Monday, December 11, 2017

Me vs Them

Just last week I had 2 friends speak something to me that hurt but were true.  After I heard them I was a little irritated (or convicted) because I knew what they said was true.

Here is the thing, I have been in therapy for several months working on some other stuff and through that I am able to realize when someone says something that is painfully accurate and asses it as such.  Prior to this I would have chalked it up to that person being a jerk and a great pearl of resentment would begin.
Over time I would wind my thoughts around the statement so much to protect myself that it would become this big issue that I would hold onto as if it had value.

Oscar Wilde wrote “a true friend stabs you in the front.”  

Here are 2 things that were brought to my attention.  Ever since I was a kid I never believe it when someone says I did a good job.  

For every piece of art I do, every time I speak, every deed I do that I received a “good job” for I doubt.  I ALWAYS think to myself, they were just being nice. If it’s art then I think “its good to them because maybe its better than what they can do or they don’t know better” but they don’t see as much art as I do in a week.

I doubt everyone, wife, kids, siblings, pastor and friends.  I find it incredibly hard to find worth in anything I do.  

My friend points out that is a serious issue.  Why do I not trust these people?  Do they lie, or make it a habit of lying?
No? So why can’t I trust them about something like that? 

Later that evening I was taking to another friend about the first conversation and how bad I felt afterwords about that and a few other things that were said.  I seek this guys counsel a lot because I know he will shoot straight.  So while I was expecting him to commiserate with me instead he said something else.

He said “I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I think you sometimes get into this “me vs. them” mindset and you forget that everybody wants you to succeed.”

Wow! That was the thing that brought it around. Job after job, friendship after friendship I always sink into that mindset.  I never thought a bout it as anything less than self protection but it’s not.  I start a job, I’m happy but over time I start to think someone is out to get me. Granted there were a couple times they were but it shouldn’t color the way I think of EVERYONE.
That mindset makes it harder to be part of a team, makes it harder to trust people or to take them at their word.  So now my mission is to figure out where that comes from and how to stop it.

Over the last 3-4 days I’ve had it come up.  Conversations come up from the past week in my mind and I find myself trying to see the meaning behind what someone says and I’ll stop myself.  I’ll pause and then ask myself “why can’t it just be what it was?
As crazy as it sounds to someone that doesn’t live like this, What if everyone actually does want me to succeed?
What if no one is looking to take me down?  What if I’m actually surrounded by people that are rooting for me or at very least don’t care. What if the vast majority of these unhealthy defenses I've put in place are unnecessary?

So that’s the goal, to look at people without suspicion, without seeing angles taking them at their word until they give me a reason not to.  To think less of me vs them and more of us and them

If you are one of those people that I have shielded my trust from maybe you’ll never know but I am sorry I did us both a disservice. I pray however that this change in me and in my heart and mind is so obvious that you do.

I’m sure I could tie this back to a scripture somehow and really wrap this whole thing up but I’m not going to.  Not everything has to be a sermon.


Thanks for reading. 

Alan

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Kid from the Congregation (2 Appointments with Pastor Dean)

I have had 2 appointments with Pastor Dean in my life.  The first time was in 1996. At the time my family and I were attending the Nazarene church and I was just a kid in the congregation .  One week I had an experience and I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me. I ended up going forward and making a recommitment.  
I felt great, no I felt AMAZING! Just like I did the other times in my life that I recommitted. The problem was that feeling would fade over the next few days and I’d find myself doubting.  Why didn’t I feel like that anymore? Was I not saved? Had I done something wrong?

It would weigh on me and after a few more days I would fall back into my old ways assuming that it “didn’t take”. I hadn’t prayed hard enough or wasn’t good enough.

I couldn’t figure it out. I wanted salvation but every time I tried it wore off and I felt less and less worthy.  I just couldn’t shake the feeling of worthlessness.

Finally I decided to call the church and see if there was someone I could talk to. The secretary was very polite and said I could see Pastor Dean if I could get there in the next 30 minutes or so.  I said thank you, got off the phone and drove my mom’s Reliant K up to the church.

I was taken into the pastor’s office and seated in a very comfortable chair across the desk from Pastor Dean.

