleasing to you O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”

Our frantic and distracting world can make it difficult for us to meditate upon the Lord, and ensure the words of our mouth are pleasuing to Him.

I’ve found that Praying, then reading the bible, then writing something out about what I read, helps a great deal to focus me throughout the day. But then again, I’m an entrepreneur and have the leisure of making my own schedule.

When I snap myself out of the nonsense things, and focus on God’s word, His story, His plan for me that day, and His way of doing things, it’s hard to be crabby, nasty, and un-Christ-like amongst our small levels of adversity.

So the first response we’re shown is to call out to God, cast our cares upon Him, and remember that God is a PERSON, that we must reach out to, turn to, and make our requests known to with full faith that He will provide.

2 – Proclaim His name to your brothers and sisters Ps 22:22a

Another response to the adversity faced by the writer and Jesus, was to proclaim God’s name to those they are closest to.

We will experience a peace that surpasses understanding when we trust in God.

When we proclaim that Jesus is Lord, how good He is, thank Him, and declare that He is God through both action and words, there’s an alignment to God’s way which will help us.

Every time we align with God’s purposes in heart, deed, word, and thought, we bring goodness to our lives and God’s supernatural gifts. That’s not to say that God’s gifts are somehow withheld from us when we’re acting sinfully, but His desire is for us to live holy lives.

Proclaiming His name to your brothers and sisters might also look like a pro-active personal ministry to those closest to you.

It could be “working on” moving the spiritual needle of your family and friends, closer to the point where they would believe, and place their faith in Christ.

It might also look like proclaiming the name of the Lord among fellow believers.

Whatever the case, a response should be to proclaim, or state, who God is, what He’s done, to those around us, and to declare that we have faith in Him, trust in Him, and love Him.

3 – Praise His name in the great assembly vs. Ps 22:22b

Another way to push through adversity is to assemble with others in the name of Jesus, and Praise His name!

This means that we will praise God, worship Him, and thank Him, in the presence of others.

This seems to allude to a commitment to corporate worship or “going to Church.”

Gathering together to praise God is like medicine to our souls, and God is pleased when we do it.

4 – Praise the Lord as one who fears Him Ps 22:23

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge.” Proverbs 1:9

Fearing God means that we realize that He’s created all things, He owns all things, and He’ll be judging all things. We should absolutely fear being cross with God.

It’s one thing to fear those who can end our mortal life, but we should have a much greater fear of the one who can cast our soul away, into eternal punishment in Hell. (Mt 10:28)

In a flippant, arrogant, and proud world, we should look to the cosmos and realize just how tiny and insignificant we are. Then we should work hard to fathom the power of God.

God is so much bigger and more powerful than us, that the thing He created to illustrate it and teach us about His Holiness, was the ever-expanding cosmos.

When we peer out into the depths of the galaxies and universe, we see a scale that’s completely unfathomable – which is meant to show us just how “other-ly” God is from us.

In Isaiah 55:8-13, God told us through the prophet Isaiah that “as High as the heavens are from the earth, so are [God’s] ways higher than our ways, and [God’s] thoughts higher than our thoughts.”

We should praise God with a healthy fear of Him when we are faced with adversity.

Remember that anything helpful and good will have to come from Him, so we’ll be aligning with God’s ways by praising Him out of the fear of the Lord.

5 – Honor Him and show reverence in light of the great wonders God has done in the past, which we know through God’s word Ps 22:23b-c

“Honor Him, all you descendants of Jacob! Show Him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!”

When we’re faced with adversity, we should remember that those who believe in Jesus, and have placed their faith and trust in Him, are partakers and heirs to the same promises made by God to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the nation of Israel.

Read through the bible and we’ll see that we are part of the greatest and most grand narrative and conspiracy ever.

God intervened throughout history, in many ways. When we start to take that seriously, we will show Him the same honor and reverence that would have been required in the old testament when He passed before people as a fiery tornado, or when God’s presence made the mountains shake before Moses as He passed by so that Moses could experience Him in Exodus 33:22

This is about remembering who God is, by knowing His story and how He has intervened in the past. Read the Bible, and remember that we serve the same God as the Old Testament, which should command our reverence and honor.

This is for our good, because it shows us that God keeps His promises. When we see how he came through time and time again, according to His promises and prophecy, we realize that we worship a God that has given us promises and He will deliver on His word.

The main promise that can help us in adversity is that He will comfort us, that we have eternal life after death, and that death’s full affect was taken away from us by Jesus.

