Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Only one Resolution this year!


Happy New Year fellow bloggers, family and friends, I hope 2009 will bring you many blessings and victories over life’s trials and tribulations. As we approach the New Year I have been thinking of what kind of resolutions I will be making. Since I seldom keep my resolutions, this year I thought I would come up with one that would be easy to keep and something that is very important to keep as a Follower of Christ . Actually it's something so simple that I am really surprised I didn’t think of it before. It came to me while Joseph (my Sunday school teacher) was preaching about loving one another and trying to show what being a Christian looks like. That’s it! I got it. Now I don’t need to come up with a bunch of resolutions that I know I probably won’t keep. I just need to follow the greatest Commandment that Jesus gave to us “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” he also says “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” Matthew 22:37, 39 (ESV) That’s it, this is what I will be focusing on this year. Of course I will set some personal goals for myself but I think I will have a great year if I just follow these simple yet powerful Commandments Jesus has given us. Again friends I wish you and your families a very Happy New Year. Peace and Grace be with you all…Chris

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ready to Serve!

Friends,

Every unit it the Army has a unit saying or catch phrase used to identify that unit or group. Our Moto happens to be “Ready to Serve”. I think we got that name because we serve and support the Soldiers who are on the battlefield. As Christians we are also taught to serve one another. I think Jesus gave us the best example of that. In the past I have always wanted to Serve and do something for others but must most of the time I would wait to the last minute and then not do it at all. Procrastination is definitely one of my biggest weaknesses. But this past month I have really been blessed to be able to help others and Serve my community. In November I was given the opportunity to volunteer for a swim meet for special needs children and this past week I had the privilege to participate in our local Christmas parade and play the role of a Sheppard in our Church Christmas program. The cool thing was that I had been feeling down about not being able to participate in these activities. You see the procrastination monkey had jumped on my back and I didn’t even sign up to be a part in these events. But that’s when I received my blessing. Within a couple of days the guys who were organizing these activities called on me for a favor. And I have to say it was them who did me a favor and gave me a chance to help serve others. Thanks guys. So my question is, are you ready to serve? Will you be ready when you get the call? I hope I will. My goal for 2009 is to be more proactive and seek opportunities to serve other instead of waiting for the opportunities to come to me.
Take care friends…Chris

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Being a great witness!


Friends,

It’s that time of year again when we get to put on our best behavior and go visit family for the holidays. Well this year will be different for me because this year I feel I am really living for Christ and not just going through the motions. But the question I have to ask myself is; am I really being a good witness for our Lord and Savior! How will my actions and the way I treat my wife and children show my dedication to walking with Jesus? I know how poor of a witness I have been in the past, but this year I really want to try to reach some of my family who may not know Jesus. I want to let them see first hand how Jesus has saved me and try to share that with them. I also want to try to witness to my Step Father and some cousins on his side of the family that I have never met. We touched on this a little bit in Church this morning. The title of the Sermon this morning was “Real Righteousness” and Brother Steve was talking about some of the choices that Joseph had to make to reveal what was needed to share God’s gift. I will be borrowing some notes from the handout, so for my Westwood family you might recognize some of these statements.

1. We must use compassion instead of condemnation.

How many times have we condemned someone after seeing or hearing of them doing something wrong? A lot of times we do this to our own family members. I know I have done this on many occasions. Someone will ask how my son is doing in school and I will take that opportunity to let them know how bad he is doing. Then afterward I really feel bad and wish I would of told them how wonderful I think he is and how blessed I feel to have him as my son. It seems like when ever we get together with family and friends we seem to complain more than we give praise for what’s going on in our life. Paul wrote to Titus and said “speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, be gentle and show perfect courtesy toward all people. 4 For ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another” Titus 3:2-3 ESV

2. We must have faith instead of fear.

Where do you need to choose faith over fear in your live? Family, Friends, on the Job?
Do you have a family member or co-worker who you know is not saved and are afraid to share the Gospel with them? I have, I have always tried to be a cool dad to my grown daughters and when I recently got back on the right path with Jesus I was hesitant about sharing the Gospel with them. Then one day while talking to my youngest daughter, I told her I made some big mistakes in my life and decided to give my life to the Lord. I told her to check out my MySpace and blog. The whole time I was afraid of what she might think about me but then I realized that her opinion or anyone else’s for that matter wasn’t important when it came to my salvation. Romans 1:16 says “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” The same goes for my friends and co-workers. I know who I am in Christ and really that’s all that matters.


3. We must be willing to sacrifice instead of seeking satisfaction

Friends do you ever get tired of sacrificing yourself all the time and being a servant to everyone? I know I do. But then I think of all the people who have sacrificed and been a servant for me and it makes me feel blessed to be able to do something for someone else. In Mark 5:28 Peter tells Jesus “We have left everything to follow you!” and Jesus replies “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mothers or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age and in the age to come, eternal life” But friends I think not only will we be rewarded in this life and in heaven we will also be a great witness to the non-believers. I feel it is so important that we set a good example for everyone so others might know Christ.

I will close with a phrase I got from the service this morning “we need to make the gospel attractive to others” Friends I hope I can follow this advice this week while spending time with my extended family. Please pray for me as I will be keeeping you all in my prayers. Grace be with you…Chris

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Book give away!