I’m sure he didn’t know me from Adam’s house cat.  I was just that kid from the congregation. I didn’t attend any youth functions, I didn’t  hang out with the other teens really just some small talk in passing.  My family only attended Sunday mornings. We weren’t sold out to the vision or part of the community but for some reason Pastor Dean found time for me.

I sat in his office and told him what was going on.  How when I confessed my failures and prayed for forgiveness, when I asked Jesus to lead me instead of me taking the wheel I felt great. Then the feeling wore off because I wasn’t saved. It didn’t work.  I just wanted to know if I wasn’t praying hard enough or if I needed to do something else.

That’s when Pastor Dean gave me some advice. Something I have never forgotten and something I have passed on to dozens of teens in youth groups I worked with as a young adult.

He told me that when I talked to Jesus I felt good because I was connected to God. When I left the church and didn’t do anything in my life different I drifted from God. The joy I had felt dwindled and I assumed it didn’t work. 
He sat there and explained to me that its more than a feeling. Those can come and go. It’s about believing in Jesus and following Him whether I feel like it or not.  I wasn’t less saved because I didn’t have that amazing feeling I had at the altar all the time. I was saved despite not having that amazing feeling all the time.

He was the first person to tell me that.  So often working with teens you see that. They don’t realize that the feeling will fade and they think something is wrong or they are beyond redemption, unwanted.  It sends some people farther away. Like me when I was a teen, I thought I had done something wrong that God was mad and since I wasn’t saved I guess I could do what I want until it actually works and the cycle would repeat.  Thanks to Pastor Dean having time for just a kid in the congregation I was able to break that cycle in my own life and help others to understand that it’s more than a feeling.

The second appointment I ever had with Pastor Dean was just this year.  In November of 2016 Pastor Dean was chosen to be the grand marshal of the annual Lebanon Christmas Parade to celebrate his over 50 years of ministry.  Kelly brought me some pictures and I designed and ordered a banner we could carry in front of the car because Pastor Deans health had declined and he was going to be inside the car rather than outside or even in a convertible.

I was told by Kelly and his Mom, Nancy Rhoades that Pastor Dean loved the banner and wanted it hung in his home.  To me that was really cool and I was pretty proud of the fact that he liked it that much.  Our first meeting meant and still means so much to me that I was thrilled to do something that he liked something that could make him smile.

It got cooler a couple weeks after the parade when Pastor Dean asked for me.  He asked that Kelly bring me by his house.  I was elated. When I was 16 I made an appointment with him and here I was 22 years later and he wanted an appointment with me.  
Kelly took me over there one morning and the 3 of us sat in his living room and talked. He was tired and I thought when we first arrived that it was going to be a short visit. Then as he started talking about God and the Holy Spirit, about dreams he had had and about witnessing to the nurses during his last hospital stay he perked up and we stayed for a little over an hour. It was an absolute honor.

When it was time to leave he grabbed my hand and thanked me for the banner his eyes filled with tears as were mine.  

When 2017 started I had decided to keep a list of all the great things God had done for me during the year so I could see how blessed I was.  I stuck a white board to the wall and the very first thing on it was “Pastor Dean asked to see me.” As the year went on that board fell off the wall so many times I eventually never put it back up. 

That and the fact that I am terrible when it comes to keeping track of the good that happens often only remembering the bad.  Still that first blessing of 2017 stands today as not just one of the biggest blessing of the year but one of the biggest honors of my life.  

Because of his influence on my life as a teen, and through the legacy he has left us through Pastor Kelly and LifePoint which changed not just my life but the course of my family that invite was more precious  to me than if it had come from Billy Graham.

As we reap harvests from seed planted by Pastor Dean from before some of us were even born
Its safe to say that his influence on eternity is beyond our ability to measure.


With that said, I know when I get to heaven though scores of people will no doubt still be lined up talking to him about his impact on their life he will still make time to talk to that kid from the congregation 

Thanks for reading
Alan

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Pray for Egypt?

On Friday after several explosions at a mosque in  a Sufi mosque in the northern Sinai gunmen rushed in and after all was said and done 235 people were dead.