When you understand God’s full story, it’s easier to give reverence and honor to Him when adversity comes our way.

6 – Praise you in the great assembly of corporate worship Ps 22:25a

Earlier we talked about praising God in the congregation or assembly of others, but here we read about the “great” assembly. The idea here is that we’re remembering that we will stand before Jesus at the end of the ages.

In Mathew 25:32, we are taught by Jesus that all people, every single person who’s ever lived, will gather before Jesus at the end of the ages. Then He will separate those who are saved by their faith and trust in God, and those that turned from Him and would not seek Him; like separating goats from the sheep in a flock

This verse should remind us to look to that time, and commit to living in consideration of that moment, and also remember that we will give an account for every word we’ve spoken.

Jesus told us in Matthew 12:36, that we will have to give an answer not only to our actions, but to every word we’ve spoken. That’s because our words are a reflection of our heart, and from the heart comes every action.

Look at what Jesus says about our heart, and our words, in Matthew 12:33-37

33“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

He’s telling us that we need to be careful to align our hearts and beings to God, because we will be judged by the fruit we produce and the words of our mouth. Our mouths are an expression of our heart, and our hearts need to be aligned with Jesus and His ways.

So when we face adversity, it’s important that we live in light of a time when we’ll stand before God at the end of the ages, and give testimony to every single word we’ve said. Therefore, we should hold our tongue.

In fact, look at what James, the brother of Jesus, said about the power our words have and the impact it has on our lives:

James 3:1-12

1Dear brothers and sisters,a not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.
3We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. 4And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. 5In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.
But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. 6And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.b

7People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, 8but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. 9Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. 10And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! 11Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? 12Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.c

7 – Fulfill your vows as a testimony Ps 22:25b

When adversity comes our way, we should commit to serving God.

When we work at everything as though we are serving God, we will be blessed for it.

Follow through in action to everything you’ve committed or promised to do. Be a person of your word, and act honorably.

By acting honorably before other people and God, we will receive peace, honor, and blessing before God for what we do.

This is important to remember, that how we live, at work, in interactions, and amongst everyone, really matters.

Serving God means Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves.

It’s important to think about what it means to Love God with those different facets, our mind, our strength, our soul and mind.

Strength and mind are interesting – particularly when we start auditing our actions and mind for what percentage has been either in service of the Lord, or in meditation upon the Lord.

What percentage of our time do we act as if in service of God?

What percentage of our time do we meditate our minds and hearts on the things of God?

When we REALLY consider this, in light of a 16 hour waking day, what percentage is in service to God?

We should make an audit, and try to convert higher and higher percentages of our time to service of God, and we’ll find that He’ll be pleased.

Conclusion

This was an interesting verse for me, and I’m flabbergasted at how God provides many solutions to our problems. This verse is incredibly complex, particularly when we see that it’s the words of both David and Jesus at the same time. This is JESUS – found in a book of the old testament that was written 1000 years before He was born. Psalm 22 is one of hundreds of mathematically impossible messianic prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. When you line this chapter up with the hundreds of others, we conclude that the chances of Jesus being able to fake His way into “messiah-ship” is preposterous. Jesus was the promised messiah, He rose from the dead, and He has shown us “the way” to live according to His love and truth.

When we face adversity, we need to dive into God’s word, and then live, act, think, and pray in a manner that honors Him. When we do that, He will bless us and take care of us – in eternity, as well as in the physical realm.

How to start your faith in Jesus right. How to be a good Christian

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And without faith it is impossible to please God. For whoever would please God,must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who seek him.
Basic faith 101 – believe in Him and actually relate to Him by talking to Him, confessing and apologizing for sin, and casting your cares upon Him.

In Mark chapter 2, we see men believing so deeply that Jesus has the power to heal him, that they dig a hole in the roof and lower a paralyzed man down to Jesus because there was such a huge crowd blocking the path to Him. Jesus says that this confidence in Jesus power, and their action of coming to Him to use that power, was the faith Jesus wants and this guy was healed of paralysis..

New belief is hard and overwhelming.

If you are a new believer, what you need to know is that while it can get overwhelming sometimes trying to dig through the Bible and do all the right things, all you need to start is simple faith and relationship with God.

What is faith?

Simple faith it’s simply the faith that God exists, Jesus rose from the dead, and that you can come to him to cleanse yourself from your sin.

He’s a person, so talk to Him and cast your cares upon him, tell Him what you need and ask Him to guide you, forgive you, and to give you wisdom.