Friends,
Trevin Wax over at Kindom People has an awesome opertunity to win some free books. It looks like a pretty cool deal and he also has a great site so check him out when you get a chance.
Thanks...Chris


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

" I do not even judge myself "



Friends while watching TV today I came across a preacher who was teaching from 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 ESV

3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

Friends how many times have we let guilt and condemnation keep us from feeling worthy of Gods grace and love? How many times have we judged ourselves and let the guilt keep us from our relationship with our Father. I have on many occasions. It seems like when I am really on fire for Jesus and want to do all these things I start feeling guilty and unworthy of Gods grace and mercy. I know this is not the case and that Gods grace is new everyday but sometimes I can’t shake the feeling of being unworthy. Talking to my Brother Tony helps out a lot. He often has to remind me of Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Reading this does give me a lot of comfort but I would love to be able to put up a firewall or minefield and keep these thoughts out. How do you all deal with these feelings? I think from now on when I start feeling this way I will get even deeper in the word and reach out even more to my Brother and Sisters in Christ for guidance. How do you guys feel about this? Take care…Chris

Monday, December 1, 2008


From “Black Friday” to “Advent”


Friends for the past couple of years I have been practicing a new American tradition called “Black Friday”, which of course is the big shopping day after Thanksgiving. Legend has it that the name derives from “Black” being the day stores are finally out of the red and “Friday” being the day it falls on. This year was no different, except for the fact that I took my Brother and the kids along for the adventure. But somehow this year I wasn’t really satisfied with my experience. Don’t get me wrong I had a great time with my Bro and the kids; it was a time to bond and do something crazy! But there was something missing and I couldn’t figure it out.

But then it hit me. The following Sunday evening we had a group from Nashville performing a Christmas musical at our Church and telling stories of the excitement leading up to the birth of Jesus. That’s it! Jesus was missing. We stayed up for 36 hours, went to over 20 stores and didn’t see Jesus anywhere! Well maybe at the Life Way store, but you get my drift here. After all he is the reason for the season. But somehow he got put on the back burner. Somehow he didn’t get put out with all the Christmas displays and sale posters. But, he was in his house on Sunday night. And that’s when I realized that I had fallen for the pagan aspect of Christmas. The Santa and the toys part of the story.

So the question for me was how do I celebrate the birth of our Lord and play down the rest of the Christmas hype? And then while reading a blog from the Internet Monk I got my answer “Advent”. Now I am sure a lot of people haven’t heard of this tradition so I will post a couple of links and give a brief description at the end of the blog. The funny thing is my wife who happens to be German and had been raised in the Lutheran Church had practiced this tradition for years. I just thought it was a German thing and didn’t really understand what it was all about. But now that I have learned more about it I am ready to bring back this old tradition and celebrate the birth of our King in a new way. How will you celebrate the birth of Jesus this year? Do you feel like slowly but surely “Christ” is being taken out of Christmas? I do….take care my friends…Chris


Advent (from Latin, adventus, meaning “coming towards”) is a four-week season of preparation for Christmas. The First Sunday of Advent (November 30) marks the beginning of the church’s year.

Advent and Christmas focus both on the past—the coming of Jesus as an infant born into poverty in Bethlehem, and the future—the coming of Christ in glory to fulfill God’s loving purposes for humanity. This past and future orientation is reflected in the readings appointed in the church for each Sunday of Advent.

Advent this year comes at a time of anxiety and hope. Many of us are struggling and are afraid for our future. It's not easy to hope when times are bad. Mary, as she waited for the birth of her child into an uncertain world, knew how to live with hope—to believe the promises of God. So Advent is a time when we wait, with Mary, for the birth of new life into a world living in shadows.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

WALL-E and the Red Box



Friends,
You just don’t know how excited I was when I went to Wal-Mart the other day and found out they had just put in a Red Box near the entrance. Now for those of you who have never heard of a Red Box. It is a DVD rental vending machine. You pick your movie from a touch screen, swipe your debt/credit card and the movie magically appears through a slot on the side. The great thing about it is the cost and convenience. The cost is a dollar for a day and of course it is always open. Sorry Blockbuster, Movie Gallery and Netflicks..I think they got you beat. Anyway the Movie I rented was called WALL-E, which was a big hit in the theaters. Here is a brief synopsis that I borrowed from Roger Moore, a movie critic from the Orlando Sentinel

“Some 700 years in the future, Earth is a vast wasteland. Literally, garbage clogs the ruined streets of ruined cities. Humans have so trashed the joint that they've abandoned the planet for a gigantic spaceship, leaving robots behind to clean up the mess.The last one working on this project is WALL-E, a cute little Waste Allocation Load Lifter, Earth-class. He's a trash compactor with eyes, gears, a fading finish and a "directive." He compacts trash cubes that he then stacks into vast obelisks of junk.WALL-E has a pet roach (roaches will survive the apocalypse) and a curiosity about the people who left all these Frisbees, toasters, VHS tapes, cigarette lighters (and Luxo lamps) behind. And WALL-E is lonely.

Then a spaceship drops a "probe" robot, a sleek, white, floating dynamo with a ray gun and a temper. She's called EVE, and her "directive" is finding signs of life. WALL-E, who whiles away his off-hours watching song-and-dance numbers from Hello, Dolly! on tape, is in love.Events conspire to hurl them back to EVE's mother ship, where WALL-E is treated to the future of the human race. We're all clueless, zoned-out sedentary fatties, hooked on video and cell phones, sipping super-sized drinks. It's a vision of Wal-Mart Nation run amok.”

I won’t spoil the rest of the story but I will try to give you some observations I have from a spiritual perspective. First it is obvious that the humans have destroyed the planet and have not been good Stewarts of what God has created for them. Secondly in the movie and now in real life, it seems like we are relying on machines and automations to take over a lot of things humans once did. I.E Red Box, Auto manufacturing, on-line banking, automated phone operators, ect..ect..