I heard about it yesterday and my heart sank. Thats 235 people that at the time of their death did not know Jesus.  

As I peruse social media today I don’t see any any “pray for Egypt” hashtags and I don’t understand why.  When innocents were killed in London, #PrayforLondon was everywhere.

After the Terrible hurricane damage of Irma, Henry and Maria the #prayforpuertorico, #prayforflorida, and #prayfortexas were all trends.

When the Orlando shooting up of a gay bar hit the news #prayfororlando was everywhere including christian leaders twitter and instagram feed.

As recently as November 5th there was a shooting in Southerland Springs Texas.  An armed man walked into a church and killed 26 people, #prayfortexas.

Do I think the “hashtag” is a widely over used device so people can show solidarity even in cases where they don’t know the facts and just want to look like they care? Yes I do.
The problem is we made it a thing as a people and when it is now absent it is blatantly obvious.

Why in this case did we not see it?  I’m going to chalk it up to the holiday.  Thanksgiving is over a lot of loved ones are still in town. Then there is black Friday, people up at the crack of dawn to get bargains. More than likely not checking the news while they are out, coming home after in some cases camping out in front of stores to more than likely sleep. I hope that is the case.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

What better way to love someone to Jesus than to pray for their comfort. Knowing where our comfort comes from. 
Is the lack of sympathy I see due to this taking place in a mosque rather than a church?  Had a christian church in Egypt would there have been a difference in reaction?  Egypt has on the low end a 10% christian population.
Egypt is a definite mission field. Tracking the number of Muslim converts to Christianity is a difficult task, according to Albert W. Hickman of the Center for the study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.
In an interview with The Christian Post, found here Hickman explained that "Muslim converts to Christianity are far more likely to face adverse consequences than are Christian converts to Islam."
"These can range from the loss of a job and social and familial ostracism to beatings, imprisonment, and even death," said Hickman.
"As a result, many Muslim converts to Christianity keep their conversions secret — certainly in Muslim-majority countries, but also in Western and other countries with religious freedom due to concerns about the consequences their conversions might carry for family members back home."
"Thus, it is likely that the number of Muslims who convert to Christianity each year is underestimated," continued Hickman. "This is less likely to be true for the number of Christian converts to Islam, as they would in general face less opposition."
Possible examples of this would be the West African nation of Mauritania and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While Mauritania and Saudi Arabia officially declare 100 percent of their citizens Muslim, both are known to have small non-Muslim populations.
Should we be deeply saddened by these 235 deaths? Yes, that is 235 people that are now beyond the reach of missionaries, beyond the hope of conversion.
But what of their families?

Love First, before prejudice, before preconceived notions, before hate, before religion.

Now is a powerful time in these families lives to be reached by the hope we have.  Grace given freely without a list of rules.  


So please say a prayer for those that have been touched by this tragedy.  Say a prayer for our missionaries for our foreign churches.  Pray for the workers and that more will answer that call.  The harvest is great, but the workers are few. Mt 9:37  #prayforegypt

Monday, November 13, 2017

Water to Wine

Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” John 2:6-10



This was Jesus first recorded miracle.  He took the water and with no ceremony or flair made it wine.

He didn’t pour out the water, He didn’t empty the container.  He transformed what was already in it.  

That is what he did for me.  He didn’t get rid of what was already inside me. He simply changed it made it sweeter. With no ceremony, no flair, He changed me. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
You don’t need to be empty and freshly scrubbed to be used by God.  You come as you are and He does the changing.

That’s not to say you won’t have struggles.  Once you are filled to the top then just like at the wedding party, people will start to take some of it.  You’ll lose a dip at a time though just everyday life some of what Jesus did that first instant.

It’s not like the bread and fish from John 6 or the widows oil from 2 Kings 4 both of which refilled themselves as they were being used automatically.

I see people accept Christ and they feel so great that first day or that first week but they expect that feeling to stay with them.  
As time wears on though they begin to fade.
They have’t been restocking the jar.

So what can you do to keep from feeling watered down by life?

Here are some tools that help me.

YouVersion Bible App - This is a free app I have on my phone and my tablet. It has hundreds of Bible reading plans to choose from. You can search for a topic and find a bible reading plan about it. You can find devotionals and reading plans from a slew of pastors.  You can set an alarm to remind you if you forget.
It’s an absolute essential.  

