The Fundamentals

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Christmas is about JESUS!

Luke 1:25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”

Christmas is God’s arrival of stepping into life on this planet to fulfill his plan to restore our world. We live in a world that is broken and messed-up … God’s left behind a footprint of HOPE which points to HIM!

A lady told her husband that she had dreamed that he had bought her a diamond necklace for Christmas! The husband responded positively to her dream by bringing her a beautifully wrapped gift. As she eagerly tore open the wrapping to see her diamond necklace, all she found was a little book. It was titled, 'How to interpret your dreams’! 😃

Christmas is a difficult period for a lot of people … sin clouds our vision of God’s prints in the world … Country legend Merle Haggard sang, 'If we make it through December, everything is gonna be alright I know'. The song speaks about a father who has just lost his job at the factory & he's wondering how he can make Christmas special for his little daughter.

Christmas is not a dream … Christmas is not about stuff … Christmas is not about the food, feelings, or the weather!  Christmas is about JESUS!

Christmas is about God’s footprint of Hope for our lives!
I am grateful for God's footprint! You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Footprint Fossil

Luke 1:18-19 “Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.
 Tracks and trails are two types of fossils that can be found under the trace fossils category. As with all other trace fossils, tracks and trails also tell more about the organism's behavior rather than the organism itself. These are typically formed when an organism moves over the surface of soft sediment and leave an impression of its movement behind.

There are four basic stages in the formation of footprint fossils. A footprint is formed when an organism steps into soft mud (usually silty sediment that is deposited in shallow temporary pools.) Then the impression is covered with loose sand so that the footprint is filled. The sand eventually consolidate into sandstone and finally the rock split open along the bedding surface to reveal the original footprint in the shale and its cast in the sandstone.

Examining the footprints left behind by dinosaurs give us a hint as to the size of the dinosaur. Most of the time there is certain proportionality between an organism's body and its legs (feet.) If the footprint left by the dinosaur is huge, we can only fathom the size of the whole dinosaur. The actual footprint provides us with a better estimate than any museum model.

The celebration and anniversary of the first advent (arrival) of God is what is more commonly called Christmas. Christmas is God’s footprint fossil which reveals God’s behavior as it relates to you and me…as we celebrate Christmas and look over Christmas scriptures, I pray we will be influenced and embrace God’s behavior as our own.

You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Christian Vote!

Psalm 33:12 states: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance”

Authority figures come in all shapes and sizes and at different places in life: Moms and dads, school teachers, bosses, etc.  Little Johnny was going to a public school and he was doing very badly in math. So his mother decided to put him into a Catholic school. When she got his report card at the end of the term, his marks in math had improved tremendously. So she asked him why. He replied, "When I saw that guy nailed to the plus sign, I knew they meant business!"

There are authority figures up and down your ballot this week. Paul writes to the Roman church and speaks about authorities in this world: He teaches Authorities are established by God,  Authorities punish the wrongdoers, and Authorities must be respected by all.

1. Authorities are established by God.
Romans 13:1 – “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God… ithe believers response is submission. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. There is no authority except that which God has established.

The Roman government was worse than what we see this election cycle. Paul is reminding the believers…there is no authority except that which God has established. Matthew 28:18 “Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…so God make disciples.”

The law is God-ordained. No country in this world can live without some kind of law. If there were no laws anywhere there would be complete chaos and evil would run rampant. So God has ordained for mankind to have law and have authorities over us such as the police, governors, and presidents…Remember, God is telling us how to live which influences our vote.

            Authorities are established by God.

2. Authorities Punish Wrong Doers.
Romans 13:3 – “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.”

A routine police patrol parked outside a Lafayette, LA, Bar. After last call, the officer noticed a man leaving the bar so intoxicated that he could barely walk. The man stumbled around the street for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing. After what seemed an eternity and trying his keys on five vehicles, the man managed to find his car, which he fell into. He was there for a few minutes as a number of other patrons left the bar and drove off.

Finally the man started the car, switched the wipers on and off (it was a fine dry night), flicked the blinkers on and off, honked the horn, and then switched on the lights. He moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little, and then remained still for a few more minutes as some more vehicles left. At last he pulled out of the parking lot and started to drive slowly down the road.

The police officer, having patiently waited all this time, now started up the patrol car, put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over, and carried out a breathalyzer test. To his amazement, the breathalyzer indicated no evidence of the man having consumed alcohol at all! Dumbfounded, the officer said, "I'll have to ask you to accompany me to the police station. This breathalyzer equipment must be broken."

"I doubt it," said the man. "Tonight I'm the designated decoy."

Christians are not above the law, We are not above those in authority, we are also not to avoid the law or cheat to get around the law.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

You are voting for God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. On Tuesday (unless you voted early) we will be examining the person whom we feel will be best at bringing punishment for those who do wrong and for bring commendation for those who do right. In study, meditation, and prayer … God reveals to us how to live … we learn we are to vote for the person who will best preserve the truths of justice, humility, and liberty.