Now don’t get me wrong I am for all of these things and enjoy the convenience of them but I have to wonder if someday we will be like these humans on this spaceship and let the computers and machines take care of all of our needs. Is technology distancing us from the wonder of creation? Does that distance cripple us spiritually? Will we be like the humans in the “Matrix” and have thoughts implanted into our brains like in “Total Recall” I think Jesus will come back before that happens but sometimes you have to wonder when you see movies like this. It’s funny, when I was a kid I use to love watching the Jetsons, now we are seeing a lot of that technology being used today. How do you all feel about this?
On a positive note the main character WALL-E shows what it means to be a true and faithful servant. He also exemplifies John 15:13 CMB “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends” I will close by saying WALL-E is a great movie and I highly recommend it! There are a lot of lessons to be learned. Kids will love WALL-E and EVE and grown-ups will appreciate the messages being conveyed. Let me know you take on the movie.. Later
Chris,

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Family Snuggle


For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to make it a point to snuggle with Heidi every morning before we get up to start our day. I will usually get up about 20 minutes before we have to get ready for work and just snuggle and tell her I love her. But this morning I decided that we need to include our Son. So this morning we went into his room and woke him up, gave him a hug and told him we loved him. This was very special for all of us because our usual routine would be “Hey wake up, your late for School” then everyone would scramble to get ready for their day. This morning made me realize how far we have distanced ourselves over the years. I remember when Cj was little, we would snuggle and love on him all the time but as he got older and more mature, we slowed down and would just give him an occasional hug and pat on the back. We still tell him we love him everyday but our little boy has become a young independent man. We know he still loves us and needs us but it’s different now that he has matured and is becoming an adult. I am very proud of my children but have to ask myself “What happened to my little babies?” Their all grown up and have matured. I know that every parent struggles with phenomenon. I guess that’s why we look forward to becoming Grandparents.

I say all this because I wonder if God feels the same way about us. Does he feel like we have grown away from him, especially after becoming more spiritually mature? Are we like some teenagers who think they know everything and just come to him when we are in trouble? In Mathew 18:3-4 Jesus says “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. I know this goes against our human nature but what an ideal! Come to our Father like we were a child. That’s awesome! How do you guys feel about this? How can we snuggle up with our Father and have a family hug? Give this some though and let me know.

Chris,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Election That Matters

Friends I wish I had written this but I found it at the Pilgrim Bible Church
http://www.pilgrimbiblechurch.org/ This ties in with what my Brother has blogged about at http://kingdombard.wordpress.com/ Enjoy…Chris

It seems that our entire nation is captivated by yet another presidential election. In what seems to be one of the most politically charged moments in history, many have suggested that this upcoming election is the most important one of this generation. Because of this, nearly every venue of the media is equally charged, yielding a continual flow of opinion columns, interviews and talk show chatter. With all the exposure given to this year’s presidential election, perhaps some of you are thinking: “I’ll be glad when it’s all over!” Well it will be over soon, but this does not mean that the political tensions in our nation will necessarily end with the election. And beyond our own nation we must admit that our world is filled with many difficulties and trials that often fuel the political rancor here at home. But the problems of our world and our nation are not essentially new. In fact, all of human history is rife with the trials of war and terrorism. And because of this we should ask the question: “Can America, or any nation on earth, experience peace and safety forever?” It is an important question that is on the hearts and minds of many today and should be addressed by the following 3 principles:

1. We must understand what true peace is: Many will define peace as the mere absence of war, terrorism or any form of dissension among men. While this may seem to be true, it is not. Men may enjoy such peace with other men for a season, but it is temporal and does not establish the more important truth of man’s enmity with God: Because of the universal sin of mankind (Romans 3:23) men are at enmity with God (Romans 5:10), they are “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3), there is none who does good – “not even one” (Romans 3:12), “the intent of his heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 9:21), “their feet are swift to shed blood” (Romans 3:15) therefore “destruction and misery are in their paths” and the “path of peace they have not known” (Romans 3:16-17). Man’s enmity with God is the very source of all enmity which we see in this world. Trying to solve the latter problem by ignoring the former is like treating a cancerous tumor with soap and water: Topical treatments are useless, for until the source of illness is plucked out there will be no cure. Spiritually speaking, this is the very problem that plagues mankind, but the good news is this: “...God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). It is crucial to understand that Jesus Christ is our peace (Ephesians 2:14) if we confess our sin and believe in Him: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). Men can have true peace, if they trust the Savior and thereby have peace with God through Christ.

2. We must understand something about presidential elections: It is crucial that we understand the concept of election, not as defined by the votes cast by Americans, but as defined by God in the Bible. When we speak of election, we are speaking of the choice of an individual and this is exactly what we do when we cast our vote in election years. But there is a much more important discussion concerning election in the Bible, and it is this: All history is governed by God’s sovereign election: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9-10), therefore Kings and rulers are established by His authority: To Pilate “Jesus answered, ‘You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.’“ And finally, those who are ordained to rule, ultimately serve God’s sovereign will: “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1). In the end, the election that matters is the sovereign election of God.

3. We must understand how the story of human history ends: Many kings and presidents will come and go, but there is only One who will reign supremely without end: Jesus Christ the risen Lord Who is exalted “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 2:21). His kingdom “is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion endures throughout all generations” (Psalm 145:13). The kingdoms of this earth will constantly face the trials of poverty, warfare and pain but in the eternal kingdom of the Son of God “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). And who will dwell with Christ in His kingdom? – those who believe in Jesus Christ the Savior, Who died for sinners in order that those who believe in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life and everlasting peace with God.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

God is in Control!

Friends,

While reading the local news on the internet the other day I came across a story talking about the Mercedes Plant in Vance Alabama offering buyouts to it’s 4,000 employees. This story really hit home because for the last three years I was in the hiring process at Mercedes. I took my test, interviewed, took the drug screening and even did the training. For the longest time I was wondering why I never heard back from them, then it hit me. God was in control, and he has been for a while. If I would of got hired then, there would be a good chance I would be looking for a another job right now. Friends God did the same thing for me eight years ago.