“Lord, give me both the desire, and the power, to do what pleases you.”

“Lord, help me to know you, and abide in you, so that I can honor you.”

“Lord Jesus, give me wisdom, teach me, and transform me into a version of myself that’s much more like you.”

“Lord, keep me from deliberate sins, don’t let them control me. May the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be pleasing to you.”

The number one behavior that Christians need to have, is to realize that this God is not some distant cosmic force like we find in the marvel universe, rather, He is God that relates to us personally, and promised that if we confess our sins to him, cast our cares upon Him, and ask anything in His name, He will sustain and respond to us.

So if you’re starting to get overwhelmed with your new faith, I highly recommend keeping it very simple. 

Three most basic behaviors for new believers.

1 – Read a little bit of the Bible every day

Start to understand God, and the grand story around you, through the Bible. 

Go to Bible.com and download the Youversion app. Then read a bit. Creating a user account allows to highlight things so you can read later.

Read a new living translation (NLT) Bible or a New International Version (NIV) Bible. This is the most basic rendering of the Bible and is most helpful for people when they are new to their faith. 

Our vernacular has changed so much over the centuries, that the Greek text has been I tepreted into more modern sentence structure and common language so to be accessible to us all.

2 – watch messages and listen to podcasts of great teaching.  

This is like drinking spiritual baby milk and helps you progress up to deeer things of faith

Watch great messages from compelling biblical teachers or listen to one a day. Get the podcast app for your iPhone and listen to one a day. 

Fill your mind with this stuff, meditate on it, require and recode your mind with God’s word.

I would listen to EaglebrookChurch.com, Northpoint.com, and lifeChurch.com

I don’t recommend these guys because they are any better, or more biblical then other teachers. I recommend them because they are excellent communicators, and have built a team around them to make sure that their messages are extremely relevant and helpful while being full of biblical truth. 

You’ll quickly understand if you jump down the rabbit hole of Internet Christianese that Christians have a nasty habit of criticizing any preacher that isn’t their distinct flavor. The articles that criticize get read like crazy, and linked to, which causes Google to serve them up in results and inquiries. The authority needs to be God’s word in your life, but you also need the most basic version of it, like spiritual milk, which teaching from preachers can do.

3 – Get plugged into a bible beleiving church and commits to never missing.

God’s word is your authority, great teachers can help make it simple and clear to you, but it’s critically important that you get plugged into a true community of believers where you can have friendships that are helpful.

Make going to church a top priority, so that 10 years from now, you can look back and know that you have had 500 educational and spiritual moments that help form you into who you are. 

The cumulative positive effect of continuous church attendance is undeniable.

So if you’re just getting started in your faith, remember that you need to just reach out in faith to God and ask for his help, confess your sins and apologize to him, and cast your cares upon him. He’s a personal God and you need to talk with Him because He’s right there with you now, as you read this – and He know’s your inner most thoughts and secrets already.  

That’s what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and then you need to love your neighbor as yourself.

As you read God’s word, hopefully you will get the desire and the power to do what pleases God.

Faith without obedience, or actions, is a dead faith.

Holiness, humility, service, and obedience, are all things that please God. Generously giving also pleases God. This does not mean you have a checklist of things in order to have God’s love. Rather, In order to honor God, and love Him with all your strength, you must obey what He taught us, paying particular attention to the New Testament. So don’t neglect abstaining from sin and trying to live a holy life, because those who are not holy, will struggle and languish and not have a real and saving faith.

When we go on sinning deliberately after coming to Jesus and knowing that our actions are sinful, it’s critical that we enslave ourselves to ebediemce and toil away at putting to death our sinful actions. We should have a struggle going on inside us, where we are fighting to obey God and not sin. But there’s also tremendous joy in obedience! Our lives will flourish, we’ll experience Gods peace, and He will bless us!

I pray this is helpful, and I hope to see you on heaven one day!

Authentic Faith is not merely talk, but actually living a new life. 3 ways to check an authentic faith.

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RobSatrom.com 1 Corinthians 4:20
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Saying one thing and doing another – Checking our faith.

Story:

I smiled at the couple, and said “retirement has become tricky for many baby boomers, because people keep borrowing money to buy toys, which causes them to withdraw too high of a percentage from their portfolio in retirement.”  This baby boomer couple then replied with “oh, that’s not us,” we love Dave Ramsey and we hate debt.