Abide - Another smart phone app this one helps you focus your prayer.  Personal prayer time runs 2 directions for me. It either is long and rambling or it is filled with subject changes and distractions.  Abide will guide you through prayer with soft music and gentle prompts to keep you focused.

Journaling - You can do this with a physical journal or a digital one.  I use both. When I am planning a blog or preparing a message I use a moleskine notebook.  When I just want to write about my day, or jot down something I feel God has laid on my heart I use Day One. It’s an application on my Mac but it crosses platforms onto my phone as well. I can add pictures or links to my note too, which I really like when I go back and look at it later.  
Day one is searchable so if I type in “wedding” it will bring up any post that has that word in it.

Notes - I take notes all the time, again this one can be digital or analog. I have a notebook that comes to church with me everyday and it has everything from meeting notes to notes from pastor Kelly’s sermon. I take it with me to conferences and meetings. It’s not just enough to take notes though, you need to go back and look at them periodically.  You’ll see places you have grown and places that still need work.  I have a Terrible memory so notes are a must. Digitally I use Evernote to keep track of blog ideas and any lists I make.  I make a lot of those by the way.  I like to keep track of how many movies I watch, books I read things like that.

Those are just a few tools that might help you.  

I changed my schedule about a year ago so I could get some of these things done. Its a priority for me and I think once you get started it will be so for you too.

Thanks for reading

Alan






Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse



Today was the solar eclipse and like most people I was interested in seeing it. 

The thing that stuck in my mind about the eclipse was when the moon covered the sun it still wasn’t very dark.  I stood on the sidewalk in front off the office and you couldn't see the stars, no crickets chirped, no streetlights flared to life.  It was still daylight, just a little shadier.

In my life I have let things come between God and myself. They slipped in and between us. It happened slowly over time like the eclipse today. Just like the eclipse today my life didn’t get too much darker. It was still, after all lighter than it was when I was lost. I believed in God but I didn’t make him the Lord of my life. Lord over EVERY aspect.

Pastor Kelly talked about that at church yesterday.  How it’s one thing to believe in Jesus and another to give him Lordship over you. You can accept Jesus into your heart, you can believe who he is but the sky just isn’t quite as bright as it is when He is the only thing in it.

Today during the eclipse I saw how easy it is to accept the shade.  Life moved on work got done but it just wasn’t as sharp as it could have been.

I’ve been looking for and shedding recently those things that block my view of God.  It’s not a quick process like I would have hoped. It’s gonna take some time but each day is a little brighter in that aspect.

If you want to avoid a total eclipse you have to be able to see where your issues lie. You need a tool like the glasses so many sported today to allow you to see the items that are between you and God.  

The Bible is that tool.  Whether it is your daily private time or just listening the to the sermons from Kelly or your other favorite preachers you need that lens to properly see what is blocking the light.

Don’t wait another day of the shade, pick up your Bible, find a reading plan online or on the Bible app go buy a one year bible just take a step today. 

Make everyday form this one forward brighter than the last.  

Thanks for reading

Alan



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mud

It finally rained last week.  It has been a while since we had more than a sprinkle and it was certainly a welcome sight.  The problem with any substantial amount of rain for me is that fact that my yard gets flooded very easily.  It was a big mess for a few days after the rain and if there was mud then I stepped in it.  I constantly had mud on my shoes. I tracked it into the truck and onto the porch.
As things dried out though I started to notice the footprints in the mud.
I was looking at how deep and intricate some of the prints were.  Spaced out almost like a dance pattern as day by day I avoided the places I had stepped the days before trying to keep clean.
They had a beauty to them I had never noticed.  They represented where I had been but was no longer.  Some I remembered, the really deep ones. Some I didn’t. None of them were pretty but they were there. 
I look back on things I’ve done, mistakes I have made and I see them now as footprints in mud.  None of them pretty.  Reminders of where I have been and a warning to not to step there again.