When I first came to Birmingham I was working in a metal recycling plant as a maintenance supervisor. Little did I know that the company I worked for was in financial trouble. Well ten months after I was hired I was let go. So here I was unemployed, in a new city and I had just bought a house. I had some money in savings so I wasn’t too worried but I still felt a little uneasy. Well to shorten the story, a couple of months later I applied for a maintenance position at Sloss Industries and was interviewed by a supervisor who also happened to be a veteran and also a Baptist preacher. Of course I got the job and as it turned out I made more money and worked in a much better environment. The thing that really blew my mind was that later that year the company that let me go, went out of business and shut down. Friends this is just another example of how God works in our lives.

So to finish my story I worked in that job for two years and then got a phone call and was asked if I wanted to return to active duty. Another blessing! I was able to go back in the Army and finish out my career and retire. Now I am just waiting for God to open the next door for me. I can always return to my previous job but I feel God has bigger plans for me. How has God blessed you in your life? What kind of unusual circumstances put you where you are today? Like I tell my wife “we are here for a reason” God put us in our neighborhood, our Church and our Job and I am so glad I have trusted him and let him take control.

Chris,

Friday, October 31, 2008

You've Got Mail!




Friends I love getting forwarded e-mails about good things that happen in peoples lives but I am really bothered by the latest trend of forwarding stories that are just not true. I recently received and e-mail saying that in “1987 Oliver North testified in the Iran Contra hearings that he had a $60,000 dollar security system installed to protect his family against Osama Bin Laden, and that the senator who was questioning him was none other than Al Gore”. People this story was totally false and an outright lie. But the problem for me is that we continue to forward this kind propaganda to everyone we know thinking we are doing a good thing and helping our cause. But the fact is we are spreading lies and mistruths. We assume its ok because we feel we are on the right side, but my friends a lie is a lie and can never be justified. One of the biggest things that bother me about our presidential campaign is that both sides are not being honest and exaggerating the truth. And the sad fact is if they are lying to us now they will continue to lie to us when they take office.

Another pet peeve of mine are these e-mails that I keep getting telling how a bad thing happened to the person who didn’t forward it or broke the chain. Or how you will be blessed if you forward it to ten people in the next ten minutes. Friends these e-mails are really superstitions and tools of the Enemy that should be deleted as soon as you get them. Remember God is in control and only he knows his plans for you. Blessings come from our Father not e-mails! Do you want him to watch over and protect you and your family? We all do, so why not just pray for that? Do you want to be blessed? Well get on your knees and ask God for a blessing and make sure to thank him when you receive it. Friends I have been very blessed in my life and not one of these blessing has come from e-mails or the internet.

Friends the internet has become a great tool for us believers to spread the “Good News” and fellowship with others but we must take responsibility for what we say and what we forward to other people. I believe when forward an e-mail you are just as responsible for the content as the person who created it. If you’re not sure about the accuracy of the facts, do like my wife Heidi did and put a disclaimer at the beginning stating you’re not sure it’s true and to research it for yourself. Or just delete it. I hope I haven’t stepped on anybodies toes out there but I am sure you have received some of these e-mails yourself.

Take care yall….

Chris

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jesus is not a "diet" but a lifestyle





How many times have you heard this expression? “It’s not a diet but a lifestyle”. This is what a lot of people say when they are trying to lose weight and want you to think they have changed their eating habits. I thought about this a couple of weeks ago while preparing for my semi annual physical fitness test and weigh in. You see being in the Army I am required to maintain my weight and be able to pass the Army physical fitness test, which consist of running 2 miles, and doing pushups / sit-ups in an allotted time.

My training program for this may seem kind of extreme and risky, but what I have been doing for the past 6 years is waiting until a couple of weeks before the big test to start watching what I eat and exercising. And for those who know me well, know how I struggle with procrastination. And it never fails every time I start my program I wish I would have never stopped . Well that’s when the thought came to me. Sometimes I feel we do the same thing with our walk with Jesus. Sometimes we will only exercise with Jesus when we have a big test in our lives. And when the test is over we resort back to the same ole same. We will start out on fire for Jesus but after awhile the fire slowly dies down. Then we let other things come into our lives that bear no fruit and take up the time that we could use in our walk with Jesus.

I personally have tried to keep Jesus in my daily life but will admit it’s been a struggle staying motivated and focused. The good thing about my latest attempt is that I have my Brother Tony walking with me and keeping me encouraged and accountable. (Thanks bro!) I also have been sharing my ideals through blogs and fellowship with other Christians. So this time I am committed to making Jesus a lifestyle change rather than a quick fix or diet. My goal is to try to get in the word everyday and work on my prayer time. What works in your spiritual walk? Does the procrastination monkey stay on your back? Do you guys have any thoughts, ideals or suggestions? Peace and love…Chris

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rock City!










Hey everyone,




We just got back from a great time in Guntersville and Rock City. Friday night Heidi and I went on a marriage retreat that was held at the Hampton Inn on Lake Guntersville. The retreat was put on by Westside Baptist Church in Jasper. We had about 13 couples and the ages ranged from 23 to 83. A good time was had by all. We started working through the book 6 secrets to a lasting love by Dr Gary and Barbara Rosberg. Heidi and I really learned a lot and we plan on going to the next one in 6 months. After the retreat we drove up to Rock City and met Tony and family. We had lunch and then checked out Rock City Gardens. So needless to say it has been a busy 24 hours. Now we are trying to get the house ready for a get together for the youth group. They will be coming over Sunday night for a get together. Well I better unpack and get some cleanfing down. Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The World hates the Disciples

The World Hates the Disciples John 15:18-25

18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.'[b] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. 23He who hates me hates my Father as well. 24If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.”