I had been connecting with this baby boomer couple to discus their retirement plan, and I was encouraged to hear them say they don’t have debt since their retirement savings was really low.

“Let’s see what you’ve done for retirement so far” I said.

What unfolded next was astounding, and yet all-too-common.  While they gave lip service to disliking debt, their balance sheet was riddled with consumer debt.

While they said they agreed with anti-debt principles, their lives did not show the evidence of living it out.

Saying one thing and doing another is something we’re all apt at doing, isn’t it?

I hypocritically say one thing, and do another, all the time…. Like when I chastise my wife for looking at her phone too much….

When my wife is looking at her phone when I don’t think she should, I cynically say “Smeeeeeagol…. ” and then cough like Andy Serkis, “Gollum Gollum,”  because I think she’s treating her phone like “the precious” in the story “The Lord of the Rings.”

I’ll chastise her about looking at her phone too much, but then wayyyy too often she’ll catch me doing the exact same thing and mockingly say “smeagol, smeagoooooollll”

I’m sick – I do hypocritical things all the time.  I’ll say one thing and then I’ll live another.

It’s unhelpful when we’re hypocrites in life, but when our FAITH is just a bunch of talk, rather than authentic, we’re in deep trouble. 

Today I was reading in first 1 Corinthian chapter 4, where Paul is confronting the church in Corinth because they were picking sides as either being a disciple of Paul or Apollos. Long story short, they’re fracturing themselves because of who’s teachings they preferred.

This petty nonsense causes Paul to realize that there are probably people that are just giving lip-service to a faith in Christ. 

Paul tells them that he’s going to visit them and sniff out the imposters.  He writes:

“But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power. For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:19-20

This means that a hallmark of authentic faith is one that’s not just talked about, but is evident by a new life being lived.  This is hard to understand, because salvation doesn’t come from doing good works, but authentic faith is shown by good works.

We’re not saved by what we do, we’re only saved by faith.

We are clearly taught that faith alone saves us, not our own works. But we need to remember that we are saved through “justification,” meaning we are no longer on the hook for the penalty of breaking God’s law.

When we are to the point where we genuinely “confess with our mouths that “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we are saved.” (Romans 10:9)

We all break God’s law by sinning, making us guilty, and the punishment for our sin is death.

We will all face a judgement. and we will all stand guilty before God. except for those of us who’s penalty has been taken care of by Jesus.

Jesus’ free gift to us, available through faith, is Him “taking care of” the penalty for our guilty sentence.

Jesus taking care of our guilty sentence is called “justification,’ as He “atones” for our sins, reconciling us to God the father and re-instating a right-standing relationship with Him.

How do we partake in this justification?  by faith.

Faith is the confidence in, and authentic confession of, that “Jesus is Lord,” and believing in our heart that God raised Him from the dead.”

I’m trying to be precise here, because it’s important to know that although Peter says that the “kingdom of God is not just talk, but power”  we are only saved through faith.

But authentic faith is marked by a changed life, or a physical manifestation” to the true conviction of authentic faith.

If our faith is real, it will show in the way we live.

James, the brother of Jesus said it this way, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26)

That’s what Peter is saying, that these people might be just a bunch of talk, but their lives will show the power of God working in them as a result of faith.

Our transformed lives are a testament, or judicial argument, for an authentic faith.

“For it is God at work within us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13)

That last verse means that God’s the one who works inside of our mind, spirit, body, and circumstances, to give us both the power and the desire, to do what pleases Him.

Paul wants to do what he can to help these “spritual babies” mature into a “full experience of Christ”, in the same way that parents want to raise children that can have a full experience os a whole and full life.  Paul literally says that he’s these people’s spiritaul “father”, and it’s this fatherly love and approach that causes him to remind these rebellious children that perhaps he will come “with a rod, or with a spirit of love and gentleness” (1 Cor 4:21)

True faith, will eventually have the desire to mature and grow into a full experience of Christ. It will also have a steady trajectory, fueled by both the fear of the Lord and the hope of His promises, 

We should fear God, while also being filled with Hope because of His true Promises.

“For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20)

This piece of God’s word should cause us to stop at examine our lives.

Every day we have to die to our old self, and abide in Christ

Ultimately, God is working within us both to will and to work for his good pleasure. That means it is God who gives us the desire and the power to do what pleases him. While our words, thoughts, and hearts are important, the ultimate test of our faith, is how we are living our lives.