13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.     - Philippians 3:13-14

Thanks for reading

Alan

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Problem with Me

A few weeks ago I was waiting for my car to be finished at the shop. I brought it in to have a new battery put in and I had been waiting for about half an hour.  I was bored so I decided to post a picture on social media.
I carefully arranged the props, I wanted it to look natural but not boring.  I took that photo into one of the 16 apps on my phone to adjust the look.  I add a lens flare to make it look more dynamic. I adjust the contrast in another app so it won’t look so flat.  
I finished up putting it thru the 3rd app and it was perfect. I opened Instagram and came up with a caption that is just clever enough to seem unprepared.  Instagram gives me the option to share this pic in Facebook too so of course I did. I mean I couldn’t rob my Facebook followers of this gold.

I posted the pic and looked out the window at the car.  It has not moved since the last time I looked so I checked Instagram to see if I had any likes.  “5 likes, not bad”, I thought.  I clicked out and opened Facebook. 12 likes there.  I made sure to tap and see who had and who had not liked the pic in both apps.  
I put my phone away and walked through sporting goods.  I stopped to look at the camping section. I have never camped but I love camping gear.  My hand slipped into my pocket and found my phone, without thinking I opened Instagram to see how many likes I had now.  A few more in instagram and quite a few more in facebook. I looked to see who the new likes came from and I put my phone away again and headed towards toys.
I’m 38 and I still love to browse the toys section. Specifically legos. I’m in the lego aisle and again absently my phone was in my hand and instagram was open.  I saw the heart logo pop up at the bottom with the number 3. I was excited to see who had liked my post.
As the afternoon wore on and I waited  for the battery to be tested and replaced I looked at my phone a dozen more times.  Each time stopping to see who had and hadn’t liked what I posted.  Did Kelly like it?  Did anyone share it.  I was/am obsessed with those numbers and those names.

Recently I had a realization. I wish I could say that it was something God had just revealed to me through prayer or quiet time with him.  Instead it comes from a place of failure a place of disappointment and embarrassment.

I am too wrapped up in me. In the image I want others to perceive.  My life has become the picture I pose so it looks put together and natural but not  staged. The problem with me was me.

So much of my self worth, my value my "me" comes from what others think.  It comes from my likes. It comes from my job. I’ve let the “me” get bigger than the “He”. 

If your identity is dependent on your job or your social influence then what do you do when those things go away, and those things always go away.  When you make a huge mistake and lose what you have built.  When the storms come and wipe out what you have built. What’s left? Can you rebuild?

It reminds me of the story Jesus tells about building your house on the rock.  I’m saved, when this life is over I’ll be with Jesus. I built my house on the rock, It’s a modest house, more of a cabin a real fixer upper.  It will always be there. It’s mine no matter what.

I built a vacation home on the sand though.  It was built and filled with things that don’t matter in the long run. It’s the house I want people to see. Its a big house on beachfront property.
People can see it and I know there is a little jealousy.  It’s filled with things I know other people will like or wish they could do.  It is packed with influence, it carries weight.  

I left a lot of projects unfinished back at the cabin though.  Things I didn’t want to address. Leaky pipes, dark spots in the crawlspace. It’s time I got back to that cabin.  
I’m dedicated now to doing just that.  Deliberately less me and more He in the coming months.

I’m going to make the cabin the place I want to be. I’m going to clean it and remodel it.  I’m going to hire a professional to help.

In the land of social media my first step back to the cabin is to actively not look to see if something I post is liked and if so then by who.  I have deleted Facebook from my phone for a while. I removed my notifications and added a couple other safe guards.  When I post this blog I know there will be that pull to see how many views it gets. That is something I will fight for sure. 
I won’t give up on social media, it’s important for what I do and for relationships that I have.  Its a real part of life in the modern world and it can’t be ignored.  I’ll just use it better.  I can’t be left with unlimited access to my own vanity.

I will spend more time at my cabin, and my cabin doesn’t have wifi.

Are you living in the cabin or your beach house?

Thanks for reading.

Alan


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hardboiled

I'm a different me than I was 6 years ago when we first attended LifePoint. Some of you know that. Some of you saw me sitting in the balcony, coming straight in and to my seat. Not interacting with anyone if I could help it.