Friends,

I came across this scripture a couple of weeks ago while reading the book of John. This particular verse really hit home with me because of a situation going on in my personal life. Earlier this year my wife and I were going through some rough times in our marriage and were on the verge of Divorce. But through the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior we have managed to put our marriage and family back together and start living for the lord. A lot of our Christian friends and family were very excited for us and gave all the glory to our Heavenly Father. But the heartbreaking thing was the reaction of some of my wife’s co-workers and friends. After finding out she was giving our marriage another chance they turned their backs on her and were even down right hateful to her. One even called her an “idiot”

This really upset Heidi and it also bothered me as well. This was one of those times where we really had to dig deep into the Word and pray for understanding. That’s when I realized that these people were obviously not Christians and that they needed our prayers also. I was reading in the book of John (15: 18-25) and these verses revealed everything! These people were living in the “World”; verse 19 says “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you” That explained everything. Before they thought she was one of them, a fellow slave to the World and the Flesh. But when she took a stand and showed the example that Christ had taught her and put in her heart they realized she was not one of them. She was one of the chosen ones. One who believed in Love, Mercy and Grace and most of all forgiveness.

This attitude really bothers unbelievers. They don’t understand how you can still love and forgive people after they have hurt you. They just don’t get the core values of our faith. The sad fact is few of them ever will. But the best thing we can do is show them the example of Christ, and keep praying for them. People are getting saved at all stages of their life. It took nearly 40 years to finally get me going in the right direction with my walk. So don’t give up on them. Take care my Friends..Thank you for all your love and support..Love your Brother in Jesus…Chris

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Lawyers Party

THE LAWYER'S PARTY

Friends this is a letter my Uncle Ronald Winter shared with me. It's scary when you think of all the power the Lawyers in Washington D.C have and how our individual and States rights are slowing being taken away. Needless to say this upcoming election will be very important! We need alot of prayer!...your brother in Christ.. Chris


The Democrat Party has become the Lawyers' Party. Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodam Clinton are lawyers. Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama are lawyers. John Edwards, the other former Democrat candidate for president, is a lawyer, and so is his wife, Elizabeth. Every Democrat nominee since 1984 went to law school (although Gore did not graduate). Every Democrat vice- presidential nominee since 1976, except for Lloyd Bentsen, went to law school. Look at the Democrat Party in Congress: the Majority Leader in each house is a lawyer.The Republican Party is different. President Bush and Vice President Cheney were not lawyers, but businessmen. The leaders of the Republican Revolution were not lawyers. Newt Gingrich was a history professor; Tom Delay was an exterminator; and, Dick Armey was an economist. House Minority Leader Boehner was a plastics manufacturer, not a lawyer. The former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is a heart surgeon.Who was the last Republican president who was a lawyer? Gerald Ford, who left office 31 years ago and who barely, won the Republican nomination as a sitting president, running against Ronald Reagan in 1976.

The Republican Party is made up of real people doing real work. The Democrat Party is made up of lawyers. Democrats mock and scorn men who create wealth, like Bush and Cheney, or who heal the sick, like Frist, or who immerse themselves in history, like Gingrich.The Lawyers' Party sees these sorts of people, who provide goods and services that people want, as the enemies of America. And, so we have seen the procession of official enemies, in the eyes of the Lawyers' Party, grow.Against whom do Hillary and Obama rail? Pharmaceutical companies, oil companies, hospitals, manufacturers, fast food restaurant chains, large retail businesses, bankers, and anyone producing anything of value in our nation. (They try to demonize these businesses in the eyes of the public through the use of a controlled media and thus get approval of their deceptive regulatory legislation {jrw}.)

This is the natural consequence of viewing everything through the eyes of lawyers. Lawyers solve problems by successfully representing their clients, in this case the American people. Lawyers seek to have new laws passed, they seek to win lawsuits, they press appellate courts to overturn precedent, and lawyers always parse language to favor their side. (They also try to get persons of like mind and agenda appointed to the courts to further their control {jrw}.)Confined to the narrow practice of law, that is fine. But it is an awful way to govern a great nation. When politicians, as lawyers, begin to view some Americans as clients and other Americans as opposing parties, then the role of the legal system in our life becomes all-consuming. Some Americans become 'adverse parties' of our very government. We are not all litigants in some vast social class-action suit. We are citizens of a republic that promises us a great deal of freedom from laws, from courts, and from lawyers.

Today, we are drowning in laws **; we are contorted by judicial decisions; we are driven to distraction by omnipresent lawyers in all parts of our once private lives. America has a place for laws and lawyers, but that place is modest and reasonable, not vast and unchecked. When the most important decision for our next president is whom he will appoint to the Supreme Court, the role of lawyers and the law in America is too big. When lawyers use criminal prosecution as a continuation of politics by other means, as happened in the lynching of Scooter Libby and Tom Delay, then the power of lawyers in America is too great. When House Democrats sue America in order to hamstring our efforts to learn what our enemies are planning to do to us, then the role of litigation in America has become crushing.We cannot expect the Lawyers' Party to provide real change, real reform, or real hope in America…

Most Americans know that a republic in which every major government action must be blessed by nine unelected judges is not what Washington intended in 1789. Most Americans grasp that we cannot fight a war when ACLU lawsuits snap at the heels of our defenders. Most Americans intuit that more lawyers and judges will not restore declining moral values or spark the spirit of enterprise in our economy.Perhaps Americans will understand that change cannot be brought to our nation by those lawyers who already largely dictate American society and business. Perhaps Americans will see that hope does not come from the mouths of lawyers but from personal dreams nourished by hard work. Perhaps Americans will embrace the truth that more lawyers with more power will only make our problems worse.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Victory over porn and adultry