It’s really hard sometimes to stop sinning, in fact, Paul, the guy who saw Jesus face to face in a miraculous encounter and wrote half the Bible,  says that even he wrestles with his ability to stop sinning. (Romans 7:15)

Love is what Jesus wants us to be marked by.

Jesus said “a new commandment I give you, to love one another, just as I have loved you, you are to love one another. By this, all people would know that you are my disciples. If you have love for one another To love one another. By this, all people would know that you are my disciples. If you have love for one another ” (John 13:34-36)

To determine if you have an authentic faith, examine your life to see if you are obeying the number one Commandment: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said that every single commandment in the entire old and New Testament can be summarized by this one prime command.

 

Three Ways our Life can show God’s Power, rather than just be talk:

  1. Use God’s word as the standard for your life
  2. Seek feedback from other believers who are wise.
  3. Invite God to expose your heart, and show you where you’re missing the mark.

 

1 – Using God’s word as a measurement of your life

God’s word is a powerful tool, which exposes our innermost heart and our desires.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword. It exposes our innermost desires as though separating bone from marrow, and

Faith comes from hearing, that is hearing the word of God.

Faith comes from hearing, that is hearing the word of God.

While scripture was written by people, it is inspired by God and is the supreme authority for all things in faith and conduct.  If I have or might not teach you how to repair a refrigerator, but it certainly shows us how to be the type of person that makes for great refrigerator repair man. Every morning it is really helpful to grow your faith by reading a little snippet of God’s word. The easiest way to do this, is to read one chapter of something in the New Testament every day, one chapter from Proverbs, and one chapter from Psalms. I would also recommend that you get through the narrative of the Old Testament as well. Perhaps every other day you add in one chapter from the Old Testament.

Something in the New Testament every day, one chapter from Proverbs, and one chapter from Psalms. I would also recommend that you get through the narrative of the Old Testament as well. Perhaps every other day you add in one chapter from the Old Testament.

When you go to read the Bible. I equate it a lot like a baby and it’s diet. When you first get started, it’s really important to use a version of the Bible that is in your own vernacular and it’s easy to read. The new living translation or an LT, is very easy for us to read  and provides us with God’s word in our common for macular. It’s not that God’s word has changed at all as some people would argue, it’s that our vernacular has changed so drastically over time. Just trying to read the founding fathers documents, and you’ll realize that just 200 years ago, things are very different in terms  of communication. If things were so different 200 years ago, think of how different it was 2000 or 5000 years ago. Wild and LTE version of the Bible is very easy to read, VESV and the new King James version are much more accurate to the original documents.

To the original documents.

The most important thing is that we take in gods word every day in a little bit so that it can uninstall the corrupt operating systems in our life, and install new desires and programs.  It might mean that you have to go into a room before you start your checklist in the morning, and just read. It could mean that you use that you version app to listen to the Bible on your way to work, rather than listening to the radio. No matter what, God’s word will help you in life and this should not be something that you constantly feel as a burden, but a promise that you should caption with God.

Something that you constantly feel as a burden, but a promise that you should caption with God.

God promised that his word will improve our lives, but not necessarily keep us from trouble or persecution from the world. Our marriages, friendships, Relationships, jobs, and everything else, will have a greater opportunity to flourish when we are applying God’s words to our life.

Relationships, jobs, and everything else, will have a greater opportunity to flourish when we are applying gods words to our life.

Invite Wise feedback

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Do loved ones recommend you quit drinking?

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Fools have no interest in understanding, they only want to air their own opinions.

that proverb was written by Solomon, in response to God providing unprecedented insight and knowledge to him.

Drinking doesn’t make you go to hell, and only placing our faith and trust in Jesus, as our only means of salvation, can save us.

I’ve been an arrogant and self-seeking stubborn man many times in my life. 

When I look back at when I stubbornly refused to quit drinking, I never could have known the goodness in Christ and momentum that God wanted to build in my life.

Alcohol kills momentum in your life – no matter what.

Read books, workout, clean the house, encourage your kids and spouse, these are not typically the traits of a drinking person.

But back to this meme – if anyone in your life is telling you that you should stop drinking, I assure you that it’s time to quit.

Why? Because there’s a better version of you just waiting to be unleashed, and this person sees it and believes it’s possible.

Sobriety does great things for everyone that seeks it, even if people don’t have a “drinking problem,” I firmly believe sobriety can be helpful to all people, and it’s all about building momentum.

If your a young person, flee from sexual sin and drinking, your future self will thank you