That all changed 5 years ago this week at C3.  Matter of fact it was 5 years to this day that I woke up with a new heart.

It was a great start and it took some time to shake some of the things I was indoctrinated in from my one time denomination.

It took a while to go from legalism to "lovelism"

To realize the difference between my pet issues and salvation issues when it comes to other people.

No, the me you met those years ago is gone now.

What is amazing is the me you met a month ago is gone too.

Sure its not as noticeable as a complete flip but its there.

Everyday I read and I pray and I grow and if I've done my job then the me that goes to bed each night is different from the me that wakes up every morning.

This walk isn't a quick one I've found. It's not about feelings.  It's about change. It's all about change.
Jesus accepted me exactly as I was and he loved me. He would have loved me just the same had I not changed. However in the light of His grace how could I not?  How could I continue in ways that grant his ways?  In ways that would make him sad or disappointed in me. So I changed.

These changes aren't always visible.  Like a boiled egg looks the same as a fresh egg, on the outside. On the inside though it has changed.  It's not a gushy mess anymore able to go this way and that.  The very heart of it has been shaped and solidified.  Still soft enough to be molded but firm enough to stand alone if the shell is broke.

I hope you are growing. In this year as a church that we are looking to grow "Stronger".

I hope you have found a mentor.

If no one has asked you to be theirs yet then I pray you go seek out someone to mentor.  Find someone to grow from the things God has taught you.

It has been an amazing 5 years.

Thank you for your love and support and as always

thanks for reading.

Alan

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Better Nights Sleep

 This is another one of those cases where I wrote a whole lot and then rewrote, edited and wrote again.
I played with turns of phrase. I looked for a through line maybe a catch phrase that would help someone that read this remember it better.
It was long, flowery and decently written. It took over an hour to craft and I just deleted it.

Why?

Well the more I wrote the more I realized I was taking the long way of letting you know what was on my heart tonight.
A simple thought.

Forgive completely.

Holding onto anger or bitterness does nothing to anyone but yourself.

It only serves to effectively immunize you from blessings God wants to give you.

Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you."

You'll also sleep a lot better.

Thanks for reading
Alan

Monday, January 30, 2017

Get more out of Your Game

I was talking to my friend Bethany last week and she gave me an analogy for the Christian walk that had never occurred to me before and I wanted to share it with you and extrapolate a little as well.

When I was a kid I played a Mario video game.  Mario games prior to 1996 were side scrollers. The hero proceeded in a straight path towards the right of the screen. You encountered obstacles to jump over. Coins and things to collect plus secrets to discover but always to the right and always forward for progress.

You might discover a warp zone and be able to skip a few middle levels if you were lucky. You might have a friend that had been there before you and could give you some help. No matter the path your goal was always to get to the reward at the end of the game.  

I had friends though that played the game differently than I.  They wanted to learn its secrets. To know the game better, to understand the person that created it in hopes to gain insight. They didn’t want to skip a level. It didn’t matter if the level was hard or not. They wanted to get as much out of the game as they could.  They knew where all the coins were. All the side games and warp zones.  Their knowledge and appreciation of the game was far beyond mine because they played it differently. They spent way more time with the game than I did. 
They enjoyed the game on a deeper level and had a way more satisfying experience than I did.

If I got stuck I could always call my friends and they would tell me a little more about the game. Where to go, what to do so I could get just a little farther. Believe it or not I even had people that would call me or talk to me at school about their game and I would help them get farther.

No matter how we played the game though we all found ourself at the same place and with the same result when it was over.

That is a great way to look at the Christian walk.  Once you accept Christ your ending is the same.  If you truly believe and put your trust in Him then we are going to the same place. The end of the game is gonna be the same for me that it is for you. 

Those that will quit the game or choose to play a different game will ultimately end up somewhere totally different than us.

As a Christian though we play the the original game the best game. The game everyone was built to play. The game that came with the system. 

Yes sometimes it glitches and sometimes we have to blow into the cartridge to get it to work the way we think it should but its the way its supposed to be. 

How will you play the game?  Will you just try to get through?  

Or will you play to learn more about the game and the creator of it.

Get more out of your game, put more into it and get stronger in 2017.

Thanks for reading

Alan