Friends,


The video you just watched was a true story of a couple who has overcome the addiction of pornography and adultery. The main reason I am writing this blog is in the hopes that others will read it and be inspired to make changes in their lives and marriages. Its unbelievable how many marriages are in trouble these days? I can think of about 6 couples I know personally and through acquaintances that are in serious trouble. Friends that’s a very high percentage. What blows my mind even more is adding up all the divorces just in your own family. I can count 6 divorces just between my parents and siblings. Brothers and Sisters the sad fact is that this is the norm and not the exception. Friends as I have stated in earlier blogs “The Family is under attack” and one of the biggest threats (and tools of the enemy) is pornography and lust. They go hand in hand, and with the technology we have today it’s so easy to acquire. All you have to do is turn on the TV and get in on demand. It’s even easier on the internet. Pornography is a serious addiction and as the husband on this video stated it’s even harder to overcome than smoking and drinking.

Friends as you can tell by some of my other blogs I have not been a very good husband for the last couple of years. And after years of being controlled by lust and other sins of the flesh I have turned my life over to Jesus. Trust me you will not win this battle unless you give your life to Christ. Friends Jesus will restore you lives and marriages. I have seen him work in my life and the lives of many others. He will rebuild your broken lives and make your family even stronger. Friends if you are struggling with this addiction or are affected by this and want to save your family and you marriage you have to trust our Lord and Savior. He will give you the strength to weather this storm and come out stronger. Jesus is on your side. He loves to see families healed and restored. Now some of your friends and family members may not agree with you when you try to save your marriage and forgive your spouse, but if they really loved you and had Jesus in their hearts they would stand by your side and celebrate your victory. Friends FIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY! Here are some suggestions to help

Pray for your spouse and for yourself ( or couples you know that are in trouble)

Ask Jesus to come into your life (try to emulate Christ, ask your self is this something Jesus would do?)

Seek professional counseling! ( Pastor, Family Counselor, Rabbi)

Read your BIBLE! Proverbs 31 “Song of Songs” great stuff!

Read Christian books on marriage, families and addictions

Don’t give up P.U.S.H Pray Until Something Happens

Watch good movies like “Fireproof”

Don’t listen to non-Christians and people who live in the world ( ask yourself are they living for Jesus)

Learn from other people’s mistakes and victories. She how Christ has changed them

Father God,
Thank you for the many blessings you have given me and my family, thank you for rescuing me from a life of lust, sin and self destruction. Father thank you for restoring my family and my heart, Father thank you for giving me my brother and my brothers in Christ to help me find my way back to you, Father please help all the families out there that are hurting and need you, Father give them hope and strength to make it through these troubled times, Father give them the Grace, the love, the forgiveness you have given me, Father help those who are struggling with lust and pornography, give them the strength to fight this addiction, Father we know that when we give our lives to you that will give us the Victory! Father it’s in your Holy name we pray…Amen

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Fathers Love



Friends what you have just watched is a perfect example of a Fathers love for his child. This is also a great example of how our Heavenly Father loves us. We are that child that crosses that finish line in Victory! Thanks to the love and support of our Father.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Farewell Spook

Hello friends,


The other day my old boss and good friend Kenny came to see me. He dropped by the office to take care of some paperwork and see everyone. He then ask if he could get on my computer and while he was checking his e-mail he noticed that I had been listening to a sermon by Mark Driscoll on marriage and the book “ Song of Songs”. He then turned to me and said “I never thought you would be listening to something like this”. I told him “yeah I have turned my life around and basically gave my life to Jesus”.

Kenny has worked with me for the last couple of years and when you share an office you also share some of your personal life. Well needless to say, Kenny knew me as a different person back then. He always was a good friend and confidant. I can still here him telling me last year that I was going down the wrong path and how he worried about me. He predicted most of the things that happened during that time. He said “Chris, trust me I have been there, I know what you’re going through and I know what you’re feeling”. At the time I just smiled and gave him the ole head nod. But a couple months later I realized how right he was.

So fast forward six months and here we are. I told Kenny how Jesus has saved my life from self-destruction and how he has given me peace and happiness. Friends no man or woman can give you that. You have to give your life to our Lord and Savior; he is the only one who can fill that need. Please stop running around trying to find that in another person. You will be like a dog chasing his tale. Yes we ALL fall in that trap at one time or another. Anyway back to my good friend Kenny. He then proceeded to tell me about his Brother Spook (not sure where the nick-name came from). Spook was not his real brother but according to Kenny he was closer than one. He had told me how Spook was in a similar situation. He was married, had children and was caught up in an affair. He didn’t go into a lot of details but friends trust me all the stories are the same, just the names and locations change. Kenny said Spook had called him to talk about his situation and after awhile Kenny told him “Spook, this is going to kill you” Spook then replied “It already has”. I didn’t get to hear the rest of the conversation but Kenny told me that his friend, his Brother from another Mother “bit the bullet”. Shocked I said “what do you mean?” Well apparently the next day Spook killed himself. He left behind a wife, child, Mother, Father and his best friend Kenny.

Friends this is serious business and unfortunately very common. I have been talking about this as a way to try to help others who are going through the same thing. I am not trying to clear my conscious; I have been forgiven by my wife, my Lord and Savior and my friends and family. And that’s all that matters. But for you out there who are going through the same thing, male or female I encourage you to give your life to Jesus and turn away from your sins. He will restore your life, your marriage, your hope, your peace, your happiness and your sanity. He will help you get back what you think you lost! So stop trying to fix it yourselves, get off the relationship merry-go-round. Stop looking for other people to give you what only a relationship with Jesus can do. Stay married to your best friend, if your spouse is not your best friend WORK ON BECOMING BEST FRIENDS! There are so many good books out there and good teachers on the Internet to help. If you’re insurance pays for counseling USE IT! A co-worker of Heidi’s said her husbands company had a meeting where they just randomly said they cover marriage counseling. Friends that’s what I call Devine intervention! That is the Holy Spirit giving you a nudge. Trust me it’s no accident.