Authorities are established by God.
            Authorities punish wrongdoers…

3. Authorities must be respected by all.
Romans 13:7 – “Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

A couple of young boys were fishing at their special pond off the beaten track. All of a sudden, the game warden jumped out of the bushes. Immediately, one of the boys threw his rod down and started running through the woods like a bat out of a cave. The game warden was hot on his heels.

After about a half mile, the young man stopped and stooped over with his hands on his thighs to catch his breath, so the game warden finally caught up to him. "Let's see yer fishin' license, boy!" the warden gasped.

With that, the boy pulled out his wallet and gave the game warden a valid fishing license. "Well, son," said the game warden, "you must be about as dumb as a box of rocks! You don't have to run from me if you have a valid license!" "Yes, sir," replied the young guy, "but my friend back there, well, he don't have one."

Respect for authorities or the law means to have a fishing license when it’s required. Respect for the law means to abide by the law whatever that law is. Respect for the law means to pay your taxes even if you don’t like to pay them.

The authorities, whoever they are, are God’s servant and deserve our respect…when the leaders and people of authority demonstrate their authority well … they will also receive honor. God is telling us … Christ-followers …  how to live which influences our vote.

Authorities are established by God.
            Authorities punish wrongdoers.
                        Authorities are to be respected by God’s People.

So what are we to do?  Let’s pray for our nation and take careful thought of how we will vote in any election.

Daniel Webster wrote: “Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought here by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate Biblical principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.”  We live as Jesus to the world … We live Christian values in our lives … including our votes.

You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Own the Treasure!

John 9:4 – “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When we treasure something, we display it and care for it. We want people to know we possess it. We are willing to polish and work at getting underneath the grime and power wash it … to shine. We need to own … to possess … take the opportunities of faith and make them ours.  
When the grime of life covers us… followers of Jesus can take comfort and assurance in finding the treasure underneath the grime. The treasure lives under the circumstance. Our struggles are not about fault, the struggles peal away all that we are so all that is left … is God.
God desires us to come as we are ... with all our baggage, all our emotions, all our hopes and dreams, all of everything that we have. The treasure is discovered as we emerge closer, brighter, and more like Jesus because we trusted in Him…trusting in Jesus is the evidence and the substance.

You are a child of God. You are precious to God. You have the remarkable gift of being created in God’s image.
Stop asking the wrong question…why is this happening to me. INSTEAD … Look at your struggle and start scrubbing the grime and asking, “How is God going to be glorified in this situation?”
I am striving to get beneath struggle and allow the treasure of Jesus to shine bright in my daily life, as I live between the miracles.

You know I love ya, Don

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Can Get it Done!!!

Purpose is the reason for which something exists. Purpose is an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal. Purpose is the determination and resolute attitude.

Paul told the Christian in Colossi in Colossians 3:12-14, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Our purpose is to put on Christ and whatever we are find on our path will be accomplished through His purpose. Which is to shine the light of hope in every aspect of life.

You might be thinking, “Don, I can’t not do all things…” the reality is that God has created you to do all the things he has gifted you to do. Let that reality sink in for a minute.  God has created you to do all the things he has gifted you to do. Which is much, much more than you allow yourself to do.

Look at this graphic. If I were to draw two circles… in the first
circle I would write, “Find your gift” and in the second circle write “share your gift” – where these to circles over-lap is your purpose. What do you feel gifted in doing and how are you sharing it? This is the purpose God has intended for you!

I can (Persistence) 
    do (Power) 
          all things (Purpose)
               through Jesus that strengthens me… (Partnership).

You know I love ya, Don

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A New Perspective which Changes the Outcome!

But Christians possess the righteousness of Christ, because  we learn in 2 Cor. 5:21 - “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”  

This is an amazing truth. On the cross, Jesus exchanged our sin for His perfect righteousness so that we can one day stand before God and He will see not our sin, but the holy righteousness of the Lord Jesus.

An eternal perspective on Jesus … shapes our outcome.

We respond differently when we realize that the power of God (He is mighty, majestic, and strength – stronger than the ocean) … the power of God is experienced through his coming to live among us, die for us, and then conquer the death by returning to life. This changes the outcome.

This is great news for us ... especially in a world filled with agendas and desire ... you know I love ya, Don

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A God Perspective changes our Attitude!

Psalm 93:1 - “The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and is armed with strength…”

When I stand on a beach, looking out over the ocean, I realize how truly small I am … the same is true when we examine the vast, supremacy of God. When we stop focusing on ourselves and start to recognize that God Reigns, God is Robed (Covered) in Majesty, and is Armed with Strength … out attitude changes. You and I start to realize it is not about Us! A God perspective shapes our attitude!!!

One day when His disciples were arguing among themselves regarding who was to be greatest in His kingdom, Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28). Jesus is teaching us that, when we become preoccupied with our own things, it can cause conflicts and other problems with people we know.

Jesus was teaching the disciples to have a GOD Attitude… it is an attitude of living, caring and being involved in the concerns of others…a trip to the beach takes us to a place that is bigger than me
 … A God Perspective shapes our attitude!

You know I love ya, Don