Let me close by saying I love you all. You are my Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Stay strong! Use the acronym P.U.S.H Pray Until Something Happens. God bless you friends.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Found a new site for Christian Videos





Hey Yall,


While visiting my Cousin Joey's My-Space site I came across a bunch of videos he had posted from this site. It's awesome..Thanks Cuz

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Marry your best friend or better yet stay married to them

Friends,

Today the Lord has been talking to me about the importance of friendships in marriage. I don't know how I thought about this but it's been on my mind and I have to write it down. I have been doing a lot of thinking about how God has blessed my life and how I see him doing great things in other peoples lives. One example I gave before was a lady in our Sunday School class who told Heidi and the rest of the class she was getting back with her ex-husband after being divorced for 4 years. The look of excitement and happiness on her face was priceless. I still get teary eyed when I picture it. Friends, if you married your best friend and are now separated or even thinking of leaving please give your marriage another chance. Let our Father come into your hearts and make you realize what you really have. He will if you let him. I have been on the other side and trust me I have seen what it does to families and friends. It's not worth it. Remember the enemy loves to destroy families and push us further away from God. He hates to see strong loving families and will try anything he can to break them up.

But the "good news" is it's never too late to change your situation. It's never too late to say I am sorry. It's never too let to say "lets stay together" To quote the Rev. Al Green " lets stay together" " whether times are good or bad or happy or sad" Friends the past is the past and there is nothing you can do but learn from it. Forgive each other and start fresh. What a great feeling it is to be given a fresh start. Just like when you give your life to Christ, everything is new and your past is forgiven and according to the Bible even forgotten. Try it, you have nothing to lose and you might even gain something!

Friends, chances are that at one time your spouse was your best friend. You guys probably did everything together, confided in one another, supported one another and loved one another. But over the years you drifted apart, you let the stress of children, family, finances and petty arguments come between you. Then your flesh started talking to you, and I am not just talking about sex. But you started feeling not loved and cared for. Suddenly you started feeling that your friendship is over and there is nothing left. But the thing is, your spouse is probably feeling the same way. That's when you open the door for the enemy to come in. He only needs a crack to get his foot in. Friends, we have to be constantly on the lookout for the enemy. He knows when your weak, he knows how to push your buttons. That's when you have to tell him to get behind you and use the name of our Father. Then he will flee. Guy's we have to come together and fight for our families, we have to lean on each other when we are hurting. As Christians we need to talk to our hurting brothers and sisters and give them hope. We are losing the battle and lives are being destroyed.

But the good news is we can win this with the help of our Father. We have the instruction book that tells us how to live. It tells us how to be a good wife " Proverbs 31" How to have a great sex life with your spouse " Song of Songs" and how to love and forgive " the whole New Testament" It's all there! The wild thing is that it was written over 2000 yrs ago and still speaks to us today.
Read these verses and books, pray and ask Jesus to come into your life. Pray for your spouse. If you are one of these people riding the relationship merry go round get off! Get your feet back on the ground! Work on your friendships, work on yourself, work on your relationships with your family, give your problems to God and let Jesus in your heart. Friends I hope and pray you will have the joy and happiness you deserve and be blessed.


Father,

Please forgive me for my sins against my family and friends, as I forgive those who have sinned against me, Father thank you for your grace and mercy, Father thank you for the many blessings you have given me, thank you for my best friend!, thank you for my children, thank you for my brother and sisters, thank you for my family in Christ, Father please help all of my hurting Brothers and Sisters, Father please restore our Families, Father you gave your only Son as payment for our sins and we know by his blood we are saved,Father be with those who don't know your Son, show them his glory, his faithfulness and his love for us. Father you are so great, so awesome, thank you Lord! It's in your name we pray..Amen

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What a great weekend!


Hey friends,



Just wanted to share a little of my weekend with y'all. First of all I celebrated my 42ND Birthday on Friday. My lovely wife took me out to breakfast and then spoiled me all day. Then my brother Tony and family came down from Nashville for the weekend. We had a great time! We went to SixFlags on Saturday and had a blast, we ended up spending the whole day there and closed the park down! By the end of the day everyone was wet, tired and very excited by the experience. We will definilty be doing that again. On sunday we went to our church and and had some great fellowship. I am really excited to see how God has been working in our lives and in the lives of our family and friends. God is truely good and I know if there are people out there who are hurting and feel the World is against them. I beg you to hand your problems and worries over to God; he is faithful! I have seen him work in my life many times. Friends like the song goes " I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see" His grace is amazing! Don't give up!

video

I love you all!

video

Thursday, September 18, 2008

“Missing the lessons that God wants us to learn”



A good friend of Heidi's came up with the following quote “ I am so consumed with the way I react about situations that I am missing the most important lessons that God wants for me to learn!’’ How true is this statement? For me it fits like a glove. How many times have we been on fire for Jesus just to have something come up and throw us off track? Or we will be doing great and then something will upset us and then we let the flesh take over. It’s amazing how we can come out of one storm and think we are fine then all of a sudden another one comes along. But the key to peace is how we react to the storm. If you read the Gospels, Jesus slept while a storm was swamping the boat that he and the disciples were in. The disciples woke him up and said “don’t you even care if we drown?” Of course he cares but more importantly he wants us to have faith. To me Faith means knowing that Jesus will answer our prayers and take care of any situation regardless of the circumstances. How many times have we worried about things that ended up never happening, only to be robbed of our peace and happiness during that time? Personally I would rather just hand my problems off to Jesus and feel at ease knowing he is handling my situation. Friends last night I was upset over a situation and I couldn’t do anything, I tried reading my bible but couldn’t concentrate, I was even having trouble sleeping. Then this morning I talked to my brother Tony who prayed with me over the phone about it and just like that my answer appeared and my peace was restored. But the whole time I was upset and I didn’t let Jesus in my heart and was I miserable.

Friends the enemy loves to throw obstacles in our path when we want to do something for Jesus. How often do we wake up on Sunday morning and do not feel like going to Church or we look at the clock and say it’s “too late, maybe next time”. Is it me or do we sometimes get into arguments on Sunday mornings? It’s funny how during the week we can get up 3 hours earlier, get ready for work, drive 30 miles and be on time; and yet we’re not able to drive 5 miles down the road on Sunday morning. Friends we need to follow 1 Corinthians 16:13 and “Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong” This is what I had to do last Wednesday when our AC went out. I was determined to go to Church that night, I had been back home for 2 months and something was always keeping me from going, but this time I decided nothing short of an emergency was going stop me, I didn’t care who was tired or wasn’t feeling it, I was going!. I told Heidi that we would worry about the AC later and that nothing was going to keep us from going to the service. We had a great time at the service and when we came home I ask God for help with the AC and somehow I was able to get the blower motor working so we would be cool that night. We ended up getting it fixed 2 days later. God is so great when we have faith in him. We can do it! We just have to fight the flesh and follow our heart! God will take of the rest. Guys, put Jesus first and everything else will work out. I hope this Blog was helpful. I have really been inspired by some of the blogs from Heidi’s friends and other members of our Church. I am so excited about this new outlet. I feel it’s another way to fellowship and reach those who need some encouragement. And on a personal note it’s very good therapy for me to be able to get my thoughts on paper like this. I have a real problem communicating my thoughts and Ideals, so please be patient with me. I love you guys and more importantly Jesus loves us and gave his life for us..

Monday, September 15, 2008

My first Blog!

Wow,

Never thought I would start blogging or keeping some kind of journal but here it goes. I always thought of this as keeping a diary but I guess diaries are private and blogs are to be shared. As the title of my blog says I am a Soldier, I have been a Soldier for our Country for the last 22 years and hopefully will be able to serve for a couple more before I have to retire. When I first join the Army back in 1984 the enemy we were fighting was the Russians. I spent almost 8 years in Germany waiting for the Russians to come across the Fulda Gap. Thank God that never happened. Then after the Berlin Wall came down our focused shifted to the Middle east and the first Gulf War. After successfully driving Saddam out of Kuwait our mission turned to being peacekeepers in Bosina. My only regret there was that we didn't go in sooner. And that brings us to the present. I am sure everyone knows what going on now with the War on Terror so I will spare you the details, just know we are keeping the fight over there and off American soil.

Anyway after being a Soldier for so long I have come up against the biggest enemy yet and that of course is " The Enemy", " The Lair" ," The Destroyer" and all the other names associated with the Devil. He is our real enemy and root of most of our problems today. Looking back I guess I have been falling for his schemes for years. But I guess he finally got me two years ago when I was really involved in our Church. The year started off great, I made my decision to be baptised on New Years Day, then from there Heidi and I were singing in the Choir and teaching Vacation Bible School(that was a blast!) Then in October our world started falling apart. I was hospitalized for chest pains and spent our anniversary in a hospital bed. That's when the enemy started talking to me. He was filling my mind with all kinds of crazy ideals and lies. At the time I thought nobody cared for me, it was our anniversary and I was the only one who knew it. After I got released I started thinking about my life and started listening to those voices we all hear sometimes telling us how bad we have it or how we could be so much happier somewhere else. Then it happened. Temptation was finally presented and I took the bait. I thought I had all the answers and thought that somehow I could justify what I was doing. I thought and told everyone else that I was the "victim" when in fact I was the "idiot". I was willing to give up my Family, friends and everything I have worked so hard for just to try to satisfy the flesh. I didn't care about the consequences, I didn't care what people thought..Nothing..I had no shame..I was a big bad Soldier who thought he was owed something. Well to make a long story short I was given what I thought I wanted, what I thought would make me happy, what I thought life was all about. Then suddenly one day my eyes where opened and the shock and reality of the life I was living started sinking in. I realized how wrong I was.

Friends this is one of the biggest problems we face today. So many family's are being destroyed by divorce today and especially in the Church. Some studies have shown that Divorce in Christan family's are higher than in non Christian. I thank God for giving me a loving and forgiving Christian wife who never gave up on me and prayed for me daily. She really is a Blessing in my life.

Well yall to give this story a happy ending, after two years we have worked things out and are rebuilding our lives. We may have lost a lot financially but I feel we are stronger than ever and I feel closer to Jesus. We have found a great Christan Counselor and have started making our marriage a priority. That is why I am a Soldier for Christ. I hope and pray that one day I can help someone who is going through the same thing. On another positive note a lady in our Sunday School class announced that her and her former husband are getting back together and giving their marriage another chance (God is Good) Friends I am an open book and will be glad to share my testimony with anyone who will listen. It's never too late to turn your situation around. Pray about it, talk to a professional, your Pastor, a friend. Read what the Bible says, Proverbs, Song of Songs and1 Peter 3:1-7. There are also a lot of great books out there. We need to stand up and fight for our families, they are our greatest Natural Resource. I love you guys...Peace!!


P.S This is my first real Blog so take it easy on me :-)